That idea has been suggested to solve the world's aggression problems
for probably more years than either one of us have lived.
Only problem seems to be getting some agreement on how to implement
I noticed that. :) I decided to make agreement a non-problem by taking
the bit between my teeth and seeing if anyone would follow.
I also noticed that the "healthy family" part wasn't completely separate
from the "full belly" problem (not much rocket surgery there).
The "full belly" problem, when it actually /was/ a problem seemed to
resolve into a problem of having water in the wrong place - a concept
that crystallized for me when I heard a Minnesota farm neighbor talking
about recent heavy rains. "None or too much", he quipped - and so gave
me a flash of insight that extended well beyond rain.
That was 30 years ago, and by a really strange chain of events, I ended
up designing a cheap/simple/reliable engine/pump that can be powered
directly by sunshine - no gas, oil, or electricity needed. (The wreck's
Canukistani stirmeister provided some of the early encouragement and
It's working - not as well as I'd like, but it /is/ working. There's a
picture of the weird engine at the bottom of
and the really good news is my off-the-wall efforts have been joined in
the past month or so by a team of students in Pakistan and a very
capable researcher in France. Their work can be seen at
There's still much to be done, but I've been encouraged that (unlike the
cold fusion research) the present engine has been successfully
duplicated elsewhere - and it appears to be simple enough for people to
build and maintain for themselves.
Interestingly, two of these engines can be coupled together to make a
heat pump for cooling/refrigeration. There's a bit about that tucked
into the web page at
I'm hoping the pump will help irrigate the crops to fill more bellies
and so help families to be healthier - and maybe, just maybe, help
reduce some of that desperation.
Anyone who'd like to join in is welcome.
Well done, Morris! ... and while you should be commended for both the
hard work and altruism, it's a damned shame that there are more and more
folks who would prefer that you do the work and then provide them with
the fruits of *your* labor, gratis.
Thanks but I haven't really worked all that hard - and I work to serve
my own ends at least as much as others'.
My work, if it can be called work, is to provide a sense of the
/Possible/ to folks who can use that.
Since it can't be bought or sold, it pretty much has to be a gift.
On Mon, 13 Apr 2009 05:50:10 -0500, Swingman wrote:
And therein lies the problem. You're doing a good job Morris, but there
will always be people like the ones described above. And the fanatics
who think killing _____________ will get them a ticket to paradise.
Intelligence is an experiment that failed - G. B. Shaw
That's true, and it's worth considering whether, why, how, and by whom
their activities are supported - because a fanatic without a support
context is just another shouter.
The fanatics feed on perceived unfairness, injustice, and dishonesty -
and accumulate power when they succeed at inducing others to resonate
with their outrage.
The rest of us have, as I see it, these options:
 We can ignore, either by conscious choice or by choosing to not
inform ourselves, what's happening in the world around us.
 We can act to suppress any and all destabilizing influences.
 We can examine the situation and attempt to reveal truth, ensure
fairness, and provide justice.
The first is the usual option. The second is generally the knee-jerk
response when the first option is removed. The third is the most
expensive and least comfortable option.
Yes, I suppose there'll always be fanatics. Some of 'em will simply be
crazies - but it's probably worth noticing that at least some will be
people acting to provoke the third kind of response.
I'm inclined toward finding criminally insane all of those who believe
that any kind of paradise can be achieved through murder.
The 9/11 perps weren't bloated belly, starving folks. On the contrary,
they seemed to be well educated, some of which education led to their
actions. The British bus bombers had a fairly good life situation other
than being led down the Islamic fundamentalist religious path...
Very true - and it's worth noting that although religious extremism pops
up in many guises, its most common threads appear to be the fear and
desperation that result from the inability to find a path from yesterday
Studies that take out inner-city gang violence indicate that violence is
no worse than it has ever been. So the question to be asking is why
inner-city violence has increased in the past decades. One question to aid
that inquiry is to ask what locations have been most subjected to removing
individual responsibility and substituting dependency upon government
handouts. When one is being taken care of by others, it reduces motivation
and self-respect. When you look at what the war on poverty has done to
inner city families, it is both tragic and criminal.
If you're going to be dumb, you better be tough
Uh, I don't think you can find a case where the hungry, the destitute, the
deprived of all hope, has, as a group, taken up arms to better their
It takes weapons, planning, and leadership to wage a war. But more
importantly, it takes calories. Despots don't retain power by providing a
society of plenty; they remain in control by making the populace weak. Weak
in spirit and in body.
"Only the hard and strong may call themselves Spartans. Only the hard. Only
The day in which it is possible to annihilate villages full of women and
children because some bad guys are based there is probably passed, at least
for America. So while this idea would probably be quite successful it isn't
about to happen. What might be effective is the use of Q-ships such as the
British invented in WWI. An assortment of helpless-looking commercial
vessels, yachts etc. concealing Special Forces teams augmented with some
heavier metal would result in pirate vessels never returning home and with
no explanation being apparent. The element of uncertainty would be
Of course so long as Somalia is a hell-hole with no effective government and
famine, disease etc. being commonplace then there will be no shortage of men
willing to risk all for almost unimaginable fortunes by their reckoning.
The one thing I find disturbing in all this is that the neo-cons have
been whining for years that liberals are soft on everything. I saw a
post on one of the other message boards yesterday that said:
"The last time we had a US President with the balls to face
followed by a link to an article, no doubt about Jefferson
and the Barbary pirates, and nothing else.
So, let me see if I have this straight:
Who ordered the SEALs in? The battalion commander?
The captain of the ship carrying them? Southern Command?
No, I'm guessing an overt military act like that pretty much
had to come from the Commander in Chief, just like in Jefferson's
day. I guess the implication is pretty clear, Obama does have balls,
and he deserves as much credit for it as Jefferson gets.
According to news reports Obama twice authorized the military to use deadly
force to resolve the situation, but no way will you see Obamaphobes giving
him credit for that. If it had gone wrong and Capt. Phillips had been
killed it would be a different story, then they'd be blaming Obama every
hour on the hour, but since it was successful the President is out of the
equation so far as they're concerned. This is what we've come to,
hyper-partisanship to the point of absurdity.
So if I'm wrong you should have no problem pointing me to those folks who
would normally crawl over broken glass for a chance to slam Obama but who
have given him credit for making the right call on this occasion.
Correct, I'm not. I have no problem criticizing the Obama administration
when it screws up, e.g. their incredibly idiotic proposal for making wounded
veterans use their own private health insurance to pay for their medical
care. That was one of the worst plans ever to come out of Washington, the
home planet for bad plans, the only bright spot is they quickly dropped it
when even their own party treated it with the contempt it deserved. However
unlike some folks I'm also prepared to give them credit when they get it
right, that's the difference.
I visited the College of the Redwoods fine woodworking campus last week. I
think I saw some future stars in their formative years--very cool place.
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