Tuesday, 28 April 2015

07:51 – The morning paper finally called a spade a spade, referring to what’s going on in Baltimore as “rioting and looting” rather than “violent protests”. Whatever happened to Reading the Riot Act? The Baltimore PD is still using only tear gas and rubber bullets. Buckshot would be more effective, and would also send a signal. Looters and arsonists should be shot dead and piled up for later disposal in the landfill. Nor should any charges be filed against business owners and homeowners who use lethal force to defend themselves and their properties, nor against any police officer who does the same. People who riot, loot, and burn are not exercising their Constitutional rights. They are violent criminals and should be treated accordingly.

So far, this kind of activity has been limited to underclass areas in major cities, but I fear it’s going to spread to mid-size cities and eventually to smaller towns and anywhere else with concentrated underclass populations. I also fear it’s going to become the new normal. That’s one of the major reasons that we want to relocate away from Winston-Salem to a small town up in the mountains. That’s not a perfect solution by any means, but it’s the best we can do.

I started reading Harry Turtledove’s Supervolcano trilogy last night. I made it though the first book and halfway through the second. I’m not impressed. I’ve read several of his alternative history series, and all were competently done. Turtledove is certainly no Heinlein, nor even a Pournelle/Niven or a Bujold. But his past books have always had huge casts of characters with lots of action. This series has a much smaller cast and almost nothing going on. I keep expecting something to happen, but the book just drones on and on. I just checked the Amazon reviews on this series, which I should have done in the first place, and found that others have the same take on this series. I’ll probably finish the second book and I may even read the third and final in the series, but I’m not expecting much. Turtledove has somehow made a catastrophic eruption of the Yellowstone supervolcano into a boring, business-as-usual event.

More science kit stuff today. I’m making up solutions, and may have time to fill some bottles.