9/10/09

Talking to the kitchen table




Joe Wilson (R-SC) talking with him is less productive than talking to the kitchen table

I was recently accused of being anti-Christian by the Ed Wood of Star Trek critics for pointing out the stupidity of a tea-bagger who called a Jew a Nazi at a town hall meeting.

Apparently, in his warped mind pointing out the stupidity of tea-baggers who call Jews Nazis is calling the tea-baggers Nazis and therefore it calls the Christian minority in this country (he seems to believe over half the country is anti-Christian) Nazis.

Naturally I was too busy giggling over that logic to reply.

Then I got to witness a similar form of debate on House Floor. The Republican response to President Obama’s speech on Healthcare.

The President spoke about the Healthcare crisis in this country and how bipartisan efforts are being thwarted by people that don’t bring anything constructive to the table, just scream out bullshit in order to confuse and scare people. (I’m paraphrasing)

Joe Wilson (R-SC) delivered the republican response by yelling out “You Lie”.

Right now the country is in the biggest mess in my lifetime and in trying to move forward we have two camps those who are trying to fix the country (some of the ways are obviously debatable), and those who think the best course of action is to is to yell and scream and be cry-babies.

If you disagree with him he’ll cry

The Republicans, my apologies to Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-GA) and the few other sane Republicans out there who aren’t allowed to speak on Conservative talk shows, have adopted their debating style from 2-year olds. I wonder how long it will be before a Republican Senator uses the clever rebuttal of, “I’ll hold my breath until I turn blue”.

We’ve let the crybabies and whinners have their little temper tantrums, now it’s time to let the adults get to work.

I would suggest a good spanking for the crybabies and their corporate sponsors, but it appears one “family values” Republican has already taken on that mission:

Lawmaker Denies Affairs

When one side of a debate only rebuttal is yell at a Jew that he’s a Nazi then the only response is exactly what Barney Frank told her. "Ma'am, trying to have a conversation with you would be like trying to argue with a dining room table.” “I have no interest in doing it.”

Unlike the Healthcare Opponents this has a leg to stand on.

8/17/09

Killing Grandma while eating fetuses with Hitler


Is there any group out there that the Republican’s aren’t trying to offend?

The wild accusations are crazy, letting an individual have the power over end of life care decisions is turned into Government wants to kill Grandma. That really shows you care about Grandma don’t let her be in control of important decisions about her life.

Holocaust Deniers are comparing Obama to Hitler. A great way to honor the vets who fought against tyranny, claim they fought and died so that people could be denied healthcare.

Anti-Vaxers are upping their claim from the totally debunked link between Vaccines and Autism to Vaccines will contain Nano-probes so the government can track all citizens movements. Great way to gain sympathy, try to block access so babies will die horrible deaths from easily treatable diseases.

The birthers, people who claim that Obama isn’t a citizen, are against the treatment for mental illness. Fill in your own joke.

Its easy to understand their fear, the main thing Obama is shooting for is more individual options in healthcare choices for them having to make their own decisions means putting those decisions in the hands of the most stupid and incompetent person they know, themselves.

8/11/09

The GOP’s 5 stages of Grief


It’s easy to pick on the teabaggers.

That’s not the start of a joke, just a statement of fact.

Looking at the crowds of people who are protesting their own self-interest, what they are saying makes no sense.

The people who got a real tax break are protesting taxes.

Medicaid beneficiaries are protesting Government Run Healthcare.

A guy who got in a fight while protesting healthcare options, has to beg for money because he has no healthcare.

And of course the Birthers.

An intellectually lazy person that is unwilling or unable to give up their preconceived notions could call these people “Stupid” Like this:

Teabaggers real Fear

The Truthiness is out There

Squirrels have a liberal bias

Clarifying Stupid

Against Stupidity the Gods themselves Struggle in Vain

Watching these Conservatives is like watching Wheelchair Basketball, for the first ten minutes it’s the funniest thing in the world until it dawns on you that these are people who are suffering that are trying to regain a sense of normality. After realizing that you kind of feel like an asshole for picking on them.

It’s the same thing with the Conservatives, sure they are funny to watch then you realize what is driving them and it’s not quite as funny.

Conservatives (by definition) don’t want change. Underneath the offensive language they believe that things are good enough now so change will probably make it worse.

So what happens when change is needed because our present course is leading to total destruction? They see the end of the old world and react like they would to the death of a loved one and go through the 5 stages of grief.

Stage 1: Denial

“Denial is usually only a temporary defense for the individual. This feeling is generally replaced with heightened awareness of situations and individuals that will be left behind after death.”

The Birthers are the best example of this, the total refusal to believe that America elected someone who wanted change. (The racism that comes up is just another aspect of the denial, some members of the birthers would rather be considered racist than face the fact that change is necessary).

Other examples are the Conservatives that believe George W. Bush was too liberal, or that the New Deal extended the Great Depression.

The evidence of Peak Oil and the collapse of our Debt Driven Economic Structure is too much for them to deal with so they simply try to ignore those facts.

Going through this stage doesn’t mean they are mentally deficient in any way, it just means they are human.

Stage 2: Anger

“Once in the second stage, the individual recognizes that denial cannot continue. Because of anger, the person is very difficult to care for due to misplaced feelings of rage and envy. Any individual that symbolizes life or energy is subject to projected resentment and jealousy.”

This is the stage that the Teabaggers and the Healthcare Reform Protesters are going through now. Looking on from the outside it’s hard to fathom what was going on in the mind of the guy who was angry because he lost his healthcare benefits so he got in a fight protesting healthcare options. This is like the dying patient that lashes out against their nurse, or the loved one who gets angry at the doctor treating the patient.

The teabaggers aren’t really angry at getting a tax cut, the people who lost their healthcare aren’t mad at the Senators who are trying to get them more options. They are mad at the people who are embracing change and look on this crisis to build something better. They are mad at the people who look to a better tomorrow without fear, as they can’t get rid of that fear themselves.

Stage 3: Bargaining

The third stage involves the hope that the individual can somehow postpone or delay death. Usually, the negotiation for an extended life is made with a higher power in exchange for a reformed lifestyle. Psychologically, the person is saying, "I understand I will die, but if I could just have more time..."

People are wondering how Sarah Palin could in the course of a few days could go from unfounded anger, talking about “Death Panels” and killing babies, to calling for civility. I am hoping she has entered the Bargaining stage of grief.

She might be the start of Conservatives saying, “Hey, I understand the world has to change, but if we can just go a little slower…”

Stage 4: Depression

During the fourth stage, the dying person begins to understand the certainty of death. Because of this, the individual may become silent, refuse visitors and spend much of the time crying and grieving. This process allows the dying person to disconnect themselves from things of love and affection. It is not recommended to attempt to cheer an individual up that is in this stage. It is an important time for grieving that must be processed.

Kramer’s ratings are slipping, conservative investors are throwing in the towel. Soon Fox’s ratings will plummet as conservatives give up hope that they can stand in the way of progress.

This will unfortunately be a dangerous time for America, as during this period of depression we will effectively have a one-party system, as the conservatives will completely withdraw from politics.

It will be up to the progressives to police themselves, and political parties have shown they are lousy at that.

Stage 5: Acceptance

This final stage comes with peace and understanding of the death that is approaching. Generally, the person in the fifth stage will want to be left alone. Additionally, feelings and physical pain may be non-existent. This stage has also been described as the end of the dying struggle.

When conservatives reach this stage they will accept the old world is gone and throw out the things that aren’t working.

“Drill, Baby, Drill” will turn into discussions of large “Wind Farms” vs. “Personal Solar Panels”. “No to Socialized Healthcare” will turn to what is a basic healthcare right to be covered by the Government, and what is a luxury covered by insurance. The anti-intellectual movement will move from “A war on Science” to trying to determine the point of diminishing returns of science investment.

In a few years Conservatives will forget they were ever against Alternative Fuels, Healthcare Reform, and Science and embrace these things that they are attacking now and defend them against any change.

Recognizing that the teabaggers and healthcare protesters aren’t idiots, just people going through the stages of grief, it would take a real big asshole to pick on them.

For regular readers of my posts I want to reassure you, if you hadn’t guessed by now, I am a real asshole and I will continue to pick on them.

8/10/09

The Teabaggers real fear


Paula Abdul Appointed to Obama Death Panel. The latest rightwing rumor.

Many are worried that the right-wing appeals to idiots is running out things to make up to try and scare people with. Sarah Palin’s attempt to link counseling on living wills to “Death Panels” would seem to be the bottom of the barrel, but I’m sure the Republicans can dip farther into the crazy bucket.

They have already tapped the Anti-Vaxers telling them the Government plan would mean forced Vaccinations (It doesn’t but it should), and the people who don’t get irony by telling them it would mean a government take-over of Medicaid, Medicare, and the National Institute of Health (You know the guys who do the drug research). Why not take it farther.

Bobby Jindal could tell everyone that under the government plan exorcisms wouldn’t be considered a medical treatment (oops that one is true).

How about appealing to the homeless crazies by saying the government plan will outlaw tinfoil hats, that should get their base riled up.

Maybe Sarah could repeat the line she used about how the Federal Government will spend money on research to find cures instead of treating people. Because everyone (at least her followers) knows that we can’t have science in medicine.

She could tie the two things she is against together, government provided rape kits and allowing the elderly to go to the emergency room and say how the government plan would allow police to gather evidence against rapists, and not allow the elderly to die while waiting for simple procedures (oops that one is true as well).

Maybe they can roll everything together and go for the sum of the fears that frighten their base.

The Ultimate Republican Fear

Government Healthcare will turn people gay, if you ask how you are picking on them for being Christians (even though there are many gay Christians), this will lead to homosexuals breeding out the Nordic bloodlines (‘cause them homosexuals breed like bunnies), since only white people can be Protestants this will incur the Protestant God’s anger.

He will lash out against the US by causing the Large Hadron Supercollider to spew out mini-black holes that will destroy American cities in the south as judgment on their sinful ways.

This will lead to mass immigration of non-English speaking people to our country and history shows that America can’t survive waves of immigration.

This immigration will allow al-Qaida to acquire suitcase nukes that weigh 5lbs and can’t be detected by simple Geiger Counters (these only exist in TV series 24, but al-Qaida is relentless in seeking fictional weapons) that they will deploy against the US for its insult to the Protestant God.

This would cause the France to make a new World Currency making the US dollar worthless.

This makes China repossess all our oil drilling rigs so we can no longer tap the totally infinite amounts of oil under US soil and we have to turn to drilling for geothermal power, which will cause massive earthquakes because God does not like people using alternative energy sources.

The earthquakes lead to massive media piracy making content generators to ask their fans to support them through advertising or direct donations cutting RIAA out of their fair share of $23.85 out of every $24 CD. Without Sony and EMI controlling the music industry American culture can’t dominate the world and Japanese and European companies will control culture.

With people living longer under a government run system, social security will run out of money and gangs of Elderly Citizens (Gray Panthers) will roam the streets attacking the young and fit members of society for money.

In order to appease these Gray Panthers the government will start printing money leading to hyperinflation and it will take a wheel barrel of cash to buy a loaf of bread.

Finally the combination of all these things will make Americans turn away from watching TV and will go out and talk to their friends and neighbors and realize that they don’t have to live locked up inside their homes afraid of the outside world and let corporations to take away their civil liberties one by one.

And having citizens that aren’t afraid is the Republicans ultimate fear.

8/1/09

Somebody I missed, or no fun at funerals.

I have to thank Teresa over at teresamerica for pointing out a really stupid group I’ve forgotten to make fun of.



No, Not them. Fred Phelp’s group is so idiotic that any attempt to make fun of them would give them more credit than they deserve.

Nope, it’s the conservatives that troll the Internet and say that somehow this group is a bunch of liberals.

Now I do understand how conservatives would want to distance themselves from Phelps even those that believe 9/11 and Katrina were God’s punishment for Gays and Short Skirts, have to look at Phelps and say, “Dude, you’re an idiot.”

But trying to pin that group onto liberals takes a feat of mental contortion that I can’t even begin fathom.

If you want to do some strange mental contortions try equating Kittens to Hitler:



Thanks “Cats That Look Like Hitler” for that image.

Or, try to imply that Hollywood is against guns.





I wonder you would try to imply that?



At least then we can see that the alternate reality you live in intersects the real world at some small point and is merely a tangent existence to our own, that could possibly be calculated using differential geometry in n-dimensional Euclidian space.

But trying to pin Fred Phelps to liberals puts your reality somewhere out there that is beyond the edge of the observable universe.

7/30/09

Against Stupidity The Gods Themselves Struggle in Vain








I was reminded of the above Freidrich von Schiller quote from 18th century when I was blog walking and read an attack on Bill Maher on Eye of Polyphemus.

Eye of Polyphemus is one of the few conservative blogs I can read. The author Jamie Jeffords does know how to use the shift key instead of writing in all caps unlike most of the other conservative sites I’ve visited and he does actually try to make sense out of the Republican talking points. But there is only so far you can polish a turd.

Plus he puts lots of pictures of scantily clad starlets on his blog.

The post was about if the United States is a stupid country, so I responded with a few examples of stupid political movements that highlight the stupid.

1) Birthers.


People who don’t believe that President Obama was born. These people make up nearly a third of the Republicans and they are bat-shit crazy. In an earlier post I compared them to both the Moon Hoax people and the South Park Underwear Gnomes.

Basically they have a lot in common with the Moon Hoax people in that they will ignore any and all evidence presented to them.

2) Tea-Baggers


The Fox News sponsored Tea-Bagging Movement is a great place for nut-jobs to meet.

The premise behind the Tea-Bagging movement is they are protesting the fact that President Obama is shifting the $900 Billion that the Republicans had been giving out to corporations in no-bid contracts for non-existent services, into things like job programs and healthcare.

The idea seems to be that government should only rob the poor to help the wealthy, not help citizens for the common good.

Naturally when you get a group of people together to support such a wacky idea you are going to attract the super crazies, like the Neo-Nazis who look at these events as recruiting grounds and the people who want to burn books because they contain liberal things like facts.

3) Intelligent Design Supporters.



These are people that think schools should throw out hundreds of years of logical conjecture based on overwhelming observable evidence in favor of a scientific theory that relies on “Because I say so.” As its major point.

Confronted with overwhelming observable evidence of evolution isn’t a problem for these people they simply make up a different enemy, “Darwinists”.

They claim only Darwinists are allowed to teach in Universities, which is odd considering no Biology Professor that I’ve ever met has called themselves a “Darwinist”. One would think if Universities only hire “Darwinists” that you could find a “Darwinist” University Professor.

Now, if you want to claim that Universities hire science Professors that teach theories based on hundreds of years of logical conjecture based on overwhelming observable evidence like, gravity, entropy, and evolution then they have a point as that is what science is.

4) Climate Change Deniers



These are people that think just because the world burns enough oil every day that if it were put into barrels and they were laid end to end they would circle the globe 2 and half times, it can’t have any impact on the environment.

They simply ignore the observable facts about climate change.
A. The troposphere, the lowest layer of the atmosphere is getting warmer, while the Stratosphere, the atmospheric layer above it is getting colder.

This is because carbon dioxide in the troposphere traps the heat and doesn’t allow it to rise into the stratosphere and then be dissipated into space.

B. The temperature is rising at the poles.
As air warms at the equator it spreads out across the planet, as it does this the troposphere loses heat to the stratosphere making the temperature at the poles much cooler. (This is a gross simplification of the process but it illustrates the concept). Carbon Dioxide traps this heat so it transfers more efficiently to the poles.

On the planet and Moon in the solar system that have a runaway greenhouse effect, Venus and Titan there is little change in temperature from the equator to the poles. This is the tell-tale sign of the greenhouse effect.

Now as to the effects that Global Warming will bring to the planet there is a lot of room for debate. In fact I’ve written a post on it. “3 of the greatest imaginary threats to our Nation.”

At the time I wrote that the data showing that the poles are warming up faster than predicted was classified for National Security under the Bush Administration so I will raise my prediction to a 4-degree change over the next 100 years.

The fact that climate change is happening is impossible to deny.





It’s pretty clear what these groups all have in common, the ability to deny overwhelming evidence that is right in front of their face and claim any evidence is part of a liberal conspiracy, or as Stephen Colbert put it, “Part of the liberal bias of reality”.

The worst part of the stupidity of these groups is not that they are stupid in the sense of diminished mental capacity, but that they are stupid by choice. And since they are stupid by choice they feel that everyone around them should make the same choice and embrace the stupid.

The weird thing is they are against the “Intellectual elite” which should mean they would think being called the opposite “Stupid” is a compliment, but they get mad at being called that.

7/23/09

The Soviet plot to turn the country Socialist and let Osama bin Laden sell yellow-cake uranium to unwed teen-age mothers while baby raping with Hitler






Conservative Objections to Healthcare Reform

In order to be objective I’ve scoured the blogosphere looking for objections to Healthcare Reform and here is what I’ve come up with. I present them here in their best possible light.

Obama isn’t an American citizen.
Apparently, in a trial run of their scheme to fake the Moon Landings, NASA and the Illuminati faked Obama’s birth. Birthers claim Obama was born on a soundstage made to look like the Moon. As evidence they point to how his birth certificate clearly moves like a breeze is catching it.

NASA and the Illuminati faked this evidence 47 years ago so that in 2009 he would push through legislation to make healthcare affordable, which leads to step four: World Domination. As the bullet points below clearly illustrate.

Step 1: Fake Barack Obama’s birth.

Step 2: Have him win US Presidency in 2008 with the pledge to reform healthcare.

Step 3: ?

Step 4: World Domination.

It’s all so obvious.

If there is a Government Option, 119 Million people will leave bad private insurance plans.


This will happen because Private Industry is completely defenseless against the Free Market. There is no way for Private Insurers to stop denying people coverage and not allowing them to keep their coverage when they switch jobs. Of course there is no way for Private Insurers to cut costs in their billing procedures.

The idea of making the Health insurance companies compete is totally anti-free market.

Doctor’s offices will be like going to the DMV, giving the Milkman time to score with your wife.


Everyone knows the horror of having their drivers license renewed, having to go up to the counter, give them your old license and having your picture taken, then paying them.

In that 3-minute time span the Milkman will teleport through time from 1950 and seduce your wife into an afternoon quickie.

The whole Healthcare thing is just a rouse by the Milkman’s Union to score with your wife.

The horror.

There are 47 million crazy liberals wandering around.


The people who don’t have healthcare are just bums living off the backs of hard working people. The self-employed aren’t being turned away from Healthcare, it’s all in their heads. Why these people probably have health insurance right now but are too delusional to know it.

Betsy McCaughey, a Republican former lieutenant governor of New York, claims that the bill creates a "new bureaucracy, the National Coordinator of Health Information Technology." That will tell doctors what treatments to give patients.

It will do this by mandating Congress to build a time machine and send thugs back in time to the year 2004 and they will force President Bush to create that office. It’s true that the office was created by Bush in 2004 to help the health IT system to transmit information by updating hospital’s computer systems, but with the Democratic Congress having access to a time machine who knows what other sinister purposes they might use it for.

It’s a Soviet plot to turn the country Socialist and let Osama bin Laden sell yellow-cake uranium to unwed teen-age mothers while baby raping with Hitler and eating puppies.


It’s a threat so huge that we must all go to tea-bagging rallies and burn books.

7/22/09

Ben Franklin and the single payer healthcare plan


In the Healthcare “Debate” conservatives like to use an appeal to authority saying that the founding fathers would want us to have a system where only those working for large corporations can receive healthcare.

Being a Progressive I decided to look at the history of one of our founding fathers. (I realize a Progressive’s view on history, that history is a bunch of stuff that actually happened and was recorded at the time, and a Conservative’s view on history, that history is stuff they pull out of their ass to justify whatever nonsense they are spouting off at the time, are different but I’ll go with the actual truth just for the hell of it.)

As far as Ben Franklin’s views on medicine I’d have to say that as founder of the Pennsylvania Hospital that was established by the Pennsylvania Legislature to care for the sick-poor and insane who wander the streets of Philadelphia. He might be a little inclined to disagree that only people who work for large corporations are entitled to healthcare.

The quote he helped pick for the official seal “Take Care of Him and I will repay Thee” might give a clue as to his feeling on social responsibility.

But what can you expect from the founder of such socialist concepts as “The Post Office” and founded “Penn State” a state run university.

Looking at the history of the founding fathers it’s very hard to see how any of them would be for a system where a person’s healthcare makes them a slave to large corporations and denies healthcare to the self-employed and workers of small companies.

It’s even harder to see where any of them would favor a system that forces even those who have health insurance, to have everything they have worked for all their lives taken away with one bad illness.

7/15/09

Shut up and put your mouth to a better use.


Talking is something she shouldn’t use her mouth for

Beauty and Brains don’t have to be incompatible, and I do appreciate when a female uses her natural beauty to attain celebrity status and then carefully researches an issue and uses her status to raise awareness on an issue. Look at Angelina Jolie:


Ok, that was a pleasant 5 minutes, and a great excuse to stare at Angelina. Oh, and her work on raising awareness on refugees is admirable.

But then there are woman that use their celebrity status and looks to espouse the silliest ideas that if it weren’t for the fact that most of the people talking to them are too busy staring at their breasts they would be laughed off the stage. The number one chick who should shut up and put her mouth to a better use is Jenny McCarthy:


In the early stages of her career she was determined to give all males who were between the ages of 12 and 123 stronger forearm muscles. A noble goal in itself, I know she strengthened my left forearm considerably.

She moved on to show the world her range of funny faces:


Then she took on a cause, Autism. That seems like a laudable cause and would be if she took the time to research what the hell she was talking about, but instead she plunged head-first into it giving out advise that is actually more dangerous for kids than the chances of getting Autism.

For those of you that don’t know Autism is a mental condition makes the person’s brain tune to a completely different reality, in mild forms it can make a person totally unable to recognize social patterns, in severe forms it will leave the person unable to speak.

The causes of Autism is unknown but extensive research has shown that there is no link between Autism and Vaccines, Center for Disease Control

But that doesn’t stop Jenny from going on all the media outlets and saying that vaccines cause Autism. The worst part is people who listen to Jenny’s advice might end up aggravating a mild case of Autism into a full-blown case.

PERTUSSIS (WHOOPING COUGH) is a nasty disease that leaves the victim coughing out all the air in their lungs; it can go on for weeks. The victim can turn blue from lack of oxygen and pass out.

Vaccines have nearly wiped out this disease so emergency room doctors rarely see it and aren’t trained to deal with it.

If a parent follows Jenny’s advice and doesn’t have their child vaccinated they can get this disease and the lack of oxygen can cause brain damage, aggravating a mild form of Autism into a crippling one. And chances are the Emergency Room techs won’t have a clue as to what it is since vaccines have made it a very rare disease.

So Jenny please shut the fuck up! If you need something else to do with your mouth I can think of something, I’ll even dress up like Santa.


The next group of chicks that should do something better with their mouths, are the actresses that support PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals), not People Eating Tasty Animals.



PETA sounds like a good cause, end killing animals for their fur and treat them as humanely. But the PETA people have taken it way to far, like this quote:

"Pet ownership is an abysmal situation brought about by human manipulation."

-Ingrid Newkirk, President, PETA, Washingtonian, August 1986

No it’s not. Cats have evolved with humans, as we starting gathering food and storing it in a permanent place, rats took advantage of that. Then Cats took advantage of having the Rats in a convenient place.

As we evolved together cats and humans developed a symbiotic relationship and cats even developed a language that humans react to. That’s why a purring cat puts people at ease.

The cat has evolved to experience a greater emotional bond with humans than with other cats, it’s stray cats that get emotionally deprived.

It’s a similar situation with dogs.

They also want to end ALL laboratory use of animals.

I agree with the Humane Society that their should be standards to keep pain and suffering of lab animals down to a minimum and oversight to see if a test needs to be done on an lab animal, but in the end animal testing is necessary to help both humans and animals.

So for the PETA celebrities that go nude rather than wear fur, while you’re nude I’ll put something in your mouth to keep you from repeating the propaganda from these misguided fucks.



BTW: If you are legitimately concerned about animal welfare the ASPCA and Humane Society are good organizations with rational thinking.

Finally Gwyneth Paltrow, claims that Shampoo Causes Cancer.



At least not using shampoo will only hurt someone’s social life and not their actual life, but it’s a dumb comment and her mouth could be put to better uses.

7/14/09

Stuff I missed, I've been busy. Sorry

It’s been a few days since I posted as I have been dealing with Bank of America trying to get my house out of foreclosure.

I’ve racked up a total of 6 hours on the phone with them trying to get them to answer 3 very simple questions.
1) Why didn’t they fulfill their obligations under the Mortgage Agreement?
2) Why are they lying to me?
3) Why are they breaking the law?

For some reason they don’t seem to want to answer these questions. They just keep passing me off to someone else. Their lawyer is supposed to call me maybe she can answer my questions.

But enough about those evil scum-sucking bastards.

Great News:

Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX)'s Falcon I successfully launched a satellite into orbit. http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20090714/sc_nm/us_space_business;_ylt=Aj0DwK8Vtrb3h5xDsTDzr0QPLBIF;_ylu=X3oDMTJra203ZXJkBGFzc2V0Ay9ubS8yMDA5MDcxNC9



Even though the Falcon I isn’t technologically superior to the Atlas V it does offer a competing way to get objects into space. At $8 million per ½ ton flight it is the cheapest way to get into space.

Also SpaceX can start making these expendable rocket launches on a semi-routine basis freeing up resources for their work on the Falcon 9 and Falcon 9 heavy. These are the rockets that SpaceX hopes to use to take over the servicing of the ISS after the Shuttle is discontinued.

If the Falcon 9 is successful it will free up NASA to work on the Orion/Constellation Project and return humans to Moon.

Hopefully NASA can contract out all their Low Earth Orbit duties to private companies like SpaceX and turn their energies back to what they are good at pushing the envelope of space technology and expand the human frontier.

Bad News:

The International Space Station the massive spacecraft that is as big as a football field, cost $100 billion to build and is a key component to many private space companies long term plans, is scheduled to be scrapped in 2016.

It took over a decade to build the thing and now it’s going to be junked in less than half that time. That doesn’t make much sense to me.

Good News:

Obama proposes $12 Billion in Community College Funding.

Finally a good proposal to get some long-term benefit out of the Great Depression 2.0.

With unemployment nearing 10% it is damn near impossible for someone fresh out of high school to get a job. Let’s face it if you were the manager of a restaurant and you had two applicants for a waiter. One fresh out of high school with no work experience and one former Securities Broker who ran a multi-million company who would you hire?

By sending as many high school graduates through community college as possible right now it will ease the demand for entry level jobs giving the vastly over qualified workers a way to survive until the economy picks back up.

In 2 years when these students come out of college with their Associates Degrees, America will have better skilled workforce that can seriously compete with other nations.

It’s a solution that gives both short term relief and long term benefit.

Bad News:

This proposal doesn’t do anything to fix the Educational/Banking Complex that has turned into a vampire sucking the benefits of higher education out of the average American worker.

Nothing is being done about the fact that the Higher Education System rewards banks that default graduates on their student loans, even if the graduate is paying back the loan as promised.

Good News:

Healthcare reform with a public option, which 72% of Americans want, is moving forward.

Bad News:

7 Democrats, Max Baucus, Ben Nelson, Kent Conrad, Mary Landrieu, Dianne Feinstein, Jeff Bingaman, and Blanche Lincoln, are gladly taking some of the $1.4 million a day that Insurance companies are using to fight the public option.



The stupidest argument against the public option (you are welcome to disagree as there are a lot of stupid arguments against it) is that if people making more than $500,000 a year are taxed 1% to cover the cost they will take their ball and leave the country.

Oh no, What will America do without the people who gave us invaluable products like Default Credit Swaps, and Sub-prime Mortgage Backed Securities?

Good News:

Sarah Palin resigned as Governor so she can help candidates that share her lunatic vision for America. Now we have a quick way to Identify the wackos.

Bad News:

sarah palin
see more Political Pictures

The poster pretty much says it all.

7/2/09

Republicans: Fighting Back against Reality

The Republicans have come up with a new strategy recently, and that is to try and get their supporters to avoid the US Census.



On many Progressive Blogs the question has come up, Why?

Why would they pursue a strategy that gets them purposely underrepresented?

It’s all about having something to explain why their views still get airtime.

They are currently the small minority party, 58-40 in the Senate, and only 20% of the American people identify themselves as Republican, yet they get 8 times as much airtime as the Democrats on TV.

Their main newspaper the Weekly Standard has a readership of 80,000 as opposed to The Huffington Post with a viewership of millions. Yet the views expressed in the Weekly Standard get more coverage in the Mainstream Media.

Their big fear is the census will show that their base the WASPs (White Anglo-Saxon Protestants) are now a minority in the country.

Back in the 80s they had some claim that evangelicals like the Moral Majority should have some say in the country as some 60% of America belonged to White Protestant Churches. (Of course the evangelicals only made up a small percentage of that group, but why let the truth get in the way of a silly argument.)

The latest Poll numbers have Protestants making up approximately 51% of America. 10% of that is made up of Black Churches and for some reason Black tend not to support policies that legalize discrimination.

These poll numbers have been pretty consistent and the number of Protestants in America has been dropping at a rate of almost 1% per year over the last decade.

No one has a crystal ball and can say exactly what percentage the 2010 census will show but even if the amount of Protestants hasn’t slid and the 2010 census shows that the number is 50% plus a small fraction of a percent the Argument that “Christian” policies should be put into effect to please the majority becomes silly when the “majority” is a majority by less than 1%.

It also makes it hard for people like Dobson to demand something because Christians “Meaning only Protestants” are the majority when some branches of Protestants like Unitarians are 100% opposed to what he says. If you take their 2% out of the Protestant mix you are left with 48-49% (not a majority).

After the next census the argument that the Protestant 10 commandments should be taught in school to please the majority won’t hold up as less than 49% of Americans are part of a religion that recognizes the Protestant version. (Catholics and Jews have their own and Unitarians don’t believe god takes time out of his busy schedule to have individual talks with people, therefore no personal delivery of the 10 commandments).

Likewise, Prayer in school is a dead issue.

To counter the fact that the reality is that America no longer has a Protestant majority, they will try to get their base to not be part of the census, that way they can say they were underrepresented.

It’s all a strategy so they can hold their fingers in their ears and say “La-La-La-La I can’t hear you.” For the next 10 years. Instead of adapting to the new reality and embracing the separation of church and state mentioned in the 1st amendment.

I can’t wait to see the strategy for ignoring reality after the 2020 census, when Protestants are expected to be less than 40%.

6/26/09

Some thoughts from People that don’t think, but are against Healthcare Choice.

Karl Rove:
“The first is it's unnecessary. Advocates say a government-run insurance program is needed to provide competition for private health insurance. But 1,300 companies sell health insurance plans.”

There may be 1,300 companies, but the simple truth is if your employer doesn’t offer health insurance, you can’t get a real plan. I’ve tried as a self-employed person to get Health Insurance and went to several legitimate companies filled out the forms and never heard back from them.

Looking at the other Insurance Companies, I did a simple test I called around to see if doctors, dentists and optometrists took their Insurance. Turned out my only options were Insurance companies that offered policies that no one in the healthcare industry would take.

That is not competition when your choice is only companies that are offering coverage that is worthless.

“Second, a public option will undercut private insurers and pass the tab to taxpayers and health providers just as it does in existing government-run programs.”

We currently pay 6 times per capita what other industrialized countries pay for healthcare and are near the bottom of list as far as effectiveness. So what Karl is saying here is there is no way private industry can compete with the Federal Government especially if the Government has to take all the sick people that the Private Insurance Companies refuse to take. Because obviously there is no room to save money by being more efficient, like only spending 5 times per capita what other nations spend.

Oh, and my heart just goes out to all those private insurance companies that refuse to cover me.

“Third, government-run health insurance would crater the private insurance market, forcing most Americans onto the government plan.”

Yes, The Americans who are self-employed that the private insurance companies won’t cover, the Americans who work at small companies where one employee with an expensive illness makes insurance too expensive for the rest of the workers, The 1.5 million Americans a year who lose their homes because their insurance companies won’t cover their medical bills, the 20,000 people a year that die because their insurance companies deny them life saving treatments.

Yes, those people will be forced onto the government plan because Private Insurance Companies won’t cover them.

“Fourth, the public option is far too expensive”

Compared to what? Compared to the fact that Factories will not open up in America because healthcare costs make it too expensive to operate here in America.

Compared to the loss to the economy that 1.5 million foreclosed homes causes when they drag down the housing market?

Compared to the number of small businesses that are being crushed as healthcare costs overtake profits.

Compared to the loss of spending capital that someone making $30,000 a year loses when they are spending $12,000 on health insurance?

What exactly is it too expensive in comparison to, Karl never does explain.

“Fifth, the public option puts government firmly in the middle of the relationship between patients and their doctors”

Just like how the Government is firmly in the middle of my relationship with my mom, because we send letters through the mail.

Look everyone has had to deal with government red tape, and everyone has had to deal with private industry red tape. The difference is when dealing with the government the person at the bottom will try and help you the best they can then switch you up to the next rung on the ladder. It’s irritating but when dealing with the government you can at least make some headway if you have the patience.

When dealing with a large private institution (like the bank that holds my mortgage), the person on the bottom will tell you what is on their computers screen and if it doesn’t help refuse to let you speak to anyone higher up.

The Government is required to be transparent with their decisions, they aren’t always, but at least they need to go through the motions and if enough people demand that they show the reason for their decision they will eventually.

Private Companies have no such requirement when they get in the middle of your relationship with your doctor.

Karl Rove’s arguments are just stupid, but to really delve into the mouth of idioticy I must turn to someone I can always count on to be a total idiot but at least knows the basic rules of grammar (unlike Ann Coulter), Larry Elder

“What about personal behavior? Obesity leads to serious health problems, including heart disease. One-third of Americans are obese — almost 50 percent more than the British and Australians, over 100 percent more than the Canadians and Germans, about 250 percent more than the French and 1,000 percent more than the Japanese.

“So don't blame the "broken health care system" for lower life expectancies. American health care actually helps us cope with the consequences of unhealthy lifestyles, keeping our ranking from being even lower.”


So are healthcare costs are high because Americans are denied access to preventative care (like nutritionists and real weight-loss doctors) so therefore we shouldn’t blame the system that denies preventative care to Americans for high costs.

You can’t argue with that logic, you can only shake your head and back away slowly, taking care not to make any sudden moves.

The reason that opponents of giving Americans a choice in healthcare sound like idiots is that they are totally in the wrong.

The simple fact is, if an invading Army came in and killed 20,000 Americans, forced 1.5 Million people out of their homes and stole 2.5 Trillion Dollars of America’s wealth, we would demand action. Any Politician who helped them would be found guilty of treason and hanged in a public square. Yet we allow the healthcare industry to do that every year.

Rodney Dangerfield and Healthcare.

Listening to the healthcare “debate” reminds me of the one scene in “Back to School” where the professor accused Rodney of cheating and the Dean responded “I don’t think you appreciate exactly how big the check he gave us was.”

You can easily imagine that same argument floating around the halls of the Senate.

“80% of Americans want a public choice in their healthcare.” The Progressive Senator says.

“True, but I don’t think you realize exactly how much money the Medical Industry contributes to my campaign.” The Conservative Responds.

“20,000 People are die each year because the Insurance Companies deny them treatment.” The Progressive Senator continues.

“True, but you need to understand that the health Insurance Companies donate quite a bit to my campaign.” The Conservative tries to strengthen his argument.

“In the United States we spend roughly 6 times the amount per person as other industrialized countries, yet we rank near the bottom as far as overall health.” The Progressive Senator tells him.

“Isn’t that great, It gives them plenty of money to support my campaign.” The Conservative Senator states.

“For employers Health Insurance is the fastest growing cost, it rapidly taking overtaking profits.” The Progressive Senator hammers on.

“Well, the Insurance companies have to get money to give to my campaign from somewhere.” The Conservative Senator says condescendingly.

“One and a Half Million people were forced out of their homes last year due to foreclosure because of unaffordable medical costs, greatly contributing to the housing crisis.” The Progressive Senator tells him.

“That’s OK, we can bail out the banks that lost money because of that, after all they still have plenty of money to fund my campaign.” The Conservative Senator responds.

I could go on but it is obvious that those members of the Senate that are against giving people the choice of a public option in their healthcare have just formed a wall built out of the money given to them by the Insurance Companies and will refuse to listen to the will of the people.

There is one thing that these Conservative Senators should take in mind, during the reign of George W. Bush many Progressives became Pro-Gun for some reason. So while they help their buddies divide up the spoils of their robbery of the American Citizens and call it Democracy, they might want to remember the words of Benjamin Franklin:

Democracy is two Wolves and a Lamb voting on what to have for Dinner; Freedom is an Armed Lamb contesting the Vote.

6/16/09

How to Save 60% on your Auto Insurance

Everyone is talking about how much single payer healthcare will cost, but very few people, at least in the mainstream media have mentioned how much it would save the average American.

Believe it or not you probably do have a form of health insurance, it just doesn’t cover you, it covers other people.

This insurance is your auto insurance.

The largest part of a typical auto liability policy is covering someone else’s healthcare costs. The reason is if you lose control of your car and hit someone, it isn’t fair that they should have to pay the medical bills for your mistake.

Naturally (if you aren’t a totally cold-hearted person) you would want to see them made whole and that’s why you have insurance in the first place, that and of course because the state forces you to.

You also have medical insurance for yourself and the passengers in your car, it is filed under PIP, Personal Injury Protection, or just Personal Medical.

PIP is necessary under our current Medical System even if you have regular health insurance because if you get into an accident and need to be taken to the emergency room and the police have to call your insurance company and find out which hospital they will pay for and the ER doctors have to find out what procedures are covered and what ones aren’t, your odds of dieing would shoot up significantly.

To cut through this red tape Auto Insurance Companies have PIP so that the Ambulance ride, the Emergency Room visit and all the things to keep you from dieing immediately are covered. The amount of minimum coverage varies by state.

If single payer healthcare became reality in the US, PIP and Personal Medical would become totally unnecessary, as the Ambulance ride and the Emergency Room visit would be free.

In my case, that would save me $77.23 every six months.

The second place it would save is in the BI, or Bodily Injury, part of my insurance. Under a single payer plan this part of my insurance would be significantly reduced but not completely eliminated.

The Bodily Injury portion of auto insurance covers the other person’s medical bills, pain and suffering, and lost wages.

Even under a single payer system you will have to pay the family the lost wages if you kill someone and you’ll be responsible for someone’s pain and suffering but the biggest part of Bodily Injury is the other person’s medical expenses. You can expect those costs to go down about the same amount as the PIP.

The third place on you insurance bill that you will save is on your uninsured/underinsured Motorist coverage. The uninsured motorist coverage covers your medical bills if someone with no insurance (or a hit and run) injures you. Obviously under a single payer system these bills wouldn’t exist.

After getting rid of all these medical costs from your insurance all that is left is coverage for pain and suffering, lost wages and property damage. So you could be looking at a savings of 60% on you auto insurance.

As well as lowering your Auto Insurance, your employer would save on workers comp, the vast majority of that is for medical bills. If you’re a homeowner your homeowners insurance would go down as most of your liability coverage is for medical bills as well as all of your guest medical coverage.

Taken altogether a single payer healthcare plan will save the vast majority of Americans a great deal on the non-healthcare insurance they are already carrying.

6/13/09

Open letter: If You're a Conservative...Maybe You NEED to Be Offended.



You people just wouldn't fucking listen.

Like schoolyard bullies with a parent as a chaperon, you thought you would never be sent to the principal's office. Your political irrelevance would be funny, except...you dragged all of us down with you.

If we questioned YOUR president, WE were unpatriotic. If we questioned YOUR facts, we didn't know enough to follow a real news source and were 'Victims' of the liberal media. Oh, we withstood your condescension, even all the while knowing that you could barely spell; that your lack of a worldly or human perspective was the main reason you believed as you did; that your innate laziness led you to inquire no farther than the level at which your pre-supposed views were validated, and no deeper.



You watched Fox News and read Michelle Malkin and Ann Coulter; you made cracks about niggers being lazy and Jews needing to be 'perfected'; you agreed when it was promulgated that 'Non-Christians' were aggressive and inferior; and you questioned not once the fuzzy math or the slanted slop that passed for journalism in the intellectual hovels you frequented.

Well, you weren't the only ones. You have had lots of company at this particular trough. Ignorance has run rampant for far too long. Now people are dying. All that hate from the 2008 presidential campaign- you know the one; the one wherein people at Republican rallies chanted 'KILL HIM' about Barack Obama and NONE of you spoke up- is coming home to roost.



I of course recognize my own culpability here. I wanted this particular Helter Skelter to occur, because it had been a long time coming, and it was needed to thin out your particular herd. I liked Barack Obama from the outset- he is smart, and funny, and articulate and that was a whole new reality after eight years of having a president who truly was dumber than a third-grader- but first and foremost, I wanted him to win, because I knew that the knuckle-dragging Right Wingers would lose their fucking minds. And they have. For all the piss and vinegar I can muster towards conservatives in general, that are mind-numbingly predictable, and they never let you down when there is a chance for them to be vocal, violent, and ignorant.

A doctor was killed- IN A CHURCH. A security guard was killed, doing his job protecting people at a HOLOCAUST museum. Had the Conservative movement looked inward? No, they can't. Deep down- on a level that can't reach and would never admit to- they know that they all had a hand in this.



Bill O'Reilly now claims- after 28 mentions of 'Tiller the Baby Killer' that he had anything to do with encouraging his listeners to violence against the doctor. Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh have tried to spin the the von Brunn museum shooting was an isolated LEFTIST incident. They are indignant and insulted that anyone would associate them with those bad anti-abortion zealots or white-supremacists.



Even after such a series of events, Sarah Palin is mad again, because the world knows that she is both the joke and the punchline, and she is too pig-ignorant to accept as much and kindly go away. She lives in her own little world where nothing matters but her, and she's mad because David Letterman made a few jokes at her expense, and some of that comedic jizz spilled over onto her lovely daughter. You know, the lovely daughter no one in America knew about until Palin herself shoved her down our throats. No, not that one- the OTHER daughter. You know. Whats-her-face. Trick? Trogg? Trip-Trap? Oh, it will come to me.

Sarah Palin is a media whore. She is a demonstrably ignorant bumblefuck hillbilly, and she paraded her kids on the political stage during the campaign and put her unmarried, pregnant teenage daughter out there to be gawked at and commented on.

So now what the hell is her problem when someone makes a comment? Dave has always been a smart-ass and makes fun of everything with a tongue in cheek sort of humor, so she needs to get over herself. That mama bear act ain't working! She won't go on Letterman because she couldn't handle his quick wit and snarky comments. She wouldn't be a very good guest anyway because she doesn't have a high enough IQ to give Dave any sort of snappy reparte. Palin dragged baby Trig, the one with Down's syndrome, all over the stage during the campaign, as if he were some rag doll. I have no respect at all for that woman.

If what I've said offends you...Maybe you NEED to be offended.

If You're a Conservative at all...maybe you NEED to be offended. You need to be shocked out of your complacency. You need to take a good look at the people you've chosen to believe, support, emulate and parrot. You need to look inward, and question whether or not you want o carry on in this way. The People spewing hate and nonsense- YOU gave them their voice. You made Fascistic policy acceptable. YOU did this to US.


WE are sick of YOU.
Yes, YOU- Joe Six-Pack. Yeah, the Nascar-watching brother-fucker (entranced with cars driving in a circle) who becomes a political powerhouse on a level with Benjamin Disraeli whenever he clicks onto the Fox News channel. The guy who insists upon having that dreck playing in every bar, every barbershop, every airport lounge. We're onto you. We are NOT happy, we will NOT be nice. We will NOT apologize. We will NOT stop.




We will ask you why your political views are more suited to the backwaters of Alabama in the 1950's as opposed to the fluoridated present day. When you get your facts wrong, we will NOT allow you to continue on blithely spilling your ignorance. We will call you out for your stupidity, and we will not longer pretend- for your benefit alone- that you're alternative world-view is relevant. It's not.
It never fucking was.


6/9/09

A Brighter Tomorrow


Some of my earliest memories are of sitting in front of the TV at my Grandparents house watching the Moon Landings. Even as a five year old seeing those 12 astronauts walking on an alien world filled my young brain with hope for the future.

I thought I would get a chance to walk on the Moon as well, because just like when my mom was growing up Jets were a new technology that only a few people could travel in, but by the time I was growing up they were commonplace. Taking it back further when my Grandmother was growing up Lindbergh’s non-stop solo flight to Europe was a technological feat.

Now my wife and I are thinking of having a kid, I call this Project Scion, and even though I look forward to watching Moon Landings with the kid, this was not supposed to be a generational event.

Looking at the world today with the total economic collapse, the fact that last year demand for oil (the life blood of our industrial civilization) outpaced oil production, the fact that the largest climate shift in human history is looming, and thousands of other signs of doom and despair you might wonder why we have chosen this time to raise a child. The answer is simple for the first time since I was a kid growing up I feel optimistic about the future.

Over the course of my life I have watched science, research and development budgets being slashed. I was a kid when Nixon cut the last three Moon Missions, but the Skylab missions still had me hopeful of the future.

I was old enough to know that the Apollo-Soyuz was the last mission for the indefinite future I lowered my expectations. Even with NASA boasting of how the Shuttle would be all things to all people and would cost only pennies a day to operate it was obvious that it wouldn’t be the spacecraft to return us to the Moon and I’d have to wait for space technology to advance.

While that was happening I did have a glimmer of hope, Jimmy Carter announced that freeing us from our dependence on foreign oil would be the moral equivalent of war. I imagined a brave new world, where we could use our brains to advance as a people and put the vast scientific know how that allowed men to walk on the Moon to solve the problems that plagued mankind and in the pursuit of those goals we would make discoveries that would let us once more go into that final frontier.

Then he was laughed out of office.

I watched as Reagan and Bush slashed not only NASA’s budget but all funding towards Science and Technology even as Steve Jobs and Bill Gates were putting some of the space technology (microchips) to use in the hands of the public.

If it wasn’t bad enough that they slashed Science budgets, the whole tone of the nation started vilifying science and by extension intelligence. Being intelligent in America became a curse.

When Bill was elected I thought things would change, clearly an intelligent person would recognize the importance of inspiring other intelligent people to succeed instead of having to hide, but instead he put on an “aw shucks” routine and played dumb while slashing scientific research in this country to the bare bones.

By the time Bush came through and declared war on science and the “Intellectual elite” it didn’t mean much as even when discoveries were made they wouldn’t be developed. Bucky Tubes and nano-technology have been around for a couple of decades now. If they had been funded so they could develop into mature technologies we could have cars that weighed hundreds of pounds instead of thousands, as well as planes and of course spacecraft.

Seeing policy makers turn public opinion into down right hostility against anyone who could think for themselves made me decide against having a child that, if genetics is any indication, should be a super-genius.

But now it seems that people are looking around and noticing what 30 years of embracing stupid and rejecting science has led to.

No new innovations in science has led to innovations in money making like Default Credit Swaps, and Mortgage Backed Derivatives.

Not inspiring our children to wonder “What if” has meant all our industrial products come from overseas as Japanese and Korean’s wondered “What if we did this to improve a car?”

In times of great crisis there is great opportunity. To overcome the challenges that are in front of us we will need to once again foster an environment where an interest in science is considered something to be praised not scorned. Where critical thinking is seen as the solution to a problem and not “the problem”.

After watching a country’s Science policy go from science and research being a source of strength for our nation to something that should be despised, I wouldn’t have a genius kid while our leaders considered logic a menace and truth the enemy.

We’ve seen what happens when we embrace the stupid; Peak Oil, Financial Ruin, Death and Destruction on a massive scale.

It’s time to put intelligence back to work, and that is why I am hopeful for the future.

It will be a long time before we can forget what embracing stupid does. 60 years if history is any guide. So that gives my kid plenty of time to grow up in a world that values intelligence, honesty and a strong work ethic.

So America I am putting you on notice, I will watch the Moon Landings with my kid but I will not sit by and let the world make it an event to have me watch the Moon Landing with my Grandchild.

You’ve got 60 to 80 years to make sure that a Moon Landing is no more eventful than a plane crossing the Atlantic.

6/3/09

A response to Michael Moore from a former Oilman

In his recent post “Goodbye GM” Michael Moore compared the current financial meltdown (the Great Recession, The Great Depression 2.0, or whatever you what to call it) to a war, and he pointed his finger at the bad guys.

“The other front in this war is being waged by the oil companies against you and me. They are committed to fleecing us whenever they can, and they have been reckless stewards of the finite amount of oil that is located under the surface of the earth. They know they are sucking it bone dry. And like the lumber tycoons of the early 20th century who didn't give a damn about future generations as they tore down every forest they could get their hands on, these oil barons are not telling the public what they know to be true -- that there are only a few more decades of useable oil on this planet. And as the end days of oil approach us, get ready for some very desperate people willing to kill and be killed just to get their hands on a gallon can of gasoline.”

As the former Vice-President of an oil company, I can say with authority that the characterization he paints of the oil barons deceiving the public about the amount of oil left on the planet is totally false.

As the oil prices started going through the roof, I responded to critics who were saying that it was all a ploy by oil companies with my article “Why are gas prices so high?” Where I outlined the fact that we as a society have known for over 30 years that we were living on borrowed time as far as having an energy policy that was dependent on oil but instead of addressing the problem we just elected leader like Clinton and Bush who would rather squander away the nations wealth on the useless “War on Drugs” than address the looming crisis of peak oil.

Now Michael, you might say that I am the exception to the rule, the lone whistle-blower in the crowd but I am not.

Matt Simmons of Simmons & Company has been saying for decades that not only are we running out of oil but we have much less than is being reported.

T. Boone Pickens has been running countless ads pushing to reduce oil dependence.

Dave O’Reilly CEO of Chevron said in 2005 “It took us 125 years to use the first trillion barrels of oil. We’ll use the next trillion in 30.“

The heads of oil companies both big and small have been warning the public that demand will outstrip supply but the public has just been putting their fingers in their ears and saying “Na – Na – Na – Na, I can’t hear you.”

So why have oil companies been letting the delusional masses lead them into a policy that we knew was destructive? It was our legal duty.

In order to raise money for an oil project an oilman has to pass the same tests a stockbroker does. You can’t pass those tests without some knowledge of economics, so when you see the investment banks playing games with peoples retirement funds so that long-term growth is sacrificed for short-term gain. It is our fiduciary duty to try to do the best thing we can with our investors money.

If Wall Street is turning its back on long-term growth, we have to offer a course that will maximize short-term gain and that course is to drill like crazy so that we can sell oil when supply out-strips demand like it did last summer our investors can get some quick cash in their pockets to help them survive when Wall Street inevitably crashes.

Michael, it wasn’t that the oil companies were withholding information on peak oil, it was that the message wasn’t getting out to the public. So I ask you: Where were you during this run up to disaster?

Peak oil and the Financial markets sacrificing Long-Term Growth for Short-Term Gain are tough topics for the Mainstream Media to deal with it would need an independent documentary maker with some clout to raise public awareness, but instead of examining the start of the biggest crisis in our lifetimes you were busy examining the role of guns in our society and how roughly 900 people die a year from guns, when I can guarantee you more people will die from having the Investment Banks piss away their life savings than that.

So Michael you can point your finger at me and other oilmen all you want, but remember when you point your finger, your other three fingers are pointing back at you.

Darrell Nelson, former Vice-President of Mountainview Petroleum.

6/2/09

Beavis and Butt-Head, the Model for Bush’s DHS.


Last night I watched Beavis and Butt-Head do America. Back in 1996 when it was made the Portrayal of the total incompetence of the ATF was laughable. The idea of the ATF and FBI doing an all out manhunt for Beavis and Butt-Head with the result being little more than giving all of Beavis and Butt-Head’s neighbors “full cavity searches” was so unrealistic it was funny.

Now, 13 years later the actions of the AFT in the film seem like a plausible scenario for the Department of Homeland Security.

Having Robert Stack being the lead agent who thought the only way to get information from people: suspects, witnesses, associates, etc. was to use full cavity searches doesn’t seem so out of place now that we have Cheney making the rounds on the news saying how having CIA agents have sex with teenage boys was the only way to keep the country safe.

Labeling two teenage boys as the most dangerous men in America seems a little less absurd after Homeland Security spent millions to round up a home grown terrorist cell, were during an interview the leader of the cell pointed to head and said, “We aren’t just acting Physically…”. Or how the CIA uncovered a plot to fly an airplane into the Sands Resort in Las Vegas only to find out it was a clip from “Con Air”.

When the Department of Homeland Security is restructured, and it needs to be I hope it uses Tommy Lee Jones’s portrayal of the US Marshals in Fugitive, who used all the powers within the law to find their man as a model rather than Robert Stack’s portrayal of the ATF.

5/8/09

Why should we go to the Moon?



If you’ve followed Project Savior Reborn for any length of time you will know I’m a space geek, it’s rare that I go a week with out writing something about space or a month when I don’t have a link to Bad Astronomy in one of my posts.

I hang out at a lot of sites where stating the idea of going to the Moon is singing to the choir, the idea is so ingrained that we should go to the Moon is so obvious that there is no need discussing it.

Then a wonderful thing happened at Space.com someone broke in a said going to the Moon was a waste of time and it is mankind’s destiny to be confined to the planet Earth.

Naturally I launched a bunch of ad hominem attacks against him and called him a stupid idiot, even though I feel that people who use ad hominem attacks are gay. However I know that some bright people do feel the same way, they just don’t say it on message boards about space.

So I will point out some of the reason that humans should and even have to return to the Moon.

Short-Term:

Technological and Engineering challenge: Tomorrow’s Aerospace Industries rely on the challenges we put today’s students and interns through today. Back in the 80s Ronald Reagan talked about an Asian Express Aircraft.

An Aircraft that could travel at hypersonic speeds from the US to Japan, cutting the transport time from the better part of a day to a few hours.

Now, over twenty years later, we are no closer to building a commercial hypersonic airplane than we were then. The reason: NASA hasn’t been building new rockets, just maintaining the old ones. Rocket configurations need to be tested in the upper atmosphere to see how their thrust adapts up there. Hypersonic jets need to have their thrust adapted to the conditions up there.

A commercial aircraft builder isn’t going to do the extensive testing needed, which because of the engineering challenges would need to have the students from a lot of universities working on it. This open structured research makes it possible to test a lot of variables quickly but means that the results from the tests are pretty much open to everyone. No commercial aircraft builder is going to put forth the billions of dollars needed to do the testing, knowing a rival aircraft builder could use their results to get a plane to the market faster.

NASA is in the reverse position. If they do the upper atmosphere testing and an aircraft maker makes a hypersonic craft they can buy the hypersonic craft to continue research. Plus if they open a new industry in the US it is easier for them to get a larger budget.

New Industries:

The big short-term benefit of going to the Moon is the opening up of new industries. When we first went to the Moon whole new products needed to be produced.

Computers needed to be sped up by several orders on magnitude, parts needed to be put together with unprecedented precision, leading to ISO9000 standards. Even tailoring needed to have a scientific approach in order to assure safety standards on the spacesuits.

In order to return to the Moon and stay there, we will need new industries as well.

Since at optimum every pound of material put into Low Earth Orbit needs to use 24 pounds of fuel to get it there (In reality this is much higher) the quest for lighter materials for space operations is a must.

Research is being done in to Buckypaper (Carbon Nanotubes in a polymer) that is as strong as steel but so light that you could cover an entire football field with it and it would weigh less than a gram.

Transparent Aluminum, something that has only existed in Star Trek and in the form of Emeralds, is now being produced.

Both of these industries are in there infant stages, and at the moment it is cost prohibitive to use these materials in cars or planes, but a robust space program would need these as every pound of steel replaced by these products saves at minimum 24 pounds of fuel, a lot more if it is used in something that is repeatedly sent into space.

With a market for these products, private industry has an incentive to do more research into bringing the costs down, making these products available for more uses, giving more incentive to research more until these products become commonplace.

This will give us more fuel-efficient cars and planes, and lead to new products that can only be dreamt about now. Just as when Aluminum was as expensive as silver, I doubt anyone dreamt of using it for a soda container.

Another industry that will receive a boost from a robust space program would be small scale recycling.

On the Moon (at first) anything brought from Earth would cost literally millions of dollars per pound. You don’t want to bring something all that way just to throw it out. Making a Lunar Outpost will require Extreme Recycling. Everything sent up there will need its entire lifecycle planed out.
After this extreme recycling style is made, few on Earth will take it as far as the Astronauts on the Moon, but some aspects will trickle into the market place, conserving resources here on Earth.

Education:

While the Space Race was going on, millions of American students were inspired to become scientist and engineers. As it became obvious that America was abandoning the great plans NASA had for space, the students in the 70’s and 80’s took down their model of Skylab, took Neil Armstrong’s picture off the wall. Stopped working out orbital mechanics of the planets and turned their energies towards developing the most awesome mullet that anyone had ever seen. (OK maybe that was just me.)

While girls would sleep with me just because of my awesome mullet, part of me will always wonder, if I had spent the energy that I put into developing my mullet and put it into designing a new spacecraft, would humans be colonizing the rest of the solar system by now? We will never know the answer to that, but if we can inspire a generation of youth to master the solar system, it might stop the 30% dropout rate among students.

Medium Term (The next 50 years)

He3:

Helium 3 has the potential to make fusion power a reality. He3 extremely rare here on Earth, but plentiful on the Moon. Fusion Power could not only free us from fossil fuels, but it would open up the rest of the solar system.

It is no secret that oil has peaked, it took us 125 years to burn through our first trillion barrels of oil, we will go through the next trillion in 25 years. At the current rate of growth in consumption we would need an addition 3 trillion barrels of oil to get through the next 50 years. No estimates, no matter how optimistic, assume the Earth has that much oil.

Not only do we need to conserve as much energy as we can and use renewable sources whenever possible but we will need a true replacement for fossil fuels, only fusion offers to be that replacement for the next millennia.

Fusion from He3 hasn’t been proven yet, but if we don’t have access to an abundant supply we can’t even do the necessary testing to see if it He3 fusion can give off more energy than it uses. The longer we wait to do the groundwork the longer it will be until we get results.

Space Infrastructure:

One argument against NASA going to the Moon is that with the success of Virgin Galactic and SpaceX, space should be left to private industries. This is a false dichotomy, as NASA operates a Lunar Colony it opens up opportunities for private space industry.

The ISS will need to be a stepping-stone for the initial lunar operations. It is too small to do this alone and NASA will need to use its rockets for the actual Lunar Colony. This gives private industries an opportunity to contract some of the launches to the ISS and beyond.

NASA will need to train its astronauts in low and zero gee, Virgin Galactic is in a perfect position to contract some of these training flights both in its version of the vomit comet and in SpaceShip Two. Having a full 7 minutes of weightlessness is the best training for long-term weightlessness.

NASA will also need to have more astronauts in Low Earth Orbit, If Bigelow Aerospace knows it will have a contract for hosting a few astronauts in its space hotel it will have incentive to build more.

As private industry steps up to fill NASA’s needs in Low Earth Orbit, NASA can contract that work out. Just like the Federal Government uses commercial airlines for flying even though it has a huge fleet of its own jets.

With a robust space program mining the Moon private industry can take over Low Earth Orbit operation until companies are ready to set up their own bases on the Moon.

Long-Term

The Earth is not going to be perfect for humans forever. A huge solar flare could set the atmosphere on fire, a large comet could send the ecosystem out of whack. In 5 billion years the Sun will turn into a Red Dwarf consuming our humble planet.

Humans will perish if we don’t go into space. By spreading out throughout the Solar System it will take more than one of these events to completely destroy humanity. Space is humanities destiny, if we stay only on Earth we shall die.