The Unz Review - Mobile
A Collection of Interesting, Important, and Controversial Perspectives Largely Excluded from the American Mainstream Media
 Ilana Mercer ArchiveBlogview
Elon Musk, Et al. -- the Corporate Arm of the Deep-State
Search Text Case Sensitive  Exact Words  Include Comments

If you want to picture the relationship between the 60 million Americans who voted for Donald Trump and the Deep State seeking to unseat him; DON’T picture a Venn diagram. There is no overlap between the two solitudes.

Rather, picture a giant amorphous amoeba, geared toward survival. This single-celled organism will galvanize all systems within to preserve its threatened integrity.

Much like our parasitical one-celled protozoa, the Deep State has an overriding purpose and a fixed repertoire of reflexes. “Some amoebas protect their bodies by covering themselves with sand grains.” The Deep State organism protects itself by throwing dust in our eyes.

Hence the Russia probe. The production that is the Russia probe is courtesy of agents of the Deep State—the “managerial society” and its ruling elite, as political philosopher James Burnham (1905-1987) called it.

Like nothing else, the Trump populist revolution has exposed the sub rosa presence in American lives of a “transpartisan elite with its own interests.” “Such an analysis of the political and economic elite—its composition, its genesis, its beliefs, its myths, and its failures—is the common strand running through the [prescient] writings of James Burnham,” observes Julius Krein of American Affairs.

“Increasingly power is shifted away from individuals elected to represent the political community toward unelected officials qualified to hold the positions responsible for administering the government … Like all managers, they derive their power from the administrative expertise and credentials that qualify them for office rather than from democratic legitimacy. They are accountable, that is, not to the political community but to the other managers that define their qualifications.”

“Deep State” is no conspiracy theory. There’s nothing mythical about the Republican and Democratic career government workers, embedded like parasites in the bowels of the bureaucracy, the intelligence community, the military, and a like-minded media, who’ve risen on their hind legs to protect their turf and protest an agenda that leaves them out in the cold.

The anatomy and workings of the Deep State are, in my opinion, reflexive, rather than a matter of collusion and conspiracy. Simple psychology—human nature at its worst—sees government jobs and programs, war and welfare alike, protected in perpetuity and at all costs by the administrators of government jobs and programs.

Hidden or in plain sight, The State is geared toward increasing or maintaining its sphere of influence, never reducing it. Voters are paid lip service, provided their wishes coincide with the aims of this unelected, entrenched apparatus.

But when the popular will defies Deep State, that monster breathes fire.

The “technocratic elite” has a corporate extension. Engorged government bureaucracies are complemented by colossal corporate entities, whose virtue-signaling managers have occupied “the commanding heights of the economy, politics, and culture.” As Burnham warned they would.

The corporate element of this government-within-government superstructure (yes, the conservative Burnham had a Trotskyite beginning) has special access by virtue of its obscene wealth. Think the liver-spotted George Soros, who moves to overthrow governments in “lesser” countries. Think Apple’s Tim Cook, Microsoft’s Brad Smith, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, Uber’s Travis Kalanick, or Google’s Sundar Pichai. They all sprang into action against Trump’s secession from the Paris Climate Accord.

Candidate Trump got considerable support for his promise to secede from or renegotiate this or the other agreement between the U.S. government and various supranational systems. Successive U.S. governments have ceded the rights and sovereignty of Americans to these supra-state systems.

Deplorables voted for more, not less, sovereignty. But bien-pensant Elon Musk of the Tesla and SpaceX fame is having none of this sovereignty stuff.

Musk, worth $15.2 billion, is muscling the Trump administration to further tax Americans so as to fund the Europeans and their polluting cosignatories to the climate accord.

Mr. Musk trashes the environment with his “Commie Cars,” electrical cars which discharge into the environment lead, cadmium and nickel—the byproducts of batteries—and whose impact on the environment has been shown to be worse than that of the gasoline-powered car.

Trashing the popular will is all in a day’s work for the corporate arm of the Deep State.

Ilana Mercer is the author of The Trump Revolution: The Donald’s Creative Destruction Deconstructed(June, 2016) & Into the Cannibal’s Pot: Lessons for America From Post-Apartheid South Africa (2011). Follow her on Twitter, Facebook & Gab. Check out Ilana’s YouTube channel.

 
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: Deep State, Donald Trump 
Email This Page to Someone

 Remember My Information



=>
    []
  1. It’s okay, Mike Bloomberg is riding to the rescue to give the Eurotrash what they want from Trump, but ain’t getting.

    It is increasingly obvious that the Trump phenomenon represents a complete rebuke of Western Europe. Its politics, its immigration madness, its sanctimonious belief that it’s always right. And to think of the Germans, those revolting hypocrites who sent millions of cars to America with emissions systems specifically designed to defeat our smog testers, lecturing us on climate change. It boggles the mind.

    Ann Coulter is right — we need to form an alliance with Russia to protect us from our current “allies.”

    Read More
    • Replies: @hyperbola
    Europeans are as abused by the sect that includes Bloomberg as Americans. Just as you blame "europeans" for being "eurotrash", so europeans blame "americans" for the abuse by the sect in the US. Bloomberg is a good esample of the sect's treason and abuse of Americans.

    ZIONIST JEWS ARE AT THE FOREFRONT OF ADVANCING GUN CONTROL IN THE UNITED STATES
    http://www.blacklistednews.com/Zionist_Jews_Are_At_The_Forefront_Of_Advancing_Gun_Control_In_The_United_States/25956/0/32/32/Y/M.html


    And Angela Merkel is a good example of the sect's abuse of Europeans.

    ANGELA MERKEL IS A ZIONIST SOCK PUPPET
    http://www.blacklistednews.com/Angela_Merkel_Is_A_Zionist_Sock_Puppet/33673/0/5/5/Y/M.html
    , @Peter Lund
    > And to think of the Germans, those revolting hypocrites who sent millions of cars to America with emissions systems specifically designed to defeat our smog testers, lecturing us on climate change. It boggles the mind.

    It is a general problem with diesel engines, not just a German problem.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diesel_emissions_scandal

    The only reason why it superficially looks like a VW problem is that they really like diesel engines (and are very good at building them) whereas American car makers don't use diesel engines very much.

    The fundamental problem is that there is a trade off between combustion efficiency and incidental production of unwanted NOx gasses. In order to increase the efficiency, the temperature and pressure in the combustion chamber have to raised. Diesel engines use higher pressures than petrol engines, btw.
    Unfortunately, that increases the speed of a reaction between N2 and O2 molecules in the air so more NOx molecules end up being produced.

    They can try to remove most of the NOx molecules from the exhaust afterwards, which is what VW does with a liquid (with urea or ammonia), but it's not a great solution. That liquid costs money which customers don't like. Or they can run the engine less efficiently, which customers also don't like.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
    AgreeDisagreeLOLTroll
    These buttons register your public Agreement, Disagreement, Troll, or LOL with the selected comment. They are ONLY available to recent, frequent commenters who have saved their Name+Email using the 'Remember My Information' checkbox, and may also ONLY be used once per hour.
    Sharing Comment via Twitter
    http://www.unz.com/imercer/elon-musk-et-al-the-corporate-arm-of-the-deep-state/#comment-1893080
    More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  2. Larry Ellison Is A Billionaire Today Thanks To The CIA

    http://www.businessinsider.com/the-cia-made-larry-ellison-a-billionaire-2014-9

    The CIA was the customer that launched Oracle, cofounder Larry Ellison said on stage Sunday night during the opening keynote for the company’s massive customer conference in San Francisco.

    “Our very first customer was the Central Intelligence Agency,” he said.
    [...]
    Meanwhile, the CIA has continued to invest in new tech, too, everything from a massive new $600 million cloud being built by Amazon to its In-Q-Tel venture fund, which has backed nearly a 100 tech companies.

    In-Q-Tel (IQT), formerly Peleus and known as In-Q-It, is an American not-for-profit venture capital firm based in Arlington, Virginia. It invests in high-tech companies for the sole purpose of keeping the Central Intelligence Agency, and other intelligence agencies, equipped with the latest in information technology in support of United States intelligence capability.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/In-Q-Tel

    Margaret Elizabeth “Megan” Ellison (born January 31, 1986) is an American film producer and founder of Annapurna Pictures, established in 2011. She is best known for producing the films Zero Dark Thirty, Her and American Hustle, all of which have earned her Oscar nominations. In 2014, TIME placed her in its list of “100 Most Influential People in the World” – Pioneers.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Megan_Ellison

    The correspondence indicates that officials believed that out of several bin Laden projects in the works, Bigelow’s film was the most high-profile and the most likely to make it to the big screen.

    “I know we don’t ‘pick favorites’ but it makes sense to get behind the winning horse … Mark and Kathryn’s movie is going to be the first and the biggest,” CIA spokesperson Marie Harf wrote in a June 7, 2011 email exchange with the Defense Department. “It’s got the most money behind it, and two Oscar winners on board. It’s just not a close call.”

    http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2012-08-29/entertainment/sns-rt-us-zerodarkthirty-ciabre87s1et-20120829_1_zero-dark-thirty-obama-administration-kathryn-bigelow

    Read More
    • Replies: @hyperbola
    How the CIA made Google
    Inside the secret network behind mass surveillance, endless war, and Skynet—
    https://medium.com/insurge-intelligence/how-the-cia-made-google-e836451a959e


    The Anti-Empire Report #118
    https://williamblum.org/aer/read/118
    ..... In September 1999 it was revealed that NSA had arranged with Microsoft to insert special “keys” into Windows software, in all versions from 95-OSR2 onwards. An American computer scientist, Andrew Fernandez of Cryptonym in North Carolina, had disassembled parts of the Windows instruction code and found the smoking gun – Microsoft’s developers had failed to remove the debugging symbols used to test this software before they released it...
    In February 2000, it was disclosed that the Strategic Affairs Delegation (DAS), the intelligence arm of the French Defense Ministry, had prepared a report in 1999 which also asserted that NSA had helped to install secret programs in Microsoft software. According to the DAS report, “it would seem that the creation of Microsoft was largely supported, not least financially, by the NSA, and that IBM was made to accept the [Microsoft] MS-DOS operating system by the same administration.” The report stated that there had been a “strong suspicion of a lack of security fed by insistent rumors about the existence of spy programs on Microsoft, and by the presence of NSA personnel in Bill Gates’ development teams.” The Pentagon, said the report, was Microsoft’s biggest client in the world.....
  3. Dear Ms. Mercer,

    NOTHING tells the story of the post 9-11 “gouging” of the American taxpayer than the numbers.

    The “numbers” should make crystal clear to EVERYBODY just how shamefully addicted to “war and terror profiteering” our deep state has become.

    And contrary to popular belief, this is a (relatively)NEW phenomena, barely seventeen years old.

    In the year 2000 we had a national debt of 5.7 trillion dollars.

    Today, this debt has SKYROCKETED to 20 trillion dollars.

    What does this mean ?

    It means that ASIDE from the already HUMONGOUS amount of spending(within the budget) required by our “deep state” to fight its “never ending wars and terrors”…our DEEP STATE TERROR APPARATUS has pilfered from the taxpayer over FOURTEEN TRILLION DOLLARS…in a mere sixteen years.

    And NOBODY is permitted to look at the books…Ms. Mercer.

    Our GAO is the biggest JOKE on the planet.

    Does anybody even have a CLUE what percentage of this 14 TRILLION in heinous, unconscionable “overspending” is pure PROFIT for our deep state “war and terror”profiteers ?

    Is it 40%, 50%, 60%…..SEVENTY PERCENT ???

    Does anybody even dare ASK ?

    Disgusting….absolutely “disgusting”……They should all be ASHAMED at what they have done….

    Right down to their MARROW.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Realist
    The power elite has always had ways to panic the American dolts into giving their money to them.

    This latest iteration is just much more efficient..
    , @Mitchell Porter
    The American federal debt doubled under Bush, and doubled again under Obama. That steady rate of growth makes it sound like the effect of compound interest.

    Is there a way to check? How much of the increase in debt is due to interest?
  4. Elon Musk is a huckster. His crap companies make no money. He is for the Paris Accord because it promotes his scam. His companies would be in even worse shape without government subsidies.
    He should go back to S. Africa.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Peter Lund
    SpaceX provides a service to the US government. It provides quality service at low prices. That's not my definition of a subsidy.

    You would be right with SolarCity -- but those subsidies are not particular to SolarCity. Others can get them, too.

    You are to a lesser extent right with Tesla, where the cars are subsidized with a tax rebate or a similar scheme in the US and in some other countries. Those subsidies are also available to other car producers as well.
  5. @Realist
    Elon Musk is a huckster. His crap companies make no money. He is for the Paris Accord because it promotes his scam. His companies would be in even worse shape without government subsidies.
    He should go back to S. Africa.

    SpaceX provides a service to the US government. It provides quality service at low prices. That’s not my definition of a subsidy.

    You would be right with SolarCity — but those subsidies are not particular to SolarCity. Others can get them, too.

    You are to a lesser extent right with Tesla, where the cars are subsidized with a tax rebate or a similar scheme in the US and in some other countries. Those subsidies are also available to other car producers as well.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Realist
    "You would be right with SolarCity — but those subsidies are not particular to SolarCity. Others can get them, too.

    You are to a lesser extent right with Tesla, where the cars are subsidized with a tax rebate or a similar scheme in the US and in some other countries. Those subsidies are also available to other car producers as well."

    I didn't say he was the only huckster.

    "SpaceX provides a service to the US government. It provides quality service at low prices. That’s not my definition of a subsidy."

    The quality is yet to be determined. As for low price give an example.
  6. > electrical cars which discharge into the environment lead, cadmium and nickel—the byproducts of batteries

    What?!

    There is no lead or cadmium in the big batteries in Tesla cars. They are lithium-ion batteries. There is some lead in the small 12V batteries — there is a standard 12V car battery in every current Tesla car, just like there is in any other car. They are working on phasing that battery out so there probably won’t be any lead acid batteries in new Tesla cars in a year or two.

    Read More
    • Replies: @utu
    Nickel-metal-hydrate (NiMH) batteries are commonly used in hybrid electric vehicles such as Toyota Prius, but there are also small NiMH batteries on the market. These batteries' positive electrodes are made of nickel oxyhydroxide, while their negative electrodes utilize hydrogen stored as metal-hydrate. The electrolyte in this type of batteries are usually potassium hydroxide solutions, and the nickel oxyhydroxide reacts to form nickel hydroxide during discharge [2]. We have several toxic materials in this reaction: potassium hydroxide is an acutely poisonous substance whose ingestion can cause "severe pain, vomiting, diarrhea and collapse, while nickel hydroxide is confirmed to cause cancer in humans and animals. [3] If the chemical is left in the environment to decompose, it will release toxic gases and vapors such as nickel carbonyl. [4] Another source of concern in NiMH batteries comes from the metal alloy it uses to hold hydrogen: the most common alloy is out of rare earth material such as lanthanum nickel whose toxicity has not been thoroughly investigated, although pure lanthanum and nickel are moderately to highly toxic. This lends us sufficient reasons to remain cautious about their compound. Given the toxic material it contains, the NiMH batteries may not be perfectly benign to the environment.

    Another type of popular batteries are out of lithium-ion. They are used in devices such as iPhone 4G, plug-in hybrid vehicles, and full electric vehicles by Tesla Motor. These batteries' positive electrodes are from materials that can produce lithium-ion, while the negative electrodes are from elemental lithium intercalated on graphite [5]. Lithium ions are "widely distributed in nature; trace amounts are found in many minerals, in most rocks and soils, and in many natural waters," and FDA approves the use of ionic lithium in drugs [6,7]. Similarly, neither elemental lithium nor graphite are toxic, and their combination eliminates the volatile nature of metallic lithium. The electrolyte can be made out of many materials, but LiPF6 in carbonate solvent is the most common. Lithium carbonate can be a toxin to humans and animals, while LiPF6 can react with water to produce hydrofluoric acid, which is a major pollutant and contact poison. However, considerable amount of R&D has gone into improving the electrolytes: both polymer and ceramic materials are hopeful candidate for the next generation of lithium-ion batteries. As of the moment, lithium-ion cells have the least environmental impact in the battery family.
  7. @FKA Max
    Larry Ellison Is A Billionaire Today Thanks To The CIA

    http://www.businessinsider.com/the-cia-made-larry-ellison-a-billionaire-2014-9

    The CIA was the customer that launched Oracle, cofounder Larry Ellison said on stage Sunday night during the opening keynote for the company's massive customer conference in San Francisco.

    "Our very first customer was the Central Intelligence Agency," he said.
    [...]
    Meanwhile, the CIA has continued to invest in new tech, too, everything from a massive new $600 million cloud being built by Amazon to its In-Q-Tel venture fund, which has backed nearly a 100 tech companies.
     

    In-Q-Tel (IQT), formerly Peleus and known as In-Q-It, is an American not-for-profit venture capital firm based in Arlington, Virginia. It invests in high-tech companies for the sole purpose of keeping the Central Intelligence Agency, and other intelligence agencies, equipped with the latest in information technology in support of United States intelligence capability.
     
    - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/In-Q-Tel

    Margaret Elizabeth "Megan" Ellison (born January 31, 1986) is an American film producer and founder of Annapurna Pictures, established in 2011. She is best known for producing the films Zero Dark Thirty, Her and American Hustle, all of which have earned her Oscar nominations. In 2014, TIME placed her in its list of "100 Most Influential People in the World" - Pioneers.
     
    - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Megan_Ellison

    The correspondence indicates that officials believed that out of several bin Laden projects in the works, Bigelow's film was the most high-profile and the most likely to make it to the big screen.

    "I know we don't ‘pick favorites' but it makes sense to get behind the winning horse … Mark and Kathryn's movie is going to be the first and the biggest," CIA spokesperson Marie Harf wrote in a June 7, 2011 email exchange with the Defense Department. "It's got the most money behind it, and two Oscar winners on board. It's just not a close call."
     
    - http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2012-08-29/entertainment/sns-rt-us-zerodarkthirty-ciabre87s1et-20120829_1_zero-dark-thirty-obama-administration-kathryn-bigelow

    How the CIA made Google
    Inside the secret network behind mass surveillance, endless war, and Skynet—

    https://medium.com/insurge-intelligence/how-the-cia-made-google-e836451a959e

    The Anti-Empire Report #118

    https://williamblum.org/aer/read/118

    ….. In September 1999 it was revealed that NSA had arranged with Microsoft to insert special “keys” into Windows software, in all versions from 95-OSR2 onwards. An American computer scientist, Andrew Fernandez of Cryptonym in North Carolina, had disassembled parts of the Windows instruction code and found the smoking gun – Microsoft’s developers had failed to remove the debugging symbols used to test this software before they released it…
    In February 2000, it was disclosed that the Strategic Affairs Delegation (DAS), the intelligence arm of the French Defense Ministry, had prepared a report in 1999 which also asserted that NSA had helped to install secret programs in Microsoft software. According to the DAS report, “it would seem that the creation of Microsoft was largely supported, not least financially, by the NSA, and that IBM was made to accept the [Microsoft] MS-DOS operating system by the same administration.” The report stated that there had been a “strong suspicion of a lack of security fed by insistent rumors about the existence of spy programs on Microsoft, and by the presence of NSA personnel in Bill Gates’ development teams.” The Pentagon, said the report, was Microsoft’s biggest client in the world…..

    Read More
  8. “Mr. Musk trashes the environment with his “Commie Cars,” electrical cars which discharge into the environment lead, cadmium and nickel—the byproducts of batteries—and whose impact on the environment has been shown to be worse than that of the gasoline-powered car.”

    Not to mention capitalising in the fantasy that electric-powered cars don’t pollute. Power comes from generation somewhere: Yeah, some from wind, some from solar, some from water, but the vast majority from burning coal, natural gas, or oil or maybe from nuclear, which has its own issues.

    Aside from that little detail, generating, delivering, and storing electricity is inherently wasteful due to losses all across the delivery chain, so you need to deliver even more power to get the amount you need, therefore polluting far more than you might actually think. Evil “dirty” diesel, hated by all as one of the “worst” pollutants, is actually joule for joule a much more efficient power source and ostensibly less harmful to the environment than “clean” electric.

    Elon doesn’t care … there’s a lot of money in helping idiots virtue signal.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Peter Lund
    > Aside from that little detail, generating, delivering, and storing electricity is inherently wasteful due to losses all across the delivery chain, so you need to deliver even more power to get the amount you need, therefore polluting far more than you might actually think. Evil “dirty” diesel, hated by all as one of the “worst” pollutants, is actually joule for joule a much more efficient power source and ostensibly less harmful to the environment than “clean” electric.

    Nope. It is actually the other way around.

    There is very little loss from the power plant to the charger. Then there is a bit in the charger and a bit in the battery and then a bit again in the battery and the power electronics that drive the motor and a bit in the electric motor. Those losses are not huge. And when you brake, the kinetic energy is not loss in brake heating but flows back into the battery (unless you *really* brake, of course). There is a little loss on the inflow but again not a lot.

    The aerodynamics of electrical cars is also (or at least can be) pretty good. Better than comparable combustion engine cars. The thing is that combustion engines produce heat. A *lot* of heat -- because they are so inefficient. All that heat has to be dumped into air that gets taken in at the front. It is impossible to make a big air intake that is aerodynamically nice. Battery cars have nowhere near the same cooling requirements so they can get by with much smaller intakes (which some of them even close off most of the time).

    Combustion engines are very inefficient, though, much less efficient than combustion based power plants.
    You see, both are "heat engines" (technical term, it's on wikipedia) and they get their useful energy from the difference between something hot and something cold. The bigger the temperature difference, the higher the possible efficiency.

    Power plants are usually located near cold water or they have those big cooling towers that most people think are nuclear power plants. Not so with cars. Cars also have to keep the engine small and the temperatures down(!) in order to be practical, so they get hit on both the high and the low end of the temperature range. They also have to be cheap so they can't have so many technical doodads that modern power plants have to get as close to their theoretical max as possible. Furthermore, some of them are conveniently located near cities or factories that can use the waste heat.

    One way to really hammer home how much more efficient electric cars are is to think about how they have such a long range with so "small" batteries. A Tesla with an 85kWh battery can store about 300 MJ in the battery, which completely pales against a 50L (13.2 gallons) petrol tank which stores roughly 50L·34 MJ/L = 1700MJ.

    There is a table here where petrol's energy density can be found:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Energy_density

    You can find the ranges of various Tesla models in a nice table here:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tesla_Model_S#Specifications

    Here are a bunch of combustion engine cars with their EPA ranges and tank sizes:
    http://www.autoblog.com/2015/03/19/top-10-small-cars-longest-total-driving-range/
  9. @Bragadocious
    It's okay, Mike Bloomberg is riding to the rescue to give the Eurotrash what they want from Trump, but ain't getting.

    It is increasingly obvious that the Trump phenomenon represents a complete rebuke of Western Europe. Its politics, its immigration madness, its sanctimonious belief that it's always right. And to think of the Germans, those revolting hypocrites who sent millions of cars to America with emissions systems specifically designed to defeat our smog testers, lecturing us on climate change. It boggles the mind.

    Ann Coulter is right -- we need to form an alliance with Russia to protect us from our current "allies."

    Europeans are as abused by the sect that includes Bloomberg as Americans. Just as you blame “europeans” for being “eurotrash”, so europeans blame “americans” for the abuse by the sect in the US. Bloomberg is a good esample of the sect’s treason and abuse of Americans.

    ZIONIST JEWS ARE AT THE FOREFRONT OF ADVANCING GUN CONTROL IN THE UNITED STATES

    http://www.blacklistednews.com/Zionist_Jews_Are_At_The_Forefront_Of_Advancing_Gun_Control_In_The_United_States/25956/0/32/32/Y/M.html

    And Angela Merkel is a good example of the sect’s abuse of Europeans.

    ANGELA MERKEL IS A ZIONIST SOCK PUPPET

    http://www.blacklistednews.com/Angela_Merkel_Is_A_Zionist_Sock_Puppet/33673/0/5/5/Y/M.html

    Read More
  10. @The Alarmist

    "Mr. Musk trashes the environment with his “Commie Cars,” electrical cars which discharge into the environment lead, cadmium and nickel—the byproducts of batteries—and whose impact on the environment has been shown to be worse than that of the gasoline-powered car."
     
    Not to mention capitalising in the fantasy that electric-powered cars don't pollute. Power comes from generation somewhere: Yeah, some from wind, some from solar, some from water, but the vast majority from burning coal, natural gas, or oil or maybe from nuclear, which has its own issues.

    Aside from that little detail, generating, delivering, and storing electricity is inherently wasteful due to losses all across the delivery chain, so you need to deliver even more power to get the amount you need, therefore polluting far more than you might actually think. Evil "dirty" diesel, hated by all as one of the "worst" pollutants, is actually joule for joule a much more efficient power source and ostensibly less harmful to the environment than "clean" electric.

    Elon doesn't care ... there's a lot of money in helping idiots virtue signal.

    > Aside from that little detail, generating, delivering, and storing electricity is inherently wasteful due to losses all across the delivery chain, so you need to deliver even more power to get the amount you need, therefore polluting far more than you might actually think. Evil “dirty” diesel, hated by all as one of the “worst” pollutants, is actually joule for joule a much more efficient power source and ostensibly less harmful to the environment than “clean” electric.

    Nope. It is actually the other way around.

    There is very little loss from the power plant to the charger. Then there is a bit in the charger and a bit in the battery and then a bit again in the battery and the power electronics that drive the motor and a bit in the electric motor. Those losses are not huge. And when you brake, the kinetic energy is not loss in brake heating but flows back into the battery (unless you *really* brake, of course). There is a little loss on the inflow but again not a lot.

    The aerodynamics of electrical cars is also (or at least can be) pretty good. Better than comparable combustion engine cars. The thing is that combustion engines produce heat. A *lot* of heat — because they are so inefficient. All that heat has to be dumped into air that gets taken in at the front. It is impossible to make a big air intake that is aerodynamically nice. Battery cars have nowhere near the same cooling requirements so they can get by with much smaller intakes (which some of them even close off most of the time).

    Combustion engines are very inefficient, though, much less efficient than combustion based power plants.
    You see, both are “heat engines” (technical term, it’s on wikipedia) and they get their useful energy from the difference between something hot and something cold. The bigger the temperature difference, the higher the possible efficiency.

    Power plants are usually located near cold water or they have those big cooling towers that most people think are nuclear power plants. Not so with cars. Cars also have to keep the engine small and the temperatures down(!) in order to be practical, so they get hit on both the high and the low end of the temperature range. They also have to be cheap so they can’t have so many technical doodads that modern power plants have to get as close to their theoretical max as possible. Furthermore, some of them are conveniently located near cities or factories that can use the waste heat.

    One way to really hammer home how much more efficient electric cars are is to think about how they have such a long range with so “small” batteries. A Tesla with an 85kWh battery can store about 300 MJ in the battery, which completely pales against a 50L (13.2 gallons) petrol tank which stores roughly 50L·34 MJ/L = 1700MJ.

    There is a table here where petrol’s energy density can be found:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Energy_density

    You can find the ranges of various Tesla models in a nice table here:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tesla_Model_S#Specifications

    Here are a bunch of combustion engine cars with their EPA ranges and tank sizes:

    http://www.autoblog.com/2015/03/19/top-10-small-cars-longest-total-driving-range/

    Read More
    • Replies: @The Alarmist
    Yeah, if you look purely at the efficiency of the vehicles, electric wins in most cases. Add in the energy to make them (electric vehicle manufacturing takes roughly twice the energy) and the advantage falls away.

    The losses from plant to charger range from 5% to 10%, the loss in charging is probably another 5% to 10%, and the battery will lose another 10%. On the other hand, you have regenerative braking, so you recapture some of the energy wasted in braking.

    Hydropower is pretty efficient generation, so not a lot of penalty there, but burning anything carbon to generate electricity is hugely inefficient; 50% for coal, maybe 60% for gas turbine. Then you have the energy to get the fuel out of the ground, process it, and deliver it to the plant. Wind has the baggage of the energy to make the machinery plus the inefficiencies owing to variability of the wind. Solar has all the baggage of making the technology and is hugely inefficient for a number of reasons.

    Yep, you have all the energy and inefficiencies for the plant to make diesel and the transmission methods to deliver it. Yes, you lose some to seepage and evaporation. In my opinion, there is one less layer of abstraction that gives diesel the edge when you look at the entire energy input per units of mass and volume moved, which was the gist of my original assertion.

    In terms of cost, if you have cheap electricity (hydropower), electric has the edge. If you have high electric costs, diesel has the edge. And as Ilana points out, you still have a more problemmatic scrappage/recycling cost plus maintenance costs with electric that probably dominates the total maintenance and scrappage/recycling of a diesel.

    In other words, it is not as hands down as we are led to believe.

  11. @Bragadocious
    It's okay, Mike Bloomberg is riding to the rescue to give the Eurotrash what they want from Trump, but ain't getting.

    It is increasingly obvious that the Trump phenomenon represents a complete rebuke of Western Europe. Its politics, its immigration madness, its sanctimonious belief that it's always right. And to think of the Germans, those revolting hypocrites who sent millions of cars to America with emissions systems specifically designed to defeat our smog testers, lecturing us on climate change. It boggles the mind.

    Ann Coulter is right -- we need to form an alliance with Russia to protect us from our current "allies."

    > And to think of the Germans, those revolting hypocrites who sent millions of cars to America with emissions systems specifically designed to defeat our smog testers, lecturing us on climate change. It boggles the mind.

    It is a general problem with diesel engines, not just a German problem.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diesel_emissions_scandal

    The only reason why it superficially looks like a VW problem is that they really like diesel engines (and are very good at building them) whereas American car makers don’t use diesel engines very much.

    The fundamental problem is that there is a trade off between combustion efficiency and incidental production of unwanted NOx gasses. In order to increase the efficiency, the temperature and pressure in the combustion chamber have to raised. Diesel engines use higher pressures than petrol engines, btw.
    Unfortunately, that increases the speed of a reaction between N2 and O2 molecules in the air so more NOx molecules end up being produced.

    They can try to remove most of the NOx molecules from the exhaust afterwards, which is what VW does with a liquid (with urea or ammonia), but it’s not a great solution. That liquid costs money which customers don’t like. Or they can run the engine less efficiently, which customers also don’t like.

    Read More
  12. @Peter Lund
    SpaceX provides a service to the US government. It provides quality service at low prices. That's not my definition of a subsidy.

    You would be right with SolarCity -- but those subsidies are not particular to SolarCity. Others can get them, too.

    You are to a lesser extent right with Tesla, where the cars are subsidized with a tax rebate or a similar scheme in the US and in some other countries. Those subsidies are also available to other car producers as well.

    “You would be right with SolarCity — but those subsidies are not particular to SolarCity. Others can get them, too.

    You are to a lesser extent right with Tesla, where the cars are subsidized with a tax rebate or a similar scheme in the US and in some other countries. Those subsidies are also available to other car producers as well.”

    I didn’t say he was the only huckster.

    “SpaceX provides a service to the US government. It provides quality service at low prices. That’s not my definition of a subsidy.”

    The quality is yet to be determined. As for low price give an example.

    Read More
    • Replies: @The Alarmist
    SpaceX is Musk's ticket into the big-time of the MIC ... the subsidies he got for Tesla were his meal ticket into a much larger game.

    Don't get me wrong ... I am in awe of Musk being able to do in a relatively short span of time what took several major corporations decades to accomplish.

    He really is an evil genius.
  13. @Peter Lund
    > Aside from that little detail, generating, delivering, and storing electricity is inherently wasteful due to losses all across the delivery chain, so you need to deliver even more power to get the amount you need, therefore polluting far more than you might actually think. Evil “dirty” diesel, hated by all as one of the “worst” pollutants, is actually joule for joule a much more efficient power source and ostensibly less harmful to the environment than “clean” electric.

    Nope. It is actually the other way around.

    There is very little loss from the power plant to the charger. Then there is a bit in the charger and a bit in the battery and then a bit again in the battery and the power electronics that drive the motor and a bit in the electric motor. Those losses are not huge. And when you brake, the kinetic energy is not loss in brake heating but flows back into the battery (unless you *really* brake, of course). There is a little loss on the inflow but again not a lot.

    The aerodynamics of electrical cars is also (or at least can be) pretty good. Better than comparable combustion engine cars. The thing is that combustion engines produce heat. A *lot* of heat -- because they are so inefficient. All that heat has to be dumped into air that gets taken in at the front. It is impossible to make a big air intake that is aerodynamically nice. Battery cars have nowhere near the same cooling requirements so they can get by with much smaller intakes (which some of them even close off most of the time).

    Combustion engines are very inefficient, though, much less efficient than combustion based power plants.
    You see, both are "heat engines" (technical term, it's on wikipedia) and they get their useful energy from the difference between something hot and something cold. The bigger the temperature difference, the higher the possible efficiency.

    Power plants are usually located near cold water or they have those big cooling towers that most people think are nuclear power plants. Not so with cars. Cars also have to keep the engine small and the temperatures down(!) in order to be practical, so they get hit on both the high and the low end of the temperature range. They also have to be cheap so they can't have so many technical doodads that modern power plants have to get as close to their theoretical max as possible. Furthermore, some of them are conveniently located near cities or factories that can use the waste heat.

    One way to really hammer home how much more efficient electric cars are is to think about how they have such a long range with so "small" batteries. A Tesla with an 85kWh battery can store about 300 MJ in the battery, which completely pales against a 50L (13.2 gallons) petrol tank which stores roughly 50L·34 MJ/L = 1700MJ.

    There is a table here where petrol's energy density can be found:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Energy_density

    You can find the ranges of various Tesla models in a nice table here:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tesla_Model_S#Specifications

    Here are a bunch of combustion engine cars with their EPA ranges and tank sizes:
    http://www.autoblog.com/2015/03/19/top-10-small-cars-longest-total-driving-range/

    Yeah, if you look purely at the efficiency of the vehicles, electric wins in most cases. Add in the energy to make them (electric vehicle manufacturing takes roughly twice the energy) and the advantage falls away.

    The losses from plant to charger range from 5% to 10%, the loss in charging is probably another 5% to 10%, and the battery will lose another 10%. On the other hand, you have regenerative braking, so you recapture some of the energy wasted in braking.

    Hydropower is pretty efficient generation, so not a lot of penalty there, but burning anything carbon to generate electricity is hugely inefficient; 50% for coal, maybe 60% for gas turbine. Then you have the energy to get the fuel out of the ground, process it, and deliver it to the plant. Wind has the baggage of the energy to make the machinery plus the inefficiencies owing to variability of the wind. Solar has all the baggage of making the technology and is hugely inefficient for a number of reasons.

    Yep, you have all the energy and inefficiencies for the plant to make diesel and the transmission methods to deliver it. Yes, you lose some to seepage and evaporation. In my opinion, there is one less layer of abstraction that gives diesel the edge when you look at the entire energy input per units of mass and volume moved, which was the gist of my original assertion.

    In terms of cost, if you have cheap electricity (hydropower), electric has the edge. If you have high electric costs, diesel has the edge. And as Ilana points out, you still have a more problemmatic scrappage/recycling cost plus maintenance costs with electric that probably dominates the total maintenance and scrappage/recycling of a diesel.

    In other words, it is not as hands down as we are led to believe.

    Read More
  14. @Realist
    "You would be right with SolarCity — but those subsidies are not particular to SolarCity. Others can get them, too.

    You are to a lesser extent right with Tesla, where the cars are subsidized with a tax rebate or a similar scheme in the US and in some other countries. Those subsidies are also available to other car producers as well."

    I didn't say he was the only huckster.

    "SpaceX provides a service to the US government. It provides quality service at low prices. That’s not my definition of a subsidy."

    The quality is yet to be determined. As for low price give an example.

    SpaceX is Musk’s ticket into the big-time of the MIC … the subsidies he got for Tesla were his meal ticket into a much larger game.

    Don’t get me wrong … I am in awe of Musk being able to do in a relatively short span of time what took several major corporations decades to accomplish.

    He really is an evil genius.

    Read More
    • Replies: @MarkinLA
    I am in awe of Musk being able to do in a relatively short span of time what took several major corporations decades to accomplish.

    It is all a matter of a technology maturing - not some special genius by Musk. Now anybody who wants to can build something with carbon fiber or design their own custom ICs. Rocket engines are nothing new.
  15. “SpaceX is Musk’s ticket into the big-time of the MIC … the subsidies he got for Tesla were his meal ticket into a much larger game.”

    That and the dumb bastards who bought stock in his money losing companies for over a decade.
    The fact Musk’s companies and many others can have such high stock prices demonstrates the sorry state of our capitalist system. Corruption is rampant.

    “He really is an evil genius.”

    Evil yes….genius no

    Read More
  16. @Peter Lund
    > electrical cars which discharge into the environment lead, cadmium and nickel—the byproducts of batteries

    What?!

    There is no lead or cadmium in the big batteries in Tesla cars. They are lithium-ion batteries. There is some lead in the small 12V batteries -- there is a standard 12V car battery in every current Tesla car, just like there is in any other car. They are working on phasing that battery out so there probably won't be any lead acid batteries in new Tesla cars in a year or two.

    Nickel-metal-hydrate (NiMH) batteries are commonly used in hybrid electric vehicles such as Toyota Prius, but there are also small NiMH batteries on the market. These batteries’ positive electrodes are made of nickel oxyhydroxide, while their negative electrodes utilize hydrogen stored as metal-hydrate. The electrolyte in this type of batteries are usually potassium hydroxide solutions, and the nickel oxyhydroxide reacts to form nickel hydroxide during discharge [2]. We have several toxic materials in this reaction: potassium hydroxide is an acutely poisonous substance whose ingestion can cause “severe pain, vomiting, diarrhea and collapse, while nickel hydroxide is confirmed to cause cancer in humans and animals. [3] If the chemical is left in the environment to decompose, it will release toxic gases and vapors such as nickel carbonyl. [4] Another source of concern in NiMH batteries comes from the metal alloy it uses to hold hydrogen: the most common alloy is out of rare earth material such as lanthanum nickel whose toxicity has not been thoroughly investigated, although pure lanthanum and nickel are moderately to highly toxic. This lends us sufficient reasons to remain cautious about their compound. Given the toxic material it contains, the NiMH batteries may not be perfectly benign to the environment.

    Another type of popular batteries are out of lithium-ion. They are used in devices such as iPhone 4G, plug-in hybrid vehicles, and full electric vehicles by Tesla Motor. These batteries’ positive electrodes are from materials that can produce lithium-ion, while the negative electrodes are from elemental lithium intercalated on graphite [5]. Lithium ions are “widely distributed in nature; trace amounts are found in many minerals, in most rocks and soils, and in many natural waters,” and FDA approves the use of ionic lithium in drugs [6,7]. Similarly, neither elemental lithium nor graphite are toxic, and their combination eliminates the volatile nature of metallic lithium. The electrolyte can be made out of many materials, but LiPF6 in carbonate solvent is the most common. Lithium carbonate can be a toxin to humans and animals, while LiPF6 can react with water to produce hydrofluoric acid, which is a major pollutant and contact poison. However, considerable amount of R&D has gone into improving the electrolytes: both polymer and ceramic materials are hopeful candidate for the next generation of lithium-ion batteries. As of the moment, lithium-ion cells have the least environmental impact in the battery family.

    Read More
    • Replies: @The Alarmist
    Aside from the challenges of battery technology, think of some of the knock-on effects: We're going to have to build up generation and transmission capacity (remember how the advent of a/c caused brownouts in the 60s and server farms caused brownouts in the 00s). The added demand makes the power system more fragile. The fact that a major piece of the larger national system, transportation, is more fragile means the whole nation is more fragile ... think coronal mass ejection or EMP.

    Screw the environment if it is only 3 degrees in 100 years if keeping our national systems more diversified and robust means we aren't completely returned to the stone age by some event between now and then. Plant some trees for the carbon.
    , @Peter Lund
    NiMH (*hydride*) is a dying technology. The foreseeable future is going to be about lithium-ion (of which there are many types).

    > potassium hydroxide is an acutely poisonous substance whose ingestion can cause “severe pain, vomiting, diarrhea and collapse,

    Which people use in their kitchens as drain cleaner:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drain_cleaner

    They tend to contain KaOH and NaOH amongst other nice goodies.

    > hybrid electric vehicles such as Toyota Prius,

    They are switching to li-ion:
    http://www.carscoops.com/2015/11/this-is-why-toyota-offers-two-different.html
    http://fortune.com/2016/10/31/toyota-prius-prime-lithium-batteries/
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toyota_Prius_Plug-in_Hybrid

    Tesla currently uses NCA in their cars and NMC for their stationary batteries:
    http://batteryuniversity.com/learn/article/types_of_lithium_ion

    They seem to have improved the longevity of their cells a lot recently (which makes them cheaper per cycle and per year + even less of an environmental issue):

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5WpQh4kZ_MU

    I believe they also add a tiny bit of silicium, which improves the energy density.

    Tesla's batteries are clean enough that they can be put in ordinary landfills.... but they prefer to recycle them.

    ---

    The video is of a great talk by Jeff Dahn, who has been doing research on li-ion batteries for a couple of decades. He came up with a much better way of measuring charge/discharge cycles a couple of years ago, which lets them predict behaviour over 1000, 2000 cycles pretty well from only a few tens of cycles. This lets them -- and other R&D groups -- do their research *much* faster. He talks about electrode coating and additives in this video but there are also older videos about their improved measurement techniques.

    He also coinvented the NMC type, btw.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeff_Dahn
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lithium-ion_battery
    https://qz.com/369657/two-industry-titans-are-duking-it-out-over-a-technology-that-could-make-electric-cars-mainstream/
  17. @alexander
    Dear Ms. Mercer,

    NOTHING tells the story of the post 9-11 "gouging" of the American taxpayer than the numbers.

    The "numbers" should make crystal clear to EVERYBODY just how shamefully addicted to "war and terror profiteering" our deep state has become.

    And contrary to popular belief, this is a (relatively)NEW phenomena, barely seventeen years old.

    In the year 2000 we had a national debt of 5.7 trillion dollars.

    Today, this debt has SKYROCKETED to 20 trillion dollars.

    What does this mean ?

    It means that ASIDE from the already HUMONGOUS amount of spending(within the budget) required by our "deep state" to fight its "never ending wars and terrors"...our DEEP STATE TERROR APPARATUS has pilfered from the taxpayer over FOURTEEN TRILLION DOLLARS...in a mere sixteen years.

    And NOBODY is permitted to look at the books...Ms. Mercer.

    Our GAO is the biggest JOKE on the planet.

    Does anybody even have a CLUE what percentage of this 14 TRILLION in heinous, unconscionable "overspending" is pure PROFIT for our deep state "war and terror"profiteers ?

    Is it 40%, 50%, 60%.....SEVENTY PERCENT ???

    Does anybody even dare ASK ?

    Disgusting....absolutely "disgusting"......They should all be ASHAMED at what they have done....

    Right down to their MARROW.

    The power elite has always had ways to panic the American dolts into giving their money to them.

    This latest iteration is just much more efficient..

    Read More
  18. @utu
    Nickel-metal-hydrate (NiMH) batteries are commonly used in hybrid electric vehicles such as Toyota Prius, but there are also small NiMH batteries on the market. These batteries' positive electrodes are made of nickel oxyhydroxide, while their negative electrodes utilize hydrogen stored as metal-hydrate. The electrolyte in this type of batteries are usually potassium hydroxide solutions, and the nickel oxyhydroxide reacts to form nickel hydroxide during discharge [2]. We have several toxic materials in this reaction: potassium hydroxide is an acutely poisonous substance whose ingestion can cause "severe pain, vomiting, diarrhea and collapse, while nickel hydroxide is confirmed to cause cancer in humans and animals. [3] If the chemical is left in the environment to decompose, it will release toxic gases and vapors such as nickel carbonyl. [4] Another source of concern in NiMH batteries comes from the metal alloy it uses to hold hydrogen: the most common alloy is out of rare earth material such as lanthanum nickel whose toxicity has not been thoroughly investigated, although pure lanthanum and nickel are moderately to highly toxic. This lends us sufficient reasons to remain cautious about their compound. Given the toxic material it contains, the NiMH batteries may not be perfectly benign to the environment.

    Another type of popular batteries are out of lithium-ion. They are used in devices such as iPhone 4G, plug-in hybrid vehicles, and full electric vehicles by Tesla Motor. These batteries' positive electrodes are from materials that can produce lithium-ion, while the negative electrodes are from elemental lithium intercalated on graphite [5]. Lithium ions are "widely distributed in nature; trace amounts are found in many minerals, in most rocks and soils, and in many natural waters," and FDA approves the use of ionic lithium in drugs [6,7]. Similarly, neither elemental lithium nor graphite are toxic, and their combination eliminates the volatile nature of metallic lithium. The electrolyte can be made out of many materials, but LiPF6 in carbonate solvent is the most common. Lithium carbonate can be a toxin to humans and animals, while LiPF6 can react with water to produce hydrofluoric acid, which is a major pollutant and contact poison. However, considerable amount of R&D has gone into improving the electrolytes: both polymer and ceramic materials are hopeful candidate for the next generation of lithium-ion batteries. As of the moment, lithium-ion cells have the least environmental impact in the battery family.

    Aside from the challenges of battery technology, think of some of the knock-on effects: We’re going to have to build up generation and transmission capacity (remember how the advent of a/c caused brownouts in the 60s and server farms caused brownouts in the 00s). The added demand makes the power system more fragile. The fact that a major piece of the larger national system, transportation, is more fragile means the whole nation is more fragile … think coronal mass ejection or EMP.

    Screw the environment if it is only 3 degrees in 100 years if keeping our national systems more diversified and robust means we aren’t completely returned to the stone age by some event between now and then. Plant some trees for the carbon.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Peter Lund
    3 °C is a *lot*. The difference between the last ice age (glaciation) and the beginning of the industrialization was about 5 °C. We are now about 0.7 °C above that.

    (Not that I for a moment believe that the Paris Accord was a good idea... I just think we should separate the science -- which is pretty clear -- from the suggested actions, which are mostly about new taxes and regulations and money transfers -- which will have bad consequences in the here and now that are worse than the climate changes have been so far and which will not fix the climate problems anyway.)

    Most of the electric cars can charge pretty much whenever -- it is a shiftable load. Currently, they can charge at night without overloading anything. When solar cells become more widespread, many of them can charge during the day instead, when there is more than enough electricity.

    Btw, Elon Musk has a solution for the peaks when the demand is too high for the production ;)
  19. Wait, I thought Musk was the last of the old school American entrepreneurs/captains of industry. I must have missed a memo.

    Read More
  20. @The Alarmist
    Aside from the challenges of battery technology, think of some of the knock-on effects: We're going to have to build up generation and transmission capacity (remember how the advent of a/c caused brownouts in the 60s and server farms caused brownouts in the 00s). The added demand makes the power system more fragile. The fact that a major piece of the larger national system, transportation, is more fragile means the whole nation is more fragile ... think coronal mass ejection or EMP.

    Screw the environment if it is only 3 degrees in 100 years if keeping our national systems more diversified and robust means we aren't completely returned to the stone age by some event between now and then. Plant some trees for the carbon.

    3 °C is a *lot*. The difference between the last ice age (glaciation) and the beginning of the industrialization was about 5 °C. We are now about 0.7 °C above that.

    (Not that I for a moment believe that the Paris Accord was a good idea… I just think we should separate the science — which is pretty clear — from the suggested actions, which are mostly about new taxes and regulations and money transfers — which will have bad consequences in the here and now that are worse than the climate changes have been so far and which will not fix the climate problems anyway.)

    Most of the electric cars can charge pretty much whenever — it is a shiftable load. Currently, they can charge at night without overloading anything. When solar cells become more widespread, many of them can charge during the day instead, when there is more than enough electricity.

    Btw, Elon Musk has a solution for the peaks when the demand is too high for the production ;)

    Read More
    • Replies: @The Alarmist
    Sorry, Peter, but the science is not clear. There is a certain amount of natural temperature and CO2 variability, and there is a huge non-stationarity problem in the data points that are available over time and lot of backfilling over time to make up for a lack of useful data in certain periods. I think, for example, of Dr. Michael Mann's Hockey Stick model; though it is now claimed that the flaws in the earlier version have been worked through and the updated model, while showing the original model understating variability, it is purported to still show a reliable upward trend in global temperatures. Temperatures are rising: So what? How much of that is natural, e.g. the Sun, and how much is anthropogenic?

    It is also now claimed by climate scientists that the problem is that our present society is built on historically lower temperatures and CO2 levels and we will have big problems if we don't do something to stop the recent uptick in temperatures and CO2 levels. That is a convenient piece of sophistry that still leaves unanswered whether or not global warming, if it is indeed real, is something within our control. It seems to be warmer on Mars recently ... what did we do to cause that?

    In other words, there are significant reasons to suggest that the science is still unable to reliably separate the signal from the noise, but a number of scientists, for one reason or another, have decided to ignore sampling error and the larger issue of whether or not their models are reliable outside of sample, and we are supposed to trash our economies as we know them based on their dogma even though much of that dogma is compromised by easy money that steers the course of research. I think I will follow the advice of Algernon Sidney, that God helps those who help themselves, which seems to be the gist of the Trump approach.

  21. @utu
    Nickel-metal-hydrate (NiMH) batteries are commonly used in hybrid electric vehicles such as Toyota Prius, but there are also small NiMH batteries on the market. These batteries' positive electrodes are made of nickel oxyhydroxide, while their negative electrodes utilize hydrogen stored as metal-hydrate. The electrolyte in this type of batteries are usually potassium hydroxide solutions, and the nickel oxyhydroxide reacts to form nickel hydroxide during discharge [2]. We have several toxic materials in this reaction: potassium hydroxide is an acutely poisonous substance whose ingestion can cause "severe pain, vomiting, diarrhea and collapse, while nickel hydroxide is confirmed to cause cancer in humans and animals. [3] If the chemical is left in the environment to decompose, it will release toxic gases and vapors such as nickel carbonyl. [4] Another source of concern in NiMH batteries comes from the metal alloy it uses to hold hydrogen: the most common alloy is out of rare earth material such as lanthanum nickel whose toxicity has not been thoroughly investigated, although pure lanthanum and nickel are moderately to highly toxic. This lends us sufficient reasons to remain cautious about their compound. Given the toxic material it contains, the NiMH batteries may not be perfectly benign to the environment.

    Another type of popular batteries are out of lithium-ion. They are used in devices such as iPhone 4G, plug-in hybrid vehicles, and full electric vehicles by Tesla Motor. These batteries' positive electrodes are from materials that can produce lithium-ion, while the negative electrodes are from elemental lithium intercalated on graphite [5]. Lithium ions are "widely distributed in nature; trace amounts are found in many minerals, in most rocks and soils, and in many natural waters," and FDA approves the use of ionic lithium in drugs [6,7]. Similarly, neither elemental lithium nor graphite are toxic, and their combination eliminates the volatile nature of metallic lithium. The electrolyte can be made out of many materials, but LiPF6 in carbonate solvent is the most common. Lithium carbonate can be a toxin to humans and animals, while LiPF6 can react with water to produce hydrofluoric acid, which is a major pollutant and contact poison. However, considerable amount of R&D has gone into improving the electrolytes: both polymer and ceramic materials are hopeful candidate for the next generation of lithium-ion batteries. As of the moment, lithium-ion cells have the least environmental impact in the battery family.

    NiMH (*hydride*) is a dying technology. The foreseeable future is going to be about lithium-ion (of which there are many types).

    > potassium hydroxide is an acutely poisonous substance whose ingestion can cause “severe pain, vomiting, diarrhea and collapse,

    Which people use in their kitchens as drain cleaner:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drain_cleaner

    They tend to contain KaOH and NaOH amongst other nice goodies.

    > hybrid electric vehicles such as Toyota Prius,

    They are switching to li-ion:

    http://www.carscoops.com/2015/11/this-is-why-toyota-offers-two-different.html

    http://fortune.com/2016/10/31/toyota-prius-prime-lithium-batteries/

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toyota_Prius_Plug-in_Hybrid

    Tesla currently uses NCA in their cars and NMC for their stationary batteries:

    http://batteryuniversity.com/learn/article/types_of_lithium_ion

    They seem to have improved the longevity of their cells a lot recently (which makes them cheaper per cycle and per year + even less of an environmental issue):

    I believe they also add a tiny bit of silicium, which improves the energy density.

    Tesla’s batteries are clean enough that they can be put in ordinary landfills…. but they prefer to recycle them.

    The video is of a great talk by Jeff Dahn, who has been doing research on li-ion batteries for a couple of decades. He came up with a much better way of measuring charge/discharge cycles a couple of years ago, which lets them predict behaviour over 1000, 2000 cycles pretty well from only a few tens of cycles. This lets them — and other R&D groups — do their research *much* faster. He talks about electrode coating and additives in this video but there are also older videos about their improved measurement techniques.

    He also coinvented the NMC type, btw.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeff_Dahn

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lithium-ion_battery

    https://qz.com/369657/two-industry-titans-are-duking-it-out-over-a-technology-that-could-make-electric-cars-mainstream/

    Read More
  22. @Peter Lund
    3 °C is a *lot*. The difference between the last ice age (glaciation) and the beginning of the industrialization was about 5 °C. We are now about 0.7 °C above that.

    (Not that I for a moment believe that the Paris Accord was a good idea... I just think we should separate the science -- which is pretty clear -- from the suggested actions, which are mostly about new taxes and regulations and money transfers -- which will have bad consequences in the here and now that are worse than the climate changes have been so far and which will not fix the climate problems anyway.)

    Most of the electric cars can charge pretty much whenever -- it is a shiftable load. Currently, they can charge at night without overloading anything. When solar cells become more widespread, many of them can charge during the day instead, when there is more than enough electricity.

    Btw, Elon Musk has a solution for the peaks when the demand is too high for the production ;)

    Sorry, Peter, but the science is not clear. There is a certain amount of natural temperature and CO2 variability, and there is a huge non-stationarity problem in the data points that are available over time and lot of backfilling over time to make up for a lack of useful data in certain periods. I think, for example, of Dr. Michael Mann’s Hockey Stick model; though it is now claimed that the flaws in the earlier version have been worked through and the updated model, while showing the original model understating variability, it is purported to still show a reliable upward trend in global temperatures. Temperatures are rising: So what? How much of that is natural, e.g. the Sun, and how much is anthropogenic?

    It is also now claimed by climate scientists that the problem is that our present society is built on historically lower temperatures and CO2 levels and we will have big problems if we don’t do something to stop the recent uptick in temperatures and CO2 levels. That is a convenient piece of sophistry that still leaves unanswered whether or not global warming, if it is indeed real, is something within our control. It seems to be warmer on Mars recently … what did we do to cause that?

    In other words, there are significant reasons to suggest that the science is still unable to reliably separate the signal from the noise, but a number of scientists, for one reason or another, have decided to ignore sampling error and the larger issue of whether or not their models are reliable outside of sample, and we are supposed to trash our economies as we know them based on their dogma even though much of that dogma is compromised by easy money that steers the course of research. I think I will follow the advice of Algernon Sidney, that God helps those who help themselves, which seems to be the gist of the Trump approach.

    Read More
  23. @alexander
    Dear Ms. Mercer,

    NOTHING tells the story of the post 9-11 "gouging" of the American taxpayer than the numbers.

    The "numbers" should make crystal clear to EVERYBODY just how shamefully addicted to "war and terror profiteering" our deep state has become.

    And contrary to popular belief, this is a (relatively)NEW phenomena, barely seventeen years old.

    In the year 2000 we had a national debt of 5.7 trillion dollars.

    Today, this debt has SKYROCKETED to 20 trillion dollars.

    What does this mean ?

    It means that ASIDE from the already HUMONGOUS amount of spending(within the budget) required by our "deep state" to fight its "never ending wars and terrors"...our DEEP STATE TERROR APPARATUS has pilfered from the taxpayer over FOURTEEN TRILLION DOLLARS...in a mere sixteen years.

    And NOBODY is permitted to look at the books...Ms. Mercer.

    Our GAO is the biggest JOKE on the planet.

    Does anybody even have a CLUE what percentage of this 14 TRILLION in heinous, unconscionable "overspending" is pure PROFIT for our deep state "war and terror"profiteers ?

    Is it 40%, 50%, 60%.....SEVENTY PERCENT ???

    Does anybody even dare ASK ?

    Disgusting....absolutely "disgusting"......They should all be ASHAMED at what they have done....

    Right down to their MARROW.

    The American federal debt doubled under Bush, and doubled again under Obama. That steady rate of growth makes it sound like the effect of compound interest.

    Is there a way to check? How much of the increase in debt is due to interest?

    Read More
    • Replies: @cynthia curran
    Bull, debt is not that bad, Reagan had a higher debt adjusted for inflation. Reagan spent the most on the military industrial complex that anti-debters ignore. A boost of military spending like Reagan would make the US a manufacturing power, but I doubt it will happen because of David Stockman anti-debt people on the right and the left hating the welfare cuts under Trump.
    , @alexander
    Hi Mitchell,

    An excellent source for the facts on all the numbers is "the national debt clock, real time". (you can google it).It keeps a running tab on most of the key indicators. It also offers a "time capsule" where you can flash back to the year 2000 or flash forward to a (projected) 2020.

    Our National debt, as well as the interest we pay on it, is ,in many ways, best understood in relation to our Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The ratio between the two serves as a standard barometer for the overall fiscal health of the nation.

    For example, in 1999 , our GDP was 9.6 trillion and our National Debt was 5.7 trillion, which is a little bit shy of a "2 to 1 ratio". That is not bad, in and of itself, but when you combine it with the fact our government was (actually) operating at a "surplus" in excess of 200 billion dollars per year, ..it's quite good.

    Seventeen years ago, the US economy was on sound footing, Mitchell.

    Our GDP/Debt ratio was almost 2/1, and we were running enough of a surplus to actually pay DOWN our debt, as well as the interest we owed on it.

    This was an excellent scenario for the long term value of both our currency and the bonds we issue.

    Had we continued along this path through the subsequent seventeen years, we would have, today, (all other things being equal),the most enviable balance sheet in the world.

    We would have whittled down almost 2 trillion of debt, while our GDP would have grown to what it is(if not more) ....18.8 trillion.

    Our GDP/ Debt ratio would be a fantastic 4 to 1. (18.8 T/3.7 T )

    The United States of America would be, in short , the gold standard of the universe.

    So what happened ?

    What happened is , post 9-11, the Neocons took over the shop, and launched the greatest "spending spree" of taxpayer money, in the history of western civilization.

    Their policies (combined with the Subprime Bank fraud "bailout" ) have devoured over FOURTEEN TRILLION dollars of our nation's treasure, in a mere sixteen years.

    These policies have "pilfered" so much of "our money" our National debt has ACTUALLY eclipsed our GDP by over a trillion dollars....our current ratio is... GDP 18.8 T/ DEBT 19.9 T.

    This is so tragic and so awful.....No one DARE discuss it.

    And what do we have to show for all this "overspending" of taxpayer money , Mitchell ?

    Let's look at (just) one AREA of this massive NEW SPENDING SPREE., shall we,...."Homeland Security".

    The US taxpayer has coughed up close to a "trillion dollars" over the past 16 years, for our government to "eradicate terror" in our country.(Keep us safe from "terror")

    YET, there were MORE "terror events" over the last FOUR YEARS after we spent a TRILLION to eradicate them, than there were in the ENTIRE FORTY YEARS, between 1960-2000, when our "Homeland Security budget", was ZERO.

    Or... let's look at the "catastrophic" Iraq war, the Neocons lied us into, whose price tag is now estimated at close to SIX TRILLION DOLLARS.....What do we have to show for that ?

    Iraq is , now,a wholly "FAILED STATE" ,by any metric, with MILLIONS of Innocents dead, and millions more homeless and destitute.

    Heartbreaking.

    At a certain point,Mitchell,one has to pull back the curtain on this,..we have to begin to see that our entire Deep State "war and terror" Apparatus is not functioning to make the world (or our country) a "better,safer place"...its functioning to rob us blind.

    Rob us.....BLIND.
    , @Achmed E. Newman
    Michelle, my link, here again has comments on something you've probably got in your desk drawer, or your accountant has plenty - the pie graph from the back of the IRS 1040 100-odd page instruction book. It purports to show the simple and efficient US Feral Gov't budgeting process in 2 easy pie graphs! (that was extreme sarcasm, except, yeah, there are 2 pie graphs.)

    To answer your question directly first, interest over the last decade has been forced down to unnatural* levels by the non-Federal-Gov't. Federal Reserve bank. We are talking 1-2 % (this is why you get 0.8% or some ridiculously worthless amount of interest on a 2 year CD nowadays). 6% of the budget expenditures are "net interest" on the debt, Michelle. That sounds not so bad, but, imagine if interest rates go up to more normal levels, say 7% - that brings those payments up to 20-35%, a serious chunk of the budget, and an even BIGGER percentage of revenues, because revenues DO NOT EQUAL expenditures, hence the average $1,000,000,000,000 additional amount the US taxpayer goes in the hole each year (in addition to the average American family's already f__d-up finances).

    This puts the Feral Gov't in a real pickle, money-wise. They are creating digital money out of thin air to keep the rates down and it's cheap money, as in low rates make stupid economic investments quite doable - case in point - Housing Bubble 2.0. Big inflation is coming, and right now it is much larger than advertised, but were the US Gov't to come out with the real numbers, SS payments, etc. would have to go up, busting the budget even more. Bring up interest rates to fight inflation - like Paul Volcker did, half the Federal budget will be interest, and maybe 3/4 of all revenue coming in will have to go directly to interest payments - think about that with respect to your family's budget, Michelle.

    Here are a coupla dozen articles on this Global Financial Stupidity. Enjoy!


    * Unnatural, as the "natural" level is that price that people in a free market are willing to pay to have money to use in advance of earning it. Historically, it's been in the 5 -1 0 % range, and it should vary according to economic times, not political will.
  24. SpaceX has saved NASA and the tax payer billions, and will soon do the same for the millitary

    a Falcon 9 launch costs a fraction of the cost of the Shuttle or any other US launcher, also the batteries used in Teslas are safe and clean, don’t believe the oil industry lies

    Read More
  25. @Mitchell Porter
    The American federal debt doubled under Bush, and doubled again under Obama. That steady rate of growth makes it sound like the effect of compound interest.

    Is there a way to check? How much of the increase in debt is due to interest?

    Bull, debt is not that bad, Reagan had a higher debt adjusted for inflation. Reagan spent the most on the military industrial complex that anti-debters ignore. A boost of military spending like Reagan would make the US a manufacturing power, but I doubt it will happen because of David Stockman anti-debt people on the right and the left hating the welfare cuts under Trump.

    Read More
    • Replies: @MarkinLA
    A boost of military spending like Reagan would make the US a manufacturing power,

    Except Reagan's spending DIDN"T make us a manufacturing power and more wasteful military spending now won't either. Most of Reagan's military buildup was pure waste. I should know I saw it every day at Hughes. What happened to the US auto, home electronics, and steel industries under Reagan?

    Reagan was the luckiest guy in the world. Volcker killed off the inflation (but not in time to save Carter) and the semiconductor industry matured along with the PC industry while the mainframe manufacturers were still viable. This is was what led to a lot of new jobs - especially for digital design EEs and computer programmers. The lack of oversight on the banks by Reagan's administration led to a real estate bubble that ended with the S&L crisis but built a lot of useless commercial real estate which later sold for 30 cents on the dollar. Corporate tax changes led to the junk bond bubble.

    Clinton cut defense and we had a bubble boom (dot com) just like under Reagan that had nothing to do with Clinton's policies.
  26. @Mitchell Porter
    The American federal debt doubled under Bush, and doubled again under Obama. That steady rate of growth makes it sound like the effect of compound interest.

    Is there a way to check? How much of the increase in debt is due to interest?

    Hi Mitchell,

    An excellent source for the facts on all the numbers is “the national debt clock, real time”. (you can google it).It keeps a running tab on most of the key indicators. It also offers a “time capsule” where you can flash back to the year 2000 or flash forward to a (projected) 2020.

    Our National debt, as well as the interest we pay on it, is ,in many ways, best understood in relation to our Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The ratio between the two serves as a standard barometer for the overall fiscal health of the nation.

    For example, in 1999 , our GDP was 9.6 trillion and our National Debt was 5.7 trillion, which is a little bit shy of a “2 to 1 ratio”. That is not bad, in and of itself, but when you combine it with the fact our government was (actually) operating at a “surplus” in excess of 200 billion dollars per year, ..it’s quite good.

    Seventeen years ago, the US economy was on sound footing, Mitchell.

    Our GDP/Debt ratio was almost 2/1, and we were running enough of a surplus to actually pay DOWN our debt, as well as the interest we owed on it.

    This was an excellent scenario for the long term value of both our currency and the bonds we issue.

    Had we continued along this path through the subsequent seventeen years, we would have, today, (all other things being equal),the most enviable balance sheet in the world.

    We would have whittled down almost 2 trillion of debt, while our GDP would have grown to what it is(if not more) ….18.8 trillion.

    Our GDP/ Debt ratio would be a fantastic 4 to 1. (18.8 T/3.7 T )

    The United States of America would be, in short , the gold standard of the universe.

    So what happened ?

    What happened is , post 9-11, the Neocons took over the shop, and launched the greatest “spending spree” of taxpayer money, in the history of western civilization.

    Their policies (combined with the Subprime Bank fraud “bailout” ) have devoured over FOURTEEN TRILLION dollars of our nation’s treasure, in a mere sixteen years.

    These policies have “pilfered” so much of “our money” our National debt has ACTUALLY eclipsed our GDP by over a trillion dollars….our current ratio is… GDP 18.8 T/ DEBT 19.9 T.

    This is so tragic and so awful…..No one DARE discuss it.

    And what do we have to show for all this “overspending” of taxpayer money , Mitchell ?

    Let’s look at (just) one AREA of this massive NEW SPENDING SPREE., shall we,….”Homeland Security”.

    The US taxpayer has coughed up close to a “trillion dollars” over the past 16 years, for our government to “eradicate terror” in our country.(Keep us safe from “terror”)

    YET, there were MORE “terror events” over the last FOUR YEARS after we spent a TRILLION to eradicate them, than there were in the ENTIRE FORTY YEARS, between 1960-2000, when our “Homeland Security budget”, was ZERO.

    Or… let’s look at the “catastrophic” Iraq war, the Neocons lied us into, whose price tag is now estimated at close to SIX TRILLION DOLLARS…..What do we have to show for that ?

    Iraq is , now,a wholly “FAILED STATE” ,by any metric, with MILLIONS of Innocents dead, and millions more homeless and destitute.

    Heartbreaking.

    At a certain point,Mitchell,one has to pull back the curtain on this,..we have to begin to see that our entire Deep State “war and terror” Apparatus is not functioning to make the world (or our country) a “better,safer place”…its functioning to rob us blind.

    Rob us…..BLIND.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
    Alexander, while I agree COMPLETELY with all your points about "fighting terror", Motherland Securtity and all the Police State BS, I don't agree on the part that is the direct answer to Michelle.

    A) The necoon warmongering indeed cost a big chunk of money (not to mention the deaths and maimings). However, this, even witht the black money, is still quite a bit less than 1/2 of the huge budget pie. There is a huge sum spent each year that could be just called "socialism", but is termed "transfer payments". Whether payments due on the SS ponzi scheme, medicaire, block grants, whatever, this is all money being redistributed with the Feds both in control and taking their cut via the bureacracy in the middle of it. This amount is ALWAYS going up. Per a Ron Paul post right here on unz, a 38% increase is considered a CUT because it was a LOWER INCREASE than they wanted!. This has been going on for many decades.

    B) I will answer Michelle's question directly to her about the interest payments.

    C) The only reason the budget showed a surplus in the late 1990's for 1 or 2 years was because of an accounting change - put the SS budget together with the rest of the Federal budget. SS was still well in the black in those years, as the baby boomers were in their 40's and 50's, so there weren't nearly as many recipients, relative to people getting money confiscated bi-weekly paying in.

    This is a long-term thing, Alexander. About the only thing you could put directly on the Reagan Admin. was one guy (budget director maybe, but someone that people listened to) saying "deficits don't matter". That was a true statement for the time interval involving his career, but not for the long-term. Things that can't go on, won't go on.

    I'll write more to Michelle.
  27. @The Alarmist
    SpaceX is Musk's ticket into the big-time of the MIC ... the subsidies he got for Tesla were his meal ticket into a much larger game.

    Don't get me wrong ... I am in awe of Musk being able to do in a relatively short span of time what took several major corporations decades to accomplish.

    He really is an evil genius.

    I am in awe of Musk being able to do in a relatively short span of time what took several major corporations decades to accomplish.

    It is all a matter of a technology maturing – not some special genius by Musk. Now anybody who wants to can build something with carbon fiber or design their own custom ICs. Rocket engines are nothing new.

    Read More
  28. @cynthia curran
    Bull, debt is not that bad, Reagan had a higher debt adjusted for inflation. Reagan spent the most on the military industrial complex that anti-debters ignore. A boost of military spending like Reagan would make the US a manufacturing power, but I doubt it will happen because of David Stockman anti-debt people on the right and the left hating the welfare cuts under Trump.

    A boost of military spending like Reagan would make the US a manufacturing power,

    Except Reagan’s spending DIDN”T make us a manufacturing power and more wasteful military spending now won’t either. Most of Reagan’s military buildup was pure waste. I should know I saw it every day at Hughes. What happened to the US auto, home electronics, and steel industries under Reagan?

    Reagan was the luckiest guy in the world. Volcker killed off the inflation (but not in time to save Carter) and the semiconductor industry matured along with the PC industry while the mainframe manufacturers were still viable. This is was what led to a lot of new jobs – especially for digital design EEs and computer programmers. The lack of oversight on the banks by Reagan’s administration led to a real estate bubble that ended with the S&L crisis but built a lot of useless commercial real estate which later sold for 30 cents on the dollar. Corporate tax changes led to the junk bond bubble.

    Clinton cut defense and we had a bubble boom (dot com) just like under Reagan that had nothing to do with Clinton’s policies.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
    Mark. we butted heads on the issue of the defeat of global communism a few days back - on Peter Brimelow's post. I don't want to start that argument back up here. I just wanted to reply that I agree with this post, for the most part, in addition to your post 28.

    We have something in common, Mark. I don't know if you are/were an engineer or technicial out there at HAC in El Segundo, N. Redondo or wherever. It's not wise to get into details on this, but I am pretty familiar myself. I know as well as you that the bureacracy in the military contracters, even 25 years back was out of hand stupid. There is tremendous waste ( and wrt my reply to Alexander, there is just as much in the Socialism side of any government spending)

    Anytime people are not spending their own money, they don't mind so much being wasteful. However, I believe that the people at the aerospace contracters aren't the instigators - I know they are put through ridiculous hoops sets of rules to do work for the Feral Gov't. I ran into a number of machine shops that, even with the good money, had had enough of the BS trying to do business with us (a big MIC corp.).

    Paul Volcker indeed was one of the best things that happened to Reagan. The polls back in the late '70's through early '80's showed inflation as people's * NUMERO UNO concern, and 15-17% interest rates put the kibosh on inflation within 2-3 years.



    * as opposed to today, when people in government don't even PRETEND to care what the people think about anything. They just want a slow decline, as opposed to a quick one, to protect their own personal lives and property.
  29. @alexander
    Hi Mitchell,

    An excellent source for the facts on all the numbers is "the national debt clock, real time". (you can google it).It keeps a running tab on most of the key indicators. It also offers a "time capsule" where you can flash back to the year 2000 or flash forward to a (projected) 2020.

    Our National debt, as well as the interest we pay on it, is ,in many ways, best understood in relation to our Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The ratio between the two serves as a standard barometer for the overall fiscal health of the nation.

    For example, in 1999 , our GDP was 9.6 trillion and our National Debt was 5.7 trillion, which is a little bit shy of a "2 to 1 ratio". That is not bad, in and of itself, but when you combine it with the fact our government was (actually) operating at a "surplus" in excess of 200 billion dollars per year, ..it's quite good.

    Seventeen years ago, the US economy was on sound footing, Mitchell.

    Our GDP/Debt ratio was almost 2/1, and we were running enough of a surplus to actually pay DOWN our debt, as well as the interest we owed on it.

    This was an excellent scenario for the long term value of both our currency and the bonds we issue.

    Had we continued along this path through the subsequent seventeen years, we would have, today, (all other things being equal),the most enviable balance sheet in the world.

    We would have whittled down almost 2 trillion of debt, while our GDP would have grown to what it is(if not more) ....18.8 trillion.

    Our GDP/ Debt ratio would be a fantastic 4 to 1. (18.8 T/3.7 T )

    The United States of America would be, in short , the gold standard of the universe.

    So what happened ?

    What happened is , post 9-11, the Neocons took over the shop, and launched the greatest "spending spree" of taxpayer money, in the history of western civilization.

    Their policies (combined with the Subprime Bank fraud "bailout" ) have devoured over FOURTEEN TRILLION dollars of our nation's treasure, in a mere sixteen years.

    These policies have "pilfered" so much of "our money" our National debt has ACTUALLY eclipsed our GDP by over a trillion dollars....our current ratio is... GDP 18.8 T/ DEBT 19.9 T.

    This is so tragic and so awful.....No one DARE discuss it.

    And what do we have to show for all this "overspending" of taxpayer money , Mitchell ?

    Let's look at (just) one AREA of this massive NEW SPENDING SPREE., shall we,...."Homeland Security".

    The US taxpayer has coughed up close to a "trillion dollars" over the past 16 years, for our government to "eradicate terror" in our country.(Keep us safe from "terror")

    YET, there were MORE "terror events" over the last FOUR YEARS after we spent a TRILLION to eradicate them, than there were in the ENTIRE FORTY YEARS, between 1960-2000, when our "Homeland Security budget", was ZERO.

    Or... let's look at the "catastrophic" Iraq war, the Neocons lied us into, whose price tag is now estimated at close to SIX TRILLION DOLLARS.....What do we have to show for that ?

    Iraq is , now,a wholly "FAILED STATE" ,by any metric, with MILLIONS of Innocents dead, and millions more homeless and destitute.

    Heartbreaking.

    At a certain point,Mitchell,one has to pull back the curtain on this,..we have to begin to see that our entire Deep State "war and terror" Apparatus is not functioning to make the world (or our country) a "better,safer place"...its functioning to rob us blind.

    Rob us.....BLIND.

    Alexander, while I agree COMPLETELY with all your points about “fighting terror”, Motherland Securtity and all the Police State BS, I don’t agree on the part that is the direct answer to Michelle.

    A) The necoon warmongering indeed cost a big chunk of money (not to mention the deaths and maimings). However, this, even witht the black money, is still quite a bit less than 1/2 of the huge budget pie. There is a huge sum spent each year that could be just called “socialism”, but is termed “transfer payments”. Whether payments due on the SS ponzi scheme, medicaire, block grants, whatever, this is all money being redistributed with the Feds both in control and taking their cut via the bureacracy in the middle of it. This amount is ALWAYS going up. Per a Ron Paul post right here on unz, a 38% increase is considered a CUT because it was a LOWER INCREASE than they wanted!. This has been going on for many decades.

    B) I will answer Michelle’s question directly to her about the interest payments.

    C) The only reason the budget showed a surplus in the late 1990′s for 1 or 2 years was because of an accounting change – put the SS budget together with the rest of the Federal budget. SS was still well in the black in those years, as the baby boomers were in their 40′s and 50′s, so there weren’t nearly as many recipients, relative to people getting money confiscated bi-weekly paying in.

    This is a long-term thing, Alexander. About the only thing you could put directly on the Reagan Admin. was one guy (budget director maybe, but someone that people listened to) saying “deficits don’t matter”. That was a true statement for the time interval involving his career, but not for the long-term. Things that can’t go on, won’t go on.

    I’ll write more to Michelle.

    Read More
  30. @Mitchell Porter
    The American federal debt doubled under Bush, and doubled again under Obama. That steady rate of growth makes it sound like the effect of compound interest.

    Is there a way to check? How much of the increase in debt is due to interest?

    Michelle, my link, here again has comments on something you’ve probably got in your desk drawer, or your accountant has plenty – the pie graph from the back of the IRS 1040 100-odd page instruction book. It purports to show the simple and efficient US Feral Gov’t budgeting process in 2 easy pie graphs! (that was extreme sarcasm, except, yeah, there are 2 pie graphs.)

    To answer your question directly first, interest over the last decade has been forced down to unnatural* levels by the non-Federal-Gov’t. Federal Reserve bank. We are talking 1-2 % (this is why you get 0.8% or some ridiculously worthless amount of interest on a 2 year CD nowadays). 6% of the budget expenditures are “net interest” on the debt, Michelle. That sounds not so bad, but, imagine if interest rates go up to more normal levels, say 7% – that brings those payments up to 20-35%, a serious chunk of the budget, and an even BIGGER percentage of revenues, because revenues DO NOT EQUAL expenditures, hence the average $1,000,000,000,000 additional amount the US taxpayer goes in the hole each year (in addition to the average American family’s already f__d-up finances).

    This puts the Feral Gov’t in a real pickle, money-wise. They are creating digital money out of thin air to keep the rates down and it’s cheap money, as in low rates make stupid economic investments quite doable – case in point – Housing Bubble 2.0. Big inflation is coming, and right now it is much larger than advertised, but were the US Gov’t to come out with the real numbers, SS payments, etc. would have to go up, busting the budget even more. Bring up interest rates to fight inflation – like Paul Volcker did, half the Federal budget will be interest, and maybe 3/4 of all revenue coming in will have to go directly to interest payments – think about that with respect to your family’s budget, Michelle.

    Here are a coupla dozen articles on this Global Financial Stupidity. Enjoy!

    * Unnatural, as the “natural” level is that price that people in a free market are willing to pay to have money to use in advance of earning it. Historically, it’s been in the 5 -1 0 % range, and it should vary according to economic times, not political will.

    Read More
  31. @MarkinLA
    A boost of military spending like Reagan would make the US a manufacturing power,

    Except Reagan's spending DIDN"T make us a manufacturing power and more wasteful military spending now won't either. Most of Reagan's military buildup was pure waste. I should know I saw it every day at Hughes. What happened to the US auto, home electronics, and steel industries under Reagan?

    Reagan was the luckiest guy in the world. Volcker killed off the inflation (but not in time to save Carter) and the semiconductor industry matured along with the PC industry while the mainframe manufacturers were still viable. This is was what led to a lot of new jobs - especially for digital design EEs and computer programmers. The lack of oversight on the banks by Reagan's administration led to a real estate bubble that ended with the S&L crisis but built a lot of useless commercial real estate which later sold for 30 cents on the dollar. Corporate tax changes led to the junk bond bubble.

    Clinton cut defense and we had a bubble boom (dot com) just like under Reagan that had nothing to do with Clinton's policies.

    Mark. we butted heads on the issue of the defeat of global communism a few days back – on Peter Brimelow’s post. I don’t want to start that argument back up here. I just wanted to reply that I agree with this post, for the most part, in addition to your post 28.

    We have something in common, Mark. I don’t know if you are/were an engineer or technicial out there at HAC in El Segundo, N. Redondo or wherever. It’s not wise to get into details on this, but I am pretty familiar myself. I know as well as you that the bureacracy in the military contracters, even 25 years back was out of hand stupid. There is tremendous waste ( and wrt my reply to Alexander, there is just as much in the Socialism side of any government spending)

    Anytime people are not spending their own money, they don’t mind so much being wasteful. However, I believe that the people at the aerospace contracters aren’t the instigators – I know they are put through ridiculous hoops sets of rules to do work for the Feral Gov’t. I ran into a number of machine shops that, even with the good money, had had enough of the BS trying to do business with us (a big MIC corp.).

    Paul Volcker indeed was one of the best things that happened to Reagan. The polls back in the late ’70′s through early ’80′s showed inflation as people’s * NUMERO UNO concern, and 15-17% interest rates put the kibosh on inflation within 2-3 years.

    * as opposed to today, when people in government don’t even PRETEND to care what the people think about anything. They just want a slow decline, as opposed to a quick one, to protect their own personal lives and property.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
    I tried to paste this in last minute, Mark, to my last post:

    At my 2nd day at the job at a big aero contractor we were at some kind of big orientation meeting. One guy, in response to something about the bureauracy, said "... well we work for the government." I said "No, we DON'T work for the government. We sell stuff to the government." Big damn difference, I thought. Now, it may as well be the same thing.

    That is more on topic with what Ilana's post is about here.

    Ilana good post again! The big corps. get all the breaks that the little entrepreneur will not get. Though I don't know battery science, I agree with Alarmist and Ilana over Mr. Lund here on the politics of these Musk companies.

    What Musk does have is an ability to run without the kind of interference in the the workaday engineering that Hughes, Northrop-Grumman, Boeing, and all of. them have to put up with. However, on the money side, he is propped up by the US taxpayer - he's got the best of both worlds.
  32. @Achmed E. Newman
    Mark. we butted heads on the issue of the defeat of global communism a few days back - on Peter Brimelow's post. I don't want to start that argument back up here. I just wanted to reply that I agree with this post, for the most part, in addition to your post 28.

    We have something in common, Mark. I don't know if you are/were an engineer or technicial out there at HAC in El Segundo, N. Redondo or wherever. It's not wise to get into details on this, but I am pretty familiar myself. I know as well as you that the bureacracy in the military contracters, even 25 years back was out of hand stupid. There is tremendous waste ( and wrt my reply to Alexander, there is just as much in the Socialism side of any government spending)

    Anytime people are not spending their own money, they don't mind so much being wasteful. However, I believe that the people at the aerospace contracters aren't the instigators - I know they are put through ridiculous hoops sets of rules to do work for the Feral Gov't. I ran into a number of machine shops that, even with the good money, had had enough of the BS trying to do business with us (a big MIC corp.).

    Paul Volcker indeed was one of the best things that happened to Reagan. The polls back in the late '70's through early '80's showed inflation as people's * NUMERO UNO concern, and 15-17% interest rates put the kibosh on inflation within 2-3 years.



    * as opposed to today, when people in government don't even PRETEND to care what the people think about anything. They just want a slow decline, as opposed to a quick one, to protect their own personal lives and property.

    I tried to paste this in last minute, Mark, to my last post:

    At my 2nd day at the job at a big aero contractor we were at some kind of big orientation meeting. One guy, in response to something about the bureauracy, said “… well we work for the government.” I said “No, we DON’T work for the government. We sell stuff to the government.” Big damn difference, I thought. Now, it may as well be the same thing.

    That is more on topic with what Ilana’s post is about here.

    Ilana good post again! The big corps. get all the breaks that the little entrepreneur will not get. Though I don’t know battery science, I agree with Alarmist and Ilana over Mr. Lund here on the politics of these Musk companies.

    What Musk does have is an ability to run without the kind of interference in the the workaday engineering that Hughes, Northrop-Grumman, Boeing, and all of. them have to put up with. However, on the money side, he is propped up by the US taxpayer – he’s got the best of both worlds.

    Read More
Current Commenter says:

Leave a Reply - Comments on articles more than two weeks old will be judged much more strictly on quality and tone


 Remember My InformationWhy?
 Email Replies to my Comment
Submitted comments become the property of The Unz Review and may be republished elsewhere at the sole discretion of the latter
Subscribe to This Comment Thread via RSS Subscribe to All Ilana Mercer Comments via RSS
PastClassics
The “war hero” candidate buried information about POWs left behind in Vietnam.
While other top brass played press agents for the administration’s war, William Odom told the truth about Iraq—though few listened.
A thousand years of meritocracy shaped the Middle Kingdom.