9.26.2010

Why Passive House Standard Not Catching on in US

Farts. That's the first thing I think when I hear about the perfectly sealed exterior of a passive house. The goal of reducing energy consumption by 90% is fine, as far as it goes. But if every crevice is sealed and there is no air going in or out at all, then farts will hang in the air forever.

Passive house building is getting big in Europe, where there is a whole industry now. It would be just like our European friends to ignore matters of such import. They don't shave their underarms for God's sake. Why would they care about a big stinkie in the living room for the next six months?

Someone needs to demand an answer to this question. What a great project for the Senate: to hold hearings on the impact of a big fart on the passive house building industry. There might even be indictments. But, knowing this Congress, they probably couldn't agree that farts smell bad.

9.16.2010

DC Cab Drivers as Political Force

Vincent C. Gray, winner of DC's Democratic primary, had significant help from DC cab drivers. It seems that many prospective cab drivers drove voters to the polls for Tuesday's primary.

Cab drivers have long been kicked around in DC. For years there was a zone system that favored anyone traveling from a Congressional office to a Federal building. As in, it only cost three dollars. Talking to those cab drivers was great. The powerful riders spoke as if the cab drivers weren't there at all, much less that they could understand what was being said. Think: what elitism! What information! What fun!

So no surprise that Congressional pressure resulted in DC cab drivers getting stiffed on fair rates for years. After all, they were the help.

So now cabdrivers have found their teeth. Good for them. And let future candidates take heed.

9.14.2010

Traitor Democrats, By Their Fruit, You Shall Know Them

The above link is from Jack and Jill politics and lists all of the Congressmen and women who voted against an extension of unemployment benefits. Blogger Leutisha Stills hunts down and names the Democratic politicians who betrayed their political base to join with Republicans in blaming the unemployed for their situation. "Ready for the list? I didn’t write a song about it, but here it is: Robert Menendez (D-NJ). No Comment. Herbert Kohl and Russ Feingold, (D-WIS). Don’t know about Kohl, but Russ Feingold had the distinction of standing up to ReThugs and looking out for US. W-T-F? I don’t think I can give Feingold a mulligan on this vote. He needs to feel the sting of betraying his constituents. Ben Nelson (D-FL). This guy has always been a reliable Blue Dog vote for the Republicans. I’ve already said Blue Dog Democrats need to be put down like rabid dogs, because they offer no value to the Democratic Party AT ALL. Bill Nelson (D-NEB). See Ben Nelson above. Same description applies. Evan Bayh (D-IND). Oh well, since he’s stepping down from his seat and not running for re-election, I guess he feels a good “F-U” to Americans were in order because we called out the fact he’s a wimp and DLC policies have all but prostituted the Democratic Party. Mark Begich (D-AK). Progressive Democrats worked very hard to get this fool elected from the 49th State that produced Sarah Palin and the Family of Grifters. THIS is the thanks we get? Mary Landrieu (D-LA). Ah, Miss Mary must be counting of her share of BP payola from that 20 billion dollar escrow account the President managed to snag from Tony Hayward before he was shown the door. But nothing for her constituents? Maybe they’ll get it right the next time she comes up for re-election, since she almost got shown the door the last time. Joe Lieberman (I-CT). I said not defanging him would come back to bite US and the Obama Administration in the ass. Maybe the Nutmeg State will get it right next time, too, but I doubt it, cause they had a chance and Ned Lamont screwed it up by going on vacation after beating Droopy Dog for the Democratic Primary. Claire McCaskill (D-MO). Missourians always brag about how they need to be “shown” something. Well, your Democratic Senator is showing y’all she don’t care if you guys go broke if you’re unemployed. And she’s supposed to be a reliable “progressive” vote in the Senate. If this is her example of progressivism, I’ll shop elsewhere. Mark Pryor (D-ARK). Okay, he’s as bad as Blanche Lincoln. Blanche Lincoln (D-ARK). See Mark Pryor. And you would think the close call Lincoln got in her primary, not to mention she’s on the hot seat for sponsoring a bill on financial reform that doesn’t explain derivatives, one would think she’d calm her butt down and lay low for awhile. I guess she feels if she got pass the primary, she doesn’t have to worry about the General – but I’m past the “any Democrat is better than no Democrat at all” nonsense. You know who’s name ISN’T ON THIS LIST? Senator Roland Burris (D-IL) – you know; the one that Harry Reid refused to certify his election until he needed HIS VOTE to get Health Care Reform passed. LOL. “Any Democrat” proves to screw the working-class over just like “Any Republican”. By Their Fruit…You Shall Know Them. And as long as I continue to post here, I will see to it that you shall KNOW THEM. They need to go. They don’t do anything in OUR best interests. And they have too much time (six year terms) to continue screwing us over. Maybe if they had shorter terms and had to run for re-election as frequently as the House of Representatives…we’d have a more effective Senate. By Their Fruit…You Shall KNOW THEM. And then, I got a brilliant idea. Can anyone email me (leutishastills1@hotmail.com or lstills@gmail.com) and show me how to set up a wiki? I mean to track this and any other legislation that screws us over. A real-time “CBC Monitor” Report Card, but it will include as many traitors as I can name. We don’t have to worry about the Republicans unless one of them gets attacked for doing the right thing."

9.13.2010

Marvel Comics - Where's New-Gen?

Just saw a great new comic called "New Gen" and am anxiously awaiting for it to be released in game format. The art is fantastic.

Justin wrote and published his own comic book a few years ago. That's one competitive creative field. No one gets rich doing what everyone wants to do. Theyget rich doing boring things that everybody needs.

9.12.2010

Open Letter to President Obama on Space Solar Power

An Open Letter to President Obama

Dear President Obama,

Your words are visionary but they are not being followed with action by the agencies in your administration. Three agencies in your administration are unwilling to even acknowledge a promising alternative energy source, space solar power. The concept of space solar power has been around for 40 years. Space solar power is the concept of putting large solar collectors in Earth orbit, using wireless power transmission, either microwaves or lasers, to transmit the power to customers on the Earth. This is a truly revolutionary clean source of energy which could be used to obtain nearly limitless amounts of clean, greenhouse gas free power, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week which could easily be exported. Yet space solar power has only gotten a total of $80 million of funding from the US government since the 1970's, none of it in the last decade. The Europeans and Japanese are working on space solar power. The Japanese committing $21 billion to the technology. The Russians, Chinese, and Arabs are also interested in space solar power.

In your speech on June 15, 2010 remarks to the nation on the BP oil spill: "The tragedy unfolding on our coast is the most painful and powerful reminder yet that the time to embrace a clean energy future is now. Now is the moment for this generation to embark on a national mission to unleash American innovation and seize control of our own destiny. This is not some distant vision for America. ... Scientists and researchers are discovering clean energy technologies that will someday lead to entire new industries." Yet agencies in your administration are ignoring space solar power, a concept which has only waiting for government attention and commitment to become a new vast new industry which will create millions of jobs, and bring America back to being energy independent and an energy exporter again.

In your April 15th speech at NASA's Kennedy Space Center you said "We will invest in cutting-edge research and technology. We will set far-reaching milestones and provide the resources to reach those milestones." Yet NASA is not investing in a space technology which will push the boundaries of energy technology. NASA's goal should be to become relevant to America's needs. NASA's goal should be to use space and space resources to make the United States not only energy independent, but an energy exporter again. NASA knows space solar power can do this but has chosen a different path for decades.

In your Transparency and Open Government Memorandum for the Heads of Executive Departments and Agencies, you called for the US government to become transparent, participatory and collaborative. Yet NASA, the Office of Science and Technology Policy and the Department of Energy are ignoring the results of the Open Government Ideascale. The most popular idea for all of government, for NASA, the Office of Science and Technology Policy and for the Department of Energy-."Space Solar Power Conference - Hold a conference on space solar power which brings together NASA, the Department of Energy, The Department of Commerce, University researchers as well as corporations such as Solaren, PowerSat, Space Energy, Space Island Group, Boeing etc. Also inviting the Japanese, European, Russians and Canadians who are who are working on Space Solar power. The conference would develop ideas on how best to bring this technology to reality. Space solar power offers unlimited, green, base load power. It is now time to turn this futuristic concept into reality with NASA in the lead." Despite the popularity of this idea with the public nothing is being done.

Unfortunately in the United States, Space Solar Power has a policy dilemma, The Department of Energy considers space solar power to be space not energy and NASA considers space solar power to be energy not space. Although NASA is working on biofuels which are clearly energy and not aeronautics or space and the Department of Energy has worked on nuclear power for space applications which is clearly space. The Department of Defense would like space solar power since to would greatly reduce fuel truck causalities but space solar power is definitely not in their mandate. Also the DOD is developing lasers and microwaves for military use so they can not be involved in a civilian program to develop wireless power transmission. Space Solar Power has to fall in some agencies mandate.

As President of the United States your words automatically become national policy, yet your agencies are not following your lead. You have called for the development of clean energy technologies which create new industries yet your agencies will not fund development of space solar power. You have called for agencies to push the boundaries of technology yet the Department of Energy, NASA and the Office of Science and Technology Policy are unwilling. You have called for participatory and collaborative government yet your agencies remain closed to new ideas pushed by the public despite there popularity. Mr. President, please direct you agencies to hold the interagency conference on space solar power, proclaim that one agency is responsible for developing space solar power, and direct funds for space solar power research and development, such as, an end to end systems study, lab work, flight tests and tests from the International Space Station, followed by a space solar power pilot plant able to generate power in the megawatt range. Now is the time for the United States to seize the day and develop space solar power and secure our future freedom and prosperity.



Karen Cramer Shea
Publisher
Space Solar Power Information Service


Alex Michael Bonnici
The Space Movement

Mike Grether

9.11.2010

First Amendment Guarantees Right to be Stupid

Stupidity is a guaranteed American right in the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. You are simply allowed to be stupid here. We see this every day, of course. We see it especially in the media coverage of Mr. Handlebar Mustache himself, of Koran-burning fame, as described in Jason Linkin's commentary in the Huffington Post.

When we talk about protecting the few people from the tyranny of the majority by protecting their right to speech and religion, we are talking about protecting the essence of living in a democracy. And that means fools will abound. And they will do stupid things, because let's face it, sometimes the majority is acting out of common sense. The reason we don't burn Korans on every street corner is it doesn't do anything, puts U.S. troops in danger and is reminiscent of Hitler and the Nazis. And anyone can tell you that burning a book doesn't stop an idea.

Essentially, that puts burning the Koran on the same level as streaking through Mecca. You can do it, but why? Because you are stupid. And in the United States, you have that right. After all, we elected George W. Bush president, didn't we?

DC's Fashion Night Out

While not as star-studded as New York City's Fashion Night Out, in Georgetown there were lots of fashionistas stomping around in their high heels and hot outfits with the boyfriend in tow, who was wearing something nice for a change. Even the second-hand shop was open and I got a fox stole. I spent the rest of the evening trying to imagine how I would wear it during the upcoming cooler months. I might even have to knit something to help show off the new purchase.

What a fun idea to have all the clothing stores open and parties everywhere. Thank you, Anna Wintour. The sidewalks in Georgetown were clogged with people waiting in line to get in. But the sidewalk itself seemed to be a party venue. People were having fun in place. The coffee house at Wisconsin and P streets had a jazz trio playing cool blues, a great backdrop to small, extravagant purchases.

The best events are always the ones that fire the imagination, anyway. DC's Fashion Night Out certainly did that. Can't wait for next year!

9.05.2010

Obama's Not A Moral Coward - He's Just a Politician

President Obama is not a moral coward, as Jacob Weisberg article in Slate is alleging. He is just a politician.

Where do we get these insane expectations for politicians, and specifically President Obama? He isn't the risen Christ. He's a politician. He isn't going to take a step where he doesn't feel he has the majority behind him.

Already President Obama is dealing with a financial crisis brought on by the idiocy and neglect of the former President Bush. Granted, I am not thrilled by how he and his advisers allowed the people who brought on the mess to not only get rescued, but to profit from the bailout as well. My guess is neither is he.

So in addition to trying to dig our economy out of it epic mess, people are expecting President Obama to take on all manner of social issues and steer our citizenry to the left before most of us are ready for it. And you thought the Tea Party crowd was mad now. Just wait until their worst fears are realized.

President Obama is a strategic guy. He isn't going to put his neck out there unless there will be some ground to be gained by it. But just like he did for health care reform, he's got a plan. You just don't know it yet.

9.04.2010

America: Mosque or Mausoleum?



This is some kid out of Texas who is starting to sound like he is going to run for office one day. His earlier videos on YouTube weren't nearly as well thought out or articulated.

The Amazing Atheist, his YouTube moniker, defends the Ground Zero Mosque. He takes another opportunity to mock Christians along the way.

His passionate defense of liberty and freedom of speech is something I really haven't heard since September 11th. Somehow everybody, including mainstream media, has shifted their idea of America and what it means from liberty and freedom of speech to xenophobia and paranoia. Along the way, public acceptance of torture entered the picture. All out of fear.

It is such a relief to hear a young person actually believe in liberty and the original values that made America great.

"Sometimes the assholes win." sums up the Amazing Atheist. "They are allowed to. Because this is America."