Tag Archives: Trump

Dragon docks with ISS; astronauts reveal its name is Endeavour

Capitalism in space: SpaceX’s first manned Dragon capsule successfully docked today with ISS.

A few hours after launch the two American astronauts, Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken, also revealed that they had named the capsule “Endeavour.”

I know this is really old news from late last night and early this morning, but I was out on a cave trip (taking a work break to have some fun underground for the first time in three months). I post it for completion. I also know that the live stream of these events was active here all day for my readers to follow things, as they happened.

Prepare for even more increasing space excitement in the coming years. The Trump administration increasingly is shifting NASA’s gears to have private companies build its spaceships and rockets and science instruments. The more they do this, the less expensive and the more capabilities we shall have as a nation. This success will be a challenge for other nations to match, which in turn will raise the stakes and increase the competition, the excitement, and the action in space.

Yes, the 20s I hope are going to roar, at least in space.

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Another coup leader at the FBI forced to resign

More house-cleaning at the FBI: The FBI’s general counsel, Dana Boente, yesterday resigned as demanded by William Barr, the attorney general of the Justice Department, apparently due to his participation in the effort to frame former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.

Boente signed one of the warrants renewing the FBI’s authority to surveil Flynn. The warrants, known as FISA warrants, were renewed several times and had to be approved by a judge.

Boente also said in a recently leaked memo that material put into the public record about Flynn was not exculpatory for the former national security advisor. The memo undermines the Justice Department’s latest position that material about Flynn was mishandled by prosecutors.

The article is from NBC, so it exudes both ignorance and hostility about this resignation. The FISA warrants that Boente signed have been repeatedly proven to have been falsely obtained, dependent on unverified and outright false and fake information. His actions clearly showed he was part of the coup attempt in the FBI attempting to find by any means necessary a way to overthrown the legal election of Donald Trump. Framing Flynn was only one part of that effort.

We’ve only just begun. There are a lot of people still working at both the FBI, the Justice Department, and throughout the executive branch, who have been willing to violate the Constitution and some fundamental laws, all because they did not like how the American people voted in 2016. They all need to be shown the door, with many escorted next to a prison cell.

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“The Trump-Russia investigation was a politically driven fraud”

The first two paragraphs of this summing up of what we now know of the corrupt attempt to overthrow the legal election of an American president by the FBI and the Department of Justice, instigated by the Obama administration and continuing during the first two years of the Trump administration says it all, quite succinctly:

No need to build to a crescendo — let’s just say it: The Trump-Russia investigation was a politically driven fraud from beginning to end. It was opened on false pretenses, sustained by investigative abuses, and will undoubtedly end in recriminatory angst, which is what happens when the kind of accountability the victims demand does not, indeed cannot, come to pass.

Worst of all is the damage wrought, though even that isn’t fully understood. Obama administration officials exploited the awesome national security powers that we trust our government to use for counterintelligence operations that safeguard America from jihadists and other foreign hostiles. Because of the abuse, and the growing awareness that few of the abusers will be held to meaningful account, those powers have lost the solid constituency they had maintained in Congress for nearly two decades. Thus, this episode will prove to be a catastrophe for American national security.

Make sure you read it all, carefully. Andrew McCarthy outlines a truly illegal power-grab by Washington insiders, who did not want power transferred to an outsider who did not share their goals and political beliefs but who the American people had legally elected. And they were willing to toss out the Constitution and the Bill of Rights and all previous legal precedent and history to overthrow that outsider.

These crooks should all find themselves behind bars for many years. That they likely will not tells us that we are in for some very perilous times. The Constitution and Bill of Rights were specifically written to protect us, the ordinary citizen, from abuses of power by corrupt power-hungry people like this. If we are no longer honoring these documents we ordinary citizens cannot expect much justice in the coming years.

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Russia says it will oppose Artemis Accords

My heart be still: Roscosmos head Dmitri Rogozin declared today that Russia “will not, in any case, accept any attempts to privatize the Moon.”

“It is illegal, it runs counter to international law,” Rogozin pointed out.

The Roscosmos CEO emphasized that Russia would begin the implementation of a lunar program in 2021 by launching the Luna-25 spacecraft to the Moon. Roscosmos intends to launch the Luna-26 spacecraft in 2024. After that, the Luna-27 lander will be sent to the Moon to dig up regolith and carry out research on the lunar surface.

Rogozin is doing the equivalent of a 2-year-old’s temper tantrum. Being a top-down authoritarian culture that likes to centralize power with those in charge, Russia doesn’t like Trump’s effort to regularize private enterprise and private property in space, including the administration’s new requirement that any international partner in its Artemis Moon program must agree to that effort.

Russia would rather we maintain the status quo as defined by the Outer Space Treaty, with no private property in space and everything controlled by UN bureaucrats and regulations, who are in turn controlled by the leaders from authoritarian places like Russia.

If Russia wants into Artemis, however, it looks like they will have to bend to the Trump accords. Or they will have to build their own independent space effort, competing with ours. Their problem is that their own program has been incredibly lame for the past twenty years, unable to get any new spacecraft or interplanetary mission off the ground.

Maybe the competition will help Russia, as it did in space in the 1960s. Or maybe they will simply help Biden get elected, and then all will be well! That brainless puppet will be glad to do the bidding of Russia and China, and will almost certainly dismantle Trump’s policies in favor of private enterprise.

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Trump exiting Open Skies treaty

According to anonymous sources, Trump has decided to pull the U.S. out of the Open Skies Treaty, negotiated in 2002 to allow countries to overfly other nations freely.

President Trump will be pulling the United States out of the Open Skies Treaty, an agreement between more than 30 countries that allow for those involved to fly in each other’s air spaces, a senior administration official confirmed to Fox News. The New York Times first reported that Trump was planning to withdraw from the agreement, worrying NATO member nations who are concerned that once the U.S. is out, Russia will block their flights, which provide valuable surveillance of their own borders.

U.S. officials have warned that Russia had been violating the treaty already by not allowing flights over areas where military exercises were taking place or sites where Russia had nuclear weapons deployed. Each nation in the treaty agrees to make all its territory available for surveillance flights.

Note also that China is not a signatory.

Not surprisingly, their Democratic Party allies, always ready to aid other countries over U.S. interests, are already blasting this decision by the Trump administration.

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The Artemis Accords: The Trump administration’s effort to bypass the Outer Space Treaty

Capitalism in space: The Trump administration yesterday released the guidelines it will require any international or private partner to follow if they wish to participate in its Artemis lunar and planetary manned program.

The guidelines, which you can download here [pdf], list ten very broad and vague principles. Most reiterate support for the most successful requirements of the 1967 Outer Space Treaty, such as:

  • the requirement that all activities be conducted for peaceful purposes
  • the requirement that everyone design equipment for interoperability and to international standards
  • the requirement that everyone take reasonable steps possible to render assistance to astronauts in distress
  • the requirement that everyone publicly register anything they launch
  • the requirement that everyone release their scientific data publicly
  • the requirement that all parties take actions to mitigate space junk

The remaining four principles appear designed to bend the Outer Space Treaty in the direction of allowing countries and companies to have some control over the territories they occupy in space.
» Read more

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Another scientist arrested for failing to disclose ties to China

The Trump administration today arrested another scientist, this time one who took money from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), for failing to disclose his ties to China.

Dr. Qing Wang, a former Cleveland Clinic Foundation (CCF) employee, is charged with false claims and wire fraud related to more than $3.6 million in grant funding that Dr. Wang and his research group received from the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

According to the criminal complaint, Dr. Wang knowingly failed to disclose to NIH that he had an affiliation with and held the position of Dean of the College of Life Sciences and Technology at the Huazhong University of Science and Technology (HUST) and received grant funds from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (CNSF) for some of the same scientific research funded by the NIH grant. As a result, Dr. Wang’s false representations and promises led NIH to approve and fund grants to Dr. Wang and his research group at CCF.

It is also alleged that Dr. Wang participated in the Thousand Talents Program, a program established by the Chinese government to recruit individuals with access to or knowledge of foreign technology and intellectual property. As a result of his admission into the TTP, China provided $3 million in research support to enhance the facilities and operations at HUST. Dr. Wang received free travel and lodging for his trips to China, to include a three-bedroom apartment on campus for his personal use. This also occurred at the time Dr. Wang was receiving NIH grant funds yet failed to disclose this affiliation to the NIH.

This is the second arrested this week, and the fourth in the past three months.

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Senate approves FISA renewal

Ya gotta have your KGB! The Senate today approved 80-16 a renewal of the FISA court, allowing that corrupt secret tribunal to continue its spying on Americans.

Since the Senate revised the House bill slightly, the new version will have to go back to the House for approval. It is unclear if the House will approve it as written, or if Trump will sign any of these versions.

Republicans, who spear-headed the passage of this bill, will claim that its new restrictions will protect the rights of Americans. They are lying.

While senators agreed to add the Lee-Leahy bill, they also rejected two other amendments: one from Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) preventing FISA warrants from being used against Americans and one from Sens. Steve Daines (R-Mont.) and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) preventing law enforcement from obtaining internet browsing and search history without a warrant.

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The epidemic has passed its peak

Link here. The author goes into great detail, with numerous graphs, illustrating that in nation after nation and state after state, the peak of the epidemic has passed, and we have done all the flattening of the curve we are ever going to do. Among a range of recommendations, he concludes that

In those countries and states that are past the peak, declare the emergency is over and open everything back up. Acknowledge that the chance to flatten the curve is gone, and revoke each and every emergency order. They are only valid for the duration of the emergency. [emphasis in original]

He notes, as I have repeatedly, that the lock downs have not worked. For example, he finds that the overall epidemic in Sweden, which did not lock down its society, trends smack dab in the middle when compared with all other countries. The lock downs made no difference.

If we need to do anything, he emphasizes again that you do not quarantine the healthy, you quarantine the sick.

He also notes that the economic crash, caused by those lock downs, has caused far more harm that the virus ever would have.

It’s like … it’s like … well, about the only example I can think of which has equivalent idiocy is if a mosquito were to land on your head and you grabbed a sledgehammer to get rid of it.

The lock downs must end, now. We need to accept the reality that the Wuhan virus is here to stay, and that it is really quite comparable to the range of similar viruses humans have lived with for eons.

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List of Obama officials who illegally used wiretaps to spy on Americans

The federal government’s intelligence services have for many years been authorized to listen in on the phone conversations of foreign nationals for the purpose of detecting any potential threats to the United States.

However, if those conversations happen to include an American citizen, they are also forbidden from revealing who that person is to anyone, including and especially their political bosses, except in extraordinary circumstances, because these spies are not allowed to spy on Americans, without reasonable cause and a warrant. And even when these names were revealed, “unmasked” in intelligence parlance, until the Obama administration such unmasking was only permitted to a very small and select number of people.

The Obama administration changed this. Obama allowed the unmasking to be revealed to numerous people in his administration, and worse, his administration made unmasking a tool for spying on his political opponents. This is how Obama and the FBI knew that Trump’s former National Security Chief Mike Flynn had been talking to the Russian ambassador (as was proper for him to do during the transition time between the two administrations). They had listened in, and then unmasked Flynn’s name, improperly.

Well, we now know some of the people in the Obama administration who ordered these illegal unmaskings.

The list revealed that then-U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power made unmasking requests seven times between Nov. 30, 2016 and Jan. 11, 2017. The list revealed that Clapper made three requests from Dec. 2, 2016 through Jan. 7, 2017; and that Brennan made two requests, one on Dec. 14 and one on Dec. 15, 2016. Comey also made a request on Dec. 15, 2016. On Jan. 5, 2017, McDonough made one request, and on Jan. 12, 2017, Biden made one request.

The day McDonough requested the information is the same day as an Oval Office meeting that has drawn scrutiny in the wake of the Flynn developments. The meeting included Obama, Biden, Clapper, Brennan, Comey, then-National Security Adviser Susan Rice and then-Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates.

That meeting was the first time Yates learned about Flynn’s calls with then-Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, according to notes from her special counsel interview which were released last week. Yates, in her interview, indicated Obama was aware of Flynn’s intercepted December 2016 phone calls with Kislyak during the presidential transition period. [emphasis mine]

I have highlighted the dates because it is interesting that all these unmaskings occurred during that transition period, after Trump had won the election but before he took office. It is almost as if the Obama administration and his stooges in the FBI, CIA, and other departments are gathering information to use against Trump and his people.

Which is exactly what they were doing. They wanted to overthrow that legal election, and were digging around trying to create a scandal to do so. They didn’t find anything, but what they had gave them the chance to manufacture the Russian collusion hoax.

Note that this list is not complete. It is only the start. What we know now is that Power, Clapper, Brennan, Comey, McDouough, and Biden misused their power against their political opponents.

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NASA signs deal with Russians for one Soyuz seat to ISS

Citing a need to provide some back-up in case there are more delays getting the American manned capsules being built by SpaceX and Boeing into operation, NASA yesterday announced that it has signed a deal with Roscosmos to buy one seat on the October Soyuz launch to ISS.

The statement did not disclose the value of the deal, but NASA spokesman Josh Finch told SpaceNews the agreement is valued at $90.25 million. That includes the seat on the Soyuz spacecraft and various training, pre-launch and post-landing services. In addition, Finch said that NASA will compensate Roscosmos for bumping a Russian cosmonaut off that Soyuz mission by flying an unspecified amount of Russian cargo to the station on NASA commercial cargo spacecraft.

I wonder if there are other political reasons behind this deal, besides insuring American access to ISS. $90 million is a lot of money to the Russians, and considering their impending loss of income from NASA (with us no longer buying Soyuz seats in the future) as well as their loss of most of their commercial launch business, it could be that NASA managers wanted to shore up Roscosmos’s financial situation. Remember, at NASA there are many who swear a greater loyalty to space operations from all countries, even at the expense of the United States.

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“A naked abuse of authority.”

The quote that makes up my headline comes from Congressman Devin Nunes (R-California). It was said in response to the new information that has come out about how partisan and corrupt FBI agents, hostile to Trump and his administration, falsified the interview report of Trump’s then National Security Adviser Michael Flynn in order to get him either “prosecuted or fired” (their words). The full quote:

“The FBI set up General Flynn — that is clear as day,” Rep. Devin Nunes, ranking Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, tells RealClearInvestigations. “There is FBI leadership ordering the case kept open when agents wanted to close it for lack of evidence, the discussion of getting Flynn to lie or trying to get him fired, the ambush interview, the withholding of exculpatory evidence, and many other acts of blatant malfeasance. None of this is standard procedure. It’s a naked abuse of authority.”

Nunes might be a politician and a Republican (with the expected partisan agendas), but everything he says here is accurate and true (as has been the case for Nunes throughout this sorry affair). The article outlines in excruciating detail the fraud and manipulation that FBI officials Peter Srtzok, Lisa Page, and Andrew McCabe went through to rewrite the report of Flynn’s FBI interview, in order to create the false impression that he had lied during that interview, and thus frame him.

Revealing this criminal activity and abuse of power by these FBI officials is good, but as long as they avoid indictments and punishment, we accomplish nothing. These people have to face juries, and go to prison. If they don’t, then nothing will change in Washington, and in fact we in the future can expect more such abuses, coming from both parties.

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Trump administration drafting new space agreement to supersede Outer Space Treaty

The new colonial movement: According to this Reuters article, the Trump administration is presently drafting a new space agreement, which they have dubbed the “Artemis Accords,” that would allow private property ownership in space and thus supersede Outer Space Treaty’s restrictions on sovereignty.

The Artemis Accords, named after the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s new Artemis moon program, propose “safety zones” that would surround future moon bases to prevent damage or interference from rival countries or companies operating in close proximity.

The pact also aims to provide a framework under international law for companies to own the resources they mine, the sources said.

In the coming weeks, U.S. officials plan to formally negotiate the accords with space partners such as Canada, Japan, and European countries, as well as the United Arab Emirates, opening talks with countries the Trump administration sees as having “like-minded” interests in lunar mining.

They at the moment are not including Russia or China in the discussions, since those countries have little interest in promoting private enterprise and ownership in space.

Back in 2017 I proposed in an op-ed for The Federalist that Trump do almost exactly this:

Trump should propose a new Outer Space Treaty, superseding the old, that would let nations plant their flags in space. This new treaty should establish the rules by which individual nations can claim territory and establish their law and sovereignty on other worlds or asteroids.

The American homesteading acts of the 1800s could work as a good guide. Under those laws, if an American citizen staked a claim and maintained and developed it for five years, that claim and an accompanying amount of acreage would then become theirs.

In space, Trump could propose that in order for a nation to make a territorial claim, a nation or its citizens must establish a facility. If they occupy and use it for a minimum of five years, that nation can claim it, plus a reasonable amount of territory around it, and place it under that nation’s sovereignty.

Now consider this quote from the Reuters article:

The safety zones – whose size would vary depending on the operation – would allow for coordination between space actors without technically claiming territory as sovereign, he said. “The idea is if you are going to be coming near someone’s operations, and they’ve declared safety zones around it, then you need to reach out to them in advance, consult and figure out how you can do that safely for everyone.”

In other words, the safety zones would essentially be the claimed property of the colonizers, a completely reasonable position.

It is hard to say at this moment whether the Trump administration will succeed in this tactic, of side-stepping a renegotiation of the Outer Space Treaty by working out a new agreement with other interested players. Canada for example has expressed reservations about the Trump administration’s recent public announcement encouraging private ownership of resources in space.

Regardless, that the administration now appears to be addressing the limitations of the Outer Space Treaty is very heartening news. Let us hope they can make it happen.

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New documents prove FBI targeted Flynn and framed him

Newly released documents now prove that FBI management targeted and framed the Trump administration’s former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn as part of their effort to overthrow Trump and the 2016 election.

The documents show two things. First, after doing its initial investigation and finding no evidence of wrong-doing at all, the FBI closed the case against Flynn. Fired FBI agent Peter Strzok then insisted on reopening it. Second, other newly released documents show that the goal of this reopened investigation was “to get him to lie so we can prosecute him or get him fired.”

They then set up interviews with Flynn, and when they didn’t quite get what they wanted, Strzok rewrote the interview reports to his own personal satisfaction.

I expect Flynn’s case to be thrown out this week, exonerating him completely. This also lends weight to the other rumors last week that the investigations of this FBI and Justice misconduct against Trump will result in actual indictments in the coming days.

If so, I sing “Hallelujah!” At last some of these corrupt individuals will face the consequences of their abuse of power. It can’t happen too soon.

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The Justice and FBI players under suspicion for FISA illegalities

Today there were a bunch of stories claiming that newly revealed evidence, previously buried by the FBI, proves the innocence of former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn and was illegally withheld from his lawyers. In addition, another bunch of recent stories have also hinted that indictments might be coming in the FBI/Justice scandal involving the illegal misuse of FISA warrants to spy on Donald Trump as well as attempt to overthrow his presidency.

The problem with all these stories is that they are based on anonymous sources, and the evidence in question remains under seal so we can’t see it.

I normally do not pay much attention to stories based on anonymous sources or rumors. Nonetheless, if indictments are coming it is also worthwhile for responsible citizens to get a handle on the players involved, including understanding why some people get indicted, when it happens. Since the entire scandal here involves almost the entire top management at both the Justice Department and the FBI during the Obama administration as well as during the first three years of the Trump administration, there are a lot of players.

Thus, I strongly advice my readers to spend some time and read this article at The Conservative Treehouse on the subject of the Mike Flynn case.

It outlines in great and very clear detail who the players have been who worked to abuse the power at the FBI and the Department of Justice, explaining their actions and positions during the entire scandal. Familiar names like John Brennan, Andrew McCabe, Peter Strzok, Lisa Page, James Comey, and Christopher Wray all come up. It adds however some less well known players — Dana Boente, David Bowditch, Scott Schools, David Archey — and gives us their part in the scandal, showing that they were apparently as culpable. The focus is mostly on the part that Boente played, but as the article notes in its conclusion:

There are no “good guys” in this. There are no “white hats” here. Certainly not Mueller, Rosenstein, Wray, Bowditch or Boente. Instead, this is a matrix of broad interests positioned only to benefit and sustain the status quo of the administrative state; and protect the larger community from the Trump disruption.

Even if all these individuals are not indicted, there is absolutely no justification for Trump to allow them to remain at their jobs. They should be shown the door now. You don’t need indictments to fire someone who is corrupt, and misuses his or her position.

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What We Should ALL Be Doing Right Now!

I think this video clarifies perfectly the policies of our state and federal governments as well as the advice of all of their experts concerning the Wuhan flu. If we would only do what they tell us, all would be fine!

It also illustrates why we as citizens should simply begin living our lives normally, telling them to go to hell.

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Clothing and cotton sales plummet 50% due to Wuhan panic

The beatings will continue until morale improves: According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the clothing and cotton industry has seen a 50% plunge in sales in the past month due to Wuhan panic.

The result?

As countries worldwide take measures to slow the spread of coronavirus by quarantining people and closing nonessential businesses, sales of cotton — and the clothing and textiles made from it — have declined sharply.

Demand for cotton is so low that even though prices hit their lowest levels in more than a decade, retailers and manufacturing facilities around the world are cancelling orders. “Every stage of the supply chain is getting hit,” said Jon Devine, senior economist for Cotton Incorporated, a nonprofit industry organization based in North Carolina. “Retailers are suffering,” he said. “In between, you’ve got all the manufacturers that are trying to get their orders cancelled. And then you get all the way back to the field. Farmers are entering their planting time. They have some difficult decisions to make.”

In other words, even if we get the country reopened in May (something that right now looks unlikely because of the desire of politicians to crush the economy and cancel the Bill of Rights in order to hurt Trump), this crash now is going to spiral into next year.

I should note that the stories on the crashing economy that I am posting are very easy to find. More to come. Sadly, I have had to widen my searches to more business related sources to find them. In more sane times, a business crash like this would be front page news on every news outlet in the country. Not now. We have gone insane.

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Trump bows to bureaucrats, unveils a never-ending 3-phase program to end shutdowns

The house arrests will continue indefinitely: Though the country’s fifty governors are in charge of the nationwide house arrest and the only ones who can really end it, President Trump today unveiled a 3-phrase program to use as a guide for ending those state shutdowns.

The new guidelines are aimed at easing restrictions in areas with low transmission of the coronavirus, while holding the line in harder-hit locations. They make clear that the return to normalcy will be a far longer process than Trump initially envisioned, with federal officials warning that some social distancing measures may need to remain in place through the end of the year to prevent a new outbreak.

Places with declining infections and strong testing would begin a three-phased gradual reopening of businesses and schools — each phase lasting at least 14 days — to ensure that infections don’t accelerate again.

In phase one, for instance, the plan recommends strict social distancing for all people in public. Gatherings larger than 10 people are to be avoided and nonessential travel is discouraged.

In phase two, people are encouraged to maximize social distancing where possible and limit gatherings to no more than 50 people unless precautionary measures are taken. Travel could resume.

Phase three envisions a return to normalcy for most Americans, with a focus on identification and isolation of any new infections.

Essentially Trump has accepted the rules demanded by the nation’s health bureaucrats. The Bill of Rights and Constitution, meant to protect private property, personal freedom, and religious practice, will continue to be suspended and against the law until these petty dictators decide otherwise.

And even when they declare we can go back to “normal,” they want a program to hunt down infected individuals and label them as “unclean” (my term but quite accurate) so that they won’t be able infect the clean. For those individuals, all rights will still be suspended, possibly forever.

Meanwhile, the numbers continue to suggest that the total deaths from this disease will end up comparable to a somewhat normal flu season. Some might then argue that these deaths are in addition to those flu deaths, but that is incorrect. Most flu deaths occur in older and already sick populations. The Wuhan virus targets these same populations. Someone who dies from one would have been just as likely this year to have died from the other. Thus, the overall mortality will probably not change significantly, if at all, in 2020.

We never shut down the country and suspended the Bill of Rights during past similar flu seasons. In fact, it would have been considered insane to do so. I think it is insane now, suggesting that the real epidemic sweeping across the global is mass hysteria, based on an irrational fear fueled by a partisan press and Democratic politicians who are focused solely on attacking Donald Trump and endlessly seeking ways to hurt him, even if it means putting millions of people out of work and bankrupting the economy.

Moreover, there is tentative evidence that suggests the shutdowns are irrelevant to the spread of the disease. Regardless, these shutdowns were never meant to stop it, only to give the health system breathing room so it would not be overwhelmed by too many patients. That has not happened, meaning that the shutdowns are now unnecessary.

It is time for them to end, now. And if the government won’t back down, then maybe it is time for Americans to tell them to go to hell and go back to work anyway, as suggested by Sarah Hoyt.

Ignore their plans. Their plans are not for our good. The goal is to have everyone out of the house and doing the most productive thing they can by May 1st.

May First (Yes, I know, stealing the commies holiday is grand) is now National Hit the Streets Day. If you can get out of the house and work, do so. Open your shop, serve coffee on our front lawn, I don’t care. Be outside. Do something productive. And if you can’t do something productive AT LEAST BE OUTSIDE. Out in the street. Out in the park. Both of which are paid for by your taxes, btw.

May 1st, get out. Wear SOMETHING yellow (Hong Kong, the gillets jeunes, which though not like us also are fighting attempts at tyranny.) Snek optional.

Because we’re Americans. They govern by the consent of the governed. We don’t need their consent to exercise our natural rights.

As she adds, “They can’t arrest everybody.”

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State governments announce demands before releasing citizens from house arrest

A variety of state governments, having now enjoyed their first taste of unrestrained power over their citizens, have begun issuing their odious requirements before they will end the shut downs imposed due to the Wuhan virus, shut downs that are imprisoning their citizens in their homes, destroying businesses, and putting millions out of work.

Those requirements as stated are essentially impossible to meet, and will thus cause these shut downs to continue forever.

For example, the fascist Democratic governor of the fascist state of California has now released the six demands that must be met before it will consider lifting the house arrest it has placed on its citizens.

The actual order can be found here [pdf] The demands, all of which insist on heavy future surveillance and odious limits on the freedoms of California’s citizens, all violate the Bill of Rights, and all have been imposed by degree, with no election or legislative action. They state that before the government will release its citizens from house arrest, the government must have, to quote:
» Read more

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Trump halts payments to WHO

President Donald Trump today announced that he is halting the U.S. contribution to the World Health Organization (WHO) as a result of its poor response to the Wuhan flu.

Trump declared that the United States would undertake a 60-to-90 day investigation into why the “China-centric” WHO had caused “so much death” by “severely mismanaging and covering up” the coronavirus’ spread, including by making the “disastrous” decision to oppose travel restrictions on China.

The United States is the WHO’s largest single donor, and the State Department had previously planned to provide the agency $893 million in the current two-year funding period. Trump said the United States contributes roughly $400 to $500 million per year to WHO, while China offers only about $40 million. The money saved will go to areas that “most need it,” Trump asserted.

This type of action is what has differentiated Trump from the politicians from either party since Ronald Reagan was president. All the presidents since Reagan would have, at best, called an investigation (fake in truth) and in the end done nothing to change anything. Trump has repeatedly put the hammer down hard on international organizations like WHO that fail to do their job, or act as agents for foreign governments.

That money can certainly be put to better use than giving it to the bureaucrats at the UN, almost all of whom are avowed enemies of the United States and of freedom.

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COVID-19 vs other causes of death

Link here. The article freely admits that a new contagious disease is not the same as something like cancer and snakebites. It also notes the importance of putting this virus in its proper perspective, something unfortunately few are doing.

For example, about 4,700 deaths from the Wuhan flu have been recorded worldwide today. From all accounts we are also very near the peak of this epidemic. Compare this with other death rates:

According to the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) International Agency for Research on Cancer, there were 9.6 million deaths from cancer in 2018. That works out to around 26,000 deaths a day worldwide.

17.9 million people died from all cardiovascular diseases in 2016 according to the WHO—this works out as 49,000 a day.

Ischaemic heart disease or coronary heart disease specifically was the cause of 9.4 million deaths worldwide in 2016, 25,840 a day.

In 2016 the WHO estimated that 1.6 million people a year die from factors relating directly to diabetes. This is about 4,400 a day. [emphasis mine]

There’s more. Read it all. And remember also that of the 4,700 or so deaths from COVID-19 today, many occurred because the patient was already sick from some other illness and, based on the skewed reporting system being used, might really have died from those illnesses, not the Wuhan flu.

It is very clear that the fears pounded into us by the leftist academic community, working in league with the Washington bureaucracy, are way out of line. As the article concludes:

To sum up where we stand today, April 9: Based on the pretext that we must “limit the spread” of the Wuhan virus, the American economic boom of the past three years has been reversed in a matter of days, millions have lost their jobs, tens of thousands of small businesses have been shuttered and will probably never reopen, and three-quarters of the American population has been subjected to some form of house arrest by state, county and city governments.

All over the country people are being fined or arrested and jailed for violating suddenly imposed restrictions on their every movement and gathering, often with the aid of their neighbors, who turn them in to the police, following instructions on how to be a snitch. Attendance at religious services has been forbidden altogether or limited to ten people, even in vast cathedrals, while “permission” is granted to crowd supermarkets and convenience stores, buy booze, purchase cannabis and have pets groomed.

America’s almost instantaneous transformation into a police state is based on “models” that “predicted” upwards of 2 million deaths from the Wuhan virus without “mitigation” in the form of a preposterous attempt to quarantine 330 million people. And the people have obsequiously bowed to every ridiculous command.

We have been scammed. It is time that the scammers paid, not innocent Americans. It will however take innocent Americans to make that happen, at the voting booth in November.

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Lost freedoms and media lies

The panic over the Wuhan virus is clearly doing irreparable harm to our freedoms. And worse, the loss of those freedoms is being celebrated and supported by the press, the very people who should be acting to protect them, for their own sake if not ours.

Consider for example this article, which documents how four of the ten rights in the Bill of Rights have been tossed out the window during the government imposed lockdowns over the Wuhan flu. It also notes that a more basic right, the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, has been cancelled as well.

While this right is not listed in the Bill of Rights and instead appears in the Declaration of Independence, it covers all of our rights in a general sense and should be considered under attack. I have heard from friends who have been stopped at the border of their state and turned back by police; people with out-of-state plates turned away from grocery stores over the border that have supplies they need and can’t get in their own state; and people whose livelihoods are being destroyed by government edicts with no end date in sight. [emphasis mine]

As the author also notes, “anyone who has studied human history knows the ‘temporary’ loss of human rights is rarely temporary.”

The worst part of this article however is the incompleteness of the list of civil rights abuses. Consider these for example:
» Read more

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Russia hostile to Trump declaration to promote private enterprise in space

Russia today issued the first international response to the Trump executive order yesterday calling for private enterprise and property in space, and that response was decidedly negative.

Attempts to seize the territories of other planets are harmful to international cooperation, Deputy Director General of Roscosmos for International Cooperation Sergey Saveliev said on Tuesday. “Attempts to expropriate outer space and aggressive plans to actually seize territories of other planets hardly set the countries for fruitful cooperation,” Saveliev said.

He recalled that there were examples in history when one country decided to start seizing territories in its interests. “Everyone remembers what came of it,” Saveliev added.

Part of the goal of Trump’s order was to try to garner international support for the idea of allowing private property in space. The Russian response today suggests that they will not go along, and instead will use the words of the Outer Space Treaty to block such rights.

As I have been saying for years, the real solution is to pull out of the treaty. It forbids us from establishing our laws anywhere in space, which means future space-farers will be second class citizens, with their only rights determined by the UN, not the Bill of Rights.

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Trump signs executive order supporting private ownership in space

President Trump today signed a new executive order reiterating the United States’ support for private enterprise in space, including the ownership of any resources mined or obtained from other orbiting bodies, such as the Moon and the asteroids.

The text of the order is here. It acts to underline previous laws passed by Congress supporting private ownership in space. It also does three things:

1. It makes it very clear that the U.S. will oppose any effort by the international community to impose the Moon Treaty in space. This U.N. law, which is not the Outer Space Treaty that has governed space since 1967, was never ratified by the U.S., and in fact was only signed by seventeen countries. Its provisions were hostile to private property and private enterprise, essentially making both impossible in space. Thus, today’s executive order states:

The United States is not a party to the Moon Agreement. Further, the United States does not consider the Moon Agreement to be an effective or necessary instrument to guide nation states regarding the promotion of commercial participation in the long-term exploration, scientific discovery, and use of the Moon, Mars, or other celestial bodies. Accordingly, the Secretary of State shall object to any attempt by any other state or international organization to treat the Moon Agreement as reflecting or otherwise expressing customary international law.

2. The order re-emphasized the U.S.’s commitment to allowing private companies to retain ownership of any resources they mine from other worlds. Though the Outer Space Treaty appears to allow this, there is some uncertainty, and because that treaty also forbids nations from claiming any territory to establish their sovereignty and laws upon that territory, establishing the ownership of mining resources under U.S. law remains unsure. Today’s order essentially states that U.S. law will apply to those resources:

Americans should have the right to engage in commercial exploration, recovery, and use of resources in outer space, consistent with applicable law. Outer space is a legally and physically unique domain of human activity, and the United States does not view it as a global commons. Accordingly, it shall be the policy of the United States to encourage international support for the public and private recovery and use of resources in outer space, consistent with applicable law.

3. The order makes clear that the U.S. will use all of its influence to convince all other space-faring nations to agree to this approach.

This last item might be the most important. If the Trump administration can convince all other nations to some new approach that allows for private property in space, the difficulties created by the Outer Space Treaty might be bypassed.

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Trump fires inspector general who sparked fake Ukraine whistleblower complaint

Maybe the house-cleaning is finally beginning? President Trump today fired Michael Atkinson, the inspector general covering the intelligence agencies who approved the fake Ukraine whistleblower complaint that the Democrats used to justify their impeachment of the President.

I call that whistleblower’s complaint fake because 1) he wasn’t party to the phonecall in which he accused Trump of misbehavior, 2) the transcripts of the call itself showed none of the misbehavior he claimed, and 3) he was never willing to testify publicly to his accusation. Instead, he ran and hid.

It was pure fraud, a political hit job by Atkinson and the Democrats. Note too that there were indications that Atkinson, who was as an inspector general supposed to be independent of partisan politics, worked closely with the House Democrats to shape the whistleblower’s accusation.

Corrupt through and through. He should have been fired six months ago, especially because the impeachment chain of events he started tried to overthrow a legally elected president.

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Total mortality is DOWN in Europe during Wuhan panic

According to the latest weekly report of overall mortality in Europe, the number of deaths during the March 18 to 24 time period had dropped, even though that was the exact period when the panic and alarm over the COVID-19 epidemic began to reach its height.

The article at the link also notes that this particular flu season has so far been relatively mild, which corresponds with the U.S. data I posted on March 26.

Both the article and his source speculate with some puzzlement as to why this is the case. Obviously, the panic shutting down our entire economy and society is probably helping. At the same time, this flu season was already clearly going to be a mild one, long before the Wuhan panic took over.

Regardless, what these numbers once again suggest is that the response to COVID-19 has been way out of line and over the top. While our bankrupt press keeps focusing on specific deaths and coronavirus mortality rates, they are failing to note that the overall death rate is not changing, and is possibly even dropping.

A good example are the wild rumors, widely reported, of a gigantic order of burial urns for China, implying that these urns were needed because of millions of extra COVID-19 deaths, not reported by the Chinese authorities. What nobody asks is how many urns are normally ordered each year? I suspect the numbers would be quite similar.

We are not all going to die from the Wuhan virus, though the extreme measures our government is forcing us to take might very well kill us, in other ways. At a minimum, those extreme measures are destroying what was once a free society.

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IG report: FBI screwed up on every single FISA warrant application it submitted

So, why hasn’t Trump fired everybody there? A new inspector general review of 29 FBI FISA warrant applications has found that on every single application looked at, the FBI made numerous errors, often failing entirely in doing the most basic required documentation.

The [inspector general] review released Tuesday suggests that the FBI’s problems are widespread. “As a result of our audit work to date and as described below, we do not have confidence that the FBI has executed its Woods Procedures in compliance with FBI policy,” the [report] said in a memo to FBI Director Christopher Wray.

More information here, including the revelation that the FBI could not even find the files for four of these warrants. The IG suspects they might never have existed.

I repeat: Why has Trump so far not fired the entire upper management at the FBI involved in this work? Every single one of these bums should be out on the street, looking for work (though to be honest, the last place I’d want to see them working is as a stock person in a supermarket. They’d hoard and steal, and everyone else would starve.).

For example, the IG memo was submitted to Wray, who has been a top manager at the agency for years, and was directly involved in issuing most of these FISA warrants. Does anyone really expect him to fix this problem? He’s part of it.

Until Trump begins a real house-cleaning, I have no faith in his claim that he is “draining the swamp.” Instead, I see him as simply doing a little light dusting, just enough to make us peons not notice the thick piles of dirt buried under the rugs and beneath all the cushions and behind the books.

Also, this IG report provides further proof that Congress should not renew the FISA court law, when it comes up for renewal again in about two months. The entire law and all involved with it are corrupt, and routinely have abused the power it gave them.

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NASA to use private enterprise for space communications

Capitalism in space: NASA is now in the process of shifting from building its own communications satellites to communicate with ISS as well as many other Earth-orbiting NASA satellites to buying those services from the private sector, much as the agency has done with is cargo and crew ferrying service to the station.

This involves ground stations as well as upgrading its fleet of geosynchronous NASA-built TDRS satellites.

In addition, NASA is seeking industry assistance in replacing the Space Network, which provides communications for more than 40 missions including the International Space Station through government-owned Tracking and Data Relay Satellites (TDRS) and associated ground stations. “While the TDRS System is a fine investment that the government has made, for the future we are looking at commercial alternatives,” said Ted Sobchak, NASA Space Network project manager.

NASA plans a multistep campaign to encourage development of commercial space-based relay networks before the current TDRS spacecraft reach the end of their lives. “Based on past spacecraft performance, the newest generation of TDRS will remain operational well into the 2030s,” Younes said.

The original TDRS constellation of satellites, launched from 1983 to 1995, were actually built for a reasonable cost. At the time NASA did not try to put every bell and whistle on them, but focused instead on their basic mission and getting it launched for a reasonable cost. The management at NASA today almost certainly could not do this. Getting new satellites from competitive private companies will therefore save NASA money, and get the job done faster.

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Justice Dept abandons Mueller indictments of Russian companies

Earlier this week the Justice Dept quietly announced that it was dropping the indictments that the Robert Mueller Russian collusion investigation had made against several Russian-based companies.

Though I missed reporting this when it happened because of other events, it merits comment, even a few days late.

For one thing, when Mueller announced these indictments, I read them, and concluded that they were absurd, and nothing more than a political maneuver.

Mueller’s indictment is first and foremost a political document. If you read it, it is quite obvious that its purpose was not to bring these Russians to justice, but to imply that Russia was working with Trump to get him elected, even though a careful analysis of everything the Russians did shows that this is not the case.

Why do I say this? The indictment spends numerous pages describing in incredible detail every single pro-Trump action taken by these Russians, from organizing social media campaigns to anti-Clinton protests to pro-Trump rallies, while providing only one or two very short summaries of the anti-Trump actions they took, thus giving the impression if you do not read the indictment closely that they were essentially a Trump operation.

This however is false. Not only does the indictment lack any evidence of any links between the Russians and the Trump campaign, the details indicate strongly the non-partisan nature of the Russian strategy. While prior to the election it appears they favored Trump, once he was the candidate they shifted tactics to attack both him and Clinton. The goal was not so much to get Trump elected but to cause the most negative disruption to the American election process as possible. The indictment itself admits this, though almost as an aside.

People far more expert on this subject than I, such as Andrew McCarthy at the link above, had quickly come to the same conclusion. And McCarthy had predicted two years ago that the indictment would never fly if the Russian companies challenged it in court (something Mueller’s team clearly never expected). They did challenge it, resulting in some incredibly embarrassing moments in court for these Democratic Party hacks.

I think this story is only one example of the corrupt nature of Mueller’s Russian investigation. It was a political action against a duly and legally elected president, through and through, created by those in DC who did not like the result, and wished to overturn it illegally, by any means necessary.

Or to put it bluntly, it was an attempted political coup.

People in that operation should be the ones indicted, and convicted. I wait with great pessimism whether the investigations by Trump’s attorney general will result in such indictments. They should, but I have little faith they will. In Washington DC we now have two sets of rules.The little people must obey all laws, or they will be severely punished. Those in Washington however are exempt from any prosecution, and can do as they please.

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Gateway dropped from NASA lunar landing plans

According to the head of NASA’s manned program, the agency has revised its 2024 lunar landing plans so that the Lunar Gateway space station is no longer needed.

In a conversation with the NASA Advisory Council’s science committee March 13, Doug Loverro, NASA associate administrator for human exploration and operations, said he had been working to “de-risk” the Artemis program to focus primarily on the mandatory activities needed to achieve the 2024 landing goal.

…Later in the half-hour session, he said that means taking the lunar Gateway off the critical path for the 2024 landing. That was in part because of what he deemed a “high possibility” of it falling behind schedule since it will use high-power solar electric propulsion in its first module, the Power and Propulsion Element. “From a physics perspective, I can guarantee you we do not need it for this launch,” he said of the Gateway.

Loverro added that he wasn’t cutting Gateway, only pushing it back in order to prioritize their effort in getting to the lunar surface more quickly.

The Trump administration has been slowly easing NASA away from Gateway, probably doing so slowly in order to avoid upsetting some people in Congress (Hi there Senator Shelby!). They have probably looked at the budget numbers, the schedule, and the technical obstacles that are all created by Gateway, and have realized that they either can go to the Moon, or build a dead-end space station in lunar orbit. They have chosen the former.

Someday a Gateway station will be needed and built. This is not the time. I pray the Trump administration can force this decision through Congress.

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