Howdy All, a few Interesting Items for your information. Enjoy –
In this issue:
1. Marines. A couple stories about the US Marines floated around this week. Both demonstrating the hot mess that wokeism, vax mandates, racial purge of white guys is turning the military into. Although the stories are both about the Marines, the other services have their own special little disasters brewing. I picked the jarheads because they have mostly been impervious to this sort of foolishness. Sadly, they’re not anymore.
- First story is a wargame at Twentynine Palms, a desert maneuvering area where forces fight it out on the ground. Think of it as a ground version of the USAF Red Flag air war training out of Nellis in NV and Eielson in AK. do. In this exercise a week or two ago, British Royal Marines, Canadians, Netherlands and UAE fought what was supposed to be a 5-day exercise in the desert. US Marines surrendered halfway into the exercise after the opposition was holding 65% of the territory. Ground combat ranged from paintball weapons all the way up to artillery and other more complex weapons simulations. Needless to say, British papers were ecstatic about the results.
- Why did this happen? Myriad reasons. First, and foremost (my guess entirely) is that the US forces have been overextended with near continuous rotation in and out of the Middle East over the last couple decades. Sooner or later, you end up getting worn out. Second, is that the UAE special forces participating are really, really good at what they do. This is an outgrowth of the process Trump started with the Abraham Accords. Regional Special Forces troops in the Middle East are working closely with the Israelis, Saudis, and Gulf States forces. Fighting line US Marines against Special Forces is a good way to lose the exercise. It is also a great way to train against the very best. Final reason, which has been picked up by conservative media is the turn to wokeness. More on this at the end.
- Second story out of the Marines is the apparent use of form letters by commanders to deny requests for religious exemptions to the COVID vax mandate. Commanders are busily trying how to decide how harsh and vindictive to be to those who choose to separate rather than get vaxxed. Worst is a less than Honorable Discharge, something that will stay with the individual for the rest of their lives or until reversed by the next Republican President on his (or her) first week in office. The use of blanket letters of denial put Marine commanders at no small amount of risk, as each case is supposed to be considered on individual merits. Hundreds of denials have so far been identical. Note that the military has for years bent to religious exemptions. Most of these have been in the form of facial hair and head coverings for the Believers. They have been fought in court and upheld in all services. The vehicle for request of religious exemption is our old friend, abortion, as the Pfizer vax uses fetal stem cells.
Sadly, the O’Bamaoids infesting the WH have been so far successful in their quest to bring the military down. War fighting is a difficult business. There are only so many brane cells to go around. When you are using an appreciable percentage of them celebrating trans week, purging your political opposition, and designating anyone that disagrees with you as a racist, there are not a whole lot left to use to successfully get the mission done. Solution to this needs to come from the mid-level leadership, the LtCol – Brigadier level among officers and Tech Sgt or equivalent level in the enlisted ranks. Sadly, it appears that everything higher is corrupt, as nobody has stepped up as yet. And those in the lower ranks are being purged en masse as we speak. If and when the balloon goes up (and it always goes up), there are gonna be a lot of dead Americans. I hope it is all worth it.
2. Musk. Elon Musk had himself quite a week, with three stories, a good, a bad and a funny.
- First up was a tongue in cheek proposal to create a new university in Texas. Musk’s tweet suggested that he was going to stand up the Texas Institute of Technology & Science (TITS). It took longer than it should have for the Usual Suspects to get the joke, react with expected outrage. Musk pulled down the tweet a day or so later. Musk had a following (also deleted) tweet that noted “Used to be that u only had 140 characters to dig ur own grave.” Joking aside, we do have a need for a newly competitive higher education system. If Musk is as disruptive in that world as he has been in space, electric vehicles and broadband internet, the existing higher education system is in deep, deep trouble. As they should be.
- The bad story comes out of the SpaceX Dragon capsule, which has a toilet problem. This was discovered during the Inspiration4 flight when a loose connection between the toilet and the bottom of the capsule put urine in the capsule. Apparently, the same problem exists in the Dragon currently attached to ISS. Interim solution is diapers which are always carried as backups. Aviators are used to piddle packs, though they are designed for use in a gravity field. The more that we fly, the more of these problems will arise and be dealt with.
- The good story comes with an independent analysis of Starship, which has flown several times and only successfully landed once. The analysis, courtesy Casey Handmer’s blog makes the case that Starship is still not understood. If this guy is correct, Starship will be every bit as disruptive as Falcon 9, Starlink and Dragon have been. You might even want to include Tesla, though I don’t follow EVs as closely as I should. First, the development on the vehicle has been off the charts quick. Its boilerplate was rolled out a mere two years ago. Since then, they have managed to retire most engineering problems, fly it multiple times and successfully land it once. Last month, they stacked Starship on top of its fully reusable booster. The system is an attempt at the Holy Grail of spaceflight, a fully reusable orbital class of rocket that can be mass manufactured. The Soyuz and Proton stacks were mass manufactured, and still are after 60 years. The NASA logistics train was able to manufacture one Saturn V each month at the height of Apollo. None of the three boosters were reusable. Once operational, Starship will be able to transport about 100 tons into orbit (same as the Shuttle orbiter weighed) for less than $100 million, a cost that will improve. Rather than doing a lot of custom mods to fit a Starship for a payload, the onus will be on the payload to fit the vehicle. In blunt terms, this obliterates the mass constraint that has been a concern in spaceflight for the last 70 years. It is time to start thinking much bigger. Like Falcon 9, they’re going to have to break a bunch of these before they figure out how to fly it on a regular basis. Like Falcon 9, once they figure it out, the lid will be off and a LOT of people will be going to space, some of them permanently.
3. VA. Good news and bad news out of Virginia. The good news is that Republicans won three statewide offices, Governor, LtGov, and Attorney General. They also managed to flip the House, while holding a 20-20 tie in the Senate, which the newly elected Republican LtGov will vote with. The bad news in all of this is that the election was very tight, about a 51 – 49% split. The other good news is that suburban women broke in favor of the newly elected governor, Youngkin, 15% better than they broke for Biden last year. The bad news is that they still despise Trump, but discounted McAuliffe attempts to paint Youngkin as Trump. Trump wasn’t on the ballot, so they dismissed those connections. When he is once again on the ballot or has anything associated with it, they will once again be energized. Trump may not be our best candidate in 2024, mostly due to his age. The final bit of good news is that the blue suburbs appear to be up for grabs, something Republicans need to keep in mind over the next year.
4. NJ. Good news and bad news out of New Jersey. The good news is that as of this writing, the gubernatorial race is for all intents and purposes tied. This result was completely unexpected and missed by all the pollsters. The bad news is that it is well within the margin of fraud, as at least 10,000 uncounted votes have already showed up. There are also multiple voting machines that had apparent problems. The second bit of good news is that a truck driver appears to have defeated the democrat Senate President by just over 2,200 votes. The bad news is the additional votes “discovered” after the fact. The other bit of bad news is that he has already apologized to the media mob about something or another.
5. Analysis. Republicans did remarkably well Tuesday night particularly in local races, turning over no small number of school board and city council seats. A number of local Soros-backed prosecutors friendly to the democrat mob and criminals also went down to defeat. Democrats spent the rest of the week calling the newly elected VA LtGov a white supremacist, demonstrating they, like the French Bourbons, have learned nothing and forgotten nothing. Just to demonstrate this, Chuckie Schumer pulled out the House election reform bill for a senate vote. Other than Lisa Murkowski (RINO, AK), they did not get a single Republican vote. In the House, the infrastructure legislation finally got a vote, passing with the assistance of 13 Republicans. Among them, Alaska’s Don Young. Expect democrats, particularly in congress, to try to pass everything proposed this year. Most of the legislation will have the dollar amounts vastly scaled back, but still contain all the awful stuff as framework, getting it into law. They know they are going to get hammered next year. They don’t care. Most concerning thing to conservatives ought to be the size of the wins. They were mostly small variations in a 50 – 50% split. We continue to be a closely split nation, with the media, institutions, and Big Tech solidly on the side of democrats. With a playing field tipped that far in that direction, this result is remarkable and hopeful. In the words of InstaPundit, don’t be cocky.
6. Brandon. The ridicule associated with Let’s Go Brandon continues to infuriate the political left. And it is found everywhere. Alinsky would be proud. For instance, four Let’s Go Brandon songs are in the iTunes top 10, including the top spot. Interestingly that song has been suspended by Goolag’s YouTube. Most interesting thing about all these songs is that they are all rap songs, hardly a conservative bastion. Maybe something is changing in the rap world. Is opposition to Harris – Xiden now gangsta? Southwest Airlines is engaged in a witch hunt to find a pilot onboard a Houston to Albuquerque flight ended his preflight talk with what was heard as “let’s go Brandon.” The Usual Suspects demanded the usual public execution complete with head on a pike outside the Southwest headquarters. So far, nobody has been caught or fired as yet. But the investigation may turn out going a place the woke mob doesn’t want it to go. There is an alternate story that the last word was garbled, and very well may have ended up being “Braves”, as in Atlanta Braves which was playing in the World Series at the time against Houston (flight originated in Houston). Airline pilots have done this sort of thing for decades. No actual determination of what actually took place as yet. Selena Zito, who has a pretty good handle on the culture wars in locations outside the coastal cities, wrote a fascinating piece describing how Let’s Go Brandon became a swipe not only aimed at Harris – Xiden but the national media that helped install and maintain him. Finally, we have the expected calls, demands for civility from both the left and the media. These calls seem to be falling on deaf ears. Not unexpectedly. These guys really don’t like playing under their new rules.
More later –