Posts tagged ‘Jerry Pournelle’

09/19/2011

Quote of the Indeterminate Time Interval – Jerry Pournelle

by wfgodbold

Jerry Pournelle starts off strong:

The President of the United States in essence declared war on the traditional understanding of America today. He has put it all in very stark terms: there are people with money. The rest of us need it, for food, clothing, medical expenses, Christmas presents for the children, shelter from the storms of life. We do not have those things. Others have far more than they need. Therefore we shall take what we need from them.

Now of course he did not put this in quite such stark terms, but what he did say is that the rich must pay their fair share; if they do not, then we will not be able to have drug research, Medicare, education, and all those things which we need so much. And therefore we must make them pay their fair share.

There was no discussion of the Constitution or where in that document the Federal government derives either the obligation or the power to collect taxes and distribute largess; and indeed the original Framers of the document would have been horrified at the notion. The Constitution was intended to insure the blessings of liberty on ourselves and our posterity.

And picks up steam through the rest of the post.

Read it all.

08/29/2011

The question isn’t whether you’re *too* cynical

by wfgodbold

It’s whether you’re cynical enough.

Jerry Pournelle points out the problems with environmentalism and our society, and what could happen in the future.

We’re screwed.

Read the whole thing.

07/29/2011

John Stossel goes (almost) full libertarian on the budget…

by wfgodbold

And cuts so much you’d think he was emo. Entire departments get the axe, and by the end, he’s cut enough to get a $237 billion surplus.

That’s impressive enough; even if we cut that deeply, given the current debt situation, it would take more than sixty years to pay off the debt.

It’s a moot point, I suppose. No one in Washington is willing to cut enough to make a difference, and given baseline budgeting, any “cuts” are actually just reductions in the amount of increase.

Jerry Pournelle pointed out a couple days ago that because of how budget “cuts” are calculated, we could freeze spending at current levels for the next ten years and then claim that we “cut” $9.5 trillion.

Douglas Adams was wrong; bistromathics is kids’ play compared to bureaumathics.

06/14/2011

Science fiction? Or Science fact?

by wfgodbold

Looks like we may be headed towards a Fallen Angels (free at the Baen library) future; the lack of sunspots may indicate that we’re entering another Maunder Minimum and may herald the start of a mini ice age.

Minus the crashed astronauts, of course; we don’t do spaaaaaaaaaaaaaaace any more.

I know the idea that the sun is the major force behind the earth’s climate is a wild one, but I think it’s got merit.

05/20/2011

Maybe it’s just cause I recently finished Lucifer’s Hammer

by wfgodbold

But all I could think about when I watched the video below was (H/T Instapundit), “I’m glad that hit the sun and not the earth, or else that’d be all she wrote.”

A comet strike would be the very definition of a mass extinction event.

It’s not a question of if, but of when; if we want to be “safe” from comet/asteroid strikes, we’ve got to get off this ball of dirt and expand, first in-system, and eventually beyond.

In the long run, we might all be dead, but there’s no reason not to put that off as long as possible.

02/26/2011

This union mess in WI codifies Pournelle’s Iron Law of Bureaucracy

by wfgodbold

Pournelle’s Iron Law of Bureaucracy states that in any bureaucratic organization there will be two kinds of people: those who work to further the actual goals of the organization, and those who work for the organization itself.

Even his example is about how teachers’ unions ensure that bad teachers are just as employed as good teachers.

Hopefully people are paying attention; it’s not often that we get to see the proverbial sausage being made.

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