When Joe Biden was Vice President under Barack, he visited Area 51 to see the space aliens for himself. This is what the meeting look liked.
The expression on the Alien's face just makes me laugh.
In the World of the High Tech Redneck, the Graybeard is the old guy who earned his gray by making all the mistakes, and tries to keep the young 'uns from repeating them. Silicon Graybeard is my term for an old hardware engineer; a circuit designer. The focus of this blog is on doing things, from radio to home machine shops and making all kinds of things, along with comments from a retired radio engineer running from tech, science or space news to economics; from firearms to world events.
When Joe Biden was Vice President under Barack, he visited Area 51 to see the space aliens for himself. This is what the meeting look liked.
Milton Friedman is the Godfather of American conservative libertarianism. He was, at a time when it was deeply unfashionable in official circles, a fierce critic of Keynesian economics. He was a leader of the second generation of libertarian economists to come out of the University of Chicago. Among the people recruited or mentored by him at the university include Thomas Sowell, Gary Becker, Robert Fogel and Robert Lucas, Jr. Friedman often used the jargon and methodology of Keynesians while rejecting their basic premises, coming to very different conclusions than his Keynesian counterparts.I know that over the years I've devoted hundreds of articles to bashing Keynesian economics as opposed to the older ideas of money being tied to a physical standard, whether the silver or gold standards that go back the hundreds of years of paper money (before that money often was only silver or gold coins), or to something more late-20th-century like a combination of commodities. Almost anything except for money created created out of thin air. I just know of no historical examples where fiat money has survived long term - the world has been off even the most perfunctory gold standard for not even 50 years and the signs of economic "mess" are everywhere. Fifty years isn't "long term." John Maynard Keynes himself once famously said, "The long run is a misleading guide to current affairs. In the long run we are all dead", as a counter to the argument that his policies would lead to destruction in the long run.
One of his groundbreaking theoretical innovations is the notion of a natural rate of unemployment. Friedman believed that when the unemployment rate was too low, inflation was the result. Using this and his unique interpretation of the Phillips Curve, Friedman predicted “stagflation” long before there was even a word for such things. Friedman likewise broke with Austrian orthodoxy in advocating for small, controlled expansions of the money supply as the proper monetary policy. This became known as “monetarism” – the theory leveraged by the Federal Reserve during the 2008 financial crisis.To be more specific, Friedman showed the Phillips Curve (which states that low unemployment tends to push wages higher, a simple example of supply and demand) was only true in the short term. I'd argue that the appearance that it's not true in the long run can be because of Friedman's belief in “small, controlled expansions of the money supply”. Simply, over long terms, that expansion of the money supply itself causes the number of dollars required for everything to go up masking any rise in wages. Also known as monetary inflation. (And anyone who thinks the Federal Reserve's expansion of the money supply after the 2008 collapse was “small and controlled” really needs some lessons in perspective).
You take a rusty piece of scrap metal, a hack saw, a file, and you get to work. After hours of cutting, grinding, and sanding spread out of a week’s worth of days, you’re left with a knife that’s probably not quite as good as one you might buy at Walmart for just less than you’d spend on a six-pack of beer. Somehow, you don’t see this is a waste of your time. Instead, you sit back and stare at your accomplishment with a sense of wonder — imagining how much better you’ll be able to do on the next one-armed with the stuff you were able to work out in your head by screwing up on this one.
And you’re proud of how you screwed up less this time than you did the time before.
Here’s to our impractical endeavors. Whether you collect kids toys from the 1960s, tie your own flies for fishing, hunt deer, tinker with cars, or bake cookies, these things are more than an opportunity for us to busy our hands along with our minds, they represent a deeper connection to the world we live in.Worth a read.
SECURE stands for “Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement”, which is pretty clever when you think about it.That deception is entirely the point. In reality, SECURE is predictably terrible - it's a massive tax bailout for another poorly funded institution Congress setup.
People want to associate their retirement with a word like ‘secure’. So even without knowing anything about the law, most people will probably have good feelings about it based solely on the name.
Pension plans in the United States are currently guaranteed by a quasi-government agency called the Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation.Debt is the answer to EVERYTHING! According to the SECURE act, whenever a pension plan runs out of funds, Congress wants them to borrow money in order to keep making payments to beneficiaries. This raises an obvious question: who would be insane enough to loan money to an insolvent pension fund? You are! Well, your exalted members of Congress have courageously volunteered you for the task, putting the American taxpayer on the hook for this potential $6 trillion liability.
The PBGC is sort of like an FDIC for pension funds… so that if a pension plan goes bust, the PBGC will step in with a bailout.
Problem is, the PBGC itself is nearly insolvent and will run out of money in 2025. And its balance sheet is trivial compared to the multi-trillion dollar pension problem.
So Congress came up with a solution: go into DEBT!
The flywheel finished dimensions are 3.750" diameter, and 1.125 thick at the hub. Like this:It came in slightly over the claimed 3-3/4", more like 3.8", so I cut it slightly oversized in diameter at 3.77, leaving some for future work. The raw piece was now just about 1.78" thick and as you can see from the drawing, the thickest portion at the hub is 1.125 or 1-1/8". I could part it off down to around 1.15 or 1.20 inch and save hours of facing off .010" thickness at a time.
Note that it says the material is either cast iron or cold rolled steel (CRS). So off I went to the metals dealers to find a piece of CRS that could yield this. Some shopping around, first at Online Metals and then on eBay, resulted in me finding that a 4" diameter by 2" long piece was going to cost about $55 with shipping. Then I stumbled across an eBay seller selling a slightly smaller piece, 3-3/4 by 1-3/4, but saying it was D2 Tool Steel. His price was $18.75, including shipping. I figured that the important part was that flywheel has a density more like steel or iron than aluminum and the alloy doesn't really matter. I took what's probably a better piece of steel for many uses at almost a third of the price as the 1018 CRS.
That triggered a flurry of superficial and derisive references in the controlled media to Shelton’s past support of a gold standard.CBS spreads the fear, uncertainty and doubt:
For example, CBS News described her as “a believer in the return to the gold standard, a money policy abandoned by the U.S. in 1971.” According to the story, “mainstream economists believe it's a fringe view.”
As the “mainstream” media portrays sound money advocates, we apparently are nostalgic for the monetary system that existed all the way up until 1971.
As President Donald Trump named his picks to fill two influential seats on the Federal Reserve's Board of Governors, the price of gold surged. That may be because one of the them, Judy Shelton, is a believer in the return to the gold standard, a money policy abandoned by the U.S. in 1971.They repeat the phrase that "mainstream economists" disagree several times, but never give any numbers or figures to back their argument. Just the old saw that "the US Economy is too complex to tie it to a gold standard". (I think what they're really saying is the US Economy is too fucked up to link to a standard.) Those mainstream economists didn't see the 2008 collapse coming, but they'll see the next one, by golly! Half a dozen (or more) sound money economists I was reading predicted 2008 a couple of years in advance.
Shelton is raising eyebrows among mainstream economists for her views, which include slashing the Fed's benchmark rate to zero and pegging the value of the dollar to gold prices. She's not the first Trump pick for the Fed to advocate a return to the gold standard, with his two previous failed Fed choices -- Stephen Moore and Herman Cain -- also advocating for a revival of the policy.
No State shall enter into any Treaty, Alliance, or Confederation; grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal; coin Money; emit Bills of Credit; make any Thing but gold and silver Coin a Tender in Payment of Debts; pass any Bill of Attainder, ex post facto Law, or Law impairing the Obligation of Contracts, or grant any Title of Nobility. [Bold added: SiG]and, of course, the Federal Government violates that by the bushel every second. Sound money can be, as the document says, gold or silver or a mix of the two, and although the constitution doesn't say it, other commodities that can't be printed in practically infinite amounts could do.
The Coinage Act of 1792 defined a dollar in terms of silver. Specifically, a dollar was to be 371.25 grains (equivalent to about three-fourths of an ounce) of silver, in harmony with the Spanish milled dollar.At the end of the 19th century, there was a bit of a gold vs. silver argument, with some advocates saying gold was the money of the elites; while silver was the money of the masses.
Even before the creation of the Federal Reserve in 1913, certain banking and political interests had worked to de-monetize silver.
In 1873, Congress moved to sideline the silver dollar. That sparked the so-called Free Silver Movement, which stood for allowing the supply of silver coins to be increased in accord with demand.
Three US billionaires are now collectively worth more than the 160 million Americans in the bottom half of the wealth distribution. ... few of the bottom 160 million hold any stocks or bonds.It's not that the factoid isn't true; I'll accept it at face value. It's just that it's totally meaningless. To borrow an observation from Daniel C. Jensen, writing for FEE (the Foundation for Economic Education):
If you know a couple of basic facts about the United States population, you know it's not worth quoting. It might be a fact, but it's so meaningless that it’s actually deceitful.First off, the bottom half of the US population is about 160 million, but that includes children who legally have few assets, and young adults in the starting years of their careers (as well as their starting years of adulthood). Few young adults and even fewer children have much of a stock portfolio.
It’s a little like asking how we know there was a Revolutionary War. Where’s the evidence? Maybe it’s just made up by the current government to force us to think about America in a particular way.The thing to remember about the space race was that it was a race. Remember there was a Soviet Union, who entered the 60s well in front of the US space efforts, and who had the capability to monitor things on the moon as well as we could. If they had any indications that the missions to the moon were faked, don't they think the Soviets would have made it known? They would have pounced on and revealed any fraud in the blink of an eye, and not just without hesitation, but with great joy and satisfaction.
How do we know there was a Titanic that sank?
And by the way, when I go to the battlefields at Gettysburg—or at Normandy, for that matter—they don’t look much like battlefields to me. Can you prove we fought a Civil War? World War II?
In fact, the Russians did just the opposite. The Soviet Union was one of the few places on Earth (along with China and North Korea) where ordinary people couldn’t watch the landing of Apollo 11 and the Moon walk in real time. It was real enough for the Russians that they didn’t let their own people see it.Books could be written on why the Soviets didn't make it to the moon; the story I think has the most weight (and I haven't been able to find it lately) is that some of the brightest minds in their space program were killed in a pad disaster that took out the launch structures and those scientists/engineers. They never recovered from that loss, but they continued the race. Not everyone recalls that at the time 11's LM landed on the moon, there was a Soviet probe on the surface (Luna 15) - a mission that was supposed to show the world "we can return moon rocks to earth for study without sending humans". The mission failed.
The primary purpose of this study was to determine whether mortality rates due to cardiovascular disease (CVD), cancer, accidents and all other causes of death differ in (1) astronauts who never flew orbital missions in space, (2) astronauts who flew only in low Earth orbit (LEO), and (3) Apollo lunar astronauts, the only humans to have traveled beyond Earth’s magnetosphere. Results show there were no differences in CVD mortality rate between non-flight (9%) and LEO (11%) astronauts. However, the CVD mortality rate among Apollo lunar astronauts (43%) was 4–5 times higher than in non-flight and LEO astronauts.The looming issue here is that they can't conclusively say it was the Van Allen belts, just that it was something to do with leaving Earth's protective magnetosphere, but they only left the magnetosphere briefly; Apollo 11 was four to five days (I'm guessing here) but other missions were longer. That brings more concern to a Mars mission, as well as doing work on the moon.
It is recognized as the most trouble-free mission to date, almost completely on schedule and successful in every respect.
Mitchell innovated a completely new Earth observation technique by adapting medical tomography to image the Earth's ionosphere, thus revealing the dynamics of the near-Earth space environment. Her use of Global Positioning System satellite signals as a source for space weather tomography, through a new time-dependent mathematical inversion algorithm, has given us the first global-scale view of the ionosphere in response to space weather storms.The method is referred to as CIT, Computerized Ionospheric Tomography. Perhaps you've had a CAT scan, now more commonly called a CT scan. In the first case Computerized Axial Tomography, and in the second, Computerized Tomography.
Mitchell's research has fundamentally changed our understanding of the Earth's ionosphere, revealing dynamic processes driven by magnetospheric electric fields causing enormous plasma enhancements and uplifts and has led on to ionospheric data assimilation and forecasting.
How is it that Facebook, who refuses to dox any of the violent Antifa terrorists that use its platform, are happy to give up the personal details of the Facebook user who anonymously uploaded a slowed video of Nancy Pelosi, within minutes, to some rando journalist on the phone? (How do you even call Facebook?)There's more in that paragraph - and that's just one example.
How about YouTube? How does Laura Southern's documentary about the border get removed from YouTube within 24 hours of posting without any reason or explanation? What if I told you a Policy Manager at YouTube, before becoming a Policy Manager at YouTube, was employed by Hillary for America and was a manager in Obama's campaign before that? What if I told you YouTube's Global Content Policy Lead previously worked at the DNC? Did you know the person responsible for "growing the next generation of stars" on YouTube worked in the Office of Digital Strategy at the White House under Obama? Or that the person in charge of developing the careers of YouTube creators was the Director of Video for Obama? Speaking of helping the careers of creators, did you know Vox, the company that got Steven Crowder demonetized, was one of the companies that YouTube doled out $20 million dollars to, for 'educational videos'?From there, he goes to Twitter and finds the same sorts of links.
Ten people, directly connected to the progressive Democrat political machine who are now controlling our conversations online. Sounds like an important alarm, no?
What if I told you there were nearly a hundred more?
What about Twitter? The "primary spokesperson and communications lead for the 2016 U.S. Presidential election" at Twitter was previously Kamala Harris' Press Secretary. A Trust & Safety manager who "developed operations and policies related to privacy and free expression" previously worked at the Clinton Global Initiative and at the State Department under Hillary Clinton. A Twitter Director of Public Policy was originally a Press Secretary for John Edwards (D), and Erskine Bowles (D), and Senator Salazar (D), and Senator Barack Obama (D), he was a Policy Director for Obama's Presidential campaign, a Policy Advisor at the White House, Special Assistant to the President, and then he spent three short months on the Clinton-Kaine Presidential Transition Team before deciding to take a job directing public policy at Twitter.You probably realize that this is no coincidence. After the 2016 election, one of the lessons that Democrats thought they learned was that Trump's campaign used social media better than Hillary's team did. The obvious conclusion was they needed to get better at social media!
Progressive Democrats using social media companies to stifle our free speech online should be the most important discussion of this generation. Who has the power to silence Americans at YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook? Who are the people setting up the guardrails to our free speech?...Does their monopoly status require they undergo more Federal regulation to ensure access? Is access a "civil right"? (This guy at Human Events thinks so) It really is the big argument of our day.
Facebook deleted without warning or explanation the Banting7DayMealPlan user group. The group has 1.65 million users who post testimonials and other information regarding the efficacy of a low-carbohydrate, high-fat diet. While the site has subsequently been reinstated (also without warning or explanation), Facebook's action should give any serious person reason to pause, especially those of us engaged in activities contrary to prevailing opinion….In a typical week, we hear of people being deplatformed by Facebook or Google several times. What we don't hear about is corporations that are paying these companies for their advertising striking back by moving off the platform to other services. If for no other reason than for the point in the famous Martin Niemöller quote:
Facebook…serves as a de facto authority over the public square, arbitrating a worldwide exchange of information as well as overseeing the security of the individuals and communities who entrust their ideas, work, and private data to this platform. This mandates a certain responsibility and assurance of good faith, transparency, and due process.
CrossFit, Inc., as a voluntary user of and contributor to this marketplace, can and must remove itself from this particular manifestation of the public square when it becomes clear that such responsibilities are betrayed or reneged upon to the detriment of our community.
First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a socialist.Crossfit is clearly concerned that being a health and wellness corporation based on contrarian ideas that they might well face the same bans as the Banting7DayMealPlan user group. They opened the statement quoted above essentially saying so with this "mission statement":
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out— because I was not a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.
CrossFit is a contrarian physiological and nutrition prescription for improving fitness and health. It is contrarian because prevailing views of fitness, health, and nutrition are wrong and have unleashed a tsunami of chronic disease upon our friends, family, and communities. The voluntary CrossFit community of 15,000 affiliates and millions of individual adherents stands steadfastly and often alone against an unholy alliance of academia, government, and multinational food, beverage, and pharmaceutical companies.Nick Gillespie writing for Reason says:
Instead of taking it upon themselves to police more than true threats and instead of calling for government regulation of expression, Facebook and other social media services would treat their platforms as free-speech zones and focus instead on providing users with tools to personalize their experiences.Unfortunately, that's not the world we live in. Facebook (and Google/YouTube and The Rest) seem to have staked their future on being regulated utilities and using the high cost of entry as a bar to future competitors. They seem to have decided if they piss off enough conservatives, they'll join the movement to get the Big Gov to regulate them.
According to Mike Oznian, a writer for Forbes, the 2015 Women's World Cup “brought in almost $73 million, of which the players got 13%. The 2010 men's World Cup in South Africa made almost $4 billion, of which 9% went to the players.”The women got 13% of the pool, while the men got 9%; that is, the women got 44% more than the men. Because the men's pool was over 50 times bigger than the women's pool, the men's smaller percentage turned into a bigger number of dollars.
Despite having won 23 Grand Slam titles, Williams, in a 2013 appearance on “Late Night With David Letterman,” said, “For me, men’s’ tennis and women’s’ tennis are completely, almost, two separate sports. If I was to play Andy Murray (then one of the best players in the world), I would lose 6-0, 6-0 in five to six minutes, maybe 10 minutes.”(To be honest, I always thought that with her musculature, Serena could play Free Safety in the NFL. Except for almost certainly not having a clue how to play football.)
The story was widely circulated in the media, but later research revealed that it was mostly false. Far fewer people witnessed the attack than was first reported, at least one of the witnesses did contact the police, and some of the witnesses only heard screams but could not actually see the murderer or his victim.The New York Times publishing fake news in 1964? This is my shocked face, right? The reality was that there were far fewer than 38 witnesses; the History.com article only talks of two, mentions them by name, and the second one called the police.
After reviewing more than 200 videos of real-life altercations in which bystanders were present, a recent study revealed that at least one bystander intervened 91 percent of the time. Far from discouraging individuals from helping, the researchers concluded, the presence of bystanders actually increased the probability that someone would intervene, precisely the opposite of what the theory of the bystander effect would predict.We can add nuance to this. With a group of bystanders, there seems to a time lag while everyone waits for someone to do something first. I suspect most people are going through the reality lag that gets so many killed in a disaster or other emergency; their brain is stuck on, "what's going on? why is this happening?" Simply the events are so far out of day to day experience that their brain stalls while trying to understand. In first aid classes, (I assume some of you have taken these), a common instruction is to point at someone and single them out, saying, "you - call 911" instead of just saying "someone call 911" to help bring them back to reality.
A multitude of previous studies has yielded similar results. As Brit Garner notes in a video for SciShow Psych,
A 2011 meta-analysis of more than 50 studies also showed that if the situation is dangerous, like if the perpetrator is still there, people are more likely to help if there are bystanders.In other words, having an audience encourages heroism.