SmartGrid

I know I am a cynic.  At least in most conversation where the government is a part of the discussion.  It gets worse when big businesses want the government to take some action to improve our country or the world.  Have we not been down that road before?

And lo and behold, the Department of Energy is promoting the SmartGrid.  It says smart right in the name, so what could be the down-side?  It must be an improvement over an average or dumb grid!  So what is it, that our tax dollars are hawking (to us)?

Smart grid
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A smart grid delivers electricity from suppliers to consumers using digital technology with two-way communications to control appliances at consumers’ homes to save energy, reduce cost and increase reliability and transparency. It overlays the electrical grid with an information and net metering system.

Such a modernized electricity network is being promoted by many governments as a way of addressing energy independence, global warming and emergency resilience issues. Smart meters may be part of a smart grid, but alone do not constitute a smart grid.

The smart grid is made possible by applying sensing, measurement and control devices with two-way communications to electricity production, transmission, distribution and consumption parts of the power grid that communicate information about grid condition to system users, operators and automated devices, making it possible to dynamically respond to changes in grid condition.

A smart grid includes an intelligent monitoring system that keeps track of all electricity flowing in the system. It also incorporates the use of superconductive transmission lines for less power loss[dubious – discuss], as well as the capability of integrating renewable electricity such as solar and wind. When power is least expensive the user can allow the smart grid to turn on selected home appliances such as washing machines or factory processes that can run at arbitrary hours. At peak times it could turn off selected appliances to reduce demand.

Well that sounds smart.  A computer controlled by my power company will decide when I should do laundry.  Is it going to move the clothes from the washer to the dryer for me, or just wake my ass up at three AM?  One of the ideals I have read about is for utility companies to charge more during peak hours.  Makes sense, when it’s really hot, I would pay more for AC.  Maybe the water company should charge m ore when I’m thirsty?

“Electric grid stakeholders representing utilities, technology providers, researchers, policymakers, and consumers have defined the functions of a smart grid to include the following characteristics or performance features”

  • Self-healing from power disturbance events
  • ( PR term used to describe a more efficient automated switching system to re-route power around an obstruction.  Power lines above or below the ground will not fix themselves.)
    snake oil salesman
  • Enabling active participation by consumers in demand response
  • (they send you a warning you are about to be billed at a much higher rate?)
  • Operating resiliently against physical and cyber attack
  • (they mandate a total computer controlled electrical system and promise to protect it from hackers?  The physical system is unchanged in vulnerability.)
  • Providing power quality for 21st century needs
  • (OK, this is just a sales pitch without substance)
  • Accommodating all generation and storage options Amazing Windmills
  • (Somehow I think this means wind, solar and traditional generation.   I am not aware of any significant electrical power storage companies or mediums.  Electricity is generated based upon current need or use.  It does not go into storage batteries that hold excess power until needed.)
  • Enabling new products, services, and markets
  • (Heh, heh, heh.  Can anyone say that with a straight face?  New markets and products, that someone will be buying/paying for, and that leads to the services.  You get to pay some new, helpful person to listen to your complaints on how high and outrageous you electric bill is, after an hour of navigating their automated phone menu.  Or go online and be ignored for an equal amount of time, but you can look at a smiling, friendly face that is sure to not match a single employee.)
  • Optimizing assets and operating efficiently
  • (Bet this gets them cheering at the stockholders meeting.  It’s probably the prelude to the announcement on dividends.)

There does seem to be some offerings in the smartgrid that will benefit consumers.  Half of the electricity generated is lost to the transmission lines.  Superconducting power lines would reduce the power lost, but at what cost?  If we were wanting to save money and increase efficiency, why not just locate the plants closer to the cities?

And what about superconducting wire to improve efficiencies?  It appears it has been proven in the lab, and is making it’s way into the real world.

The first test will come on Jeju Island, where LS Cable and Kepco plan to deploy a 1-kilometer HVDC cable system. It will be part of a massive smart grid pilot project involving a South Korean consortium including LG, SK Telecom, KT, KEPCO, GS Caltex, and Hyundai Heavy Industries. The South Korean government plans to invest 37 billion won (about $33.1 million USD) into the project.

They are buying 3 million meters of superconducting wire that will be converted into ten miles of superconducting cable.  The superconducting high-voltage direct current (HVDC) power lines, which are super-chilled to boost capacity and can carry gigawatts of electricity. (anyone know what happens if the super-chilling doesn’t work, and the wire warms?)hehehe

Pardon my ignorance, but how much energy will that save?  I’m talking about how cost-effective this project is, when will it pay for itself?  Sorry, but I would not want to invest in this project.  Or let me retract that statement, because some people are about to make a lot of money, and I have no objection to that.   But this appears to be another case where a government (taxpayers) will be footing the bill.  The Air Force was caught paying $600 for a hammer.  Maybe it was a SmartHammer, and was worth the extra cost?  We have the Dept. of Energy, GE, Siemens & Cisco advocating investing in moving to the SmartGrid.  I say no!  If it is viable, the power companies will phase it in as it becomes practical.  According to figures from the Energy Information Administration, oil and gas subsidies compute to about 25 cents per megawatt hour, while wind and solar is about $24. It takes $23.75  of taxpayers  subsidies to make wind & solar show the same cost as oil & gas?  How much will the SmatrGrid subsidy cost?  Using government to force a poor economic move that shifts the cost to taxpayers is where the free market is continually undermined.  Sorry, but I call this fascism.  Private companies controlled by a strong central government.

True benefits:
More profit for power companies
Reduced powerline footprint for environmentalists
E xorbinate profits for nitche companies, who will then support their enablers in congress
Increased government control of individuals
When SmartGrid becomes reality, will you feel smarter?
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Comments

  1. Richmond Spitfire says:

    I don’t know LOI…It sounds more to me like another way to control me… You know, when I plug in my super dooper whatever (be nice everyone) that is sucking down electricity; Mr or Ms. Electric “Smart”ypants will be able to cut me off (or ration me) because I’m not using energy wisely.

    While I’m not adverse to change for the sake of being adverse, I am concerned about the possibility of being controlled.

    What’s next…”smart” appliances that can be controlled by the Electric “smart”ypants that cut off when I’ve exceeded my allotment (think rationing)? Am I going to be in the middle of using my latest quickie oven (as seen on TV) and I’m draining the grid too much — oops, you’re cut-off Ms. Spitfire….

    Hope everyone is well and best regards,
    RS

    • Good Morning Spitfire

      I don’t know why you were sent to moderation, wordpress may need its morning java or something. I agree, it’s more a control issue. The government wants us to use less energy, but can’t force (tax) those change on us. So instead, they will use the power companies, which want to make more money to bring about that change. Just like Obama said he favors more expensive gasoline, which will cause our society to change. They want to do the same thing with electricity.

      Poor Matt was complaining about snow the other day and I may have to turn on the A/C today. And how is the Richmond clan?

      “can be controlled by the Electric “smart”ypants”
      That will be part of Michelle’s new nutrition standards act.
      Have to have the smartgrid in place first.LOL

  2. gmanfortruth says:

    The question s that need to be answered about the smartgrid aren’t really being answered by those who promote it. Is this more Greeny Weenie BS to force people to lower their carbon footprint? That sounds like something they would do. Who ends up paying for all this new technology? Based on past experience, the consumer ends up footing the bill, and right now I’m not intereted in high electric payments, just build more coal plants and I’ll be fine (and much safer, coal plants don’t meltdown).

    If all this smartgrid stuff was such a wonderful idea, there wouldn’t such a sales pitch designed to get people to accept it. “It’s great, but we won’t know how much it costs until it’s in place and operating”

    • G!

      I think many of the liberals have bought into their agenda to a degree where they deny reality. Call them the Pelosi’s. They are determined to raise all our energy costs to force us to change our lifestyle. And like any true fanatic, the how doesn’t matter, lie, cheat, steal or kill, the end justifies any means. The smart ones just keep changing our perceptions. My health insurance has gone up two years in a row, but the media still explains increased costs as future savings.

    • wow – kudos to the brave soul that taped that and put it out there.

    • VH,

      Sorry, do not want to hear things like that. I use the Ostrich defense, if I can’t see the lion, he can’t eat me!LOL I hope it’s just a fringe group that is mostly ignored like Code Pink, but they are out there, no question on that.

    • Esom Hill Nation says:

      What can I say, but; DAYUM!

  3. CA had a push not long ago to put smart meters in every house. They wanted to control our thermostats and appliances. If it happens, I will seriously consider going off grid. This is getting way too invasive. Digital meters, which we now have are the first step in this direction. The digital meter allows the utility to read the meter from the office. Shortly after their installation, many users were experiencing much higher electrical bills, the result of faulty meters.
    Super conducting cables may work for major trunk lines but I would not want to be standing next to one when it looses coolant.

  4. Ok, on the upside, the smartgrid does seem to be better equipped to handle multiple power sources. I am a fan of personal solar and wind, tho I am not a fan of the power company being forced to purchase any excess I make, I do not have a problem with it being incorporated into the total power production of the country. The current system is not designed for that, transformers and so forth in most of the country, as well as efficiency models for boiler usage in power plants are pretty out of date.

    That said, I agree with RS that too much data involved in power distribution is scary. Not only as a control through rationing and using power companies to jack costs, but control through knowing what I am running in my house, and just a general sense of too much information. Also, I am with you LOI on the smart appliance thing. It sounds good in theory, until you apply it to reality.

    The smart grid’s biggest problem is vulnerability. If there is data, it can be hacked. It can even be locally hacked, with a specific building, like a bank for instance, being turned off by some theif. It may respond faster to physical attack because of better re-routing capabilities, but cyber attacks are best fought with low-tech.

  5. $33 million for ten miles of smart cable? Do the math. I don’t think we have to worry ..unless we’re going to bow to China for the cash .

    Let the Ad Council handle something like this for the price of a PSA..like the Ozone Action Days or the ‘water on odd or even days’..doesnt mean everyone will listen but it would be a whole lot cheaper.

    • Initial costs are always very high. Once production ramps up, costs usually scale down to something more affordable. I remember paying $50-something for a 6′ CAT5 cable which you could get for two bucks today.

      That said, I would need to see a lot more data on superconducting cables before I gave it the nod. My concern, apart from Wep’s question about when the “super chilling doesn’t work”) is how much super chilling costs and what it entails. If you save $5/unit time with efficiency of the line/leakage, but have to pay $6 to keep the line cooled, that doesn’t really make sense, now does it?

      I don’t even know how you would begin to go about cooling miles of cable to superconducting temperatures. Per our buddies at Wikipedia, “As of 2009[update], the highest-temperature superconductor (at ambient pressure) is mercury barium calcium copper oxide (HgBa2Ca2Cu3Ox), at 135 K and is held by a cuprate-perovskite material.” Would you care to tell me just how they intend to cool miles of cable to .. wait for it .. -216.67 Farenheit?

      • Mathius,

        Initial costs are always very high. Once production ramps up, costs usually scale down to something more affordable. I remember paying $50-something for a 6′ CAT5 cable which you could get for two bucks today.

        You should know by now the irrational basis of this economic theory.

        What economic theory do you believe exists that says “longer time=cheaper”?

        It appears what confuses you is the cost of your CAT5 cables, but you need to understand why the did get cheaper (maybe because CAT6 is now the standard?)

        • Mathius,

          Test your economic theory this way.

          Gold has been used for about 8,000 years for many things.

          According to you, production costs should have made it as cheap as dirt.

          …..

          Now evaluate your claim above in the same light – why isn’t gold cheap as dirt after 8,000 years?

          • Limited supply and availability. Also, gold isn’t being “made,” it’s being “found.”

            Technology makes established technology cheaper. Period.

            This is a correlary of Moore’s Law.

            Compare the cost of a 12 inch tv today to a 12 tv when they first came out. Assuming you can find one that people still bother to produce, you’ll get 1000x the resolution, plus color, plus smaller size (flatter, smaller frame), better speakers, a remote control, and all for a fraction of the cost.

            That’s 1939, $445 = (charitably) 5,500-6,800 today, but you can find a (massively more advanced) 12″ tv for about $100.

            You’re saying the value of a material stays constant as proof that technology doesn’t become cheaper – that’s absurd.

          • hmm.. didn’t post.. 2nd attempt..

            Limited supply and availability. Also, gold isn’t being “made,” it’s being “found.”

            Technology makes established technology cheaper. Period.

            This is a correlary of Moore’s Law.

            Compare the cost of a 12 inch tv today to a 12 tv when they first came out. Assuming you can find one that people still bother to produce, you’ll get 1000x the resolution, plus color, plus smaller size (flatter, smaller frame), better speakers, a remote control, and all for a fraction of the cost.

            That’s 1939, $445 = (charitably) 5,500-6,800 today, but you can find a (massively more advanced) 12″ tv for about $100.

            You’re saying the value of a material stays constant as proof that technology doesn’t become cheaper – that’s absurd.

          • That is patently ridiculous.

            You’re using a material which is “found” not “made” to invalidate a correlary to Moore’s Law.

            Compare the price of a 12″ TV in 1939 ($445 = approx 6k today) to one now ($100). Established technology becomes cheaper over time. Period.

            I wrote more but SUFA didn’t post it and your argument is too absurd to bother with.

            • Mathius,

              You continue with your irrational economic theory.

              Everything you have has to be made from something that ultimately has to be “found”, unless you believe we have a Star Trek replicator that can make things straight out of energy.

              Again, you point to a TV. You do not understand what happened regarding the economics of a TV so to compare it to, say, a solar cell or super-cooled electrical cable.

              Your economic theory, all things being equal: demand will cause prices to fall.

              Real economic theory, all things being equal: demand increases the price;
              – higher demand=higher price; lower demand=lower price.

              • Sigh..

                Technology, ceterus paribus, becomes cheaper over time. Period.

                Pick your example, go ahead:
                TV
                Radios
                CAT5 cable
                Cars
                Phones
                Computers
                and so on…

                And where they aren’t getting cheaper, or much cheaper, consider that the current incarnations are hugely more advanced. Try to remember to only compare Apples to Apples.

                My calculator has more processing power that the multi-million dollar mainframes of the old days, yet it costs $150.

                It’s not about the cost of the materials that make them up, though that does come into play, it’s about the process and technology that goes into their construction, and it’s about recovering the cost of the initial R&D investment.

                Name for me one single piece of technology which is more expensive today than it’s comparable counterpart in the beginning. One?

              • I dont think Mathius was saying all things are equal.

                As demand goes up so does price, but if the manufacturer developes new and more efficent production methods that increase supply (decrease demand) the price will go down. I believe that is what Mathius was refering to when he said as production “ramps up” cost will go down.

                Also production quantities make a big difference in price. If it takes $1,000,000 in tooling cost to produce an item, and I only build 10,000 units then the cost per unit will be higher than if I build 1,000,000 units.

                Of cousre this will hold true until I get close to reaching a production capacity at which point a demand will be created and then my prices will go up.

  6. When I moved into my house in December of ’09, my first electricity bill was $25. This was for service, but not for any actual kilowatt usage. For the next 8 months, my bill remained $25.

    Apparently there is a law on the books that a power company can retroactively bill you for a broken meter, but only up to 12 months – anything before that is forfeit. So the electric companies check for broken meters every 9 months.

    I hadn’t felt inclined to mention it to them – they’re a private company and it’s not my job to help them charge me more money. When they figured it out, they just guestimated based on people in my neighborhood. I kindly explained to them that if they had no proof, then they could go take a hike. Ultimately, because I did want to continue my service, we settled at about 15 cents on the dollar, paid in installments of $10/month, interest free.

    Now, a smart grid would have saved them the hassle – a broken meter would report that it’s broken and they would fix it and I wouldn’t have been able to stick it to them.

    Too bad for them we don’t have a smart grid.

    • Or it could be simple for the power company to notice, “hey, this persons meter reading hasn’t changed since last month, maybe we should look at it when we check it again.” Then when the meter reader scans the bar code the next time something pops up on his screen that says to check the meter. Total months not being recorded correctly, 2. If they can tell me how much electricity I spent in March of 2010 vs March 2011 and the previous 24 months, then they should easily be able to figure it out themselves. But then again that would require them to think and we know that they are not paid for that.

  7. PeterB in Indianapolis says:

    “to control appliances at consumers’ homes”

    That is all you need to read to know what the real purpose of this is.

    • I would wonder if that is

      A) the electric can controls appliances at your home
      B) you can control appliances at your home

      I’m cool with A.

      B is a deal breaker for me. I swear I will shell out the money for solar panels and a windmill before I turn over control of my dishwasher to some bureaucrat.

  8. On the topic of electricity, does anyone have any thoughts on how I can bury the power lines in front of my house? I really don’t like them.

    I think that the power companies will let you bury them if you foot the bill (probably horrifically expensive), but I’m wondering if anyone has any, er, alternative thoughts..

    • Mathius,

      I cannot imagine what alternative exists to a desire of burying cables that does not involve burying cables!

      What are you trying to ask?

      How to NOT pay for it?

    • I buried the lines at my lake. Had to dig my own 5 foot deep trench..leave it exposed til power co decided to come out 3-4 weeks later..have electrician come in to install meter which I had to pay for..have all work inspected twice (free)..then power co still has to put a pole on your property to continue the above ground lines for everyone else. Cost- 1250 to electrician (at family friend price) and $4k to power co. Power Co has very strict rulebook also..

      • actually, that’s not tooooo bad. 5-6k.. I don’t mind the power poles which are at the corners of my property, but I don’t like the line stretching across the front.

    • A Puritan Descendant says:

      Just call ‘Dig Safe’ and tell them you will be playing with your backhoe under the power lines soon. I am sure the power company will show up in a hurry and can answer all your questions. Or have you arrested for lack of permits…..

  9. Mathius,

    The only proven way to lower transmission loss is to move the generation facilities closer to the consumers.

    But that appears undesirable by many people.

    • Well there are certain drawbacks.. depending on the type of power:

      coal has pollution, smells, acid rain, and noise
      nuclear has the potential for radioactive hazards, noise, eye-sore
      hydro is only available in certain locations
      solar isn’t efficient enough (yet, anyway)
      wind kills birds, is ugly, is (surprisingly) noisy, and doesn’t produce enough power (yet, anyway)

      etc etc

      People don’t want this near their homes, so they want the power savings some other way, eventually we’ll find an answer – if this isn’t it, it will be something else.

      People always think there’s no solution.. until someone finds the solution. There may be only one proven way, now, but I promise you there are other ways.

  10. Winning the Hearts of the Libyans.

    EXCLUSIVE: Six villagers in a field on the outskirts of Benghazi were shot and injured when a US helicopter landed to rescue a crew member from the crashed jet, reports Lindsey Hilsum.

    These were, of course, the very people this attack was supposed to protect…..

    • Right.. and while we’re mourning innocent victims of this mindless attack on another country which posed no threat to us, let’s pause to take in another statistic.

      An F15 costs 27.9 – 29.9 million dollars.

      Guess who gets to foot the bill for that?

  11. Mathius,

    Well there are certain drawbacks.. depending on the type of power:

    No, not “drawbacks”

    Trade offs

    There exists no such thing as a free lunch.

    Everything has a cost.

    People don’t want this near their homes, so they want the power savings some other way, eventually we’ll find an answer – if this isn’t it, it will be something else.

    Local power production.

    Buy your own nuclear reactor – Sodium-sealed, good for 45 years, produces 40MegaWatt, 100% safe….under $20 million each.

    The US government has licensed the technology to Hyperion, a New Mexico-based company which said last week that it has taken its first firm orders and plans to start mass production within five years. ‘Our goal is to generate electricity for 10 cents a kilowatt hour anywhere in the world,’ said John Deal, chief executive of Hyperion. ‘They will cost approximately $25m [£16m] each. For a community with 10,000 households, that is a very affordable $2,500 per home.’

    The reactors, only a few metres in diameter, will be delivered on the back of a lorry to be buried underground. They must be refuelled every 7 to 10 years. Because the reactor is based on a 50-year-old design that has proved safe for students to use, few countries are expected to object to plants on their territory. An application to build the plants will be submitted to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission next year.

    Other companies are known to be designing micro-reactors. Toshiba has been testing 200KW reactors measuring roughly six metres by two metres. Designed to fuel smaller numbers of homes for longer, they could power a single building for up to 40 years.

  12. Judy Sabatini says:
    • Judy,

      Great find! Wanna bet it also gets used for income redistribution?

      “Almost half of the $300 million cost is federally funded, and Smith said the utility believes the rest will be absorbed in savings, leaving ratepayers unaffected.”

      “If people are really engaged in managing their energy usage, they will have lower costs,” he said.

      • Judy Sabatini says:

        Thanks LOI, Happened to see this & it fits with today’s topic. But, I somehow don’t believe that it won’t affect ratepayers, that it will somehow, someway be put into our monthly bills.

  13. 😐 for comments

  14. Mathius,

    Are you still thinking on how to reconcile your irrational economic theory that demand lowers price with that of the Economic Theory of Supply and Demand?

  15. Mathius,

    Technology, ceterus paribus, becomes cheaper over time. Period.

    ceterus paribus, IT … DOES…. NOT…..

    Again, give me your economic theory, not mere examples OF MY ECONOMIC THEORY

    There are clearly defined reasons why some goods fall in price while others do not fall in price and none of it has to do with “time in the market place

    The fatal flaw of your economic theory is you believe the longer a good exists in the market place, the cheaper it gets.

    That is why I used gold – it is an economic good like anything else – yet, time has NOT lowered its price.

    Pick your example, go ahead:
    TV
    Radios
    CAT5 cable
    Cars
    Phones
    Computers
    and so on…

    Nuclear reactors
    Solar cells
    Catalytic converters
    Moon landers
    Comm Sats…
    and so on.

    And where they aren’t getting cheaper, or much cheaper, consider that the current incarnations are hugely more advanced. Try to remember to only compare Apples to Apples.

    Nuclear power ships
    Nuclear power submarines
    Intercontinental Missiles….

    My calculator has more processing power that the multi-million dollar mainframes of the old days, yet it costs $150.

    Good example.
    But why?

    It’s not about the cost of the materials that make them up, though that does come into play, it’s about the process and technology that goes into their construction, and it’s about recovering the cost of the initial R&D investment.

    Your economics and your financing is badly skewed and misunderstood.

    R&D investment – economically – is NOT an investment; it is a “sunk cost”. It is a serious mistake to measure such expenditures under an “investment” mentality.

    Name for me one single piece of technology which is more expensive today than it’s comparable counterpart in the beginning. One?

    Space Satellites.

    • Automobiles, farm equipment, trucks, trains, boats, motorcycles, lawn equipment, domestic equipment(spouse),food & beverages, all more expensive.

      I found your lost post Matt, WordPress listed it as spam. It showed it would publish, but does not seem to be working.
      You may be being discriminated against.

      • That makes me sad 😦

        But take your examples and look at them again: farm equipment, trucks, etc. Are you comparing new technology to old technology? A current train is very different than an old steam engine. If we bothered to still produce the same old engines, how much would they cost?

        I bought a thing in college that lets you play 100 classic Atari and arcade games. It was a little tiny thing that plugged directly into the TV and cost $25. How much was an Atari new, never mind the games.

        I keep saying this: try to stick with apples vs apples.

    • Someone? Anyone? My brain is turning in must talking to this guy..

      Sigh..

      Space satellites:

      Sputnik sent out a radio signal. That’s all. Beep beep beep. It was in low orbit, powered by battery and only stayed up a short while before crashing into the admosphere.

      Today’s satellites send and receive live communication, manage signal traffic, self-repair, manage their orbits, self-power (not necessarily battery operated), they have have millions of times the technological sophistication, are radiation shielded, etc.

      Current satellites can easily cost $300mm, and we don’t know how much Sputnik cost, because the USSR never told anyone. But even if it cost $1, this wouldn’t prove your point. Why?

      YOU AREN’T COMPARING APPLES TO APPLES!

      You picked:
      Nuclear reactors – more advanced, more safety, more efficient, etc.
      Solar cells – more efficient, and prices are coming down
      Catalytic converters – I knew you’d use this one – the price is driven by the underlying material. Looking at it, the cost went from approx $120 (=610 in 2010) to $300-ish (quick and dirty googling). Looks like the price might have actually gone down.
      Moon landers – more advanced now, safer
      Comm Sats – see above

      Apples to apples. Not Apples to oranges.

      • Mathius,
        “Economies of scale” is a major part of this. As you produce more of something, the cost/unit drops. In this situation, increased demand leads to lower prices because of mass-production.

        Black Flag’s examples are all extremes – they don’t fit into “economies of scale” (nuclear reactors, moon landers, comm Sat), are still relatively new (solar cells) (although the price/watt has come down significantly for these), or require unique resources (catalytic converters).

        But even with these you’ve shown that the cost/benefit has improved.

        He’s just being argumentative!

  16. DisposableCarbonUnit says:

    In relation to the posted article, we have somewhat of a “smart grid” here in parts of Canada.

    It can’t regulate your appliances, but it does charge “time of use” prices. Prices per kilowatt-hour are higher during the day and lower at night. The government said it would help people pay lower prices overall for their electricity bills.

    Everyone’s electricity bills went up on AVERAGE 30% the next month.

    “I’m from the government and I’m here to help”

    • Judy Sabatini says:

      Here in Reno, lower income families were able to get help paying their utility bills, but they’ve stopped doing that now, was costing the city too much.

  17. Esom Hill Nation says:

    This is the same thing as the Government always does. It’s all about CONTROL, CONTROL, CONTROL.

  18. PeterB in Indianapolis says:

    From what I have seen so far, Smart Grid = Dumb Idea.

    Charging the consumer more per kilowatt hour during peak useage times when the power company sometimes has to employ backup generators or buy power from neighboring sources to meet demand? Ok, that at least makes some sense on a supply/demand basis.

    For example, lets say in midsummer on 95 degree days, I leave my thermostat set to 68 degrees all day and all night, regardless of whether I am at home or not. Nevermind the fact that this is “stupid” on my part, that is irrelevant. If the power company and the government want to install a device which will automatically “adjust” my thermostat to 76 degrees during peak useage hours, I would deem that to be NOT ok. If the power company wants to charge people an extra 25-30% for power during peak times, that is fine with me.

    • I agree with the power company changing you different rates at different times. But would add that if the power company wants to do that, then they would have to pay to replace all of the old meters with new ones, and those meters can only track usage per hour peak vs non peak. Then their billing statements must clearly indicate what their price is peak vs. non peak and what time of day they consider peak.

      Under these cases, you would expect the consumer to watch the energy they use during peak, and take it upon themselves to get circuit breaker type switches that they can program themselves. They already make appliances that turn themselves on and off based on when you program it to. They call it the Sabbath setting.

  19. LOI,
    In general I see two issues here:

    1. A smart grid costs money. Will the savings off-set the costs? Hard to say.

    2. Control. This is becoming a major issue for many here in general, and it will only get worse. As our technology improves, it can be used to monitor you – whether it’s the GPS in your IPhone or the Smart Meter on your house. Will you find ways to stop these abuses, or will you just shun the technology and be left behind?

    • Todd,
      “Will the savings off-set the costs?” Reducing energy loss from 10% to 5% will take a while to pay for. Add to that, will maintenance costs go up or down?

      And it’s not that I am against a true SmartGrid. If it proves itself and my power company phases it in without spiking my bill or thru government subsidies that I pay thru taxes, OK, lets move toward that future. I am against a smart meter. Leave me behind on that.

      http://gigaom.com/cleantech/the-future-of-smart-grid-transmission-superconducting-high-voltage-power-lines/

      The bottom line — HVDC lines can can carry more power over long distances than a comparable AC link. According to ABB, a 2,000-kilometer-long HVDC line rated at 80 kilovolts loses about 5 percent of the electricity it carries to hear, while an equivalent AC line would lose about 10 percent.

  20. Mathius, Todd, Seed, LOI

    ceterus paribus
    “All things being equal”

    You gentlemen all failed here – you claimed it (apples vs apples), but especially Mathius, all failed to apply it

    Go back to first principles:
    What economic THEORY are you holding that says “high demand=low price”

    Every economic theory – even the Keynesian – holds the opposite:
    high demand=high price; low demand=low price

    You all have failed to articulate YOUR economic theory that contradicts every economists learning -ECON 101

    So, you guys are missing something important

    But take your examples and look at them again: farm equipment, trucks, etc. Are you comparing new technology to old technology?

    “All things being equal” – so explain why old technology and new technology have different prices

    A current train is very different than an old steam engine. If we bothered to still produce the same old engines, how much would they cost?

    Not much more than the materials that they are composed of, since there is no demand for these old engines

    I bought a thing in college that lets you play 100 classic Atari and arcade games. It was a little tiny thing that plugged directly into the TV and cost $25. How much was an Atari new, never mind the games.

    It doesn’t exist because the price people would pay is far less than the cost to manufacture

    I keep saying this: try to stick with apples vs apples.

    I wish you would…..you would relieve yourself of serious economic errors.

    • Flag, I’m tired. I’m only going to do this once more.

      The initial claim was that 33 million was way too much money for ten miles of technologically advanced cable.

      I observed that, over time, the price of a given technology decreases. (NOTE: technology, not a material such as gold)

      You then went off on a tangent about supply and demand and moon landers. Take a deep breath and step back.

      Wire X costs $3.3mm / mi today. If we assume that it will be put into wide production, economies of scale will drive that price down. If we assume good market competition, efficient producers will emerge who can make it cheaper. If we assume that part of the problem is that they do not yet know a good way to mass produce this cable, it is a good bet that someone will figure it out eventually.

      Because, once we put it into production, we are still talking about wire X, not some different and more advanced wire Y, the COST of production will go down.

      Demand increases should push demand curve to the right, but a nearly horizontal supply curve (courtesy of an efficient market) which is lower than current prices (courtesy of improved production efficiency and economies of scale), will result in a lower price.

      As more production improvements and better economies of scale become more pronounced, the price will drop further.

      Because technology in one field has a way of finding a use in another field, the underlying infrastructure involved will improve. Production issues and technical problems will get smoothed out, production quality will improve, waste will be reduced, time to market will decrease – all this pushes left (down) the supply curve.

      Demand for the raw materials will go up, of course, but we’re not talking about rare-earth metals, I don’t think, so the shift of the supply curve to the left (up) will be minor.

      Does this economic theory work for you? I assume not.

      If not, take the simple view to show that I’m (probably) right: it costs 3.3mm / mi today. If we put it into full production, do you think it would cost more or less than 3.3mm / mi (in inflation adjusted dollars) in 10 or 15 years?

  21. Seed

    I dont think Mathius was saying all things are equal.

    In fact, he posted it explicit y:
    ceterus paribus
    “All things being equal”

    I have a feeling he doesn’t understand what that means.

    As demand goes up so does price, but if the manufacturer developes new and more efficent production methods

    Prove this. What “magic” exists that suddenly a manufacturer develops more “efficient” production (remembering efficiency IS NOT necessarily effective)?

    You are making a grave assumption – that there exists methods that lower costs of production in all goods.

    But as in my example of gold, this is not the case for all economic goods. Labor is another example that tends to be immune to yours and Mathius economic theory.

    No matter how old I am, I cannot produce more than 24 hours a day (and probably a whole lot less).

    Length of Time in market does NOT equal lower cost

    This is vitally important because many bizarre economic intrusions is based on Mathius’ fatally wrong theory – called “government subsidization”.

    This government theory holds that if enough money is used to subsidize consumers to purchase a good, that good will -eventually- become economic to produce.

    But it rarely – if ever – happens.

    So, the Mathius economic theory is fatally flawed. He applies his flawed theory to real economic circumstances and believes his theory explains it.

    But his theory is ass-backwards to every Econ 101.

    I will posit the the Econ 101 theory of supply/demand is correct and Mathius is wrong.

    believe that is what Mathius was refering to when he said as production “ramps up” cost will go down.

    The assumption: production can ramp up.

    But that assumes that the goods required for production can ramp up too – and this is not necessarily the case.

    Case in point: solar cells.
    No matter how much demand, you cannot produce solar cells any cheaper or faster. In fact, the increase in demand will cause solar cells prices to increase.

    Also production quantities make a big difference in price. If it takes $1,000,000 in tooling cost to produce an item, and I only build 10,000 units then the cost per unit will be higher than if I build 1,000,000 units.

    Where is your calculation of the cost of building all the additional factories to make the 990,000 other units?
    Labor costs?
    Inventory financing?
    Sources of inventory?
    Distribution costs?

    …and who says you will sell the 990,000 extra units?

    This is the other fallacy I forwarded, the attributing sunk costs to production

    • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

      BF,

      I have an old computer magazine from 1987. The 386SX processor had just come out. According to an ad in the magazine, you could get the very latest, top of the line 386 SX computer, complete with an 100MB hard drive, monitor, printer, and 2X CDROM drive for the mere price of $10,000.00.

      The demand for computers wasn’t “low” in 1987, but I am certain that global demand for computers is much higher now. Supply is also higher now, but by an order of magnitude or more? I doubt it.

      So, using your economic theory, please explain how I can get a far, far, FAR better computer than the one described above for about $399.00 today. Global supply has gone up, but so has global demand, and yet the price of a computer which is so far superior that it isn’t even comparable is about 4% of the cost of the 1987 computer.

      I believe what Mathius and others is requesting is you explain that phenomenon using your economic theory 🙂

    • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

      Oh, and by the way, I know you probably aren’t going to answer that, because you are trying to get Mathius, Todd, et. al. to come up with the answer on their own, so they actually learn something 🙂

  22. Mathius

    Space satellites:

    Sputnik sent out a radio signal. That’s all. Beep beep beep. It was in low orbit, powered by battery and only stayed up a short while before crashing into the admosphere.

    Today’s satellites send and receive live communication, manage signal traffic, self-repair, manage their orbits, self-power (not necessarily battery operated), they have have millions of times the technological sophistication, are radiation shielded, etc.

    Current satellites can easily cost $300mm, and we don’t know how much Sputnik cost, because the USSR never told anyone. But even if it cost $1, this wouldn’t prove your point. Why?

    Because you do not know what “all things being equal” means.

    YOU AREN’T COMPARING APPLES TO APPLES!

    In fact, I am.
    You are not.

    You are comparing wholly different things and arguing they are the same – which is why your economic theory is fatally in error.

    You picked:
    Solar cells – more efficient, and prices are coming down

    Absolutely false.
    The improvements have been minor and the costs have not budged.

    Explain why please….

    Catalytic converters – I knew you’d use this one – the price is driven by the underlying material.

    Light bulb moment….

    …so your things being equal suddenly depend on underlying materials – now, move down to that level and use your fallacious economic theory, or use mine, and see which one explains economics there at that level,…
    …then do it again to that underlying material and that level, and so on….

    …let me know what you find.

  23. Todd

    “Economies of scale” is a major part of this. As you produce more of something, the cost/unit drops.

    No, it does not necessarily do this at all.

    You hold the same bizarre economics as Mathius. You make broad – but baseless – assumptions about the production of goods which are not rooted at all in any economic princple

    You are the level of saying “what goes up must come down” – yet, cannot explain why the moon doesn’t crash into the earth.

    Obviously, something is missing out of your understanding

    In this situation, increased demand leads to lower prices because of mass-production.

    Yet, your theory fails in such goods as solar cells and nuclear power stations.

    Black Flag’s examples are all extremes – they don’t fit into “economies of scale” (nuclear reactors, moon landers, comm Sat),

    Why don’t they fit in the economies of scale? You argued that if one merely “produced more of these things, they would get cheaper” – yet, this is not the case in these examples.

    are still relatively new (solar cells) (although the price/watt has come down significantly for these), or require unique resources (catalytic converters).

    So, things ARE NOT EQUAL… hmmm…..

    So, your economic theory FAILS to explain why some economic good prices are immune to economies of scale while others are relative to it. You also cannot explain why some goods benefit to a point with the economies of scale, and then at a point, actually increase in costs.

    He’s just being argumentative!

    No – pointed.

    The baseless economic theories you and Mathius posit are fundamentally and fatally flawed yet are used as an excuse to subsidize by government writ products.

    Because of this flawed understanding, billions and trillions of dollars are wasted.

  24. Mathius,

    You’re saying the value of a material stays constant as proof that technology doesn’t become cheaper – that’s absurd.

    It is absurd, because I never said such a thing

    I have NEVER used the word value at all in my dialogue here.

    And this is why you are seriously mistaken.

    Your economic theory attributes price to be equal to value

  25. gmanfortruth says:

    After catching up due to some needed outdoor work, it seems that Mr. Flag is feeling much better and back to his old self 🙂

    That is a good thing!

    • My pounding headache begs to differ.

      • gmanfortruth says:

        LOL, It seems wordpress is having some problems. one message I recieved said it was Matt’s fault. Mathius, what did you do now? 😆

        Got caht today, most of my day was spent with a chainsaw, and I’m very sore, dang it.

  26. Mathius,

    Flag, I’m tired. I’m only going to do this once more.

    Ignorance gets heavier the longer you carry it.

    The initial claim was that 33 million was way too much money for ten miles of technologically advanced cable.

    …..for who?

    It may be too much for you, but just fine for me.

    Do not base your economic theory of pricing upon someone else’s value calculation – you will make serious errors.

    I observed that, over time, the price of a given technology decreases. (NOTE: technology, not a material such as gold)

    Technology is made out of gold and a whole lot of other stuff. You cannot separate the goods from the goods.

    That is why I discuss economic goods as a component of economic theory. The economic theory applies to all economic goods – there are no exceptions.

    You then went off on a tangent about supply and demand and moon landers. Take a deep breath and step back.

    No, you made a baseless economic claim that increase in demand will lower its price and that longer in market lowers the price.

    Neither of these things are true. The truth of pricing declares -in the former – precisely the opposite and in the latter as completely irrelevant.

    Wire X costs $3.3mm / mi today. If we assume that it will be put into wide production, economies of scale will drive that price down.

    Based on what bizarre economic theory?

    Your assumption is baseless – you might as well as posited “when we invent the Star Trek replicator, the price for new goods will be free”

    If we assume good market competition, efficient producers will emerge who can make it cheaper.

    Based on what bizarre assumption?

    Why would anyone want to enter a market that has no customers?

    Why would anyone want to compete in a market where there is no profit?

    If we assume that part of the problem is that they do not yet know a good way to mass produce this cable, it is a good bet that someone will figure it out eventually.

    It is not a good bet at all and a poor assumption.
    Consider:
    If we assume that part of the problem is we don’t know how to mass produce Star Trek replicators, it is a good bet someone will eventually figure it out.

    Because, once we put it into production, we are still talking about wire X, not some different and more advanced wire Y, the COST of production will go down.

    Based on what economic theory???

    I suppose you cannot believe companies can go bankrupt, or that companies cannot sell their goods in a market, because – according to the Economics of Mathius, all it takes is to “put it into production and the costs will go down”

    Demand increases should push demand curve to the right, but a nearly horizontal supply curve (courtesy of an efficient market) which is lower than current prices (courtesy of improved production efficiency and economies of scale), will result in a lower price.

    Demand=demand, but supplies to build, such a plant, inventory, financing, and labor “magically” appear, so that orders are flowing off the shelve and there is product replacing it.

    Gee, please explain the new IPad.

    Recently, Steve Jobs announced that Apple would sell the new iPad2 at the same price as the iPad1.

    Apple cannot really accomplish this.

    The company ran out of them within hours.

    The delay time for online ordering is officially said to be 4-5 weeks.

    The price was fake. It was “same price as before, plus a month.”

    Is it cheaper? Not if you don’t want to wait. The price is fake. This is not bait and switch. It’s bait and wait.

    Apple limits purchases to two per order.
    That tells us that Apple self-consciously adopted bait and wait. The company adopted a policy of limited sales to any customer. That is rationing by standing in line.

    You can allocate by price or ration by time. Apple rationed by time.

    This analysis is basic economic theory.

    Those who understood this went inside and bought iPad 2’s — wiping out the store within minutes.

    “We buy from here, then sell,” one of the organizers gloated outside the store, standing near one of several bulging, oversized shopping bags filled with the hot devices.

    A legitimate would-be customer said she’s been to the store three times since Friday — only to be thwarted by the creeps.

    What is a “legitimate” customer? Someone who got to the store late.

    What is a “creep”? An Asian who got there early.

    “I walked right up to the guy with all the bags and said, ‘Shame on you,’ ” said the woman, a Manhattan event planner who asked that her name not be used for fear she would be blackballed by the store and never get her iPad 2.

    “He just laughed at me,” she said.

    When you say economically silly things, people may laugh at you. Especially a wily Asian who is about to make 3 to one on Apple’s bait and wait.

    As more production improvements and better economies of scale become more pronounced, the price will drop further.

    Why do you believe this?
    Explain.

    Because technology in one field has a way of finding a use in another field, the underlying infrastructure involved will improve. Production issues and technical problems will get smoothed out, production quality will improve, waste will be reduced, time to market will decrease – all this pushes left (down) the supply curve.

    You put a lot of faith in fantasy and Star Trek Replicators.

    Demand for the raw materials will go up, of course, but we’re not talking about rare-earth metals, I don’t think, so the shift of the supply curve to the left (up) will be minor.

    Of course we are talking about rare-earth metals!

    Because you do not understand what is required to produce “high technology” you make up fantasies about components that simple are not true.

    Does this economic theory work for you? I assume not.

    If not, take the simple view to show that I’m (probably) right: it costs 3.3mm / mi today. If we put it into full production, do you think it would cost more or less than 3.3mm / mi (in inflation adjusted dollars) in 10 or 15 years?

    It will not even exist in 10 or 15 years. If you are lucky, maybe – just maybe – 1 mile of test cable will be laid, and it will be found to be so damn expensive, and so damn fragile, and so damn not worth it….

    … that they will buy a Toshiba nuke and plunk it down in your neighborhood.

    So, to correct your economics:

    High Demand=High Price, Low demand=Low price.

    Remember this, repeat in your prayers before you go to sleep every night. It is immutable.

    Follow:
    High Demand=High Price = High Profit.

    High Profit = Investments

    Investments=builds competition

    Competition=increase supply

    Increase supply=Lower price.

    Low price=Low profit

    Low profit=No Investments

    No investments=No Competition

    No Competition=Lower supply

    Lower supply=Increase pressure on demand

    Increase Demand=Increase price

    Go to top.

    Nowhere in here is time in market a factor

    On top of this, add:
    If supply of required resource is constrained for any reason, the system stops at:

    High Demand=High Price

    because, as in Apples case, no matter how much Mathius demands an Ipad – it ain’t coming for awhile….unless you want to pay triple the price today

    • Mathius,

      On top of this, add:

      “Why is there demand for this good?”

      For “high” demand to kick in, it must -self evidently- be in demand.

      I know of no demand for superconducting cable.

      You cannot “manufacture” demand out of thin air, though government subsidizing believes it can.

    • The government can “create” demand buy buying mass quantities of cable. Producers do not care if the money comes from individuals or uncle Sam. To them, demand is demand.

      And I especially love how I ask you about your guess for what the cost will be in 10-15 years and you respond that it won’t exist in 10-15 years. That’s not the question, and you know it.

      The real question is (since you insist on deliberately obfuscating): assuming that the government puts this into full production (thus supplying the demand), and the cable costs 3.3mm / mi today, how much is the cable likely to cost in a few years?

      If full-scale production comes into play, economies of scale kick in, production issues get smoothed out, competition appears, etc etc etc.

      But that, in your opinion, seems to be entirely moot because the cost of the raw materials will go up.

      You know what, forget it. I don’t want a response. I’m done with this conversation.

  27. Funny, went to my wordpress access to see if any other issues had come up and found this message.

    Goshdarnit!

    Something has gone wrong with our servers. It’s probably Matt’s fault.

    We’ve just been notified of the problem.

    Hopefully this should be fixed ASAP, so kindly reload in a minute and things should be back to normal.

  28. SK Trynosky Sr says:

    I would like to talk about my water company. They are a publicly regulated utility. For the past two years we have had fairly wet summers without a lot of grass watering. In addition I am proud to say my town has decreased its use of water overall through conservation measures. I personally have had my last child move out decreasing my water consumption dramatically.

    Imagine my shock when I got my first water bill for the new fiscal year, it doubled. It turns out thanks to the investigative journalism of my local pennysaver newspaper that thanks to the water company being a publicly regulated utility, they are guarngodamnedteed a return by the regulating authority. Since we good citizens chose not to waste water and nature rewarded us with plenty we are punished. What makes anyone think that the electric or for that matter gas company is any different. If we all cut our consumption in half tomorrow, they would double rates and the government would go along with it.

    • All utility companies are privately formed, government protected, monopolies. If a business has a monopoly, we’re told it’s bad, but when the government does it, it’s good? A few years ago, our electric rates went up because the utility company built a nuclear power plant, in another state. Because of the deal made, we had to share the cost, even though we would not get any electricity from the plant.

    • Very similar situation here, SK. When we called on it, we were told the same thing. What a racket.

  29. Ok Matt and BF, you guys done?

    Here is the breakdown of that exchange from what I see:

    Matt’s point: The technology is too expensive right now, so the number pertaining to whether it is worth using taxpayer dollars for this sort of infrastructure do not work. However, with an established market demand for such technology, the market forces of competition, economy of scale, and the payoff of research and development will make the cost of this particular product drop, making its cost/benefit ratio improve, thus possibly justifying the implementation of this type of infrastructure.

    BF’s point: My economic theory is absolutely correct.

    Both are correct. BF is right, time itself does not make costs come down. The amount of time something is on the market is irrelevant to the cost. Supply of materials versus demand for those materials, supply of an end product versus demand for that product, and various other very specific economic forces control the price of any given product. Case in point: computer RAM. The material costs are very similar. New RAM costs more because it is new tech, in high demand, and carries some costs of R&D. Older RAM drops in price as it is still in demand for upgrades, etc., but the cost of development is gone and all of the competitors have entered the market, as well as the additional supply from the used market. Even older RAM becomes a specialty item, fewer cometitors and less economy of scale, plus a declining used market as more and more components are lost to disposal or recycling, thus the price actually goes back up. In other words, high demand and R&D cost makes new RAM cost more, lower demand and increased supply makes slightly older RAM cost less, diminishing supply makes even older RAM cost more again. Time on the market is irrelevant and material costs are nearly equal.

    Matt is also right that an established demand will attract suppliers and competition, and cover R&D costs as well as pay for R&D to find cheaper means of production, etc. Thus, the math on cost benefit ratio might improve.

    The problem with that thinking is easiest explained by one of my favorite examples of government screwups, the flourescent bulb. Government support of and demand for flourescent technology created an artificially high demand for that particular product. As a result, the technology improved and the cost came down. The problem is that it was not the best solution for greater efficiency in lighting, and the market was delayed in bringing forth better technology that can be made cheaper and more environmentally friendly.

    So, while Matt makes a good point, I do not think that it justifies taxpayer funding of a new technology, because artifical manipulation of the market too often distorts the proper path of technology. This particular concept might be fine eventually, but forcing early adoption by taxpayer funding is a bad idea.

    • Well summarized, Jon. Note, however, that I made no claim as to whether it was a good idea or a bad idea to do, only that the price will decrease as the technology matures.

      The entirety of my claim: “Initial costs are always very high. Once production ramps up, costs usually scale down to something more affordable.” Also, please note that I said “usually.”

      In fact, I went further: “That said, I would need to see a lot more data on superconducting cables before I gave it the nod.” So to suggest that I may be wrong because the government’s investments perverts the market is flawed because I never suggested that the government should invest.

      Our friend then took exception to some perceived claim: “What economic theory do you believe exists that says “longer time=cheaper”?”

      But you’ll note that I didn’t claim “time” was what made things cheaper, but rather “ramped up production.” Later, I included such factors as improved efficiency, competition, reduced waste, recovered R&D, etc. Never did I claim that time alone reduces costs. This is an easy mistake because all of the factors I listed come into play over time. They are facilitated by time on market, but time on market itself does nothing to costs.

      We then took several tangents afterward as Flag tried to demonstrate odd comparisons between (A) precious metals and technology (B) established technologies and new technologies (C) mass producible items and single-serving items such as lunar landers and (D) items built using readily available materials and items whose price strongly is driven by a precious metal component such as a catalytic converter.

      He refused to compare apples to apples: a 12″ TV today vs a 12″ TV 70 years ago. An AM radio today vs an AM radio 80 years ago. A 2GB storage device vs a 2GB storage device ten years ago. A device that plays Atari games today vs a device that plays Atari games 30 years ago.

      And then my brain began to leak out my ears.

      • Apologies for tying a presumed line of reasoning or conclusion to your point, you absolutely did not suggest that it was a good idea, and did, indeed specifically say that you would need more information to decide if the idea was good or not. My assumption was that the reason you were pointing out the probability of decreased cost was to say that the cost/benefit ratio would likely improve. I further assumed that you were saying that a government initiated demand for a technology, while it may seem like a poor investment, will lead to much cheaper accessibility to that technology in the future, which would be a possible justification for government investment in technology in general. That was my primary leap, and it was not fair to assume you were thinking along that line simply becase you are an intelligent statist. 🙂
        Again, my apologies.

        • That’s better.

          I accept your apology.

          Now, I’ll just hold my breath and wait for BF’s apology which I’m just sure will be forthcoming..

          Yup.. any second now..

  30. YBCO = Yttrium barium copper oxide. How many tons of this stuff will be required to wire the US with superconducting cable?
    One method of extracting rare earth metals is by process river sand. The process uses a toxic acid brew. How much river sand are we willing to dredge up and how much acid are we willing to dispose of? What are the other by products of this process? How much yttrium is available in nature? Lots of questions.

    The coolant is liquid N2 made by compressing air. Lots of raw material available but electricity is required to run the multi-stage compressors. While LN2 is non-toxic it is a “burn” hazard and a sufficant. If the SC transitions to normal resistance, the LN2 will rapidly vaporize creating high pressures if contained.

    For large scale industrial use, it would be safest if the LN2 is made at the point of use. LN2 is commonly trucked around the country but I would think the volumes required would be substantial.

    SC magnets have been in use for a couple of decades now for NMR (MRI) spectrometers and other research tools.

    • “How much river sand are we willing to dredge up?”

      Zero. Environmentalist stopped all dredging in our state years ago. Claimed it was destroying fish or turtles. I never saw a shortage of either, nor an increase since dredging stopped. Do see a lot more hazards and the cost of concrete has gone up. I assumed it was nation wide, but do not know for sure.

  31. Jon

    Ok Matt and BF, you guys done?

    Probably not.

    However, with an established market demand for such technology, the market forces of competition, economy of scale, and the payoff of research and development will make the cost of this particular product drop, making its cost/benefit ratio improve, thus possibly justifying the implementation of this type of infrastructure.

    No, it does not justify a darn thing.

    Making up fantasies and stories –

    * “established market demand” – Where? None exists!

    * “competition” – Where? Why would there be competition where there is no profit?

    * “economy of scale” – How? There is no basis to believe that any economy of scale can exist where there is rampant scarcity of inventory.

    * “payoff of R&D make cost drop” – So you too believe you allocate sunk cost into the price you sell your product? With such dominate thinking, it is no wonder 90% of companies go bankrupt.

    * “cost/benefit ratio” – for a non-existent product in a non-existent market

    … with this mumble, you believe you’ve justified spending other people’s money to pour into it….

    Gasp!

    BF is right* ,

    *98.2% of the time

    …RAM….

    Mostly a very good try, but you error here….

    In other words, high demand and R&D cost

    No, just high demand and low supply.

    The “new” RAM has performance gains and enhancements that make it demanded by new, high end computers.

    New, high end computers are in high demand. Older slower computers are not in demand because they cannot run the new, high demand computer games and applicatinos.

    Thus, new computers cost more than old computers because new computers are in higher demand then old computers. R&D costs do not matter whatsoever.

    Understand this point clearly. I posted this before – there are three prices

    (1) What the seller wants for his product
    (2) What the customer wants to pay for solving his problem
    (3) The actual price at trade

    The seller calculates his price under his own conditions which may include adding a cost for R&D

    The buyer calculates his price by the value this product will provide in solving some problem.

    But the buyer absolutely and totally discounts any price for R&D

    Consumer says: “I frankly give a rat’s butt how much it cost you to invent this, here is what I will pay, and not a penny more!”

    The high price is due to bid – the highest bid wins the goods.

    How the seller accounts for the money in his hand AFTER THE SALE is irrelevant to the sale!

    The only time that R&D costs become an issue in pricing is when the price offered by the seller is higher than the price the consumer wants to pay because of the added “cost” of R&D.

    The result of this is :No SALE. If the company continues to allocate such R/D costs into the price while suffering this condition, it will go bankrupt.

    The point: It does not matter how the money a company receives AFTER THE SALE is accounted for IN THAT COMPANY (Economically speaking-obviously, accounting is important for attributing or claiming taxes and tax credits etc.)

    This is the Economic Law: Highest Bid wins.

    If the highest bid is lower than your selling price, NO SALE. If the highest bid is at or higher than your selling price, there is a SALE.

    Matt is also right that an established demand will attract suppliers and competition, and cover R&D costs as well as pay for R&D to find cheaper means of production, etc. Thus, the math on cost benefit ratio might improve.

    But this is irrelevant to any supply and demand economics.

    How a company accounts for the funds it receives for the product is IRRELEVANT to an supply/demand economics.

    That is a matter of budgeting and funding WITHIN THE COMPANY. It makes no economic difference if you put the dollar you earn in your left pocket (R&D recovery) or your right pocket (Profit) to the economy!

    • BF – * “established market demand” – Where? None exists!

      Jon – I would say a purchase of 10 miles of cable at a price of 33 mil with the likely intent of purchasing more is establishing a demand.

      BF – * “competition” – Where? Why would there be competition where there is no profit?

      Jon – No profit? So the company that made this is not making a dime on this purchase? 33 million dollars just to start out on a project that could go far larger in scale will not attract any other vendors to this market? Are you daft?

      BF – * “economy of scale” – How? There is no basis to believe that any economy of scale can exist where there is rampant scarcity of inventory.

      Jon – There will not be scarcity once the vendors ramp up production based on the projected demand. It does not matter that the customer is a government, in fact, it might make a speculator more inclined to trust that the demand will be there.

      BF – * “payoff of R&D make cost drop” – So you too believe you allocate sunk cost into the price you sell your product? With such dominate thinking, it is no wonder 90% of companies go bankrupt.

      Jon – Perhaps, but it is a cost, it is something that money was put into. It affects the price that a seller is willing to settle for.

      BF – * “cost/benefit ratio” – for a non-existent product in a non-existent market

      Jon – The product exists and an order has been placed for it, or was that news story a piece of satire or science fiction?

      BF – … with this mumble, you believe you’ve justified spending other people’s money to pour into it….

      Gasp!

      Jon – I have done no such thing, I was pointing to what I believe was Matt’s point. I think I was pretty clear in my post that I disagree with Matt’s point and why.

      Also, I am well aware that the buyer does not and should not care how much R&D costs. That point, however, is as irrelevant to the final price as you claim the R&D cost is. Costs affect the price the seller is willing to accept, perceived value and available resources/capital affect the price the buyer is willing to accept. R&D is a cost, thus it is part of the equasion, it just isn’t part of the buyer’s side of the equasion.

      If a company incorporates too much cost in its accepted price, it will go bankrupt due to no sales, true. If it cannot get sales at a price that allow it to cover costs, it will also go bankrupt. Sale price has to be high enough or the company will go bankrupt. If such a price cannot be acheived, then the demand for the product is too low. Nothing a company can do will keep them in business if that is the case except for changing their product and/or their costs. R&D you consider sunk costs, and they are, however, the return of such monies are an ongoing cost. If investors or especially lenders were a part of the source of that sunk cost, you must necessarily include repayment in your costs or you will, once again, go bankrupt. You act as though sunk costs are just money that has vanished and carries no liability with it. The fact that R&D does not decide the final price does not remove it from the equasion entirely, you cannot simply remove a factor from the equasion, you sound like you are doing what you said Matt was doing when he tried to seperate scarce material cost from technology.

  32. gmanfortruth says:

    @Black Flag,

    While I’m not concerned here in the U.S., what is your take on the Japan nuclear issue and where does it rate in terms of previous accidents? While I have my “opinion” of the matter, my knowledge of nuclear issues is lacking. Can you give a quick opinion as to where things are at this time?

    • GMan,

      My info is as incomplete as yours, so it is merely “guessing” based on released news reports.

      So, I take a Reuters article:

      (Reuters) – The United States became the first nation to block produce from ally Japan’s radiation zone, saying it will halt milk, vegetable and fruit imports from areas near the tsunami-smashed nuclear plant because of contamination fears.

      Knee-jerk and baseless. Any contamination can be easily identified.

      Every major port into the US has radiation detectors to prevent “loose nukes” and such stuff. Any product that is radioactive will be noticed.

      However, this is probably moot. Japan needs her food supplies.

      This announcement probably scares more Japanese than is an effective measure for the USA.

      impact of the worst atomic crisis since Chernobyl in 1986.

      Yeah, it probably is. But it is orders of magnitude less – except that if the wind changes it will dust a huge swath of population – though minor in radiation compared to Chernobyl, the numbers affected could be significantly larger

      At the six-reactor Fukushima plant, which was crippled by a March 11 earthquake and tsunami, engineers are battling to cool reactors and contain further contamination.

      Nothing new.

      Showing the widening problem, Japan said on Wednesday above-safety radiation levels had been discovered in 11 types of vegetables from the area, in addition to milk and water.

      As long as it remains local, it is not a big problem.

      Officials still insisted, however, that there was no danger to humans and urged the world not to over react.

      Well, never believe this, even if it may be true.

      Radiation is “bad” if it gets inside you. There is no such thing as “good” internal radiation.

      “We will explain to countries the facts and we hope they will take logical measures based on them,” Japan’s chief cabinet secretary Yukio Edano, who has been the government’s public face during the crisis, told a news conference.

      Problem: When? Will he be believed? So far, there has not been very good info, and much of it wrong. Trust is waning.

      The Asian nation’s worst crisis since World War Two has caused an estimated $250 billion damage,

      A drop in the bucket…

      sent shock waves through global financial markets,

      …due to fears of overreaction.

      and left nearly 23,000 people dead or missing, mostly from flattened coastal towns.

      This will damage the Japanese psyche for a century, however.

      Worsened by widespread ignorance of the technicalities of radiation, public concern is rising around the world and radioactive particles have been found as far away as Iceland.

      We are capable of measuring the particles that come from the center of our galaxy. Being able to “measure” something does not equal “a problem”.

      You bet – ignorance is always a problem – from authorities lying, to People believing myths – and with that combination, no one can know anything for sure.

      Vienna-based U.N. watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), expressed concern about a lack of information from Japanese authorities. It cited missing data on temperatures of spent fuel pools at the facility’s reactors 1, 3 and 4.

      Yeah.

      Although there has been progress in restoring power to the Fukushima site 13 days after the accident, plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) said it needed more time before it could say the reactors were stabilized.

      Days? Weeks? Years?

      Conclusion:
      A big mess, far from getting better, with “who knows?” all over the place.

      Bad times for Japan.

      • gmanfortruth says:

        Thanks BF! 🙂 I will say that I shake my head at those that are on TV called experts. How can one be an expert of something that has never occurred at this level? Seems to me nobody knows crap, because the levels of radiation going into the atmosphere are either unknown, or being hidden from the public. Regardless, there can be no experts worth listening to. Thanks for your input, as always, well done and understandable. You can return your attention back to Mathius now, LOL. 😆

        Peace! I wish you and the family the best, tonight and in the future!

        • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

          Definition of “expert”

          X is the unknown quantity
          Spurt is a drip under pressure

          There you have it 🙂

          • I think it’s media driven urgency. They cannot understand why someone can’t give them instant answers to their questions. And when someone explains why, they REFUSE to believe there is not a way to quickly insert new sensors into a nuclear pile. My solution, give said reporter a sensor, tell him where to place it.

            Also heard the IAEA says this would not have happened if they had enforcement powers.

            • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

              Of COURSE the IAEA is going to CLAIM that this would never have happened if they had “enforcement powers”! DUH.

              What do all such agencies want? More power! Would giving them more power actually prevent a problem such as this particular one? Very likely it would have little or no effect.

              The only thing that would have prevented the problem in Japan completely would be to not build Nuke plants anywhere near a fault-line capable of producing a magnitude 9 earthquake! I don’t care how well you build something, a magnitude 9 earthquake is going to have some effect, and it isn’t likely to be a beneficial effect!

      • I heard them mention this morning that the tap water in Tokyo was showing increasing levels of contamination. This makes it more serious?

        • Also, BF, some time back, you and Cyndi were having a discussion about a product you use – I thought it was an iodine thing? Can’t seem to find the info now. Can you refresh my memory on the what and why of your using it?

          • Kathy,

            Lugol’s solution.

            For iodine deficiency, paint about a 25c piece circle on your arm.

            If it disappears within a half hour, you are deficient.
            Paint a circle every 12 hrs until it lasts about an hour or more.

            If it is still there (faintly) after a couple of hours, you are in good shape.

  33. I thought everybody knew what rare earth metals are…..If you do not, I suggest you read about them and then find out who controls 85% of them. I suggest you find out what they are used for and then remember who controls most of them. Therein lies….a great part of the upcoming economic theory. Not the total but a great part. Then ask yourself……why have I been lambasting the United States and their economic policies and mercantilism and capitalism when there are others far worse than us. Continue to ask yourself….is currency more powerful than any nuclear weapon? Then wonder why are we more worried about global warming and singing Kumbayah…when the rest of the emerging world thumbs its nose.

    I want my OLD AMERICA back.

    • Me too Colonel. Been saying that since I first started posting here–but I got accused of living on the prairie….M A T H I U S !

      • gmanfortruth says:

        The prairie is a nice place to live! You can have a little house there. Whatever goes wrong today is Matt’s fault, all those in agreement say “AYE”. 🙂

      • I’m sure I never accused you of living on the prairie..

        But it is possible that I said any one or more of the following:
        Hick
        Hillbilly
        Yokel
        Country-bumpkin
        Country-cousin
        Southern (who just so happens to live in the North)
        Backwoods
        Hayseed
        Clodhopper
        Cornfed
        Redneck
        Cletus
        Cowgirl
        Cowpoke
        And so on..

        Q: Where was O.J. hiding right before the famous white Bronco chase?
        A: On the University of Michigan campus. That’s the last place you would find a football player.

        You might be a Michigander if…
        *If you define Summer as three months of bad sledding…
        *If you learned to pilot a boat before the training wheels were off your bike…
        *If “Down South” to you means Toledo…
        *If you have any idea who Bob Ufer was..
        *If traveling coast to coast means going from Port Huron to Muskegon…
        *If you have as many Canadian coins in your pockets as American ones…
        *If the trees in your backyard have spigots…
        *If You can actually pronounce Ypsilanti…
        *If your town has a blizzard AND a tornado in the same week…
        *If you drive six miles and wonder where the lake is…

        • 🙂 🙂 No you may have been referring to LOI

          I live just minutes from “IPSY”
          Piloted my first boat around 6yrs old..first bike at 12!
          …5hp Montgomery Ward motor
          I do know who Bob Ufer is.
          Used to see Canadian coins all the time..not so much anymore.
          Same day blizzard & tornado..you mean like today?
          Down South starts in Cincinnati!

          Proud Michigander..just wish we could get the presses moving again!

    • The Texas company I am aware of now defunct imported their river sand from Brazil.

  34. Just wanted to point this article out to those that believe that we should not have easy access to hand guns because there are ‘other’ ways to defend yourself. Please tell me another way this 110lb woman could defend herself and win.

    “God made man, but Samuel Colt made them equal”

    http://www.foxnews.com/us/2011/03/22/armed-beauty-queen-fatally-shoots-intruder-florida-home-invasion/?test=faces#

    When a burly ex-convict forced his way into a posh Florida home last week, he had no idea what awaited him — a 25-year-old beauty queen with a pink .38-caliber handgun.

    Meghan Brown, a former Florida pageant queen, shot and killed 42-year-old Albert Franklin Hill during a home invasion March 12 at the 2,732-square-foot house she shares with her fiance in Tierra Verde, Fla.

    Hill barged into the home at around 3 a.m. after Brown responded to a knock at the front door, according to a police report. He allegedly grabbed the 110-pound Brown around her nose and mouth and dragged her to an upstairs bedroom.

    The woman’s fiance, Robert Planthaber, said in an interview that he was quickly awakened by the altercation and ran to Brown’s side.

    “I attacked him and took a severe beating to the head,” Planthaber told FoxNews.com. “But I got him off of her long enough for her to scramble to the room where she keeps her pink .38 special.”

    Brown, who reigned as the 2009 Miss Tierra Verde, snatched her gun from a nearby bedroom and shot the suspect several times – hitting him in the chest, groin, thigh and back, her fiance said. Hill was pronounced dead at the scene.

    Panthaber, a 42-year-old arborist, said he believes he and his fiancee were targeted because of their wealth. He claimed a pizza delivery man and possible accomplice staked out the home for three months before Hill attempted to burglarize it.

    “We live in a very prominent area and my fiancee wears a $60,000 engagement ring,” he said. “The pizza man knew we had money because sometimes we needed change for a $100 bill when he came to deliver pizza.”

    Hill had a criminal record stretching back nearly three decades — including arrests for burglary, battery, drug possession and grand theft. He reportedly served a 13-year prison term in 1987 and was released in September after serving a fourth term behind bars.

    Detectives with the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Robbery/Homicide Unit are still investigating the crime but believe the motive was robbery, according to local press reports. They say they haven’t yet determined the relationship, if any, Hill had with the couple. A police report said the ex-convict demanded money before the altercation between Hill and Panthaber ensued.

    Panthaber, meanwhile, said he and his fiancee are lucky to be alive. He said he purchased the pink handgun for Brown last Christmas and that the two had gone to target practice together.

    “She was not a good shot at the range,” he quipped

    • Ray Hawkins says:

      @Naten

      For starters – how about not opening the door at 3am when a complete stranger knocks on the door?

      Second – get a dog. A large one.

      Third – take some actual self-defense – not the Taebo Aerobic Kickboxing variety. A well placed groin kick (or two) and a couple of elbow or knee strikes to the temple or behind the ear should have helped hold things over until her manly studly sleepyheaded boyfriend could get his lazy ass out of bed to see what the commotion was all about.

      Oh, and fourth – quit being such a douche and try paying for delivered food with smaller bills. Flashing Benjamins to the dude delivering the pie doesn’t rank up there with the brightest of things you can (and most places where I live will not change your $100 because they don’t want drivers carrying a ton of money and becoming targets themselves).

      The article isn’t a great advocate for making handguns easier to get – its an argument for using some more common sense.

      • It is not an advocate for making handguns easier to get, it is an advocate to not make handguns illegal. So the common sense to me is having the criminal dead instead of the victims.

        Who would not “respond” to someone knocking on their door at 3 am? Granted it does not say if they opened the door or not. I have a friend that got that knock on the door at the preverbal 3 am once (not making an Obama joke I swear). It potentially saved his life because the house was on fire. Knocks on the door at 3 am happen for valid reasons all the time. Calling the cops immediately could be a waste of police resources for false alarms. Cops don’t prevent crime, they investigate it after it happens.

        Large dogs tend to like people more then small dogs. Unless you refer to people that get guard dogs and train them to be mean, which can be considered animal cruelty. The quickest way to a dogs heart is food, so if someone staked out a house to rob and saw a large dog, it would not be much of a deterrent to a criminal.

        Self defense classes are good. But, a fight between a 110 lb woman and a hypothetical 250 lb man will be won by the man, because the reality is that the man will overpower the woman quickly in most cases. The Hollywood stunts that show agile women beating the crap out of 300 lb 6’8″ criminals are either 1 in a million or fake. In this case the man that was also home was getting beat up as well.

        Paying for food with a $100 should only be done if you actually have an order over that or ten or fifteen dollars less then that. I know that there are a ton of people that only pay for everything in cash, but i agree, paying for a $20 pizza with a 100 is stupid and rude.

        • Ray Hawkins says:

          @Naten

          Lot’s of hypothetical here right? Well – lets play along to keep it interesting….

          I would respond if someone knocked on my door at 3am – read that literally – “I” would respond – not a much smaller member of my family. Knocks at 3am (for legit reasons) do not “happen all the time”:

          Twice I’ve had that not-so-legit knock – once I was home and my Chow Chow nearly went through patio glass to get at the guy running from the cops. Second time I was not home and the crack head that lived downstairs from us at the time locked himself out. We knew him – he knew us – but there was no way my wife was opening that door. Even if she had – the same Chow Chow would have had dinner. I happily paid the extra $$$ in insurance for her. 😉

          If you need someone to wake your ass up to tell you your house is on fire then you don’t have enough smoke detector’s or they are in the wrong place.

          It may or not be true that large dogs like people better than small dogs. I’ll ask my German Shepherd / Husky mix and my Chow / Retriever mix when I get home. For purposes of this posting I’ll simply add that I spent money to have them professionally trained and we practice that training quite frequently. They tend to throw a hairy eyeball at anyone that is not me, my wife or our son. They are not “trained to be mean”. They are trained to protect and defend our property and our house and us. If you buy a large dog (or any dog) thinking that you’re all set protection-wise then you’re just being irresponsible.

          Self-defense does work. I do not suspect most criminals are trained in martial arts (which to a well trained but much smaller female would be a harsh equalizer). Effective self-defense rarely looks like the bullshit shown in the theaters. Its tough to recreate and audiences would probably not like to see what eye gouging, throat attacks and other lethal/effective striking techniques look like.

          • Of course it is hypothetical, because I said what would someone do (specifically a woman vs. a man), not what would Ray do.

            Neither I nor the article specified what a “response” consists of. You give the perfect examples of a response. A verbal response is not always necessary as in the case of your wife, but it is not like she didn’t investigate before deciding what to do. If someone was banging on the door someone would at least respond (possibly not to the person that is knocking) in some sort. The article did say he “barged” though and it does leave a lot to the imagination to what their response could have been vs what it should have been.

            People should feel free to use their awkward kung fu moves if they want to try and figure out if they can defeat the person one on one. But once again sam colt proves to be the only weapon that gives an unmatched chance of equal combat.

            If this story happened in Chicago, or Washington DC (until recently) where hand guns have been banned this would probably have had a different outcome. But since there are people out there that want evidence of a gun being used in self defense when they couldn’t defend themselves otherwise, this is an example.

            (on a side note I pay less insurance because of a “protective device”)

  35. The picture in this article made me think, “what the hell are they drinking down there?”

    http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2011/03/22/chavez-says-capitalism-destroyed-life-mars/?test=latestnews#

    Chavez Says Capitalism May Have Destroyed Life On Mars

    Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez thinks capitalism may be responsible for the lack of life on the planet Mars.

    “I have always said, heard, that it would not be strange that there had been civilization on Mars, but maybe capitalism arrived there, imperialism arrived and finished off the planet,” Chavez said in a speech on Tuesday.

    The socialist president has been a fierce opponent of capitalism, and during his World Water Day speech, Chavez blamed capitalism for destroying Earth’s water supplies as well.

    “Here on planet Earth, where hundreds of years ago or less there were great forests, now there are deserts. Where there were rivers, there are deserts,” Chavez said.

    Guy Webster, a spokesman with the NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, noted: “Water has been discovered on Mars.” But whether the planet ever supported life has yet to be confirmed

  36. Something for all the gun owners.

    http://stevespages.com/page7b.htm

    • Dread Pirate Mathius says:

      I didn’t see my rail gun on there..

      • I’m sure it will be in the updated version.

        • Dread Pirate Mathius says:

          It’s a really short manual:

          1. Wear ample shielding when operating as the magnetic field has been known to disrupt brain activity leading to irreversible coma.

          2. If you can’t figure out how to operate this gun, you probably shouldn’t be entrusted with that much fire-power.

          3. Disengage the safety before firing.

          4. DON’T BE ON THE RECEIVING END.

          5. Seriously, do not be on the receiving end of this weapon.

  37. Canine Weapon says:
  38. Mathius

    The government can “create” demand buy buying mass quantities of cable. Producers do not care if the money comes from individuals or uncle Sam. To them, demand is demand.

    While it is true that to a producer they will assume such purchases have meaning, it of course a lie.

    Government makes its purchases decisions without any economic knowledge – it is immune to profit and loss.

    Thus, it lies to the producers claiming there is an economic demand where there is none.

    This is the same condition to why fiat expansion does not create economic growth stability – it lies, and fools business into making wrong economic decisions.

    This is precisely the problem I am arguing with you about – that artificial production based on economic lies is destructive and that your attempt to justify such is economic idiocy.

    You will destroy what you are trying to build.

    And I especially love how I ask you about your guess for what the cost will be in 10-15 years and you respond that it won’t exist in 10-15 years. That’s not the question, and you know it.

    The cost will be zero as it does not exist.

    But that, in your opinion, seems to be entirely moot because the cost of the raw materials will go up.

    You do not pay attention.

    I made no such claim.

    I said “High price=High demand; Low price=Low demand”.

    You believe you can:
    = manufacture demand based on lies

    To manufacture demand means that government is subsidizing it – that is buying what is NOT in demand, and/or overpaying for the product, and/or then delivering it for use to those that would not normally have made such a purchase because it made no economic sense to do so at that REAL price

    The government is lying.

    It is lying to the buyer saying the good is far cheaper than it really is, that is in use more that it is, thus perverting THEIR economic calculations. Now the buyer abandons the TRUTH that another product or method is economic better – the one they would have chosen if the government did not lie, and instead buys a LIE, a product that is too expensive for their needs.

    So the product that would have been bought does not get bought – demand for it drops, though it is the real truth to solve the problem. Manufactures of this TRUTHFUL product drop their price to compete with a lie, lowering their profits, lowering their expectations for R&D, firing workers to lower costs, etc.

    But the government responds by increasing the subsidizing of a lie because it is immune to profit and loss.

    Eventually the TRUTH is driven out of the market place and replace by the LIE.

    Economic truth: Bad Money drives out Good Money

    The government is lying to the producer, saying that at the price government is buying, there are real buyers. But there is not.

    The REAL buyers would never buy at that price. So the supplier believes his price calculation is CORRECT, when in fact it is based on a lie.

    Then one day government says “Ok, go live on your own without subsidy”, the lie dies. It is too expensive for the job it does. It cannot live without the subsidy. The goods that were available have all been driven out, so nothing is left except an expensive LIE to solve a problem.

    Economic collapse.

    That is what you are designing, Mathius.

  39. Ray

    For starters – how about not opening the door at 3am when a complete stranger knocks on the door?

    Whatcha goin’ to do when they bust down your door?

    Second – get a dog. A large one.

    Whatcha goin’ to do when they kill your dog.

    Third – take some actual self-defense – not the Taebo Aerobic Kickboxing variety. A well placed groin kick (or two) and a couple of elbow or knee strikes to the temple or behind the ear should have helped hold things over until her manly studly sleepyheaded boyfriend could get his lazy ass out of bed to see what the commotion was all about.

    Whatcha goin’ to do when they have a gun or a knife.

    Comin’ to a gun/knife fight with your elbows and knees will most likely cost you your life.

    Oh, and fourth – quit being such a douche and try paying for delivered food with smaller bills.

    They’ll kill for dimes.

    • BF. What do you think of the Castle doctrine in regards to your personal philosophy? I hope this isn’t to vague of a question but given previous discussions on what you consider safe to retreat, do you say the same thing within your own home or that within your own home is the furthest safe retreat?

      • Naten,

        Good question – because it is personal decision.

        For me, I would retreat as long as such would improve the safety of my family.

        The point retreat risks the degrading of safety ….

    • Ray Hawkins says:

      @Black Flag

      What is the likelihood of my door being busted down w/o action on my part?

      I have two dogs rather than just one. And they are trained to defend together, as a pack.

      A gun or a knife? I actually prefer the gun – its easier for to neutralize the gun and either beat the criminal with it or shoot him or her or hold them at bay. A knife, while not desirable to defend against, can be neutralized. Again, training to these scenarios can and should be done. I would not consider it likely for me to encounter a criminal that has been professionally trained in knife offense.

      Sure they’ll kill for dimes. But how likely is it criminals come to an affluent neighborhood looking for dimes?

      • Ray,

        Of course, the better you are trained, the better the odds improve in your favor.

        The better neighbors you have, the better the odds improve in your favor.

        The more dogs you have, the better the odds improve in your favor.

        And, further, the better armed you are, the better the odds improve in your favor.

  40. Gang,

    only that the price will decrease as the technology matures.

    Again, you make a broad and baseless assumption, that time lowers costs

    The entirety of my claim: “Initial costs are always very high. Once production ramps up, costs usually scale down to something more affordable.” Also, please note that I said “usually.”

    Since you do not understand why this happens in some cases and why it does not happen in some cases, you make serious economic errors and your advice is fatal

    In fact, I went further: “That said, I would need to see a lot more data on superconducting cables before I gave it the nod.”

    Indeed. King Mathius, with his government fiat money, will decide what is economically possible or not – and willing to lie to everyone around him to make it happen, if he demands it.

    So to suggest that I may be wrong because the government’s investments perverts the market is flawed because I never suggested that the government should invest.

    …in this!

    But that is not the problem.

    The problem: you believe government SHOULD pervert the market place if after YOUR EVALUATION you think it is worth it!

    You do not understand that there is NO CASE WHATSOEVER for government to pervert the market place!

    You argue that you should be able to lie to your wife about your economic expenditures because you believe you are spending HER money better then she can.

    I suggest before you advise others that this strategy has merit, test it on your wife first.

    This is an easy mistake because all of the factors I listed come into play over time. They are facilitated by time on market, but time on market itself does nothing to costs.

    NO…THEY….DO….NOT

    “come into play over time” is utter bull.

    Factors of improvement of production happen, not because of time, but because of improvements in economic calculation.

    If such improvements cannot be made, it does not matter how much time has gone by, there will not be improvements in price.

    Again, you still sit in the realm of arguing that because there is thunder, there must be Gods.

  41. gmanfortruth says:

    There is one thing that deffinately lowers with time, that would be the IQ’s of the leberals who post on HuffPo. Them folks are nuckinfuts. 🙂

  42. PeterB in Indianapolis says:

    Alright, I am tired today, but I see we have stumbled upon something which is absolutely critical to our discussions of economics.

    As such, I am going to give Mathius and others a BIG FAT HINT when it comes to “comparing apples to apples”. I presented an argument above, involving the cost of computers, which contained a huge fallacy, and I was trying to bait BF or others into responding. The example involved the absolute top of the line computer available in 1987, for a cost of $10,000, and I threw out the fact that you can get a light-years superior machine today for around $400.00. Did anyone spot the problem with my argument?

    Hint: Who would have demanded the absolute top-of-the-line computer costing $10,000 in 1987? The average home user (yes there were home computer users back then :))

    No, the average home user would have had nearly zero demand for such a computer. BUT SOMEBODY WANTED THEM….

    Now, the average home user has tremendous demand for desktop computers costing $400.00.

    So what is the problem with my whole premise?

  43. PeterB in Indianapolis says:

    Since I cannot resist, here is huge hint #2

    If a television made to 1939 specifications were made today, what would its price be, and why?

    or

    If a computer were made to top-of-the-line 1987 specs today, what would the price be, and why?

    Ok, enough hints for now 🙂

  44. Jon

    – I would say a purchase of 10 miles of cable at a price of 33 mil with the likely intent of purchasing more is establishing a demand.

    See above to Mathius about lying.

    Creating artificial demand by lying will destroy the truth -that is real products that solve the problem “the best” economically today-and replace it with a lie that may solve the problem (but might not) but not economically.

    You are buying into the immoral theory that lying is a good and meritorious strategy to convince people to spend money.

    Jon – No profit? So the company that made this is not making a dime on this purchase?

    The profit is fake.
    Government is taking money from the real producers out of their profit and giving to a producer who cannot make a profit.

    You are merely looking at the latter and cheering, not seeing the former’s loss and destruction.

    Me stealing from Mathius and giving it to you is NOT profitable for the economy.

    33 million dollars just to start out on a project that could go far larger in scale will not attract any other vendors to this market? Are you daft?

    I am not daft.

    Stealing money from those that are the TRUTH (real producers) to give to those that are LIES (subsidized producers) is economically disastrous.

    Jon – There will not be scarcity once the vendors ramp up production based on the projected demand.

    So, if the part requires 10 tonnes of gold and there is only 2 tonnes, as long as there is demand, 8 tonnes will be delivered by….an act of God?

    It does not matter that the customer is a government, in fact, it might make a speculator more inclined to trust that the demand will be there.

    And I agree.

    Lying to the producer that there is a huge demand will cause the producer to go and find funding and investors, build factories and hire workers.

    But it is a lie. It does not exist.

    Then the producer will go bankrupt, renege on his funding and investors, close the plants and fire the workers.

    Jon – Perhaps, but it is a cost, it is something that money was put into. It affects the price that a seller is willing to settle for.

    No, it is not a cost of production

    Cost of production is whatever it cost to make the thing.

    Inventing the thing does not count here – it is gone – the concept of “sunk”.

    Now, you might attribute such R/D costs in YOUR price as a method to buffer your profit – but that is all you are doing is adding to your profit.

    How you allocate YOUR PROFIT after the sale is irrelevant to the buyer.

    But if you are foolish, and get stuck on what you are really doing – and that is building a larger profit margin, and believe you really need to try to recover sunk costs by demanding a profit margin that your customers will not pay, even if it bankrupts your company, well, as I said, you’re a fool.

    BF – * “cost/benefit ratio” – for a non-existent product in a non-existent market

    Jon – The product exists and an order has been placed for it, or was that news story a piece of satire or science fiction?

    There is no market. No one is “buying” other than “test”. There is no market to which any analysis can be made since the product – super-conductive energy transmission to homes – does not exist.

    Costs affect the price the seller is willing to accept, perceived value and available resources/capital affect the price the buyer is willing to accept. R&D is a cost, thus it is part of the equasion, it just isn’t part of the buyer’s side of the equasion.

    Again, as the supplier, you can add whatever you want into your price calculator, including the size of your mother’s dress.

    But do not get fooled that you need to recover the size of your mother’s dress to get a profit

    If investors or especially lenders were a part of the source of that sunk cost, you must necessarily include repayment in your costs or you will, once again, go bankrupt.

    You err here.

    Your investors did not invest into your sunk costs

    They invested in your final product that you are selling

    Missing this understanding is why you are confused.

    Because you must pay a dividend or return to your investor, you must provide adequate profit to do so.

    Do you believe this changes if you spent the investor’s money on a building, instead of R/D?

    Do you believe this changes if you spent the investor’s money on a labor, instead of a building?

    Do you believe this changes if you spent the investor’s money on a marketing, instead of labor?

    You act as though sunk costs are just money that has vanished and carries no liability with it.

    Exactly what it is.
    It is gone, for good.

    The fact that R&D does not decide the final price does not remove it from the equasion entirely, you cannot simply remove a factor from the equasion, you sound like you are doing what you said Matt was doing when he tried to seperate scarce material cost from technology.

    I absolutely remove it from my price calculation.

    I do not -ever- attribute one dime to such losses. To do so will mis-price my product and I will miss sales that I would otherwise have earned.

    • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

      R&D costs are frequently cited as the reason why brand-name pharmaceuticals are so costly. However, if the marketplace for pharmaceuticals were a free market, the drug companies COULD NOT AFFORD TO FACTOR SUNK COSTS INTO THE COST OF THEIR DRUGS!

      Unfortunately, Pharma is a SUBSIDIZED marketplace, and so they get away with mis-pricing their products because the government allows (and even encourages) the practice.

      • USWeapon says:

        Peter,

        That is a cursory approach to what the Pharma companies do. Without recovering those sunk costs of R&D, especially gaining FDA approval, the new drug development process would grind to a halt very quickly.

        • USWep,

          Peter,

          That is a cursory approach to what the Pharma companies do. Without recovering those sunk costs of R&D, especially gaining FDA approval, the new drug development process would grind to a halt very quickly

          In fact, it would not.

          FDA approval is purposefully invented by the Big Pharms to prevent competition.

          You could have invented the wonder drug of the world and you would never get it to market due to the FDA approval process – which would cost you millions.

          New drug development is very cheap.
          FDA approval is very expensive.

          FDA approval exists to make it very expensive FOR YOU, but for Pfizer, its’ no big deal.

        • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

          “especially gaining FDA approval”

          Gaining FDA Approval is NOT an R&D cost, it is a REGULATORY cost imposed by the government.

          You cannot lump it in with R&D costs, although I am sure that most Pharma companies do just that.

          So, what you are, in effect, saying is that the Pharma company is justified on SOME RATIONAL ECONOMIC ARGUMENT to price in government-imposed regulatory costs?

          Be careful here, this is a trick question!

        • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

          DAMN! BF beat me to the punch! 🙂

        • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

          Also,

          I am still a firm believer that the “Big Pharma” companies concentrate on drugs which will ameliorate or mask symptoms, while at the same time they ignore or quash drugs which would cure anything whatsoever.

          I believe this is purposeful.

    • BF – Creating artificial demand by lying will destroy the truth -that is real products that solve the problem “the

      best” economically today-and replace it with a lie that may solve the problem (but might not) but not economically.

      Jon – I get that it is a lie, an artificial demand on the market because it is legally mandated and/or paid for

      with stolen money. In other words, it is use of force on the free market and it always has poor results. My example

      to Matthius about the flourescent bulb debocle is one way things go wrong. There are thousands of examples of

      unintended consequences and other problems due to government meddling in the free market. I am not arguing against

      that in any way.

      BF – You are buying into the immoral theory that lying is a good and meritorious strategy to convince people to

      spend money.

      Jon – Pay attention to what I am saying, I am not buying into anything. I am recognizing where the opponents of

      free markets are coming from, I am seeing the equasion as they see it in order to let them know I understand their

      thinking. The problem is they are not factoring everything in, they are looking at too small of a portion of the

      overall effect of a given situation in the economy. This is not conceding the point, it is recognizing the argument

      and acknowledging it so that I can more clearly point out the flaws in that line of thinking.

      BF – The profit is fake.
      Government is taking money from the real producers out of their profit and giving to a producer who cannot make a

      profit.

      Jon – no, the profit to the company is not fake. The profit to the economy is fake. Do not confuse macro-economics

      with the specific workings within a company or a transaction.

      BF – You are merely looking at the latter and cheering, not seeing the former’s loss and destruction.

      Jon – I am not cheering. I am recognizing that such things do affect the market. The market responds. The market is

      amoral, it has no specific loyalties. The market is a conglomeration of transactions between individuals and other

      parties. Various things can enter into market forces. Theft creates an “artificial” depression in demand from

      producers and other holders of wealth and transitions to the “artificial” demand of the thieves. Regulations do a

      similar thing. Any institution of force affects the workings of the free market because a free market only truly

      exists in the absence of force. That does not, however, mean that the market itself will not still operate, nor

      that it will not attempt to adjust to the changes brought about by the introduction of force. To deny this is to

      ignore reality on an epic level.

      BF – Me stealing from Mathius and giving it to you is NOT profitable for the economy.

      Jon – I am not talking about the economy, I am talking about the decisions of a specific company and of other

      companies in that segment of the market. I am talking about the expansion of a specific sector of the economy as a

      result of government spending in that area. Such spending, in the beginning, is criticized by many conservatives

      because of the exhorbitant cost versus benefit. Statist and Keynesians argue that the market adjusts and the cost

      comes down, leading to cheaper products in that line of technology for a wider number of customers. It is the

      argument used by many statists to justify NASA and other government funded science and technology. It is a fallacy,

      but the immediate effect, even tho it is based on lies and theft and is NOT good for the overall economy, and even

      though it is not the BEST solution to the problems of consumers, a failure to recognize the local and immediate

      effect and even the illustion of long-term benefit will make your argument about the overall effect on the economy

      as a whole fall on deaf ears. Again, do not confuse acknolwdgement with agreement or support of an idea.

      BF – I am not daft.

      Jon – I know, that was just for effect. A shameless emotional appeal intended to point out your failure to

      acknowledge the local effect. You have no problem transitioning between individual transaction and market sectors

      and the wider economy when it suits your argument, you should be willing to see the parts that do not appear to

      support your theories because you can then more effectively point out the real reasoning and fallacies of the

      arguments of your opponents.

      BF – Stealing money from those that are the TRUTH (real producers) to give to those that are LIES (subsidized

      producers) is economically disastrous.

      Jon – I could not agree more.

      BF – So, if the part requires 10 tonnes of gold and there is only 2 tonnes, as long as there is demand, 8 tonnes

      will be delivered by….an act of God?

      Jon – No, but if the product requires 10 tonnes of tin and there are 500 million such tonnes, then that is not a

      relevant argument. The cost of tooling for production, as well as the cost of development, and the amount of

      competition in such a market will affect the supply and the limits of agreed upon price by producers of said

      product. I know you like gold, but that is not part of this discussion. It is well established that the rarity of

      materials will affect cost of production regardless of the number of vendors or buyers because it is an absolute

      governing aspect of supply.

      BF – Lying to the producer that there is a huge demand will cause the producer to go and find funding and

      investors, build factories and hire workers.

      But it is a lie. It does not exist.

      Then the producer will go bankrupt, renege on his funding and investors, close the plants and fire the workers.

      Jon – No, it might be a lie, but it still exists. The bankruptcy of the producer may not happen unless the

      government goes bankrupt as well. A lie such as this could last for decades, the producers who originally profitted

      might retire and pass their fortunes to two generations before the lie collapses the industry. It is no less a lie,

      but the assets are very real. They are as real to the sellers of goods the receive those assets in trade as they

      were to the producers from whom those assets were originally stolen.

      BF – No, it is not a cost of production
      Cost of production is whatever it cost to make the thing.
      Inventing the thing does not count here – it is gone – the concept of “sunk”.

      Jon – Here we disagree. Perhaps “cost of production” is the wrong term, but capital was expended in development. It

      remains, at least, a cost of doing business. R&D is as much a cost as tooling to make something. It is not simply a

      matter of the cost of materials. Again, perhaps cost of production is the wrong term, but in terms of profit, a

      business has to cover the cost of capital, assets involved in production, materials, labor, sales and packaging,

      shipping, etc. These are all costs that affect the profit. If you borrowed the capital to do your initial R&D then

      the cost of that capital is a cost of doing business. It is sunk, but it retains liability.

      BF – Now, you might attribute such R/D costs in YOUR price as a method to buffer your profit – but that is all you

      are doing is adding to your profit.
      How you allocate YOUR PROFIT after the sale is irrelevant to the buyer.
      But if you are foolish, and get stuck on what you are really doing – and that is building a larger profit margin,

      and believe you really need to try to recover sunk costs by demanding a profit margin that your customers will not

      pay, even if it bankrupts your company, well, as I said, you’re a fool.

      Jon – You are using gross profit, I am speaking in terms of net profit. Obviously without sales, you achieve no

      profit at all and are a fool. If you can achieve gross profit but still cannot make net profit, you still go

      bankrupt, so in terms of your final consequence, net profit is the relevant number, not gross profit.

      BF – Your investors did not invest into your sunk costs

      They invested in your final product that you are selling

      Missing this understanding is why you are confused.

      Because you must pay a dividend or return to your investor, you must provide adequate profit to do so.

      Do you believe this changes if you spent the investor’s money on a building, instead of R/D?

      Do you believe this changes if you spent the investor’s money on a labor, instead of a building?

      Do you believe this changes if you spent the investor’s money on a marketing, instead of labor?

      Jon – Of course it does not change, that is MY point. R&D capital is as real as the capital for buildings and tools and labor and materials. So, technically, the cost of capital is the cost being discussed, but once that capital cost is gone (lender or investor is paid) you can operate on a lower gross profit ot achieve teh same net profit.

      BF – I do not -ever- attribute one dime to such losses. To do so will mis-price my product and I will miss sales that I would otherwise have earned.

      Jon – Gaining sales at a loss of net profit will not keep you in business. If you do not incorporate the cost of capital you will fail. If you had the money to sink, to risk, you can afford to dismiss it because it carries no liability. If it does carry a liability, it is as important as any other cost in your price calculation.

  45. Does the President think his authorizing military action in Libya is illegal?

    http://www.boston.com/news/politics/2008/specials/CandidateQA/ObamaQA/

    In what circumstances, if any, would the president have constitutional authority to bomb Iran without seeking a use-of-force authorization from Congress? (Specifically, what about the strategic bombing of suspected nuclear sites — a situation that does not involve stopping an IMMINENT threat?)

    The President does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation.

    As Commander-in-Chief, the President does have a duty to protect and defend the United States. In instances of self-defense, the President would be within his constitutional authority to act before advising Congress or seeking its consent. History has shown us time and again, however, that military action is most successful when it is authorized and supported by the Legislative branch. It is always preferable to have the informed consent of Congress prior to any military action.

    As for the specific question about bombing suspected nuclear sites, I recently introduced S.J. Res. 23, which states in part that “any offensive military action taken by the United States against Iran must be explicitly authorized by Congress.” The recent NIE tells us that Iran in 2003 halted its effort to design a nuclear weapon. While this does not mean that Iran is no longer a threat to the United States or its allies, it does give us time to conduct aggressive and principled personal diplomacy aimed at preventing Iran from developing nuclear weapons.

    • This is wrong.

      “The President does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation.”

      Yes, it is true that the Consitution does not give him this power – neither does it forbid it. The Constitution only clarifies that he is the Commander in Chief. It does not specify that he can never do anything without Congress first. It just says that he needs Congress in order to declare war. In 1973, a joint resolution clarified this matter.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/War_Powers_Resolution

      The President may use the military for up to 60 days, with a 30 day extension for withdrawal, without congressional blessing. After such time, he either has to bring them home or get permission or an extension granted by congress.

      “In instances of self-defense, the President would be within his constitutional authority to act before advising Congress or seeking its consent.”

      The War Powers Resolution makes no restriction as to self-defense. None. So adding this caveat retroactively and using that to declare him in violation makes no sense.

      There is nothing illegal here.

      Immoral? Yes.

      Illegal? No.

      • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

        “The War Powers Resolution makes no restriction as to self-defense. None. So adding this caveat retroactively and using that to declare him in violation makes no sense.

        There is nothing illegal here.”

        In what way is bombing Libya equivalent to Self-Defense of the UNITED STATES?

        • huh?

          It’s not equivalent to self-defense.

          At all.

          But the law doesn’t require that military force only be used for self-defense.

          So using it for something else isn’t illegal.

          You’re imagining a self-defense requirement (which should be there, but isn’t) and then calling the President’s actions illegal based on it. That’s not how things work.

          • Mathius,

            Here:
            1541–1548) was a United States Congress joint resolution providing that the President can send U.S. armed forces into action abroad only by authorization of Congress or if the United States is already under attack or serious threat.

            He neither had Congress, nor was the US under attack nor under serious threat.

          • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

            No Matt,

            The self-defense requirement is THERE.

            The Commander in Chief may send troops into combat with:

            1) A declaration of war (which is made by Congress)

            OR

            2) A demonstrable, imminent threat to the US, its territories, or its allies.

            Since in the case of Libya neither condition 1 nor condition 2 were met, the 60 days with 30 day withdrawal period does not apply. The 60 days with 30 day withdrawal period only applies if condition 2 is met, which it clearly is not.

      • Mathius,

        Please explain why bombing Libya was in self-defense of America.

        • It isn’t. At least to my knowledge. I suppose it’s possible to make some circuitous argument which broadly defines self-defense, but nothing that could ever be taken seriously.

          Reading the text of the bill, I see the following:
          Title 50,1541(c)(3): [the President may use the military only pursuant to] a national emergency created by attack upon the United States, its territories or possessions, or its armed forces.

          And with that, I have to withdraw my former comments as incorrect.

          Revising….

          There is nothing illegal here.

          Immoral? Yes.

          Illegal? No. Yes.

          • gmanfortruth says:

            Well said Matt 🙂 Now if something bad happens it can be Buck’s fault 😆

    • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

      Substitute the word “Libya” for the word “Iran” and you have…

      A CONTRADICTION!

      Anyone surprised the a politician or a government would yield myriads of contradictions?

      • And that is what I was asking all to comment on, that in 2007 Obama said it was not within the powers authorized to the president. So is it illegal for Bush and republicans in general, but legal for liberals?

        • Reference, please..

          • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

            He gave his reference, a direct quote of what Obama said 🙂

            http://www.boston.com/news/politics/2008/specials/CandidateQA/ObamaQA/

          • Matt, see above. Those are Obama’s words.

            “The President does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation.

            As Commander-in-Chief, the President does have a duty to protect and defend the United States. In instances of self-defense, the President would be within his constitutional authority to act before advising Congress or seeking its consent. ”

            Unless Libya attacked us or was about to, by Obama’s stated understanding of the law, he has broken it. And it’s strange how some of the left are trying to defend him.

            Read more: http://www.newsbusters.org/#ixzz1HRx5XUPi

            They won’t agree on much, but Fox News host Bill O’Reilly and Medea Benjamin, founder of the far-left anti-war group Code Pink, found some common ground on one fact Tuesday night: MSNBC talkers Rachel Maddow and Ed Shultz are hypocrites.

            Both Schultz and Maddow defended President Obama’s decision to impose a no fly zone over Libya on their respective shows. Maddow trotted out the “reluctant warrior” line, while Schultz insisted that the president “deserves the benefit of the doubt and our support.”

            O’Reilly asserted – and Benjamin agreed – that neither MSNBC host would have been so generous had Obama’s predecessor engaged in such a conflict. “The word ‘hypocrisy’ comes to mind,” Benjamin quipped

            • Well done, sir. It seems that I am left with a conundrum.

              I disagree with Obama’s assertions (in the link) requiring self-defense. Do you have any basis for this restriction other than Obama once professed to believe in it?

              I once believed in Santa Clause, but that didn’t make it true. It especially doesn’t make it the law of the land. Further, and this may shock you, politicians do not always tell the truth, especially when trying to get elected. If claiming that he did not have the power to use the military outside of self-defense would help him get elected, I’m sure he had no problem claiming that was the case. Also frequently, politicians promise things then, conveniently, change their minds once the old opinion becomes inconvenient.

              Do you have any laws on the books, not someone’s opinion of the law, not even Obama’s himself, which requires that force used under the war powers resolution be used only in instances of self-defense?

              • Mathius

                Right here: the text

                was a United States Congress joint resolution providing that the President can send U.S. armed forces into action abroad only by authorization of Congress or if the United States is already under attack or serious threat.

          • gmanfortruth says:
            • As I said, do you have any laws on the books you can point to? Opinions are a dime a dozen and they, conveniently, change according to the circumstances.

              When Bush was doing it, Obama thought (professed to think, anyway) that it was illegal. Republican talking heads thought that it was legal.

              Now that Obama is doing it, Obama thinks (professes to think, anyway) that it is legal. Republican talking heads now think that it’s illegal.

              What’s changed? It boils down to “it’s legal when we do it, but illegal when they do it.” That’s not how laws work. The law says something or it doesn’t, and if authorizes the use of force for a limited time and it doesn’t restrict the use of force to self-defense, then it’s not illegal. If it does, then it is illegal. THAT is how the legal system works.

              Do you have a law or don’t you? Because my best understanding says that it’s not illegal, even though (in both Bush and Obama’s cases) it’s immoral.

              • gmanfortruth says:

                Yes, The War Powers resulution is quite clear, did you even read the words?

              • Mathius, you said “When Bush was doing it”. What exactly are you referring to? George Bush (both of them) had congressional approval prior to any military action either took…

  46. Mathius,

    Here is the War Powers Act

    The War Powers Act of 1973
    Public Law 93-148
    93rd Congress, H. J. Res. 542
    November 7, 1973
    Joint Resolution
    Concerning the war powers of Congress and the President.

    Resolved by the Senate and the House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,
    SHORT TITLE

    SECTION 1.
    This joint resolution may be cited as the “War Powers Resolution”.

    PURPOSE AND POLICY

    SEC. 2. (a)
    It is the purpose of this joint resolution to fulfill the intent of the framers of the Constitution of the United States and insure that the collective judgement of both the Congress and the President will apply to the introduction of United States Armed Forces into hostilities, or into situations where imminent involvement in hostilities is clearly indicate by the circumstances, and to the continued use of such forces in hostilities or in such situations.
    SEC. 2. (b)
    Under article I, section 8, of the Constitution, it is specifically provided that the Congress shall have the power to make all laws necessary and proper for carrying into execution, not only its own powers but also all other powers vested by the Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any department or officer thereof.
    SEC. 2. (c)
    The constitutional powers of the President as Commander-in-Chief to introduce United States Armed Forces into hostilities, or into situations where imminent involvement in hostilities is clearly indicated by the circumstances, are exercised only pursuant to (1) a declaration of war, (2) specific statutory authorization, or (3) a national emergency created by attack upon the United States, its territories or possessions, or its armed forces.

    So, pray tell, where do you believe Libya fits into this requirement???

    • gmanfortruth says:

      IMPEACH him I say! His ego has led him to break the law. The military commanders should also be held accountable for following what is clearly, illegal orders.

    • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

      I believe that the section Mathius BELIEVES takes care of this is as follows,

      “The War Powers Resolution requires the president to notify Congress within 48 hours of committing armed forces to military action and forbids armed forces from remaining for more than 60 days, with a further 30 day withdrawal period, without an authorization of the use of military force or a declaration of war.”

      However, this section comes AFTER the section which says that the Commander in Chief may ONLY send the armed forces into a combat situation with 1) A declaration of war (which he does not have) or 2) when there is imminent threat to the US, its territories, or its allies (none of which was true in this case).

      Since the second part clearly comes AFTER the first part, and the requirements for the FIRST PART CLEARLY ARE NOT MET, there is no need to proceed to the second part.

      If the requirements of the first paragraph are not met, the conditions in the second paragraph do not apply.

      • Re-posted from above:

        [Re-r]eading the text of the bill, I see the following:
        Title 50,1541(c)(3): [the President may use the military only pursuant to] a national emergency created by attack upon the United States, its territories or possessions, or its armed forces.

        And with that, I have to withdraw my former comments as incorrect.

        Revising….

        There is nothing illegal here.

        Immoral? Yes.

        Illegal? No. Yes.

        • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

          See, we found something we agree on!

          🙂

          • My friend (a hardcore conservative) is telling me that there’s some other way that this is legal and is attempting to dig up the source. My revised opinion is pending review of the results of what he digs up. Something from Mark Levin..

            Stay tuned.

            • Mathius,

              He will probably pull a comment where abiding by treaty overrules US law.

              • Well, does it?

              • Mathius,

                According to the Constitution, yes.

                However, if abuse and perversion of a treaty does not justify obedience to it.

              • The law doesn’t make a distinction of “abuse.” If abused, Congress should void the treaty. Unless and until they do so, the treaty remains the law of the land.

                So the next question is: If a treaty is superior to federal law, does the UN treaty authorize US military force?

              • Mathius,

                In fact, it is the duty to refuse abuse and perversion, not a tool to use such perversion to your advantage.

                Disregarding this, the UN orders a no-fly zone. Bombing supply dumps, tanks, troops, HQ, Gaddafi quarters, etc. is not enforcing a no-fly zone.

  47. PeterB in Indianapolis says:

    I believe that this is just another shining example of the President actually believing that “international law” trumps US Law.

    There was no approval from Congress
    There was no imminent threat to the US, its territories, or its troops.

    OH BUT WAIT

    There was a UN Resolution calling for a no-fly zone!

    WELL I GUESS THAT MAKES EVERYTHING OK THEN!!!

    NOT!

    • Peter,

      Indeed.

      The UN, wholly disregarding its own principles, has incited war upon a sovereign nation – paradoxically using Chapter VII to incite other nations to commit atrocities that Chapter VII was written to prevent.

      Reference:
      1. The Organization is based on the principle of the sovereign equality of all its Members.
      ….
      4. All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations
      ….
      7. Nothing contained in the present Charter shall authorize the United Nations to intervene in matters which are essentially within the domestic jurisdiction of any state or shall require the Members to submit such matters to settlement under the present Charter; but this principle shall not prejudice the application of enforcement measures under Chapter Vll.

      « Previous | Next »

    • Do we know if Congress has authorized the president to use the military pursuant to a UN resolution? If so, that would fall under subsection (c)(2): “specific statutory authorization, or “

      • Mathius,

        For Congress authorization, a vote must be taken and recorded.

        Nothing as such has happened.

        • The question is this: When Congress approved the treaty to join the UN, did they confer upon the US the authority to authorize the President to commit troops?

  48. I think it was/is wrong for us to be waging war on Libya.

    I think it is legal for the president to act as he has, and that it will remain legal until the SCOTUS rules it illegal.

    I think the strongest argument the president can make to justify his action is foreign relations, that several close allies asked us to assist them in this military and diplomatic situation, meaning they want to share the blame with the US.

    I think Obama will justify it based on the Monroe Doctrine.
    (Illusion, you idiot! That only applies to the Americas. Libya is on a different continent!)
    I know that, someone needs to tell Obama, the Constitutional scholar.

    http://www.justice.gov/olc/warpowers925.htm

    • LOI,

      I think it is legal for the president to act as he has, and that it will remain legal until the SCOTUS rules it illegal.

      I completely disagree here on both points.

      (1) He is not required to act by Treaty. He cannot avail himself of such an excuse.

      (2) He has NO authority to commit US forces without Congress approval except in self-defense or threat. No such situation existed.

      (3) The Court is NOT the arbitrator of breaches of the Constitution nor of “legality” – all branches hold such power, including the President himself.

  49. Mathius
    Here:

    This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstandin

    • Great, so what’s the answer to the followup question? Does the UN treaty authorize the president to commit troops?

  50. Mathius,

    Here:
    “The Security Council,

    Recalling its resolution 1970 (2011) of 26 February 2011,

    Deploring the failure of the Libyan authorities to comply with resolution 1970 (2011),

    Expressing grave concern at the deteriorating situation, the escalation of violence, and the heavy civilian casualties,

    Reiterating the responsibility of the Libyan authorities to protect the Libyan population and reaffirming that parties to armed conflicts bear the primary responsibility to take all feasible steps to ensure the protection of civilians,

    Condemning the gross and systematic violation of human rights, including arbitrary detentions, enforced disappearances, torture and summary executions,

    Further condemning acts of violence and intimidation committed by the Libyan authorities against journalists, media professionals and associated personnel and urging these authorities to comply with their obligations under international humanitarian law as outlined in resolution 1738 (2006),

    Considering that the widespread and systematic attacks currently taking place in the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya against the civilian population may amount to crimes against humanity,

    Recalling paragraph 26 of resolution 1970 (2011) in which the Council expressed its readiness to consider taking additional appropriate measures, as necessary, to facilitate and support the return of humanitarian agencies and make available humanitarian and related assistance in the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya,

    Expressing its determination to ensure the protection of civilians and civilian populated areas and the rapid and unimpeded passage of humanitarian assistance and the safety of humanitarian personnel,

    Recalling the condemnation by the League of Arab States, the African Union and the Secretary-General of the Organization of the Islamic Conference of the serious violations of human rights and international humanitarian law that have been and are being committed in the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya,

    Taking note of the final communiqué of the Organization of the Islamic Conference of 8 March 2011, and the communiqué of the Peace and Security Council of the African Union of 10 March 2011 which established an ad hoc High-Level Committee on Libya,

    Taking note also of the decision of the Council of the League of Arab States of 12 March 2011 to call for the imposition of a no-fly zone on Libyan military aviation, and to establish safe areas in places exposed to shelling as a precautionary measure that allows the protection of the Libyan people and foreign nationals residing in the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya,

    Taking note further of the Secretary-General’s call on 16 March 2011 for an immediate ceasefire,

    Recalling its decision to refer the situation in the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya since 15 February 2011 to the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, and stressing that those responsible for or complicit in attacks targeting the civilian population, including aerial and naval attacks, must be held to account,

    Reiterating its concern at the plight of refugees and foreign workers forced to flee the violence in the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, welcoming the response of neighbouring States, in particular Tunisia and Egypt, to address the needs of those refugees and foreign workers, and calling on the international community to support those efforts,

    Deploring the continuing use of mercenaries by the Libyan authorities,

    “Considering that the establishment of a ban on all flights in the airspace of the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya constitutes an important element for the protection of civilians as well as the safety of the delivery of humanitarian assistance and a decisive step for the cessation of hostilities in Libya,

    “Expressing concern also for the safety of foreign nationals and their rights in the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya,

    Welcoming the appointment by the Secretary General of his Special Envoy to Libya, Mr. Abdul Ilah Mohamed Al-Khatib and supporting his efforts to find a sustainable and peaceful solution to the crisis in the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya,

    Reaffirming its strong commitment to the sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity and national unity of the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya,

    Determining that the situation in the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya continues to constitute a threat to international peace and security,

    “Acting under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations,

    1. Demands the immediate establishment of a ceasefire and a complete end to violence and all attacks against, and abuses of, civilians;

    2. Stresses the need to intensify efforts to find a solution to the crisis which responds to the legitimate demands of the Libyan people and notes the decisions of the Secretary-General to send his Special Envoy to Libya and of the Peace and Security Council of the African Union to send its ad hoc High-Level Committee to Libya with the aim of facilitating dialogue to lead to the political reforms necessary to find a peaceful and sustainable solution;

    3. Demands that the Libyan authorities comply with their obligations under international law, including international humanitarian law, human rights and refugee law and take all measures to protect civilians and meet their basic needs, and to ensure the rapid and unimpeded passage of humanitarian assistance;

    Protection of civilians

    4. Authorizes Member States that have notified the Secretary-General, acting nationally or through regional organizations or arrangements, and acting in cooperation with the Secretary-General, to take all necessary measures, notwithstanding paragraph 9 of resolution 1970 (2011), to protect civilians and civilian populated areas under threat of attack in the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, including Benghazi, while excluding a foreign occupation force of any form on any part of Libyan territory, and requests the Member States concerned to inform the Secretary-General immediately of the measures they take pursuant to the authorization conferred by this paragraph which shall be immediately reported to the Security Council;

    5. Recognizes the important role of the League of Arab States in matters relating to the maintenance of international peace and security in the region, and bearing in mind Chapter VIII of the Charter of the United Nations, requests the Member States of the League of Arab States to cooperate with other Member States in the implementation of paragraph 4;
    No-fly zone

    6. Decides to establish a ban on all flights in the airspace of the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya in order to help protect civilians;

    7. Decides further that the ban imposed by paragraph 6 shall not apply to flights whose sole purpose is humanitarian, such as delivering or facilitating the delivery of assistance, including medical supplies, food, humanitarian workers and related assistance, or evacuating foreign nationals from the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, nor shall it apply to flights authorised by paragraphs 4 or 8, nor other flights which are deemed necessary by States acting under the authorization conferred in paragraph 8 to be for the benefit of the Libyan people, and that these flights shall be coordinated with any mechanism established under paragraph 8;

    8. Authorizes Member States that have notified the Secretary-General and the Secretary-General of the League of Arab States, acting nationally or through regional organizations or arrangements, to take all necessary measures to enforce compliance with the ban on flights imposed by paragraph 6 above, as necessary, and requests the States concerned in cooperation with the League of Arab States to coordinate closely with the Secretary General on the measures they are taking to implement this ban, including by establishing an appropriate mechanism for implementing the provisions of paragraphs 6 and 7 above,

    9. Calls upon all Member States, acting nationally or through regional organizations or arrangements, to provide assistance, including any necessary overflight approvals, for the purposes of implementing paragraphs 4, 6, 7 and 8 above;

    10. Requests the Member States concerned to coordinate closely with each other and the Secretary-General on the measures they are taking to implement paragraphs 4, 6, 7 and 8 above, including practical measures for the monitoring and approval of authorised humanitarian or evacuation flights;

    11. Decides that the Member States concerned shall inform the Secretary-General and the Secretary-General of the League of Arab States immediately of measures taken in exercise of the authority conferred by paragraph 8 above, including to supply a concept of operations;

    12. Requests the Secretary-General to inform the Council immediately of any actions taken by the Member States concerned in exercise of the authority conferred by paragraph 8 above and to report to the Council within 7 days and every month thereafter on the implementation of this resolution, including information on any violations of the flight ban imposed by paragraph 6 above;
    Enforcement of the arms embargo

    13. Decides that paragraph 11 of resolution 1970 (2011) shall be replaced by the following paragraph : “Calls upon all Member States, in particular States of the region, acting nationally or through regional organisations or arrangements, in order to ensure strict implementation of the arms embargo established by paragraphs 9 and 10 of resolution 1970 (2011), to inspect in their territory, including seaports and airports, and on the high seas, vessels and aircraft bound to or from the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, if the State concerned has information that provides reasonable grounds to believe that the cargo contains items the supply, sale, transfer or export of which is prohibited by paragraphs 9 or 10 of resolution 1970 (2011) as modified by this resolution, including the provision of armed mercenary personnel, calls upon all flag States of such vessels and aircraft to cooperate with such inspections and authorises Member States to use all measures commensurate to the specific circumstances to carry out such inspections”;

    14. Requests Member States which are taking action under paragraph 13 above on the high seas to coordinate closely with each other and the Secretary-General and further requests the States concerned to inform the Secretary-General and the Committee established pursuant to paragraph 24 of resolution 1970 (2011) (“the Committee”) immediately of measures taken in the exercise of the authority conferred by paragraph 13 above;

    15. Requires any Member State whether acting nationally or through regional organisations or arrangements, when it undertakes an inspection pursuant to paragraph 13 above, to submit promptly an initial written report to the Committee containing, in particular, explanation of the grounds for the inspection, the results of such inspection, and whether or not cooperation was provided, and, if prohibited items for transfer are found, further requires such Member States to submit to the Committee, at a later stage, a subsequent written report containing relevant details on the inspection, seizure, and disposal, and relevant details of the transfer, including a description of the items, their origin and intended destination, if this information is not in the initial report;

    16. Deplores the continuing flows of mercenaries into the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya and calls upon all Member States to comply strictly with their obligations under paragraph 9 of resolution 1970 (2011) to prevent the provision of armed mercenary personnel to the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya;
    Ban on flights

    17. Decides that all States shall deny permission to any aircraft registered in the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya or owned or operated by Libyan nationals or companies to take off from, land in or overfly their territory unless the particular flight has been approved in advance by the Committee, or in the case of an emergency landing;

    18. Decides that all States shall deny permission to any aircraft to take off from, land in or overfly their territory, if they have information that provides reasonable grounds to believe that the aircraft contains items the supply, sale, transfer, or export of which is prohibited by paragraphs 9 and 10 of resolution 1970 (2011) as modified by this resolution, including the provision of armed mercenary personnel, except in the case of an emergency landing;
    Asset freeze

    19. Decides that the asset freeze imposed by paragraph 17, 19, 20 and 21 of resolution 1970 (2011) shall apply to all funds, other financial assets and economic resources which are on their territories, which are owned or controlled, directly or indirectly, by the Libyan authorities, as designated by the Committee, or by individuals or entities acting on their behalf or at their direction, or by entities owned or controlled by them, as designated by the Committee, and decides further that all States shall ensure that any funds, financial assets or economic resources are prevented from being made available by their nationals or by any individuals or entities within their territories, to or for the benefit of the Libyan authorities, as designated by the Committee, or individuals or entities acting on their behalf or at their direction, or entities owned or controlled by them, as designated by the Committee, and directs the Committee to designate such Libyan authorities, individuals or entities within 30 days of the date of the adoption of this resolution and as appropriate thereafter;

    20. Affirms its determination to ensure that assets frozen pursuant to paragraph 17 of resolution 1970 (2011) shall, at a later stage, as soon as possible be made available to and for the benefit of the people of the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya;

    21. Decides that all States shall require their nationals, persons subject to their jurisdiction and firms incorporated in their territory or subject to their jurisdiction to exercise vigilance when doing business with entities incorporated in the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya or subject to its jurisdiction, and any individuals or entities acting on their behalf or at their direction, and entities owned or controlled by them, if the States have information that provides reasonable grounds to believe that such business could contribute to violence and use of force against civilians;
    Designations

    22. Decides that the individuals listed in Annex I shall be subject to the travel restrictions imposed in paragraphs 15 and 16 of resolution 1970 (2011), and decides further that the individuals and entities listed in Annex II shall be subject to the asset freeze imposed in paragraphs 17, 19, 20 and 21 of resolution 1970 (2011);

    23. Decides that the measures specified in paragraphs 15, 16, 17, 19, 20 and 21 of resolution 1970 (2011) shall apply also to individuals and entities determined by the Council or the Committee to have violated the provisions of resolution 1970 (2011), particularly paragraphs 9 and 10 thereof, or to have assisted others in doing so;
    Panel of Experts

    24. Requests the Secretary-General to create for an initial period of one year, in consultation with the Committee, a group of up to eight experts (“Panel of Experts”), under the direction of the Committee to carry out the following tasks:

    (a) Assist the Committee in carrying out its mandate as specified in paragraph 24 of resolution 1970 (2011) and this resolution;

    (b) Gather, examine and analyse information from States, relevant United Nations bodies, regional organisations and other interested parties regarding the implementation of the measures decided in resolution 1970 (2011) and this resolution, in particular incidents of non-compliance;

    (c) Make recommendations on actions the Council, or the Committee or State, may consider to improve implementation of the relevant measures;

    (d) Provide to the Council an interim report on its work no later than 90 days after the Panel’s appointment, and a final report to the Council no later than 30 days prior to the termination of its mandate with its findings and recommendations;

    25. Urges all States, relevant United Nations bodies and other interested parties, to cooperate fully with the Committee and the Panel of Experts, in particular by supplying any information at their disposal on the implementation of the measures decided in resolution 1970 (2011) and this resolution, in particular incidents of non-compliance;

    26. Decides that the mandate of the Committee as set out in paragraph 24 of resolution 1970 (2011) shall also apply to the measures decided in this resolution;

    27. Decides that all States, including the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, shall take the necessary measures to ensure that no claim shall lie at the instance of the Libyan authorities, or of any person or body in the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, or of any person claiming through or for the benefit of any such person or body, in connection with any contract or other transaction where its performance was affected by reason of the measures taken by the Security Council in resolution 1970 (2011), this resolution and related resolutions;

    28. Reaffirms its intention to keep the actions of the Libyan authorities under continuous review and underlines its readiness to review at any time the measures imposed by this resolution and resolution 1970 (2011), including by strengthening, suspending or lifting those measures, as appropriate, based on compliance by the Libyan authorities with this resolution and resolution 1970 (2011);

    29. Decides to remain actively seized of the matter.”

    • Mathius,

      So, let’s review the Resolution above:

      First, it is NOT a Resolution demanding UN members to act.

      It is resolution allowing any UN member to act.

      There is no demand of action – there is no requirement to act. Example: Holland is not bombing Libya.

      If a nation attacks Libya, the UN Security Council is Ok with that.

      Thus, this is NOT an invocation of any treaty.

      Thus, the President is NOT bound TO act.

      Thus, to act, he must be authorized to act under the laws of the USA.

    • yea.. ok, so it looks like enforcing a no-fly zone and attacking the Libyan military could be construed as protecting civilians (#4). It’s flimsy, but tenable. So the resolution authorizes, internally, force.

      The last link in the chain is whether the US treaty which made us part of the UN grants the power to the UN to authorize US force, or if that power is retained by congress.

    • gmanfortruth says:

      Flagster, IMHO, this does not constitute a directive for the U.S. to use it’s miltary. It simply calls upon members to act in enforcing the UN Security Resolution. This would certainly be something the Congress should have voted on. As I’ve been reading along, it still seems claer that Obama broke the laws of our nation. What say you?

      • Gman,

        I completely agree with your assessment here.

        • gmanfortruth says:

          I think this would make for a great article on my blog. Then I’ll get the link out to as many sources as possible. Wouldn’t it be something if SUFA was partially responsible for getting an impeachment process going?

          • Texas Republican Rep. Ron Paul will be co-sponsoring an amendment announced Tuesday by Ohio Democratic Rep. Dennis Kucinich that would defund the American military intervention in Libya.

            Kucinich suggested during a Saturday conference call with anti-war Democrats that he thought impeachment could also be considered for Obama’s “unconstitutional” actions in Libya.

            Paul’s spokeswoman Rachel Mills confirmed to The Daily Caller via email that Paul shares Kucinich’s point of view on the severity of the constitutional breach. “Yes, he thinks it is an impeachable offense,” Mills wrote.

            “The President committed the U.S. to military invention without consulting Congress, in clear subversion of Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution, which gives only Congress the power to declare war,” Kucinich wrote in a Tuesday letter to colleagues.

            Paul released a video last week decrying the intervention in Libya as unconstitutional and saying that “the American people should be yelling and screaming about what the president is doing.”

            Kucinich’s amendment may be proposed during the next continuing resolution debate.

            Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2011/03/22/ron-paul-believes-libya-intervention-an-impeachable-offense/#ixzz1HSLj0ejM

            • gmanfortruth says:

              Great info! I have so much info from a short discussion here that not much more research will be needed. Thanks!

              • One of the most outspoken critics of President Barack Obama has been conservative talk show host Mark Levin. But on his Tuesday evening syndicated radio program, Levin stuck up for Obama — at least as far as his right to use U.S. military force against Muammar Gaddafi’s regime in Libya.

                The president has had his share of critics on the issue of using military force in recent days – both on the right and the left, and some have even questioned the constitutionality the intervention. However, according Levin’s interpretation of the president’s constitutional authority, a formal declaration of war from Congress is not required for him to proceed with strikes against Libya. (h/t The Right Scoop)

                “You know, some of you aren’t going to like what I have to say because I don’t believe in politicizing the Constitution,” Levin said. “I believe the Constitution is the rock of the society. All this talk about the attacks on Libya are unconstitutional because we don’t have a declaration of war – that’s ridiculous. That’s absolutely ridiculous. There are many occasions where we don’t have a declaration of war because a declaration of war would require that we use all of our might to destroy our enemy. So you can be involved in certain battles or military activities that would not require a declaration of war. You can look throughout American history to prove the point. You can actually look at the conduct of the Founders when they were in government, soon after the establishment of our government. Just be very careful about your arguments and think them through for a principled point of view. Don’t listen to Ron Paul and Dennis Kucinich, unless you want to be entertained. Stick with the Constitution.”

                Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2011/03/23/mark-levin-defends-constitutionality-of-obamas-libya-policy-dont-listen-to-ron-paul-and-dennis-kucinich/#ixzz1HSSnzYsa

            • Mathius,

              Responsibility to Protect – is not a responsibility upon anyone or government.

              The Constitution of the US does not say “in self-defense of anyone who maybe needing it”

              One cannot responsibly protect while not being subject to the consequences of either the lack of protection or the consequences of imposing.

              In other words, how do you know you are helping the good guys or the bad guys, unless you are one of those guys?

              It is a thoughtful doctrine, but terribly flawed if applied by outside parties.

              • Arg!

                I’ve been pounding Mathius into a pulp all day, it was merely automatic to continue!

                Sorry, the above was for LOI, not Mathius.

              • Flag,

                It’s just a link to an article, not my thoughts. I said above:
                I think it was/is wrong for us to be waging war on Libya.

                I think it is legal for the president to act as he has, and that it will remain legal until the SCOTUS rules it illegal.

                I think the strongest argument the president can make to justify his action is foreign relations, that several close allies asked us to assist them in this military and diplomatic situation, meaning they want to share the blame with the US.

                I think Obama will justify it based on the Monroe Doctrine.
                (Illusion, you idiot! That only applies to the Americas. Libya is on a different continent!)
                I know that, someone needs to tell Obama, the Constitutional scholar.

                There is a link above with good information.

                PS, thanks for the proofread. I am pretty pleased that so far, no one has found fault with my conclusion on SmartGrid.

                And beer30. Good luck pounding Matt!

  51. gmanfortruth says:

    With much speed, let’s demand impeachment!

    http://gmanfortruth.wordpress.com/2011/03/23/impeach-obama-no-way/

  52. TexasChem says:

    Not intending to hijack the thread but I thought some of you would be interested in this lil’ tidbit of info…

    Unreported Soros Event Aims to Remake Entire Global Economy

    Left-wing billionaire’s own experts dominate quiet push for ‘a grand bargain that rearranges the entire financial order.’
    By Dan GainorWednesday, March 23, 2011 4:48 PM EDT

    Two years ago, George Soros said he wanted to reorganize the entire global economic system. In two short weeks, he is going to start – and no one seems to have noticed.

    On April 8, a group he’s funded with $50 million is holding a major economic conference and Soros’s goal for such an event is to “establish new international rules” and “reform the currency system.” It’s all according to a plan laid out in a Nov. 4, 2009, Soros op-ed calling for “a grand bargain that rearranges the entire financial order.”

    The event is bringing together “more than 200 academic, business and government policy thought leaders’ to repeat the famed 1944 Bretton Woods gathering that helped create the World Bank and International Monetary Fund. Soros wants a new ‘multilateral system,” or an economic system where America isn’t so dominant.

    More than two-thirds of the slated speakers have direct ties to Soros. The billionaire who thinks “the main enemy of the open society, I believe, is no longer the communist but the capitalist threat” is taking no chances.

    Thus far, this global gathering has generated less publicity than a spelling bee. And that’s with at least four journalists on the speakers list, including a managing editor for the Financial Times and editors for both Reuters and The Times. Given Soros’s warnings of what might happen without an agreement, this should be a big deal. But it’s not.

    What is a big deal is that Soros is doing exactly what he wanted to do. His 2009 commentary pushed for “a new Bretton Woods conference, like the one that established the post-WWII international financial architecture.” And he had already set the wheels in motion.

    Just a week before that op-ed was published, Soros had founded the New York City-based Institute for New Economic Thinking (INET), the group hosting the conference set at the Mount Washington Resort, the very same hotel that hosted the first gathering. The most recent INET conference was held at Central European University, in Budapest. CEU received $206 million from Soros in 2005 and has $880 million in its endowment now, according to The Chronicle of Higher Education.

    This, too, is a gathering of Soros supporters. INET is bringing together prominent people like former U.K. Prime Minister Gordon Brown, former Fed Chairman Paul Volcker and Soros, to produce “a lot of high-quality, breakthrough thinking.”

    While INET claims more than 200 will attend, only 79 speakers are listed on its site – and it already looks like a Soros convention. Twenty-two are on Soros-funded INET’s board and three more are INET grantees. Nineteen are listed as contributors for another Soros operation – Project Syndicate, which calls itself “the world’s pre-eminent source of original op-ed commentaries” reaching “456 leading newspapers in 150 countries.” It’s financed by Soros’s Open Society Institute. That’s just the beginning.

    The speakers include:

    •Volcker is chairman of President Obama’s Economic Advisory Board. He wrote the forward for Soros’s best-known book, ‘The Alchemy of Finance’ and praised Soros as “an enormously successful speculator” who wrote “with insight and passion” about the problems of globalization.
    •Economist Jeffrey Sachs, director of The Earth Institute and longtime recipient of Soros charity cash. Sachs received $50 million from Soros for the U.N. Millennium Project, which he also directs. Sachs is world-renown for his liberal economics. In 2009, for example, he complained about low U.S. taxes, saying the “U.S. will have to raise taxes in order to pay for new spending initiatives, especially in the areas of sustainable energy, climate change, education, and relief for the poor.”
    •Soros friend Joseph E. Stiglitz, a former senior vice president and chief economist for the World Bank and Nobel Prize winner in Economics. Stiglitz shares similar views to Soros and has criticized free-market economists whom he calls “free market fundamentalists.” Naturally, he’s on the INET board and is a contributor to Project Syndicate.
    •INET Executive Director Rob Johnson, a former managing director at Soros Fund Management, who is on the Board of Directors for the Soros-funded Economic Policy Institute. Johnson has complained that government intervention in the fiscal crisis hasn’t been enough and wanted “restructuring,” including asking “for letters of resignation from the top executives of all the major banks.”

    Have no doubt about it: This is a Soros event from top to bottom. Even Soros admits his ties to INET are a problem, saying, “there is a conflict there which I fully recognize.” He claims he stays out of operations. That’s impossible. The whole event is his operation.

    INET isn’t subtle about its aims for the conference. Johnson interviewed fellow INET board member Robert Skidelsky about “The Need for a New Bretton Woods” in a recent video. The introductory slide to the video is subtitled: “How currency issues and tension between the US and China are renewing calls for a global financial overhaul.” Skidelsky called for a new agreement and said in the video that the conflict between the United States and China was “at the center of any monetary deal that may be struck, that needs to be struck.”

    Soros described in the 2009 op-ed that U.S.-China conflict as “another stark choice between two fundamentally different forms of organization: international capitalism and state capitalism.” He concluded that “a new multilateral system based on sounder principles must be invented.” As he explained it in 2010, “we need a global sheriff.”

    In the 2000 version of his book “Open Society: Reforming Global Capitalism,” Soros wrote how the Bretton Woods institutions “failed spectacularly” during the economic crisis of the late 1990s. When he called for a new Bretton Woods in 2009, he wanted it to “reconstitute the International Monetary Fund,” and while he’s at it, restructure the United Nations, too, boosting China and other countries at our expense.

    “Reorganizing the world order will need to extend beyond the financial system and involve the United Nations, especially membership of the Security Council,’ he wrote. ‘That process needs to be initiated by the US, but China and other developing countries ought to participate as equals.”

    Soros emphasized that point, that this needs to be a global solution, making America one among many. “The rising powers must be present at the creation of this new system in order to ensure that they will be active supporters.”

    And that’s exactly the kind of event INET is delivering, with the event website emphasizing “today’s reconstruction must engage the larger European Union, as well as the emerging economies of Eastern Europe, Latin America, and Asia.” China figures prominently, including a senior economist for the World Bank in Beijing, the director of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, the chief adviser for the China Banking Regulatory Commission and the Director of the Center on U.S.-China Relations.

    This is all easy to do when you have the reach of George Soros who funds more than 1,200 organizations. Except, any one of those 1,200 would shout such an event from the highest mountain. Groups like MoveOn.org or the Center for American Progress didn’t make their names being quiet. The same holds true globally, where Soros has given more than $7 billion to Open Society Foundations – including many media-savvy organizations just a phone call away. Why hasn’t the Soros network spread the word?

    Especially since Soros warns, all this needs to happen because “the alternative is frightening.” The Bush-hating billionaire says America is scary “because a declining superpower losing both political and economic dominance but still preserving military supremacy is a dangerous mix.”

    The Soros empire is silent about this new Bretton Woods conference because it isn’t just designed to change global economic rules. It also is designed to put America in its place – part of a multilateral world the way Soros wants it. He wrote that the U.S. “could lead a cooperative effort to involve both the developed and the developing world, thereby reestablishing American leadership in an acceptable form.”

    That’s what this conference is all about – changing the global economy and the United States to make them “acceptable” to George Soros.

    – Iris Somberg contributed to this commentary

    Dan Gainor is the Boone Pickens Fellow and the Media Research Center’s Vice President for Business and Culture. His column appears each week on The Fox Forum. He can also be contacted on FaceBook and Twitter as dangainor.

  53. Jon,

    I am not arguing against that in any way.

    And I beg your grace to use you as a bounce board to highlight my series of articles on SUFA.

    As with my first post – the immorality of Socialism – the immorality to use theft to distribute wealth – is a focus on a moral center – a moral philosophy – a moral principle on which to build a stable, prosperous society.

    To expose the insidious lies – such as “government subsidy” – how such a thing destroys both the consumer and the seller – how the lie tells the supplier “there are customers willing to pay your price”, but there are not – and to the consumer “this is the economic right answer – cheap!” when it is not utterly destroys the economy, which damages or destroys society

    Poor but good hearted Mathius was the burnt of this lesson – but he deserved it.

    Do not lie

    Government LIES!

    Jon – no, the profit to the company is not fake. The profit to the economy is fake. Do not confuse macro-economics

    We are more aligned then not, but do not make a mistake here.

    There are not “two” economics.

    There is economics

    Do not make the mistake of applying subjective win or loss based on personal value judgments as a replacement for economic theory.

    A murderous thief is a grand winner – his violence makes him wealthy – his economic choices are a massive destroyer – should his system become even moderately repeated, society will collapse.

    . The market is amoral, it has no specific loyalties.

    Au contraire, my good fellow.

    The market is loyal to TRUTH.

    When the market confronts LIES, it corrects – and at times, should the LIE be long, deep and systemic, it will correct VIOLENTLY.

    Jon – I am not talking about the economy, I am talking about the decisions of a specific company

    But we are talking about economics.

    Point: you are a bank robber. I do not judge your “profit and loss” as an economist on your success or failure of your theft. Certainly, you stealing a million bucks is incredibly good for you. But it is incredibly destructive to society

    I judge your economic construction or destruction based on your action — are you a earner or are you athief

    Do you gain profit by lies or by truth?

    The difference is whether society fails or thrives!

  54. Jon
    Part Two:

    overall effect on the economy as a whole fall on deaf ears.

    Ah, excellent insight.

    Yes, lies have power, possibly even more power than the truth in the short term, which is why they still remain as a tool 10,000 years into pre-civilization (where we are today) to manipulate the innocent.

    But you understand why I “spew” the overwhelming retort against such lies.

    It is not because they are weak and irrelevant. If that is what they were, who would worry or concern?

    It is because lies are powerful and easily seized by those too lazy, too busy or too careless.

    To enact change, and better this world, those that can see through such lies must stand against them

    It is OUR CONFRONTATION that shines the light of truth – that causes the People to stop and ponder.

    No lie can pass, no matter how minor.

    The future depends on such guardianship.

    Jon – No, it might be a lie, but it still exists. The bankruptcy of the producer may not happen unless the government goes bankrupt as well. A lie such as this could last for decades, the producers who originally profitted
    might retire and pass their fortunes to two generations before the lie collapses the industry.

    I had a lunch with a good friend who muddled around this very aspect.

    Please understand this truth:
    Economics is NOT time dependent

    If -again- my relentless pounding on Mathius did not highlight this –

    – there exists no “real” time axis in economics.

    Now, frankly, this is an Austrian view point…. which is why you will rarely, if ever, see funky graphs and formulates describing Austrian economic theory.

    You will hear (as you hear from me) funny words as “eventually” or “ultimately”, etc.

    Example to the point:
    Eating your seed corn.

    Yes, your belly is full today. It feels good -now-. You are happy -now-.

    Austrian economist will say – “You are a dead man filling with your belly”.

    (Austrian) Economic theory is not based on short term subjective valuations.

    It proclaims time independent consequences.

    When posters ask: “When will this reckoning happen?”, you know my answer: “Eventually”.

    Yes, it is incredibly difficult to hold this view.

    As I posted in the past, I warned everyone I loved – friends and family – to be very wary of the real estate bubble….

    … and 8 or 9 years later after my warning, they steadly laughed at me – them raking in the six digits of profit -while I …was poor ….

    …and then a few months later, they were crushed…. as I foretold. Suddenly I was not poor but highly liquid. They were worse then poor – bankrupt.

    Economics theory -at least as practice by me- has no time axis.

    Yes, it appear to make me to be a fool at times; eventually it always seems to prove me a prophet.

    Cost of production is whatever it cost to make the thing.
    Inventing the thing does not count here – it is gone – the concept of “sunk”.

    Jon – Here we disagree. Perhaps “cost of production” is the wrong term, but capital was expended in development.

    I care not what you phrase it. It is money that is “gone”.

    In USWep’s reading list I posted one of the most fundamental books that changed my life and made me rich

    The Goal: A Process of Ongoing Improvement
    by Eliyahu M. Goldratt

    I urge – more than urge – if I could reach into your brain and force this down your throat – urge you to read this book and all its companion texts.

    To understand the differnce between investment and sunk cost.

    Between costs of production and allocation of profit.

    ..etc. etc. etc.

    If you are young and want to step out on your own, you must read these books.

    For few bucks, the ROI is unimaginable.

    • I will read it.

      I did not really think we were very far apart. In fact, what I was sort of looking for was the explaination of the time factor of economics. Opponents of free market economics point to individual injustices, often not righted within lifetimes or even generations. It is possible to do all the right stuff without success, and it is possible to profit from lies and not be personally caught.

      It is difficult for people to see past the scope of their own life or their own generation. It is difficult to view the picture large enough and objectively enough to overlook the minor discrepencies in the process of seeking the best path, the best philosophy. It is not impossible, but you may have to point out what your “zoom level” is. If you explain directions to a location to someone using a map of the US and someone is looking at a map of their hometown, you will sound absurd. I know it gets old, but you often have to make sure you are on the same page with those you are trying to debate or instruct.

      • Jon,

        This is probably why I do so well in Poker.

        Poker is a game where success is measured over a life time and not on a particular table or particular hand. To be successful, you have to overcome the ups and downs of specific outcomes – because often the worse players do win, and the better players do lose in the short term.

        But as one pro said: “You may have $10,000 of my dollars right now, but by the end of the month, I have your house”.

        Same with economics.

        You are very correct to say that often the efforts of good men do not bear fruit in their lifetimes. Often the efforts of evil appears successful and profitable.

        But over a longer view, good men’s efforts does prosper – evil eventually is overcome – and mankind thrives.

        This is precisely why living with principles is so vitally important – why doing the “right thing” all the time, no matter, is vitally important. Though in the short term, or even in your lifetime, it may not be profitable – in the long term it is vital to the success of your family, your community, nation and humanity.

        This is why building the foundations of society also must rest on moral principles, for if we merely measure the short term profits of evil, we will ultimately destroy the society of our children.

  55. “Smart grid
    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    A smart grid delivers electricity from suppliers to consumers using digital technology with two-way communications to control appliances at consumers’ homes to save energy, reduce cost and increase reliability and transparency. It overlays the electrical grid with an information and net metering system.”

    HELL NO! That just ain’t smart, that is government controlling everything you do, watch, eat, or listen to.

    Somebody needs to start a letter writing/e-mail writing/telephone calling/texting campaign to every single House and Senate member until they drown and kill this idea for all eternity!

  56. As America’s NATO allies shoulder a greater share of the air war in Libya, the Arab countries that urged the U.N. Security Council to impose a no-fly zone are missing from the action.

    Gee…..isn’t THAT a surprise….and those same Arab Nations will now condemn us. And the left is silent.

  57. Government Ironically-Named ‘Smart Meters’ Prove to Be a Dumb Idea

    * Posted on March 26, 2011 at 7:37pm by Mike

    Headaches, insomnia, tinnitus, DNA breakdown. . . These are just a few of the myriad problems mentioned when people talk about the constant bombardment of EMFs or electromagnetic frequencies, a huge by-product of the new Smart Meters being installed by public utilities around the country.

    But wait! We have been told that the Smart Grid, with it’s Smart Meters would be a good thing for all of us. Now we find out that this scheme poses very real dangers to human health?

    Information on the effect of installing millions of Smart Meters, all equipped with wireless transmitters that are constantly filling the environment with EMFs, is just starting to trickle in. An electrical engineer named Rob States has been looking into this problem:

    “Since individuals with no history of RF disease are experiencing symptoms the first day the meter is installed, we can assume the meter’s RF emissions are not the only problem. The RF network is activated months after initial meter installation. Extensive measurements have demonstrated that all of the meters measured so far, including ABB, GE, and Landis Gyr, emit noise on the customer’s electric wiring in the form of high frequency voltage spikes, typically with an amplitude of 2 volts, but a frequency any ware from 4,000 Hertz, up to 60,000 Hz. The actual frequency of the phenomena is influenced by the devices that are plugged into the customer’s power. Some houses are much worse than others, and this observation has been confirmed by PG&E installers that have talked to us.”

    Rob’s comments come from an online article posted by Stop Smart Meters.

    Thanks to the work of people like Stop Smart Meters, communities are waking up to the problem. Especially in California.

    Generally speaking, people in California seem to accept new government programs with open arms, especially anything with the words ‘green’ or ‘smart’ attached to it. So Smart Meters seemed to be a no-brainer as they promised to make the planet greener and who doesn’t want a smart electrical meter?

    You should know that the so-called Smart Meters are the typical energy monitoring devices with a little extra bonus added. It is a wireless transmitter (think cell phone) that is constantly sending the power company updates on your electrical use. The meters are now bombarding the environment with EMFs, all day, every day. That electronic carpet-bombing of your home, apartment complex, subdivision is being blamed for health problems in people who are ‘electrically hypersensitive.’ (a real term)

    The argument that Smart Meters will lower energy consumption has also been debunked. Reuters published a piece showing no real long-term savings in homes with Smart Meters vs the old meters.

    “Participants who kept the monitor (…) did not manage to sustain their electricity savings any better than those without a monitor.”

    “A second finding is that certain groups of people seem more receptive to energy-saving interventions than others. A ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach for home energy monitors cannot be justified.”

    No real savings, potential health problems. . . so why the rush to install these so called Smart Meters in 200 million homes?

    Some skeptics claim the new meters will allow government access to more information and control over individuals. From our new friends at StopSmartMeters.org:

    Do you value civil liberties and the right to privacy? When a ‘smart’ meter is installed, your utility has access to a treasure trove of information about you- when you wake up in the morning, when you go on vacation, what kinds of appliances you are using, etc. They will be able to sell this information to a series of corporations and the government.

    YES, the words ‘Big Brother’ definitely come to mind here.

    Oddly enough, California may be leading the charge against Smart Meters. There are almost 30 local governments formally opposing the installation of the Smart Meters. Two weeks ago the tide started turning:

    The anti-Smart Meter people actually scored a victory of sorts against this governmental invasion as news broke yesterday that PG&E offered an ‘opt-out’ program, but it is going to cost you. Early estimates say that choosing the old meter will cost an additional $14-$20 per month, plus a ‘set-up’ fee.

    Let’s review what we know about Smart Meters:

    European studies have shown no significant energy savings.

    Great potential exists for serious and wide-spread health problems caused by constant bombardment of EMFs.

    Loss of personal freedom to consume energy as you see fit is inherent in this kind of metering.

    Government now has access to even more information about how you live, with the potential to interfere in your life via control of power.

    And, if you choose NOT to have a Smart Meter, you will pay a ‘tax’ for the right to retain your privacy and freedom of choice.

    Any questions?

    http://www.theblaze.com/stories/ironically-named-smart-meters-prove-to-be-a-dumb-idea/

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