Ever heard that water is an incompressible fluid? Well, that is an approximation, and it is reasonable in freshman physics classes.

However, water compresses plenty. All matter will compress. An increase in pressure on the matter will compress it. This compression is work. This work is lost (used up) and unavailable for other purposes. The work typically heats the material, increasing its temperature.

I don’t know about you, but I’ve had many arguments about this bit of oversimplification throughout my years. It is one of those situations where a little knowledge (an inadequate amount of knowledge) is dangerous. Fortunately, it is only the kind of danger that is annoying, not destructive.

My point is when we consider a hydraulic system, we generalize and simplify, and we say that a force acting on the water or hydraulic fluid within an enclosed system will act on all surfaces equally. Yes, kinda. Nature will not let you get away with the approximation.

Applying 1 pound-force on 10 in2 allows us to calculate 10 pound-force on a 1-in2 ram, but not all the 10 pounds-force is actually there on the ram. Some of it was lost in work compressing the fluid, and some more was lost in friction acting on the liquid moving through the ram channel to push against the 1-in2 ram.

Accountants make up all kinds of formulas and rules. Each has its purpose and use, and some are limited and not usable in all situations. No amount of accounting can eliminate cost incurred. Obfuscating it somewhere other than final price is sleight of hand.

When a petroleum company incurs cost, such as gross production or severance tax, and every other tax they incur, the petroleum company must account the cost, and somewhere, they must pay it. Revenues must be higher than costs, or the company goes bankrupt (and all the employees become unemployed). Sooner or later, in all circumstances, increasing costs, even gross production taxes, increase the price the petroleum company must charge in sales or fees.

Refiners will pay more. In turn, they must cover the costs with revenues, and the end result is a rise in the price every poor sod pays to fill his vehicle so he can get to work and feed his family. If fuel costs increase, and his paycheck doesn’t, he will have less with which to feed his family.

Real life, be it accounting or physics, never lets us get away with anything. Everything has its costs. To do anything, one must expend time and energy. For anything to happen, time and energy are used up. (That is the purpose of the universe, to use up all time and all enthalpy.)

We all know these things when we pay attention. Pay attention. One can never be so poor as to be unable to pay attention.

In physics, if work is done, it is used up. We have to get energy from somewhere again to do more (or just to do it again). The same goes for money and costs. If we had to pay it, it is gone. We have to get money from somewhere else, or we fail. In the world we live in, you and I, the end consumers, pay that extra money. It doesn’t come from anywhere but us (in general, the business owner, even an oil baron, is one of us; not so the government; they don’t make money; they only take it). Everywhere (like a bank or the government) that has money got it from us. We paid. To the bank, we hope we get more (in interest or intangibles) than we put on deposit. With the government, we can only hope they don’t waste it all, and we live in fear they will only keep coming for more.

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I often disagree with specific points he makes, but I can never dismiss Mr. Kummer.

The FRED data indicates Kummer is on the right track, but the data hardly support his specifics.

First, we need more data and more thorough data. We also need to account for the effect of taxes. For practical purposes, taxes on the companies are simply taxes passed to the consumer, the laborer. (Government involvement distorts everything in many ways, which are often unnoticed. Taxes are direct government involvement and distortion. Even when problems get fixed, the government can change the rules or the taxes and foul it all up again.)

What Kummer presents is only a starting point. I will be rethinking my stance on private unions, but I’ve never been against private unions; I think they are too powerful, but that would seem a bad assumption. I do think they are more corrupt than can be useful. Unions have not held themselves and their leadership accountable.

I can’t change my stance on public unions. Public unions are inherently immoral. Public unions are against freedom. Public unions are inherently coercive. Coercion is evil. Public unions are wrong and should not be tolerated in a free society. For instance, government-school unions hold children as hostages, which is coercive and violent against parents and other taxpayers. One cannot justify such actions. One cannot justify such organizations.

As to the middle class, I’m not sure that is a valid notion. Still, much of the information in the article (and linked) is useful and can be used to build for a better future.

Group mentality, which too often degenerates into mob mentality, is a root problem. There is strength and there is safety in numbers, but the individual is the only group that matters in the long run. When we scapegoat and resort to coercion and violence, we are retreating from what is right and good. We must acknowledge each other as individuals and each with separate and worthy aims. Somehow we have to charitably work together to maximize the freedom and wellbeing of all.

Pointing out problems is easy. Finding solutions is hard. Avoiding coercion and violence is even harder. We must work together in ways that do not promote coercion and violence.

Source: What unions did for America. We should miss them. – Fabius Maximus website

(WordPress apparently no longer allows me to add categories. I get to chose from the ones I already have.)

All my life, as well as I can remember, supposed experts have been saying our deficit spending is going to bankrupt the country. Sooner or later that has to happen. If we don’t stop borrowing, eventually we will get past a point of no return. Will it be another 50 years? Longer? Shorter? The warnings I recall from the 70s were no less dire than today, with this article as an example. There is more data now; it looks bad. There is more inflation now, but for some reason, it doesn’t look bad. There are more growth and global trade now, and it is hard to tell how much that matters. Regardless, we are overspending and over-borrowing. Sooner or later, the bills come due. If we don’t reduce spending soon, the day of reckoning will be grim indeed.

Yes, I was paying attention 50 years ago. It is why it is hard to get excited about the latest alarm. I’ve heard it all before, and nobody else seems to remember. My cynicism has been acquired honestly, and its payment was (and is) extracted painfully.

Every step of the way, the role of government at all levels has increased. Every step has been made harder by that government involvement.

We need less government in every way.

The video at the end of the article is worth watching, in my opinion.

Source: The US Is Burying Young People and the Unborn Under a Mountain of Government Debt – Foundation for Economic Education

My State Congressional Representative, Andy Fugate https://www.andyfugate.com/about, shared a Tulsa newspaper editorial about our state having the happy condition of a revenue excess in closing out the books for the year. The funds go into the rainy day emergency fund.

The Tulsa paper thought it necessary to deride our “red” legislature and governor, so I decided not to link it. Negativity is to be avoided, and your favored search engine will make it easy to find if you wish, but I’m also irked by their use of intrusive ads and their refusal to allow reading with the ad-blocking software enabled.

Governor Stitt asserted he wants the rainy day fund to stand at more than twice its current level. The Tulsa editors thought it proper to deride the amount and pretend if a little more is good, why not a lot more? Hardly a helpful observation.

There was a ballot initiative recently voted down that was designed to set aside a small percentage of the budget for a few years, allowing the set-aside to accumulate, and with fiscally-conservative investment, the amount would grow beyond the amounts set aside. It would be like an endowment or retirement account, with the notion the State could eventually “retire” at least some of the taxes. Wouldn’t that be nice? Of course, naysayers decried it, and it failed to pass.

I’m not sure why. It was likely to require 20 to 25 years to become a significant portion of the state government’s revenue, and after that long, tax reductions would be easy conversations. Alarmism and emotional appeals would be hard to make, and fiscal considerations could be made on merit. The taxes might not then go down because the majority might prefer the extra services, but at least the argument would be on merit, not fear. In the meantime, it would have mattered almost nothing. The set-aside was small, and with a year like this one, we’d have looked rather sagacious. Oh well. Maybe it will come up again. Maybe we will be wiser next time. For now, we have editors whining we are not taxed enough.

I’m not a fan of a significant rainy day fund. We need very little sustained surplus for unforeseen shortfalls. We could, however, use excess funds to set up self-sustainment for programs.

Given the nature of politics and other factors influencing state government spending and desires for programs, just having a large endowment for funding the government would just lead to more spending and more waste (and more intrusion into everyday lives of Oklahomans).

I suspect we could set up endowments for programs, though. We could structure the investment restrictions and funding and spending requirements to incentivize the program directors to wisely and frugally run the endowments to the best advantage of their program.

Considering Oklahoma’s highways and toll roads could be instructive. It is a system that has its drawbacks, and plenty of detractors, but overall, the system is relatively efficient, and the toll revenues relieve some burden from the budgets. The tolls are not set up as an endowment but as a supplement to the highways moneys. It isn’t a strong analogy, but we can look at it and how other such things work (and failures, too), and we could lower the tax burden on our children and grandchildren without depriving them of important government services.

In general, I want less government. A set of invested endowments probably would increase government more than I’d like. Government is part of the problem, but taxes are most of the problem. Taxation is theft, and one simply doesn’t get sustainable good moral results from inherently immoral acts like forcing people to relinquish honestly earned income for services they generally don’t want and seldom use.

I’m willing to risk a bit more government if it comes with less taxes.

Regarding wanting a hefty state budget reserve, I must point out that Governor Stitt ran a rather successful business. I think it unwise to dismiss his financial advice. I’m not inclined to accept it this time, but I’ll give reasons for that, not derision.

Source: The Founders Were Flawed. The Nation Is Imperfect. The Constitution Is Still a ‘Glorious Liberty Document.’ – Reason.com

The article denounces the New York Times for their efforts at revisionist history.

I said some relevant things here:

https://gottadobetterthanthis.wordpress.com/2018/02/06/most-important/

I also added that Christianity essentially stamped out slavery for a few centuries, here: https://gottadobetterthanthis.wordpress.com/2016/07/16/summer-reading-6/

The United States of America has plenty of both shame and accolade. CS Lewis said it to children like this:

“You come of the Lord Adam and the Lady Eve,” said Aslan. “And that is both honour enough to erect the head of the poorest beggar, and shame enough to bow the shoulders of the greatest emperor on earth. Be content.”

― C.S. Lewis, Prince Caspian

We owe it to ourselves and our posterity to never rest. There is always more.

Sometimes it’s good to look back down
We’ve come so far – we’ve gained such ground
But joy is not in where we’ve been
Joy is who’s waiting at the end

Reality overwhelms alarmism. For better or worse, we are going to continue to burn everything that will burn until we are generating more electricity than we need (globally) from nuclear energy. Deride the third-leg of the stool of life all you want. It will continue in spite of you. (Life depends on water, oxygen, and carbon dioxide. Without one, all life on earth dies. CO2 is by far the least destructive of these three absolutely essential ingredients of life.)

Source: Developing nations surging energy use shatters UN & California’s climate alarmism crusade | Watts Up With That?

Humans, each of us, are information foragers. We want to know anything that catches our attention, and we want it the same way a raccoon wants anything shiny.

Humans are hard-wired to learn, and we are quite eager for it and good at it until we enter a coercive classroom where education and schooling become conflated. When the free will in learning disappears, education becomes a mechanical, often unpleasant process, and we become that “generation of robots” of which Neill warned. The concern is that now we live with a generation of actual robots. To distinguish ourselves from artificial intelligence we need an education model that preserves essential human characteristics like curiosity and ingenuity. The good news is that we don’t need to teach kids to be curious and creative. They already are. We simply need to stop destroying these qualities through coercive schooling practices.

Worth repeating:

The concern is that now we live with a generation of actual robots. To distinguish ourselves from artificial intelligence we need an education model that preserves essential human characteristics like curiosity and ingenuity.

Source: Unschooling: Shifting from Force to Freedom in Education | Cato Unbound

Freedom triumphs over coercion.

If we view children as anything other than their own, we do err and commit grievous offense against them. Children are not our future. They are our present partners. Children are not our future workforce. They are their own. Your desires for their education and training may be good for you, yet counter to their own self and well being.

Government always moves to coerce and impose, falling to force over the least resistance. “Send the guys with guns!” they cry. Coercion is evil. Being afraid of how a child might use guided freedom is a sin. We owe our children more confidence. They have to learn for themselves anyway. Our efforts are mostly futile until they do it on their own.

Source: Freedom Triumphs Over Coercion | Cato Unbound

 

https://www.cato-unbound.org/2019/07/08/kerry-mcdonald/unschooling-shifting-force-freedom-education

 

This morning, we sang a hymn.

For some background, https://www.umcdiscipleship.org/resources/history-of-hymns-this-is-my-song

For the beauty; watch. This one is not just for listening. Trust me, you will be glad you took the time and watched. Jean Sibelius – Finlandia https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F5zg_af9b8c

In school orchestra, we played that. (I was a second violin.)

A simple rendition of the hymn. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ToddeYDefSE

The hymn:

This is my song, O God of all the nations,
a song of peace for lands afar and mine;
this is my home, the country where my heart is;
here are my hopes, my dreams, my holy shrine:
but other hearts in other lands are beating
with hopes and dreams as true and high as mine.

My country’s skies are bluer than the ocean,
and sunlight beams on cloverleaf and pine;
but other lands have sunlight too, and clover,
and skies are everywhere as blue as mine:
O hear my song, thou God of all the nations,
a song of peace for their land and for mine.

This is my song, O God of all the nations,
a prayer that peace transcends in every place;
and yet I pray for my beloved country —
the reassurance of continued grace:
Lord, help us find our one-ness in the Savior,
in spite of differences of age and race.

May truth and freedom come to every nation;
may peace abound where strife has raged so long;
that each may seek to love and build together,
a world united, righting every wrong;
a world united in its love for freedom,
proclaiming peace together in one song.

This is my prayer, O Lord of all earth’s kingdoms,
thy kingdom come, on earth, thy will be done;
let Christ be lifted up ’til all shall serve him,
and hearts united, learn to live as one:
O hear my prayer, thou God of all the nations,
myself I give thee — let thy will be done.

From http://prometheusli.com/musings/a_song_of_peace.htm

More beauty (and a different lyric), https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9p_Js05AA54

For good measure, another one to watch and enjoy. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0lCnguTtsSQ Polytech Male Choir and the Helsinki Philharmonic

Worth something? It was to me.

Source: Apollo 11 in Real Time

I assume this will work from here. I assume it will be available for some time to come. Too cool.

Source: Losing the Class – The American Mind

Interesting read, speaking to the depths.

The current system is a dried-out tinder box.

Living the Truth

Humans need a few things to survive—air and water, food, shelter and sleep, for instance—and a few more things to thrive: companionship, pleasure, purpose, health and a little money come to mind, maybe also wisdom and beauty. This latter list is somewhat negotiable, at least for a time. We can think of times and places where one or another thing was in short supply. But long-term spiritual sustainability is another matter. Dostoevsky once defined a human as “the animal who can get used to anything,” and while I’m loath to disagree much with the author of The Brothers Karamazov, subsequent Russian history suggests that this adjustability has its limits.

Without air, a few minutes, without water, a few days, without food, a few weeks, without shelter, well, it depends on the weather, but maybe a few months, and sleep, well, it is scary to contemplate.

We need these things, but the others are more important to living life. We have spiritual needs. We die, even if we keep breathing, without spiritual sustenance.

Mr. Corbin picks “living in truth” to elaborate on. Not telling lies is easy if one practices. Telling the truth requires courage. It also requires humility to know one might be wrong. Still, it is our duty as honest individuals to stand against what we know is wrong.

 

Source: atomicarchive.com: Exploring the History, Science, and Consequences of the Atomic Bomb

Treasure trove.

Source: Los Alamos: Beginning of an era | The Manhattan Project | Historical Documents | atomicarchive.com

Ready reference.

At present, electric aircraft are nonsense.

Electric cars are better than petrol cars. However, for travel, gasoline allows us to drive for the duration of the bladder, perhaps four hours for a conscientious and deliberate driver, and then after a few minutes for relief, a snack, and a full fuel tank, one can do it again, and again, even more with multiple drivers. Not so electrics. Further, we must fill the fuel tank every few hours of driving, 10 minutes once per week for most of us. On the other hand, electric cars need to be charged at any significant stop. For a 25 minute commute to work, one must recharge every evening. There are engineering solutions, but they are expensive.

I expect cars will transition to electric over a few decades, perhaps 25 years, as soon as autonomous vehicles and traffic ways become common. Electric aircraft would probably join the municipal fleets, but flights requiring over a few minutes of air time are unlikely in any foreseeable future period.

The key to my supposition is interchangeability. Autonomous vehicles will be able to stop and transfer us to a freshly charged vehicle at typical rest/relief intervals. Not so with aircraft. As described in the article, we need batteries 50 times better if we expect to do the things imagined. For aircraft, practical is probably 100 times better, and lighter. Note the 1500 tonnes of batteries he suggests. For most commercial aircraft, take-off weight is less than 500 tonnes. That is the maximum weight for the aircraft, with passengers and cargo. It is simply not possible from an engineering or economic perspective. We will be flying with petroleum liquids for decades to come.

Source: The 4th Generation | Challenges of Electrified Aviation

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