Posts Tagged ‘in your face’

The Court of Just Opinion

Author: Fred Grenvile

It is a fact that the USSC* (not SCOTUS, I’m sick of the play on POTUS) is empowered to Interpret laws, common law and statutes in light of the US Constitution. (NOT the other way round btw. No power exists to interpret the constitution in light of law or case law.) But can we just dispense with the ludicrous perception that the findings of the court, or ANY court, are truth or justice? They are the opinions derived from interpreting the facts in light of personal bias and law. Truth is an objective reality like fact, and can only be approached not completely ascertained. People make mistakes and courts–juries, judges, and justices–are people. They are people with power and the bias of authority that makes them difficult or impossible to challenge. But challenged or not, they can be wrong.

We need these institutions. Without them we’d have the chaos of an unregulated democracy, because even an anarchy will resolve into absolute rule by the majority and suppression of the minority, indifference to the individual, and influence peddling by the privileged, beautiful, or charismatic. (If it sounds like I’m antidemocratic, you are spot on. The purpose of Good Government is to protect the minority against abuse by the majority and protect the individual from all collectives INCLUDING the minority.) But the point is, while these institutions serve our best interest, only an Idjit would mistake their findings for truth rather than expediency.

* This is just a one time usage. USSC is properly the United States Service Code which the body of statutes, broken into numerical sections called Titles, we commonly refer to as Federal Law.

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The biggest motivators in the new sport of shooting mass killings, is media attention. Not the fact the tragedies are covered but the salacious way in which the shooter is notorized and his psychology is made such an amateur study. The role of a free press is to inform objectively and allow a well educated public to apply critical reason, make informed opinions, and coerce their legislators and executives to comply with the majority opinion.
 
When the press turns these incidents into media events and attempts to sway public opinion, they are no longer free press but editorial. There is no effective difference between a headline news reader who takes a biased perspective (yellow journalist) and a shock jock like Hannidy or Limbaugh. Their speech is protected under the same Bill of Rights they are denigrating.
 
However, it is dishonest and potentially criminal to purport it to be objective news coverage. That is no different from the much touted “Russian Influence” in the American political process. I’m far more concerned about Canadian and Anglo influence. IT’s far easier for the English and Anglo Canadians to masquerade as American citizns and act to pervert the political process in the US. IF Russians helping Trump with dirt on Hillary is criminal, then Canadian PACs advertising in favor of gun-laws or Barack Obama or (yes) Hillary is just as criminal for precisely the same reasons.
 
Leftist nuts and dictators are the only groups historically to have blamed violence on the prevalence of weapons rather than the prevalence of bad actors. Leftists need a disarmed public so that their extremist politics can be enforced on an unwilling populace. Dictators of the feudal, monarchical, fascist, or plutocratic need a disarmed public in order to enforce unwelcome rule on the . . . Hey! That’s the same reason!
 
Go figure.

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The broader issue of the recent sexual abuse/harassment revelations is the depravity of the media based celebrity machine. Louie CK would never have been in a position to behave the way he did if not for the perceived authority attached to fame and media success. This is the biggest lie of the cult of celebrity. Entertainers, while a lot more fun than your average motorcycle mechanic or fast food delivery driver, are actually less important. This goes for the producers, editors, writers (Ugh! They got me, Joe) and technicians in movies and television as well. Actors like Spacey, producers like Weinstein, they are instrumental in providing a product you may like or pass on. But they aren’t important. Their failures, however criminal, don’t matter directly to you and yours, unless you are a victim or concerned with the very real problem of predatory sexuality. We all should be. And we all should do our part to change the social environment so that the victim is free and even comfortable telling.

The problem is the Baby Boomers have gotten increasingly paranoid and they’ve shared that paranoia with the Millennials. Every new violent crime, immediately brings out the [x] Broadcasting Company, or the [y] News Network to open the big top and pedantically call the play by play like some OCD sportscaster. “Okay, let’s go to Jimmy Joe who’s watching from the police barricade. Tell me Jimmy is the suspect wearing paisley with stripes? That looks like stripes. Did you know that Paisleys are made int the shape of the perimeter of the Himalayas?–”

This is followed by an endless cry for tighter laws governing every spoken word, meal item, clothing choice, etc. of the private citizen. Every move is strategically placed to further limit individuality, choice and privacy guaranteed by the US Constitution. From Louie CK to Civil Liberty? Really? Well, yeah. If louie had done the same thing in a protest against organized religion, guns, Donald Trump–staged on the White House lawn–the same people crying “foul unclean, go thee to perdition” would be celebrating his brave act of conscience in pursuit of PC values. The media would not be concerned with the collateral damage to young impressionable minds of children or young women. Why? Because as a celebrity, he would be perceived as having some authority on issues social and political.

This is the heart of it. If Weinstein were just an employer, a choice among many, women would have felt free to avoid his casting couch–and report to man for sexual harassment or rape. But as celebrities they had to protect public opinion about their private life. A Rumor of misconduct by those women, would have lead to an end of career. “A few phone calls,” and they’d “never work in Hollywood again.”

Why should an actors private sexuality, criminal misconduct, political opinions, religious affiliations, etc. matter one whit. They really aren’t stars. They are artists and craftspeople. They make a product you like buying. Nothing more. But nothing less. If a factory worker can’t get a job because he spent time in prison as a young adult, we say poor man. It becomes and Hallmark movie about human triumph, and we get Spacey to play the poor unfortunate. If a young girl struggling with too much celebrity and a total lack of privacy, shoplifts to self-medicate we crucify her and relegate her to years without work, until we forget and move on to the next victim.

The star system is nothing more than a particularly successful marketing scheme. It’s like fast food games and giveaway, BOGO, get your free gift with purchase, over a billion served. If it’s kept in propotion it serves its purpose. But when it creates a standard for vetting employees it is a problem. When that trend spreads and corporations begin vetting employees based on their social media, background checks, and an invasion of privacy worse than Big Brother, it is a threat to peace and security and needs to be put on hiatus.

When a young man has to wait 15 years to report a sexual assault by a drunken coworker, because he will be seen as a troublemaker and his career ended, due to his attackers Star status on broadway– When a writer finds it difficult to be published, not because of his skill with the elements of story and plot, but because he falls in the wrong canine classification– When a rising actress and comedienne can’t complain about a drunken lout masturbating in front of her because he thinks her discomfort is comedic–It’s not time for stars to fall, its time to take down the black velvet curtain.

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The irony of the “animal rights” movement is the wild eyed murderous attitudes toward a particularly beloved primate species. How can you claim to love animals and insist that they be allowed to express their nature while attacking humans for exercising their instinct to hunt and prey? It’s laughably self contradictory.

Yabba-dabba-do!

Because I like to think, I like to read. I’m into freedom of speech, freedom of choice. I’m the kind if guy who would sit in the greasy spoon and think “Gee, should I have the T-bone steak or the big rack of Barbecued spare ribs with the side order of gravy fries?

This spoof meme is a perfect example of the hate rhetoric that hunters and omnivores suffer from extremists like PETA. The picture is a link to an article exposing the silly responses that this photo generated on social media. Some got the joke, some like the author of the article only got part of it, and some may have missed the point entirely.

“Jay” the individual who originally posted the pic, was of course making fun of the big game hunter memes, including one that featured a young athletic female with her rifle and her kills. I think that one was photoshopped but regardless, the reaction was hysterical in every sense of the word. The ones who got the Jurassic Bwanna meme featuring Speilberg (above) simply reacted with the frenzied vitriol that so often attends real imagery of the sort. This lead them to stay in the moment so to speak with regard to the hunting incident and spoof the insanity of the animal rights lobby, as if the tricerotops were really the victim of a homicide.

If the concern is conservation of species, bear in mind that latest research argues that at least in the sea, predation drives population growth rather than suppressing it. The conservation movement was begun and grown by sportsmen attempting to preserve sufficient numbers of prey to continue the sport. bear in mind that without predation you can’t have your KFC, McDonalds or sushi. Or for that matter a reasonably healthy and alert human population.

Murder, Death, Kill!

Top Predators [including hunters] Preserve Ecosystems

Problems arise when predatory species are thinned and not allowed to compete with human predation. Trolling, culling, and other species management methods used in the past to protect prey species from starvation are based on models that fail to account for the balance between predation and competition between prey or between hunters. A better approach will likely eliminate corporate “farmed livestock” and deep sea trolling with floating canneries.

In fact, sportsmen with their low stress approach to species management will be critical to a healthy biosphere as just one of the natural predators necessary to restore a balanced ecosystem.

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This Is Just a Middle-Aged Man Dressed as a Japanese Schoolgirl.

Now honestly. I have so many disparate responses that it’s hard to put it into words. I see a man in A Sailor Moon suit and I have to ask, is this a fetish or a hobby. The immediate response is to assume fetish, at least if you have grown up in the United Oper States of America during the lifetime of the Millennials. The immediate response is to assume he has some diabolical labyrinth of tunnels and cells where he keeps little Sailor Girls sewing skirts for him and darning his socks.

But what of middle aged Americans dressing as Darth Vader, or a random Airship Pirate and going off to comic con. The comparison is obvious but is it that they are as pathetic as him? Or is it that He’s as pathetic as they. But then there are the UoS or British Civil War reenactors. Where is the value in pointing muzzle loaders at one another and firing puffs of smoke while everyone lies down for a nap in fancy 17th century dress.

Ah but not all renactors are playing to a script! What about the Society for Cruddy Accoutrements? They really hit one another, and then there are the jousters and the ones who use live steel, albeit blunted, usually. Now those guys are for real so it’s not crazy right? Except didn’t some guy get killed in the utility tunnels under UC Berkeley back in the ’70s playing Chainmail the original LARP form of D&D? Oh wait we’ve come full circle haven’t we.

Like I said it just makes my head spin. Have a nice lunch and read a book.

 

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Travailing East

Author: Fred Grenvile

I’ve just completed a long stay with a dear friend and sister in faith and by adoption. It was a healing time, that helped me to regain some equilibrium and hopefully refresh my mind enough to finish some projects. I’m truly grateful for the opportunity and for the hospitality that she and her extended family and friends offered (in some cases proffered).

That said, I traveled by train. I’ve no particular distaste for flying, but the quarters a re cramped and the experience is made worse by the hysterical and draconian security measures. The body scanners for instance are a marvel of technology, and completely and utterly in opposition to the constitutional right to freedom from unreasonable search. So I took the train.

Trains are a source of liberty in travel, in that you can get up and move about. You don’t have to operate the vehicle yourself. You can eat, drink and relieve yourself on your own schedule, within reason, and never have to stop for either. But trains are not glamorous so in general they do not atrtact the brightest and best America has to offer. The crew of a train works very hard to provide as comfortable and safe an environment as possible, while dealing with the same complaining, selfish and hostile public that flies or buses or uses the highways.

The difference is that the members of the crew are often stretched beyond their mental, emotional and physical capacity by public service jobs. This is not a fault of the applicants, who certainly should be congradulated for getting work and keeping it, for stretching themselves and for enduring the harsh reality of living aboard public transportation. But they are being asked to do a job that should pay better and should be filled with brighter, more creative and in some cases younger people.

The smiling pretty face and efficient coping of the flight attendant, aboard AmTrak, is replaced with the obstreperous nature and limited abilities that would normally be found among the TSA or your local mall security. People doing their best with inadequate ability leads to mistakes. Couple that with an intermittantly and inadequately funded Railroad and you can imagine that some egregious events and equipment failures occur, regularly.

I want to thank the passengers and the crew of the trains I traveled on: The 14, the 3 and 4, the 50 and the 51. Thank you for making the best of a bad situation and for being human in an environment that encourages the ape within us all. And I thank God for getting me through it and that it is in fact over.

Until, yes, I intend to it again,

Fred

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Choo choo!

Author: Fred Grenvile

Siemens Steam Engine

Steam Power

This little Item from Professor Elemental’s FB fanpage caught my attention and held it. See the words are a bit ironic to me. It reminds me of an a somewhat dim acquaintance of mine that I spent a lot of time battling with over the last decade and a half. That is of course the subject for a different venue, let’s just say in a battle of wits his kit of choice is the Shield of Evil Banality and the Club of Low Cunning. He can always quote someone else’s witticism that will at least have some of the same words as the topic at hand.

But enough about that. The real issue is that the conversation in question started with him mocking Jay Leno for his avid interest in steam power. He finally fell to the question, why is it that you can only every find kits for low horsepower steam engines, none of which are organized as motors? That’s a paraphrase. He was never so articulate. I’m sure that ultimately he was trying to use his degenerate version of Scientology Lingo to seem witty. But he quite unwittingly tumbled onto a fine oddity.

He, like so many, believes that the internal combustion engine has supplanted and obsoleted steam power. Professor Elemental touches on that in the song linked above. He also points out wind power as an obsolete tech. I believe t he point of the song is that we had our hay-day mowing with gasoline and now we’ll have to buckle down and settle for steam. The implication is that it’s some sort pennence for the excesses of the 20’th century. But nothing could be more erroneous.

After World War I many ships were being converted to Diesel engine and this was a short lived detour that seemed like the big thing for the future. Mr. Diesel’s design for internal combustion is neat and “for a petroleum engine” marginally efficient. It doesn’t approach the the power and efficiency of a top fuel dragster or formula racer, but it does all right. And really, who wants a nitro-methane supercharged drag cruise-liner?

But the point here is that the foray into diesel was mostly a non-starter for really big vessels. Those that retain diesel today are mostly hybrid, using diesel to charge batteries that then run electric motorized screws. Even that design was scrapped on Naval vessels where, the big cruisers, carriers and subs use a nuke. Now my “friend” above was only too avid to concede that Nuclear (for texans: Nukular) power was the bomb. It’s latest and greatest, why it’s New Technology! Hmmm.

Reactors were invented in the 1930’s and used in the development of atomic weapons. Very new. Internal combustion dates from the late 19’th century, why that’s at least 40 years earlier. But there’s a problem with nuclear power.

Contrary to the Stark Trek ™ and Sci Fi vision, reactors are just giant furnaces where (in a terribly crude, even primitive way) zirconium plated metal rods are piled up till they get hot enough to spontaneously boil water. Said water “coolant” is driven through of all things a steam turbine which rapidly cools it. Then it is condensed in a coil and recirculated. This massively “high tech” generator is our old friend the steam engine.

Given the intense heat and radiation of a nuclear furnace, it’s probable that other means of gaining power from it are possible. But let’s face it, we’ve been living the steam punk fantasy for the last two hundred years. By burning hydrogen, oxygen and catalysts in various compounds, our wonderful liquid fueled rockets the main engines on the Space Shuttle are ultimately a form of–yes–steam power.

We are building windmills more often now. And I’m very happy to see it. As for some good old medieval tech, how about the hoover water-wheel. But it’s makes us feel more sophisticated to use terms like hydro-electric, harassing thermal energy, or reaction engines. So be it. All hail the heat expansion of aqueous fluid to provide mechanical energy!

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