Interesting Items 12/06

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

In this issue:

1.  Roe
2.  Kyle
3.  Starship
4.  Database
5.  Reshoring
6.  Arctic
7.  Sports

1.  Roe.  The SCOTUS heard oral arguments on the Dobbs v Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the Mississippi state law limiting abortion last week.  If you believe reporting on the questions, answers, and discussion between lawyers and the Justices, it appears that Roe v Wade may be in deep, serious trouble.  The remaining three liberal Justices Sotomayor, Kagan and Breyer were very frustrated at their inability to derail the oncoming train.  This is where things get interesting.  Precisely what will either an overturn of Roe or upholding the Mississippi law do to the 2022 election cycle?  Scott Adams is of the opinion that in passing this law, Republicans will manage to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory for the November elections.  Why?  Because it will be the only issue the democrats will have, and the media will mercilessly stoke fear especially among young women and turn them out to vote in large numbers, IOW, play the fake news card early and often.  Based on reporting of the oral arguments, this is already underway.  As a persuasion play, it is great.  How do we conservatives fight it?  What form of persuasion can we use to counter the onslaught of lies?  My first observation also comes from Adams, who believes that the era of fake news is about over, crumbling much like the Warsaw Pact and the USSR did 30 years ago.  It is the Rittenhouse verdict and the proven fraudulent reporting on it by the media that has been noticed by a growing number of people on the left.  They are quickly coming to the conclusion that the media is lying to them on a regular (continual?) basis.  When they make that bit flip, the media’s power to swing public opinion is over.  The very foundation of the left is crumbling before our eyes.  It is up to help give it a push.  With that in mind, where does the persuasion play come in?  We on the political right need to separate the two questions.  The left wants to fight the abortion wars on the national level on abortion good / abortion bad grounds.  And at a national level, that works pretty well in presidential and senatorial elections.  What we want to argue is who decides?  9 unelected clowns in black robes?  Or our elected officials at the state and local level?  The who decides question is a real winner, regardless of what you believe about the first question.  Can you yell at a SCOTUS Justice?  Absolutely not.  How about some clown working in the Harris – Xiden administration?  Absolutely not.  But you can most certainly yell at your local state legislator and should be doing so on a regular basis.  We win the argument at the SCOTUS.  We use persuasion to turn the argument into who decides.  And fight the abortion good / bad at the state level.  There will be a lot a states that put real restrictions on abortion.  There will be a few like NY & CA that will kill everything that moves.  Take that as a win.  Take that as progress.  Separate the questions.  All overturning Roe will do is to send the issue and argument back to the states where it belongs and should have been decided in the first place. 

2.  Kyle.  Three bits of news on Kyle Rittenhouse last week.  There will be more, as you don’t inflict the insult on the body politic that the media and WI prosecutors did without the body politic reacting.  And that reaction will take directions and magnitudes never anticipated by the media and prosecutors that did the damage.

  • First bit of bad news is Arizona State students protested Rittenhouse’s enrollment in online coursework.  I don’t know how they found out, but expect it was from the continuing doxing operation underway aimed at all things Rittenhouse.  By week’s end, ASU announced he was no longer a student.  Interestingly, some local media publicly stood up to the protesters, arguing that he has every right to attend.  And should. 
  • Second bit of news is pretty good, with the discussion of what would be called Kyle’s Law, protection against malicious prosecution in cases of self-defense.  The first of these was filed by an Oklahoma legislator last week.  The legislation would give victims of malicious prosecution compensation for expenses and damages.  There are versions of this legislation in multiple states in the early stages of consideration.  Some would allow personal retribution against the prosecutors, wiping out their qualified immunity.
  • Next is a persuasion observation.  The media and left has started using the phrase “white supremacist” to describe Rittenhouse and anyone who supports him.  From a persuasion standpoint, this is great persuasion, likely hired by the democrats from an expert.  Like the term “racist”, expect it to be applied to anyone and everyone who disagrees with the left.  Like racist, it will be quickly overused and lose its power.  But for the foreseeable future, the term does hold some power, so we must come up with a counter.  Sooner would be better than later.
  • Final Kyle story is a Norfolk, VA police officer fired last April for a $25 donation to the Rittenhouse legal defense fund.  He wants his job back.  And given the fact that the firing was due to doxing of donors to the defense fund, the not guilty verdicts, and the predatory actions of the prosecution bringing charges before the investigation, I expect him to get his job back with back pay and damages.  This should be a fun lawsuit.

3.  Starship.  Interesting company-wide Elon Musk e-mail leaked out of SpaceX regarding Starship last week.  Essentially, it said that Raptor engine development for Starship was in a state of crisis, and if everything went south, there was a real possibility of bankruptcy.  Before unpacking this, I want to remind everyone that folks at SpaceX work long hours and work very hard.  It is not a sweatshop by any definition and people working there realty like it, but it did not muscle its way to the front of the pack in the worldwide space launch business by lying around.  Second bit of information is that SpaceX has a lot invested in the success of Starship, currently in a two stage, fully reusable configuration.  Musk is talking about building and flying thousands of the vehicles.  This will in turn take hundreds of thousands of fully reusable Raptor engines. The head of development for these engines left SpaceX earlier this year.  As they found with initial development of the Falcon, you have to blow up a few of them in order to figure out how not to.  They popped the first three Falcon launches, with corporate success hanging on the successful flight of the fourth attempt.  It took them several unsuccessful Starship landings before they figured out how to do so.  It took multiple attempts to recover the Falcon 9 first stage before they figured out how to do so.  Starship is going to take a while to figure out also.  Given Musk’s other entrepreneurial efforts with Starlink and Tesla, the larger question is when does he end up overextending himself?  Hopefully, that is a long time down the road.  Musk did respond to the leaked e-mail, softening it a bit.  And at least one source opined that it might have been fake.  My view is that the concern is real, as their internal pressure to fly Starship multiple times next year appears to be real.  They have an aggressive schedule in mind, similar to what early NASA Shuttle schedule was planned to be.

4.  Database.  The Pelosi-led democrat House majority is quickly becoming the fount of really bad governance ideas.  The latest was HR 550, a national vax database, passed with the assistance of 80 Republicans including Alaska’s own Don Young.   The legislation provides $400 million to build database that can be shared by any health care provider, governments at all levels.  Republicans who voted against the database cited concern with increasing the ability of feds under Joe Biden to track down unvaxxed Americans, harass them, and target them for forced compliance.  If this database is available at the state and local levels, which it will be, it will empower state and local public health people to do the same thing.  Great.  Now congress is empowering the very people we distrust the most in these days of COVID – governments, public health officials, and the media, all in the name of improving public health. 

5.  Reshoring.  Interesting piece out of American Affairs Journal entitled The Reshoring Imperative last week took a deep look into problems with American inability to produce things needed during the pandemic like basic medical equipment and pharmaceuticals.  The statement of the problem was pretty good and worth the time to read.  Their proposed solution quickly gets into all the favorites of the DC elite, industrial policy, training, local content requirements, tariffs, and quotas.  Also undiscussed is that a reliance on things manufactured and supplied from overseas leads directly to the supply chain problems on both coasts.  The piece is very much what you would expect from a basic democrat house organ.  Solution?  First and foremost is stop doing business with China.  Second would be to take a look at policies at the federal level that chase businesses overseas for manufacturing and raw materials and simply stop doing them.  Ignore all expected calls for protection from competition and sniveling for subsidies.  The more the market can operate freely, the more businesses will bring their overseas operations back home.  I agree that we are in a worldwide marketplace but disagree that marketplace should include the CCP at any level.  Policy decisions must always be made with the long-term interests of the citizens of the United States in mind.  Yes, this means MAGA. 

6.  Arctic.  We here in Anchorage had one of the colder Novembers in recent memory, with 8 days at or below 0°F.  Coldest in this part of town was a brisk -10°F.  The way winter works up here is that this time of year there is only so much cold are to go around, so when it is cold up here, it’s pretty nice in the Lower 48, and vice versa.  That works until February, when there is too much cold air, and it is cold everywhere.  All that cold air has to come from somewhere, generally Siberia and the Arctic Ocean.  Legal Insurrection ran a piece about early freeze up off Russia trapping 18 ships in ice.  in Sept to require illegals to get the jab.  So much for lack of ice killing off the polar bears and walrus.  I continue to think we’re going the other direction, where thick ice will damage the ability of the wildlife to survive, driving them south.  WUWT ran a piece over the weekend about sea ice near Svalbard being back from record low levels a year ago.  That lack of ice didn’t seem to bother the bears a lot, as they are still thriving. 

7.  Sports.  The International Olympic Committee just killed off women’s sports and returned us to the Good Old Days of Soviet Union and Warsaw Pact manly women in Olympic sports.  The rule change has to do with testosterone levels in women’s blood.  In the interest of pandering to the transgender set, claiming not to discriminate against them.  Of course, allowing biological males to participate in women’s sports means the men who are bigger, stronger, and faster end up winning the top end competitions, not unlike what out of the Ivy League last week.  In this case a UPenn trans woman swimmer has been shattering women’s records competing as a woman.  The first few years of college he competed as a collegiate swimmer on men’s teams.  Some of her times would have qualified for medals in events at the last national meet.  We can decry all of this as unfair, or we can do something about it that is positive.  It is not the men / women separation that is broken.  Rather it is sports itself, and at some level, it broke at the introduction of women’s sports.  A solution suggested by Scott Adams would be to eliminate all sexual distinction in sports, and make the division based on ability.  For instance, there would be a professional level open to anyone.  Men would dominate here.  A second level with mostly women and some men, and a third and lower levels with mostly mixed sex teams.  You want actual rewards?  Compete as a pro.  Everything else is just some form of club or intramural sports.  Such a solution would make all this foolishness go away. 

More later –

  • AG

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