Tag Archives: Green Jobs

Going Green

So, a friend of mine recently purchased a small solar panel for about a hundred bucks.  He then connected it to a deep cycle battery.  And he connected THAT to an inverter.  After only a little bit of sunshine he is able to power his radio, some lights and even some power tools.  All for under $300.

Continue reading

I Would Be Fired For This

I work in a world where success actually matters.  You have to be right.  Often.  And significantly so.  If you are too wrong too often, you are no longer needed and will eventually get promoted to “customer”.

Continue reading

Unintended Consequences

The world is full of ’em.  Heck, my family is full of ’em.  I tell my daughter to get her younger brother breakfast….?  I get milk and cereal all over the floor.  Unintended consequences.

Now, left to our own natural devices, we, as a group, as a society, will work to avoid negative unintended consequences.

But when drastic changes are made by only a few people with little or no “complete knowledge” bad bad things happen:

Cities around the country that have installed energy-efficient traffic lights are discovering a hazardous downside: The bulbs don’t burn hot enough to melt snow and can become crusted over in a storm — a problem blamed for dozens of accidents and at least one death.

“I’ve never had to put up with this in the past,” said Duane Kassens, a driver from West Bend who got into a fender-bender recently because he couldn’t see the lights. “The police officer told me the new lights weren’t melting the snow. How is that safe?”

The answer Duane?  It’s not.  It’s not safe at all.

And this is the problem that skeptics have with global warming.  It’s not that we think the globe isn’t warming.  It’s not that we don’t acknowledge man may play a part.

We object to stupid people doing stupid things that will cause massive massive loss of life.

You Can Tell a Bad Idea

By how hard you have to work to sell it.

My friendly neighborhood watering hole prolly spends close to zero dollars on advertising.  I might be wrong, but seriously, pretty close to $0.00.

And the flippin’ place is FULL.  It’s great.  I get to watch my Vikings, have some beer and burgers and they get to stay in business.  Wonderful arrangement.  Very easy.

But this, this just sounds silly:

Oakland has become the latest city to allow residents to finance solar panels, insulation, new refrigerators and other efficiency improvements through their property tax bills.

The plan allows residential and commercial property owners to make energy improvements without paying up-front costs. Instead, they pay installments through their property tax bill over a 20- or 30- year period, in most cases at a lower interest rate than what they could obtain individually.

And that’s not all.  Not only can you now fund your home improvement projects through the State of California, you can obtain credits and rebates from the Federal Government.  Heck, even the utilities are in the game:

rebates as high as $15,000 from Pacific Gas and Electric Co.

If this idea was such a good idea, they wouldn’t have to work this hard.

By the way, I wonder how this works:

The property tax payments stay with the property even if it is sold.

Is it possible to buy a new refrigerator, freezer, washer and dryer and then move?  Would you have to list that when selling the house?  Can you imagine buying a house in California, not have this be required to be disclosed and get your first city property tax bill?

California: Part II

A lot of talk going on about projections and what ifs.  So much so, that for many of us, we begin to lose sight of  “what is” within the forest of  theoretical science.  Sometimes, really, a picture is simply worth a thousand words.  Or maybe, a picture is not having to read a thousand words.

Who get's it? Who doesn't.

Why, you may ask, is the unemployment rate so much higher in California than in Texas?

What’s the worst state to do business in? According to readers of Chief Executive magazine, it’s California. In the same poll, Texas won first place as the best state in which to put your headquarters. As reported in The Economist, the two largest states in the nation have very different philosophies and very different success rates.

The article goes on to mention why Texas is doing a better job:

  1. Texans on average believe in laissez-faire markets with an emphasis on individual responsibility.  Since the ’80s, California’s policy-makers have favored central planning solutions and a reliance on a government social safety net.
  2. Californians have largely treated environmentalism as a “religious sacrament” rather than as one component among many in maximizing people’s quality of life.
  3. California has placed “ethnic diversity” above “assimilation,” while Texas has done the opposite.
  4. Texas has focused on streamlining the regulatory and litigation burden on its residents.  Meanwhile, California’s government has attempted to use regulation and litigation to transfer wealth from its creators to various special-interest constituencies.

The whole article is an awesome read as a “how to guide” for planners.  It would be great if Barack Obama would read it.

Hat Tip Mark Perry and Rick Perry

Powerful Hurricane Set to Hit North Carolina

Do you remember the hurricane that made landfall onto North Carolina beaches this past July?  Uh, no?  Maybe August then?  September-October-November?  Yeah, me either.  Wanna know why the mainstream media didn’t report any of those storms hammering the Carolina coast?  Cause we had the quietest Hurricane season in 10 years.

SAVANNAH, Ga. — The Atlantic hurricane season ended Monday with barely a whimper: Not a single hurricane came ashore in the United States.

Since June, when the season began, just nine named storms developed. Only three of them became hurricanes, and those stayed out at sea or weakened before passing over land.

Two tropical storms made landfall in the U.S., causing little more than rain and some beach erosion.

It would seem that with a vanishing hockey stick, record cold and dampening of the powerful tropical storm season that we should finally be able to make some progress in combating the Climate Alarmists.

Prolly not, see, CO2 changes climate of which can appear all kinds of different symptoms.  Including cooling and lessening of storms.

The Chairman’s Weekly Radio Address: March 21, 2009

Barack Obama’s Weekly Radio Address

March 21, 2009

Last week, I spent a few days in California, campaigning talking with Jay Leno ordinary Americans in town halls and in the places where they work.  We talked about their struggles, and we talked about their hopes.

Ahhh yes, hope.  Whoda thunk it; campaign trail and hope.

At the end of the day, these men and women weren’t as concerned with the news of the day in Washington as they were about the very real and very serious challenges their families face every day:  whether they’ll have a job and a paycheck to count on; whether they’ll be able to pay their medical bills or afford college tuition;

Look Sparkey, you are talking to “ordinary Americans” in California.  Of COURSE they’re worried about these things!!  I mean, come on, have you seen what the Democrats have done to that state?

What, YOU are a Democrat that supports all of these things?  Oh my.

whether they’ll be able to leave their children a world that’s safer and more prosperous than the one we have now.

Maybe they think you are going to release the Gitmo innocents into Cali?  Then again, maybe not.  Just sayin’.

Those are the concerns I heard about in California.  They are the concerns I’ve heard about in letters from people throughout this country for the last two years.

Dude, serious.  Are you TRYING to make it obvious that you are campaigning?

And they are the concerns addressed in the budget I sent to Congress last month.

Um, no.  No it’s not actually.  What concerns me [heh heh, I kill me] about your budget is that you are going to turn all of us into California.

With the magnitude of the challenges we face,

Don’t look now, but the recovery appears to have begun.  And again, whoda thunk it, not one dime of bailout money has been spent.

I don’t just view this budget as numbers on a page or a laundry list of programs.

It’s an economic blueprint for our future – a vision of America where growth is not based on


real estate bubbles or overleveraged banks,

Yo, over leveraged banks?  Umm yeah, not so over leveraged if when this new accounting method is restored.

but on a firm foundation of investments in energy,

Short for tax and economic hardship.


We’ll see.

and health care

You just can’t stop wading in markets you don’t understand.

that will lead to a real and lasting decade long recession prosperity.

These investments are not a wish list of priorities that I picked out of thin air – they are a central part of a comprehensive strategy to grow this economy by attacking the very problems that have dragged it down for too long:

  • High taxes
  • Over regulation


the high cost of health care and our dependence on foreign oil; our education deficit and our fiscal deficit.

Sigh.  I didn’t think so.

Now, as the House and the Senate take up this budget next week, the specific details and dollar amounts in this budget will undoubtedly change.  That’s a normal and healthy part of the process.

But when all is said and done, I expect a budget that meets four basic principles:

First, it must reduce our dependence on dangerous foreign oil and finally put this nation on a path to a clean, renewable energy future.

On the one hand you mention dangerous foreign oil.  Then on the other hand, you mention clean and renewable energy.  Which is it?  Cause we gots lots of domestic energy if you would just let us go get it.

There is no longer a doubt that the jobs and industries of tomorrow

We may differ in the definition of tomorrow here.

will involve harnessing renewable sources of energy.  The only question is whether America will lead that future.  I believe we can and we will, and that’s why we’ve proposed a budget that makes clean energy the profitable kind of energy, while investing in technologies like wind power and solar power; advanced biofuels, clean coal, and fuel-efficient cars and trucks that can be built right here in America.

Second, this budget must renew our nation’s commitment to a complete and competitive education for every American child.  In this global economy, we know the countries that out-educate us today will out-compete us tomorrow, and we know that our students are already falling behind their counterparts in places like China.  That is why we have proposed investments in childhood education programs that work; in high standards and accountability for our schools; in rewards for teachers who succeed; and in affordable college education for anyone who wants to go.  It is time to demand excellence from our schools so that we can finally prepare our workforce for a 21st century economy.

I think I agree with all of this.  But it’s a turd.  Who hasn’t sad this?

Third, we need a budget that makes a serious investment in health care reform – reform that will bring down costs,

With ya.

ensure quality,

Right there.

and guarantee people their choice of doctors and hospitals.

Wow.  Three for three.

Right now, there are millions of Americans who are just one illness or medical emergency away from bankruptcy.

Oh oh.

There are businesses that have been forced to close their doors or ship jobs overseas because they can’t afford insurance.  Medicare costs are consuming our federal budget.  Medicaid is overwhelming our state budgets.  So to those who say we have to choose between health care reform and fiscal discipline, I say that making investments now that will dramatically lower health care costs for everyone won’t add to our budget deficit in the long-term – it is one of the best ways to reduce it.

See, but you don’t wanna reduce costs.  You wanna give health insurance to everyone.  If you wanted to reduce costs, you would be doing a whole different set of things.

Finally, this budget must reduce that deficit even further.  With the fiscal mess we’ve inherited and the cost of this financial crisis,

Ok dude, so, if you are going to keep at it, I am.  You voted for it and in part were responsible for the crisis.  Senator.

I’ve proposed a budget that cuts our deficit in half by the end of my first term.  That’s why we are scouring every corner of the budget and have proposed $2 trillion in deficit reductions over the next decade.

Not wholly true.  But at this point, I’ve lost count.

In total, our budget would bring discretionary spending for domestic programs as a share of the economy to its lowest level in nearly half a century.

What do you mean by discretionary?

And we will continue making these tough choices in the months and years ahead so that as our economy recovers, we do what we must to bring this deficit down.

I will be discussing each of these principles next week, as Congress takes up the important work of debating this budget.  I realize there are those who say these plans are too ambitious to enact.  To that I say that the challenges we face are too large to ignore.  I didn’t come here to pass on our problems to the next President or the next generation – I came here to solve them.

The American people sent us here to get things done, and at this moment of great challenge, they are watching and waiting for us to lead.  Let’s show them that we are equal to the task before us, and let’s pass a budget that puts this nation on the road to lasting prosperity.

I agree.  So throw this one away and go back to the drawing board.  Thanks, and God bless America!

Weekly Radio Address

Listening to the Chairman speak is much easier on the ears than Dubya has been; mercy me!  However, it is also a dangerous dangerous venture to go it alone.  You may be put under the spell as dear old Homer’s Champion can attest.  Or, you may simply be tricked by the crafty left.  Either way, it will always be helpful to have a travel guide.  A sorta speech GPS if you will.  So go ahead, sit back and enjoy the first installment of the Chairman’s weekly Radio Address.
Remarks of President-Elect The Chairman Barack Obama
Radio Address
Saturday, January 10, 2008
Washington, DC

We start this new year in the midst of an economic crisis unlike any we have seen in our lifetime.

We have finally gotten away from the “worst economic crisis since the Great Depression”!  However, to be fair to the Chairman, even our own, Dubya, help stoke that fire.  Gotta hand it to that Chairman, always good to jump on a political gift.

We learned yesterday that in the past month alone, we lost more than half a million jobs – a total of nearly 2.6 million in the year 2008.  Another 3.4 million Americans who want and need full-time work have had to settle for part-time jobs.  And families across America are feeling the pinch as they watch debts mount, bills pile up and savings disappear.

These numbers are a stark reminder that we simply cannot continue on our current path.  If nothing is done, economists from across the spectrum tell us that this recession could linger for years

Official word is that this recession began Dec 07.  You could already say that this has lasted for years.  And you probably will again.

and the unemployment rate could reach double digits –

Actually, they say this even if everything is done.  As a matter of fact, economists from across the spectrum are saying that doing anything could actually increase the length of the recession, not shorten it.

and they warn that our nation could lose the competitive edge that has served as a foundation for our strength and standing in the world.

That is just plain Siren Song Mr. Chairman.  No one has ever said that.

It’s not too late to change course – but only if we take immediate and dramatic action.  Our first job is to put people back to work and get our economy working again.  This is an extraordinary challenge, which is why I’ve taken the extraordinary step of working – even before I take office

Whatever happened to One President at a Time?  Oh yeah, forgot, even with Dubya at the helm, we still have room for a Chairman.

– with my economic team and leaders of both parties on an American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan that will call for major investments to revive our economy, create jobs, and lay a solid foundation for future growth.

I’m hooked.  Explain this plan to me.

I asked my nominee for Chair of the Council of Economic Advisers, Dr. Christina Romer, and the Vice President-Elect’s Chief Economic Adviser, Dr. Jared Bernstein, to conduct a rigorous analysis of this plan and come up with projections of how many jobs it will create – and what kind of jobs they will be.  Today, I am releasing a report of their findings so that the American people can see exactly what this plan will mean for their families, their communities, and our economy.

See the plan here.

The report confirms that our plan will likely save or create three to four million jobs.

Pssst…come over here sparky.  The report was written by you.  This doesn’t confirm anything.

90 percent of these jobs will be created in the private sector – the remaining 10 percent are mainly public sector jobs we save, like the teachers, police officers, firefighters and others who provide vital services in our communities.

This might be a bit misleading.  I think that all of the jobs you are talking about are coming from government contracts?

The jobs we create will be in businesses large and small across a wide range of industries.  And they’ll be the kind of jobs that don’t just put people to work in the short term, but position our economy to lead the world in the long-term.

We’ll create nearly half a million jobs by investing in clean energy – by committing to double the production of alternative energy in the next three years, and by modernizing more than 75% of federal buildings and improving the energy efficiency of two million American homes. These made-in-America jobs building solar panels and wind turbines, developing fuel-efficient cars and new energy technologies pay well, and they can’t be outsourced.

Umm, why not?  Why can’t I open a factory in Mexico to build wind turbines?  Or solar panels?  Or anything like that?  Sheesh.

We’ll create hundreds of thousands of jobs by improving health care – transitioning to a nationwide system of computerized medical records that won’t just save money, but save lives by preventing deadly medical errors.

Don’t get me wrong; I am ALL for computerized medical records.  But I don’t see how YOU are going to get ‘er done or, how that is going to create all these jobs?

And we’ll create hundreds of thousands more jobs in education, equipping tens of thousands of schools with 21st century classrooms, labs and computers to help our kids compete with any worker in the world for any job.

We’ll put nearly 400,000 people to work by repairing our infrastructure – our crumbling roads, bridges and schools.  And we’ll build the new infrastructure we need to succeed in this new century, investing in science and technology, and laying down miles of new broadband lines so that businesses across our nation can compete with their counterparts around the world.

Yeah yeah, this sounds like the government paying to have stuff done.  This doesn’t create jobs; at least not now.  Projects like these take years to get approved and contracted out.

Finally, we won’t just create jobs, we’ll also provide help for those who’ve lost theirs, and for states and families who’ve been hardest-hit by this recession.  That means bi-partisan extensions of unemployment insurance and health care coverage; a $1,000 tax cut for 95 percent of working families; and assistance to help states avoid harmful budget cuts in essential services like police, fire, education and health care.

There it is, THERE it is.  At the end of your speech you finally get to it.  Your “tax cut”.  Lemme ‘splain somethin’ to ya.  You are now part of the Federal Government.  That is, you are able to influence Federal Tax policy.  State stuff, not you.  Federal stuff, THATS you.  So, when you shovel me this line of BS about a tax cut to folks that don’t pay [federal] taxes, you are tryin to trick me.  Payroll Tax?  Not Federal.  FICA?  Not a tax; thats insurance.  The only tax you impact is the Federal Income Tax.  And you are not reducing it.

Now, given the magnitude of the challenges we face, none of this will come easy.  Recovery won’t happen overnight, and it’s likely that things will get worse before they get better.

Right, right…..no crisis left unexploited.

But we have come through moments like this before.  We are the nation that has faced down war, depression and fear itself – each time, refusing to yield; each time, refusing to accept a lesser fate.  That is the spirit that has always sustained us – that belief that our destiny is not written for us, but by us; that our success is not a matter of chance, but of our own courage and determination.  Our resources may be finite, but our will is infinite.  And I am confident that if we come together and summon that great American spirit once again, we will meet the challenges of our time and write the next great chapter in our American story.

Nice finish.

Governor Purdue: How Shall Ye Deliver

In Saturday’s edition of the News and Observer, we saw this article. The article lists the top nine challenges our first female governor is going to face.  After blinking and taking another sip of Saturday morning coffee I confirmed that it was a top nine list.  Top nine?  Nine?  Shaking my head I plowed into those challenges.

The introduction was fair enough.  The facts were laid out with enough detachment that I couldn’t say that anyone was rooting for or rooting against anyone else.  However, we couldn’t get out of that intro without the obligatory “this is as bad an economy we have seen since the Great Depression”.  I hate that.  I mean really REALLY hate that type of scare mongering.  I hold that this type of hype, this irresponsible posturing that has caused much of America’s fear.  And to make it worse,  we are seeing it on both sides of the aisle.  Truly a bi-partisan effort to freak us all out.

Okay, so,’nough said about the preamble, lets get to the main course.

1).  The Budget – Not surprisingly, this is first on list; and it should be.  And I wanna see how she is going to handle this.  ith a shortfall estimate of 3 billion, she is going to have a challenge.  To her credit, she seems to want to resist raising taxes.  In fact she acknowledged that a tax increase might be a bad idea:

I don’t believe that you can raise taxes in an economy with folks struggling the way they are.

Now, I would have liked to hear a little bit more about why she feels that way; right now it has the tone of a campaign promise.  But she follows this up with a nod to education and a pretty honest assessment of where we are:

My goal would be to hold the classroom and teachers and kids as harmless as possible. After that, you have to be a realist and do what you have to do to make the budget balanced.

2).  Dropout Rate – This is where Democrats always stumble.  They correctly and consistently have education near the top of their priority lists, and that is exactly where we should have it.  However, liberals are always always always wrong [and predictable] when it comes to how to actually do something here.  Their only answer is to spend more.  And then, spend more to study why spending more isn’t working.  To me the answer is pretty straight forward.  The problem for Purdue and her party; they are indebted to the very folks that they can not afford to alienate; teachers and the whole “Educational Establishment”.  Until teachers and Principals can be subjected to otherwise normal competition based advancement, we will be stuck with subpar education.

3)  Green Economy – So, really, this is whatcha got?  I mean, the economy is so freakin obvious, and then education is so freakin Democrat that really, this is the first of the rest, and this is pathetic.  Now, I will only give Green Jobs credit here in our State because The Chairman is promising to spend like a billion 150 billion dollars on Green Jobs.  So, when it comes to “free” money, the prudent thing to do is take.  Otherwise, the concept of Green makes me wanna lose my belly.  Don’t get me wrong, one day oil is gonna run out.  And, if we can stretch the oil we do have even further by investing in alternative energy or by increasing efficiency of that oil–I am ALL for it.  Just don’t pull this bullshit about Global Warming.  </rant>

4)  Mental Health System – This one befuddles me.  I have zero insight into the mental health system, much less how or why it’s broken.  My only take – the more we rely on government health care to provide health care, the less health care we will actually get.  Serious, think about it.  When was the last time “Government” provided any sort of innovation?  Never!  The only thing that can happen when we try and have government run anything is attempted cost containment, corruption, buracracy and failure.

5)  Obesity – Another health issue.  And again, the alarms are sounding.  I am not sure what the answer is to this one, but I am pretty sure that it has nothing to do with government.  For a peek into what that might loook like, check this scenario out.  [H/T Carpie Diem].   The only thing that prevents me from totally bashing this is the fact the article refers to children.  I maintain that kids are not subject to the normal rules I have for society as a whole.  In other words, if an adult wants to eat themselves into oblivion, that HAS to be their choice-and their issue.  But kids, yeah, we may be better served to develop a solution to this one.  I suspect that libs wouldn’t be too keen on my thoughts though:  Put ’em to work!

6)  Open Government – This is a throw away.  She deserves one, but come on–number 6?  Serious?

7)  Probation – I honestly think this has to go to the real number #1 slot.  In other words, it should be ahead of Global Warming Green Jobs.  Really.  This one is so UP THERE that almost nothing else is as important.  We have criminals who are out on probation not once meeting their probation officer.  We have folks committing crimes and not being followed up on.  Guys are falling through the cracks all over the place.  Really, this HAS to be higher than 7.

8)  Campaign Reform – Only thing I can say.  Endowment fund.

I can raise enough money for both the Republican and Democratic candidates in 2012.

This should be fun to watch.

9)  Transportation – Again, I think this one rates a bit higher than it’s being listed.  We’re so far behind in road works and the money to fund them.  It may be time to at least consider privatising our roads.

Let’s see how the Gov’na does in the next 4 years.