I wrote earlier this year about the Kangaroo Island Council’s decision to partner with the Federal Government in a scheme to subsidise the installation of solar panels on houses on the island.
About 200 households applied for and will receive grants of $8,000 for solar panels which will produce about 100 watts of electricity per hour. During daylight hours. On a good day.
So taxpayers have paid about $1.6 million to generate enough electricity on Kangaroo Island to run an extra 200 lighbulbs (or globes if you prefer) while the sun is shining.
Does anyone seriously think this is the most efficient way we could spend money and resources to generate electricity?
Total PC Gaming Magazine reports in issue 22 that the 11 million World of Warcraft players around the world, including individual players’ computers, servers, and data transmission, use about 6.6 gigawatts of electricity each day. About the same amount of power each day as was generated by solar panels worldwide for the whole of last year.
That does not mean that WoW players are a selfish bunch of wasters. It just means that solar power is an expensive toy, and will never be a realistic alternative to fossil fuel, hydro-electric, or nuclear electricity generation.
President Barack Obama has won the Nobel Peace Prize.
Well, I’ll be stuffed, as Phar Lap said.
Obama was nominated after twelve days as president. He must have done something pretty darned impressive in those twelve days, right? Check his schedule for yourself. It includes skipping church, releasing funds for abortions in developing coutries, partying, and taking the day off.
The Nobel peace Prize has no credibility at all. Some people said this after Yasser Arafat won. But at least then the committee had some reason to believe, or at least, it might have thought so at the time, that Arafat had renounced the use of terror, agreed to Israel’s right to exist, and committed to helping Israel to establish secure borders.
Of course that was all nonsense. The terrorism continued, and Arafat continued to get rich off aid money.
Perhaps the selection process was something like this (Via Hyscience) :
The Saturday Night Live skit mocking the award has Obama say ‘I won the award for not being George Bush.’ An interesting change of pace for SNL. What makes this funny (or tragic) is that it is probably true.
Gateway Pundit lists some geniune achievements by GW, including liberating millions from one of the most vile and violent regimes in modern history.
JBC share trading software, JBC stockmarket tracking software, JBC stock trading software, whatever they call it, is a scam.
Hang up when they call. Run, do not walk, to the nearest exit! Do not give JBC a cent of your money.
An email from a friend:
I received a really nice, professional looking brochure from a group called JBC, offering a way to make a some extra income from home trading shares. Then I got a call from a guy called Christopher. It was all pretty convincing. I did a bit of research and didn’t find anything that said there was a problem. They gave me an ABN, and have an impressive and professional looking website, so it looked like a legitimate business.
Eventually I agreed to buy, but said I would not authorise the purchase and deduction from my credit card over the phone. It was quite expensive. I asked for a tax invoice and a written guarantee. Once I had those things, and I said the invoice had to be dated in the 2009/2010 tax year, then I would either send a cheque or authorise a credit card transaction in writing.
Christopher said that there was only one license left for my state, that they were in demand, and if I wanted the license and software I would need to give my credit card details to hold it. JBC would not deduct any funds until I had the documentation and authorised the debit. That all seemed OK.
A few days later I noticed they had debited my credit card account with the full amount. A couple of days later I received the paperwork. The invoice was dated in the 2008/2009 year. I rang straight away, annoyed about the date on the invocie (which didn’t who any GST anyway) but more annoyed that they debited my account after I specifically told them not to, and they said they wouldn’t.
Christopher said he had come udner pressure from the directors because this was the last license, it was not fair to other investors to hold it, and so they had to debit my card to keep it for me. I could cancel the payment and get it reveresed, but the license would show in their system as available, and would be sold to someone else. He suggested I compete the paperwork, try the JBC software for a while, if I wasn’t happy they would refund my payment, or I could just my bank to do a chargeback.
I did this, and made a small profit in the first couple of weeks. But after that it just fell in a hole. I had about $4800 to invest in stocks. One of the companies the program told me to buy was delisted a few days later – $1200 gone. Another announced its intention to delist. $600 gone. Two others dropped to half their value a few days after the JBC program told me to buy them. After a month my $4800 was worth less than $2500.
I rang JBC to say I definitely was not happy and wanted my money back. The receptionsist said she would pass on my message. No one rang back. I sent an emal saying the same thing. No reply. A few weeks later I had rung JBC again and sent another email with no response.
I have asked my bank for a chargeback, and will complaint to consumer affairs. But even if I get the money I paid JBC for their dud trading program back, I have still lost over $2,000.
JBC advertise on Google with an ad that looks like this:
Make money with JBC. Proven Returns
Simple to use-Get the JBC Advantage
Make Money. Proven Returns. It sounds good. And their website does look impressive. But anyone can make promises, and anyone can write an impressive website. (Last time I checked, one of JBC’s ads appeared on this page, much to my amusement – please feel free to click on it – Google will pay me a few cents).
Potential buyers may be directed to a site called Sharesweek (I am not going to link to it) for an ‘independent’ review and recommendation. But Sharesweek is not a genuine publication. It is a fake website set up purely for the purpose of fooling people into buying JBC’s software.
The JBC share trading software package is a known scam. Genuine investment publications in the UK have warned about JBC for at least the last eight years. See Moneywise magazine for one example, under the heading Avoid This Investment Scam.
A reader notes that the International Stock Market Assembly is another superficially impressive fake web site, belonging to a fake organisation, which exists solely to give the JBC stock trading package an aura of credibility. I would be interested to hear from any others who have been caught in this trap. Comment or email me. If others have been caught in this scam, and are willing to provide details (not for publication) I will consider contacting the police.
Andrew Bolt leads off after his return from holidays with a tightly written summary of the world-is-hotter-than-ever-the-hockey-stick-proves-it fraud.
There is no doubt now that it really was fraud and not simply incompetence.
Now it is clear that there was not only incompetence in the handling of data, but that the data was cherry picked so egregiously there can be no serious doubt that the intention of Mann (the hockey-stick man) and Briffa and their collaborators was to deceive.
A part summary of why on climateaudit.org – essentally the result was based on recordings from just ten trees, carefully selected from over forty.
‘When later generations learn about climate science, they will classify the beginning of 21st century as an embarrassing chapter in history of science. They will wonder our time, and use it as a warning of how the core values and criteria of science were allowed little by little to be forgotten as the actual research topic — climate change — turned into a political and social playground.’
And an example of how science has gone so badly wrong is:
‘.. a study recently published in the prestigious journal Science. It is concluded in the article that the average temperatures in the Arctic region are much higher now than at any time in the past two thousand years. The result may well be true, but the way the researchers ended up with this conclusion raises questions. Proxies have been included selectively, they have been digested, manipulated, filtered, and combined, for example, data collected from Finland in the past by my own colleagues has even been turned upside down such that the warm periods become cold and vice versa. Normally, this would be considered as a scientific forgery.’
Of course Richard Lindzen, possibly the world’s leading atmospheric phycicist, said some years ago that he believed future generations would be astonished by the panic generated by, and money spent trying to control, a perfectly natural cyclic rise of a few tenths of a degree over a century.
In related news, this year’ s Antarctic ice melt is the lowest on record since satellite measurement began, Arctic ice is thicker – under the headline ‘Scientists Predict Ice-Free Summers for Arctic’ (of course) , and another leading scientist says publicy that CO2 emissions are good for the Earth, increase productivity, and do not cause global warming.
Oh, and this weekend may see the earliest snowfalls ever recorded in Chicago, beating the previous record set three years ago. Damn that global warming.
Maryam and Marzieh are Christian women. They are from Islamic families. They live in Iran.
So of course, they are in jail.
They are denied medical care or contact with the outside world. One of the prison guards told them they should be executed for apostasy. They were arrested in March. Neither has yet been charged, but when they are, the death penalty is a real possibility.
Elam is a Iranian Christian ministry and advocacy group. Support them if you can.
Only business can. While the government may seem to create jobs when it hires people or buys things, it destroys at least as many jobs as it creates when it does so.
When governments try to create jobs, or stimulate the economy, or support industry or ‘good causes’, they can only do so by taking money from business. Which means fewer people employed, less reason to take the risk of investing in business, reduced production of saleable commodities, lower profits from which to pay taxes, less income to government, less capacity to care for the poor.
Ohio has an economy burdened by high taxes and work rules that impose heavy costs on employers. Texas embraces free trade, keeps taxes low, doesn’t impose unions on business and has tooled itself for 21st century global competition. Ohioans may not like to hear this, but for any company considering where to locate a new plant or move an existing one, the choice between Ohio and Texas isn’t even a close call.
Texas has lower unemployment, higher average personal income, and creates more jobs and more exports.
The lesson is, the less government tries to do, the better off everyone is.
Government cannot create jobs, only business can.
Are you listening Mr Rudd? Mr Obama?
I know, I’ve said it a thousand times before, almost all subsidies are a waste of time, and end up costing more than any benefit they provide.
There are three reasons:
First, if you are getting a subsidy, you don’t have to worry so much about careful planning, or financial responsibility (because someone else – the taxpayer, usually – is picking up the bills), or whether anyone will like or buy what you produce. In other words, subsidies enourage a lack of efficiency, and the production of goods and services which nobody wants.
Secondly, subsidies are inefficient. Subsidies mean taking money off some people and giving it to other people at the whim of a politician or lobby group. This bad enough, but the process itself, its planning, administration and record-keeping, all cost time and money – which means substantially more money is taken from the taxpayer than ends up in the hands of the recipient. In some instances, the cost of assessing a person or group’s eligibility for a subsidy is more than the value of the subsidy itself.
Thirdly, subsidies (and food and clothing and other material aid, except in the most dire emergencies) discourage potentially viable businesses, and therefore discourage investment of both time and money in creativity, in business, in research and industry. The long term consequence of this is that businesses, artists, causes, etc, that might be successful on their own merits are disadvantaged.
In developing nations, local business people cannot compete with shiploads of food and clothing aid. So the West’s generous subsidies mean local people have no incentive to invest in developing the primary production, trade and industry which produce long-term wealth.
In relation to art, it is sometimes argued that good art is not necessarily commercial. Something may not sell well, and yet be worthy of support.
But who decides this? If no-one wants something enough to pay money for it, on what basis is it judged to be good?
I cannot think of a single piece of visual art or music, or a play or film that people have wanted and enjoyed, or which has shown itself to have lasting value, which depended on subsidies for its production.
On the other hand, there are hundreds of talented artists, musicians and playwrights who stand on their own feet, and who have made the world a more interesting place, by showing us truth or beauty or meaning where we had not seen it before.
My friend Neil Sheppard is one. Neil makes a good living from producing good paintings – that is, paintings that say something worthwhile, and that people enjoy enough to be willing to pay for.
Well, this is cool.
Elizabeth Blackburn was born in Tassie, and studied in Melbourne before completing her doctorate at Cambridge. She is now the Morris Herzstein Professor of Biology and Physiology at the University of California.
Her Nobel prize was awarded for her research into cell aging and regeneration, and in particular, chromosome structure, teleomeres (bits of repetitive DNA at the ends of chomosomes which Professor Blackburn says are like the tips on the ends of shoelaces to keep them unravelling) and telomerase, the enzyme which maintains them.
But Blackburn is wrong to support embryonic stem cell research, and the cloning of human beings so that the clone’s tissue and organs can be harvested.
Not only is embryonic stem cell research a waste of money, not having produced a single useful result (whereas other forms of stem cell research are promising), but more importantly, any culture whose members deliberately destroy the lives of other human beings to enhance their own longevity or comfort is corrupt and immoral and will fail.
With increasing down and upload speeds, online storage and backup is becoming a viable option.
I have an automatic backup system that copies a full disk image every week to an external drive. But I would still be in trouble if there was a fire, or my gear was stolen, or (and I have seen this happen) internal and external hard disks were both damaged by a power surge.
You really need cable internet or ADSL2 to make this practical for most users. But if you do, it is worth thinking about.
Disclaimer: I do get a (very small) commission (like $1) if you click on the link above and sign up for a plan. So I hope you will. But mainly I just thought it was interesting.
From the always insightful Kate at Small Dead Animals:
In a failed attempt to sway the the IOC’s selection committee into awarding Chicago the 2016 Summer Olympics, which went instead to Rio de Janeiro, the ever-grinning Barack Obama landed in Copenhagen yesterday to deliver a four-“I” plea.
Michelle Obama plied the “wife of I” gambit:
“I was born and raised on Chicago’s South Side, not far from where the Games would open and close,” she said.
Michelle Obama talked about her late dad who suffered from multiple sclerosis.
Alas, someone in Brazil’s delegation once lived in Rio, and had a great-uncle with angina.
Read this column by Jeremy Clarkson for the fun of it. It’s just a silly story about not realising how hot a bottle of hot sauce was going to be.
But in passing, it makes a point I have thought about a few times – that the result of the proliferation of product warnings on every imaginable product is that the few we need to take note of get lost in the blur.
A few examples of amusing, silly or pointless product warnings.
I know, it sounds like an oxymoron. But it might just be true.
I haven’t seen Paul Hogan’s new film Charlie and Boots yet. Philppa Martyr has, and has written an intelligent and amusing review, full of praise for what she says is an intelligent and well made film. Two of the things she enjoyed about it were its good-naturedness, and its lack of self-consciousness and preaching. Yet the film does have some worthwhile things to say.
Astonishingly, Margaret Pomeranz and David thingy both enjoyed it too. I just hope that doesn’t put too many people off.
That is a quote from Titus 1:9 – the name of the blog of the Reverend Canon Dr Kendall Harmon. Dr Harmon is a traditionalist Anglican (ie, he is one of the few who persists in believing the things the whole church believed until about twenty years ago). He has good political sense and writes well.
A few recent stories linked to from his blog:
A brief and interesting interview on the reason for the war in Afghanistan, and what needs to be done to make a long-lasting positive outcome more likely. From PBS’ s Religion and Ethics segment.
An editorial from The Tablet (UK), about the recent conviction of four young Britsh Muslims who had been plotting to blow up planes over the Atlantic. The editorial asks sensible questions about what the Islamic community could do to reduce the growth of radicalism and hatred of the West amongst its members, and about what the wider British community, and especially schools, can do to be more successful in teaching Western values.
And finally, from The Times, an article about a ‘secret annexe’ to this year’s International Atomic Energy Agency report on Iran. The annexe claims that Iran already has the information, materials and technology to build an atomic bomb.
The only thing that is in doubt, apparently, is whether they have the will to do it. Given Imanutjob’s rantings about how blasting the Zionist entity from the face of the Earth would be doing the world a favour, and big chief Ayatollah Ali Khomeni’s claim that an Iranian nuclear arsenal would ‘serve Iran as a deterrent in the hands of God’s soldiers,’ I do not find that doubt very encouraging.
More on this from John Robson, concluding with:
So let me translate those newspaper stories into real world language. The Iranian government is building nuclear weapons so it can blow the Jews off the face of the earth, and our leaders have neither the spine to act nor the wit to perceive their own shameful paralysis. It’s that bad.