VIEW Sunday June 26, 2011

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Corpus Christi

 

 

Second Day of New System

 

At the moment the WordPress system seems to be working but mail to jerryp@jerrypournelle.com is not getting to me. It will by the end of the day. It is very late and past my bed time. UPDATE: mail problems are fixed and all is well. Read on.

 

It is my intention to keep this open all day and add to or revise it from time to time so you should renew this if you look at it after an interval. I will have a new item for each day, but not multiple files per day. I add to the day book as needed.

 

Contempt of Cop

Coast to Coast tonight is on the contempt of cop arrest of the woman in Rochester who was videotaping the police and got arrested for it. Interesting discussions, but I am not sure much new has emerged. Any officer who thinks he can prevent people from making videos of his actions will regret thinking that if he believes that will cover up any bad procedures. Electronics are too good and too small and lenses are too good. I can understand a policeman resenting citizens making videos of their actions, but that is probably a mistake given the ubiquity of recording cameras. Police had best get in the habit of acting as if they are on stage at all times.

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And off to bed, it being very late.

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1630 Sunday After Adventures

 

We are in the process of moving to BlueHost after years of smooth and efficient service from Brian and Greg at zidane.mazin. Rick has been doing most of the work. Last night we moved the mail. This morning it was panic time. For reasons I won’t go into, essentially no mail sent to jerryp@jerrypournelle.com, my main mail address, got to me after midnight and before about 1345 this afternoon. That looked to be time for panic, particularly since there were trickles of mail to other addresses I own, one of which ought not to be getting mail. Eventually we got it all figured out, and in a good sized flood a pile came in, much of it commentary on the new site. That will make up most of today’s mail, which I will form up after I get this logbook updated and sent off.

The moral of the story is, as one might suspect, Don’t Panic. Be Logical. I used to tell my technicians and instruct the junior engineers in what I called ‘the relentless application of logic.’ That doesn’t always work in the electronics age – sometimes I think these things really do have minds of their own, and thus we are in the situation of a military commander in which no battle plan survives contact with the enemy – but in fact it almost always does work. See what works and try something beyond that. In the OR business it was the process of making as good a model as you could that would describe what you have, then take excursions from it. If those look reasonable, try physical excursions to test the model. And so forth. Bit harder to do when your model is the climate of the Earth, of course.

Anyway, mail now works. If you sent mail to me I got it. I mostly got it all at once when we solved the problem, but it wasn’t eaten, and I have reviewed most of it. I’ll get to the rest tonight or tomorrow. It’s all here.

 

The World Goes On

 

There is more happening in the world than my transition, but alas, the part of the universe I am aware of has been restricted to getting email working properly. Khaddaffi is said to be trying to negotiate a way out of Libya that doesn’t involve going to some kind of international prison forever. How much is it worth to keep him locked up? Not sure where he would go. Idi Amin fled to Libya, then the Saudis accepted him and even paid for fairly luxurious upkeep so long as he stayed out of politics. He didn’t exactly grow old gracefully, but he certainly lived better than he would have in an Dutch or Belgian jail.

Sun Tzu says that one ought to build golden bridges for one’s enemies, but Sun Tzu is concerned with strategy and victory, not morality and revenge. In any event, the question is, how much is it worth to whom, and who will pay, to get Qadafi out? I suspect that the cost of getting him out of Libya is less than we spend in a week of breaking things and killing people.

I’ll come up for air tomorrow. For today, the relief is tangible: we have View, we have Mail, and we have email. Life approaches normal again. And I’m feeling a lot better today than I did at any time last week. Time to get some work done. Thanks for the patience.

 

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CHAOS MANOR MAIL June 25, 2011

Chaos Manor Mail June 25, 2011 NEW MAIL

 

 

We have yet to work out the format of Mail under the new system. Should I attempt to put up a new entry every time I add mail, which I sometimes do several times a day, or should I try to revise each day’s entry? It is pretty certain that each day will be a separate blog entry due to the nature of the process. It is also pretty certain that each entry will have several mail items. I am making each mail subject a “heading” meaning that one ought to be able to see links to them.

 

I need to figure out how to make a template for mail. I have tried the usual method, but it has one effect: when I make a “header” of a format then it takes the coloration out of the hyperlinks. The links are there apparently but they don’t show as links. I am sure I will figure it all out.

 

I have offers of help including by phone from a number of readers. I may take a couple of you up on that once things are going since I am going to need to build templates, particularly for MAIL which has to be done largely by cut and paste, and which I much prefer to keep as nearly unchanged as possible. But I have got this page done and we will see how it looks.

 

Additional: I have published this, then saw a correction, corrected it on the Word version here on my computer, published it again, and it overwrote the old. I am now going to add an item to the bottom and reference it in the headers, and see if that works. If so this is going to be just like the old stuff and I will do this daily.

 

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Getting ready for the next big solar storm

Jerry,

You have probably received this from a variety of sources, but if not, it is well worth posting for your readers.

 

http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2011/22jun_swef2011/

 

 

June 21, 2011: In Sept. 1859, on the eve of a below-average1 solar cycle, the sun unleashed one of the most powerful storms in centuries. The underlying flare was so unusual, researchers still aren’t sure how to categorize it. The blast peppered Earth with the most energetic protons in half-a-millennium, induced electrical currents that set telegraph offices on fire, and sparked Northern Lights over Cuba and Hawaii.

 

This week, officials have gathered at the National Press Club in Washington DC to ask themselves a simple question: What if it happens again? <snip>

 

 

Gordon Foreman

 

And we are, of course, overdue for the kind of enormous solar event that happened in the 19th Century, and which, so far as we can tell from observations of aurora events at far southern locations such as Alexandria, have been happening at about one per century since classical times. We dealt with this earlier but I don’t have the link handy.

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Woman arrested in Rochester for recording a police traffic stop –

    

“Here is another that one hopes cannot possibly be true.”

 

Sorry, this one looks very true. I have heard of this happening before, in many different venues. The link posted on your site was deleted. Apparently local markets had the clip deleted. A print media link was still there. YouTube had the clip in several spots and will likely keep the information available now.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/06/22/emily-good-arrested-videotaping-police-rochester_n_882122.html

 

Huffingtonpost picked up on the matter and has some commentary upon telling the story.

Interestingly, the police did a bit of revenge harassment just after this incident, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WxHPW-l88f0&feature=related.

 

A bit of color on the matters prior to this one. apparently the woman doing the taping was involved in this protest. http://dailybail.com/home/rochester-ny-sends-25-policecars-and-the-swat-team-to-evict.html .

 

Things are not well with the police and community in Rochester, NY.

 

R,

Rose

 

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Hot Fudge Monday:

 

Hot Fudge Sundae … narrowly avoids becoming Hot Fudge Monday this week:

 

http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2011/06/25/asteroid-to-give-earth-close-shave-monday/?test=faces

 

<snip>

 

The asteroid will make its closest approach at 9:26 a.m. EDT (1326 GMT) on June 27 and will pass just over 7,500 miles (12,000 kilometers) above the Earth’s surface, NASA <http://www.foxnews.com/topics/space/nasa.htm#r_src=ramp> officials say. At that particular moment, the asteroid — which scientists have named 2011 MD — will be sailing high off the coast of Antarctica, almost 2,000 miles (3,218 km) south-southwest of South Africa <http://www.foxnews.com/topics/south-africa.htm#r_src=ramp> .

 

Asteroid 2011 MD was discovered Wednesday (June 22) by LINEAR, a pair of robotic telescopes in New Mexico <http://www.foxnews.com/topics/mexico.htm#r_src=ramp> that scan the skies for near-Earth asteroids <http://www.space.com/11802-nasa-asteroid-mission-dangerous-1999-rq36.html> . The best estimates suggest that this asteroid is between 29 to 98 feet (9 to 30 meters) wide.<snip>

 

After making its closest pass to Earth, the asteroid will zoom through the zone of geosynchronous satellites. The chance of a collision with a satellite or piece of space junk is exceedingly remote.<snip>

 

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2011/06/25/asteroid-to-give-earth-close-shave-monday/#ixzz1QI3oAWdF

 

Jim

 

Well, it missed.

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The End of Retirement

 

I know this won’t apply to you. But, this may apply to other readers:


http://finance.yahoo.com/blogs/daily-ticker/retirement-know-dead-europacific-pento-175638657.html

 

I remember talking with my real estate tycoon friend in Chiang Mai in

2002 about the coming crash in real estate. This is the most succinct way of pointing out what some of the men in the room already knew. I don’t know how much clearer I can present it than the author of this article did. If you read it and understand it then it means that certain of us are doomed.

 

If you are retired now, you have it good. It will be worse for most people in my generation when we reach your age. Hopefully, it will be worst for the Boomers and hopefully much better for us who planned and did not laugh at facts and did not call the messengers “conspiracy theorists”.

——–

Most Respectfully,

Joshua Jordan, KSC

 

Well, some can always do as the Greeks have done, and riot to make the government pay their pensions. I note that one of the causes of the end of the Roman Republic was inability to pay pensions – that is give small farms – to retired Legionnaires who had spent their lives in the Army and had no way to make a living and support families. Military pay and pensions was a main concern for aspiring leaders, but when there wasn’t enough money to support them, leaders came forth who promised that they would.

 

Of course that can’t happen here. And while the public might support the pensions of troopers and cops, the notion of working and paying taxes to support the retirement of the Department of Education Inspector General’s SWAT team, or the retired Department of Agriculture Pet Rabbit License Inspectors might be a bit more problematical.

 

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Subject: Supremes 8-0 endorse Dyson over EPA on global warming

 

 

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/06/24/the-supremes-recommend-the-supreme-skeptic/#more-42189

 

 

 

<snip>

“The court, we caution, endorses no particular view of the complicated issues related to carbon-dioxide emissions and climate change,” reads the 8-0 decision, delivered by the court’s acclaimed liberal, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

The court decision noted that the Environmental Protection Agency itself had “Acknowledg[ed] that not all scientists agreed on the causes and consequences of the rise in global temperatures,” before suggesting readers consult “views opposing” the conventional wisdom. Specifically, the justices’ recommended reading was a superb profile of Princeton’s Freeman Dyson, perhaps America’s most respected scientist, written in the New York Times Magazine, March 29, 2009.

<snip>

Somewhat in the same vein, Justice Ginsburg notes carbon dioxide is necessary and ubiquitous, and thus shouldn’t be the target of indiscriminate attacks. “After all, we each emit carbon dioxide merely by breathing,” she notes, repeating a point that Dyson couldn’t have said better himself.

To see exactly what the Supreme Court said in its remarkable American Electric Power v. Connecticut decision, click here http://probeinternational.org/library/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/10-1741.pdf .

 

The link goes to http://probeinternational.org/library/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/10-1741.pdf which is a copy of the decision.

 

Skimming the decision … basically convinces that it needs more than a skim that while the Supremes may have avoided one trap they may have opened others; specifically, this clause on page 2 about “federal common law” caught my eye in the skim…

 

<snip>

(a) Since Erie R. Co. v. Tompkins, 304 U. S. 64, 78, recognized that there “is no federal general common law,” a new federal commonlaw has emerged for subjects of national concern. When dealing”with air and water in their ambient or interstate aspects, there is a federal common law.” Milwaukee I, 406 U. S., at 103. Decisions of this Court predating Erie, but compatible with the emerging distinction between general common law and the new federal common law,have approved federal common-law suits brought by one State toabate pollution emanating from another State. See, e.g., Missouri v. Illinois, 180 U. S. 208, 241–243 . <snip>

 

Jim

 

A Federal Common Law is certainly a change from when I took (and taught) Constitutional Law. A game changer indeed.

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Navy to scrap a twenty-six year old X-Project test vehicle –

 

Dear Jerry,

 

If the airforce were ending an x-project, they would send the third item to the Smithsonian and scrap what was left without a qualm or question. A naval vessel is a different matter…it is BIG! So, if the navy has learned what the can from the 26 years of studying the vehicle, why NOT scrap it if no none wants it? I don’t understand the problem.

 

I hope you continue to feel better.

 

R,

Rose

 

Agreed. I wasn’t horrified, just not clear. Thanks

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Immigration Reform Rally

 

 

One of several photographs sent of SEIU rallies for immigration reform. One may draw any conclusion one likes.

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The Hill

 

I have discovered that I ought either to go up that hill more regularly, or stop doing it. Alas, I am more or less laid low. I hope to recover soon.

 

 

Humph….

More, not less!

 

 

mark

 

From my Oregon heart specialist friend. He is of course correct. Corragio… and thanks

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Imperial presidency and the war powers act

 

When playing Sid Meier’s Civilization with the Democracy form of government, one of the most annoying things that can happen to you is for your Senate to over-ride your attack on another player. I can imagine how real, live Presidents might feel if this would happen. It’s too bad our real, live Congress doesn’t have the moral fiber of the Senate in the Civilization game.

Nick

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Is it time to worry yet?

 

 

In his second post-FOMC press conference, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke

touched on every topic, admitting that the recovery was weaker than

expected and that beyond temporary factors like supply chain

disruptions in Japan and high energy prices, he was at a loss as to

what was causing the soft patch. In a Q&A session with reporters,

Bernanke said a disorderly default in Greece would have significant

effects on the U.S. economy, while adding that the Fed still had

several tools at its disposal to pump up the economy.

 

http://blogs.forbes.com/afontevecchia/2011/06/22/bernanke-admits-hes-clueless-on-economys-soft-patch/

 

When exactly do we start worrying?

 

 

Most Respectfully,

Joshua Jordan, KSC

 

I would have said the time to start worrying was when Congress forced Fannie Mae to start giving loans to people who could not pay them back. Then when TARP did nothing and there were no shovel ready jobs and… Well, there’s a lot to worry about. Ah well

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This seems like a move of quiet desperation.

 

 

To help Harrisburg out of its financial crisis, area Christian, Jewish and Muslim leaders have called for three days of fasting and praying for a more cooperative spirit among Harrisburg government leaders, the business community and residents.

 

The voluntary event will start at midnight on Tuesday and run through

5 p.m. Friday. During that time, various churches and temples will be open to the public.

 

Harrisburg Mayor Linda Thompson said she will participate in the event.

 

http://www.pennlive.com/midstate/index.ssf/2011/06/harrisburg_mayor_linda_thompso_36.html

 

——–

Most Respectfully,

Joshua Jordan, KSC

 

Well, it couldn’t hurt…