Political Manifesto for the 21st Century

January 7, 2010 by

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. (Declaration of Independence, 1776)

We affirm these self-evident truths, and declare that it is time to abolish our form of government, not by armed revolution, but by the election of representatives who will change it.

The Constitution of the United States allows for the people to elect their representatives every two years, and to elect every senator every six, and to elect the president every four. Each state constitution allows the citizens of that state a similar power to choose their government. Through electing representatives that represent our desire to preserve our government solely to protect the individual rights of everyone, we propose the following changes be made.

  1. Limited government. Our governments are limited by the constitutions that form them. We need to enact a common understanding among the people of what those limits are and impose them on our governments. We need also to strengthen the already existing limits, overturning bad interpretations by our courts, legislators, and executives, and impose new and stronger limits on our governments which will forever ensure our individual liberty.
  2. Dramatic cuts to spending. Our governments should spend our money procuring only those goods and services that will protect our rights.
  3. An end to government charity. It is the role of our churches and the individual to supply charity to the poor, not the state. If the individual and churches cannot supply the charity, government could only do worse. Having government provide charity absolved the conscience and duty of the people from their proper role to love their neighbor.
  4. An end to unfunded legislation. Any program that congress enacts must be completely and fully funded at the time of its creation. We will not enslave future generations to programs that we create but do not fully fund. Existing programs that are unfunded should be canceled or modified until they can be funded.
  5. Dramatic cuts to taxation. Our governments should collect far less taxes than the people can bear. The people should be free to pursue whatever economic matter they wish without burden or undue influence due to taxes. Taxes should not be used to punish the rich or to mold society’s behavior. They should only be used to raise the necessary money to meet the spending requirements of a government that protects the rights of the individual. Any surpluses should be immediately refunded to the people in proportion to taxes paid, or used to pay off debts. Taxes should never be raised to meet spending; rather, spending should be cut to meet tax revenue.
  6. An end to government debt. Our people have become more prosperous than any other people in the world. We do not need to borrow money anymore to provide for the needs of government. Paying interest on our government debts is slavery, not freedom. We are not free until we have paid off all of our debts. Any debt that we must incur should be paid off within a very short time frame, so that our debts are not repaid by our children.
  7. An end to bureaucratic regulation. Any kind of regulation must be debated and passed by the legislatures of our governments, and no other way. No public official should be allowed to set policy that governs the life of anyone but their own employees. No court should dictate legislation. No executive should issue orders except to his troops and employees. Anyone exceeding these limits should immediately be removed from office by impeachment because they are a threat to our liberty.
  8. An end to over-litigation. The laws of our country are unjust, in that they are used to punish those who have done no wrong with tort laws and allow the criminal to go free. Let our laws be simple and just so that we no longer have need of lawyers. Do not allow our constitution to be interpreted as giving shelter to the guilty or limiting the freedoms of the individual.

We boldly declare that freedom and liberty are dramatically different than tyranny and slavery. In a free society, government works differently than in an enslaved society. Our governments should be eternally fearful of the will of the people, forever locked in by the limits of the constitution which creates them, and ever subservient to the people, both the individual and as a whole.

We emphatically reject the tenets of communism, socialism, fascism, totalitarianism, colonialism, and every other form of government or political idea that sets one person above another, that limits the freedom of the individual for the “greater good”, or attempts to convince any individual that they have no rights or fewer rights than the rights man is endowed with by their Creator.

We boldly declare that in our society, the checks and balances in our government includes the individual, private organizations such as businesses or churches or political groups, and federated governments such as the local, state, and federal governments. By distributing the power to govern among these people, organizations, and governments, no one person or group of people is able to obtain much power over the rest.

We also declare that there is enough in this world, and to spare, if the individual is freed from the constraints of government to seek his own fortune in life. We also declare that the man who has obtained wealth is capable of providing charity to the poor, jobs to those who want them, and also to pursue the critical role of participating in politics to keep government constrained. We encourage all men, everywhere, to embrace their freedom, seek their own fortunes, and once having obtained it, spend their time and resources as they see fit in service to their fellowman, without the entanglement of government.

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DOW 200k!!!

January 16, 2018 by

Today, as the DJIA topped $26k, rising $1k in a single week, let’s talk about growth.

A naive way to analyze growth is to consider what happens if you see the same growth week after week. For Trump’s first term, there are roughly 150 weeks remaining, which would represent $150k in growth for the Dow in this simple model. That would be roughly $176k.

But more accurately, we should consider exponential growth. In one week, the Dow rose $1k/$25k, which is 1/25 of its value. We can calculate the rate of growth per week using the simple formula ln(26/25) = r, giving a rate that would lead to $9,332k after 150 weeks. That’s $9,332,000 for the DOW!!!

Since last week’s growth was, quite frankly, ridiculous, I think averaging the growth over his first term is more appropriate. From his election on November 8th, 2018 it was 18,589 and today it is 26,000, 434 days have passed. So the annual rate of growth is ln(26000/18589)*365/434 = 28%, which would give us $60k in 3 more years.

A good estimation of the doubling time is to take 70 and divide by the rate of growth in percent. 70/28 is about 2.5, which means with 28% annual growth, we will double ever 2.5 years. So we should hit $50k sometime in 2020, $100k in 2022, and $200k around 2024 or 2025. This isn’t exact, but since growth isn’t always constant, it gives you good estimates. The neat thing is that if we continue with Trump policies after Trump leaves office 7 years from now, we’ll see $400k in 2027, $800k in 2029, $1,600k in 2031, etc…

This kind of growth is frankly, unrealistic and unprecedented. Yet here we are! Why is the stock market growing so quickly? Is it just a bubble?

I think one of the reasons why we see such rapid growth is simply because people are buying stock. They are selling whatever assets they had, and purchasing stock instead. A lot of companies were sitting on mountains of cash, unwilling to invest it in the stock market during the Obama years. Now that the economy shows signs of recovery, they are moving their assets from cash to stocks. This is true for American companies, but it is also true for foreign companies and maybe even governments.

China recently announced that they are no longer going to buy US government bonds. Why? Because they have a better place to put their money. The US government may have to raise bond rates to compete with the attractive stock market because of this. (Or they can just stop borrowing so much money by cutting spending.)

This answers only part of the question, and it points to the root: Why are people so interested in gambling their life savings on the US stock market? Because deregulation, lowering taxes, and encouraging businesses to grow and people to get rich creates wealth. All those “greedy” things that evil capitalists do make it possible for Grandma Mabel to live her later years on her husband’s investment portfolio.

As a postlude, consider this: The larger the economy grows, the more money we need to keep it running. Since people use the US dollar, that means we need to print more. Right now, the banks get to choose how many new dollars to print, and they own every dollar printed. If our economy is doubling every 2.5 years, then they get to print themselves our entire economic growth, which is frankly ridiculous. If anything, that money belongs to the people. Let Congress decide how much to print (their constituents will tell them if money is scarce (deflation, which is very bad), or plentiful (inflation, which is not quite as bad but still bad) and they can print more or less, which they can then use to fund the government. If we’re growing at 28% annually, that means we should be able to print trillions and trillions, funding government completely, and not have to raise a dime in taxes.

You’re a man, now what?

January 11, 2018 by

One of the arguments I hear from people near the alt-right is that we should emphasize masculinity. Men should be tough, they should conquer, they should take what they want and things like that.

In Europe, the idea of a gentleman was a level above that of a man. A gentleman was able to fight, capable of taking what they wanted, but governed their ability to plunder and conquer with morals.

This is something the alt-right should really consider. Say you do drive out the foreigners from America, and you have a white country. Say you do gain control of the US military and find you have the power to nuke, the power to plunder, the power to destroy.

Now what?

The wise ruler realizes that he has a target on his back, and so he buys off all of the potential shooters. He forms unions and alliances until everyone who could do him harm instead does harm to his enemies. Forming “win-win” relationships means you can sleep soundly at night, knowing someone else is watching your back.

And that’s what gentlemanly virtues are all about. Living in a society full of men capable of violence, but arranging things so that they don’t have to. That is the ultimate virtue.

Of course, being surrounded by brutes who don’t embrace these gentlemanly virtues reminds people why gentlemen are necessary, and reminds the brutes just what the gentlemen are capable of.

It’s always nice to watch a man in a top hat brutally beat a robber in the face with his walking stick-turned-long mace.

Where does political division come from?

January 10, 2018 by

Or, why are there so many countries? Why aren’t we all unified under a single government yet?

Looking at American politics, it is clear that we have reached a stable state. There are two sides to the political spectrum. People just don’t cross from one side to the other in any large numbers. And there is simply no compromise between the two sides. Neither can budge nor can we find any common ground.

How did we get here? Are we repeating history itself?

I believe we are.

Societies go through a process of change, evolution if you will. Evolution, in this case, doesn’t always lead to bigger and better. Often it means things get significantly worse.

Societies divide, I believe, into two groups of people. There are those who simply want to mind their own business and tend to their own affairs, and those who want to meddle in other people’s business. The latter group comes from many backgrounds and excuses, from the noble (I care so much, I have to get involved!) to the ignoble (I want to enslave you to make my life better.)

It doesn’t matter what their motivations are, the results are always the same.

The problem with meddling with other people’s lives is that you will never understand their life as well as they understand their own. Only in the most extreme circumstances (such as mental retardation and similar diseases) can we begin to agree that meddling in their life will improve their life, but there is absolutely no reason why a semi-rational person should be interfered with in any way, as long as they keep to themselves.

Interestingly, even though societies divide along these lines, that isn’t the line that causes the division. See, one group, the non-meddlers, can exist with each other in infinite numbers. I can see how the world could have a one-world government, if everyone in the world simply agreed to leave each other alone. The division comes, instead, from the meddlers.

The meddlers inevitably clash with each other, and soon, they attempt to gain power over each other. In a political arms race, soon they are resorting to ever more extreme tactics to gain the upper hand, and eventually, blood is shed and you have war. This is how the Civil War in the United States was started. It wasn’t until you had the pro-slavery people and the anti-slavery people at each other’s throats and blood being spilled that war become obvious and even necessary.

We are in such an age where a group of meddlers has been disempowered, and they are resorting to ever more increasingly desperate measures to obtain power again.

How do we stop it? It’s pretty easy, actually. You stop the meddling by forbidding it. Imagine if, tomorrow, all the laws governing discrimination and segregation and such were repealed. No longer did the governments care about what a person’s skin color was, or their income level, and instead, they were left to their own devices to survive in the harsh reality of the world. What would the meddlers do if they didn’t have government to back up their meddling?

Before the Civil War, without the federal government to continue to support slavery, the Southern Democrats realized that the end was nigh, and so they fired the first shots in secession and war. It would be interested to see what the modern leftists would do if faced with a similar crisis!

Our goal should be the complete disenfranchisement of any aspect of government involved in meddling. No more welfare. No more discrimination lawsuits. No nothing. As long as no one is being murdered or robbed, then the government doesn’t are what happens. If the leftists want to continue their insanity, they are free to do so, but with their own money and their own power, not the money and power of the government.

This is the only way to preserve the union.

Go back in history, and you’ll see political divisions always arise from the elite. Anytime the non-meddlers try to distance themselves from government or political entities, they are unsuccessful. It is only when they meddle in the government, when they disempower them, that unity can be achieved.

European history might have looked a lot different had their kings and emperors concerned themselves only with securing the individual rights of the people, and leaving everything else alone. Alas, for whatever reason, they did not, and that’s why they are still divided to this day.

Ensuring a Conservative Future

December 29, 2017 by

As we head into 2018, on the heels of one of the most spectacular victories for conservatism (actually, American Liberty-ism) in recorded history, we must consider what our next steps are.

Our next steps are definitely *not* ensuring a particular political party or group of people or individuals continues to dominate American politics. No, we want a country founded on ideals and laws. We cannot get those things through allegiance to individuals or groups of people. We can only get them by allegiance to the ideals and laws.

If we examine the war strategically, we have things we can use to help us secure our goals, and things that are lying in our way. Achieving our goals means winning the war by seeing our allies win and our enemies lose. Keep in mind that I’m not talking about people, I’m talking about ideas.

There are certain things that prevent American Liberty-ism, AKA conservatism, from dominating our thoughts. These include:

  • Ignorance
  • Slavery
  • Perversion

Ignorance is caused by people who simply don’t know. They don’t know what they don’t know, or worse, they think they know things that simply aren’t so. People get their information from the following sources:

  • Education (local public schools, colleges and universities, and academia.)
  • Entertainment (which includes Hollywood but also things like profession sports and YouTube.)
  • News (from newspapers, reporting, articles, blogs, etc…)

How do we combat our enemy ideas in these arenas? Quite simply, we must stop propagating lies, and we must identify the lies when they are spread. We must replace the lies with truth, the truth about human nature and the human condition. We must ensure that conservatism is fairly presented, along with the other ideas, and their natural consequences identified.

A good example of the type of battle we face here is how Nazism is presented. We all believe that Nazis were evil, but we can’t seem to identify why. Instead of being taught what Nazism was, what their core ideas are, all we see are SS agents goose-stepping across the street and beating up poor Jewish kids and gassing them in gas chambers. How can we get a fair representation of Nazism so people can figure out what those ideas were versus American conservatism? The phrase “Hitler wasn’t wrong” is a good start. While I know that Hitler absolutely was wrong, if we begin with the premise that maybe he was actually a good leader who simply lost an unwinnable war against international interests, then we force those who hate Hitler and Nazism to explain why he was wrong, and how, and thus, we move the discussion to American liberty and our ideals, and how Hitler compared to them, and why we claim the rights we claim.

With education, entertainment, and news, it’s important to realize that it’s all business. People don’t volunteer their time to produce these things. Everyone who produces significant quality content is making money by doing it. On that note, YouTube was turning dramatically conservative (the American sort) because that was the sort of content Americans were willing to watch and pay for with their time and views and clicks. The “Ad-pocalypse” perhaps was an effort by anti-conservatives to shut this natural progression down. It’s important that we campaign that they get their funding back, while other businesses that definitely do not promote American conservatism lose their funding by not getting our money or our attention. For instance, if we simply don’t talk about the new Star Wars movie, and we don’t watch it, then it ends up being a huge waste of money, and Disney will have destroyed yet another part of our American culture.

Slavery is a concept that we have grown accustomed to, so much so that simply labeling it for what it is seen as some sort of unspeakable evil, even though no one can possible defend against the charge. Slavery is simply an institution whereby some people live off of the labor of others, obtained through force rather than persuasion. There’s a huge difference between eating someone else’s food because you’ve traded for it, and eating it because you stole it. Whether or not you used government for to steal is irrelevant. If it is relevant, it makes it all the worse.

Slavery corrupts the benefactors. They become highly dependent on the slaves, until the point that to threaten freedom is to threaten their livelihood. The Democratic Party became the pro-Slavery party because of this and I can’t identify the moment when that ended. But let’s not ignore the Republican Party, who is just as guilty of modern slavery.

In modern slavery, we have people who work and produce to feed people who do not work or produce, and not because they are charitable but because if they don’t, they will go to jail or worse. In short, when we use taxes, specifically income taxes, a tax on labor, to fund the various welfare programs, we turn the laborers into slaves. Even taxing one cent and spending that on welfare would be slavery.

The tax code reforms of 2017 are a good start, but unless we also end the welfare state, we do not avoid this great moral peril.

In order to fight slavery, we must end it. No one should receive anything from any government unless they provided some good or service in exchange. Period. If they want to support the poor or the weak or the sick, it must come from private and voluntary donations. Government can endorse and encourage these donations, but they must be voluntary.

I believe this is a fight we can win. We must expose just how much money is being donated privately, and how this dwarfs all the government programs. We must expose the government programs as fraudulent and corrupting. We must show how that money would be better spent if it was not spent at all.

Keep in mind, education is a major government charity, and it too must be defunded by government sources. Let government allow people to freely donate their money to education programs, but when government spends money on education, it is slavery.

If people understand where money comes from, how wealth is created, and stop turning to government to save them from poverty and lack of resources, then we will have made a major turning point indeed. The amount of wealth that could be created is practically infinite. If we simply turn people’s attention to creating wealth with free trade rather than destroying it with slavery, we will have won a major victory.

But what kind of victory will be won if we don’t end perversion? I am including a very large class of things here under perversion, and labeling them so because they are a private mis-use of a private thing. It involves anything from lying and fraud to violating wedding vows. It could include drug mis-use or abuse, to suicide.

Ultimately, conservatism can’t work unless people choose to do good with their rights. For a comparison, why would the people of England respect the so-called right of the king or queen to rule over them, if the monarch abused their power? The answer is they wouldn’t. The same goes for our right to life and liberty. If we abuse these gifts from God, then God will take them from us.

The laws of the land can help point people in the right way, and indeed must punish those who violate other’s rights, but the laws of the land cannot replace religion and churches and sermons. Indeed, I can argue that without religion, and not just a passing interest in religion, but a full-blown pious devotion to it, we cannot have rights. The gist of the argument is that when it comes to fighting to secure your rights, a philosopher who has arrived at the same conclusion as a devout religious fanatic is not as good a warrior as the fanatic.

We must make sure our laws are fair and just, and enforced fairly and justly. We can no longer operate under the dual legal system where prominent politicians play by one set of rules and everyone else by another.

At the same time, we must push people to fill up the churches, and we must push the churches to preach the truth without apology.

We can look to President Trump to lead the charge in many of these areas, but we cannot expect him to do all the work for us. Our lives, the choices we make, are the factor that will make the difference. If you believe in the conservative ideals and want to see them sweep the land, then you must change, you must adopt them and live by them, and you must start a little revolution in your corner of the world. Whether that’s by going back to church, or making more money, or working to end welfare, or just not going to see the latest Disney movie, it’s all important and it all adds up.

 

 

 

 

 

Yes in My Backyard

December 12, 2017 by

When I was a kid, I vaguely recall reading an article about “NIMBY” which stands for “Not In My BackYard”. The idea is that people wanted things like manufactured goods but they didn’t want to have to hear the sounds of actually making them or smelling the smells. It’s like people who love beef but can’t stand the smell of manure.

Thankfully, it seems for at least the people living in the Tri-Cities area, they are willing to live next to the nuclear power plant that would give them cheap and plentiful energy, all with zero pollution. http://www.spokesman.com/stories/2017/dec/10/survey-says-tri-cities-a-big-fan-of-nuclear-energy/

As for me, I know nuclear power, I know how it works, and I know its risks. I would be perfectly fine raising my kids in the same water source shared by a nuclear power plant, downstream even. I know that there is absolutely no risk with modern nuclear techniques, and I know that there is zero contact between the outside water supply and the nuclear material. I also know that we all live in the middle of radioactivity, and as far as we can tell, low levels are completely harmless. Of course, living near a nuclear power plant would not have any effect on radiation levels at all, since it is completely isolated from the outside world.

I know the jokes on The Simpsons that make it seem like nuclear power creates mutant fish, or they have to dump buckets of glowing green liquid in the water in order to keep the plant running. If you can’t see that The Simpsons is fantasy, I can’t help you. But for the sake of those who can’t shake the feeling that nuclear power is somehow dangerous, let me assure you of some things.

  • The byproducts of nuclear power production are not liquids. They are rods or rather pellets.
  • The byproducts are stored in massive pools buried under thick layers of concrete. Divers regularly dive into these waters to make sure the water is circulating properly. The water is completely safe unless you are very near to the byproducts.
  • The byproducts would glow a deep blue, not green. This is due to the Cerenkov Radiation due to particles traveling faster than the speed of light in that material. It is an ethereal, dim light.
  • The amount of nuclear byproducts produced by a nuclear power plant are minuscule compared to the amount of power produced. We haven’t yet settled on where we want to store these products so each power plant simply stores it on location — behind thick concrete walls in deep pools. We have no concerns about running out of space any time soon. There is no ticking time bomb, there is no rush, and we’ll likely figure a way to use the radioactive byproducts to make more energy. (The inert byproducts are useless in terms of nuclear energy — and harmless aside from whatever chemical properties they naturally have.)

I can’t wait until the United States, and the rest of the world, embraces nuclear power en masse. Having such a limitless, abundant supply of electricity could potentially end our dependence on oil, especially if it is combined with some new technology like supercapacitors (as transporting power in smaller quantities is still not easy.) I don’t know how much total uranium the planet Earth has, but we have plenty of proven supplies today and it’s not very hard to find more. Honestly, leaving the uranium in our crust probably does far more harm to the environment than using it for power generation. (The same for crude oil. I’d much rather have CO2 in our atmosphere than crude oil in our soil.)

 

Insanity with Natural Gas

December 12, 2017 by

Link: http://mynorthwest.com/841839/protesters-at-port-of-tacoma/

Apparently, people protest natural gas because it might explode.

How much more ridiculous can you get?

Natural gas explosions do occur, but mainly connected to the pipelines carrying the gas to your private home or business. That’s why we mix in chemicals so that you can smell the gas leaks. When explosions do occur, it’s rare that people and property are hurt, killed or destroyed.

In order for an explosion to occur, the gas must mix with air (specifically oxygen) in the right ratio. Then you must introduce an ignition source, a spark or a fire of some sort.

If you are worried about a gas explosion, then make sure you check your gas lines. If you smell any bad odor around your gas line, contact a qualified professional who can seal any leaks. If it’s a very bad odor, call the fire department as they know how to deal with bad gas leaks.

Protesting industrial natural gas supply by chaining yourself to heavy equipment puts your life, and the lives of your rescuers, at far greater risk than natural gas will. Doing so in an effort to protect life is the exact opposite of what you intend to do. If you really want to prevent gas explosions, then learn about them, learn how to prevent them, become a qualified gas line technician, or volunteer for the fire department.

It’s time to change the state constitution

November 16, 2017 by

The WA Supreme Court came back and said that the legislature isn’t doing enough to fund education. Specifically, the education spending in the state “delays by over a year implementation of a constitutionally compliant salary model, a critical part of meaningful reform.” (link)

The crux of the issue is a single word: “ample”. Specifically, the WA state constitution says:

SECTION 1 PREAMBLE. It is the paramount duty of the state to make ample provision for the education of all children residing within its borders, without distinction or preference on account of race, color, caste, or sex.

You’d think that the preamble to a section of the constitution would be disregarded as merely describing the intent of that section of the constitution. However, give enough lawyers enough time and money, they can twist anything to say anything.

Indeed, reading the section on education leaves me wishing I was a lawyer.

I think it’s high time we removed that entire section from the constitution.

It is not the duty of the state government to educate children. It is the duty of their parents.

32 kWh

October 20, 2017 by

32 kWh is how much energy is stored in a single gallon of gasoline.

If you think electric cars are happening anytime soon, that is the number you should be worried about. In order to get the equivalent of what happens when I pull up to a gas station and fill my tank, you’d need something like 30,000 Amps. That’s a whole lot of Amps, something that anyone who knows the first thing about electricity would be terrified of.

An alternative is to switch a dead (or low) battery for a new one, but we’re talking about moving 250 lbs of material, which is no small feat. If you can imagine a way to do that safely under 5 minutes, then you’ve only solved part of the problem.

The next part is storing and charging enough of these batteries. One of the 250 lb battery packs would take up far more space and weight than the 10 or so gallons of gasoline. Liquids are nice: You fill up a reservoir, you pump it out, and you can load and unload the reservoir at the same time. Warehouses don’t work that way, and require careful management as you manipulate each item into a specific spot, and then retrieve it. You can’t achieve anything close to what you’d get with the typical gas station. Remember, a typical gas station stores approximately 20,000 or more gallons of gas. That is the rough equivalent of 2,000 of these 250 lb batter packs. Stack them 100 high into 20 stacks, or 10 high in 200 stacks, which could be arranged in a nice square of roughly 14×14 stacks.

If you charged the batteries offsite (which is really wise, since that kind of current is way beyond anything our electric infrastructure can handle), how many trucks would be lined up and loading and unloading to match tempo with the cars? What about the charging hubs where these batteries are brought in, charged, and then sent off? Again, gasoline, because it’s a liquid, and because it’s so dense, wins the day. I have a refinery down the street from my house, and it’s pretty rare to catch a truck loading up on gas. Perhaps I’m just looking at the wrong time of day, but I’ve lived here for nearly a decade and I’ve never seen a long line of gas trucks running up and down the road that accesses the refinery.

The refinery down the street produces no pollution, none that I can see or smell. The conversion of raw petroleum to gasoline is nearly complete. Whatever waste is produced is converted into gasoline or sold occasionally. How about a battery pack charging hub? They’d likely need to generate their own electricity, since transferring that kind of power is expensive. If you’re not near a nuclear power plant, a hydroelectric plant, or an industrial scale coal, gas, or whatever plant, it’s likely to be expensive.

Gasoline is a miracle material, safe, mostly harmless, and packed with energy that is readily accessible while not dangerously so. Beating it, even with batteries, is not really something that is feasible yet.

The Opioid Crisis

October 17, 2017 by

My city of Tacoma is joining the lawsuits against drug companies that manufacture opioids. Talking with my sister, who is involved in the medical industry, here’s what I gather happened.

The medical industry has known, for a long time, that opioids are dangerous stuff. Sure, they kill pain, but they are also highly addictive. Typically, they were only used on people who were going to die anyway, cancer patients and the like. The rest of us were given other, less effective painkillers because the opioids are simply too addictive.

The drug companies, in an effort to make more money, would experiment with all sorts of opioids. Oxycontin was discovered to be just as effective as any other opioid and slightly less addictive. By “slightly”, we’re talking tiny percentages that most mortal human beings wouldn’t even be able to detect. Initially, the FDA approved it for use for end-of-life care, but due to lobbying and the fact that regulatory agencies are run by the corporations they are supposed to regulate, it got approved for the rest of us. The next thing you know, doctors are prescribing it because they were told it isn’t as addictive.

Would doctors have prescribed it if they knew it was dangerous? My sister says no, they wouldn’t have. I believe this. I can’t believe that doctors would join the medical industry with the intention to do harm. The FDA told the doctors that it wasn’t addictive, and so they prescribed it, tried to monitor its usage, but it got out of hand rather quickly, and doctors figure this out so they don’t prescribe it anymore.

The problem is that the opioids are on the street, and doctors can’t control it. Now that China and Mexico are manufacturing and smuggling them into our country, no one is ever going to control these drugs anymore. The problem with opioids is they are so highly addictive that really, the only way to handle the crisis is to not get people hooked in the first place.

What caused the opioid crisis? Some would say greed. The problem with blaming a trait of human nature is humans don’t change. We are always going to be greedy. It’s part of who we are. You can’t fix problems caused by greed by making humans less greedy.

So taking greed off the table, what caused the crisis? Assuming that humans will always be greedy, the key factor is the FDA. Statists simply don’t understand that when you form a government, it’s going to attract people who want power. The more power it has, the more people it attracts. Like mosquitoes to a bug zapper, certain kinds of people are attracted to it.

When it comes to regulatory agencies in the United States, inevitably, the corporations that those agencies were intended to regulate dominate those agencies. No matter how hard you try to eliminate corruption, it’s going to exist, and the more valuable the corruption, the more difficult it is to identify let alone eliminate.

The Opioid crisis we face today was caused by the FDA, or rather, the misguided belief that regulatory agencies can regulate industry. No, all they really end up doing is stamping bad behavior with the seal of government approval. Had there never been an FDA, doctors would each have to figure out whether this particular drug would be a fit for their particular patients.

Inevitably, doctors would form associations, and those associations, run by the doctors, would determine which drugs were good for what cases and which were not. Given the fact that getting your drug approved by these associations would be very profitable, it is inevitable that drug companies would try to get their drugs approved, perhaps by deception. The key difference between private, independent associations and the government is that when the association is corrupted, it loses its reputation and no longer becomes a valuable entity to corrupt. That is, it is in the association’s interests to not allow itself to be deceived.

Some ways they can do so is demand subscription fees from their members. These fees, and nothing else, would be used to compensate the officials in the organization. Losing members due to trust issues would mean they would lose their jobs, while maintaining the highest levels of professionalism and science would mean they get more subscribers and thus fatter paychecks.

In the future, I propose we do the following.

  1. Abolish the FDA.
  2. Allow the medical industry to form its own standards and such, privately, without the influence or color of government.
  3. Let the doctors and patients decide which organizations they will listen to. If there are bad organizations, people will figure that out pretty quickly, and they will be held to account.

Under this system, individual doctors will have to convince the community that they are good at their job. Organizations will have to convince doctors and patients that they are good at their job. And drug companies will have to tell the truth about their drugs or risk being humiliated.

Regarding the lawsuit, I hope it ends up where it belongs: At the FDA. The drug companies and the FDA should be humiliated and punished for what they have done. They should be forced to bear the cost of the opioid crisis.

On the Big Bang

October 16, 2017 by

The Big Bang is one of those theories that everyone seems to believe is accepted as hard science, when it is really on a shaky foundation. Any science that has to do with “predicting” what happened millions or billions of years ago is on a shaky foundation. All it takes is new evidence and observations for the entire theory to disappear.

The Big Bang theory suffers one of the fatal flaws that Evolution suffers: It seems to evolve just fast enough to keep up with the latest observations. How many times have you read, “New fossil suggests entirely new ordering of Humanity’s ancestors, surprising scientists!” In Physics, when our theory predicts something contrary to what we see, we throw the old theory away and then create new ones, complete with new names so we don’t confuse ourselves. The evolution of Darwin is entirely different than modern evolution.

So it is with the Big Bang. It seems the harder we look into it, the more problems we see. Lately I’ve been looking into the “Young-Old Galaxy” problem. It seems that the most distant galaxies we see, which shouldn’t even exist, because they were from such a short time after the universe was created, not only appear old, but appear just as old as the Milky Way, leaving no time for stars to form, die, and form again.

At first, they added in Dark Matter, then Dark Energy. I have no idea what they are going to try to add to the Big Bang to make these contradictory observations fit! Maybe they’ll call it “Dark Time”, but I shouldn’t give them any ideas.

Regardless, materialists point to the Big Bang as the beginning of the universe. Aquinas’ First Cause argument shows why this is plain silly. You can’t be a materialist and believe that the Big Bang was the beginning of the universe. At best, you have to believe in an infinite series of causes.

Let me walk you through it. Aquinas argued that all things have a cause. That is, there is nothing that spontaneously is created in and of itself, but all things were created by something else. If you don’t accept an infinite series of creations, then you have to have the source of all creations, the First Cause, which cannot have a cause (except itself). This is God.

The nature of this First Cause is either that it exists beyond the universe, or if it were to exist in the universe, then the universe would be able to contain things that cause themselves (since the First Cause is the cause of the universe itself.)

For materialists, who believe that nothing exists except the material universe, the Big Bang cannot be the First Cause since the Big Bang, or rather, the conditions that existed before it came into existence, doesn’t exist. Thus, to believe in the Big Bang is to contradict materialism. You must reach beyond the universe to find a cause for the Big Bang, whether that is random chance in nothingness or something else. And if you accept this, then you’re joining the realm of the Platonic Realists, and thus opening yourself up to obvious proofs of God.

Ultimately, I don’t see any theory of a non-infinite universe standing the observations we have. What we see not only contradicts all of our understanding of how physics works, but calls into question what we think we see altogether. Like Descartes, we need to struggle with the fact that what we see in the sky could simply be an image, a projection, an illusion. Yes, we can measure the distance to the nearest stars with parallax (and I need to expose who difficult it is to measure how big the sun is and thus how wide our orbit is in another post), but the vast majority of stars lie far beyond this range and cannot be detected to move even the slightest and so only offer us a minimum range with parallax.

The problem of an infinite universe is an entirely new one. Why isn’t the sky filled with light? Why does anything exist at all given dS >= 0? What is really going on up there?

There are simply too many questions, and I am lead to believe that the supposed answers we have are not obviously correct. More investigation is needed.