Black September War; What we might have done; Porkypine on Charlotte; False flags? BUFF landed with no tail; and Equality

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Being intelligent is not a felony. But most societies evaluate it as at least a misdemeanor.

-Robert A. Heinlein

The map is not the territory.

Alfred Korzybski


I haven’t been lazy, mostly disgusted; the news is upsetting in many ways, chief among them the desire to make political hay out of serious situations: this applies to the politicians, of course; the news media, of course; and a great number of people I would have thought would know better.

In any event, I wont reproduce it here since it exists on line, but my September 11, 2001 post on what ought to be done about the 9/11 attacks was incorporated into the Thursday, September 18, 2003 Black September War report . It is of necessity long, but still worth reading as an essay on possible foreign policy, including a proposal for building Space Solar Power Satellites for use in both foreign and domestic policies. The use of SSPS power in foreign policy wasn’t thought to be worth the cost; still, it’s worth reading and even thinking about again.

Chaos Manor Special Reports

The Black September War

Thursday, September 18, 2003

What Is To Be Done?

My proposals were not seriously considered because they would cost so much. A Space Solar Power Satellite system was estimated to cost $100 Billion including the fleet of heavy lift launchers, and might even cost two or three times that much. True, it would make us a spacefaring nation, and with the fleet of heavy launch vehicles we could build a nearly leakproof missile defense system as well as deploy some Thor missiles – no warhead, just 19 feet of tungsten telephone pole coming in at greater than 12,000 feet per second with a CEP of maybe 10 feet – and build it on third shifts while building a moon Base Lab on weekends; but two or three hundred billion dollars?

And perhaps my plan would have cost $500 Billion if done bureaucratically; but we spent four times that on a series of wars that didn’t accomplish what my proposal would have, left us with no space assets for missile defense, and the wars show no sign of ending. Anyway, you may read what I thought back then and judge for yourselves.


Street Thuggery


There’s really not much that needs saying about organized public brawling between national socialist and international socialist kitted-up goons. (Or there wouldn’t be, if the schools had been doing their jobs – but that’s a different rant.)

I don’t know whether to weep or laugh. Both.

On the other hand, there’s the mass attack of the vapors the media and bipartisan establishment are having over this President daring to point out that there was illegal street-thuggery on both sides.

Partly, this is the same historical ignorance that makes Che t-shirts a steady seller, while ones with, say, Sepp Dietrich’s also-dashing figure would appeal only to a handful of fringe nutcakes. In an historically aware – dare I say “woke”? – world, that’d be true of both. It’s pathetic, but not of itself dangerous.

What is dangerous now is the active effort to sell one particular bunch of violent street thugs as acceptable, justifiable, even heroic that our media and establishment are buying into here. If they get what they seem to want, they’ll be very sorry, and quite soon.

The self-styled “Antifa” types explicitly justify their violence as legitimate because it’s against “nazis” and “racists”. (As defined of course by people who call themselves anti-fascists while wearing masks and dressing in black to engage in public violent suppression of those who disagree with them. Ahem.)

And most of our lamentably ignorant establishment are currently buying into this, because, well, after all, those WERE nazis. This time.

(Well, a pitiful rag-tag latter-day imitation. The real Nazis would be mortally embarrassed.)

But pay even a little attention to the apparent street-thug wing of the Democratic Party’s attempts at self-justification, and it becomes clear that their definition of “nazis” and “racists” boils down to, anyone who fails to actively and visibly agree with them on all things.

Dig a bit in the news, and at one point or another they’ve already beaten up examples of just about anyone who’s not them. People in MAGA hats, random passers-by, college professors nominally on their side, conservative political demonstrators in general – and over and over now, reporters who try to report on what they actually do.

Seriously, press them a bit and these people will tell you we’re just about all “racists” and “nazis”. Under the circumstances, giving them cultural carte blanche to “punch racists” and “punch nazis” seems unwise.

The media and establishment members currently trying to enable them may think they’re exempt, but all they are is further down the list.

not tolerant of getting punched


The street engagements of the Communists and the National Socialists in Weimar Germany had their effect; and of course neither party was what Germany needed. Choosing you gangsters and supporting one set of them is seldom good tactics for a republic; once the habit of law and order is lost, or one group is exempt from it, the notion that Justice is the interest of the strongest, and the fundamental principle is that the strong do as they will, and the weak suffer what they must becomes more attractive to many groups – including the Army, for that matter.

When I was a lad in legally segregated Tennessee in the 1940’s I came up with the bizarre idea that the law ought to be colorblind, and segregation was wrong. This was not well received by many, although given my father was the general manager of one of the largest radio stations it was sort of forgiven indulgently, and I didn’t really suffer much from it other than having to listen to lectures on how unwise my views were. A few said I was a Communist, of course. I haven’t changed my views since 1947, but recently in a professional conference I was told that advocating that the law ought to be colorblind was white fascist racist bullcrap. At least I wasn’t subjected to lectures.


Sobering Article

Good morning, Dr. Pournelle,
I thought you might find this article interesting, via Rev. Sensing:
I know that despair is a sin, but sometimes I really feel the urge to give into it. There are days when I only take my meds because of the love of my life, my wife, who would be devastated without me.
In the sf/political thriller I’m writing, I eliminate the Chinese and Indians via an Islamic strike and the aftermath. I won’t say that I really believe in it…
Thank you for the update on NERVA and the link about lunar colonies. Both will help in my current writing…
Don Parker


We spent a great deal of time talking about inequality of opportunity and outcomes. The tech industry  is fanatically progressive in its opinions, as the unfortunate James Damore, formerly of Google, recently learned. The tech industry’s drivel about diversity and equality masks a guilty conscience:  Digital technology creates inequality of a kind we have never seen before in human history. [snip]

But we have been unequal for all of the history of the human race. To assert that the law ought to be colorblind – that all men (and now women) are equal under the law – is not to say that they are or can be equal. All men are not created equal, or there would be as many Japanese women as East African men contending for gold medals in marathon races. Or as many Korean women as black males playing for the NBA. Attempts to end this by diversity programs are amusing, but no one expects them to be successful; they are merely virtue signals. Of course one cannot discuss such things, witness the fate of one time Harvard President Larry Summers.

Past societies treated women and men differently, as exemplified by “Women and Children First” in lifeboat drills and often in genuine life and death emergencies. To stand and be still to the Birkenhead drill is a damn tough bullet to chew…

And I doubt that anywhere near 90% of the population, even given Henry Ford’s ideas and access to Edison’s facilities could have built anything useful from those parts.

“Throughout history, poverty is the normal condition of man. Advances which permit this norm to be exceeded — here and there, now and then — are the work of an extremely small minority, frequently despised, often condemned, and almost always opposed by all right-thinking people. Whenever this tiny minority is kept from creating, or (as sometimes happens) is driven out of a society, the people then slip back into abject poverty.
This is known as “bad luck.”

Robert Heinlein clip_image001



False flag operation?

It seems the organizer of the Charlottesville event has exceptionally impeccable leftist extremist credentials.

Charlottesville “Unite the Right” Organizer Was Occupy Wall St. Activist, CNN Correspondent, & Obama Supporter

It smelled from the beginning. One set of pictures I saw had a Confederate battle flag that looked like it has just been taken out of a box rather than something taken down off the wall by an owner that cherished it. I’ve seen pictures allegedly of the KKK protesters who had no weapons in sight and were giving a salute that only vaguely resembled the Nazi salute, wrong hand and horizontal with the fingers slopping around rather than together in a salute format. Now we have this. The organizer may have been an OWS activist AND CNN correspondent at the same time. He’s also revealed to be an Obama supporter.

Please note that the KKK is and always has been a creature of the left. Calling them alt-right does not change this. And I am getting rather angry at the media for imputing the conservative right movement is in any way associated with or approves of these jerks. But. I also get very upset when I see the first amendment being trampled by leftist thugs.



Last Year, When a ‘Unite the Right’ Leader Was An Occupier Who Voted for Obama

Unite the Right’ is not uniting the ‘right’, they are uniting extremists who say they are on the ‘right’. One thing they are not is right about much.

‘Unite the Right’ organized the march of radicals in Charlottesville this past weekend. They were joined by as many as 12 groups totaling between 200 and 500 protesters. There were also reportedly an equal number of leftist radicals.

The two most well-known leaders of ‘Unite the Right’ are Jason Kessler and Richard Spencer.

Spencer is famous for his heil Trump speech and his proud self-characterization as alt-right. Kessler is famous for being a long-time leftist who supported the Occupy communist/socialist movement and voted for Barack Obama. [snip]


One need not assume a false flag; the modern Klan has always been the militant arm of the Democratic Party, only losing that status rather recently. The original Klan, started by General Nathan Bedford Forest in Pulaski, Tenn. during Reconstruction was part terrorist, part vigilante, and part saloon backroom joke – witness the bizarre titles like Kleagle and so forth, and the very name of the outfit – and became as popular as it was because under Reconstruction anyone who had held any office or had been an officer of the Confederacy was forbidden to hold any public office, Federal or State. Or city or village or town for that matter. Deprived of its leadership class, many Southern towns and cities turned to the Klan for leadership. It all came to an end after the Hayes-Tilden election produced stalemate, and negotiations between Republicans resolved it; part of the resolution was the dissolution of the Klan by Forrest,. The modern Klan thrived mostly in the north, particularly in Michigan and Indiana I believe, and actually held majorities in some northern state legislatures. As Democrats, of course. Republicans had caused the original Klan to be disbanded, and despised its successor. So did the middle class Southernors I knew when I was growing up in legally segregated Tennessee.

Hitler always admitted Communists to the National Socialist Party if he though they were sincere in wanting to join. Hitler expressed considerable admiration for Marx’s views on many subjects.



When I was in the doctoral program, I felt sorry for all the younger students who were planning on becoming professors. As far as I can tell, the Golden Age of academia was the latter half of the twentieth century, and colleges and universities have been sliding since then. (They make a great case study for the Iron Law of Bureaucracy.)
And then I was sent this link, providing another nail into the coffin.



The BUFF flies without a tail!

Phil Tharp


Yes. I took part in some of those tests, fortunately not that one. There was an attempt to use the B-52 as a low altitude sort of stealthy bomber, which of course it was never designed to be. Now there is no BUFF that isn’t older than its oldest crewman. Or woman. But still she flies!


Charles said

Are we really going to attack North Korea, likely go to war, because Trump doesn’t like hearing these threats (which North Korea has been issuing for a long time)? 


Are we not already at war with them?  I thought we had a decades long armistice, but still at war?


Technically, yes. Most of Trump’s remarks were addressed, really, to China and the Marshall’s generals, and may have had the effect intended. I don’t know. Above my pay grade.


Affirmative Action

This is an interesting read:


The argument is that admitting academically unqualified blacks to elite schools is, at core, a policy to protect the racial peace and, as such, has nothing to do with racial justice, the putative benefits of diversity or any other standard justification. It is this peace- keeping function that explains why the entire establishment, from mega corporations to the military, endorses constitutionally iffy racial discrimination and why questioning diversity’s benefits is the most grievous of all PC sins. Stated in cost-benefit terms, denying a few hundred (even a few thousand) high-SAT scoring Asians an Ivy League diploma and instead forcing them attend Penn State is a cheap price to pay for social peace.

This argument rests on an indisputable reality that nearly all societies contain distinct ethnic or religious groups who must be managed for the sake of collective peace. They typically lack the ability to economically compete, may embrace values that contravene the dominant ethos, or otherwise just refuse to assimilate. What makes management imperative is the possibility of violence either at an individual level, for example, randomly stabbing total strangers, or on a larger scale, riots and insurrections. Thus, in the grand scheme of modern America’s potentially explosive race relations, academically accomplished Asians, most of whom are politically quiescent, are expendable, collateral damage in the battle to sustain a shaky status quo.

Examples of such to-be-managed groups abound. Recall our own tribulations with violent Indian tribes well into the 19th century or what several European nations currently face with Muslims or today’s civil war in Burma with the Karen People. Then there’s Turkey’s enduring conflict with the Kurds and long before the threat of Islamic terrorism, there were Basque separatists (the ETA), and the Irish Republican Army. In the past 45 years, there have been more than 16,000 terror attacks in Western Europe according to the Global Terrorism Database. At a lower levels add the persistently criminal Gypsies who for 500 years have resisted all efforts to assimilate them. This listing is, of course, only a tiny sampling of distinct indigestible violence-prone groups.


Your thoughts?

◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊

Most Respectfully,

Joshua Jordan, KSC

Percussa Resurgo



It should be obvious that trying to assimilate people who have no regard for law and order will be difficult for any republic, which, as the Founders and Lincoln observed, depends on reverence for the law. Appeasement seldom works, for the appeased soon find new demands. That is applicable only to the leaders, not to a racial or even social group; but it does apply. Respect for the law is essential to republics, which is one reason why wealthy republics have historically not lasted very long.  Machiavelli addressed this problem. See his Discourses on the Republic.



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




NERVA and man in space; Trump and the Marshall

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Being intelligent is not a felony. But most societies evaluate it as at least a misdemeanor.

-Robert A. Heinlein


The map is not the territory.

Alfred Korzybski


John Glenn must surely have wondered, as all the astronauts weathered into geezers, how a great nation grew so impoverished in spirit.


I knew from high school that I would live to see the first man land on the moon. I did not expect to see the last one.

Finally, some good news:


The return of NERVA?



Roland Dobbins

I learned about NERVA at Boeing in the late 50’s, and used NEWRVA type devices in most of my early science fiction in which several stories were laid in the 2020 time frame.


According to Wikipedia:

[snip} NASA plans for NERVA included a visit to Mars by 1978 and a permanent lunar base by 1981.[4][5] NERVA rockets would be used for nuclear “tugs” designed to take payloads from Low Earth Orbit (LEO) to larger orbits as a component of the later-named Space Transportation System, resupply several space stations in various orbits around the Earth and Moon, and support a permanent lunar base. The NERVA rocket would also be a nuclear-powered upper stage for the Saturn rocket (the Saturn S-N), which would allow the upgraded Saturn to launch much larger payloads of up to 340,000 lb. (150,000 kg) to LEO. [snip]


This is more or less as I remember it.  Of course, the Mars mission killed the NERVA program. Instead of making a flying NERVA an X program useful for any space mission, the development scientists at NASA, having won the Moon Race when General Phillips was imposed on them as project manager, tried for another Great Mission – Mars – and since NERVA moved a Mars mission from pipedream to possible – if expensive – status, NERVA had to go.

Most of my brief experience with NERVA comes from having chased a well known movie starlet out of the house of a reluctant Congressional candidate. As you’d suspect, a story goes with that. In 1969 I was co-manager of the Sam Yorty for Mayor (of LA) campaign. Haig Kehiyan was the other co-manager. Then the Congressional District that included Warner Brothers Studio in Burbank became vacant, and was to be filled in the same election as the mayor race. Haig and I decided that I would manage  part of that campaign, since he had been hired for the Mayor’s race. 

The best Republican candidate in the District was a young, unmarried stockbroker who happened to be Barry Goldwater, Jr.  I was appointed to go out and inform young Goldwater that he really had to run for that seat; the Party needed him, and his father approved. When I got to his house – not a block away from Warner Brothers Studio – he was entertaining a well known starlet, daughter of an even more famous star. I had to ask her to let us have some time for something confidential. She was gracious about it; and fortunately since I had the express direction from his father to talk him into running for Congress, young Barry was polite, if a bit miffed. After he was an unmarried stockbroker living a block from Warner Brothers…

Anyway, he won the seat, and ended up on the Space Committee, where he fought a losing battle with his colleagues to keep NERVA alive, given the success of the program. I was in those days enthusiastic about the Mars program, but it was clear that could not be saved; but it was still possible to save NERVA, which didn’t cost all that much. Mars was estimated at $7.5 billion, and included NERVA as well as all the other hardware.


NERVA was a nuclear rocket; that alone made it a target for the frantic anti-nuclear crowd. It would never have enough thrust to lift its own weight – it would never launch from Earth. What it would do was open up the solar system: it had higher ISP, potentially higher by a factor of more than 3, than any chemical rocket. The only thing more efficient was  the tiny thrust ion drives. It already had demonstrated sea level thrust with an exhaust velocity twice as high as the best chemical rockets, giving it a vacuum ISP of three times better; and this was tested, not theoretical. Given experience with NERVA I make no doubt we could do much better.


Low thrust but higher Specific Impulse—ISP.  ISP is measured in “seconds”, but it is not a time; it is pounds of thrust per pound of fuel per second; a measure of efficiency . A LOX-Hydrogen engine can theoretically get an ISP of 450 although I know of none that have achieved that. The space shuttle solid boosters consistently delivered about 250. The tested ISP of the unfinished NERVA project ran 850 in vacuum, and more was thought fairly easy to obtain.

With NERVA a manned mission to Mars in months was possible. It was also ideal for a lunar base. NERVA would never land on Earth or the Moon, but would ferry materials between Earth orbit and Lunar orbit, then come back for more. It was, I believed then and still do, the key to man’s exploitation of the solar system. Alas, Congress in its wisdom zeroed out NERVA in 1972; but young Barry fought a noble fight to retain it.

I’m pleased to see that someone at NASA has finally realized that if we’re to have man in deep space, we need fuel efficiency to get him there.

(As of now, the Wikipedia entry on Lunar Bases is fairly sound and informative. )




Trumps Fire and Fury vs. Colin Powell

So Colin Powell said that if North Korea *used* nuclear weapons against us, we would destroy them.
Trump said that if North Korea *made further threats against the US*, fire and fury would descend on them.
There is a big difference between actually using nuclear weapons against the US versus issuing blustery threats against the US. The former demands an obvious response. The latter? Are we really going to attack North Korea, likely go to war, because Trump doesn’t like hearing these threats (which North Korea has been issuing for a long time)?
The problem with Trump’s blustery retort is that North Korea almost immediately made further threats against the US, and no Fire or Fury was forthcoming. Let’s save the threats of apocalypse for the situation it would actually be used, which is in the event of an actual attack on the US or it’s allies.


Perhaps; but then few before have specifically threatened a US territory and US citizens with plausible nuclear destruction. Guamians are US citizens, all of them; if Kim Jong Un had specifically threatened Studio City, I would not be offended if the President promised fire and sword – or fire and fury – retaliation. But then I live in Studio City. I have not heard the complaints from Guam; perhaps I missed them? At what point do threats become warnings to be acted on?

Your mileage may vary, but I would rather my enemies wondered how far they could go with nuclear threats. I note China has voted for, rather than vetoed, international sanctions. I probably would run the White House differently from the way Mr. Trump does, but then I will never be President.


Another view.


Leftist Lunacy on Kim

What planet is the left living on? When was the last time we launched missiles toward other countries, routinely threatened to reduce other countries to ashes, and publicized plans to menace other countries to name a few things?


Representative Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), who also serves as the deputy chair of the Democratic National Committee, cautioned against President Trump’s rhetoric on North Korea at the Netroots Nation conference on Friday, initially saying that the foreign leader was acting more responsibly than Trump. He later said he regretted the remarks.


Democrats like Rep. Ellison demonstrate why the left cannot be taken seriously and cannot be trusted. What in the hell is wrong with this clown? They want to take the White House in 2020 with this anti-American rhetoric at a time when Trump’s poll numbers are up presumably because he’s handling this crisis in this way? Contrast that with how Clinton and Obama handled North Korea; in fact, North Korea is likely a problem today largely because of their lacks of policy on this matter.

◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊

Most Respectfully,

Joshua Jordan, KSC

Percussa Resurgo


We have certainly tried the soft diplomatic approach for a long time; in the case of April Glaspie with Saddam Hussein, the result cost us several trillion dollars and far too many casualties.


Next will the Marshall threaten San Francisco?


What is an American City Worth?



Newt Gingrich

What is an American city worth?

On September 11, 2001, we were deeply moved by the deaths of 2,996 people and the wounding of another 6,000.

In reaction to that shocking day, we launched a series of wars which have gone on for nearly 16 years, have cost more than $5 trillion, and have left more than 4,000 Americans dead and more than 50,000 severely wounded.

That has been the cost of an attack by 19 terrorists using commercial airliners as weapons.

Now consider the human cost of losing one American city to a nuclear strike.

I chose only one city to make a point about our current lack of seriousness in dealing with the spread of nuclear weapons to more and more unstable and dangerous countries.

The Los Angeles Times reported on, August 16, 2006, that a nuclear attack on the Port of Long Beach would “have catastrophic consequences for the United States,” resulting in the instant deaths of 60,000 people and irradiation of another 150,000. Additionally, the paper reported the economic loss would be ten times that of the September 11th terrorist attack in New York City. The paper cited a report by the RAND Corporation’s Center for Terrorism Risk Management Policy, which the article’s author wrote presented “a terrifying picture not only of the possibility of such an attack but of its immediate and long-term effects on Southern California, the nation, and the global economy.”

The Long Beach estimate was for a 10-kiloton device – that’s half the size of the “Fat Man” bomb dropped on Nagasaki and two-thirds the size of “Little Boy,” which was dropped on Hiroshima. [snip]

Kim Jong Un may think it interesting to threaten to use nuclear weapons on American Guam. Clearly Mr. Trump does not.


Taking the earth’s temperature

An important point taken from Figure 4 is that only 7.9% of US instruments are accurate to <1 degree Celsius.

Richard White

Del Valle, Texas

I’ve talked about this enough, I suppose; but getting temperature to a fraction of a degree is expensive, and seldom done for any reason other than medical. Modern medical thermometers use thermistors, and are calibrated once at manufacture; how reliable their 1/10 degree measurements after years of use is questionable, but I understand that in critical situations they merely throw the old one away. I haven’t consistently had 98.6 temperatures since the days of the hand-shaken tiny glass mercury thermometers.

It seems to vary between 98.0 and 99.0, and no one seems disturbed about that.




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