Howdy All, a few Interesting Items for your information. Enjoy –
In this issue:
1. CHAZ. The Capital Hill Autonomous Zone is a 6-block fledgling nation carved out of a residential section of Seattle. Antifa-led protesters started putting up barricades around a precinct station. The Seattle Mayor went along with the fun by pulling the local police out and turning the building over to the mob. Police chief was not particularly pleased. It took the mob only a few hours to set up a border wall for their new nation, start checking entry visas, and posting armed guards, something they have been protesting on the Mexican border for decades. It only took a couple days for a self-selected warlord to take over. They grabbed some parkland and set up a “people’s garden” in order to provide food. Deportations of people accused of wrongthink took a few days to begin. One thing about CHAZ, is that it is a total surveillance state. Whenever anything happens, the smart phones immediately come out. There is no privacy. Attempts to set up similar protests in other locales have been immediately rebuffed by local law enforcement and city leaders. Not so in Washington State and Seattle. This is not going to end well.
2. HCQ. The WHO suspended clinical trials of hydroxychloriquine (HCQ) a few weeks ago following publication in The Lancet of a study indicating that use of the drug would increase chances of death during treatment. This announcement received all the expected cheerleading and “I told you so’s” from all the Usual Suspects. Not unexpectedly, the media was quite pleased with themselves, having turned use of a medicine Trump is using as a prophylactic against Wuhan Flu into a death act. The suspension of the trial was a pretty big deal, as there were hundreds of hospitals across multiple nations engaged in the trial. It didn’t take long before investigation into the data The Lancet article used to start. The Guardian dug into the healthcare analytics company whose work the article was based upon and found it (US – based Sturgisphere only had a handful of employees, including a sci-fi writher and an adult content model. They were unable to adequately explain either their data sources or methodology. Both The Lancet and US Journal of Medicine retracted articles that relied on data collection and sources from the same company. The WHO resumed its trials. Government health care and their organs haven’t done themselves proud during these festivities. They rely on bad data, reach bad conclusions, and change those conclusions and recommendations based on little more than the position of the sun, the moon, and the stars. A Scott Adams observation in one of his Periscope pieces last week notes that we in the west, particularly the US have labored mightily to construct a governing structure to make rational decisions based on empirical data. The problem we have is that the empirical data is garbage, rendering whatever comes out of the back end of that process garbage, which is no way to govern. Now what?
3. Kneeling. As an offshoot of the BLM riots, many leftists now have it in their minds that kneeling to the mob is a positive lifestyle choice. Perhaps it is, in the same way that a man who feeds a crocodile hoping the reptile will eat him last is. A police chief in Miami knelt in front of the mob and promptly lost her SWAT team. They resigned SWAT, but not the force. In congress, we had Nancy Pelosi and her House leadership and Chuck Schumer and his Senate leadership kneeling in the capitol rotunda. Pelosi was unable to get up without assistance. One of the things they wore in their photo op was Kente cloth, so as to show proper respect for all things African. Besides the notion that Americans traditionally only kneel to their God and no man or woman, the choice of Kente cloth is problematic as the democrats who are celebrating destruction of history here in the US are also celebrating cultural exports from Ghana. Kente cloth is the pride of Ghana, as the fabric has been embraced by many African Americans as an expression of their culture, regardless of whether their roots lie in Ghana or elsewhere, and used to accessorize academic robes in honor of their heritage. The problem is that Ghana was a leading exporter of slaves for nearly 300 years to the Americas. Pelosi, Schumer and the idiot wearers of Kente cloth are essentially celebrating slavers. And these very same people celebrate tearing down statues, removing the Battle Flag of the Army of Northern Virginia (Confederate flag), renaming military bases, and generally ethnic cleansing the South. It might even go farther as Elizabeth Warren’s proposed renaming of military bases also will dig up and move confederate soldiers buried alongside union soldiers in national cemeteries. Of course, there is a continue popularity of Islam among these very same democrats, the same Islam that is STILL selling slaves (ISIS, anyone?), which I thought was a BAD thing. Apparently not. Final observation: If you fail to learn history, you end up embracing some really awful things and people. If you refuse to learn history and actively destroy it, you will end up repeating those very same mistakes which may be a feature rather than a bug in their proposed new governing system.
4. A&M. The Marxist mob has now arrived at what used to be a very conservative university, Texas A&M. Two articles last week described doxing of conservative students and an attack on a statue of the founder of the College, Lawrence Sullivan Ross. In the first story, the University itself publicly collaborated with an anonymous Twitter account that created what the account called a “burn book” of conservative students at the university. The account claimed to be notifying the university of all “hateful” students on campus. The account, with claims that it was associated with the campus branch of BLM has since been deleted. This sort of harassment has been going on in Austin at texas university for at least a year. The one in Austin targeted incoming conservative freshmen. Lawrence Sullivan “Sully” or “Sul” Ross is revered at A&M, complete with a statue in front of the Academic Building. It is among the first things you see as you come onto campus. He was a high-powered individual for his time, former governor, and founder of both Texas A&M and Prairie View A&M. Problem is that he was also a Brigadier General in the Confederacy. So, the woke mob, egged on by the school paper, the Battalion, is now targeting the statue for destruction, something that does not go over all that well with most of the students and especially the Former Students. A protest was held Saturday. Both sides showed up. Nobody went to jail that I know of. And as of this writing, the statue still stands. Agents provocateur took to the pages of various FB groups claiming to be black offended members of those groups, stirring up a great deal of sturm und drang in the process. I ran across a couple in a group of former Aggie Band members. The first was gone by the time I showed up. The second was still around. The person claimed to be a former band member out of school for 5 years. Of course, you can’t believe anything you read online. One of my favorite pastimes during election season is to take telephonic polls, giving outrageous responses and doing my level best to blow up the demographics at the end. If I can end up with those responses attributed to an 18-year old black lesbian named Sanchez, I feel I’ve done well. Sadly, don’t get that far too often. But back to this so called-young lady. She claimed to be out of school for 5 years, though still working there. She was upset that as a student, someone told her that she should have gone to Prairie View A&M (all black sister school), as she was taking the place of someone else more worthy. She claimed to have a 4.0 GPA from High School and was irate because she earned her way in. I responded to this and her reaction was to try to get the moderator to ban me from the page, which always makes me smile and is always predictable when dealing with lefties. Whomever or whatever this person is, she (or he) is a real example of what is coming out of the college campuses these days, even supposedly conservative ones like A&M. Someone insults her as a student, essentially calling her an affirmative action hire, and her reaction is to internalize that insult and use it years later to tear down a statue. In earlier days, a better reaction would be to go out, bust your backside in class, and post higher grades than the insult thrower and rub his face in it every single semester until you graduate. Living well is the best revenge. But in the world of the privileged, educated minority these days, victimhood sadly trumps everything else productive in the entire world. Heck of a way to live.
5. Climate. Christopher Monckton of Brenchley wrote an extended note aimed at oil company legal teams who are fighting efforts of cities in California to run them through the courts system to extort money for climate damage as the companies do their business. The piece in WUWT, Climate litigation: big oil must fight on the science or die, was quiet long and detailed. Monckton, who is one of the most articulate and scientifically grounded in the skeptic community warns the oil companies to quit fighting these lawsuits on procedural grounds, which give friendly (and cowardly) judges the opportunity to swing outcomes in popular directions. Rather, they ought to be fighting all these on factual grounds, if for no other reason than to force the arguments be made on actual evidence that will have to be defended under cross examination. Both sides will be fairly and evenly heard. The climatistas have lost nearly every single face to face debate on the climate question. They have lost bad enough that they go to great lengths to avoid debate. He points out the success that Big Tobacco had arguing against the EPA ruling that passive exposure to secondhand smoke was linked to lung cancer in 1993. Big Tobacco got their act together and sued the EPA in Federal District Court in NC. The case took five years. The EPA largely won on procedural grounds, but got their back sides handed to them by a blistering judicial opinion shredding their so-called facts and the science behind those facts. The opinion was a 100-page condemnation of the EPA’s pseudo-science.
6. Rallies. Fresh with the knowledge that both democrat governors and the media are now fully onboard with large groups of people violating social distancing and masking recommendations, President Trump announced beginning his campaign rallies last week. The first one will be held in Tulsa. The media instantly went from supporting of large groups of people to ginning up fears of Wuhan Flu transmission. Trump Campaign Manager Brad Parscale tweeted over the weekend that the 800,000 ticket requests and subsequent voter data gathered via those requests tweeted that was 10x anything they have ever done before. Media reaction to these events is akin to a vampire seeing a cross. Perhaps Trump and his campaign team will be able to get Biden out of his basement to campaign. Perhaps not.
7. Flynn. A 3-judge panel of the DC Circuit Court of Appeals heard arguments Friday requesting dismissal of charges against former National Security advisor LtGen Michael Flynn. The arguments did not go as well as expected, with the O’Bama appointee being in clear opposition and the Bush 43 appointee wondering why the delay into July was a bad thing, after all it was scheduled. Prior to the hearing, presiding Judge Sullivan’s special master produced an analysis accusing the DoJ of abuse of power in withdrawing from the case. He went further noting that Sullivan ought to be allowed to stop DoJ from withdrawing from the case. He pointed out that Flynn’s coerced guilty plea, hidden from Sullivan was indeed perjury in the proceedings for which he ought to be punished. Sullivan certainly chose the right former judge to “advise” him, as Gleeson also did the rogue judge routine in a case before he stepped down from the bench. My prediction is that the Appeals court will choose to allow Sullivan to rule on the case in July and Flynn’s legal team will request an enbanc hearing on appeal. This might end up before the SCOTUS before it is all over.
More later –