Tag Archives: climate change

Resilience

Our news cycles are a constant drumbeat of alleged omens of doom.  Ebola, climate change, wars, earthquakes, urban decay and dying honeybees are only a few of dangers we face supposedly that will lead to our destruction or extinction.  I have some good news.  Homo sapiens is a tough dude.  You think things are rough in our era of the early 21st century then you have no appreciation of the history of Man.  The facts are that we have created many dangers to our existence over the millenia and Mother Nature has thrown the kitchen sink out us many times and yet here we are.

If you think ISIS is a terrible danger to our future then remember our ancestors managed to survive one way or another the Huns and Vandals destruction of the Roman Empire and what everyone would have defined as civilization at that time.   The Great Plague of the 14th century wiped out anywhere from a fourth to a third of the population and left a devastated countryside.   Many understandably believed that was the End Days of earth.   But again we trudged forward.  Each generation of Man without fail concludes that it is the most important of all ages and that if it fails significantly that all Mankind will tumble….such is vanity, all is vanity.

Was it  50 million or 100 million killed in the 20th century wars? But all was rebuilt and now we argue over the desserts on the table rather than the basic foodstuffs to sustain survival.  despite the predictions of a Sartre or Bertrand Russel or Rachel Carson even more of us are here and living better, far better than anytime in recorded history.

Even if the worst predictions of climate change are accurate if will not be something that our progeny won’t be able to handle and survive.  The coastlines have receded and waxed for a long time and our ancestors managed all those geographical difficulties; that is a truism or you and I wouldn’t be here today having a debate about climate.  In historical perspective it was only a blink of the eye when we had our last Ice Age.  Can you try to imagine what that did to our ancestors?  The seas retreated dramatically.  You could walk from Britain to the Continent on dry land.
The Ice sheets reached down to the Loire valley and to modern Manhattan and formed the Great Lakes.  All those folks dependent on the seas for mussels and other sustenance had to relocate and then in another joke of Mother Nature everything reversed and the waters of the seas rose again dramatically and what was inland become coastline again.  They had only primitive tools and their brains to survive such upheavals and yet they did.  There were no canals, bulldozers, cranes and computer projections to aid them or any type of machine tools.

Next time you see some thugs on TV trying to demonstrate their toughness and give those intimidating stares do remember that they pale in resilience and courage to all our ancestors.   Those past gene donors  over the history of Man were the true tough guys.  They figured it out whatever the challenge, improvised and fought tyranny in the end for us to enjoy the fruits of this century.  The shame is to not live up to their same standard with the determination to control our own destiny whatever the circumstances of fate put in our way.

“Theirs but to do or die”  Tennyson….www.olcranky.wordpress.com

 

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History And Settled Science

Most of you won’t remember or probably have never even heard of the “Silent Spring” by Rachel Carson that was published in the ’60’s.  Its main focus was on the use and alleged overuse of DDT for crop protection and general application for pest control for all manner of botanical life.  She posited that DDT was deadly and had become so pervasive that our very existence was at risk or at a minimum all our children would have three legs.  It covered all manner of other woes created by a modern industrial society and predicted our doom unless we retreated to more Eden-like life.   Well, the Left took up the cause and DDT was indeed banned for decades based on her alleged science which was supposedly confirmed by the vast majority of scientists. Trouble was there wasn’t really any science behind her allegations and in recent years on the very back pages as opposed to her front page assertions of decades ago the error was acknowledged and further acknowledged that the poorest in the world suffered the most by lack of DDT to increase crop production.

Likewise it was settled science for decades from at least the ’70’s that all cholesterol was deadly.   Every food manufacturer around went to great lengths to develop butter and all manner of food stuffs that were low in cholesterol or even free of it.   We were all warned to cut out that steak and buttered potato.   Again on the back pages recently you may have noticed that now we learn that in fact that was wrong.  You can enjoy your eggs and bacon without undue worry it seems after all. The Left also adopted this theory and it was agreed by the “scientific community”.

Now its the turn of the vitamin supplements.  We’ve been taught that science tells us we need all these special diets or pills to be healthy and that only the rich or 1% get access to those supplements.  The height of the concern is very evident in the current Federal push of O to control diets in the schools. But did you notice in the last month that now research shows that too many of those supplements actually increases the risks of cancer?

The hard sciences are much more trustworthy when it comes to agreeing upon “settled science”. That would be fields such a physics or astronomy for example.  Usually they will say they are still working on an issue and the implications for the future.  They are not so prone to sweeping generalizations and projections about future human behavior.

Science and the scientific method are wonderful.  But when politicians get involved be sure you truly believe they are acting on science and not ideology.  Especially when there is an entire “industry” built around one particular view of an issue.  Are they grants, professorships and lots of bureaucratic jobs dependent on one special view of an issue?  If so be very careful.  Examine the facts and take the rhetoric cautiously.  This applies to any matter.  I can recall when we were all going to die simply because we built some nuclear power plants.   Many very famous scientists from around the globe predicted this as a scientific fact.   Check on YouTube news clips from the ’60’s.  Last I checked we are still here.   The bigger worry you should have is how many of us will there be down the road but we’ll save that for another day.

“It gives me great pleasure indeed to see the stubbornness of an incorrigible non-conformist warmly acclaimed”  Albert Einstein.  olcranky.wordpress.com

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Wonders And Amazements

We have so many wonders around us every day that we don’t notice and it is amazing the current events and historical occurrences that are ignored by our media.  It must be that old adage at work about hiding in plain sight as the best way to remain unnoticed.

Speaking of adages, the next time you are trying to learn the origin of one, start with the Bible.  There is a very good chance you’ll find it there.   Remember Hamlet  “our fate is not in the stars but within ourselves”?   Well, the Bard was paraphrasing Job.  There when facing the common lament that God caused some misfortune Job responded “why persecute Him, seeing the root of the matter is found in me?”  How many times have you said something like “you are the apple of my eye”?   Well, take a gander at Psalms 17:8.   There really isn’t much new under the Sun.  Even that comes from Ecclesiastes.

We worry about global warming and all manner of natural disasters but are ignorant or choose not to face facts that the laws of physics and astronomical facts harbor  enormous changes in relatively short order.  The global warming debate is primarily forecasting conditions roughly a century from now.  A long time compared to a human life but a blink in the grand scheme.  You want to worry about something then try to understand the implications of precession.   That is a term that describes the wobble of the earth as it rotates on its  axis.  You know that the earth tilts at a 23 degree angle that gives us our seasons.  And as it does it also wobbles just like a top slowing down.   For several centuries and for a few more we have had our North Star found using the far end of the pot of the Big Dipper and taking an imaginary line four times that length to find it.  It has been very reliable for a long time.  But, but, but as the earth moves on its wobble the North Star is moving and a few short centuries down the road it will not be the “north” star any longer.  The complete precession takes 23,000 years but not that long to move quiet some distance.  What does that portend for our climate down the road?  No one knows for sure, but perhaps another ice age.   Neanderthals and Cro-magnons made it and hopefully homo sapiens will also.

These modern punters have such big averages per punt.   Not all that impressed with them.  Those punters back when had it much rougher to get a forty yard average for punts.  They changes the rule a few decades ago to make it easier.  The rule used to be that the kicking team could not down the ball inside the opponents ten yard line.  The punter had to be much more accurate to kick it out-of-bounds to achieve those really good numbers.  It was a penalty if the ball was touched or d0wned by the kicking team inside the ten and the receiving team got the ball out on the 20 yard line.  Not like now where the kick team can have guys run down quickly and down the ball near the goal line.  That change immediately pumped up the numbers for the modern kickers.  So when you see the averages from some old punter back in the ’40’s, ’50’s or ’60’s remember the rule he had to work under.

We notice that Apple  and Google and others are using new encryption methods to protect users’ privacy from government surveillance.    A great idea.  The Feds already have too much access to our everyday lives as it is.  I recognize the occasional need to track down a missing child or elderly person or similar emergency.   Fine, let those and other extraordinary circumstances be exceptions.  Require the Feds to go to a judge and lay out those facts and then get access, otherwise leave us alone.

I don’t recall any big feasts for Thanksgiving when I was small after the War.   We had very modest circumstances.  But we had as roof over our head and food on the table.  I guess we had a turkey or maybe a big chicken.  I do know we had pies and cakes.  Mostly even then I knew I had a remarkable Dad and Mom and I never doubted that Dad would take care of us.  I do remember when I was about 5 and we lived in a rented house with an ice box.  Yes, a real ice box where Dad brought home a block of ice every few days to put in the special drawer and my job was to empty out the drip pan every day.  Those were modest days but abundantly lived.   May each of you be so blessed.

“Barbarism is like the jungle; it never admits its defeat; it waits patiently for centuries to recover the territory it has lost”  Will Durant, American historian.  http://www.olcranky.wordpress.com

 

 

 

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2 Cents Worth On Life Its Ownself

Well, the Holidays are over and the hibernation will be interrupted long enough for the current thoughts and ramblings of the gray matter…..

Another State of the Union address and again we call for the elimination of the current method of delivery.  It is pure political theatre and propaganda.  Regardless of what party controls the White House the prevailing showmanship of the delivery should be stopped.  For well over 100 years the State of the Union was a straightforward written report to Congress from the President.   We need to really tone down this useless drama show.  It should be a business meeting between the Executive and Legislative branches of government.  Put it on C-span and no applause and distractions.  Let the President and his Cabinet present facts and figures about our economy, national security and society.  Let the Congressmen ask questions and challenge the data and assumptions and proposed policies.  It should be give and take.  The Presidents written report should be no longer than 20 pages in length, anything more and you’re getting hyperbole and fluff.

Saw a shooting star the other night.  It was the first one I’ve seen in a number of years what with all the bright lights of the city and trees and roof lines.  It was quite dramatic and very bright as it descended to earth.  So large that I actually listened for a boom.  Did see one so large and close that it produced a loud boom decades ago.  Better than any fireworks display when they are that large.

Not at all surprised that so many people were having their private insurance policies cancelled due to Obamacare.  Those reading these pages remember that I said that would happen back in ’10 when the thing was passed and I actually read the bill.  It provided that the policies being grandfathered in could only be those that never changed.   “Any” change meant they no longer met the standard of a “qualified” plan as approved by the bureaucrat in charge, the HHS Secretary.  So if your premium in the plan you liked was $300 per month and it increased by $5 per month then that change would kick you to the exchanges and you had to get the government approved plans, period.

Fighting wars half-heartedly is always a recipe for disaster. Korea and Viet Nam are probably the worst examples but Afghanistan isn’t far behind with that current guy in the White House view of the military and the mission there.   The object of any military action should always be to destroy and subdue your enemy and do so with all the resources at your command.  History teaches well the old maxim that when you go against and remove the King you better get rid of all his heirs also.   If we aren’t committed to eliminating the Taliban as a force then we might as well get out completely and go back in at our pleasure when we detect specific threats.   If our guys can’t conduct aggressive offensive operations as of now then they are merely becoming targets for the attacks of the Taliban at their pleasure.

Read another detailed and thorough article this week about the probability of our magnetic field starting another flip.  That means the magnetic poles will switch places and your compass would point south, not north.  If that is beginning to occur then it makes a mockery of the concern over alleged global warming.   The process could take thousands of years and the effects on Mother Earth would be enormous.  Weather would change for sure as would the overall climate and the effects of the increased radiation from the Sun would tear apart much of our modern infrastructure built on electrical power and electronic machines of all stripe, not the least of which would be your handy computer.   The magnetic field has flipped many times over the eons and many scientist believe we over  due for another  anytime.  The magnetic field has already weakened and some view that has the harbinger of the flip.  So another item to add to your list of worries but this one is real, the danger is only a question of time, not an if.

About two weeks before we dropped the first A bomb on Hiroshima a US sub made one of the most unusual attacks of the entire War.  The sub had already sunk several Jap ships in a harbor and was due to return to base but the captain noticed a  railroad trestle right on the shore line that was used by the Japs to transport supplies to the war making factories nearby.  They couldn’t have used a torpedo but were innovative both captain and crew.  They decided a shore party could attach a explosive device to the tracks and get the next train to pass after installation.  It took several days to figure out how to do it.  They used the explosive charges that normally are used only to scuttle the ship for the pow factor.  But then they had to devise a method to make the “bomb” explode at the right time to take out the train.  They jerry-rigged a trigger from a battery and copper wires.  The trigger was to be placed under the metal rail after they dug out a small pit for the explosives and then when the train passed over it would depress the rail a bit and that would close the electric circuit and ignite the device.  In the dark of the night a couple of nights later the landing party of 8 went ashore, dug the pit and placed the device there.  As they were heading back to the sub in a rubber dingy a train pulled into sight and then onto the trestle area embankment and sure enough it worked and everything went sky high.  The Captain was already a Medal of Honor winner when this took place.   Needless to say it was the only sub to take out a train during the War.

Even the Fed is beginning to taper.  Now if we could only get Congress to “taper” also and spend less.  I don’t feel like I get a bang for my tax bucks paid, er, extorted, to the Federal government, do you?

“Liberty alone demands for its realization the limitation of the public authority, for liberty is the only object which benefits all alike,…”  Lord Acton, British historian  http://www.olcranky.wordpress.com

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2 Cents Worth On Life Its Ownself

Do we laugh, cry or just go into our hole when we read the headlines from today?…thoughts and reflections on same follow.

Well, it is Yellen for the new Fed Chairmanship.  One wonders  a year from now who will be yelling for Yellen or yelling at her.   The elderly and the prudent savers of the US certainly won’t benefit from her severe easy money policies and extremely low interest rate regime.  The ants will continue to get crushed for their diligence and hard work and the grasshoppers will continue to eat off the fat of the land produced by the ants.

The arguments and conflict over the debt ceiling and payment of the Federal debt has been around since literally the inception of the country.  As we transitioned from the interregnum after the Revolutionary War to our current Constitution we had a big argument then about the debts run up by the Colonies to fund the War.  There were many who advocated not paying all that debt especially to the foreigners who had bought it i.e. the Dutch and French and even some Brits.   But Hamilton’s view prevailed and the Constitution honored all the outstanding debt of the US, Colonies.  Yes, there were some “fat cats” in the US who also profited enormously from this decision because they had bought up many of those bonds for pennies on the dollar.  But Hamilton and the like-minded believed we had to pay all those bonds to protect our credit and against the future need to borrow more and that meant paying all creditors regardless of their moral worth.  They were all paid 100 cents on the dollar with interest.

We are not yet bankrupt or a dead beat because the US does have the capacity to pay all its debts in full.  The current argument is correctly about future fiscal policy to see we remain that way.  The current trajectory of the Democrats will indeed drive us to bankruptcy.  That can and must be changed so we remain solvent.  The existing fight truly is about making the Democrats recognize that reality and adjust our spending accordingly.  Yes, the guy in the White House has it right–the numbers do not lie.   Houston, we have a problem!

Unless you keep up with the foreign press reports you would not know that the Arctic sea ice has in fact increased this year by 60%.  Strange that the Europeans are even more paranoid about the global warming hysteria than we are but they are the ones that most often report the facts and critiques of the IPCC reports and global warming alarmists excesses.

Historically, the Democrats and the Paul Krugman’s of this world have taken the position that the US debt is not a major worry because with just a little tinkering we can grow our way out of it.  They believe that increases in population will result in constantly growing GDP and thus the size of the debt will be manageable in relation to that larger economy.  Many arguments can be made against that proposition on the merits and the numbers especially when you include in the off balance sheet liabilities like Social Security and Medicare.   However there is one other flaw in the dialectic, who can guarantee they we will continue to grow?  Japan and Europe are already in the midst of a significant population slow as is China.  Why wouldn’t that happen here?    Then the debt would loom even larger not seem manageable relative to the size of the overall economy.   Those Democratic liberals are making a gamble on the future based on what scientific evidence?  They love to talk science.  But that theory is faith, not fact.

We’ve passed the Harvest Moon and already the moms in our neighborhood are putting out their Halloween stuff in the yards and on the doors.

I want to be safe and secure in the US and have no problem at all with taking out  the bad guys around the world.   The radical Muslims are our enemy and we do need to be vigilant and aggressive in combating them.  But, but, but….do we really need a million square foot facility in Utah for NSA in addition to all those thousands of worker bees there in the DC area?   Do we really need those 50,000 plus TSA folks doing those ridiculous searches at the cost it requires?  I don’t travel much anymore but when I do I sure don’t feel any safer with them around.  I don’t think they would deter in the slightest a serious terrorist bent on mayhem.  Indeed my last trip through their procedures I was questioned by a black lady wearing her hajib.  That didn’t exactly increase my level of confidence and it sure didn’t help that she was rude to boot to everyone passing through her line.   There are over 35,000 in the FBI and 114,000 in the Justice Department.  There is no way we need that many people protecting us from those breaking Federal criminal statutes.  They need to be cut back, not eliminated but cut back for heaven’s sake.   The FBI used to do most background checks for security clearances but they don’t even do most of that anymore it is done by contractors.    It seems to some of us that we have lost our sense of balance on these issues.

And on that subject why does the EPA, the IRS, Labor department, Interior department and many others have guys running around with guns and badges?  Can’t they have the FBI do the arresting when they come across a crime.

Wouldn’t it be interesting if the Feds were required by law to list all their departments, agencies, bureaus and the zillion other special committees along with their cost and personnel count online.  It wouldn’t be binding of course but then allow the public to “vote” on each one.   Either to eliminate it completely or change the funding level for each identified entity.  Might be a true wake up call for the Feds.

“All I know is what I read in the papers.”  Will Rogers  http://www.olcranky.wordpress.com

 

 

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Altitude Bias And Conspiracy Theories

Those arguing for strong and expensive climate change legislation and action are doing so to merely mislead the hoi polloi and advance their own secret agenda of self-preservation.  We’ll assume for the moment that there is indeed climate change and that it is caused by Man and his use of fossil fuels.  But that is small beans compared to the other planetary disasters we face in the future.

Let’s start with some basic geology and geodesy.  The Earth is not a sphere.  It is slightly off and not shaped like a billiard ball.  It is larger at the equator and flattened at the Poles and squeezed so that it is a bit pear-shaped.  Furthermore the Earth’s surface is not smooth like a billiard ball.  The Earth has high and low spots all over it.  It is more like a dimpled golf ball at the surface but the ups and down aren’t uniform.  This shape is due to the forces of gravity and the varying density of the Earth itself especially the density in its interior.   Also the shape and movement of old Earth is greatly affected by the Moon and the Sun and their gravitational influence.   The Earth has a 23 degree tilt on its axis as related to its orbit around the Sun.  Remember the Earth both spins on its axis and it also moves through space in its orbit around the Sun.   The centrifugal force of the Earth’s spin combined with the influence of Sun and Moon make the Earth bulge at the equator and thus the oceans are higher there and then that water moves “downhill” like all water does toward the Poles.  Lastly we must consider that the rotation of the Earth is slowing and the same is true for the orbit around the Sun.  Both of these phenomena are occurring now without let up and will continue for perpetuity.   The effects of all these matters will be felt first at “sea level” as we commonly define it.  Those at higher altitudes will more immune to the coming disaster for a while longer.  So what you ask as to all these facts.

Well, we do really well and have for recorded history with the 24 hour day and the 365 and a quarter day orbit around the Sun.    But how will we do with a 30 hour day or an annual orbit time of 430 days?  We all have been taught that the Sun some day will die and explode going Nova on us.  But that is projected to be so many billions of years in the future that it appears more fantasy than a reality.   The extremes of a longer day and orbit will destroy all life as we know it on Earth.  Our crops and cattle will not survive is such extremes.  The seasons will not be as we have known them.  We might get something to grow but you won’t be able to have a pastrami on rye.  The cockroaches and centipedes might do quite well if they can figure out how to move in and out of the sunlight.  We might do for a while digging underground but then Lord forbid we would have to use that evil nuclear power for all our energy needs and that just wouldn’t do.    We are truly doomed and yet the world leaders ignore this coming catastrophe and offer no hope for the future.  We have been repeatedly told to heed the “science” of climate change and those who challenge it are  dupes of the energy industry or merely ignorant meatheads.  Why you ask are the world leaders silent on this vital issue of our time to preserve Mother Earth for our progeny?    The Cabal is why.

It is so obvious to the thinking man–it is the Commie, Rich Sheik, Big Oil, Jewish, Scientology, and Elite World Leader  conspiracy at work.  Why do you think we are having a world wide economic slow down?  That excess money and economic growth is being drained off for the building of a fleet of space craft to take those privileged few to a new world in our galaxy.   They are doing this at an undisclosed secret location.  Why do you think that North Korea is still so closed to the outside world.  Even the outsiders allowed to visit can only go with minders to keep them in tow.   That is the best guess for this project’s location.   Although it is conceded that many believe it to be in a remote and inaccessible valley in the Hindu Kush of Central Asia.  These people are stealing the wealth of the middle class and working man to build a luxurious intergalactic floating resort to take them to safety.   They will even have universal free health care provided by captive doctors taken for the purpose.   The whole climate change issue is merely a giant campaign to confuse us and keep our eyes of the efforts of this Cabal.  They figure they can divert us for at least a century while they complete their planned escape to a better world.  Leaving the bulk of Mankind to a Hobbesian world of despair and certain destruction.   I say to arms and the ramparts.  This conspiracy is the great issue of our time and indeed for all time if Mankind is to continue its existence.   Are we going to allow the billionaires and millionaires to put their boots on the necks of the middle class yet again?  They should be working on a solution to our slowing rotation and orbit.  Maybe we could organize a world-wide “Jump For Life” project where will all jump off the Earth at the same time and reduce the weight and offset the slowing spin.  But we can’t count on the Cabal to initiate this life saving program they will denigrate it and call it phony science so be on your guard.  Long live the Spin Speed.

*The facts cited in this tale are all true.  Verify them yourself.  There are plenty of books, remember what they are?  Even wikipedia might get it right on them.

“The attempt to combine wisdom and power has only rarely been successful and then only for a short while.” Albert Einstein.  http://www.olcranky.wordpress.com

 

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2 Cents Worth On Life Its Ownself

If the economy continues to struggle we might have to adjust our price.   Who knows this might turn out to be the only thing you could buy for 1 cent but for now we will try to maintain our exorbitant price point.

I wonder how fearful those Yankees are this morning of Global warming as they dig out from another major snowstorm in 2011 and this one before Halloween!  But don’t believe your own eyes trust what those UN types tell you the weather is doing.

Government Motors stock is down over 28% since it went public to great fanfare less than a year ago.   There was also lots of bragging about “paying” off its government loan early even though that was with other borrowed money from the Feds.   The Feds still are the single largest shareholder behind the Union pension and health funds and they can’t seem to find the buyers for that stock.   While this is going on GM just granted a bonus of 5 grand for each union worker and that awful low salary for the new hires was raised substantially.  I mean did you really think that was going to last?  Hope all you taxpayers are enjoying your terrific investment for the UAW.

Still amazed at how the phone works.  You speak into a transmitter where the vibrations of your voice in the atmosphere is somehow translated into electronic signals on the electromagnetic spectrum.  Then that sound/electronic transmission makes its way through miles of hard wire lines and through switching stations and somehow ends up at the phone of the person you are talking with.  Those same lines carry many other conversations at the same time yet yours is distinct somehow from all those others and gets re-coded from electronic pulses to sound waves again when it arrives at the receiving phone.  When you think about it it is truly magical and since most of us can’t comprehend how that works.

Speaking of the phone you might like to know that when Bell first tried to interest investors in developing the phone for commercial use he was rebuffed.  They did not view it as a technological breakthrough.   To them it was just a fancy toy.  Their view was that for serious matters people could send a telegram if speed was important or even a hand written letter.  They asked why anyone would want to talk on a phone for any length of time.   I guess they didn’t think about the market for teenage girls.

When the guy in the White House announced the final withdrawal of troops from Iraq I never heard so many “I’s, me’s, my promise, my policy”.   In fact you will recall that the timeline for the removal of troops was done under Bush during the fall of ’08.  Forget whether or not it was a good idea then or now it just irks when someone tries to crowd in the front of the line for credit for other’s work.  I just hope we withdraw our money along with our troops.  Why do we owe the Iraqis anything? 

Its only about 7 weeks to another Christmas ladies.   Oh and don’t forget that little Thanksgiving buffet before then.

The teachers will all earn their money today with the kids being so excited about getting out of school and home to start their Trick or Treating.

Best pancakes ever are those served at the entrance to West Yellowstone Park in Montana.  It is the entrance least used by visitors in the far northwestern portion of the park.  Almost everyone comes from the east or south to enter the Park.  Those pancakes are thick, fluffy and light to the taste and go great with bacon, ham or sausage.  Those with a steaming cup of coffee is a wonderful way to start the morning and get your cholesterol shot for the day.

Remember the old saying about being careful what you ask for.  One wonders what those protesters on Wall Street would do if they got their wishes?  I mean exactly how would they go about divvying up all that wealth they made the 1 per cent surrender?  How would they make sure it was shared equally?  You think they would form a committee to do the work and would that committee agree unanimously on the solution?   One wonders how much of that wealth would deteriorate to nothing while they argued about what to do with it?  Since they don’t like banks or debt they would have to use nothing but cash and we simply don’t have that much physical cash on hand to dole out.  Wonder if they ever thought of that?

The best long-term foreign policy we could have for the next generation would be total energy independence.  Fortunately we now have that ability with the shale formations and the oil and gas available there.  We should do that and make it a national priority.  That would sure reduce the need to be so concerned with events in other parts of the world and reduce the influence of the Mid East and folks like Chavez or China from applying pressure on us to do or not do certain things down the road.  It is in our strategic interest to do this and for our kids.  It will save us enormous sums of money and allow us to project our power thoughtfully and carefully in the future.  Go natural gas, save the US.

“We will either find a way or make one”.   Hannibal  www.olcranky.wordpress.com

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2 Cents Worth On Life Its Ownself

Let’s go to the bargain basement for some grand ideas and pricey thoughts.

So green jobs are the boon of tomorrow.  Maybe so.  But in the meantime Solynda takes a dive after getting a 535 million loan guarantee only last year.  Sinking with the ship was 1100 jobs.  It was the guy in the White House’s favorite pet only 15 months ago.  The green jobs will come when there is demand and efficiency of scale as they always have and will unless we convert to a total State planning model of government.  There are those who want exactly that.  If we will just behave and go along with their edicts they’ll look after us all.

For the last couple of decades there has been universal recognition of the alleged war crime of “ethnic cleansing”.  The most recent and widely discussed charge of this behavior was during the Balkan wars of the late ’90’s.  Indeed several individuals have been charged with that crime.  It refers to the practice of uprooting ethnic groups and wholesale moving them out of their homes into some place else deemed to be more ethnically suitable.  There has been mention of it again several times during the Arab Spring unrest.  The Western powers after WWII engaged in such behavior.  Several million Germans were forcibly moved from one country to Germany right after the War.  The Sudetenland Germans had been in Czechoslovakia for a very long time.  More than 700,000 were forced to Germany after the War.  The same was true of Germans in Poland, Romania and Hungary.  This forced deportation was in writing as part of the Potsdam agreements in July of 1945.   Time and circumstance do influence our view of morality on occasion.  Remember this was not something that occurred during the Dark Ages, the Thirty Years War or the Nap0leonic era but with the lifetime of most people alive today.

Outwardly, the White House loves to project and image of cutting edge, modern, science based and forward-looking.  But they seem totally determined to subsidize the windmill electricity production industry (if “industry” can be used for that business model).   That super technology has been around for centuries–remember Don Quixote?   Can anyone spell Luddite?   Soon we will advance to the fire as the primary source of power, oh, except that would release more carbon into the air and destroy the trees.  It is great to watch progress in action.

Another funeral this week.  They played “Amazing Grace”.  I suppose a non-Christian would at least find it a beautiful tune with its and haunting touch.  For a Christian it is an accusation.  It compels you to think about being better.  To fulfill some of the promise of mankind.  At the same time it offers comfort and encouragement.  That you are not having to do this alone.  The help is free in earthly costs, you only have to follow the Way.  As the congregation hits that final verse “when we been there ten thousand years…..” you can feel the power of belief.

A new grandson this week.  I just love the miracle of it all.  For the life of me I still can’t figure out how that baby can go from being hooked up to mom and “breathing” liquid” and then upon birth within seconds it knows it can breathe air on its own. It all happens so fast.   There is something so majestic and inspiring about it even after having been through it several times before.   May you be so blessed one day.

The electric starter for cars was invented almost 100 years ago.  God Bless his soul.  No greater improvement has been since that one.  Sure some are convenient and we love them but having that starter with only the push of a button is wonderful.   Of course a bit ago most of those starter buttons were on the floor next to the gas pedal.  You had to push down of both of them at the same time and pull out the choke to get the engine to fire up.

Do you really think the Germans are going to tax or cut back their standard of living to bail out the Greeks?  They might help a bit as they already have but don’t count on them doing much more.  A word to the wise in the investing world.  Who can blame them?  What did they do wrong and why are they expected to pay for someone else’s profligacy?  The Greeks apparently expect to beggar thy neighbor and continue their life of relative ease without putting in the sweat and risk it takes to run their own economy.   One does reap sooner or later what one sows.

The international space station is beginning to look like a long term loser.  Being dependent on the Russkies for transport is a terrible development.  They lost the last rocket and their engineering and organizational skills could sure be questioned.  We don’t have anyway to get there anymore.  Why didn’t we build a backup on the cheap like the old Apollo program to at least get a manned capsule in space until we build something much grander?  I guess NASA has been too busy with its Muslim outreach program which we all know is now its number one priority.

You did pick up on the report from CERN about their research that the Sun is the greatest influence on the Earth’s atmosphere and weather.  The rays of the Sun affect the build up of clouds which makes more temperature control up or down.  The Sun is the biggest thing in our Solar System and, duh, is it a surprise that it controls more of our weather patterns than anything we will ever do.  Look for the news reports, you’ll have to search but they are there from last week.  Gore won’t be mentioning them.

“Some day science may have the existence of mankind in its power, and the human race commit suicide by blowing up the world”  Henry Adams, American historian, written in 1862.  www.olcranky.wordpress.com

 

 

 

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Solar And Wind Power From Here To Eternity

The spill in the Gulf by BP has naturally caused a bump up in the jaw boning about the need and urgency for renewable energy sources.  It is like a mantra with some.   The left throws out the phrase “solar” power like it is the magic answer if only we tax enough rich folks and make all energy use much more expensive to discourage its use then the green world of Eden will be at hand.  Although the ranks of the dedicated may have recently been reduced a bit.  I wonder how enthusiastic Tipper is these days about the climate change agenda?  Anyhow, I am all for innovation and new ways to create our energy needs and I do believe that somewhere down the road we will be using other sources than carbon based minerals to produce our transportation needs and electrical needs.   I just want private industry to create it without all of us having to subsidize one particular pet political constituency.

Other than politics why are we spending billions each year on ethanol which is a proven disaster for energy production and not cost-effective.  I have no problem if you want to install a solar panel on your home for electrical use or build a windmill to provide it as long as me and the other taxpayers aren’t having to foot the bill.   The cap and tax bill promoted by the Dems has basket loads of special subsidies for both wind and solar.   The wind and solar production at the moment accounts for 1% of the power production in the US.   You can look this up for yourself on the EIA website.   That is the Energy Information Agency.   At a cost of billions per year we could assume for the moment that the production rate for both of these sources could be increased by 1% a year.  That would be a fantastic rate of increase and in 20 years it could account for 20% of our energy production.   Even at the end of that period it would be a minority of our energy production.  It would costs billions assuming we would all stand for a 10 to 20% increase in our monthly electric bill and gas about 5 bucks a gallon.   Just the one  project that Boone Pickens is promoting in Texas would cost more than a billion dollars to construct and that doesn’t include the additional costs of the new transmission lines necessary to get the power to the people who need it.

Have you kept up with the wind farm off the coast of Mass. lately?  They have been working to develop that for years.  These solar and wind farms require huge amounts of acreage wherever they are built.   To do the increase of 1% a years we would be talking about hundreds of thousands of acres of land dedicated to just those projects.   Just as in Mass. you would have to deal with the environmentalists who object to the projects as “ugly” or dangerous to some damn bird or fish.   Again, check the record in Mass. and the litigation there.  That project apparently now has all the government approvals but is still a few years from starting if it ever does because of litigation. 

As soon as one of these projects is announced the NIMBYs start coming out of the woodwork and I don’t necessarily blame them.   We are talking about miles and miles of transmission lines that will have to run through areas where people already live.   I know the West is filled with lots of wide open spaces but even there the ranchers and environmentalists don’t like those wind farms or solar farms.  They do take up lots of space very quickly.  You can drive to West Texas around McCamey and see miles of the things.   If you live on a coast I am not sure you would think the view of the 300 foot tall windmill a few miles off the shore is pretty than an oil rig.

Maybe they will have a breakthrough in these technologies at some point.  That would be terrific is they did.  It would be neat to have a 2 foot by 3 foot panel on the top of your car that could generate enough power to drive your car for 500 miles.  Believe it or not when we first started the space programs they were predicting such a device because the early solar panels were being used to power the satellites.  Of course they only powered small motors and tiny computers.   The company that can invent the cost effective method to generate reliable power will make millions and become the new Apple and I applaud that idea.  I do not applaud Government, Inc. trying to micromanage our lives and tell us how to spend our energy money.   Like the market decide which method is best. 

Lets do it all, try it all and in the meantime use our natural gas for transportation.  It is demonstrably cleaner than gasoline and it is here.  It will increase our security and create hundreds of thousands of new and well-paying jobs for Americans.  It should also be used for electrical power generation for the same reasons.  We have the technology now to implement its use and the infrastructure could be installed in a matter of a few years rather than decades.

Things change and our energy use, production and needs will change.  Our prime source for energy will change.  We should at least embrace the change that is the most economical and allows the least government intrusion into our lives.   I have no problem with nuclear power but it is sadly a non-starter probably because the Left is so opposed to it that the litigation and slow downs make it the least feasible alternative.  Sad but true.   We need to do something or else a few years down the road you won’t be seeing this on the computer except at select times when the power is on.  Having abundant power is not guaranteed, we have to make it happen.

“Try not to become a man of success but rather try to become a man of value”  A. Einstein.  http://www.olcranky.wordpress.com

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Relearn And Respect The Lessons From Nature

One gets a sense of scale and even insignificance when we watch the latest eruption of a major volcano in Iceland.  We argue and moan and groan about the influence of Man on our climate and old Mother Earth with our cars and power plants.  But then along comes something like this again to rein in our over- broad view of our power.  We didn’t start the eruption and we can’t do a darn thing to turn it off.  Well, I guess some at the Sierra Club might argue that the eruption was due to climate change just like they do with hurricanes and other natural events and changes in the geology and climatology of Earth.  I doubt any credible geologist worth his salt would maintain that position.   That fact is that there are giant and powerful forces at work shaping the earth now and into its future.  The Earth is not a completed project yet.  Hard to believe but it never will be.  Earth will continue to change as long as it exist. 

It is often forgotten and rarely noted that a few hundreds of miles below our feet there is nothing but molten iron.  It rotates and moves with creates our magnetic poles and thank heaven, literally, for that or else we would die from radiation from our Sun.  Sitting on top of that molten iron is the crust of our earth–the ordinary  “dirt” and stones we see.   All of our power plants and nuclear bombs pale in comparison to the force and energy of the rotating blob of iron. We are the fly on the wall and can be swatted away by Mother Nature on a whim anytime.

Already transportation by air is shut down throughout much of Europe and almost all of Europe will be affected in a few more days if the eruption continues.  It is not like a runaway oil well that can be tamed by Man’s ingenuity and technology.  That kink in our modern transportation system is not caused by an oil embargo, terrrorits’ attack or financial crisis but by the forces of Nature exercising their muscles.  There is not shut-off valve they we can turn.  We are at the mercy of Nature.  When Krakatoa went up in the 1880’s the entire world cooled off for over a year.  That following summer was the one noted as the summer without summer because of the cooler temperatures throughout Europe and the US.  All you have to do is look at the clips of the eruption to see the tons and tons of ash and debris being spewed into the atmosphere by that eruption.  All the tailpipes in LA for a year wouldn’t equal what it coming out there in an hour.

It has already been reported that the makeup of the ash is more than that in the traditional definition because much of this is sand and grit along with the usual volumes of sulphur that when mixed with water droplets in the atmosphere will form sulphuric acid.  Sounds like a real witches brew.   It can’t be determined yet if the net effect will be to warm or cool the climate globally.  On the one hand the “dust” will reflect radiation from the Sun and therefore cause cooler temps but the gases will also trap some of the inherent heat from the Earth and tend to warm.  Bet your money on the cooling effect.  Of course nothing dramatic will happen if the eruption dies out in a matter of days.  It will be yesterday’s news and the folks in western Europe might have a little more dust to clean up than normal.  But if that thing wants to  continue it will affect our weather.  Also there is the possibility that it could have a really huge explosion that would put even more debris into the atmosphere in short order like Krakatoa which lasted only hours.   It also could produce very spectacular sunsets for some time as the setting Sun’s rays reflect off the floating debris in the skies around the world.  The trade winds and jet stream will influence where all this will move.  The first indications of debris should show up in the US by next week. 

So if you are worried about unemployment, the economy, public debt or political direction or parties, then you can add something new to your list.  Remember it was massive amounts of debris like this that killed off the dinosaurs and later the large mammals.   Those tectonic plates will move  and cause eruptions regardless of the Common Market actions or the passage of health care.   If you feel a shaking in your house then that is something to worry about or if you have to wear sweaters during the summer you will worry.  Use your own thoughts processes to imagine what will happen to agriculture if this thing continues much longer.  The impact could be devastating.  Buy long on the commodities futures if you think it will continue for long.  So sleep well but check the news one more time.

From ancient times to our own Man has always viewed the giant events of Nature as an omen.  The earthquakes, great storms, floods, drought and fires were portents of something wicked this way comes.  Does this eruption portend anything in your mind?  (Ray Bradbury fans will pick up on the above line)  http://www.olcranky.wordpress.com

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