Enemy Action

Welcome back to the Scuttlebutt. Today is going to be something rare, a command performance.
My publisher, the owner of Hashtag media, asked me my opinion on the recent claims that “Oh My God, someone is trying to destroy our food supply industry.” I replied that: 
On the food processing plants, I’m trying hard not to buy into the tinfoil on this one.  I want to look up: 
1). How many food processing plants are there in the nation? 
2). How often on average does one of those suffer a mishap? 
3). On average how many mishaps are there a year, for the last 20 years?
A buddy of mine used to be head of security for a set of JBL meat processing plants in Iowa and Nebraska.  I’ve heard lots of stories about misadventures in those plants, long before the sudden theory that someone is taking them out on purpose.  Unless we have a “tornado gun” and a “make built-up methane blow up gun” these were actual accidents.  Yes, as it’s being spun it looks suspicious, but if I were a political agitator for a foreign government trying to pull fifth column shit, I could make it look suspicious too.  It’s a matter of what you share, how you share it, and whether or not you provide context.

Well, most of this post is going to cover that.  Of course, me being me, I have to mention some other stuff too, so buckle up, and here we go.

There’s a LOT of smoke about how: OMG the “New World Order” and “The Great Reset” people are trying to drive us to eating bugs or going vegan! A lot of it from people who should KNOW BETTER.  Folks like Tucker Carlson have grabbed at this in the pursuit of ratings and fear mongering, which truth to be told, are the same thing. There’s a whole lot of people waving their hands in the air like some sort of autistic teen in full freak-out mode about this. Well, I’m not saying that there isn’t some enemy action involved here, but it’s NOT where Tucker and the boys are saying it is.

Look, I started my dig from the perspective of a simple web search for “How many fires occur in food processing plants per year?”   Well that immediately takes you to the conspiracy theory, and ANTI conspiracy theory sites, with things like 




Along with the fact-checker stuff from “Snopes” and “Logically”; The thing is, I don’t trust them (Snopes & Co.) as far as I can throw my Jeep. Frankly, their “fact check” on this was long on rhetoric, and short on actual checking, or facts. See https://www.logically.ai/factchecks/library/2417f688  there’s no actual “facts” here rebutting anything, as far as I can see.

So, let’s go a little further down the rabbit hole.

US News and World Report, and WCNC also called bullshit: https://www.usnews.com/news/us/articles/2022-05-03/fact-focus-food-plant-fires-fuel-conspiracy-theory  and https://www.wcnc.com/article/news/verify/food-processing-plant-fires-no-food-shortage-verify/275-deade631-7e19-400f-bd7e-7fa4afe8bcc0

Both of these are a little longer on facts, but for the folks with serious “tinfoil-itis”, the fact that “the arson investigators say this was natural causes” just means that the arson investigators are IN ON IT.

Well here’s the thing, even if we allow all of the 98 claimed incidents during the Biden administration as data points to consider in a prospective “enemy action” claim… (And most of these are “nothing burgers” reflecting: “joe’s butcher shop burned” or “an abandoned building on the site of X caught fire.”) Many of them were “Chickens at an egg farm were destroyed” things. News flash, these chickens are “egg-producing machines” that happen to breathe.  When they stop laying, they’re killed. If they’re in poultry barns, well those things are as much of a bomb waiting to happen as grain silos are. (I grew up in the Midwest, anyone from farm country can tell you grain silos are fire magnets, and they will blow up at the slightest hint of lightning (not like that ever happens in tornado alley) or a spark from an electric motor, or even from spontaneous combustion…

Please remember, bird shit (guano) is what we made high explosives out of until this guy named Dupont came up with a way to do it with petrochemicals.  Hell, the freak-out squad  even roped in a “this flight got diverted and the shipment of honeybees it was carrying died from the heat” as one of their “98.”

Now the next thing I did was look up “how many food processing plants are there in the US?  Well, it seems like there’s about 36,500 of them.  Guess what? The number that burned last year, or even the last two years, even if we allow all 98 of those bullshit claims?

Yeah, that would be .14% per year (rounded up.)  People, seriously. That’s a fucking rounding error!  This is a NOTHING BURGER.  But, still, let’s go on to look at how this compares to the historical record.

Here’s the thing, according to the National Fire Incident Reporting System, there were 5,300 fires in manufacturing or processing plants (they don’t divide it up by industry, sadly) and more than 2000 fires in Agricultural, Grain, Livestock, and Refrigerated storage facilities on average from 2015 to 2019.  Further, when we look at the NFPA (National Fire Protection Association) report published in 2018 https://www.nfpa.org/News-and-Research/Data-research-and-tools/Building-and-Life-Safety/Fires-in-US-Industrial-and-Manufacturing-Facilities we see that for the years 2011 through 2015 the numbers I just quoted for 2019 are about average for that period as well.

In short, over the last decade, we see no upward trend, and during the last two years, the line is flat.  What you’re seeing is something called “confirmation bias.” If you just bought a new Jeep Wrangler, suddenly you see Jeep Wranglers everywhere. You never noticed that many before, but now it seems like every third car is a jeep.  Well that my friend, is confirmation bias at work.  HINT, there aren’t any more jeeps on the road than there used to be, you just suddenly noticed them.

There is a possibility as I mentioned, that there is enemy action involved though… Look, if you want to pull something that the US would REALLY not approve of, you need to be able to either be big enough that the US wouldn’t dare care about your actions, (USSR circa “Prague spring”, when they rolled tanks in and shot people in job lots, looked at the US and said “what you going to do about it, Bitch?”) get the US’s prior approval (which Saddam THOUGHT he had gotten for the invasion of Kuwait, we remember how that turned out, right?)  Be prepared to go to war over it, (North Korea’s crossing of the 38th parallel comes to mind) OR, you can get the US so busy fighting among themselves that they can’t muster up the will to stop you.  This is called “fifth column” activities, or PSYOPS. (think North Vietnam invading South Vietnam in 73)  The various communist regimes are big fans of it, Hitler’s boys liked it too, and used it several times to soften up someone they were about to hit.

Do I know that this bullshit was started by a foreign government? NO, of course not. But it is without a doubt that there is a LOT of foreign interest and involvement in US politics… I get at least 20 attempts to bomb/hack this silly little blog a DAY from people with foreign email addresses.  Most of them are from India, Pakistan, or the PRC. Incidentally, if you post a comment to this blog and it doesn’t show up, that’s why, you fell afoul of my “BS filter” by accident.

This PSYOP is exactly the sort of thing I would do if I were trying to stir up hate and discontent in an already weakened foe… Make no mistake, we are a weakened foe right now. We have a president that can barely lick an ice-cream cone, an electorate that is so divided and so antagonistic that a civil war is just one or two really bad decisions away, a military that is more concerned with forcing troops to use the correct pronoun than killing enemies… If someone was looking to get away with shit, pushing for us to start a civil war with each other is a real, viable, strategy.

Again and again, do NOT take any one individual’s word for stuff, no matter which side of the fence he or she is on.  Just because it sounds like what you want to believe, doesn’t make it so.  PLEASE people, don’t be gullible, our nation just might depend on it.  And, don’t spread this conspiracy theory shit, if you haven’t done a LOT of research. It just makes your side look bad, and further drives the wedge in.

So, let’s go on to the OTHER side driving the wedge in: The NYT, (yes, I’m going to pick on the special ed kids again.) are doing their own “full-meltdown-mode” flailing of arms, because of the newest Supreme Court decisions, as released Tuesday afternoon. I can’t give you the link, because of the way their paywall works, but do a search for Ian Prasad Philbrick’s “the morning” on June 22, 2022, and you’ll find it.  This little article set is the MILDEST of the freakouts over the Carson v Makin decision, most of them would have you believe that THEOCRACY is just around the next bend in the river. He (Philbrick) is just desperately concerned that this is the most religious court since WWII and is clutching his pearls and looking for a fainting couch.

It’s true that 8 of the last 10 decisions on religion were decided for the religious side, against some sort of state overreach.  BUT this is, in reality, just the pendulum swinging back. I don’t care if you’re Monotheist, Polytheist, or Atheist, the first amendment, on religion, is clear: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof” and the twenty-first amendment makes it clear that the state is also enjoined from this behavior.  The key words that have been overlooked for a while are: Prohibiting the free exercise thereof.

Most atheists I know are fine with this.  What we’ve really been dealing with is the rise of the ANTI-Theists. People who take personal and mortal afront in the very concept that someone might believe in a higher power, and have been moving heaven (pardon the irony) and earth, to make people who believe in the divine (especially if they’re ugly evil nasty Christians!) as miserable as possible, and to limit or discourage their ability to do faith-related things.

The issue before the court was over a law in Maine that if there was no high school in your area, your school system had to either make a contract with another district’s school to teach the kids, or give the parents vouchers to pay for a private school, but it could ONLY be a secular school, no religious schools can receive voucher payments.

Justice Roberts summed it up perfectly in his decision: while “a state need not subsidize private education, once a state decides to do so, it cannot disqualify some private schools solely because they are religious.”  And furthermore: “Maine’s ‘nonsectarian’ requirement for its otherwise generally available tuition assistance payments violates the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment. Regardless of how the benefit and restriction are described, the program operates to identify and exclude otherwise eligible schools on the basis of their religious exercise.”

I have made no secret of the fact that I am not a Christian.  That’s not relevant. The fact that to the best of my knowledge there are no secular schools (outside of maybe Iceland) that follow my faith, is also not relevant. Any attack on any freedom is an attack on all freedoms.  This was a good decision.

The other decision released Tuesday afternoon dealt with a federal statute that requires stiff penalties for crimes involving a gun.  Yes, this was a blow for gun rights, but not really.  What it was, was a slap in the face against an overreaching prosecutor who wanted to tack as many years onto a dude’s sentence as possible, and was sloppy in how he did it.

Mr. Taylor was a Marijuana dealer, in a time and area where that was illegal.  Further, he and an associate decided to rob one of his clients.  During this crime, his associate shot and killed the victim. Instead of charging Taylor under state statutes, (which might have included “felony murder”) the DA decided as part of a program called “Project Exile” to send this guy to federal court instead so that he would serve his sentence outside the state, and nail him with more charges, due to something called a Hobbs Act Robbery charge, he then tacked on a 10-year kicker for there being a gun involved.  This is where he got sloppy.  Hobbs Act is not a “crime of violence” so the kicker wasn’t really valid, or so found SCOTUS. Was this a reach? Well, sort of, maybe… But the fact is that “the state” fouled up, and didn’t do their homework, so this guy gets 10 years knocked off his sentence as a result. We pay Prosecutors a lot of money to get it right and to keep everything clean, and legal.  When they overreach, people that are dirty as sin get off, due to a technicality.  This was one of those. Taylor pled guilty to the crimes of dealing, and Hobbs Act Robbery… so there wasn’t a trial where an “act of violence” could be substantiated, and there isn’t a federal felony murder statute, so they couldn’t go that route.  This should have been kept at the state crime level and handled much differently, but politicians felt the need to “be seen to be doing something about the problem” and came up with “Project Exile.” OOPS.

Take care, watch your six, 
Until next time I remain,
Yours in service.
William Lehman.


  1. Thank you very much for doing the research above, for setting my mind at ease on at least one matter (the food-supply sabotage rumor), and for nailing the Maine school decision neatly and eloquently. I’ll be back.

  2. Thanks for running the numbers.

    The claims seemed exaggerated, but the opponents actively avoiding context or math was starting to worry me.

  3. My wife and I were discussing this several weeks ago. It’s all nonsense. Because burning down a factory that makes frozen pizzas is really going to bring ‘Murica to its knees, right?

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