Reimagined and Revamped. Fighting the spread of nonsense often feels like a Sisyphean task. However, the joy is in making the information available, not the hope of conversion.

Money better spent?

[Note to reader, I'm trying to catch up on my blogging. I started writing this post over 6 months ago, so it may be a bit weird to read]


The other day I was thinking about this War in Iraq. Im sure I dont need to go into all the reasons its a stupid war. However, I , like many people have been disturbed by the amount of money we are spending ont his war. I, like many others think that money could be better spent.

Lets put a number on the cost of the war as of now. Some folks will pin this number at somewhere between 3 and 5 trillion dollars. Trillion. And I do get why the numbers add up that way, they are taking secondary and indirect expenses into account,as they should. Its hard to really worry about Obama's costs after 6 years of funding this nonsense.

As of right now, its about 500 billion dollars. If we stopped everything now, it would still get up to over a trillion dollars. Some pin the amount, using direct costs at 1.2 trillion. There are a lot of things you can buy with 1.2 trillion dollars. But lets talk about getting off carbon producing fuels and moving into renewables. If we started an apollo project on energy, could we go carbon free?

Dr. Richard Perez outlines how much solar we would need to ameliorate our energy issues. The clear idea here is that not only is there plenty of energy from the sun, but we get to have it year after year after year.

I wont go into all the challenges of going renewable. There is a lot, its substantial, but none of it is impossible. It will take work, and money.

How much? Well Solar buzz neatly outlines the entire market as it currently stands. A solar module costs over 4 dollars per watt, this does not include the installation costs, which can double this cost.

How much energy do you use? Well, the average family consumes about 2000 watts. [1] [2] This power is an average of daily use throughout the year. Obviously airconditioning in the summer consumes far more electricity than most any electricity use at any other time of year (unless you have electric heat). In a year, the average family has used up about 14,000 Kill watt-Hours of energy (the difference between power and energy is like the difference between horsepower of your car engine and the number of miles you can go).

OK, regardless of how much it costs for a family, lets look at how much electrical energy our country uses. As a country, we use about four trillion kilowatt-hours of electrical energy every single year (considering our population and GDP, that is pretty pathetic). Anyway, if we were to spend 100% of the war costs on solar panels, we would be able to supply...drum roll...

300 million kilowatts. A kilowatt for every person. Now we have to remember... this doesn't mean that that much power would be supplied by this amount of solar installed. You have to cut it by half, for day/night, and perhaps another 50% to deal with rainy days, snow, dust, age, etc. However, in America that 300 million population number include kids. Housholds tend to have more than one person in it, so really it does seem that the cost of the war could have been spent on applying solar to every home (even though, not every home is a candidate for solar).

That same article from Perez, by the way, points out that even though every home may not be able to have a solar installation (like apartment buildings), solar can be decentralized. That means power for some homes can come from solar installations that are above parking lots somewhere else in the state.

When I first did this calculation, I was disappointed. I figured that damn war cost so much in direct costs, we could have had renewable power for everyone. Its close, but there are still government, public and private corporations and industry which uses hoards of power. In fact, about half of all power is residential use, and the other half is everything else.

However, lets remember how we got here, we have spent literally trillions of dollars and millennia of man-hours creating an oil based economy, the expectation of switching over to to a renewable economy, one that allows us to completely forgo foreign supplies of energy (be it oil or even nuclear material) is a high mark indeed. But clearly it can be done, we had money to waste on baseless reasons to go to war, we can do it for ourselves.

In this article I focused on solar. There are plenty of other avenues for energy. We are best if we keep it decentralized if possible, renewable, and encouraged by our government.



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Test Post with Blogo

As I have written before, I recently switched to a mac, but I am still trying to find blogging software that rivals LiveWriter. I tried Mars Edit and Ecto, both of whch pale in comparison. This post was written with Blogo.

Mars edit was functional, but kind of annoying to use. I preferred Ecto. However ecto has a horrible habit of adding line breaks, so the posts come out poorly, and dog forbid I want to edit a previously posted entry, the line breaks got even worse.

The preview works pretty well (better than ecto), although why cant it just let me edit in the actual blog template like Livewriter does (well to some degree)? One of the features of blogo that is supposed to be good is dealing with pictures.

OK, pulling an image from the net is nice, you just drag it in, you dont need to copy a link and paste it. even the word wrap seems to work OK.

Anyway, so far so good. easy to install, pictures are easy, and hopefully the preview will be accurate. Here is their tagline from the website (obviously I'm just including it here to check out how quotes come out).

Easily publish text, images, videos, slideshows and more. With a simple, intuitive interface and support for Wordpress, Blogger, Typepad, Typo, Drupal, Joomla, and Expression Engine, Blogo is the best way to maintain your blog and spread the word with Twitter, Ping.fm and other supported services.

Obviously I have not checked it with all those blogging services, but for blogger and mac, to me, seems better than Mars or Ecto. Have a mac? What is your opinion?



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Holey Trinity

You know, when I read something like this, I get all warm an fuzzy inside. Really. How pathetic do you have to be to try to play a racism card with a minority?



Trinity of the GOP--Newt Gingrich,Ann CoulterandRush Limbaugh-- have taken to calling the Supreme Court justice nomineeSonia Sotomayora 'racist,'



Ahh good, its just those three, I think this means that this can be safely ignored. Really, how far out of context do you have to take something to try to twist it this way? It's not like she said "I'm latina and therfore I am better than a white man at being a justice" no matter how much they try to make it seem that way.


First off, the quote has been twisted (not surprisingly). Here is what she really said:



I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn’t lived that life...



Note, she is talking about a better conclusion, not better judge. Better conclusion about what? Well of course if you take the quote out of context, you have no idea what she is talking about. Lets put it back in context, she was talking about race and sex discrimination cases. Why might she draw a better conclusion than a white man "who hasn't lived that life"? Because presumably she has direct experience of the issues at hand, than someone, you know, who hasn't lived that life.


Did she even claim to be better in all judgements and conclusions with respect to race and sex? No, of course not, she merely claimed "more often than not". Why doesn't this make sense to these three twits. Might a fisherman be right about which lure to pick for catching some particular fish than someone who has never fished? I'm going to bet that more often than not, he will.


If this is the best that the GOP peanut gallery can come up with, I'm pretty sure we are going to see her as our next supreme court justice. The shining example of a floundering mess that is the GOP continues to amaze me.





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Thanks Jenny

 

Oh yay…

This is a trend happening all around the US. Cases of diseases we virtually eradicated are coming back because people are being convinced that the disease isn’t so bad, or that vaccines are some money extracting pogrom forced upon us by the government.

 

I keep thinking I would stop writing on this, but it keeps getting the better of me.

 

Get your damn kids vaccinated. If you think you somehow know better because a baby shot out from between your legs and that gave you magical knowledge that makes you know more than your pediatrician, go visit a hospital, go look at babies suffering because of parents who made similar decisions as you. You risk your own child's health, but worse, you risk the heath of the children who come in contact with you child.

That’s simply immoral.


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This just in!

 

Just got this in my gmail:

 

Gmail Team <jwwright4@gmail.com> to

May 17

Dear Account Owner,

Dear Account User,

This Email is from Gmail customer care and we are sending it to every Gmail accounts owner for safety. We are having congestion due to the anonymous registration of Gmail accounts so we are shutting down some Gmail accounts and your account was among those to be deleted. We are sending this email to you so that you can verify and let us know if you still want to use this account. If you are still interested please confirm your account by filling the space below.Your User name, password, date of birth and your country information would be needed to verify your account.

Due to the congestion in all Gmail users and removal of all unused Gmail Accounts. Gmail would be shutting down all unused Accounts, you will have to confirm your E-mail by filling out your Login Information below after clicking the reply button or your account will be suspended within 24 hours for security reasons.
* User name: ............................
* Password: ................................
* Date of Birth: ............................
* Country Or Territory: ....................

Warning!!!  Account owner that refuses to update his or her account within Seven days of receiving this warning will lose his or her account permanently.

Thank you for using Gmail !

The Gmail Team

G MAI L BETA

 

LOL! Yeah right. I’ll get right on that.


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Funkadelic

Just saw George Clinton. Holy Moly what a show! I don't care what kind of music you like, this is a show to see. None of that laser crap, and no smoke and special sound effects. Just awesome music, singing and moving. They have like 5 guitarists, 2 keyboardists, and everyone singing, ther must have been 20 people in that band. And a lot of it is hard!

I forgot how much I like p-funk, it was a real pleasure to see them. This was in fact my first time. Clinton is getting up there in his years. I don't know what will happen to this band after he is gone, so really, dont miss this. If they go to your area, make the trip.

George Clinton has always reminded me of a happy colorful Santa Claus.


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A Busty Woman named Paley

This is a recent interesting find. A small figurine made of ivory, that has been dated to  be 35,000 years old has been found in a cave in Germany. Its an amazingly old find, even though we have other evidence of tribal culture from that period of time. It always amazes me when creationists claim that there is no evidence of people prior to 6-10 thousand years ago, clearly there is, lots of it.

So leaving aside the techniques of carbon dating that have been reliably used for decades and gets better and better with time despite the constant (intentional?)misunderstanding of how carbon dating works by creationists.

Here is a better image of it:

So you are in a cave and you see this thing? How do you know its designed and not naturally occurring?

You may ask yourself a number of questions:

  • It is made of ivory…does ivory occur naturally in these surroundings?
  • Certainly the ivory came from a mammoth or other elephant like creature with tusks, presuming those were around and lost their tusks occasionally, would this be a shape we would expect to occur form natural processes?
  • Perhaps erosion and other natural processes are pinging our natural ability for paredolia. Do natural processes create symmetrical three-dimensional patterns? Do they do that while creating jagged cuts that go against the grain of the ivory?
  • And finally, is there any other evidence of human existence in the place that this piece of ivory was found?

 

Obviously ivory does not just grow naturally in caves. If it got in there naturally from an animal, its not a shape we would expect to be produced naturally. But we do assign faces and human shapes to things all the time (and then sell them on Ebay), but the fact the its symmetric (which reduces the chances of it being a natural pattern), and having evenly spaced lines that go against the grain of the ivory, truly suggests that no natural process did this. But its not just this figuring, the cave also had paintings and there have been other figurines found in nearby caves.

Famous finds were chiselled petrified wood, a harpoon amde of an antler and needles from the Magdalénien. From the Gravetien some javelin heads and ivory jewelry items.

This is the sort of thing we do to answer whether something is designed or not. Consider the answers for the  these questions if you consider a random rock in the cave and ask these same questions about it. There are tons of rocks all over the cave, made of the same material. There are fully understood mechanisms for those rocks to have gotten there. None of those rocks have shapes that even suggest human influence. The growth and erosion processes of the rocks are understood and can be observed. None of the marks on the rocks suggest any processes involved other than natural ones. And finally there is tons of evidence of other similar natural processes on other rocks in and outside of this cave.


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Thanks President Bush!

Betcha thought you'd never see that here!


Well let me introduce to you a nice little linky here to a Financial Assistance Funding Opportunity Announcement from a new department Called ARPA-E.


I'm pretty excited about this. Lets start with what ARPA-E is. Think DARPA, the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency, the folks who make the James Bond devices, and fund cool weapons research and all that cool stuff. But the Advanced Research Project Agency - Energy is similarly structured, but the project funded and promoted are related to energy research.


This group is making some noise these days because they are funding the tough stuff, the stuff that is having trouble getting out of the lab, more on that later. So what is ARPA-E?



The stated goal of ARPA-E is to enhance the Nation’s economic and energy security through research and development of technologies that reduce U.S. dependence on foreign energy sources, improve energy efficiency of the U.S. economy, reduce the impact of the energy sector on the environment, and ensure the U.S. leadership in developing energy technologies. To achieve this ARPA-E will support collaborative, targeted, high-risk, high pay-off research to accelerate the innovation cycle for transformational energy technologies.



Why do I thank Bush? He signed the law that created this group. Of course ARPA-E has gotten no funding until this year. That's a story we have heard before isn't it?


Anyway, the recovery act provided the DOE with over 16 billion dollars for energy research and development and implementation with two main goals:



(1) Enhance the economic and energy security of the United States through the development of energy technologies that result in-



  • a. reductions of imports of energy from foreign sources;


  • reductions of energy-related emissions, including greenhouse gases; and


  • improvement in the energy efficiency of all economic sectors; and




(2) Ensure that the United States maintains a technological lead in developing and deploying advanced energy technologies.



I know half of the country thinks the recovery act is bad news. It may be. My attitude is that after spending like this after the 1929 crash and WWII, the American economy shot up and much can be attributed to good infrastructure, educational institutions and science. It took a long time, but we got the national debt back down, even to the point where for the first time in many decade we were talking about surpluses. we can do this again by leading in fields like medicine and energy, supplying the world with know how and products that can't be found elsewhere. If we do not make these investments, we will be surpassed by other countries who are already on the road to supremacy in these areas.


Anyway, back to ARPA-E. They did not receive even 5% of the overall DOe funding, but they still got a good chunk, 400 million. This money will be spent on things that are not obvious improvements. This money isn't going to go towards improving gas mileage by 1%, or improving yields of solar panels by 5%. We are talking about proposals that are supposed to be transformational. Here is their description of the projects they might help to fund.



Transformational energy technologies are those that have the potential to create new paradigms in how energy is produced, transmitted, used, and/or stored. Such advances are characterized by a clear view of a desired outcome, an understanding of the barriers that intervene, and innovative pathways toward a new frontier. They have the potential to radically change understanding of important energy-related concepts or to lead to the creation of new energy-related fields. As breakthroughs, they often depend on technical approaches that are novel, emergent, integrative,or enabling, and fall outside the established constructs of existing mission-directed or discipline-oriented programs.


Once the technology is identified, where does ARPA-E help to support it?


ARPA-E will fund scientists and technologists to take an immature technology that promises to make a large impact on the ARPA-E Mission Areas (see Section I.B) and develop it beyond the “valley of death” that prevents many transformational new technologies from becoming a market reality. The “valley of death” generally occurs in two phases. The first phase occurs at the point of determining whether a laboratory stage technology can ever become a real-world technology or it has some inherent unsuitability for real-world applications. Once it has been determined through R&D that the apparent barriers can be overcome and how they may be overcome, then additional investment from many other sources causes a new field of technology options to open up. The second phase of the “valley of death” occurs at the point of developing the immature transformational technology to the point where key risks have been lowered enough that industry can invest in the final stages of development and incorporate the technology into products.



This funding is not intended to be an endless supply of government cash. Its intended to get a technology off the ground. If its a lab demonstration, then the funding could be used to get a system going. If a prototype has been made, this funding can be used to create a relevant size and install it in a real application to help discern actual real life boundaries and obstacles.


This is exactly what we needed. I wish we had it earlier.




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I do like this sort of thing.

When done properly.

Shane Fitzgerald, a student at Dublin university, altered a Wikipedia page shortly after French composer, Maurice Jarre, died. The idea was to see how information gets passed in this media intensive world. He suspected that deadlines and pressure to present a story first leads to, perhaps, laziness and lack of quality controls, with respect to the journalistic product.

Looks like he was right, although I must say its not too surprising.

The quote he added to a Wikipedia page was:

"One could say my life itself has been one long soundtrack…Music was my life, music brought me to life, and music is how I will be remembered long after I leave this life. When I die there will be a final waltz playing in my head that only I can hear."

Sounds artsy and something that a composer might in fact say. Good work. Wikipedia, contrary to what some conservatives might say, actually flagged the quote as unsubstantiated and, according to the article, deleted it twice (and its gone now too).

But what happened?

The sociology major's obituary-friendly quote …flew straight on to dozens of U.S. blogs and newspaper Web sites in Britain, Australia and India. They used the fabricated material…even though administrators at the free online encyclopedia twice caught the quote's lack of attribution and removed it.

A full month went by and nobody noticed the editorial fraud. So Fitzgerald told several media outlets they'd swallowed his baloney whole.

Pathetic. The article gives some advice to future lazy journalists.

"The moral of this story is not that journalists should avoid Wikipedia, but that they shouldn't use information they find there if it can't be traced back to a reliable primary source," said the readers' editor at the Guardian, Siobhain Butterworth, in the May 4 column that revealed Fitzgerald as the quote author.

This is not advice to journalists…this is advice to everyone. That is how you use Wikipedia! Wikipedia is not the end point in when looking for data to back up an argument or present a fact…its the starting point! “Wikipedia said so” is not a good argument. No one should be using it that way. It is useful for basic, uncontested data, perhaps the atomic weight of an element, or President Washington's first name. But if you really want to be able to present an argument based on real evidence, use Wikipedia to start your searches, not end them.

Anyway, to Mr. Fitzgerald, good on you! To blogs and newspapers who credulously reported the first thing they could find. Boo!


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techBit: Atheist Housing

I have a quick question for the world. I was looking a renting out a room to a college student or something, and I was using Craig's List to advertise for it (yeah, I know about the number of creepozoids on Craig's List, I'll be fine).

Anyway, when advertising for housing, you are not allowed to discriminate. Unless you are renting a room in a house, then you can discriminate with regard to sex.

But you are not allowed to say "No muslims", or "Jews Only" or anything like that. Here is the description on this item from the fair housing act as summarized by Craig's List.

2. religion
  • postings stating a preference for the religion of a desired applicant
    (eg. "Christians only," "no Muslims," etc)

  • postings describing the religion of current occupants of the complex
    or neighborhood (eg. "nice, Christian neighborhood", or "Jewish family
    seeks roommate," etc)
Atheism isn't a religion.

Can I write "Atheists only?" Isn't that the same as specifying "college degree required" or "Only for people who where hats"?

Not that I would be interested in doing that, I'm just wondering.


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AGW Prediction

869B2928-17D1-4FA8-B8E9-BBAC7158ACFC.jpgA good question that is often asked of skeptics, or folks making a claim, "What would it take to change your mind?"

Its a very good question, one that forces you to think about why you believe what you believe and often asks you to make a prediction. One such question asked of atheists, for example, is, "What would it take for you to believe in God". Ebonmuse has answered that far more effectively than I did.

How about my views on Global Warming which have been made pretty clear on this blog? What would it take for me to change my mind on that?

This article got me thinking on that question. Why? Well because, if you go to any Global Warming Denialism site, you will see that a common thing that is claimed is that the earth has been cooling since 1998. And, if you limit you data set to only 1998 until now, you will see that this case could be made, even if you remove the 1998 peak.

7D7C7F68-5FED-4C3D-A194-B7A3C292012E.jpg


What the hell? The thing is, there is not a single global warming scientist who thinks that CO2 is the only cause of temperature rise. Temperature rise is a result of a number of forcing functions, secondary forcing functions, and system parameters. Lets think of your house for a moment.

Why do you insulate your house? You insulate it to try to decouple the temperature of the inside to be as unrelated to the temperature outside of your house as possible. The better that you do this, the easier it is to control the temperature and the less energy (read as dollars) you use to make changes to the temperature inside your house.

So the more insulation you have, the less that the temperature outside your house will affect the temperature inside the house, and the more effect your wood burning stove on raising the temperature of your house. That is why investments in the insulation of your home can pay for itself in just a few years.

CO2 acts as insulation for the planet as do other green house gases. You can thank CO2 and other GHGs for our nice warm planet that has sustained all sorts of life for eons. However, unlike the insulation in your house, CO2 has hardly any insulating powers with respect to visible light. Visible light comes in through our atmosphere, much of which gets to converted to infrared light as it gets absorbed and re-emited (converted) to infrared energy. This energy, CO2 and other GHGs are good at keeping in, hence warming, just like the fireplace and your insulated house.

The planets climate is far far more complicated than this description above, but that is the basics. So what the hell has been going on since 1998?

Well 1998 was an El Nino year. For reasons I won't go into here, thats a the cause of an exceptionally warm year (apparently there are other ones too). But since then... why no continued strong rise? Well, what's been up with the number one forcing function, the sun?
398CCF68-4EB1-4F26-81C4-757BFC681593.jpg


We are a low trough in solar insolation. For some reason the sun was a little sluggish in getting back on track with its normal rise in irradiance. This usually comes with an increase in sunspot activity. Well apparently, we have just started to see the expected sunspot activity.

So finally we get to my prediction: We will not only see the trend in rise in temperatures, but we will, over the next 10 years, see a new record.

Its not a hard one, but at least it should shut up the silly folks who are trying to claim that global warming is over. I will completely stop believing in global warming if the trend does not go back to rising at the rate is was in the decades before 1998.

A little sidenote, when I look at the global temperature graph I showed above, its pretty amazing to me that there was almost zero cooling at all, despite some curbs on CO2 emissions in europe and the drop in solar insolation. To me that is stronger evidence for AGW.

Sadly, this is not as strong a prediction as I would like. Here is why,
If the prediction proves correct it will be the weakest cycle since a peak of 78 daily sunspots in 1928.


So since this may not be as strong a cycle as recent sun cycles, we may not see a record breaking year. But I am willing to bet that we will, since we have done virtually nothing globally to curb our CO2 and methane emissions (methane is 20 times stronger as a GHG as CO2).

Unlike other "skeptics", I will actually review my understanding of global warming and will likely change my mind about it if this doesn't happen.




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Nice religious upbringing

Read this article.D9B51C8C-B9A9-4781-9EB2-60E1F69ADCD1.jpg

This kid (mom shown to the right) started out with phony phone calls and then "allegedly" moved up to being paid to perform bomb threats at schools so his customers could miss a day.

Mom, completely endorsed his original phone call activities:

“I heard the prank phone calls he made,” says Annette Lundeby of Oxford. “They were really funny prank phone calls…. He made phone calls to, like, Walmart.”

But no bomb threats, right Mrs. Lundeby?

Lundeby denies knowing anything about her son staging bomb hoaxes. But she admits seeing a YouTube video in which “Tyrone” jokes that he’s hidden a bomb in a box of take-out chicken.


So which is it, you didn't know anything about bomb threats or you heard him joking about bomb threats?

What were these 'funny' phone calls the mother was encouraging her son to make?

...laced with profanity and racist slurs...


Oh mom, how charming, you are doing such a wonderful job. If you read the article (more versions from many sources can be found all over the internet), you can get a picture of how deluded this woman is about her son's activities. Granted she is trying to keep him out of jail.

This particular case got some notoriety because one news source simply parroted her ignorant claim that their house was raided using Patriot act authority. No such thing happened though. You can't call in bomb threats, they raided based on far older traditional laws as far back as 1939.

OK, enough fun, this woman is raising her child to be a racist, hateful sociopath. Why am I writing about this? Well because its just yet another case where we can see that religion has nothing to do with morality. This kid is homeschooled, taken to church every weekend. I thought religion was supposed to instill a moral foundation. Funny, I don't believe in any fairy tale nonsense about gods and zombies, but I don't call in bomb threats for money or make hurtful, racist phone calls. Even when I was 15.


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As we all freak out….

…about Obama’s gigantic budget, can we please remember that this is a rise of 16%? The budget that Bush submitted for 2009 was 3.1 trillion, which was a 55% increase from when he took office. For 2006, Bush increased the budget by 12.5%.

I’m not saying that its fine and dandy that Obama is increasing the budget, all I’m saying is that it seems that people are making it out to be some unheard of thing to raise the budget, even by that amount, when the last time that didn’t happen was in the Clinton era.

Further, its not like its a surprise. I’m surprised the rise is that little. Let’s see next year if it gets reigned in or goes even higher. We can place bets if you like. I’m going with little (< inflation) or no increase. How about you?

It would help if the news media could just be accurate for once. Is it 3.6 or 3.4 trillion?  The rise would only be 9% if the latter. I think the right answer is 3.6, from the source. But according to that, this is a reduction in outlays from 2009. So, looks like a little more digging is required, to understand what happened between Bush’s 2009 budget and actual outlays in 2009.

Its quotes like this that are so misleading:

"With Democrats in Congress adding to the national debt at the rate of more than $100 billion every month already this year, and with a budget that triples the already unsustainable public debt over the next decade, it is clear that there is not much more that we can do to protect our children and grandchildren from the unprecedented trillions in additional debt proposed by this administration," Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, said on the Senate floor

Yeah, that is bad, you know like when his party was in power. It’s got nothing to do with who’s in congress and everything to do with the assumptions like GDP growth and costs of programs and simple lack of will and discipline required to get out of deficit spending. On assumptions, you can only do the best you can with available data, but on costs of programs, I can only hope we have good people in charge who will actually limit budgets to the numbers that are allotted.

Plus i’d like to know how he came up with “tripling” the debt. Its currently over 11 trillion dollars, Bush inherited something closer to 6 trillion. Obama’s projections add another 6 trillion. Sorry adding 60% is not tripling.  So McConnell's party almost doubles the debt, and now they are claiming Obama is going to triple it on top of that? Seems like a flat out lie.

I am saddened to see such a poor showing of spending over the next 8 years. Its deficit spending the whole time.

I was, and still am, under the impression that fixing health care (nationalizing it) will make it more efficient, and less expensive. But I think that calculation will have to take into account how much more we are going to pay in taxes versus how much less we, and businesses, pay in insurance and medical fees.

I want the strongest military on the planet, but does it have to be over 100% stronger than anyone else? How about 50%?

I want to spend money on energy development and infrastructure, but perhaps the gains form those activities wont be realized until long after Obama is gone. It could even be a whole generation away.

Can’t we get rid of non-essential programs like NCCAM, faith based anything, and any program that has already failed to demonstrably provide claimed benefits? I am hardpressed to believe that there are not many many more places where we can take Obama’s metaphorical scalpel.


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Ghost Town

You may have noticed that the tumbleweeds have been blowing by here. I have not gone. I am not taking a hiatus. Sadly, this is another one of those times where real life is intruding on my ability to get posts out.

I have some good ones 1/2 written (still), and I am slowly working on some skeptical thinking projects, for web and I am starting to teach myself how to make apps for my iPhone. I have some snarky apps in mind.

This dumb post is a result of my buying a Mac (no other way to progrsm iPhone apps) and trying out MarsEdit as a blogging tool. I was very comfortable with LiveWriter, which seems better and easier to do what you want from the start. But then again I have been away from macs for 15 years and have been playing with this for 10 minutes. So it may be premature.

Anyway, bear with me, I'll be back soon


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