So I do not become one that highjacks a comment thread, I post my thoughts on Jeff Goldsteins's article on Nuclear Midnight at Protein Wisdom here [not spell checked, my attention is wasting heavily ATM]:
Just from my personal reading the basic Soviet 'suitcase bomb' is about the size of a 50gal oil drum. There were never that good at miniaturization and had problems designing and maintaining such things.
On as to why containment will not work with Iran, I responded to Jerry Pournelle's open question on that a bit ago.
The one thing that we do *not* have is a serious discussion on what the overall Goals on the War on Terror should be. And we seem to have forgotten that the important part of fighting Transnational Terrorism is to de-link it from supporting Nation States, which is why Afghanistan and Iraq are both extremely important. It is not just the survival of the US, but the entire international system of Nation States being able to provide *anything* for their own people. By glossing this over, we put that long and hard built system up on the chopping block.
Transnational Terrorists seek to use the complacency of the mighty, modern Nation State against itself, by using the wedge of non-national activities escalated with violence. With no hard and fast State Actor to be held accountable, the use of Arms for protection and offense is diminished. This is the concept of asymmetrical warfare to leverage violence in small ways to large effects. Working hand-in-hand with Narcotics Traffickers and using the same resources, they gain advantages of surreptitious transport of goods and peoples, especially when National borders are porous. So as was said earlier in the thread, and I emphasize: the question of being attacked by Terrorists is not a question of *if?* but of *when?* and *how often?*. By not enforcing National Sovereignty at any point, the Nation State is left defenseless to stop such things. Europe has suffered this over decades and so has the US. Once the flows of unassimilated immigrants who do not wish to follow the Laws of the Land come into a Nation, the very respect the Nation has for self-determination is diminished and with it the very reason for its existing as a Sovereign entity. This was welcomed in by Transnational Progressives and now is used to crack the Nation State itself by Transnational Terrorists.
The founding of the US, however, was *not* that of a mighty Nation, but of weak and squabbling States that could barely defend themselves. The very foundation of the US is based upon asymmetrical warfare, and is specifically mentioned in the Constitution as a legitimate means of defending the Nation and attack Our enemies, under the oversight of Congress. This is the National Warrant to do things for the gain of Bounty or Reward. And that right has not been given up by the American People, although Congress by not looking at its powers abdicates them in defense of the People. Further, by allowing municipalities to move out from under the Constitution by no longer enforcing the Law of the Land, setting their own immigration policies, and trafficking in human labor, All Branches of the Federal Government abdicate the concept of National Sovereignty and the exercise of the powers given only to Them by We the People. Thusly, the very concept of the Nation State are no longer being defended by those given the power to do just that.
The WMD question is a symptom of the larger disease. The disease is the strange concept of a Nation State actually being good *for* anything except governing. As the cost and technology threshold for nuclear devices goes down, the asymmetrical attack characteristics of Transnational Terrorism goes up and the erosion of the Nation State increases as they do not address this issue. The UN was a pressure valve, of sorts, during the Cold War, but by becoming seen as a Super-Oversight Government, it eroded the concept of National Sovereignty quickly and corrosively after the end of the Cold War. Indeed, unaccountable international actors at that level *also* deteriorate the concept of the Nation State as legitimate actor for their own People above those of Others.
Defense and support of the Nation State *concept* for ALL Nations and holding each other accountable when there are conflicts between the self-interest of two or more Nations. That requires a basic re-orientation of Foreign Policy so that the US helps those that help it, give cool receptions to those that neither hurt nor help, and actively pursue and shut off relations and trade with those hostile to it. Free Trade for the world only ensures that Transnational Terrorists flourish on cheap goods and means to use and transport them, and gives no incentive for other Nations to seek self-improvement via internal production. That must end with the help of those Nations friendly to us. As Mexico has now staged hundreds of small scale incursions and offers nothing for doing so, it can no longer be a Free Trade partner and, in fact, is demonstrating some support for those that would hurt our National Sovereignty.
Needless to say, in the Zero Party System we live in, neither political party actually believes in the concept of the Nation State by their lack of activity to actually defend it. Both parties support the concept of large and inefficient government to feather their own nests at the expense of the general welfare, and in doing so are destroying the trust behind the compact between We the People.
As a Jacksonian I support finding and hitting the Federal RESET button hard. I am the Party of One. And in the Zero Party Systems we are now in, so is each and every individual in the United States ALSO a party of One. We have passed off the buck of responsibilities upwards and gotten little in return save insecurity and diminishment of our rights by Transnationalist concepts. I support the end of that.
WMDs falling into the hands of Transnational Terrorists is the symptom of the disease that decays the Nation State. Ameliorating the symptom in one place only assures that it pops up again elsewhere. Until the cure is no longer that of enforcing the concept of a self-determining People as a Nation via the means of Justice. And the only Just means that are left when the life of the People of the Nation are threatened is the Terrible Swift Sword of the Republic.
We can use it *not* to skillfully and carefully excise this disease and force it back and down. Or we can dither and then use it in its fully glory of liberation...
The liberation of the heart of a people burning, so that atoms are liberated from molecules and the light of a thousands suns shine in many places with a People seeking Vengeance.
Either that or let this experiment in liberty die under threat and tyrrany.
30 April 2006
So I do not become one that highjacks a comment thread, I post my thoughts on Jeff Goldsteins's article on Nuclear Midnight at Protein Wisdom here [not spell checked, my attention is wasting heavily ATM]:
29 April 2006
One of the Joys of being an American Citizen is singing 'The Star Spangled Banner'!
We sing it proudly, reverently and as One Citizenry.
And because of the nature of the song it is the equivalent of the Colt 45 to the music world: it is the great Equalizer because no one can sing it WELL. That's right! We sing it proudly, magnificently and off-key, with false notes, even forgetting the words to it. And all of it is sung in the language of We the People which happens to be ENGLISH.
Frankly, wanting to change the lyrics to Spanish, change the entire content of the song and then make it about something *other* than the Battle of Fort McHenry is not only stupid, but it is asinine. And then to try and actually make it *easy to sing*... well that is an affront to all American Citizens who have to struggle with it every damn time we do so. Be it at a ball game or opening ceremony of any sort, the National Anthem is meant to be sung reverently, with care and with the sure knowledge that no matter how good the singer, it will be messed up at some point.
I remember an opera star talking about the National Anthem, and basically saying that there are only a few people on the planet who can actually reach all of the notes in the song naturally, without having to use vocal trickery. And that from a *professional* that makes a living singing the damnedest things ever made for the human voice to encompass. But at least opera was made to be *possible*.
The original "To Anacreon in Heaven" poem of 1770 was set to music and this was used as the basis for "The Star Spangled Banner", and the words scrunched to fit. By the time it was adopted as the National Anthem, most people realized that it was for the solemnity of the thing rather than its sterling song qualities. From the depths of despair to the heights of the glory of the morning, the song swings back and forth in ways that any voice has trouble with. And We the People are humbled by that song and still sing it as it makes us ALL EQUAL.
The 'People's Song'? Why, yes it is, as it is meant to be sung, in English, poorly.
Don't know English? Mouth the words as best you can, make similar noises... make it up as you go along. That is what the person next to you is most likely doing!
Tone deaf? Doesn't matter!! You can't hit the notes *anyway* so getting it on-key is the *least* of your worries.
One of the early things I remember Isaac Asimov writing about the song, and I paraphrase: 'You can't march to it. Listen to every other National Anthem and no matter how slow it is, it is still a march [this written in the mid '70's as I recall]. Try to march to "The Star Spangled Banner" and you will trip over yourself. It is not meant to be a march! And what other National Anthem asks questions? Ours is the only one that asks questions of its People. For those things alone, it is unique.'
You want a Nuestro Himno? Sing it at home.
When you sing with We the People, you sing it in English and be humbled.
We the People are humbled by the questions and the responsibilities we have.
Watch any singer at a sporting event miss a note, stumble on a word or phrase and then blink, shake their head and smile to everyone as they continue singing. They know they are amongst friends. That is what it means to be We the People.
We forgive the problems in the singing and accept the heart put into the song.
Want an easier song? I suggest you emigrate to a different country that has an easier song you can march to, and fewer rights that they graciously allow you to use. If you want to be a Citizen of the United States, you sing as We the People.
Can't be humbled by a song? Then I suggest you take your attitude elsewhere. We the People do not want those that think they should be better than the rest of Us.
For We are All Equal before this song.
27 April 2006
My thanks to Texas Fred for providing this valuable article on Illegal Aliens looking to shut down US Cities on May 1. First, I suggest you go over and take a gander at it...
Then, in your copious spare time, you might want to read my take on Sanctuary Cities and how they are promoting the trafficking of human beings, seceding from the Union by not obeying the Laws of the Land and the separation of powers, and, generally, acting Autonomously towards foreign Nations. Also take into consideration the way Mexico sends its Federal Military and Police over the borders without so much as a 'By your leave' or 'So sorry, how may we make up for the unwarranted intrusion?' or even PROTEST by the US Government.
So, given the above two things, we can now ask the question:
What is it called when secessionist cities are occupied by foreigners and their well being controlled by same, and the nation of origin of most of them has repeatedly given the US Casus Belli by its activities?Kudos to those that have answered: These territories are under occupation by a foreign power that we are at WAR with.
Any other answer leaves out the question of National Sovereignty and the right of a Nation to control its borders, its commerce and its internal regulation without interference by Foreign Nations.
This is not about 'economic rights': They have those in their own country, or not as the case may be.
This is not racism: I want every damn illegal alien from every country out of this Nation no matter their skin color, religion, gender, sexual orientation or nation of origin. They, one and all, must go.
This is not about giving a 'fair deal' to 'law abiding' illegals. If they were 'law abiding' they would NOT be here. They are here unfairly to this Nation and to every individual who follows the LEGAL process to gain entry.
And I do not care if they just 'overstayed their visa'! They could have gotten something known as an 'extension'! They could then abide by the law and leave. They have broken the law by staying here.
Welcome to the 21st Century of the United States, where we can defend the borders of Iraq far better than our own.
Where we seek to spread liberty abroad as we give it up at home.
Where we are heading to a Second Civil War over Slavery and the illegal trafficking and exploitation of human beings.
Where no political party understands the concepts of: Republic, Representative Democracy, Responsibilities to the Nation by the People, and the concept that some Groups are due more rights than others and the individual has no rights AT ALL.
I am a Jacksonian and I represent the Party of One. The party of the Individual. Of individuals taking up their responsibilities as given them in the very first sentence of the Constitution and then use their Rights to enact those responsibilities.
I give honor and friendship and trust where it is due by those that act the same towards me.
Mexico has acted without Honor in aiding and abetting their people's illegal entry into the United States.
Mexico has acted without Friendship in not making up for the mistakes it has made via its Military and Police in intruding upon the National Sovereignty of its neighbor.
And Mexico has lost its trust by exporting its unemployment problem instead of rooting out corruption and enabling its economy to flourish while it still has natural resources to sell.
Mexico should lose all Free Trade with the United States.
The United States should build a wall that will stop and 'kill' individuals trespassing upon Our territory and right to self-government.
And all individuals here illegally should be sent HOME.
And, finally, Mexico should be given a bill of particulars and told that if the individuals responsible for the border incursions, for firing upon US Police and for aiding the illegal activities of drug and human smuggling, that we will then declare Mexico to be a nation Hostile to the United States.
Further, if reparations and indemnifications are NOT forthcoming for repaying what it will take to round up and ship all of their people here illegally HOME, that the United States shall declare the entire list of Casus Belli and declare that there are now open hostilities with Mexico and that we will do our damnedest to shut their entire nation down and kill ANYONE who attempts to move northwards over the now CLOSED border.
For that is where we now are in the 21st Century.
Some years ago I had a strange dream... well, quite a few of my dreams are very strange in and of themselves, but this one was a bit more than ordinarily unusual for me.
I saw myself sitting in the kitchen of the townhome I live in. Now already some folks are saying: 'You see YOURSELF in your dreams? You aren't, like, living in them?' And that is true. Very few of my dreams have ever had me as first personage observer and interacter within the dream itself. Instead I am third person observer and rarely director of actions. Sometimes I can influence things, but mostly I cannot. My dreams play out in and of themselves with me observing the activities of which I am one actor within them, but not the active participant from my observer's viewpoint. What I can do is shift my observational viewpoint to see around things and sometimes through them and have other knowledge given to me on what the background of the happenings are. Don't ask me how that latter is imparted, it is given as a part of the circumstances themselves. So do understand this and this is true of this dream I am about to relate.
As I shifted my viewpoint around myself, I observed myself sitting, the table I sit at, the floors, windows, kitchen layout and other such things. The layout was generally familiar but... different. The configuration was the same but oddities were abundant: the linoleum floor was of a different pattern, the walls were not beige but of a somewhat lighter hue and color closer to eggshell white, the kitchen table while being the same was neat and orderly and uncluttered, the cabinets were in the right position but of a different wood and a bit different grain, the counter top was white bordered stainless steel, the sink and stove had switched positions, the refrigerator was larger and somewhat beige instead of white, the microwave cabinet was present as it should be but there was a clock over it, phone exactly the same as the chair under it... as to myself within the scene, I was wearing standard clothing for myself, a dark navy turtleneck, light blue jeans, black belt, gold rimmed glasses, longer than normal hair but well trimmed, beard and mustache blended together, same height and skin complexion, white socks, blue Nike Oceania 2's that I still have from the 1980's. My love of my life was there as she should be, but strangely and slightly different. Clothing generally the same, but not her usual colors nor those of anyone I know, but not out of the ordinary considering our thrift store and Salvation Army purchasing habits.
In this scene I was explaining that I had realized that I had come from an alternate timeline due to circumstances I didn't understand and could not control... and that I had swapped places with the myself and could not say where that other self was or his condition. I was sorry for that, but the evidence had built itself up... I had stepped sideways in time.
The dream ended and I awoke, in this life, in my body with a cold sweat.
For there are times, before I had my recent problems come upon me that the universe did, indeed, feel slightly out of place, awkward, not fitting together as past information had led me to believe it was. Little things show up, and I pass them off as a trick of bad memory or something misremembered or something I had just learned that was plainly wrong. We all do that from time to time... and we explain it as part of the trickery of our minds. Of knowing without proving the wrong thing is true as the evidence plainly points otherwise.
In the realm of science many things are given a possible explanation, a conjecture or hypothesis if there is some founding for it. Some call that 'theorizing' but realize that the concept of Theory, in science, means that you have cold, hard and demonstrable proof of the things that theory purports and that it is capable of some level of predictivity within its conception. For something to gain the lofty title of Theory, there must be proof. So to all of those who equate scientific Theory with theorizing, realize that you are trying to move the verbiage from the scientific realm to the philosophical and give it the lower meaning of the philosophical and ditching its scientific meaning.
Now in science a Theory can also be proven to be wrong or to have limitations. It can be demonstrated as 'right' and provable within its conceptual confines, but at the edges oddities that it can not explain or encompass may and often do show up. Science is limited by its foundations and when you get to the edge of the foundation one needs examine the landscape to plan a new structure. Often that structure may have apparently good foundations but then sag and fall under the weight of the problems it encounters and need be torn down and re-built taking into consideration the problems encountered. Time and again older Theories are given add-ons, supports, braces, and all sorts of other odd accoutrements until it becomes obvious that the old Theory needs a radical overhaul. Newtonian physics had reached that point in the 19th and early 20th Centuries and the braces and supports and other additional work was pointing to a break with Newtonian physics within areas of physical reality. While still 'right' and applicable within its conceptual confines, it was not workable beyond those confines and something new needed to be built... and was, by a number of scientists until Einstein was able to wrap up all the pieces in a conceptual framework that kept Newtonian physics as a subset of the larger Relativity framework. And, needless to say, that framework is showing its wear and tear today, because it could not reconcile itself with Quantum Physics... and so it goes...
In my field of Geology there is this idea that there is a continuous and understandable process of events that remain relatively stable over time. Days come and go, the moon goes around the Earth, the Earth moves around the Sun, weather changes, rivers flow down slope (save in a place or two where they have sufficient energy to overcome areas of increasing slope), gravity is stable, and things tend to go on just going on. All of this is called Uniformitarianism. Until then the idea had been that large scale, sudden changes had happened and that things were so chaotic that there was no real ability to predict what would go on next, and the next big change could be right around the corner. This was called Catastrophism, and seems to drive many people to this day.
Uniformitarianism had problems and lots of them. First and most obvious is that when the globe was finally mapped to show the Earth was, indeed, a spheroid, and that any child given such will say: the continents all fit together! Just look at it and its obvious! But, there is no demonstrable *proof* that it was so and no *process* to say how they got there. Just breaking them up and putting them in place without process is Catastrophism. But other oddities also showed up, the largest being sedimentary rock, itself.
If the point you are standing on was, millions of years ago, underwater, then there was *no* uniformity of process and place. And so all sorts of ideas on overburden and erosional subsidence and build-up and re-thrust and such were invented. Suddenly Uniformitarianism had a number of inexplicable add-ons with only vaguely understood processes to explain physical evidence. Even worse, one could walk along a continuous series of strata and then find a sudden break within the context of physical contact and have all sorts of different things on the other side of the break. Faulting was invented and helped in many instances to explain such things, and it does serve quite well in most instances once you start doing a further examination of the strata and find the displacement. But there were some instances where there was no continuity at all and something completely different in historical context was abutting a well structured set of strata with NO equivalent anywhere on the other side of the fault.
And then there was further weirdness showing up in similarity of strata between continents that were unconnected! Yes, you could trace stratigraphic continuity all the way up to an ocean and pick it up on the other side of the ocean on the next continent. Uniformitarianism was having great problems by the end of the 19th Century and the beginning of the 20th. There was also this nasty jumble of volcanoes, earthquakes, overlaying of igneous rock on sedimentary rock in places that should have had uniform processes, large areas of the land scoured by *something* and generally lots and lots and lots of little things pointing to the fact that things in the past were very different than they are today.
Animal populations show radically different distribution across continents, not only in recent times but into far deep history. Land bridges were invented as a theory and they would arise willy-nilly to allow passage of animals for some time and then disappear, thus isolating the animal populations. And somehow climates would alter radically from what it is today so that one could find a period of time in which one continent was tropical and the other arctic and they are joined, today, in a temperate zone.
All of this was brought together and purported to show that the continents did, indeed, move. The foremost and almost lone voice in the wilderness was Alfred Wegener, who pushed hard on the hypothesis that the continents moved. But even with all the evidence to show that, he lacked one basic thing that is necessary in Geology: process. Without process to *explain* then there is no capability of backing the hypothesis and making predictions upon it. The process gives a theory underpinnings and foundations that can be tested. Physically tested via chemistry, physics and all the other sciences. And so Wegener was *wrong* by lacking the process and the evidence that points to support that process.
What changed, however, was the evidence and capability to do deeper examination of the Earth itself. World War II yielded strange magnetic striping on the ocean floor as found by submarines. This striping was mirrored along a ridge in the Atlantic Ocean floor so that exact duplicates of the stripes were found east and west of the ridge. Further, deep oceanic trenches were found that no one could easily explain. But many of those were associated with volcanic island archs, which was also odd. But the seismic data took the cake: the Earth had a thin solid crust, a large layer of molten rock that was plastically moving under high pressure, another more liquid and hotter layer and a solid nickel-iron core. And the continents were much, much thicker than the seafloor and made of a generally less dense crustal material.
Continents 'floated' on the plastic layer just beneath them while the ocean floors 'floated' less high due to their density. And when this was added into the trenches, ridges, global 'ring of fire', magnetic striping and the first actual continent to continent distances measurements a suddenly apparent thing was given a process. The Earth's crust was broken into many pieces called 'plates' and these 'plates' moved on the plastic currents beneath them.
The continents moved! And the theory of Plate Tectonics was born.
So Alfred Wegener was right... but wrong... but right. Once the process was married up to the hypothesis, the entire geologic history of the planet could start being painstakingly pieced together and all of the oddities put into perspective. By realizing that the Earth's Mantle had a flowing plasticity to it, ocean ridges could be married up with upwellings in that densely plastic layer. And where they came together and moved downwards, the plates would push together and there would either be buckling or subduction: mountain ranges would form where continents met or more dense crustal material would move under less dense crust. And as plates get subducted, by the action of friction and getting to hotter material further down, those crusts would melt, and their less dense melt material would push aside rock and slowly move up to reach the surface. Volcanoes are an expression of that.
This theory has become a bit more refined to include hot spots as places where particularly hot but very small uprisings in the Mantle reflect even deeper hot spots in a process not entirely understood, but understandable within the context of temperature variations due to changes in Mantle material and deep radioactivity of same. All of the crustal movement and dynamics now have a 'fit' due to the understood process. And, although the process has variations over time, the concept still works.
And Uniformitarianism itself? Well, with an understood process it still holds as a conceptual framework at a larger scale. But it no longer holds for a statically positioned set of continents. With new process uniformity gives way to understood and more or less uniform process. But there are other indications for Catastrophic events. The Scablands in Washington, Oregon and Idaho show large floods, but those are now understood to be part of glacial retreat and lake formation, are as many other such smaller events across the continents. The biggest hit was a literal big hit, however.
The Cretaceous-Tertiary (KT) extinction, 65 Million Years Ago that wiped out all life forms above 15 kg. and a large number below that. Nothing like the huge Permo-Triassic extinction that took 95% of all species on the planet, but still a biggie. Examination of the KT boundary had yielded a number of things, but one thing was overlooked and rarely reported because it was... well... odd. There is a boundary layer that marks the KT, and wherever there is continuous sediment deposition across that time, the layer is present. It is about an inch thick, and is totally discontinuous with the preceding, lower layer and the younger upper layer. It was seen, remarked upon, noted but little examined for, well, over a century. No one understood it, it was just 'there'. Yes, scientists can, will and do ignore things. This was one of those things.
Then in the 1970's two things brought about sudden change. The first was Mariner 9 arriving at Mars while a global dust storm was raging across the planet. So, not wanting to have a total loss on their hands, the scientists imaged... the global dust storm. Luckily it was in the infrared and something interesting was shown: while the storm raged, the albedo or reflectance of the atmosphere changed so as to reflect more sunlight. Mars got very cold while the dust storm raged across.
The second was an actual examination of the KT boundary layer chemically and physically. It contains a high percentage of rare-earth metals not normally seen in normal volcanic depositions, in fact an extremely high concentration when considered on a global scale. Also it has in its upper portion a large amount of sooty carbon, indicating large fires, and this is not globally distributed evenly, but has local high distributions. The kicker, however, is 3-axis shocked quartz. Quartz is a tough little mineral and present in a large number of rocks, so it is not surprising to find it there. And even shock patterns running through quartz crystals is not uncommon due to metamorphic pressures and volcanic eruptions. But even the most violent of eruptions rarely, if ever, produces more than 2-axis shocking. 3-axis shocked quartz for the globally distributed amount either indicates the mother of all volcanoes with the damned strangest concentration of rare-earth metals in the weirdest proportions going off or...
A large metallic asteroid hitting the planet. A nickel-iron asteroid with some fair amount of rockiness to it. Asteroid impacts regularly produce 3-axis shocked quartz and the chemical signature is nearly an exact match to the KT boundary layer. Suddenly Catastrophism returned with a vengeance. But the Uniformitarians pointed out that there is a uniformity of process, even with that if you change the scale to that of the entire Solar System. On those planets with little or no atmosphere, the evidence is plain of regularity of process. The Earth, being a planet within the Solar System, is subject to this cosmic pinball where asteroids hit and shift orbit and move and impinge upon it. Tons of dust burn up and float down on a daily basis and the larger the pieces the less often they impact. Look at Mars or the Lunar surface and it is evident that very large pieces of rock will every so often wander into the inner solar system.
So, even with an irregular result, the process, itself is regular though chaotic.
And as for my dream?
Well, who knows what we say is wrong in physics and mathematics and probability is actually wrong due to lack of process, but may be right once a process is known and understood? I leave that for another day and more energy.
26 April 2006
The Following is a cross-posting from The Jacksonian Party.
The Jacksonian Party supports an energy independent America.
The policy for getting to energy independence is laid out here. The following is an in-depth analysis of energy alternatives.
Now a huge and massive hat tip to Instapundit for pointing out this article at Popular Mechanics on the efficiencies and necessities for alternative fuels!
It is a wonderful example of the sort of things that need to be considered when drafting an energy policy JUST to replace fossil fuels. That cannot be done overnight nor quickly nor without expense to the economy. Mind you it does not take in the entire energy needs of the nation, just fossil fuels for motor vehicles.
So let me post their summation picture chart as such things are supposedly worth some largish number of words (Source: Popular Mechanics):
And let me go through on fuel by fuel to give the quick overview of what they found:
1) E85 - Ethanol/Gas mix at 85%/15% - First it has a lower fuel density, thus requiring about 1.5 gallons to replace 1 gallon of gas, but is higher in octane, so theoretically runs better and gets better mileage. The energy produced is between 34%-66% higher than the energy put into refining it, so a net surplus of energy output, but there does need to be an energy INPUT beyond sunlight. Using corn is the most efficient method of producing ethyl alcohol, so a plus there... maybe... on the downside is that to realize better fuel economies the entire powerplant of a motor vehicle needs be made alcohol resistant. Alcohol is a corrosive agent and a solvent, so everything in the fuel train needs be of resistant plastic or stainless steel. Which, of necessity, makes for a higher cost of production over normal grade steel used in motor vehicles and ordinary rubber/composite gaskets. Further, plastic needs a base and that base is usually... oil. The summary by PM is that the yield of 300 gallons of ethanol per acre would require 675 million acres of arable land devoted ONLY to corn production in the US. That is 71% or so of the nation's arable land lent to this... and corn is harsh on the soil, requiring all sorts of wonderful chemicals to replenish the soil, and those are produced with lots of energy and, a few of them, from... oil.
Now a bit FURTHER than just that. Corn takes 125 days to mature after emergence, so that is the total time of growing to full maturity and being ready for harvesting, although storage may require a lower level of dryness and some additional field time. Now the average monthly insolation, or solar energy per square meter per month, in the central growing region is about 4 kWh/sq.m. So, 1 acre is about 4,047 square meters. The acre of land picks up 16,188 kWh per month, and putting a month at 30 days gets 539 kWh/day and for the growing of corn that is 125 days, you get 67,450 kWh potential energy to be converted. Now crunching some numbers from PM on Gasoline, it has a per gallon BTU content of 124,800 and 15% of that is 18,720. E85 has 80,000 BTU/gal thus the 85% ethanol component is 61,280 BTU. Doing the math of 61,280: 0.85 to X : 1.00 yields 72,094 BTU/gallon of ethanol and one acre yields 300 gallons and thusly 21,628,200 BTU/year/acre ethanol. Now pressing the average insolation per acre/year yields 196,735 kWh, or converted to BTU 671,287,654, but that is unfair to the poor little corn plant! So lets make it the 125 day growing season of 67,450 kWh/acre/growing season to yield 6,336 kWh/acre/growing season of corn. This gets you a conversion rate of 9.39%
That is to get you 300 usable gallons of ethanol. Isn't science wonderful? And that does not *include* the energy *spent* making fertilizers, running combines and doing all sorts of other fun things. What this does leave out is the fact that the rest of the plant is used for biomass and feed and other things, but this is just a look at the energy for replacing fossil fuels. Maybe the folks would prefer to put up solar cells, instead?
2) Methanol M85 - Methyl alcohol 85%, Gasoline 15% - Methanol comes from methane (natural gas) and has many sources, but a low volatility that requires a mixing with something more flammable to get it going, like gasoline. On the downside it is more corrosive than ethanol and has less energy per volume than ethanol. Most methods to obtain it use natural gas from fossil fuel reserves, thus shifting dependency from one fossil fuel to another and not the object of the game. Methanol based fuel cells, however, for small electronics use is going to be a large component of future portable devices as methanol is quite compact for such uses. But for vehicles, again a new fuel train, power train and specialized internal components are necessary.
For anyone pointing to a bio solution for production, you will have to beat the energy conversion of corn by a substantial amount for ethanol, and garner a conversion percentage DOUBLE that of corn. Good luck!
3) Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) - Methane - CNG is great stuff, but is under high pressure and 44,000 BTU per unit volume as compared to nearly 3 times that of gasoline. Approximately 2 kWh of energy must be used to compress methane to CNG per unit volume equivalent to gasoline. At this point in time that would still be far cheaper than gasoline as methane is relatively inexpensive. And the fuel train and power train only need some tweaking to use the stuff as it decompresses to methane.
That said methane USE is increasing drastically on a global scale and even the US is looking at importing the stuff in CNG form just for industrial use. While the US is relatively rich in methane, it is from fossil fuel sources and, thus, a non-renewable. And the aim of the game is to get to a renewable energy source that is cheaper than gasoline. While you would be able to do CNG compression at home for the cost of methane and electricity, the use of fuel stations and depots is something else again. We would be exchanging liquid gasoline storage with high pressure liquefied gas storage and need to drive around with same. And once released via damage the stuff tends to rupture its tanks and produce a fuel-air explosion in a confined area, which is your vehicle, thus drawing all of the oxygen rapidly from everything, which is you. Not my favorite way to drive around, better to have a liquid burning that can be put out over an explosive loss of air. Having a daisy-cutter go off in/under/behind/around your car is not a fun thing to have happen. So possible, but its long-term prospects are not good.
4) Biodiesel - Petrodiesel is similar to gasoline in BTU content and biodiesel is renewable, although it will need additives to prevent low temperature solidification. But PM does a great disservice by glossing over the acre yields for this... so a bit of research is needed... (all diesel calculations to use 125,000 BTU/gallon or 36.63 kWh/gallon)
But the base power conversion will be to get a better output than corn per acre, so looking into the Wikipedia article, we can take a look at the best alternatives (using biodiesel yields from Journey to Forever):
Palm oil - 635 gallons per acre - So palm trees are tropical and I will bump up average insolation to 5.0/meter/month, although 7 or 8 would really be realistic. But that also means it is annual and you can get multiple seed cycles per year to get that 635 gal/acre/year. That gives us 23,263 kWh/year with insolation at 246,193 kWh/year with a yield of 9.45% But it can't easily find that lovely annual cycle in the US save for the most southerly and Hawaii regions, and add in the amount of moisture and it is a limited crop.
Jatropha - 202 gallons per acre - And pretty plants, to boot! But, that said their yield is lower and look to need higher insolation values like palm. So the numbers look like this: Jatropha 7,400 kWh/acre/year and insolation the same as Palm Oil for a conversion rate of 3.0%. Not good at all! That said, it is a plant used to drought conditions and may serve in areas of low rainfall for soil preservation. But it would be yet another xenospecies. This is assuming that once started this plant can give its seed on a perennial basis. Remember that corn, on an annual basis does not have a good conversion ratio, so it may be a bit unfair to Jatropha.
Mustard - 61 gallons per acre - Using the more standard 4 kWh/square meter land. Now, using this site, we see that it takes about 90 days to get to the seed point, so we will fairly convert that over for corn comparison. So it produces 2235 kWh/year/acre of diesel while having 48,564 kWh/year/acre insolation or 4.6% conversion ratio for its growing season. Other varieties will get you different yields.
Rapeseed - Lets take the 127 gallons per acre - Now this looks to be an interesting plant with many uses and we know it by the Canola oil concept. Now since there are two varieties and they would have overlapping germination and seeding cycles, it looks like its an either/or spring or fall crop. No twofers! And since optimal growing conditions cannot be assured, we will use the average of the faster growing variety, which, like mustard, is 90 days. In point of fact, you are basically comparing variants in the mustard family, and this variety yields 4,653 kWh/year/acre with the same insolation as Mustard seed for a conversion rate of 9.58%.
Soybean - 48 gallons per acre - Now one of the important things to understand is that like all plants, soybeans have a variable growing season based on weather and climate. No one wants to easily give up an average growth to harvest time... so an average of 100 days will be used. Luckily it grows in 4.0 insolation areas, so the math is easy! Soybean output is 1,758 kWh/year/per acre and insolation is 53,960 kWh/year/acre during the 100 day season thus 3.26% conversion ratio.
The best biodiesel is Palm based, but those plants are troublesome for their lifecycle. Other plants do worse and gain lower yields. So although the fuel delivery system would not need to be revamped, the conversion to diesel would require the phasing out of gasoline and the phasing-in of diesel. And the best solution for temperate climates would be mustard seed which has a decent yield. Now if we do a 1:1 conversion of how much gas would be swapped for diesel, the US would consume (using this google cache of James R. Katzer addressing the Cosmos Club) about 125 billion gallons of gasoline per year. Of which 892,857,143 acres would need to be devoted to this endeavor, out of the 938 million acres available. Not good. Plus we would have to add in the already *existing* diesel use to this equation...
5) Electricity - Need additional sources of same. Now, with 125 billion gallons going to gasoline and the efficiency of an internal combustion engine in the 20% range you have the amount of energy ACTUALLY DELIVERED to move the vehicle of 3,125,000,000,000,000 BTU/year or 9.16E+11 kWh/year. As electric motor efficiency is very high in the 90% range and energy storage in the same so lets use a nice 85% transfer rate, that would mean to go electric, the US power grid would need to deliver: 1.08E+12 kWh/year. For comparison the Itaipu dam in Brazil, the largest single generator of electricity in the world puts out 7.5E+10 kWh/year, which is 20 times LESS than will be needed to get an all electric automobile fleet. Yes you would need 20 of those to do the job. If the transfer/storage/conversion rate of electricity was near 100% with superconductors, then you would still need 13 of Itaipu's to do this.
6) Hydrogen - Relatively safe, hard to transport and store unless some nanotech way can be found to do so, requires special pipes and generally is so safe it burns to create water. Basic chemistry is against this one as there is no cheap and efficient method to crack hydrogen off of water or hydrocarbons. If electricity were cheap, this would be a leading solution. But as it is not so at this point, hydrogen remains the fuel of potential for fusion as the payback of fusing four atoms and getting that slight mass loss back is enormous. The Sun proves that as does every other star in the universe.
UPDATE 7 JUN 2006: Note is taken of this Popular Mechanics article on catalyzing hydrogen from water. This last sentence is critical: "If electricity needed to produce the hydrogen is wind- or solar-generated, the entire process is, essentially, emissions-free." So even by reducing the cost of generation by about 38%, hydrogen is *still* not there yet.
So, the United States can pay for new industrial infrastructure and it is up to We the People to help make that decision. To replace fossil fuels will require a wholesale changeover of the US economy to something *different* in the long run. The choices as laid out are: agricultural fuel replacement to use every bit of productive land to replace fossil fuels and install an entirely agrarian based fuel economy or find some other way.
The Jacksonian Party supports moving industry and electrical production into Earth orbit and exploiting Lunar material for basic elemental components with which to build everything necessary. The cost is to put out prize money for reaching identifiable goals and the US Government to offer good and hard cash payments for achievable results on energy production via Solar Power Satellites. This cannot be a 'first past the post' system as America needs competition to survive and a robust space infrastructure to flourish in the 21st Century and beyond. The time to build that is now, while we still can.
The Jacksonian Party supports this completely and will look towards temporary stop-gaps to keep the United States rolling on as it is for the next two decades, but by then there should be HUNDREDS of Itaipu level projects FINISHED and installed IN ORBIT. This will give low cost electrical energy with which the United States may build an entirely new conception of industry above and beyond that which chemistry alone can deliver.
The survival of the United States as an industrial nation that is forward looking is paramount. Today is not the time to yearn for a dream of yesteryear and the quaint notions of a chemistry driven economy. That will always be a sector of a large economy, but the economy itself must find new territory to grow and expand, and that will only be done with electricity and LOTS OF IT. The only place to get that unlimited source is space.
For the future of the United States to exist as an independent Nation, The Jacksonian Party pushes the forward looking concept of industrial space-based economic and energy production to the utmost. Its day has long been coming, but those wanting to keep industry, power generation and the attendant pollution of same on this planet have hindered such goals. For the freedom of the individual to have endless horizons to explore, the United States must offer those horizons, beyond mere navel gazing. And the only and last frontier to explore forever onwards is not on this planet, with all of its vagaries and problems and limited space and potential.
If the United States cannot offer that freedom, then it shall perish as a concept and a Nation.
And cede the unlimited potential of space to tyranny and subjugation as those forces look to strangle this the heart of liberty once and for good and all by getting to the high ground FIRST.
We can no longer go to the moon without a lot of damn hard work.
And if we do not look to ourselves to reach upwards, we will find ourselves drowning with NO gifts to offer to anyone.
[UPDATE: the following taken from a similar discussion at JOM on ethanol, all spelling intact]
Ahh... numbers, numbers, numbers... yes, I ran the numbers on most of this some time ago here. The major thing to look at is conversion efficiency of sunlight to useful fuel per acre and growing season. Now, for a growing season of 125 days the US can convert about 9.39% of solar energy, per acre, into 300 gallons of ethanol. Now, if you look at palm oil for biodiesel you get a 9.45% efficiency of conversion rate, but it is garnered via multiple crops per year in tropical conditions and that efficiency drops when you get into a growing season cyclic pattern. Ditto for Rapeseed at 9.58%.
So a quick look at sugarcane:
1) Industrial production is about 5 crops per year Chakra in Argentina. However, that is in tropical conditions with a 'semi-perennial' plant.
2) Yield of ethanol per acre of sugarcane is 662 gallons/acre(SARID source)... but do note that this is in a region that is tropical and so has the equivalent of 5 growing seasons per year for a semi-perennial plant.
3) Insolation received varies between 4.5 to 6.5 kW/square meter/day. Now for palm oil I used 5.0 kW/square meter/day and to keep things generalized in the tropics I will use that for sugarcane. So, the annual energy received from the sun per acre is: 246,193 kWh/year per acre.
4) Per gallon ethanol has 80,000 BTU or 23.4 kWh. Thus, those 662 gallons contain: 15,520 kWh. Or a conversion rate of input energy to output energy of 6.3%.
So the Brazilians are converting 6.3% of their available energy to ethanol per acre and only achieving a net energy gain when they burn the rest of the plant for electricity... say, are they scrubbing that to reduce emissions? Now, if you were *fair* you would also look at all the other things that corn was used for in the way of energy output and such, but I will stick to the pure ethanol equation since that is what everyone seems to harp upon.
So, Brazil, to gain its 'energy independence' needs to cut down vast swaths of rainforst for a crop that will give a minimal turnover for energy yield and deplete the thin rainforest soil in a few years so that it is no longer fit for agriculture. Thus requiring more rainforst to be cut down.
Wash, rinse, repeat.
How green *is* Brazil?
And exactly how sustainable *is* sugarcane for energy production given the agricultural realities of Brazil?
And, as a bonus question, why on Earth would the US want to substitute third world agrarian Nations with a penchant to totalitarianism in place of oil producing natiions with the exact same profile, save many having a virulent strain of a religion vice a tendancy for Communism in the agrarian nations?
Needless to say, I am not impressed with the *green* fuel source. And this does not include the necessary investment in infrastructure to use it.
If we need to have a new infrastructure, let us make sure that it garners us a new entire industrial outlook in the doing, which is what I look at here for the long-term and a stop-gap, near term energy policy to get us from here to there.
But that is because I truly *want* a sustainable energy supply for the long-term and a brighter future for the Nation.
[And then more]
ed - Very true, not every third world nation that is agrarian does have these tendancies. But finding stable, multi-decadal nations with vast amounts of cropland to spare for creating a low efficiency fuel for the US economy is difficult. Even E85 would use up the equivalent of 70% the cropland in the US, going to E100 would use it all up and need another good sized nation to boot... and then there is the actual question of growing *food*.
Dwilkers - You are correct on the hydrogen movement. Electrical fractionation still eats up more energy than is stored by the resultant fuel. And even the latest catalytic systems do not overcome that obstacle. If electricity were cheap, hydrogen is obvious. It isn't so hydrogen isn't.
So, onwards from that...
Overall it is the paradigm of not liking the oil producing regimes for being despotic, etc. and they have fractious problems beyond that. Currently the US uses an approximate 125 billion gallons of gasoline/year note that Brazil's vaunted production of Ethanol is 4 billion gallons per year. The Brazilian solution is fine if you want to exchange rainforest for current fuel supply, not so good otherwise. But, given that, its entire Ethanol output at E85 is 3.2% of US gasoline consumption. Got about 40 Brazils to pony up to the bar on this? Mind you, that is just to *cover* gasoline consumption... not to speak of diesel and the fossil fuels used for plastics, lubricants, and suchlike.
While the argument *could* be made that it would be possible to find a large number of nations each to supply us with a bit of that, we are then looking at the addition of transport costs, etc. done with petroleum. Those vessels haven't been designed yet and because of the nature of Ethanol, is not likely to be an easy retrofit into the existing infrastructure.
Then you can start looking at the actual potential suppliers, which you would like to have year 'round production, so that makes the tropics the obvious looking point. So, South America, Africa, Some parts of the Middle East (although the climate is against that), India (which may do its own thing), South East Asia, and lots of island nations. Start nominating your obvious choices for being the future energy suppliers to the US! You would like stable regimes that have a record of stability, offer freedom to its people, have not had any Communist leanings since the end of the Cold War, have no despotic neighbors seeking to gain control of resources, does *not* have a virulent religion wanting to kill anyone not of it... oh, and is tropical has moderate and consistent rainfall, will practice good agricultural methods to sustain production and is a reliable trading partner. You may have your own criteria, but those are mine and seem semi-sensible at least, so as to avoid the current problems we have with our regular oil suppliers.
Oh, anyone who thinks Global Warming is true, you may want to look at rates of tropical desertification and realize that if all the worrying is *right* then those suppliers of Ethanol will... ummm... dry up. I don't believe that, but climactic cycles are moving back to their pre-1300 norms, and large portions of what we know as rainforst in Mesoamerica and South America were relatively dry grasslands, especially the coastal regions. The Amazon has its own weather, of course... just what deforestation will do to that... who knows?
Or we could invest heavily in Canada and use their oil production and pay them market prices for it to build up their western provinces. And they already have oil pipelines to the US and they reversed the flow of them two years ago, so they now EXPORT oil to the US. And actually open up our continental shelf for exploration... the Cubans have brought in the Chinese to do just that off the coast of Florida.
Decisions, decisions, decisions...
Remember, we use 9.16E11 kWh every year to move our vehicles. Time's a ticking away.
22 April 2006
Who outed Valerie Plame?
Ok, here it is: She married Ambassador Joseph Wilson in 1998, after dating in that social strata.
News to world: You cannot be both covert and mingling in socialite circles that have high media attention.
According to some documents here and there, She was outed during a meeting with the Swiss in Cuba in which the Cubans listened in circa 1991.
We learned in 1993 that the Russians figured it out independently.
She met Joe Wilson at a party in 1998.
Once outed you get 5 years to tidy things up. 1993-1998 is 5 years.
By actually *dating* in that social milieu Valerie Plame was, by the fact of doing so, no longer in any way, shape or form covert.
By doing such dating and mingling she was confirming that status.
Who did that?
The rest is absolute and positive media hype and slander. Spinning to make things look bad when they are not bad at all, but trying to snowjob people by putting a gloss on things.
Absolute and pure BS.
What have I gained from looking that up some time ago?
Having time to do other things, like try to figure out what I have left in my life.
Any court proceedings that do *not* end up with Valerie Plame Wilson, Joseph Wilson, and/or folks from the CIA is a case that is going NOWHERE.
To those who think that this will look bad upon anyone in the administration: bend over and grease up, for you will get it in the end. And what you seek to apply to others will come back upon yourself and I hope that you are reminded of that until the day you die so that you will *stop* using any excuse at all for political advantage and learn that tearing this Nation down does not help *save it* in any way, shape or form. This is especially addressed to the Main Stream Media. Your Main Stream is now the SEWER. And you are PLAYING in it like CHILDREN.
There is NOTHING there to prosecute under the covert operatives statute, save if Valerie Plame herself, in doing such high level mingling, OUTED HERSELF IN FULL VIEW OF THE GOSSIP MEDIA.
Is this so greatly difficult to understand?
And if you contend that the 5 years stared *then*, then the first person to out her after that was her HUSBAND, by naming her in Who's Who and making that connective fact available as early as 1999! He would have BROKEN THAT LAW in doing so. And he then confirms this by doing a high profile news article for the New York Times. If you want to keep agents safe, the first two to be looked at are Valerie Plame Wilson and Joseph Wilson.
Do you now understand that there is no way in hell that Valerie Plame could in any way fall under the covert operatives statutes by her actions and the confirmatory ones by her husband?
Can it be said any simpler?
Get over IT.
As William Shatner said: "Get a LIFE!"
You do not have a life if you concentrate on this BS that is being spoon-fed you so that you can spew more vitriol into the bloodstream of American politics.
This is tearing things down and offering NOTHING in return except chaos and decay.
Go outside and take a deep breath and realize that you can still take one and not scream. Open your eyes and realize that the political climate is shifting hard in this Nation for the *worse* because no politician will actually stand up for this NATION that gives you all this rights and liberties which you are using to tear it down.
By elevating this out of nothing those doing so are abdicating their responsibilities as Citizens. You are not increasing the general Welfare. You are not offering *any* security to the Nation and are, in fact, making politicians so timid that they do not want to even *think* about defending it. Those who are spilling the vitriol in this are directly a cause of such problems. They were ongoing before this, but this is making them WORSE.
I cannot tell you how many Angels can dance on a head of a pin.
But I can tell you that there are far too many with pin-like noggins dancing to destroy this country through mean spiritedness, self-aggrandizement, self-pity, and excess loathing for those that simply do not THINK like they do. And this goes ACROSS the entire political spectrum.
If you think that your rights are only for you, that you need not exercise them to actually help this Nation and must have forethought, I will say that you are no longer a part of We the People. You have ignored your responsibilities and are causing the rights of *everyone* in this Nation to be diminished and neglected by these actions. If you are one of those vituperating on this without end, then you, personally, are the cause of this. You are to blame. Yes, at that point it is all about YOU. And for that finger you have pointed out three more point back to indict YOU as the cause of all such things. For YOU have forgotten how to build, and now only destroy.
And that, too, will be a reason the Republic falls.
Only YOU can save this Nation.
If YOU can ever come to think of yourself as one of We the People FIRST.
And lose some of that ego and attitude in doing so would greatly help YOUR outlook and let you know that there is NO halo over your head.
For YOU are no better nor have more rights than I do, but in diminishing YOURS through these activities YOU are diminishing mine and the rest of We the People.
Can YOU find *any* humility or anything to which YOU will not stoop to do to gain YOUR ends?
Let the vitriol GO. Laugh at the media for being fools. And laugh at yourself for being foolish. It is good for the spirit and the soul to do so. It reminds you that you are human. That you can do foolish things and then turn around and make amends. And perhaps cry some for the valuable time in your life that you spent in foolishness, and make that little vow within yourself to do *better* and *help* by not destroying and tearing down.
Just that little whisper to yourself.
It hurts the first time.
But the pain lessens over time.
And then you find something else being built within you each time you do so and adhere to it.
Your outlook will change.
And when it does, so will your understanding of the Universe you live in.
You need not advance by tearing down.
Find a way to seal the damage and build around it and stronger.
And help We the People to make a more perfect Union.
And only You, can do this.
To be worthy of being part of We the People.
21 April 2006
Well, my previous articles on the Second Amendment and how it could be used to implement a non-standing emergency response civilian force given temporary military equivalent powers for each State has gotten me thinking. And that means strange thoughts and ideas and general weirdness to ensue.
First up there appears to be some classes of military addressed by the Constitution:
1) Federal forces under direct Federal control,
2) States Militias (the current National Guard) under Federal control but with State supported oversight,
3) Foreign forces,
While (3) is allowable, I will assume that States would much rather look to their own Citizenry for protection than any Foreign forces, no matter how friendly.
There are 2 categories and deciders on looking at forces in the Constitution that fall within these bounds:
1) Standing - Which is subject to Federal call-up under the Constitutional provisions.
2) Organized/Disorganized - Which applies to active/retired Federal forces, but subject to call-up. And with the Army calling up a 70 year old doctor, one does get the feeling that this can be a lifelong commitment.
A third category is presented in its absence, and as Amendment IX and X guarantee the States and the People get everything not mentioned, the State, being the cognizant holder of lower level, non-national forces get this. These forces get specific mention by the Constitution in Article I:
No State shall, without the Consent of Congress, lay any Duty of Tonnage, keep Troops, or Ships of War in time of Peace, enter into any Agreement or Compact with another State, or with a foreign Power, or engage in War, unless actually invaded, or in such imminent Danger as will not admit of delay.So States may not keep Troops, save for those mentioned by Constitution for Standing and Dis/Organized. But the proviso is "unless actually invaded, or in such imminent Danger as will not admit of Delay."
That brings up the third category: Non-standing, organized.
Non-standing Troops is an oxymoron. They either are or they are not Troops. If they are subject to Federal call-up they are Standing. Non-standing is being known as a 'civilian'. Demobilized troops not subject to recall of any sort or any reason are: civilians. They may have training and such, but they are not subject to call up as a force. They are, indeed, NOT a military force, but an emergency reaction force given basic organization and cognizance by the State to protect the State's right to exist and self-rule.
So, this third category is: Organized Civilians.
I proposed that letting the States use this proviso for actually giving some organization to those Civilians who have the capabilities for lethal force by civilian training be given the mandate to serve as the first line of defense for the case listed for invasion or imminent Danger, such as catastrophes or natural disasters, but also other things defined BY THE STATE. The States would be empowered to do so as long as their requirements did not bar anyone from actually using or owning such arms, as given in Amendment II.
Each Citizen, as I have looked at in the Preamble to the Constitution actually has this responsibility laid upon them by the definition of the intent of the Citizenry in that document. By defining who the People of the United States are and what they are enjoined to do as Citizens, these obligations fall squarely upon Citizens. Note, however, that those under even the most indirect but still responsible for recall to the United States are specifically *not* in this category. Anyone who has served under the Federal Armed Forces *must* have written documentation from the Federal Government that they are under absolutely no obligation to the US Armed Forces in any way, shape or form.
Further, as such times as the Citizens would need to come together to exercise their responsibilities through their rights to bear arms, they would need organizing principles for who is best capable to manage a 'scratch' force of disparate capabilities on the fly. So while this force is not *standing*, capabilities must be recognized within it, and this is best done by the owners and users of each class of weapons as a group and then coming together as a whole to ensure that there is some regularity for such emergency organization. Yes, those Citizens that actually know the use of lethal arms are the ones to actually lay out the capability and recognition of such capabilities.
A system of belts/sashes/badges/insignia or some such that would not be a 'uniform' but would be a clearly identifiable marker would do for this and immediately make known lethal force cognizance, capabilities, and type. In an emergency the folks coming together would have to figure it out for themselves what best to do, under the full power and authority the State gives them. Citizens who know lethal force are given these things and in times of Danger or invasion or other such as defined by the State, are obligated to show such and put themselves out to keep society in their State whole.
The States are now faced with a new class of law: That of directly threatening the State's right to keep itself whole and intact, BUT not under Federal law, but as a State within the United States so that it may properly self-rule. The States, individually, have the right at the Federal level to ensure their integrity and working capability as a State when Federal or State normal directed forces CANNOT RESPOND. This is a class of law that is *above* mere civil law on the illegal use of force, but *below* the Federal recognition save when those using such are foreign nationals that are part of a foreign military structure (actual invasion). Thus, the entire code for the civil illegal use of deadly force would need be moved into this new category and penalties associated with it to fit this much higher class of crime.
Taking up arms illegally threatens the State's right to maintain order in times of emergency or invasion while waiting for more proper forces to arrive. The Amendment II right now is used fully to support the State's emergency right to *exist* as a State. And those most cognizant of the proper *use* of lethal force, are those Organized Civilians that the State has empowered for emergency use to repel invasions or generally, respond to Danger that regular forces cannot respond to adequately.
Beyond those laws that were once civil, but now fall under this category of a threat to the State, there is the case of Invasion and such things as Rebellion, along with disasters, civil disorder and anything the State puts in the 'Danger' to its right to exist via the use of force.
Invasion would actually be a remand to the Federal government, with evidence and such passed along. My first guess would be the FBI, however, this is NOT a civil problem. It is a problem of an invasion of a State of the United States. The organization that handles that is the US Armed Forces, so their jurisdiction would apply unless they demonstrated otherwise. Then the FBI and then the State.
Defining invasion would, of necessity, be of a Foreign or hostile force to the United States, under arms intruding upon the State. This would catch all Foreign Military not here at the invitation of the United States or the State itself via the State Department, and it would also take in all members and spokesmen and fundraisers for Terrorist organizations of all stripes as they do not respect civil nor military laws and are a threat to same.
Under the Rebellion concept would be armed, organized individuals seeking to overthrow or subvert the State or the United States via force of arms or civil conflict. If you don't go through the governmental systems to address your grievances, and seek to overthrow or change government or government policy by force of arms, then this category will contain you. The State may additionally set up minimal requirements to reach this, such as 5 individuals cooperating using the threat of lethal force to achieve unlawful means.
In cases of Danger, being natural disasters, catastrophe's or other similar unforeseen problems, this force would stand in to enforce the law via its strictures and uphold the lawful right of Citizens to keep the peace under State cognizance via lethal force and be answerable, by those strictures, to the State.
Finally, there are other things defined by the State. I would imagine that riots, wanton acts of looting and rapine, and such, all done under the threat of force would hit this category. Peaceful, civil protests need have no worry from this. Violence to assert one's opinion is taken off the board as it is a threat to the peace and the right of the State to exist lawfully and have integrity of rule within the State.
How the States would run this sort of thing I have suggested earlier, based on some form of Military Law, but adjusted accordingly to take in the State's concerns. And as the State would have this obligation fall equally upon ALL user's of lethal force of arms, there would be no discrimination in this against one class of weapons over another. Those that take up lethal arms do so knowing that they have increased their risk of death proportionately by doing so. Accidental death in the practice of lethal force is still death and an extra chance of same over a life without such risk. The State, by telling such Citizens who already know and weigh how and when to use lethal force to help in times of danger, are putting such skills, knowledge and ability to useful ends so as to protect the State's right to EXIST. Any attempt to endanger Amendment II, either by prohibition or power-grab is a direct and immediate threat to the State itself as well as its cognizant and armed Citizens. And the actual penal system of hard labor is one that does soothe my thoughts for those that take up arms illegally to threaten the welfare of the State and the LAWFUL practice of lethal force by Citizens.
I am quite sure that each State would also give a system of death benefits when those who die during such times have put their lives on the line for their society. Further, as with current jury duty, as these Civilians are the ones with the oversight on the use of lethal force, call-ups for special courts run via this system would also be necessary. And the State may want to help defray the costs of events which help in the showing of display of capability and acknowledge mastery of hard to gain and garner skills that the Citizen takes upon themselves to learn. There is honor to be shown for mastery and capability above and beyond that of your fellow Citizens.
I am not a lawyer, but this addresses basic separation of Powers and Citizen responsibilities, and any Citizen may think on such and see what they come up with. I have done so not knowing the law, but seeing that there is a space that has previously not been addressed and that is a viable space within the Constitution and Citizenship practices.
I abhor a vacuum, especially when cleaning as it kicks up dust. The US Code, beyond what it has for Federal Forces, may NOT address this as it is a State's Right to exist problem in cases of invasion or danger. While there may be Federal or State's forces responding, they may not be timely. And as was seen during Katrina, they may be present but not doing a DAMN THING to help. Further, after blackouts and riots, and other riots and lawlessness in which lethal force is threatened, the basic fabric of society is being worn away until you can see through it.
The Federal Emperor has no clothes. The States are being given little to look for their continued survival, especially as the Federal Government does not *wish* to address clear cases of invasion. And with Terrorism, there is no *way* that proper Federal Forces can be everywhere, and even State forces and local forces may have problems.
We are left with the Citizen. The Armed, Cognizant Citizen who is willing to understand the use of lethal force, do so LAWFULLY and ensure that the society that gives them that benefit will survive. The Right to Bear Arms is meaningless unless exercised to something other than personal ends. When rights only are exercised to personal ends, they become seen as something that has no social function and no social good. Such rights are finally LOST if not exercised in a positive manner. Ownership is necessary, but not sufficient to properly and fully demonstrate a right.
When you see: 'You can only take my gun from my cold, dead hands' Are these folks threatening, or providing a self-fulfilling prophecy?
By not putting their rights to good *use* for *everyone* as we are instructed to do in the Constitution and the responsibilities we are given in it, we are asking to have these rights lost, because they are not seen as of any value to society as a whole. By building upon such a right, society is made stronger, respect is given to the practitioners of lethal arms and we build something no other Nation CAN. And by building in this way you get MORE rights and responsibilities and honor. This *expands* the role of Citizens within society.
"To those that have great power, comes great responsibility." - Paraphrasing Spiderman.
[23 APR 2006 Update]
Dangerous, most dangerous to get me thinking on things like this...
Ok, Amendment II fully supported by the State for the Citizen's right to bear arms.
Article I authorization of the State to use forces outside of Federal control in cases of invasion or Danger, also fully supported.
By marriage of these two Rights by the State, with consent of the Citizenry you get a new Class of Crime by the use of lethal force outside of times acknowledged as lawful. Lawful times will be drafted with the help of the Armed Citizenry, but would include: hunting, self-defense, defense of family, defense of property, target practice, sports use, training. Basically everything you have today codified as absolutely ESSENTIAL for the State to survive by having an Armed Citizenry.
Now, I have blithely glossed over moving Civil armed and lethal force use crimes into a new category because of this. But what, exactly, IS that category? A bit of regularization on the part of the State would help, and, as the Armed Citizenry will be the ONLY ones to actually administer the Justice of this set of laws, my guess is that they will be far harsher than normal, civil crimes. Unlawful use of arms and lethal force threaten's the State's Constitutional right to administer itself during times of invasion and Danger. Any crime which is against *that* is a State level threat, against all of the People of the State.
So lets take a look at a few interesting bits:
1) Armed street crime - Standard unlawful practice of force during Non-State sanctioned and Armed Citizenry cognizant times. And if not registered and the individual involved has not received their placement in the structure set up by the State for the Armed Civilians to administer, then that is an *additional* crime against the Lawful Use of Arms by the Armed Citizens right to bear arms. On Federal terms this becomes a pretty high Federal crime, but on the State side I have no idea. Best left up to the State on this. I punt.
2) Armed street gangs and organized crime - Now here the coordinated effort concept comes into play. This is no longer mere criminal activity, but Terrorism practiced against the State. Of this there are a couple of classes depending upon infrastructure extent:
A) In-State only - Simple Terrorism within the State, punish appropriately.
B) Cross-State - This starts turning Federal, of course. But the State view would be that of any group of Citizens looking to impose their will and extract thing by force of arms. It is, pure and simple: Rebellion against the United States. That is how a State would look at cross-border, Inter-State organized crime that is still wholly within the United States. Suddenly this conception is no longer a laughing or joking matter, is it? What the Federal Government would try to pass off as a mere Federal Civil Crime, the State would look upon as insurrection against lawful rights of the State, itself, to keep control of itself. Yes, Amendment II added to this does EXACTLY THAT. The Citizen's Right to Bear Arms married up with the State Empowering Armed Civilians to keep the peace now sees Organized Crime as Rebellion against the lawful right of the State and its People to act as they will within the Confines and Strictures of the United States.
C) Internationally supported - And this becomes very, very interesting. For if the State sees normal US organized crime as Rebellion, if it is traced back to a foreign sponsor, things get very tricky. At the very least this is then Transnational Terrorism, by elevating up the simple street activity to International scope. Now, if a Foreign State is not actively trying to get rid of this organization, then it becomes tacit acceptance and safe-harbor of same. This is State level sponsorship of Terrorism by neglect. This becomes not a Federal Civil crime, with foreign roots, as Transnational Terrorism is currently viewed. This becomes proxy warfare. Also known as: Invasion. And if there is active State sponsorship, then this is true invasion and seeking to destabilize the United States.
Yes, by changing how a State within the United States views itself and its rights, it changes the entire scope of definitions for itself and the United States as a whole.
This is what happens when one looks to make the Nation *better*.
20 April 2006
In my previous Note to you, I expressed my problems with Mexican Federal Military and Police violating US Territory. You have, as of yet, to address this and make public apologies and hand over those individuals suspected of doing so.
So let us start a list for you to ask questions of the Forces under your control.
1) From the Uncooperative Blogger, recording what the San Bernadino Sun put out the following in 2001 (article may require search on their website) 15 JAN 2006:
Later in that document we have recorded as many as 16 Mexican Federal Military crossing the border into the United States. And in case you needed the map, here it is from the DHS:The Mexican military has crossed into the United States 216 times in the past nine years, according to a Department of Homeland Security document and a map of incursions obtained by the Daily Bulletin.
U.S. officials claim the incursions are made to help foreign drug and human smugglers cross safely into the United States. The 2001 map, which shows 34 of the incursions, bears the seal of the president's Office of National Drug Control Policy.
The document states that since 1996, Mexican military personnel have crossed into the following Border Patrol sectors:
- San Diego County, 17 times
- El Centro, 58
- Yuma, Ariz., 24
- Tucson, Ariz., 39
- El Paso, Texas, 33
- Marfa, Texas, eight
- Del Rio, Texas, three
- Laredo, Texas, six
- Rio Grande Valley, Texas, 28.White House officials would not comment on the map and referred questions to officials at the Department of Homeland Security.
Kristi Clemens, a spokeswoman for the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, would not confirm the number of incursions, but said Saturday the department is in ongoing discussions with the Mexican government about them.
"We -- the Department of Homeland Security and the CBP (U.S. Customs and Border Protection) -- are determined to gain control of the border and will continue to collaborate with our partners on the border,'' Clemens said.
Perhaps that helps a bit, Mr. Presidente Fox?
And then the San Bernadino Sun reports this on 26 JAN 2006:
Border patrol agents and other law enforcement officials are angry that Mexican and some U.S. officials refuse to acknowledge that Mexican soldiers are crossing into the United States.So, not only are your military crossing the border at will, but it may very well be to help narcotics traffickers and drug smugglers. Such a wonderful state of affairs, Mr. Fox. And then the Sun had previously reported on 19 DEC 2005:
Some officials suggested Wednesday that the confrontation between Texas law officers earlier this week was with drug smugglers, not Mexican soldiers assisting narcotics traffickers across the Rio Grande.
But a Border Patrol agent who spoke on condition of anonymity said continuous cover-ups by Mexican and U.S. officials have put many agents and American lives in danger.
"I think it shows how desperate the situation has become. I think it's insulting to expect Americans to believe what (Department of Homeland Security Secretary Michael) Chertoff and the Mexican government are saying," the agent said Wednesday.
In the Sonoran Desert along the Texas border, Border Patrol agents say they're often confronted by corrupt Mexican military units in the employ of violent drug smugglers.Yes, Mr. Fox we have been playing very nice now for years now while such things go on routinely. But the Sun goes on with this article on 24 JAN 2006:
These run-ins have become so regular that the Department of Homeland Security eventually issued written directives a "what to do" list, of sorts that agents carry with them while patrolling the area.
"These are active Mexican military that have sold out to the cartels," said an agent in Arizona, who spoke on condition of anonymity. "We talk about cooperation with the Mexican government, but most of them seem to be on the take. The administration, the DHS, they are very hushed about this."
The "Military Incursion" card states: "Mexican military are trained to escape, evade, and counter-ambush if it will effect their escape." The card informs border agents of the procedures necessary when encountering Mexican army personnel. It also asks agents to hide from Mexican military that may be operating in the area and try to "avoid it."
"It's like we're having a battle on the border that no one speaks of," the agent said. "The Border Patrol lives in constant fear of pleasing the consulate general of Mexico. It's one of the things that's most mystifying to line agents that the U.S., which is one of the most powerful nations in the world, would cater to the Mexican government."
Mexican soldiers and civilian smugglers had an armed standoff with nearly 30 U.S. law enforcement officials on the Rio Grande in Texas Monday afternoon, according to Texas police and the FBI.So, deciding to cross the border, armed more than a standard police or even FBI team and helping out Narcotics traffickers. Shall we go on, Mr. Fox?
Mexican military Humvees were towing what appeared to be thousands of pounds of marijuana across the border into the United States, said Chief Deputy Mike Doyal, of the Hudspeth County Sheriff's Department.
Mexican Army troops had several mounted machine guns on the ground more than 200 yards inside the U.S. border -- near Neely's Crossing, about 50 miles east of El Paso -- when Border Patrol agents called for backup. Hudspeth County deputies and Texas Highway patrol officers arrived shortly afterward, Doyal said.
"It's been so bred into everyone not to start an international incident with Mexico that it's been going on for years," Doyal said. "When you're up against mounted machine guns, what can you do? Who wants to pull the trigger first? Certainly not us."
An FBI spokeswoman confirmed the incident happened at 2:15 p.m. Pacific Time.
ICE did not return calls seeking comment.
Doyal said deputies captured one vehicle in the incident, a Cadillac Escalade reportedly stolen from El Paso, and found 1,477 pounds of marijuana inside. The Mexican soldiers set fire to one of the Humvees stuck in the river, he said.
Doyal's deputies faced a similar incident on Nov. 17, when agents from the Fort Hancock border patrol station in Texas called the sheriff's department for backup after confronting more than six fully armed men dressed in Mexican military uniforms. The men -- who were carrying machine guns and driving military vehicles -- were trying to bring more than three tons of marijuana across the Rio Grande, Doyal said.
Doyal said such incidents are common at Neely's Crossing, which is near Fort Hancock, Texas, and across from the Mexican state of Chihuahua.
"It happens quite often here," he said.
Deputies and border patrol agents are not equipped for combat, he added.
2) The Washington Times, reporting this on 17 JAN 2006:
The U.S. Border Patrol has warned agents in Arizona of incursions into the United States by Mexican soldiers "trained to escape, evade and counterambush" if detected -- a scenario Mexico denied yesterday.Your spokesman, Mr. Zamora seems unaware that there is a RIVER that marks the majority of the border between the US and Mexico. Perhaps you could familiarize him with such?
The warning to Border Patrol agents in Tucson, Ariz., comes after increased sightings of what authorities described as heavily armed Mexican military units on the U.S. side of the border. The warning asks the agents to report the size, activity, location, time and equipment of any units observed.
It also cautions agents to keep "a low profile," to use "cover and concealment" in approaching the Mexican units, to employ "shadows and camouflage" to conceal themselves and to "stay as quiet as possible."
Border Patrol spokesman Salvador Zamora confirmed that a "military incursion" warning was given to Tucson agents, but said it was designed to inform them how to react to any sightings of military and foreign police in this country and how to properly document any incursion.
Mr. Zamora added that although incursions by the Mexican military do occur, they usually have taken place in areas of the border "not marked by monuments or signs." He said U.S. military units also have crossed mistakenly into Mexico.
3) WorldNetDaily gives us this article on 11 APR 2005:
WASHINGTON - The Mexican army is escorting those attempting to cross over the U.S. border illegally, including known drug-runners - to areas not patrolled by the Minuteman Project near Naco, Ariz., say Border Patrol sources and other officials including a U.S. congressman.Perhaps you could look into this for us, Mr. Presidente, and then hand over those suspected of doing so the the United States for prosecution?
Rep. Tom Tancredo, R-Colo., chairman of the Congressional Immigration Reform Caucus, denounced the action by the Mexican military and called on President Bush to do the same."President Bush should publicly denounce Mexico's latest act to curb U.S. law," said Tancredo. "The president of Mexico is threatening to sue any member of the Minutemen who have contact with a Mexican national, threatening to take the U.S. into the International Court of Justice at the Hague over the passage of Prop 200 in Arizona, and is providing transportation to Mexican nationals trying to sneak into the U.S. One could say he is acting in the best interest of his nation. Isn't it unfortunate we cannot say the same thing about President Bush?"
4) And then there is this felony offense as reported by Glynn Custard at VDARE on OCT 2000:
The latest publicized incursion took place in March near Santa Teresa, New Mexico. Two Mexican army Humvees penetrated more than a mile into the United States and fired on a mounted border patrolman and on a border-patrol vehicle. The soldiers were detained but were later returned to Mexico along with their weapons. There was no official protest from Washington, even though firing on a U.S. law officer is a felony offense.Yes, Mr. Fox, that is not nice nor good nor legal at all.
As I have reminded you doing such things are Casus Belli in and of themselves, no matter what the reason or cause. And for those actually *helping* criminal activity and are under your government's direct supervision and control, these are true Acts of War.
You have hemmed and hawed and blamed the US while Mexican soldiers continue to violate US Sovereignty. There is no excuse for this, Mr. Fox.
There is no reasoning to allow this, Mr. Fox.
The next time your troops or police violate US National Territory they may find themselves unwelcome and seen as invaders, for that is exactly what they are, no matter how short the occupation.
I have personally classed your Nation as neutral to the United States.
I am beginning to suspect that the actual classification is hostile with intent to harm the United States.
You can prove me wrong by actually finding and handing over those involved in each and every incident, making amends diplomatically, making payments to those who have suffered ANY losses and finding other ways to APOLOGIZE to the United States for violating its territorial integrity and National Sovereignty WITHOUT CAUSE.
And if you do not control your own Military and Federal Police, who exactly DOES? We would like to find them and talk with them as they appear to be more legitimate internationally and have more power than you do over your Federal Forces.
Good day, Presidente Fox.