Interesting Items 08/02

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

In this issue:

1.  Anti-Vax
2.  Hysteria
3.  DoJ
4.  Equity
5.  Uber
6.  Force Field

1.  Anti-Vax.  Latest authoritarian hysteria being ginned up is smartly targeting those who for whatever reason have chosen to be unvaccinated as the latest recipient of state sponsored discrimination and segregation.  As it is difficult to argue without data (though ALL data during the Zombie Apocalypse has been unreliable) a few things are worth considering.

  • First, take a look at who and what are demanding people get vaccinated.  They are the four groups with the very least credibility with the general public during the last 18 months:  government, media, social media and public health officials.  If these are making the demands, is there any surprise that nobody is paying attention to them?
  • New masking mandates look a lot like persuasion plays aimed at the unvaxxed, forcing everyone to mask up until those without vaccinations get theirs (which they will, one way or another).  The logic behind this is much the same as that of the basic elementary school teacher who punishes the entire class for the sins of one student (known or unknown).  Note that that mostly ended when we were 10. 
  • No attempt has been made to determine who and who doesn’t have antibodies in their system aimed at COVID.  These tests are not nearly as widespread or quick as the PCR test being withdrawn by the CDC.  We still have an appreciable population, 35 million Americans who had the virus and recovered from it, a bit over 10% of the total population.  We still have 74 million Americans who are under age 18 who don’t get the virus.  There are 165 million Americans fully vaccinated.  Add the 3 numbers together, and you have nearly 83% of the population who are in some way protected against the virus.  Sounds like herd immunity to me, but what do I know?
  • But look at what Harris – Xiden are doing, bringing in hundreds of thousands of illegals, none of which are ever tested, and distributing them nationwide.  At least 10% of these people are COVID positive, but nobody seems to care.  Want to know where new infections are coming from?  Look no farther than the newly invited wave of border crashers being injected into communities nationwide.
  • The Placing of the Blame by the media has been aimed straight at Trump supporters, who seem to be getting the jab in a bit lower number than others.  But as it turns out, hesitancy to get the jab maps out similarly between whites, Latinos and blacks, with those 18-24 of all races the most reluctant.  Least hesitancy to get vaccinated is among Asians of all age groups.  This is one reason that Harris – Xiden have been a bit slow to impose mandatory vaccinations for all federal employees, which have a huge number of minorities.  In doing this, Harris – Xiden is making war against its base.  The federal employee unions have also gotten themselves involved in pushing back against these sorts of expected mandates. 

2.  Hysteria.  Conservative pushback against this artificial hysteria is much more significant than it was 18 months ago, as we have learned a bit about how to deal with the virus.  It is being led by Governors DeSantis and Abbot.  The conservative commentariat from Sarah Hoyt to the NYP have jumped fully on board.  And there seems to be a growing Irish Rebellion approach to the masking mandates, failure to comply while forcing employees of businesses to enforce something they really don’t want to enforce in the first place.

  • The woke generals got themselves fully involved in fanning the flames of the ongoing panic.  A two-star Army General at Fort Sam Houston mandated mask wearing indoors beginning a week ago.  Masking showed up at the Elmendorf – Fort Rich Commissary over the weekend.  It wasn’t irrationally enforced, but that is coming. 
  • The two-star Commanding General of Fort Benning got himself into a wet drill with a commenter on Twitter over masking.  In this the commenter, who claims to be a former military member who separated May 2020 pointed out that DoD had a total of 26 deaths due to COVID in 18 months.  OTOH, there was a 25% increase in suicides, with 26 additional servicemen taking their lives over the first 3 months than the previous year.  The General returned fire, eventually accusing the commenter of “shilling for Putin.”  Nice to see the Perfumed Princes are well ensconced parroting the Harris-Xiden party line.  But the problem exists, as lockdowns and harsh limits on where the troops can go off base, masking, gym shutdowns, all combine to increase depression and in turn suicides among the force.  It’s been 25 years since I separated.  At the time, Commanders were too busy to get into public wet drills. 
  • Finally, a great piece about the government approach to the Wuhan Flu from Wretched at the Belmont Club late last week.  He draws the analogy between what public health officials are doing trying to ferret out the virus with what the submarine hunters in Tom Clancy’s Hunt for the Red October were doing.  Antisubmarine warfare is essentially an information war.  The better information you have on the location and movement of your quarry, the more focused and ultimately successful your attack on him can be.  The COVID lockdowns were low information affairs that demonstrate what little actionable information public health officials actually had.  They were the functional equivalent of depth charging hundreds of square miles of ocean in order to find a single sub, something nobody can afford to do.  During the War on Terror, air delivered munitions progressively shrunk as target information improved.  They were just as deadly to the intended target toward the end as they were in the beginning.  Difference?  Collateral damage was minimized..  Global lockdowns were the functional equivalent of firebombing Dresden, Hamburg or Tokyo, giant demonstrations of earnestness with little military efficacy.  Perhaps size and severity of the lockdown is more an indicator of failure.  As the restrictions get progressively less widespread and more precise, that’s when we will know we are winning.  Problem is that governments don’t do that all that well. 

3.  DoJ.  It took only six months for the Merrick Garland (In)Justice Department to turn itself back into a democrat protection racket.  Evidence comes from a couple decisions last week.  The first was the decision not to prosecute five ChiCom military spies who hid their involvement with the CCP military in order to get work visas in the US.  Judges dismissed parts of cases against two of them after the FIB failed to inform them of their Miranda rights.  They were arrested in a sweep last summer.  The second came last week as (In)Justice decided not to bring civil rights investigation against Governors Whitmer (MI), Cuomo (NY) and Murphy (NJ) over nursing home COVID deaths and subsequent coverups.  The FIB now claims to be fully focused in bringing those currently housed in the DC Gulag for their political crimes Jan 6 to “justice.”  At least one defense attorney has started asking federal judges about the disparate treatment between those who were wandering the halls of congress taking selfies for three hours and those who tried to burn down a federal courthouse in Portland last summer.  Something about equal rights under the law, a thing DoJ seems to have forgotten.

4.  Equity.  One of the things that the teacher’s union has been doing as they cram CRT down the collective throats of their students is carefully tell those kiddos not to tell their parents what is going on in their classrooms.  Legal Insurrection last week had a story about a very uncomfortable Minnesota fourth grader after being told not to tell her parents about an equity survey.  If CRT and equity are such wonderful things, why can’t the kiddos talk about it at home?  Answer:  it is because the teachers know it is an unpopular lie are sneaking it through the system into their classrooms.

5.  Uber.  Interesting piece out of FEE last week demonstrating that Uber and other ride sharing services are actively saving thousands of lives and billions of dollars every year.  The study comes out of UC Berkely which looked at Uber and the impact it has on alcohol-related traffic deaths and total traffic deaths in the US.  They found that Uber reduced alcohol related traffic fatalities by 6.1%, some 214 lives in 2019.  It also reduced overall traffic deaths by 4$, another 494 deaths in 2019.  These were mostly due to driving tired / sleepy customers.  Extrapolating this across years, we find that Uber has saved thousands of lives and $2.3 – 5.4 billion in vehicular damage / destruction over the last half decade.  This success is another reminder that lawful pursuit of profit in a free market is a help for all of society, something ignored by California unions and national democrats.

6.  Force Field.  From the world of “after all, this IS the 21st century…” (h/t Glenn Reynolds) comes some technology news from the AF Research Lab (AFRL) at Kirtland in NM.  This one is a new analysis of DoD investment into directed energy technologies some 40 years out.  Yeah, I know that is a mere 4 decades out of the political gene pool.  But suffice it to say that either current DoD wokeness hasn’t completely trashed research into future weapons systems, or that those weapons systems are decades behind based on that very same wokeness.  The AFRL analysis proposes a high-altitude missile defense system, an umbrella, part of a layered defense system, that already includes existing examples of what the analysis calls force fields.  In the old SF world, a force field is an emission from a target that immobilizes whatever it being shot at them.  An inverse of a force field in SF would be a tractor beam, something that can reach out and grab anything within range and do something with it.  Todays’ force fields are non-kinetic anti-drone and anti-missile systems that can use high power microwaves to disable or destroy their targets.  The Holy Grail of military utility for today’s systems is a system that is affordable enough to provide a nuclear / missile umbrella.  DARPA believes that such a system (unlikely) or combination of systems (likely) will be deployable and able to include methods to destroy other threats, eventually becoming a nuclear or ballistic missile umbrella.  I believe the early manifestation of this will be a bulletproof umbrella against autonomous drone attacks.  Such a system will be multi-layered, tiered, not unlike what current missile defense systems are designed to be.  No single system is 100% effective.  OTOH, the combination of multiple systems is hoped to be bulletproof.  The analysis uses a combination of lasers, RF weapons, millimeter wave, high power microwave and particle beam weapons designed to create five military weapons effects: deny, degrade, damage, destroy or deceive.  Whether the layered defense around a target is an impenetrable wall, the combination of multiple weapons systems to defend a target area becomes the functional equivalent of a force field, though not within the old SF definition of the term.  But that is coming, as once you can deny access to any outside attack, the logical improvement path is to make that system or combination of systems simpler and combine defense paths eventually leading to the old SF force field.  We can only hope these guys get from where they are to where they want to go before military leadership gets too woke and incompetent.

More later –

  • AG

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