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Posted by FogerRox in General Discussion
Fri Sep 02nd 2011, 08:13 PM
According to conservative estimates by the U.S. Geological Survey, there are over 2.7 billion barrels of oil and 114.36 trillion cubic feet of natural gas in the NPRA.

National Petroleum Reserve Alaska (NPRA) has extremely high quality oil, API 40 to 60. In a day and age when most light crude Mid East exports are API 31 to 37, the NPRA represents not just hi quality, but a viable alternative to the Greenhouse gas intensive Alberta Tar Sands. The EPA says that Tar Sands create 82% more GHG than conventional crude oil production, from well to wheel.

Modern well drilling has come a long way from the rocking arms of Texas, 25 to 30+ wells can be drilled from a single 400 ft by 400 ft pad, vastly reducing the network of roads in environmentally sensitive lands like the Arctic Tundra in Alaska.

So why are oil companies going gaga over the tar sands? Maybe its oil field envy, The Alberta Tar Sands may be as large as the super giant oil field in Saudi Arabia called Gharwar, which produces hi quality light sweet crude (API 31 to 39) where as the Tar Sands has crude with an API of no more than 10.

I think oil companies know once they get the Tar Sands production ramped up, it'll be a money maker for 70 to 80 years. It'll also be game over for global warming.

With improved fuel economy standards, potential fuel-efficient technologies, advanced biofuels and electric vehicles and the effect these would have on crude oil consumption, there is simply no reason to dig up the Tar Sands. When fuel cell technology becomes refined, fuel cell cars will replace electric cars and hybrids. As transportation becomes less oil centric and more electric centric, renewable sources of electricity from solar, wind, hydro, geothermal will replace barrels of oil, there will still be no reason to dig up the Tar Sands.

So the next time someone says they support the Keystone pipeline, because its better to buy oil from Canada rather than from Mid East countries with people who want to kill us, just tell them thats bullshit. Its better to buy hi quality oil from Alaska's NPRA, not that dirty nasty GHG time bomb oil from Alberta.

This diary is a look from an oil centric viewpoint, some may consider it objectionable, Ok. But the diary does show that from an oil centric viewpoint, there is a huge and clear alternative to the Tar Sands, I tried to take the "Drill Smart" angle. If we use NPRA oil instead of Tar Sands and don't transition to renewables, we'll be forced to look at the Tar Sands again. We need to set initial goals of 20% of electricity from wind in 20 yrs, and the same for Solar. 100 gigawatts of solar and 100 gigawatts of Wind, and 100 gigwatts of renewable storage.

I do advocate for ending our oil dependance. We need to use the coal and oil we have left to build the next generation of renewable energy infrastructure, or else.

The premise of the dairy is a thought exercise for those who cant think outside the oil box. Its not my personal view.

What would the big man Al Gore say about the Tar Sands?
Over 200,000 people have signed the petition telling President Obama to stop the Keystone pipeline. If you haven't done so yet, please sign the petition to stop the Keystone pipeline.

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Posted by FogerRox in General Discussion
Fri Sep 02nd 2011, 08:06 PM
pothetically speaking, of course. In 2007, the oil sands used around 1 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day. In 2007, about one million barrels per day of tar sands is produced in Alberta. If oil production reaches 6 million barrels a day, thats 6 billion cubic feet of nat gas a day.

2.16 trillion cubic feet of nat gas a year. Once I did these calculations (assuming I didnt blow the math involved), I wondered just how much nat gas is in the Great White North.

According to the 2010 US Geologic Survey there are 27 billion barrels of oil and 114.36 trillion cubic feet of natural gas in the NPRA.

Canada has 57.9 tcf according to a paper written by Micheal J. Economides and David Wood in 2008, but claim Canadas natural gas production has already peaked @ 18 bcf. I seem to remember reading about larger proven reserve estimates, in the area of 70 tcf. These reserve estimates do not include Shale and Coalbed Methane reserves which range in the 400 tcf to 700 tcf area. But fracking the western half of Canada doesnt seem viable especially at depths of 2 miles or more where recovery is far more difficult, and the required investment much higher.

I think we're looking at about 185 trillion cubic feet of natural gas between Alaska and Canada. If the Tar Sands uses nat gas at an annual rate of 2.16 tcf, then Alaska and Canada have enough to last about 85 years, at which point the Tar Sands should be depleted.

Now realistically these numbers I am throwing out are back of the envelope, and recovery techniques will undoubtedly improve over time. But even the Wiki article on the Tar Sands suggests that Canada would limit or halt nat gas exports to the US in favor of tar sands production.

What would the big man Al Gore say?

Over 200,000 people have signed the petition telling President Obama to stop the Keystone pipeline. If you haven't done so yet, please sign the petition to stop the Keystone pipeline.

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Posted by FogerRox in General Discussion
Fri Sep 02nd 2011, 08:00 PM
Maybe thats why James Hanson calls it "game over". A Carbon bomb for sure. In 2009 the CERA study claimed a 5% to 15% increase in Co2 emissions from Tar Sands compared to conventional oil. With the Tar Sands slated to suck dry all of the natural gas in Canada and Alaska over the next 85 years, the greenhouse gas emissions from burning 185 trillion cubic feet of nat gas has to be included in the overall impact, the CERA study of 2009 did not account for the use of nat gas.

To dig up bitumen one has to remove the peat layer called Muskeg, or remove the Boreal forest. Destruction of the Muskeg releases methane (Ch4) and Carbon dioxide (Co2), both are green house gases. The CERA study of 2009 did not account for these GHG releases, and based the study on Bitumen that was already diluted with lighter grade oil. /

A 2010 letter from EPA Assistant Administrator Cynthia Giles was rather blunt in response to the State Departments Draft Environmental Impact Statement on the 1,700 mile Keystone pipeline.

We appreciate the substantial efforts by the State Department to solicit broad expert and public input to analyze the potential environmental impacts of the KeystoneXL project,and believe the Draft EIS provides useful information and analysis. However, we think that the Draft EIS does not provide the scope or detail of analysis necessary to fully inform decision makers and the public, and recommend that additional information and analysis be provided.

I like how the letter is all nicey nice, and then HOWEVER slams the door shut on the nicey nice. Administrator Giles goes on to suggest that State didn't include a robust analysis and recommends looking at changes to fuel economy standards, potential fuel-efficient technologies, advanced biofuels and electric vehicles and the effect these would have on crude oil consumption.

Then Administrator Giles drops the hammer:

Accordingly, we estimate that GHG emissions from Canadian oil sands crude would be approximately 82% greater than the average crude refined in the U.S., on a well-to-tank basis.

Just say no to the Keystone pipeline, no to the Tar Sands.

Over 200,000 people have signed the petition telling President Obama to stop the Keystone pipeline. If you haven't done so yet, please sign the petition to stop the Keystone pipeline.

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Posted by FogerRox in General Discussion
Fri Sep 02nd 2011, 07:53 PM
Do not mistake the Tar Sands partners for political neophytes, they are politically savvy and from all appearances are planning for all contingencies. The Keystone pipeline is one proposal to get tar sands oil to market, the US market? Don't be so sure. Loading a supertanker @ Houston and heading to Asia is not competitive because of the long distance traveled. Loading Supertankers on the west coast of Canada makes far more sense, in fact the distance is sightly less than the distance from the Persian Gulf to Asia.

There are 2 more pipeline proposals, both from the tar sands to the west coast, but via 2 different routes. The Enbridge proposal runs just about due west from the tar sands, thru First Nation lands to Kitimat on the coast where a supertanker loading facility is proposed. Supertankers are the first choice to ship oil long distances, carrying up to 4 million barrels of crude, in this case analysts say Asia.

There exists another west bound pipeline the Morgan Kinder line. It runs to port at Burnaby, British Columbia. The Burnaby terminal handle tankers up to 650,000 barrels, and Morgan Kinder is looking to add another facility to handle tankers capable of carrying up to 1 million barrels. These smaller tankers head south to California with the tar sands crude.

Integrated plan to deliver tar sands crude oil to market.
Distilled down, there 3 pipelines with 3 distinct goals. The Enbridge proposal would deliver 550,000 barrels a day to Kitimat, where supertankers would take the oil to Market in Asia. Keystone goes to the heart of US oil country, Texas, slated to deliver 900,000 barrels a day. The Morgan Kinder Trans Mountain pipeline in operation since 1953, delivers 300,000 barrels a day to Burnaby B.C., where smaller coastal tankers head south to deliver oil to the West Coast if the US.

The Keystone proposal.

The Enbridge proposal in relation to the Alberta Tar Sands.

Image from Carol Linnitt showing the Enbridge proposal in relation to First Nation lands.

The Yinka Dene Alliance expressed in May that, under no circumstance, were they interested in negotiating with Enbridge.

The larger picture.

The Kinder Morgan presentation says the Transmountain pipeline branch to Kitimat would cost $4 billion, compared to the $5,5 billion that Enbridge has budgeted for the Northern Gateway project. The Transmountain pipeline would have a capacity of 450,000 barrels a day compared to the Northern Gateway capacity of 550 million barrels a day.

The Vancouver end of the project would require the dredging of Second Narrows to allow large supertankers to visit the port. Tanker traffic in Vancouver would increase,

An expansion of the Trans Mountain system using its existing right of way is likely to face less opposition than the Northern Gateway has received, with First Nations along that line's planned route pledging to block access to their lands

Kinder Morgan has long discussed plans to expand the Trans Mountain system, which it ultimately hopes to bring to 700,000 barrels a day. In 2008, it completed a $750-million project that added 40,000 barrels of pipe capacity by twinning the system through Jasper National Park.

The expansion is underway, the twinning or adding a second parallel pipeline.By adding a northern route that heads to Kitimat, that pipeline avoids the First Nations lands, and a supertanker loading facility at Kitimat means an expansion of the Vancouver facility to handle supertankers isn't as necessary.

So the Alberta Tar Sands partners are reaching out to gain 3 supertanker ports, Burnaby, Houston and Kitimat, fed by a web of pipelines that deliver tar sands crude oil to shipping facilities. Supertankers loaded in Houston can head for Europe, while supertankers loaded on the west coast face only a 4500 mile trip to Asia (note, The Persian Gulf to Asia is 5000 miles).

Over 200,000 people have signed the petition telling President Obama to stop the Keystone pipeline. If you haven't done so yet, please sign the petition to stop the Keystone pipeline:

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Posted by FogerRox in General Discussion
Sun Aug 14th 2011, 08:41 PM
Staffer: Michele, the White House operator just called, the President is calling for you.

White House Operator: Michele Bachman, please hold for President.

Barack: Michele, Good afternoon, how are you today.

Michele: Much better, I had a migraine this morning but I'm feeling much better now, thanks for asking though.

Barack: Well thats god to hear. Let me get right to the reason I called you, I'm proposing a 5 year 7.5 trillion dollar stimulus bill to create 10 million jobs, I'd appreciate your vote.

Michele: Oh like that has a chance of hell coming to a vote in the House, you know that don't you? And even if it did come to a vote in the House it wouldn't pass anyway. And of course the answer is no.

Barack: Well then, next week I'm going to be in your district explaining to your constituents your plans to vote against their 30,000 jobs. The news conference is tuesday at 3pm, in time for the local 6 oclock news.

Michele:......... you're going to do what?

Barack: I'm going to your district to talk to your constituents, telling them that you're going to vote kill their jobs. I'm calling John Boehner next, hurry up, whats your decision?

Michele: You have got to be kidding me, theres no way I'm going....

Barack: It very simple Michele, without your support, your democratic opponent and I will be campaigning in your district. Jobs are the number one issue to Americans right now, and we'll use this issue to defeat you in November.

Michele: You back stabbing little....

Barack: Look the GOP owns most of the debt ceiling deal and most of the S&P downgrade, but I want to up the ante, I'm betting 10 million jobs that the GOP owns these jobs and we wipe the floor with the Republicans in November. If you support this proposal, you can go back to your district and tell your constituents that you acted in the spirit of bi-partisanship to address the number one problem faced by Americans, the lack of job creation. We'll allow you to take credit for helping grow the economy thru job creation. You have an experienced campaign staff and your are a veteran campaigner, I'm sure this will be a gimme putt for you, getting re-elected this November.

Michele: What if Beohner blocks it from a vote?

Barack: My deal with you is only that you vote for the bill.

Michele: So let me see of I have this right, If.... your bill comes up for a vote.... and I vote yes, you stay away from my district.

Barack: I give you my solemn oath I will not campaign against you or step foot in your district for 2 years. Face it Michele, your best chance at re-election is to convince your voters to give you credit for helping to create jobs. Otherwise you have to ask yourself if you can survive politically.

Michele: I need some time to think this....

Barack: A couple of days?

Michele: 3 days.

Barack: Fine.

X-Posted from Daily Kos Keynesian Kossacks.
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Posted by FogerRox in General Discussion
Wed Aug 10th 2011, 02:48 PM
The Atlantic Wind Connection is a supergrid transmission project that starts with a 5.5 billion dollar HVDC offshore trunkline, stretching from from central New Jersey to Southern Virginia. Capable of a 6-7 gigawatt capacity, the undersea supergrid project is led by independent transmission company Trans-Elect, CEO Bob Mitchell hopes to accelerate wind power development by building the 350 mile long supergrid backbone to attract wind turbine installers.

The eastern seaboard has terrific potential for offshore wind. With more than 60,000 MW of offshore wind potential in the relatively shallow waters off the continental shelf. The HVDC backbone of the AWC will be 15-18 miles offshore, have a limited number of landfall points, lessening environmental impact and keeping wind turbines out of sight.

The Google backed project plans to take advantage of the relatively shallow waters of the continental shelf to install HVDC cables that can initially support 7,000 Mw of generation.

The AWC backbone is critical to more rapidly scaling up offshore wind because without it, offshore wind developers would be forced to build individual radial transmission lines from each offshore wind project to the shore, requiring additional time consuming permitting and environmental studies and making balancing the grid more difficult. As those in the Northeast remember from the 2003 blackout, transmission is severely overstretched on the east coast.

Have you heard that Donald Trump is complaining about proposed wind turbines? The turbines are going to be only 1.5 miles from Trumps Golf Course. Remember those complaints about the wind farm off Cape Cod? Cape Wind is shoehorned into a small congested area, between 2 shipping lanes. And all within sight of shore. Dept of Interior graphic, shows distance to Nantucket, Martha Vineyard and Cape Cod.

The Atlantic Wind Connection avoids being in sight of the beach, so is not likely to be seen by any NIMBY types, only has 4 landfall points for the HVDC cables to hook up with the existing grid, this reduces and simplifies permitting issues. And its scalable.

In May of 2011 U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) conditionally approved of the AWC plan:

The approval includes rate incentives and the opportunity to recover 100% of prudently incurred costs if the first-of-its-kind project is abandoned for reasons outside the company’s control. /

offshorewindbiz also reported that the Cape Wind Project mentioned above, has had its Loan Guarantee application placed on hold by the Department of Energy.

Cape Wind intends to secure project financing expeditiously.......

The Atlantic Wind Connection appears to be a well thought out large scale project. They are taking on some risk, as of yet, no one has signed up to build turbines on the AWC HVDC backbone, though 4 companies have expressed interest. Construction is expected to start in late 2013 or early 2014.

For more info on the AWC visit their website /

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Posted by FogerRox in General Discussion
Tue Aug 09th 2011, 02:31 PM
I'm hoping many of the policy geeks @ Kos will stop by. As an initial national goal I've been really liking the idea that we can get 20% of our electricity from wind and 20% from solar in 20 yrs. We have got to expand Americas energy portfolio, and time is a wasting, every time I look over at the Alberta Tar sands project, its getting bigger and uglier.

There seem to be 4 different policy choices to be made if we want to kick start wind power. Tax policy to improve capital flow, carbon pricing, Federally guaranteed loans, and National Mandates. I really want to use tax policy, not just to install gigawatts of wind energy, but to make the turbines in the US, creating the largest number jobs in the US as possible.

I've gone over many White Papers available on the net, concerning solar and wind, one thing seems to a constant when it come to US groups advocating for wind and solar: they want to build turbines and solar panels in the US. For some reason Job creation is all the rage recently (Another diary).

In 2008 the US installed more Wind capacity than any other country, over 8,300 Mw. But in 2007 only 44.8% of the US market was installed by a US company. How do we get capital interested in building factories in the US that make solar panels and wind turbines?

44.8% of market:

If we use a National mandate for 20% in 20 yrs, it might have to include a made in America component.

If use a price for carbon emissions, well those factories that make solar panels and wind turbines need power. Is that where the trading comes in?

Federally guaranteed loans, to wind turbine manufacturers? What about start ups? New Capital to the market will have to apply, GE is the largest wind turbine manufacturer in the US. If a handful of uber rich types want to pool 30 billion bucks, form a corporation to compete against GE in the wind turbine market, FINE. Wanna do the right thing for America? Great, maybe we should throw you a bone for about a nice juicy tax break? Cause you might have trouble getting one of those loans.

Tax Policy, we can tax the top rate at 70% and offer tax breaks down to as far as 35% to build those factories we want (emerging tech and markets). I know that reeks of supply side economics, but its also what used to be called Industrial Policy, going back to Sidney Hillman, the AFL, and FDR's Kitchen Cabinet. Corporate taxes, raise the Corporate rate significantly and give breaks to incentivize investment in emerging tech and markets like wind and solar. Should we match the Cap Gains rate to the Corporate rate?

But, why should I build a factory to make solar or wind, when I can make far more speculating on commodities?

Does a National Mandate of 20% in 20 years move capital from speculation to factories?

Is a price on carbon emissions going to curb speculation in options futures, commodities or derivatives?

Federally guaranteed loans for renewable energy are not going to have much effect on speculation either.

But if you're uber rich and have a few billion, and your account tells you that with the tax changes next year your gains from commodities speculation means your gonna get killed tax wise, BUT, there is a way out.....
... you can avoid those tax increases, and do just as well as you did in speculation, by building factories that make solar panels or wind turbines, or AC to DC inverter stations, and cable for HVDC trunklines, above ground and offshore.

I'm telling you, as your accountant, you'll be putting yourself in a much better position.

20% in 20 years for solar and wind mean directly creating about a million jobs, Smartgrid would add about another 450k jobs. If we produce enough to export, we can expect 500k to a million more jobs. 2.5 million jobs directly created by the simple choice of setting 20% in 20 yrs as a national goal.

Energy conservation improvements to residential and commercial buildings, start with an additional 500k jobs. Maybe a million.

Revitalize the Manufacturing sector, 2 million jobs created over 10 years.

Spend 5% to 6% of GDP on infrastructure, in a 13 trillion dollar economy start off at 650 billion a year, and tally up another 1.5 to 2 million jobs.

I believe this country needs to spend at least 10% of GDP on jobs stimulus every year for 5 years. We can fix the economy, expand Americas Energy portfolio, reduce carbon emissions, more jobs means more FICA being paid into Social Security, improving the chance that SS will be good thru 2050, or 2065, or even thru 2085. We get to reduce the deficit because an improved economy means more Federal tax revenue. Good jobs means reversing wage disparity so that working class families can better take are of their own. Increasing taxes on the wealthy can lower the tax burden on working class families, engaging them in the economy, instead of seeing these families taxed out of the economy.


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Posted by FogerRox in General Discussion
Tue Aug 02nd 2011, 01:49 PM
Republished from Daily Kos, INCOME INEQUALITY KOS

At the height of the Clinton dot com boom America experienced actual real wage growth for consecutive years for the first time since 1968, median individual income peaked at below $39,000 per year. in the current recession median individual income is slightly above $26,000 a year. Yup, more than a 12k drop, about 30%.

And just to make sure you are thoroughly distressed, todays recession median individual income of 26k, has not kept up with inflation for over 40 yrs. Follow this link and look for 1970

Did you find the chart that says $28,000 yet?

Maybe you're feeling a wee bit steamed. Do you have a feeling of impending doom? Is your heart rate up a bit? Are you pissed off yet?

Warning, if you dip below the squiggle, you may become very fooking pissed off.

Working and middle classes have been taxed out of the economy, income disparity (worst since 1928) is so severe that consumer demand is incapable of stimulating the economy. At this point in time income disparity is a brake on economic growth. GDP growth has been on the decline for 18 months, the last 6 quarters.


Look at 2010 and the first 2 quarters of 2011, and witness the front half of the classic double dip recession.

Yes, that sucks, its a bad sign, and politically there is no solution on the horizon.

I believe its vital to illuminate the scale of the problem.

By 1936 things were looking good, America was in recovery, GNP growth in 1934 was 11%, 1935-9%, 1936-13.9%. GNP in 1929 compared to 1936, 96 billion to 103 billion.

In 1937 FDR cut CCC & WPA spending by 60%, Fed policy was tightened, pop, a recession. 3 and a half years of stimulus spending was not enough. FDR quickly repealed the spending cuts and ordered 200 new surface ships for the US Navy. AIrcraft development programs for fighter aircraft were expanded, this is the era where the P-51, the P-38, the Hellcat, and the Corsair were designed, tested and flown. Design specifications for the Sherman tank were written up. It took an additional 3 yrs for labor shortages to start, at Grumman aircraft in Long Island NY, in October of 1941 skilled labor was impossible to find, Grumman instituted a training program, and went on to set a record for a single aircraft plant in fighter production during the war, that was the Hellcat, the fighter that could go toe to toe with Japanese Zero. The Hellcat went on to a 15 to 1 shootdown ratio in the Pacific theater.

I digress, it took 6 yrs of stimulus spending to get us out of the Depression.

How's your heartburn?

How long will it take, under the best of conditions, to get to recovery? How many years of stimulus spending do we need now? 2? 3? 4?. Remember a dollar spent in 1936, stayed in America. Today, thats not true, many of our our stimulus dollars would end up stimulating the world economy. 5 Yrs? Maybe 6 Yrs?

Historically we are in a period of few loopholes for top income earners. I would raise taxes on the rich to 70%, add at least 5 more brackets and offer them tax breaks to invest in factories to build solar panels and wind turbines and other areas of emerging tech and markets , reducing the top bracket to an effective rate of 35%.

Its called industrial policy and we used to great effect from the Depression thru the '70's.

Talking about letting the Bush tax cuts expire is not going to engage the working and middle classes in the economy, Clinton Era tax rates (39.6%) will be too little, too late. Shifting tax burden off these families is essential. Moving significant volumes of capital to where its needed is essential. We know what works, our ideas are better and

When push comes to shove, Americans aren't that stupid, and often can make good choices.

After raising taxes, loopholes in income and corporate taxes, will move significant amounts of capital away from commodities, options, futures, derivatives and into emerging markets we need looking forward to 2050. Good smart behavior needs to be rewarded. The Uber Wealthy have a choice, commodities speculation and returns of 15-20-25%, or building a factory that makes solar panels and creates jobs in the US and returns 5-10%. If we dont change that choice, that money wont move very fast, or with any significant volume to the smart choices that are so important.

Capital is not flowing to emerging markets and technology at a time when we need to replace all of our electrical generating and grid infrastructure. By the end of the decade most of our nuclear fission power plants will be 40 to 50 yrs old.

And even if I was made King of the US tomorrow, it would take me 5 years to dig us out of the hole we're in.
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Posted by FogerRox in General Discussion
Thu Jul 21st 2011, 01:05 AM
Your interpretation of the word wealth is being used to label Mr Swansons proposals as unconstitutional. I have yet to find an online source that defines wealth is strictly interpreted as property, as you have so claimed.
Definition of WEALTH

1obsolete : weal, welfare
2: abundance of valuable material possessions or resources
3: abundant supply : profusion
a : all property that has a money value or an exchangeable value
b : all material objects that have economic utility; especially : the stock of useful goods having economic value in existence at any one time <national wealth>
See wealth defined for English-language learners »
See wealth defined for kids »
Examples of WEALTH

a nation that has acquired great wealth
someone whose sole goal is the accumulation of wealth
Her personal wealth is estimated to be around $10 billion.
What percentage of the national wealth is spent on health care?
I was impressed by the wealth of choices.
Libraries offer a wealth of information.

1.a great quantity or store of money, valuable possessions, property, or other riches: the wealth of a city. abundance or profusion of anything; plentiful amount: a wealth of imagery.
Economics .
a.all things that have a monetary or exchange value.
b.anything that has utility and is capable of being appropriated or exchanged. or valuable contents or produce: the wealth of the soil.
5.the state of being rich

Its quite clear that florida lurkers claim that Wealth equals property is inaccurate at best, possibly misguided, and at worst is an attempt at something else that should be better off left for the The Magistrate and or the Mods to decode.
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Posted by FogerRox in General Discussion
Tue Jul 19th 2011, 07:58 PM
And make your case.

1) Tell me why the Trustees report makes light of the 2085 date.

2) Tell me how large the projected shortfall is, thru 2085.

3) Tell me when you think SS goes broke, if ever, and why.

Want to remove the cap, tell me how much that saves. Wanna increase FIFCA by 2% over 20 yrs, tell me how much that saves, wanna change the retirement age.........

Got it?

Not willing to take me on?

Wanna read the absolute best diary based on the 2011 Social Security Trustees Report, that I,,, Roger wrote? Want the best citations to throw in the face of some Libertarian type GOPer, who unfortunately is a relative or neighbor. I am at your service.

Previously published to Daily Kos for the Social Security Defenders.


Since 2005 each Social Security Trustees report that I have read describes 3 scenarios, low cost, medium cost and high cost, that tries to predict when SS will go broke. These scenarios utilize varying values for things llike GDP growth, job creation, population growth, immigration, wage growth, population health and age to generate a prediction of when SS will be broke.

In the 2011 SS trustees report, we are given the 3 scenarios in Table IV.B3. The High cost scenario says SS will be broke in 2029. The Intermediate cost scenario says 2036, and the Low cost scenario shows that SS never goes broke, in fact after 2067 SS gains assets very quickly, because it is assumed that by 2067 the Boomers are dead and will not be collecting SS benefits.

The High cost (2029) scenario is reliant on a number of unrealistic assumptions, It assumes GDP growth will average about 2.2% growth. This scenario assumes an economic downturn twice the length of the Depression in the 1930's, a 20 year recession. Most mainstream economic thought is that GDP growth is likely to average between 3% and 3.5%.

The Low cost scenario assumes much greater GDP growth ( about 2.8%) all focused in the bottom 80% of income earners. in order to get this prediction to work, we must make 2 key assumptions 1) widespread job creation and 2) real wage growth (above inflation) among other minor factors.

Stochastic Modeling see figure VL.E1 .

Stohastic modeling has an advantage over a hand picked list of demographics picked by a committee in an office, plugging numbers into software. This chart shows a 97% confidence rate that SS will go broke in 2055. Simply put, if we have significant job creation, some wage growth, and the Boomers dont all live past expectancy..... then the 2055 date is very realistic.

If we have widespread job creation (right now we need 15 million jobs according to Paul Krugman) and raise median Individual income from the current 26k, 30%, back to where it was during Clinton- 38k, we will see considerable increases in FICA contributions... then that 2055 date can be pushed back even further to 2065 or 2067.

It is more than likely if we fix the economy, we also fix Social Security.

Summary of the 2011 SS Trustees report

If we leave Social Security alone it will go broke by 2055. The 2029 date requires an additional 20 years of recession, this is extremely unlikely. The 2085 date is far more realistic than the 2029 date but 2085 requires that most or all the variables go our way.

Bruce Webb from the Daily Kos Social Security defenders group has used the CBO numbers to create a worksheet that allows you to pick your SS policy to see the effect. The total SS shortfall over 75 years is considered to be .6% of GDP. To use this worksheet your choose a line, look at the second line that says "Increase the payroll tax rate by 2% over 20 years", and then look to the right at the blue bar with the number .6%. This change to SS taxes would equal the projected shortfall. Or line 7, raises the cap to 250k, this gains .5%.... 5/6ths of the shortfall.

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Posted by FogerRox in General Discussion
Tue Jul 12th 2011, 01:30 PM
Widespread job creation means more FICA contributions (think 15 million jobs we're currently down). Remember that every job created that pays under 106k a year means lots more FICA being paid. Real wage increases will also mean more FICA contributions. Like this, Median Individual income is about 26k, if wages grow back to their peak during the Clinton years (nearly 39k) that represents about a 30% increase in FICA paid into the SS trust fund for an individual worker.

One of the SS trustees scenarios say SS will go broke in 2037. Widespread job creation can push back that date to 2050 or even 2055.

Real wage growth on top of lots of jobs can push that date back to 2060+.

The SS trustees report includes 3 scenarios, the low cost scenario says that SS is good thru 2085. It is an extremely unlikely scenario, and GDP growth thru job creation and wage growth cannot get us to 2085 alone, population living longer and productivity also play into getting us to 2085. Good healthcare that makes people live longer actually depletes the trust fund sooner.

A good economy may not get us to the 2085 date, but it will vastly improve Social Securities health, without making any changes to Social Security. Its like a 2 for one special at a store, its a great deal, fixing the economy and fixing Social Security, by creating jobs.

Looking 75 yrs into the future the Social Security gap is a measly 0.6% of GDP. raising the cap can cover most of it, depending on the way its done. But with most economic activity currently benefiting the top .1% of earners and medium and large corporations (see increasing wage disparity) reversing wage disparity can be a large factor in gauging the future health of our working and middles classes as well as Social Security.

Heres Bruce Webbs great blog on the SS CBO scoring

I'm having trouble loading this page, hopefully you can load it, its really great at explaining the shortfall and the effectiveness of different solutions.

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Posted by FogerRox in General Discussion
Mon Jun 20th 2011, 12:40 AM
Simply put

Princeton says

The cell can repair certain levels of cell damage. At low doses, such as that received every day from background radiation, cellular damage is rapidly repaired.

university of California, UC Davis
The cell can repair certain levels of cell damage

Most cells have the ability to repair some damage

Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility

Cells can often repair radiation damage,

These are divided into two categories:
threshold effects and non-threshold effects.
Threshold effects appear after a certain level
of radiation exposure is reached and enough
cells have been damaged to make the effect
apparent. Non-threshold effects can occur at
lower levels of radiation exposure. /

French Academy of Sciences,
National Academy of Medicine
Joint Report (2005)
“…this report raises doubts on the
validity of using the LNTfor evaluating
the carcinogenic risk of low doses…”
Exact opposite conclusion from BEIR VII
(Phase 2)Report.

Volume 44, Number 4, 245-251, DOI: 10.1007/s00411-006-0032-9

Recent reports on the effect of low doses of ionizing radiation and its dose–effect relationship
M. Tubiana, A. Aurengo, D. Averbeck and R. Masse /

The conclusion of the French Report is that the linear no-threshold relationship (LNT) may greatly overestimate the carcinogenic effect of low doses (<100 mSv) and even more that of very low doses (<10 mSv), such as those delivered during X-ray examinations. Conversely, the conclusion of the BEIR VII report is that LNT should be used for assessing the detrimental effects of these low and very low doses. The causes of these diverging conclusions should be carefully examined. They seem to be mostly associated with the interpretation of recent biological data. The point of view of the French Report is that these recent data are incompatible with the postulate on which LNT is implicitly based, namely the constancy of the carcinogenic effect per unit dose, irrespective of dose and dose rate.

I got your scientists.
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Posted by FogerRox in General Discussion
Tue Mar 08th 2011, 04:51 AM
I wanted to ask all my friends at Democratic Underground, who might know more than me about such.... complex financial issues.....

Is this speculation?

Record Bets on $200 Oil: Chart of Day

Crude oil for June delivery at $200. Monday oil was at $106. Could that be considered speculation? Am I wrong to think thats totally wacked?


By F. William Engdahl, 2 May 2008

The price of crude oil today is not made according to any traditional relation of supply to demand. It’s controlled by an elaborate financial market system as well as by the four major Anglo-American oil companies. As much as 60% of today’s crude oil price is pure speculation driven by large trader banks and hedge funds. It has nothing to do with the convenient myths of Peak Oil. It has to do with control of oil and its price.

60%, WTF, thats outrageous ! Right? I got bent in the head when I read that. But its really a conservative estimate. The real inside look at commodities speculations mean looking at the value of, lets say Corn for delivery in September, and what the value of the futures are for September delivery. Let me throw some hypothetical numbers at you. If the value of crude oil futures for delivery in a particular month is say 1 million dollars. What this guy is saying is that the value of the oil is only 400 thousand....

SO my fellow DU'ers, do ya think that qualifies as speculation yet?

But according to this CNN post made just 2 months later, that 60% figure... is rather conservative....

Today the number of paper oil barrels traded daily on NYMEX (and that's just the most regulated exchange) is over three times the number of physical barrels consumed daily worldwide. /

If the value of crude oil futures for delivery in a particular month is say 1 million dollars, the real physical oil being delivered that month is valued at 300k. Certainly that qualifies as speculation?

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Posted by FogerRox in General Discussion
Mon Jan 17th 2011, 05:50 PM
Stochastic terrorism is the use of mass communications to stir up random lone wolves to carry out violent or terrorist acts that are statistically predictable but individually unpredictable.

This is what occurs when Bin Laden releases a video that stirs random extremists halfway around the globe to commit a bombing or shooting.

This is also the term for what Beck, O'Reilly, Hannity, and others do. And this is what led directly and predictably to a number of cases of ideologically-motivated murder similar to the Tucson shootings.

The lone wolves.

The term "lone wolf" is used in law enforcement and intel to refer to an individual who is emotionally unstable, who lacks obvious ties to known criminal gangs or terrorist groups, and who pops up seemingly out of nowhere to commit a violent or terrorist act.

The three-letter agencies can keep an eye on organized groups, and do a damn good job at stopping violent actors associated with those groups. At least three intended car bombings were stopped last year by the FBI intercepting the bombers and substituting fake explosives in time to save hundreds of lives and arrest the would-be bombers.

Lone wolves don't have obvious connections through which they can be discovered. They don't communicate much if at all about their intentions. They keep their plans to themselves. And then, apparently at random, they pop up from obscurity and commit murder. They are law enforcement's and intel's worst nightmare, and on Saturday one of them became America's nightmare.
Stirring the pot.

At any given time there are hundreds of thousands of Americans with combinations of personality characteristics (such as emotional instability, a paranoid ideology, and a propensity for violence) that put them at risk of going off the deep end and becoming lone wolves. All it takes is the right push, the right nudge at the right time, to dislodge a few of them and send them on their way to fifteen minutes of fame surrounded by dead bodies.

There's nothing mysterious about this process. It is not much different to other instances where a person is almost ready to make a decision, and the right combination of inputs makes them act. For example you have an old car and it begins to break down more often: now you're thinking about replacing it, and you might be swayed by something in an automobile advertisement. Anyone who is familiar with marketing and advertising knows how this works, and advertisers often target their messages to people who are "ready to buy" and just need a little persuading. Political candidates often target their ads to the undecideds, hoping that a little nudge will win them some votes. This is perfectly normal and hardly insidious.

It becomes insidious when these practices are used in such a manner as to deliberately or negligently stir up lone wolf violence.

So let's take Beck, Hannity, and O'Reilly. There is no question that their emotional rhetoric appeals to people who are emotionally unstable. And, since their audiences are tracked and analyzed in detail, there is no question that they know it.

When they go on TV and shout and sputter, rant and rave, and weep and wail, they are not expecting to persuade liberals or even undecideds to change their votes. They are "playing to their base," that they know includes people who are emotionally unstable. In short they are "stirring the pot." And if you turn up the temperature and keep stirring, you know that the pot will boil. Little bubbles will come up from the depths and pop.
Pop go the lone wolves.

Some lone wolves have no provable connection to the hate-talkers and pot-stirrers, other than memes in common. One example of this type is James Wenneker von Brunn who shot and killed security guard Stephen Tyrone Johns at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum. Another is Andrew Joseph Stack III, who flew a Piper Dakota into the Austin Texas field office of the Internal Revenue Service, killing IRS manager Vernon Hunter and himself, and injuring thirteen others. At this point it appears as if Jared Loughner is one of these: all-over-the-map crazy, with an incoherent ideology that is mostly rightwing but difficult to trace to specific sources.

On the other hand...

On 27 July 2008, lone wolf shooter Jim David Adkisson walked into the Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church and shot nine people, killing two and wounding seven. Adkisson said he was motivated by hatred of "Democrats, liberals, n-----s, and faggots." A police search of his home found books by Michael Savage, Sean Hannity, and Bill O'Reilly.

On 4 February 2009, he accepted a plea bargain: guilty on two counts of murder, in exchange for a life sentence w/o possibility of parole (LWOP).

On 4 April 2009, Richard Poplawski shot five Pittsburgh PA police officers, leaving three dead and two seriously wounded.

According to people who knew him, he was a birther and white supremacist, was paranoid that Obama was going to take away his guns, and was consumed with anti-semitic conspiracy theories. A police search of his computer found links to various groups and to a YouTube video of Glenn Beck talking about FEMA concentration camps.

Poplawski's trial has been delayed until 25 April 2011, where it is possible he will face the death penalty for the murder of police officers.

On 31 May 2009, lone wolf Scott Roeder shot and killed gynecologist Dr. George Tiller while Tiller was attending church services. At first it appeared that he acted alone, but research by some fellow Kossaks and I uncovered evidence that he had at least one accomplice. That issue is presently being investigated by a federal grand jury.

In the months leading up to the assassination, Bill O'Reilly had waged a "relentless campaign" against Tiller, a campaign of exactly the type that would be expected to stir up violence against the doctor. The details can be found here: /

In January 2010 Roeder was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to life without parole. At present his accomplices and enablers have not yet been indicted and charged.

On 18 July 2010, Byron Williams set out from his mother's home in Groveland CA, heading for San Francisco to shoot up the Tides Foundation and the ACLU, with the intention of "starting a revolution."

Williams, a convicted felon (two bank robberies), was stopped by the CHP (California Highway Patrol) for weaving in and out of traffic at high speed. When stopped, he immediately opened fire on the CHP officers, wounding two. They returned fire, wounding him in the leg, and then took him into custody. At first they thought they were dealing with a garden-variety cop shooter. Then they found the notebook in his car, with the details of his plans.

Quoting the Wikipedia article on Williams: ...(shooter)

Quote: Williams has identified Glenn Beck as his primary motivation for the shootings. According to Williams, Beck is "like a schoolteacher on TV... he's been breaking open some of the most hideous corruption." Continuing: "Beck would never say anything about a conspiracy, would never advocate violence. He'll never do anything ... of this nature. But he'll give you every ounce of evidence that you could possibly need." End quote.

Prior to Williams' planned attack, Beck had mentioned the obscure Tides Foundation 29 times on his program. He had drawn numerous charts on his infamous blackboard, showing how Tides is the funding source behind much of the "liberal conspiracy." He had stoked and fueled, turned up the heat on the pot, and stirred it real good. _He devoted two of his broadcasts to Tides in the very week preceding the shooting.

Quoting the Washington Post article:

Quote: Beck has at times spoken against violence, but he more often forecasts it, warning that "it is only a matter of time before an actual crazy person really does something stupid." Most every broadcast has some violent imagery: "The clock is ticking. . . . The war is just beginning. . . . Shoot me in the head if you try to change our government. . . . You have to be prepared to take rocks to the head. . . . The other side is attacking. . . . There is a coup going on. . . . Grab a torch! . . . Drive a stake through the heart of the bloodsuckers. . . . They are taking you to a place to be slaughtered. . . . They are putting a gun to America's head. . . . Hold these people responsible." Unquote.
Every ounce of evidence you could possibly need.

One dead doctor.

Two dead churchgoers.

Seven wounded churchgoers.

Three dead police officers.

Four wounded police officers.

How many more that I couldn't remember while writing this?

Meanwhile the jury is still out on whether Loughner's victims belong on the list of people who "got Becked."

As someone on dKos wrote in a comment about this a few months ago, there was a saying among his buddies in the Air Force: "Once is a tragedy, twice is a terrible coincidence, three times is enemy action."

If you were a media personality known for rants & raves on the air, and it came out that some random killer had possibly been influenced by you or one of your colleagues, what would you do? Would you apologize? Would you tone it down?

If it happened again, what would you do? And if it happened yet again after that? What would you do?

It takes more than just a special type of sociopath to fail to be moved by the murders of doctors, churchgoers, and police officers in the line of duty, and the could-have-been-murders of more.

I submit to you that it takes something between callous disregard and deliberate intent.
Pulling the trigger by remote control.

If you wanted certain people dead, but you wanted plausible deniability, you would have someone else do the deed for you at a distance, the greater the distance the better.

One way to do it would be to use your position on radio or TV to hurl emotional rhetoric that is calculated to appeal to people who are psychologically unstable. Some of them will go out and vote, some will go forth and spread your rant-memes, some will get into bar-room brawls over one issue or another.

But a few, who have already demonstrated a lack of respect for the law, will do more than that. Maybe they'll assault someone on the street who is black or gay or speaking Spanish in public or wearing traditional Islamic garb. Maybe they'll make a bomb and put it in the mail or plant it at a women's clinic.

Maybe they'll go out and shoot someone. Maybe they'll shoot someone who, in your heart of hearts, you want dead. If you have a list of targets in mind, such as Operation Rescue's website with crosshairs on doctors, or Palin's crosshairs on elected officials, it won't matter who gets killed first and who gets killed later: any hit will do.

This is stochastic terrorism: you heat up the waters and stir the pot, knowing full well that sooner or later a lone wolf will pop up and do the deed. The fact that it will happen is as predictable as the fact that a heated pot of water will eventually boil. But the exact time and place of each incident will remain as random as the appearance of the first bubbles in the boiling pot.

And so the unstable shooter, the sick kid or crazy grownup, will be taken into custody where they will rant a disconnected version of your own rants. The fact that they are clearly nuts will enable shifting the public discussion away from your hateful rhetoric and toward the overt insanity of the shooter or bomber.

After that, you get to go on the air and tut-tut along with everyone else, and say Oh So Sad, and all that crap. But behind the scenes you drink a toast and cheer: one down, a bunch more to go.

Or perhaps you're just crazy enough to truly believe that you really don't have anything to do with it. You collect your media star paycheck and tootle along to the next day in front of cameras and microphones, ready to do it again, as oblivious as the drunk driver who runs over a flock of schoolchildren and keeps driving, and then when the cops pull him over, says "Who, me??"
The guilty-knowledge test.

Someone needs to corral Beck, Hannity, O'Reilly, Savage, and the rest of them, in front of a microphone and camera that are not of their own choosing.

For example think of Sixty Minutes and their famed unannounced appearances at the offices and even homes of various wrongdoers over the years. Or think of press conferences or other scheduled appearances, where someone pops up and asks the inconvenient question or two, and the question captures the headlines.

And someone needs to ask them: In light of this latest in a series of ideologically-motivated murders, are you willing to tone down your rhetoric even a little?

Listen very closely to their answers. They will duck and weave, evade and deny, or at most give the standard reply of "lone nuts, oh so sad." But they may also let slip a subtle hint of guilty knowledge.

The author of the aforementioned WaPo article says in passing, "It's not fair to blame Beck for violence committed by people who watch his show."

I say it damn well is fair to blame them when it happens again and again and predictably again.

Once is a tragedy, twice is a coincidence, three times is enemy action.

And now we know how it's done: stir the pot and wait for the inevitable, and then deny it and do it again. That's stochastic terrorism as surely as when Bin Laden does it. And Beck and his fellow hate-mongers are terrorists by remote control.


Reposted from last weeks dairy by G2geek, which made the top of the Rec list @ Kos.
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Posted by FogerRox in General Discussion
Thu Dec 23rd 2010, 02:04 PM

We now have over 15 million unemployed. plus another 1.3 million who have given up looking for work. U6 has been 16.5% to 17.3% for the last year or so. And we no longer have the infrastructure to replace those jobs, that infrastructure must be rebuilt. Tax breaks for the wealthy to build the factories that manufacture solar panels and wind turbines, start up incentives for installers, and incentives for the consumer to buy. But thats only a few million jobs, but its a start.

Just in the NYC area alone; mass transit connections from NJ to NYC, thru to Queens and Brooklyn, a southerly and a northerly route, 4 tunnels. High speed rail from Bangor Maine thru DC, a southerly route and a northern route to the west coast, link up to Chicago. Thats another few million jobs.

The CCC and the WPA was not just about infrastructure building as in bridges and roads and National parks. There was an educational component, getting high school degrees, building the buildings that became teachers schools, building new college campuses to be filled by the new teachers, and once the actual infrastructure for a University system was in place, filling them with students. Over the last 30 years financial services as a percent of GDP has risen from 10% to 22%, and it took University faculty to crank out the MBA's and such that made this possible. Our university system needs to be rebuilt, refocusing on science and emerging technologies and not how to scam the SEC.

6 tax brackets are just not cutting it, there is too much of a difference between someone who makes 250k and 2.7 million annually. 20 tax brackets would far better describe the arc that is an effective progressive tax. Think of it this way, do 6 pixels describe a curve on your computer very well? And wouldn't 20 pixels do a much better job? In the 1980's Reagan gave the wealthiest a 60% tax cut, and doubled payroll taxes. He also defunded Federal programs in schools - putting the burden on municipal tax systems to make up the difference. Federally mandated school programs used to be funded by the Feds, now its something on the order of 26% Federal funding. A 70% percent top individual rate can be used to pay for all these investments .. investments in the future of our country.

GNP in 1934 was 11%, 1935-9%, 1936-13.9%, thats what recovery looks like.

From 1933 to 1936 unemployment dropped from 25% to 14%, not a bad start to recovery. (Full employment did not come until the run up to WW2, and then there was an acute labor shortage by 1942.)

GNP in 1936 exceeded that of 1929. (103 billion compared to 96 billion.) Thats what recovery looks like.

In 1936 Chevy set a record for selling sedans, Louis Armstrong seta record for selling records.

Right now half the individuals in this country make 27k or less.......
Whats in your wallet?
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