Howdy All, a few Interesting Items for your information. Enjoy –
In this issue –
1. Palin. Alaska’s first round of Lisa Murkowski’s jungle primary / ranked choice voting (RCV) system ended up with the election of the first democrat to the US House of Representatives in half a century. Round one of the 3-person runoff had democrat Mary Petola with a 17,000-vote lead over Sarah Palin, 22,000 over Nick Begich, both Republicans. In round two, Begich dropped out and half of his second-place votes went to Palin, 29% went to Petola, and 21% did not select a second. Petola ended up winning by 5,200 votes. A full 60% of Alaskans voted for Republicans and we sent a bloody democrat to the US House. How can such a thing happen? I put the entire mess at the feet of Sarah Palin, where half of Republicans in the state would rather a democrat in office than what many describe as a crazy woman. Palin had a hand in removing Ted Stevens from office in 2008, calling for him to resign in the middle of a fraudulent DoJ prosecution. Democrat Mark Begich won a narrow victory and gave us O’Bama Care. She was instrumental in the defeat of Republican Sean Parnell for governor in 2014, endorsing so-called indy Bill Walker, who was a democrat figurehead for four long years in office. Finally, she had a hand in electing Petola by refusing to rank the other red candidate in the race. And it looks like she is going to make it four out of four. Yeah, RCV was the vehicle for most of this, but Sarah owns the ultimate loss. And she is going to have to do something about it.
2. Loans. Brandon announced he would by the stroke of a pen forgive between $300 – $1,000 billion in student loans. This forgiveness is ostensibly a gift to downtrodden students struggling to pay their loans. In reality, it is little more than a payoff to two of the strongest current members of the democrat voting coalition – college educated young people, particularly young women, and the university system itself. The announcement is a slap in the face of everyone who has done it the right way, managed their money, paid their loans, went into military service to get GI Bill benefits, or chose not to go to college. It is intensely unpopular but does give democrats a nice issue for 2022 and 2024. When a court throws it out, it will allow the WH to run against Trump judicial appointees regardless of when that opinion comes down. It gives democrats in congress ways to bypass holding a vote on the bailout. Finally, it continues the class warfare so in vogue with the political left these days, paying off very well to do democrats with the money of not so well to do non-democrats. Most interesting part of the discussion is a suggestion that this is the first step toward universal higher education for anyone who wants it, essentially a limitless money spigot for the college / university system that provides the intellectual underpinning and shock troops for liberal political activity these days. And much like what they managed to do with health care, they meddle in the economics to the point where something that should be precipitously dropping in cost is so expensive that nobody can afford it, which in turn requires (in their little minds) federal intervention. There are some indications that the voters are not real happy with this proposal as several races with US Senate incumbent democrats are tightening unexpectedly.
3. Speech. Thursday night, Dark Brandon took his road show to Independence Hall in Philly, giving a speech that all but declared war on anyone who didn’t politically agree with him. The speech was awful, but the staging was worse, looking a lot like what you would expect from Leni Riefenstahl, who produced Nazi propaganda in support of Hitler (yes, I went there, violating Godwin’s law). One comment on Gutfeld said that the staging looked a lot like what George Lucas would have done installing Sith Lord Chancellor Palpatine as Emperor. The speech once again looked a lot like an attempt to goad Trump and his supporters into doing something stupid. Happily, nothing stupid as yet. Sadly, but there’s still time. From a political standpoint, it looks like the democrat brane trust in the WH and elsewhere have decided to nationalize the 2022 election, by running against Trump again, making him and his supporters the issue rather than all the garbage they have inflicted on the nation in the last couple years. It is up to us to make sure they aren’t successful in this. The best analysis of the speech I saw was from PowerLine Saturday by William Allen. Worth your time to listen.
4. SLS. The Senate Launch System, aka Artemis 1, or the Space Launch System (SLS) is a multi-billion-dollar boondoggle forced on NASA by US Senators led by Richard Shelby (R, AL) and Kay Bailey Hutchison (R, TX) who want to retain operation and existence of NASA centers needed to support Apollo half a century ago. The heavy lift booster is intended to power manned exploration of the moon, asteroids and eventually Mars. Initial problem is the darned thing hasn’t flown. Secondary and far larger problem is that is breathtakingly expensive, at least double what shuttle was per flight, with a low bid of $2 billion per. It was rolled to the pad a week and a half ago with the first launch scheduled for last Monday. There were two other attempts over the course of the week before the entire thing was scrubbed and it rolled back to the facility. NASA has been playing without a net with the SLS, as wet fueling tests were never completed. Yet it was supposed to send a payload around the moon on its first flight. The senators who force funded this monstrosity firmly believe the US needs a heavy lift booster in order to explore deep space. Their problem is that SpaceX already flew one, the Falcon Heavy. It is capable of about 70% of the payload the SLS is supposed to lift, and it has flow three times. While I’m hopeful that SLS will fly, I fear that it is simply too expensive to operate, especially since they’ve never flown it.
5. Pardon. The American Gulag continues to operate, with the latest conviction being 4 years in jail for “encountering.” Apparently, someone actually went face to face with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. He didn’t know who or what Schumer was, and nothing happened between the two men. Schumer’s security detail was shocked, simply shocked at the encounter, and quickly removed him down the hall away from the visitor. But no matter, he must spend nearly half a decade in jail because he had Proud Boys stink on him. With this in mind, President Trump suggested that if elected, he would consider pardoning most, if not all of those currently in the DC Gulag, with violence being the only possible reason not to do so. Reason for the pardons? These people are political prisoners of the regime. The only reason they are treated harshly is because the regime must keep providing visuals in order to keep the Jan 6 hoax going.
6. Comments. I suppose this might be a sign that we are winning. The local fish wrapper here in Anchorage, the Anchorage Daily News finally shut down all comments on its web site a week ago. This shutdown has been a 3-step process, with comments on news articles shut down in 2020. It was followed earlier this summer with disabling comments on the letters to the editor section. Final shutdown was to opinion pieces (editorials). Reason given was a variation of readers being beastly to one another / this is why we can’t have nice things. They cloaked the decision in all the expected verbiage of costs of moderation, though that moderation was mostly automated with rules that changed with the position of the sun, the moon and the stars. As usual, moderation rules were always a secret to the unanointed. Leftists could generally say whatever they wanted to say. The rest of us, not so much and were regularly blocked, suspended, and deleted. Still, even though dabbling in the comments section was usually a DIP (Die In Place) mission for conservative thought, it was nice showing the flag from time to time, which infuriated both the libs and fish wrapper employees. This leaves Suzanne Downing’s Must Read Alaska as the best comments section in the state that I know of today.
7. Solomons. Two weeks ago, the Solomon Islands denied a US Coast Guard ship permission to dock and purchase fuel. The ship was on an anti-illegal fishing patrol. British navy ships had a similar difficulty at about the same time. For some reason, a Chinese negotiating team interested in a new deep-water port on the Solomons was allowed free rein. Looks like the CCP has successfully managed to turn yet another American ally into a CCP supporter. Makes you wonder if the current regime knows what is going on or if they even care. The Solomons signed a mutual defense with China in April. Appears they just found themselves a new BFF. I do expect the CCP to pick off as many of the small island nations in the Pacific as possible. The Solomons are just the start of the process. Somewhere along the line, we Americans need to start doing things in our national interest, whatever that may be this week.
8. Greenland. Greenland has been in the news more the last few years than it was for the previous half century. First, Trump muses about purchasing the island outright. Last week, Canadian rare earth processor Neo Performance Materials announced they were going to purchase the rights to explore a mineral deposit in Greenland that contains rare earth elements used to make magnets for electric cars, missiles, and wind turbines. The goal is to have the mine operational in two years. This is the second attempt at a mine in Greenland by the corporation. The first, a uranium mine was blocked by an opposition party that used the mine as a vehicle to elect enough people to parliament to block it. Greenland has a population of 56,000, most of them Inuit. Contrast the support and approval of this rare earth mine with the decades long fight against a similar rare earth mine here in Alaska by regional natives, the Pebble mine. Opposition to it was funded by the richest man in the state, Bob Gillam, who put together a green infrastructure that managed to convince the entire Alaska congressional delegation to oppose the mine. Gillam is long gone, but the infrastructure he put into place is still humming along nicely.
9. Urine. Scott Adams is of the opinion that humanity will solve all problems if they know about those problems soon enough. He refers to this as the Law of Slow-Moving Disasters. For instance, anything associated with climate is a slow-moving disaster, with humanity turning into a figurative turnip always a decade or five from now. But we are well on our way to solving CO2 emissions into the atmosphere by moving away from coal to natural gas, and now GenIV nukes. Fast moving disasters are much more of a problem, with the solution record spotty, at best. Think of a surprise volcanic eruption or a comet impact next week. The longer we have to respond, the better we do. And we do the very best when the difficulty is decades out. With this in mind, the new worldwide life-threatening problem is going to be a food shortage, not this year, but by next year. Reason? Fertilizer shortage that is already impacting planning for next year’s planting. Potentially, this is quite serious. Fertilizer is generally produced as a way to use excess natural gas without flaring it into the atmosphere. And nations with an excess of natural gas usually produce lots and lots of fertilizer. The US used to do this. That mostly stopped the last couple years. Russia used to sell a lot of fertilizer. For a number of reasons, their production has dropped precipitously. So, if fertilizer is at a premium, what else is available? One substance organic gardeners use on plants and compost piles is urine, human and otherwise. Lilacs here in Alaska are considered dominant plants, as they grow really well in the right conditions. An old-time suggestion for growing them is to empty a bladder on your lilac from time to time. More difficult for the ladies than the guys, but you get the idea. If you have an active compost pile that you want to cook, a lot of people add rabbit droppings / urine. All of us with lawns take a look at the dark green patches of grass fertilized into existence by neighborhood dogs. There are a lot of things that can be used as fertilizer. Whether we have sufficient time to scrape off the thick encrusting layer of bureaucratic detritus that will allow the marketplace to arrive at a quick solution is another thing entirely.
More later –