Interesting Items 09/19

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

In this issue –

1.  Hoax
2.  Natural Gas
3.  Wireless
4.  Blue Origin
5.  Credit Cards
6.  Background
7.  Water
8.  Kenai

1.  Hoax.  One of the modern truths of the leftist race wars is that any claim of racially based insult or assault by a black is almost always (in the 95th percentile) false, a hoax.  The marketplace of racism demands far more racism than actually exists in the nation today, particularly white on black racism.  A good entry bid into analysis of any such claim is to assume it is false and then try to prove otherwise.  Latest of these played out in college volleyball over the last couple weeks with a claim of a Duke University volleyball player that someone at a game played at BYU assaulted her with multiple racial insults during the game.  She was traumatized, and security escorted a special needs student out of the game after she pointed in his direction as the source of the insults.  This one hit national media, gleefully going after the Mormons (who are generally white) in general and BYU in particular.  Other coaches got themselves involved, with South Carolina cancelling a pair of women’s basketball games with BYU.  These cancellations triggered pointed questions from the SC legislature aimed at the Athletic Director and coach.  As of this writing, those questions have not yet been answered.  The problem with all of this is that the stream of racial insults never happened.  An extensive investigation into the event by BYU did not discover anybody saying anything untoward to the woman.  The investigation took a look at game film and as much handheld video from people recording the game on their smart phones as possible.  They didn’t find anything.  Zip.  Zero, Nada.  And Duke should know better, especially following the Duke Lacrosse case in 2006, where a stripper falsely accused three students of rape at a team party.  While I don’t think there are grounds for the student seeking damages against BYU, I do think Duke University is on the verge of picking up the tab for his remaining college fees until he graduates.  There should also be a pair of firings at SC along with removal of the Duke volleyball student from the university.  This behavior must be met with precisely the same level of punishment intended for the target of the hoax, if not more. 

2.  Natural Gas.  Celebrating their big win with passage of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), half of which was green nude eel stuff, greens are now trying to expand the scope of the legislation.  The new goal appears to be to limit energy use in the US to electricity, completely eliminating the use of oil and natural gas (so-called fossil fuels).  First attempt was a coordinated filing by what is described as “26 health, environmental and consumer protection organizations” to ban the use of natural gas in residences and commercial buildings.  The excuse is health and climate impacts.  The filing was combined with a coordinated media strategy with simultaneous articles on Aug 23 in The Hill and Yahoo! News.  They want the restriction to go into effect by 2030.  The vehicle here appears to be EPA reviving their Clean Power Plan which was tossed by the SCOTUS this summer.  As with all things environmental, there is a close working relationship between NGOs and Biden environmental appointees.  In this case, it is the Edison Electric Institute (EEI) and the NRDC working with soon to be departing WH Climate Chief (former NRDC and EPA Administrator) Gina McCarthy.  She is to be replaced by John Podesta, which will not be an improvement.  There are provisions in the IRA that attempt to force all electric homes (up to $14,000/home).  While the filings claim to be concerned with the health impact of methane and CO2 emissions. There is no mention about the negative health impacts of freezing to death.  Up here in the cold country (and every other part of the nation has similar problems – substitute air conditioning for heating in the south and SW), it is never a good idea to be 100% dependent on any single form of energy.  In the US today, that mix is roughly broken into thirds – electricity, natural gas (heating), and oil (transportation).  As the EPA and the courts force this consolidation, they put extreme pressure on an electric grid that will never be hardened or upgraded to handle the new demands.  Note that the American Public Gas Association demonstrated that switching from electric to natural gas for heating, water heating, and cooking is a very cost-effective strategy for reducing release of CO2 emissions.  But facts mean little to the True Believers and rent-seeking supporters in the NGOs and electric utilities.  The next target might be industrial electrification.  How well is that working in Europe these days?  Hint:  Not all that well. 

3.  Wireless.  A suggestion from a valued subscriber is a tool to use at your local polling place during elections.  One of the things we are told by the All Elections Are Perfect (especially if democrats win) crowd is that the voting and counting machines are bulletproof, unable to be hacked.  Unfortunately, if they are open to wireless connections, anyone can and probably will get in.  There are tools available on all smart phones that will display available wireless connections.  If these are open connections, the phone will show them.  Rooms of voting and counting machines should not have open connections.  For the geekier investigator, there are WiFi Analyzer apps available for Android and Apple operating systemsDO NOT make any attempt to connect to any voting or counting machine in a polling place, as you can easily be accused of trying to hack an election, which would be double plus ungood.  Simply note the open connections and ask the election watchers why that connection exists.  Note that the WiFi Analyzer app will also show wireless printers, wireless routers, and associated networks.  Use this at home to see what is open.  Use it while not at home to see what is open.  Gather data and figure out which connections are open where. 

4.  Bezos.  Last week’s reminder that Space is Hard comes courtesy of Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin, which lost a booster on a suborbital test flight last week.  The flight on Sept 12 was an uncrewed science mission.  Something happened to the booster a minute into the flight.  The capsule separated as the booster detonated.  The escape system worked as advertised and the capsule parachuted back to the desert floor below.  This was the first serious problem with the New Shephard since April 2015 when the first flight crashed on touchdown.  It flew 21 times since that first flight, including 6 manned tourist missions.  As of this writing, Blue Origin has not released any analysis of the failure. 

5.  Credit Cards.  In a week filled with bad news, perhaps the worst comes from the financial world, where anti-gunners successfully Mau-Mau’ed the credit card companies into creating a new merchant code separately categorizing sales of guns and ammunition from gun shops.  These sales were previously tracked as “general merchandise.”  Expect the next step to be for the same groups, and Attorneys General from anti-gun states to go to the banks within their states and demand the banks not take credit card sales by the new code.  In this, Visa, MasterCard, American Express are the middlemen between the stores and the banks.  Sufficient pressure on the banks has the potential to devastate the firearms industry.  And they deign to call us fascists.  NYC and two largest pension funds in the US conveniently located in Cali and NY also pressured the credit card companies to create the new ISO code.  Solution?  Purchase your firearms at sporting goods stores rather than gun shops.  Use cash there.  Purchase something other than firearms or ammo, so the sale can be listed with the alternate ISO code.  Same strategy applies at firearms stores.  Use cash, or purchase something in addition to the firearm / ammo (targets or cleaning materials) so the merchant can list the sale as something other than a straight firearm or ammo purchase.  Note that ISO codes are generally applied at checkout to the entire sale rather than individual items purchased.  Look at QuickBooks for an explanation of how the ISO system works from the merchant’s perspective.  Final related bit is that the ever-predictable Elizabeth Warren wants the credit card companies to monitor firearms (and probably) ammo purchases, and use that info to report sales to law enforcement.  The brain damaged Dianne Feinstein co-signed the letter.  Nothing fascist about that one either. 

6.  Background.  In a related story, NY updated their firearms laws in response to the successful challenge to the 111-year-old Sullivan Act.  The SCOTUS essentially tossed it in June by a 6-3 majority as essentially arbitrary and capricious.  NY’s response?  Make it more arbitrary and capricious, and globally much, more restrictive than it was.  As it was practiced under the Sullivan Act, only political insiders and well-connected people managed to get concealed carry permits.  The revisions took that all away, going farther by designating vast swaths of the state as special territory where firearm carry is not allowed at all.  Worse, they instituted new and interesting changes in the sorts of things that can be reviewed as part of the background check.  One of these was to sift through social media of the requestor for anything they can use to turn the application down.  Hochul stated it this way:

“Now you can talk to their neighbors online and find out whether or not this person has been spouting, uh, you know philosophies that indicate they have been radicalized, and that’s how we protect our citizens as well.”

Essentially, in NY under Hochul, you must believe only things the democrats want you to believe in order to get a concealed permit.  Won’t be long before this screening is stretched to an analysis of voting rolls as well.  Like I asked earlier:  And they call us fascists?

7.  Jackson.  About two weeks ago, during Labor Day weekend, I first became aware there was a water crisis in Jackson, MS.  There were a number of football games between Historical Black Colleges and Universities (HCBUs).  One of the current issues (apparently one must always have an issue these days) was a water crisis in Jackson, MS.  The water treatment plant apparently failed Aug 29, leaving 160,000 without safe drinking water.  Many neighborhoods didn’t even have water service.  The city had been under a boil water notice for more than a month.  The city is 80% black, one of the poorest in the nation.  The problem has been a half century in the making, with residents having to boil water every time a storm rolled through.  Of course, the black politicians in charge in Jackson for decades blamed white politicians at the state and federal level, for their incompetence must not be due to anything other than systematic racism.  The EPA Chief met with MS officials on Sept 7 and a presidential disaster declaration soon followed.  The Army Corps of Engineers and EPA arrived on site right after the emergency was declared.  Within 24 hours, the crisis was averted and water service restored.  Interesting timing that.  Apparently 25 years of systemic racism can be solved nearly instantly when a few competent people show up and flip a switch.  The problem appears to be corruption (no surprise in a one-party town) coupled with an attempted billion-dollar money grab for new infrastructure.  Now that the systemic racism is gone, media is futzing around for the next target to blame, with capitalism and climate change being the most recent new targets. 

8.  Kenai.  The Kenai Peninsula is one of the most conservative places in Alaska.  They had a two-term mayor now running for governor, Charlie Pierce.  The Borough Assembly was installed by much the same sorts of union droids and democrats as our Assembly here in Anchorage.  Pierce resigned to focus on the race for governor.  The Assembly held a snap meeting when they appointed a new mayor, a democrat former mayor, Mike Navarre, as mayor.  There was no public notice nor public involvement.  Navarre must have known he would be asked to be mayor as he attended the meeting after not being seen for years earlier.  The vote was 7-2.  Navarre is also co-chair of the ongoing Bill Walker campaign for governor.  Following the action and uproar, we started seeing leaks out of the Borough HR department with personal information on internal complaints made against Pierce to damage his campaign.  The mini-swamp in the Kenai Borough government is busily leaking what is normally confidential HR information in order to damage the political campaign of a guy they don’t like.  Will the Assembly do anything about this?  Not likely, as it is Navarre’s people leaking it to the Assembly who installed him as mayor.  Corruption.  It’s not just for the feds anymore.

More later –

– AG

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