Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Arizona CD 7 Endorsement

At Rocket Song we are going to do something we seldom do, explicitly endorse a congressional candidate.

Always one to enjoy a catchy campaign slogan we are proud to endorse Physicist Ruth McClung for Arizona's District 7, after all how can one not love her slogan:

"Maybe it does take a rocket scientist?"

Yeah. She's a Physicist who designs missile guidance systems.

Here is a sample of her writing on what happens when you allow Politics to trump Physics:

Now CD 7 is normally a very safe Democrat seat with very heavy Democratic registration majorities. On the other hand, Raul Grijalva is weak this year since he was publicly calling for a boycott of his own constituents. Seriously, way to go there Raul.

Thus we are officially jumping on the Ruth McClung bandwagon, even though we are in a completely different Congressional district. Or as Ruth's new campaign slogan says:

Boycott Grijalva, not Arizona.

Besides, can you really have too many physicists in congress?

Monday, August 23, 2010

The Ground Zero Mosque

A lot of digital ink has been spilled over this issue.

However, some things should be pretty obvious to everybody.

1. The location was picked intentionally to be as offensive as possible to the majority of Americans. Seriously, more people are opposed to this thing percentage wise than voted against Walter Mondale.

2. They (the Cordoba folks)have every (1st Amendment protected) right to build it at that location once they have legal title to the property. That's how the 1st amendment works: The more offensive the speech the more protected it is. And do not make the mistake of thinking this is about freedom of religion. It's clearly a big "screw you" message, and thus protected speech.

3. The folks who are opposed to this thing have every (1st Amendment protected) right to protest it, short of actual violence. Oh and for you folks on the "moral relativist, all cultures and religions are equal" side of the isle, remember: The more offensive the speech the more protected it is. Works both ways.

These are not contradictory statements.

Primary Voting

Tomorrow is the Arizona primary.

A Primary is where we go to the voting place where we vote for the least bad person with an R after their name. Or if a Democrat, the least bad person with a D. Libertarians don't necessarily bother since none of the races are generally contested.

Contrast with the general election where we go to the voting place and vote against anyone with a D after their name. (Or R if you are a Democrat) Again, unless you are a Libertarian in which case you actually vote FOR the guy with an L after his name, and then have to decide whether you hate D's or R's more.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Capitalism 101

For the benefit of those who are a product of public (i.e. government) education (or Harvard Law school), today's lesson will use small words.

Today let's talk about Capitalism.

First lets talk about what capitalism is NOT. Capitalism is not free-trade. It is not lack of government interference. It is not mutual trade for mutual benefit.

Capitalism is about CAPITAL.

Yeah, I know kind of an A is A statement there. (you, the Randian in the corner, stop snickering)

Capitalism is about capital. Capital, again using small words for the Harvard Law set, is a bunch of money piled together. Once it's gathered up, it can be used to DO stuff. All that other stuff is just decoration on the cake. Market Capitalism, Free-Market Capitalism, Anarcho-Capitalism, laissez-faire capitalism, are simply methods of implementation.

Capital is a pile of money that can DO stuff.

The next time one of your liberal friends complains that the rich are getting richer, look them straight in the eye and say to them, "Are you on crack?"

The rich getting richer is a good thing; it's a feature, not a bug. Quick, when was the last time a poor person gave you a job? Oh, oh, I know the answer...pick me pick me

How about never.

Show me 1001 people with a hundred bucks and what do you have? Nothing. Show me 1000 people with $10 and one guy with $90,000 and what do I have? I have two decent jobs, or I have a milling machine, or delivery truck, or ...

Redistribution of wealth makes the entire society poorer in aggregate. (that means mixed in all-together for the Harvard Law types).
Redistribution of wealth kills jobs.
Redistribution of wealth kills innovation.
Redistribution of wealth kills investment.
Etc. Etc.

Capitalism is about capital. It's about gathering money together and putting it to work. It is about how you create the means of production. Contrast to Marxism which is about who owns the means of production.

I don't care if one guy has a million bucks or if a million people all throw a buck into a pot. (i.e. form one of those evil corporations). When you convert money into capital you now have the means of creating new means of production, delivery, or distribution.

New means of production, delivery, or distribution means new jobs, and general growth of the economy as a whole. And growth, as my friend Aretae like to point out, is dominant.

Not only that, but the feedback loop is resonant, not dampening. Again, for the Harvard Law set, that means small changes in output, put back into the system, get amplified (made bigger) yielding large changes in overall output for very small inputs.

Or put simply, when you pile a bunch of money together, put it to work, hire new people, and create new jobs those people in turn pile their money together, put it to work, hire new people, create new jobs, and then those people...

...and it keeps going until you run out of people to hire, with is usually an unemployment rate of around 3-4% because a certain percentage of people are simply unemployable no matter how much you try.

That other stuff above, free markets, laissez-faire, etc are simply ways of tuning the efficiency of the feedback loop. A free market, or removing the shackles of regulation, simply means that you get more feedback. Again in simple words, the more free the market, the more jobs and growth you create for every dollar of capital.

And that my friends, is why you want the rich to get richer, and why "spreading the wealth" is bad.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Kid's Karate

Daughter the Eldest was awarded her Black belt after testing this evening, along with another girl in the class.

Actually a little surprised she stuck with it this long, but also proud of her for sticking it through.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

CopperCon - T minus Four Weeks and Counting

CopperCon is in 4 weeks.

It's looking to be a pretty good convention overall. Despite the fact that the Author GoH is a very well known fantasy author (Stephen R. Donaldson) this year's theme is "Science".

While ostensibly Arizona's "literary" leaning Science Fiction convention, CopperCon has always been a very filk-friendly con. We tend to have multiple concerts, open filking on Friday and Saturday nights as well as a dead-dog/filk jam on Sundays.

For those who will be attending, I have used my influence to place an "AZ filk con brainstorming" panel onto the con schedule. Unfortunately my influence does not extend to getting a good time for said panel, and I think we have 0900 on Saturday morning as the only open slot on the schedule.

(note, The schedule being full this far in advance is a good sign for this year's con to be a well run event)

Anyway, if you are planning on attending CopperCon, try to make it to the filk-con planning panel. The goal is to determine if there is enough interest to try to kick off a bi-annual (every other year) filk convention down here.

Also, rumor has it I have been assigned an "empty" panel where I am allowed to talk about whatever I like. I could talk about science, or recording, or music theory, or turn it into a workshop if folks wanted. Ideas?

Wednesday, August 4, 2010


From Fill, on

Regulation - Is there no problem it can't make more expensive?

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Black Day, White Sands

Jerry Pournelle points us towards an article at Air & Space on the DC-X/DC-XA aka the "Delta Clipper"


I remember watching a video of the DC-X at ConFransico, where Jerry spoke the immortal lines:

That my friends is a SPACESHIP! And she lands like God and Robert A. Heinlein intended, on her jets!

I'm not really sure what he said next, since at that point there were several thousand people cheering at the top of their lungs.

Of course, that was before they transferred the program to NASA

Alaska = something out of Joss Whedon's Head

From Jenny, at A Call to Wings, living in Alaska is like living in Firefly.
Possibly without the swearing in Chinese, waiting on more data.

Hulu, DSL, and old Sci Fi

One of the things I did when we moved to Queen Creek was to upgrade the DSL speed from bottom tier to second from the bottom.

Yeah, living on a dirt road means no cable, no cable means no cable modem...

Anyway the second from the bottom tier of DSL is just fast enough to enable streaming, which means I can watch Hulu.

Hulu has lots of neat stuff like old canceled Sci Fi shows.

So I've been watching this show that I used to watch. It was a Fox property. Fox being Fox, they ran the episodes out of order, and kept interfeering in the writing because they thought the show was too cerebral, and needed more action.

I am of course talking about Firefly Sliders.

What's that you say, yeah, Fox has been screwing over their properties for a long time.

Fox, the Network called Fox...
When X-files was canceled, they found a new show
The story quite brilliant, to make lots of dough.
It had thugs and heroes, a girl in a box.
they aired it on Fridays, the network called Fox.

Oops, wrong show again.

Anyway, the first two seasons of Sliders were the best. Both were partial seasons of 10-12 episodes each. After that, for the 3rd season the network moved production to LA (too keep a firmer hand on the production crew) and the writing got worse and worse. The first half of season three is still pretty good, but it's pretty obvious that by halfway through the entire production staff had simply given up all hope.

Link to the Hulu Page.