Monday, December 19, 2011

Hanukkah Science Experiments

Saturday, December 10, 2011

David Solomon

More David Solomon

First Step to Kabbalah

I also liked this one. Especially the bit a few minutes in about suffering. The key is to love suffering - if it is for a purpose.

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

I Love The Sound Of Hetrodyne Whistles

I have a new one up at ECN Magazine, I Love The Sound Of Hetrodyne Whistles. It is an evaluation of an electronics kit suitable for kids (perfect for the holiday season). And I also discuss how my love of electronics came about.

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

It Depends On You

H/T commenter Chris B at Watts Up With That

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Solid State Radio

My latest article on the revival of crystal radios can be read at Solid State Radio. It is a treasure trove of links and nostalgia for those interested in crystal radios.

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Monday, November 28, 2011


I was looking around for some electronics information and got this amusing 404 notice.

Friday, November 25, 2011

I'm Not Blogging Much

Here is why. Among other things.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Tool Man

I have a post up at ECN Magazine discussing the tools I use to do electronic design. Free tools of course.

If you have a budding technician/engineer in your family may I suggest that they get the tools mentioned in the article. There is nothing like getting your ideas into makeable form for helping you clarify any design issues you may have. Plus it is way more fun than video games because it can have an effect on the real world.

Monday, November 21, 2011

He Eventually Stopped Twitching

Evidently the merest twitch around police is grounds for immediate execution. And just for you geographically challenged (like me) East Point is in Georgia. Here is the story.

Dwight Person, 54, was shot Thursday afternoon when, according to police, he made a threatening gesture at a female officer “that put her in fear of her safety.” The officer, who has not been identified, fired one shot and hit Person.

He was treated and the scene and taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead, police said.
OK the folks there were running some kind of dope house. Right? Right? Wrong.
"They didn't even know he was shot," Ballard said. "There were policemen saying, ‘Who fired that shot?'"

The search for drugs or a weapon was cut short after the shooting, police said.

“Once the shooting happened, our officers stopped their search and turned their focus to trying to save the man’s life,” Chandler said.

Police arrested seven people, charging them with operating a dive, a violation of a municipal code.
No drugs? No drugs? The article says nothing about drugs. Except that the police were looking for them. Normally if the police kill some one in a drug search everyone present (except the police) is charged with heavy felony drug crimes. Except no drugs were found. The heaviest crime they could find was a misdemeanor.
Seven people arrested during an East Point police drug search in which an officer fatally shot a man have been charged with violating a municipal code.
He was shot for that? And twitching. Fortunately for the police (I guess) he eventually stopped twitching.

It used to be such a nice country. Until some one decided it would be a good idea to start a war in it.

H/T Drug Policy Forum of Texas

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Saturday, November 19, 2011


Here is a fun 3D pdf of a connector I'm planning to use in a design. In a year this will be nothing. Right now it is a lot of free fun.

And here is the page it came from, in case you want a more conventional view.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Faster Than The Speed Of Light?

Alan Boyle's Cosmic Log has more.
An unnamed source on the OPERA team told ScienceInsider that the controversy over the faster-than-light findings was exhausting. "Everyone should be convinced that the result is real, and they are not," the source was quoted as saying.

Other researchers, including physicists with the MINOS experiment at Fermilab, are working up independent analyses of neutrino runs to assess the OPERA team's findings. The initial outside assessments are expected to become available within six months or so, but end-to-end replications of the experiment could take significantly longer.
Yep. This finding (if it holds) will overturn a century of physics. Physics the modern world is built on. The Global Positioning System (GPS) is probably the most widely used bit of equipment that tests the speed of light and Relativity millions of times a day (At the link is a fascinating explanation of GPS and Relativity). It works. So for these results to be different than expected (faster than the speed of light) would indeed bring a revolution in our understanding of the universe. Right now? Too early to tell.

H/T The Boys and Girls at Talk Polywell

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Another Government Road Block

The Department Of Health and Human Services (it has very little to do with health and is into denying services) has denied permission for an FDA approved study of cannabis for treating PTSD.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has blocked a pilot study to examine the benefits of marijuana for veterans with treatment-resistant post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

The study was sponsored by the nonprofit research organization the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS), and would have been conducted by Dr. Sue Sisley of the University of Arizona at Phoenix.

“Hundreds of veterans in medical marijuana states already report using marijuana to control their PTSD symptoms,” MAPS said in a statement. “The growing number of service members returning from Iraq and Afghanistan with combat-related trauma combined with large numbers of treatment-resistant veterans highlights the pressing need for research into additional treatments for PTSD.”
It seems the Federales have an impenetrable wall to keep this reseach on cannabis from getting done.
The Drug Enforcement Administration has denied researchers requests to obtain licenses to grow marijuana, claiming that the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) — overseen by the HHS — can be the only one to supply marijuana for Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-regulated research.
Clever boys.

It seems like actual veterans are taking matters into their own hands. Green leafy matters.
“My life went downhill from the moment I came back from Iraq,” Begin, now a 31-year-old veteran, tells Danger Room. “Doctors at Bethesda had me on so much, and on such high doses of everything, that I didn’t even know what was a symptom and what was a side effect.”

At one point, Begin, diagnosed with PTSD shortly after coming home, was taking more than 100 pills a day. So many that he would stuff dozens of bottles into a backpack to lug everywhere he went. Now, he’s cut his dependency on prescriptions to zero. Their replacement? Five joints a day.

“Using marijuana balances me out,” he says. “It takes those peaks and valleys of PTSD and it softens them. It makes my life manageable.”

Begin’s now launched an online petition asking the feds to change their course on marijuana as a treatment for PTSD. In September, the first-ever study proposed to evaluate marijuana as a potential treatment for PTSD was blocked by officials at the National Institutes on Drug Abuse (NIDA). With an estimated 37 percent of this generation’s vets afflicted with PTSD, and a dearth of effective treatment options available, Begin thinks pot deserves, at the very least, a single study.
He is not the only veteran who thinks that cannabis ought to be an official medicine. I wrote about Jamey Raines recently.

And what do you know? Our friends the Israelis are on the case.
D., a 26-year-old woman from the north of Israel, says she began to suffer from nightmares about seven years ago, after her partner raped her. After undergoing various forms of therapy, she thought she had largely put the trauma behind her. Then, two years ago, she chanced to see the rapist not far from her home. The nightmares came swarming back.

"I fell into a depression that went on until not long ago, during which I hardly slept or ate," she says in a quiet voice. "My whole life turned upside down. I left my job. Everything came to a stop. I went back to taking antidepressants and tranquilizers - Cipralex, Lustral and Prozac; sleeping pills that made me addicted. It was a nightmare. There was no way I could get through the day without those pills. Then I discovered cannabis."
So war trauma is not the only way to get PTSD? Maybe that explains why 70% of female Heroin users report being sexually attacked. When they were children. Too bad no famous sports figures (in so far as we know) are involved. Too bad we can't figure a way to give such kids a pass. Until we figure out better ways to help them heal. Currently a long slow process that is not a sure thing.

H/T Drug Policy Forum of Texas

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


If grandmother is a virgin the father is Jesus.

H/T Joseph Chikva at Talk Polywell

Christian Science - Oppress Them

The Christian Science Monitor is discussing the medical marijuana situation in California. It seems they have come to a political conclusion on the subject.

Pot smokers are a small minority. They are containable...
Isn't there something wrong with oppressing people because they 'don't matter'? Even one person officially subject to persecution is too many. And since when was it Christian to be oppressing people? Even those that don't matter.

Well, Reform Jews and Orthodox Jews get it. Even if the Christians don't.

H/T Drug Policy Forum of Texas

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The Botany Of Desire

You can watch the full video here.

About 5 minutes in to the video there is a discussion about society and mind altering substances. Every society has them except for Eskimos. Only one or two though with the rest frowned upon or actively discouraged. There is no universal agreement on which two mind altering substances should prevail. Americans like alcohol (it is traditional), Saudis do not. And so it goes. All around the world.

The Botany of Desire: A Plant's-Eye View of the World

Some people in Missouri are making an effort to get marijuana legalized. About 3 minutes into the video the pro-legalization guy explains that young people support it and old people are against it. Do the math. He thinks the math is good for 2012.

Drug Plants. No not that kind. It is police officers planting drugs to meet arrest quotas.

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Monday, November 14, 2011

Smart Grid Insecurity

I have an article up at ECN wondering how can the Smart Grid be secure?

And in case you missed it they had a very nice bit up for Veterans Day.

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Do Not Inhale

CBS News has more.

The FDA's ban of the Primatene Mist asthma inhaler -- because it uses ozone-destroying CFCs -- already shows signs of becoming an "incandescent light-bulb issue" for conservatives. They hate the ban because it puts the needs of the environment before the needs of the people: Primatene is the only non-prescription asthma inhaler, and prescription alternatives are all more expensive. As the Lonely Conservative put it:

Well, thanks to the nature nazis and their cohorts in our government, the only over the counter inhaler will be taken off the market.

The ban also arrives with bad timing for President Obama. At the same time as 3 million asthma sufferers are having their inhalers snatched at gunpoint by the FDA's jack-booted stormtroopers phased out from store-shelves by Dec. 31, Obama said he will not raise federal anti-ozone air pollution standards, after he was lobbied by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. It's one law for big business, and another for the little guy, apparently.
The guys at CBS do have hope for asthma sufferers. You can line up a doctors visit and get a prescription for devices that only costs 3X as much.

It reminds me of something I wrote about marijuana prohibition.
It turns out that anxiety disorders are the most common mental health problem in the United States. They are worth $46 billion a year to the pharmaceutical industry. You don't suppose this fact has any thing to do with the pharmaceutical industries being in the forefront of the Drug Free America campaign do you? Of course not. They are just trying to keep you from being addicted to natural products at the cost of 1/10th of a cent per dose when they are more than willing to sell you an FDA and doctor approved, pharmacy sold product that will do the job for a dollar a dose. They have only your best interests at heart. Just ask their accountants.
Of course they have your best interests at heart. Don't they always?

Behind The Iron Curtain

DARPA tests a US version.

H/T Talk Polywell

Saturday, November 12, 2011


I'm trying to reconcile these two statements from the MERS Mortgage Registry.

“The MERS System is not a legal system of record or a replacement for public land records. No interests are transferred on the system—they are only tracked,” Smith, Merscorp vice president of corporate communications, wrote in a response to emailed questions. “MERS does not have or maintain any document recording system, public or private, and does not do anything to compete with or supplant the public records for land located in the County records.”
OK. That could be true.
MERS is the true owner of the mortgage, and is not, in the complaint’s words, a “straw man” placeholder listed in public records.“The ‘owner of the loan’ is the party who has possession of the promissory note, but the promissory note is not, and has never been, and is not required to be disclosed or filed in the public records”
I'm now totally confused. I'm a mere engineer with a small understanding of electron flows. This legal stuff has me confused.

Congress to the Rescue.
A new Senate bill proposing to wind down the GSEs by at least 10% a year also includes a provision that would replace the private MERS System with an identical platform run by the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) — along with new national standards for mortgage title transfers.

The bill outlines the director of the FHFA to establish “MERS 2” and incorporate a single national database for all mortgage title transfers, to be maintained and operated by FHFA.
Well they accidentally let the cat out of the bag.
In his first-ever, and so far only, media interview since becoming president and CEO of Merscorp in April, Bill Beckmann told MT that Merscorp can and must succeed as a revamped company with a higher level of scrutiny on its operation.

“If this model doesn't work, there are only two outcomes I could see,” Beckmann said in the interview, which appeared in the September issue of MT. “One would be a nationalized approach. Personally, I think that's nuts. Why would you go that route when you're already 60% of the way there with something the regulators and the constituents say is OK?”
And who is behind this little proposed bail out of the mortgage slicers and dicers? Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn.

So real estate will no longer be a state issue but a Federal one based on Federal preemption. I predict that if they actually try to pull this off the transition will be a bitch.

As my grand pappy used to say, "They are all crooks."

H/T Zero Hedge

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Never Just One Cockroach

H/T Zero Hedge

Friday, November 11, 2011

Nobody Owes You A Living

There is a lot of talk about restricting imports in order to create jobs for Americans. I don't buy it.

Nobody owes you a living. And you know what happens when politicians control what is bought and sold? The first thing bought and sold is politicians. So objectively being for government controlled trade is to be in favor of crony capitalists. What? You thought I wouldn’t notice?

There is no eternal law that says workers who price themselves out of the market will keep their jobs. If the price of labor is high enough it makes sense to either outsource or get machines to do the job (which is what has happened to manufacturing labor – just as it happened to agricultural labor). Or go broke.
Municipal Bankruptcy.

Maybe we can get government to repeal the laws of supply and demand. Then wage rates can rise to any level you like and you will no doubt find customers very willing to pay what ever you ask. Unless they resort to smuggling. Or off the books deals. Both were common in the late stages of the USSR.

You want higher pay? Find a skill that is in short supply. My kids have figured this out. #3 son is 4th year EE and it looks like he has a job already lined up. My #1 daughter is 3rd year Chem E, an A student. I have no doubt she will have no trouble finding work when she graduates. #2 son graduated with honors from UChicago (my old school) in Russian language. He is currently working for AC Nielsen in Russia. The previous year he was teaching English language and American studies at a Russian University. #1 son is an artist (no family is perfect). But I do have something you may do that not very many know how to do. Learn how to program these chips:

Green Arrays

Thursday, November 10, 2011

This Is Your War On Drugs

Do not watch this video if you can't stand dogs getting shot and a SWAT team terrorizing a Columbia, Missouri family over a few pot pipes. I first blogged this on 10 May 2010. There has been some reaction to that video which I will get to shortly.

What was the disposition of the case?
In the end the victim pleaded guilty to the misdemeanor charge of possession of drug paraphernalia in exchange for dropping the charges of misdemeanor marijuana possession and second-degree child endangerment. Yes, you read that right: the police burst into this man's home, shooting weapons in his home and killing his dog with his seven-year-old sleeping in the next room and he's the one who was endangering his child by smoking pot in his own home.
It seems that that was not the only disposition. Here is what Norm Stamper, Seattle’s retired Chief of Police, had to say today about the raid.
As they are forced onto the floor, a young male is brought into the room. He is handcuffed and pushed against a wall.

“What did I do? What did I DO?” he shouts, as the woman and the child cower on the floor nearby.

We then learn the source of the dog’s pained cries.

“You shot my dog, you shot my DOG!” the man suddenly shouts. “Why did you do that? He was a good dog! He was probably trying to play with you!”

He, the woman and the child all break into pitiful sobs.

As of late October, just five months after it was posted, the Columbia police raid video has been viewed nearly two million times on YouTube. The clip quickly ricocheted across cyberspace, generating emotionally charged, outraged calls for the officers to be fired and prosecuted. Or subjected to the same kind of treatment that terrorized their fellow citizens.

Public indignation over the incident intensified when it was learned that the Columbia SWAT team was executing an eight-day-old search warrant, and that the only things seized were a pipe containing a small amount of marijuana residue. Since possession of small amounts of pot had long ago been essentially decriminalized in Columbia, the man was charged with simple possession of drug paraphernalia, a misdemeanor.

The reaction of Fox Business Network’s Andrew Napolitano was telling. In a segment about the raid that also found its way onto YouTube, the retired New Jersey Superior Court judge says, “This was America – not East Germany, not Nazi Germany, but middle America!”

Yet as former Cato staffer Radley Balko, who wrote about the Columbia video, has noted, what’s most remarkable about the raid is that it wasn’t remarkable at all. The only thing that made it unusual was that it was videotaped and made public, thanks to a Freedom of Information Act request by the Columbia Daily Tribune newspaper.
There are still a few "Americans" around who say the punishments are not near draconian enough. But they are getting fewer each day. And they are getting pariah status as any police state advocates should.

"Distrust anyone in whom the desire to punish is powerful" - Friedrich Nietzsche

Fortunately that distrust is growing every day. And one day it will be over and the folks behind these atrocities will do their best to avoid being connected in any way with their past. Just as after the war it was hard to find many Nazis in Germany. It really is a wonder that America has let things get this far.

But in a way it is not too surprising. It seems every country needs its scape goats. Germany had its Jews. America has its dopers. I just wonder who will be the targets of all that leftover police hardware when dopers are no longer suitable targets? They are going to need a whole new class of scapegoats.

Maybe we can learn from South Pacific.

On the other hand that was 1949. Evidently we have forgotten what was once as plain as the nose on your face. Mass hate leads to mass atrocities. And not even the Shining City on the Hill is immune. Especially when you consider that Jew hatred in America peaked in 1944. Just before the unmasking of the German atrocities. We are now in the process of unmasking a new round of hatred. It can't happen soon enough.

H/T Drug Policy Forum of Texas

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Taxing Christmas

The government is now taxing Christmas in order to pay for its wrecking of the economy.

In the pre-dawn darkness of a chilly LA morning, my day started off with a chuckle. A friend in the reforestation business sent me an email detailing the US Department of Agriculture’s new ‘Christmas Tree’ tax that was approved yesterday. I thought it was a joke. It wasn’t.

One can only laugh at the absurdity of the government getting involved in such a matter. But it’s happening more and more.

You see, the United States is on a one-way collision course with its financial judgment day; the country long ago passed the historical point of no return– the point at which it has to start borrowing money simply to pay interest on the money it has already borrowed.

Throughout history, countries that passed this point of no return soon defaulted on their debts, entered into extended periods of severe inflation, or both. This is nothing new– the idea of a government going bankrupt is practically as old as the concept of government itself.
The free lunch is over.

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Her Silence Is Deafening

I was reading a transcript of the above speech at Israpundit and decided to follow the link given to the source of the transcript. You can try that here: As you can see it comes up "Not Found". OK maybe Comcast is acting up again. So I look up Sarah Pac and what do you know? The donate page can be found fine. But when you click on the Home Page link there you get the same "Not Found" message. Something is up.

And something else is up. Sarah has been relatively quiet since that speech. I wonder what she is planning?

As I wrote in a comment at Israpundit:
The First Mate – who was never a Palin fan and in fact disdained her – after looking at the R field, was lamenting that Palin was not in the race. I have been a Palinista since 29 Aug. 2008.
Let me add that The Mate voted for Obama but has thoroughly learned her lesson by now.

There are those who would vote for a syphilitic camel in the next election rather than see Obama win. Why do that when you could vote for Sarah? If she runs. As a third party candidate. If she was in the race I'd vote for her. Any party. Any time. And given the Mate's reaction to the current field I think there may be a hidden reservoir of unnoticed support (how is that for redundancy?).

I think it is time the Republicans went the way of the Whigs. And they might very well do that if Sarah takes up the banner.

Update: 9 Nov 2011 1510z

McCain is fed up. He predicts the rise of a third party.

H/T filbert in the comments.

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

In The Heart

I was reading the reviews of Spengler's new book How Civilizations Die: (And Why Islam Is Dying Too) and came across this interesting bit:

David Goldman's book is hard to summarize, perhaps because it is so thought-provoking. It is also full of data which you have probably never seen before.

The most startling data describe what might be the impending collapse of the Iranian theocracy. It has been a complete failure in every direction, and even the mad, evil Ahmadinejad can see the handwriting on the wall. After thirty years of religious tyranny, it turns out that a mere two percent of Iranians attend mosque on Fridays. The birthrate has plummeted --- the steepest drop in fertility known to recorded history. Prostitution is pandemic, with a huge number of prostitutes being women who passed the university entrance exam, or who are actually studying at the university. They sell themselves not out of desperation but out of greed. Drug addiction now has hit 5 million men, among the work-force which is 35 million strong. Rumor has it that the Big Turbans on top of this seething volcano are now grabbing everything they can before their number is up, with billions of dollars disappearing from Iranian banks.

Gee, maybe Grandpa was right: "Religion is in the heart. It cannot be forced upon the people. You find the love within God, and with that love, you cherish life."

What is even more startling is that this is only the worst case in the Muslim world --- all of the oil-importing Muslim countries are facing disaster, with Egypt as a prime example: 80 million very backward people who need to buy half their bread from abroad. Well, tourism in Egypt is dead, for some STRANGE reason, and that foreign exchange has disappeared, and the price of wheat is going up up up as the Chinese, Koreans and Japanese buy more and more. We may well be looking at a desperate famine situation within twelve months.
I think that is exactly right. People have to find their faith. It can't be forced on them.

I didn't find my faith until I was in my late 20s. A big part of the reason is that I had a very difficult childhood due to the alcoholism of my father. But it was quite understandable in retrospect. His mother beat him. Badly. He often recounted an incident where she threw a meat axe at him. Very lucky for me - he ducked.

I'm not much of a believer in religion (in case you hadn't noticed). I think its effects are generally pernicious because religion is about power and power structures. Besides, I don't need faith. Why should I? I have experience. The Maker talks to me. And what has he been telling me?

He told me to start having children (I was 38 at the time and my mate was 34) not quite in Abraham/Sarah territory but still. We have 4 children.

1. An artist
2. UChicago graduate (with honors) in the Russian language
3. An Electrical Engineer
4. A Chemical Engineer

Not a lot of children to be sure. But way more than the average high tech geek. I couldn’t be happier about the advice. Especially since I was sure at age 30 that I would never have a family.

Every man (and woman) has to find his own way. It would be more than helpful in that respect if government would get out of the way. We will never have a moral nation with government forcing morality down people's throats. The example of Iran is very instructive in that regard. Forcing is counter to the best of the Judeo-Christian tradition. It must come from the heart. And heart is something government is not well known for. I'd like to see more Christian compassion and a lot less (Pharisee like) "the law is the law." Maybe for murder and theft. But extending that to what people eat, drink, and smoke - very unwise.

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Monday, November 07, 2011

China Opens The Gold Window

Well Gold ATMs actually.

China is one of the world's largest producers and purchasers of precious metals, especially gold and silver. Beijing has now unveiled its first gold ATM machine in a shopping district. More than 2,000 will be installed in the next two years.
I wonder if this is meant to sop up the money that no longer has confidence in Chinese real estate?

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Sunday, November 06, 2011

The Iranians Are Starting A Polywell Fusion Project

There are more comments from the Iranians earlier in the thread. Here is one I found interesting.

It seems that Construction of WB7 or WB8 model isn't difficult. It will be possible for us.
Here is a real gem.
What I can't figure out is why the Israelis aren't on it.

The thread started because the Iranians had a paper published on Polywell in The Journal Of Fusion Energy.

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Who Would Make Better Neighbors

From Man Mountain Molehill via e-mail.

Who would you rather have for neighbors?
pot heads
pill heads
puritan witch-hunting nutjobs

Which echos Robert Heinlein:

“Political tags–such as royalist, communist, democrat, populist, fascist, liberal, conservative, and so forth–are never basic criteria. The human race divides politically into those who want people to be controlled and those who have no such desire. The former are idealists acting from highest motives for the greatest good of the greatest number. The latter are surly curmudgeons, suspicious and lacking in altruism. But they are more comfortable neighbors than the other sort.”

Friday, November 04, 2011

This Is Your Brain On Drugs

Charlie Rose discusses with brain scientists the nature of addiction. There are a few commercials at the beginning.

Update: The NIDA woman just repeats the DEA line - drugs hijack the brain. She never explains why only 10% of those who try heroin ever become addicted. She also makes no mention of the fact that about 70% of female heroin users were sexually molested as children. Something she must know.

H/T Drug Policy Forum of Texas

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Polywell Report - 3 Nov 2011

The researchers at Polywell Fusion have issued a report on their progress.

Project Status More than 50% Completed

Final Project Report Submitted No

Project Activities Description Other Scientific and Technical Consulting Services

Quarterly Activities/Project Description As of 3Q/2011, the WB-8 device has generated over 500 high power plasma shots. EMC2 is conducting tests on Wiffle-Ball plasma scaling law on plasma heating and confinement.

Jobs Created 12.00

Description of Jobs Created two full time plasma physicists and one full time microwave engineer. In addition, one full time equivalent electrical engineer.
It is not much of a report but it is all we have.

H/T The Boys and Girls at Talk Polywell where you can find a discussion of the nuances.

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Turning A Whole Generation Of Young People Against The System

House member Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.) says the Drug War is turning a whole generation against the system. Given that pot use peaks in the 16 to 25 year age bracket and that roughly 50% of that cohort are at least occasional users it seems like a really stupid move.

“Marijuana is not the problem,” Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.), said at a House Judiciary subcommittee on crime, terrorism and homeland security oversight hearing. “It’s turning a whole generation of young people against the system and that’s something we can’t afford.”

Robinson said her office would look into how many Byrne law enforcement grants are used to reimburse local law enforcement agencies for enforcement of cannabis possession laws.

Cohen pressed Robinson to justify the federal government’s role in encouraging the enforcement of laws that the congressman said disproportionately affects people of color and tarnishes the records of young people for their entire lives.
And Rep. Cohen is a little off. He should have said "another generation".

H/T Drug Policy Forum of Texas

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Dialog With The 99%

The New American has some thoughts on the OWS (is that like multiple owies?).
Wall Street drank the alcohol that the Federal Reserve poured. If there was no Fed pouring the alcohol, if Fannie and Freddie weren’t guaranteeing all these mortgages, Wall Street wouldn’t have originated them. So it was Wall Street working with government, but the source of the problem was the government. Government started it. That’s how come when I was warning about the crisis back in 2004-2005, begging the Fed to raise interest rates, trying to get Fannie and Freddie out of the mortgage guarantee business, nobody wanted to listen to me.
Read the whole thing. And watch the video.

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Walking Robot

H/T ECN Magazine


I got one of those annoying IM pop ups on my e-mail and for S&Gs I decided to engage (warp drive plus impulse engines). So I start chatting. Since I am not biting right away the female in question gave me a link to "her" site. Well she was looking good with not too many clothes on. Plus she promised to let me watch her squirt. I tired of it and signed off.

Today, same "girl" (according to her handle) but a different picture. However the conversation went exactly the same way as yesterday (when I started this little amusement). I suspect there is no girl. Just an AI program like Lisa designed to get men to sign up for the site. And in fact according to the Lisa site that may be exactly what is happening.

LISA, the future of advanced AI. A pretty bold statement I believe and one which – OK, “she” may not be the future of anything, but LISA is already promising to provide a leap forward in chatbot technology. And that’s what this site is all about, the chronicling of LISA from a few lines of code to realistic and “intelligent” speech.
So much for romance.

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Drug Cartel PR?

Thanks to Howard Wooldridge of Citizens Opposing Prohibition I have a link to what purports to be a Mexican Drug Cartel PR site. We Are The Cartels. They boast on their current front page: Mexican Drug Cartel Association – Now offering To-Your-Door Service in many cities.

There is another page that I found interesting.

Breaking News

October 13, 2011 – California:

We applaud the efforts of the DEA today, as they destroy the Northstone Organics in Mendocino County. In fact we applaud all efforts of the DEA to destroy these so-called ‘legal, medical marijuana’ gardens.

Drug trafficking helping economy along border: October 17, 2011

This from a newspaper account whereby Marin “Gordo” Herrera, a former associate of the MDCA, was able to take the money he earned and develop a successful housing area in a suburb near McAllen, Texas.

Although now serving 20 years in a federal prison, the houses remain as testimony of the positive impact of his employment with us.
I wonder if this is for real or if it is a way of making fun of Drug Prohibition? Either way.....

BTW Howard, a retired police detective, educates Congress on the evils of Drug Prohibition. If you can - send him a few bucks.

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Melt Down In The Works

According to Zero Hedge our financial system is on the brink of a collapse bigger than the one that happened in 2008. This all comes about because the risks the banks are taking internationally are accounted as if the financial system is going to work properly and cover them. But what if the system can't cover?

A little over a month ago, Zero Hedge started an avalanche in the financial sector, and an unprecedented defense thereof by the "independent" financial media and conflicted sell side, by being simply the messenger in pointing out that the gross exposure of one Morgan Stanley to the French banking sector is $39 billion. The firestorm of protests, which naturally focused on the messenger, and not the message, attempted to refute the claims that Morgan Stanley (and many others) are overexposed to Europe (both banks and countries) by stating that gross is not net, and that when one nets out "hedges" the real exposure is far, far lower. The logic is that bilateral netting, as the principle behind this argument is called, should always work - no matter the market, and that counterparty risk, especially when it comes to hedges, should always be ignored because banks will always honor their own derivative exposure. Obviously that this failed massively when AIG had to be bailed out, to preserve precisely the tortured and failed logic of bilateral netting was completely ignored, after all things will never get that bad again, right? Well, wrong. Because the argument here is precisely what the exposure is when the chain of netting breaks, when one or more counterparties go under (such as MF Global for example, which filed bankruptcy precisely due to its hedged (?) European exposure - luckily MF was not in the business of writing CDS on European banks or else all hell would be breaking loose right now). So little by little the story was forgotten: after all when everyone says gross is not net, contrary to what history shows us all too often, everyone must be right. Today it is time to refresh this story, as none other than Bloomberg pulls the scab right off and while confirming our observations, also goes further: yes, banks are not only massively exposed to Europe, but they are in essence misrepresenting this exposure to the public by a factor of well over ten!
For all intents and purposes Greece is gone. Terrible to be sure but barely manageable. But what happens when Italy goes? Or Ireland, or Spain, or Portugal, or all of them plus others? Like China.


Cross Posted at Classical Values

Change Is In The Wind

Except the Senate has not changed at all and the House not much.

H/T Drug Policy Forum of Texas

Hi Tech Powered By Pot

It appears that industries powered by brains, commonly referred to as high tech, are also powered by marijuana.

Almost 92% of the people that work in the technology and telecommunications industries answered "yes" to the survey's question asking if they had ever smoked cannabis.

"Obviously, cannabis users work in a variety of professions," said James Malach, creative director at technology firm TongueWag, which commissioned the survey, "but the high proportion of users in the IT sector is considerably higher than we suspected."
The study says nothing much about current use in high tech. But even so. Think about what would happen to our high tech industries (the engines of our current prosperity such as it is) if a significant fraction of those folks had wound up with a pot conviction after trying the herb in their youth.

In my own experience in high tech, I would estimate that between 1/4 and 1/2 of the engineers I worked with were regular users. Of course there is no way for me to tell for certain (thus the wide variance in numbers) because no one with a job is going to admit to pot use and thus lose their job.

Update: I found a site which discusses the anecdotal evidence of pot use in high tech. Here is a bit from the site:
Several heavy pot smokers I’ve known have also been some of the smartest and most productive I’ve worked with. People seem to use these drugs to unwind, to blow off steam, and I’ve never seen anyone have trouble keeping it out of the workplace. If people have substance problems it’s more likely alcoholism.

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Monday, October 31, 2011

Quantum Locking

Free Choice

If you choose an answer to this question at random, what is the chance you will be correct?

1) 25%

2) 50%

3) 60%

4) 25%

From Posts Secret

Clearing the Smoke: The Science of Cannabis

I must say it is interesting to hear the critics in this video. It is as if they are unfamiliar with the concept: medicinal plants. The idea seems to be that only single compounds that come from a factory can be medicine. But what about Marinol?

When I Die

A little Halloween Music Maestro.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

The Libertarian Ideal

Liberty may be in the heart of all men. But not all men live it. Some are thieves and murderers. And this is especially true in the Foreign Policy realm where most countries live under the authority of thieves and murderers. And you must deal with such people with a strong hand and the willingness from time to time to show them you mean business.

pour encourager les autres

I do understand why Libertarians hate foreign policy and wish to operate as if the world was Libertarian. Because Foreign Policy in far too many cases is an ugly business and violates Libertarian Principles.

The trouble is that playing the game in a restrained way gives thieves and murderers ideas like "they are too weak to resist" or "they won't fight". It is very bad policy to give murderers and thieves that impression. It leads to a LOT of disorder. Libertarians know that in domestic policy but seem to ignore it when it comes to foreign policy.

A strong response to the Rhineland Incident for instance might have caused 1,000 deaths but prevented WW2. But at the time the cost was "too high". The butchers bill for that mistake in policy ran into the tens of millions.

I see Libertarians all too willing to make such mistakes because of Principle. Forgetting that the world is not mathematically calculable (they will leave us alone if we leave them alone). Sadly for thieves and murderers it just encourages them. Well at least enough of them to be very expensive. Much more expensive than slapping down a miscreant occasionally.

Technology And Employment

I came across an article from a while back discussing the impact of technology on employment.

I've been arguing that as machines and software become more capable, they are beginning to match the capabilities of the average worker. In other words, as technology advances, a larger and larger fraction of the population will essentially become unemployable. While I think advancing information technology is the primary force driving this, globalization is certainly also playing a major role. (But keep in mind that aspects of globalization such as service offshoring--moving a job electronically to a low wage country--are also technology driven).

The economists sometimes mention technology, but in general they find other "structural" issues to focus on.
I'm not sure I agree with his thesis. People will eventually do different things than they did in the past. Just as they eventually did after collapse of farm labor in the 1930s. But the change was wrenching and it took 15 or 20 years to complete. More or less a generation.

We are in for rough sledding for quite a while longer if we count the beginning of the reorganization as 2008. We are well under a 1/4 of the way through the change.

In any case the author has made his book available for free (you can pay any amount you like too) at The Lights in the Tunnel.

This post was prompted by the comments to this article: The Technosponge.

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Saturday, October 29, 2011


Conservatives and liberals are kindred spirits as far as government spending is concerned. First, let's make sure we understand what government spending is. Since government has no resources of its own, and since there's no Tooth Fairy handing Congress the funds for the programs it enacts, we are forced to recognize that government spending is no less than the confiscation of one person's property to give it to another to whom it does not belong -- in effect, legalized theft. Liberals believe government should take people's earnings to give to poor people. Conservatives disagree. They think government should confiscate people's earnings and give them to farmers and insolvent banks. The compelling issue to both conservatives and liberals is not whether it is legitimate for government to confiscate one's property to give to another, the debate is over the disposition of the pillage.

-- Walter Williams

Friday, October 28, 2011

True Conservatives

I detest the label “true conservative” because not many “true conservatives” fit the Reagan definition.

“If you analyze it I believe the very heart and soul of conservatism is libertarianism. I think conservatism is really a misnomer just as liberalism is a misnomer for the liberals — if we were back in the days of the Revolution, so-called conservatives today would be the Liberals and the liberals would be the Tories. The basis of conservatism is a desire for less government interference or less centralized authority or more individual freedom and this is a pretty general description also of what libertarianism is.” – Ronald Reagan Reason Magazine July 1975
Most of the “true conservatives” favor a different brand of meddling than the liberals. But what they have in common is that they favor government intervention to “solve” the social problems they care about. Forgetting the one truism about government. It doesn’t solve problems. It perpetuates them in order to keep the cash flowing.

And yet when I bring up the libertarian idea (sensible on foreign policy differentiates them from Libertarians) I get nothing but derision from “true conservatives”. Just ask a “true conservative” about the Constitutional justification for Drug Prohibition and watch what happens. Oh. They may concede on the Constitution part. But that does not make them want to abolish the DEA despite Drug Prohibition’s Progressive origins. You would think that the Constitution and Progressive origins would be enough to change a lot of “true conservative’s” minds. You would be wrong.

I look forward to the day when “true conservatives” become truly conservative.

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Whatever Happened To The Promises?

It seems the crackdown the Feds are doing on medical marijuana dispensaries is none too popular among Democrat voters.

Medical marijuana advocates have reacted angrily to reports of the Obama administration threatening dispensaries, including some in the Bay Area. California voters passed a medical marijuana law in 1996, and many people use the drug to help ease pain related to HIV and AIDS and other illnesses.

But in recent weeks, federal prosecutors have announced broad prosecutions against medical marijuana dispensaries across California, reportedly threatening landlords with eviction, property seizures, and imprisonment.
That sort of action in a state where medical marijuana is legal is leading even California politicians to protest.
Assemblyman Tom Ammiano and state Senator Mark Leno, both out gay Democrats from San Francisco, held a press conference Wednesday, October 19, to call for an end to the federal crackdown.

In a recent statement, Ammiano said the Department of Justice's stance means "a tragic return to failed policies that will cost the state millions in tax revenue and harm countless lives."

He continued, "Whatever happened to the promises [Obama] made on the campaign trail to not prosecute medical marijuana or the 2009 DOJ memo saying that states with medical marijuana laws would not be prosecuted? Change we can believe in? Instead we get more of the same.
It is too bad most Republican politicians are too stupid to capitalize on this discontent. Well not too stupid in their minds. Cracking down on people using the wrong kind of plants for medicine make perfect sense if it keeps even one person from abusing pot. Especially if the pain, suffering, and premature deaths caused by the denial of medicine are not assigned to their actions. It is how politicians traditionally get away with murder.

H/T Drug Policy Forum of Texas

Cross Posted at Classical Values


Six months in the lab can save you an afternoon in the library.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

America Is On The Mend

The job market is bad. The economic scene is worse. And Federal debt is spiraling out of control. How can America be on the mend? Ambrose Evans-Pritchard tells the story.

He mentions shale gas. We now have at least a 50 year supply and maybe 100.

Then there is shale oil.

Total US shale output is "set to expand dramatically" as fresh sources come on stream, possibly reaching 5.5m b/d by mid-decade. This is a tenfold rise since 2009. The US already meets 72pc of its own oil needs, up from around 50pc a decade ago.
That is a pretty dramatic rise.

Ah. But there is more.
"Made in America, Again" - a report this month by Boston Consulting Group - said Chinese wage inflation running at 16pc a year for a decade has closed much of the cost gap. China is no longer the "default location" for cheap plants supplying the US.

A "tipping point" is near in computers, electrical equipment, machinery, autos and motor parts, plastics and rubber, fabricated metals, and even furniture.

"A surprising amount of work that rushed to China over the past decade could soon start to come back," said BCG's Harold Sirkin.
Feathers in the wind? What about actual companies? What are the people who make corporate decisions doing?
The list of "repatriates" is growing. Farouk Systems is bringing back assembly of hair dryers to Texas after counterfeiting problems; ET Water Systems has switched its irrigation products to California; Master Lock is returning to Milwaukee, and NCR is bringing back its ATM output to Georgia. NatLabs is coming home to Florida.

Boston Consulting expects up to 800,000 manufacturing jobs to return to the US by mid-decade, with a multiplier effect creating 3.2m in total. This would take some sting out of the Long Slump.

As Cleveland Fed chief Sandra Pianalto said last week, US manufacturing is "very competitive" at the current dollar exchange rate. Whether intended or not, the Fed's zero rates and $2.3 trillion printing blitz have brought matters to an abrupt head for China.

Fed actions confronted Beijing with a Morton's Fork of ugly choices: revalue the yuan, or hang onto the mercantilist dollar peg and import a US monetary policy that is far too loose for a red-hot economy at the top of the cycle. Either choice erodes China's wage advantage. The Communist Party chose inflation.
On the inflation front we are working hard but we got beaten by the Chinese. Good for us. Bad for them.

Now for the bad news. Which I alluded to at the start.
The switch in advantage to the US is relative. It does not imply a healthy US recovery. The global depression will grind on as much of the Western world tightens fiscal policy and slowly purges debt, and as China deflates its credit bubble.

Yet America retains a pack of trump cards, and not just in sixteen of the world’s top twenty universities.

It is almost the only economic power with a fertility rate above 2.0 - and therefore the ability to outgrow debt - in sharp contrast to the demographic decay awaiting Japan, China, Korea, Germany, Italy, and Russia.
Our bad policies at the top are temporary. Our natural advantages manifest. And we have something no other country has. The American Spirit.

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

It Must Produce Revenue

Eric is discussing my post Prevention Methods, and looks at the harms that making things illegal causes. A commenter chimes in with this bit of wisdom.

...many of these “illegal drug” like Marijuana can be produced without a good means of tax revenue – another reason to outlaw them
You can make quite a bit of your own booze (200 gal a year I believe) without paying any taxes (a permit may be required). I wonder if we should be making alcohol illegal to recover that lost revenue. Oh. Wait. If they make alcohol illegal there is zero revenue. Only enforcement costs. Barring the usual theft pardon me "asset forfeiture" by police of anything people own that they cannot account for. Like cash. This is sometimes referred to as highway robbery.

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Monday, October 24, 2011

I'm Deep Into

Poles, Zeros. Tolerancing components and the pitfalls of using "suggested designs". A good engineer ALWAYS runs the numbers.

Politics has for the time being lost my interest.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Top Fuel Blender

Prevention Methods

So I'm having an ongoing discussion with a guy and he has me pegged.

MSimon believes that it is every individual's right to consume whatever drugs in whatever quantities that an individual so chooses.
What is your plan to prevent that? Because that is exactly the nature of current reality. The legality or otherwise makes no difference except for determining the distribution channels. For a lot of people "distributed by criminals" seems to be a very solid preference. I don't know why but there you have it. And quite a few of those claim to be conservative. But since when did conservatives support criminals? It is a paradox. Unless you understand Baptist/bootlegger coalitions. Prevalent everywhere but especially virulent in America. We LOVE our moral panics in the Good 'Ole USA.

I know. Facing reality puts me way out on a limb. It has been a life long curse. I rather enjoy it.

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Friday, October 21, 2011

The Oscilloscope Arrived Yesterday

The Tektronix 475 Oscilloscope I ordered last Friday arrived yesterday at about 3:30 local time (2030z). I have had it on the bench since then testing it out. It was advertized as used and I must say it is well used. The Digital Voltmeter (the LED readout on top) appears to be defective. No great loss, although I was hoping to use the timing cursor to make time measurements. Oh. Well.

You will note that the trace is fuzzy. That is because the focus control appears welded in position. It is workable for now. It does synchronize with the signal provided by the 'scope (a 1 KHz test wave) as any good Tek should do (they are famous for their stable synchronizing ability).

It is going to need a trip to the tune-up shop (any suggestions for one in the Rockford area?) but for now it will suit my purposes. Thanks to all who donated to make this possible. Any money left over is going into my next project (board currently under design). I hope to be able to announce it in the next week or so.

My plan is to earn enough from that project to get the 'scope tuned up.

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Thursday, October 20, 2011

A Quiet Day

I'm learning more about the GreenArrays chip and I'm beginning the design of a board around it.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Feds Go On A Diet - Spending Up Only 5%

I guess this is what passes for fiscal restraint these days.

Despite all of the rhetoric coming out of Washington about cutting federal spending and living within our means, the numbers don’t lie. According to the recently released numbers by the Congressional Budget Office, our Federal Government spending was up 5% in 2011 over what we spent in 2010. This marks the largest year of budget expenditures in our nation’s history.

The Federal government spent an alarming $3.6 trillion dollars in 2011, more than the previous year and even more than 2009 when President Obama pushed his failed Stimulus package through an attempt to spend us out of a recession.
Eventually this will end. I predict not well.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The Texas Miracle - Dope Smuggling

We now know why Rick Perry thinks making pot legal may not be the best idea for Texas. The Texas economy is dependent on the dope trade.

Before a federal judge sentenced him to 20 years in prison earlier this year, prosecutors established that between 2006 and 2010 Herrera had been a conduit for more than 660 pounds of cocaine flowing from Mexico’s Gulf Cartel into the United States, a key link on a smuggling chain that distributed drugs to Houston, Atlanta, Miami, Chicago and beyond.

For better or worse Herrera pumped a fair amount of money into the Texas economy, which is getting renewed attention because of Gov. Rick Perry’s campaign for the GOP presidential nomination and his proud declaration that his low-tax and low-regulation policies have enabled Texas to weather hard times — the “Texas Miracle.’’

Clearly, drugs were flowing across the Texas border with Mexico long before Perry became governor and will continue long after he’s gone. And drugs do not have the same level of economic impact on Texas as oil and gas, farming and ranching or legitimate trans-border commerce.

But experts who have studied the impact of drug money say it is undeniable that in a tough economy, trafficking has helped boost employment and economic growth in the state’s border regions, from the Rio Grande Valley to Laredo to El Paso.
As William Burroughs is reputed to have said, "Dealing is harder to kick than using".

H/T Drug Policy Forum of Texas

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Government Solution

Occupy Wall Street? You might as well send them a check.

The only way to get business out of government is to make government smaller. There is no "government" solution to the government problem.

Update: I see comments here and there around the www about how messed up these kids are. I dunno – Wall Street pretty much owns government. Aside from the part the Drug Cartels control. They got the problem right. They got the answer wrong. What they want is smaller government. Something no faction in America favors. They all have their pet projects for improving moral and social conditions that REQUIRE Big Intrusive Government (that would be BIG. And if this were a movie it would be controlled by Mr. Big or perhaps his brother). Ah. Well. Maybe when the kids grow up they will become libertarians.

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Saturday, October 15, 2011

They Started A Chip Company

Yep. The above gentlemen have started a computer chip company. GreenArrays. And you thought making chips was a young man's game? It is true the young guys can work harder. But old guys can work smarter. And with enough coffee, on occasion they can work just as hard.

The chip company is more than old news to many of my readers.

What is new is that they have started a blog. It will be chock full of tips and entertainment - if banging bits entertains you. GreenArrays Tech

And in that vein I too have started another blog. GreenArrays and Forth. Which will document my explorations as a beginner. A journey similar to the one I made at IEC Fusion Technology.

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Friday, October 14, 2011

A Few Mistakes Have Been Made

Supreme Court Justice Anton Scalia says the drug laws were a mistake.

"It was a great mistake to put routine drug offenses into the federal courts," he told the Senate Judiciary Committee Wednesday. The Wall Street Journal went on to report Scalia's belief that the laws forced Congress to enlarge the federal court system, and diminished "the elite quality of the federal judiciary."

This isn't a new problem. Chief Justice William Rehnquist complained as far back as 1989 that the war on drugs was overwhelming the federal judiciary. In 1995, Kathleen F. Brickley, an academic, found that "the Federal system is strained to capacity due, in large part, to the government's war on drugs."
There also seems to be a quota system that has been strained beyond the breaking point. Which seems to be the reason some cops were fabricating drug charges.
A former NYPD narcotics detective snared in a corruption scandal testified it was common practice to fabricate drug charges against innocent people to meet arrest quotas.

The bombshell testimony from Stephen Anderson is the first public account of the twisted culture behind the false arrests in the Brooklyn South and Queens narc squads, which led to the arrests of eight cops and a massive shakeup.

Anderson, testifying under a cooperation agreement with prosecutors, was busted for planting cocaine, a practice known as "flaking," on four men in a Queens bar in 2008 to help out fellow cop Henry Tavarez, whose buy-and-bust activity had been low.
Real investigations take time. And sometimes they don't pay off. Sometimes they do and the cops need to find some other people to keep their numbers up.

It is a difficult job and no one should be doing it.

H/T Drug Policy Forum of Texas

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

I Need Some Help

We don't do this often around here. But I could use some help with a project I'm working on. Think of this as sort of a kick starter for something that could prove useful in fairly short order.

As you may or may not know I'm working on a very interesting microprocessor. You can see a picture of it on my workbench with USB cables going to the computer I'm typing on. Convenient. Internet and development system all in one. Everything is talking nice and following commands.

But you will note that there is a hole on the left side of the photo where my oscilloscope should go. That is because both of my previous scopes have gone belly up on me. I need a scope to continue my experiments and complete a design I have been working on. And this is what such a 'scope would look like. A Tektronix 475.

Which brings me to my point. I need some help to get such a 'scope. They can cost up to $500 depending on what is available and the reputation of the seller. If you can help:

Make A Donation Today

And for those of you moved by sentiment: 13 Oct is my birthday. I was born on a Friday. My lucky day.

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Dopers Are Ruining The Country

Glenn Greenwald is having a look at Steve Jobs and how illegal drugs ruined his life.

It’s fascinating to juxtapose America’s reverence for Steve Jobs’ accomplishments and its draconian drug policy with this, from the New York Times‘ obituary of Jobs:
[Jobs] told a reporter that taking LSD was one of the two or three most important things he had done in his life. He said there were things about him that people who had not tried psychedelics — even people who knew him well, including his wife — could never understand.
Unlike many people who have enjoyed success, Jobs is not saying that he was able to succeed despite his illegal drug use; he’s saying his success is in part — in substantial part — because of those illegal drugs (he added that Bill Gates would “be a broader guy if he had dropped acid once”). These quotes (first published by a New York Times reporter) have been around for some time but have been only rarely discussed in the recent hagiographies of Jobs: a notable omission given that he himself praised those experiences as an integral part of his identity and one of the most important things he ever did.
I'd trade all the burnouts and drop outs who couldn't handle their drugs for another Steve Jobs. Maybe we could get 20 more like him.
In short, the deceit at the heart of America’s barbaric drug policy — that these substances are such unadulterated evils that adults should be put in cages for voluntarily using them — is more glaring than ever. In light of his comments about LSD, it’s rather difficult to reconcile America’s adoration for Steve Jobs with its ongoing obsession with prosecuting and imprisoning millions of citizens (mostly poor and minorities) for doing what Jobs, Obama, George W. Bush, Michael Phelps and millions of others have done.
It is all about connections. And Black people for the most part ain't got none. So guess who is going to jail? Clue - not white folks (very much).
Jobs’ praise for his LSD use is what I kept returning to as I read about the Obama DOJ’s heinous new policy to use the full force of criminal prosecutions against medical marijuana dispensaries in California. In October, 2009, I enthusiastically praised Eric Holder and the DOJ for appearing to fulfill Obama’s campaign promise by refraining from prosecuting medical marijuana dispensaries in compliance with state law (a “rare instance of unadulterated good news from Washington,” I gushed). As I wrote:
Criminalizing cancer and AIDS patients for using a substance that is (a) prescribed by their doctors and (b) legal under the laws of their state has always been abominable. The Obama administration deserves major credit not only for ceasing this practice, but for memorializing it formally in writing.
Yet now, U.S. Attorneys in California will expend substantial law enforcement resources to persecute medical marijuana dispensaries that sell to consenting adults even though those transactions have been legalized by the voters of California and 16 other states (to see what a complete reversal this is of everything Obama and Holder previously said on this subject, see here).
The article goes on at length discussing our All American Drug Prohibition. And finishes with this update:
UPDATE: In The Los Angeles Times today, a former Deputy Chief of the L.A.P.D. details how drug prohibition “has cost our country more than $1 trillion in cash and much more in immeasurable social harm”; “the damage that came from the prohibition of alcohol pales in comparison to the harm wrought by drug prohibition“; and “that ending today’s prohibition on drugs — starting with marijuana — would do more to hurt the [drug] cartels than any level of law enforcement skill or dedication ever can.”
Ah but think about all the government functionaries out of a job. And America out of Jobs.

H/T Drug Policy Forum of Texas

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Monday, October 10, 2011

Conservatives Are Really Progressives?

Right wing (without a doubt) magazine Human Events makes the case using the Ken Burns movie "Prohibition" as a springboard that Prohibition was a Progressive project. I think there is no doubt about that.

But I wonder. Since Prohibition is a Progressive Project why do so many "Conservatives" these days support its modern day variant, "Drug Prohibition" ?

Progressivism in America is not a Party. It is a state of mind.


Explanation here. Short version:
The breakthrough came when Mr Murphy aligned a set of faces at eye-level and skimmed through them. After a few seconds, he noticed that some of the faces began to appear deformed and grotesque.
It is called the Flashed Distortion Effect. Just in case you were wondering.

Sunday, October 09, 2011

America Cannot Compete

I got an e-mail today from some political organization complaining about the Solyndra deal in these terms.

Start with labor costs. Thanks to the influence of labor unions, Solyndra paid its employees an average of about $100,000 per year. In China, a salary of $100,000 is unheard of. Most factory workers get paid about $.80 per hour. Rarely do they make more than $200 per month. America cannot compete in the face of this disparity.
Sure we can. We just won't do it by throwing labor at problems. We will have to use our brains. A commodity that is more than evidently in very short supply. Especially among the politicos.

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Law Hijacked By Profiteers

I see by this statement that the private pot operations in California are seriously cutting into drug cartel profits. No wonder they needed a Haag to send the message. That is so ironic on so many levels. It is the government that keeps the real profiteers in business. Shouldn't she be inspecting chopped liver or something important?

H/T Drug Policy Forum of Texas

Cross Posted at Classical Values

The Government Doesn't Care

She is about 1/2 way there. Government is never going to care. Therefore we have too much government for the most part. "Bail us out too" is such a forlorn call.

Saturday, October 08, 2011

She Boots

At about 1345z on 8 Oct 2011 my GA144 board booted. I'm going to have a beer and a nap and start in on the software after a good rest.

Cross Posted at Classical Values


The small government party is at it again.

The House Judiciary Committee passed a bill yesterday that would make it a federal crime for U.S. residents to discuss or plan activities on foreign soil that, if carried out in the U.S., would violate the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) -- even if the planned activities are legal in the countries where they're carried out. The new law, sponsored by Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas) allows prosecutors to bring conspiracy charges against anyone who discusses, plans or advises someone else to engage in any activity that violates the CSA, the massive federal law that prohibits drugs like marijuana and strictly regulates prescription medication.

"Under this bill, if a young couple plans a wedding in Amsterdam, and as part of the wedding, they plan to buy the bridal party some marijuana, they would be subject to prosecution," said Bill Piper, director of national affairs for the Drug Policy Alliance, which advocates for reforming the country's drug laws. "The strange thing is that the purchase of and smoking the marijuana while you're there wouldn't be illegal. But this law would make planning the wedding from the U.S. a federal crime."
The comments were especially instructive. This one was my favorite:
More "thought crime" legislatio­n from the party that wants to keep big government out of your personal business by putting itself in your personal business. Extra cup of "Doublethi­nk" anyone?
The Republican Campaign Slogan for 2012: We favor smaller government except for (use your imagination).....

H/T Drug Policy Forum of Texas

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Friday, October 07, 2011

Bad Day At The Work Bench

I'm putting together a work bench to do experiments on the GA 144 processor. I dug my oscilloscope out of (warm, dry) storage and powered it up for about an hour. Everything was fine at the beginning and then I hear a crackling and smoke is pouring out of the unit. And you know how those things are. Once the magic smoke escapes they stop working.

If anyone has a spare scope they could part with I'd be mighty obliged. Or if you know where I can get a low cost repair of a Tektronix 2215.... I used to have a Tek 465 too but it seems to have disappeared in all my travels. Bummer.

Update: Here is a picture of the scope with the missing smoke.

Just below the scope are a pair of 100MHz Oscilloscope Probes I bought from Amazon for $17.00 - which is a very good price. And they are well rated too. I didn't even get a chance to try them out. 'Nuther bummer.

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Steve Jobs

I am rather fortunate to have grown up in the hacker era. To have heard of Steve and Woz before they became household names. The lights are going out. A lot of us were reaching for the brass ring Steve captured. Way to go guy. And lucky (and very good) you. You will be missed.

Now about that new processor I'm working on.

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Palin Not Running In 2012?

Well it says so at this ABC News link.

Nothing up at Conservatives For Palin yet.

National Review has it.

I'm one sad puppy today. About politics. But I do feel rather GA 144.

Cross Posted at Classical Values

It's The Money, Stupid.

The moral I got from watching Part 3 of "Prohibition" a movie by Ken Burns, is that when the influence of the moralists wanes and the government needs money it will scrap prohibition in favor of commerce. Especially if the bodies are piling up in America. Mexican bodies? Not Our Problem.

Where are we with drug prohibition:

Pretty far along. And that doesn't even count the 70% to 80% that support medical marijuana.

So what about the money? The direct costs run about $25 bn a year Federal. And about $45 bn a year State and local. And then there are taxes to be collected.
A San Francisco Bay area medical marijuana dispensary that promotes itself as the world's largest has been hit with a $2.4 million tax bill following an audit by the Internal Revenue Service, the dispensary founder said Tuesday.

The back taxes, penalties and interest levied against Harborside Health Center came after the IRS examined its returns for 2007 and 2008 and determined a 1982 tax code prohibiting cost deductions for businesses that traffic in illegal drugs applies to the dispensary.
Hmmmmmm. If this puts them out of business there will be no future revenue. No sales and other taxes for the locals. No more income taxes for the Fererales from the business and its workers. Are our politicians really that stupid? No need to answer that. It was a rhetorical question.

H/T Drug Policy Forum of Texas

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Will You Have Guns With That?

Yesterday I looked at the lessons of Part One of "Prohibition", a movie by Ken Burns. Today the lessons of Part Two.

We will obey the law because that is what law abiding citizens do. For about 6 months or until supplies run out. Then we will buy from the "nice" guys until their supplies or luck runs out. Then we will buy from who ever we can as long as the supplies keep coming. The moral of the story is:

Put the nice guys out of business
and a rougher crowd takes over.

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Monday, October 03, 2011

Alcohol Is The Enemy Of The Family And Civilization

Alcohol Is The Enemy Of The Family And Civilization.

There ought to be a law.

That is my take away from watching the first two hours of Ken Burns "Prohibition".

Update: I said this in an e-mail.

Drug Prohibition. Same old song. New lyrics.

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Sunday, October 02, 2011

Prohibition Is Not Over

"Prohibition" on PBS - TV schedule

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Moon Tic

“It has long been recognized that America was an asylum, but it is only since Prohibition that it has resembled a lunatic asylum.” -- G. K. Chesterton (1874-1936)

Who Is Linda Green?

Linda Green


The audio is not so hot (it sounds like it was recorded off a playing TV), but the information is excellent.

More here. Watch the above first for background.

H/T Zero Hedge

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Saturday, October 01, 2011

Guns And Drugs Don't Mix

Guns and drugs don't mix according to the ATF. If you live in a state where medical marijuana is legal you can go to prison for up to two years if you use medical marijuana and own a firearm. A gun rights group and a medical marijuana group are getting together to oppose this measure.

Gary Marbut, president of the Montana Shooting Sports Association, and Kate Cholewa and Chris Lindsey, board members of Montana Cannabis Industry Association, separately blasted the Sept. 21 letter sent by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives of the U.S. Justice Department to federally licensed firearms dealers.

“It is egregious that people may be sentenced to years in a federal prison only because they possessed a firearm while using a state-approved medicine,” Marbut said in a statement from the association.

Cholewa said: “In fact, the policy goes so far as to say even being in possession of a medical cannabis card forfeits a citizen’s Second Amendment rights whether or not that person ever followed through and used cannabis for their condition.”

Chris Lindsey, a lawyer specializing in medical marijuana cases, wrote: “With a stroke of a pen, the Department of Justice has suspended the Second Amendment for those who use medical cannabis.”

Rep. Diane Sands, D-Missoula, who headed an interim legislative panel that studied the issue last year, called the letter “further evidence that federal marijuana law trumps any Montana legislation, initiative or court action attempting to create protected medical use for marijuana.”

“The only viable action open to Montana and other states is to change the federal law,” Sands said.
I have been trying for years to get gun groups to recognize the threats to their rights that the Drug War has created by posting things like Guns And Weed - The Road To Freedom, to no avail. The only gun group to get it was Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership. Evidently the ATF is bound and determined to help me get my message across by direct action. Thanks ATF!

H/T Drug Policy Forum of Texas

Cross Posted at Classical Values