Interesting Items 10/26

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

In this issue:

1.  Porn
2.  Pebble
3.  Censorship
4.  60 Minutes
5.  Veto
6.  Debate
7.  NuScale
8.  Barrett

1.  Porn.  Looks like President Trump has managed to completely obliterate every single democrat issue other than his personality and Wuhan Flu (COVID-19) porn.  He put the personality objections to bed during the second debate, so the media and the Harris – Biden campaign have nothing left than to attempt to scare the bejeezus out of the voting public by hyping the supposedly breathtaking spread and completely helplessness in the face of the ChiCom virus.  This is why we are seeing the spike in stories about increasing number of cases.  Expect them 24/7 for at least the next week, and likely longer should Harris – Biden win next week.  As usual, the media is intentionally conflating definitions as a means to their end of keeping the American public terrified and docile.  There has been an increase in the number of positive tests over the last few months in the US, primarily because we are testing like crazy, more than any nation in the world.  But a case requires two pieces:  a positive test and symptoms.  The media is conveniently leaving out the second piece.

2.  Pebble.  Democrats running as indys here in Alaska have turned the proposed Pebble Mine in SW AK into one of their prime campaign issues.  Opposition to the mine is based on the Big Lie that any mine upstream of Bristol Bay will kill all salmon in the watershed immediately and for all time.  As of today, both our incumbent US Senators Dan Sullivan (up for reelection this year) and Lisa Murkowski (up for reelection in 2022) have come out against the mine, with Lisa dragging the ghost of sadly departed Ted Stevens out of the grave as her justification.  Democrat candidate Al Gross has spent millions calling Sullivan every name in the book using Pebble as his preferred wedge.  Their problem is that Pebble is a lot more than just another gold mine in Alaska.  It sits on one of the largest rare earth prospects in the state, perhaps even most states.  This makes Pebble a matter of national security, as today due to the actions of democrats and greens, the US is dependent on China, our current strategic enemy, for 11 of the 19 rare earth metals and minerals used in high tech manufacturing.  Essentially, the leading-edge weaponry and the things that deliver and control them are all dependent on China Having your war machine dependent on your newest and most dangerous strategic enemy is generally a poor lifestyle choice for a free nation.  Today, the US has a single rare earth mine in operation.  It is located in California.  There are a few more in permitting.  But the process for Pebble has been underway for nearly two decades, hardly the way to make the US self-sufficient for these materials.  And if you want to drag the ghost of Ted Stevens out as an excuse to oppose Pebble (Lisa, this means you), you need to remember Stevens was VERY good on national defense.  He opposed Pebble 14 years ago because it was just another gold mine in Alaska, and Alaska has a lot of active gold mines.  But things change over time.  I am of the opinion that Ted would at least listen to a national security argument about Pebble.  Lisa?  Who knows?  I am also of the opinion that after this is all over, Sullivan will reconsider his position if for no other reason than his current position as a USMC Reserve Colonel.  Dr Al (the Kiddie’s Pal) Gross?  Completely clueless and interested in little else than publicly calling another Alaskan names.  I think Pebble gets built and operated, as President Trump is accelerating the permitting process on mines that produce strategic materials

3.  Censorship.  Big Tech, specifically Twitter and Facebook responded to the NYP report on the contents of the Hunter Biden laptop with widespread account bans and lockdowns of any account that posted links or other information connecting to the story.  As of this writing the NYP is still locked out of Twitter.  Even NPR chimed in, claiming they simply didn’t want to cover the story.  This sort of overreaction sure looks like abject panic by both Big Tech and the media, torching what little remaining credibility they may think they have like any well-oiled dumpster.  And that dumpster fire is about to be extinguished.  Good and hard.  PJ Media last week ran a piece about Big Tech censoring something Trump or his campaign sent out 64 times since 2016.  Over the last couple years, there has not yet been a single Biden or Biden supporting Tweet removed.  Big Tech hides behind claims of fact checking yet allowed the multiple anti-Trump hoaxes to proceed on a daily basis.  When you panic, especially thinking the Other Side can never touch you, you get careless, and that carelessness will be used to regulate Big Tech into oblivion.  They won’t be missed, though their hubris may have to find a new home. 

4.  60 Minutes.  One of the funnier stories last week was a 60 Minutes interview with President Trump last week.  The reporterette was Leslie Stahl who came in with guns blazing, playing gotcha with Trump, who would have none of it.  Things got to the point where Trump had enough and terminated the interview about 36 minutes into it.  Generally, 60 Minutes makes creative work of video editing after these sorts of interviews and airs some really damaging stuff especially about Republicans or those who they target for destruction.  Solution, as Sarah Palin so painfully learned in 2008, is to bring your own camera and release the unedited complete version of the interview, which is precisely what the White House did a day or so afterwards much to the disgust of CBS, Stahl and the rest of their media cheerleaders.  Trump was loaded for bear.  Stahl was loaded for nothing other than gotcha questions.

5.  Veto.  Alaska Governor Mike Dunleavy has been in a fight with a very activist and leftist Alaskan Judiciary.  One of the things he did in 2019 was veto $334,700 from their budget after a ruling that the State must pay for Medicaid funded abortions.  He did this in 2019 and 2020.  The amount was equal to what those abortions cost the state.  The courts system didn’t take the veto all that well, and the subject became one of several in a recall petition aimed at Dunleavy slowly gathering signatures.  The Alaska Supremes also expressed their displeasure by approving another couple ballot initiatives they normally would have summarily rejected.  A week or two ago, an Alaska Superior Court Judge ruled that the veto of part of their budget was an unconstitutional violation of separation of powers undermining the independence of the state judiciary.  Now, both elected parts of the state government participated in this veto, the governor who did the veto and the legislature that failed to override it.  In response, the state courts now assert that they are the ones actually in charge of their budget, which will be a fun discussion.  Better yet, they rule against what they call an unconstitutional veto that violates separation of powers by committing their very own unconstitutional violation of separation of powers.  I do expect the Alaska Supremes to uphold this ruling.  What the elected portions of the state government decide to do with this remains to be seen and will become a lot clearer after the election next week.  I would expect the governor to laugh at the courts and dare them to appropriate their own funding.  In any case, the Alaska judiciary is making an increasingly bulletproof case for a state constitutional convention that will rewrite things so that these black-robed wannabee politicians will have to actually run for office like all the other politicians in the state have to.  Our next opportunity is 2022. 

6.  Debate.  The second and last presidential debate of the 2020 election cycle took place last Thursday, with President Trump learning from the first debate, making appropriate changes in technique, and focusing on the outcome.  The first debate was a knockdown, drag out brawl, not unlike his time with the WWE / WWF when he learned that sort of showmanship.  This time, he turned off the Godzilla act and acted (Gasp!) presidential, much to the disgust of the media who were hoping for a reprise of the first debate.  This time around, Trump mostly let Biden talk and lured him out onto a limb and provided him tools to saw that limb off underneath him with.  For his part, Biden promised to shut down the oil and natural gas industry, the industry that has made the US self-sufficient in energy, an exporter rather than an importer for the first time in half a century.  It was a masterful job.  From a persuasion standpoint, it demonstrated that the Godzilla act could be turned on and turned off depending on the situation, something reassuring to a lot of people who have used Trump’s personality as an excuse to vote against him.  I am reminded of my days raising teenagers.  One technique was not to argue with them, rather remove all their excuses one by one until they are out of airspeed and ideas.  Looks like Trump is doing that with democrats and their media.  Wait until he gets started on Big Tech.

7.  NuScale.  The Trump administration took another step toward a carbon-free future (/sarc – but not really) last week with the announcement of a $1.4 billion grant through the Department of Energy (DoE) to a group of utilities what are first in line to install and purchase power from reactors produced by NuScale Power.  The funding will support initial purchase of power by a small group of community-owned utilities that operates in six western states.  The award will be spread out over a decade and must be approved by congress.  DoE is already a collaborative partner in the project, with its first funding starting in 2014.  The original timeframe had the first reactor online in 2026.  This has slipped to 2030.  Two of the members of the group have withdrawn due to increasing price tag and delays.  There are at least two other companies receiving DoE awards for small modular nuclear reactors (SMRs), TerraPower and GE HitachiDoE plans to invest $3.2 billion over the next seven years for demonstration projects of SMRs.  The goal of this is to decrease the cost of nuclear energy and vastly improve its overall safety.  The Trump administration has been quite supportive of generation IV nuclear energy.  This funding has been another step along that path.  Cost and total delay time continue to be a problem, both of which are being worked by the Trump administration.  Nuclear is and will continue to be the cleanest electrical generation technique out there.  Who would have thought that the Trump administration was at the forefront of clean energy?

8.  Barrett.  The Senate Judiciary Committee passed out the nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to the Senate floor Friday by a 12-0 vote.  Democrats on the committee chose not to show up for the vote, installing cardboard cutouts of themselves and other popular democrat entities in their place.  The nomination went to the floor of the Senate where it was scheduled for a vote Monday (today) afternoon.  There was a cloture vote to bring the nomination to the floor Sunday.  Lisa Murkowski (R, AK) and Susan Collins (R, ME) voted against cloture though it passed 51 – 48.  Collins is under a withering attack in Maine with $150 million already being spent to defeat her.  She will vote against confirmation, which is actually ok, as we had her vote on Kavanaugh when we needed it.  For her part, Murkowski announced over the weekend that she would be voting for confirmation Monday, demonstrating she wants to be an actual US Senator after 2022.  Looks like Barrett will be on the SCOTUS to hear multiple emergency cases in which state and federal judges are busily rewriting election law on the fly all in order to extend the time that democrats can commit voting fraud.  Her presence on the court may allow Roberts top cover to do something other than vote with the remaining liberals on the SCOTUS.

More later –

  • AG

One thought on “Interesting Items 10/26”

  1. Re the virus, the catch is more than just symptoms and a positive test. Key is true prevalence, combined with test specificity and sensitivity. Symptoms are not necessarily specific enough, by the way, since they are the result of host response to damage. These tend to be ‘stereotypical’ so more information is needed to distinguish between overlapping conditions.

    For example, if the true prevalence is zero, then all positive tests are, by definition, false positives. If the true prevalence is 100%, then all negative tests are, by definition, false negatives.

    In real life, test sensitivity, specificity and true prevalence are not fixed, and never truly zero nor 100%.

    As usual, the media is overhyping things to get attention and/or help their political allies/masters.

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