Sunday, October 30, 2016

Hillary's America - A Review of the Film

Hillary's America is a well-done documentary by Dinesh D'Souza about the Democrat Party and about Hillary and Bill Clinton. It is an eye-opening description of the Democrats' dark history involving slavery, the Indian's Trail of Tears, Jim Crow laws, the KKK (founded by a Democrat) and much more. If you want to see why she is called Crooked Hillary, you will find out here. The documentary also shines a light on Republican efforts against all of these negative Democrat policies. The movie also delineates all the reasons that installing Hillary and Bill in the White House again will be bad for America and good for them.

Watch the documentary at iTunes, Google Play or Amazon before voting November 8 if you can. It is worth it just for the emotional renditions of "God Bless America" and "The Star Spangled Banner" at the end.

See the trailer...

Thursday, October 27, 2016

You Should Be Wearing Orange

Here is an equation for you: Rain + low light = Poor visibility.

It seems like a lot of drivers don't know their basic math.

If you drive in the rain when it's dark with your headlights off then you are either lacking brain functionality or you are malicious verging on evil. You are an accident waiting to happen and the sad thing is that someone innocent is going to be involved in the accident with you.

I am not saying that 50 percent of drivers drive without their headlights when they should use them and I am not saying that 10 percent of people do this, but if it is 1 percent or less doesn't make it any less heinous or dangerous.

Get a conscience and turn on your headlights. It's against the law to drive in the dark without headlights on and in many states it's against the law to drive without headlights in the rain. These laws are there for a reason and if you have a driver's license you should know the law. It's a matter of safety and thinking about your fellow travelers on the road. It's also a matter of how drivers with mild visual impairments may not be able to see you or young/newbie drivers who may not know to look for dark vehicles.

I don't know if police are concerned with giving tickets for this infraction, but since it is such a dangerous offense I hope that they do, and I hope the ticket is expensive and comes with 4 points (and a dope slap).

Friday, October 21, 2016

Vote to Make America Great Again

The U.S. election is just days away and there are very few people who won't be happy to see the whole spectacle put behind us. The presidential race has sucked up the news cycle like a Dyson in a sawdust factory.

The last eight years are another spectacle that many will be glad to put behind us starting with a disrespectful, haughty, petulant, campaigner-in-chief/golfer-in-chief who took more vacation and played more golf than any servant of the people should, except that he was not a servant but really more like a lord. He was the first president of half of the people of the country, continuously expressing disdain for Republicans and conservatives. Race relations didn't improve under Obama in his eight years - they got worse. I don't want to go through the laundry list of his ill-conceived policies but in relation to this election we are going to just get more of them with Hillary Clinton. The reason not to elect Hillary isn't the 33,000 emails she deleted, or the thousands (including secret) that she let fall into foreign hands. It also isn't the fact that she lied about Benghazi to the American public and didn't protect her embassy staff. It also isn't her failed foreign policy where much of the world is now at odds with us and where ISIS was allowed to grow and prosper. And it isn't her gathering of money from overseas power brokers for the Clinton Foundation.

The reason not to elect Hillary Clinton as president of the United States is that she will continue Barack Obama's fundamental transformation of the U.S. and on some issues shifting into high gear while doing it.

She will continue to weaken our economy and our safety by drastically increasing the flow of illegal aliens into the country, legalizing all those who reside here and came here illegally, and by increasing the numbers of refugees from the middle east who will harbor among them hundreds of terrorists. She has promised to raise taxes which will harm the economy. She will continue to make poor deals with other governments and lead from behind. Terrorism will not decline because it won't be met with a firm response.

A Hillary Clinton presidency will be four more years of the messy Obama world we live in now and even worse. We are really on the wrong track and your vote will make a difference in the most important election in the country's history.

Vote for Donald Trump for president of the United States and we will have a stronger economy, reduced debt, a safer country, a safer world, more friends and better partnerships in the world. Vote for the outsider - not the Washington insider.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

On Bitcoin Mining 5

It turned out that we would not be in my sister-in-law's house as long as previously thought. They were returning home and we needed to move out to a townhouse that we owned by January. This meant that I would not be able to bring the BFL Monarchs with us. For one thing they were too loud for a townhouse environment and too hot. They were also not very efficient in terms of electricity consumption. They are rated by BFL for 0.65 to 0.85 watts/GH but I measured them as using close to 1 watt per Giga hash including the power supply and the necessary laptop.

Bitmain Antminer U3 version 2
Looking for quiet, townhouse friendly miners, in October I bought two Bitmain Antminer U3 miners. This ASIC miner is very similar to the Rockminer R-box 1 (37GH/s) miners. The U3 however runs at 55 to 62 GH/s. Like the older Rockminer, the U3 is basically silent and put out little heat while using about 50 watts of power (plus wattage of attached computer). The problem is that every day or so these miners would become "zombies" meaning that they would stop working. This requires a hard reboot of the device (unplugging and re-plugging) and restarting the mining software. It's a hassle and not on a schedule of any kind so you don't know when you'll have to do it. So as quiet as this was, the fact that it had a problem like this and that I felt the hashrate was too low I kept looking for a better solution.

The better solution in my situation was the Black Arrow Prospero X-1 (X-1.5). The X-1 hashes at 100 GH/s or better and the X-1.5 hashes at 140 to 190 GH/s. This miner is unique among ASIC miners - for one thing it has a large fan which dissipates the generated heat very quietly and effectively. For another thing it has an Android-based touch screen for interfacing with the miner. The miner is also WIFI capable which means that you can place it anywhere in the house and it doesn't need an ethernet cable or a computer attached to it to run the mining software. It is truly a stand-alone device. Perfect! As it got closer to moving day (again!) I sold the two Monarchs which turned out to be pretty solid hashers - if a bit inefficient - and bought two Black Arrow Prospero X-1.5s. I also sold one Antminer U3 and kept one in the box as a backup. I ran the two Prosperos near the dining room in the townhouse for most of the winter and spring of 2016 and appreciated their silence and their heat generation. 

The nice thing about mining for Bitcoin at home is that for part of the year the heat that Bitcoin miners generate can (and is) used to heat your living space. One hundred percent of the heat generated will go into the air in your home. For instance, if my two Prosperos raised the temperature of the downstairs portion of my townhouse by two degrees Fahrenheit, then that is two degrees that didn't have to be heated by the furnace (electric blower and gas fueled) thus saving that much electricity and gas from being used to heat our home. This means that the efficiency of the miner doesn't matter very much in the winter or on cold days in the spring and fall because you are basically running a heater that is mining Bitcoin. It's another story when the hot weather comes but the efficiency of Bitcoin miners is going to be better than rated over the course of a year if they are used in environments where their heat is used. (Now if they could make Bitcoin miners that generated cold air we'd be all set for the summer!)

I'll cover my experience with Bitmain's Antminer S7 in the next On Bitcoin Mining.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

On Bitcoin Mining 4

To continue the story from On Bitcoin Mining 3, in early 2015 I had a stack of 6 Rockminer R-Box 2 110 GH/s Bitcoin miners in my living room (which my wife didn't complain about as long as I kept them quiet) and while the heat they generated was appreciated in the winter and reduced the gas bill somewhat, it was now late spring and some of the days were mighty hot which in turn made the living room too hot. So, it was either turn off the miners (which I did do on many days) or relocate them. I decided to try the attic and add an external fan.

The attic had a pull-down stairway which made access to it easy. As you may know, attics get hot on warm days and this one could reach 120 degrees Fahrenheit (49 degrees Celsius) or more. For this to work safely I had to set things up right. I placed the miners in stacks of 2 on non-flammable porcelain tiles, placed the power supply also on a porcelain tile, aimed them all towards the center of the attic where their heat would rise to the roof vents and aimed a fast blowing fan at the back of them. I also replaced the quiet fans I had earlier installed with the original more-noisy-but-more-effective-at-cooling-fans back on the miners. Then I monitored the temperature of the attic and monitored the temperature of the miners. On cooler days and at night the miners ran from 50 degrees Celsius to 65 degrees. On hot days the miners would run in the 70s. If they approached 80 degrees (which they did on really hot days) I would shut the miners down. This setup allowed me to mine in the summer and the noise and heat were out of sight. The down-time was minimal.

Oh, and I almost forgot about the laptop PC which I had to have attached to these six Rockminers. This laptop had to be in the attic too since the miners are attached to it via USB cords and the software on the PC runs the miners. After some research into the operating temperature of laptop lithium batteries I opted to remove the battery from the laptop and allow it to run only on AC power. It certainly wouldn't be good to have a rechargeable lithium battery exploding in the attic. 

Of course, this is not an optimal setup and if you are careless maybe even dangerous. Miners can fail if they run too hot too long. But these miners did not fail, and did not run slower. I kept them under 80 degrees and they only had to last until August like this as we were moving into my sister-in-law's house to take care of it while their family had "moved" out of the country for what was supposed to be a couple of years.

This meant I would have a basement in which to place my miners and in a solar-powered house. Nice. Hello, almost-free electricity.

BFL Monarch 650 GH/s Bitcoin Miner
At the same time I had noticed that the prices had come down on the water-cooled Butterfly Labs Monarch 650 to 700 GH/s bitcoin miners. If I got just one of these it would replace the six I had and give me the same hashing power. I bought one of them off of eBay and plugged it in. I had trouble getting it to hash at the rated speed. I was only getting about 500 GH, not the 650 advertised. It turned out that I had to use a special version of the Bitcoin mining software BFGminer. Anyway I spent dozens of hours trying to work out the problem. Butterfly Labs' own software EasyMiner never worked for me. Finally I got everything ironed out and the thing was running at 650 GH/s. I decided to get another one of these (actually a 700 GH Monarch) and sell the 6 Rockminer R-box 2s. 

Due to the fact that the Monarch's are liquid-cooled, the two fans on the miner are not as loud as fans on many other miners (like the Antminers). They are also potent heaters and the basement was soon very warm. This wasn't an issue though because it was a basement and not a living space.

This is the 1300 GH/s setup I had in the late summer of 2015 and going into the fall. But, as ever in the world of Bitcoin mining, things never seem to stay the same for very long. More to come....

(Some Black Arrow Prospero Bitcoin miners for sale here)

Monday, June 27, 2016

On Bitcoin Mining 3

Bitcoin Mining Difficulty Level Rising
Bitcoin mining is a nasty game. It involves heat. It involves dust. It involves sometimes VERY-difficult-to-figure-out mining software. It's a game that continuously gets harder to play for increasingly less reward. Every few weeks, the difficulty for solving a block changes - usually it gets harder, sometimes it gets easier before making an even bigger jump in difficulty. This increase in the difficulty of solving a block has the effect of pushing the little guys of the Bitcoin mining game out. It also has the effect of making little guys into big guys as they (stubbornly?) commit more resources to the project. 

So, in general, it constantly gets more difficult to solve a block (solving a block is what generates Bitcoins). This means that if you keep the same equipment that operates at the same electrical efficiency that it will take you 3 weeks to earn the same BTC that previously took you say 2 weeks before. So if Bitcoin mining is more than just a hobby, you need to upgrade your equipment every now and then. If you want to keep earning Bitcoin you must increase your hash rate. Now, because I live in a townhouse/condo, noise is an issue for me. I don't have too many empty unused areas where I can put a Bitcoin miner and not have to hear its constant droning. As such, I can't go "all in" getting the best Bitcoin miners out there because those top of the line ASICs are noisy and heat producing and not at all "home friendly". 

Rockminer R-Box 32-37 GH ASIC miner
With noise in mind, my next miner, while still having the 2 BFL 60's was to get the Rockminer R-Box 32-37 GH ASIC miner. I loved this miner! Two or three houseflies would be louder than this miner. It was (and is) quiet and small and put out a tiny amount of heat compared to the BFL 60's. The wattage was also fairly low being between 40 and 50 watts, I think. I soon sold both of the Butterfly Labs 60's (at a loss) and bought another Rockminer. This is a great entry-level miner and at the moment they are dirt cheap on e-Bay.

Unfortunately, with these two Rockminers my total Giga hashes were now lower than before and my rate of earning Bitcoin pretty much halved - that and the difficulty is always increasing. Having these two quiet miners was Heaven compared to those loud and hot BFLs so you would think I would have doubled down on just these great little miners. Maybe I should have, but that isn't what happened. 

In my dealing with the Rockminer company I became aware that they had another miner that produced 110 GH/s at better efficiency. The New R-Box 2.0 miner is 3 times faster than the "old" R-Box, at a more cost-effective price (ie., the watts used per GH is better). More GH and more Bitcoin with less heat and less electric use per work done made buying these units a done deal for me. Add to that a few people online said they were quiet too. I ordered one to try it out.

It was not very quiet. Quieter than a lot of miners, yes, but noisy enough for a condo. Following my earlier experience with the two BFL Singles, I decided to swap out the two original internal cooling fans for two quieter fans. The fans were indeed quieter but also a little slower which meant that the unit ran a little hotter than when I got it but well within the safe operating temperature range (maybe 10 degrees C warmer). Now I had a 110 GH miner which ran pretty quietly and with just moderate heat output into the room. That heat output was appreciated anyway since it was winter and the heat added to the warmth of the house. Win-win.

So with my new favorite miner installed I moved to sell (reluctantly, but I had to get the funds for the new miners) my first BFL 10 GH miner and the two slower Rockminer 32 GH miners and replace them with however many of these Rockminer R-Box 2's as I could afford. Over the next couple of months I built up to six of them.

I set up two stacks of three each on top of our unused gas fireplace in the living room and they warmed up the place for the rest of the winter as well as providing about 650 GH/s. The electrical usage of this setup, including power supply and a small laptop running 24/7 computer was probably 800 watts or so. 

All was well until spring and the warmer temperatures outside became more frequent. Find out what happened then in the next installment of On Bitcoin Mining...

(Some Black Arrow Prospero Bitcoin miners for sale here)

Monday, June 20, 2016

On Bitcoin Mining 2

My first Bitcoin mining computer when I heard about Bitcoin and Bitcoin mining in 2014 was my PC and that is probably the case for many people when they hear about Bitcoin mining. But even in 2014 a personal computer was woefully inadequate as a Bitcoin miner and even expensive and powerful PC graphics cards were on the way out due to the rise of specialized Bitcoin mining computers known as ASICs (application-specific integrated circuits). These special mining computers could do so much more work and much faster than graphics cards or CPUs. But using my PC was just a way to see how the process worked. So I got an account at a mining pool called Bitminter and tried out their Bitcoin mining software and saw how hashing for Bitcoins worked, even at the very slow rate my computer graphics card offered. I was hooked.

Butterfly Labs Jalapeno My first credible Bitcoin miner was the Butterfly Labs BFL 10 GH/s ASIC miner. (GH/s is Giga hash per second or billions of hashes per second. Hashes are calculations.) It actually averaged about 11 GH/s. At the time it was $350. This was a very good entry-level USB miner and worked well with Bitminter's mining App. It does get a bit hot for its size and it is a little bit loud too but not too bad. Butterfly Labs is still selling these apparently and they can also be found on eBay for very little money. These are very good miners for hobbyists who want to see how Bitcoin mining works but there isn't much chance of making any profit. It's still a fun, low impact way to get into mining (meaning low impact on your electricity bill and not technically challenging). I actually wish I still had that first Bitcoin miner rather than selling it to reinvest in other equipment.

After using this for a couple weeks by itself, I decided I wanted to increase my hashing power. Because I was happy with the USB connectivity and the compatibility with Bitminter's App, I decided on getting a couple slightly used Butterfly Labs BFL Single SC 60 GH/s ASIC miners off of eBay. This increased my hashing power to about 120 GH/s. This increased hashing power increased the amount of Bitcoin I received. The only problem was that these miners were as loud as jet engines when they arrived. Loud and hot! There was not much chance my wife would put up with their noise in our condo for very long. I read some posts on forums online about how to deal with the noise and the heat that they produce and it was suggested to take the casing off the miners and let them work "naked". They were a little less loud like this because the inlet and outlet grills created much of the noise, but the cheap fans were also equally responsible for extra decibels. So I searched for quieter fans and found some. I swapped out the old fans with the new quieter ones and though the units ran a little hotter because the fans were slower, they were still within the safe operating temperature range of the miners. 

Summer was coming and the miners which added warmth to the house in the cool spring were adding a lot of unwanted heat as the hot days multiplied. I needed a way to get rid of the heat. What I did was to make a contraption using heating and cooling hose and other ducting accessories from Home Depot to vent the heat from the miners directly out a nearby window. Problem solved. I wish I had a picture of the setup for you but I didn't think I'd be posting about the subject in the future and didn't take any pictures of it.

Of course, I wasn't happy to stay static in terms of hashing power or equipment. I talk about my next miners in the next installment of On Bitcoin Mining.

(Some Black Arrow Prospero Bitcoin miners for sale here)

Friday, June 17, 2016

On Bitcoin Mining 1

We haven't discussed Bitcoin or Bitcoin mining on this blog before and I have decided to spend a few posts discussing the digital currency. Hopefully you'll find it informative.

If you don't know too much about Bitcoin, there are three ways to look at it.
  1. It's digital money. If you want to buy something or send someone some money (worldwide!) without paying the high fees of PayPal, Western Union, and banks, then Bitcoin is a great way to do it. Transferring money with Bitcoin is very easy (once you have some) and there are no limits and only very TINY fees. Buying things with Bitcoin is also super easy (once you have some). Some places you can spend Bitcoin: Bitcoin Shop,,,,,,,
  2. You can buy Bitcoin as an investment. If you're interested in Bitcoin as an investment, its price today (6/17/2016) is 753 dollars per 1 Bitcoin (BTC). Just a few weeks ago it was $400 or so. It has been rising steadily recently and one can only guess as to why, but one reason may be that the reward for solving a block in the blockchain will soon be halved from 25 Bitcoins to 12 Bitcoins. (The blockchain is the record of the transaction.) If you do want to buy Bitcoins it is getting easier than ever. You can buy fractions of a bitcoin as well, if you don't have $753 for a full Bitcoin. These are some places to buy Bitcoin

3.  You can mine for Bitcoins and use those mined Bitcoins to spend or send or use them as investment capital. To mine for Bitcoins you need to buy a special computer that's made especially to mine for Bitcoin. Bitcoin mining is one of those areas in life where you have to spend money to make money. You really need to go "all in" if you want to profit from mining Bitcoin. The biggest miners spend tens of thousands of dollars. Don't expect to make a profit if you spend $20 or $100. You can certainly enjoy Bitcoin mining as a hobby at this low investment but if you want to profit from Bitcoin mining you need to shell out at least hundreds of dollars and have a relatively low electricity cost. I will go more deeply into Bitcoin mining in subsequent posts.
In the following posts, I am not going to go into the history of Bitcoin or its creator or any other material that some other websites do a fine job covering (but I will try to point you to where the info lives). In these posts, I'm just going to discuss Bitcoin from my point of view, which is mainly the mining of Bitcoin for investment point of view. I hope you find it interesting!

(Some Black Arrow Prospero Bitcoin miners for sale here)

Friday, May 13, 2016

Letter to

Letter to,

I have been an Amazon customer since the beginning of the Internet I think. Today I have seen some news that disturbs me greatly.

If CEO of and Washington Post owner Jeff Bezos decides to pursue this idea of hurting Donald Trump's campaign for president (and/or drop his products) I will divest myself of my monetary relationship with Amazon. I will drop my Prime membership, buy from other online stores instead, delete Amazon Video from my Roku, sell my Kindle and get a Nook, delist my books from KDP and Createspace and any other dealings I have as well.

Keep your politics out of business or lose customers!

Monday, May 9, 2016

15 Reasons Why I Am #NeverHillary

Never Hillary

Hillary and Russian Foreign Minister
The following are some of the reasons that I would never vote for Hillary Clinton for President of the United States (in no particular order).

She supports raising taxes on the wealthy.

She supports amnesty for all illegal aliens.

Condones the breaking of federal law in her support for illegal aliens.

Supports extending Obamacare to illegal aliens.

She wants to build on the Obamacare fiasco.

She supports abortion.

Hillary supports paid family leave which raises taxes to pay for employees extended time off.

She wants to raise the federal minimum wage to $12.00 per hour and supports communities raising it higher than that. This is something that should be left to market forces and not imposed on businesses since it has the effect of creating layoffs for thousands of people and making products more expensive.

She supports the climate change hoax and taxing oil companies to pay for green energy schemes.

She supports increased gun control. 

Hillary supports free college, which is financially unrealistic and ruinous in a country with debts and deficits like the U.S. In my opinion, college should not be free but something that has value to the student, something that needs to be worked for and cherished. Look at the free public education system and how that has failed. Do we want college to go that way too?

Hillary Clinton kept a computer server on her own property which received and sent classified e-mails and which put United States classified information at risk. This server was very likely hacked. General David Petreus was convicted for a much weaker offense. Her aides deleted 32,000 emails from the server dated during the same time period, that she regarded as personal and private before turning over the server to the government. This alone is obstruction of justice.

Hillary participated in a lie/cover-up of the Benghazi terror attack which killed four Americans including an ambassador who repeatedly asked for her help. She knew it was a terror attack (it was on the anniversary of 9/11) but lied and said to the American people that it was retaliation for a You-Tube video. As Secretary of State there was at least incompetence involved and perhaps malfeasance. 

Clinton pursued a disastrous strategy to topple Kaddafi in Libya by supporting rebels with weapons and American and NATO military power which has destabilized the country and the region. Statements like the following alone should disqualify her:
"We are currently doing everything we can to bomb, strafe and use missiles to carry the rebels into power in Libya. We want them to win. We just don’t know who they are.” Hillary Rodham Clinton

She voted for a military solution to Saddam Hussein’s Iraq and later changed her mind.

And for those of you saying that they will vote for her because she is a woman and that we are ready for a woman for president, please remember that qualifications and integrity are what should suit a person for president, not the gender of the candidate. Besides, we have had other women run for higher office who had more integrity than Mrs. Clinton (Michelle Bachmann, Carly Fiorina, even Sarah Palin).

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

The Demonization Machine

Conservative talk radio and Republican PACs have sabotaged the last two U.S. presidential elections and as a result gave us a President Barack Obama in both of them - the most liberal, divisive and constitutionally destructive president in U.S. history. A number of these radio shows continually bashed McCain and Romney during those two primaries and damaged their reputations so much that they could not recover for the general election, and many talk show hosts are again in the process of sabotaging the 2016 election. The PACs (political action committees) are just as bad and if they had held their fire and their tens of millions of dollars during the primaries of the 2008 and 2012 elections we may never have had Obamacare, and Libya, and ISIS, just to name a few. As for radio, I am speaking particularly of Glenn Beck and Mark Levin who are doing the kneecapping and who have very large audiences, but it is certainly not limited to just them.

What the intraparty destruction of other candidates does is make some Republicans and Independents so hate or fear the other candidate that once their guy or gal loses and it comes down to the general election, they just can't see themselves voting for the Republican candidate because they have been painted as so flawed and so evil that they don't vote or vote for a third-party candidate in protest. What we then end up with is a liberal Democrat president in the last two presidential elections. That alone should have been enough to motivate Republicans and conservative independents to vote for the Republican nominee, but as I say, the Republican nominee was seen as damaged goods by such a wide majority of Republican voters (due to the Demonization Machine) that they didn't feel like they wanted to have to vote for the lesser of two evils yet again and so didn't. The result of this is Obamacare, a lower standard of living, a lawless president with a weak foreign policy, etc, etc.

Of course the candidates in this 2016 election year are no better. It is ugly the tactics they use to destroy the other guy. Citizenship has been brought up, accusations of lies and financial mismanagement, character assassination, mocking.

What happens after all of this is that the supporters of each candidate get on Twitter and Facebook and double down on the trash talk. Twitter is the place where ridiculous claims about the candidates go to fester and metastasize into viral slander and unsupported lies.

So whether it is Donald Trump, or Ted Cruz, or Marco Rubio who ends up as the Republican nominee for President, the dirty fight leading up to the nomination is already souring voters in regards to the other candidates. Beck says he won't vote for Trump if he is nominated. What if a couple million of his listeners follow suit? Levin is clearly pro-Cruz and quite anti-Rubio and anti-everyone else. If the nominee is someone other than Ted Cruz will his support for that nominee be like it was when the fight had settled on a Romney nomination after months of kneecapping? Tepid at best? Will his listeners again not bother to vote because they have been schooled in all that is wrong with the nominee?

An Obama presidency would never have occurred if Republicans and independents had held their noses and voted for the "lesser of two evils" because the U.S. certainly has had the GREATER of two evils for the last seven years. The lesson to be learned is first, that there is no perfect candidate. The second lesson is that talk radio hosts (and PACs) have a huge impact on their listeners and ought to consider their culpability when it comes to that influence. Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh seem to have had the right tone in 2016. Though one knows who they might favor to be the nominee they don't bring the weight of their influence like a hammer onto the candidates, saving the brunt of their attacks for the Democrat challengers.

Unfortunately, the same thing seems to be happening this time around, but we may just be lucky that the present Democrat candidates will cause the same sort of voter apathy in 2016 which will help the Republican candidate win in November. But if a Republican wins in November it won't be because the Demonization Machine isn't well-oiled, because indeed it is operating as well as ever.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

The Devil's Poison: How Fluoride Is Killing You - A Book Review

Fluoride is not a vitamin, and not a mineral necessary for human health. It is a caustic, highly oxidative and reactive poison that has no business being anywhere near our water supplies, foods, or in our toothpastes. Fluoride kills and inhibits all forms of life and fluorine is the most reactive element on the planet.

The book The Devil's Poison lays out the facts concerning this much misused element with facts supported by scientific study after scientific study. If you just consider the simple facts that after eating grass high in fluoride, cows are not able to control their muscles to the point of not being able to stand or the fact that "sodium fluoride is used in military grade nerve gasses like Sarin (the same sodium fluoride you brush your teeth with)" and is used in rat poison, cockroach poison and as wood preservative, then you might pause before feeding you or your children fluoride. 

The Devil's Poison illustrates that the effects on the human body at low but daily doses are the probable cause of many human disorders and diseases, just as if we ingested arsenic, cyanide or DDT at daily levels that didn't kill us would likely have long-term chronic and deletorious effects on our health. The author even goes so far as to say in the Introduction that "exposure to fluorine and fluoride compounds has caused more disease and deaths than any other substance known to mankind." He then goes on in the following pages of the book to support that statement.

Read this book and other books and then consider drinking water without fluoride in it and brushing your teeth with toothpaste without fluoride. Just these simple steps alone may go a long way to mediating a number of health problems, most of which are explained in this well-researched book. Thanks to the author, Dr. Dean Murphy, DDS for digging into fluoride's sordid past and shining a light on something in our diets that should not be in our diets. And don't worry about your teeth, the author of the book, a dentist, and numerous studies cited suggest that fluoride is not beneficial for teeth at all and in fact harms the dental substrate, weakening teeth.

The book is available in ebook and print formats from Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Another good source of information on fluoride's risks to health is the Fluoride Action Network.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Leave the Oil in the Ground?

It is the dream of many liberals, and environmental activists, including President Obama, to leave petroleum in the ground. It is a pipe dream, however, and any effort to implement such an agenda before we are ready with other comparable energy sources will choke the United States' economy and standard of living and that of the rest of the world. Solar and wind energy do not have the advantages that oil has such as portability and energy density and may never be the equal of oil in that regard. Fusion energy seems to always be out of reach, but if that source of clean energy ever became viable it would go a long way towards keeping some oil in the ground.

Oil is not used just for burning in our automobiles, trucks, ships, trains, planes, homes and businesses. It is also used in various types of plastics which are in almost every product we use (computers, water bottles, smart phones, toothbrushes, refrigerators, cars, hospital beds, airplanes, toys, shoes and millions more products). Oil is also used in constructing pharmaceutical drugs which save lives and relieve suffering. It is also used in asphalt for roads.

We couldn't leave the oil in the ground at this point in civilization's development unless we wanted to give back 200 years of civilizational development. We will always have some need for petroleum, at least until we can create the molecules we want directly from atoms.

Why is there oil in the ground?

Oil has got to be the most unexpected and greatest treasure to civilization that has ever been found in the ground on planet Earth. Humans had got along without oil for most of their history but it has been the fuel of industry and progress for the last 150 years. Without petroleum we'd still be using horses to get around, firewood or coal for heat and candles for light. It is unexpected because when you look at a planet you don't imagine that there could be oceans worth of fuel buried beneath its surface and over the millennia that we have lived on this Earth no scientists imagined such a thing. Oil has been known of in small quantities and by few people over thousands of years but its potential for use and the extent of its existence was unguessed at. And oil is the greatest treasure because of its unexpected extent, its truly mindboggling quantity (perhaps 50 trillion gallons used so far). The very fact that billions of people for the last 150 years have used oil directly or indirectly and it has not run out, in fact may not even be halfway gone, is a miracle or a coincidence of magnificent proportions. The fact that a burgeoning civilization found a plentiful fuel source just when it needed it (when the internal combustion engine was invented) and that it would last as long as it has is indeed a miracle.

Why is there oil in the ground and why is there so much of it there? 

Oil is produced deep underground where extreme pressure on dead carboniferous microbiological life forms results in a sludge which happens to be flammable. There is a smaller school of thought which says that petroleum is produced by purely geologic and chemical actions without biologic input (abiogenic petroleum origin theory). Whichever method produces the oil, clearly there is a great source of material. The production of oil continues as we use it because those same sources for the creation of oil whether biologic or not still exist in large amounts. Unfortunately (or fortunately) the pace of production is probably much slower than the usage of it, so at some point we may run out. If you subscribe to the mainstream theory that petroleum is derived from biological sources then clearly there is a lot of source material for making oil. Bacteria is supposed by scientists to make up most of the life on Earth by weight by far. Add to this zooplankton, plankton, algae and other life from the sea and you have a huge possible source of carbon for petroleum production. Over time this and other dead carbon-based life forms migrate down through the soil and become compressed under evermore pressure and heat in sedimentary rock. Molecular changes occur. That's the theory.

So we are left with the fact that we have oil under our feet - a lot of it. Do we use it or do we not? I look at it this way. Nature produces apples to be eaten so we and many other animals eat them. You could say that they are a gift of God or the bounty of Mother Nature. The same can be said of oil. Nature creates oil to be used or God creates oil as a gift to meet our energy needs. Everything has a purpose, an apple is a sweet and healthy food as well as a method of transporting seeds away from an apple tree. On our Earth, water's purpose is to support life. Oil's purpose is not to hide in caves 1000 feet below the surface but to bubble up to the surface and be used as the gift that it is for energy production and manufacturing of certain products. 

Yes, burning oil produces pollution and carbon dioxide, but cars, trucks and planes are using it more efficiently than ever, and the exhausts from newer vehicles are much cleaner now than they have ever been. Carbon infusion into the atmosphere is down over the last few years. This gives us more time to find fuels or energy sources like fusion and improved batteries that can replace the dirtier fossil fuels. We'll get there. Let's be patient and wait for the scientists and engineers to do their thing before we throw away a potent source of energy that was clearly placed inside the Earth by Mother Nature (or as I believe, God) for us to use in our progression as a civilization. If we don't wait, if we truncate our reliance on  petroleum without something of equal potency to replace it we will sabotage our economies, progress and increase human suffering.

Technology is advancing in spectacular ways in the first 15 years of the new millennium. If we're patient and persistent in our technological progress, I am certain that the energy developments that we need to replace fossil fuels will come. But throwing away a resource before it is actually obsoleted is like flattening your tire on the last pit stop of the race and expecting to win.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Global Warming

Photo Caption:

The Earth next to the Sun in a comparison of sizes to scale. If there is global warming, I doubt that the Sun would have anything to do with it since the mighty Earth could shrug off any energy fluctuations from the puny Sun.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Good-bye Windows 8

Look at that Start button on the left compared to the new Windows 8.1 Start button. Beautiful versus flat and uninspired. The Windows Start button signifies and encapsulates the tale of two operating systems from one company. One great and one not so great.

In that vein, I am happy to announce that I made the decision to dump the carnival version of Windows, Windows 8, and go back to Windows 7 on my personal home computer. I love it. It's like coming back from Bizarro World to reality. The main impetus for me making the trip back in time to a more lovely and functional operating system was the disappearing scroll bar. If'n you don't know what I am talking about, it is the fact that the scroll bar disappears after three seconds of inactivity in many windows and programs within Windows 8 and 8.1. It may be a bugaboo or a mental problem but I really am aggravated by the disappearing scroll bar, especially in Windows mail (where it causes you to open emails you would not have opened because you click on an email expecting there to be a scroll bar where your mouse cursor is. Uggg!) and also occurs in Microsoft Office products like Word. I use Microsoft Word all the time and I want a scroll bar that doesn't disappear after three seconds. I tried finding ways to keep the scroll bar from disappearing in the settings of Windows 8 and Word and found nothing. I Googled the issue and found there is no way to resolve it. And the scroll bar that is foisted on the user in Windows 8, Word 2013 and all the current Web browsers is a flat, 2D, crappy looking scroll bar that looks better gone frankly, except for the fact that I want and need to see a scroll bar. Well, enough of that issue. You get the idea. It was enough to get me to say good-bye to Windows 8 and 8.1. Windows 10 looks like it is not going to take care of that issue either. So sayonara hachi.

Other reasons I don't like Windows 8: 
  • It is all 2D, whereas Windows 7 Aero has 3D buttons and scroll bars and see thru frames. It is functional and lovely. Many portions of Windows 8 actually look the same as DOS program screens (i.e., from the 80s). In many ways it is multiple steps backwards in presentation of the user interface.
  • The bothersome charm bar that appears when you don't want it to and doesn't come when you call it is unawesome to say the least.
  • The new Windows Start button in Windows 8.1 is also unawesome leading you only to the Windows 8.1 "start screen" which should actually be called the Apps screen. Finding an app (or software program) usually takes much longer than when looking for a program in the program menu of the Windows 7 start menu unless it is one of the apps on the first page of the App screen.

Speaking of browsers, the user interfaces of internet browsers have mirrored the look and functionality of Windows 8 lately and since they all have flat, 2D scroll bars now I have gone back to an earlier version of Firefox. (Even Google's logo is 2D now where it used to be 3D. What's up with that?) As far as browser security is concerned, I am not worried because I have an antivirus suite that I pay good money for. You can find previous versions of various kinds of software at You can't go back too far though with any software, especially browsers, or you lose too much functionality with today's websites. I tried using the last versions of Netscape, but it is basically useless on the internet now. Firefox 9 though is working out okay so far and still has the regular 3D, nondisappearing scroll bars.

Sure, I know that you can start your computer from the Desktop and work many of your tasks from there but Windows 8.1 is always lurking, waiting to spring up in all its colorful ugliness and make you interact with it. If you want to read a piece of literature you don't want to have a comic book pop up in front of you while you're reading. But that's what Windows 8 is like. Windows 8 was not designed for computer users, it was designed for people who have surface knowledge of computers. Not everyone wants to have in-depth knowledge of computers or needs to. Maybe this operating system is good for them, maybe not. It's actually more like an iPad interface than an operating system.

What Microsoft should have done if they wanted to have this Disneyfied operating system is also come out with a separate standard professional version for computer users and businesses (like when they had Windows 98 and Windows NT/2000 sold at the same time, or XP and XP Professional). 

To go back to Windows 7 on my Windows 8 HP laptop was turning into a huge hassle and headache. They really don't want you going back, and make it quite difficult to do so, so I bought a new laptop with Windows 7 already on it and sold my Windows 8 laptop. Headache avoided.

Maybe there is some critical mass number that can be reached whereby if enough users do the same thing Microsoft will get the hint and get rid of the Metro interface idea altogether and not just make some halfway fixes for Windows 10 as they are doing now. If not I am going to be happily using Windows 7 well beyond the date when it is no longer supported.

Now if I could just get my employer to get my work computer back to Windows 7.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Is using blinds and shades to keep the heat of the sun outside your home effective or a myth?

Window blinds
I have been a consistent adjuster of blinds, curtains and shades in my homes for many years. I let in the sun's heat in the winter and in the summer I close the blinds in an effort to keep the heat out. Who doesn't want to save energy if energy equals money?

Adjusting the blinds is a constant admonition from energy companies, blinds manufacturers, air conditioner manufacturers, bloggers, news outlets, and parents.

The following is something we can agree on right off the bat. It is indisputable that if you leave the blinds open in the winter time, the sunlight can come in and will warm up the house. Not every wavelength of sunlight that comes into the house has the effect of warming it up though. It is the light at the red end of the light spectrum that warms us and our homes, specifically the infrared (beyond red) light waves. This basically leads to a greenhouse effect in your home where infrared light gets into your house becomes convective heat and that heat stays inside the house (greenhouse) because the glass, walls and ceiling keep it there. This is a great thing on a cold winter day.

Electromagnetic Spectrum -

In the summer the same sunlight enters your house for many more (potential) hours per day through your windows and will warm up the house using that same greenhouse effect. Since we know that our house becomes warmer in the winter because we let the sunlight in, it makes a certain amount of sense to suggest that if we close the blinds we will keep the sunlight-generated heat out of the house in the summer. Right?

But if we think about it a little we'll discover that it isn't true.

Experience tells me that no matter what I do with the blinds, my home becomes hot in the afternoon. Why?

Let's start with a pretty solid fact. If the blinds were outside your windows (like shutters on houses used to be) and were reflective, they would keep most of the heat from the sun's light from entering your home. Some heat is always going to be transferred from the outside walls from the sun to the interior of your home depending on the materials the wall is made of and the amount (if any) of insulation in the walls.

If instead of "outdoor blinds" or shutters you used aluminum foil on the glass as a way to intercept sunlight's heat you would be pretty successful at keeping the heat from the sun's light out of your home but that would be a visual hazard and an annoyance to your neighbors. A reflective film placed on the glass should be good enough and there are companies that sell that product for windows. Think the window darkening that's used on your car's windows.

Stopping the sun outside your home keeps the heat from the sun's light outside your home. This is a fairly safe statement, generally.

Unfortunately, the situation that most of us are stuck with is using blinds that are hung inside our home 0.5 to 4 inches away from the glass. The problem is that once the sunlight goes through the glass, the wavelengths that cause heat in your house cannot easily get back out. Visible light is reflected back out, so your white blinds may do a fine job of reflecting light back outside, but it is not the right kind of light. As shown in the graphic below the short-wavelength infrared light stays in your house and becomes convective heat between your blinds and the window. The blinds are warmed up and radiate the heat in all directions.

Greenhouse effect -

Remember also that glass is an insulator and if it is double-paned or triple-paned glass it is an even better insulator than a greenhouse! Heat has a difficult time getting through it. Once the infrared light strikes a surface in the home (ie., the blinds) it becomes convective heat. That heat will rise behind the blinds to the ceiling and circulate with the air in the room. Very little of the heat that enters through the window can escape back through the window and since it is probably hotter outside (which is why you are worried about keeping the heat out) heat is not likely to travel that direction anyway, even if it could get through the double-paned window. Heat travels to cool areas not to hot areas so it is not natural to make the assumption (which we do) that the heat will be reflected back outside to a hotter environment when thermal entropy suggests that heat always seeks cooler areas. The conductive heat from outside near your window is heating up your window because it is seeking a cooler place (ie., your air conditioned or cooler home). Heat is already fighting to get in your house, how likely is it to get out?

So as we can see, there are a number of things which argue against closing blinds to keep the heat from the sun's light out of our homes.

  • Infrared energy will not easily go back out the way it came in
  • Visible light is reflected back out but that kind of light does not heat up the house anyway
  • Glass windows do a very good job at insulating
  • A dark house is a gloomy house

Yes the sun is making your home warmer in the winter and in the summer but there is nothing you can do short of stopping the sun's light outside your windows.

So don't live in a dark cave for nothing, let the sun shine.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Solar sheathing for power transmission and cable / telephone lines

I am not an engineer or an electrician, but I have been thinking lately and have come up with an idea that I would like to put out there for consideration, and if it might be workable, someone in the solar industry, or power utilities industry, or in government may proceed to do something with it.

There are between 150,000 and 200,000 miles of power transmission lines which distribute electricity in the United States. There are as many or more miles of television cable wires distributing cable TV signals in the U.S. For the wires that are strung between towers and poles, sunlight or daylight strikes most every inch of these lines for an average of 12 hours every day. If these lines were sheathed in rollable (flexible) solar panels the U.S. would suddenly have a huge source of clean electricity on already existing space that would be basically invisible -- unlike the clumsy eyesores shown below which are currently being installed all over New Jersey.

Telephone pole solar power panel
If an output of 1 watt per foot of solar panel on the wires is estimated, which is a conservative estimate, this is roughly 1,056,000,000 watts of new electricity production (1.05 Gigawatts) or about the energy produced by one nuclear power plant or large coal-fired power plant. This number could be doubled if both the high-voltage transmission wires and cable television wires could be used.

I am not sure how a solar panel would react on a high-voltage transmission line, and if the solar panel wouldn't work on a high-voltage wire due to the leak of voltage out of the wire and into the panel, then the cable television cables would do well enough at providing the power. But power companies could also consider insulating the transmission wires to prevent the voltage leakage and thereby allow the solar panels to function. Or, perhaps the rollable solar panels can be made with the insulator already on it so that it could function in the high-voltage environment.

Benefits of the plan:
  • Invisible
  • Extensive
  • Clean, no pollution
  • Distributed
  • Create jobs
  • More electricity
  • Doesn't take more land space out of use as for solar panel farms

In a world where we are always looking for new ways to generate cheaper, cleaner, more abundant energy, I think this is one way that we can do so.

PowerFilm Rollable Solar Panel

Friday, January 16, 2015

Gas Cheap Now, But Not for Long

Filling up at the pump is less painful than in the recent past.
I saw gasoline for $1.69 per gallon for Regular (cash) yesterday on Route 1 in New Jersey. It has been a long time since we have seen gasoline that low and the relief to the consumer's wallet is a welcome one indeed. It is tantamount to a tax cut on the citizens or even a pay raise. The bottom line is that it gives people more money to spend on other important things and can even increase household savings rates and encourage on-the-road travel vacationing. The low price of oil and the resultant low price on gasoline and diesel fuel are boons to the economy in many ways.

So why are prices as low as they are? It's because of the extra oil on the market from U.S. oil production which has seen a boom in recent years, due in part to hydraulic fracturing and increased oil drilling on private lands.

But my point with this post is not to talk about why there is so much oil, or the benefits of fracking. There are many articles and blog posts addressing these issues. The point of this particular post is to throw a wet blanket on this low-price enthusiasm.

The price won't be low for long. And the past would be the indicator of future performance.

In 2009, the price of gasoline dropped below $2.00 a gallon for a brief time and then continuously rose back up to $3.50 to $4.00 a gallon for Regular in New Jersey. The chart below shows the price per barrel which the price per gallon of gasoline follows in its movements.


The message? Get it while it's hot, because very soon it's going to shoot back up to $3.50 per gallon and probably higher.

What are the causes of oil price movement? Supply, demand, political unrest and government regulation. Right now supply is greater than demand, so the price is lower. But there are so many political hotspots in the world today that any one of these tipping points that tips could cause oil futures to shoot back up to $120 per barrel.

As examples, Russia's designs on Ukraine and its trouble-making around the world have the potential for causing oil prices to rise, and this is a country that wants oil prices to rise back up because so much of their economy and budgetary income is based on the sale of oil and natural gas. So for Russia, instability on the world stage which causes higher fuel prices is exactly what they want and need.

Daesh or ISIS, is militant Islam rampaging through the Middle East and threatening terror everywhere else. They are currently in control of half of Syria and much of Iraq. It won't take much for that particular march of evil to cause an oil price spike. If they were to succeed in taking over Syria or Iraq, or cause mayhem in Saudi Arabia, Jordan or Israel, these are just some scenarios that would be catalysts for crisis leading to an oil price rise.

Al Qaeda, the original Islamic terrorist group is still a very real threat and actively trying to bring terror killings to the next horrific level. There is no restraint as to the kind of murder and destruction that they would like to perform and if they had a weapon of mass destruction they would have no hesitation in using it, as we have seen on 9/11 and in other events. Hamas and Hezbollah are the more localized but just as dangerous militant Islamists of the Middle East. Any of these groups could and would bring economic chaos that could result in sky-high oil prices.

Iran is a country that wants to see Israel and America (the great Satan) destroyed. It is progressing in its efforts to become a nuclear power with Russia's and North Korea's help. It could very soon succeed in its efforts to make a nuclear weapon. If that happens Israel may bomb Iran's nuclear facilities causing a regional war. This would spike oil prices.

The Taliban is still killing people in Afghanistan and Pakistan and seems intent on continuing to cause death and destabilization, also through the spread of terror.

The Communist-led, police-state of China always takes the side of the bad actors on the world stage as shown by its support of Iran, Venezuela, Cuba, North Korea, and Russia. And it is intent on destabilizing Taiwan, threatening the U.S. and Japan, and throwing its weight around the region and the world. And China never seems to lend its growing military might to world security threats that other civilized countries fight against. Their belligerent actions could be the cause of any number of scenarios that could cause an oil price spike.

Even if it isn't a national political action that causes the problem, it could be a crucial break in the supply chain, perhaps a few oil refineries going down, a natural disaster or a massive oil spill like the one in the Gulf of Mexico a few years ago. The anti-hydraulic fracturing movement could also put a political chokehold on oil derived from this process especially if countries regulate against the process as many individual states in the U.S. have done.

So, sorry to be a stick-in-the-mud, but enjoy the lower cost of gas for your car and fill up your fuel oil tank now because inevitably the low price we see now will soon disappear to be replaced again by the signs we are so used to.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

A Blood-Dimmed Tide: The Battle of the Bulge by the Men Who Fought It - A Book Review

by Gerald Astor

This book was created by weaving together the individual stories of the men who participated in The Battle of the Bulge near the end of World War ll. The German military offensive was a last ditch attempt by Adolph Hitler to recapture territory that had been lost to the Allied armies and the term “bulge” refers to the resultant break in the Allied front lines. Early on, the German operation had some success due to the operation’s surprise factor, and the strength of German force thrown behind it, not to mention the subterfuge.
Astor helps us to get to know the men of all ranks and from both sides of the conflict and then brings the stories from these men to us as they relate to the battle in chronological order for the six or eight weeks of the military engagement.

The first few hours and days especially come across as very tense and exciting moments. If you want to learn how grueling and terrible the battle was you will certainly learn that from this book. War can often be viewed with rose-colored glasses when looked at from many decades removed from the action. That is not the case here. It is gritty, cold, wet, and pain and hunger filled. You could almost sense that some of these men would have wished for a quick battlefield death compared to the ordeals that they ended up having to go through.
The book is the story of heroes and villains on both sides of the conflict and a portrait of the ugliness of war and of humanity. It is a story and a book that should be read in every history class because it makes the war more tangible.

We learn that the Battle of the Bulge ended up being the nail in NAZI Germany’s coffin, but it was a very costly battle to both the Allies and Germany in terms of lives lost and wounded.

Before reading A Blood-Dimmed Tide, I had known next to nothing about this battle of WWII, and thanks to this book I now know more about the battle, the war, and a little more about the good and bad of humanity.

Roar: The New Conservative Woman Speaks Out - A Book Review

by Scottie Nell Hughes

Scottie Nell Hughes is a smart, ambitious, successful, and caring conservative woman. She is a loving wife and mother as well as a daughter with a large amount of respect for her parents and her larger family who we are introduced to in the book to some extent. This book’s target audience is supposed to be conservative women, but the wisdom here is applicable to people in general, not just women, and not just conservatives. She talks about parenting issues, so parents will benefit. She talks about career and employment and what she says would benefit job hunters or people working their way up the career ladder. But books aren’t always about the benefits you can take away from them. There are some engaging and inspiring stories here.

Of course, the main point of the book is that she wants conservative women to find their “roar” – to speak out for their ideals and to become more active in bringing about their desires for a better community.

Ms. Hughes highlights the problems with the Obama administration including the incredible debt, the burgeoning welfare class, and the sub-par employment picture in the United States.

One area that she talks about with heartfelt conviction is a woman’s right to self-defense. She delves into the ever-present and ever-expanding efforts to control guns from a uniquely female point of view.
"For the woman walking to her car down a dark alleyway or the mother of two who keeps a .38 snub in her dresser drawer, a firearm can serve (and has served) as a last line of defense between her and a criminal who does not care about law and order. If we’re going to talk about a War on Women, we should address the real war on women: the disarming of women. Guns are tools. Firearms do not only help the nefarious; they help the law abiding. They serve as an equalizer."

Ms. Hughes also discusses women’s roles in society such as in front line combat (which she is against), the workplace, at home, and regarding “reproductive rights,” birth control, and abortion. She doesn’t mince words and takes a firm stand on all of the issues she presents, all to be expected in a book titled “Roar.”

Friday, October 24, 2014

Stop the Ebola Free Trade Agreement

I sent out the tweet below to my followers on October 22 and it kind of went unnoticed, where I thought it would stir up some retweets or negative responses.
"There isn't much difference between not stopping terrorism & not stopping flights from Ebola countries. It's basically a way to ramp up fear"
It was the best I could do in 140 characters to express the thought, but in light of the latest imported Ebola case by a doctor in New York City, it needs expanding on.

Ebola is fatal in 25 to 60 percent of cases according to the charts at the link below from Dr. Ian Mackay. There are not too many diseases which spread person to person in which the outcome is as grim as this. And that's not to mention the incredible suffering the disease causes. The growth of this disease in the population where it takes hold is not linear but is exponential in the way that the flu blossoms in the fall and winter in cool climate countries. So while there are more deaths from HIV/AIDS, malaria, cancer and even the flu, Ebola has the potential to be an efficient, worldwide spreader of death. That's the cause of the enhanced fear people have of this disease. It is not blown out of proportion, because if it gets out of control here as it did in West Africa it would be many times worse.

As an aside, imagine if ISIS or al Qaeda decided to weaponize the Ebola virus. All they'd have to do is get someone or somemany infected and fly them on airlines to any country in the world. Even if it weren't as effective a weapon as a bomb initially, as a weapon of fear it is right up there with beheading and suicide bombing.

Maybe the way the disease has progressed in Sierra Leone and Liberia, where it has killed thousands of people since April of 2014, would not be the model for its progression if it gains a foothold in a country like the United States, but who is to say it won't be worse? It's in New York City now and the doctor who brought it back went bowling and rode the subway. Our only hope is that it is as hard to get the disease as the CDC and others tell us. But the evidence isn't reassuring.

Except for the blood of one doctor who received an experimental cure, there is no cure right now, and he can only give so much blood.

If health care workers who are generally careful and suited up against the disease can get the disease then it is only stating the obvious to say that it is easily transmitted.

Why does the Obama administration not do what common sense dictates vis-à-vis the Ebola crisis? That is, why are he and his administration resisting the banning of flights from West Africa when 27 some other nations have already done so and when it is apparent that our only reason for having these cases thus far is because we have imported them from West Africa. Every person that comes here, potentially harboring the virus, goes around interacting with hundreds of people, some of whom won't even know it. The stupidity of the administration's course of action here is staggering. The safety of the American people is the job of the president of the U.S., and Obama is apparently not fulfilling that function, rather he is endangering the citizens of this country, not to mention the world - that is until the world starts banning flights from the United States.

There should be a cordon around Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea and every country in the world should ban free flights in and out of West Africa, with only tightly controlled charter flights in and out. At the same time every effort should be made to help the people suffering there and to end the disease there where it "started". I don't know if President Obama wants the disease to terrorize America, but it sure seems like he wants America to participate in a coming epidemic - or at least not be separate from the problem. Nothing else makes sense. Any rational leader would have implemented the ban by now (and many have). And if Barack Obama is rational (as the Left likes to say he is), then he does not have the U.S.'s interest at heart with this policy and indeed the world's because his policy will cause the disease's spread around the world and not just here.

Additionally, I hope that the FBI, CIA and others are on watch for what radical Islamist affiliated nut-jobs may be planning regarding this virus, because they may turn away from axes, knives, guns and bombs and achieve their objectives through infection as well.

See the website for some detailed charts on the Ebola numbers as they stand now.

Monday, July 28, 2014

America: Imagine the World Without Her - Film Review

America: Imagine the World Without Her

This documentary film by Dinesh D'Souza and Gerald Molen features, firstly, excellent cinematography. You'll see historical scenes and battles, grand American landscapes, monuments, and impressive (and stark) cityscapes. The musical soundtrack of the documentary is wonderful and adds to the majestic feel of the film. So America looks beautiful and it sounds beautiful - a good start.

But the content here is important as well since it's a documentary and it is the meat that the people are coming for. The producers spend the first part of the film presenting some of the left's most radical and die hard critics' distorted arguments which have been working their way into the mainstream consciousness due to distortions of truth taught by liberal historians and college professors since the 1960s. After the left's "Indictments" against the U.S. are presented, the producers go on to respond to all of these indictments on many levels and from different angles. What you end up with is a regrasping of American history and a cogent and well-argued case for the fact that the United States, overall, has been a force for Good in the world and not for Evil. It is a positive message, not delivered through rose-colored glasses, but with realism and fact.

The film also highlights the fact that great and successful Americans can be of any race or creed and that as a land populated by immigrants, legal immigrants have just as much chance at success as people who have been here for generations.

Unfortunately, the indoctrination of students practiced by the liberal left into America hating, capitalist hating, sometimes race bating, government expansionist, wealth redistributionists is begun in kindergarten and carried through to the last year of college and then beyond by a compliant mainstream media. Films like America are like buckets of sand thrown against a tide of lies, but the efforts are certainly appreciated by patriots and freedom lovers everywhere. Hopefully the tide can be turned in some small way by films like this and by people like Dinesh D'Souza.

I also want to give a big shoutout to AMC Theaters in Brick New Jersey for the choppy playback of this film as if it were playing on an underpowered 300 dollar HDTV with insufficient screen refresh. Hopefully you don't present all your movies this way.

Go see this film and get the DVD when it comes out. There is much to learn here and you may not be able to absorb it all in one viewing. D'Souza has a book which this film is based on which you can see here.