Saturday, December 21, 2013

Early returns: Top ten states for year-over-year job growth

Early returns: Top ten states for year-over-year job growth

Texas is number 2, as judged by percentage growth rate.  In terms of absolute numbers, it is the grand daddy of them all, according to this article.

I live in Texas and there's really not a boom here compares with the way the economy was in 2008.  Still, it is better if it is growing than if it is not.

Why Elon Musk is a Poor Person’s Worst Nightmare

Santa Cruz Good Times


Musk, the chief executive officer (CEO) and chief technology officer (CTO) of SpaceX, the CEO of Tesla Motors, and chairman of the board of SolarCity, doesn’t care about the poor or middle-class and his business models prove it.
Only one of his ideas looks really good to me.  That's the reusable rocket concept.  I think it should work, but that hasn't been demonstrated yet.

Tesla is a boondoggle.  Hopefully, Spacex is not.

Prediction: Anti-Christ will appear within 30 years

What the heck brought on this prediction?  Well, I was listening to Ann Barnhardt's latest podcast, and she mentions that the Anti-Christ will be able to do this or that in order to fool the public.

Ann probably doesn't know that much about robotics and computers.  In the next 30 years or so, the robotics and computer power will be such that it will force the appearance of an Anti-Christ because of the very fact of their existence, human life will not be the same.  These robots and computers are going to be human like in almost every way.  In my opinion, there is no way that the old ways can survive that.

If you want to argue it, the existence of robots and computers ARE manifestations of the Anti-Christ.  I'm not arguing that proposition.

Whatever happens, the whole proposition of an Anti-Christ will be forced within the next 30 years due to robotics and computers.

Now, about the blog

I'm played out on the Podesta thing.  Time to move on with my agenda for today.  The next item is about the blog itself.

I've given this some thought.  If you could summarize briefly what this blog is about, then this:  What the f*^k is happening to this country?  Secondly, what might be done about that situation.  The goal of my blogging was to make money at writing this blog, but that is becoming something of a joke here.  Furthermore, I've learned that the problems in this country are much bigger than I thought when I began this blog.  When I began, I figured just a few tech fixes would set us right.  It's a lot bigger and deeper than that, alas.

The blog has evolved to its current form after about a year of experimentation.  I don't think I'll make any major changes from now on.  Takes too much of my time.  That's another thing that I've learned.  I don't manage my time as well as I should.  I spend too much time on things that irrelevant.  I spread myself too thinly.  It is reflected in this blog.  I need to tighten it up.

Who's the audience?  Who am I writing for?  As usual, I didn't think about this in advance.  The blog isn't a partisan blog.  I tend to be conservative, but I won't follow a party line.  This is an independent conservative blog, if it is anything.

Liberals are welcomed here, under certain conditions.  One, there must be civility.  Two, you are going to have tolerate criticism of your most cherished beliefs---namely that you are better than everybody else.  I know all you liberals think you are very special little snow flakes, I am not about to buy any of your BS.

Conservatives are welcomed too.  But just don't start imitating liberals.  Criticizing you isn't treason.  Let the liberals try to pull that off.

But does that answer the question?  No, maybe not.  Here's what you need to in order to come here and feel at home.  You need an open mind.  If you want an echo chamber, there are plenty of other bloggers out there who are willing and able to provide that for you.  I won't.

I don't know the future is for this blog.  If the past is any indication, it won't ever amount to much.  But I suppose I can always get a break.  We'll see.

I don't know if I offer anything unique here, but maybe this blog is unusal.  It seems like people these days are more interested in their echo chambers.  This blog is an alternative to the echo chambers.  You have to have the courage to question what you believe to be true.  Otherwise this blog will not be your kind of place.

Podesta goes too far

Analysis of the Podesta outrage. Many levels of meaning. Could have been an attempt to warn opposition of what his intentions are. Those intentions may include a coup. Another possibility is that he wants to drive a wedge between the Republican factions. Podesta apologized to Boehner only. The point of this is to annoy the GOP factions with each other and thus split the Republican Party.


The above is what I could hack out with my smart phone yesterday.  It looks rather meager.

This may be worthy of a more lengthy post because it represents something significant that needs to be addressed.

The significance was greater than the just the outrage of what Podesta said.  He went further than that.  The Townhall article linked from the original post said that Podesta wants Obama to govern by executive fiat.  Townhall says:

Whatever legislation you write with Democrats, and Obama signs into "law," will not be worth the paper it is printed on. Obama's new counselor believes Republicans are evil and therefore Obama ought to be empowered to do whatever he wants no matter what the law says.[emphasis added]
It's noteworthy also that according to Ace that Podesta is claiming:
there's a clause in the Constitution that gives the executive plenary power to fight cults
Which clause is that?  The President is constrained by the Constitution, not empowered by it.  He is constrained to be an officer of the Constitution, not the judge, jury, and executioner of his rivals and critics.  Whatever happened to checks and balances?  We heard about them during the Bush presidency, but that doesn't seem to apply anymore.  It only applies to the GOP "cult", I suppose.  It doesn't apply to the "Messiah".  I suppose we are to feel guilty that Obama has become a victim of his own hype.


So does this mean that this is the justification for the IRS harassment of Tea Party Groups?  That they are a murderous cult that is worthy of suppression and that the president has this right to suppress this group?  What clause in the constitution grants the authority to unilaterally make this determination and execute it as legitimate policy?


I'm trying to figure out what Podesta's logic for claiming that the President has the authority to suppress what claims to be a "cult".  During the Civil War, the president at that time, Abraham Lincoln, suspended the writ of habeas corpus.  What does the constitution has to say about that?  There is a clause in there that addresses this issue:  Article I, Section 9 says:

The Privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in Cases of Rebellion or Invasion the public Safety may require it.

During the Civil War, the Southern block of states left the Union.  Lincoln determined that this was illegal and that it was in effect, a rebellion against the authority of the United States.  That theory, therefore, would hold.  But what "rebellion" exists today?  Does the mere presence of political opposition to the President now constitute rebellion?  This has not be the case in the past.  There has been tolerance for dissent, and that tolerance is the law of the land, as stated in the First Amendment to the US Constitution.

I suspect this president and his followers seemed to be confused about what is sovereign and what is not.  The president, and any president is not sovereign.  The president is not the law of the land, the constitution is the law of the land.  Everybody in the government has to swear an oath to support and defend the constitution.  Nobody is required to swear an oath to support any president nor any other politician.  The president and all the people in this country are subject to the sovereign authority of the law.  Obama is not the law.  He is only an officer of the law, subject to that law just like everybody else.


So, who was the "someone" who should remind Podesta about Jim Jones?  Evidently, that "someone" should be "someone" important.  Evidently, nobody wants to step up to the plate and say something.

Randall Parker had something to say recently about Eloi, Proles, and Morlocks.  The Eloi are the Democrats, the Proles are the Republicans, and the Morlocks are also Democrats.  According to his sources, the GOP has to be trained first before they are allowed to govern.  Parker says that the Eloi don't want to Proles to get ideas and try to implement them.

What does this have to do with Podesta?  Well, Democrats think they are holier than holy.  Any attempt to go around them or through them will draw the most negative of negative responses.  Any opposition to their holiest of holy decrees will be considered treason.  There will be hell to pay.  Such was the case with Bush.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Home again

It's been a really long day.  A really long week.  Seems like I worked late almost every day this week.  This stuff can wear you down.

Now I'm home and all's well.  I'm happy to be doing what I want to do as opposed to doing what somebody else wants me to do.

No plans for tomorrow and no errands to run.  That means I can blog to my heart's content.  What to write about?

  1. More about Podesta:  been thinking about this a lot today.
  2. More thoughts on the blog --- how and why it got started and what I have learned---about myself, my approach to the blog, and my subject matter.  How the blog has evolved over time.
  3. Perhaps I will do some housekeeping on the blog.  It is a bit overdue.  Ideas on improving the blog.
  4. Can this blog ever reach the next level?  Has the blog gotten stale?  What about the prospects for the future for this blog?   Who's the audience?  How to expand that?  What does someone get here that they can't get anywhere else? 
Stay tuned.  

"Liberal anti gun carpet bagger" eyes Senate run in New Hampshire

Scott Brown couldn't make it in liberalstan Massachusetts, so he is moving to the live free or die state.

REPOSTED: Zomblog: Death Threats Against Bush at Protests Ignored for Years


I'm putting this post up again because there is a tendency amongst conservatives just to do nothing but talk.  In Aesop's Fable, that's what the lamb did with the wolf.  The lamb got eaten anyway, and the moral to the story was that force gets the better of an argument.  It's not enough to be right.  You have to back it up with something.  All too often, the political right will not back up their arguments with something that is better than a plaintive "bah".  I'm not suggesting violence, but a need for action instead of mere words.

the repost begins directly below:

published Wed, Aug 19, 2009

  • On Wednesday, August 12, a man holding a sign that said “Death to Obama” at a town hall meeting in Maryland was detained and turned over to the Secret Service which will likely soon charge him with threatening the president.
  • Bush was threatened frequently — but no arrests
  • "I’m not trying to claim that death threats against Bush in the past justify threats against Obama now."
  • "No — I am not calling the Secret Service incompetent."
  • "I contend that the media is aggressively reporting on, highlighting and pursuing any and all possible threats to President Obama — and even hints of threats — but they purposely glossed over, ignored or failed to report similar threats to President Bush."
  •  but part of it is almost certainly due to an increase in threats which get reported by the media and are therefore brought to the Secret Service’s attention.
  • After scanning the pictures below of death threats against Bush, ask yourself: Holy cow — why was I never aware of these at the time? The reason: Because the media intentionally failed to report on them.
  • The key question is: Were any protesters ever arrested or questioned for displaying threatening messages about President Bush at a protest? And the answer is: No
  • The most famous case was that of Brett Bursey, who was arrested in 2002 outside a Bush speech. The media dishonestly implied that he was arrested simply for carrying a sign that said “No War For Oil”
  • At last: The pictures
This was a factual post about media bias with respect to the reporting of politically inspired threats of violence.  The evidence was provided and it is quite conclusive.  The media is in bed with the Democrats and almost everybody knows it.   There is nothing new about this fact.  It has been reported on here and just about anywhere you can mention more times than can be recounted.  Yet is continues apace.

The point I am making is not that this is something new and shocking.  Everybody knows this.  The point is what to do about it?  It isn't enough, evidently, to point it out.  It seems that those who are pointing it out are like the lamb who gets into an argument with the wolf- an Aesop's fable.  We all know who wins those kind of arguments.

Who owns the media?  It isn't the poor, my friends.  The Democrats like to claim that they are for the poor, but how can that be when they are not one of the poor themselves?  Or, if they are slavishly serving the interests of the powerful?  They lie to and deceive the poor, but do not serve them.  You lie to and deceive your enemy, do you not?  For the poor to listen to the media is like the lamb who takes advice from the wolf.

Someone Remind Podesta: Jim Jones Was a Democratic Vote Fraudster

nro via Instapundit


I'm trying.

As a politically-connected partisan he had to have read about the Jim Jones cult’s connections to prominent Democrats. For him to drag out the Jonestown tragedy to smear Republicans actually took more than chutzpah. It was political malpractice of a high order, and, whether or not he apologizes, it’s sad to see the president’s new counselor so verbally reckless.


It's the full Alinsky.  There's that word again- "sad".  Don't get sad, get mad.  Too much passivity.  The left is a minority, but they are highly organized and active.  You don't counter this by being "sad".

4 Reasons Why the Duck Dynasty Brouhaha Matters

pjtatler via Instapundit


You Can’t Rage Quit the Culture Wars


"Rage quit" must mean unplugging your cable or turning off the TV.  In my case, I'd have to turn it  back on.

I stopped watching TV a long time ago.  I only watch sports, and that is getting less frequent too.  I notice that sports is getting polluted with the PC crap.  It is nothing but propaganda and you're paying for it.  I say make them pay to reach you.  Don't give them money to indoctrinate yourself with their propaganda.  Tune out.  You have no obligation to listen to their garbage.

You may have to go underground.  That may be good too.  Stop supporting a society that is destroying itself.  Don't send your kids into the military.  Refuse to support them with your blood or treasure.  You don't owe loyalty to these people.  If nearly 1/2 of the population tunes these people out, it may get their attention.

Rage quitting is actually a good idea.  Rage quitting is the same as a boycott.  You should separate from wrong doers.  Have nothing to do with them.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

U.S. foresees gas-powered vehicles dominating through 2040

detroit news

The agency predicts that in 2040, 78 percent of all cars and trucks will run on gasoline, down from 82 percent last year.

If that happens, it won't be true because of anything technical or economic that is preventing the change.  Frankly, I think the article is a lot of poppycock.   Give it 15 to 20 years, and there will be a sea change in how vehicles are powered.  78% my eye.

Computer security fail

Once again, I ask:  what prevents someone from turning a robot into a weapon?

Gold slump

Any big move in the future will probably be related to a collapse.  Gold will probably hold steady here.

Podesta Thinks Conservatives Are A Cult


Hmm.  Seems like I wrote something about Death Cults.  It wasn't about the GOP being one, though.  Come to think of it, the so-called Reverend Jim Jones came from the land of fruits and nuts.  Just sayin'.

It's called projection, in case you were wondering.  Doctor Podesta, "heal thyself".


That's why a prayer is needed.  A much higher power is necessary.  We have certifiable wackos running this government.  What can any single person do about this when more than half of the voters in this country put these wackos into power?

Catching up on news


Stocks up nearly 300 points yesterday.  What a joke.  So these bozos think the Fed announcement was a reason to buy like this?

The country is headed for a crack up and stocks are making record highs.  Makes perfect sense to me!

A Prayer Tailor Made For Me

How?  That is awfully grandiose of me.  Screw it.  It fits me perfectly, at least for the moment, and maybe for all my moments.

Look at my blog.  It is about a million things.  I spread myself way too thin.  I need to prioritize.

The prayer goes something like this because I don't have the time to get it right or to attribute it

God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change,
the courage to change the things I can,
and the wisdom to know the difference.

I need to start the day with this every day.  Dammit.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

The Doors - End of the Night

View From The Porch: This country is nuts.

View From The Porch: This country is nuts.: You couldn't make up irony like this: The same week they planted Nelson Mandela, you can go to your very own Apartheid Santa in Los Ang...


Reminds me of a Three Stooges gag:  "Trapped like rats!"  "Speak for yourself."

Google Buys Boston Dynamics: 4 Things You Should Know

Yeah, "get ready for a surprise!"

Again, how do you prevent a terrorist from using one of these to deliver a bomb?

DailyDirt: Tis The Season To Catch The Flu

techdirt link via Instapundit and Drudge


There's a bug in this area that has killed 4 people.  Flu like symptoms.  That makes me wonder what I just went through myself.  Didn't check in with a doctor, but it sure was miserable.  I probably didn't have it, but whatever I had was bad enough.

Infinia, Stirling Solar Startup, Files for Bankuptcy (September 25, 2013)

greentech media

Solar energy is just a pipe dream, but can there be another application for this tech?

I put this up since I was wondering about the really compact size of their dishes, and therefore, their Stirling Engines would also have to be small.

If you could just make these Stirling Engines small enough, they could work in a really small car, like the Urbee.

I was also thinking of cracking ammonia and burning the hydrogen.  This would make a hotter flame ( I think ), and that could lead to a smaller Stirling Engine.  The hotter the heat source, the more efficient a Stirling Engine can be.

Ametek acquires Sunpower---Thursday, January 03, 2013


There was a question I wanted to answer with a brief research this early morning.  Is there a place that makes Stirling Engines for sale?  It seems that I've been down this road before.  It may have brought me to a dead end, so I don't know if this will be fruitful or not.

The links available from a google search were quite thin.  I came up with Sunpower Incorporated.  As shown in the title above, they were acquired early this year.

The link at the top takes you to a site where they might have an engine that would work in a car, but I'm not sure.  I can continue this research later, I suppose.  Anyway, this acquisition was of a company that had been making small Stirling engines.  It is now a part of this larger company that is listed on the NYSE.

Another website, managed by amateurs, wants to develop a Stirling Engine on their own.  This would be interesting except for one thing---it's re-inventing the wheel.  Trouble is, you just don't see many companies out there making these kinds of engines.

There's a reason for this, I suppose.  Perhaps it just isn't suitable for a car.  Yet, Ford worked on this concept in the early 70's.  The thought occurred to me that it could be used for a series electric hybrid that would run on ammonia.  Such an engine could be carbon free.  If it were to be combined with a design with the Urbee, the size of engine required could be minimized.  Such an engine could be more efficient that the diesel engine that the Urbee uses.  Even if not so, the Stirling Engine could be completely emission free.  Any internal combustion engine, regardless of fuel used, will produce some emissions.  Since the Stirling can be a sealed unit, the emissions just might be brought to all the way down to zero.

California did have a designation for such an auto, as I recall some time ago.  There may be a market for it, provided that it could be produced.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

(2008 story) Dean Kamen Creates Hybrid Th!nk City Car With Stirling Engine


his DEKA Revolt may be pointing to an interesting transportation option, a hybrid car with a Stirling engine.

So, what happened?  It all looks good, what went wrong?

Anyway, I thought of this idea today, with a following twist:  burn ammonia instead of fossil fuels.  This would make it carbon free, provided that you can make the ammonia without a carbon source.  You could if you used nuclear energy.

Machines cannot replace people

Another reason to dislike robots for everything. How can you be sure that the robot won't get stolen and hacked so that it could be used for criminal purposes? What's to prevent a terrorist from obtaining robot and using it to deliver a bomb? Even if you put a lot of software and hardware protection into the machine, that won't necessarily stop a successful hack. Cars get stolen, viruses get put in the machines, so what stops this?

Bush v Gore rightly decided

Why you don't make mixed ticket for election. Reason is that you could give one party a motive to assassinate the president, and put their own party into power. So, Sandra Day O'Connor thinks she did wrong thing in Bush vs Gore, but actually she did the right thing because all she would have done is setup a situation in which they would have a motivation for assassinating Bush.

Update:  ( for clarification purposes )

I followed the 2000 election controversy, so I know what I'm talking about here.  Let's say that the Supreme Court ruled in Gore's favor.  This still doesn't produce a victory for him, regardless of the outcome.  That's because the recount controversy could have been dragged out over time until it passed the "safe-harbor" time limit that was fast approaching.  No way the recount gets completed and certified in time to prevent a challenge in the House.  It then gets thrown into the House, where Bush wins.  If Gore would have followed this strategy in the first place, he might have had some opportunity to win.,  Having lost his bid by selective recounts, he forfeited his chances, in my opinion.  This last gambit was a spiteful attempt to deprive Bush of his victory.

The best the Gore camp and the Democrats could have done is to put Lieberman in as vice-president.  The Court stopped this, and rightly so.  There was no point in damaging the incoming administration.

That O'Connor could change her mind like this shows why it's a good thing she left the court.

Russia means to regain their empire

The Baltic States and Ukraine.   The bear is back.

The bear is stirring

If Russia is so worried about Poland, then why are they helping Iran get the bomb?

Google search and destroy: The internet giant (motto: 'Don't be evil') has bought a pioneer of scary robot animals. Can its ethics survive?

independent uk


Scary indeed.  This is a scary world that they are creating.  Obviously, these guys don't think that there may be something wrong about what they are doing.

You can't rely upon robots for everything.  There's got to be room for people.

But what can you do?  People are hell bent for leather for this kind of thing.

speech from the movie "Patton" given to the 3rd army

This speech pretty much says it all.  "Americans love a winner and will not tolerate a loser."  That was true then ( 1970 ), but is it true today?  Somehow, to be an exceptional nation is no longer considered to be fashionable. If so, we'd all better prepare to "embrace the suck".

How to go from a winner to a loser in a very short time

Professional sports have interested me since I was a kid---as a spectator, that is.  Growing up, I guess we were all dreaming about being the big league ballplayer.  But those are rare.  Most folks, including me, just aren't very good.  But being a spectator does have its advantages.  You can separate yourself from it all and watch and become somewhat expert spectator.

I'd like to think I can evaluate sports teams, and tell if they really have the right stuff to win.  Now, take the Houston Texans.  They've suffered a precipitous drop this year.  From a 12-4 team all the way down to the bottom.  Yet, they just seem to get worse as the season drags on.

I think I saw it all coming long ago.  As late as 2010, I figured they'd have to fire Kubiak.  What decided me then is how they lost a game to Denver 3 years ago.  Teams that lose games that have no business losing are teams that are DOOMED.  That game was such a game.

Limbaugh likes to say that there are life's lessons that can be observed in sports.  What's the life lesson here?  You can go from the top to the bottom very quickly.  Secondly, you have to have the right leadership if you are going to get to the top and stay there.

If you project this observation out from sports to the national scene, maybe it just might scare some people into taking our problems a bit more seriously.  The failure to develop energy independence is a game that we had no business losing, just as the Texans 3 years ago.  For the last 40 years, we have had the capability to get off foreign oil.  We could have done that and it wouldn't have hurt us in the least.  In fact, we would have thrived.  Yet we didn't do it.  Now we have an economy that is dead in the water.

As with the Texans, could a major collapse be far behind?

Robert Reich and the politics of envy

American Thinker


Megan McArdle once observed that in our public discourse, "very rich" is defined as "just above the level a top-notch journalist in a two-earner couple could be expected to pull down." There is no envy like the envy of a $250,000 man in a world of $250 million men

Robert Reich is such a man.  snicker snicker

How Technology Could Reduce the Cold Weather Drain on EV Batteries

MIT Technology Review  link via Instapundit


It appears that battery powered vehicles have a problem in the cold.  It reduces the range.  Range can only be made up for by making bigger batteries and they are already too big and heavy.   Article confirms my reservations about batteries.  Told ya.

Expanded Medicaid’s fine print holds surprise: ‘payback’ from estate after death | Local News

The Seattle Times

link via Barnhardt

Get this:  someone 55-64 is forced into Medicaid program.  The Medicaid program can bill your estate after death in order to pay medical expenses.  So, it isn't "free".  Note how somebody can be forced into a program that will prevent them from leaving their homes to their survivors in their will.

The left isn't giving anybody anything.  They are taking.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Cats Vs Dogs - Supercut Compilation 2013!

Who won?  Watch and see.

Google equals skynet?

"Hasta la vista, baby".

Who Do You Write For When Your Audience Disappears?

via Instapundit

That thought dominates my thinking right now.  As I strive for an audience, that is.   Heck, after 3 years of this, I haven't got much of one.  Who actually comes here and reads this stuff?  I don't really know.

I like to speculate upon things, think, and brainstorm on some potential solutions for problems.  But what about my problem of getting an audience?  How the hell do you do that?

After 3 years of this, I have confirmed my thesis that there are solutions out there for the problems that are said to exist.  Whatever the problem is, there's a solution.  The biggest problem seems to be in getting these solutions implemented.

I figure a number of solutions could get a good start upon implementation if there was somebody with the purse strings who would release the money.  That could include the government, which has the biggest purse strings of them all.

But governments are run by politicians whose primary interest is in themselves.  They want to appear to solve OUR problems when it is THEIR problems that they are most concerned about.

Even the richest of the rich purse strings are dwarfed by the sheer magnitude of the government.  If a private entity spends money on something that doesn't work, it is ruinous.  To contrast that with government, a government can waste the fortunes of millions of people and still they would exist despite their failures.

I point to the World Wide Web for one example of how the government could kickstart a vast new enterprise.  Just a minor amount of money got it all started.  It just needed a spark and a spark was provided.  The rest is history.

How do you pick winners?  There are myriads of ideas out there that are all clamoring for their big chance in the sun.  Just a little money and they'd be off to the races.  But few of them ever pan out.

I tend to follow in the pattern of thinking of Elon Musk.  Except in contrast to me, he has a proven track record of creating things that succeed in the market.  He builds cars and rockets.  Now, that would be really cool to do that.  I would do that if I could.  My ideas don't seem to work out too well.

Are battery powered cars the best bet?  Musk thinks so.  I don't.  I do like his ideas on rockets, though.  That's going to work out.  But can you improve upon it?  Maybe!

Anyway, my time is limited and this little post has to close.  Frankly, I don't know what I'd do with an audience if I had it.  Maybe I'd sell advertising, but I don't like that.  It clutters up the place.

The lack of time and money for the pursuit of dreams

Time to go back to the salt mine.  I don't really mind working, you know.  But there's not going to be much time for this.

Anyway, the audience numbers were good as long as I post.  Once it slows down, the numbers will drop.  Oh well.  I can't be in two places at the same time.  Technology hasn't advanced that far yet.  Maybe quantum mechanics will allow for it someday.

I noticed a great deal of interest in one of my posts dating back to September.  It was about the X37-C.  It is like a mini-shuttle that can be transported to space and back again.  It is currently being used for some military project that remains secret.  There's an idea to make it big enough to carry passengers to and from space.

My idea was to put it inside of a Skylon type airframe that would be attached to the Stratolauncher vehicle being developed.  It would have to be scaled down a bit so that it would fit under there.  The Skylon type craft would then be dropped and would proceed to power up and fly the type of trajectory planned for the Skylon.  Once in space, it would release the X37-C and then return to base.  All parts of the system would be reusable with a fast turnaround.

With such a system, you can could small amounts of cargo or passengers.  With a lot of flights taking place over a course of time, a large supply could be accumulated for deep space missions--let's say to Mars for example.  Or mining a 20 trillion dollar rock.  Another activity?  Build a moonbase that would enable even deeper space missions, like colonizing space and so forth.

With the Skylon projected to fly up to 200 times, that would mean it would carry 4 million pounds of cargo over its lifetime, assuming 20k pounds capacity.  That's a 1/3 reduction in the planned capacity of the Skylon as now configured.  At 500 bucks a pound, it could generate $2,000,000,000 in revenues.  Development costs for the Skylon are said to be 12 billion British pounds or something like that.  A fleet of these things may make a cost target like that work.  Let's say 20 of these things could generate $40 billion in revenues over their projected lifetimes.

Perhaps that's really not enough, so prices may need to be higher than that.  That's looks to be the down side of downsizing the thing.  Not enough revenues.

The important thing is to get people in space.  Perhaps a better way to get fuel up there could be found.  Looks like a million and a half dollars per passenger, if seven are carried each time.  Maybe the market for this isn't big enough to support those type of prices.  Who knows?

If seven are carried on each flight, and each bird flies 200 times, that's 1400 people over the lifetime of the bird.  Multiplied over a fleet of 20 birds, thats 28k people who would want to spend 1 million and a half bucks to visit space.  Is there a market that would support this?  I'm not sure.

Perhaps an economic system could be found that could support the venture.  Tourism, exploration, manufacturing, and mining might be put into the mix of possible activities to support the traffic.

But that is speculative at this point.  Don't know if the flying concept would even work.

There's not much time to write much more on the ideas as my time is now limited.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

ParaPundit: Europe: The Death Of The Social Compact And Periphery Gutting

ParaPundit: Europe: The Death Of The Social Compact And Periphery Gutting


demand for less skilled labor is in sharp decline in all industrialized countries. The Europeans can either let wages fall or let employment of less skilled labor decline faster than it already is. Between automation and competition from abroad the old social compact does not stand a chance for low skilled workers except in occupations that can't be moved abroad. At the same time, demand for workers with more valuable skills (notably engineering) is on the rise.


Yes, that appears to be the case.  But what happens to a society that has more than half of its people unemployable?  Do we really want such a society?

And another thing:  the author is all for a higher minimum wage.  A higher minimum wage will cause these trends to accelerate.  Is that really a good idea?

Yet one more thing before I publish this rascal....

A New York Times article provides the basis of the story.  It shows the full Alinsky as applied to poor old Europe.  Europe becoming more like America?  The horror of it all.

Next Big Future: Tesla Motors' $40,000 mass market electric car set...

Next Big Future: Tesla Motors' $40,000 mass market electric car set...: Tesla Motors plans to unveil an electric car in early 2015 that could sell in the $40,000 range, a mainstream offering that will be key to t...

Yes, Elon Musk is a clever man.  But there is a basic flaw in battery powered cars and that is their weight.

He can't defy physics.


I'd like to take the opportunity to state once again that fuel cells are the way to go.  It seems to me that Aronsson's ideas should work.  That would be a fuel cell combined with an ammonia cracker mounted inside a very light weight car like the Urbee 2.  You see, the Urbee would only require a small amount of ammonia to get a lot of mileage.  You could dilute the ammonia and then dewater it and crack it for the hydrogen.  It would be cheap, cheap, cheap.  Especially if you make the ammonia with a LFTR.  Keep in mind that the LFTR can simultaneously make electricity, ammonia, and desalinated sea water.  Cheap, cheap, cheap.

Money talks, bullshit walks.

Refueling depots

At first blush, it would seem that lifting fuel out of the Earth's deep gravity well wouldn't offer any advantages.

However, if you had a reusable spacecraft, like a Falcon 9 Reusable, it could start to make sense.  That would imply, however, that costs could be brought down sufficiently.

According to the Wikipedia article, the cost target for a Skylon is somewhere between 400 to 500 bucks per pound.  As for Spacex, Elon Musk once said that he believed he could get costs down to 500 bucks a pound.

Now, if you were to use one or the other, for a relatively small price, you could get a substantial amount of fuel positioned in LEO for less than 100 million bucks.  Perhaps with some intelligent planning, you could do a lunar landing mission and return with that much fuel.

Take the Apollo missions.  The S4B rocket wet massed at about 250k pounds.  This rocket could deliver 100k pounds to a lunar trajectory that had all the mass needed for the landing and return.  Thus, to deliver 230k pounds at 500 bucks per pound, the cost of fuel for the similar mission would be $115,000,000.  Make everything reusable, and the numbers get lower ( because of lower mass requirements).

If everything were to be made reusable, the fuel costs would become the primary costs of the mission.  That would mean regular visits to the moon for a little over 100 million per pop.  Not bad.  Especially since every Shuttle launch was said to be about a billion bucks.

Not only that, but a trip to Deimos wouldn't require much more in fuel than a lunar landing trip.  Maybe even less.  Since Deimos may have a lot of water and carbon, there is the possibility of making a fuel depot there for subsequent Mars landings.

Reusable launching craft could enable fuel depots.  It would seem to make a lot of sense to do this, so you have to wonder what the delay is all about.

Strategic depth and the budget deal

Not too long ago, I read something on the net that described the term called "strategic depth".  This was in relation to military depth in territory.  For example, a large country like Russia, has strategic depth.  It can make use of its immense territory in order to defeat an enemy.  In contrast, a small country like Israel, has little strategic depth.  It cannot afford to retreat very far.

I noted that the Japanese were seeking strategic depth after Pearl Harbor.  If they succeeded, they would have had the entire Pacific under their control and then they would have been very hard to defeat.

The US had strategic depth in the Pacific too.  The Japanese tried to challenge that with little success.

As the planner of the Pearl Harbor raid knew, the US had strategic depth in its industrial base and its immense size.  The warlords in Imperial Japan overlooked this, no doubt.

An interesting concept is this strategic depth.  Could it apply in other situations besides just military?  What about politics and government?

Taking government first, we have strategic depth in terms of liberty.  We have a Bill of Rights, a Constitution with checks and balances.  We have a federal system with power shared amongst a great many centers.  It is the principle of pluralism, where one group cannot become so powerful that it can tyrannize the rest.  That strategic depth is getting eroded, though, and it is a bit of a worry.

The Constitution is so designed that compromise is necessary.  There's not much chance that a single individual or group can get everything they want.  The thing that may be eroding these checks and balances may be in our politics today.  This came to my attention yesterday.

From who?  None other than the toe sucker himself, Dick Morris.  He pointed out that running the government with continuing resolutions is really a bad idea because the president can then spend the money as he sees fit.  Congress in such situations, is abdicating its role in our system when they do this.  They need to pass bills, as the much maligned budget deal just passed.  When these bills are passed, Congress can specify in detail, how the money shall be spent.  This has a restraining influence upon a wayward president, such as the one I think that we may have now.

So, I've changed my thinking.  This opposition to the other wing of the GOP is actually damaging our strategic depth.  We need to get together on this and other things because one wing cannot survive without the other.  It may be distasteful to make some of these compromises, but they are necessary.  The result of continuing as we have been could be a catastrophe.  We cannot afford to further empower a wayward president and his supporters.

At least Dickie boy got this one right.  He's still wrong about the JFK assassination.

On indecisiveness

When it comes to space, we have dropped the ball.  We start off with a Saturn V that went to the moon.  Dropped that, even though it proved its worth during Apollo.  Started over with a brand new system--the Shuttle.  After 30 years, we've dropped that.  Now we are going with a Shuttle-derived system, even though it is still way too expensive.  Not before we dropped it first, though.  Supposedly, NASA is studying nuclear thermal rockets.  We had one over 40 years ago.  What's there to study?

At some point, you need to make decisions that will stick.  This backwards and forwards, stopping and starting ain't getting much done.  At some point, you've got to make a move, or get off the pot.  Studying on the throne is only going to leave you broken hearted.

Whatever NASA does has to fit into a presidential cycle.  Trouble is, these presidents don't seem to understand that a new president wants to put his own imprint on the space program.  So, what has Obama done to put his own imprint on the space program?

Nothing.  Come to think of it, that is one way of being decisive.  Don't do jack squat.  Punish the country for thinking it has some right to think of itself as exceptional.  Let's just run down the whole operation and declare defeat and give up, already.

Indecisiveness is not a good trait in a leader.  Nor in the leadership of a nation.  We had better make up our minds which way its going to be, because time is running out.

I don't know exactly what NASA should do.  But we ought to at least have the capability of putting men into orbit.  It's a national disgrace that we have to pay the Russians for a ride up there.


It seems that I've been talking out my ass again.  Looks like there will be a test of the Orion module on top of a Delta IV sometime in the next year.  Things are not quite as bad as they seem.

SLS may get dumped, though.  It is a big money hog, and funds are tight.  The above mentioned configuration can service the ISS, as well as other configurations that are also in the works.

If SLS gets canceled, they should probably strongly consider doing some sort of in orbit refueling in order to avoid having to use large boosters like the SLS.  This would be a better use of the money.

If NASA is truly considering a nuclear thermal engine, perhaps they could consider using this for a LOXLEO capability.

On getting the full Alinsky

 I've probably related my experience with Barbara O'Brien over at the Mahablog already more than once.  Okay, at the risk of excessive repetition, here I go again.  Once upon a time, I got the brilliant idea that I may be able to dialogue a bit with someone on the other side.  It seemed to work okay until I mentioned that I was conservative.  That must have been her crazy button.  After that, I started getting the full Alinsky.  Rudeness and insults.  Finally, I got kicked off the blog commenting privileges just for having a mild ( in my opinion ) disagreement.

So, the full Alinsky is what anybody gets if they don't agree with those on the left.  You will be harangued and insulted and bullied until you conform.  That's what I mean by the full Alinsky.  Hey, I can see how that can be effective.  It worked on Patty Hearst.  It's the battered wife syndrome.  The Stockholm Syndrome.  After enough abuse, a person will break down and start agreeing with their captors.  She must have figured I was more trouble than I was worth, so she kicked me out.

In a larger sense, I think the full Alinsky is what the whole country is getting.  Particularly the political conservatives who get slandered and abused at every turn.  Some of them crack under the pressure, and that's how we end up with some conservatives that go bad when they "grow".

You know, this full Alinsky stuff works on the entire country.  It shifts the politics to the left, and it has been a great success.  You probably are witnessing the full Alinsky on a national scale when you see a movie like Oliver Stone's JFK.  That movie is textbook Alinsky applied on the national scale.  It insults the hell out of conservatism and accuses the right of assassination of the president.  The only problem there is that is a great big lie. Yet it works and works and works.  More than half the people in this country believe it was a conspiracy.  How many of those subconsciously believe that it was a right wing conspiracy?  Probably a good many of those probably think a right winger did it even though the right wing had little to gain from assassinating the president.

The full Alinsky has also been applied on a national level with respect to our history.  We are constantly hearing from our educators all about our sins.  This is a type of abuse, as far as I am concerned.  These poor kids are leaving school convinced that they are horrible human beings.  No wonder this country is so screwed up.

You see, if you don't agree with the left, you are EEEEEVVILLLL.   The left needs demonization of those they disagree with, even if they have to create imaginary demons.  Such as the imaginary right wing demons who were claimed to be responsible for JFK's death.

It probably explains why we can't do the big things anymore, like the Moon shot of the sixties.  Even if we have the technology to do it, the left won't let us succeed at it because that might make us feel proud, and they can't have any of that.

We can't solve "global warming" but we can sure get punished for being so wasteful of energy.  You see, the left is really good at punishing people.  They are so good at it.

We are becoming rather hostile to each other.  But that is the full Alinsky too.  Leftists need everybody to hate each other.  Divide and conquer, you see.

So, the right has managed to allow itself to get baited into doing some things that they shouldn't have done.

An example?  I think Bush canceled the X-33 because Clinton canceled the Super Collider in Texas.  Instead of getting two first class projects and accomplishments, we get nothing.  Besides that Obama canceled Constellation.  What happens in the next GOP presidency ( if there ever is one )?

It's probably not a good idea to return hatred with hatred.  The left accuses the right of hatred, but the right had better watch that crazy button and don't let them make you do something you'll regret later.  The the left wins with its hatred because they will have succeeded in making you hate them as much as they hate you ( as a conservative).

State of the blog: 12/15/13

It is frustrating sometimes when I have ideas that seem to slip through cracks.  You see, I've been off of work the last couple weeks due to illness.  I've had a lot of time to read and to think.  So, now the ideas are coming, but the time is short.  Eventually, I must go back to work, and there will be a lot less time for the blog.

Did I use the time effectively?  I'd like to think so.  I got a few new insights that I plan to share today.  Just prior to writing this post, I planned a few posts for today.  That reminded me of the time when I had a Daily Plan for each day.  It turns out that I'm not a great planner.  One day at a time is enough.  Planning things just isn't my style.

The blog has grown over time.  It has gotten better during that time, I am certain.  Due to my consistent efforts at improving the blog, I think it has slowly improved.  Yet, it still hasn't made any big breakout yet, and maybe it never will.  The audience has slowly grown, and pulled back when I tried to shift to a new blog.  But it is growing again, but there's this sense of insecurity that it won't last and sometimes this feeling like I am on a treadmill.

So why continue?  It seems frustrating as mentioned, but frankly, it is about all I can do.  There's really nothing else.  No other possibilities.  I've gotten too old, I suspect.  Too old to start on something new.  I need to make the most of this somehow, yet the feeling is there that I may not be able to pull that off.  But I'll keep trying.  Someday, maybe it will happen.

So, there will be a fairly organized posting day today, if all goes according to plan.  Tomorrow, I plan to be back at work, so the posting will likely get light again.  I'll do my best to put up something every day.  We'll see what happens.


Left off some thoughts.  Like I said, it gets frustrating when a thought gets lost.  Here it is:

 Language---my style may be vulgar at times---always been that way.  Learned how to control it a bit over the years, but under strain, the vulgarity will reappear.  If that bothers you, then go somewhere else.  What you see is what you get, as Flip Wilson used to say.  I yam what I yam and that is all I yam, as Popeye would say.  Be careful with that crazy button, though.


Distractions, distractions.  I was going to polish up that last update when nature called.  Okay, what's the crazy button?  I came to the conclusion (recently) that people are irrational.  Let's say I accepted it in myself, as I had already suspected it in others.   All these years, I wanted to believe that I was a rational person.  Now I realize that we all have a crazy button, where we may turn downright capable of nasty shit.  Okay, so watch that crazy button.  Some folks have a hair trigger, others not so much.  But I think everybody has it, so watch it.