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Monday  October 30, 2006

Subject: Letter from England

Jerry, I just purchased the new MacBook Pro 15.4" laptop. I'll be using BootCamp 1.1 with it--Parallels doesn't have the performance for games. If I run into any issues, I'll report back.

Watching from northern England, my take on the US election is that the Republicans will maintain control of both houses--with 42% of the popular vote. Am I too cynical? The London Times is tracking events. <http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2089-2426606,00.html>  <http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,11069-2425618,00.html>  <http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2088-2426622,00.html

Iraq war 'fuelling UK terrorism' <http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/6096016.stm>  <http://www.guardian.co.uk/Observer/uk_news/story/0,,1934382,00.html>  (Afghan war 'cuckoo') <http://news.independent.co.uk/uk/politics/article1938367.ece

Israeli bomb shelters <http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2089-2426886,00.html

Flag-burning (any flags) could become a crime in the UK <http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/6095260.stm>  <http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2088-2426869,00.html>  (Curbs on free speech)

Archbishop of Canterbury defends faith schools <http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/6095764.stm>  <http://www.guardian.co.uk/Observer/politics/story/ 0,,1934432,00.html>  (The background story) <http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2088-2426673,00.html>  (comment)

Patents on computer programs not valid in the UK <http://www.theregister.co.uk/2006/10/27/software_patents/

Green taxes coming to the UK? <http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/6095680.stm>  See also the Sunday Telegraph--several articles. <http://www.guardian.co.uk/Observer/uk_news/story/0,,1934381,00.html>  <http://news.independent.co.uk/uk/politics/article1938407.ece

NHS stories <http://www.guardian.co.uk/Observer/uk_news/story/0,,1934444,00.html>  (Hospital to provide veterinary services) <http://news.independent.co.uk/uk/health_medical/article1938388.ece

-- Harry Erwin, PhD, Program Leader, MSc Information Systems Security, University of Sunderland. <http://scat-he-g4.sunderland.ac.uk/~harryerw> Weblog at: <http://scat-he-g4.sunderland.ac.uk/~harryerw/blog/index.php>

Congratulations. Games that require Direct X won't work at all in Parallels, but of course they do just fine with Boot Camp. Peter Glaskowsky has the new MacBook Pro with Core 2 Duo so that's two sources of information we'll have, and I am in fact determined to get one of the Core 2 Duo systems as soon as the exchequer recovers from several severe blows...

Thanks for all your pointers to happenings in the Mother Country. Alas, I don't have time to chase all of them down, and I suspect that's true of most readers. More commentary would not be unwelcome...

And see below


Joanne Dow's diatribes tend to be long, and sometimes repetitive but her views are always worth knowing. For those who don't know, Joanne is about as liberated as a woman can be; she is also feminine, well educated, and technically astute.

In my Diatribe for the 25th I mentioned the porous border we have. It has just had additional holes punched in it with an absolutely bloodthirsty action against two border patrol agents who were simply doing their duty. A drug smuggler escaped. They shot at him. He continued running on back into Mexico. He apparently showed no indication of being shot. He did, however, receive a round in the butt. Because it appeared he had not been hit the agents simply collected their brass and never reported the shooting. For this they have been given 11 and 12 years in prison. The smuggler was granted immunity for the 743 pounds of pot he was smuggling and is suing the US government for $5,000,000.

This, IMAO, is one of the STUPIDEST most idiotic miscarriages of justice ever. It's unbelievable. So much for the fence act Bush signed.

link http://michellemalkin.com/archives/006206.htm

I just want the borders sealed so that we do not have to deal with people in the US who are determined to prevent freedom of religion on equal terms under secular law.

Now, I must admit, it is quite easy to be accepted as a Mohammedan if you convert from Christianity or Judaism. But try to convert FROM Mohammedanism to anything else and you start receiving death threats and get put on trial for leaving Mohammedanism with the death penalty as the prize for losing.

LINK (video) http://hotair.com/archives/2006/10/26/the-price-of-apostasy/ 

Note that this is not the only affront to humanity that Mohammedanism provides. Wafa Sultan has a long interview with the Jerusalem Post on their site currently. If you do not know of Wafa Sultan search on Google. She is an amazing and remarkable woman. She is a Sunni Muslim who speaks out that the religion cannot be reformed, it must be transformed. For anyone who doubts what it is like inside Mohammedanism should read this interview. She is a very articulate Arab-American Psychiatrist these days. I can't call her fearless. She acknowledges her fear that her commentaries may lead to her death at the hands of Mohammedans who now consider her, and her husband, to be apostate. She is utterly courageous. She does not let that fear slow her down at all. If you've not seen it already look for the clip on www.Memritv.org for her interview on al Jazeera with the host and Dr. Ibrahim Al-Khouli which she utterly dominates the cleric. Then read her interview on the jpost.com. I cannot help but love and admire a woman this courageous.

After witnessing her mentor and teacher being shot by some young men shouting "Allahu Akbar" she started to question her religion. She researched the Qur'an and Hadith "carefully studying each.

"What made you question Islam rather than the specific perpetrators of the murder? You could have reached the conclusion that Islam was being abused by certain people, after all."

"That's exactly what I was trying to find out through my research - whether Islam is inherently violent, or whether its adherents misunderstand its teachings. The more I researched, the more convinced I became that the root was in Islam itself. I believe that beliefs drive behaviors."

link http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?\ apage=1&cid=1159193523009&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

What she describes is what we must fight for a loss or surrender to this kind of people is unthinkable except to candidates for the nuthouse, the nutroots Politically Correct Multi Culturalist lefties.

And on the home front I note that UC Irvine, host to one of the most unabashedly radical MSU groups in the US, is now also host to violence and persecution of its Jewish students. And the president of the University refuses to do anything about it. This is a disgrace.

link http://littlegreenfootballs.com/weblog/?entry=23112_UC_Irvine-\ _One_Persons_Hate_Speech_is_Another_Persons_Education&only 



One of the continuing lines from the left runs something like, "If we just leave them alone they'll leave us alone." France is a leading exemplar of this philosophy. France is also embroiled in a permanent intifada from its Mohammedan youths. (Also remember from a prior DD that among European Mohammedans the mean age is something like 15. This allows a Lord of the Flies or Mohammedan terrorist mentality to flourish.) The NY Sun has some words about it today. It seems even the French are being forced to notice one continuous year of rioting with an average of something over 100 automobiles burned a day. (It takes an astonishingly large stimulus to get the attention of the devoted multi-culturalists, it seems.)

Just off hand I don't think it would work for us, either. I sure hate the prospect of learning this the hard way at the hands of the Democrats.

link http://www.nysun.com/article/42376 

I wonder how many homosexuals support the multi-culturalism that dictates we should be nice and ignore the nasty foibles of Mohammedans. They should note that the leading Imam of Manchester England's Central Mosque says "Islam dictates the killing of homosexuals." Party on boys and girls. You're gonna die gruesomely if you don't start protecting yourself now. (Although there is some question about this. An organization of Mohammedan gays claims there is nothing in the Qur'an that dictates the deaths. They are probably ignoring the Hadith.)

link http://www.gcn.ie/content/templates/newsupdate.aspx?articleid=1409&zoneid=4 

An excellent source for learning about the life of Mohammed so the informed can compare and contrast it with that of other major religions' founders is Robert Spemcer's new book, _The Truth about Muhammad, Founder of the World's Most Intolerant Religion._ LittleGreenFootballs provides some pointers to two reviews. The book is drawn exclusively from "primary Islamic sources." Charles also recommends it after reading it. Robert Spencer also points to a good one in a post on JihadWatch.

link http://littlegreenfootballs.com/weblog/?entry=23119_Spencer-_The_Truth_About_Muhammad&only  http://www.jihadwatch.org/archives/013750.php 

So who is going to be the next real nuclear power, Iran or NORK? The way things are going we're going to find out it is not the "neither" option. And it may be more up in the air than we're pretending at the moment.

The NORK Nuke was one of three serious possibilities. It may have been a fizzle. If so they overstepped the logical testing sequence. A gun device is easy to build and generates an acceptable first shot yield. It may have been a fraud with a belated injection of "products" into the atmosphere to simulate a little leak from a "real" nuclear explosion. Or it might be something else, a decayed Soviet nuke. I recently ran across words to the effect that the SU nukes require way more maintenance than ours do. Such a bomb, well past its usable shelf life, might have been what the NORKs deployed. All three possibilities have the NORKs not yet into the nuclear camp in any real sense.

Meanwhile the Iranians have just put 164 more centrifuges online to make their own fissionable uranium. The world reaction seems to be a depressing and uniform "ho hum". Nobody wants to push for severe sanctions on Iran. And certainly nobody is thinking of invading the country.

So who will be the next REAL nuclear power without the aid of smoke and mirrors and large amounts of ammonium nitrate? I don't know. I do know that Olmert states the blindingly obvious, the world is doing absolutely nothing about Iran.

links http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20061027/ap_on_re_mi_ea/iran_nuclear  http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20061027/wl_mideast_afp/israelirannuclear 

On the home front Christopher Soghoian PhD made a boo-boo. He should have known better than to expose the fact that the emperor's troops have no clothes. It seems he proved it trivially easy to create forged boarding passes that are probably good enough to get past the TSA screeners, who have no access to passenger databases to see if the passes might be forgeries. The are, of course, not good enough for a ride. That's bad enough on its face. But it also allows you to print out a ticket without the "SSSS" on it that triggers heavier screening. So of course, the government response is to this is demands for the removal of the web site which hosts the generator and Soghoian's arrest. NEVER point out let alone prove that your Lords and Masters are dumber than dirt, even if they are.

link http://michellemalkin.com/archives/006217.htm 



The ever disgusting Senator Kerry calls our soldiers dead end kids who were not smart enough to do anything else. Maybe that fit the Army of my generation and his, those not smart enough to escape the draft - or maybe those who wanted the credit chit of being a veteran. His statement impugns his peers, is fellow soldiers with whom i.e. "served" in Vietnam. It impugns the modern soldiers who are probably among the smartest the world has ever had. You can't fight with modern weaponry and a second rate education. It takes brains to be a properly effective soldier in today's military. Guess how much loyalty he'll get if he were to ever become President.

link http://michellemalkin.com/archives/006237.htm 

link - read this first then my comments. http://www.keshertalk.com/archives/2006/10/elephantroom.php 

Some months back I ran across a reference to a scientific paper that used MRI techniques to discover that the same parts of the brain that are involved in religion are also involved in politics. Could it be that the extreme leftie Democrats, who are proud of moving religion out of their lives, find themselves turning their politics into their religion to fill the vacuum? Is this what leads to their religious fervor and lack of ability to face contradictions to their cherished beliefs? Is this why they can look at Mohammedan history, law (Sharia), tradition (Hadith), and the Qua'an without seeing its essentially violent nature?

Does this also explain the way they can imagine racism where there is none and ignore racism when they practice it? Michelle has some fine examples of this religious level double-think on the part of the extreme leftie Democrats.

link http://michellemalkin.com/archives/006230.htm 

It seems the guilt ridden lefties who "own" Los Angeles are spending tax money on a radical training school for reconquistas, Mexicans who are intent on taking back California. (Note that my understanding is that the residents of the state elected of their own free will to go with the United States rather than Mexico. It was not a military conquest although some military action took place. And when the local residents elected to go with the United States they accepted military aid to expel the Mexican military.)

link http://hotair.com/archives/2006/10/30/judicial-watch-issues-dossier-on-mecha-junior-high/ 

Over at JihadWatch Robert found this gem. The Taliban were the people who destroyed the Bamiyan Buddhas; but, the instigators were Arabs and Pakistanis. "At the scene of the crime carried out in 2001 all evidence points to Osama Bin Laden as the mastermind." Clearly the these extremists are not fighting us because of perceived slights. They are fighting us because they fervently believe we are supposed to be converted, virtually enslaved, or eliminated from the face of the Earth. The world does not need that kind of people.

link http://www.jihadwatch.org/archives/013809.php 

Robert also points out this little note about treatment of the Christians in Mohammedan territory, It seems a 14 year old Christian boy on his 12 hour shift tending generators was decapitated by a group of Mohammedans screaming "Alahu Akbar" as they did it. And it is all according to Mohammedan tradition. And note that Mohammedan law treats killing a Christian much differently from killing another Mohammedan.

link http://www.jihadwatch.org/archives/013803.php 

In Egypt some women discovered the hard way how Mohammedanism, in most or all cases their own religion, really treats women. A mob of males annoyed that a new movie was sold out went on a sexual rampage raping any women they found whether they were wearing a niqab, hijab, or were uncovered and whether or not they were pregnant. The police stood by and did NOTHING what so ever. The Egyptians tried to suppress the new. They'd have succeeded except for bloggers and a woman who exposed it on live TV. It's absolutely disgusting. It is also absolutely Mohammedan. (Note that in practice it is the woman who suffers if she is raped. She exists to be raped. She dies. The man MIGHT get some lashes; but, in practice this seldom happens.)

link http://www.sandmonkey.org/2006/10/30/the-eid-sexual-harassment-incident/ 

And on that note, I'm outa here. I need to wash my eyes out.


We have about the best educated army any nation has ever had. It is also one of the most effective; but using it for constabulary duties is not a good way to employ it. We need to bring the combat units home and back to readiness, while recruiting an occupation force.

The Romans always understood this. You use auxiliaries to control occupied territories, either directly or through puppet kings; Legions exist to fight organized enemies and other armies, and of course can be used to control auxiliaries and puppets at need; but there is no reason why auxiliaries and legions should be in conflict other than a certain jealousy.

Using the legions as occupation troops is a waste and a dangerous practice.




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Tuesday, October 31, 2006

All Hallows Eve

Subject: feminist sharia equivalence 

Dr. Pournelle,

Joanne Dow faces an uphill battle to convince her feminist sisters of the magnitude of the threat posed by the Mohammedans. Ellen Goodman is more concerned about what women are wearing for Halloween this year.


  Is there anything more depressing than the "Naughty Housewife"   ready to go trick-or-spanking? Sure. It's the number of young women   who will tell you fervently that as a post-feminist generation,   they are liberated to make choices. And their choice for Halloween   is "Alice in Pornland"!

    It's enough to make the average feminist want to bite into that   apple with the razor blade.     But first, let us take that "choice" banner, attach it to our   broomstick and fly east as far as London, where there is another   sort of masquerade going on. The story of the hour is not about   young women uncovering their bodies. It's about young women   covering their faces.  

Steve Chu


Subject: Three-way war

I don't think you have been ethnocentric or inaccurate in saying that in the contest between Christianity, Islam and Athiest Humanism only one will prevail and it's a three-way war.

China and India are different in that they don't seek to export their religions/cultures. In Hinduism you CAN'T be coverted to being a Hindu - you have to be born into it, and indeed born into it at least three times to be a Brahmin.

China has never sought to make the rest of the world Chinese. Even under Communism its military adventures were limited to what it considered its own sphere of influence - Korean, Tibet, Vietman (I'm not of course implying that the destruction of Tibet's independence and support for North Korea's aggression were morally justifiable). During Maoism, Chinese propaganda to the outside world had more of a theme "China/Maoism is best!" rather than: "You will become Chinese!" In the 15th-Century China built huge "treasure ships" to cruise the Indian Ocean and had the technology to create a maritime empire but failed to do so.

I think China and India will in a sense "sit out" the three-way war, or if they join in they will be influenced by pragmatic and strategic considerations of what they see their own interests to be.

China and India are big enough to be worlds of their own and go more-or-less their own ways. For the rest of us, as you rightly say, the three-way war is on.

Hal Colebatch, Nedlands, Western Australia

Note that there are millions of Christians in China; which worries the Chinese government a lot.


Subject: Americans do not want more control over the Judiciary

Dr. Pournelle,

CNN today published this article:

(CNN) -- "Despite politicians' complaints about judges having too much power, two-thirds of Americans do not believe elected officials should have more control over federal judges, according to a new CNN poll released Saturday.

Sixty-seven percent of 1,013 people surveyed by Opinion Research Corp. on behalf of CNN said federal judges -- and the decisions they make -- should not be subject to more control. "


Apparently most people believe that their freedoms are best defended by the courts.

Matt Kirchner

Nor should they. An Independent Judiciary was probably the most important gain of the Glorious Revolution of 1688. Which is not to say that there should not be some control over judicial activism. We have never been very good at adjusting those matters. The Court needs to read the newspapers, but should also be insulated from much of the political battle.

There will never be perfection in this. The pendulum will swing will we yea or nay.


Subject: Luddite Response to Aiirborne Laser Test


Although you've probably seen it, I thought I'd call your attention to this article about the recent milestone test of the airborne laser.


Interestingly, the anti-SDI Luddites are still trotting out the idea that an easy countermeasure would be for an adversary to put a mirror finish on their missiles. This claim only demonstrates their gross ignorance of ballistic missile design. While it is fairly common knowledge that ballistic missile warheads endure extreme heat during reentry, few in the anti-SDI crowd seem to realize that aerodynamic heating is also a serious problem during the early boost state. Although the heating during the boost phase isn't as intense as during reentry, it is intense enough seriously degrade the structural strength of the missile structure. Since both liquid fuel and solid fuel missile structures are under extreme tensile stress during the boost phase, this can result in a catastrophic structural failure (perhaps this is what happened to the recent North Korean test). The only practical method for a missile to dissipate this heat is through black body radiation which requires that the emmisivity of the missile surface be extremely high in the near infrared range which is the operating frequency band of most lasers. A mirror finish might be practical if a missile designer were willing to dramatically increase the structural mass of the missile. However; increasing the structural mass will decrease the mass ratio and result in a huge decrease in either payload or range or both.

Personally, I think that space based brilliant pebbles would offer a more effective defense. However; until we have a more reliable and cost effective space launch capability, we should hedge our bets by deploying airborne lasers and enhanced AEGIS ships.

Once comment about our interminable debate about SSTO. While I think that the enhanced payload capability of a two stage system would make it far more cost effective as a heavy lifter than an SSTO system, deploying an SSTO as a rapid response, space access vehicle for manned missions with small payloads makes a lot of sense if it were combined with a two stage version for heavy lifting.

James Crawford 

SSTO is operationally simpler; TSTO or SSTO with a "zero" booster stage, gets u a lot more payload. We need X projects in pursuit of both. At the moment there ought to be an X-engine program: a 20,000 lb thrust expander methane/LOX engine would be about right. That is still a bit small but it would move us in the right direction.

We also ought to be building the best savable SSX we can build; it would be unlikely to make orbit although Max Hunter thought it might be close if we start with a 600,000 lb GLOW system. It need not go to orbit; it can be flown incrementally. Three tail numbers would let us learn a lot about such vehicles and help answer the questions we have about stages and sizes for access to orbit.


Subject: Pentagon funding screenwriting classes for scientists 

I really don't make this stuff up, honest!


"Fewer and fewer students are pursuing science and engineering. While immigrants are taking up the slack in many areas, defense laboratories and industries generally require American citizenship or permanent residency. So a crisis is looming, unless careers in science and engineering suddenly become hugely popular, said Robert Barker, an Air Force program manager who approved the grant. And what better way to get a lot of young people interested in science than by producing movies and television shows that depict scientists in flattering ways?

Teaching screenwriting to scientists was the brainstorm of Martin Gundersen, a professor of electrical engineering at the University of Southern California and sometime Hollywood technical adviser. "


I wish you were making it up...


Subject: dangerous young men


i just watched a TV show, where they "discovered" a new phenomenon: a surplus of young men can be dangerous for the stability of a society.

Hmmm - i remember having read about it on your site. You even mentioned it in old stories ( something like: "... they are making a revolution here because they don't know what else they should do ..." ).

"New" is, that they applied this idea to history, and they found a strong correlation to every aspect of civil "unrest" ( aggression, civil war, revolution, colonization, military "adventures", terrorism (!) ).

Today every country is affected, where you must have sons to be accepted or respected and where they maybe even kill daughters.

Every country, where the women were allowed to get less children - and specially independent of gender - "calmed down" and is stable today.

There was a last thought, but i have problems writing it down. I hope you understand what i mean - it's very simplified:

Terrorism today - with America as the main target - is no real Clash of Civilizations ( it may evolve to it but it did not begin that way ). It's just that America ( and Americans outside their country ) are welcomed targets and "they don't know what else they should do".

Andreas Reichl

Now think about the makeup of the present Chinese population and the number of young men without women.

And in that vein:


Now Fred has an explanation for all of history:






This week:


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Subject: Legions vs Sitztruppen

Dr Pournelle

Thank you for pointing out the difference between combat forces (Legions) and occupation troops (you called them auxiliaries; I call them Sitztruppen). I had not thought of it before, but once I read your short presentation, I reflected on my studies of military history. I quickly concluded that in every case I knew of in which Legions were used as occupation forces, their combat effectiveness eroded. The best occupations were those that used Sitztruppen for the day-to-day patrols reinforced by flying columns of Legions to quell serious uprisings. Off and on the Romans and Byzantines did this well. In the last century the best at this were the Soviets.

The US now possesses the best combat forces the world has ever seen, but they are wasted as Sitztruppen. Mobility and firepower are our strengths. Mired in occupation patrols that pit M16s against AK47s, the army gives up these advantages.

Let's rent the Pakistani army to occupy Iraq. Or maybe recruit a mercenary army from the refugees of Dafur and train them to be half-decent soldiers. Ought to cost less than half what we are spending now. And I would dearly love to see what would happen to those bastards in Sudan when an American-trained mercenary army returns after a few years of fighting in Iraq.

Respectfully h lynn keith

This course of action is required if we want to be an empire; a republic has no need of such things. But if we are to be an empire, surely we want to be a competent empire? Incompetent empire is the worst of all worlds, or so I would think.

Do understand that if the Legions are largely recruited from, say, Dalmatia, then the Emperor is very likely to be Dalmation. The last Roman Emperor who was actually Roman was one of the short-lived successors to Aurelius's rotten son...

Dr Pournelle

Am I the only one watching The Unit on CBS? I like this show! It is unabashedly pro-American and pro-military. It paints our soldiers as heroes. I recommend it.


h lynn keith

I confess that I am a faithful watcher of The Unit. Many years ago, Lt. Col. Brown of Soldier of Fortune arranged for me to meet Col. Charles Beckwith, a founder of Delta Force, with the objective being that I would write his biography and do a book on Delta Force with him. Alas, my contracts and schedules didn't allow that (and I was heavily involved with space and defense policy for the Reagan administration as well). I often regret not making time to do that. Beckwith was an interesting man. The Unit is both realistic and not so; there are no officers in the expeditionary forces, with a command sergeant major being the commander in the field. This doesn't happen very often for fairly good reasons having nothing to do with the competence of the troops.

Special forces and elite units used for secret missions are not easily written about...


Subject: How to steal an election by hacking the vote : Page 1

Imagine how much fun the Pendergast machine would have with E-voting technology.


Or Boss Flynn. Tammany Hall here we come.


Subject: More Commentary from England

Jerry, as you know, good commentary is very hard to write--it shouldn't be partisan, and it should be thoughtful. Which is why I sent you Archbishop Rowan Williams' comments last week: <http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,6-2423697,00.html

"We in the UK do not have anything like this history of top-down rule by regulation. Yet when people talk about whether we should “become a secular society”, I wonder if they realise that they are in effect echoing the idea that the basic and natural form of political organisation is a central authority that “franchises” associations, and grants or withholds their right to exist publicly and legally within the State. Up to now, we have in practice taken for granted that the State is not the source of morality and legitimacy but a system that brokers, mediates and attempts to co-ordinate the moral resources of those specific communities, the merely local and the credal or issue-focused, which actually make up the national unit. This is a “secular” system in the sense that it does not impose legal and civil disabilities on any one religious body; but it is not secular in the sense of giving some kind of privilege to a non- religious or anti-religious set of commitments or policies. Moving towards the latter would change our political culture more radically than we imagine."

Although I disagree with him (and--more directly--with Tom Wright, Bishop of Durham) on issues involving how to revitalise the Church, I feel like I'm in a debate, not a political argument, with them. With Archbishop John Sentamu of York, they seem unafraid to speak truth to authority, even when that authority has an unsettling resemblance to Joseph Caiaphas.

The UK Government is run by amateur ministers and professional civil servants. The civil servants usually have organisational agendas that have little connection with what the average citizen wants or needs, while most ministers haven't run a corner shop, let alone anything larger. This results in a style of management that has to be seen to be believed. Over time the system runs off the road, which produces large election shifts. This system encourages both civil servants and ministers to believe they own the truth as the ultimate source of morality and legitimacy. Think 'political correctness' with the power of the sovereign state enforcing it. Given that there is a strong herd instinct in action, agendas are driving the decision in specific directions, no one directly involved has a deep understanding of the issues, and few of those really care, it's a miracle that the politically correct position has any content at all.

This is not a new phenomenon. Look at the history of the Nicene Creed. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nicene_Creed>

-- Harry Erwin, PhD "Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety." (Benjamin Franklin, 1755)

Whereas we are governed by professional politicians who haven't in general run corner shops either, but do know how to win elections.

In California some of the Internet entrepreneurs tried to run for office but the Old Pols managed to defeat them in primaries.


How can you have a revolution when everyone is watching TV?


- Roland Dobbins




CURRENT VIEW    Wednesday


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Thursday, November 2, 2006

Subject: Actung! Ordnung!

Dr. P,

I don’t know if you’ve heard about the grad student who created an on-line boarding pass generator:

Student Unleashes Uproar With Bogus Airline Boarding Passes

“Christopher Soghoian said he was simply trying to highlight a flaw in the nation's airline security procedures when he put a tool on his Web site letting anyone create fake boarding passes, but federal authorities didn't see it that way.

“FBI agents visited the 24-year-old doctoral candidate's home in Bloomington, Ind., Friday and returned on Saturday to cart off his computers and other equipment. While Soghoian has not been charged with a crime, the incident has stirred a national tempest and renewed concerns about passenger screening procedures.

“Soghoian, a Virginia native and student at Indiana University's School of Informatics, declined to comment yesterday on the advice of his attorney. But he has been writing about the incident on his Web site.

‘I came back today, to find the glass on the front door smashed,’ Soghoian wrote on Saturday. "Inside, is a rather ransacked home, a search warrant taped to my kitchen table, a total absence of computers -- and various other important things."

“Wendy Osborne, a special agent with the FBI's Indianapolis field office, confirmed that a search warrant was executed at Soghoian's home but declined to discuss the case further because she said it had been sealed...”

<http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/10/31/AR2006103101313.html>  <http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/10/31/AR2006103101313.html

Interestingly, the search warrant makes no mention of authorizing a forced entry (Mr. Soghoian has posted a scanned copy of the warrant on his personal blog <http://slightparanoia.blogspot.com/2006/10/fbi-visit-2.html>  <http://slightparanoia.blogspot.com/2006/10/fbi-visit-2.html>  ). At least the FBI did follow the instructions to leave a copy of the warrant after breaking in.

At least some of us were born free.


William Clardy

I would not have advised him to post that algorithm, but surely there were less drastic ways to close him down?

The TSA is but one more link in the chain from citizen to subject. The FBI and BATF have been active for a long time. Recall Waco. Get used to it.



Dr. P,

An interesting concept:

Spy Version of Wikipedia Released 11.01.06

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. intelligence community on Tuesday unveiled its own secretive version of Wikipedia, saying the popular online encyclopedia format known for its openness is key to the future of American espionage.

The office of U.S. intelligence czar John Negroponte announced Intellipedia, which allows intelligence analysts and other officials to collaboratively add and edit content on the government's classified Intelink Web much like its more famous namesake on the World Wide Web.

A "top secret" Intellipedia system <http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,1895,2048790,00.asp##> , currently available to the 16 agencies that make up the U.S. intelligence community, has grown to more than 28,000 pages and 3,600 registered users since its introduction on April 17. Less restrictive versions exist for "secret" and "sensitive but unclassified" material…

Intelligence officials are so enthusiastic about Intellipedia that they plan to provide access to Britain, Canada and Australia.

Even China could be granted access to help produce an unclassified intelligence estimate on the worldwide threat posed by infectious diseases…

<http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,1895,2048790,00.asp>  <http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,1895,2048790,00.asp

I suppose that it goes without saying that, in the interests of national security, the American citizenry will have no access.


William Clardy

This needs discussion. I certainly hope they don't put sensitive information in there, particularly any kind of source evaluation that might help identify sources.

As to who should have access and why, it's worth thinking about.


The illimitable Joanne Dow replies to Fred:

Subject: Fred on everything - mad dogs

Fred is full of <stinky brown very elongated ovoids of waste product>.

I wish I had to time to dissect his article paragraph by paragraph. Women are just as territorial as men, in a different way. A new woman in town is sized up and fit into the pack fully as ruthlessly as the new man in town. The techniques are simply a bit different.

Note that women buy into the Mohammedan life style because they know no different. Dr. Wafa Sultan relates an incident from her former world before she came to the US in which a woman kills her own daughter. Her daughter's crime was being raped and becoming pregnant. The rapist was her own brother. Thus she was guilty of incitement to rape and had to be killed to restore honor to the family. Women like this support their pugnacious domineering husbands. They do not know life can be any different. "Behind every successful man there is a woman."

Males simply have the equipment to use force and violence to get their way with other men and women. Women have other techniques for establishing the female pecking order with brutal efficiency. It's a human thing as much as it's a male thing or a female thing. It's expression is what distinguishes typical male and typical female responses.


One thing most "social scientists" -- including real scientists as well as voodoo scientists -- agree on is that women's liberation is probably the best birth control mechanism ever discovered. Educating women is the first step in modernizing any society.

Robert Heinlein speculated on the effects of restricting the vote to women. It is an interesting thing to contemplate. Of course science fiction writers speculate on nearly everything.


Subject: Magna Carta

Dr. Pournelle,

Reference your item on Runnymede (Mail Tuesday October 24th), this article:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/story/0,,1745166,00.html <http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/story/0,,1745166,00.html

will show you that most of the relevant contents of "that great document", the Magna Carta, has been abolished by our current Prime Minister, along with major portions of our Bill of Rights, and many of our other freedoms and customary rights, for which generations of Britons fought and died.

Read it, and weep for British democracy and liberty.

I hope you Americans can keep the flame alight for a little longer yet.


Andrew Duffin


Subject: Cuba is the only good country in the world

Dr. Pournelle,

According to this study, Cuba is the only good country in the world, though I don’t see how education enters into their particular equation…


Sort of funny, though then again I suppose many will believe it…

-David Scott -Dnjscott at gmail.com


Subject: Fwd: Going Dutch


forwarded without comment......


Mon Oct 23, 10:16 AM ET

A Dutch mayor has raised eyebrows by backing the idea of sending prostitutes to accompany Dutch troops on foreign missions.

"The army must consider ways its soldiers can let off steam," Annemarie Jorritsma, mayor of the town of Almere in central Netherlands and a member of the ruling VVD liberals, told Dutch television.

"There was once the suggestion that a few prostitutes should accompany troops on missions. I think that is something we should talk about," she said, adding that the prostitutes would keep soldiers from turning to local women.

Her comments have drawn a mixed response in the Netherlands, renowned for its liberal prostitution laws.

"I don't think my wife would find it a good idea," Wim van den Burg, a spokesman for the military service trade union told Dutch newspaper Volkskrant on Monday.

Andre van Dorst of sex industry organisation VER told the same paper: "I can see something in this, though it's a very strange idea."

The Netherlands has more than 2,000 soldiers serving abroad, most of them in Afghanistan as part of a NATO peacekeeping force, and in Bosnia.

General Fighting Joe Hooker...


Subject: Knowing the Universe in Detail (Except for That Pesky 96 Percent of It) (NY Times)

October 24, 2006 Essay Knowing the Universe in Detail (Except for That Pesky 96 Percent of It) By DENNIS OVERBYE

Hardly anyone remembers now, but 1991 was a bad year for the Big Bang.

Astronomers were having more and more difficulty reconciling their models of the explosion that gave birth and impetus to the expanding cosmos with the structure of the modern universe, in particular the discovery of strings of clusters and so-called superclusters of galaxies going hundreds of millions of light-years across the sky.

There was a rash of articles in prestigious journals like Science and even this newspaper saying that major elements of the model, or even the Big Bang itself, might have to be junked. ³Big Bang Blown to Bits,² read one headline I remember.

I took all this rather personally because the publication of my first book, which was about cosmology, coincided with the appearance of these headlines. The cosmic jig was up, and I wasn¹t getting invited onto any talk shows.

But in April 1992, George Smoot from the University of California, Berkeley, announced that the NASA satellite Cosmic Background Explorer, or Cobe, had detected faint irregularities in a bath of microwaves that pervade space.

The microwaves are presumed to be cooling radiation from the original fireball, and the splotches were the right size to one day grow into giant clusters of galaxies.

³If you are religious, it is like looking at God,² Dr. Smoot said.

This month Dr. Smoot and John Mather, of the Goddard Space Flight Center, the head Cobe scientist, were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics. There was much talk that Cobe had marked a turning point, the beginning of a ³golden age,² in which cosmology went from a collection of vague ideas to a precision science. <snip>


The issue isn't the documents, it's the fact that a Los Alamos scientist's home is the target of a drug bust in the first place. The documents are icing on the cake, heh.


  Roland Dobbins

And as the story goes on, there's even more...


I missed this last week:


There's an interesting article in The Los Angeles Times today. It might be best for you to be sitting down when you read it. I am sending it with this message as an attachment called "Ignite.doc."

... With investments from his parents, George H.W. and Barbara Bush, and other backers, Neil Bush's company, Ignite! Learning, has placed its products in 40 U.S. school districts and now plans to market internationally. ...

Somehow, I just can't get immune to the anger and disgust I feel about the outright frauds that have been financed by this administration. An educational program (their words, not mine!) that does not include reading or math? Perhaps, however, the name of one of the components of the program - COW - should have been a hint to the contents...?

I may be infringing on someone's copyright here by sending you the entire text, but my experience with too many URLs has been that they only work for a very short period of time.

Is there any way that Roberta could get some of that "No Child Left Behind" money to get her reading program into schools that need it?

Elizabeth A. Strohm

You can Google the story...


I found a very interesting article in ScienceDaily on the use of computer games as therapy for stroke victims.

From ScienceDaily August 30, 2006

Engineers at Rutgers, The State <http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/08/060828211649.htm>University of New Jersey, have modified a popular home video game system to assist stroke patients with hand exercises, producing a technology costing less than $600 that may one day rival systems 10 times as expensive.

I used a similar technique after I suffered a minor stroke a little over 6 years ago except that it didn't cost anything. My stroke affected my right arm and leg so I spent a lot of time practicing writing and typing. When that became boring, I started playing Free Cell. That too became boring until I read in the help file that it was believed but not proven that all games could be solved. Here was a challenge to make it more interesting so I started with Game 1 and played it until I had won before starting the next game. I kept a record of the date I solved every 10th game. After I recovered the use of my right hand, playing Free Cell slowed down but never stopped completely. I am now trying to win game 33922.

Chuck Anderson



CURRENT VIEW    Thursday


This week:


read book now


Friday,  November 3, 2006

As one might expect, Joanne Dow generates a lot of mail; sorting out the productive replies takes a bit of effort.

Meanwhile, one more note:

> One thing most "social scientists" -- including real scientists as
> well as voodoo scientists -- agree on is that women's liberation is
> probably the best birth control mechanism ever discovered. Educating
> women is the first step in modernizing any society.

That may be a good thing someday. I am not sure it is a good thing today. It makes our soldiers far more "precious" than the cannon fodder of the Mohammedans who are allegedly "breeding like flies." (Median age in Gaza is 15.8. That is SERIOUS cannon fodder.)

> Robert Heinlein speculated on the effects of restricting the vote to
> women. It is an interesting thing to contemplate. Of course science
> fiction writers speculate on nearly everything.

At one time I thought this was an intriguing idea. Then I concluded it was based on an idealized male's view (typical of much of older Science Fiction) of women. I remembered the remarkably vicious cat fights among women. In general women have a few very serious vulnerable spots. One makes them vulnerable to men - force. But others are equally disturbing to social women. (I'm more or less an anomaly here. I enjoy solitude most of the time and am quite accustomed to the idea that I'm outside most social circles.) The fighting tools include cutting remarks, extreme social isolation, and so forth. I an inclined to suspect it is far more difficult for a woman to deviate from her perception of her peer's opinions on matters than it is for men. "Maverick" always brings to mind a male and not a female. Being excluded from the herd is very hard on most women.

(I've often wondered about who Wendy McElroy's support group might be. She is a person who pretty much echoes my views on feminism. Indeed women are treated wretchedly historically. That's no excuse to tip the scales and treat men wretchedly for awhile, as we are doing now. "Fair" is color, sex, and religion blind. "Fair" is equal behavior for equal actions.)

If my perceptions are correct then a very few "alpha women" (which most assuredly exist) can sway the entire herd to produce near unanimous results.

My perceptions may not be right, however. More and more near maverick women are appearing on the web publishing blogs that attract like minded women. So there may be a way for differing opinions to get out there. I've not contemplated, yet, what these different social groups of women will do vis a vis extreme polarization as compared to their male counterparts. (Speaking of which I see more and more groups in which both the men and the women are basically "people" first rather than male or female cliques first then people. This is, IMAO, a rather good trend. Mutual respect should precede any worry about maleness or femaleness.)



Subject: Conversion of citizens to subjects

Dear Dr. Pounelle,

I know about the recent, and not so recent, efforts of the FBI, BATFE, and TSA to convince me that I am a subject. Get used to it? Nonsense! My feet are still warm. Hell has not frozen solid yet. The United States Constitution still exists, in spite of government attempts to ignore it.


William L. Jones

wljonespe [at] verizon.net


Subject: Getting water from thin air 

Frank Herbert predicted this:

Getting Water From Thin Air

November 1, 2006: In a major logistics breakthrough, a U.S. company, Aqua Sciences, has developed a system that can extract water out of the air, even if the humidity is as low as 14 percent. It does this using salts, and can produce water for less than a dollar a gallon. The system currently available is contained in a twenty foot long tractor trailer unit, and turns out 600 gallons a day.




Subject: Shocked, shocked, I tell you, they were shocked, 


Just wait until this practice reaches a city near you.


After that "cleric" called unveiled women "meat," what should have we expected?



Dr. Pournelle,

You said

> One thing most "social scientists" -- including real scientists as
> well as voodoo scientists -- agree on is that women's liberation is
> probably the best birth control mechanism ever discovered.

I would submit that it would be more accurate to say that it is it a very effective birth reduction mechanism. In many places birth rates have been reduced to well below the replacement rate. From a societal point of view, this "out of control" birth rate is now proving an intractable problem.


Well, yes... Indeed, I meant population growth limitation.


Population Growth

Women's liberation and materialism are two of the major reasons we do not have organic population growth in the good old USA, according to statistics I have read. Even people who self-categorize as conservative barely replace themselves. Those who see themselves as liberals do not come close to replacing themselves. I admit to having mixed feelings here.

 Those who homeschool, however, average over three children per family. From my experience, they also do not resort to pharmaceuticals to address discipline problems in male children.

Regards, Paul D. Perry


John Kerry's remarks

Evening Jerry,

A couple of points on Kerry's comments from a partisan Republican (hoping that it returns to conservative principles). If one believes the Republican spin, John Kerry still is stuck in Vietnam, when a student exemption was available to avoid conscription. I don't doubt that his antiwar mentality is still stuck there, and I find him to be unintelligent, irrational, and both elitist and socialist in his policy proposals.

However, I've now seen/heard the greater context in which the remarks were made, and there is a valid argument that he was not attacking the troops. His previous statements were all attacks on Bush, and read in context, his comment can be easily taken as stating that President Bush got stuck in Iraq (via bad policy) due to a lack of education. There's enough room for reasonable doubt as to exactly what he meant. He should have understood the landmine he was about to step on, but that just validates my perception on his own intelligence.

The greater issue though, is that degrading, personal attacks are now prevalent on the left, which is something new in American politics. The 'loyal opposition' is no longer the former, and are solely interested in furthering their own socialist agenda and personal power without regard to the welfare of the Republic (or the country). Senator Lieberman's current situation proves the point. Even a decade ago, no one would have considered making a comment such as his (given what I believe was his intent - to disparage the intelligence of the President), in such a vitriolic fashion. Tip O'Neill never would have attacked Ronald Reagan in such a direct, blunt fashion.

If politics stop at the water's edge, we're all drowning.




Subject: Comment on Ms. Dow's post 11/2/06


The only part of of Ms. Dow's Nov. 6 post I agree with is the part about men being stronger than women.

Her whole post assumes that the way SHE wants it to be is the 'correct' way. Men and women ARE different. In this case the only way she's correct is politically.

Political correctness leads to:

. Who's next? Pournelle? Heinlein?

I think that she uses the classical (pseudo)scientific 'method' of pointing to an example of conflict between the 'rules' and a particular measurement in the field and therefrom asserting that the whole rule is incorrect. This is a misunderstanding of statistics and statistical rules.

Regards, Ephraim F. Moya

I fear that I am unable to understand your point. Citing black vandalism against Mark Twain because he wrote Huckleberry Finn is not quite what Joanne is writing about, or at least I would not have thought so. Nor do I detect in her any tendency to shut others up; indeed she seems eager to publicize what she perceives is a threat.


Subject: Viruses causing more than previously believed 

Here's a link to an article backing up the idea put forth by a contributor that viruses may be responsible for much more than previously thought:



Doug Hayden

I have always thought so. Interesting.


I got this today, with two attached jpg pictures of piles of money. Needless to say I have told InBoxer to add this to the data base of stuff I don't need to see.

Dear Friend.

Thanks for your mail and for accepting my offer. I apologize for my late reply, it's due to my duty here. Since your last email to me on the month of febuary, i couldn't reply back because my troops were camping at the road to the jordanian border, that makes it difficult for me to check my mail. I have every proof of this transaction what i need is your assistance in smuggling this money out of Iraq.

I am ready now to transfer the money to you after counting which took me days. The total amount is $6.8million in $100 bills. I want you to send your contact information and bank details to enable transfer the money. I will transfer it with the Bank of Baghdad, Iraq. They do International Transfer. I will not send it at once, i will transfer $500,000 each transfer. After i finished the transfer, you will take 50% of the money and deposit the rest in your bank for me. I am giving you all the trust and i believe that with the help of God, we will sucessfully transfer this money out of Iraq.

Please do not disclose this deal to anybody as to protect my duty with the US Marine. I took my picture and the money picture which is in attached file below for your confirmation.

You can always contact with through captainmarkedwards@excite.com

I will be waiting to hear from you as soon as possible to proceed.


Captain Mark Edwards

I do not advise you to make contact with this 'Captain'...


Hi Jerry.

On the lighter side of life:



Mike Casey







This week:


read book now


Saturday, November 4, 2006



Apparently they feel that a good idea was crippled by incompetent implementation. I think the Ivory Tower must have a few inmates missing.

I am also reminded of Eisenhower's comment that no battle plan survives contact with the enemy...

Tony o.

But see below (letter next after Hammit's)


Dear Jerry:

This really is unprecedented. The original company, Times Journal, was also the publisher of Defense News when I did the occasional op-ed for them, but their issues never revolved around the SecDef.

The company was bought by Gannett a few years ago, the same company that originated "USA Today". Despite the title, "Army Times" is and always has been a private company and never spoke for the Army. In this case, however, they may just be saying aloud what everyone else has been whispering under their breaths.


Francis Hamit

US military newspapers to demand Rumsfeld's resignation: report - Yahoo! News



Subj: _Vanity Fair_ vs the neocons - fair depiction or not?

Are you confident that the _Vanity Fair_ piece fairly depicts what the neocons said (let alone what they thought)?

At least one of them says not:


Rod Montgomery==monty@sprintmail.com

I will confess that after the egregious Frum's performances in the past I am probably overly willing to believe anything said about him, and this is a failing. If it turns out that Perle and others have been misquoted, that can be remedied. Alas, I do not find it astonishing at all that some of the neocons will say they expected competence and didn't get it, and that is the problem. After all, they really did believe it would be easy. Jacobins usually do. After all, if there beats within the heart of every man a burning desire for freedom, why should it not be easy to set men free if you have the best army the world has ever seen?

I make no doubt that these people, almost to a man devoid of actual military experience and pretty thoroughly unaware that no battle plan ever survives contact with the enemy, and whose understanding of 'friction' comes from books, not from having had to get 1200 men and their equipment moving in the same direction at the same time and get them there in the face of even minimal opposition -- well you get the idea. I make no doubt they thought it would be easy, and that all it would take is minimal competence; and when it wasn't easy they deduce that it was all done incompetently. A lot of my friends, who were against the war to begin with, believe that to this day.

Imperial competence is difficult. Governing people without their consent is difficult, particularly if you have to obey strict rules and cannot use fear and terror to subdue the opposition. If you are allowed to use the tactics of the Turkish Sultans you can govern Mesopotamia with a fair degree of what looks like peace and order. 

I may have misjudged some of the neocons, but the egregious Frum made it clear what he believed.




CURRENT VIEW     Saturday

This week:


read book now


Sunday, November 5, 2006


"We support those not as smart as John Kerry" - At the Army-Air Force Game:


As the blogger says: Wow, who'd have thought that - "John Kerry bringing the armed services together..."


Hoo Haw!


Subject: Home invasionis by police

I agree that police invasions of private homes, particularly on flimsy or mistaken grounds, are a crying scandal. All too often the responsible parties are not punished, or are let off with token punishments of "two weeks, suspended, with pay." I'm sure that that would just have me quivering in my boots.

However, the causes run deeper than individual police departments, or even the insane, inane, War on Some Unpopular Drugs. The WoSD provides these types with an all-purpose justification, rather like the blanket indulgences that I have read about medieval Popes granting Crusaders as an incentive to go running off to the Holy Land. However, if all the drug laws were repealed tomorrow (speed the day!) police abuses would continue unabated. Instead of drugs, they'd find some other Grand Menace, to combat which they'd "need" to behave like the Gestapo.

A big cause of all of this, at least as I see it, is the perception on the part of many police and law-enforcement types of themselves as something _other than_ ordinary citizens. Every time I hear a policeman refer to non-police people as "civilians," I want to snarl "And since _when,_ my friend, have the police been absorbed by the military?" While they ape the military in many ways, the police _are not_ the military. Attempts to use soldiers as police generally do not turn out well; while they may look similar, they have fundamentally different goals, and, preferably, fundamentally different mindsets.

These days, the police have morphed into something not too dissimilar to the "standing armies" so reprehended by the Founders. They were operating on memories of soldiers enforcing King George's laws, and earlier memories of Oliver Cromwell's Captains-General forcing England into a Puritan mold. Most of the bad taste left by Cromwell in English memories had nothing to do with his foreign operations---the place where the soldier properly belongs. (Charles II did _not_ give Jamaica back to the Spaniards.)

I think that if ordinary policemen (patrol cops, not specialists like CSI technicians, who are a whole 'nuther breed of cat) were limited to a term of service of two or three years, and this service was made about as mandatory as the draft used to be (exemptions granted on the basis of health, sincere religious belief, or, in this case, demonstrated criminal proclivities) we might see a lot fewer of these abuses. Right now, many police know that they're nearly-exempt from many of the laws that bind the rest of us; speeding that would get you or me a ticket will get, at most, a stern talking-to for an off-duty cop, and even in jurisdictions where CCW permits are hard to come by for ordinary folks, off-duty cops often can carry their service pistols with no fear of arrest.

A short "term of service" and near-universal service would provide varied benefits. The police would no longer see themselves as "us vs. the world, which are all a bunch of criminal or proto-criminal scumbags, and hate us anyway" and would not be able to get away with as much abuse as they now do, knowing that in a few years they'd be joining the "civilians," and ordinary folks, having shared the experience of _being_ police, would be more empathetic with them when they _are_ just trying to do their jobs.

I will admit that this is not compatible with my libertarian beliefs, but as long as we needs-must have police, the best way to have them is "citizens doing a job," not as an occupying army above all laws.

Eric Oppen 

A very interesting proposal. It reminds one of the sheriff and his posse in simpler times.

There might be a way to implement such things, particularly in less densele populated areas, but it would require an entire change in attitude about self government and self reliance, and responsibilities of citizenship. It could be made to work even in major cities once some of the bugs work out in smaller places.

But I doubt we have the attitude about self government that this would take.






The current page will always have the name currentmail.html and may be bookmarked. For previous weeks, go to the MAIL HOME PAGE.


If you are not paying for this place, click here...

IF YOU SEND MAIL it may be published; if you want it private SAY SO AT THE TOP of the mail. I try to respect confidences, but there is only me, and this is Chaos Manor. If you want a mail address other than the one from which you sent the mail to appear, PUT THAT AT THE END OF THE LETTER as a signature. In general, put the name you want at the end of the letter: if you put no address there none will be posted, but I do want some kind of name, or explicitly to say (name withheld).

Note that if you don't put a name in the bottom of the letter I have to get one from the header. This takes time I don't have, and may end up with a name and address you didn't want on the letter. Do us both a favor: sign your letters to me with the name and address (or no address) as you want them posted. Also, repeat the subject as the first line of the mail. That also saves me time.

I try to answer mail, but mostly I can't get to all of it. I read it all, although not always the instant it comes in. I do have books to write too...  I am reminded of H. P. Lovecraft who slowly starved to death while answering fan mail. 

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