Guest Contributor – Chemist – 02NOV2022 – Affirmative Action

In 2003, Sandra Day O’Conner (Herself, a beneficiary of affirmative action) cast the deciding vote in Grutter vs Bollinger and cemented racial discrimination as the law of the land.

In her ruling, she said “We expect that 25 years from now, the use of racial preferences will no longer be necessary.”

That is a mind-blowing statement coming from a Supreme Court Justice. To paraphrase: “This thing is constitutional now but won’t be in the future.” Talk about your living documents! Are there any other rights that fade in and out like that?

 

Now there is another case before the SCOTUS regarding AA.

Some of the back and forth looks really interesting:

Justice Thomas asked Ryan Park to describe the actual benefit of a diverse classroom.

Park responded that in studies involving stock trading results, “racially diverse groups of people … perform at a higher level.”

“The mechanism there is that it reduces groupthink and that people have longer and more sustained disagreement, and that leads to a more efficient outcome,” Park said.

Thomas responded, “I guess I don’t put much stock in that because I’ve heard similar arguments in favor of segregation, too.”

Boom!

And then there was this exchange between Waxman and Roberts: (Waxman is the lawyer defending Harvard’s racial discrimination policies.)

  1. WAXMAN: No, I know. I’m –I’m attempting to answer your question.

There is no doubt that for –as the testimony showed, that for applicants who are essentially so strong on multiple dimensions, so extraordinarily strong on multiple dimensions that they are sort of on the bubble, that they might –they have a real candidate for admission, African American –being African American or being Hispanic or in some instances being Asian American can provide one of many, many tips that will put you in.

CHIEF JUSTICE ROBERTS: Well, people say that, yes, but you will have to concede, if it provides one of many, that in some cases it will be determinative.

  1. WAXMAN: I do. I do concede that.

CHIEF JUSTICE ROBERTS: Okay. So we’re talking about race as a determining factor in admission to Harvard.

Kaboom!

 

Waxman tried to recover and said that “Race, for some highly qualified applicants can be the determinative factor, just as being, you know, an oboe player in a year in which the Harvard-Radcliffe orchestra needs an oboe player will be the tip,”

“We did not fight a Civil War about oboe players,” Roberts replied. “We did fight a Civil War to eliminate racial discrimination, and that’s why it’s a matter of considerable concern.”

 Atomic Boom!

 

It would seem that the 25 years Justice O’Conner was speaking of was not until society matured past the need for affirmative action (That will never happen as long as one group benefits at the expense of another.) but that it would take 25 years before we got a conservative majority on the Supreme Court.

It looks like it will be 19 years and not Sandy’s full 25.

Trump can mean tweet all he wants in return for this Supreme Court.

Guest Contributor – Chemist – Impeachment

Impeachment! Tie him up with impeachment trials. The democrats won’t vote to convict? Fine. Have another impeachment. Keep it going and bind his hands until he(Or is handlers) realize that this is all that will happen until he is replaced.
Things Slow Joe can be impeached for (Off the top of my head):

Not securing the border. This is a responsibility of the executive defined in the constitution. He is not doing his duty. It will be easy to prove and it will be fun watching the partisans voting no when the evidence is incontrovertible.

Influence peddling. Lets have fun with Hunter’s laptop. Let’s put it out there for everyone to see. Lets name and shame the people who sent money to Hunter so he can give 10% to “The big guy”.

Extortion. Joe admitted to forcing the Ukrainian government to fire a prosecutor who was investigating Hunter. Let’s put that on display and, while we are at it, show the truth of the Trump phone call to Ukraine.

That should keep us busy for the first year. I’m sure there is more.

Guest Contributor – Chemist – 01MAR2022 – Texas Primary Election Day

Today is primary day in Texas. (Or if you are a republican in my town, the only voting day that matters.)

While voting an older man and his elderly, wheelchair bound, father came in.

The older man was irate that he didn’t get an absentee ballot for his father like in years past.

“Last three years, the ballot comes in the mail. This year – nothing.”

The clerk replied that you now have to request the ballot.

The older man countered that “Dad doesn’t do computers. How is he supposed to request one?”

The clerk told him that he could call for one and the man said this was a pain.

 

I wanted to jump in and say:

“Yup. Another thing the democrats fucked up for everyone.

After the wholesale cheating in 2020 we had to change the laws which make it more difficult for everyone, so thank a Democrat!”

 

But I kept my mouth shut.

-Chemist

 

Guest Contributor – Chemist – America Loses Its Way

Frenchman Alexis de Tocqueville said, “America is great because America is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great!”
What does it mean to be good?

In my mind it means we are governed by Judeo / Christian values and we stick to the rules. We have a government of laws, not men and no man is above the law.

America was the place to take a chance, build a business, a family, a life because it was governed by laws. There were rules and the rules were enforced. In other countries you might labor and sacrifice for decades to build up a business, only to see the government nationalize it “For the greater good”. But America wasn’t like that. There were laws to protect you and a written Constitution to back up those laws. The constitution limited the power of the government. It was unheard of!
America allowed people to take risks and prosper and the risk takers, the winners, the entrepreneurs came here. They built companies and, in so doing, created wealth and prosperity for millions of other people.

Recently, however, America has changed. It is no longer “good”. Certain people are now above the law. Congress exempts itself from the laws it forces the rest of us to live under. Federal and local law enforcement agencies “Seize” money and property and innocent people have to prove they deserve it to get it back. The wealthy and connected go free. While the nation’s premier law enforcement agency hides evidence allowing the innocent to go to jail. The Clintons, Kennedys, Duponts, actors and celebrities never pay for their crimes.
One class of people is permitted to riot, burn and murder and they go free. Another class of people engages in a few hours of peaceful protest and they spend months in solitary confinement without a trial.

It used to be that each branch of government knew its limitations and would not dare to try and do something that was not specifically written in the constitution. Now we have an executive who has the attitude of “What are you going to do about it?” They create powers that don’t exist (Vaccination mandates) and ignore duties spelled out in the constitution (Enforce the boarders).

Entire cities have decided to stop enforcing property laws and allow wholesale theft from retail businesses. Then the cities are surprised when the businesses – the makers of prosperity – leave. Worse yet, they hurl epithets at them as they leave calling them “Greedy capitalists”. Yet who could blame them? They tried to play by the rules. The rules said they paid taxes and the city protected them from thieves. Now the city says; “No protection, but you still have to pay taxes”.

Who would build a business in a country where it can all be destroyed or stolen tomorrow and there is no recourse? Who would invest when the government is talking about taking your investments in the name of “Fairness” or “Equity”? Right now there are elected politicians who want to take your pension, IRA and 401K because other people don’t have one. Just last month, the current administration talked about “Taxing unrealized capital gains”. That means: If you buy stock or a home or anything and the value increases, you owe taxes on the increase in value. Even if you have not sold a share of stock or your home. the feds want their cut.
All of these ideas, as stupid as they sound, create uncertainty and that kills investment.

America is no longer good. In a misguided attempt to try to atone for wrongs that may have been done hundreds of years ago, some Americans are destroying everything it ever stood for. (Others are doing it out of sheer greed.) Our constitution is one of the greatest documents ever written and is the blueprint for a prosperous nation – a nation of laws. John Adams observed that “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” We are no longer moral. America is no longer good and unless we change it back, the future will not be pretty.

Guest Contributor – Chemist – Thoughts on Energy

In Reply to Energy Equates to Wealth

You are more correct than you know. The green revolution is powered by oil. Oil to make diesel fuel for the giant tractors and combines that plant and harvest the crops. Oil to make energy to make the fertilizers that turn marginal soils into high yield soils.
Without petroleum we would be poorer, hungrier and there would be fewer of us. Millions would have starved to death over the last 100 years that, instead, thrived due to petroleum.

If you want carbon free energy you have to look at nuclear. The greens may not like it, but its the only real solution if carbon is the problem. The newly designed modular reactors are incredibly safe and the Thorium cycle reactors are not only safe but do not use nor do they produce material that can be weaponized.
Ah, but: Nuclear bad! (Insert image of Frankenstein’s monster near a torch.) Its dangerous right? Deadly even! More Americans were killed when Biden abandoned Afghanistan than have died due to Nuclear power accidents in the US since the first reactor. That’s a pretty damned good safety record.

Solar? Its a boondoggle. Here is something they don’t talk about a lot wrt solar panels: They only last about 20 years. And the output drops every year. So if you are getting 5KW your first year you are getting about half that a decade later.
Oh, and its damned near impossible to recycle a solar panel.
Its been a lot of years since I did the math (College undergrad research project) but the last time I ran the numbers, it took more energy to make a solar panel that it ever generated in it’s lifetime. It turns out that it takes a crap ton of energy to make, purify and melt silicon. Who knew?

Wind? Another boondoggle. Look into disposing of damaged or end of life turbine blades. There’s a nightmare for you. And the vibrations from the turbine destroy the land they are mounted on to the degree that you can never put another turbine there. If you love nature, don’t look at the number of birds and bats killed by these things.

Geothermal? Maybe. I don’t know how many locations are suitable for it though.

If we could get past the fear of nuclear power, we could build a golden age with cheap, plentiful power and yes, make long chain molecules from water and CO2.

Who is 20BooksTo50K?

One of our readers here, Chemist, sent me this link in response to my link to Dave Freer’s post on sf short stories.  So I read it.

Turns out 20BooksTo50K is a a “community dedicated to helping authors with the business of writing.”  What could be wrong with that?  Well anyone who remembers the Puppy Wars over the Hugo nominations know that the scolds of science fiction would prefer to burn down their own awards rather than allow anyone who isn’t up on the current LGBTQ grovelling to get into the nominations.  so it surprises me not at all to hear that Puppy redux is happening at the Nebula awards over the nomination of several 20BooksTo50K authors.

Having been a strong supporter of the Puppy writers (in terms of buying their books), I’ll have to check the authors in 20BooksTo50K to see if any of them click with me.

So many books, so little lifetime left.

Thanks to Chemist for the heads up.