Political Angst In America

Location: Pantego, Texas, United States

Thursday, April 30, 2009

George Bush's swagger was bad. But Obama's "swagga" is good. Black culture is dominant in America today. Cowboy culture is a thing of the past.

Here is an article that discusses the culture war currently evolving in America between socialism and capitalism. At present younger people are about evenly split between socialism and capitalism, while older people favor capitalism. I think that the demographic changes that the country is undergoing in increasing the percentage of the people who favor socialism. At present the 13%of the population who are black are pretty much in the in socialist camp. The percentage of Latin Americans, who also are predominately socialist, is increasing rapidly. Combined with the approximately 15% of white people who are socialists, the socialists will soon have a solid majority. The outlook for capitalism in America is grim. America's economic and military power will follow the trend of Europe as socialism takes hold. China will probably emerge as the most powerful nation in the world both economically and militarily by the middle of the 21st century. I wonder how the Muslims will like dealing with the Chinese. The Chinese don't mind torturing and summarily executing their enemies.

People made fun of Gov. Perry's comments about Texas seceding from the Union. Who knew that the State Dept. regards Texas as a foreign nation.

The terrorist Ali al-Marri has decided to plead guilty. His lawyer says they looked at the evidence the government had against al-Marri and decided that the best course was to plead guilty. The ACLU was, of course, very unhappy that the evil Bush kept al-Marri locked up for years without filing charges. It looks like Bush had good reason for his action. I'm certain that now under the munificent Obama that the Judge will at least give al-Marri credit for time served in his sentence. Obama may well want to pardon al-Marri eventually, as a gesture of goodwill toward Muslim terrorists.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Europe has some serious demographic issues. The Muslim Brotherhood's plan to take over Western Europe is about to succeed. Political Correctness and Multiculturalism are damaging us also. And, Obama wants us to admit 900,000 Palestinians. I'm certain they will fit right into American Life. One of Obama's appointees as legal advisor to the State Department (Harold Koh, former Dean of Yale Law School) has said he sees no reason why we should not have Sharia Law in the US. Obama has a lot of appointees who like Koh are "Post-Modernists." According to Psychiatrist Pat Santy, the four pillars of Post-Modernism are Radical Environmentalism, Political Correctness, Multiculturalism, and Terrorism. (Multiculturalism says that all cultures are equally valid except for Western culture, which is inherently evil.) Based on their beliefs, these Post-Modernists are quite comfortable with Muslims.

Obama had a press conference on during prime time. It was boring. The press asked softball questions, and Obama bloviates until the time runs out. Basically the press conference is scripted and Obama doesn't even answer the softball questions, but rather makes a speech. I guess it has to be that way since, as we have seen several times, he has to have a teleprompter to sound coherent. One question asked was what Obama found "enchanting" about the White House. What kind of question is that? I doubt Truman's answer to that one would have been printable. The reporters have really gotten into an "NPR" mode. A friend of mine who listens to Nina Tottenberg on NPR (I can't stand to listen to her) says almost all of her male quests sound "gay." I don't know about that, but reporters today definitely seem to be "metrosexuals." I think there are some reporters now who are reminiscent of Ernie Pyle or Earnest Hemingway, but they are independent operators reporting in blogs rather than working for the MSM. The press conference was a total waste of everyone's time as far as I am concerned, but Obama is very popular so I guess Rahm Emanuel and Axelrod know what they are doing. Obama has a significant advantage in popularity polls over Bush for example. About 13% of the people in the US are black, and they are virtually all unconditionally behind Obama (and were opposed to Bush). Also a very large majority of the Hispanics are unconditionally for Obama, as are about 90% of the MSM and the other "metrosexuals." This gives Obama a significant advantage in popularity polls, and I think is a sign that democracy in America is in serious peril. After the Democrats give all of the illegal aliens and their relatives still in Latin America citizenship Obama will be unbeatable, no matter what he does. He may not choose to make himself President for life in 2016, but he will have the votes if he so chooses. (Remember, blacks stand behind murdering thugs like O. J. Simpson and Latin Americans are quite happy with dictators.)

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Here is an interesting cartoon about methane hydrates on the North Slope of Alaska. This is funny in a way to me because the amount of methane mentioned as being potentially available is dwarfed by the amount that can be gotten from shale (Barnett, Haynesville, Fayetteville, Marcellus, and others) in the contiguous US. I estimate the amount at more than 4000 trillion cubic feet, enough to fuel the US for 200 years. And this does not include the methane available from conventional sources in Alaska. My estimate is based on an eventual price of $12 per thousand cubic feet. This huge supply is why methane currently costs $3.30 per thousand cubic feet. Sarah Palin's pipeline for transporting the large supply of conventional gas available in Alaska to the lower 48 states also causes the price to stay low.

Monday, April 27, 2009

A gas turbine in a hybrid car is an interesting idea. Gas turbines will run on almost any type of fuel, and work best and most efficiently at a constant speed, something that is possible in driving a generator for the battery in an electric car. The small gas turbines I did experiments with in college were really noisy, with an annoying high pitched whine. I hope the micro-turbines are not so noisy.

Here is a bizarre redlight camera case. Who would have guessed that a state would issue a vanity plate with the same number as an ordinary plate? I suppose that there are people who would see a low plate number as a status symbol, and would be willing to pay extra for a low number through the mechanism of a vanity plate.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Barack Obama seems more intent on totally destroying Republicans and the United States than in dealing with the nation's current problems. It is heard to fathom why he is so focused on the water-boarding of three terrorists back in 2002 or 2003. Here is a question that occurred to me: if water-boarding is illegal, why do we subject our own people to it during their training? If it is illegal, then one would think that we wouldn't use it in training, and if it is illegal, then why would we need to teach people to resist it? People are saying some really silly things about the use of harsh interrogation techniques. Many people appear to have some confusion about the purpose of interrogation of terrorists. In the case of terrorists the intent is not to get a confession, but rather to gain information. I see some people on TV who are supposed to be expert interrogators who say that they could have gotten the information from KSM and others without water-boarding. Maybe so, maybe they are super good interrogators. But the people who were actually doing the interrogation were not having success before they started water-boarding. The answer to this is that we will never know if the self-confessed master interrogators would have succeeded or not. We do know what did happen, and the results were good. The other objection that I hear to water-boarding is that you may get false information. That is certainly true. But, you can check on the validity of the info. For example KSM gave the name of the person who was going to attempt to bring down the Bridge in New York. Sure enough, when his apartment was raided the FBI found drawings of the bridge, and equipment needed for the attack. So, that information was true. Recently the highly partisan Democrat news anchor posing as an objective journalist, Norah O'Donnell had an ambush interview on the subject of harsh interrogation with former VP Cheney's daughter Liz. After this interview I doubt Norah wants more debate with Liz Cheney. ( I was not aware of this daughter of Dick and Lyn Cheney: the press liked to talk about their gay daughter Mary, but I never saw anything about this daughter. I suppose that is not surprising since Liz is very impressive.)

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Bill O'Reilly has figured out that GE is counting on making billions of dollars from carbon cap and trade, and has set up a separate division to deal with carbon trading. O'Reilly must not be up on things because this has been obvious for two years or so. The Chairman of GE supported Obama, and now expects a payoff. (Actually he has already gotten one since the government bailed out his consumer credit division with billions of dollars, something never mentioned by the MSM. And, what was GE doing in the sub-prime loan business anyway, but that is another issue.) The carbon cap and trade scheme has been around for years. Ken Lay tried to get George Bush to support it in 2000 in the hope that the revenue generated from the carbon trading would stave off the collapse of Enron. Jim Rogers of Duke Power is another CEO who supported Obama in the hope that his company would benefit from carbon cap and trade. These rent seekers do not care about the validity of the CO2 induced global warming hypothesis, which is not looking good at the moment as temperatures are falling and Arctic sea ice has reformed. They merely see the opportunity for government guaranteed profits. This sort of thing has always happened in our country on a small scale. But Obama is putting it on a major scale. This sort of corporatism is also known as fascism. Another example of the fascism of the current government has to do with the Detroit auto makers. Obama is telling the bond and debt holders in GM and Chrysler how much they will get for their investments. Chrysler debt holders figure they would get 65 cents on the dollar if Chrysler went into bankruptcy: Obama is telling them to take 15 cents on the dollar "for the good of the country," which actually means for the good of one of his major supporters, the UAW. The UAW workers contract would be voided in bankruptcy. Most of the major Chrysler debt holders happen to be banks that the government has also provided funding to. Thus the government has a lever over both sides, and is in the position of deciding who wins and who loses. This is classical fascism. Obama is now threatening to convert the government money pumped into banks (some of whom claim the were coerced) into common stock. Giving him legitimate control of the largest banks as opposed to control by intimidation that he now has. Thus is is also trying to move on into outright socialism.

When Khalid Sheik Mohammad was initially interrogated he told the CIA or the FBI that America did not have the will to stop the terrorist attacks. After water-boarding he may have changed his mind, at least insofar as George Bush was concerned. Sadly for America, I think he was right about Barack Obama, and I suspect his terrorist buddies are realizing that.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

In an earlier post I commented on how the anthropogenic global warming advocate's demands for sacrifices are like primitive people sacrificing virgins to appease the gods. Later I ran across this article that has the interesting input that around the year 1500 the consensus of Aztec scientific and religious leaders demanded 20,000 human sacrifices per year to stop climate change. Climate change has always been happening and despots have always used fear of it to their own ends. That was true thousands of years ago, and is true today. Human nature doesn't change. We can only hope that modern technology will arm the people with knowledge so they can defeat their rulers. (Remember, Michelle Obama said Obama would rule rather than govern.)

Today, April 21 is San Jacinto Day. This is the date on which Sam Houston defeated Santa Anna, the Dictator of Mexico, at San Jacinto (near the present day city of Houston) winning independence of Texas from Mexico. Santa Anna was captured on 22 April and escorted to General Houston by a group of men including my great-great- grandfather. This was a major holiday in Texas when I was a boy, but is hardly noticed now. Now over 36% of the people in Texas are Mexicans (compared to less than 2% 100 years ago) and we celebrate Cinco de Mayo, the date of a minor victory of Mexican forces over the French in the Battle of Puebla in 1862.

In my last post I discussed the likelihood that the US would have another civil war in the near future. Later reading the blog Instapundit I ran across a discussion of this issue by James DeLong. He is better qualified to discuss this than an engineer like me, and is a better writer. His thesis is that we are now living in the Third American Republic. The first ended with the Civil War, the second with the Great Depression and the New Deal, and the third is now long in the tooth and basically dysfunctional. The election of Obama is probably the last straw for the current "special interest" government, as government literally is biting off more than it can chew. The important question now is how the Third American Republic will end and the Fourth American Republic will start: will it be peaceful or violent.

I have often expressed the opinion that I fear that there is another civil war in the near-term (next 50 years) future of the United States. The reason is the tendency of the political group currently called liberals (mostly in the Democratic Party) to criminalize the policy decisions of their political opponents. This is what ultimately leads to dictatorship when losers of an election fear for their liberty and maybe even their life if they surrender power. We often see that in third world countries. Putin probably fells that way in Russia. So far Republicans have not pursued Democrats with criminal charges after Republicans gained control. But, Democrats are beginning to try to criminalize their opponents. Obama is making a serious effort to permanently disenfranchise conservatives. I think this has the potential to lead to a civil war of some sort, not necessarily, not even likely to be engagement of massive armies as in the 1861-1865 war. Here from Powerline is a comment on the attempts by Obama to criminalize the policy of the Bush Administration.

Movie stars feel good about themselves when they buy "carbon offsets," to cover the CO2 they use when tooling about on their private jets. What they do is pay someone to reduce carbon consumption. I own a tree plantation, and have offers to sell my "carbon offsets" to brokers who would, presumably sell the offsets to a movie star or some other rich person to assuage their guilt over living well. I can't figure out how this system reduces CO2 concentration in the atmosphere since I planted the trees a few years ago for reasons that had nothing to do with CO2. I suspect that most of the other people who could sell carbon offsets are similarly situated. This system, as many have noted, is similar to the Catholic Church selling indulgences during the Middle Ages. It does nothing to reduce bad behavior, but it makes some people rich while making others feel less guilty. Some of the things proposed by Al Gore and other global warmists are just detrimental to society by increasing energy prices and are more like primitive societies tossing virgins into the volcano to avoid angering the gods. The "greens" usually do not attempt to figure out what the optimal solution is: they are absolutists adhering to the "precautionary principle." Here is more discussion in this vein.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Fusion Power offers the hope of producing low cost, non-polluting energy. Since I graduated from college, it has always been the next big thing; to become practical within the next 30 or 40 or 50 years. Here is a discussion of one of the fusion concepts being pursued.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

The Law of Unintended Consequences strikes Congress again. It would help if they just read the laws they pass. Even better, they could try to figure out how people will change their behavior in response to the law. Congress seems to like the idea of social engineering, but they often misjudge how people will react. Generally people respond to improve their personal situation, but not always. Scotch-Irish people in particular do not always respond in just their own best narrow economic interest, but often respond with antipathy to big government initiatives. Thus, Democrats try to figure out "What's Wrong with Kansas."

The story of the black liquor used for fuel in Paper plants reminds of a paper mill on the Angelina River when I was a boy. The Angelina River water looked like ink downstream of the paper mill. The water is clear now. Apparently using the black liquor for fuel was a win-win situation. It was great of Congress to vote the paper mill operators a subsidy for doing something they were already doing.

I got a notice from Google Blogger that this blog has been identified as possibly spam. I don't know what that means. If they decide it is spam they will cancel the blog. I thought spam was emailed. Maybe Google is going to censor people who write things they don't agree with.

"Not Evil, Just Wrong" is a new documentary that takes on the climate change issue. I tend to disagree with the title of the film. I think that many, if not most, of the people who are pushing for draconian action to limit CO2 emissions are evil as well as wrong. They deliberately distort and mislead the public to try to gain support for their desired program. They also lie about those who disagree with them, and routinely resort to ad hominem attacks. The unwillingness of environmentalists to even consider the use of cost-benefit analyses to shape public policy reveal that they are agenda driven. They typically cite the "precautionary principle" as the reason that cost-benefit analyses are not appropriate. But that is not a reasonable position. Consider the likelihood of a meteorite exploding over some part of the earth. In 1908 that happened over Siberia with the result that several hundred square miles were destroyed. About 13,000 years ago a meteorite exploded over North America wiping out most life over the entire continent. Those were more severe consequences than would result from a temperature increase of even 10 F from an event that is probably more likely than runaway global warming. Then there is the likelihood of an ice age, something that is almost certain to happen within the next several centuries, based on history, and something is is more destructive to civilization than warming. Why don't environmentalists want to apply the precautionary principle to these events that could happen?

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Yesterday I heard that the infamous DHS report that says that anyone who believes in traditional American values, or who didn't vote for Obama, should be watched as a potential terrorist was started last year while Bush was President. Of course that turns out to be an Obama Administration lie. The report says conservative Americans are more of a terrorist threat Islamists. We need more tea parties.

Does anyone else notice how many wealthy Democrats are "financiers" who are being investigated for sleazy dealings. Here is an article about the latest one.

I had lunch with my son today, and we discussed the so-called tea party events that were held yesterday. Based on his reaction, I think the Democrats do not understand what this was all about. (I don't know about Republican leaders since the media doesn't even bother to get their views any more.) I don't think the protests were about taxes as much as being against the nanny state that Obama is trying to foist on us. Nancy Pelosi completely misses the point when she says that the protests were organized by rich folks who don't want their taxes to go up. She seems unaware that most rich people supported Obama, and say that they would like to have their taxes increased. (Warren Buffett and Bill Gates say that, and I see a lot of very rich guys whose names I don't recall on TV who say it.) A lot of relatively poor people just do not like the government telling them what to do; it is not all about taxes.

The Tuk Tuk is coming to America. I can't imagine that driving one of these to Austin on I35 would be safe. It might be exciting, but not safe. The blond in the photo looks excited. I guess the 55 mpg sounds good, but I'd feel better in the 50 mpg diesel Volkswagen.

A new book critical of the global warming hypothesis, Heaven and Earth by Australian Professor Ian Plimer is being published. Here is a review of the book.

A new book critical of the global warming hypothesis, Heaven and Earth by Australian Professor Ian Plimer is being published. Here is a review of the book.

Here is a comment from England regarding wind power. There are several problems with wind power. The huge wind turbines are is unsightly, and noisy. The wind doesn't blow strongly enough near where the power is needed, so expensive transmission lines have to be constructed to deliver the power to customers. The wind is intermittent, and tends to not blow when power demand is highest, so backup generating capacity is needed to avoid having brownouts or even blackouts. When the price of wind power is discussed, the expense of the transmission lines and the large reserve generating capacity are never discussed. Here is an example of the usual cost projections for various electricity generation systems: (This is from the April 27, 2009 issue of Forbes Magazine, pp. 110, and is attributed to the Energy Information Administration.)

System, Cost (Cents/kW-hr)

Wind, 9.1

Coal, 7.9

Natural Gas, 8.1

Nuclear, 10.5

Solar, 25.0

There is a 2 cent/kW-hr subsidy for wind at present, which appears to make it competitive. But, these numbers do not include the cost of backup systems or transmission lines. Texas is currently spending $5 billion for transmission lines to bring the wind generated electricity to market. This cost is to be added to everyone's electric bill. In Dallas-Ft. Worth we pay much more for electricity than the 8 cents/kW-hr that would be expected based on the above chart. For that we can thank the state legislature which lets the electric company raise the price of electricity when the price of natural gas goes up (even though about half of the electricity is produced in coal fired or nuclear plants) but doesn't make them reduce the cost when the price of natural gas falls so the price ratchets up when the price of natural gas goes up, but doesn't go down. (Recently natural gas cost $13 per mcf, but now costs only $3.60 per mcf.) I don't know if the electric generating companies management just bamboozled the legislature, or if the members were just not very smart, or if they were paid off. Readers can decide for themselves which is most likely. (TXU management recently sold the company for a huge markup based on this good deal they had gotten from the legislature, resulting in huge bonuses for top management.)

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The DHS has put out a report that says extreme right wing groups are the biggest terrorist threat to the US. In the report they cite a plan of a right wing militia group to "machine gun Hispanics." Tom Maguire has investigated this, and it is pretty funny. DHS apparently got their intelligence from the newspaper. It turns out the incompetent militia group didn't have a machine gun; rather they were planning on stealing the machine guns from Mexicans. (Owning machine guns is illegal, but apparently that didn't stop the illegal aliens.) The other example given in the DHS report also turns out to be speculative. It's too bad that the DHS doesn't have as good a handle on the Islamists as they do on these vicious homegrown terror groups.

There is a lot of interest in the Obama Administration in so-called "green energy." Obama claims he will create millions of jobs with "green energy," the exact number of jobs varies from speech to speech. Obama seems unaware of some basic engineering facts. Wind and solar power are intermittent at best, and are not capable of providing base load electric power. Texas leads the United States in wind power with 7,118 MW of installed generation capacity. This installed generation capacity operates at 8.7% during periods of peak demand. This past winter Great Britain's wind generator's operated at 10% of installed capacity. Germany has the most wind electric generation capacity next to the United States. Overall, it operates at 20% of installed capacity. It is clear that it takes a lot of extra installed capacity when wind power is used. This cost does not appear to be considered by those touting wind power.

Obama has a lot of bad ideas. Here is one of them. Liberals have the idea that there should be the same proportion of the population in all jobs. The same percentage of women in engineering and science as men. This overlooks one simple fact. The percentage of women interested in science and engineering is significantly smaller than the percentage of men. Once one of my duties was in trying to interest young women employees in going to engineering school at company expense (to meet government mandates). I had some luck in interesting young women engineers in going to graduate school, but none at all in getting bright secretaries in becoming engineers. One young lady told me she was interested in finding an engineer to marry, not in going to engineering school. This program will have the same sort of success as the sub-prime mortgage loan social engineering.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Back in the 1960's Peter Glaser of MIT proposed putting solar cells into a rather high orbit, and microwaving the power down to earth. (I didn't know Glaser, but he was a heat transfer expert and I talked to him a few times about heat transfer issues.) As I recall NASA did a lot of work on this in the 1970's and I did some work on it, again more on heat transfer matters. Now a small firm has apparently made a deal with PG&E to provide power from orbiting solar cells. The receiving microwave antenna would be in the Mojave Desert I assume. As I recall, one issue with this concept was that small creatures flying through the microwave beam would be fried. I wonder if environmentalists will have a problem with this approach?

I hear in the news that the Department of Homeland Security is beginning to focus on right-wing groups. Democrats have always thought that right-wing groups are more of a threat than Islamist terrorists. This is curious to me. I don't recall any right wing terrorist attacks during the Bush years. There was one during the Clinton years. In that case, according to what I heard in the News, there was a middle-eastern looking man, identified by some as an Iraqi soldier, who was with McVeigh when he parked the pick-up loaded with explosives. He has never been found, and Clinton didn't seem to want to find him. Democrats just want to demonise and criminalize those who disagree with them. This is a dangerous policy that promotes civil war.

Here is an example of the type of domestic terror attacks that happen (this on was in Great Britain, but is similar to attacks that happen frequently in California). Wonder if they think that eco-terrorists are right-wingers? Or how about Acorn that has been conducting what amounts terror attacks.

Here is a definition of fascism that I have not seen before, but it looks pretty good. This came from the blog "dissectleft:"

“Fascism, as I tell my students in my political philosophy classes, endorses absolute and arbitrary rule by a charismatic figure — Eva Peron comes to mind as the female of the species. And what these rulers promote differs, although quite a few capitalize on nationalist and racists sentiments so as to gather support from the local population. The United States of America is what is best described a mixed system, with democratic, fascist, socialist and other elements — not surprisingly, considering the incredible diverse citizenry who send representatives of a great variety of viewpoints to centers of power. Just now the fascist element is strong in Washington, especially where government’s relationship to economic affairs across the country is concerned. The signs are not difficult to spot.”

This discussion correctly points out that our government is a mixed form of socialism and capitalism. Under this definition Bush was not a fascist if for no other reason than that he was not charismatic. A lot of people swoon when near Clinton and Obama: Bush didn't have that effect on anyone. Obama is clearly a fascist. One of the things that is aiding the development of fascism in America is that a large part of the new citizens are from Latin America, a region accustomed to fascism.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Robert Samuelson sees the Obama agenda the same way I do, and expresses his concerns better than I can. Obama likes to say that if we can put a man on the moon, he can't see why we can't develop cheap energy that does not generate carbon dioxide. I was one of the many engineers who "put a man on the moon before the end of the decade." Putting a man on the moon is a lot simpler than creating a system of low cost energy not based on burning fossil fuel. Back in the 60's we had the technology to put a man on the moon. The key was that the government created a new agency out of the NACA to do the job. If we decide to put a man on the moon again, it will be difficult for the current NASA bureaucracy. The proper course would be to disband NASA and create a new agency with some of the best young workers in NASA.

Under Obama there were be far more intensive surveillance of ordinary citizens than ever happened under Bush. Most Democrats are perfectly happy with that, as their criticism of Bush was purely political rather than principled. There will be a few of the libertarian inclined on the left who will complain, but most will not criticize Obama since he is the One.

Obama is getting a lot of credit for allowing the navy eliminate some pirates. It sounds to me like he was reluctant, and only gave the navy authority to shoot if they perceived that Capt. Phillips life was in danger. I gather that they guy who really deserves the credit it the Capt of the Bainbridge. But, Obama is in charge so he gets the blame if things go wrong, or the credit if things go well. I'm just left wondering if Obama cleared all of this with all of our allies and the UN? It seems unlikely that he did, but didn't he say that is what he would do during the recent Presidential campaign.

During the last Presidential campaign, Obama said a person would be foolish to invest in a coal-fired power plant because he is going to close them down. His Administration is sticking to that message. His advisers are talking about shifting to wind power to provide all of the nation's energy needs. Great Britain has already started phasing out their coal-fired and nuclear power plants, and building wind turbines. So far this is not working out well for Great Britain. Obama's team doesn't seem to be paying attention to what is happening in Europe, or, if they are paying attention then they must figure Obama can do better.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Liberals say that granting amnesty to 35 million Mexican aliens in the US illegally will help the US economically. Tammy Bruce doesn't agree. I don't see how bringing in the families of the ones already here would help. I don't understand why the liberal lady thinks that an amnesty offer would cause Mexicans to go back home. Mexico is collapsing. Why would they want to go back?

Democrats say it is time for everyone to pay their fair share of taxes. They say it is our patriotic duty. I wonder why they don't just donate their money given what they say. By the way, there is nothing fair about taxes, and it is a misleading characteristic of Democrats that they talk about "fairness" a lot.

Democrats and the Obama Administration appear to think that people will not react to their economic initiatives such as limiting pay and increasing taxes. But, history shows that people do respond to their economic interests. Some Democrats think that it is unimportant if some high level, creative people leave their jobs in financial institutions, or move to a new location. We already see famous people like Donald Trump and Rush Limbaugh saying they will leave New York because of an income tax increase. And bankers are beginning to change jobs because of Obama's imposition of salary caps. So far not many people have been leaving the US, but that will come as the Obama rule becomes more heavy handed. Capital flight is also likely to become an issue. The Clinton Administration was working on laws to prevent capital from leaving the US in 1994, but Democrats lost control of Congress in 1994, preventing implemtation of measures that were feared to cause capital flight. Obama has a lot more support for draconian regulations than Clinton did, so he will probably proceed. If the carbon cap and trade law is passed many businesses will simply close here and move abroad to India and China, and even into Mexico and Canada. Unemployment in the US will soar to 20%. For a while, the majority of people will be working for federal, state and local governments, but eventually the government will have to start layoffs as tax revenues fall.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

The Anthropogenic Global Warming Hypothesis is important these days because power hungry collectivist politicians and eco-activists want to use their claims that man is about to bring about the end of mankind to enact laws that will end Western Civilization. This was the stated goal of Maurice Strong when he was working to establish the UN IPCC. Those promoting the idea of global warming use proxies of past temperature to support claims that it is much hotter today than in the past. Tree ring data were widely used for this purpose. Personally I have always doubted that tree ring data would be useful as a temperature proxy because of the many factors besides temperature that influence tree growth rates. I also doubt the NASA/GISS temperature data set that politicians use to support AGW claims because it is an outlier from other data sets, and also because, frankly, of the influence of James Hansen. Anthony Watts has done a comprehensive study of proxy temperature data sets, and the results cast doubt on the validity of tree ring data, and on the NASA/GISS data set.

Democrats love to pass laws that encourage lawsuits. They have bought into the Anthropogenic Global Warming hypothesis, and that offers a fertile field for lawsuits. It is often claimed that Global Warming causes hurricanes, tornadoes, and even earthquakes. Then there is sea level rise. The AGW hypothesis proponents ignore the fact that sea levels have been rising for thousands of years, and blame current rise in sea level (currently about 2.5 to 3 mm per year) on carbon dioxide emissions. Here is a story about the Democrat's latest effort to pass a law with no scientific basis that will further damage commerce in the US.

Friday, April 10, 2009

The General Circulation Models (GCMs) used by the IPCC do not accurately model all aspects of Earth's climate, and in fact do not even include some influences. This was justified by the assumption that atmospheric carbon dioxide was the key driver, and that the other influences were insignificant. The curious assumption was also made that natural processes that had caused temperature to increase about 1 F per century suddenly stopped around 1970, and that subsequent temperature increases were caused solely by the increase in the atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide, which causes a strong positive feedback from an increase in water vapor. With those assumptions it was only to be expected that the computer simulations would show large temperature increases in the future. Now there is some NASA research that shows that other trace gases in the atmosphere also have a significant effect. This is particularly important because the AGW hypothesis says that temperature increase will be largest at the poles. This alone has caused a lot of spin by the proponents of AGW because, while the Arctic has had some temperature increase, the Antarctic has actually been getting cooler. (There are a lot of other issues with the GCMs, such as using linearized models for a non-linear dynamic system to determine effectiveness of the natural control system, and the possible error growth in the numerical solution when extended for 100 years.)

Obama may not be a Muslim but he does have a lot of sympathy for them. Given America bashing comments in Europe and his bowing to Abdullah the Great he appears to be more partial to Muslims than to Americans. He says America is not a Christian Nation even though most Americans are Christians, and he wants to work to stop America from being a Christian Nation. As expected he is trying to import a lot of Muslims into the country. Pamela Geller has info on how he is changing visa rules to let in more Muslims. The Muslims have an agenda to undermine and destroy America, so this is going to turn out badly for us.

Did Bush give a big tax break to the rich? Not according to the Washington Post, hardly a Republican supporter. The tax issue was a major Democratic Party deception during recent elections.

Barack Hussein Obama is a bit hard to understand. He can't figure out why people are concerned that he plans to double the national debt. After all, his predecessor Bush doubled the National Debt. So why are they worried about an even larger increase. He doesn't seem to understand that if he doubles the debt from where Bush left it, that represents twice as much increase as what happened under Bush.

I have mentioned before that I was amused by liberals who were aghast at Bush's warrantless wiretap program, something that was well within the legitimate powers of the President. As I said, this program was mild compared to what Democrats would do. It turns out that I was correct, as discussed in this article.

One of the problems with so-called "renewable energy sources" is that they are intermittent. Obviously the sun only shines in the daytime, and the wind doesn't always blow. The result is that much more intstalled capacity is required. In Europe experience is showing that the much more excess installed capacity is required than was originally assumed. Here is some discussion on this from the blog "Greenie Watch."


An email from Prof. Cliff Ollier [cliffol@cyllene.uwa.edu.au], School of Earth and Geographical Sciences, University of Western Australia

ELECTRIC POWER is used for different purposes at different times, and we have to distinguish between average load and peak demand. Sometimes the peak demand occurs in winter evenings (heating loads) and sometimes in the middle of summer (air-conditioning loads).

The Capacity factor is used to compare the relative merits of different types of power supply. It is the ratio of the average load to the peak demand.


There are basically three types of generating plant:

a) Base load that operates ~90% of the time generating efficient low-cost electricity. Coal and nuclear plants are prime examples.

b) Mid-range plants that are often shut down in the early hours of morning and generate maximum power during the day and during peak demand periods. Hydropower and gas-fired stations, are examples.

c) Peak load stations that operate for between 1% and 20% of the time during peak demand periods. Gas turbines, hydropower stations and pumped storage hydropower are examples.

All these plants can be relied upon to operate when needed - unless they break down or fail to start, which can also happen in alternative energy production. Most conventional power systems have a capacity factor of between 50% and 70%.


The currently popular renewable energy technologies add to the problems of operating a power system because they are unpredictable and their output changes rapidly.

Wind power. A change in the output of 50% in a few minutes is not unusual. Attempts to predict the output of wind farms more than an hour ahead have not been successful. Capacity factors vary from 18% to 37%. Wind power costs about US$2200 per KW. This transfers to a cost of 8 -10c /kWh.

Solar power. The output varies predictably every day and unpredictably every time a cloud passes over the sun. A cloud can drop the output by as much as 60%. The capacity factor is around 20%. The capital cost is in excess of $5000 per KW. This transfers to a cost of around 40 c/kWh.

Marine power. Suggestions for using marine power come in many forms but all are very expensive to build, more or less unpredictable, and in most reliability is likely to be low. Operation and maintenance costs are unknown but likely to be very high. The much-touted Pelamis wave power generator project off the coast of Portugal has been abandoned because of financing and technical problems. In the UK the Severn Barrier project to use tidal forces is on hold. It would be the most expensive alternative energy project, and makes a barrier to shipping and fish migration. The tides are reliable, but occur at a different time every day.

None of these renewable energy technologies would exist without grants and massive subsidies.


Two further considerations are essential in power supply, though they are almost always ignored.

Frequency keeping . Power systems have a need for frequency keeping because the amount of electricity generated must always match the demand exactly. Generating plant must be available that can increase or decrease its output very rapidly to avoid system collapse. This is necessary if there is a sudden large change in load -- the beginning and end of a popular TV programme is a classic example. Frequency keeping stations are designed to cope with these fluctuations.

Energy storage. Renewable energy like wind or solar is not produced when needed, so storage is needed, and this is expensive. All the promoters of renewable energy ignore the need for storage.

What is needed is a large-scale, efficient, low-cost technology that can store huge amounts of electrical energy for weeks or months. No suitable technology exists or has even been contemplated. Hydro-pumped storage is the best we have. It is expensive - at least $1500 /kW – and requires two very large storage lakes not far from each other and with one lake something like 700 m higher than the other. The losses are 25%. The cost, the losses, and the difficulty of finding a suitable site are insuperable barriers to large-scale adoption of hydro-pumped storage.

So people who tell us that it is possible to run modern power systems from wind power, solar power and marine energy are not telling the truth.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Obama bowed to Abdullah the Great. That is obvious to anyone who has watched the video of the event. The Democrat's spin that he was reaching over to shake hands is ridiculous, but they are aware of Himmler's great lie theory. But, what they are saying is silly. I'm about 11 inches taller than my wife, and I don't have to bend over at all to shake hands with her, and that includes a two-hand shake.
I can understand why Democrat's went from their usual spin mode into their whirling dervish mode because it troubles many Americans to see their President bowing to a foreign leader, particularly when there is a suspicion that our President is the Manchurian Candidate. It must be noted that Arabs and Muslims were impressed and are most appreciative. That appears to be important to Obama. It troubles me a lot.

Obama appears to be implementing the failed policies of the 1930's. Increasing taxes, imposing trade barriers, and appeasing enemies. I'm sure that he realizes that Roosevelt remained immensely popular even though his policies for ending the Great Depression failed. And Chamberlain was popular until Hitler attacked. Obama probably thinks that the Democrat's spin machine would save him should Islamic terrorists attack us again. That could be the outcome. After all, Democrat John Edwards, in answer to a question about what he would do in the event of a nuclear attack on the US, said he would form a commission to determine that it was George Bush's fault. Blaming everything wrong in the world on Bush has worked for several years now, and based on his recent speeches, Obama thinks it still works.

The United States was founded on the principle of equal opportunity. Obama has promised to change "the greatest nation in the history of the world." He is going to create a society that strives to provide equal outcomes rather than equal opportunity. That has been tried in other countries such as China, India, and Cuba, and the result has been that most of the people wind up equally bad off. (China and India have subsequently recognized the futility of the quest for equality, and have improved the lot of their people.) Obama is either ignorant of history, or is arrogant enough to believe that he can succeed where all who tried before him failed.

Normally in the field of science, when the data don't confirm a theory, the theory has to be changed. In the world of Anthropogenic Global Warming it doesn't work the usual way. If the real world data do not support the theory, then the data must be wrong.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

We have a Treasury Secretary that was baffled by TurboTax, but is supposed to straighten out the most confusing global financial crisis of our lifetime.

In America he is Barack Obama, but in Turkey and the middle east he is Barack Hussein Obama. As usual he is all things to all people. He is so magnificent that people just see in him what they want to see.

Obama was clear during the election campaign that he was opposed to missile defense, and he is being consistent in this case. He wants to stop development of missile defense, including the help we give Israel in develpment of the Arrow system.

George Bush throws a strike.

Congresswoman Barbara Lee and other members of the Congressional Black Caucus love Fidel Castro. And why wouldn't they? He's a murderous thug who destroyed the economy of one of what was one of the most prosperous countries in the world when he took over in 1958. he is a communist dicator, just what they like.

Monday, April 06, 2009

The Obama Administration doesn't like business executives getting large bonuses. (And, I tend to agree with them on that.) But, I see some hypocrisy on Obama's part. He used Franklin Raines as an advisor. Raines, of course, cooked the books at Fannie Mae to get himself a huge bonus, originally $90 million, but I think he only wound up with $50 million. Then there is Larry Summers, who was paid $8 million last year, from companies who, as it became apparent that he would be important in the Obama Administration, suddenly decided to pay him a lot of money because they suddenly discovered his brilliance. Could they have suddenly decided to hire him for consulting service at very high rates of pay because they want influence in the Obama Administration?

Now that the Obama Administration has revealed their true agenda, banks that received money from the government are trying to give the money back. But, the government won't take it because they want control of the banks. It is really ironic because the government forced banks that didn't want it to take the money in the first place. Bush wanted them to take the money, but, not being a fascist, he was trying to save the banking system. Obama, being a fascist, wants to control the banks, as well as General Motors. He is also making noise about taking control of companies in other industries. For those who don't know, government control of corporations that are privately owned is fascism, as defined by Mussolini, who invented it. With control of the banks, Obama can control industry by deciding who can get loans and who cannot. THey have already started threatening banks with expensive audits if they insist on giving back the Tarp money.

There was some good news from Congress: the Senate passed a Republican Amendment to the carbon cap and trade bill that said the it could not raise the price of gasoline or electricity. All 41 Republicans were joined by over 40 Democrats. I don't see how a carbon cap and trade system would work under such restrictions.

President Obama says that the US is not at war with Islam. (Bush also said that.) Obama also says that we will never be at war with Islam. Since Islam is at war with us, and everyone else in the world for that matter, I guess that means that Obama does not intend to fight back. Obama has said that he intends to disarm America by unilaterally scrapping our nuclear weapons program. I am certain that the Islamic nations and their terrorist buddies were thrilled to hear about that. They were also no doubt thrilled to hear that Obama is not opposed to the Iranian nuclear program.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

The carbon cap and trade system being proposed by the Obama Administration will, if implemented, destroy the economy of the United States. Whatever mistakes George Bush may have made, one mistake he avoided was implementing the carbon cap and trade system that Ken Lay of Enron wanted. This system will allow a lot of Democrat Party cronies to get rich quick. This is something the corporate looters badly want. (For doubters, consider which party Wall Street, Hedge Fund operators and other sleazy promoters fund.) Here is an article that explains how the looters will get rich from carbon cap and trade while impoverishing the nation.

I have always had serious doubts about the ability of the UN IPCC to accurately model climate with current computer technology. I have experience with large thermal models and know that accurate modeling is difficult, and becaomes virtually impossible for a non-linear, dynamically unstable system. This caused me to have no confidence in the temperature projections the IPCC makes. I don't know to what extent man is affecting Earth's temperature, and I don't think the IPCC does either. Here is an article that descibes some of the defiencies of the IPCC's models. One item that all doubters cite is that cloud cover is very important, and so assuming the amount of cloud cover, as is done in the IPCC models, is tantamount to assuming the average temperature.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

The Religion of Peace strikes again as Palestinian Freedom Fighter kills 13-year old Israeli boy. I wonder how many virgins he gets for that act of bravery.

I wonder how Democrats criticize Bush for nor having enough regulation when they surely must remember what their leaders said and did when Bush tried to regulate Fannie and Freddy. I know, Democrats say Fannie and Freddy were not the problem, but it seems to me that anyone would know that 30 to 1 leverage is risky.

Obama had some interesting meetings in London. He shook hands with the Queen of England, and gave her an iPod with his speeches on it. No doubt she will treasure that forever, and get much future entertainment and enlightenment by re-playing Obama's Oldies but Goodies speeches. Then he bowed to the King of Saudi Arabia. The King is the head of a Muslim religion, so maybe that was the reason for the bow. But, the Queen is also head of a religion. Maybe the head of a Christian religion doesn't rate a bow.

Pebble Bed Reactors off the potential to generate electricity from nuclear material, virtually burning up all of the fuel in a safe manner. In fact, residual fuel from current reactors can be used. South Africa and China are working on this. It would be a good intermediate step on the way to fusion power. Regarding nuclear fusion, the April 13 issue of Forbes has an article about a hybrid fission-fusion reactor on page 40.

Electric cars have two serious problems in my view. They have limited range, and it takes a long time to re-charge them. These are serious deficiencies for a transportation system in Texas. Another problem arises as these two deficiencies are addressed through making the vehicle lighter; that is, reduced safety. Here is an article discussing the range issue.

Liberal politicians are making a big deal out of the current mayhem in Mexico, effectively blaming the problem on America. They say the demand for drugs is the cause of the war being fought between drug dealers and the government of Mexico, and that execution of the war by the drug dealers is made possible by weapons smuggled into Mexico from the US. The drug dealers have several thousand fighters, so it seems unlikely that they are armed by people crossing the border on foot carrying guns. Then, there is the armament itself, which includes automatic weapons, hand grenades, and RPG's that are not legal in the US. But, liberals are not interested in truth when they can make a point that supports their desire to do away with the Second Amendment of the Constitution. The MSM and major network anchors are not interested in getting at the truth. Fortunately Fox News did some actual investigation into the issue. And, in fairness, the LA Times did also, but the liberals ignored them. (By the way, wonder if there is a serious problem of gun smuggling from the US into Canada?)

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Obama has mentioned many times that the Bush did not exercise appropriate oversight during his Administration. Now it is his turn, and he doesn't seem to be performing as he campaigned.

Ted Stephens always seemed like a sleazy Senator to me, but not much worse than the typical Senator. He was knocked out of his Senate seat by prosecutorial misconduct. That has gotten to be a favored technique of Democrats. They got rid of Tom Delay the same way. Nancy Pelosi said she was going to drain the swamp, but she won't allow investigation of Democrats who have obvious ethical problems. Republicans are going to have to get themselves some partisan prosecutors to go after Democrats in office. But that may not work because Democrats under indictment can still win elections. Still, the Democrat's tendency to criminalize policy differences is a dangerous development. This is the way of Banana Republics; soon people in office will do whatever it takes to remain in office, since, if they leave, they will be threatened with jail. Thus, it leads to dictatorships. That appears to be the way the US is headed.

Elections have consequences, and one result of the election of Obama is that the US is going to open the border. No longer will illegal aliens be arrested and deported. (Actually Bush didn't work very hard to stop Mexicans for entering the country.) I expect Obama to give amnesty to illegal aliens as soon as he can get it through Congress. The latest proposal is to give immediate citizenship to Mexicans who graduate from high school in the US.