atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,

#2322: I'm ready to predict the politics of the next two years now.

I sincerely hope that I'm wrong, but having given a lot of thought to the recent history of the GOP and its reaction to the TEA parties, I don't see how I can be.

#1: GOP wins big this November. I don't think I need to argue the point; the writing is on the wall. But we won't have a veto-proof majority, particularly not in the Senate. (I don't know that we'll get the Senate, anyway. A plurality--50-51 seats--is probably the height of the pile; people rarely vote out their Senators.)

#2: Come January 2011, the new GOP ongressmen start to implement the desires of the voters. The mainstream media starts the incessant drumbeat of calling them big meanie mean-heads. The "older and wiser" career politicians on our side refuse to help the newly-elected politicians make good on their campaign promises. Democrats stand up and complain that this is exactly what we warned you would happen. Very little of the Obama agenda is repealed. (ObamaCare remains on the books.) There will be some small legislative victories; the Bush tax cuts might be extended but Obama will veto that bill, and anyway there will be no spending cuts whatsoever. Big deficits continue forever.

#3: By election season 2012 the GOP has once again been marginalized. Obama wins a second term; the jury's still out on whether or not the Democrats seize control of Congress again. Certainly the GOP's margin will erode, though.

On the plus side, it keeps Obama from implementing any more of his radical agenda, at least before 2013. On the minus side, it doesn't roll back the march of socialism one whit. Big deficits and high taxes continue until the economic system of the US collapses, none of which will do anyone any good--not us, not the ruling class, no one.

Why am I so pessimistic, you may ask? Simple: I've seen how the GOP does things. The leadership of the GOP doesn't like the conservative wing; it doesn't like Sarah Palin and it doesn't like the TEA party candidates. It doesn't like smaller government any more than Democrats do; the GOP leadership is "Democrat Lite" and they like it that way.
Sure, the GOP doesn't win elections, but who cares? Members of the GOP leadership--while they don't have a lot of political power--still get their perks and they get to go to the parties and be "on the inside". That's the important part: they get to remain in the "ruling class". As long as they have their fingers in the pie, who cares about the minor details? What's important is making sure the Democrats can't just go hog wild; after all, they're basically all right--they just have a tendency to get carried away and try to do too much at once. You can't just up and change things; you need to lead into them gradually, and give people time to adjust.
...that's the same mindset which drove the GOP into the ashpit in the 1970s, by the way, back when everyone was certain the USSR was going to win the Cold War and all we could do was try to hold out as long as possible and then get peace with dignity when we couldn't. GACK.

That mindset is why we had Nixon and Ford. And then got Carter.

The country can ill afford any of that. The economy is tottering on the edge of an abyss, creaking ominously; we face some very real and dangerous threats from countries hostile to us; and the people who would be our masters think they're just not explaining themselves adequately as they continue to try to ram their socialist agenda down our throats. And the party which is supposed to oppose them is, instead, worried about whether or not the press likes them.

* * *

Whenever I hear about an "earthlike" world orbiting a relatively close star, if it's within about 100 light years, I check out the particulars of the star.

Michael McCollum's Astrogator's Handbook has been invaluable for my own SF efforts. I finally broke down and bought the deluxe version in the 3-ring binder (in 2002 I think) and I have never, never ever regretted it. If you write hard SF and any of your stories take place in this neck of the woods, you need this.

...anyway, I checked out the star in the story, Gliese 581. It's a dwarf M5 star, and it's luminosity is 0.22% of the sun's. Okay? It's less than a quarter of a percent as bright as our star is.

An M-class star is pretty dim. The spectral classes go O B A F G K M, with "M" being the coolest and "O" being the hottest. This new world orbiting Gliese 581 has a "year" that's 37 days long; that's how close it has to be to have approximately terrestrial temperatures on its surface.

It's also larger than Earth is, so its surface gravity is probably higher; it's probably no fun to go jogging there.

But it meets all the qualifications for a life-bearing world; now all we have to do is figure out how to get there. Maybe we can make some friends.

Considering the planet's higher surface gravity, though, I wouldn't recommend a friendly arm-wrestling contest.

* * *

Come to think of it, that's almost exactly the kind of world that Vulcan is (in Star Trek). That's why the entire notion of a black vulcan is absurd: you don't need melanin if you evolved on a world that orbits a red dwarf. "SPF 1" is enough sunblock to prevent sunburn on a world like that.

Eh? Oh: if it were the case that dark skin helps dissipate heat faster, all Vulcans (or at least the majority) should be more-or-less as dark as Tuvok was. Vulcan is hotter than Earth. But we've seen--what--one black Vulcan?

Look: humans have color variations because we have highly varied climates on Earth. It's very hot at the equator and very cold at the poles.

As I recall, Vulcan isn't like that; it's pretty uniformly hot all over because of its relative proximity to its primary. But as its primary is a red star, the UV output is going to be negligible compared with Earth's, and melanin is mainly a defense against UV. So there shouldn't be any black Vulcans. (In fact, they ought to be albinos.)

Yeah, that's just patriarchal, phallocentric, racist science. It doesn't care about political correctness.

* * *

The Anchoress remembers how the mainstream media continuously talked down the economy during the Bush years. Now the media is desperately trying to talk up the economy and finding that an uphill battle.

* * *

Free pron! Okay, it's actually a bra site for "plus sized" women. All the models are hot and curvy and busty. If your puberty included looking at the womens' underwear section of the Sears catalogue, though, it's like going home again. Except these are women, not emaciated girls who look like 12-year-olds.

I don't remember where I saw the ad. It was a sidebar ad, and the woman in the picture fit my image of the ideal woman to 85%. Clicking it led me there, though.

* * *

The installation of the trailer hitch on the Jeep smells a bit--not all the bolts have washers, for one thing--but I can fix that. I was intending to take each bolt out and slather it with anti-seize, anyway; when I do I'll just toss on washers.

Actually, the hitch is supposed to be under, not over, the exhaust hanger plate, so I'll probably just drop the thing and reinstall it. I don't care; what I care about is that I didn't have to screw around with rusty-ass seized bolts!

* * *

Tomorrow Mom's got two doc appointments. No late-night cleaning binges for me tonight! I need to sleep.

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