Alex Gimarc’s musings on various issues and events:
Unfortunate Stereotype Reinforced
Nothing like firmly reinforcing racial stereotypes in your mind. A drunk native on a snow machine did his best impression of a drunk native on a snow machine as he attacked a pair of mushers and their teams around 3 AM near the village of Nulato last week. Jeff King, who has won the race several times had one dog killed and several injured when the snow machine ran into the team. Aliy Zirkle was also harassed, but no impact with her team.
Mushers are generally not armed. Perhaps they ought to be. There is a reason for stereotypes. They generally work pretty well. It is a bloody shame that this particular one got reinforced. The snow machine driver claims not to remember the event and was arrested the next day. http://www.adn.com/article/20160312/snowmachiner-says-he-killed-iditarod-dog-while-driving-drunk
Coal in Your Stockings
A couple pot shots taken at coal and coal miners last week. The first was from the Dowager Countess of Chappaqua, her e-mailness Hillary Clinton who promised to kill jobs for coal miners if elected. She immediately followed it with promises to put them all on welfare, joining the democrat plantation with all the other rent seekers to vote for democrats from now until doomsday.
Second was a report that natural gas has now passed coal as the primary fuel of electricity generation. This was not done in response to any economic marketplace on energy. Rather, the Obama regime is murdering the coal industry, putting people out of work, killing businesses, and making electricity generation far more expensive via the feckless actions of the EPA writing new emissions rules and regulations out of thin air.
Final coal story came out of our local luddite, (Don’t call me) Charlie Wohlforth, who is calling for the state to move on from an oil based economy like it moved on from coal. This is laughable on two levels. First, Alaska was never a huge coal producer. Thing is we can be in the not so distant future should we embrace coal to liquids as an economic alternative to a natural gas pipeline and use the existing infrastructure to ship product to Valdez for sale around the Pacific rim. Second is the question of what do you replace it with? Not going to be able to support half a million people here in Alaska by turning it into a giant wilderness area or national park. http://thefederalist.com/2016/03/14/hillary-clinton-has-a-message-for-coal-miners-youre-fired/
Ivanpah, the Environmentalism Religion
The massive Mojave Desert solar power plant Ivanpah is at risk of being shut down by California regulators because it has failed to meet electrical production requirements over the last two years.
The plant was built with a $1.6 billion loan from the Obama regime. In 2014, it only generated 45% of expected power. In 2015, that number rose to 68% of expected output. Cost of electricity generated is over $200 / megawatt hour, or about six times that of nuclear, coal or natural gas fired generation. Ivanpah uses natural gas during nights to keep the 450 foot high tower properly heated. Original capacity of the plant is 392 MW.
Environmentalists who were fully drinking the renewable energy kool-aid, as the plant was being sold, are not so supportive any more, claiming that 1 – 28,000 birds have been incinerated by flying through the concentrated beams of mirrors aimed at the top of the generation tower. Pilots have reported a nearly blinding glare from the plant at distances less than six miles.
California regulators announced last week that the plant has until the end of July to ramp up generation to what they contracted to deliver or shut down. This is what you get when you allow the secular religion of environmentalism to trump economics. http://dailycaller.com/2016/03/17/obama-backed-solar-plant-could-be-shut-down-for-not-producing-enough-energy/
Dangerous World or Dangerous Candidate?
One of the things that terrify democrats about Donald Trump is that he is neither predictable nor apparently bound by the rules of political correctness. The Clinton crime family has taken a couple pot shots at Trump so far and he has returned fire with gusto.
The first exchange was last year when Hillary started rolling out her war on women rhetoric in an attempt to get the single women who formed Obama’s base to do the same for her. Trump instantly replied that Hillary was hardly the one who ought to be wrapping herself in war on women rhetoric after her sexual abusing husband went after hundreds of women during his political career and Hillary helped him cover it up by going after the women he abused. The Clintons promptly changed the subject and we didn’t hear about it until recently again.
Trump last week rolled out a 0+15 Youtube ad about the dangerous world we are living in and who do you trust to lead us. The ad opens with a shirtless Vladimir Putin throwing a martial arts partner to the mat. It goes on to a masked ISIS gonzo, waving a handgun at the camera. Who best to respond to these threats? Why Hilary, barking like a dog into a mike at a campaign appearance a few weeks ago. It ends with a short shot of Putin grinning from ear to ear.
A lot of people on the right think the media is pumping Trump up via free media in order to get him nominated because they believe he will be the weakest candidate. Others promise they will roll out his Mafia ties shortly after he is nominated. Still others promise an endless stream of people he has stepped on in business dealings or those who are upset with Trump University. I don’t doubt any or all of those.
I only want to point out that he has all the right enemies and is not a bit bashful about returning fire against the media, democrats and anyone else who dares toss a grenade in his direction. I think he is not nearly as predictable as they think he is, and as such is dangerous. Dangerous enough to beat Hillary and the media? Don’t know that yet. http://www.insideedition.com/headlines/15311-hillary-clinton-barks-like-a-dog-in-donald-trumps-new-ad
Rollback CO2 Pollutant Status
Our Obama cheerleading fish wrapper ran a story last week warning that rollback of Obama rules and regulations, particularly those out of the EPA will be much more difficult to do than Republican presidential candidates believe. The story goes on to note that everything was done via the public process, and as such, all the ‘I’s’ were dotted and the ‘t’s’ crossed. So what is the next president, assuming he wants to reverse the awful damage the EPA has done to the economy over the last decade, do?
I would suggest two parallel approaches. The first would be a finding of malfeasance between the EPA and Natural Resources Defense Council in the drafting of the new rules. There has been a revolving door between NRDC leadership and EPA political appointees since the Obama infestation began. All that is needed is an Inspectors General finding of undue influence and the next administrator can suspend the new rules pending a more thorough investigation.
The second parallel track would be to reverse the EPA’s finding that CO2 is a pollutant. This finding was based entirely on the discredited UN IPCC report on man-made global warming due to CO2 emissions. Pull out this card, and there is no basis, no foundation for the new emissions and particulates rules and the entire house of cards collapses. Final effort would be to reorganize the EPA and remove every single employee hired since Obama took office.
Actually, I would extend that back a couple years to the Reid – Pelosi majorities in congress starting in January 2007. Both GOP front runners Trump and Cruz have been harshly critical of the EPA and its unrelenting assault on energy production here in the US for decades. Whoever is elected may get marching orders. When they start acting, expect the Soros-funded rent-a-mobs to take to the street in opposition. They will have plenty to complain about for a few years. http://mashable.com/2015/08/03/republican-obama-climate-plan/#TO6HcQSG6qq4
The Moral Dance Partners
One of the tools that the big government types use to press their agenda is the moral authority of people who have been touched by tragedy. Those people then go out and push things of interest to the left and are celebrated, cheered, and stroked by a slavishly cheerleading media. Examples include former Reagan Press Secretary Jim Brady, who was wounded in the assassination attempt in 1981. He then was used to push for gun control legislation. Former congress critter Gabby Giffords and her husband astronaut Mark Kelly did the same thing once again pushing anti-gun legislation following her shooting in 2011.
Here in Alaska, we have Butch and Cindi Moore, whose daughter was killed by her boyfriend in 2014 using their moral authority to push anti-abuse legislation through the Alaska legislature in 2015. The legislation is supposed to help solve the problem of abuse. Like most of these feel-good laws, it will likely be used as yet another cudgel to bash men in the legal system. A year later, the Moore’s are back, this time opposing an effort to open University of Alaska campuses to concealed carry.
Currently, the authority to decide to allow concealed carry resides with the Chancellor of the system. Butch Moore claims to be a pro-gun kind of guy, but is celebrated and cheered by anti-gunners in local media. His argument in opposition is mostly a bait and switch, demanding that we cannot do anything about the UA system until we open ALL state buildings and activities to concealed carry, deftly making perfect the enemy of good enough. If we cannot have the perfect solution immediately, Mr. Moore demands we do absolutely nothing to make anything a little bit better.
At this point, it is unclear how firearms on UA campuses would have helped his daughter live. We here in Alaska are fortunate as there have so far been no mass shootings. One reason is that there are a lot of guns around. But there are no small number of free fire zones on campuses and it is only a matter of time until some clown who wants his 15 minutes of fame or wants to worship the moon god in the proper way picks one of them for an event. We have no small number of Syrian refugees being quietly settled so the second possibility becomes closer every single day. When that happens, I wonder what the Moore’s moral authority will be worth then. http://www.adn.com/article/20160316/after-battle-pass-brees-law-parents-shooting-victim-have-new-cause
Gold King (EPA Gets Off Scot Free)
The Daily Caller News Foundation is running a four-part series investigating the Gold King mine spill in Colorado last year. EPA officials and Administrator Gina McCarthy originally referred to the spill as an “unfortunate accident.” That was quickly changed to “unfortunate incident.” Investigators have found that EPA actions were anything but unintentional.
After closing the mouth of the mine, inundating the metallic walls of the mine with clear, relatively clean flowing spring water, they were presented with the problem of a growing volume of water behind the dam and how to relieve the pressure. So on August 5, 2015, contractors working for the EPA attempted to relieve the pressure. Their plan was to slowly drain and treat the water. But like all plans by idiots, it did not go well.
They removed a small portion of the plug, after which the rest of it gave way with a catastrophic release of water. In all an estimated 880,000 pounds of metals went downstream on the release. On the day of the breach, they did not bring a pump or piping necessary to drain a suspected pressurized system.
Following the spill, the EPA did what all good bureaucracies do, went into terminal CYA mode to conceal its incompetence and negligence. Had any single person or company done to the downstream watershed what the EPA did, there would have been perp walks, frog marches into jail, and lots of people in orange jump suits on their way to court. Perhaps there will be in the not so distant future. http://dailycaller.com/2016/03/14/breaking-epas-gold-king-mine-blowout-was-no-accident/
Alex Gimarc lives in Anchorage since retiring from the military in 1997. His interests include science and technology, environment, energy, economics, military affairs, fishing and disabilities policies. His weekly column “Interesting Items” is a summary of news stories with substantive Alaska-themed topics. He is a small business owner and Information Technology professional.