As the title subtly suggests, this book focuses mostly on electricity, rather than transportation fuels or other energy sectors. This isn’t because those other areas aren’t interesting, but simply because electrical generation makes up the biggest single portion of energy use and emissions.My question is, does she ever "take us" to a nuclear power plant?
To explain all these things, she takes us across the United States, meeting people like the owner of an extremely energy-efficient home in Urbana, Illinois—so efficient, in fact, that it can be heated by a single candle in the fall—and the director of a electrical grid control center in Houston, Texas. We also travel to the farm town of Medelia, Minnesota, where the leader of a local nonprofit is trying to improve soil and water quality by getting farmers to grow crops other than corn and soy—crops that can be converted to biofuels to sell locally. These experiences drive home the message that we can start making energy changes now, rather than waiting on some miracle solution.
The point I'm trying to make is that I agree that we have an energy crisis in this country. Where I disagree with the author of that book and the entire crew over at Arse Technica is this:
THE CAUSE OF THE ENERGY CRISIS IS ENTIRELY POLITICAL.
Energy costs as much as it does almost entirely due to the idiotic policies of our government stretching back at least to 1990--and some further than that, back to the Carter administration!
Energy costs as much as it does because--in the name of "the environment"--huge stumbling blocks have been emplaced to prevent the exploration for and exploitation of domestic energy sources. We're not allowed to build new generating plants that use the cleanest and safest and most dense form of power generation we've ever discovered (nuclear) because of the consistent scaremongering of the left. There hasn't been a new oil refinery built in this country since 1978 and the current administration is trying to shut down as many existing ones as it can. Obama himself blocked the construction of an oil pipeline which would have brought millions of barrels of oil into the United States below market prices.
Do I need to go on? Were those examples even necessary?
The present high prices of electricity and other forms of energy are due to artificial scarcity. Thirty years of pure idiocy from our government has resulted in this situation; it's not because energy is suddenly harder to produce--absent governmental meddling--nor does it have anything to do with the chimerical "dwindling" of fossil fuels. It has everything to do with government slowly tightening the noose around our necks.
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In Fungus post "#3289: By the way--" I discussed the "new law" someone wanted to pass that would allow those with student loan debt to have that forgiven after they've made payments for ten years.
The idea is, you'd pay a percentage of your income (a sliding scale based on how much you earn) and if the total wasn't paid off after ten years, the rest would be forgiven.
Karl Denninger weighs in on this and mentions a couple of things I forgot.
Such as? Well, for one thing, let's say you've been faithfully making payments for ten years, and you've just made the last one and there's--oh, let's say there's $30,000 remaining. You gleefully get notification that the remaining thirty grand has been forgiven!
...then you get the tax documents in January of the following year saying that the $30,000 which was forgiven counts as income. Because you made $30,000 last year in addition to the $30,000 which was forgiven, you've been bumped into the 25% tax bracket.
Before, you owed the IRS $4,500 in taxes, and in all probability a fraction of that was deducted from each paycheck and sent to Uncle Sam.
Now, however, since you've been bumped up a bracket? Well, you took in $60,000 last year, and 25% of $60,000 is $15,000. That's about $10,500 more than you had withheld from your paychecks, and Uncle Sam wants his money now.
Where will that extra $10,500 come from? A good question, isn't it? Well, Uncle Sam understands that you might not be able to pay the entire amount up front; so he'll let you pay it off in smaller chunks and charge you interest for it.
As I pointed out--and as Denninger points out--this isn't a solution to the problem. Student loan debt needs to be treated exactly the same as any other kind of debt.
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Borepatch is a computer security expert. His take on the Mac zombie botnet.
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Vox Day talks about an article that's been denounced as raciss because it repeats scientifically verified facts about race relations in the United States.
Multiculturalism is dead. Desegregation is dead. MLK's dream is dead, and more importantly, it was never more than wishful thinking anyhow. Racial equality is the same failed myth as every other aspect of human equality, none of which have ever been shown to exist in any tangible form. And all that dropping weak-kneed to one's fainting couch or clinging to the oft-disproven canards of the racial equalitarians will achieve is to increase the level of violence and amount of involuntary cooperation that will eventually be required to recreate the historic balances that were originally brought about by the natural processes of group behavior. The American black/white situation is only one, and one of the smaller and less problematic, of the desegregations that should probably be anticipated in the medium term.You think he's wrong? Do you remember that scene from Animal House where the guys from the frat go into that "african american" bar? "It's Otis! He loves us!" Perhaps, but the rest of the patrons aren't interested in having shit-for-brains white boys in their bar, and they make it pretty clear.
He says, before the part I quoted above:
Humanity is intrinsically and naturally self-segregating. It is desegregation that is unnatural, that requires the imposition of force to maintain for even brief periods, and which is both inherently unstable and antithetical to the collective will of every people on the planet.It's kind of hard to escape that fact. "Birds of a feather", and so forth.
I believe very, very firmly in equality of opportunity. It's wrong to restrict anyone's options solely because of skin color. But that does not mean we can (or should even try) to guarantee equality of outcome.
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So it's not enough that the next generation is saddled with all the bills for that fancy socialist system in Germany; they're going to be taxed even harder to keep the machine running a few years longer.
Socialism, coupled with abortion-on-demand and "free love", has yielded the bitter harvest that always results.
"Sooner or later, you run out of other peoples' money." And the closer you get to that point, the higher the taxes go, until you roll off the Laffer curve and strangle your economy. Does anyone in the German government honestly think the younger generation will stand for that?
Hardly. They'll get voted out and the policies will be changed. Expect widespread euthanasia of the elderly in Europe as this shit goes forward.
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I don't know if I'm going to go to another Good Friday service. I'm not used to somber worship services, and that was pretty damned depressing. Of course Good Friday is the day Jesus was crucified, so it's not supposed to be a joyous and boisterous occasion. That's saved for Easter Sunday.
Still, it's a bit hard to take.
But from the Palm Sunday service I finally got an idea of what was motivating Judas. It wasn't the thirty pieces of silver; it was his political activism.
Judas wanted the Romans thrown out of Israel. He knew Jesus was the Messiah; but like plenty of Jews Judas wanted the avenging Messiah, the one who comes with a sword of flame, etc, to smite the enemies of Israel and the chosen people.
He figured, "If the Romans come and arrest Jesus, he's going to have to get medieval on them, right?" It's a reasonable thought: if threatened, you defend yourself. That's just common sense, you know, and man! What kind of smackdown would Jesus be able to lay out?
The Romans would try to arrest him, and he'd defend himself. Then they'd send more guards, and the defense would be even greater. Eventually things would escalate such that the entire region would go up, and if that happened, the Romans would be kicked all the way to the Mediterranean! I mean, we've got the Messiah on our side!
...and the last thing Judas expected was for Jesus to go along with being executed. It's like Judas missed the whole thing about "turn the other cheek" and such.
In that context, then, it's understandable why he then committed suicide. I mean, one can imagine the magnitude of the "Oh shit what have I done?" he must've been experiencing.
Understanding the motivations of all the players in the Passion is something that's always been interesting to me, and now, at least, I understand Judas a little better than I used to. It's common in Christianity just to assume that these people were just evil Snidely Whiplash types; but they--like all others in history--had three dimensions. Judas was misguided, not evil.
If anyone in the whole story was evil it'd have to be the high priest, Caiaphas. When Jesus threw out the moneylenders, as my pastor pointed out last Sunday, "He got into Caiaphas' pocket." The priests got a kickback from the moneychangers and the animal sellers and-and-and who operated in the temple.
But Caiaphas must have thought--even absent the pecuniary matter--that getting rid of Jesus had to be done in order to maintain order. He knew what the Romans could--would--do if civil disorder became widespread. "Decimation"--killing every tenth man--was just one thing the centurions might be ordered to do if the Romans decided there was enough civil unrest that they had to take action. And who could stop them? Israel had no army, not under Roman occupation, and a rabble of untrained civilians would be slaughtered by the Roman legion. If you fought back against the Roman soldiers, you'd be killed...and likely your family would, too, because the Romans did not pussyfoot around.
Imagine how it would go if the United States decided to reoccupy the Philippines using Roman methods. How do you think the Filipinos who fought back would fare? That's the kind of situation Israel faced in the first century AD.
These are people who made decisions in the face of the political realities of their day, using the best information they had to hand; certainly they did not have the benefit of (almost) two thousand years of history between they and the events they were reacting to.
The people in authority in 33 AD didn't think Jesus was the Messiah; and they didn't understand what he meant when he talked about "raising up this temple in three days". It was easier to be rid of him than to risk Roman anger.
This is the kind of understanding I've wanted for a long time, knowing--as I do--that people usually do not act out of a desire to be evil. But it's nowhere near complete yet, either.
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Taxes are due next week. I guess I ought to get the forms and start figuring. *sigh*