Trumpism

The Trump Doctrine is to lash out and then realise that was not a very good idea. A prime example is his reaction to Syria’s use of chemical weapons. He calls the leader of that stricken country an “animal” for killing a number of people with “nerve agents” and Chlorine gas and plans to send in the missiles. Except that Russia threatened him back and now he has to negotiate for fear of starting a firestorm and losing major assets as Russia threatened.

The legal point that it is an internal matter for Syria and that independence is the very heart of sovereignty that other nations have no business undermining. Oh, but if “we let Syria use chemical weapons” then “they will again, with impunity”. Understandable sentiment. The world would be a better place without weapons that kill people indiscriminately. Gassing the civilian population is not necessarily as evil as dropping an H Bomb, but it causes unbelievable suffering and only with effective action can their use be stopped.

But the May government in Britain believes that Syria’s sponsor, Russia, used a Novichok nerve agent in the UK to remove a retired spy. She has acted as though it were proven with evidence and it seems “the right thing to do” to most conservative idealists.

But is it? And is her plan to attack the government of Syria going to result in a war between the UK and Syria, or more significantly, with Russia?

Banning Weapons and 3D printers

Regulating human nature assumes some people are capable of evil, others are not. In fact it is a choice and our internal values are where the real risk lies. Face it, we all have weapons built into our bodies (teeth, claws) and our minds can be used to elaborately plan actions with unforeseen consequences.

Our real protection lies in the social contract, not regulating the spread of blueprints. Every citizen has access to sharp knives but that does not mean that we use them. Box cutters became weapons not because we failed to detect them, but because of a philosophy that does not enshrine value to others. It is the spread of radicalism and the rule of totalitarianism we have failed to defeat.

When we are taught values by an authority that uses its power in a corrupt way, whether it be religious or political, therein lies the source of insanity.

Guns in the hands of citizens do not protect them from guns. Money in the bank does not protect one from madness.

Guns

Guns are a religion in America.  It is amazing how second amendment faith does not get shaken by these mass shootings.  They shake their heads reassuring themselves “It’s not the guns that kill, it’s people that kill people.”

If you allow broad proliferation of weapons, then people will die.  And, if you don’t the same thing may happen, anyway.  The act of one individual with a particular distorted view of the world developed by obsessive behaviour and at a particular revision or developmental stage can have an impact that is amplified and acted upon to an extent of terrible violence and unbelievable harm.  Or without the weapons would it just be a lunatic waving his arms around and disturbing cinema goers?

We have evolved fiction as a means to understand the more difficult parts of human nature. These thoughts exist already, the fiction does not inform, it may provide a storyline but so does Crime and Punishment, and The Bible, and we do not see these works as informing murderers to murder.  Our fiction is our strength.  It allows us to learn consequence without hurting ourselves.

It is not the gun that kills.  It is not the snake that bites.  It is not the disease I will catch.  The safety hymns of reassurance we need to remember to stay sane.  Of course over 99.99% of the people we know will probably survive the week and if we all behave, well and good.  Violence is visible in a moderate environment.  We believe outbreaks can be quickly contained, quelled and increasingly these days crave harsh decisive treatment by the police.

The London Olympics.  Isn’t it nice for the Tory government to be seen by the world for the next few weeks having the military providing a security presence.  It is seem almost logical to get them dressed in mufti.  No!  That would be even creepier.  The cameras of the world will record the UK in the guise of a military dictatorship.  And maybe that’s fair.  It has been hard to discern Osbornomics as much apart from a grand Malthusian erosion of the needs of the state by shipping the poor off to forgotten council estates to fend for their financial existence he is exerting a kind of social totalitarianism.  But now they exert a show of the military for the most watched World gathering of sports.  I think that it is a Government ploy, a kind of show-piece Falklands – a Thatcherite glow of austerity for people and freedom of the corporate monster to consume them.

Countries survived on bluster backed by destructive power and domination.  Bluster is only useful if it can be backed by military force.  Something Britain had talent for.  It is a dishonest assessment of our safety and economic state.

It guns become part of the culture, when citizens bear deadly force, you probably need a functioning social infrastructure without the usual feeders of crime.  It still does not stop those with emotional demons or subverted realities from acting out drama with a deadly set of consequences.

 

The Norway Killing

Although most of us have that part of being human that loves others, a few do not. It is hard to spot absences as we are tuned to see things that are odd or out of place. The real horrors are ones that appear to have no basis in the shared world, but the horrors that are expressed from the mind of a terrorist.

This is an aspect of murderous insanity that supports the death penalty, at least their malign influence is truncated. But the danger of putting innocents to death is far greater. Merely because for each guilty person, there are millions of innocents.

In the calculations of war this may make little difference. But a society that is based on fear is a weaker society. Real effort is expended due to purpose and intent. An atmosphere of threat can breed indifference. Neglect may breed resentment Abuse breeds inappropriate behaviours.

However, average children being adequately educated universally and who are not hungry or mutually disadvantaged by the greed of the majority such that their education is not a principled priority of the state.

Universal medical care is a given. If this is too expensive, then perhaps so should firemen, plumbers and maintenance technicians should also be paid more, as well as everyone else, so that universal medical care can be a given, it an be afforded and resourced. This must not preclude a private medical service available with private insurance, which may compete with the universal benefit by boosting its effect.

The Real Economic Crisis

Population growth is the core disturbing trend that can only get more intense and unsolvable as religious belief and economic priorities define our politics.

Our brains quiver at the figures presented in the EU and the USA of debt mountains that appear increasingly insurmountable. We forget that we are barking at the moon, criticising the figures but ignoring what they are measuring. We care more about our economic scorecard, consider political alignment a sign of sanity, and criticise green thinkers and the Left as a form of irrationality.

Chinese economic growth and its growing domination on the economic stage say two things. One is that huge populations bestow economic muscle, and the other is that exploitation of need allows an export economy to outpace consumption. The problem that the West is threatened by is consumers believe their largess is a birth right. The wars of religious beliefs have been an expression of fear in our DNA, we have evolved a need for huge explosions in population and thus require economic growth to sustain consumption. The deterioration on our environments is more of a political issue than a scientific one. And for the fundamentalists who control much of the political thinking in America large families and environmental destruction are seen as religious duty.

These are all forces that could contribute to our eventual demise, and the sixth mass extinction. Humans are so many and so greedy. Nobody wants to surrender luxury in favour of their grandchildren. Nobody wants to give up on greed.

As our population keeps edging up and up, we seem unable to restrain ourselves.

Contraception is not the only solution required. It is a new economics and religious philosophy that allows all life to continue ad infinitum that is required. It is realising that our thinking has brought us to where we are, for example: threatened fish stocks and climate change will suddenly and drastically reduce populations and then our intellectual infrastructure is undone. War, famine and plagues do not save us from ourselves, we are but a blip on the geological time scale, but a blip that has changed the nature of nature and the meaning of survival.

Our inability to manage the relatively simple calculus of economics does not bode well for the more complex management required to prevent ecological doom. A nation may be able to default on sovereign debt, but we can not hide from extinctions of vital parts of the food chain.

See also – http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2011/jul/18/population-7-billion-planet

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malthusian_catastrophe

The right to bear arms

Political protest is a sign of a healthy democracy.

In America, the Second Amendment gives a citizen a right to bear arms. Right wing protesters carrying assault rifles may be a legal right but is it a legitimate protest? How many presidents has American guns assassinated? On the Right we have Ronald Reagan, on the Left we have JFK. If Reagan had died, perhaps the Right would be a little more sensitive.

Is the right to carry arms relevant in today’s world? And is that in fact a valid political protest or just perpetuating the myth that being under the threat of random death is a benefit to anyone?

A man mistaken by a security guard was shot in the back, and left his child without a father. In the back. He kept walking when the guard started to shout at him, trying to get away. He was innocent of any crime. Having a gun does not make you right. It makes you into a potential murderer.

40 seconds from air disaster

40 seconds from air disaster

The decaying orbit of a Russian satelite of a meteorite breaking up as it reenters the atmophere and missed a plane by 40 seconds both fore and aft. Conjecture that it was a Russian Satelite in the news prompted the question: is this a sign that the sky is going to be falling on our heads more and more often?

Decaying space junk – yes it is quite possible to plot its trajectory as it plummets into the atmophere. Remember Skylab? Space junk would be a hazard to airplanes if it was unpredictable, and meteorites (space rocks that do not completely get burned up by the atmosphere) are not predictable.

Here is a very short film (35 secs) of a spectacular space debris event in Colorado on January 4th 2007.

Here is a film of the Russian Satelinte coming down over a populated area and it seems to burn up on reenty.

There is planning afoot to prepare for a possible collision or brush with an asteroid (larger piece of rock, possibly similiar to what wiped out dinosaurs) in 2036 including an international competition. Asteroids have an orbital path that can be determined eventually by complex modelling, and maths on steroids.

Here is a fictional illustrative animation of a very large asteroid colliding with Earth. It is disturbing, but not very scientific. Needless to say, an object 1/10 of the size of this example would probably cause massive extermination of life.

Meteors are too numerous and too small to track, and meteor strikes are rare enough for it not to make large dents in Government budgets. Searching google for “meteor strikes” returns over a million references. Comparable to a search for “weapon strikes”, and another for “vehicle strikes”. The disturbing thing is, searching for “meteor strike death”, “weapon strike death” and “vehicle strike death” gave similar results.

Does that mean that it is perhaps it is a more common problem than we are letting on? Perhaps not, as the vast majority of articles about “meteor strikes” are discussion on why the dinosaurs ended so suddenly. Extinction does concern the human race. Google and the intenet effectively have open a window on humanity in the world, and by so doing have created a world far braver than big brother ever imagined. We can all see anything. 1984 is so – 1984.

2084 will be much more in our own hands rather than some notion that a leader will control us.

Humanity is our strength. Openness simply reveals it.