Archive for April, 2013

Glass Half Empty

April 17, 2013

I don’t usually think of myself as a glass-half-empty kind of guy. As staunch supporter of the rights guaranteed citizens by the US Constitution, I should be overjoyed that the Senate failed to pass their background check legislation today by a 6-vote margin. Still, I can’t help wondering how the forty-six Senators — who at some point took a solemn oath to uphold the constitution — took the position they did today. I wonder, what do the words “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed” mean to those oath takers?

The choice of the word infringed is interesting, don’t you think? It immediately brings to mind exactly this kind of nibbling at the edges, knowing they can’t get away with the whole slice at one go. I hope next election day, we can make the halls of Congress half-empty of those oath breakers.


Programming is Complete

April 13, 2013

Unintended Consequences

April 5, 2013

(Kudzu photo by Scott Ehardt)

Do you ever consider the history of unintended consequences? One instance that comes to mind for me, is the introduction of the mongoose into Hawaii. I served aboard the Fast Frigate USS Whipple in the ’70’s. The Whipple’s home port was Pearl Harbor. During that period, I learned about the introduction of the Indian Mongoose to the Hawaiian Islands in the 1880’s. The idea was to control rats that were proving to be pests on the sugar cane plantations. It sounded like a good idea. Others who had tried it before in Jamaica claimed it was a faultless plan. Trouble is, rats are nocturnal. The Indian Mongoose is not. The hungry mongoose does, however, like bird eggs. To this day, they endanger many bird species on the Islands. Rats are unabated.

Kudzu, a vining plant that was introduced from Japan into the United States at the Japanese pavilion in the 1876 Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia is now spreading at the rate of 150,000 acres annually, in the South. It grows fast, choking native vegetation.

Today, I was testing a power supply circuit that on its own worked well. But coupled with another power supply circuit on the same design, exhibited strange behavior on power-up. This interaction will require a fair amount of detailed study to explain. Whether the “fix” proves feasible, remains to be seen.

My point is that man is not as smart as he thinks himself. Unintended consequences abound. We all know examples. So why, does the majority think that the proper course of action is to eschew the wisdom of the ages. Why do so many think that big government programs to legislate every aspect of human life is the way to the ideal utopia?

Our forefathers knew from experience, that rule from an unfettered monarchy propagated an unending and unprofitable series of unexpected consequences upon the general populace. This is a lesson that has been trained out of the modern generation by educators who serve the powers that be. (They are paid by the government, remember.)

Maybe it’s time to start thinking about the “monarchy” in the U.S. We have been largely indoctrinated to believe that we could vote occasionally, and our freedoms would be preserved. But look. Are your elected officials doing what you think is good? Or are they simply serving themselves at your expense? Do they claim the Constitution is an outdated document? That Constitution is all that stands between you your serfdom. Will you wake up and defend it? Will you remember the prevalence of unintended conseqences?