Interesting Items 02/13

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

In this issue –

1.  Balloon
2.  STFU
3.  Maricopa
4.  Non-Profit
5.  Ukraine
6.  Disney
7.  Starship
8.  WH

1.  Balloon.  As the week progressed, NORAD went what appears to be weapons free on everything in the air over the US and Canada.  As I write this morning, we are up to four shootdowns:  The original CCP balloon off Myrtle Beach, one just off Deadhorse, AK, one over the Yukon, and one yesterday over Lake Huron.  What do I think is happening?  I think the Biden regime and Pentagon got thoroughly embarrassed by the uproar over the CCP balloon and have reacted poorly in response.  Radar and other sensors are pretty good and see a lot of interesting stuff.  I believe slow speed targets were largely ignored.  Now they aren’t.  What are those low-speed targets?  Mostly weather balloons.  Worldwide, over 900 locations launch two of them a day, 92 locations in the US and 10 in the Caribbean.  So, figure about 200 new objects a day over the US.  They typically stay up a couple hours, can rise to over 100,000’, are about 20’ in diameter, and have lanyards / cables below them.  This sort of live fire training over NORAD is valuable, as any live fire training is valuable.  The operational fighter world does learn something every time they shoot something down.  However, expending a half million-dollar AIM-9X against a few thousand dollar balloon quickly gets cost prohibitive in addition of needlessly expending our stores of ammo.  I am not ignoring the possibility of additional drones, RPVs and additional CCP spy balloons, but that is not my current guess.  Until this calms down a bit, I wouldn’t fly without a flight plan of a transponder.  Just saying.

2.  STFU.  Biden gave his State of the Union (SOTU) address last Tuesday.  It was a remarkably ugly address even if you ignore the stage whisper and angry old man yelling at people to get off his lawn, all designed to set the stage for his 2024 run for reelection.  This time around, Republicans didn’t sit still as he lied about them, their agenda, and motives.  This time around, they responded by yelling back at him, derisive laughter (after a Biden claim we would be off fossil fuel in a decade), and calling him a liar multiple times.  His cheerleaders in the media were shocked, simply shocked, at the impropriety and poor behavior of congressional Republicans.  Yet I find this a positive sign, as Biden and the Republicans have managed to turn the STFU into the functional equivalent of Question Time in the British Parliament where the Prime Minister and the Opposition get to yell at one another for hours.  Biden studiously hides from any and all opposition.  He can’t during the STFU.  And the less he lies about Republicans, the less pushback he gets, not that he understands or realizes that.  Note that I really don’t expect him to change his approach any, as it locked in by 50 years of lying to the public. 

3.  Maricopa.  As the fallout from the election fraud in Arizona, centered in Maricopa County becomes known, the scope of the breathtaking massive sovereign fraud committed becomes apparent.  As of this writing, this is what we know:

  • Arizona Republicans actually has a pretty good night in Nov.  They flipped the congressional delegation from a 5-4 democrat majority to a 6-3 Republican majority.  They retained control of both houses of the legislature.  Arizona congressional candidates won by a large margin over their democrat opponents – 56 – 43%.  Yet, democrats won the four statewide elections for governor, Attorney General, Secretary of State and US Senate.  All victories were narrow, carried by whatever happened in Maricopa County.  The problem with Maricopa County is that it is home to 63% of all Arizona voters. 
  • The shenanigans include (but are not limited to) a chain of custody issue with nearly 300,000 ballots.  A similar number of mismatched or phony signatures on mail-in ballots.  Note that election supervisors greenlit signature approvals, overriding people who rejected ballots en masse.  Finally, ballots are individually printed in Maricopa because there are simply too many combinations to print out beforehand (or so the Secretary of State’s Office stated).  Printers in Republican precincts had problems at about a 3:1 ratio to printer problems in the rest of the county. This caused long delays and people went home.  Note that the democrat candidate for governor was none other than Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, who threatened two counties for refusal to certify election results before questions were answered. 
  • Jay Valentine’s groups in AZ and NV ran voter rolls for months.  Their results show an increase in the number of registered voters at transient locations like RV Parks, hotels, motels increasing slowly until a maximum on election day.  Those numbers waned after election day. 
  • Harris County in TX has as big of a voting fraud problem as NV.  Expect this sort of thing to be installed in San Antonio and the DFW area as part of a democrat effort to flip Texas..
  • Some blue states like NM are attempting to criminalize audits of election rolls making it a felony to clean voting rolls.  Democrats in this one party state having found a good tool, want to keep it around to ensure they remain a one party state.

4.  Non-profit.  Joel Kotkin in Philanthropy Daily wrote a piece called The Nonprofit Threat.  His piece starts with a discussion of the current non-profit world and how it is changing.  A century ago, excess wealth was used to work on society’s problems, funding hospitals, food banks, libraries, cathedrals.  In recent years, the charitable urge shifted to a progressive agenda that will transform lives through the expansion of government power.  This shift reflects the shift in wealth in the US.  In the past, the wealthy were employers of middle- and working-class Americans.  Today, they are increasingly ideological.  Since 1980, non-profit assets have increased 9x.  In 2020, non-profits brought in $2.62 trillion, nearly 6% of the US Economy.  The process will accelerate as boomers begin to leave behind their wealth.  The Silent Generation and Boomers are projected to gift their heirs $30 – 75 trillion 2030 – 2060.  The problem is that this wealth will be concentrated in fewer and fewer hands.  The new money is different from the old money, with the youthful enlightened rich outspending the older, more conservative funders by 2:1 in recent years.  The progressive elite are generally connected to firms with near monopolistic market control such as Google, Microsoft, Amazon, Apple.  Finance is also more concentrated, with 5 banks controlling 45% of all assets in the US.  These firms tend to embrace progressive foolishness like ESG.  Since 1996, big-money foundations have been bankrolling leftist politics for generations.  Many of the tech billionaires are in their 30s and 40s.  One example is Zuckerberg dumping over $400 million in the 2020 election to elect democrats.  But the road to a progressive utopia is as usual, a road to a very hot place, as the progressives who are busily constructing a powerful central government are also busily constructing the instrument of their own doom, especially since their support of the big government solution is (and will) destroying the foundation of their wealth, their businesses, and alienating their customers. 

5.  Ukraine.  Real Clear Defense ran a piece a last week entitled Alexander Vindman and the Road to World War III.  In it, Vindman, ever the Ukrainian shill, it taken to task for calling to arm, train, and support Ukraine’s attempt to retake “what is ours.”  VIndman calls for support for a quick and decisive end to the war, which is going to be tough as Putin is busily turning every single building in Ukraine into rubble and making it bounce multiple times afterwards just to make sure the Ukrainians get the proper message.  Vindman’s claim to fame on the left was as a source for the first Trump impeachment.  After that, he and everything he opines from time is treated as gospel.  Being an idiot, Vindman forgets that the enemy (Putin, in this case) gets a vote in the war.  What pray, tell does he expect Putin to do when NATO dumps everything into Ukraine?  Hint:  it’s not going to be a trip to the negotiating table, which is something most of us want.  Rather, Putin is going to react in historic Russian style, and bring everything to the war he has not yet brought including NBC weapons.  Sun Tzu always noted that one should always allow the enemy a way out, an escape.  As I see it, the current US position in Ukraine is not to allow one, which is a gross, perhaps even deadly mistake by the Biden regime and the perfumed princes at the Pentagon.  While I do enjoy allowing the Russians to do stupid things, eventually they need to stop doing stupid things, something we ought to be encouraging rather than not allowing.  Why?  I don’t think we are in the position to fight a two-front war, a proxy war in Ukraine and a real one in Taiwan. 

6.  Disney.  Disney is dead to me.  Latest outrage out of the woke grooming racists at Disney was a cartoon, Proud Family:  Louder and Prouder that had its student characters claiming repeatedly that America was built by slavery and Lincoln didn’t free the slaves.  Ther cartoon was a reboot of a Disney children’s cartoon that ran 2001 – 2005.  The reboot was all race, all the time, finely crafted to spread as much intraracial hatred as humanly possible, something it was quite effective at doing.  After a century of good, Disney is dead to me.  And it was a suicide.

7.  Starship.  Last week. SpaceX conducted a full up live fire test of the 33 engine first stage.  The test was successful with no damage to either the booster or the pad.  Only 31 of the engines were lit.  One was shut down before ignition.  One didn’t light.  Starship can get to orbit on 31 engines.  SpaceX is on track for a possible first launch of the complete Starship stack around Mar 1.  The launch will be a suborbital flight, from Boca Chica in south Texas, with the second stage splashing down near Hawaii nearly one orbit from launch.  Neither reusable piece will be reused, though they do intend to recover whatever they can.  Starship is stainless steel, not unlike the old Convair Atlas ICBM and Mercury launch vehicle.  Fuel for the first stage uses liquid methane and liquid oxygen which is easier to handle than liquid hydrogen.  FAA is still reviewing the license for the planned launch, much to the distress of the greens at the National Parks Service.  Once SpaceX is comfortable with their ability to launch and recover both pieces, they will bring the system to Cape Canaveral for operational launches.  Musk has not guaranteed success, but he has guaranteed they will learn something.  Note that the first stage has never flown.  The upper stage has flown multiple times, most unsuccessfully, with the first (and only) successful landing May 2021.  Once operational, Starship will be the heart of SpaceX launch business for Starlink, lunar and Martian exploration, and colonization.  They are betting the farm that it will be successful and they can figure out how to fly and recover it before running out of money.

8.  WH.  Story out of Bill O’Reilly on Hannity’s radio show last Wednesday now has O’Bamaoid Susan Rice now in charge of the Biden WH.  It is why Biden Chief of Staff Ron Klain was pushed out.  It is why the Biden WH has been so radical.  And when you hear the name Susan Rice, think Barak O’Bama, as they are fellow travelers.  Looks like the O’Bamaoids are getting ready for the 2024 election cycle. 

More later –

– AG

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