Wednesday, February 24, 2010
CBS 60 Minutes has reported this week about Bloom Energy a new Silicon Valley startup that has come up with a revolutionary solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) technology to convert natural gas into electricity. Bloom cofounder and CEO K.R. Sridhar uses mediator inks which are simply painted onto ceramic plates. The ceramic plate with a mediator ink for natural gas on one side and a different mediator ink for oxygen on the other are sandwiched between grooved metal plates which allow the flow of gas and oxygen to enter the system and which conduct the electricity away.
The most revolutionary thing about the BloomBox is first that it's already working. Companies like EBay, Walmart, and Google have installed BloomBoxs and are currently producing high amounts of electricity. In the report, a representative of Google shows how his crop of BloomBoxes are producing much more electricity then their expansive system of solar panels. Google estimates that their Bloom Boxes are producing 15% of all their electricity.
Other revolutionary aspect of this technology is that it has the potential to make the US energy independent. While the US doesn't have much petroleum, what we do have is plenty of natural gas. And the Bloom Box is perfect in converting natural gas into electricity with twice the efficiency compared to burning it. Bloom is hopeful that small fuel cell stacks the side of a toaster inside a dishwasher-size unit would be enough to power an average US home. The cost for the entire unit would be about $3000. Larger units the size used by Amazon, Google, and Ebay would power entire neighborhoods. This technology is going to be the next "game changer" like the Internet.
The Bloom Box has some issues with air filters getting clogged, but this is an easy fix. SOFCs historically can be poisoned by sulfur but the Bloom Box stacks are so cheap to produce, I think they could be replaced easily. Natural Gas has almost no sulfur in it compared to petroleum so, I foresee the units lasting for a long time and being very low maintenance. The boxes need to run at hotter temperatures to avoid needing platinum for the oxygen side. This temperature requirement could be used to heat homes which would increase efficiency.
The bi-product of the reaction is carbon dioxide. So, when run on natural gas, critics complain that the BloomBox is not carbon neutral unless it is run by landfill gas or something similar. But, again, all the ice core data proves that there is no such thing as man-made global warming. Global warming and cooling is directly related to solar luminosity, solar cycles, and Milankiovitch cycles which describe variations in the tilt of the Earth and variations in Earth orbit around the sun. Ice core data shows that throughout history rising CO2 levels lag 800 years behind rising temperatures, proving that higher temperatures heat the oceans and result in higher atmospheric CO2 and not the other way around.
FLEXIBLE SILICON WIRE SOLAR CELLS
Science Daily reported last week about a new technology in thin-film flexible solar cells. Harry Atwater, Nathan Lewis, Michael Kelzenberg at Caltech published the results of their new solar array on February 14 in Nature Materials. Their solar cell uses an array of vertically arranged micron-sized silicon wires to absorb sunlight. These silicon wires are embedded in a flexible transparent polymer which is impregnated with reflective light scattering particles. The rods themselves are coated with an anti-reflective coating. The result is over a 85% efficiency in collecting collectible solar energy which is then converted into electricity. Currently, the best thin-film solar cells have only about a 15%-20% efficiency. The efficiency recorded for the more traditional crystalline silicon solar cells using multi-junction concentrator technology is only 40%.
The advantage of this technology is that it is flexible, avoids the cost and difficulty associated with pure crystalline silicon, and claims to be more efficient than other thin film technologies (First Solar, Nano Solar, Uni-Solar). Using micro-silicon wire arrays uses just 1/50th of the silicon and can be produced in a cheap roll-to-roll manufacturing process. However, I am a little fuzzy about their claim of efficiency. They claim 85% of collectible light is converted to electricity, but I am not sure how that compares to traditional solar panel efficiency. Photons coming from the sun have an energy between 1.5-3 eV according to E=hv. Solar panels using muti-junctional concentration or different layers that absorb at different wavelengths generate electrons of 0.7-1.8 eV at 40% efficiency. I am not sure if the Caltech efficiency is talking about the same thing as solar cell efficiency as described in the following graph. However, I think the micro-rods/wire array concept is great. This idea reminds me of the rods and cones in the retina of the eye. Also, I wonder if multi-junctional concentration could also incorporated?
Sunday, February 21, 2010
Saturday, February 20, 2010
In the Bible, the Book of Daniel has Daniel interpret King Nebakanezer's dream. In that dream, Daniel sees an idol with a head of gold, shoulders of silver, belly or bronze, and legs of iron, and feet of iron mixed with clay. Daniel was given the interpretation that the head represented the Babylonian Empire, the silver shoulders was the Persian Empire, the Bronze belly was Greece, and the Iron legs were Rome. It is interesting how those metals are associated historically with these Empires. Daniel is shown that a rock is cut out of the mountains without hands which rolls forth, and grows until it strikes the idol and destroys it.
Later on in Daniel, Daniel describes the same thing, but this time he is shown 4 Beasts arise out of the ocean. The first had the head of a lion with eagle wings. The second was a bear, the third was a 4-headed Leopard, and the fifth and most terrible and a combination of the previous 3. Again, this dream represents earthly kingdoms of Babylon, Persia, Greece, and Rome. Greece is described as a 4-headed beast because Greece split into 4 after the death of Alexander the Great.
But in the Last Days, there could be a latter-day fulfillment of this revelation to Daniel. If we look at history emerging from the Dark Ages and feudalism, the first great empire we see is the Spanish Empire beginning with Columbus in 1492 and ending with the 30-years war in Europe in 1618 and the decline of the Austro-Spanish Habsburg Empire. Spain suffered other defeats along the way such as defeat of the Spanish Armada in 1588 and then the War of Spanish Succession in 17o1, and finally the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805.
The French Empire was the next to come onto the scene beginning with the 30-years war in Europe in 1618 with Cardinal Richelieu and King Louis XIII. In 1685 France reversed the Edict of Nantes (1598) with the Edict of Fontainebleau and made Protestantism illegal. French Huguenots fled France for neighboring countries. After 1701 and the War of Spanish Succession, King Louis XIV fostered the Baroque period of art and music and France ruled the cultural world. French power continued until Napoleon in 1804-1814 at the battle of Waterloo.
Great Britain comprising 4 countries of Ireland, Scotland, Wales, and England from about 1801 to 1945 and the end of World War II. Just as the third empire Greece gave the world a universal language, Great Britain had widespread cultural, linguistic, and political influence. At its peak approximately a quarter of the Earth's total land area. It was often said that "the sun never sets upon the British Empire."
World War II brought about the rise of the fourth and last world empire: the United States. While the constitution is an inspired document, the economic and imperialistic practices of the US has hurt many countries. While we do have legitimate concerns over Nazism, Communism, and Radical Muslim Extremism, US business is guilty of selling Coca-Cola in 3rd-world countries in exchange for milk, deluging Eastern Europe in cigarettes, and supporting this man-made global warming farce that is preventing the 3rd-world from developing. In "Confessions of an Economic Hitman," and "The Secret History of the American Empire" we learn that Imperialist West encourages developing nations to take out huge loans from the World Bank. Then after the country cannot possibly repay the debt which was used by Western Businesses to build a refinery or a mine, we tell the country we will help them and even forgive their debt if they allow the US control over their natural resources and if they do not impose tariffs on US imports. This control stifles innovation and jobs in developing nations.
Gold Head, Lion and Eagle, Babylonian, 525 B.C.— 457 B.C., Spain, 1492-1618
Silver Shoulders, Bear, Medo-Persian, 457 B.C.— 332 B.C., France, 1618-1815
Bronze Belly, 4-Headed Leopard, Greece, 332 B.C. — 30 B.C., Great Britain, 1815-1945
Iron Legs, 7-headed 10 horns, Imperial Rome, 30 B.C. — 476 A.D., United States, 1945 - Present.
After thinking a lot about the main threats to our freedom. Several things stand out to me. In the LDS "Proclamation to the World: The Family", the warning at the end by the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles said that it would be policies that break down the family as the fundamental unit of society that would bring upon nations "the calamities foretold by ancient and modern prophets."
In Joseph Smith's revelation on War, he said that the War of the States would begin in South Carolina and that the Southern States would seek assistance from Great Britain. The interesting thing about this prophecy is that Great Britain's support for the Confederacy was not in troops and ships but large loans to fund the war against the Union. These war loans were paid out of banks in Paris, France. When Abraham Lincoln found out that the Rothschild's were funding both sides of the war, he stopped paying interest on Union loans and started printing "greenbacks". It is not a surprise to many that Lincoln was assassinated. Joseph Smith said what was done during the War of the States would spread war all over the world. Well to me, it seems banking was the issue here.
This was not the first time the Rothschild's made money funding both sides of a war. The Rothschild's made their fortune beginning with the Battle of Waterloo. The Rothschilds are claimed to have been funding both the Duke of Wellington and Napoleon. The story goes that Nathan Mayer Rothschild had informants on the battle field that raced the news of the battle back 24 hours before the general public learned the outcome. At first Rothschild began selling off his stocks or consols. Upon learning that Rothschild was selling off his consols, all the traders in London followed. Then just before the news of Wellington's win at Waterloo arrived, Rothschild had his men buy every last consol they could get their hands on. Upon learning that England was victorious, Rothschild's consols were now worth 20:1 what he had paid for them. Rothschild owned the British Empire.
I have discussed in previous posts how our current banking system, corporatocracy and economy hurts families, workers, creates classes, and keeps the 3rd-world impoverished. We should not forget that it was Rothschilds who was the major supporter for the slave trade also. While I do not ignore other threats, the Bible tells us that in the Last Days, an economic and political system will arise that will first destroy false religion before it ends up destroying all nations.
There exist certain persons of power who desire that the entire world be globally united. In fact, Jesus Christ wanted to do this also. Except, the people formulating this global unification want to be in charge and not Christ. There are people of great power and wealth who seek to build Utopia and not Zion. And there are very many well-meaning people who have good intentions and hope for a great future potential good in this plan. Their hope in a future good end even justifies some bad along the way.
How this global unification will come about is by driving wedges between people, and creating all sorts of factions, religions, classes, peoples, political ideologies, cultures and counter cultures. Mistrust and contention between groups will lead to war. In contrast to conflict and contention, a global unification will promise peace. So, our contention, mistrust, and anger among ourselves empowers globalists to take control. They will tell us how religion has failed us, and only through their vision has true peace been realized.
D&C 87: 6 And thus, with the asword and by bloodshed the inhabitants of the earth shall bmourn; and with famine, and plague, and earthquake, and the thunder of heaven, and the fierce and vivid lightning also, shall the inhabitants of the earth be made to feel the wrath, and indignation, and chastening hand of an Almighty God, until the consumption decreed hath made a full end of all nations;
Jer 30: 11 For I am with thee, saith the Lord, to save thee: though I make a full end of all nations whither I have scattered thee, yet will I not make a full end of thee: but I will correct thee in measure, and will not leave thee altogether unpunished.
"We are on the verge of a global transformation. All we need is the right major crisis and the nations will accept the New World Order." -David Rockefeller
“For more than a century ideological extremists at either end of the political spectrum have seized upon well-publicized incidents such as my encounter with Castro to attack the Rockefeller family for the inordinate influence they claim we wield over American political and economic institutions. Some even believe we are part of a secret cabal working against the best interests of the United States, characterizing my family and me as "internationalists" and of conspiring with others around the world to build a more integrated global political and economic structure - one world, if you will. If that's the charge, I stand guilty, and I am proud of it." - David Rockefeller “Memoirs” 2002, p405
D&C 89 10-11 And again, verily I say unto you, all wholesome herbs God hath ordained for the constitution, nature, and use of man— Every herb in the season thereof, and every fruit in the season thereof; all these to be used with prudence and thanksgiving.
This is a very interesting commandment to eat fresh. In many cases fresh fruits and vegetables are grown in other counties and shipped to the US, while those in that country go without. Also, because of processing, we eat dried and preserved foods and meats that science is just now learning the health effects.
One particular side-effect of processing and preserving food, is the production of tyramine. This substance is found in significant levels in Wine, Chocolate, Aged Cheese, Soy Sauce, Tofu, and Processed Meats (Vienna Sausage, Sausage, Bacon, Pastrami, SPAM, Bologna, Cold Cuts, Pepperoni, Corned Beef, Hot Dogs etc). Tyramine is a bio-active substance that releases Norepinephrine, Serotonin, and Dopamine in the Brain resulting in high blood pressure, migraines, and depression.
If you think about it, tyramine-containing foods are the usual ingredients in what we call "comfort foods". While we may say this in jest, science now knows there is physiologic support for this. These foods really do make you feel better. The problem is that because there is so much tyramine in so much of the US diet, we are seretonin, norephinephrine and dopamine deficient the rest of the time. No wonder that there are so many who suffer from obesity and emotional eating. And no wonder that there is so much depression in America. In fact, all the anti-depressants, and anti-psychotics work exactly by raising the levels of serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine. It seems the American diet is leaving many 0f us chronically deficient in these "feel-good" neurotransmitters.
SSRI-Selective Serotonin Re-uptake Inhibitors: Paxil, Celexa, Prozac, Zoloft increase Serotonin.
NE,SRI-Effexor, Cymbalta: increases Norepinephrine, and Serotonin.
Antipsychotics- Haldol, Abilify, Zyprexa, Risperdol, Seroquel affect dopamine.
This guy is so right on. During this economic downturn where our country is suffering from high unemployment, Mr. Lynn explained that Monopolies are bad for jobs. For all their promise of efficiency, consolidation of power and business eliminates jobs as well as makes us less free, and less self-sufficient. He says that since Reagan and Clinton, the US citizen has been transformed into a "consumer."
Lynn identified the two major influences that have lead to our current globalists economy. Robert Bork who was nominated for the Supreme Court by Reagan went to law School at the University of Chicago and is best known for writing The Antitrust Paradox, a book in which he argued that consumers are often beneficiaries of corporate mergers, and that many legal interpretations of antitrust laws hurt consumers.
The second is Milton Friedman of the Chicago school of economics who wrote the book "Capitalism and Freedom". Milton Friedman is considered the father of western economics and his book "Capitalism and Freedom" is considered the Bible. Friedman is quoted has saying that a company should have no "social responsibility" to the public or society because its only concern is to increase profits for itself and for its shareholders.
The problem with this view is that businesses often looks for short-term profits at the expense of ethics and social responsibility, and this shortsightedness leads to a loss of faith in our institutions and businesses and a need for stronger central government to regulate business and protect the public.
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
Thanks for the email about the super bowl commercial. I thought the commercial was very benign.
Allen, I want to share with you what is going on with America. This isn't going to be brief and therefore cannot be expressed by phone on air. But I know you read your emails and respond, so, here is my 50c.
When I bought by first house my mortgage was a rude awakening when I realized 6% interest is not 6%. With the amortization schedule, 95% of monthly payments for minimal payments goes to interest. The amount of interest vs principle paid does not change much for 20 years on a 30 year loan. Thus if making minimum payments, the only way to build equity if for the price of the house to go up. It was commonly heard in conversations in the 90s, I got a great deal on my house, if I sold it tomarrow I already have 20k in equity. Those were the days.
The consequence of this system are several. This is a huge driver of inflation and increased cost of living. So significant is this economic pressure, mom and dad are both working and working longer hours. US productiivity has set record highs but at what cost. If noone is at home and always working, emotional needs are not satisfied and communication faulters. The consequence of this is addictive behaviors to escape instead of deal with stress. Thus we see a rise in drug use, overeating, emotional shopping, pornography, teenage pregnancy, and gang activity. There is a reason interest was forbidden in the Bible. Charging interest is an act of war. (interesting history how knights Templar introduced usury into western banking).
Banks claim interest is nessessary to offset risk. Risk is an illusion. Banks don't even give loans, middle underwritters do. Local banks collect fees. The underwritter middle men borrow our tax dollars from the FED for almost free, then lend our money back to us. Due to fractional reserve banking banks can lend 10$ for every 1$ borrowed. So when a borrower defaults the bank does not lose money, they make money. Even if the bank repos your house and sell it for 50c/1$, they still make 40c and all the interest.
Why did banks fail? Banks did not fail due to poor people defaulting on subprime loans. Rich people took out no downpayment loans and defaulted on summer homes just as much as the poor. The reason why banks had trouble was because they "leveraged" their fractional reserves by exchanging dollars for "mortgage backed security derivatives" (MBS). These volitile peices of funny money or "toxic assets" were falsely given AAA ratings as safe but became worthless as they should be when the housing market tanked. Banks preferred derivatives to cash as their fractional reserves because it allowed them to lend more per dollar (leverage). When they lost their reserves, they couldn't lend.
AIG failed because subprime no-interest loans required mortgage insurance. AIG couldn't pay the claims. But they did pay all the banks after a huge taxpayer bailout. The banks got their insurance money to cover all the defaulted loans. and they repossessed all the property and sold it at at a loss which was also really a profit. And to top it all off, Geitner imposed TARP (toxic assets relief program) which proves the failure was because of the MBS and not the subprime mortgages. This is because even after being paid the insurance money to cover the defaults the banks still were in trouble. TARP was to buy back all the MBS. But guess what, TARP money didn't buy anything. The banks kept the mony and kept the securities. I suspect they still will own them until they eventually have value again so the banks can profit yet again. No wonder why the banks were dealing out record bonuses to their executives.
Why were MBS given a AAA ratings?Alan Greenspan thought derivatives like what caused ENRON to fail and gas prices to go sky-high last year would stabilize global markets which now are over-reactive as a consequence of being global. If Brazil or China sneezes we all catch a cold.
When the dot.com balloon busted in the 90s the federal government was stimulating the housing markets. Because of keynsian economics Housing prices didn't fall, and the housing bubble continued to inflate. Most economist in the world were amazed at the resiliance of the US housing market to withstand the dot.com bust. Therefore the MBS were given the AAA rating. But then due to the consequences explained by the Austrian school of economics, wages had been falling behind cost of living increases for several decades and the overinflated housing ballon finally bust.
FYI, this also affects medical care costs. 15% of costs goes to the doctor, 15% to insurance, and 70% is the facility fee. But holpitals really only need 15-20% to cover costs. The extra 50% goes to the stock holders or mortgage underwritters. The same ultra elites that get our monthly mortgage payments.
Our current borrowing/lending system creates classes in our society. There are those who work in the system and pay the interest and those few elite who collect the interest. And then there are those who fail in the system and get left behind. This is how we "grind the face of the poor."
This fractured social system creates a destructive dynamic. This system creates more poverty due to illegitimacy and vice. Because of the class envy of the middle class of the rich, this system also causes the middle class to neglect the poor. The neglect of the poor empowers to elite to institute socialist programs promising to help the poor and which keeps the rich elite in power and the poor poor.. If they lose power, the elite can become fascist like Hitler who manipulated class envy and pit the poor Germans against the more prosperous working Jews.
The US has a lot of poor and we can talk personal responsibility all day but at the end if the day, we must feed them or we empower evil people to incite the poor to kill us. (healthcare is not a right but a responsibility) The US can end socialism only by taking care of those who rely on social programs so they no longer need it especially the fatherless and the widow.
So, what can we do? What is the alternative?
1. We need capital. I am not anti-capital. Look what micro-credit does in poor countries. What we need is non-profit, non-interest collecting banking like Sharia Law banks. Instead of giving money, a "community safety society" (CCS) would purchase the property for and cover administrative costs by charging a fee. As you make payments, you become a greater shareholder in the asset. Loses in value of the property are the responsibility of the borrower, gains are shared by the bank and borrower porportional to their percent ownership.
2. CSS only purchase assets which maintain or appreciate in value and which are local. Therefore they would not give car loans. They would invest in local companies and municipal bonds only; thus shielding the community from economic turbulence elsewhere.
3. Those who invest with the CSS must be local and become part owners. Any profits go to the member investors. I think despite this profit for depositors, the bank itself would remain it's non-profit status.
4. Christian churches need to disciple more. According to 1 Cor 5, members must confess, repent, and forsake the sins of fornication, coveting, idolatry, railing, drunkenness, and extortion before being allowed to partake of Communion of the Lords Supper. Confession alone is not enough. If your doing one of these sins, you should be assisted in stopping it before being offered the emblems of Christs sacrifice so you take them worthily.
5. America must repent and forsake our worship of Ashtoreth, Baal, and Molech through false religion, sexual sin, and infanticide/abortion. We need to repent of this. America is like the Israelites who gave Aaron their gold and with it Aaron created false religion to which the people defiled themselves by sexual sin while Moses "delayed" and then "hastened" his return.
6. America needs to take care of our poor, fatherless and widows. Food shelter and medical care are not rights but they are our responsibility. And until we care for our own, we empower socialists and fascists who can easily gain power by promising income redistribution and can incite the poor against the working class.
7. The only government stimulus that makes sense is that stimulus that supports the US being self-sufficient. This means natural gas cars over petroleum for example. Self-sufficiency protects and insulates us from global turbulence to which we are currently subject. Never borrow from foreign countries. Use tarriffs to protect US industry from foreign competition.
8. Put US currency back on gold and silver standard. Print 10 trillion dollars and pay off debt. End fractional reserve lending to offset inflation and soak up extra dollars. End the Federal Reserve.
9. If the US ends fractional reserve banking, that means the US government can make some interest on every dollar borrowed instead of only making money on a small fraction of dollars that are created/printed/lent. Think of it as raising taxes on the use of money instead of allowing "financiers" to create money for free. That will mean huge increased revenues to help balance the budget.
10. Allow your local bank to borrow money directly from the US Treasury. Currently, your local bank cannot borrow directly from the FED. Loans are always "underwritten" by "money middlemen." Somehow the justification for this escapes me. Something about subjecting the small bank to too much risk. However, if you realize the system, there is no risk at all due to fractional reserve lending and the money multiplier. The current policy consolidates power, is inefficient by these "money middlemen financiers" draining capital out of the system.