Presidents

A comment – link at Maggiesfarm

Here is an off the cuff list of the best: George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Grant, Theodore Rosevelt, Coolidge, The war FDR, Eisenhaure, Maybe Reagan, Clinton, Trump.

It is not the man so much as a mix of philosophy, administration and legacy.

To me Lincoln seems like the greatest but at the time he was hated by as many or probably more, than he was loved.

I believe Trump the president was also great.

Trump the man as president…not so much. But it is not clear to me that Trump would have been as successful as he was any other way than the way he was.

That left the opening for a lot of very rapid damage to be done by the following administration when he became a one term president due the to the machinations of the machine.

Why is he hated so much when once he was beloved of the very elites that rabidly snarl at his ankles today? Because he stayed true to himself , he is not, never was, a conservative, he’s an updated 1950’s Anti Communist Centrist Liberal.

He is, as were they in some significant sense, populist and anti elite while connecting to the elite, and he got down and did real work for most of his life. OK executive and then star work, but work of a significant type for many years.

That may be the biggest difference between liberalism of early twentieth century and today…those liberals (even anti communists) were populists of a rather socialist bent who got down and got working guy grubby (which made a lot of those earlier left liberals much more attractive than the modern soy boy type.)

Of ratchets and slopes, slippery or otherwise

Crossbow and the crank/ratchet for cocking it medieval period, WikiCommons

As commented on before I pay attention to Scott Adams of Dilbert fame as an interesting thinker with a fairly well defined but undefinable political gestalt. Uber liberal realist Trump supporter is maybe the best description.

One of his mantra’s is that Slippery Slopes are Not a Thing.

The following is my interpretation of his position.

A point of view/policy item with a broad ‘option space’ and supporters on both ends, say like gun control, will slide in a direction that is acceptable to the general polity (something like the Overton Window) until some point it will no longer be acceptable. Those who wish to push the policy towards one end or the other will eventually meet resistance and be unable to move the policy further ‘their way’ until some change occurs. That change may move the policy ‘back’ or ‘forward’ but it is acceptability that controls. This says that the idea of a ‘slippery slope ‘with its imagery of reaching a point where you lose control and slide to some end point it false on its face.

Having thought about this I agree with the premise in a general sense.

Two, I think important, quibbles:

1) That in a highly emotional and very dynamic situation such as one might have in the ancient Demos of Greece, or say a Constitutional Congress, a French State Committee…, the slippery slope appears to me to be a real threat. The whole of the polity is in the fight as it were and there is no stable base of opinion to dampen high flights of rhetoric and emotion. In such situations you have a tendency to move to the end state without the intermediary and if this is then enforced on the outside world the results are likely to be calamitous if the topic is one with a high degree of emotional attachment with the broader public. The Demos were tiny isolated city states and they killed a few important people and destroyed themselves but it was in the end fairly evolutionary. The US constitution was very conservative in its basis and while the result was ‘liberal’ it was not that crazy and was in line with most of the populous, plus it was a huge area with a tiny population, where malcontents could often go west if they wanted. The French Revolution was a bloody multi decadal disaster because it didn’t have any other damper than time and blood….To a large degree I don’t see this as that active other than in a Social Network Today…to some degree it explains some of the crap that goes on in odd corners of the web.

2) More important than 1) is the fact that the ratchet is IMO real. That once a law or regulation is in place it tends to create a new baseline and constituency. If the issue is fairly hot there will be pushback but in general people are for stability and a law or regulation will become entrenched. It only takes time for that to then be the jumping off point for a new effort to extend whatever policy. This may not be very logical on its face but it is a reality and is one of the reasons that any human system tends to atrophy with time. So the party who tends to desire more law and regulation have a tendency to have the edge here and they will turn the crank on the ratchet whenever they get the chance.

While England is not the US in any sense one should look at it as a bit of a case study, though the lack of the 2nd Amendment is a huge factor. A century ago guns were rare more because of their cost than anything else. Then regulation started to build up. Because of no 2A and it was very gradual there was not much push back. Today not only is any kind of firearm in private possession effectively illegal so are any edged/pointed device inclusive of scissors. The ratchet is real…the slippery slope is a thing only in very constrained cases.

SPACE Rabbits !

Crew Dragon (NASA Webcast/via Parabolic Arc

Private Space Missions Multiplying Like Rabbits

by Douglas Messier

Managing Editor (Parabolic Arc)

With the spate of announcements about private space missions over the past year, it’s easy to lose track of the who, what, where, when, why and how of the flights.

As a public service, Parabolic Arc has collected information about all five of the announced missions.

Nuff said

We need a Base or our dreams are fantasy shading into terror.

As limited and degraded as man undeniably is, he yet remains “the proof by contraries” of the divine Prototype and of all that this Prototype implies and determines in relation to man. Not to acknowledge what surpasses us and not to wish to surpass ourselves: … is the very definition of Lucifer. The opposite, or rather the primordial … attitude is this: to think only in reference to what surpasses us and to live for the sake of surpassing ourselves; to seek greatness where this is to be found and not on the plane of the individual and his rebellious pettiness. In order to return to true greatness, man must first of all agree to pay the debt of his pettiness and to remain small on the plane where he cannot help being small; the sense of what is objective on the one hand and of the absolute on the other does not go without a certain abnegation, and it is this abnegation precisely that allows us to be completely faithful to our human vocation.

Logic and Transcendence: A New Translation with Selected Letters
© 2009 World Wisdom, Inc. pg 14, The contradiction of Relativism

OK, so I’m addicted to philosophy right now. Directed here by One Cosmos, a autodidactic philosopher and deeply anti-psychological psychologist of the once great state of California.

While some philosophers and metaphysicians can be opaque in the extreme others are as one should expect extremely good writers with depth and clarity that is remarkable. Others are opaque but readable because what you ‘get’ seems true and sensible and the opacity is often in their use of old words, Greek or Latin words to try and de conflict their meaning from the everyday words that have been so poisoned by intentional obfuscation. The above book is of near preternatural clarity type. I have found another writer, Voeglin the type that makes you want to work at it.

OK, if Hornady says it’s so,I guess….

GunsAmerica’s Digest is a good general guns and ammo site picking up articles and topics from all over. Suggested.

The Truth About Ammo – GunsAmerica Exclusive Interview With Hornady

by JORDAN MICHAELS on JANUARY 23, 2021

The emails and social media messages to Hornady’s customer service team haven’t let up in months;

“Where’s all the ammo?”

”Are you still making hunting cartridges?”

“Have you shut down due to COVID?”

“Why are you making T-shirts and not ammunition?”

“Are you hoarding ammunition?

“Are you selling all the ammunition to the government?”

A quick survey of Hornady’s Facebook page reveals of few of these missives.

So I even muttered under my breath, ‘only the Feds have the resources to buy up all the ammo, real people can’t be buying it all.’ Even if I know that’s bat shit crazy.

It was easy to sense the frustration and fatigue in Jason Hornady’s voice when he sat down with GunsAmerica last week. As the vice president of one of the nation’s largest ammunition manufacturers, Hornady has captained the company through the greatest surge in demand in the industry’s history, …

….they increased production by 30 percent last year, when they usually only grow five or ten percent each year. They ran through their entire inventory 18 times in 2020, when a normal year only sees six inventory turnarounds…. “Anything we make yesterday is shipping today,”

“Normally, a guy would buy one or two boxes. Instead, they’re buying cases,” Hornady said.

“Anyone who thinks that ammo companies aren’t trying to make and sell as much as they can, doesn’t understand capitalism,” he said. “We all like money. Nobody wants to ever make less.”

“It’s shipping all the time. We’re all shipping more all the time,” Hornady said. “The biggest thing is, be patient.”

Bottom line? Hornady and other manufacturers are working as hard as they can to meet today’s unprecedented demand.

So there you have it.

There are some supply restrictions on the input side, primer I hear is a big issue. It’s dangerous stuff and a lot is imported because it’s hard to build plant in the US. But even stuff like cardboard boxes are getting hard to get…So…. be patient, soldier on. Don’t burn through your practice stock too fast.

A little air, a bit of heat, some light

What Global Warming? 148 New (2020) Scientific Papers Affirm Recent Non-Warming, A Degrees-Warmer Past at WattsUpWithThat

Climate Change Horror Porn is another tool of the apparat to frighten us. In realty there is an objective truth out there…none of us know it. Two sides largely aligned Left and Right though not precisely have taken sides and because the liberal left is ascendant and deeply intwined in academia and the media they are trying to ‘scare us straight.’ It might be well intentioned in many cases, but ideologues, abusers, users and grifters have gathered around a powerful ideological tool that can be used to manipulate the population.

  • The science such as it is….which is a lot…but not what you are told it is by the media and the ideologues who want to use it.
    • Climate science
      • What climate was/is/will be:
        • Is based on models of how the whole atmosphere, hydrosphere and lithosphere work.
          • Early simple models were very illuminating.
          • Complex models are horribly sensitive to incorrect knowledge and unknowns.
        • A lot of it is based on prior history comparing things like plant and sea life growth vs temperature, CO2 etc.
          • But most of this knowledge is based on proxies up until a decade or at most two ago.
          • Plus sparse and non technical accounts up until the modern era
          • Has a sparse and erratic technical record from about a century and a half.
          • Decent deep record for a couple of decades.
          • Can see what it is today in fair but not omniscient detail.
        • We model the future based on models that we ‘test’ against the past. Like the stock market sometimes these models can do an ok job. But that is only because of parameter fiddling to ‘match the curves.’ The models are by necessity highly simplified and often just plain wrong. For example:
          • recent discovery that cloud impact on surface temperature can increase not decrease surface temperature. And that it may depend on where you are in the world.
          • Recent discovery that CO2 concentration’s affect on green house is not linear and tapers quickly at higher concentrations.
          • That the planetary heat balance is highly affected by cooling at the poles, and that the magnetosphere/sun link into the climate also is highly linked at the poles.
          • Etc.
        • While the first climate models that brilliant men and women came up with less than a century ago have been proven to be largely correct, the details are practically, hardly better modeled today than they were in the 1950’s.
        • Today there are literally hundreds of complex computer models and that are run many times with many different start parameters. They generate families of predictions, effectively at random. Those predictions are never even close to right at a rate greater than chance.
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Grumping

So I pay way to much attention to the internet though I do focus on STEM topics other than libertarian leaning current events and world view ‘stuff.’

One of my favorites is as I have said Scott Adams of Dilbert fame. You can find him on the web quite easily…well unless his support of Orange Man Bad got him kicked off at last.

But one of my grumps ever since the start of Covid has been his ‘blithely panicked’ (yes I meant that) response to what I see as a very serious but never, ever, even close to civilization ending, epidemic.

While I do not agree with those who call it just a flu, I do agree that it has been blown out of all proportion. I suspect that the response has killed more people (untreated conditions, suicide, drug overdose, ennui…) than the disease has.

Also the impact, being highly focused on people like me (a bit older with co morbidities) was tragic but after the first 3 months clearly within the realm of reasonable countermeasures to limit spread among the affected community without broad swath lockdowns (which were and are Fascistic over reactions.)

But Orange Man Bad drove a lot of folks into the fear and freak out theater business and there was nothing that reasonable people (Orange Man Bad amongst them) could do about it. Now ZombieJoe and his HenchWench will use the winding down of the fear frenzy to cover up a lot of their wild eyed supporters power grabs and revenge fantasy role playing.

Now one of the tropes is how hideous this disease is because of its lingering effects. Horrors, you may loose your sense of smell, have brain deficit issues, other health affects lasting who knows how long???

Get a Fucking Grip. I have had several serious infections due to physical damage early in my twenties (bone infection can recur more than once after 40 years!!!!) I also seem to get a really really really bad flue reaction every few years. These episodes have left me depressed and enervated for months…getting on for years. I often hear folks commenting about how serious infections drag out and lead to knock on effects.

This Covid HORROR is only something because we are paying millions of people billions of dollars to pay attention to this one thing.

What that attention has given us is a huge pile of data on what a viral infection can do the human body. And a whole bunch of youngish punkish doctors have seen this effect in detail in multiple patients for the first time and think its something new.

It’s not new, ask any group of older folks with less than perfect health records. And look at reality, this infectious vector and others have been around for hundreds of millions if not billions of years. A variant of this one might have helped kill of the Fucking Neanderthals (along with our ancestors and a few rocks and clubs.)

I was born in the year of the Hong Kong flu, probably a worse flu than this one but much less of a problem because travel was vastly less easy and people didn’t panic when an unknown disease popped up. They had lived with Polio, Typhoid, Yellow Fever, the Mumps, etc, etc most of their lives and were still stunned by the efficacy of the penicillin and its ilk.

I know that few will read this post and even if they did it would have no effect, but as with most Grumps, it helped me. Thank you for your support.