Miscellaneous - New
A collection of responses to various communications.
9/11/1991 Democracy - eMail
historical note. The founders of this country were trying to avoid both
tyrannies: that of a monarchy (Constitution) and that of democracy
(Bill of Rights). It was others that insisted the we were a democracy,
no founder did. It is sad that America is now equated with democracy
and the evils that democratic forms bring.
9/18/1991 Carson Democracy Jokes? - eMail
I do not have the
original so I cannotFcan a catalog the exact targets, implications, and tone
of his jokes but they seemed more to make fun of Americans than
of Government or Democracy.
The main point is his underlying
assumption that the United States is a Democracy. That is the
propaganda part. You never hear politicians and other political players
and cohorts mention the main idea and great discovery of America which
is individual liberty. They all say that our goal is to "make the world
safe for Democracy". Modern Democracy and egalitarianism were creations
of the developing Socialism in Europe.
The form of government I
would like to see is exactly that founded by the signing of the US
Constitution and state constitutions, a Constitutional Republic with
strictly limited government powers. Its structure puts primary power at
the county and city level, with lesser power at the state level, and
even less at the federal level.
You can still see remnants of
this original structure today. Note that most criminal enforcement is
at the county level (elected Sherriff, Superior Courts, Attorney
Generals, etc.). City and County governments have tremendous zoning
power, that would be unthinkable at the state or federal level. You can
also see how stable such a form can be by the example of Switzerland
were the cantons are primary and the federal government is weak.
There are political movements in California and nationwide to
consolidate counties into regional governments and even states into area
governments in order to remove these last vestiges of local control.
This is all part of the overall plan to concentrate power in the
smallest number of hands. This is obviously the complete antithesis
of the founding American ideal.
It is interesting that ancient
Athens, the mother of Democracy, knew the dark side of Democracy. They
had a very large legislative assembly (1000) and each could serve only
one term. The large assembly was to increase representation and
restrict the ability to concentrate power. The limited term was to
prevent building of power by the representatives.
One change I
would make at all government levels and which I think was the primary
mistake in the US Constitution was majority rule. Many countries
recognize that a bare majority is not adequate consensus for making
major decisions. This concept is recognized in the constitution by the
3/4 rule for amendments.
10/29/2002 Privacy a legitimate Value - eMail
Your comment is a
common misconception and a common argument used against privacy and
caution. I am not "too fearful" - my motivation is not fear. I value
privacy very highly and I am cautious about opening doors to the dark
side of human nature. You might as well say that a careful preflight is
motivated by too much fear.
Privacy is a legitimate value that
can be held by rational people. It does not have to be justified but
there are many good reasons to preserve ones privacy, that of others,
and that of all the people.
1) The last century is replete with
examples of government information gathering "for a good purpose" being
turned into terror and death for individuals selected on the basis of
that information. Similarly, at the more "harmless" end, you can enjoy
IRS audits, insurance and credit denial, etc.
2) Criminals are
not wont for innovative uses of such information. Identity theft and
various scams and frauds have risen rapidly with the advent of computer
gathering and consolidation of information about individuals. Such
persons are adept at acquiring both government and business data
sources and disseminating such to the least of their number.
Hackers, script kiddies, and other ethically unrestrained players use
on-line data and compromise of on-line systems to engineer automated and
social attacks that damage both individual systems as well as services
used by many.
4) A significant number of legitimate businesses
seem unable to restrain their joy at the leverage that specific
information on individuals gives to their "push" marketing by telephone
and junk mail. And political campaigns can send specific button pushing
letters customized for an individual or segment of their potential
support without upsetting other potential supporters (lie to me lie to
So you can see from this quick overview that the
consequences of disregard of privacy can range from terror to the daily
disturbance of the quality of life by telephone, postal, and email
Do not underestimate the power of correlating
various tidbits of "trivial" information. Neither underestimate the
nefarious purposes that can be imagined by the human intellect. I
prefer to not give a lever to move my world.
2/28/2003 Voting Machines / Democracy - eMail
This article continues a number of politically motivated falsehoods. I
know you have said that you do not care about the Constitution or how we
founded this country but my ancestors fought for it and helped write it
so perhaps you can excuse my interest in preserving it.
- The electoral system was designed explicitly to balance the
popular vote against the territorial distribution of people in the
States. Similar reasoning was used in the balance between the House
and the Senate. It is not an aberration or an accident, it is
designed this way and for good reason.
If you look at the
Presidential vote in 2002 as a distribution across the US, you will
find that over 85 percent of the counties and over 90 percent of the
territory voted for Bush. The electoral system is designed to
function as it did. In a close race it favors the candidate with a
large territorial advantage. See Article II Section 1 of the
- Ballot box stuffing and other vote manipulations are hardly
something invented by the Republicans. If they are doing it, they
are very bad at it - they have pretty much always lost in my
If you look at the historical record, voting fraud
is practically standard practice for the Democrats. This practice
is still going on but is primarily a problem in large urban areas
(where Democrats almost always win). Again if you check the
distribution of voting you will note that Gore won all of the large
- The US is a Republic not a pure democracy. The will of the
People is balanced against the rights of the individual. Even the
ancient Greeks understood that democracy unbridled was just another
form of dictatorship.
- The Supreme Court's job is to resolve constitutional disputes.
They did not steal the election for Bush they just decided the issue
on the basis of law just as they do for other matters such as for
abortion and civil rights. The vast majority of the bench were
appointed by Democrats, and the few Republican judges had to pass
the gauntlet of the Democrat controlled Senate. So it is very
hard to claim that the court decision was a Republican operation.
You know, we do not have to spread lies about each other. There are
plenty of real differences of values and goals in American politics that
can engage our intellects in productive resolution of our common
2/22/2003 Poor Countries - eMail
The question of
course is why are they poor, unable to read, malnourished? Are we
robbing them to have our prosperity, education, and health? Do we need
to feel guilty? Can we do anything?
The main reason is
over-population relative to the resources available in their area. The
second reason is that they live in totalitarian countries that have no
ethic of individual liberty and opportunity although many call
themselves "democracies". Many immigrants, including many of our
ancestors, came to the US poor, malnourished, and uneducated but there
was space and freedom.
The countries that we have freed from
oppressive regimes have prospered but they were not over-populated
relative to their resources. Can we help China (1.3 billion), India
(1.0 billion), Africa (640 Million), and each of them still growing
rapidly? Not without dragging ourselves down into poverty. There are
just too many of them.
We can feel compassion for them, but they
have to reduce their population and develop their resources.
7/7/2005 Broadband over Power Lines - eMail
Please support House Resolution 230 that
calls on the FCC to reevaluate their finding and rules on Broadband over
Power Lines (BPL).
As a retired computer network designer,
pilot, and amateur radio operator, I have multiple concerns of radio
interference, safety, and efficacy related to the BPL technologies
fielded so far.
As an amateur radio operator involved in
emergency and safety communications, I need much more assurance that BPL
designs be proven interference free and that interference problems will
be dealt with promptly. Neither is currently true, and insistence on
prompt interference resolution is the best assurance that the technology
will become interference free.
As a pilot who often operates in
areas distant from Air Traffic Control communications facilities, I also
need assurance that BPL will not interfere with weak communication
As a networking designer, I have seen many hyped
technologies with apparently widespread support and investment, fail
because they ignored the actual cost and deployment issues relative to
competing technologies. It appears now that DSL for wired communities
and satellite for isolated, rural dwellings, are more cost effective and
have much greater potential for increased bandwidth that BPL. BPL may
yet find a niche but please not at the cost of radio communications.
9/15/2005 Conservative - eMail
I would have forwarded that story to you myself, but haven't known
you long enough to know how you would deal with such a heavily
Hey, I am Mr. Conservative himself
:-). Of course I mean that in the American sense (for conserving
Liberty) not in the European sense (for conserving privilege and
Actually, I would rather not use words that are
defined and controlled by the media and propagandists. I think of
myself as a liberal and environmentalist, but I cannot use those words
because their meaning has been changed. "Liberal" used to mean for
liberty and against privilege, now it means the opposite (a privileged
elite to rule us for our own good). "Environmentalist" used to mean
"for protecting and restoring the environment", but now it means "city
people punishing rural people" and "excluding humans from the
I don't consider a statement a "rant" unless it is
just accusations without adequate concrete basis to be verified. And I
love to dispute :-).
.hey, isn't it hard to exist at Berkeley
with views like you have?
It strengthened my character, and
helped me understand how self-serving and deluded very bright people can
be. My mother went to Cal in the 20's when outright Communism was
considered the wonderful future by many professors. That has now
changed into "we are so bright and compassionate that we should be the
rulers, you poor dummy".I have a friend whom I have known
since about 1976. during the last election he was shocked at my rabid
right wing view (his words) and our relationship has not been the same
I used to be astounded that "tolerant",
"compassionate" "Liberals" are so antagonistic to those with substantive
arguments against their pet ideologies. Berkeley cured me of that
illusion. I suspect that many just hold a loosely connected set of
dogmas that they acquire from the media, peer pressure, etc., and are
unprepared to justify their views and afraid that their feel-good views
Well, got to go clear more sagebrush,
7/30/2007 Grand Jury & Local Government - eMail
I have been on the a
Civil Grand Jury for two years. This year I was foreman (you get to do
more interesting work when you are not the foreman :-(). This is a Civil
Grand Jury not criminal. I put up a web site with Grand Jury
information, resources, Final Reports, and Local Government Responses.
Living in a small town has been a reminder of what our government
was like before the usurpations and explosive growth of the 1900's.
Freedom requires self control and local government. Here many people are
involved in local government - not only on the County Board of
Supervisors but volunteer fire departments, civic clubs, directors and
trustees of special districts, school districts, commissions, etc. Not
to forget grand and petite juries. With only 10,000 people almost
everyone participates or knows several who do. If it were not for the
State and Federal government's meddling we would get along just fine
(although free people can be cranky neighbors, they help you anyway).
4/7/2008 Death and Gift Taxes - eMail[To:
Doolittle, Feinstein, Boxer]
I oppose any separate death or gift
tax. The taxation at death of assets acquired with earnings already
taxed is immoral. As is taxing of gifts.
The power to tax is
still the power to destroy. In this case what is destroyed is small
businesses and farms, and family homes. It should not be necessary to
establish complex trust arrangements to protect family assets. Instead,
any inherited or gifted assets should be taxed on payment of income or
capital gains from sale, just as if the new owner had owned them all
along. The inherited basis would be the original purchase price plus
improvements just as for the original owner.9/30/2007
District of Columbia Statehood - eMail
The District of
Columbia was set aside to house the offices of the Federal Government.
It was not intended to be a residential area for private citizens. If DC
residents want to participate in statehood, then the entire area should
be returned to the neighboring states from which that land was ceded.
Those States did not cede the land to become another, competing State!
10/1/2007 English as US Official Language - eMail
English must be made the official language of the United States.
A free people must be able to talk to each other! Without a common
language individuals cannot resolve disputes and argue out their
differences, and misunderstanding and suspicion are unavoidable.
Immigrants should be fluent in English before they are admitted to the
US. If they are unable or unwilling to learn English then they should
not be admitted. This is not an undue burden because most countries
teach English as a second language in their primary schools.
Learning English is not a requirement to abandon the immigrant's
culture. Almost anyone is capable of learning two languages. Many
immigrant groups have done so. Inflexible individuals and cultures
unable to do so do not make a healthy, free people.
transitional measure, current resident immigrants should be encouraged
and helped to learn English. Fluent English should be a requirement for
Citizenship. Fluent English should be a lawful requirement for
employment especially where interaction with the public is required.
Reading English must be a requirement for a drivers license, pilots
license, or any other government certification of skill where reading is
important. Rescind executive Order 13166.
Lack of fluent English
should be probable cause to investigate immigration status. Passport and
immigration documents should have an instant verification system to
avoid undue inconvenience to the legal visitor and to reduce slack
enforcement due to inconvenience.
Nations divided by language
descend into chaos.10/18/2007 NAFTA Super Highway -
I strongly oppose the "NAFTA Super Highway" whatever
its actual names may be.
Its obvious purpose is to facilitate the
importation of cheap goods with cheap transportation. It does nothing
the facilitate the interchange of goods between Americans. It is not a
benefit to Americans as a whole, but rather for the profit and benefit
of a few.
American jobs are lost as low-cost goods from
near-slavery and no-pollution-control-cost societies drive out American
products and labor. This has serious consequences for the future.
American transportation jobs will be lost because trucks and drivers
will be mainly Mexican.
Illegal immigration will continue to
explode as the new, largely unchecked entry point is exploited.
Most of these societies are major polluters. They do not
spend to control pollution. China in particular has surpassed us and is
rapidly increasing its output of pollution. This is not even taking into
account the pollution due to transportation from Asia, disruption of the
sea ecologies from so many large ships and their discharges, and the
massive disruption of mid-west ranches and wild lands to build and
maintain the corridor.
Loss of American industrial jobs
ultimately means failure of innovation. American workers are losing
contact with the technology-related jobs that have been the step-up from
menial jobs and poverty. Industrial jobs give parents and consequently
children contact with technological ideas. Not the end-product ideas,
but the how-its-done and how-it-works ideas. We cannot be competitive
without innovation, and know-how develops from exposure to technological
ideas. Such exposure allows children to conceive the idea to work in
those fields and become the engineers, scientists, and innovators of our
future.10/19/2007 US Sovereignty - eMail
[John Doolittle, Barbara Boxer, Dianne Feinstein, President]
No foreign tribunals, North American Free Trade Agreement
(NAFTA) and Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA), that
supersede the Supreme Court.
American sovereignty and my
individual rights must not be compromised under any guise. I expect you
to use your powers to reject such proposals.
No "North American Union", "Security and Prosperity Partnership", or
anything of the like that merges sovereign prerogatives or grants power
to higher government forms.
No Law of the Sea Treaty ceding
control of the seas to the UN, the power to tax Americans, a Court of
No UN standing army. The UN must continue to depend
on the cooperation of sovereign, national governments.
monitoring of UN corruption and malfeasance, making further support
contingent on reform.
The proof is compelling and
not contradicted by any known fact that government entities larger than
the small nation-state cannot overcome the human weakness for power and
corruption. These failings are too dangerous when elevated in power and
The United Nations has proven conclusively
that they are too corrupt and inept to manage anything in the interest
of the peoples of the world. The UN Declaration of Rights is strangely
worded and its "rights" are a matter of simple vote not a matter of
right superseding UN legislative power.
The European Union is
steadily making all the same mistakes as the United States Federal
Government - overreaching power, federalizing functions that are far
better managed by State and local government, etc.
the Encarta World Dictionary:
1.top authority: supreme
authority, especially over a state
2.independence: freedom from
outside interference and the right to self-government
state: a politically independent state10/26/2007
Marriage and Family - eMail
The family is the core of any
stable society. The core of the family, the nuclear family, is the
male-female partnership referred to as Marriage. Extensions to this core
are relatives and friends. There is no record of any society granting
Marriage in any other way even though the privileges and consequences of
marriage and family vary greatly.
The family is the place where
children are best raised. All evidence shows that children raised in a
nuclear family are better off than children raised in other ways. This
is not a matter of blame but a matter of fact that must be the basis of
If government has any role in the family, it is to
support the nuclear family. Marriage laws have had this purpose.
Because of the large body of existing civil and governmental law that
establishes prerogatives and benefits for parents and Married couples,
it would be a serious miscarriage to simply redefine Marriage as a legal
partnership between two individuals. This would grant the whole package
to non-male-female marriages without the centuries of detailed
consideration that founded the current situation.
extend Marriage to other than male-female pairs, it would be better to
restrict legal Marriage to male-female pairs with dependent children. If
necessary under law and governmental regulation, the new category of
Domestic Partnership can be used for other domestic relationships. This
latter still needs detailed consideration because many such laws could
be abolished in favor of the simple partnership contract.
Marriage is not a form of qualification for privilege and government
2007/10/27: Growth is Not a Good Thing - eMail
5/12/2008 FAA User Fees - eMail
"Growth" is not a good thing for the United States as it is currently
understood based on population growth. Economic growth based on
innovation and efficiency is the only good growth. Other than that, long
term stability is best.
I understand that you are being advised to veto the
FAA Funding bill if it does not include user fees and more influence
over Air Traffic Control by the Airlines. I most strongly disagree.
The aviation fuel tax, as for the road fuel taxes, is the fairest
form of support for the FAA services as they are directly proportional
to use. Fees are punitive, discourage safety, and add substantial,
useless paperwork for both the FAA and the flying citizen. Many of the
"services" that light aviation is being asked to pay for are exclusively
for the benefit of the Airlines and large commercial aviation.
For years the Airlines have sought to control the airways and airports,
but the Airlines should not control the airways any more than the
tuckers should control the roads. The Air Traffic Control system must
serve all users fairly. Already there are many requirements and
impositions imposed on light aircraft aviation that are purely for the
benefit of Airlines and large commercial aviation. Also, as you know,
airline transportation is the least efficient, most polluting, form of
transportation.6/26/2008 Florescent Light Bulb Mandate -
Another point overlooked is that I heat my house about
2/3 of the year. Consequently, any heat from the incandescent bulb
(which is why they are less efficient) just reduces the electrical use
from my electric heater (or pollution from my wood stove :-). This is
also true for those who heat with gas or oil where the incandescent bulb
reduces energy use and CO2 emissions. So for 2/3 of the year there would
be no savings. Of course in hot seasons and areas, florescent lights
reduce air conditioning energy loads.
Also the cost of toxic
manufacture and disposal, and health costs from breakage are not figured
in. Not to mention the environmental cost of shipping the bulbs across
the Pacific (oil burning ships, disruption of the ocean ecosystem, and
waste dumping at sea). Except for disposal and health, these costs would
be explicit in the price if made in the US under US regulations.
Mandatory automatic light dimmers would save a good deal more
because most people just leave lights on unnecessarily. So the best
solution is not mandated CFLs, but appropriate use depending on specific
Also, make solar tubes mandatory in building and
I agree with you that the free market with consumer
choice (and no government subsidy of non-viable alternatives) takes care
of many of the "problems" that our government creates by meddling. As
Thomas Sowell says in his book on economics "that is not a problem to be
solved" (its a working feature of markets).
p.s. Florescent bulbs
are ugly in antique and decorative light fixtures.
electricity is cheap and has no carbon footprint (Bonniville dam).
p.s. The pollution from manufacture in China comes right to California
on the winds.
2009/02/22: Senate Passes "Historic" Stimulus Bill
All of this "stimulus" was tried by Hoover and Roosevelt and the
Depression deepened and dragged on until after WW II. Such stimulus is a
net loss to the average taxpayer. The jobs created are not new jobs
but rather jobs transferred from other work that would have been done
with the money taxed away.
If America is strong enough to take this punishment, we may survive
until good sense returns, but it is likely that the "Historic" part of
this bill will be noted as the beginning of the end for freedom and self
government in the United States and worldwide.
4/18/2009 California "Water Crisis" - eMail
Regarding the "Urgent Need to Improve
California's Water Supply" in your recent email.
California is a
desert there will always be a shortage of water. The problem is not
water but over-population. As long as illegal's are encouraged to come
to California to get jobs and government benefits, our population will
continue to skyrocket and water will always be in crisis. We need
California to discourage illegal immigration by refusing benefits and
jobs to illegal's, and mandating cooperation with and reporting to the
Federal INS. We also need to force the Federal government to do its
The real "water" crisis is the absence of ground water law.
Developers within the State and in Nevada have large amounts of money to
bribe or purchase access to ground water which being unregulated can
destroy or over-draw an aquifer, and hence destroy the life and
livelihood of the resident population and wildlife. The Surprise Valley
and Honey Lake areas are at risk of becoming the next Mono Lake.
2009/07/24: Letter to the Editor - Legislatures are
Apparently the public and the editor need a short civics lesson.
The State Legislature and the US Congress make laws and set budgets,
the Governor and the President have no such powers. Budget problems are
problems in the Legislature or Congress. So don't bother complaining
about the Governor.
For my entire adult life, the California Legislature has over-spent,
demanded more taxes, blamed the taxpayers when we didn't want to pay
more, and cut services to punish us. Meanwhile, the State bureaucracy
has grown steadily and never seems to suffer layoffs.
Lets assign the responsibility to the right people, the Legislature.
10/10/2009 Letter to the Editor about "They" - eMail
Your editorial of October blames "They" for nastiness, racism, and lack
of charity, simply because they criticize the present government.
"They" are a bit tired of being called names. "They" have the right
and obligation of criticizing the government. As you point out, our
liberty and success were based on local government, not State or
Federal, and local charity not State or Federal largess. Most State and
Federal programs are proven failures, so enlarging them is just
destructive. We were promised Change, but we are getting the same old
same old.10/23/2009 Health Care for Women - eMail
[Response to eMail from Nancy-Ann DeParle, The White House]
This is a bunch of non-sense. Our health care system is not "broken".
Like any system it can be improved but not by someone with the track
record of the Federal Government.
Some less expensive health care
policies do not include pregnancy - that's how they can be less
expensive for single or older women. That does not prevent a woman from
buying one that does. Pregnancy is an example of why "health care
insurance" is not really insurance. Pregnancy is not an unlikely aliment
the risk of which can be shared in an insurance pool, it is a chosen
event. If you deliberately crash your car, the insurance company will
not cover the damage, and if your car is already crashed, a new
insurance company will not give you a policy to cover it after the fact.
11/25/2009 Letter to Editor - eMail
to speak exactly and provide footnotes, but her comments were generally
correct about the financial problems of small counties. Modoc County is
not unique for being in financial trouble, but it is unique for dipping
into reserves AND it is the only small county struggling to keep a
county hospital open!
Going into debt to cover operating expenses
is a death spiral. The State of California and the US Federal government
are clear examples. The question that I have yet to hear answered is
whether the Hospital is really able to sustain a surplus now that it has
Critical Access status. If so, then dipping into the reserves is a
temporary measure albeit technically illegal. Going into debt forever,
while not technically illegal comes close to dereliction of duty. Kind
of a devil's choice.1/18/2001 Response to Quote of Speech by MLK
King's words are wonderfully poetic and the form "A
multiplies A" has the semblance of deep truth. Half-truth, especially as
poetry or music, is powerful but dangerous. Once the words "darkness",
"hate", "violence", "toughness", and "war" are tainted in this way, it
becomes difficult to rationally discuss issues where these words are
used. "Darkness" is not always bad; "hate" is often only in someone's
misunderstanding; "violence" is very subjective; "toughness" is usually
a virtue; "war" while always ugly and undesirable, but is sometimes
necessary. The chain of evil does indeed need to be broken, but it is
perpetuated by careless use of words.
Thank goodness, that King's
greatness did not depend on the first quote!6/22/2011
Public Information - Modoc Independent Blog
It is a good
deal more difficult to get useful information than you might expect.
Public information is processed and published by bureaucrats. They are
paper pushers not thinkers, so you get numbers published in categories
but little effort is made to make the categories useable or
understandable by the public.7/7/2011 American Founding
- Modoc Independent Blog
I think you misread my statement
"America was founded by Protestant Christians". America was founded by
innumerable Protestant Christian sects and individuals. Most came here
as inheritors of the unique English variation of Western, Christian
civilization. The "founding fathers" merely formalized what was already
established over a hundred years by the people (Jefferson said as much).
These people came here as Europeans intent on establishing their own
little colonies according to their own views. Over time they softened
and discovered that life was better if they tolerated the heretics in
the next town. It was wonderful to have distracted kings more than a
month away by ship. We learned self-government because we had to; an
opportunity almost unique in the world.7/11/2011
American Founding - Modoc Independent Blog
I get the feeling
that we are talking about different things.
I have been talking
about the people that came here and settled in the hundred years before
the Revolution. They were Europeans and had not yet discovered the
America of the Declaration. Many at that time thought that they were
founding little religious theocracies. Of course many didn't care one
way or the other. Self-government caught on much earlier than religious
freedom. I have not been talking about the "founding fathers" or any
other much later figures. Nor am I talking about the formation of our
government after the Revolution. The original point was that
interpretation of the word "God" in the understanding of the general
public at the time the poems were published would be that of the
Protestant Christian view of God whether they were Christians themselves
or not. 10/10/2011 Failing Government - Modoc
Is it the "political system" that is
failing or the people that we have elected to run it and our desire to
get benefits? There are budget laws that apply to federal, state, and
county operations but none of these governments obey them. There are
duties for each office, but the officers fail to do them. There are
always failures in human systems, but we have let too many go on for too
long because each of us is part of a constituency that demanded "our
We too are part of the political system, we are the
ultimate check-and-balance. For a decade the Grand Jury and others
reported the budget decline, but no one seemed to care. It takes hard
work to offer constructive suggestions, and considerable restraint to
work with others without rancor. We the people have lost touch with
these skills, and it will take us some time and pain to reassert
ourselves. 1/5/2012 Library Debacle - Modoc Independent
I am always surprised that people on this blog are
surprised that government is unresponsive, unaccountable, and
irresponsible with our money. Have you not read history? Have you not
read the news papers for the last 50 years?
We the People have elected
and re-elected those promising a free lunch to be paid for by the magic
of future money or taxes paid by some other person. And they have
obliged us with services, salaries, and benefits way beyond our ability
to pay. Their graft is a minor loss compared to what we accepted that we
cannot pay for.
The Federal, State, County, and city governments
across the nation, and around the world, are bankrupt and are running
deficits. The State Controller may have recovered some of our taxes but
nonetheless has allowed the State to descend deep into bankruptcy.
Whistle blowers, some of the press, and the Grand Jury have warned
us over and over again, yet we have done nothing (and still do little).
In this instance, the Friends of the Modoc County Library should
demand to see a budget and sufficient accounting information so they can
determine what can be done. Would a reasonable library tax hike be
enough, or are private funds and volunteer staffing necessary. Or should
we let the Library die and sleep in front of our TVs?
5/11/2012 Marriage - Heritage Blog
There are two problems
with Reply May 10 at 6:18 pm.
To the extent that homosexuality is
genetic, as far as I know there is no way to decide if the gene confers
a benefit or is just benign, similar to the question of why people live
past reproductive age. To the extent that homosexuality is epigenetic,
then we have the problem whether it is heritable or just a developmental
difference. In any case, a human is a human and is entitled to the same
rights. Whether government recognition of "marriage" is one of them is a
debatable question which currently suffers from lack of adequate
Thanks for the article which brings up the
real question, "Why does government formally recognize marriage"? I
suspect that the original intent was the same for all human societies,
to support a family structure that insures survival of that society.
Modern law has used the status of "married" for other purposes such as
income tax filing. So rather than grant "married" status to every
conceivable human pair, we need first to investigate how the status
"married" is used in Federal law, State law, common law, and regulation.
Most of these laws were established when nearly everyone lived in a
nuclear family. Times have changed. Now un-married couples and
deliberately childless couples live together, and large numbers of
families are single-parent. Also there are many second marriages in old
age beyond childbearing. Are most of our laws that depend on the status
"married" now obsolete? Perhaps we should be denying "married" status to
more couples rather than expanding the franchise?
6/8/2012 Organic Food - Facts Matter Blog
You make the
assumption that everything has been studied and fully understood by
Science. Asking for reported, peer-reviewed science to support a concern
requires that multiple groups have received large and reliable grants to
start and maintain studies. Where is the vested interest that reliably
provides such money? The organic industry is still too small to play
significantly on this field.
More than just following the money,
scientists work within a belief system (paradigm) about their subject.
Their view constrains their work and limits the answerers that they find
acceptable. This is not a criticism, they are just human, but we must
take this into account when making decisions that require knowledge of
As you and Ryan have touched on, the organic choice
involves a whole range of issues, it not simply a matter of greater
healthiness in absence of artificial chemicals or genetic modification.
An issue that I have yet to decide on, is what happens when GMOs are
loose in the environment. The largest chemical spills dissipate over
time. GMO life forms replicate and given a suitable situation will
spread as they displace lesser breeds. Our knowledge of DNA and cell
function is still primitive but there appear to be many natural methods
where foreign DNA is incorporated into living cells. Ignorance is not
Being conservative means relying on 10,000 years of social
evolution until the efficacy and safety of a new approach is proved (not
the other way around).6/9/2012 Organic Food - Facts
I guess that the short form of my argument is
that GMO providers, being the advocate of change, have the burden of
At their high volume a tiny savings is very profitable,
but as a consumer the small difference in price is not convincing, even
if I have to pay the higher price of organic to avoid GMOs (because GMOs
do not require disclosure).
It is hard to find real tomatoes
nowadays. Ordinary breeding for machine harvesting ended that. Some
years ago I bought a hot-house tomato and was astounded to find it
actually tasted like a tomato! Needless to say that tomato never made it
to the salad :-). Long live the heirlooms!6/9\22/2012
Organic Food - Facts Matter Blog
I feel vaguely offended by
your dwelling on "organic" foods as if we who favor it are idiot or lazy
children because we fail to offer irrefutable proofs. Life is short and
many decisions have to be made without full proof.
Mainly I use
the "organic" label because my government has chosen not to require full
disclosure on food products and has some odd definitions of common
terms. I have not noticed any dramatic increase in prices for "organic".
Really, "spend five times more on basic food" is a two-ton straw man.
7/17/2012 European Birth Rate - eMail
Yes, and in
100 years there will almost no Western Europeans left, their birth rate
is about 1.1-1.5 children per family, which means their population will
be halved every generation. In the US, European-Americans are birthing
at about 2.0 per family, slightly below the replacement rate of 2.5.
Gloomy, but we will live well for a few generations even if Obama is
reelected. Our ancestors took a great risk and worked their butts off to
give us all of this. We will soon see if enough of us understand that.
9/19/12020 Trade with China Supports US Jobs - Heritage Blog
Sorry, but the report is nonsense.
Goods made in the US support
the very same distribution jobs that are claimed here for imported
goods. So importation does indeed reduce US jobs. Importation also
eliminates US manufacturing skills, and exposure of the children of the
manufacturing workers to ideas that lead to higher paying skilled jobs.
Importation is only an advantage when the other country has a clear
and significant advantage in technology or local resources other than
labor. Absence of necessary regulation such as for safety and
environment, and inadequate commercial legal protection for US consumers
are strong negatives and often negate price advantage.
11/18/2012 Newspaper Honesty - Modoc Independent Blog
belief in honor and justice is heartwarming, but alas newspapers to not
live up to their creed, and we have not forced them to do so.
Occasionally they may report an important truth contrary to their
interests, but just not regularly enough to help us.
day there were many independent newspapers. They covered the spectrum of
partisanship so there was a good chance that problems would leak out.
Reporters were everyday people who worked their way up. Their greed to
scoop their completion served us well enough.
Now a large city is
lucky to have one newspaper and it is owned by a giant conglomerate of
"media" outlets. Reporters are now mostly college graduates, educated in
liberal, publicly funded universities. These "journalists" represent a
narrow, elite view of our society, and get into journalism not to reveal
the truth but to proselytize an ideology.
The Internet has
changed that for those who regularly use the Web, but the vast majority
of voters only watch television and perhaps scan a tabloid. But Internet
or not we still must use Harry's advice, trust no one source.
8/21/2014 Slavery - Facts Matter Blog
Americans did not have two and a half centuries of slavery. The first
century there was little or no slavery in North America. For the next 60
years the people in North America were English not American, and the
vast majority did not own slaves. Most of the English in North America
abhorred slavery, but were prevented from abolishing it by the English
King. After the Revolution, we struggled with the slavery issue and the
Constitution abolished importation of slaves in 1808. The English began
abolishing slavery in 1807 by banning the trade, and soon had to board
French slavers to prevent English slavers using the French flag. When
the English fully abolished the slave trade about 1833(?), they began
using their naval and commercial power to abolish slavery world wide.
The Civil War ended up abolishing slavery in the US. Of course some
slavery elsewhere persisted into the 1900's, and even up to the present
day!8/26/2014 Slavery - Facts Matter Blog
Apparently you believe in collective guilt, guilt by
association. I do not. I believe that responsibility only applies to the
actions of an individual and the things that he can realistically
change. Also you apparently do not consider improvement as commendable.
My ancestors struggled to understand and then implement a new leap
forward in Liberty when forced to address the backward tendency of the
King and Parliament with respect to the rights of colonial Englishmen.
They paid a great price in blood and treasure. None were blind that
slavery must end, most abhorred slavery including those trapped in its
processes. Many of the new State constitutions in 1776 abolished
slavery, as some had already tried as colonies.
The victory and
subsequent struggles to establish a working confederacy of the States
consistent with our declared values took some time. The work of
abolishing slavery had to proceed by law. It was messy, as free politics
always are, and an ugly compromise was established. The Civil War
interrupted these processes and the victorious North unilaterally
abolished slavery. About the same time, the English were busy abolishing
slavery world-wide, so the Civil War as a means to end slavery was
unnecessary, as they soon would have forced the slave States (they
bought all their cotton).
But apparently we are still guilty for
the short existence of slavery in North America because we did not
instantly abolish slavery after 10,000 years of unquestioned practice,
despite having established a new standard of freedom and paid dearly in
blood and treasure.8/27/2014 Slavery - Facts Matter Blog
The abolition of slavery after 10,000 years of universal
acceptance was not a race. You do not win by coming in first by a few
years. We, the North Americans, did not create slavery, so we did not
"break" anything. Some of us got addicted to the drug. We needed to
correct both tyranny and slavery, and both took time. The first would
have been impossible if we attempted the second at the same time. Are
you arguing that moral change is valid only if accomplished instantly?
The slavery we think of today is the large-scale plantation slavery
that started about 1500 when the West African coast was opened to trade
and Central and South American land became available. In the preceding
1,000 years, Caucasians were the preferred slave source because they
were available and easy to capture. Plantation slavery was relatively
rare in earlier times but it did exist in East Africa and Western India.
The "atrocities" included abuse and loss of life in the Atlantic
transport and working slaves to death on the plantation. These two were
mostly European innovations. They ceased in North America after 1808
when importation slaves was prohibited by the Constitution and the
English began interdicting slave ships. The Deep South plantation slaves
might have noticed some improvement as they were now more valuable, but
hell is pretty much the same at 500 degrees as at 1000. For comparison,
the Muslims took as many slaves out of West Africa, but the transport
death rate was about 80% as the young girls and newly castrated eunuchs
died or were abandoned in the Sahara. If plantation slavery had been
more benign as in prior centuries, it probably would not have been
abolished until much later. It was the atrocities that convinced the
English to ban the trade and eventually the practice. It took time for
people to see that plantation slavery was very different than historical
Yes, the North Americans were originally English. Just
as English and with all the beliefs and customs of the Anglo-Saxons on
their little island. But over time something happened. The necessity of
self-governance and self-reliance an ocean away gradually changed us. We
first discovered self-governance because we had to. We later discovered
religious tolerance, although originally we established little
theocracies. We struggled to reform our English homeland right up to the
Revolution. But 10-15 years before, we began to wake up to the fact that
we were now different. Read the books, pamphlets, and newspapers of
those years as we struggled to redefine just governance, shaking off
centuries of accepted dogma. Everyone knew that slavery had to go, but
independence had to come first for practical reasons and because the
King of that time forbade abolition.
Perhaps we should move on to
show how we let the Federal government create racism by their abuse of
the South during "Reconstruction". Or how a century of Democrat
controlled Jim Crow, and blocking Civil Rights legislation held down
black families, which were then destroyed by poorly designed welfare
laws. But wait! I think we face the same decision now as we did at the
Revolution, we need to save ourselves from the growing tyranny before we
can solve the problems created by that tyranny. This is something we can
do, something we can take responsibility for, this is something we must
do.10/1/2019 Mandatory Vaccinations - Talk Show eMail
First, one never surrenders personal rights to the group.
We cooperate with others, we do not submit to others. With regard to
health and vaccinations what is the basis for cooperation?
Medicine in not a Science although it may be "scientific" in the sense
that it uses some scientific knowledge and technologies. Most medical
practice is based on statistical analysis of partial data. It is the
best we can do without using human test subjects.
say a vaccine is found 80% effective with 1% serious side effects. The
medical establishment and government "experts" would claim that this is
sufficient to mandate its use. But have the 1% agreed to suffer? And the
money is wasted on the 19% who get no benefit. Further, the 80% is
really just a guess, because there is no detailed evidence about who was
actually exposed and survived because of the vaccine. Many who were
vaccinated still get the disease, and many unvaccinated never suffer
from the disease even if exposed.
Every person is biologically
and sociologically different. There is no test to check if a person is
susceptible to injury by the vaccine including its "inactive"
ingredients. And no review of the risk of exposure. My wife and I, and
past girlfriends do not have herpes or any STD because we do not engage
in recreational sex with strangers. Do we need to risk vaccination
It is argued that group immunity justifies
requiring vaccination. But why is group immunity necessary if the
vaccinations actually work? I have studied some mumbo jumbo about this,
but it is just statistical hand waving. As I said above, there is no
scientific way to test this kind of idea.
The point is that each
vaccination needs to be evaluated for personal circumstances. I have
chosen to take some vaccinations and have refused most. How have I lived
this long without them?
If vaccinations can be mandated by
government, why not other health practices? Should it be a felony to not
tell a sex partner that you have AIDS or other STD? Should it be a crime
to sneeze in public? Should not washing your hands be a punishable act?
Why just vaccinations?
See the schedule just for children at CDC.
Second, you mentioned, public participation in "running the
country". Oh wow, you don't want to hear my first reaction to that!
The Federal (and State) governments are not supposed to "run the
country"! Please review the Constitution, Declaration, and the writings
of the public and Founders. America is based on local government and
self-control. We learned about this in our first 150 years, and it is
why we revolted. You can cooperate with neighbors, but not with power
psychotics in Washington or Sacramento.
The People have been fed
a line of bull for at least 50 years. That's why the power elite put so
much effort into teacher and law schools, and universities.
Topics to work on
Traditional values and customs contain information about successful
living. They evolved under the long term pressure of survival. It is
unwise to defy them.
Morality is what is good for humans (said most explicitly by the
atheist Objectivists, Ayn Rand et. al.). However on examination,
virtually all of the world religions contain the same recommendations
for right action (morality). God was no dummy, on careful examination an
atheist would have to agree with the Ten Commandments.