Saturday, January 14, 2012

Kudlow: Isn't a Bainful Turnaround What America Needs?


This is the way people should be looking at this election.  Kinda reminiscent of what I wrote not too long ago.


There's a very troubled company out there called U.S. Government, Inc. It's teetering on the edge of bankruptcy. And it badly needs to be taken over and turned around. It probably even needs the services of a good private-equity firm, with plenty of experience and a reasonably good track record in downsizing, modernizing, shrinking staff, and making substantial changes in management. Yes, layoffs will be a necessary part of the restructuring.

Read the whole thing.

The Straits Of America (Roubini)

US economic growth will remain weak and below trend throughout 2012.

  • First, US consumers remain income-challenged, wealth-challenged, and debt-constrained.
  • At the same time, US job growth is still too mediocre to make a dent in the overall unemployment rate and on labor income. 
  • Rising income inequality will also constrain consumption growth
  • Moreover, the recent bounce in investment spending (and housing) will end
  • At the same time, even after six years of a housing recession, the sector is comatose.
  • net exports will be a drag on growth in 2012  [emphasis mine]
  • It is unlikely that US policy will come to the rescue.
  • Most importantly, the US – and many other advanced economies – remains in the early stages of a deleveraging cycle.
  • Given all of these large and small risks, businesses, consumers, and investors have a strong incentive to wait and do little. The problem, of course, is that when enough people wait and don’t act, they heighten the very risks that they are trying to avoid.

One way out of this mess is to become energy independent, or even a net energy exporter.  It is not even necessary to spend a lot more money.  It is necessary to become more efficient with the spending that does take place.  But that won't happen with this president.

Email in your eye?

Next-generation video screen glasses could lay messages or GPS over your field of vision

Turning people into the Borg


On the other hand, resistance is futile.

Pesn: E-Cat Weekly January 12 : Edmund Storms

TheSpaceShow (mp3 link): January 8, 2011


As is usually the case, whenever there is a bit of controversy, there'll be some challenging calls.  Such was the case for this show as well.

The one that stuck out for me was when Charles called and mentioned the gamma ray issue.  There is one thing that's very clear now.  There aren't any gamma rays being produced by Rossi's device.  The reason that you know this is because of the demonstrations shown on video.  If there were any gamma rays, there'd be a lot more caution about being in the room with this device.  The amount of gamma rays expected should be enough to make everyone sick, or worse.

 Dr. Storms mentioned that there would be a Nobel Prize waiting for anyone who could figure out how the energy gets out of the system.  How then energy gets out indeed!

The question encourages me to think about E-cat again, which I haven't been doing recently.

The idea that sticks with me is that the phenomenon could be about waves.  A gamma ray is just a wave.  All matter and energy in the universe is particles and waves.  And there is this phenomenon known as as  wave  particle duality:
Wave–particle duality postulates that all particles exhibit both wave and particle properties.

Particles can act as waves, waves can act as particles.

So, as a bit of speculation, I wonder if the explanation could be related to that.  Both of the explanations necessary- one for overcoming the coulomb barrier and the other for the lack of gamma rays- could be explained by wave particle duality.  For the former, I favor the BECNF Theory of Y. Kim of Purdue.  But Kim doesn't provide any theory for the lack of gamma rays, only for overcoming the coulomb barrier. Bose-Einstein condensates overcome the coulomb barrier by the quantum effects of waves.  Could the wave particle duality explain the lack of gamma rays?

Gamma rays are a problem because of the need for shielding.  Neutrons and alpha particles can be shielded more easily.  Gamma rays- not so easy.  In the case of Rossi's device, the main problem is the lack of gamma rays.  There should be some if fusion is taking place.  This is the crux of the problem, or controversy.

It isn't just a matter of shielding in the case of the E-cat.  It is the most probable situation that there are no gamma rays being produced at all.  But how can there be any fusion if there are no gamma rays?

Let me repeat here that BECNF explains the coulomb barrier and some other type of wave explains the lack of gamma rays.  The latter speculation may be preposterous, but who knows?  I haven't gotten any further ideas on the matter.  Perhaps someone else could.


Cross posted on Kardashevian Aspirations.  Update:  If I add any new material to this post, it will be on the other blog.  Any new and separate posts will originate here, as usual.

Friday, January 13, 2012

The Pain of Bain Falls Mainly on Romney’s Campaign? Not Quite

Peter Suderman | January 13, 2012

  • Through his own words and a propagandistic documentary produced by Winning Our Future, a well funded pro-Newt Super PAC run by a former campaign aid, Gingrich has attempted to paint Romney as a heartless, out of touch, capitalist monster—the King of Bain—whose firm made millions through mass firings and layoffs. [ comment:  or as Krugman has done, call him Gordon Gekko.]
  • Gingrich’s attacks aren’t just helping to unite conservatives in defense of Romney, they’re distracting from the very real flaws in Romney’s record. 
  • Kaplan wrote in a 2008 paper for the National Bureau of Economic Research...evidence suggests that private equity activity creates economic value on average
  • story of UniMac, a Florida company that made laundry equipment...Raytheon bought UniMac in 1994, then merged it with other companies. Bain didn’t buy that unit until four years later.
  • There are plenty of reasons to complain about Romney, but his time at Bain isn’t one of them.

Yes, if only Romney was a real Gordon Gekko who would come to Washington DC and straighten it out.  The character in the video shown on an earlier post is not all bad.  There some good points in that video.


With respect to the definition of greed, here's what Wikipedia says about it:

greed is an inordinate desire to acquire or possess more than one needs or deserves.

Yes?  But who decides that?  Needs are subjective, an individual knows what he/she needs.  It may not necessarily be just the bare essentials for survival, but things in addition to that.  What if your opinion is that nobody needs anything other than that?  Who would impose that limit upon everyone?  And if you didn't, who would be exempt, and why?

As for what you deserve, that is also subjective.  How do you decide that?  Not a simple question, nor is there a simple answer.


Does wealth come from greed?

"There Are Enough Pissed Off People That Will Go Somewhere Else"

Moore Warns Obama


"Imagine Obama calling a press conference in the morning and going "I have decided that this year I am returning all the money I've received from Wall Street and I'm not taking one dime from Wall Street in this election right now." What do you think would happen? What do you would think would happen? Think about the support he would have.


I am noticing this pattern of blaming Wall Street for the economic problems of today.  Did Wall Street cause the government to spend beyond its means?  Did Wall Street force people into buying homes they couldn't afford?  Or did Washington force lenders to finance people in order to buy the homes they couldn't pay for?  Whose fault is it, really?

Left wingers like Moore blame Wall Street for the problems that they had at least some hand in causing.  So, is it really the case that Obama will get a positive response if he very publicly refuses Wall Street's cash?

Maybe those who think the same way as Moore does will respond, but that doesn't include as wide an audience as he thinks.

Obama's best chance is a negative campaign and he'd better have plenty of cash for that, no matter how he gets it.

No Apology: The Case for American Greatness

I did a sort of a report on this back in May. Two parts to that report:

Part 1
Part 2

The second part was delayed in posting due to difficulties with blogger.  The system was down for a few days.  I have no apologies to make for that.  Yuk, yuk.

Now, here's the deal.  If Romney would just channel his alleged inner Gekko and apply that to this government and this society in general, it would be a great thing.  But does he really believe what he has written?  Can you be a conservative and apologize for America at the same time?  So, should he apologize for Bain?  Should, if he were to win the presidency, have to apologize for doing what is necessary to put this country back on track?

Maybe, maybe not.   It all depends.  The left tends to blame free enterprise for all our troubles.  What about their own part in this mess?  Or they blame greed, which is not well defined.  The Gekko character said "greed is good".  But what is greed, really?  Is it nothing other than an unapologetic pursuit of one's own self interest?  Is that such a bad thing?  Should any individual have to apologize for that?  Should any nation?   As long as you don't cross certain lines it may be argued, but what are those lines?  Without adequate definitions, greed has been denounced and branded as evil.  Perhaps a little thought on the subject could render a more intelligent judgment.

But if he does apologize for Bain, he's has discredited himself.  One can then ask, and ask quite effectively, just what is Romney all about?  What kind of stuff is he made of?

Krugman is worrying about Gordon Gekko winning the White House

“And greed — you mark my words — will not only save Teldar Paper, but that other malfunctioning corporation called the U.S.A.”


Maybe the USA is not a corporation, but on the other hand...

Just look at this government. If there's a Gekko out there who can trim all this waste, fraud, and abuse of this overbloated, wasteful, inefficient, and ineffective government, it just might be a winner.

Gordon Gekko "Greed Is Good" Full Speech High... by ForexTradingFortune67

Facing the arithmetic- Bill Whittle's latest Afterburner video

"Madness can't continue forever."

Lincoln needed a general who could face the arithmetic, but can we face the arithmetic and do what's necessary?

Gingrich said something very similar not that long ago, but he used a different metaphor.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Madonna - Don't Cry For Me Argentina HD

I am not a big fan of Madonna, but she gives a fine performance here.

What If Elections Don’t Matter?

A Voice of Sanity -

I think Don Meredith, who played in the National Football League, and announced football games on Monday Night Football, once said this:

If "if ands or buts were candy and nuts, we'd all have a Merry Christmas".

Not to knock the piece, but we have to get past that little word "if".

This is nuts

New molecule could help cool planet By Nina Chestney


However, it is too early to predict how many molecules would have to be formed to make a substantial impact on the world's temperature and their safety would have to be tested.

Don't tell me that these yahoos would actually consider putting this stuff into the atmosphere?  For a problem does that not exist?  It only exists in their highly stimulated imaginations.  The world is not getting hot, there is no threat worth mentioning.

If carbon dioxide is a real threat, surely there is a better solution than this.  There are several posts on this blog that address the very issue, should it even exist.  Not putting as much into the atmosphere is a better way.

New blog spinoff

A short blurb as an explanation of the new blog.  It is really just a spin off from this one.  The Boots and Oil blog has over 2800 posts now, so it is getting a little too big and unwieldy.  What I did was to keep as many of the energy and space posts as I could while exporting them into the new blog.  The new blog will primarily about energy and space.  There's a couple of links in the sidebar to it, plus I'll add one here.  It is called Kardashevian Aspirations, which is actually the same name as my back up blog.  The back up blog is on Wordpress, but this new one is also on blogspot.  The backup blog can back up both since there are now two on blogspot.

I don't know if I'll completely spin off the topics or not. What I mean is, if I have an energy and space post, I could still post here and cross post to the other blog as well.  But that is twice as much work in order to do the same thing.  I could just put a link to it from here, and if you want to read it, just go there.  We'll see how it goes.

Seinfeld strikes again!

h/t Instapundit

Actually, this is in Canada, so it isn't the USA's Democratic party. But their ideas are similar. Even some of what is being referenced came from this country, anyhow.

When I read this following line, I was reminded of my Seinfeld riff:

"No forestry. No mining. No oil. No gas. No more hydro-electric dams," said Oliver in the open letter published in Monday's edition of the Globe and Mail.

 Maybe not a party of nothing, per se.  Perhaps more like a party of nothing  for you.  As opposed to having it all for themselves.

Elon Musk (Spacex video): Why Make Rockets Reusable?

NOTE: Cross posted on my new Energy and Space Blog called Kardashevian Aspirations.

Spacex is joining in on the Birdzilla project, which will attach a Falcon rocket to the underside of a very large plane. I think that could help get the first stage back to the launch site with the minimum amount of hardware and fuel. ( my 2 cents here)

Rush is Wrong? Add Bain to list of things we cannot discuss (Update: Politico story in doubt)

You know my position. Newt is making a purely political decision to move on. Once he lost Rush and Hannity on the issue — wrongly I believe — it no longer was politically tenable.

Comment:  I'm with the professor on this one.  Rush is right most of the time, but on this one, he's wrong.  I've seen for myself what happens when a company goes bad, and it is NOT just a matter of "that's the breaks".  Stuff just doesn't have to happen the way it does sometimes, and a unthinking reversion to a stock explanation or what have you- such as you can't criticize it because it's capitalism, and equating any criticism to socialistic leanings- is just plain wrong.  Not only wrong, but tragically wrong.

Newt is giving up too easily.  What's he going to do next?  Quit the race?  That's another thing I don't like.  People just give up so easily on things.  Why not continue fighting it?

I watched that video in question .  It is devastating from a political point of view.  If Romney doesn't address it, it could be decisive.  If the Republicans insist upon acting as if their party is the Medieval Catholic Church, and you can't question their established dogma, and therefore, to discuss it is heresy, then they are committing a very grave error.  I might add, it is the same type of charge that they level at the Democrats on some issues like global warming.

Like I said before, ideology can make you stupid.


Actually, Newt may not be giving up on the issue.  The Politico reference in the professor's post shows that the quote by Politico may be wrong.  I hope so.  I hope Gingrich doesn't quit on this.


Nice line:  (Posting this paragraph does not mean I hate capitalism)

The professor has added a video of Sarah Palin on Fox, which I'm reposting here.


Is the point too nuanced to understand?   Now, Santorum is joining the anti-Newt cacophony:  Santorum: Attacks on Romney are attacks on capitalism

"It’s this hostile rhetoric, which unfortunately - I don't want to stand here and be a defender of Mitt Romney, but unfortunately even some in our party now, even some running for president will engage in with respect to capitalism," Santorum said to a town hall of nearly 200 people. "It is bad enough for Barack Obama to blame folks in business for causing problems in this country. It’s one other thing for Republicans to join him." [ Emphasis mine. Comment:  I agree that Obama is blaming free enterprise, per se.  But that is not what Newt is doing.  Nor anyone else on the Republican side.]  
You have got to keep thinking about this and don't let it close down your mind because it seems to be straying away from your preferred paradigm.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Romney doesn’t need to apologize for his Bain career ( updated w video link)

The Enterprise Blog


  • Newt Gingrich (or at least his SuperPac) is launching an expensive attack to rebrand Romney as a Gordon Gekko [ comment:  Gekko is a character created by Oliver Stone.  That says it all.]
  • The pursuit of profits by creating value benefits the rest of society through higher incomes, more jobs, and better products and services.
  • Through this constant roiling of the status quo, creative destruction provides a powerful force for making societies wealthier. It does so by making scarce resources more productive. The telephone industry employed 421,000 switchboard operators in 1970, when Americans made 9.8 billion long-distance calls. With advances in switching technology over the next three decades, the telecommunications sector could reduce the number of operators to 156,000 but still ring up 106 billion calls. An average operator handled only 64 calls a day in 1970. By 2000, that figure had increased to 1,861, a staggering gain in productivity. If they had to handle today’s volume of calls with 1970s technology, the telephone companies would need more than 4.5 million operators, or 3 percent of the labor force. Without the productivity gains, a long-distance call would cost six times as much.

I spent some time studying Bain Capital this morning.  I can't find anything that can substantiate Gingrich's charges.  I haven't seen the video either.  That's next on the agenda.

The characterization of Romney as "Gordon Gekko" is ridiculous.


When Mitt Romney Came To Town. View it now!

I've watched it now.  This has to be answered, effectively.  If it isn't, Romney has no chance of winning the general election.

Show me some love, baby

You know something?  I get the feeling that people really are reading my stuff, but not giving me credit.  I mean, when you see this, it has got to be something more than just a coincidence:

It’s a War About Nothing: Hollywood’s Revisonist World War II Nihilism Revisited

Okay, maybe some else came up with it first, but here's where I came up with it:

Howard Dean hates Western Civilization which is where I said this:
Liberals remind me of the old joke about the sitcom Seinfeld. It was a show about "nothing". When it comes to liberals, they are an ideology about nothing. They don't want a country, because to have a country means that you are a chauvinist and a bigot. Their idea of a perfect society is no society at all. They don't want anybody to get rich, unless it is themselves. What that ends up meaning is that everybody will have nothing. If you don't like it, then you are politically incorrect. That means you don't get to say nothing. Don't do anything, don't say anything, and don't want anything. That's what liberals are all about. Which is nothing.

But I didn't stop there, I repeated it elsewhere afterward.
The Seinfeld Senate, Rolling Thunder, and a Warning to America
and most recently,
Pigs Fly New Hampshire Debate Tweets of the Night

Where I said this:

This may also seem like aid and comfort to Democrats, but that would be a mistake. I give the Republicans some credit- I give Democrats absolutely none- except this: they are really committed to nihilism.

Lots of coincidences.  Maybe it is a just a coincidence, or I am making more of an impact than my audience numbers would suggest.

On Romney's victory and the question of Bain

Did the Bain issue hurt Romney, or did it help?  It seems not to have had much of an effect.  Romney got his 39%, which is actually fairly high.  His numbers improved as the night went on.  The conservative candidates, at one time during the evening had more votes, but at the end, Romney pulled away.  The "Not-Romney" forces, on the conservative side, suffered a defeat.  Did the Bain issue play a part in that outcome?

Probably not.  Gingrich's criticism didn't seem to play well in New Hampshire.  But it would also seem to need more discussion before making any definite conclusions.  For example, Gingrich said that Bain put in 30 million and took out 180 million.  That needs more "meat on the bones" in terms of discussion in order to determine if that is a fair characterization of what happened with that transaction.

So, as a bit of speculation, here's what I thought of:  let's compare Bain with a hypothetical used car lot.  Let's say that this hypothetical car lot will buy clunkers and restore them to marketability.  Let's also say that some of the clunkers were really better than they seemed and the customers were happy with their purchase.  On the other hand, others broke down soon after purchase and the customers were mad about it.  In such a hypothetical as this, is it a good defense to say that's the way the cookie crumbles?  Not to say that there should be any interference by the government, just questioning whether it is good business practice to sell stuff at inflated prices which could have a high risk of being junk.

A better defense would be to "let the buyer beware".  The cars were not in top condition to begin with.  They had to be refurbished in order to be put back onto the market.  As long as the buyer knew this in advance, the risk was on him.  If the deal went bad, then it is okay to say that's how the old cookie crumbled.  As long as there was no deception, no fraud, and everything was on the up and up.

You don't want to make the case that used cars cannot be refurbished and sold.  A salvage operation is a valuable and useful enterprise.  But you do want to make the case that there shouldn't be any fraud.  As long as everybody knows what the deal is, then freedom dictates that they be allowed to do this type of business without some busybody's interference.

Romney's best defense in the Bain case could be that it was an honest business transaction.  Bain found companies in bad shape and put them back into salable condition.  It appears to be a salvage operation.  In salvage operations, there can be no long term warranty because there's too much risk.  What happened after the sale is really not their responsibility, as long as the buyer understands that there can be no warranty.  It is up to the buyer to do their own due diligence before the sale and not cry foul afterwards when it was their own mistake.

So far as I know, nobody is crying fraud.  It is only a matter of who's responsibility it was for the company to have failed.  Did Bain take more value out of the company, or did Bain put more value back in than they took out?  If they put more in than they took out, then the fault didn't lie with them for the bankruptcy.  The fault lie with the buyers if they couldn't continue adding to the value of the company, or if they paid too much.  In those two cases, which includes no fraud, then it is fair to say that this is how the old cookie crumbles sometimes.

The question of fraud is the point that has not been established, one way or another.  If they added more value, the failure of the company afterwards needs further explanation, for it may not have been anything that Bain did that caused it, since it could have happened after they had disposed of the company.

Or Bain may not have been a salvage operation.  It needs more discussion.  Gingrich may be wrong, or he may not be.  There's not enough information.  One thing is sure, just saying the situation cannot be questioned because- "that's capitalism"- is not good enough.


Morning Jay: How Romney Won New Hampshire | The Weekly Standard

Gingrich has alienated voters in New Hampshire, according to his numbers. That may be a rush to judgment. Question: Did Limbaugh have anything to do with that?


Tactical voters' went for Romney in Granite State

key quote:
But he's going to have competition, which is good for him and for the Republican Party, and victory is not assured. He still has to earn it.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Romney is going to win New Hampshire, as expected

Nearly half of the vote is counted as of this writing, at nearly 8:30 central time.

Now that this primary is over, I'll make a few quick observations:
  • Gingrich may have suffered a bit for his criticism of Romney
  • Santorum and Gingrich are nearly tied.
  • Romney added to his vote total from 2008.
  • Huntsman nearly got as many votes as Santorum and Gingrich combined.
  • The Not-Romney conservative coalition, sans Ron Paul, won again.
There is still significant opposition to Romney.  If conservatives can coalesce around just one candidate, they might be able to win.  But there is little time, and South Carolina looms directly ahead.

iPad Falls From Edge of Space and Survives!  h/t Behind the Black

Comments:  Looks like my video trip to the edge of space.  Does that make me a trendsetter?  Or is somebody just a copy catter?  (me too, cuz I wuzn't first)

Selling out capitalism in the defense of Romney and Bain

It’s sad to see so many in the Republican Party so incapable of distinguishing between economic and political arguments.

I thought the video with Newt Gingrich explaining his point of view was very good.  A question that should be asked is this:  what do you do about it?   If you prohibit that, what else do you prohibit?  It doesn't always follow that you improve a situation by simply changing it.  You have to know why you are changing it and why it matters.  It is not enough to just say that it doesn't look right.

For example, it may not look right to charge more for something than what you paid for it, but if that wasn't allowed, the free enterprise system would be impossible.  It doesn't look right sometimes, but what reason does someone have to do something if they aren't allowed to profit from it?

This is not to defend Bain, but to question a superficial examination of the issue.  That's what could happen when something gets politicized.

Obama 2012: 'Osama Bin Laden Will Never Again Walk the Face of This Earth. That’s What Change Is.'

The Weekly Standard

The very core of what this country stands for is on the line -- the basic promise that no matter what you look like, no matter where you come from, this is a place where you could make it if you try.


Nobody is guaranteed success.  Nobody should be guaranteed success.  This is the place where "you could make it if you try".   The difference is the difference between could and should.  This statement doesn't show it, but the Democrats act as if the mere act of trying is enough to guarantee success.  If you don't make it, somebody has done you wrong.

You can have the opportunity to succeed, but it is a whole different subject to say that you should be guaranteed to "make it if you try".  It has never been promised -- not in the Declaration of Independence, nor in the Constitution itself.

So, what exactly is this "basic promise" that Obama is talking about?  And why does he believe that Republicans want to take away the opportunity to succeed?  If anything, the Republicans are about giving opportunity, not taking it away.  If anything, Democrats are about taking opportunity away, because they demand that nobody experience the pain of failure.  If there's no risk of failure, there can be no gain of success.  If there can be no gain of success, there can be no opportunity.  You have to risk something in order to succeed.  It can't be given to you.

If anything, this blog stands testimony to the fact that effort does not guarantee success.  But you don't see me crying and begging the government to do something about it cause it is just so unfair.  Boo freaking hoo!

Obama is all wet on this one.

BREAKING: 10th Circuit Court Of Appeals Declares Oklahoma’s Sharia Ban Unconstitutional

BREAKING: 10th Circuit Court Of Appeals Declares Oklahoma’s Sharia Ban Unconstitutional: pThe 10th Circuit Court Of Appeals struck down Oklahoma’s ban on Sharia law today, declaring that the Sooner State’s move violated the United States Constitution. In November 2010, Oklahoma voters approved a ballot initiative to prevent Sharia law from being used in the state, something that even the measure’s defenders could not identify ever happening. [...]/p


Given the lack of evidence of any concrete problem, any harm Appellants seek to remedy with the proposed amendment is speculative at best and cannot support a compelling interest.


This is not the same as saying that a ban on sharia is unconstitutional.  It only says that no harm has been demonstrated, therefore there is no reason for relief.

Sharia needs to be studied and this should in no way be considered an endorsement for sharia.  That is how this decision should be seen.  Unfortunately, that is not probably how it will be reported.

New CO2 Sucker Could Help Clear the Air

ScienceNOW h/t Beyond the Black

  • Researchers in California have produced a cheap plastic capable of removing large amounts of carbon dioxide (CO2) from the air.
  • As easily recoverable fossil fuels become scarce in the decades to come, he suggests that society could harvest atmospheric CO2 and combine it with hydrogen stripped from water to generate a methanol fuel for myriad uses. [ Comment: perhaps a way could be found to harvest carbon dioxide and make methanol useful for hydrogen fuel cells, that appears to be an idea springing from this]
  • They turned to polyethylenimine (PEI), a cheap polymer that is a decent CO2 absorber.
  • Once saturated with CO2, the PEI-silica combo is easy to regenerate. [Comment:  this may be useful in grabbing carbon dioxide in space and then regenerate it when you want to reuse it and the carbon dioxide]
  • The polymer also degrades at high temperatures ...  To overcome that limitation, Prakash says the USC team is now working to produce high surface-area PEIs that are better at taking the heat. [ Comment: perhaps a way to cool down its environment so that it doesn't degrade]

Hydrogen combined with carbon dioxide can make methanol, which can be used to carry the hydrogen for use in fuel cells.  So, this may be a way to recycle carbon dioxide as an energy carrier.

For example, when reforming methanol in order to make hydrogen, you need to collect the carbon dioxide.  This is a method that can store the carbon dioxide until it can be regenerated and recycled back into methanol.  It will close the carbon dioxide loop.

In order to obtain the hydrogen for making methanol, you can use this recently discovered catalyst.

A speculative notion of how this may work in practice:
  1. A large forest of these artificial trees made with this CO2 sucker could harvest the carbon from the atmosphere.  This could work at the sea because it needs to be in a humid place.
  2. Secondly, you could use the sea as a source for water so as to split it for use as hydrogen.  The catalyst mentioned above could be used to make the hydrogen thusly obtained more economical.
  3. An energy source would still be necessary in order to make the hydrogen. Thorium would work nicely.
  4. Combine the hydrogen and carbon dioxide and make methanol, aka Sabatier Reaction.
  5. Ship the methanol to distribution locations, where it is electrolyzed or reformed back into hydrogen and carbon dioxide.  The sucker could store the carbon again for future reuse.
  6. The hydrogen could work in fuel cells, which would make water and electricity.
  7. The carbon and water loops could be closed.
  8. Although the energy source could be nuclear as in the Thorium cycle, this also could be made to work with non nuclear sources of energy, such as solar.

Or the energy source in #3 above could be a cold fusion cell, like the Rossi E-cat.

    Change of pace

    The blog is going through changes because I am experiencing changes.  For the last year and a few months, I've been pretty much hacking away at this keyboard with a post about the things I'm interested in.  But this cannot continue forever, things will have to change.

    I had the luxury of posting whatever I wanted as well as the liberty to do what I wanted.  These can't last and won't last.  It all had to come to an end at some point.  Everything does.

    But this is not to mean that I will close down the blog.  But other priorities will have to come first.  Therefore posting will be lighter than what has been the case.  It may be days when I don't have a post.  This change of pace won't necessarily happen today, but it is in the works.  Look for it, in case you were wondering about what was going on, or what wasn't going on.

    Not that the blog had that many readers, but there are a few.

    The problem of getting a bigger audience seems to be one that I can't solve.  I wish it were different, but that is the cold, hard truth here.  That's why the blog has to go on lower priority.  I can't afford to spend so much time on something that doesn't have a prospect of success on terms that I need it to be.

    So, posting will be light until further notice.  It could be permanent, but something may change which could allow another shot at this.   Until that time...

    "I'm just an old city cowboy tryin' not to fall outta his saddle."

    Monday, January 9, 2012

    Bain Capital

    For the record, I don't give a s***.   It is a private company and they have the right to do whatever.  Once that ends, you may as say that private enterprise is over and done.

    I can see the point though, of the criticisms, but the remedy is common sense.  When common sense fails, nothing can work.

    The point being, that if Romney's outfit had handled people properly this may not have any political impact.  On the other hand, if there's really was no harm, how can there be any foul?

    The bottom line: did Romney's actions add value and for who?  He brought the issue up himself and it is fair game.

    Seems like Mama said don't do this

    A bungee cord snapped, but it isn't fatal.   Are we having fun yet?

    Flooding in H Town

    Got this off the local TV affiliate site,

    Power went out briefly because of the thunderstorms.

    Another Republican Suicide Mission?

    A Voice of Sanity -

    by Robert Ringer - Monday, January 9, 2012

    The Iowa caucuses spotlighted everything that’s wrong with politics in this country … everything that’s wrong with a republic devolving into a democracy … everything that’s wrong with entitlement-driven America.

    Media cheerleaders valiantly tried to create a Super Bowl-like atmosphere around the Republican presidential candidates’ first test in Iowa, but I was so turned off that I watched very little of the coverage on election night. I make it a practice not to see bad movies more than once, and this was a very bad political movie I had seen many times over the years.

    It’s a movie that always has a bad ending, one in which a villain disguised as a conservative finagles his way into becoming the Republican nominee, then usually loses the general election because the other side exposes him as a weak-kneed charlatan. But occasionally he wins, and shortly after he is sworn into office, he steps into a phone booth, strips off his conservative costume, and dons his bright-red collectivist cape.

    (Of course, since there are no more phone booths to speak of, this year’s nominee may have to settle for a restroom — which, when you think about it, is a much more suitable environment for someone who is full of … well, you get the idea.)

    The nominating process has nothing to do with candidates convincing voters that they believe in strictly adhering to the Constitution; nothing to do with implementing major spending cuts; nothing to do with stopping the government from bossing people around and invading their personal lives. It’s all about campaign strategy, showmanship, fundraising, and organization.

    So, as Iowa caucus goers held their noses and voted, SuperMitt managed to emerge victorious — by a grand total of eight votes — over someone who was last in line to be the anti-Romney candidate. The idea that Rick Santorum did something miraculous is just more media hype. In truth, his rise was a direct result of the fall of the first four anti-Romney’s who were in line in front of him.

    Santorum has been his usual abrasive self throughout the campaign, seemingly intent on challenging Barack Obama for Whiner of the Year Award. And since no one paid much attention to him until recently, he was able to hide a slew of sins from conservative voters, including voting to raise the debt ceiling five times, voting for George Bush’s No Child Left Behind monstrosity, and voting for the budget-busting prescription-drug entitlement program.

    In addition, Santorum said he was proud of the earmarks he was able to get inserted into various pieces of legislation over the years, and, worst of all, he supported progressive Arlen Specter’s reelection over conservative Pat Toomey, which resulted in a crucial vote for Obamacare.

    There are probably no less than a dozen Republicans sitting out these primaries who would have had a far better chance of being knighted the non-Romney candidate than Rick Santorum. The Republicans’ attraction to death wishes continues to be baffling.

    If Ron Paul can’t pull off the mother of all upsets, Republicans will be on their way to sending yet another progressive member of their party to do battle with the evildoers in the other wing of the Demopublican Party. And, most likely, that will be MittMan, who, after all, has now been endorsed by none other than John McCain. Nothing makes masochistic Republicans feel more secure than seeing their presidential nominee endorsed by their last failed presidential candidate, especially when he’s an uber progressive.

    Contrary to what some Republicans would like voters to believe, their field of candidates is pathetic. So much so that it’s possible, albeit not likely, that a big-name Republican could still decide to enter the race even after missing Iowa and New Hampshire — and perhaps South Carolina. Conservative stalwarts such as Paul Ryan and Mitch Daniels must certainly know that they could shoot right to the top if they decided to get in.

    And, though I hate to admit it, the liberals’ favorite Republican, Mike Huckabee, would absolutely overwhelm this field of candidates if he were to enter the race. But, as I’ve said before, I think he has wisely chosen to make his hundred million or so first, then run for president when he’s in his sixties. What he doesn’t understand is that there may not be an election by the time he’s ready to run.

    So, dear reader, right now we are staring at a professional political scoundrel, Mitt Romney, as the most likely Republican nominee. This is a man who couldn’t handle simple, straightforward questions from the terrifyingly ferocious Bret Baier. Which makes one wonder how in the world he would handle the second coming of Saul Alinsky, who will be thanking him throughout the campaign for creating the perfect model for Obamacare.

    Oh, and one more thing. If Obama swallows his pride and has Hillary and Joe Biden switch jobs, as is being rumored in some quarters, no one will be able to beat him. Confused, unprincipled independents would flock to Hillary as though she were the second coming of Eleanor Roosevelt. Four years of Obama followed by eight years of Hillary (assuming Obama didn’t succeed in implementing a dictatorship) would make the U.S. look not so much like Europe, but more like the former Soviet Union.

    I hope nothing I’ve said here will prevent you from enjoying all the media hype over tonight’s New Hampshire primary. Just sit back and savor it, the same as you would a good Marx Brothers’ movie.

    You have permission to reprint this article so long as you place the following wording at the end of the article:

    Copyright © 2011 Robert Ringer
    ROBERT RINGER is a New York Times #1 bestselling author and host of the highly acclaimed Liberty Education Interview Series, which features interviews with top political, economic, and social leaders. He has appeared on Fox News, Fox Business, The Tonight Show, Today, The Dennis Miller Show, Good Morning America, The Lars Larson Show, ABC Nightline, and The Charlie Rose Show, and has been the subject of feature articles in such major publications as Time, People, The Wall Street Journal, Fortune, Barron's, and The New York Times.



    He thinks Huntsman is horrible.  Also, Romney won, he said.  Whoop de friggin' do.

    Barone: ABC debate (corrected)

    Sometimes you just get outranked.  Here's Barone putting the stamp of approval on "Mittens".
    At about 10:28pm tonight, as Mitt Romney pivoted from a question on tax loopholes and started in with, “the real issue is vision,” I had recorded this thought in my notes, “He just clinched the nomination.”  [emphasis mine]
    Puleeze.  I swear this is just what I feared.  People would just ooh and aah all over his slippery answers.  But what do you get when you buy what he's selling?  Do you even know?  Romney's vision?  What vision?

    Romney’s performance throughout showed discipline, preparation and also the ability to adapt to circumstances in a way that was superior to that of any other candidate.
    Yeah, but what exactly did he say?  Preparation?  Are you serious?
    1965 Griswold v. Connecticut case which, on ridiculously spurious constitutional grounds, overturned that state’s unenforced law (Massachusetts still had a similar one on the books) purporting to ban the sale of contraceptives.

    Why was the law unenforced?  If it was unenforced, how did it get in front of the court?  Answer:  The left deliberately and blatantly had the law violated in order to get somebody arrested and charged so that it could end up in court.

    Why in the world would they want to do that?  Answer:  In order to get the result that they were seeking, which was a ruling on a right to privacy.  Sounds like a plan.  But what is the defense?  Was it not the same kind of slippery, ineffectual, unprepared and lazy, slipshod, halfhearted defense that we saw from Romney in the debate?

    I mean, what does it take for this distinguished member of the commentariat to make a few observations and deductions?  This was a blatant attack on our culture and their response then as now was tepid and ineffectual.  But, is this a reason to be so impressed with Romney?  For goodness sakes, why???

    Is it because he looks good on TV and they can't pin him down?  Is that now the standard for politicians to strive for, to be a slick Willy without the Bimbo eruptions?

    the right scoop: Glenn Beck debunks the Ron Paul crazy

    Upon the recommendation of Ann Barnhardt's post of Jan. 6th, I read the right scoop post and then listened to Glenn Beck's rant.  Hey, let's call things by their right names.  It was a rant.  Not to knock rants, by the way.  I was on the verge on making one just like it.  The money quote here, lifted from Ann's website:
    "Our talks with the infidel West and our conflict with them ultimately revolve around one issue—one that demands our total support, with power and determination, with one voice—and it is: Does Islam, or does it not, force people by the power of the sword to submit to its authority corporeally if not spiritually? Yes. There are only three choices in Islam: [1] either willing submission [conversion]; or [2] payment of the jizya, through physical, though not spiritual, submission to the authority of Islam; or [3] the sword — for it is not right to let him [an infidel] live. The matter is summed up for every person alive: Either submit, or live under the suzerainty of Islam, or die."
    --Osama Bin Laden
    (The Al Qaeda Reader, p. 42)

    Yes, I know Paul is off the reservation when it comes to the question of Islam. But Glenn Beck also rightly points out that Paul is right on other questions. The question for me is this: what is the most important thing? Because you are going to have to do some triage here. You are going to have to prioritize what you think can be saved, or if anything can be saved at all.

    As for my own rant, well, I wonder if I can take it cuz I ain't a young man anymore. This stuff can give you a stroke or heart attack if you really let it get to you and I am not exaggerating. If you're dead, you can't do much. How much can you afford to care? In my own case, I have to decide that issue and decide it quick. If I were to let my passions overtake me, well, that could be all she wrote. You wonder about that when you listen to some of the nonsense that comes out of certain people and whether or not you can really make any difference whatsoever.

    No, the thing I wanted to rant about, well, I'll just tone it down. I can't afford to go nuts over this. But I've covered part of this already on previous posts. The right is just making excuses about the media bias. That's one. You can't blame it all on the media. Reagan beat the media. If you are intelligent about it, you can beat them. I also pointed out how the Griswold decision brought forth the Roe v Wade and abortion. So this is where I could really get started on a rant. But, I'll pull my punches just a bit.

    You see, the whole deal is with Romney not being able to answer the question gets to the point on how much does he really care about it? If he did, he would be able to answer it with a killer answer. Instead, he can't, and the conservatives are booing Stephanopolous, while they should cheering him on. That's because Steph just did them a great favor by serving up a hanging curve ball right there in the middle of the strike zone. Romney should have hit it out of the park, but he whiffed.  But the so called conservatives don't seem to have the snap to understand why Romney whiffed and why the rest of the field dropped the ball too.

    Griswold relates to "right to privacy" and as I mentioned before, that is a logical inconsistency. There is no absolute right to privacy. The constitution provides for the interests of the government in finding criminals, if there is probable cause. The interests of the government trumps rights to privacy in that instance. But not only there, but in other ways. I also mentioned another way, with respect to the tax law, in which it is one example that the right should have been on like a "duck on a june bug". There's no right to privacy at all in financial transactions. The reason being that the government has an interest in collecting taxes. If they can't peer into your finances, they can't enforce the tax code. Therefore, the right to privacy is not absolute.

    But why should their not be a right to privacy in contraceptive cases, nor in abortion cases? For the same reasons as for financial transactions. If the government has an interest in the matter. So what's the government interest in this matter? To have as many abortions as possible? To reduce the birth rate down to less than replacement levels so that immigration is the only way to replenish the population? Is that what the government really wants? Or would the government really rather have American citizens having babies so they don't have to import new citizens because the native born citizens aren't too interested in reproducing themselves in order to have a new generation of Americans. Seems like a legitimate government interest, if only somebody would bother to articulate it.

    So what exactly is the so called conservatives doing about all these women who get pregnant and for whatever reason decide they don't want the kid? Do you just preach to them about morality or do you do something practical in order to help these women do the right thing in the moral sense, as well as the right thing for the country in the long run? You see, I think it is a lot like Romney. They like to say the words, but they don't like to actually do anything about it.

    And you wonder why I would want to be on a rant? Here we are with these problems and what exactly is anything anybody is doing about them? That's what gets my dander up and makes me crazy.  What are you prepared to do?  Anything?  Or would you just rather talk and let things continue as they are?

    We wouldn't be in half the messes we are in if they would do some common sense things in order to improve matters. But I think they are like Romney. They would like to just say a few words to make some shallow people happy for the moment, but when it actually comes to being the time to do something concrete about the problem, they are nowhere to be found.

    We wouldn't be having the problems with the Islamic countries if we were taking care of our business. But we are off fighting someone else's wars.

    For all of Paul's craziness, I think he has a point. But maybe not a very good one. Still, he is consistent and he is sincere. Which is more than I can say about Romney.

    Not saying I'd vote for Paul. But the so called conservatives had better get their act together because there's not much time.

    Sunday, January 8, 2012

    Redstate:Politics As Entertainment, Endless GOP Debates Edition

    I'm getting the feeling that conservatives are using media bias as a crutch-
    Candidates such as Herman Cain, Michele Bachmann and Jon Huntsman would likely have never had the slightest chance of success without the debates to give them a hearing.
    No.  There's nothing wrong with Cain or Huntsman from what I could see from the debates.  Bachmann may have done better if she wouldn't ankle bite the flavor of the month candidate at each debate.

    If there was a baseball-style scorecard to keep, we’d be keeping it. We count the number of gaffes, one-liners and figurative body blows as if we were tracking a pitcher’s ERA or a goaltender’s GAA.

    Cain didn't get taken out because of his debate performances.  If anyone did on that score, it would have been Perry.

    The consistently poor debate moderation has not helped matters.

    I've heard some complaints about the moderation on Saturday and Sunday's debates.  I thought Gregory did a fine job.  I don't like Stephanopolous, but his question on the Griswold decision actually gave Romney a chance to hit it out of the park, but he flubbed it.

     I would place my bets on an intentional effort to poison the GOP candidate field.

    Paranoia.  If you can't hit the ball out of the park even when the "pitcher" throws you a hanging curve, then you must not be a good hitter.  Don't cry foul when the fault lies within yourself.

    The concern this election season is not the death of culture, it’s the death of our nation.

    Yes, and if your leaders don't care enough to change the process in a sensible way so as to yield the benefits that you are claiming to want to achieve, then don't blame the media.  You knew what they were before it all started.

    What could have been done?  Invite the candidates who met your qualifications to a debate which would be moderated by one of your own.  For example, have a debate with a few of the conservative candidates and then choose between them.  That individual would then represent the conservative wing of the party in subsequent debates amongst the complete field.

    But if you are going to allow the liberals to moderate a debate from an entire field and then complain later that a moderate won the nomination, then you seem to me be "nothing but a hound dog crying all the time".

    Meet the Press Debate


    Just watched the debate and it was considerably better than the one last night. I will write an update for this later if anything comes up that I want to discuss.

    My overall impression is that any of them could win and also any of them could lose. Electability shouldn't be an issue.

    If you reduce each candidacy down to one word, what would it be? I will try to answer that later.


    Here's the one word description of each candidate.  I added the title of "Mr." to it, since there isn't any more Mrs. Bachmann.

    Santorum:  Mr. Conservative.  Why?  Why not?  That's who he is.  Is it enough?  Will anybody care?
    Gingrich:  Mr. Solutions.  Newt has a whole lot of ideas, but maybe not an idea about how to solve his biggest problem- getting elected, since nobody seems to care.
    Huntsman:  Mr. Trustworthy.  He wants to bring trust back, but in order to do what, exactly?  You know you can trust him to do something, though.
    Perry:  Mr. Cowboy.  He's gonna ride into Washington and get all the guys wearing black hats.  As long as his brain doesn't freeze first.
    Romney: Mr. Slippery.  Nobody's gonna pin him down on anything.  If anyone tries, he'll slip away like a slippery fish.  But is he the big fish in the little pond?  Or will the big shark gobble him up in November?
    Paul:  Mr. Constitution.  In the days when Texas still belonged to Mexico, Mexican officials were worried about Americans who carried their constitutions in their hip pockets.  Most of the politicians these days are using the paper for another purpose.

    Romney Trips On Contraception Question: ‘It’s Working Just Fine, Just Leave It Alone’

    This is not a big deal to me and I didn't get the point until I read this post.

    So what is the big deal?  I think the big deal is that it was a court decision that led directly to Roe v Wade.  That's what Stephanopolous was getting at and Romney evaded the question.  Then, surprising, he said he was against Roe v. Wade.  If he was against Roe v Wade, he has to be against Griswold.

    Griswold was about a "right to privacy".  It relates to the question being asked, which is what the court dealt with in its decision.  It was the right to privacy that led to Roe v Wade.

    So, is the evasion by Romney because of ignorance, or is it because he is dishonest?  I don't mean by dishonesty that Romney is a crook, he is just not a candid man by nature.

    After looking through the comments, most of it seemed to be from the left.  So, I gather from this that Romney is going to have to come up with a different line in order to get some of their vote, but it probably won't work.  They, meaning the Democrats, are loaded for bear on this one.

    Incidently, the Democrats can wax indignant over the "right to privacy", but they are hypocrites.  If the "right to privacy" was absolute, there could be no IRS.  And you know that the Democrats must, must, must have the IRS.

    Why couldn't the IRS exist with an absolute right to privacy?  Because there is no right to privacy in financial transaction.  If there were, the IRS couldn't enforce the revenue tax codes.  If the Democrats really believed in a right to privacy, they would favor the abolition of the IRS.

    That would be a killer argument, but you can pretty much count on the Republicans not to make it.

    Pigs Fly New Hampshire Debate Tweets of the Night


    While reading this, I get a thought about what it seemed like to me:  Theatre of the Absurd.

    Lest you think this is too disrespectful, let me explain by asking this question:  What the hell was the point last night?  What the hell was anybody watching last night?

    I respect the professor, but his play by play discussion left me with that impression.   My take was that there was only a few moments of light in what appeared to be mostly opaque performance by all of the participants.

    This may also seem like aid and comfort to Democrats, but that would be a mistake.  I give the Republicans some credit- I give Democrats absolutely none- except this:  they are really committed to nihilism.

    The ideas I express here are somewhat half baked, I must admit.  I am in a bit of a hurry because I want to watch the debate (replayed on network TV), which begins shortly.  The thoughts here can't be developed adequately because of this time constraint.

    But it all may fit in my idea of humor.  Really, if you didn't laugh at all of this nonsense, you'd either cry or go completely insane.