KHC Meeting Monday Sep. 20, 2010

September 17th, 2010

From Mike Everling about the L.A. area “Libertarians of all factions” meeting:

KARL HESS CLUB MONDAY  SEPTEMBER 20, 2010              

Leon Weinstein  “Up from Socialism”

Dinah’s Family Restaurant 6521 S. Sepulveda Blvd. (at Centinela Avenue) in West Los Angeles
(310) 645-0456.

7:00  p.m.  Gathering Time
8:00  p.m.  Dinner  (Order from the regular menu)
8:45  p.m.  Announcements                   <–(Note starting time)
9:00  p.m.  Guest Speaker: Leon Weinstein
10:00  p.m. Q & A                                 <–(please hold questions and comments until this time)
10:30  p.m. Adjournment from Dinah’s    <–(please depart the premises at this time)
11:00  p.m. Afters: Mixing and Mingling    Backstage Bar & Grill 10400 Culver Boulevard Culver City

Dinner stipulations: $10.00 order minimum plus $3.00 Club Cover Charge

For information on the Karl Hess Club: http://www.karlhessclub.org/

ABOUT THE PROGRAM: [incorporating material provided by Leon Weinstein]

Leon is on a quest to prevent Socialism from taking over The United States of America.

“Presented by a person who lived half of his life in the former USSR and who fears that the US is heading toward becoming The United Socialist States of America: AMERICA NEEDS HELP, OUR HELP!

“I call on my dear ex-compatriots who once lived under the socialist regimes of the Soviet Union, Poland, East Germany, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Yugoslavia, Cuba, China, Albania, Vietnam, Cambodia, the Venezuela of Chavez,  the Argentina of Peron, and others of similar life experience!

“I was born in the Soviet Union and I was lucky to part with socialism and  privileged to become a US citizen.

“However, during the last year and a half I am becoming increasingly concerned about the direction American leaders are steering our country. More and more the US resembles the world  I was fortunate to leave behind. More and more it now resembles the path Russia took a century ago – and we all know the devastating results of this “experiment.” It is the very same path Greece recently chose in trying to achieve another “just society.”

“For years the United States was the island of sanity in an ocean of pain, suffering and injustice, in which most of the world was drowning. The countries that were able to stand against tyrannies and make life bearable for their citizens did so in large part because the US was backing them with its might. If America falls, the world as we know it will end.

“Without a strong America we will soon see China establishing its hegemony over Asia; Russia will strengthen its muscles and take back Eastern Europe; Hugo Chavez and the Brothers Castro will run Latin America; and a wide swath of the globe stretching from North Africa through the Middle East to Indonesia and perhaps the Philippines will become radically Muslim - fanatically massacring “infidels.” ”

Leon will discuss his various projects dedicated to fighting Socialism and to alerting Americans and those who love Freedom around the globe, including Weinstein Art Management (WAM), and his Letter to America.


ABOUT THE  SPEAKER:  
[incorporating material provided by Leon Weinstein]

Leon Weinstein is an author of hundreds of political articles about socialism, its disguises and means of creeping into lives of unsuspecting people. He is also an author of numerous children’s plays and stories, including his recent novel Looking for Hugh: The Capitalist Guidebook which can be read by children ages 8-14. Currently Leon is working on a non-fiction book that will teach children the science of Liberty and Capitalism. One of the sources for his inspiration he cites is Capitalism for Kids by Karl Hess.

Leon was born in 1949 in St. Petersburg, Russia. Starting from high school Leon was writing and staging plays and feature films. In 1972 he graduated from the St. Petersburg Culture University majoring in Performing Arts .

In 1974, Leon immigrated to Israel where he organized the Theater for Children & Youth, directed six of his own plays and was twice nominated for the Best Children’s Show of the year. He is the author of numerous short stories published in American, Russian and Israeli periodical publications, and a variety of political articles.

After the fall of the Soviet Union, Leon began to take active part in establishing relations between Post-Soviet Russia and his adopted homeland, the United States of America. He co-founded several companies, including Weinstein Art Management (WAM), aimed at providing venues for artists from ex-communist counties to be seen and heard in the West.

In 1990 Leon initiated sister city relations between St. Petersburg and Los Angeles. Currently Leon is managing Weinstein Art Management, and continues with his writings, most notably his recently published  novel “Looking for Hugh: The Capitalist Guidebook.”

This will be Leon’s first presentation to the KHC aside from a brief introduction of his novel earlier this year. Please join us for what is sure to be an interesting and uplifting evening.

IMPORTANT NOTE:

Our regular venue is Dinah’s Family Restaurant in West Los Angeles.  The address is: 6521 S. Sepulveda Blvd. (at Centinela) (310) 645-0456.

The time for dinner is between 8 p.m. and 9 p.m. although you may arrive earlier. If you do, please be sure to mention that you are with the KHC so that the club gets credit for your custom. You may be seated in the meeting room at that time if you wish.

The program will be from 9 p.m. until 10:30 p.m. (the restaurant’s doors close at 11 p.m. sharp). The club will have exclusive use of the room between 8 and 10:30 p.m.  Please exit promptly after 10:30 p.m.

The deal at Dinah’s is: The minimum for our diner/attendees is $10.00 plus a $3.00 cover to the club (which, with notice, may vary upward by program but will be at least $3.00). FYI: Dinah’s has an all-you-can-eat Chicken Dinner on Mondays which costs $10.95, and everyone may order off the regular menu. Individual cheques. Pay your own tab. The club dues will be collected from you.

Please note that KHC attendees must observe the minimum restaurant order. If you arrive early and dine before the group, please retain your receipt.

Thank you to our loyal members for your continued support.

Upcoming Programs Scheduled:

October 18, 2010      Sharon Presley  Standing Up to Experts and Authorities: How to Avoid Being Intimidated, Manipulated, and Abused.” BOOK TOUR  [Sharon also will be presenting at Libertopia]
November 15, 2010  Ray Acosta  Revolutionary Days: A Chronology of the Mexican Revolution  BOOK TOUR
December  20, 2010  Brad Linaweaver “The Fabulous Fifties in Film: How Hollywood Changed the Political Cultural Landscape in Time for the Incredibly Mixed Up Sixties”
January 17, 2011      Geo. McCalip Update on Fomenting Revolution for Fun and Profit
_________

Special Note:

Please join us for the Aftermeeting at the Backstage Bar & Grill!  When we adjourn at 10:30 p.m.,
proceed to the Backstage and we’ll reconvene for an informal gathering after 11 p.m. until whenever.
The Backstage is at 10400 Culver Boulevard Culver City 90232 ( two blocks East of Overland Avenue at Motor Southeast side of Sony MGM Studios). 310 839-3892  http://www.backstageculvercity.com/
_____________________________

We Also Highly Recommend:

Chuck McGlawn’s Liberty ViewsLetter  a weekly compendium of items of interest to libertarian activists. Emanating from Orange County, California, this e-magazine has been published continuously for over six years. Subscription is at no charge. To subscribe and for info, contact chuckest@aol.com  

**************

Looking for Hugh, The Capitalist Guidebook, a novel by Leon Weinstein
2009 WAM-art.net  4780 Poe Avenue Woodland Hills, CA 91364  $12.99
For more information and to order a copy, contact: inquiries@wam-art.net or 818 716-7064

The author, who was born in St. Petersburg, Russia, started writing plays in high school, going on to direct theatre shows and films.  In 1974 he immigrated to Israel where he organized the Theatre for Youth and was twice nominated for the Best Children’s Show of the Year.  Author of numerous plays, short stories and a variety of political articles, Mr. Weinstein co-founded Weinstein Art Management, in Woodland Hills, which is aimed at providing venues for artists from ex-communist countries. He is currently on a quest to prevent socialism from taking over the United States of America.

The author says that “this book  is an attempt to apply to everyday life the philosophical principles of Ayn Rand and many other proponents of Capitalism and individual freedom. My thanks go to Antoine de Saint Exupery for writing The Little Prince, Lewis Carroll for Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, L. Frank Baum for The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, and Jonathan Swift for Gulliver’s Travels. These four authors were my guiding stars in creating Looking for Hugh.”

It is the story of a  teenage boy searching for his lost friend Hugh in a series of encounters after a ride on a kite to the “Thousand Islands Empire.”  Part fantasy and part polemic, the vignettes portray a series of situations each illustrating different facets of oppression brought about by adherence to various political philosophies.  Intended for adults but accessible to younger readers, the author hopes that this work will serve to educate and inspire those who would champion the ideals of a free society.  This book is very readable and is highly recommended.  Mike says: ****1/2
Available at Amazon:
http://www.amazon.com/Looking-Hugh-Capitalist-Leon-Weinstein/dp/0615304478

___________________________________

Upcoming Local Events of Interest:

Libertopia: http://www.libertopia.org/home/

October 14 through 17 in Universal City, California

Libertopia is a movement and a community and, therefore, more than just the invitation to attend the annual celebration. Annual membership starts with attendance at Libertopia 2010 and access to all speeches, panels, the exhibitors’ room, and networking activities, but also includes access to the Community section of this website, where ideas about promoting the Libertopia ideal as well as inputs about the celebration are shared by members.

“None Simpler” Etched Spirals Replace Coils

September 17th, 2010

  NS-40 Board
NS-40 Circuit Board
After being thrilled connecting up a Pixie 2 based QRP Miniwat ham radio transceiver circuit board purchased on eBay to random switches and plugs I had around my room (see the Resilient Freedom post about my “Bumble Bee transceiver“), I’ve been rereading some classic QRP books (low power designs–great for backpacking and solar off-grid use).

I’ve also been surfing the web for new projects.

One that looks simple for beginners to mess with is the NS-40. The initials stand for “None Simpler” on the 40 meter shortwave band, which helps confirm my hope of it being quick and easy to build. But it also has some innovative elegance.

“Why is it called the None Simpler? Because there are only 14 electronic components, and NO TOROIDS or COILS of any kind to wind - NONE! All inductors are incorporated directly on the PC board as etched spirals.”

Before ordering the NS-40, I plan to finish the Ten Tec 1340 kit at hand first. That will give me more power, tuning range and better reception than my Bumble Bee. But it’s still only 3 watts output.

To get an old-timey feel for radio history, here’s a tour of the AWA Radio Museum of gear that’s been in use up to 80 or 90 years, including a 5,000 volt spark gap transmitter.

Cri-Cri Electric Plane: Green Air Travel?

September 8th, 2010

Aviation Business reports “Cri-Cri: The All Electric Aircraft Gets Airborne.”

The news of the Paris flight was also published in the L.A. Times Environment “Greenspace” blog on Sep. 3, with the headline, “Up in the air…in an all-electric plane.” The story says the plane was made by Airbus parent corporation EADS. The pilot for the all electric flight said it was quiet compared to older fuel designs and seemed stable, safe and responsive.

The Cri-Cri is one of the smallest powered manned airplane designs and has been around since 1973, according to this web article, “History of the most famous French Homebuilt Cri-Cri.”

See the linked stories above (lest their publishers grow angry at me for swiping their hot news) for details about the impressive plane’s range and the goals of the project.

There’s no video of the electric flight yet, but I found this YouTube clip of a flight from 2007 of an older Cri-Cri design with noisy fueled propellers. It looks like a toy (and I want one).

Not Enough Dutch Criminals, Prisons Close

August 31st, 2010

Here’s a link to an article at the Marijuana Policy Project by way of a Facebook friend’s link, “Netherlands to Close Prisons: Not Enough Criminals.”

MPP makes a logical argument against the bogus drug war claim that legalization increases drug related crime. Quite the contrary. During alcohol prohibition, the murder rate doubled and gangsters flourished. After repeal, the murder rate fell but the gangsters remained.

Last night’s Konkin-Rothbard Supper Club talk about the sorry state of the State of California’s legal system by CalRights.org founder Geo McCalip, resonates with this paragraph from the MPP article:

“Just for fun, let’s compare the Netherlands to California. With a population of 16.6 million, the Dutch prison population is about 12,000. With its population of 36.7 million, California should have a bit more than double the Dutch prison population. California’s actual prison population is 171,000.”

Must be nice to have limitless money for the prison industry to burn in California. That cash couldn’t be used for anything more productive.

Epistle to the Minarchians

August 21st, 2010

  Agorism.info  
agorism-poster-200x300.jpg
Here’s a link to the complete transcript on the C4SS site of a speech delivered at Drexel University by an Agorist news analyst, “Darian Worden on Practical Anarchy.”

The following excerpt from Worden’s talk asserts that advocating anarchy is easier than selling “minarchy” (SEK3’s coinage) :

“Advocating anarchy is more practical than advocating minimal government.”

“To say that government should only be involved in matters of force gives off the perception that you want to use government only as a club, and never as a crutch – to hurt people, not to help them. You’ll be seen not as a principled individual, but as someone who wants to make oppression run more efficiently and cares most about keeping people in line. It will be easier to confuse you for the conservative reformers who wish to keep forcing people to obey and support coercive monopolies, while giving them less in return besides a politician’s promise of eventual lower taxes. And if you say that you believe that a free market will enable the poor to advance themselves and the sick to be cured more easily, a critic might wonder why you believe a government is necessary to provide security and arbitration.”

“Challenging these perceptions is probably just as difficult as challenging the idea of government itself. And keeping a small government from growing when politicians and administrators are incentivized to expand their power is a bigger challenge than keeping states from growing out of a society in which there is broad participation in consensual organizations of freedom.”

Just to prove there are other Agorists out in the world, here’s a YouTube video of Darian Worden being interviewed by Motorhome Diaries about the subject of Agorism:

Geo McCalip Aug 30 Konkin-Rothbard Ltd

August 13th, 2010

THE Konkin-RothbardLimited / Orange County Special Event Supperclub

E C O N O M I C S   A N D   G E O - P O L I T I C S

A PROJECT OF THE KARL HESS CLUB

 Fifth Monday of a Month except on a major Holiday

Geo. McCalip  “Fomenting Revolution for Fun and Profit”

Date: Monday August 30, 2010

Location: Marie Callender’s 5960 Orangethorpe Ave., Buena Park, CA 90620 (at Valley View/91Fwy) 714-522-0170 | FAX 714-522-6829 [From 5 Fwy, take Valley View South to Orangethorpe, turn right]

Cost: $25.00 (CASH ONLY PLEASE) Includes choice of three entrees, salad, soft beverage and pie dessert

SCHEDULE

6:00 p.m.   Cocktails (No Host, in the Lounge and Cash and Carry in the Dining Room)
7:00 p.m.   Dinner (Three entrees*, salad, cornbread, soft beverage, pie dessert)
Special Call to Order by Master of Ceremonies to start the program business
    Special Memorial Presentation Honoring Loy Lefevre
8:00 p.m.   Announcements and Introductions by Master of Ceremonies Howard Hinman
8:15 p.m.   Speaker Geo. McCalip
9:15 p.m.   Q&A  (First  round questions to be submitted in writing; index cards will be provided)
9:45 p.m.   Adjournment [Aftermeeting next door]
* This meeting: Callender’s Country-Fried Steak, Freshly Roasted Turkey, Braised and Slow-Roasted Pot Roast,+ [Vegetarian Option]

Our server will take your order at that time.

About The Speaker

Geo. McCalip is the founder of California Legal Rights Fund, an educational nonprofit with a mission of educating the people of California as to their rights.  Since March 4, 2001 he has run a pro bono site on fighting traffic tickets in California, HelpIGotATicket.com; the information on that site has helped tens if not hundreds of thousands of people beat their tickets.  In 1995 Mr. McCalip fought a speeding case that led to the end of the Municipal Court system in California.

Geo. was professionally involved with microcomputers/PC’s for over three decades, and has managed projects for companies including IBM, HP, Intel, AST Sharp, Xerox and Minolta.  His experience with multimedia predates the World Wide Web; he produced a highly successful multimedia catalog in 1992.

He designed an inventory and distribution system for Proficient Foods (Denny’s), and assisted in analysis leading to leveraged buy out of Denny’s.  He did the analysis and programming on management systems for TRW and Western Digital.  He programmed the daily cash flow system for the City of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

He managed the initial feasibility study of the Super Shuttle.  Geo. formed the ad-hoc committee which staged the successful campaign to get Cal State Dominguez Hill selected as the site for the 1984 Olympic Velodrome.

About the Program [Précis Provided by Mr. McCalip]

Since March 2001 Geo. McCalip has run a web site on fighting traffic tickets. Over the last few years, working with a group of very bright legal minds, he has put together a plan to bring a series of lawsuits  designed to put an end to the “tickets for revenue scam” in California. Please join us as we find out that this is not really about traffic tickets, it’s about the next American revolution.

Scheduled Meeting Remaining in 2010:

November 29  Jay Snelson (tentative)

About THE Konkin-Rothbard Limited Club

The name for this club was chosen to honor the memories of Samuel Edward Konkin III, a prominent political theorist and Murray Rothbard, a noted free market economist.  Howard Hinman, of Orange County, is your Master of Ceremonies and Chief Operating Officer (COO).

For more information and to RSVP for reservations, contact Michael Everling at mikeeverling@karlhessclub.org

Please put RESERVATION in the eMail header and indicate how many persons you wish to reserve.

Thank you!
====================

The Last Station depicts Tolstoy’s copyright struggle

August 8th, 2010

  The Last Station
The Last Station depicts the end of Leo Tolstoy’s life in 1910. There’s even a website dedicated to honoring the Tolstoy Centennial.

Here’s the IMDB listing for The Last Station. It was released in 2009.

Excerpt (with small changes) from the description at user TrailerDelivery’s YouTube channel. Tolstoy is played by Christopher Plummer.

“When Sofya (Countess Tolstoy, played by Helen Mirren) discovers that Tolstoy’s trusted disciple, Chertkov (Paul Giamatti)—whom she despises—may have secretly convinced her husband to sign a new will, leaving the rights to his iconic novels to the Russian people rather than his very own family, she is consumed by righteous outrage.”

The film describes how the Czar changed Tolstoy’s will after Tolstoy’s death. I’ve heard that the Soviets nationalized the copyrights later, but haven’t found an online reference to that effect yet.

The debate over IP rages on a hundred years later, with the recent example of new “Fair Use” exemptions to the DMCA by the Library of Congress, see “Why Fair Use is Not Just Acceptable, It’s Essential for the Future.”

The Last Station trailer at YouTube.

Heinlein Biographer Bill Patterson at KHC

August 2nd, 2010

  Heinlein Biography
KARL HESS CLUB MONDAY  AUGUST 16, 2010              

Bill Patterson on his new book, Robert A. Heinlein: In Dialogue with His Century: Volume 1 (1907-1948): Learning Curve
  BOOK TOUR

Dinah’s Family Restaurant 6521 S. Sepulveda Blvd. (at Centinela Avenue) in West Los Angeles
(310) 645-0456.

7:00  p.m.  Gathering Time
8:00  p.m.  Dinner  (Order from the regular menu)
8:45  p.m.  Announcements                   <–(Note starting time)
9:00  p.m.  Guest Speaker: Bill Patterson
10:00  p.m. Q & A                                 <–(please hold questions and comments until this time)
10:30  p.m. Adjournment from Dinah’s    <–(please depart the premises at this time)
11:00  p.m. Afters: Mixing and Mingling    Backstage Bar & Grill 10400 Culver Boulevard Culver City

Dinner stipulations: $10.00 order minimum plus $3.00 Club Cover Charge

For information on the Karl Hess Club: http://www.karlhessclub.org/

ABOUT THE PROGRAM: [provided by Bill Patterson]

The first volume of Robert A. Heinlein: In Dialogue with His Century: Volume 1 (1907-1948): Learning Curve
is due out from Tor Books on August 17, 2010.

Advance reviews began to appear in July — mostly laudatory, if qualifiedly so — and mostly, so far, from the science fiction community, who desperately wanted to see a biography-of-a-science-fiction-writer and are somewhat puzzled because it’s not quite. As the title tries to cue (and believe me I had to fight for that title), it’s a book about an exemplary cultural figure and the times he lived in, and the struggle with the 20th century that we all engaged in.

Heinlein was a great engager — as we in the Libertarian and Anarchist communities have special reason to know — and the 20th century is as much a character of this biography as is Robert Heinlein.  I used to jokingly say when people asked who the audience was for this book during the writing that it was written for the Pulitzer committee.

This portrait of an engager and social figure — and his impact on the libertarian movement that came together in the 1960’s and 1970s was only one of several social movements in which he was influential — was a matter of deliberate policy on my part, and it was implicit in the 60-page outline I prepared at the beginning and took with me to discuss with Ginny [Virginia Heinlein] when we first met for this project, at the end of January 2000.

My preliminary thinking had uncovered several very long philosophical arcs, consistent over many decades of his life, and the job of the portrait was going to be to show how these all belonged to a single human being, all the abundance of factual material used to bring the hidden aspects of this complex and interesting person to light. (I had not yet seen the Archive in Santa Cruz and so had no exact idea of exactly how abundant the factual material would turn out — 300,000 pages or so of letters and files).

This book has been a ten-year voyage of discovery for me (and it’s not over yet: my editor at Tor, David Hartwell, says we’ll start working on editing the second volume into submission after Labor Day), and I’ve come around to the conclusion that the most important function of Heinlein’s writing was to show us aspects of the meaning of the conflicts and struggles we were all engaged in, that could too easily be swept away.

In the 21st century, the Enlightenment Era values that were core to the American Experience are being swept up and placed in the dustbin of history, and the value of Heinlein’s persistence into our future is that he says for us, “No. These things are important.” As libertarians that has become our job, as well, and so Heinlein will continue to have special relevance to libertarians, even when his story materials seem distant from specific libertarian concerns.

I’ve recently set up an author website for discussion and comments about the biography, which you can find at www.whpattersonjr.com.  I put updates, announcements, and there are links to reviews as they are appearing.  There is also a click-through link to amazon.com so you can pre-order the biography (though this talk will take place on the 16th, so there’s not actually much “pre-” time left).  There’s also a click-through link to order The Martian Named Smith, my book showing how to read Stranger in a Strange Land for all the juice you can get out of it.

I will not have copies of the book with me, but I will have at least one advance copy, which Tor is sending me now.

So we’ll at least be able to look at the thing.  Consequently I will not have any for sale, and I don’t plan to bring any order slips with me, as it’s a general bookstore item.  The book may be pre-ordered through Amazon.com.  I have set up an author website for discussion and notices, and there is a click-through link to Robert A. Heinlein: In Dialogue with His Century: Volume 1 (1907-1948): Learning Curve
on www.whpattersonjr.com   I will be bringing some promotional postcards with me for distribution and autographing.

ABOUT THE  SPEAKER:   [provided by Bill Patterson]

Bill Patterson is a Cabell, SF theory, and Robert Heinlein specialist as an independent scholar, having wond the Cabell Prize in 2000 from the Commonwealth University of Virginia.  For my consulting work with the Heinlein Archive at UC Santa Cruz, the Heinlein Prize Trust designated me The Heinlein Scholar.  My professional associations include the American Comparative Literature Association, the Emerson Society, and the Popular Culture Association, with dozens of papers on Heinlein and SF theory.  I am also editor/publisher of The Heinlein Journal and have previously published a monograph on Heinlein’s Stranger in a Strange Land co-written with Andrew Thornton, titled The Martian Named Smith.  I have been a fan since 1969 and have worked on small conventions since 1975 and was a director of IguanaCon II, the Phoenix, Arizona, worldcon in 1978. [Note: Bill says, “CV is tough — here’s a slightly modified and expanded bio I made up for the Tor publicist (the book jacket bio is wrong, wrong)”]

Bill has been a speaker before us several times over the years and it is always a pleasure to have his company and enjoy his informative and entertaining presentations. This surely will be no exception and we heartily invite you to avail of this latest opportunity to benefit from his wisdom.

IMPORTANT NOTE:

Our regular venue is Dinah’s Family Restaurant in West Los Angeles.  The address is: 6521 S. Sepulveda Blvd. (at Centinela) (310) 645-0456.

The time for dinner is between 8 p.m. and 9 p.m. although you may arrive earlier. If you do, please be sure to mention that you are with the KHC so that the club gets credit for your custom. You may be seated in the meeting room at that time if you wish.

The program will be from 9 p.m. until 10:30 p.m. (the restaurant’s doors close at 11 p.m. sharp). The club will have exclusive use of the room between 8 and 10:30 p.m.  Please exit promptly after 10:30 p.m.

The deal at Dinah’s is: The minimum for our diner/attendees is $10.00 plus a $3.00 cover to the club (which, with notice, may vary upward by program but will be at least $3.00). FYI: Dinah’s has an all-you-can-eat Chicken Dinner on Mondays which costs $10.95, and everyone may order off the regular menu. Individual cheques. Pay your own tab. The club dues will be collected from you.

Please note that KHC attendees must observe the minimum restaurant order. If you arrive early and dine before the group, please retain your receipt.

Thank you to our loyal members for your continued support.

Upcoming Programs Scheduled:

September 20, 2010  Leon Weinstein  Program To Be Announced
October 18, 2010      Sharon Presley  “Standing Up to Experts and Authorities: How to Avoid Being Intimidated, Manipulated, and Abused.” BOOK TOUR [Sharon also will be presenting at Libertopia]
November 15, 2010   Ray Acosta on “The Mexican Revolution” BOOK TOUR
_____________

Special Note:

Please join us for the Aftermeeting at the Backstage Bar & Grill!  When we adjourn at 10:30 p.m.,
proceed to the Backstage and we’ll reconvene for an informal gathering after 11 p.m. until whenever.
The Backstage is at 10400 Culver Boulevard Culver City 90232 ( two blocks East of Overland Avenue at Motor Southeast side of Sony MGM Studios). 310 839-3892  http://www.backstageculvercity.com/
_____________________________

We Also Highly Recommend:

Chuck McGlawn’s Liberty ViewsLetter  a weekly compendium of items of interest to libertarian activists. Emanating from Orange County, California, this e-magazine has been published continuously for over six years. Subscription is at no charge. To subscribe and for info, contact chuckest@aol.com  

**************

Looking for Hugh, The Capitalist Guidebook, a novel by Leon Weinstein
2009 WAM-art.net  4780 Poe Avenue Woodland Hills, CA 91364  $12.99
For more information and to order a copy, contact: inquiries@wam-art.net or 818 716-7064

The author, who was born in St. Petersburg, Russia, started writing plays in high school, going on to direct theatre shows and films.  In 1974 he immigrated to Israel where he organized the Theatre for Youth and was twice nominated for the Best Children’s Show of the Year.  Author of numerous plays, short stories and a variety of political articles, Mr. Weinstein co-founded Weinstein Art Management, in Woodland Hills, which is aimed at providing venues for artists from ex-communist countries. He is currently on a quest to prevent socialism from taking over the United States of America.

The author says that “this book  is an attempt to apply to everyday life the philosophical principles of Ayn Rand and many other proponents of Capitalism and individual freedom. My thanks go to Antoine de Saint Exupery for writing The Little Prince, Lewis Carroll for Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, L. Frank Baum for The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, and Jonathan Swift for Gulliver’s Travels. These four authors were my guiding stars in creating Looking for Hugh.”

It is the story of a  teenage boy searching for his lost friend Hugh in a series of encounters after a ride on a kite to the “Thousand Islands Empire.”  Part fantasy and part polemic, the vignettes portray a series of situations each illustrating different facets of oppression brought about by adherence to various political philosophies.  Intended for adults but accessible to younger readers, the author hopes that this work will serve to educate and inspire those who would champion the ideals of a free society.  This book is very readable and is highly recommended.  Mike says: ****1/2
Available at Amazon:
http://www.amazon.com/Looking-Hugh-Capitalist-Leon-Weinstein/dp/0615304478

___________________________________

Upcoming Local Event of Interest:

Libertopia: http://www.libertopia.org/home/

October 14 through 17 in Universal City, California

Libertopia is a movement and a community and, therefore, more than just the invitation to attend the annual celebration. Annual membership starts with attendance at Libertopia 2010 and access to all speeches, panels, the exhibitors’ room, and networking activities, but also includes access to the Community section of this website, where ideas about promoting the Libertopia ideal as well as inputs about the celebration are shared by members.

Membership for Adults — $175

Membership purchased at the door October 14 — $200.

Membership for students with ID — $75.

Membership for individuals under 18 is no charge.Libertopia Gold Membership - Highly Recommended

Includes the following:

  • The Libertopia 2010 Annual Membership
  • The Sovereign Awards for Lifetime Achievement Banquet
  • A Limited Edition, signed and numbered Giclee print of the Liberty Head artwork - a $195 value
  • Reserved best seats to all main room sessions
  • A Program Book

All for only $595

Anarquia up for Freedom Book of the Month

July 20th, 2010

51ddhd7er4l_sl160_.jpgAnarquia is the novel I co-authored with New York Times bestselling author, Prometheus award winner and Nebula finalist, Brad Linaweaver.

Anarquia has been selected by the Freedom Book Club as one you can vote for now as the selection for the August, 2010 Freedom Book of the Month.

Votes will be counted for the August FBotM until the end of July.

A review by Wally Conger of the novel is on the Freedom Book Club site (courtesy of Amazon).

Copyright, Left and Wrong?

July 15th, 2010

Galambos’ Text
The topic of IP (intellectual property) attracts the most comments and trackbacks to this blog, but I avoid it because the subject divides the freedom movement into angry parties filing lawsuits. Read Stephan Kinsella’s “L. Neil Smith / Free Talk Live Copyright Dispute” at Mises.org.

Kinsella says IP requires coercive statism, but he’s a bad, bad man. Go comment on his blog post.

For my opinion, which is my primary property, important discoveries have come to us from Tesla, amateur radio experimenters, free open source software developers today who are fighting IP insanity, and from authors, composers and scientists in all of history before Walt Disney.

Yet I’ve been enjoying The V-50 Lectures, an audio course on 6 MP3 Audio Discs available at V-50.com. You can hear significant excerpts online for free and if you choose to do so, sample the first 12 hours for a low price, which will be applied to the purchase of the complete downloadable course.

Jay Snelson, who is very much alive in 2010, and who autographed my copy of the disc package, narrated the lessons in a classroom setting. The lectures were recorded in the mid-1970s, so some of the prices and technical examples will be amusing, but the references to oil shortages, inflation, and Middle East wars will be depressingly familiar.

Much of the course draws upon the first rate science and engineering background of Andrew J. Galambos. The social application of his “volitional science” has already influenced the libertarian movement far beyond the handful of students who heard the course live. It’s like Fight Club. You’re not supposed to talk about Galambos’ “primary property” out of school, but many did anyway. At last, years after Galambos’ passing, his heirs are cooperating with Snelson in marketing the material via traditional publishing and the internet. If you care about liberty, you must get this arsenal of intellectual ammunition. Unlike the Ayn Rand Institute, the Galambos “Right Republic” is not a coercive state that loves war (unless we’re going to fight over the copy machines).

Finally, speaking of hilarious videos about copyright, here’s “Copying Is Not Theft.”

Arguments for Biofuel v. Petroleum Continue

July 4th, 2010

The comments at EcoGeek to their report, “Sweden Now Using More Biofuel Than Oil,” mostly deny any environmental benefits of biomass for fuel, especially wood.

I recently saw Fuel, the film by Josh Tickell, and wrote about it at ResFree.org, “Fuel Film Shows Oil Alternatives.”

The film shows Tickell’s successful quest to popularize biodiesel from waste vegetable oil in his VeggieVan until a news story spread the now widely held “biofuel starves the poor” idea. That dealt a devastating blow to biofuel adoption. I noticed that OPEC led the biofuel bashing at the time. A lucky break for the oil industry.

But not so lucky is that the oil industry’s chance of counteracting “peak oil” with new finds in the Gulf of Mexico is leaking away. That continuing hemorrhaging of crude is likely “drinking the milkshakes” of many other oil deposits in the Gulf.

Biofuel production is evolving. There are a number of production methods, some more sustainable than others. The bad ones use food crops as their feed stock, lots of water, energy (so much for being carbon neutral) and toxic chemicals such as lye and methanol.

The next biofuel generation uses non-food crops and new methods like the McGyAn process to eliminate the use of corrosive chemicals with the water and energy needed to wash the fuel clean.

The Fuel film looks forward to the realization of efficient algae feed stock, while defending the existing use of waste vegetable oil until then. Better grease than petroleum.

If that doesn’t thrill you, there’s always the promise of carbon free fusion power. Hear or watch Ed Moses June 16, 2010 speech to the Long Now Foundation about “Clean Fusion Power This Decade.”

Sal Khan: One Dude on YouTube

June 30th, 2010

Salman Khan, founder and faculty of the Khan Academy, has more lessons and viewers online than MIT and Stanford.

With over 1,600 lessons in various fields and growing popularity with students worldwide, Sal Khan has been featured on the PBS Newshour and CNN.

“A very bureaucratic organization,” the former hedge fund analyst jokes about his volunteer teaching videos in this talk he gave at the Good Experience Live (GEL) conference.

Field Day For The Hams

June 26th, 2010

Although I didn’t participate in any Field Day events this year, I did assemble with the saints (ham radio operators) this morning at the TRW Swap Meet.

I picked up three rechargeable fluorescent portable lanterns cheap for blackout bags and a bunch of free RF connectors and rubber duck antennas that the fellow didn’t want to haul around anymore. A common benefit of waiting until closing when vendors are lowering their prices.

The HF rig I wanted went hours earlier, so I was told–an incentive to show up at the 7 am opening time. Tough for me to do some Saturdays. Tonight I’m going to see the documentary Fuel at a KPFK benefit screening at the Grand Warner theater in San Pedro. Read more about it at my Resilient Freedom blog post, “Fuel Film Shows Oil Alternatives.”

The TRW Swap Meet is from 7 to 11:30 am on the last Saturday of each month at the corner of Aviation and Marine in Redondo Beach, California.

Amateur Radio Today video at YouTube, narrated by Walter Cronkite.

The Secret of Freedom (Meeting Tonight)

June 7th, 2010

THE Konkin-Rothbard Limited / Orange County Special Event Supperclub

E C O N O M I C S   A N D   G E O - P O L I T I C S

A PROJECT OF THE KARL HESS CLUB

   Usually on a Fifth Monday of a Month except on a major Holiday

Charles Holloway The Secret of Freedom, and Other Dangerous Ideas”

Date: Monday June 7

Location: Marie Callender’s 5960 Orangethorpe Ave., Buena Park, CA 90620 (at Valley View/91Fwy) 714-522-0170 | FAX 714-522-6829 [From 5 Fwy, take Valley View South to Orangethorpe, turn right]

Cost: $25.00 (cash preferred) Includes choice of three entrees, salad, soft beverage and pie dessert

SCHEDULE

6:00 p.m.   Cocktails (No Host, in the Lounge and Cash and Carry in the Dining Room)
7:00 p.m.   Dinner (Three entrees*, salad, cornbread, soft beverage, pie dessert)
Special Call to Order by Master of Ceremonies to start the program business
    Special presentation to Loy Lefevre
8:00 p.m.   Announcements and Introductions by Master of Ceremonies Howard Hinman
8:15 p.m.   Speaker Charles Holloway
9:15 p.m.   Q&A  (First  round questions to be submitted in writing; index cards will be provided)
9:45 p.m. Adjournment [Aftermeeting next door]
* This meeting: Callender’s Fish & Chips, Freshly Roasted Turkey, Home-Style Meatloaf,+ [Vegetarian Option]

About The Speaker

CHARLES HOLLOWAY

About the Program [Précis Provided by Mr. Holloway]

The people who watch Glenn Beck, John Stossel, or follow Ron Paul or Ayn Rand, the people who’ve been exposed to Ludwig Von Mises, Frederik Hayak, Frederic Bastiat, the people who’ve read books like Economics in One Lesson, The Law, Atlas Shrugged – are all complaining that freedom in the United States is eroding.

The reason we don’t have freedom in the United States is that nobody knows what freedom is.  There’s no single, unified, scientific definition of freedom that everyone can agree on.  If you don’t know what something is, how can you expect to get it?

Let’s say your destination is the Hawaiian Islands.  If you don’t know what an Island is, if you don’t know what Hawaii is, if you don’t have a compass or a map, how can you expect to find it?  The same is true of freedom.  If you don’t know what it is, you can’t get there.

The politicians today claim they’re giving us “freedom.”  Or that they’re somehow preserving our “freedom.”  But the truth is, they have no better idea of what freedom is than anyone else.  A politician today calling himself an “Expert on Freedom” is like a Church Official in the year 1400 AD calling himself an “Expert on Enlightenment.”

Furthermore, society will never attain freedom until “freedom” has been defined.  So that’s what this lecture is about.

The material we’re going to present comes from a soon-to-be-published book titled Mapping Freedom.  The title of this fity-five minute presentation is: The Secret of Freedom, and Other Dangerous Ideas.

We will explain in scientific terms, using a multi-media presentation, the definitions of slavery, property, stealing crime, and finally … freedom, itself.  Only when there is a scientific and practical definition of freedom will we be able to stop the politicians from taking it away from us.

Scheduled Meetings in 2010:

August 30       Geo. McCalip
November 29
 Jay Snelson

About THE Konkin-Rothbard Limited Club

The name for this club was chosen to honor the memories of Samuel Edward Konkin III, a prominent political theorist and Murray Rothbard, a noted free market economist.  Howard Hinman, of Orange County, is your Master of Ceremonies and Chief Operating Officer (COO).

For more information and to RSVP for reservations, contact Michael Everling at mikeeverling@karlhessclub.org

Please put RESERVATION in the eMail header and indicate how many persons you wish to reserve.

Thank you!

Might As Well Be On The Moon

June 4th, 2010

Shimizu Corporation “Luna Ring” Concept
Shimizu Corp

The U.S.A. seems intent on outsourcing its green jobs, “Wind and Solar Deported to Mexico?

Some projects that were funded at taxpayer funded universities in the U.S. have their patented designs “in development,” but given this tough economy, I’m afraid that many of the most useful won’t emerge into commercial deployment before they’re obsolete.

They might as well be on the Moon, or maybe walkin’ on the Sun.

Resilient Freedom Project Begins

June 2nd, 2010

I’ve started a new blog called Resilient Freedom.

ResFree.org’s focus is how governments are blocking the green agenda they claim to promote. It will also have suggestions for people with sustainable projects to accomplish them legally.

The Resilient Freedom project is funded by a generous grant from the California Legal Rights Fund. The CalRights website is at http://calrights.org.

For now, I’m determined that each post will contain some kind of affiliate link to an Amazon product of my choosing–be it a book, movie, or something related to the blog post. In addition, conferences, publications, kits from ResFree.org and promotional things from Cafe Press, like key chains and coffee mugs, may also be sold.

Gone will be Google ads along the side. They perform OK here at informal, more personal PermaKent site, but are not in keeping with the Foundation image we’ll be cultivating.

Power and Water

May 19th, 2010

According to the White Fence Index, the national average cost for electricity is $80.96 per month. Your mileage may vary, of course.

It’s a close race between the inept small town electric utility in Pahrump, Nevada and the corrupt Los Angeles, California DWP as to who has the most outages. (I’m Mr. Negativity today). A small earthquake near L.A. caused power spikes that knocked the computer I was using offline during a recent visit. The uninterruptible supply wasn’t, as it happens.

In the quake’s aftermath, I checked the local ham repeaters, which always work fine (I’m WA6ZFY), and used one of those Etón FR160B radios that don’t need batteries to listen to the news on the broadcast airwaves. I can just place it in the sun or turn a crank to get power from the dynamo. It also has a 3 LED flashlight, AM, FM, Weather Band, and a cell phone charging ability powered from turning the crank. I use a Lenmar Universal Power Pack Kit with AC, DC USB Power Adapter (Black) for that to avoid risk of damaging the cell phone, but now this is getting overly complicated. You can get the Etón Red Cross radios at Radio Shack and many sporting goods stores.

Even more fun is the solar recharger bag (shown above) that I’ve been testing in the Southwest U.S. sunshine since February with no melting of the battery pack. I bought 10 rechargeable AA cells separately, the “solar cells” in the ad are the photovoltaic pieces. It has a cigarette lighter socket like in a car, but you can take it backpacking on foot.

Don’t expect it to charge your car battery or power an inverter for your laptop. Maybe you could finesse those things with some hardware fiddling, but you’d need patience since it’s four watts, not forty watts.

It’s perfect for existing iPhone and cell phone cigarette lighter chargers as is. I got it to work with a 12 volt scanner I bought at Radio Shack years ago. Again, that required adding my own cigarette adapter connected to the appropriate size power plug.

It also seems to run emergency Citizen Band rigs designed to plug into car 12 volt sockets. A good way to keep in touch when parked without draining your car battery. A great addition to your “Blackout Bag” for less than the average electric bill. Why would you need such a device?

Los Angeles Times Online described the recent unpleasantness of the L.A. Department of Water and Power’s extortion in the story “Rate hike standoff reveals L.A. City Council’s distrust of DWP.”

At least the money is well spent, according to NBC Los Angeles, “Strip Clubs, Drinking and Driving — Just Another DWP Workday?.” Or not.

Before the shakedown, there were many mysterious water main breaks, which now appear to be the fault of *um*, guess who? Says CBS 2 Los Angeles online headline, “DWP’s Water Rationing Blamed For Water Main Breaks.” Excerpt from article:

“As ironic as it may be, it turns out that the rationing program created too much pressure causing enormous stress on the pipes causing them to burst.”

Nice.

As you can read in my previous post, I’m no fan of the Arizona state immigration law, Greenwashing AZ’s Jaime Cuervo Laws, but the California state and L.A. city budget is in crisis thanks to unsustainable pensions and extravagant spending that would never be tolerated in the private sector (unless it’s Wall Street, OK, I’ll take that conservative talking point back).

Still, I don’t think it’s wise for those L.A. geniuses to start a trade war with a provider of one quarter of their electricity. ABC 7 online (with video), “Arizona punches back, threatens LA’s power.”

Angelinos may want even more powerful solar and/or wind power systems and go completely off-grid. According to the L.A. Times blog, “Solar electric lease firm Sungevity expands to Los Angeles DWP service area.”

“[Sungevity President and founder, Danny] Kennedy says 60% of California solar customers will immediately pay less for electricity with leased rooftop solar than they would without it and that by mid-lease all customers are paying less. Sungevity automatically increases the cost of its leases 2.5% per year, but Kennedy says most utilities are raising their rates 5% annually.”

Greenwashing AZ’s Jaime Cuervo Laws

May 4th, 2010

Internal Passport
Soviet era internal passport.
There’s predictable opposition to Arizona’s “Jim Crow for Mexicans” law (what I’m calling “Jaime Cuervo.”)

But there was even initial concern from the notorious anti-immigrant former congressman Tom Tancredo before he remembered who he was. According to the Huffington Post, “Tom Tancredo Says Arizona Immigration Law Goes Too Far, Still Supports It.”

For some on the Right, opposition to government intrusion, such as the nosy census questionnaire, especially the long form American Community Survey, easily extrapolates to fighting AZ’s immigrant inquisition.

The first version of Arizona’s new law would have had any contact with the police come with a demand to show papers, even for crime victims or witnesses. As the Christian Science Monitor headline asks, “Arizona immigration law revised: backtracking or fine-tuning?

Another surprise is a real anti-immigrant current in the broader environmentalist movement, not just the greenwashing by nativists pretending to care about green issues.

For example, a 2006 article in CS Monitor was headlined “For environmentalists, a growing split over immigration.” The report gave some reasons:

“First, more Americans means more people living in one of the world’s most resource-consuming cultures. Second, there’s new evidence that Hispanic women who move to the US have more children than if they stayed put.”

Some immigrants may bring an environmentalist ethic with them, and may influence their American neighbors to be more frugal, hard working and self-reliant. Permaculture is an Aussie import.

Another HuffPo story quotes NORML Deputy Director Paul Armentano who asked, “Are U.S. Pot Laws the Root Cause of Mexican Drug Violence?” Yes, because Mexico legalized drugs in their realm. I know a couple who moved to Mexico to get back to their village pottery business and they seem happy to be there and not here. Looks like Mexican Exceptionalism is working!

Next time I’m stranded on some remote trail (see “Stuck in the Muck in Winnemucca“), I’ll be certain to demand INS documents from any latino rescuers who offer to save me. NOT!

Revolution Is My Hobby

April 18th, 2010

Brad Linaweaver gave me the title “Revolution Is My Hobby” to use on one of my early stories (novelette length over 10,000 words) about a high tech revolution controlled by a prison inmate in a future dictatorship. “Hobby” was written (but never published) before my “Blue Light” short story was published in the Summer 1997 issue of the Prometheus newsletter.

I’m recalling that title because J. Neil Schulman posted my 1996 afterword to the then current edition of Alongside Night, his novel about a future American revolution first published in 1979. My afterword, “Pulling Alongside Night: The Enabling Technology Is Here,” described the successful predictions Neil made about future technology and suggested new applications of internet era computing for his scenario.

For example, encrypted spread-spectrum radio could control the construction of underground markets using telepresence with a low probability of signal recognition. Typical radio receivers would register low level static that might just as well come from a noisy light dimmer switch, car engine or vacuum cleaner.

Quoting myself:
Alongside Night shows us a world where such [privatization] ideas aren’t merely a smokescreen for greater efficiency in the service of an ever more encompassing State.”

The Real April Fools’ Day

April 16th, 2010

Here’s a classic article from 1963, “Why Pray for Peace but Pay for War?

The thesis of author Maurice F. McCrackin, a Presbytarian pastor born in 1905, is that “Income tax paid by the individual is essential to the continuance of the war machine.”

The article makes a strong moral case based on the author’s own experience, and quotes a famous literary figure for more intellectual ammunition:

Leo Tolstoy described this evil process of rationalization in his book The Kingdom of God Is within You. He asks, “Is it possible that millions of men can go on calmly committing deeds which are so manifestly criminal, such as are the murders and tortures they commit, simply from fear of punishment? Surely these things would not exist were not the falsehood and brutality of their actions hidden from all classes of men by the system of political organization. When such deeds are committed, there are so many instigators, participants, and abettors that no single individual feels himself morally responsible. The rulers of the state always endeavor to involve the greatest number of citizens in the participation of the crimes which it is to their interest to have committed. Some demand it, some confirm it, some order it, and some execute it.”

As true today as then. And just to tweak the nanny state’s nose, http://www.youtube.com/v/ekKk4SkiC-w

Free Permaculture Course Videos Online

March 15th, 2010

Instructor Will Hooker
will_hooker.jpg
36 video episodes of classroom instruction (over 40 hours) for an “Introduction to Permaculture” course are online at iTunes U, but are not easy to find. Here’s a direct link to the series, http://deimos3.apple.com/WebObjects/Core.woa/Browse/ncsu.edu.1365999913, which will launch iTunes.

Spisblog,” a listener to The Survival Podcast, heard Jack Spirko talking about permaculture and blogged about the series of videos from a distance learning course recorded in 2003 of classroom lectures by instructor Will Hooker at North Carolina State University.

I heard about those videos on TSP, because Spirko noticed it in a Google Alerts email he set up for mentions of his name and show.

I also found a discussion of it via a web search in the TSP Forum going back to Feb. 20.

Toxic Cleaning Products: Fear the Future

March 7th, 2010

Looks like the glass spray I described in “Get Ready To Eat and Wear Glass” is being joined by “hairy surfaces” in the war against consumable toxic cleaning products.

The first description of the invention I read was a Slashdot post, “New “Hairy” Material Is Almost Perfectly Hydrophobic.”

According to the Science Daily article being quoted, “Water Practically Flies Off ‘Near Perfect’ Hydrophobic Surface That Refuses to Get Wet.” Here are my selections from the Science Daily piece:

“[Inventor, Wolfgang] Sigmund said the UF surface may be the most or among the most water phobic. Close-up photographs of water droplets on dime-sized plastic squares show that the droplets maintain their spherical shape, whether standing still or moving. Droplets bulge down on most other surfaces, dragging a kind of tail as they move. Sigmund said his surface is the first to shuttle droplets with no tail.”

“Also, unlike many water-repelling surfaces, the UF one relies entirely on the microscopic shape and patterns of the material — rather than its composition.”. . .”Sigmund’s surfaces need never slough off dangerous chemicals. Provided the surface material itself is made safe, making it water repellent introduces no new risks.”

“Although he hasn’t published the research yet, Sigmund said a variation of the surface also repels oil, a first for the industry.”

A remarkable photo of a spherical droplet on the artificial surface (below some photomicrographs of spider hair) shows how much it repels water. See it on the original University of Florida, Sigmund Group page, “Hairy Surfaces.”

Take heed, Janitors: Prepare to join the revolution or suffer the consequences!

And you there, with your lathering and scrubbing behavior, take note of the hairy spider glass breakthrough a-coming. It makes me feel cleaner already.

Bill Gates Nukes the Environment

February 26th, 2010

Bill Gates was in the news a few weeks back taking climate change deniers to task.

I must admit I lean to the skeptical side myself. I’m for off-grid power for reasons such as the probable coming oil famine and hyperinflation. But I don’t have the expertise and inclination to go on a crusade on either side of global warming, except to say that if we’re concerned about the poor, let’s make sure the transition to carbonless power doesn’t add excessive trauma to the already stressed global economy.

Even if there is warming, it seems that other problems, such as non-CO2 pollution, soil erosion, new dust bowls, and over-fished oceans are more urgent. Global warming has a number of quick fix engineering schemes.

Given Gates’ history founding and running Microsoft, I was puzzled about all the *ahem* “energy” he put into his recent remarks. Now the mystery is solved. He’s backing an energy initiative with another Microsoft founder, Nathan Myhrvold (hear Nathan talk about “Reinventing Invention” in a Harvard Business podcast).

The new venture is reported in Business Week as “Bill Gates Goes Nuclear.”

The new company is called TerraPower. Gates describes the funding plan and principles of operation in the just released TED Talk, “Bill Gates on energy: Innovating to zero!.”

Given his stated goal of zero emissions, he highlighted the advantage nuclear has over renewables because of nuclear’s energy density. He also mentioned a “liquid nuclear” system in passing that I think means the LFTR (Liquid-Fluoride Thorium Reactor) I’ve mentioned in a previous post. (It has safety advantages compared to conventional U-235 plants, much less waste, little terrorist bomb potential and plentiful domestic thorium fuel for thousands of years. Also, thorium is detectable from space and is found on the Moon and Mars. Recently, uranium was found on the Moon.)

The TerraPower system is called a “traveling-wave” reactor, able to slowly consume a cylinder of waste U-238 for up to 60 years.

“A traveling-wave reactor can sustain fission in a nonfissile fuel such as depleted uranium because it sets up a slow-moving wave in which neutrons produced by fission reactions in one small part of the core convert adjacent fuel pellets from fertile isotopes (such as U238) into fissile isotopes (such as Pu239).”

And when the waste U-238 is used up, it’s much more plentiful in nature than our current U-235 fuel isotope facing “peak uranium.” By then, other technologies will probably be online.

There are hippie holdouts having flashbacks about the Cold War who are still anti-nuke. The current generation doesn’t worry about The Day After anymore. They worry about The Day After Tomorrow. (Another pro-nuke advocate is Whole Earth Catalog pioneer, Stewart Brand.)

I’ll give you something to protest, “American Meat Institute is pushing irradiation as the solution to E. coli.”

My worry is that big nuke plants perpetuate the grid, but already there are hotel and neighborhood scale reactors on the market now. We’re bound to get local sized versions of the new designs.

Even a climate skeptic should watch Bill Gates at TED describing the new TerraPower system in his talk, “Bill Gates on energy: Innovating to zero!.”

Get Ready to Eat and Wear Glass

February 22nd, 2010

DVD at Amazon
The Man In The White Suit (DVD)
From Kurzweil AI comes a summary of a Physorg report that must be read completely about Turkish scientists creating a revolutionary glass spray that promises to “make cleaning obsolete” and even serve as a non-toxic barrier to pests for food crops.

“The liquid glass coating is breathable, which means it can be used on plants and seeds. Trials in vineyards have found spraying vines increases their resistance to fungal diseases, while other tests have shown sprayed seeds germinate and grow faster than untreated seeds, and coated wood is not attacked by termites.”

In 1952, actor Sir Alec Guinness (long before his most famous role as the elderly bathrobed Jedi Knight, Obi-Wan Kenobi) was the title character, chemist Henry [Update: Oops, it’s Sidney] Stratton, in the film The Man In The White Suit. Stratton invents a durable suit that never needs washing or pressing, thus opposing the interests of factory owners and labor unions in the garment business. One of the most moving moments in the film is when he takes a break from running from everybody to hear a washer woman ask how she’s supposed to make a living in his brilliant future.

Treehugger describes it having “an unbelievable number of applications” if the liquid glass spray is proven safe and effective. (More successful trials are described including clothing applications in the PhysOrg article, bringing the White Suit to mind. The article continues.)

“. . .it can be used in the oven, in bathrooms, tiles, sinks, and almost every other surface in the home, and one spray is said to last a year. . .many supermarkets, may be unwilling to stock the products because they make enormous profits from cleaning products that need to be replaced regularly, and liquid glass would make virtually all of them obsolete.”

No doubt consumerism driven profits will fuel industry to question non-biodegradable treated items finding their way into the trash, as if they were newly converted to being green. Somehow I think they’ll neglect mentioning how rarely such treated items need to be tossed out.

Off-Grid Water Purification Breakthrough

February 12th, 2010

I’ve heard the Lifesaver bottle advertised on The Survival Podcast, but was not excited about it until I saw this TED Talk video from 2009 of Lifesaver’s inventor and CEO Michael Pritchard’s presentation at Oxford, England.

The Lifesaver system filters out contaminants larger than 15 nanometers. It’s 100% effective against the 25 nanometer sized polio virus and other water borne viruses. And certainly 100% effective in filtering considerably larger bacteria and infectious cysts.

The demonstration is very impressive. Gather the water through the base, pump a few times by hand like a big water squirt gun, uncap the top and immediately get pure sterile safe drinking water from out of the most horrific sources. Very important for disaster relief and economical for day to day off-grid usage.

The Mad Tea Party

February 11th, 2010

Justin Stout photo
Palm Writings.
Guest blog post:

The Mad Tea Party
by Brad Linaweaver

Here’s a prediction.

In the future the Tea Party movement will call for higher taxes. It will be done in the name of national security. Their beloved Leader, Sarah Palin, will be in the forefront of demanding the increased revenue. She won’t call it taxes. She will call it something else—something really stupid.

Meanwhile, here in 2010, we see typically petty behavior from the enemies of the heroic Ron Paul. How dare he be a dissenting voice inside the Big Tent of the Republican freak show? How dare he succeed with his book called END THE FED. Doesn’t he know that the one thing the Tea Party and town hall movements really support is the federal reserve?

Semper Fi, Fed!

Sooner or later the neocons had to deal with Ron Paul. Of course, the neocons never exist when they actually do anything substantive. Only a conspiracy nut would believe otherwise. The neocons are the most lovable objective analysts you will ever meet in a dark alley.

Somebody is out to get Ron Paul. The Tea Party that he helped originate has targeted him for political destruction. How ironic if he loses his House seat to a tea party candidate.

Sarah Palin speaks for the forces who hijacked an entire political movement from the libertarians. Apparently her appetite for what belongs to others is insatiable. Now the wicked witch of Alaska wants Ron Paul’s son. She has endorsed Rand Paul’s political ambitions. It makes one want to shrug.

Ron Paul was just on the Rachel Maddow show. He was talking about the neocon infiltration of the Tea Party movement. Why should the neocons settle for influence over something as retro as Democrats and Republicans? You never know where to find votes in this day and age.

It is not enough that the Tea Party protests were taken away from antiwar libertarians such as Ron Paul and twisted into the thing it is today. The Boston Tea Party was far too radical. Those guys wore disguises. Did they think they were at a WTO summit? Even worse, they were opposing a tax meant to support the troops (Americans had not yet separated from the British Lion back then) in King George’s war against terrorism—you know, the French. The Boston Tea Party was opposed to everything represented by today’s Tea Party.

It wasn’t enough that the real libertarians were screwed over yet again by Republicans—the way the republicans in the Spanish Civil War were buggered by Joe Stalin. What do today’s libertarians expect in the land of the free lunch?

To quote myself being quoted by someone else (thus topping Ayn Rand’s self quotes) Kent Hastings in a recent PermaKent blog post said that I am sick of the American debate being put in the form of a conflict between Wall Street and Main Street. With a little research, Kent discovered that the main drag near the Pentagon is Fern Street. Yeah, that’s the ticket. Just meet me at the corner of Fern Street and Off Budget. Bring your checkbook.

Ron Paul is the bravest politician in America. He has real libertarian principles. As a working politician it is no surprise that he is a minarchist. Some hypocrites who pretend to be anarchists attack Ron Paul for not supporting the War Machine. We are not talking about military defense here. The War Machine needs the planet.

When Ron Paul was asked by Maddow what he thought of the Palin support for his son, he tried to shrug it off as just another generic Republican endorsement. He was clearly unhappy. The road to power right now does not lie through Main Street or Wall Street, but Fern Street. Rand Paul may think he’s on the road to Galt’s Gulch, but Fern Street is more likely to lead him to Project X (for those who remember ATLAS SHRUGGED).

If Obama expands the wars he has a second term. If he fails to do this then War Republicans will replace the War Democrats. This has nothing to do with defense or protecting this country from violent psychotics. It has everything to do with expanding a welfare state at home by building a welfare state overseas.

If Ron Paul’s son had any loyalty to his father, he would repudiate an endorsement by America’s most notorious palm reader (a practice condemned by the Bible). If there are any libertarians left in this country who involve themselves in the political process (i.e. not pure anarchists), they should do everything they can to get Ron Paul reelected against the challenge of his Tea Party opponents. After all, Ron Paul wants to end the War on Drugs and these bastards love that particular crusade almost as much as they love the War on Terror.

If we are going to declare war on the entire world and turn ourselves into the new Soviet Union let us finally be honest about it. The great crime is never torture, mayhem and mass murder. The real evil will always be the lies told against honorable men and women who believe the moral rules they were taught in Sunday school. Let us honor Ron Paul as that rarest of Americans: an honest man.

At a certain point Ron Paul’s tea lost its flavor. Besides, it was cold. He needs to drink something better at those college campuses where the real grass roots movement honors his integrity.

There is a legitimate comparison of our current tea parties and a famous example. You know, it’s sort of Sarah in Wonderland. The Mad Hatter is putting something in her drink. Give this woman half a chance and she will transform into the Queen of Hearts.

You betcha!

THE END

Ronald Reagan never expressed a public opinion on Sarah Palin but he did on the author of this piece. Reagan’s opinion of Brad Linaweaver can be found in Stories In His Own Hand—The Everyday Wisdom of Ronald Reagan from the Free Press. Mr. Linaweaver honors all the heroes of America’s military services as much as he despises armchair ideologues who send them to unnecessary battles.

Nightmare on Fern Street

February 5th, 2010

Very Interesting. . .
Arte Johnson and ferns plus Pentagon
Brad Linaweaver says he’s getting tired of the “Wall Street vs. Main Street” rhetoric, which he believes ignores the Empire as the dominant agency for the immiseration of the proletariat, comrade. (He wouldn’t put it like that.)

Brad suggested finding out if the Pentagon was located on a Street that could find its way into vulgar political discourse. Sure enough, “Fern Street” fits the bill.

Just thinking about foliage brings to mind how the military industrial complex camouflages its share of the budget. Also, I’m hearing renewed rumors of war against Iran. And the DJIA is falling below 10,000 again.

A post with details about the incredible number of unaccounted assets in the Pentagon budget, Iran’s history and recent past (now we know the outcome of their election), and the wonderful state of our economy from March, 2009 is current once again, “It Usually Begins With Iran.”

The term “blowback” originates with a 1950s CIA after action report of dirty tricks pulled in Iran–a shameful false flag operation conducted with pride that still haunts us today.

Fern Street evokes other bush and shrub related metaphors, such as not seeing the forest for the trees or snakes in the grass. Just keep those m*f*ing snakes off the m*f*ing planes!

What were we talking about? Oh yeah, the Pentagon. In the news.

A few days ago it was widely reported that military intelligence at the Pentagon, which will get about two feet of snow this weekend, released a report about the threat of global warming. Now the warm mongers want to levitate the Pentagon in public esteem.

Maybe our armed forces will convert their vehicles to carbon neutral energy sources. Lucky for us Iran leads the Middle East in wind power generation, so our plug-in hybrid tanks will be easily recharged during the invasion. Because of Iran’s gas shortages (!) maybe their plug-in battery powered tanks will have to recharge on odd numbered days after ours are topped off.

Arte Johnson (the German spy pictured above) appeared regularly on The Smothers Brothers, as did the cult fake Presidential candidate, Pat Paulsen.

I never met Pat Paulsen, but I had his comedy record and was a fan. But I’ve always heard that my cousins, aunt and uncle on my mom’s side of the family knew Pat. My aunt Judy told me on a recent visit that she remembers rehearsing routines with him. Pat told them on a road trip that if the car crashed the news would report “Pat Paulsen and Others Killed in Crash.” That didn’t happen thankfully, but he did die eventually, but his memory is kept alive at http://paulsen.com.

Here’s a YouTube video of his son Monty carrying on the tradition, with a “Dead Man Running” campaign and perhaps running himself in 2012. Monty Paulsen? All he needs is a flying circus.

Electric Lovecraftland by the Bay

January 29th, 2010

Courtesy of LJDopp.com
Detail of H.P. Lovecraft portrait.
SF Weekly just published an article about Shaxul Records in their “In Store” column about local record shops in San Francisco.

Stone Clement runs Shaxul Records with a partner who, because of the exoteric absence in the article, evidently must not be named, in a hole in the wall joint specializing in Heavy Metal band music.

While the Shaxul proprietors pride themselves in stocking H.P. Lovecraft inspired Metal on vinyl, I bet their carcinogenic PVC riddled inventory does not include such classics as HPLHS’s “If I Were A Deep One” from their legally challenged “A Shoggoth on the Roof” album. (Some Broadway composer took offense at the commercial availability of said parody.)

I also doubt you’d find the Dagon Tabernacle Choir’s stirring performance of “Carol of the Old Ones,” or one of the many songs from HPLHS’s Solstice Carol album such as the bouncy “I Saw Mommy Kissing Yog-Sothoth.

And finally, you really must have a crown of thorns stigmata in the head to believe they have a copy of the following pop culture karaoke ripoff renamed “Hey There, Cthulhu.”

Bill Mollison Wins Award in Australia

January 21st, 2010

Tagari.com
Bill Mollison award
Sometimes you can be a prophet in your own land.

Permaculture founder Bill Mollison was recognized for his work educating millions throughout the world by leaders in his native Australia.

“Bill was awarded with the distinctive title of “Senior Australian of the Year 2010 – National Finalist” in a ceremony held in Hobart on November 23, 2009 and will go to Canberra for the National Awards ceremony held at Parliament House on January 25, 2010.”

For those who live in cooler climates, here is the first of a series of YouTube videos featuring Mollison on camera, “Temperate Permaculture Strategies Pt. 1.”

Will a Frozen Europe Raise Earth’s Albedo?

January 14th, 2010

Digg front page item shows a very cool (sorry) NASA photo of Great Britain covered with ice from orbit.

Global warming promoters have long said that the gulf stream is at risk. For example, this 2002 Science Daily story, “A Current Controversy: Is Europe About To Freeze?,” excerpt:

“One of the odd possibilities that could emerge from global warming is that much of Europe, robbed of the ocean current patterns that help keep it warm, could rather abruptly enter a deep freeze and have a climate that more closely resembles Alaska than the modest temperatures it now enjoys.”

There are critics of that theory, including the author of this article, “Climate mythology:
The Gulf Stream, European climate and Abrupt Change
.”

One proposal to combat increased temperature in urban heat islands is to paint roofs and other city surfaces lighter colors to reduce absorption of sunlight.

The scientists at Vangelis (heh) say the Earth’s albedo is 0.39. If the Earth’s surface was a perfect mirror, the albedo would be 1.00, with all light hitting it reflected back to space. I wonder if all that reflected sunlight from frozen Europe and most of the U.S. covered in snow is a negative feedback fighting global warming.

If so, residents of the American Southwest can keep driving their SUVs forever. Drill baby, drill! (That was sarcasm).