Chaos Manor View, Thursday, April 7, 2016
“This is the most transparent administration in history.”
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.
My youngest son and two of the grandchildren were here from DC for the Easter weekend and most of the week after. Then everything happened at once, and I’ve been falling further and further behind. This weekend is the Writers of the Future thing, to which I’ve become committed, and it’s a chance to see some of colleagues – fellow judges of the writing contest – whom they fly in from all over for the weekend; I love it, but it’s one more sink for my time. Didn’t used to be a big problem, but as I grow older, it gets harder and harder to think about more than one thing at a time, while it also takes longer to shift focus from one thing to another. Now I’ve got taxes – which isn’t too complex this year, but there is a fair amount of money involved since I paid my quarterly income taxes on the income I had the year before my stroke, and have to look up all those medical expenses. And I have got three fiction works in progress, and it’s sort of my turn on two of them, while the third is Janissaries, which is mine alone.
And Windows 10 and the Surface Pro 3 are driving me nuts. Not straight Windows 10 on a desktop; that turns out to be an easy transition. My advice is, you ought to grab the free update to Windows 7, or 8, that Microsoft is offering. That’s assuming you have not already; they’ve been pretty aggressive about it. My Windows 7 machine, on which I had been unceasingly refusing to accept their offer of 10, woke up one morning with 10 whether I liked it or not; on reflection I refused their offer of restoring 7, and I don’t regret it. I’ve been weeks now with the standard upgrade to 10 on Alien Artifact, my main machine, and while it’s sometimes hard to find some things, for the most part it has been a pleasant experience.
I suspect that standard Windows 10 would do well on the Surface, too; but I can’t be sure, because the Surface is running the experimental updates, which not only happen more often than the standard updates, but do so erratically, sometimes requiring a lot of manual care and feeding.
Then sometimes Office doesn’t work. It is very hard to get anything helpful about this. Outlook won’t open, and scanpst.exe does not work nor is there any intelligible failure message.
Microsoft tells you that you can view all files by going to start – control panel – appearance and personalization, but there is no appearance button in control panel. Nothing works as the documentation tells you it will. If you have problems with Windows 10, it might be easier just to learn Linux. After fooling around with the Surface Pro for half the day, wasting all my time, Outlook still won’t open, and it’s back to not knowing that it has a fingerprint button. The Surface may be a great machine; when it works, it works pretty good; but do not run experimental Windows 10 on it if you actually want to do some work with it. And get something more reliable for road trips.
My Surface Pro is also giving me goofy messages. I just connected the Western Digital My Book 2 terabyte USB hard disk, and told the Surface to copy all the Outlook files to it. I got an error message: fatal hardware error, with some other stuff. There was a “try again” command which I clicked and it’s now happily copying all those files. Just finished as I was writing and correcting this paragraph.
Now at least I have something; next step is to copy the Outlook Files file on this computer over to the Surface and see if that will let me open Outlook. The only thing Precious – the Surface Pro 3 – has that isn’t on this machine is the sent items folder, and that’s hardly vital as the Surface was only the main machine for the time I was in hospital last year, and not all of that.
Enough. I’ll do a Chaos Manor Reviews on the progress of Windows 10 and the Surface Pro; of course that’s yet one more job item I need to do. Sigh. But for the moment, despite wasting much time trying, Outlook will no longer open on the Surface Pro; it presents me with a window that strives endlessly at “Starting”, but never does, nor does it try to tell me why it won’t start. Ungood. Double plus ungood. Fortunately I depend on the Surface Pro 3 for nothing other than gauging Microsoft’s progress, which is lousy.
There’s not a lot to say about the election: Cruz and Trump are trashing each other while between them they have 2/3 of the Republican voters; the Republican Establishment is running around like chickens with their heads cut off. Rudolph Guiliani just endorsed Trump, which pretty well assures Trump of 2/3 of the New York delegates, and probably helps everywhere; whether Trump gets enough delegates to win on the first Convention ballet out of events up through June 7 is not clear, but the Establishment will continue to (1) trash Trump, and (2) alienate a good part of their own party.
Meanwhile, Democrats continue to go for Bernie because Hillary is fairly repugnant to most of the nation. The Armed Services don’t want her, not because she’s a her but because she so badly messed up in Benghazi; you don’t abandon your people, and if it was not the Secretary of State who told the potential intervention/rescue/vengeance forces to stand down and let her ambassador be killed, she certainly knows who did – and isn’t saying. She left one of her own people hung out to dry, and there a lot of voters who can never forget that; and indeed, electing someone who did is a very dangerous thing to do.
We sowed the wind for decades; we will reap the whirlwinds, but we have some control over how long that will be. That’s easier to do if we’re rich than poor. We are in a Depression and have been for some time; and each man, woman, and child owes at least $50,000 to the US Government; that’s $200,000 for a family of four. Clearly not all can pay their share, meaning the some of us must pay more. There are not many ways out of this. The easiest is to grow our way out; we have the computers and 3D printers and robot manufacturing tools to do it – look at what we did in 1941-44 – but it is going to take that kind of effort. We spent the money to rebuild the infrastructure, but it was used for the primary purpose of government: to hire and pay government workers and pay their pensions. That much was done.
It did not build infrastructure, new bridges, fix pot holes, build border fences, or much of the other stuff that needs doing. Bailing out Goldman-Sachs was important because it was important to the ruling class. Now we have to look to the rest of the people: to let them work while there is still a work ethic among most of the work force. Given our rotten schools and the permissiveness culture, the work ethic won’t last all that much longer.
I note that Newt Gingrich, one of our most astute politicians, thinks that the Republican nomination is still not determined, but that it will be either Trump or Cruz; no other alternative is possible with chicanery; and that would be a disaster, because it would make it manifest that we are no longer a democratic Republic. The consequences would be very grave. But, Newt says, it is likely that one of them will become the nominee, and either of them can be elected. The rejection of the Democrat Establishment by Democratic voters is very high. This is not a rejection of Roosevelt or Kennedy, both of whom were admired and even loved. Is not even like the rejection of Jimmy Carter, who was perceived a good hearted but out of his depth. It is much more fundamental than that.
Given the revolutionary technology we have seen come out of the past dozen years, we ought to all be rich; instead the money is gone, and we don’t see where it went. That isn’t likely to change between now and November.
Trump and Wisconsin
Don’t you just love the way everyone is predicting Trump’s doom now that he lost in Wisconsin? BTW, last night when I checked the district map of Wisconsin, Trump won everywhere but the big cities. I suspect there is a very series warning there. I also suspect Mr. Trump is probably getting tired from the relentless grind and may be re-targeting his campaign a little.
: Nuclear proliferation among allies Dear Jerry,
The Hooha over Trump’s comments on South Korea and Japan developing nuclear weapons got me to do a little thinking, based on some recent research of mine on the history of nuclear weapons states.
You were correct that we have-never- been in favor of nuclear weapons being obtained by other nations, allies or not.
Even though the British played a key role in the Manhattan Project to develop the first nuclear weapons, immediately after the end of WW2 the United States refused to share nuclear material, technology or assist in any way with a proposed British nuclear weapons program, which under Clement Attlee the British undertook on their own. However, once the British tested nukes, we signed in 1958 an agreement with them to jointly develop and share nuclear weapons technology. The agreement has been renewed at decade intervals since, and British dependence upon US know how and even hardware (though NOT including fissile materials or actual weapons designs) has become such that it is an open question whether the British nuclear deterrent is truly independent.
Then there’s France. In the late fifties Charles De Gaulle made the decision to go nuclear. The French independently developed, at enormous cost, a full nuclear triad, with fusion weapons. How expensive was it?
According to one source, for about a decade the French spent a quarter of their national budget on this program. That’s a quarter of the WHOLE budget, not just the defense spending. Imagine any US president trying to get a program of that scale approved, and re-approved, for a decade!
It occurs to me that the Japanese are a bit like the British: They want nukes for political purposes, to provide some flexibility and because they are by every other measure a Great Power. On the other hand, the South Koreans are a bit more like the French: They are scared to death, for good reasons, and want some form of guarantee against a repeat of the nightmare of 1950-53. This is similar to the French need to gain some sense of security after their own national nightmare of 1940-45.
So we have been down this road before, and managed to survive it. I don’t know if it’s a good idea for either South Korea or Japan to hang up the “Gone Fission!” signs, but nations will do whatever they believe to be in their best interests, even if it causes trouble with their allies..
I would think that any sane Chinese government would at least consider some Hard Nailed diplomacy on their own soi disant “ally” in North Korea to get them to Cool It and prevent the South Koreans and Japanese from crossing the nuclear line.
As for Taiwan, while I have no information on this, I would put it at no worse than one in three that they already have some nuclear material and all the parts sitting “on the shelf”, with perhaps a ninety day or less assembly time. The Chinese are a pragmatic people.
Intelligence: What North Korea Really Fears
An article for you.
Intelligence: What North Korea Really Fears –
Cultural weapons of mass destruction, of course:
Yes, of course. It would work on Iran also. And most of the Moslem world, and some of their leaders know it. Adolescents want to be hip – whatever word they use for that outdated expression now – and there are both too many and not enough of them in the hermit nations.
Been away for awhile. I ran across your quote from the September 23, 2014 article “It’s Time to Take the Islamic State Seriously”. At the end of the quote you ask, “Has there been any evidence that this analysis was wrong/”
As I sat here “Hell No!” burst into my mind. After sitting awhile I read back at the section heading, “Is terror intrinsic to Islam?” Again two words coursed through my mind, “Of course!” (Please add the condescending tone to indicate “You dolt!” was left unstated.)
Mohammed himself declared “War is deceit.” He also declared “… I have been made victorious with terror, …”. In the Qur’an Mohammed has Allah saying things like “Soon shall We cast terror into the hearts of the Unbelievers, for that they joined companions with Allah, for which He had sent no authority:
their abode will be the Fire: And evil is the home of the wrong-doers!” (3:151) A go to source for information on this is located here:
Terror is not simply allowed by the Qur’an and Sunnah. They are recommended and made mandatory.
Islam in its fullest and most complete form is utterly incompatible with Western ideals and concepts. At this time we’re so far down the road I fear a huge cataclysmic conflict is ahead. I cannot say what will emerge from it. Most relatively successful attacks on Islam end with the attackers finding they now have more in common with Islam than with their former beliefs. I pray that this time we win and do not fall into that morass. I don’t see humanity as being evil enough to deserve falling to or into Islam.
Falling into Islam would be Humanity’s adoption of a universal suicide pact.
Mohammed declared that there will be innumerable (99 is what memory coughs up probably inaccurately) sects; but, only one will be the true Islam. All the others are apostates. And apostates must be killed. With no central authority that means as long as two Muslims can reach each other one must kill the other unless their beliefs, down to insane minutiae, are identical.
As a parting note if Jimmy declares “war” on Johnny and Johnny, for ideological reasons, refuses to declare war on Jimmy, reality does not change. They are at war and Johnny had better step up to the task of defending himself and defeating his enemy or he’s going to fall into a world of hurt. This does not change on a global scale. ISIS is our Jimmy. They have declared war. We either respond or die.
But, then, this is pretty much what I was saying years ago in the Daily Diatribes you posted, isn’t it?
Collecting meteorological data
Given your interest in air temperature measurements, you won’t want to miss this article about weather forecasting.
Also suggest you follow up by taking a look at Tamdar
“The truth can be much, much more complicated.”
The Unitary State of America
I saw this article on Chronicles magazine website, and I thought you might find it interesting:
I find it very difficult to argue with his thesis, that we are no longer a collection of states, but for all intents and purposes we are one state.
I wonder what Alexander Hamilton would have thought of the way things have gone…
We have not yet reached that point, and I suspect the Union will come apart before we really do. Integrating the Army with universal conscription would probably be required actually to achieve that, and even that might backfire.
Of course there are always rulers and ruled among those who will not do the work of ruling themselves; and that sort of work ethic is diminishing but not yet vanished, despite all the efforts (by some) and incompetence in the schools.
16 Democrat AGs Begin Inquisition Against ‘Climate Change Disbelievers’
The damage to Science and Freedom being caused by the Warmist Alarmists is incalculable.
We can certainly agree on that.
I always wondered…
Watch A-10 pilot land after being hit by missile
That is one tough aircraft.
A few days later, Johnson’s skills were on full display when he was hit by an enemy missile while trying to take out a radar site.
The explosion left a gaping hole on his right wing, which disabled one of the hydraulic systems. Still, he managed to fly back to safety.
Hurrah for the Warthog…
CENTCOM analysts purged
Dear Dr. Pournelle,
Don’t hold your breath waiting for cries of “Obama lied, people died”
Y’know what? I suggest the first, best thing we could do to put our country back on the road to greatness is to restore integrity to our institutions and the rule of law. All of our problems become a lot less daunting when we are committed to seeking out the truth and acting in accordance with it. That starts from the top down, I think.
As you say, don’t hold your breath.
Third flight of Bezo’s Blue Origin’s Booster
Regards, Charles Adams, Bellevue, NE
Yes, he’s saying he has a iused space ship for sale; learning to reuse ships and have savable cargo is the first requirement for real space commerce.
Freedom is not free. Free men are not equal. Equal men are not free.