Nathan: I got another one of those spams from the “Grassfire Coalition” urging me to sign a petition to “Stop the Internet Tax” that will go to “my” senators. Here it is, in part:
We’ve confirmed that at least one of your South Dakota Senators supports a massive $24-billion-a-year tax mandate that’s coming up for a vote next Monday, May 6.
The so-called Marketplace Fairness Act (S. 743) would mandate Internet retailers to collect sales taxes on all purchases and then send the revenue to the appropriate state and municipal taxing authorities. In theory, that money would be used for local roads, bridges, police and fire departments.
An open response from Nathan: Hey, they are not MY senators: I voted and worked hard to keep BOTH of them from getting elected. And Johnson is nothing but a ventriloquist’s dummy since his tumor/stroke. As for Thune, he has known for years that HIS way to power was by supporting big business and hanging smallholders out to dry. This bill will make it nearly impossible for small businesses to do any retail sales outside a very short list of states, because of the recordkeeping and all those little checks to all the parasites. The big businesses – the ones with pull – will win more and more. But this is perfect for both of the so-called “Senators from South Dakota”: $24 billion more stolen from people in the name of “fairness” – kind of like the “Fair Share Law” in Atlas Shrugged. Stop wasting your time and money thinking that the right magic words on enough “petitions” to the thugs in DC will fix things: buy food and ammo…
Energy and the future
Nuclear Fusion Breakthrough?
(Independent, UK) One giant leap for mankind: £13bn Iter project makes breakthrough in the quest for nuclear fusion, a solution to climate change and an age of clean, cheap energy. It may be the most ambitious scientific venture ever: a global collaboration to create an unlimited supply of clean, cheap energy. And this week it took a crucial step forward. Steve Connor reports…
Mama’s Note: This fusion thing just never made any sense to me. Far, FAR too complex, and this “hotter than the sun” thing really seems nuts. Building multi-billion dollar central plants is just wrong anyway. Seems to me that decentralization of energy production is as important as decentralization of power structures. If you put all your eggs in one basket…
Nathan: There is just so MUCH wrong with this thing that I could pontificate for a whole 1000+ words about it. First, I think that Steve Connor used the right word when compared the entire project and its troubles to Babel. This entire project strikes me as incredibly arrogant on the part of the sponsors and the people doing the work: more than a decade and nearly $20 billion to produce something that has already been demonstrated to work on a much smaller scale, and without the costs and risks associated with this monster. As Mama Liberty pointed out, central plants are bad. R. A. Heinlein wrote about one major problem in “Blowups Happen” way back in the infancy of nuclear power. But there are many other reasons. Centralization is bad – for those who love liberty. But for tyrants, all this is just another variation on “water empires.” Back in ancient times, the god-kings did best in those regions where they could control the essentials of life. The best was water: you controlled the irrigation canals and dams and such, and all the people not only obeyed you and served you and let you steal from them, they also WORSHIPED you because YOU were the god who controlled the water: Egypt, Mesopotamia, India, China. Today, POWER – electrical especially – is the “water” that an “energy empire” controls to, in turn, control the land and the people. So they work feverishly (remember, they are GOVERNMENT employees: bureaucrats in FRANCE: another 10 years is par for the course), to have a centralized power plant that is vulnerable to terrorism attack to justify more cops, more security, more troops, more restrictions. Meanwhile, there are others, not all friends of liberty, but still: they are working on things like the Hyperion Power Module: a truck sized nuclear reactor that burns the nasty byproducts of the big old dinosaur nuclear power stations: a truck-size “battery” that fits into a nice concrete vault in a park or by a water tower or something. And a dozen people working on basement or garage sized fusion and fission: not just to let a small city have their own power, but a single block or even a single family. And something like that is likely to be able to heat up enough reaction mass to get enough Delta-V to make it to the Asteroids, or beyond. This thing, this monster is too poorly designed and built to handle a small earthquake. But – that’s government for you!
Stupid people – Home front
Massachusetts: Clergy reportedly banned from bombing scene
A new report in the Wall Street Journal claims that faith leaders were very literally banned from the trauma scene. As individuals lay on the ground maimed and suffering from unimaginably-dire wounds, nearby clergy were not allowed to enter to give last rights or even to comfort the victims.
Nathan: Surprised? Don’t be: The war on religion takes priority over whether an eight-year-old is able to worship as he wanted. And after all, these priests and others would just fill the victims with nonsense, and probably kill just as much as the jihadis do – after all, didn’t some Army training identify Roman Catholics as extremists and likely terrorists?
Mama’s Note: The idea that these clerics would “just be in the way” is stupid, to say the least. In my long nursing career, I dealt with chaplains and clergy constantly – both in the ER and in many other settings. The very LAST thing they would do was get in the way, or interfere with treatments. They were, however, often instrumental in helping the patients cooperate with the medical people as they struggled to control pain and bleeding. A priest would be one of the last people I’d bar from any medical emergency. And cops would be the first… they are the ones who stand in the road and gum up the works all too often.
Self-defense – Helping others
Utah: Samurai sword-wielding Mormon bishop comes to aid of woman being attacked
(Fox News) “A Samurai sword-wielding Mormon bishop helped a neighbor woman escape a Tuesday morning attack by a man who had been stalking her. Kent Hendrix woke up Tuesday to his teenage son pounding on his bedroom door and telling him somebody was being mugged in front of their house. The 47-year-old father of six rushed out the door and grabbed the weapon closest to him — a 29-inch high carbon steel Samurai sword. He came upon what he describes as a melee between a woman and a man. His son stayed inside to call 911 while he approached the man along with other neighbors who came to help. The martial arts instructor didn’t hesitate in drawing the sword and yelling at him to get on the ground.” (04/23/13)
Nathan: Whatever works, but a smart man (even an LDS bishop) would have a pistol also handy for home defense: even in Deseret. Good for him.
Pennsylvania: AR15 used in home defense
(Philly.com) “Jasper Brisbon, 32, wandered up to a couple late Friday at the Lynnewood Apartments as the pair spoke outside their unit. Brisbon, they told police, appeared to be on drugs. He stared at the pair for several minutes before the couple decided to go into their apartment, police said. But as they entered their home Brisbon jumped between them, forcing his way in. The male of the couple ran to get a semi- automatic AR-15 rifle and insisted Brisbon leave. Brisbon refused. Instead, as the man yelled ‘Stop! Stop Stop!’ Brisbon moved menacingly toward the man, police said. The man fired a shot striking Brisbon in the torso and immediately called 911.” (04/22/13)
Nathan: Well, he could have done it with a shotgun, right? Or a baseball bat. Or 9-1-1 calls and screams: he could have thrown up on the guy or wet himself or just died. But he DID have a useful weapon to defend himself and his wife. Good for him.
Mama’s Note: Indeed, and I’m glad he did what he needed to do. Unfortunately, running to get the gun is not always an option. I much prefer to have that gun on my belt while I’m awake, or on the nightstand beside my bed when I sleep. It’s never more than a foot or so from my hand, and that’s far enough. Oh, and the wife needs one close too…