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Thursday, July 28, 2016

The Revenge of the Kobayasha Maru!

 Posted without further comment.....

© 2016 by Tom King

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Cops Should Get Closer to The Communities They Protect

Clermont, Florida Bicycle Unit
© Clermont News Leader
A Better Law Enforcement Model?

The recent spate violence directed at cops is indicative of a real problem with how we conduct law enforcement in the United States. One liberaltarian pundit in the Huffing and Puffington Post recently suggested adopting the fire department model of policing - sit the officers in stations and only go out if someone calls for help. He seems to have forgotten that (1) while this guy wants citizens to defend themselves, he also periodically calls for cops to take everyone's guns away so they can't shoot bad guys while they are waiting for a squad car to mosey on over from the police station downtown. And (2) in the fire department model, the house is often pretty much burnt down by the time the fire department arrives. Not good when you're talking about crimes in progress.

Yet undeniably there is a rift going on between cops and citizens. Cops have their defenders and with good reason. Dig up YouTube videos about cops and you'll see plenty acting heroically, with kindness and compassion. You'll see a few jerks too, as in any representative group from any profession. Cops have always been like that. So why do relations between cops and the communities they serve seem to be worsening.

I blame the police cruiser for the citizen/cop divide. 

Don't get me wrong. The cop car is an essential tool in law enforcement, moving cops to crucial choke points in any crisis and helping them keep up with and apprehend criminals. It's just that, at one point, cops walked a "beat". His beat was his neighborhood. He often lived in that neighborhood neighbors thought of him as the neighborhood's personal cop. Citizens felt a kind of ownership of him. Also, by being on foot and walking the ground he was charged to defend, the cops knew more intimately what was going on in the neighborhood, they could head off problems more effectively AND they were more approachable by ordinary people. A cop on a bicycle or on foot is much more approachable and far less threatening. Once cops became ensconced in patrol cars, it became necessary for them to be constantly on the move (and apparently eating donuts).

This isolated cops from those they were assigned to protect and created a schism between citizens and police officers. In Tyler, Texas they once tried putting bicycle cops in neighborhoods. The project seemed successful and actually lowered crime. A lot of the guys I talked to in the program really liked living and working in their neighborhoods. But older more sedentary cops, used to having AC and riding around in cars insulated from the elements were against the idea, I supposed for fear lest the idea expand and force the rest of the patrol officers should have to suffer mounting their ample posteriors on those skinny little bicycle seats.

You could, of course, solve the problem of resistance to the idea making bicycle cops more highly-trained, more highly-paid elite officers with higher rank, more independence and trust and perhaps better tech and less paperwork than ordinary cops. You could use the squad car officers as backup based at local storefront police stations where they could enjoy their donuts and coffee in peace. Then the only cops driving around all day and burning expensive gasoline, would be traffic cops and you could put them on motorcycles for that job. We could save money and reforge alliances between cops and the communities they protect.

In Cleburne, Texas, near my old hometown, they tried a summer program where they put their young handsome officers on bicycles in shorts to cruise the area around the parks and schools. One bright PR guy made up collectible baseball-type cards with pictures of these young hunky cops and their stats to pass around the schools. The idea was that kids would recognize the officers and know the names of the cops patrolling their neighborhoods.

It was a really wonderful idea. The high school kids were a little disrespectful of the cards, as you would expect, but the elementary school kids ate it up. The young handsome cops also developed a loyal, if quiet, following among teenage girls in the neighborhood.

I think cops need to be closer to their communities rather than isolated from them because the nature of their job is so much more intimately involved with the public. Throw in some customer service training, some PMAB training, psychology courses, special weapons and tactics and martial arts skills training and you would crated a cadre of elite highly-skilled officers who approach the job from a protect and serve attitude and who, like SEAL teams, earn respect, not just from those they serve, but also from their fellow cops.  Along with that, you of course, have to bust cops who don't get it and keep falling back to the bully and intimidate model of law enforcement. But, with highly trained role models, I think it would work really well and lift the quality of law enforcement teams across the board.

Here's a great video of a cop friend of mine, Ralph Buckingham of Tyler, Texas PD taking skateboard instruction from skateboarders at the local skate park. This is the kind of close up work cops should be doing, building relationships with the people on their beat.  This is what I'm talking about.

Just one man's opinion,

© 2016 by Tom King

Friday, July 01, 2016

An Appeal To Global Cooling Deniers

The sun has gone blank - no sunspots
Astronomer Paul Dorian, an actual space scientist, says we may be headed for a new mini ice age as sun spots disappear from the face of the sun. Informed sources say that carbon emissions from Al Gore's private jet have leaked into space from the stratosphere and fallen into the sun, filling up the sunspots and making them disappear.~

For those of you congregated over double shot half-caff, mocha soy late's in a Rio Linda Starbucks, that was sarcasm bordering on satire.
Satire is not by the way bald-faced lying as some of you seem to think, but an obvious exaggeration with intent to ridicule, not for the purpose of masquerading as legitimate news  as is the practice of a disturbing number of fake news "satire" sites run by millenials who never read Jonathan Swift or Geoffrey Chaucer or Mark Twain in school, but drifted toward the National Enquirer and stories about aliens who advised President Clinton when he was president (which, given his record, just might be true enough).

Meanwhile, back to the threat of a new Ice Age: The only solution to save mankind from this new form of nuclear winter is, of course, global socialism.

My good friend Dave Degan, whom I've never heard of before until he came on a Facebook thread of mine to curse me for a stupid lout, objects to the very idea of sunspots as having anything to do with temperatures on Earth. The fact that he sweated through his Tommy Hilfigers one day last summer when his AC in his car broke down during his afternoon commute has apparently convinced him that tiny bipeds drinking beer and watching American football (as opposed to the real kind with the round ball and a distinct lack of scoring), can overcome the effects of an almost unimaginably large nuclear ball of fire equivalent to So the total energy output of the sun in one second could be equal to more than six trillion Hiroshima sized nuclear bombs per second.

So Dave shows up with this stunning bit of reasoning:

  • Yeah sun spots my a*se. Of course it would be nothing whatsoever to do with pollution clouds from the billions of oil burnt every day in our cars , plans, liners, power stations blotting out the sun's rays would it? No - never .
I, of course, am completely schooled by his overpowering display of massive intellect (again, sarcasm for the Rio Linda half-calf vanilla triple-ginseng espresso crowd). I did check Dave's numbers, though. He doesn't say billions of what - gallons, barrels of fuel we supposedly burn every day? Lets assume the smaller amount, gallons, which will give us a larger number to be fair to Dave. The world knocks back 94 million barrels of crude a day at current rates. You can make 19 gallons of gasoline from that or 12 gallons of diesel. Just to give Dave the biggest number possible, lets say all of it is made into gasoline. That gives us 1.7 billion gallons of gasoline.  That's billion, singular, not plural.  That said, less than half of crude oil is actually made into fuel. We'll assume it's all gas and not diesel to get Dave a bigger number. That works out to 850 million gallons of gasoline a day at the most. So the billions is not a good number unless you are measuring your gas consumption in pints. It's still a lot of gasoline, but not quite billions, although it does take billions to frighten people these day. Millions just doesn't have the power to terrify that it once did. Congress can burn through a million bucks during their mid-morning coffee break without even being on the floor for a vote.

That said, global cooling deniers never trouble themselves with accurate numbers anyway; only numbers which make the case for a global socialist government.

Actually, the sun's rays aren't being blotted out by power plants much these days either. Nuclear plants, for instance, produce no smoke, which is possibly part of the reason global cooling deniers are so against them. Coal fired plants have scrubbers installed which remove most of the carbon pollutants from the plant's smoky fires. Even cars have special attachments to remove the carbon pollution from their exhaust. As a result, on a clear day you can now see Los Angeles, something you couldn't do back in the 60s. You can thank my generation for that one, Dave. Most of the real smokey stuff is found in third world countries, but for some reason, global climate treaties never seem to address the problems in those countries. They only call for draconian measures in successful economies which tend to be capitalist, free market states. Not sure why?.~  (the .~ is a snark mark to indicate sarcasm for the humor-impaired).

Dave certainly has an inordinately high opinion of humanity's ability to affect the Earth's climate. Human pollution pales before the damage Mama Nature can wreak in just a weekend when she's feeling cranky. One active volcano can put out more soot and ash in a month than all the power plants in all the world can put out in a decade, darkening skies worldwide as Krakatoa, Santorini, Vesuvius and others did and as Mt. St. Helens tried to do more recently. 

Early settlers in the Midwest started putting out the great
prairie fires before they got too bad. For one thing all the
smoke made it hard to breathe and for another it killed stuff.
Did you know that it used to be, before humans started putting them out before they spread, that forest and prairie fires used to burn out of control in fires that consumed areas the size of midwestern states, pumping billions of tons of carbon into the atmosphere? Mother Nature for her own amusement used to smite the ground with lightning and burn up huge swaths of vegetation with that little trick - at least before humans started to intervene with their shovels, wet blankets, fire trucks and those pesky smoke jumpers.

I'm a little rain forest and I love me some CO2!
The trees and grass, as it turns out, used to love the extra CO2 that all that burning created. It seems the extra carbon dioxide makes the rain forests grow more thickly. Then, when the carbon dioxide is heavier in the atmosphere, all that new vegetation in turn produces more oxygen and it all balances out.

It amazes me at the arrogance of tiny little global warming alarmists who think that something we all can do will somehow overcome the effects of the sun. Wikipedia has this to say about the power of the sun. Located a mere 93 million miles away from our planet’s surface, the Sun is a thermonuclear fusion reaction. Good thing it’s that far away, since nuclear fusion involves temperatures in excess of 5700 °C, (and as high as 14 million °C in the case of earth’s sun). The sun continuously pelts the earth with 35,000 times the amount of energy required by all of us who now use electricity on the planet in our lifetimes.* Sunspots regulate the amount of energy escaping from the sun. More sunspots, more heat. Fewer sunspots, less heat. Right now, the sun has gone blank. Few or no sunspots! That means the old solar furnace is running cooler. Last time that happened this drastically was during the Maunder Minimum, an event that happened in the late 1600s to early 1700s. Ever noticed that not a lot happens in history during that time period. Everybody was huddled under blankets is why. It was freakin' cold! They called it the mini ice age and lots of people starved because the growing season was shortened.

A proper hive city.
What seems obvious (humans are making the planet warmer) to political hacks who need a good crisis like anthropogenic global warming to justify turning the human race into a massive insect-like collective so that their betters can rule over them effectively, turns out to be a load of balderdash. By stuffing us into hives, we'd leave the rest of the Earth free for nature to function unmolested, save for the dachas of the ruling elites who work so hard to make our lives all exactly alike and therefore "fair".

Given the political background of Marxist collectivism that these guys come from, one should not be surprised at the arrogance of the global climate change crowd. They somehow manages to count coup every time the weather changes whether it gets hotter, colder or in any way shifts no matter what their computer models have predicted. Remember the poles were supposed to be ice free by 2015. Instead, the polar ice caps are expanding. Apparently the sun decided we needed bigger ice caps and turned down the heat.

Snearing conjecture and appeals to sarcasm don't prove a point, not when those sunspots which Dave and his ilk so casually dismiss, but which seem to cause their collectivist sphincters to twitch for some reason, can raise or lower the output of that big ball of fire in the sky by literally millions of kilo-joules. Ultimately, the most we can do is adapt our farming methods, insulate our homes and try not to make big messes where we have our nests. I know that terrifies the control freaks among the progressive socialist intellectual elites, but it is true nonetheless. If the sun decides to play merry hob with us, there's nothing we can do to stop it except perhaps go to work to save ourselves. The idea of all that labor gives pseudo-intellectual elitists the heebie jeebies.

I'm not saying we should not clean up after ourselves. We've actually been doing that since long before the Marxists decided to use global warming fear mongering as a political tool to herd people into those human built worker's paradises they truly believe they are smart enough to make. So to all the Global Cooling Deniers out there, I appeal to you. Cut it out! And buy plenty of warm socks. You're going to need those when you travel to your next global warming conference.

The truth is that next to Nature and Nature's God, you guys are really tiny little fellows in a wide world after all.

And I've also noticed a lot of you have really small hands.

Just sayin'
© 2016 by Tom King

* From a Wikipedia article on the sun and sunspots and NASA data on the recent sunspot decrease.