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Domination of Eiler

2008 Summer Fun Blog (#15)

September - June 2008

In This Episode:

What Is the Domination of Eiler?

Oh, just treat it like another pretentious web log.
At least until you get to know it better, citizen. This web log wants to conquer the world.
Educational links are provided.

20 September 2008

When It All Comes Down
Would we rather survive the injury, or vote for the ambulance driver?

The European colonies in the continent of North Eilerania (commonly known as North America) were founded by an oddball combination of refugees and crown corporations. The refugees were fleeing overpopulation and resultant war in Europe. The corporations were looking for more resources to sell to the increasing population of Europe.

That is to say, overpopulation was a problem even four centuries ago. The problem today is, we have no more continents to hold the population. The root cause of most political issues of the present day is overpopulation.

  • High cost of health care? Lack of wealth-per-person to pay for the underlying technology and training. Which is to say, overpopulation.
  • Magnitude of current disasters? Too many people living in disaster-prone areas. Which is to say, overpopulation.
  • Inability of current government to provide better services? Lack of wealth-per-person to pay for better services. Which is to say, overpopulation.
  • Unfettered greed in the stock market? Greed (a.k.a. the search for profit) is part of the human condition. Unfortunately, most profit-making schemes today (particularly the real estate market) are based on ever-increasing need for consumption. That is to say, ever-increasing population. Unfortunately, societal wealth is not keeping pace. Which is to say, there's a lack of wealth-per-person. Which is to say, there's overpopulation.

Arguing over anything other than the root cause (that is to say, overpopulation) is like holding an election to pick your ambulance driver.

Unfortunately, the epidemic of overpopulation also magnifies the issues. Analysts are still assuming that human government can fix all issues. ( So far the Govs are still keeping the lid on, though the latest stock market crisis will cost $10-to-the-power-12 to fix.) But even if that's true today, it will be false someday if overpopulation persists. If overpopulation is not considered to be the issue, human government will fail, and there will be tribulation on a Biblical scale, up to and including a die-off.

Unfortunately, those who produce more people are the most powerful political lobby in the history of humankind. And those who don't, are still voting for ambulance driver.

Therefore, it's time for the Domination of Eiler to start planning for the failure of human government. It's already considered the scenarios that lead to this. But the most concerning question is, where should the Dominator be evacuated to?

  • The Dominator has personally tried out the backcountry of New England, the suburbs of Chicago, and currently the urban area of Lansing-Michigan. These places are all "blue-state" (that is, voting Democratic Party which presumably means "big government"), but cover practically all demographics, so are useful for analysis.
  • In each of those places, friends have been made (important to any survival strategy). Making friends may not be so easy after the next disaster happens.
  • A concern in each place is, how far would an urban mob have to go to invade one's house? In Lansing the answer is, "One block from that direction". But the neighbors already have a neighborhood watch. Suburban and backcountry places might be surprised when the crisis comes.
  • Another concern is, what sort of government will arise? The backcountry will have the stereotypical small-town survivalists, hopefully not fighting against anyone coming in from the next small-town. The suburbs and the urbs will probably have chaos. But at least in Lansing (or any state capital) there's a state governor who can theoretically call out the National Guard after the riots start, and hope that the Guard isn't rioting too.
  • Yet another concern is, what'll be missing that can't be rebuilt quickly? Mostly food and electricity, one supposes. In large measure, these things come from rural areas. Small urban areas may be okay, but any urban area large enough to have suburbs is going to be in trouble.
  • It might still be good to head for some less-overpopulated "red-state" area in advance. These places vote Republican Party, and presumably won't be surprised when "big government" fails. Still, within those places a state capital city might be best - the smaller the better.
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23 August 2008

A bidding war for Domination support, leading to a change of allegiance - however brief. Plus, this year's emergency training.

As often happens during the summer, the weekend is full of outdoor festivals. Two are of particular interest.

  • The Domination of Eiler headquarter town of South Lansing-Michigan is having a Family Fun day - with massive support from the Lansing City Council. Five out of eight members have signed on as sponsors - and one other, Kathie Dunbar, is putting on the show. Kathie is a friend to the Forgotten Triangle Neighborhood Association and to all of South Lansing; she even reads the Domination of Eiler web pages since they started talking about South Lansing neighborhood pride! Kathie sent out lots of publicity e-mail for this show.
  • Nearby Holt-Michigan (a.k.a. South-South-Lansing-Michigan) is also having a Family Fun day - with support from their township fire department (ironically the same township as South Lansing Family Fun occupies). Unlike the Lansing City Council, the fire department can offer CPR training - which serves the Domination of Eiler well. So they win. Sorry, Kathie. One hopes you're not the vengeful kind of local politician who holds a grudge.

As often happens during CPR training, it wasn't certain where exactly the training was.

  • In 2004, a policeman pulled over the Domination's trainee-force on foot for making suspicious circuits of the Palatine-Illinois Village Hall while looking for CPR class. (That year there was a rumor that al-Qaeda would attack Town Hall somewhere. The rumor was vague on which Town Hall.) The Domination force was especially suspicious-looking, because it had its tool belt on - for volunteering at the charity thrift store later. Wow, it couldn't have been any more wholesome-American.
  • This year, the expeditionary force did the right thing: it asked a fireman for directions. One and one half laps of the Holt Junior High School were still required to find the correct door, but there were plenty of Family Fun crowds to distract the local sheriff.

The Domination of Eiler has much experience in CPR training: once every two years (as witness two years ago). But it's different when an emergency professional with decades of experience does the training. For one thing, he'll ask what you'd do if you found two people down (as emergency professionals often find), or if someone shoves a Do Not Resuscitate order at you. For another, he'll keep it simple. Bottom line: When in doubt, do something because it's better than nothing.

  • New development in CPR training: Feel free not to breathe into a stranger's lips! Just moving their lungs is probably good enough, and much more sanitary.
  • This training is sanctioned by the National Safety Council, which the Domination of Eiler has never heard of. But if it's good enough for the Delhi Township Fire Department, it better be good enough for the American Fitness and Athletic Association.

Of course, today being Saturday, recreation was involved.

  • Pre-training luncheon at the Family Fun midway, with pizza and sno-cones. At the sno-cone booth, ask for naked-flavor!
  • The midway also had an elephant ride, but the Dominator spared the elephant his massive weight. The children of the Domination rejoiced at the chance to take the Dominator's place in the hour-long line themselves.
  • Yard sale near the Family Fun. Shirts for $0.1 USD by that time of day. Splurged and bought three for $0.5, and didn't quibble over price.
  • Post-training dinner at Buddies Grill in Holt. Hooray, a new place submits to Domination! They do a good steak salad, especially when washed down with large mugs of the Magic Hat #9 beer of Vermont.
  • Post-dinner dinner at Coscarelli's as usual, back in the neighborhood. The Domination of Eiler's defection from South Lansing lasted roughly six hours. This is just slightly longer than the usual defections to East Lansing or West Lansing usually last.
  • Soundtrack throughout the day is courtesy of the Conquering Cell Phone, now upgraded past its previous battery problems.
    • The music is so fun that it may at any time shift from Handel to Elvis Hitler, or to an obscure Vermont folk singer whom the Dominator once met, or any of six jazz masters, or who knows what else; after three days it's still surprising.
    • Listening is catching up to recording, but only slowly; the mix after next is under construction. That will make fourteen music archives of 400 or more songs apiece. All Hail the Domination!
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10 August 2008

The Bestest
The Dominator may be delusional about his significance, but not nearly at the level of fictional heroics.
  1. War and Remembrance, Herbert Wouk, 1978.
  2. The World of Null-A, A. E. van Vogt, 1945.
  3. The Spacetime Pool, Catherine Asaro, 2008.
  4. Tracking, David E. Palmer, 2008.
  5. The Skylark of Space, E.E. Smith, 1928.

Recently in the Domination of Eiler reading list, there have been a lot of heroes and heroines who aren't just heroic, they're impossibly good and important. They (1) travel the world and find vodka to drink during the siege of Leningrad, or (2) their unexplained mental powers spark a war between Venus and the Galaxy, or (3) they do higher mathematics to find the proper combination to unlock themselves from a torture device with their toes, then drink wine and don't have to pee for hours afterward, or (4) they land an overloaded cargo plane full of child refugees blindfolded on a field of stones during a nuclear blast. Really. The Domination of Eiler can't make this stuff up, because it has limits to its silliness.

This is not just a modern phenomenon, nor even confined to the written word. It goes without saying, several comic book heroes are the best there is at what they do. Some of the pulp heroes were even better, to the point where (5) alien species would acclaim them and their friends as the peak of bodily perfection. Or in other words, the Bestest.

Of course the Domination of Eiler has its own fictional heroes. This year, the leading ones form a trinity of Protagonist, Protege, and Rival. They're good, and they do go drink vodka wherever they want. (Or at least the one who knows the Russians does.) But most of the characters find them annoying. Nobody's fighting a war to possess their power (yet), and even in a Superhuman World they are not so super as to be the Bestest.

Now, is this lazy writing on the Domination's part? The Dominator prefers to say, his writing has evolved past the need for easily identified heroes who are the Bestest.

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9 August 2008

The Future Ceremony of Dominance
If Olympic host nations can have bragging rights, so can the Domination of Eiler.

This week in a comic book (called "Trinity"), the DC universe put forth the principle that a multiverse can be founded on a single universe like a lynchpin. Likewise, a universe can be built around the Earth, and the Earth can figuratively rotate around three people (Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman, of course). The real world, of course, secretly rotates around the Dominator.

This week in the real world, there were opening ceremonies in China for the Olympic Games. This, of course, was a chance for China to brag about the things it's given the world, like calligraphy, fireworks, and synchronized drumming. Surely the Domination of Eiler needs to be ready for a similar exercise in public spectacle, when the day of its formal power comes. When that spectacle happens as it inevitably will, the Domination will be able to truthfully say it gave the world these things:

When the day comes, the Domination of Eiler may need help in designing the ceremony. But the theme is ready. All Hail the Domination!

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20 July 2008

Central Michigan by Train
Return trip of the bus tour.

Having stayed in mid-price downtown Kalamazoo hotel (same as on bike tour), got a traditional make-your-own-waffle breakfast. Having arrived the night before and reconnoitered, easily found the local gym in basement of local Fancy Hotel. Having arrived by bus, parking was no problem (but it is free in public lots on Sunday, as discovered from walking around).

Fitness instructor is a certified Master (Mistress) Trainer and got class done two hours early. Truly a professional. This left three hours for grilled sandwich and 20-ounce curl exercises at Bell's Brewery Eccentric Cafe.

  • This is the sort of fine dining where if the lady next to you puts her foot on the bar top, and you say that means she has to dance on the bar now, she'll just say, "Done that." And her friends will say, "She has."
  • Two patrons Mike and Amy asked to be mentioned here for trying an ostrich burger. The Eiler patrol was promptly able to recommend, ask for medium instead of medium well. Ostrich meat tastes like cow meat, and can afford to be a bit red.

As regards the train...

  • Amtrak accepts American Auto Association member 10% discount, which is appreciated but kind of ironic.
  • Train actually on time for departure! Often the trains have to wait because something's stuck in the Rocky Mountains or something. And they may wait anywhere for no known reason. Just not tonight.
  • About twenty people boarded in Kalamazoo. Plenty of room on train still. And complimentary electrical plugs at window seats!
  • Trains of course take the scenic route, just like buses nowadays, and much like bicycles. Thereby revisited some bike tour territory.
  • One may buy a beer on the train. But now that Bell's Brewery has provided the afternoon's refreshment, Amtrak stocks of bottled Heineken are not a priority.

Mission requires only a taxicab five miles from inconvenient East Lansing terminal. Success is assured. But this leads to a mission assessment...

  • Car would require about $15 of gas each way. Bus and train each cost under $20 when properly booked.
  • As such, when things work perfectly (like today), public transit is to be recommended. When it doesn't (like yesterday), it's debatable but still worth looking into.
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19 July 2008

Central Michigan by Bus
Retracing the recent bike tour.

To teach group fitness classes, the Domination Guard engineering force has to take continuing-education classes occasionally. A halfway convenient one has been arranged in Kalamazoo-Michigan. This is close enough to Lansing that the Dominator can ride his bike there - although that takes three days. A car would take 90 minutes, but not be nearly as fun or Earth-friendly. Perhaps some intermediate option exists.

Toward that end, motorbus transit has been arranged from Lansing to Kalamazoo, and train transit back. Trains are more comfortable, but buses run more often. Each shall get its chance to serve.

So today it was discovered about buses of the present day:

  • Don't ask Greyhound for transit in Michigan; ask Indian Trails first because they have many more routes. Greyhound is likely to send you the wrong direction first, then make you transfer to Indian Trails anyway.
  • Buses are as likely to make excuses for lateness as airplanes are. Oh no, it's raining! That's 90 minutes right there, just like for planes. Today, added in an hour to avoid Greyhound and take the direct Indian Trails bus.
  • At least nowadays, buses may take the scenic route. If vehicles are compelled to go 55 miles per hour to save gas, and all the bus terminals are located miles from the highways, buses might as well avoid the highways.
  • Passengers were entirely congenial today, but don't expect quiet, childfree, or non-crowdedness. Do expect entire families travelling thousands of miles, though, because it's the cheapest way. And there are great stories to be heard. For instance, the Amish take buses too!

It's become late, so dinner and straight to bed tonight. Tomorrow's a big day.

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5 July 2008

Tipping Point
When the next Great Depression comes, how will we know that it's started?

Being a responsible imperial entity, the Domination of Eiler pays close attention to the world economic situation. It has therefore become apparent that humanity's world-system is falling apart. The only question is, how bad will it get?

  • United States radio commentators have started talking in terms of "misery index", which is percentage-inflation added to percentage-unemployment. Reportedly this index has reached values similar to 1980 - which indicates an upcoming fundamental change in U.S. leadership philosophy. But it's not even close to 1930. Unemployment might be 7% now, but it was 25% then.
  • Likewise, there are disasters every year, but these are not without precedent. This year it's flooding, but in the 1930s it was "Dust Bowl".
  • Many U.S. jurisdictions are finding they can't afford to maintain their infrastructures: pavement, power plants, food inspections, and so on.

Indeed, it's hard to think of anything that could go wrong which hasn't. The scary thing is, it's beginning to interrelate. Now that motor vehicles are being powered by ethanol and biofuels, the fuel shortages and the food shortages are interchangeable. But floods and lack of good food inspections are contributing to food shortages too.

Still, for now the lid is on.

  • Now that the U.S. dollar is cheap, exports are rising.
  • Now that refined petroleum is more expensive than milk, United States citizens are finally starting to use less petroleum, and that itself has started to limit its price.
  • Reportedly people are starting to change their lives accordingly. Buy less stuff, live closer to the things we need, etc. Go figure.

The main differences between now and the last Great Depression are (1) more people, and (2) nuclear weapons. That is to say, we're not as far along yet, but we're in the same sort of cycle, and the stakes are much higher.

In the opinion of the Domination of Eiler, the current world situation probably won't be the end of humanity, but it will lead to tribulation on a Biblical scale. The tipping point will be some sort of domino effect, like...

  • One more major Atlantic Ocean hurricane, resulting in...
  • One more major U.S. city devastated, while also occur...
  • Rolling power blackouts in that part of the country, plus...
  • Crop failures in more than just California and the U.S. Midwest, causing...
  • Food riots in U.S. cities, leading to...
  • Withdrawal of U.S. troops from overseas so the National Guard can patrol the cities, while...
  • The Ganges River runs dry due to lack of precipitation, and/or...
  • Tibetan protesters trigger a peasant rebellion in China, while...
  • Islamic militants get bored without U.S. troops to shoot at, and try something stupid in Kashmir, resulting in...
  • An nuclear international incident between Pakistan, India, and China, causing....
  • A world stock market crash, leading to...
  • 25% unemployment in the lucky parts of the world.

... Or something.

It's not obvious what to do about this. But traditional stereotypes of survivalism will fall apart, because the survivalist ranch compound will be consumed by wildfires at about the same time the crops fail.

Experts say, the survivalist of the future will be independently mobile. That at least the Domination of Eiler can lead the disaster preparedness exercises for. If it ever has to get out of Michigan without using petroleum, its most recent vacation shows it can make the state line in two or three days on bicycle, and eat dandelion greens along the way.

One supposes, technology might save us one more time. Some estimates say, nanotechnology will be functional within 30 years. Which is to say, much stronger materials, therefore much lighter vehicles, therefore much less fuel use. But where's the fuel coming from still?

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4 July 2008

U.S. Independence Day in the Domination of Eiler
If the people of the Domination want a holiday, so let it be.
Giant Chicken at the Statehouse
The solemn occasion of United States independence is honored with a giant inflatable chicken. See also:

  • The Mayor of Lansing
  • Mexicans Fly Their Flag Too
  • Ride Your Bike... Powered By Internal Combustion
  • Fireworks
  • Tuba Museum
    Tuba Charlie's Travelers Club International Restaurant and Tuba Museum.

    Never let it be said the Domination of Eiler hates nation-states; no good Emperor has ever hated his subject nations. Also, no righteous person of whatever religion has ever hated the holidays of another religion, as long as everyone gets the day off from work. And patriotism has practically always been the equivalent of religion. Christianity only took off when it started joining in the government-sponsored rituals, back in the days of the Roman Empire.

    Today being a day off from work, the Dominator considered a road trip to the continental EilerDepot near Chicago. But those who would take that trip from Lansing-Michigan this weekend, will find themselves fighting eight hours of heavy traffic, paying heavy fuel prices, and huddling in whatever restaurants are open and whatever hotels aren't booked solid. Along the way, that basically means a Holiday Inn in Michigan City-Indiana. Michigan City has its own charm, but it's already been conquered.

    Those who would stay in Lansing will instead get beautiful weather, a parade by the Michigan Capitol, a pig roast at the best pub in Eiler Town, and maybe some fireworks later. So has it been done.

    • The parade lasted about an hour and was suitably silly. Next time, the Dominator will bring his own flag to wave, because the Mexicans in the parade did likewise.
    • Those in the audience who wanted them were given little United States flags to wave. The Dominator took one back to the Great Hall of Eiler, to stick on the mailbox so as to prove the Domination of Eiler doesn't hate its subject nation-states.
    • The pig roast (at Coscarelli's) was low-key, at least early. We don't mill about the parking lot and eat our pig meat on the bone like Vikings here; we go outside, let the professionals carve the pig into a sandwich, then go inside to eat it at a nice dark bar. Reportedly they paraded the pig head around the restaurant last night, though.
    • Abundant down time exists today. This translates into actually cleaning house for once, plus more than one nap.
    • Thus fortified, the Domination went to conquer fireworks uptown later. But first, tapas (a.k.a. "small servings of fancy food") at Tavern on the Square. A little food after a pig roast is a good thing. And it beats no food, which is what the Irish pub next door was serving. Beer without food is like explosions without fireworks: it's just bad. Just like a public park with locked urinals on fireworks night. This stuff is just inexplicable.
    • The rest of the weekend might hold a two-day bike trip to Grand Ledge. But on the other hand, the forces are all bike-tripped out after last week, and might just see some local attractions like Tuba Charlie's Travelers Club International Restaurant and Tuba Museum.

    All Hail the Domination!

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