Saturday, March 1, 2014

Future Shock from a 1972 perspective

Rather fascinating to watch this early seventies creation.  Some were worried back then about the pace of change and its effect upon humanity.

It seems quite prescient in some ways.  For example, there appears to be a same sex marriage ceremony in there, but it isn't quite called that.  My recollection is that a same sex marriage would have seemed bizarre to most people back then.

Another thought is that it is about the time of the Limits to Growth mindset were taking hold in this country.  You can trace it all to something that may have happened about the year 1968, which represented the high water mark of income in terms of gold per capita in the United States.

A practical example of the type of people who will say that there's a crisis of capitalism

Link found at the Coyote blog.


3% is a LOT of money, at least historically, for health insurers. Why? Because their margins are so thin. I know this will come as a surprise with all the Obama demonization of insurance profits, but health insurers make something like 3-5% of revenues as net income. My Boston mother-in-law, who is a very reliable gauge of opinion on the Left, thinks I am lying to her when I say this, even when I show her the Google finance pages for insurers, so convinced is she by the NYT and PBS that health insurer profits consume a huge portion of health care spending.---Coyote blog 
The people that Parapundit refers to as having a problem are exactly these people who refuse to face the facts and would rather believe the New York Times or PBS than their own kin folk, who shows them the evidence.  But neither the NYT ownership nor PBS ownership give a damn about the middle class.  They are only in service to the rich people who own them and who are fooling these poor souls into thinking that they do care about them.

There's been a lot of loose talk about a 1994 "treaty" that obligates the US to guarantee the territorial integrity of Ukraine.

American Thinker

As Financial Times reports, this is vastly overstating the reality of our agreement with Ukraine...  John Lough, associate fellow of the Russia and Eurasia Programme at Chatham House, the foreign policy think-tank, said: “While this does not legally oblige the UK and other western powers to intervene, they might feel morally obliged to.”--- Rick Moran
 Hopefully, they won't "morally oblige" us into a major war.  Sheesh.

ParaPundit: Is The Decline Of The Middle Class A Crisis Of Capitalism?

ParaPundit: Is The Decline Of The Middle Class A Crisis Of Capitalism?

The author cites a New York Times piece that notes that capitalists can make a lot of money without employing a lot of people.

Bingo.  It is precisely this behavior that this same author advocates.  The way the author sees it is that the lower classes are foolish and keep electing irresponsible type leaders.  So, it's the poor people's fault.

However, too many in the upper classes don't really care about the poor, even though they may claim to.  They are simply using the poor as political advantage for themselves.  Lots of these rich "capitalists" are liberals.  It is a scam that they claiming to be "progressive" when they are only seeking advantage for themselves.  If the poor people are to blame, it is because they believe in these charlatans.  Who's at greater fault, the naive and foolish poor, or the devious rich?

The spread the wealth schemes are the bait that lures in the poor.  The poor shouldn't take that bait, but often it proves to be too irresistible.

The cure isn't spreading the wealth; but rather, it is in the creation of more of it.  Just because somebody is rich doesn't mean that they are creating wealth, in my opinion.  They are creating wealth for themselves, primarily.  If that wealth comes from something other than creating net wealth throughout a society, then all they are accomplishing is to suck wealth out of a community and taking it for themselves.  The creation of new wealth, should be the goal. You don't see this from left wing politicians.  They rely upon zero sum thinking, that claims that anybody's wealth must come from another.  This justifies their ideology.  Without that, how can you justify stealing someone's property and giving it to another?  The left wing just projects their own vices upon the rest of society and the country suffers from the lack of wealth creation.

The US and Britain Have a Treaty with Ukraine Pledging to Come to Their Aid if Their Territorial Integrity is Violated


It was signed by Clinton and John Major in 1994. The reason we signed this treaty was to give the Ukraine a guarantee that we wouldn't let Russia invade them -- and we had to do that because we were asking them to give up their nuclear weapons.---Ace

This stinks to high heaven.  Here we have a treaty that isn't a treaty because it hasn't been ratified.  It binds us to respond to something that was made in insincerity, and won't be honored.  It gets in return a concession that was won due to chicanery, not honest dealing.  Is this the way we wish to be governed?

We should not respond to a Russian invasion of Ukraine.  But we should never have agreed to do that in the first place.  In such a case of not agreeing to come to their aid, Ukraine may have kept their nukes.  So be it.

This will cause a loss of respect, as it should.

All it should prove is that NOBODY should trust the Democrats.  NOBODY.  They are faithless.  They will not honor agreements.  They make promises that won't be kept.   Basically, they lie in order to gain an advantage.

The Venus-Mars Mission

Transterrestrial Musings

Also, note the technical issue. Orion was designed to come back from the moon, not from Mars. It can barely manage escape velocity on earth entry. Note page 17 of the Plymouth Rock paper:  --- Rand Simberg
This is about the proposed Tito mission to Mars.  If Orion can't survive the reentry, the show is off.  That seems pretty definitive.


It isn't impossible, says Simberg.  You just have to commit yourself to the mission.  Are these guys serious?

The flying bum! 300ft-long 'airship' unveiled in Britain is the world's longest aircraft

daily mail link via Ace

Created by Hybrid Air Vehicles and first flown in the U.S, the ultra-green HAV304 project has just received a £2.5 million grant from the UK government.---Ellie Zolfagharifard

Having a fleet of these makes more sense than using high speed rail.   However, it needs to fly faster.

Friday, February 28, 2014

A quick ditty on why there is little inflation

Not too long ago, I read something to the effect that banks are not putting their money at work.  They don't lend all that funny money the Fed is putting out there.  So, where's the money going?  Into the bond markets, that's where.  This keeps yields down all across the yield curve.  So, while the Fed keeps the Fed funds rate down to zero, QE keeps the rest of the yield curve flat.

There's no inflation because the money isn't really going into the economy.  Instead, it just finances the deficit.

Deficit spending doesn't cause inflation.  That's what I observed during the Reagan years.  I expected inflation back then, but it didn't materialize.  I expected it again during this Federal Reserve QE, but it isn't happening again.  So, I suspect what's happening is the same thing that happened in the eighties.  QE just finances the deficit, which doesn't cause inflation.

If it went into the private economy, it would cause inflation because of the multiplier effect.  At least, that's my theory now.

Putin in trouble over Ukraine?

Ukraine: A Deep State Analysis

Ninth Circus Court Orders Google to Remove Anti-Muslim Movie from YouTube

Rush Limbaugh


"A US appeals court ordered YouTube," owned by Google, loved by the Regime. Google and Regime are inseparable, except -- except -- the Ninth Circus has ordered Google, through its YouTube subsidiary, "to take down an anti-Muslim film that sparked violence in many parts of the Middle East and death threats to the actors." ---Limbaugh

Sparked what violence?  Are they still peddling that video caused the Benghazi deaths?  Besides, the government can't do this.  At least, not according to the Constitution.

Here's a case where you can test the theory I made recently about removing officials of the government who act contrarily to what the Constitution clearly states.  There's no authority for the Court to act this way.  So, remove the judges.  Forcibly, if that is what it takes.

Lois Lerner demands Immunity; Time for Congress to go on Offense (on Obama Family's Terrorist ties)

Free Republic


All eyes will be on this hearing, even if Lerner says nothing. If one, just one, Congressmen brings up the issue of Lerner’s signature being at the bottom of the 501(c)(3) approval letter for Malik Obama’s Foundation, the matter will be on the public record and the ball will be placed firmly back in Lerner’s court[emphasis added].---Walid Shoebat
 I didn't know that.  The article points out that this puts Lerner and the rest of the crew in a difficult position.

Their claim all along is that this isn't really a scandal, but the above quote should lay all that to rest.  It should be a scandal of the highest rank.  The Malik Obama Foundation has ties to terrorist organizations.

Ace of Spades, Daniel Hannan: Yeah, About That National Socialist Workers Party


A post reminiscent of this one I made recently.  Should so-called right wing pundits refer to themselves as right-wing?  Not unless they like being falsely categorized as such by the media.

But all violent regimes are called rightwing, even the ones that are expressly leftwing.---Ace
Who calls them rightwing?, why the media does of course.  You can't blame the media for your own foolishness.  When the media get something wrong like this, why complain about it when you stepped right into it?

Thursday, February 27, 2014

NRDC: Renewable Energy for America: Solar

NRDC: Renewable Energy for America: Solar


Electricity from small or medium-scale solar installations, such as those on homes or businesses, costs around 12 to 30 cents per kilowatt-hour, but these prices should continue to drop thanks to falling installation costs, accessible, low-cost, long-term financing, and a healthy number of incentives and tax packages offered by nearly every state government.
In order to have a system that actually accomplishes something, an electric car would have to employ a battery at home that collects the electricity during the day, and then downloads it to the car once you get home at night.  The cost per kilowatt hour would have to be on the 12 cent range for this to have any economic advantage.

If you sell directly to the grid, this just causes others to have to subsidize it because the sun is not always shining.

As a consequence, having to download from one battery to the other will cause a loss of efficiency---maybe about 25%.

Is there a debt problem today?

There was this Dick Morris email I got today that was a link to a Stansbury research article.  The article says that the dollar is going to collapse, and the debt is the reason.

Is that true?

I felt that way myself until recently, but now, I'm not so sure.

If debt is the reason, it is a strange reason.  I wrote a post in 2011 linking to this site, which describes the debt situation at that time.  Most of the debt at that time was held by private investors.  A significant part was just government trust accounts.  These trust accounts are just accounting entries.  The numbers mean little, as far as I can tell.   All it says is that the government must pay on programs that already exist and have existed for decades.  None of these seem too burdensome.

If there's a problem, it could come with interest rates in the short term end of the yield curve.  The long term end can be bought and sold on the market, but those won't necessarily be obligations upon the Federal government, if they've already been issued by the government.  Where it will hurt is when they try to obtain new debt to replace that which expires.

Now the short end of the yield curve is what's most influenced by the Fed Funds rate.  If there's a sudden uptick in inflation, the Fed will have to raise interest rates in order to tamp down inflation.  This is the kind of thing that could happen in relation to an event of some kind.  Such an event may not even be financial.  It could be a natural event, such as a disaster.  Or it could be a man-made event, such as a disastrous military debacle.  Whatever the thing that could happen, it would have to cause a loss in confidence in the US's ability to pay its debt.

Such is not happening today.

But there is movement to attempt to replace the dollar as the world's reserve currency.  That must not be overlooked nor understated.  If it is successful, then such a loss in confidence can occur.  But it may not be successful.  Time will tell.

Otherwise, the debt is manageable for the moment.

More on the Dunning-Kruger Effect »

More on the Dunning-Kruger Effect »

The Effect is one of an overconfident person who is actually incompetent.

Ringer tells a story of how he hired such a person.  It has been said that hiring is more an art than a science.  Whatever the case may be, it isn't an exact science, that's for sure.

The NFL spends millions on the draft, but the selection of draft picks is anything but scientific.  Highly touted players often turn into busts.

This allows me to segue into Barnhardt again.  She says it's all in the eyes.  Really?  You can tell that much from the eyes?   If Barnhardt hired people, she may eventually run into an example of the Dunning-Kruger Effect, because such a person as she describes, someone who could look you in the eye, could be one of the incompetent people who is overconfident, and can stare you down.

Adolf Hitler liked staring contests, but it didn't make him good enough to win a World War.  'Nuff said.


Corrected Ann Barnhardt reference---- she says "watch the eyes".  I wrote "all in the eyes".  Corrected it as a non-quote, but a paraphrase instead.

Next Big Future: Elon Musk could disrupt battery market while it en...

Next Big Future: Elon Musk could disrupt battery market while it en...: Telsa will be making a Model X crossover SUV available late this year or early 2015, followed in 2016 by the entry-level “Gen 3” platform, ...


Very clever man, this Elon Musk.  If you were to saturate the area with enough batteries like this, maybe you can make selling power to the grid feasible.  But, I just thought of something, you can't be in two places at the same time.  If you use the car for getting to work, how can you use your solar facilities at home to gather electricity to sell to the grid?

In the plays of Shakespeare, it is pretty obvious when a coup happens.

At a time when most of the political power was in a king, when one man deposes (or murders) a king and takes his place (as when Henry Bolingbroke usurps the throne of Richard...


Sure.  If one man attempts a coup, as that one man is at the head of government, and while abusing the power of the office, fails to abide by the source of his authority, then to remove him by force is not a coup.

That force can be entirely legalized system, or one that isn't entirely legalized.  The legalized system would be a constitutional convention.  Another would be a forcible removal of the offender from office, such as impeachment.  However, if another were to forcibly remove an offender when impeachment isn't feasible, isn't necessarily a coup, if the source of legitimacy is honored.  That's true because the offender is not sovereign, the constitution is sovereign.

Insight: How Obama alums aim to turn Texas toward the Democrats

Free Republic

If Democrats succeed, they could upend the state's low-tax, low-regulation approach to governance and give their party a decisive advantage in presidential elections for years to come.---Andy Sullivan

Oh, yeah.  Just eliminate the one place where things are going reasonably well.  That makes a lot of sense.  Yesiree, Bob.

Tesla reveals $5 billion Gigafactory, the world's largest battery plant

recode Free Republic

Capital expenses will be split among Tesla and still unnamed partners, which will together invest between $4 billion and $5 billion through 2020, the company said. Tesla expects to directly invest around $2 billion.--- James Temple
Company expects to produce batteries for half a million cars a year.  Currently, they sell 35k a year.  We'll see.

#VALege Special Election last night: Dem gets absolutely crushed in district Obama won by 10 points

#VALege Special Election last night: Dem gets absolutely crushed in district Obama won by 10 points


Obama just barely won Virginia. Even a much more subtle shift in the electorate could have incredible consequences for 2014.---David Freddoso
Ideological speculation, in my opinion.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Trading options

Want some free advice?  Don't trade options.

Neither a borrower nor lender be

How To Identify Economic Zombies

Alchemy 2.0 – Low Energy Nuclear Reactor Creates Gold and Platinum


Larsen’s theory that gold, platinum and several other metals can be created by his process is based on findings by Japanese physicist Prof. Hantaro Nagaoka who successfully transmuted tungsten into gold back in 1924.---Bodo Albrecht

Ah, the transmutation of tungsten into gold.  There was a post here about the E-cat and Gold.  The things you may be able to do if you master certain technologies---boggles the mind.


More at PESN.

Pat Buchanan: Repeal the Civil Rights Laws

Free RepublicWND

Should Christians, Muslims, Mormons who refuse, on religious grounds, to serve same-sex couples – that photographer, that florist, that baker, for example – be treated as criminals?--- Pat Buchanan
Has the Civil Rights Movement gone too far?

This would lead to the loss of thousands of bureaucrat jobs.  The economy would implode. / sarc

Bitcoin virtual currency is on verge of collapse

Free Republic, LA Times

"Having Mt. Gox shut down is to bitcoin what having the New York Stock Exchange shut down is to our equity market," said James Angel, a professor of finance at Georgetown University.
Actually, I had a number of posts about Bitcoin last year.  Some of them got a lot of hits ( by the standards of this blog ).

Here's the most popular of the posts:

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Next Big Future: Rapid advances in robot body, brain and mind

Next Big Future: Rapid advances in robot body, brain and mind: Future of robotics Massimiliano Versace, director of the Boston University Neuromorphics Lab and CEO of Neurala, Inc., talks about the fut...


That's where the reference to the actor Joaquin Phoenix came from.  In a movie, Phoenix plays a character that has a "relationship" with a computer.

If that sounds twisted, well welcome to the 21st century.  Things are going to get stranger and stranger.

Dept. of Peace

It must be a good idea because Joaquin Phoenix likes it.  Who's that?  An actor.

Look, everybody wants peace.  You don't need to create a bureaucracy in order to have peace.  The thing to do is to reduce the likelihood of a conflict.  That doesn't require a bureaucracy.  What could help it along with be some genuine economic growth everywhere.  The one thing that could make a big difference is cheap and abundant energy.  Also, the mastery of space.

But I've been over that again and again.

The problem with this Department of Peace idea is that it is a wet dream for the leftist totalitarians.  If you look at the laundry list of things they want for this new cabinet level bureaucracy, you'll see that has a leftist slant.  Get rid of all guns?  A leftist dream.  A libertarian nightmare.

But getting rid of guns doesn't bring peace.  To the contrary.  It invites aggression.  From within and from without.

However, for the people of Switzerland, being well-armed has insured that they would not be the victims of aggression.  If everyone thought and acted like the Swiss, there would be fewer wars.  That's a peace idea that everyone should like.

Maybe the Ukrainians can become like the Swiss.  Make sure that they are very well-armed so that they won't be invaded and conquered again.

Ukraine Turns From Revolution to Recovery

Ukraine Turns From Revolution to Recovery


Why Commodities Are Soaring


It's not just gold that has been going up.  It commodities across the board.

Shorts are getting obliterated across the entire sector with a vengeance. You name it - coffee, sugar, hogs, soybeans, wheat, corn, silver and of course gold... Why have gold and commodities turned on a dime?

The answer is a turn from deflationary expectations to inflationary expectations. ---
Paul Nathan
I have been expecting this for years.

Next Big Future: Artificial muscles with a hundred times higher mec...

Next Big Future: Artificial muscles with a hundred times higher mec...: An international team led by The University of Texas at Dallas has discovered that ordinary fishing line and sewing thread can be cheaply co...


Very interesting.  You could find some applications for this in space, perhaps.

The muscles are powered thermally by temperature changes, which can be produced electrically, by the absorption of light or by the chemical reaction of fuels. [emphasis added]

The Reality v. The Propaganda

10 Stories From The Cold, Hard Streets Of America That Will Break Your Heart

The Government now owns Wall Street's heart and mind

Courtesy of Rick Santelli and Zero Hedge, we can now see the spectacle of what a few funny money dollars can buy.  It has bought new highs on Wall Street, but there aren't more jobs.  It's bought the souls of Wall Street, presuming that they ever had any to begin with.

These guys are now apostles of big government.  "Where would we be without government?"  Oh, boy.  There is not even the slightest notion of what the government did that caused the problems we had in 2008, and how what we've done since isn't any solution.  They've bought into the quantitative easing and stimulus big time.  No wonder I couldn't make a buck these past five years.  I figured these guys were free enterprise people.  Nope.

Santelli tries to point out the lack of jobs, but these guys just don't get it.  It's good for them.  That's all that matters.

Brief remark on airship drag

I did a simple experiment yesterday with respect to drag.  As I was driving, I put my hand outside as I reached 60 mph.  A rough guess of the pressure, I'd say it was probably less than 10 pounds.  If it was just two pounds, then a square meter would be about 144 lbs, or about 65 kg.  It may be even less than this.

Also, I revisited the drag equation.  The mass number is the density of the medium through which the object passes.  Since it is air, and the air's density is about 1.2 kg/meter cubed, then the numbers used in the spreadsheet could be fairly close.  Just multiply by 1.2 and the percentage of sea level calculated per altitude could give a reasonably accurate result.  But I'm not sure yet.

Actually, the numbers from the spreadsheet when run out give a number that is still much less than 65 kg.  So, it could still be off.

One final thing after reading he Wikipedia article on drag.  At supersonic speeds and higher, there is another form of drag that could be more of a problem than this.

It's all an education.

Monday, February 24, 2014

ObamaCare battles

A quick post about something that is a bit personal.  But I am not against such disclosures.  Anyway, I wrote about the problems I had signing up for ObamaCare.  Over this past weekend, I decided to try one more time before the deadline passes.  This time, I had success.  As of now, I am enrolled, but not covered yet.  I have to send in a payment and all that stuff.  Shouldn't be a problem.

The thought occurred to me, because of this, that the GOP is going to lose this battle.  Perhaps, it is already lost.  They lost it in 2012, with the reelection of Obama.  However, there is still some negative news out there about the rollout.

The deal is a bad deal for the taxpayers.  But for me personally, it is a fabulous deal.  Very low monthly premiums for insurance---gotta love it.  This is a killer from a political point of view.  But it is also a killer on terms of national interest.  A better deal for the taxpayers could have been had.  Also, the deal may be so expensive that it will have to be curtailed in some way.  But for the politicians and some people such as myself, it is a good deal.

I've written a lot of negative stuff about liberals and Democrats.  No doubt, many may regard this as something of a sell-out.  Perhaps.  But why couldn't you have come up with something when you had a chance?  If the GOP hadn't mismanaged things, like the war in Iraq, Obama and the Democrats wouldn't have gotten this opportunity in the first place.  Now it is here, and they will probably fail in getting rid of it.

Again, this is a bad deal for the country, but a good deal for me.  That's the zeitgeist.  Everybody takes care of number one, and let the country be damned.  Evidently, I am no different myself.  Should I have taken one for the team?  Why?  Nobody on the so-called right is supporting this blog, even though I have repeated many times some ideas that might helped the so-called right win elections.  What do I owe them?

As always, I write about the truth to the best of my ability.  Sometimes, the truth isn't one that you are going to like.  But that is the nature of truth.  It doesn't bend to anybody's will.

Strange under-the-table arms deals

US And Israel Quietly Provide Military Support And Parts To Iran, Which In Turn Is Arming Syria

Gold News, Gold Market, Mining Companies, Silver News | Kitco News

Rice Says U.S. Will Help Save Ukraine's Economy

The Obama administrator planned to work with the International Monetary Fund to provide unspecified financial aid to Ukraine, which is seen at risk of default.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Airship to Orbit possible trajectory

Playing around with this chart suggests a way to orbit.  Just follow a trajectory that minimizes drag.  If drag is a problem, then climb to an altitude, then speed up.

This rates a honking big speculation alert since I'm not trained to analyze this stuff.  Just trying to understand it, that's all.

From right to left beginning at column R through to column L, trace the altitude in the row v velocity that will allow drag to be kept under control
The velocities are in 1/2 increments from left to right.  For example, orbital, 1/2 orbital, 1/4 orbital etc.

Since I've determined that drag may be understated here by up to a magnitude of 3, the small numbers are really much bigger.  But the comparisons are probably apt.  You can see in green the drag numbers for an airplane at 600 mph.  Plus the drag number in green for a car at 60 mph.

The numbers are necessarily small because the airship is very, very big.  Frickin' huge.  Bigger ship, more drag.  But with drag, you should get lift in compensation.  Enough lift will allow you to climb higher.  A beautiful thing.

Basically, the way to orbit is with a parabolic trajectory that will compensate for the exponential increase of drag with velocity.  What that means is that you just keep a speed limit at each altitude and don't exceed it.  The altitude determines the speed limit.

The Space Shuttle did something similar.  You may remember the announcer saying "go for throttle up".  This is not too long before the boosters separated.  The Shuttle was going through its MaxQ, where the aerodynamic pressure was at its greatest.  If it goes through that zone at too high a velocity, the ship could break apart because of the pressure.  Throttle up means put the hammer down because you are through the danger zone.

Hopefully the spreadsheet isn't too busy.  I simplified it as much as possible.