“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Monday, December 15, 2008

Time is Running out on a Ticking Time Bomb -

OMG! Read this, Mavis.

Obama left with little time to curb global warming
Dec 14, 2:07 PM (ET)


WASHINGTON (AP) - When Bill Clinton took office in 1993, global warming was a slow-moving environmental problem that was easy to ignore. Now it is a ticking time bomb that President-elect Barack Obama can't avoid.

Since Clinton's inauguration, summer Arctic sea ice has lost the equivalent of Alaska, California and Texas. The 10 hottest years on record have occurred since Clinton's second inauguration. Global warming is accelerating. Time is close to running out, and Obama knows it.

"The time for delay is over; the time for denial is over," he said on Tuesday after meeting with former Vice President Al Gore, who won a Nobel Peace Prize for his work on global warming. "We all believe what the scientists have been telling us for years now that this is a matter of urgency and national security and it has to be dealt with in a serious way."

But there are powerful political and economic realities that must be quickly overcome for Obama to succeed. Despite the urgency he expresses, it's not at all clear that he and Congress will agree on an approach during a worldwide financial crisis in time to meet some of the more crucial deadlines.

Obama is pushing changes in the way Americans use energy, and produce greenhouse gases, as part of what will be a massive economic stimulus. He called it an opportunity "to re-power America."

After years of inaction on global warming, 2009 might be different. Obama replaces a president who opposed mandatory cuts of greenhouse gas pollution and it appears he will have a willing Congress. Also, next year, diplomats will try to agree on a major new international treaty to curb the gases that promote global warming.

"We need to start in January making significant changes," Gore said in a recent telephone interview with The Associated Press. "This year coming up is the most important opportunity the world has ever had to make progress in really solving the climate crisis."

Scientists are increasingly anxious, talking more often and more urgently about exceeding "tipping points."

"We're out of time," Stanford University biologist Terry Root said. "Things are going extinct."

U.S. emissions have increased by 20 percent since 1992. China has more than doubled its carbon dioxide pollution in that time. World carbon dioxide emissions have grown faster than scientists' worst-case scenarios. Methane, the next most potent greenhouse gas, suddenly is on the rise again and scientists fear that vast amounts of the trapped gas will escape from thawing Arctic permafrost.

The amount of carbon dioxide in Earth's atmosphere has already pushed past what some scientists say is the safe level.

In the early 1990s, many scientists figured that the world was about a century away from a truly dangerous amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, said Mike MacCracken, who was a top climate scientist in the Clinton administration. But as they studied the greenhouse effect further, scientists realized that harmful changes kick in at far lower levels of carbon dioxide than they thought. Now some scientists, but not all, say the safe carbon dioxide level for Earth is about 10 percent below what it is now.

Gore called the situation "the equivalent of a five-alarm fire that has to be addressed immediately."

Scientists fear that what's happening with Arctic ice melt will be amplified so that ominous sea level rise will occur sooner than they expected. They predict Arctic waters could be ice-free in summers, perhaps by 2013, decades earlier than they thought only a few years ago.

In December 2009, diplomats are charged with forging a new treaty replacing the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, which set limits on greenhouse gases, and which the United States didn'tratify. This time European officials have high expectations for the U.S. to take the lead. But many experts don't see Congress passing a climate bill in time because of pressing economic and war issues.

"The reality is, it may take more than the first year to get it all done," Senate Energy Committee Chairman Jeff Bingaman, D-N.M., said recently.

Complicating everything is the worldwide financial meltdown. Frank Maisano, a Washington energy specialist and spokesman who represents coal-fired utilities and refineries, sees the poor economy as "a huge factor" that could stop everything. That's because global warming efforts are aimed at restricting coal power, which is cheap. That would likely mean higher utility bills and more damage to ailing economies that depend on coal production, he said.

Obama is stacking his Cabinet and inner circle with advocates who have pushed for deep mandatory cuts in greenhouse gas pollution and even with government officials who have achieved results at the local level.

The President-elect has said that one of the first things he will do when he gets to Washington is grant California and other states permission to control car tailpipe emissions, something the Bush administration denied.

And though congressional action may take time, the incoming Congress will be more inclined to act on global warming. In the House, liberal California Democrat Henry Waxman's unseating of Michigan Rep. John Dingell - a staunch defender of Detroit automakers - as head of the House Energy and Commerce Committee was a sign that global warming will be on the fast track.

Senate Environment and Public Works Chairman Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., vowed to push two global warming bills starting in January: one to promote energy efficiency as an economic stimulus and the other to create a cap-and-trade system to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from utilities. "The time is now," she wrote in a Dec. 8 letter to Obama.

Mother Nature, of course, is oblivious to the federal government's machinations. Ironically, 2008 is on pace to be a slightly cooler year in a steadily rising temperature trend line. Experts say it's thanks to a La Nina weather variation. While skeptics are already using it as evidence of some kind of cooling trend, it actually illustrates how fast the world is warming.

The average global temperature in 2008 is likely to wind up slightly under 57.9 degrees Fahrenheit, about a tenth of a degree cooler than last year. When Clinton was inaugurated, 57.9 easily would have been the warmest year on record. Now, that temperature would qualify as the ninth warmest year.

It's been nice knowing you all, my friends. Is it hot in here?


  1. Since Clinton's inauguration, summer Arctic sea ice has lost the equivalent of Alaska, California and Texas.

    Surely this is B.S.

    Arctic Sea Ice Continues Rebound

    Hey Teach You F##king With My Constitution

    For the record I'm on the school's side.

    About Time, On The Day The Donofrio Case Probably Gets Tossed :(

  2. The long road to healthcare reform
    By Clive Crook

    Published: December 14 2008

    Mr Daschle argues, ... by delegating most of the detail-crunching to a new body: a Federal Health Board, he calls it, independent of Congress but accountable to it, like the Fed. This board would write the rules on access and coverage for private insurers in the federal employee health benefits programme (FEHBP) – the current system for government employees, which would be opened to others. The new board would also “work with” Medicare (which covers the elderly) to develop a new public plan to be offered alongside the private ones already in the FEHBP.

    And it would provide the main pressure for overall cost control – by reviewing treatments, much like Britain’s National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence. Recommendations would be binding for federal health programmes and serve as benchmarks for private insurers operating independently.

    Betcha it'll be quite a while, before the the "Globe" covers this story for the mass market.

  3. nah Rat, it shouldn't take the globe too long to come up with headlines like

    "Aliens control US government -- trying to cull population through denial of medical care"

    If not the Globe then the Republicans will run with some such nonesense...

    bobal, just a reminder, but if you read something on the internet it isn't ALWAYS TRUE.

  4. Hey, Dude!
    you should read your own blog's comments, esp MINE!
    1st Lt. Jonathan P. Brostrom

  5. AP PANIC: 'Obama left with little time to curb global warming'...'cooling trend illustrates how fast the world is warming'...
    by Seth Borenstein

    Seth Borenstein’s Education:

    Boston University - BS, Journalism, 1979 — 1983

    Bexley High School - 1975 — 1979

  6. starling hunter to me...

    Thanks Doug. I am going to use this for class.

    This makes me think that the undergraduate degree in journalism may be be worthless.
    (ya think? ...and I didn'teven go to Harvard or MIT!)

    Mr. Borenstein is typical of people in his craft with similar experience (25 years), then here's what we have:
    kids straight out of high school go to learn how to write but don't know anything about which they write.
    That is to say, they have no specific domain of expertise or content as it pertains to content.

    This leaves them unable to determine wheat from chaff and makes them susceptible to political bias and more likely to follow a party line on major issues.

    I think what is needed is for J-schools to become more like top MBA programs,
    i.e. only educated people with 5 or more years of full-time real-world work experience,

    i.e. engineers, doctors, accountants, economists, lawyers, soldiers, etc to prepare then for careers in specific areas of journalism.

    The generalist journalist is or should shortly become a thing of the past.
    - Show quoted text -

  7. "When it's a Republican scandal, the press become prosecutors. When there's a Democrat scandal, the press become defense lawyers. "
    Ash, OTOH, remains an Ass in both cases.

  8. NRO Impromptus--

    Take you on the road a bit? I’ve spent the weekend in Moscow — not Moscow, Russia, but Moscow, Idaho. To me, Moscow, Idaho, has seemed more remote and exotic than the Russian capital. It is certainly harder to get to, from New York — but, of course, it can be well worth it.

    Was in a few airports on the way. And the homecoming of troops is always a stirring sight. Some people, greeting our troops, had a banner that referred to them — the soldiers — as “our defenders.” Very nice.

    Had a drive to Moscow — from Spokane to Moscow — and listened to some radio. And I heard a lot of “holiday” — as in “holiday music,” “a holiday concert,” “holiday” this, “holiday” that. And I’m thinking, caustically, “What holiday could they mean? Presidents’ Day?” (But no one hesitates to say “Presidents’ Day,” right?)

    Where were we? Oh, yeah: Moscow. It is pronounced, by the way, “Moscoh.” Of this, I was informed immediately. “There is no ‘cow’ in ‘Moscow,’” said a friend of mine. And a British friend told me later that they do it that way on the Auld Sod, too: “Moscoh.” Well, I never.

    The pronunciation of place-names is a glorious thing. In New Hampshire, and perhaps elsewhere, the town of Berlin is pronounced “BER-lin” (unlike the German capital). In Kentucky, Versailles is pronounced “Ver-SALES.” And so on.

    The University of Idaho (which is at Moscow) is an appealing place — and the kids seem pretty happy to be there. The music school is named after Lionel Hampton — feel the vibe. (For the uninitiated, Lionel Hampton is the most prominent vibes-player ever.)

    Want to tell you, too, that the school nickname is the Vandals: and that is meant in the nicest way.

    Ran across a noteworthy name (you know how I collect them): Murf Raquet. Yes, Murf Raquet. I wonder if the “Murf” comes from “Murph,” as in Murphy. The fellow’s in the local paper, writing a column called Biz Bits. By the photo, he is bearded, burly, and classically western. “Murf Raquet” — a phenomenal handle.

    A word to the wise, if you stop into the New Hong Kong Café: The men’s room there, which is a one-seater, has no lock on the door. Very interesting. And that does seem rather New Hong Kong — the old Hong Kong having been much more concerned with things like privacy. (A strained joke, sorry.) (Actually, maybe not so strained. We’ll see how Hong Kong fares . . .)

    Had a brush with the law in Moscow. Was walking along the side of the road, as is my custom — often better than the sidewalk (for reasons we can discuss later). And this harsh, rebukeful voice over a loudspeaker said, “Whoever’s in the road, get out of the road.” That would have been me.

    I looked forward to returning to New York, where the cops are oh so gentler . . .

    Regular readers may remember a comment I made about rural Illinois last summer: that the sky is so all-fired big. A huge, never-ending, all-enveloping sky. A vast umbrella of a sky. And so it was in Washington and Idaho.

    When you live in the city, you can forget there’s a sky.

    A final word about being in Moscow: It was good to be in the atmosphere of Sarah Palin. She graduated from there — from the University of Idaho. And I remembered something that Charles Murray said. In fact, this occurred during a Q&A with the New York Times (they don’t only do Bill Ayers):

    Q.: “What do you think of Sarah Palin?”
    A.: “I’m in love. Truly and deeply in love.”
    Q.: “She attended five colleges in six years.”
    A.: “So what?”

    I loved Murray for that. And here’s something curious: So many of Charles’s biggest fans — bio-cons, generally — are the fiercest anti-Palinites. Kind of delicious.

    Well, y’all, I could say a lot more — including about Palinites and anti-Palinites — but I think I’ll just drag my knuckles on out of here (as the anti-Palinites would imagine). Oh, one more thing: Impromptus is now RSS-able. I’m supposed to say that (repeatedly, I believe). If you want this column by RSS — go here.


    on December 15, 2008 at 10:31 am American Girl
    Morning all -

    OT - but wanted to share some interesting statistics on how this train wreck started…..which reveals how much work needs to be done if we are to reverse course….to save our country from the slide she’s on….as far as “unreported”….is anyone surprised MSM hasn’t reported THESE stats??

    -note where he thinks we are on Prof Tyler’s “definition of democracy”, which we discussed on an earlier thread.

    INTERESTING FACTS…2008 Election —–

    Some unreported stats about the 2008 election…

    Professor Joseph Olson of Hemline University School of Law, St. Paul , Minnesota ,

    points out some interesting facts concerning the 2008 Presidential election:

    -Number of States won by: Democrats: 20; Republicans: 30

    -Square miles of land won by: Democrats: 580,000; Republicans: 2,427,000

    -Population of counties won by: Democrats: 127 million; Republicans: 143 million

    -Murder rate per 100,000 residents in counties won by: Democrats: 13.2; Republicans: 2.1

    Professor Olson adds:

    “In aggregate, the map of the territory Republican won was mostly the land owned by the taxpaying citizens.

    Democrat territory mostly encompassed those citizens living in rented or government-owned tenements and living off various forms of government welfare…”

    Olson believes the United States is now somewhere between the “complacency and apathy” phase of Professor Tyler’s definition of democracy, with some forty percent of the nation’s population already having reached the “governmental dependency” phase.

  9. To me, Moscow, Idaho, has seemed more remote and exotic than the Russian capital.

    That's us, remote, exoctic, exciting, mysterious, musical.

    But being overrun by trash from California, Seattle, Portland now.

    By the way, I got a gut ache from the shrimp at the New Hong Kong Cafe, which has been there since I was born, I think.

    Go to McDonald's instead, for your health.

  10. Don't worry Ash, I never believe anything you put on the internet.

    All other posts I take a good hard look at.

  11. Maui Occupancy:
    Down 13%

    Hawaii (Oahu, basically)
    67%, I think.
    (lower cost option)

  12. "-Number of States won by: Democrats: 20; Republicans: 30

    -Square miles of land won by: Democrats: 580,000; Republicans: 2,427,000

    -Population of counties won by: Democrats: 127 million; Republicans: 143 million

    -Murder rate per 100,000 residents in counties won by: Democrats: 13.2; Republicans: 2.1"
    My Milkman neighbor @ the farms reason for not wanting anything to do w/citylife:

    "There's Just Too Much Crime"

  13. Las Vegas is really on the skids now, I read.

    On the internet, so it must be true.

    You've never been to Kauai, al-Doug? That's where I had my time-share.

  14. An "arab" environmentalist tells it like it is:

  15. Actually, this year has been at least 0.2 colder than the average of the last several years according to The Satellite Data.

    Most of the warming of the last century was in the last 30 years. This coincided with the Positive cycles of the PDO (Pacific Decadal Oscillation) which brought a great overabundance of El Nino events, and the acceleration of the AMO (Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation.)

    NOW, the PDO has turned negative (bringing more cooling La Ninas) and the AMO will start to roll over in the next couple of years.

    We're in for a long-term cooling trend. The "Warmies" know it, and are trying to push through their agenda as quickly as possible. It's okay, though, inasmuch as most of what they want to do is good for us in the long run, anyway.

    I just hate the deception.

  16. What I want to know is, why isn't Saudia, other polluters, and those that protect them, not sued for everything they're worth? If you produce oil and coal, you should be sued out of business.

  17. Global Warming....the biggest scam since the Millenium.

  18. sue them? like the tobacco lawsuits?

  19. "If I were a boy
    Even just for a day
    I’d roll out of bed in the morning
    And throw on what I wanted and go
    Drink beer with the guys
    And chase after girls
    I’d kick it with who I wanted
    And I’d never get confronted for it
    Because they’d stick up for me..."

    - Beyonce

  20. "If you produce oil and coal, you should be sued out of business."
    Mat, DDS
    ...should be Mat, MD.
    Moron Dentist!

  21. As that famous American President, GW Bush, was noted as saying, mat ...

    "Bring it on!"

    Start the ball, let's see how you roll. A law suit is easy enough to bring, under US common law there is a case to be made. Under International Treaties, that the US has ratified, there could be a way forward, as well.

    A fellow could make it his life's work, taking big oil and Ford to Court over the general degradation of air quaility, since 1908.

    Lot of fund raising possibilities and opportunities in the pursuit of clean green.

  22. Doug,

    Stop being such a reactionary, and listen to the interview I've just posted.

  23. Start the ball, let's see how you roll.

    Like everything in this world, what's needed is money. And as Tony Montana once said: "..First you get the money, then you get the power, THEN you get the woman."

  24. Charm,
    Big Bucks,
    Always worked for me.

    ...Walter Mitty

  25. Easily make the same responsibility for a social cost case, ash, as was done with tobacco.
    Even greater multitude of costs.
    Though the premise did not fly when attempted against gun manufacturers.

    So the outcome would be far from bankable, unless your other option was Bernie Madoff's hedge fund

  26. So that's where Blogo went wrong

    First he got the power, but then had no idea how to raise any money.

    That really is kind of an unbelievable sort of a story. That the fellow would be so fantasticly stupid, and be Governor ...

  27. Bar Patronage is UP!
    Damn the Depression!

  28. Chicago Callers say it was his wife, 'Rat:
    Her Dad was a long time crook ALDERMAN.

    ...and Aldermen are THE determinators in Chi-Town Politics.

  29. ...B. Hussein Obama knew all them guys intimately.

    Would make most of us Wretch and refuse.

  30. I saw some report somewhere where those close to *business as usual* Blago were saying he's been acting a bit...delusional recently.

    Madoff certainly had good long run. I wonder if he now feels that the his rich past was worth it. I mean, he's like 70 - not much time left to suffer for having fun with 50billion. Heck, he's out on a measly 10 million bail. Ain't capitalism great? Yep, gotta luv the capitalism of the law suit. How much capital are you gonna belly up to the suit there Mat? You just gotta find an enterprising lawyer to put in some sweat equity and shop around for a venue that might be your friend.

  31. Tony Montana:

  32. That's it, Ash, he's going nutz.
    ...Who Knew?

  33. The Messiah Knows Nothing.
    ...what a deal.

  34. Do you think the corruption is limited to Illinois doug?

  35. How did you acquire YOUR Capital, Ash?

  36. LA is way ahead, Ash.
    Now answer MY question!

  37. LA, South Florida, and New Orleans Federal Districts all lead District that includes Chi-Town.

  38. as usual, they're not all as dumb as Blago.

  39. LA used to be pretty clean.
    Then came LBJ, followed by all them great Illegals.

  40. What question are you searching an answer for? "Who knew?" Fuck if I know but I'd guess all those who spoke to Blago about who was going to get appointed. Quid pro quo doesn't really happen to often in politics does it?

  41. ...that does not explain your yachting, so I did not parse it.
    ...again, where/how did the "anticapitalist" Ash acquire his Capital?

  42. no, I'm no anti-capitalist doug but I am against un-regulated capitalism.

    I built my capital through establishing and running a business.

  43. "un-regulated capitalism"
    Capitalism w/o Dodd and Franks:

  44. Stimulate me, Barney..., DON'T!

  45. Does it really matter what a business does as long as it creates capital in a capitalist world?

    No, I don't make tootsie pops. I am officially classed as a manufacturer by the province that I am located in which has tax implications (the manufacturing aspect).

  46. Capitalism w/o Dodd Franks, and Compassionate Conservatives.
    Worse yet.

  47. December 15, 2008, 11:45 am
    Competition Intensifies for Car Battery Makers
    By Kate Galbraith
    BMW’s Mini E electric car will be powered by a rechargeable lithium-ion battery. (Photo: Reuters)

    Whether or not a bailout for Detroit comes through, battery makers are anticipating a rosy future for electric cars.

    Llithium-ion car batteries are more compact than the more common nickel-based ones, since lithium is one of the lightest elements. And while few cars on the road are using lithium-ion, acquisitions are in the air.

    Panasonic is trying to buy a majority stake in Sanyo, a leading maker of lithium-ion batteries, despite opposition from Goldman Sachs, a big Sanyo shareholder.

    Warren Buffett recently decided to buy a 10 percent stake in a Chinese car-battery maker.

    Samsung and Robert Bosch announced in September that they would enter into a joint venture to make lithium-ion automotive batteries.

    And Andy Grove, former head of Intel, the chip-maker, is advocating for Intel to get into the car battery business, according to a Wall Street Journal story last week.

    Some battery makers hope that the election of Barack Obama may help kick-start the industry and domestic production. “Up until this time I feel like I’ve been trying to build this company with a massive headwind,” said Charles Gassenheimer, head of Ener1, a battery maker based in the United States that recently acquired a lithium-ion battery company in South Korea. “In an Obama administration, that headwind becomes a massive tailwind.”

    Ener1 has a plant in Indiana, and Mr. Gassenheimer would like to see more batteries manufactured domestically, rather than in Asia. “We have the technology but we don’t have the manufacturing base,” he said.

    Even if the next generation of electric cars does get going, there are some big questions about the durability of lithium-ion batteries, as Jim Motavalli wrote in the Times last week: “Although it has long been used to power cellphones and laptop computers, lithium-ion is still a largely unproved technology at the scale necessary to power automobiles.”

  48. Fuck, Mat,
    Suck some Nitrous!

  49. Prius uses NiMh.
    MY NiMh Batteries are ALWAYS dying prematurely.

  50. I am reluctant to reveal too much lest some of the crazies (mat and habu in particular) here sort out who I am (long shot but ole mattie lives reasonably close and he really is unhinged) Mind you I do have something I've been working on and it may prompt me to reveal more in the near future.

  51. Prius Battery Pack:
    5,000 bucks?
    (I never checked...)

  52. For once we agree:

    Dr. Mat, DDS, is truly Unhinged.

  53. Say good night to the bad guy. :D

  54. December 15, 2008, 10:03 am
    Battery Maker Takes Lithium-Ion Up a Notch
    By Jared Flesher
    Chief executive Christina Lampe-Önnerud says her company, Boston-Power, is the first American battery maker to provide power for a major-label laptop. Next stop: cars. (Photo: Boston-Power)

    The battery company Boston-Power has existed for just three years, but last week Hewlett-Packard — one of the largest technology companies in the world — said it will offer the startup's earth-friendly lithium-ion batteries in notebook computers in early 2009.

    This is the first time an American-based battery company has ever sold a battery to a top provider of notebooks, according to Christina Lampe-Önnerud, Boston-Power's founder and chief executive officer. "I think the revolutionary aspect of our battery is that its fast charge coupled with a long cycle life has never been seen before," she said.

    Boston-Power says their "Sonata" batteries can operate at 80 percent of original charge capacity for three years of typical use. Existing lithium-ion batteries will typically lose half their charge capacity after just one year, and will be all but dead after three.

    "I've basically been able to have four hours or close to four hours [between recharges] for two-and-a-half years now," Ms. Lampe-Önnerud said of using a Sonata battery on her own laptop.

    When the time to recharge does come, Sonata batteries can charge to 40 percent power in 10 minutes and 80 percent in 30 minutes. In comparison, Hewlett-Packard's best lithium-ion battery now charges to 90 percent in 90 minutes, according to Ms. Lampe-Önnerud.

    The safety of lithium-ion batteries has been an issue for the industry because of instances in which batteries have exploded or caught fire. But Ms. Lampe-Önnerud said the same "quality control systems of exactness and precision" that enable Sonata batteries to work better also make them safer.

    "The risks are much, much lower, from already having very low risks," she said. Hewlett-Packard will offer a three-year warranty on the new batteries — said to be the longest in the industry — and reportedly will price them at $20 to $30 more than a standard replacement battery.

    In addition to better performance, Boston-Power is also promoting the batteries for their greenness. Their main advantage in that regard is fairly straightforward: batteries that last longer mean less waste and fewer resources expended to make new batteries.

    "The biggest green claim that we make, and frankly, the aspect we're the most proud of, is you need one battery for three years, not three or five or ten batteries," Ms. Lampe-Önnerud said.

    Also, Boston-Power batteries don't contain PVC plastic or toxic flame retardants, as some other lithium-ion batteries do. The company is the first provider of rechargeable lithium-ion batteries to earn a Nordic Ecolabel certification — akin to a green thumbs-up from one of the world's leading agencies in evaluating sustainable products.

    Casey Harrell, a spokesman for Greenpeace International on toxics and electronics, said extending the lifespan of lithium-ion batteries would indeed have valuable environmental benefits in terms of reducing waste and preserving resources. He speculates that extended-life batteries could have a sustainability impact beyond just the battery itself.

    "We live in a world of planned obsolescence, where things are designed for the dump and longevity is a non-concern," he said. "Having a laptop battery that is very long in life could do wonders for extending the life of the entire product."

    Mr. Harrell also credits Boston-Power for eliminating all PVC plastic and toxic flame retardants. "PVC, when burned — which is common disposal practice for electronics — releases dioxin, a known carcinogen," he said.

    The Sonata batteries will be manufactured in Taiwan and China, and the company has also received a Chinese eco-label certification. Ms. Lampe-Önnerud said a team from Boston-Power will be present at factories "24/7″ to ensure that manufacturing guidelines are adhered to.

    Looking toward the future, Boston-Power hopes to expand well beyond laptop batteries. It opened a new lab dedicated to developing batteries for electric cars and other large format systems in October.

    "We have a battery that has shown remarkable performance criteria that I think the auto industry would welcome very, very much," Ms. Lampe-Önnerud said. "In fact, we see quite a bit of interest from the automotive industry."

    Developing this technology will take some time. Boston-Power's batteries are more likely to appear next in other consumer electronics, or simpler modes of transportation such as power-assisted bicycles and electric scooters.

    When it comes to electric car batteries, Ms. Lampe-Önnerud said the industry is making progress but still far from having formulated the perfect solution. "Batteries need to be dependable to really make a difference," she said. "The ability to get the same type of performance every day is going to make or break any one of the players that are coming out now."

  55. MY NiMh Batteries are ALWAYS dying prematurely.

    Don't talk to me about it, talk to the wife. :D

  56. Survey Reveals 30% Of Men Choose The Internet Over Sex

    December 15, 2008

    Washington (dbTechno) - A new survey has revealed that 30% of men choose the Internet over sex, while 46% of women prefer to have the Internet rather than sex.

    The survey was carried out in November by Intel Corp. and focused on 2,119 adults in the U.S.

    They asked the adults what they would rather give up for a period of two weeks, the Internet or sex.

    They found that 46% of women and 30% of men actually chose the Internet.

    On top of that, they also found that 61% of women would choose the Internet over giving up TV for two weeks, compared to 58% of men.

    In terms of needing the Internet, 65% of adults in the U.S. stated that they simply cannot live without access online.

    The Internet ranked higher than going out to dinner, shopping, watching cable TV, etc.

  57. I agree with Rat, that Blago's got to be lacking brain cells. You just don't blab on the phone when you know, or ought to know, you're under investigation.

    Wife and I just stopped by a new pawn shop here, on the way to the library. Guns flying off the shelves, the boss said.

    Got to talking about FNHUSA Guns

    Well made, according to him. Never heard of them before, but I'm not a gun nut.

    "Obama, the only virgin in the whorehouse that is Chicago politics."

    Great Santa, how did we elect this fraud?

  58. It was 12 degrees here last night, I'll be damned if I'm going to the library on power-assisted bicycles and electric scooters.

    Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has offered around $20,000 worth of new computers to the library, all we patrons have to do is cough up $3,900 matching money. I'll donate a few bucks.

  59. December 11, 2008, 12:34 pm
    Bad News For Coal from the E.P.A., but Some States Push Ahead
    By Kate Galbraith

    Environmentalists celebrated on Wednesday as the Bush administration, in its waning days, dropped plans to ease restrictions on coal plants.

    The Environmental Protection Agency had looked into weakening clean-air protections in places like near national parks — which would have potentially paved the way for more coal plants. This was scrapped, along with a plan that "would have altered the rules that govern when power plants must install antipollution devices," according to the Washington Post.

    "With the barbarians at the gate having pulled up their tents and headed for the hills, we can look forward as a civilized society to tackling the critical problems of global warming, smog and soot pollution," said John Walke, a senior attorney with the Natural Resources Defense Council, in a statement.

    For the coal industry, this is the latest in a series of blows, and the second big one in a month. In November, in a decision with broad implications, a court ruled that an E.P.A. regional office must consider whether to regulate carbon-dioxide emissions when permitting a coal plant in Utah.

    Many planned coal plants have lately been scuttled, due to concerns about carbon-dioxide emissions — which President-elect Barack Obama may decide to cap.

    But some states are nonetheless forging ahead with coal.

    This week Luminant, a big power provider in Texas, struck a deal with environmentalists to allow a coal plant to be built using the "Maximum Achievable Control Technology," a term arising from the Clean Air Act that requires polluters to use the best technology available to control emissions. The focus was on keeping down mercury emissions.

    In South Carolina, GreenvilleOnline reports that environmental groups are opposing a proposed coal plant, but the governor, Mark Sanford, seems unwilling to heed their particular requests — though he has not yet taken a stance on the plant.

    In Arkansas, the governor is trying to put off environmentalists by saying that he lacks authority to introduce a moratorium on coal-fired power plants, according to The Hope Star.

    And in West Virginia, a coal-mining state, the governor has embraced plans for a coal-to-liquids plant, and said that he has told President-elect Obama that the two are "not on the same page" when it comes to climate change, according to The Charleston Gazette.

  60. Har!

    "..With the barbarians at the gate having pulled up their tents and headed for the hills, we can look forward as a civilized society to tackling the critical problems of global warming, smog and soot pollution,.."

  61. Mat, the better library is over in Clarkston across the river, so it's about five miles. Too far and too cold to scoot, for me.

    We have a good library system here, Val-Net, connects to all the towns around, and the Universities too.

  62. With the barbarians at the gate having pulled up their tents and headed for the hills, we can look forward to freezing our asses off in the winter, and sweating in the summer.

    Where's the energy going to come from, pray tell? No nukes, no coal, no nothin'.

  63. This comment has been removed by the author.

  64. Where's the energy going to come from, pray tell? No nukes, no coal, no nothin'.

    Energy for what?

  65. There's enough tidal geothermal wind and solar energy potential to power the US several thousand times over. Combine this with energy efficiency and more intelligent use of resources, and the transition to clean power generation and distribution becomes very manageable.

  66. This comment has been removed by the author.

  67. Electrovaya (TSX: EFL) announced today that it is launching the Maya-300, a zero-emission, low-speed electric vehicle. It will have an extended range of up to 120 miles on a single charge, powered by Electrovaya’s Lithium Ion SuperPolymer® battery technology with integrated iBMS™ (intelligent battery management system).

    The Maya-300 will be an affordable, zero-emission transportation solution with sufficient range for many drivers. Its top speed is electronically regulated to either 25 or 35 mph, as per state regulations. It offers a superior long electric range of up to 120 miles on a single charge and works very well in cold weather conditions. The on-board battery charger allows for convenient recharging with standard 110V outlets.

    The Maya-300 is designed for urban and neighborhood driving patterns. It will be ideal for fleet operators in cities, universities and parks as well as the many households with a second or third vehicle for urban driving within a local neighborhood. The Maya-300 offers these users a clean, zero-emission alternative with sufficient range, low maintenance costs and extremely low operating costs.


  68. The Case for Higher Gas Taxes (and Lower Income Taxes)

  69. they are fudging the data by reducing sea ice extent to support the Arctic sea ice is melting meme.

    Changing The Stats On Arctic Ice To Fit The Theory

    from American Thinker
    Articles in The Journal of Near Death Studies(Fall, 2008) that came in the mail today---

    The Phenomenology of the Self Conscious Mind- Robert and Suzanne Mays

    Corroboration of the Denture Anecdote Involving Veridical Perception in a Near Death Experience--Rudolph Smit

    Irreducible Mind: Toward a Psychology for the 21st Century--Edward Kelly, Emily Kelly, Adam Crabtree, Alan Gauld, Michael Grosso, and Bruce Greyson

    The Spiritual Brain-: A Neuroscientist's Case For The Existence of the Soul--Mario Beauregard and Denyse O'Leary

  70. .
    As the bad news continues to pour in, some media reports are beginning to question the "disgraceful negligence" on the part of American financial regulators, who reportedly examined Madoff's investment operation several time over a twenty-year period without finding any wrongdoing.

    "There were a lot of very sophisticated people who were duped, and that happens a great deal when you've had somebody decide to be unscrupulous," said Harvey Pitt, a former chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, a regulator in charge of monitoring investment funds like the one Madoff operated.

    "disgraceful negligence"

    Face to the wall, and machinegun them down.

  71. Forget about atomic warfare, just have the big three headquarter in your city.

    Detroit, land of the dead:

  72. Urban farming in Detroit? Well, maybe, but it's awfully cold there for fruits and veggies.

    Wasn't Eddie Murphy a Detroit cop in "Beverly Hills Cop"?

    I recall the first scenes in the movie, looked like crap then, that was in 1984.

  73. Bob

    a while back on another topic, I mentioned my new FN Herstal 5.7 hand gun, and someone called me a gangbanger. I thought it was funny.

    Anyway, the pawn guy is right, it's a great hand gun. Shoots a bullet that looks like a .223 short, has 2000 fps at the muzzle (.45 about 940 fps, 9mm about 1100. Comes in a hard plastic case with 3 20 round magazines.

    Sara Brady wants it off the market due to the high capacity mags. She is directly responsible for me having one : )

    I highly recommend them. They are fun to shoot.

  74. I realize, doug, that Mrs Blogo was his connection to power, but even so ...

    Blogo has since had a falling out, with Pops, or so they write in the MSM.

    The irrational/insanity storyline comes from the father of the IL AG, or so I read yesterday. He wants HIS daughter to be Governor.

    I think the fellow is not insane, just not to bright a light.

    But Maverick refused to run against the culture of Chi-town and its' politics. Even McSupporters shied from that, firing at his Church and preacher, out of a misplaced perception of the seriousness that most people place on religion and the preachers that other folk visit.

    While religion in America is widespread, it is not to deep.
    For most folk.

    Staying outdoors in December, wi"o", that's survival training, not camping

  75. The IL AG is the daughter, to her own Alderman father, who wants HER to be Governor, or so the story went.

  76. Urban farming in Detroit?

    I don't know what you do with a place like Detroit. The place is a den of corruption. You have to kill the source of corruption first, before anything else. And that would be GM Ford Chrysler and their corruptokrats.

  77. build a fence around it ala "Escape From New Yor"

  78. Snake Plissken - union leader of the crackhead zombie nation.

  79. It ain't pretty to look at, but it WILL Rock and Roll.

    The gun shows around here (North Texas) are selling them (if you can find one) for about 950.00.

  80. Another sign of the times---

    MEXICO CITY (AP) - A well-known U.S. anti-kidnapping expert has himself fallen victim to the wave of abductions in Mexico as unidentified assailants snatched him from a street in the northern state of Coahuila.
    Local authorities say American Felix Batista was in Mexico to give talks and offer advice against kidnapping. The former U.S. army officer sometimes serves as a negotiator with kidnappers.

    Batista is a consultant for the Houston, Texas-based security firm ASI Global LLC.

    ASI Global President Charlie LeBlanc says Batista was abducted on Dec. 10 in Saltillo, the capital of Coahuila.

    LeBlanc said Monday that the FBI and Mexican police are working on the case, but would not say whether any ransom demand has been received.

    Some renagade Mormon 'prophet' out in the Utah outback is predicting the end, and he might be right. But, he has been predicting the same thing for decades.

    You can only be right once, about the end times.

  81. Dec 15, 2008 - 10:50 am

    141. buddy Larsen:

    need levity, here’s an attempt:

    There was an old poet named Yeats
    who wrote of humanity’s fates

    he said that the devils
    come not through our revels

    but by bi millennial dates

    Dec 15, 2008 - 11:12 am

    142. John Lynch:

    I can’t stop laughing. That was a hilarious hippie video. I’m sending it to all my friends.

    Dec 15, 2008 - 2:19 pm

    143. Mongoose:


    When the young Kant
    Was told to kiss his aunt,
    He obeyed the Categorical Must,
    But only just.


    Dec 15, 2008 - 4:01 pm

    144. buddy Larsen:

    haw –

    but he could’ve let dread
    mess around with his head

    and emmanuel kant
    might’ve said to his aunt

    “i know that i must but i can’t”

  82. An Iranian woman, blinded by a jilted stalker who threw acid in her face, has persuaded a court to sentence him to be blinded with acid himself under Islamic law demanding an eye for an eye

  83. A mighty and unexpected step forward for the Iranian regime--

    Cruel and usual punishment in reverse.

  84. Here you go, Mat. The Death and Life of Great
    American Cities. Title sounds like you might like it, don't have a clue what she thinks.

  85. "Jacobs tries to show the fallacy of social planning."


    The main reason most American cities (and modern cities in general) are a failure is because they are not built to human scale. The main reason American cities are not built to human scale is the car and big industry. And not to sound too much like a Commie, these have their source in the Corporate State, and Corruptokrats in the service of the Corporate State. It's unfortunate, but it's true.

  86. The car as a mode of transportation within a city, has no business being there. Furthermore, there should be no heavy industry within city limits. Cities should be a place for people, not for cars and not for heavy industry.

  87. As the mayor's drastic package of cuts fall on the Supervisors at their Tuesday meeting,
    the questions abound: Why so fast? Why not more discussion and more hearings?


    San Francisco's not ready to make $118 million in budget cuts.
    I realize the city can't operate at a deficit, and if payment due exceeds accounts received, something has to be done.


    There's actually a bright side to the brutally depressing budget struggles in San Francisco and Sacramento. This could be the year Californians finally start to recognize that they can't have a functioning state, with the services everyone wants, without paying taxes.

    Assistance Center

  88. I'll pass on the climate Oogedy Boodgedy.

    But not this fine music.

  89. Geek police run out of tear gas after five days of rioting. So far the stone throwers haven't pulled downThe Parthenon for throwing stones.

  90. Around here, many would say you can't have industry out in the oh so ever precious farmland. I'm not one of those. But it's basically zoned out of the farmland, now. As also most housing too. They'd agree with you, too, Mat, no industry in the towns either, many of them. So, no industry, at all. We'll just sell wheat and university degrees, and suck off the rest of the country that way, for the manufactured goods we need, and pass the real problems off on to somebody else. It's selfish and hypocritical, but hey, works for us.

  91. Bob, let's make a list. Exactly what heavy industry is missing in Idaho?

  92. Bismark, N.D.--

    Prodution of oats in the US is at it lowest level since the Civil War days, but those who use t he grain in breakfast cereal or animal feed aren't worried.

    There's an abundance of the crop to the north, and it's getting cheaper by the day.

    "We are not having any issues sourcing oats," said Heidi Geller, a spokeswoman for Minneapolis based General Foods, maker of Cheerios.

    Terri Long, a spokeswoman for the North American Miller's Association, said oat millers in the US get most of the grain from Canada because US production in not enough to meet the need.

    Canada exports about 114 million bushels of oats annually to the US--nearly equal to the 119 million imported by the US each year.

    This year Canadian producers outproduced their American counterparts by nearly 3 to 1. Production north of the border neared 300 million bushels after high prices last spring led farmers to seed more acres.

    Now, that big crop is helping to push down market prices to nearly half what they were just six months ago.


    We had a guy here one time, who was a little--er, -- inexperienced. He had a nice crop of oats, which also had a good growth of wild oats in it too.

    There is a good chemical for spraying out wild oats, so he did so. But you don't want to do it in an oat crop. Works well in wheat or barley.

    Wiped out the whole field, he did. Last time he did that. :)

    Always read the label, and follow the directions!

  93. Well, the mining is mostly gone, for starters.

    I'm not real sure about around Boise, other than computer chips, but there is no car making, no steel making, no aluminum making(there is in Spokane, I think Kaiser Aluminum is still there).

    The big thing here in Lewiston is the Potlatch Forest mill, that makes paper and tissue.

    We have a couple of small companies that make jet boats.

    In Pullman, they have Schweitzer Engineering Labs that makes electrical components.

    There is logging.

    Up north here, that's really about it as far as the big stuff.




  94. So what's missing?

    Nuclear reactors:)!

    Cat houses.

    Theatre, art, song and dance.


  95. Theatre, art, song and dance.

    Excepting the Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival, of course.

  96. Nuclear reactors:)!

    And these are needed to power the cat houses?

  97. Theatre, art, song and dance.

    So what are the cat houses for?

  98. Just innocent song and dance cat houses, Mat, that we don't have. Used to, though.

    Mormon influence.:(

  99. This comment has been removed by the author.

  100. Theatre, art, song and dance.

    That requires a soul, Bob. We need to first find our soul, before we can have theatre, art, song and dance.

  101. I wouldn't disagree with that.


  103. Notice, the EBO voodoo artists were so effective in delivery they sold the Israelis the same bill of goods. Cause Kosovo, and the oversold "Shock and Awe" were so effective at bringing down the house.

    Yet another illustration of the fact that even when we're stupid, we're trend setters.

    Next on the chopping block, the awe-inspiring, transformative "Revolution in Military Affairs."

  104. Third, all operating
    environments are dynamic with an infinite
    number of variables; therefore, it is not scientifically
    possible to accurately predict the
    outcome of an action. To suggest otherwise
    runs contrary to historical experience and
    the nature of war.

  105. This story isn't getting the coverage it deserves, like alot of other stories, too---

    ATF: accelerant poured around Palin's church

    Million-Dollar Arson Fire Hits Sarah Palin’s Church as Women Gather Inside

    ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - Federal investigators in Alaska say an accelerant was poured around the exterior of Gov. Sarah Palin's home church before it was heavily damaged by a fire.
    The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives said Monday that the accelerant was poured at several locations around the church, including entrances.

    Federal Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms Special Agent Nick Starcevic says laboratory tests will determine what the accelerant was.

    The blaze was set at the main entrance of the Wasilla Bible Church on Friday evening while a small group, including two children, were inside. No one was injured.

    Palin, the former Republican vice presidential candidate, was not at the church at the time of the fire but visited on Saturday

    This seems to be attempted murder. A mosque, Rev Wright's church, the coverage would be much wider.

  106. Back to the present. Marybelle swept out of the house like Scarlett O'Hara or someone like that. I'm not accustomed to women making a fuss over me. As luck would have it her husband was on a "dig" looking into an ancient buried culture up near Malta, Montana, along with their daughter who was a junior at Indiana University on a full scholarship. This was where the husband got his PhD which some of my friends call the "fud" degree. Their son was in Namibia in Africa working with an environmental group called Round River, the name of which I liked because my dad always said that it would be nice if rivers were round which meant you could float them for trout and end up where you started.

    from 'The English Major' by Jim Harrison

  107. Wasn't Eddie Murphy a Detroit cop in "Beverly Hills Cop"?

    I recall the first scenes in the movie, looked like crap then, that was in 1984.

    The sister to my '65 F-100 makes a brief cameo appearance in that opening scene...the failed get-away by the cigarette hijacker with Axel Foley swinging on the semi's doors. Look for a green pickup.

  108. This comment has been removed by the author.