Star Trick: Where No
Scientist Has Gone Before
Sam Aurelius Milam III
We're told that the Earth orbits around the Sun at about 70,000 mph, and that the radius of its orbit is about 9 light-minutes. We're told that the Sun orbits around the center-of-mass of the galaxy at about 500,000 mph, and that the radius of its orbit is about 30,000 light-years. However, that's in conflict with the inverse relationship between orbital speed and orbital radius. The larger the orbital radius, the smaller the orbital speed. The smaller the orbital radius, the higher the orbital speed. So, the Sun, with an orbital radius of about 176,400 trillion miles, should have a much slower orbital speed than the Earth, which has an orbital radius of only 93 million miles. Yet we're told that the Sun is traveling about 7 times faster than the Earth.
Granted, I don't have any idea how the galaxy could be modeled as a single object around which the Sun is orbiting but, even so, the Sun seems to me to be traveling way to fast to be in orbit. On the contrary, it seems to be well beyond escape velocity. It seems to me that the Sun, at its alleged speed, should be leaving the galaxy far behind, receding away into intergalactic space, and taking us along with it, far beyond the galactic rim. If the scientists have correctly reported the orbital parameters of the Earth and the Sun, as noted herein, then I suggest that there's something seriously wrong with their understanding of things.
Actually, those orbital parameters are just more examples of the peculiarities that make me wonder how spiral galaxies can exist at all. See A Really Scary Theory, in the January 2015 issue. Regarding the puzzle of spiral galaxies in general, here's an idea. Maybe spiral galaxies don't form on their own, and can't exist independently. Maybe every spiral galaxy in existence is merely a super accretion disk around a supermassive black hole. Now that's a really scary theory.
As usual, see my essay Cosmology and the Law of Parsimony. It's available in Pharos
Letters to the Editor
Hope all is well with you. I love what you are doing! Much respect. I've enclosed some more stamps for you. I'd send you more if I could, but I'm embarrassed to say I'm on government assistance as is. Anyway, if you could send a copy of your August newsletter to [name withheld], I would very much appreciate it. She'll be turning 13 this [date withheld] and I think she might find your articles intriguing. Besides, perhaps it will do her some good to hear another perspective besides her mother's. Unfortunately, her mother has not allowed me to see her or even speak to her on the telephone since she was about 5 years old. (In direct violation of the court order that was supposed to grant me bi-weekly visitation and telephone calls.) I tried bringing the mother to family court, but that backfired miserably with the judge ordering me to pay my ex-wife's attorney fees in the amount of $2,500 within ONE month of the trial date, or go to jail. I sent the attorney a check for $500 which was all I could afford. He sent the check back and after a month the police picked me up from my job and took me to jail. On top of that I lost my job. Now my child support was getting backed up and I still owed the $2,500 in attorney fees to my ex-wife's prick attorney. Needless to say, at that point I had no option but to flee [location withheld], which is kind of how I ended up here in San Francisco of all places. I couldn't reside in [location withheld] with the police constantly harassing me, pulling me over all the time, and going to jail. Apparently my ex-wife's father has friends in law enforcement in the little hick town I lived in. Anyway, I've been desperately trying to get in contact with my daughter now since she was about 5 years old, to no avail. She has been systematically estranged from me by her mother, with the assistance of law enforcement, family court, her family, social services, and every other agency that has aided my ex-wife in stripping away from me my rights as a father. There is no doubt in my mind that there is certainly an agenda in America to make the father of the household an obsolete relic of the past. It seems to me, with the father out of the way, the state is more easily able to control the family as they see fit. I'm sure my daughter is being taken care of fine physically, but God do I fear the kind of crap they're putting into her head! As always,
|thank you Sam, for everything you do. Keep
fighting the good fight!
—B. S., San Francisco, California
First, here's a language lesson. If a neighbor drops by, it's a visit. If an angel appears, it's a visitation. The courts don't grant rights. They grant privileges. So, we get visiting privileges, not visitation rights. See Milam's Dictionary of Distinctions, Differences, and Other Odds and Ends, in The Sovereign's Library.
We live in a feminist police state. The gender prejudice was well described in a short piece, Patriarchy or Matriarchy?, that I reprinted in the September 1994 issue. Nothing has improved since then. You might also be interested in my short story Lady’s Man. It’s available in my personal website. Family court is women's court. Try to avoid it.
I have a daughter that I haven't seen since June 14, 1991. You can read that story in my memoir Lorita Ann Taylor, in Pharos. The short version is that the mother blocked my access to my daughter. Over the years, I've known of several men who were similarly restricted, and who couldn't defeat the restrictions. Sometimes their efforts only caused resentment in the children. Whatever we do, our daughters will still turn into women. It's possible that your best move is to just move on.
... Anywho, in reading your July Frontiersman, in "Rethinking Replacement", you say, "when we select a machine, we should choose ...the brand who has the fewest changes...." That made me think about the Jeep Cherokee 3.0, it's the only vehicle that made no changes to its engine and drive chain from 1984 to 1999, 15 years of perfection, a vehicle that with minimal maintenance, ran for 3 to 5 hundred K miles. I think Jeep changed their policy to the "seven year rule" or something similar because the Jeep replaced the Cherokee 3.0 with the "Liberty", a piece of shit that didn't last long. Every replacement afterward are "seven year" vehicles. No more vehicles that last forever. Sam, remember back when vehicles ran forever, and when they did require fixing all that was required was a few tools, a beer, and a shade tree?
In your "Survivors" article, you mention 37 minutes into the documentary after the blast, there were flies on the dead sheep. What is the point you were trying to make? Do flies plant their larvae in the skin while the sheep are alive?
You have a copy of "Bikini Atoll, 1946" Could you send me a copy?
Anyway, arthritis is kicking my ass. I'm glad you fixed your A.C. Stay cool.
Bye for now.
—S. H., a prisoner
Back in the 1960’s, replacement parts for new Volkswagen models were retrofittable. That is, they could be used on earlier models as well as the current model. Also, the cars could often be easily repaired. I could remove the entire engine from my 1961 VW sedan in about 15 minutes. Many years earlier, according to a family legend, possibly apocryphal, the transmission in my grandfather's car failed during a road trip. He coasted to a stop alongside of the road, removed the transmission, repaired it, reinstalled it, and continued his trip. Whether the story's true or not, excessively complex designs aren't necessary. When you're buying something, I suggest that you ask for the simplest one that's available.
In Survivors, I was only noting that flies survived an event that was deadly to mammals. Maybe flies will inherit the Earth. The documentary is a video. Does the prison allow you to receive videos? If so, then I can copy it onto a DVD. It's also available for streaming from The Sovereign's Library.
My air conditioner is still working. A man that I know who works in a maintenance department for a chain of hotels says that it's beyond its intended useful lifetime. It might fail soon but, for now, it's working.
Frontiersman, here's a bit of history that schools don't teach our kids, in the 1800's, before the discovery of oil everyone had to burn whale oil lamps for light in their homes. But then in 1859, came word of an amazing event in Titusville, Penn where locals for years had tried but failed to pump a goop called "rock oil" out of the ground. Finally, somehow they had done it. A test bore hit a vein, and oil was flowing.
Henry Rogers had seen all of the money that could be made on whale oil lubricants in the factory built by Thomas Nye's uncle. He figured this new stuff coming up out of the ground in Penn could be something as well, he wanted to process what came out, and he built the first oil refinery, and it turned out kerosene for lamps and other devices, and although he may have not known it at the time, but he was putting the first nails in the coffin of the whaling industry, the last whaler headed out from port in 1927, and you know the rest of the story.
—Howie in the Max
The story continues. It isn't necessarily a bad thing for us to kill a whale or to drill an oil well. Every animal on the planet takes
|what it needs, wherever it finds it, to survive.
Regardless of how much we might like to delude ourselves, we're not much
different from those other animals. We take what we need, wherever
we find it. We want to survive, too.
Admittedly, we could behave more responsibly but, even so, the harm that we're doing to the planet isn't caused only by the nature of our behavior but also by its magnitude. There are almost 8 billion of us on the planet now, and bad behavior that might be tolerable when a few people are involved might be disastrous when almost 8 billion people are involved. As recently as a century or so ago, we might have been able to limit the size of our population, and to do so with some degree of grace and dignity. It seems to me that we've lost that opportunity. I expect that the size of our population is going to be substantially reduced, probably soon, and probably by circumstances that are beyond our control. It isn't likely to be graceful but maybe we can at least salvage a little of our dignity. Maybe not. As Paul Harvey used to say, that's the rest of the story.
The next message was sent to me on a Post-it, stuck to a book of stamps.
My small match to assist in your battle against the darkness.
—R. O., a prisoner
Thank you for the stamps. I'll use them against the darkness.
Fiction by Sam Aurelius Milam III
Nobody knew. Nobody could have known. There wasn't any way for anybody to know. There still isn't.
All of those stories. Near death experiences. Somebody looking down at his body from above. Guiding angels, and a light at the end of a tunnel. All wrong. All wishful fantasies. Nobody knew. People who learned the truth, billions of them, never had any way to send it back.
For me, it started with me laying on my back, looking at the ceiling. Edna was frantic and calling somebody on the telephone. Next thing, there were firemen hovering in my vision, looking grim. Edna was crying. One of the firemen reached down and pulled my eyes closed. Why the hell did he do that? Why the hell couldn't I open them again?
I couldn't see anymore, but I could still hear. They were talking about me like I wasn't there. I started to get scared. They were making arrangements to take me somewhere. Hospital? I couldn't be sure.
I couldn't see who it was, but some people lifted me onto something and it felt like I was being wheeled away somewhere. I was lifted again, heard a thud, and began rocking back and forth. Hell, I was in some kind of a vehicle. I didn't hear a siren. If they were taking me to a hospital, then there should have been a siren.
I got moved again, placed on a cold table, not a bed. Why? Then motion, smooth and horizontal, and a thud. Then, it got cold. There weren't any sounds. I stayed that way for what seemed like a long time.
Eventually, there was motion again, smooth and horizontal, like before. Then I was lifted onto another cold surface. Terror! Horrible pain! It felt like I was being cut into little pieces. Through my terror, I could hear a calm voice talking about what he was doing. Looking back, it was an autopsy. I felt every cut of the blade. He cut me into little pieces, and then sewed me closed again. Through it all, I couldn't move, couldn't scream, nothing. I was moved again, back into that cold, quiet place. By then, I'd figured out that I was dead.
I was moved again. People touched me in various ways, cleaning me I suppose. I felt fabric. I decided that I was being dressed. After that, I went into some kind of an enclosure. I could guess that by the change in the quality of the sound. More motion, like a car, maybe. Then normal sound again, soft music and people talking quietly. I recognized it. I was at a memorial service, a funeral parlor. Damn! Well, at least somebody showed up.
After that, my box was moved around for a while, then a downward motion. Then the sound of dirt falling on the top of it. After that, it got really, really quiet.
I don't know how long it's been. There isn't any way to judge the passage of time. I can't see. It's utterly quiet. The temperature never changes. I can't feel around because I can't move. You think an autopsy is painful? Try being buried forever. I've become insane many times, and regained my sanity out of sheer boredom. Many times. Countless times. My life didn't flash before my eyes when I died but I've remembered it millions of times, from beginning to end, since then. Lately, that's getting harder to do. The memories are getting harder to find. Maybe I'm fading. Eventually, even with metal coffins and embalming fluid, eventually, my body has to decay. I'm hoping that eternal life was another fantasy, hoping that I'll fade away with my body. There isn't any other way out. Might have been easier in the old days, with no preservatives and just wood boxes. Well, probably not easier, but at least it wouldn't have lasted so long.
Damn, I wish that I'd specified cremation.
My thanks to the following: El Dorado Bob; Betty; The Voluntaryist, Box 275, Gramling, South Carolina 29348; Robert, of Stockton, California; and Brett, of San Francisco, California.
Signs of Getting Older
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— Sam Aurelius Milam III, editor