November 12, 2012 § 2 Comments
It’s Friday morning, and so far today, the Obama administration has posted 165 new regulations and notifications on its reguations.gov website.
In the past 90 days, it has posted 6,125 regulations and notices – an average of 68 a day.
Makes me think of the old Guns & Roses song Signs.
We’re no longer free. Very sad.
November 5, 2012 § Leave a Comment
The Legatum Prosperity Index assessed and ranked the prosperity of 142 countries based on eight sub-categories: economy, entrepreneurship and opportunity, health, governance, education, safety and security, personal freedom, and social capital.
via Business Insider.
We are now 12th.
Embarrassing. No wonder people are leaving in droves.
October 30, 2012 § Leave a Comment
After falling behind Asia and Europe in the great race, where success is measured in FLOPS floating-point operations per second, the US has struck back at the new high-tech Olympians with Titan: quite possibly the fastest supercomputer in the world. …
All of that might now change, as a new supercomputing giant hailing from the Smokey Mountains was unveiled by the US Department of Energy’s DOE on Monday. More than 10 times faster and five times more energy efficient than its predecessor Jaguar, Titan is the brainchild of the DOE’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory ORNL, nestled in the Tennessee highlands. Titan’s theoretical peak is 20 petaflops – 20 quadrillion calculations per second – with 299,008 CPUs central processing units and 18,688 graphics processing units GPUs spinning at breakneck speeds to make to make scientific breakthroughs in record times.
Titan’s blistering computation speed will be the equivalent of “the world’s 7 billion people being able to carry out 3 million calculations per second,” ORNL says.
You all realize this is the Super Bowl of computers right?
October 21, 2012 § Leave a Comment
The liberal Washington Post complains:
There’s a 7.5 percent federal tax on every airline ticket. The money goes into a fund that pays for the air transportation system: airports, capital improvements and the operation of the Federal Aviation Administration. …
When the airlines kept ticket prices down by shifting $12.8 billion to baggage fees, they also saved almost $964 million in federal taxes they would have owed if they had hiked ticket prices by that amount.
via The Washington Post.
First let’s take a look at the real story when it comes to airline taxes:
- September 11 Security Fee: A September 11 Security Fee of $2.50 USD applies per flight segment (maximum charge per trip — $5.00 USD one-way, $10.00 USD round-trip). A flight segment is defined as one takeoff and one landing.
- Passenger Facility Charges: Passenger Facility Charges (PFCs) of up to $18.00 USD may apply, depending upon the itinerary chosen.
- Federal Excise Tax: A 7.5% domestic tax is applied to the airline base fare. The tax may be pro-rated for flights to/from the 48 contiguous U.S. states and Alaska and Hawaii, and some international destinations. A Travel Facilities Tax of $8.40 USD per direction also applies to flights to/from Alaska and Hawaii and the 48 contiguous U.S. states or between Alaska and Hawaii.
- Federal Domestic Flight Segment Fee: A federal domestic flight segment fee of $3.80 USD applies per flight segment. A flight segment is defined as one takeoff and one landing.
Looks like the G is getting more than it’s fair share of the airline travelers’ dollar. The money collected — and wasted — by the TSA and FAA is staggering. It’s no wonder that back in March the Orlando Sanford Intl. Airport was choosing to opt-out of using the TSA for security screenings. Regardless of how they spend it, the government is taking plenty of money from the airline traveler.
Also, let’s take a look at the wording of the story. The newspaper writes, “When the airlines kept ticket prices down by shifting $12.8 billion to baggage fees, they also saved almost $964 million in federal taxes….” Wrong! The airlines didn’t save anything; the consumer saved. This sentence should be written, “By shifting $12.8 billion to baggage fees airline passengers saved nearly $1 billion in taxes that the federal government would have otherwise imposed.
The headline of this story should be, “Shifting fares to fees permitted $1 billion in extra air travel last year.” Air traveler the big winner.
Further, the baggage fees were NOT paid by everyone. If you travel light and didn’t check a bag you paid nothing. If you needed to check a bag, then you paid for the service you received.
The whole situation seems very fair to me. That the government is out the money is just icing on the cake.
October 18, 2012 § 1 Comment
It is after all the Chicago way.
The CTA has potentially inflated by up to $150 million the federal taxpayer money it received since as far back as 1982 by “fraudulently over-reporting” the number of miles CTA buses travel while in service, according to a new report by a little-known watchdog group.
In its report, titled “A bus tour of Chicago-style fraud,” Washington-based Cause of Action alleged that CTA officials reaped millions in extra federal money that the agency was not entitled to by improperly including “deadhead,” or out-of-service bus miles, along with funding-eligible revenue bus miles when applying for money from the Federal Transit Administration. …
But Cause of Action, which said it based its findings on “insider audit information” from six years ago, said the CTA likely continues to get away with its inaccurate mileage reporting, with the knowledge of the U.S. government, because of the transit agency’s political connections stretching from Chicago to Washington.
It cited the clout of Valerie Jarrett, who is senior adviser to President Barack Obama and also a former chairwoman of the CTA (1995 to 2003), and Robert Rivkin, general counsel at the U.S. Department of Transportation. From 2001 to 2004, Rivkin was general counsel at the CTA.
Officials at Cause of Action said they brought the matter to the attention of the U.S. Department of Transportation inspector general, the U.S. attorney general and Congress, but no action was taken.
via Chicago Tribune.
Surprise Surprise Surprise!!
The good citizens of Chicago are naturally shocked and appalled that Valerie Jarrett and other stooges of The Machine have engaged in taxpayer fraud. Shocked and appalled.
This sounds like a Qui Tam lawsuit in the making. Someone going to get on that?
October 18, 2012 § Leave a Comment
Very cool photo tour of some of the stuff behind the scenes at Google data centers.
September 13, 2012 § Leave a Comment
Checking out at the store, the young cashier suggested to the older woman, that she should bring her own grocery bags because plastic bags weren’t good for the environment.
The woman apologized and explained, “We didn’t have this green thing back in my earlier days.”
The young clerk responded, “That’s our problem today. Your generation did not care enough to save our environment for future generations.”
She was right — our generation didn’t have the green thing in its day.
Back then, we returned milk bottles, soda bottles and beer bottles to the store. The store sent them back to the plant to be washed and sterilized and refilled, so it could use the same bottles over and over. So they really were truly recycled.
But we didn’t have the green thing back in our day.
Grocery stores bagged our groceries in brown paper bags, that we reused for numerous things, most memorable besides household garbage bags, was the use of brown paper bags as book covers for our schoolbooks. This was to ensure that public property, (the books provided for our use by the school) was not defaced by our scribblings. Then we were able to personalize our books on the brown paper bags.
But too bad we didn’t do the green thing back then.
We walked up stairs, because we didn’t have an escalator in every store and office building. We walked to the grocery store and didn’t climb into a 300-horsepower machine every time we had to go two blocks.
But she was right. We didn’t have the green thing in our day.
Back then, we washed the baby’s diapers because we didn’t have the throwaway kind. We dried clothes on a line, not in an energy-gobbling machine burning up 220 volts — wind and solar power really did dry our clothes back in our early days. Kids got hand-me-down clothes from their brothers or sisters, not always brand-new clothing.
But that young lady is right; we didn’t have the green thing back in our day.
Back then, we had one TV, or radio, in the house — not a TV in every room. And the TV had a small screen the size of a handkerchief (remember them?), not a screen the size of the state of Montana. In the kitchen, we blended and stirred by hand because we didn’t have electric machines to do everything for us. When we packaged a fragile item to send in the mail, we used wadded up old newspapers to cushion it, not Styrofoam or plastic bubble wrap. Back then, we didn’t fire up an engine and burn gasoline just to cut the lawn. We used a push mower that ran on human power. We exercised by working so we didn’t need to go to a health club to run on treadmills that operate on electricity.
But she’s right; we didn’t have the green thing back then.
We drank from a fountain when we were thirsty instead of using a cup or a plastic bottle every time we had a drink of water. We refilled writing pens with ink instead of buying a new pen, and we replaced the razor blades in a razor instead of throwing away the whole razor just because the blade got dull.
But we didn’t have the green thing back then.
Back then, people took the streetcar or a bus and kids rode their bikes to school or walked instead of turning their moms into a 24-hour taxi service. We had one electrical outlet in a room, not an entire bank of sockets to power a dozen appliances. And we didn’t need a computerized gadget to receive a signal beamed from satellites 23,000 miles out in space in order to find the nearest burger joint.
But isn’t it sad the current generation laments how wasteful we old folks were just because we didn’t have the green thing back then?
Please forward this on to another selfish old person who needs a lesson in conservation from a smart-ass young person.
We don’t like being old in the first place, so it doesn’t take much to piss us off
July 9, 2012 § Leave a Comment
Another oldie but goodie:
For years, Kerry has invested millions in a number of green energy companies that have benefitted from the president’s efforts to aggressively subsidize the industry with taxpayer dollars.
These companies include Exelon, which received a $646 million taxpayer-guaranteed loan in 2011 to build a solar facility in California and created only 20 permanent jobs, as well as Fisker Automotive, the fledgling electric car company that offshored its manufacturing operation to Finland after receiving a $529 million federal loan guarantee in 2010.
The loan guarantees, approved by the Department of Energy, were made possible by funding allocated in the 2009 stimulus bill, which Kerry supported. According to Kerry’s own office, the Senator “played a key role” in crafting the portions of the legislation designed to offer federal support for green energy projects.
Additionally, Kerry co-authored the controversial cap-and-trade legislation that would have effectively imposed a tax on carbon-dioxide emissions. Though the bill ultimately failed, the New York Times noted that Exelon and companies like it “would emerge as financial winners” if the legislation was enacted.
Kerry has hundreds of thousands of dollars invested in Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (KPCB), a venture capital firm run by John Doerr, a prominent Obama donor who served on the president’s Economy Recovery Advisory Board.
The firm, where former vice president Al Gore is a partner, invests heavily in alternative energy companies such as Fisker Automotive and Amonix Inc., a Nevada-based solar panel manufacturer that laid off two-thirds of its workforce earlier this year despite receiving nearly $6 million in federal tax credits.
Amonix was one of 16 companies (out of 27 overall) listed in Doerr’s “green-tech” portfolio to receive some form of federal support under Obama.
People — the problem in NOT in Washington. The problem in on Main Street. The goofballs in Massachusetts keep voting for this guy (the Lord knows we have our own corrupt politicians.) That said, how is the not a crime? And, where is the MSM on this story?
April 30, 2012 § 1 Comment
U.S. main stream media so far slow to respond:
Large windfarms can increase local night time temperatures by fanning warmer air onto the ground, new research has revealed. The study used satellite data to show that the building of huge windfarms in west Texas over the last decade has warmed the nights by up to 0.72C. …
“West Texas has seen rapid expansion of windfarms, with turbine numbers rising from 111 in 2003 to 2358 in 2011. Zhou’s team compared the land surface temperatures at the windfarms with other areas across this period and detected a clear rise at night. …
The scientists say the effect is due to the gentle turbulence caused by the wind turbines. After the sun has set, the land cools down more quickly than the air, leaving a cold blanket of air just above the ground. But the turbine wakes mix this cold layer with the warmer air above, raising the temperature. …
“The result looks pretty solid to me,” said Steven Sherwood at the climate change research centre at the University of New South Wales, Australia. “The same strategy is commonly used by fruit growers, who fly helicopters over the orchards rather than erect windmills, to combat early morning frosts.”