Sunday, May 28, 2017

Unfunded Pensions, My Sweet Bippy!

Hey homeowner you have an unfunded liability of 200k, you had best amass 200k in capital to offset that immediately (oh wait, your house is the capital in the same way that your business's value is the capital for the USPS and future taxes are the capital for state pension funds)

The nationwide attacks on public pension plans are happening because Wall Street banks and brokerages want to convert the $3 trillion nationwide in public pension plan assets into 401(k) accounts from which banks and other investment firms could earn billions of easy dollars in various “management fees” on the accounts.

The tactic Wall Street is using to get its hands on pension plan money is something called an “unfunded liability.” Only actuarial accountants really know what an “unfunded liability” is, but the clear impression that Wall Street and its media minions give to taxpayers is that it’s a huge amount of current debt that taxpayers owe to the pension plans. But it isn’t.

Take California, for example, the state with the largest public pension plans, the California Public Employee Retirement System (CalPERS) and the California State Teachers Retirement System (CalSTRS). Wall Street’s media minions are trying to scare California taxpayers by claiming that the state is currently in debt some $270 billion in “unfunded liability” to its public employee pension plans...but what is an “unfunded liability” anyway? One thing it is NOT is that it’s not a current debt.

To find out what a so-called “unfunded liability” actually is, we begin by looking at California’s current state budget: The 2016-2017 state spending budget is $171 billion. Of that, $4.8 billion, which is only 3% of the state’s $171 billion budget, goes to meet the “unfunded liability” difference between what CalPERS gets from active employee payroll deductions and interest on investments to pay out to retirees; the state contribution to meet the CalSTRS “unfunded liability” is $2.5 billion, which is only 1.5% of the budget. So, altogether the retirement plans’ cost is only 4.5% of the state budget. That less than 5 cents of the budget dollar, and that’s right in line with the non-political Boston College Center for Retirement Research report that the national average state annual contribution to public employee pension plans is only about 5% of the typical state budget.

Five cents on the dollar each year is not going to bankrupt California...or any state.

So, just how is an “unfunded liability” calculated? Well, in simple terms that a non-accountant can understand, you take your state’s current year contribution to the pension plan, then increase it for inflation and other factors each year for the next 30 years, then add up the sum of all those 30 years of 5-cents-on-the-dollar contributions, and the resulting sum is the “unfunded liability.” The sum of those 30 years is a large amount, which is great for scaring taxpayers who are led to think it’s a huge amount of debt they’re in right now instead of being merely the sum of 30 years of small future payments. It’s not a current huge debt.

Moreover, if you apply the same actuarial projection to your state’s budget for the next 30 years, you find that each year’s budget increases in line with the annual pension plan contribution increase, so that the annual cost remains right around 5 cents of the budget dollar for each of those coming 30 years.

And there’s something else you should know: Most of the “unfunded liability” amounts in these made-for-the-media scary headlines can be reduced by as much as 75% simply by changing the accounting method used to calculate the “unfunded liability.” Wall Street uses a method known as the “Historical Return” method for marketing stocks to investors, and that’s also the standard method that should be used for assessing pension fund stock assets --- but the scary “unfunded liability” figures that show up in headlines are typically created using an accounting method known as the “Riskless Rate” method. You can slash those scary headline “unfunded liability” figures by 75% just by using the standard Historical Return accounting method. Poof! Three-fourths of the “unfunded liability” gone, just as it was created by the magic of a non-standard accounting method for the purpose of scaring voters.

Moreover, the “Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB --- pronounced “Gasbee”) that oversees which methods are used to calculate an unfunded liability sounds like some federal government agency. But it isn’t: GASB a private organization operated by state and local governments --- governments which these days want to get rid of public pensions, so GASB is biased against public pensions.

Now, that you know what an “unfunded liability” is, let your lawmakers know that you know what an “unfunded liability” is and that they should keep your fixed-benefit retirement plans and not switch to Wall-Street-friendly and retiree-unfriendly 401(k) plans whose benefits aren’t fixed and reliable because they go up and down with the stock market.

Something else you should know and let lawmakers know that you know: Those small annual state contributions to our public employee pension plans are actually the best investment that your state makes: In our example state of California, even the anti-public pension Los Angeles Times reported that the California Public Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS) brought $12 billion into the California economy and generated a collateral $26 billion in economic activity while supporting over 93,000 jobs.

CalSTRS makes a similar large positive contribution to California’s economy and is estimated to generate about $10 billion in economic activity and support more than 60,000 jobs with state and local governments reaping over $600,000,000 in annual revenues from the economic activity generated by consumers spending their CalSTRS benefit income.

That’s a combined economic contribution to the state of $36 billion. Not bad for the state’s investment of $7.5 billion in the pension plans; in fact, that’s a return of about 500%.

The dirty little secret that taxpayers aren’t told is that if the states cut public pensions, tens of thousands of private sector jobs will be lost and taxpayers will see their taxes raised to make up for the $36 billion in lost economic activity. Former Rockefeller Foundation head Peter Goldmark has warned that cutting off public employee pension plans is for states “the economic equivalent of having a stroke.”

Monday, May 15, 2017

Drumpski and a Pre-Emptive Nuke Strike. How It Gets Done

So the President can hire and fire whoever he wants, according to Nicki Haley. That does not bother me too much. BUT

Can the President launch a pre-emptive nuke strike without consulting anyone, "because then it would not be a secret?"

This worries me a lot. I think Congress needs to pass a law that says doing so would be an automatic impeachment and removal from office, just to give him a heads up.
Otherwise the S.O.B. may do just that. Because nobody on June 21, 1788, wrote it in that he couldn't.
if the other half of the nuke codes are in the hands of the Secretary of Defense, then I would not put it past Trump to appoint a "Yes" man to that post.

The Cabinet of the United States is an executive organ of the U.S. Government that normally acts as an advisory body to the President of the United States. It is composed of the most senior appointed officers of the executive branch of the U.S. Government serving under the President. Among those are the Vice President and the heads of the federal executive departments, all of whom are by federal law (3 U.S.C. § 19) in the line of succession to the President and have duties under the 25th Amendment to the Constitution. Members of the Cabinet (except for the Vice President) serve at the pleasure of the President, who can dismiss them at will for no cause.

July 29th through Sept 2, Senate not in session. President can fill vacancies at will.

He(the President) shall have the Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two-thirds of the Senators present concur; and he shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, Judges of the supreme Court, and all other Officers of the United States, whose Appointments are not herein otherwise provided for, and which shall be established by Law: but the Congress may by Law vest the Appointment of such inferior Officers as they think proper, in the President alone, in the Courts of Law, or in the Heads of Departments.

The President shall have Power to fill up all Vacancies that may happen during the Recess of the Senate, by granting Commissions which shall expire at the End of their next Session."

Sunday, May 14, 2017

How to Avoid Gerrymandering the Congressional Districts.

With every census should also come computer programs from all 50 states. Made by computer science students at the universities and entered into a contest in each state, and the top 20 are then voted on by the people. Top vote getter, wins, even in cases of a near tie. Each program would use algorithms designed to make districts that would be somewhat geographically compact and simultaneously socio-economicaly and ethnically diverse.

The governors of all 50 states then meet and each one draws a program out of a fishbowl, and the program cannot come from his state.

This will result in much greater opportunity to kick the rascals out, and avoid the evils of gerrymandering.

It would also prevent politicians from saying, I've got 51% rednecks so I will vote 100% their programs, because in the next census shakeup, their nominal district might only be 45% rednecks.
In short a moderating influence on the actions of politicians.

It might even work out that some precincts might be added from one district to another contiguous district instead, to get a good spread of the state's population for each representative in Congress.  In California for example, some of Hillsborough might be added to Hunters Point, and some of Atherton to East Palo Alto,
 

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Blood Alley Solution



Blood Alley Solution
Summary.
This solution consists of: Plate detection and speed calculations, and alerts going out to cell phones in given stretches of roadway, of high speed traffic coming from the rear.
 Information available to citizens (no plate info for citizens, just warning of incoming high speed or safety vehicle) and CHP, on a real time basis.  Again. this information could be coupled with alerts to pull over for emergency vehicles., Can you imagine how many lives and homes might be saved, if everybody pulled over to the side en masse?

All of the technologies currently exist. Only the computer program linking them and the hardware installations would have to be done.  Ideally the hardware would be movable to different highways, to spread the costs for maximum benefits to many.

Plate reading cameras installed at key intersections.  In the case of highway 49, just after each of the major stop lights, both north and south bound.  Northbound first, if it has the higher number of crashes from speeders and erratic drivers.  Example, all cars going up the hill at Combie are plate read as they go up the hill.  The starting point would be back at the last traffic light in Auburn.  All cars going over the rise and down the hill would be read there.

The two readings are compared and alerts are sent out if necessary.  All non speeding info is disposed of within one hour, unless there is a crash and witnesses are needed. (You’d be surprised how many folks don’t want to be bothered testifying)

Obviously the CHP can’t catch them all. However, whoever has the fastest time for each of the midway points, and the grand prize winner for the fastest time to the McKnight Way exit, for each day, is now eligible for double fine and double points for any traffic infraction anywhere in California, for up to one year from winning the award.  And their insurance companies will be notified.  Only plates going 10 mph or faster over the posted limits, with all lights assumed to be green, would be included.  Oh for the day when nobody is eligible!

This issue has bothered me all my life, 40,000 dead every year, and we are supposed to be the greatest country ever, and yet we accept this? SMH!  That’s one Twin Towers every month and then some, ridiculous!

To read about this technology, and the many social implications, please read up on any of the article found with this search on Google. https://www.google.com/search?as_q=%3Bicense+plate+%28scanner+OR+reading%29+technology&as_epq=li&as_oq=&as_eq=&as_nlo=&as_nhi=&lr=&cr=&as_qdr=all&as_sitesearch=&as_occt=any&safe=images&as_filetype=&as_rights=
 

Saturday, March 04, 2017

Fake Charter Schools

Charter schools with good numbers do so by discretely eliminating the lower end of the spectrum from even enrolling. The only real way to improve grad rates and test scores is to improve the quality of the home life of all the kids. Make sure all parents have the bucks and time to provide a quality upbringing. Kids who arrive at school from dysfunctional underfinanced households, where there is not internet, mom and dad may both be absent, etc., just are not going to learn no matter how good the presentation of the racial background or age of the teacher. I speak from personal experience at Gloria R. Davis Middle School in the Hunters Point District of San Francisco.

Friday, March 03, 2017

Healthcare in a Nutshell, AKA The Old Shell Game

Healthcare is really very simple. It's really very simple. If you play poker at a casino, instead of just among friends, you and your friends will wind up with less. To make matters worse, if the house/casino can play pattie-cake with the pharmaceutical companies, you and your friends will see even more of the pot disappearing before your very eyes.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

On Religion and Today's World, a Few Thoughts......

In a recent Facebook conversation, I was accused of being a Jesus Freak, for calling out against a person, who had declared, "what's to pray for, he's dead." He was referencing the dead toddler in the sand by the seashore, this generation's napalmed naked running Vietnamese girl image. Just a photograph, my sweet bippy!


I am Not a Jesus Freak. I am a Hopeful Agnostic. The actually conditions after body decomposition are unknowable. BUT, there can be 3 possible ways to describe it. Same, Better, or Worse. (two out of three odds ain't bad, besides, wha'cha gonna do about it?) Obviously the non existence provision would fall under the category of worse, but again, you have no way of knowing (and if that turns out to be the case, you won't be there to regret it).

Here's a hypothetical. An alien super culture looks for folks who would be a good fit for them. They possess the technology to make a scan of the brains of folks who they think fit their needs. They are capable of reproducing that brain exactly, but in a much more durable form, and they do so, but not for callous folks.

Now do you get it? You cannot prove that this does not happen, and the very existence of this universe and your existence within it is totally improbable. See Douglas Addams for a refresher course on the Improbability Factor.

I hope this helps you. I have baffled many so called Jesus Freaks and evangelicals of other religions with these concepts. I have also gotten wry smiles out of hardened atheists.

Net Neutrality Soon Under Attack Again???

I notice that net neutrality may well be in the news again, as, let's face it, without the net, attacking the TrumpMonster would be a lot harder. I also notice that Zazzle and Cafe Press, two big sources for bumper stickers, have very few of them on the topic. To make matters worse, some of them are by whacked out libertarians who oppose net neutrality on the grounds that needs would be better served if only market forces were at work. 

 

The prices for one off stickers are around 4 to 6 dollars, and shipping. Go to a better quality custom printer, and good quality ones are still in the 1 to 2 dollar range at quantity 200. I thought of designing and ordering a batch of 200 or more, but it would cost me a ton of time, and in the end, lose money.

 

I do think it will be fun to design one, and send it in to Zazzle and Cafe Press, if for no other reason than to drown out the Libertarian bullshit. If enough people do it, it would send yet another statement to TrumpMonster. Plus if you order one of your creations, you can set them up in your rear window when driving. I do not recommend placing such on your car permanently, due to possible vandalism.

 

Mine will probably say: Net Neutrality vs (and on the second line, images of) TrumpMonster, Godzilla, NAZI Swastika, and something else similar, suggestions welcome. monopo0ly Money Man maybe.


In the event that Trump does do Net Censorship, will Spiral Net or some other organization locally be able to provide server services and host a vBulletin like apps which may slide under the radar, if Facebook becomes unusable?

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Guess T-Rumps Weight and Join the Sweat Off.

It's time for a contest, two of them.
Guess T-rumps weight. I say 250 lbs.
(that would be the whole thing, not just the rump.)
2nd. Who can lose more weight than Trump? Someone should set up a website. Needs to have a cute and catchy name, where folks can post their starting weight, and their progress. MakeAmericaSkinnyAgain.com
Some say he has 8 years in the Presidency. How soon will Vegas be taking odds on him kicking the bucket sooner? I do not see an
active lifestyle, except for the mouth.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

TrumpExit Countdown Clock is Ticking Wildly.

Mr. Trapezoid will be history, and soon. Health, and as soon as he makes a ton of sweeping changes that the Power Elite of the right-most branches of the RNC Puppetmasters (the true funders, not even necessarily in the RNC hierarchy in any official capacity) want, they will dispose of him one way or the other. He may even quit on his own, once he realizes he''s been had, as a useful tool by them. I think he already suspects this, he is not that stupid.  It would explain the angry behavior walking to the White House, leaving his wife behind, after being driven past all those empty bleachers.

Once he's gone, probably after at least one more Supreme Court replacement ( the replacements will not be chosen for anti-abortion, but rather for pro business (anti labor, environment, and regulations) they will then claim "we didn't do it and it is difficult to undo what Trump did. It's all his fault that the economy and the environment are all f'd up." 

Keep in mind that the uncertainty also causes wild fluctuations in the money markets, great opportunities for Wall Street to make cash on the swings.

Of course it all plays to the Grand Drama & Illusion which leaves the 99% still thinking they still are the prime movers. That illusion must stay in place, or there would be one hellova revolt, general strikes,, etc. Thanks for watching, now go make more popcorn like good little serfs.

Oh, and poor Barron Trump? Should it turn out he does have a "pre-existing condition," then folks would have the perfect illustration of the care being ultra rich can get, and the care being denied to the hoi polloi.

END Morning Rant (these views may or may not have any connection to reality)

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Solving the "Close Race" Puzzle

When there are 100 people in a room, and 49 vote one way, and 51 vote another, it should be a sign that maybe a re-presenting of the pros and cons of the issue (or candidates) would be a sane thing to do, and then a re-vote to get more consensus. The popular vote in this election was so close, 200,000 out of nearly 120,000,000, that it would qualify.

The difference is more than the population of Berkeley, CA, and double the population of Nevada County, California. If the re-vote gets similar results, then a third time, with those results counting, but only if greater than a 1% spread is accomplished.

Otherwise two out of three wins is the final result. Like overtime in football. The cost as we shift to online voting would be minimal. What is the value of a country that knows itself, without doubts, anyways?

Monday, October 10, 2016

Trump Takes a Dive for the GOP's Hidden Sponsors

There is only one logical explanation that I can see for the debacle known as the 2016 elections:
Deflection of the attention of the masses of hoi polloi (poor working poor, and what's left of the middle class) voters from who's getting really screwed as the century progresses, and by whom they are getting screwed.
The Republican sponsors have realized that it is really cool to have a Dem in the White House. They have gotten away with blaming the current problems on Obama, and saying, "if only there was a good GOP person there, then everything would be wonderful for all, all boats would rise, etc."
The problem is, of course, that they know damn well that they they have no ability whatsoever, let alone intention, to make that happen, even if they owned the House, Senate, and the Presidency.
The sponsors have learned how nice it is to let automation, communications, and transportation, concentrate their wealth and control ever tighter, while providing the hoi polloi with the total illusion that "something is being done" to fix things, and that by voting, "the hoi polloi can bring about change.'
THIS IS TOTAL BULLSHIT !
This election has been scripted to get Hillary into the White House, so we can have another 8 years of the Sponsors of the GOP, compfortably sitting behind the scenes, and tightening their noose on the American and world economies ever so much more.
The trick was to make it appear as though Trump won the nomination, even though he could have been shot to shingles from the get go. The last straw video is revealed at a perfect time to derail the GOP train, due to no fault of their own. "Gee, he said he'd start acting Presidential, so we gave him a chance. Too bad it didn't turn out that way..." "BTW, thanks for stirring up all the hatred about Hillary among poor white male non educated workers, that will deflect from what we really know is happening to the economy."
What is really going on with the economy is obvious. The more expensive it becomes to get into the manufacturing game (you need to be there to have something to sell) the fewer players who will be able to do it.
Communications and transportation getting cheaper and cheaper means that whatever human labor is needed, it can be utilized, wherever it is.
Leaping frogging automation technologies mean that there are really hardly any jobs left, that can be returned from abroad, because if mandated to make it here to sell it here, companies would take advantage of all the technological advances made since the jobs left for elsewhere.
The elephant in the room is that we have hit a point where robots are cheaper than people, and it is only going to get worse, regardless of who's in the three branches of government. Only Bernie Sanders as made even the slightest effort to consider these FACTS OF LIFE of the early 21st century.
Soon, for the jobs that have to be done on site in this country, there will be drone robots, doing them from abroad, the robot here, the brain in a human, way over there. In time those will be replaced by high artificial intelligence robots, who can work even cheaper. Roads, or at least freeways, will become occupied by automated trucks, with a few remaining truckers vying for the tricky load and unload maneuvering once the truck hits its destination
While the technology is there for automated passenger vehicles, those will not be so quickly adopted, because of the need for organ donors for the Uber-Rich.
The sooner the populace says enough is enough, let's have national strikes, until this mess is brought out into the open, the sooner the planet will have equitable and just solutions. More free birth control would help a whole lot, too.
Politics is the Distract by Entertaining Division of the Military Industrial Complex.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Binoculars for Police, to Avoid tragic Shootings Based on Incomplete Information

The shooting of the autistic person's caretaker, shows a need.  I do not know if our local law enforcement agencies make these a standard issue item, but if they don't, they should be.  In the meantime, I'm sure there are plenty of older outdated binoculars in local birders' closets that could fill in the gap.  Any excess ones could be donated to local science teachers.  I'd be happy to coordinate such an effort.
Technorati Profile http://rpc.technorati.com/rpc/ping

Let's Do the Bark Beetle Dunking Experiment

Cut trees down.  Helicopter to local lakes. Drop into water. Remove at various intervals, to see how long it takes to kill all beetles.  Remove from lake at that interval.  Harvest the wood which is said to have artsy bluish tinge, and use as interior paneling.

Stupid Google Blog Spot Just Erased Two Most Recent Posts

The headline says it all.  Posting this to test system.

Thursday, July 07, 2016

Taser in Weak Hand, Gun in strong hand, Gun Pointed DOWN!

If you are part of the thin blue line,

It is now Time, to rethink how you go about facing a citizen,

About whom, you feel, uneasy.

Since accidents happen, make sure they happen, with minimal consequences.

If the taser goes off (like way too many guns have lately) you probably will not murder someone.

If they actually make a move, your good hand with the Glock will most likely counter it, especially if they've been tasered first, with no risk to yourself.

Going for the red line, and causing flatlines, it just not acceptable.

I can't think of anything that will do a better job of recruiting home grown lone wolf ISIL's, than continuing current police procedures which seem to including drawing guns for library fines. Stop it, already.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Presidential Plans 4 When Captian HookUpTheRobots Gets Done Raping Wendy's?

T-Rump: Export all such employees to Mexico.

Hillary: It Hasn't Happened Yet, so we'll ignore the issue.

Bernie:  This is a serious problem, that deserves our full attention, NOW!

 

Friday, May 27, 2016

Friday, May 27th, Facebook Down?

I have three separate browsers on my machine.  All three can reach all of the rest of the Internet.  None can reach Facebook, 8:44 am.

Monday, May 02, 2016

A Gun Law That Works and Costs next to nothing.

You simply pass a law that says if your gun gets loose, is used to injury someone,  you did not secure it well enough (except in a case of proven armed robbery or a break-in with power tools) and you never get to own another gun for the rest of your life. That is gun control that will work, and it is damn simple.

No muss no fuss, no expense to SAFE gun owners, who will typically be gun SAFE owners. You can get biometric pistol ID lockers for under $100 on Amazon.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Hillary's Attempted Coronation by Any Means, Leads to Trump in 2017

I find it sad that Hillary, by using every dirty but legal in most cases, tricks, has now positioned Trump for the win.  From behaving as though Bernie didn't exist, to scheduling debates into Antarctic time slots, and encouraging last minute voting changes for potential Bernie voters, she has provided the Trump camp with enough ammo (as if the out of the closet racists/winner take all capitalists, didn't have enough already) to prove that she has the ethical standards of a crocodile on the hunt.

Now the Clintonistas are saying, "why don't you just fall in line and support your party's choice?"

By her tactics, and having Little Debbie Waterboarder implementing most of them, she has destroyed what could have been a fair race, and earned the total contempt of most Bernie supporters.  There is talk of massive civil disobedience and a total boycott of DNC in many Pro Bernie groups.  It didn't have to be this way.  And that Phyllis Diller laugh doesn't help either.

I'm in California, and will vote for Bernie in the Primary.  I will most likely vote for NeiI deGrasse Tyson in November for President, as I always do.  I currently view any additional cash to either democratic candidate to be a lost cause, and will now prepare to earn the cash needed to cover the needs for new medical insurance, as Obamacare is slated for destruction.  Greed seems to know no bounds by party, thanks, Hillary.

One final note:  Hillary and Bill, you have one kid, and unless you think she'll become a baby factory like Bristol, there is no need for the Clinton Foundation.  I'd say liquidate it now, and give those monies to all the people who will really need it over the next four to 8 years.  You and Bill are more than sitting on enough cash for your own needs, your only daughter is married to a hedge fund manager and just bought a 10.5 million dollar apartment.  The only thing missing is that it is not in Trump Tower.

Oh, and release the transcripts, all 45 of them.  What does 10 million dollars look like in writings? Aspiring writers want to know.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Rivendell at 2415 Warring Street in Berkeley, During the 1960's

If there are any folks out there interested in a reunion, or just getting in touch, leave a message here in the comment sections.  Polly, Vince, Cleanlinessness and Godlyness Skiffle Band members, Will Scarlet, Dan Paik, Chris Yip, Blue Sky Band, Sawacki, many more, I need to find my diary with all 70 or so folks who came through and stayed a bit.  The original leaseholder was Sarah?  Ray and the artist with the squashed frogs in the mid west, Sharon, who occupied the tool shed, roll call time.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Ami Bera Voted Yes, Ooops! Here's a Few Ideas for Him Sponsoring a Replacement Bill

The only reason I can see for Ami's vote is that the Repubbys will use a "NO" vote to slam the heck out of anyone next election cycle. I do feel it is incumbent on Congressman Bera to sponsor a bill that replaces the one passed with a more reasonable approach. Perhaps some of these novel ideas can be incorporated:

On vetting refugees: Simple psych test for males. Have them interned with a game room, war video games, standard shoot'em-ups. Then, a month or two later, introduce a game with ISIS on one side, Coalition forces on the other. Observe which side they take, over at least twenty go rounds. Observe faces as the play, (split screen, video face and game screen). Now you know which ones to send back.

If commercial aircraft were equipped with a button that instantly turned the control over it to external air force jets until the final approach, the plane could be guided into an isolated airport, and never would planes be used as missiles again. This would not stop a bomb on board, but if either pilot or co pilot could push such a button, and after that the plane stayed up at altitude, until escorts arrived to bring it on down, then the terrorist(s) on board would have no leverage over the direction of the plane, by threatening to kill hostages..

In effect, this renders aircraft less desirable targets, because they can no longer be aimed to cause massive damages on the ground. The technology for external control of the aircraft is in place and well tested, and could even land the plane, if need be..

For the truly paranoid, how about a luxury cabin, lockable from the outside, bulletproof, and an external pop-open door. All passengers get to vote one person and fellow travelers, from among themselves to go to that cabin? Self contained with toilet and First Class food, and vouchers good for 1/2 off on next flight.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

SYRCL Takes Aim at a Dam less than 25 Feet High, on a Creek.

Given the problems that are visited upon us by fossil fuels, I think it very short sighted to view all dams as artifacts of damnation.  I'd rather get the weather in balance first, and then take care of the fishes.  To the extent that hydro power can do that, let it be.  I don't see any mad dash to remove the rest of the new Rome Powerhouse.

Way up at Donner Summit, just south of Old Highway 40, lies a dam, less than 25 feet from spillway to base.   In fact it may be even less than 20 feet high, I'd have to drive up to double check it.  Note the United States survey marker next to the railway tracks, at 6,758 feet.  Note the height of the spillway, 6,769 feet






This dam has been there over 150 years.  They question its "legality."   The also question its safety.  Then they come up with "scientific proof" based on generalizations including data from all kinds of studies of these kinds of dams world wide.  They list scholarly papers, but offer no original charts to show just how similar those dams may be to this particular dam.

In point of fact, despite using the internet to post all of this, they do not offer one single LINK!

Then they go on to list data that they have gathered, above and below the dam since 2006.  They do not list the fluctuations in the lake level.  They do not list the outside air temperatures, and they offer no comparisions from earlier years of this pertinent data.  They appear to be claiming that this dam is the one and only determinent factor of downstream temperatures, and completely ignore the giant thermal mass of the granite over which this creek soon to become river flows.

This dam catches the runoff from Caste Peaks on down to the Mt. Lincoln area.  Immediately below the dam, however, a very substantial addition to the water in the South Yuba (still a creek on Topos) comes from Rattlesnake Creek and Ridge, and Signal Mountain. It is then, about two miles west of Cisco Grove, that the South Yuba shows up at river size on the maps.  See the points circled in red.





How far up do the salmon have to come to spawn?  Were salmon ever caught east of Cisco Grove?  East of Plavada ?  Or at Soda Springs itself?  Did they swim up Castle Creek?  Inquiring minds want to know.

In addition, were any volume measurements taken, of water flow, at Soda Springs, at Plavada, at Cisco Grove?  How about temperature?  How long has it been since Lake Van Norden had water coming over the spillway?  If the dam has been out of water this whole time, then the measurements would be meaningless.  The photo they used in their blog shows no water anywhere near the dam.  Salmon were welcomed up the river in the fall.  How much water has been flowing during the fall?

Another point of concern for SYRCL, is DaGuerre Point Dam.  They talk of the fish, but do not take temperatures above and below.  They also never mention the point of the dam, which is to provide irrigation water via the Stahl Ditch, to much of the croplands to the north and east of Marysville.





A final concern is how to get fish up over the Englebright dam?

I would propose a plexiglass elevator, a counter weight going down the back side of the dam, and a system of transfer for the water containing the fish to the backside.  Seems to me this could be done.

Thursday, October 08, 2015

Two Possible Solutions for Guns and Psychos.

These are long term, not overnight fixes.

Do not compare terrorist bombers to murders:

  • 9/11. Boston, McVeigh and at least one convicted accomplice.

    All of the situations listed involved at least two people or more. Unlikely to stop those. However, there have been over 100,000 murders in the USA since 9/11, most often done by single people, going it alone, and using a handgun.The amount of these can be greatly reduced by drying up the Black Market.

    This can be done two ways:

    Require that if you purchase a handgun, once a year, for five years, within a 3 month window, you go to a well protected drivethrough, put your guns in a sliding drawer, and have them compared to the information on file.

    You will do this, because when you purchase a gun, you also have to purchase a bond, at a sliding scale price from 10 to 50 percent of the cost of the gun. If you don't show up, you forfeit that bond.

    The reason for this is to reduce the number of gun flippers, who keep the Black Markets alive with cheap firepower. If you fail to do this, you will also be forbidden to buy additional guns for 5 years, and only one per year thereafter.

    Way Number Two:

    To purchase a new gun, you need three people to vouch for you, that you will not break any of the laws concerning guns. If they guess wrong, they lose one half of their next years tax refund. This may seem minor, but there is a second penalty: If they guess wrong they cannot recommend another person for 5 years.

    This requirement will show at least a minor modicum of sociability. This avoid everybody going to shrinks, and provides at least a minor check on mental stability.

    Notice that all this applies to guns new to you, and not the ones you've already got. You may be crazy as a bedbug, but you get to keep those.
  • Douglas Keachie
  • Douglas Keachie But only because apparently checking into those will reveal more psychos at once than we can possibly deal with.