On Geert Wilders and the Complex Issue of Immigrants in Europe

At electoral-vote.com March 15th is a short item about European elections.  It reads and Dutch presidential candidate Geert Wilders in particular:

Elections in The Netherlands, France, and Germany this year will test whether right-wing, anti-immigrant parties can upset the established order worldwide. The first test is today in the Netherlands, where 28 parties will be vying for seats in the 150-seat lower chamber of the parliament. Seats are allocated to parties in proportion to the popular vote, with no geographic restrictions. According to some polls, the leading parties are the VVD (Party for Freedom and Democracy) led by Prime Minister Mark Rutte and the PVV (Party for Freedom), led by anti-Islam zealot Geert Wilders.

Wilders is even more fanatically anti-Islam than Trump. His platform includes securing the borders, closing mosques, closing centers for refugees, banning the Koran, and forbidding women from wearing headscarves. He also wants the Netherlands to follow the U.K. out of the European Union.

He has some things in common in Trump besides his dislike of immigrants. In particular, he communicates with people by tweeting, in order to avoid the media filter. His hair is also somewhat unconventional. His economic policies are generally left wing, though, and so he will attract some votes on that basis alone. What is extremely unusual is that his official platform (in Dutch) fits on a single page and has only 11 items, as follows:

  • De-Islamitize the Netherlands (with 8 bullets about specific items such a banning mosques and the Koran)

  • Leave the European Union

  • Introduce binding referendums on policy issues

  • Eliminate all deductibles in health insurance

  • Lower the rents on apartments

  • Bring the age for Social Security back to 65 (it is creeping up to 67)

  • No government financing for foreign aid, windmills, art, innovation, public radio or TV, etc.

  • Eliminate previously imposed austerity measures in home care and care for the elderly

  • Expand funding for defense and the police

  • Lower income taxes

  • Reduce the vehicle registration tax by half

I’ve sort of kept up with events in Holland and other northern European countries for some years, due to the seemingly very real problems that they’ve experienced with Muslim immigrants being sometimes aggressive in pushing religious dictates on some rather small countries.

Frankly, it appears that that has been a clash of cultures, one that came mostly from their membership in the European Union.  With the EU, anyone who can get into the EU is free to travel and work anywhere else in the EU.  So, people who get into, say, Greece, can then travel up to Holland and get a job and stay. Continue reading

What Is Infrastructure?

When talking about infrastructure it is fine to talk about specific physical infrastructures like roads and public transport, about walkable cities and such – about underground pipes and cable and sewers and electrical and potable water supply.   Walkable cities are nice.  I know.  I live in one.  But there are many walkable places in the world.  The VAST majority of them are small towns, places with few services and bad infrastructure.

I will say that having been over a good bit of southern Peru, I have seen what a handicap it is to a country when such things are missing or inadequate. It was like driving over speed bumps/humps spaced at 5″ intervals.  As a mechanical engineer who has worked many years on well-designed systems, seeing an entire country hamstring by terrifically horrible roads was a shock of the first order.  Third world country?  Try perhaps fourth world.  So I appreciate all those items of infrastructure, very viscerally.  I’ve seen and helped build good and even great ones, and I have seen what happens when they are not even close to being good.  And I am thankful for the many billions of hours of design and construction of any properly functioning physical infrastructure.

I am not saying anything that most of us don’t already know, but pointing out that certain things are part of our infrastructure may be a useful reminder… and perhaps instructional to others. . . Continue reading

Where Did Noah and His Ark Actually Land? An Alternative Conjecture

The well-known alternate researcher Graham Hancock often states,

“Well over 200 cultures worldwide have been found to have preserved accounts of such a Deluge.”

I don’t know how anyone knows about 200 or more, but I know of quite a few deluge myths myself, including Babylonian and Mayan, and I wouldn’t doubt that there are several score at the very least least.  Hancock points out several. As I understand it, most are in cultures that had fairly small contact with the outside world, and they are spread out around in corners of the world where it seems doubtful that they learned such histories from others.

From Here

At the same time, the one we are most familiar with is Noah, and it is considered by scholars to have been taken from the Babylonians during the Babylonian captivity.  That attribution may or may not be true, and I am sure the scholars have lots of arguments on their side.  At the same time, historian types accept that “everybody’s got an opinion, and nobody’s is necessarily true,” so let’s throw something new into the mix, something I came up with that may or not be “necessarily true” but which might have a seed of truth in it. Continue reading

Maybe OJ Didn’t Do It, After All. . .

I am just finishing up watching the mini-series entitled “Is OJ Innocent? – The Missing Evidence“.

SPOILER ALERT!

Please don’t read this if you haven’t watched the mini-series and intend to watch it.  I am posting this here rather than on Primewire.me where I watched it – because they have a warning about not posting spoilers.

Okay, after all is said and done and the mystery witness had come forth, which tied a lot of things together, I think they didn’t quite nail it.

AGAIN: SPOILER ALERT! . . .

There is a realistic way to account for the discrepancy  between the 9:59 stopped watch and the 10:15 time of OJ and Jason arriving on the scene.  My scenario, is close to what William Dear came up with at about 30:00 into the video – but not quite – and for what it is worth, here it is: Continue reading

It Seems the Idea of Dark Energy May Have Been Premature, After All

I ran across this today:

Is Dark Energy a Real Thing? Maybe Not, A New Study Suggests

According to prevailing cosmological theories, the universe is expanding, but not at a constant rate. As the universe gets older, its growth seems to accelerate over time, something that would be impossible without some sort of extra energy being added to the overall system. Dark energy, the theory goes, accounts for nearly 70 percent of all energy in the observable universe.

But a new study from Oxford has called dark energy’s existence into question, saying that the data is flawed or based on observations that previously assumed that dark energy was already a universal constant. If this is the case, then scientists may have to go back to reevaluate their understanding of the universe and how it works.

Dark energy and dark matter are two things that have troubled me for a long time about the current state of astronomy.  Not only is dark energy supposed to be 70% of all energy in the universe, but dark matter is supposed to be 96% of all matter in the universe – or 24 times the amount of matter we can actually detect.

These are two things that cannot be seen or felt or heard or sensed, even with our best instruments (which are extensions of our five senses, in a very real sense). To me, there was something crooked in Denmark, some way that the astronomers had gone down the rabbit hole and had misjudged something or assumed some things that would end up being not true. Continue reading

DISHONEST REPORTING Is Killing The Country

This entire election cycle is turning on one factor – dishonest reporting.  There is no other proper term for it.  DISHONEST REPORTING.

When a candidate lies and the press does not report it as a lie, that is dishonest reporting. When he does it DAILY and HOURLY, and the press does not report the lies as lies, it can only be called dishonest reporting.

When a candidate refuses to produce his tax returns, and the press doesn’t hound him into doing it, that is dishonest reporting.

When a candidate can make up shit about the other candidate and the press pretends that such fabrications are not just made-up shit (LIES), then that is dishonest reporting.

When a candidate can flip-flop hourly about his stance on any – ANY – issue, and the press does not laugh him out of town EVERY TIME, then that is dishonest reporting.

When a candidate has spent more than five years calling the President of the USA a Kenyan by birth, and the press lets him get away with it, then that is dishonest reporting.

When a candidate has had 3500 lawsuits against him and the press isn’t digging into as many as they can find for DIRT, then that is dishonest reporting.

When a candidate has CURRENT and multiple state-driven fraud court cases against him, and the press doesn’t put that as above-the-fold headlines, then that is dishonest reporting.

When a candidate has a civil case against him about having sex four times with a 13-year-old back in the 1990s, and the press doesn’t take off on him about it, then that is dishonest reporting.

When a candidate consorts with racists and the press doesn’t hang him with their pens, from February to November, then that is dishonest reporting.

When the press does not refer to him by name as “Donald Trump, the racist candidate” every day, then that is dishonest reporting.

When a candidate has been smeared by the other party with baseless and unprovable allegations that KEEP on proving to be baseless, over and over, and the press goes along with it, then that is dishonest reporting.

The list goes on and on, and what we have is a press that has no principles except selling news – but which is passing on the chance to sell FAR MORE news, simply by driving Donald Trump deep into the racist and lying gutter from whence he came.

I won’t even call it irresponsible reporting, because reporters are beholden to the publishers who sign their checks, not to the public.  So selling more subscriptions is actually responsible, from that POV.

But this is the first and foremost time in American political campaign history that the press – in toto – has been so dishonest, on a daily basis and as a herd.

Is there anything to say but SHAME ON THEM, and what they are inviting to HAPPEN to the country?

And it’s going to HAPPEN, if they don’t start being honest in their reporting.

Humans – The Anti-Entropy Element in the Universe

Civilization as Anti-Entropy

Walking around my place today I noticed something new, a dark spot on one brick wall.  My thoughts went to what happens with buildings unmaintained, and what my place would look like in 20, 30, 50 100 years if no one maintained it.  I suppose that wall would be in some state of crumbling, perhaps the entire building.  Now my little house (casita, here in central Mexico) is made mostly of stone, so it’s long term prospects are different from hollow-wall homes in the USA. Unmaintained in 100 years, those would so likely be in bad shape.  Here, the stone construction has allowed many structures to last – though those without SOME maintenance are, indeed, crumbling.

And my thoughts went to entropy.  Crumbling is exactly that – entropy.  Gravity  erosion, dissolving. At least two of those three are at work, trying to disembody my casita.  Literally to disassemble it.

Leave it to nature and all things human-made will some day resolve and dissolve and erode and collapse, in a shambles.  Is that too harsh of an accusation put to Mother Nature?  I am sure the naturist and naturalists among us would call it harsh.

I am not so sure about that, myself.

Everything in the known universe is slowing down, we are told – coming to a slow grinding stop.  Everything is supposed to go to the “lowest potential” – meaning the lowest potential energy level.  High things flow down low, from high potential energy to low potential energy. Electrons try to flow to their lowest potential atomic shell, in whatever atom they need to move to, to get to that state.  Mountains erode down to flat.  Ocean waves crash shores, beating continents into sand or gravel or both, able to be carried by water down, down, down…  Planets slow down, fall into their suns, along with their moons and whatever comets and meteors – all are doomed, as are their suns, to burn out and sit dead in space.

We are told that the destiny of all are to be dead in space.

Enter Humans

But here on Earth, we have an amazing thing going on.  We have humans.  We have minds, and we have hands, applied to tools, and tools applied to materials. And from these minds and hands and tools we COUNTER entropy.  We build things that entropy has to FIGHT to get it down to the level it was before those dastardly humans got their heinous hands on the material of nature.  Iron ore was perfectly at rest, down underground, before we humans determined that that iron ore could be useful to build UP, not down, to FIGHT entropy, to make things the opposite of entropic.  Copper ore, petroleum, uranium, bauxite, quartz sands, we dig them out of their repose, to LIFT their potential – to make buildings, wires, plastics, vehicles, home appliances and electronics, and all of it resists the HELL out of entropy. Continue reading