By Nathan Barton
Freedom News Daily provides this interesting article: Remote island has “world’s worst” plastic rubbish density, from the BBC. “An uninhabited island in the South Pacific is littered with the highest density of plastic waste anywhere in the world, according to a study. Henderson Island, part of the UK’s Pitcairn Islands group, has an estimated 37.7 million pieces of debris on its beaches. The island is near the centre of an ocean current, meaning it collects much rubbish from boats and South America. Researchers hope people will ‘rethink their relationship with plastic.’ The joint Australian and British study said the rubbish amounted to 671 items per square metre and a total of 17 tonnes. ‘A lot of the items on Henderson Island are what we wrongly refer to as disposable or single-use,’ said Dr Jennifer Lavers from the University of Tasmania.”
I do not know if they calculated out right. If the total deposit on this item is a mere 17 tonnes (metric: 2200 pounds, or about 19 US tons), that is not even a semi-load of plastic waste: a mere 56 cubic yards of landfill space in a low-density but modern landfill. Disposal cost would probably be about $2,800.
But there is another option. Continue reading
By Nathan Barton
Ronald Reagan had a number of good quips, including this one: “The taxpayer; that’s someone who works for the federal government, but doesn´t have to take a civil service examination.”
And of course, doesn’t get paid for it.
There is a term of doing work and not getting paid for it – actually there are a few. Some, like “pro bono,” (lawyer and engineer talk), which is (presumably) voluntary on the part of the person doing the work and not getting paid anything for it.
But the second, dirtier term for doing work for no pay is “slavery” – the difference is that doing it is not voluntary. You either do it or you get punished, generally with torture or death. Slavery is what we are talking about.
I would also like to argue that slaves, by definition, do not get wages. If they get money or other “valuable considerations,” it is not because they “earned” them but rather, these things are gifts. Which is precisely how the Congress, the various legislatures, even the county commissions and city and town councils (and the bureaucrats that work with them) view the wages, salaries, dividends, and profits that we are “allowed to keep” after they (often literally) take their taxes off the top. They give us what they do not want. We see this in the legal doctrine and practices surrounding things like foreclosures and bankruptcy – the government is the first creditor, taking their taxes off the top. Only then do legitimate debtors get part of what they are owed. Often, after taxes and fines and penalties are taken, there is little left for anyone else. Continue reading
By Nathan Barton
If modern society, around the world, but especially here in the Fifty States, is getting more and more foul, colleges and schools are leading the way into the gutter.
Even as I was writing about how certain government-run tax-funded schools (middle schools in particular) were expanding the horizons of Tyranny in Schools (TIS) ™ by spying and punishing children for posting “like” on social media for an AirSoft pistol and teaching political science “hands-on” by helping kids celebrate Cinco de Mayo by bashing a Trump pinata, this came across my desk.
An art professor called for the shooting of every Congresscritter (most GOP, I admit) who voted for the so-called “repeal” of ObummerCare. He called for them to be lined up and shot because they have blood on their hands in response to the WaPo call for them to “be held accountable” for the abomination. This was reported by Campus Reform Now.
I haven’t yet found any report where this faculty member has been suspended for ten days, reported to the Secret Service or FBI for his death threats, or even had his university administration chide him for his threats, which seem a whole lot more believable than that a school danger exists because a thirteen-year-old “liked” a picture of an AirSoft pistol. Continue reading
The definition of insanity: doing the same thing over and over, expecting different results. But even worse… doing the same thing over and over for its own sake, with little or no obvious interest in the results!
Have you looked closely at the results of what you are doing lately? Are you so married to a position or idea that the actual results don’t matter, or are not even noticed? Have you made up your mind to a position, and refuse to take an honest look at the results?
Are you a “Libertarian,” “Democrat or Republican,” no matter what the outcome of their policies and actions may be? Are you dedicated to “voting” and other political means of changing the world, all evidence to the contrary? Do you consider the consequences, or avoid the evidence?
What is going on in your world? How are you distancing yourself from the insanity? Or do you embrace the insanity for some reason?
By Nathan Barton
As an anarchist, as a christian, I see many causes of this incivility, but I also see a few effective responses to it – responses which are illegal or impossible in many cases in 21st Century America.
First is a saying attributed to Robert A Heinlein. “An armed society is a polite society. Manners are good when one may have to back up his acts with his life.”
The truth of this is reflected in many places, such as stories of the Old West (condemned by many as the “Wild West,” when in reality the gunplay and other violence in many modern urban areas far exceeds that of the frontier era). It can be seen throughout history. People who need not fear retaliation for their rudeness, and for the more extreme ways they are rude, are always willing to push more. Someone who is rude on the phone or as part of a crowd seem less so when they are actually facing a person, and one-on-one. The realization that your rudeness may drive someone to consider your actions and words to be aggressive enough to resort to self-defense (and with more than just fists) is often a better check than more remote actions (like lawsuits or restraining orders). Continue reading
By Nathan Barton
On Friday, the 12th, I briefly perused The Blaze [theblaze.com] and ran across a disquieting list of stories which I believe shows how the civility of discourse in our society (not just that of the Fifty States or North America, but around the world) is rapidly disappearing. This is not, of course, a good thing (as I will explain).
Incivility or rudeness (lack of politeness) and similar terms are hardly strong enough. Consider:
- ‘Feminist’ NYT writer admits it’s hypocritical to criticize Theresa May’s [PM of the UK] attire, does it anyway
- HS assistant principal caught on video screaming, cursing at teen pro-life activists has resigned
- Republican congressman has a message for protesters who left a profane sign at his home
- Crowd boos GOP lawmaker for invoking the name [sic] of God – in a church [building]
- Hysterical Keith Olbermann calls on foreign countries to release damaging intel on Trump
- Liberal woman claims assault after being ‘offended’ by Confederate flag rug
- ‘Family Guy’ mocks Kellyanne Conway [a White House spokesperson, I think] in Emmy ad, gets destroyed by conservatives
- Professor who said ‘some white people might have to die’ is now receiving death threats
- 13-year-old Pakistani boy has his hand chopped off after asking for wages
I could go on and on. The above list (consider the source) concentrates on Tranzi/liberal attacks but it is obvious that conservatives as well as liberals are guilty. (As are libertarians and others.)
Of course, we do not see it just in the news and commentaries. We see it more and more in everyday life. Rude, uncivil interactions are more and more common. From being cut off in traffic or in the check-out line, to being given the finger by passers-by if you are doing something they don’t like, it happens constantly. We see it when cops cuss out “civilians” and the civilians cuss out the cops. When shop employees treat customers rudely – and yes, when customers are verbally abusive to store workers. When children diss their parents and everyone around them. When high school and college students treat each other (and teachers, parents, and everyone else) like trash.
Rudeness is more than just vocal, of course. It can include actions that (while not aggressive) are offensive in very extreme ways, or designed to arouse anger and other feelings. It can include “making out” in public; public urination and nudity, refusal to yield right-of-way, littering, and much more.
And it seems to be getting worse.
Why? Continue reading
By Nathan Barton
The land is filled with them. According to what data source you look, there are at least 4,000, and perhaps more than 5,000 in the Fifty States (Some, like the WaPo, claim that there are 5,300 “fiefdoms” in the American Academic Archipelago ™.) And this does not include technical institutes and specialized “higher education” institutions. That is, beyond high-school. Nor does it include various academies and military and bureaucratic and police schools, nor trade schools (like beauty and barbers schools and corporate “universities,” such as Caterpillar has to provide equipment training, nor apparently very specialized schools, such as music conservatories.
About sixty percent of the Fifty States’ institutions of higher education are “public” – government-owned, and tax-funded. Many of the remaining forty percent are highly dependent on direct or indirect tax funding: grants and contracts directly, and student scholarships and loans indirectly. Supposedly enrollment in all these institutions was over 17 MILLION people in 2014. Of course, about two-thirds of those are part-time; so there are ONLY about 6 million actual full-time students.
They are as ubiquitous in 21st Century America and the rest of Western Civilization as monasteries and convents were in 13th or 14th Century Europe, and all of Western Civilization then. According to the people of the era, and the historians, these huge institutions provided an invaluable and essential service. Yet, today, 95 percent of those are gone; often not even ruins mark their location. And very few people miss them. Continue reading