Howdy All, a few Interesting Items for your information. Enjoy –
In this issue:
1. Hoax? As we wait with breathless anticipation for the OSHA Rule mandating vax for everyone in the federal government and all their contractors, it increasingly becomes apparent that this might be an exercise in jawboning, hoping the corporations can do the administration’s dirty work for them before anyone takes Harris – Xiden to federal court. Unfortunately, the corporations are falling all over themselves doing precisely that, especially those who are in any way touched by a federal contract. CNBC reports that the OSHA rule was submitted to OMB on Oct 12 in preparation for publication, which may or may not be real. Note that the Executive Order was signed on Sept 9, requiring all federal employees to be vaxxed by Nov 22 and all contractors by Dec 8. Remember that one of the definitions of fascism is an economic / political system where property is privately held but the government in reality controls everything it does. Great. Fascism and feudalism appear to be the preferred economic model of the so-called progressives these days. Jack Wheeler in his weekly Half Full Report suggested that the mandate is a hoax, noting that it was both overly broad and under inclusive. On the one hand, it includes vaxxing children who do not get the disease in any appreciable numbers. On the other, it exempts the 600,000 members of the USPS (Postal Unions). It is scheduled to go into effect Nov 22 for all federal employees.
2. Firings. Last week saw the number of firings, slowdowns, and other disruptions of the economy start hitting Americans pretty hard. It also saw a number of people decide to start fighting back. I think Harris – Xiden are about to get an up close and personal lesson that in this life, there are some people you just don’t want to screw around with.
- For example, a week ago, Southwest Airlines “unexpectedly” cancelled over 2,000 flights over a weekend. They blamed it on poor weather in the South. It wasn’t. The cancellations were exacerbated by a vax-connected sickout at Jacksonville ARTCC, which controls civil aviation in that part of the country. Note that a bunch of other airlines fly in that part of the world, none of them had the mass flight cancellation that Southwest did. As of this writing, it appears to be a bunch of pilots and flight crews who took their personal days in preparation for an expected round of firings. Personal days are not compensated for upon firing. Note that in the commercial aviation world, around 80% of all pilots and flight crews (not cabin crews) have military experience. This is a group of people you don’t want to screw around with. There was a nice photo of a parked Southwest jet with a Gadsen Flag hanging out the cockpit window. An organized sickout by the pilot’s union would be an illegal work stoppage. As of this writing, I cannot find any official or unofficial verification that the union was involved. For his part, the Southwest CEO was all over the map, flopping around like a well-hooked salmon. On one hand, he claimed the vax mandate had nothing to do with the cancellations. On the other, he blamed the mandate, claiming he never wanted to fire anyone. For good measure, both Southwest and American publicly stated they would ignore Texas Governor Abbott’s EO prohibiting corporations working in Texas from firing people for refusing to get vaxxed.
- Southwest is not the only airline in play. A week ago, a federal judge blocked United airlines from imposing an employee vax mandate. Over the weekend, the Delta CEO announced he will not enforce the “divisive” vax mandate.
- Another example of people you don’t want to screw around with are the shipyard employees, particularly those who specialize on military boats. Turns out that they are predominantly black. And blacks are among those Americans least trustful (and for good reason) of any demands for medical treatment they didn’t sign up for. As yet, there are no reports of this.
- It remains to be seen how all of this is playing with the burgeoning supply chain disruption. While I have read at least a couple stories about idiotic California environmental and labor restrictions on trucking (no trucker can be under 21 and no over the road rig can be older than 2010), neither of these explain the 80,000 containers stacked at the Port of Savannah, which means something else is going on. As of today, there are 62 boats and over 500,000 containers backlogged at California ports. While I think that a part of this backlog is due to the vax mandate, I can’t prove it at yet. Keep watching this space.
3. Assault. One of the sadder but predictable stories out of the education wars came out of Loudoun County, VA, when a father confronted the school board for failing to report or investigate the sexual assault of his daughter in a girl’s restroom while at school. He was arrested, handcuffed, jailed and eventually released. The Loudoun County school board has been at the center of the CRT Wars for months, fending off parents angry at their CRT and transgender policies. They are well on their toward recalling a school board member who has been leading the opposition to them. They managed to remove a biased state prosecutor and get a special prosecutor to try a case against her. The school board member did what you would expect her to do, work closely with the school district in opposition to their concerns, lie about teaching CRT, cover up what the school district was actually doing, and opposing the parents at every turn. Union involvement is unclear. Well, as it turns out, CRT isn’t the only thing the school district has been doing. Apparently, they have covered up and failed to report multiple sexual assaults of one student on another over the last couple years. In this particular case, the father claimed the male in the girl’s restroom that the boy had a dress on. I believe this to be fake news, as it is just a little too perfect. OTOH, all he has to be in in the girl’s restroom for everything else to work, and the parent’s lawsuit continues the claim of a dress. The student did his thing in May. The school district covered it up but moved the kid to another school where he did it again in October. I would expect a large caliber check to be written by the school district. Interestingly enough, new laws in Virginia passed by the newly ensconced democrat majority in the legislature last year may have made the problem worse. One removed a requirement that principals report certain misdemeanor crimes to law enforcement. These crimes included sexual battery. As an aside: Precisely when does sexual battery become rape? The second was a new state policy directing localities to adopt minimum (relaxed) standards for treatment of transgender students.
4. Buttigieg. I had initially intended to wrap the transportation showdown around Mayor Pete’s scrawny little neck, but it seemed more appropriate to include it with the firings section above. But this section will be an object lesson in what happens when you appoint the failed mayor of a small town to a position of authority. Another way to say it would be to never appoint a dilettante to anything you would expect to work after the appointment is confirmed. It turns out that the Secretary of Transportation has been on parental leave for at least a month and is scheduled to remain on leave for the rest of this month. Who can forget the photo of him and his Significant Other holding a pair of infants in a hospital bed (no baby momma in sight)? Once the drumbeat of “Where’s Pete?” questions got sufficiently loud that Pete ended up on MSNBC blaming the slowdown on the recovery and noting that (Jill) Biden ordered a task force to study the problem and make recommendations. “Some of these things have been years in the making.” I’m sure everything will be done by Christmas (/sarc). He did host a virtual roundtable discussion on problems at the LA Ports in July. Appears that worked out just fine (also /sarc).
5. Shatner. 90-year-old actor William Shatner finally got his trip into space last week, part of a crew of 4 onboard Blue Origin’s second manned suborbital flight. Shatner has been in the acting business for over 60 years. I first remember him on an old Twilight Zone episode about being the only guys onboard who could see a gremlin tearing up an engine inflight. As with all things Shatner, he overacted. Gloriously. Wonderfully. The flight triggered an explosion of hilarious Star Trek-based memes. It also triggered some less than friendly repartee from one of his former Star Trek co-stars, George Takei, who has aged poorly and is not a happy oldster. Too bad for him.
6. Other. When the government, aided and abetted by media, public health officials and Big Tech get into the business of pitting one American against the other, things quickly turn ugly. The decision by Harris – Xiden to “Other” non-vaxxed Americans and blame them for the ongoing round of COVID infections and deaths, has the potential to be incredibly destructive, especially when Americans won’t willingly comply, which is one of the reasons we’ve been buying guns and ammo like crazy over the last couple years. The Other is an old human construct used to dehumanize people – other village, other tribe, other race, other nation, other family. In every case, this makes it a little easier to dislike the Other, which quickly turns into the ability to discriminate against the Other, segregate them, direct violence against them, their families and friends, fire them, deny them medical care (more about that next). And from that special little list, all of which is going on today, it is only a short step from where we start loading them onto boxcars for more specialized (mal)treatment by the Powers That Be. We are now on that road thanks to the efforts of Joe Biden, Big Tech and the media that put him into office. I hope they enjoy their Brave New World, though I don’t think they will enjoy the journey a lot.
7. Denial. Once you are the Other, what then becomes of your medical treatment? In the eyes of those on the political left, that medical treatment becomes completely dependent upon your personal decisions to vax or not to vax. For instance, a woman and her donor were denied a kidney transplant operation by UCHealth earlier in the month because she wasn’t vaxxed. The transplant has been in process for at least 10 months. No vax required in August. Required in late Sept to the point where the woman is about to be removed from the hospital’s transplant list. They patient and donor are searching for another hospital. Second story comes here in Anchorage where a conservative activist was admitted to the largest hospital in the state, Providence Anchorage, with COVID. He demanded ivermectin and large doses of vitamins. Both were refused. He died on a ventilator a week after admission. Lawyers are now involved, so the story got real quiet. The Providence story would appear to put the hospital at no small risk as ivermectin is currently in medical trials for use against COVID, which puts it squarely in the middle of drugs that were covered by the 2018 Right to Try legislation. My prediction is that Providence is going to write an eight-figure check and cover legal fees before all of this is over. The larger problem we have it the growth of a point of view in the medical establishment that they can deny health care if the patient does something they don’t agree with. In this case, refuse to vax. Given that the vast majority of things that send you to the hospital is in some way tied to doing stupid stuff (diet, drugs, smoking, lifestyle, violence, etc), once you get in the business of denying service to those who do stupid stuff, you set the stage for shutdown of 90% of all medical facilities because you no longer need them. Of course, this will bum out the insurance industry which makes money off our ability to do stupid stuff and our willingness to pay for it. But no matter, at least the enlightened have gotten even with the unvaxxed. Solution to all of this will be in the courts, primarily via civil lawsuits. I also expect a split, a bifurcation of health care based on choice. There will be a system that covers those of us who choose to pay for our stupidities (smoking, for instance). There will be a much more expensive, paternalistic one. Like othering, this is gonna get a lot worse before it gets better.
More later –