THE VIEW FROM CHAOS MANOR
View 486 October 1 - 7, 2007
Highlights this week:
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This is a Day Book. Pages are in chronological, not blogological order.
October 1, 2007
I spent much of yesterday at the West Hollywood Book Faire. The Los Angeles Science Fantasy Society had a booth there, and I was induced to come down as an attraction. Todd McCaffrey, Anne's son and collaborator, came down, as did Steve Barnes, so it was a good chance to have a talk with old friends. That also used up much of the day, and the Clarence Thomas interview on Sixty Minutes took up more, so I didn't get the mailbag done in time for posting at Chaos Manor Reviews. It will be up shortly.
Colonel Doug Beeson, Ph.D. (USAF, Ret'd) at the Athenaeum. That cord around my neck leads to my Olympus WS-100 digital audio recorder. I really do carry it and the DSC-T-100 just about everywhere I go. Doug is now Associate Director at Los Alamos.
His book, the E-Bomb,
is coming out in a new paperback edition. Recommended.
I have to go write the column now. Then I'll get today's Chaos Manor Mail up. It's a great life if you don't weaken...
|This week:||Tuesday, October
I'm a bit behind, but I will catch up..
An analemma with a total solar eclipse
Just enjoy! <http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/ap071002.html>
Charles Adams, Bellevue, NE
Mail today begins with an interesting observation about inflation. Deficit financing for current expenses doesn't cause inflation. It IS inflation, in that it makes debauching the currency inevitable. And pumping more money into schools, or housing, will always cause inflation: houses will cost more, school will spend more. Every time.
What are they learning? Is this education needed or is it like education certificates: an obstacle course, testing stamina and determination but otherwise irrelevant at best and probably detrimental since education classes are invariably politically correct.
What do they learn? Courage from the President of Duke? Science from the Harvad biology professor who got the vapors when her president posed a hypothesis contrary to her feelings? Shakedown techniques from Sharpton and company? What is it that our officer corps learns in four years at college?
According to Tom Wolfe's novel, today's college male students are attached to beer kegs at one end and a coed at the other. Is THAT what makes for a good leader?
True enough: the real warriors will get through it. Some of them. And wars have a way of weeding out the warts. But what is it we think the officer corps will learn in our modern politically correct invariably left wing universities?
October 3, 2007
It's Wednesday, and I don't have the column done yet. I suppose today's the day. I've been in a bit of a funk. I also have to pay the bills. Friday, Marty Winston has a big show in Hollywood and I'll go spend the day looking at cherry picks of new high tech stuff. That may be fun.
But I'll feel better about the world when I hear from my editor and I can get Inferno II done, out the door, finished, out of mind...
Nice article about Mojave Spaceport on the FRONT PAGE of the LA Times. Whoo hoo. (wish they'd spelled XCOR right but can't have everything).
It was indeed a good article. Makes me want to go back to a work on Mojave I started a couple of years ago. I really have to get writing 4 pages a day again. Four pages a day is four books in a year.
I have no trouble understanding why the Johnson Administration would have acted as they did - eating the crap - but I've never heard even a theory that made sense as to the Israeli motive for attacking the Liberty. But now I figure there's a chance we'll find out - in a few years, after we've occupied Iran for a while.
Israel officially claims the attack was a mistake and paid the families of the many slain a total of $6 million (Los Angeles recently awarded a fireman a million dollars because his mates fed him dog food). As more documents are declassified and more retired NSA people finally tell what they know, this isn't going away. Incidentally, General Graham told me in 1986 that there was a lot more about the Liberty incident than ever came out, but he would not discuss it further. I am not sure I wanted him to. I am not sure I want to know what happened, and why the US covered it up.
It is pretty clear that the attack was deliberate, and that the IDF pilots knew the ship was American and really hated the idea. What isn't known is who ordered it and why, and why the Company didn't retaliate against the individuals involved. When the Russians shot down the RB-11, Eisenhower ordered the CIA to teach them not to do that again; the result was a sort of pact in which the Soviets stopped harming American intelligence agents. I don't think anything similar happened after the Liberty affair.
It is the lack of a theory that makes sense that has kept the matter hidden for so long. It's pretty clear that the order originated somewhere in the IDF, probably a Sinai forces commander who would have to be senior enough to dominate an air strike controller. All this has vanished in the frantic effort to destroy all copies of the orders that sent the force out in the first place.
Perhaps it would be better to forget it all? It has been a long time...
should be interesting.
My funk continues. I expect that today I'll start serious work on fiction. Tomorrow is Marty Winston's Big Show and I should get some inspiration there. My problem is that most of what's going on in the computer world isn't interesting to me. It's mostly in audio-visual and some of that is quite exciting, but I deal mostly in words and still pictures. I have a short essay on the iBrick affair, and the collapse of US computer manufacturing with worse to come is a matter of considerable concern. There are interesting things going on. I just have to get interested in them again.
Those who wish to be writers should be aware of my essay on getting my job; but also of this story:
October 5, 2007
Up at 0700 to go to Century City where Marty Winson's "Big Event" -- a peep show for press -- was going on all day. Worth going. Got to hang out with some old friends from the computer press corps, too.
I should be over my funk and back in business this weekend.
Niven and I took a long walk Thursday, We are well on the way to an outline of our next big book. We're going to hit the earth with something big again...
|This week:||Saturday, October
I have got to do the column and mailbag this weekend.
Yesterday I spent most of the day at Century Plaza Hotel, Marty Winston's "Big Event", which turned out to be more "medium" than big. I had a good time talking with old friends, and the exhibits were more than worth my time going down there. turnout wasn't bad, just not as large as expected.
I also discovered that leaving my house at 0800 didn't get me there before 0900, but part of that was the route I took. The map directions -- you know, I don't even know what map engine I used -- told me to go direct over the mountains and down to Santa Monica, and follow that to Avenue of the Stars. I haven't been over that way in so long that I just did it their way.
Turned out to be a mistake. There are far faster routes. Not only is Laurel Canyon s l o w in the mornings (duh), but Santa Monica is worse. The odd thing is that 30 years ago when I was in political management we had offices not far from Century Plaza (and meetings there not infrequently) and I knew a number of routes to and from Studio City to that area. Coming home I used one of them, along Club View Drive, and while much has changed along there, the routes work just fine.
Anyway, I have to get to work on the column. My head is full of fiction items. The stuff at Winston's show was interesting, but I keep wanting to think about medieval naval warfare, which is the next step in Mamelukes...
Southern California is doing the nation a big favor. We
are occupying Al Sharpton's time, so he won't bug you. Meanwhile our entire
city government appears to be in a big conspiracy against the voters. We
have a telephone tax of 10% which has been ruled illegal. Oddly enough, it
is illegal because it was somehow wrapped up with the Federal telephone tax,
which was enacted as a temporary tax because of -- wait for it -- the
Spanish American War.
When Congress decided that the Spanish American War has been paid for and repealed the federal telephone tax, that turns out to have affected the local city telephone tax of 10% (a tax almost no one was aware of, because telephone bills are unreadable). The City Council and Mayor have panicked. How will they pay themselves and their bloated staffs (when I was Deputy Mayor of LA ((truth in advertising: my title then was Executive Assistant, but the post held has since been re-titled Deputy Mayor)) we had 71 Civil Service Exempt ((i.e. political)) City Hall appointees. I was one of them. The city now has over 600, and believe me, they are well paid; I was and that was in the 1960's)? How will they pay for First Class travel to First Class hotels in South America to study Global Warming? How will they continue to pay pet law firms millions of dollars to do the work that the City Attorney is too incompetent to do?
In their panic they declared a fiscal emergency. This lets them put the restoration of the telephone tax on the ballot in a primary election that few will turn out for. (Tax increases are supposed to go on a ballot in a major election; that scares them a lot.) They also say it's a TAX CUT since they are going to make the new telephone tax 9% in hopes that people will vote for it, thinking that it's a cut from 10%. Of course it's really a tax increase because the tax itself is null and void now.
So from city council to Congress, our politicians are all in a giant conspiracy against the voters and taxpayers.
And we never catch wise.
Most people have a higher than average number of legs. Think about it.
|This week:||Sunday, October
I have to get to work. Deadlines. I don't like them much.
This is a day book. It's not all that well edited. I try to keep this up daily, but sometimes I can't. I'll keep trying. See also the weekly COMPUTING AT CHAOS MANOR column, 8,000 - 12,000 words, depending. (Older columns here.) For more on what this page is about, please go to the VIEW PAGE. If you have never read the explanatory material on that page, please do so. If you got here through a link that didn't take you to the front page of this site, click here for a better explanation of what we're trying to do here. This site is run on the "public radio" model; see below.
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