Interesting Items 09/14

Howdy All, a few Interesting Items for your information.  Enjoy –

In this issue:

1.  Hydroxy
2.  NuScale
3.  Election
4.  Mueller
5.  Artillery
6.  Tucker
7.  Gyms
8.  Kansas

1.  Hydroxy.  Received the following responses to my questions to the State of Alaska on hydroxy.  Overall, this is pretty good news.  Questions and answers follow:

  1. What is the overall availability of hydroxychloroquine in Alaska?
  2. Is there any state or federal restriction / prohibition against its use and dispensing outside a hospital setting (outpatient or prophylactic use).
  3. If so, what is the source of those restrictions / prohibitions?
  4. Would the State of Alaska consider deregulating hydroxy and making it available over the counter like it is in other nations (India, for example)?


The responses to the questions are as follows.  Verbiage is lifted directly from an e-mail from HSS.

  1. It is commercially available with no current or anticipated shortages
  2. No, even though the FDA revoked the Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for COVID, medications such as these can be used “off label”, however it is up to the prescribing and dispensing providers to determine clinical use, safety, risk vs benefit, and appropriateness on an individual patient basis.  Basically if a provider does not think medication is safe for the person or effective for the reason they can refuse to prescribe or dispense with clinical reasoning.  
  3. There are none
  4. A state cannot make this type of regulation, it would have to be made at a federal level from the FDA

Basically, this is really good news for Alaskans, for while the State is not all that supportive of the use of hydroxy or the cocktail to treat the virus, they are not actively discouraging its use, leaving Alaskans yet another option for treating the virus.

My only remaining question would be the ongoing quarantine requirement.  If the proponents of the use of hydroxy are correct and its early use (starting immediately after testing positive) will clear the virus from the system in 4-5 days, why is the State not recommending a combination of hydroxy and multiple testing rather than a rigid quarantine?  It could be that the new, less sensitive, and much cheaper testing is not available in Alaska as yet.  This ought to change, though.  Overall, a useful research project with some good news.  Special thanks to State Senator Natasha von Imhof for her assistance in tracking this information down. 

2.  NuScale.  Great news in the green energy front last week as NuScale, a company developing Generation IV nuclear reactors received a design certification from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), meaning it is the first small modular reactor that meets safety requirements and is an option for future projects seeking licensing and certification.  The reactor is 23 x 5 m capable of producing 50 MW of electricity.  A plant employing up to 12 of these reactors would operate much like existing nuclear plants, thought without the safety concerns.  Gen IV uses passive cooling systems and does not require pumps or moving parts, so the reactor continues to operate safely in the event of a loss of power.  Cooling water in the system circulates based on the amount of heat being carried.  NuScale predicts its first reactor could deploy by the mid-2020s.  The Trump administration has been fully supportive of Gen IV nuclear, which may be the silver bullet used to rid the landscape of the awful and destructive wind and solar generation installations.  Expect a nuclear option to be sold by the Trump administration and the greens as a preferred green energy solution in his second term in office.  What are the greens going to do when we win the climate wars outright without imposing any unnecessary pain?

3.  Election.  Multiple tidbits about the election for your consideration.

  • We have seen Alzheimer’s in our family.  One of my brothers suggested that Biden was sundowning.  He pointed out Biden’s schedule has him mostly out in the morning or midday, never late or in the evening.  Also ran across another story by a guy who left the campaign who claimed that Biden was on Alzheimer’s meds and has good days and bad days. 
  • A story out of Portland suggests that the AntiFa rioters are spending the days in public housing for homeless.  They sleep during the day, riot at night, all on the public dime.
  • There is pushback at American Airlines at the corporate embrace of BLM including pins and logos on shirts mostly from senior aircrews and cabin crew.  Passengers don’t appreciate this a lot either.  This is not going to end well for AA.
  • Several hints from President Trump in various interviews last week that they know who the rioters are and who are funding them.  Sounds like the conspiracy is in the midst of being rolled up. 

4.  Mueller.  As yet another example of the absolute and fundamental corruption that the Muller investigation was comes via news that they “accidently” wiped multiple phones used by lawyers and investigators during the investigation.  The ironic part is that this sort of obstruction is precisely the sort of thing they were all trying to hang around President Trump’s neck.  There are multiple requests from the US Senate via Chuck Grassley and Ron Johnson asking the Justice Department IG to explain how and why at least 15 phones were erased via lost passwords, physical damage and missing hardware.  You don’t manage to do that many of these unless you WANT to do so.  Both the FIB and DoJ have been sitting on this information for many, many months.  The news triggered no small amount of speculation that the DoJ IG is about to drop the hammer on the Mueller team, likely before the election.  I predict a lot of fun. 

5.  Artillery.  Fun piece in Forbes last week about a successful missile defense test a couple weeks ago.  In the test, a 155 mm self-propelled howitzer shot down a target drone flying a cruise missile profile.  The test used a new battle management system the USAF was developing.  The system used AI to synthesize sensor data from multiple platforms (satellite, dirigible, aircraft, radar).  That digital picture of the battlefield is used to identify discrete inbound threats to each friendly position.  The system is highly controversial and expensive.  It is also the way all services are proceeding in the current envisioned netcentric battlefield, especially applicable to a future conflict with China which is heavily investing in missile technology.  The counter to this would be to take out the sensors while disrupting the datalinks.  Bottom line is that an arty round is a lot cheaper than an anti-missile missile. 

6.  Tucker.  Tucker Carlson continued his assault on the proposed Pebble Mine here in Alaska Friday night spending five minutes or so interviewing Brian Kraft, owner of Alaska Sportsman’s Lodge in the Bristol Bay region.  The interview was similar to the one with the founder of Bass Pro Shops a month ago, a one-sided rant against mining in Alaska with no opportunity for response by anyone in the state who supports the project.  I do expect him to continue doing this for a while.  After the Aug 14 piece, several of us who are involved in fishing and mining in Alaska reached out to his show.  To date, nobody got any response, meaning Tucker, who is generally considered as one of the Good Guys in conservative media, is starting to look a lot more like what we have come to expect from all media these days, with “conservative” being simply a qualifier to get into the front door.  Keep this one-sided garbage up and he is going to lose a lot of credibility, as we will not be silenced by his lack of any interest to even consider there is another side to this particular discussion, and with it anything else of substance.  Sigh.  Sadly, at least we know what we are dealing with. 

7.  Gyms.  One of the constants for governments controlled by democrats during the lockdowns has been a “Do as I say.  Do not do as I do.” worldview.  This has been demonstrated by Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot getting her hair cut while closing all hair salons in Chicago.  Philly Mayor Jim Kenney went to an indoor restaurant and dined with his girlfriend in MD without a mask.  He has not lifted similar restrictions in his own city.  Miami Mayor Frances Suarez did much the same in Miami.  We even had House Speaker and most powerful woman in the US Nancy Pelosi getting her hair done in SF in a hair salon closed by local politicians due to Wuhan Flu concerns.  None of these democrats apologized.  Most gave some sort of tortured justification for their actions and went to the “Who are you going to believe?  Me or your own lying eyes?” approach.  Limbaugh noted all of this over the last few weeks with the question of what do they know that the rest of us don’t?  It’s almost like democrat office holders aren’t at all worried about the spread of the virus at all.  And if they aren’t, why should the rest of us be?  Latest example of this is the discovery of open gyms in government buildings in San Francisco while all the privately owned gyms have been closed by city orders.  The government gyms have been open for months for government employees, demonstrating precisely the sort of double standard that democrats live by and demand the rest of us live by.  I can’t think of any better example of the notion that governments need to be small, with little power, and tightly, tightly controlled by its citizens than the lockdowns.      

8.  Kansas.  One of my Valued Correspondents took an interest in my Items 08/17 note last month about Kansas diddling their data on new Wuhan Flu cases in counties with masking mandates and those without.  The basic story was that state health officials presented a graph with two lines, not an uncommon affair.  But those lines were graphed against two different y-axes, carefully selected to ensure that the counties who mandated masks did better over the period in question than those who didn’t.  At the time. The Sentinel did not have access to the actual data, so they reproduced the original graph and generated a corrected one from the data on the original one.  Both graphs are available in both the Items and The Sentinel pages.  My Correspondent did some digging and found the data and built a relatively complex spreadsheet.  He discovered that the Kansas health department was so focused in making their political case against the no-masking counties that they (as usual) missed the bigger picture of what was actually going on.  Worse, in doing this, they missed the more recent data that demonstrates that counties without mask mandates are picking up more cases than masked counties.  The dates are important in this discussion.  The mask mandate went into effect July 3.  The state’s cherry-picked start date of July 12 was carefully selected because it was the peak daily case count in masked counties.  Those numbers decreased for the next 23 days.  Had they chosen any earlier start date; the lines would not have supported their conclusions.  The thing they missed by cherry picking their data was the 7-day rolling average of daily cases per 100k population in masked counties was roughly stable around 20 for the next two months while the average of cases for unmasked counties slowly increased over that period, tripling from around 8 to 24 over the same period.  The two lines crossed on Sept 2.  Therefore, had the State of Kansas simply treated the data as it existed and chosen not to try to force a conclusion, the data itself would have made its case for it by Sept 2.  He wrote that the use of the dual y-axis graphs was an error.  I am far more cynical and believe it was intentional.  His graph for the entire period is included at the end of this item.  Great analysis and thanks for taking the time. 

More later –

– AG

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