Monday, September 29, 2008

On the other hand...

They could surprise me.


Ya, right!

The bailout.

The biggest issue at the moment seems to be the bailout. I don't think we can do nothing, but I am loathe to leave it in the hands of those who created the problem and now tell us we must give them open access to our financial markets and our wallets so that they can fix it. Anyone who voted to give Democrats control of congress and the senate or who sat aside and let the Democrats take control and lock out the adults have little to complain about. Of course the children had a kegger party and went wild. Nothing the Democrats did to the markets should be a surprise to anyone who has been watching them for the last thirty years. The warning was sounded several times but the Republicans had to be taught a lesson. While I agree there was reason to punish, this was like punishing them for getting drunk by making them drive home, with us in the back seat. Now something must be done and the people we must look to are the ones who got us here and have proven they can not be trusted to put our interests ahead of politics, even in a crisis. Not looking good. I have read what I can of the proposals and while I feel better about this than I did about the original piece of garbage I just don't know if it's good enough. The adults just have very little leverage.

The site I have the most respect for on these matters is Powerline. This is their take so far.

I am not happy just now. I feel like I'm on the operating table for difficult surgery and the Doctors are half gassed and playing grabass as they cut inside me.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

For Laurie!.An expert!



Laurie, at Homekeeping Heart is as sweet as the chocolate cakes she makes, and I hear she is really proficient at chicken dancing. I recommend her blog.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

New Neighbors!


I have rarely interacted with anyone online except the community at Teh Squeaky Wheel and the personal blogs of the folks there. As all of them are on the side bar there I never listed any other sites but the Wheel here. I recently "met" some fascinating people at some other blogs and I am having a great time reading their blogs and wandering around to see the sites of their visitors. I have listed a few blogs on the side that I have really enjoyed visiting. I am so glad I found them and I am very grateful for their gracious hospitality and their patience. Thank you!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Energy. I wish!

As I get older and softer I find energy takes on a different meaning, but that's not what I have in mind here. I have recently found some interesting blogs with some interesting comments. I dropped in a comment on a post dealing with energy, among other things and another blogger left a thoughtful and interesting response. I responded to that but as this has also come up on Teh Squeaky Wheel and some other blogs by people on that forum, I thought I might put down some thoughts here. I tend to get long winded, as my patient friends know all too well, so I will try to get that out of my system here. Energy is the key to modern industrial civilization. The production, distribution, and use of energy is what fuels our economy today and without abundant, inexpensive energy we can not support the quality of life we have come to expect. For most of a century, coal powered western industrial society. It powered industry, transportation, and the military. It was cheap and abundant, well suited to powering mass transport such as trains and ships, powering industrial furnaces, and powering stationary steam engines as industrial prime movers or to generate electricity. It was relatively low tech in it's production, distribution and preparation. Dig it up, break it up, and throw it on the fire. It could even be used for home heating and it could be processed to produce lamp gas or coal tar.

Around a hundred years ago, oil began to supplant coal. It required more elaborate infrastructure to mine, refine, store, transport, and distribute, but it's refined products had much higher energy content and could be used in more sophisticated ways, allowing the introduction of the various types of internal combustion engines. This made possible individual self contained transport, machines, tools, and generators. This also made flight possible. Coal was not abandoned and the oil infrastructure developed. The oil infrastructure was built as technological progress and need made it practical. Coal fueled and powered this transition and is still in use today in those applications where it remains practical.

For most of the last century, oil was the key to industrial, economic, and military power. In the last half of the century only one viable rival has been developed. This is nuclear fission. Ironically it is strong in the same areas that coal was strong, ships and stationary power plants for generating electricity using steam engines. It does not have coal's advantage of low tech production and use. It does have good potential to generate electricity cleanly, safely, and economically. In our navy and in much of the modern world, hundreds of reactors are serving in this way every day and have been for decades. Oil is still needed for it's energy density and it's versatility for portable power production, plus nuclear fission uses scarce material and produces dangerous, long lasting waste that is hard to secure, store, and dispose of. The time for a better answer is approaching.

At this point the only technologies that have shown the potential for replacing oil as our prime energy source are geothermal and nuclear fusion. Both are virtually unlimited and almost non polluting. Unfortunately, neither is ready yet. Other energy producers such as solar, biofuel, wind turbines, and tidal are simply not practical as more than supplements to the others. None are ready to assume a significant share of the energy needs of our society in the near future. To give our industry and science time and resources to develop and produce the energy sources for the mid and long term needs of our society we must look to the resources we have now. This means nuclear fission, coal, and oil. We can not stop the exploration and exploitation of these resources without a collapse of our economy, our society, and our ability to defend ourselves and our interests in this very competitive world.

That's my outlook on energy today, for what it's worth. I'll go into more detail on specific areas or in response to comments if any. The sun is coming up so I hope I am coherent. Thanks.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Time to touch on politics I suppose.


I was a little dismayed at an attitude I heard expressed today that both sides just had to expect to be smeared because they have to be tough enough to take it. I didn't hear this from the Democrats when Hillary cried on the campaign trail, and I can't recall any smears against their families except by other Democrats, like the New Yorker cover.

The justifications I've heard recently for targeting Sarah Palin's family are,

1)--She should have known they would be targeted and stayed at home.
-This was best shown by Mark Shields, a nationally famous commentator and pundit, who questioned rather she should have accepted the nomination knowing her daughter was pregnant. In other words, What kind of mother is she, running for office when she knows that we in the media are going to slime her family?

2)--Because she brought her family on stage during the convention they became "fair game".
- I really read this from a person on a lefty site in response to criticism about attacking kids with lies.

3)--(today) She's tough and can take it. They both are tough and can take it.
-Reagan was tough enough that he was chopping wood a couple of weeks after being shot but that does not excuse or mitigate the offense in any way! If the attacks went both ways we could just deplore the passing or eclipse of civil discourse, but can anyone point out even ONE comment any Republican has made about Obama's children? They have been mentioned and displayed several times. They were used at the convention. Has any Republican called them or considered them "fair game"?? I do not even know their names. Would it be proper for Republicans to make up lies questioning their character, legitimacy, or chastity because Obama is tough enough to take it?

This is not new. Has any Democrat judicial or cabinet nominee EVER been subjected to the personal and racist smears that Thomas, Brown, Rice, Powell, Alito, Bork,or Roberts were?

One name? One finger? No? Then I go on.

Few people are taught that in our American Revolution there were as many or more Tories as Revolutionaries (excuse me, Patriots!). This is because Tory papers were often burnt and their editors tarred and feathered or "deported" on a fence rail. The winners in a civil war write the history books. In this case it would be nice if the Democrats were brought to shame afterwards for this iniquitous behavior but we have seen that the press will not reveal their shameful conduct because the press has been too complicit in the activities and too biased in reporting it. This means that win or lose the Democrats are rewarded for this terrible behavior as even if they alienate the moderate voters and lose they will not receive long term blame ("every body did it") and they will make it harder for principled candidates, the ones we should want and they most fear, to enter the race in future.

If I have been deceived by my own prejudices I stand open to correction but I can't think of an exception by any credible Republican and the blatant and one sided nature of the smears, even while the Democrats decry the "McCain smear machine" and the "Rove smear tactics" makes it hard for me to see the good will on the part of the candidate and his campaign. If indeed there are many Democrats that do not approve of the tactics of their nominee they must face the fact that by standing silent and giving him their vote and money they are approving of and encouraging these methods. They can not wash their hands of this while supporting the ones who do it.

Condemn it and stop it or own it.