(Video) Why we can’t rely on wind and solar power

October 19, 2015
"Epic fail"

Not reliable

At first glance, wind and solar power seem like attractive alternatives to fossil fuels: clean, abundant, and cheap. What’s not to like?

Other than that they’re both frauds, as Alex Epstein explains for Prager University:

The diluteness and intermittency problems Alex mentions are worth repeating. Solar power can’t be generated at night, nor can wind power be produced when the wind stops blowing or blows too strongly. Because both are intermittent, backup coal and gas-fired plants need to be kept spinning 24-by-7 on standby to make sure the power we need still flows into the grid. Kind of defeats the whole environmentalist point, doesn’t it?

“Diluteness” –the fact that energy from wind and solar is not concentrated, unlike energy from fossil fuels– requires that wind and solar “farms” take up a much larger area than fossil-fueled or nuclear plants in order to generate a given amount of usable power, thus blighting the landscape. Oh, and killing lots of birds. There’s that quandary for Environmental Justice Warriors, again.

And don’t get me started on how uneconomical both are, requiring massive taxpayer-funded subsidies to operate at all.

It’s not that I’m a great fan of coal and oil. Eventually, we will find a way to at least minimize our need for them. But, for foreseeable future, they’re the cheapest, most efficient means for powering this amazing civilization we’ve built. (1)

RELATED: A good book on the problems with wind power is “The Wind Farm Scam” by John Etherington.

(1) Though Bill Gates is on the right track.

Germans with frickin’ laser beams…

September 24, 2015
Science fiction becomes reality

Science fiction becomes reality

Looks like we aren’t the only ones with the coolest toys:

During this week’s defense and security expo in London German defense contractor Rheinmetall Defense Electronics unveiled a new sea-based anti-drone laser system.

The system, unveiled at the Defense and Security Equipment Industry Expo in London, features four high energy lasers mounted on turret, making it look like some kind of laser Gatling gun, Popular Mechanics reported.

The four 20 kilowatt lasers fire simultaneously, in a technique known as superimposition which combines them into a single powerful 80 kilowatt beam.

According to the company, using superimposition there’s not limit to the amount of energy that can be focused on a target — just add more lasers.

The Gatling laser can reportedly shoot down a drone at 500 meters. Lasers can also detonate ammunition, explode artillery shells, blind the sensors of another ship, and even burn holes in smaller ships.

Remember when they laughed at Reagan for his “Star Wars” missile defense system that included energy beams? Not only are the Germans working on energy beam weapons (you can bet this will be extended to deal with battlefield rockets), but so are we, the Israelis (Iron Dome), the Russians, undoubtedly the Chinese, and many others. What was scoffed at as the stuff of comic books and science fiction movies just 30 years from now is swiftly becoming reality, and perhaps presaging the end of the “missile age.”

This technology is only going to get better.

But, come on. Who didn’t read “Germans” and “lasers” and immediately think of this (1):

(1) Well, if you’re above a certain age. But, if you haven’t seen Goldfinger, you need to rethink your life choices.

Cancer eating your ribcage? No problem! We’ll just 3D-print you a new one!

September 18, 2015

Pushing the boundaries

This is amazing:

A 3D-printed rib cage made of titanium has been implanted into a human for the first time, received by a man from Spain suffering from a cancerous tumor.

Surgeons at Salamanca University Hospital in Spain asked Anatomics, an Australian firm, to create the rib cage for the patient, who had part of his own removed after his cancerous tumor grew around his ribs and sternum, according to The Mirror U.K.

The design team customized the 3D rib cage using CT scans from the patient and a printer from the Australian national science agency CSIRO.

“The reason 3D printing was desired for making this implant was because it needed to be customized exactly to suit the patient,” Alex Kingsbury, additive manufacturing research leader at CSIRO said, according to The Mirror.

“No human body is the same, so therefore every implant is going to be different,” Kingsbury continued. “It would have been an incredibly complex piece to manufacture traditionally, and in fact, almost impossible.”

And yet human ingenuity once again makes the impossible possible. (Prophets of Doom for the Cult of Global Warming should take note.)

It’s been said the Internet “changed the world.” Well, 3D printing has the potential to be just as transformational in ways we haven’t even dreamed of, yet.

I wonder if this guy’s friends now call him “Terminator?”

via Jonah Goldberg

Hillary Clinton exposed our most precious national secrets. She should be in prison.

September 2, 2015

I know nothing! No-THING!!

If there are US national secrets more than our spy satellite data, we’ve never heard of them. They are our eyes into the heart of hostile lands. They are classified at so high a level, they have their own email system and can only be looked at in secure rooms. Letting our enemies see this data would give them invaluable knowledge of what we know and what our satellites’ capabilities are.

Good thing former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, She Who Would Be Our Next President, transmitted this information over an unsecured home server:

One of the most serious potential breaches of national security identified so far by the intelligence community inside Hillary Rodham Clinton’s private emails involves the relaying of classified information concerning the movement of North Korean nuclear assets, which was obtained from spy satellites.

Multiple intelligence sources who spoke to The Washington Times, solely on the condition of anonymity, said concerns about the movement of the North Korean information through Mrs. Clinton’s unsecured server are twofold.

First, spy satellite information is frequently classified at the top-secret level and handled within a special compartment called Talent-Keyhole. This means it is one of the most sensitive forms of intelligence gathered by the U.S.

Second, the North Koreans have assembled a massive cyberhacking army under an elite military spy program known as Bureau 121, which is increasingly aggressive in targeting systems for hacking, especially vulnerable private systems. The North Koreans, for instance, have been blamed by the U.S. for the hack of Sony movie studios.

Allowing sensitive U.S. intelligence about North Korea to seep into a more insecure private email server has upset the intelligence community because it threatens to expose its methods and assets for gathering intelligence on the secretive communist nation.

We know emails to Clinton’s top unofficial adviser Syd Blumenthal were hacked: had she shared this or other Top Secret information with him? And Clinton’s server was so unsecure it was  certainly penetrated by the Chinese, the Russians, and maybe the Saturnians. North Korea hacked Sony; how hard would it have been to hack Clinton’s server and find out what we knew about their nuclear program?

This is a frakking nightmare.

And it’s also a felony:

(f) Whoever, being entrusted with or having lawful possession or control of any document, writing, code book, signal book, sketch, photograph, photographic negative, blueprint, plan, map, model, instrument, appliance, note, or information, relating to the national defense,

(1) through gross negligence permits the same to be removed from its proper place of custody or delivered to anyone in violation of his trust, or to be lost, stolen, abstracted, or destroyed, or
(2) having knowledge that the same has been illegally removed from its proper place of custody or delivered to anyone in violation of its trust, or lost, or stolen, abstracted, or destroyed, and fails to make prompt report of such loss, theft, abstraction, or destruction to his superior officer—

Shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both.

(h/t Ed Morrissey)

And that exactly fits this satellite data. It doesn’t matter what she “knowingly knew” or whether the material had the proper classification tags on it. She has enough experience know how sensitive this material is and what her responsibilities were. Her motives are irrelevant: her actions are the crime.

Forget Lady Macbeth’s presidential aspirations; those are dead, it’s just the corpse still twitching. But, if there is any justice left in America, she will be charged and face trial for this — with prison to follow.

PS: Oh stop laughing. I know, I know. A Clinton held accountable? A guy can dream, can’t he?

PPS: A bit of humor from a friend on Twitter, after this news came out:


We laugh, lest we cry.

#ChinaHack: That does it. I want executions.

June 17, 2015

OPM network security specialist

This Ars Technica article about today’s House hearing on the Chinese hacking of almost the entire US government personnel database opens with a recounting of the deserved reaming the head of OPM and its CIO received from Chairman Chaffetz (R) and his committee. But, that was not the nut of the article. Oh, no. The crucial piece of information was buried in the next to last paragraph. See if you can spot it.

Some of the contractors that have helped OPM with managing internal data have had security issues of their own—including potentially giving foreign governments direct access to data long before the recent reported breaches. A consultant who did some work with a company contracted by OPM to manage personnel records for a number of agencies told Ars that he found the Unix systems administrator for the project “was in Argentina and his co-worker was physically located in the [People’s Republic of China]. Both had direct access to every row of data in every database: they were root. Another team that worked with these databases had at its head two team members with PRC passports. I know that because I challenged them personally and revoked their privileges. From my perspective, OPM compromised this information more than three years ago and my take on the current breach is ‘so what’s new?'”

Repeat after me: the Chinese (1) had frakking root access (2) to those databases!! That made them top-level administrators with access to everything. All the supposedly secure, classified data on every background check of every US employee investigated by OPM. And who knows what else they could do while they had access?

I’m almost speechless. To Hell with firing people: this is so weapons-grade stupid that only a firing squad will do.

Pour encourager les autres.

via CinnaminM and John Schindler

(1) Please. Don’t even try to tell me a root-level administrator working in China was not -at the least- turned by Chinese intelligence, if not an active agent.
(2) See.

Oh, my: Obama and Hillary regularly exchanged emails

March 9, 2015


"It's all good. No worries!"

“It’s all good. No worries!”

To and from her private email address, hosted on a private server of questionable security in her own house.

Well, there goes any argument that The One only learned of this in his usual way, by reading the papers:

President Barack Obama communicated via email with Hillary Clinton while she used her personal email, according to the White House.

In a press briefing on Monday, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said that Obama did correspond with his secretary of state via her private email address.

“The president, as I think many people expected, did over the course of his first several years in office trade emails with his secretary of state,” Earnest said. “I would not describe the number of emails as large, but they did have the occasion to email each other.”

Yeah, not many emails. You know, the President of the United States and his top diplomat were just trading LOL Cat links and recipes. No way were they conducting important discussions on matters of state or sharing classified information that governments around the world would die to get their hands on. Nope. Unthinkable.

Consider: any intelligence service worth its salt hacked the Clinton’s server the moment they learned she was using a private email address, and I guarantee you someone found that out over her four-year term. And, if that happened, they now have the president’s private email address plus copies of any information she sent him and he sent her.

It would be as if China’s Ministry of State Security had a stenographer in the Oval Office.

Remember, Clinton used this email exclusively. No matter what security the White House had, the Clinton’s server was secured by the equivalent of a “No peeking” sign. What information did she and Obama share with each other? Were any classified docs sent as attachments? Edward Snowden has to be wondering why he went to all that trouble, when we were making it so easy.

Food for thought: No one with more than half a brain believes Obama didn’t notice the sender info in his emails over four years, nor knew that Hillary was running a private network. And yet if His Oneness sent classified info over unsecure lines, knowing what Hillary was doing and making no effort to put a stop to it, isn’t the POTUS himself as culpable, at least morally?

Afterthought: You know, if the committees of Congress want to know what’s in Hillary’s emails, they could just ask Wikileaks…


Two reasons why Hillary had the secret email account. Choose one.

March 4, 2015

“Emails? What emails?”

Really, you have to wonder why she (and Bill) would do something so dumb, so dangerously likely to come out and potentially cripple her presidential run.

Why, Hillary? Why??

Well, there are a couple of plausible explanations. Let’s look at both.

First, there’s the “facing the truth about herself” argument from National Review‘s Kevin Williamson: Hillary was preparing for her own failure:

Mrs. Clinton knows – she must know, at some level – that she has been grossly unprepared for every position she has held in public life other than that of first lady. She was a New York senator who knew the parts of the state more than 40 miles from a park-view room at the Plaza about as well as Robert F. Kennedy Jr. knows Muleshoe, Texas. She was a presidential candidate whose only recommendations were ovaries and a surname beloved – but not quite enough — by Democratic primary voters. And then she became a secretary of state appointed to the position mainly to appease the bruised feelings of Clintonites and to keep her from making mischief in case of a first-term Obama administration meltdown.

But she was a grossly incompetent secretary of state who knew that she was going to run for president again, and thus she took positive steps in advance to put in place protocols that would help her to mask her inadequacy. It is difficult even for her admirers to make a credible argument that her time in that office was anything other than disastrous. She knows this.

There’s really no denying any of this. Hillary’s sole means of advancing herself has been by riding the coattails of powerful men. It’s the reason she stayed with Bill, even after his serial infidelities, the most famous of which lead to her national humiliation: these men were her key to power. When she bungled the nominating race in 2008 and lost to a more nimble, younger, male candidate what everyone had assumed for years would be hers, her only hope of gaining the presidency she was inadequate to win on her own was to be a good soldier and make “the deal.”

And whenever those powerful men have given her important assignments –Hillarycare, under Bill; Secretary of State, under Obama– she’s been awful at them.

She bungled them all. She just wasn’t up to the task, whatever it was.

So, as Secretary of State, she used a private email account to hide her failings.

Like I said, “plausible.” I was willing to run with this, until further information came out. (More on that in a bit.)

The other theory is Stanley Kurtz’s. Kurtz, who also writes for NR and is a PhD in Social Anthropology, has written a couple of excellent books on President Obama. He’s a trained observer of cultural and political behavior. In his estimation, the news about the secret email account fits with a “Clinton family culture” that ingrained in her a habit, a reflexive need to evade executive responsibility:

The problems go back as far as Bill’s failed congressional campaign of 1974 and extend through a long series of cases in the Arkansas Governor’s Mansion and the Clinton White House. Typically, Hillary appeared on no flow chart and held no official authority, yet she intervened to delay or reverse existing decisions, sowing confusion. Desperate to disguise the extent of her de facto power, Hillary was driven to an obsessive secrecy that only increased the administrative chaos.

When Hillary finally secured a formal role as leader of the health-care initiative in the Clinton White House, the problem simply took on another form. Hillary circumvented the policy-planning apparatus of the White House by creating an unwieldy and hyper-secret parallel health-care bureaucracy of her own. The result was political and administrative disarray.

With direct access to Bill putting her beyond any official White House record-keeping, Hillary grew used to acting without a paper trail. To avoid that eventuality entirely, she began disguising her West Wing activities by using White House staffers as proxies, creating further confusion.

Hillary also forced White House aides to spend endless hours “erasing her fingerprints” from controversial decisions such as closing off the White House press corridor or firing White House travel office personnel to replace them with Clinton cronies. Vince Foster’s suicide may have been a direct result of Hillary’s attempt to evade responsibility for her own decisions. After erasing Hillary’s fingerprints from the travel office firings, Foster knew he’d be vulnerable to charges of having misled congressional investigators while he was under oath.

This is the more credible theory, I think, especially when one considers the news that the Clintons had, not just a private, semi-secret email for her conduct of State Department business, but their own private email servers in their home, set up by a man no one can so far trace. Consider:

Operating her own server would have afforded Clinton additional legal opportunities to block government or private subpoenas in criminal, administrative or civil cases because her lawyers could object in court before being forced to turn over any emails. And since the Secret Service was guarding Clinton’s home, an email server there would have been well protected from theft or a physical hacking.

Fits to a tee with the “obsessive secrecy” angle, doesn’t it?

I suppose one could argue that both could be true, the secrecy being a protective layer over the awareness of her own incompetence. But, whatever the truth, two things are certain: Where the Clintons are concerned, there is no shortage of popcorn-worthy drama, and there is no way she should ever be let near the Oval Office.

What do you think?


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