What is Wilderness?

RE: Most Remote Spots in USA Wilderness Complexes | Peakbagger

18.76 miles. You can drive this distance in 15 minutes on a freeway. But it is also the furthest away you can get in the “Lower 48” US states from roads, machines, and motors.

 

How much uninhabited space do you need before it counts as “wilderness“, and what counts as “uninhabited“? Does the backyard of a 0.1-acre property have several square feet of wilderness? Is an undeveloped 0.25-acre plot a quarter-acre of wilderness? If highway traffic can be heard constantly throughout a 1000-acre wetland, or if a 1000-acre woodland has a walking trail, then is that area wilderness? If a particular area of 1000 square kilometers is logged or fished only once a decade, is it wilderness? Is even 100,000 square miles still wilderness if it is filled with radio waves, its skies are routinely flown over, its waters are downstream from the effluent of civilization, its animals are harvested should they ever wander or migrate outside its borders, or microscopic synthetics (e.g. plastics) can be found in every specimen of its ecosystem?

The American Democratic Republic

Source: The American Democratic Republic | Amalgamated Contemplation, by Stephen T. Robbins

How the American Democratic Republic works, and sustaining the American Experiment:

There are real boundaries beyond which our society and system of government can and will break down. There is a minimum level of solidarity required for a nation to survive with citizens rather than subjects, and a minimum level of social stability required for it to function. We can fall too far and merely avoiding disintegrating society is not enough. We must do far better, for ourselves, for the world, and for the future.

Swatting is Attempted Murder

RE: Kansas Man Killed In ‘SWATting’ Attack | Krebs on Security

Swatting is not a “dangerous hoax”. It is not a “prank”. Swatting is attempted murder — in this case, successful murder.

The police are not the target of swatting — they don’t receive the call and possibly break their station with their breach equipment or shoot each other. The innocent people at the address the SWAT team is sent to are the target; they are at risk of property damage at best and getting shot by police at worst.

The swatter is sending 10-60 officers, mostly lethally equipped and expecting a dangerous situation, sometimes including snipers, to the swatting target’s address. This can reasonably be expected to eventually and occasionally lead the the death of the swatting target.

+ How SWAT Teams Work | HowStuffWorks

Lithium Production (2017)

72.11 million cars and 22.53 million commercial vehicles were produced in 2016. Fewer than 1 million of those vehicles produced were electric.
Worldwide automobile production from 2000 to 2016 (in million vehicles) | Statista
The rise of electric vehicles: The second million | The International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT)

An astounding amount of battery production is being constructed, mostly for electric vehicles but also for grid-scale power storage.
10 Battery Gigafactories Are Now in the Works. And Elon Musk May Add 4 More | Greentech Media (2017/6/29)
Tesla Gigafactory
LG to open Europe’s biggest car battery factory next year | Reuters (2017/10/12)
Daimler begins construction on a $562 million lithium-ion battery factory in Germany | Ars Technica (2017/5/22)
Daimler announces new $740 million battery factory in China for Mercedes-Benz’s EVs | Electrek (2017/7/5)
Tesla switches on giant battery to shore up Australia’s grid | Reuters (2017/12/1)

Where is all that lithium for lithium ion batteries going to come from?

This is not a chart that looks like lithium production is being aggressively expanded.

How much is that lithium going to cost?

Lithium Price | Metalary

How much lithium carbonate is used in a lithium-ion battery?
Less than 1 kg per kWh.
Breakdown of raw materials in Tesla’s batteries and possible bottlenecks | Electrek (2016/11/1)

Bernie Sanders’s Religious Test for Russell Vought – The Atlantic

During a contentious confirmation hearing, the Vermont senator questioned the faith of the nominee for deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget.

Source: Bernie Sanders’s Religious Test for Russell Vought – The Atlantic

 

There are many religious sects which hold strongly that their specific and particular beliefs are the one and only true collection of such belief/knowledge and that all other people are damned for failing to learn, understand, and follow such information and practices as they have.

If any country is to include these people as citizens and strongly support “freedom of religion” and “freedom of speech” for all, including government officials and public representatives, then those people must be allowed to accurately state their beliefs, especially/particularly outside the context of acting *as* the government.

The important question is not “What does Vought think defines a good/true/proper Christian?”, nor is it “Does Vought think everyone other than proper Christians is condemned?”. The important question is whether or not Vought can act in the public interest to the benefit and respect of all citizens. Bernie Sander’s narrow line of questioning did not explore this, nor was his conclusion appropriate by this reasoning.

Basically any core religious argument could be seen as fantastically disrespectful to people of all other beliefs. If an atheist writes “Religion is outmoded, magical thinking which ought to be avoided.”, is that respectful to those with deeply held religious beliefs? Is it respectful to Christians when a Muslim argues that Christians are condemned for not following the prophet Mohammed?

And yet I would say that both of the above *and* Vought’s writing can be seen as respectful of other citizens insofar as they are communicating, explaining, clarifying, etc. their own religious beliefs (and potentially the actions and positions of religious institutions).

However…

Every country *totally* has religious litmus tests — limitations on both the speech and actions of public officials and of private citizens. No country on earth permits it citizens to murder each other and claim “My religion demands I do it.” as a legal defense. Religious freedom ends where the collective ethics and values of the body politic begin. Less extreme examples include the restrictions on drugs taken for religious reasons/purposes, restrictions on sacrificing animals, and policies against awarding custody to a parent guilty of child abuse.