THE VIEW FROM CHAOS MANOR
View 366 June 13 - 19, 2005
Highlights this week:
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June 13, 2005
Niven will be over shortly but before the day is over I will have up some comments on the Taser Incidents (begins here) and an exchange of views on Global Warming which may indicate that things are developing in directions I had not expected. I had hoped to get some comments from people who know more than I do on the subject, but that hasn't happened, and it's unfair to ignore this any longer.
Back from lunch. My banners are saying Michael Jackson acquitted of all charges. Ton Sneddon is a cold man...
I am not astonished. Millions and millions.... It is very difficult to get convictions now because there were so many false convictions on stupid grounds earlier. The MacMartin case in which grown people took seriously children's charges of field trips to Forest Lawn and opening graves, and priests and nuns in full regalia coming to the school; other such, including "memories" that are forty years old. Couple that with the ease with which those who know how can implant memories that are indistinguishable from "real" ones except that they are impossible.
Now Jackson is broke, and the county is broke, and Tom Sneddin is a cold man...
I am putting together the two pieces promised above: Global Warming and the Taser incident: in the Global Warming case it will be edited exchange of emails with a NASA scientist; the Taser incident is mostly your reactions.
It should be posted in a couple of hours.
I have posted a long exchange of views between myself and Dr. Gavin Schmidt of NASA Goddard on Global Warming. It remains unresolved.
|This week:||Tuesday, June
14, 2005 FLAG DAY
It's also Roberta's birthday. Happy birthday, sweetheart.
The Michael Jackson case is over thank heaven. Tom Sneddon is a cold man. He's also an ineffective prosecutor. There was plenty of reasonable doubt in that mess. But after MacMartin and some of the very obvious malicious prosecutions in child molesting cases, there is reasonable doubt in a lot of those cases. Conviction on these charges is a death sentence given the cruel but not unusual punishment of prison rape; but prosecutors once they get started can't stop even when their cases blow up. In the MacMartin case they continued on and on even after the charges became absurd and fantastic; and of course a prominent TV broadcaster was dating the kiddie psychologist who believed every word of the fantastic stories both to her and later in court. And he was getting prizes for his "coverage" of a story. The case ended with the school closed, everyone's life ruined, and a decided reluctance on the part of potential jurors to convict absent a smoking gun.
June 15, 2005
California is a better place: the governor has changed the game, and the legislature is terrified. So suddenly they are trying to meet their constitutional requirement and have a balanced budget, no new spending, and no new taxes...
Leadership. Thank you governor.
I see I have made the B List on Blogebrity. On the other hand, I have more visitors than about half the "A" list and a lot higher quality of membership if I do say so. Oh. Well.
Apparently I have been obscure. The governor inherited a bankrupt state. The Democrats in the legislature decided to ignore all that and spend as if there were plenty of money and no problems. the governor has called a special election to make some fundamental changes. The Democrats say the election is needless. And they are beginning to act as if it is: they suddenly are no longer talking about raising taxes, changing Proposition 13, and spending like crazy. They are suddenly acting scared.
June 16, 2005
I got this today:
Dear Jerrypournelle Member,
Needless to say I didn't send it to myself... The attachment was a .com which, I am sure, would have "cleaned up" my system, yes indeed it would have. Be careful out there.
The Schaivo autopsy has been widely publicized. It contains only one surprise for me: that a pathologist could be induced to say, after 15 years, that there was no evidence that she had been traumatized in the original injury. Why in the world would they say that? No one in his right mind would expect to see such evidence after 15 years. I am hard put to show scars I accumulated over my lifetime although the injuries were real enough. Time wounds all heels. It does make me wonder at the objectivity of this pathologist.
She died of thirst, not of her original injuries. She was not in a terminal state until she died of dehydration. That was a deliberate act, imposed by a county judge and enforced by police with guns, who must be very proud of their law enforcement work. They are sure she didn't feel a thing. I hope to God they are right. And the parents still do not know the whereabouts of her ashes.
Interesting speculation on "Back to the Future": http://www.techcentralstation.com/061505B.html
A new consequence of ending the Cold War: aerial photos of Eastern Europe...
Found: Europe's oldest civilisation http://news.independent.co.uk/low_res/story.jsp?story=645976&host=3&dir=73
By David Keys, Archaeology Correspondent 11 June 2005
Archaeologists have discovered Europe's oldest civilisation, a network of dozens of temples, 2,000 years older than Stonehenge and the Pyramids.
More than 150 gigantic monuments have been located beneath the fields and cities of modern-day Germany, Austria and Slovakia. They were built 7,000 years ago, between 4800BC and 4600BC. Their discovery, revealed today by The Independent, will revolutionise the study of prehistoric Europe, where an appetite for monumental architecture was thought to have developed later than in Mesopotamia and Egypt.
In all, more than 150 temples have been identified. Constructed of earth and wood, they had ramparts and palisades that stretched for up to half a mile. They were built by a religious people who lived in communal longhouses up to 50 metres long, grouped around substantial villages. Evidence suggests their economy was based on cattle, sheep, goat and pig farming.
Their civilisation seems to have died out after about 200 years and the recent archaeological discoveries are so new that the temple building culture does not even have a name yet.
Excavations have been taking place over the past few years - and have triggered a re-evaluation of similar, though hitherto mostly undated, complexes identified from aerial photographs throughout central Europe.
And as usual there is a lot of interesting mail.
From the attachment:
"Prototype Zero Point Energy extraction devices have been constructed in numerous laboratories, throughout the world, during the past two decades. Our own firm, Magnetic Power Inc. has a team of outstanding engineers developing pre-commercial generators. One kilowatt Magnetic Power Modules™ are expected to be in production next year by a Strategic Partner, aimed at the market for portable generators, as well as homes. Modules can be combined for greater power output, in a manner analogous to solar cells. Compact automotive power systems, as well as megawatt modules, appear to be feasible. A large firm has expressed interest in small battery replacements powering laptop computers. Demonstration devices and toys are currently being developed to illustrate the feasibility of practical designs."
I would imagine they are seeking investors.... It sure would be nice to be free of the rocket equation, and messy chemical batteries, and pumped storage, all to be replaced by clean magnetic extractors powered by the Casimir Force as predicted by Tesla. I'd like to see the prototypes. Has anyone? But until I do see one, I fear it's a bit like the reactionless drives I keep getting email about. Last one of those they dismantled just before I could see it, so they could improve it. Happens a lot I guess.
Magnetic Power Inc. quotes Robert Forward and his 1984 study. Alas, Bob died before he ever saw a working device.
June 17, 2005
An example of a new attack. They got the TO: wrong, there being no Pat here, but note the plausibility. Norton removed the payload, so this one was older.
From: warhawke [mailto:warhawke @wideopenwest.com]
I DO hope this turns out to be a hoax, but I checked Snopes and a couple other sites and found nothing. PKM
The message is ready to be sent with the following file or link attachments: Shortcut to: http://www.chromance. de/wtf/lol.htm
Note: To protect against computer viruses, e-mail programs may prevent sending or receiving certain types of file attachments. Check your e-mail security settings to determine how attachments are handled.
They are getting smarter out there. Be careful.
I sent a mailing yesterday. There were a very large number of returns. I have put up those on BADMAIL. If you subscribe, your mailbox is not full, and you did not get the mailing yesterday, check BADMAIL for instructions and to see why your mail was rejected. So far as I know my subscription list is up to date, so the large number of returns is a bit disconcerting.
Elizabeth, your mailbox is full...
Subject: The first Mac Tablet?
-- Roland Dobbins
John Quincy Adams <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Quincy_Adams> avowed, "America does not go abroad, in search of monsters to destroy. She is the well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all. She is the champion and vindicator only of her own."
Indeed. Thanks. I see I am listed among the "paleoconservatives" and there is a biography of me there. Hmm. I suppose I was aware that such things exist, but I confess to having paid little attention to them.
Having had a look, I can't object to being placed in the list of paleoconservatives, but that may require some explanation, so here goes:
I don't believe I can be labeled with any accuracy. I have some claim to being a intellectual descendent of Burke, and I was a protege of Russell Kirk. In my younger days I was concerned with political philosophy and I was a "theory major" in graduate school in political science. Kenneth Cole, co-founder of Modern Age with Russell Kirk, was one of my mentors at the University of Washington. My career though was mostly in operations research and military applications, and while I taught Constitutional Law and political philsosophy ("theory") my involvement in politics was anything but theoretical: I was a political campaign manager and advisor to politicians ( I have not the temperament to run for elective office; I do not suffer fools gladly nor damned fools at all, and it shows, and that attitude is fatal for an elected official). Of course Burke himself was a party manager and not a terribly successful politician.
In any event, I suppose I am properly put in some small corner of the paleo-conservative movement so long as it is clearly understood that I don't agree with all they say. I was once offered publication in The American Conservative but I declined, but many of those who do publish there are friends. Once again I do not mean that I agree with all they say. I read Chronicles, and have some admiration for Fleming, but I have never met anyone of the Chronicles group. Sam Francis and I corresponded on congenial terms, and I miss his clearheaded populist view, but most of our correspondence was about our disagreements. It is fair to put me on the list of paleo-conservatives so long as it is understood that way.
Of course there was a time when Kirk was an editor of National Review and Possony a contributor; but that was some time ago, and the egregious Frum pretty well read people like me out of the National Review sympathizer list and in the name of the magazine using the editorial "we" turned his back on us publicly and finally. National Review did good work at one time but it seems to have fallen into other hands as Buckley got older. I no longer correspond with Buckley but then I haven't since I left academia a lifetime ago, so nothing need be read into that. I doubt he remembers me in any event.
I did have some influence in matters military during the Reagan era; I was also science and technology advisor to Gingrich when he was Minority Whip during the days of what looked like a permanent Republican minority in Congress. I suppose the high point of my "influence" was Reagan's 1983 SDI speech. The more visible result was the DC/X which General Dan Graham, Max Hunter, and I persuaded then VP and Space Council Chairman Dan Quayle to fund.
The truth is that since Newt Gingrich left being Speaker I haven't had much involvement in Washington politics. That's partly due to the death of General Graham, who maintained a sane presence inside the Beltway without succumbing to the Beltway Disease of assuming the nation ends ten miles outside the Capitol Beltway.
On the other hand, this place seems to be widely read, and every now and then I get messages from people I would not have assumed paid any attention, so I suppose I can still say that I have an entry, sometimes, to being persuasive in places where being persuasive might make a difference. That is all I ever promised with the Council.
And this is far too much about me. Leave it that paleo-conservative is not an entirely accurate label, but no labels are entirely accurate, and the paleo-conservative tent includes many who don't agree with everything said on the posters outside the revival meeting...
June 18, 2005
My boys are kidnapping me to go to the Mojave to shoot up some of the ammunition I accumulated 30 years ago when survivalism was serious and I was an editor of Survive magazine. My friend Mel Tappen bought a place on the Rogue River and moved there, where the lower standards of medicine proved inadequate to keep him alive (he had been a UCLA Medical patient and demonstration as well). Nancy kept the ranch, and Reg Bretnor was a presence in the area. Meanwhile I thought the best way to survive a nuclear war was not to have one and worked on strategies of technology; but during Carter's "national malaise" I was more than once tempted to take my survival company up there before we blundered our way into the big one.
That was long ago, when it looked as if a post-war America was possible, and there were slogans like "Some collect gold, some collect guns; and one day someone will have both gold and guns." Not that I didn't have my stash of Silver Dollars and silver quarters.
But that was long ago.
June 19, 2005
A nice day. Happy Father's Day.
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