Howdy All, a few Interesting Items for your information. Enjoy –
In this issue –
2. 737 Max
8. Solar Max
1. Fani. The Fulton County prosecution alleging a RICO conspiracy by Trump and nearly 20 others got hit with a complaint by a lawyer for one of the co-defendants alleging Willis had an improper relationship with a colleague after he rejected a plea bargain. The filing alleges that Willis hired a secret boyfriend, Nathan Wade as a special prosecutor, paying him in the vicinity of $650,000 for his time. Wade and Willis made some number of trips to exotic locales stateside and internationally apparently paid out of that money. Wade is currently in the middle of divorce proceedings with Willis identified as the Other Woman. He filed for divorce the day after Willis hired him in 2021. Note that up until he was hired, Wade had reportedly never prosecuted a felony. If this wasn’t sufficiently sordid, Wade made at least two trips to the Biden WH after being hired. Finally, House Judiciary Committee Chair Jim Jordan noted that Fulton County received $14.6 million in federal grants from Do(In)J, something that supports the notion that the Biden regime is not only requesting state-level prosecution of Trump but paying for it, along with the romantic trysts. Jordan wants to know if Do(In)J is funding state prosecution aimed at Trump. It should be a fun series of hearings. Breitbart carefully reports that the co-defendant presents no facts (so far), making unsubstantiated allegations. Willis responded as Georgia democrats caught with their hands in the cookie jar always do, by going to a black church over the weekend and making a speech. In that speech she claimed (among other things) that she wasn’t perfect. There are multiple demands that Georgia Governor Kemp start an investigation, something he may or may not do. An American Thinker piece this morning noted that none of the local media which knew of this arrangement for at least two years reported anything on it until the filing last week. As usual, the media is covering up for democrat malfeasance. This demonstrates quite nicely that the Trump prosecutions are intentional, orchestrated by the Biden regime, with state and county prosecutors doing what they are doing for money, and very likely promises of elevation to higher office (federal judgeships as the most predictable for lawyers). Watching this prosecution for supposed RICO conspiracy by the Trump team after the 2020 election end up being outed as an actual RICO conspiracy by the prosecution and the Biden WH ought to be a lot of fun.
2. 737 Max. Alaska Airlines had a blowout on climbout from Portland last week as a door-shaped plug blew out of one of their 737 Max airliners at 16,000’. The pilot handled the problem and returned to Portland. Nobody was sucked out of the aircraft, though it did get cold inside for a while. The incident also triggered some discussion of parents no longer carrying their infants in their laps during flights, suggesting they purchase a second seat and putting the infants in a carrier as the recommended solution. This particular aircraft had a recent history of at least pressurization light warnings. It was also restricted from the Hawaiian flights. Pain and suffering lawsuits are already being written. Alaska Air immediately grounded their 737 Max fleet as did other airlines. United found several plugs with loose bolts. As an aside, a door plug is a piece of metal used to seal a door opening when that particular door isn’t needed due to cabin seating layout. There was a lot of post-incident news, some of it that actually may be true. My guess is that we are still in the fog of war phase, where lots of claims will be made, most of which will be false. As of this writing, there may be a DEI component as the subcontractor responsible for the bolts has at least one video of a team prancing around at some trade show. All women. which may or may not be important. As usual, the more time you spend pursuing things other than excellence, the less excellence you will end up with.
3. Austin. SECDEF Lloyd Austin passed 14 days in the hospital last week with complications following surgery for prostrate cancer late Dec. The story would normally be a sympathetic one about an elderly man fighting cancer. Sadly, this one isn’t. As SECDEF, Austin is in the military Chain of Command, rather near the top of it. He disappeared into the hospital without telling anyone, making him unreachable for the first four days. The WH didn’t know. His own staff didn’t know. And we are currently involved in at least three shooting wars (Ukraine, Gaza, Yemen) with options on at least two others (Iran, southern US border). Austin is reportedly a very private man, though he did run his mouth against military members who refused the COVID vax and boosters, harshly terminating their military service for refusing to follow orders. As I understand the timeline, his first procedure took place Dec 22 at Walter Reed. He was readmitted Jan 1 with complications. Speculation is that the opioids he was put on for pain control did what opiods always do, block the flow out of the lower intestine, resulting in a blockage and subsequent infection. The big deal here is not personally notifying the Chain of Command of his absence. As SECDEF, he owes Dementia Hitler a personal call when he is not going to be available. He owes his staff the same courtesy. As such, he either needs to resign or be forcibly removed from office. And those sorts of calls are increasing. I suspect the reason the WH has not acted on this is because they are actively hiding Dementia Hitler’s physical and mental decline from the public. Cashiering Austin will open them to similar questions and subsequent demands.
4. Epps. One of the most predictable outcomes from the Jan 6 hoax was sentencing of suspected FBI informant / provocateur Ray Epps to one year of probation for his actions during the riot. There is more than a little video of Epps urging people to trespass inside the Capital. He knew it was a crime because he had an outstanding warrant for criminal trespass in PA from 2015. Note that unlike most other Jan 6 arrestees, Epps did not spend any time in the DC Gulag, no time in solitary, no time in front of a DC jury. This sentence tells us nothing about Epps. It tells us everything about the feds, as it confirms he was an asset, one of the suspected hundreds the feds used to orchestrate and lead the riot.
5. Shooter. Sign, another week, another school shooter who happens to be trans. Anyone else remember endless bloviating by the left about getting firearms out of the hands of the mentally ill? Though, they usually aim their tender mercies at vets with PTSD rather than members of their newest designated victim class, trans. The 17-year-old killed a 6th grader and wounded four others before killing himself. Fortunately, he chose to commit his evil before everyone was in the building. Musk and others on the right noted that the shooter appeared to be on the trans spectrum triggering fierce pushback by the Usual Suspects on the left. Trans is a mental illness orchestrated by the political left. And it is killing kids.
6. Peregrine. The commercial space effort continues to roll along. Some things work well. Some, not so much. Last week’s example of not so much was Astrobiotic’s Peregrine moon lander. It was successfully launched on Jan 8 by a United Space Alliance Vulcan Centaur rocket. We’ve been flying Centaur upper stages since the early 1960s. This was the first flight for the new stack. The land was to be the first American lunar lander in half a century and carried a number of small payloads. It suffered a propellant leak shortly after separating from the booster, which killed the landing mission, though not the spacecraft. After figuring out how to get the batteries charged, controllers started waking up the various experiments and sending data back to earth. Peregrine is the first of what should be multiple commercial lunar landing attempts. It will loop around the moon, return to earth and burn up upon reentry. Space is (and continues to be) hard.
7. APOC. The Alaska Public Offices Commission is supposedly the state watchdog on campaign spending. It takes reports of donations and expenditures, fields complaints and levies fines. We here in Alaska are in the early stages of repealing the horrendous ranked choice voting (RCV) initiative that rewrote state election law. The public is not pleased, with signature gathering for a repeal initiative submitted last week. The supporters who practiced lawfare to pass it with both APOC and the Alaska Supreme Courts looking the other way, are back to their lawfare ways, using multiple complaints aimed at the various repeal groups. The technique is to throw everything up against the wall possible and see what sticks. One complaint found that repeal backers had funneled $90 k through what they called a bogus church. Of course, how is a bogus church any more bogus than the bogus public interest group stood up to pass and support RCV is beyond me. That complaint was upheld for a cool $98 k fine. Second complaint was against former US Senate candidate Kely Tshibaka for using her public interest group Preserve Democracy to repeal RCV. APOC staff recommended a $23 k fine. Tshibaka promised to fight the fine on free speech grounds and had the financial clout to take the argument to federal court. APOC wisely backed down rather than getting publicly embarrassed in court. A win and a loss so far. The battle to repeal this year will be really nasty as RCV backers have the best lawfare lawyer in the state leading them and a friendly APOC staff. They will be back defending their new election system.
8. Solar Max. One of the things I watch are the solar cycles, the change in the number of sunspots. The solar cycle is generally 22 years long with two 11-year long halves (polarity changes between halves). Over the last 1,000 years, times of extreme cold tend to take place during solar cycles with few sunspots (solar minima). More sunspots mean a more active sun and a stronger solar wind, which tends to protect the system from incoming cosmic rays. That wind is weaker during weak solar cycles (called solar minimums or grand solar minimums). There have been multiple grand solar minimums that correspond with very cold decades to centuries long pulses during the Little Ice Age. One of them, the Maunder Minimum lasted over 80 years with few (if any) visible sunspots. The more cosmic rays that get through into the atmosphere, the more clouds you end up with. More clouds reflect more sunlight, resulting in colder weather. Weak solar cycles also tend to be longer than stronger ones. Prediction of activity levels of upcoming (or current) solar cycles is notoriously inaccurate, more of an art than a science. And we here in the West don’t seem to do it very well. OTOH, the Russians put a lot of effort into their predictions. Most of the predictions for the current solar cycle (25) have been for a very weak cycle. The Russians went a lot farther, predicting a string of weak cycles and along with them, a return of the Little Ice Age. Turns out the Solar Cycle 25, predicted to max out with 110 sunspots at its peak is already past 160, making it a pretty strong, and completely unexpectedly strong cycle. The scientists trying to do this are little more than guessing, because nobody understands yet what causes the solar cycle in the first place. All we can do so far is observe and record what we see, attempting to compare those observations with what we have seen in the past 150 years and make some (less than completely uneducated) guesses. The more we think we know, the less we actually do. And we do all of this while the climatistas are absolutely certain that we will turn the globe into an actual sauna unless we cover the entire globe with windmills and solar arrays. What hubris.
More later –