Howdy All, a few Interesting Items for your information. Enjoy –
In this issue:
1. Need Help
4. Red Flag
1. Need Help. Had a few discussions following last week’s item on Hospitals firing employees and claiming staffing shortages. The gist of the conversations were that everyone has heard stories, but nobody has any names of anyone, particularly senior docs and nurses who have been fired for refusing to vax. So, I need help. If anyone, particularly readers in Alaska, knows of ANYONE who has been removed from health care employment using a vax mandate as an excuse, have them contact me. I will put them in touch with people in the Alaska state government who are desperately looking for someone, anyone to step up and demonstrate that they have been removed for disagreeing with various mandates. Additional information on the two largest hospitals here in Anchorage. Providence has a footprint far outside the state, and their vax mandate is for their national list of hospitals. Alaska Regional does not have a vax mandate in place as yet. I do not yet have any hard information about the Alaska Native Medical Center, so I need this also. They may be covered by the Harris – Xiden EO.
2. Medicine. Here in Anchorage, the trained medical staff (/sarc) infesting the Anchorage Assembly are busily pushing a universal masking mandate on the city. The public is not real happy with the notion and have been pushing back pretty hard. Hearings and testimony have been close to full body contact affairs. At the heart of the proposed ordinance is the newly installed Republican Mayor’s refusal to demand Muni employees and buildings be masked. Solution by the leftists (all installed by local unions over the last several years) in the Assembly is to take that power away from the Mayor by forcing local businesses to eject non-compliant customers from their places of business. Their problem is that while the Assembly can pass whatever they want to pass, whenever they want to pass it, and override the expected veto, they are completely unable to enforce the new ordinance. Solution to the lack of enforcement? Set up a tip line, which local Kens and Karens can rat out their non-compliant friends and neighbors, and for businesses to rat out their customers. Reaction to Assembly Member Meg Zalatel’s proposal was so vicious that she pulled it from consideration at least for a little while. This kind of bums me out, as we here in Anchorage could have had a great time with a Rat Line, like New Yorker’s did with Mayor DeBlasio’s social distancing tip line. They filled it with all manner of filth, obscenities, complaints, all aimed a DeBlasio in April 2020 that the line was rendered unusable. Surely, we here in Anchorage are up to the challenge. Another approach would be to require contact information for any complaint and release that information publicly once a week. Sadly, I don’t think that is going to happen. One of the things taking place during the festivities has been the co-opting of medical professionals here in Anchorage to populate the Assembly meetings in support of the ordinance and in opposition to what the citizenry is telling them. This appears to be orchestrated by the Assembly majority and is really going to backfire on the so-called medical professionals who decided to participate. When they, like Fauci become political hacks, they are going to end up getting treated like political hacks which will be worse for all of us. Things have gotten so bad that the Providence CEO sent Mayor Bronson a letter in support of universal masking for all Anchorage residents. So much for impartial medical care by medical professionals. What do I think is going to happen? I think the Assembly will pass the ordinance, they Mayor will veto it, they will override the veto putting it into law without any enforcement mechanism, and it will be widely ignored, which will make them wild. On a longer term, there will be some as yet unspecified blowback against an increasingly politicized medical establishment in this town. The Laws of Political Physics apply. Problem is that the political world is a non-linear system, and every action does not necessarily trigger an opposite or equal reaction.
3. Mitchell. As expected, Marine LtCol Stuard Scheller who posted a few videos of himself calling for accountability by senior US military leadership for the Afghanistan debacle got relieved of command. He wrote a letter resigning his commission to the Secretary of the Navy, which was rejected. He was told that he serves at the pleasure of the Commander in Chief, the President. His commander put a gag order on him on Aug 25, which he violated that evening with a fiery post, and he was arrested the next morning, now being held in solitary in the Camp Lejeune brig. Attempts by President Trump to offer assistance were rejected. Sean Hannity has been covering the story on a regular basis on his daily talk show and his nightly hour on FNC. A brilliant piece today in American Thinker by Caren Besner entitled Lt. Col. Stuart Scheller is the Billy Mitchell of the 21st Century makes the case that Scheller is being treated today exactly like Billy Mitchell was treated nearly a century ago in 1925 for calling out military leadership at the time. Mitchell was an unabashed advocate of air power. At the time, the biggest, baddest weapon on the planet was the battleship, which continued to grow in size, power, and cost right up until the Japanese sunk a bunch of them at Pearl Harbor in 1941. Mitchell conducted a series of tests with Army and Navy aviation aimed at seeing if air could sink ships. And in 1921, they proved it by sinking a captured German battleship much to the dismay of military leadership which downplayed the results. Mitchell was a general pain in the backside pushing what was described at the time as crackpot ideas about military aviation. He eventually hung his backside out a bit too far following the crash of the USS Shenandoah, a Navy dirigible in a thunderstorm in 1925, blasting away at the commanders who foolishly ordered it aloft on a public relations flight overriding the protests of its captain. Mitchell went public with his criticism, was court martialed, convicted, and resigned his commission. He died 11 years later in relative obscurity. He predicted a Japanese attack on the US as far back as 1910. He was brash and brilliant, eventually being punished for committing truth in public. I see none of the brashness with Scheller as yet. But he, like Mitchell is in the midst of getting schwhacked for committing truth in public by calling out chain of command that should have known better.
4. Red Flag. In our second military-themed item this week, I am reporting an attempt by congressional democrats to empower commanders to grab the firearms of their troops via a military version of the ever popular (to gun grabbers) red flag provision. This one was slipped into the National Defense Authorization Act by the House. Sadly, it received the votes of at least 100 Republicans. The provision gives military courts the authority to prohibit gun possession or ownership via protective orders in two ways. The first allows the target to be heard on the order. The second allows the order to be given ex parte. Note that this applies to military members and its execution is at the discretion of the President. Given the proliferation of O’Bamaoid gun grabbers in the Harris – Xiden administration, the viciousness of execution of this order will sadly be predictable. Unknown how this will apply to military members who reside off base or have spouses and other family members who are firearms owners and users. Also left undiscussed is what is the military which is in the business of killing people and breaking things, going to do with a member whose commander has ordered his personal firearms seized. I’m sure this is going to work out well for all involved (/sarc).
5. Uber? We here in Alaska are primarily served commercially by Alaska Airlines, based in Seattle. As with other corporations based in Seattle, AK Air has really pushed the corporate needle toward wokeness, and its embrace of all things left. Not a big problem for passengers a couple decades ago when they refused to hire smokers. Big problem today when each flight has become at best a tense, armed camp, pitting aircrew and cabin staff against passengers. AK Air has fallen all over itself over the last 18 months enforcing masking requirements, and regularly bouncing passengers off flights for failure to comply. And in doing so, they add those people to their no-fly list. This is where things are about to get ugly, as Delta Airlines last week asked other airlines to share their no-fly lists to blackball passengers system-wide. The no-fly lists were originally started after 9-11 to keep terrorists off the airlines. As with other Patriot Act provisions, this one has grown unchecked over the last 20 years. From Jan – Sept 2021, the FAA logged nearly 4,300 unruly passenger cases, with 3,200 of them being masking violation incidents. Essentially the airlines have declared war on their passengers and the passengers aren’t taking it well. If incidents continue the rest of the year (and they will), there will be more incidents in 2021 than in the entire history of commercial aviation before 2021. And the solution? Hammer the passengers harder. Yeah, that’ll work. As of today, there are over 2,700 on various no-fly lists: 880 on Delta; 500 on Frontier; 432 on Spirit; 303 on Alaska; 615 on United. Note that United banned 60 people in the week following the Jan 6 protests. So, if the big, regulated domestic airlines are on one hand begging for federal money while on the other being unnecessarily ugly to their passengers, what is the solution? My guess would be some sort of a Lyft / Uber setup for the rental / charter world. Turns out that there are many, though you have to look for them. Uber Elevate which works the air taxi world, was purchased by Joby Aviation. Uber Jets works the charter jet world. Private Jets, Inc based out of OKC is teaming up with Uber. Sherpa Report in June 2018 listed 9 smaller companies who charter jets. Of course, not wanting the bother of regulating the little guys, the FAA is doing its level best to keep this new business from growing. Look at that as the speed bump they have become. I think the charter / general aviation world is the response to the ugliness of the majors. Whomever is able to come up with a reliable scheduling activity for these idle aircraft (and commercial aircraft only make money when airborne), is going to make a lot of money.
6. NBA. I am a basketball fan. Played it (generally poorly) for nearly 30 years until being short, fat, white with bad knees finished that off completely as an exercise. But continued to love the game. Was infuriated over the course of 2020 – 2021 with the league-wide embrace of wokeness, celebration of BLM, obeisance to China, and other foolishness that became more important than the game. Of all the major sports, NBA players have the most power over team owners. They are able to choose teams, discard contracts on a whim, and generally go where they want, when they want, and play with whom they want. Not unsurprisingly, the vast majority of the players are black. Imagine my pleasant surprise and positive glee when NBA players started stepping up in the vax wars, questioning the need for the shot and refusing to get one. Being fully woke, nobody expected the league to do anything other than fall all over themselves with a universal vax mandate, to be enforced by withholding game checks from players who are out due to a COVID infection. There have been a few players, most of who had COVID and recovered (not unexpected since they are both young with little to no body fat) question the need for the shot. And this coalition is growing much to the dismay of the league offices. A number of stars refuse to tell the media whether they are vaxxed or not, irritating the media. Worse, they refuse to encourage other team members to get a shot. This internal civil war is breaking out and there isn’t a thing the league or the owners can do about it as they have ceded all power to the players. Bring popcorn. This will be fun to watch.
More later –