Grey Matters header image
Photo taken from deck of Warren's home.

The Coming Revolution

There’s a revolution coming. Not the rise-up-against-government kind but a revolution in movie making.

I was watching TV the other day and saw what appeared to be a movie trailer. It turned out to be an advertisement for a new video game release. This was not the first time I’d been fooled. The images were so good, however, that it looked like an actual movie clip. Movies themselves these days contain more and more Computer Generated (CG) content all the time and it is often hard to tell which is real and which is CG.

Computer game companies that create entire worlds of CG landscape for their games leverage that cost by getting into the movie business and re-using those CG worlds with live actors. Characters that are CG can be controlled by motion capture of human performers and the humans never need to appear. Most people can tell a CG character from a live actor but very soon, that may not be so. The technology is improving.

I remember when Desktop Publishing totally changed the publishing business. Later, MIDI and other technology allowed an individual to have a symphony orchestra on a laptop computer, letting a composer become conductor and full orchestra as well. One person can write and perform a symphony. The same will happen with movies.

Very soon, if not already, a desktop computer will allow a single person to be producer, director, casting director, select or design wardrobe, select props, scout “locations” and the whole panaolpy of movie making tasks in front of a computer screen. A one-person movie studio, as it were.

Companies that are currently doing CG for old style movie makers will be marketing virtual locations, characters and costumes that can be licensed to desktop movie makers in much the same way that computer coders license libraries of code to software developers. Need a location? Select anything from a bombed out city, slum or bustling city downtown to a gated community or prison interior from the libraries of locations that will be on the market.

A smart desktop movie maker system publisher will publish standards for generating compatible libraries, encouraging a wide variety of available libraries for their system.

The same for characters, costumes and props. The characters will look photo-realistic and an optional desktop motion-capture system will let the most bland-looking actor become the square-jawed protagonist or the alluring leading lady.

Of course, just as the early days of selectable fonts resulted in people publishing papers with too many fonts and terrible layouts, much of the movie output from such systems will be dreck. But that will sort itself out with time. The motion Picture Academy of Arts and Sciences will need new categories for such productions.

I predict that actors and actresses as we know them are about to become obsolete, going the way of printed newspapers, books and and magazines.

Hollywood, buh-bye.

Did I Micro Aggress?

Yesterday, I was walking home from the clinic after having dropped off a “specimen” from my wife and I encountered three people coming the opposite direction on the narrow sidewalk. There were two Navajo young men (late teens – early 20s) followed by a younger girl. I stepped off the curb, giving them the sidewalk out of courtesy and we exchanged ‘Good morning” greetings as we passed. Ought to be routine, right?

No sooner had I stepped back onto the sidewalk than I wondered…, in this hypersensitive environment that is American society today, did I just insult them? Did I micro aggress through an act of courtesy? As when a non-black crosses the street to avoid a group of young black men coming his/her way, did I just signal to these people that I feared them and stepped off the sidewalk to avoid a confrontation?

I guess it all depends on them; if it offended them, then my courtesy was “racist” and if it didn’t offend them, then it wasn’t racist.

I really hate what political correctness and racial hypersensitivity is doing to this country.

On balance, I have to figure they did not take it the wrong way as I was just getting ready to “Good morning” them when one of them beat me to it. Following my returned greeting, the other young man did the same, so we actually exchanged “Good morning” twice. I’m taking that courtesy on their part as a good sign.

Unless, of course, they said “Good morning” only to assure me that they meant no harm after I  stepped off the sidewalk, clearly out of fear. In which case, I may have in fact offended them and the greetings were strictly to assuage my perceived racially-motivated fear.

That a simple act of courtesy could be taken as offensive  - and the fact that I have to worry whether an exchange of pleasantries may have been due to a micro-aggression on my part, is a measure of how dysfunctional we are becoming as a society.

Next time, I’ll just cross the street and avoid them.

The Reason There Is A Second Amendment

In the wake of the the Mandalay Bay shooter’s massacre, I had to pause and ask myself if it might be worthwhile to restrict firearms further. It is hard to witness such carnage and not wish to prevent such things.

However much I might decry the murderous madmen that do these things, I keep coming back to the reason the Founders wrote into the Constitution explicit protections, including that for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms (RKBA).

To say “People should not have military style firearms” is to the Second Amendment what “People should not be able to criticize the government” is to the protections of Free Speech written into the First Amendment.

Protection of speech, particularly political speech, is the reason that freedom of speech and the press as well as the right to peacably assemble  are specifically protected by the Constitution. Who among us would stand up and declare that we should not be able to speak out against government? The first Amendment’s protection isn’t there just to protect stage plays and movies or concerts in the park. It’s there to protect, especially and particularly, political speech. Those other things are just along for the ride.

The Second Amendment protects the right to keep and bear, specifically, military style firearms – suitable for militia service. That is why it exists. That is what the Founders intended. It is not about duck hunting or shooting paper targets at the range. It is not about recreational shooting (“sporting purposes“) and it is not limited to just personal defense. It is about keeping the country free – it says so right there in the Constitution.

In the 20th century, more than 200,000,000 people worldwide were killed by their own governments. If you think that such things cannot happen in the 21st century, you are sadly mistaken.

It can’t happen here” is foolishness. History shows us that it can and does happen, and will happen again, unless we are wary and protect against it. A necessary precursor to genocide is disarmament. It can happen here if the people are disarmed. Why, oh, why would we want to establish a necessary condition (disarmament) that enables genocide? Even if it can’t happen here, why move us closer to that possibility?

If the last few decades have taught us anything, it is that government is out of control; it knows no limits and pays only lip service to Constitutional protections and limits on its power. It has weaponized federal agencies and uses them against political enemies. It snoops on everything. There’s probably some dutiful government agent reading this right now. It’s only going to get worse. Let’s not help make it worse by further infringing constitutionally-protected rights – Not free speech and not RKBA.

We should continue to fight tooth and nail to protect RKBA. And we should contact the NRA to holler at them for suggesting more infringements on RKBA even before any legislation has been submitted.

Build The Wall – Comprehensive Immigration Reform

Since 1964, we’ve been treating immigration as a welfare benefit to be bestowed on foreigners. Before that, immigration served America. One had to have an employable skill that America needed to get in (or a sponsor to support you). That’s what made the USA the most powerful economic and military power on Earth. We took in the best and brightest from everywhere and made them Americans.

In 1964, thanks to “liberals” like Ted Kennedy, “family reunification” became the primary goal of American immigration policy. So if you came from a village in Backwardsistan and had nothing to offer America, you could still get in as long as your second cousin, the doctor working in the USA, was already here. Whole villages where everyone is a cousin or in-law to everyone else then followed. None of them needed any useful skill or sponsor.

As a nation, we have a right to choose our immigrants. Even in the early days when immigrants came in through Ellis Island, we screened people for disease and such. When people sneak in, we have no way of knowing what they may bring.

Yes, we’re a nation of immigrants, but that does not mean we should accept just any old immigrant. If they have nothing to offer, turn them away. Our immigration policy should benefit America. Nothing shameful in that; it’s just common sense. All of America’s policies should work primarily to benefit America and Americans. There’s no reason immigration should be any different. But for too long, immigration policy has expressly not been for the benefit of America but for foreigners living here.

Leftists have been throwing around the figure of 11,000,000 illegals for two decades, as if that number were not increasing every year with new sneak-ins.

Sneak-ins are just part of the problem. There are more visa overstayers than sneak-ins. Probably 30,000,000. They came here legally on student, worker, or tourist visas and just never left. Current immigration policy makes no effort to track them or make sure they leave when their visas expire. Lots more on this where I talk about Ann Coulter’s book “¡Adios, America!”. 

Immigration is badly broken overall and a wall or barrier with Mexico is just one part of a comprehensive overhaul of immigration policy that is needed.

Naysayers continue to say that Trump is against immigration Nonsense. He married an immigrant. He’s against illegal immigration. And that’s a big difference.

The left and news media (lots of overlap there) prefer to confuse the matter by calling illegals “Undocumented immigrants.” See my blog entry for my take on that.  Undocumented Illegal Immigrant Alien Foreigners  (Spoiler: Lots of the illegals are in fact “documented.”)

Then there are anchor babies and the Fourteenth Amendment. Many people argue that anyone simply born on American soil is automatically a U.S. citizen. I don’t know if it has ever been tested in court but the amendment states that: “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside” and seem to ignore the significance of the words “and subject to the jurisdiction thereof.”

Words have meanings. One might think that everyone within our borders is “subject to the jurisdiction” of the United States. But, clearly, those writing the Fourteenth Amendment had something else in mind. We know that ambassadors and those with diplomatic immunity are not subject to the jurisdiction of the U.S. What other classes of persons do not meet the “subject to the jurisdiction thereof” criteria to receive the citizenship conferred by the Fourteenth Amendment?

So far, we’ve identified certain foreigners that do not. I think that it’s a no-brainer that Americans are subject to U.S jurisdiction. Who’s left? Other foreigners. Which of them are and which are not subject to the jurisdiction of the U.S.? I would argue that persons here in violation of U.S. law are in fact subject to the jurisdiction of their contries of origin.

It is a matter that, to my knowledge, has not been settled in court.

The great vast majority of contries do not confer birthright citizenship. They don’t because it’s bad policy. We shouldn’t either and I believe the Fourteenth Amendment is being misused to confer citizenship erroneously to children born to non-American parents. Maybe an executive order can fix that. That would lead to a court challenge and maybe the matter could be settled.

But back to the Mexican border wall. Yes, it will be expensive, but less expensive than the current costs of supporting all those illegals. Yes, people will try to tunnel under and climb over whatever barrier we erect. Technology can be used to detect such incursions. We already have permanent dirigibles aloft scanning for people approaching the border at some points. This can be expanded. Use drones. When people are seen sneaking in, drop fluorescent dye on them from afar. Make them easy for ICE to identify.

Should we build a more effective wall? Certainly. Our current barriers are not very effective. It’s just an engineering problem. If we can land robots on Mars, we can certainly build a more effective wall with Mexico.

“Comprehensive immigration reform” has for too long meant amnesty, a road to citizenship and so forth, while never delivering on the promised benefits. Twice before, Congress has passed laws authorizing a wall, in return for amnesty and such. The amnesty materialized, but the wall never did.

I think Trump is aware and intends to fix the problem of visa over-stayers. That is, true “comprehensive immigration reform.”

There are a lot of problems with our current immigration policy and building a wall is just a part of it. But it needs to be done.

How The Left Is Advancing White Supremacy

This is a very good read.

<http://thefederalist.com/2016/05/23/how-anti-white-rhetoric-is-fueling-white-nationalism/>

The crux of it is here:

“One can teach against white supremacy by encouraging students to treat everyone as equal, or at least as individuals not defined in important ways by their race. Privilege theory does not allow for this approach. It demands that differences be front and center and that we always consider a person’s race in considering him. This focus on “valuing differences” over “the colorblind model” unlocked the door to the white supremacist revival that today’s anti-white rhetoric has kicked open.”

Despite being a much reviled “white male,” I’ve long held the view that race and skin color are the most superficial of traits; they do not make us who we are. With enough inter-racial breeding, I have opined, we’ll all be a beautiful tan color one day and then maybe we can get along, at least on racial lines. **

Race is nothing. Culture is everything. Yet, “progressives” continue to emphasize race above all else and insist on tribalizing us all. My concerns about immigration policy have nothing to do with the race of the immigrants and everything to do with the culture they bring to America. I believe that the American Dream is being destroyed. For me, it’s not a “white thing,” it’s an American thing. I really don’t want the USA to degenerate into just another socialist banana republic.

More and more, however, it seems that respecting the Constitution and Rule of Law is a “white thing.” There is a huge double standard with whites being held to higher standards than non-whites.

Like many whites, I feel no white guilt and did not benefit from white privilege. As a kid, I lived in a Chicago basement apartment that flooded when it rained too hard. I couldn’t afford college and joined the navy where I both served my country and learned valuable skills that then served me well during my civillian working career. I saved as much as I could and have a decent nest egg in retirement. My whiteness did not earn my navy promotions, my test scores did.

I did not benefit from my whiteness; if anything, it held me back as I worked for nearly three decades at a faciility where “native Americans” got preferential treatment in hiring and promotion (part of that double standard).

Now I’m being told that by virtue of having been born white, I’m guilty and privileged. I am, entirely by accident of birth, a white male and that makes me responsible for all the bad in the world. Further, I’m told that my kind must be eliminated to make things right. Well, that’s a good way to get me on the defensive.

Quoting the article:
“Young white men, reacting to social and educational constructs that paint them as the embodiment of historical evil, are fertile ground for white supremacists. They are very aware of the dichotomy between non-white culture, which must be valued at all times (even in the midst of terror attacks), and white culture, which must be criticized and devalued. They don’t like it.”

And thus it is that the “progressive” left is responsible for fueling the White Supremacist movement. Indeed, when the race war starts (and we are getting closer every day), where can I, as a white male turn? It will not matter to people of color that I bear them no ill will. I will not be able to remain neutral. I will be seen as enemy to persons of color. My “side” has been chosen for me by fate, by accident of birth, by the most superficial of traits. When the shooting starts, am I supposed to hope my side loses?

As the article noted: “From 2014 to 2015, the number of active Klu [sic] Klux Klan chapters in the United States grew from 72 to 190…” This increase is doubtless from more and more white males taking a defensive posture in the face of continuing attacks.

The left’s obsession with race and “racial equality” will be America’s undoing.

You want to solve America’s race problem? Here’s how.

First, stop lying to blacks and other people of color. For generations, the left has told them, “You are victims. The system is against you. You cannot get a fair deal. The cops are out to get you. You cannot make it on your own. You need our (Democrats’) help. ” And so on. Blacks have been told this for so long that they believe this instead of believing in themselves. Blacks, like everyone else, can make it, can do well. They just have to work for it. (Note: Read up on anti-Chinese laws. Compare and contrast how Chinese Americans are doing compared to black Americans. It is instructive.)

End Affirmative Action and all racial preference programs. Everywhere. They have not worked. All of my adult life has been lived in an Affirmative Action society and it has not helped. In fact, it creates more victims (not to mention resentment) than persons it helps. If you truly want an end to racial enmity, stop promoting policies that create it.

Start treating everyone as individuals, not as representatives of their specific races. Stop making white people responsible for things that occurred long before they were born or in which they had no part.

Most of what passes for “the legacy of slavery” is in fact the legacy of misbegotten social programs. It seems that the more we, as a society, try to *do something* to fix race relations, the worse they become. Maybe we should try color-blindness in governance.

The alternative is increased tribalism and hostility.

**
I found the linked article while investigating the “White Genocide” theory in response to that Drexel Professor that tweeted “All I want for Christmas is White Genocide.” <https://www.google.com/search?rls=en&q=All+I+Want+for+Christmas+is+White+Genocide>