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.

bubbles

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.

bubbles

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

bubbles

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.

bubbles

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

bubbles

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.

bubbles

I’m happy

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

J

bubbles

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…

<.>

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/

◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊

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…

bubbles

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…

bubbles

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

bubbles

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:

<.>

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?”

</>

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.

◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊

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.

bubbles

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

bubbles

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.

 

bubbles

bubbles

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

bubbles

bubbles

The Map is not the territory and other matters

Chaos Manor Mail, Sunday, June 26, 2016

bubbles

bubbles

 

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

bubbles

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:

<.>

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.

</>

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

◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊

Most Respectfully,

Joshua Jordan, KSC

Percussa Resurgo

bubbles

bubbles

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:

<.>

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.

</>

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.

◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊

Most Respectfully,

Joshua Jordan, KSC

Percussa Resurgo

Why are you surprised?

bubbles

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

 

 

 

bubbles

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.

bubbles

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.

bubbles

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.

clip_image002

bubbles

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

bubbles

bubbles

bubbles

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.

bubbles

Transgender Locker Rooms

Sexual Assault Victims on Transgender Bathroom Policies

 
  clip_image004
   
 

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.

bubbles

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

bubbles

 

‘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

bubbles

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

 

 

bubbles

bubbles

bubbles

bubbles

bubbles

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

bubbles

clip_image006

bubbles

A Mixed Mailbag of interesting mail.

Chaos Manor Mail, Sunday, June 19, 2016

Liberalism is a philosophy of consolation for Western Civilization as it commits suicide.

Under Capitalism, the rich become powerful. Under Socialism, the powerful become rich.

Under Socialism, government employees become powerful.

bubbles

bubbles

I am pounding away on fiction with my ASUS ZenBook; the keyboard is great for two finger typists.  The mail has been accumulating, Alas, this is NOT presented in order of interest, or importance, or indeed any discernable order at all.

 

bubbles

Correlation is not causation, but…

http://www.climatedepot.com/2016/06/19/new-paper-finds-that-even-seismic-activity-correlates-better-with-warming-than-co2/

But, indeed. In another life when I was an OR man, we tried to make and solve models of real world processes and activities. We knew a secret that apparently modern science does not know: The Map Is Not the Territory. I learned that from A E Van Vogt’s space operas, which also got me reading Korzybski; but of course philosophy has known it for two thousand years, only they didn’t say it that way.

But the map is not the territory, and scientists as well as OR men must realize that.

bubbles

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/

Facts are stubborn things. There were dairy farms in Greenland during the Viking era; now those farms are mostly still under ice but emerging. There were grape vines in Vinland, now known as Newfoundland, We all learned this in grade school in Tennessee, but perhaps modern climate scientists didn’t have very good grade schools. Mine had four teachers for eight grades, but perhaps we were richer in Capleville. But somehow we had time to learn about Eric the Red and Leif the Lucky.

bubbles

 

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/Ck_32BXVEAAEiLQ.jpg

 

bubbles

 

Subj: Murder by Gun Control, by L. Neil Smith

There is ample other red meat in today’s The Libertarian Enterprise, not surprising given that the Republicans are finally making caving noises at Obama post-Orlando gun-control push.

Denial of the right to self-defense is the essential prerequisite to mass murder. It is also, arguably, treason under the US Constitution (“…the right to keep and bear arms, being necessary to the security of a free state…” is fully consistent with the Framers’ intent and with their definition of “militia” in the aftermath of a Revolution whose first battles were fought to prevent British confiscation of arms).

J.

http://www.ncc-1776.org/tle2016/tle877-20160619-06.html

Arnold Ahlert: Progressive Insanity Endangers America — The Patriot Post

https://patriotpost.us/articles/43247

bubbles

SUBJ: The Orlando cop  Dear Jerry,

Please keep prompting for further facts on the Orlando first-responder-that-wasn’t. Like you I have been unable to find any significant details about his actions. Or lack thereof.

There is this:

http://thefreethoughtproject.com/police-admit-officers-orlando-shooting/

But the article raises more questions than it answers. Timelines given and other details are vague. Very vague. I opine intentionally so.

The very premise of an armed professional on the scene is to run immediate interference and interception in cases precisely like this.

Didn’t happen. Full details of this are needful and none seem to be forthcoming. Or sought.

T’was not always thus! I am minded of Jeff Cooper’s story of an old-west Arizona sheriff’s instruction to his deputies when offered

violence: “Respond with disconcerting alacrity!” Didn’t happen in Orlando. Just didn’t.

The (always unspoken) premise of the gun-ban Moonbats is “give up your guns and the police will protect you.” Yeah. Right.

It is well-known in today’s Kop Kultur that “Job one is going home safe at shift-end.” Well all the cops did and 49 civilians didn’t. The equation damned well doesn’t balance.

It seems the OPD is indulging in the time-honored government agency practice of misdirecting public interest until the Usual Suspects (i.e.

you, me and the NRA) have been safely court-martialed, shot and sent to the Russian Front. Six months from now there’s be a chorus of “At this point what difference does it make??”

And it seems to be working. Indeed, yours is the only internet board on which I have even seen the topic raised.

But there are those (of us!) who smell a rat.

Please keep asking, Jerry. Your bully pulpit has longer legs than you may realize.

Cordially,

John

It now appears that the off duty officer exchanged fire – probably at a distance – with the shooter, then was joined by a radio car team, who also exchanged fire with him. No one was reported hurt in either firefight, but the shooter then retreated into a bathroom, and the three officers declined to follow him in. Other officers arrived on the scene, and they took the period of relative calm to evacuate more civilians; presumably a watch was set to keep the shooter in the bathroom to which he had retreated with an unknown number of hostages. The shooter then began posting on Facebook and elsewhere, swearing allegiance to the Caliphate, and boasting of explosives and suicide vests.

Other more senior ranks came up and decided to evacuate all savable civilians before renewing the engagement, It is not clear how many, if any, of the nearly 100 casualties were wounded or killed in the three hours of relative calm, and that number may be zero; I have been unable to get an accurate timetable.

I conclude from what I have learned that the lone off duty officer, faced with an unknown number of assailants, one of whom was certainly better armed than he was, acted sensibly in not rushing the shooter, and after he was joined by the patrol car, the three of them, having driven the shooter into a bathroom, certainly had ample cause to decide to await reinforcements and higher command. They were still unaware of how many they faced; they did know that at least one was quite well armed.

Having said that, I remain curious about the long delays in releasing so little information, which is the only reason I have for skepticism about the above otherwise reasonable account.

bubbles

Dr Pournelle

In Donald Trump’s attack on President Obama’s refusal to say ‘radical Islam’ and the President’s angry response, I detect Trump’s successful campaign strategy: he is not going to campaign against Hillary Clinton; he is going to campaign against Obama. And every Trump ad will end with a photo of Obama and Clinton together.

Quite possibly.

bubbles

War Against the Caliphate

Hi, Jerry.    You propose: “I have proposed one action that can be taken quickly: require all the serving combat arms officers in the United States armed forces to BE armed, not just on duty, but at all times.”

Military “retirees” are in a status of reduced pay for reduced service;  we’re not actually “retired”.   That’s why military retirees who leave the country can lose their pensions.  Retired officers should be offered the same opportunity. And I’d suggest that senior NCO’s, E6 and above, should _also_ be routinely armed.

——————————————————————-
Ken Mitchell 

My only reservation is tactical: it should be easier to get Congressional Mandate that active duty combat officers of the armed services be required to be armed at all times during this state of war without adding retired officers and noncoms to the initial package. I would support adding senior noncoms, then retired officers, then other retired military combat personnel over time.

The goal is to have a well regulated militia available at a minute’s notice. I wonder what we can call them.

bubbles

A way to use your ZenBook as an external keyboard –

Jerry, you mentioned your budding love affair with your new keyboard (I hope Mrs. P. isn’t jealous of the sweet young thing), and that you wish you could use a ZenBook as essentially an external keyboard for Eugene.

There is a way to do this, but not in exactly the way you describe. Remember Microcom’s “Carbon Copy” software that let you operate a host computer remotely from a client? Same thing is still possible.
You can use a Remote Desktop Connection from one Windows computer to operate another Windows computer remotely. At one time (and maybe still) at least one of the two computers had to be at least a Windows Pro or a Windows server. There are other tools that do the same thing and don’t require a premium version of the OS, such as TeamViewer, AnyDesk, a number of VNC clones. Your regular tech support people will be able to advise.

The basic idea is that your client computer displays the screen from your host computer, and the client’s mouse, keyboard, and other peripherals act as if they were attached to the host computer. When I take my laptop to the remote project site, I use a VPN connection back to my office, and connect to my desktop machine, which has all the development and database management software on it. My laptop has minimal software, just the basic Microsoft Office and a few other things. I do the bulk of my writing and drawing on the laptop but remote into the desktop whenever I need to research something in the database. There is no noticeable delay when I work on the slower laptop because the work is actually being done by the desktop machine back at the office. All the laptop has to do is display what the desktop puts on the screen.

With the right configuration selected, I am able to print to either site, and I can copy and paste between computers with Control-C and Control-V. I literally can Ctrl-C on the laptop, Alt-tab over to the Remote Desktop session, and Ctrl-V to paste onto the desktop, or vice versa.
The two machine’s hard drives are directly accessible to each other. (As I recall, this took a little bit of configuring to achieve and was not the default.)

I hope this is helpful. I can begin to imagine how frustrating this is for you.

Here are a couple of links to speed your research. The comments have a fair amount of useful info, as well.
http://www.techsupportalert.com/best-free-remote-access-software.htm
https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=44989
http://www.techsupportalert.com/content/logmein-no-longer-offering-free-service.htm
http://www.techsupportalert.com/content/favourite-windows-remote-desktop-manager-gets-refresh.htm
http://www.techsupportalert.com/content/if-youre-using-windows-remote-desktop-you-need-read.htm

One comment mentions Remote Utilities, which appears to be free for business users with up to 10 remote PCs: https://www.remoteutilities.com

On Jun 12, 2016 12:57 AM, “Jerry Pournelle” <jerryp@jerrypournelle.com> wrote:

It’s copy and paste between the machines I need to do.  How hard is that to set up?  Thanks!

A way to use your Zenbook as an external keyboard –

Like so many things with Windows, you have to start by holding your mouth just right. Okay, not really, but you know what I mean.

It’s been a while and I don’t have the work laptop here for the weekend. I did recall that it was done when I first set up the connection, so with that in mind I did some searching. This fixit guide does a good job of taking people through configuring the connection. On Monday I will look at the connection settings I use for work but this should get you pretty close.

http://www.technipages.com/unable-to-copy-and-paste-to-remote-desktop-session

Gary

I believe I am homing in on a solution. I love the ASUS ZenBook’s keyboard, and heartily recommend it to skilled touch typists who have been reduced by a stroke to two finger typists who stare at the keyboard. The ZenBook has improved my productivity by 100 % I am sure.

bubbles

TPAJAX and Khomeini

Based on my discussions with people who were involved in the politics of the day, following TPAJAX, the Shah said they would “no longer pay tax to the blue eyed brothers”. This preceded policy changes that made the Shah a persona non grata with his benefactors who installed him.

Many men told me that CIA had a hand to play in placing Khomeini in power. Then, they say, Khomeini turned against the United States.

When I mention this among middle class folks, I get scoffed at. When I mention this among intellectuals or people who higher socioeconomic status I’m either greeted with knowing grins or curious looks.

Well, it seems we have more evidence to support the views that I accepted long ago:

<.>

The BBC’s reporting suggests that the Carter administration took heed of Khomeini’s pledges, and in effect paved the way for his return by holding the Iranian army back from launching a military coup.

The BBC Persian service obtained a draft message Washington had prepared as a response to Khomeini, which welcomed the ayatollah’s direct communications, but was never sent.

The corporation also published a previously released but unnoticed declassified 1980 CIA analysis titled Islam in Iran, which shows Khomeini’s initial attempts to reach out to the US dated back to 1963,

16 years before the revolution.

</>

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/jun/10/ayatollah-khomeini-jimmy-carter-administration-iran-revolution

◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊

Most Respectfully,

Joshua Jordan, KSC

Percussa Resurgo

bubbles

Speaker Ryan’s Better Way to Fight Poverty

http://www.gingrichproductions.com/2016/06/speaker-ryans-better-way-to-fight-poverty/?utm_source=Gingrich+Productions+List&utm_campaign=592bfd83e9-ryanpoverty_061016&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_bd29bdc370-592bfd83e9-51726965

 

Speaker Ryan’s Better Way to Fight Poverty

The Washington Times
June 10, 2016
Newt Gingrich

To receive Newt’s weekly newsletters, click here.

It has been more than half a century since President Lyndon Johnson announced the War on Poverty, a vast expansion of the welfare state aimed at lifting up America’s poor.

Yet after three generations and tens of trillions of dollars, Americans who are born into poverty today are just as likely to remain stuck in poverty as they were when Lyndon Johnson made the issue a national priority in 1964. 52 years later, it is time to admit that we have lost the war.

It is clear that we must rethink our approach to poverty if we are committed to every American having the right to pursue happiness.[snip]

http://www.gingrichproductions.com/2016/06/speaker-ryans-better-way-to-fight-poverty/?utm_source=Gingrich+Productions+List&utm_campaign=592bfd83e9-ryanpoverty_061016&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_bd29bdc370-592bfd83e9-51726965

 

 

bubbles

DNC to Build Wall Around Convention!

Isn’t it the left that’s crying about the very idea of having a wall and protecting US sovereignty? And now the left wants to build a wall

around the DNC convention? HAHAHAHHAHA

It’s in the video.

http://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/news/local/Wells-Fargo-Center-Xfinity-Live-to-Be-Inside-Perimeter-Secret-Service-Says-382433501.html

◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊

Most Respectfully,

Joshua Jordan, KSC

Percussa Resurgo

bubbles

Subj: Trump: Man of Science?

http://blog.dilbert.com/post/145668188291/trump-man-of-science

[quote]

Which of the many candidates for president this season is familiar with the SCIENCE of persuasion? Only Trump, until recently. He saved time and money by ignoring the stuff that doesn’t matter (facts) while putting all of his energy into the stuff that does. And it is working.

If you are NOT a trained persuader, the scientific consensus on the climate change PREDICTIONS seem solid to you. If most credible scientists are on the same side, that’s good enough.

But…

If you ARE a trained persuader, you might believe the underlying data

shows human-made climate change, but you probably place LOW credibility

on the models that say it will destroy the world. In the worldview of a

trained persuader, mass-wrongness of experts is a routine feature of our

experience. We see it all the time. …

[end quote]

Long ago, at the end of _The Machiavellians: Defenders of Freedom_,

James Burnham asked whether a scientific approach to politics was

possible. He concluded that it was — an approach based on the

logico-experimental findings of Vilfredo Pareto and the other

Machiavellians, who found that humans actions are driven far more by

non-rational causes than by rational arguments grounded in

logico-experimental theories and results.

Somewhere, in the Valhalla where Thought-Warriors go, James Burnham is

smiling.

Rod Montgomery==monty@starfief.com

bubbles

‘Because I’d recently read many other papers on the topic, once I came across the papers we’re discussing it is was immediately obvious to me that they’d reported their results wrong.’

<http://retractionwatch.com/2016/06/07/conservative-political-beliefs-not-linked-to-psychotic-traits/>

—————————————

Roland Dobbins

bubbles

Handicap problems

Glad to hear that you are back working on Mamelukes. It is one of my favorite series and I have read all the books many times. This along with the Falkenberg series and King David’s Spaceship are my favorite stories. I wish there was a Kendal edition of The Prince because my hard copy is falling apart.
I am a year older than you and have many of the same problems. I had a minor stroke 16 years ago and had trouble typing. I never gave up touch typing and my typing speed is now back up to speed so don’t give up. My office and shop is in the basement and a stairlift has been a lifesaver. They aren’t that expensive and well worth the cost. Look into one.
I just found that the Project Mercury Astronaut’s Handbook I wrote back in 1960 can now be found on the Internet. Google SEDR-109.
Chuck Anderson

bubbles

Gaming navigation apps in order to alter traffic flows through residential neighborhoods.

<https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/traffic-weary-homeowners-and-waze-are-at-war-again-guess-whos-winning/2016/06/05/c466df46-299d-11e6-b989-4e5479715b54_story.html>

—————————————

Roland Dobbins

bubbles

bubbles

bubbles

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

bubbles

clip_image002

bubbles

Immigration, Amnesty, and other matters; There Will Be War Volume XI open for submissions; clarity on amnesty

Chaos Manor View, Sunday, May 1, 2016

The Chaos Manor Mail Box

Immigration without assimilation is invasion.

bubbles

This will catch up on mail, particularly that in response to items from Saturday’s lengthy items including “amnesty”; it will likely make no sense to those who have not read that View https://www.jerrypournelle.com/chaosmanor/noonan-on-trump-trump-and-america-first-conservatism-on-immigration-and-other-matters/   Very likely it is at the end of this in the window you are already looking at this with.

bubbles

There Will be War Volume XI

Now open for submissions at twbw@castaliahouse.com. Publication will be in late November or early December of this year. Reprint anthology, but original works are eligible; three original fiction stories in Volume X were nominated for Hugos; winners will be announced at MidAmericon II in August. Although unpublished works will be considered, there is no additional payment beyond payment for reprint rights, and first publication rights remain with the author (until, of course, they expire at publication of this volume).

Payment is $200 on acceptance. This is an advance against royalties. Royalties are a pro rata share of 50% of all royalties due from the publisher (the other 50% is to the editor). We buy non-exclusive anthology rights.  Publisher is Castalia House, which will make advances and royalty payments directly to the contributors. Again, payment is the same for previously published and previously unpublished works. Story selection is by me (the editor).  Editor’s contribution will include a volume introduction and introductions to each contribution, and may include more as I judge necessary.

Submissions can be fiction or non-fiction of under 20,000 words relevant to the future of warfare.  Previous volumes have included stories of ground combat, interplanetary and interstellar naval engagements, “space opera”, terrorism, a major essay in asymmetric warfare by a professor of military history, and articles from military journals. Most works to be included have been previously published. Submissions accepted until October, 2016, or until announcement that the volume is filled. Two classic stories by well known award-winning authors have already been accepted, others are expected. I emphasize that payment of an advance against royalties is on acceptance.

 

 

bubbles

Jerry,

A few comments regarding minimum criteria for addressing the immigration problem.

1.  Stop the flood: Do everything possible to prevent new illegal immigrants from entering the country. If there must be a focus in this prevention due to resource limitations, make particular efforts to identify any who have nefarious motives (e.g. ISIS sympathizers, drug cartel “mules” – through drug legalization might go a long way towards rending that problem irrelevant, it’s beyond the scope of this note, etc.)

2. Stop the subsidies: Verify that federal cash benefits are limited to US citizens only. Verify that no US government funds – federal or state – are sent as payments from US residents – legal or not – to persons in other countries. It can be done – I know of one person who recently had a background investigation in which twenty year old international wire transfers were questioned.

3. Stop the criminals: Any immigrant with a criminal record in the US is sent back – at the end of their sentence if currently incarcerated, upon discovery if returning to the US. That certainly includes identity fraud (e.g. stolen social security numbers) if knowingly used by the immigrant to pretend to legal status.  (Any domestic enablers to such actions should also be persecuted for – for accessory after the fact to criminal actions, for actual identity fraud, etc.)

4.  Stop the vote fraud – Criminalize illegal immigrant (or other non-citizen including legal foreign residents) voting in US federal elections, and treat as any other illegal act. (Also criminalize their domestic enablers.  State elections would be the responsibility of the states to clean up, but the consequences are on their heads.) Yes, this means positive voter ID, coordination between states and within states to prevent voting in multiple jurisdictions, etc. And it may be a matter of enforcing laws already on the books.

5.  No citizenship by fiat, decree, or amnesty. Adults and minors entering the US as illegals are only permitted to become citizens by going through the entire five year wait and naturalization process, including the oath of citizenship and renouncing of their original citizenship and fealty. This is an irreducible minimum; additional conditions might apply and should be debated – ranging from Trump’s “go home and come back if you want to be considered” to some nominal fine for the illegal action, and prohibition of any convicted violent criminals from ever being considered for citizenship. Cruz has expressed the opinion that Birthright citizenship is the only way to interpret the Constitution, Mark Levin has disagreed; that needs to be resolved, but clearly it would only apply to the actual child or children born in the US; the rest of the family would need to apply for legal resident status or for citizenship as appropriate.

I respectfully submit that application of those five principles would solve 80%+ of the problem, frequently by self-redeportation.

J

This represents the view of most Trump supporters, and in the abstract the ideal situation. Whether or not it is practical is another matter. Certainly any attempt to deal with the situation must stop the bleeding before anything else. The borders must be controlled, and until that is done, any adjustment is an amnesty; Mr. Reagan was induced to support his amnesty on condition that the borders would be closed, and the result was an enormous increase in the traffic across the border; as could be expected. Until the borders are effectively under control, including a much better handle on visas and those overstaying them, with some form of disincentive to overstay: stiff fines at a minimum, collected under conditions such as wearing an electronic locator while earning the money to pay the fines, and other tolerable but not attractive inconveniences – the point being to stay within reason while being effective. A twenty dollar a day fine for the first thirty days overstayed might be reasonable. We are not trying to make tourism in the US a frightening experience. After the first thirty days the fine per day doubles monthly for a period and then begins to double weekly? Something like that.

That paragraph got away from me: the point of it all was to say that until the borders are under control – not just “going to be controlled” – it is gross folly to have “comprehensive immigration reform” or anything else; the alternative to “control the borders first” is a draconian “Deport them all, deport them now, and do not be gentle about it” policy.  We’re not going to have that; but the pro-migrant faction will always delay, halt, protest any border reforms while the migrants who do not intend assimilation pour across in anticipation of “reform” which is always amnesty if there is no border control. We should halt all immigration; every jot and whittle of it; until the borders are controlled.

As for those who have already illegally crossed the border, surely there ought to be a penalty beyond deportation, although I may be underestimating the misery of present detention conditions.

As to conditions for remaining in the US, I would certainly add honorable discharge from the armed services – not general or anything but honorable – as a giant step toward not only a green card, but eligibility for citizenship; indeed I have no objection to overseas enlistment, as the Navy used to allow in the Philippines after that nation’s independence.

As you state: until the borders are closed, none of this is worth discussing.

bubbles

On Amnesty

 

One rhetorical ‘trick’ that those who seem to oppose Trumps horrifying rhetoric on immigration is to constantly bring up the logistical difficulties of deporting ‘twenty million people’.

This is a cheap ploy to take ANY deportation off the table. There are nuanced views to illegal immigration, starting with ‘let’s staunch the bleeding’. Then you can add a layer of ‘and if you fall into our boat, we will get rid of you.’ Instead, to discredit the very idea of deportation, we get the constant box car analogy with Fascist overtones.

If you oppose deportation, say so. If you strongly support amnesty, say so. I do like the idea of ‘legal but not a citizen’ but very much on a case by case basis. Assimilation is very important and reading your works, you should get that there is such a thing as unsustainable amounts of immigration.
If so, it is not coming across in your recent comments.

Perhaps I have been unclear, although I think not to all my readers, so I’ll try again.

First, I do not think I have ever been unclear on this, but I’ll state it straight out:   any illegal immigrant convicted of a felony should be deported; I’ll leave it to a cost-effectiveness analysis whether before or after serving sentence for the felony, although perhaps no discretion at all about serving time in a maximum security institution for violent felony. If he “migrates” back after that, he serves the sentence if he had not previously done so, plus a punitive addition, and serves it again if he has not. We really want to discourage such people from coming here.

As to amnesty, nothing until the borders are actually under control including better control of those overstaying visas. Once that is clearly done, we can discuss the twenty million who are already here but who do not appear to be engaged in criminal activities. That is a matter worth discussion, and I for one believe discussion is desirable.  If you did not read my previous essay – and I suspect you did not – I refer you to the question, do we want police routinely asking for “your papers, please?” How will they determine who to ask? Must everyone obtain, from the bureaucracy, documents proving they are legally here? Must we all produce “our papers” when asked by local or federal police upon demand simply because they are demanded?  Do we want that kind of police?

Same with mass deportation of non-criminal (other that illegal status) persons.  You say that use of boxcars makes you think of Fascists; of course.  I intended that phrase to make you think of forced movement of millions of people. How is it to be done? Railroads are probably the best way, and it will be expensive to move ten or twenty million people, by force, several hundred miles. It can be done, but it will not be cheap; and once again I will remind you that it will be done in full view of the media, which will daily feature no end of stories about Maria, brought here at age five, now an honor graduate of Andrew Jackson High and recipient of some kind of civic award, now locked in a railway day coach  or a leased Greyhound Bus and headed for Laredo to be conducted across the border by armed men. If you think the media will not run that story and a thousand like it, I suggest you rethink the question.

And I will again ask you: do we want police who will bring Maria to that day coach or bus and thrust her aboard, then go home to his family and sleep peacefully? If he will not sleep peacefully, do you want to do that to our policemen who guard us while we sleep?  I ask seriously.

I do not favor amnesty for violent criminals. I do not favor amnesty for recent migrants, if only because amnesty encourages others to follow their example. I also do not favor ignoring some laws while enforcing others, for obvious reasons; while I think there are cases where police need a certain amount of discretion, giving them blanket permission to overlook some laws until it is convenient to enforce them is, in my judgment, not wise.

I do not favor empowering police to demand our papers and otherwise harass our citizens at will for no obvious reason other than they want to do it while stating that “they may be” illegals.

In other words, the cost of deporting the otherwise law abiding illegal aliens already here may be higher than I am willing to pay. As to what to do about them, apparently any attempt to discuss that will be termed a trick; and thus we can have no serious discussion. For those who genuinely seek a rational remedy, there are many suggestions.  Mr. Gingrich has suggested a path to legal status but not citizenship. It would be open to those who have been here a reasonable time – say as a beginning ten years? – and have no record of law breaking.  The path to citizenship would be much more difficult.  Non-citizen residents would have different and fewer entitlements than citizens.  I do not intend to draft a bill here.

I do intend to emphasize that “Deport them all, and deport them now, by any means necessary” sounds simple but requires measures that may be highly undesirable; and that rational discussion of an issue is not “a trick”; it is the foundation of a reasonable answer to real problems.

 

I do not know how to say more clearly that immigration, legal or not, without the intent of assimilation is invasion.

 

bubbles

Amnesty

I was just wondering if the 20 million illegals were allowed to stay without penalty of deportation, how long would it take for that number to reach 50 million or even 100 million? Wouldn’t that get out of control quickly?

Phil

Not long, as the Reagan amnesty proved. Without control of the borders, any “general and complete” immigration reform is merely an invitation for more “migration”. I doubt that any intelligent person could think otherwise, but I find some still do. The this time for sure theory.

bubbles

Deporting XX million Illegal Aliens

Dr. Pournelle:
The hundreds of thousands of unneeded TSA “workers” could be TDYed to the ICS or any other agency to forward the deportation prior to their termination if they want a few more months at the federal manger to stuff their retirement nest and suck up some benefits before returning to reality.
Instant Army sized semi-trained law enforcement,(key shakers) E-1-3 rank MPs/SPs.
The soon to be unemployed Pro Standing Around former ‘workers’ would be highly motivated to to clear the labor of millions of competing job candidates….
Congress could purchase a wing or two of new USAF transport planes, Or just lease some aircraft. Maybe a call up of pilot veterans and logistical staff if needed to assist the Homeland Insecurity failures.

Offer the early self deportees a bounty if they leave after getting a Biometric I.D. and checked against open criminal cases, a DNA sample for criminal and family issues of course. And short affidavit regarding who employed them, Big Data being used to fine the large and long term Criminal employers to pay some of the deportation War effort.

After a short time, a small escalating botany could be at first to LEO and their employing organization for arrest of alleged illegals. The second stage could be offered a small sum to decline any administrative hearing and of course seizure of any funds earned while working illegally.

Again honest testimony listing the aliens employers combined with IRS data should yield billions of $ of fines and unpaid taxes.

At some time when numbers are low in system, Any unemployed non-felon US citizen ought to be granted Illegal Alien bounty hunter status similar to existing law, where the bounty hunter would get 10-20% of the deportation cost, the Bounty Hunters privilege to be suspended if he or she detains with out probable cause a legal resident….

I think 95 % could be cleared out in year with less then one in thousand erroneous deportations, allowing for the Iron law 2 to 3 years might by required.
The first million deported will force labor prices up nationwide, the full Monty would eliminate any need for minimum wage laws for a decade or more.

That a very simple version. but the base ideas are sound.
Illegal immigration like any other type of invasion while cost a lot to reverse to the status quo.
Sincerely, Peter

Well I suppose it is something to think about, but again. Realistically, do you think this realism?

bubbles

Illegal Aliens

Fairly simple answers:
Felony to hire them(employer not the poor innocent illegal aliens)
Felony to house them (Landlords not the precious illegal aliens)
No Government Aid at any level of Government.
NO WORK, NO HOUSING, NO WELFARE—-Go Home Like You Got Here!!

A fairly simple solution. I wonder why it has never been tried? Constitution, perhaps?

bubbles

Again, a comment on yesterday’s publication, incomprehensible if you have not read it. https://www.jerrypournelle.com/chaosmanor/noonan-on-trump-trump-and-america-first-conservatism-on-immigration-and-other-matters/

National review parties

Dear Dr. Pournelle,

I read with interest your comments on the national review party which you did not wish to attend.

I would like to point out that the column Frum wrote was written in

2003 – 13 years ago. Frum himself has been gone from the magazine since 2008 – 8 years ago.

So far as I can tell National Review has never repudiated the Iraq War, and Victor Davis Hanson continues to write articles and books explaining why it was a a good idea. But I think most conservatives now recognize that Iraq was a mistake on a number of levels and you did have a point.

For some reason , reading this, I am reminded of Legolas and Gimli’s scene in the original book “Fellowship of the Ring”, in which past crimes made it difficult for them to band together against Sauron.

Gandalf responded that if all the past crimes of elves and dwarves were to be brought up now, they might as well end the council immediately.

I’m not saying National Review doesn’t have problems and I’m not saying they didn’t do you and your fellows wrong — they did. But I am saying that when you’re proven right it might be wise to give them a chance to eat humble pie and reconcile, rather than continue to remain at odds which serves no one but the liberals, I should think.

What was it Ben Franklin said? “Hang together or hang separately?”

Respectfully,

Brian P.

First, note the date on the story of the party and my comment on it. It was years ago. I continue to subscribe to National Review, and I read their reviews, and most of their political commentary; I no longer feel compelled to take much of it as seriously as I did when Buckley was in charge. In particular, I note that they seem often indistinguishable from Weekly Standard on many of their policies regarding the middle east. I do not urge anyone to cancel their subscription, and I would probably go to that party today. I do not consider them the enemy, but I do not believe the United States should go to war over ideologies. We should as Disraeli urged, enter into wars not from passion, but from reason. It is reason to defeat a Caliphate that has declared war to the knife on us. It was passion to destroy the only active opposition to Iran in that region, and it was folly to declare all those who did not support that action anathema.

I note that Buckley himself regretted going into the Iraq war.

bubbles

Who Will Debunk The Debunkers?

Jerry

Who would have thought that the story of the persecution of Ignaz Semmelweiss was a nationalist myth promulgated by the government of Hungary in the late 19th century? And other bits about the myths of debunkers:

http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/who-will-debunk-the-debunkers/

It makes critiques on Snopes to be a little tame.

Ed

Astonishing. I never had any doubts about the Semmelweiss story. I am not sure I do now, but doubtless there is more to be learned.

bubbles

China Awakens

This Rand article on China and Xi’s designs with the People’s Liberation Army is confirmation of a wake up call given time and time again from the 1980’s. Well, now we’ll reap the whirlwind. China has the strongest leader it’s had in decades, this articles points out the

details:

<.>

Importantly, despite some speculation to the contrary, Xi’s assertion of control over the military in the form of the anti-corruption campaign and organizational reforms is more likely to enhance than it is to impede the PLA’s ongoing modernization efforts.

Part of Xi’s “China Dream” is to produce a strong military capable of deterring, or if necessary taking on powerful potential adversaries, including even the United States.

Xi wants a PLA that demonstrates utmost loyalty to the party, but he also wants a far more competent and operationally capable PLA by 2020, one that is commensurate with China’s status as a major world power and capable of protecting China’s regional and global interests.

If his aspirations are realized, Xi’s reformed PLA will soon be capable of posing an even more potent challenge to China’s neighbors, and to U.S. objectives and strategy in the region.

</>

http://www.rand.org/blog/2016/04/xis-purge-of-the-military-prepares-the-chinese-army.html?utm_source=t.co&utm_medium=rand_social

And we’re looking at Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump after 28 lost years, politically. I can just feel Russia, China, and others sharpening their teeth.

◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊

Most Respectfully,

Joshua Jordan, KSC

Percussa Resurgo

Another monster to destroy? Certainly this is no time to disarm.

bubbles

Dinosaurs

Jerry:

My theory on how the dinosaurs were wiped out is simple.

First, some Proglodyte invented a time machine.

He then went back to the age of dinos, because a place where the dominant form of life has a brain the size of a walnut is the perfect place for the spread of “Progressivism.” He immediately formed a committee, elected himself Chairman, and got to work creating his Utopia.

After a few years of the benefits of “Progressive” policies on the environment, diet, hunting, defense, etc., the only life form which would likely survive would be the cockroach.

Keith

bubbles

“I am a senior civil servant, and I should really be a defender of Norway, and normally I am, but here it is something extremely wrong.”

<http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-36026458>

—————————————

Roland Dobbins

Yes, There is. See The Road To Serfdom. http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0048EJXCK/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?ie=UTF8&amp%3B%3B%3Bbtkr=1&amp%3B%3Btag=chaosmanor-20

bubbles

West of Honor

Thanks for a great read!

http://www.amazon.com/WEST-HONOR-Jerry-Pournelle-ebook/dp/B005Z5IGHY?tag=chaosmanor-20

clip_image002

bubbles

http://venturebeat.com/2016/04/28/samsung-and-ibm-show-how-watson-has-improved-conversational-speech-recognition/

Samsung and IBM show how Watson has improved conversational speech recognition

IBM has made a big leap forward in the ability of its Watson artificial intelligence computer to recognize conversational speech. Last year, IBM was able to hold conversations in which the AI recognized English conversational speech with an 8 percent word error rate. Now IBM’s Watson team has been able to knock the word error rate down to 6.9 percent.

Above: IBM Watson logo

The achievement shows that AI is getting smarter and smarter — and that we’re all going to be replaced by robots some day. IBM Watson general manager David Kenny announced the breakthrough in Watson’s conversational capabilities for developers at the Samsung Developer Conference in San Francisco today.

The Watson team included Kenny, Tom Sercu, Steven Rennie, and Jeff Kuo. Watson had its finest moment in 2011 when it beat the reigning human champion on the “Jeopardy” television quiz show.

To put this result in perspective, back in 1995, a “high-performance” IBM recognizer achieved a 43 percent error rate. Spurred by a series of Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency evaluations in the past couple of decades, IBM’s system improved steadily. Most recently, the advent of deep neural networks was critical in helping achieve the 8 percent and 6.9 percent results, Kenny said. The ultimate goal is to reach or exceed human accuracy, which is estimated to be around 4 percent on this task, dubbed the Switchboard.

IBM said it made improvements in both acoustic and language modeling.

“On the acoustic side, we use a fusion of two powerful, deep neural networks that predict context-dependent phones from the input audio,” Kenny said. “The models were trained on 2000 hours of publicly available transcribed audio from the Switchboard, Fisher, and CallHome corpora.”

Kenny added, “We are currently working on integrating these technologies into IBM Watson’s state-of-the-art speech-to-text service. By exposing our acoustic and language models to increasing amounts of real-world data, we expect to bridge the gap in performance between the ‘lab setting’ and the deployed service.”

bubbles

Further thoughts on republic and democracy

Dear Mr. Pournelle,
As I understand it, most 19th century political philosophers were convinced that a free representative government, whether republic or democracy or pink with blue spots, was an unsustainable fantasy. Lincoln’s question at Gettysburg was by no means rhetorical: “whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure.” The prevailing notion at least in England was that the government with the best chance of stability would be “mixed”; combining monarchy, aristocracy, and the commons. That is, much like England. We saw how well that worked out in France.
I’m not persuaded that the Founders imagined that *any* form of government was in itself free from suicidal tendencies. One interesting argument from that era was that creating and maintaining a free government (of any description) required a population with widely distributed civic virtues; but that a free government was likely to nurture prosperity, which would in turn tend to *undermine* these civic virtues.
Autocracies, I fear, can have a very long shelf life indeed. Egypt, China… That does not mean I want to live in one. As St. Augustine observed, “without justice, what else is the State but a great band of robbers?” I do not believe that any form of government, in and of itself, automatically ensures justice, liberty, or anything else I value.
Neither a republic nor a democracy ensures liberty or justice. I suspect that a free, representative government will be either a remarkable accomplishment of human virtue or else a miraculous gift of Providence. In either case, maintaining that a particular *form* of government will do the job is likely to be a distraction. Freedom, I think, is somewhat more like riding a bicycle. Stable only from moment to moment; and likely to fall over if you don’t pay attention.
Yours,
Allan E. Johnson

The commonwealth, or “mixed form” of government was present in everyone’s mind; they had all read Cicero, generally but not always in translation. They settled on an elected executive, but not one appointed by Congress; sort of monarchical. Hamilton wanted an actual hereditary element in it, but had not enough backing for it.

It is certainly the case that they knew that most governments were not stable over long periods of time; that is why a Union, not a nation. One model they looked at was Venice, still in 1787 a Republic and the oldest known Republic at that. (It was not destroyed until the French revolutionary army destroyed it as they invaded the various territories making up what is now Italy. They would say they liberated it, which is how so much Italian Renaissance art ended up in Paris; liberation came at a stiff price.)

It may well be that the days of our Republic are numbered, as government grows larger and stronger. See The Road to Serfdom. http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0048EJXCK/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?ie=UTF8&amp%3B%3B%3Bbtkr=1&amp%3B%3Btag=chaosmanor-20

bubbles

Russia and Russians like Trump’s foreign policy speech

http://www.cnn.com/2016/04/28/politics/donald-trump-russia-putin/

Phil Tharp

They generally favor realism.

bubbles

bubbles

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

bubbles

clip_image004

bubbles