Bureaucracy 101

      In my last post I made some comments about the Federal Bureaucracy. Afterwards I decided to educate myself on what I meant. A search was in order to learn just how many bureaucracies we have. We all know about a few that I list here:

Plus a few more like:

  • The internal Revenue Service
  • Justice Department
  • Supreme Court
  • Social Security Administration
  • Bureau of Veteran Affairs
  • Treasury Department.

       All of the above agencies are mentioned frequently in the news, and I thought they were the only ones. Then, I made the mistake of searching the government websites for information on how many there are. I was amazed. The first page of the website

https://www.usa.gov/federal-agencies/

was a table by alphabet. Clicking on a letter yields a list of agencies with names beginning with the letter selected. I can create a table showing you just how many agencies there are listed under each letter of twenty-two alphabet, but it will be easier to click on the link and go there yourself. The letters Q, X, Y, & Z were not on the list. I counted the agencies and got a sum of 629. No wonder no one wants to tackle the problem of reducing government spending. At first glance the problem seems to be insurmountable.

      How do bureaucracies begin? It is simple. When Congress passes a law to spend money on something like Civil Rights they need a way to implement the law. They hire people to put the law in place and to enforce it. That act becomes a new bureaucracy. I have never seen a Bureaucracy disbanded or a law repealed in my lifetime. The only law I know that was repealed was Prohibition.

      In my job as an engineer, I was introduced to the Pareto-Principle by one Joe Duran a American Quality Control guru who converted the Japanese car industry to the QC system that would reverse their shitty cars into the most sought-after vehicles in the world. The Pareto Principle was invented by an Italian engineer in the 1800’s. Basically it states that 80% of the benefit comes from 20% of the effort. My first step in analyzing this problem of bureaucracy is to use the 80/20 rule on the whole problem.

      The total budget for the federal government is $4.829 trillion. Applying the Pareto Principle to the budget means that we spend .9658 trillion to get 80 percent of the services, and flush 3.8632 trillion dollars down the drain for twenty percent of service. How smart is that? Why our simple-minded politicians can’t wrap their brains around that is astounding. All I can figure with my feeble old brain is that it is too hard for Congress to undo what they have already approved.  

      After a few seconds of research on the web I found some suggestions for how Congress can restrain executive agencies.

 By:

  • revising statutes that established the agency’s mission.
  • exercising control over an agency’s budget.
  • conducting audits or holding hearings.
  • influencing the selection of agency directors (Senate)

      Would it be a wet dream to believe that 469 Congressmen and 100 Senators could take on 503 Government agencies to reduce spending? In my book that is 503/569 = 0.884 agencies per Congressional seat. If a single Congressman can’t reduce costs of an assigned agency by eighty percent by the end of his first term he should pack up his bags and let someone in who knows how to do the job. That objective should be written in the job description.

      I know, I know, a single Congressman cannot cut costs by himself. We are a country of laws and a Congressman’s responsibility is to draft laws to get things done. Well, with that in mind, a Congress-person can write a law to cut the costs and present it to the legislature for approval. Of course, if the law does not pass those that voted against the law will have to come up against you to pass theirs. Since your jobs depend on cutting costs. It won’t take long for Congress to get the idea, and begin to cooperate with each other.

      My whole plan depends on people who run for office wanting to save the country, and stop inflation by reducing government spending. It also depends on us (We, the People) to pick the right individuals at election time. If we don’t like who is running, maybe we should throw our own hat into the ring.

Here are a few more goals to think about using the 80/20 rule:

  • Eighty percent of the benefit comes from 126 Agencies. Eliminate the remaining 503. Which ones would you save?
  • Cut the Federal Budget by twenty-five percent to save 1.2 trillion dollars.
  • Use the savings to pay off the National Debt over thirty years.
  • Cut the federal budget another 25% to save 905 billion dollars, and return it to the tax payers.

Think of all the money that would put in your pocket. A total of $905,000,000,000/350,000,000 = $2585.71 would go to each member of the population.

Instead of setting goals such as I have listed we will get nonsense like printing more dollars to pay bills. Since President Nixon finally ended the Gold standard in 1971 the US dollar has lost 70% of its value meaning one dollar can only buy thirty cents worth of goods today as it could in 1971.

      Our current inflation rate exceeds 11% and is climbing. If it rises higher the USA will go bankrupt, and I don’t want to live to see that happen.

“Naked” Hooked Me Too

HOW MUCH DO YOU KNOW ABOUT BATTERIES?

written by Bruce Haedrich

When I saw the title of this lecture, especially with the picture of the scantily clad model, I couldn’t resist attending. The packed auditorium was abuzz with questions about the address; nobody seemed to know what to expect. The only hint was a large aluminum block sitting on a sturdy table on the stage.

When the crowd settled down, a scholarly-looking man walked out and put his hand on the shiny block, “Good evening,” he said, “I am here to introduce NMC532-X,” and he patted the block, “we call him NM for short,” and the man smiled proudly.

“NM is a typical electric vehicle (EV) car battery in every way except one; we programmed him to send signals of the internal movements of his electrons when charging, discharging, and in several other conditions. We wanted to know what it feels like to be a battery. We don’t know how it happened, but NM began to talk after we downloaded the program.

Despite this ability, we put him in a car for a year and then asked him if he’d like to do presentations about batteries. He readily agreed on the condition he could say whatever he wanted. We thought that was fine, and so, without further ado, I’ll turn the floor over to NM,” the man turned and walked off the stage.

“Good evening,” NM said. He had a slightly affected accent, and when he spoke, he lit up in different colors. “That cheeky woman on the marquee was my idea,” he said. “Were she not there, along with ‘naked’ in the title, I’d likely be speaking to an empty auditorium! I also had them add ‘shocking’ because it’s a favorite word amongst us batteries.” He flashed a light blue color as he laughed.

“Sorry,” NM giggled then continued, “Three days ago, at the start of my last lecture, three people walked out. I suppose they were disappointed there would be no dancing girls. But here is what I noticed about them. One was wearing a battery-powered hearing aid, one tapped on his battery-powered cell phone as he left, and a third got into his car, which would not start without a battery. So I’d like you to think about your day for a moment; how many batteries do you rely on?”

He paused for a full minute which gave us time to count our batteries.  Then he went on, “Now, it is not elementary to ask, ‘What is a battery?’ I think Tesla said it best when they called us Energy Storage Systems. That’s important. We do not make electricity – we store electricity produced elsewhere, primarily by coal, uranium, natural gas-powered plants, or diesel-fueled generators.

“So, to say an EV is a zero-emission vehicle is not at all valid. Also, since forty percent of the electricity generated in the U.S. is from coal-fired plants, it follows that forty percent of the EVs on the road are coal-powered, n’est-ce pas?” (French language for “isn’t it so.”)

He flashed blue again. “Einstein’s formula, E=MC2, tells us it takes the same amount of energy to move a five thousand pound gasoline-driven automobile a mile as it does an electric one. The only question again is what produces the power? To reiterate, it does not come from the battery; the battery is only the storage device, like a gas tank in a car.” 

He lit up red when he said that, and I sensed he was smiling. Then he continued in blue and orange. “Mr. Elkay introduced me as NMC532. If I were the battery from your computer mouse, Elkay would introduce me as double-A, if from your cell phone as CR2032, and so on. We batteries all have the same name depending on our design. By the way, the ‘X’ in my name stands for ‘experimental.’

There are two orders of batteries, rechargeable, and single-use. The most common single-use batteries are A, AA, AAA, C, D. 9V, and lantern types. Those dry-cell species use zinc, manganese, lithium, silver oxide, or zinc and carbon to store electricity chemically. Please note they all contain toxic, heavy metals.

Rechargeable batteries differ only in their internal materials, usually lithium-ion, nickel-metal oxide, and nickel-cadmium.

The United States uses three billion of these two battery types a year, and most are not recycled; they end up in landfills. California is the only state which requires all batteries be recycled. If you throw your small, used batteries in the trash, here is what happens to them.

All batteries are self-discharging. That means even when not in use, they leak tiny amounts of energy. You have likely ruined a flashlight or two from an old ruptured battery. When a battery runs down and can no longer power a toy or light, you think of it as dead; well, it is not. It continues to leak small amounts of electricity.

As the chemicals inside it run out, pressure builds inside the battery’s metal casing, and eventually, it cracks. The metals left inside then ooze out. The ooze in your ruined flashlight is toxic, and so is the ooze that will inevitably leak from every battery in a landfill. All batteries eventually rupture; it just takes rechargeable batteries longer to end up in the landfill.

In addition to dry cell batteries, there are also wet cell ones used in automobiles, boats, and motorcycles. The good thing about those is, ninety percent of them are recycled. Unfortunately, we do not yet know how to recycle batteries like me, or care to dispose of single-use ones properly. 

But that is not half of it. For those of you excited about electric cars and a green revolution, I want you to take a closer look at batteries and also windmills and solar panels. These three technologies share what we call “environmentally destructive embedded costs.” 

NM got redder as he spoke. “Everything manufactured has two costs associated with it, embedded costs and operating costs. I will explain embedded costs using a can of baked beans as my subject.

In this scenario, baked beans are on sale, so you jump in your car and head for the grocery store. Sure enough, there they are on the shelf for $1.75 a can. As you head to the checkout, you begin to think about the embedded costs in the can of beans.

The first cost is the diesel fuel the farmer used to plow the field, till the ground, harvest the beans, and transport them to the food processor. Not only is his diesel fuel an embedded cost, so are the costs to build the tractors, combines, and trucks. In addition, the farmer might use a nitrogen fertilizer made from natural gas.

Next is the energy costs of cooking the beans, heating the building, transporting the workers, and paying for the vast amounts of electricity used to run the plant. The steel can holding the beans is also an embedded cost. Making the steel can requires mining taconite, shipping it by boat, extracting the iron, placing it in a coal-fired blast furnace, and adding carbon. Then it’s back on another truck to take the beans to the grocery store. Finally, add in the cost of the gasoline for your car.

But wait — can you guess one of the highest but rarely acknowledged embedded costs? NM said, then gave us about thirty seconds to make our guesses. Then he flashed his lights and said, “It’s the depreciation on the 5,000 pound car you used to transport one pound of canned beans!”

NM took on a golden glow, and I thought he might have winked. He said, “But that can of beans is nothing compared to me! I am hundreds of times more complicated. My embedded costs not only come in the form of energy use; they come as environmental destruction, pollution, disease, child labor, and the inability to be recycled.”

He paused, “I weigh one thousand pounds, and as you see, I am about the size of a travel trunk.” NM’s lights showed he was serious. “I contain twenty-five pounds of lithium, sixty pounds of nickel, 44 pounds of manganese, 30 pounds cobalt, 200 pounds of copper, and 400 pounds of aluminum, steel, and plastic. Inside me are 6,831 individual lithium-ion cells.

It should concern you that all those toxic components come from mining. For instance, to manufacture each auto battery like me, you must process 25,000 pounds of brine for the lithium, 30,000 pounds of ore for the cobalt, 5,000 pounds of ore for the nickel, and 25,000 pounds of ore for copper. All told, you dig up 500,000 pounds of the earth’s crust for just — one — battery.”

He let that one sink in, then added, “I mentioned disease and child labor a moment ago. Here’s why. Sixty-eight percent of the world’s cobalt, a significant part of a battery, comes from the Congo. Their mines have no pollution controls and they employ children who die from handling this toxic material. Should we factor in these diseased kids as part of the cost of driving an electric car?” 

NM’s red and orange light made it look like he was on fire. “Finally,” he said, “I’d like to leave you with these thoughts. California is building the largest battery in the world near San Francisco, and they intend to power it from solar panels and windmills. They claim this is the ultimate in being ‘green,’ but it is not! This construction project is creating an environmental disaster. Let me tell you why.

The main problem with solar arrays is the chemicals needed to process silicate into the silicon used in the panels. To make pure enough silicon requires processing it with hydrochloric acid, sulfuric acid, nitric acid, hydrogen fluoride, trichloroethane, and acetone. In addition, they also need gallium, arsenide, copper-indium-gallium- diselenide, and cadmium-telluride, which also are highly toxic. Silicon dust is a hazard to the workers, and the panels cannot be recycled.

Windmills are the ultimate in embedded costs and environmental destruction. Each weighs 1,688 tons (the equivalent of 23 houses) and contains 1,300 tons of concrete, 295 tons of steel, 48 tons of iron, 24 tons of fiberglass, and the hard-to-extract rare earths neodymium, praseodymium, and dysprosium. Each blade weighs 81,000 pounds and will last 15 to 20 years, at which time it must be replaced. We cannot recycle used blades. Sadly, both solar arrays and windmills kill birds, bats, sea life, and migratory insects.

NM lights dimmed, and he quietly said, “There may be a place for these technologies, but you must look beyond the myth of zero emissions. I predict EVs and windmills will be abandoned once the embedded environmental costs of making and replacing them become apparent. I’m trying to do my part with these lectures.

Thank you for your attention, good night, and good luck.” NM’s lights went out, and he was quiet, like a regular battery.

* * *

The format is stupid, but the info is right on target. If you want to inflict maximum damage on the environment, you support EVs, wind turbines and solar panels – all with their associated batteries. They don’t even come close in being as environmentally clean as coal, natural gas, and nuclear power. Likewise, their (EVs, WTs, and Solar) cost is going to be exorbitant. WTs and Solar reliability is poor.

Electric vehicles are taxpayer subsidized for the purchase of each hybrid or fully electric vehicle with a discount of about $7,000. Then, the government does not collect road-use taxes. Further, the new infrastructure bill provides several billion dollars of taxpayer funds to build charging stations. Do we really want our Government in the “electric filling-station” business?

This is exactly what all these self-proclaimed, highly educated, intellectual, “ECO Nazi-es” need to read.

Never mind, they’re too intellectually deficient to comprehend how intertwined this information is with the damage being inflicted on our earth’s environment thanks to their “Green New Deal”

* * *

royexum@aol.com

A Lot To Be Thankful For

PSA-210302-Green New Deal Cars

 

Over the past twelve years I have posted my thoughts about electric cars. None of it has been positive. Lately, I have been buying the cool aid being delivered by Elon Musk and the Green New Deal faction. This article came to me today, and renewed my negativity towards converting to electric vehicles. Perhaps I am wrong to do so, but there is a deeper problem residing within the electric movement which I have continually brought up to no avail. This brilliant article unveils the problem and should be taught in Kindergartens across the world.

 Interesting in what the engineers or others with knowledge and/or experience in this field have to say about this man’s comments. I did not write this, it was sent by a friend. 

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  As an engineer I love the electric vehicle technology. However, I have been troubled for a long time by the fact that the electrical energy to keep the batteries charged has to come from the grid and that means more power generation and a huge increase in the distribution infrastructure, whether generated from coal, gas, oil, wind or sun, installed generation capacity is limited. 

In case you were thinking of buying hybrid or an electric car:
Ever since the advent of electric cars, the REAL cost per mile of
those things has never been discussed. All you ever heard was the mpg in terms of gasoline, with nary a mention of the cost of electricity to run it. This is the first article I’ve ever seen and tells the story pretty much as I expected it to.

Electricity has to be one of the least efficient ways to power things
yet they’re being shoved down our throats. Glad somebody finally put engineering and math to paper.

At a neighborhood BBQ I was talking to a neighbor, a BC Hydro Executive. I asked him how that renewable thing was doing. He laughed, then got serious.


If you really intend to adopt electric vehicles, he pointed out, you
had to face certain realities. For example, a home charging system for a Tesla requires a 75-amp service. The average house is equipped with a 100-amp service. On our small street (approximately 25 homes), The electrical infrastructure would be unable to carry more than three houses with a single Tesla each. For even half the homes to have electric vehicles, the system would be wildly over-loaded.

This is the elephant in the room with electric vehicles. Our residential infrastructure cannot bear the load. So as our genius elected officials promote this nonsense, not only are we being urged to buy these things and replace our reliable, cheap generating systems with expensive, new windmills and solar cells, but we will also have to renovate our entire delivery system! This latter “investment” will not be revealed until we’re so far down this dead-end road that it will be presented with an ‘OOPS..!’ and a shrug.

If you want to argue with a green person over cars that are eco-friendly, just read the following. 

Note: If you ARE a green person, read it anyway. It’s enlightening. 

Eric test drove the Chevy Volt at the invitation of General Motors and he writes, “For four days in a row, the fully charged battery lasted only 25 miles before the Volt switched to the reserve gasoline engine. “Eric calculated the car got 30 mpg including the 25 miles it ran on the battery. So, the range including the 9-gallon gas tank and the 16 kwh battery is approximately 270 miles

It will take you 4.5 hours to drive 270 miles at 60 mph. Then add 10 hours to charge the battery and you have a total trip time of 14.5 hours. In a typical road trip, your average speed (including charging Time) would be 20 mph. According to General Motors, the Volt battery holds 16 kwh of electricity. It takes a full 10 hours to charge a drained battery. The cost for the electricity to charge the Volt is never mentioned, so I looked up what I pay for electricity.

I pay approximately (it varies with amount used and the seasons) $1.16 per kwh. 16 kwh x $1.16 per kwh = $18.56 to charge the battery. $18.56 per charge divided by 25 miles = $0.74 per mile to operate the Volt using the battery. Compare this to a similar size car with a gasoline engine that gets only 32 mpg. $3.19 per gallon divided by 32 Mpg = $0.10 per mile.

The gasoline powered car costs about $25,000 while the Volt costs
$46,000 plus. Simply put, pay twice as much for a car, that costs more than seven times as much to run, and takes three times longer to drive across the country. 

  My Take:   😷

It’s always “Free Beer Tomorrow” – never “Today”

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Grumpa Joe predicts that the only real form of Green energy is as shown below. If you are really interested in saving the planet put air in your tires and pedal.

Pandemic War

The following is my opinion.

One of the greatest accomplishments President Trump can brag about is his action against China. Ever since President Nixon broke the barrier in the 1970’s with his ground breaking visit to China we as a country have been rushing to give everything we own to the Chinese government. All of it was under the guise of getting stuff made cheaper, and giving our companies a leg up in the great Chinese market. During that same time frame, I began working on an automation process for the product my employer produced. My boss (owner) resisted the urge to move equipment and processes to China because he didn’t trust the communists. He felt that giving his product to the Chinese to make was the same as giving them the business. He was absolutely correct. I retired thirty years later after forty years with the company and the boss still felt the same way. By then my team had successfully designed and built automation systems to make our product. We didn’t use much manual labor in the process, at least not enough to warrant sending our sensitive process to China where they would promptly copy it and use it without shame against us.

China has been stealing our technology, processes, and product designs ever since the USA has been sending them products to manufacture. Yes, we get it cheap, but after they copy the product and the process they make it cheaper and sell against us. When I began working at this company we had two competitors world wide. When I left we had seventy. Most of them were from China.

When Trump began speaking about the Chinese rip-off of America I cheered. Finally, someone had the guts to stand up to these thieves and tell us like it is. Trump imposed tariffs on Chinese made goods. The economists all began tearing their hair out proclaiming that we will begin a trade war and lose. The trade war didn’t happen and the Chinese wound up paying billions of dollars in tariffs to the USA. The Chinese took counter actions but they failed and for once the Peoples Republic of China was stymied.

It is my opinion that China wanted to punish the USA for the actions we took against them, and even though China has been building a strong military, they would still lose against the USA. What should they do? Well, how about if they unleash a potent virus from the their germ warfare lab. There is no doubt in my mind that China had a vaccine ready to go at the same time they unleashed the virus. To make it look like an accident they did a controlled infection of their own people, and then let these infected people travel all around the world spreading the virus as a cover for their actions. The result was a pandemic. The pandemic was collateral damage for the real goal which was to disable the USA. They nearly succeeded too.

Trump’s actions to stop all travel from China and later from Europe into the USA was a stop gap measure. Next, he shut down the economy at a great expense to the people of the USA and to the economic health of the country. Had we stayed quarantined another two weeks we may not have recovered as quickly as we did. We may actually have gone bankrupt. China did not expect us to recover. They had controlled the virus in their country by vaccinating the epicenter of the attack. It always seemed strange to me that China was able to recover so quickly and so completely while we struggle with doing so. Of course China does not ask their people to quarantine as we do here, they tell their people what they are to do. China had the manufacturing for masks, and as a result could divert all production to their use while we were rationing personal protective equipment waiting for shipments to come from China. Since they were at war with us they could control how they shipped and what they charged. Eventually, our own manufacturing was re-established and we were able to overcome the shortages.

At this point the USA continues to struggle with resurgences of the virus. The vaccines are nearly ready to begin dispensing and shortly the war will be over. In the meantime, the people of the USA continue to do business with China as though they are equally affected. China was never equally affected, they controlled the release and the spread of the virus in such a way as to benefit China.

What we have now, is a claim by Biden that he will take control of the virus and cure the world. My guess is that he will make a deal with China to stop the release of new viruses in exchange for lifting the tariffs. In so doing he will enslave the USA to China. A deal such as that is the only thing Biden can do to be different from that which Trump has already put into place.

Believe it or not.