The Solution to the Bungling Bureaucracy that gave us Solyndra is to add more Bureaucracy

Posted by PITHOCRATES - February 11th, 2012

Week in Review

Big Government has failed.  So to fix Big Government those in government say the solution is to make government bigger (see Energy Loan Oversight Is Needed, Audit Finds by JOHN M. BRODER posted 2/10/2012 on The New York Times).

The Department of Energy’s loan guarantee program for alternative energy projects, which produced the ill-fated loan to the solar panel maker Solyndra, needs more rigorous financial oversight and stricter performance standards for recipients to reduce the chance of future defaults, according to an audit conducted by the White House and released Friday.

So the way to fix this bureaucratic mess is to add more bureaucracy.  Grow the size of government.  Spend more taxpayer money to provide more oversight on worthless taxpayer-financed investments.  Interesting.  Only in government.  Where they fix failures by doing even more of the same.

But it doesn’t end with Solyndra.

Solyndra and Beacon are not the only loan recipients to find themselves in trouble. Fisker Automotive, an electric car maker in Irvine, Calif., has missed some milestones that were written into its loan agreement, so the Energy Department has cut off credit. As a result, Fisker has stopped work on the conversion of an old General Motors factory in Wilmington, Del., that is supposed to produce an electric sedan, and laid off more than 60 employees and contractors.

Spokesmen for Fisker and the Energy Department both said that the terms of the loan were confidential and they would not say precisely what milestones were missed, but Roger Ormisher, a spokesman for the company, said, “We admitted very openly we were late to market with the Karma,” the company’s $102,000 sporty sedan. Fifteen hundred have been built and “a few hundred” sold, he said. Progress was slowed by a safety recall.

It wasn’t just an electric sedan.  But a sporty sedan.  And a fairly luxurious one at that coming in at $102,000.  But will people buy it?  Probably not.  You see, the biggest problem electric cars have that prevents the masses from buying them is range.  They just don’t go far on a single charge.  Especially if you use the headlights or heater.  And you can’t recharge them quickly.  Which means if you run out of charge you can’t have a friend drive out a gas can full of charge to pour into the tank.  You run out of charge on the road and you’re paying for a tow home. 

And making any car ‘sporty’ just compounds the problem.  Because if you’re accelerating quickly you drain the battery faster.  And this is the car the government is subsidizing.  Of course this is going to be another Solyndra.  No one’s going to buy this car.  Unless the government subsidizes the bejesus out of it to bring that $102,000 down to something closer to $15,000.  Where people may put up with the inconvenience of driving nothing but one short trip a day.  At least, until they get their electric bill.  Because electricity isn’t free.  And if you’re charging up a battery than can make are car zoom sportily along, it’s going to have some big batteries.  And long charge times.  Making big electric bills.

If they are going to add oversight they need to add it at the level where they decide to back these losers.  Before the money goes out.  Or, better yet, they should just stop investing in these losers.  If a company can’t get investment capital there’s a reason.  They don’t have a good idea.  At least, not one anyone will risk their own money on.

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Trump Blasts the Scots for Planning to Build Windmills off the Coast of his Golf Resort

Posted by PITHOCRATES - February 11th, 2012

Week in Review

Putting up windmills in the country is one thing.  Sure, the famers may hate not being able to get a decent night’s sleep because of the incessant noise from the windmills but what are they going to do about?  They’re poor farmers.  It’s not like they’re rich (see Angry Donald Trump blasts plans for Scottish wind farm near his luxury golf resort by Associated Press posted 2/10/2012 on The Washington Post).

Trump has launched a blistering attack on Scotland’s First Minister Alex Salmond over plans to build a “horrendous” wind farm off the coast of his luxury Scottish golf resort. In an open letter, Trump accuses Salmond of being “hell bent on destroying Scotland’s coast line and therefore Scotland itself…”

He ridicules the Scottish National Party’s renewable energy policies, claiming the economic benefit is going to China and other countries, not Scotland.

 “Jobs will not be created in Scotland because these ugly monstrosities known as turbines are manufactured in other countries such as China. These countries, who so benefit from your billions of pounds of payments, are laughing at you!” Trump said.

Trump isn’t alone.  The late Ted Kennedy felt the same way.  Back when they were trying to install windmills in Nantucket Sound that could provide three-fourths of Cape Cod’s power cleanly without any carbon footprint Kennedy said whoa now, just wait a minute.  This champion of green energy said windmills are all well and fine when they spoil someone else’s view.  But not ours.  We’re rich.  Put them someplace else.

It just goes to show you that rich people don’t like green energy.  At least, not when it’s in their own backyard.  But at least Trump notes an economic argument as well.  And then there’s the fact that sometimes the wind doesn’t blow.  Which is why windmills have a pretty low capacity factor (only 20-40% of the installed capacity is typically generated).  A lot of money for little benefit to combat the lie of man-made global warming.  If Trump knows anything it’s return on investment.  So not only will they spoil his view they’ll do so for a bad investment.  Which must just add insult to injury for an investor like Trump.

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Europe could use a Little Global Warming this Winter as Record Frigid Temperatures and Snow Continue

Posted by PITHOCRATES - February 11th, 2012

Week in Review

Europe has some of the most stringent environmental policies in place in all the world.  They are taxing carbon.  And eliminating carbon sources of energy (i.e., fossil fuels) and trying to replace them with clean green sources of energy.  Such as windmills.  And solar power.  Because man-made global warming is killing the planet.  And man (see Ice grips Europe’s waterways as deadly cold lingers by Laura Smith-Spark posted 2/10/2012 on CNN).

Europe remained gripped by frigid temperatures and snow Friday, with the icy weather closing much of the Danube River to shipping and disrupting travel across the region.

Central and Eastern Europe have borne the brunt of the unseasonably bitter weather, which has led to hundreds of deaths and thousands of cases of frostbite and hypothermia.

Twenty-two countries have posted warnings for extreme cold temperatures and accumulating snow, CNN meteorologist Brandon Miller said…

The situation has improved, he is quoted as saying, since the government declared a state of emergency in 38 municipalities. Authorities are now focusing on getting food to people in the worst-affected areas, the news agency said.

Five more people died of hypothermia overnight in Poland, according to the Interior Ministry, the website of the publicly funded Polish Radio reported, taking the total number of cold related deaths there to 97…

In a sign of the extreme weather conditions, the city hospital in Split, Croatia, has used two years’ supply of plaster in only five days; a result of treating the high number of fractures caused by slips on the snowy and icy terrain, Miller said.

Then again when temperatures rise people don’t tend to suffer from frostbite, hypothermia or freeze to death.  They don’t slip on ice and break bones.  They don’t go hungry because shippers can’t get food to them because major commercial waterways freeze.  And speaking of food, when it’s warmer you even have a longer growing season.  In the hot and humid southern part of Asia the growing season is so long that they can get in two rice crops per growing season.  That’s one thing you can say about warm weather.  It isn’t trying to kill you.

Pity man can’t create global warming.  Just think of the lives we could save if we could.  But we can’t.  So the people in Europe must suffer.  And live at the mercy of Mother Nature.

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All Airbus A380s to be inspected for Cracks in Wing Brackets

Posted by PITHOCRATES - February 11th, 2012

Week in Review

All Airbus A380s to be inspected for cracks in wing brackets.  They’re not load-bearing but they’re important nonetheless.  These brackets attach the skin of the wing to the wing structural support.  A failure of one of these brackets is not likely to cause a wing to fall off.  But if the surface of the wing peels off it could cause some trouble from severe buffeting to a stall of the wing.  Apparently something Airbus does not believe is likely to happen.  It may be nothing as Airbus sent out a repair kit but didn’t ground the plane.  This may be just ‘erring on the side of caution’.  If one can really say that in aviation (see Safety check ordered for all Airbus A380 jets by The Associated Press posted 2/8/2012 on CBS News).

Europe’s air safety authority [EASA] ordered checks Wednesday on the entire global fleet of Airbus A380 superjumbo jets for cracks on parts inside the wings — extending a previous order for nearly a third of the planes to be inspected…

“These brackets are located on wing ribs which are not main load bearing structure, and, thus, the safe operation of the aircraft is not affected,” Airbus said in a statement. “Nearly 4,000 such brackets are used on the A380 to join the wing-skin to the ribs. Only a handful of brackets per aircraft have been found to have been affected.”

Still, EASA in its directive said that “this condition, if not detected and corrected, could potentially affect the structural integrity of the airplane.”

And here’s why Airbus is probably being honest and doing the right thing.  And probably would have even without the EASA stepping in.

Shares in Airbus parent company EADS were down 1.3 percent at euro26.61 ($35.00) in Wednesday afternoon trading.

If there is a problem and Airbus tries to hide it they have bigger problems on their hands.  For if a plane falls out of the sky because they tried to hide something they’ll be more than a 1.3% drop in the stock price.  For nothing will destroy the profitability of an aircraft manufacturer than an unsafe aircraft.  A state-owned company has no such pressure.  Because they don’t answer to stockholders.  Or have to make a profit.  Airbus does.  So hopefully this is a minor issue to resolve.  And the A380 will continue to fly safely.

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Tesla unveils a Sweet All-Electric Luxury Sports Car that may qualify for Tax Incentives and Rebates

Posted by PITHOCRATES - February 11th, 2012

Week in Review

Here’s a toy for the rich to add to their automobile stable.  Something to take out for the occasional cruise down Main Street.  And then quickly back to the garage while there’s still a charge in the battery to get you home.  To plug in overnight.  So you can do it again the next day (see Tesla Model X, All-Electric SUV slideshow posted on ABC News).

The company says it will go from zero to 60 in 4.4 seconds. (Courtesy Tesla)…

Tesla said production of the Model X would begin late in 2013, and the car would be ready for sale early in 2014. Prices might range from $55,000 to $75,000 before tax incentives and rebates, depending on whether a buyer chooses two- or four-wheel drive and various other options. (Tim Rue/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Pretty car.  And nimble.  But excluded from this slideshow is the distance one charge will take you.  Which I’m guessing won’t be far if you’re accelerating from zero to 60 in 4.4 seconds.  Or driving at night with the headlights on.  Or somewhere cold with the heat on.  No, you’re not taking this car on any long road trips.  For unlike the great gasoline-powered roadsters this car must stay within a small radius from home.  Because you just can’t recharge batteries like you can fill a gasoline tank.  Quickly.

Being that this will be a toy for the rich are tax incentives and rebates really necessary?  I mean, should we be subsidizing a luxury car for those who can already afford a luxury car?

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Study links Breast Cancer to Birth Control and Abortion

Posted by PITHOCRATES - February 11th, 2012

Week in Review

We live in a very sexualized world.  And a very liberated world.  Women are encouraged to enjoy their sexuality.  And they are.  They have bought a fortune of sexy lingerie from Victoria’s Secret.  Even watch their annual lingerie show celebrating the female body.  Yes, even the ladies watch this fashion show.  Because both women and men are buying their products.  Including the Miracle Bra.  To showcase their breasts.  Which women like to showcase.  And men like to window shop at these showcases.  For men like breasts.

So in this sexualized and liberated world we empower women by letting them get sexy to please men.  Not really sure how that empowers them but it does.  I heard women say so.  I’m not complaining, mind you.  I mean, who doesn’t enjoy window shopping?  But as it turns out breasts have another purpose besides pleasing men.  They have a physiological purpose.  They’re part of a system that produces milk for babies.  A pretty complex system.  That goes through a metamorphosis when a woman gets pregnant.  Biological changes.  Changes at the cell level.  Complex stuff for a complex system.  But in the modern era of birth control and abortion, that process is getting interrupted.  Or prevented from happening.  And apparently for the human body to remain healthy this process needs to happen.  For when it’s not allowed to something bad happens.

Research has shown that babies who are breast-fed have fewer allergies than babies who are bottle-fed.  Which could, perhaps, explain an explosion in allergy problems.  But mothers who don’t become mothers are apparently doing even more harm to themselves.  Women who don’t have babies, who have babies late in life, women who have abortions and women who bottle-feed their babies have higher incidences of breast cancer.  Apparently due to the prevention or interruption of that biological metamorphosis.  Stopping that change in cells mid-change.  Leaving an unnatural cell.  And apparently a cell susceptible to cancer.

As women who have children at a younger age and don’t have abortions have lower incidences of breast cancer this will be a very contentious issue.  (As breast feeding is back in vogue that part of the study shouldn’t prove to be contentious).  The science will be challenged and challenged again.  For if these findings are proven true, they say a healthy woman is a mother.  Raising a family.  Which many in the political debate will find unacceptable.  So read the study (see The Breast Cancer Epidemic: Modeling and Forecasts Based on Abortion and Other Risk Factors by Patrick S. Carroll posted on jpands.org).  Discuss it with your doctor.  And get other medical opinions.  Just be informed.  And be aware of all the information out there.  Even the information that proves not to be popular.

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