Friday Highlights

Good morning.

  1. Fighting nature.
  2. A milestone.
  3. Thick fueled.
  4. Low altitude ultrasound in high pressure water.
  5. Closet Marxism in the GOP ranks.
  6. Drones and carriers. So, are you looking forward to armed drones monitoring your activities?
  7. Another note on drones.
  8. Wax muscles.
  9. Talking budgets.
  10. Well, it’s going to be on my Christmas list.
  11. A quaint quote, except for the it being all wrong part. If you think Christianity (for example) is there to make you comfortable and sleep easy … you’re getting it backwards.
  12. Where charity starts.
  13. A book noted.
  14. Sorry, I prefer old and unaccountably cheerful.
  15. An honest player.
  16. Missed in the whole stimulus circus.

5 Responses to Friday Highlights

  1. 6.Drones and carriers. So, are you looking forward to armed drones monitoring your activities?

    You mean like Google getting to know you so well it’s able to guess your searches before you finish typing them?

    Ohhh, armed drones. Kinda reinforces my thoughts about the military of the future. Wouldn’t an unmanned carrier be the next step? How much smaller could such a carrier be if it didn’t have to worry about carrying space and provisions for so many people?

  2. 7.Another note on drones.

    Is not the drone debate really a debate about targetted killings, esp. military ones? If that’s the case then you should focus on Israel as Israel has been doing targetted killings for decades now. The current fighting erupted after Israel killed a Hamas leader who was reportedly responsible for the rocket attacks that have been launched against Israel on an almost daily basis. How exactly he was killed hasn’t been stated yet, but Israel has used everything from remotely detonated bombs, manned air strikes and special ops teams to kill their targets, if they added drones to the mix would that change anything about the ethical debate? I don’t think so.

    So if the debate is really not about drones but about ‘targetted killings’ then how do you evaluate Israel’s recent use against the Hamas leader? What about other reported killings such as Iranian scientists involved with the nuclear program?

  3. 1.Fighting nature.

    If you didn’t catch that show on the history channel, ‘life without people’ or whatnot, you should. All human civilization is a fighting against nature. Let humans disappear even for a year and nature will very quickly move in on our creations and start dismanteling them.

    With that in mind, $7B for the Jersey Shore reconstruction, say another $7B just to ‘fight nature’ by having a Jersey shore. NJ’s GDP alone is about half a trillion a year and the US GDP is over 14 trillion a year. You’re talking about a ‘blip’ of costs.

    16.Missed in the whole stimulus circus

    Actually this is the sort of thing that you should not do with stimulus. Stimulus should be increasing demand to achieve full employment. ‘Hardening’ the grid is an investment and the question with an investment is what are its benefits less its costs. If Benefits-Costs>$0 then you should do it regardless of wehther or not the economy is at full employment. Now if you have a well thought out hardening blueprint on the table and you happen to need the stimulus, then do it. But here the thing should be done slowly and correctly regardless of stimulus needs.

    I’m curious about your thoughts on EMP’s. I once argued with a person who was convinced all Iran had to do was set off a 1 megaton warhead in space over the US and the entire US electrical grid would be destroyed. What I’ve read here and there hasn’t been very clear on that question…

  4. Boonton,
    Ah, alas no cable. Seems to me though the whole “lets’ build a city/town on onstable ground” is just silly. Kinda like New Orleans “let’s build a city below sea level on the coast” … no problems we might imagine there. And lookee … cheap federally backed flood insurance, ’cause elected officials can’t do actuary … ’cause all they care about are votes today.

    Actually this is the sort of thing that you should not do with stimulus.

    I disagree. Stimulus funds, per you fellas, don’t matter on what you spend. You hold you could spend it just as well on filling in freshly dug ditches. If you’re going to “stimulate” an actual economy, seems to me increasing supplies of energy, making transportation cheaper, reducing regulations thwarting innovation. Those are actually stimulative measure that go beyond the stimulus provided by the work/money required to create the better energy/transportation &c stuff.

  5. You sound like New Orleans was built by a central planner, it wasn’t.

    Re Stimulus: For stimulus purposes it doesn’t matter what you spend it on. But there’s two goals here….one to increase demand in the economy. The other is to do an investment that will yield future returns (reduced expenses due to power outages).

    If you just want stimulus, I would try to send it to short term demand. I would only do long term investments if they were already well planned. This is how it went down for the most part. About 75% of the stimulus was tax cuts, income and Medicaid. 25% were so-called ‘shovel ready’ projects.

    In terms of a major long term investment like hardening the grid, I’d want to make sure it’s done correctly and optimally. So if you have that for stimulus do it. But *because* it’s a long term investment, you’d want to do it even if you didn’t need stimulus.

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