Sam Aurelius Milam III
I believe that the 9/11 attacks were planned and executed by members of a secret agency or coalition within the U.S. government. People who believe as I do are often derided as conspiracy theorists. The use of the term is intended to promote the idea that, since we're conspiracy theorists, we're fools, and our opinions aren't worthy of consideration.
The people who scoff and sneer at us believe that the 9/11 attacks were planned and executed by Muslims. They believe that the Muslims planned the attacks in secret. Well, isn't that a conspiracy? You bet it is. So, the scoffers who ridicule people like me for being conspiracy theorists are, themselves, conspiracy theorists.
The implication is that, if it's a conspiracy of Muslims, then it's okay to call it a conspiracy, and being a conspiracy theorist is patriotic but, if it’s a conspiracy of Americans, then calling it a conspiracy is treason, and being a conspiracy theorist is foolish. Here's the difference. Some conspiracy theorists (them) are hypocrites, and other conspiracy theorists (us) are not.
Sam Aurelius Milam III
I found this in Wikipedia.
If the light that we see today left those galaxies 13 billion years ago, when the universe was only a billion years old, then the galaxies couldn't possibly have been 13 billion light years away from here when the light left them. Here's why.
If the Big Bang really happened then, even travelling at the speed of light, nothing could have travelled more than a billion light years from the point of origin during the first billion years of the universe. If the universe was only a billion years old when the light left those galaxies, then they couldn't possibly have been 13 billion light-years away from anywhere. The universe wasn't that big yet. They couldn't have been more than 2 billion light-years away from anything. If the universe was only a billion years old when the light left those galaxies, 13 billion years ago, then that light would be long gone by now. So, if the Big Bang theory is correct, then we can't possibly be seeing those galaxies as they were, where they were, 13 billion years ago.
The logically necessary conclusions are that the Big Bang didn't happen, the universe isn't expanding, and the view hasn't changed much. The galaxies are still approximately where they were, 13 billion years ago. We're seeing galaxies that were 13 billion light years away, 13 billion years ago, when the light left them. We're seeing them the way that they were and where they were, when the light left them.
I expect that the scientists will trot out some harebrained yarn about why it took 13 billion years for the light to travel a billion light years, and why we're now seeing those galaxies the way that they'll look 12 billion years after the light left them. There'll be some warped aether theory, complete with multidimensional portals and gravitational vortices. Scientists are good at that kind of nonsensical complexity. It confuses people, enhances the scientists' egos, and promotes their job security.
Here's the thing. Even in science, simplicity is a great virtue but, among scientists, it seems to be a lost art. In fact, the universe is very different from what the scientists are telling us. See Cosmology and the Law of Parsimony. It's available in Pharos.
Smitten With Embarrassment Department
Sam Aurelius Milam III
After a good many years of using cable TV, I recently switched back to using an antenna. Most people will wonder why. The only advantage that they might perceive is one of cost. I didn't keep a strict account, but I expect that the project probably cost about the same as a month or so of the cable bill. After that, it's free. So, cost is, indeed, an advantage.
Many people will bemoan the smaller number of channels that are available with an antenna. There is that disadvantage. I never tried to count the number of cable channels that were available, but the channel numbers went up into the thousands. I doubt if there's anybody on the entire planet who needs that many channels. I never watched more than about six of them. Using my antenna, I get about 8 to about 24 channels, depending on conditions. I don't watch more than about six of them. When I made the change to antenna, I lost a few good channels. I regret the loss, but I'm getting by without them. It's more likely now that I'll turn on the television and find that there isn't anything on that I want to watch. That's okay. There are a lot of other things that I can do besides watch television.
Another disadvantage of using an antenna is that the signal strength varies according to conditions. However, that turned out to be educational. It brought to my attention a disadvantage of digital broadcasting, as compared to analog broadcasting, of which I'd previously been unaware. For a large part of my life, I watched programs that were broadcast using analog technology. With analog broadcasts, a weak signal is still usable. The picture might be faint or fuzzy, but you can still watch the program. A weak digital signal is useless. It's either a screen full of colored squares, a blank screen, or, more likely, a false message announcing "no signal". The message is false because there is a signal. It's just a weak signal. With analog, you can still watch the program. A weak analog program is preferable to a missing digital program, and vastly preferable to a digital program that keeps switching on and off, throughout the program.
The change also brought to my attention a disadvantage of the present channel selection system. Previously, back during the days of analog broadcasting, I could just select a channel and watch the program. If there wasn't a station broadcasting on that channel, then it wasn't a problem. I could just select a different channel. Things were a lot simpler back then. See my article Ding-a-Ling Design, in the November 2017 issue.
By the way, on Tuesday, May 21, 2019, Dingaling II, the kitchen timer mentioned in Ding-a-Ling Design, broke. I couldn't fix it. Thus, its useful operating life ended after about 52 years, a remarkable achievement in an age of forced obsolescence. On Friday, May 24, 2019, I acquired Dingaling III, a simple, spring-driven kitchen timer, similar to Dingaling II. Sometimes, simplicity can still be found.
Anyway, selecting channels today is unnecessarily complicated. I can't just select a channel. I have to run a channel setup procedure first. That procedure scans, looking for channels, as if I'm not smart enough to find them for myself. It makes a list, inside of the television. The television refuses to show any channel that isn't in its list, even if the channel is available and I manually type in the channel number. In fact, the television will refuse to show any channels at all until I run the channel setup procedure. I can't manually add an antenna channel number to the list. I'm required to use the channel setup procedure. The same thing is true for video machines as for televisions. Maybe it's an anti-antenna conspiracy within the cable establishment. Maybe it's just stupidity, of which there seems to be an abundance.
Indeed, the designers who established the channel setup procedure must have been nitwits. When I run the procedure, predictably, it misses a few of the weaker signals. It doesn't add those channel numbers to the list. The next time that I run the procedure, it misses a different few of the weaker signals. If it would just add missing numbers each time, then that wouldn't be so bad. I could run the procedure several times and accumulate a complete list of available channels. The nitwits didn't design it that way. Each time that I run the procedure, it erases the previous list and starts over from scratch. So, I never get a complete list. The whole idea of requiring a channel setup procedure is stupid. It should be optional. I should be able to just select a channel. Given that they made the procedure mandatory, they should at least have made it work correctly.
It's even worse than that. My antenna is pointed toward Atlanta. So, I have Atlanta channel numbers in my list. If I was to rotate the antenna toward Athens, then my TV
It should be easy to design land mines to be self-disarming, after some period of time. Something as simple as battery-powered arming devices might work. Batteries eventually run down. Of course, in this age of excess technological complexity, it would inevitably be more complicated than that, but it should still be feasible. Instead, land mines are designed to be permanently active, killing or mutilating the families and livestock of impoverished farmers who're trying to survive in the aftermath of one stupid war or another. The designers of the land mines ought to all be sent out into the mine fields, after each war, to clear their unexploded land mines. If they knew that they were going to have to do that, then they'd think of better designs.
Back to antennas. One advantage of using an antenna, instead of cable TV, is the lack of an account. I don't have to notify anybody, sign up for anything, or provide any information. There isn't a service provider who knows who I am, where I live, what channels I like, what shows I watch, or when I watch them. I don't need a bank account or a Social Security number. Nobody checks my background.
Yet another advantage follows from the fact that my antenna is a passive device. It doesn't broadcast. It doesn't send any signals at all. It only receives. Thus, I'm completely invisible to the broadcasters. They don't have any clue that I'm watching their programs, where I live, or even that I exist.
What about video on demand? I don't need such a service. I have more than 1500 videos, Beta, VHS, and DVD. See the pictures. Since I mentioned Beta and VHS, I'll digress again.
Beta and VHS aren't obsolete. They're alternatives. It was the marketing persuaders who told us otherwise. They did that to manipulate us into throwing our entire collections of videocassettes and VCR's into the landfills, and buying whole new collections of DVD's and DVD players. The benefit to us, as customers, was minimal, if there was any benefit at all, which is a matter of opinion. The benefit to the marketers was huge. In The Hidden Persuaders, © 1957, Vance Packard commented, in Chapter 16, "The drive to create psychological obsolescence by the double-barreled strategy of (1) making the public style-conscious, and then (2) switching styles, began extending in 1956 to all sorts of home appliances." That was more than 60 years ago. The techniques of manipulation are as insidious now as they were then, and the people are just as gullible.
1500 videos is probably more than I'll be able to watch for the rest of
my life. There are videos in the collection that I haven't even watched
yet and others that I don't even remember from the titles. If I want
to watch something that isn't in my collection, then I'll buy it.
Some people will object that they don't want to have so many videos in
the way. I consider bookcases full of videos to be a good use of
space, and I don't want to have some nosey service provider keeping track
of what I watch. We should each be able to make those kinds of choices
for ourselves. I've made mine. It seems that most other people
have been strongly influenced by the marketing persuaders and that they're
completely happy with a waste economy, operating to their detriment, and
driven by forced obsolescence.
Well, what about DVR? How can a civilized human being possibly survive without DVR? No problem. My TV antenna connects directly to the back of my video machine, just like in the old days. Back then, the cable box was nothing more than a descrambler. It didn't include a tuner. The marketing persuaders added the tuner as a tactic for getting additional funds from their customers. This is how that worked.
Back in the old days, I could program my video machine to record several programs, one after the other, on the same tape, at different times, and from different channels. After the marketing persuaders added tuners to the cable boxes, that was no longer possible. Channels were available to my recorder, from the cable box, only one at a time. So, I had to get up in the middle of the night to change the channel on the cable box. The solution? DVR! Of course! The marketing persuaders deprived me of something that I could already do and then offered to replace it with their new service. I've been thoroughly disgusted with them ever since, and with their customers, who were too stupid to recognize that it was a scam, and who thought that they were getting a wonderful new feature.
Ultimately, the most important benefit of using an antenna is that watching the television no longer makes me vulnerable to surveillance. Even if cable boxes weren't surveillance devices, the voice-operated remote controls certainly are. See my articles A Dark Road, in the May 2016 issue, and A Question of Intelligence, in the January 2017 issue. Also, watch my NCIS video clip titled Voice Control. It's available in The Frontiersman Website, in the Videos section. I'll concede that the government agencies can still spy on me, but not through my television. That's a step in the right direction. Now that I've deprived them of that means of surveillance, I can start pondering what to do about some of the others.
Letters to the Editor
It's that time of the year whenever those pesky flies are returning with a vengeance, and here is a fun cheap way that you can do your part to destroy them.
Get yourself an empty plastic 2 liter soda bottle, and fill it with 1 cup of sugar, and 1 cup of vinegar, and 1/2 gallon of water, and hang it outside in a shady area, by a piece of wire or string around the top neck of the bottle with the lid off it. Then within a few days, the bottle should be completely filled to the top with dead flies, then you empty out the dead flies, and you repeat the process by refilling the bottle with this same mixture, just be careful where you dump out the dead flies because the vinegar will kill your grass or plants.
—H. L., a prisoner
While I was at Mere Keep, I killed the flies that got into my shop by putting a thin layer of used engine oil in a cookie sheet. The flies landed on it and got stuck. I recycled them, along with the oil, down at the gas station.
After the California legislature declared that used engine oil was a hazardous substance, handling it became a lot more expensive. The guy at the gas station couldn't afford to recycle oil any more. I had to start pouring mine on my firewood. The guy at the gas station started putting his in empty plastic milk bottles, and hiding them in the dumpster.
...This process of preparing for the "Board" is very frustrating. For 25 years "lifers" could not participate in "rehabilitation" & now the "punishment" is not enough & at this age, no rehabilitation will do any good!
Take care, your friend,
—E. E., a prisoner
Hello man, how are you? I'm as well as can be expected. I enjoy tossing ideas at you and pondering your responses. I was going through the April Frontiersman again. In what Tom, from Redwood City said [Letters to the Editor, page 2] gave me a chuckle. He said, he would expect a church that instills guilt and fear to have a very limited attendance. "Guilt and fear", isn't that what the foundation of the Catholic Church is built on, as well as Seventh Day Adventist, Mormon, etc. I could go on, but you get my point.
regards to the prisoner who mentioned HAARP [Letters
to the Editor, page 2], if one wants an interesting journey, research
it. It will lead you and connect stories such as the "Montauk Project"
out of Montauk New York, and further back to the Philadelphia experiment
and when and if you ever get possession of your "NEAR" spacecraft, I call
"Shotgun"! And after much thought about it, that one prisoner does
make an interesting point [Letters
to the Editor, page 2]! Not once have I ever heard of an
alien abduction of a prisoner. Many a prisoner might have been abducted
and probed but ET wasn't the culprit.
I find it weird that Venus has no moons. Even little Mars snagged a few little brothers.
Your comments that hollow metal spheres may occur naturally after some thought holds weight. "Round" is a natural shape in an environment with no gravity. Molten metals layer themselves according to how heavy they are. What if our hollow metal moon is nothing more than a "fart" from the sun. Anywho, I hope you are doing well. Bye for now friend.
—S. H., a prisoner
As I noted in my editorial reply, guilt and fear are what religion uses to sustain itself.
In low gravity, there isn't much of a reason for a body to be spherical. A body will be spherical if it's large enough to produce a sufficient gravitational pull to make itself spherical.
In the May issue: "Just so you're aware of it I'll mention that visiting my websites might get you placed on a 'list' ." [Letters to the Editor, page 3] Wow! I didn't know that it was so easy to be "listed."
— El Dorado Bob
I might have been on a list since the days of Nixon's anti-pornography campaign. Back then, I sent him a return-addressed and signed post card containing the message, "Dear Dick, you can make it illegal but you can't make it unpopular." I didn't make his Enemies List but I might have been added to some other one.
Sometime during the early 2000's, I sent a letter to somebody, NSA I think, informing them that I'd lost all of my email in a computer crash, and requesting that they send me copies of my messages, from their files. I didn't receive a reply. Maybe they put me on another list.
In following the example set forth by yourself regarding taking hold of your identity... I'd like to henceforth be addressed on my mailings from yourself (Newsletter) as [name withheld]. An anagram on my full and "proper name"....
Specifically this is how I would like to be addressed on future correspondences please [name and address withheld] (Preferably with the state name spelled in full and reluctantly including the zip code out of sheer necessity sometimes).
I know this seems like a silly, tedious and pointless task, but it would mean much to me. Thank you Sam. For everything you do. Keep on keeping on. Thank you in advance. I hope this letter finds you well.
A brother in arms,
—D. T., San Francisco, California
It's possible that there will be a limit to how long I'll be able to retain control of my identity. In the USA today, medical services are either severely restricted or completely prohibited for anyone who lacks government ID. Many years ago, in Idaho Falls, Idaho, after I was bit by a dog, a local clinic refused to give me a tetanus shot until the people in charge struck a deal with somebody to fraudulently use a Social Security number that wasn't mine. Several years later, in Show Low, Arizona, the various clinics all refused to sell me a tetanus shot, for cash, because I lacked a Social Security number. In Gainesville, Georgia, the people at the free clinic refused to even talk to me because I lacked a driver's license. Access is becoming more restricted all the time. Notice that, when you walk in the front door, the first thing that the receptionist demands is valid photo ID. "Valid" means issued by the government.
I'm more than 72 years old now, and my health isn't as good as was previously the case. Poor health can sometimes be very painful. It's possible that I might eventually be forced to surrender to the authority of the government due to the fascist death-grip that it has on access to medical institutions.
Great picture and great information sheet [Insert, May issue].
May I reprint?
What do you mean "I travel on my right-of-way"?
—C. W., of Gramling, South Carolina
You may reprint the information sheet. I request that you reprint it without any changes. Also, it's available for free download from the website.
The doctrine behind the comment about traveling on my right of way is presented in my essay Yield: Right of Way. The essay is available in Pharos.
My thanks to the following: El Dorado Bob; Betty; Eric, of Ione, California; and Brett, of San Francisco, California.
He's a Hillbilly If....
executive was interviewing a young blonde for a position in his company.
He wanted to find out something about her personality, so he asked, "If
you could have a conversation with anyone, living or dead, who would it
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— Sam Aurelius Milam III, editor