Friday, March 29, 2019

Ignorance, Hypocrisy, and Fracking

No sooner was Rep. Alldyslexia Occasional-Cortex's infamous Green New Deal voted away (47 to 0) than the House Democrats came up with a new, somewhat watered-down version which, no doubt, they'll be trying to sell to the voters over the next few weeks at least.  The details haven't been published yet, but what little information has leaked out includes the wonderfully Green commitment to abolishing all use of "fossil fuels" -- including coal, petroleum, and natural gas.    Of course there's a commitment to ending the practice of "fracking".

Now I certainly would agree that we've got to stop burning coal and petroleum;  they're much too valuable to burn!  Coal and petroleum are much more useful in chemical reactions than for burning up and turning into air pollution.  Besides, once those fossil deposits are used up, there won't be any more of them.  Yes, it's possible to create, in a fashion, coal and petroleum -- by vacuum-baking wood into charcoal and squeezing oil out of jojoba nuts -- but we'll never make enough that way to make them economically viable as fuel.  Better to make internal-combustion engine fuel out of ethanol -- which can be made, by half a dozen different processes, from cellulose.  Also better to make diesel oil from algae, which a lot of companies along the west coast are doing right now.  In fact, the US Navy has established two fuel depositories -- one on the east coast and one on the west -- containing algae-sourced biodiesel fuel: enough to supply whole fleets of ships.  Yes, it is possible to replace coal and petroleum with "renewable" fuel.

For that matter, it's possible to replace standard Uranium and Plutonium-based nuclear power-plants with much safer and cheaper Thorium-salts reactors, which produce enough heat to boil water to make steam to turn generators, without ever getting close to being fissionable.  For some reason the Green Deal pushing Reps. don't mention any funding for research and development of Thorium reactors, although the govt. of India has already done so. 

But what particularly floors me is their inclusion of "natural gas" among the fuels they want banned.  "Natural gas" is nothing more than methane, which is produced by natural processes, such as the farts (more accurately, belches) from all those cows that AOC wants banned.  It's created in nature by microbes breaking down organic compounds -- particularly in swamps, which is where "swamp gas" comes from.  It's entirely a renewable fuel;  there are countless books on homesteading which tell how to build methane generators that process compost into methane and fertilizer.  So why is methane ranked among the Greens' devils? 

For one thing, because oil companies have recently made a habit of bringing up methane deposits deep in the ground by "fracking", and fracking -- by anybody's definition -- is seriously bad news.  It consists of pumping raw sewage deep into levels of fractured bedrock so as to force the methane to the surface.  This pollutes the water-table and causes earthquakes, as well as uncontrolled methane upwellings.  Fracking is an environmental disaster, and far be it from me to oppose putting an end to the wretched practice.  Especially when its so easy to create methane, and under far safer conditions.

For another thing, because methane is considered a "greenhouse gas" that traps the sun's heat near the earth and contributes to global warming -- ooops, excuse me: "climate change".  But there are also natural processes which have been breaking down methane for ages, particularly lightning, which strikes somewhere on earth at least 200 times per second -- and where lightning passes through methane, it quickly burns/oxydizes the gas into carbon dioxide and water.  Carbon dioxide is another natural compound which nature has dealt with likewise for ages, primarily through plants.  Plants -- all of them -- inhale carbon dioxide and exhale oxygen.  Animals inhale the oxygen and produce carbon dioxide.  This exchange has been going on as long as there has been life on earth, and shows no signs of slowing down.  The solution to carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is to plant more plants, especially trees, which inhale a lot more of the stuff than smaller plants, and for much longer time.

So, to anyone who passed junior high school biology, the solution to global warming -- ooops, "climate change" -- is to plant a lot of trees, thereby reforesting the continent, and... encouraging lightning.  That is, if lightning needs to be encouraged.  We could also put up electric arc-generators near every swamp and cow-pasture a helluva lot cheaper than doing without cars, trains, or airplanes, especially if we get serious about developing Thorium nuclear generators. 

Now, anybody who has really bothered to study ecology, or biology, or simple chemistry, let alone "atmospheric sciences" would know this.  So are the "green wave" Democrats ignorant, or just hypocritical?  Why, after the firm defeat of the disastrous Green New Deal are they still pushing any incarnation of that mess? 

--Leslie <;)))>< 


Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Painted Into A Corner

The problem with selling a big lie is that you have to keep adding more and more lies to shore it up, and eventually somebody digs out just one truth that takes the whole structure down.  I saw a little kid do this, back in grade-school, when he played hooky from school and then had to create an excuse to his teacher the next day, so he said his mother had been hit by a car and was in the hospital.  The teacher called his home address, got the boy's father who was home for lunch, and asked about the accident.  Since the mother was actually out shopping, the father knew nothing about this and got considerably upset, and began phoning the local hospitals.  The hospitals called the police.  I forget what stories the kid came up with to get around that, but by the end of the day the kid had a lot of explaining to do.

I'm reminded of that by the amazing stuff we're seeing from the Democrat-supporting media these days.  Consider: a lunatic in New Zealand shot up a local mosque, mentioned Trump exactly once in his published manifesto (saying only that he liked Trump as a "symbol of renewed identity", but as for his policies: "Dear God, no!"), whereby the news media happily blamed Trump's "rhetoric" for the massacre.

How did they explain that?  By claiming that Trump "covers and excuses White Supremacy".  Never mind that Trump has never said anything in favor of White Supremacy;  no, he's somehow supposed to be giving "dog whistles" to White Supremacists with everything he says.  How does that work?  Why, because Trump supporters are all White Supremacists, of course!  Millions of adults voted for Trump;  therefore there's a "huge surge in White Supremacy throughout America".  Where's the evidence for this?  Claims from, if you please, the Southern Poverty Law Center -- which, incidentally, makes its considerable money from donations under the excuse of "fighting White Supremacy in America".  Uhuh.

If you bother to go to the FBI's website and look up its annual Uniform Crime Reports statistics, you'll see that the numbers of "white supremacist" groups, and their members, are minuscule.  According to the FBI, there are maybe 100 real neo-Nazis in the entire US, not counting their nearly 20 FBI infiltrators.  There are maybe 500 real Ku Klux Klansmen in the country, likewise not counting their FBI watchers.  The number of Black Nationalist groups, and members, is immensely larger.  As for "hate crimes", the vast majority of religious hate-crimes are aimed at Jews.  Of hate-crimes targeting Muslims in the last five years, half turned out to be hoaxes, and the other half were committed by other Muslims.  The single group found committing the majority of "hate crimes" is the Muslims.

It's no surprise that the FBI no longer lists the SPLC as a "reliable source", and no longer links to it on the FBI website.

The Threat of White Supremacists is a hoax, created and inflated by the liberal/Democrat-sympathizing media for political reasons.  It's part and parcel of the anything-to-get-Trump nuttiness we've seen the Democrats pushing for the last several months, from the blatant Jew-hatred of their new federal Representatives, through the Green New Deal, to Rep. Jackson Lee's new demand for "reparations for slavery" from all Americans to exclusively Black Americans.  The passionate ideological craziness is alienating more voters every day -- accusing everyone who doesn't vote for you of being a potentially-murderous neo-Nazi is not the way to win sympathizers -- but the Democrats don't seem to be able to stop.

How long can they keep painting themselves into a corner like this?  Already, cracks are appearing in the facade.  Minor news outlets are noticing that, during the same week as the New Zealand massacre, Muslim extremists in Nigeria massacred several hundred Christians -- which none of the major news media covered.  Direct news coverage of the New Zealand is being censored, to the point where a local teenager has been arrested and threatened with 14 years in jail for video-streaming on-the-spot footage of the massacre  --  which showed details contrary to the police reports -- and that news is beginning to spread.  CNN hosted a Muslim journalist, Dr. Qanta Ahmed, to denounce Trump's "role" in the New Zealand massacre, but instead she claimed that: "Viewers should know that this president and this administration is often castigated as Islamophobic, but I move in the Muslim world -- where this president... and the Republican Party, going back to George Bush, is very dearly held" largely because of the overthrow of Saddam Hussein and the continuing war against ISIS.  Oops.

Not even in North Korea does the govt. has such a stranglehold on all information as to keep the truth from getting around.  The image of America as full of fascist-White-Supremacists is beginning to break already, and the pushers thereof are losing credibility fast.  But how can the Democrats get themselves out of the corner they've painted themselves into?  They'd have to deny so very much that they've already preached, and how can they pull that off without losing the rest of their own base?

My hope is that the majority of the voters will follow my suggestion.  "A plague on both their houses; vote Libertarian."

--Leslie <;)))><                 

Monday, March 11, 2019

The Curse of the Running Mouth Redux

Big news for the last week or so has been the Democrats trying frantically to cover for the blatant Jew-hatred being spouted by their shiny-new House Reps.

Rashaida Tlaib has been cozying up in public with Maher Abdel-Qader, a big fund-raiser for her election campaign, who's famous for his amazingly anti-Semitic videos that claim, among other things: that Jews aren't really Jewish, but they're really Satanic anyway,  they never really lived in Israel, the Holocaust never really happened, and the Jews control all the news-media, so you can't trust any of it --  except when it's attacking Trump, of course.

Ilhan Omar merrily spouted some amazing Jew-hatred and Israel-hatred on her job in Congress, which had Nancy Pelosi scrambling to soften its effects.  The Democrats started to put together a motion censuring Omar and taking a stand against anti-Semitism, but Tlaib and Omar wouldn't play along.  Omar flatly refused to even apologize, and the two of them obliged the Democrats to water down their motion to a vague and wishy-washy statement against all "hatred", which didn't convince anyone.  Then Omar started attacking Obama, if you please: criticizing his use of drones in the war with ISIS, and caging migrant children at the southern border, a charge Democrats usually throw at Trump.  Other Democrats leaned on Omar, who took down her post, but didn't apologize for it.  Instead she accused the media of misinterpreting what she said, and insisted that she was really an Obama fan.

Despite her quarrels with Nancy Pelosi, Omar still has backing among Democrats.  The amazing Ocasio-Cortez -- even as her "Green New Deal" proposal has gone missing from her website -- has continued to heap praises on Omar, calling her "one of the most effective voices (in Congress) right now".  She also insists that AIPAC -- the officially Israeli lobby -- is "coming after" her, and Omar, and Tlaib, for which there's no evidence whatever.

What all this noisy and fashionable Jew-hatred has accomplished is to make a lot of Jewish Democrats decide that the Democratic Party is no longer a safe place for them.  House Rep Lee Zeldin (Dem., NY) sounded off about Omar and Tlaib in front of Congress.  A disgruntled Jewish group formed a new PAC called Jexodus, urging other Jews to quit the Democrats and look anywhere else for politicians and policies that will welcome them.

They're following two earlier groups: Blexit (disgruntled Black voters) and #Walkaway (disgruntled ex-Democrats in general).  These new ex-Democrats don't necessarily love the Republicans either -- quite the contrary in some cases -- but they've had enough of the current Democrat agenda.

I could give them a suggestion, of course: a plague on both their houses;  vote Libertarian!

But what intrigues me about this hemorrhaging of voters is how quickly the Democrats brought it on themselves.  Less than four months, and the great Blue Wave is disintegrating!  How did that happen?

Could it be because the Democrat platform was a media-propaganda bubble in the first place?  After all, for the past two years the Democrats have based everything they say or do on Getting Trump.  Whatever he'd propose, say, or even joke, they'd howl for the opposite.  They managed to convince themselves that Trump got elected only because he's a ray-ray-racist (despite lack of evidence), and everybody who voted for him was ray-ray-racist -- and, of course, sexist too -- so naturally they felt obliged to put up candidates who were "ethnic" and female whenever possible.  Ocasio-Cortez shamelessly admitted that she simply went to an audition by a PAC calling themselves Justice Democrats, who liked her style and hired her on the spot, and afterward ran her campaign for her.   Much the same worked for Omar and Tlaib.  The Democratic National Committee picked its candidates not with any great concern for their policies but because of how good they looked and sounded on TV -- when properly coached by their personal Public Relations managers.  This election was a media-blown bubble, and easily burst once the candidates had won their seats and felt confident enough to start saying what they really believed.  They promptly turned on Nancy Pelosi, whom the Democrats had worked so hard to keep in power as the Speaker of the House, and now they've started turning on Obama too.  They've become a disaster for the Democrats.

But why did these shiny-new Dem reps start ignoring their PR coaches and say what they really thought?  What made them ignore their managers, turn on their former mentors, shut off the common-sense censors in their head, and start blatting their stupidities and bigotries to the world? 

Well...  Gee, maybe it was witchcraft.

Way back during the Nixon administration, when I was living in Chicago, I was part of a psychic study group that did a lot of interesting experiments.  Not having the funds of an academic or govt. department, we couldn't afford much in the way of equipment, but we made good use of what we had -- and carefully recorded everything.  After a few years of study we came up with some solid conclusions: (1) Yes, psychic phenomena are real;  (2) No, we don't know what form of energy powers them, though we have some ideas;  (3)  There are different specific "talents" and strengths thereof, which vary with the individual.  The most common of these is "empathy": the ability to receive or send emotional states or sensory impressions.  (4) The ability to summon and manipulate psychic energy seems to be rooted in the mid-brain, which reacts to emotions and sensory input rather than logic and reason, so it has to be manipulated by carefully-crafted little psycho-dramas which raise the sensory images and emotions needed to arouse, aim, and release the psychic transmission;  this is called a "ceremony", or "ritual", or "spell".

Well, we experimented with a lot of "spells", usually healings, but not always.  I believe I mentioned in an earlier post about "The Getting of Falwell" and his so-called Million Christian March on Washington -- and how it came to be rained out.  I don't think I've ever published the account of our spell for getting Nixon.

We did a lot of research, measured our psychic strengths and weaknesses, and finally concluded that the best way to get him was through Empathic Projection to make him reveal what Arlo Guthrie called his "natural bastardness".  So we put together a ceremony designed to get all of us into the right level of brain--wave activity, focused on an image of Nixon until we felt we could connect to him, then read a poem (which I'd helped write) flattering his vanity, telling him that the whole world was waiting with bated breath to hear his words, that he should ignore all those enemies who were just jealous of him, throw caution to the winds, and say exactly what he thought and felt, and make sure the world heard him.  (We also sent a copy of the poem, by mail, to the White House -- knowing Nixon himself would never read it, but simply to get it into his proximity and use it as a focus.)  Then we used all our built-up psychic charge to project that idea at him.  We called it The Curse of the Running Mouth.

It's probably a coincidence that Nixon started tape-recording himself around that time, but we all know what happened as a result of those tapes. 

Anyway, we went on to other experiments, and learned that once we'd become adept enough at getting into the right state of brain-wave activity, and focusing, and releasing, we really didn't need that much of a theatrical ceremony, or psycho-drama.  A half-hour's meditation and visualization could do it. I find it easiest to use music and candles or stone discs.  One of us -- I'll call him Hank -- developed a handy technique of dropping into meditative state, visualizing a sort of changing-booth with mirror walls around a subject, and projecting a "spell" inside it.  All these systems worked moderately well, often depending on how strongly the operator felt about the working.

Well, time passed and the lot of us went on to other jobs and other things.  We scattered to the four winds, and some of us died in the following years, but I kept at least tenuous contact with the survivors.

'Twas shortly after the "blue wave" election last autumn that I heard from Hank, who was truly dismayed by the composition and direction of the new House of Reps, as well as infuriated by the political power of the nasty anti-semite, Linda Soursewer.  We commiserated a bit, and then recalled the old days in Chicago, and came up with an idea.  I suggested he put one of his psychic "changing-booths" around Soursewer -- with The Curse of the Running Mouth inside.  He remembered the basic theme of that projection, cheered up quiet a bit, and promised to "drop a changing-booth" on her.

Perhaps it was just coincidence, but within a week Soursewer was in trouble for the things she'd started saying publicly.

Next time Hank called with political grumbles, I congratulated him on the success of his "changing-booth", and recommended that he do the same with those nasty new Muslimas in Congress.  He happily agreed.  "But what about Alldyslexia Occasional Cortex?" he asked.  "She's as bad as the other two."  I told him not to bother with her;  "She's doing a fine job on her own," I said.  "Don't waste energy on her."

He chuckled, and agreed.  Not too long after that Omar and Tlaib started spouting their blatant Jew-hatred to the world, and throwing the Democrats into a tizzy.  As for AOC, she seems to have done just fine pushing her Green New Deal -- and picking fights with high-ranking Democrats -- by herself.

It's probably just a coincidence.  After all, those three Democrat front-women really were like that to begin with, and maybe their new fame -- and money -- and adulation just went to their heads.  Plenty of lottery-winners have fallen in much the same way.

Nonetheless, Hank, I congratulate you on the success of your changing-booths.

--Leslie <;)))><     


Friday, March 1, 2019

The Filker-Russian Collusion Case

Hearing the usual TV news tonight I was suddenly reminded of an incident years ago which could have been -- according to the logic of the news media -- a case of collusion between Russia and, if you please, me.  

Now this was better than a decade ago, back when Bush was still president, at a WorldCon (in LA, I think, but don't quote me).  I was there, as usual, to sing at all the filksings and help peddle albums.  As usual, I'd spent the first afternoon checking out the dealers' room.  Among other things, I found there a table displaying a lot of Russian military insigniae, tools, and even a whole uniform for sale.  I noticed that because -- this being after Glasnost, when 'twas well known that Russia was in really bad economic shape -- I'd heard that the country was so badly off that it couldn't pay the majority of its army.  It made sense that its military was selling off anything small and portable;  that was possibly how the Russian Sci-Fi fans behind the table had paid their way to WorldCon.  I paused to admire the goods, and said some flattering things about the pretty designs -- and noted also that the Russian fans spoke quite fluent American English.  Uhuh.  These guys had some connection to the Russian govt. somewhere.  I wondered why the Russian govt. would bother to send agents -- no matter how far down in the ranks -- to the World Science Fiction Convention.  Were they hoping to pick up crumbs of new US scientific explorations?  Stranger things have happened.

Anyway, a day or so later, after my afternoon concert, I wound up lunching with a couple other fen in the hotel coffee-shop, and one of the Russians asked if he could have one of the empty seats at our table.  Well, sure.  We ate lunch and talked fandom topics for awhile, and the Russian gradually pulled the conversation around to politics.  Of course, I asked how things were in the old country now that the Cold War was over.  He got noticeably morose, admitted that the economy was in bad shape, and then complained that it didn't have to be that way;  "Siberia has more oil reserves than Saudi Arabia", he said, "But we have no way of developing it."

Now I, a mere entertainer, could readily see the answer to that.  "So, go to Bush," I said, munching a french-fry.  "He'll be happy to help out."

"...What?" said the Russian, looking slightly pole-axed.

"President Bush," I explained.  "He's an old oil-man.  He has plenty of contacts in the oil business, and they'd be happy to develop a whole new oil-field.  Just make an appointment with him, and persuade him to put together a consortium of his old buddies to develop Russia's oil industry."

"...Just make an appointment, with the President of the United States..." said the Russian.  "Just like that."

"Well, tell the Russian ambassador to make the appointment, actually," said I, pausing to take another bite of my cheeseburger.  "Given the subject you want to discuss, I'm pretty sure he'll be interested."

"Why?" asked the Russian, pulling his jaw back up.

"To get another oil-source, of course," said I.  "Everyone knows we can't trust the Arabs.  Frankly, we'd much rather deal with Russia."

"...Why?" he asked again.

"Because Russians may be paranoid, but they're not religious fanatics -- and they've given up on trying to conquer the world, which the Arabs haven't.  They can be talked to sensibly, about practical things -- like world peace, and survival."

"...Anything else?" he tried.

"Sure," said I, around a mouthful of beer.  "For one thing, we'd like Russia to stay strong enough to counter-balance China.  For another, we really don't want to see millions of Russians starve."

He just nodded, with his mouth still hanging open. I finished my cheeseburger and beer, and waved for the waitress to bring my bill.

"...Make an appointment with Bush..." he mumbled again, as if wrapping his head around the idea.

"And don't take less than 7% royalties on the deal," I said, getting up.  "Good luck." 

And I walked off and went to pay my bill, and then got back to the filksinging.  I didn't see him again, and the convention was lively enough that I soon forgot about him. 

I didn't even think about that whole exchange until several months later, when I happened to see a sideline article in the news-feeds -- about how Bush had put together a consortium of oil companies to develop untapped petroleum fields... in Siberia.  That set me to wondering.  Did that Russian fan duly report all I'd said to some bureaucrat who considered it seriously, and did the Russian govt. actually take my advice?

Gee, did that mean that I colluded with the Russian govt. to "meddle" in the US's foreign policy?

--Leslie <;)))><