Sunday, May 31, 2009

White Roses

By now you have probably heard of Energy Secretary Chu's plan to paint the roofs in America white to fight global warming.

He should have had a talk with Alice about the big mistake that was made in Wonderlandby painting the roses red. So how about some appropriate mood music?

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Keep Yo Effn Mouth Shut

Will we still have a Constitutional Republic in four years? I have my doubts.

A new White House policy on permissible lobbying on economic recovery and stimulus projects has taken a decidedly anti-First Amendment turn. It's a classic illustration of Big Government trying to control every aspect of a particular activity and in the process running up against civil liberty.

Check out this passage from a post on the White House blog by Norm Eisen, Special Counsel to the President on Ethics and Government Reform (emphasis added):

"First, we will expand the restriction on oral communications to cover all persons, not just federally registered lobbyists. For the first time, we will reach contacts not only by registered lobbyists but also by unregistered ones, as well as anyone else exerting influence on the process. We concluded this was necessary under the unique circumstances of the stimulus program.

"Second, we will focus the restriction on oral communications to target the scenario where concerns about merit-based decision-making are greatest - after competitive grant applications are submitted and before awards are made. Once such applications are on file, the competition should be strictly on the merits. To that end, comments (unless initiated by an agency official) must be in writing and will be posted on the Internet for every American to see.

"Third, we will continue to require immediate internet disclosure of all other communications with registered lobbyists. If registered lobbyists have conversations or meetings before an application is filed, a form must be completed and posted to each agency’s website documenting the contact."
Evidently these guys have never heard of the First Amendment:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Obama may be a Constitutional scholar, but it is more than evident that actually reading the document is not a requirement for such an appellation.

I wonder if this phrase added to many of my posts comes under the restrictions:

Why hasn't Polywell Fusion been fully funded by the Obama administration?

Because Polywell is getting some stimulus funds but the award is not final.

H/T Small Dead Animals

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Islamic Crusades - British Rule Of India

Islamic Crusades: An Introduction
Islamic Crusades 1: The Occupation of Constantinople
Islamic Crusades 2: Before Islam... Egypt, Iran, Iraq
Islamic Crusades 3: The Co-Option of Jerusalem
Islamic Crusades 4: Lessons From the Thai Jihad
Islamic Crusades 5: Why did they hate us in 1783?
Islamic Crusades 6: India's Millennial Burden
Islamic Crusades 7: India's Modern Struggle - Above Video

Detailed Account of the Fall of Constantinople

The Occidental Soapbox has lots more on the videos and other stuff. Have a look.

And if you find the subject of interest you may find this book helpful:

The Great Arab Conquests: How the Spread of Islam Changed the World We Live In

I did find this reviewof the book interesting. Especially his conclusion:
For those Arabs today who mourn the loss of empire and feel humiliation and inferiority at the hands of the West, they would do well to study the lessons of this book. Tolerance of other cultures and religions - not rigidity and exclusion - is the key to greatness and power.
However imperfectly we practice it, tolerance of other cultures and religions is built into the American scheme:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

H/T Gates Of Vienna

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Time Limits

Althouse has a post up about hugging in school. She says some schools are imposing a three second limit.

Well... This is High School right?

I think it calls for the two minute drill.

Clouds And Climate - New Ideas Not Welcome

Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5

I have done a number of posts on the subject of how cosmic rays affect clouds and climate including:
Magnetized Weather And The Lost Concensus
Global Warming Not So Hot
More Clouds
Model Prediction
Climate Alchemy - Turning Hot Air Into Gold
Clouds In Chambers
Feedbacks Misdiagnosed
The Big Heat Pipe In The Sky

Cross Posted at Classical Values

A Doctor Talks About Medical Cannabis

A poster on the Drug Policy Forum of Texas list suggested the above video in the context of a University of California at San Francisco course on cannabis therapeutics that is accredited by the AMA and the ANA (American Nurses Association).

Here is what the www site has to say about the accreditation.
The University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine (UCSF) is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

UCSF designates this educational activity for a maximum of 10 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™. Physicians should only claim credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.
One of the presenters in the course is Angel Raich who was the subject of a Supreme Court Decision. I always liked Justice Thomas' dissent in that case. Angel said before the decision (it could have been after) that no mater how the decision went she intended to keep growing and using her medicine.

Some good books on the subject:

Marihuana: The Forbidden Medicine

Medicinal Uses of Cannabis and Cannabinoids

And for those of you into medicinal horticulture:

Marijuana Horticulture: The Indoor/Outdoor Medical Grower's Bible

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Friday, May 29, 2009

The Death Of Copyright

What the Motion Picture industry has not figured out is that the price of any product will go down to its marginal cost. How do you make a profit in such an environment? Volume. The difficulty of course that the available time for watching movies is limited.

So let us look at what my internet service costs me. I pay about $40 a month for high speed cable. I'm a heavy user and spend probably 12 hours a day on the 'net. (retirement is fun) Figure 30 days in a month. Twelve hours a day. Sixty minutes an hour. That is 21,600 minutes a month. At $40 that comes to about .2¢ a minute. So what is a reasonable charge for entertainment? One or two cents a minute. At most. Don't forget that while I can't watch while I'm not at my computer I can be downloading. And if I was into it, file sharing.

New technology kills old business models. TV killed live stage entertainment. Just as motion pictures before it did. Lots of theaters had to convert to motion pictures. So how can motion pictures make money? Use them as vehicles to sell stuff. Just as Star Wars did. I have a plastic Yoda sitting atop my computer. Still. At my daughter's high school graduation yesterday they played the Star Wars theme music. I'm sure a royalty was paid.

Actors? Their value is going down. What will take its place? Community theater. My #1 daughter has provided The Rockford Dance Company with many years of free labor as a dancer in community productions. It is one way a small community like ours (150,000) can have live ballet. For my daughter of course it is a labor of love.

You can watch the rest of the videos by following the below links. You may have to click some of the links in the sidebars to get the whole thing.

Part One
Part Two - Shown above
Part Three
Part Four

Trial Editon

I highly recommend this history of book publishing and censorship. Steal This Film II. It may explain the origin of our First Amendment Rights.

Personally I was one of the first users of computer information distribution called Resource One which I accessed at the Whole Earth Store in Berkeley. That led me into the computer revolution and subsequently my design of the I/O board that went into the world's first BBS. I helped Ward and Randy fix some bugs in the early Intel Serial I/O chips with hardware fixes. I have a few more words on the subject at this link.

Cross Posted at Classical Values

ITER Delayed, Scaled Back

Nature News is reporting that the ITER fusion experiment is in big trouble. Very big trouble. It is way over budget, way behind time, and the experimental efforts are being scaled back.

ITER — a multi-billion-euro international experiment boldly aiming to prove atomic fusion as a power source — will initially be far less ambitious than physicists had hoped, Nature has learned.

Faced with ballooning costs and growing delays, ITER's seven partners are likely to build only a skeletal version of the device at first. The project's governing council said last June that the machine should turn on in 2018; the stripped-down version could allow that to happen (see Nature 453, 829; 2008). But the first experiments capable of validating fusion for power would not come until the end of 2025, five years later than the date set when the ITER agreement was signed in 2006.

The new scheme, known as 'Scenario 1' to ITER insiders, will be discussed on 17–18 June in Mito, Japan, at a council meeting that will include representatives from all seven members: the European Union (EU), Japan, South Korea, Russia, the United States, China and India. It is expected to be approved at a council meeting in November.

Indeed, the plan is perhaps the only way forward. Construction costs are likely to double from the €5-billion (US$7-billion) estimate provided by the project in 2006, as a result of rises in the price of raw materials, gaps in the original design, and an unanticipated increase in staffing to manage procurement. The cost of ITER's operations phase, another €5 billion over 20 years, may also rise.
All the while a five man team in New Mexico that is actually getting results and is expected to solve the fundamental problems of their fusion method in two years or less is being starved for funds. I'm referring to the Polywell Fusion experiments being done by EMC2. Now it is true that Polywell might not work. But it is also true that at the level of funding they are getting they may be unable to do the all the experiments and tests that would speed the project along. All this for a project whose funding is in the millions per year vs ITER at billions per year. I don't get it. Well maybe I do. ITER has loads of political support. Lots of engineers scientists, and government labs have their thumbs in the pie. The support for Polywell is a grass roots rag tag effort. That effort has done some good. It has gotten the US Navy to restart the efforts in August of 2007 after the project was considered dead in 2006. So there is that.

One year of the USA contribution to the cost overruns on the ITER project could fully fund Polywell to a working 100 Mega Watt demonstration reactor (if that is feasible) in four to six years. What are we waiting for?

I will leave you with the usual message I leave at the end of posts on fusion:

You can learn the basics of fusion energy by reading Principles of Fusion Energy: An Introduction to Fusion Energy for Students of Science and Engineering

Polywell is a little more complicated. You can learn more about Polywell and its potential at: Bussard's IEC Fusion Technology (Polywell Fusion) Explained

Why hasn't Polywell Fusion been fully funded by the Obama administration?

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Climate Modelers At Work

The picture (Climate Modelers At Work) is from a Popular Science article discussing an MIT (yeah THAT MIT) paper predicting doomsday if the Chinese and Indians don't stop improving the lives of their citizens with more and better electrical supplies using their coal resources. Well not really. It is only American policy that is in doubt. They might want to look at pdf page 26 of this article which shows that around 2020 China's CO2 emissions will be about 2 1/2 times the emissions of the USA in that year. So even if the USA cut its emissions to zero and sent all its industry to (where? China and India maybe?) it will not make a bit of difference. Other than mass starvation in the USA caused by the Great Leap Backwards. It could solve the Social Security problem though.

H/T Watts Up With That

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Success Of Science

The video is an interview with Richard Feynman who is discussing faith and doubt. Especially when it comes to science. Doubt is the key to science. As soon as "scientists" proclaim certainty they have left the realm of science and have entered the realm of faith.

I slept with faith and found a corpse in my arms on awakening; I drank and danced all night with doubt and found her a virgin in the morning. - Aleister Crowley

There are other videos in this series:

Richard Feynman #1
Richard Feynman #2
Richard Feynman #3
Richard Feynman #4
Richard Feynman #5

And the above video:
Richard Feynman #6

H/T Molon Labe in the comments at Watts Up With That

Thursday, May 28, 2009

The Hookers Are Well Educated

Spengler at Asia Times is looking at the portents from Iran and sees a collapse coming. And as per usual he uses his favorite metric. Whores. The man is obsessed. I can, however, appreciate his obsession.

Until very recently, an oil-price windfall gave the Iranian state ample resources to pursue its agenda at home and abroad. How, then, should we explain an eruption of social pathologies in Iran such as drug addiction and prostitution, on a scale much worse than anything observed in the West? Contrary to conventional wisdom, it appears that Islamic theocracy promotes rather than represses social decay.

Iran is dying. The collapse of Iran's birth rate during the past 20 years is the fastest recorded in any country, ever. Demographers have sought in vain to explain Iran's population implosion through family planning policies, or through social factors such as the rise of female literacy.

But quantifiable factors do not explain the sudden collapse of fertility. It seems that a spiritual decay has overcome Iran, despite best efforts of a totalitarian theocracy. Popular morale has deteriorated much faster than in the "decadent" West against which the Khomeini revolution was directed.

"Iran is dying for a fight," I wrote in 2007 (Please see Why Iran is dying for a fight, November 13, 2007.) in the literal sense that its decline is so visible that some of its leaders think that they have nothing to lose.
That is a very dangerous position. Many think that the Austrian Corporal started WW2 in Europe based on a similar estimate of Germany's future. Spengler estimates:
Their efforts to isolate Iran from the cultural degradation of the American "great Satan" have produced social pathologies worse than those in any Western country. With oil at barely one-fifth of its 2008 peak price, they will run out of money some time in late 2009 or early 2010. Game theory would predict that Iran's leaders will gamble on a strategic long shot. That is not a comforting thought for Iran's neighbors.
Now let us get to the good parts. The cultural indicators.
First, prostitution has become a career of choice among educated Iranian women. On February 3, the Austrian daily Der Standard published the results of two investigations conducted by the Tehran police, suppressed by the Iranian media. [1]

"More than 90% of Tehran's prostitutes have passed the university entrance exam, according to the results of one study, and more than 30% of them are registered at a university or studying," reports Der Standard. "The study was assigned to the Tehran Police Department and the Ministry of Health, and when the results were tabulated in early January no local newspaper dared to so much as mention them."

The Austrian newspaper added, "Eighty percent of the Tehran sex workers maintained that they pursue this career voluntarily and temporarily. The educated ones are waiting for better jobs.
And what about poor women? Iran is exporting them.
There is an extensive trade in poor Iranian women who are trafficked to the Gulf states in huge numbers, as well as to Europe and Japan. "A nation is never really beaten until it sells its women," I wrote in a 2006 study of Iranian prostitution, Jihads and whores.

Prostitution as a response to poverty and abuse is one thing, but the results of this new study reflect something quite different. The educated women of Tehran choose prostitution in pursuit of upward mobility, as a way of sharing in the oil-based potlatch that made Tehran the world's hottest real estate market during 2006 and 2007.

A country is beaten when it sells its women, but it is damned when its women sell themselves. The popular image of the Iranian sex trade portrays tearful teenagers abused and cast out by impoverished parents. Such victims doubtless abound, but the majority of Tehran's prostitutes are educated women seeking affluence.
Spengler goes on to discuss the whore situation further, opiate addiction rates in the working population (an astounding 5%), and the fact that the fertility rate in Iran is at 1.9 and falling - well below replacement rates.

One other thing to consider is that oil money has been used to buy peace in Iran (and instability elsewhere) and that money is running out. It is more than evident that Iran has run out of hope well before it has run out of extractable oil.

In an article by ajacksonian that I posted here in January of 2007 called Oil Outlook the future of the oil industry in Iran was examined as well as the demographic time bomb and other instabilities. His projection (without knowledge of the current oil bust) was that Iran could be in serious trouble by 2010 and by 2019 it would cease to exist as we know it. So he bracketed Iran's collapse between those two dates.

The fall in the oil markets is making the earlier dates more likely. One thing for sure. We do live in interesting times.

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Paying For Social Security

Gates Of Vienna explains how Germans paid for Social Security.

How socialist was Hitler? Let us look at the government contributions to social security between 1938 and 1943 (in millions of Reichsmarks)
1938 640
1939 749 +16%
1940 940 +26%
1941 1395 +48%
1942 963 -31%
1943 1119 +16%
This is how socialist Hitler was. He commanded a solidarity and social justice policy the current Social Democrats can only dream about.

The question is: how could Hitler pay for this all? Well, the 31% decline in spending on social security in 1942 reveals it. In that year, the expropriation of the rights of Jews to social security was processed in the accounts.

Hitler’s welfare was paid by the theft of Jewish property and wealth. First in Germany and later in the lands under German occupation. Six million people were first robbed and then forced to work without payment. Only when Hitler’s Socialists couldn’t make any money on them anymore were they murdered.

There was nothing irrational about the Holocaust. It was the only way Hitler could finance his social security. And that very same social security was the reason that the Germans got carried away with him, despite the hardships of war. They gained: the companies and houses of Jews were available for “nothing”. Jewish household goods and clothing went to those who lost their homes in the bombings. Money, jewels, and gold went to the state.
The question for us in America is WWOD. What Will Obama Do? Who will be declared surplus? No longer an asset to the State? All I can do is to remind you of what The Silhouettes used to sing about. Get A Job before you become a silhouette. The government needs your money.

Note that the book Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left, From Mussolini to the Politics of Changeis mentioned often in the comments and the post. You might want to give it a read.

BTW who do I think will be "allowed" to die? The old and infirm. It is a twofer. It cuts down on Social Security payments and reduces medical expenses. And if we get government health care the culling will begin early. Starting with the birth of "unproductive" children. Maybe that is why liberals were so offended by Sarah Palin's Downs Syndrome child.

H/T Dave, R. via e-mail

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Succor Or Sucker?

In looking at what the auto bailouts will mean for unions I came across an interesting comment on the current danger in investing in unionized companies.

Well, sure. Fewer companies mean fewer companies needing government services. While we are at it, we could also kick some states out of the Union, and maybe revoke a bunch of people's citizenship. Those all cause "legacy obligations" in one form or another. Or we could, you know, structure our government to provide governance, as was originally intended, rather than succor.
Translation: if you invest in a unionized company you are a sucker.

And of course you can read the article and all the comments for more details.

H/T Instapundit who thinks it is just another example of the Chicago Way.

Cross Posted at Classical Values

USA Losing Its Innovation Edge, China Rising

Test and Measurement World is looking at the innovators of the world and finds that China is rising.

China has a reputation as a production powerhouse but generally doesn’t get much respect as a source of innovation, despite efforts to change that. Now, those efforts may be paying off, according to the Economist Intelligence Unit, which reports that China is climbing up the world innovation rankings faster than other countries.

“Since the Economist Intelligence Unit first published its global innovation index two years ago, China has moved up from 59th to 54th in the rankings—an improvement we thought would take five years has been achieved in just two,” the organization reports.
However, China at number 54 in the rankings is no match for the USA at number three/four. However all is not peaches and cream. The US has dropped from number three in 2006 to tied for number three/four in 2008. And who has moved into a tie with the US? Finland. In the point ranking system used Japan is 10.00, Switzerland is 9.71, Finland is 9.50, and the USA is also 9.50.

The news is not all bad. The USA moved its rating up from 9.48 in 2006 to 9.50 in 2008. However, Finland improved even more. From 9.43 to 9.50 between 2006 and 2008. Which means we in the USA must try harder. Now of course to some extent the rankings are arbitrary. Even so, with Japan at 10.00 there is considerable room for improvement. And according to the report [pdf] the future is not so bright.
The slippage of the US confirms the gradual erosion in recent years of the country’s traditional position as the world’s technological leader — a trend we expect to continue. To some extent, the erosion in the US’s position reflects the fact that other countries are catching up. But it is also a result of the weakening US innovation environment—and this is likely to be accentuated by the current economic crisis.
I have noted earlier that Obama's attacks on venture capital are not helping. And neither is the Sarbanes-Oxley Law's hindrance of innovation. Mr. President and Congress, are you listening?

You can read how the report by Cisco was done by following the links at the Economist.

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Roland Burris Is Not A Crook

Roland Burris is not a crook and in so far as we know neither is Mr. Obama. Let me revise that remark. It looks like Burris may be a crook from Crook County. That would be Chicago for you folks not from the area.

CHICAGO – Sen. Roland Burris promised to "personally do something" for Rod Blagojevich's campaign fund while pressing for the then-Illinois governor to appoint him to President Barack Obama's former Senate seat, according to a wiretap transcript released Tuesday.

"Tell Rod to keep me in mind for that seat, would ya?" Burris tells Robert Blagojevich, who headed his brother's campaign fund, in a Nov. 13 phone conversation secretly taped by the FBI.

The remark came after Robert Blagojevich urged Burris to "keep me in mind and you know if you guys can just write checks that'd be fine, if we can't find a way for you to tie in."

"Okay, okay, well we, we, I, I will personally do something, okay," Burris says.

Earlier in the conversation, Burris and Robert Blagojevich explored the possibility that Burris might raise campaign money on a larger scale.

"I know I could give him a check," Burris said. "Myself."
I wonder if he had to pay the new guy? Governor What's His Name who probably is as pure as any Chicago politician ever gets. How pure is that? Well far be it for me to cast unwarranted aspersions on Chicago politicians. And especially not our esteemed President.

I can tell you what my mom says about politicians in general though. "They are all crooks." She learned that from her father, who of course was my grandfather.

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


All I can say is that I have done my part. My family includes four children. Yes. It has come with a great economic cost. But what about the future all you hedonists? What kind of world do you want to live in?

H/T ravingdave at Talk Polywell

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Tales Of Espionage

Think Israel has an article up on British and French espionage in Palestine in the 1945 to 1948 era.

The article begins with:

The discovery of previously classified documents in a French archive provides us with material to understand the secret war waged by the British against the Zionist Movement and the Jewish state.
It makes you wonder what the various powers are up to in that area today. One thing for sure: nothing is what it seems.

Monday, May 25, 2009


Eric at Classical Values has a Memorial Day post you should read.

The Next Oil Shock

You ought to watch an interesting video of oil/economic experts James Hamilton and Daniel Yergin giving testimony before Congress. Their testimony begins about 11 minutes into the video. Note at the beginning though where Congress Critter Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY) says she wants to avoid drilling new oil supplies.

A good text overview can be found at The Star. Another valuable look at the hearings is at Talk Radio News Service. Some very good quotes from the hearings are available from The Washington Post. A good discussion in the comments and more links can be found here.

Jevons Paradox says that energy efficiency will not gain us as much as the numbers suggest. An increase in efficiency of 10% might only decrease use by 5% or it could increase use by 5% depending on the supply/demand curve.

That can be offset by increased taxes. However, what you usually get from taxes is a large dead weight loss. If it costs to increase efficiency (it will) the net effect of more taxes can be anything from a reduction in growth to negative growth.

The only way out is to increase energy supplies. Where is that to come from? Oil shale reserves in America are very large. There is also a lot of offshore oil yet to be discovered. Alaska has untapped reserves. All of those are off limits to varying degrees by law.

If we started tapping those reserves we have more than enough energy to carry us through the 50 to 75 years it will take to develop ECONOMICAL alternatives. By pushing alternatives before they are economical we are creating further dead weight losses to the economy.


Fortunately our new President and Congress understand all this and will do the right thing. (/sarc off)


Well OK. Our Congress and our President only exist to make things worse. What can be done? We need to invent cheap sources of energy NOW. Cheap enough so converting that energy to liquid fuels provides a ceiling on liquid fuel prices.

Well - talk is cheap. But I do have a suggestion. Polywell Fusion. It is no sure thing. But the cost to find out if it will work is minuscule in comparison to even a one cent rise in the cost of a gallon of gasoline. At an American consumption rate of 140 billion gallons a year, a one cent rise in the per gallon cost of gasoline would cost Americans $1.4 billion a year. What would five years of experiments (the time to get a certain yes or no answer) cost? Around $200 million. So five years of experiments would cost 1/7th of a cent a gallon for one year. And what is our government putting into the experiments? About $5 million a year. You know, with the brilliance found in our current Congress it is a wonder that any of them can move their lips and talk at the same time.

You can learn the basics of fusion energy by reading Principles of Fusion Energy: An Introduction to Fusion Energy for Students of Science and Engineering

Polywell is a little more complicated. You can learn more about Polywell and its potential at: Bussard's IEC Fusion Technology (Polywell Fusion) Explained

Why hasn't Polywell Fusion been fully funded by the Obama administration?

H/T Econobrowser

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Pink Private

Pink Private

You can read a story that explains the picture at Dallas-Fort Worth NBC.

Cross Posted at Classical Values

A Book Review For Pelosi

Doug Giles reviews a book Speaker Pelosi should read. Giles explains why Pelosi needs it.

That’s why parents and grandparents who loathe what the media and various institutions are trying to do to our boys need Miniter’s new book more than Pelosi needs Jesus and a straight jacket.
Read the whole review. It has a few more amusing quips like the one quoted.

And the book? The Ultimate Man’s Survival Guide: Recovering the Lost Art of Manhood.

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Energy Myths

Drew Thornley [pdf] has a look at what Americans believe about energy resources and production and what the real facts are. This one is my favorite:

Sixty-three percent of those surveyed believe that human activity is the greatest source of greenhouse gases. In fact, such emissions are significantly smaller than natural emissions. The burning of fossil fuels is responsible for just 3.27% of the carbon dioxide that enters the atmosphere each year, while the biosphere and oceans account for 55.28% and 41.46%, respectively.
Now I question his carrying out his results to four decimal places because I believe we would be lucky to know the numbers to two decimal places. But you get the idea. He gives more details in the whole report.

Here is one Congress should be paying attention to:
Additionally, considering the momentum behind renewable energies and carbon-emission regulation, it is noteworthy that almost half of respondents believe renewable-energy sources will not replace fossil fuels and uranium any time soon—91% of our electricity is generated by fossil fuels and uranium and the EIA projects that 85% of our electricity in 2030 will be generated by such fuels—and that a plurality (49%) do not think reducing carbon emissions will be simple or inexpensive.
He has way more. So you know. Go read the whole thing.

The View From Pravda

Pravda has a very strange view of the American economy. For the newspaper of record of a formerly communist country. Or maybe they have learned their lesson.

It must be said, that like the breaking of a great dam, the American decent into Marxism is happening with breath taking speed, against the back drop of a passive, hapless sheeple, excuse me dear reader, I meant people.

True, the situation has been well prepared on and off for the past century, especially the past twenty years. The initial testing grounds was conducted upon our Holy Russia and a bloody test it was. But we Russians would not just roll over and give up our freedoms and our souls, no matter how much money Wall Street poured into the fists of the Marxists.

Those lessons were taken and used to properly prepare the American populace for the surrender of their freedoms and souls, to the whims of their elites and betters.

First, the population was dumbed down through a politicized and substandard education system based on pop culture, rather then the classics. Americans know more about their favorite TV dramas then the drama in DC that directly affects their lives. They care more for their "right" to choke down a McDonalds burger or a BurgerKing burger than for their constitutional rights. Then they turn around and lecture us about our rights and about our "democracy". Pride blind the foolish.

Then their faith in God was destroyed, until their churches, all tens of thousands of different "branches and denominations" were for the most part little more then Sunday circuses and their televangelists and top protestant mega preachers were more then happy to sell out their souls and flocks to be on the "winning" side of one pseudo Marxist politician or another. Their flocks may complain, but when explained that they would be on the "winning" side, their flocks were ever so quick to reject Christ in hopes for earthly power. Even our Holy Orthodox churches are scandalously liberalized in America.

The final collapse has come with the election of Barack Obama. His speed in the past three months has been truly impressive. His spending and money printing has been a record setting, not just in America's short history but in the world. If this keeps up for more then another year, and there is no sign that it will not, America at best will resemble the Wiemar Republic and at worst Zimbabwe.
Well, some of the history is revisionist no doubt. But I have to say being burned by the Marxist menace has lead to its own cure in Russia for the most part. After an awful lot of pain an suffering.

Is that what we in America have to look forward to? I hope not. But all the hope in the world will not get you a dime of spare change. Unless you have a special friend in the White House. What will that friend cost you? Better not to ask and just pony up because it is unicorns all the way.

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Gun Owners Up In Arms

Evidently Mr. Obama can't get gun regulation/confiscation through the Congress in the normal manner so he is trying an end run by getting the Senate to pass a treaty.

You can read more about it at this Department of State site. Here is just one provision:
Technical Assistance and Training. Parties agree to cooperate to better ensure adequate training in such areas as identification and tracing; intelligence gathering; and detection methods and search protocols at borders.
So we are going to have Secret Police going after gun owners in America? How well has that worked out for drug users? Have they curtailed drug use much?

And what is Mr. Obama's rationalization for this effort? To keep criminals from getting guns for use in the Drug War. That should be about as effective as keeping the criminals from getting drugs. Like all failed socialist policies new laws are required to make up for the failures of the previous set of policies. The Drug War begets a War On Guns. I have been beating this drum for years, warning gun rights folks that the Drug War was going to be used against them. It is unfortunate that the vast majority of Gun Rights folks haven't been paying attention.

For those of you interested in a little history may I suggest: The Founders' Second Amendment: Origins of the Right to Bear Arms.

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Friday, May 22, 2009

WB-8 In The Works

EMC2 has just been awarded (a solicitation actually but sure to go through) a contract for a WB-8 and WB-8.1 device under the America recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. I reported on the prospects for this in mid April in my post Polywell Gets In On The Act. Here is some of the text of the solicitation:

THIS OPPORTUNITY IS AVAILABLE ONLY TO CONTRACTORS UNDER theAmerica recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 Research Development Test Evaluation (RDT&E) Plan Plasma Fusion (Polywell) project. The Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division, China Lake intends to procure on sole-sourced basis, a Cost Plus Fixed Fee contract for research, analysis, development, and testing to validate the basic physics of the plasma fusion (polywell) concept as well as requirements to provide the Navy with data for potential applications of polywell fusion with a delivered item, wiffleball 8 (WB8) and options for a modified wiffleball 8 (WB8.1) and modified ion gun. The requirement is sole sourced to Energy/Matter Conversion Corporation (EMC2) who is the original developer of the plasma fusion (polywell) approach and holds the proprietary data rights.
It looks like EMC2 is getting closer to full funding and will be building a follow on machine to WB-7 and WB-7.1. There is still a ways to go (about 18 to 24 months) but it is fair to say we have come a long way since early summer of 2007 when it seemed like the project was dead in the water with no prospects.

You can learn the basics of fusion energy by reading Principles of Fusion Energy: An Introduction to Fusion Energy for Students of Science and Engineering

Polywell is a little more complicated. You can learn more about Polywell and its potential at: Bussard's IEC Fusion Technology (Polywell Fusion) Explained

Why hasn't Polywell Fusion been fully funded by the Obama administration?

H/T marc b via e-mail

Thursday, May 21, 2009

GITMO Not Gone

It seems that the Senate is finally holding the line on spending. There will be no money for a GITMO shutdown.

WASHINGTON (AP) - In a major rebuke to President Barack Obama, the Senate voted overwhelmingly on Wednesday to block the transfer of Guantanamo detainees to the United States and denied the administration the millions it sought to close the prison.

The 90-6 Senate vote—paired with similar House action last week—was a clear sign to Obama that he faces a tough fight getting the Democratic-controlled Congress to agree with his plans to shut down the detention center and move the 240 detainees.

Last month, Obama asked for $80 million for the Pentagon and the Justice Department to close the facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, by January. In the eyes of the world, the prison has come to exemplify harsh U.S. anti-terror tactics and detention without trial for almost all of its inmates, most of whom were captured in Afghanistan.

The administration put its Democratic allies in a difficult spot by requesting the Guantanamo closure money before developing a plan for what to do with its detainees.

Obama is scheduled to give a major address Thursday outlining in more detail his plans for Guantanamo, but it's already clear that Congress has little appetite for bringing detainees to U.S. soil, even if the inmates would be held in maximum-security prisons.
How about that? 90 to 6 in a Senate with 60 Democrat members. Dear Leader seems to be losing control of his own Party. The question is: do the Democrats in Congress have any more appetite for the carbon tax commonly referred to as Cap and Trade? Or the total dismantling of the current health care system? It is one of the reasons Presidents like to get as much done as possible in their first 100 days in order to prevent the opposition to various proposals from coalescing.

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Graphene Is Strange

NIST and Georgia Tech have been looking at graphene (a single layer of carbon atoms in a hexagonal grid pattern) and they are seeing some strange behavior.

Graphene’s exotic behaviors present intriguing prospects for future technologies, including high-speed, graphene-based electronics that might replace today’s silicon-based integrated circuits and other devices. Even at room temperature, electrons in graphene are more than 100 times more mobile than in silicon.

Graphene apparently owes this enhanced mobility to the curious fact that its electrons and other carriers of electric charges behave as though they do not have mass. In conventional materials, the speed of electrons is related to their energy, but not in graphene. Although they do not approach the speed of light, the unbound electrons in graphene behave much like photons, massless particles of light that also move at a speed independent of their energy.

This weird massless behavior is associated with other strangeness. When ordinary conductors are put in a strong magnetic field, charge carriers such as electrons begin moving in circular orbits that are constrained to discrete, equally spaced energy levels. In graphene these levels are known to be unevenly spaced because of the “massless” electrons.
When something so unusual comes up in a lab it means a lot of potential applications that can't even be imagined now. One of the reasons for the lack of imagination is that such a material was not even suspected so why would you even spend any time thinking about what you could do with such a material? However, with the current research mapping out such properties the floodgates are open.
The Georgia Tech/NIST team tracked these massless electrons in action, using a specialized NIST instrument to zoom in on the graphene layer at a billion times magnification, tracking the electronic states while at the same time applying high magnetic fields. The custom-built, ultra-low-temperature and ultra-high-vacuum scanning tunneling microscope allowed them to sweep an adjustable magnetic field across graphene samples prepared at Georgia Tech, observing and mapping the peculiar non-uniform spacing among discrete energy levels that form when the material is exposed to magnetic fields.

The team developed a high-resolution map of the distribution of energy levels in graphene. In contrast to metals and other conducting materials, where the distance from one energy peak to the next is uniformly equal, this spacing is uneven in graphene.

The researchers also probed and spatially mapped graphene’s hallmark “zero energy state,” a curious phenomenon where the material has no electrical carriers until a magnetic field is applied.
Expect to hear more about this material and its close relative, carbon nanotubes, in the not too distant future. I can't wait to find out what the applications might be.


The singer is Frankie Laine.

H/T Inspired by this post at Watts Up With That?

Back To 1620

Keith O. Rattie gave a speech at the 22nd Annual UVU Symposium on Environmental Ethics at Utah Valley University about America's energy future under cap and trade.

The long term goal with cap and trade is "80 by 50" – an 80% reduction in CO2 emissions by 2050. Let's do the easy math on what "80 by 50" means to you, using Utah as an example. Utah's carbon footprint today is about 66 MM tons of CO2 per year. Utah's population today is 2.6 MM. You divide those two numbers, and the average Utahan today has a carbon footprint of about 25 tons of CO2 per year. An 80% reduction in Utah's carbon footprint by 2050 implies a reduction from 66 MM tons today to about 13 MM tons per year by 2050. But Utah's population is growing at over 2% per year, so by 2050 there will be about 6 MM people living in this state. 13 MM tons divided by 6 MM people = 2.2 tons per person per year. Under "80 by 50"‟ by the time you folks reach my age you'll have to live your lives with an annual carbon allowance of no more than 2.2 tons of CO2 per year.

Question: when was the last time Utah's carbon footprint was as low as 2.2 tons per person per year? Answer: probably not since Brigham Young and the Mormon pioneers first entered the Salt Lake Valley (1847).

You reach a similar conclusion when you do the math on "80 by 50"‟ for the entire U.S. "80 by 50"‟ would require a reduction in America's CO2 emissions from about 20 tons per person per year today, to about 2 tons per person per year in 2050. When was the last time America‟s carbon footprint was as low as 2 tons per person per year? Probably not since the Pilgrims arrived at Plymouth Rock in 1620.

In short, "80 by 50" means that by the time you folks reach my age, you won’t be allowed to use anything made with – or made possible by – fossil fuels.

So I want to focus you on this critical question: "How on God's green earth – pun intended – are you going to do what my generation said we'd do but didn't – and that's wean yourselves from fossil fuels in just four decades?" That's a question that each of you, and indeed, all Americans need to ask now – because when it comes to "how" there clearly is no consensus. Simply put, with today's energy technologies, we can't get there from here.
So the plan is to reduce us to a subsistence level in about forty years. You say you want a revolution? Now is the time.

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Louisa Lockhart

Lousia Lockhart

The lovely lady in the picture is Louisa Lockhart, from the UK. What I find most attractive about her, and there is a lot to like, is her million watt smile.

Since I found her, we have been in a rather animated Facebook conversation. She is just 19 and working on a degree in Marine Biology. Here is what she has to say about herself:
I'm 19, and a student at the University of Liverpool. I'm studying Biology and I hope to go into Marine Biology next year. I love any kind of music, I love my dogs, and I practice yoga everyday. I love taking photos, and also having photos taken of me! I love being naked, or in something that makes me feel really sexy. I hate tights but I love long socks. If you bought me sweet strawberry cake I'd love you forever!
Here is what I found most endearing:
I wish to become successful with my glamour model career when I am finishing my degree. When I graduate, I want to raise money for our Navy, Army and RAF.

I love the sea, and I want to live on the coast somewhere.
I promised to get her some publicity to boost her career in modeling which is why I did this post. Enjoy.

Good luck to you Louisa in what ever you endeavor.

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Dog On A Ham Slicer

Watts Up With That is having a discussion of a Times Online review of the new Honda Insight. The Times review is a hoot.

Much has been written about the Insight, Honda’s new low-priced hybrid. We’ve been told how much carbon dioxide it produces, how its dashboard encourages frugal driving by glowing green when you’re easy on the throttle and how it is the dawn of all things. The beginning of days.So far, though, you have not been told what it’s like as a car; as a tool for moving you, your friends and your things from place to place.

So here goes. It’s terrible. Biblically terrible. Possibly the worst new car money can buy. It’s the first car I’ve ever considered crashing into a tree, on purpose, so I didn’t have to drive it any more.

The biggest problem, and it’s taken me a while to work this out, because all the other problems are so vast and so cancerous, is the gearbox. For reasons known only to itself, Honda has fitted the Insight with something called constantly variable transmission (CVT).

It doesn’t work. Put your foot down in a normal car and the revs climb in tandem with the speed. In a CVT car, the revs spool up quickly and then the speed rises to match them. It feels like the clutch is slipping. It feels horrid.

And the sound is worse. The Honda’s petrol engine is a much-shaved, built-for-economy, low-friction 1.3 that, at full chat, makes a noise worse than someone else’s crying baby on an airliner. It’s worse than the sound of your parachute failing to open. Really, to get an idea of how awful it is, you’d have to sit a dog on a ham slicer.
I have no dog in this fight. I earn a what little living I make from my modem and what little driving I do or is done for me is done in eight or ten year old cars. But seriously. If this is the coming Green Revolution America will begin to look like Cuba with a lot of 30 and 40 year old cars on the road. And what is that going to do for fuel economy or pollution? I predict nothing good.

No wonder Congress is considering a plan to pay to destroy serviceable used cars. And what will that do to pollution? Probably nothing good if you consider the energy and effort required to turn a scrapped car into a new one.

A functioning market economy is a system for minimizing costs and maximizing value. A functioning Congress is a system for maximizing costs and minimizing value. Too bad we are getting less market and more Congress.

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Power From Wind

I think it might be a good idea to look at how a wind generator's output varies with speed. Wind power varies with the cube of wind speed. That is basic physics. No way around it that we know of.

So let us look at some wind turbines. Typical are turbines that start generating power at wind speeds of 2.5 meters per second and max out at wind speeds of 16 meters per second or 20 meters per second. First let us convert that to miles per hour to get a feel for the speeds involved.

2.5 m/s = 6 mph
16 m/s = 36 mph
20 m/s = 45 mph

Now let us look at output.

If you consider 2.5 m/s minimum output then at 16 m/s maximum output the max/min ratio is 262. At 20 m/s the max/min ratio is 512.

Or consider a wind blowing at 90% of maximum turbine rating. Output is 73% of maximum. At 80% output is 51% max. At 70% it is 35%. At 60% it is 22%. At 50% it is 12.5%. At 40% you are down to 6.4%. At 30% you are down to 2.3%. At 20% you are at less that 1%.

Economically it is probably useless (other than to impress the rubes) to design wind turbines that can handle max/min ratios more than 5 or 6 to 1. And from a practical stand point useful effectiveness is actually in the 2 to 1 range.

So it is not just having wind. You really need a very stiff breeze to generate useful power. I think our experiment with deploying massive amounts of high cost wind power are just about over. If the costs come down that improves the situation some. But not a lot.

Evidently Mr. Obama and his Green friends have never run the numbers.

Inspired by Glasgow Looking To Freeze In The Dark

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Monday, May 18, 2009

Let Me Read It Again, If I Can Find The Page

I believe this will not end well for Pelosi.

H/T Pajamas Media which has an excellent discussion of the likely outcome. Short version: Pelosi under the bus.

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Jobbed By Greens

You think green energy crates jobs? Guess again.

A power producer typically gets paid for the power it generates. In Texas, some wind energy generators are paying to have someone take power off their hands.

Because of intense competition, the way wind tax credits work, the location of the wind farms and the fact that the wind often blows at night, wind farms in Texas are generating power they can’t sell. To get rid of it, they are paying the state’s main grid operator to accept it. $40 a megawatt hour is roughly the going rate.
This is really incredible. The power companies are constructing wind turbines and, at certain times, not only providing the power for free but actually paying the grid to take it. All to capture subsidies and tax credits paid for by these special rate surcharges. The only jobs being created are analysts trying to find the best way to rent-seek under these new laws. I would rather pay people to dig holes and fill them back in.
What they really need to do is to find customers who are willing to be paid to use electricity. In other words we have set up a system where conservation is a bad idea.

Once you start screwing with the market ever more laws are required to make up for the distortions created by the previous set of laws. It never ends and only gets worse.

H/T linearthinker at my post Wind Scam

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Sunday, May 17, 2009

An Interview With Tom Ligon

Tom Ligon is an engineer who worked with Dr. Robert Bussard on Polywell Fusion. Tom explains the technology and his work with Dr. Bussard. There are seven videos in the series. You can watch the rest of them here:

Tom Ligon Interview 2
Tom Ligon Interview 3
Tom Ligon Interview 4
Tom Ligon Interview 5
Tom Ligon Interview 6
Tom Ligon Interview 7

My thanks to Matt M. who did the interview and posted the videos.

You can learn the basics of fusion energy by reading Principles of Fusion Energy: An Introduction to Fusion Energy for Students of Science and Engineering.

Polywell is a little more complicated. You can learn more about Polywell and its potential at: Bussard's IEC Fusion Technology (Polywell Fusion) Explained

Why hasn't Polywell Fusion been fully funded by the Obama administration?

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Wind Scam

In a comment on my post Green Energy Kills Jobs stressdoc had this to say about his experience with wind power.

I am a mechanical engineer and quite knowledgeable about wind power and the reliability problems. They are many!

Wind power has a longer history in the EU, but the experience has been similar. Wind power has been subsidized in the EU for longer than it has here in the states. The results have been similar. Power from wind turbines is more expensive that the more traditional sources (coal, gas, hydroelectric, nuclear and oil). The only way that it viable is with government subsidies.

In the EU, turbines cannot be installed without monitoring system to watch their health. This is due to the many failures that have occurred. They cannot operate without insurance and the insurance is unavailable without monitoring. Here in the states, very few turbines are installed with monitoring.

Why? Simple. Turbines here are normally owned by investor groups that exist primarily to market the tax credits. The total cost of the turbine can be recouped in 3-5 years with these credits. The investor groups contract with the turbine manufacturers to install and operate the turbines for the 5 year warrantee period. By the time that the warrantee has expired, the turbines are paid for and any further running time is pure gravy. When they fail, shut them down and there is no loss.

Except, of course, to the tax payers that support this scam.
I have always thought that the subsidy for wind power ought to be phased out. I'm more convinced of that than ever. I am still in favor of wind power, where it makes unsubsidized economic sense.

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Black Ink

Politicians use words the same way squids use ink. To cover their tracks.

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Friday, May 15, 2009

Green Energy Kills Jobs

Durango, Colorado is having economic difficulties. And what are they giving up to be able to pay for city workers? Green energy.

For two years, the city of Durango, Colo., bought electricity for all its government buildings from wind farms. The City Council ended that program this year, reverting to electricity derived from coal-burning plants and saving the cash-strapped city about $45,000.

“It’s very hard for us to lay off an employee to justify green power,” City Manager Ron LeBlanc said. “Those are the tradeoffs you have to face.”
As long as wind and solar electricity cost more than conventional (coal, nuclear) electricity they are going to be a job killers. Now imagine what a plan to reduce fossil fuel use by 80% by 2050 is going to do if they are not replaced by low cost alternatives.

Plus, it seems wind is having reliability problems. Not just the intermittency of wind. The gear boxes connecting the turbine blades to the generators are falling apart.
Engineers at DOE's National Renewable Energy Laboratory want to know why some gearboxes and other key wind turbine components wear out too soon. Wind turbines are expected to operate for 20 years. Early equipment fatigue threatens to reduce performance and drive up wind power costs. "The end users and the owner-operators say we're only getting five years, or in some cases, three years out of these gearboxes," said NREL principal engineer Sandy Butterfield, who is leading the Gearbox Reliability Collaborative. Initially, the gearboxes are being tested at NREL's National Wind Technology Center before testing at a Colorado wind farm under real conditions.
Well that is going to raise the cost of wind power. A lot.

In good economic times the extra cost of wind electrical generation made some sense in order to develop wind to see how it worked in practice. Given the hard times we are having it makes sense to phase out the subsidy for wind so that wind turbines are installed only where they make economic sense. The same goes for solar and all the alternative energy subsidies. They are a job killers.

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Teleportation Progress

You heard that right. And it is not tinfoil hat stuff. It is from reputable scientists.

It makes intuitive sense that if superconductors can carry currents with zero resistance, then superconducting light emitting diodes might do their stuff with equally amazing efficiency.

But superconducting LEDs are not only bright, they are brighter than anyone can explain, even after taking superconductivity into account. Now a team of Japanese theorists seems to have figured out the puzzle.
What does this have to do with teleportation?
This is exciting not just because superconducting LEDs will be bright but because Cooper pairs can also produce entangled pairs of photons. That raises the prospect of intense sources of entangled pairs, the likes of which physicists have not yet seen. And that could be hugely useful for everything from quantum communication to quantum teleportation.
That is still a long long ways from a Star Trek Transporter Room. But it is definitely a step in that direction.

For those of you interested in some of the more technical details and a nice graphic RTWT.

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Yes Mommy, There Is A Difference

A Libertarian believes that government is a dangerous servant and a fearful master. A Conservative believes this time it will be different.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009


There are rather few conservatives who are consistent about their policy choices. They think that putting government guns to people's heads can fix a lot of things. Maybe not economics, but certainly culture. And then you have their counterparts who think putting government guns to people's heads can fix economics certainly, but not culture. The folks favoring government guns to solve problems are called in polite company statists. Worshipers of force. As the Romans used to say: fasces. Or as Il Duce preferred: fascism.

Me? I'm against socialism in economics and culture. It may or may not be wise policy. It is consistent.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

We Will Know In Two Years

Rick Nebel, the head of EMC2 Fusion (Polywell), has a few words to say in the comments at Next Big Future about the progress he is making in understanding The Polywell Fusion Reactor and its chances for power production.

I believe we will know the answer for the Polywell in ~ 1.5-2 years. I haven't looked at MSimons design, but I know he has a lot of good ideas. We'll probably take a closer look at D-D reactors over the next 2 years.
I'm honored Rick thinks that I have made some useful contributions to the advance of this technology.

What most excites me is that we will probably know in two years or less if this technology is viable. That is very exciting.

Bussard's IEC Fusion Technology (Polywell Fusion) Explained

Why hasn't Polywell Fusion been fully funded by the Obama administration?

If you want to learn more about the basics of fusion (Polywell is a little more complicated) may I suggest:

Principles of Fusion Energy: An Introduction to Fusion Energy for Students of Science and Engineering.

H/T Roger Fox via e-mail. You might want to have a look at Roger's video IEC Fusion for Dummies v5.7

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Sex Tools

Eric at Classical Values says that what people want to read is weird and sensational stuff. A little humor never hurt either. My take is that if it includes sex and home improvement it ought to work even better. Popular Science meets the National Enquirer.

So today I'm doing a short (very short) review of Make Your Own Sex Toys: 50 Quick and Easy Do-It-Yourself Projects.

Here is what one buyer had to say about the book:

This book is hilarious to read as a couple. I bought it for hubby's anniversary gift. We laughed so much about the ideas that we never got around to trying any of them. Maybe some day when we are bored (which may never happen ;-) ).
Another buyer had this to say:
My husband and I have had many fun nights with this book. Every couple should try this fun book.
And of course if you don't want to do it yourself you can always just buy Sex Toys.

Well what are you waiting for? Get busy.

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Brush Up Your Shakespeare

The singing in the video is one of the best versions I could find on YouTube. I did like the dancing in this version better though.

The version in the above video is very good. It doesn't hold a candle to the version of Brush Up Your Shakespeare that was done by a traveling company about 15 years ago at the Coronado Theater in Rockford, Illinois. My daughter, who was three years old at the time, loved watching the play so much that she tried her best to sing along. Much to the chagrin of the other customers.

Since then she has spent a lot of time on stage at the Coronado as a member of the Rockford Dance Company. Her last performance was in The Sleeping Beauty.

If you want to brush up YOUR Shakespeare may I suggest The Oxford Shakespeare: The Complete Works 2nd Edition.

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Monday, May 11, 2009

Zogby: Americans Want Pot Legalized

That is right. According to a Zogby Poll half of all Americans want pot legalized.

A majority of Americans, in a poll released Wednesday, say it "makes sense to tax and regulate" marijuana. The Zogby poll, commissioned by the conservative-leaning O'Leary Report, surveyed 3,937 voters and found 52 percent in favor of legalization. Only 37 percent opposed.

A previous ABC News/Washington Post poll found 46 percent in support. In California, a Field Poll found 56 percent backing legalization.

Responding to the poll at a press conference Tuesday, California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger called for an open debate on legalization.
It is only a matter of time until national politicians take notice. They can smell the money. And nothing gets politicians as excited as the smell of money. You got it. They want it. All the traffic will bear plus 10%. In that respect they are worse than dope dealers who don't make a sale unless you are willing to buy. But politicians have one important advantage. They make their "sales" at gun point. Very convenient.

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Sunday, May 10, 2009

What's Wrong With California?

Hot Air has a post up about the California economic melt down. The most interesting part of the posi is the comment section. Here is a comment about what is wrong with the GOP in California. In fact it covers whay is wrong with the GOP in our nation.

The California GOP is obsessed with homosexuality, abortion, and mandatory “voluntary” school prayer. Those are, to them, the overriding issues.

The illegal alien invasion? High taxes? The regulatory nightmare? Hundreds upon hundreds of agencies with conflicting rules? Good heavens, man! We can’t worry about that when there’s homos and unChristians to sorry about and scapegoat!

I put California in my rear-view mirror in July of 2005. When I fly out to visit my mother in Palm Desert, I get antsy to get back on the plane within 3 days of getting there. The place makes me cringe.

friendlygrizzly on May 9, 2009 at 11:57 PM
So what is wrong with the GOP? As the commenter points out they have their priorities screwed.

The Pattern Of Hyperinflation

Hyperinflation Watch discusses the pattern that hyperinflation takes.

1. Slow Climb: 6 months to 2 years
2. Ramp-Up: 2 months to 1 year
3. Crazy: 1 month to a year
4. Currency Nuked: 1 day
5. Recovery: 6 months to years
ZenDraken gives the details at his blog. Go read it all.


I was having a look at Innocent Bystanders and found this interesting graph:


Here is the explanation:
A couple of weeks ago I wrote a post on the predicted unemployment numbers for April. Well, the real numbers came in today, and the result was exactly what they predicted: 8.9% unemployment.
He goes on with a few words about Obama's economists:
Oh my. It appears that his economists can’t predict very well (that fills me with confidence), and that his stimulus package is providing absolutely no benefit.

And it certainly doesn’t look like his plan has “saved or created 150,000 jobs.
And further note that the "without stimulus" prediction shows unemployment peaking at a little above 9% just in time for the 2010 election season.

However, that is not all the bad news coming in. The current Treasury auction of government bonds shows interest rates rising at a higher than expected rate.
The U.S. Treasury auction of long-term bonds on Thursday was “terrible”, in the words of one Wall Street economist, with the rate on the 30 year bond jumping from 4.1 to 4.3 percent. This is just the first sign that the debt-based Obama economic stimulus plan is about to become a major drag on the recovery, just as expected.

The economic news is not all bad. We are seeing signs the rate of contraction is abating quickly, promising a bottom to the recession sometime this summer as many forecasters have expected. But therein lies another piece of the interest rate puzzle, and the trouble ahead.

There are two critical consequences to the economy stabilizing. The first is that the massive liquidity injected into credit markets by the Federal Reserve and central banks around the world transforms from economic medicine to inflationary heroin. Central banks are going to face a difficult task of extracting the excess liquidity before inflation soars and without causing another recession. Doubt about the fight against soaring inflation means higher inflation premiums in interest rates.

The second dangerous consequence is that President Obama is on course to double the national debt in just four years. After years of complaining about annual deficits of $300 billion or $400 billion and their effects on interest rates, liberal commentators are suddenly silent now that the deficit is heading toward $2 trillion under a liberal administration. But now the vaunted “crowding out” effect from government borrowing is almost a certainty, as are the resulting higher interest rates.
And you know what that means? Stagflation. Just as I have been predicting. And predicting. And predicting. And predicting. And predicting. And predicting. And predicting.

Now if I (no economist) could see this coming why didn't Obama's crew? OTOH maybe this is a feature, not a bug. If Obama, The Smartest President Ever™, didn't see this coming then the stupid are in charge and we are screwed. If it was intentional then we are so screwed.

Which brings me to Simon's Law:

It is unwise to attribute to malice alone that which can be attributed to malice and stupidity.

Yep. We are double screwed and will be hammered into the ground until we get rid of the current wrecking crew.

States Rights

This will have a lot of ramifications if Wickard vs. Filburn is overturned. Justice Thomas in his dissent in Raich took the stance that Wickard was wrongly decided. So there is one Justice on board. The States only need four more.

Here is my favorite part of Thomas' Raich dissent.
Monson and Raich neither buy nor sell the marijuana that they consume. They cultivate their cannabis entirely in the State of California–it never crosses state lines, much less as part of a commercial transaction. Certainly no evidence from the founding suggests that “commerce” included the mere possession of a good or some purely personal activity that did not involve trade or exchange for value. In the early days of the Republic, it would have been unthinkable that Congress could prohibit the local cultivation, possession, and consumption of marijuana.
This current dust up is about the law recently passed in Montana.
The state of Montana has signed into power a revolutionary gun law. The State of Montana has defied the federal government and their gun laws. This will prompt a showdown between the federal government and the State of Montana. The federal government fears citizens owning guns. They try to curtail what types of guns they can own. The gun control laws all have one common goal, confiscation of privately owned firearms.

Montana has gone beyond drawing a line in the sand. They have challenged the Federal Government. The fed now either takes them on and risks them saying the federal agents have no right to violate their state gun laws and arrest the federal agents that try to enforce the federal firearms acts. This will be a world-class event to watch. Montana could go to voting for secession from the union, which is really throwing the gauntlet in Obama’s face. If the federal government does nothing they lose face.
We certainly do live in interesting times.

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Energy Twaddle

I don't agree that global warming is a problem. The globe has been cooling for the last 8 or 10 years and solar scientists are predicting that the cooling could go on anywhere from 10 to 80 more years. However, this video is a good primer on the energy it takes to run a modern civilization.

I like fusion power. And the best hope we have in the near term with respect to quick development and low cost fusion energy is Polywell Fusion. It is not a sure thing but neither are the ITER experiments. The one thing Polywell has going for it is that the development path is short (5 years for proof of concept vs 30 years for ITER) and the cost of energy from such a plant would be less than the cost of coal.

Bussard's IEC Fusion Technology (Polywell Fusion) Explained

Why hasn't Polywell Fusion been fully funded by the Obama administration?

Obama Plans A Hit On Tech Giants

The Obama administration has a plan to hit tech companies with higher overseas taxes crippling their overseas operations.

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- President Barack Obama's plan to impose U.S. taxes on corporate America's overseas profits threatens to open a big crater in the financial statements of technology companies.

While additional taxes are rarely popular, Obama's decision to go after corporate earnings outside the United States is a particularly prickly subject for technology executives because the industry has been steadily boosting its overseas sales amid rising demand for its gadgetry and services.

If Obama's proposal becomes law, the hard-hit companies would include tech bellwethers like Hewlett-Packard Co., IBM Corp., Cisco Systems Inc., Microsoft Corp. and Google Inc.
Ah. Yes. Wonderful. Obama wants to make American Corporations less competitive in foreign markets. I'm sure governments outside the USA are very pleased with this development.
Obama has been strongly supported so far by Google CEO Eric Schmidt, who campaigned for the president last year and has subsequently served as a technology adviser.

Google spokesman Adam Kovacevich said Monday it was too early to evaluate how Obama's tax proposal might affect the Internet search leader's operations because the idea is likely to be revised as it wends its way through Congress.
What does that mean? Rather simple really. Google will pay for the legislation it wants. Obama is proving beyond a shadow of a doubt that he is our Smartest President Ever™.

Wille Sutton is reputed to have said that he robbed banks because, "that is where the money is". He would have done much better as a Congress Critter if the barriers to entry into that business weren't so high.