Howdy All, a few Interesting Items for your information. Enjoy –
In this issue:
1. McAuliffe. Former VA governor Terry McAuliffe is running once again for governor of Virginia, with the election this fall. He is a well-connected Clintonoid, a consigliere to their crime family before he went on to bigger and better things. The Late, Great Rush Limbaugh used to refer to him as ‘The Punk.’ As of this writing, he is neck and neck with the Republican candidate with the issues being CRT in the public schools and COVID restrictions. As usual, McAuliffe is on the wrong side of both, though he has managed to hide his public position on CRT in the public schools a bit as the issue has blown up in the faces of the teachers’ unions (which also support him). He also promises to make life difficult for the unvaxxed. Over the last couple decades, Virginia has swung hard left, mainly on the votes of federal workers and other Beltway bandits in the counties ringing Washington DC. This time around, the burgeoning response to CRT by parents, mainly suburban women, of public-school children is the biggest unknown. Properly played, this might turn a competitive race into a slam-dunk win. Unfortunately, the VA Republican party, not unlike that in California, has not shown the ability to win races in recent years. Perhaps they can figure out how to do so this time around. I told you all that to set the stage to tell you this: It appears that The Punk has a bit of a problem. One of the requirements to file for a gubernatorial run in VA is a thing called a “statement of candidacy.” It requires three signatures; one by the candidate and one each from two witnesses attesting that they saw the candidate sign the form. McAuliffe’s form doesn’t have his signature on it, though it does have the signatures of two people who claim they saw him sign the unsigned form. The Republican Party of Virginia, in the best democrat tradition, went to state court suing to get him kicked off the ballot. Will it work? Who knows, as democrat judges always bend the rules to benefit their side. Even if they rule in McAuliffe’s favor, they will put election fraud and rule of law squarely back on the table for the next couple months. Speaking of making lives difficult, what goes around, comes around.
2. Medievalism. One of the questions surrounding the quick fall of Afghanistan to the Taliban has been the success of what are essentially medieval tribesmen over what used to be the most powerful nation in the world. Now, this isn’t the first time the Afghans have done this, having also done the deed to the Brits and Soviets over the last couple centuries. We were merely next up. And today, it will be the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) in the on-deck circle. But the question remains: How does medievalism triumph over modernity? One way it’s done is for the West to simply give up on defending modernity which is where I am going today. New Geography ran a piece last week describing how we here in the west are also embracing medievalism. They define medievalism as things that brought down great civilizations. Using the fall of the Roman Empire as an example this includes a growing concentration of political and economic power, a shrinking middle class, increasing intellectual dogmatism, a global pattern of pessimism about humanity’s prospects, and finally a relentless effort to supplant any remaining reverence for the ideals that historically held that civilization together. In Afghanistan, we see the takeover by a 7th Century clerisy. Here in the US today, and indeed in the greater west, we see the rise of the new clerisy. These include university faculty, media outlets, all supported and enforced by the social media oligarchs. Conformity is harshly enforced. Dissent is immediately silenced, often by loss of livelihoods. In the Middle Ages, the hysteria was endless fear of the coming Judgment Day and threat of eternal damnation. Today, that hysteria includes (but is not limited to) damnation by climate change, COVID and racism. Hysteria has become “the business model of the neoliberal age.” And it is not just the Middle Ages the left is bring back to try again. They are also installing neo-feudalism as the economic model in California. Writers have been complaining about this since at least 2013. This neo-feudalism brings with it increasingly rigid class lines, enforced by a shift of wealth and services to the Big Tech coastal elites. The excuse for most of this has been environmentalism, particularly when the elites don’t have to live under the same laws as they inflict on the rest of the state who live somewhere other than the coastal enclaves. Finally, environmental laws and rules are bringing back what is described as “a new green Jim Crow era” in California. Vax rules in NYC are doing the same thing to minorities there. This is all worldview, as the left operates from an “I’ve got mine, and the rest of you can go hang” viewpoint. Once they’ve got theirs, they move heaven and earth to make sure nobody else can follow their climb up the economic ladder. Conservatives enjoy everyone winning as long as they are left alone. Libs never can leave anyone alone. Interesting that conservatives are now the classical liberals and the liberals are now the reactionaries, medievalists, new Taliban, turning into everything they have accuse conservatives, particularly evangelical Christian conservatives, of being over the last half century.
3. Babbitt. One of the uglier stories coming out of the Jan 6 protest was the shooting of former AF member Ashli Babbitt by Lt Michael Byrd of Pelosi’s Capitol Police. This was the only use of force fatality of the event. The media has studiously avoided publication of the officer’s name since Jan 6, right up until the point where he showed up on NBC last week and gave his side of the story. It went as well (or as poorly) as you would expect. There has been a lot of chatter on our side of the political fence about two standards of justice these days, particularly the racial aspect. White cop kills a black suspect, the Hounds of Hell are loosed upon him, and business districts are burned and looted. Media tries and convicts the cop after doxing him, friends and family. Turn it around, with a black cop shooting a white protester, and we get kid-glove treatment of the cop, including burying his name for 7 months followed by a respectful interview on an NBC national show. The best description of the Law of Self Defense applying to this shoot I have found was in Legal Insurrection last week by Andrew Branca. It is a long read, and you (and I) won’t like his conclusions a lot, but I think he is correct. Our problem is not with the law. Rather it is how it is applied and the massive double standard by both the media and federal law enforcement over the last decade or so (thanks’ Barack).
4. Masking. As I mentioned a week or two ago, it looks like the Harris – Xiden Department of Education (DoE) has been tasked with becoming the mask Gestapo for the regime. The DoE Office of Civil Rights is targeting five Republican-run states who are refusing to mandate masking in the government schools. These states include Iowa, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee and Utah. No word as yet why they haven’t taken on Florida or Texas as yet. The DoE describes itself as a “neutral fact finder” with no pre-conceived solution demanded as yet. Yeah, right. If you think of DoE as anything other than a vehicle to shovel as much taxpayer dollars as possible into the pockets of various teachers’ unions, you will understand both their charter and operations. And since the unions are demanding masked kiddos in the government schools, expect the wagging tail that is the DoE to follow the union dog closely.
5. Sergeant. This week’s reminder what wokeness and piss-poor leadership has wrought in the active-duty military comes from one Army Sergeant Cindy Bronson with a message for the rest of us that in the event that Martial Law is imposed here in the US, she has no qualms about shooting civilians. Here exact quote follows:
Understand that if active-duty military actually get deployed within the United States, that weapons is not just going to be pointed at other people, other countries, it’s pointed at you.”
Nothing like a foolish threat from a 20-year-old to start the day off right. And she was in uniform making her TikTok threat. I suppose my message to the young Sergeant is this: Be careful what you wish for, sweetheart. Condescension aimed at the young and dumb intentional.
6. Decommission. If you aren’t visiting Anthony Watts’ Watts Up With That on a daily basis for environmental news and analysis, you ought to. Consider the articles and the comments part of your continuing education. Last week’s example come courtesy of David Middleton, who does a deep dive into the costs of decommissioning wind turbines and plugging and abandoning oil wells. Useful lifetime of a wind turbine is claimed to be 20 – 25 years by energy companies. Nations with more experience put that number closer to 10 – 15 years. As these are large structures, they need to be torn down, removed, and the concrete pads removed or destroyed. None of this is cheap. We hear constantly from the renewable energy advocates that renewables are much more friendly to the environment than oil or natural gas wells that must be plugged when they are abandoned. From Middleton’s piece, the cost to decommission a single wind turbine tower is in the $200,000 – $532,000 range. This is only from concrete up. There is some dispute about the salvage value of what is removed. Since most US turbines were installed since 2005, there isn’t a lot of data either way to support or refute claims of value. There is a decommissioning report from a South Dakota wind farm that projects an average net decommissioning cost (decommissioning cost minus salvage value) of its project in 2008 ranging from $27,000 – $67,000 per wind turbine. Costs of plugging and abandoning oil wells varies wildly and most are done by their operators. Middleton analyzes orphaned wells, noting that wells are generally orphaned when the operators go bankrupt. This usually happens with oil prices crash like they did in the 1980’s glut, the 2008 financial crisis, and the 2014 downturn. States usually require some sort of bonding by operators to cover these costs. Greens gleefully claim that average cost of plugging and abandoning these wells is nearly $150,000, a demonstrably fantasy number. The Texas Railroad Commission, which is in charge of this in Texas reports the average cost in the $5,800 – $20,500 per well. The main problem in making these sorts of comparisons is that oil and gas producers generally pay far more in taxes, specifically designed to cover orphaned wells, than the actual abandonment costs. Wind farm operators are not similarly burdened. And none of this covers removal of wind turbine pads or distribution infrastructure.
7. Burning. Final example this week about the ongoing dual standard of law enforcement and punishment. This one comes out of Legal Insurrection, with a story about a Proud Boy leader who torched a BLM banner. He burned the banner removed from a Methodist Church in Washington DC. He was not charged with trespassing or stealing the banner, only for burning it. He was tried in federal court for a hate crime. Note that he did not hide behind his race or anything else, for that matter, being proud of torching the banner. He was sentenced to 90 days in jail, 60 days of which were suspended. Contrast that treatment with the thousands of BLM / AntiFa protesters, rioters, looters, arsonists who committed no small amount of mayhem all of last year. This judge sent a message that protest against BLM is not tolerated. Yet protests by BLM is not only tolerated but celebrated and supported by federal law enforcement. This isn’t going to end well for anyone.
More later –