The Greigh Area…

..seems to be a silly banner for an extremist’s platform.  I’m not really all that much into ethical nuance, and am best described as logistically flexible yet ideologically rigid.  What follows is a matter of opinion and conjecture, couched artistically in third person pretense, and is all plausibly deniable.

Mild-mannered Gene Greigh, polymath, mad genius, and idiot savant, is a failure as a husband (two former arch nemeses to testify), a failure as a scientist, a failure as an engineer, and a failure as an actor.

Before toying with literary failure, he has previously fought and continues to fight evil, injustice, and ennui as the mighty Lethargy Lad, editor and publisher of Piracy Press.  He has come to save the world, and to destroy the F’eral Reserve, as Rector of Matthew 6:6 Ministries, and as the General Cashier of The Confederate Mint.

He is the author of the counter-factual historical novel West of ’89, and is presently working on a hard science fiction piece masquerading as a horror-fantasy;  a political pot-boiler featuring Lady MacBubba and RomneyCare 3.0;  an outer space adventure ranging from the slopes of Mauna Kea to Nix Olympica;  plus a soul-searing, senses-shattering, silver-plated historio-economic treatise starring the Mercury Dime and the Swiss Franc.  Watch for:

Strangler Spruce, Premium Control Team, Higher Aina,
and Strictly Minimum

for a detailed peek at the world of West of ’89 see my display case at https://www.deviantart.com/genegreigh

Gene Greigh is a writer and an actor and therefore considers the English language to be both his tool kit and his toy box. He does not censor himself, but as an artist, he edits his work and disdains the gratuitous.

Reader caution is advised.
180115

Predictions, in re Notre Dame

  1. The Cathedral of “Our Lady” will be rebuilt to almost exact specifications, as it has been extensively photographed.
  2. The costs of reconstruction will be borne mainly by millions of Catholics worldwide who will dig deeper into their hearts than sometimes their pockets will suggest, and by millions of the French, theist or not, who will give every sou they can to reclaim a piece of the glory of La Francaise. Millions of other contributors will pony up, cheerfully and willfully, believers and non-believers alike, as they cherish the achievements of art, architecture, and Western Civilization.
  3. The French and Parisian governments will make this project more difficult, more expensive, and more time consuming than necessary.
    190416

Monopoly Power (020412)

What governments do that is forbidden to all other entities is to use force to assert its will. An ethical government will use its power only defensively: to protect its borders, to protect the value of its currency, to protect the rights of innocents.

Human rights are not a gift from a loving god, nor are they a privilege granted by a benevolent government. Human rights are an invention of human intelligence, and exist for those who recognize and respect them. They are assumed by default at birth and are preserved by adherence to certain principles. (Children do not yet understand this, but can be taught. It is the responsibility of parents to provide a moral upbringing for their children. Some children are raised improperly, or never grow up, and some are mistreated, but in the absence of overwhelming evidence of neglect or abuse, children are the responsibility of their parents.)

Human rights are retained by those who respect them. When someone commits theft he shows a lack of respect for property, and society may justly require remuneration in the form of restitution or labor. When someone kidnaps or detains without just cause, he demonstrates a lack of respect for freedom, and society may justly deprive him of his freedom. When someone kills another maliciously or gratuitously, he makes clear that he has no respect for human life, and may well forfeit his own.

A free society will never deprive a person of his rights, but a just law may act in response when, by misbehavior, a person surrenders his rights. The principle is codified in our Constitution in the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments, each stating that no one shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law.

ANY behavior which is not coercive or fraudulent would be permitted in a free society. As a Member of Congress, I will NEVER act in opposition to these principles.

The most awesome and dangerous power of the Congress is the authority to declare war. Having served in the United States Air Force, and having placed myself voluntarily under the discretion of the Congress and my Commander-in-Chief, I do not take this prospect lightly.

Waging war against an aggressor comes closest to looking like a conflict between respect for human rights and the needs of national survival, but any perceived conflict is fictitious. Whether the example is Dresden or Hiroshima, the question of civilian casualties must weigh heavily on the minds of military defenders. When an enemy uses hostages as shields against retaliation they are already lost. The aggressor always bears the moral burden of placing innocents in harm’s way. A free society has the right to defend itself. Collateral damage is certainly a tragedy, but it is not, in and of itself, a crime.

update 180424: Collateral damage is ALWAYS a crime, but whose crime remains a relevant question. No defender has a duty to die, so aggressors retain culpability for innocent losses.

Many mystics and statists insist that atheists and anarchists CAN’T believe in rights because we don’t recognize their respective alleged grantors. Nonsense! Just as Kepler and Copernicus could build a rigorous astronomy on the observations of astrologers, just as Lavoisier and Priestley could found modern chemistry on the bones of alchemy, we can abstract a rational theory of rights.  (Ethics without religion is like astronomy without horoscopes.)

Rights are those expected reciprocal protocols of behavior — respect for person, property, prerogative, and precedence — that history has demonstrated lead to societies with the greatest degrees of liberty, security, prosperity, and longevity. It is proper to describe rights as being “violated” insofar as respect for rights is a reasonable expectation, and a breech of such an expectation would be contrary to the customs of that society. If you live in a civil society, you reasonably expect certain rights by virtue of that society’s existence.

Though calling them “rights” may have been an unfortunate misappellation. It seems to connote righteousness, moralism, and mysticism. But it’ll do.

I don’t know how I ever managed to type “ethical government” in the first place, but, recreating this file from notes, I had to rely on my “reportorial integrity” to get me through it.

The Beginning of Wisdom

Insofar as it has been said that to call things by their proper names is the beginning of wisdom, I find it laudatory (and not just as a reformed terrorist myself — Strategic Air Command, 1977-1979) that our State Department has seen fit to designate Iran’s “Revolutionary Guard” as a terror organization.

It is fitting. Just like SAC‘s, the IRGC’s mission is to bolster the allies and destabilize the adversaries of its sponsor government. Though I never got in on any of the actual killing myself, I am well aware that the presence of US jets in foreign skies evoked memories among many of the bombings and strafings that my cadre inflicted on the people and jungles of Southeast Asia.

In light of this new candor in government, can we look forward to more honesty? May we now refer to the deep state as The Occupation, the legislature as interfering buttinskies, the President as Puppet-in-Chief, and the IRS as a band of thieves?
190406

All Are Flawed, All Are Fallen

This is especially true of Rector Lawrence, who is very very bad at Christmas and Birthdays.

Correspondent DD asks if I remember that a very important birthday is impending, coinciding with the Highest and Holiest Day of the Sustainably Resourced Order of Dirt Worshippers (a.k.a. “Earth Day”).

Forgetting is rarely my problem. When it comes to Holy Days like Christmas, Passover, and Birth Days, I am paralyzed with indecision. Is this card appropriate? Is it too serious? Too light? Would this garment or gaud be suitable for such a relationship? Shall I succeed in presenting the pleasant surprise, or yield to persistent suspicion and confess my bitter secret? And when I do fail (no, not “if”, I’m long past that optimistic delusion), will the alleged helpmates help me to understand and grow or broadcast my failures and their disappointments to the world?

Just because I’m not the best singer in the world, should I sing anyway? People who love me AND love music tell me I should NOT sing. Maybe when you’re really bad at something you should give serious consideration to NOT doing it.

After years of sprinting to miss the bus (I write both literally and metaphorically here), I realized that I could achieve 100% of the benefit with only a fraction of the effort. I mosey now instead of sprint. I still miss “the bus” (usually I’m about an hour late and a nickel short), but this way I’m not as tired, or sweaty, or upset about it.

By way of moseying I have achieved a mostly comfortable life and mostly satisfactory relationships. The other corners of my present tribe are not calendar fetishists either. Of course I was not so free when I had small children in the house. They were my spawn and therefore my responsibility to rear them in a loving environment, including acknowledging the dates that THEY cared about. Unfortunately, that also included MY birthday and (worse yet) “Fathers’ Day.” Somehow, I had to be delighted by spending my money and inconveniencing me.
I know I can’t get the time back, but I wouldn’t mind the cash.
190407

A Covenant with Covetry

Correspondent DB recently scored the uber-coolest issue of Adventure Comics, number 300, featuring the beginning of 81 consecutive issues of “Tales of the Legion of Super-Heroes” before they bowed out in deference to fellow Legionnaire Supergirl. I’ve read (and have) the story in reprinted version, so I don’t necessarily “need” that particular issue myself. But still…
It is such a plum.

I’d say I envied him if the stupid dictionary didn’t insist that I had to resent him first, and I’d say I was jealous if I thought that it was actually my property. So… sigh…

I admire the choices he made to come to this point in his life, and I aspire to acquire such cool things as he just did.

Sigh…
You’d think it would be easier to just say “envy.”
Or “covet.” Is “covet” still benign and wholesome? Or have the self-loathing scolds at Lexicon Central corrupted that one, too?
190407

Featured above: The beginning of the Legion’s run in Adventure in 1962, and who followed their demise in 1969. Okeh, “demise” might be an overstatement. In fact the features swapped spots and the Legion was squeezed into the back of Action Comics, to later sputter out and precipitate the first Great Drought. Cover art by (left) Curt Swan & George Klein and (right) Curt Swan & Neal Adams. Adventure Comics, Sunboy, Saturn Girl, Cosmic Boy, Superboy, Lightning Lad, Triplicate Girl, Mon-El. Superman, Supergirl, and That All-Girl Gang are the works and properties of Detective Comics and Warner Communications. Used without permission. Constitutes free advertisement on DC’s behalf at the expense of Piracy Press and Greigh Area Associates.

Living in the Voting Age

Speaker Pelosi’s proposal to extend the franchise to 16-year-olds has superficial merit even as it is deeply and fundamentally flawed.

It’s true that at 16 today a person is as likely to be aware of the latest in politics and have the same access to data as any 60-year-old, making us all as well informed as we are willing to be. Many at 16 and younger work and pay taxes, and the notion of “taxation without representation” is considered to be anathema to American traditions.

So why stop at 16? I’d much rather spend time with a 14 year old adult than a 40 year old child. People mature at different rates, and while many people at 16 or 19 lack the life experience or maturity to properly evaluate their vast body of knowledge, others are more capable. Voting is an awesome responsibility, often literally involving life and death questions, and age, as an arbitrary compromise, is a poor measure of maturity.

While neither a Democrat (in the sense of Cleveland, Carter, or Clinton) nor a democrat (in the sense of Marat, Marx, or Mao), I recognize that democracy is America’s national religion and I will address those predilections. Rather than the magic numbers of 16 or 18 or 21, I would repeal the 26th Amendment altogether and instead define other criteria: Citizenship (naturalized or “birthright” is a separate argument not relevant to this one), literacy in English (or the personal charm or financial wherewithal to coax or hire interpreters and advisors), and documented evidence of net tax-payer status (call it your “voter card” which you renew every decade perhaps, and surrender to get food stamps.)

For millennia, Jewish boys would declare on their 13th birthday that, “Today, I am a man.” They meant it and their families and communities believed it and they expected these newly minted men to act accordingly and mostly they did. “Teenagers” are a recent invention, the residue of capitalism and technology, but their minds have been stunted by decades of infantilization perpetrated by government schools and the welfare state.
190319

“Commuter Crunch” (981204, Honolulu Advertiser)

setup 190202: I’m cheap, so I don’t regularly patronize the papers I pester. Hence, I don’t know whether a lot of what I send out ever sees print. I expect much of it does not, though I can’t imagine why. The Honolulu (Star Bulletin, r.i.p.) Advertiser was flown fresh every morning to the neighbor islands, so I was abreast of events downtown.

The most effective solutions to Oahu’s traffic dilemma have been left out of the debate. Neither light rail nor additional traffic lanes will adequately alleviate congestion.

Socialized transportation, through Federal interference and state regulation, is the author of Oahu’s commuter crunch. More of the same will simply aggravate the problem. Subsidized mass transport is not a bargain and highways are not free, but to consumers they feel that way. Because there are no highway entrance fees, drivers have no incentive to conserve them. If we perceive something to be free we will use it and use it and use it up.

The Libertarian solution is the free market solution. If new traffic lanes are needed, let the private sector build them. Tolls, adjusted for vehicle weight and peak use, remind us that the system isn’t free. This will promote car-pooling, trip consolidation, and mass transit. Second, complete deregulation: If TheBus can support itself on ridership alone, so be it, but let it compete freely with taxis, vans, or Rent-a-Bikes.

Finally, no more Federal funding. Our Democratic delegation is quick to take credit for delivering pork, but they seem to forget that every Federal dollar comes with a multitude of strings attached.

update 190203: Having departed the islands about a decade ago, I’ve lost touch with the ground transportation market. I expect it’s about as bad as I remember, though Uber et al may have brought some relief. My brother and I lived in Catlin Park, across the highway from the Honolulu International Airport. One day we had just missed the bus, and were looking forward to a wait. Soon a cab pulled up and propositioned us. We began to demur but he pointed out, “You can wait one houah and pay da bus one quahtapiece, or I take you Ala Moana fo’ dollah.” Singin’ Truckdriver and I looked at each other, nodded, and climbed in. Even in 1970 a buck for a cab ride from Catlin Park to Ala Moana was a bargain, even if a fourteen and eleven year old getting into a stranger’s car may not be so advisable. But “Larry” was no predator, just a motormouth hack with an empty seat on his way downtown who could afford to give a break to a captive audience. And even if he were up to no good, we outnumbered him, I was big and articulate (and cocky) for my age, and we were both good at identifying weapons within arms’ reach. So no huhu. We go wikiwiki downtown and plenty time for shop and catch bus home.

Concealed Carry (190316)

Marching to a familiar drummer, correspondent DL (“Concealed carry… is frightening”) is taken in by the logical fallacy of the seen versus the unseen.

It is certainly apt to consider what eventual consequences may follow Governor Blevins’ signing Kentucky’s new concealed carry measure. If some future Kentuckian misjudges or otherwise misbehaves and misuses a firearm it will be known, and DL’s misgivings will be vindicated. On the other hand, when a lone jogger elects to flash iron at would-be predators, we’re unlikely to hear about it. In many jurisdictions what she has done is illegal, so she’s probably not spreading the news. And the punks who decided that rape was not such a good idea after all? Cowards and punks and posers are uniformly disinclined to signal their true colors, so the good news goes unreported.

War Criminals, part 190311

Representative Tulsi Gabbard declines to parrot the party line that “Bashar al-Assad is a war criminal.”:
If MI-5 and HaMossad could only persuade their underlings at Langley to convince El Donaldo that Assad is gassing villagers (“again”), just when it is least tactically helpful (again), and most strategically damaging (again), maybe he’ll murder more Syrian janitors (again).
That’d show her!