“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."

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Happy New Year 2009. Good health and good luck!

It has been fun sparring and commiserating with one and all. All the best.


  1. Happy Secular New Year to one and all...

    Merry Christmas to our orthodox friends on January 7th....

    In celebration of the New Year I will be taking my offspring to the not so steep hills of middle Ohio for snowboarding...


    Buying a new machine to make treats to sell & going target shooting...

    I just love my new 40 cal Glock....

  2. The top Wrld stories from the AP as we enter the New Year:

    Israel kills top Hamas figure, escalating campaign

    Egyptian ship seized by Somali Pirates

    20 Afghan police killed in Taliban ambush

    Suspected US missile strike kills 3 in Pakistan

    I'm afraid we live in interesting times.

    Good luck with the sweet machine, wi"o", both of them.

  3. Happy New Year, Everyone.

    Personally, I'm glad to see this 08' sucker out the door.

  4. In a Time piece I saw this paragraph, which sums up the tenure of Team43, nicely.

    The measure of Bush's failure as President is not his broken promises or unmet goals. All politicians break their promises, and none achieve the goals of their soaring rhetoric. But Bush stands out for abandoning the promises and goals that got him elected, taking up the opposite ones and then failing to keep or meet those.

    But then Michael Kinsley was never much of a Team43 fan, anyway.

  5. Gosh, that bridge fireworks video reminds me very much of this scene from one of the best movies of all time.

  6. In the coming years, as oil production in the U.S., Mexico, Venezuela, The North Sea, and Russia continue to fall, the world will look at the strongest military on earth (by far) sitting dead-square in the middle of the ME oil fields, and say, "Hm, isn't THAT fortuitous?"

    Then, they'll look at how Dubya fought tirelessly for Biofuels, and "Trade," and how useful the Colombian Castor Oil Biodiesel production is, and say, "Wow, I'm glad someone saw that coming."

    The man "stumped his toe" on the border, but, all in all, it was a pretty damned good run.

  7. May you all have a prosperous and happy new year!

  8. Yeah, you could have put up New York's celebration, my electricity went out at 11:25 and I never got to see the ball drop.

    Happy New Year.

  9. Mina _ Adagio _ Live 1972

  10. Ten Grinchiest Republicans of 08

    There was a good article yesterday about Toyota working on a all solar panel powered car I was going to put up for Mat but can't find it now.

    Hang on to your wallet in 09, Unca Sam is coming for your money one way or another.

    It's another $20 Wampum Day at the Casino. The only easy money I'll see all year.

    Hear hear Rugus at 12:04.

    Since I doubt it will be a prosperous New Year, I wish you a safe one.

  11. Smyth, not Smith, Smyth, The Smoother Mover--from an old ad from my childhood.

  12. The Japanese are doing very good work on Solar. China too. China will soon build the world's largest solar plant:

    China to Get 1GW Photovoltaic Solar Power Farm

    China’s Qaidam Basin could become the equivalent of the Mojave Desert in terms of solar power projects, if new plans to build a 1-gigawatt solar power photovoltaic farm in China come to fruition. While utilities and startups have sited the Southern California desert for some of the world’s largest solar-thermal and solar photovoltaic projects, the China Technology Development Group Corp. and Qinghai New Energy Co. signed an agreement with local Chinese officials over the weekend to begin work on a massive plant that would use crystalline silicon and thin-film solar cells, research firm JLM Pacific Epoch reports (hat tip VentureBeat).

    To be clear, 1 gigawatt of power — 1,000 megawatts — from photovoltaics is huge. The next-largest PV project we’ve heard of is a 550-megawatt plant being built by OptiSolar in San Luis Obispo, Calif., as part of a larger PG&E plan to bring 800 megawatts of solar power onto the electric grid. A Godzilla-like PV project by Intersolar in Germany, now more than half complete, is set to generate 40 megawatts. While it’s possible that the Qaidam project will falter before breaking any records, even the first phase — about $146 million for a 30-megawatt plant — could put China on the photovoltaics map. According to JLM, construction is slated to begin as early as 2009.

  13. Joseph Conrad should have sued 'em all from the grave for stealing his stuff, Michelle Renee.

  14. Nice choice. Sydney knows how to put on a show, that's for sure.

  15. Posted by: Kyda Sylvester
    Jan 01, 11:20 AM

    In California, our cars, by law, come equiped with catalytic converters. Two of the three purposes of the catalytic converter are the oxidation of carbon monoxide and the oxidation of unburnt hydrocarbons to, wait for it, CO2 which is then released into the environment. Just like our bodies, our automobiles--and other internal combustion machines--are our own personal carbon dioxide-making machines. Neat.

    Global Warming Score Sticker Required For California Cars In 2009

    My 1960 Ford F-600 doesn't have no stinkin' sticker, nor a catalytic converter either.

  16. UET environment professor: University of Engineering and Technology Environment Professor Dr AR Saleemi said besides the factors pointed out by Dr Chaudhry, the government must also focus on areas like urbanisation, population, control of excessive use of air conditioners and food toxicity.

    He said chlorofloro-carbon gas used in air conditioners damaged the ozone layer. He said urbanisation should be strongly discouraged, adding that employment should be offered to people in their own villages.

    He said it was impossible for most thickly populated cities to maintain a pleasant environment.

    Pakistan Urbanization

  17. Indian media reports have said that Lakhvi chose the team of 10 gunmen that perpetrated the attacks, while Shah allegedly arranged SIM cards and satellite phones used in the November 26-29 siege on India's financial capital.

    "When asked about the outcome of Pakistan's own investigation into the Mumbai attacks, foreign ministry spokesman Mohammad Sadiq said: "We are currently engaged in the process of our own investigation".

    He added:"We also await evidence from India to enable our own investigations to make progress."

    Mumbai Probe

  18. Happy New Year, everyone.

  19. Didn't you already say that? You been drinkin' again?

  20. Israeli police said thousands of officers were deployed in and around east Jerusalem after Hamas called on Palestinians in the annexed Arab sector of the Holy City and in the occupied West Bank to mark "day of wrath" on Friday.

    The army will also lock down the West Bank on Friday and Saturday, a spokesman said. Movement in and out of the territory will be prohibited except for emergencies and special cases.

    Hamas called on its website for "massive marches" following the weekly Muslim prayers on Friday, starting off from the Al-Aqsa mosque compound in Jerusalem and from "all the mosques in the West Bank."

    6th Day of Blitz

  21. Wonder if this situation has the dangerous potential to blossom into something bigger. The headlines say the Hamaloids may try to target Dimona, and Hezbollah has 40,000 missiles in Lebanon. The Big O--thankfully we have The One to safely ferry us to Yonder Shore in the New Year--retains a Sphinx like silence. George is already chopping wood in Texas so to speak, his remaining major decision being whether to pardon Ramos and Compean. Things can always get worse.

  22. Israel has said that its aim is to smash Hamas’s rocket-firing capability but also to topple the hardline Islamist regime that seized power in the Gaza Strip in 2007 after bloody street battles with its secular rivals Fatah. Until that goal is achieved, many in Beersheba are packing their bags and heading for Tel Aviv or Eilat.

    “Maybe 30 or 40 per cent of people have left the city,” said Ron Shukron, 26, running one of the few grocery shops still open. As he spoke a siren echoed through the empty streets.

    With only 15 seconds to take cover, he stepped under a reinforced support beam in the ceiling. Seconds later came the dull thud of a rocket exploding on the edge of town.

    Battle Zone

  23. ever rocket, every grad that hits another israeli city or nuke plant or port just Israel the right and duty to completely kick their asses...

    always count on the palios to overplay their hands...

  24. While Israel installs warning systems and builds shelters, Hamas refuses to do so, precisely because it wants to maximize the number of Palestinian civilians inadvertently killed by Israel's military actions. Hamas knows from experience that even a small number of innocent Palestinian civilians killed inadvertently will result in bitter condemnation of Israel by many in the international community.

    Israel understands this as well. It goes to enormous lengths to reduce the number of civilian casualties -- even to the point of foregoing legitimate targets that are too close to civilians.

    Until the world recognizes that Hamas is committing three war crimes -- targeting Israeli civilians, using Palestinian civilians as human shields, and seeking the destruction of a member state of the United Nations -- and that Israel is acting in self-defense and out of military necessity, the conflict will continue.

    Perfectly Proportionate

  25. December 30th, 2008 12:56pm
    Graeme Thompson

    Hi Melanie, I dont know about a case for legal action against these rampantly anti-semitic media outlets, but certainly there needs to be a counter-terrorist attack launched against them in Parliament. MPs on the side of civilisation need to call a debate on the issue of the media acting as a propaganda arm for terrorism and a nest of virulent anti-semitism. At the moment I'm between jobs, so I have the time to snail mail this suggestion to the right MPs. Might be a good idea if others do so? Media abettment of terrorist propaganda and granting succour to our enemies is a national security threat that needs to be treated as such.

  26. next-largest PV project we’ve heard of is a 550-megawatt plant being built by OptiSolar in San Luis Obispo, Calif., as part of a larger PG&E plan to bring 800 megawatts of solar power onto the electric grid.

    If this is correct, it's insanity at work in service of the green movement's coercive forces on private utilities. Central California's coast is foggy, folks, and San Luis Obispo is in the heart of the Central Coast.

    A Godzilla-like PV project by Intersolar in Germany, now more than half complete, is set to generate 40 megawatts.

    More nonsense by the greenies. Germany is a fog prone, cloudy place much of the time. All of Germany. Back around '69 I heard Hahn AFB had one of the worst weather profiles of USAF bases in the world...fog.

    I've never been to Qaidam, China.

    My hunch is that all these projects have carbon credit/transfer funding for a substantial part of their capital cost. The "contributors" have no say in the direction their coerced outlays are channeled, and the "investors" are only looking for the magic words, "green", "solar", and "renewable."

    More fraud and scamming. Just my opinion.

  27. From Wikipedia

    Qauidam Basin - Nasa satellite view
    A rainbow after a rare shower in the Qaidam Basin on the Tibetan Plateau

    Qaidam Basin, also spelt Tsaidam (Chaidamu Pendi, 柴达木盆地; Mongolian: Цайдам) is an arid basin in Qinghai, western China. Its large natural reserves caused a great deal of investment interest from 2005. Around 35,000 square kilometers, or one third of the basin was desert, which is named after the basin as Chaidamu Pendi Shamo 柴达木盆地沙漠).

  28. Asked whether they found the Likud and Kadima lists attractive, respondents were equally positive and negative about Likud's candidates. Fifty-one percent said they found the Kadima list unattractive, while just 28% said it attracted them.

    Other polls published this week found that 81% of Israelis supported the war in Gaza, but only 63% believed it would succeed in stopping rocket fire on the South. The surveys were divided on whether there should be a ground offensive in the Strip or whether Israel should seek a cease-fire.

    A Ma'agar Mohot poll broadcast Wednesday night on Channel 2 found that Barak's rating as defense minister had skyrocketed since the war began, from 23% to 60%.

    Likud and Labor

  29. Feuding drug cartels have engaged in a brutal battle for dominance across the country, with some 5,400 people killed in 2008.

    The drug-related killings are especially prevalent in northern Mexico , the source of most illegal drug shipments to the United States, the world's biggest cocaine consumer.

    The rampant violence comes despite the deployment of some 36,000 troops across the country under the administration of President Felipe Calderon , who took power in late 2006.

    Drug War Victims

  30. Evidently, all of San Luis Obispo Co. isn't cloudy all of the time. I wiki'd the Carrizo Plain (the location of the proposed solar plant.)

    The remote Carrizo Plain's status as one of the sunniest places in the state was exploited by the solar power industry from 1983 to 1994. This ....

  31. This comment has been removed by the author.

  32. Rufus,

    Evidently, today is groundhog day. I think LT saw a shadow, and is scared out of his wits. :)

  33. You want Solar Panels on the Carrizo Plain? You Put the Damned Things up!

    Local inhabitant (one of the few, I might add.)

  34. More Carrizo Plain.

    And, More

    I do believe that's sunshine on that sheepdogs back. Good Dog.

  35. My wife just told me that Ian Punnett just said on C2C that tart cherry juice is even better than regular black cherry juice for gout and other ailments. You can trust Ian. Tart cherries are best.

  36. That snake looks in pretty good shape for laying out in the middle of the road.

  37. It'll take up about 6,000 acres (a couple of good-sized corn farms - except you can't grow corn, or much of anything else in that lousy alkaline soil.)

    It'll cost, probably, in the $2 Billion range (about 3 football stadiums,) and produce enough electricity, equivalently, (we're talking "Peak" Demand hours,) for 200,000 homes.

    About One Million Megawatt Hours/yr. At $0.20/kilowatt that's $200 Million/Yr. They "Payoff" is in the ten year range. Not bad.

    In five years I'll bet the Cost will be Closer to One Billion with a much quicker "payoff."

  38. Abandoned Solar Power Plant(photo)

    Description: The remote Carrizo Plain's status as one of the sunniest places in the state was exploited by the solar power industry from 1983 to 1994. This was by far the largest photovoltaic array in the world, with 100,000 1'x 4' photovoltaic arrays producing 5.2 megawatts at its peak. The plant was originally constructed by the Atlantic Richfield oil company (ARCO) in 1983. During the energy crisis of the late 1970s, ARCO became a solar energy pioneer, manufacturing the photovoltaic arrays themselves. ARCO first built a 1 megawatt pilot operation, the Lugo plant in Hesperia, California, which is also now closed. The Carrizo Solar Corporation, based in Albuquerque, NM, bought the two facilities from ARCO in 1990. But the price of oil never rose as was predicted, so the solar plant never became competitive with fossil fuel-based energy production (Carrizo sold its electricity to the local utility for between three and four cents a kilowatt-hour, while a minimum price of eight to ten cents a kilowatt-hour would be necessary in order for Carrizo to make a profit). Another photovoltaic facility was planned for the site by the Chatsworth Utility Power Group, and with an output of 100 megawatts it would have been many times larger than the existing facility. But the facility never got off the drawing board. The Carrizo Solar Company dismantled its 177-acre facility in the late 1990s, and the used panels are still being resold throughout the world.

    Green Revolution = Rent Seeking Boondoggles.

  39. The Giant Kangaroo Rat Is Hanging On In The Carriso Plain

    Wonder what a miniature Kangaroo Rat looks like.

    They also have Pronghorns down that way.

  40. Everbody's got a story, LT. ;)

    And, for the 3'rd time, Happy New Year. :)

  41. He wouldn't be looking that good if I was driving down that road, and got a shot at him Bob. :)

    As Monte Python would have said it, "He'd be an Ex-Snake. :)

  42. Giant Kangaroo Rats. I think we now know why that rattler looked so fat, and happy.

    Damned Snakes, Now they're eatin our Kangaroo rats.

  43. Southern Nevada social services have struggled to keep pace with need. The state's suicide rate is twice the national rate.

    The city leads the country in percentage of teenage high school dropouts.

    And let's face it, there is fierce competition on the drop out rate.

    Identity crisis hits Las Vegas.

    Who are we, if we're not chislers, swindlers, frauds, speculators, backbiters, whores, pimps, beggers, and dealers, of all kinds?

    Vegas Craps Out

  44. About One Million Megawatt Hours/yr. At $0.20/kilowatt that's $200 Million/Yr. They "Payoff" is in the ten year range. Not bad.

    Not bad? What's good about $0.20/kwh power? Unless your name is Doug?

    I'm paying about 3/4 that much now, about 100 mi east of there. And about 40% or more of that price is green surcharge imposed by the tax eaters in Sacramento.


    He'd for sure have tread marks up in my neck of the woods.

    Reminds me: how can you tell the difference between a dead snake and a dead lawyer in the middle of the road?

    There's skid marks before the snake.

  45. What's good about $0.20/kwh power?

    You pay it to local companies, rather than Saudi Russia Iran Venezuela etc.

  46. Abandoned Solar Power Plant


    The price of solar came down a hundred fold since the seventies, can you say the same for oil? And every year solar becomes cheaper by about 5 percent.

  47. Avista is lowering our natural gas charge 4.7%, though they had raised it about twice that when the price went up recently.

  48. You got me on the Carrizo Plain, barmates. I bit on the San Luis Obispo location. Here's another picture of the typical weather in the SLO neighborhood.

    It is groundhog day, isn't it Mat? All day?

  49. If you were a Tibetan, you could live on the tops of those hills, and get solar, too.

  50. Abandoned Solar Power Plant

    Green Revolution = Rent Seeking Boondoggles

  51. LT,

    It's a very simple equation. Would you rather the money go towards enriching the Saudis, or you rather the money go towards enriching the American economy? Answer!

  52. San Luis Obispo County is a pretty large county. 3,600 sp miles. That encompasses quite a bit of territory.

    Another thing to be aware of is that the newer solar cells utilize virtually all of the light spectrum, including that part of the spectrum that penetrates through clouds.

    It's not all a con job, LT. Coal is dirty, polluting to mine, and there's only so much of the "accessible" stuff left. We've burned most of the good stuff, and we've, hopefully, got a lot of years left on this mortal coil.

    Look at it this way: We're getting some good hands-on experience in some of these alternatives, and we'll know in a few years which ones will "ramp," and which ones won't.

    Like I said, you're basically talking the price of a couple of football stadiums.

  53. Fits the definition of Good Snake.

  54. Answer!

    I seldom answer folks who shout at me, but your answer is at Fri Jan 02, 02:30:00 AM EST.

    You really need to get laid.

  55. You really need to stop trolling.

  56. Btw, LT, getting laid is not all that. Not that you would know.

  57. I just guessed on the twenty cents, LT. The fact that it's "Peak" energy means, I believe, that it will sell for more.

    I am quite sure that as fossil, and Nuclear get More expensive, solar will become less so.

  58. BillyBoy

    Maybe this is Blago's way of appealing to one of the most important RAT constituencies: the cemetery votes.

    If theyre gonna vote, they need a polling place.

    Thats no cemetery, it's a precinct.


  59. The Nikkei newspaper, however, said it will be years before the planned vehicle will be available on the market.

    Toyota Secretly Developing Solar Powered Green Car

    Well, not so secretly, as I've just told everybody about it.

  60. Listening to Tom Tancredo interview. Very good. We're on a slow boil with Obama. He'll appoint moderates....for a while. The American people are asleep.

  61. Another Stunning Success by Supreme Socialist GWB

    Kept afloat by billions of dollars in American and other foreign aid, the government of Afghanistan is shot through with corruption and graft. From the lowliest traffic policeman to the family of President Hamid Karzai himself, the state built on the ruins of the Taliban government seven years ago now often seems to exist for little more than the enrichment of those who run it.

  62. Think of the windstroms, the sand, the sun, that sign was withstood, Doug. There it remains, solid, stolid, lonely, brave....unrepentant, nearly everlasting, like Carrizo Plain itself.

    My kind of place.

    Kind of reminds me of a couple developments dad bought into in New Mexico that ended up about the same. I'm still paying a $5 a year tax assessment on one.

    "I'm gonna make something of this piece of land."

    I'm rereading "The Rise and Fall of the Turd Reich". Hitler was an idiot. He could have gotten Paulus out of Stalingrad, among other major errors.

    He did help the German farmers out, in a way, the ones that weren't drafted. No foreclosure on farmland in The Turd Reich.

  63. Reichsbauernführer Richard Walther Darre

    was die agman.

    He was more or less competent.

    His works included:

    "Das Bauerntum als Lebensquell der nordischen Rasse"

    "The Peasantry as Life Source of the Nordic Race"

    "Neuadel aus Blut und Boden"

    "A New Nobility of Blood and Soil"

  64. No oil imported from the list of countries mat's produced generate electicity in the US. So to build a solar plant, anywhere in the US, will not impact oil imports.

    Fact of the matter.

    If mat's previus posts and links to are accurate, the US does not need more electrical generation to power his dream cars.

    I know the proposed solar plant in AZ requires huge subsidies and rate increases, to boot.

  65. Subsidies Are Us
    Just ask GWB for a

  66. Tony said,

    I was wondering what happened to the Iron Dome anti-missile system we heard about last year. News is not so hot, from Haaretz, 2/22/08:

    One need not be privy to classified information in order to understand that
    Iron Dome is not the solution to the Qassam rockets. The data are public
    knowledge: The Qassam’s speed in the air is 200 meters per second. The
    distance from the edge of Beit Hanun to the outskirts of Sderot is 1,800 meters.
    Therefore, a rocket launched from Beit Hanun takes about nine seconds to hit
    Sderot. The developers of Iron Dome at Rafael Advance Defense Systems know that
    the preparations to simply launch the intercept missiles at their target take up
    to about 15 seconds (during which time the system locates the target, determines
    the flight path and calculates the intercept route). Obviously, then, the Qassam
    will slam into Sderot quite a number of seconds before the missile meant to
    intercept it is even launched.

  67. The radio host's problems are his alone, there is no censorship, there, bob. The Stations management does not like his program. He has turned it into a national issue show, when they wanted a local one.

    Happens all the time. The host is out of step with the audience and perhaps the advertisers, if there are any.

    The fellow was given an expanded time slot and failed to produce what the management wanted.

    That is then spun to fan your fears of "Fairness Doctrine"

    Do not fall for the spin, bobal.

  68. The Invisible Hand is Sooo Old School.

    The Hand(out) from the annointed enlightened ones will pave the (unionized) way, and save the day.

    Think of GWB as Obama's Enabler, and Rufus is Right:
    It's Been a Great Run!

  69. Management maybe doesn't want to get on the Big O's bad side. Why make waves when the election is over? Why take chances? Why not play it safe? Why not contribute a little to the democrats? The right side talk radio is the only political talk radio that has much of an audience, nationwide. Hard to think it's lack of audience. Air America doesn't have many listeners. They're all watching Oprah, and American Idol.

  70. I find it interesting that it's some of our country's eastern European immigrants, along with some Libertarians too, who seem most concerned about the prospects and dangers of the coming Obama administration.

  71. Ophra is a Growth Industry:
    Eat more,
    Gain Weight.
    Back to Basicx.

  72. This Story has been making a lot of papers around here.

    I don't understand why or how they can be charged with second degree murder....reckless endangerment I can get. The second degree murder statutes must be quite broad. Or maybe they are being intentinally overcharged. Seems more like a really really dumb thing was done, but unintentionally and without malice.

  73. Oprah apologized to her audience for the weight gain, Doug, you gotta forgive her.

    40lbs. it was she beefed up.

    She needs to stick her finger down her throat after every meal.

    Or better yet have Barbara Walters do it for her.

  74. How much Carbon was required to add that 40lbs?

    Mathusila would know.

  75. How much Carbon was required to add that 40lbs?

    Mathusila would know.

    Depends on how much methane was released. Though I can see you're doing your best to do your part.

  76. No oil imported from the list of countries mat's produced generate electicity in the US. So to build a solar plant, anywhere in the US, will not impact oil imports.

    Nonsense. One of the world's biggest importer of oil, if not the biggest, is the US. Home heating oil, gasoline for automobiles, jet fuel, utility power generation, should all be replaced with electricity equivalents. Oil is a global commodity. Supply issues in one part of the world affect prices in the other parts.

  77. Btw, dRat, if oil from the ME isn't an issue to the US, why go to such expense to guard it?

  78. I never said oil was not an issue, mat.

    I said electricital production will not lessen the need for imported oil from any of the countries you mentioned.

    There are not a discernable number of electric cars in the US. No amount of solar electricity generation will change that fact.

    Home heating, in some locales, could be transfered to electric furnaces, rather than heating oil. But not in California, where heating oil is not used. The northeast is where the heating oil furnaces reign supreme, not the Sunbelt.

    As to jets, my oh my...
    I'd sure like to see an electric jet. A 757 run on batteries, now that would be something to see.

    When and where will the magic batteries be making their debut in commercial use? There is not yet a prototype developed, let alone a massed produced product.

  79. bob, it is a 100 watt station, not a commercial venture. 81% of the audience, if it is American, supports Obama. The Community supports Obama, a community radio station should mirror the community attitudes, not lead it to political discord and devisiveness when and where none exists.

    The fellow had his time slot expanded, but did not offer the programing that was requested by management. They cut his air time.

    That is not censorship, that is programing by ratings.

  80. Most of the folk in the Sunbelt heat their homes with natural gas, of which we have an abundence.

  81. I said electricital production will not lessen the need for imported oil from any of the countries you mentioned.

    That's simply untrue. Moving from using an oil infrastructure to using electrical infrastructure, will not only lessen the need for imported oil, it will completely eliminate it. Electric cars electric trains electric trams electric bikes electric radiators electric power stations electric vibrators for LT, that's where it's at.

  82. As to jets, my oh my...
    I'd sure like to see an electric jet. A 757 run on batteries, now that would be something to see.

    For intercontinental travel you would use high speed electric trains.

  83. This comment has been removed by the author.

  84. There are not a discernable number of electric cars in the US.

    All it takes is political will, dRat. You can stand in the way, if you so wish, but you will get ran down by the coming electric train. :)

  85. Ahh, but you and treehugger have told US that there is no need for additional generating capacity needed, for electric cars.
    Same wattage as a plasma tv, it was said.

    Until there are millions of electric cars, and there are none in mass production, anywhere, the US needs liquid fuels, not more electricity.

    That will be the case for twentyfive years, at least, if the electrics began to be produced today, which is not the case, anywhere.

    So there is a thirty year transitional window that you continue to never address. We are not going to junk bob's F-600 or the rest of the fleet and replace it with a $25,000 to $150,000 new electric one.
    Not to the tune of 280 million vehicles, which there are in the US.

    There are millions of trucks like bob's in the US, they are utilized to a greater extent than his, since he's sidelined now-a-days, from actually working his farm.

    Even producing 20 million vehicles a year, it is a fifteen year transition, to 300 million vehicles, since the fleet grows by about 5% per annum.

  86. I certainly am not standing in the way of an effective storage battery, mat.

    Build it, then folks will use it. I'll buy a bank of 'em, to power up my off grid cabin, but today, amigo ...

    I will stand in the way of unproductive use of government subsidies on technologies that are not ready for prime time, if I can.

  87. Ahh, but you and treehugger have told US that there is no need for additional generating capacity needed, for electric cars.
    Same wattage as a plasma tv, it was said.

    That's true.

    Clear green renewables are there to replace dirty fossil fuels.

  88. Clean green, the clear solution. :)

  89. Build it, then folks will use it. I'll buy a bank of 'em, to power up my off grid cabin, but today, amigo ...

    I'm assuming you're referring to batteries..

    This technology didn't get much attention, because the perception was that there was no need for it. Now this perception is being changed. Markets and demand is being created, and attention and research is starting to flow to this issue. Batteries are improving in efficiency, in weight, in charging time, in reliability, in cost, etc, etc. If we're not there yet, we'll get there.

  90. Your problem dRat is that you want to go from 13" B&W CRT TV to a 50" 10bit color LCD overnight. Things don't work this way.

  91. All it takes is political will, dRat. You can stand in the way, if you so wish, but you will get ran down...

    There's your insight into mat's world. Better living for all through directed economies and "political will". I could go on, but why bother?

  92. Consider that every dollar that's diverted to a government approved/sponsered energy scheme is a dollar not available to a potentially more capable alternative scheme.

    It should scare the hell out of everyone that government is poised to start dictating our energy future.

    Rufus rightly note that everyone's got a story. Here's another one for you. I just drove across country on I-40, and noted that the big wind farms I passed from NE New Mexico across the Texas Panhandle were running at night at near 100% of the installed turbines that I could count. This is a first in my experience. I remember thinking I'd have to reconsider my criticism that wind, like solar, wasn't reliable at night. Then a few days ago I came across this gem at Coyote Blog:

    A power producer typically gets paid for the power it generates. In Texas, some wind energy generators are paying to have someone take power off their hands.

    Because of intense competition, the way wind tax credits work, the location of the wind farms and the fact that the wind often blows at night, wind farms in Texas are generating power they can’t sell. To get rid of it, they are paying the state’s main grid operator to accept it. $40 a megawatt hour is roughly the going rate.

    This is really incredible. The power companies are constructing wind turbines and, at certain times, not only providing the power for free but actually paying the grid to take it. All to capture subsidies and tax credits paid for by these special rate surcharges. The only jobs being created are analysts trying to find the best way to rent-seek under these new laws. I would rather pay people to dig holes and fill them back in.

    This is why I'm adamant that "green" as we're constantly indoctrinated toward energy and environmental issues is equivalent to fraud. To those who'd argue there's nothing wrong with that picture, I'd have to say fine, you pay for it, but leave me out of your scam.

    Wanna bet that some of these same Texas wind farms are connected to T. Boone Pickens and his recent campaign to "save America" by promoting wind power and backup natural gas generators? Even California voters had enough sense to beat that proposition down last November.

  93. There's your insight into mat's world.

    You know that's a lie.

    Furthermore, we're already had this conversation, and it was clearly demonstrated that fossil fuels (and Nukes, Bob) cost more. They cost more in terms of military expenditures, they cost more in terms of health costs, they cost more in terms of civic culture and urban living, they cost more in terms of political corruption, they cost more in terms of environmental degradation, they cost more in terms of economic security, they cost more in terms of global geopolitical security.

  94. ..we've already had this conversation..

  95. Mətušélaḥ said...

    ..we've already had this conversation..

  96. Sounds good to me :)

  97. Mat,
    I've heard it said here at the bar that you're a dentist. Is that right?

    And, you live in Canada. Right?

    Do you practice dentistry in Canada?

    If you're in practice, are you a participant in a socialized dentistry program for your fellow citizens?

    Is it your participation in a socialized dentistry program that enables you to spend so much time doing research at Or, are you independently wealthy, and just decided to pick up a professional degree to do something challenging with your spare time?

    Like so many Palistinian youths we hear about.

  98. LT,

    I work 3 days a week, 7 hrs per day. That's enough. I'm not especially wealthy, but I travel every year. I basically take a whole month off.

    My philosophy is very simple: Work to live. And not the other way round. So, if you work 60 hrs weeks, you're not going to get any sympathy from me. Cause basically, I think anyone that does such is a corporate idiot.

  99. linearthinker said...

    "There's your insight into mat's world. Better living for all through directed economies and "political will". I could go on, but why bother?"

    I'll ditto that and add that he also persists in thinking he's ALREADY DEMONSTRATED all everyone need know. Hardly worth paying much attention to really.

  100. My philosophy is very simple: Work to live. And not the other way round.


    Our philosophies are not far apart in that respect. I simply avoid telling others how they should live their lives, and expect them to do the same toward me.

    If you found my questions too intrusive, I apologize. It was not a thoughtful comment. I'm glad you shared that much of your philosophy with me, though.

  101. Hardly worth paying much attention to really.

    So shut your strap and get the fsck out of here.

  102. Our philosophies are not far apart in that respect.

    I'm glad to hear that. I think we have much in common. We both have an abrasive personality, and we're both contrarians. Only I'm much better informed than you. Which allows me to be ahead of curve. :)

  103. Only I'm much better informed than you. Which allows me to be ahead of curve. :)


    Help! I've fallen to the floor...and I can't reach my beer...


  104. LT, Warren Meyer at Coyote Blog worked in the oil bidness. He hates all renewables. The "Whole" Story probably isn't nearly as interesting as the anecdote.

  105. HAha. You should be drinking wine. Though I read that both shrink the brain. Which is ok for those of us that have a fat head. :)

  106. Damn!

  107. How can I possibly live without one of those? How can I possibly live with one?

  108. Gateway intros 30-inch XHD3000 quad HD LCD display
    by Darren Murph, posted Oct 4th 2007 at 10:01AM

    Following in the footsteps of so many others that have come before it, Gateway is finally introducing a 30-inch display of its own, and it's tooting its own horn all the while. Notably, the firm claims that its XHD3000 is the "world's first Quad-HD display" -- which we're sure more than a few outfits would dispute -- and the 2,560 x 1,600 resolution mimics that found on monitors offered up by Apple, Dell, Samsung and HP. The screen does utilize the Silicon Optix Realta HQV video processor, and it also offers up a 1,000:1 contrast ratio, 400 cd/m2 brightness, a six-millisecond refresh rate and 178-degree viewing angles. Moreover, buyers will find a plethora of ports on the rear including HDMI, VGA, DVI, two component inputs, composite, S-Video, six USB 2.0 sockets and a variety of audio connections. It's up for grabs right now for $1,699.

    Not bad. These will be available for $699 in a year or two. 30" computer monitors are sweet.

  109. Dell
    UltraSharp 2709W 27-inch Widescreen Flat Panel LCD Monitor
    Now $849.001


    Not 30", but getting there.

  110. Rufus,
    Meyer knows what it takes to put energy in your tank. I've never seen anything from Coyote that suggests he hates all renewables. Ask yourself who'd do better managing an energy program, Warren Meyer or (-----------------) fill in the blank. [ memory cells just went know who I mean...pick any of the California Democrats in Congress...]

    Maxine Waters, Babs Boxer, Diane Feinstein, nostrils...what's his name...

    You get the picture.

    Gotta run, bills are due...

  111. I've got a couple of bills you can pay while you're out, LT. :)

    Ah, Meyer's just posted too much old, and inaccurate stuff on ethanol for me to give him any credit.

    I just consider his blog an "opinion" piece. And, I don't care for many of his opinions.

    I pretty much think all Libertarians are kinda silly. I know what you're going to say; but, Rat's not really a "librarian." He's just, basically, tired of ALL their shit.