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

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!

Nyet! Neutrality!

The underlying principle behind “Net Neutrality” would also bar Disneyland or Kings Island from selling “fast passes.” It’s just not fuh-fuh-fair that some people can afford, and are willing to pay for, cooler stuff than I can. This analogy is super apt. You don’t “need” to watch NetFlix or display your virtues on FaceBook any more than you “need” to ride The Beast or Space Mountain. History is replete with examples of the tragedy of the commons, usually leading to depletion of resources, deforestation, and starvation. Today’s lefties would inflict similar damages to net freedom.

We witness it almost everyday on the socialist road system. When there is no apparent cost to enter and max out your consumption, people will enter when they wish and max out their consumption — getting the goods before their greedy neighbors catch on. With toll roads and net freedom, people will assess the costs of their consumption without the assurance that casual users are subsidizing their cherished hobbies, and actually think about the cost of their goods and maybe consider alternatives to peak use periods.

171216

update 171222:  correspondent EA ignores my point and enquires after my empathy. Then she wishes for me to experience the soul crushing anguish, apparently, of waiting on line and seeing those who can afford the fast pass blow by me and my family. Unfortunately for her presumed designs on my misery, I was actually there at the time and it didn’t bother me in the least. I knew the deal going in, and I hope I took it like a grown up. I don’t recall my daughter’s reaction at the time; it seems to me she was just mainly delighted to be there. EA goes on to opine that those who do hold such perks are “spoiled brats” endowed by their “parents’ inheritance” or their ability to “thrive off… minimum-wager[s.]”

Based on her broad sneers at “the rich,” correspondent TE expresses grave concerns about the ideological environment in which EA raises her children and wonders what this might portend for their future lives. This apparently makes him a “Neo-Nazi”, or likened thereto (EA), or at least “discourteous” per correspondent ML.

Gentle Gene scratches his head and ponders that one.

Correspondent EA goes on to warn us that without the protections of “Net Neutrality”, we face as much net access as North Koreans.
Correspondent GP warns that without government oversight, service providers will price us all out of the market. Correspondent RW points out that competition will work against such fantastic monopoly scenarios. GP steps up her objections to net freedom by citing examples of “corporate” insiders paying off legislators and regulators. I thank both EA and GP for their concessions in re state control and regulatory capture.
Correspondent BA wonders whether government should treat the net as a “public utility” and correspondent ML points out that the net was created by the government, and is therefore still the property of government and therefore in its proper sphere of control.

I’m willing to concede that FedGov got there first. But it is in the nature of techno-geeks that they’re going to play with their toys. Propelled by the twin advantages of plunder funding and suffocating regulations for the rest of us it is not a surprise that Leviathan wins again. So what? Since darpa-net, thousands of additional servers and millions of man-hours have been devoted to it and it has grown well beyond the nursery. More private hours and private resources have been devoted to develop what we know as the net today and what we may not yet imagine for the future than was initiated in Al Gore’s garage.

I’m even willing to concede that early growth took place over cable systems that were controlled by government enfranchised monopolies. Again, so what? Despite its corrupt origins it is still private property. Throughout history rights in real property have been created by homesteading and development and negotiation. To suggest that all the results belong to those who only planted the seed is to ignore the years of skull-sweat, tedium, and toil that went into our present good fortune. (That was also the excuse of the Ante Bellum slave-master and the East German border-guard.)

“Net Neutrality” was a cruel hoax that helped to solidify the positions of entrenched insiders (as all regulations do). It was a response to a problem that didn’t exist, and the horror stories that attended its demise will soon fade from memory.

update 171224:  I thought that was a fitting ending, above, but correspondent ML invites me to a more thorough discussion of the issues in a less vituperative environment, and challenges me to address “the disconnect”, though he declines to clarify what that might be.

I respond — Not to worry, after four decades and more of advocating peace, freedom, and personal sovereignty, I am well accustomed to being belittled, berated, and reviled. So far, my delicate little feelings seem to remain uninjured.
This latest crop of invective (spoiled, stupid, disingenuous, lacking empathy, magic, and Neo-Nazi) seems fairly tame. Well, okeh, I guess throwing “Neo-Nazi” was a little nasty, and so far has been neither recanted nor renounced. I’ll wait.
Meanwhile, Happy Xmas and Shalom!

update 171226:  For the record and to his credit, correspondent ML apologizes for “magic”, stands on “disingenuous” and attempts to mitigate EA’s “Neo-Nazi” remark with a weak “he started it” defense. Also for the record, I still love ML and EA, but so far only respect, admire, and enjoy TE (as we’re mostly strangers). Upon reflection, I think maybe TE believes now that he should have known better. Warning parents about the physical, moral, or ideological dangers they expose their children to rarely works out well. I believe his intentions were benign, and I expect that if he didn’t recognize the petit gaff himself, then Mrs Colonel Potter has clued him in.

Yeah, I support the troops. I’d rather not…

..but the alternative is prison.
There’s a big chunk of support taken out of my every paycheck, and it is long past tiresome.
I find it particularly annoying to still be supporting such filth as Robert Bales and Nidal Hassan. If it were all I ever had to pay again I’d cheerfully kick in for two last bullets.
Although you can recycle rope, so I shouldn’t be so hasty.
190309

* * * * * Warning * * * * *


If you’ve got no time for arrogant smug Grammar Nazis who think they’re better than you because they speak English, you might want to skip this section.  The emotions get the most raw here because the sense of betrayal is so deep.  Language was supposed to be a way of connecting and directing.  Instead, people spout outrageously contradictory nonsense, or, worse yet, use slang. Slang was created to disguise one’s meaning, so outsiders didn’t know you were talking about sodomy or heroin or some other proscribed pastime. 

Language includes.  Slang excludes.  Language reveals.  Slang conceals.

Like Andrew Jackson, I think it reflects poorly on an intellect if one can think of only a single way to spell a word.  Nevertheless, if you’re a brilliant engineer or administrator with gravy on your tie, people will not be focusing on your brilliance.

I Understand Why HR Won’t Touch Me

It makes perfect sense. Who’d want to work with a productive, efficient, resourceful asshole when he could be carrying a charming and affable parasite through every shift?
190309

“They call me… Mister Lad!”

I don’t hide my excitement when it comes to super-heroic fantasy, particularly my beloved Legion of Super-Heroes. As rumors abound about the portents of an anticipated Bendis Book, questions arise about the likely venue, tone, or composition. Since 1958 the LSH has undergone many transitions, but it has generally been an optimistic story about righteousness vanquishing evil (until the next issue), leavened with enough teen angst to make it relateable to its target audience.

The talk lately on the message boards has been what to do about Matter-Eater Lad (nee Tenzil Kem). Should we redefine his powers or alter his backstory or give him an edgy new name like The Masticator or Devourex?

Edgy names and edgy characters have been way overdone. Unlike many fanboys, most Legionnaires are too self-assured of their own identities and tribal allegiance to trip the light iconoclastic. I adore Mark Waid (second only to The Levitz Himself, and possibly me, Lethargy Lad, in canonical scholarship), but his Edgie Legion of the Naughties (except for the presence of Supergirl) may have been the nadir of their run.

ABSOLUTELY bring back Tenz, do not modify his powers, and call him Matter-Eater Lad. Even if he’s drawn to look like a fifty or eighty year old ex-President of Bismoll, call him LAD!
Or Garbage Gut. We could live with Garbage Gut.
190305

My father doesn’t think much of me…


Now, that’s not to say that he dislikes or disrespects me. I just don’t think I cross his mind all that often. I love him and respect him and all, but we’re not pals. We are very different people.
He’s an affable joiner, I’m a troubled loner.
He’s a successful entrepreneur, I’m a low wage drone.
He’s a Born Again Christian, I’m an Atheist Materialist.
He’s a “conservative” and occasionally libertarian Republican, I’m a xenophilic anarchist (and a gay liberal republican).
Of course, we’re both successful breeders (thrice each) and divorced and remarried, though I’m more divorced than he is, but not by much.
140417

Organized Child Abuse

Leftie hysterics assured us that if President Trump were to install Betsy deVos as Secretary of Education that she would destroy public education in America. If only. Two years in and the nightmare of organized child abuse (a.k.a. “public education”) continues to terrorize and warp the minds of the helpless. Leftists can’t seem to keep their promises.

But let’s give Mrs deVos some credit. Her new educational tax credit plan would allow those of us who are presently sickened by our involuntary support for tyranny, murder, and graft to divert some of our stolen money from President Bushbama’s friends at Halliburton and Solyndra to help out Jean and the Kids at the Freedom School.

Let the shrieking commence.
190302