“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."

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Let the Sun Shine In


  1. Deuce, do you have a link to that video? I'm getting loooooooong, looooooong pauses while it loads.

  2. Here are some graphs that give you an idea on what's been happening with costs.

    Coming down

  3. Went by the Harbor Freight store, yesterday. There was a 45 watt system available, three 15 watt panels and a load controller, for $180.

    A couple of Marine batteries, from Walmart, at %80 a piece and there will be lights and music at the Mile High Camp this season.

    I did not check, but ameros to doughnuts, both the solar panels and the batteries, they're made in China.

  4. Yeah, I guess it's "good news/bad news" on the made in China situation (ain't it always.)

    There are something like 100, or more, companies in China making solar panels. The competition is serving to drive costs downward.

    But, a Lot of the solar cells on the market Are made in the U.S. Sharp, in Memphis is very big, and another factory is going in in a small town 30 miles from here. Sunpower, First Solar - there are a lot of panels being made here - and, a lot of research, etc. going on as well.

  5. Too bad, Wio, you would fit right in with those lunatics.

  6. I bought a portable solar panel for my back country hunting trips that will charge a cell phone or laptop or ipad in 2 to 3 hours. It weighs about 8 ounces.

    130 dollars.

  7. GOALZERO Guide 10 Adventure kit

    139.95 at BassPro.

  8. 45 Watt Solar Panel Kit

    Three 15 watt solar panels in this kit generate plenty of clean, quiet energy, using solar energy from the sun to run TVs, lights, computers, even recharge 12 volt DC batteries. Simply connect the panels from the solar panel kit to your own 12 volt DC storage battery

  9. Quirk

    I am curious about your level of veganism. There are so many, I am a bit confused. Can you help? Are you a lacto-ovo-vegetarian, a lacto-vegetarian, a pescatarian, or just a raw foodist?
    Could you be a Flexitarian? Or maybe like one of the Simpsons, A level 5 Vegan, one who will not eat anything that casts a shadow?

  10. I posted the following at Carpe Diem Blog:

    Let's review the bidding. We have several very serious problems; 4 of these are:

    1) Millions of unemployed construction workers (increasing entitlement spending, lowering tax revenues.)

    2) A $Billion/Day leaving the country to Import Oil.

    3) Almost as much going for foreign adventures (with a significant proportion of that going to "protect" the oil.)

    4) $Trillions of Corporate Profits "locked up" Overseas by inane Tax Law (resulting in a stifling of investment in the U.S.)

    One possible answer: A tax credit to bring the foreign profits home for investment in One Cellulosic Ethanol Refinery in Every County.

    One Stone : Four Birds

    Miller Time.

  11. Of course, someone would, also, have to manufacture, and transport all of the boilers, tanks, piping, sheet metal, concrete, fittings, farm equipment to raise the biomass, tractors, trucks, etc, etc.

    It would be worth it just to hear all the choking sounds from Saudi Arabia, and Fox News. :)

  12. I am curious about your level of veganism.

    Through my Rosicrucuian training and power of will I have become a Level 7 Vegan Adept.

    I no longer need physical food. My power of visualization is strong enough that when I picture food (usually an amorphous mana pottage) it is so real it is sufficient to sustain me.

    The road is long and I have far to travel. I try to be humble in my attempt to attain the level of Level 9 Vegan Master where I will be able to transmute my being into pure energy at any time I want and thus negate the need for food of any kind, real or visual.


  13. "I did not check, but ameros to doughnuts, both the solar panels and the batteries, they're made in China."

    I read an article over the winter about a solar manufacturer from Mass, I think, that received millions of dollars in assistance then moved his factory to China, laying off hundreds of workers.

  14. (Reuters) -
    More than 2,400 convicted foreign nationals were arrested by officials during a nationwide seven-day operation, Immigration and Customs Enforcement said on Tuesday.

    The "Cross Check" enforcement operation, conducted in May, detained individuals convicted for crimes such as armed robbery, drug trafficking, child abuse, sexual crimes against minors, aggravated assault, theft, forgery and DUI, an ICE statement said.

    "The results of this operation underscore ICE's ongoing focus on arresting those convicted criminal aliens who prey upon our communities, and tracking down fugitives who game our nation's immigration system," ICE Director John Morton said in the statement.

    Twenty-two percent of those taken into custody were immigration fugitives who had already had outstanding orders of deportation.

    ICE has removed a record number of criminal foreign nationals this year, according to the agency: more than 109,700 in fiscal year 2011.

  15. The Great news on solar is, in some ways, kind of a bittersweet moment. Although it's wonderful news for the U.S. and the world, and is hugely important for our future, it's not our big problem at present.

    Right now, our Big, Big Problem is "Transportation Fuel." And, with Exxon, and the Sauds, in complete control of our Congress, and our Media, we're kinda suckin' wind, there.

  16. Good answer Q, I certainly hope you are not eating any cheese. Nasty stuff, rennet!

  17. That level 7 Vegan stuff. Does it come with a belt? What color?

  18. .

    Does it come with a belt?

    Knowledge is its own reward.

    (Plus, I've knocked off about 20 pounds.)

    I have moved beyond (at Level 6) the need for the commendation and approbation of other men.


  19. In the immortal words of Emil Faber:


  20. Rufus Said: Right now, our Big, Big Problem is "Transportation Fuel." And, with Exxon, and the Sauds, in complete control of our Congress, and our Media, we're kinda suckin' wind, there.

    Sounds like you were listening to the key note speech at AIPAC.

    They have been saying the same thing for 13 straight years that I have been going.....

  21. Quirk: I have moved beyond (at Level 6) the need for the commendation and approbation of other men.

    Hell. that's Level One at Lenny Bruce's School of Interpersonal Relationships and Political Discourse College

  22. Well, you should have given them "Plan Rufus."

  23. Mara Hvistendahl is worried about girls. Not in any political, moral or cultural sense but as an existential matter. She is right to be. In China, India and numerous other countries (both developing and developed), there are many more men than women, the result of systematic campaigns against baby girls. In "Unnatural Selection," Ms. Hvistendahl reports on this gender imbalance: what it is, how it came to be and what it means for the future.

    In nature, 105 boys are born for every 100 girls. This ratio is biologically ironclad. Between 104 and 106 is the normal range, and that's as far as the natural window goes. Any other number is the result of unnatural events.

    Yet today in India there are 112 boys born for every 100 girls. In China, the number is 121—though plenty of Chinese towns are over the 150 mark. China's and India's populations are mammoth enough that their outlying sex ratios have skewed the global average to a biologically impossible 107. But the imbalance is not only in Asia. Azerbaijan stands at 115, Georgia at 118 and Armenia at 120.

    What is causing the skewed ratio: abortion. If the male number in the sex ratio is above 106, it means that couples are having abortions when they find out the mother is carrying a girl. By Ms. Hvistendahl's counting, there have been so many sex-selective abortions in the past three decades that 163 million girls, who by biological averages should have been born, are missing from the world. Moral horror aside, this is likely to be of very large consequence.

    very interesting.

  24. The world's oldest living person, Maria Gomes Valentim, died Tuesday in Brazil at 114 years and 347 days, Guinness World Records announced on its website.

    There goes another one.

  25. U.S. President Barack Obama will give a speech on Afghanistan on June 22. Whatever he says, it is becoming apparent that the United States is exploring ways to accelerate the drawdown of its forces in the country.


    There is a prior definition of success that shaped the Bush administration’s approach to Afghanistan in its early phases. The goal here was the disruption of al Qaeda’s operations in Afghanistan and the prevention of further attacks on the United States from Afghanistan.


    The United States can choose to leave Afghanistan without suffering strategic disaster. Pakistan cannot leave Pakistan. It therefore cannot leave its border with Afghanistan nor can it evade the reality that Pakistani ethnic groups — particularly the Pashtun, which straddle the border and form the heart of the Taliban phenomenon — live on the Afghan side of the border as well.

    Afghan Strategies

  26. How's T?

    I had a dream about her last night.

  27. Hi! nice post. Well what can I say is that these is an interesting and very informative topic. Thanks for panels for schools