Resourcing Stupidity

The Earth is about 8,000 miles wide. Keep that number in mind.

The deepest mines, mostly in South Africa, are just approaching 2.5 miles in depth. There are only a handful of these and in select locations for precious metals (gold). Most mines come nowhere near those depths.

The deepest wells are less than 8 miles deep and probably won’t realistically surpass that number. And, as noted with mines, most wells don’t approach those depths.

I mention those numbers because we are constantly being told that we are running out of resources.

I’m a child of the 1970s so I had this beaten into my head by the nascent environmental movement and other Malthusians as I grew up. Books, movies, “documentaries,” the whole media, entertainment and education cabal proffered this along with plenty of politicians. Anyone who disagreed was dismissed as a crazy, a greedy businessman, a status quo-promoting fool or an ignorant stump. All the smart people “knew” what the future was going to be and if you wanted good grades in school, you nodded and submitted.

That mindset never stopped even though predictions of worldwide catastrophic doom and a poverty-ridden existence by the handful of surviving humans made in those days were wrong and make for laughable reading today. Yet somehow these people and their successors, the entire leftwing establishment, the Democratic party, great swathes of the government (at all levels), most of academia and the education mafia, the MSM, Hollywood and the entertainment industry, etc., were not laughed out of their jobs of education, influence and power as they should have been for being so spectacularly wrong. If anything, they may even have a tighter grip over humanity. That we’re all doomed, in some horrible dystopian future, is simply accepted today as a fact. Well, not “we” but some next generation is and we have to stop what we’re doing to save them; hence demands for global power to stop “Climate Change” (since those ‘Global Warming’ predictions are already coming up short).

Back to the numbers. Earth — 8,000 miles wide; deepest mine — 2.5 miles deep. Do the math! So we’ve pierced something like 0.03% into the Earth’s crust. Yet, these “really smart” people, many with Ivy League degrees and fancy jobs in national and international governments and academia, tell us we’re running out of resources. We’ve penetrated far less than 1% of the Earth and these people think we’ve found everything.

Also note that that number, 0.03%, doesn’t encompass the surface area of the Earth. There are large areas unexplored in great detail along with the even larger sea floor.

Now do the same thing with wells (Hi! Peak Oilers!) and you’re still at 0.1%. Mightn’t there be some stuff a little deeper or is it possible that every mineral and molecule of value is somehow in that very, very, very outer part of the crust and nothing inside deeper? Color me skeptical on that one.

Now, it does have to be noted that at a certain point the interior of the Earth becomes difficult to deal with — a molten core is a problem (and an opportunity for people in the future!) and even a few dozen miles down it becomes too hot for current technologies to function. But still, the conceit that we’ve picked through the entire planet’s larder and now the cupboard is bare is an absurdity equivalent to, say, equating walking a mile as being the same as walking from New York to Los Angeles.

One thing I’ve learned over the years is that the people who seem to know the least about the environment are so-called “environmentalists.”

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The Diversity Scam

It’s no secret that the cost of attending college has skyrocketed and continues to go up. With the federal government taking over the student loan industry under Obama, with promises of “free” education dancing in their heads, the shoveling of money into higher ed continues unabated (despite the constant squeals that we’re cutting the budget of education). For some reason, these supersmart people that run our government and academia haven’t noticed the correlation with throwing (student tuition) money at a problem and the continued rise of that problem.

One of the chief (if not the chiefest) burners of money at a school is its administration. Many have chronicled the explosion in “administrative” costs and the number of administrators at the country’s higher education facilities, public and private. Here’s a random take on it from the Pope Center.

Perhaps the premier example of mushrooming administration is what is probably the most unneeded office of all on any campus — the Office of Diversity (or some variant on that name).

Its an office that exists purely for mischief. It’s often an anti-academic office, placing itself in opposition to academia’s once traditional mission — education. It is almost always arrayed in opposition to what are called “conservative” elements outside of academia but the Office of Diversity labels them as “hostile” and seeks to suppress them (ask any College Republicans or Young Americans for Freedom chapter). Its target inevitably, the dreaded “white male,” more specifically, the heterosexual variety.

The Office of Diversity is not interested in actual “diversity.” Its definition of “diversity” is very narrow. Like its corporate and governmental siblings, its definition of “diversity” is based on skin color, gender and sexual proclivities. It has no interest in diversity of thought. It wants to stamp that out, which is why when you meet these people or learn of them, they are always liberals, usually women, seemingly most of them black. Here’s a typical example of a recent hire at the University of Tennessee’s law school.

Why a law school at a state university needs a “Diversity and Inclusion” office is beyond me. Don’t they have one for the whole school? Why in fact they do! Here’s one website for the Office of Equity and Diversity. And here’s one for the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, which seems to be a different office. Oh, and look, here’s one for the School of Engineering (which is straight up-front about its racialist and sexist existence: ‘The goal is to enable the successful recruitment, retention and graduation of underrepresented [African American, Hispanic, Native American, Alaskan Native, Pacific Islanders, and women] students.’) And here’s one for the school of business. The school has numerous administrative offices, officers, commissions and so on for this stuff. Hey, they even have a “Safe Zone” program, lest a student encounter an idea they are unfamiliar with or that might challenge a preconceived and officially PC-approved notion. All costing the Tennessee taxpayer (and generous alums) millions, probably tens of millions, of dollars, for what purpose other than perpetuating a racial and gender grievance regime?

Wait, I jumped to a judgment there. Here’s something they are working on: “Inclusive Practice: Pronoun Usage.”

This made some headlines last week. In all seriousness, this isn’t from The Onion. The promoter is “Director of the Pride Center” (‘pride’ is another word co-opted by the homosexual movement), another item costing the taxpayers of the Volunteer State. No greater confused wretch can be found anywhere. Why let he/she/it command our communication?

As laughable as this effort is, these people are serious; Orwellian serious. Yet, despite resembling Chinese, it still seems to divide pronouns into three categories based on their gender origins. So what was the point? It’s not about improving language, it’s about power. Control the language and you control the discussion. Control the language and you can shut down those that disagree with you. That’s the point.

Oh, and the whole U of T system has an overall Office of Equity & Diversity too. All of these people in these offices make good money. More than a few make six-figure salaries.

Check out some of those pages and you will read about state and federal grants, private monies siphoned off. This money is not earned in the marketplace, obtained through open and fair work, voluntarily transacted. It’s wheedled and cadged from a series of interlocking, self-perpetuating agencies at many levels, staffed with like-minded activists, but funded mostly by the unaware taxpayer. They know that if the individual taxpayer knew about this they would not freely disgorge their hard-earned money for such things.

These people contribute nothing to the polity other than larceny and dyspepsia. They spit on the people that fund them, while also attacking the very community and values that have made them possible. They should be fired and the whole system cleaned out. They should not be used to facilitate a highly tendentious political agenda nor be funded by the state. Does any school maintain a “Heterosexual Pride” office? Any office aimed at specifically recruiting white, heterosexual males? Of course not, that would be silly and not a proper use of taxpayer or alum money. So why these well-funded efforts to promote racism, sexism and the homosexual agenda?

As Walter Williams said recently, “For starters, benefactors should stop giving money to universities that endorse anti-free speech and racist diversity policies. Simply go to a university’s website. If you find an office of diversity, close your pocketbook. There’s nothing like the sound of pocketbooks snapping shut to open the closed minds of administrators.”

The Death of Animal House

Jerry Seinfeld and a few other comedians have let it be known that they don’t do college gigs anymore because colleges have become humor-free zones.

Latest evidence: the “outrage” and suspension of the Sigma Nu chapter at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia.

It seems that an off-campus house “associated” with the ODU Sigma Nu chapter hung a few bedsheets over the balcony on the front of the house on the day that new students arrive at campus (AKA Move-In Day). “Rowdy and Fun… Hope Your Baby Girl Is Ready For A Good Time…,” “Freshman Daughter Drop Off [with arrow pointing at front door]” and “Go Ahead And Drop Off Mom Too…” read the sheets. Isn’t that nice, they included mom too!

Ha, ha! Not exactly National Lampoon, much less Wodehouse, but about what you’d expect from kids who spend a large portion of the week waiting for the weekend so they can think they’re cool by getting drunk.

But in our new hypersensitive, hyperventilating, always on the prowl for outrage society (thanks, liberals!), all Hell broke loose.

We live in truly bizarre times.

As everyone who went to public school or watches TV knows the 1950s was a prudish neo-Victorian era filled with uptight, sexually deprived, straight-laced folks and the actual Victorian era was, so puritan that strong men fainted at the site of a woman’s bare ankle and women, well, they just fainted at the thought of a man’s bare ankle.

Of course, thanks to the groovy 1960s and women’s lib, that’s all behind us now… Free love! You’ve come a long way, baby! Er…. [record scratching sound]… Where are we now?

It seems that all our supposedly worldly, jaded, cynical sophisticatoes are outraged, yes, outraged, at a trio of “Animal House” banners.

Seriously, they’re outraged at that. Banners about as threatening as a Bob Hope/Bing Crosby exchange in a “Road” movie? A piece of lightweight frat comedy from some off-campus members of Sigma Nu? Sigma Nu? They aren’t exactly Delta House.

They probably find lint terrifying too.

Things they aren’t outraged by: Planned Parenthood turning its aborttoirs into industrialized human parts recyclers. Not bothered by maniacal Muslims cutting off the heads of archeologists, blowing up ancient sites, tossing homosexuals off of buildings and trying to shoot up trains in Europe. Unmoved by endless stoner and/or hook-up sex comedies, absolutely craven/prurient/nihilist “reality TV” shows and any number of hyperviolent slasher movies.

But a silly set of college banners upsets them. They have some superselective, highly-notched filter there.

I suppose the whole category of bawdy humor is out of the question… No serving wenches in bodices or dashing swordsmen for them!

These are almost certainly the same people who blew a fuse over the University of Alabama sorority that had the nerve to make a video about themselves showing they were, well, young college girls that liked to have a good time — and by good time, I mean that it didn’t seem to involve anything that would make a “Girls Gone Wild” video. The young ladies seemed to want everyone to have a good time. What’s the harm in that?

They were just friendly, perky girls showing off and being slightly goofy and our self-appointed liberal superiors and pusillanimous college administrators practically had a grand mal seizure over that video.

I can’t believe they haven’t banned Cyndi Lauper’s “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” yet. That’s probably on next week’s to-do list.

Yeah, girls don’t wanna have any fun. No, sirree, not anymore.

Unless it’s cheap, likely alcohol-fueled, practically anonymous “hook-up” sex, then they’re all for it… Except when they are against it because it is part of the “Rape Culture/Epidemic” on college campuses. It all depends on the political point that needs to be made at that particular moment.

Is your neck sore from all the whiplash?

Weren’t we supposed to be awash in strong, independent, clear-sighted, sober young women who can make their own decisions? But apparently what we really have are hothouse violets that will wilt at the first encounter with the real world.

What this really is about is power. The power to control society, personal interactions and behavior. It’s to keep people jumping and terrified — not knowing what or who’s going to be disfavored next. Look no further than totalitarian societies like the Soviet Union, Nazi Germany and Cambodia to understand this.

These “outraged” humorless dours need to be confronted and cast back into the shadows from whence they came. College campuses need to be reclaimed from their clutches. These arrogant harridans, more like some horrifying Dickensian character, have turned colleges into Kafkaesque theaters of the absurd.

Sigma Nu national needs to grow a spine (and something else, as well). The fraternity was founded by students at the Virginia Military Institute not long after the War Between the States. Those boys were made of sterner stuff.

ESPN — Playing a Game of Chicken

Is the big cable sports network ESPN playing a game of chicken with sports fans, notably those that aren’t liberal?

Over the last year it’s gotten into spats with many of its hosts, mostly over politically correct issues. In an unforced error it inexplicably decided to give an award to Bruce Jenner for his mental problems and transvestitism.

I’ve pretty much given up on the network, with only an occasional relapse. Sports Center, Obama’s favorite program, has been for me unwatchable for a long time. I do like the commercials though. I might slip a little during college football and basketball season when I watch a lot of ESPNU and small conference games. I WILL NOT watch their big ticket products — even if I’m paying for it. ESPN is one of the key problems with major college sports. In fact, ESPN has become like a big conglomerate that has lost its way and might eventually collapse.

Having said that, what brings this up today is this: baseball commentator Curt Schilling getting suspended for a politically incorrect transgression.

He “tweeted” to the effect that the percentage of “Muslim extremists” is equivalent to the percentage of Nazis in Germany in 1940 and that didn’t turn out so well.

Now one could argue that maybe, as a high profile TV sports personality, he should keep his political thoughts to himself. I’d be with that except that TV sports personalities, networks (that’s you ESPN) and athletes are no longer bashful about such things and the only banter we hear is liberalism. Conservatives seem to get punished for speaking out (though ESPN did recently part ways with Keith Olbermann — after giving him numerous second chances).

One could try to argue that what Schilling said was incorrect but that would be a stretch.

ESPN had this to say: “Curt’s tweet was completely unacceptable, and in no way represents our company’s perspective.”

That’s interesting. Is the company arguing that there are no Muslim extremists? Perhaps they quibble with number and percentages of extremists? Is the company saying that it and any employees will not say anything bad about Muslims? Is it suggesting that Muslim extremists aren’t like Nazis? Does it buy Obama’s ludicrous sophistry that terrorists can’t be Muslims and Muslims can’t be terrorists?

I can’t imagine that Muslims make up much of the network’s audience. Some Muslims would exterminate ESPN if they had a chance (and toss Espy Award-winning Bruce Jenner into a dry well filled with scorpions or something like that).

So what motivated them to respond at all. They could have just let it go instead of drawing attention to it. Who squawked?

ESPN is moving to my “mostly” boycott list until it shapes up (that might not be ever). I don’t think I can cut it out because it’s part of the Verizon FiOS sports package I get. If it becomes available as an a la carte selection, I might just pull the ejection seat lever.

Must Read: How We Got to Today

One of the most important moves in reclaiming America from those who wish it harm is to understand exactly what the left is doing and how they are doing it.

I don’t often tag things as “Must Reads” but here’s one at American Thinker by Scott S. Powell, “The Quiet Revolution: How the Left Took Over the Democratic Party.”

It’s an accessible article, great for the reader that might not instantly recognize names like “Frankfurt School,” “Herbert Marcuse,” “Antonio Gramsci” or “Saul Alinsky,” but really should. Articles of this caliber usually are difficult reads and make/keep things far more complicated than they need be. Highly recommended.

A great takeaway is his quick summation of Edward Gibbon from “Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire”: “Gibbon described six attributes that Rome embodied at its end: first, an overwhelming love of show and luxury; second, a widening gap between the rich and the poor; third, an obsession with sports and a freakishness in the arts, masquerading as creativity and originality; fourth, a decline in morals, increase in divorce and decline in the institution of the family; fifth, economic deterioration resulting from debasement of the currency, inflation, excessive taxation, and overregulation; and sixth, an increased desire by the citizenry to live off the state.”

Sound disturbingly like America today?

I recently read Philip Freeman’s “Julius Caesar.” It’s remarkable how the late Roman republic seemed to lose its ability to govern itself, allowing for the rise of of the emperors. Many of the symptoms Freeman describes look familiar to things that happen today, often, though not exclusively, at the behest of liberals.

Somebody’s Not Telling the Truth

I return again to our lying president and his “deal” with Iran.

Clearly, somebody’s not telling the truth. It’s being reported in a number of places that, at several locations, notably Parchin, Iran will in effect be investigating itself. That is, it will provide the samples and evidence to the International Atomic Energy Agency. The commission’s inspectors will not be allowed access to military facilities but will accept Iranian-provided air and soil,etc., samples.

Is that a joke?

No, apparently it’s part of a number of “side deals” that have been made and are being made with Iran. These deals are “secret” so only a handful of people know what’s in them and they refuse to tell. Let me walk out on a limb here and offer that those “secret” deals are probably not too favorable for the free world.

Pray, tell, Mr. President, why are there secret deals on the side?

As news of these began to break out, the White House went into overdrive in attacking the messengers. How dare they question the deal of the century, made by the smartest occupant of the White House evuh!?

Terms like “robust” and “unprecedented” inspections are tossed out yet somehow those don’t square with what we’re learning. And they never squared with what was reported that the Iranians were telling their people. From their press, admittedly a biased source, the Iranians were taking a victory lap, proclaiming they had faced down the Great Satan and were going to get most everything they had wanted, including very limited inspections and none where the actual dirty work of bomb designing and building was taking place.

Are these inspections really “robust” and “unprecedented”? Are they, as Dear Leader keeps insisting, essentially “Anytime, anywhere?” Or are they a sham? Somebody is going to be right and someone is going to be wrong about this.

This isn’t a disagreement about the tonnage of annual fish catches or whether a border should be on one side of a river or another, this is dealing with a country that holds “Death to America” rallies and officially believes in a religion that rewards its members for killing those it shouts “Death to…” (I know, our illustrious prez knows more about Islam than the Iranians and they have it all wrong so there’s nothing to worry about…) (David French has a good take on Obama, foreign policy wonk, here.)

And with those assurances that all is well, here’s IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano on this apparent dilemma: “I am disturbed by statements suggesting that the IAEA has given responsibility for nuclear inspections to Iran. Such statements misrepresent the way in which we will undertake this important verification work. The separate arrangements under the Road-map agreed between the IAEA and Iran in July are confidential and I have a legal obligation not to make them public — the same obligation I have for hundreds of such arrangements made with other IAEA member states. However, I can state that the arrangements are technically sound and consistent with our long-established practices. They do not compromise our safeguards standards in any way. The road-map between Iran and the IAEA is a very robust agreement, with strict timelines, which will help us to clarify past and present outstanding issues regarding Iran’s nuclear programme.”

Gotta love that last bit: “will help us to clarify past and present outstanding issues regarding Iran’s nuclear programme.” You can’t get anymore antiseptic than that. The man said absolutely nothing in that clutch of bureaucratese gobbledy-goop beyond “We do what we do which is what we’ve been doing… Now stop bothering us with your petty concerns.”

Notice he didn’t say that the story about the Iranian self-inspections was untrue? He used the weaselly word “misrepresent.” He said he was “disturbed.” He could have said they were wrong: “Our inspectors will have access to the facilities and we’ll conduct the inspections,” but he didn’t. Instead he ultimately invoked secrecy: “… are confidential and I have a legal obligation not to make them public.”

Is he serious? He wants us to “trust” him and a regime bent on our destruction that they’ll behave and be honest? Obama has the same approach.

And now we’re learning that the administration is sending letters out to nations such as China, Germany, France and the U.K. to the effect that the talk about those “snapback” sanctions that Obama recently talked about doesn’t really apply but is just some drivel for the rubes back home to consume. More on that here.

What are we to make of men such as these?

We’re All Just Renters Now

You might think you own…

But you don’t in the mind of liberals, Democrats, the Supreme Court or the federal government.

The original concept of the United States under the Founders was that it would be a group of states mostly populated by yeoman farmers along with small scale business owners and service providers plus a handful of religious communities living pretty much their own lifestyles. Each man would be his own master, like a little lord. Most, if not all, adult males would own their own property or aspire to. Property owners had the exclusive right to vote in some places. It was kind of a “having skin in the game” approach.

In that construct, the individual is powerful. The individual has primacy. Government serves the individual and is devolved to the state or county level while minimalized at the federal level and when individual and government come into conflict, the individual should win out. The approach is to err on the side of the individual. In fact, local government would be made up of those individuals, rather than a faction of professional bureaucrats and politicians. That was the theory, anyway.

That was the theory, I should say. Of course no battle plan survives its first encounter with the enemy — just ask the farmers of western Pennsylvania, c. 1791.

Individual power has been eroding for centuries. One might start with the Whiskey Rebellion. It certainly took a turn for the worst with the Civil War. It’s been noted that it was there that the United “States” became the “United States,” that the agglomeration became the unitary; the needs and desires of the federal government overrode the powers of the individual states.

After a few post-Civil War decades, with some starts and stops with Teddy Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson restarted the centralizing machinery. Once Franklin Roosevelt was installed, the die was set.

We are no longer masters of our world. We are viewed as serving the government. We provide its room and board. We are subject to its interests. When the individual comes into conflict with the government, the government wins. The government has to win.

An irresistible government increases its power daily, hourly, all at the expense of individual liberty.

Land owners are no longer able to determine what they want to do with their land. Dozens of agencies (and third-party activists conducting lawfare) claw at the land owner, overseeing everything he does. Examining every detail: determining what can and can’t be built, grown, tended to, stored, modified, etc.; thwarting attempts to improve it, make it profitable. You don’t own your land. You might pay taxes on it but it is controlled by someone else. You can’t will it to someone without being relieved of a portion of it. In reality you’re really just a tenant. And you best behave or you could be forced to give up that land.

Businessmen find themselves filling out numerous forms at all levels of government; subject to diktats, licenses and inspections from all levels of government near and far concerning employees, finances, operation, practices, performance, materials, services and products. Erring even once can produce devastating, even fatal penalties though most of the encumbrances are niggling; rather of the parasite tick living off the host variety. But a hundred ticks can bring down even the strongest animal.

And government-empowered third-party activists find businesses to be a fruitful feeding ground.

This is not new. Thomas Jefferson wrote of King George III in the Declaration of Independence: “He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.”

It’s as true today as it was in 1776. Seemingly most everything in the Declaration of Independence is applicable in these times. Have we come full circle?

We are, in essence, now just fleeting passengers on the ship called United States. We occupy a room or two and when we pass away, someone else will occupy that space. We don’t own it, can’t will it to our children or chosen ones without the ship’s crew’s approval. Our ability to decorate it or make it ours is severely curtailed by the ship’s crew and even some of the louder, bossier, better organized passengers. We do not decide, they decide.

Or perhaps we occupy a location on a bench in the galley called United States. We galley slaves row our oar and as long as we row the government tolerates us and provides us with some food or “benefits.” Disrupt that routine and the eye of authority opens onto you. It does not blink and does not think twice about punishing you. You are its subject. Submit or be tossed overboard.

That we might own our own boat and go our own way, supporting ourselves and our family and friends without the big government ship or its crew is inconceivable to the galley master. “Why it would be chaos! Think of all those ships polluting the ocean, getting in the way, what would be the point? Think of all those galley slaves who don’t have a boat of their own — it just wouldn’t be fair. If not everyone can have a boat then no one can have a boat. And the boats must be equal, as well. No one can have a better boat, that wouldn’t be fair either.”

When King Barry famously said “You didn’t build that” he could have also said, “You don’t own that.” (For a little fun go to the Wiki page for ‘You didn’t build that’ and read all the sophistries trying to argue that Obama didn’t say what he, the greatest communicator evuh!, clearly said.)