Thursday, July 31, 2014

Cornelius Gurlitt

Art that does not advance the culture, or the politician's or religious leader's concept of the culture, has always been a social problem. The Nazis called it Entartete Kunst, or "degenerate art," the result of "an artistic policy affronting the healthy folk feelings of Germany,” and condemned--and actively attacked--it. This art is the subject of a new show, “Degenerate Art: The Attack on Modern Art in Nazi Germany, 1937,” at the Neue Galerie in New York, where lines stretched out the door as soon as the show opened in March.
Strangely the Nazis stole a lot of it--probably making a value decision before the social decision was solidified. Once the error of their ways had evolved, the Nazis decided to get rid of it. What better way than to sell the degenerate stuff to their enemies and rot their souls.
Hildebrand Gurlitt was one of those picked by Goebbels  to sell confiscated modern works abroad. Whether by plan or circumstance, he accumulated a lot of the art and kept it. In an essay written shortly before his death he described the collection “not as my property, but rather as a kind of fief that I have been assigned to steward.” So the fence created a little enclosure.
These treasures were handed on to his son, Cornelius. He had never held a job, kept no bank accounts, was not listed in the Munich phone book. Aside from sporadic visits to a sister, who died two years ago, he had had little contact with anyone for half a century. Der Spiegel reported that he had not watched television since 1963 or seen a movie since 1967, and that he had never been in love. Except. Except with his collection.
Early in 2012, police, customs, and tax officials descended on his Munich apartment and spent three days removing nearly 1,300  works,  mostly nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century European pictures, some by Picasso, Matisse, Otto Dix, Emil Nolde, and Oskar Kokoschka, along with older artists like Renoir, Courbet, Dürer, and Canaletto. Gurlitt was ordered to sit and watch. He told Der Spiegel that it was worse than the loss of his parents or his sister.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Cab Thoughts 7/30/14

"We human beings always seek happiness. Now there are two ways. You can make yourself happy by making other people unhappy--I call that the logic of robbery. The other way, you make yourself happy by making other people happy--that's the logic of the market. Which way do you prefer?"-- Zhang Weiying,

Panama is a very successful Central America country and economy. Why don't the illegals go there? It's closer and the trip safer. Why not?

Over the last half-dozen years, companies from around the world including General Motors have bought licenses for a lithium-ion electrode that promised to deliver the next big step in making electric cars competitive with conventional vehicles. The companies and outside researchers have worked feverishly to optimize the electrode, including an assault on a flaw that gravely undermined its performance.

But in recent weeks, researchers working on the problem have gone public with a conclusion that the electrode, invented contemporaneously at Dalhousie University and at Argonne National Laboratory outside Chicago, won’t realize the hopes to bring alive a mass-market electric-car age. They say the problem is at the heart of the physics of the electrode, an amalgam of nickel, cobalt and manganese (NMC) that achieves remarkable capacity after a jolt of unusually high voltage, and does not seem fixable.

What is....Ogallala Aquifer?

A public inquiry will be held into the death of the Russian dissident Alexander Litvinenko, the UK Home Secretary Theresa May has announced. Litvinenko was a former KGB officer who had became a British citizen. He was poisoned with radioactive polonium in 2006.

The small-cap Russell 2000 Index meaningfully underperformed the S &P 500 this year, causing them to give back all of their 2013 outperformance, and sending it's price ratio relative to large-caps all the way down to 2011 levels. This is a tremendous hit, especially in a loose money environment.

ISIS has been tearing down holy sites throughout the past month, including the believed tomb of the prophet Jonah, several other Sunni holy sites in Mosul and seven Shiite ones in the city of Tal Afar, reported Human Rights Watch.

The ACA being overturned because the subsidies for insurance were unequal, available only through state-created exchanges, is being accepted with shock, as if the distinction was not purposeful. I think it is likely the distinction was made to force the state governments into opening up exchanges, even if they opposed them, because they would make themselves easy "they hate the poor" targets in the next election if they did not. Malice sown, malice reaped.

Golden oldie:

This is the first year when the Man Booker Prize, the U.K.'s most prominent award in literature, is open to any writers of literary fiction written in English; previously it had been open only to the Commonwealth and Ireland. Five American writers have been included.

"You don't have a right to know everything in a separation-of-powers government, my friend. That is the difference between a parliamentary government and a separation-of-powers government," Eleanor Holmes Norton, the non-voting congressional delegate for the District of Columbia, said during a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing. An interesting take on the concept of separation-of-powers.

In the last few years, our ability to edit genomes has improved at a shockingly rapid clip. So rapid, in fact, that one of the easiest and most popular tools, known as CRISPR-Cas9, is just two years old. Researchers once spent months, even years, attempting to rewrite an organism’s DNA. Now they spend days.
Soon, though, scientists will begin combining gene editing with gene drives, so-called selfish genes that appear more frequently in offspring than normal genes, which have about a 50-50 chance of being passed on. With gene drives—so named because they drive a gene through a population—researchers just have to slip a new gene into a drive system and let nature take care of the rest. Subsequent generations of whatever species we choose to modify—frogs, weeds, mosquitoes—will have more and more individuals with that gene until, eventually, it’s everywhere.--PBS Nova
We are now producing more gas and oil than anyone else in the world. Yet gasoline prices are up. We have not built a refinery in over 30 years. Could there be a relationship?
Factitious \fak-TISH-uhs\, adjective: 1. Produced artificially, in distinction from what is produced by nature.2. Artificial; not authentic or genuine; sham. From Latin facticius, "made by art, artificial," from the past participle of facere, "to make."
The inflation-adjusted net worth for the typical household was $87,992 in 2003. Ten years later, it was only $56,335, or a 36 percent decline, according to a Russell Sage Foundation study.  
The study also examined net worth at the 95th percentile. (For households at that level, 94 percent of the population had less wealth and 4 percent had more.) It found that for this well-do-do slice of the population, household net worth increased 14 percent over the same 10 years.  

AAAAAnnnnnnnnddddddd......a graph:
Chart of the Day

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Shorting the Future

An interesting criticism has arisen out of the takeover market. A drug company called Valeant that grows by buying others, is trying to buy Allergan, a drug company that grows by developing new drugs.  It’s plan is to boost short-term earnings by  chopping two-thirds out of R&D. So engineering its structure--and cutting R&D--will improve earnings, and probably increase the stock price, but discourage innovation and long term development.
Now this criticism, from a money manager, seems surprised but steel corporations made money for years through depreciating and explicitly not repairing steel facilities because the repairs and upgrades were more expensive and the benefits less than the simple tax write-offs.
Tax distortions are not errors, they are bought and paid for by business and enacted by greedy idiots who do not have our long term financial health in mind.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Low T

Prescription Testosterone use has tripled in the last decade. And the controversy over its use is both important and astonishing.
First, its activity. Testosterone is a potent anabolic steroid that stimulates protein synthesis promoting muscle and organ growth. It is also a potent anti-fertility drug.
Testosterone is famously low in men with coronary artery disease. Obesity apparently leads to low testosterone levels. So the excitement that testosterone therapy leads to coronary artery disease misses the point; the disease is associated with what the hormone is treating, not the therapy..
In spite of its anti-fertility activity, 12% of prescriptions for testosterone go to 18 and 19 year olds. More, 25% of urologists who prescribe the drug, prescribe it to promote fertility.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Sunday Sermon 7/27/14

In today's gospel, a man finds a "treasure buried in a field" and buys the field, a merchant finds a "pearl of great price" and sells all he has to buy it. Here the treasure is the Kingdom of Heaven. As so many of the gospels, this has surprising layers.
First, both treasures are obtained through the sale of earthly goods; they are purchased. Is this a sacrifice or is the world a means to the heavenly end? It certainly is not unearned.
Secondly, there is a provincial element--to the first story, at least. It was common for people during war at the time of Christ to hide their valuables by burying them in fields with the hope of having the invaders miss the trove and allowing the original owner to return and reclaim it. The first treasure seems to be such a treasure, a treasure previously owned and lost or hidden only to be found later by another. What could that mean?

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Humanity in Drag

Barnum's original statement was more complex than is known: It is not just that a sucker is born every minute, it is that Americans want to be fooled.

Equality is a difficult aspiration. Remarkably, equality before the law is a cinch compared to other types. There is, after all, a lot of differences among people unless you plan on repealing the bell-shaped curve. And we don't have to go far to find them. Angelina Jolie--Tamara Press, Ray Lewis--Stephen Hawkins. How would equality be created here? Would someone be upgraded? How? And what would be emphasized? Would you make Lewis smarter or Hawkins more physical? Would you make Tamara prettier or Angelina stronger? What about Angelina and Ray Lewis? Or is there some subtle, deeper element of equalization the equalizers are not sharing?

Leveling out is never done by leveling up. Historically, equality is usually achieved by subtraction, not addition. The poor are never made rich, the ugly never beautiful. So Angelina would be scarred, Lewis hamstrung and Hawkins hit on the head several times. Vonnegut in one of his books tied weights to the legs of athletic ballerinas so the audience would not be ashamed.

The very nature of life is diversity, diversity not for variety but for competition, destruction and advancement. It is the true dialectic. The great religions solve this by putting worldly inequity aside and making all men spiritually equal before God. But in the demands of worldly homogeneity, because we are not the same, it must be made to appear we are. This involves fooling ourselves and each other with imitation, disguise and deception.  Participation in the deception creates not equality but similarity disguised as sameness. 


Friday, July 25, 2014

A Downside to Symbolism

A boycott of the Beverly Hills Hotel — joined by people as mainstream as Jay Leno — has been instigated over the human-rights policies of its owner, the Sultan of Brunei.
Here is a response by a waitress at the Polo Lounge in the hotel:

 ". ...How does this boycott affect the Sultan and his politics?  The short answer is that it doesn’t. The UAE, Saudi Arabia, Brunei, as well as many other countries with dubious human rights records, are heavily invested in the West, in hotels and movies, in Apple and Twitter, in Citigroup, Time Warner and Valentino to name a very few. In fact, Qatar Investment Authority (the sovereign wealth fund of the Sharia nation of Qatar) is the lead investor of Miramax. But most of these countries’ money doesn’t come from any of these investments, large as they may be. It comes from oil. It comes from the oil we all use.
And therein lies the both the flaw and the hypocrisy of the boycott. To threaten the demise of The Beverly Hills Hotel does not begin to touch the Sultan financially or politically. We don’t pay his check, Shell does. Using the hotel as leverage is really no leverage at all.
How does this affect me?
The Sultan isn’t our boss; he’s our investor. His laws, which are completely not aligned with our code of conduct, do not reach Dorchester Collection properties.
We at The Beverly Hills Hotel are women. We are men. We are gay. We are straight. We are multinational and multicultural. We are the ones who will feel the monetary loss. Profits from the hotel don’t go back to Brunei; they go back into the hotel, to us and to the community.
We participate in AIDSWalk, The Revlon Breast Cancer Walk; we participate in charities and contribute to the preservation of our environment.
Some of the celebrities who struck out most venomously against us were some of those we saw most often. I wonder how, knowing us as they do, they have no problem making The Beverly Hills Hotel the face of their outrage? They, to my knowledge, have no problem with any of those companies listed above whose money is also stamped with the blood of Sharia Law, companies who (with the exception of Miramax) have no personal connection to them as we do.
What should we do?
Some have called for us to quit or to strike and join the boycott. We don’t want this. We love our job and the incredible company for which we work. This is the company that recognized same-sex partnerships before gay marriage was legalized by recognizing and offering insurance to the partners of my co-workers. This is the company whose benefits and commitment to equality transcend any I’ve known.
The concern for human rights is commendable. We should all be part of finding a solution for this global problem. The solution starts with our government and others. Reducing our dependency on oil would help, too. But reducing my income won’t help, I promise you."

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Benefiting from the Great Sun God

A guy on Seeking Alpha posted his advice on how to take advantages of the incentives available to American Indian Tribes installing solar panels.

Here's the plan:

1. Form a Corporation with tribe members owning the bulk of the stock.

2. Go into the business of building/renting multi-family units.

3. Cash in the Federal Tribal Energy Grant Program (pays 100% up front of the cost of the solar installation). [Those unfortunates NOT possessed of tribal status can do this too, but will have to content themselves with lesser subsidies of about 50% or so].

4. Cash the $2000 Federal Tax Credit for home builders for each unit. (Yes, this appears to be "double dipping", but hey, it might work). In the event it is disallowed, non-tribal companies out there can still do this.

4. Sign up for State rebate programs. In California they are overlapping and extensive (ALL utilities must pay some form of rebate and buy your solar output, and most cities and counties have their own subsidies and tax credits and rebates). PV Rebate (which is paid up front even before the system generates power, funny sort of "rebate") seems to be about $.50/kw. Solar Thermal Rebates (we would be heating the swimming pool and residential hot water with the thermal solar rig, naturally) is $18.59/therm, up front.

5. Sign up for State Property Tax incentives. California? 100% of the System "Value."

6. Keep good records of all the tax credits. Federal: 30% (no limit) Corporate Tax Credit. Add this to the $2000 allowed per unit, and voila, hard to pay Federal Corporate income taxes on the project.

And the rebates, subsidies, incentives, and current sold to the utilities is all tax free.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Cab Thoughts 7/23/14

"I am going to teach the South American republics to elect good men!"--Woodrow Wilson

Managing wealth is a skill. 90% of millionaires are self-made; that means existing family wealth must somehow decline or be destroyed. The current tax on IRAs will take 45% in taxes. 50% of professional basketball players file bankruptcy within 5 years of retirement. The Vanderbilts are broke.
Managing wealth is a skill.

It was not until the 1980s that Venezuelan oil reserves were considered provable reserves.

Who was....Silas Tomkyn Comberbache?

In 1868 Louisa May Alcott's Little Women published.  Thus she made a good the vow she made
to herself early on: that, though a woman, she would make both her own and her parents' living, and
that she would do it by writing.  This vow was made necessary by her father, the Transcendentalist 
Bronson Alcott, being a madcap for schemes of high ideals, a low pay-communal farm, lecture tours,
and schools of philosophy. Its fulfillment required that Alcott set aside her aspirations for serious writing
and turn eye to the market: "I plod away," she wrote in her journal during the Little Women days, "though
I don't really enjoy this sort of thing. Never liked girls or knew many, except my sisters, but our queer 
plays and experiences may prove interesting, though I doubt it."
Golden oldie:

Since a pair of 1938 Treasury Department Tax Rulings, and another in 1941, Social Security benefits have been explicitly excluded from federal income taxation. (A revision was issued in 1970, but it made no changes in the existing policy.) This changed for the first time with the passage of the 1983 Amendments to the Social Security Act. Beginning in 1984, a portion of Social Security benefits have been subject to federal income taxes. Now 85% of social security is subject to taxation.
Lesson: The government always changes the rules and those changes usually benefit the governing elite and their friends.

The porous border is advantageous to four groups: Drug cartels, human traffickers, business people who want cheap labor and terrorists. The failure to tighten the border encourages more of the same: drug cartels, traffickers, terrorists and cut rate labor. So, if you favor porous borders, which of those four do you particularly like? And, if you are a politician....well, one always worries that political practicalities override the interests of the state and its citizens.

In Europe, data shows that the burning coal earns companies 9.16 euros per megawatt hour, while burning natural gas nets companies a loss of 19.31 megawatts per hour. As more natural gas plants are taken offline, they have to be replaced by coal.

Jim Webb said this during his campaign for the Senate: "You do not have to occupy a country in order to fight the terrorists who are in it."

"Democracy cannot be imposed with military force." Those who say such things seem to forget what U.S. arms have done imposing democracy on countries like Germany and especially Japan.
Nathaniel Hawthorn tried a communal "Transcendental" social experiment for a while. Coleridge and Robert Southey actually planned one to be on the banks of the Susquehanna River. (Coleridge was in his early twenties and so bored he tried to enlist in the 1st Dragoons under the alias of Silas Tomkny Comberbache. They envisioned a "pantisocracy," or "equal rule by all," where twelve couples worked for three hours a day and would spend the rest of the time in nature or the library.
Paraprosdokian: a figure of speech in which the latter part of a sentence or phrase is surprising or unexpected in a way that causes the reader or listener to re-frame or reinterpret the first part. Frequently used for humorous or dramatic effect, sometimes producing anticlimax. Examples: I used to be indecisive; now I'm not so sure; I asked God for a bike, but I know God doesn't work that way. So I stole a bike and asked for forgiveness.
AAAAaaaaaaannnnndddddd.....a picture of the dogs of war:

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

The Cape of Good Hope is Dangerous

The GDP contracted last quarter, this under an administration that has pledged itself to improving the economy as its main objective. Its main objective. How is such a thing possible? How could an administration's main objective not be reached, especially when it controls so much of the economy? Especially when it gets to do the grading? Or is it only more evidence of the difficulties of large organizations transforming its wishes into reality? 
Would now would be a good time to attack cheap energy?

Monday, July 21, 2014

The Camp-followers of Time

Shanghai in 1987

Shanghai in 2013

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Sunday Sermon 7/20/14

The eastern Ukrainians are enforcing a border that does not exist; the Americans are not enforcing a southern border that does exist. The world can look pretty arbitrary sometimes. This is compounded by tolerance and its fraternal twin, indifference.

Today's gospel is anything but indifferent. It contains so much, some things that are so commonplace now that they can be assumed and overlooked, for example the "slaves" inherent to the parable. But generally this is about as specific and pointed that Christ allows parables to get. In it a man sows his seed in the field and an enemy comes to destroy his work. The master's slaves question the master as what to do and he tells them to wait, that trying to remove the weeds will damage the crop. Christ then specifically, point by point, explains the parable.
So here an enemy of God, unable to destroy what good has been done, adds a poisonous weed to the mix (presumably darnel which, if ground with the corn, is poisonous to the meal.) That poison is inextricable, inherent now with the crop. It can be removed only at the end.

Emerson says that a weed is a plant for which no good use has yet been found. This parable is a lot less open-minded. There is real evil. God has an enemy. An enemy! Evil is intertwined with the good--part of the field now. Good must struggle with evil and survive it. And all will be resolved by the patience of God.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Concensus and Sigma

Consensus in science is very reassuring to the outsider.

Sigma is the Greek letter used as a symbol for standard deviation—a measure of how far a finding departs from the expected one. Say a series of experiments on a randomly chosen coin involves flipping it 1,000 times and then flipping it 1,000 times again and again. The average number of heads should be 500, but some experiments will yield more and some fewer. A five-sigma finding would be 590 heads. Hence the safety and quality of "Six Sigma."
In IQ testing the expected result is an IQ of 100. One-Sigma deviation from that would be about 115 (or 85), so two- sigma deviation would be 130, 3-Sigma 145. This means that when testing the IQ of a population, the chance of one individual having an IQ of 70 would be 2 Sigma, about 5%
File:IQ curve.svg

So a 5 Sigma IQ is not impossible, only very unlikely. But, with a population of 3.5 million, a random IQ test could make you think that the outrageous outlier you get is the norm.

In theoretical physics, it is more difficult because you are not measuring the chances of deviation off the norm, you are measuring the possibility of existence.

Recent testing for the Higgs Particle  was done with a 5-Sigma probability. The five-sigma concept is somewhat counterintuitive. It has to do with a one-in-3.5-million probability--but not the probability that the Higgs boson doesn't exist. It is, rather, the inverse: If the particle doesn't exist, one in 3.5 million is the chance an experiment just like the one announced would nevertheless come up with a result appearing to confirm it does exist. In other words, one in 3.5 million is the likelihood of finding a false positive. So the test, theoretically, could confirm the existence of something that does not exist.

A two-sigma result can have as much as a 5% chance of occurring as a false positive. Three sigma, needed to cite evidence—but not discovery—of a new particle in physics, correspond to a one-in-741 chance.

So any theory where there is "consensus" should be qualified with "probably."

The real challenge is designing a study in which the structure of the information gathering is, indeed, rigid enough to merit the probability designated to it.

Friday, July 18, 2014

NPR and Gaza

Today NPR spoke with reporter Emily Harris in Gaza City about Israel's invasion of Gaza. The anchor summarized Ms. Harris' report by saying, "Then things are proceeding pretty normally in Gaza City?" Yes, Ms. Harris corrected, normally for a land invasion.
Fair and balanced.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Vive la Différence‏

Former Navy SEAL Chris Beck chronicles the transformation to a woman, Kristin Beck, in her new book "Warrior Princess."

A former member of SEAL Team 6, Chief Petty Officer Christopher Beck (L), has become Kristin Beck (R) in a sex-change operation. She is now a speaker at events at intel agencies and at the Pentagon as she promotes integration of transgenders into the nation's intel and combat elite.
Actually something of an improvement.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014


A study released by the FDIC in February 2011 reported as many as 28 million "un-banked" and 44 million "under-banked" Americans. These are people who do not use banks as intermediaries for their transactions. (50 percent of Americans are living paycheck-to-paycheck.)
One intermediary they use is the pawnbroker. Studies show that 32 percent of pawn customers borrow only twice per year to help cover unexpected expenses. The average guy who uses a pawnbroker is 36, has a household income of $29,000, 80% are employed, 82% have a high school diploma or GED, 33% are homeowners, and the average loan they take out is $150.

A medical radiological technician I know, certified and employed, quit his job to open a pawnshop. In the last two years he has expanded his sites to four and just bought a fifth shop (and its building.) He is starting a sixty thousand dollar upgrade of the premises. He is busy in all sites but the downtown area with its foot traffic is best. Most of his sales, however, are on line through EBay or Amazon. He does about five thousand dollars in walk-in sales a day. He could not estimate his on-line sales but his best seller is the calculator. He estimates he sells twenty thousand dollars of calculators a week, almost the total of his walk-in sales. Curiously, chain saws can not be sold on line as they are considered weapons by the government. Steak knives, however, can.The pawnbroker also sells items that have been sold outright to him by customers.

Divestiture--the distribution of goods--voluntary or forced, is always of interest to the economy but, unlike other lenders, the pawnbroker does not report the defaulted loan on the customer's credit report.
The police monitor the sales of pawnshops closely and the shops all submit a weekly sales slip for appraisal, looking for stolen property but the pawnbroker is careful. He assesses his sellers well.
And he is fair; he knows the seller likely will need to return. 

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Carbon Wars

President Obama wants to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 17% by 2020. This involves a significant shift in resources and in philosophy. The legislature has consistently voted against such proposals; even the super-majority in Obama's first two years voted the cap-and-trade plan down. Consequently these current plans are being carried out with executive and bureaucratic fiat, that is, bypassing the legislative process. 

There are new efficiency standards for home appliances, heavy-duty trucks and, in particular, the electric industry. Electricity relies on coal-fired power and coal-fire plants account for about 33% of American greenhouse gases. Daniel Shrag of Harvard, an Obama science adviser, told the New York Times that "Politically, the White House is hesitant to say they're having a war on coal. On the other hand, a war on coal is exactly what's needed."

There is a lot at stake. The U.S. has become an attractive option for manufacturing because our coal and gas is plentiful and thus cheap. There is a noticeable uptick in foreign business activity. But a good way to stop that would be for the administration to declare war on the carbon that makes such business development attractive. Of course, the purpose of such a war is to do exactly that. And there is an effect on the existing economy as well. It is estimated that every $1 billion spent complying with an EPA rule threatens 16,000 jobs and cuts GDP by $1.2 billion.

Fortunately complex problems are always made clear in the minds of the righteous.

Monday, July 14, 2014

EnteroMedics Inc. (ETRM)‏

Enteromedics is a company that using electrical impulses to control physiologic function in humans. It developed the Maestro System, which limit the expansion of the stomach, control hunger sensations between meals, reduce the frequency and intensity of stomach contractions, and produce a feeling of early and prolonged fullness. It works on an implantable electrical stimulator and recently has been evaluated by the FDA.
This is the result of the conference by the FDA panel:  1. That benefit outweighs risk: 6 yes, 2 no, 1 abstain. 2. On safety, the vote was 8 yes, 1 no.  3. On efficacy the vote was 4 yes, 5 no.  Yet the vote earlier in the day on whether the 18 month data supported efficacy was 9 yes, 0 no.  
Scientific consensus.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Sunday Sermon 7/13/14

Today's gospel is the parable of the sower and the seeds. The "sower" has become the "farmer" now as the process of sowing described has vanished from all but the most primitive farms. That elaboration, that change in text, is a worry as it is an accommodation to modernity; how much more accommodation will be necessary for the modern world?
It is filled with symbolism-as all parables must be-but there is a hard element here: The seed falls on different soil, some unprepared, some overtly hostile, some simply incompatible with growth of the seed. Whose fault is that and will the soil be held responsible?

Sowing by Edward Thomas:

It was a perfect day
For sowing; just
As sweet and dry was the ground
As tobacco-dust.

I tasted deep the hour
Between the far
Owl's chuckling first soft cry
And the first star.

A long stretched hour it was;
Nothing undone
Remained; the early seeds
All safely sown.

And now, hark at the rain,
Windless and light,
Half a kiss, half a tear,
Saying good-night

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Morally Repugnant Elites (MRE)

So now we are in the distribution phase of the Iraq disaster: Who will end up with the Old Maid card? The new and improved maniacs are taking more and more territory, the Americans have washed their collective hands of it and Obama apparently agrees. Quo Vadis?

Well, where did the creature come from in the first place?
In 1998 President Bill Clinton signed the Iraq Liberation Act of 1998 into law which supported regime change in Iraq; he gave a speech on the dangers of Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction.
After 9/11 both houses of Congress voted overwhelmingly to pass a resolution authorizing the removal of Saddam Hussein by force. Support was unusually bipartisan with Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton, John Kerry and Harry Reid all speaking on the Senate floor in support of the bill. Sen. Jay Rockefeller and Rep. Nancy Pelosi spoke in the House about the dangers of Saddam's stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction. (They were not nuts; they drew on the same classified domestic and foreign intelligence reports that had led Bush to call for Saddam's forcible removal. They all heard the same evidence.)
There were 23 points offered as reason to get rid of Hussein, most of them unconnected to 9/11. His attempts to commit genocide against the Kurds, the Shiites and the Marsh Arabs, his attacking four of his neighbors, his attempt to arrange the assassination of a former U.S. president (George H.W. Bush), his bounties for suicide bombers on the West Bank, his harboring of global terrorists, and his almost maniacal flouting of U.N. no-fly zones.
George Will, David Brooks, William F. Buckley, Fareed Zakaria, David Ignatius and Thomas Friedman all wrote in support of the action. WMDs. Now virtually no Iraq.

So who is to blame? Everyone? No one? Well I nominate arrogance. I nominate the astonishing confidence that led a Western nation whose graduate school students couldn't find Iraq on a map to think they could remake an ancient land in their own image. I nominate the pride of a monolithic bureaucracy that sees everything else as a monolithic bureaucracy when all the evidence is that our mortal enemies are miniaturizing and downsizing like American start-ups.

Guard the borders. Buy Geiger counters. Invest in immunology.
Winter is coming. 

Friday, July 11, 2014

Bordering on the Weird

The border mysteries continue.
The problems with our porous borders are old; Reagan passed an amnesty bill. But 250,000 to 300,000 illegals since April is a lot, especially since it is beginning to look arranged. There are four groups--aside from the illegals--who benefit from illegal immigration: Drug trafficking cartels, human trafficking gangs, terrorists and the American Chamber of Commerce.
So I have three questions: 1. who are those favoring the porous borders beholden to? 2. Have you ever seen something described as a "tragedy," a "disaster," and a "humanitarian crisis" go without any press coverage? Without any pictures or interviews? 3. Why have the Rube-publicans refused to define themselves in the relief of the government inaction?

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Wind Power and Powerless

The problems with wind power are the limits of wind physics and the cost of construction necessary to manage those limits.

Laminar wind flow, not turbulence,  generates power. The bottom of the blades of a wind turbine have to be about 50 feet above the all obstructions within 500 feet, so if you have a 30 foot high house and a 15 foot diameter turbine, you needs 88 foot tower minimum. A 90 foot tower strong enough to stand up to thunderstorm gusts costs several tens of thousands of dollars.

The second problem is that 90%+ of the US has poor wind, wind that might make garden chimes sound but not create power. A turbine may start spinning at about 10 mph wind, but it really does not start producing any power until nearly 20 mph winds.
The next physics problem is wind power increases by the cube power: 2X the power, 8X the energy. Wind at 10 mph has only 1/8 the energy of 20 mph wind. Wind at 40 mph is 64 times more powerful - and blows the turbine, unless very well engineered, to pieces. If the turbine is strong enough to withstand 40-60 mph winds, it is too heavy to work at all at slow winds speeds.


Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Cab Thoughts 7/9/14

"There is only one difference between a bad economist and a good one: the bad economist confines himself to the visible effect; the good economist takes into account both the effect that can be seen and those effects that must be foreseen. "Yet this difference is tremendous; for it almost always happens that when the immediate consequence is favorable, the later consequences are disastrous, and vice versa. Whence it follows that the bad economist pursues a small present good that will be followed by a great evil to come, while the good economist pursues a great good to come, at the risk of a small present evil."  - From an essay by Frédéric Bastiat in 1850, "That Which Is Seen and That Which Is Unseen"

The Hobby Lobby decision is worth some serious discussion. Unfortunately the discussion will probably be intense but terribly un-serious. The idea that religious belief can disqualify one from participation in social and political structure is a very old idea, never seen here. Color disqualifications existed, of course.

The ISIS movement in Iraq has taken over an oil field that produces 30K barrels of oil a day. Interestingly, they did not destroy it. So, they probably want to use it. Keep fracking, guys.

It will be interesting to see the impact of the U.S.' loss in the World Cup has on viewership in the country. Has the popularity been nationalism or is there a real interest? Is the World Cup mania real enthusiasm for the game and its competition or more of a logical place for the world's growing need for events and experience, like St. Patrick's day or New Years.

West Africa is facing the deadliest Ebola outbreak ever, with 400 dead so far. Interestingly, many victims are fearful of modern medicine and technology and flee the hospitals and hide, complicating the effort to contain the disease.

Who is....Amantine-Aurore-Lucile Dupin?

Gobleki Tepe dates back to the end of the last ice age (12, 000 years ago). It is a the recently discovered complex of temples in south-eastern Turkey and has been called the most important archaeological discovery of modern times. These are presumed hunter gatherer times that predate pottery, writing, the wheel and metallurgy; its construction implies a level of sophistication and complexity thus far not associated with Palaeolithic civilizations. With a construction date thousands of years earlier than Stonehenge, the site consists of 20 round structures (4 have been excavated so far) and elaborately carved pillars up to 18 feet tall and weighing up to 15 tons each. Nobody can say with any certainty who created the site, or why.

A first edition, first issue of Whitman’s Leaves of Grass sold at Christie's for a world-record price of $305,000 to a US dealer.

Axion makes a new battery with a real distinction. Like a lead-acid battery it has a positive lead pole but its negative pole is carbon. During charge and discharge, the positive electrode undergoes the same chemical reaction as a lead acid battery; but Axion’s negative activated carbon electrode doesn’t undergo a chemical reaction at all. This stops acid concentration swings from the charged to discharged state, eliminating corrosion and allowing a much longer battery life.

Why do intellectuals hate free markets? Because, as French sociologist Raymond Boudon explains, in a free market they would be paid at their real value.

Hurricane Arthur's mild impact seems to have disappointed most newscasters.

U.S. production of crude oil, along with liquids separated from natural gas, surpassed all other countries this year with daily output exceeding 11 million barrels in the first quarter. overtaking Saudi Arabia and Russia as extraction of energy from shale rock spurs the nation’s economic recovery according to Bank of America.

Initial autopsy findings from the body of an East Jerusalem youth who Palestinians believe was kidnapped and killed by far-right Jews showed that he was burned alive, the Palestinian attorney-general is reported as saying. We can probably reason with these guys.

French taxes are beginning to push people out. 50,000 families left France for good over the last 2 years. London is now the sixth largest French city in the world.

Golden oldies (Bill Ayers has become all the rage):

The 21-stage, 2,277-mile race started in Leeds with the second stage running from York to Sheffield and the third from Cambridge to London, before 18 more stages culminate in the French capital on 27 July. In 1974 and 1994 it included stages in Britain and in 2007 London hosted the start, known as the Grand Depart.

Flack: n. criticism; hostile reaction; abuse: Such an unpopular decision is bound to draw a lot of flak from the press; antiaircraft fire, especially as experienced by the crews of combat airplanes at which the fire is directed.
This term is a German acronym that dates from the 1930s and comes from the German Fl(ieger) a(bwehr) k(anone). This translates to "aircraft defense gun."

AAAAAAaaaaaaannnnnnndddddd.........a drawing of the imagined Gobleki Tepe's construction:
Gobekli-Full 35417 600X450

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Wind Turbines, Hot Air‏

Residential wind turbines for household power requirements are in the news. Their history is worse than spotty. Even under the best conditions they have irregular output. Reno, NV and Ellensburg, WA both have had wind turbine projects. The city of Ellensburg published a detailed report on November 1st, 2013 - titled "Smart Grid Demonstration Project Completion Report." Here's some basic results of their testing of 9 small turbines:
1KW "Wingpower" turbine = 109 kWh generated over the year. 2 units suffered wing failures, 3 units failed, each almost immediately after replacement.
1.2KW "Windspire" VAWT = zero kWh output, generator & inverter failure - manufacturer out of business.
1.5KW "WindTronix" turbine = zero kWh output, wings torn off, non-operational
2.5KW "Energy Ball" turbine = device consumes more power than it generates, currently operational

But the names are really cool.

Monday, July 7, 2014

The Councelor: A Review

Cormac McCarthy is, in my opinion, America's greatest writer, peaking with the staggeringly brilliant Blood Meridian (note: not for all readers). While a number of his books have become successful movies (The Road, No Country for Old Men, Child of God, All the Pretty Horses)  several scripts exclusively for film have, in various stages, died on the vine. "The Councelor" made it.

The film has some of the intricacy, intensity and savagery of many of his successful efforts, has a very strong cast including  Michael Fassbender (the Counselor), Penélope Cruz (Laura), Cameron Diaz (Malkina), Javier Bardem (Reiner) and Brad Pitt (Westray), was directed by Ridley Scott and is riveting. But there is something very wrong with this film, despite its obvious credentials.

The main character is a lawyer who has gone bad--just once. He conspires with Reiner and Westray to bring in cocaine for sale to distributors. His wife, Laura, is the embodiment of everything good, beautiful and optimistic in life; virtually everything else is corrupt, cynical, predatory and savage. Slowly other predators circle the shipment, people are betrayed, ambushed and brutalized. Suspicions arise and the retaliation starts. Some run, some hide, all are stalked by the worst of the worst. It is chaos on the savanna; ancient angry Man, better motivated and better armed.

This is not really about good and evil; only Laura--charmingly done by Cruz--is good. This is mostly evil, de Sade and Hobbes and Thomas Kyd and Mr. Hyde all elegantly dressed and handsome and wealthy. And it is not without some success. Life is very hard; power and lust and greed often get out of control and end badly. Nor is it simple; One character escapes with a plan to go to Hong Kong where she will do well because "I am a quick study." You want to yell at her, "Don't you see? You can not prepare, you can not learn enough."

There is a moment--actually a dangerously long soliloquy--where a drug boss is explaining life to the Councilor. He talks about the unpredictability of life, how it mutates and twists, how every moment opens each to the unimaginable and sometime--often times--the unspeakable . It is actually like "No one steps into the same river twice" but suggests more piranhas and alligators than mystery. It is all true but inadequate. Somehow the drama needs more reason. As well written and dramatic The Duchess of Malfi is, it is simply too far from its audience to be internalized.

McCarthy seems more fluid in times other than the present: His wonderful Border Trilogy, the futuristic The Road. Perhaps this grim view is too hyperbolic when placed in the current time when the audience is trying only to get to work on time, to find a good date--maybe a nice dinner. Perhaps his lessons are better taught when the audience has less concrete moorings.

In a way "The Counselor" is a movie that proves itself: A genius writer, a talented cast, a renowned director all create something quite unexpected. But at least they didn't torture Penélope Cruz on screen.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Sunday Sermon 7/6/14

Today's gospel has Christ encourage people to be like "little ones." This is a common, if peculiar, theme. "Unless you change and become like this little one, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven." "Anyone who welcomes this little child in My name welcomes Me."
In Israel, a child was a being of great desires but no rights. Simplicity, trust, meekness and vulnerability--these are the qualities of an ancient child. Christ is always placing Himself as a being of simplicity. After all, He enters the city of Jerusalem on a donkey, not a warhorse.

He then says: “Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened,
and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you and learn from me,
for I am meek and humble of heart;
and you will find rest for yourselves.
For my yoke is easy, and my burden light.”

It is said this "labor" is the extreme burden of the laws of the Old Testament and the New Testament burdens are "easy" and "light,"  although I have always thought there was an element diminishing the physical in favor of the spiritual world.

"The world is too much with us; late and soon,
Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers;—
Little we see in Nature that is ours;
We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!"--Wordsworth

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Cab Thoughts 7/5/14

Some people have a depraved taste for equality, which impels the weak to lower the powerful to their own level, and reduces men to prefer equality in slavery to inequality with freedom. I believe that it is easier to establish an absolute and despotic government amongst a people in which the conditions of society are equal, than amongst any other; and I think that, if such a government were once established amongst such a people, it would not only oppress men, but would eventually strip each of them of several of the highest qualities of humanity. Despotism, therefore, appears to me peculiarly to be dreaded in democratic times.--deTocqueville
The Great Attractor is a diffuse mass concentration fully 250 million light-years away, but so large it pulls our own Milky Way Galaxy and millions of others galaxies towards it.

Toady: noun: A person who flatters or tries to please someone to gain favor; verb intr.: To behave as a toady. From shortening of toad-eater. In times past, a quack employed an assistant who ate (or pretended to eat) a poisonous toad and was supposedly cured by the quack's medicine. From there the word extended to a person who would do anything to curry favor. Earliest documented use: 1827.

Facebook revealed that it had manipulated the news feeds of over half a million randomly selected users to change the number of positive and negative posts they saw as part of a psychological study to examine how emotions can be spread on social media.

A recent article reported "the federal government is subsidizing the fossil fuel industry to the tune of a half-trillion dollars a year in tax breaks, according to the International Monetary Fund." But total US oil production is only a third of a trillion per year. A Bloomberg New Energy Finance study finds that all the world's governments spent $557 billion to subsidize fossil fuels in 2008, while spending only $43-46 billion to subsidize clean energy. The U.S. and Europe made up most of the latter figure.
The mag Greentechgrid has an article with the title, "Storage is the New Solar."
Regarding the goofy petroleum policy of the current government, do not forget that, according to Loftus' and Aarons' Secret War Against the Jews, Standard Oil continued to supply oil to the Nazi government well into the war years with the U.S..

There are water shortages in Texas. Fracking is a powerful drain on water supplies. In Crockett County, fracking accounts for up to 25% of water use, according to the groundwater conservation district. But Katharine Hayhoe, a climate scientist at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, argues fracking is not the only reason Texas is going dry – and nor is the drought. The latest shocks to the water system come after decades of overuse by ranchers, cotton farmers, and fast-growing thirsty cities.

Who was...Andres Escobar?
The loss of Lois Lerner's IRS communications will be instructive. When Nixon's 18 minutes of tape was erased the politicians and the public were outraged. Outraged. Now if the current political lies are met with a shrug and a "what can you do?" I think that will imply a significant decline in the culture's ability and willingness to demand standards.
Navigant recently forecast that the stationary battery industry would grow from $250 million this year to $17.5 billion in 2023.
The National Organization for Marriage has been awarded a $50,000 settlement from the IRS after the agency admitted wrongdoing in leaking the organization's 2008 tax return and the names and contact information of major donors. The information was forwarded from the IRS to the pro-gay marriage group Human Rights Campaign. That group then posted the data on its website during the 2012 presidential campaign. The documents showed Romney donated $10,000 to the National Organization for Marriage and that information was used against him in the campaign against Obama.
Unauthorized dissemination of such information is a felony.

As many stars as there are in our galaxy (100 - 400 billion), there are roughly an equal number of galaxies in the observable universe -- so for every star in the colossal Milky Way, there's a whole galaxy out there. All together, that comes out to the typically quoted range of between 1022 and 1024 total stars, which means that for every grain of sand on Earth, there are 10,000 stars out there. At the lower end for the number of total stars (1022), gives us 500 quintillion, or 500 billion billion sun-like stars.

Golden oldie:

Deputy Wall Street Journal editorial page editor Daniel Henninger says, “The Watergate break-in was the professionals of the party in power going after the party professionals of the party out of power. The IRS scandal is the party in power going after the most average Americans imaginable.”
AAAAAAAAaaaaaannnnnnndddddd.......a graph:
Chart of the Day

Friday, July 4, 2014

July 4th

Jay Leno had a recurring skit where he asked questions to passers-by on the street--questions most people think are rather simple and obvious. He asked several people what the Fourth of July celebrated, when independence was declared and who the country separated from. Of course the results were embarrassing to most of those interviewed. One was particularly interesting. A college instructor knew nothing about the Revolution at all, thought it occurred in the 1920's and thought China might have been involved.

A survey published recently said that 27% of people questioned did not know the American Revolution was waged against the British.

When I was a child in the 50's, the Fourth of July was a great event. The kids decorated their bikes, small local parades were held--every community had some commemoration and the larger communities had fireworks. It was unlike other secular events like Thanksgiving which were delightfully family oriented; this was a commonly held social event. It was a birthday party. And it was heartfelt. Everyone felt that years ago something of value had been accomplished, something special in the world created. There was a glow.

When Obama was first campaigning he was asked about American Exceptionalism. (The phrase was de Tocqueville's, from Democracy in America, 1835: "The position of the Americans is therefore quite exceptional, and it may be believed that no democratic people will ever be placed in a similar one. Their strictly Puritanical origin, their exclusively commercial habits, even the country they inhabit, which seems to divert their minds from the pursuit of science, literature, and the arts, the proximity of Europe, which allows them to neglect these pursuits without relapsing into barbarism, a thousand special causes, of which I have only been able to point out the most important, have singularly concurred to fix the mind of the American upon purely practical objects. His passions, his wants, his education, and everything about him seem to unite in drawing the native of the United States earthward; his religion alone bids him turn, from time to time, a transient and distracted glance to heaven. Let us cease, then, to view all democratic nations under the example of the American people.")

The phrase has been used since by those who saw America as a point of reference in man's search for freedom and liberty. (It was also used by Stalin as a slur, decrying America's self-held belief that it was somehow excluded from the Marxian class warfare generality.) Obama saw a trap--it would not do to talk of"exceptionalism" when we want all people to be the same, all nations indistinguishable. So he hedged and said, "I believe in American exceptionalism, just as I suspect that the Brits believe in British exceptionalism and the Greeks believe in Greek exceptionalism." He, unlike those Americans of just a generation or two ago, does not think that America is unique.

Unique. If that element is lost in this country a lot has been lost. So, buy a small flag. Decorate your bike.
(a Golden Oldie)

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Dueling Models

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce put out a report Wednesday that says the EPA's coming proposal to cut carbon dioxide emissions from power plants  will eventually kill 224,000 jobs and cause $50 billion in economic losses a year.

The Natural Resources Defense Council will produce its own report taking the opposite view. It will say the administration's rule will create thousands of new green jobs, save consumers billions on utility bills and of course decrease pollution.

The EPA has a third opinion. "The EPA projects that, in 2030, the significant reductions in the harmful carbon pollution and in other air pollution, to which this rule would lead, would result in net climate and health benefits of $48 billion to $82 billion,” the agency proposal says.

Where any of these numbers come from--especially the health benefits translated into dollars--is not explained. But I'm sure in each of these departments the models and the numbers they generated were reached by consensus.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Cab Thoughts 7/2/14

"I have not the pleasure of knowing my reader but I would stake ten to one that for six months he has been making Utopias, and if so, that he is looking to Government for the realization of them."--Bastiat

Corruption costs taxpayers about $1,308 per person more per year in states with the most corruption, compared to states with average corruption levels, a report in Public Administration Review says. Attorney General Kathleen Kane last year spoke of “untold millions” in public costs as a result of a Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission corruption scandal. (A grand jury alleged bribery and bid-rigging.) Former Turnpike officials maintain their innocence. A state contract awarded in the 1980s to Computer Technology Associates, an obscure California company whose owner offered bribes to Pennsylvania pols, was much higher than one offered by a “Big Eight” accounting firm, said former U.S. Attorney James West, who prosecuted people tied to the case. 
Justice Department data place Pennsylvania historically among the 10 most corrupt states.

Chelsea Manning, nee Bradley Manning, is serving a 35-year prison sentence on espionage charges and other offenses for passing along 700,000 secret documents, including diplomatic cables and military intelligence files, to anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks in the largest-scale leak in US history. Manning has an editorial in the NYT about Iraq. Why would we have an editorial by a convicted spy in the NYT?

Who was.....Cecil Woodham-Smith?

Statistics show that people with bad credit file claims something like 40 percent more frequently than those with good credit. So your credit history affects your car insurance premiums.

It takes 2,500 gallons of water and three-quarters of a gallon of oil to make a pound of hamburger. Or so they say.

In September, 2013, an Israeli soldier, Sgt. Tomer Hazan, 20, was killed by a Palestinian man with whom the sergeant worked at a restaurant in Israel. Security officials said the Palestinian man had lured the sergeant to the West Bank and killed him in the hope of trading his body for a brother imprisoned in Israel.

The average cost of an American wedding is $28,000. That is over 50% of the average American household income.

Writing about kidnapped women brought into American Indian war camps, Anne Butler writes, "...when separated from her cultural community, a woman could find that her decision-making and personal agency evaporated. Instead, now held by an enemy camp, a woman became quite powerless, transformed into a slave to be used for forced labor -- domestic, mercantile, or sexual." Let's see, after being carried off screaming after seeing her family--husband and children--being tortured  slowly to death, the women found they lost their "decision-making and personal agency?" 

Russia has instituted a 13% flat tax. Russia!

National rates of gun homicide and other violent gun crimes are strikingly lower now than during their peak in the mid-1990s, paralleling a general decline in violent crime, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of government data. Beneath the long-term trend, though, are big differences by decade: Violence plunged through the 1990s, but has declined less dramatically since 2000. Compared with 1993, the peak of U.S. gun homicides, the firearm homicide rate was 49% lower in 2010, and there were fewer deaths, even though the nation’s population grew. The victimization rate for other violent crimes with a firearm—assaults, robberies and sex crimes—was 75% lower in 2011 than in 1993. Violent non-fatal crime victimization overall (with or without a firearm) also is down markedly (72%) over two decades. According to DOJ’s Bureau of Justice Statistics, U.S. gun-related homicides dropped 39 percent over the course of 18 years, from 18,253 during 1993, to 11,101 in 2011. During the same period, non-fatal firearm crimes decreased even more, 69 percent. The majority of those declines in both categories occurred during the first 10 years of that time frame. Firearm homicides declined from 1993 to 1999, rose through 2006, and then declined again through 2011. Non-fatal firearm violence declined from 1993 through 2004, then fluctuated in the mid-to-late 2000s.

Nate Silver says the best time to fly is between 6 and 7 in the morning. Flights scheduled to depart in that window arrived just 8.6 minutes late on average. Flights leaving before 6, or between 7 and 8, are nearly as good.

Fifty-one percent of the Americans who responded to a Gallup poll conducted June 5-8 said that they do not believe the phrase “is honest and trustworthy” applies to President Barack Obama. The question has been asked eight times in the last six years and this is the first time a majority of respondents felt that way.

I read recently that O.J. Simpson wrote a suicide note after the murders.

Dr. Caleb Rossiter - an adjunct professor at American University, Washington DC - has been fired by the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS) when he wrote an OpEd in the Wall Street Journal describing man-made global warming as an "unproved science." In the article Rossiter argued that Africans should benefit from the same mixed energy policy as Americans rather than being denied access to fossil fuels.
That is a very good way to build consensus.

Golden oldie:
A makeshift bomb exploded at a Nogales, Ariz., power plant.

Fascinating overproduction risk of solar in Hawaii. The local utility is cutting back on approval of home-based solar units. According to the utility, HECO: "This unprecedented rapid growth in rooftop solar in Hawaii has resulted in some neighborhood circuits reaching extremely high levels of photovoltaic [penetration]. An increasing number of distribution-level circuits have rooftop PV capacity exceeding 100 percent of the daytime minimum load, the trigger for interconnection studies and possible implementation of safety measures or upgrades before new PV systems on that circuit can be interconnected to the grid."
More, the grid is built for one-directional deliverance of electricity, and now, the utility has to deal with bidirectional electricity so, for safety reasons, circuit breakers must be installed.

Bigotry: Origin: late 16th century (denoting a superstitious religious hypocrite): from French, of unknown earlier origin. Google has a definition of "bigotry" they have taken verbatim from the Oxford Dictionary: "Bigoted attitudes; intolerance toward those who hold different opinions from oneself: the report reveals racism and right-wing bigotry."
My understanding of "right" and "left" has always been that of economic and governmental policies. Left and right "wing" was a reference to the National Assembly in France (1789–91), where the nobles sat to the president's right and the commons to the left.
The terror organization ISIS is said to have looted $429 million from the central bank in Mosul after it took control of the Iraqi city, making it the world’s richest terror group. (International Business Times) Now there's a business.
AAAAAAaaaaaaaannnnnnddddddddd...........a picture of a baby woolly mammoth considered to be the most complete example of the species ever found, at the Natural History Museum. She died in the Yamal peninsula of Siberia around 42,000 years ago:
Mammoth researcher Professor Adrian Lister

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Thinking Outside the Tub

An old man asks his doctor, “How do you determine whether or not an older person should be put in an old age home?”
“Well,” he said, “we fill up a bathtub, then we offer a teaspoon, a teacup and a bucket to the person and ask them to empty the bathtub.”
“Oh, I understand,” he said. “A normal person would use the bucket because it is bigger than the spoon or the teacup.”
“No” he said. “A normal person would pull the plug. Do you want a bed near the window?”