Working on fiction; NSS Acceptance Speech; Trump and the neocons; And a lot more.

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Chaos Manor View, Sunday, May 22, 2016

“This is the most transparent administration in history.”

Barrack Obama

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.

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I’ve been working on fiction, and I had a mild breakthrough – spasm of interest, actually – in, of all things, Mamelukes. I had some inspiration on how to end this volume in a fairly satisfactory way without introducing author control with a deus ex machina settling things. Of course that leaves room for more stories, but at least the major characters are in the right places in their lives. Of course things could change, and they know that, but then they’ve always known that. I won’t give more away than that.

Now all I have to do is get the time to finish it squeezed in among the work I must do on the coming best seller with Niven and Barnes, and the adventure/romance with new insights into artificial intelligence I’m doing with John DeChancie. I pretty well know what I have to do on those, too. I should have Mamelukes finished before World Con.

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My NSS International Space Development Conference acceptance speech for the Heinlein Award is at:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jfm8abmN3pg&feature=youtu.be

and it’s not all; that bad a speech. My son Alex with some friends got a lot of equipment in here and set up what amounted to a professional studio with lighting and good microphones, two cameras and a lot of other equipment. Alex “produced” it, Mike Donahue directed (and operated one of the cameras), Peter Flynn manned the main camera and also provided most of the equipment and editing, and Eric Pobirs did whatever else needed doing. All I did was show up when they said they were ready.

It’s not all that long, and I’m surprised at how good it is.

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Things are settling in: Trump is the candidate, some of the neocons are beginning to realize that, and others were so bust celebrating their takeover of the conservative movement they didn’t notice that they’d become irrelevant as Trump stole the voters they were so sure they could count on. It will be interesting to see which way the egregious Frum goes now. He was the one selected to read all the traditional conservatives out of the movement after Bill Buckley retired from National Review but was still alive but apparently wasn’t paying enough attention, or didn’t want the fight it would bring on if he denounced the neocon takeover. He did, just before he died, say that if he had known then what he later learned about the invasion of Iraq, he would not have supported it; but no one pays a great deal of attention to that.

The problem is that a great number of Americans had just got used to the notion that they were conservative, and they thought they were being conservative in supporting someone who wanted to make America great again, control the borders, stop policing the world (and if we have to keep doing it, get some other beneficiaries of the expenditure of American blood and treasure to start contributing their fair share, a real portion of their GDP not just token amounts), appoint original intent Justices to the Supreme Court — well, you know. Put American interests first. Really. With a realistic foreign policy. And if we have to fight a war, then fight it, with enough force to win and win fast and then get out, the way we always have. Didn’t we do that in four years, going from essentially no army at all, and while we were at it becoming the “arsenal of democracy” whatever that means, and doing that in two years? While coming out of a Depression, for heaven’s sake. But, we’re told, that’s not conservative, that’s something else.

So a lot of people are confused. Having been read out of the conservative movement for being insufficiently enthusiastic about globalism, I didn’t figure I owed any obedience to the label, and apparently there are a lot of Americans who feel the same way. I’d say I was for liberty, but that sounds like a liberal, and I know I’m not part of the liberal movement. Whatever I am, I know that Federal aid to education has been a disaster and we had far better schools when it was left to the states, some of whom competed to have schools run to serve the interests of the students, not the interests of the teachers’ unions. But it’s very much in the interest of the ruling class to have awful schools and to keep the price of good ones high; their kids generally don’t go to public schools anyway.

Remember the Northwest Ordinance? Probably you don’t. Or the Land Grant colleges and universities? Can you recall when public state colleges were essentially free to those qualified to be in them? I suspect nostalgia for those days is reactionary, not conservative.

But I also remember when Detroit was the symbol of productivity, and the enemies of America had the goal ending that.

bottle01

 

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DoD Makes Decisions on Antitrust Regulation?

That article on ULA, the Pentagon being under investigation for related activities, and the ascension of SpaceX had much that was unsettling at best. Among the most unsettling mentions:

<.>

“DoD informed the Commission that the creation of ULA will advance national security by improving the United States’ ability to access space reliably. Because DoD considers access to space essential to the U.S. military, maximizing the reliability of launch vehicles is of paramount importance to DoD,” the FTC said in an October 2006 statement announcing it would allow the venture to proceed. “After thorough review, DoD concluded that the national security benefits of ULA would exceed the anticompetitive harm caused by the transaction.”

</>

http://www.politico.com/story/2016/05/elon-musk-rocket-defense-223161

So, DoD has the authority to direct the FTC on these matters under certain conditions related to national security. I’m confident legislation backs them up, but what legislation exactly and how broad is that authority?

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Most Respectfully,

Joshua Jordan, KSC

Percussa Resurgo

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: Windows 10 Forced Upgrade

Jerry, you aren’t the only one who was upgraded to Windows 10 without your consent.

When I left the apartment this afternoon, to run errands, my PC was running Windows 7.  I came back home, took a nap, went back out.

I just got back in, went to the PC, and discovered that it was now running Windows 10.

No, I did not at ANY time consent to the upgrade, nor did I at any time “schedule” an upgrade.  Microsoft pulled a Nike: They Just Did It.

I suspect that there is a LOT of money to be extracted from Redmond, via a class action lawsuit.  I also suspect that someone could have serious fun going after them on criminal hacking charges, for “unauthorized access and modification of code and/or data”.  Or something.

–John

 

Happened to Larry Niven over the weekend. I need to go out to his house and show him how to get back to work; he’s in shock, and I don’t blame him.

 

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Buchanan: ‘If we look more and more like the British Empire in its twilight years, it is because we were converted to the same free-trade faith that was dismissed as utopian folly by the men who made America.’

<http://www.theamericanconservative.com/buchanan/free-trade-vs-the-republican-party/>

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Roland Dobbins

Free trade works among equals; when it’s a means of exporting your productivity for cheaper goods, while paying those put out of work compensation from the public treasury, it changes things.

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QM Experiment
Dear Dr. Pournelle, I hope all is well with you and yours. I just saw this article. Maybe Schrodinger’s cat is not both dead and alive. Interesting news in quantum mechanics: http://www.wired.com/2016/05/new-support-alternative-quantum-view/

Jim

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Washington Post Truncates Trump

The latest installment in clown shows that pass for marketing exercises, labeled for those who don’t know any better as “elections”

is the truncation of Trump — if you will — by the Washington Post.

I’ve written not a small number of letters outlining how the media generally, and NBC, CNN, MSNBC in particular, are hiding Hillary.

Washington Post suppressed Trump; the latest WaPo poll shows Trump leading Hillary. The Hill had no problem tweeting the poll where Hillary lead Trump and then tweeting a second poll just minutes later that showed Trump leading. So, what did WaPo do? Let’s ask the Washington Examiner:

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It’s not the headline, and it takes 219 words to get there, but a new Washington Post poll on the presidential race reveals that Republican Donald Trump leads Democrat Hillary Clinton among registered voters 46 percent to 44 percent.

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http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/begrudging-wapo-poll-trump-46-clinton-44/article/2591982

This after the NYT piece you mentioned, later denied by Trump’s ex girlfriend and we have CNN and the NBC networks with their pro Hillary propaganda and other examples. It’s disgusting. They think he’s a scumbag, but they’re acting like scumbags themselves.

◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊

Most Respectfully,

Joshua Jordan, KSC

Percussa Resurgo

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“It has nothing to do with us anymore. It has to do with whether President Obama is going to betray us. Is this how democracy works?”

<https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/proposed-national-park-is-a-multimillion-dollar-gift-wrapped-up-in-distrust/2016/05/22/0f036aa0-1d0b-11e6-b6e0-c53b7ef63b45_story.html>

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Roland Dobbins

There never was a democracy that didn’t commit suicide.

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Immigration/China

Dear Jerry,

Immigration:

Is it twenty million? I thought the “economic downturn” of 2008 dropped the number of illegals to around twelve million? Perhaps it Has increased, but is it back to twenty million?

Perhaps the world has fundamentally changed, though that seems to conflict with a basic principle of conservatism, but the Republic did quite well until the mid-1920s with open doors limited only by screening for disease.

Of course, the Empire we have gone well down the road to becoming cannot afford to be so liberal in its’’ border policy. That leads to my favorite solution to problems of Empire: ask yourself “What would Augustus have done?”

Likely answer: Mexico would no longer be a fully independent state, but would quickly be reduced to a semi autonomous “ally”” a la Imperial Rome’s relationship with Bithynia or Armenia. Call it the “Cut the Gordian Knot” solution.

Given significant domestic resistance to this change in their national status, the Mexican nation would quickly find itself fully annexed.

That’s what Augustus would have done. Of course, the problem with that solution, as with so many of the lugubrious suggestions of some here, is that it could only be attempted in some mythical world without Democrats. Unlike unicorns, they do exist.

China:

I weary of the pounding on the drum by nostalgic cold warriors eager to find a new Dragon ever since the Soviet snake died of indigestion. The United States and the Russian Empire, under whatever name it goes by currently, have never had any conflicting vital interests of an enduring nature that weren’t driven by an expansionist ideology on the Russian side. The United States and China have fewer conflicts, more shared interests, and understand one another better than any two nations other than the United States and Great Britain. By the way, we fought two “wars to the knife” with the British, while only one full on war with the Chinese, as well as one skirmish and a nasty surrogate conflict. The problem with the Chinese is the recurring problem, since sixteen forty-eight, of a dominant/hegemonic power in relative decline trying to deal with a rising power. Out of half a dozen such situations in the modern era, only to have not resulted in a general war: significantly, the two peaceful exceptions both involve the USA. We managed the challenge of the USSR until the “dialectic” rendered its verdict, and due to the good sense of Prince Albert and Lord Palmerston in 1862, the British managed the rise of the United States. Even without the complicating factor of nuclear weapons, the rise of China is an eminently manageable problem. Yes, as they rise their capabilities will increase, their sense of self-importance will increase, they will want greater influence in their neighborhood and backyard, and there’s nothing remarkable in any of that. A steady hand, and knowing the difference between what we would like and what we must have our key in this endeavor. To be blunt, getting one’s panties in a wad every time the Chinese frown at us or an ally is not going to help the situation.

I think I’d be more concerned about a Chinese lunar base than if they paved over the Spratly Islands and purge the PLA until it spit whiskey and belched lightning bolts.

Wars are expensive. When Omar Bradley became administrator of the Veterans Administration ca. 1947, he had the books audited and discovered we were still paying for the Mexican-American war. Only a few years ago there was an article in an internal VA magazine about an elderly woman who was receiving a pension for the Civil War service of her late husband.

Wars are expensive, and “By jingo”, those who would ring the alarm bells should remember that.

Petronius

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‘No model can predict changes in temperature and lay out climate change scenarios with any degree of accuracy. However the earth has warmed up much less than what most global warming models had predicted.’

<http://asiancorrespondent.com/135346/global-warming-and-climate-change-separating-truth-from-fiction/>

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Roland Dobbins

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

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