Next Governing

I’m not writing an essay but making a point that I am beginning to believe this election has been poorly analyzed.

Lost in fabricated issues and lightweight media, the demographic and cultural reshaping of government is not yet adequately reported.

It’s not Lieberman or Gingrich or Huckabee, or Hillary and Bill for that matter. Nor the silly screens of pundits hiding villains never seen.

It’s ignorance that fought to rule America and it’s ignorance that failed.

Strength Waste

Treason is theft of history.

It’s not $700 billion that costs us. It’s not loud radio or weak media. It’s not easy war and took budgets. We’re cut deep by great misery. We’re taken from our humanity. We’re left without trust.

We earn tomorrow.
Blood has let us rule ourselves.

Proud PU

Found at the blog of Daniel Florien, ‘a passionate evangelical Christian for over a decade now figuring out what it means to be an unbeliever and skeptic’, this is the November cover of American Conservative. [link]

Bush’s Broken Record
The 43rd president leaves office without a legacy to stand on.

Bush’s Broken Record

Military Socialism

Republicans scream Socialism! Not including health, education or infrastructure, more than 52% of our annual budget is spent on controlling the military market, rarely open to competition, and certainly not what trumpets call a free market.

We already have large-scale industrial policy in the United States and it’s called “defense procurement”

  1. Why does the United States have one of the most robust aircraft-manufacturing industries in the world? The answer is not that pure free markets have, through the workings of a natural law, granted us such a bounty.
  2. Why does the United States have one of the most sophisticated, innovative electronics industries in the world? Raytheon’s take from the Pentagon in 2006: $10.4 billion; Computer Sciences, $2.7 billion. And so on. General Motors received $806 million dollars that year, mostly from the Army, enough to make it the fortieth largest defense contractor on the list…

Building a Green Economy or a workable medical system is not revolutionary. We already use centrally planned industrial policy.

Wasted Detroit

Since 1980 GM and Ford blew through $465 billion…

With that $465 billion, “GM and Ford could have closed their own facilities and acquired all of the shares of Honda, Toyota, Nissan, and Volkswagen.”

Classical Bail-Out

The Tired Fools blog found a credit crunch in ancient Rome, Tacitus’ “The Annals of Imperial Rome”:

Tacitus’ Accusers were now intensely active. Their present targets were men who enriched themselves by usury, infringing laws by which the dictator Julius Ceasar had controlled loans and land-ownership in Italy. Since patriotism comes second to private profits, this law had long been ignored. Money-lending is an ancient problem in Rome, and a frequent cause of disharmony and disorder. Even in an earlier, less corrupt society steps had been taken against it.

Fraudulence, attacked by repeated legislation, was ingeniously revived after each successive counter-measure. …when the capitalists received payment they hoarded it…

Then Tiberius came to the rescue. He distributed a hundred million among specially established banks… [but as] usual, the beginning was strict, the sequel slack.

Claim on Hope Diamond

Hope Diamond at the SmithsonianWhen it rains it pours. Poor America is being hit on all corners.

The Hope Diamond on display at the Smithsonian [wiki] may not belong to us.

France’s National Museum of Natural History say they can show beyond reasonable doubt that the Hope Diamond, once owned by King Louis XIV, was looted in the French Revolution.

“The evidence corroborates a scenario under which the diamond, after being stolen in Paris in 1792, was swiftly smuggled to London, where it was recut. The Blue Diamond came from a massive, 115.6-carat blue-tinged stone mined in the kingdom of Golconda, in India’s Hyderabad state. In the mid-17th century, a French adventurer by the name of Jean-Baptiste Tavernier purchased the stone from Golconda’s ruler and then sold it on to Louis XIV.

“After Louis XVI tried to flee revolutionary France, the French crown jewels were sequestered by the revolutionary regime and held in a mansion on the Place de la Concorde in Paris, where they were stolen in a five-day spree by a gang in September 1792. From then on, the Blue Diamond was never seen or heard of again.

“But suspicions began to be aroused in 1812, when a massive blue stone of 45.54 carats was attributed to a London diamond merchant, Daniel Eliason. Its next known owner was a British banker, Henry Philip Hope. The diamond showed up in his catalog, but with no details of its provenance. After Hope’s death, the gem was bequeathed to his nephew and ultimately the nephew’s grandson, who sold it to pay off debts.

“In the 20th century, it passed into American hands and eventually was donated by Harry Winston Inc. of New York to the Smithsonian in 1958.”

Theory of Perception

Alva Noë, Professor of PhilosophyAlva Noë
We should reject the idea that the mind is something inside of us that is just a calculating machine.

Simply put: there is nothing inside us that thinks and feels and is conscious.

Consciousness is not something that happens in us.

It is something we do.

University Trough

Sipping the Campus:
Census Bureau figures for 2007 show the median income for U.S. households rose by 1.3 percent but salaries for university presidents increased by 7.6 percent with the number of presidents making more than $700,000 nearly doubling from eight to 15.

Got Blank?

Ping-Pong Balls and White NoiseGet your home-made hallucinations now!

Less risky than Moral Turpitude [wiki], much cheaper than Dr. John Lilly’s Isolation Tank [wiki], Mind Hacks points to an article on hallucinations using the ‘Ganzfeld Procedure’.

This must be a Baby-Boomer’s Must-Do, Revenge Of The Unexplored, A How To Guide to Left Over Ping-Pong Balls Lost in the Rumpus Room [wiki].

Used in parapsychology, also to induce hallucinations, the Ganzfeld procedure creates ‘unstructured sensations’ by placing half ping-pong balls over the eyes to see diffuse white light and by playing white noise through headphones.

Storms of Fire

I’m certain the building codes in southern California will be updated to force sprinkler systems on residences.

It’s not an easy task for architects and builders. The engineering is daunting. The liability is a Pandora’s Box in an insurance market already burdened with litigation and institutionalized avoidance. Delivering adequate water during a firestorm is nearly an impossible challenge for public agencies.

Wildfire roof sprinkler system from CalairAustralia’s Calair Pipe Systems makes a variety of nozzles for outside or external sprinklers to protect homes and buildings from wildfire. Their Fire-Pro System includes heat engineered polymer pipe, nozzles and activation sensors.

The intense heat of a storm of fire may overwhelm any system, but risk is most often from embers flying through miles of neighborhoods not merely proximity vegetation. An automatic sprinkler system might be the breakthrough homeowners are looking for, but there’s much work ahead.

Wet helps, but winds of fire at 50 or 70 miles per hour can boil water away in moments.

Extensive Flash slide shows are here at LA’s CBS TV and another at LATimes.

Southern Caliifornia Fire Storm Wind-driven fire embers

America is intellectually isolated

George Monbiot at The Telegraph:

Ignorant politicians are elected by ignorant people.

The founding fathers of the republic – Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, John Adams, Alexander Hamilton and others – were among the greatest thinkers of their age. They felt no need to make a secret of it. How did the project they launched degenerate into George W Bush and Sarah Palin?

In the most powerful nation on earth, one adult in five believes the sun revolves round the earth; only 26% accept that evolution takes place by means of natural selection; two-thirds of young adults are unable to find Iraq on a map; two-thirds of US voters cannot name the three branches of government; the maths skills of 15-year-olds in the US are ranked 24th out of the 29 countries of the OECD.

But this merely extends the mystery: how did so many US citizens become so stupid, and so suspicious of intelligence?

…”the degradation of US politics results from a series of interlocking tragedies“.

Overwhelming FAIL

Joined Apart
How many brilliant never get opportunity?

Thom. Jefferson said the free is the place we find tomorrow.

There’s no other task.

“Talent is being able to build things that others can’t build. Genius is being able to build things that others can’t see.”

Just ask the wild-eyed visionaries!

They can and do exist, and it’s time we enfranchised them, gave them voice.

Whether it was Ford or the Wright Brothers or Edison, inventions and innovations often came as a result of considerable collaboration and teamwork. Of course they were wild eyed, but there was a lot of collaboration, a lot of iterating, a lot of persistence, a lot of perseverance.

Solo invention is very very rare and often misrepresented; collaborators have been left out of the credits; history has painted a false picture about the sheer process of invention and innovation.

Clear as Corruption

I wish there were something we could do. There is so much draining our society, bullies, pirates and pathology, and such a good world if we could do better.

David Brooks, still too polite, at the NYTimes:

It is all a reminder that the biggest threat to a healthy economy is not the socialists of campaign lore. It’s C.E.O.’s. It’s politically powerful crony capitalists who use their influence to create a stagnant corporate welfare state.

Our Costly Mind

It’s nuts wanting better than simple.

I’ve met only fools that think we are not foolish.
And greater fools putting themselves wise.
Ignorance is the hiding place of bullies,
illness clustered in rank.

It’s tender folks I respect.
And aspiring folks more.

Impressive Jet Engine

Several jet engines are being developed to increase efficiency. This is the GE-90 with 4 times the performance for the price.

Huge isn’t it?

GE 90 - new jet engine

FAIL Our Forever

I give our media a red-circled F during this election for no other reason than they were too tender and too pandering to study lies about oil. It matters.

In the graph below, Oil Production to 2030, you will see no increase in oil production for nations that are not OPEC or radical or just plain nuts.

Yet the nuts running for office in our land dared to buy propaganda luring us to Alaska’s pittance and long shot deep water speculations while editors and pundits failed to tell us there are no facts in these expensive political billboards and commercials.

Putting an end to hot air might be one of the most important tasks in our energy future.

We might find another Saudi Arabia under our feet and drain a few extra years, but we will not get there in a politics of lies that our timid and well-dressed media fails to stop. There’s much to be done. Science and good thinking will help us.

Oil production to 2030

Statistics of Con

Millions of Americans can barely differentiate between lies and truth.

We live in two Americas.

One America, now the minority, functions in a print-based, literate world. It can cope with complexity and has the intellectual tools to separate illusion from truth.

The other America, which constitutes the majority, exists in a non-reality-based belief system. This America, dependent on skillfully manipulated images for information, has severed itself from the literate, print-based culture.

It cannot differentiate between lies and truth. It is informed by simplistic, childish narratives and cliches. It is thrown into confusion by ambiguity, nuance and self-reflection. This divide, more than race, class or gender, more than rural or urban, believer or nonbeliever, red state or blue state, has split the country into radically distinct, unbridgeable and antagonistic entities.

There are over 42 million American adults, 20 percent of whom hold high school diplomas, who cannot read, as well as the 50 million who read at a fourth- or fifth-grade level.

Nearly a third of the nation’s population is illiterate or barely literate. And their numbers are growing by an estimated 2 million a year.