Howdy All, a few Interesting Items for your information. Enjoy –
In this issue –
1. Hostages. Biggest story this week out of the war against Hamas in Gaza was agreement of a prisoner swap. Both sides will give each other prisoners (hostages) during a pre-agreed upon truce. Hamas did pretty well, taking a full 30 minutes to break their truce (/sarc). As of this writing, the truce will be extended for another two days. For all the bad actors in this war (Hamas and the Biden regime), this is exactly what they want. Hamas gets a bit of time to lick their wounds and plan for their next attack. The regime gets to placate pro-Hamas democrats who have been braying for a cease fire for weeks. On the other side, Israel gets a few hostages back, gets to clean out their prisons of some people who they will likely kill in a few days as they reenter the war, and relieve a little international pressure on them. From this perspective, it is the same old, same old, something both sides have done for decades. How does this square with their stated goal of destroying Hamas? Reframe the hostage / prisoner swap as an intel op by Israel. They get to watch Hamas communicate. They get to watch them gather hostages and move them to a release location. They get to debrief the released hostages on who, what, when, where and why during their captivity. And they get to do it all again, at least five times so far. With total control of the battlespace, Israel has eyes and ears everywhere, including on the ground where Hamas is using couriers. If Hamas is showing Israel how they communicate (and they must communicate at some level to execute the hostage releases), showing Israel the location of tunnel entrances (release points) and other points of importance. This not necessarily a strategic mistake by Israel. As always, with this war and the war in Ukraine, be very careful believing claims by both sides. In a related story, the underground complex beneath one Gaza hospital was apparently constructed by Israel upon request of the hospital administration during Israeli occupation of Gaza. Reason for the request was the hospital needed additional room because it is located in an urban environment. Can’t go up, so the Israelis went down. This means that Israel has the construction plans and layout for the entire complex under this particular hospital. I do not know if this applies to any other hospital in Gaza. Of course, Hamas converted the underground space into a military C3I center, which is what they do.
2. Elections. Two pretty good national elections last week. The first was in Argentina when a libertarian economist Javier Milei was elected president, winning by 11% over his opponent, the socialist outgoing Economy Minister, Sergio Massa. Milei may be fun, running on a Make Argentina Great Again platform. All the Usual Suspects and right people (on the left) expressed all the right outrage, up to and including him being called a Nazi by Venezuela’s Maduro. Milei patterns himself after Donald Trump. Argentine leftists are in complete meltdown, turning on each other like so many rats crammed into too tight a space. The election looks to have turned on the awful Argentine economy with inflation over 100%, something Milei can stop almost immediately, though not without pain. It remains to be seen if the economy turns around quickly. If it does so before the next election, he and his party will do well. If not, the socialists will be returned to power, much to the detriment of the Argentine people. Second, and perhaps more surprising was in the Netherlands where Geert Wilders’ party won a massive 37 seats in Parliament. He needs to craft a coalition with 76 of the 150 seats in parliament. With one exception, he and his party have been painted as anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim and similar epithets for their expressed concern over unchecked Muslim immigration into the Netherlands. The exception to this came via American Thinker this morning, describing the win as a national rejection of the ongoing green cramdown by the EU and EU connected politicians in the Netherlands. The green cramdown has taken square aim at farming in the country with its leading candidate and proponent Frans Timmermans, a net zero fanatic, a deindustrialization fanatic, and lockstep supporter of EU climate diktats. This election was a popular rejection of net zero and the green cramdown by a skeptical general public, something most of the media is studiously ignoring.
3. Videos. House Speaker Johnson released the remaining 44,000 hours of Jan 6 video to the general public Nov 17. They are available via this link. One word of warning. Analysis of these videos is a time-consuming proposition, which is one of the many reasons Speakers Pelosi and McCarthy sat on them, allowing their use only by those who had sufficient time to be supportive of the hoax narrative. It is among the reasons neither are Speaker any longer. Video analyzed so far shows Capitol Police uncuffing protesters followed by back patting and fist bumping. They show Capitol Police opening fire on protesters without warning, triggering anger by the protesters. They show Metro Police claiming to go undercover as AntiFa in the protest. Tell me once again that this wasn’t a government orchestrated setup. I predict that by the time of the election next year, the Jan 6 hoax will be exposed as the hoax it always was.
4. Elon. Elon Musk’s X/Twitter dropped its lawsuit on Media Matters last week, and Media Matters, who have long been a democrat attack dog, may be in a spot of trouble, so subtly put by Tom Knighton in his Substack last week, Media Matters may well be screwed. Their claim was that ads from major advertisers on X/Twitter showed up on antisemitic / extreme content feeds. They did a “study”, published it, and took the results to all the major advertisers, many of whom immediately suspended ad buys on X/Twitter as a result. But this “study” was the result of a planned attack by Media Matters planned and executed at least a month ago. First, they used several active accounts in place for at least 30 days. This is done to bypass X/Twitter’s ad filter for new users. They then followed a small subset of users known to produce extreme, fringe content and accounts owned by big-name advertisers on X/Twitter. The end result was construction of a precision designed feed by Media Matters for the sole purpose of returning side by side ad / content placements which would allow them to take screen shots. This wasn’t enough to generate the pairings of extreme content and ads that they wanted for their screen grabs. They resorted to endless scrolling and refreshing the feed, generating 13 – 15x more ads per hour than viewed by the average user, repeating the process until they got their images. In other words, they intentionally manipulated the situation until they could create something that would financially damage X/Twitter which they then presented as a natural user experience. Essentially, they were cherry picking results of a situation they intentionally created. Their problem is that their “study” cost X/Twitter advertisers, losing them significant money. And X/Twitter has a record of the money they lost, are losing, and will continue to lose due to Media Matters illegal action. X/Twitter has records of how the accounts were manipulated and can compare those actions to those of normal users who are not manipulating results to attack the company. I expect X/Twitter to go after Media Matters, all its funding sources, and supporters. I expect them to win a punitive judgment in their favor. Don’t expect Musk to back down on this. Remember that democrats have created an entire ecosystem of these sorts of groups to economically destroy their political opposition. Take Media Matters down, and there will always be another one to step into the breach. OTOH, once Musk shows how to destroy them and more importantly, uncover, identify and ultimately destroy their funding and supporters financially, we may see less of this foolishness in the future.
5. NTSB. In this week’s travelogue of the road to a very hot place paved with good intentions, we have the O’Bamaoids on the NTSB proposing speed limiting tech to be added to all new vehicles. This is a year after a federal law passed in 2022 requiring kill switches in all new vehicles by 2026. Kill switches are devices in vehicles to prevent them from starting (yet another reason for federal support for EVs, as they are easier to do). Kill switches have become increasingly popular in parts of the country with high crime rates. You can even find aftermarket switches on Amazon. The problem is who gets to control the switches. Sadly, the legislation passed allows law enforcement to have control. Nice. I can see how the Biden regime likes this, as it allows them to brick private transportation of their political enemies, just like they remove free speech from people who disagree with them. The House failed to defund this mandate two weeks ago, with all democrats and 19 Republicans voting to defeat it. It was passed as part of the 2021 infrastructure legislation. Enjoying this victory, the NTSB was back last week with a proposal for speed limiting devices in private vehicles. This would be connected to GPS-linked features that would inhibit or prevent speeding. If it is connected to GPS, it also means that anyone who can reach into the operating system can track your movements, something the Do(In)J and insurance companies would love. The excuse for the proposal was a 2022 crash in North Las Vegas that killed 9. A Dodge Challenger going 103 mph blew through a red light and hit a Toyota Sienna with seven people inside. The light had been red for almost 30 seconds. Never let a crisis go to waste.
6. Vax. DoD has gotten sufficiently worried about its ongoing recruitment crash that they started inviting members separated for refusing the vax back to service. As of last week, the Army who separated 1,903 members over vax refusal, sent letters to 1,900 asking them to return to active duty. The other services will follow suit. Someone is figuring out the wokeness, DEI, anti-white, anti-male, anti-Christian internal purge underway since Jan 2021 has been “counterproductive” to its recruiting efforts as long-time military families are no longer sending their sons and daughters to the military. Add to this Christians, men, southerners, and Trump supporters targeted for separation, and the recruitment pool dries up in a hurry. And it has. While DoD did settle a couple lawsuits brought by members claiming they were unlawfully denied religious exemptions to taking the vax (fetal stem cells) last month, there are more in the pipeline, potentially billions of dollars in future judgments against DoD. Now that DoD is starting to invite vax separated members back, those lawsuits are going to be more difficult to defend against. Lloyd Austin’s DoD is about to enter FAFO world. And it is long past time where they did the FA piece.
7. Steel. Interesting piece out of CRD Salamander’s Substack entitled Deindustrialization in the UK is Almost Complete describes how steel is made. Salamander is former military and writes from that perspective. He is making the case that any sovereign nation needs to have the ability to manufacture its own steel, something that requires high energy, high CO2, high coal use blast furnaces that produce pig iron. The smaller, cooler furnaces simply recycle steel already created from ore. Once you adopt a world view of reusing your trash, you become completely dependent on other nations for the raw materials of your war machine, your industrial capacity, completely unable to expand that industrial base. As usual, China leads the world in blast furnaces, with 842 today. The US has 19, Germany 15. Even Vietnam has 19.
8. Youth. One of the things falling out of the Israel – Hamas war is the demonstration that democrats have a problem with their young supporters, a youth problem. While most democrats initially said all the right things during the early days of the war, that has weakened. Why? Because their base is increasingly pro-Hamas. While much of this is driven by young women driven crazy by the CCP’s TikTok, not all of it is. The split is substantial and threatens the next election. Couldn’t happen to a nicer group of people. This generational split extends into democrat congressional staffers who are products of the educational establishments that propagandized them with the dancing sugarplum fairies of DEI. Decades of ideologically driven education created a hyper political class of activists whose identity is entirely wrapped up in their politics. This is why Biden and Blinken are backtracking on their support for Israel. Sadly, the democrat problem is our problem too, as we will have to deal with these little monsters on a daily basis.
More later –