Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Cause and Effect

After closing thousands of square miles in northern Minnesota to mining, Biden was in Canada to hand out grants for mining the same resources in Canada that he shut down in Minnesota. He did the same thing in Japan as well. So after banning the mining of these resources in his own country by his own workers, Biden is paying Japanese and Canadian workers to mine them, and will then purchase the resources from those foreign countries.

The Biden administration is paying Japan and Canada to do something for us that we are entirely capable of doing for ourselves, that we need done, but which we consider politically inconvenient, even evil. So we simply pay someone else to do it for us and claim credit for “saving the planet.”

We are dealing with a government which never listens to itself when it speaks and does not consider the consequences of its own actions.

The government, for instance, promotes a policy of “land acknowledgements,” which consists of beginning a meeting by reminding local native tribes that we are holding the meeting on land that was stolen from them and which will not be returned to them. This is supposed to make the native tribes feel better because we are “honoring them.” I suspect that many of the native tribes do not see it that way.

The government thrives on reminding black people (entirely inaccurately, of course) that they are so incompetent that they cannot help but continue to allow white people to oppress them and cannot make the oppression stop unless the federal government does it for them.

The government hosts a military that historically derives its enlistment 50% or more from southern states, so they proceed to tell southerners that their culture and heritage is evil and that all traces of it will be purged from the military. Statues of southern heroes will be removed, and bases honoring southerners will be renamed. They then wonder why they are unable to fill their enlistment requirements.

Banning mining was nominally done for the purpose of “saving the planet,” but in reality was done to secure the “green vote.” No thought was given to the effect that such action would have on the supply of vital resources, and so they outsource the banned mining (and the employment) to other nations.

They are perfectly happy to have other nations pillage the earth and pollute, because pillaging and polluting is not why they banned mining. They banned mining to get votes, and allowing other nations to do what they banned in the US does not lose them those votes.

The members of our government have one and only one guiding principle, which is securing and maintaining power.

Saturday, February 11, 2023

Embarrassing

A balloon, which the Chinese did not hesitate to say is theirs, wandered into US territory, unmolested because NORAD saw it coming and evaluated it as a weather balloon which posed no threat. The news media became aware of it when it when it got to Montana and surmised that, while China claimed it to be measuring weather, it might also be a spy balloon and be sending sensitive military information along with, or instead of, weather data.

The military, NORAD, apparently had not thought of that, because they had not used balloons for intelligence gathering since the Civil War, what with satellites and supersonic aircraft being so much efficient. Among other things, you can steer those puppies, and you can’t steer balloons, making them rather seriously inefficient at taking pictures of targets that are 6000 miles away. NORAD, not unreasonably, assumed that the Chinese are living in the 21st Century.

The US Executive branch, which routinely ignores our military, but which never ignores the media, decides that the balloon is such a dire threat that it must be destroyed before it can reveal all of this nation’s vital secrets. The ones, that is which have not already been revealed by all of the secret documents hidden in Trump’s basement. Um, and the ones in Biden’s basement.

So the Teleprompter Reader in Chief tells the military to shoot the balloon down. They do so, using a missile no less. To shoot down a balloon. They may have sent all of their bullets to Ukraine.

They wait to do so, however, until the balloon has left US territory and is out over the Atlantic. This is not like the metaphorical locking the barn door. This is more like ignoring the barn door and shooting the horse after it has been stolen.

The military is recovering the dead corpse wreckage, and NBC news is excitedly telling us that is has lots of antennas, so that it could have been sending information back to China. They don’t mention that it might have nothing more than weather data, or that a weather balloon that could not send data to the organization that launched it would not make much sense. Of course it has antennas.

You’d think that the story was sufficiently embarrassing, but no, there’s more.

Another flying object appeared over Alaska and we did not know what it was so what did we do? We shot it down. Yep. If you don’t know what it is destroy it.

Like a bunch of nasty little kids moseying through the woods who come across a little creature rooting around in the undergrowth. They cannot identify what it is. Their response? “We don’t know what it, so let’s kill it.” The US in a nutshell.

Saturday, February 04, 2023

Why Russia?

I have been trying for some time to imagine why Russia is portrayed as a threat to the United States in the 21st Century, as an enemy who we think wants to “undermine our democracy,” and I have been able to come up with no reason that makes any sense.

It’s not about the Cold War and a reawakening of hatred of the Soviet Union as some pundits claim. That might be the issue if the hostility had persisted since the Iron Curtain days, but such is not the case. The two nations were getting along very well as recently as the Obama administration.

Remember Obama sitting next to the Russian President at an international conference and getting caught saying to him that they could work together after Obama’s reelection was complete?

Some, many today, attribute it to the “fact” that Putin “invaded and occupied Crimea,” but that is not the cause either, because the concept of Russia as our enemy preceded the overthrow of the Crimean government in 2014. Whatever led to Crimea becoming part of Russia, it was after the Crimean government was overthrown by whomever overthrew it.

Then I watched a podcast on a website called “The Saker.” The discussions and podcasts on that site vary quite a lot as to quality, but some of them are very worthwhile. This one was a discussion with Douglas Macgregor, formerly of the US Army, and he seems to know what he is talking about. It’s about 20 minutes long and is, in my opinion, worth listening to.

It’s a discussion centered around the war in Ukraine, and is mostly about NATO’s role in that conflict. The part that interested me was toward the end where he gets into the nature and the basic role of NATO. He quite properly describes it as a defensive alliance and goes into the futility of employing it in an offensive manner, since it is simply not created or structured to fulfill that role.

The part that rang the bell for me was when he referred to NATO as a “sacred cow” and cited the aphorism that, “Sacred cows are seldom slain, they usually simply disappear.” He went on to say that since NATO refused to disappear, that the war in Ukraine would probably be the cause of NATO being slain. Brilliant.

That led me to think that Russia as an enemy was the cause of NATO refusing to disappear. NATO was formed as a mutual defense against the Soviet Union, and when that enemy dissolved, NATO either needed a new threat or it needed to disappear. It was only a few years before Russia was the new threat, solely to preserve NATO.

Monday, January 30, 2023

In the face of hardship

 36% of the starting lineup:

L’Jarius Sneed CB - injured, didn’t return.
Kadarius Toney WR - injured, didn’t return.
Juju Smith-Schuster WR - injured, didn’t return.
Mecole Hardman RB - injured, did not start.
Willie Gay LB injured - didn’t return.
Justin Watson S - injured, did not start.
Patrick Mahomes QB - injured, played through
Travis Kelce TE - injured, played through

They led most of the game and won in the last minute anyway.

Friday, January 27, 2023

How Did I Miss This?

Given the known link between corporations and government, it should not have been possible for me to write about two events and not notice the connection between them. Not sure just how serious I am about the connection, but for what it's worth...

Friday before last I wrote about San Diego & Electric giving us notification that our heating bill would increase in January due to a massive increase in the cost of natural gas. Sure enough, we got a notice that our bill, which was $247 in December, would be between $560 and $600 for January. Wow.

Then last Friday I wrote about the city of San Diego planning to mandate that all residential properties within the city would be required to convert from gas appliances to electric ones in the very near future. 

I failed to notice that SDG&E is preparing the way for city government, making us willing for the city to do something to us that we would not otherwise stand for. Isn't it nice that the city is going to help us save all that money?

Oh wait, it's going to cost me $30,000 to make the conversion. So, based on saving about $1500 per year by using electricity instead of gas (since San Diego also has the most expensive electric power in the nation), I will have to live to the age of 101 in order to recoup my investment. Odds are heavily against that.

Not to mention that I would have to spend those years cooking on an electric range, which would be somewhat like living in the Southwest corner of Hell.

Friday, January 20, 2023

Insanity Reigns

Even assuming that all claims made about climate change are valid, San Diego is leading the way as to engaging in insane responses to solving the problem.

The city Council has decided that our gas stoves, water heaters and furnaces are a contributor to climate change to a degree that warrants the citizens of this city spending $18 Billion to reduce (not eliminate) the issue. That’s $18,000,000,000.00.

The council has already passed an ordinance that all new construction commercial and residential, single family and multi-family,  must be built without natural gas hookups, effective immediately.

Since we are currently straining the limit of our existing power system, and are frequently directed to use appliances only at “off peak hours,” it is unclear where we are going to get the electric power to replace the gas appliances that will not be installed in all of this new construction. Probably by having the power company run backup generating stations which are powered by… Wait for it. Natural gas.

Not to mention the tens of thousands of electric cars that are mandated by new state laws at the same time.

The City Council is also intending to pass a directive that all existing buildings, commercial and residential, multi-family and single family, must be retro fitted to eliminated the use of natural gas. They have estimated the cost, which will be borne by the owners, to be $30,000 per unit, so this plan is proving to be highly unpopular. The groundswell of unpopularity is not deterring them in the least.

Since there are, by the Council’s estimate, 60,000 buildings in the city of 1.4 million people, that comes to a conversion cost of $18 Billion, or about $13,850 per San Diego resident.

And that is to reduce, not eliminate, an unknown amount of carbon emissions, (no one even claims that such emissions have never been measured) by an unknown degree, since we are not going to quit heating our houses and water, and cooking our dinners. We’ll be heating and cooking using electricity, which is generated in large part by… Wait for it. Fossil fuels.

And they are in a hurry. They plan to mandate that the conversion be 50% completed by 2030, just seven years from now, and that it be 90% complete by 2035. They seem to be realistic enough to acknowledge that it will never achieve perfection, as they have set no date for 100% completion.

We elected these people. The question is, why?

Saturday, January 14, 2023

Friday, January 06, 2023

Rational Narrative

We received notice from San Diego Gas & Electric this week that our heating costs will “more than double” in January over what we experienced in December. This is due, they told us, to price increases in natural gas, which is in turn caused by extremely cold weather being experienced throughout the United States this winter.

SDG&E does not produce any natural gas, but purchases it on the open market from campaniles which do produce it and, in some cases, from pipeline companies.

Notice that SDG&E did not attribute any of this cost increase to inflation. This is because the government has controlled inflation and because, in any case, the government has declared that natural gas and all other forms of energy are exempt from inflation.

(Okay, I was engaging in snark there. Of course inflation is far from being controlled and prices for energy increase at the same time that prices for everything else do. The government, however, does not include energy prices when calculating inflation because they are “too volatile.” What, government computers cannot keep up with the pace at which energy prices change? They must use very old computers. Maybe beads on strings.)

Nor, we are told, is the price increase due to availability issues caused by shipping American natural gas to Europe to replace Russian natural gas which we cut off by means of sanctions. (And, of course, by blowing up the Nord Stream gas pipelines.)

Sending our allies in Europe into the dark ages because we don’t like Russia seems counterproductive to me, but at least we are making a lot of money out of the deal by selling gas to Europe at high prices to replace the low priced Russian gas that we won’t allow them to buy.

Why Europe doesn’t just tell us to pound sand and continue buying Russian gas is unclear. Maybe they are afraid we’ll “impound” (steal) their money the same way we “impounded” (stole) Russia’s money.

So with inflation and shortages due to export ruled out, we are left with an unusually cold winter as the reason for price increases. That cold winter, we are told, is caused by “climate change” along with warmer oceans and melting of the polar ice caps.

If you are having a hard time reconciling colder winters with warmer oceans and melting ice caps, you are not alone. You are insisting on what’s known as a “rational narrative,” which means you are definitely not a Democrat.