CHAOS MANOR MAIL
Mail 253 April 14 - 20, 2003
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April 14, 2003
Tax time. Very Short Shrift
I couldn't agree more with your comments on culture, not race is a major problem in this country. We have in the past referred to this country as a melting pot. To me this implies that we have all joined together to form the combined (melted) culture that makes up these United States. When every different group that moves to the United States insists on bringing their culture with them that they left to get here and expects the rest of us to learn and accept their heritage as opposed to them learning about what made the culture in the US so successful and melting in we are going to have problems. Thomas Sowell has an excellent series of three books on cultures, that I think, address cultures and their effects through out history very well.
As you said a common cultural heritage is very important to make political units cohesive and coherent. Some would disagree, I am sure, but I think a common language is also very important to keeping a nation strong. If we can't communicate with each other because our language and cultures are different then the situation is ripe for misunderstanding. I think we have this problem now. Things as simple as gestures have different meanings, often radically different meanings, in different cultures and can lead to more misunderstanding.
I do not believe diversity is the source of our strength, it is our diverse heritages and cultures melted in to a cohesive whole which gives us strength.
Jerry, Your comments on immigration ring true. Unfortunately, the issue is far too politicized for our leaders to approach so sensibly. I’d like to believe that both Democrats and Republicans could understand that you can’t have high rates of immigration and simultaneously undermine all the instruments of assimilation, which requires monolingual schools instilling the central beliefs of the founding fathers. Instead, we train our educators to question those beliefs in the classroom and to value appreciating differences over turning out young people capable of being good citizens. Perhaps the turning point was in setting up “diversity” as an alternative to equal rights and equal responsibilities.
While I’m very much against closing the door to new immigrants, I also see no public will to restore the means for making the melting pot work properly.
Thoreau was also concerned about empire. If the U. S. had listened to him, then Los Angeles would be a Mexican city.
Lloyd Arnold Winterville, North Carolina
And Daniel Webster, and many others. They all thought that large expansion would be incompatible with a Republic and would inevitably lead to Civil War and Empire.
Rousseau thought that democracy was possible only for small states.
The United States in the first half of the Twentieth Century built a nation of states, and something that never existed before; a federal republic that not only worked but was large and very powerful. But it did so at costs. We then tried to work out our internal differences while surviving the Cold War.
The looting of the museum is a historical event, ranking with the burning of the library of Alexandria.
Lloyd Arnold Winterville, North Carolina
I don't know the details. I am told that many of the most important antiquities were not on the floor that was destroyed. There is no evidence that any US forces were involved, and clearly the museum was not targeted or fired on by the US.
One wonders what will appear where in the future. The British Museum, Louvre, Smithsonian...
Things don't really seem to have changed much in the last 60 years, something not mentioned by the 'experts'
"Equally useful was the fieldcraft learnt in thwarting the local Arab thieves who tried nightly to steal weapons, lorry tyres, ammunition and food. The hill warfare [training] was practised, not unnaturally, in hilly country, of which the nearest available area was in the Dharbund Badzian Pass, fifty miles from Kirkuk. Here both the 8th and 9th Battalions went in early December 1942." - from ALWAYS A FUSILIER THE WAR HISTORY OF THE ROYAL FUSILIERS (CITY OF LONDON REGIMENT) 1939-1945 (C. Northcote Parkinson)(1949)
Well, of course there is now a web site dedicated to former Iraqi Information Minister Mohammed Saeed al-Sahaf:
For a historical perspective:
The site is a bit slow, due to popularity.
-- "Far and away the best prize that life has to offer is the chance to work hard at work worth doing." -- Theodore Roosevelt
Subject: - hooray for our side
a couple of missives the past couple of days appear not to have gotten through -- at least I got messages to that effect. Will try to locate and send again. Meanwhile, I'm trying it by clicking on the blimp instead of typing in your address, though I didn't see any typos (unless, possibly, your address is case-sensitive).
On the issue of the Federalist Papers -- I suspect that I'm nearly unique in my generation (late Boom -- '58) in even respecting them enough to have purchased with intent to read, though I've never gotten around to doing so. Need to do that. I'm even more unique in that I've also purchased the Anti-Federalist papers, ditto (though you can think Neil Smith for that).
On your essay about culture: our laws and prevailing culture clearly show Judeao-Christian roots; but the establishment clause also prohibits public discrimination against any religion (or no religion). Jeffersonian democracy is not incompatible with the principle that persons can believe as they will and offer their own private meditations if the locally prevailing religion favors offering public prayer to God, as was the case prior to about 1964, if I remember the date correctly. It's not the cultural differences per se that might doom the Republic, it is the intolerance of cultural differences.
This is fairly close to my mind right now, becuase I've been addressing these issues in reponse to a flame (since removed) in response to Holly Lisle's blog at www.hollylisle.com/greylog. The flame stated (I won't say "attempted to argue") that the action against Iraq was motived by Bush's desire to destroy Islam as a religion.
On a different subject, I've received three pop-up ads while typing that last paragraph, despite having AOL's recently-released blocking software on. Took longer than I figured for the hackers to figure how to get around the software...
Just got a fourth advertising a competing blocking program for pop-ups. And a fifth advertising adult products. Yuck.
Jim Woosley Jimwoosley@aol.com
The Establishment Clause specifically ALLOWED the States to have Established Churches, and 7 of them did at the time the Constitution was adopted.
If a nation were inhabited by angels, there would never be a problem. Nations are usually inhabited by human beings, not angels. And few republics have endured: the Venetian lasted longer than most.
And I invite you to look into cultural differences.
Subject: How 3 Weeks of War in Iraq Looked From the Oval Office
The neo-cons love to bash the NY Times & Post for their "slanted" coverage. I say you take the good with the bad and always watch with a skeptical eye, but this is good reporting:
How 3 Weeks of War in Iraq Looked From the Oval Office By THE NEW YORK TIMES This article was reported and written by Elisabeth Bumiller, David E. Sanger and Richard W. Stevenson. WASHINGTON, April 13 - It was the morning of March 19 in the White House Situation Room, just hours before President Bush's 48-hour ultimatum to Saddam Hussein to get out of Iraq was to expire. President Bush had just polled his war council for any last-minute reservations about the war plan. Hearing none, he issued the "execute" command to Gen. Tommy R. Franks, who saluted back via a flickering video screen from his headquarters in Qatar. But in a White House that invariably seeks to project unwavering confidence and to portray the commander in chief as always resolute, what participants in the room that morning say they remember was the anxiety. "You could have heard a pin drop in that room," said a senior administration official who was there. "
|This week:||Tuesday, April
April 16, 2003
Tell your poor AOL readers to use an alternate browser to get around pop-ups. Mozilla and Opera both have pop-up killers built in to the browser. Of course, the best way to go is to consider an alternate ISP...
-- Glenn Stone
I do a lot of silly things so you don't have to, but subscribing to AOL isn't one of them, so I have no idea what AOL browser is like. I continue to us Internet Explorer with POPUP Stopper enabled. That stops most of the popup nonsense and it's easy to turn off in the cases where I have to allow a popup to do online shopping.
And Roland sends a flood of useful places to look:
Subject: Behind Jefferson's Wall.
A very interesting look at what Jefferson thought about the "wall of separation"; and note that Jefferson was writing about FEDERAL actions anyway. Most of the states had established churches when Jefferson was President. The First Amendment guaranteed that Congress would not DISESTABLISH the state Churches, which is why the peculiar wording: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion".
Subject: After Empire ( priority one)
Not quite what you think it will be, but worth the priority.
Subject: Our final hour?
Subject: On to Damascus?
Subject: Directed energy.
Subject: Turkish dismay.
That last one, "Lapse" is important to authors and those concerned with intellectual property matters. I don't see how Roland has time to find all these informative places, but I'm glad he does.
And the next one is of more interest to Niven and me with our sequels to The Burning City, but some of you may find it of interest as well:
Subject: The Staff God
Of course 4,000 years isn't 14,000, but the past is an indicator of the past...
Subject: Thoughts on Race & Culture
I think one of our country's problems is the inability to talk about race and culture. Most people equate the two and are too worried about offending people.
I can't speak for the current generation of immigrants, but I grew up with a lot of friends who either we're from this country or their parents were from the old country. Based on the disagreements they have with their parents I think they get what it means to be American. There are two separate questions here. Is immigration good for this country? What should we do with the immigrants we have? You're never going to completely stop immigration, especially from Mexico. We depend on workers from Mexico whether they work in factories on the border or they come to this country, either way we rely on that labor pool.
I would disagree with you that we've diluted things too much. While birthrates in Europe and other industrial countries continue to plummet, the only thing that is growing US population is immigrants and more importantly their children who are usually born and raised here. In a lot of places we needed some new blood. Look at Orange County. Up until the 70s it was a sleepy county bordering LA mostly full of trailer parks. Now look at how much the place has grown especially in south end of the county. Companies like ViewSonic were started by Asian immigrants helped build the county into what it is now - a nice place to live and despite the economy still has a lot of very high-paying jobs. In my view places like Orange County wouldn't be what they are without immigration.
What effect does that have on workers already in this country? I think it's a good kick in the ass. A lot of minorities in Southern California have lowered or dropped their "entitlement" mentality because they've seen other people pass them on the economic ladder. Boyle Heights is already a lot nicer of a place to live than Compton or Inglewood and that probably will continue.
American culture is fundamentally different from most because of the emphasis on personal and economic freedom. Some of this is social with a lot less stigma placed on inter-racial dating. A lot of children of immigrants are torn between rules of the old country and the more open social morays of this country. 9 times out of 10 the old country loses this fight. Seeing how easy it is to export American culture to the rest of the world it's a natural fit for people new to this country to pick it up.
I don't buy the view that American culture is turning to crap. This is based on a view that new cultural phenomenona such as rap and hip-hop are only about crime, drugs and money. A perfect example of this is the Washington Times saying Kobe Bryant is not part of the hip-hop generation because he doesn't get into trouble or do drugs. That's a complete misunderstanding of younger people in this country and of hip-rap culture. Just take a look at what kind of car Kobe drives, how he dresses and talks and you'll see he's not immune to hip-hop culture. Jazz, Rock and many new forms of artistic expression tend to come from subcultures and rap was no different. People tend to focus on the negative things said, and don't get me wrong during the first few years of rap and hip-hop it WAS about killing cops and doing drugs. There were exceptions with more mainstream acts, but for the most part when rap first came out it was meant to scare white folks. It has evolved since and one thing rap music sure does emphasize is material wealth - cars, jewelry, expensive parties, etc. Some people view it as morally bankrupt, I view it as a good, albeit not perfect, lesson in capitalism.
The emergence of rap and hip hop is just one example of how modern culture has been demonized by the neo-cons for their own purpose of exciting their donor base. Gotta stop the multicultural horde. In reality what have they done to really stop any of this? Sure having Dan Quayle demonize Ice-T's "Cop Killer" was a great fund-raising strategy, but it didn't stop or even slow-down rap and hip-hop. Meanwhile, Republicans and the neo-cons are losing out on the next generation of capitalists. Sean "Puffy" Combs seems to have a magic touch. Everything he does whether it's music, clothes or a restaurant seems to be successful. But as long as hip-hop culture is demonized you won't see Puff Daddy or any of his customers or business partners giving to the Republican National Committee.
I think we are talking past each other. Dilute the baseline culture enough and you won't have one.
The problem is, by what standards do we judge? We could not accommodate a culture that sincerely believed that you must tear out the hearts of victims and give them in offering lest the world end. But to say that this is beyond our standards is to say there ARE standards that say that tearing out hearts from living persons, even those convicted of traffic violations, in order to save the world, is a Bad Thing. Dilute the common culture enough with people who believe in human sacrifice and you can't say that it is a Bad Thing: it is now part of "diversity".
And I contend we have done enough dilution for a while.
If you don't like my Aztlan analogy, try NAMBLUS: suppose there were a country full of people who sincerely believed that for sexual health you must experience it very early. "Sex before eight or else it's too late." Should we have lots of immigration from there, enough that this practice becomes one of "diversity"?
Some things we can't tolerate, and they are anterior to politics: there has to be a base standard which politics then tries to implement.
The alternative is Empire, imposed by force, with worship of force and power as the cohesive force holding things together. Emperor worship worked in Rome. King and Country. My Country Right of Wrong.
I don't propose that we try to stop immigration entirely. I do propose that we cut way back until we can assimilate what we have. I never thought the US could or should be uniform, and I am very much in favor of leaving as many matters as possible to the states (including not only abortion but even the establishment of churches, not that this would happen now); but there must be a core of values lest we have no way to judge anything at all.
Immigration is good. How much and from where is the question. When we have to start making "diversity" a goal we are in trouble.
I'm not talking about making diversity a goal. I'm just talking about accepting the reality of the country we live in. Go hang out where working-class folks are - palmdale, pacoima, anywhere but the west side and south end of the valley and you'll see this country is a whole lot more brown than it used to be. Most in the republican party and on the right seem to be tone-deaf when it comes to American culture and for the most part everyday Americans. Like I said, I think Kobe Bryant is the perfect example.
is very good but I think isn't to the point I was trying to make. Ah well.
Subject: "Melting Pot"
The USA is not, and has never been a "melting pot". A more accurate term is "gumbo pot". The "ingredients" (many peoples and cultures) interact and produce a zesty mixture that is greater than the sum of its parts. I agree with your correspondent that a common language is essential to make it work (think of the English language as the "roux" that is the base of gumbo and most other Cajun dishes).
And of course that comes from a Creole society. The analogy isn't a bad one, but you can't I think add Devil's Food Cake and Roast Grasshopper to the mixture.
April 17, 2003
Still short shrift time: cleaning up here
On Gumbo -- I don't think Roast Grasshopper would be much noticed in most Gumbos. Devil's Food Cake on the other hand...
Your point is, I think, well taken -- for the basic shape and structure of the US to survive as a unified entity there must be an overall common culture that is agreed to by essentially everyone.
Here’s a nifty little utility for extracting the uptime of a server or workstation. It must be run in a DOS window.
From: Stephen M. St. Onge email@example.com
Date: April 17, 2003 subject: Death ray
Dear Dr. Pournelle,
You have lamented (if that is the correct word) that the US is in the process of becoming an Incompetent Empire. Perhaps. On the other hand, after watching what we, the British and our allies have done in Afghanistan and what we have done so far in Iraq, I want to offer a counter thought.
What we are is an Incompetent Republic.
The Republican nature of the US has been under pressure almost from its inception. From the inclusion of slavery as a measure of political selection (almost ensuring the Civil War), to the Monroe Doctrine, through the Civil War, the two World Wars, and the Cold War, the Republican form our government here, has been altered and compromised – while the ideals have held (sometimes barely), but they have held.
The end of the Cold War and the emergence of “The End of History” precipitated a movement back to the Republican form (or forwards to the libertarian view). There was resistance and doubt and politicking, but in the end, had 9/11 not happened, the Federal Government would have had to surrender power, either to the states or back to the individuals it had been granted from. The War on (Some) Drugs would have ended. Income taxes would have been further reduced, the army and navy reduced to enough (barely) to maintain shipping. More personal freedom, more choice, less nannism.
Then 9/11. So there we were, not an empire, not a Republic, just America. And we got hit upside the head. Prior to 9/11, there were few if any who liked what had happened in Afghanistan or Iraq (if they even thought about it), but we are not the world police, we do not wish to become the world police (think LA or Chicago or New York) – and we have not. We hit Afghanistan and took out the Taliban because they would not play ball. They would not even pretend to play ball. They could not even try to pretend that they might play ball. So, we sucker punched them, scattered our enemies and their supporters, invited some westernized exiles back in, gave them some American bodyguards (whose job is to protect the person who is currently president, to protect the idea of democracy and open debate). Hopefully, in less then 10 years, they can come home, and the Afghans can save or screw up their country as they wish.
The same with Iraq. We took out Saddam, we are setting up a provisional government and hopefully, they will find a way to share power among groups who hate each other and have for centuries. Hopefully, they will hold it together against the religious leaders who want a return to a theocracy. That is not our concern, though. Not even freeing children from prison. We hit them, because Saddam supported terrorism, and he threatened us – words mostly, but he never stopped. He never learned the lesson.
So, he is gone, or dead and good riddance. And in a year or five, the small group of Americans we leave there to help the Iraqis have a window of stability to try their hand at truly governing themselves will be able to come home.
Hopefully, the message has penetrated. We do not care if you are a dictator (if we did, as one Arab said, then we would have invaded all the Middle East). We simply want to be left alone. Period. We leave you alone, you leave us alone.
So, it is not incompetent empire, it is incompetent republic. As for the business about not saying bad things about TSA screeners, and the Office of Homeland Security. Give us a year, with no attacks, no more wars – and the calls from liberals and conservatives, libertarians and peaceful socialists, that should take care of most of that.
If not next year, then in five or ten.
Not Incompetent Empire, Incompetent Republic.
//Thinking for yourself is like most addictive behaviour. It is frowned upon by all right thinking people and is bound to get you killed sooner or later//
Well, I can hope things will settle in. But I suspect that we will invade most of the Middle East before we are done. Most of it needs invading, and we're the only ones who can do it.
Subject: - Intel delays new Pentium 4 chip | CNET News.com
Hmm, problems with the new P4 for the new Intel chipset:
Is this the one that is in Anastasia?
It is indeed the chip that is in Anastasia, and I know only that they decided not to ship it yet. I have had zero problems with that chip or that machine; I love it.
Thought you might like this group of assembled links about how the media's 104th Chairborne fared.
Washington Times: News coverage of the war was wrong, predicting debacle and defeat just four days before Baghdad's fall
THE SPOILS OF WAR COVERAGE Frank Rich: In coverage of the war, patriotism has emerged as a winning ploy. New York Post: In the Iraq War, the public may well have learned not to trust the broadcast networks or the establishment newspapers. Washington Times: News coverage of the war was wrong, predicting debacle and defeat just four days before Baghdad's fall. USA Today: Winners and losers of the media battle. Boston Globe: How gloom became embedded early on. http://www.nytimes.com/2003/04/13/arts/television/13RICH.html
Regarding Richard Pournelle's comments, this sentence caught my eye: " A lot of children of immigrants are torn between rules of the old country and the more open social morays of this country."
When an eel bites your knee as you swim in the sea, That's a moray.
Sorry--I've been reading Spider Robinson.
-- Mark Thompson jomath [at] mctcnet.net
When you swim past the reef and you see all those
From Joanne Dow
Subject: The Ali Doll
I can't stop laughing!
(Sadly I have heard a report he hanged himself, just now.)
Poor old Baghdad Bob. I would be sorry to hear that. He could have survived the humiliation, and he wasn't guilty of any crime I know of.
Subject: Product Activation gone berzerk
This is exactly the sort of thing I worried about when Microsoft first announced Product Activation. At best Product Activation is an annoyance; at worst it's another way your software can fail when you need it.
-- Steve R. Hastings "Vita est" firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.blarg.net/~steveha
Berserk indeed. Weird. And expectable.
A gent who was definitely weird,
Don't ask why I included that. I just did.
Details coming together on Columbia (SpaceDaily)
Columbia's Secrets Are Reel Enough by Bruce Moomaw Sacramento - Apr 16, 2003
The pieces of the puzzle of Columbia's fatal accident are suddenly starting to come together with dramatic speed -- although some major and important details remain puzzling.
The key piece so far has turned out to be its OEX ("Orbiter Experiments") data recorder, found virtually intact in a Hemphill, Texas field on March 19. Many observers (including this reporter) had thought that the hunt for debris in Texas was actually something of a sideshow in the investigation, and that the discovery of any of those isolated pieces of debris photographed coming off it during its earlier passage over the western United States would be the crucial clue -- but so far not one piece of that debris has been located, whereas the data on the recorder has been invaluable.
The OEX recorder was unique to Columbia, a result of its status as the initial "test" vehicle for the Shuttle program. During both launch and reentry, it recorded constant data from 670 different aerodynamics-related sensors for temperature, pressure, vibration and stress -- many of them not linked to the Shuttle's telemetry system.
It turns out that most and perhaps almost all that data is still readable on its tape, and that the recorder continued to function until the exact moment when the Shuttle broke up. But the key data already uncovered on it -- after just a very preliminary examination -- comes from the first few minutes of reentry.
It turns out that the anomalous heating inside the Shuttle's left wing began much earlier than previously thought -- five minutes after it began undergoing any significant air resistance at all, and fully two minutes before the Shuttle's "peak heating" period began.
At that time, a sensor behind one of the large, U-shaped "RCC" thermal-protection panels curving over the wing's leading edge -- which is particularly vulnerable to heating -- began reporting a dramatic rise in temperature. (This was RCC Panel No. 9, located just beyond the point where the wing's leading edge bends out more sharply away from the Shuttle's side.) Three minutes later, at a temperature of fully 232 deg C, the sensor failed.
Forty seconds later, other sensors at various points inside the wing began recording the steady erosive inward progress of a jet of superheated air through the interior of the wing, with some of it also streaming into the left wheel well (probably through a forward vent in the well).
Since this progress began soon after that first sensor -- mounted on the front surface of the wing's internal aluminum support spar -- failed, the conclusion is that the spar itself melted through soon afterwards (aluminum melts at 660 deg C), allowing the super-hot air to stream into the wing's interior.
About two minutes after that, observers photographed large pieces of debris (probably RCC panels and tiles) starting to peel away from the Shuttle, and its aerodynamic handling properties began to deteriorate until its loss of control and breakup six minutes later.
The major conclusion drawn by the Columbia Accident Investigation Board ("CAIB") from the tape is that the first breach inside the wing's outer layer of thermal protection began so soon that it could not have been a subtle flaw in a tile or RCC which was enlarged and torn open by aerodynamic stress during reentry -- there had to be some kind of significant hole BEFORE Columbia even began its reentry.
The heating detected by the initial sensor began when the Shuttle was still fully 87 km up -- at a point where the air is so extremely thin that, to quote panel chairman Adm. Harold Gehman, "you've got to have a ton of heat", or rather a big volume of hot air, entering the wing and striking the sensor to cause such a dramatic temperature rise.
William J. Fulco
Something that might have been found by inspection, then. Only they couldn't inspect. No space suits.
Mark Huth mhuthATcoldswim.com Be careful about reading health books. You may die of a misprint. twain
This sounds too good to be true -- feed it any of a wide range of organic materials (even ground-up old appliances, for goodness sake) and out comes light oil, natural gas, clean water, and other benign material, for $15 or less per barrel of oil produced. According to the article, they've been running a 7 ton/day demo plant for three years and right now are putting finishing touches on a 200 ton/day plant. Pretty amazing, if true.
- Keith Dick
Which may in fact work. I wrote about the energy potential from waste 25 years ago, but I didn't envision making oil from offal...
Is this what you've gone to see?
I hope they know how much so many of us want them to succeed.
-- "Far and away the best prize that life has to offer is the chance to work hard at work worth doing." -- Theodore Roosevelt
I think they do. Now we need about $10 million to let XCORP build their ships, and let them compete in flyoffs.
Jerry: The comments about oil from offal remind me of a scene from the classic Abrahms, Zucker and Zucker movie, "The Kentucky Fried Movie." These are the same guys who did the "Airplane" and "Naked Gun" movies. They had a short segment in which oil was being extracted from greasy fast food, discarded combs, and even the pimples from adolescents that was absolutely hilarious. It seems to me that this amply demonstrated the true potential of these kinds of technologies.
I need to dig up my copy of "A Step Further Out" to refresh my memory, but I seem to recall that your position on energy from waste was that while there might be a number of techniques that could work and perhaps even make money, there simply wasn't enough potential energy available for the resource to be significant compared to what a global, industrialized civilization consumes. What we need is fusion, solar power satellites, ocean thermal systems, or perhaps nuclear fission with breeder reactors. As a last resort, coal can keep civilization going for a few more centuries. I see nothing to convince me that this reality has changed.
One of the advantages of Ocean Thermal is that these plants will pull nutrients from the deep ocean and create massive plankton blooms in the tropical ocean areas which are usually dead zones. While a tree that falls in the forest to rot or more likely burns in a catstrophic conflageration caused by the new, politically correct let burn policies, simply releases its fixed carbon back into the atmosphere, dead plankton sink to the ocean bottom to become calcium corbonate. If the green house effect really is a problem, Ocean Thermal technology is the solution to quickly reverse it. Then again, this technology might also trigger the ice age that you wrote about in "Fallen Angels."
If we want to rely on these "soft" alternative energy technologies, then 90% of the human race will either have to be condemned to a lifestyle of abject poverty or more likely exterminated. Your CoDominium took the approach of shipping the surplus population to other planets using star ships powered by high performance fusion rockets/photon drives. If you've done the math, which I suspect that you have, then you found that the energy output from these ships would have been more than sufficient to support tens of billions of people in technologically advanced luxury. You don't even need massive star ships. Just a dozen of Niven's belter torch ships hooked up to MHD generators would make the UN population controls unnesary. But then again, you've alluded to the possibillity that these population controls are about political control rather than genuine need.
Of course you also made some allusions to an ecofreak ethic which insisted that the world be divided between the haves and the have nots. The Draka that your collegue S&M Sterling wrote about also adopted this eco-ethic and since they we even more arrogant and cold blooded than your CD, they took the extermination approach to creat vast wildness areas. Come to think of it, their arrogance and elitism really isn't that different than the attitudes of many environmentalists zero population growth groupies.
PS You wrote that you've raised four sons and I'm in the process of raising two sons and a daughter. I guess times have changed but my wife and I have actually been criticized by people for reckless breeding. I finally got exasperated enough to come up with a thought provoking reply to these comments. "If you think the world is too crowded for my children, perhaps you should tell me how many of your kind I should hunt down and exterminate to make room for them." Needless to say, this a real conversation stopper.
I haven't worked the numbers in a long time, but as I recall, the energy required to convert bio-waste into fuel was enough that the process probably wasn't economical. Of course you do have to get rid of the stuff.
I remain convinced that we have the means to generate all the energy we need, and given enough energy you can do almost anything with pollutants including taking them apart into their constituent elements. There is no pollution problem that energy can't solve, and there is no energy problem that we don't already know how to solve.
Conservation may be a useful strategy if dictated by economics in a particular situation, but if you could conserve your way to prosperity Bangladesh would be the wealthiest nation on earth.
From The Smoking Gun:
APRIL 18--After her underwire bra set off an airport metal detector, a Northwest Airlines flight attendant claims she was subjected to an improper and invasive search that ended with her having to partially undress and provide security screeners with the suspicious undergarment. In a federal lawsuit filed Wednesday, Collene Sheeran, 34, claims that the episode last August at Boston's Logan Airport left her suffering from emotional distress, for which she is seeking unspecified damages from the Massachusetts Port Authority and a Logan security outfit. According to Sheeran's complaint (a key excerpt of which is below), she became so humiliated during the over-aggressive body search that she tried to leave the airport, but security officials would not allow her to depart. (8 pages)
Barry Rueger rueger @community-media.com
Why am I not astonished?
I mean, Irish American flight attendants have so often tried to hijack airplanes. "But it's for the safety of all the passengers, don't you know there's a war on, I was only doing my job..."
In another place, someone said, "see, the prisoner's weren't dead." The reply was
I'm glad to know that the POWs in these photos were only faking it and that they all returned home alive:
Two exerpts from the Al Jazeera video that these pictures came from are available at:
Which was of course heavy sarcasm. I warn you, those pictures are VERY disturbing.
April 20, 2003
Family matters, Niven Easter Egg hunt, etc.
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