Archive for the ‘environment’ Category

Solar Power Research

Monday, February 18th, 2008

Solar Power is going to be a big part of your future life whether you like it or not. With the cut throat politics of big oil, the future is going to be very different. America much like in the past will change the world with our direction. Not from some group in some far away lands demands, but on our own terms. American’s are a funny people, we will buy your product on our terms if it is affordable and reliable. That includes our energy needs. While the nice folks sitting on mega trillions of oil think that they have “We the People” over their barrel, creative Americans are turning those same barrels into wood stoves and home made bio-fuel tanks.

I love the New York Times and I have to thank my friend Jeff from Worm Town Taxi for turning me onto this story. The New York Times writer could not find his back side from his elbow on this topic. Rather than reporting on the true research they condemn solar power as a fad for this generation. Different paper, different generation but the same is true, Solar power is not good enough once more over at the NYT…

A link between Moore’s Law and solar technology reflects the engineering reality that computer chips and solar cells have a lot in common.

“A solar cell is just a big specialized chip, so everything we’ve learned about making chips applies,” says Paul Saffo, an associate engineering professor at Stanford and a longtime observer of Silicon Valley.

Financial opportunity also drives innovators to exploit the solar field. “This is the biggest market Silicon Valley has ever looked at,” says T. J. Rogers, the chief executive of Cypress Semiconductor, which is part-owner of the SunPower Corporation, a maker of solar cells in San Jose, Calif.

Mr. Rogers, who is also chairman of SunPower, says the global market for new energy sources will ultimately be larger than the computer chip market.

“For entrepreneurs, energy is going to be cool for the next 30 years,” he says.
Optimism about creating a “Solar Valley” in the geographic shadow of computing all-stars like Intel, Apple and Google is widespread among some solar evangelists.

“The solar industry today is like the late 1970s when mainframe computers dominated, and then Steve Jobs and I.B.M. came out with personal computers,” says R. Martin Roscheisen, the chief executive of Nanosolar, a solar company in San Jose, Calif.

Nanosolar shipped its first “thin film” solar panels in December, and the company says it ultimately wants to produce panels that are both more efficient in converting sunlight into electricity and less expensive than today’s versions. Dramatic improvements in computer chips over many years turned the PC and the cellphone into powerful, inexpensive appliances — and the foundation of giant industries. Solar enterprises are hoping for the same outcome. - New York Times

This is where the article should have ended but it didn’t. You can read the rest of it if you like but it is more or less if you can’t have the whole loaf of bread then you don’t want even one slice.

When it comes to our nations energy needs in the future you can no longer put all your eggs in one basket. You need to look at all options and Solar Power is just one option of many for your individual energy needs. There isn’t a person involved in the real life business of solar power that will tell you it will serve all of your energy resources. That kind of science and technology just doesn’t exist… YET! When you think of solar power you have to think of your vegetable garden, it offsets your grocery bill with food grown by your own hand that you know will help your family budget. It’s only the vegetables. As in the old commercials from long gone by political campaigns “Where’s the BEEF?”

The beef is in the current research that will mass produce the solar panels to the point where Joe and Joanne Sixpack can afford to install a solar panel on their home. That is where Moore’s Law meets the common consumer. That is where engineers and scientist break the back of OPEC and pretty much look at locations in the middle of the desert here in America with sunshine year round that are not in the Middle East for our nations electric power needs.

Solar Power was not a fad in the 70‘s, or the 80‘s, or for that matter in the 90‘s. It is and will be part of your life, it is only a question of what part it will be producing power for your families needs. Ten years from now you could probably pick up a whole house solar panel unit that you plug into your outdoor outlet that powers your entire home from Home Depot or Lowes. Then again Walmart might have those nasty falling prices and outsource the American designed technology to China to mass produce it. Any way you look at it, the technology will be cheaper and our nations energy needs will come from somewhere else and solar power is just one piece of the puzzle.

The only thing that will hold solar power back is the people most afraid of it and how much of their bottom line it will take away. Those are the people that this story in the NYT’s should have looked at more closely. That is when you will smell the sense of smoke in the air and new patents for new energy smoldering on the bonfires of big energy R us. Capitalism at its worst.

Papamoka

Feel free to link to this post or borrow it…

Cross posted at Papamoka Straight Talk

Government “Regulators” and Big Business: Goliath and Goliath

Friday, February 8th, 2008

Sometimes it seems like government and industry are so closely intertwined that it’s hard to tell where one ends and the other begins. In one of the most blatant examples of this, some state governments have teamed up with Monsanto to PREVENT food companies from labeling their ingredients accurately.

Ben & Jerry’s has been advertising that their ice cream doesn’t contain the synthetic bovine growth hormone made by Monsanto. This hormone was approved by the FDA in the 1990s in the United States. Canada, Japan and the European Union have never approved the drug because of safety concerns.

Just when you think you’ve seen the most absurd intelligence-insulting Astroturf organization yet, the bar gets lowered even further. American Farmers for the Advancement and Conservation of Technology is the “grassroots” organization that’s trying to prevent Ben & Jerry’s from even telling you that their ice cream doesn’t contain rBGH. Take a wild guess: this gang of douchebags consists mostly of (A) farmers; or (B) Monsanto lobbyists.

psssst! The answer is (B).

And just to make the whole situation even more Orwellian, a Monsanto spokesperson said “Monsanto is really an advocate in support of accurate labeling of dairy products in the dairy case.”

So now we have a popular organic ice cream company being squelched by two 800-pound gorillas (hereafter referred to as David vs. Goliath & Goliath).

Monsanto’s growth hormone (rBGH) was banned in most other countries for the effect it has on animals. It doesn’t directly affect humans. But rBGH causes increased levels of another growth hormone in cows; and that hormone is believed to cause cancer in people.

sssshhhhhh!!!! Move along! Nothing to see here!

Open Your Window. Look! There’s a World Out There!

Wednesday, February 6th, 2008

Calling all vegetables. Stand up (slowly, so you don’t get a head rush). Now, step slowly away from your computer. Walk toward your front door, open it and keep walking. Breathe (slowly, in case your lungs aren’t used to that strange cold air).

While you’re slowly getting your sea legs, look around. Plants, birds — what the hell are those things? Back in the old days, before everyone was glued to their TVs and computers 24/7, these strange experiences were actually normal.

A study has shown that camping, hiking, fishing and visiting parks have all declined drastically. Hunting has declined more slowly than other outdoor pastimes. This report is from the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The authors are Oliver R. W. Pergams and Patricia A. Zaradic.

The report says: “The replacement of vigorous outdoor activities by sedentary, indoor videophilia has far-reaching consequences for physical and mental health, especially in children. Videophilia has been shown to be a cause of obesity, lack of socialization, attention disorders and poor academic performance.”

And: “Declining nature participation has crucial implications for current conservation efforts. We think it probable than any major decline in the value placed on natural areas and experiences will greatly reduce the value people place on biodiversity conservation.”

This decline started during the 1980s and it’s been happening in the U.S. and Japan.

No wonder the environment isn’t a high priority. When we hear about forests being mowed down and species going extinct, more and more people will be thinking “so what’s your point?”

Super Bowl Sunday 2008

Sunday, February 3rd, 2008

All Right!!! Was Super Bowl XLII one kickass game or what?!? The New York Giants came from behind to upset the New England Patriots in the last 35 seconds of the game. The Patriots got their asses handed to them, 17 to 14. You Go Giants!

Tom Brady played a hell of a game but he was sacked five times; pretty shocking for a record-setting quarterback. Eli Manning is now out from under his brother Peyton’s shadow — excellent work! And that incredible leaping catch by David Tyree was just too much.

Jordin Sparks opened with the National Anthem — a nice arrangement with some unusual chords that livened up a traditionally dull tune. And Tom Petty rocked the house during halftime.

OK, if you’ve read this far (and clicked on the links) you’ve figured it out — you’ve been had. You fell for the ol’ Bait and Switch. Gotcha! But you’re also a little bit more aware and informed now, right?

More Bush Assaults on the Environment

Friday, January 18th, 2008

George W. Bush is already known for having more contempt for the environment than any previous president. He makes Ronald Reagan look like a starry-eyed hippie gazing at a redwood forest. It’s probably redundant to even talk about his latest assaults on wildlife. It’s like saying David Duke is a racist, or Grover Norquist hates people who work for a living.

But every time you think Bush couldn’t possibly do anything else to the environment — couldn’t possibly become any more of a douchebag — he does.

Bush has singlehandedly overturned a federal court ruling. I didn’t know he was a judge. Did you? A federal court had ruled that the U.S. Navy has to follow certain precautions so that their high-power sonar equipment doesn’t damage marine life. Bush said Nuh Uh.

We’re fighting a War on Tur; we don’t have time to get all touchy-feely about whales and porpoises. An al Qaeda submarine might sneak past the U.S. Navy and stage another 9/11 attack. Uh, that word again was: 9/11.

Also, Bush’s Interior Department has abandoned efforts to save the few remaining Jaguars in southern New Mexico and Arizona. If any of these areas near the U.S.-Mexican border were designated as critical habitat for Jaguars, it might jeopardize our brand spankin’ new border fence. And we need that border fence. We’ve got hordes of dark-skinned savages pouring into our country from Mexico and you’re getting all maudlin over a few Jaguars?

We have 367 more days of this asshole stenching up the White House. (Or if you’re in the military, that’s 366 and a wakeup.) Whoever takes his place has to be an improvement.

Be a Real Man — Buy a Ford

Monday, January 14th, 2008

The Detroit Dinosaurs are depending on YOUR patriotism for their survival. You’re their only hope; their shoddy gasguzzling land yachts certainly aren’t gonna put them in the black.

Check out this heartwarming story. Look at Toby Keith standing there saluting next to a Ford F-150. Aren’t you moved?

Real American He-Men are sick and tired of these limpwristed treehuggers and their constant “waaaaaaaaahhh global warming.” Just look at what these pansies have done to America.

Would John Wayne be caught dead in one of those squeaky little Japanese contraptions that goes wingdingdingdingdingding and gets fifty miles to the gallon? Hell No Pilgrim! And you won’t either if you have any pride in this great nation of ours.

Detroit automakers have spent hundreds of millions of dollars defeating clean air regulations and fuel efficiency standards. And NOW they’re supposed to turn around and spend even more money trying to design a car that somebody might actually want to buy??? That’s not faaaaiirr.

Toby Keith, bull rider Justin McBride and NASCAR driver Rick Crawford are urging you to buy a Ford. And there’s a posse of bull-whipping cowboys urging you to buy a Dodge Ram. Come on Patriots.  America needs you.

Biggest lies of the year..part deux

Sunday, December 30th, 2007

I report..you decide..all of this is from FactCheck.org:

Rudy’s Adoption Deception

Republican presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani claimed adoptions went up 65 percent to 70 percent when he was mayor of New York City, when in fact adoptions at the end of his tenure were only 17 percent higher than at the start, and they were falling. His manipulation of official statistics was a classic case of using data selectively to create a false impression.

Levitating Numbers May 7, 2007

Rudy’s False Cancer Claim

Giuliani claimed in a radio ad that men suffering from prostate cancer have only a 44 percent survival rate under England’s system of “socialized medicine.” The true figure is 74.4 percent. Giuliani’s bogus statistic was the result of bad math by a campaign adviser with no particular expertise in cancer research. It was denounced by any number of cancer experts including one who called it “nonsense.” Giuliani stubbornly refused to admit his error, claiming the 44 percent figure is “absolutely accurate.” It isn’t.

A Bogus Cancer Statistic October 30, 2007

Bogus Cancer Stats, Again November 8, 2007

Rudy’s Inflated Cop Count

Giuliani falsely claimed that he grew New York City’s police force by 12,000 officers, but 7,100 of those he counted were already housing or transit police who were simply merged into the New York Police Department. The actual increase in the size of the city’s uniformed police officers was about 3,660, or about 10 percent, and the cost of hiring about 3,500 of them was partially covered by the federal government under President Bill Clinton.

Cop-Counting Cop-Out October 9, 2007

Rudy’s Bogus Crime Claim

A Giuliani TV ad falsely claimed New York City experienced “record crime … until Rudy.” In fact, the city recorded its highest rates of both violent crime and property crime years before he took office. The downward trend was well established before he was sworn in.

The Not-Quite Truth About NYC November 27, 2007

Rudy’s Tax-Cut Puffery

Giuliani constantly repeated that he “cut or eliminated 23 taxes” while mayor of New York City, but eight of those were initiated at the state level, with the mayor cheering from the sidelines. A ninth cut, one of the largest, was opposed by Giuliani in a five-month standoff with the City Council, until the mayor finally acquiesced. He can properly claim credit for initiating only 14 of the cuts.

Giuliani’s Tax Puffery July 27, 2007

Richardson’s Job Inflation

Democratic presidential candidate Bill Richardson continually boasted of creating 80,000 jobs since becoming governor of New Mexico. But official figures showed a 68,100 gain when he first started making this inflated boast. He based his claim on a definition of “jobs” that includes unpaid workers in family businesses and freelancers who don’t draw a paycheck.

Richardson also claimed he “made New Mexico 6th in job growth,” when the state already ranked 6th for the 12-month period before he took office and later fell to 17th under Richardson’s stewardship.

Richardson’s Job Boast August 22, 2007

Richardson Flunks Math and Science

Richardson also claimed over and over that U.S. students rank 29th in the world in math and science. Not true. The two leading international assessments of student achievement rank U.S. students better in all cases, and in most cases much better, than Richardson claims. U.S. students do post mediocre scores compared with those of other industrial nations, but Richardson is using a fanciful number that paints too dark a picture.

Richardson Flunks Two Subjects September 12, 2007

Mitt’s Immigration Malarkey

An ad by Romney in New Hampshire claimed that his rival John McCain “voted to allow illegals to collect Social Security.” That’s untrue. Nobody who is in the country illegally could be paid any Social Security benefits under McCain’s immigration bill. What McCain and 10 other Senate Republicans voted against was an effort to strip illegal aliens of a right they currently have: to apply the taxes they paid and the time they worked while in the country illegally as credit toward future Social Security benefits if and when they become citizens or legal residents.

The same ad said one of the differences between the two candidates is that Romney “opposes amnesty” for illegal immigrants. But Romney himself once called McCain’s immigration bill “reasonable” and said it was “quite different” from amnesty. Indeed it was. The McCain bill would have required those here illegally to pay thousands of dollars in fines and fees to gain legal status.

In an earlier TV ad, Romney cast himself as tough on illegal immigration, saying “I authorized the [Massachusetts] State Police to enforce immigration laws.” He doesn’t mention that his order never took effect. It came in the closing days of his administration and was rescinded by his successor

More Mitt Malarkey December 28, 2007

Tough Guy on Immigration? November 9, 2007

Mitt’s Meth Miss

Yet another Romney ad attacked Huckabee in Iowa, claiming Romney “got tough on drugs like meth” in Massachusetts while Huckabee “reduced penalties for manufacturing methamphetamine” in Arkansas. But the legislation Romney supported never passed. Furthermore, convicted meth dealers face prison terms in Arkansas that are four times longer than those in Massachusetts, even after the reductions Huckabee supported. The reductions were drafted with help from Arkansas state prosecutors to ease prison overcrowding.

Romney on Huckabee II December 19, 2007

Mitt Mauls History

Romney claimed that Democratic President Clinton “began to dismantle the military,” but really it was Republican President George H.W. Bush who started making deep cuts in defense budgets years before Clinton took office.

More Mitt Missteps July 9, 2007

Hillary’s Trumped-up Troop Claim

In a TV ad for her presidential campaign, Sen. Hillary Clinton falsely claimed that members of the National Guard and military Reserve didn’t have health insurance until she and a GOP colleague took action. “You would think that after all the sacrifices and service of the National Guard and Reserve protecting our country, they would have had health insurance. But they didn’t.”

In fact, most of them did. All active-duty Guard and Reserve troops were covered by federal insurance long before she became a senator. Furthermore, four out of five non-active-duty guardsmen and reservists also were covered by their civilian employers or other sources. Clinton did help expand and enhance government health care coverage for reservists but can’t claim credit for creating coverage where none existed, as this ad implied.

Exaggerating Help for Troops December 20, 2007

Huckabee’s Tax Hooey

* Huckabee tried to duck charges of being a tax increaser by claiming an Arkansas gasoline tax hike passed after 80 percent of state voters approved it. But the referendum vote on highway repairs didn’t occur until after the tax was increased.

Huckabee also claimed repeatedly that he cut taxes “almost 94 times,” sliding by the fact that 21 other taxes were raised during his tenure, resulting in a net tax increase.

Huckabee’s Fiscal Record November 21, 2007

“FairTax” Falsehoods

Proponents of the so-called “FairTax,” prominently including Huckabee, claimed that a national sales tax of 23 percent could replace both the federal income tax and Social Security taxes, and eliminate the Internal Revenue Service.

In truth, the actual rate of the proposed tax would be 30 percent, when calculated the same way as state and local sales taxes. And it would have to be 34 percent to raise the same revenue as the taxes it would replace, according to a bipartisan presidential commission. The FairTax would, for example, raise the price of gasoline by roughly $1 per gallon at today’s prices and cause a $150,000 new home to cost at least $195,000 including the 30 percent tax.

And while the Internal Revenue Service might disappear, two new federal bureaucracies would be needed: one to administer the sales tax and another to keep track of sending out hundreds of billions of dollars in checks every year to compensate taxpayers for the regressive nature of sales taxes. The proposal calls for “prebates” to all taxpayers of all taxes paid on purchases up to the poverty level. That of course would require an IRS-like system to validate each person’s income and the amount of “prebate” they are due.

Unspinning the FairTax May 31, 2007

Edwards’ Empty Threat

Former Sen. John Edwards said, both in a TV ad and constantly on the campaign trail, that as president he’d tell Congress to act within six months to make sure all Americans have health insurance or “I’m going to use my power as president to take your health care away from you.” But he would have no such power. Lawmakers have health coverage granted by law, not by executive fiat.

Edwards’ Empty Threat November 13, 2007

McCain’s Supply-side Spin

McCain claimed the major tax cuts passed in 2001 and 2003 “dramatically increased revenues” and that tax cuts in general increase revenues. Not true. The Congressional Budget Office, the Treasury Department, the Joint Committee on Taxation, the White House’s Council of Economic Advisers and a former Bush administration economist all said that tax cuts lead to revenues that are lower than they otherwise would have been – even if they spur some economic growth.

Supply-side Spin June 11, 2007

McCain’s Impossible Energy Dream

McCain promised that if elected he’d set up a massive government program to develop alternate energy sources and “we will in five years become oil independent.” But the U.S. imports two-thirds of its oil, and dependence is growing. Experts we consulted said McCain’s five-year goal is an impossibility. “There’s just no way,” said Frank Verrastro, director of the Energy and National Security Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. “You can’t institute technological change that quickly.” Studies assessing how to achieve energy independence set target dates ranging from 2025 to 2040.

Republicans Debate in Iowa December 12, 2007

Scott Olson/Getty Images
Biden’s Bogus Labor Boast

Sen. Joe Biden claimed during a Democratic forum to have a labor record equal to or better than all the candidates present that evening:

Biden: Look at our records. There’s no one on this stage, mainly because of my longevity, that has a better labor record than me.

Actually, all the candidates on the stage had a better lifetime labor record than Biden, as measured by the AFL-CIO’s ratings of Senate and House votes. Rep. Dennis Kucinich and Edwards had the best ratings, tied at 97 percent for their congressional careers. Biden’s lifetime rating brought up the rear at 85 percent.

AFL-CIO Democratic Forum August 8, 2007

Democratic Hot Air on Medicare

Democrats made a false promise to senior citizens by claiming that they had a painless way to bring about lower prices on pharmaceuticals. Michigan Rep. John Dingell summed up his party’s empty promise during House debate on their bill, H.R. 4:

Dingell: This legislation is simple and common sense. It will deliver lower premiums to the seniors, lower prices at the pharmacy and savings for all taxpayers.

That claim was contradicted by a number of experts including the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office and the chief actuary of the Medicare system. Both said the bill wouldn’t bring the lower prices Democrats promised, because it wouldn’t have allowed the federal government to set up a “formulary” of approved medications for Medicare, such as the one the Veterans Administration uses to squeeze price concessions from drug companies for the drugs it covers. Formularies can be unpopular with patients if preferred drugs aren’t covered. The Democratic bill would require federal officials to negotiate while denying them any leverage. The bill passed the House but the Senate took no action.
Medicare Hot Air January 17, 2007

Bush Baloney on Children’s Health

President Bush falsely claimed that a proposal to expand the 10-year-old federal SCHIP program “would result in taking a program meant to help poor children and turning it into one that covers children in households with incomes of up to $83,000 a year.” That wasn’t true. Nothing in the proposal would have forced coverage for families earning $83,000 a year.

Actually, the Urban Institute estimated that 70 percent of children who would gain coverage under the bill that Bush attacked (and later vetoed) are in families earning half the $83,000 figure Bush used. One state, New York, had proposed (under current law) to allow families of four with incomes up to $82,600 a year to be eligible, but the administration successfully prevented that from happening.

Furthermore, the program wasn’t aimed at “poor” children as Bush claimed. Those in poverty generally are covered under Medicaid already. SCHIP was aimed at children in families without health coverage and with incomes that are above the poverty level.

Bush’s False Claims About Children’s Health Insurance September 21, 2007

Bush’s Iraqi Exaggerations

Bush played loose with the facts in an address address to the nation on Iraq. He said “36 nations … have troops on the ground in Iraq.” In fact, his own State Department put the number at 25. The White House later said the president was counting some nations that had troops in the country temporarily as part of a military exercise. Bush also said the city of Baqubah in Diyala province was “cleared.” But the Washington Post quoted a State Department official as saying the security situation there wasn’t stable at the time.

Operation Iraqi Gloss-Over September 14, 2007

Off-Base About Offshoring

An ad by a labor union PAC supporting Democratic presidential candidate Edwards in Iowa implied that the closing of a Maytag factory in the state and the loss of 1,800 jobs were due to “tax breaks to companies that move jobs offshore.” And it said Edwards would end such breaks. But the jobs didn’t move offshore. They were sent to Ohio. And eliminating the “tax breaks” in question probably wouldn’t do much to keep jobs in the U.S.

Not Working 4 Edwards December 19, 2007

“Lawsuit Abuse” Nonsense

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce ran a TV ad claiming that “lawsuit abuse” is costing “your family” $3,500 a year. But that figure came from a study estimating the cost of all suits, not just abusive ones. The author of the study called the chamber’s ad “misleading.”

A False Ad About ‘Lawsuit Abuse’ May 11, 2007

by Brooks Jackson, with the staff of FactCheck.org

So, there you have it..all the lies and bs from both sides of the aisle..it’s a doozy ain’t it?

Tankless Hot Water Heater

Thursday, December 27th, 2007

There is nothing worse than jumping into the shower and all the hot water is gone just as you finish soaping up. Needless to say the expletives coming from Mom and Dad as they finish their cold shower can be heard throughout the entire home. In my home the culprit for the expletives is usually me because Mom is up first, followed by two teenage daughters.

In our previous home we had a tankless gas hot water heater from Bosch Aquastar installed that I loved. No huge tank heating water 24 hours a day burning natural gas even if we were off on vacation. When you turned the hot water on the water was instantly heated from the time it left the unit till you were damn good and ready to get out of the shower. Even if your wife and five daughters had all previously showered just before you. The true benefit is that even with long showers by every person in the house we still saved a ton of cash on our gas bill every single month. We averaged about $40 bucks a month in savings.

There is only one downside to converting from the ancient technology of heating water in a forty or fifty-five gallon monster that sucks money out of your checking account every month, the start up cost. Depending on the size of your home and your hot water needs you can spend between $1000 to $1800 to convert your gas or electric water heater over to tankless hot water. With some of the higher priced units supplying six gallons per minute of hot water you get what you pay for so sizing your home to the usage is critical before you invest dollar one. The payback according to some sites is a 20% to 50% savings on your hot water utility bill every month.

If you want to explore this just a tad further then you can Google search it in the link on the sidebar by copying and pasting:

Tankless Gas Water Heater
Or
Tankless Electric Water Heater
Or
Tankless Liquid Propane Gas Water Heater

One of the other advantages to having a tankless hot water heater is the lifetime of the products is far greater than any form of tank water heater. On our Aquastar it was rated for a 25 year lifetime based on average use. On these newer units you would have to do a little research and see what they are up to now. Needless to say the payback on any of the tankless hot water heaters is probably around the three to five year range.

Just for the record, some of these units are pretty complex with the installation so you might want to contact the appropriate trade for the installation of the unit. This is not the average do it yourself project since the work involves gas pipes and electric wiring to service most of the units. Make sure you ask them if they have ever installed one before you hire them to do your install. My guesstimate to convert your home to tankless hot water included the cost of having it professionally installed.

Let me know if this post helped you out?

Happy Hot Water Showering,
Papamoka

Originally posted at Papamoka Straight Talk

Regulation

Friday, December 14th, 2007

The enemy of Corporate Capitalists is regulation. The freedom to do whatever needs to be done to make a buck is the most efficient way to make that buck. Regulations, by the very nature, put a roadblock into that process. On the other hand, the goal of regulation is to protect the weak that do not have the strength to fight someone who chooses an efficient way of making money that also damages the society. Regulation is by its very nature a method to prevent efficiency.

My mother used to always say that moderation is the key to life. Obviously moderation does not rank high on the agenda of modern American society. People rush to embrace the latest fad, and then they drop it and rush on to the next fad a month later. There is no moderation in this behavior.

With regulations it is a similar love - hate relationship. People want to fix a problem and fix it “real good.” This results in regulations that don’t just fix a problem, they slam the problem real hard. Sometimes these slams can really hurt the efficiency of the process, and force capitalists to create new ways to make the process work. On the other hand, capitalists can permanently see the easiest solution is to remove the existing regulations to make the process work more easily. For the benefit of society lawmakers need to play the role of moderator of the regulations.

Unfortunately lawmakers are paid by campaign contributions from groups on both sides of the regulations divide. The result of this is that we never have a group of moderate lawmakers that realize the necessity of regulation as well as the danger of over regulation. The extremists populate the government and proudly push their agenda.

To make matters worse, the enforcement of regulations is the key to making them work. Enforcement is the jurisdiction of the executive branch of government. For the most part the enforcement of regulations can easily be curtailed by funding cuts. If there are no people to inspect and enforce regulations, the result is a policy that is the same as if there were no regulations at all. If no one follows up on a report of violations, then the criminal gets away with the crime. If the people given the duty to enforce the laws are selected because of their incompetence, the result again will be little enforcement of the laws. The truth is that it is difficult to enforce these laws even when we have competent people trying to enforce the laws.

Regulations are meant to protect society.

Yesterday I was listening to a right wing radio station. A caller was complaining that China was poisoning our children. It is quite understandable that we should be concerned with lead or other toxins in our products. One way to fight this is to require regulations. But, even more importantly we need to enforce regulations that protect us. The right wing talk show host pointed out that the government should not be required to do this job. And, we shouldn’t have regulations placed on our corporations, because that would be too costly for our American companies who distribute goods that are manufactured in China. I began to wonder what this guy was going to suggest to protect our society.

I was not only surprised, but shocked when the right wing radio talk show host suggested that we should let market forces protect America. If people get injured or die from poorly made products manufactured in China, then Americans will vote with their wallets and stop buying the poison. I wish I knew who this guy was, but the radio began to fade out while I was listening. Of course, I thought to myself, the market will fix all of our problems, even if a few people need to die in the process.

I began to think about Europe. Europe has an enormously complex set of regulations. I know a few of these regulations because I have designed products to be sold in Europe. The reason that Europe came to the conclusion that it needed these regulations was because Europe wanted to expand its market. It wanted regulations in one country to match regulations in another country. Obviously if one country had lax regulations it could manufacture less safe products at a cheaper price, just like China is doing in today. But, the US does not have a uniform set of regulations in which a product is marked as compiling with. It isn’t until a harm is found before a product is forced to be taken off the market.

What is the difference between Europe and the USA that makes for the differences in this attitude toward regulation? Why is the US government so careless about the potential problems with new products, while the European governments care about potential harms? I would suggest that the main difference is that Europe actually has a broad health care system. So, if there are widespread health problems caused by a defective product, then the government will end up paying the cost. The government is thereby motivated to prevent harms to society. (This sounds a lot like letting the market solve the problem.) Therefore the governments are motivated to create regulations that protect the people. And, the government is also motivated to enforce those regulations. Isn’t it wonderful when problems are left to the market?

So, I would suggest that Universal Health Care would not only help get health care to those who can not afford it, but it actually motivates the government to protect the people from things like toxins in our toys, and food. It might cost a little more, but what is the cost of your health? Isn’t there an old saying that asks: “If you haven’t got your health, then you haven’t got anything.” Surely a corporate capitalist can understand that little saying.

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Don’t forget what Stephen Colbert said, “Reality has a well-known liberal bias.”

Cross Posted @ Bring It On, tblog, Blogger and BlogSpirit

Reflection

Good Clean Fun at the Slaughterhouse

Wednesday, December 12th, 2007

If you aren’t a vegetarian (I’m not either), this grossout story might change your mind. Please put away all food and beverages before reading on.

We’re going to visit Quality Pork Processors Inc. in Austin, Minnesota. They have a work area called the Head Table. This is where workers cut the pigs’ heads open (hopefully AFTER the pig has already been slaughtered). Then they shoot compressed air into the skulls to get the brain matter out.

Severed pigs’ heads are processed at the Head Table at the rate of 1,100 per hour. Workers slice off the cheek and the snout and then insert a nozzle into the skull. The compressed air causes the brain matter to come blasting out of the base of the skull.

In addition to being gross, this process is a health hazard. Eleven workers from this plant — and all of them were employed at the Head Table — have developed severe numbness and other neurological symptoms. Five of these workers have been diagnosed with a rare immune disorder — Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyneuropathy (CIDP) — which attacks the nerves. It produces numbness, tingling and weakness in the arms and legs. And the damage is often permanent.

Two neurologists from the Mayo Clinic think these illnesses were caused by inhaling airborne brain matter.

Mmmmmm… Yummy yummmm. Big steaming plate of ham, anyone?

Ahh, Pig Brain Mist — l’essence de L’Oreal.

Quality Pork Processors Inc. supplies their products to Hormel Foods Inc.

Minnesota health officials are saying the public is not at risk. And the Titanic is unsinkable.

On a related note: California might have a 2008 ballot initiative that would ban some of the most inhumane Factory Farm practices. The organization has until this February to collect enough signatures to qualify for the November 2008 ballot. There’s nothing treehugging or touchy-feely about this initiative. Basically it would require that farm animals in cages have enough room to stand and turn around.

There’s no online petition to click on, but if you’re a California resident or would like to forward this information to anyone you know in California, here’s their website.


Fish.Travel