Saturday, September 29, 2012

What ELSE are they not telling us?

I want you all to click thru to this video, then come back.
This will take some time- shake off your tl;dr and dive in.

American trust in the press is at a historical low and WE KNOW IT. I have my differences with the administration, and I think that Romney is to be trusted little more, if at all. But the saving grace has always been that we could trust the NEWS. Even if we couldnt trust the politicians, we could trust the reporters. Watergate is a pretty shallow pool compared to the depths we skate over today. The Constitutionally protected (not provided, protected; but thats a different rant) right to freedom of the press will be worth NOTHING if that right is abdicated for a few dollars.

Watergate was about staying in power- raiding the files for an inside view, then covering it up. We have the elements of a GLOBAL CONFRONTATION brewing, and we get fluff pieces about MTV Rejects continuing to do stupid things. A law abiding group of citizens concerned with profligate spending is labeled a terrorist organization, but a wastrel, unguided student movement that causes millions of dollars nationwide in damages is a Freedom movement? Meanwhile ACTUAL GODDAMN TERRORIST GROUPS ARE ATTACKING OUR DIPLOMATS WORLDWIDE and we are told its all our fault for letting some shitbrain asshole do what assholes are wont to do?
Think, for a monent, about Pakistan. The President is allowed to have a special, secret list, including American citizens therein, which nobody is allowed to see, except by his whim, and sends ROBOT ASSASSINS INTO SOVEREIGN NATIONS TO ELIMINATE THE PEOPLE ON IT AND THE PRESS IS OK WITH THIS!?! What if Bush had done this? What if Romney wins and decides that George Soros is on his list? What if Obama wins, and decides Rush Limbaugh is on his list? What if either of them tell the news outlets to report it as a heart attack AND THEY DO?

Hyperbole much? Maybe. But when the Ministry of Love tells you that we have always been at war with Eastasia and that chocolate rations have been increased, dont go looking for a free press to check against. Just take your Soma and go back to your view wall, Betas. Its all down the memory hole, and there is no Foundation to save us. All those dystopian futures that we read in sci-fi- all the systems in place, and we thought, "yeah, but what happened between now and then?" We are living it. Right now.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Does nature care as much for us as we for it.

Via Borepatch, a discussion CO2 efficiency. As for my personal views- I do believe we, as a species, have an obligation to protect and maintain the world ecology- our advances in technology have allowed us to counteract the forces of nature to a degree beyond any other species. This tech has been the catalyst for our success and developement. It has also allowed us to have a disproportionate effect on the world around us, meaning the fate of the world as we know it is in our figurative hands. Preferring to live and let live, I find it to be morally sound to lessen my impact on other species when I can. While I have very strong doubts about the science involved in AGW, I do not deny that we have had a negative impact on our habitat, and this is a problem. It would be a good thing to mitigate this effect.

However, TANSTAFL. Nuclear power is low air impact, but costly, and carries other hazards. Coal is cheaper, but has many environmental impacts. Natural gas burns much cleaner than coal, but fracking comes with its own costs (I prefer not to be able to light my tapwater on fire) The most carbon neutral energy source available is hydroelectric, but dams are under attack on many fronts. Every one of our sources has a cost.

There are some, of course, who feel we should do NONE of these things. Mainly, it seems, this idea is espoused by people who do not understand the further implications of their beliefs. I find quite an irony in the idea that there are groups of people who feel it is nobler, somehow, to be without- a form of asceticism, if you will. If everybody followed their lead, to give up all our technological progress, to the benefit of the natural world, we would then be subject to the whims of the natural, which are aggressive and devoid of mercy or regret. The strong will live, the weak will fail, and we would then be free of the forced acetics, and could regain our current state without their burden.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

No 2012 Farm Bill

While its a bit far afield from my gunny readers, I would take note of the failure to pass a Farm Bill for 2012. The House has recessed, making it a virtual certainty that there will be no replacement when the current bill sunsets, at the end of the month.

There are a few ways this will affect the population.

Firstly, scheduled farm subsidies will not have authority to be paid. I know, the Libertarian in me objects to farm subsidies, but the farmer in me knows theres precious little profit in it at ground level, and this money helps defray that fact. The subsidies may ne paod anyway, but without an active farm bill, there is no current authority to do so. This will have the effect of ruining more than a couple farmers that are on the edge. Further, it will reduce the food supply for next year, causing prices to rise.

Second, the authority to issue foos stamps is tied to the farm bill. In much the same way, food stamps MAY continue to go out- this will be entirely deficit money, as there is no law (LITERALLY NO LAW) that authorizes or even defines the rules for food stamps. If the check fails to go out- expect riots. Lots of riots. Because all those people receiving them will be both hungry and confused (and probably pissed off that their free money is not appearing).

Third, an issue related to the first. There is one farm bill that remains in effect, as it has no sunset provision. The farm bill of 1949 sets some subsidies based on the purchasing power of product raised. This is not ideal, because the food price has changed a LOT since this bill went into effect. The long and short of this is that food products will be worth more poured out on the ground and lit on fire than they are sold to consumers. Without a DRASTIC rise in food cost, we may easily see valuable food going to waste while starving people riot over the loss of their panum et circensis.

Unless this gets ironed out, be concerned. Very concerned.

Stay safe out there.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Slick Mittens vs the World

I am very much not a Republican. In point of fact, the top tier ends of both parties greatly concern me on behalf of the goal of liberty. The Democrat party wants to enslave me for some nebulous 'greater good.' The Republican party wants to enslave me to a corporate powerhouse. Lets not play games here, our nation was decidedly not in a healthier place when elite business owners were forcing their employees to work 90 hour weeks, for minimal compensation, in horrible conditions, prior to the rise of labor unions. Nor will we be any better when a ruthless mob makes policy, stealing everythimg from everyone to give to everyone else. The heart of the matter is that moderation is the key to balance, and NOBODY geys fired up about moderation.
Mitt Romney represents the least ideal combination of the two parties. I suspect that he will, in fact, do well to put the largest corporate policymakers more securely in the seat of power. I suspect that he will do little to rein in the spending and profligate waste of resources at the Federal levek. At the same time, I suspect he will be a failure on the civil rights front. Governments expansion with regressive social policy. A fiscal liberal and a social conservative. The Dark Side of moderate.
Today, the Democrats are jaded, disappointed in their star pupil- he was given every opportunity and he has failed them. The Republican party, however, is fired up. They are ready and willing to put an R back on top, no matter who it is. Mitt Romney has rewritten his image to conform to their demands, but I do not believe he has changed his core beliefs. The end result is the Republican party could very well, in their thirst for a Conservative in Chief, push a man into high office that would never have otherwise been able to sustain their interest.

The long shot is, a rabidly conservative base is in a position to elect a moderate, none if whose real policies agree with theirs, to replace an abject failure, none of whose policies are his own, in the office of the President. The MOST ironic part is that there is no other way to elect him. The right despises his political views as much as the left.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

I'm back...

ish. I took a bit of a break there, because things have been hectic. In fact, they still are. We are closing in rapidly on the date of arrival for our newest family member, our firstborn son. I still have to finish the home we are living in. And life continues to be Interesting on a global front. So I think its time to post more paranoid ramblings, as well as finish up some of the series I have started. Stay tuned, if anyone missed me, just dont expect a great volume. Like I said, life is hectic.

Legacy skills

I love legacy skills. Legacy skills are the ones that are being eroded by science and technology, or require tools no longer in common use, or belong to a class of things that 'people just dont do', those people being the nebulous 'Average Americans'. I sat on the floor today and hemmed curtains for Danger's bedroom, wearing a gun in a handmade leather holster, and I may can some homegrown tomatoes tomorrow. Thankfully, I come from a family filled with people who still DO stuff like that... :-)