Interesting Items 05/08

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

In this issue –

1.  AM Radio
2.  Starship
3.  Archives
4.  Tucker
5.  Intel
6.  Lawfare
7.  Gerrymandering

1.  AM Radio.  One of my valued correspondents responded to my story a couple weeks ago in Items 04/17 about Ford removing AM radios from new vehicles.  He is a radio kind of guy and knows the business pretty well.  While the easy political analysis is that this is an attempt from the workesters in charge of Ford Motor Company to attack right wing talk radio, what it actually ends up being is an attack on minority owned AM radio.  There is a tool called that can be used to take a look at all the radio stations in each city.  The photo following this item is an annotated screen shot of those radio stations in the Dallas (DFW) area.  Minority stations, those with minority ownership and audiences are highlighted in yellow.  19 of the 42 stations listed, a full 45% of everything broadcasting to DFW listeners are minority owned and operated.  Only 8 of the 42, 19% are either talk or news / talk stations.  Therefore, targeting talk radio takes out 2.4 times more minority stations than talk radio.  LA and Atlanta have similar breakdowns.  Anyone else remember the O’Bamaoid notion of disparate impact?  They defined disparate impact as anything that impacted minorities (primarily blacks) more than whites.  Once that little bit of statistical sleight of hand was performed, they then used the full power of the US Justice and regulatory system to target the newly identified Bad Guys.  A lot of people, businesses, and other entities paid billions in legal bills, settlement fees, and restitution to fight and settle these attacks.  In the old Mafiosi world, this was known as protection money, and like the Mafosi, it became a racket for the feds.  Bottom line here is that a corporate assault on right wing talk radio ends up actually targeting and harming minority businesses and customers, institutional racism at its worst, which I thought was a Bad Thing.  Perhaps those on Our Side ought to point this out. results of all AM radio stations in Dallas. Yellow highlights are minority owned stations.

2.  Starship.  It’s been a couple weeks since the initial test flight of Starship, time enough for the FAA to revoke its launch license and local greens to file their first round of lawsuits.  These will sort themselves out as the SpaceX team figures out what happened, why it happened, and what changes to make to the system to do better the next time around.  Note that the SpaceX approach to development is to fly quickly, break quickly, make changes quickly, and get on to the next test quickly.  NASA and DoD used to do this half a century ago.  Unfortunately, the rapid increase in the sheer cost of each piece of flight hardware quickly moved them into a minimal testing, assume success mindset.  In the two shuttle accidents, this approach proved deadly, as they never flew the beast often enough to figure out what was breaking and bring new designs into service.  Booster 7 was the first to fly.  The next one will be Booster 9, which has multiple improvements already built in.  SpaceX reportedly has a stream of at least three of these in the pipeline for continued testing.  Musk believes that they will achieve orbit within the next 12 months.  He may be right.

  • Musk held an hour-long press conference on April 30.  The video is above.  Musk concluded that the launch was about what he expected.  They will be ready again in about two months.  Debris was basically sand and rock, and thus non-toxic.  The biggest issue was the flight termination system, which took 40 seconds to operate.  The next flight will be a repeat, with the main goal of getting stage separation.  He gives them about an 80% chance of making orbit this year.  He was positively surprised by a few things, most notably the structural strength of the stack which did at least three loops before it was destroyed. 
  • There was not a lot of damage to the launch mount.  The tower is in good shape.  The dented fuel tanks next to the launch stand were scheduled to be replaced with horizontal ones.  They were cautious with engine startup, so were on the pad with 16+ million pounds of thrust blasting away at the concrete perhaps twice as long as it would have been otherwise.  This compressed the sand below, and flexed concrete below the plume, destroying it.  This added to damage on the launch mount.  Solution is a massive, water-cooled metal plate below the mount.
  • 3 engines were automatically shut down before liftoff.  30 healthy engines are the minimum necessary for flight.  4 engine heat shields were knocked out 0+27 seconds after launch.  They lost a fourth engine due to an explosion and visible fire.  More aft heat shield damage at 0+62 was visible.  At 0+62 the hydraulic thrust vector control was lost, along with it the ability to both gimbal the engines and separate the upper stage.  Flight control software and fault isolation is robust and did a good job keeping flying during increasingly difficult conditions.
  • SpaceX is also creating a production infrastructure.  Today it is capable of building a Falcon upper stage ever 3-4 days, and a Raptor engine once a day.  Starship is now costing a couple billion dollars/year.  Musk does not think they will have to raise additional funding.  Speculation is that SpaceX makes $25 – 30 million / Falcon 9 launch.

3.  Archives.  We might have an explanation on what led to the FBI raid on Mar a Lago.  Sundance at Conservative Treehouse released a piece based on a letter from the Trump legal team to the Chair of the House Intel Committee outlining details of the documents that became the contested issue between the Do(In)J National Security Division and the attorney for President Trump.  Granted this is a letter from the Trump legal team, but it is a letter to the House Intel Committee and there are penalties for lying to congress, at least for members of the Trump team.  Essentially, the National Archives refused to assist in the collection of Trump records for National Archive holding ad reviews, a process that has been in place for decades.  After refusing to participate in or assist in collection of Trump records, the National Archives went to the newly ensconced Biden Do(In)J  with a complaint, weaponizing a process they refused to participate in.  This complaint also led to the FBI raid and one of the charges special prosecutor Jack Smith is supposedly investigating.  The letter also described how Do(In)J fought with FBI investigative and supervisory agents who were saying Trump had done nothing wrong.  This culminated with a documented lie to a federal magistrate in Florida in order to get a politically motivated search warrant.  The breadth and scope of corruption in DC is stunning.  No wonder they want to make sure Trump gets nowhere near the WH again.  Their problem is that a lot of people now know about that corruption and are in the process of deciding not to play anymore.

4.  Tucker.  I won’t get into the ins and outs of the Tucker Carlson firing from FNC other than to note the current plan seems to sideline him as long as humanly possible.  Rather, I will pass along a May 1 piece in American Thinker, Why Tucker Carlson was Doomed.  Seth Grossman makes the claim that Carlson’s show has been on life support since Dec 18, 2018.  Five days earlier, he ran a piece about the effects of massive uncontrolled illegal immigration from poor countries.  We went after politicians and businesses of both parties for supporting the invasion.  The left used the Dec 13 show as the basis for an orchestrated campaign to eliminate Carlson and hopefully even FNC itself.  As usual, the charge of racism was the weapon of choice.  The first phase was orchestrated grassturfed public and media outrage at the comments.  Within days, at least 26 mainstream corporate sponsors announced they would no longer support Carlson’s show.  Carlson was left with second-tier sponsors paying much lower rates.  While Carlson had the top prime time show, and was a public media superstar, his income from advertisers was in the late night Ginsu Knife range.  Nobody in the Trump administration was willing or even interested in taking a look at e-mails, phone records, or pushing back against the coordinated outrage machine.  Democrats kept the pressure on periodically swooping in with yet another manufactured charge of racism by yet another entity.  In April 2021, the ADL joined the game.  A year later in May 2022, NPR and the NYT called Carlson’s show the most racist show in the history of cable news.  These periodic attacks guaranteed that no mainstream corporation ads would ever return.  Now emboldened, expect democrats to use similar tactics against other targets, individuals and networks.  How long can Our Side survive on My Pillow or Relief Factor ads?

5.  Intel.  Now that we have identified the letter signed by 51 intel officials calling the Hunter laptop Russian disinformation as a political op by the intel community in coordination with the Biden for President campaign, what else out there now looks like an intel op?  News last week that Jeffrey Epstein who died in a NYC jail cell in 2019 has scheduled meetings with the current CIA Director, William Burns, who served in the O’Bama administration.  He also had planned meetings with Bard College president Leon Botstein, O’Bama WH counsel, Kathryn Ruemmler and Noam Chomsky.  All meetings were scheduled to take place after Epstein was jailed in 2008 on charges of solicitation.  Was Epstein an intel asset?  Any other connections that would allow him to operate at the levels he operated at, with the people he worked with, that make better sense?  With that question in mind, we can go back to the story someone fed Sidney Powell about Venezuelans reaching into Dominion voting machines and changing votes.  This was the basis of her “release the kraken” claims during the aftermath of the 2020 election.  What better way to discredit someone who had been an effective lawyer for Our Side than to feed her something too good to be true, letting her run with it a while, and completely discrediting her and everything she has, is and will be saying?

6.  Lawfare.  The lawfare against President Trump heated up nicely last week on multiple fronts.  These include, but are not limited to the E Jean Carroll rape trial in NYC, expected indictments by an democrat prosecutor in GA, and the continuing work by Jack Smith to ensnare Trump.

  • The rape charge was filed in 2019 accusing Trump of doing the deed in the 1990s.  Carroll was cross examined in the civil trial last week and it did not go well.  The claim against Trump was made in a 2019 book accusing multiple men of raping her in a variety of venues.  From her perspective, it is difficult to find men who haven’t tried to rape her.  It appears that Carroll came up with the Trump claim to simply sell more books.  Her lawsuit is being funded by an anti-Trump billionaire.
  • Fulton County DA Fani Willis is planning on announcing indictments against Trump in the aftermath of the 2020 election sometime this summer, with trial scheduled for next spring, just in time for the primary season.  Expect multiple indictments.
  • Julie Kelly in Citizen Free Press this morning claims that Do(In)J wants to put Trump in jail before the trial, not unlike what they have been doing to the Jan 6 targets.  They will use the conviction of the Proud Boys as their template, that Trump is simply too dangerous to allow to wander around unhindered.  And the judges on the DC Circuit will go right along with those requests just like they have been doing with the Jan 6 targets.

7.   Gerrymandering.  The NC Supreme Court published a couple opinions favorable to law-abiding citizens last week.  The first found that the courts cannot decide on gerrymandering claims.  They also reversed an opinion blocking a voter ID law.  It is the opinion on gerrymandering that is most interesting, as the court found that the litigants against the Republican redistricting map failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that it was enacted with discriminatory intent or that it produced disparate impact along racial times.  Basically, the courts are not the place to solve this issue.  Here in Alaska, where the Alaska Supreme Court has gotten themselves smartly into the gerrymandering business on the side of democrats, this opinion will hopefully hold some weight in future litigation

More later –

  • AG

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