Saturday, December 31, 2011

Idea Forum: Energy Policy: The Achilles Heel

Idea Forum: Energy Policy: The Achilles Heel: I want to turn my attention to this: "As the nation approaches its 57th Presidential Election, we're asking the future leaders of this co...

Energy Policy: The Achilles Heel

I want to turn my attention to this:

"As the nation approaches its 57th Presidential Election, we're asking the future leaders of this country, students, to define the single most important political issue in this election. Tell us not only what that issue is, but also tell us why and how you propose we come to a solution that benefits the majority?"

I found this question for the College Blogging Scholarship. Interesting, no? With all this talk about war with Iran and Eurozone collapse, Many people don't stop and think about the most important issue.

Energy is how we live our lives. It flows though wires of various diameters to our homes. It powers our car. It powers our games. It powers  computers. the scooters and all of our shames. Energy allows all Americans to live. Hell, this blogging scholarship wouldn't be possible without large, polluting coal plants throughout the nation. We are at war over oil and have caused significant changes with the climate. Some of these changes impact our lives directly while other changes impact climates of all other life on the planet.

So we have a huge energy problem in our country. We mine and frack for much of our energy consumption (coal, natural gas, oil) while we buy from others what we cannot produce ourselves. There isn't very much oil production in the US today, though it is growing.

Energy is a huge part of our economy. The economy suffers both in the short and long term if energy costs are high. Less production of oil from any one major source (Canada, Saudi Arabia, South America) would cause skyrocketing gas prices. Nearly half of the world's coal is produced in China, and the US gets nearly half of of it's coal from China. If people want to know why the US and China have gotten so close, I would point them here.
Fun stuff in there. Have a blast looking up numbers.

Seriously though, we have a Crisis on our hands. An energy crisis. This crisis impacts us on a daily basis and little is done to fix it. This crisis affects everyone, so you would think it would have a major impact on the presidential candidate. The truth, however, is a different reality.

During the past few months the Republicans have been revving up to what sounds like another awful CBS reality show: Election Season. A nonstop roller coaster of debates, flubs, strategic oneupsmanship, and inaccurate polling will lead us into a Novermber election that will shape up to be a sad disappointment for everyone involved. All the Republican contenders, which seem to be more focused on giving tax breaks and incentives to businesses that drill and frack, preserving the assuming Christian tradition of the US, and shave down government by cutting funding for health care, education, and the environment.

Barack Obama, though has done significant work in trying to fix some of these issues, has only succeeded slightly. On top of that, President Obama has had a very difficult time trying to get anything he wants through the House or Senate. To put the icing on the cake, Barack Obama favors building the Keystone XL pipeline. The pipeline would help US refineries but seriously impact an already shifting climate.

There is no candidate that truly represents a growing population who want sustainable energy as a major source of energy for our country. This next election is going to be difficult, because it really is voting for the lesser of two evils.

However, we are still left with this problem. What do we do about energy? It is a problem we face everyday and we see it on our bills and in our bank accounts. More importantly, we see it in the air and water quality as well as the ecosystems we interact with.

Well, first, we need to think: solving the energy crisis affects several issues. Cheaper energy means a faster growing society. Cheaper energy also allows for more innovation. Cheaper energy leads to greater content in international affairs, as trading is easy even between uneasy trading partners. The US imports most of it's energy as well, so the idea of "energy independence is very important. The health and safety impact of mining and fracking bring serious considerations for governments to consider.
Apply this to your brain:

This guy effectively explains some of the positives and negatives of fracking. Public safety, however, should probably be no, 1.

the US isn't left with many options...

or is it???

 This video, though might be considered a long, boring lecture, provides a wealth of information about some of the choices Americans have for our energy production.

Wait... that's the big issue...
Most people don't choose what energy systems they get to use. Those decisions are made by government organizations and businesses. The cool thing about most of these technologies is that they can be used directly by the consumer. Individuals are given tax credits to do it their houses! However, sustainable energy systems are not a very large aspect of consumer consumption.

We could, however, increase incentives for individuals to buy their own sustainable energy source. The cool thing about these incentives is they can be used for personalized solutions for consumer energy needs. Solar works better in some places while wind works better in others. Geothermal is a great tool for energy as well as biogas for places like Wisconsin and California. Happy cows get their poop sent to a bacterial processing facility that makes natural gas! Nuclear energy can be utlilized as well, but many places feel the risk is too great. New designs of Nuclear plants are quite ingenious. One reason the Fukashima Reactor burst was due to age. New facilities could have better design with an upgrade of technology. Fusion, a different atomic process producing a much larger capacity of energy. is right around the corner as well. If humans are able to control it, fusion energy can easily produce electricity in much larger quanities than any of our current resources. Some might call this a pipedream. I call it an eventuality, and one that should happen sooner than later. The US could increase it's production of US made oil and gas, but until substantial work is completed on clean energy, the efforts might have a greater adverse impact.

These are just a few choices we have for energy needs present and future. Giving consumers access to choices (minus Nuclear, obviously) will create a web of energy sources that produce energy in the US while being clean and efficient. Consumers can be the electric company, and every penny saved is a penny earned.

This ecnomic prosperity would let us leave places militarily that are strategic interests, and the United States can actually export more energy that it takes in. Sure China has the most green jobs, but they consume the most dirty energy. If the US and its consumers were able to invest more money in sustainable energy now, we would be a leg up on a country like China in terms of sustainable economic growth. On top of that, American companies, supported by American consumers, can proliferate this technology to other developing nations. Foreign policy, FTW!

When you go to the ballot box to vote this upcoming election season and you want to vote them all off the island, remember what you can do as a consumer to change the world for the better. Or vote for me. Joe Nowinski 2012: Because the world is going to end anyway.

Monday, December 5, 2011

How to take down an Imperial Walker

So, it should be no surprise that I support the recall effort for Scott Walker.

Yes, I know it's expensive, and yes, I know it might undermine the regular election process of our country, but go look at this...
If you're going to be a douchebag, at least be honest about it...

Thursday, November 17, 2011

I don't even know where to start today... Looking at the ridiculous state of our country and world, I'm surprised nothing snapped today. There were a few signs of breaking....

Russia threatened Nuclear War... again...
This is pretty much what they said

"Because so many Eastern European nations are turning to NATO and our defense budget is so small, we can't afford to send conventional troops in... we will just have to Nuke them"

WTF, Russia?
I thought we were cool... Somehow, I think Russia is all ready for a new Cold War! It sure will be cold during that nuclear winter...

We have bigger problems here in the US. Someone is trying to assassinate the president (when he's in Asia)....or his staff. 

oops... The Onion is a harsh mistress of comedy...

Armed with his assault rifle this man shot at the Presidential residence. One has to think that A. He's just an idiot B. He's a crazy idiot or C. Something is not quite right with this whole situation. I suppose a crackdown on assassin

Those crazy Occupiers are at it again!

Today was their "Day of Action!" They managed to thwart some business people checking their Linkedin accounts before work, and even stopped school children from being on time. I mean, I guess you get a cool excuse for not having your homework.... It has been Occupied...

But seriously, there has got to be a group of people inside the financial sector that is like...

"You know what? Screw it! Let it fall!"

While the other trader next to him is just like "But Bill, I got money in this thing."
"So do I. We can just ask for more from the government. They love business!"

Boom. Suck it, Corporations. Called  your money market bluff. Honestly though, it is sickening to hear of the bailouts.

This is something both Conservatives and Liberals have in common: Everyone hated the bailout, but we all forget to see the actual necessity of it. Lets rewind the clock back for a quick moment...

2007, the world falls apart. Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers have just sold their last mortgage backed security, and are on death's door.
Bush and Paulson decide "my god... this the next Great Depression!"

They're response. While millions of Americans are losing their jobs and folks are getting foreclosed on, they bail out the largest businesses and financial offices, price tag? They say 700 billion, but is that really the cost? On my previous post I had a bit about Ron Paul and Bernie Sander's audit of the Fed, showing that the amount of the bailout on the Fed's end was ASTRONOMICALLY HIGHER than the measily price tag previously stated.

What was created? Any guesses?

If you said "Moral Hazard" you would be correct.
For everyone that swears up and down that Capitalism is the best economic system on the block, I point to two years: 1929 and 2008. Explain. Explain to me o wise masters of Capitalism how such a remarkable system of free markets and easy flowing goods and services can crash at such a rate that would make a DUI look like bumping into that hot chick at work.

On top of that, those that profited off of the system for so long reaped the benefits of the bailout.

Seriously? Seriously. Has anyone actually sat down and thought about in the most rational way? There had to be a better way.

Thanks Sal Khan.. I knew all hedge fund guys weren't bad.

Too bad that none of it matters now. Like all parts of history, Europe has to screw it up for everyone. You know, I kinda feel bad for Germany too. They are kind of like a landlord who owes a 100,000 dollars on the apartment building full of dead beats. You got the guy next door always baking you treats and telling you what to do with all the other patrons,  the dirty guy who is desperately following his dreams as a professional tango master/bullfighter, that quiet guy at the end of the hall who the landlord can never find except when he needs a couple more days and he'll be good for it, and so many more characters! The guy who lives on the top floor who doesn't pay his taxes but lost all his money in a real estate deal, and the roommates downstairs that are either insulting you or lighting a flaming bag of dog poop on your landing. None of them pay rent, and they all are starting to get on your nerves. I guess you do have those guys who live on the east side of the building, not to many problems with them...but they all just came from your ex-wife's building after your cousin got into a domestic dispute with her before they cheated on you with the last time you wanted to "Share ownership."
This is not how society meant for us to be.

Next time on the Idea Forum, we are going to discuss Scott Walker. should be fun!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Some brief thoughts about Ron Paul

Let's talk about Ron Paul.

A small, unassuming doctor from Texas might actually have a chance to win the Republican Nomination. Or does he?

Like almost all of the other folks in the Republican race for the President, Ron Paul is going to expirience his "bump." His Libertarian message has spread far and wide, especially with the folks who agree with the Tea Party movement. Can his, anti-regulation, anti-tax + fed, anti-war, and anti-drug prohibition ass get elected?

Probably not. Why? I'll give you five reasons.

1. Everyone hates him. Every other Republican political candidate, no matter the level of bat-shit crazy (Romney rating a 4, a record low, and Bachmann of course, defining the category), Ron Paul is looked on like a second class candidate even though he probably has more legislative expirience than most of the candidates combined. There are people who flock to his message, and Republican party leadership are not those people.
2. He's a libertarian. This follows closely reasoning #1. Like a lot of political outlyers within the American political system, Libertarians have it rough. Their extreme views on regulation and very reactionary views on states rights would usually give many everyday Conservatives quite the boner. This is not the case. Libertarians also have states rights concepts that apply to emergency aid and disaster relief. I don't know many Conservatives that enjoy to clean up after a hurricane without some assistance. Which brings me to an interesting point as well: why Republicans have this magical belief that there should be these huge cuts in spending, except when said Republican's Unemployment benefits, Disaster relief, Medicare, or Social Security comes into question. But... A topic for another day.
3. He's (essentially) pro-drugs. Ron Paul has the right idea. Legalize most drugs and let the market regulate their selling. If individual states want to regulate the market, they may. Since the days of Nixon, Drugs have been he cause of every awful event in human history. They make ruffians out of the rabble by lowering inhabitions and destroying people's bodies. Nevermind that most illegal drugs today either had or have some sort of benefit, or are less dangerous that legal drugs (pharmaceuticals, alcohol, cigarettes). This is a nail in the coffin for folks of most religious persuasians in the nation. This stigma of drug use is essentially shoved down America's throats, which in turn is able to scrape of a majority of people together than enforce the taboos of illegal drug abuse and societal damage by these same drugs. Sorry Ron, God hates drug users.
4. He hates the Federal Reserve. Say what you will about the Fed, it has some sneaky tactics it uses to bulwark international banks and large mutlinational corporations. It writes the checks of the National Government. Now, so of this needs to be restricted. The Fed (like much of Europe) is trying to stabilize the economy in a bailout/low interest rate mentality. This is an EXTREME distortion to the market, and it has led to wealth in the US to flow in reverse (back up top). Ron Paul is setting his sights on the bulky bank of banks to help the American people. You know who else is? Barney Frank, the self-proclaimed Socialist from Vermont. What don't Republicans want? Bipartisanship. Forget the need to reach out across party lines to address important issues, Republicans demand cohesion! Paul will not usually fall behind party lines, either, but that issue was discussed earlier. The conservatives in this country have addressed their cheif concern: To consolidate power. They have done this within the existing structures of the government. They are tied to the government as much as the businesses are, and businesses are connected at the hip. Ron Paul is suggesting a separation of the Government from Business. Such things are blasphemy.
5. He hates war. This one might be the most important. Ron Paul has specifically said that war is not the answer for the United States. He has spoken out against American involvement in other nations, and specifically denounces the use of drone warfare. This might be the part of his campaign that strikes the Republican electorate as un-American. Americans love war! We crave it! It helps us establish national identity and gives us the illusion of security! Not only that, but it furthers our poisitions in the world. Did anyone happen to notice what the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan did?

 It put Iran between Iraq and a hard place. The Republican (and to a smaller extend the Democratic) propaganda machine turns. Really it's just an American war machine. This is what Ron Paul wants to stop. This ongoing war machine. Let's not forget that Military spending is government spending. The fact it should take priority to other spending, is, controversial to say the least. Republicans won't allow the conversation to occur unless the answer is "more funding."

So.. Ron Paul... I like the guy. I think he would be someone decent for our nation, but I also think the need for a strong, central government is something that Libertarians don't understand. The free market cannot correct all inequities equally. Capitialism fails. But there are important lessons we can learn from Ron Paul.

1. If a Market exists, making it illegal will only hurt the nation that regulated it.
2. The Federal Reserve issues money and stimulus for economic and political reasons. Business are part of the government sphere of influence, and vice versa.
3. The Republican voting base might need to take some time and use logic. If they don't want a Mormon, they should probably take a Libertarians and shut up about it. Beggars can't be choosers.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Audit of the Federal Reserve Reveals $16 Trillion in Secret Bailouts

Absolutely Crazy.

Normal Order

So here it is folks. They cleared'em. This reminds of another instance that happened... not so long ago...

In the land of snow, beer, and cheese rests the heart of some unconventional patriots. These men and women love their country, that's for sure.

This is not the first time these feisty Wisconsinites have been the start of movements in this country. The famous protest of Dow Chemicals on the UW-Madison Campus was the powder keg for American resistance of Vietnam War. The BBC has a really good special about it, actually...

So what do we do about this "American Problem" we have created? It's not only in Wisconsin, but recently in California there have been some outrageous protests? Of course, us Americans don't have to worry about being Europeans. It appears that they are in a worse situation...
I swear that clip has it. Blasted Youtube... anyway...

There is this Europe thing. Which actually, will not only infect us, but most of the world that does business with Europe will feel it. Though I guess you could be like Russia and find an out.
Someone I can trade with...but no one else wants to.

Enter Iran.

Now this isn't the first time iran has done some crazy shit. But are we really afraid the nation of Iran is going to launch nuclear missiles against any nation? That would be disastrous for a small country of Iran. I think we need to worry about the security of these weapons. Then again... they are trading with Russia... our sworn enemies until we beat them, and then was like "oh ok, we're cool now, right?" Somehow, I don't think Russia was just cool with it. I think they went home, and started writing Wiley Coyote plans to destroy us.

Too bad they're scientists invented that shrink pipe. Vodka must inhibit the growth process.But seriously, look at this awesome idea. Too bad it was implemented by Russia.

 It was a good idea at least. Space technology and exploration should be given more money. Somehow space tourism isn't going to be the final frontier of space... Then again....if they're trading with Iran...


Well they certainly aren't the Chinese! Now talk about a successful Communist country! Suck it, Russia! Except that China is...well... not communist. China, if not totally succumbed by the impending Russo-Iran nuclear strike, is not going to fare well if the Eurozone collapses, that is if it doesn;t collapse during the nuclear holocaust. The only country left would be Switzerland, and they wouldn't be caught dead in the Eurozone.

Euro demand for Chinese goods is high, and the impact of Europe on the US will cause a double retraction in exports. If there is no demand, the supply side will shrink and prices will rise. Workers will be laid off. The consequences of a European collapse, which is imminent, would be dire.

Still, here in the United States, small flames of resistance are causing stirs. So much stir in fact, they get kicked out. Of course it is important to return to normal order. Get on with our daily lives. Do something other than drum circle all day. These flames however, are echoed across the world. Citizens in everyone of these countries have been speaking out against some of the unethical actions of other individual. Occupy Wall Street didn't even start on Wall Street! They we're the echoes of protests Spain, Chile, China, India, Iran, and of course the millions and millions of protesters and citizens who craved the basic rights every person deserves all over the Middle East. There is a serious problem in our world, and a serious problem the world does it's business.

So Occupy protesters. Clean up your mess! Part of the reason people were kicked out was because conditions were getting poor! People don't like dirty parks. Or broken bathrooms, or disrespect for their products. Go back to that park, but for God's sake, Leave No Trace. I'll let you borrow my Boy Scout handbook.

Still... it brings me back Wisconsin. A place where fierce political competition can be set aside for sports.

A little snit bit of the Wisconsin Legislature starting their day off right, with prayer and Packers! The opening prayer by Kabeer Abaja Biamila and the speech by Harry Sydney were just some of the flair of this bipartisan day in the Wisconsin Assembly. I will assure you, I will not be hiring Abja Biamila to be the minister at my wedding. And Harry Sydney... a 49er traitor. He can go back to California and their "unions" AND their debt. We in Wisconsin can solve our debt problem! Except we haven't. and now the feds won't give us our Medicaid money... cheap bastards.
But still, the 49ers suck! They are the Green and Gold's most hated rival... after the Cowboys, the Vikings, and... oh what's the third...


Sunday, November 13, 2011

The beginning of the end.

Well, here I am again. I swore that after high school I would quit blogging! I thouught: I no longer need a place to write all my emo high school junk that no one would read."

I thought wrong...

More importantly, it has become larger than high school. There is a crisis on our hands, folks. a crisis that we don't know how to fix.

Here in the self titled "Idea Forum" I will be posting and discussing all these interesting things I find or thoughts I have, and I want you, the blogee (the person who reads the blog) to give feedback or propose your own idea! Simple, yes?

Not really, no. The problem? I will probably post things that someone may disagree.

Please do so. And do so respectfully. I will do my best to respectfully answer. Consider also the need for joking. I will constantly joke around with my posts and a lot of times might say something very harsh that is misplaced. It's probably a joke. I'll give some 3 examples.

1. Herman Cain has now retreated in idiocy with his recent appearances involving his sexual harassment scandal. Whether or not the issues have been settled, I surely do not want a man who announces himself in the third person. It also reminds Joe Nowinski of another candidate who has a similar mannerism. Bob Dole doesn't think making fun Bob Dole is funny!

2. Mitt Romney, like it or not, is the Mormon Terminator. He's every other Protestant's worst nightmare. His marvelous flip-flopping is nothing compared to that time he pulled off his skin and declared "corporations are people, my friend. And Robots made by Corporations are as well." The scary thing is that I've seen a youtube video of Jon Huntsman get his head blown off by a shotgun, and it just reformed. The Chinese can make anything...

Now what's the third...