Interesting Items 06/24

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

In this issue –

1.  Campaign
2.  Lawfare
3.  Starliner
4.  Woeing
5.  Trans
6.  Tips
7.  Battery

1.  Campaign.  Lots of little campaign associated stories this week as we approach the first Biden – Trump debate Thursday night. 

  • Scott Adams is always searching for persuasion kill shots, verbal framing that can be used to focus the mind on the Other Side.  One of the important qualities is that whatever the word, phrase, description must have is that it be sticky, difficult for the brain to discard.  Last week’s entry called those on the political left “dementia-crats.”  This is pretty sticky and makes sure everyone, especially all Biden supporters know about Biden’s dementia.  With that framing, Biden is no longer sexy regardless of who is a felon and who is not.  Rather, from the view of his core constituency, young, single, college-educated, liberal women, he is your boyfriend’s beat up wreck of a vehicle.  Do you really want to hitch a ride on that?  The term works to drive a wedge between Biden and the heart of his supporters.
  • The Biden campaign and WH introduced a new term last week: “cheap fake.”  It is a play on the term “deep fake,” tweaked in such a way as to imply any video of Biden having a senior moment is somehow fake.  They are using it on every single video of Biden stumbling, mumbling, freezing, being led by the hand, or wandering off, all things we’ve seen increasingly over the last few years.  This is gaslighting at its most fundamental.  Somehow, I don’t think it’s going to work all that well.
  • Trump agreed to almost all the debate rules demanded by Dementia Hitler’s WH.  This triggered some well-founded criticism from the political right.  I think I understand why he made his decision.  Professional tennis champion Andre Agassi who played professionally 1986 – 2006, used a technique while playing of first going after whatever his opponent did best.  His thinking was that if he could destroy whatever his opponent did best, then everything else was easier to defeat.  Better still, if successful, he destroyed the confidence of the opponent.  The technique worked well enough to underwrite a 20-year long pro tennis career starting at age 16.  In agreeing to the debate rules demanded by the WH, Trump is doing the same thing, playing the game on Biden’s home turf, under Biden’s rules, in front of Biden’s audience, with Biden’s media supporters moderating (umpiring) the entire event.  All Biden has to do to win the debate is not drool onto the lectern.
  • Reports last week from Judicial Watch had had Biden’s dog, Commander attacking secret service agents in the WH over 36 times during the first few years in office.  Attacks included blood on the floors, walls and grass.  Biden himself viewed many of the attacks.  He also accused Secret Service agents of lying about attacks.  The dog was removed from the WH in 2023.  The Biden crime family has managed to turn even a simple thing like dog ownership into a horror show capable of hurting people who work for them..
  • One final observation is about voting machines.  Why do we have them?  What do they do better than paper ballots and tabulators?  Are the elections using them quicker or more accurate?  Do Americans trust election results more or less since they’ve been widely adopted?  Are elections more transparent?  Or are they less transparent?  Why are we using something developed by the CIA to aid them in flipping governments in other nations for our elections?  Doesn’t anyone think voting machines can’t be used that way over here?  Note that I am not talking about tabulators used to count ballots.  If we want to clean up elections, election machines need to be dumped. 

2.  Lawfare.  Last week’s exercise in anti-Trump lawfare comes out of the NJ Attorney General who is reviewing liquor licenses at three Trump-owned golf courses in light of the felony convictions.  Must not be a lot else going on in the legal world for NJ to have time to spend on this foolishness.  The Trump Organization responded that Trump is not an officer or director of any entity that holds a liquor license in NJ.  Indeed, Trump himself is a scrupulous non-drinker due to the loss of his brother Fred to alcoholism.  Our Final story is a reminder that Biden’s ghostwriter for his memoir told federal investigators that he deleted audio recordings of interviews with Biden after learning of the appointment of a special counsel to investigate Biden’s handling of classified materials.  He claimed to have done the deed on his own rather than having being told by someone connected with Biden to destroy the evidence.  If anyone other than someone connected to a democrat had done this, it would be prosecuted as obstruction of an investigation.  If it weren’t for double standards, the left would have no standards at all.

3.  Starliner.  Boeing’s Starliner remains at ISS and will stay in space until sometime in July as Boeing and NASA troubleshoot their thruster issues.  There are at least 5 helium leaks in the thruster system and the craft lost 5 thrusters during the flight to ISS.  A look at history is instructive.  Starliner was first unveiled by Boeing (now being referred to some as Woeing) in 2010.  They hoped it would be operational in 2015.  In reality, its first unmanned flight was in 2019.  That flight targeted ISS but had to land after a couple days.  The autonomous system onboard got confused and couldn’t be reset.  It never made it to station and landed two days into what should have been a weeklong flight.  Software was a major issue on this flight.  The second unmanned flight in 2022 worked better and made it to ISS, though thruster issues showed up.  The current flight is the third orbital test and first manned test, 9 years after the original initial operational capability date.  ISS has 8 docking ports available.  Today, there are three manned modules attached, a SpaceX Dragon, a Russian Soyuz, and Boeing’s Starliner.  There are also three cargo craft attached, leaving two open ports.  Today, there are 9 people aboard ISS, four who arrived on the Dragon, three on the Soyuz and two on Starliner.  Dragon is capable of carrying up to 7, as is Starliner, but this configuration has to be made on the ground before flight.  I expect a Dragon can be quickly turned by SpaceX to rescue crew in the event of an emergency. 

4.  Woeing.  What is going on, and most importantly why?  I think it is the confluence of three modern movements:  DEI, overall incompetence, loss of mission focus.  It is easiest to point to DEI as the source of all these problems, as DEI guarantees incompetence.  Part of DEI is corporate discrimination against white men since the 1980s, a trend that really accelerated during the Biden years.  But Starliner has been in process for 15 years, so DEI, while a factor, is not the biggest one.  Next would be overall incompetence.  It and loss of corporate focus are related, though not mirror images of one another.  We’ve seen growing incompetence in aerospace, particularly in the space world since Apollo.  And it was abandonment of a testing focus to a success orientation that installed incompetence at the heart of all development.  During Apollo, the assumption was that the new stuff would break, so they launched tests with good enough systems, broke the hardware, analyzed what happened, fixed the problems, and tried it again.  This was the engineering version of Col John Boyd’s OODA Loop.  Starting with Shuttle, NASA went into cost saving mode, and assumed whatever they flew would work, a success-orientation.  This led to the loss of 14 lives and a pair of billion dollar shuttles in completely preventable accidents.  In contrast, SpaceX went back to the fly it good enough, break it, fix it, fly it, analyze what happened, fix it and fly again mode to great success.  The final stream particularly applicable to Boeing took place when they moved their corporate HQ from Seattle to Chicago.  At the time of the move, they also installed new leadership, removing the engineers who used to be in charge replacing them with accountants, bean counters.  They made a third corporate move in 2022 to Arlington VA, as they made the corporate decision to suck up to the free money and protection available from the Deep State swamp.  What we are seeing in Starliner is simply the most recent example of creeping (rampant?) incompetence at the corporate level.  Sadly, Boeing is not the only one traveling this path.  NASA and the rest of the aerospace world made the wrong decision in the 1970s when under extreme pressure of budget cuts, they decided it was too expensive to break things anymore.  Turns out that half century old decision was the wrong one. 

5.  Trans.  If you want an example of fundamental evil masquerading as legislation, we need go no farther than California, where the LGTBQWTF Caucus proposed legislation last month to ban school districts from forcing schools to notify parents if their kids requested a change in their gender identification.  The legislation was passed by the democrat dominated Cali senate and will likely pass the house, after which, it will be up to Governor Hairgel to either sign it or veto it.  If he has aspirations for national office, I predict a veto followed by a veto override.  Once the bill goes into law, I predict dead administrators to turn up from time to time, mysteriously tied to kids who have transitioned without parental knowledge.  Won’t take many of these before the schools figure out not to play this game anymore.

6.  Tips.  One of President Trump’s gifts is the ability to pick free money up off the table and use it to his advantage.  Last week’s example was his suggestion that tips no longer be taxed.  When tips were mostly paid in cash, it was easy not to report them.  Now that they are an integral part of a credit card bill, the IRS and their 80,000 new employees can reach down into the lives of people making below minimum wage.  As everything has a cost, the cost to this is in the neighborhood of $250 billion, or about a year’s worth of weapons to Ukraine under this regime.  The more Dementia Hitler and his flying monkeys in the media argue that they are owed every dime of taxes on those earnings, the more they drive every single food service worker, most of them female, to Trump.  Why would they do so?  Because they didn’t come up with the idea first, though to be fair, a tax cut to a democrat is the same as a crucifix or a wooden stake is to a vampire. 

7.  Battery.  As much as I enjoy bashing the renewable True Believers, I am similarly interested in contributions from new players in the space.  Today’s lesson is about the Tesla Powerwall, a home-sized battery pack sold as a way to integrate home renewables (usually solar) into a homeowner’s overall energy budget.  Renewables fans today are sold the notion that they can install solar arrays on their roofs and sell the excess back to their electrical provider continuously and cheaply.  The problem is that utilities rarely need electricity at those costs at those times, so the sales back end up a lot like timeshares, a lot of $$$ chasing little actual gain.  Musk’s Powerwall introduces modified Tesla vehicle battery packs into the equation, slurping in everything they can, and releasing it slowly back into the home at a time and place of interest to the owners.  Think of it as a personal capacitor and you won’t be far wrong.  Typical capacity is around a day’s worth of electricity.  At the grid level, Tesla is starting to sell the Tesla Megapack, a battery that provides energy storage and support, aimed at addressing peak power issues with utilities.  These issues arise when renewables are connected, making the grid unstable.  Megapacks work much the same as Powerwalls, though on the MW scale, moderating the instability of renewable energy.  This is the piece every single renewables advocate conveniently forgets to mention.  Now Musk, with Tesla figured out how to solve the problem.  The first of these was tested in 2019.  They are today available in 1 MW modules.  The modules so far have been installed in arrays over 200 MW in Oz. 

More later –

  • AG

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