According to the FBI Guns are not the Leading Cause of Death

Posted by PITHOCRATES - January 19th, 2013

Week in Review

As the gun control debate heats up emotions take over the debate.  For if calmer heads prevailed they would see we don’t have a gun problem after all (see White House petition demands ban on hammers and baseball bats by Joe Newby posted 1/12/2013 on the Examiner).

Citing FBI statistics showing that more people are killed by blunt instruments like hammers and baseball bats than rifles and shotguns, a petition at the White House website demands a complete ban on them, Fox News reported Friday…

“In 2005,” the petition says, “the number of murders committed with a rifle was 445, while the number of murders committed with hammers and clubs was 605. In 2006, the number of murders committed with a rifle was 438, while the number of murders committed with hammers and clubs was 618. In 2011, there was 323 murders committed with a rifle but 496 murders committed with hammers and clubs.”

“It’s clearly time to take action on hammers and baseball bats,” the petition adds.

The petition, unfortunately, missed the mark on the number of murders committed with blunt objects like hammers and clubs. According to the FBI, there were 608 murders reported that year using blunt objects, not 605. All of the other numbers in the petition match FBI crime statistics.

As we reported earlier this month, “personal weapons” like hands and feet were used in 905 murders in 2005 and 726 murders in 2011.

According to FBI statistics, knives and other sharp instruments were used in more murders than rifles and shotguns combined.

It’s not guns, hammers, baseball bats, knives, hands or feet that kill people.  People kill people.  Which is the only common thread in all of these deaths.  So do we ban guns, hammers, baseball bats, knives, hands and feet?  Even if it saves only one life?  Or should we make going to church mandatory so people learn right from wrong?  And the value of human life?  Which would save quite a few lives.  For one it would end abortion.

There have been 55,772,015 abortions in America since Roe vs. Wade (1973).  This averages out to 1.4 million abortions a year.  So by forcing people to go to church we could save up to 1.4 million lives a year.  Far more than they can save by banning guns.  For if you ban guns but don’t change people they will just use a hammer, baseball bat, knife, their hands or feet.

When you look at the facts with a calmer head the gun control debate becomes silly.  For guns are not making people kill.  They are only a means to an end.  If people want to kill other people they will.  If guns aren’t available they will go to the next weapon choice on their list.  Someone who has a seething anger that makes them want to kill will not simply start whistling a happy tune if he can’t legally buy a gun.  Chances are that this person will still act on that anger.  And hurt someone.   For that’s the funny thing about lawbreakers.  They don’t obey the law.  Murder is murder.  Whether the weapon is a gun.  Or a hammer, baseball bat, knife, hands or feet.

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Chinese Journalists fight State Censorship while American Journalists Self-Censor Themselves

Posted by PITHOCRATES - January 19th, 2013

Week in Review

The mainstream media in America is more like the propaganda arm of the Chinese Communist Party than the Chinese journalists who risk their lives and careers to report the truth.  The American media loves their president.  And fawn over him in a cult of personality.  Telling him things like, “Excellent job, Mr. President.”  And, “How wise of you to say that, Mr. President.”  And, “What a shame that YouTube video did to our consulate in Benghazi, Mr. President.”  President Obama can do no wrong in their eyes.  Something the Chinese Communists wish their media would be more like (see Former Beijing Publisher Honored For Resisting Censors by Sophia Fang posted 1/17/2013 on The Epoch Times).

Dai Zigeng, the publisher that was reported to have resigned recently after refusing to reprint state propaganda, was honored with the 2012 Most Influential Person award at a prominent Chinese media conference ceremony…

The censorship row against Southern Weekly, a liberal newspaper in southern China, was triggered when the Guangdong chief propaganda official Tuo Zhen altered the paper’s New Year’s edition to praise the Communist Party…

One of the regime’s mouthpiece media, the Global Times responded with an editorial titled “Southern Weekly issue prompts soul-searching over media’s role,” saying that the defiance displayed by Southern Weekly was incited by hostile foreign forces.

Dai was publisher of the Beijing News, a newspaper that was forced to reprint the Global Times’ attack. He refused, and resigned. The paper was made to print it anyway.

The Central Propaganda Department then commanded all municipal level newspapers to reprint the Global Times editorial. According to Hong Kong media Ming Pao, propaganda chief Li Qibao issued a “must print” mandate to newspapers that hadn’t reprinted the editorial. Standing Committee member of the Political Bureau of Chinese Communist Party, Liu Yunshan also reportedly helped with enforcement.

The U.S. doesn’t have a problem like this.  As the mainstream media doesn’t need “must print” mandates.  They are such sycophants of the Obama administration that they will write glowing pieces of propaganda without orders to do so.  And they will self-censor themselves.  They won’t report on anything that reflects poorly on the Obama administration.  Just ask yourself where was the reporting on Fast and Furious?  On Benghazi?  When he told the Russian diplomat he will have more freedom to address Vladimir Putin’s concerns on American missile defenses after the election?  Unless you caught it on Fox you probably didn’t hear about these things.

The mainstream media acts voluntarily like the propaganda arm of this administration.  While Chinese journalists risk their lives and careers to maintain journalistic integrity.  Something their counterparts in America know nothing about.  Having sold their journalistic souls just so they can be part of the “In” crowd.  So they can go to the best parties in Washington.  And rub shoulders with the beautiful people.  The rich and powerful.  And the celebrities.

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The Keynesian Fiat Economies are so Bad that the World is Turning back to Gold

Posted by PITHOCRATES - January 19th, 2013

Week in Review

Keynesians hate the gold standard.  They blamed it for the Great Depression.  Which they believed could have been avoided if the government printed more money instead of contracting the money supply.  For a Keynesian’s answer to everything is to expand the money supply.  So the government can spend more money.  This came to a head in the U.S. during the Seventies.  Foreign countries were converting their dollars into gold.  Because the U.S. was devaluating the dollar by printing so much new money.  So these countries took the gold instead.  Because you can’t depreciate gold.

The Seventies were a disaster.  It turned out that the government just couldn’t print money to pay its bills as the destruction they caused on the dollar devastated the economy.  So they backed off.  The Federal Reserve raised interest rates into the double digits to stamp out that destructive inflation.  The world didn’t return to a gold standard, though.  As most countries were still hard-core Keynesians who liked the ability to make money out of nothing so they can keep spending. But now the Eurozone is in a sovereign debt crisis.  The UK is slashing their NHS budget.  Japan is now spending twice their GDP and stuck in an economic slump going on for over two decades.  And as the U.S. is spending about 100% of its GDP they added a whopper of a new entitlement.  Obamacare.  The destruction of the dollar isn’t a question of if but when.  And now we’re seeing a quasi return to the gold standard as nations everywhere are losing faith in the ability of these Keynesian governments to spend responsibly (see A new Gold Standard is being born by Ambrose Evans-Pritchard posted 1/17/2013 on The Telegraph).

The world is moving step by step towards a de facto Gold Standard, without any meetings of G20 leaders to announce the idea or bless the project.

Some readers will already have seen the GFMS Gold Survey for 2012 which reported that central banks around the world bought more bullion last year in terms of tonnage than at any time in almost half a century.

They added a net 536 tonnes in 2012 as they diversified fresh reserves away from the four fiat suspects: dollar, euro, sterling, and yen…

Neither the euro nor the dollar can inspire full confidence, although for different reasons. EMU is a dysfunctional construct, covering two incompatible economies, prone to lurching from crisis to crisis, without a unified treasury to back it up. The dollar stands on a pyramid of debt. We all know that this debt will be inflated away over time – for better or worse. The only real disagreement is over the speed.

This is the inevitable result of Keynesian economics.  Reckless spending that destroys currencies.  And right now these countries stand in judgment of the U.S., the Eurozone, Great Britain and Japan.  Their social spending obligations have put them on a path towards currency destruction.  And they don’t want be around when that happens while holding dollars, euros, sterling, or yen.  Because they just won’t be worth the paper they’re printed on.

In Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged American Industrialists went on strike.  Walked away from their companies and disappeared.  Leaving their overregulated and overtaxed businesses to the government to do with them as they pleased.  Refusing to be economic slaves anymore.  They eventually migrated to a place called Galt’s Gulch somewhere in Colorado.  Where they made their own community.  And economy.  Where creators traded with other creators.  Using that one money that stood the test of time.  Gold.  For if you wanted to buy something in Galt’s Gulch you had to have gold.  For no one accepted cash there.  Some have been predicting we’ve been on the brink of something like this actually happening for the last 80 years or so.  And now it’s happening.  Only it’s not American industrialists turning on the U.S. government but the rest of the world.

Is it any wonder that sales of Atlas Shrugged have surged during the Obama administration?  These people are seeing what these countries see.  The decline of the U.S.  And the destruction of the dollar.  Thank you President Obama.

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Japan Turning to Wind Power after the Fukushima Nuclear Power Accident in 2012

Posted by PITHOCRATES - January 19th, 2013

Week in Review

Japan suffered a close call in 2012.  The nuclear power plant at Fukushima survived the massive earthquake.  But the resulting tsunami led to electric problems in the backup power systems.  Which led to the core meltdown.  Something that never happened before.  And is not likely to happen again.  Because they saw what that tsunami did.  And now can prepare these plants to handle future tsunamis.  Still, the Japanese are turning their back on nuclear power.  After it served them so well all these many years (see Japan to build world’s largest offshore wind farm by Rob Gilhooly posted 1/16/2013 on New Scientist).

By 2020, the plan is to build a total of 143 wind turbines on platforms 16 kilometres off the coast of Fukushima, home to the stricken Daiichi nuclear reactor that hit the headlines in March 2011 when it was damaged by an earthquake and tsunami.

The wind farm, which will generate 1 gigawatt of power once completed, is part of a national plan to increase renewable energy resources following the post-tsunami shutdown of the nation’s 54 nuclear reactors. Only two have since come back online…

The first stage of the Fukushima project will be the construction of a 2-megawatt turbine, a substation and undersea cable installation. The turbine will stand 200 metres high. If successful, further turbines will be built subject to the availability of funding.

To get around the cost of anchoring the turbines to the sea bed, they will be built on buoyant steel frames which will be stabilised with ballast and anchored to the 200-metre-deep continental shelf that surrounds the Japanese coast via mooring lines…

Another contentious issue is the facility’s impact on the fishing industry, which has already been rocked by the nuclear accident. Ishihara insists it is possible to turn the farm into a “marine pasture” that would attract fish.

The earthquake didn’t hurt the Daiichi nuclear reactor.  It was the tsunami.  Which flooded the electrical gear in the basement that powered the cooling pumps.  That same tidal wave that swept whole buildings out to sea.  Which it will probably do the same to those buoyant steel frames.  Which means instead of replacing downed power lines after another tsunami they will be replacing windmills.  Making the resulting power outage longer.  And more costly.

The wind farm will not generate 1 gigawatt.  It may have the potential to generate 1 gigawatt.  But that will be only when the winds cooperate.  They have to blow hard enough to spin the windmills fast enough to produce electric power.  But not too fast that they damage the windmills.  Which typically lock down in high winds.  Providing a narrow band of winds for power generation.

Buoyant windmills and underwater power cabling in fishing waters?  Sure, that shouldn’t be a problem.  What are the odds that a boat will run into a windmill?  Or snag an underwater power cable?  The odds of that happening are probably greater than another Fukushima-like accident.  And yet they’re shutting down their nuclear power.  To use floating windmills.

Incidentally, 143 windmills at 2 megawatt each only comes to 286 megawatts.  Not 1 gigawatt.  No, to get 1 gigawatt you’ll need 500 windmills.  Three and half times more than the 143 they’re planning to build.  If the one they start with works.  And they have the money for more windmills after they install the first one.

India has more wind and solar power than anyone else.  Yet they’re adding nuclear capacity because their wind and solar just can’t meet their power needs.  The Japanese should probably reconsider their position on nuclear power.  For even though wind power is green power and it will provide a lot of jobs it will result in massive debt.  And unreliable power.  That money would probably be better spent making improvements to their nuclear power.  Such as getting electric gear out of basements.  And providing a more failsafe power source for their cooling pumps.  For their nuclear plants can survive earthquakes.  And with these improvements they’ll be able to survive a tsunami.  All while providing reliable electric power.  Something windmills just can’t do.

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India leads the world in Wind and Solar Power but turns to Nuclear Power for Serious Power Generation

Posted by PITHOCRATES - January 19th, 2013

Week in Review

By 2012 India had about 1,045 MW of solar power capacity connected to their electric grid (see Year End Review of Ministry of New and Renewable Energy posted on the Press Information Bureau, Government of India website).  Available when the sun shines.  India had about 18,320 MW of wind power capacity attached to their electric grid.  Available when the wind blows.

In July of 2012 India suffered the largest power outage in history.  Approximately 32,000 MW of generating capacity went offline.  Putting about half of India’s population of 1.22 billion into the dark.  Which her solar and wind capacity was unable to prevent.  So even though they’re expanding these generating systems guess what else they’re doing?  Here’s a hint.  You don’t need as much land to make this power.  And a little of it can create a lot more electric power than solar or wind can (see Areva says India keen to start using EPR reactor by Geert De Clercq posted 1/17/2013 on Reuters India).

Negotiations about the sale of two French nuclear reactors to India are at an advanced stage and Indian authorities are keen to start using French nuclear technology, reactor builder Areva (AREVA.PA) said on Wednesday…

The World Nuclear Association expects India’s nuclear capacity will grow fourfold to 20,000 megawatts by 2020 from just under 5,000 MW today, making it the third-biggest market after China and Russia…

The third-generation European Pressurised Reactor (EPR), conceived following the 1986 Chernobyl disaster, has a double containment wall and a “core catcher” to contain core meltdown. Its 1,600 megawatt capacity is the largest on the market…

The planned site for the EPR reactors in Jaitapur – on the subcontinent’s Arabian Sea coast, 400 km south of Bombay and 230 km north of Goa – could receive up to six nuclear reactors, though at the moment only two EPRs are under consideration.

If you do the math that one site in Jaitapur will be able to produce 9,600 MW.  They’ve been building solar power for a decade or more and have only brought that capacity up to 1,045 MW.  That one nuclear power site will produce 9.2 times the power produced by all the solar power they’ve built to date.  And it doesn’t matter if it’s day or night.  That nuclear power will always be there.

To produce that additional 15,000 MW of nuclear power will only require building two nuclear sites like at Jaitapur.  To get this additional capacity they could double their wind power installations to add another 18,320 MW.  Of course if they did that power would only be available when the wind blew.  Which is why they are installing nuclear power.  Because it’s easier, less costly and more reliable.  And with good reliable power some 610 million people may avoid another power outage like that in 2012.  Or they can build more solar and wind.  And continue to set more records for power outages.

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