When UN Diplomats aren’t busy Solving the World’s Problems they’re getting busy with Strippers

Posted by PITHOCRATES - September 29th, 2013

Week in Review

The United States takes a lot of crap around the world.  Despite their being the world’s policeman.  And hosting the United Nations in New York City.  Where tin-pot dictators and autocratic thugs can get a world forum to denounce the United States.  Telling us how horrible life in America is.  How we lost our values.  Are too materialistic.  Too greedy.  Putting profits ahead of people.  And are so barbaric that we treat our women like second class citizens.  Unlike these enlightened rulers abroad.  Yet when they come to New York City to make the world a better place where do they go?  Here (see Midtown strip club booming during UN week posted 9/28/2013 on Page Six).

Midtown jiggle joint Flashdancers has seen a lot of action thanks to the United Nations General Assembly.

“The place has been so packed with diplomats, they’ve had to turn away people at the door,” says a source.

Yeah, the UN takes care of important business whenever they meet in general assembly.  They’re resolving the crisis in Syria.  Getting those chemical weapons locked down safely.  And preventing the slaughter of Syrian civilians.  And we’re resolving the Iranian nuclear impasse.  Working hard to keep a nuclear bomb from falling into the hands of terrorists.  As Iran is a sponsor of terrorism.  So they’re taking care of important business up at the UN.  That is, when they’re not busy stuffing money down strippers’ g-strings.

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Solving the Illegal Immigration Problem with Machines

Posted by PITHOCRATES - September 29th, 2013

Week in Review

We have an illegal immigration problem because of California’s agriculture industry.  Illegals come to pick our crops because we won’t do it for what they will do it for.  Now we’re talking about a pathway to citizenship.  Because we won’t pick our own crops.  Of course once they are legal citizens they probably won’t pick our crops for what they once did.  Because they will no longer have to hide and endure low wages lest they fear deportation.  So what then?  Well, probably something like this (see Japanese Agriculture Firm Develops Strawberry Picking Robot posted 9/28/2013 on Science, Space & Robots).

A strawberry picking robot has been developed by Shibuya Seiki Co., a developer of agriculture machinery. The Japan Times reports that new robot was on display this past week at the Auto-ID and Communication Expo, which is held at the Tokyo Big Sight convention center.

The robot is 2-meters tall. It can identify fresh strawberries and pick them from plants. The robot uses digital cameras to determine the color of the strawberry and an algorithm to decide whether or not it is ripe enough to pick. Cameras are also used to help the robot get in the proper position to pick the strawberry. Picked strawberries are slowly placed in a tray after being picked.

Here’s our answer to illegal immigration.  Use machines to do what Americans refuse to do.  Thereby eliminating the need for migrant labor. Which would really change the political discourse.  And cause a big problem for liberals who want a pathway to citizenship to create new Democrat voters.  That big problem?  Machines don’t vote.

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Electric Car Sales are so Bad that Nissan is giving away Free Rapid Charges

Posted by PITHOCRATES - September 29th, 2013

Week in Review

The electric car was going to save the planet.  By getting gasoline-burning cars off the road.  Something the environmentalists and global warming enthusiasts have long wanted.  The only problem is no one but them wants this.  And there’s probably a large percentage of them that don’t want this, too (see Nissan Channels Tesla, Offers Free Leaf Charging in Texas by Alan Ohnsman posted 9/26/2013 on Bloomberg).

Nissan Motor Co. (7201), the most prolific electric-car maker, plans to offer free rapid charges for its battery-powered Leaf hatchback for new customers in Texas, experimenting with a strategy pioneered by Tesla Motors Inc…

Nissan, along with alliance partner Renault SA (RNO), has become the world’s largest seller of autos powered solely by electricity. A pricing reduction this year and low-cost lease deals have helped U.S. Leaf sales more than triple through August to a record 14,123 units…

“For the right person, near these charge stations, it could be a good thing and have some appeal,” Nerad said. “But it’s still striking me that in most instances, an electric car will mainly be a second or third vehicle for most people, because of the range limitations and how long it takes to charge them.”

The 2013 Leaf, built at Nissan’s Smyrna, Tennessee, plant, averages 75 miles (121 kilometers) per charge. Repowering the car’s depleted lithium-ion battery pack takes about four hours from a 240-volt charger. EVgo’s direct-current fast chargers can repower the battery to 80 percent in 30 minutes, Brockman said.

The auto companies sell about 16 million annually.  That makes electric cars sales approximately 0.132% of all cars sold.   So no one is buying them.  Because of that poor range.  And long charge times.  This is why they’re giving away rapid charges.  Because the electric car is great and more people should drive them.  As long as it’s other people that drive them.  As most of us don’t want to sweat bullets wondering if we’re going to make it home before the battery runs out.

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President Obama’s opposition to the Keystone XL Pipeline puts more Oil on Trains like the one in Lac-Mégantic

Posted by PITHOCRATES - September 29th, 2013

Week in Review

Oil fuels the modern economy.  We use it everywhere.  And can’t live without it.  Even those people who hate it sipping their coffee while they surf the Internet and engage in social media in their favorite coffee shop.  None of which they could do if it were not for oil.  The coffee they drink crossed the ocean on a ship burning diesel refined from oil.  The smartphone they use contains plastic.  Made from oil.  And these smartphones crossed the ocean on a ship burning diesel before they could use them.  The cars in the drive-thru at the coffee shops are burning gasoline refined from oil.  The freight trains and trucks burn diesel that deliver the goods these coffee shops sell.

Oil makes everything better in our lives.  Without oil life expectancy would plummet.  As hospitals wouldn’t have any life-saving equipment made from plastic.  Ambulances couldn’t speed patients to the hospital.  And there would be no backup generators during a power outage.  As there would be no backup power available at our wastewater treatment plants.  Or at our freshwater pumping stations.  We would return to the 19th century.  Using steam and water power in our factories.  Horses in our cities.  Doing our business in an outhouse.  And drawing our water from a well.  Except for the rich, of course.  Who would be able to enjoy these luxuries.  Luxuries that most of us take for granted today.

Oil is so important in our lives that we should be doing everything within our power to make it as inexpensive and plentiful as possible.  Like building the Keystone XL pipeline.  So we can transport oil safely in large quantities.  Reducing the cost of transportation.  Thus lowering the price at the pump.  Which would also prevent things like this from happening (see What’s in rail tankers and why can’t we know? posted 9/27/2013 on CBC News).

Nearly three months after the  Lac-Mégantic disaster, rail safety remains at the top of the national agenda with a meeting of federal and provincial transport ministers this week focusing on the question of what is in tanker cars and why provinces and municipalities can’t get that information.​

After the conclusion of the meeting in Winnipeg, Manitoba’s transportation minister said the legacy of the Lac-Mégantic disaster in July must be safer rail system across Canada.

Steve Ashton said there is an urgent need to look comprehensively at rail safety at a time when more oil is being shipped by rail and the Lac Mégantic disaster is fresh in the public mind.

This is what happens when the environmentalists get their way.  And President Obama secures their support.  And their money.  President Obama opposes the Keystone XL pipeline.  And other pipelines where he can.  Because his liberal base hates oil.  Even though the lives they enjoy would not be possible without oil.  So their opposition to oil and pipelines forces oil onto trains.  That travel through our cities.  Sometimes derail.  And explode.  Killing 47 in Lac-Mégantic.  And destroying a part of that city.

With continued opposition to the Keystone XL pipeline more oil will travel by train.  More trains will derail.  And explode.  But the Democrats will secure the support of their liberal base.  And the environmentalists can claim a victory in the war against oil.  While they enjoy their coffee and smartphones in their favorite coffee shop.  That only oil makes possible.

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Power Outage stranding Electric Trains show the need for Coal and Oil

Posted by PITHOCRATES - September 29th, 2013

Week in Review

There are few more costly ways to move people than by train.  Running a passenger train is incredibly expensive.  With the biggest cost in maintaining all the infrastructure before point A and point B.  Track, signals, rights-of-way and people.  Lots and lots of people.  To build this infrastructure.  To maintain this infrastructure.  With electric trains requiring the most costly infrastructure of all.  Especially high-speed trains.  These costs are so great that they are greater than their fuel costs.  Unlike the airlines.  That provide a much more cost-efficient way to move people.

Trains are slower than planes.  And they make a lot of stops.  So they appeal to a small group of users.  So few travel by train that it is impossible to charge a ticket price that can pay for this infrastructure that people can afford.  Which is why governments have to subsidize all passenger rail except for maybe two lines.  One Bullet line in Japan.  And one high-speed line in France.  Governments pay for or subsidize pretty much every other passenger train line in the world.  Which they are only more willing to do because those ‘lots and lots of people’ are union workers.  Who support their friends in government.

So governments build passenger rail lines more for political reasons than economic.  For passenger rail is bad economics.  In a highly dense city, though, they may be the only option to move so many people.  But even then the ridership can’t pay for everything.  So it requires massive subsidies.  Worse, by relying on electrified trains so much these rail lines are subject to mass outages.  Unlike diesel electric trains.  Trains that don’t need such a costly infrastructure as electric trains do.  And with a full tank of diesel they can move people even during a large-scale power outage.  Like that currently happening with Con Edison (see Stranded NYC Commuters Ask Why Metro-North’s Power Failed by Mark Chediak & Priya Anand posted 9/27/2013 on Bloomberg).

Less than a year after Consolidated Edison Inc. (ED) left 900,000 customers in the dark during Hurricane Sandy, the utility faces the wrath of stranded commuters over a power failure that has crippled trains from New York to Boston.

Con Edison, based in New York, has warned it may take weeks to restore electricity to the Metro-North Railroad’s busiest line, which serves Connecticut and parts of suburban Westchester County. An electrical fault cut power on a feeder cable while an alternate was out of service for improvements…

The latest high-profile power failure for Con Edison follows Sandy, the worst storm in the company’s history, which brought flooding that left lower Manhattan without power for days. A few months before Sandy, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, stepped in to resolve an employee lockout by the company that led to protests outside the Upper East Side home of Kevin Burke, the chairman and chief executive officer…

The rail operator is running buses and diesel-powered trains to accommodate no more than a third of the New Haven route’s regular ridership…

The power failure also affected Northeast Corridor passenger-rail service, as Amtrak canceled its Acela Express trains between New York and Boston through Sept. 29.

How about that.  Dirty, filthy, stinky diesel comes to the rescue.  Refined from petroleum oil.  As much as people hate it they can’t live without it.  No matter how hard they try.

This is what you can expect when you wage a war on reliable and inexpensive coal.  Pushing our power provides to become green only raises the cost of electric power generation.  Disconnecting coal-fired power plants from the grid removes more reliable power while replacing it with less reliable power.  And forcing power companies to invest in renewable power reduces their margins.  As they have to maintain their entire electric distribution system even if everyone has a solar power at home.  Because solar power won’t turn on your lights once the sun goes down.  And windmills won’t spin on a calm days.  So while power companies have to maintain their systems as if there is no solar or wind power they can’t bill for that capacity when the people get their power from renewable sources.  So they have little choice but to cut costs.  Leading to conflict with the unions.  And making an aging infrastructure go longer without maintenance.

You can’t have it both ways.  You can’t wage a war on coal and oil without getting costlier and less reliable power.  If you want lower-cost and more reliable power than you use coal and oil.  If you want to pay more for less reliable power then you can’t bitch when the trains stop running.  And the more we move away from coal the more our train will stop running.

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