Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Prison System

A friend of mine came up with this idea - the more I think about it the more I like it, which means it has no chance of actually happening - which should make the bleeding harts and the criminals happy.

Problems - Over crowded prisions, cost of running prisions too high.

Solution - Contract our prisons to China.   Yep - pay China to run them, in China.

Think of the upsides:
Much better deterrent.
It'll be much cheaper.
We won't care if they escape.
We can use that real estate for something useful.
Property values will go up in those areas.

slight increase in our massive trade imbalance - really slight, less than the rounding errors.

Oh yeah, the people who are more concerned with criminal rights than victim rights won't like it.   Wait - what victim rights, we don't have victim rights.

In keeping with my belief that people should take responsiblity for they're own actions.  Unless someone was actually holding a gun/knife on you or a family member.  When you do something - it was your decision, your action therefore your responsibility.  It wasn't society or your parents or your bad teachers - you decided, you acted, you're responsible.

So, I'm thinking sentences should be based on how long it will take the future inmate to pay off his dept to the victims, and repay the system for having to deal with their crap.

So - you work or you don't eat, and you don't sleep inside.
You work enough and you get 3 good meals from food you grew your self (or traded for), and you get to sleep inside.    You work a bit harder and you get to start paying off the victim.   A bit harder and you get to start paying off your incarceration fee.   When your balance hits zero - we let you go.  Have a nice day.

Some people are going to think this is a bit harsh - well how harsh was it when the criminal violated the rights of the victim?

Friday, February 24, 2012

News bias and Conspiracy Theories

I havent' read this book yet, but it's on my list - hard to resist a free book.   Well free after the price of a kindle (and I'm on my 4th - really have to stop bouncing them off the cement).

Matt Braken's Novel Enemies Foreign and Domestic

Read This  - Then on March 1, go get your free book.   Why do I care?  Let's just say that there are a few (very very few) conspiracies theories that I think might be true and the DOJ attempting to kill the 2nd Amendment is one.

There is only one reason to disarm the people - and that's to convert them from citizens to subjects.   Any other reason you might have heard is just smoke screen.

I don't get my news From FOX - don't have Cable,  I get my news from various sites - some domestic, some foreign (completely different view points).  I do listen to NPR.  The trick is not finding an unbiased source - no such critter, the trick is knowing what the bias is.

Gas again

Prices at my local station when from 3.49 to 3.99 in the last two weeks.  (For regular)   This is just going to suck.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

You're a What?

Oh this is just so close to.... PERFECT.    I was libertarian before they went and screwed it up.  Now I'm not sure what I am.    Got the Mac, Got the Face Palm,  Don't have the suit. 

Just Can't Leave it Alone

Was reading the anti-soma and she posts Speaking as a Woman  - all I can say is Sweet!  Go read it - read the blogs she points to or the rest of it won't make much sense - it's very topical.    I just had this conversation a week or two ago,  which brought up an old memory from collage.

Me:   Standing near door trying to decide if I'm going out to the library or back to the Student Union where I can guzzle coffee while I read.

Me:  Spots person heading for door,  Moves to the side and opens the door for Her.

Her:  Slaps me and says "I can open my own doors",  stomps out.

Me:  Opens door and shouts "I didn't open it because your a Lady - you just proved you're not,  I opened it because I'm a Gentleman".

Pretty much spent the rest of the day glaring at women.   Don't get me wrong - I think women are great - in the abstract.

Here is where I put my foot in it - I'm going to GENERALIZE (almost always a bad idea).

About Nice Men and Bad Boys.    I always hear the bitching about no nice men, we're all boys, never grow up......   If your a guy you've heard it - probably often.   Read an article in a magazine and the women will tell you they want Mr Right, Mr Nice, Mr Understanding, but they don't date those guys because they're not exciting, no they date the bad boy, then wonder why their lives are screwed up.  How do I know - I'm the Nice Guy (owns house - no mortgage, owns car - no payments), can discuss feelings, puts the seat down on the toilet.  I'm a NICE guy - still single (and sort of happy about it).

You guys want to know why you can't figure out what women want?   It's really simple,  you can't figure it out because they don't know what they want.   What they seem to be after is The Caring, Nurturing, Sharing, Narcissist, Bad Boy. Sorry no such critter.

See you don't have to be 20-30 years old to be bitter :)

The reality of it is, I've enjoyed those times I've had a live-in girl friend about as much as I enjoy the times I don't.   My happiness is independent - how's that for enlightenment.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Foreign Aid

I can't seem to find the spot in the constitution that says - tax the people and give the money to foreign governments.   Maybe because that wasn't part of the plan?  (Of course I could have just missed it).

I think given the right conditions, foreign aid fits nicely into the framework of Enlightened Self Interest (ESI).    Getting other countries to the point where they can feed them selves is good for us.  Exporting food leads to things like GMO's and non-sustainable monoculture farming.   We should be striving to get beyond that (forward into the past)  and grow food where it will be eaten for the most part.  I've got no issue with import and export of luxury crops but the basics like fruits, vegetables, and grains have to be covered locally.    Getting foreign countries (third world) clean water, sanitation, and medical helps us.   One of the biggest threats we face is disease - superbugs and pandemic,  doing things that reduce the likelihood of that happing, or being able to contain it at the source would be very beneficial.   Given that, the list of types of aid I'd like to see us involved in are geared toward making the world healthier, smarter, more sustainable, and more stable.

What I'd like to do with foreign aid is this:

Give aid to countries with the clear understanding that there are strings attached - and be really specific about what those are.   For example,  If we give you money, or arms, or food, or well - anything, then we get X amount of real estate for our use.   It's ours, it's not on loan to us, you don't get to tell us to go home - you have ceded that real estate to the U.S.A. to be used as we see fit.    If that's not agreeable - that's OK we'll keep our money, you keep your property, have a nice day.   Oh and since the world is so massively overpopulated - we only give aid to countries that establish and maintain a strict zero-population-growth system.   For over crowded countries like India, if they manage to get a voluntary negative growth rate, I'm all in favor up giving them a bonus.

All other foreign aid should be NGO.   I'm all in favor of NGO aid.   There's one general rule and only certain types of aid are allowed.   Note - missionary work of a religious nature is not considered foreign aid - it's considered missionary work and as such is outside the scope of government regulation.   Attempting to use missionaries to do other than teach religion, reading, writing, arithmetic, and the english language is stepping into the NGO role and will be treated as such.  

THE RULE:  You may not create an external dependency - anything you do has to be sustainable within the culture and economy.  If they can't sustain it when the aid disappears, you haven't given them AID, you've made it worse.

1.  Clean Water - Wells, filtration systems, irrigation.
2.  Hygiene - Septic systems, sewer treatment, etc
3.  Medical  - Clinics, supplies, personelle, training.
4.  Food -  Seeds for native crops or any crops currently being grown.  Any other seed must be cleared by council of botanists (or what ever) from universities of not less that 15 countries including any adjacent to the country in question - the goal is to avoid introducing invasive species that will adversely affect the existing ecology.  Training, Labor.  NO GMO seeds, NO fertilizers, No pesticides.  Farm equipment only if the economy currently supports the ability to manufacture.
5.  Education - Teaching basics reading, writing, math, music, history, economics, the sciences - physics, chemistry, etc.   Vocational skills.   Teacher training.  No religion, keep it separate and with the missions.
5.  Power - any power source must include ability to produce their own parts and maintain any established system, on their own, with their own existing raw materials.   If they can't build it when you leave with out importing - you can't  use it.    Types of power allowed
Wind, GeoThermal, Solar Steam, Hydroelectric.  No fossile fuel systems.

I'd want to think this through some more, there are I think issues having to do with corruption that need to be addressed, as well as security.

But that's the general outline.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

One Second After

I just finished reading One Second After by William R. Forstchen.

EMP - ElectroMagnetic Pulse is a very serious issue.

EMP is a low probability national extinction event.

Here's the problem - People read Low Probability and stop thinking - the rest of the sentence disappears. They miss the part about extinction - END OF the U.S.A  poof - gone.   There's a damn fine chance as we're dying, that we will never know who killed us.

Let's put it into perspective - It's LOW probability - how low?  No one knows (at least no one is telling). Hmmm, that's not very satisfying.   What are some other low probability events that we could relate to.  Well, if your a home owner - you probably have Home Owners Insurance.   Now what insurance companies use to sell Home Owners Insurance is the fear that you'll loose it all to a fire.   Great - We've seen house fires, we probably know people who've lost there house to a fire.    So what's the odds that you'll ever need to put a major claim in on your HOI?   Depending on who's numbers you use - it's between .004%  and .00008%   by most standards that's pretty low odds - and yet you shell out money every year just in case.

What if you were told there's a .000005% chance that 90% of everyone you'd ever known or seen in this country was going to DIE, but you could buy insurance that would be better than home owners, it would keep it from happing, not try to fix it after - would you pay?   Apparently our Congress won't - we have made 0 - ZERO, zip nada, effort to mitigate the effects of and EMP.  We have the most expensive home on the planet - and NO goddamn insurance.

If you want to know what will happen in the event of an EMP - you can find it on the web,  if you want to FEEL what and EMP event will be like - read the book - and then keep in mind - They had it good.

Monday, February 20, 2012

What's the difference between a Republican and Democrat

The only difference between the Republican and Democratic parties is how they buy their votes.   Republicans lie to the wealthy, Democrats lie to the poor.

If you vote for either one and expect change - you are:
A.   Not Paying Attention
B.   Deluded
C.   Both A&B

Blaming the president for everything that goes wrong makes about as much sense as giving him credit for everything that goes right - and yet, that's what we do, over and over.

Sadly, I think the only way to fix the system (without a revolution) is to use a grass roots effort to elect individual Senators and members of Congress who understand they get one term to accomplish one simple task - Term Limits.   If they get that done, the next group get to accomplish the next simple task - All members of government at all levels get the SAME Benefits package as a private citizen; same medical, same retirement, same everything.   Exception to Military -They get a pension, education, hopefully improved medical - at least on par with what Senators get now.   No I never served in the armed forces - enlisting for Vietnam did not strike me as a wise move in 1975, and my brother who did accept a commission in the Air Force recommended that I try to avoid it all together.   I did serve as an EMT and volunteer fireman about 6 years - so I'm not a total slacker.

Now if I got to choose the limits on term limits - you'd get one.  Period, full stop, ONE.   You want to be Governor - fine one term, then back to civilian status for you - want to be President? Fine - no Senate in your future.   (Yeah I know - it'll never fly)

What else would I change?

If you have attended law school or taken (passed or otherwise) the Bar in any State, Territory, or District of the U.S. you may not run for a public office that has a responsibility for the creation of laws - Conflict of Interest.

Only one item to a Bill or Resolution - no 500 pork addendum's.   No crap to obfuscate the purpose of the law.

Miss 2 votes with out a medical or family emergency and you become ineligible for your second term (assuming we have two terms).   If your on your final term, you start losing pay.   Miss more than two and we deduct 10% for each vote missed.

If you are ever found to have voted for a bill or resolution with out reading it - you will be charged with Malfeasance of Duty and sent to prison.   (OK I have no idea how to enforce that but I still like the idea).

I've got more - oh so much more but that would be a start.   No more old boys club, no more carrear politicians, no more double standard of them and everyone else.

Scary Movies

I came across this on another blog - I'm more than just a bit worried about the fallout from this.   My gut is telling me that we have too many people too close to the edge and some of them are going to see this and think - gee what a great idea.    The film won't get blamed, the people might get blamed but guns will get blamed.   Just watch - some asshat is going to copy cat this and there will be much media outcry about how it's all the fault of guns.

Guns are not what drove the characters in the movie over the edge - that was the Media - Media Kills - Ban the Media!

Oh - wait - First Amendment - never mind.

On the other hand, why not ban the media - hell it feels like they only air sensational crap they get from twitter and never bother check facts.   I think Journalism is mostly dead - some time in the 80's it bit the dust and we were too busy being shocked and amused to notice.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Get Home / Bug Out / Inch Bag

Life is complicated, or it seems that way to me at times.    Since I occasionally travel to visit friends / family, I find my self thinking about how to get home if things go Pear Shaped.   When I'm at home I think about how to get to my BOL (bug out location) if things go really wrong.   Or just how to get home from somewhere sort of local if things go wrong.    I carry and EDC (everyday carry bag) with a few item's in it.   It's perpetually under revision.   I have a bug out inventory that get's loaded up if I'm leaving home (probably for good)  - a different list if I'm just leaving for a while.   What i've been working on lately is what most people would consider an INCH (I'm never coming home) bag - but for me - it's really a Get Home Bag - because home is a long way away.   It's more or less what I'd need to survive in the wilds for and extended period of time.

After many attempts - I think I'm getting closer -but the damn thing is HEAVY - which means I'm going to be moving slow.   So I'm always looking for ways to bring the weight down with out giving up too much.     After much consideration I'm pretty sure I'm going to get a Kifaru Ultralight bag, undecided on the shelter - either the Paratipi or the Sawtooth, and the appropriate stove - yep - a wood stove.

Ok - not the thing for an ultralight hiker - but then I'm not an ultralight hiker, I'll never get close to that.  But still.   Why a stove?   Most of my travels are in the winter - often where it's pretty cold.   The stove provides heat on those cold nights - a way to heat snow for water - without using up my precious fuel - works better in the snow than my JetBoil.      I'm also gong to be caring a sleeping pad that might raise some eyebrows - kinda bulky, kinda heavy.  But I'm at a point in life, where if I want to get any sleep at night, the typical hikers sleeping pad just doesn't cut it.    I'd rather carry an extra couple of pounds and seep well (I think - like all things - testing is the key)

Like the EDC - I expect it will go though a lot of revisions.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

A Step Too Far

Was reading the SHTF blog and found this: http://www.shtfblog.com/are-we-living-in-a-police-state/

I'd put this pretty low on the probability list - somewhere between house fire, and Yellowstone erupting (that's where where between .004% and .00008%  and yet, I'm dreading the day I'm going to kill some cop who got sent to the wrong damn address, and if I were still alive I'd be feeling bad for the other cop who killed me - which is probably what would happen on a forced entry.    I need to think about more remote warning devices....

I'm not sure I understand why they do forced entry on homes (other than hostage situations) - be much safer to turn off the water and wait for the people to come out - they will sooner or later.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Doomsday Preppers

I'm a Prepper, he's a Prepper, She's a Prepper, we're a Prepper, Wouldn't you like to be a Prepper, too?

Well, the show doesn't suck - I was really afraid it would.   It's not great. Too much time trying to make the preppers look a little off beat, not enough education.  They keep throwing out weird loosely connected facts.   One prepper talked about the price of chocolate going up 300% - they flashed a factoid - chocolate when down 30% last year - (or something like that)  Great so, does that mean it didn't go up 300%, it actually when down? Does that mean after it went up 300% it dropped 30% - what?

They're experts like/dislike - OK, what experts - what makes them experts?

It's just kind of weird - National Geographic has always been Fact/Documentary/Education thing for me - now this - should I re-evaluate the other NatGeo stuff, based on this slightly hamfisted show?

Between 2008 and 2010 National Geo produced the following documentaries:

Minutes to Meltdown: Three Mile Island
Countdown to Catastrophe: Mega Quake
2210: The Collapse?
Swine Flu: The Science of Pandemics
Six Degrees Could Change the World

Is it just marketing?   The only thing that comes close to "Sex Sells" is Bad News?

Well, there is plenty of proof that disasters happen, and government response sucks - you'd better plan on doing it yourself.

Enlightened Self Interest

What's the difference between Self Interest and Enlightened Self Interest

OK, this is a bit metaphysical but I need some definitions - don't care if you think I'm wrong as long as you understand that when I say X - someone can translate that to Y if that's what they call it.  Claiming that my X isn't really X and there for wrong is semantic bullshit, and I'm not interested in that.

For starters, self interest implies a self, and existance - so a bit more than I think therefore I am.   More like - I exist, there for so do all physical objects - the world is not a figment of my imagination - neither are you, which should make you happy.   If I die, you don't go with me, at least that the way I'm playing it.  Goes along nicely with the Objectivism - Existance Exists - I exist, you, the world, all the physical stuff I interact with - it exists.  Seems pretty simple, until you realize how may man years have been spent trying to decide if perhaps we don't really exist - waist of time, if we don't it's all irrelevant and thinking about it is irrelevant which makes all those arguments irrelevant - So There!

It also implies that I have an interest in myself - call it self preservation, or a need for Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness - same thing.  Seriously. With out Liberty and the ability to pursue happiness, self preservation is rather pointless.

Right - so I exist, you exist, the world exists and we'd like to have Liberty and be able to pursue our own happiness.   If that's the case, then what I do affects you - perhaps not directly but since I interact with the world, and you are of the world, my actions affect you, your actions affect me - we are connected simply by existing. Huh We are all connected - no touchy feely required, it's just part of that whole existence thing.

What's the difference between self interest and enlightened self interest - I think it's mostly the acceptance of that connection.   I don't necessarily need to worry about being compensated directly.   If make the world better for you, I'm most likely making it better for me too.


I'm not Rick, or any variation there of.

Why Rick's Cafe?  Casablanca of course.   Why 45?  because I use and carry a model 1911 .45acp.  

Why do this at all - mostly to get my thoughts down, an attempt to gain a little enlightenment into my own psyche.  I think I believe in Enlightened Self Interest - but I'm still sort of defining what that means to me.  Writing helps me think, but I need a way to sort of track how that thinking changes over time.  A place to rant, a place to stretch my writing skills.

It's also kind of a protest against not caring.   I care what happens around me, and I'm not happy about what I see.