Posts Tagged ‘junk science’

“ELYSIUM” — Hollywood Describes Socialist Dystopia — and doesn’t even know it

January 1, 2014

Okay, I admit it — I rented “Elysium.” It’s supposed to be science fiction, so I thought I’d like it, but there isn’t a lot of science, except for political science. It’s mostly a lame attempt at socialist propaganda, but it winds up being, accidentally, a fairly accurate portrayal of a socialist dystopia.

I found myself looking at ruined, impoverished Earth, and thinking, “Oh, look! The Democrats and Muslims took over the world, and now the whole planet is a toxic blend of Detroit and a Palestinian refugee camp. That’s totally believable.”

That was the the last, believable thread of the whole story concept, and the irony of it was absolutely unintentional. My overtaxed willful suspension of disbelief snapped right after that.

Next, there’s the alleged “science” in this propaganda piece. What technology could stuff the energy to take one of those “Aliens”-era shuttles from a dead stop to escape velocity (18,000+ mph) in the thickness of Earth’s atmosphere (all without smearing the occupants all over the back end with the acceleration and incinerating them against atmospheric friction), but couldn’t make every inhabitant of Earth rich beyond his wildest dreams?

What technology could put a magical wellness and tanning bed in every house on Elysium, but not a single one on poor, ole’ proletarian Earth? That’s not a science-based decision; it’s a political one — one Communist elites have made for their vaunted working classes in every Socialist People’s Paradise ever built.

In the best Communist tradition, the best health care is reserved for the party members, and the proles get the dilapidated, dirty, “Los Angeles County Public Hospital,” with its “matured Obamacare” health-care horror show. Oh, sorry — it was “Hospital Publico de la Condad de Los Angeles.” Spanish is the language of poverty, on Planet Kabul/Detroit.

What sort of Hollywood-based cultural bias does that reveal, and where do we go to get an apology for it?

Only Communism could spread poverty over a whole planet, isolate a ruling class in space, literally and metaphorically above the “Proletariat,” and want to preserve that status at all costs.

Only lame-ass Hollywood writers would steal the Ringworld concept from Larry Niven, and trash it with a simple-minded and physically-impossible interpretation. But, hey, the writers are probably Commies, too, so what’s a little intellectual property expatriation to them? Larry Niven didn’t build that!

Well, yeah, he DID build it. And HE got it right.

Lame-ass writing. Lame-ass actors. ELYSIUM is a lame-ass movie.

It’s NOT the ECONOMY, STUPID! It’s the FREEDOM!

July 5, 2011

It's NOT THE ECONOMY!

Why does any public discussion of our stumbling, staggering, bleeding economy dissolve into accounting-speak — deficits, debt, bonds, seasonally-adjusted unemployment figures, tax deductions, accelerated depreciation, corporate tax loopholes, taxing the rich, oil-depletion allowances, big oil, big tobacco, jobs training, college tuition, blah, blah, blah, ZZZZZ?

BECAUSE IT’S SUPPOSED TO. Whether it’s the baffled and hackneyed vice president or the Decepticon-in-Chief telling us we need to blame some fictional Monopoly-man villain, or the super-caffeinated Congressman Paul Ryan speed-talking to us about the his budget plan, we are soon lulled into a haze of indifference by the “hate-the-rich” blather, or the “dismal science” jargon.

This is by design. The Left blames the “rich,” and the Right blames the Left. Neither side in the argument will dare a passing glance at the real issue behind all the class-warfare rhetoric and financial minutiae – the metastatic intrusion of government into every aspect of our lives, consuming our freedoms and transforming our country from a beacon of freedom into an addled, paralyzed, stupid, Euro-socialist dinosaur.

In short, the real issue is the loss of freedom.

When a whole country tries to move back into its parents’ basement, somebody has to pick up the tab, and here we are. A nanny-state is an ever-expanding expense, and the trade of freedom for an illusion of security always, always, always has the same result. The number of people willing to make that trade exceeds the number of those who refuse, and, as Margaret Thatcher famously said, “…sooner or later, you run out of other peoples’ money.”

Then, one of a small number of things happens. One has happened so often that no one should be surprised, but some always are: mass murder and mass graves.

In the Twentieth Century,  socialism — under its two major brand names, Communism and Nazism — took off its mask of compassion and equality of result, and showed the naked face of absolute dictatorship. It tried to reduce its operating costs and remove inconvenient political opposition by killing a hundred million or more human beings.

It never works, but don’t look for this cost-cutting measure to be abandoned permanently. Scrape the socially-acceptable, compassionate-statist veneer off of any socialist, and the dictatorial, mass murderer is always there, waiting for its moment in the sun.

Another approach is by simply printing “money.”  This doesn’t work either, as the Weimar Republic and Zimbabwe have already proven, as if proof were necessary. Sooner or later, the rest of the world catches on that the “full faith and credit” of the officially-sanctioned counterfeiting ring is meaningless.

No matter how many zeroes the print shop adds to the bill denominations, they still buy less and less, and finally, they are worth more as paper than as currency. This is but another, intermediate step to the murderous dictatorship, or to chaos and destruction.

The rarest but most blessed outcome is an awakening of the people to the reality that they are better off trusting themselves and leaving themselves to their own devices and to the mercy of their friends and relatives, than to trust any government to provide for them.

Of course, this sort of awakening is also likely to be bloody, because the beneficiaries of “other peoples’ money,” and the people who maintain their positions of privilege and power by handing it out, do not often give up their free rides voluntarily.

Some of the calcified and impoverished European socialist states are now experiencing a tentative rebirth of freedom; they have hit the financial wall, and can no longer ignore the inevitable. The trade of freedom for security always ends the same — security and freedom both expire. Whether these states, currently teetering on the razor-edge between freedom and slavery, will fall toward freedom, or away from it, it is still too early to tell.

Which way our own, uniquely-blessed country will fall, will be largely determined in the next few months.

That, ladies and gentlemen, is the issue, not the economy. Will we choose freedom, as our forefathers did over 235 years ago, or slavery? The economy is an effect, not a cause. The economy will heal if we choose freedom.

If we choose slavery, we will get the economy we deserve.

MELTDOWN! American Media Panics!

March 16, 2011

American Media Goes Critical

 

Alarm sirens sounded all over the United  States, as catastrophic fires and explosions broke out in the empty space inside mainstream news reporters’ heads. Several experienced on-air failures of their idiocy containment vessels. The terrifying result has been toxic spills of ignorant blather and stupid, over-generalized, factually-challenged statements spewing into the mainstream media environment.

Video and audio of these breaches has been running endlessly on every media outlet. This radiation of half-truths and misstatements feeds on its own hysteria and is approaching catastrophic levels. Heat and hyperbole are feared to be reaching critical mass.

It is hoped that this will result in mass evacuations of audience from these toxic fountains of idiocy, but unfortunately, many members of the mainstream media audience are as stupid as the news sources they watch, and will not get out in time to avoid fatal doses of stupidity and misinformation. The greatest number of casualties is expected to be concentrated in New York, California, Chicago and Washington, DC.

Whether the actual increase in terminal stupidity in these areas will be measurable is difficult to predict, because background levels of stupidity are already so high.

Stay tuned for more hysteria, ignorance and lies from the mainstream media.

“Extreme Circumstances” and Republican Surrender Monkeys — How to Make Nice and Lose a Country

May 17, 2010
Chamberlain

Senator Jon Kyl (L) leaves a meeting with Obama Adminstration representatives concerning the Kagan nomination... oh, wait! that's something else.

“’The filibuster should be relegated to the extreme circumstances, and I don’t think Elena Kagan represents that,’ said Arizona Sen. Jon Kyl, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee.”—AP article carried on breitbart.com

Will someone please point out to me a Republican with a spine, anywhere in a senior position of responsibility in Congress?

Senator Jon Kyl clearly is not one. Senator Kyl, if intercepting this left-wing hack of an Obama nominee on a clear trajectory to a lifetime appointment to the US Supreme Court is not “extreme circumstances,” what the hell is?

It’s only the judicial entity you and your colleagues have negligently entrusted with the power to say the United States Constitution is whatever they say it is at a given moment, that’s all. What little public record she has includes hostility to the military and free speech, and a fondness for abortion. Will you be astonished if she is also hostile to the Second Amendment and the other nine articles of the Bill of Rights? If you are, you are as clueless as you are spineless.

Does anyone understand why a Republican “leader” would roll over and play dead on such an issue even before hearings have begun? Is anyone surprised that the Tea party people and other grassroots conservatives and constitutionalists have turned their backs on the Republican Party “leaders?”

These eunuchs will make nice while the Socialist Democrats guide our country into the twilight, as a failed, post-constitutional, pseudo-European socialist state with no history and no future, and a debt to the Chinese that will make us their wholly-owned subsidiary.

Nah, no “extreme circumstances,” there.

Trying to Trust Sarah Palin

February 8, 2010

I like Sarah Palin.

I loved her nomination speech at the Republican National Convention, but not quite enough to vote for the aging opportunist at the top of their ticket.

That’s right – even a magical, electric moment of optimism, wit and apparent willingness to speak the truth couldn’t make me vote for Mister Incumbent Protection Act; Mister McAmnesty; Mister We Shall Not Speak of the Flaming Socialist at the Top of the Democrat Ticket as a Flaming Socialist.

Why? Because I suspected it was an act. I had looked at McCain’s history, and I did not see any chance of this man undergoing the transformation that would have been required to turn him into a leader with more allegiance to the Constitution than to extending the trajectory of his career as a professional politician to the big chair in the Oval Office.

Sarah Palin, I feared, was his last-ditch effort to look like a conservative; to draw back the Republicans, Libertarians and Independents who had been betrayed by two Bushes and a Republican elite that decided Democrat Lite was the way to go. The Republican establishment types too-often found themselves in disagreement with progressives and Socialist Democrats in style, but not in substance. The party of Specter, Snowe, Collins, Lugar and McCain was not, and is not, my party.

If they belong, I don’t.

The headlong rush of Obama, Reid and Pelosi to socialist utopia may have been more leisurely under McCain, but it would have been just as steady and determined.

Like the decades-old fires that burn underground in abandoned coal mines and peat bogs, the socialization of America would have progressed mostly unobserved by those above ground, until the smoldering earth opened up and exposed the extent to which the country’s heart had been burned away by the federal government, and the fire could not be put out.

I watched with interest Saturday night, as Sarah Palin addressed the Tea Party Nation Convention in nearby Nashville. I was not won over, although I wanted to be.

She seemed a bit tired, as if she’d had some sleepless nights to make the appearance fit into her busy schedule. She seemed not like a tea party revolutionary, but more like a slightly exhausted Republican, trying to sound the notes that would make tea partiers respond.

Respond they did, standing to cheer several times, as she struck out at the Obama administration’s cluelessness on national defense, its apparent willingness to destroy the economy, and its utter disregard and contempt for the Tenth Amendment.

I hoped to hear her explicit pledge to support candidates and movements that were committed to all of the Bill of Rights, but that never came. Instead, I heard later that she went from the conference to appearances for Rick Perry and John McCain, neither of whom is a big friend of the Constitution in general, or of the Bill of Rights in particular.

Why, Governor? I would understand if, to honor promises made during the late, lame, lamented election campaign, you appeared briefly with such candidates — but not when you join them on the campaign trail and seem committed to their victory. Remember, a President McCain would have been that fire burning underground, but more slowly — advancing the restrictions on free speech, pushing amnesty for illegal aliens, and pushing for more taxpayer bailouts like the TARP boondoggle. And then the ground opens up…

On another, jangling sour note, the Governor told us that, if she were president, she would endorse expanded exploration and exploitation of American energy sources, and to begin immediately to build nuclear power plants, because they are, “carbon-neutral.” Oh, boy.

Governor Palin, if you’ve been too busy campaigning for McCain to keep track, “man-caused global warming” is a colossal scam.

The “science” that was supposed to prove it has been exposed as fraudulent. The underlying motivation of the Watermelons – green on the outside, but red on the inside – behind the Cap and Trade bills, and similar schemes is, and has always been, the accumulation of power in the hands of central government.

If Sarah Palin doesn’t know that, or knows but won’t say so, why?  Is she just another closet progressive, dressed up like a conservative?

Beats me. I like her. I just wish I could trust her.

YOU’RE TOO STUPID!

October 14, 2009

For decades, the government has been telling you that you’re stupid. Are you too stupid to get tired of that?

You are too stupid to buy a car you can afford, and one that gives you and your family a chance of surviving a collision, rather than one that will crush like a paper bag because it had to lose weight to meet CAFE standards.

You are too stupid to manage your own health care. You need the government to choose your doctor, and to determine if, what, when and how you will receive medical care; and whether you and your loved ones will die because their care is too expensive, or rationed to those in a more favored political class.

You are too stupid to decide for yourself what the truth is, so government will decide who gets to use “public” airwaves to tell you what to think.

You are too stupid to buy a toilet that flushes the first time, a light bulb that doesn’t contain poisons you need a HAZMAT team to dispose of, or to set your thermostat to a comfortable temperature, just because you are the one paying the utility bills.

You are too stupid to distinguish honest expression of news and opinion appearing on the Internet from scams and lies, so government will move in, as in China, and allocate Internet access to the sources that get bureaucratic blessings.

You are too stupid to know how stupid racism is – especially of you are white, or non-white but conservative – so you need government to impose racist standards on hiring, college admissions and just about everything else.

You are too stupid to be responsible for your children’s education. You don’t have an education school degree, so you are not qualified to provide your children with moral education, let alone to home-school them. Government will provide them with all the knowledge and wisdom they need, thank you very much. And government will encourage your children to bring their wisdom home and lecture you  for not buying a hybrid deathtrap car and for running too much hot water, and for not standing whenever Barack Obama appears on TV.

You are too stupid to examine the actual positions of political candidates and decide for yourself, based on those positions, which are more qualified for office. Instead, you need government to restrict the right to run for office to members of one or the other establishment political party. “Independents” and “third parties” should get every possible obstacle thrown in their way, because you are too stupid to see their names on the ballot. The burden of choice would overload your stunted intellect, and you would be incapable of making the right decision.

You are FAR too stupid to own a firearm, because firearms, all by themselves, cause crime and suicide. You are incapable of learning which end of the gun the round comes out of, or how the unload a weapon and make it safe, or how to distinguish a home invader seconds away from crashing through your front door from your mother-in-law getting a midnight snack.

Some of us are at the end of our patience with genuinely stupid, selfish, socialist, statist do-gooders telling us we are the stupid ones.

Are you?

President for Life Barack Obama’s Post-Constitutional World

January 16, 2009

 

 

“His Excellency, President for Life, Field Marshal Al Hadji Doctor Idi Amin Dada, VC,  DSO, MC, Conqueror of the British Empire in Africa in General and Uganda in Particular”.  (Wikipedia)Idi Amin, Courtesy of Wikipedia

I’ll miss the Constitution.

Ron Paul and the rest of the feathers out at the tip of the right wing have been telling us for years it was going to happen, and we who paid attention knew something bad was happening, but we had jobs, and lives, and TV series to worry about, and it went on around us while we expressed concern, but not alarm.

I should now be alarmed, but it may be too late.  Darn.

The left runs Washington, and state and local governments hardly matter, as long as they are in substantial compliance with the federal standards that apply to just about everything.  Our fearless leaders in Washington dug the open-pit trap the economy fell into, and now they step up to the microphone with “solutions” that involve handing the economy a shovel.  Of course, the underlying purpose is power.

The consolidation of power has always been the agenda of “leaders” of both parties, and of most of their agents in government.

“Global Warming” (on this January night when the temperature will probably drop past zero, F, here in sunny Tennessee), is now also known as “Global Climate Change,” because that covers about everything the climate is likely to do, and anything it may do is cause for consolidating power in government.  By any name, it is nothing but a pretext for grabbing power.  Not just electric power, or nuclear power; political power.

If the government can say who will be able to generate the “pollutant” Carbon Dioxide, the government can say who will use electricity, or natural gas, or oil, or coal — who will generate or use energy.  When you get down to it, that gives the government the power do decide who breathes, but that will come later.

If you remember your elementary school science — that is, if you studied it before it consisted of learning how to recycle aluminum cans and put on a condom — everything is made of energy.  Matter is energy, if you divide it up small enough.  Everything we are, and everything we do, involves the conversion of energy from one form to another.

A drop of gasoline (chemical energy) explodes in an engine cylinder (heat energy) and moves the family car along (mechanical energy).  Crowd some Uranium atoms a little close for comfort, and they give off energy, which can be used as heat to turn a turbine, and run a generator.  Of course, that only happens on a large scale in France, Iran, and other countries in which the Left thinks it is OK to allow nuclear energy to be used for “peaceful” purposes.  Not in America.

Once you have a stranglehold on the generation and use of energy, you have a stranglehold on people.  Let’s just suppose that, on this sub-zero night over a large swath of the United States, the feds decide to provide a little object lesson about how the Constitution is no longer a limit on government power.  It would be a little brazen for President for Life Obama to instruct everyone to hold his or her breath for a few minutes, just to get an idea of what it would be like to be prohibited from emitting the bad pollutant CO2.  Might be a little hard to enforce, too,  at this early stage in the Administration.

No, let’s just “accidentally” turn off the power to some states that didn’t go “blue” in the last election, but they’re going “blue” now, from sub-zero temperatures.  Not for long; just for a few hours — say,  overnight.  The first time, anyway.  Maybe, they will offer some half-hearted explanation about a squirrel getting into the transformer, and the dang computers shut everything down, dumb computers, or Christian fundamentalist  terrorists, or something.  But don’t try too hard to be convincing, because the point is to make a subtle threat.

See?  If you don’t play by the new rules, will the Constitution keep you warm?  (Maybe you could burn your copy of the Bill of Rights on the kitchen table.  That’ll last a minute or two.)  Yes, your wood stove may tide you over for a few days without power, but a passing car carrying a government official might just see smoke coming from the chimney.  A DEA helicopter might be scanning in the infrared for indoor hydroponic pot farms, and see the heat coming from your fire.  Whoa, we can’t have that, can we? Spewing CO2 out into the publicly-owned air, melting glaciers and drowning polar bears? Tsk.

You’ll have to put that fire out, and schedule an appointment for the environmental impact study on your wood stove. What? Didn’t know you needed one? Well, it’s a new rule, and the standards are pretty stringent. In fact, Obama plans to apply the same environmental impact standards to your wood stove that he promised he would use to drive the coal-fired generating plants into bankruptcy. He just signed an executive order, putting the new standards into effect as soon as he takes the oath of office, where he tries not to roll his eyes when he swears to “uphold the Constitution.”

And, don’t expect to make a big, dramatic stand, holding off the EPA SWAT team with your firearms. That won’t last long, either. The UN wants us to get rid of them, for world peace. The EPA SWAT team will be armed to the teeth, but civilians need to be disarmed, because they just can’t be trusted with such dangerous instruments. First thing you know, people will be trying to band together and prevent the government from doing something that is for our own good. We are too dumb to understand that, sometimes, unpleasant things must be done to individuals for the good of the majority. People will just hurt themselves, if they have guns.  And, after all, the darn things do emit CO2 when firing.

Suppose not enough of us get the point the first few times the power goes off?  The weather might decide to give us a break (at least during Barack’s first term), and quit trying to kill us for a while.  Think we’re home free?  Well, how much food do you have stored away? Sure, you can boil stream water on the wood stove, until they come for that, but how long can you go without food? Do you have any idea how much energy is consumed to plant, grow, process and distribute food? How long will you last if that energy is cut off? Tractors and trucks burn petroleum products; canneries and processing plants use energy, stores have to have refrigeration and lights…

Forget Hoodia and Oprah’s latest diet scheme.  Try the Stalin Diet! Tens of millions reduced their energy needs to next to nothing in Russia, that way. Yes, there was energy consumed in decomposition, but that can be dealt with. That’s what mass graves are for!  The survivors and their neighbors in the politically favored areas of the late Soviet Union were quite impressed, and strongly persuaded that the government was right.

People who grow their own food use energy, too.  Remember that Roto-tiller? It’s a gas hog! Are you keeping a cupboard full of winter squash, carrots, canned goods and dried foods that will last for months? That might be considered hoarding, you know. People in “public housing” (and eventually, if the “emergency” goes on long enough, “refugee camps”) might eat pretty well on the food you are selfishly keeping for your own family. Remember, a few may have to suffer for the good of the many. Once they leave with your firearms, expect the truck to come back for your “hoarded” food.

What the hell, you’ll probably be moving into big “public housing” complexes anyway.  Concentrated housing is more energy-efficient, you see, and makes better use of land, according to UN standards.  Yes, the complexes may  be surrounded by tall, chain-link fences with razor wire and bright lights, and guard towers, but that’s just for your safety.  Can’t have people smuggling in guns or fattening foods, can we?  Goodness, no.  Outside of the concentration ca– I mean, the public housing complexes, will be plenty of government-mandated green spaces, of course.  The UN is big on green spaces, and so are the planning commissions in California, and the rest of the country.  You’ll be able to glance out at the green spaces through the chain-link fence, on your way from your apartment block to your government-mandated job.

All employment, see, will be government-controlled, because, when you control energy, you control industry and business, and well, who knows better where you should be spending your time than your government?  Heck, you live in public housing, you eat public food, and drink public water, why shouldn’t you be happy to work in the public sector?  Who better to determine where your skills will do the most public good, than the public employment service?

When you control the energy, of course, you control the health care.  Yes, that means “public” health care. Be ready for the same level of service in “public” health care that you are used to in “public” restrooms.  Maybe your public service job will be in the Kevorkian Pavilion of the Tom Daschel Health Care Resource Reallocation Center, where babies and baby boomers go to die.

Yes, as there always is in government health care, there will be temporary shortages of medicines, medical devices and health care professional services.  After all, why would anyone become a health care professional, to make the same money as a sniper in a guard tower, or a low-emissions crematorium attendant, according to the government pay schedule?  Some of us will be required to step up, and make sacrifices, for the good of the many.  Is that diabetes medication costing more, lately? Is that cardiac bypass going to put the clinic over budget for January? Euthanasia is so much cheaper, and unborn children are just “lumps of tissue,” right? Nip that cost item in the bud. Save energy!

Wow, I can’t wait to live in President for Life Barack Obama’s Brave, New, Post-Constitutional  World.  Of course, I probably won’t be around long. I already feel guilty about being white, a natural-born citizen (unlike Obama) , middle-aged, and a CO2 emitter. It’s only a matter of time before I have to step up, get in the game, do my part.

Hey, did the lights just flicker? I hope the power stays on long enough to see tonight’s crucial episode of my favorite TV show.

Numbering the Bullets — and Backdoor Gun Control

December 11, 2008

In the Spring of 2008, some Tennessee lawmakers were pushing a bill (HB 3245/SB 3395) that would require all bullets sold in the state to be laser-engraved with a unique serial number. Tennessee is one of several states in which this scheme was  floated. Such initiatives will probably resurface, like a recurring infection, after the first of the year.

I’m sure that the legislative sponsors sincerely believe that the technology to do this exists, that it is “relatively” reliable and inexpensive, that it won’t impose an undue burden on legal gun owners, and that it will result in solving more firearm crimes.

Most are also sincere (one hopes) in the belief that this bullet ID database will not be used as a back-door method of identifying legal handgun owners, in order to make the confiscation of their handguns at a later date more convenient. For a government that no longer trusts its citizens with the right of self defense by handgun, this is a logical way to go.  Most legislators, that is. Unfortunately, there may be some who eagerly await such a confiscation move, and who hope that an ammunition database will make it easier.

As to the technology, please allow an Information Technology administrator and firearms enthusiast to express some skepticism. Yes, it is certainly possible to laser-engrave a very large amount of information onto a very small surface area. One only has to look at a photo taken through an electron microscope of an integrated circuit “chip,” showing the circuit paths etched by a laser. The individual conductive paths make a human hair look like a giant redwood, by comparison.

However, integrated circuits are not fired under tremendous heat and pressure from the breech of a firearm, forced down the barrel of that firearm at 500 to 1000 miles per hour, and distorted or even shattered on impact. Have the bill’s sponsors seen objective studies that show how much of that etched code is still readable after the short, stressful life of a fired bullet? Or, are they taking the word of the measure’s proponents?

Then there’s the challenge of storing and recovering those codes from a government database. By some estimates, 10 billion rounds (that’s ten times one thousand times one million) of the more common handgun ammunition types are manufactured in the United States alone, every year. Even if, as some of the “ammo coding” proponents suggest, the code would “only” narrow the field to one box of twenty to fifty rounds of ammunition, we are still talking about generating, etching, and keeping accurate track of something like half a billion (that’s five hundred times one million) unique codes — each year. And each year, add another half a billion.

Ammunition has a shelf life measured in years, or even decades, if properly stored. So, a bullet coded one day may not be fired until ten, or twenty years later. Am I supposed to believe that a government that can’t even keep track of ten or twenty million illegal aliens (We don’t know how many, do we?), or the illegal use of a 9-digit Social Security number, will be able to track one, unique “ammo code” code out of five billion, back ten years, to the manufacturer, seller and, ultimately, to the buyer? Sorry. I don’t. Even if the information is entered accurately (and it often isn’t, judging from other forms of government record-keeping), it can be lost, altered or destroyed.

Does anyone know what it will cost to maintain the database — personnel, hardware, software — that houses this information? Do the legislative sponsors have any realistic estimates? Or, are they listening to the moist whispers in their ears from the manufacturers of laser engravers, database administration programs and computer servers, who will be scrambling for the contracts to accumulate and maintain this enormous, and always-growing mountain of data?

Does anyone dispute that the burden of this process on the ammunition manufacturers will drive up the price of their products? One ‘Ammo Code” proponent’s Website (www.ammocoding.com) estimates that a laser engraver will cost “only” $300,000 to $500,000. Of course, an engraver would be needed at the end of each production line. If a manufacturer runs batches of the five or six most popular handgun ammunition types at one time, that’s “only” a few millions of dollars in up-front costs, plus the cost of labor to operate and maintain what must be a fairly complex piece of equipment, plus the extra time and space added to the manufacturing process, and their attendant costs.

This could only look attractive to the manufacturer of the engraving machines, it seems to me. How many of them are lobbying for these bills in state legislatures around the country, and counting the added revenues as they drift off to sleep?

Of course, the gun control lobby has to be enthusiastic about anything the drives up the cost of personal protection via handgun, even a little. If the price of ammunition can be pushed high enough to put  it out of reach for a single mother in the projects, with a minimum wage job, an abusive “ex” who likes to drop by and beat her, and a neighborhood full of crack dealers and pimps who don’t seem to have any problems getting handguns and ammunition, so much the better.

And then, there’s the problem of privacy. Does anyone not know about information theft? A former director of the US Central Intelligence Agency “misplaces” a laptop with top secret documents on it. Tens of thousands of credit card numbers go missing because somebody was patient and skillful enough to penetrate a corporate network and steal them.

Even if you choose to ignore the deliberate misuse of “private” information within government (the browsing of passport data files at the State Department, or the illegal possession of private FBI files by White House staff come to mind), incompetence, laziness and corruption make the theft of such information as ammunition ownership not just likely, but nearly inevitable. Do we really want that sort of information lying around?

Criminals typically obtain handguns on the street, or by stealing them. In the jurisdictions with the strictest gun control laws on the books, a criminal can still get a handgun (or even a machine gun, if the price is right) in hours or even minutes. A criminal is someone predisposed to have no more regard for firearms laws than for any other laws, or he would not be a criminal. Would the criminal not also find ways to circumvent the “ammo codes” by getting his ammo on the street, from sources that are less than scrupulous about their record-keeping? As the history of gun laws repeatedly shows, an ammunition code law would only burden those who buy their ammunition legally. The criminals would skate.

Millions of pounds of marijuana, cocaine, methamphetamine, opiates and other drugs are smuggled into the US annually by entrepreneurs who know a market when they see it. Will they not see a market for uncoded, or unregistered ammunition? Does anyone with a toehold in reality doubt it?

This “ammo coding” initiative looks like a scam advanced by an unholy alliance of opportunists who see a chance to profit from it, and power-hungry people who don’t trust John Q. Public with the means to defend himself with a handgun.

The legislative sponsors of these bills need to take five steps back and look at them from another point of view — and then, back away from them, completely.

Environmentalism Three Ways: Pragmatists, Primitivists, and Watermelons

October 18, 2008

As a retired information technology worker, I find it convenient to organize some kinds of information into rows and columns, like a spreadsheet. It helps me get my mind around a complex topic.

While examining one such topic, environmentalism, I discovered that environmentalists can be divided into three general categories (spreadsheet columns): Pragmatists, Primitivists, and Watermelons. The three types address two, exemplary environmental problems – global warming and ozone depletion (spreadsheet rows) — and their solutions, very differently.

Theodore Roosevelt, a pragmatists who became an obnoxious Progressive (Wikipedia)

Pragmatists tend to follow the example of Teddy Roosevelt, an asthmatic city boy who developed a passion for understanding nature through science and personal experience. While developing enough respect for natural wonders to create the country’s first national parks, he saw man as the dominant species, and nature as his domain, to be exploited responsibly, but not to be destroyed needlessly.

Pragmatists seek to strike a balance between human needs and natural beauty, believing that, with recourse to accurate, scientific data,  humanity can benefit from nature without destroying it, and vice versa.

TR, unfortunately, set a strong precedent for government expropriating land for “public” use that was for esthetic reasons, rather than for meeting the nations practical needs — construction of fortresses, bridges, and other necessary evils. He did stop well short of turning the nation’s largest and most easily exploited sources of energy into untouchable preserves, however, leaving those morally-indefensible acts of government grand theft to later Progressives.

Pragmatists want to see objective evidence of global warming and ozone depletion, and to identify the most likely causes of these phenomena, before they entertain government policies meant to remedy them. Pragmatists become excited in the short term by the environment, if they find themselves at the foot of an erupting volcano, or in the path of a tornado, but otherwise, they tend to be focused calmly on the long term.

The romanticized "Indian," emblem of the Primitivist ideal -- the Unicorn, mascot of idealist nature-worshipers everywhere, was not available.

The romanticized “Indian,” emblem of the Primitivist ideal — the Unicorn, mascot of idealist nature-worshipers everywhere, was not available. (Wikipedia)

Primitivists have no use for science, other than political science, and its ugly, bastard son, junk science. Their ideal world is one from which humans and their civilization have been erased, or, better yet, one in which they never existed at all. If asked, they will admit to a desire to see about 99% of the world’s human population disappear, except for themselves and a few close friends with a similar orientation.

The most extreme Primitivists believe that human life is no more valuable than the life of an insect or a plant, and that the idea of exploiting an animal or a plant to extend or improve the life of a human is immoral and selfish. In their more tempered state, primitivists envision a romantically idealized harmony in the relationship of man and nature.

Their emblem of this ideal is the romanticized American Indian (whom they, of course, call a “Native American,” as if that phrase did not mean, literally, “one who was born in America”). This mythical character lives frugally and gently with the land, worshiping it as a god, seeing spirituality in every tree and rock. One assumes these characters would not build casinos and duty-free liquor stores in their pristine estates, or profit from the sale of mineral rights therefrom.

Primitivists accept global warming and ozone depletion without question, because these phenomena only serve to confirm their belief that man is a burden on nature, and that he will destroy it if allowed. Their remedy is simple and straightforward. Abort the unborn ones, and let the born ones freeze, bake and starve to death, and return their biodegradable packaging to the environment.

Green on the outside, but RED on the inside (Wikipedia)

Green on the outside, but RED on the inside (Wikipedia)

Watermelons are pragmatic, too, in their own way. Having been exposed as hypocrites or fools, these believers in a bankrupt, failed ideology that calls for government ownership of everything, had to find another rock under which to hide. Environmentalism is the perfect refuge for communists, because it allows those who are red on the inside to put a layer of green on the outside, and continue to spread their toxic theology. In the 21st Century, environmentalism is the last bastion of people who think private property is The Man’s way of oppressing the downtrodden.

In the Watermelon’s view, people are not entirely evil. A certain number of them are required to drive the party elite in their limousines from the halls of power to their dachas in the woods, to cook their gourmet meals, and to fight and die in the interest of preserving and expanding their empires.

However, the history of socialism in the 20th Century includes a laudable amount of population control in the form of purges.  The big-name socialist utopias lightened Mother Earth’s burden of humanity by a hundred million or so, in the interest of the state. While an unfortunate quantity of lead and carbon dioxide had to be introduced to the environment by firing squads, cattle trains and tanks, most of these deaths were accomplished with lower environmental impact — mass starvation and death by slave labor, predominating.

In the 21st Century, Communist China has recently taken the lead in recycling. Environmentally responsible Chinese leaders now harvest the skin, corneas and internal organs of the political prisoners they execute, and sell them on the open market. While this practice carries the unsavory taint of capitalism, watermelons believe any country that not only allows abortion, but requires it, must have its heart in the right place.

Watermelons readily embrace global warming and ozone depletion as crises, because the “solutions” for them involve government regulation of private industry. While not entirely satisfactory, government regulation of industry is a step in the right direction — toward the Watermelons’ ultimate goal: government ownership of industry.

Watermelons believe the best way to relieve human overcrowding (between purges) is to build large, ugly, concrete apartment blocks in major cities. Then, they force people selfish enough to live in their own homes to surrender these anachronisms to the state and move into the apartments. Problem solved.

Appalling tales of the worst environmental disasters on earth – horrible nuclear accidents and wholesale contamination of large areas with industrial poisons, perpetrated by communist states – do nothing to curb the Watermelons’ appetite for government control. After all, environmentalism is just a convenient form of cover for a Watermelon, not a real ideology.

The real goal of the Watermelon is, and always has been, government control of every aspect of life, from before birth, up to and including death. Individual humans are just too stupid to be trusted with running their own lives, and if they have to be sold on communism by bait-and-switch, well, so be it.

There you have it. I promised a spreadsheet, with rows and columns. Here it is:

Pragmatists

Primitivists

Watermelons

Global Warming

Identify real problems; Propose real solutions. Let people freeze to death in the dark. Abort or purge most people; forcibly relocate the rest and run their lives. Dominate the world.

Ozone Depletion

See above. Let people bake, and/or starve from lack of refrigeration. See above.

SILRL (Search for INTELLIGENT Life in the Republican Leadership): Mission Failed

October 17, 2008

[Author’s Note: The following, although written in July, 2003, is distressingly relevant. Change a few names and titles, and the truth is still true.]

What the heck is a SILRL Project? SILRL stands for Search for Intelligent Life in the Republican Leadership. It was my ongoing effort to discover some guiding intelligence in what passes for leadership in the Republican Party. I’m not talking about the kind of “intelligence” that Hollywood celebrities and Bill Clinton have — the mindless instinct for self-preservation and self-promotion based on saying what one thinks people want to hear. I’m talking about wisdom based on established principles, as enumerated in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.

I have reluctantly concluded that there is no intelligence to be found in the Republican leadership, and that further searching is a waste. The SILRL Project is now officially over, a failure.

Sometime in 1997, it became clear that the “Republican Revolution” of 1994 was more cosmetic than revolutionary. There is a disappointing pattern to Republican behavior at the leadership level. The umpteenth time I heard a Republican big shot on conservative talk radio say, “When we have a veto-proof majority in both houses of Congress, we’ll (abolish the Education Department, rein in the IRS, impeach traitorous judges, protect unborn children, re-establish Constitutional law, etc.),” I realized I was listening to a fund-raising ploy, and nothing more.

The only time the spineless fat cats in the Republican leadership make conservative noises is when they need money and time from us conservative grassroots types to get themselves re-elected. Between campaign seasons, we are noisy, unsophisticated bumpkins, who naively insist on adherence to some obscure historical document called the Constitution.

The Big Elephants cluck their tongues at us, and mutter about how we don’t seem to understand that, “politics is the art of the possible.” Translated into everyday English, that means, “Politics is the art of saying and doing what we need to say and do to get re-elected. What’s right and Constitutional is, well, ‘relative.’ Relatively unimportant, compared to getting re-elected.”

There are about a dozen, real, Constitutional conservatives among national Republican officeholders and party leaders, and the rest might as well be Democrats, or Socialists, for that matter. There is little, practical difference.

Ronald Reagan, while discussing why he left the Democratic Party of his youth, said something like, “I didn’t really leave them; they left me.” The old-time champions of the “little guy,” the everyday American, had become the New Deal, big-government socialists, with the apparent intent to federalize just about everything, from first-grade textbooks to flush toilets. They turned the act of killing unborn children from murder into a civil right, stripped the right of self-defense from individual citizens, and made institutionalized racism a federal policy to make up for decades of institutionalized racism. With few exceptions, the Republican minority carped, but went along.

Most establishment Republicans seem to want what the socialist Democrats want, but, more slowly, and with less overt impact on the stock market. In recent decades, the Republican party has become “democrat socialist lite.”

The enormous expansion of the Department of Education, usurping the control of schools from communities and addicting them to federal funds, while doing nothing to improve the quality of education, is but one example of Republican statism. The recent spasm of effort to subsidize prescription drugs with taxpayers’ money, in exchange for the votes of “seniors,” will increase dramatically the cost of health care, while reducing quality and stifling innovation. With a few exceptions, Republicans are on board, if only because (they hope) they will get more polite treatment, along with a few campaign dollars, from the AARP crowd.

Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist has turned out to be every bit as spineless and ineffectual as Trent Lott, and at least as willing to sacrifice principle for political success as Bob Dole. For a chance to appear on camera back-slapping with flatulent hacks like Byrd and Kennedy, and starry-eyed socialist utopians like Boxer and Clinton, Frist is willing to pledge our future incomes to the World Bank and our property rights to the Sierra Club.

This is the big jackpot the Republican leadership promised grassroots conservatives back in ’94. We who are not overjoyed are just being ingrates.

America is now becoming a socialist state, where individual freedom and responsibility, along with property rights and the sanctity of life, are anachronisms — obstacles on the road to “sustainable development” and “social justice.” And the Republican leadership is showing us the way. The Search for Intelligent Life in the Republican Leadership has been abandoned, because there is none to find. I’m taking my search to the right wing of the Libertarian party, next.