Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Turning Sunlight Into Oil

There was an interesting article in POPSCI last month about a new technology to make fuel/oil from carbon dioxide and sunlight — effectively making fuel out of thin air.

• Making fuel/oil
• Using sunlight
• Consuming CO2
      This news is GREENER than GREEN.

This is HUGE, even as it stands. If it pans out at a larger scale, then it's HISTORIC.

UPDATE: A Technology Review article confirms the demonstration of a prototype device, the first step out of the laboratory and toward full-scale operation.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Warning Flags, Ignored

Let's see — Here are a few things we know (from the news reports) about the piece of sub-human garbage who tried to kill a large number of humans on Christmas:
    • He bought a one-way ticket
    • He paid cash
    • He apparently bought it pretty close to the last minute
    • He checked in with no checked baggage

All these are things we have been told ad infinitum would always produced detailed secondary screening. But it's pretty clear no secondary screening — detailed or otherwise — ever took place. If it had, that screening would probably have turned up the fact that
    • He had been reported as a dangerous extremist to US and foreign authorities by his father,
    • He had been denied a re-entry visa (to return to school) by the British,
    • He was associated with al Qaeda in Yemen, which has claimed the blame for this attack, and
    • He was on a warning list of dangerous, terror-connected individuals, even though
    • He hadn't (yet) been promoted to the no-fly list

These are just a few warning flags. I've no doubt there were more.

It looks to me like the bureaucrats of the Transportation Security Agency (TSA) really don't know what they're doing. As a result, they are mainly just hassling ordinary passengers without doing what's needed to make us safer.

One more thing: After Richard Reid, the "shoe bomber", tried to blow up a plane over the Atlantic 8 years ago, we all had to start taking off our shoes for screening. Since this guy had his PETN explosive in his underwear, will we have to start taking ours off for TSA?

UPDATE: Another missed warning flag — on his way to a frigid city, he had no coat.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Cash for Corruptocrats

This phase of the battle over the Democrat “health care” bill is over, and its finish was spectacular — and I mean that in the worst possible way. Harry Reid and his cronies demonstrated conclusively that they have no scruples whatever. Not only did Harry and his friends completely shut out the Republicans from having any input on the bill at all, but they also shut out most Democrats and even most of the Democrats’ leadership.

Even so, they only way Harry Reid could “win” was to buy off — bribe — a number of his colleagues. Actually it’s worse than ordinary, garden variety bribery. Harry Reid didn't bribe the other senators with his own money — he bribed them and purchased their votes with our money. Michelle Malkin calls Harry Reid’s vote buying program Cash for Corruptocrats.

I guess I wouldn’t mind so much if, like in the other Cash for Clunkers program, this meant they would first be disabled and then taken out to be dismantled.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas

Wishing you all a blessed Christmas

Image thanks to ZIP

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Democrats' "Health Care" Bill

The Democrats in Congress say they want to reduce medical care costs, "bend the cost curve down", and cover those who don't have health insurance. They claim they will can do this in a way that will not increase the deficit, and will allow (!) those happy with their medical insurance to keep it.

To accomplish these noble goals, the Democrats have produced a "health care" bill. Their bill accomplishes none of these goals — and, in fact, makes every one of these problems worse.

Further, the Democrats pretend that those without health insurance cannot get health care. This is a lie, and they know it. They pretend that taking half a trillion dollars out of Medicare will improve it — another flagrant obvious lie. They pretend that dumping extra costs on the states is the same as reducing costs.

And that's before all the horse trading, diddling, extortion, and outright bribery conducted by Harry Reid (in back rooms excluding all Republicans and nearly all Democrats) to get the votes to pass this sack of (probably) unconstitutional crap. As a result, a small number of states will have their increased costs covered by the federal government. That means Harry Reid has arranged for the rest of us to pay all the increased costs for the states whose senators he needed to buy off as well as for our own. Among other things, that's a clear admission that the cost curve is about to be bent up, not down. And that they know it.

It also appears much of the bill is still in "conceptual language" rather than "legislative language". That means senators cannot actually determine what they are being asked to vote on. They're being asked to trust Dirty Harry Reid to fill that in later.

All of which says Daryl Cagle is right in his representation of the difference between the health plan and the health bill.
The whole thing is a fraud. And those pushing it know it is entirely fraudulent.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Democrats' Profligate Spending

The country is tightening its belt. There is 10% unemployment, and no inflation. Yet the Senate today joined the House — or perhaps I should say (more accurately) the Democrats in both bodies — in passing an omnibus spending bill that will cost us $1.1 trillion, and giving the agencies covered an average 10% budget increase.

The disconnect between the people of America and the leftist elites asserting their right to rule us is HUGE.

Harry Reid's Hate Speech

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) made his statement on the floor of the Senate, so I suppose he has some degree of limited immunity. But if he says, or has said, similar things elsewhere, he should be arrested for hate speech.

What did he say? Reid Compares Opponents of Health Care Reform to Supporters of Slavery "Reid argued that Republicans are using the same stalling tactics employed in the pre-Civil War era." Reid is also quoted as saying "When this body was on the verge of guaranteeing equal civil rights to everyone regardless of the color of their skin, some senators resorted to the same filibuster threats that we hear today."

In other words, he condemned opponents of his bill as being like the kind of Democrats we should have left behind long ago — the kind of Democrats who maintained slavery, the Democrats who pushed secession in the face of the anti-slavery views of the first Republican president (the president who ended slavery), the Democrats who later thwarted desegregation efforts for decades, the Democrats who opposed anti-lynching laws, and the majority of Democrats who voted against the civil rights acts. The kind of Democrat like Harry Reid.

That really is offensive projection. Apparently Harry Reid thinks we should be as bigoted and ignorant as he is. And he is deploying his offensive rhetoric in support of a massive disaster of a bill (much of which he continues to hide, even from his second-in-command) that is opposed by more than 60% of the people Senators and Congressmen are supposed to represent.

I think the Democrats, and especially their current (mis-)leaders, would do better to accept the racist history of the party and learn from it — and clean up their own act — rather than continuing to lie about it and impugn others for the past actions of their own party.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

The Official Response to Climategate

No comment is needed.

... if you show me yours

Barack and Michelle Obama held their first state dinner — and had their first state dinner gatecrashers. The next day's coverage said "It was not clear Wednesday night how close the Salahis [Michaele and Tareq Salahi] got to Mr. Obama and his wife, Michelle, or to the guests of honor, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh of India, and his wife, Gursharan Kaur." But later the same day, pictures appeared (e.g., here & here) showing Michaele with Vice President Joe Biden. By Friday, the White House released a photo showing the couple with President Obama and Prime Minister Singh.

The White House released this photo of President Obama as he greets Michaele and Tareq Salahi in the Blue Room of the White House before the State Dinner with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, left, of India, on Tuesday.
By Samantha Appleton, AFP/Getty Images

All of which is really just to show my favorite version of that picture (below) isn't a photoshop invented out of nothing.
Only the conversation is invented. Maybe.