Interesting Items 07/01

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

In this issue –

1.  Debate
2.  Mesh
4.  Drones

1.  Debate.  The first and perhaps only presidential debate took place over 90 minutes on Thursday night.  It was a real eye opener for the left, as Biden was everything we have thought of him since 2019.  His deterioration is accelerating.  He will not survive a second term.  He might not survive the first.  He started out slowly, got a bit better in the middle of the debate and finished poorly.  Media response was immediately critical, with many calls for him to either step down or be removed.  That mitigated a bit over the weekend as Biden sycophants mounted a persuasion counterattack.  The three competing crime families running the democrat party – Clinton, Biden and O’Bama – started jockeying for power.  While most of this will be done in the background, some is out front for all to see.  First up was a family meeting of the Biden Crime Family at Camp David over the weekend.  The decision, apparently led by Jill and Hunter Biden are to never give up, never surrender.  Biden’s sister is reportedly not so sure.  Looks like the counterattack is to blame Jill Biden for hiding Joe’s deterioration, though every single media, deep state, and intel insider also participated in the conspiracy.  I am torn over his need to step down.  On the one hand, the longer he remains, the more difficult it will be for him to defeat President Trump.  OTOH, the longer he remains, the more he damages this nation, and makes the world a far more dangerous place, as Bad Actors in the Islamist world along with Iran, China, Russia and North Korea will be tempted to strike while our leadership is befuddled. 

  • For his part, President Trump played it pretty close to the vest during the debate.  He left a lot of money on the table with failure to slap multiple hanging curve balls Biden tossed him over the outfield fence.  To a lot of us, this was frustrating, and a bit worrisome.  The worry is over his age.  If elected, Trump will be over 80.  While he is a vigorous, powerful 80, he will still be 80.  One of the things old age does is rob you of your safety margin.  Small insults to the body become big ones, and big ones become deadly.  Things also progress quickly south the older you get.  There are two likely reasons for his failure to respond vigorously to Biden’s openings.  Either he made a conscious decision to let Biden talk as much as possible, playing rope a dope, or we are seeing some age-related deterioration, something Nancy Pelosi accused him of over the weekend.  I tend to believe the former, as he has run a near flawless campaign so far and is still outrunning the people who work for him.  He did manage to slip a persuasion kill shot in against Biden that almost went unnoticed.  It was deadly, sneaky, and funny.  Funny in the persuasion world also makes it sticky.  The comment also treated Biden like a child, something you do to family members who need care.  An excerpt from Scott Adams Sunday podcast follows.
  • Democrat reaction to the debate was more interesting, as some subset of them started asking if their media has been lying to them.  We also had media starting to accuse the WH of gaslighting them continuously for years.  Both have been taking place.  Will all of these people move to Trump?  Unlikely, though there are some indications that RFK Jr is starting to poll really well.  Regardless of who moves where, expect at least 25% of Biden supporters to put the collective knife in their teeth, light their hair on fire and run screaming to go down with their sinking ship.  25% is an important number, as it describes the normal percentage of people who are wrong about everything. 

2.  Mesh.  One of the new entries in the world of networking is the notion of a mesh network.  These networks are distributed, connected so that if you take out one node (router or switch or something else), the overall network remains intact and, in some instances, becomes stronger.  Normal networks have a central node.  Take it out and the whole thing crashes like a house of cards.  Democrats have managed to construct a mesh network of hoaxes, lies, gaslighting and brainwashing around their supporters.  Sharyl Attkisson published a list Friday of 160 “Media Mistakes” made during the Trump era.  This is a comprehensive list and includes all the democrat hoaxes.  From here, they are not mistakes.  They are intentional.  Some on Our Side have attempted unsuccessfully for years to penetrate that construct in hopes of finding the tent pole, taking it down, and along with it the entire network.  The reason for lack of success ends up being structural.  When you debunk one hoax (Charlottsville Fine People, Drinking Bleach, Insurrection, etc), the True Believers discard that belief, grabbing onto the neighboring hoaxes that much more strongly.  Structurally, it works a lot like a geodesic dome or a buckyball, which can’t destroyed unless you figure out how to unzip an entire side or seam.  Biden’s disastrous debate performance may unexpectedly serve to start unzipping that mesh network.

3.  SCOTUS.  The Supreme Court released many of their end of term opinions.  It was generally a pretty good couple of weeks, with another left this week, though there was one awful opinion penned by Amy Coney Barrett, who is doing her best David Souter impression.  If Barrett continues to drift leftwards, she is going to be a problem.  OTOH, we have Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson, who surprisingly joined a 6-3 opinion on the use of Sarbanes – Oxley to prosecute Jan 6 protesters.  We will start with the Bad News:

  • In Murthy v Missouri, SCOTUS found that the State of Missouri and other litigants did not have standing to sue the government for strong arming / colluding with social media companies to censor free speech.  The 6-3 opinion was written by Justice Barrett with Gorsuch, Alito and Thomas in the minority.  Alito wrote a blistering minority opinion, calling it the most important free speech case in decades.  Essentially, Barrett and her majority punted, and punted in such a way as to make it very difficult for anyone who is victimized by government censorship to challenge that censorship.  And she did it on the heels of yet another election.
  • On to better news, in one of the most important cases in decades, Loper Bright v Raimono, overturned the disastrous Chevron doctrine installed in the 1980s.  Chevron was at the heart of the unaccountable growth of the regulatory state over the last 40 years, as it directed deference to regulatory agencies when they wrote rules and regulations implementing whatever it was congress told them to do.  The game quickly turned into congress writing vague, poorly defined laws, and the regulatory agencies doing whatever they wanted to do.  EPA, BATFE, Interior and Energy have been particularly Bad Actors.  Loper stops this.  If the agencies are confused, they need to ask congress for clarification or to change the law.  This opinion is a dagger aimed at the black little heart of the federal bureaucracy.  And it couldn’t have come soon enough.
  • The assault on out-of-control bureaucracy continued with SEC v Jarkesy, announced June 27.  This was another 6-3 opinion that found that SEC Administrative courts could not obtain civil penalties via enforcement action brought by SEC’s internal judicial process because it deprived the defendant of his Seventh Amendment right to a trial by jury.  Many (most?) of the federal agencies have administrative courts that almost always find in favor of the agency it operates under.  A defendant cannot bounce the case to federal court until completing the laborious and expensive administrative gauntlet, by which time, they are out of resources to defend themselves. This opinion stops that little game. 
  • Two weeks ago in Garland v Gargill, SCOTUS by another 6-3 opinion overturned the Trump-era ban on bump stocks.  Essentially, the BATFE creatively changed the definition of machine gun in federal statue.  SCOTUS found that BATFE needed to go to congress for that change in the law.  BATFE has been particularly bad about mucking around with rules and definitions in their continuing effort to remove the ability of Americans to purchase, use, travel with, or sell firearms, relentlessly going after dealers under the current regime. 
  •  The best news last week comes via Fischer v United States, a case that threw out the creative use of Sarbanes Oxley obstruction charges by the Garland (In)Justice Department and judges on the DC Circuit to hammer Jan 6 protesters.  SarbOx penalties for obstructing official proceedings is exclusively for destroying evidence and was written to respond to Enron people destroying evidence during their investigation.  (In)Justice and the DC Circuit judges who have played along with the creative legal fraud used to jail protesters for years for wandering around and taking selfies.  Should be interesting to see how this all shakes out, as Judges and prosecutors have threatened defendants that they will change sentencing from concurrent to consecutive terms should they appeal based on SCOTUS opinion.  We will see how strong the threats are, as this opinion will apply to nearly 400 jailed Americans, including a pair of indictments against Trump himself brought by Jack Smith.
  • There are many other cases released.  Some are larger than others.  Some didn’t go Our Way, though the Constitution for the most part was a winner (outside of the Murthy opinion).  This week promises to be equally festive.  And yes, we live in interesting times. 

4.  Drones.  As the US ability to field large numbers of new manned airframes continues to have problems, their replacements are on the horizon.  I believe the Next Big Thing are drones, the smarter, the better.  And defense against these drones will be directed energy weapons of some sort.  Trigger for this were a pair of articles, one in Real Clear Defense and the other in Asia Times about difficulties in the USAF NGAD (Next Generation Air Dominance) program.  NGAD intends to replace the F-22, already well over 20 years old.  We only built 195 of them, hardly enough to field in a global conflict.  Unit cost at the time was $350.  Whatever we come up with for NGAD, it will be more expensive and we will build fewer of them.  Where to go next?  My guess is that we are already seeing that in place in the Ukraine war, where Ukraine is using $400 drones to kill million-dollar Russian tanks.  These drones are not autonomous.  They are flown with direct communication between its operator and the vehicle.  There are videos of Russian troops surrendering to the drones and being directed where to turn themselves in.

Note that these vehicles are not autonomous, nor are they particularly intelligent.  My guess is that we will see increasingly smart swarms of military drones, perhaps programmed to kill individuals (think Terminator or Dune).  They are cheap, can be manufactured in the millions, turned on and turned loose (which would be a mistake) on an enemy.  Think of a near future where a drone swarm can be loosed on an enemy who doesn’t have anything small enough to individually target them.  The CCP is expending a lot of resources on drones these days.  Expect them to use them sooner rather than later.  How would I defend against them?  I would use some combination of directed energy weapons and EMP weapons.  Directed energy can be quickly and reliably slewed, locked on, shoot, acquire and do the same thing to the next target.  Small, deadly drones won’t require much of a high energy shot.  That decision matrix can be programmed in also.  An EMP weapon can expend its energy via a wider pulse, essentially frying the internal electronics.  Solution for expected defenses?  Harden the drones, not unlike how we have hardened airframes from time to time.  And the Great Game continues ad infinitum.  Turns out fighter flying was viable for only a century, but it was a very good century. 

More later –

  • AG

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