Interesting Items 10/17

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

In this issue –

1.  Clot Shot
2.  Evictions
3.  DART
4.  PayPal
5.  Mail
6.  Agriculture
7.  Law
8.  Models

1.  Clot Shot.  Robert Zimmerman’s Behind the Black blog is one of the better space-oriented blogs out there.  Links and photos are usually good and posted in a timely manner.  He ran a series on the COVID vax Sept 28 – 30.  Most recent vax piece was Oct 10, making the case that the dam is about to break on negative health impacts from the COVID vax.  The piece contains links to the three preceding pieces.  Most of us are aware that the vax is a poor health and lifestyle choice for the young and healthy.  All the oldsters and obese have gotten at least one shot, though not many boosted.  And the feds continue to blindly push the vax today, tomorrow, and every day, especially on the kiddos, yet more government sponsored child abuse.  For their part, parents of youngsters appear to mostly be ignoring vax for their kiddos.  Downsides include but are not limited to some of the following.  The vax appear to make it more likely to be infected after 150 days.  The mechanism seems to be destruction of or damage to the immune system.  Walgreens reports that more vaxxed people test positive for COVID than unvaxxed. The number of Americans with serious post-vax health problems is now in the hundreds of thousands.  Finally, the CDC is back to the old government game of hiding data from the public.  There will be more tragedies tied to the vax.  In the end, I believe we are fast approaching the part of this discussion where the cure is worse than the disease.  As an aside, all of us have experience with vaccines and shots.  Generally, you get a vax and are relative immune from that disease for years to decades.  The flu, yet another gift from China, is the only exception I know of.  The COVID vax needs additional shots in very short order, making it more of a therapeutic than a vax.  And the CDC / DHHS bureaucracy continues to push its use for all they are worth.  Yet they have systematically fought every single other non-CDC / DHHS approved therapeutic including monoclonal antibodies, ivermectin, HCQ, vitamin D, weight loss, etc.  If therapeutics are Good, let us use them.  If the shot is an actual vax, there will be a line of people waiting for it, not unlike what we did early on in late 2020.  History will not be kind to the CDC / DHHS or any other decision maker involved in this.  Personally, I believe it is a simple money grab. 

2.  Evictions.  Senator Raphael Warnock (D, GA) finally found something he didn’t want to talk about last week.  After he and his supporters gleefully spent the last couple weeks gloating about Hershel Walker’s illegitimate child(ren) and allegations about them and funding of abortions, Warnock’s church owns a number of buildings which charge residents rent.  One of the unpleasant things that landlords get to do from time to time is to evict tenants for failure to pay rent.  But as a committed and very vocal lefty, friend of the working man and woman, Warnock has been on the leading edge of making it difficult to evict tenants, especially during COVID which was one of his 2020 campaign issues.  Warnock’s church, where he is still a Senior Pastor, Ebenezer Baptist in Atlanta, is now in the eviction business.  They filed a dozen eviction lawsuits against Columbia Tower residents Feb 2020 – Sept 2022.  Total of all back rent in the eviction lawsuits is $4,900, about 65% of Warnock’s monthly housing allowance from the church.  Note that filing an eviction lawsuit is a pretty cute technique, for if the renters don’t have enough money to pay rent, they most certainly don’t have enough money to hire legal representation to fight the lawsuits.  Warnock has roundly denied the Church is evicting tenants, something the court filings argue against, most recently in last week’s debate with Hershel Walker. 

3.  DART.  Initial results from the DART asteroid impact test were released last week.  The impact changed the orbit of the moonlet by 32 minutes, moving it from an initial 11+55 to 11+23 with an error of +/- 2 minutes.  The original guess was for the impact to shorten the orbit by 73 to 600 seconds.  What actually happened was astounding.  Debris from the impact stretches a good 10,000 km from the moonlet.  Impact geometry was an important consideration.  It was planned for a head-on shot in the plane of the moonlet’s orbit.  I expect the follow-on Hera mission in four years will have some interesting photos. 

4.  PayPal.  PayPal caused a stir last week with an update of their User Policy that included a provision updating its acceptable use policy to allow them to fine up to $2,500 for:

“Involve the sending, posting, or publication of any messages, content, or materials that, in PayPal’s sole discretion, (a) are harmful, obscene, harassing, or objectionable … (e) depict, promote, or incite hatred or discrimination of protected groups or of individuals or groups based on protected characteristics (e.g. race, religion, gender or gender identity, sexual orientation, etc.) … (g) are fraudulent, promote misinformation … or (i) are otherwise unfit for publication.”

Great.  An immediate fine for what they define as misinformation or hate speech.  At first glance, this would appear to be yet another brick in the wall built by Big Tech against things they don’t like said online.  And it certainly might be.  OTOH, Scott Adams who used to update User Agreements (UA’s) at the corporate level describes another possibility.  Generally, when UA’s are revised, they are assigned to a single employee and a corporate lawyer.  The lawyer writes the update, generally throwing everything but the kitchen sink into the update.  The employee generally just signs off on the revision without reading it, sends it up the food chain where nobody else reads it either, approving the update on a pro forma basis.  Basically, nobody reads either the UA or its update until they land in court, which is why legal throws every single thing they can think of into it.  PayPal, a long way from the days of Elon Musk and Peter Thiel, devolved into a reflexive bureaucratic crouch on this, promising to remove the provision though not doing it, applying the fine to other things, and generally mucking up the waters sufficiently that nobody knows what is real and what is not at this point.  They are already taking public heat for viewpoint discrimination, most recently in the UK.  I do expect them to do everything humanly possible to retain their ability to fine with a complete lack of accountability to their customers.  I fail to understand doing business with a company that can steal $2,500 from you on a whim.

5.  Mail.  Pretty good day at court last week in Delaware as the Delaware Supreme Court issued an opinion finding that universal vote by mail and same day registration are unconstitutional.  The legislation (at least democrats in Delaware did it legislatively this time around) was passed at the end of this year’s General Assembly session.  The court found that the two laws were in conflict with the registration and absentee voter categories outlined in the state constitution.  Democrats were unable to get the two thirds majority to propose the changes as constitutional amendments and tried simple legislation as their Plan B.  The state constitution allows absentee voting in specific situations.  Universal by mail voting violates those limits, though the state attorney general argued that by mail voting was not absentee voting.  The state constitution notes that registration cannot end less than 10 days before an election.  Note the timing on this.  Democrats in the Delaware legislature tried an end run around the state constitution.  They were immediately taken to court.  And in a surprise from a democrat run state, the state Supremes upheld the constitution.  This sort of approach would have mitigated a lot of the foolishness in 2020 where the democrat changes were not instantly taken to court and treated seriously by the respective state and federal courts.    

6.  Agriculture.  Last week I discussed the Dutch (and European Union EU) war on agriculture, specifically farm animals with the goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions of CO2, methane and ammonia.  Paul Homewood in Watts Up With That reprinted a relevant piece from two years ago discussing the three myths of animal agriculture.  As usual, the greens and their servants in government are getting it wrong.  The first myth is that methane acts like other greenhouse gasses in the environment.  The problem is that the main greenhouse gasses impact the atmosphere differently.  Some like methane, ammonia and nitrous oxide break down or otherwise react with something else relatively quickly and do not remain in the atmosphere.  Some like CO2 or water vapor, don’t.  CO2 estimated lifespan in the atmosphere is 1,000 years.  Methane, OTOH only lasts a decade.  The only time you add additional methane to the atmosphere is when you increase heard sizes.  Methane levels do not increase if herd sizes remain constant.  This is a complete change in the narrative around livestock.  The second myth is that the current method for figuring global warming impact of greenhouse gasses properly accounts for all important variables.  This is wrong, as current methods do not account for short-lived greenhouse gasses.  The final myth is that the US has been increasing livestock numbers to keep up with increasing demand and global population growth.  This is also untrue, worse, a blatant lie, as the peak cattle numbers in the US were in the 1970s.  They have been reduced by 50 million since then.  The other minor problem in all this is that if you abolish all livestock, what do you replace it with?  Note that ethanol, converting corn into alcohol for vehicular fuel was supposed to lead to a net decrease in greenhouse gasses.  In fact, ethanol production results in a net increase in CO2 emissions as a byproduct of the conversion process.  And we’ve been doing this since Jimmy Carter.     

7.  Law.  Following up on last week’s piece on Deputy Attorney General Kristen Clarke, Jordan Boyd writing in The Federalist last week noted that if peacefully protesting abortion is a criminal act but firebombing pregnancy centers is not, there is no rule of law.  The vandals and Jane’s Revenge are not even being investigated by Do(In)J.  There I thought protests were supported by the left.  Apparently, you must only protest the right thing or risk being destroyed in federal court.

8.  Models.  I haven’t written about climatista modeling for a while, so perhaps it is time. A few caveats for your consideration before we begin.  First is that all climate policy worldwide today is based on computer models and those models are garbage, designed to output whatever the requestor wants.  This was demonstrated quite nicely 13 years ago with the release of internal data including computer code from East Anglia University’s Climate Research Unit (CRU) (one of the 3 western climate data and modeling centers.  NASA Goddard and Boulder’s NCAR are the other two.).  The code powering the model was riddled with programmer comments (all good code is commented) pointing out problems with the construction of the code.  This was the so-called Harry Read Me file.  The model was specifically programmed to output a hockey stick graph demonstrating current and future manmade global warming.  The problem with the model is that it output the same shaped graph when a dataset of random temperatures was input.  The second caveat is that none of the models predicted the last and the current pause in global temperature increases.  The first was 1998 – 2013.  We are in year seven of the most recent pause.  When atmospheric CO2 levels increase but global temperatures don’t, you instantly sever all connection between atmospheric CO2 levels and temperatures.  Final caveat concerns the actual temperature datasets.  Satellite data is the most accurate, but we have only had that data since 1980.  Historic temperature data has been systematically massaged by the repositories (NASA Goddard) to move older temperatures down a bit and move newer temperatures up a bit, artificially creating an observational hockey stick shape.  This tends to erase very warm decades here in the US like the 1930s.  They are trying to do the same thing with satellite data.  Problem with this approach is that people download and maintain yearly datasets.  When you compare the old data with the newest release out of NASA, intentional manipulation is very easy to see.  Watts Up With That is probably the best starting point for this sort of research.  I said all that to say this:  Daily Skeptic ran a piece about a survey of climate models between 1980 – 2021.  What they were trying to define is something called the Equilibrium Climate Sensitivity (ECS), the number of degrees C that Earth’s surface temperatures will rise if CO2 levels double.  The researcher found that every single model ran hot, predicting a huge temperature increase as CO2 rises, precisely what the CRU model was written to do.  Surface temperature datasets today have two problems.  First is the ongoing Goddard manipulation.  Second is the elimination of automated weather stations in rural areas, so we get temperature reporting from urban areas (urban heat island) has a larger impact on the final results.  Even using the flawed models, the ECS estimate is quickly falling into margin of error territory, meaning that the government funded climatistas are unable to demonstrate any connection between rising CO2 levels and rising temperatures despite hundreds of billions of dollars spent on purchasing that outcome.  I find that rather satisfying. 

More later –

– AG

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