Interesting Items 03/11

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

In this issue –

1.  Alaska
2.  14th
3.  Klamath
4.  STFU
5.  Canada
6.  Space
7.  Colorado
8.  Awareness

1.  Alaska.  Alaska Republicans held their straw poll for president last Tuesday.  Trump won with a full 88% of the vote, his largest of all wins on Super Tuesday.  Here’s where it gets funny.  Alaska’s senior US Senator Lisa Murkowski formally endorsed former SC Governor Nikki Haley for president the Friday before the vote.  The Alaska Daily News (ADN), our incredibly shrinking paper, waited until the Monday before the vote to report the endorsement.  This is a classic move by the liberals running this particular fish wrapper, delaying reportage until it can have the largest political impact.  And what an impact it had (/sarc), with Trump winning the largest majority of any state in the union.  Great job, Lisa.  Great job, ADN.  Better yet, Haley dropped out of the race following Super Tuesday, though she has not yet endorsed Trump.  Timing of all this was exquisite and yet another political embarrassment for one Lisa Murkowski, choosing the wrong candidate to back and doing so at the last possible minute.  Lisa’s endorsement was no surprise, and yet another exercise in her Orange Man Bad worldview.  Following the election, Lisa mused about switching parties, something she has toyed with for many years.  Her problem is that switching parties won’t help her reelection, as democrats, who will be glad to get her vote in the US Senate, hate her even more than Republicans do, as she supported almost all of Trump’s judicial nominees. 

  • In related Lisa news, a ballot initiative to repeal Ranked Choice Voting up here made the November ballot, being certified with enough signatures and in enough legislative districts.  We thought it would fail to get sufficient signatures in sufficient districts and not make the ballot using that criterion.  Lisa is up for reelection in 2028 unless her backers manage to float another way to destroy elections here in Alaska.  There will be a lot of money spent on the repeal and the campaign should be a remarkably ugly one.  It is unclear how it will impact turnout in either the jungle primary in August or the general election in November.  I tend to believe it will pump up conservative turnout a bit, though we have turned a bit more blue over the years as the oil industry sent their people elsewhere. 
  • Second observation comes out of the leadership of the Alaska Republican Party.  Current Chair is a woman called Ann Brown.  She has been in her position for a couple years and will leave her position in April at the State Convention.  Turnout at the straw poll was about half what it was in 2016.  Local thinking is that Brown, not much of a Trump supporter, intentionally suppressed turnout in the straw poll so as to deny Trump supporters a larger win.  The event wasn’t well advertised and had far fewer polling locations than normal, things you don’t do unless you want people to stay away.  Brown can’t be gone from office soon enough. 

2.  14th.  SCOTUS handed down its opinion on the use of the 14th Amendment by individual states as an excuse to remove Trump from the presidential ballots.  The case was filed against Colorado, though both Maine and Illinois got into the game after Colorado.  The opinion was unanimous, though the women did publish concurring opinions accusing the majority of going too far.  The women wanted future disqualifications to be handled on a case-by-case basis.  The men saw that there would be an endless number of disqualification attempts based the 14th Amendment unless they put an overall stop to this particular lawfare avenue, which is what they did.  Disqualifications are based on the interpretation of Section 3 of the 14th Amendment which disqualifies those from holding any office if they participated in an insurrection of rebellion against the United States.  It was written after the Civil War and aimed directly at former Confederates attempting to rejoin governments in the former Confederate states.  This specifically does not apply to candidates for federal races, particularly president and vice president.  Further, Section 5 of the amendment gives congress the power to pass legislation defining who is disqualified, something they did decades ago with insurrection.  Trump has not been charged, indicted, tried or convicted in federal court for any insurrection charge, meaning democrats are simply pulling this out of their backsides.  For some silly reason, they were surprised that it was overturned. 

3.  Klamath.  We here in the Anchorage bowl are fending off attempted  destruction of a local dam.  The dam and the lake it impounds produces 5-6% of Railbelt electricity, over 90% of all water for Anchorage itself, and supports two stocked runs of salmon in its outlet stream.  The Eklutna tribe, all 72 of them want the dam removed to recover a salmon run that never existed.  Local and national greens are all involved as this is part of one of their current causes.  Given that dam removal is a current green push, let’s take a look at where they have been removed and what the aftermath is.  Northern California has a river watershed called the Klamath.  Four smallish century old dams that provided flood control and water for agriculture were recently removed.  Before I begin, the Klamath used to be a nationally popular fly-fishing watershed, mostly for trout with some salmon available.  Now that the dams have been removed, what happened?  Can you say environmental disaster?  I knew you could.  The excuse given for removing dams is some combination of saving the fish and restoring the river to its natural state.  The problem the greens, their big money backers, and the politicians they’ve purchased have is what happens to an impounded watershed.  When water flows downstream, it carries some highly variable amount of sediment along with it.  That sediment comes from wildlife, plant life, ground up mountains, dirt, clay and sand picked up by rainfall and snowmelt as it runs off.  When the water speed is high, most of the stuff in the water column other than large rocks and stones stays waterborne and moves downstream.  When the water speed is low or zero, much of the sediment falls out and is deposited onto the lake bottom.  Remove the dam, and you are left with a steep channel cut into many tens of feet of pure mud.  While that channel is cut, the fine silt is once again mixed into the water column and goes downstream.  Fish unadapted to muddy water like trout and salmon don’t do all that well.  There was so much silt and other garbage in the river, it formed a plume a couple miles wide into the ocean.  Remove the dam quickly, which is what Cali did, and there is nowhere for the fish to go, so they die on the mud.  Worse, all the animals that live around the lake no longer have readily available drinking water and get stuck in the mud on the way to where the water is, and nobody can rescue them because there is no bottom to the mud.  As the river cuts through the muck, it turns into a muddy slurry that cannot support any wildlife (or plant life, for that matter).  Removing long time dams ends up killing everything in the river and downstream from the former lake for years afterwards.  Imagine the reaction should a mining company intentionally do something like this.  Solution by Cali?  Remove the mud by increasing waterflow down the river, which means they steal water from neighboring ranchers and farmers, putting those out of business as they are intentionally starved of water.  But at least those nasty old dams are gone.

4.   STFU.  During the O’Bama years, I started using STFU (yes, it means what you think it means) rather than SOTU (State of the Union).) mostly because O’Bama was in transmit mode as were his adoring scribes in the media and not much interested in alternate viewpoints.  Last week’s speech by Dementia Hitler on speed was done better by Grandpa Simpson, as an angry old man yelling at the sky.  I don’t think he picked up much support. 

5.  Canada.  Yet another assault on free speech by the Trudeau regime in Canada.  This time around, they are attempting to change their criminal code so that reading out of the Bible and praying will now be considered hate speech.  The tool is to remove the good faith defense which will allow a very anti-Christian government to prosecute Christians for expressing historic Christian teachings.  Expect this to expand to Christian holidays and church services should it be passed.  This is the sort of thing you can get away with when you outlaw guns. 

6.  Space.  The regulatory state is coming for space.  In true democrat form, the Dementia Hitler administration proposed legislation in December to empower the Department of Commerce and Transportation (FAA) to regulate all space activities that are not currently regulated under some other agency authority.  New activities will have to have federal licenses, essentially turning space exploration and exploitation into just another democrat campaign money grab.  If passed, the FAA would have authority over all human spaceflight and Commerce would regulate all unmanned activities (robotic in space servicing, assembly, manufacturing, and debris removal).  This proposal was sufficiently awful that democrat Senator Sinema was concerned about the broad grants of open-ended authority, ambiguities and undefined terms.  Inserted into the FAA’s new authority is the ability to regulate something under the vague notion of “national interest,” essentially a kill switch for manned spaceflight by any entity democrats don’t like on any particular day.  The national interest notion is an open-ended invitation to endless lawsuits against or in support of the FAA.  And when the lawsuit is filed, that particular activity stops completely until it is settled.  Mann v Steyn took 12 years to make it to trial.  I could think of no better way to gut what is quickly becoming a fast, agile, creative, quickly growing commercial space sector.  The only good thing about this is that at least they are trying to do it legislatively, damning with faint praise.

7.  Colorado.  Colorado’s latest assault on the oil and natural gas industry in the state comes under the guise of ozone control.  A series of bills out of the Legislative Interim Committee on Ozone Quality aim to reduce emissions in a number of economic sectors.  The real target is the oil industry, with drillers and refiners in the cross hairs.  Today, Colorado ranks as the 7th largest oil and natural gas producer in the nation.  Permitting is a favorite tool used to attack the industry, with limits on new permits issued in 2028 and 2029, a complete prohibition of new permits issued starting in 2030 and a requirement to drill permits by 2032.  Given that most oil and natural gas in Colorado are tight formations (think oil shales and kerogens).  Wells are most productive during the first 18 months of production.  The permitting changes will intentionally strangle the industry within a decade.  Oil and natural gas currently employs over 300,000 in the state.  The Californication of Colorado continues.  There are some real costs when you allow the gay rights crowd backed by their billionaires flip your state from purple to hard blue.  And Colorado is about to get what it wants, good and hard. 

8.  Awareness.  Scott Adams introduced a list which he calls the Levels of political awareness.  Perspective on this is where and how you get your information and what you choose to trust.  The higher the level, the more you realize who is pulling what string.  It is a pretty good persuasion tool that can help you understand where the Other Side is coming from, why they think the way they do, and what to do about it.  Forewarned is forearmed.  Try not to make it to the 6th Level, as there are some negative lifestyle consequences. 

  • Level 1.  They believe what their preferred news say and do not sample other sources.  Not aware their news source is mostly narrative.
  • Level 2.  Sample news from multiple sources but believe only their own sources are accurate.  Think the other side is all narrative, but familiar with all sides of issues.
  • Level 3.  Aware that ALL news is fake, at least in the sense of missing context and spin.  Also known as Gell-Mann Amnesia,  But still believe the experts in various fields are usually correct.
  • Level 4.  Understand that NONE of our experts are reliable.  Some might be right.  None can be trusted without verification.  The distortion of money makes no expert credible.
  • Level 5.  You see the gears of the machine, Mike Benz style.  The Republic no longer looks like whatever the founders intended.  The control of powerful billionaires and intelligence professionals is now obvious
  • Level 6.  You are dead because you know too much.  Also known as the Epstein level.

More later –

  • AG

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