Interesting Items 03/13

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

In this issue –

1.  Videos
2.  Patent
3.  Guns
4.  Stoves
5.  Train Wreck
6.  Green
7.  Fees
8.  FTC
9.  Censor

1.  Videos.  Tucker Carlson ran at least four segments with edited pieces of Jan 6 videos last week.  Outrage was predictable, quick, loud, and seemingly panicked.  Senate Majority Leader Schumer took to the floor of the US Senate demanding FNC censor Carlson, pulling this story from the air.  The threat worked, at least a little bit, as later shows were not quite as pointed as the first one was, which in turn lead to him taking some heat by at least one writer in American Thinker for pulling his punches.  What he did, though was really good, as he demonstrated via a couple pointed examples of democrats and media lying about Jan 6.  One was the QAnon Shaman, Jacob Chansley, who took a plea bargain and is now serving 41 months in the federal gulag.  Video showed Chansley escorted by multiple Capitol Police, guiding him through the halls of congress before he left.  One of the PowerLine lawyers took exception to the videos being exculpatory in a couple posts.  His readers didn’t agree, blasting him with over 1,600 comments over two days.  Video also showed suspected informant Ray Epps inside the Capital much longer than he told congress he was in the building.  I remember when  lying to congress was a Bad Thing, answered by a no-knock raid with 20 – 30 FBI agents, a CNN camera crew, a prosecution, and time in jail.  Apparently, those new rules only apply to Trump supporters.  While lawfare will continue against Trump and his supporters, the videos demonstrate quite nicely that Jan 6 was neither an insurrection nor even a riot, though there was an awful lot of what used to be called police brutality aimed at protesters going on.  That won’t be prosecuted or even acknowledged either.  Final piece was Capital Police Officer Brian Sicknick, who died of a stroke after Jan 6, walking around normally.  Democrats and their media cheerleaders have claimed for two solid years he was hit in the head by a protester using a fire extinguisher as the reason for his death.  Nothing could be farther from the truth.  I believe these videos exonerate Trump on all Jan 6 charges, though we should expect democrat prosecutors at all levels to be idiot enough to go after him for Jan 6.

2.  Patent.  Ford Global Technologies filed for a number of patents a couple weeks ago.  One of them was described as new “systems and methods to repossess a vehicle.”  Proposed techniques include the ability to disable system functionality (turn off air conditioner or heating), disable / lockout the entire vehicle, or emit annoying sounds from the stereo system.  Autonomous vehicles may move themselves to locations more conducive to getting hooked up to a tow truck, across the property line of the owner.  From here, even the ability to automatically parallel park could be used to reposition the vehicle.  Ford claims it doesn’t plan on using the new technology any time soon.  It was granted 1,342 patents in 2022.  Many vehicles that are able to update onboard software may already be able to do some of this without any physical modifications.  Imagine what a rapacious, fully politicized law enforcement operation like the Do(In)J and FBI are currently running can and will do to vehicles of their political opposition once they get their hot little hands on these new tools.  Note that they are already using cooperation with Google to track cell phone users on a mass basis.  Law enforcement at all levels (local, state and feds) are quite enamored with the use of what they call Geofence information.  Google tracks physical location data of smart phones and stores it.  Law enforcement has figured out how to get what they call Geofence warrants for that data, which Google happily provides on a mass basis.  A VA Geofence warrant aimed at a 2019 bank robbery rolled up location data for over 1,500 users in the local area.  A federal judge in VA threw out the warrant last week on the basis that it violated the 4th Amendment prohibition against unreasonable search and seizure.  Law enforcement today, especially at the federal level no longer deserves our trust or support.  They have become corrupt.  Irrevocably so. 

3.  Guns.  A pair of gun stories this week.  The first has the FBI working secretly with hospitals to strip US citizens of their 2nd Amendment rights.  The ever feral FBI worked with the Secret Service and US Immigration and Customs Enforcement to strip gun rights of over 24 people.  The work was done behind closed doors, without congressional approval.  Washington Examiner got their hands on internal FBI documents and e-mails that documented the scam.  Medical facilities coordinated with the FBI to strip gun rights from at least 5 people.  The game has the medical facilities filling out forms that document the gun owner as a danger to himself or to others.  That form is then forwarded immediately to the FBI which then shows up at the front door of the target to seize their guns and ammunition.  This has been going on since at least 2011, yet another little gift from the O’Bama / Holder Do(In)J.  Once you waive your rights via this form, good luck ever getting those rights back.  In a 2019 case, it took the FBI only a couple hours after receipt of the signed form to go after the guns.  The second gun story comes out of Discover, which will start tracking purchases made using their credit card at gun stores starting April 1.  Expect the rest of the credit card companies to jump onboard in future months.  Note that the new tracking categorization does not yet discretely break out what is purchased.  Rather, it monitors total purchases from that store. 

4.  Stoves.  The ever-diligent Richard Trumka, Jr of the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is back pushing a regulatory ban on natural gas stoves for homes.  They took a vote last week to seek public input on gas stoves, the first step in the regulatory process to “protect” consumers from “potential hidden hazards” in their homes from natural gas stove emissions.  This mirrors his Jan statements, after which he was slapped down pretty hard.  In parallel, Department of (No) Energy is looking into efficiency regulations that would eliminate 96% of all stoved on the current market.  The new standards are nicely crafted so that a Do(No)E test of them failed 20 of 21 stoves tested.  The Association of Home Appliance Manufactures noted that they had never seen the appalling level of sloppiness from Do(No)E before.  It’s not sloppiness.  It is intentional.  The WH was silent about the new approach, likely meaning they approve of it. 

5.  Train Wreck.  I don’t know whether I like this one or not, but will post it anyway.  We are well into the finger pointing and name calling stage following the hazmat train wreck in East Palestine.  As with all things at this stage of the festivities, most of what we know, hear, and understand is garbage.  Occasionally, I come across things that make me scratch my head and go “hmmm.”  A Jon Rappoport piece on his Substack site took a look at carriage of hazmat by rail.  For the most part, rail lines are forced to carry hazmat by the feds.  This stuff is usually labeled Toxic Inhalation Hazard (TIH) chemicals, usually ammonia and chlorine.  The problem is that nobody involved wants to take responsibility for any accident while carrying the stuff – not the feds, not the railroads, not the manufacturers, leading us to an instant 3-way finger-pointing exercise.  Most PVC, which was the bad actor in New Palestine, is used where it is manufactured, though a lot of it is shipped.  Rappoport then goes on to go after braking systems on individual cars, claiming that new electronic systems are newer, better and safer, a claim he doesn’t prove.  He then asks if the investigation will pin the blame on the braking system, betting that it will.  He also points out a bit of Trump-era deregulation that allows any train carrying a mix of regular freight and TMI to be treated as safe rather than a hazard.  While possible, I am not yet convinced.  If this guy is right, deregulation is a likely future avenue of attack for the legal process as the blame for this is sorted out and the lawsuits make their way through the courts is something we should keep an eye on.  Mayor Pete already previewed the claim. 

6.  Green.  James Pinkerton in Breitbart last week wrote a piece entitled The Circle of Green – Big Money, Big Democrats, and Climate Change.  Essentially, Pinkerton does an extensive follow the money exercise on climate / decarbonization policy.  He starts out noting that BlackRock and other investment houses are deploying some $17 trillion in search of the green utopia via ESG.  Returns on these investments are as expected, less than stellar, averaging 2.5% less return than expected.  ESG investors pay higher costs for lower performance.  The problem is that woke isn’t broke if you play it right.  And playing it right means suckling up to the federal trough for green slush fund dollars, $300 billion of which was passed last year in Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act.  All those green energy loans are really easy to get for the well-connected.  For the rest of us?  Not so much.  Green capitalism, the fusion of greenism and cronyism is a proven model for the insiders.  Ask algore who pumped his net worth from $2 – $330 million since 2001.  Expect democrat campaigns to be very well funded from these slush funds.

7.  Fees.  When democrats are unable to get what they want done via legislation, they instead dust off the regulatory state, aim it at their target, and pull that trigger.  Latest example of this here in Alaska was the leak of an internal memo from the Biden regime.  Department of Interior accidently posted an internal memo concluding that lower royalty fees for offshore natural gas wells would result in greater government revenues and greater energy security for the State of Alaska.  Unfortunately, these Greater Good outcomes were far outweighed by the Biden regime desire to discourage oil and natural gas, so Interior recommended higher royalty fees for drilling in Cook Inlet.  Note that Cook Inlet is an islanded system.  Southcentral Alaska gets about half its energy from natural gas, usually from Cook Inlet, produced from offshore platforms.  The basin has been producing for half a century.  If we can’t get natural gas from the Inlet, it will have to be imported. 

8.  FTC.  In another example of the abuse of the regulatory state to target and neutralize political opposition, we have the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) using its regulatory powers to find out who Twitter was talking to.  Since Musk announced he was going to purchase Twitter, the FTC has sent Twitter over 350 demands for information.  Those demands expanded last week with the FTC wanting Twitter to name journalists who had received the Twitter files.  There I thought that sources in journalism were sacrosanct to the left.  No more, apparently.  Democrats in the House Judiciary hearing on the Twitter files pushed the same angle, making incessant demands for the journalists testifying, Matt Taibbi and Michael Shellenberger, reveal their sources.  Neither did. 

9.  Censor.  Matt Taibbi released Thread 17 of the Twitter files last week.  This tranche described what he called a new cottage industry of government funded disinformation labs.  These were ostensibly set up to combat fraudulent online propaganda in the interest of national security.  What they actually did was spawn an entire ecosystem of disinformation labs around the State Department’s Global Engagement Center (GEC).  One of these labs is the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab, funded by the feds via the GEC.  Typically, these labs sent lists of online profiles to blacklist to Twitter and the media.  The game has the GEC creating an alarmist report, then sending it out demanding Twitter, other social media companies, and the media.  In this tranche, Twitter was portrayed as almost an adult, rejecting much of what was demanded, at least a little bit.  If they reject, then the media then goes after Twitter, demanding why they are allowing these users to continue.  Other social media was not mentioned.  Taibbi was concerned about the explosive growth of the sprawling infrastructure of disinformation labs around the GEC.  Essentially, American taxpayers are funding digital blacklists used to manipulate them.  Reauthorization for GEC funding is up this year.  Perhaps it is time to defund it. 

More later –

– AG

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