Friday, 28 February 2014

De-Growth Strategy?

The Daily Caller put up some article.....over environmentalists pushing some new strategy....de-grow.

Basically....in dealing with global warming and overpopulation.....this group of environmentalists at the New Economics Foundation (London) and Worldwatch Institute (DC)....are pushing this nifty idea.  Cut the forty-hour work week....consume less.....burn less power....live life less (my term, not theirs).

The guy writing the article.....says...."Think of it like camping, but for the rest of your life".

Naturally, all of this would require regulations....because people just won't listen to reason....so we are told.  Changing the tax code?  Well....yeah....because folks won't sign up, unless it's too painful to do otherwise.

So, I sat and pondered over this.

These are university certified people.....given some wit and wisdom by some professor.  They hired themselves onto a focus organization....that pays them to think like this.  If you hang around the right people.....day after day.....you get to some point of believing in things.

If you were with the Lucky Charms crowd.....working at the factory.....maybe after a while, you'd believe in Lucky Charms, Irish mythical characters, leprechauns, rainbow magic, and curses.

If you were with the Loch Ness tourism crowd.....you'd be thinking sea monsters twenty-four hours a day, looking at a big poster over your bed of Nessie as the sun rose each morning, and dreaming of a thousand ways to tell a good story over a dragon myth that came up a thousand years ago and got sent off by some Catholic priest.

So I turn back to this group who wrote this de-size or de-growth concept.

These are people who tend to sit in focus groups and chat on sustainable growth versus unsustainable growth.  They probably have never worked a day in their lives, and get some kind of paycheck from a foundation.  The foundation?  Well.....it usually has some kind of agenda that is best not discussed in public unless it’s by their agents of public statement.

To make this all simple. Anyone who thinks they’ve got the magic wand, the Holy Grail of control over business, the alchemy of economics, the enchantment of society hope and change, the sorcery of Fed manipulation to save America, and the voodoo of environmentalism to stop that terrible carbon stuff (pretend it’s pollution and it’ll freak out the savages in the village)....then they’d best start looking for a new line of work.

De-growth doesn’t work at the muffler shop. De-growth doesn’t work at Pizza Hut. De-growth has no application to beer distribution efforts or Montana ranch operations. De-growth isn’t an element of NCAA bowl choices or gimmicks. De-growth isn’t something that the NFL would use, or Delta Airlines, or Apple. I frankly can’t see de-growth being applied to Disney World, the Vikings of Minnesota, or Texas State Fairs.

Maybe CNN could use this de-growth gimmick....just grow small enough....that they disappear. Maybe in that sense....we need it.

Camping?  For the rest of my life?  I'd like to invite these guys....come on....let's do a one-year deployment to some hillside of the Appalachian Mountains.  Let's set up one or two TVs in our camp of twenty tents.  You get three over-the-air channels....no cable.  Internet?  We can allow five connections in the camp.....but now will be more than 56k, and forget about streaming video, watching Breaking Badly, or downloading a new zombie game.

Food in the camp?  No burgers, pizza or Mexican.  You grow what you need.....sip pure mountain water, with a spoon of sugar or lemon added for extra taste.

Toilet paper?  We'll help find the right size of leaves, and just rub till there's nothing back there.

Pens?  Forget about it....just number two lead pencils.

Entertainment?  As sun goes down....we will embrace, sing some James Taylor tunes, a hit or two from Steely Dan, and run through the Lady GaGa stuff.

Electricity?  Whatever our solar generator pulls down....that's it.  Need more?  Well...suck it up and just live like happy campers.

University knowledge?  Well....this is the best thing about camping...all that vast knowledge that professor So-V-So gave you on environmental stuff....isn't necessary when camping in life.  You need raw basic skills.  Forget statistics, data management, micro whatever, and French literature from 1888.  If you know something about septic tanks, skinning critters, and handling rabies.....it'd be a good skill to have.

I gave thanks to the almighty....for helping these poor folks find some foundation....that pays them something for nothing.  At least they aren't on a governmental payroll, or managing things down at my Piggly Wiggly, or running the local pub.

My humble view.

The Inside Story on Ukraine

As you sit and watch CNN....sadly because it's the only newswork left that does significant coverage of international events.....you ask yourself several questions over Ukraine....which CNN won't be asking or discussing.

So, this country of the Ukraine....just how big is it?  Well....forty-five million.  Size-wise?  It's Texas.  Yeah, it's kinda big.  Think of it as Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, Mississippi, and Louisiana combined.

So, if they were to split into two....would this make sense?

Well, this is where CNN usually drifts off with some foundation dimwit who is a PhD-kinda guy.

Spliting into two equal chunks?  Consider first....only seventeen percent of the forty-five million folks....are of Russians (more than they consider themselves Ukrainians).  The only area with prodiminetly Russian folks?  The far eastern side of the country....which they tend to refer to as the Crimea.

There's this interesting history to the Crimea.  The Crimea is this small chunk of land....hanging off into the Black Sea.  Size-wise?  It's like Louisiana.

Back in the mid-1800s....French and England waged this silly war against the Czar of Russia.....which was mostly to help their great friend and alley of the Middle East....The Sultan of Ottoman Empire.

The Sultan felt....if he could control the Crimea region....then things would be great for the Ottoman folks.  At the time....the Russians kept their vast fleet (nothing to really brag about)....there at the Crimea ports, and for Britain and France....it made sense to contain the Russians.

On the logical side of life....this was a war about nothing important for France or England.....other than waging war.

These battles over the Crimea?  Well....you wouldn't really remember them, or say much....except then it all comes back.....Alfred Tennyson would write the epic poem of the Charge of the Light Brigade.  A couple of years would pass.....and Rudyard Kipling would write The Last of the Light Brigade.  For literature fans and historians.....the battles over the Crimea are epic moments like Shiloh and Gettysburg.

The end result of this war?  It came to a conclusion.....no winner....no loser....just dead men. The Russians would lose around 140,000.  The French.....around 100,000 (although half of them were from disease).  The British?  Around six thousand died from the fighting....but they had an additional sixteen thousand men who died from disease.

For fifty years....things are kinda peaceful....until World War I.  The Germans have this fancy idea of taking this entire region.  They were successful....but as the Czar's government fell and peace talks discussed with the new Communist folks.....the Crimea was turned into a free-state.  This was a luxury of sorts....the Soviets ended up dominating them anyway.

By 1941....the Germans had returned....and took the Crimea once again.  WW II ended up with the Soviet government having the Crimea bundled up, and packaged into Ukraine.  The Ukrainians will argue about this detail....but it's a Soviet project from the 1950s on....to be forcibly connected to the Ukraine.

This small chunk of property Russian in nature?  Well....I wouldn't really sit around and say that with the Crimea folks.  They are Crimean in nature....somewhat more friendly with Russians than Ukrainians.  It might serve their purpose right now to pretend to be Russian....but the fact....bluntly....it's Crimean in nature (not Russian).

The break-up possibility?  I'll go beyond the foundation expert on CNN....it's precisely one-hundred percent.  Nothing will stop that.  The idea of a fifty-fifty split in the Ukraine?  No.  This little chunk of the Crimea will shuffle back and be its own boss.  So figure around twenty to twenty-five percent of the Crimea region will fall into this gimmick.

So now....onto an amusing part of this whole ethnic discussion.

You see.....from this forty-five million population of the Ukraine (including the Crimea).....there's roughly fifty-five different nationalities and ethnic groups.  Yeah....a literal melting pot.  There's the Afro-Ukrainian guys (Africans who came and studied at the university, then stayed on), then the Albanians-Ukrainians.

There's the Alt Danzig folks (the German settlement from late 1700s).

There's the Armenians-Ukrainians, Azerbaijanis-Ukrainians, the Ukrainian-Bessarabian Bulgarians, and the Black Sea Ukrainian-Germans (a second totally separate group of Germans).

There's the Ukrainian-Bulgarians, and the Ukrainian-Chukchi folks (a religious group who believes everything has a holy spirit....to include trees, grass, goats, etc....the Soviets really hated these guys).

There's the Ukrainian-Crimean Goths (believed to be a bunch of deeply religious German folks who came over two thousand years ago and stayed.....and you notice these three-thousand-odd folks by their Scandinavian-like appearance).

There's the Ukrainian Crimean Tatars....who are identified as half-Russian, half-Greek, half-Turk, and half-Italian.  Yeah, they kinda mingle amongst themselves, or so they say.

There's the Ukrainian-Crymy folks.....who kinda related to the Romanians....but oddly enough....mostly Sunni-Muslim.

Then you got the Ukrainian-Dregovich crowd.....who are mostly a Slav tribe in nature, and their history goes back at least a thousand years.

There's the Ukrainian-Drevlyans folks.....who are another Slavic tribe.....but noted in history as mostly folks who live in the woods.  Some history folks will say that nothing much has been said for the last eight hundred years on this society, but in numbers....they probably amount to something.

There's the Ukrainian-Gagauz folks.  World-wide....there's supposed to be roughly 200,000 of them.....but only 31,000 in the Ukraine.  Their key feature?  They are mostly Christian in nature, and pretty devoted to the Bible.

The Ukrainian-Goryuns?  The best that anyone can say is that they are a sub-sub-sub group of Russians....who really won't claim Russian status....just that they descended from the Russians.

Then you got the Ukrainian-Hungarians, the Ukrainian-Hutsuls, the Ukrainian-Italians, the Ukrainian-Crimean Karaites (who consider themselves non-Jew Jews.....yeah, go figure that one).

I could go on with the last twenty odd groups....but you get the picture.

To make this group of forty-five million Ukrainians fit.....you have to be pretty broad-minded on laws, religion, culture, respectful of family and neighborhood differences, fit the law into developing circumstances, and just kinda overlook the oddball nature of neighbors, friends, and associates.

So, for this Russian group to stand up and say how the Crimea is so special, and they need their own homeland....well, there's fifty other groups, and we could sub-divide the whole of the Ukraine up into a number of countries.....none able to really manage affairs or conduct business.  So, it'd make more sense....economically....to just let things develop as one country.

As the CNN expert tells you the story in sixty seconds.....you can kinda figure....it's just not that simple.  And for that matter.....we'd best just look from the distance and not try to spend fourteen hours getting to be experts on the Ukraine.