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Monday  October 4, 2010




Spengler's Top 10 Reasons the World Isn't Coming to an End, 


Spengler's secret identity gives his Top 10 Reasons the World Isn't Coming to an End. It starts:

"Japanese-style stagnation, not economic collapse, is the most likely scenario for the US. Harrisburg, PA and Greece may go down the drain (and maybe even California and New York City and Illinois), but that's not the end of the world. It's just the end of them."



He ends:

"But the number one reason that the world isn't coming to an end is -

1) Barack Obama! He's cooked politically. He's practically a lame duck. Gridlock in Washington will prevent this dreadful administration from doing any more damage. And that's good news.

That said, it's not the end of the world - it's just the end of you, if you're one of the 6 percent of the US population reaching retirement age during the next ten years, or if you're a public employee counting on a pension, or run a small business. Life will go on in these United States, drearily. But don't expect a great cataclysm to put you out of your misery."

Can't retire yet, I guess. And you - keep on dancing! Heh.


Alas, my retirement is your subscriptions. Writers don't have retirement plans other than savings, and my investments didn't get much management while I was getting my brain fried for cancer. Ah well.


As L.S.S.I. Takes Over Libraries, Patrons Can’t Keep Quiet - NYTimes.com




Francis Hamit

Nothing is ever always or never...


Bayonet Training Response


As a former soldier I could write reams on why a bayonet charge is important. My main issue with the article is the false fact that our last bayonet charge was in 1951. Perhaps the US Army has not fixed bayonets since that time -- in combat. Perhaps this only happened with smaller elements. However, I read a story by a Marine in Vietnam who had a Lieutenant Gunning. The story goes that LT Gunning wasn't much to look at. He seemed clumsy and geeky and he did not inspire his men -- that is until their first combat operation under the LT.

Prior to that operation, the men jokingly called their bespectacled LT "Stone Cold Gunning". The LT was considered a joke, and the name was used in the same way one might call a sub-standard soldier "High Speed" or "Turbo". The joke did not last long. The platoon was on patrol and came upon a sizable force, much larger than the Marine platoon. LT Gunning had them fix bayonets and charge at the NVA (North Vietnamese Army) formation, which severely outnumbered the Marine's platoon. His platoon thought he was crazy, but Gunning unleashed a fury of fire and leadership that caused the men to fix bayonets and charge. The Marine didn't know -- at the time of the writing -- how the LT convinced them to do this, but they did it. The NVA were killed, wounded, or routed -- in other words those NVa who survived ran like hell.

After that charge, the LT earned the men's respect and "Stone Cold Gunning" was no longer a joke. The men called him "Stone Cold Gunning" with seriousness and respect. I believe the Marine said there were no more bayonet charges after that, but he did write of ingenious small unit tactics the LT employed and he kept most of his platoon alive and unharmed. Alas, I cannot find the story online. I read it in a magazine or a book that discussed killing on the battlefield and I am not sure which book. I am sure that it was not in LTC Grossman's On Killing -- which I still have and I highly recommend to anyone who may be in a position where they must kill another in battle.

While I will spare the reams, I will say this. As a former Military Police soldier, bayonet training remains an invaluable part of close quarter combat. We need more of such training, not less. Technology will only take you so far. Sometimes, you have to get personal. That means the spray of blood, the bulging of the eyes, the bad breath, and the smell of an abdomen sliced open.

One line in the article originally referenced by Robin Juhl -- http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/
-to-master-at-boot-camp-bayonet-training  -- particularly disturbs me, “You carry an M-4 carbine strapped around your chest,” he says. “You can’t do much with a bayonet.” LT GEN Hertling just proved the point -- once more -- that we have a failure of generalship in our nation. In the first hand, so you have the thing strapped to your chest and so you can't do much with a bayonet? Well, then you can't do much with the M4, following that logic. In the second hand, I never strapped my M4 to my chest, I carried it at port arms. If -- for some insane reason -- I decided to be lazy and strap it, I would have to unstrap it in combat, which increases my chances of being killed. Even if I did all that nonsense, I would not be firing my rifle while it is strapped to my chest -- this isn't a Rambo film. Just the physical considerations of what the general said are disturbing. How this general completed CGSC (Command General Staff College) and made the rank Lieutenant Colonel -- let alone getting a bird and then a couple stars -- is beyond my comprehension. Nuts in the military? Looks like social idealism to me.



Joshua Jordan, KSC

Never carried a rifle strapped to chest, and never saw that done in action. We had carbines and a few M1 Garands in Korea, and a few officers had Thompsons, mostly liberated from some other outfit by a trooper who wanted his officer to have one, or so the rumor goes. I never saw a bayonet used in combat, but I heard plenty of stories about them; and the Chinese were terrified of the Ethiopian Imperial Guard with their big two-handed swords. The Turks in Korea were famous for always fixing bayonets before action. The Chinese were scared of them, too. With good reason.


You May Get a Kick Out of These

 I don't know if the unicode for the Tamil characters will come through the email, but...

 இராசீகம் தெய்வீகம் (iracikam teyvikam), "unforeseen circumstances that may happen by royal authority or providence." 

It's curious that the Tamils have a word for the law of unintended consequences. 





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Tuesday,  September 5, 2010

Letter from England

The State Department is preparing a warning for Americans in Europe <http://tinyurl.com/35cqd9t>. In the past, these have been much more serious--in early 2003, my wife and I received orders to make preliminary arrangements for evacuation from England back to the USA.

 Two modern parables (all persons and organisations mentioned are made up);

 Many years ago, a young man was part of a special tiger test team specially made up of system and software engineers on an aerospace project. There was also at the company a testing department that coveted the test team. The company reorganised, and the testing department asked for the tiger team. They got it, but the people they had acquired very soon moved on to other organisations where they were more valued, and the team dissolved.

Do not attempt to grasp what you cannot hold, for you will be left with nothing and less than nothing.

 The young man observed and learned.

 Many years later, the no-longer young man joined a world-class research team that accumulated a nice collection of kit for its lab. A teaching department at the same place coveted those things. The research team leader then moved on--as they do--and the teaching department began to plan how to share out the unprotected things. One morning, the lab was missing kit as the teaching department had moved. However, the not-so-young man had learned, and for the last few years had been the principal investigator for the lab--the research team leader had just been the co-PI. This came as a surprise to the teaching department, and the cries of anguish were long and loud.

 Do not attempt to grasp what you cannot hold, for you will be left with nothing and less than nothing, and, in particular, do not even think about taking kit from a working research lab!

 Thus endeth the parables.

 Another story--I track events and rumours in London. A source who has been accurate in the past has told me that the UK Government will announce in a few days that it will be getting out of the business of funding higher education--except for a limited number of laboratory places in science and engineering. Universities will be freed to charge whatever fees they want. (The figure quoted Sunday was £10000 = $16000/year. See <http://tinyurl.com/2ftz7su>.) Current university fees in the UK are already higher than what most students in the rest of the world--including America--pay at public colleges and universities--<http://tinyurl.com/34tk38u>--so this may produce a student brain drain. The Government intends to invite North American for-profit institutions (this well-known crew: <http://tinyurl.com/2folelw>) to come to the UK and compete for students, hopefully holding fees down. The problems with that idea are the American for-profit sector is dependent on the more traditional universities to train its teaching staff and it serves a very specific student community. UK universities have been less active than American in producing vast numbers of qualified post-graduate lecturers, so the for-profit sector will have difficulty staffing up. Currently, a UK visiting lecturer (equivalent to an adjunct in America) costs more per hour than a senior lecturer at the top of the pay scale!

 The Government will also announce that it is getting out of the business of funding university research, except for long-term funding of some world-class research groups in science and technology. (They will have to move fast, since the best researchers are already leaving the UK. <http://tinyurl.com/3yezxef> <http://tinyurl.com/335n6ur> <http://tinyurl.com/2eugu9s> <http://tinyurl.com/2u5w8pr>) I think they really have lost track of the ball--what is a university really for? <http://tinyurl.com/37ypv2s> Neither you, Jerry, nor I seems to match their model of the graduates they want universities to produce.

 Pensions are safe as long as you don't stop working: <http://tinyurl.com/33ku5fl>

 UK defence budget chaotic <http://tinyurl.com/2cxs2ot>

 I prefer the current Government to that of George Brown, but that doesn't mean I think much of their ideas, brains, or management skills. <http://tinyurl.com/2vfjnpe> Despite what the current googoo movement in America is hyperventilating about, there is an immense difference in professionalism and competence between UK ministers and American cabinet members.

 Financial companies leaving the UK <http://tinyurl.com/2ujdhd3>

 Why am I not surprised?: <http://allafrica.com/stories/201009210101.html> Just say no to these systems.



Harry Erwin, PhD

Maybe some of those leaving California will go to England...


AGW Eco-fascists jump the shark.



There is great division over this satiric video. Some consider it obscene. Some apparently think the environmentalists made the film clip, but I find that highly unlikely. On the other hand we have this.

As well as

Maybe you have seen this - it left me speechless. It is one of those things that gives one a genuine feeling of despair about the direction of humanity - at least it did for me. No amount of apology can redeem the people behind this in my opinion. Anyway, maybe I am over-reacting; what do you think, am I?


Note that the text over the picture is a so-called apology, clicking on the red annotation-bubble removes it.

Regards - thanks - Lawrence

I thought it obvious that this was a satire made by Deniers.


I thought this might interest you


Dear Dr. Pournelle:

You have mentioned on your website that you have poor iPhone service. Is this helpful?

Regards, Tim Scott

Probably not. Anyway I am deep in work and no time to try anything like that. Thanks


Subject: Why this recovery is different.

It may not be entirely fair to compare the recovery from this economic crisis with all recent recessions.

According to the economists who wrote the 2009 book "This Time is Different", the pace of recovery from a recession is dependent on the cause of the recession. For typical business cycle recessions, the rebound tends to be quite robust, leading to a fairly short recovery time (i.e., getting back to even). But when recessions are driven by a financial system crisis (i.e., when excessive debt couples with the collapse of an asset bubble to severely stress financial institutions) then the recoveries tend to be much slower and longer.

You might recall that for a long time after the tech bubble collapse, we had what many called a 'jobless recovery'. Many believe that we only got out of that jobless recovery by inflating an even larger asset bubble (housing).

The Great Recession was the most severe financial system crisis since the Great Depression, was much worse than the tech bubble crash, and it was a world wide event. So history (at least as seen by Rogoff and Reinhart) suggests that the recovery from the Great Recession will be protracted and slow, even if we make the best policy decisions possible.

See here for WSJ's review of the book:


See here for Rogoff and Reinhart's comments on the expected pace of recovery:


See here for commentary on why this recovery may be different than most:


-------excerpt ----

This Time Is Not Different... But It Sort of Is

There is a bit of an inherent contradiction in the this-time-is-different thesis. I once heard Ken Rogoff discuss it in an interview and it goes something like this: This time is not different in the sense that history shows that financial crises happen quite often. But there is also a tendency for financial and government leaders to fail to recognize that the economic trajectory after a crisis-induced recession is very different from the one we might see following a normal business cycle-induced recession. Therefore, “standard macroeconomic models calibrated to statistically “normal” growth periods may be of little use.” -------

CP, Connecticut

I do not really trust economic models, which never have any provision for Black Swans. My own view is that if you want economic growth more than regulation, provide cheap energy and most of all deregulate. So long as you make energy hard to come by and expensive, all the regulation in the world won't provide prosperity; and regulated societies don't grow very fast because the regulation prevents people from taking risks. Rapid growth won't be terribly stable. There may be accidents, and frauds, and all kinds of difficulties. If you take the risk out of economics you take the rapid growth out as well.

Few want to live in a totally free society where you accept the consequences not only of your actions but of other's legal manipulations, and of the blind hand of faith. If you get kicked in the teeth, swallow hard. If you can't stand the pain, drown yourself. Few want that, and thus there is always the tendency to even things out with a Disabilities Act, with all kinds of safety regulations, with minimum wages and work rules and --

But the cost of removing risk is slow growth. The cost of really really reducing risk is generally Depression. So it goes.


ADHD is genetic 

Dr Pournelle

Re: Study finds evidence that ADHD is genetic http://www.jerrypournelle.com/mail/2010/Q3/mail642.html#Friday 

Of course it is. It is transmitted by the Y-chromosome. Have you ever heard of a girl diagnosed with ADHD?

I thank God I was schooled in the politically-incorrect days of 'Boys will be boys', and the teachers applied physical methods to suppress unwanted behavior. Otherwise I would have been medicated into a lethargic zombie.

God save us from those who would do us good.

Live long and prosper h lynn keith




On Friday 2010-10-01 you asked "But why is there so much MORE ADHD now?"

The answer: there isn't. I have been asking a standard set of screening questions for ADHD at jails for years. I get a consistent response level - 85%, 90%, 95% - that varies for the jail, but not over time. The people coming to jail have shown a consistent pattern across decades of birthdates. My hypothesis is that ADHD represents one end of a bell curve, like being tall. Like tallness, it is also hereditary.

What there is, is more ADHD diagnosed. Why? Simple: because drug companies are making products to "treat" ADHD. They "detail" (make sales calls to) psychiatrists more, so psychiatrists dutifully prescribe more, just as they did for "bipolar disorder."

There's your epidemic.

Ed Jailhouse shrink

I suspect there is more to it than the simple greed of drug companies, but certainly that plays its part. When I took graduate abnormal psychology in the 1950's there was about one page on autism and essentially nothing on ADHD. Now a quarter of the boys seem to have ADHD, the lawyer down the street has found himself, abandoned his family, and lives in his mother's basement with a girl friend while suing his working wife for support since he is disabled -- adult onset ADHD apparently -- and deserves support. I know of other such cases.


The membership drive continues. This place cannot stay open without subscribers. If you haven't subscribed or renewed, this is a great time to do that. Consider this a nag.


Sadly, all too true.



You will find much of this in the social sciences. See my papers on the Voodoo Scienes. What is said there remains relevant today.


Interesting Nut Strategy


I found this article interesting, it says a lot that you might read in a lot of separate articles: http://thehill.com/opinion/columnists/

Put simply, the Democrats have put nothing on the table. Once again, their reforms led to consequences that they did not expect, and they do not know how to deal with these. Now that Democratic candidates face a failure of their policies -- or lack thereof in some cases -- and the same candidates have no fresh ideas, popular alternatives, etc they will use negative campaign adds. Many of these adds are moralistic in nature, and seem designed to garner emotional outbursts from other social idealists.

When I traveled, I came to understand this mentality. It seems prevalent among people who exist on the lower socioeconomic strata and it seems pervasive -- I noted this mentality in every country I've ever lived in among the aforementioned strata. I do not seem to note this mentality in other strata, save for the devices usefulness in condescending to speak to certain sections of people where this device works. The device, quite simply put, equates to "if you ain't so good, then I ain't so bad".

But, it's still too soon to pull out the violin -- in my humble opinion. Maybe we will -- as a Republic -- come to our senses? It seems that we may do so. Once we get through this election, successfully, we will need to get through the next congressional election. These two elections seem crucial to me if we are going to take back what we lost -- our Republic.


BDAB,   Joshua Jordan, KSC Percussa Resurgo

“The opinion of ten thousand men is of no value if none of them know anything about the subject.” —Marcus Aurelius

“You have have no interest in politics, but that emphatically does not insure that politics has no interest in you; you ignore it at your peril.” —Jerry Pournelle

Despair is a sin.


'Climate change' comes to New Zealand.


- Roland Dobbins


And to Russia:

'According to them, when the stream is completely stopped, a new Ice Age will begin in Europe.'


- Roland Dobbins



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Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Helmet of Obedience


Do you remember the collar of obedience from Star Trek? Guess what the good folks are DAPRA are playing with..



Neurological/psychiatric intervention, behavioral reinforcement, and pain intervention all jump out at me. Would you want your children as soldiers in such an Army?


BDAB, Joshua Jordan, KSC

I haven't seen such an army yet.


'But there is one overriding reason why charity is largely absent from contemporary China: The Communist Party makes it difficult.'


-- Roland Dobbins


The Dark Side of intellectual property rights

A short but interesting article on how the intellectual property market encourages stealing.

The dark side of Intellectual Property is this: the structure of the market encourages theft, and more so than the more polite in society would predict. It's something that has really annoyed both sides of the debate <http://www.economist.com/node/17091709?
-29-2010%7Cmanagement_thinking>  ; those who want to steal grumble about owners making it hard, while owners grumble that they need the help of their government for terrorising the first lot into financial dependency.

You will get a certificate error going to this link. The site is safe, but they use an SSL certificate issuer that the major browsers do not recognize.




Fwd: A Frightening Future

Dear Friends:

Did you ever pause to wonder what Obama meant by his promise of transformational change? Do you think it's important to know what path our nation is on? Do you care?

Well, my friend Michael Connelly, a Constitutional Lawyer and patriot, does. He's studied the major legislation now in process, and has just published where it seems to lead (below).

"With the 2010 midterm election almost on us it is important that we reflect on what is really at stake. If the so-called Progressives remain in control of Congress, Obama will be able to continue with his socialist agenda to “fundamentally change America.” By 2012 our country and our freedoms may be damaged beyond repair.

I am no clairvoyant, but you don't have to be to see what’s coming. The following predictions are what I see in our future if people that believe in our nation and our Constitution are not elected to Congress right now. Everything I predict is based on far left legislation currently pending in Congress or ready to be filed, and on the statements of Obama, his cabinet members, and his Czars about what they want to do to us. I present this as an attorney who has spent the last 36 years defending the Constitution."

Here is a direct link to Michael's article:


<http://www.michaelconnelly.viviti.com/entries/general/a-frightening-future> Note that this is hardly a "conspiracy theory." Michael's conclusions from reading the legislation in progress are EXACTLY in accord with the Government's own November 2008 Report "2025 Global Trends" that was issued just as Obama took office.


<http://www.glennbeck.com/content/articles/article/198/45794/>  NOTE: For some reason, the government server hosting the government's official 2025 report (www.dni.gov <http://www.dni.gov/>  ) has been out of service ever since Glenn Beck cited this report on his program. This is a public government document, but it seems that it's difficult to obtain the original. (You might want to ask your elected representatives in Congress why the server is down, and to help you get a copy.) If you can't get the report from the link above, Google "2025 Global Trends." This report is free on the web as a pdf file, and about $65 in paper.

During history, the greatest blessing was an ability to see the future. The greatest curse was the curse of Cassandra, to know the future and not be able to do anything about what was coming. For now, we still have our freedoms and rights -- we still have the ability to control our future and ensure an accountable Constitutional government. But the plan is to change this, and the votes we cast in November will be crucial to preserving choice, freedom, and accountability. What happens in the planned "Lame Duck session" after the election is also key to our future. We are surely at a crossroads that will determine American's future. The path we are now on is one that I think most Americans (of either party) would find abhorrent. Including Michael and me.

Please pass this note along as you see fit, including to your local media. Your votes still matter. God Bless America.


John D. Trudel

The election is certainly important. The further we go along the road to serfdom the harder it will be to turn around. It is not yet too late.


Thorium as a power source

I ran across this article this morning. It talks about using Thorium as a fuel source for power plants instead of Uranium.



Thorium power reactions are known but largely untested. We know how to build Uranium power reactors, and at the moment there is no great shortage of Uranium. If we go back to fuel reprocessing -- we can learn a lot from the French who learned how from us, but now have a lot of experience we don't have -- we won't have a Uranium shortage for some time to come. We ought to develop a Thorium power cycle, but we don't need that to start building nuclear power plants.

China is building 25 Westinghouse design power plants. Westinghouse is now owned by Toshiba. The US Nuclear regulators have not only not yet approved that design, but have yet even to consider it.


10:10 Global "No Pressure" video

I've searched around a little and, surprisingly, it appears that 10:10 Global and the "No Pressure" video are not Denier satire.

This video reminds me of the "Green Police" Super Bowl commercial from a few years ago: http://www.newsrealblog.com/2010/02/08

I really don't think people have thought through the implications of giving the government the power to criminalize much of what we consider to be everyday life.

Drake Christensen

I have not found a reliable story on who made this, but I find it impossible to believe that the Green Police are that stupid. It must be a satire.

It turns out I am wrong. The film was made by greens who actually thought it would help their cause. See View. I have a PhD in Psychology and I was not able to imagine a group delusion of that magnitude. One or two people, perhaps, but an organization with no one able to see the folly of this?  But I was wrong. See View.



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Thursday, October 7, 2010

My pledge drive continues. We've slowed down the last couple of days. My thanks to those who have renewed and subscribed. We need more. This site has a lot of readers. If you're a regular, or even an occasional reader and you haven't subscribed yet, this would be a good time to do it. If you disagree with me here, think about Chaos Manor Reviews, where I try to keep my political opinions out of the technology column. One subscription supports both this place, where I try to present rational discussion about many topics, and Chaos Manor Reviews which is a continuation of the column I did for BYTE for decades. I don't do these pledge drives very often: I time them to coincide with the KUSC pledge drive. KUSC is the classical music station in Southern California. I use their "public radio" model here: the site is free, there is no need to log in, everyone is welcome, and it will stay open as long as there are enough subscribers. My thanks to all of you.



There are 3 very good lectures about using Thorium on Google's tech talk channel:


Search for "thorium" to get all three videos.

Note, in particular, the anecdotes about how easy it was to shut down a thorium reactor, and how they don't "go critical", or otherwise "run away". It seems to me this would make it much easier to sell to the general public over typical Uranium reactors. -Paul

I agree that thorium technology is important; but there are no licensed thorium reactors and there are no power producing thorium reactors. The technology is important but it is a technology. Meanwhile, France sells nuclear generated power to Europe. China is installing a great number of fission power reactors, of which 25 will be of a Westinghouse desogn that has not even been considered for licensing in the United States.

The opponents of nuclear power are all for technology -- so long as it can't actually be installed to produce power. There will always be something "better" just around the corner. The rule is jam tomorrow and jam yesterday but never jam today...


San Onofre refit 

Dear Jerry,

Interesting story on the nearly finished $671 million refit of the San Onofre nuclear power plant.


$ "Replacing San Onofre itself, which provides about 20 percent of the Southern California region’s electricity, with new power sources would cost some $1 billion over 12 years, he said."

The second largest city in the United States (Los Angeles), AND all of the surrounding cities of Southern California (including San Diego, all of Orange County The Valley and Long Beach, each of which in almost any other state would be the largest city therein) get's a FIFTH of its power from one nuclear plant.

Think about that. You could power all of that residential, commercial and industrial capacity (equivalent of a small European country) with FIVE such nuclear power sations.

But of course Green's would oppose that, would have us to cover every hill with bird killing windmills, spread solar cells over every rooftop until our cities resemble massed black greenhouses, to then huddle for warmth in winter, swelter in summer, beneath dim flicker of non-incandescent lightbulbs.

I begin to think Greens prefer dim bulbs due to the family resemblance.

The War Against Science, indeed!

To arms!


Windmills earn an energy profit in about fifteen to twenty years. Some of the mills last that long.

The war is against applied science, not studies, of course.


Flash Brindisi

I have no exposure to opera, but after seeing the Flash Brindisi, now I have only one question: where do I get the album/cd/mp3? I've looked on Amazon, and the choices are mind-boggling. Can you or one of your readers recommend a good recording of La Traviata? Preferably in mp3?

Thanks, Jim Snover

My hearing is going, and I don't think my views are as relevant as perhaps they once were. I prefer a traditional staging in traditional costumes, with a young and perky Violetta and a younger tenor if you're going to watch the performance; if you're merely listening, you can't go wrong with Pavorotti, but he was never a great actor. I consider the visuals in opera as important as the vocals. Sopranos of generous proportions do not agree with me...


Re: How Globalization Is Bad for the World Economy


See the blog post at Technology Review: How Globalization Is Bad for the World Economy <http://www.technologyreview.com/blog/arxiv/25845/?ref=rss

A key excerpt:

"However, globalization is a process that reduces modularity because it encourages an equality of trade between entities in different parts of the world. But in naturally evolved systems, far from increasing the robustness of the system to perturbations, a drop in modularity decreases it. Deem and He hypothesise that the same thing happens in the gobal trade network.

What's surprising is that their idea is actually borne out by the data. They've studied the nature of various global recessions since 1969 and say that the increase in globalization makes the global economy less stable. What's more, when a recession does hit, the recovery becomes slower as globalization increases."

An interesting concept that certainly seems to make sense. I comports well with the manifestations that you have touched on, such as maintaining the viability of certain industries and capabilities for national defense, the ability to feed oneself in the event of trouble, etc.

Regards, George


UFO closes Airport in China




BDAB,  Joshua Jordan, KSC

I heard this on the George Noory show the other night. The UFO's are all going to China now. They used to come here. Perhaps an omen?


Picketing at a marines funeral

Clearly a Constitutionally allowed picket. But I would be privileged to contribute to the disorderly conduct fines of the Veterans who beat the hell out of them.



impossible to believe 'No Pressure'

Mail 6 Oct 2010 -- "I have not found a reliable story on who made this, but I find it impossible to believe that the Green Police are that stupid. It must be a satire."

The 'kill the dissenters' film seems to have been produced in dead earnest. The home page for 10:10 International is http://www.1010global.org/.  What is being called an "apology" from the film's director can be found at http://www.1010global.org/no-pressure.  To me, it reads less like an apology than a lament that the world is full of cretins too unenlightened to appreciate the genius of 'No Pressure'.

A behind the scenes mini documentary on the making of 'No Pressure' can be seen at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ir-hU7DzOvQ.  Yes, the kids involved seem to understand that the point is intimidation of dissenting viewpoints. It's great fun to be a bully, especially with the permission and encouragement of adult authority figures.

Taxpayer and private money support the 10:10 propaganda/public awareness campaign. It is part of the interlocking web of fellow travelers http://www.1010global.org/global/about/partners

The domain 1010global.org seems to be the creation of a Fanny Armstrong ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Franny_Armstrong ) of Spanner Films ( http://www.spannerfilms.net/ ).

Greg Hemsath

Thank you. Readers should understand that I no longer care, and have not followed any of these links; I just don't have the time. It was a revelation that anyone would think that a funny film, but then Mussolini's street gangsters thought that making political opponents drink castor oil was hilarious (and more civilized than the SA tactics in Germany). No accounting for taste I guess.


a satire made by Deniers?

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/oct/02/1010-richard-curtis-climate-change http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/10/04/a-pretty-edgy-climate-campaign/ A satire that gets reported in major newspapers as not a satire, without any denial by the 10:10 organization? A satire where "Businesses distance themselves from 10:10 campaign over “tasteless” film" as seen here http://www.greenwisebusiness.co.uk/
1010-campaign-over-tasteless-film-1841.aspx  ? A satire with those kind of production values, and ex-footballer David Ginola and actress Gillian Anderson, rather expensive for a satire don't you think? A satire that is not the first, as shown here http://www.act-responsible.org/
ACT/ACTINCANNES/THE-EXPO/affiche.pdf  ? (Note that companies and organizations actually put their logos on that.)

Now you might think that no one would be dumb enough to make such a movie and think it humorous, but you must understand that there is a lot of groupthink going on here. The greenies only hang around with other greenies and liberal types in their own little ivory tower, no non greenies or non liberals allowed, no competing views allowed. As such, they have become out of touch with reality as experienced by your average Joe, as shown by many polls that show the major differences between the beliefs of say your average liberal media type (most of the media), or your average DC bureaucrat and the general populice.

As has been written about this :People who believe that humanity is heading towards destruction as a consequence of its misdeeds often take quiet pleasure in imagining the bloodshed to come. That, at least, is my explanation for Richard Curtis’s decision to make a short film for the 10:10 pressure group of climate change fanatics in which he depicted – with huge relish – children being blown to pieces. It’s important to grasp the quasi-religious nature of the 10:10 pressure group. Irrespective of where you stand on AGW, it’s clear that its pernickety commandments, most of them involving energy-saving lightbulbs, won’t make any difference to the fate of the planet. But they do have a sacred significance, as do the deaths in the Curtis snuff movie. There’s nothing like the prospect of the ritual slaughter of children to excite prophecy believers, in my experience. –Damian Thompson, The Daily Telegraph, 4 October 2010 <http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/

Conclusion, either you were yourself being satirical when you called it a satire by deniers (possible), or you didn't have time to look into whether it was or was not true (quite possible) and were thus just plain wrong. This may be because "As often as 10:10 tried to pull the film off YouTube, their critics re-posted it.", thus making it look as if someone else had made it. 10:10 has since given up even trying to pull it, I think they are hoping it will just go away.

In short, there really are people dumb enough to think this was funny, dumb, or very out of touch with the human race. Or both.


Actually I did a short search for the origin of this video, but didn't spend long at it because it seemed so obviously a satire, and I guess I am a bit out of touch with young leftist humor. I can recall the days when "Arson, Rape and Bloody Murder" was a popular undergraduate song at various student leftist rallies. "We'll disseminate pornography in parish magazines...  When the Red Revolution Comes." And the proletarian ditty about blowing the bloody bourgeoisie to bloody kingdom come, perhaps a better example. So there is precedent. In any event, you are correct: I was dead wrong. Doesn't happen often but it does happen...



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CURRENT VIEW    Thursday


This week:


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Friday,  October 7, 2010

Westboro Baptist Church


A reader commented that no one would have known about the Westboro Baptist Church had the lawsuits against the father who tried to defend the memory of his son against the Westboro Cult’s disgraceful behavior is quite mistaken.

There are tens of thousands of us that make up the Patriot Guard Riders…I’m a Ride Captain in the Montana PGR and a Navy Vet. We well know the damage Westboro can do, as we were formed initially to counter their protests (take a look at the history on our website). We have evolved into an organization that honors those who made the ultimate sacrifice. We won’t forget, and we are there for our brothers and sisters who have died for our country.



Tracy Walters, CISSP



"The difference is large enough that it changes policy."


-- Roland Dobbins

Bad science matters.


". . . and other programs critical to maintaining B-52 mission capability out to the year 2040.”


-- Roland Dobbins

My first works at Boeing was on the B-52 aka BUFF (Big Ugly Flat F-----) and that was a long time ago; one of my first tasks was working on bringing the tail gunner into the main cabin area and out of that isolated spot in the tail where he'd been on the early BUFFs. I also got to be involved in some bomb release designs, and play with a lot of lethal weapons to put into the tail including "nasty rockets". We shot up a lot a of targets.  Of course today's B-52's are best described as a mass of parts flying in loose formation, and she's a lot older than her crews, but I guess there's a dance in the old girl yet. At one time her mission was to be ready to die: there was little chance that any of the B-52's would survive any of the DEFCON 1 SIOPs. She was designed to take a lot of punishment, though: there are still physical cables from the yoke to the control surfaces. She can lose hydraulics and still be flown.


A Lead on Honey Bees


I feel this is important, and I've been reading about this for years and scratching my head. It looks like we've got some answers:



BDAB, Joshua Jordan, KSC

Yes, I've been hearing about this. Incidentally, we have wild bees at Chaos Manor. The chap who has to deal with them says that all the bee deaths have been pretty well confined to commercial tamed bees: the wild bee population in the US is just fine. That's one data point, but I think reliable.


Anger Over Raid of Off-Campus Party at Yale, 


We've all known in our bones that the US has become a police state, run not by the President but by local cops and DA's. That link a while back that showed an irate householder hollering at the cops - that kind of behavior will get you arrested these days. Just look at what happened to that Harvard professor, for example. That exactly tracks the old cartoon, and the prof was indeed arrested.

And then there was the guy who videorecorded his arrest, and then suffered a home invasion because of it.

Now in their arrogance the cops have gone too far:


They have harassed and arrested the children of the powerful. In front of large numbers of believable witnesses - no one ever believes the poor, but these kids are not poor - they behaved the way cops are wont to do today. Oops.

These particular cops may or may not be disciplined, but it will occur to someone that cops could wear lipstick cams the way the errant motorcycle rider did. In fact, about a year ago a cop was exonerated for killing a perp because the cop had a cam running. But recording what they do (watch the cop unions fight this move on the basis of 'privacy') may tend to keep cops more honest and will tend to keep them from trashing people who do nothing more than give the cop some lip.

Just watch for the backlash to begin in earnest now.


Here we go.


La Traviata DVD 

You can't go wrong with the following DVD. Highly recommend.





Young leftists 

Not for attribution.

Due to personal experience, I wasn't at all surprised at the 10:10 video. It never occured to me to think it was a parody--there was too much high-powered movie talent, most of whom wouldn't risk their careers coming out against catastrophic AGW.

Living in a major West Coast city, I've come to expect the casual indifference with which leftists treat the lives of others in their hypothetical meanderings (although I still can't get used to it). For example, at about the time of the Iraq invasion I was told by several people that losing several million Americans to terrorist attacks would be preferable to acting aggressively against Iraq. Not from any strategic calculation--just from the belief that America is too dastardly to defend. This was from acquaintances who knew I have family living and working in the target zones, and had indeed met personally those family members they were condemning to death. Whether you agreed with the Iraq invasion or not, that's just cold. These are nice, polite people; good cooks, movie lovers, knitters, potters, engineers. It came as one of the greatest shocks of my life.

There's something terrible afoot among a small, but very real, portion of our polity. When I think about it, I get a terrible feeling of having looked into the abyss...



The 10:10 film 


The press release made after the controversial 10:10 film http://www.guardian.co.uk/
environment/blog/2010/sep/30/10-10-no-pressure-film  had a statement in it that I either missed or it’s a new campaign by the AGW alarmists.

‘"We 'killed' five people to make No Pressure – a mere blip compared to the 300,000 real people who now die each year from climate change," she adds’

Really? AGW is killing 300,000 people per year? 300,000! I’d really like to see some facts to back that up.

Tracy Walters, CISSP



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This week:


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Saturday, October 9, 2010

I took the day off.



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CURRENT VIEW     Saturday

This week:


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Sunday, October 10, 2010      



Pretty cool, eh?


----- Roland Dobbins


AGW: GIGO always applies

Dr. Pournelle,

The insistence of AGW supporters that one must first comprehend the Physics Report in the IPCC document before questioning the truth of AGW is merely a misdirection tactic. Rule One for modeling is Garbage In, Garbage Out. It does not matter how exquisitely complex the processing of the garbage is, the result is still garbage.

You are in fact asking the important questions relating to the accuracy and validity of the inputs. Those who are evading your questions have it exactly backwards: there is no reason to examine any AGW calculations if there are not valid data on which to base them.

Steve Chu

What I am trying to do is find out how the data are obtained and processed, but apparently it is so complex that it cannot be understood by non-specialists.


List of Fallacious Arguments

Re your Saturday experience of debating with alarmists - in calling for you to read the IPCC report, & then in full & then to go through the background documentation they were using the Moving the Goalposts false argument here - http://www.don-lindsay-
archive.org/skeptic/arguments.html  "if your opponent successfully addresses some point, then say he must also address some further point. If you can make these points more and more difficult (or diverse) then eventually your opponent must fail"

I'm sure you already knew this in principle but it helps to know that others do too & to have the list to hand.

Neil C

I can read the IPCC report but not easily, and it requires a lot of time and attention for someone of my education.


Hal Lewis Resigns from APS

(Oops - here's the beef) By way of background there is a blog, patterico.com, which is more than a slight thorn in the side of the Los Angeles Times. The blog owner is an assistant Los Angeles District Attorney. He decided to get a little traffic going by asking about California Proposition 23 to suspend AB 32, the Global Warming Act of 2006.

It includes a very telling comment, an excoriating resignation from the American Physical Society by Harold Lewis. I'll link directly to the comment

Harold Lewis is Emeritus Professor of Physics at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Proposition 23 and AGW; UPDATED with Harold Lewis Resignation Letter The blog posting link: http://patterico.com/2010/10/09/

Above that is a link to the UK Telegraph about it.

US physics professor: 'Global warming is the greatest and most successful pseudoscientific fraud I have seen in my long life' (James Delingpole reporting)(Sorry for the long link.) http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/

{^_^} Joanne Dow




My wife and I enjoyed your piece on education today. I wish that your voice had more weight with those who make the decisions on this matter. As for myself, I'll stop working and do home school if quality, private education is too expensive or lackluster. Marcus Aerilius once said that having private tutors in the home is important and no expense should be spared where education of one's children is concerned. I completely agree. I realized long ago that our children would be competing globally, and I will not allow our children to fall behind simply because the rest of the country doesn't want to face reality.

I am not sure if I forwarded this book to you before, but I used it as a source in a paper I did on American ignorance in geography. My research led me to find out that we are the worst educated nation in the developed world -- until it comes to university. I found that undergraduate school in the United States is superior to graduate school in England. So at least our universities aren't that bad, yet. The book is completely available online and is free to read.



BDAB, Joshua Jordan, KSC


There are people who still run GEOS?!


-- Roland Dobbins


Kent State Revisited

'Though he denied discharging his pistol, he previously has been accused of triggering the Guard shootings by firing to warn away angry demonstrators, which the soldiers mistook for sniper fire.'


--- Roland Dobbins


" . . . Hanoi has everything, but it adds up to nothing.”


--- Roland Dobbins


CRimages: Percent Job Losses and Recessions Sept 2010


 note: For the current employment recession, employment peaked in December 2007 which is the starting point on the graph.

with a reaction time of many months for a particular policy, I think that such a big decline has a larger cause.



The Face Of Death, 


A new form of combat training:


Probably the best use of a Segway I have ever heard of.



Life's Lemonade

‘"We 'killed' five people to make No Pressure – a mere blip compared to the 300,000 real people who now die each year from climate change,"

When life hand you a lemon, make lemonade! That's about a million people every three years. Here we glimpse the solution to Global Population Growth! And then as the anthropogenic population gets whittled down, anthropogenic global warming will also slow down. A win-win situation.


No Pressure


: geoengineering - oh joy



A breezy account as you'd expect from the title, but it does raise some important points. It would seem to me that whatever we do about cap and trade, the US has more chance of changing the CO2 buildup by engineering methods than by beggarding the US while China and India burn away.

I am concerned about runaway CO2 levels; it is an open end experiment that we would be far better not to conduct. The problem is that by the time it is clear that CO2 levels are in a runaway mode and thus get China and India to take the matter seriously, it will be late in the game.

I would also posit that a biological solution -- sea blooms, as an example -- would probably be better and cheaper than mechanical or chemical solutions. I'm willing to be convinced otherwise; but I don't think we have done enough study of engineering methods to make any such decisions. Those studies ought to be done now, before there is a crisis.












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