Interesting Items 03/20

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

In this issue –

1.  Willow
2.  Censorship
3.  UAV
4.  Stanford
5.  Appliances
6.  Shiny
7.  Personnel
8.  BLM

1.  Willow.  Big news here in Alaska last week was Biden approval of the Willow project on the Alaska North Slope, much to the dismay and disgust of his greens.  Predictably, approval came with some ugliness from Interior Secretary Deb Halland, which may, in turn put her smug little carcass in the cross hairs of some very well deserved public scrutiny for corruption.

  • Willow is the newest and largest oil pad, the first to exploit the eastern portion of National Petroleum Reserve Alaska (NPR-A).  At its peak, Willow with three operating pads of the proposed five, will produce 180,000 bbl/day of crude, bringing total flow through TAPS just over 500,000 bbl/day.  In contrast, NM produces 1.5 million bbl/day and TX produces over 5 million bbl/day.  Greens have consistently warred against oil and natural gas production in Alaska for the last half century, cutting total throughput through TAPS to a quarter of its maximum. 
  • The Biden WH played this one pretty well, getting lucky with timing the announcement, slotted in nicely between rail disasters, a Russian RPV shootdown, failure of the Silicon Valley Bank, and impending indictment and arrest of Donald Trump.  They leaked the approval on Friday and announced approval the following Monday.  Greens filed their first lawsuit a couple days later, claiming significant negative impact on all things green (CO2, wildlife, water, air, you name it).  As of this writing, the project will continue pending additional judicial interference.
  • As usual, green concern is overblown, as NPR-A was set aside for oil exploration a century ago by Warren G Harding, intended to fuel the Navy as it converted from coal to oil, originally called Naval Petroleum Reserve Number 4.
  • Interior Secretary Haaland took her first pound of flesh at her approval, simultaneously announcing she was unilaterally removing 16 million acres of NPR-A from future development. NPR-A has nearly 24 million acres total, so she has removed two thirds of the total region at the stroke of a pen, an area the size of West Virginia. 
  • The next day, Haaland revoked the Izembek land swap that would have allowed the village of King Cove access a 10,000’ runway in the Izembek National Wildlife Refuge.  King Cove is a small fishing village on the Alaska Peninsula with less than 1,00 people.  It has really crummy weather and is located right at the foot of mountains, making it difficult to get in and out of by air.  There is a very nice runway NW across a cove.  Locals and the State of Alaska have fought a long battle to get a road approved through the refuge.  There is a reportedly a road in existence, though not navigable on a yearlong basis.  Trump administration finally approved the land swap a few years ago.  Initial judicial speed bumps were summarily struck down.  Haaland waved her regal hand and revoked the swap after losing face to anti-development natives on the Alaska North Slope.  Her solution?  Screw over other Alaska Natives in King Cove just because she could.
  • It is this action that puts Haaland at risk, as for some reason, in recent years New Mexico got themselves a development carveout while Haaland busily turns Interior into a parks and recs agency.  NM is currently producing over 3x what Alaska is producing in oil, and more natural gas.  Some commentators to local articles here in AK claim that Haaland has been approving all manner of permits for oil, natural gas, and mining in NM.  I need the help from readers to develop information documenting this, particularly approvals for development on Navajo (Haaland is Navajo) land.  Anything you can do to assist would be most helpful. 

2.  Censorship.  Once you have a new tool, like the left does with their newly minted Censorship Industrial Complex, you will use it early and often, mostly because it is jolly good fun to use.  Given what we have learned via the Twitter files of government led censorship at Twitter, and in turn at the rest of social media, our initial assumption should be that government led censorship is happening early and often, literally all the time everywhere.  It is up to the government and the industry happily going along with their demands to censor things they don’t like or agree with, to prove otherwise.  Examples last week include:

  • Newly reelected US Senator Mark Kelly, no longer hiding behind Krysten Sinema’s skirts having illegally won his first full term in office as McCain’s replacement, started demonstrating his fundamentally dangerous view of his role.  Last week, Kelly on a Zoom call with about 200 asked the Fed, FDIC and Treasury if there was a program underway with social media to censor information that would lead to a bank run.  He claimed there were foreign actors involved but didn’t suggest censorship be limited to foreign influence.  He didn’t get an answer, which doesn’t mean that the agencies aren’t already doing this.  Kelly demonstrates quite nicely that he was a heck of a lot better astronaut than he ever will be a senator.
  • Matt Margolis writing in Hot Air reported a CDC-sponsored study that found natural immunity was 3 – 5x superior to the vax as protection from reinfection.  Yet all reporting and discussion of natural immunity was systematically censored, painted as misinformation. 
  • Finally, Robert Zimmerman in Behind the Black reports that Eventbrite, a self-service ticketing platform has routinely been blacklisting conservative events, usually cancelling existing events or telling customers the events no longer exist.  As usual, they have no problem with anything on the left regardless how outrageous those events may be.  Appears to be yet another business opportunity for those of us on the political right.

3.  UAV.  A pair of Russian SU-27s attacked an US MQ-9 Reaper drone over the Black Sea last week, forcing it to be destroyed.  The incident took place in international waters some 60 miles S of the Crimea.  Initial reports were confusing, with the entire affair sounding like another wokester debacle by the Pentagon.  Things changed completely when video of the attack was released.  Appears Reapers have real time video satellite linked to whomever is flying it.  The video showed at least two passes by the Flankers.  Both approached from the rear, started dumping fuel as they passed the drone.  Plan was apparently to flame out the engine via ingestion of fuel droplets.  Neither pass worked, as the engine and the prop it drove worked just fine, that is until the second idiot hit it with his jet.  During the second pass, the video dropped out for a bit.  Once it was reinstated, one of the blades of the prop was bent.  Tough to fly with a bent blade on a prop.  Apparently, the order was given to destroy the drone so as to not allow it to fall into Russian hands.  I don’t know as yet if there is a self-destruct ability onboard.  Our Political Masters reacted with indignant outrage and thinly veiled fury, typical boob bait for bubbas.  Russians reacted by giving the flight crew medals and starting a recovery operation in the Black Sea to see what they could fish out of the water.  One of the reasons you have drones is that they are far more expendable than flesh and blood pilots.  If they are too expensive to lose, then they are too expensive.  OTOH, manned jets can at least fight back when they should.  As an aside, one of the British tactics used against the Nazi V-1 buzz bomb 80years ago was to join up with it, force a wing up to flip it over, crashing it.  V-1s did not have the ability to recover from this and went slow enough that Brit fighters could join on them. 

4.  Stanford.  Stanford, like Yale used to be one of the top two law schools in the country.  Not so, anymore, as Stanford Law students led by their deans shouted down a Fifth Circuit Judge invited to make a presentation at the law school.  The invited presentation used to be a regular event.  The orchestrated protest shout-down appears to have replaced it.  The judge, who seems to be one of the Good Guys, triggered the students for refusing to play along when a rapist in front of him started playing the gender transition card, something double plus ungood in today’s wokeist culture.  The Federalist Society invited the judge.  The invite got no support from the faculty.  The local National Lawyers Guild (an old-time communist front) led the effort in opposition, including printing posters personally identifying and excoriating members of Stanford’s Federalist Society.  Things started out ugly and stayed that way, with the judge fighting his way into the room, and then not being able to speak more than a couple words in a row before being shouted down.  He eventually asked for faculty help to control the crowd.  Instead, the DEI Dean got up and read a prepared speech blasting him and his lack of legitimate parents, further enflaming the crowd (not that they needed any of her help).  The judge finally got disgusted and left, blasting the university and law school publicly afterwards.  For their part, Stanford issued a suitably mealy-mouthed apology, and put pressure on Federalist Society members who were outed, doxed and threatened by their fellow students in the crowd to hunker down and stay quiet until the mob calmed down.  Refusing to be cowed, the Federalist Society started naming names of students who led and participated in the mob, much to the displeasure of those same fellow students.  Nice to see Our Side fighting back.  Note that Stanford has completely failed these students, for they have no idea of the basic role and behavior demanded by those who practice the legal profession they are supposedly getting trained to participate in.  This is not going to end well for Stanford.  Nor should it.  Legal Insurrection and PowerLine have been the two best sources for continuing information on the event and its aftermath.

5.  Appliances.  Now that they have figured out how to regulate natural gas stoves out of existence, the Biden regulators are back taking another bite at washing machines.  The tool once again are efficiency standards, this time around those that require less water, all in the name of confronting a global climate crisis.  As usual, the new mandates will require manufacturers to reduce cleaning performance.  Cycles will take longer; detergent will cost more, interests of customers be damned.  What a great outcome (/sarc), the appliances will work worse, cost more, and use more energy.  What could possibly go wrong? 

6.  Shiny.  Nothing like holding up a bright, shiny object to distract the general public while the rest of Biden’s world turns into brown floaters.  Latest example at bait and switch was an Executive Order (EO) aimed at controlling firearms, at least that’s what they claimed.  The leadup was yet another attempt to legislate gun control via stroke of a pen.  In reality, the signed paper is as worthless controlling firearms as Kamala is worthless as VP.  The EO makes no policy changes.  Rather, it calls upon executive agencies to ensure compliance with existing laws.  Complying with existing laws would be something new out of the regime.

7.  Personnel.  We just thought the wokesters infesting DoD were the worst problem, and maybe they are.  However, democrat front groups are busily using DoD to mine military personnel records for dirt on Republican congressional candidates who are former military.  Politico has been reporting on an outfit that calls itself Due Diligence which has sent at least 11 requests for personnel files on Republican candidates.  Sadly, the USAF has complied with at least five of the requests.  Looks like the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is behind the requests, having paid Due Diligence over $110,000 over the last two years to do its dirty work.  At least three current Republican House members and two candidates had their records released to democrats by the USAF.

8.  BLM.  As a reminder of the mind-numbing magnitude of grift associated with the protection racket that is BLM, comes a Claremont funding database that found BLM and related causes raised nearly $83 billion during its race-based shakedown of corporate America.  This is more than the GDP of 46 African nations.  Americans will pay a lot of money to get left alone.  Sadly, bullets are cheaper, and perhaps ought to be used next time around. 

More later –

– AG

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