Posts by Gorjus

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  • Q&A: Mark Steyn on the '06 Elections

    10/26/2006 7:43:25 AM PDT · 11 of 11
    Gorjus to Alberta's Child
    The solution to "fixing" the U.S. Senate is to repeal the 17th Amendment...

    Bingo! What was orginally intended was one house of the Congress would represent the people, and the other house would represent the States. That's a good plan, and we should get back to it.

    If the Senators owed their positions to the States (via the legislatures who appointed them) instead of to their ability to dole out federal funds to the people, we'd see a lot less power concentration in DC. Can you imagine, for example, the States (through Senators who truly represented them) approving Justices to the Supreme Court who are so fond of usurping power for the federal government? The 9th and 10th Amendments would have meaning again!
  • Literal interpretation of Constitution not practical

    10/04/2006 8:20:37 AM PDT · 43 of 52
    Gorjus to tacticalogic
    I find that a wholly unsupportable conclusion.

    Obviously, you're entitled to your own opinion and conclusions. I find it unsupportable that someone should undermine the plain language of a Constitution written for "We, the People" by saying the actual written words are less authoritative than the opinion of an individual.
  • Literal interpretation of Constitution not practical

    10/03/2006 11:39:59 AM PDT · 34 of 52
    Gorjus to tacticalogic
    It's a fair question, but I don't have a good answer. In short, I really have no opinion on the logical consequences of that paragraph, beyond the basic one already expressed that although I respect James Madison's wisdom, his opinion has no more authority over the actual text of the Constitution than any other citizen's.

    Perhaps there is another way to look at it: Article 1 Section 8 states that Congress shall have the power, "To regulate commerce with foreign nations, and among the several states, and with the Indian tribes." That clearly establishes that the Congress has the 'literal' power to regulate commerce among the several states. Conversely, that does not give the Congress the power to regulate commerce within a state.

    So, the words do establish that the power to regulate power among the several states is 'being in the same terms with the power over foreign commerce,' and if Madison is trying to draw a distinction, I don't see it.

    Why that provision was added (because it 'grew out of abuse of the power by the importing States in taxing the non-importing . .') is historically interesting but not relevant. The provision in the Constitution establishes a power. That is the key issue.

    The exerpt from Madison's letter may be too brief for me to capture the context, because I can't tell if Madison is trying to say that Congress doesn't really have the power to regulate commerce among the several States, or whether he is trying to make the point that although the reason for including it is different, it still has that power. Regardless, the words that matter are not from his letter, but from the Constitution.

    At least, that is the position that I advocate.

    By the way, I've seen plenty of evidence that Madison was not entirely satisfied with the form of the Constitution as finally ratified, and I understand and find logical his argument that including the Bill of Rights was a mistake because it implies those rights only exist if they are enumerated rather than by virtue of not being explicitly addressed by the Constitution and therefore automatically excluded from the federal government authority. Nontheless, I'm glad the Bill of Rights was included, because logic does not automatically hold sway over politicians lusting for power. I think we'd have been in much worse shape if the Bill of Rights was not explicitly included - though I fully admit that many of the enumerated rights are flagrantly violated all the time.
  • Literal interpretation of Constitution not practical

    10/03/2006 10:08:17 AM PDT · 31 of 52
    Gorjus to tacticalogic
    it is not within our pervue to modify them by simply re-defining the words.

    I have no intention of 're-defining the words.' Just the opposite. The words are what they are, and even the opinion of James Madison cannot 're-define' those words.

    And the most important words are, "We, the People."

    If someone found a long-lost letter from James Madison to George Washington saying that the word 'right' as written in the Constitution only applied to those working for the federal government, would that make it so - in your mind? Or would the intrinsic meaning of the word 'right' and of the 'people' and so on be more important than the opinion of a single man, no matter who that man was?

    In matters of actual opinion, I would very much be guided by the prevailing opinion at the time the Constitution - or, through our history, the various amendments - were ratified. But in matters of plain language, the ultimate arbiter must be, "We, the People."
  • Literal interpretation of Constitution not practical

    10/02/2006 2:17:36 PM PDT · 19 of 52
    Gorjus to x
    Shouldn't that interpretation be as close to the actual words used as possible, though?

    Bingo!

    The most important words in the Constitution are, "We, the People." It's not written for "We, the lawyers," nor, "We, the landed gentry of Virginia," nor, "We, the elected or unelected bureaucrats of government."

    The Constitution is a contract between, "We, the People" and the federal government. We, the People have the right - if we would claim it - to interpret the Constitution where the nature of society has changed in ways that were not envisioned at the time of ratification. For example, if you asked a cross-section of the people whether "the press" as defined in the First Amendment referred to modern electronic media, there would be clear consensus that it does.

    However, asking that same cross-section of "We, the People" whether the clear words of the Constitution on something like, "Congress shall make no law," now mean that Congress can make any law it desires, you'd also get a clear consensus that it does not.

    And the opinion of the landed gentry of Virginia from a couple of hundred years ago on what they intended for the words to mean should have no more impact than the opinion of you or me or any other of "We, the People" on what the words actually say. Every time we refer to someone other than the people ourselves for authority, we justify those who claim their own opinions (See Ruth Bader Ginsburg, et. al.) are the final authority.

    So, the interpretation should indeed be, "as close to the actual words used as possible."
  • The American Eleven: Two Down, Nine to Go

    09/19/2006 8:34:31 AM PDT · 5 of 15
    Gorjus to MattinNJ
    It may be Newt's to lose.

    If so, then we lose. I'm sorry to have to say that, but his 'baggage' is too extreme to be overcome.

    He was hounded out of office for moral shortcomings - a standard that only applies to Republicans, but that's the way it is. When it comes time to get out the vote, a lot of middle America just won't make the effort for a man of Newt's moral shortcomings.

    In addition, he is the bogeyman to the left. They use Newt Gingrich as President to scare their children at night. Even Bush - though he is hated fiercely - is not considered as big a threat as Gingrich. Bush, in short, is considered a liar, but dumb. Newt is the AntiChrist to their liberal/socialist faith. Everyone who ever thought about being liberal would - to use the popular phrase - crawl over ground glass to get to the voting booth to vote against Newt. (Sort of like I feel about Hillary.)
  • ‘Radical Christianity’ as Threatening as Radical Islam?

    09/14/2006 10:25:16 AM PDT · 23 of 53
    Gorjus to Mr. Mojo
    She then said that “radical Christianity” is just as threatening as radical Islam.

    She's right - if you're looking at the 'threat' she sees.

    Long before Ann Coulter's latest book, it's been clear that modern liberalism/socialism is a faith-based philosophy different from a 'religion' only in that they believe there is no higher being than humans (and therefore, that whatever makes humans feel good about themselves is the highest 'good' for society). As a result, Christianity, in America, is 'just as threatening' to their faith as Islam.

    After all, what are the lives of a few thousand people she didn't even know, as measured against her 'right' to be an out-of-the-closet lesbian?
  • The Long Twilight Struggle - What a Cold War realist can teach us about winning a "long war."

    09/06/2006 1:12:35 PM PDT · 4 of 5
    Gorjus to Hound of the Baskervilles
    Very Interesting.

    Yes, but . . .

    One of my favorite quotes is, "The difference between Engineering and opinion is numbers." All this fine theory doesn't really address the numbers that might give credence to or refute the theory.

    And, in a deliberately ironic twist, the first issue is yet another theory. It was (and is) widely accepted that an offense needs an advantage - at least locally - of 3:1 in combat power over the defense for reasonable chance of success . If each power were truly interested in defense, then they would stop producing conventional combat power (e.g. tanks) when they had reached something like parity. This would be enough to assure the other side could not achieve a 3:1 advantage, and as a defensively minded nation, no superiority in combat power would be desired.

    However, the Soviet Union worked frantically, to the point that they brutally cut back all other areas of their economy, on achieving not only superiority, but a 3:1 advantage in combat power all along the European front. There is no justification for this except an offensive intent.

    And, perjorative labels like 'triumphalist' aside, it was precisely Reagan's buildup of combat power - negating in just a few years what the Soviet's had been working toward for a generation - that made it clear to the Soviets that it was hopeless. They had 'eaten the seed corn' to achieve the correlation of forces required for offensive operations, then found they had fallen short, with neither additional 'seed corn' nor inherent economic vitality to go further.

    True, they could have bet it all on the hope that surprise or some other factor (defeatist liberal press in the US) would compensate for their lack of combat power, but even more than the US, the Red Army was institutionally bound to McNamara-style operations analysis. So Gorbachev really had no choice short of self-immolation. To his credit, he refused the Hitlerian exit, but it really wasn't that much of a choice.

    Just a few numbers, like the actual build-up of Soviet bloc forces and how close they came to a 3:1 advantage before Reagan, would resolve the 'originalist,' 'revisionist,' and 'post-revisionist' debate.

    But of course, social 'science' academics are not very fond of numbers, except poll numbers or other subjective pseudo-data that support their pre-conceived ideas.
  • White on white: Nation's first ever 'whiteness' survey provides new insight on race

    09/06/2006 7:42:38 AM PDT · 33 of 96
    Gorjus to Pharmboy
    ...that a similar majority were able to see prejudice and discrimination as important in explaining white advantage . . .

    No bias here. Of course prejudice and discrimination are important. It's just that only the enlightened are able to see it.

    ... people claim white identity for defensive as well as progressive reasons,

    No bias here either. It's of course a well-established fact that the only valid reasons for anything are progressive, not those reactionary defensive reasons. There can not, for example, be any reasons connected with simple fact. All must be political.
  • NUCLEAR POWER TO THE RESCUE

    09/06/2006 7:28:37 AM PDT · 27 of 34
    Gorjus to jpsb
    It is my understanding that the biggest cost of a N reactor is the cost to dismantle once it is no longer useable.

    I've never heard this particular issue raised before. I'm not sure we've actually dismantled any power reactors as unusable in the US. Some reactors have been decommissioned in place.

    But I'd disagree with the statement even if it were in general discussion. Far and away the biggest cost of a nuclear reactor is administrative impendimentia created by those who hate nuclear power. It takes three meetings, with a cast of a dozen including highly trained nuclear engineers, to change a light bulb in a monitor panel. This is not a joke or an exaggeration.

    We should be so lucky that the needless costs of nuclear power could be reduced to the point that disposal of wastes and dismantling of obsolete reactors were the biggest costs. If that is true today, it is because the paranoia of nuclear power haters requires that anything within the fence (including the fence) at a nuclear power plant needs to be treated as though it were highly radioactive waste - preventing it from being salvaged for value. The actual radiation exposure of anything outside the reactor vessel itself is minimal. Even the containment structure is salvageable if we wanted to do so, being about as radioactive as an equivalent amount of metal exposed to direct sunlight for a comparable time.

    I am reminded that for years gasoline was burned off during the petroleum refining process as unusable. All we wanted was kerosene and other lower distillates. And today, one of the most productive sources of gold in the US is the slag piles of 'unusable' ore detritus that was discarded as the gold was originally mined. If I had the money, I would be buying all the 'waste' nuclear fuel I could get my hands on. In a generation, that will be highly valuable. Saving it, as in Yucca Flats, is going to turn out to be a very wise decision.
  • New evidence shows Antarctica has warmed in last 150 years (Despite cooling in 90's!)

    09/05/2006 8:43:28 AM PDT · 11 of 42
    Gorjus to ClearCase_guy
    Mmmmmmmmmm.

    Indeed. Let's base our scientific analysis of an entire continent on data we know are not representative.
  • NUCLEAR POWER TO THE RESCUE

    09/05/2006 8:33:54 AM PDT · 16 of 34
    Gorjus to jpsb
    cool, wonder what the down side is?

    I've very much in favor of nuclear power, and have written so in this forum and others many times. However . . .

    This article makes no mention at all of cost. I think that's no coincidence. Creating all those pebbles in the first place is going to be very expensive. It wouldn't be cost-competitive against rational nuclear reactor designs - but of course the libs are not rational about nuclear power.

    If the economics support it, then great. If we don't do something, the costs of alternative ways to generate power will rise until this is cost-competitive, which is sort of like hitting your thumb with a hammer so you don't think about your toothache.
  • Pupil Rolls Drop At Schools (SoCal...guess why?)

    09/05/2006 7:13:49 AM PDT · 2 of 47
    Gorjus to truthkeeper
    "They're getting the funds that we should be getting," she added.

    Interesting focus. It's all about the money, to these so-called 'educators.' Where is the, "We're obviously not providing what the people want, so they're voting with their feet," focus?

    And, in another surprising newsflash, their wildly proclaimed 'friendliness' to homosexuals has resulted in a drop in population in the SF Bay area. Who'da thunk it?
  • MIT's inconvenient scientist [He doubts global warming propaganda]

    09/01/2006 7:10:16 AM PDT · 88 of 89
    Gorjus to aligncare

    I never said it was impossible - only inefficient. If building an inefficient car is your definition of success, then you are, of course, right. It's not my definition.

  • MIT's inconvenient scientist [He doubts global warming propaganda]

    08/31/2006 2:45:19 PM PDT · 83 of 89
    Gorjus to aligncare
    Haven't had a chance to look at this yet, but the energy efficiency of cold air is just horrible. We can't even use it to start a jet engine once, not with reasonable size bottles.

    I suppose with a zillion psi or so you could store enough energy to be useful - but that would make one heck of a bomb, or cut through just about anything if it ever developed a leak.

    My take on it is that cold air (meaning compressed, but not combusted for power) becomes dangerous before it becomes useful as a power source. Of course, with a low enough horsepower requirement, you can make a lot of things work. But I wonder if an equivalently sized gasoline/diesel engine might not be better overall for pollution and fuel use, once you figure in the need to have some way to compress that air in the first place.
  • MIT's inconvenient scientist [He doubts global warming propaganda]

    08/30/2006 12:26:11 PM PDT · 54 of 89
    Gorjus to cogitator
    but energy policy is very important.

    Absolutely. A rational energy policy would accept as a given that we need more energy every year. Else is the nightmare slide into eternal barbarism. But where does the energy come from?

    That needs to consider the nature of the energy storage and transport. If right now we had a totally hydrogen-fueled transport system and someone came up with a fuel with 5 times the energy density, that was further a liquid at room temperature and pressure so storage was easy, we'd jump all over it. Cars need gasoline. On the other hand, using fuel oil for home heating or powerplants (except as a way to employ what is left over after a barrel of raw crude has produced all the gasoline it can) is just wrong.

    Powerplants, unless there is a handy high-head-pressure hydro source (i.e. Hoover dam) should be nuclear. It's the safest, least polluting power source known to man, but it takes a large, permanent, immobile installation. Right now, all the 'renewable energy sources' other than water power are not cost effective. This is disguised by massive government (i.e. taxpayer) subsidies for things like wind power, but an honest look at the numbers shows they don't really work (except, again, in certain limited locations with a particular geographic advantage like very steady winds).

    Natural gas is a 'natural' for distributed heating, since burning gas produces very stable heat when burned in atmospheric conditions (compensating for minor variations in feed rate as things wear - something that gasoline will not tolerate). That's not terribly volume efficient, and external combustion is not terribly safe for mobile installations (such as cars). But it works great for homes. Electrical heating of homes (except as a very occasional thing as in Southern California or Hawaii) is just too inefficient for a rational energy policy.

    If we focused our energy policy on considerations like that, we would both increase our efficiency (through things like gas heating instead of electric heating for homes) and increase our available energy sources (through use of nuclear power for electricity generation, freeing up fuel oil for mobile users like cars and trucks). Special case users, like large volume trucks and transport aircraft might take advantage of hydrogen with an acceptable penalty.

    However, once we get as efficient as practical - while still providing a decent standard of living - we need to identify and exploit sources of the various types of energy-producer. That means drilling for oil in ANWR, etc.

    Notice how many of those options that start from an acceptance that we need a continuing supply of energy are the opposite of what would be accepted by those who most complain about no energy policy? All they want is to restrict usage, and I am personally convinced it's so they can control our lives. If, for example, the only way to get around is on public transport, then whoever controls that transport controls a major part of our lives. If, for example, we all have to live in high-density housing (so that commutes are shorter) then we wouldn't be able to 'vote with our feet' to move from suburb to suburb and thus big-city bureaucrats (a natural government constituency) control more of our lives.

    Thus, while the Kyoto protocol itself may die a well-deserved death, the basic socialist attitude of using energy/pollution controls as a way to control and limit free choice is the wave of the future. It needs to be combatted in every way that we can.
  • MIT's inconvenient scientist [He doubts global warming propaganda]

    08/30/2006 11:23:07 AM PDT · 50 of 89
    Gorjus to cogitator
    Interesting data, and it addresses one but not both of the points.

    Taking the scatter in the various models as a measure of their collective accuracy (an assumption, not a fact, but a place to start), you can see that the consistency among the models leads to an estimate of about half a degree in uncertainty. The actual data show a man-made impact slightly outside that range, which is at least some support for the significance of man-made effects. However, consistency among the models is no guarantee that any of them are accurate.

    In addition, that doesn't really address the second point, which I couldn't extract from the data. Were any of those simulations set up at a single point in time, based on conditions observed at that point and extrapolations from that data using assumptions similar to those being used today, then allowed to run for a century?

    I get the impression that the methodology was the opposite. On a much shorter timeline - like year by year - it looks like they took a look at all observed data and fed it into the model to get an impact assessment for the various observatios for that year. Thus impacts like Mt. Pinatubo are explained. Of course, a prediction started in 1900 would not (likely) have predicted a Mt. Pinatubo event.

    This is better than nothing at attempting to validate the models. It shows (or doesn't, as applicable) that the temperature variations follow observed variations in key predictive variables such as solar and volcanic activity. If we knew now what those variations would be from now until 2100, we'd have some confidence that the models could provide a correlation between that future volcanic activity and future temperature, for example.

    But we don't know how those factors will vary in the future.

    I'm all for research, if it's honest, scientific inquiry without agenda. But the burden of proof should be squarely on those who advocate massive economic harm to the US particularly and without corresponding impact to our competitors (i.e. Kyoto Protocol), or who advocate massive centralization of power into the hands of unelected bureaucrats (i.e. Kyoto Protocol). These data do not provide that proof.

    One interesting note: A single volcanic eruption (Mt. Pinatubo) is reported to have had twice the effect of all man-made warming combined for that corresponding year. Perhaps the solution to global warming is to detonate a few nuclear devices in not-quite-active volcanos. One or two of those a year and the man-made effects are more than cancelled out. That 'solution' is offered at least partially in jest (the science might work, but I know the politics would not) but the key issue is that we haven't really considered how to address the issue in a positive way. The 'limits to growth' philosophy just rolls over and dies, accepting that for all future generations, the standard of living will be less then ours. We should be looking at data like this for solutions that increase the overall wealth of society, not eliminate it.

    I'd like to see, for example, an analysis of what hydrogen as a fuel, or nuclear power does to these data. Both can reduce the amount of carbon entering the atmosphere, but they increase water vapor (which is a worse greenhouse gas) though not on a pound-for-pound basis. Are those good or bad ideas for power, as a net effect? That's a matter for data, not the opinion of mankind-is-bad-and-manmade-carbon-will-kill-us-all zealots.

    Interesting article, and thanks for pointing it out. When I get home this evening, I'll post you another note with a link to a paper identifying some compensatory atmospheric effects that tend to reduce global warming (and may have been the reason the predicted ice age didn't show up). Compensatory factors may be buried in the simulations reference in your article, but I couldn't see any explicit recognition of them.
  • MIT's inconvenient scientist [He doubts global warming propaganda]

    08/30/2006 9:10:22 AM PDT · 45 of 89
    Gorjus to cogitator; TChris
    TChris, that's still essentially a weather prediction, not a climate prediction. Take a look at the link I posted in #27. Given a liberal margin-of-error, I could easily predict the average temperature for any state one month in advance; I just look at what the average temperature IS for that state and that month. (That, in essence, is climate. Climate = average weather.)

    First off, I agree that weather and climate are different, but the article (which I did read) misses the point about global warming.

    Yes, repeatable trends, like the difference in temperatures between winter and summer, are predictable at least as an average. But the global warming advocates are 'predicting' a change to the previously repeatable situation.

    And yes, one can 'predict' based on an assessment of the trends, but that does not make the predictions accurate.

    Here are two issues that need to be addressed:

    1) What is the uncertainty associated with the prediction? How does that uncertainty compare to the effect being predicted? If our scientifically justifiable accuracy is no better than the effect being predicted (+/- 5 degrees of uncertainty on a prediction of +3 degrees) then we hardly have a basis for embarking on policies that guarantee near-term economic disruption.

    2) What is the demonstrated validity of the models used to make the prediction? Even if we have analyzed our uncertainty and feel there is a real trend, we still may not be making accurate predictions. There is a simple test for this, and all current global-warming predictions fail. Apply the model to the conditions of 1900, and predict the conditions of 2000, using the sampled proxy evidence and assumptions for the future that the models employ. Not a single one of them correctly predicts the year 2000. An example of this is that a few years ago the same sorts of models (less sophisticated in a computer complexity sense, but still based on the same underlying assumptions) predicted an ice age by now.

    Bottom line: Using a demonstrably repetitive cycle, like the winter-summer temperature variation, to justify an open-loop extrapolation of a change to that very cycle is hardly convincing. It does show that there is a difference between climate and weather, but it tells us little about whether climatologists have any basis for alarm over global warming.
  • Astronomers say Pluto is not a planet (Eight Planets)

    08/24/2006 9:20:28 AM PDT · 52 of 120
    Gorjus to kidd
    Modern "science" is now become the result of one form of an opinion poll or another.

    This isn't about science. It's about a definition, and (except when imposed by force) those are always a matter of opinion.

    If some of the salient characteristics of Pluto were in dispute scientifically, then it would indeed be bad science to declare as fact what is unproven. But a definition is inherently a declaration, not a matter for data (except to the extent data demonstrate 'natural' distinctions among classes of objects and thus highlight bases for differentiation).
  • Funny Answers From Real Students

    08/17/2006 12:21:49 PM PDT · 42 of 45
    Gorjus to NaughtiusMaximus
    Define a more'. Answer: When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie that's amore'.

    A New Zealander man with an all over tan, that's a Maori.

    (Originally by Spider Robinson)
  • NASA Announces Dark Matter Discovery

    08/16/2006 2:52:30 PM PDT · 92 of 95
    Gorjus to tomzz
    I looked at it, and I'm not convinced. Even aside from any relative credibility of EE's versus astrophysicists about astrophysical phenomena, his introduction page consists primarily of an attack on others as close minded, an attack on phenomena he doesn't like as 'invisible' without addressing the observations that have led to the acceptance of those phenomena, plus a whine that the established astronomers restrict access to expensive equipment to those who meet the qualifications to use the equipment.

    Fundamentally, you have a EE whose only tool is a hammer, and he sees everything as a nail (meaning, electrical in nature).

    And by the way, astrophysicists spend a LOT of time studying plasma dynamics.
  • NASA Announces Dark Matter Discovery

    08/16/2006 5:28:22 AM PDT · 83 of 95
    Gorjus to true_blue_texican
    Dark Matter is a mathematical conjecture to "attempt" to make up for the fact that observations (which is the PRIMARY tool of science) do NOT jive with the Big Bang Theory in ANY of the predictive models of the BB.

    No, actually Dark Matter is used to explain the observed paths of stars in galaxies, and in no way depends on the Big Bang or any other explanation for the origin of the universe itself. See "Astronomy," July 2006.

    Dark Energy is a candidate explanation for the observations of the speed of expansion of the universe over time. It fits the observed evidence and is consistent with mathematical descriptions of the universe (i.e. General Theory of Relativity) that also fit with observed evidence and can be used to make testable predictions. Fitting with observations and tested theory is not automatically proof, but it's a place to start.

    By your standards, we can indeed 'observe' black holes even though we can't see them. And the black hole itself is not only a mathematical conjecture, but a very consistent expression of mathematically observable data. (Stars in orbit around an unseen mass, whose mass and maximum radius can be observed/calculated from the orbit of the visible star, demonstrate an object with mass and radius sufficient to have an escape velocity greater than the velocity of light.) Whether there is an actual 'singularity' at the heart of the black hole is mathematical conjecture, but not the existence of bodies with escape velocity greater than the speed of light.

    Extensions beyond the observed data, such as Hawking's conjecture that the universe is a web of quantum-sized universes (not his claim, actually, just a conjecture to explain what the current theory allows but does not require) are not the evidence for black holes.

    And in fact, the apparent accelerating expansion of the observable objects in our universe would indicate that the universe is not a black hole. In contrast, instead of being closed where nothing can escape, most things in the universe seems to have a high enough velocity to escape, or at least to expand to a rest state without falling back toward the net center of mass.

    You don't have to accept explanations that are consistent with observed data and with testable theory, but the burden of proof is on those who propose alternate explanations. What's your explanation, and what's your proof?
  • NASA Announces Dark Matter Discovery

    08/16/2006 5:11:18 AM PDT · 82 of 95
    Gorjus to tomzz
    In real life, the universe is mainly held together by electrical and electromagnetic forces.

    As this declaration is in conflict with the explanation accepted by those who are expert in the field, once again: What is your reason for choosing this explanation rather than the established one?

    (Note: I am not saying that a 'consensus' explanation is automatically right. If you have solid reasoning, then lay it out. Advances in science come from those who reject the 'standard' explanation and find something beyond it. But the burden of proof is on those who would overturn established explanations. What's your proof?)
  • NASA Announces Dark Matter Discovery

    08/15/2006 3:11:57 PM PDT · 65 of 95
    Gorjus to true_blue_texican; tomzz
    There is no such thing as Dark Matter or Dark Energy..

    Any particular reason for this assertion? You just don't like science you don't understand? Or do you also say there are no such things as electrons and protons? (You can't really 'see' them either.)
  • While US flying Becomes More Painful, El Al Continues Effective Security

    08/14/2006 4:14:48 PM PDT · 51 of 71
    Gorjus to Spiff
    So your plan is: After some more airliners are brought down, we'll take steps to prevent whatever has already happened?

    Sorry, I'm not convinced.

    And if you're willing to bet a thousand lives on our ability to spot a developing plot involving little old lady mules before an attack, well, I guess I'll decline that bet.
  • While US flying Becomes More Painful, El Al Continues Effective Security

    08/14/2006 2:44:22 PM PDT · 28 of 71
    Gorjus to Sender
    Be nice if it were that easy. And sometimes I'm sure it would be that easy. But there would be exceptions. "Oh, officer, I'm just afraid to fly."

    And of course, there would never be any repercussions for mercilessly interrogating innocent little old ladies who were 'just a little nervous' about flying. (And if you don't think the liberal press would characterize it that way, you're living in a different world than I live in.)

    But in fact, you're making my point. Even little old ladies need to be subject to scrutiny, so that the terrorists don't even try to use them as mules.
  • While US flying Becomes More Painful, El Al Continues Effective Security

    08/14/2006 2:13:08 PM PDT · 12 of 71
    Gorjus to marshmallow
    I'd do profiling in a heartbeat, if it would be sufficient. The problem with profiling is that it underestimates the evil of the terrorists.

    Here's the obvious scenario (not original with me): A team of half a dozen terrorists get together. They find a little old blue-haired grandmother who has a daughter, son-in-law, and granddaughter. They kidnap the family, and before the grandmother's eyes murder the son-in-law. Then they tell her she will either take their weapon on board a plane, or they will murder her daughter and granddaughter. Some of them stay with the daughter/granddaughter to make sure the grandmother doesn't back out.

    How do you stop that? You make it clear that the little old blue-haired ladies are no less likely to be searched than obvious terrorists. That way, there is no incentive to find a 'low-risk' mule to carry something on board.

    My suggestion would be to use profiling not to decide whom to search, but so that those fitting a terrorist profile are restricted to very few flights. Make such restrictions as requiring no carry on baggage at all for those flights, and make it clear that there would be guards on each.

    Then tell those inconvenienced in that way that they need to get on the clerics of their profession and get them to condemn instead of glorify terrorism.
  • ASTRONOMERS CRUNCH NUMBERS, UNIVERSE GETS BIGGER

    08/03/2006 1:44:26 PM PDT · 36 of 133
    Gorjus to labowski
    Are they only speaking of the portion of the Universe that we can either see or measure from Earth or by other means?

    Kinda. There's pretty good evidence that everything in the universe started from a single point (the 'Big Bang') and so the 'edge' of the universe is wherever the objects are that have gotten farthest from that point.

    Whatever might be outside that is unknown. Perhaps there's an expanding wave front from some other Big Bang a zillion light years or so away, which will someday overlap with the expanding wavefront from our Big Bang. It may even have already happened. All we know is that nothing outside our own 'universe' has appeared.

    Perhaps there truly is an infinite (in three dimensions, at least) empty space beyond the farthest material from our own Big Bang (though there are some strange observations that imply the universe closes in on itself so that traveling in a 'straight line' doesn't really take you off into infinity).
  • Abundant Power from Universal Geothermal Energy

    08/01/2006 11:35:46 AM PDT · 20 of 119
    Gorjus to domenad
    What produces the heat? If you drain the core of heat, how is it replenished?

    The heat is actually caused by - as the article says - "naturally occurring" radioactive materials. Basically, it's an underground nuclear reactor used to heat water to make steam.

    And you don't replenish it, but you probably don't have to worry about depleting it, either, since you're not really changing the amount of radioactive decay, just taking advantage of it.

    The problem is money. The 'expert' makes light of the fact that there are a few engineering issues to resolve, and I don't doubt the technology is there to do what he wants. But the cost of establishing and maintaining the reservoirs (and the pumping, etc.) is not small. Would this be economically competitive with above-ground nuclear reactors to provide the same heat? I'd like to see the numbers.

    Of course, we're nationally stupid on nuclear reactors - paranoid far beyond any rational risk assessment. So on one hand, you might think it would be easier to use a naturally occuring underground nuclear reactor instead. But the first time there's a tiny little earthquake somewhere that someone blames on the drilling, or the pressure, or whatever . . .

    It's not clear to me that the socialists who live for the power of restricting other people's choices will ever allow such a 'risky scheme.'
  • Academic Freedom Redefined Again

    08/01/2006 9:22:13 AM PDT · 6 of 7
    Gorjus to vimto
    It is B.C.E. and A.C.E. Before and After Common Era

    I think this is interesting. It is the most purely anti-Christian initiative around, and it seems to have almost unquestioned acceptance. That's not to say it has unquestioned or universal adoption, just acceptance.

    I say it is purely anti-Christian because it tries to remove from common use - specifically as part of the calendar - only Christian referents. We still remember Odin (Wotan), Thor, and Freya on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. We still recall Janus and Mars and Juno in our months. It is only the Christian, AD, Anno Domini ("Year of our Lord") and BC, Before Christ that are being purged. Accordingly, it is not an attempt to be inclusive by eliminating religious references not everyone shares, but instead a focused anti-Christian purging.

    It is also a denial of the facts. Regardless of whether one shares their beliefs, it is a fact that those who established the 'common era' calendar used as a reference the year in which they believed Christ was born. One could treat it like astrology or alchemy and consider it mistaken (in fact, most scholars, using internal Bible referents, place the actual birth of Christ in the spring of approximately 6 BC), but that doesn't mean it's appropriate to rename the true basis for the calendar year than it would be to rename all the constellations in the sky to eliminate the zodiac.

    So I consider any who advocate this to be anti-Christian, not "pro-choice."

    But what really amazes me is that many who would otherwise not seem to be anti-Christian go along with it. I'm sure it's because they just don't think it through, but it's still wrong.
  • 'Home intruder' law vague to judge

    07/31/2006 10:37:21 AM PDT · 32 of 60
    Gorjus to Smogger
    Not a very informative article as to the facts of the case.

    I think that's the real issue. People on this forum are arguing other topics, but what are the facts?

    Scenario 1 (assumed by most posters to this board): Intruder breaks into house and gets shot. End of argument, and the judge should let the innocent self-defender off.

    Scenario 2: Two friends, well known to each other, sit around drinking in an apartment belonging to one of them. They have an argument, and the apartment dweller shoots the other guy, then declares him to have been an intruder.

    I know which one I think is more likely, but the whole point is that determining which of those two (or other) scenarios really happened is the job of the jury, not the judge. However, I don't find the law as written all that unclear, so I'm siding with the common sense interpretation once the facts are established.
  • Boeing Dreamliner 'coming to life' (Part 1 of 3)

    06/27/2006 1:41:25 PM PDT · 19 of 36
    Gorjus to Turbopilot
    What's up with the "fixed trailing edge"

    It's the part of the trailing edge that's not part of the primary load-carrying structure. There are fixed pieces which hold the actuators for the flaps, the flap tracks, etc.

    The distinction is really about purpose - load-carrying or not - since it's not realy obvious when you look at a simple sketch. However, the next time you fly, look out the window. You can see the wing box pretty clearly, plus the parts that move. All the rest is 'fixed trailing edge.'
  • Three US carrier strike groups steam in formation in Pacific Ocean (Awesome photo)

    06/24/2006 8:06:05 PM PDT · 188 of 188
    Gorjus to hc87
    So you really think the Kitty Hawk, with an FFG in train, can make better than 31 knots?

    In reasonably low sea states (less than 4), and with no engineering casualties . . . absolutely.

    Hull speed for an aircraft carrier is about 44 kts, and with their hull forms there's no reason they can't make hull speed.

    I don't have the book in front of me so I can't remember the author, but I have "Introduction to Naval Architecture" (I know you can get it through Naval Institute Press.) which shows how to calculate top speed for simple displacement hulls. You can also see the calculation at:
    http://www.sailingusa.info/cal__hull_speed.htm

    The real question is how much past hull speed they can go. If you're not familiar with 'hull speed' you need to go look it up, but the short version is that it's the speed at which the ship's wave pattern approaches the ship's length, and in effect the ship is steaming 'up' its own bow wave. It takes power to do that (unless you transition to planing as a ski boat does). At speeds less than hull speed, the increase in power required for more speed is fairly linear and not particularly challenging.

    Also through Naval Institute Press, you can get a series of books on the design history of US warships. The one on Destroyers says that a distinguishing characteristic of destroyers is that they can typically go faster than hull speed. Hence, a Charles F Adams class destroyer (with hull fineness ratio similar to the carrier - the Spruances and Burkes are relatively fat) gets about 37 kts on 70,000 horsepower (20 hp/ton) while a Nimitz class carrier gets about 45 kts (or so, it's classified and I don't know the real number) on 280,000 horsepower (3 hp/ton) because the destroyer has a hull speed of about 25 kts and uses brute force to get faster than that.

    The Oliver Hazard Perry class FFGs are rated at 28 kts, but if you check the US Destroyers book you'll see that the US Navy rates ship speed with lots and lots of decrements. For example, it's at sea state 3, with hull fouling equivalent to 6 months at sea, with full fuel, weapons, crew and food, with engines nearing overhaul, etc., etc.

    As a result, Perry's have been observed going 38 kts, which is way beyond hull speed.

    If I were going into harm's way, in a transition-from-peacetime scenario where ships have not been in continuous combat for months, I'd make sure my escort ships could make a fleet speed of at least 30 kts. Fleet speed for TF 38/58 during combat in WWII was typically 25 kts, and there are multiple examples of carriers with half their engineering plant down due to damage yet still able to make fleet speed.

    By the way, this is not all theory. While you're free to think I'm lying, I had a friend (since deceased) who was the engineering duty officer on a FRAM II destroyer sailing as escort on Enterprise when she was making her sea trials. At one point, Enterprise blinkered over to the destroyer that she was going to go make her speed run and she'd come back and get the destroyer later. The Captain called down to my friend and said, "I don't care if this ship blows up, we're not going to let Enterprise leave us behind."

    They were up to 37 kts, with all the safeties bypassed . . . and the Enterprise sailed off over the horizon, then came back and rendezvoused with them later.

    I don't know what the shaft pressure on a Nimitz at any speed, but I've been in the Engineering spaces of a couple of battleships, and the shafts are a bit bigger than those on your average pickup truck. I don't doubt each can carry its share of the 280,000 hp at which the ship is rated (see "Ships and Aircraft of the US Fleet").
  • Pluto Could Lose Planet Status

    06/23/2006 5:57:16 AM PDT · 151 of 178
    Gorjus to UnbelievingScumOnTheOtherSide
    Okay, you lost it. Changing from a rational discussion to an ad hominem attack (calling my suggested definition "silly") is the sign of failure on your part.

    Of course, like any other high-handed declaration you choose to make, you don't have to agree with me, but if you think using a liberal approach to debate - i.e. ad homimen attacks - contributes to a discussion, you'll have to find someone else because I won't play your silly game.
  • Pluto Could Lose Planet Status

    06/22/2006 1:49:32 PM PDT · 122 of 178
    Gorjus to UnbelievingScumOnTheOtherSide
    This geometric definition is not valid.

    I guess we'll just disagree. While you can make the case that being or not being a 'wanderer' is independent of distance from the sun (so that 'loose' planets far from any star are still planets, and not rocks or whatever), the issue is whether Luna is a planet or a moon. If you took the earth away, then Luna would be a planet at any distance from the sun, so is your definition that distance from the sun doesn't make a body a planet, but distance from another body does?

    My definition of the difference between moon and planet would be based on whether the gravitational attraction of the nearby 'planet' (in this case Earth) on the smaller body is greater or less than the gravitational attraction of the sun on that smaller body. In the case of Luna, the sun exerts a greater force than the Earth does.

    Obviously, this sort of distinction - whether a particular body is considered a moon or a planet - depends exactly on whether there is another nearby planet which exerts a greater force on the body than the sun itself.

    By that definition, though the moons of Jupiter and Saturn would continue to orbit the sun if the planet were removed, they are nonetheless moons because the force on them from their planet is greater than the force on them from the sun.

    And this can be recognized by whether their motion is ever retrograde with respect to the sun or whether their motion is ever convex toward the sun.

    You're welcome to your own definition any way you want to make it, but I think the gravitational force definition makes more sense. You are, of course, free to disagree.
  • Pluto Could Lose Planet Status

    06/22/2006 1:29:42 PM PDT · 121 of 178
    Gorjus to RonF
    If the point about which two bodies orbit each other is not beneath the surface of one of them,...then I'd call that...

    Well, as you said, it's what you would call it, and you're free to do whatever you want. It's a logical distinction, and there are worse.

    However, I think a better one is to say that if the gravitational attraction of some other body (like a nearby planet) is greater than the gravitational attraction of the star, then it's a moon. Otherwise, it's a planet (assuming it's also big enough to be round).

    By that definition, our Luna is still a planet, since if you work the math the gravitational attraction of the Sun on Luna is greater than the gravitational attraction of the Earth on Luna.
  • Pluto Could Lose Planet Status

    06/22/2006 5:45:17 AM PDT · 59 of 178
    Gorjus to UnbelievingScumOnTheOtherSide
    I define a planet as anything Pluto or bigger that directly orbits a star.

    Actually, if you look at the orbit, "our" moon actually orbits the sun, not Earth. The moon's orbit is always concave toward the sun. Sometimes (once each month) the curvature of the moon's orbit becomes more than the average curvature of the Earth-moon system, and the moon moves a bit further from the sun, but the moon's orbit never curves away from the sun, nor does it ever 'back up'. The same thing can be said of the Earth itself. In effect, we have a double-planet system.

    Calling Luna a planet also meets the quoted definition of a planet, where the gravity overcomes the strength of material (round). Of course, there are a lot of 'moons' of Saturn and Jupiter that are round. In those cases the moons' orbits do curve away from the sun.

    Maybe you need to expand your definition and say that it's a bigger than Pluto and is the largest object within a million miles.
  • Three US carrier strike groups steam in formation in Pacific Ocean (Awesome photo)

    06/20/2006 6:22:09 AM PDT · 162 of 188
    Gorjus to Bender2
    ...if it floats, it can be sunk.

    Of course.

    It's interesting that a 'show of force' has been a Navy mission since navies first arose. In some cases, placing the ship in harm's way is the mission, and a very effective one. But by definition overconfidence is wrong, and I share your hope that our leaders get the balance right.

    As the USS Cole shows, we don't always.
  • Three US carrier strike groups steam in formation in Pacific Ocean (Awesome photo)

    06/20/2006 5:09:58 AM PDT · 160 of 188
    Gorjus to Bender2
    Well, you've got a good source. It was my understanding that as they abandoned, they were trying to open scuttles so that she'd go down more quickly. In my mind, that qualifies as sinking not 'solely due to enemy action.'

    I realize that's splitting hairs, but my point was to the posters who were saying how easy it is to sink a US warship, and in particular a carrier. As I expect you knew.
  • Three US carrier strike groups steam in formation in Pacific Ocean (Awesome photo)

    06/19/2006 2:48:00 PM PDT · 87 of 188
    Gorjus to dennisw; Skooz; zarf; hc87
    A few facts just to remember:

    Not a single US fleet carrier was lost in WWII due solely to enemy action. The ones we lost all required scuttling and/or an attack by our own forces to put them down.

    Not a single US fleet carrier launched after 7 December 1941 was lost at all. (CV-9 Essex and subsequent)

    Saratoga, essentially at ground zero for the Able/Baker nuclear weapons tests, would not have sunk with even moderate damage control. As it was, she took several hours to go down.

    The Forrestal incident involved as much explosive ordnance as a dozen simultaneous cruise missile strikes, and she wasn't lost either.

    The reason they put carriers in battle groups is that they are part of an integrated defense system with their own assets (CAP), Aegis cruisers/destroyers, SSNs for ASW, etc. making it far from easy to get a missile to the carrier in the first place - and it would take a lot more than one.

    The USS Stark was hit with two Exocet missiles, one of which did not explode (which makes the problem worse, since that second missile's fuel fed the fire which was a bigger problem than explosive damage). She made it.

    The USS Samuel F B Roberts hit a mine directly under the keel, the exact point for maximum effectiveness. She made it.

    The claims that warships are 'missile magnets' (as the referenced article claims) have been around since the claim changed from 'bomb magnet' and before that whatever other weapon was on vogue. The facts say it is very, very difficult to sink a US warship, particularly an aircraft carrier. Our damage control is better than the Brits (by demonstration) and our ships are ridiculously overdesigned by commercial standards.

    But they're damn good as warships.

    By the way, a simple hull speed calculation on a 1000-ft hull shows that a carrier with 280,000hp can get up to 40 kts pretty easily. The actual top speed is classified, but it's a lot more than 31 kts.
  • Students Clam Up to Make a Point (Supporting Their Gay Friends)

    04/27/2006 3:07:44 PM PDT · 11 of 33
    Gorjus to Diana in Wisconsin
    ...a sudden religious vow...

    This is a 'faith-based' initiative - the faith that a homosexual lifestyle is just as good as any other lifestyle. That's provably false, at least in terms of illness, caring for children, and a host of other social costs and values. But facts don't sway faith.

    If we just recognised that socialist humanism is a faith - a religion in which the deity is mankind and for which the greatest value is whatever gratifies mankinds urges be they base or noble - then we'd see this for what it is: A conflict of religious doctrines.

    It's no wonder they're worst boogyman is the 'religious right.' Traditional faiths are their direct competitor.
  • Why does Ethanol additives cause gas prices to rise?

    04/27/2006 11:52:42 AM PDT · 38 of 188
    Gorjus to eraser2005
    You get more out of ethanol than you put in, . .

    Only if you farm the original corn using mules instead of tractors. There was a recent article posted from Popular Mechanics, and it discussed the refining cost only (energy cost) and did indeed show a small, but net energy gain. However, if you add in the fuel required to plant, cultivate, and pick the corn, you end up with a net loss of energy.
  • Clean Diesel from Coal

    04/21/2006 12:33:56 PM PDT · 70 of 72
    Gorjus to SampleMan
    The instability of the oil market has always been a problem in setting a business model.

    I'm not sure about things like setting a market floor on oil, with a tax penalty (which is in effect a negative subsidy) or any other type of subsidy. I guess I'm not sure there is a 'solid reason' for a subsidy, barring only maintaining an essential industrial capability which is not normally needed. I think - if the government got out of the game - that the oil market would be a lot more stable unless there were some special case like a Katrina that interfered with normal oil production. And in that case, prices are going to go up so a floor is not relevant.
  • Why America's generals are out for revenge

    04/21/2006 7:11:50 AM PDT · 72 of 74
    Gorjus to middie
    Put in jail!!! What?

    I limited my little dream of justice to general-officer levels because it is at their level that policies are set. And the military policies of the Clinton administration were so despicable that anyone who would willingly associate with them has betrayed his oath to the Constitution and the nation. "Just following orders" is no defense.

    Obviously, someone who was already a general officer when Clinton's abomination was coming into power, and who then retired in the normal course of events (rather than as a visible sign of protest) may have been acting responsibly. But anyone who remained in service once it was clear what was going on, and certainly anyone who advanced during that period, is not one whose opinion I would respect.

    Is that 'Stalinesque?' Frankly, I don't care about the label. But it's way over the top to say that holding policy-making general officers responsible for their policies (or for those they support) sets the stage for another Hitler. That "perspective" is just silly.
  • Why America's generals are out for revenge

    04/21/2006 7:03:09 AM PDT · 71 of 74
    Gorjus to JCEccles
    I can't imagine the administration allowing a weapons system named "Crusader" to be deployed in Middle East.

    What's ironic to me is that we're the only ones bending over backward to deny our heritage. The Crusades changed history in a major way. Reminding ourselves of that - on both sides - can serve was a warning of what to watch out for in the future. However, in today's PC world, we're a lot better at ignoring history than learning from it.
  • Clean Diesel from Coal

    04/21/2006 6:55:47 AM PDT · 62 of 72
    Gorjus to SampleMan
    There is nothing more constant than the sea breeze.

    That's a start, and I'm not saying wind power has no potential. I'd like to see an honest set of numbers, including maintenance and depreciation. If the numbers are there - without subsidy - then fine. And the best way to see if that's true is - as my first post on this thread suggested - get rid of all the artificial constraints including things like not exploiting ANWR and let the marketplace demonstrate the right answer.

    In addition, I've always favored government-sponsored research even though I don't support government subsidies of production facilities. Even if wind power is not competitive today, that doesn't mean it will never be competitive, and I think there is a compelling social interest in finding out.
  • Clean Diesel from Coal

    04/21/2006 6:50:52 AM PDT · 61 of 72
    Gorjus to SampleMan
    The break even point on wind power is about $50 a barrel.

    I'm not discounting your statement out of hand, but what's your data source on that? Except in areas of strong, steady wind (as I mentioned in my first posting), wind power generators often consume more electricity to power their magnets than they produce - and even when the winds are right the net production is very small. They also have some pretty significant maintenance/depreciation requirements that are factored into conventional power plants but often ignored when considering only net cost per watt produced/consumed.

    I'd appreciate knowing your data source so I could see what's changed since the last time I looked into it in any depth. But when I did, it was ONLY the subsidies that made wind power viable at any price.
  • Why America's generals are out for revenge

    04/21/2006 6:46:12 AM PDT · 70 of 74
    Gorjus to Grampa Dave
    an insult to our Navy Personnel and Air Force Personnel

    Why? My comments were on Rumsfeld's decisions on what tools those personnel would be provided with, not on the people using those tools. I'd absolutely expect that our troops have the 'into the valley of death rode the 600' sort of courage, and man-for-man our forces are the best in the world - and I absolutely include the Israelis in that.

    But sending F-18s up against integrated SAM defenses, when we could (or, with the right tools we could) use artillery instead is going to get a lot of brave men killed needlessly. It's about having the right weapons for the situation, not about who is behind that weapon.
  • Why America's generals are out for revenge

    04/19/2006 1:58:36 PM PDT · 17 of 74
    Gorjus to Grampa Dave
    An excellent London Times OPED without the lies and spin of our left wing mediots.

    Yes, it's a good article. Rather than being automatically anti-Bush - including any and all subordinates - it actually provides a respectful analysis of someone in a position of responsibility, for whom most answers have good and bad elements.

    However, it's a one-sided article as well. It's all pro-Rumsfeld. I'm prepared to believe that any officer who was at general-officer rank during the Clinton era should be discounted at least and put in jail at best (unless he quit, like Shoemaker). However, there are two sides to most issues. This op-ed is probably too space-limited to develop both sides, but there are some things that Rumsfeld has done that should be cause for concern.

    He has put all out eggs in the Afghanistan/Iraq type of conflict. His assumption is that we will be fighting a low-technology enemy who will allow our aircraft to roam at will through the airspace. As a result, the enemy will not benefit from set-piece battles or massed armor formations, so these can be essentially ignored. A lightning strike will work.

    But what happens if we go up against a technologically sophisticated foe, with legitimate air defenses? With no Crusader artillery (as one example), we're going to have a hard time delivering ordnance. What happens if we have another sanctuary situation where the bad guy slips back and forth over a line our own forces cannot cross? (And don't think that won't happen. It's happening now with 'insurgents' from both Iran and Syria. But it could happen with raiding aircraft as in Korea instead of just 'insurgents.')

    Perhaps he's made the right decisions, but those who are concerned have a valid point. You can use a high-tech answer in a low-tech war, but you better not bring a low-tech force structure (or one that requires your opponent be low-tech) to a high-tech war.

    When we go up against the Chinese, or against Muslims with French/German/Japanese jammers and SAMs, we're going to find that light infantry has a very, very hard time, even if they're as good as our Special Forces are.
  • Clean Diesel from Coal

    04/19/2006 1:26:36 PM PDT · 54 of 72
    Gorjus to SampleMan
    I wonder if wind power would be cheaper than fossil fuels if it weren't so heavily subsidized. I'd say it definitely wouldn't be, but there are effective subsidies for the price of fossil fuels as well - for example, not taking advantage of the ANWR oil, and the artificial (and in my mind, criminal) restriction on the use of nuclear power.

    Technologically, wind power is not economic except in some very special cases (locations with lots of steady wind), but in our far-from-rational energy system, who knows where the right answer will lie? If all the controls except true pollution restrictions (not including 'preserving wildlife eco-systems,' as though the caribou hadn't benefited from the Alaskan pipeline) were lifted, I think we'd find two things. First, there is plenty of energy, and second, most of the so-called environmentally friendly (and/or renewable) energy sources would turn out to be very bad polluters and so would fall by the wayside when people are making scientific decisions instead of sniffing the political winds. (Making batteries, for example on 'hybrid' cars, is an environmental nightmare, followed by the impact of making all those distributed motors on wind generators, etc.)