Chaos Manor View, Friday, July 15, 2016
If a foreign government had imposed this system of education on the United States, we would rightfully consider it an act of war.
Glenn T. Seaborg, National Commission on Education, 1983
The news has been depressing. The failed coup – the media is now calling it the Keystone Coup – in Turkey spells the end of the separation of mosque and state that Ataturk founded. The Army was specifically commanded to insure that separation, and several times came out of barracks to dismiss a government that abridged it. This was unique in that once the government adjudged to be trying to install an Islamic Republic was gone, hew and very free – at least by Middle East standards – elections were held. Over the past few years, Erdogan has been able to purge the Turkish Army of officers loyal to the oath of brotherhood that Ataturk left as his legacy; and now with this coup attempt he has all the excuses he needs to eliminate the rest and appoint others to command. Turkey will now become an Islamic Republic, relying on plebiscite and “democracy” to establish Sharia law.
Given the secularization of much of the Turkish upper middle class, this will take time, and the economic effect on Turkey’s thriving tourist industry will be large, but it is inevitable. The Turkish relations with Israel, at one time friendly and already greatly deteriorated under Erdogan, will continue to go downhill.
The US will soon be required to choose between our Turkish “allies” – the treaties are still in force although one suspects that Erdogan will repudiate them soon enough – and the Kurds, who are our only real friends in Iraq, but who have close attachments with the Kurds in Iran and in Turkey. Turkey is already in a state of counterinsurgency with some Kurdish elements in Turkey. That will not likely diminish.
The Framers of the US Constitution universally had rejected “democracy” at the Federal level, and discouraged it in the States. In the principle that governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed, the US Constitution left most government activities to the States; when I was growing up the most visible sign (other than the war) that there was a national government was the presence of the County Agent of the Department of Agriculture, who encouraged (but had no power to enforce) contour plowing and various other gulley elimination processes, and distributed many government printed handbooks on better farming methods. Newspapers had stories about Federal Agents and bank robbers and other public enemies, but I knew no one who had ever had much contact with the feds: “Don’t make a federal case out if it” was a common expression, as federal cases were Big Deals – and quite rare. That was during the Depression, and during the War there were more signs of Federal activity, but it wasn’t until the Great Society with explicit redistribution of wealth (“take it away from the haves who don’t need it much and give it to the have-nots who need it so much” , Lyndon Johnson once said).
Sand with the establishment of Federal Aid to Education (you van build 5 schoolhouses for what a B-52 costs) and then the Department of Education, a bureaucracy was created which can exist only so long as the schools are bad. It of course keeps growing, but somehow the schools are worse than they were before it was founded. And getting worse.
Enough. I have work to do, and so do you. Wallowing in depressive news doesn’t help. We’ll get back to something constructive.
We’ve had some problems. The back street wall has bee falling for forty years, and finally made it.
It has to be dealt with. I’ll have more later.
I get one of the first Ipads about the time I got brain cancer. Apple advertised that “You already know how to use it”. And they were right. I got a lot of good out of that iPad. I got out of the habit of carrying and using it, and haven’t even turned it on since the stroke; but I keep remembering that I liked it, and I miss having something easy to use at the breakfast table when I want to make notes or often look something up. The iPhone does a passable job as a portable computer, but not so much for a stroke victim; I’m just too sloppy a typist to be very comfortable with it.
I’ve been using the Surface Pro for that job, but it gets increasingly complex to use – they offer enhancements and improvements that I don’t need and which confuse me in the morning – and I kept longing for the easy to use companion I had in the iPad. So, Saturday, I went out and got the latest iPad, and this morning I tried it.
I will probably go back to the Surface. I don’t already know how to use the new iPad. I don’t even know how to close a window I don’t want, other than pushing the one button it has to get back to starting over. The pencil, which works very well, has no place to store it although I’ll look for an accessory I can glue on, and the pencil comes with a small cap which I will almost certainly lose; I’ve already misplace it twice, and I don’t need one more damn thing to worry about.
I’ll still keep trying because I remember how much I liked the old iPad; but the new iPad cannot truthfully say “you already know how to use it”, and so far I have found no great benefits over the Surface Pro. I’ll carry either the iPad or the Surface or both to WorldCom this year, and so far the Surface alone is the decided favorite. I’m open to suggestions.
It took me an hour to install the Wall Street Journal app this morning. The App Store kept popping up suggestions for software I don’t need, and I don’t know how to close those popup window except to push the button and start over. So it goes.
Volume VI is now out! Seven down, two to go.
THERE WILL BE WAR is a landmark science fiction anthology series that combines top-notch military science fiction with factual essays by various generals and military experts on everything from High Frontier and the Strategic Defense Initiative to the aftermath of the Vietnam War. It featured some of the greatest military science fiction ever published, such Orson Scott Card’s “Ender’s Game” in Volume I, Joel Rosenberg’s “Cincinnatus” in Volume II, and Arthur C. Clarke’s “Hide and Seek” in Volume III . Many science fiction greats were featured in the original nine-volume series, which ran from 1982 to 1990, including Robert Heinlein, Arthur C. Clarke, Philip K. Dick, Gordon Dickson, Poul Anderson, John Brunner, Gregory Benford, Robert Silverberg, Harry Turtledove, and Ben Bova.
THERE WILL BE WAR Volume VI is edited by Jerry Pournelle and features 25 stories, articles, and poems. Of particular note are “Battleground” by Gregory and James Benford, “The Eyes of Argos” by Harry Turtledove, “The Highest Treason” by Randall Garrett, “Crown of Thorns” by Edward P. Hughes, and “See Now, a Pilgrim” by Gordon Dickson.
Freedom is not free. Free men are not equal. Equal men are not free.