Thursday, July 28, 2016

I Mourn Sam Wheeler's Death

   Sam Wheeler -- 72-year-old motorcycle legend Sam Wheeler -- went to his grave this week attempting to again become the fastest man on a motorcycle in all the world.
  His motorcycle fishtailed and went out of control on the slick surface of the Great Salt Lake.
   I do not know, but it seems to me of all the racing done on the Salt Flats, motorcycle racing would demand the most athleticism. That a 72-year-old man was still pursuing the world's fastest pass on the Salt Flats seems remarkable in and of itself.
  I mourn Wheeler's dying. I wonder if anything could be done to make the Salt Flats safer. I wonder what kind of protective gear the land speed racers wear. I wonder if the motorcycle racers wear the same protective gear worn by motocross racers, nothing more than that.
  It seems the level up in danger should signal a level up in protective wear, maybe a balloon-type covering, or would that be too restrictive for the athleticism necessary?

Chaffetzism has Another Victim in its Sights

   The fire master, Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz, is after another person, seeking to fire IRS Commissioner John Koskinen.
   The IRS is not an agency many feel warmly toward, so some might agree, on no more grounds than that, that Koskinen should go. I am not so sure. I view all the firings Chaffetz has brought about and I have to wonder. Some how, it seems as though he is seeking a legacy for fighting corrupt government by firing as many people as he can, as if firing people proves there was corruption, and proves he successfully fought it.
   I'm not so sure that is the right approach. I think these are people. You treat people right, and that means you don't dismiss them on shallow claims.
  I, again quote Wikipedia. "McCarthyism is the practice of making accusations of subversion or treason without proper regard for evidence." Even so, Chaffetzism is the practice of making accusations of government corruption without proper regard for evidence. We all want to get rid of government corruption, but that shouldn't give us license to falsely accusing anyone we want of that government corruption.
   I think on what someone at the Democratic National Convention said about Trump, noting he is takes pride in firing people, and that that is not a good trait.
   I see Chaffetz as more of the same.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Is this the McCarthyism of Our Age?

   I wonder at all the attacks on Hillary. I cannot help but see a likeness to the McCarthyism of the 1950s.
   I read this definition in Wikipedia: "McCarthyism is the practice of making accusations of subversion or treason without proper regard for evidence."
   I wonder if that doesn't parallel what is being done to Hillary.

Protecting the inventor is Better Done by Giving Him Royalties

   You would amend our Constitution, you say? I'll tell you where I think there is a pressing need for a change in that venerable document. It is a wonderful document, but this part is direly in need of change.
   "The Congress shall have Power . . . To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Investors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries."
   That, from Article I, Section 8, defines how our patent system operates. The system has proven to protect not so much the inventor, as the rich. You need money to develop your invention, and often investors buy out the inventor.
   Or reap the benefits while employing them.
   We would do much better if we awarded the inventor royalties. Let whoever might, copy the product . . . but only if they pay the inventor royalties. This way, the inventor is freed from having to come up with money to develop the product. He needs to do no more than come up with an idea, and patent it, and, if it is a good product, the money starts rolling his way.
   He is rewarded for having the idea, not for having the money to develop the idea. One system, the one I'm proposing, rewards the inventor, regardless. The other system, the one we have, rewards the person who has the financial means for developing the product. That would be the rich, the investors. I don't see a big need for rewarding them.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Chaffetz's Responsibility in the Hillary Email Affair is to Legislate

   The whole reason for making laws is to make things just. So, each time we see an injustice, we should be asking, is there a law we can make, to do away with this injustice?
   If you are a careful legislator, you look at all that happens, each time looking for a way to correct the injustice. Now, if you are Jason Chaffetz, what is one of the supposed injustices you might have run into recently? Hillary's emails? Didn't the FBI head decide against charges? So, Chaffetz hauled FBI Director James Comey in. It was like he wanted to investigate Comey for making a bad decision.
   We have three branches of government. Chaffetz belongs in the legislative branch. If you think our Constitution got it right, then shouldn't Chaffetz be filling the legislative needs?
   Now, if it is an injustice that Hillary isn't being prosecuted, and if you are a good legislator -- one who seeks to correct injustice each time you see it -- then create a law to correct this injustice from ever happening again. That's your job.
   I kind of wonder how this would play out. I am not in favor of our government classifying anywhere near all that it classifies. I do not know that I find any fault in what Hillary put in her emails. But, if you do feel she did wrong, you better put teeth in the laws. It seems Chaffetz, if he feels what Hillary did was wrong, should be introducing legislation to strengthen the government's ability to classify information, and to make it so those who break this law face unavoidable penalties. I would oppose such legislation, but it seems if Chaffetz (and everyone else who thinks she did wrong) should be pushing to correct the situation so she cannot go unpunished next time.
 

Wildfire Abatement Districts, Take II

   How about irrigating our forests, not because the trees need the water, but to keep them wet to avoid wildfires?
   My brother tossed out this idea, as I was thinking about how to keep the trees wet to avoid forest fires. After I blogged this morning, I realized air lifting ocean water in California might not be the answer. Too much salt for the trees.
   I also got thinking on Utah. Perhaps we could tap into a lake, supposing the lake has spare water, with airplanes lifting the water back to the potential burn areas.
   Or, maybe the reason we don't do all this is because the forest administrators want the burns, relying on them. Seems to me, though, if they want burning, controlled burns work. Wildfires get out of control. Half of Antelope Island burned up this past week. Wasn't that a little much?
   But putting in irrigation systems? Maybe you couldn't do it everywhere. But, it might work in some areas. Tap into underground water when it is available. Put in pipelines that rise above the trees, and retract when not in use.
   I guess I wonder why we don't do some kind of preventative watering. Wildfires are not something we want, are they? And, why would not preventative watering be something we could do? Why shouldn't we do it?

Perhaps We Should have Forest-Fire Abatement Districts

   Just wonder this morning on the feasibility of preventative watering. Each year, we have wildfires, in part because the area becomes too dry. Could some of these fires be avoided if some of the area was watered with air drops? I think of California, where many of the fires take place, and of how there is all the water you could want right next to the area. Why not airlift the water and regularly irrigate the wilderness areas?
    It seems in California, if no other place, there should be enough water.
   We have everything from mosquito abatement programs to weed abatement programs. I wonder why we do not have programs to keep our forests wet.