Thursday, August 17, 2017
Being intelligent is not a felony. But most societies evaluate it as at least a misdemeanor.
-Robert A. Heinlein
The map is not the territory.
I haven’t been lazy, mostly disgusted; the news is upsetting in many ways, chief among them the desire to make political hay out of serious situations: this applies to the politicians, of course; the news media, of course; and a great number of people I would have thought would know better.
In any event, I wont reproduce it here since it exists on line, but my September 11, 2001 post on what ought to be done about the 9/11 attacks was incorporated into the Thursday, September 18, 2003 Black September War report . It is of necessity long, but still worth reading as an essay on possible foreign policy, including a proposal for building Space Solar Power Satellites for use in both foreign and domestic policies. The use of SSPS power in foreign policy wasn’t thought to be worth the cost; still, it’s worth reading and even thinking about again.
The Black September War
Thursday, September 18, 2003
What Is To Be Done?
My proposals were not seriously considered because they would cost so much. A Space Solar Power Satellite system was estimated to cost $100 Billion including the fleet of heavy lift launchers, and might even cost two or three times that much. True, it would make us a spacefaring nation, and with the fleet of heavy launch vehicles we could build a nearly leakproof missile defense system as well as deploy some Thor missiles – no warhead, just 19 feet of tungsten telephone pole coming in at greater than 12,000 feet per second with a CEP of maybe 10 feet – and build it on third shifts while building a moon Base Lab on weekends; but two or three hundred billion dollars?
And perhaps my plan would have cost $500 Billion if done bureaucratically; but we spent four times that on a series of wars that didn’t accomplish what my proposal would have, left us with no space assets for missile defense, and the wars show no sign of ending. Anyway, you may read what I thought back then and judge for yourselves.
There’s really not much that needs saying about organized public brawling between national socialist and international socialist kitted-up goons. (Or there wouldn’t be, if the schools had been doing their jobs – but that’s a different rant.)
I don’t know whether to weep or laugh. Both.
On the other hand, there’s the mass attack of the vapors the media and bipartisan establishment are having over this President daring to point out that there was illegal street-thuggery on both sides.
Partly, this is the same historical ignorance that makes Che t-shirts a steady seller, while ones with, say, Sepp Dietrich’s also-dashing figure would appeal only to a handful of fringe nutcakes. In an historically aware – dare I say “woke”? – world, that’d be true of both. It’s pathetic, but not of itself dangerous.
What is dangerous now is the active effort to sell one particular bunch of violent street thugs as acceptable, justifiable, even heroic that our media and establishment are buying into here. If they get what they seem to want, they’ll be very sorry, and quite soon.
The self-styled “Antifa” types explicitly justify their violence as legitimate because it’s against “nazis” and “racists”. (As defined of course by people who call themselves anti-fascists while wearing masks and dressing in black to engage in public violent suppression of those who disagree with them. Ahem.)
And most of our lamentably ignorant establishment are currently buying into this, because, well, after all, those WERE nazis. This time.
(Well, a pitiful rag-tag latter-day imitation. The real Nazis would be mortally embarrassed.)
But pay even a little attention to the apparent street-thug wing of the Democratic Party’s attempts at self-justification, and it becomes clear that their definition of “nazis” and “racists” boils down to, anyone who fails to actively and visibly agree with them on all things.
Dig a bit in the news, and at one point or another they’ve already beaten up examples of just about anyone who’s not them. People in MAGA hats, random passers-by, college professors nominally on their side, conservative political demonstrators in general – and over and over now, reporters who try to report on what they actually do.
Seriously, press them a bit and these people will tell you we’re just about all “racists” and “nazis”. Under the circumstances, giving them cultural carte blanche to “punch racists” and “punch nazis” seems unwise.
The media and establishment members currently trying to enable them may think they’re exempt, but all they are is further down the list.
not tolerant of getting punched
The street engagements of the Communists and the National Socialists in Weimar Germany had their effect; and of course neither party was what Germany needed. Choosing you gangsters and supporting one set of them is seldom good tactics for a republic; once the habit of law and order is lost, or one group is exempt from it, the notion that Justice is the interest of the strongest, and the fundamental principle is that the strong do as they will, and the weak suffer what they must becomes more attractive to many groups – including the Army, for that matter.
When I was a lad in legally segregated Tennessee in the 1940’s I came up with the bizarre idea that the law ought to be colorblind, and segregation was wrong. This was not well received by many, although given my father was the general manager of one of the largest radio stations it was sort of forgiven indulgently, and I didn’t really suffer much from it other than having to listen to lectures on how unwise my views were. A few said I was a Communist, of course. I haven’t changed my views since 1947, but recently in a professional conference I was told that advocating that the law ought to be colorblind was white fascist racist bullcrap. At least I wasn’t subjected to lectures.
Good morning, Dr. Pournelle,
I thought you might find this article interesting, via Rev. Sensing:
I know that despair is a sin, but sometimes I really feel the urge to give into it. There are days when I only take my meds because of the love of my life, my wife, who would be devastated without me.
In the sf/political thriller I’m writing, I eliminate the Chinese and Indians via an Islamic strike and the aftermath. I won’t say that I really believe in it…
Thank you for the update on NERVA and the link about lunar colonies. Both will help in my current writing…
We spent a great deal of time talking about inequality of opportunity and outcomes. The tech industry is fanatically progressive in its opinions, as the unfortunate James Damore, formerly of Google, recently learned. The tech industry’s drivel about diversity and equality masks a guilty conscience: Digital technology creates inequality of a kind we have never seen before in human history. [snip]
But we have been unequal for all of the history of the human race. To assert that the law ought to be colorblind – that all men (and now women) are equal under the law – is not to say that they are or can be equal. All men are not created equal, or there would be as many Japanese women as East African men contending for gold medals in marathon races. Or as many Korean women as black males playing for the NBA. Attempts to end this by diversity programs are amusing, but no one expects them to be successful; they are merely virtue signals. Of course one cannot discuss such things, witness the fate of one time Harvard President Larry Summers.
Past societies treated women and men differently, as exemplified by “Women and Children First” in lifeboat drills and often in genuine life and death emergencies. To stand and be still to the Birkenhead drill is a damn tough bullet to chew…
And I doubt that anywhere near 90% of the population, even given Henry Ford’s ideas and access to Edison’s facilities could have built anything useful from those parts.
“Throughout history, poverty is the normal condition of man. Advances which permit this norm to be exceeded — here and there, now and then — are the work of an extremely small minority, frequently despised, often condemned, and almost always opposed by all right-thinking people. Whenever this tiny minority is kept from creating, or (as sometimes happens) is driven out of a society, the people then slip back into abject poverty.
This is known as “bad luck.”
False flag operation?
It seems the organizer of the Charlottesville event has exceptionally impeccable leftist extremist credentials.
Charlottesville “Unite the Right” Organizer Was Occupy Wall St. Activist, CNN Correspondent, & Obama Supporter http://pamelageller.com/2017/08/charlottesville-organizer-ows-obama-cnn.html/
It smelled from the beginning. One set of pictures I saw had a Confederate battle flag that looked like it has just been taken out of a box rather than something taken down off the wall by an owner that cherished it. I’ve seen pictures allegedly of the KKK protesters who had no weapons in sight and were giving a salute that only vaguely resembled the Nazi salute, wrong hand and horizontal with the fingers slopping around rather than together in a salute format. Now we have this. The organizer may have been an OWS activist AND CNN correspondent at the same time. He’s also revealed to be an Obama supporter.
Please note that the KKK is and always has been a creature of the left. Calling them alt-right does not change this. And I am getting rather angry at the media for imputing the conservative right movement is in any way associated with or approves of these jerks. But. I also get very upset when I see the first amendment being trampled by leftist thugs.
Last Year, When a ‘Unite the Right’ Leader Was An Occupier Who Voted for Obama
Unite the Right’ is not uniting the ‘right’, they are uniting extremists who say they are on the ‘right’. One thing they are not is right about much.
‘Unite the Right’ organized the march of radicals in Charlottesville this past weekend. They were joined by as many as 12 groups totaling between 200 and 500 protesters. There were also reportedly an equal number of leftist radicals.
The two most well-known leaders of ‘Unite the Right’ are Jason Kessler and Richard Spencer.
Spencer is famous for his heil Trump speech and his proud self-characterization as alt-right. Kessler is famous for being a long-time leftist who supported the Occupy communist/socialist movement and voted for Barack Obama. [snip]
One need not assume a false flag; the modern Klan has always been the militant arm of the Democratic Party, only losing that status rather recently. The original Klan, started by General Nathan Bedford Forest in Pulaski, Tenn. during Reconstruction was part terrorist, part vigilante, and part saloon backroom joke – witness the bizarre titles like Kleagle and so forth, and the very name of the outfit – and became as popular as it was because under Reconstruction anyone who had held any office or had been an officer of the Confederacy was forbidden to hold any public office, Federal or State. Or city or village or town for that matter. Deprived of its leadership class, many Southern towns and cities turned to the Klan for leadership. It all came to an end after the Hayes-Tilden election produced stalemate, and negotiations between Republicans resolved it; part of the resolution was the dissolution of the Klan by Forrest,. The modern Klan thrived mostly in the north, particularly in Michigan and Indiana I believe, and actually held majorities in some northern state legislatures. As Democrats, of course. Republicans had caused the original Klan to be disbanded, and despised its successor. So did the middle class Southernors I knew when I was growing up in legally segregated Tennessee.
Hitler always admitted Communists to the National Socialist Party if he though they were sincere in wanting to join. Hitler expressed considerable admiration for Marx’s views on many subjects.
When I was in the doctoral program, I felt sorry for all the younger students who were planning on becoming professors. As far as I can tell, the Golden Age of academia was the latter half of the twentieth century, and colleges and universities have been sliding since then. (They make a great case study for the Iron Law of Bureaucracy.)
And then I was sent this link, providing another nail into the coffin.
The BUFF flies without a tail!
Yes. I took part in some of those tests, fortunately not that one. There was an attempt to use the B-52 as a low altitude sort of stealthy bomber, which of course it was never designed to be. Now there is no BUFF that isn’t older than its oldest crewman. Or woman. But still she flies!
Are we really going to attack North Korea, likely go to war, because Trump doesn’t like hearing these threats (which North Korea has been issuing for a long time)?
Are we not already at war with them? I thought we had a decades long armistice, but still at war?
Technically, yes. Most of Trump’s remarks were addressed, really, to China and the Marshall’s generals, and may have had the effect intended. I don’t know. Above my pay grade.
This is an interesting read:
The argument is that admitting academically unqualified blacks to elite schools is, at core, a policy to protect the racial peace and, as such, has nothing to do with racial justice, the putative benefits of diversity or any other standard justification. It is this peace- keeping function that explains why the entire establishment, from mega corporations to the military, endorses constitutionally iffy racial discrimination and why questioning diversity’s benefits is the most grievous of all PC sins. Stated in cost-benefit terms, denying a few hundred (even a few thousand) high-SAT scoring Asians an Ivy League diploma and instead forcing them attend Penn State is a cheap price to pay for social peace.
This argument rests on an indisputable reality that nearly all societies contain distinct ethnic or religious groups who must be managed for the sake of collective peace. They typically lack the ability to economically compete, may embrace values that contravene the dominant ethos, or otherwise just refuse to assimilate. What makes management imperative is the possibility of violence either at an individual level, for example, randomly stabbing total strangers, or on a larger scale, riots and insurrections. Thus, in the grand scheme of modern America’s potentially explosive race relations, academically accomplished Asians, most of whom are politically quiescent, are expendable, collateral damage in the battle to sustain a shaky status quo.
Examples of such to-be-managed groups abound. Recall our own tribulations with violent Indian tribes well into the 19th century or what several European nations currently face with Muslims or today’s civil war in Burma with the Karen People. Then there’s Turkey’s enduring conflict with the Kurds and long before the threat of Islamic terrorism, there were Basque separatists (the ETA), and the Irish Republican Army. In the past 45 years, there have been more than 16,000 terror attacks in Western Europe according to the Global Terrorism Database. At a lower levels add the persistently criminal Gypsies who for 500 years have resisted all efforts to assimilate them. This listing is, of course, only a tiny sampling of distinct indigestible violence-prone groups.
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Joshua Jordan, KSC
It should be obvious that trying to assimilate people who have no regard for law and order will be difficult for any republic, which, as the Founders and Lincoln observed, depends on reverence for the law. Appeasement seldom works, for the appeased soon find new demands. That is applicable only to the leaders, not to a racial or even social group; but it does apply. Respect for the law is essential to republics, which is one reason why wealthy republics have historically not lasted very long. Machiavelli addressed this problem. See his Discourses on the Republic.
Freedom is not free. Free men are not equal. Equal men are not free.