I Have Been Remiss

31 March 2011

I have been remiss in posting new stuff.  However, I have embarked on a new project which occupies my time to an unpleasant extent.  I shall have something this weekend.

-Merlin-

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We Strain at Gnats

20 March 2011

The events in Japan of this past week have the turd-throwers, mountebanks and cranks in full throat.  Thanks to the earthquake and tsunami, according to this morning’s news, over 8,000 people are known dead, 12,000 more are unaccounted for and the land is laid waste.  Yet the only thing the news media can froth about is the atomic power plant where the death toll is zero.

In the USA, we are about to go through another bought of hand-wringing and doom-saying as we once again dither about atomic power.  And while we do, our coal-fired plants disgorge their ruinous effluents, coal miners die by the score and our biosphere is ravaged.

Clearly, we strain at gnats while swallowing camels.

Well, dear readers, if you are going to take a position on atomic power, you should at least know what’s going on in the industry.  After all, Japan’s benighted reactors were designed some 50-odd years ago.  Please check out the following links.

http://web.mit.edu/pebble-bed/papers1_files/PBReactors.pdf

http://web.mit.edu/pebble-bed/Presentation/HTGRSafety.pdf

http://www.gen-4.org/Technology/systems/vhtr.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thorium_fuel_cycle

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Integral_Fast_Reactor

https://inlportal.inl.gov/portal/server.pt/directory/nrc_published_material/2656?DirMode=1

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_reprocessing

http://www.scientiapress.com/findings/sea-based.htm

http://www.miller-mccune.com/science-environment/the-salt-mine-solution-3797/

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qRfdPzkFSSE&feature=related

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/reaction/interviews/till.html

And remember that today, France gets about 75% of its electricity from atomic power plants.

-Merlin-


What To Do.

6 March 2011

I’m going to break with tradition today and address some political stuff.  And why not?  That’s almost all of what the “blog-o-sphere” consists.

Fixing Social Security. First off, SS isn’t part of the federal budget, so it doesn’t contribute to our travail.  That said, the bean-counters say it will eventually go in the red, but sometime two decades out.  OK.  Well the first part of the solution is simple: eliminate the “earnings cap” and apply the SS tax (FICA) to all income, no matter how high and no matter the source.  Second concoct an asymptotic benefit curve where the benefit gets proportionately lower the larger the beneficiary’s financial resources as measured against the beneficiary’s lifetime contribution.  With the drones and parasites kicking in at last, the FICA burden on the guy at the iron foundry south of town won’t be so large.

If the drones and parasites scream, let them; as I said elsewhere, there are a lot more of us then there are of them.  If they threaten to take their dough out of the USA, fine, but first hit them with a 90% Wealth Export Fee.

What to do about Lybia. Here too the solution is simple.  Send someone from the State Department over to see the rebels.  Tell them that if they declare a provisional government, the USA will recognize it.  That done, the provisional government can ask for military aid — which we will gladly provide.  What will Gaddafi do?  Realizing an American cruse missile will come whizzing through his living room window any second,  the POS will be on an airplane out-of-town so fast it’ll make your head swim.

The Federal Budget. Eliminate the oil depletion allowance.  Charge cattlemen a reasonable fee to graze on federal land and scout-out all tax breaks that subsidize businesses, and get rid of them.  Rescind W’s tax cuts for the rich.  Oh, and go to a single-payer health care system, i.e., Medicare for all.

Trade Policy. Any company that wants to move its facilities to China or some third-world shit hole, can do so — after paying a Wealth Export Fee, the size of which will discourage the move.  Anyone wanting to import stuff made in China or other benighted country, will have to demonstrate that the hands-on people who actually made the stuff were paid 75% of the American prevailing wage for comparable work, or the stuff doesn’t come in.

Global Warming. This is so simple it’s sickening: No more fossil fueled power plants.  Instead, go with atomic power.  (If you think I’ve got my head where the sun doesn’t shine, open a new tab in your browser and look up atomic OR nuclear AND power. Then become educated.)  Sun, wind and tide power will work too, of course.  After the new power plants start coming on-line, go out and buy a Tesla or a Leaf, `cause you won’t be needing gasoline any more.

Well, that’s all for today

-Merlin-