I’ve opted for plain and simple for my format and layout. The default presentation gives you the last few articles I’ve written in a long, scrollable format. Sometimes I add a “more” tag, which takes you to the individual post, showing the remainder of what I wrote for that article, but usually you must click the heading (to the left of the primary text blocks) to get to the specific article, since I usually just write it all, letting all show on the scrolling composite. The basic reading format doesn’t include a comment box. If you click the heading and go to the specific posting, there is a reply box at the end, after the share buttons and the tags and categories. You can also click the quote-button comment link just below the title.

So, if you happen to read something you want to reply to, please do. I will almost certainly post your comment and reply to you. I’m not into censoring.

Everything that I say won’t mean anything less
When I’m down in a grave
And you’ve put me to rest

BEARTOOTH LYRICS
“Beaten In Lips”

Everything that I say won’t mean anything less
When I’m down in a grave
And you’ve put me to rest
Everything that I say won’t mean anything less
When I’m down in a grave
And you’ve put me to rest

Will the story end
Will it ever change
I never knew a person could be so deranged
Does it make you feel good
Do you feel strong ruining the lives of everyone you love

As if life isn’t hard already
Add it to the list of things to forget
With one chance to define ourselves
We’re gonna keep on living
Keep on living

This is for the kids with the beaten in lips
Whose parents try to shut them up using their fists
Keep living loud and proud
They never can hold you down

This is for the kids with a soul like mine
When people tell you living is a waste of your time
Keep living loud and proud
They never can hold you down

Pull the plug with a single decision
Your way of life is a contradiction
Go to rehab celebrate with ketamine
Mend the wounds and light it with kerosene

Light my wounds with kerosene

As if life isn’t hard already
Add it to the list of things to forget
With one chance to define ourselves
We’re gonna keep on living
Keep on living

This is for the kids with the beaten in lips
Whose parents try to shut them up using their fists
Keep living loud and proud
They never can hold you down
This is for the kids with a soul like mine
When people tell you living is a waste of your time
Keep living loud and proud
They never can hold you down

Listen to the sound of your children revolting
Listen to the sound of the lives you’re ruining

This is for the kids with the beaten in lips
Whose parents try to shut them up using their fists
Keep living loud and proud
They never can hold you down

This is for the kids with the beaten in lips
Whose parents try to shut them up using their fists
Keep living loud and proud
They never can hold you down

This is for the kids with a soul like mine
When people tell you living is a waste of your time
Keep living loud and proud
They never can hold you down

Everything that I say won’t mean anything less
When I’m down in a grave
And you’ve put me to rest
Everything that I say won’t mean anything less
When I’m down in a grave
And you’ve put me to rest

 
“Go Be The Voice”

Go be the voice of god
Go live the life putting death to shame

I wasn’t force fed what I think
And I don’t care if you think I’m brainwashed for what I believe,
but it sure wasn’t from people reminding me that I’m still a
failure every Sunday morning

It’s my fault
It’s always my fault
Every time I have a problem that can’t be solved

Tell me I’ve made progress
All I want is to make you proud
Are the lungs in my chest still working
Cause sometimes I wanna shout where’s my savior now

Life and death is all perspective

Just don’t give up you know it’s not worth it
Life and death is a matter of perspective
Give in you know it’s your purpose
Even if you know you’ll never deserve it

God where are you
God where are you now

There’s no substance
Nothing’s real anymore
But I’m still swinging
Fighting like never before

 
“Body Bag”

One life, one decision [x3]
Make sure it ends with you still living

(1…2…1 2 3! Go!)

How does it feel at the bottom of the barrel
All your friends don’t care no your friends don’t care at all [x2]

Rejected rejected
You’re never gonna be the one respected
Infected infected
This is the way that every life is ended

No, no this life won’t swallow me whole [x2]

If I could set the clocks back
I wouldn’t be headed for a body bag
One life and one decision
Make sure it ends with you still living
Feel like I’m on the fast track
To laying face down from a heart attack
One life and one decision
Make sure it ends with you still living

One life one decision [x3]
Make sure it ends with you still living

You’re never gonna touch the surface
I sure hope it’s worth it
You can lie to everybody around you
But you can’t lie to the hole inside you

No, no this life won’t swallow me whole [x2]

If I could set the clocks back
I wouldn’t be headed for a body bag
One life and one decision
Make sure it ends with you still living
Feel like I’m on the fast track
To laying face down from a heart attack
One life and one decision
Make sure it ends with you still living

One life one decision [x3]
Make sure it ends with you still living

If I could set the clocks back
I wouldn’t be headed for a body bag
One life and one decision
Make sure it ends with you still living
Feel like I’m on the fast track
To laying face down from a heart attack
One life and one decision
Make sure it ends with you still living

————————–

This is the internet. Look it up. I recently stumbled across Beartooth. Awesome!

Everything that I say won’t mean anything less
When I’m down in a grave
And you’ve put me to rest

I wrote, on Facebook, the comments below in response to an old First Things article.

http://www.firstthings.com/article/2001/05/lchaim-and-its-limits-why-not-immortality

Good, in-depth look at what might be wrong with the desire to solve aging and eliminate disease and to try to make us able to live indefinitely. Insightful.

Still, he only addresses conquest of life’s gradual degradation. I really don’t think we can, but even if we did solve all the problems of aging, the problems of the aged, and cured all disease, we wouldn’t approach unending lives. There are too many other problems. Accidents, homicide, and suicide are not problems science or modernity can solve.

Some commentators have speculated that risk aversion would become the primary consideration if no one simply died of natural causes associated with longevity. For instance, such speculation assumes that no one would ride motorcycles. Yeah, sure. That will be the day.

We are all familiar with stories of long-livers, and the power, and enemies, they accumulate. Much less motivation has resulted in far too many murders.

And then there is suicide. Roughly speaking, around one in 10,000 persons lose the battle and intentionally end it. Such a circumstance exists throughout history and across all cultures and groups. For better or for worse, for grand cause or desperation, such it is. No medicine will change it.

Life focused on self implodes. Life without honest and appropriate consideration of others is hardly worthy of the title.

He addresses procreation, and nothing shows more routinely the greatest love than the selfless parent who sacrifices for the children. Balance in all things, and certainly there is ample meaning for those who go childless, by choice or not, but for most of us, it is our truly meaningful accomplishment, having and rearing our children such that we know we are justified being proud of them. It is, as the article explains, our true way of overcoming our mortality.

Of course, he leaves off the ultimate. He discusses life everlasting, and admit it or not, we all believe. Still, eternal life is, or it is not, and we all will know soon enough. Yet, for what we know, in what we must accept, we cannot ultimately overcome our impermanence. Ultimately, it is not given to our universe, to this natural reality, to continue. It is finite. Even if we have a billion generations, it will end eventually. Physicists speculate variously, but they all agree it will end, and no evidence allows for alternatives. How long? Does that actually matter? Is even 1,000 years long when life as we know it has been around about a million times longer? For that matter, is just a few years short? Just a few months? Just a few minutes? As sad is it may be, and truly we are justified in feeling sad and deprived at untimely death, the truth is, we all die young.

I also note that the article is a decade-and-a-half old. That dates much of what he says. Some of what he feared is continuing, but much of it has faded as reality marches on and our unfounded hopes are dashed. Yet, now we hear of transhumanity, of technological longevity in some presumed digital facsimile of ourselves. This too shall pass. So too shall each of us.


Gore is the modern PT Barnum.

Watts Up With That?

gore-10yearsAs I pointed out a couple of weeks ago, ten years ago today, Al Gore said we had only a decade left to save the planet from global warming. But Earth and humanity has been doing just fine since then.

People that know money over at Investor’s Business Daily, said that “We Know Al Gore’s Been Running A Global Warming Racket” and listed five ways they ascertain this, I’m going to list those, embellish them, and add a few of my own. IBD writes:


While preening at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2006 during the premiere of his “An Inconvenient Truth” fib-umentary, Gore made his grand declaration. The former vice president said, in the words of the AP reporter taking down his story, that

“unless drastic measures to reduce greenhouse gases are taken within the next 10 years, the world will reach a point…

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If only such could be true of us all.

Big Picture News, Informed Analysis

A shining beacon of how to lead by example, I am fortunate to have crossed paths with him.

Bob_Carter_geologistBob Carter 1942-2016

On the northeast coast of Australia, near the Great Barrier Reef, in the community of Townsville, relatives and friends are gathering today to pay their last respects to geologist Bob Carter.

Half a world away, here in snowy Canada, I too am remembering him. Last month, when we both spoke at an event showcasing alternative climate perspectives, Bob seemed a decade younger than his 73 years. Full of energy and wit, there was no suggestion that the final weeks of his earthly sojourn were counting down, that a heart attack was about to end his life.

climate_counter_consensus_coverIn recent years, I’ve met several scientists worthy of admiration. Swimming against the tide of conventional climate wisdom, ostracized by former colleagues, libeled viciously on the Internet, I’ve been impressed by their perseverance…

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Yes, Santa, there are people who believe in industrial wind turbines.

Watts Up With That?

From the “fire and ice” department, Craig Kelly writes on Facebook

de-icing-wind-turbine

The entire rationale for wind turbines is to stop global warming by reducing the amount of CO2 being returned to the atmosphere from the burning of fossil fuels.

In the attached picture, recently taken in Sweden, freezing cold weather has caused the rotor blades of a wind turbine to ice up bringing the blades to a complete stop.

To fix the “problem” a helicopter is employed (burning aviation fuel) to spray hot water (which is heated in the frigid temperatures using a truck equipped with a 260 kW oil burner) on the blades of the turbine to de-ice them.

The aviation fuel, the diesel for the truck, and the oil burned to heat the water, could produce more electricity (at the right time to meet demand) than the unfrozen wind turbine could ever produce. (Before it freezes up again).

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Nothing new. It has all happened before.

Watts Up With That?

Before pundits and poor scientists begin pronouncing the expected east coast winter “storm of the century” to be a direct product of global warming/climate change/climate disruption, one might take a lesson from historical climatology.

2015-blizzard-watch


What Does the Peer-Reviewed Literature Say About Trends in East Coast Winter Storms?

Commentary by Dr. Roger Pielke Jr. (reposted from his website with permission)

hirschecws

The image above comes from a 2001 paper by Hirsch et al. (here in PDF) titled, An East Coast Winter Storm Climatology. The top curve shows all East Coast winter storms, and the bottom shows the most intense storms. for the period 1948 to 1997.

As the figure implies, they concluded in that analysis:

the frequency of ECWS show a downward tendency over the study period but at insignificant levels. One test found a decreasing trend in strong ECWS significant for an alpha = 0.10.

So there was no trend 1948 to 1997, or a…

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I found an article at the Libertarian Christian Institute web page, titled:

Conservatism, liberalism, or non-aggression?

It was a guest post from Randy Peters, who writes at TheGutDoc.com.

http://libertarianchristians.com/2016/01/20/conservatism-liberalism-non-aggression/

He opens by noting that many people attribute their politics to their faith. Hmm…

I’ve always had trouble understanding how people I know have strong and sound faith can have such differing views from my own, particularly in politics.

Part of it is I can never loose sight of the fact that coercion is evil. God never coerces.

I really do not understand why that is hard to see. I don’t get how other people don’t get that.

God always allows us freedom. God does uphold consequence. Accordingly, wisdom is encouraged. Of course, I always say that pain is the only true persuader of error. Experience is a harsh teacher, but often effective.

I like his thought experiments, both the right and left.

I’ll repeat this:

I submit that when any one of us – with civil authority or without it – takes upon himself the presumption to coerce others to do as we think God would have them do, we are no longer walking humbly with God. We have become the Pharisees, enjoying our long robes and places of honor, thanking God that we are not like other men and imposing upon them grievous burdens for which we will not offer the help of our little finger. There are many human behaviors condemned in the Holy Scripture; haughtiness may be one of the most condemned.

Make no mistake: when one argues that government is to be the arbiter of compassion or righteousness, one is arguing that violence is to be the tool by which those goals are achieved; for how else does government achieve its purpose? Taxes, fines, regulations, laws boundaries all rest on the discretion of the government to use violence to enforce them. When one maintains that the state should force his neighbors to do something, he is saying that violence should be used ultimately to accomplish that directive. Note that there are areas wherein there is unanimous agreement that communities or governments are justified in using force: to defend themselves from violence, to protect the lives of their members, to stop other crimes against persons or their property. But can one say that government has a legitimate and justifiable role to use its police powers – its exclusive claim on the use of violence – to force charity? To force acts of service? To force men and women to comply with “moral laws” with which they do not agree and which may not enjoy wide-spread acceptance in a community? Furthermore, may a disciple of Christ take upon himself the authority under God to say to his neighbors, “I speak in the name of God, and I order you to do thus under pain of imprisonment or death.”

Note there are no exceptions. If there is a law, it is using the power of the state, the threat of violence, imprisonment, even death, to enforce it. “Oh, but the penalty is only $50.” Of course, that is how it starts. You know what happens when you give a mouse a cookie.

Sure, we try to keep punishment consistent with the crime, but we also make too many crimes. We let one drink alcohol, but we imprison the one who smokes weed. We feel sorry for the mother driving with her quarrelling toddlers in the back, and though there is nothing more distracting than that, we bother to stop, fine, even take the driving license of the mother who was texting a quick instruction while driving.

We call the 19-year-old driver negligent and criminal for texting, but we give the late commuter a pass for shaving or donning makeup while careening through rush-hour traffic.

Some claim it is justified, but carry it to the end. The 19-year-old has some reason, rational or not, that makes him (or her) bolt when the lights come on the patrol cruiser. The teen is now truly jeopardizing lives, including his own. Perhaps he crashes, perhaps the officer successfully pulls over the car, but perhaps the teen is now too far committed, perhaps even irrational, and violence ensues, arrest, or worse.

Is it worth it?

No!

We have far too many laws. We criminalize far too many behaviors.

We justify too much in the name of safety. We rationalize too much in the name of morality and civic responsibility.

It is a sad world we live in not because of unfairness, lack of opportunity, scarcity, and want. No, it is so sad because so many soft tyrants have sufficient power to coerce.

I used a couple of widely debated examples in criminalizing drug use and texting while driving, but how about school?

Nobody talks about how absurd it is to coerce persons to education. We need not even consider the failures of the education system. We need look no farther than the simple coercion, compulsion of education and truancy laws.

Again, we pretend our punishments are evenhanded and proportional, but they are not. Seldom do those with power us it only for good, and perhaps it is even impossible to do good when the power is being used to enforce the evil of coercion from the start point.

People, persons, individuals, children of God. Yes, that is what we all are from our beginning, from even before our first breath. I bring up hard issues, and people ignore. We need to discuss. We need to look hard and freely at the facts. We need to stand and openly defend our views, and we need to examine closely our own and all others presented. We manage to live together in most instances.

We tend to fight here and there, but it is mostly about who has the power, and how it is used, especially about how it is abused.

Let’s limit the power more and more. Let us be free.

Let us live free.

Watts Up With That?

I was shocked and saddened to read this, I’m passing it on without comment because I can’t write about this at this moment. See update below.

Dr. Robert M. Carter (1941-2016) Dr. Robert M. Carter (1941-2016)

Joe Bast writes:

It is with deep regret that I report the passing of a friend, colleague, and great scholar, Dr. Robert M. Carter. Bob died peacefully in a hospital surrounded by family and friends following a heart attack a few days ago. He was 74 years old.

Funeral arrangements are being made and it will most likely take place on Monday next week in Townsville, Australia.

This is almost unspeakably sad. Bob was the very embodiment of the “happy warrior” in the global warming debate. He was a scholar’s scholar, with impeccable credentials (including a Ph.D. from Cambridge), careful attention to detail, and a deep understanding of and commitment to the scientific method. He endured the slings…

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Perhaps useful in more depth than I see, but Willis has simply provided insight into how our uneven planet and all its fluids try to even out and dissipate the input energy from the sun. Nothing new, just a very astute observation of how it actually works out. The nonfluid parts are quite uneven, so the fluid flows and energy dissipation are also uneven. It shows in broad strokes why it is warmer and colder in various regions.

Good. Simple. Broadening understanding.

Watts Up With That?

Guest Post by Willis Eschenbach

I got to thinking about the idea of a temperature field. By that I mean nothing more than an estimation of theoretical temperatures given some variables like say latitude and elevation. We all know that as we go poleward it gets colder, and the same is true when we go upwards into the mountains. So we can make a formula that can estimate the temperature at any spot on the Earth if we know its latitude and elevation. It’s an excellent estimation, with an R^2 of 0.94.

In the CERES satellite data, the relationship works out like this. Start at minus thirty-one degrees. Add sixty times the cosine of the latitude. Then subtract six degrees for every thousand metres of elevation. That gives you the estimated temperature for any given location. I note that the decrease in temperature at higher altitudes, about six degrees C…

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Watts Up With That?

Guest essay by Ari Halperin

climatism

This article is intended mostly for American audiences. Today, it seems almost normal that the IPCC, UNFCCC and CAN (Climate Action Network International) interfere in American internal affairs, deciding who are scientists and who are not, telling us how much energy to use and from what sources, and generally sowing discord and polarizing society (with enormous success, I must admit). For more than 30 years, their claims of dangerous global warming caused by CO2 emissions have served as an excuse for this invasion. If there is a “problem,” and the “problem” is global and America is its main cause, they reason, why not gang up on America?

But the “problem” is imaginary, and has always been imaginary. The readers of this site know that. Serious scientific assessments have never come to alarming conclusions, even when assuming exaggerated climate sensitivity to CO2. So…

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Ms. Pullman seems to always hit the nail on the head. She has here.

I’ll repeat this nugget, “Notice in both of these documents—which are echoed in nearly every state constitution—the prime reason we have a public school system in the first place is not to “provide products that business will consume,” but to preserve our unique form of free government. Americans rule themselves. That is a very difficult task. It requires a unique kind of upbringing. Our schools are supposed to aid in that difficult task.”

——————————-

Fortune magazine has no idea what capitalism means, even though it’s at the heart of why huge majorities of Americans distrust big business.

Source: Business Still Has No Idea Why We Don’t Like Common Core

Various sources have noted that my Oklahoma Senator, Rob Standridge, is proposing legislation to restrict insurance companies in how and how much they use credit score ratings in determining insurance rates.

My first impression is statism.

Why do we need to put the power of the state and armed enforcement agents behind such a simple thing as insurance rates calculation formulas and whether or not a person’s credit rating factors in?

Of course, one must always dig past first impressions.

I like to focus on what is most important first, and work down. Most important when discussing laws is individual liberty. Laws will restrict the individual liberties of the ratepayer and taxpayer on up. In this case, the most affected will be the individual insurance corporations. While many may think that is okay, restricting any liberty, even the liberties of corporations, be they big or small, restricts freedom, and that spreads. Restricting liberty anywhere gradually, and in succession, restricts it more everywhere.

We must look at each law and try to guess what liberties it will restrict, who it will affect, how much, and the ask ourselves if the trade offs are worthwhile. In most instances, we should be judging no.

I wrote about “there ought to be a law” versus “perhaps I can do something” here: https://gottadobetterthanthis.wordpress.com/2016/01/02/an-inherent-problem-of-law-and-lawmaking/

I, like most liberty-loving people, ask not what the government can do, but what I myself might be able to do that would improve the situation. Lawmakers are in the problematic situation of being able to make a law themselves. A lawmaker tends to forget that the government is hindrance, impediment, problem-making, not problem-solving. The lawmaker tends to feel that the job description is making laws, rather than representing constituents against government encroachment.

Regarding the bill Senator Standridge intends to introduce, I assume nothing is set in stone. I suppose he sees a problem and is simply trying to address it. I’m inclined to ONLY increase transparency. Perhaps the government can require service providers to list the factors that go into their premium calculations. I don’t think competition is served if the formula is required, but forcing the companies to admit the information they use, and where that information comes from seems fair. It seems the potential bads avoided are at least as bad as the limited coercion. Maybe.

For the insurance company, it is just a matter of the mathematics, models, and statistics. In the long run for all of us collectively, the situation is good and optimum, but along the way imbalances, and even abuses, seem likely.

It seems appropriate to require full disclosure of what caused an increase in premium. Frankly, what seems to account for most premium increases is brand loyalty. If you want good rates, you have to shop around and change companies every three to five years. Otherwise, you will eventually find your company is charging more than you are willing to pay. :(

I found this article: http://www.reddirtreport.com/red-dirt-politics/state-senator-attacks-insurance-companies-use-credit-scores-figure-vehicle

I find this quote flat wrong: “Price optimization is used when companies believe a consumer’s credit score would allow them to pay an extra charge per month even if the assessment is not warranted by tickets or accidents. As a result, the extra charge is tacked onto the annual premium.” That is a show-me statement if ever I heard one. Prove it, because for now, I just don’t believe it. It is not in the company’s best interest to overcharge. I cannot believe our primary insurance companies include overcharging as company policy.

It is irrational to ask what credit score has to do with insurance rates. If the actuaries find a consistent, repeatable correlation, it doesn’t matter to the bottom line why it works. The opposite is true too. If something obviously linked cannot be used by the actuaries to analyze the risk, it hurts the bottom line to try to use it anyway.

For the insurance company, it is only a matter of the mathematics of the models and the overall statistics. If the correlation holds up over various circumstances, the company should use that model with whatever goes into it. If the model uses my personal information, I should have the right of knowing. It should be publicly published that Insurance Company X uses client’s personal information from this and that source in determining rates charged.

Perhaps we can write a law that provides for that without overly infringing on liberty.

I will not support a prohibition on using credit scores for insurance calculations. Such a prohibition would be an unjustifiable coercion and intolerable limit on freedom. Unintended adverse consequences are likely. An obvious possibility of banning credit score use is having an otherwise good insurance company just dropping policies and abandoning the state, reducing competition and increasing the burden on the remaining base.

So, from my Senator, I ask consideration of liberty over regulation, and of transparency over more drastic compulsion.

Over the years, life has convinced me the primary difference between left-leaning and right-leaning in politics can be summed in the difference between the reaction, “That is bad. There ought to be a law,” and “That is bad. What can I do about it?”

Oversimplified, certainly, but I ask you to agree. People who lean left in politics generally want to have laws against all things they think are bad. There are, of course, two areas of politics, the civil and the moral. Again, oversimplified, and nebulous regarding the division between those two categories, but the simplification lets me explain.

The left-leaning that’s-bad-so-make-a-law group tends to identify as Democratic in the USA for individuals who emphasize the civil over the moral. Likewise, the left-leaning that’s-bad-so-make-a-law group tends to identify as Republican if they focus on the moral over the civil.

I suspect my readers have to pause and rectify my calling moralist-Republicans “left-leaning.”

Makes sense, doesn’t it? Read the rest of this entry »


Is anyone paying attention?

If we are having similar problems in Oklahoma, I’m not seeing the reports. Regardless, these things are maintenance nightmares. They will never be cost effective, and they destroy so much. They sicken people, even kill people in some instances, and kill bats and birds by the millions. Just not worth it.

Wind blows, but windmills suck.

STOP THESE THINGS

Vestas_V112-Collapse_preview Vestas V112 takes its head out of the clouds.

****

Our post – Happenstance or Enemy Action? Giant Wind Turbines Collapsing with Alarming Regularity – was barely up a week, and yet another story of a 290 tonne whirling juggernaut crashing back to Earth popped up in Sweden.

This time, another vertically vulnerable Vestas hit the deck – a V112 with three 54.7m blades, weighing in at 11 tonnes a piece, the hub at 45 tonnes (the hub and blades together weigh in at 78 tonnes), the nacelle and its contents – bearings, gearbox, generator etc at more than 80 tonnes – bringing the earth-shuddering total weight at the top-end to a massive 158 tonnes.

Vestas V112

Add a 90m tower – weighing 130 tonnes – and the whole whirling, Danish Dervish weighs in at more than 288 tonnes. The Saturn V Rocket that sent Neil Armstrong & Co to the Moon…

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