Environists – Theft by Government
Indiana: Biodiesel from Corn Residue Economical?
(Technology Review) Within a year, a pilot plant in Indiana will start converting the stalks and leaves of corn plants into diesel and jet fuel. The plant will use a novel approach involving acid as well as processes borrowed from the oil and chemical industry, which its developers hope will make fuel at prices cheap enough to compete with petroleum. The plant, which will have the capacity to process about 10 tons of biomass a day—enough for about 800 gallons (3,000 liters) of fuel per day, will be built by Mercurius Biofuels of Ferndale, Washington, with the help of a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy of up to $4.3 million.
Nathan: There are several aspects to this that are important. First, and obvious, this is yet another boondoggle: a trashcan down which to throw taxpayers’ money. IF this were that good a risk, private investors would be willing to shell out IF government hadn’t already tampered with the market. Second, the “novelty” of it is highly questionable: various similar techniques have been used and tried for years. This may be a “novel” way of putting it all together. Third, anything out of Washington state these days is highly suspicious as to whether it is legit or just a scam – and we KNOW that Solandra and others have scammed the government big time. Fourth, 10 tons and 800 gallons is PITIFUL. 10 tons solids (admittedly, high moisture content) produces 2.6 tons of diesel? Enough for about 4,000 miles on a semi-truck. But how much water will be used? And what about the remaining 7.4 tons of residue? Some will surely go away as gases (water vapor or CO2, particularly). But how much goes back to the field to nourish soil for the next crops?
Mama’s Note: Regular unleaded here was $3.19 this morning in town… so, just how is this economical? Not to mention that ethanol is very destructive to most engines.
Home front – Hoplophiles
US gun homicide rate down 49% since 1993 peak; public unaware
(Pew Research) “National rates of gun homicide and other violent gun crimes are strikingly lower now than during their peak in the mid-1990s, paralleling a general decline in violent crime, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of government data. Beneath the long-term trend, though, are big differences by decade: Violence plunged through the 1990s, but has declined less dramatically since 2000.” (05/07/13)
Nathan: Well, if it is Pew claiming this, with THEIR progressive agenda, it must be true. So, with the massive increase in gun ownership in the past two decades, gun crimes are going DOWN. Gee, I wonder just why THAT is? And why has the decline slowed? Is it for the same reason that military sexual assaults are up? For the same reason that productivity of the work force is down? For the same reason that politicians are getting sleazier and sleazier? Because SOCIETY is decaying? Because “public education” is a joke? Because there is less and less responsibility taught and expected? The question for the future is WHEN will the immorality of society – and the desire for the profits and pleasures of crime – tip over the balance against an armed “I’m not going to be a victim” populace?
Mama’s Note: I think that ship has already sailed… the cities have the greatest population of helpless victims… whether willing or not. The predators are much more prevalent in these places, which is only natural. The predators will eventually eliminate the victims… and each other. Those of us elsewhere, well armed and ready… not so much.
Theft by government – Stupid people
Argentina: Government offers tax amnesty for undeclared cash
(Biloxi Sun Herald) “Argentina’s government announced new measures on Tuesday intended to suck up undeclared dollars in response to growing pressure to abruptly devalue the nation’s currency. Economy Minister Hernan Lorenzino said the new tax-free bonds and certificates of deposit will pull into the banking system the foreign currencies that Argentines have hidden under mattresses and spirited out to illegal tax havens.” (05/07/13)
Mama’s Note: Wonder how many will be stupid enough to fall for this one… Once the government knows about the assets… a tax or confiscation later is just so much easier.
Nathan: Since anyone over age 30 should remember going through this once, and anyone over fifty going through it twice, I expect that very few people will be taken in by this ruse – certainly not more than 50 percent of them. If there were more smart ones, this wouldn’t even be happening.
Culture wars: Society and military
Military Sexual Assaults Increasing
(Godfather Politics (Commentary) …L.A. Times headline …: “The military’s sexual assault problem: An alarming increase in sexual attacks shows that the culture in the armed forces must change.” The L. A. Times is in denial. The culture in the armed forces is not going to change unless they start recruiting from some culture other than what they find in North America. “Rape culture” isn’t unique to the military. It is getting more and more attention as a high school phenomenon. Recent news examples are found in Torrington, CT, Cleveland, TX, Steubenville, OH, and over the border in Nova Scotia (which I think is relevant since Canada shares modern liberal values about sexual freedom with the US).
Nathan: The Godfather Politics writer is only partially right: the root of the solution is that American Society – as a whole – has changed, and especially that society found in the urban areas. The attitude towards women, towards rape and other sexual assaults, towards casual sex that USED to be limited primarily to the upper classes and the elites (remember the Kennedy clan and all the rapes and related things – even the way they treated JFK’s own sister? To say nothing of Hollywood) and the urban ghettos with their degraded “black” culture, the homosexual districts like Castro in San Francisco, and the debauchery of seaport’s redlight districts and military post’s hogtown or “strip.” But even those places (for good or bad) distinguished between the women who worked there and other women of good repute. Today, that is NOT the case, and in the one-size-fits-all military, women are fair game: just as they are in the night clubs and bars and many other places. Meanwhile, the media popularize the free and easy sex, encourage men and women to do whatever they want, and – then blame the military for being tainted by the popular culture. Where are the similar attacks on Big Sports and Hollywood?