Interesting Items 04/04

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

In this issue –

1.  Banking
2.  Disney
3.  Colony
4.  Vax Wars
5.  AK House
6.  Laptop
7.  SEC
8.  Overlords
9.  Science

1.  Banking.  I have been on this one for a couple months, the use of the banking and financial systems against political opponents.  While it has been bubbling mostly out of sight and out of mind for a long while, it was powerfully rolled out by Canada in response to the trucker’s protest and more recently on an international basis against all things Russia in response to the Ukrainian invasion.  The Hill of all people ran a piece entitled The coming federal weaponization of banking a week and a half ago.  This was widely picked up in conservative media.  The vehicle is a digital version of the dollar coupled with a Biden EO curtailing cryptocurrencies while laying the foundation for a federal digital currency.  Crypto regulation has become a favorite topic of congressional democrats and members of Harris – Xiden.  When they do this, the US will be the second major power to make this move after China, a move founded in precisely as much interest in liberty as the CCP had for their citizens.  Physical currency will be phased out over time in favor of a digital currency controlled by the Federal Reserve.  The danger is that once placed on a list, your entire ability to access the financial world can and will end without benefit of a trial, conviction or sentencing, just like we are seeing with the truckers and Russians.  As of this writing, the biggest problem with crypto is the inability to negotiate it.  You might have it, but how do you spend it? 

2.  Disney.  Disney’s entry into the gender wars in the public schools spun up nicely last week, as internal meeting comments were leaked publicly, and Disney’s wholehearted support of LGBTQWTF goals and methods became plain.  The two competing political movements are this:  One the one hand, Disney as it exists today in Florida is based on a 55-year-old law called the Reedy Creek Improvement District, which allows Disney to operate as its own local government in Florida.  It is this law that made it possible for Disney to build its operation at Disney World near Orlando.  Republican lawmakers in Florida along with Governor DeSantis are talking about repealing that special status and treating Disney as just another business.  In the old days, Disney knew which side their bread was buttered, and took very good care of local and state politicians for decades with campaign donations.  It has been called the largest Republican donor in the state.  Given the recent wokeness, I do expect that has changed, perhaps a lot, with their donations swinging to the Other Side of the political divide.  The question is which one wins the argument?  Does Disney’s support for grooming the kiddos trump Florida Republican efforts to reach out and get their corporate attention?  This is a battle of Titans, between Disney, one of the largest media corporations in the world, and Florida under DeSantis and the Republicans, one of the most economically vibrant, successful states in the nation.  Worse for Disney, Florida’s Governor is looking increasingly strong as a presidential candidate in 2024.  This public fight will make his reelection as governor all that much easier. 

3.  Colony.  Latest round of wokeness here in Alaska comes courtesy of the Greater Palmer Chamber of Commerce a week ago.  Palmer is a farming community, founded in 1935 by settlers brought in by the Roosevelt Federal Emergency Relief Administration to create an experimental farming community as part of the New Deal resettlement plan.  The colony was settled by 203 families from MN, WI and MI.  30 years later, only 20 of the first families were still farming in the MatSu.  The local high school is called Colony High and there are celebrations during the summer and Christmas with the word “Colony” in their title.  Over the years, activists, especially those of local natives have started yammering about the indignity of having anything with the word “Colony” in it.  A week and a half ago, the Executive Director of the Palmer Chamber of Commerce agreed and announced the name of the two events would be changed from Colony Days Festival to Braided River Festival.  The local PBS mouthpiece dutifully published a piece about how awful the Colony name was.  Reaction to this was swift and ugly, with multiple businesses resigning their Chamber of Commerce membership, demanding the change be reversed.  Stories hit local media about how the members were blind sided with the change, taking great exception with obeisance to political correctness of the day.  It only took a day or two before the change was reversed, which is pretty swift action for this sort of foolishness.  The remaining Board members voted unanimously to reverse the renaming and revisit the decision.  While the door is still open, I expect this outcome to hold for at least a little while until the wokeness come back for another bite. 

4.  Vax Wars.  While not yet the utter disaster his predecessor was, new NYC Mayor Eric Adams is trying as hard as he can trying to catch up.  Last week, he announced he was going to be lifting the vax mandate in NYC, but only on his own schedule.  He insisted he wouldn’t be forced to lift the mandate too early by political considerations of the schedules of major league sports teams.  As it turned out, the vax mandate was lifted for major league sports players and Broadway performers.  He clearly thought he would be scoring political points with fans and performing arts patrons.  The rest of the city, OTOH is out for his hide with pitchforks and torches.  Remember that tens of thousands of people have been fired for refusing to vax, all the while lectured and laughed at by local politicians and media.  Adams just told every single one of these and their families that athletes and actors are more important than they are.  At the time, the Little Guy was allowed to apply for religious and medical exemptions to the vax.  Like we have seen in DoD, only a few of these were granted.  Lifting the vax mandate in this manner, Adams has opened the door for wrongful termination lawsuits for decades to come.  And it couldn’t happen to a better city.

5.  AK House.  While I don’t have all the details on this one as yet, we did have an event on the floor of the Alaska House last week that ended up being a tactical win for Republicans and a crushing strategic loss.  In a House session scheduled to take up the state budget, 3 Republicans refused to mask up and the House Speaker shut the session down.  Initial story was the outrage associated with the masking demand on the House floor.  Masking had gotten more important due to a COVID outbreak the previous Friday at a LGTBTQWTF event attended by democrat legislators and staffers.  At the time, the minority had a 18-17 majority in attendance.  While this is not enough to remove Stutes as Speaker, it is enough to modify the proposed budget on the fly without participation or control of the democrat majority.  This was the strategic loss.

6.  Laptop.  I watch with no small amount of interest the growing story about Hunter Biden’s laptop and its contents.  It is remindful of the Cat’s on the Roof technique for delivering bad news.  As the story goes, there were two brothers (or friends).  One went on a trip and asked the other to watch his cat for him.  He returned a week later, asked how the cat was, and was told that the cat was dead.  At this point, the returning brother became upset at the way the news was delivered and asked his brother next time to prepare him for the bad news.  For instance, he could have been told that the cat was on the roof.  After agreeing to the new technique, the returning brother asked how Mom was doing.  He was told “Mom was on the roof.”  With the sudden embrace of the Hunter laptop story, acknowledgement that the 51 intel community dignitaries were all liars about it being Russian disinformation, and rumors of a Grand Jury, it appears that Joe might be on the roof.  When or where they pull the removal stunt remains to be seen.  Most interesting part of this to me is what to do with Kamala Harris.  If they were simply reprising the Nixon – Agnew removal, Harris would already be gone.  I don’t think they have time to do that before Joe is removed, which means they are down to Plan B (or Y), which will be removing Joe, swearing in Kamala, selecting the right VP to replace her (it ought to be Joe Manchin or Kyrsten Sinema but it won’t), and then removing Harris.  That way, they will get to install a whole new team without the benefit of an election or even a campaign.  My guess is that 2023 is going to be just as interesting as 1975 was, and for much of the same reasons.  Two messages for Our Side:  Joe is on the roof.  Don’t get cocky.

7.  SEC.  The latest anti-business initiative out of Harris – Xiden it the corruption of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).  The SEC was created and given the mission of protecting investors from fraud, and the markets from insider trading and manipulation.  Not being content with that mission, and apparently having newfound expertise in climate change, the SEC is on the verge of releasing a new rule demanding each company how their actions and plans will impact the climate, in other words, predict the future in a field nobody on this planet has expertise in.  The proposed climate disclosure rule was passed 3-1 by the democrat majority on the Commission.  The new rule is open for public comment for 60 days before the SEC can finalize and enforce them.  Companies will be required to calculate potential costs of shifting away from fossil fuels, costs of limiting carbon footprints, apparently from the same data they use to prepare their financial reports and regular disclosures to investors.  The rule sets up the same sort of trap the FBI is so adept at using, lying to investigators, or in this case investors and regulators.  Companies will also be required to report their Scope 3 greenhouse gas emissions, which include emissions from goods and services purchased by the firm, whether or not the vendors have emissions reduction targets, or if the emissions pose a direct financial risk to the business.  Think of this rule as the ultimate wet dream for the climate lawsuit world.  By definition, the reports will be woefully incomplete, opening the companies up to SEC investigations for lack of compliance and transparency.  Looks like Harris – Xiden are expecting the larger companies to force the smaller vendors to comply with administration climate goals.  Either way, this will increase costs and vastly increase administrative overhead, not to mention legal and regulatory compliance costs.  What a brilliantly evil approach to destroy business here in the US.    

8.  Overlords.  Over the years, commercial hatcheries have dumped billions of pink salmon fry yearly into the Pacific Ocean off Alaska’s southern coastline.  While most of the fry die in the process, a percent or two feed and get fat, returning to the rivers and streams they were released into, getting caught by commercial fishermen who in turn fund the continuing operation of the hatcheries.  Today, this operation creates about a third of the total salmon catch statewide.  The technique is called ocean ranching, and works a lot like ranching of cattle, sheep, goats or other animals.  But there is a problem, a fly in the ointment, as the number of hatchery fry released into the ocean are out-competing wild fish for food.  This has crashed the numbers of king, coho, red and chum, which all spend more time in the salt water than the pinks, which are the least valuable salmon species.  Essentially, Alaskan commercial fishermen are catching more fish of less value.  The hatchery guys know they have a problem and are busily crafting new language to make their case, while they ought to be crafting a new approach to its solution – onshore / offshore fish farming.  One of the reasons Alaska became a state was commercial fishermen and processors based in Seattle owned the resource.  After 60 years, they still do. 

9.  Science.  Pretty good piece in American Greatness last week: Follow the Science, or Follow the Money?  The piece discussed Robert F Kennedy’s new book The Real Anthony Fauci, published in November.  The book describes the money flow and subsequent corruption of public health, big pharma, and the COVID response.  It was an immediate, huge hit among Americans who are desperately trying to figure out not only what happened but why, so as to make sure it can never happen again.  Of course, publication was systematically ignored, buried by Big Tech, the media, and the Usual Suspects on the political left.  As it turns out, follow the money explains nearly everything done in the last couple years.  As an aside, Scott Adams is not a fan of the notion of the slippery slope, viewing it as a self-referential outcome.  It works similar to confirmation bias, where what you want to or think you see supports what you already think.  A better approach is simply to follow the money.  In the vax mandates, masking, lockdowns, all of it, every single bit can be tied to the flow of money, benefits, power or control from one entity to another.  It is no mistake that the last masked Americans are 5-year-olds in the public schools and travelers on government regulated transportation.  Note that the FDA receives 45% of its budget from the pharmaceutical industry via “user fees.” 

More later –

– AG

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