View 777 Thursday, June 13, 2013
Go back a few years. Imagine a CIA plot to get Iran which considers us the Great Satan and hates us, to declare war on al Qaeda and expend blood and treasure on exterminating al Qaeda – which long ago declared war on us, and which is the most easily defined enemy in our War of Terror. Imagine that al Qaeda might be induced to expend its resources fighting Hezbollah and Iran. Imagine that we could get our enemies to fight each other using whatever weapons they could muster, and expend their blood and treasure on exterminating each other, so that neither had very much to spend on killing Americans.
Come to the present, where that is happening. Israel after careful consideration has stayed out of the Syrian civil war on the grounds that the Assad Family has kept the peace with Israel for decades, while al Qaeda attacks Israelis. Imagine that somehow the trick has been made to work, and our enemies fight each other in a war in which the United States has no describable national interest.
Now imagine that having achieved that result we decide to enter the war.
Obama to step up military support of Syrian rebels
President Barack Obama has authorised sending weapons to Syrian rebels for the first time, U.S. officials said, after the White House disclosed that the United States has conclusive evidence President Bashar Assad’s government used chemical weapons against opposition forces trying to overthrow him.
Napoleon Bonaparte once said that one should never ascribe to malice that which is adequately explained by incompetence. The problem comes when the incompetence is so grossly incompetent that one begins to wish for more competent malice… Anatol France once said that a thief in power is to be preferred to a fool, for a thief may upon occasion take a vacation.
We have no national interest in Syria, and we have no obligations. The Assad regime has been more tolerant of Christians and Bahai minorities than al Qaeda anywhere al Qaeda is in power. The rebels against Assad recently beheaded a 15 year old boy – after a trial – on a charge of blasphemy and insulting the Prophet. The al Qaeda insurgents have no chance of winning without powerful Western support, but they can make the war drag on a long time, neutralizing both Hezbollah and al Qaeda or at least slowing them down. Whereupon the United States will give aid and comfort to our enemies no matter which side we choose to support.
Never ascribe to malice that which is adequately explained by incompetence, but one need not choose to support incompetence.
Obama apparently is rushing to enter his third war, and one in which we have few allies and no national interests at all. We do so on the basis of far less intelligence evidence about Assad’s use of Sarin than we had of Saddam’s weapons of mass destruction.
Becky Gerritson, Tea Party activist, in testimony to the House of Representatives concerning IRS harassment of the Watumpka, Alabama Tea Party:
“I am not here as a serf or vassal. I am not begging my lords for mercy. I am a born free American woman, wife, mother, and citizen. And I’m telling my government that you’ve forgotten your place. It’s not your responsibility to look out for my well-being and monitor my speech. It’s not your right to assert an agenda. You post, the post that you occupy, exists to preserve American liberty. You’ve sworn to perform that duty. And you have faltered.
“This was a willful act of intimidation to discourage a point of view. What the government did to our little group in Watumpka, Alabama was un-American. It isn’t a matter of fining or arresting individuals. The individuals who sought to intimidate us were acting as they thought they should in a government culture that has little respect for its citizens. Many of the agents and agencies of the federal government do not understand that they are servants of the people. They think they are our masters, and they are mistaken.”
Speak Truth to Power, the Youth Movement says. Becky Gerritson of the Watumpka Alabama Tea Party has just done so. We should all be cheering.
: USA Supports al-Qaeda
The American people need constant reminding that we spawned and continue to work with al-Qaeda. Here is the latest:
The Obama administration has concluded that Syrian President Bashar Assad’s government used chemical weapons against the rebels seeking to overthrow him and, in a major policy shift, President Obama has decided to supply military support to the rebels, the White House announced Thursday.
A Syrian rebel group’s pledge of allegiance to al-Qaeda’s replacement for Osama bin Laden suggests that the terrorist group’s influence is not waning and that it may take a greater role in the Western-backed fight to topple Syrian President Bashar Assad.
Oceania is at war with East Asia; Oceania has always been at war with East Asia.
Joshua Jordan, KSC
Access To Energy
You wrote, "The worst of it is that we didn’t need to put tax money into nuclear power. We needed only to end useless regulation and endless hearing and rehearing and reregulation." It would not hurt to stop federal subsidization of the fossil fuel industries (corporate tax breaks, sub-value land leases, etc.) that skew the economics of carbon energy sources. I don’t like paying more for energy, but I certainly don’t want to pay the tax subsidies for these corporations or borrow the money from China to pay for them. At least if I am paying more for my energy, it is in proportion to what I use, not in proportion to what my income is.
Kevin L Keegan
Of course I agree.
Home solar panels
Much like Nuclear Fusion power, home roofing as solar panels always seems to be 10 years out. I used to work for our local utility, and microgeneration via rooftop solar panels was on the horizon back then. The economics are pretty complex. Roofing materials now can reach 50 year lifespans (even in hail prone areas). Aside from the currently high cost in producing the initial panels (more on that below), you run into the longevity of the solar materials (20 years) and the degradation of the panels over time (when used as shingles). So a solar roof would cost 3-4x a regular roof, and last less than half as long.
One advantage though, is that you get much higher square footage, so some of the new lower-efficiency, much cheaper, printed/flexible cells are an option. The hard part is getting a durable coating that can survive both UV and physical damage over a long period of time.
The utility I worked at was thinking that these would replace peak-load generation (which almost always is within daylight hours), but you’re exactly right. It does nothing for base load generation needs – and that’s the stuff under assault (coal is by far the most cost efficient). Battery technology hasn’t advanced far enough to put storage in the home – you’d need a separate shed to hold them, and they don’t last very long. Higher capacity units (lithium for example) are far too expensive and finicky. Large-scale capacitors might work, but they don’t do very well in high temperatures and tend to fail, well, in interesting ways.
The potential is there – and without the government interfering the market, we’d see a lot more innovation.
P.S. Side note on the lithium batteries – I flew the 787 twice this month. It’s an *AMAZING* aircraft – a completely different flight experience. Large windows that dim, higher humidity, lower O2 pressure, and much much much quieter. I’m spoiled!
Solar power panel costs have come down dramatically (and would come down more if the government were not putting a protective tariff on them, and in many places (depending on sunshine, what the home power is used for, local power rates, etc.) it is economical to do home rooftop solar. One want to work the numbers for one’s situation, Carefully. It’s still close.
New Nuclear Power Plants are Currently Under Construction in USA
Your comments about nuclear power seem to imply that no new construction is underway in the USA. Yet other sources indicate that new plants are being constructed:
They are, but not many. The permits cost more than the actual construction, and it is never certain that a certificate allowing operation will ever be obtained.