Interesting Items 03/14

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

In this issue –

1.  Energy
2.  Rattlesnake
3.  NIH
4.  Grooming
5.  Purge
6.  Finance

1.  Energy.  Energy and inflation are intimately connected this time around, with almost all the inflation the last 14 months tied directly to the spike in gasoline and diesel costs.  While the fed has printed a LOT of money over the last couple years, it is not that printing that has spiked prices.  Rather, it has been the intentional strangling of the American energy industry by this administration and its enablers in the media.  Last week was a busy one on the energy front, from blaming the Ukrainian The worst, to an extended Marie Antionette moment with electric vehicles.  Let’s take a look:

  • Pretty good summary of how the US went from energy independent to dependent in 14 months was published in The Pipeline last week.  Though Forbes published a piece that makes the case that independence lasted at least through Sept 2021, that time is long past gone.  One of the reasons independence lingered was the drop in oil use due to the lockdowns of 2020 – 2021.  Now that we have ramped economic activity back to where it was before the lockdowns kicked in, viola, instant shortage.  Couple that instant shortage with Biden’s active war on fossil fuel and we end up where we are today.  The Pipeline piece noted the WH strategy aimed at strangling fossil fuels is pretty simple.  It is called Mandate and Moratorium, and creates supply constraints for domestic oil and natural gas producers by dismantling distribution systems, tightening regulations, and suspending leases / permits.  Co-conspirators in the financial world jumped in by urging institutional divestment from oil and gas via a new set of investment standards called Environment, Social and Governance (ESG).  Social media’s contribution is what they do best, censor all discussion of energy policy.  You can’t even discuss the new policy, much less publicly dissent from it. 
  • Of course, timing is everything, and the Ukraine war provided Biden and his cabal the perfect target for blaming gasoline price increases.  As with the Russia Hoax, it is still all Putin’s fault.  Democrats need to be careful bashing Putin as the fount of all evil in this world.  He is still armed with lots of nukes, some of which may still work.  And the more that you bash him, the less options remain for him to back down while saving face.  This violates one of the Sun Tsu Art of War directions:  When you surround an army, leave an outlet free. Do not press a desperate foe too hard.  Putin is going to be desperate before too long.  He needs a way out.
  • How did we get here?  From the Pipeline piece:
    • Dismantled distribution networks.  Keystone XL was cancelled on the First. Day. In. Office.  This would have moved 830,000 bbl/day.  That traffic is now going by rail which has neither the safety nor the capacity of a pipeline.
    • Increased regulatory overreach.  The administration has used the regulatory process to circumvent its lack of operable majorities in both houses of congress.  The new rules have reduced supply and increased cost for producers.
    • Interior under Deb Haaland suspended new oil and natural gas leases on public lands and offshore waters, including areas where production was already going on.
    • Energy under Jennifer Granholm is holding up permits and approvals for multiple liquid natural gas terminals.  Instead of the US supplying Europe with American natural gas as suggested by Trump, Russia has been filling that void. 
  • One of the excuses trotted out by Psaki and the other Bidenites last week was the notion that the producers had 9,000 permits to drill right now onshore and weren’t using them.  If they have that many, how can they possibly need more?  As usual, this is intentional obfuscation, holding out the shiny (9,000 permits), while intentionally conflating it with leases.  In the federal world, federal mineral leases have 5 -10 year long primary terms.  Leaseholders may then apply for permits to drill wells.  For the record, Brandon did promise to ban new oil and natural gas permitting on public lands and waters.  In response, the producers began stockpiling drilling permits to ensure they had sufficient inventory to continue drilling through at least the next 4 years. 
  • The worst part of the week was and extended, administration – wide Marie Antionette “let them eat cake” moment, where owners of combustion engine powered vehicles now paying over $4.50/gallon for gasoline and more for diesel, were told to purchase electric vehicles in response.  Not only are EVs far more expensive, but they are also only good for something less than 100,000 miles after which you will have to replace the battery pack to the tune of $25,000.  And that assumes you can purchase a replacement battery pack for that specific model 5 years down the road.  The decision at that point becomes one of walking away and purchasing a brand-new vehicle or finding a workaround.  I am one who thinks that EVs are in our future.  Don’t like it but do believe it is where the technology is trending.  But like wind and solar, the top-down, government mandated, one size fits all solution will generate far, far more problems than it solves while jacking up vehicle costs to unaffordable levels.  The free market operates on the principle of creative destruction.  When the government is involved, it becomes destructive destruction, and really expensive destruction at that. 

2.  Rattlesnake.  The next story comes courtesy American Experiment via PowerLine.  It is a story of a herbicide ban in Minnesota, Enlist Duo which is used on Enlist soybeans.  The ban was based on the threat of the herbicide on yet another obscure endangered species.  At first, the EPA did not even name the species in question.  This lasted until the press got involved when the EPA claimed that they were trying to protect the eastern massasauga rattlesnake.  OK, so far, so good.  The EPA hates all sorts of herbicides and pesticides, going well out of their way to ban their use early and often regardless of any supporting data.  The MN Department of Natural Resources got involved (MN is still a blue state), announcing that the snake, if it existed at all in MN, is only found on the other end of the state from counties where the ban was announced.  And the snake may not exist in MN at all.  The EPA only relied on other federal agencies for data on the presence of the snake, not bothering to even ask MN DNR.  Like we have seen from the CDC, science at the federal level only applies to arm waving, and excuse for doing whatever they have decided to do.   

3.  NIH.  Public health agencies have resorted to hiding data and information that would tend to undercut their diktats.  Last week’s example comes from the University of Pittsburgh, which apparently conducted a series of experiments using fetal tissue from aborted babies.  The experiments, which have been described in the most hair-raising verbiage possible were done in coordination and knowledge of the NIH.  The story triggered congressional interest with nearly 100 congress critters demanding information from the NIH on the experiments last fall.  The NIH, as usual, as not been forthcoming, pointing to what appears to be a well-orchestrated “independent” investigation of the Pitt research processes for the university.  As of this writing, the worst allegation is that the fetal tissue harvested came from live babies, which wouldn’t surprise me a lot, as the fresher it is, the longer it is useful for experimenters.  Public health is hard broke at all levels of government these days, as demonstrated by its response to the COVID pandemic.  Couple that sort of incompetence, bureaucratic backside covering, and sheer venality with the known anti-humanity of the fetal body chop shop the abortion industry has become, and you set the stage for some really, really ugly actions.  Happily, the NIH is too incompetent to even cover stuff up. 

4.  Grooming.  The latest round of 2-Minute-Hate from democrats, the media and the rest of the Usual Suspects was a new Florida law expanding parental rights and banning instruction on sexual orientation and gender discussion from preschool – 3rd grade (4 – 8-year-olds).  Democrats quickly coined the phrase “Don’t Say Gay” as the bill’s name and description, which was really good persuasion.  They also orchestrated they hysterics typical of these sorts of stories, hysteria that the gay industrial complex push for all they were worth.  In the end, the legislation passed, and Governor DeSantis signed it.  There was a really fun, testy Q&A between DeSantis and reporters before the bill passed out of the legislature where DeSantis demanded the reporter state precisely what was in the legislation rather than what the democrat / gay talking points were saying about it.   The linked story above notes that driving a wedge between parents and children isn’t a byproduct of democrat’s deep desire to make LGBTQWTF people happy.  It is the goal itself.  Conservatives joined the fray with some equally powerful persuasion, calling this an Anti-Grooming Bill.  In the sexual world, grooming is the process of building a relationship with the target, creating trust and an emotional connection with a child or youngster to they can be manipulated toward the goal of exploiting and abusing them.  And the LGBTQWTF grooming of Gen Z (kids currently in the public schools) has been wildly successful, with upwards of 20% of them identifying as some flavor of LGTBQWTF or at least somewhere on the spectrum.  This isn’t going to end well.  Here in Alaska, democrats in the House are pushing legislation to provide more “protection” to the LGTBQWTF community.  I have suggested that the name be changed to one that better captures the goal of bringing grooming of the youngsters into the public schools while destroying women’s sports, all in the name of equality, of course.  Don’t expect that suggestion to be adopted. 

5.  Purge.  One of the drawbacks to bringing all literature into the digital world is the ease of purging wrongthink.  Canada’s top librarian, a Trudeau appointee, last July ordered a purge of thousands of pages of what she had deemed as “objectional material” from federal websites.  She is calling it outdated historical content that no longer reflects today’s context and may be offensive to many.  Canadians started noticing the purge when the biography of Canada’s first Prime Minister disappeared from the web site.  He wasn’t the only one, as biographies of another 5 Prime Ministers were also scrubbed. 

6.  Finance.  There is good news and bad news about the western response to Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.  The good news is that the sort of flaccid response we have come to know and love from western leadership has been remarkably strong and unified.  The bad news is that they are foolishly boxing Putin into a place he is unable to escape from.  Worse, that response is giving some real bad actors in our political world the opportunity to exercise some new tools on an international basis.  A really bad example is Visa and MasterCard suspending operations in Russia.  This took place late last week, with both companies cloaking their actions more in sorrow than in anger.  Cards issued by Russian banks will no longer be supported by MasterCard.  Any MasterCard issued outside Russia will no longer work with Russian merchants or ATMs.  This really ominous for conservatives here in the US as progressive activists last year launched well-funded campaigns aimed at payment processors and credit card companies with the goal of cutting off the political right from payment and banking services.  In the past few years, this has hit Robert Spencer and David Horowitz.  If MasterCard and Visa only offer their services to those with acceptable political opinions, it isn’t only the Russians who will be hurt by this.  Consider Russia as a test run. 

More later –

  • AG

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