Saturday, November 19, 2016
If Republicans want to force through massive tax cuts, we will fight them tooth and nail.
Senator Elizabeth Warren
Liberalism is a philosophy of consolation for the West as it commits suicide.
If a foreign government had imposed this system of education on the United States, we would rightfully consider it an act of war.
Glenn T. Seaborg, National Commission on Education, 1983
“Deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.”
Immigration without assimilation is invasion.
Suggestions for Government
1. Foster effective education with a focus on the Trivium (grammar, logic, rhetoric — in that exact order), critical thought (start with survey, question, read, recite, review), and general semantics (both books by Johnson at least).
2. Develop and maintain the largest possible reserves of reliable energy in the shortest amount of time with minimal cost and maximum abundance.
3. Maintain and expand access of information, data, and opinion.
4. Maintain and expand the individual rights to self defense and rights to protect property.
5. Explore and exploit space and the oceans for resources, travel, commerce, pleasure, and the general business of advancing the human species.
◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊
Joshua Jordan, KSC
The first is worth considering, but I would suggest it should be considered by the states, not the Federal Government, which ought to abandon the notion of telling the states how to educate their children. Wise states would then delegate that responsibility to local schools and locally elected school boards. Most would not adopt your proposed curriculum, but a few might. It would be worthwhile establishing such a school as a voluntary magnet in the District of Columbia (Congress certainly has that power) as example for the states to consider. There is no chance that the Congress would impose such a classic curriculum on all schools everywhere, and such a Federal imposition would rightly be considered an act of tyranny. Of course you know that.
Dictating to everyone because the government knows what’s best is not constitutional even when what is dictated may be wise and certainly better that current practice, and would not have the consent of the governed.
The other points are certainly worth considering and some of them have powerful advocates.
I post this now because it’s either a terrible mistake by what seems to be sincere and dedicated people, or the best news I have heard since the Fall of the Soviet Union; it is also a significant development in the integration of Newtonian, Einsteinian, and Quantum models of the universe. I have read the paper. I understood most of it. I have not checked the accuracy of their calculations, and clearly I have no way of verifying the observations; the error analysis appeals to me, but others more familiar may be able to show errors. Having said all that, it looks good to me. It appears to be a 1 mN/KW spacedrive.
EmDrive study published.
Friday, November 18
I suppose I should call this a “Mail” rather than a View since it will be mostly a presentation and discussion of comments on yesterday’s View, but since the subjects are of present concern, my comments will be about my views, and I expect that’s enough of that fuzziness. Roberta looks better every day, and she’s talking better. She’ll be in Holy Cross hospital at least two more weeks, which is great; their program sure got me back on my feet and the road to recovery.
I concur with David Friedman about free trade. When I am told that a treaty that’s hundreds of pages long is a free trade treaty, I wonder what definition of free trade they’re using. That’s a managed international trade treaty, which may or may not be freer than the current situation.
The debate on Free Trade as opposed to the various complex pacts we have negotiated is a certainty.
Furor over Mr. Trump’s election continues, as does the yammer of criticism. Cabinet posts are not usually announced before December, but much of the main stream press can’t resist reporting confusion and doubt at Trump Towers because he hasn’t named his cabinet yet. Of course if he had, they would pound him for being hasty. I would think this unrelenting criticism would become tiresome; I know it causes me to wonder if they have anything accurate to report on anything in the world. I also wonder why no one asks why the current sitting President, or someone who speaks for him, doesn’t tell those protesting the election to tone it down before either a protester gets hurt, or the protesters work themselves into a frustration fit and hurt someone or loot a store, or, as has happened in the past, both. I’m not sure what they want; the results are certain, a recount would be expensive and would not find enough evidence of fraud to change the results, and Mr. Trump is not going to resign because they’re showing how unhappy they are. Surely they know that?
CNN lists some demands that are popular with protesters. The first is “Dump Trump” in hopes the Electoral College – which never meets, each state electoral group assembles separately – but that is rather unlikely. You may peruse the others here: http://www.cnn.com/2016/11/11/politics/trump-protests-key-demands/
I am told that Mr. Trump will reinstitute the National Space Council https://pjmedia.com/instapundit/249501/ with the Vice President as chair. Long time readers may recall that General Graham, Max Hunter, and I had a session with Vice President Quayle, then Chair of the National Space Council, regarding recommendations of the Citizens Council on Space Policy (http://home.earthlink.net/~jerryp/Citizen.html and https://books.google.com/books?id=v6eTVBEDA54C&pg=RA2-PT32&lpg=RA2-PT32&dq=1989+Graham+Pournelle+Quayle&source=bl&ots=CvpGVNNQD1&sig=bwV4wZcZWE7hMmhKXTapO9Zr4_A&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwilq7Lkx7PQAhWkqVQKHTSWDjkQ6AEIHjAA#v=onepage&q=1989%20Graham%20Pournelle%20Quayle&f=false ), regarding the SSX project we recommended; the result was the DC/X which flew a few years later, as well as other developments for commercial space. The National Space Council was an important institution. Mr. Clinton was no space enthusiast, and abolished it in his first term of office; it should be revised.
Saturday, November 19, 2016
Richard and his family arrive in hours, and before that I need to get out to the hospital to see Roberta, so this will be brief. Yesterday was consumed by household activities.
There is much furor and terror, much of that feigned and more stoked by the media, over Mr. Trump’s announcement of Attorney General. I am surprised; I expected Mr. Giuliani. Whoever is Attorney General will find that rounding up and deporting the two million illegals convicted of felonies will be both difficult and expensive, and will pretty well exhaust his available resources. There will be few left for the more controversial task of dealing with law abiding undocumented immigrants, and determining which of those have ever been involved in federal crimes like voting in an election will take resources he may not even have. Once that is done we can come to a decision about the remaining millions. Of course, if they call attention to themselves by rioting (which the vast majority of them do not) that will go a long way toward resolving any moral contradictions we feel; it will also be at least two years, and perhaps progress will have been made in getting the borders under control.
Of the “dream” immigrants – — I those brought here illegally while of a tender age – I would think there is a simple solution for many: let honorable service in the armed forces be accompanied by a green card upon honorable discharge, and for those who have served multiple enlistments a path to citizenship. I imagine a bill establishing that policy would be adopted by Congress and Mr. Trump would sign it without difficulty.
Of course the first principle of populist government is to obtain the consent of the governed. The best way to obtain that is to leave many critical decisions in more local hands. The immigration laws determine who gets to consent, and who must obey consent or no. We do not ask felons for their consent to be punished, nor should we. And migration without any intent of assimilation remains invasion.
End Of The World As We Know It?
Judging from what I’ve seen and read, we’re around Stage l.5 or 2 right now, maybe 3, election results-wise, for most. A few ‘clairvoyants’ have jumped to the later stages, but it’s mostly for publicity’s sake.
The five stages of grief:
1. Denial: The first reaction is denial. In this stage individuals believe the diagnosis is somehow mistaken, and cling to a false, preferable reality.
2. Anger: When the individual recognizes that denial cannot continue, they become frustrated, especially at proximate individuals. Certain psychological responses of a person undergoing this phase would be: “Why me? It’s not fair!”; “How can this happen to me?”; ‘”Who is to blame?”; “Why would this happen?”.
3. Bargaining: The third stage involves the hope that the individual can avoid a cause of grief. Usually, the negotiation for an extended life is made in exchange for a reformed lifestyle. People facing less serious trauma can bargain or seek compromise.
4. Depression: “I’m so sad, why bother with anything?”; “I’m going to die soon, so what’s the point?”; “I miss my loved one, why go on?” During the fourth stage, the individual despairs at the recognition of their mortality. In this state, the individual may become silent, refuse visitors and spend much of the time mournful and sullen.
5. Acceptance: “It’s going to be okay.”; “I can’t fight it, I may as well prepare for it.” In this last stage, individuals embrace mortality or the inevitable future.
Based entirely on what I’ve seen from the younger members of my family on election night and in the following days, the formula is tracking right along, without deviation. The tragedy the young and empathetic feel when they assume that their particular ox will be gored is palpable. I doubt sincerely that the Donald or the young mourners have a fine appreciation for how the system works and how deeply embedded are the contractors, lobbyists, and ‘civil servants’ involved in making that ‘system’ ‘work’, however poorly the ‘system’s’ performance may be evaluated by many Americans.
Piers Morgan, of all people, tells millennials to suck it up and learn from Trump.
In another conversation I said:
“Actually, the problem is we do not lag; we manufacture plenty, more than we used to, with a lot fewer workers. Our productivity is good for profits, but lousy for labor. Those employed are paid well, but far fewer are employed. As Moore’s law continues to raise the productivity of robots, this will cotinine.
“And the schools are so dammed lousy that we aren’t teaching kids to think of things to do that others will pay money for, nor do we teach them the lesson from last Sunday, Paul to the Thessalonians, those who do not work shall not eat. In this era of amazing productivity things are not that stark, but is it government’s job to feed those who do not feed themselves? Do those who want to eat have any obligation at all other than being born?
‘When all men are paid for existing, and none shall pay for their sins…’ “
Which elicited this reply:
Those who do not work shall not eat.
From an anecdotal standpoint I’ve got plenty of friends (younger than I) who either are working, but struggling to make ends meet or are simply struggling to stay employed at all. I’ve got friends who seem to get stuck in temp position after temp position with one one seemingly willing or able to give them a proper job.
Then I have other friends who complain about getting lowballed on salaries and the like.
Hell, its only in the last few years that I myself have begun to feel like I have any amount of my own affairs in decent order and I still feel behind the curve on account of not owning my own home or feeling like I have anywhere close to enough socked away for retirement, and I am getting pretty well compensated these days.
Not saying that these two groups are connected, but I think often times when rhetoric gets tossed about regarding govt handouts and what is the responsibility of the govt I get the impression that sometimes folks may think that the people are the ones who are failing the system and I think that this may not necessarily be the case. I realize that it is a complex subject but lets not forget that at the end of the day were talking about fellow citizens and try to not paint things so black and white. Apologies if this is somewhat stream of consciousness.
It is well to keep in mind that there are moral obligations for us all; but those are moral obligations. Obligations imposed by the government are enforced by armed men and the threat of prison. Paul is not relieving the Thessalonians of their obligation to look out for the poor amongst them, but he is pointing out that those obligations are not unlimited. This is the old argument which used to be important in considering “entitlements”: government decrees face taxpayers with enforcement. To whom do we nave a binding – not moral – obligation? Are all men to be paid for existing, and that payment to be extracted at the point of a gun? No one suggests that you may not voluntarily help the “undeserving”; we are debating the obligation to do so. Ann Rand would say no one has such an obligation to anyone. The Congress of the United States and the President say there are a great number of such obligations upon everyone.
The Department of Defense needs to lose 25% of the Admirals/Generals/SES. Extend all Permanent Change of Station tours one year. Stop requiring all senior enlisted get college degrees. Quit trying to force women into combat, don’t put them on subs. Curtail the F-35 (they’ll be good comms/control nodes & sensor platforms), upgrade F-22s, F-18s, F-15s, F-16s. Keep working on drones. Death beams require all-electric Cruiser sized platforms & lots of power, so bring back nuclear reactors. Reduce crew size. Recognize & encourage the essential value of Tradition. Reduce the Social/Gender/Race Indoctrination.
On 11/18/2016 5:15 PM, Dan Steele wrote:
The single thing that would improve America’s fiscal condition more than anything else – abolish COLAs.
(from someone who will be receiving 3 government checks in a few years)
Suggestions for President Trump
Doc, you asked for ideas for President Trump’s agenda.
To paraphrase Tom Lehrer, I have some here.
Veto any budget that exceeds the previous year’s Treasury revenue, on the grounds that the wording of the Constitution makes it quite clear that the United States can operate on credit only in time of declared war, and only to pay the costs of said war. Also veto any budget which does not include payment of annual interest and an equal amount in principal on the debts we already have, since any other course of action violates the Constitutional ban on repudiation of government debt.
Congressional selectees be damned, sadistic training centers run like British boys’ schools likewise: the President is Constitutionally responsible for commissioning all officers, and not one person should be commissioned who has not served at least four years as enlisted personnel. Before anybody gets the job of giving orders he ought to have some fucking clue of what is involved in carrying the goddamn things out.
The nation with the largest petroleum production in the world is the United States of America. The reason oil is imported from other countries is that Federal regulations set an unrealistic limit on the price of domestic oil when sold domestically; consequently most American oil is sold abroad, and much of it is bought back at OPEC prices… and none of this oil moves across our borders, as these transactions are all on paper. The President can sidestep this insanity by having all domestic oil production purchased by the United States Navy, over which he has full command and need not consult Congress until such time as a Constitutional Amendment is passed to the contrary. This oil will be bought at a reasonable profit for domestic producers, and will in turn be sold to the domestic oil processing industry at a markup of ten percent, which is still well below OPEC prices and should do much to support my next step. The United States Navy will of course have in its physical possession just as much of this oil as foreign transshipment dealers do now.
As the President is Constitutionally obliged to decide whether to veto or approve any bill within ten days of receiving it, and therefore has to be able to read the goddamn thing within ten days, I recommend that he automatically veto any bill which has not been read aloud in the presence of everyone who votes on it, on the grounds that it is an attempt to circumvent the Constitution.
The President should restore the Air Force to the status of a Corps within the Army. The fifth side of the Pentagon should then be the domain of the Space Force. This will take over the job of high-altitude intelligence gathering, and will be responsible for maintaining a manned presence in orbit. It will also take over the launch facilities currently being wasted by NASA in its mission to make the Universe safe for robots. Since the Space Force will require the most competent and versatile flyers it is possible to have, spacecraft operators will be recruited from the ranks of Naval aviators. Pilots from other branches of the military who wish to join will be permitted to do so after being trained up to the standard of aviators. Shouldn’t take more than a couple of years for applicants who have the right stuff. (The job description of the Secretary of Space should include a requirement that any appointee must have sold at least one hard-SF story, but trying to explain the concept to Congress would be a nightmare.)
The President should, in the event of a vacancy on the Supreme Court, interrogate all potential candidates for the position on exactly one question: “What powers currently exercised by the Congress are both necessary and proper?”
The DEA should be made into a branch of the FDA, and the FDA should no longer have the authority to prevent the issue of products of any kind. However, the FDA would have Draconian authority over product labeling, and any product not yet found to meet FDA safety standards, or which has not been found to be effective for whatever people have claimed, or both, will have a big red stamp right across the front of the product that says so. Heroin and cocaine and meth and so on had damn well better be inspected and accurately labeled as to weight and content, too. Federal laws against their possession and use will of course not be enforceable, since the precedent of the 18th Amendment establishes that all such laws are unconstitutional; but their manufacture and sale are covered under the Pure Food and Drug Act.
Any bureaucracy which is responsible for disbursing money to people, and spends more money on its employees than is received by the people the money is meant to get to, needs to experience mass firings until this situation no longer obtains.
The President should propose to the States that all election days be holidays. The only people with a rational motive to oppose this will be the ones who don’t want people with jobs to vote. (Though an amazing number evidently took time off from work on the most recent occasion.)
The President should restore the office of Postmaster General to Cabinet status, to wit: Secretary of Communications. This officer will be in charge of the Post Office and FCC, and will be tasked with making certain nothing inhibits the free and ready flow of information. The first step will be to review regulations of the FCC for Constitutionality and revoke all which do not meet black-letter standards of what the government is permitted to do. In particular these regulations will be required to qualify as both necessary and proper. The next will be to remove privileged status from mass mailings, which will henceforth pay the same cost by weight as first class mail. This will ensure that actual information is not lost in the shuffle. This loss of privileged status will extend to government mailings.
The President should also play Flight 93 before each State of the Union Address:
<iframe width=”854″ height=”480″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/OPYMS9a8ELE” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>
The President should issue pardons to everyone the EPA has ever gone after without a warrant, and require the return of all fines imposed in those cases.
The President should declare a general amnesty on taxation of income from all forms of creative work, such as art, writing, and music, on the grounds that the First Amendment protects both freedom of religion and freedom of speech, and therefore equal treatment should given to both.
Matthew Joseph Harrington
Clearly you raise some arguments that not all would agree to. The requirement that no officers be commissioned unless they have served years as enlisted personnel is clearly mad: doctors and nurses are commissioned, and to impose four years as ward orderlies in addition to their medical training would insure a shortage of doctors. There are other objections to this proposed rule, and to other rules you propose. I would certainly be in favor of exempting authors from self-employment taxes, but I might be thought prejudiced on that subject. I’m still paying for self-employment.
DEA was once under the FDA. I have long advocated that FDA have labeling authority, but not to restrict sales but not blanket authority trod prevent medical professionals from using product. Periodically that is raised in Congress, usually as an exception for “Last resort” and hopeless cases but so far without success. The urge to mind other people’s business is extremely strong, and the FDA protects its turf.
Space junk – it’s what’s up there…
“Currently the biggest piece of junk flying 225 km (140 miles) above the Earth is Envisat, an Earth observation satellite the size of a double decker bus launched by the European Space Agency in 2002.
“Other hazards include a swarm of 2,000 pieces of debris left by the collision in 2009 of a defunct Russian satellite, Cosmo, and a US commercial satellite.”
Includes link to video.
Freedom is not free. Free men are not equal. Equal men are not free.