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On the renewable energy/green front there is no one more “green” than the Germans. They have the world’s largest users of solar panels and the like. They also announced last year they are closing all their nuclear plants within a decade partially as a result of the Japanese disaster. However if you read the fine print in the news lately they have sharply cut back on their subsidies for solar and just last week a second solar panel facility filed for bankruptcy. Hmmm, they will figure it out, they are Germans after all, but one wonders if they have really picked the right horse for the future ride. You want a preview of our solar future, watch the Germans for the tell.
Speaking 0f green, we notice that the Labor dept. stats list a bus driver driving a hybrid bus as a “green” job for their estimate of th total jobs in the category. One would think the bus driver would drive whatever type bus they gave him. Delve into the report yourself and see how well your tax dollars are spent by bureaucrats probing all aspects of the economy and then counting as green jobs everything they in their infinite wisdom perceive to be connected to that movement. Even if you believe every categorization they make do we really need to pay someone to come up with those numbers? How does that info add to our economic output?
You can sleep easier now. Those particles sent from Switzerland to Rome didn’t travel faster than the speed of light after all. Seems the machines weren’t properly calibrated and the readings were false. Whew, otherwise a lot of what we trust in like gravity would have been in question. We already have enough questions about life as it is.
In the earliest days of our Republic we still had a fairly primitive economy compared to the English. Yes, we had a currency but its value was still in doubt and the merchants of the day had to be pretty darn good with their math and up on world affairs and the different values of foreign currency. At that time it was still very common for commercial transactions to be consummated with foreign currency. Spanish doubloons, English pounds sterling, Dutch Guilders and Italian ducats were still pretty common currency all along the eastern seaboard and the ports there. The merchants had to determine how to make the conversions for many different currencies and what currency would be accepted by their counterparties, especially those overseas. Foreign merchants were reluctant to accept payment in US funds. But our paying off our state bonds, as promoted by Hamilton, greatly helped the value of our money.
The Egyptians built truly remarkable structures in the ancients times–the Pyramids, the Sphinx and all those buildings at Assam and Memphis. Interesting that they never could figure out the engineering or muster the will to build the Suez canal. That had to wait for millenia and the Europeans. It was the French who built the canal to great fanfare but lukewarm financial support in the mid 19th century. It took about ten years to complete and the British were constantly carping about it. After all they were the world’s leading economic power then and controlled most international trade. The Brits even provoked turmoil among the workers on the canal who they touted as slave labor. After completion there was one other problem the engineers and businessmen involved hadn’t paid enough regard. The early days of the canal were less than successful because most ships still were moved by sail. The prevailing winds in that region move west to east and thus passage was long and sometimes not possible at all for days at a time. It took the steam engines and ironclads to make it a success. They maybe should have consulted more with the seafaring men before they started they venture. Amazing how overlooking the obvious happens over and over. The original company that built the canal went bust. There is a lesson there for all of us.
The reports say that there are 25 Secret Service agents with the Obama kid on her vacation. That is probably and sadly correct, I suspect. As stated here before that protection for Presidents and others has reached ridiculous proportions. Yes, we need some protection for Presidents and those in succession and maybe a very minimal amount for ex-Presidents but that is it. As late as Harry Truman’s term and Ike, they just left the White House as private citizens and went home. Twenty-five agents for a child of a President is absurd regardless of who is President and regardless of Party. We need to regain some sense of balance and responsible use of taxpayer money. If we are that worried about the President’s safety then just use a company of Marines around the White House, they are already being paid. Just asking for some common sense in all this.
If under Obamacare the individual mandate is upheld we will have lost most of our traditional freedoms to a central government that can run rough-shod over our State’s historical role of being in charge of police powers. Next to regulate “interstate commerce” the Feds could require that all future IRS payments be made with US Treasury notes or bills. They would force you to loan money to the government then take those same notes you hold as payment for your taxes. Multiply that over millions of tax payers and you are talking real money. If they can make you buy insurance what makes you think they couldn’t require you to loan them money? Regardless of the need for health care reform such alleged reform is not worth allowing unfettered power to the Federal government. That is why we only gave them enumerated powers and have a Bill of Rights.
“History teaches that among the men who have overturned the liberties of republics, the greatest number have begun their career by paying obsequious court to the people; commencing demagogues, and ending tyrants” A. Hamilton. www.olcranky.wordpress.com