Saturday, November 19, 2011

REFLECTION on a Hover Fly

Uploaded by GREENPOWERSCIENCE on Nov 13, 2011

What is a "hover fly"?  The link answers that.  This is one odd video.  Not to be critical, it is just very unique.

People are being herded like so many sheep

This is with respect to the political reporting.  Unfortunately, it cannot be blamed on just one source.  The media and some independent bloggers- at least those who have gotten some influence- are responsible for this.  The latest story is about Cain's claim that there some Taliban in Libya.  This is being reported as reinforcement of the notion that Cain is ignorant.  It turns out that there is indeed Taliban in Libya, as well as Al Qaeda.  So here we go, Cain gets it right, but he is portrayed as an ignoramus.  You can blame this on the left, and you'd be right.  But, the aforementioned independent bloggers on the right are repeating it too.  Just so many sheep, or should I say parrots?

Lest anyone ask if I'm a Cain voter, the answer is NO.  I am carefully considering all of the facts before I make up my mind.  But Texans vote late in the this process.  By the time I get my chance, it will be too late, I suspect.

I regret that some people are trying to influence the process their way, which I think will drive people into voting for pretty much the same kind of politician that we've been getting all along.  Nothing will change, we'll just keep sliding towards bankruptcy and disaster.

Quicklaunch series: Sprint rockets

I've just added this as a new category because I think it is an interesting concept which I want to explore further.

In order to follow this thread, click on that label which follows this post.  All posts on that subject will come up and you can easily follow it there.  At the moment of this writing, I've not attached all the labels yet.  By the end of the morning, that task should be complete.

I'll write a post for today on this subject, and I've already updated the previous post.  I'm adding it again on the top post because I want to emphasize the point.

On the recent Space Show, John Hunter spoke of Sprint rockets, which were part of an operational program, albeit short lived, which were designed for missile defense.  The program was discontinued almost immediately, which, in retrospect, appears to be another one of the inexplicable actions of our failing government.  If there was one program that definitely should not have been scrapped, it was this one.

But that is beside the point of this post, but the point is well taken in connection with the rest of this blog.  As long as I'm referring to my dissatisfaction with this ridiculous decision making process that we seemed to be afflicted with these days, I'll remind anyone interested that I have a entire category dedicated to that subject.

No, the point is that these rockets were very, very fast.  Since "Charles"  (Pooley) of Micro Launchers called to challenge John Hunter of Quicklaunch on  this concept, a bit of devil's advocacy led to investigate the feasiblility of the idea.    Sprint rockets are fast, but not as fast as Hunter's Quicklaunch vehicle.  The top speed of the Sprint was Mach 10, which it reached very quickly.  Thermal issues appeared to be of concern, so Charles' objections need to be answered, I would think.  Running some numbers that's about 7600 mph for the Sprint and 13000 mph for the Quicklaunch.  Hunter needs to explain how he can protect his payload when the thermal issues are going to me much greater than the Sprint.  Hunter responded to Charles by asking him to prove it on the blackboard, which Hunter says he's already done.

The Sprint webpage, referred to above, does not rule out the possibility of Quicklaunch.  That's key.  It only says that:
Within seconds, the missile reached a speed of Mach 10+, and the extreme thermodynamic heating demanded sophisticated ablative shielding (the nose was already glowing red-hot less than a second after launch).

This is probably a similar technology which the shuttle used upon reentry.

Hunter's idea is to put his payload inside, but that may be a problem because of the intense heat, and the extraordinary amount of high g acceleration.

As for the blackboard component of this discussion, Hunter mentioned Johns Hopkins, which I will go to next.   However, I'm probably not qualified to get very far with that.  My math skills are not that advanced.

Update: approx 2pm

I found one pdf file associate with John Hopkins.  It did indeed have John Hunter included amongst the authors.  One thing that I found was that his numbers appear to be much better than the ones mentioned in this file.  The report does say that this method of launching satellites- using gas guns- is technically feasible.

Unless Hunter knows more than what was reported in this 1999 file, I'd say his claims run the risk of being overblown.  It will fly, most likely, but for what purpose?  If the costs really are as attractive as he claims, which I can't see in this report, this could be a viable new option.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Electric bus charges wirelessly at University of Utah

A new transit route through the heart of the campus will feature a full-size city bus, operated with an electric motor. But it will never need to be plugged in. Instead, it will get its energy wirelessly thanks to a magnetic field emanating from the pavement.
 Comment: This technology appears to have advanced greatly over the last several years.  With this much progress, it bears watching.  The significance of electricity is not only in its cleanliness and quiet operation.  Electrical motors are much more efficient than internal combustion engines.   Even if the electricity is produced using fossil fuels, economies of scale and the superior efficiency should make the concept economically worthwhile as well.

Posted on the Quicklaunch Facebook Page

As of now, there has been no response. It was a comment about the feasibility of putting one of these devices on the moon or Mars. The idea was to use the device to build a space elevator on the moon or Mars.

Here's another idea. Since tungsten has such a high melting point, he could called upon to use his Quicklaunch to put tungsten in LEO. Twelve million pounds of tungsten would be enough to serve as an anchor for a lunar space elevator, or moonstalk. The trick would be to transport the tungsten to EML-1. That might be accomplished by a fleet of VASIMRs.

In order to build the moonstalk, you'd need that much, or possibly more mass for the anchor in space, plus another anchor on the lunar surface, plus the cable which can be deployed from space so that it can connect to the surface. No new exotic materials need to be invented for cable, as the strength of currently available materials is sufficient.

Once emplaced, it could be used to get access to the surface without the use of propellants.

If it were extended toward the poles, and a second moonstalk was built on the far side with extensions to the poles, one could get to the gateway of interplanetary space from which missions could be launched. The advantage of this arrangement is that you could actually construct your spacecraft so that could do these types of missions right there from EML-2.

The interplanetary ship, could be a variation of the NERVA type rocket which was tested and found space-worthy during the Apollo Era. The nuclear fuel could be supplied from the lunar surface. It could use the Thorium fuel cycle to produce an isotope of Uranium. Since everything would take place on the far side of the moon, NIMBY opposition should be minimized. The Thorium fuel cycle precludes the development of explosive devices, so the project should not be in violation of any treaties. If nuclear is too objectionable, a solar powered VASIMR may be feasible, provided that the solar panels were constructed from lunar materials.

For reaction mass for the NERVA, you could use the abundant hydrogen found in permanently shaded craters near the poles. With the extensions to the poles, the lunar surface could be populated permanently and could even supply interplanetary missions, as opposed to relying upon the Earth. Thus, the moon could serve as a support base for interplanetary exploration and settlement.

The superior ISP of nuclear rockets could open up the space frontier for settlement. The spacecraft could be large enough to provide sufficient shielding and habitat for long duration missions. Most likely, it could also be set up to provide artificial gravity so as to limit the effects of long term exposure to weightlessness. Overall, it minimize the hazards of long duration missions and provide the best probability of success for human exploration and settlement.

This could take place no risk to the Earth from radiation or explosions. It is hard to imagine any political opposition, but the ingenuity of opponents can't be underestimated. Nevertheless, whatever opposition that could develop to this proposition should be manageable, provided that the will to do the project exists.

There are those who would say that it is too expensive, and that it would take too long. We've got all the time we need, provided that the will exists. Let's briefly examine the cost objection.

The ground anchor implies many missions. It would take a multi-decade commitment and most likely a large influx of funds to complete the project. As for costs, Hunter says he could put the fuel for a Mars mission up in LEO for 5 billion dollars, if I am not mistaken. This would probably cost twice that or more for the anchors, plus the other missions could easily double that figure.

A cost comparison to the lunar base Paul Spudis envisions would likely be comparable. There may be a case made that this may cost more than what Spudis' proposal, but that wouldn't take into consideration cost savings from the Quicklaunch method. Spudis' moonbase's cost was projected at about 90 billion dollars. I'm guessing that this proposition wouldn't cost any more than that. Even if it did cost more, it would still be worth it.

So much for the objections, what about the benefits?

The potential returns would be enormous. If platinum resources could be found on the moon, it could spark the hydrogen economy on the Earth. In addition, space solar industry could be enabled by manufacturing the panels in space or on the moon. Easy access to cis lunar space would make deployment cost effective. Overall, this could open up the vast resources of space, and if I may speculate boldly- it could be lead to an entirely new era of peace and prosperity for all mankind.

Update: 11/19/2001

This post gets a new label of Quicklaunch and Mass Driver Concepts plus it also gets the category label of Sidebar Entry.  Sidebar Entry post labels are attached to all posts that introduces an important concept or topic that I want to keep track of on a historical basis.  Putting that label tells me when I started to think about it in more in depth and allows an examination of my thinking as on a timeline.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Herman Cain on the Libya Question - I don't shoot from the lip

Loose lips can sink ships- as in the ship of state.  As I said before, nobody seems interested that he said the right thing.

Dennis Miller Jumps Off the Cain Train (TRANSCRIPT from O'Reilly on Foxnews)

Here's what's wrong with the process now:
And the people who have defected from Herman Cain have gone to Newt Gingrich.

They are all following polls, instead of using their own horse sense.

Farage: What gives you the right to dictate to the Italian people?

This video ought to be shocking, but I suspect that the world is so jaded by now, that it is incapable of being shocked by anything.

Some folks are saying something similar will be coming to US shores soon.

Barnhardt Capital BCM Has Ceased Operations (Part 1)

Does this mean that Chris Laird was right, and doomsday is around the corner?

This is not to make fun of what is happening here.  In some places on the net, it is said that Limbaugh is warning about an imminent collapse. 

I don't know about that, but it wouldn't surprise me if a crash occurred.  Laird has been predicting it for months.  As for yours truly, I got out a couple years ago.  There was something fishy about the FED monetizing debt while the stock market stages a rally that was incongruous to the situation.   Shorting the market was not successful for me at the time, but it should have been.  Short it now?  Not a chance.  You'd be lucky to collect your profits, due to the market being dishonest.  And the sheriff (Obama) is as big a crook as any.

So, Ann Barnhardt is getting out of the markets.  What kept her in for so long?

Kenneth Murphy on Nov. 8th Space Show

This show got my attention, so I downloaded it on a mp3 format file and listened in.

The reason that I'm interested, is of course, that I"m so focused upon going to the moon first.

Unfortunately, for those such as myself who would prefer to go the Moon first, this current resident of the White House has determined that we don't need to go there again since we have been there before.

That's true, that we have been there before, but only for flags and footprints. If the only point is to go to the Moon, then we are really done with it. But what if the Moon has plenty of good economic reasons to go there? Why not go there for economic reasons, besides just going there to look cool and take pictures? If there was an economic reason to go there, the incentive would in place for cost controls that would make it profitable as an economic enterprise.

The last part of the show, which was over 2 hours long, was that same gloom and doom about America that has turned me off in the past. But the warning is definitely there, for anybody who is bothering to look. One point is that none of the young generation wants to study science and engineering for the purpose of space exploration and development because there's not proper incentive for them to do so. As mentioned above, the one incentive to go there was pulled right out from under them when Obama canceled the Constellation program.

Mind you, this is not just political bashing. Obama didn't just modify the program, he canceled it outright. What would it have taken to make things just a little differently than what was already scheduled? Like keeping the Ares I and canceling the Ares V type rockets. You could then slightly modify the shuttle and make it for cargo only.

The Ares I could be close to operational now if it hadn't been canceled. The lower stage has been tested already. The second stage could have been what has just been tested recently and now will probably be canceled itself. The J2X could have been that second stage with the only remaining thing left as the capsule itself, which is nearly ready now.

Murphy wants to go around NASA altogether. If that happens, those in government have nobody to blame but themselves. Not only that, but the government is failing us, and this is but one example of how they are doing it.

We now how a heavy lift rocket on tap, but will be quite expensive. The trouble now is that same rocket will itself be canceled before it ever gets built. What if it was just a plain old Shuttle C, with minimal modifications and need for research and development?  Could that not have been done?  But it won't be and now this latest incarnation is vulnerable.

Murphy says that we need to bring value to the space program, or it won't survive.  There's no value in developing hardware and then scrapping it and never using it, or under-utilizing it.  It happened with the Saturn V, it happened with the Shuttle, and it has happened with Constellation.  Even the ISS was going to be canceled before Obama rescued it.  It isn't just Obama, it's the entire political class who do not have proper incentive to get value for the taxpayer.  The space program is a high profile example of why governments incentives are skewed toward inefficiency and waste.  The excuse is that they never have enough money, but if they didn't waste so much money, they'd be able to get more done.

Murphy says we need to develop cis lunar architecture.  This would save money, but the incentive, as mentioned, is in another direction.  The incentive is in making heavy lift rockets, which are expensive.  Super rockets as opposed to the use of a refueling infrastructure, which would be more economical.  Value, as Murphy suggests, is not properly incentivized in government, as it is in the private sector.

Another problem is cultural.  Too many people out there don't see value in space.  Even those amongst the religious sort, there is some "uncomfortable" feelings associated with the idea of settling or exploring space.  They actually fear the threat to their belief systems with regard to the settlement of space.  This doesn't show much faith, but the very opposite.  Why would anyone fear that unless one is really insincere in one's belief?  Great confidence and faith are incompatible with fear.  Frankly, I don't believe that a truly Christian person would feel any threat whatsoever with space exploration and settlement.  In this respect, I think the leadership in this segment of our society is also to blame.  Fearful people do not belong in leadership positions.

In sum, what it would take to get back on track would be to improve incentives.   To achieve that, the space advocacy community must do a bit of evangelizing upon the opportunities and values of space.  That community is small, so it needs to be expanded.  The public needs to be educated and motivated, so as to be steered away from irrational fears.  Provided that the community can reach enough people, and properly expanded, the politicians will be incentivized into paying and attention and making the proper decisions in the future that will assure a future for mankind in space.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Morning Jay: Four Enduring Truths of American Elections

The Weekly Standard

  • 1. The two parties have long been roughly equal in strength.
  • 2. Strong partisans do not dominate the political process.
  • 3. The swing vote is decisive
  • 4. Parties must refine their messages to persuade these swing voters. 
  • In the end, this is a big way that parties go from defeat to victory: they really don’t alter their basic beliefs, but they refine their presentation of them, depending on the preferences of those swing voters in the center.
Comment:  You'll probably get some argument from partisans.  All elections are mandates for the winners, and not a mandate for the losers.  There's a lot of huffing and puffing, put not a whole lot of movement.  There's one thing that I've noticed, though.

If you look over the longer history than what is written about here, you'll notice that since the Civil War, one party or the other has dominated for long stretches of time.  After the Civil War, the Republican party was dominant.  That shifted toward the Democrats after the Great Depression.  Given that we may be on the edge of a watershed period such as a Great Depression or Civil War, party control may shift in the longer term once again.  This time, back to the Republicans.

I think that opportunity exists, provided that the Republicans can convince the electorate. This article argues strongly that such an appeal will fail.   On the other hand, if the attempt were made to go ideological, the risk is that the public will not be convinced and we'll still be where we've been the entire time.

John Hunter of Quicklaunch is interviewed by Sander Olson (June interview )

Next Big Future

This was an interview done back in June this year, about the same time that Hunter was on the Space Show.  Looks like I missed this interview at that time, since it isn't referenced in the post indicated in bold.

I'm writing this post in connection to the nuclear Jules Verne post, which I spent some time this morning thinking about.  That particular concept doesn't appear to be a project that anybody is actually working on at this moment, unless it is the Chinese, but Quicklaunch appears to be a going concern.  I got curious about his progress, so I listened to the space show broadcast once again.  There was a Facebook page mentioned, in which I found a link to Quicklaunch's webpage.  There's not a whole lot of information there, which is a bit of a let down.

Quicklaunch has figured in the speculative couple of posts here titled "The Elements of a Space Exploration Infrastructure".  It looks like one of these can be emplaced on the moon so as to facilitate moving goods around the lunar surface.  It would be advantageous to do so, at least at first, since this method of transport would require the least amount of infrastructure.  As the lunar colony gets built out, a lunar transportation system could be substituted in its place.

By the way, the nuclear Jules Verne most likely would not work because of the atmospheric drag would be too great.  You need as little surface area as possible, plus you'd need something that could withstand the enormous amount of heat, which isn't likely.  A small scale nuke, like a suitcase nuke, may be workable in the technical sense.  However, everyone knows what the no nukes will do to that idea.  Suitcase nukes can get as small as a half a kiloton, if memory serves.  That's about a million pounds of tnt.  Aside from the anti nuke types, you'd have other problems as well, such as destruction of your launch site after every launch.  Better get it right the first time.

Hunter's business angle is to launch a lot of fuel for space exploration.  He says it will take a lot of fuel in order to get each astronaut to Mars.  He means to get that business. 

What if he used it to make a moonstalk instead?  It would take an enormous number of shots to do that though.  You need about 6000 tons at EML-1 for a moonstalk ( don't quote me on that).  Either you get it there from the lunar surface by a lot of launches from there, or from the Earth.  It would seem to be an easier task on the moon because of its lack of atmosphere and shallower gravity well.

A VASIMR could be used to take a lot of mass to EML-1.  It would be like a tug.  The Earth based Cannon could get mass to LEO and the VASIMR could take it the rest of the distance.  Let's say you were to take a smaller version of the cannon to the moon, then use it to build up the moonstalk.  That would simplify getting the matter in place at EML-1, or so I am speculating.

There are smaller versions of the Cannon, which can be set up on solid ground.  The Quicklaunch system, by the way, is emplaced in the ocean, or deep body of water.  These smaller versions could do the job on the moon, or so I speculate.  Hunter said on the space show that these things need to be muzzle loaded.  That may be tricky on the moon, therefore complicating the matter.


I'm listening to this show for the second time today.  There are some fine points that I'd like to make note of:

  1. He says that you only have to heat the hydrogen to 1500 deg K in order to get the 6 km/sec velocities.  This temperature is reachable by using concentrated solar power.
  2. Length of the gun is proportional to the mass desired to be shot cubed.  For example, if you double the length, then cube the payload deliverable.
  3. Small payloads are possible, as small as 200 lbs.  Start up costs for that is only $50 million.  Sweet spot is between 100-1000 lbs.
  4. Million pounds per person propellant to get to Mars : comment- if you launch from EML3, you could do a lot better than that (I think).
  5. First shots goals will be 3 clicks per sec ( 3 km/sec I gather).  comment: Faster than escape velocity of the moon.
  6. Recommends John Hopkins and SHARP to "Charles".  Charles likes to be challenging.  Hunter also recommended one of Andersons books on hypersonics.
Update: 11/17/11

Hunter mentioned his challenges with social media, which reminded me that I'm on Facebook too.  It sometimes doesn't occur to me to use that, but this reminds me to use it more in the future.  Let's see what that does.

    Tuesday, November 15, 2011

    Blog: Warren Buffet's Keystone Bonanza

    American Thinker

    An accusation of crony capitalism is charged with respect to the XL Pipeline foot-dragging by the Administration.  It so happens that rail could carry the crude oil to refineries as opposed to building a pipeline. If the rail option is taken, Buffett reaps the benefits as he just recently bought the rail line that could be moving the oil.  Inasmuch as Buffett often supports Democrat causes, this may be no mere coincidence.

    Even as much as this would stink to high heaven, we still need the oil.  Pipelines are more efficient, though.  At the increased cost of using rail, the oil will still be welcome, but an additional cost will be imposed upon consumers.  The profits can be used to give campaign donations to Democrats.

    Isn't it convenient how that works?

    At last, somebody gets it right

    Limbaugh doesn't go along with the herd and say how rotten Cain was.  He supports Cain.  Not only that, he compares it with Obama did by playing a clip in which Obama spoke over 30 seconds of inarticulate nonsense.  Somehow, the campaign didn't come to an end for him.

    The point is not that we should refuse to vet our candidates.  The point is that Cain got it right, and that's what should matter.  Not this pause, this silence, where he collects his thoughts.

    Bachmann: Media, Not Voters, Picking Winners

    The media, in this instance, is not only the traditional media, but the new media.  You'd think that would not be the case, but it is.  These folks are out there with their established names, and their using that to manipulate pubic opinion, according to the polls.  Just like the old media used to do, and for that matter, still does.

    The average person, who may not know where to turn for reasonable and honest reporting, may not have a chance in this environment.

    Cold Fusion Now: Citizen’s Petition calls for open support of cold fusion technology.

    by Ruby Carat


    The government has looked at this twice in the past- cold fusion, that is.   A petition might work, but probably will be ignored.   It won't help that the name is written Energy "Catalizer", which is misspelled.  This will give the impression of being non serious, since catalyze, with the letter "y", as opposed to the letter "i", is the correct spelling.  It may seem nitpicking, but that's probably how it will be seen.

    I don't like signing it.  It won't make any difference and besides, if it did, Obama gets the credit, and I don't like Obama anyway.  Ok, I just signed it.

    American Spectator: Herman's Just Not Ready

    By Ross Kaminsky on 11.15.11 @ 6:08AM

    I guess you'd have to say that I'm in a minority here.  The American Spectator gave me the impression of being a conservative outfit, so this piece was more than a bit disappointing.   You can't fight the whole world, but these guys don't seem have a problem with it if somebody else is doing the fighting.  What I mean by that is all of the saber rattling that will encourage that type of argument from the left which is reminiscent of the chicken hawk argument of the Bush years.  Are conservatives chicken hawks?  Maybe.  Maybe that and more if this is any indication.

    Still, I don't want to go too far.  The thing that bugged me most about the after debate discussion was how Perry's performance was so good and Cain's so weak.  What Perry said was not that good, and what Cain said was not that bad.  But it is being spun that way and I have to ask why.  Perry said that Russia would be left on the ash heap of history.  There's a difference between communism and the people of a nation.  The way Perry said it was unfortunate.  I consider it a great thing that communism is gone - at least for the moment - in Russia.  But Russia is still there and I don't think it helps to refer to them in a manner such as that.  It plays into the hands of revanchism, which may not be too helpful to us in the years ahead.

    I think there are a number of issues with this piece which I will begin enumerating as follows:
    1. Underestimating Obama:  Consider the following quote:  "If there is anything America has been reminded of by Barack Obama, it's that the presidency is no place for on-the-job training -- and it's even less so when potential nuclear conflict is involved."  So, the main issue with Obama is that he wasn't ready?  Does that mean he's ready now after these last few years?  Maybe the real problem with Obama is his direction, not his inexperience.  
    2. Over-hyping the brain freeze.  I covered that in a previous post.
    3. Can't win argumentative style with respect to his getting "testy".  I examined the video.  Cain got "testy" all right, but the questioning was insistent on an issue in which he said no comment.  This was not the best possible moment for Cain, but even if he kept smiling broadly thorough out it all, the criticism would just turn to his "stonewalling".  It looks like there's a movement afoot to deny him any chance to win. By the way, I stop counting at 10 on the refusal to continue with that line of discussion. Was the interview a little on the aggressive side? So is a conservative publication letting the liberals do their fighting for them? See for yourself below


    Here's what the big deal was on that video:
    Reports: Cain spends campaign cash to buy his book

    He said on the video that this was being looked into.  But the questions kept coming as I mentioned.


    EGO OUT: INFORMAVORE's SUNDAY No 481: My dear Readers, It was a good week for this newsletter, the Web has generously answered to many of the questions ...

    I have defined our species as Homo discontentus- and I am very human- awfully sad that INFORMAVORE’s SUNDAY cannot achieve popularity. However, yesterday at the CORA mall I met a friend whom I have not seen for some 6 years and he has told me that he is reading my newsletter regularly- a very pleasant surprise.

    Comment:  You've got to fight the power, as Rush Limbaugh sometimes says.

    Hotair: Cain "blanks" on Libya, supports collective bargaining for public employees

    I found this off of Instapundit this morning.  Reynolds says he stands by what he said previously- which is that the feminists are hypocrites.  He points to this as evidence that Cain's problem is bigger than sexual harassment.

    As I pointed out previously, the "blank" out was over-hyped.  Cain's answer was right on the mark, albeit a bit tardy in coming.   I would rather have a correct answer, which was that "we don't know who these people are", than to get a quick, glib answer that is off the mark.  Better to be laser beam accurate and fast, but I'll take a slow, deliberate, and correct answer.

    The attention should be on Obama, not Cain.  Obama got us into a conflict in Libya and we still don't know who these people are and what is going to come after Khadaffy.  Instead of applauding Cain's answer, they are jumping all over him for being too slow.

    This made me a bit mad, so I got into an argument this morning.  My opponent says "that's the way it is", mostly in connection to the sex harassment charges.  He says that it doesn't matter if the charges are true or not, it is what these politicians do.  I said that I can't accept that.  He went on to say that he likes Cain, but he didn't know what you can do about it.  I said "find a way".   You can't just take this stuff, you have to fight back.

    It is disappointing to me that conservatives seem to be piling on.  Sorry, I can't accept that it is all politics, and that's there's nothing you can do about it.  He is lumping conservatives with liberals- yet he claims to be a conservative.  That's like spitting in your own face.  If we don't think we are better, why the hell are we in this to begin with?  The charges against Clinton were correct, I pointed out.   He said that made no difference if the charges are correct or not.  It matters to me.  I don't support a party that falsely charges others and allows their own to be falsely charged in return.  It is not just a game.  It is our future.  It matters.

    Monday, November 14, 2011

    Cain melts down- says Rubin

    Jennifer Rubin, Washington Post!

    So now we take our cues from somebody who writes for the Washington Post.  Conservatives should hang their heads in shame.  I watched that video.  There wasn't a single thing wrong with it.  It comes across as "ignorant" only because Cain won't criticize Obama on the basis of what Cain doesn't know.  All he said was that he wanted to know who the opposition was and to have that information in front of him before he made a decision. There is absolutely nothing, repeat NOTHING wrong with this answer.

    The hit job continues...

    What's Propping Up Stock Market? ^ | November 14, 2011 | Mike Shedlock

    Interesting video, don't miss it.  Here's the link to the video.

    To make a long story short, companies are buying their own stocks with low interest debt.  Interest rates are depressed because the Fed is pumping a lot of money into the economy- even without Quantitative Easing.  Low interest rates cost little to service and buying their own stocks keeps the prices up.

    The New Space Race?

    TCS Daily

    Comment:  Assuming the Chinese are actually trying to use nuclear explosions for propulsion, what exactly can anyone do about it?  Do we join in and start doing it ourselves?  There are better ways.  This isn't necessarily something that we should emulate.

    Besides, we already had NERVA during the Apollo Era.  This was a nuclear powered upper stage for the Saturn V rocket.  It was already tested and found space worthy.  Like the Saturn V itself, it was canceled.  Our problem is that we've got an active bunch of opponents to space.  They believe that space is just an expense, not an asset.  It is this manner of thinking that's the problem- not the Chinese.

    h/t Instapundit


    Glenn Reynolds of Instapundit, has a different take.


    Brian Wang of Next Big Future posted on a variation on that concept here.  It could be in compliance with treaty obligations since it wouldn't involve atmospheric explosions.  A Jules Verne type nuclear powered space gun.


    This may be only a coincidence, but here goes anyway.  It so happens that the masses referred to here could be enough to be an anchor weight for a moonstalk.  Simply launch the mass to the Earth Moon Lagrange point and use that as an anchor for a moonstalk.  This would greatly simpify access to the lunar surface.  You wouldn't need any new nor exotic materials.   Just the will to get it done.


    Go to this website, hit control-f to bring up text search.  Highlight "The Thunderwell Story" in the usual way, plug it into the text search box (control-v) and the result should put you squarely in the part of the text about nuclear rocket propulsion- ie. "space gun", which was actually an underground nuke test in 1957.  It sent a concrete plug into space ( maybe) at a speed calculated at 5 to 6 times the escape velocity of the Earth.

     This may be a plausible way to send large masses into a location, such as EML-1.  You'd have to figure out how to keep it from burning up in the atmosphere, of course.  You'd have to figure out a lot more than that.  But it may be possible.

    President Obama: U.S. Gotten a Bit "Lazy" on Attracting Businesses



    • Obama said it's important to remember that the U.S. is still the largest receiver of foreign investment in the world and things like stability, openness and innovative free market culture are attractive.
    • "Because of our federalist system, sometimes a foreign investor comes in and they've got to navigate not only federal rules, but they've also got to navigate state and local governments that may have their own sets of interests. Being able to create if not a one-stop shop, then at least no more than a couple of stops for people to be able to come into the United States and make investments, that's something that we want to encourage," Obama said.
    • He also said at a fundraiser in San Francsico last month, "Anybody been to Beijing Airport lately? Or driven on high-speed rail in Asia or Europe? What's changed? Well, we've lost our ambition, our imagination, and our willingness to do the things that built the Golden Gate Bridge and Hoover Dam and unleashed all the potential in this country."[ comment:  He just caved in to the environmentalists on the XL pipeline. These are the same people who want to stop dams like the Hoover Dam from being built in the first place.  His words have a false ring to them.]

    Comment:  The reason I use the exclamation points and question marks is that Obama has said some really negative things about Fox, and now Fox is there making Obama look like a good old capitalist.  What gives?

    Things are really, really crazy right now.  I don't know if you can believe a single word you hear sometimes.

    Ann Barnhardt: Ann on the Radio with Important Correction!

    I'm putting this up in connection with the Sandusky scandal, which she has commented upon.  She will be branded by the left as a "hater", no doubt.  Anybody who reads this blog knows how little I think of leftists. So much for that.

    Anyway, she points out the depravity of like kind in Miami, in the Catholic Church.  To my way of thinking, I wouldn't be surprised if the left is infiltrating the Church in order to discredit it with kind of scandal.

    Listen to internet radio with Mark Gillar on Blog Talk Radio

    Sunday, November 13, 2011

    The 2012 Presidential Election Will Be Won or Lost in the Middle

    American Thinker

    • "swing voters asserted their independence" by "repudiating Republican ideological overreach in key votes but denying Democrats clear-cut victories heading into 2012." 
    •  Stated simply, at long last, voters are engaged in the debate
    • voters are in no mood for politics as usual
    • In September, President Obama said, "I just have to remind people that here's one thing I know for certain: the odds of me being reelected are much higher than the odds of me being elected in the first place."

    That last quote was pretty cocky by Obama.  Frankly, he seemed lucky because of a perfect storm swept the Republicans away right at about the time people started paying attention.  What are the odds that he will be able to engineer something like this to his advantage?

    No reason to be too sure that he can't do something like this, so the point is well taken, though.

    A limitless power source for the indefinite future

    Kurzweil Blog

    • The basic concept, invented in the late 60s by Dr. Peter Glaser of Arthur D. Little: a large platform, positioned in space in a high Earth orbit continuously collects and converts solar energy into electricity.
    • Its findings include:  Space solar power appears to be technically feasible within 10–20 years using technologies existing now in the laboratory;
    • It appears to be economically viable in the next 1–3 decades under several different scenarios for future energy markets, including potential government actions to mediate environment/climate change issues;
    • Low-cost Earth-to-orbit transportation systems appear to be technically feasible during the coming 20–30 years using technologies existing in the laboratory now;
    • Flight experiments are needed, and policy-related and regulatory issues must be resolved.
    • “Without any doubt the components technology for space solar power as well as various system concepts have been developed and tested successfully,” says Dr. Neville I. Marzwell, NASA-JPL Advanced Concepts and Technology Innovation Manager (recently retired).
    • Space-based solar power is a technologically ready path over the wall to sustainable high tech civilization on Earth

    Why launch from the ground when it is a lot easier to launch from the moon?  Most of the materials needed to make the solar panels are available on the lunar surface.  It only lacks a will to do the project.

    CBS Presidential debate- Foreign Policy

    If you weren't worried already, this debate was the most sobering of them all.  Afterwards, I started thinking about the probability, not mere possibility- that the end of the world as we have known it is at hand.  The problems are so deep and systemic that it would take a major miracle to get through all of it in one piece without the following:  1) major depression 2) nuclear war, or 3) both!

    The above sentence seems alarmist as I read over it again.  It is shocking to read it.  Almost certainly it seems like the the Henny Penny "sky is falling" type of sentiment.  But there it is.  Accept it or deny it, the sentiment has existed and will continue to exist.  It has existed in all of it various forms for as long as I can remember- as the long as the story of Chicken Little itself.  However, there may come a day when the whole thing just might come true.  Civilizations have risen and have fallen.  It has happened before and it may well happen again.

    Still, I am reminded of the Apollo 13 mission, and why I write, "Houston, We have a Solution".  Despite it all, I believe that a solution does exist out there if we are smart enough to find it in time.  Like Apollo 13, we only have the materials at hand, and we must fashion a solution to the problem now.  The situation is urgent, tomorrow won't get any easier.  It won't just solve itself.  But you can't lose your head and panic.  Just keep working the problem.

    With that in mind, who would be the best to put in charge of this?  It is hard to tell.  The more of these debates that I watch, the more puzzled I seemed to get.  It is almost like a crap shoot.  Roll the bones on any of these candidates.  Then you get to the general election and repeat with the nominee and Obama.  It is not a real comforting thought at the moment.  You'd think that it was a no brainer but nothing is a no brainer when this all taken as it is.  Clearly, Obama can't be trusted with the economy.  But can the Republicans be trusted with the issues of war and peace?  I'm not so sure about that at the moment.  There's plenty to choose from though- from Paul's seemingly neo isolationist perspective to an almost war like statements that I heard sprinkled about here and there during the debate.


    The Anti Cain train rides again.  Reviews of the debate are coming in and this site says:

    It was not a particularly strong debate for Herman Cain.

    But there wasn't anything that was offered in support of that statement.  As a matter of fact, the entire essay used Cain's name just once, in the sentence quoted above.

    I don't get these good reviews for Perry.  Sure, he's got a sense of humor about his gaffes, but that's not something to base a campaign on.  Clever, perhaps, but not substantive.  His remarks about ash heaps of history were bombastic- not strong.   That particular point in the debate gave me the worst feeling that I've had in a long time in watching debates.  That was just plain awful.  The point about Reagan saying it was not well taken.  Reagan was talking about world wide communist movement- not about Chinese communists as they exist today.  This is a completely different flavor.  Not terribly bright, in my opinion.

    I've got a problem with this quote as well from PJ Tatler
    Rick Santorum let off an odd riff about how Pakistan “must” be America’s friend and so we have to redouble our efforts to make that so. The problem with that is we have lavished Pakistan with aid and assistance, for decades, yet the Pakistanis deal with us in duplicity and deception.

    I took that to mean they must be our friends or we have to go to war with a nuclear power.  There's nothing "odd" about that.  Are we really willing to have our candidate go before the American people and advocate a warlike footing with every country we have an issue with?

    But I agree with the post on this point:
    And Ron Paul was Ron Paul, the isolationist outlier who would turn our Iran policy over to Congress.
    Economically, Ron Paul is spot on.  But some of what he says is just not serious in today's world.  It is more fitting with the 19th century than in the 21st.  He is hopelessly lost in his belief system.  We tried isolationalism in the early 40's, remember?  It got us Pearl Harbor.  Sometimes, it helps to read history and to think about what one has read.

    National Review's review say CBS lost the debate.  Nobody on the right likes the media.  I don't like  those guys either.  Interesting juxtaposition with the error in timekeeping by a moderator and Perry's continuing humble pie eating contest.

    I don't want to be too hard on Perry though.  He didn't make too big of a fool of himself this time.


    Analysis: Cain held his own, but answers didn't show depth  (CBS)

    Actually, if you read the whole thing, Cain did pretty well.  But the headline is what people will see.  Also, they threw in some negative comments from Republicans in order to make themselves look even handed.  I'm not falling for this schtick.