Mail



Mail: A selected mixed bag, all interesting to me.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

bubbles

bubbles

It’s late, and we know little since the inauguration. I have nothing I can quickly add to the discussion, so it’s a good time to catch up on mail. Most of it will get short shrift, I fear.

I’ll have a lot more of substance when we see what the President requests from Congress, what Congress does with that, and what Congress proposes. That will develop over time.

I will repeat, this is the time to subscribe if you have not renewed in a while. I can’t keep this place up without subscriptions, but it is the public radio model: it is free, and supported by your donations.

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Jerry:
Can’t recall last time I paid so I just did.
You may find this of interest:
<https://phys.org/news/2017-01-ancient-tree-sunspot-ongoing-million.html#nRlv&gt;
Ancient tree rings suggest sunspot cycles have been ongoing for 290 million years
January 20, 2017 by Bob Yirka
(Phys.org)—A pair of researchers affiliated with the Natural History Museum in Chemnitz and Technische Universität Bergakademie Freiberg, both in Germany, has found evidence in ancient tree rings of a solar sunspot cycle millions of years ago similar to the one observed in more modern times. In their paper published in the journal Geology, Ludwig Luthardt and Ronny Rößler describe how they gathered an assortment of petrified tree samples from a region in Germany and used them to count sunspot cycles.
Scientists know that the sun undergoes a sunspot cycle of approximately 11 years—some spots appear, grow cooler and then slowly move toward the equator and eventually disappear—the changes to the sun spots cause changes to the brightness level of the sun—as the level waxes and wanes, plants here on Earth respond, growing more or less in a given year—this can be seen in the width of tree rings. In this new effort, the researchers gathered petrified tree samples from a region of Germany that was covered by lava during a volcanic eruption approximately 290 million years ago (during the Permian period), offering a historical record of sun activity.
—snip—
Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2017-01-ancient-tree-sunspot-ongoing-million.html#jCp
–Jim

No surprises, of course. And I remind you, the Earth has clearly been warmer in historical times than it is now; the most recent was the colonization of Greenland with dairy farmers; some of the farms are just emerging from under the ice.

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Subject : I paid but it is not important

Given that your column is one of my go to items whenever I can spare the time, it seemed niggardly not to contribute as you so subtly reminded us. So I splurged for platinum and find it well spent. As always.
On Gene Cernan, I hope he’s the most recent human to walk on the Moon, and not the last one, which would be sad indeed.
On politics, which seems well nigh inescapable these days, the polarization of the country can only be regretted, I realize this is by no means the first time. But the spitefulness, on both sides of the divide, is something to behold. It certainly helps no one.
In re convergence with Russia, countries have interests, they don’t have friends, no matter what people may think. If a meeting of the minds can be found with Putin so much the better as long as you don’t have to give up fundamental issues in exchange. People in Eastern Europe are deathly afraid of the Russians and do have motives to be.
My point is that it is too early to tell, we’ll just have to see how the whole tale unfolds and take note of the consequences. But as someone recently noted “si vis pacem, para bellum” no other choice.
Bringing back the draft might make people more conscious of the costs of war. And warier of what it entails.
All the best and keep on with your recovery.
Ariel

Thanks

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The Greatest Scientific Fraud of all Time

Dr. Pournelle,
I do not recall ever seeing a reference to the Manhattan Contrarian here at Chaos Manor. It is worth a visit if you have not already become familiar with the site….after all, how often does one come across rational discussion from the heart of deep, deep blue NYC?
There appeared a 12 part (so far) series on what is the Greatest Scientific Fraud of All Time. I most heartedly recommend your perusal of these essays. The are far too long to enclose in this email so I have consolidated links to them below:
How To Tell Who’s Lying To You: Climate Science Edition
What is the Greatest Scientific Fraud of all Time? (from the ManhattanContrarian.com)
Part I
http://manhattancontrarian.com/blog/2013/7/18/what-is-the-greatest-scientific-fraud-of-all-time?rq=The%20Greatest%20Scientific%20Fraud%20Of%20All%20Time
Part II
http://manhattancontrarian.com/blog/2014/7/2/what-is-the-greatest-scientific-fraud-of-all-time-part-ii?rq=The%20Greatest%20Scientific%20Fraud%20Of%20All%20Time
Part III
http://manhattancontrarian.com/blog/2015/2/9/the-greatest-scientific-fraud-of-all-time-part-iii?rq=The%20Greatest%20Scientific%20Fraud%20Of%20All%20Time
Part IV
http://manhattancontrarian.com/blog/2015/2/11/the-greatest-scientific-fraud-of-all-time-part-iv?rq=The%20Greatest%20Scientific%20Fraud%20Of%20All%20Time
Part V
http://manhattancontrarian.com/blog/2015/6/7/the-greatest-scientific-fraud-of-all-time-part-iv?rq=The%20Greatest%20Scientific%20Fraud%20Of%20All%20Time
Part VI
http://manhattancontrarian.com/blog/2015/7/21/the-greatest-scientific-fraud-of-all-time-part-v?rq=The%20Greatest%20Scientific%20Fraud%20Of%20All%20Time
Part VII
http://manhattancontrarian.com/blog/2015/8/23/the-greatest-scientific-fraud-of-all-time-part-vii?rq=The%20Greatest%20Scientific%20Fraud%20Of%20All%20Time
Part VIII
http://manhattancontrarian.com/blog/2015/10/29/rfsa9vbsxlt2zlacglwufgt29mh0f1?rq=The%20Greatest%20Scientific%20Fraud%20Of%20All%20Time
Part IX
http://manhattancontrarian.com/blog/2015/11/30/the-greatest-scientific-fraud-of-all-time-part-ix?rq=The%20Greatest%20Scientific%20Fraud%20Of%20All%20Time
Part X
http://manhattancontrarian.com/blog/2016/7/20/the-greatest-scientific-fraud-of-all-time-part-x?rq=The%20Greatest%20Scientific%20Fraud%20Of%20All%20Time
Part XI
http://manhattancontrarian.com/blog/2017/1/4/the-greatest-scientific-fraud-of-all-time-part-xi?rq=The%20Greatest%20Scientific%20Fraud%20Of%20All%20Time
Part XII
http://manhattancontrarian.com/blog/2017/1/18/the-greatest-scientific-fraud-of-all-time-part-xii?rq=The%20Greatest%20Scientific%20Fraud%20Of%20All%20Time
Very warm regards and best wishes to you and your lovely bride,
Larry Cunningham

An interesting subject; I hesitate to call the Global Warming debate a fraud; certainly many of its adherents are sincere, but in my judgment mistaken, particularly on how accurately we can measure temperatures now, and how much error was in prior measurements, from a few decades to centuries ago.

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Smithsonian Mag 2011: 10 myths about NASA

http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/ten-enduring-myths-about-the-us-space-program-1969206/?c=y&page=1

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do people want the same things

Dear Mr. Pournelle,
I just ran across an interesting article on the BBC web site:
http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20170118-how-east-and-west-think-in-profoundly-different-ways
A quote:
“Until recently, scientists had largely ignored the global diversity of thinking. In 2010, an influential article in the journal Behavioral and Brain Sciences reported that the vast majority of psychological subjects had been “western, educated, industrialised, rich and democratic”, or ‘Weird’ for short. Nearly 70% were American, and most were undergraduate students hoping to gain pocket money or course credits by giving up their time to take part in these experiments.
The tacit assumption had been that this select group of people could represent universal truths about human nature – that all people are basically the same. …”
Interesting…
Yours,
Allan E. Johnson

I would certainly put much of “social science” up as candidate for the greatest scientific frauds of all time. See my Voodoo Sciences essay.

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I’m happy

http://www.foxnews.com/tech/2017/01/20/army-picks-sig-sauers-p320-handgun-to-replace-m9-service-pistol.html

J

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AI for Conversation

This is good news. If we could make an AI as smart or smarter than I am then I would pay for it and converse with it quite frequently……

I would want it to have access to everything and I’d want to talk with it for long periods of time just for the sake of talking. The possibilities are amazing…

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Computers can already hold a massive amount of instantly-retrievable data in a manner that puts most humans to shame, but getting them to actually display intelligence is an entirely different challenge. A team of researchers from Northwestern University just made a huge stride towards that goal with a computational model that actually outperforms the average American adult in a standard intelligence test.

</>

https://bgr.com/2017/01/19/ai-smarter-than-humans-northwestern/

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Most Respectfully,

Joshua Jordan, KSC

Percussa Resurgo

We do not yet have an AI I would spend much time talking to, but look up Eliza to see how popular it can be…

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rights and fairness

Dear Mr. Pournelle,
I don’t much disagree with Mr. White’s definition of “rights,” though it does occur to me that “life and liberty” are nouns. But the issue which concerns me is: how do we identify those rights? To take my earlier example: we assert a right to life and liberty, and yet concede that these rights can be abrogated by law. If they are “inalienable rights,” then we should not make that concession. Or, to take a more contentious example: the assertion is made that there is a “right” to same-gender marriages. I do not agree. The problem is: how do we make the case, on either side? Unless we can appeal to some absolute standard which is also generally *agreed* to be absolute, I’m not sure it’s doable. So I’m inclined to think that an assertion of “rights” is more of a goal than an achievement. If that’s true, I don’t see much value either in asserting a “right” to health care or in asserting a “right” not to pay for someone else’s care. We’ll have to make the decision on other grounds, since I don’t think we can make this ground stable.
The strongest case I see at present against some form of universal health care is the “States’ Rights” constitutional case you make. I’m thinking about that.
On a related issue: there was an article in the (London) Times two days ago by Daniel Finkelstein about “fairness” that I found provocative. The title was “Why the left will never understand populism.” The article summarized recent behavioral studies. Here’s a quote:
“… how we co-operate with each other and why. Their interest is not in identifying a superior idea of fairness or making judgments about what we should think is or is not fair. They are seeking to discover what we actually, right or wrong, do think. This work has led to the powerful, and increasingly widely discussed, idea of reciprocal altruism. We co-operate with people not out of some vague niceness, but because it is good evolutionary strategy. If I do a favour for you you will do me one back. The left traditionally stresses equality and the fairness of equal shares. And, indeed, people are concerned about equity and the way think are shared out. But the new thinking points beyond equality, to the idea of reciprocity.”
What I’ve seen, is that rather ordinary people are capable of great generosity within a community of mutual support; but this evaporates if people think they’re being taken advantage of. This holds true across a variety of political persuasions. Consider welfare, for example. The objection is made: why should I provide an income for someone who *refuses* to work? One of the things at issue seems indeed to be reciprocity. Or, elsewhere on the political spectrum: fury seems to be aroused, not by people who become fabulously wealthy through hard work, but by people whose “cunning plots” wreck the economy while they sail off on their yachts. Again, reciprocity.
I’m not sure how, or whether, this affects health care. But it does help me think about the question of “fairness.” And I suspect it correlates with Mr. Hackett’s observation: “rational design assumes that people in power actually care about society vs what they can extract from society for themselves and their family/tribe/mafia of supporters…” I also agree, as a matter of public policy quite apart from rights, entitlements, or fairness, that “We must always remember that we live in a thoroughly-armed and quickly-armed society, and throwing any slice of any bell curve ‘to the wolves’ may have the most unexpectedly catastrophic consequences.”
Yours,
Allan E. Johnson

Without some general on rights and obligations, the only way for a state to survive is to have an absolute ruler; the Roman Republic fell to that need. Republics, including Rome which took in all kinds and made the Citizens, survived as a Republic until its Melting Pot became overloaded. The legend of the Rape of the Sabines gave one character to the Republic, and elected officials and the Twelve Tables of the Law were enough; but when unassimilated diversity overwhelmed unity, an Emperor was needed…

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Fred is at it again…

http://fredoneverything.org/sidestepping-the-military-leviathan-make-money-not-war/

“Greater trade between Europe and the eastern part of the continent means less influence for Washington. It means potentially very much less influence. European nations have much to gain by trading with the incomprehensibly large markets, current and arriving, between Poland the the Pacific. They have nothing to gain by remaining as sepoy states under American control. Their businessmen know it.”

“The Empire can not afford to lose control of Europe’s governments, which will happen if heavy trade is allowed to develop with the Three Bugbears. Thus Washington’s hostility to all three—a hostility whose chief effect, note, has been to drive them together against America. Not good. The first rule of empires is Don’t let your enemies unite.”

“NY Professor Says Algebra Is Too Hard, Schools Should Drop It.” On fairness, America leads in safe spaces, trigger warnings, puzzled diversity, and whimpering Snowflakes. Watch out, Beijing.”

And there is more…

Charles Brumbelow

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Universities Go Insane on God!

Alright, this is the part where we’ve lost cabin pressure and the

oxygen is about to deploy. I’ll be sure to fix my own mask before

helping others:

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Another day, another university’s religion program bogged down by political correctness. Earlier this week, we reported on how two top divinity schools are suggesting gender-neutral pronouns for God — and now one of the top colleges in the nation has students asking about whether God is a racist.

Specifically, Pennsylvania’s Swarthmore College is offering a religion class this semester titled, “Is God a White Supremacist?”

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https://heatst.com/culture-wars/prestigious-swarthmore-college-offers-class-asking-is-god-a-white-supremacist/

So, Jesus the Christ is Jewish (or Black according to a certain conspiracy theory that amuses me) but certainly not “white” — whatever that is. And Jesus the Christ serves a “white supremacist”

God.

Is this some way for the university to make people think that white

folks are god? I can’t understand how you could even form the

question if you have even a passing familiarity with the most cursory facts related to Christianity! This is the most ridiculous thing I’ve read in my life!

I suppose the solution, then, is to worship the Devil since he must be

tolerant, inclusive, and he celebrates diversity. You know, I hate

to say it, but if I were Christian and I really believed some of the stuff that Christians say then I would likely be very unsettled by what I’m reading and writing.

I think this goes too far. I think that, in the same way that we would be concerned if a professor of Christianity were to start preaching from his academic chair that we must show some concern for this because this professor is actually advocating for a Satanic point of view. And that might be fine if you’re working with a Christian who is out of balance and needs to be brought back to center. But, this is a university; not a church.

And I do not want to see our universities become more like churches than they already became.

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Most Respectfully,

Joshua Jordan, KSC

Percussa Resurgo

And the need for an emperor grows as agreements on rights and entitlements becomes more diverse. And we pay teachers to undermine fundamental beliefs. That has never turned out well in the past, but our academics are much wiser than our ancestors.

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Iceland knows how to stop teen substance abuse but the rest of the world isn’t listening | Mosaic

Interesting how good the effects can be when parents and the community are actively involved in making things better.

Today, Iceland tops the European table for the cleanest-living teens. The percentage of 15- and 16-year-olds who had been drunk in the previous month plummeted from 42 per cent in 1998 to 5 per cent in 2016. The percentage who have ever used cannabis is down from 17 per cent to 7 per cent. Those smoking cigarettes every day fell from 23 per cent to just 3 per cent.

https://mosaicscience.com/story/iceland-prevent-teen-substance-abuse?utm_source=pocket&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=pockethits

John Harlow

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Scott Pruitt Provides an Opportunity to Rein in a Rogue Agency

 

Jan. 19, 2017

Good morning from Washington, where Scott Pruitt, picked by Donald Trump to head the EPA, pushes back on liberals’ romance with red tape. Fred Lucas reports on Pruitt’s confirmation hearing, while Nick Loris foresees comeuppance for a rogue agency. Tom Price, the man Trump wants to deliver us from Obamacare, says he’ll look out for all Americans. Melissa Quinn has that story. Plus: Kelsey Harkness with a video report on the Women’s March, and Lee Edwards on the hope of Inauguration Day.

 

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Freedom is not free. Free men are not equal. Equal men are not free.

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The Map is not the territory and other matters

Chaos Manor Mail, Sunday, June 26, 2016

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Do not neglect Yesterday’s View on Consent of the Governed.  Here is some of the accumulated mail

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Hilarious, Paulson for Hillary & Globalism!

If Dick Cheney were to endorse Donald Trump, I think it might discourage people from voting for him. Look who just endorsed Hillary Clinton and why:

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Hank Paulson, George W. Bush’s treasury secretary, who presided over both the meltdown of the U.S. economy and the subsequent bailout of his close friends and associates, has endorsed Hillary Clinton — citing his belief that she’d be more likely to enact globalist policies on trade and immigration as part of the reason for his endorsement.

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http://www.breitbart.com/2016-presidential-race/2016/06/25/hank-paulson-cites-hillarys-globalist-platform-reason-endorsement/

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Most Respectfully,

Joshua Jordan, KSC

Percussa Resurgo

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Free Speech Under Threat

I thought that was amusing, but thought the Federal Government might try to go after free speech using some social justice black lives matter rhetoric or something like that, but I guess they’ve decided to protect Muslim migrants accused of sexual assault from free speech:

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The Obama-appointed U.S. attorney for Idaho has taken the highly unusual step of intervening in a local criminal case involving an alleged sexual assault by juvenile Muslim migrants and threatened the community and media with federal prosecution if they “spread false information or inflammatory statements about the perpetrators.”

WND and other news outlets have reported on the case involving three juvenile boys, two from Sudan and one from Iraq, who allegedly sexually assaulted a 5-year-old special-needs girl in the laundry room of the Fawnbrook Apartments in Twin Falls, Idaho.

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http://www.wnd.com/2016/06/explosive-new-twist-in-idaho-sex-assault-case/

Spreading false information is not a crime; the United States government produces or sponsors it on a daily, if not a moment to moment, basis! And that’s a true statement. However, a cursory search of the United States Code revealed 539 results where the words “false” and “statement” appeared. I’m confident that I can spread false information without criminal charges — though I’m confident I could be sued in civil court for libel or slander under certain conditions. If spreading false information were a crime I don’t think you would have a single elected official in 2016 anywhere but a jail cell.

Uttering inflammatory statements is not a crime. I searched the United States Code and the phrase “inflammatory statements” did not appear. So the “Obama-appointed U.S. attorney for Idaho” seems to act under color of law and make fallacious legal threats for unknown purposes to protect three Muslim immigrants who stand accused of sexually assaulting a five year old girl with “special needs” in a laundry room of an apartment building!

That a US prosecutor would engage in this disgusting behavior is no surprise considering the tone and character of the Obama Administration, the Democratic Party, and their enablers.

I believe this activity models a beta test; the Attorney General of the United States said she would prosecute “speech that edges on violence” and now we have a prosecutor following suit. And, more importantly, now this has become a pattern. One more instance and it’s a lifestyle choice.

The chilling effect on the press, where they prosecute reporters under the Espionage Act or pay CNN to run or not run stories, is coming to free speech. I think these are beta tests for a larger program of intimidation and further salami slicing of our rights.

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Most Respectfully,

Joshua Jordan, KSC

Percussa Resurgo

Why are you surprised?

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Germany’s Turkish-Muslim Integration Problem
“My religion is more important to me than the laws of the land in which I live.”

by Soeren Kern  •  June 24, 2016 at 5:00 am

  • Seven percent of respondents agreed that “violence is justified to spread Islam.” Although these numbers may seem innocuous, 7% of the three million Turks living in Germany amounts to 210,000 people who believe that jihad is an acceptable method to propagate Islam.
  • The survey also found that labor migration is no longer the main reason why Turks immigrate to Germany: the most important reason is to marry a partner who lives there.
  • A new statistical survey of Germany — Datenreport 2016: Social Report for the Federal Republic of Germany — shows that ethnic Turks are economically and educationally less successful than other immigrant groups, and that more than one-third (36%) of ethnic Turks live below the poverty line, compared to 25% of migrants from the Balkans and southwestern Europe.
  • “In our large study we asked Muslims how strongly they feel discriminated against, and we searched for correlations to the development of a fundamentalist worldview. But there are none. Muslim hatred of non-Muslims is not a special phenomenon of Muslim immigration, but is actually worse in the countries of origin. Radicalization is not first produced here in Europe, rather it comes from the Muslim world.” — Ruud Koopmans, sociologist.

An open-air market in the heavily-Turkish Kreuzberg district of Berlin. (Image source: The Berlin Project video screenshot)

Nearly half of the three million ethnic Turks living in Germany believe it is more important to follow Islamic Sharia law than German law if the two are in conflict, according to a new study.

One-third of those surveyed also yearn for German society to “return” to the way it was during the time of Mohammed, the founder of Islam, in the Arabia of the early seventh century.

The survey — which involves Turks who have been living in Germany for many years, often decades — refutes claims by German authorities that Muslims are well integrated into German society.

The 22-page study, “Integration and Religion from the Viewpoint of Ethnic Turks in Germany” (Integration und Religion aus der Sicht von Türkeistämmigen in Deutschland), was produced by the Religion and Politics department of the University of Münster. Key findings include:

Continue Reading Article

 

‘The force that turned Britain away from the European Union was the greatest mass migration since perhaps the Anglo-Saxon invasion.’

<http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2016/06/brexit-eu/488597/?single_page=true>

No ‘perhaps’ about it.

—————————————

Roland Dobbins

 

 

 

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Charles II and the Restoration

Dear Doctor Pournelle,
A fair piece of history from your readers on the background of England pre- and post-Cromwell. For my part, I’ve been reading the Diary of Samuel Pepys (the Latham-Matthews edition, first published by University of California Press, Berkeley starting in 1970) which goes into some detail – both in-diary and in commentary on the diary – concerning what was happening in those days of the Rump and the fall of the Generals. Pepys certainly had a close-up view of a lot of the major events of the time. It’s worthwhile reading to get through the 9 main volumes of the Diary if you have any interest in the period, though I recommend the hardcover first printing. Later printings, including the paperback version have left out some of the artwork (in photos) shown in the first printing.

David Crowley

Macaulay’s History of England, all five volumes, is well worth reading; but it is long, and until one gets accustomed to his style, can be confusing. He also assumes his readers are educated; fortunately modern readers have Google, which I did not have when I undertook reading all five volumes fifty years ago. I would require all college students in the United State to read Volume I as a condition of graduation: first for the general overview, and next because of the English. Winston Churchill was accustomed to read Macaulay before preparing any major speech. The result is obvious.

One can challenge some of Macaulay, and indeed I do, but it’s a systematic presentation of a history of vital importance to anyone who wants to be a citizen of the American Republic.

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Abortion’s great question

Jerry:

I am opposed to abortion, but believe that it should be legal. I figure that any woman who would kill her unborn child for convenience is carrying bad genes, and should not pass them along to an innocent victim.

I will try to convince a woman NOT to kill her child, but will not call on the force of government to prevent it.

However, there is one question which I like to ask those who push abortion:

“What makes you think that YOU have any more right to live than does an unborn child?”

They usually either ignore it, or they duck and dodge, but it’s a serious question. What can they say to convince me that I should care any more about their lives and rights than they care about those of the unborn?

Moral arguments don’t work. Their own argument is that it is morally acceptable to decide who is and is not “people,” so all of their arguments can be applied against them.

Until the day that this question can be answered in a cold and firm way, homicide can be considered nothing more than a very-very-very late term abortion.

It should be noted that the same moral/political position which promotes abortion is also the environment from which most violent criminals arise. Once you have decided that you can ignore someone’s right to be born, all other rights likewise become less than absolute . . .

Keith

Educated persons, including clergy of most faiths, used to debate the age of “quickening”, i.e. when a fetus acquired a soul. This is no longer much debated, and the Roman Catholic Church has settled on the moment of conception, but that has not always been agreed to; it is theologically the safest position for clergy, but good arguments can be made for a later time of gestation. It is generally agreed that it is before the time at which the infant could survive birth, but abortion advocates will generally not agree, some because they consider the question without meaning, and many because they refuse to agree to any limits on abortion up to the time of birth. Of course classical pagan societies extended the time well beyond actual live birth, allowing parents to expose unwanted children; it is difficult to understand why most advocates of abortion forbid infant exposure, but it is in fact a crime in nearly all jurisdictions.

If one purpose of law is to protect the rights of innocents, it is difficult to imagine anyone more innocent than a newborn baby – or one capable of life if allowed to be born. Of course, as you say, if there are those who have no right to be born, it is imperative to define when rights are acquired – if indeed they are.

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NExit — not a problem

Dear Dr Pournelle,
Your correspondent Phil Tharp commenting on Norway and its oil in the June 25 column has got the facts wrong. Norway never joined the EU, and never lost its sovereignty over its oil (or fish resources for that matter). In fact, Norway had two referendums on joining, the first in 1972, which was rejected by 53.5%; and the second in 1994 which was narrowly rejected by 52.1% (against the stated objective of the prime minister much like in the Brexit vote this week).
Another matter, have you considered the Dell KM713 keyboard? — it has a good tactile feel and the keys are widely spaced (4mm = 0.157″ space between them). It is probably the best keyboard I’ve been using in more than 50 years of computer programming.
Best Wishes,
Rune Aaslid PhD

I think Phil had a momentary absence of mind. EU would like to have Norway join EU so they can get a larger share in Norway’s North Sea oil, as they use some of Britain’s North Sea money to allow Greece to escape austerity budgets and also bankruptcy. The Brussels bureaucrats are always in need of other people’s money, and apparently they now get some of Norway’s anyway, but not as much as they would have if Norway joined EU. Everyone needs money…

I will have a look at the Dell keyboard. Thanks.

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SUBJ: 377 Words you can’t say online

https://www.sovereignman.com/lifestyle-design/uncle-sam-admits-monitoring-you-for-these-377-words-6832/

One of breakout standup routines from the late, great George Carlin was his

1972 monologue “Seven Words You Can’t Say on Television.”

Well, DHS has its own version for the internet.

These are the same people who want to expand prohibitions on those untermenchen on the “No-Fly List”.

Truly the lunatics are running the asylum.

Cordially,

John

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These ARE the days that try men’s souls.

My condolences on your troubles with Word. In my tech days we used to say that upgrades only substituted the version that you had learned how the work-around for it’s bugs to a new version that introduced new bugs that you didn’t know how to work around…yet. Now that no one is paying me to use Word, I only use Open Office.
Robert Heinlein was pretty smart, in the ‘Starship Troopers’ universe the schools had mandatory classes on Citizenship and Government. Not taught by a teacher with a degree but it could only be taught by a veteran. We should start doing that in every high school in the nation, tomorrow. I’m sixty-six, and I remember Citizenship and Government classes in my high school. When did we stop teaching that?
There’s a lot that the citizens of 1789 knew that today’s ‘Citizens’ don’t. Like, all of history. But on the other hand there is a lot of things that people know today that they didn’t know in 1789; unfortunately most of it, like ‘Global Warming’ isn’t true.
“Actually, they had cannon, too; you can still see some of them on courthouse lawns.” Reminds me of the story about a man that had a job at the courthouse; cleaning up, replacing lightbulbs, but mostly he had to keep the courthouse cannon in front polished and shining. But he had ambition and saved his money until one day he was able to quit his job at the courthouse and start his own business. He bought his own cannon to polish…
Sorry. I’ve always thought joke was hilarious.

John The River

The story of the brass cannon was one of Mr. Heinlein’s favorites, and he actually had a brass cannon – a model, of course, but a reasonably large one, forged from real brass – on display in his main room. I first saw it when I visited him in his home in Colorado Springs before they moved to California. That is why the NSS made a brass cannon the symbol of their Heinlein Award.

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Transgender Locker Rooms

Sexual Assault Victims on Transgender Bathroom Policies

 
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Sexual Assault Victims on Transgender Bathroom Policies

A group of women who were sexually abused at young ages are going public with their stories to fight the state&#…

 

One more thing to consider.  When I was a high school student visiting teams would come to compete and use the girls locker room while they were there.

So we need special language in any law to account for that, and anything like that.

B

I suspect that is a fairly minor problem if you accept the premise, which most Americans do not, although our ruling elite’s overwhelmingly do accept it. My reading of the Constitution does not find any power of Congress to legislate on the subject at all, which I would have thought meant that it was a matter for the states.

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The map is not the territory – unless it is

A map of Kansas is not Kansas. However, a map of a map of Kansas is indeed a map of Kansas.
So far, so tautological.
A computer simulation of the water currents in the Atlantic Ocean is not the Atlantic Ocean. But, if strong AI holds (which we still don’t know for sure, although in their hearts I think most AI researchers think it to be the case), a dynamic computer simulation of a human mind may actually be a real human mind.
A dynamic computer simulation of a brass pendulum is not a brass pendulum – but, like the brass pendulum, it is still a real oscillator.
The map is not the territory – unless it is.

TG

I think you have not grasped the point of Korzybski’s aphorism, which summaries centuries of epistemological thought. Models may be incorrect. Our understanding of most things – some would say all – even the simplest can be wrong. If we act as if an illusion is true when it is not, the outcome might be trivial, but it might cost billions of dollars. We are betting that our climate models are true, we have bet a lot on something that is difficult to prove, and with enough parameters cannot be falsified.

The map is not the territory is an aphorism, a reminder, and I have been impressed by Korzybski for seventy years; perhaps incorrectly so, but I am grateful to him for saying that. (And to A E Van Vogt for using it in some of his Astounding stories.)  But the map is never the territory.

Antarctic: past 8000 year warmer than today

http://www.climatedepot.com/2016/06/19/study-the-antarctic-has-been-warmer-than-now-for-most-of-the-last-8000-years/

J

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‘The sun goes blank again during the weakest solar cycle in more than a century’ | Climate Depot

http://www.climatedepot.com/2016/06/25/the-sun-goes-blank-again-during-the-weakest-solar-cycle-in-more-than-a-century/

J

Climate Change Prediction Fail? – Reason.com

http://reason.com/archives/2016/06/17/climate-change-prediction-fail

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Muslims and Orlando

Dear Dr. Pournelle,

While considering the problem of Muslims in the Orlando shooting, we should also consider the Muslim USMC vet who rescued bar patrons —

http://www.marinecorpstimes.com/story/military/2016/06/14/marine-vets-quick-actions-saved-dozens-lives-during-orlando-nightclub-shooting/85860320/

And the Muslim man who went to the mosque that both the perp and America’s first suicide bomber went to. He reported the dude to the FBI but was, alas, ignored.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2016/06/20/i-reported-omar-mateen-to-the-fbi-trump-is-wrong-that-muslims-dont-do-our-part/

You also mentioned the Kurds in your blog post; there aren’t many Baptists among them :).

I suggest that the real issue here is Saudi radicalization and Wahhabism. There are plenty of Muslims throughout the world living normal, peaceful lives. Some of them may believe it is their duty to spread Islam throughout the world, and expect it to happen one day, but in the same way Christians expect the second coming. During the 19th century, the Ottomans allied with the French and British to check Russian expansionism. Amongst rational people, worldly concerns trump religious rhetoric as a reason for state policy. And even in the 19th century, I don’t recall Muslims blowing themselves up with suicide bombs or shooting up nightclubs — that sort of thing was done by western anarchists, and even they were more interested in political targets like the Russian Tsars than they were in ordinary people.

What we have is a unique confluence of Saudi money which radicalizes mosques

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/22/world/europe/how-the-saudis-turned-kosovo-into-fertile-ground-for-isis.html?_r=0

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-l-phillips/countering-islamic-radica_b_9463300.html

Coupled with easy access to internet propaganda by young men who are alienated from society. It isn’t just Islamic young men — our society is doing an extremely poor job of socializing young men of any age group. In Japan, they become otakus and stay at home, not working.

Islamic young men go for what they perceive as something heroic.

At any rate, my solution is: 1) Fracking. If the Saudis have no

money, they can’t spread propaganda. 2) Counter-propaganda. If we’re not funding moderate Islamic clergy and think tanks, we should.

Surely we can use our weapons of cultural destruction on some other culture than our own? 3) Rule of law here, intelligence (supplied by

Muslims) and special ops abroad. 4) Fund a military force to destroy ISIS. Doesn’t have to be American ground troops. Maybe a foreign legion recruited for the purpose, or the locals such as Assad. Assad isn’t going away — we don’t have the will to stop him — so we might as well make use of him. 5) Step up to the competence plate at home.

Seriously, the Orlando shooter was reported by his neighbors, was reported by the gun store he bought ammunition from,

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/orlando-shooting-gun-store-owner-says-they-called-fbi-about-omar-mateen/

Had been investigated repeatedly by the FBI … c’mon, there was more than enough evidence to see he was a person of interest. Yet it still caught the security people by surprise.

I can only surmise that fear of a civil rights publicity nightmare with a dark-skinned person prevented them from following up on these leads until it was too late.

The only thing I can think of is mass turnover and put in agents who will put their jobs before their careers. Regrettably, that’s going to be really hard, because those who are still in are there because that is who has survived the current administration. It took decades to make the agencies what they are today — ineffectual — and it will take a serious sea change from the very top on down to make them effective again.

Respectfully,

Brian P.

I forget how many years I have been saying that if we invest in US energy we can tell the Arabs to drink their oil, and not have such a huge military, especially standing army. Not that anyone listens. Well, a few do.

bubbles

New book with an interesting premise.

Dear Dr. Pournelle,
You may be interested in a book that’s about to be released. The book is “Wolf’s Empire” by Claudia Christian and Morgan Grant Buchanan.
The premise is intriguing. The Roman Empire never fell and has now expanded into the Galaxy. The book intermingles Military Science Fiction and alternative history as well as a wonderfully well told adventure story about a young woman’s efforts to extract revenge against those who killed her family.
This is a many faceted book with comp;ex and memorable characters and a completely plausible Galactic Roman Empire.
I’ve read it and it’s a page turned, impossible to put down.
I would recommend it to any reader of Science fiction, especially those who enjoy alternate history.

Mike

 

 

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Freedom is not free. Free men are not equal. Equal men are not free.

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