Saturday, October 18, 2014

Grigg on the Difference Between Us and Our Rulers

I'll just move over and let William Norman Grigg illustrate the important distinctions:

Biden Family Values: Leniency for us, stern prohibition for the mundanes

Asked by Time  magazine last February about the possibility of decriminalizing marijuana nation-wide, Vice President Joe Biden insisted that “smarter enforcement” of federal drug statutes was a better idea.
For “smarter” he apparently means “selective and self-serving.” If this weren’t the case, Biden’s pampered and dim-witted son Hunter would be facing the prospect of prison time.
In 2012, Hunter Biden decided he wanted to join the US Naval Reserve as a direct-commission public affairs officer. Because of a drug-related incident in his background, he was given a special waiver. Last year his dilettante military career was ended when he was discharged after a drug test turned up evidence of cocaine use. A few months later, perhaps as a consolation prize, Hunter was made a board member of Ukraine’s largest oil company, an appointment that doubtless had a great deal to do with the fact that the company is owned by the U.S.-installed regime in Kiev.
Biden, who does not face prosecution, told Fox News that he was “moving forward” with the support of his family. That includes his sister Ashley, who was arrested on drug charges in 1999 but never prosecuted – and is now employed as a “child welfare” bureaucrat in Delaware, where she is probably involved in stealing children from parents who occasionally use proscribed substances but aren’t part of a politically protected clan.
During his decades in the U.S. Senate, including a long stint as Chairman of the Judiciary Committee, Vice President Joe Biden distinguished himself as among the most militant drug warriors in Washington. He proudly recalled to Time  that he is “the guy who did the crime bill and the drug czar.” He also promoted the widespread practice of asset forfeiture, the use of the RICO law to turn petty drug offenses into federal conspiracy prosecutions, and supported military aid to wage the drug war overseas.
Biden obviously does support decriminalization of drugs, but only on a case-by-case basis. He has done more than his share to ruin countless lives in the name of drug prohibition. Thanks in no small measure to Joe Biden’s efforts, millions of people who have done no harm to anyone but themselves have been fed into the prison and parole system. Hunter and Ashley Biden would be among them, were they not the glorious outpouring of privileged loins. 

Be sure to vote, now.  Voting changes things.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

For No Particular Reason

From the end of Chapter 30 ("The Old Doctor") of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn's Cancer Ward :
He saw her out, came back into the dining room and sank into a rocking chair of black bentwood and yellow wickerwork, its back worn by the years he had spent in it.  He gave it a pushoff as he sat and let the movement die down.  He did not rock it any more.  He was sitting in the odd position peculiar to rocking chairs.  It was almost off balance but free.  He froze like that for a long time, completely motionless.

He had to take frequent rests nowadays.  His body demanded this chance to recoup its strength and with the same urgency his inner self demanded silent contemplation free of external sounds, conversations, thoughts of work, free of everything that made him a doctor.  Particularly after the death of his wife, his inner consciousness  had seemed to crave a pure transparency.  It was just this sort of silent immobility, without planned or even floating thoughts, which gave him a sense of purity and fulfillment.

At such moments an image of the whole meaning of existence -- his own during the long past and short future ahead, that of his late wife, of his young granddaughter and of everyone in the world -- came to his mind.  The image he saw did not seem to be embodied in the work or activity which occupied them, which they believed was central to their lives, and by which they were known to others.  The meaning of existence was to preserve unspoiled, undisturbed and undistorted the image of eternity with which each person is born.

Like a silver moon in a calm, still pond.

I'm not sure, but I think that might be the best passage I've ever read in a novel.

And now, back to this world's madness ... and my own foolishness and triviality.

Monday, October 13, 2014

The Government Wouldn't Mislead Us ... Would They?

So, the Ebola guy in Dallas has died ... and one of his nurses has it.

So far, that is.  We don't know yet how many people from the hospital have it.  Soon, we may know more.

The above-linked CNN story has a cute little animated video with it.  The video tells us that of course you can't acquire Ebola through "casual contact" with someone who's sick with it.  Oh, no, of course not.  You need direct contact with "blood, saliva, mucus, sweat, tears, semen, vomit, urine, feces."  And those icky fluids have to directly contact your cut or abraded skin, eyes, nose, mouth, etc.

Hmmmmm.  Saliva?  Mucus?  Ever hear of ... a sneeze?

This guy's sitting next to you on a bus, or train, or airplane.  If he has something that's transmitted by his saliva or mucus getting into your nose, eyes, or mouth ... you're what is technically known as "screwed."

Now, I'm nothing but a retired physicist.  I don't know how difficult it is to contract Ebola from someone who has it.  It's well outside my tiny little field of so-called expertise.  But the thing is: whether it's easy or hard to transmit Ebola, I'm quite sure "my" government will tell me that it's hard.  They will tell me that because they don't really care the proverbial rat's ass whether I live or die.  What they do care about, a little, is that I, panicked, will be more difficult to manage than I, complacent, would be.

Meanwhile, the Great White Father is asserting, with perfect dogmatic certainty, that this poor sick nurse HAS to have violated protocol  to have gotten sick.  And this disease is so hard to catch ... I guess we're supposed to assume that she foolishly passed the time by making mud pies, barehanded, out of her patient's feces.  Well, like all the rest of you, I don't even know her name, but I'm already pretty angry on her behalf.  I really doubt that she's stupid.  I tend to suspect that Ebola's fairly easy to catch.  I tend to suspect that we're being lied to.  Again.  So what's new?

What course of action am I urging on "our" government?  Well, nothing in particular.  If Ebola transmits easily, it's probably already too late to head it off.  Myself, I wasn't planning on getting out of here alive anyway; I'm pretty sure I'm going to hand in my lunch pail at some point or other, from some cause.  Ebola's probably a bad way to go, especially since, if it becomes widespread, we aren't going to die in modern, antiseptic intensive-care circumstances, attended by a host of spacesuit-clad medics, because they'll all be dying too.  If I were among our rulers, it might occur to me that shutting down air travel, both into the US from foreign lands and within the US, until the situation becomes a little more clear would be a modest and prudent precaution.  That won't happen, because there's money to be made (and lost).  Still, it's instructive to consider a regime that cheerfully slaughters swarthy foreigners by the hundreds of thousands, on the laughable premise that otherwise, Radical Islamists  will take over Peoria, Illinois and start beheading Sunday School students.  This same regime would never jeopardize a few weeks' worth of corporate profits for a small reduction in the chances that 50 to 90 percent of the American people might die hideously from an African hemorrhagic fever.  It's not as contradictory as it might seem; after all, in both cases, there's money to be made (those "defense" industry CEO bonuses won't pay themselves, you know).  Sure is ugly, though.