Howdy All, a few Interesting Items for your information. Enjoy –
In this issue:
1. Cartels. Fun story of the week came via Breitbart Texas about Mexican drug cartels starting to use commercial drones to place IEDs aimed at other cartels, law enforcement, and anyone else they don’t like. IEDs in this context are area denial weapons. Commercial drones allow relatively precise emplacement. Think of a minefield laid by aircraft and you’re close. The weapons appear to be a length of pipe a foot or so long a couple inches in diameter, four triangular fins, and an internal charge, essentially a pipe bomb with fins. Sometimes there is an extension above the cap. Sometimes there isn’t. They were initially used against local police officers after cartel roadblocks were removed in the contested part of a state. Here’s the fun part. Cartels in this part of Mexico are essentially operating unopposed with federales and local law enforcement getting in their way a little bit. The big conflict is between various cartels, their offshoots, and allied forces as they push and shove their way toward controlling more or less territory. And in a lawless regime, ANYONE can play, including locals and gringos who don’t particularly like the cartels. We have long worried about weaponized swarms of semi-autonomous drones used in warfare, particularly by the ChiComs. With this story, I expect weaponized drones will end up being used as a primary weapon against the cartels, mostly by non-government players, and there won’t be a thing they can do about it. IR drones during the night would be a particularly effective way to completely shut down human trafficking by the cartels at the border.
2. Vaccines. Three vaccine stories last week. There might be a fourth, though I haven’t found more than the initial story which I bypassed. The fourth story would have been unconfirmed reports of a 60% reinfection rate with COVID following successful vaccination. I have seen this story associated with the Russian Sputnik vaccine, which some nations are rejecting because it makes it easier to get infected with the Wuhan Flu afterwards. Other than a single hit last week, I didn’t see it applied to the Johnson & Johnson (which has been recommended for release to public consumption again), Pfizer or Moderna vaccines. The story may have been fake news. There is a lot of that making the rounds these days.
- There are two stories this week about new vaccines that I will discuss later. The first about what may end up being a universal CORONA vaccine. The second is about a possible vaccine against malaria, something we’ve been looking for for a century at least. Neither of these would have happened had not President Trump grabbed the public health apparatus and shook it up. Over time, the bureaucracy grows just like a plant, with roots, leaves, branches, and twigs clogging everything, a dense, expensive, thorny thicket. And like any not so well-behaved plant, it periodically needs some pruning, something rarely done at the federal level. The last obvious time was the intel reorg following their massive failure after 9-11. Of course, such reorgs create their own new set of problems. With the vaccines, Trump the Disruptor, by pushing the public health apparatus, the companies regulated by it, and everyone touched by it, to think outside the normal confines of their experience, ended up with multiple COVID vaccines years before they would have been created. This is why he was so effective. And why he was so hated by the Deep State.
- The common cold is a combination of the effects of multiple virus types, 3-5 of which are various flavors of CORONA. CORONA is notorious for its ability to mutate, which is one of many reasons there have been no cold vaccines to date. Last week UPI reported an experimental COVID-19 vaccine that could provide possible universal protection against future COVID-19 variants as well as other CORNOA viruses, including those for the common cold. The vaccine targets the spike proteins, which are generally resistant to mutation and common across CORONA viruses. The new mRNA vaccines developed to treat COVID-19 cost about $10/dose. The new vaccines are based on genetically modified bacteria that can be grown relatively cheaply, cutting costs by an order of magnitude or more. Messenger RNA (mRNA) is to the best of my knowledge the first time this particular technique has been used to create vaccines. There are those out there that believe it may also have anti-cancer applications. As I have previously said, the process created by the Trump Operation Warp Speed has military applications, as COVID-19 / Wuhan Flu won’t be the last virus the Red Army sets loose on the rest of the civilized world.
- Last week also saw result of a small trial of an anti-Malaria vaccine given to 450 children in Burkina Faso (the former Republic of Upper Volta). A series of three doses over two months was 77% effective protecting the toddlers from malaria which is running rampant in that part of Africa. Malaria is a parasite borne disease, making development of vaccines much more difficult than viruses or bacteria. It was easier just to wipe out the mosquitoes who transmit it which worked pretty well until DDT was foolishly banned in 1972.
3. Renewables. The fallout following the energy disaster in Texas last February which left nearly 200 people dead continued last week with a pair of articles from Real Clear Energy and Powerline. Real Clear Energy made the case that the $66 billion spent building wind and solar infrastructure in Texas in the decade before the grid failure and blackouts contributed to the problem. Solar was non-existent. The 31,000 MW of wind only produced 17% of its installed capacity. Wind is hideously expensive and unreliable, making the grid it is part of more fragile rather than less, something we have learned in California, Great Britain and Germany over the last decade. 2006 – 2020, energy generation in Texas by coal dropped by 19% while wind grew by 21%. Natural gas generation was flat while nuclear dropped by 3%. The oil and gas sector paid $13.4 billion in state taxes and royalties in 2019 while wind pays $237 million in state and local taxes per year, something it is expected to do for the next 20 years. Oil and natural gas pay some 54 times the yearly taxes that wind producers do. Powerline in parallel went after one of the favorite claims of renewable advocates, that subsidies for renewables (wind and solar) are no different than subsidies for other forms of energy like hydrocarbons (oil and natural gas) or nuclear. In fact, they are hideously underwritten by US tax law and subsidies. The following graph compares energy related tax incentives for each type of energy produces. The units are dollars per EJ (Exajoule 1018 Joules). If we take nuclear as the least subsidized energy form at just over $13 million per EJ as the baseline and do the math, subsidies for oil and natural gas are 3.5 times as large. For wind, they are 157 times as much per unit energy. Solar is the worst at 252 times per unit energy produced. With renewables, we get the trifecta. It is expensive as hell, unreliable, and makes the grid more fragile. Best of all, we are subsidizing it like crazy. And to what end?
4. USPS. The most recent participant in the federal surveillance state is the US Postal Service, fresh off aiding and abetting the movement of illegal ballots across state lines has been conducting a domestic surveillance program, scouring social media posts for “inflammatory” messages and passing that information on to other intel agencies. The program named Internet Covert Operations Program (iCOP) is being done by the US Postal Inspection Service and fed info to the intel apparatus warning of the March 20 attack threat, notable only for its complete failure to take place. This reverses the proper role of law enforcement in what used to be a free society. This is the government cataloging public speech in an attempt to find people they think are a threat. Based on what? The ChiComs are doing this to create their social credit system. Perhaps the incompetent schmucks at the USPS have similar goals in mind. Lee Smith in the Conservative Treehouse noted that the targeting is not intended to identify the political ideology of all Americans. Rather it is surveillance of people who likely did not vote for Biden. This is part of a long continuum that came to light under O’Bama where the IRS, contractors, the FIB, Big Tech were all used to surveil his political enemies. When you bring O’Bama people back into the WH, they immediately go back to dance with thems what brung them. And DHS is next up to bat. This is all domestic surveillance by the feds of their political enemies. Be aware.
5. Raid. Local FIB had themselves a great week last with a raid on a couple in Homer, AK, five hours south of Anchorage. The raid ostensibly was to find Nancy Pelosi’s stolen laptop. The couple had attended the Jan 6 rally, listened to the Trump speech, wandered around for a while, and came home. They never entered the Capital building. The raid had at least 12 agents, Capitol Police, other police, lots of guns. It started with breaking down the door and got worse. They couple was held cuffed ad gunpoint for a couple hours. It turns out that the wife was misidentified for a woman in a photo. Only took the raiding idiots a couple hours to show both the warrant and the photo, after which it became immediately apparent that the two women were not the same. The raid got the attention of US Senator Dan Sullivan, who raked local FIB over the coals and rattled his saber at them. The FIB is not real popular here in Alaska given their participation in the fraudulent prosecution of former US Senator Ted Stevens, whose seat Sullivan now occupies. Our other US Senator Lisa Murkowski was unavailable for comment, perhaps contemplating yet another conviction vote the next time congressional democrats impeach former President Trump.
6. Occupy. Question of the day: When is an insurrection not an insurrection? When is one not reported? When do democrats not start erecting walls, fences, concertina wire, and demanding tens of thousands of National Guard to protect their sorry carcasses? Answer: When BLM invades an operating state legislature demanding whatever they are demanding. It is who does the deed after all that is important. BLM stormed the Oklahoma Capitol Apr 22 over Republican bills protecting drivers from liability for running over rioters who block their escape and law enforcement from doxing. A transgender sports bill was also in the works and used as yet another excuse. The OK House was in at the time when a couple dozen protesters filled the gallery. This is particularly rich as the OK BLM Chapter stepped right up on Jan 6 running their mouths afterwards accusing the protesters of sedition, treason, insurgency, destroying and mocking democracy, and coming after the republic. Apparently, the only people who can do this sort of thing and get positive media coverage are those on the left. Somehow, I think that time is coming to a close.
7. Transition. Western Journal ran a piece on April 2 entitled Military Touts ‘Wonderful Teams’ of Doctors Ready to Facilitate Gender Transitions. I had to take a couple looks at the piece based on the date and the subject matter. Wanted to make sure it wasn’t another April 1 joke. Sadly, it doesn’t appear to be. DoD has an estimated 2,200 members with what is described as gender dysphoria. And the military has a group of doctors eager to cut their way to personal nirvana for the afflicted. Cost is apparently no object, estimated at a few millions of dollars per year. The concern is for unit cohesion, as those undergoing treatment will likely not be operationally ready and will be viewed as slackers by other members of their units, unable or unwilling to pull their fair share of the mission. Happily, given the age of these people, 18 and older, most of the disastrous effects of hormone replacement therapy particularly on men, will be minimized.
More later –