Friday, 28 September 2012

Great Smelt

Qtar is not on the radar for most, but the dictator there seems to be on to some good things. This aluminum smelter is the biggest in the world and uses 18% less energy than all the others to produce 585,000 tons of aluminum annually. Aluminum is a near perfect element. It is very abundant, corrosion resistant, easy to cast, form, stamp, weld and at the end of the day a perfect substance to recycle. I would make it a law every car manufacturer who makes less than a thousand cars a year, and more than a million must make one model line in aluminum. It could even be a copy of the steel car made in aluminum. Imagine all the cool cars that would still be daily drivers if this law had been in effect for the last 50 years. Cars would be far more affordable even if the up front cost was higher.  Given the economies of scale its likely aluminum cars might not cost significantly more if there was a mandate. Food for thought, the worlds largest smelter  makes enough aluminum to make 290,000 Audi A8 per year.

Thursday, 27 September 2012

Working where death is the product

My grandfather signed up for the great war at age 15, no government official was interested in checking his ID.So he went to France and fought in battles we could not even consider today. The Somme, Ypers, Vimmy Ridge, were he was one of the hundreds of thousands of cannon fodder and somehow he survived  Sure he lost a lung to mustard gas, and no amount of coaxing would ever let anything about that time pass.
Except for the good times, two stories, one he is alone walking across a field and a bi plane comes in to strafe him, but the pilot was not a cold blooded killer and when he should have died the pilot waved his wings and flew away. The second is at Christmas when Germans and Allies ventured across the lines to sing and drink together and wish it all went away. World war one was not a good war, like the second war with Iraq no one can say exactly what happened, and exactly what was the fight about. World war two was a different case. It was good vs evil, but the evil was created by the good. This event replaced the absorbingly syphilis infected British Empire with the Boy Scout Empire of the USA. Everything was going swimmingly until JFK was taken out. Then the USA became the British Empire. And here we stand today. We are on the bubble of a Star Trek or a battliefid earth existence.

Good Deeds, Good News, used as weapons

Are you tired of being inspired. I am. With todays medicine and technology people we would have written off a couple of decades ago are making real contributions. However the foucs is all on the good news story to end the segment dealing whih what is increasingly a dark reality. The message is , hey at least all your parts  work so do not complain. People suffer so many idnatiys daily it makes the very small percentage of people who rise above their horrendous disabilities part of propaganda. Yes I respect what they have done. If I was placed in the same situation would I thrive, I doubt it. Yes they are inspiring individuals, but they take our eyes off the disablity we all face, the 1% control the playing field like never before in human history. The closest we can come to examine the effect is the robber baron era in the USA. Today the labratory would be Hong Kong, or Singapore. Do the 99% really think they are going to join the club?

Robotic Parking

 Theconclusion of Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol  stars a robotic parking system. Today's Globe and Mail makes a great case for making these mandatory in urban areas. If Toronto's city hall parking was converted to robo parking 20,000 gallons of gasoline would not be burned. At $1.30/ liter that's $118,000 dollars not spent. Therefore if such service was mandatory in the old city of Toronto, the collective users of the parking would be saving  two to three million dollars a year. That does not take into account the reduction of wear and tear on your car from driving/reversing/idling a cold engine around a parking garage.
As the article points out in areas of high land value these systems cost less than traditional parking garages, and all the flat parking lots wasted opportunity cost could be captured. Additional benifts include the option to have your car washed, to detect heartbeats and make sure no child or dog is ever accidentally left in the car. In the case of electric cars the robots could charge them during the day, effectively making electric an option for 80% of commuters. Everybody gets to park and depart steps from the door, protected from the wind and the rain. For those with attached garages winter commutes would start and end without winter. Break ins and car theft from parking lots would be eliminated.
The massive parking lots around malls and big box stores could be converted to condo's. Go stations could be communities. 

Imagine commuters coming into Milton from the west in the morning, exiting from the ramp to a parking garage attached to the Go station. Half the system capacity could be on the other side of the 401, and on the return journey commuter drives right on to the ramp headed in the direction home. Of course a skybridge would be needed, but imagine the gasoline and time saved. A network of Go parking built around the 400 series highways could eliminate gridlock.

Shiba inu

I am a dog person. My childhood dog was a purebred Golden Lab. Ginger was a very smart dog, but she still chased cars. She used to follow me downtown and would wait outside the store,  she would ride the ski doo and lived near 20 years. My next dog Farley was a mutt, mostly Golden Retriever and Setter. She was also very smart, and would attempt to talk all the time. She could spell, or understand words spelled out in futile attempts to fool her. A new dog is now under consideration. Conventional wisdom says a border collie is  the smartest dog, maybe to high maintenance for us. The Shib inu look like a very cool dog. However I would prefer a mutt for health reasons.

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

They don't make them like this anymore

If I had a million dollars I would pimp a GMC motorhome.  I got the itch watching the movie Stripes.  Like a sailboat I have never had a motorhome.  There is something about both that captures the imagination; they say freedom and self-sufficiency like few other objects. If the GMC motorhome was a sailboat it would be an Oyster.  Although manufactured for only 6 years ending production in 1978, there still exists a huge community of GMC motorhome hackers striving to not only preserve but also modernize these vehicles of the future. The primary feature that to this day sets GMC motor-homes apart from all others is the shell is built from Aluminum, not wood or steel. This is the secret sauce that has allowed these “26 ft., 12,000 lb. Antique Hot Rods” to keep on trucking.

Florida is the center of GMC revitalization. Golby Motor Company purchased the original GMC molds, along with a host of other re-makers all the parts exist to build a modern version of the GMC classic. I estimate this would cost $100,000 or more.  This may be expensive, but there is a lot more bang for your buck in such an investment than purchasing a Mercedes based Winnebago.  However as far as I know, no one has ever gone this route because there are thousands of existing models easily restored and driven away by people, even on a limited DIY budget.

But if I had the money this is what I would do.

Buy the 1976 Palm Beach for $1,800.
Ship it to a company that does 3D scanning.
Have them scan all the fiberglass body panels, chassis and other steel parts.
Modify the front body panels to resemble the 23D.
Also create a streamlined air foil that could hold a couple of 250 watt solar panels and reduce turbulence around the roof mounted air conditioners.
Find a job shop that could hydroform body panels out of marine grade aluminum.
Find a shop that could make the chassis out of aluminum instead of steel.
There are a handful of companies that could do the job, but I would send these parts to the Cooperative Motor Works with a big deposit and request they build me GMC Royale with a wet bathroom on the side. In many cases like the rear air suspension, aftermarket solutions have been engineered that far exceed OEM.
Although new replacement engines with modern features like fuel injection are available, I would instruct Jim Bounds to obtain electric motors and lithium packs from Mercedes or Porsche and power the beast with pure electric drive.
In the engine compartment I would fit a modern diesel, Cummings, GM or maybe back to European.  It would only charge the battery packs.  The battery packs would be placed to create a perfect load on the front and rear axles.
The interior would have an executive jet look, no stove; I would have a swing out or slide out barbecue accessed from the outside. It would only sleep two in the center bunk bed configuration, and one in passenger seat, which would be a biz class seat from an airplane. The rear would be an executive road office.
There would also be a 70 inch TV, a TV that could be attached to the outside passenger side, which would also be rigged to hang speakers on.
The paint job would be very similar to the “full tilt buggy”.
Finally I would restore the Palm Beach in the traditional way; it would be sacrilege to leave one behind.

Imagine if more classic cars had been constructed similar to the GMC motorhome.  For sure there would be a lot more diversity on the road. There should be a law that every car company must make one model out of aluminum.

Monday, 24 September 2012

Sam the Record Man

Another touchstone of my mis- spent youth runs out of time. Now it was not Sam the Record man the person I have fond memories of.  It was his unique creation, or his take on something wonderful my progeny will never experience, a record store. Ironically my requited love of music was consummated mostly in the analog version of,The Columbia record club.
My small central Ontario town had no record store.  The closest one was in Lindsay close to 100km away. My parents loved country music, and I used their subscription to buy all my early albums.  My first was the best of the Guess Who 1973, I was 15. My collection of vinyl remains at 4 milk cartons or about 200 discs. LP made the Record Store. Due to their size they took a huge amount of floor space, and album covers made every record store the equivalent of a fine art museum.  I can’t remember ever buying an album at Sams, and was in the store no more than a dozen times. However like everyone from that era my single experience was life changing. My most vivid memory was a standalone display for the Tales of Mystery and Imagination by the Alan Parson project. It was a mannequin wrapped like a mummy in thick reel to reel or computer magnetic tape. I don’t regret the demise of the LP. I have always had a reasonable audio system. My first real paycheck in my first grown up job was spent in Orillia at a store that no longer exists. Magneplanar SMG1 Speakers ,  paired to NAD 3020 Integrated Amp feed by a Dual turntable. The NAD still powers my I-tunes off my hard drive. The sound of these digital files massaged by powerful but subtle silicon chips hands down and far away exceeds any LP or CD sound. However I if given the choice of never experiencing the Sam the Record man universe, or never progressing to the digital world, I would chose to live in the past.

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

My dream bike realized

I have always wanted to build the better bicycle. Recumbent bikes are from an ergonomic standpoint light years ahead of the traditional. However there are start stop and steering issues. Therefore I always imagined a trike. Well this is light years ahead of any of my fantasies. This is a DIY project, download the plans for free.

There are a number of similar trikes on the market, but they are priced between $2,000 and $6000.  My research indicates the DIY would weigh in around 50 lbs. and the best of these in the 30 lb. range.

Korean Cultural Export

I have over a year on the ground in many Asian countries. Korea is one of my favorites.  The barbecued beef and pickled cabbage are world class contributions to preparation diversity. Impossible as it seems Koreans win both longest hour worked and most time spent at the nightclub. We have all experienced the rise of Korean brands.  I often went to Gangnam on business and highly recommend SamWon Gardens. for the finest of traditional Korean Barbeque. The waiters place a steel pot filled with glowing charcoal in a hole cut in the center of your granite table, then they cook the food right on the table. Now we have a music sensation. Over 220 million hits on YouTube. It speaks Korea to me.

Monday, 17 September 2012

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Science Fiction Double Feature

Wow what a plane, who could have imagined. Every day something so fantastic its hard to believe is announced. So when ever I fear for the future, I see a mountain of reaseach and development from every corner of the world touching every aspect of civilization that brings the smile back.

A Supercomputer for the same price as an elite gaming machine. 

A 3D printer than may usher in a true post industrial world. No doubt it will scale up. In Germany football field sized CNC already exist. Printed buildings are only years away.

Supersonic aircraft should be part of the future.

Solar panels that spin, brilliant.

A NASA spaceship using dilithium crystals.

.Science Fiction Double Feature the original.

Apple I phone 5 review

I love my 4s. I see nothing in the 5 to motivate me to switch. The thinness not an issue, I already have an otterbox on mine and it still slips easily everywhere. Battery life already great. The only improvement I would like to see is multitasking. For example recording myself singing while I read the lrycis from a website and listened to I tunes to get the music.

On the Negative side, why change the USB connection? Maybe I will snag a deal on a I pod speaker system from a fan boy whose phone no longer fits apple slick.

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Bora Bora

Crop Circles

I have never seen a real live crop circle. However after watching the video I am convinced its not all the work of a bunch of pranksters in snowshoes, with string and flashlights. I doubt Circe du solei and a busload of master craftsman could duplicate some of those patterns given a week, let alone overnight.

Monday, 10 September 2012

911 So terrible its beyond understanding

It’s the 11th anniversary of 911. It’s very hard not to think this was strike two by the industrial military complex. In a world turned upside down, this group has never enjoyed such a fertile environment. The enemy is everywhere and nowhere. People back home have tuned out the war, and no one ever says no, because we don’t want another 911. Just like the Kennedy assassination there are so many unanswered questions. With the death of Osama Bin Laden I hope the world can return to pre 911 sensibilities. That means currently allaying with Al Quadi in Syria would not be ironic, just nostalgic.

500 unanswered questions.

I admire Russ Baker, maybe I don't agree 100% but this former long term New York Times columnist has a real edge to his investigations.

You only have to know two things.
One is that according to the official story, a handful of Arabs, mainly Saudi Arabians, operating independently of any government and competent intelligence service, men without James Bond and V for Vendetta capabilities, outwitted not only the CIA, FBI, and National Security Agency, but all 16 US intelligence agencies, along with all security agencies of America’s NATO allies and Israel’s Mossad.Not only did the entire intelligence forces of the Western world fail, but on the morning of the attack the entire apparatus of the National Security State simultaneously failed. Airport security failed four times in one hour. NORAD failed. Air Traffic Control failed. The US Air Force failed. The National Security Council failed. Dick Cheney failed. Absolutely nothing worked. The world’s only superpower was helpless at the humiliating mercy of a few undistinguished Arabs.
It is hard to image a more far-fetched story–except for the second thing you need to know: The humiliating failure of US National Security did not result in immediate demands from the President of the United States, from Congress, from the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and from the media for an investigation of how such improbable total failure could have occurred. No one was held accountable for the greatest failure of national security in world history.

Thursday, 6 September 2012

911 weighs heavy on our history

What I was thinking  a decade ago.

With an unimaginable rudeness on Sept 11 history revealed it was not over.  Unfortunately we have an administration that while speaking in Churchillian rhetoric about those lessons, have Henry Ford’s eye for history.  “History is bunk,” declared that American icon. Generations of MBA’s, accountants and lawyers have heeded that Buffetian advice as the canyon between rich and poor grew ever larger. In the world trade centre people became the victims of repeated historical mistakes.

Most have seized upon the obvious, “be prepared”. The US spends 1000 times more on security than any other nation. Networks sizzle with retired military types linking Sept 11 with under funding or limits from liberal handcuffs.  Sept 11 should have proved that just like love, security couldn’t be bought at any price. Therefore devoting our scarce resources to building walls and punishing offenders will bring little more success than the war on drugs. The law of unforeseen consequences tells us operation Infinite Justice will bring surprises. Short term they are likely to be unpleasant but in the long term history assures us they will be beneficial. The unlearned lesson, the historical trap we spring upon ourselves time and again is ideological.

As Sting said “ I hope the Russians love their children to”. Our similarities are so great.  A basic ideological failure to manage our differences is the historical mistake that keeps on bleeding.  History is littered with failure, but the last century drew to a close with most of the first world on the verge of success. Satisfy the basic needs of humans, and most will follow that ideology into the jaws of death. To loud applause every president has given the answer; freedom. Realpolitic has forced American presidents to take freedom “a la carte”. While every president has understood that freedom must be earned, Republicans in general refuse to understand that every man must be unconditionally be given the tools of freedom. But even more they need a secure place to practice and develop until they are capable of survival. Dont get hung up on the fact that a few that never leave the nest, but celebrate the universal human spirit that spurs the majority to seek more.

Everyone needs, freedom from hunger, freedom from the elements, and freedom to learn and express opinions without fear. The first world has taken different routes to achieve these basic needs, with varying success. In every case a veneer of democracy was the prerequisite for success.  The stronger the democracy the greater the success. If you measure a society by its ability to provide for its citizens, a good argument can be made that European democracy is stronger and more effective provider than the Anglo-Saxon brand. However semantic arguments are not going to stop wide body jets from coming through the window. Truly applying democracy to the bleeding hatreds that are the third world is our only hope.

We had a chance in Kuwait, maybe in Saudi as well. It was to be expected that in an oil war, that gas consumption would be the calculus of freedom. In Pakistan and Afghanistan, America should not make the same miscalculations. Iran shows the promise of the future, and the beauty of mans best idea in action. What’s needed is not NMD or MADD but TD (turnkey democracy). A social democratic model designed for the people, not for the corporations.

The failure of American democracy to provide for all citizens is complex.   Nevertheless American democracy is by many measures is unbeatable. In the third world the American way is a prescription for disaster. Democracy and the third world seem incompatible. Fighting ingrained nepotism, tribal loyalties and massive ignorance would tire even Hartio Alger. Afghanistan and other third world countries will never develop a true democracy under a two-tier system. These factors have outflanked democracy in most of the world. What if the problem has not been with democracy but with the application of the Anglo-Saxon model of democracy?

In Afghanistan the people are open to anything better. Lets learn from history and give them a real chance to succeed, unbridled by our own ambitions and ideology. Bind Afghani citizens to a powerful constitution.  The US constitution is certainly the starting point. Let the mullahs and tribal elders make it more their own without diluting the essential elements.  Integrate this strong constitution with strong district governments like in Switzerland or to a lesser extent Germany and Austria. The goal of these fledgling governments should be to feed their people, not expand GNP. As in Europe economic growth and prosperity will flow when every citizen has attained basic freedoms. After these baby democracies have been force fed into achieving a  “nanny state” they can find their own democratic destiny.

The answer is be prepared, be democracy.

The horror perpetrated on the US and by extension the civilized world by the fanatic Islamic deviants is beyond the imagination. Now after a month of bare emotions it is time to calmly reformat America’s worldview, and vice versa.

No other nation has ever held such a potent combination of, cultural influence, economic power, scientific discovery and raw might. Compared to other unbridled empires the US has behaved in an exemplary fashion.  The problem is the world does not view America in historical context. We see a blizzard of enticing but contradictory snapshots. From the torrent of information we build our own distorted pictures of America. Conversely Americans view the world with an American prism that mostly reflects the incorrect message.  It’s not true that most would rather be like, live in, or actually be Americans given the chance. The success of Pokeman, does not mean we wish to become Japanese. Compounding the misunderstanding is the blending of the actions of the American people and the actions of the government of the USA. There are very few actions of the American government that are supported by the majority of the American people. Now is the time for the world and America to respect each other.

First, America is not always first.  There is more to being number one than GNP or force projection. The UN evaluates top spot by trying to include measures like infant morality rate, life expectancy, and the ever intangible “ quality of life”. By these measures the US is often in the top ten, but never the winner. Given this is about as accurate as reporters picking the top college football team, but it would be helpful for Americans to step back and question why their self perception runs counter to the rest of the world. The pre 911 tensions between the US and the first world were similar to arguments between sports enthusiasts. All love the game; they are only debating about the best way to play. The third world and in particular the Moslem world does not accept our game, or due to USA support of autocratic governments can not even play.

Doubtless hard power states like France, England and America are essential. The rest of the first world is happy to support the USA lead and play a soft power game. Fundamentally Americans should understand like the USA does, that the first world admires respects and relies on the USA to be the leader in supplying the infrastructure that keeps civilization moving forward. Problematically the USA often does not respect the cultures and societies that form the alliances so necessary for Americans and the USA. It is this lack of respect, this ignorance that infuriates non-Americans. Hopefully 911 will open American minds to the possibility that some other countries can do things better than in the USA.

For example most the first world uses about 50% energy per capita than the USA. There would be a minority of Americans that would respect the achievement of living with a smaller footprint. Due to taxes energy prices are double the USA. A vast majority of Americans would be fundamentally convinced that taxing energy to reduce consumption was un-American. Looked at from the European or Japanese perspective the USA’S gluttony and waste are at the least impolite and at worst a planetary death sentence. Americans should be grateful and respect that at least temporarily some of the most indefensible positions are forgotten as its under appreciated friends heart fully offer unlimited aid.

It is the third world that the government of the USA, and the all the peoples of the first world face an unfulfilled challenge. 911 raised to new levels the amount of astonishment humanly possible. Perhaps most disturbing is the middle class, well educated terrorist’s ability to live amongst us for years without being affected. No hearts and minds program is going to reach these people. USA has poured more than $50 billion into Egypt. Given the feeling on the streets, there is scant appreciation.

President Bush is desperately trying to walk the tightrope between anti-terrorism and anti Moslem.  Islamics are going to be no more convinced than IRA supporters in America were. The muted reaction of the Islamic world is the first sign that we have a failure to communicate. Che  Gevarra is a good example from our past of what to expect Osama to become in the future. However by any measure Che was a largely ineffectual figure when compared to the Al Capone of terrorism.  Therefore Osama’s impact will be cataclysmic among the next generation Muslims. Nothing the west does now will change that. Victory can only come by reaching Moslems not yet born.

To do this the Palestinian question must be answered. The peace treaty must be viewed as a win or at least justice for the Palestinian. Democracy has to be forced upon the new state. Whatever the Koran says about infidels in Arabia will have to be followed.  Egypt, Saudi, Iraq and others will have to follow the lead of Iran. Therefore the west has to be willing to let new versions of Iran develop. If the USA tells Saudi, Iraq and Egypt to go democratic now or else, it would be true to our principals, and is the only way to solve the long-term problem of Osama watabees

No one questions the $50 Billion per year expenditure to secure Middle East oil supplies. Knowing this there is  no bigger hypocrisy than a politician using America dependence on imported oil as a reason to despoil more of a diminishing environment. Under the Bush energy plan use of imported fossil fuels can only increase. Even though most pollution leaks from poorly maintained refineries, the Bushies want to do an end run around the clean air act. The only significant reserves are under OPEC control or in politically or environmentally fragile areas. Unless radical action is taken America will have no choice but to become further embroiled in messy alliances. American wealth will continue to flow to regimes who to say the least do not embrace democratic ideals.  Cheney said, “ we like oil at $25 a barrel, if it gets to cheap we stop exploring for more.” If another well was never drilled current reserves of oil will last for a hundred years or more. My question is why waste resources with any more risky exploration? Instead of working to further damage the planet, initiate a revolution that will give the world, as we know it a chance to survive. America is the only country in a position to speed the solution into action.

Americans consume about 30% of the energy used every year. This buying power can transform the globe. Like anyone addicted to a destructive substance the first step is to acknowledge the danger. A majority of Americans including some of its finest companies accept global warming is a real phenomenon.  We are about where tobacco was during the 1980s. By that time the majority had enough data and common sense to realize that inhaling clouds of smoke was not healthy.  Bodies may be resilient but now even the tobacco companies admit sickness and death are by products of smoking. A critical mass of common sense is coming to recognize that even a wonderful ecosystem like the earth has limits to the amount it can inhale. Like the tobacco scientist the greenhouse gas debunkers motives are transparently oily. Hopefully a rash of class actions will signal the start of a serious intervention. Cheney dourly attempts to convince the public there is no alternative. As it was before so it shall be in the future. The truth is what happens next is only a matter of political will.

How can America, save the planet, ignore OPEC, tackle the trade deficit, reduce fuel costs, increase rural income, and return the favour to big oil? The shocking answer is to raise gasoline tax by $.50 per gal. Due to the importance of trucking the tax should not apply to diesel. Also this would encourage car owners to switch to proven green diesel technology.

Assume a gallon of bio-fuel can be profitably sold at $1.50/gal. The revenue earned from taxing the 8.2 million gallons used daily could be used to buy bio-fuel. This would cost about $50 billion per year. Through this action one third of gasoline needs could be grown on American farms. Combining this new domestic source with existing secure reserves would free America from the OPEC yoke.  Bio-fuel can be made on a relatively small scale without huge refinery like investments. The risks of spillage, and costs of transport are eliminated.  Once the benefits of burning pure bio become obvious the market will spur further production. A virtuous snowball will roll across America leaving cleaner air, better jobs and significant energy self-sufficiency.

A paradigm shift will leave the US without the need to defend Middle East oil. That should provide an annual $50 billion dollar dividend. This can be used to further increase efficiently and reduce dependency.  Market forces will react to a 30% decrease in gasoline demand. The net price of gasoline will fall below $1.00/gal. Therefore even with the tax the price will be less than we pay today.

For this proposal to work there is no need for new technology. Bio-fuels are a proven boon to the environment and the farmer. If the existing clean diesel technology employed in European cars were used in American fuel use could decrease by another 50%. Jimmy Carter had the answer 20 years ago. How much longer can it be ignored?
Remember when gas was under a dollar a gallon? If congress had imposed a $0.50/gal tax at this time, the price of gas would be still be hovering around the $1.40 level. More importantly billions of dollars would be actively fighting the energy usage crisis.  Big oil is the schoolyard bully stealing the lunch money of the feeble consumer. Why is the American consumer a powerless pawn in the “great game” that has fuelled modern history? Mostly it is a selfish lack of self-control.

Europeans have long understood that without the discipline to pay yourself, big oil will pipe all the funds into it’s overflowing coffers. Europeans and Americans will soon be paying roughly same price for gasoline. In Europe 80% of the revenue is returned to the people. Americans will send it to those individuals who know how to spend it more wisely.

Demands for oil drilling in fragile costal Alaska will test the American public. The higher the oil price the more support such shortsighted wasting of the environment gathers.  It is a vicious circle; increase the price of oil so that expensive recovery is possible, because oil is so expensive exploration becomes cost effective. The only losers are the people who are addicted to oil.  Because it is the world’s energy glutton the solution must be found in America.

Bush and the Republicans make no secret of their love of big oil. Democrats have read the polls and realized that only market forces can support high gas prices. Now with gas prices ready to break the $3/gal barrier people might listen to a common sense approach. If Clinton had gradually imposed the $.50 a gallon gas tax over the last 8 years, prices could now be at least $1.00/gal less. Oil addiction could be treated with a gusher of well-funded actions. The price at the pump would still be less than half of first world average.  Greener, leaner and leading, America would be the undisputed environmental champion.

With gas prices at all time highs new fuel taxes have no chance. However in 2001 congress has $100 billion surplus to dispose of. Whether your politics support the case for energy shortage or global warming, everyone agrees there is some kind of crisis. Someone please wake up the Democrats. Instead of giving the money to the rich, invest the money. Global warming may not be as immediate a threat as rolling blackouts. However $100 billion spent wisely can greatly diminish if not eliminate both problems.

First invest in bio-diesel. It can be made on a relatively small scale almost anywhere using canola or sunflowers. Even with the industry in its infancy a gallon can be produced for around $1.50. Twenty-five Billion could subsidize enough bio-diesel oil to drive 40 million trucks 10,000 miles a year. Due to decreased fuel demand gasoline prices will drop under $.75 per gallon. Then tax oil to fix the price at $1.25. The windfall can be used to fund the continuing subsidy of bio-diesel. The environment would be instantly relieved of millions of tons of economically depressing pollution. The frightful balance of trade and the cloudy future of the American farmer are both decisively attacked.  The strategic oil reserve would be in surplus. This surplus could be used in a one-time strike to bring down prices immediately. Worldwide, inflation free economic growth would explode. A huge affordable wallop can be made against both high costs and green house gases. Imagine America really leading, not squandering.

Spend $50 Billion to buy solar panels for every federal building and army base. Federal scientists have already documented the incredible 40% savings available by investing in heat pumps, so keep the momentum going. The economies of scale will bring the price down and efficiency up for all solar systems. Furthermore this is an investment that will pay far more than $50 Billion in dividends.

The last $25 Billion should be spent on a hydrogen-generating infrastructure. LA, Washington and NYC could switch their taxis, buses and police cars to hydrogen power. The American auto industry could jump to the front of the hydrogen revolution.

The catalyst of this spending will lead to energy self-sufficiency. Annual expenditures of $50 billion needed to defend the Middle East oil could be returned to the taxpayer. A single investment of $100 Billion now, can bring annual returns far in excess of the initial investment. Overall the benefits are immeasurable. Tell your representative to support a bold but simple plan to let the people win the great game.

Imagine a country uncontested in military or economic might.  There is a budgetary surplus of a $100 Billion. Alone amongst first nations it does not have universal health care, or a prescription drug plan. All parties agree the education system is in a death spiral. The public school system is becoming a crumbling holding cell of lost opportunity. Two percent of the population is locked up, mostly for victimless crimes. The middle classes have stagnated, while the manager’s wage has risen to 400 times that of the workers. A shortage of energy threatens to cripple the economy. Gasoline is set to reach levels triple that of a few years ago. Meanwhile the country has only 4% of the world’s population but creates 25% of greenhouse gasses. 
What the opposition proposes. Not much, Nader was right!

Logic dictates the surplus be used to solve any problems that $100 Billion can cure. There are not many problems $100 Billion cant cure.

1)   Taxes are ideology and if the truth is ever seen, it is only by historians. We can see that in the last 8 years all Americans enjoyed a vibrant economy. If its not broke, don’t fix it. Therefore until other crises are solved don’t touch taxes. Lower energy costs and the Keynesian effect of spending $100 Billion will do more for the economy than buying more T-Bills for the Ross Perot's of the land.
2)   You can never have too much protection. The money is there so why take a chance, build the missile shield, research wonder weapons, but take the axe to conventional and nuclear forces.
3)    It costs $20,000 a year to keep a man in prison. Spending a fraction of that on children, will keep adults out of jail. Furthermore through Headstart the essential skill of literacy can reach world levels. Encouraging consumption cannot solve an energy crisis. While energy efficient appliances may cost more, they more than pay for themselves due to lower electricity bills. Everybody but the power company wins. Do not adopt oxymoron standards. The health care crisis cannot be solved with 100 Billion. The least harm is to train more doctors and hope supply and demand make capitalistic medicine work. Both sides agree a prescription drug plan is affordable, make it so.
4)   The dawn of the 21th century should not see a mandate to renew 18th century coal technology. Fortunately the Federal Academy of Science has just released a report detailing how conservation can take us more than half way to energy nirvana. So whom do you trust non-political scientists, or an extreme conservative bunch of carbon fuel entrepreneurs. New nuclear plants do not compute. Assume infallibility was granted and all the Chernobyl like concerns can be eliminated. Nuclear reactors are not financially viable. Nuclear projects will not fly without huge government incentives. Large amounts should be used to seed alternate fuels. Wind power, solar power, fuel cell, bio-fuels, and hydrogen infrastructure are the only way forward. Blow a large wad on these bets. America can be self sufficient on clean fuels; it is only a matter of political will.
5)   Education also defies a pure monetary cure. The infrastructure problem is local and therein lays the solution. Perhaps education or highway money could be withheld from states with substandard schools. We all know Johnny can’t read, why more money for testing?  America is a competitive place, schools should reflect that. 

Racism is a senseless activity, yet it continues to wreak havoc. In the worst cases ethnic cleansing is justified. At a minimum discomfort and dehumanization are inflicted on both sides.  Like beauty racism is in the eye of the beholder. European racism has a rainbow of colours. Whites are against blacks, browns and other whites.  Asians also practice racism against their own genotype. In America white on white racism has become virtually non-existent. But shades of black on black racism are very real. Within Asian cultures there is also a shades of white racism existing. The question then becomes why, and can the American selectiveness provide answers to eliminate racism?

European and Asian racism is more understandable than American racism. In much of Europe or Asia it is very difficult for people from one village to integrate into another village only a few hundred miles away. This negative response grows more extreme the farther from ground zero the offending newcomer is. Europeans and Asians have sophisticated and unique cultures developed over thousands of years. Europeans and Asians share sedimentary cultures that take strength from their solidarity or sameness.  Immigrants to America brought these prejudices with them, but the roots of American culture are so diverse and so shallow that Europeans have come to exist as a single group. Thus white on white racism could not be sustained. Meanwhile back in Europe, all outsiders are still seen as threats to a highly successful social framework. No one likes change, nice place to visit but I would not want to live there is a universal feeling. Like Europeans Asian racism is strongly fuelled by feelings of cultural superiority and centuries of conflict. To settle and survive the Americans were forced to embrace change, and it has become a centrepiece of American cultural success.

There is something about a whiteness preference that transcends the European rooted cultural victory of the past few centuries. It existed in China while Europeans were still carrying clubs and wearing skins. Somewhat astonishingly Blacks have come to regard lightness with superiority. Ironically most whites see themselves better brown. Asian Indians would seem to have the complexion most Europeans desire. So in summary it is very clear that racism according to skin colour is an abstract notion.  Therefore as the world grows evermore intertwined and cultures mix, colour based racism will disappear like bad sunburn. Inevitably countries like Canada, America and Australia will be the first to become truly colour blind. Then the question becomes is politics a form of racism?

America is now coming to grips with minorities who think like Attila the Hun. Clarence Tomas and JC Watt spring to mind. They fear the liberal more than the white suburbanite fears the upwardly mobile black. The republican right practices a discriminatory campaign against all types of liberals. While on the left no organized biased cabal exists.
However do you think liberals would find any protection from a conservative supreme court? No way! The right control is so complete; the right to vote can be massaged. Where is the outrage? It has been consumed by the WWF, and misdirected by talk radio. Politics is being played as the weather, why complain, it wont change.

 It is clear that liberals are dying in America. They cannot survive in the sun and the conservatives prevent all light from shinning. So when the message and the messenger can be condemned with only a simple bromide, how can any progress be made? Good examples are the tax cut, health care, campaign finance reform and global warming.

Lets examine each one in detail. The tax cut. It’s your money not the governments. Who can argue with that? Death Tax, surely that must be nonsense. Double taxation, they taxed us once when we were alive and now when were dead they wont stop. Great words, but highly deceptive if not untrue.  No one pays taxes on capital gains until the asset is sold. They are only taxed once.  The rulers and the ruled have always had a social compact. Traditionally the rulers got what they wanted from the ruled. This was mainly men and material to fight wars and expand power. The divine right can see no further benefit to the social contract. Millions have died and suffered to expand the social contract. But with a few million dollars spent on think tanks the right has turned the imperfect nature of government into a well resonating condemnation of any attempt to rule on behalf of the majority of people. This racism of power is not obvious to the majority. There is nothing easier to hate than rules and regulations. Market this natural hostility as a product and you have 60% of the people thinking in step with the 4% who actually own 60% of the country. Otherwise the surplus would be returned to the majority of the people, or used in a way that would benefit the majority.

Campaign finance, what is the scam here? Free speech. Dollars speak larger than words. Again we see that even if soft money is eliminated, the right still holds the advantage. Who gives the hard money, again 4% of Americans make 80% of political donations. The right creates an atmosphere of helplessness. When there is no solution, nothing will ever change.  In a battle between the unarmed voter and the marketing genius who will win time and again?

Health care or the lack therein off is a fundamental triumph of racism. Bill and Ted raised every fear ever placed in the mind of the voter. Fact is universal health care reduce the care for the rich. Its supply and demand. They will no longer get organs first, and 5 star hospital rooms. This is what the rich fear, and why the poor will continue to die young.

Global warming is so abstract, but I compare it to smoking. Logically if you inhale smoke over time it will not be good for your body. Therefore it should be clear that the earth can only absorb so much smoking and it to will become unhealthy. Without political racism coal fired plants would have disappeared 20 years ago. The rich would not accept health care that let them die young, but they feel they can move to healthy parts of the country or planet. Spending the money they made causing the world to die, to convince everyone not to stop smoking.

911 Reaction

After the towers fell this is how I felt.

We fell

We jumped my lily and me
We fell from the concrete tree
It was dieing, badly stung by that silver bee
We floated and flew
Ever closer the asphalt grew
And then it was so dark
Cold Flames with no spark
Couldn’t feel a thing
But then  the white tunnels bring
A comforting light
There was no need for a fight
It was the best day to know
That he will always do right
It will be a short night
And man won’t ever, ever lose the fight

Down on the earth was hell
Those big trees shook and then fell
We welcomed thousands more souls as well
19 went to hell
It was the best day to know
Some things you cant sell
We all wanted to tell
It will be a short nite
And man will never ever lose the fight

We are watching from above
Sending down creamy clouds of love
To those that survived, the ones who have not yet died
Pick up and strive, to keep hope alive
It’s a good day to know
Terror is only on the inside
Take your life with pride
It will be a short nite
And man will never lose the fight

A hundred years from now
There will be terror as well
It will never go away
Bad things they like to stay
To interfere with his ways
It will be good to know
His children can play
Until the last day
It will be a short nite
And man will win the fight

They flew

They flew the plane without regard
It hit us very hard
And time will not forget
What damage they had meant

How there was a failure
Proved freedom is no dream
We can not fear the stranger
Killing what it seems
The things we took for granted
Before the towers fell.

Now were bombing evil flintstones
Hiding in the snow
They go about barefoot
And fighting’s all they know
They got 20 years of training
Not burdened by explaining
And now there really ready
Ready for the show
English, Russkies, Yankies,
It is a path they well know

The world will fracture somewhat
As enemy’s are friends
And the friends we thought we trusted
On them we cant depend
All we want is victory, but we cant find it again
So all we can do is be civil and try to
Live and breathe
Without a chronic terrorist disease

They flew the plane without regard
It hit us very hard
And time will not forget
What damage they had meant

Killing for Allah

Allah, Allah gives me Allah
One two Allah, die for Allah
Gimme a death that stinks for Allah
Ya its alright, its alright, forget about peace
Forget about Islam, kill the devil, but you know you is one.
Its alright alright alright, Kill Kill Kill tonite.

Widows and Orphans all for Allah
Live in town and then kill for Allah
It’s right its alright
Taliban ,Taliban they know their Allah
He’s right always right, its right for Allah , hoe hoe

Take a young man, Allah Allah
Cardboard cutter in Hand ,Allah Allah
Cut her neck Allah Allah
Its alright alright  Alright
 Blood and Guts
We make parts for Allah
Yeah, you can to, you can to
Look man deaths around
Aint nothing we cant do , cant do
Its right its alright Yeah

Live in a cave, pretend your brave
Its right  its alright
Shame Shame you bring to Islams name
Its alright Its alright
Your just more nuts, insane insane
Abusing someones sacred name
Its right its so right
Take some time find Allah Allah
Hes right so right, so right
Allah Alah
Wont fight Wont fight
Its peace you idots
That’s right that’s right

Big Mac, Bud lite maybe Marlboros
They mean fight it’s a fight
Part of culture, its not right its not right
Solution is easy, no more sleazy
Were tight so tight
So come on Allah, Come on Alright
Do right do right, do right
Smite the vermin, now were learnin
Life its alright, its alright.

Rockford Files

Rockford files on the pavement
A part of the world wide dragnet
Were going to hunt old evil down
Not going to leave one town
With terror inside, when the bad guys all died
We were justice and pride

Now all the cynics say
Its just another day
Of  scheming and pride
Of secrets to hide
To go on with our ways
And always make sure
The other guy pays

Could be the last chance
For us to go on
With only a song
To fill up our heart
Lets make a new start
And try and do right
Not just take our might
And drop it from high
Exploding with light
Darkness made bright
A force you cant fight
An end of the nite

Into the sun we will run
Down the beach chasing fun
There will be a last time
A bloody last time
Till the world is one
Cause were mostly the same
Differences don’t maim
Don’t bring death from above
It may sound funny
But all we need it love
Or a little respect
Some new etiquette
To realize a dream
Take the man from the machine
Watch the world made clean
Draw a new scene, with poor people in love
Without help from above

The Fountian

It was a fountain of growth upon a new land

A place with an address but could be bypassed or speared.
Take down the wounded warrior under his owner’s crass command
Its just a buttery summary of Orwell’s last stand.
Sparks fly from the effort put forth
Defeat the enemy or wear séances so fort.
Just Just take and take apple away, do it 10 billion times every day
Who in the future will say, selling vitamins is a copyright play.
Go go down to the midnight beach, feel the street like a dog in heat.
We howled at the last night of love, it waits for a fight.
Been suspecting ever perfection overriding errorless love.
Take down all the vooms its notions that I cant approve.
Give a man some blow to his head, not enough to kill him, he already dead.
Through his eyes comes the pain of admission, life gives no second audition.
So messed up with random thinking, not aware of any signal blinking
He runs to the plane and falls into a game, but he knows unforced trouble is never the same.
The only thing to count on is blame, when you reach for the stars but end up in bad bars,
There are plenty around to complain, or worse they will carp and stink like fish in the dark after the waters long gone away.
The smell is like a violin, with all the bows playing on one string, and it cuts like a fart through a sacred art and nothing gets drawn until the money starts.
Money flows like water uphill not towards squatters, it floats at the top and they cant seem to drop, or even bend to the pain, of knowing it just aint the same.
Twenty years gone, they paved over the pond, and the burger stand closed, so the clown he could pose and the children get covered with need, if your hungry it his burger for feed.