ALERT; Wonder Woman; The Russian Thing; Ground Solar efficiency;

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

If you like your health care plan, you can keep your health care plan.

Barrack Obamas

The map is not the territory.

Alfred Korzybski

Electricity has become a luxury good in Germany.

Der Spiegel

If a foreign government had imposed this system of education on the United States, we would rightfully consider it an act of war.

Glenn T. Seaborg, National Commission on Education, 1983

“Deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.”

We are a nation of assimilated immigrants.

Immigration without assimilation is invasion.

If you establish a democracy, you must in due time reap the fruits of a democracy. You will in due season have great impatience of public burdens, combined in due season with great increase of public expenditure. You will in due season have wars entered into from passion and not from reason;

Benjamin Disraeli

Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.

George Santayana

The world is “laughing (and) crying at the President of the United States, who clearly doesn’t know what he’s talking about.”

Former US Secretary of State John Kerry

All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.

Constitution of the United States. Article One, Section One


See me Below gremlin


I was off to COSTCO for a hearing aid examination, then some other errands. As it happens. I slept late, but Michael was patient as I got dressed, and we got there in plenty of time. After other errands I got home an mid afternoon. I haven’t read the papers today, and Googling for today’s news doesn’t produce much other than the mandatory Trump bashing, but there’s this:

‘Wonder Woman’ star Gal Gadot responds to $300,000 salary outrage: ‘I’m grateful’

Fans may be furious Gal Gadot reportedly made just a mere $300,000 for “Wonder Woman,” but she’s content with the paycheck.

The superhero film slayed the box office, grossing more than $600 million worldwide since it premiered on June 2.

“I’m grateful and happy,” the 32-year-old Israeli-born actress told TMZ Wednesday about her salary for the movie. When the gossip site’s photographer stressed she deserved more for the next film, Gadot joked, “I think I should get you as my lawyer to do the negotiations.”

By contrast, according to some reports, Henry Cavill, who starred as Superman in the 2013 movie “Man of Steel,” earned a whopping $14 million for the gig. According to Vanity Fair, the 34-year-old British actor’s exact salary could not immediately be verified, but the magazine claimed his alleged salary included bonuses for the film’s success.

React to that as you will. Most authors would be pleased with a $300,000 advance. While it seems that in the history of Hollywood no movie has ever turned a profit, this did so much better than expected that it’s possible she’ll get some of the percentage of profit that’s in every Hollywood contract (along with a caution that this is unlikely). She’s also in a good position to negotiate for her pay in the inevitable sequel.

I haven’t seen Wonder Woman, but those I know who have are raving about it. I. of course, was in love with Wonder Woman at the age of about 10.


There was also this:

Project Veritas Investigation: CNN’s Van Jones Appears to Call Russia Controversy a ‘Big Nothing Burger’

According to journalist James O’Keefe, a video released Wednesday appears to show CNN commentator Van Jones calling the controversy surrounding alleged connections between Russia and the Trump campaign a “big nothing burger”–a day after another video was released showing a CNN producer calling the Russia controversy “mostly bullshit.” [snip]

And of course it was. For a the better part of a year the FBI’s finest, with 15 or 16 other government agencies “investigated” the “Russian Thing” and found not one iota of evidence of a crime or criminal conspiracy; of course it distracted from what looked like crimes involving mishandling of government secrets, defiance of a subpoena, and other such; and is now used to mask a black letter felony, the unmasking of American citizens in FICA authorized covert surveillance including electronic eavesdropping on foreign nationals, and leaking the names of those unmasked citizens to the New York Times and the Washington Post. And we have one specific felony, the leaking of the name of Lt. Gen. Flynn by Sallie Yates or someone she told it to; a black letter felony that is apparently to be ignored because it does not reflect badly on President Trump, whom we know to be boorish, uncouth, and unfit to be President – much as his enemies called President Andrew Jackson who fought a duel and did many other unPresidential things.

Worse, President Trump dares use electronic means to speak directly to the people, rather than through the medium of the impartial Press. This, it is said, endangers our “democracy”; which we never had in the first place. The Framers never intended to found a Democracy. It is, as Ben Franklin said, a Republic, if we can keep it. The notion of a Republic, neither monarchy, nor aristocracy, nor oligarchy, nor theocracy. Nor any other form of government then known intrigued the Classic authors, and our Framers, who were influenced also by the history of the centuries old Serene Republic of Venice, which was a practical example of the Ciceronian Republic, complex as it was; and had successfully allied with the rest of the Christian world to defeat the invincible Turkish Fleet in the Battle of Lepanto in 1571 – about two hundred years before the Philadelphia Convention of 1787 – and had endured as independent thereafter, still alive and well as the Framers debated.

One of the first big constitutional crises was the Alien and Sedition Act, in which Adams and the Federalists sought to “secure these rights” against the Revolutionists inspired by the French Revolution of 1789. I ask pardon from those of my generation who know all this because it was taught in grade and high school in my day; but alas a lot of modern college graduates have only vague ideas about what the Philadelphia Convention tried to accomplish, and many younger have never heard of the Alien and Sedition Acts.





It was sent to me by an old and very competent friend.

New computer virus spreads from Ukraine to disrupt world business

A computer virus wreaked havoc on firms around the globe on Wednesday as it spread to more than 60 countries, disrupting ports from Mumbai to Los Angeles and halting work at a chocolate factory in Australia.

Risk-modeling firm Cyence said economic losses from this week’s attack and one last month from a virus dubbed WannaCry would likely total $8 billion. That estimate highlights the steep tolls businesses around the globe face from growth in cyber attacks that knock critical computer networks offline.

“When systems are down and can’t generate revenue, that really gets the attention of executives and board members,” said George Kurtz, chief executive of security software maker CrowdStrike. “This has heightened awareness of the need for resiliency and better security in networks.”

The virus, which researchers are calling GoldenEye or Petya, began its spread on Tuesday in Ukraine. It infected machines of visitors to a local news site and computers downloading tainted updates of a popular tax accounting package, according to national police and cyber experts.
This note from a friend with additional information illustrates the concern:
There is a weaponized computer virus spreading at the moment that is so lethal it’s scary. It looks as if some idiots may have tried to modify an already dangerous professional (NSA or similar) malware to be a ransomware and screwed it up to make it more lethal and entirely uncontrollable. You get told to pay 300 bitcoin (a huge sum by the way) but there’s no way to recover the system. Once it is in it burns it to the ground. No recovery possible.
Chernobyl is currently running in manual mode with retired operators who are already riddled with cancer from the first melt-down. The fact the US news media is continuing their ‘All Trump Bash All the Time’ is proof they have not a fucking clue about what’s important.
Repeat: Chernobyl’s entire computer system is crashed and it is running in MANUAL MODE with retired operators who are the only ones who know how to keep it from melting down.
And all the computers and all the software is going to have to be replaced entirely.
It has the Ukraine shut down. They literally are sending everyone home just so they don’t TOUCH their computers. The government has thrown up its hands. They’re basically headed for the dark ages.
There’s no present ‘patch’ for antivirus software. It basically laughs at it. The faster your system, the more vulnerable you become. Currently, the US has been kicking it out but it’s spreading so hard and fast that may not last long.
Right now, if you send me an email with an attachment or a link I’ll simply delete it.
Don’t click on any link even if you know the sender and know the sender sent it.
This may be over-stating but real experts who are fighting this in real time are talking ‘fire sale.’ That bad.

I haven’t been that drastic, but I have taken the precaution of updating my practice of copying critical files onto a disk not normally on my network to twice a week from formerly weekly. You probably aren’t rich enough to be a target, nor am I,  but this thing has gone wild.




I had wondered about this

                The growing problem of discarded old solar panels.


It was easily foreseen. Older solar panels were less efficient, and took more energy to make than they ever generated; building them was more for experience than energy efficiency. Later panels were better, although the way many were deployed lost a great deal of potential energy: deployed at latitudes where there was not much sunshine (rain, latitude, weather in general, or aimed in the wrong direction. As technology improved, panels got more efficient at turning solar energy into useful electricity. Of course for pool heating you didn’t need solar panels at all, although some did that: solar energy to electricity for electric pool heaters. But that’s another discussion.

Of course even modern solar panels aren’t as efficient as they’ll be in a few years, and the panels used in the present day may actually contain more toxic or potentially toxic materials than would have been in all the stack gasses released from the plants that would have produced that power – even if these plants were coal fired – but again that’s for another discussion.

Ground based solar makes sense for certain uses in certain places. It seldom makes economic or ecological sense to generate solar power and pump that into the existing power grid, and it’s problematical if storage batteries or other storage systems for night use of that power can make either economical or energy saving sense: energy storage is notoriously energy inefficient. The most efficient is pumped storage, and that requires a dam which took energy to build and transmission lines from where the energy was generated, to the place of storage, to the place of usage, with all the losses in each transaction.

Even in Southern California, with energy used for air conditioning on hot days when the Sun is shining, companies seem to need large government subsidies to make any profit.

If one considers the costs of safe panel retirement – I know of a few studies that do – ground based solar does not break even in money or energy produced over its lifetime: that is, it costs more money and energy to produce, install, operate, and safely dispose of those panels than they will ever generate. Of course they can be financially profitable given enough government (or private) subsidies,

Few studies so far consider the costs of disposal—financial or energy—of old solar panels in their calculations.


I was on the phone talking to Ed Feulner in Washington the morning Reagan was shot. That’s a long time ago, and we’ve both had different careers since.

Feulner has a good article today, but it’s so formatted that I can’t, without more work that I care to put in, extract any quotes from it – selecting anything selects everything. They want you to read all or nothing and that’s their right. It’s worth your time as a good background piece to what’s happening in Washington right now if that interests you.

Congress’ Inaction on Trump’s Agenda Costs America Nearly 1,000 Jobs Per Day






Freedom is not free. Free men are not equal. Equal men are not free.



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