Howdy All, a few Interesting Items for your information. Enjoy –
In this issue:
1. Endgame. As I write this, the Electoral College should be meeting and voting Joe Biden as President Elect. This takes us close to the end game of this election with only 5 weeks remaining before inauguration. Republican legislatures have so far proven feckless at best, holding hearings but not doing much else. The state judiciaries have tossed most of the legal challenges associated with the election with a couple exceptions. One of them was a Michigan judge who ordered a forensic audit of Dominion voting machines that reportedly demonstrated every recorded vote would count more for Biden than for Trump. He has just ordered the release the preliminary results of the audit. Federal courts have refused to hear any of the challenges to the election. This includes the SCOTUS who refused to take up the Texas challenge by a 7-2 vote, with Justices Thomas and Alito voting to at least listen to it. Excuse to reject the lawsuit was lack of standing, something predicted by Scott Adams when the lawsuit was filed (he predicted the rejection but not the basis of that rejection). Where does Trump and his team go from here? Appears the action will now focus on rejecting slates of Electors for the 4–7 states with questionable elections, either forcing the entire mess into the House or seating alternative slates of electors. Rex on quodverum has been particularly pointed in his observations. While I do believe that Trump knew this was all coming, as the response is based on what other people (judges, legislators and congress critters) do, the outcome as usual is up in the air, and will be for a while. If no president is selected by Inauguration Day, the Speaker of the House, likely (but not guaranteed) to be Nancy Pelosi, will become president for at least a little while until it is. If, as Rex is suggesting there is proof of overwhelming ChiCom involvement in this fraud (and there should be, as the democrat party these days is a bought and paid for subsidiary of the Chinese Communist Party), then all bets are off. I do not believe that the leak and doxing of nearly 2 million ChiCom operatives in Great Britain is the last leak. I will discuss whatever is (or should be) next once the process is closer to completion. As these proceeds, expect the media and Big Tech to do their level best to bury all news of what the Trump team is doing. Expect a continuing declassification of an incredible amount of information about ChiCom connections here in the US. Swalwell is not the only one. He is likely not the worst compromised democrat out there either, up to and including the Biden Crime Family.
2. Flynn. Federal Judge Emmett Sullivan finally dismissed the Flynn case as moot. He explained himself with a 43-page moderately whiny tome defending his rewrite of his job description from disinterested federal judge to part-time prosecutor. He went to great lengths to make sure that the public and his fellow federal judges knew that a presidential pardon did not mean that the pardoned was innocent. Flynn twice admitted guilt in front of Sullivan under coercion by the Mueller prosecutors who threatened to go after his son if he refused. Having been driven into bankruptcy by the fraudulent prosecution, Flynn fell on his sword rather than have the prosecutors similarly take down his son. This is the same outcome democrats now have in mind for Trump and his children whenever they leave office. Welcome to Banana Republic investigations and trials, all courtesy of the democrat party.
3. UCIDA. The United Cook Inlet Drift Association, a group of around 1,000 commercial fishermen in Cook Inlet are a well-connected, well-funded, politically powerful group of commercial fishermen working waters of Cook Inlet for salmon. Cook Inlet has the problem of about twice the commercial fishing (commfish) permits working the inlet than should be working the inlet. Add to that pressure by sport fishing and personal use (dipnet) fishing, and there is an increasingly bitter competition for what is a decreasing pie (yearly return of salmon in the inlet). Final piece is that commfish statewide backed passage of protectionist legislation making fish farming in Alaska illegal. At the time of passage around 1990, farmed salmon were perhaps 20 – 25% of the worldwide marketplace for salmon. Today, it is above 70% and growing. These guys are getting ground into dust by basic economics in a marketplace they refused to participate in, demonstrating once again that protectionism never works. As they can neither improve the quality of what they catch or increase the days in the year that salmon will be available to them, their only choice is to increase their share of what is by law a shared resource. So, they play in the political wars, normally electing democrats who like their campaign donations. Republicans generally listen to the sport fish guys who outnumber comfish on average 20:1 in Cook Inlet. And we currently have a Republican governor who is not beholden to UCIDA. Solution? There are parts of Cook Inlet far enough offshore that the feds (North Pacific Fishery Management Council, NPFMC) theoretically should be managing whatever goes on in it. UCIDA filed a lawsuit in federal court a few years ago demanding that the feds take over management of Cook Inlet salmon first in that area and then inlet-wide, which they thought would put them first in line to share a shared resource. It didn’t work. A few weeks ago, the NPFMC agreed with an Alaska Department of Fish & Game (ADF&G) that shared management would be too onerous for everyone and agreed to close their portion of Cook Inlet to all salmon fishing. Previously, UCIDA took perhaps half their catch from that region. This outcome surprised UCIDA and pleased everyone else. Very old caution: Be careful what you wish for. Sometimes you may end up getting what you want.
4. Reject. One of the other little stories of the past election was a stunningly low reject rate for absentee, mail-in, and similar ballots. Here in Alaska, the reject rate normally around 3.5% fell 90%. Nobody associated with local or state elections know why as yet. Other states had similar changes. If you’re a black helo type, this is a coordinated technique.
5. Vaccines. FDA approved the Pfizer COVID vaccine for public consumption last week. Shipping started over the weekend to the states, with health care workers and the at-risk population being initially prioritized. Shipping the vaccine at this time with the approval of the other two vaccines imminent presents something of a problem for the incoming democrat fraud machine. On the one hand, they would like to take complete credit for it. On the other hand, the availability of a vaccine to a wide array of the general public would tend to make their masking, lockdown and other mandates moot, robbing them of power and authority. What to do? What to do? Expect them to grab yet another Great Idea (/sarc) from Great Britain, that of Vaccination Passports, proof of vaccination before you are allowed to go or do anything. Expect this to come to a state near you. Personally, I would not be adverse to supporting falsification and distribution of that sort of documentation. And would certainly never vote to convict if on any jury considering such a charge. Molly Ferguson writing in Stat News Sept 28 detailed military involvement in the development of the vaccines. Operation Warp Speed cost $10 billion. Military in the organization outnumbered the civilians. There were at least four General Officers involved with the goal of distributing 300 million doses by January. I expect the military involvement was primarily based on the desire to set up some sort of structure to quickly and effectively deal with any biological attack along with their expertise in logistics.
6. Pollution. From the land of the Science is Settled, comes news that minute traces of a chemical used in manufacturing of vehicle tires is responsible for killing coho salmon returning to streams in the Pacific Northwest. This is the first result trying to explain major salmon kills in Seattle. The first peer-reviewed study published in 2015 linked deaths to runoff from roads and parking lots. While major salmon kills are rare, the study concluded that a notable exception to that was die-offs of salmon in major cities on the Pacific Coast and British Columbia. Coho migrations are normally triggered by heavy rains. When the rains started in the Pacific NW, the salmon showed up and immediately began dying within hours. Mortality was in the 50 – 90% range. As the run-off was not killing anything else, the researchers needed to figure out what was specifically targeting the fish. The latest study published last week identifies a substance called 6PPD added to rubber in tires during their manufacture to make them last longer, as the culprit. The problem is not specifically the 6PPD, but a compound made when 6PPD reacts with Ozone common in urban environments. When the cities have bad air days (high ozone), it reacts with the 6PPD to form the poisonous molecule. It is found in varying quantities in creeks near busy roads all along the Pacific Coast. Ozone forms more readily on warm, sunny days when the air is stagnant. It is less likely to formed on cool, cloudy, rainy and windy days. It appears that simple filtration of runoff waters through columns of sand may be enough to prevent the toxic effects on fish. As usual, the difference is between what can be done versus what will be done, and more importantly, who will be blamed.
7. SN8. SpaceX flew a high-altitude test flight of the latest prototype of their new Starship vehicle last week. Starship is the upper stage of their planned two-stage heavy lift rocket intended to eventually get them to Mars. Both the Starship and its first stage are planned to be fully and rapidly reusable. Starship is powered by new Raptor engines. Starship has 3 engines. The first stage will have up to 30. This test was targeted to reach 12 km, shut the engines down, do a controlled pushover so the vehicle could fly for a bit with its wings / fins, reassume vertical, light the engines, and complete the test with a controlled soft landing. Everything worked until the soft landing, which was not all that soft and destroyed the vehicle. Musk was ecstatic with the test and promised the next prototype would be ready shortly. He had thought the vehicle would have a 33% chance of a successful landing. But up until then, it was a rip-roaring success.
8. Hayabusa. Japan’s Hayabusa 2 returned asteroid samples gathered from asteroid Ryugu to Earth last week. The 16 kg capsule landed in the Australian outback last week hopefully containing some samples. The mission was a successor to the original which returned samples from asteroid Itokawa in 2010. The second was launched in Dec 2014 from Japan, arrived in 2018 at Ryugu and took samples a year later. This is a great success for the Japanese space agency, JAXA.
More later –