Wednesday, 26 June 2013

09:55 – I ended up filling those 150 bottles of glycerol yesterday, along with several hundred other bottles. Today I’ll make up more chemicals for the forensic kits and fill a bunch more bottles.

Meanwhile, Obama seems determined to prove that the country cannot survive eight years of Bush followed by eight years of him. Incredibly, his latest idiocy is a War on Coal. Given that we and other animals exhale carbon dioxide, I’m expecting Obama’s next move to be a War on Breathing. At this point, the best we can hope for is that the Republicans take majorities in both houses in the 2014 elections and do their best to gridlock government entirely. That, and repeal ObamaCare before it destroys our entire health-care system.

Actually, I wish our Founding Fathers had borrowed one more idea from Republican Rome. Any Tribune of the Plebs could stop any proposed action or law simply by standing up and announcing, “Veto” (“I forbid”). There was no appeal or override of a veto. Once a Tribune of the Plebs vetoed something, it was off the table. If a law was already in effect, a veto voided it. The Founding Fathers should have given the same veto power to every member of the House of Representatives, which is (or should have been) our College of the Tribunes of the Plebs.


40 thoughts on “Wednesday, 26 June 2013”

  1. Republicans save us? Not a chance. They are over 50% of the problem.

    http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/jurisprudence/2013/06/salinas_v_texas_right_to_remain_silent_supreme_court_right_to_remain_silent.html

    http://www.juancole.com/2013/06/screwing-surveillance-redux.html

    Cole, by the way, is the guy I used to quote here back before the Iraq war, opposing it. Of course, everything he said was right. He is European heritage, having taken the name Juan as a child, to distinguish him from his father, as both were John.

  2. ‘Any Tribune of the Plebs could stop any proposed action or law simply by standing up and announcing, “Veto” (“I forbid”). There was no appeal or override of a veto.’

    Would the veto be overridden if the Tribune had an unfortunate accident? Dead tribunes don’t veto. I’m re-reading The Grass Crown and it seems to me, if there’s any truth in it, that legislation in Rome was subverted when various people died in suspicious circumstances.

  3. Republicans save us? Not a chance. They are over 50% of the problem.

    Of course the Republicans are as bad as the Democrats, but they have different and utterly incompatible priorities. They will save us by refusing to cooperate with the Democrat agenda, just as the Democrats refuse to cooperate with the Republican agenda. That’s what I’m hoping for: gridlock. Massive, unbreakable gridlock.

  4. Would the veto be overridden if the Tribune had an unfortunate accident? Dead tribunes don’t veto. I’m re-reading The Grass Crown and it seems to me, if there’s any truth in it, that legislation in Rome was subverted when various people died in suspicious circumstances.

    Nope. You had to murder him before he vetoed. McCullough gets it right. Caesar and the rest of the Populares were the Good Guys, trying to rein in the power of the Optimates (whom McCullough calls the “Boni”), who were kind of like our current masters. (Actually, neither the Populares nor the Optimates were monolithic; there were good men and bad men in both camps, and there was some mobility between the camps.)

    Republican Rome actually had pretty good government, with better checks and balances than we have. Their prison population was nil (they had no jails or prisons), and they very, very seldom executed criminals

  5. I never have understood why people think gridlock is a bad thing. Even as a kid, I recognized that all that time Ike was out on the golf course was time he was staying out of trouble. Same with Reagan and his ‘naps’.

  6. I hope the neighbors don’t hear me laughing.
    War on Breathing just about sums it up.

  7. Gridlock is probably good if it leads to inaction, bad if it leads to “compromise” – usually entailing the worst of both worlds.

  8. That’s what I’m hoping for: gridlock. Massive, unbreakable gridlock.

    Me too. And partial defunding of the EPA. Although when the EPA starts collecting CO2 taxes, will that money go into the USA general fund or the EPA funding? Beware self funding federal agencies, they become their own government.

    “Obama’s War on Coal”
    “Climate Action Plan will increase costs, do little to reduce carbon emissions”
    http://freebeacon.com/obamas-war-on-coal/

    700,000 jobs in the USA are at stake here. Plus doubling of the cost of electricity over the next three years. I am so tired of “War on anything”.

  9. “…the best we can hope for is that the Republicans take majorities in both houses in the 2014 elections and do their best to gridlock government entirely.”

    Even if that occurs, those days are over. The Repub/Stupid half of the War Party simply rolls with whatever the Dems want now, they’re utterly worthless. Most of them are RINOs now anyway and the so-called Tea Party people that got elected turned right around and betrayed their base as soon as they got in down there in Mordor. Once you breathe Mordor air, you’re finished, with maybe a handful of exceptions over the decades; Sam Rayburn and Ron Paul come to mind here. So, RINOs, who have the numbers; Tea Party drones whose only issue is fiscal and couldn’t care less about anything else; and the wack job fundies who believe Armageddon is right around the corner and will take place in Israel, etc., etc. Hopeless.

    And yes, the Dems are the Evil half of the War Party, and the Chicago Machine junta is in control so long as our actual rulers allow them to be in control. If the game plan is to destroy the country and render most of its citizens/subjects utterly dependent on a corporate fascist oligarchy, they’re going about it correctly. They’re also killing the goose that lays the golden eggs and eventually, to continue the barnyard fowl analogies, the chickens will come home to roost.

    Move along, citizens, nothing to see here….

  10. Move along, citizens subjects, nothing to see here….

    Fixed that for ya.

    And 5 dollars if you stop to breathe.

  11. And, instead of being called Dr. No, Ron Paul would have been known as simply Veto.

  12. And, instead of being called Dr. No, Ron Paul would have been known as simply Veto.

    I’ve said it before and I will say it again, my grandmother in Lake Jackson, Texas thought he was a great representative for her. I am swiftly coming around to admiration for Ron Paul. In fact, I think that I am there now. Saying no when there are 400+ yes voices takes a lot of courage.

  13. I ended up filling those 150 bottles of glycerol yesterday, along with several hundred other bottles.

    Do you think a large syringe, say around 500cc, would work for filling small bottles with glycerol? I was thinking along the lines of a grease gun or brake fluid bleeding tool.

  14. Yeah, I realize we’re all just subjects now; I am just so used to using “citizen” based on years of mis-education.

    Ron Paul has certainly been admirable and as one person really made an impact; but that’s all by the boards now; there is no one else even close. The late Sam Rayburn was also admirable, but didn’t have to fight against such overwhelming odds as Paul.

    I’ve lived here in the Northeast all my life except for mil-spec service and this region has been lost a really long time now; since before the War Between the States. We’ve had nobody since a handful of Copperheads and the earlier handful of anti-Federalists and former Captain Daniel Shays.

    We are ruled by war criminals, regular criminals, and a vast Leviathan bureaucracy that is as banal and robotic as the ones that kept the trains running in Nazi Germany, fascist Italy, the old Soviet Union and Eastern Bloc, and of course Red Chiner and Cuber.

    The trick for us is going to be how to survive, like the snail on the razor’s edge, as this system becomes grosser and crueler as it simultaneously lumbers to the cliff edge.

  15. Obama seems determined to prove that the country cannot survive eight years of Bush followed by eight years of him.

    I’d phrase it as, Obama seems determined to destroy the United States. It’s a mercy killing, given that the US populace was stupid enough or corrupt enough to elect Obama twice, following GWB twice, following Blowjob Bill twice, following GHWB.

    I never have understood why people think gridlock is a bad thing.

    Because gridlock prevented the full flowering of the Progressive agenda to remake the United States, starting in the 1950s. Generations of public school teachers and news people, approximately all of whom toe the Progressive line, saw this as a bad thing and made sure to inform the world that gridlock is bad and prevents Progress.

  16. What SteveF just said, in spades! The Suicide of the West.

    I’d almost say the American people deserve what they get, good and hard, too, but I know there are millions of innocents and vulnerable who knew no better. They will, of course, be the people who suffer the most in this next couple of decades.

  17. I’d almost say the American people deserve what they get, good and hard, too, but I know there are millions of innocents and vulnerable who knew no better. They will, of course, be the people who suffer the most in this next couple of decades.

    As Obummer’s “War on Coal” moves to “War on Diesel” and “War on Gasoline”, yes, he will destroy this nation. The inner rot will be so bad that the first nation who steps foot on our beaches will be welcomed as saviors rather than overloads. And overlords they will be as they proceed to strip all of our bountiful natural resources. And Obummer’s minions, Obummer worshipers that they are, will cry out, “That is forbidden!”. And at that point his minions will be led to the nearest square and publicly shot. I do not even want to think what our new overlords will do to the downtrodden as they demand good food, comfortable shelter and free electric cars.

  18. “…the first nation who steps foot on our beaches will be welcomed as saviors…”

    As bad as things are in this country, I can pretty much rest assured the no nation would be so stupid or crazy as to land on our beaches anytime soon. They risk facing far more than what Yamamoto said back in the day, that stuff about waking up a sleeping giant and how there’s a rifleman behind every tree here. If some state entity is that crazy and stupid, their forces may make it off the beaches, currently owned and occupied by rich lefty bastards for the most part or the idle rich of inheritances, but once they venture into the interior they’ll be shot to pieces and their bodies strung up all along the watchtowers….

  19. But it seems like all of us have lost our guns and ammunition in rivers, lakes, and elsewhere.

  20. If so, we must strip naked and fall to our knees and kiss the bayonets of the invaders, like King Vercingitorix before Caesar. Then sit in chains in some dank underground hole somewhere for a couple of years, being fed on insects and weeds, and slowly going mad, until the new Caesar has us out for a little parade and a crowd’s entertainment, before we are garroted.

    If I’d been King V, I would have secreted some kind of edged weapon where the sun does not shine and at that last minute before kneeling, rushed the bastard and cut his throat before I myself was cut down by the centurions. What a great way to go out!

  21. …the first nation who steps foot on our beaches will be welcomed as saviors rather than overloads.

    Exactly as it happened to Rome.

    …no nation would be so stupid or crazy as to land on our beaches anytime soon. They risk facing far more than what Yamamoto said back in the day, that stuff about waking up a sleeping giant and how there’s a rifleman behind every tree here.

    Just like in Rome, there won’t be any such resistance. It won’t be recognized as an invasion as you envision; it will be welcomed overwhelmingly as a release from bondage, surveillance, and massive incarcerations (now numbering more than any other country on the planet, and headed to equal all other countries’ incarcerations combined).

    The kings are dead. That is what the two WW’s were about. There are no Yamamotos anymore, or individuals like Hitler that followed the kings with their mighty SS. The enemy is not a single guy as in the past. It is the entire government, including the Tea Party that promised relief. It is corporations that are effectively monopolies forming a collective force greater than government, with no incentive to serve either consumers or society. Just like P&G wants to sell only quickly disposed of items like razor blades, so big Pharma is interested only in developing drugs for those with long-term needs, like heart disease. Finding antibiotics for mutating viruses like TB and MRSA is of no interest whatever to them, as they, themselves, their goals and aims, their actual R&D, become part of the blight that infects our society.

    The question is, what will we have to give up to be released from the iron grip of government gone wrong? Internet? Refrigeration? Electricity? Fossil fuels? Transport? Libraries? Knowledge?

    Life did not stop in Rome, but it sure changed dramatically. Much to the relief of the Romans themselves.

  22. Or maybe there will be no release this time. Perpetual imprisonment by an awful government getting nothing but worse could be a hell we never escape from—except by death.

  23. From 1964, the Beatles pushed everybody into new musical territory, beginning an era that has never been equaled, IMO. That included Chuck Berry, who got no promotional help from Chess on this—his last Chess release, appearing in 1966—fulfilling his contract with Chess before they released him to Mercury.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iQu6ThQn3-c

  24. Ah, because my PC is set up security-wise, I cannot watch some youtube vids, because they think I’m in Germany, or Switzerland, where different copyright laws are in effect.

    At least with Chrome; let me try it now with FF, just for laffs here, and research purposes….nope…no dice….but interestingly….it looked like Tor would have done it, except it stupidly wants Adobe Flash which I already have on this box, apparently unseen by Tor.

  25. Finding antibiotics for mutating viruses like TB and MRSA is of no interest whatever to them, as they, themselves, their goals and aims, their actual R&D, become part of the blight that infects our society.

    TB and MRSA are bacteria, and there is work being done on drugs for them. There are damn few antivirals out there and most don’t work well.

  26. “a vast Leviathan bureaucracy that is as banal and robotic as the ones that kept the trains running in Nazi Germany”

    This. Stupid, even illegal policies are put into place by idiot politicians or their appointees. These are then carried out by bureaucrats who either don’t think about what they are doing, or else who haven’t got the guts to say “no, stop, this is wrong”.

    I think I mentioned the interview I saw with some woman facing the ruin because of the actions of FEMA. I don’t remember any of the details, but the one thing that stuck in my memory: she said the worst of it was that all of the individual people she dealt with were just so nice, they all sympathized with her predicament, but they had their policy, and were going to run her over with it. Rather like concentration camp guards: just following orders.

  27. Yeah, the ALP are a crazy bunch. They sacked Rudd after he won the 2007 election, then sacked the lovely Julia after she won the 2010 election. Well, they all want to stay in their wonderful jobs with their insano generous superannuation benefits.

    The irony is that the atheist Julia was against legalising gay marriage, but the devout Christian Rudd is now in favour of it, having had a, ah, Road to Damascus experience. This puts paid to the idea that opposition to gay marriage is confined to fundies. Jerry C was rabbiting on on just this point today.

  28. This puts paid to the idea that opposition to gay marriage is confined to fundies.

    I don’t remember hearing anyone saying that only fundies opposed gay marriage. Nearly all fundies oppose it, true, but they’re not the only ones.

  29. I think you must have been a lawyer in a previous life. Jerry Coyne had this to say yesterday:

    “But there is no moral justification for that save the outmoded dicta of religion.”

    Since Julia Gillard opposes gay marriage and isn’t religious the facts refute what Jerry says here (and on many other occasions.) I’ll grant that you’re more careful in the way you state things like this but wouldn’t be surprised if you’ve made similar unqualified claims in the past.

  30. Jerry’s statement is correct. Nowhere did he reference fundies. There are many adherents of non-fundie denominations who oppose gay marriage, including the RC church. Note also that Jerry mentioned “moral justification”. If not “the outmoded dicta of religion”, what other moral justification supports opposition to gay marriage?

    As to Gillard, she’s a politician, so her public stance on any issue may well not reflect her personal beliefs.

  31. “… all of the individual people she dealt with were just so nice, they all sympathized with her predicament, but they had their policy, and were going to run her over with it. Rather like concentration camp guards: just following orders.”

    Like those experiments done by the psychologist Philip Zimbardo back in the Iron Age; one where “guards” kept “torturing” “prisoners” in a simulated environment no matter how much they screamed, and the other on city buses when riders would get on and simply demand someone else’s seat and almost always it would be given up. I see it now in state and Fed gummint; the clerks in the bureaucracy simply carry out whatever orders, no matter how stupid or dangerous or how badly it might affect another human being. Step it up to torture and executions and these same clerks would sign us off without blinking an eye. What Arendt called “the banality of evil.”

    Nope, couldn’t watch the Nutbush vid, either; I suppose if I disable one of the security apps on here and go back to a U.S. server I’ll be able to; I have other apps that should protect the machine in the meantime.

  32. If not “the outmoded dicta of religion”, what other moral justification supports opposition to gay marriage?

    One could make an argument that it harms the upbringing of children (presumably of heterosexual couples). I’d want to see evidence supporting that rather than simple assertion and sophistry, but it’s not an impossible claim.

    One could claim that the world is underpopulated and that anything which interferes with increased reproduction must be banned. I’d want to see supporting evidence for that one, too, but the person might have trouble collecting it because he or she would be very distracted by me kicking him or her in the crotch.

    There are probably other reasonable moral arguments, not originating in religion, against gay marriage. I haven’t come across any that persuade me, but something might be brought up.

  33. Yes, Julia Gillard is a politician, but I don’t think all politicians are automatically liars and poll driven. I don’t know why she is is against gay marriage but she’s a smart woman and obviously has reasons that are good in her own eyes, especially as I think that *support* for gay marriage is a nett vote winner.

    Jerry’s statement is incorrect. “Nowhere did he reference fundies.”

    So?

    Jerry often distinguishes between the mainstream and fundies, not least over acceptance of evolution.

    ‘If not “the outmoded dicta of religion”, what other moral justification supports opposition to gay marriage?’

    You’d have to ask Julia and all the other non-religious opponents of gay marriage that, but plainly there must be secular reasons.

  34. SteveF wrote:

    “There are probably other reasonable moral arguments, not originating in religion, against gay marriage. I haven’t come across any that persuade me, but something might be brought up.”

    I think gay marriage will happen in the US, Australia and many other places, and I’ll get used to the idea. But I won’t like it. I view gay marriages the same way our host and most others who have worked for degrees view “qualifications” from degree mills.

  35. Really, Miles_Teg? You mean you have result-based facts supporting your opinion?

  36. “There are probably other reasonable moral arguments, not originating in religion, against gay marriage. I haven’t come across any that persuade me, but something might be brought up.”

    A certain important person in the Roman Catholic Church won’t use any religious arguments against abortion; they say that at the moment of conception “…the genetic code of the person is present….there is already a human being.” And “To not allow further progress in the development of a being that already has the entire genetic code of a human being is not ethical. The right to life is the first human right. Abortion is killing someone who cannot defend himself.”

    Also, just because some dude like Jerry Coyne references “the outmoded dicta of religion” does not in and of itself make it so, as guys like him would wish, merely by repeating it. Once you accept his phrase you can then go on to the rest of arguments like his and simply write off religion as having anything meaningful to say about anything under the sun, because Jerry sez it’s outmoded. Maybe for Jerry it IS outmoded, but not for several billions of other human beings on the planet at present, no matter the wishful thinking and dreams of empty churches and synagogues in North America and Europe. The world is afire with hadji bastards to the tune of well over a billion and the southern hemisphere is likewise afire with Roman Catholics at that same number. Not even counting the hundreds of millions of Protestants, Jews and Buddhists and a few thousand lonely Wiccan imbeciles here in the West and the occasional witch doctor or shaman cousin of theirs in the other pagan and animist sects.

    Jerry Coyne can take his outmoded dicta and cram it where the sun don’t shine.

  37. SteveF wrote:

    “Really, Miles_Teg? You mean you have result-based facts supporting your opinion?”

    Which opinion?

  38. I think human life begins no later than birth, and possibly earlier (sorry SteveF, no proof for that statement). I don’t buy the idea that life begins at conception. A unique genetic code means nothing.

    Dave, you realise, I assume, that the vast majority of conceptuses don’t get born, even without abortion? Many don’t even implant. Firstly, will heaven (or hell, if you’re an Augustinian or Calvinist) be filled with conceptuses that never got born? What language will they speak? What life experiences will they have?

    I’m grossed out at the idea of late term abortions unless there’s a serious threat to the “mother’s” life but the loss of a pregnancy early on is just a loss for the potential parents if they wanted the pregnancy to continue.

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