John Wayne is the Duke. Elvis is the King.

John Wayne's Holster: February 2009
John Wayne's Holster
Visit my main blog at Monkey Wrench Revival. Visit my birdwatching blog at The Birding Nerd.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Depression 2009 - How We Got Here!

This short video tells you all you need to know!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Ron Paul Ponders What Would Happen If the American People Knew the Truth

Ron Paul on the House Floor

What If...The American People Learn Truth?

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Turbines Give Me the Wind Something Terrible

Wind Turbines Are Bad for the Environment
Image Source: Keepers of the Blue Ridge

I recently came across an article on the web stating that RWE Innogy - European energy supplier - is planning on building a 960 megwatt "wind farm" in the North Sea. The "farm" will be built 40 kilometers north of the island of Juist and cover an area of sea about 150 square kilometers. Construction is slated to begin sometime next year, with an estimated completion date of 2015.

To many worshippers at the alter of Al Gore, this may seem like a great thing. After all, wind power is touted to be the next great thing in the energy field. It will supposedly free us from the use of fossil fuels. On top of all that, it is "clean", and "green". In other words, it's environmentally friendly.

Or so they say.

Although I am no big fan of oil or other fossil fuels, and we be ecstatic to see a decline in or an elimination of their use, I don't think wind energy or any of the other alternative energy sources we are being pitched are going to solve much of anything. The whole thing is just a big scam to find more ways to waste more energy. And contrary to what the Goregoyles tell you, these forms of energy are not without their environmental impacts.

The whole naming of the above mentioned facilities as "wind farms" is misleading. There is nothing pastoral about them. There are no animals, there are no barns, there is no cultivation, and there is no husbandry of any kind going on. The misnomer is really just a way to soften the reality that the facilities are production plants. Perhaps the term wind industrial complex would be more appropriate.

Besides being noisy and unattractive, wind plants pose significant problems. For starters, the energy produced by wind power can not be stored. It must be produced on demand. It is alos unreliable. Winds are higly intermittant, with daily fluctuations between 50% to 100%. If the wind is not blowing, you get no energy. And on top of all that, it is inefficient, having a capacity factor of only about 30%. This means that you need a non-wind based back-up source of energy to meet the 70% short-fall.

Wind turbines also have a negative impact on the environment. Turbines generate a lot of turbulence which can have a significant impact on local weather patterns. It is estimated that it would require about 250,000 wind turbines to meet U.S. energy needs. Such a vast array of turbines would alter wind speeds and cause a local drying of soils in their vicinity, leading to increased evaportation and thus the need for increased irrigation.

Turbulence created by wind turbines at sea causes upwelling, wherein deep ocean water is drawn up to the surface. This, in turn, drives the surface water down to replace it. The overall effect of this is to alter the temperature flow within the water, which could potentially effect currents and the resulting weather patterns they influence. In addition, the drag created by the turbines has been shown in modeled systems to shift wind currents substantially in a manner that could impact the movement of storms.

Although wind facilites have been promoted as "green", in that they generate no greenhouse gases, this in not the same as saying that they don't lead to an increase in greenhouse gases. Many of the land-based wind turbines are located on mountain ridges, where winds are typically high. The construction of the turbines themselves requires a significant amount of forest clearing (pronounced - deforestation) for the access roads and turbine pads, not to mention that needed to make space for above-ground powerlines and trenching for underground power lines. This, in turn, results in less carbon dioxide uptake by the trees that are no longer there. You do the math.

Wind plants are detrimental to wild life. Many turbines, particularly those on mountain ridges, are positioned along vital migration routes for birds. Because birds typically migrate at night, the flashing lights on the turbines act as an attactant. This results in collisions with the turbine blades, and the killing of tens of thousands of birds every year. In Northern California, the Altamont Wind Turbines alone kill up to 1,300 birds each year. Bats don't fare well either. There is also the matter of habitat fragmentation resulting from forest clearing.

Birds Don't Fare Well Near Wind Turbines
Image Source: Keepers of the Blue Ridge

When you add it all up, wind energy does not turn out to be the free lunch that its proponents make it out to be. There are significant environmental and ecological costs. There is also the matter of the economic costs due to decreased in property values and the tax increases that are required to subsidize the wind facilities, but that is another matter.

One could always make the argument that, despite these costs, we would still be better off than we are in our current situation with fossil fuels. Perhaps. But then again, perhaps not. According to a study on the Point Petre Wind Plant in Canada, the amount of carbon saved by a single turbine is canceled out by a "18 wheel truck traveling at 60 mph". This is not to say that any offset in carbon emmissions is waste of time.

The real issue is that the promotion of alternative energy sources completely misses the point. It glosses over the real problem - that we use and waste way too much energy! It is also not clear that the use of alternative energy sources will have much of a positive impact, as world energy consumption in increasing, not decreasing. Wind power and its alternative energy cousins turning out to be nothing more that supplemental energy sources. As such, they are just adding to the problem. We should really be focusing on more efficient forms of energy and, more importantly, energy conservation.

As it stands now, all this wind power stuff give me the wind something terrible.

I'm Mad As Hell and I'm Not Gonna Take It Anymore

“Harold Beale” from Network (1976)

I think anyone growing up in the US in the 60’s and 70’s will recall the personality that was Dr. Timothy Leary. Leary’s famous quote, which more or less summed up his philosophy, was “turn on, tune in, and drop out”. Ostensibly, the phrase was to promote experimentation with LSD. Actually, it was aimed at encouraging people to detach themselves from the conventions of society. Many self-annointed “responsible” people dismissed Leary’s advice as the ravings of a madman. However, what these “responsible people” don’t realize is that they have plugged-in to something that is much more insidious – the corporate/government media, otherwise known as the public relations industry. Perhaps they would have been better off taking the ticket to ride.

As Noam Chomsky states in Propaganda and Control of the Public Mind, the goal of the public relations industry is “the conscious control and manipulation of the habits and opinions of the masses”, the intended purpose of which is “to maintain power structures and authority structures”. In other words, we are being brainwashed into accepting the version of reality that the ruling corporate class imposes on us. They do this so that they can continue to exploit our labor and extract our wealth. And I must say, they are quite good at it – so good, that they have us believing that it is the way things are naturally supposed to be.

Over the weekend, I rented a DVD from my local video store that satirized this quite nicely. The movie is called Network. Here is an edited summary of the movie from IMDb:

In 1975 terrorist violence is the stuff of network nightly news programming and the corporate structure of the UBS television network is changing. Meanwhile, Howard Beale, the aging UBS news anchor, has lost his once strong ratings share and so the network fires him. Beale reacts in an unexpected way… In doing so, [he] becomes a major TV icon and one of the most valuable assets to the Communications Corporation of America (CCA), the company that is gradually taking control of UBS. As a result he is given his own show as 'the mad prophet of the air-waves'. He appears live on television every week-day evening to tell the real truth to the people of America. The programme is a huge success but Beale uses his power to make startling revelations about CCA, leaving the company executives with a serious problem.

Here are a few scenes from the movie:

Harold Beale is Mad as Hell.

TV is an Illusion.

Inevitably, Beale reveals too much about the way things work, and needs to be brough in line. This is attempted by the UBS execs.

Beale Sees the Face of God - Corporations run the world.

Eventually, Beale is assassinated...

I found the movie to be both eye-opening and disturbing, not because it revealed to me anything I was not generally aware of, but rather, because the events the movie satirizes are playing out all over again in the present time. The corporate media is controlling us with a campaign of fear and disinformation. In doing so, they have paralyzed us as citizens. They trample our rights, violate our humanity, and extract our wealth. Although we may bitch and moan, we nevertheless roll-over and allow them to have their way with us. We content ourselves with the false notion that we are free, when in reality, we are not. Deep down, we know this to be true, but rarely give more that a passing thought to it. To assure that we don’t do so, the ruling class placates and appeases us with the modern equivalent of bread and circuses – endless entertainment, fantasy, drugs & alcohol, sexual license, etc. I could go on, but I think one just needs to look around to see that this is true.

I think it is time we were all "MAD AS HELL

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

New Hampshire Has It Right!

Live Free or Die!

The secret is out! The Federal Reserve Bank is a fraud. It is neither Federal nor does it have any real reserves. It is a privately owned multinational bank operating under the neglectful oversight of the United States Treasury. The Fed loans money to the government who must then pay it back! Plus interest! Under such a set-up, there is no incentive on the part of the Fed to be fiscally responsible. To the contrary, it is in their best interest if the govt borrows and spends recklessly. This way, the Fed collects more interest. This has to stop! Under the Constitution, the power to coin money belongs soley to the government, and not to a any private enterprise. But to our government, it seems that the Constitution is "just a goddamned piece of paper".

Finally (and thankfully), people are getting fed up! The Fed creates a fiat currency out of thin air. The more they print, the less the "money" is worth. Now, our money is practically worthless. The world is starting to give up on the dollar as well. Putin is calling for the end of the dollar as the world reserve currency. China no longer wants to buy our 30-year Treasury Bills (i.e. they don't want to loan us any money to pay for our bail-outs). As a result, the Fed says they will buy the T-bills (talk about a Ponzi sheme). In the end, we the taxpayer, and our children are going to end up footing the bill for all this.

It seems that some states have had enough. New Hampshire just introduced a bill to its state legislature calling for the nullification of federal legislation and to federally assumed powers not specifically granted by Article I, Section 8 of the US Constitution (remember that goddamned piece of paper Bush mentioned). The NH bill specifically calls attention to the counterfeiting scheme that the Federal Reserve bank has been running since its creation in 1913.

In essence, the bill is a clear reminder to the federal government that it could potentially be stripped of those powers that it unlawfully assumed and now forcefully impose on the states - a power grab that can be traced back to Abe Lincoln and others of his ilk.

I am not sure how much chance this bill has to pass, but I certainly think it is a step in the right direction. People need to understand the nature of the enslavement we are under by the Fed. Only when they are educated can we hope to see anything get done. I will also be interested to see how much attention the media pays to this bill.

For those interested, the full bill can be viewed here

Three other states - Arizona, Missouri, and Washington - have followed suit and submitted their own bills reasserting state sovereignty. The links are as follows: AZ, MO, & WA