To Beast or Bike, That is the Question

Beast or Bike?

A few days ago I made a proposal for an energy policy (Where Does it Leave Us?). Today, I read an article about Secretary of Energy Steven Chu spilling the beans that his plan is to push oil prices up to eight dollars a gallon. He wants us to become like Europe. Okay, let’s increase per-capita car ownership to Luxembourg levels. Let’s surround the country with nuclear power plants like the French, lets encourage more muslims to come and add to our diversity, let’s go back in time to build railroads, lets arm every citizen like the Swiss, lets decriminalize drug use like Portugal, lets remove references to the holocaust to avoid offending the muslims, lets allow schools to decide the career path your kid will go down in fourth grade like the Germans, let’s live with twenty-one percent unemployment like the Greeks, in general let’s go along with these new and exciting ideas for transforming America into a third world country.

It makes sense now why Obama kills all new drilling, he wants to put oil into short supply so the price goes up. Then he will blame those terrible big oil companies for lining their pockets with profits. Keeping us dependent on foreign oil also lets him funnel money (redistribute the wealth) to the Saudis. Hmm? Saudi Kings spend money in the USA. Very good for the economy right? Wrong. The Saudi vision is a mosque on every corner in the USA staffed by a radical muslim imam spewing hatred to his followers protected by the First Amendment. Second, they fund American Universities to set up departments to spread Arab-American relations. Don’t you wonder why we suddenly see home-grown jihadists willing to blow themselves up for Allah. Many American colleges have departments and courses to study Arab culture, sharia law, and promote a lack of tolerance for non-muslims. Universities brainwash students under the guise they need a better understanding of Arabs so they can become informed political scientists and bureaucrats. Yep, eight dollar a gallon gas going to the mid-east makes perfect sense to me.

Meanwhile our good King Obama promotes raising gas prices as a way to incentivize new forms of energy. At the rate we are going, there will be no need for new forms of energy because all of us will be living in a mud hut with a solar bottle for light. Who will be able to afford to drive a car at eight dollar gas? Which company will be able to ship food to the stores at eight dollar gas? Who will be able to move to jobs within walking distance of their homes? Who will feed the Beast and Air Force One for the pleasure of the King?

So Steven Chu let the cat out of the bag, the US Energy Policy is to raise gas prices to European levels or eight dollars a gallon.

I’m scared folks because this scenario sounds like Ayne Rands story “Atlas Shrugged” more and more. Get ready for the day when the Elite-Haves take from the Have-Nots to keep the Elite-Haves telling the Have-Nots what is good for them, because Elite-Haves are smarter and know what is good for you Mr. Have-Not.

Bonus Day

My Flag Flies Everyday

God gave us a bonus day today. How did you use it?

Political Quotes by Famous People

My Flag Flies Everyday

My friends keep sending me great stuff. Here is a list of political quotes by famous people that would be hilarious if they weren’t so true.

*The problem with political jokes is they get elected. ~Henry Cate, VII

* We hang the petty thieves and appoint the great ones to public office. ~Aesop

* If we got one-tenth of what was promised to us in these acceptance speeches there wouldn’t be any inducement to go to heaven. ~Will Rogers

* Those who are too smart to engage in politics are punished by being governed by those who are dumber. ~Plato

* Politicians are the same all over. They promise to build a bridge even where there is no river. ~Nikita Khrushchev

* When I was a boy I was told that anybody could become President; I’m beginning to believe it. ~Clarence Darrow

* Why pay money to have your family tree traced; go into politics and your opponents will do it for you. ~Author Unknown

* If God wanted us to vote, he would have given us candidates. ~Jay Leno 

* Politics is the gentle art of getting votes from the poor and campaign funds from the rich, by promising to protect each from the other. ~Oscar Ameringer 

* I offer my opponents a bargain: if they will stop telling lies about us, I will stop telling the truth about them.

~Adlai Stevenson, campaign speech, 1952

* A politician is a fellow who will lay down YOUR life for his country. ~ Texas Guinan

* Any American who is prepared to run for president should automatically, by definition, be disqualified from ever doing so. ~Gore Vidal

* I have come to the conclusion that politics is too serious a matter to be left to the politicians. ~Charles de Gaulle

* Instead of giving a politician the keys to the city, it might be better to change the locks. ~Doug Larson

* Don’t vote, it only encourages them. ~Author Unknown

Where Does it Leave Us?

It's Always More Fun to Gamble With Someone Else's Money

The US Energy Policy is so easily solved it is a wonder why the genius liberal think tank in the White House cannot figure it out. With all the PhD intellectual types in positions of csardom they do not have enough practical thinking to fill the brain cavity of an ant. Before I propose my plan I want to review the wonderful new ideas proposed by the PhD’s to direct the country toward clean renewable energy sources.

Wind Power

According to Wikipedia,

“The wind wheel of the Greek engineer Heron of Alexandria in the 1st century AD is the earliest known instance of using a wind-driven wheel to power a machine.”

That places this idea at over two thousand years old. Modern man is just beginning to realize the potential for using the wind to generate electricity. Is it practical? Yes, if you limit the idea to powering homes with electricity. Scaling up to power the entire need of a metropolitan city is another matter. The best that we can do today is to use wind power at peak periods to aid more conventional power generation. Environmentalists love the idea of using this “free” and clean commodity to solve our problems. They neglect to see the environmental disaster being created by the wind turbines batting birds from the sky by the thousands. How environmentally friendly is that Greenbats?

So why doesn’t the White House PhD army propose an incentive for homeowners to buy wind turbines for their homes?  It isn’t proposed for many reasons, cost is one, another is what to do with over-generation, another is the amount of noise pollution that will irritate the neighbors. If everybody had a wind turbine, the noise factor would be equalized right? Wrong, I believe Obama care would be overwhelmed by the cost of replacing hearing aid batteries for all the deaf people created by the turbine noise.

Electric cars

The first known invention of an electric car came in 1828 from Hungarian inventor Anyos Jedlik. The world went crazy for the idea and by the early 1900’s there were many electric cars running around. The range was about eighteen miles. The new Chevy Volt and others like it get about forty miles on a charge. To my way of thinking if batteries have doubled the range of an electric car in a mere one hundred and eighty-four years we will have viable electric cars in the year 2564. Perhaps the genius White House pool of PhD’s will pull a break through out of the hat and create a miracle.

Flywheels

James Watt (Watt as in 60 watt bulbs) the Scottish inventor developed steam-powered generation of electricity in 1781 and he gets credit for inventing the flywheel. Flywheels are great for keeping the mass of a piston engine rotating through a complete power cycle. More recently, the Obama administration invested in this idea, already two hundred and thirty-one years old, as a way to store energy. Excess electrical energy that is generated during off-peak hours would be used to spin a flywheel. The energy stored in the spinning wheel would then be used to support the steam turbines during peak hours. Again, I’m not a PhD but common sense tells me that a flywheel large enough to store the kind of energy needed to power a city is scary, especially when it is spinning fast. There are some applications using flywheels to store energy toward a useful end. One is powering city buses. Normal driving between stops stores surplus energy in the flywheel. When the bus accelerates from a stop, energy from the flywheel helps the engine overcome inertia.

Solar Power

A huge amount of energy flows to earth from the sun, and solar power makes sense. In Arizona I saw model homes with solar roofs offered as an option. The solar panels cut the cost of energy in a modest thousand square foot home by seventy-nine percent, that sounds good doesn’t it?  Climatologists use a measure called percent sunshine to compare available sunshine in cities. Flagstaff, AZ gets seventy-eight percent sunshine while Yuma, AZ measures ninety percent, in the Chicago area, where I live, it is fifty-four percent, and the lowest percent sunshine is in the north ( New Hampshire and Alaska) where the percent sunshine drops into the thirties.  What that means is the cost of electrifying homes is vastly different across the country.

Why is the cost of solar energy so expensive to install? It takes too many panels to do the job. Current state of the art solar panels are ten percent efficient. Current U.S. fossil fuel plant efficiencies range from forty-six percent to as high as fifty-eight percent, while Europe lags at thirty-six percent.  If solar panels could convert sun energy into electricity at fossil fuel plant efficiencies the argument would end, and solar would win.

There are records of solar power being used by Ancient Egyptians, but the credit for modern solar power goes to a Bell Lab team who discovered the use of silicon as a semi-conductor in nineteen fifty-four. The six percent efficiency of their discovery is not far from Solyndra’s high-tech eight percent efficient panels.

Even when the solar panel efficiency and cost effectiveness finally makes it practical, there are issues with storage of power in the home and the need for homeowners to know how to deal with them. Most home-owners have problems finding the shut-off valve under a sink much less be able to understand or support an array of electrical storage batteries.

My prediction is that it will take one hundred and seventy-four years (2186) at current development rates to match the efficiency of  fossil fuel power.

Where does that leave us?

When planet Earth faces complete depletion of all its fossil fuels the need will precipitate urgent emergency development programs to save the planet from extinction. Remember the old adage “necessity is the mother of invention?” Why is it that we will wait for crisis to occur before we act?  If we continue down the same paths we have been on we will continue to get the same results. I tire of listening to our élite Organizer President say one thing and then do the opposite. I also tire of hearing him say “don’t bring me the same tired old ideas that don’t work.” I tried to make a point above about the age of the ideas he has gambled on with  billions of tax payer dollars, and they do not work well enough to satisfy our needs.

My recommendation is the USA must:

1. Declare fossil fuels as a standard: Use coal, oil, natural gas, and oil shale to provide energy, with emphasis on reducing emissions by fifty percent within ten years.

2. Obtain all fossil fuels from the Americas to end the drain of resources to the Middle East. We must cut off the flow of  our money going to the Arabs who then bring the money back into subversive causes within the USA.  Let Europe and China take the Arab oil. They like diversity in their countries, let them depend on diversity one hundred percent.

3. Provide incentives for basic research in alternate fuels. We need break-through science and invention to cut the years it will take to gain fossil fuel independence. This does not mean investing in losers like Solyndra, it means putting money into basic research at creditable labs and educational institutions.

4. Establish a National Energy Innovation Prize of fifty million dollars. The award goes to the first private sector inventor who develops a forty-percent efficient solar energy system.

5. Re-direct NASA into the National Solar Agency with a goal to power the earth with clean efficient  solar energy in ten years. Do you remember when John F. Kennedy declared a goal to put our man on the moon within ten years? He did what leaders do, he led. The country got behind it and within ten years we put a man on the moon. The amount of benefit we derived from that effort is what made the USA a science and technology powerhouse. The list of products we use everyday that were the result of the race to the moon is endless.. The investment in technology paid back one hundred fold or more. Compare that to stupid investments in crony companies that are on the verge of failure.

So how hard was that to do? Better yet, why doesn’t the White House PhD Think Tank come up with these ideas? Why doesn’t the “pick and choose” tax payer gambling Organizer in Chief  come up with some new ideas that will work besides his tired old idea of tax and spend?

Dr. Orchid Revives a Patient

Miss Orchid 2012

Miss Orchid has done it again. After six months of abuse by her owner, she decided to grant him a gift by blooming. Thank God Grumpa Joe knows an orchid expert who helped him repot her and to rejuvenate her root system into fresh potting medium.

Dr. Orchid Expert diagnosed her with severe dehydration and recommended immediate surgery. He clipped some her most severely dried roots and hoped for the best. Upon returning from the orchid hospital, Grumpa Joe assumed a new attitude about this precious symbol of his deceased wife Barbara. He began to give it the kind of care she should have received all along.

Weekly half hour showers of tepid water in the kitchen sink followed by a drenching of water spiked with fertilizer  have been the routine since November. She began to bloom a week before Christmas, and continues to sprout new blossoms, and even a second spike from her main stem. Her solitary place of honor is on the glass table in the sun-room.

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