Sunday, August 30, 2009

The Ad ABC and NBC Won't Run



The government controlled media doesn't want you to see this, so please pass it along.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

The Ant and the Grasshopper

I found this at http://patricksperry.wordpress.com/2008/01/26/parable-of-the-ant-and-the-grasshopper/ and just had to share.

Parable of the Ant and the Grasshopper
By Patrick Sperry

TRADITIONAL VERSION:
The ant works hard in the withering
heat all summer long, building his
house and laying up supplies for the winter. The grasshopper thinks the
ant is a fool and laughs and dances and plays the summer away. Come
winter, the ant is warm and well fed. The grasshopper has no food or
shelter, so he dies out in the cold.

MORAL OF THE STORY: Be responsible for yourself!

*****MODERN VERSION:

The ant works hard in the withering heat all summer long, building his
house and laying up supplies for the winter.

The grasshopper thinks the ant is a fool and laughs and dances and plays the summer away.

Come winter, the shivering grasshopper calls a press conference and demands to know why the ant should be warm and well fed while others are cold and starving.

CBS, NBC, PBS, CNN, and ABC show up to provide pictures of the shivering grasshopper next to a video of the ant in his comfortable home with a table filled with food.

America is stunned by the sharp contrast.

How can this be, that in a country of such wealth, this poor grasshopper is allowed to suffer so? Kermit the Frog appears on Oprah with the grasshopper, and everybody cries when they sing, “It’s Not Easy Being Green.”

Jesse Jackson stages a demonstration in front of the ant’s house where the news stations film the group singing, “We shall overcome.” Jesse then has the group kneel down to pray to God for the grasshopper’s sake. Nancy Pelosi, John Kerry & Harry Reid exclaim in an interview with Larry King that the ant has gotten rich off the back of the grasshopper , and both call for an immediate tax hike on the ant to make him pay his fair share. Finally, the EEOC drafts the Economic Equity and Anti-Grasshopper Act retroactive to the beginning of the summer! The ant is fined for failing to hire a proportionate number of green bugs and, having nothing left to pay his retroactive taxes, his home is confiscated by the government. Hillary gets her old law firm to represent the grasshopper in a defamation suit against the ant, and the case is tried before a panel of federal judges that Bill Clinton appointed from a list of single-parent welfare recipients. The ant loses the case.

The story ends as we see the grasshopper finishing up the last bits of the ant’s food while the government house he is in, which just happens to be the ant’s old house, crumbles around him because he doesn’t maintain it.

The ant has disappeared in the snow.

The grasshopper is found dead in a drug related incident and the house, now abandoned, is taken over by a gang of spiders who terrorize the once peaceful neighborhood.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Government Health Care - Not So Sure



Heck, I knew long ago that government run health care is a REALLY bad idea, but this is a nice illustration. Take a peek around the med schools. People are talking about switching careers rather than becoming doctors or nurses, should this monstrosity pass. Costs will go up, choices will go down. Take a look at the CATO Institute's article "WHO's Fooling Who? The World Health Organization's Problematic Ranking of Health Care Systems" I like that we have options, and that I don't have to wait months for treatment, and that my mom stills gets treated even though she's old.

Since when has the government been efficient and effective at running anything? Think DMV and Veteran's Hospitals. This is not good. They can't even buy ham and cheese at a reasonable price.

I am hoping and praying that congress comes to its senses and averts this fiasco (and contacting my representatives). What a mess.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Nanopillar Solar Cells

From Technology Review:

Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, have made a new kind of solar cell by growing an array of upright nanoscale pillars on aluminum foil. They make bendable solar cells by encapsulating the entire cell inside a transparent, rubbery polymer. The design, the researchers suggest, could lead to solar cells that cost less than conventional silicon photovoltaics.


This is the type of renewable energy news I like to see. Scientists working to develop an affordable product with a lot of potential practical applications. Go, you treehuggers, go!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Government, Get Out of My Life!

First came NAIS, to make it illegal for me raise my own animals and share them with friends and family without government permission.

From NoNAIS.org:

Homesteaders, people who grow some of their own food, will have to register with the government as a farm and obtain a Premise ID. They’ll also have to pay the annual fees associated with that and fill out the paperwork on all of their livestock. Every time you have chicks, goats, piglets or other animals born you’ll need to register it with the government. Every time an animal dies you’ll have to register it with the government. Got a predator problem? Expect to fill out a lot of paperwork. Have an animal escape the fence and cross the road or go onto a neighbor’s property? Fill out more forms and the neighbor may have to fill out forms, too. Animals come on to your property uninvited? More forms. And no, there are no exceptions. Every livestock animal must be registered, tagged and tracked from birth to death.

Small Farmers who sell direct to their customers will be devastated. Small farmers already work at higher costs than the big factory farms. Under NAIS they’ll have to identify each and every animal at a high cost because they can’t use the group identification techniques of the big Agri-Biz corporations. The big guys do all-in/all-out animal management. Each mass group of animals are of one gene stock and the same age. The factory farms need only apply for one ID to cover the entire group of thousands of animals. Small, traditional-style farmers have many, genetically diverse animals of different ages on their farms. Each individual animal will be required to have an ID. The result is that the cost of farming will go up greatly for small farmers. This is likely to be the final nail in the coffin of small farming. Developers will be over joyed as they buy up farm land at rock bottom prices to divide up into condos and strip malls. Rural America will turn dingy with pavement. Gone will be the fields, pastures and meadows filled with grazing livestock. Vermont can kiss it’s tourist industry good-bye.


Then came HR 875 and S425 to take away my right to home garden.

From Campaign For Liberty:

  • Legally binds state agriculture depts to enforcing federal guidelines effectively taking away the states power to do anything other than being food police for the federal dept.
  • Effectively criminalizes organic farming but doesn't actually use the word organic.
  • Affects anyone growing food even if they are not selling it but consuming it.
  • Affects anyone producing meat of any kind including the processing wild game for personal consumption.
  • Legislation is so broad based that every aspect of growing or producing food can be made illegal. There are no specifics which is bizarre considering how long the legislation is.
  • Section 103 is almost entirely about the administrative aspect of the legislation. It will allow the appointing of officials from the factory farming corporations and lobbyists and classify them as experts and allow them to determine and interpret the legislation. Who do you think they are going to side with?
  • Section 206 defines what will be considered a food production facility and what will be enforced up all food production facilities. The wording is so broad based that a backyard gardener could be fined and more.
  • Section 207 requires that the state's agriculture dept act as the food police and enforce the federal requirements. This takes away the states power and is in violation of the 10th amendment.


They claimed the rains in the dry states, making it illegal to harvest rainwater.

They said that food can’t make health claims unless it is labeled as a drug (see the Cheerios debacle), even though Hippocrates said over 2000 years ago, "Let your food be your medicine, and your medicine be your food." Not according to the FDA.

The House has passed The Watermelon Bill to tell me how when and what I can drive, switch on my lights, heat my home and God only knows what else. President Obama and his carefully orchestrated infomercials are trying to shove government controlled health care down my screaming throat. Please, someone, tell me when the government has managed to do anything less expensively than the private sector?

I've had it, I've just had it. Government, back the heck off! Get out of my life! I am a grown up, and I know I lot better what my family and my community need than you do. What is happening at the federal level is unconstitutional (as well as being absolutely ludicrous). Get yourselves copies of the Constitution. Read them. Quit lining your (and your friends) pockets with my money and the money of every other hard-working American.

Monday, June 29, 2009

We Can't Hear You




From EPA May Have Suppressed Report Skeptical Of Global Warming

Less than two weeks before the agency formally submitted its pro-regulation recommendation to the White House, an EPA center director quashed a 98-page report that warned against making hasty "decisions based on a scientific hypothesis that does not appear to explain most of the available data."

The EPA official, Al McGartland, said in an e-mail message to a staff researcher on March 17: "The administrator and the administration has decided to move forward... and your comments do not help the legal or policy case for this decision."

The e-mail correspondence raises questions about political interference in what was supposed to be a independent review process inside a federal agency -- and echoes criticisms of the EPA under the Bush administration, which was accused of suppressing a pro-climate change document.

Alan Carlin, the primary author of the 98-page EPA report, told CBSNews.com in a telephone interview on Friday that his boss, McGartland, was being pressured himself. "It was his view that he either lost his job or he got me working on something else," Carlin said. "That was obviously coming from higher levels."

E-mail messages released this week show that Carlin was ordered not to "have any direct communication" with anyone outside his small group at EPA on the topic of climate change, and was informed that his report would not be shared with the agency group working on the topic.


Mr. Carlin seems pretty sensible to me. You can check out more of his information at Carlin Economics.

Watermelon, watermelon, watermelon...

H/T to the National Watermelon Promotion Board for the excellent watermelon photos.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

The Watermelon Bill



I was watching Friday's TiVo'd episode of Glenn Beck, and I'd have to say that once again he's hit the nail on the head with his discussion of "The Watermelon Bill" (green on the outside, red on the inside) - H.R. 2454 American Clean Energy Act. I'm referring to the recently passed Cap and Trade bill, which slimily slipped through the House of Representatives by a 219-212 vote late Friday while the media instead fixated on the late Michael Jackson.

Maybe they're hoping that Watermelon's Viagra-like Effect will stimulate the economy. My money's on (literally, it seems) an effect more like the one noted in Spain.

Take a peak at an excerpt from "Tilting at Green Windmills" on RealClearPolitics:

WASHINGTON -- The Spanish professor is puzzled. Why, Gabriel Calzada wonders, is the U.S. president recommending that America emulate the Spanish model for creating "green jobs" in "alternative energy" even though Spain's unemployment rate is 18.1 percent -- more than double the European Union average -- partly because of spending on such jobs?

Calzada, 36, an economics professor at Universidad Rey Juan Carlos, has produced a report which, if true, is inconvenient for the Obama administration's green agenda, and for some budget assumptions that are dependent upon it.

Calzada says Spain's torrential spending -- no other nation has so aggressively supported production of electricity from renewable sources -- on wind farms and other forms of alternative energy has indeed created jobs. But Calzada's report concludes that they often are temporary and have received $752,000 to $800,000 each in subsidies -- wind industry jobs cost even more, $1.4 million each. And each new job entails the loss of 2.2 other jobs that are either lost or not created in other industries because of the political allocation -- sub-optimum in terms of economic efficiency -- of capital. (European media regularly report "eco-corruption" leaving a "footprint of sleaze" -- gaming the subsidy systems, profiteering from land sales for wind farms, etc.) Calzada says the creation of jobs in alternative energy has subtracted about 110,000 jobs from elsewhere in Spain's economy.


To which Washington DC responds:

"NAH,NAH, NAH, NAH,NAH, NAH - I CAN'T HEAR YOU BECAUSE YOU'RE NOT SAYING WHAT I WANT TO HEAR!"

Why, oh why, are they waging war on a trace gas that is necessary for the survival of life on earth that makes up only 0.00039% of the atmosphere? Yes folks, soon you will be taking turns breathing on alternate days, because we all exhale polluting gases. Let's take a little science side trip. If we visit The Cold Facts on Global Warming, we find (emphasis mine):

According to the US Department of Energy, only about 14.8% of this increase, or 11.88 ppm, is man-made. The remaining 68.5 ppm is caused by natural forces, such as volcanoes and forest fires [26]. From this, researchers have estimated that, when water vapor is taken into account, anthropogenic CO2 contributions cause about 0.117% of the Earth's total greenhouse effect.

At the current rate of increase, CO2 will not double its current level until 2255.


And as for the pictures of poor drowning polar bears used to rally support for the AGW cause, maybe the AGW fanatics should have a chat with a certain polar bear expert who has been banned from Copenhagen. BTW, he says the bears are doing just fine, thank you very much. I know this sounds silly, but shouldn't being covered with hollow air-filled hairs all over their body be like having their own built-in personal flotation devices? I'm sure bears die, don't get me wrong, but they seem pretty well adapted to their lifestyle overall.

Of course, companies will simply relocate to other countries like India and China to do business, so those emissions won't really decrease anyway, so I guess the whole discussion is even more irrelevant.

So, if this isn't about jobs or science, what is it about? MORE GOVERNMENT CONTROL AND LINING PEOPLE'S POCKETS. Like I tell my boys - follow the money. Al Gore stands to become the first Global Warming billionaire. Nancy Dearest and Rep. Markey (who sponsored the bill) aren't doing so bad either. (I thought this type of thing was called insider trading and was illegal?)

From Glenn Beck:

• Nancy Pelosi has $50,000 to $100,000 in Clean Energy Fuels Corp.

• Rep. Edward Markey — hmm, why does that name sound familiar? — has investments between $51,000 and $115,000 in the Firsthand Technology Value Fund (which as three solar-energy manufacturers)

• Al Gore — Mr. "Inconvenient Truth" himself — his venture capital firm is heavily invested in a new software company that's making software to help companies track their carbon footprint. He, and companies like his, will make a fortune.


Then again, Mr. Gore indulging in a little fearmongering for his own financial benefit is nothing new.

Suburban Guerrilla has some good excerpts from a Rolling Stone article that point out yet another set of beneficiaries - Wall Street:

In almost every case, the very same bank that behaved recklessly for years, weighing down the system with toxic loans and predatory debt, and accomplishing nothing but massive bonuses for a few bosses, has been rewarded with mountains of virtually free money and government guarantees - while the actual victims in this mess, ordinary taxpayers, are the ones paying for it.


Carbon credits are a artificially created, non-existent commodity that are now set to be traded just like stock futures. That's worked pretty well, hasn't it? You think gas prices shot up fast before? You ain't seen nothing yet, as the saying goes.

Finally, it's all about control. The government will decide what vehicle you can drive, what temperature you can keep your home at, what type of lighting (if any) you can use - it's a pretty substantial list. Check the Constitution. There is no mention of these powers in it. As I mentioned at the top of the post, this bill is a watermelon - green on the outside and red on the inside - moving us ever closer to a Socialist/Marxist state.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Praying for a Miracle in Iran

I know, it's probably too much to hope for, but my prayers are with the ordinary people of Iran who are fighting for their lives and for their freedom. May they overcome the tyrants who subjugate them.



From the Wall Street Journal "The Fear is Gone: Voices from Iran"

Marching to Freedom Square

By Alireza in Tehran

There is something in the air in Tehran these days. We remain afraid, but we also dare to speak.

I left my home in Tajrish along with my family at 3 p.m. to head to the protest on Monday. We knew that people were supposed to gather in Enghelab [Revolution] Square at 4 p.m. and march toward Azadi [Freedom] Square. From Gisha Bridge onwards, we saw people walking. Cars were blowing their horns and people were flashing the victory sign. I also saw a group of about 20 militiamen with long beards and batons on motorbikes.

My hand was hanging out of the taxi window with a little green ribbon -- the color of the reformists -- tied around my finger. One of the militiamen told me to "throw that ribbon away!" When I refused, 15 people attacked me inside the car. They beat me with their batons and tried to pull me out.

My wife and my daughter who were sitting in the back seat cried and held me tight. I also held myself tight to the chair. As they tried to shatter the car windows the driver went out and explained that he is just a taxi driver, we are just his passengers, and he hadn't done anything wrong. After about five minutes they left us alone.

Soon we joined the crowd at Enghelab Street. What I saw there was the most magnificent scene I have ever witnessed in my life. The huge numbers of people were marching hand-in-hand peacefully. There were no slogans being shouted. Hands were held up in victory signs with green ribbons. People carried placards which read: silence. Young and old, men and women, rich and poor were marching cheerfully. It was an amazing show of solidarity. I was so proud.

Enghelab Street, the widest avenue in Tehran, was full of people. Some estimated that there were one to two million people there. As we marched, we passed a police department and a Basij base. In both places, we could see fully-armed riot police and militiamen watching us from behind fences. Near Sharif University of Technology, where the students had chased away Mahmoud Ahmadinejad a few days before, Mir Hossein Mousavi (the reformist president-elect) and Mehdi Karrubi, the other reformist candidate, spoke to the people and were received with cries of praise and applause.

My family and I had put stickers on our mouths to represent the suppression of the regime. Other people carried signs. One quoted the national poet Ahmad Shamlu: "To slaughter us/why did you need to invite us/to such an elegant party." Another made fun of the government's claim that Ahmadinejad won 24 million votes: "The Miracle of the Third Millennium: 2 x 2 = 24 million." Others just read: "Where is my vote?"

When we finally arrived at Azadi Square, which can accommodate around 500,000 people, it was full. We saw smoke coming from Jenah Freeway and heard the gunshots. People were scared but continued walking forward.

Later, my sister told me that she saw four militiamen come out from a house and shoot a girl. Then they shot a young boy in his eye and the bullet came out of his ear. She said that four people were shot.

On my way home at around 2 a.m. I saw about 10 buses full of armed riot police parked on the side of the road. There were scattered militiamen in civilian clothes carrying clubs patrolling the empty streets. And in Tajrish Square I saw a boy around 16 holding a club, looking for something to attack.

At Ahmadinejad's "victory" ceremony, government buses transported all his supporters from nearby cities. There was full TV coverage of that ceremony, where fruit juice and cake were plentiful. At most, 100,000 gathered to hear his speech, including all the militiamen and soldiers.

We reformists have no radio, no newspaper, and no television. All our Internet sites are filtered, as well as social networks such as Facebook. Text messaging and mobile communication were also cut off during the demonstrations. And yet we had hundreds of thousands, if not millions.

The state-run TV station has announced that riot police will severely punish anybody that demonstrates. Ahmadinejad called the opposition a bunch of insignificant dirt who try to make the taste of victory bitter to the nation. But his remark was answered by the largest demonstrations ever.

Older people compared Monday's gathering to the demonstrations of 1979 which marked the downfall of the Shah's regime. They even said that this event was larger.

Democracy is a long way ahead. I may not be alive to see that day. With eyes full of tears in these early hours of June 16, I glorify the courage of those who have already been killed. I hope that the blood of these martyrs will make every one of us more committed to freedom, to democracy and to human rights.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Well said, Mr. Hansen, well said!

Just Make Stuff Up
President Obama’s war on the truth.

By Victor Davis Hanson

In the first six months of the Obama administration, we have witnessed an assault on the truth of a magnitude not seen since the Nixon Watergate years. The prevarication is ironic given the Obama campaign’s accusations that the Bush years were not transparent and that Hillary Clinton, like her husband, was a chronic fabricator. Remember Obama’s own assertions that he was a “student of history” and that “words mean something. You can’t just make stuff up.”

Yet Obama’s war against veracity is multifaceted.


Read the full article on the National Review.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Return to China Those Who Belong in China

Q: Where were the Uighur Gitmo detainees found?
A: In Taliban strongholds and training camps.

Q: What country are the Uighur detainees citizens of?
A: China

Q: Where should the Uighur detainees be returned to?
A: China, not Bermuda.


Detainees Freed in Bermuda
...

Friday, June 12, 2009

16 Czars and Counting

Call me oblivious, but I never realized that past presidents had appointed czars. In my defense, the most that had previously been appointed by any administration were four (George W. Bush appointed a National Intelligence Czar, a Cybersecurity Czar, an AIDS Czar, and a Drug Czar). Now, being president is a tough job, and I'm sure extra help is appreciated. On the other hand, last time I checked, the Constitution called for three branches of government, not one.

Let's take a look at the latest list of Obama czars.

President Obama: 16 Czars (and counting)

* Drug Czar- Gil Kerlikowske, former Seattle police chief

* Energy and Environment Czar - Carol Browner

* Homeland Security Czar - John Brennan

* Health Czar - Nancy-Ann DeParle

* Urban Affairs Czar - Adolfo Carrion, Jr.

* Economic Czar - Paul A. Volcker

* Regulatory Czar - Cass R. Sunstein

* Technology Czar - Vivek Kundra

* Government Performance Czar - Jeffrey Zients

* Border Czar - Alan Bersin

* WMD Policy Czar - Gary Samore

* Intelligence Czar (Director of National Intelligence) - Dennis Blair

* Car Czar - Steven Rattner

* Pay Czar - Kenneth R. Feinberg

* Great Lakes Czar - Cameron Davis

* Cyber Czar - TBA

As David Rothkopf Notes on Foreign Policy, he's created more czars than the Romanov Dynasty.

Get to Know Obama's Czars by Benjamin Sarlin is a nice piece on The Daily Beast that introduces us to some of the czars. Thus far what I've seen hasn't left me particularly comforted.

I realize that each of these issues that he has appointed a czar for is certainly important, but none of them occur in a vacuum. You can't isolate them from the conditions surrounding them. Our country and our economy functions as a system, not a collection of independent actions. Artificially manipulating different facets of the economy will have far-reaching, potentially devastating effects.

To me these czars seem to represent a heretofore unseen grab for power and control, subverting the oversight of the other branches of government. A President's main advisers are supposed to be his Cabinet, whose appointment is approved by Congress. It's called Checks and Balances.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Psychological Warfare



Couple this with the inability to do basic math and science and it's no wonder we're in the state we're in.

I like this interview even better, but I can't get the embedding to work.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

More Global Warming Stupidity

Get ready to dig a little deeper into your wallet. From Cap-and-Trade: All Cost, No Benefit in the Washington Post:

The Obama administration and congressional Democrats have proposed a major cap-and-trade system aimed at reducing carbon dioxide emissions. Scientists agree that CO2 emissions around the world could lead to rising temperatures with serious long-term environmental consequences. But that is not a reason to enact a U.S. cap-and-trade system until there is a global agreement on CO2 reduction. The proposed legislation would have a trivially small effect on global warming while imposing substantial costs on all American households. And to get political support in key states, the legislation would abandon the auctioning of permits in favor of giving permits to selected corporations.

The leading legislative proposal, the Waxman-Markey bill that was recently passed out of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, would reduce allowable CO2 emissions to 83 percent of the 2005 level by 2020, then gradually decrease the amount further. Under the cap-and-trade system, the federal government would limit the total volume of CO2 that U.S. companies can emit each year and would issue permits that companies would be required to have for each ton of CO2 emitted. Once issued, these permits would be tradable and could be bought and sold, establishing a market price reflecting the targeted CO2 reduction, with a tougher CO2 standard and fewer available permits leading to higher prices.


If we take a look at Moonbattery.com, we note:
Not even Henry Waxman, the left-wing freak who has been ramming this act of economic sabotage through the Energy and Commerce Committee he chairs, is familiar with its contents.
Visit the Moonbattery post to see an assortment of lovely YouTube videos highlighting this idiocy.

Why, WHY isn't anyone in power standing up and saying "WAIT JUST A MINUTE!" Before we run this country into the ground,let's look at the basic science.

Skeptic's Corner has an excellent post title Spit and Pie Charts that compares the different graphs used by the global warming alarmists to the reality of the world we live in. The first chart is similar to those used by the alarmists (like the Goracle, showing how carbon dioxide makes up 76% of greenhouse gases, including the gases methane, nitrous oxide, and fluorocarbons. Oh my, that carbon dioxide must be really evil!

Chart two steps back a bit. We see that only about 5% of that original CO2 is (so called) manmade....hmmm...

My favorites are saved for last. What's the "most nastiest" greenhouse gas of them all? WATER - H2O - AGUA! 95% - ninety-five percent of the greenhouse effect on our planet is caused by plain old water. Human activities contribute only 0.28%. It almost makes you want to go out and buy a Humvee.



Finally, he looks at exactly what gases make up our atmosphere.



This is the make up of our Earth's atmosphere. Nitrogen, Oxygen and that tiny sliver of Argon. Where is carbon dioxide and methane and all that other stuff? They are too small to be represented in a pie chart, that is why they are called trace gasses.

How small amount of carbon dioxide is there in our atmosphere? Imagine the above graph represents 100,000 dots, so nitrogen would be 78,000 dots, oxygen would be 21,000 dots, Argon would be 1,000 dots and carbon dioxide would be currently about 39 dots. Or as Roy Spencer puts it:

"As of 2009, there are only 38 or 39 molecules of CO2 for every 100,000 molecules of atmosphere, and it will take mankind’s CO2 emissions another five years to raise that total by 1 molecule, to 40 out of every 100,000 molecules.....Yes, we might double the CO2 concentration of the atmosphere by late in this century…but 2 times a very small number is still a very small number."

It is not like that tiny amount of carbon dioxide is not important, life would come to a screeching halt without it. As that heretic Freeman Dyson pointed out:

"The fundamental reason why carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is critically important to biology is that there is so little of it. A field of corn growing in full sunlight in the middle of the day uses up all the carbon dioxide within a meter of the ground in about five minutes. If the air were not constantly stirred by convection currents and winds, the corn would stop growing."

But I still like Reid's

"You can go outside and spit and have the same effect as doubling carbon dioxide".

Thursday, May 28, 2009

The Solar Fraud

I was perusing a rummage sale a couple weeks ago when I came across the book “The Solar Fraud: Why Solar Energy Won’t run the World”. Always interested in hearing both sides of an argument, I had to pick it up, and I’m very glad I did. The author, Howard C. Hayden, is a theoretical physicist, with no ties to the energy industry (renewable or otherwise). It was so refreshing to read a straight-forward, logical evaluation of renewable technology – an absolute pleasure and a reminder of why I chose mathematics and physics as my undergraduate fields of study.

Born in 1970, I was raised (along with the rest of recent generations) listening to the siren’s song of renewables, which would soon be raining down limitless free energy and breaking our dependence on foreign oil. “Solar will soon be cost effective”, “The answer to our energy problems comes up every morning”. I went to graduate school at UW- Madison and spent a year and half in the world renowned Solar Energy Laboratory. I listened to speeches and lectures about the “promise of renewable energy” and sat in on the Wisconsin Utilities Advance Plan sessions where they set goals of 20% of our state energy production to be generated by renewable energy at “some point in the future”.

Well, here we are in 2009, with a president and congress moving aggressively to punish producers/consumers of conventional energy, and it is a scientific fact that renewable energy is still unable to provide a significant portion of our energy needs. According the Energy Information Administration report released May 15, 2009, “other renewables” (biomass, geothermal, solar and wind) and miscellaneous energy sources generated only 3.5% of our country’s electric power. 3.5%!!! How can you hope to run a technologically advanced nation on only 3.5% of its required power? Would you be happy if you went into a restaurant and they gave you only 3.5% of your requested food purchase, because the “restaurant experts” know better than you how much you should be eating?

Even at 100% efficiency for solar conversion (that is, full daylight at noon in the tropics being completely converted to energy), you would need a land area roughly equivalent to the state of Minnesota completely covered with solar panels. How could a project with that large of an environmental impact ever hope to be developed when faced with current regulatory hurdles? Couple this with the inherently unpredictable nature of solar (the sun doesn’t always shine and the wind doesn’t always blow - only Al Gore and his ilk are a predictable source of hot air) and the difficulty of tying production from the best resource locations to where the energy is needed, and it is blatantly obvious that we are not ready, and may never be ready, to run our country completely on renewable energy.

It is my impression that the majority of those who rabidly advocate renewable energy and nothing else are either (a) incapable of basic math or (b) those who have never gone without energy/tried to live solely on renewable or (c) both of the above. I have met some exceptions to this rule, people who walk the talk, generally living a very modest Luddite-type lifestyle in one form or another. They are few and far between.

I have traveled a fair way down the “renewables only” road. I have used an outhouse at night with a -40F windchill barking at my backside. I had friends who tried out sawdust toilets for a while. Have you ever seen a five gallon poopsicle? That’s what happens when you set a full sawdust toilet bucket outside that can’t be emptied right away because you’re in the middle of a snowstorm. No thanks – I’ll stick with indoor plumbing. I’ve relied primarily on firewood for heat in a Wisconsin winter. You don’t feed the stove, you freeze your house (including your indoor plumbing, if you’re a radical like me) and you once again freeze your backside. It’s a lot of work to cut and haul firewood and an inconvenience to be tethered to your home. I really like that nifty propane tank in the backyard that protects my house from freezing if I can’t be there to keep the home fires burning. (The robins like it, too. They’re raising their second brood of babies under the tank lid.)

I have built a passive solar super-insulated home and installed a solar water heater. A “passive” home means an active homeowner. If you don’t open and close your window insulation at appropriate times, you will lose more than you gain. And when the sun doesn’t shine for a month (for instance, last December) I am once again very fond of that nifty propane tank that I’ve got for backup. I’ve baked in a wood stove and a solar oven, too. I’m sure I could probably get used to it if I absolutely had to, but, wow, it is so much easier to touch a button or turn a knob and have temperature controlled cooking surfaces at the ready. It’s like magic – honestly!

Despite all its warts and its critics, our utility system gives us a quality of life only dreamed about by many people. Energy is life. It keeps us fed and clothed and housed, it entertains and educates us, expands our horizons.

While I continue to be a supportive of renewables and an environmental steward, I know the limitations of the technology, which were eloquently summed up in Dr. Hayden’s book. (BTW, a lot of the reviews on amazon.com that trash the book site anthropogenic global warming as a reason for supporting renewables regardless of their expense and other issues. My response is that AGW is a load of horse pooey. See "Watt's Up?" on the side bar.) I encourage you to do your own research and become an educated energy consumer.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Really Expensive Mistakes

I think the widespread lack of understanding of basic math is coming back to bite our country in the *ss. You listen to the news and the supporters of rampant government spending, and they never seem to grasp that all that money has to come from somewhere. Sure, you can print up more, but then it becomes worthless, just like the promises of our current administration in DC.

Let's take a looksee at the "dire predictions" of what would happen without the stimulus bill (from American Issues Report:

In early January, a joint paper [PDF file] by Dr. Christine Romer, then the nominee to chair the Presidential Council of Economic Advisers, and Jared Bernstein from Joe Biden's advisory team painted a bleak view of a world without the off-budget stimulus plan. This paper drove the administration's agenda on the stimulus bill and helped formulate the calculus that gave a much higher priority to public-works projects as opposed to tax cuts and business incentives. Failure to act, Romer and Bernstein warned, could have dire consequences (page 5):

The U.S. economy has already lost nearly 2.6 million jobs since the business cycle peak in December 2007. In the absence of stimulus, the economy could lose another 3 to 4 million more. Thus, we are working to counter a potential total job loss of at least 5 million. As Figure 1 shows, even with the large prototypical package, the unemployment rate in 2010Q4 is predicted to be approximately 7.0 percent, which is well below the approximately 8.8 percent that would result in the absence of a plan.


Yet, here we are, after burdening ourselves, our children and grandchildren with crushing debt, and what have we got to show for it?



Unemployment is actually worse than they predicted without the stimulus package. And we haven't even gotten started on government healthcare. Government control of healthcare will lead to rationing and the death of innovation. I'm not okay with that.

Check out this article from Health Informatics:

EMRs May Do Away With the Docs that Use Them
Posted on: 5.5.2009 8:37:39 AM Posted by Sam Bierstock, MD, BSEE

The President has announced his goal to digitalize our nation's medical record system. If achieved, this wonderful and lofty notion would certainly reduce medical errors, increase the quality of care delivered, bring consistency of care to our citizens, reduce costs associated with delivering health care, and quite possibly drive the physicians who are supposed to use them out of business.

The buzzards are already beginning to circle.

Physicians and nurses are the most pressured of all professionals, with expectations of their performance and its unimaginable responsibilities beyond the comprehension of people who have never made life and death decisions hundreds of times a day. With every decision and action comes the risk of being held liable and losing both their profession and their assets. The very mechanics of using electronic medical records in their current state of development has complicated the lives of many clinicians who use them and have been slow in being adopted for that reason. With luck, that will change.

What few people realize is that using a computer to document every decision, every action, and the assessment of every piece of information that streams to clinicians in real time represents a major change in the way clinicians have to think and work, and an audit trail that has begun the salivation process of every malpractice attorney who has finally realized what is about to be imposed on the medical profession. An electronic medical record system can track how long a doctor looked at a document, if he or she scrolled down to read the entire thing, how long it took a doctor or nurse to respond to an alert or notification of an abnormal result, how long it took for them to answer their email, and the accuracy of their every assessment, thought and action. It can track whether their decisions and actions meet the most recent guidelines or research results in a world where thousands and thousands of new papers and research are published every week.

This may sound wonderful for those receiving care, but how many people reading this article would want to use such a system in their work knowing that their every thought and action could be audited and evaluated by others who make their living suing you for everything you own?


What happens when it's you or your loved ones who are denied care because you don't meet the government criteria? What happens when China stops buying our debt? This house of cards is going to come tumbling down with a mighty roar. The Founding Fathers must be turning over in their graves as the Constitution is trampled into the dust.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Liberty and Tyranny

Not much time to post today, but this just struck a chord and I had to share the link:

Liberty and Tyranny
by Mike S. Adams

For the past few years, I’ve been arguing that those who like to be called “liberals” should instead be called statists. You know these people. They are the ones who, full of righteous indignation, speak incessantly of injustice and oppression in America. They also speak, in sentences full of smug self-assurance, as if they and only they possess the empathy and intellectual fortitude necessary to provide “solutions” to a host of social “problems” thrust upon a good people by a bad “society.” ...

Read the rest of Mike's post here.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Doctor Utopia's ISM

Via Kate at SDA:



My how things have changed. So sad to see so many people guzzling the ISM.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

The Stowers Story

"Government big enough to supply everything you need is big enough to take everything you have ... The course of history shows that as a government grows, liberty decreases." - Thomas Jefferson



The latest update on the Stowers from the Journal of Whole Foods and Nutritional Health.

Chatting Bacteria

Imagine that!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Celebrating Earth Day Obama-style

From the Wall Street Journal:

The backup Air Force One aircraft, one of two Boeing 747-200B series planes used to transport the president, made a three-hour round-trip flight from Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland to New York early Monday, accompanied by a single F-16 fighter. The goal was to get a publicity photo of the plane flying in front of the Statue of Liberty, which sits in the New York Harbor between New York and New Jersey. An Air Force spokesman Tuesday said the photographer was seated in the back seat of the F-16 fighter jet.

Some local authorities in New York were informed of the flight before it occurred, but the Federal Aviation Administration, on orders from the military, told New York officials not to disclose the information to residents or businesses. When New Yorkers saw the huge plane bearing down on lower Manhattan followed by the F-16 jet, many suspected another terrorist attack was about to occur. Some buildings in New York and in Jersey City, N.J., ordered evacuations.


Of course, our CIC denies any prior knowledge of this event, and once again expresses outrage and leaves someone else to take the fall. Whatever happened to "The Buck Stops Here" type of presidency? Apparently our fearless leaders in Washington have never heard of Photoshop (then again, former Democratic presidential hopefull John Kerry flew all the way to Vietnam just to take pictures, so I guess this is par for the course). And let's see, just how big was the carbon footprint on this little stunt? Again, I suppose that shouldn't be surprising, either, as his Earth Day "hop" to Iowa burned over 9000 gallons of fuel.

I'm so glad that our tax dollars are once again being spent wisely by sound stewards of the environment. Gee, I sure hope they got a good picture.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

The Land of No Smiles

From ForeignPolicy.com:

Renowned documentary photographer Tomas van Houtryve entered North Korea by posing as a businessman looking to open a chocolate factory. Despite 24-hour surveillance by North Korean minders, he took arresting photographs of Pyongyang and its people—images rarely captured and even more rarely distributed in the West. They show stark glimmers of everyday life in the world’s last gulag.


I don't know about this being "the world's last gulag", unfortunately, things are pretty grim in some other areas of the world, too, but it shows us a glimpse into the logical conclusion of Communism. "Junior" summed it up pretty well in Comments section of Small Dead Animals:

What's not to like?

No vehicles = no pollution
Nothing to buy = no subprime mortgages or mcmansions
No food = no obesity
No electricity = no global warming

In short everything the chicken littles of the climate change industry should adore.


We've got a map posted on the wall of our computer room that shows the world at night. North Korea is dark. You can see a nighttime satellite image of the two Koreas here.

I don't know about you, but I want the option of light at night. I want heat when it's cold. I enjoy regular meals, transportation, well-stocked stores - all the benefits of capitalism. We don't need to go down this path.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

The Attack on Veterans

I get steamed about a lot of things, it's true, but this latest round of attacks on veterans has really, really got me up in arms.

First the Missouri Militia report, then the DHS memo, now the helpful training video from Penn State, what's next?

Some of the highlights from the Missouri report and the DHS memo can be found at The New American:

Public outcry over a similarly controversial political profiling report by a federal-state “fusion center” under the aegis of the Missouri State Highway Patrol (MSHP) continues to reverberate through the Show Me State. The report, entitled “The Modern Militia Movement”, lists a number of violent activities attributed to “right wing” militia groups and then posits “mind set” links between them and legitimate, law-abiding groups, political parties, and political candidates. The report, which was disseminated to law enforcement, specifically names Congressman Ron Paul (R-Texas), who ran for president in the 2008 Republican Party primaries, and Bob Barr and Chuck Baldwin, presidential candidates, respectively, for the Libertarian and Constitution parties. (See “Profiling and Criminalizing Political Dissent”).

The report states: “Militia members most commonly associate with 3rd party political groups. It is not uncommon for militia members to display Constitutional Party, Campaign for Liberty, or Libertarian material.” On March 29, Campaign for Liberty staff member Steve Bierfeldt was stopped and subjected to harassing search and questioning by law enforcement at the St. Louis airport after the conclusion of the group’s conference, at which Rep. Ron Paul was the keynote speaker. The intimidation session was recorded on Bierfeldt’s iPhone and has subsequently become an Internet sensation.




The DHS report is very damning.

(U) Disgruntled Military Veterans
(U//FOUO) DHS/I&A assesses that rightwing extremists will attempt to recruit and radicalize returning veterans in order to exploit their skills and knowledge derived from military training and combat. These skills and knowledge have the potential to boost the capabilities of extremists—including lone wolves or small terrorist cells—to carry out violence. The willingness of a small percentage of military personnel to join extremist groups during the 1990s because they were disgruntled, disillusioned, or suffering from the psychological effects of war is being replicated today.

— (U) After Operation Desert Shield/Storm in 1990-1991, some returning military veterans—including Timothy McVeigh—joined or associated with rightwing extremist groups.

— (U) A prominent civil rights organization reported in 2006 that “large numbers of potentially violent neo-Nazis, skinheads,and other white supremacists are now learning the art of warfare in the [U.S.] armed forces.”

— (U//LES) The FBI noted in a 2008 report on the white supremacist movement that some returning military veterans from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have joined extremist groups.

You can read the full DHS report here.

David K. Rehbein, national commander of the American Legion, expresses my problem with this report quite well:

The American Legion is well aware and horrified at the pain inflicted during the Oklahoma City bombing, but Timothy McVeigh was only one of more than 42 million veterans who have worn this nation's uniform during wartime. To continue to use McVeigh as an example of the stereotypical "disgruntled military veteran" is as unfair as using Osama bin Laden as the sole example of Islam.

Penn State put out a wonderful training video for teachers, which is discussed in Dealing With Disruptive Veterans:

In the video, an instructor pays a visit to her department head indicating that she is still having a problem with a student. The department head responds eerily, asking whether the referenced student is "the veteran." She indicates that, yes, it is “the veteran.”

The timid instructor then explains to the department head that she's very nervous because the veteran student has confronted her in reference to the poor grades he's receiving in the class. Then the video breaks away to a flashback. In the flashback, the instructor calmly assures the student, "This isn't a personal thing against you."

Of course, the veteran student responds angrily. His gaze is intense and evokes fear of a possible physical assault as he says “I think it is. You've made it very clear in your class how you feel about the war and you're taking it out on me." The instructor responds in a pleading tone, "My personal beliefs have nothing to do with the way I treat you."

At least two messages in this video are very disturbing: First, instructors are often unfairly attacked for injecting their beliefs into their courses when, in fact, they do not. Second, those assaults come from dangerous extremists on the right including, but not limited to, members of the military.

Both of those messages are untrue and intentionally propagandistic. But that’s not what Penn State is saying.

These returning veterans are brothers, sisters, husbands, wives, fathers, mothers, sons and daughters. This could be MY brother - a man who has dedicated his life to the service of others through the military and the church, who served in the first Iraq war. This administration appears to be actively targeting not those who should be our true concerns, but those who are not willing to be mindless sheeple and turn their hearts, minds and incomes over to the D.C. "cause de jour". The whole thing makes me very heartsore.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Am I A Racist?

Does this look familiar?



Planned Economy or Planned Destruction cartoon from the FDR era.

Those who do not study history are doomed to repeat it.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Rewriting History as We Know It - Goodbye Fred

As has been demonstrated by recent politcal events, those who live in academic ivory towers have a habit of ignoring or dismissing information which they find inconvenient or contrary to their preferred paradigm. I believe such is the case with the Bosnian Pyramids.

Egypt has the largest pyramid, but Bosnia's is the highest!
26 August 2008


Sarajevo Hotel Grand

This week experts from around the world have arrived in Bosnia to participate in the first International Coneference about the Bosnian Pyramids at Visoko. More than 120 people attended the conference on day three to hear experts presenting their arguments to answer questions surrounding the disputed Pyramids in Bosnia. Although a team has been excavating the site for the last three year it has only 'scratched the surface' of the pyramid's true nature, according to a number of the experts. Scientists in the fields of Geolgy, Archaeology and other sciences will work together to provide answers to these questions. At this stage, no tools or artefacts have been found that replicate discoveries in other pyramids around the world. Egyptian experts are comparing this project to Henry Carter's explorations. Having spent three years digging without any success, he found nothing. But Carter was lucky because he had access to rich Egyptian archives that helped him enormously. In the case of the Bosnian Pyramids, German archaeologists have found evidence of continious life at Visoko Valley including settlements of 10,000 people dating back some 6000 years. In bosnia, we do not have any archive against which to compare modern discoveries so the task is more complex. The APBPS Foundation announced that this confernece will occure every 2 years from now on and it hopes that Sarajevo will become the world center for exploring pyramids around the world. Experts from China and Egypt also gave presentations about pyramids in their native countries.

Zahi Hawass, omnipotent overlord of The Supreme Council of Antiquities of Egypt, has labeled the Bosnian Pyramids as "a pile of rocks". Last time I checked, rocks didn't form pyramidal shapes perfectly aligned with the compass directions. This isn't the first time Hawass has moved to stop exploration that would have disagreed with his "expert" opinion. He was also involved in halting the robotic exploration of the shafts of the Great Pyramid, denial of the evidence of water erosion of the Sphinx, denial of access for investigation of the potential Hall of Records housed under the Sphinx, and white-washing any number of other discoveries that don't agree with the status quo. Guess what Dr. Hawass? Eventually even you will have to acknowledge the preponderance of evidence that cannot be denied.

On a related note, I'd like to say goodbye to Fred Rydholm, who passed away last weekend. I never had a chance to meet Fred, but he seemed to be a very wise man who I would ahve enjoyed spending time with. I sure wish we had been able to attend the American Antiquities conference last October in the UP, but our current financial situation dictated otherwise. I greatly enjoyed Fred's book, Michigan Copper - The Untold Story.

From Superior Heartland:

Rydholm’s final years were devoted to the vision of building a museum in the U.P’s Copper Country where the world’s largest piece of float copper could be displayed to dramatically show the area’s peculiarly unique mineral heritage. As president of the Ancient Artifact Preservation Society, it was Rydholm’s dream to raise the necessary funds to accomplish this goal. Rydholm is survived by his wife, June, and his two sons, Fred K. (Pat Burke) and Dan (Kathleen Heideman). Rydholm willed that his remains be sent to the Michigan State University School of Medicine. A memorial service will be planned in the near future. Memorial gifts will be gratefully accepted by the Yellowdog Watershed Preserve, P.O. Box 5, Big Bay, MI 49808 (www.yellowdogwatershed.org); and the Ancient Artifact Preservation Society, c/o Judy Johnson, P.O. Box 216, Skandia, MI 49885 (www.aaapf.org).

Fred asked questions and did the math. He opened up my eyes to a world of possibilities I had never seen before, but once I considered them, there was no denying their logic. How could there have been a Bronze Age in Europe without a source of copper, which they didn't have on the continent? Where did the millions of tons copper geologically indicated to have been in Upper Michigan disappear to? How much of our heritage has been buried and denied? We will likely never have all the answers, but that doess't mean we should stop asking questions. Read his work, draw your own conclusions. I'll miss you, Fred.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

That's What I'm talking About

Keep your thinking hats on, kids.

DNA-Based Assembly Line for Nano-Construction of New Biosensors, Solar Cells


(PhysOrg.com) -- Building on the idea of using DNA to link up nanoparticles — particles measuring mere billionths of a meter — scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Brookhaven National Laboratory have designed a molecular assembly line for predictable, high-precision nano-construction. Such reliable, reproducible nanofabrication is essential for exploiting the unique properties of nanoparticles in applications such as biological sensors and devices for converting sunlight to electricity. The work will be published online March 29, 2009, by Nature Materials.


Concentrating solar powered desalination - a water solution?

Keep fighting against mediocrity and the culture of failure and fear-mongering. Long live innovation. Let us keep striving to raise up the living standards of all to a humane level, rather than pulling us all down into suffering.

Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieve it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

- Dylan Thomas

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Increasing Electric Rates

From the MacIver Institute:

a 17.7% increase in electricity rates is being forecasted under President Obama's Cap and Trade plan.

Cap and trade is a politically safe way to say massive global warming tax on anything that emits carbon. I prefer to call it what it is, a global warming tax. Others call at cap and tax.

...

Washington, DC - Ways and Means Ranking Member Dave Camp (R-MI) issued the following statement during today's committee hearing addressing price volatility in climate change legislation. The graph below shows the state-by-state analysis of annual increases in electricity costs that would occur under a 100% auction, as President Obama has called for, to meet his target carbon emission reductions:

"As the data suggests, in almost every case, cap-and-tax increases electricity rates and causes hardships for American families. In the past, providing incentives for renewable and alternate forms of energy has worked at lowering emissions. Congress should not resort to using penalties of an unproven cap-and-tax system that only serves to put millions of Americans out of work and skyrocket the cost of electricity for American families."


How about instead of horse-whipping us all for using too much electricity, we concentrate on producing new, more efficient forms of energy production (many solutions, not just one) and continue to make improvements in conservation?

Check the geologic record. The climate has changed, and will continue to change. We need to focus on solutions, not punishment. This type of taxation plan will continue to stunt industrial growth and encourage companies to continue their exodus from the US. It will also be a very regressive tax, hitting the poor very hard.

How about investing in innovations such as these?

..."butterfly inspired collector absorbs more light than conventional dye-sensitized cells. And, the manufacturing process is easier and faster than traditional methods."

anitreflective coating - "When a silicon solar cell was treated with their anti-reflective coating, sunlight absorbance increased from 67.4% to 96.21%, demonstrating “near perfect” absorbance."

plastic solar cells - "in five to seven years, inexpensive and mass-produced plastic solar cells made by ink jet-like printers can be made available to everyone."


How about taking a closer look at this "cold fusion alike"?

MIT has been working on solar storage, developing a process that mimics photosysnthesis so they can store solar energy for use at night.

Punishing current energy producers before the new techonology is ready to go live is foolish.

Anyone who knows me knows that I am into alternative energy, but I am not ready to inflict it on a market where it does not make economic sense. Take a look at this:

Job Losses From Obama Green Stimulus Foreseen in Spanish Study


By Gianluca Baratti

March 27 (Bloomberg) -- Subsidizing renewable energy in the U.S. may destroy two jobs for every one created if Spain’s experience with windmills and solar farms is any guide.

For every new position that depends on energy price supports, at least 2.2 jobs in other industries will disappear, according to a study from King Juan Carlos University in Madrid.

U.S. President Barack Obama’s 2010 budget proposal contains about $20 billion in tax incentives for clean-energy programs. In Spain, where wind turbines provided 11 percent of power demand last year, generators earn rates as much as 11 times more for renewable energy compared with burning fossil fuels.

The premiums paid for solar, biomass, wave and wind power - - which are charged to consumers in their bills -- translated into a $774,000 cost for each Spanish “green job” created since 2000, said Gabriel Calzada, an economics professor at the university and author of the report.

“The loss of jobs could be greater if you account for the amount of lost industry that moves out of the country due to higher energy prices,” he said in an interview.

Spain’s Acerinox SA, the nation’s largest stainless-steel producer, blamed domestic energy costs for deciding to expand in South Africa and the U.S., according to the study.

“Microsoft and Google moved their servers up to the Canadian border because they benefited from cheaper energy there,” said the professor of applied environmental economics.



"May destroy two jobs for every one created?" Are these the kind of numbers we want to generate? I know that right now with the incentives that are in place, local solar installers have a backlog of installations lined up. Why push ahead with the carbon tax? It's all about more government control, and I want no part of it.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Something Good from Wisconsin

Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) opening statement at the Markup of the FY 2010 Budget

Real Math

I would like to point out that a minus and a minus only equal a plus when you're multiplying, not when you add them together. The President either doesn't understand basic math or is lying through his big toothy grin.

Power Line says it more eloquently than I.

Obama said, in his introductory statement:

At the end of the day, the best way to bring our deficit down in the long run is not with a budget that continues the very same policies that have led us to a narrow prosperity and massive debt. It's with a budget that leads to broad economic growth by moving from an era of borrow and spend to one where we save and invest.

This is entirely disingenuous. Obama's budget plan multiplies the federal deficit far beyond what it has ever been, in any prior administration. So how is he "moving from an era of borrow and spend"? It's a lie, pure and simple, as this chart shows (note that it begins before the Bush administration and reflects Obama's budget projections that go beyond his maximum possible term):



When a politician is capable of this sort of bald-faced lie, an alarm bell has to go off every time he opens his mouth.

Monday, March 23, 2009

What was that guy's name?

Maybe they should issue President Obama a cheat sheet listing all the leaders of the world and their countries? Maybe he need one of his old college professors (I'd say elementary teachers, but they're back in Indonesia) to come in and check his writing before he sends big honking mistakes like this out?

Obama Upsets Sarkozy With Letter to Jacques Chirac

My bad.

It seemed outlandish, but I admit I was ready to believe it, given the seeming inability of the White House to do basic math, the gift of DVDs that won't play in the UK to the Prime Minister, the telepromter addiction...yeah...

Thursday, March 5, 2009

A video is worth how many words?

From The Real Revo:



Funny, somehow it's less appealing to be faced with someone who has accused you of air raiding villages and killing civilians.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Ode to Meat

From Betty Crocker’s New Picture Cookbook (1951): (Wish my copy was in better condition, it'd be worth a lot of money.)

From the Beginning of time, meat has been the mainstay of man’s diet. Wild deer, boar, fowl, and fish were the foods of the cave man whose life depended on his prowess as a hunter. Later in medieval times all food was referred to as “meat”. To celebrate battles, men feasted on meat and little else. There were no forks, though each guest brought his own knife.

As animals were domesticated, certain meats found favor in certain areas fo the world. The English are famous beef-eaters and Americans of English descent soon placed beef at the top of our meat preference list. Our southern neighbors in Argentine raise and enjoy excellent beef. The deeds of their gauchos and our cowboys have built a colorful folklore around beef-raising.

The Italian raost the paschal lamb at Eastr, the English love lamp chops, while the Near East prefers shish-kabobs.

Rich, flavorful pork, long a favorite in China, the Pacific isles and Africa, is second only to beef in our country.

In Italy and France, chefs and homemakers alike, know the art of cooking the delicate, tender veal; and we Americans would do well to learn from them.

With the following chapter as your guide, tender, flavorful meats will be yours for the cooking.

From a more scientific perspective (http://www.beyondveg.com/billings-t/comp-anat/comp-anat-4a.shtml):

In considering the evolution of human carnivory it may be that a level of 10-20% of nutritional intake may be sufficient to have major evolutionary consequences...

Meat-eating, it may be argued, represents an expansion of resource breadth beyond that found in non-human primates...

Homo, with its associated encephalization, may have been the product of the selection for individuals capable of exploiting these energy- and protein-rich resources as the habitats expanded (Foley 1987a).

The last sentence in the preceding quote is provocative indeed--it suggests that we, and our large brains, may be the evolutionary result of selection that specifically favored meat-eating and a high-protein diet, i.e., a faunivorous diet.

Further, domesticated animals have no purpose if they are not raised to produce a product. You are condemning awesome heirloom breeds to extinction if you avoid meat in its entirety. Check out sustainabletable.org:

Traditionally, farmers throughout the world have raised thousands of different animal breeds and plant varieties. However, since today's industrial farms rely upon only a few specialized types of livestock and crops, thousands of non-commercial animal breeds and crop varieties have disappeared, along with the valuable genetic diversity they possessed. Fortunately, a growing number of sustainable farmers are preserving agricultural variety and protecting biodiversity by raising “heritage” or “heirloom” animal breeds and crops

Enjoy sustainably raised meat in moderation without guilt. Feast on some free range eggs while you're at it.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Destroyers and Usurpers

"There is no curse in Elvish, Entish, or the tongues of men for this treachery."

Why am I suddenly thinking Tolkien when watching the nightly news.....hmmmmmm....how many trillion dollars spent (and counting)?

I think I need to pick up some of this...




"Destroyers and usurpers, curse them."

Friday, February 27, 2009

Well Said

From Dick Morris at The Hill.com:

Ultimately, all recessions and depressions resolve themselves into crises of confidence. The instant, global, 24/7 communications of today make them ever more so. President Obama, in his pursuit of liberal big-government spending, has totally neglected the role of the president of the United States in reversing global panic. To the contrary, his every remark and the constant preoccupation of his Cabinet is to heighten the sense of crisis and to escalate the predictions of doom if we do not do as they tell us and raise spending now and taxes later.

Instead of being a firewall, reassuring Main Street even as Wall Street crashed, he has become a conduit of panic, spreading the mood of desperation from the stock exchange floor to kitchen tables across the world.


This is not leadership or change we can believe in. This is fearmongering to promote an agenda that would otherwise be completely unacceptable to the majority of the American public.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Innovation isn't dead, but it is struggling

From the New York Times:
The report by the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation found that the United States ranked sixth among 40 countries and regions, based on 16 indicators of innovation and competitiveness. They included venture capital investment, scientific researchers, spending on research and educational achievement.

But the American economy placed last in terms of progress made over the last decade. “The trend is very troubling,” said Robert D. Atkinson, president of the foundation.

This is troublesome news, but not unexpected. If you look around in society, so much focus is put on sports and other extra-curriculars like arts, music and "culteral diversity" that very little time/effort is left for activities like math and science. (BTW, I haven't seen any cries to put caps on the salaries of athletes and movie stars....hmmmm...) History is reduced to names and dates and "feel good" sound clips. Little mention is made of the struggles, the time frames, the sheer hard work, perseverance and faith in God and in themselves that it took to accomplish these goals.

I want to celebrate the achievements of great scientists. Let's have a Da Vinci, an Einstein or a Feynman day. Let's inundate the schools with stories of the glory days of the space program, when men wielding slide rules put a man on the moon. What stunning achievements wait for us with the tools we have available today?

My husband has been learning about the Six Sigma management style. The basic framework is great for streamlining business processes, but companies have found that too much perfection actually reduces innovation. How's that for irony? His first thought was that you need to change the framework to actually allow for "innovation time". Sure enough, upon further research, he found a few companies moving in exactly that direction (generally not in the US, I'm sorry to say). I am hoping that he and others like him have opportunities in the coming years to put these ideas into practice and revive American innovation. Maybe this economic downturn is the motivation that's needed for business to take a hard look at the status quo and start moving in a better direction. Maybe...

I can dream, can't I?

Sunday, February 22, 2009

And Now for Some Good News...

Innovation is not dead. A better concentrating solar collector has been developed. I like this one - good physics and more affordable price tag. Purely "pie in the sky" solar is a fine place to start, but we need more solutions that can be implemented in the real world. This looks promising.

From Technology Review:

Morgan Solar’s high-precision optic--part acrylic and part glass--is molded so that light is trapped and bounces toward its center. A secondary glass optic concentrates the light to 1,000 suns and directs it to a tiny, high-efficiency solar cell. The low-profile design promises to reduce the cost of manufacturing and transportation.

The acrylic component--called a Light-Guide Solar Optic (LSO)--is a new type of solar concentrator that could significantly lower the cost of generating electricity from the sun. Unlike existing designs, there's no need for mirrors, complex optics, or chemicals to trap and manipulate the light. "It's pure geometric optics," says Morgan, director of business development at Toronto-based Morgan Solar.

Solar concentrators have emerged in recent years as a way to intensify the amount of sunlight hitting solar cells, which are the most expensive part of solar panels. To make solar power more affordable, engineers have sought to use less solar-cell material by concentrating sunlight onto much smaller spaces.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

We're going down, down, down...

From Newsmax.com:

So far in his month-old presidency:

Congress passed and Obama signed into law a record $787 billion mix of tax cuts, job-creating projects and aid to struggling states.

The president pledged up to $275 billion in federal aid to help stem a tidal wave of home foreclosures.

The Treasury Department and the Federal Reserve announced financial-rescue steps that could send up to $2 trillion coursing through the economy.

In all, the plans would raise the federal portion of the U.S. economy to some 31 percent, more than twice the level after eight years of FDR's historic New Deal spending.
...

Joblessness keeps rising. Consumers and businesses are cutting back. Bank lending remains down. And auto demand keeps falling, with two Detroit automakers saying this week that they may need up to $21.6 billion more in U.S. loans beyond what they received in January.

We may be going down, but I won't go without a fight. I will keep sending letters to my representatives in Congress, urging them to stop this lunacy. I will keep looking for new leadership, for innovation, for real understanding. I will do what I can to support my community and my friends and family, because in the end all we can really count on is each other. I will continue to share my views (at least, until/unless I am stifled by the Obama gestapo). I will applaud achievements in science and technology, and celebrate hard work well done.

The Anchoress recently blogged about giving more in hard times. Good show! Helping others takes your mind off your own troubles, and even a little can go a long way. Buy local when you can - that money helps to keep your community alive.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Taxation without representation

In the grand American tradition of protesting taxation without representation, I offer the Chicago Tea Party. Love this!

Monday, February 16, 2009

New math - hold onto your wallets

Since when did the federal government become an effective solution for the redistribution of wealth?

In this new world, math has become relative. I always knew that 5
minus 2 is 3… except today if we subtract $7 from $5 (taking money FROM the economy) that somehow it will ADD money to the economy. Let’s go over this. Explain exactly how taking everyones money (money each of us WORKED to get); money that hasn’t even been collected yet; THEN wasting at least 30% of it in bureaucracy, and then spending what’s left on projects that don’t work is a good plan?

The government can’t handle money, properly, PERIOD.

Bill Gates privately gives $10bil to needy causes.

If you are Bill Gates and give away $10billion, you have to hire someone to do it and let’s say that’s a team of 20 people each paid $50k on average (or $1million per year). Let’s say we want 5 years to disperse it all. Now assuming 4% market return. The group would give away about $2.245bil per year and have overhead of $1mil and over the entire period it would cost $5mil to give away about $11.2bil. That means it would cost Bill Gates .00891% to give away the money.

Bill Gates gets taxed and the government gives it to needy causes.

The federal government does it at a rate of about 20% to 40% cost (give or take) and in many cases accepts an additional 30% fraud on that redistribution. So applying the same situation they take $2bil from bill per year for 5 years, using up the $10bil. Bill doesn’t have to hire anyone to give the money away. Instead the federal government overhead uses up at best only 20%. So the IRS and handling drops the $2bil to $1.6 to be distributed. Now distribution actually eats more, but let’s say that cost is only 10% in oversight (which is impossibly low based on Government Accounting Office numbers). But for arguments sake let’s say it’s only 10%, now we are down from $1.6B to $1.44B to distribute. The ever efficient fed government distributes it now and has a record low 15% fraud. So now the money that actually is given to those SAME needy organizations is $1.224Bil.

So let’s compare. In one case its $2.2bil distributed to needy causes in the other is $1.2bil in funds. Work that out. It means that at BEST the federal government will deliver 45% of what it takes in back to the needy people. You might argue 35% even but that is still 35% LOSS.

The government was not founded to provide healthcare, tennis courts, and art endowments. Art, healthcare and other welfare programs were NEVER discussed during the ratification of the constitution. There were discussions about the federal government getting too much money, and in fact there was NO means created for the feds to get money except through the states, intentionally to keep the federal government from getting too much power. Don’t trust me - look at the debates, look at the writings.

Also look at the facts. When the government gets involved generally it screws up. Not intentionally but with the bureaucratic morass it has ALWAYS been, it only makes this more messed up.

Take gasoline, the government is here to help. To control the markets
and clean up the air there are now over 38 “blends” of gasoline - all regulated. That means I can’t sell gasoline from blend x in a county that uses blend y - Does anyone understand the simple rules of supply and demand!? That automatically creates 38 mini economies that CANNOT TRADE. If you run out of blend x you must wait for MORE blend x - you cannot use blend y.

Again, it’s just gasoline - ANY of the 38 blends will run a car, but oh no, the government can’t let the market solve shortages it must create
shortages of its own.

Or take the EPA, it gets $7.14billion in 2009 (plus anything buried in the $790Bil porkulus package). That’s right annually over $5Billion.

If you had $5bil to clean things up what would you do? You would do more and have a LOT less overhead. The government is simply NOT efficient or effective in 99% of things we as a society want done. The feds would be much more effective in contracting that out or simply setting rules that reward good behavior and tax bad behavior.

Bureaucracies have no incentive to do anything but exist and GROW.

Or take schools. More money is spent per student in the USA than in ANY other nation on the planet so we are #1 right? Nope. So maybe #2 or
#3? Nope. We must be in the top 10? Nope. We are #18 (or worse).
We spent over $8000 per student in 2003 . In 2006 we spent $9138 per student based on US Census Bureau numbers . I don’t know about you. But I am SURE I could spend $9k
per year on schooling better than the federal government is. I could send my kids to a good private school and actually get them to have better outcomes than we are getting, and if the school sucked I could spend my money at ANOTHER school that did NOT suck. #18 does not cut it, and doing the same old thing is NOT going to fix it. Double the amount schools get and it would NOT fix the problem.

Or take religion. The constitution says”Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof”. This doesn’t say rip down any religious symbol, it doesn’t say a kid saying a prayer is “BAD”. In fact, where does it say I must create public footbaths for Muslims? Where does it say that I must have representative religions? It doesn’t say any of that, but your recent leaders have been helping out with that, and the courts have been weighing in on what is simply NONE OF THEIR BUSINESS. This is simple common sense. A cross or a star of David or other religious symbol is simply that - a symbol. I really wish they had pushed religion a bit more – EVERY one of the founders were afraid of state sponsored religion. Look at Iran, Syria, and Malaysia… oddly these governments are not black listed by the left when nearly EVERY one of the people on the left would be outright KILLED by the fundamentalists in this three countries. So back to the point: Religion is NOT supposed to be part of the congressional rules yet here we are “DENYING” the free exercise thereof.

Everyone compares the big spending going on in Washington DC to the “new
deal”. Which were effectively useless, even UCLA analysts (a quite
liberal institution) has proven that the policies of spending most likely prolonged the Great Depression.

I feel we are at a crossroads. I am absolutely positive at least some of the people setting up the gasoline programs, or the schooling legislation or the EPA were operating with good intentions. But clearly intentions and reality don’t match up. I understand the urge to help others, I volunteer and donate $. I understand the need for an even playing field for employment. But all I see is the private sector,
which is where ALL value is – demonized, taxed and squashed. Continuing with this silliness will end up in 5yr plans and socialism/communism and eventually to the collapse of the USA just like the USSR collapsed.

Oh, and give me a break, what’s being done in DC is communism. If you take money in through the government and give it to someone else based on their needs that’s the tenant of Karl Marx. If the government controls WHO gets to make money in free markets and who doesn’t that’s Communism with a capital C. It’s the idea that one guy is smarter than everyone else and should decide what EVERYONE else is doing (that NEVER works for long). I am told it’s NOT ok for CEO’s to make $millions.
But apparently it is OK for actors, artists, football players and former presidents to make $15million for speaking engagements. This is pure nonsense, a slippery slope to economic collapse, a recipe for disaster.

All I can hope and pray is the entire left wing silliness gets knocked out in the next elections and that common sense starts to take hold again.