Sep 18 2009


Kal @ 09:08

This wingnut email comes from Gwen. Which goes to show that you do not have to be male to pass on nutty stuff (but I think it helps).

This one starts of to say: “Bill Cosby has a great way of  "distilling" things.  Looks like he's done it again!”

It is followed by a broken link to a picture and 12 extremely inflammatory and reactionary points, including encouraging use of the military to shoot immigrants from the south. It is a bit muddled about religion; I wonder if Gwen was really proposing we adopt Sharia Law with the proposal to cut off hands for stealing? Actually, there is very little difference between a theocracy of the Christian or the Muslim kind, so that is not so surprising.

Unfortunately for Gwen, in addition to being particularly nasty, her proposal is based on pure bullshit. I thought it worth looking up in

Claim: Article reproduces comedian Bill Cosby’s platform as a write-in candidate in the 2008 Presidential Election.


Discussion: Origins: We don’t know who originally authored this reactionary “platform” for a write-in presidential candidate, but we do know it was not entertainer Bill Cosby.

… Just before the 2008 U.S. presidential election, Bill Cosby himself disclaimed involvement with this “write-in candidate” e-mail on his web site:


I am not a write-in candidate for President. The statement purportedly from me stating that I am a candidate is a hoax. The platform attributed to me (and at various times to Robin Williams, Andy Rooney, and George Carlin) does not represent my views and in many respects is abhorrent to me. Apparently those who continue to spread this hoax do not care to do even minimal fact checking.

So there you have it, just another attempt to cloak nasty with the cover of respectability. Or is it a wolf in sheep’s clothing?


Category: Morals | Politics | wingnuttery | hoax

Sep 11 2009

Solar Can Power The World

Kal @ 09:50


Surface Area Required To Solar Power The World

September 3, 2009

Surface Area Required To Power The World Using Solar Panels Alone - Click for larger image



According to the United Nations 170,000 square kilometers of forest is destroyed each year. If we constructed solar farms at the same rate, we would be finished in 3 years.



From the NY Times, 9/9/2009

$4.1 Billion in Orders for Thin-Film Solar

Since its founding in 2002, Nanosolar has raised a lot of money – half a billion dollars to date – and made a lot of noise about upending the solar industry, but the Silicon Valley start-up has been a bit vague on specifics about why it’s the next big green thing.
On Wednesday, Nanosolar pulled back the curtain on its thin-film photovoltaic cell technology — which it claims is more efficient and less expensive than that of industry leader First Solar — and announced that it has secured $4.1 billion in orders for its solar panels.
Martin Roscheisen, Nanosolar’s chief executive, said customers included solar power plant developers like NextLight, AES Solar and Beck Energy of Germany.
The typical Nanosolar farm will be between 2 and 20 megawatts in size, Mr. Roscheisen said in an e-mail message from Germany, where he was attending the opening of Nanosolar’s new factory near Berlin. “This is a sweet spot in terms of ease of permitting and distributed deployment without having to tax the transmission infrastructure.”
Nanosolar, based in San Jose, Calif., has developed a solar cell made from copper indium gallium (di)selenide. The semiconducting materials and nanoparticles are contained within a proprietary ink that makes it possible to print flexible solar cells on rolls of cheap aluminum foil.

Nanosolar details  (pdf)


Category: Climate Change | Economics | Resource Depletion | Sustainability | Solar

Sep 10 2009

Global warming is a hoax – it is actually getting cooler

Kal @ 09:44

Things I get in my email:

Hey troops;

As long as we're at it, let's go to, and get back into this issue of Global Climate Change.  These guys have the statistics backed by ACTUAL records, showing that we are actually cooling.  Let's see where they are wrong.


There is a story, possibly true, that if you put a frog in a pan of water on the stove and gradually heat up the water till it is boiling, the frog will just sit there and let himself be cooked. This seems a little unlikely to me, but it is a well known story. Either way, if you put a lid on the pan the temperature in the pan will go higher than if there is no lid. (In the water it will only go to 212F, but above the water the trapped steam will be a lot hotter than no trapped steam.)

For our purposes, you are a frog in a large, very complex, pan heated by the sun. And the pan is moving so nothing is constant at any one point. When it is heating up in the north it is cooling in the south, to name the most obvious of the variability factors. Happens every year. Up, down, lots of clouds over Montana, cooler there. Drought and no clouds over western Australia, warmer there. Lots of local variability.

On your particular pan there is a partially one way, mostly transparent, lid called The Atmosphere. Some heat does escape back out thru this special lid; the chemical composition of the gasses in The Atmosphere determines the percentage that escapes. This is pretty basic science and does not seem controversial to me. CO2 is one of the main gasses that determines how fast the heat escapes, there are others as well, but CO2 appears to be the main one.

Weather is interesting and looking backward from, say 10,000 years in the future, weather statistics will have painted a meaningful picture. But local weather statistics, for the less than 100 years of their existence, are almost meaningless. Interesting, but not much good for extrapolating the future. Feel free to learn what you need to know about statistics and science to become your own weather and climate expert. As for me, I have other things to do, but I can understand what the vast majority of weather experts have said, and that is that temperatures are rising and are destined to rise even faster.

Global warming is about the lid on the pan, not local weather variability. CO2 has been building up at an ever increasing rate all during the industrial age as we burned carbon at an ever increasing rate.

Weather variability does make it very difficult to prove that the atmosphere is heating up. What is not difficult is to see that glaciers are disappearing around the world and the polar ice caps are getting smaller. Is it the cooler weather that is doing it? Must be if we are actually cooling.

And it has also been shown conclusively that CO2 in the atmosphere has been building at an ever increasing rate. I do not find it difficult to understand that changing the atmosphere will result in changed weather. What is so hard about that?

Inconvenient as global warming is, I think we should do whatever is necessary to minimize the carbon buildup that is the source of the problem.


Category: Climate Change | Politics | Sustainability | wingnuttery

Sep 8 2009

More racist wingnut bullshit.

Kal @ 08:53

Another in my wingnut email series from Greg,. From a blog point of view, Greg is the gift who keeps on giving.

racist cartoon

Everyone is supposed to know that only white folks are entitled to the perks of high office. How very uppity! Martha’s Vinyard no less. Is no privilege safe any more? And for shame, asking the rich to pay their fair share of the booty from this country.


Category: Politics | wingnuttery

Sep 4 2009

Something is better than nothing – is that too difficult?

Kal @ 12:36

This email today (9/4/2009) came from Greg, who has no health insurance. It is a fine addition to the wingnut email series.

NICE van!!


Did no one hear the many times repeated, “if you like the plan you have now, keep it”? Of course, single payer would be better, but the insurance industry was too strong to  make that possible.

The slogan on the van is designed to direct your attention away from the fact that you, (that includes Greg) have no health insurance at all other than maybe medicare if you are a senior.

So by all means, listen to the folks getting rich off our current broken system and resist with all your might anything that might possibly improve your lot in life. Or maybe it is just your neighbor or your child or your cousin who is health coverage free. They should just suck it up and enjoy the fact that insurance executives make billions.


Category: Politics | wingnuttery

Sep 4 2009

Wishful thinking

Kal @ 12:17

This helpful item in my wingnut email series came from Murray. It arrived in my mail yesterday, 9/3/2009.

Too bad they didn't have the courage to print this in English.


Check out the clothing label from a small  US company.



In case the text is too small to read, “This is the clothing label from a small American company that sells their product in France. Here’s the translation of the French part of the label.
Wash with warm water.
Use mild soap.
Dry flat.
Do not use bleach.
Do not dry in the dryer.
Do not iron.
We are sorry that our president is an idiot. We did not vote for him.



Now Murray sends me right wing propaganda almost daily, sometimes more often, so it was fairly clear he thought this applied to Obama. However, nothing on it says so and it looked vaguely familiar, so I responded with: Must be left over from the last administration.

Not to be outdone, Murray came back with:


At which point I decided to find out so I Googled part of the caption and the top item was:

Anti-Bush Clothing/Laptop Bag Label

Netlore Archive:  Translated into English, the French portion of an American product label reads: 'We are sorry that our president is an idiot. We did not vote for him.'

Description:  Email flier w/photo
Circulating since:  May 2004
Status:  True

Email text contributed by Jules R., 3 June 2004:

Wash with warm water.  Use mild soap.  Dry flat.  Do not use bleach.  Do not dry in the dryer.  Do not iron.  We are sorry that Our President is an idiot.  We did not vote for him.

This is a clothing label from a small American company that sells their product in France. Here's the translation of the French part of the label.

Wash with warm water.
Use mild soap.
Dry flat.
Do not use bleach.
Do not dry in the dryer.
Do not iron.
We are sorry that Our President is an idiot.
We did not vote for him.


Comments:  True. The label appeared on several tote bags and laptop cases manufactured by Tom Bihn, an American company located in Port Angeles, Washington. According to the Tom Bihn Website, its labels are printed in French as well as English because the products are sold in both the U.S. and Canada.

In addition to the basic laundering instructions, the labels read, in French:

Nous sommes desoles que notre president soit un idiot. Nous n'avons pas vote pour lui.

Which, translated into English, means:

We are sorry that our president is an idiot. We didn't vote for him.

"The 'secret' message began as an inside joke among seamstresses and staff at the Tom Bihn factory," the company's Website explains, "and was apparently intended to poke fun at company's founder and president, Tom Bihn."

The key word is apparently.

"I'm going with the idea that it's a joke about me," Bihn told the Associated Press. But, he added, "clearly when you use the word 'idiot' and 'president' in the same sentence people jump to other conclusions."

Especially when it's written in French.


Category: Politics | wingnuttery

Aug 14 2009

It is not about health care

Kal @ 09:38

In the NY Times by Krugman

I warned that his vision of a “different kind of politics” was a vain hope, that any Democrat who made it to the White House would face “an unending procession of wild charges and fake scandals, dutifully given credence by major media organizations that somehow can’t bring themselves to declare the accusations unequivocally false.”

So, how’s it going?

Sure enough, President Obama is now facing the same kind of opposition that President Bill Clinton had to deal with: an enraged right that denies the legitimacy of his presidency, that eagerly seizes on every wild rumor manufactured by the right-wing media complex.

This opposition cannot be appeased. Some pundits claim that Mr. Obama has polarized the country by following too liberal an agenda. But the truth is that the attacks on the president have no relationship to anything he is actually doing or proposing.

Right now, the charge that’s gaining the most traction is the claim that health care reform will create “death panels” (in Sarah Palin’s words) that will shuffle the elderly and others off to an early grave. It’s a complete fabrication, of course. The provision requiring that Medicare pay for voluntary end-of-life counseling was introduced by Senator Johnny Isakson, Republican — yes, Republican — of Georgia, who says that it’s “nuts” to claim that it has anything to do with euthanasia.


Category: wingnuttery | Politics

Jul 9 2009

Unemployment is too low

Kal @ 13:37

Last week the official US unemployment rate reached 9.5%. Of course, this includes only those "actively seeking work." Or another way to think about it is those with remaining unemployment insurance benefits to collect. The actual number of unemployed is thought to be between 16% and 20%, and rising.

Given the common belief in "full employment is a good thing", these numbers are pretty depressing and way too high. But that is not the only possible perspective.

From the point of view that mostly those persons engaged in the basics of life should be employed, then perhaps the number should be around 50%. The basics: Food, Shelter, Transportation, Communication, and Security. Of course, there are other important things, but generally speaking they are luxuries. Some people should clearly be working on luxuries, but it is unreasonable to expect all of our excess labor to be so employed.

The main problem comes about because we have coupled the notion that it is necessary to have a job to have a life. As things stand now, to be unemployed is almost a disgrace. Well, maybe for a few weeks but then folks start to see you a bit as if you had the swine flue. Don't get too close, it might be catching. And nasty things start happening to you, your car and house payments come delinquent and soon you are walking on the street. Or maybe lucky enough to have relatives who can help and you are driving an old wreck and living back at home.

But it does not have to be like that. All of the folks who live here have to be supported in one way or another. Even the tea-baggers mostly agree with that. Why not do it with dignity and relieve the pressure on the planet to keep everyone running at full blast just to keep up a decent lifestyle?

Of course, those folks who go to work every day should get more than those who get to go fishing. Maybe we can even find a way to share the fishing time as well as the work time. But do we really want to put our family, friends, and neighbors on the street just because the economy is winding down a bit to a more rational level?


Category: Economics | Employment | Guaranteed Wage | Politics | Recession | Steady-State Economics | Sustainability

Jul 3 2009

Time to recall some republicans in Sacramento

Kal @ 21:00

A small minority in the California legislature, in cooperation with Arnold Schwarzenegger are trying to dismantle California. The model seems to be Calcutta.

If there is not enough revenue to pay for needed programs, the answer is simple, raise taxes.

I wonder how many we would have to recall to break the impass?


Category: Economics | Morals | Politics | Recession | wingnuttery

Jul 3 2009

Crap and tax

Kal @ 20:46

More grist for the wingnut emails series mill, again from Greg. Congratulations Greg, at least this one was original and not just something forwarded.

Just a few links to show what a fraud Gore and the Dems are on this "Crap and tax" bill coming up tomorrow.  These are off of the first page when you Google "how much money does al gore stand to make if cap and trade legislation passes  We effectively will be ultimately taxed for breathing out Carbon Dioxide, which is NOT a pollutant, and only comprises .038 of our atmosphere.  When we breath we exhale, when a plant breathes this "Pollutant" in, it produces Oxygen.  Big brain exerciser here, why should we be taxed for this?  The whole thing is a scam designed to control us and small business, and is another form leading to Socialism.  It has nothing to do with the environment, and everything to do with Gore and his asshole cronies getting rich.

He then includes links from several very questionable sources and one from Bloomberg. Note the query that Greg uses to produce them and it is no wonder the query produces pretty strange stuff.

First the strange ones:

Two from which bills itself as: Headquarters of the Conservative Underground. It is clear we can expect unbiased reporting from there. The lead author appears to be a lobbyist for the defense industry.

One from stopsocialism. Stop socialism? I guess this is about religion after all. If socialism works better than capitalism, perhaps we should adopt it.

One from promoting a book of the same name. Everyone knows how the environmentalists are out to destroy the world.

Greg, do you really expect us to take these folks seriously?

Gore Invests $35 Million for Hedge Funds With EBay Billionaire comes from Bloomberg. This one is about Gore having $35 million to invest when he only had about $2 million when president. It is clear he has made more money than me, but what has that got to do with cap and trade or global warming?



Category: Climate Change | Politics | Resource Depletion | Sustainability | wingnuttery