Interesting Items 01/17

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

In this issue –

1.  Volcano
2.  Disqualify
4.  Release
5.  Djokovic
6.  NSBA
7.  Wolves
8.  Torching
9.  Class

1.  Volcano.  You wouldn’t think that something nearly 9,400 km away would touch us here in Anchorage.  But it did.  Such was the case early Saturday morning when a massive volcanic eruption in Tonga was heard here in Alaska.  Reports of distant thunder were reported in Skagway, Palmer and Homer.  A tsunami from the explosion arrived later, generally about half a meter tall, though King Cove down in the Aleutians reported a meter tall wave.  Two people were killed in Peru by the waves that flooded several homes and businesses.  The pressure wave from the detonation was recorded worldwide on recording barometers.  What happened?  There is an island group in Tonga called Hunga Tonga – Hunga Ha’apai which define part of the rim of an underwater caldera 6 x 7 km across.  The volcano itself is 20 km wide and 1.8 km tall.  Portions of the volcano that poke above the waves are ephemeral islands, some longer lived than others.  Two of these islands on the northern rim are Hunga Ha’apai and Hunga Tonga.  A series of eruptions from 2014 connected these two islands with a new one.  Eruptions restarted last week, putting ash and steam into the atmosphere.  An eruption late Thursday, early Friday removed the center of the new island.  A larger eruption Friday night appears to have mixed a massive amount of new magma with a massive amount of sea water, creating an explosion, a detonation.  You generally don’t get that sort of detonation without near instantaneous mixing of massive amounts of water and molten rock and flashing the water to steam.  Think something in the neighborhood of a cubic kilometer or so of stuff.  Locally, the ash cloud covered neighboring islands, turning the waning day prematurely black.  It also sent a tsunami across the Pacific.  These waves were around 1.3 m on the neighboring islands and there are videos.  Unfortunately, the aftermath of the eruption has cut most communication with Tonga, so other than satellite imagery, we are not hearing a lot from the locals at this time.  Severe Weather Europe had a really good writeup of the event published Sunday.  h/t to Albert Zijlstra for the link.  The detonation was strongly heard in New Zealand and Oz.  The pressure wave travel around the globe showed up in recording barometers (and there are more of them than you would think), and on instrumentation deployed to monitor nuclear explosions.  The following video is a pretty good compilation of the event so far. 

2.  Disqualify.  I mentioned last week that chief democrat election lawfare lawyer Marc Elias proposed disqualifying Republican candidates as a vehicle to keep from losing elections and their congressional majorities in November.  First up to bat is Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R, NC).  A group of 11 “concerned citizens” filed a complaint with the state Board of Elections, claiming he can’t run because he fails to comply with Section 3 of the 14th Amendment.  Cawthorn spoke at the Trump rally but did not participate in the festivities across town.  MSNBC is concerned if they ask him for a comment, he will demand to come on the air to respond.  Cawthorn is up to bat.  Republicans better have a response to this. 

3.  SCOTUS.  The SCOTUS rendered its two rocket docket opinions on the Harris – Xiden OSHA and CMS vax mandates.  The first and best opinion was 6-3 to overturn the OSHA mandate on private businesses.  Breakdown was as expected with the liberal 3 all voting to uphold the mandate.  The other case involved health care workers at institutions taking federal Medicare and Medicaid dollars.  This one was upheld with Roberts and Kavanaugh joining the liberals on a 5-4 majority.  Roberts grubby little fingerprints were all over the second opinion, appearing wanting to do anything to uphold at least a little piece of the vax mandates.  Kavanaugh appears to have squished out, perhaps due to the beatings he endured during his confirmation hearings.  The stay on the OSHA employer mandate was upheld on roughly 84 million working Americans because this power has simply not been given to OSHA by congress.  They do not have the authority, evidenced by WH CoS Ron Klain’s tween calling OSHA a workaround before the rule was published.  That tweet was referenced in the opinion.  Never a good idea to run your mouth in public before your case goes to court.  The dissent was simply some variation of “People are gonna die!”  The CMS (Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services) case was more problematic, finding that the CMS rule falls within the powers conferred on CMS by congress, an opinion vigorously argued against in the dissent.  Justice Thomas noted that the government never established that either statutory provision empowers it to impose a vax mandate.  Alito went farther, noting that even if CMS has the authority to require healthcare worker vax, it does not have the authority to impose the requirement the way it did.  Any vax mandate needs to come from congress rather than the administrative state.  Alito warned that this opinion would be used by agencies to extend their power far beyond the current confines of these cases.  GE suspended its vax mandate following the ruling.  The WH attempted to jawbone businesses telling them to ignore the ruling and force the vax mandate anyway. 

4.  Release.  A federal judge in Texas ordered the FDA to release the data it relied upon to license the Pfizer COVID-19 vax.  He imposed an accelerated schedule that will release all info within 8 months.  The initial request was for the release of data somewhere between 55 – 75 years.  The FDA claimed that the FOIA would take that long, a claim that Scott Adams tends to believe simply because no agency or business is staffed to conduct a quick release of nearly half a million pages of documents.  Of course, that staff can always be quickly hired on a contractor basis.  The judge was appointed to the federal bench by Trump in 2019.  The initial FDA offer was to release 500 pages/mo.  The federal judge upped that ante to 55,000 pages/mo.  All Pfizer data should be released by summer rather than 2097. 

5.  Djokovic.  Tennis star Novak Djokovic was finally ordered to be deported by a 3-judge panel in Oz late last week and ended up in Dubai by the weekend.  He was attempting to play in the upcoming Australian Open.  While unvaxxed, he already had COVID at least once, twice according to some sources.  He applied for a visa exemption based on previously having the virus.  This was approved and the visa issued.  Upon arrival, the Oz Border Force changed their minds and denied the visa, seizing him and placing him in isolation in a detention hotel.  He had several hearings on the denial, which changed their mind at least twice more.  Needless to say, this display of official incompetence has irritated Serbia which is now upset with the government of Oz.  Part of the foolishness has been citizen pressure on Oz governments at all levels granting exemptions to celebrities while requiring citizens to take the vax without exemption.  Gateway Pundit reported a week ago that Oz seized their second foreign tennis player, this one a Czech female, and put her into detention.  Unlike Djokovic, she decided to leave Oz rather than fight the vax order. 

6.  NSBA.   With the Harris – Xiden administration, it’s lies all the way down.  The Parents Defending Education group got their hands on internal DoE e-mails showing the administration via Secretary of Education Cardona requested the National School Board Association (NSBA) letter comparing concerned parents to domestic terrorists.  The original story was that the NSBA threw a fit as parents started showing up at school board meetings and as any good leftist organization is wont to do, complained to Department of (In)Justice demanding the parents be investigated.  And in doing so, screwed up, and ran for cover in the face of withering criticism.  The internal e-mails from Department of Education demonstrate that it was the other way around, that the entire event was orchestrated at the highest levels of the administration, involving a cabinet secretary.  The NSBA letter ends up being cover, an excuse for the administration to do what they wanted to do in the first place.  When the NSBA ran for the hills, that cover was removed. 

7.  Wolves.  The newly blue state of Colorado continues to war against rural residents, farmers, ranchers, miners and energy producers.  This time around is the reintroduction of wolves coupled with predatory gun control legislation.  When democrats took over the state, the previous governor and legislature passed some of the worst gun control legislation in the nation.  The new laws make it all but impossible for ranch hands and farmers to share firearms on the job.  Current Governor Polis appointed a rabid vegan activist to the state veterinary board.  This board has its sights set on ranching.  Add to this the reintroduction of wolves into western Colorado passed by ballot initiative.  And the wolves are doing what wolves do, starting with the first takedown of a heifer near Walden.  This was the first wolf kill in the state in decades.  It won’t be the last one.  The urban voters who passed the initiative were told that wolves and ranchers can coexist.  They can, as long as the rancher ignores the carnage.  The initiative claims that a rancher is to be compensated for loss of livestock, though this hasn’t been tested as yet.  There are also provisions for penalty up to $100,000 for killing a wolf, something that hasn’t been tested yet either.  I predict a return to the quaint old western practice of Shoot, Shovel and Shut Up. 

8.  Torching.  Things in Iran continue to heat up nicely.  In celebration of the life of Quds Force Commander Qassem Soleimani, the Mullahs held the usual round of speeches, made threats against Donald Trump, and raised a statue to him in Shahrekord.  The festivities quickly went sideways as the newly unveiled statue didn’t last the day.  It was torched by nightfall.  Exiled National Council of Resistance (NCRI) claimed that their resistance units were behind the attack.  They were roundly condemned with all the usual saber rattling and hair-raising threats by media and government officials afterwards.  A little revolution from time to time is indeed a good thing.

9.  Class.  The current left – right, urban – rural, red – blue divide is increasingly described as a class war.  Like all successful class warfare, this one relies on the economic destruction of the middle class by the upper class.  The COVID lockdowns and mandates had the unfortunate (or fortunate, depending on your point of view) result of decimating the middle class.  The US economic system is founded on and has thrived on the ability of Americans to move between economic classes.  Indeed, it is what has always defined us as Americans, at least economically.  With so much wealth now concentrated in the top 1 % of all Americans, that mobility is increasingly being questioned, especially as the political spending of that upper class ends up electing people who pass legislation, write rules and regulations, and govern so as to allow those at the top to keep theirs while making sure nobody else can.  A good example of this is the burgeoning feudal system in California, where the governing elite on the coast run roughshod over the rest of the state.  Joel Kotkin writing in The American Mind last week made his case that the working class is well on its way to becoming the new serfs.  40% of Americans making under $40,000/year lost their jobs the first few months of the pandemic.  These include 44% of black households and 61% of Latinos.  This is driving working Americans, small business and property owners into the willing arms of the Republican party which is quickly turning into a populist juggernaut.  Revolution is coming like a runaway freight. 

More later –

  • AG

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