Thursday, May 31, 2012

North Carolina disaffiliated from natural law

North Carolina Republicans, outlawed sea-level rise.  House bill 819 pulled a Moses.  State planners and scientists are predicting a meter rise by the end of the century, modeled on accelerating polar ice melt and ever warming temperatures.  This means NC's coastal roads and developments need to be located  to what will become the new shoreline, existing assets may need to be abandoned in the coming years.  Many states are using these same aprox. 40" rise in water level for long range planning, as are many nations around the world.
North Carolina though put a stop to sea level rise, speeches on the floor derided scientist and their computer models made by witches and people who recycle cans.  Bill 819 mandates the projection only use recent historical data to project a rise.  Historians not scientist will determine this issue.  So, the last few years the sea has risen and by wisely flat lining the near past  increase the sea has been restricted to a maximum 8 inch rise.
See, it's easy to fix global warming.  Make it illegal, fire the scientist, and move on.  Next item vagina's, who owns'em who controls'em.

Canada, not to be outdone gave termination notice Monday to all 50 scientist who study one of their only two neighbors, their largest neighbor, the ocean.  Reason given was for the last 20 years all we got out of these guys was warnings about pollution, endless documents about rising acidity and temperatures and water, loss of ice, and notices of declining fish, seal and bear populations.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Women didn't seem to care then either.

Romney fine tuning his "I'm a hostage of my own absurd wealth" routine.  

At least they have a plan for alternative energy.


Where the hell were the editors last month?

May 22nd I wrote "It's the law, Kansas GOP gives state to the rich", you can read it a couple of blogs below this one.  I outlined how Gov. Brownback and the GOP gave the rich a tax cut that will drive a $2.5 billion shorfall in 5 years.  But according to them the state will grow and have more jobs and tax income than anytime in history.

Today, all over the state, the editors of almost every good sized town in the state is railing against the tax cut, where the hell were they a week ago, a month ago?  All predict a near collapse of state services and little if any growth from the supply side model of the Reagan era, partially written by consultants who worked for Reagan, consultants that we paid a $100k fee.

It turns out, and I honestly didn't know this, the state has a balanced budget amendment, so the GOP is correct when they say we will never reach the 2.5billion shortfall as projected.  Instead we will cut off virtually all school and university funding, hiway funding, care for the infirm, care for elderly, close state parks, public defender offices, health inspection offices, etc.

The rich, and businesses will not pay as much tax to the state, in many cases none.  But another thing I didn't know, they will not pay it to the state, but they will pay more to the federal government and to other states.  Credits for state tax lowers your federal taxes, if you own a shop here and live in New York you didn't pay New York either.  That's all trashed, now you will send more to the IRS, and pay even a higher rate in New York.  The savings for the rich is small if any at all.

So who is being helped, why did they do it?  The papers paint a picture of a deliberate trap for future governors, with the balance budget law forcing the state to chop it's own arms off and let the babies we cared about in the womb die in the crib.  Who ever the next president is will be helped a little as Kansans will lose their deductions from the state tax they paid, thus send more to the IRS helping to pay down the feds bills.  Businesses may not save any tax dollars in the end, but the hated regulators and monitors will be fired, they can go back to dumping waste oil and chemicals at the back door of the shop and cheating people out of overtime.  And the poor and needy of Kansas, they get screwed because they pay higher taxes now and their services WILL BE CUT, SOME WILL BE CUT OFF.

Germany sets an amazing energy record on Saturday, leaves us in a haze..

On Saturday the 26th of May 2012, during the peak sun hours of midday, Germany got 50% of it's energy from solar panels feeding the grid.   Europe's cloudy foggy industrial powerhouse, socialist Germany where anyone can go to the doctor,  produced from solar panels 22 GW of electricity per hour, equal to 20 nuclear power stations running at full capacity.  Done without risk of radioactive tuna escaping to our shores, no oil spills, no black clouds of smoke, no coal trains.

I have been to Germany many times, last time 5 years ago.  I saw their solar panels in pastures, sheep and cattle still live there nibbling grass from around and under the panels, Some German farmers now have double income, livestock and electrons.

This 50% figure did not include the wind energy they were using Saturday, which is substantial, and it did not include small businesses and homes with solar panels, a more common home improvement than in the US. It's clear the total renewables used midday Saturday was well above half, and they are still adding capacity.  Currently the overall 24 hour solar input in Germany is near 5%, and by Saturday noon many industrial users are pulling very little from the grid, still this was a milestone of significant importance, a fantastic demonstration of a working and growing system.  Recently a Germany politician marveled at what they are creating as they move to modern energy systems and said the only reason they can do this while the US and Canada cannot is because Germany doesn't have the Koch Brothers.

Monday, May 28, 2012

excellent read about the GOP's disasters

If Mitt can get in, if enough voters are prevented from voting, then we are not finished with the worst political party since this nation has seen since the civil war.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

something for nothing

TXU Energy in Texas now has free energy between 10 PM and 6 AM.  The first utility in the nation to go to Zero rate at night.    TXU has lots of wind generated energy, and in their location the wind blows almost all night every night, when demand is the lowest.  Some power they make at night goes unused.  During daylight hours demand often exceeds supply.  Rather than build more capacity TXU believes they can change customers habits by giving away power.

With a little adjustment, people can start the laundry and go to bed, new dishwashers have delayed start settings, run them at night for free, crock pots can run at night, charge all your toys at night, even your new electric car.  TXU believes they can move 10% of the demand to night time.  Their customers can save money, and TXU can delay building more capacity.

XL pipeline will raise your gas prices, that you never understood this was part of the plan.

TransCanada’s plan to jack up oil prices is hiding in plain sight. In the appendix to its application to the Canadian National Energy Board (helpfully provided to me by the Natural Resources Defense Council), the company brags that its project is “expected to realize an increase in the heavy crude price of approximately $3.00 per barrel by avoiding a discount” at the U.S. Gulf Coast. The market price of heavy crudes should rise an additional $3.55 per barrel when the new pipeline “relieves the oversupply situation in the Midwest.”

 The low price crude in the eastern Rockies and central plains states is going to be shipped to other areas, some for diesel, the dirty Canadian tar sand oil will go to the Gulf coast refiners located in "export zones" meaning it's tax free.  It is a shell game, moving low price oil away from current use and users, replacing it with high priced oil.

XL proponents say the pipe will lower gas prices, it is the opposite, it will raise it.  Do you think they are doing this for your benefit, their worried about you?  Pull your head out.   Air your tires up, coast to the red light, ride your bike.   "RELIEVES THE OVERSUPPLY SITUATION IN THE MIDWEST", do you understand now who this pipe is for?

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

It's law, Kansas GOP gives state to the rich

Brownback signed the law today.   Just like that, I'm a job creator.  Wow.  Farm income exempt from taxes, sole proprietorship exempt, highest tax rates reduced, dividends exempt.  OK, that's me, a farm, a one man sales company, I DON'T PAY STATE TAXES NOW!  I'm a freak'n job creator now.

Currently, the state has a surplus.  This new tax code saddles us $2.5 billion in debt, double per capita what the California debt is.
The GOP claims it will create 23,000 new jobs and the 2.5 billion will never happen and we will wallow in a surplus of increased taxes spawned by new jobs.  Lets look at that, and think through it:
190,000 sole proprietorships are now tax exempt along with $3 billion in farm income
The 23,000 new jobs have to be low paying jobs, otherwise they don't pay tax either, make too much and your a job creator not a tax payer.
It actually works out to be 550,000 new jobs at $50,000 a year are needed.  Or 1.5 million minimum wage and part time jobs, that would do it, so long as they don't send their kids to school and run up that cost.
Kansas is screwed.  Thanks GOP.  When I retire I move, a cousin will till the farm and the Co-op will mail the check.  I like making money.  I like new bridges, well paid teachers, new fire trucks, smooth streets.  I don't mind paying.  The GOP is trying to crash the state for the benefit of the rich who can save tens of thousands in state taxes now, it's not right, this tax plan actually raised the tax on the lower brackets as it cut some of their benefits.

SAD States: Standard American Diet State-By-State Comparison

 Only 9.5% of US children are eating enough fruit and vegi's.  We are killing off the next generation, they WILL have a short life with many diseases, who's fault is that?
The charts go by pretty fast on this video, be prepared to click the stop button so you can absorb it, and once again, stay out of Oklahoma, the state is a hive of red necks, deniers, and fat sick malnourished  people helping their kids die young.

Monday, May 21, 2012

GOP prevents Navy's efforts to shed fossil fuel and it's many problems in war time.

The House Armed Services Committee banned the Defense Department from making or buying an alternative fuel that costs more than a “traditional fossil fuel.” It’s a standard that may be almost impossible to meet, energy experts believe; there’s almost no way the tiny, experimental biofuel industry can hope to compete on price with the massive, century-old fossil fuels business. [...] if the measure becomes law, it would make it all-but-inconceivable for the Pentagon to buy the renewable fuels. It would likely scuttle one of the top priorities of Navy Secretary Ray Mabus. And it might very well suffocate the gasping biofuel industry, which was looking to the Pentagon to help it survive.

The oligarchs demanded the GOP congress they bought and paid for not permit the Navy reduce it's dependency on fossil fuel supply lines and the diesel smoke that trails some of our ships preventing  stealth over the horizon.   Likewise they have tried to cripple programs to buy portable wind and solar generation for bases and land forces, the GOP will not allow them to shed the supply line problems as are illustrated today with thousands of supply trucks stuck in Pakistan, and thousands of others winding slowly through unreliable nations from the Black Sea to Afghaniland. 

What we see here is a complete disregard for the value of  the military as a fighting unit but rather as a consumer, a consumer for the oil barrens and defense industry, keep the supply lines long, expensive, inefficient, no matter the cost to soldiers or the outcome.  This is just a part of the inter industrial warfare going on, fossil fuel is doing all it can to sabotage the market and the interest in conservation and alternatives of every type

(some of this is ripped from "Treehugger", check it out, good sight)

If Romney doesn't get elected we could see science take hold again.

In the last few days I had a road trip through Oklahoma and Texas with a little loop-d-loop.

Some parts of Texas look like the frick'n end of a hot ass summer.   Dead grass and weeds, some trees look OK, but many are thinly leafed out and look like they won't make it through another August.  Some crops in the field were dwarfed and pale green, not healthy.  I know Texas ranchers have reduced the cattle herds by a million or more animals.  I would hate to have to sell Texas farmland to cover my health care bills, I don't think you could pay for a hangnail with it.

Oklahoma looked pretty good up and down I35.

Lebanon Civil War to resume immediatley

Lebanon has been a  Syrian colony for about 30 years.  They control much of the politics there, pitting the many tribes and factions in a complex tribal and multi-religious society against one another at the cost of thousands of lives and the destruction of the nations considerable pre-civil war wealth.   The Syrian military is taking its eye off the ball in Lebanon trying to save their asses at home.  Lebanon is now receiving a wave of refugees out of Syria.  Many run to relatives in Lebanon, into these ethnic enclaves they arrive with stories of butchery they escaped, it's too much, the pot is boiling over with old grudges from the past civil wars.

Most news firms are not covering this, but it is spinning out of control, some towns are in full scale fights neighborhood against neighborhood or one town against another, it breaks down by who helped the Syrians, who prospered from it, past atrocities and thefts of property,  the scabs from the old civil wars are ripped off, again.
This may benefit Israel initially if the various factions use up some of their weapons, and which groups prevail will determine the long term benefit or risk.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

David Crosby - "Almost Cut My Hair" (live 1989) Excellent version!

Here's a novel idea Romney, let people cut their own hair, whenever they want to.

And this is the road back to feudalism, an economic model that endured for centuries.

Increase in worker productivity benefits the rich with little benefit to the American employee.

It's hot down under and scientist found out why.

 Australian scientist have data showing Asia and Australia have endured the hottest 60 years in the past 1,000.  Using every form of data from tree rings to ice core to geological evidence, pollution counts, and their own computer models they conclude it is hot, and it is human caused.
Strange, Australians are not conformist, their a rugged bunch of outdoorsy common sense types.  Yet their scientist, looking at their data, came to the same conclusion as thousands of "real" scientist, working in the field they have a degree in, say, "mate, it's hot, and you caused it yourself, now gimmie a beer and lets paint your roof white".

How can anyone believe this is a conspiracy of science?  To have the same conclusion from every corner of the earth in labs and universities and insurance risk management rooms, and in the military planning sessions in the US, Germany, and others?  Was there ever a more absurd belief that all these companies and generals and scientist could sing the same tune for years?

Australia just moved to set up carbon tax, and cap and trade, joining Europe, and even China.  China is setting it up by region, some will be on it soon, others will have about 10 years.  Where's the US, oh we can't afford it, stick with coal, oil, fracking never mind the water and earthquakes, anything else is a leftist plot.

Brownback and GOP purposely drive state deep into debt

"Some conservative Republicans in the House are expected to balk at the new tax-cutting plan because it is not as aggressive as a deficit-inducing proposal that lawmakers rammed through last week..." Wichita Eagle

For the last month, every day they are to vote, and many times it was sure to pass, but did not.  The Republican (there are almost no democrats in the Kansas state government, at any level) run body is bickering about details, but it is essentially this;
*The current surplus will become 2.4 Billion $'s in debt within 5 years.  In a state of 2.8 million people, less than half at working age, makes the California's 16 Billion debt for 37 million people less serious  than what KS will face.
*Farm income will not be taxed.
*Most sole proprietor's and some forms of corporations will not be taxed.
*Income tax will be reduced on highest earners.
*Dividend, capital gains, those taxes will be reduced or eliminated.
*Earned Income tax credits, normally claimed by the lowest earners, will be reduced.
*Tax deductions for special medical equipment used by the disabled, eliminated.
*Medical expense for abortion, eliminated.
*Business expense for that portion of insurance policy paid by employer that covers abortion, eliminated.
(The last 4 items will increase the state's income slightly, but are a tax on the workers and poor.)

Governor Brownback, a fundamentalist Catholic, (he belongs to a group that beat themselves when they think they did wrong) is busy cutting services and benefits, laid off 6,000 a few months ago, then worries that Boeing will unwisely lay off 1500, oh my oh my.

As soon as this bill is passed, I stop paying Kansas any tax, none, uh uh, nothing.  I'm a job creator.  After all I have a little farm, sole proprietor sales job, even get a dividend sometimes from the farmers co-op, yes sir, and it's best to leave us job creators alone, we have a "stand your ground" laws.  Fuck the poor.  At last I see the light.  Douche me with water from Brownback's font, I see the 1%ers light, I can't get to it, but I finally see it.

But, whats up with this logic?  Bush run up national debt, it didn't ceate more jobs and that was good, Obama is adding to the debt though at a slower pace, and that is really really fucking bad, in fact he is crushing our future with his slow pace addition.  And here in Kansas we have a surplus, and the GOP is setting out to cut tax on the rich, or in my case on someone who could pay it, and they intend with clear purpose to throw the state into severe debt by giving to those who don't need it and taking from those who need it.

Republicans, I am more convinced every day, want to create a permanent underclass with no hope.  Drive the state into debt, rob the schools then hand out vouchers for religious and private schools, concentrate the wealth, trap future governors in debt.  Don't believe me, go back, read the first line in this post again.  Tell me how can this help the state as a whole, I understand how it helps farmers who made 3 billion last year in Kansas,and will not pay state taxes again.  Oh, and if you disagree, be careful how you say it, your talking to a job creator now, and there is a certain decorum your obliged to observe.
Bonus round, yesterday Brownback signed a law giving pharmacies the right to refuse filling birth control  products to women.  It did not address viagra use, just vagina use.

Clarify....."farmer", currently their is a mad rush, a price bubble, as speculators, uber-rich farmers, and farming corporations dive into farming.  That guy with the red barn and chickens in front of the house is nearly a myth as the concentration of wealth in the hands of a few does to grandpa's farm what it did for the neighborhood bank, fucking kills it.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Deceptive Cadence

Saudi Arabia is placing orders for $100 billion of solar panels to be installed in just a few years. ...  Chesapeake Energy, the largest natural gas fracker in the US is on the verge of collapse, they are riding a bubble, in the red, just got 2+ billion yesterday from Goldman Sachs, now Carl Ichon the cannibal that ate TWA is jumping in to help the dying patient like Romney and Bain would if they had got there first.  ... Tea Party comparisons of Greece to our debt are as well thought out as their support for Perry was, Greece has no industry, tourism, a bit of olive oil and cheese, thats it, they have no real engine to rev up like we have, plus they're swarthy.  ... Crazy legs gov of Arizona vetoed the ALEC bill rammed through by the ever increasing Mormon populated legislature that would demand the Fed. gov. turn all land over to the state, she had a moment of clarity and killed it. ... Coal use dropped to lowest level in decades as US plants switched to natural gas and more alternative sources came on line. ... The only new nuke electric plant to be approved in 20 or more years will be built in Georgia, and a thin 60 days after the approval the builder announced it will cost an extra billion, and to expect more over runs, oh, rate payers in the area will cover some of this, US taxpayers everywhere will pay the balance. ... Facebook says they have devised a strategy to not pay any federal taxes, ever, in fact it appears they will be collecting money from the government after they go private, want to "friend" the motherfuckers now? ... 72% of the oil leases are idle, drill baby drill, it's a scam, oil companies are not drilling, there's a god damn glut everywhere and your paying record high prices, supply and demand is perverted by to big to fail/speculators who at the same time they pocket millions each minute want you to blame Obama. ... 76% of Americans say they want alternative energy, get off polluting fossil fuel, even repubs are for it a little over half and even if it costs more. ... Big oil thinks they can slow by decades our progress away from oil, but are worried about one thing most of all, a break through in batteries, that could knock them out of the market in only a few years, everything else they think they can pervert, scare off, buy off, or delay, but batteries are keeping them up at night.   ....

Monday, May 14, 2012

MCI can go to hell, may the company wither and die

A couple of weeks ago I wrote that I canceled AT&T because of their support for Heartland Institute and the anti-science mis-information they deal in concerning pollution and the environment.

I thought I had switched to MCI, but after 10 days of re-ordering the service 3 times only to have it fucked up each time.  First we were denied for an unpaid balance......well we already have part of our service with MCI so unless I pay in advance I will always have an unpaid balance, and by the way we have in 15 years never once paid late.  Second we were denied because the names on the order did not match AT&T's, they misspelled my name, it was their fault not mine, or AT&T's.  Third, when I called them after another notice the account would not be opened, they said they could not be sure I was who I said I was and they had opened a credit check on me and said I could only prove it by telling them how much my mortgage payment was at bank so and so.......they knew the date I got the mortgage and the amount and I should tell them,......and they had 5 more questions like that for me.........well MCI can go to hell.  I ask to speak to any of the 4 previous Indians I had talked to on past calls, I had the names and their operator ID numbers, no, no, they will not connect you..........MCI can go to hell.  So on 3 different days, I was on the phone 5 times for 30 to 45 minutes each time, and I still have no new service from a company I have been with for 15 (the wife says 20) years, MCI can go to hell.  How can MCI make money spending so much time on this, MCI can go to hell.

A few minutes ago I called COX, we have internet with them.  They are lower than AT&T, and about 5  dollars more than MCI, but I switched to them.  Just while I was writing this I got an email saying the switch is approved, and setting a date and time it happens, and thanking me,.......and MCI can go to hell.
Now I am through with AT&T and MCI, and they can both go to hell.

(AT&T, MCI, one had local service the other long distance, yea I know, go mobile, but I can't do that till I retire, it's complicated)

News stories absent from my red state newspaper

Last weeks news still has not made it into print in my Kansas paper, no mention yet of:
JP Morgan's 2 billion dollar boo boo, partially at the expense of retirement funds they manage.
Gas prices dropping by 20 cents or more in 3 weeks.
Mitt's bullying of gays.
Koch brothers right here in Kansas upping their pledge to 60 million to defeat Obama.

I live in a Fox like news desert.  These things can be learned by npr and pbs and online services and foreign news papers.

The fruits of squandering away the hours.

I have squandered many an hour drinking beer and ouzo in the garage listening to "The Band" and a slew of others the last week trying to cure some proportional problems with this limestone head.  I think I have to stop.  Experience tells me hours of hammer/chisel is slowly setting up a fracture line at the thinnest cross section.  If I don't stop now the head is sure to pop off soon. So the proportional errors left  are now part of it, hard for me to accept but the time has come.
The only thing I will do is perhaps a little scratching of a hair pattern and a little sanding down of the ears, I want them to be ears, but not ears you notice.  A few more hours and I'm done.
Who is it?  It was started out to be a self portrait, but I lost control of the likeness and instead it became a mysterious intellectual and seducer of women.

If you know who this looks like, I need a name.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

stupid Dutch

Rotterdam, like a good portion of Netherlands (Holland) is below sea level.  For 1,000 years the Dutch have pushed the shallow sea back mile by mile.  When your 2 largest cities, and 20% or more of your country is protected only by water pumps and sea walls, more storms and a few inches of sea level rise is a damn big deal.

Rotterdam, (been there, nice, hugh sea port and lots of industry), is not waiting on the climate change skeptics to act.  For them, the last 5 years has seen a number of flooding events, waves topping the sea walls and inland flooding greater than their pumps and canals could handle.  They have no doubt global warming is here, been here for a few years, and increasing.

Rotterdam is adding living roofs to everything that will support it, it cools the city in summer and absorbs great amounts of rain water.  If you have many square miles of roofs, reducing the run off cuts flooding significantly.  They dug down and built a number of new sports fields and playgrounds that act as flood catch basins in periods of heavy rain or wall breaches, they can be pumped out slowly in later days.  All new parking garages have a basement that acts as temporary water storage.

Solar and wind power, a return to bike transport and public transport is an easy sell as the dutch totally buy into the idea that fossil fuel is causing sea level rise.

At the same time, the US congress is trying to undo the rule put in by Bush 43 that says gov. buildings should be off fossil fuel by 2030, ALEC held a meeting this week for state governments to outline legislation to make solar and wind power harder to approve, and the GOP and many US religious groups continue to work to pollute the nation.  What do the stupid Dutch know anyhow except tulips and cheese?

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

invest in pig tail CF lighting, a dollar saved is a dollar earned.

I stopped at a speciality battery store yesterday to buy a strange one I needed for the alarm system, and the store has these giant boxes of CF bulbs, giving them away with any purchase (got me one), along with this info:
1 CF  @3.75 burns $14.30 of energy, total cost $18.05.  It may take up to 10 Incandescent bulbs to last as long as a CF, 10 X $1 = $10.00 buring $82.50 of energy, total cost $92.50.
The stock market does not pay those kinds of profit to the small investor.  We have lots of CF's, and I can tell you our energy bill is lower than it was a few years ago, my wife keeps every damn bill, it's easy to check.

4 horsepower chariot

This stone was hard as the hubs of hell, it wore the chisels down pretty often for such a small piece. About 12" X 12", an inch and a half thick.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Last call Heartland, drink up and get out

Diageo Brands said good bye to Heatland Institute, who would have thought the Johnny Walker drinker believed so strongly in science and hate the Koch brothers so.  Social media, at least these days, is a powerful tool, it is striking fear in the heart of corporations.  Who ever came up with that stupid Chicago billboard for Heartland should be thanked, what an idiot, what an opportunity.

State Farm hears social media, quits Heartland

Heartland's billboard proves advertising works.  State Farm Insurance (my provider) feeling the sting of social media's call-in & email campaign is severing it's support of Heartland immediately.   The statement on May 7 was a complete reversal of their position a few days ago when they voiced an intent to stick with the Reichwing funded anti-science and disinformation lobbying organization.

I already canceled my AT&T contract after they pledged to stay with Heartland.  Also Anheuser Busch,  not a penny more either.  Changing insurance is more complicated so I was really glad to see State Farm bow.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Aerodynamics and car mpg

Aerodynamics makes little difference in auto and truck fuel efficiency until you reach 40 mile per hour air speed.  (40 into a 20 head wind is 60, 70 into a wind of 30 is 100)  Above 40 the cross section of the vehicle pushing through the air takes more and more energy the faster you go, and the increase grows at a faster rate than your speed grows, pissing away money the faster you go.  Windows down increase drag, even a dirty car increases it a tiny amount.
Did you ever think of the bottom of the car's effect on aerodynamics?  The bottom of a car or truck is a twisted mess of pockets and baffles creating significant turbulence and drag beneath it.
I crawled under my Hybrid Toyota Camry this morning, I get from 37 mpg on a tank and sometimes up to 41.  I was wondering what I would find.  Wow.  From the sides of the car is a smooth surface extending almost into the center.  Below the engine and a strip down the center to near the rear axle it's open, from there almost to the rear bumper is another solid surface all the way across.  Toyota has eliminated most the drag from the bottom of the car.   These panels are some kind of fiber material held on with a few bolts.
I don't know what the GOP and some of the American car and truck makers are bitching about on the new MPG standards.  Their are a lot of ways to improve without expensive technology; retract the windshield wipers out of the air stream, do a better job with side mirrors, low rolling resistant tires, give the car a sleeker shape and smooth fit, reduce the giant wheel wells on trucks and SUV's, flat hub caps, and put a smooth plate under the car.  Without touching the weight or the engine, a good gain is already possible.
A study in Europe found a flat wheel cover/hub cap on trucks (most are open or have a knot of bolts and nuts sticking out like evil chariot wheel), tested in wind tunnel and on road found one half a percent increase in mpg on trucks.  Thats a good bit of change off the 18 wheelers $73,000 yearly fuel bill, or around $365.  More than pay for the covers the first year.   If a guy had a fleet of trucks, it seems like a crime not to add wheel covers.   I recently saw a few trucks in Wyoming and Montana with flat wheel covers, surprised I don't see more.

Tax the rich in Europe and Swift Boat in the US

The French have had enough of a President who surrounds himself with the rich while cutting education, essential services and infrastructure.  Hollande is the new face of France, and his first agenda is to tax the rich to get some money into the French treasury.  Europe had been pulling out of it's funk, but is back on the brink of a economic depression, clearly the job creators have failed to turn their massive gains in capturing the wealth of Europe into the promised benefits for the workers.  Will anyone in the US notice the lesson here, austerity cut backs matched with tax cuts to the rich is a failure.

The swift boat guys are back, they have spent the last few days scrambling to find disgruntled retired military and ex-Navy Seals to use in a campaign calling Obama a coward for ....... for something they will soon define or make up,  and will spend millions running on TV in the weeks ahead.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Really, a billboard on the Eisenhower freeway in Chicago

The fossil fuel industry equates science, recycling, conservation, new energy technologies, and any of you who believe mounting CO2, and pollutants will damage the earth, well, your as kookie and scary as the Unibomber.

Already, the story just broke and in England the press is tearing into it, as an example of how absurd the situation in the US is becoming with fossil fuel and political lackeys drumming up hate against facts and logic, and clean air.

Romney repeats the democrats waging the war on women, not the GOP

He correctly states that since Obama came into office about 90% of the laid off have been women.  He does not say that during the regime of "Bush the lesser",  it was mostly men lost their jobs as the economy tanked, nor that although growth is slow, the overall numbers are more new jobs added each month for almost all of the Obama term, the net losses stopped a long time ago.

Who is dumping all those women.  It's states and local government which is responsible for almost all those lost jobs, women's jobs.  School teachers, government workers, social workers, you name it, that department lost workers.  My vermillion red state, Kansas, with a population of only around 3 or 4 million in a hugh piece of land, laid off 6,000 a few weeks ago, mostly women.  (then passed a law ending the income tax on farmers, small businesses, and reducing the highest income brackets, AND RAISING THE LOWEST BRACKETS) The news media reports with great fright that xyz company plans to lay off 4k or 6k, and it is a sign of failure.  They do not even report the 6k in KS, nor 10 fold that in larger states.  Oh, one other thing, red states are dumping women at a higher rate than blue.  Is that the democrats war on women?

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Kick the shit out of any squaw you find, a pioneers right

The GOP congress is rewriting the violence against women bill sent down from the Senate.  They will exclude American Indians and illegal immigrants.
Hey, the GOP just wants to preserve our heritage, a proud tradition with cowboys and pioneers and drunken native American men since they were starved off the land and hooked on firewater.  Why should great granddad have all the fun?

Red states, let the waiter and the dishwasher pay the bill

Go to salon and read that, it's stacking up to be 600 to 800 million shortfall since the middle class and the poor just don't seem to be able to cover all the freebies the rich will get.  Oh well.  We already laid off about 6,000 in state and county governments the last few weeks, prior to that it was hundreds of school librarians, nurses, but no coaches.  Over 4,000 mental and phisically disabled are wallowing in bed sores and shit on a waiting list for assistance, however, this bill will cut further into that program.  Law was passed that forbids local governments from inspecting restaurants, only the state, and they are restricted to wait a minimum 24 months between visits, some union dues cannot be paycheck deducted or auto-deposited - it must be a check,  cities cannot charge more for traffic tickets than the state - and the seat belt was lowered to 10 dollars, judges cannot consider convictions more than 5 years old in domestic violence cases, legislation is moving to throw out some or all of the smoking laws since that to is "unsettled science",  1/3 of the state is off limits for wind energy - farmers not happy with that but Koch is, it is a crime to take a picture of a puppy mill, 14 year olds living on a farm can drive - seems safe to me, hospitals cannot be inspected for health and safety except when the public makes a "valid" complaint, the state EPA has been reduced from a group of scientist to 3 kids with a rubber stamp - it is found that they give questions from the public to corporations to provide the response, the state has sent back millions to the federal government for arts projects - we don't need any fucking folk singers roaming round here.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Foreign countries wonder if the Pentagon ordered a gold plated dodo?

Once a week I spend a few minutes, or hours, reading foreign news sites and magazines.  I can read German if it's not technical or political, otherwise I go for English versions.

Around the world these days a few people wondering if the F-35 will make us a peace loving nation at last, by eating up the Pentagon budget, leaving no money for anything else, an army, or a war.

Actually it is more of a WTF question they ask.  How the hell can we be throwing our future and wealth away on this piece of junk?  The program amounts to 38% of the Pentagon procurement budget.  The price goes up by dozens of millions every few months, each time Congress is told this is the last increase.  Example, last year it jumped 16%, April another 4%, and we are only 20% through the testing program.  If we don't have more increases it would cost $161 million each, times almost 3,000 of these ruptured ducks, and to insure it's use, as they are built other planes will be junked forcing the F35 into use.  $1.5 trillion is the estimate to operate them for 30-40 years, that's fuel, repairs upkeep, that is also a record for a program, it didn't cost that much to keep all those ICBM's chilled and plugged in, this is absurd.

First, the program has shifted from a bid price program to cost plus.  The builder, Lockheed, is guaranteed a profit of (I don't know what but 5 to 10% is normal).  Do you think they give a shit if the costs go up?  The more it costs, the bigger number that percentage is calculated on.  Let the good times roll.
Second, and on and on: Its already the most expensive weapon in history and we don't have any of them yet except a few in testing and they betray the tax payer every time they can jump start one, trouble of all sorts, resulting in modifications to drawings and specs for the planes to be built, at a cost to modify the program, which runs the teat Lockheed and the aerospace industry lockjawed onto.  This is one of those programs where Lockheed worked hard to find a supplier from every congressional district in the nation, a built in 538 member lobby, not totally able to do it, but they found something to buy from most districts, and by the way that is not necessarly a formula to get the lowest bids and sure as hell buying parts from every district means you have to take freight costs out of cost for bids, which is absurd, I can be a dollar less for a heavy component in a near by state and you give the contract to someone in Maine or Alaska and pay hundreds for freight........ it's a puke stimulator ain't it?

The aircraft so far has performed spectacularly mediocre on it's best outings, and flat out disappointingly in the rest.  It appears it is good at nothing except keeping the aerospace industry in the US, England, and Italy employed.  So far, it will cost more than Spains GDP.  It's another dodo bird, yes it is a bird, but it does few things a bird should do, if Darwin was right, it will soon vanish from the earth.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

FOX News indicates Global Warming is Real, and getting Worse.

Monday Fux headlines were: Wind energy making global warming worse.   Finally.  After years of pretending it is a hoax, lying about the science, they now say it is getting worse, and they even blame it on human activity.  Humans can change the worlds environment after all.

The glued to fox from sun up to bed time crowd (my brother-in-law) have had a little bit of the global warming as hoax idea dented with this story, they will now repeat this jab at wind energy as the reason it's getting worse, and in saying it the camels nose is under the tent.

Fox picked up and fucked up this story, a lot of other media followed suit without thinking.  The study found at a south Texas wind farm the air temperature near the wind mills was sometimes a couple of degrees higher than further off.  Sha-zam, not a new idea, it's what every citrus fruit farmer does on frosty nights in Florida and California, stir the air near the ground and you can alter the temperature near the wind mill or helicopter.   Where the temp is found to increase near the wind mill, it was the result of displacing one air mass with another.  Air temperatures stratify above us, forming layers like a cake, but in complicated ways, sometimes warm air is over cool air, or it can be the opposite.   Again, the wind turbines are mixing the layers right at the wind mill, some of the coolness may have gone up, some of the warm air may have been pushed down.  The county or state or the world, lost or gained not a single BTU.

Fox has done us a service, the next time someone says its a hoax tell them of the wind mills causing it.  Later you can straighten out the details, but first its important to admit there is global warming, even if the cause is bogus.