Friday, October 24, 2008

"Slots" Ballot Question Maryland: Preying on the weak and vulnerable to fund education 

There is much one wonders about in America but here we have people plumbing new lows.

What is amazing is that the teachers union has been dragged into this, along with the police federation and others to support the proposition. None seem to realize that the State is merely reneging on its commitment to adequately fund education and instead is looking to gamblers and race goers to fund it for them!

This is truly mind boggling. Since when did people with a weakness for gambling become the underwriters of education? These people need counciling and help, not the State exploiting them!

I know in Texas there is a 1 penny per round of ammunition tax and that funds $3,000,000 worth of school funding annually (yes that is 300,000,000 rounds of ammo fired in Texas every year) but that pales compared to the $650,000,000 that Maryland Government hope to dupe gamblers out of to pay for the States education system, along with the further $900,000,000 windfall they estimate the horse racing and gambling industry will make too.


Marylanders have in the past had the good sense to reject such immoral gambling industry manuevers.

Education is something that the community truly should proudly work together to provide for every child in Maryland, not outsourcing it to the gaming industry.

Hopefully Marylanders again see through the charade here and say no to this shameful proposal.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Wind inertia generators for energy? 

Current wind turbine technology does not impress in it physics. While wind energy is abundant the air itself is dispersed and fluid - making it especially difficult to capture and translate the energy from it. Unlike hydro-electicity where water can be conveniently stored, channelled and driven by gravity to yield energy, a row of wind turbines on a shoreline or ridge top look miniscule compared to the volume of the air moving around and over them.

So how to change that? Clearly building larger and large wind turbines is just yet more lessons from the book of the Hindenburg and the Titantic.

What we need is macroscopic generators; tiny devices that can be mass produced in silicon and plugged into a battery storage system. Solar cells already use this macro approach, but obviously do not work at night or on cloudy days.

Tiny wafers that vibrate like sheets of paper as air moves over them, can translate that energy into tiny currents that are then stored in batteries. This would work very well for home use in combination with solar arrays of cells, sharing the same infrastructure.

Sarah Palin - the next President of the United States 

There is so much déjà vu about the current November presidential election that I'd like to share here.

Having watched Sarah's performance last Thursday, it reminded me eerily of the first time I saw Margaret Thatcher, the parallels with a grocer's daughter, very ambitious, deeply right wing, and prone to wanting to win people over with homily expressions and her mannerisms. But underneath having an agenda of stark consequences for the very people who thought that they could trust their own well being to her.

So here is the scenario that leads to Sarah becoming President of the United States.

First in November, the Republicans once again pull off a win without winning the popular vote. America is deeply polarized between the democratic cities and the republican countryside surrounding them. You can see this from the voting patterns and general behaviour of each group. Travelling out to West Virginia this weekend, lots of McCain / Palin campaign banners displayed in peoples front yards and on their trucks. I only saw one Obama banner, carefully placed back in the yard so passersby can not easily drive off with it.

So Democrats win the cities, Republicans the towns and villages around them. However particularly in the 14 swing vote States we could again see voting machine irregularities leading to a narrow but crucial win for Republicans. Perhaps the last time they will be able to play this card because changes are coming in voting systems to safeguard them for the future.

So the McCain/Palin ticket gets their noses across the finish line by a hair for the win.
Next we have the inauguration and McCain in place for a brief moment before claims of health failure lead to him stepping down and handing the reins to Sarah. And the right press and media will line up behind her remarkable talents as meriting the chance to run the country.

What is especially disturbing is how this happened in the reporting of the Vice-Presidential debate. For instance CNN mentioned Sarah Palin 2-to-1 over Jim Biden in their front page piece, and also picked meaningless quotes from Jim compared to homily and targeted pieces for Sarah that her supporters clearer would resonate with.

Perhaps the most telling answer was when each was asked how they would react if they did have to take over as President (CNN left those answers out). Jim answered that he is deeply committed to the Obama program and the ideals they share together and that he would complete Obama’s program. Sarah said she and John were both mavericks and that she would make her own mind up on what would be needed to be done. If that is not a person who sees themselves as a President in the wings, I don’t know what is.

But even if I’m wrong on all this, the dice has been cast because next there is the 2012 election for which Sarah is clearly being already groomed to win.

I just hope that citizens realize that it is their country and they need to elect people that respect that and put citizens best interests ahead of corporate America and the global financial industry and energy industries.

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