Saturday, June 22, 2013

PRISM Costs Lives

Bob Zubrin, NRO

Well, if we use the Department of Transportation’s high-end rate for allowable expenditures — $3 million per life — then $10 billion should save 3,333 lives. Has PRISM provided such a service?

The answer is no....Harvard researchers termed inefficiency of this sort “statistical murder,” since if the funds had been used in a more cost-effective manner, many thousands of additional lives might have been saved.


The expenditure of vast sums of money does not necessarily lead to good outcomes.  But that is what Congress typically tries to assert as truth.

The Price of Amnesty


Far from being the slam dunk some of its supporters claim it to be, the CBO report suggests that the Gang of Eight bill would not solve the problem of illegal immigration but instead would only reinforce the precedent for “solving” it again in the future via the magic wand of yet another amnesty.


So, why are these GOP senators so hot to trot to commit political suicide by supporting this bill?

If Cornyn votes for this bill, or my representative, they are finished as far as I'm concerned.

Zimmerman judge: No testimony on 911 call screams



Interesting to read the comments.

One of them said there was evidence that Trayvon Martin was a thug, basically.  Now, the court is suppressing that evidence.

However, in a case such as this, it may come down to a matter of whose word is more believable---Martin's or Zimmerman's.  In that case, if the prosecution makes it a case of Zimmerman's character, they will be opening the door for a examination of Martin.  They don't have much of a case if it gets to that.  Their only hope is a weak judge and the media hammering the case so that there's pressure for a conviction.  To me, that is all they've got.

Border agents to be sentenced for smuggling


The immigration bill says hire more border agents.  Here's the hole in that argument.

There should also be E-verify and there should never be any pathway to citizenship.  The Democrats are only interested in their votes.

Next Big Future: The United States Has Forgotten how to make bridge...

Next Big Future: The United States Has Forgotten how to make bridge...: The Verrazano-Narrows Bridge was a feat of American engineering when it was built across New York's harbor in the 1960s. Now, it's ...


The USA has forgotten a lot of things.  Hopefully, it is not too late to learn again.

Andrew Carnegie: The Richest Man in the World

The thing I remember about Carnegie from my history lessons was his drive to cut costs.

This didn't always go over well with people, as this documentary shows.

However, the principle holds true.  If costs are kept as low as possible, market share can be increased.  This is a method for success and ultimate domination in any field.

If you deviate from this principle, you will pay the price.  America is paying that price now.  That's why energy must be at the lowest possible cost.  With cheap energy, anything is possible.

This documentary means to be critical of Carnegie.  But I use it because it shows this principle.  Whether you agree with it or not is a matter for your own conscience.

It won't work this time, too much debt, consumers are tapped

David Stockman's Non-Recovery Part 4: The Bernanke Bubble

People that Won’t Survive SHTF

The Modern Survivalist  | June 11, 2013 | Fernando Aguirre  ( Free Republic )


I can relate to this story in the opening paragraph.  Not too long ago, a guy on a bicycle crossed the street right in front of me, and he didn't even look first.  If I hadn't been watching him the whole time, I would certainly have hit him.  These are the kind of people who won't survive when the excrement hits the recirculation device.

Loophole in Gang of 8 bill gives Napolitano wide discretion to allow almost anyone to stay in U.S.

Legal Insurrection


Harry Reid is pushing this through in a big hurry because the provisions are so muddied up as to be incomprehensible.   By the time the find out what is in this bill, it will be too late to change it.

I really hate to say this, but our government is getting into the very bad habit of acting dishonorably.

Ann Barnhardt has a good post

I suggest going to her site and read it.

By the way, there's a song that comes to mind.  Perhaps it is not exactly the best choice to mention it, so I won't give out its title here.  Just to say that there's a few words that are applicable this morning as I write this---and it is this:  Everybody is looking for something.

If you are reading this, what are you looking for?  Would you know it if you found it?

One more thing before I do some chores this morning.

I've gone over the video that I put up the other night.  The one about Napoleon Hill and the Science of Success.  The thing I want to mention is how well done it is.  It is another thing I recommend to anyone who is sincerely looking for something.  Chances are, there's something there that you can find that will be of use to you, even if you aren't looking.

Friday, June 21, 2013

NEWS FROM MARS: NASA and Curiosity’s Radiation Results.

Bob Zubrin and Space News via Glenn Reynolds


risk estimates themselves are extremely conservative and undoubtedly overstated, because they are based on the “linear hypothesis” that posits equal risk to small doses accumulated over time to large doses taken all at once. This is clearly false. For example, a person can drink a glass of wine every night for a year without harmful effect, but drinking 100 glasses (let alone 365) in one night would be fatal. Yet, based on the linear hypothesis, one would falsely predict a 1 percent chance of death from a single glass. The linear hypothesis makes the same wild error in purposely overestimating radiation risk. [emphasis added]


That irrational way of looking at risk is also present with respect to radiation from power plants.  People seem to go nuts over this.

Rare Apple 1 parts go on auction

Jobs created the apple one computer many years before the mac came out.

It took all those years to make a breakthrough.

The graphical user interface was copied by Microsoft which was called windows.

Without this interface, the world wide web as we know it could not exist.

Think about that.

Empty promise

Evidently, this bill will get enough votes.

But it does not solve any problems.

Typical DC.

What to do with astrodome?

Put a big ferris wheel inside.  Make the roof clear again, so the sun can shine in.  Move the aquarium downtown inside the dome.

Tesla battery swap initiative

If there's a will, there's a way.

Rand Paul introduced amendment

No new pathway to citizenship, it claims.

Research 101 (Part 2): Customizing Your News


Interesting, but I don't know if I'll use it.  I decided to keep this post as I found a link to a browser that I may want to start using.

Napoleon Hill Laws of Success Full Length

Andrew Carnegie inspired Napoleon Hill to make the Science of Success his life's work.

Is it too old fashioned for people today?  All things considered, what would you prefer--- to be rich or poor?  Would you prefer success or failure?  It would seem that the questions answer themselves.  Of course you'd prefer to be rich and successful.  Who wouldn't be?

Do these ideas work?  I think his ideas could work, but it may be hard to apply the ideas immediately to your own situation.  I'd say you have to find your inspiration, then you can proceed.

I wish I could say that it has worked for me personally, as I've tried to apply to them to my own situation.  I wonder what would Hill say if I asked him how I have not achieved much of anything in my own lifetime.  The answer may be quite simple and can be found pretty early in this video.

Fed lives in a fantasy world.

Guest Post: Fed's Economic Projections - Myth Vs. Reality (Jun 2013)

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Ah! Gold takes a big hit ( along with stocks )

Yes, it seems predictable.  If there's a big hit on stocks, there's likely to be a big hit on metals.

I kinda figured as much.

So, do we go back to a deflation/inflation argument?   There may be a school of thought that would say that both asset classes are in bubbles.  So, if there's a drop in one, there's likely to be a drop in the other.

My thinking follows a different train.  I think paper assets are in a bubble.  Gold can resume its climb like it did in 2008 and 2009.  But it may take a big hit before resuming its rally.

I noticed that oil hasn't changed much.  In 2008, it plunged.

Radiation graphics comparison with Mars mission

Log based scale.  I hate that.

Failure to cure same sex attraction

I would have to agree that they were doing more harm than good.  They were trying to cure homosexuals, but that must come from within.  They try to turn criminals around too, but that oftentimes fails.

What recovery?

These people are delusional.

Social Disaster --- Mark Farner ( 1977 )

From his debut solo album directly after the break up of Grand Funk.

The song seems prophetic today.  Listen and see if you agree.

Steve Jobs and Xerox story as applied to nuclear energy

In Gordon McDowell's video I put up last night, there's a short segment about Apple Computer and its connection with Xerox.

Basically, Xerox gave away its graphical user interface to Jobs, and Jobs adapted it into something that made the personal computer more user friendly.  Prior to that, computers were technological curiosities, only meant for nerds.  After taking Xerox's technology, and adapting it to computers, did the personal computer become a household product.  Xerox gave up the store because they simply did not see the potential in the technology that they had under their own noses.

This is a good analogy to what the USA has done with its molten-salt reactor technology.  Like Xerox, it has given away technology to the Chinese because this country simply does not see the value of the technology under its own nose.  I believe the Chinese will do with the molten-salt reactor what Jobs did with the personal computer.  China will make nuclear energy more user-friendly and it will become mainstream.  As for the USA, we will miss the boat.

The high cost of blindness.

I remember reading about how to be successful from a guy who studied the richest men in American history.  He had a section that advises the reader to "learn to see".  You must learn to see opportunities before you can take advantage of them.  To be blind is to relegate yourself to poverty.  If that is becoming true for Americans, our stint on the top is coming to an end.  This story is an example why this is true.

Next Big Future: Elon Musk will keep Spacex Private until the Goal ...

Next Big Future: Elon Musk will keep Spacex Private until the Goal ...: Elon Musk has said that there will be no initial public offering (IPO) of SpaceX stock before humans have begun to settle Mars. “No near te...


Whoa!  Settlements on Mars could take decades, if it ever happens.

This doesn't sound like confidence to me.

Facts and Figures on why this recovery is a mirage

David Stockman's Non-Recovery Part 3: Borrowed Recovery On Borrowed Time

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Kirk Sorensen on Thorium & Solid-vs-Liquid Nuclear Fuel

Nuclear energy is a complex subject. How do you tell this story without being too dry and too technical? Gordon McDowell is working on it.

Quora question

What happens when you react zirconium carbide with water? Anybody?


Somebody answered the question and said that it is inert.

Production of hydrogen driectly from nuclear processes

The idea for this came from the Fukushima explosion.  That explosion was a hydrogen explosion.  Since at high temperature, zirconium will react with water which produces the hydrogen and, thus the explosion, it seemed like a possibility for hydrogen production.

One can get high rates of reaction from temperatures of about 1800 Centigrade or possibly higher with finely divided metal.

A quick read of this pdf file yielded the information for this post.  Sorry for any errors.  I'll look at this again when I have more time.

Musing a bit about the future

If I got my wish, and nuclear power were to take over in the United States, what would it mean?

It may well mean that lots of coal miner jobs would disappear.  It may well mean a lot of oil field worker's jobs may disappear.  This is not something to which I have given thought.  Most likely, there are only a few people who might be happy with what I suggest.  The political aspect of this not only encompasses the fear of radiation, but the loss of blue collar jobs as well.  Not to mention the big wigs who stand to lose big if their industries go obsolete.  In short, nobody likes this except for a few geeks and dreamers.

It seems that in years past, when some new idea made things more efficient, people would enthusiastically adopt it.  That's because a link was set up between progress and higher wages.  That link seems to have been broken.  It may have been broken with the coming of robotics.  There seems to be less and less need for human labor.  The machines are costing people jobs.  Now, technological progress could be seen as an enemy, not a friend.  This could be bringing out the Luddite faction.

And not without reason, mind you.  Unless you can come up with a compelling reason why nuclear is better for lots of people, they are not likely to want to support it.

What could replace the jobs lost to the machines?  Now, I have given that some thought.  I figured if worst came to worst, people could start growing their own food again.  Yes, you heard right.  One of the oldest professions is the growing of food.   It could make a comeback.

But growing food doesn't pay money.  No, but in a world of radical abundance, you may not need much money.  Money may even become obsolete.  After all, markets exist to ration scarcity.  When there's no scarcity, no rationing is needed.  When you strip away everything, you only need the basics.  Food, shelter and clothing.  It doesn't take that much to keep you going.

Not that people should want only a subsistence form of life.  But why work when there's nothing to do and the machines do it all?  How to pass the time?  People could divert themselves in whatever way suits them.  Even the growing of one's own food would not necessarily take a lot of time.  After all, the plants are doing all the work.

But how to pay for things?  You would still have to do something for money, wouldn't you?  Yes, but it could be for only a short time.  The machines would do most of the hard work.  People would do higher level tasks.  If only to supervise machines, let's say.

In a really advanced society, money would be needed less and less.  Prices for goods would be rather low because of extreme abundance.  There would be a lot more time for leisure and self development, if that's your wish.

Life would change.  It may be rather tumultuous in the beginning as all change is, but people would adjust to the new reality.  Things may take a bit getting used to, but people are adaptable.

The real question is whether or not people will allow the change to occur.  Will people hold on to the past, or embrace the future?

Time will answer that question.

Without Waiting for Proof, Edward Snowden Foes Begin Spreading Smears

Free Republic


Curiouser and curiouser.  The immigration bill turns down strong border enforcement measures.  Yes, the measures that would actually work to enhance national security is what they won't do.  But they get their panties in a wad over a leak about this vast spying the NSA does which doesn't even work.  So,  they approve what won't work and reject what will work.

Are these people nuts?

Biden: Senators Who Voted No on Gun Control Want to ‘Revisit’ Issue

Free Republic


Here's another fascinating issue.  Why is the administration so hot for this bill when their trust level in the polls is going down?  People distrust this president more and more, so why are they doing this?  Why would these Senators want to hitch their wagon to this president when he is clearly foundering?

It makes little sense, but there it is.

Rubio Flips Again, Helps Sink Biometric Visa Tracking Amendment

Free Republic


It is fascinating to watch this.  Why would Rubio be a part of this immigration bill?  For someone who seems to have higher political ambitions, what is his motivation to support this bill when it is so very unpopular amongst the base of the party?  ( A quick look through the comments shows that this is true.)

Yet another fascinating thing is why this bill is being considered when immigration is so low on the priorities of the public.  People care about job creation, not this.  In fact, flooding the nation with more immigrants is just exactly the opposite of what people actually want their government to do.  So, why are they doing this?

If Rubio runs for President and gets the nomination, I would consider it proof that the nomination process is rigged.  He has no respect.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Is Gold in a bubble?

There has been some talk in recent times to that effect.  How do you know when you have a bubble?

One way is to measure the price against some sort of standard.

Now, the price of gold topped around 1980 or thereabouts.  About that same time, the Dow Jones average was about the same as an ounce of gold.  Fast forward to the year 2000, and the price ratio was nearly 40 ounces for Dow.   Clearly,. the ratio was very low in 1980 and very high in 2000.  Most folks would agree that gold was in a bubble in 1980 and stocks were in a bubble in 2000.  By that standard, the ratio is now around 10 ounces for the Dow.  That is comparable to times past.  Clearly, by this measurement, gold is not in a bubble.

The ratio with the Dow is about what it was in 1993, just before the big rally in the late nineties.

Keep in mind something, here.  The PE ratio is a way to tell if stocks are becoming expensive.  The PE ratio now isn't extreme, like it was in 2000.  However, it is a bit high.

I did one more check with oil.  The price of oil is expensive today.  So, is the price of oil in a bubble?  It would be if there were an alternative.  Since oil is the only thing to power automobiles, planes, and trains, whatever the market will bear is what it will cost.  The price of oil v the Dow was cheap in 2000.  Oil is relatively expensive v. the Dow today.  The same is true with respect to gold.

Conclusion:  Gold is not in a bubble.  Oil is expensive.

Start the reactor! Free Mars!

It's just a movie, but there are eerie parallels between the Mars political system in that movie and our own system now.   Therefore, start the reactors and free the earth!  The power of the atom can free the earth.

Cheney approves NSA snooping

He says that it is only collecting phone numbers.  If it were only that, they could just obtain a phone book.

So, either the government is wasting a lot of money to do something that would cost nothing, or Cheney is full of crap, and this involves a lot more than just obtaining phone numbers.

Secondly, if the phone book doesn't contain listed numbers, and the NSA is getting unlisted numbers too, then that shows why it is wrong.  People who have unlisted numbers expect privacy.  The government isn't honoring these wishes.  Besides, the government has no probable cause to receive phone numbers at random.  That's the very opposite of probable cause.  According to the 4th amendment to the constitution, they have to have probable cause.

After passing immigration amnesty, Republicans should go on an overseas apology tour

New Jersey Sen. Robert Menendez, went a step further by predicting on CNN’s “State of the Union” that “there’ll never be a road to the White House for the Republican Party” if immigration overhaul fails to pass.

Better to lose than to do that in order to win.  If you win, it has to be for something.  These people are willing to give away everything in order to win.  Such a win might as well be a loss.

If the New Jersey Senator is right, then the only way to win anymore is to get into a bidding war with the Democrats.  This is not a future that anyone should want.

Next Big Future: Could major breakthroughs energy or manufacturing ...

Next Big Future: Could major breakthroughs energy or manufacturing ...: At Overcoming Bias Robin Hanson discussed Eric Drexlers book Radical Abundance. Contrary to steady growth scenarios, much of Drexler’s furt...

Breadwinner jobs have not come back

David Stockman's Non-Recovery Part 1: Post-2009 Faux Prosperity

[PJ Media] Left Loses Big in Citizenship-Verification Supreme Court Case

An alternative view of the Arizona case.

Title: Left Loses Big in Citizenship-Verification Supreme Court Case

Monday, June 17, 2013

Youth starting to doubt Obama

Young and naive.

Creepy stuff NSA is doing

LA Times

Court says no need to prove citizenship before voting


Hand churned butter in less than a minute

Hot cat


You could make electricity with this.  With electricity, you could make hydrogen.  If it is as cheap as Rossi claims, hydrogen could replace gasoline and it would be cheaper.

So, why hasn't it been done?

Free to a Good Home — 1 MW E-Cat Plant

E-cat World


Does not seem free to me.  You have to pay for the electricity and the heat it produces.

The heat isn't enough to do anything with, and it may not even be very cheap.

It may be useful for methane production if it were hotter and it was actually cheap.  I am skeptical.

Space Solar Power: Key to a Livable Planet Earth

NSS Blog


Kirk Sorensen says he studied this and no way it can ever work.

Who do you believe?

I think I will believe Sorensen.

Nuclear power is the only way and nothing new needs to be invented.  Why do people run away from this?

What short phrase best describes the political situation?

Here's a few

The Great Disconnect
The Age of Delusion
The Demographic Death Spiral
The Rise of the American Superstate
The Fall of the American Dollar
The Frivolous Age
The New Dark Age

Perhaps these are too negative, eh?

Here's a few positive ones

Santa Claus Lives
Gold is Worthless, The Dollar Rules Forever
You Really Can Live Forever and Ever
Fat, Dumb, and Happy is the New Cool
Who's Afraid of Rush Limbaugh?
Who needs work when we've got Bernanke?
You needn't be afraid of Big Brother ( as long as you say and do the right things)
Why fear an audit when nobody works anymore?

Isn't life wonderful?

Updated the "new" blog

I used quotes there because it isn't exactly new anymore.

The reason for this post is to inform that no comments will be allowed on the new blog.  It takes too much time to moderate all the comments and there's just too much spam.

Comments are still allowed on this blog.  There aren't that many here, anyway.

Nobody studies the failures

Guest Post: The Unknown Unknowns And Survivor Bias

Ruling-class concerns | RedState

Ruling-class concerns | RedState


Looks like I'm on the same page as this guy.

If you pay attention to Dick Morris, everything is peachy.

There's a big disconnect out there.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Jeb Bush: 'Fertile' immigrants boost economy

USA Today

 "Immigrants are more fertile, and they love families, and they have more intact families, and they bring a younger population


This is what is wrong with America, and especially the GOP.  Sure, what he said is probably true.  But why is it true?  Aren't these politicians even remotely interested in why this is true?  Could it be because of their policies?  Can't they be bothered enough to look at what they are doing to this country?

Sarah Palin says all the right things

The big rap against her is that she is supposed to be dumb.

I don't see it.

Anyway, here are some remarks she made this weekend.

If only more of these politicians talked like this, I'd feel a lot better about the future.

LINDSEY GRAHAM: Republicans Are In A 'Demographic Death Spiral,' And We Need To Pass Immigration Reform

Business Insider

"If we don't pass immigration reform, if we don't get it off the table in a reasonable, practical way, it doesn't matter who you run in 2016," Graham said on NBC's "Meet the Press" Sunday.


If Graham is right, it won't matter either way.  The history of this issue doesn't indicate that Hispanics are going to vote Republican just because they go along with amnesty.  When Reagan signed on to amnesty in 1986, the Republican share of the Hispanic vote went down.

This is a dumb argument.

Thomas Lucente: Recent poll on spying sounds death knell of USA - Thomas Lucente

Thomas Lucente: Recent poll on spying sounds death knell of USA - Thomas Lucente


What I wrote before in the previous post was no hyperbole.  There really is a phenomenon like brainwashing, although the term is not applied evenly in all cases.  Take the Patty Hearst case.  That case is believed to be a case of Stockholm Syndrome.  To me, it is all the same.  It is brainwashing.

People may think they are immune to this, but they are subjected to it all their lives.  People are largely taught to be the way they are.  Very few will attempt to go outside of their training.  The training starts when they are very young and is being constantly reinforced by the society at large.  There is little true freedom of thought, but a rather strong tendency towards conformity.  This version of brainwashing is ordinarily called indoctrination.  It is also called getting civilized.  In any case, there isn't much wiggle room in the mores of a society.  If you don't conform, you become an outcast.

I'm old enough to remember a different kind of society in the United States.  In that society, to use the term "queer", which was the term used for homosexuals back then, were fighting words for most men.  It may have been about the early seventies that you could start to hear the term "gay", which was to replace the derogatory term "queer".  Supposedly, this was a more humane way to treat others, but this was only the beginning of the new mores that were to be imposed upon the society as a whole.  Now, after several decades of social programming, attitudes have turned 180 degrees to the opposite direction.  To be opposed to homosexuality is to be an outcast, and the homosexuals are being mainstreamed.  For someone to be called gay now isn't necessarily fighting words, and if it were to be taken as fighting words, it would be evidence of a unenlightened attitude that is frowned upon.  I consider this shift in the mores of this society, which I consider to be brainwashing, to have been harmful.

I'd rather be an outcast than to be a citizen in good standing in this new society the left has built.  For the society that they have built is not one that will last.  It will crumble because it is at odds with human nature and nature itself.  Homosexuality isn't natural, no matter how much they may say otherwise, it cannot be.  For if it were, we wouldn't be here.

Human nature is strongly associated with self-preservation.  You can notice that non-white people do not vote for so-called "gay" rights.  To them, it's okay for the white folks to do it, but they won't.  They know better.  Unfortunately, white people have been programmed to believe that they have no business taking care of themselves, for to do so will make them racist.  The very word strikes fear in the hearts of many.  It is a sign of being an outcast.  Nobody wants to be an outcast.  So they conform to that which is meant to destroy them and they are helpless to resist.  For nobody wants to go outside of their programming.

What to do about this?  Perhaps it is too late.  Perhaps it has gone too far.

To me, it is better to go out fighting than to go out with a whimper.  I will never accept this new way.

In the end, it will destroy itself.  Only those who have resisted will be there to pick up pieces.  That may be a long way off, but that day will come.

But for now, the ship may have to continue sinking to the bottom.  Sometime this month, the Supreme Court will make its decision on same-sex marriage.  It is not likely to be good news for folks like me.  For a "conservative" court to do what I think they may do is enough to send shivers down your spine.  If the conservatives can be brainwashed, what hope is there?  Wait until the left gets control of this court.  The disintegration will come fast and furious then.  If the court surprises me and actually does the right thing, the battle is far from over.  For the new programming runs deep.

The Death Cult marches on.