Howdy All, a few Interesting Items for your information. Enjoy –
In this issue –
5. Falcon Heavy
1. Coordination. Among the ugliest stories of the week has been confirmation of long-suspected coordination between intelligence agencies and social media companies. Sundance at the Conservative Treehouse has long suspected that databases of social media platforms are integrated with the US intel system. As of today, it appears that he was completely correct and social media platforms have direct portals to DHS to transmit information and receive instructions. What we do not yet know is why information on the connection is being leaked now. DHS has become a political surveillance weapon under the jurisdiction (and excuse) of national security. Essentially, the US government is telling social media what to remove from public discussion and what types of information they want monitored. Note that the primary mission of DHS has morphed into surveillance of all social media platforms. O’Bama was the one that took the structure created to fight Islamic terror and turned those tools and weapons into tools for his fundamental change, creating a fourth branch of government. One of the things Sundance doesn’t mention is that this direct, continuous, coordination between social media platforms and the intel community by definition makes the social media companies defacto government actors, and subject to regulation under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act.
2. Twitter. As Elon Musk moves past his first week at Twitter, he is publicly figuring out how to make the company a profitable business. He is also trying to balance reportage on both the left and the right. There will be at least a downsizing of 50% of the workforce, mostly in the content moderation side of the business. In opposition, there is a lefty led project to get Twitter’s advertisers to abandon the company. If you look closely, Musk is giving a master class in what to do after acquiring a business and turning it into a profitable business. He is doing it all in public, with a sense of humor, and without hiding anything. Pay attention.
3. Election. We continue to be in the final stages of the Fog of War in the runup to the election. This will probably extend for a while afterwards, particularly here in Alaska where Lisa Murkowski’s minions installed a new election system to help her reelection. But a couple stories are of interest:
- Election lawfare and sovereign election fraud by the left continues, with a federal judge in Houston judge jailing two members of True The Vote for contempt over their refusal to divulge a confidential source in a civil case brought by election software company Konnech. Konnech specializes in proprietary software to manage election worker information. The CEO was arrested for exploiting access to US election data, transferring the files to China. Information provided by the pair was given to the FBI leading to the arrest. Konnech filed civil suit, claiming defamation after the arrest. The federal judge allowed the civil suit to proceed. The judge is demanding the pair reveal all names of attendees in a meeting where the original data files were presented to True The Vote. These data files were then given to the FBI and led to Konnech being outed as collaborators with China, allowing CCP access to their election data. Jay Valentine coined the term sovereign fraud to describe what happened in the 2020 election. The term means that the fraud had explicit knowledge and approval of government officials across the board to allow it to successfully continue. And the judiciary was up to its black-robed ears in it via dismissing all election lawsuits brought by the political right on procedural grounds immediately following the election.
- Last week’s dirty trick in the PA senate campaign took place on a farm where a Fetterman campaign sign was burned. A photo of the sign going up in flames hit Fetterman’s Twitter feed that night. The Fetterman tweet claimed the farm was in “deep red Lawrence County.” It went on to decry all the usual claptrap, violence, intimidation, hate and extremism, calling for all Pennsylvanians to feel safe to show their political support (as long as they aren’t Republicans). The first indication that this was a setup was a complete lack of media interest in the fire. The second was dried grass under the sign on fire in a part of the state where wildfires are a major concern. The third was the fire was set in such a way that it was clear whose sign it was. Team Fetterman immediately followed the tweet with another fundraising push. Upon further review, the photo was taken by a woman named Jane Switzer, who lives next door to the farm with the sign. She is a dyed in the wool democrat partisan hack. Her neighbor is a guy named Telesz, a self-described Trump supporter in 2016 who voted Biden in 2020. Telesz spoke at the DNC convention in 2020 and got a Jill Biden visit on election day 2020. Quite the democrat cabal in a so-called deep red county. Smells like yet another in a long line of democrat dirty tricks to me, but what do I know?
4. Green. Climate hysteria like all hysterias before it (Salem Witch Trials, for instance) tends to make the rounds of the general public from time to time. Generally, these sorts of hysterias aren’t inflamed by governments and quickly die out after inflicting their special brand of pain on society. Sometimes, when money is involved, they don’t die out, and persist for a long time. Such is the case with environmentalism, which doubles as a religion with the political left. We are told if we change the way energy is generated, remove CO2 from the atmosphere, Mother Gaia will return to her happy place. In order to make this happen, here in the US, we have spent a God-awful amount of money on renewable energy, mainly wind and solar. And all that money has been wasted. Over the last decade, the US has spent $3.8 trillion on renewables. That expenditure has moved national reliance on fossil fuels from 82% of US energy consumption to a stunning 81% today (/sarc). Not only has that wealth transfer failed to appreciably make a change in energy usage, but along with it has been a commensurate transfer of power from Americans to politicians and bureaucracies who gleefully wield their newfound powers over the rest of us for our own good. Those who are spending the money and demanding the power don’t believe a word of their spiel. Instead, they really like the lifestyle and power the free money gives them. Somehow, I don’t expect them to eat the same bugs they are demanding the rest of us eat. Energy usage graphic below tells us a couple things. First is that coal use has dropped precipitously over the last century, from around 75% to 15% TODAY. Second, Natural gas use has grown huge over the last 65 years. And the greens oppose natural gas also. Only affordable solution if you want to decrease the use of fossil fuels for electrical generation is adopt nuclear energy. That move may finally be taking place with the advent of GenIV modular reactors.
5. Falcon Heavy. Blogger Rand Simberg describes himself as a recovering aerospace engineer. I was (and am at some level still am) an aerospace guy. Most of that is in the past, but there are still things that make me smile every single time I see them, these days, SpaceX Falcon 9 launches. These take place at least once a week. Video is excellent. I particularly enjoy watching landing and recovery of the first stage, which they have successfully done 152 times as of last week. In a world where so much doesn’t seem to work, these guys (SpaceX) are making things work very, very well. Most launches are done with the Falcon 9, a two-stage vehicle which recovers the first stage after about a 9-minute flight. There is a heavy lift version of the vehicle called Falcon Heavy. It has three first stage boosters strapped side to side and a second stage topped with a payload. It is the most powerful launch vehicle in the world today, capable of putting about 141,000 pounds into low earth orbit, 56% of the Saturn V / Shuttle stack, 70% of the long-delayed NASA Artemis stack. Falcon Heavy hasn’t flown a lot and it ended up being more difficult for SpaceX to do than they expected. Both it and Falcon 9 will be replaced by Starship once SpaceX figures out how to fly it, which may be sooner than we think. Falcon Heavy is partly reusable, with the two strap-ons recovered at the launch site, and the first stage core expended along with the second stage. Last week, Falcon Heavy flew for the first time in three years, a Space Force customer flying a classified payload. Video that follows is 9 minutes long and shows both strap on boosters landing one right after the other back at Cape Canaveral. Toward the end, you can look down the length of the higher booster and watch the lower one land, something that makes me smile. For your viewing enjoyment…
6. Amnesty. You can tell when the political left thinks it is in trouble, and the runup to election day tomorrow is no exception. Last week, we saw a piece in The Atlantic, a lefty blog that plays at being smarter than the average bear, written by Emily Oster calling for a pandemic amnesty, forgiving and forgetting what was done by governments and people who they terrified, to the rest of us who chose not to be terrified. As a Christian, I do get forgiveness, especially in the face of contrition by the other side. But in the case of COVID, there is no contrition, no acknowledgement they were wrong, absolutely no move to figure out what they did wrong, and most importantly erect boundaries to ensure this never happens again. Worse, the COVIDiots are still busily pushing the vax on children without an iota of data on long-term health impacts of the vax on kiddos. DoD is still separating military members who refuse to vax. Tough to forgive in the face of all that. If we don’t learn from our mistakes, and the very first thing to acknowledge is that you made mistakes, we are guaranteed to do it again. Also note that nobody has yet been compensated for being fired for refusing vax. No small business has been compensated for being shut down during the lockdowns. No child has been compensated for years-long school closures in some states. We are going to have to unwind the incestuous working relationship between the CDC and drug companies. We are going to have to unwind the incestuous working relationship between teachers’ unions, the CDC, and governors who ordered school closures. And we are going to need to erect some very tough barriers at the state and local levels to prohibit pandemic mandates in the future. Not going to do any of that donning the forgive and forget worldview.
7. Pelosi. One of the oddest stories last week came out of Nancy Pelosi’s home in San Francisco, where her 82-year-old husband ended up in his underwear, in a hand to hand fight with an intruder who may or may not have also been in his underwear (at this point, it appears he wasn’t). Pelosi was beaten by the invader with a hammer. Paul Pelosi was hospitalized and underwent an operation(s) due to his injuries. He has since been released. The home was under surveillance by Capital Police, Nancy’s personal police squad, who were apparently too busy deleting Jan 6 video and communications with the Speaker’s Office to actually do their job and watch the live camera feeds in the home. There is live video from the Capital Police along with SF law enforcement who responded that has not (and probably will not) been released. NBC News ran a story on the event that seemed to at least try to report what happen. Apparently, that piece didn’t support the official narrative, and was quickly disappeared. The media quickly pivoted to the official narrative that the event was due to political hate speech by Republicans, blaming the entire affair on Republicans for saying unkind things about Nancy. The perp turns out to be a lefty activist, an illegal alien from Canada. Reason for the attack has not yet been made public. At least the SF DA has not released him back into the general public. Yet.
8. Israel. Israel finally broke its decade-long electoral deadlock with a landslide Likud victory last week. Netanyahu’s Likud and other right-wing parties won 64 of 120 available seats in the Knesset, the largest majority any Israeli government has won in years. As of this writing, Biden has not called Netanyahu to congratulate him on his victory, a display of personal pettiness that would make only O’Bama smile. On the other side, Labor, which led the last coalition, only won 4 seats. Is this and what happened in Italy a couple week ago a harbinger of what is about to happen here in the US? Maybe. Maybe not. It is always possible for the Stupid Party to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. It is up to us to make sure they don’t.
More later –