Category Archives: News

East Coast Wind Farms – is the future now?

wind-farmsAs the United States moves deeper into the 21st century, our energy needs are growing while the amount of inexpensive fuel at our deposal decreases.  This shortage is due to the increased world demand from emerging economies of India, China and the Third World – one could say the law of Supply of Demand is truly in effect.  Take last summer’s s astronomical rise in gas prices that gripped our country as a good example.

So, our need as a nation to explore alternate avenues of inexpensive and renewable energy is not only a high priority for our economical stability, but a component in our own National Security.  So, I was extremely excited when I read President George Bush’s speech at the Renewable Energy Conference on Oct 12, 2006 stating that the United States needed to severe our dependency on oil and explore new energy sources.  Finally we are on the right path to become self reliant again and not worry if the next Middle East conflict will cut off our energy needs.

Much to my delight, I was quite please to learn that Mr. Obama was going to continue what President Bush started by looking for alternate resources for our energy needs – Solar, Geo-Thermal, Hydro Electric, Nuclear, Bio-Fuels, and Wind Power.

The first step is to look at wind as resource.  A recent report from the Interior Department announced that wind farms could supply 20-25% of the electricity for majority of the East Coast.  These wind farms could generate up to 1000 gigawatts of electricity.  Not only could these farms have the potential to supply three-fourths of the United States’ electricity demand, but could lower our carbon emissions, a win-win situation.

The wind farms would reside in shallow-water and it looks like from the study that 71 percent of the nations wind resources are between North Carolina and Delaware.  As a resident of Virginia I found this possibility for our local economy and energy needs exciting.

However, as a realist I find this project utterly ridiculous and an irresponsible use of tax payers.  I give two words why this project will not only fail but would cost the tax payers imminence amount of money each year in repairs and construction costs – Hurricanes and Nor’easters.

One designated area for these farms is the Outer Banks of North Carolina or previous know as the Grave of the Atlantic.  This nickname, which the Outer Banks sorely deserves, originates from the 1500 ships that sunk over the last 300 years in its waters due to the strong off shore winds.  Even the Wright Brothers found the winds as a resource by launching their historical fight from the fields of Kittyhawk. 

These shores are not only a great source of wind, but are also the ideal place for the creation of Nor’easter storms that tendto  race right up the Virginia, Maryland, Delaware coast into New England.

Like Hurricanes, Nor’easter storms are nothing to sneeze at, they pack high winds, punishing surf, and heavy rains, and depending on the time of year even deadly hurricane_fran_optsnow/ice.  The winds from these storms can in some cases reach up to 80 mph.

The wind farms consist of tower that jets 328 feet into the air like a #2 pencil with a turbine that has a diameter as large a 747 airplane.  A nice size Hurricane or Nor’easter could easily break these turbines like tooth picks.  If Hurricane Katrina could move large off shore oil derricks that are anchored in the sea bed and not nearly as high while weighed down with several hundreds of tons several miles then image what it would due to a wind farm.  The results from a storm would devastate the farm.   People would be picking up turbines up and down the East Coast.  This danger would not only occur one, but year in and year out.   

What type of cost will the tax payer have to incur year after year to repair these facilities from storm damage and then added in additional costs of the environmental cleanup from broken turbines on our beaches or coastlines?  We are talking millions and millions of dollars per year.   Will the energy cost savings these wind farms generated be enough to offset the rebuilding and clean up cost?  I don’t think so.   So those costs would fall on you and me – the tax payer.

So cheap energy has now turned into expensive energy and again fossil fuels look to be the better alternative.  My suggestion would be to move these farms to mountain tops and other areas that the severe hand of Mother Nature cannot reach.

Although a good first step in finding an alternative source of energy, I just hope that the Federal Government and this Administration use their heads before sinking tax payer money into a potential money pit.  These type of ideas need to be vetted by many viewpoints before they reach the public form.

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Federal Bailout of the NFL

Over the last few months, as our country navigates through turbulent waters of this Recession, the Federal Government has conducted some unprecedented moves – increased deficits spending, bailouts, and increased unconstitutional powers to the Department of Treasury.

On the heels of the forced retirement of CEO Rick Wagoner of GM, Secretary Timothy Geithner has acknowledged recently on “Face the Nation” on CBS that the Federal Government should have the option to purge any directors or senior management of financial institutions that received aid from the Federal Government – “Where that requires a change in management and the board, then we will do that” states Geithner.NFL

Wow!  Now that is power.  Maybe Geitner and the Federal Government need to take this power to the next step by beyond struggling financial firms and auto companies, but to all areas of the economy.  My first suggestion would be for them to start with the National Football League.

You heard me correctly…the multi-billion dollar a year industry that is call the NFL which is sorely in need of Federal help.  If anywhere there was an example of poor leadership and grossly abuse of bonus money, the NFL is defiantly the poster boy in these areas. 

Where else can besides Fannie Mac and Fannie Mae can an individual receive millions of dollars of bonus money for failure and performing below expectations.  Take for example DeAngelo Hall of the Washington Redskins.  He received a six-year deal worth $55 million, $23 million of which is guaranteed this year.   To give you an idea of the season that Hall had in 2008 here are his stats:

  • 73 Tackles, 63 Solo Tackles, .5 Sacks, 4 Interceptions, and 21 Pass Deflections in 15 games

Not too bad, I guess…However, this is the same guy who got beat out of starting position in Oakland and dumped mid way through 2008{is this the right year} by Al Davis due to poor performance.  Oh yeah, he just signed a $70 million free agent contract months beforehand with the Raiders.  To break it down, he was paid $8 million for eight games, while receiving a $7 million signing bonus for that bit of work.  To make matters worse, he struggled in the man-to-man defense scheme that Oakland runs and was rottenly beaten for big plays which lead to numerous Raider losses. 

Where is the outcry about Hall’s over bloated salary and bonus that were paid out for his poor play and performance?  I don’t see Congress freezing his pay or the pay of his ex-teammate Javon Walker who received an $11 million signing bonus for the 15 catches in 10 games he played in.  $733,333.333 per catch!!!  OMG!  Hall and Walker are just a few examples of bonuses being paid for underperforming employees without any Congressional outcry…where are you Nancy Pelosi??!!

Now let’s talk about management.  No one can argue that Geitner needs to fire everyone involved from the owner down to the towel boy in the Detroit Lions organization after their historical 0-16 season.  Mr. Obama himself could run a better organization that the Fords can.

You shouldn’t discount doing the same type of dismal strategy to the organization that seems to draft more felons than the Dallas Cowboys and that would be the Cincinnati Bengals (4-12 in 2009 and 110-193 since 1990).  Tell me one reason why Mike Brown and William Clay Ford should still be in position to run these teams in communities that deserve better?  Mr. Geitner, time to make your move and hand out some pink slips, the fans are waiting!

If you are not convinced yet that NFL needs government oversight and help, then I offer one last example.  The bloated rookie signing bonus that draftees receive year in and year out for services yet performed on the expectation that they will “rock stars” and be worth every penny they were given.  However that seems not to be the case for most first round draft picks. 

Take for example Jake Long on the Miami Dolphins.  He signed last year for a $57.5 million contract which included a guaranteed the $30 million signing bonus he received in 2008 as the #1 draft pick.  The $30 million guarantee bonus was given out for services that yet to rendered and Congress is ruffled by the AIG bonuses.  What a hypocritical world we live in!!!  I guess the severance package that Wagoner received for 30 years of service at GM of $20 million is not looking too bad after all.

Hopefully I have created a good case for Federal intervention into the NFL so our national pastime can be saved.  So, I deeply implore everyone to write and call their Congressional representative requesting Government assistance before it becomes too late… Do for the children!

Obama vs. the Veterans over Healthcare

One of the most shocking revelations to come out of the new administration is not the approved “pork barrel” laden budget or the highly skeptical stimulus plan, but the new proposal to have private insurance companies pick up the health care of battle injuries for our veterans instead of the government.

Yes, you heard me correctly; Mr. Obamas’s administration has a plan on the table to have private insurance companies like Blue Cross/Blue Shield and United Healthcare pick up the tabs for battle field injures from a gun shot in the butt to an amputated leg brought on by IEDs.Mr. Obama

Isn’t it the government’s responsibility and fundamental promise to take care of our veterans when this great country sends these fine people to war to protect our liberties and way of life?  If you answered yes, then why should the private sector pick up the tab?  It wasn’t the insurance companies who sent these honorable individuals off to battle.

My guess is that proposal is the first of  too many controversial spending cuts that this administration will try to implement as a way to pay for the monstrous spending programs that have been passed these last 50 or so days in office. 

A better way would be to save money would be to eliminate or veto the enormous earmarks populating the new budget.  Welcome to Mr. Obama’s “change.”. 

Hass the White House considered what would happen if the private sector picks up the tab for veterans?  I am betting that cost would be passed on to the consumer through increased premiums and increased employer costs.  These added costs would damage an already frail health care system and economic situation.

US VetsI am not sure what the correct answer is to fix the health care our veterans are getting except by increase funding and providing less bureaucracy in managing the care which would improve efficiency. 

However, having the private sector pick up the tab is not the answer.  Give less money to the bailouts of GM, Citibank, Chrysler, and AGI and more money to our veterans.  They are the ones that need it!

The return of the GOP 2012

I want you for the GOPWell, we can now say that election 2008 is now officially in books.  Boy what a historical race it was.  Before you get too comfy and you think that we have a few years before the hype for Election 2012 begins…think again.  The GOP is already in full  swing for 2012 with a huge field of potential candidates. 

To kick things off, two of the “heavy hitters” of the GOP candidates will be appearing Iowa in the month of November – Sarah Palin and former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, per Jonathan Martin at the Politico.  Thus, the GOP invasion has begun. 

Over the next few months, a red wave of potential GOP contenders for 2012 will be wasting no time in developing a grass roots campaign in the country’s premier primary state which includes – Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, former Governor Mitt Romney, Sen. John Thune of South Dakota, Gov. Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota, Gov. Charlie Crist, Gov. Haley Barbour of Mississippi, Gov. Mark Sanford of South Carolina, Gov. Jon Huntsman, and Gov. Rick Perry of Texas.

Not to be out done, former Governor Huckabee will be touring Iowa in his “Madden” style bus that includes his likeness tattooed on each of the bus side as he gets the word out on his new conservative book that is hitting a Barnes and Noble near you. 

Their goal is to craft a message that once again will ignite the passion and ideals of all Americas – lower taxes, capitalistic economy based ideals of Adam Smith, strong, fiscal responsibility, smaller Federal Government, strong Foreign Policy, energy independence, and conservative values, the ideals that Reagan evoked as he united the country in 1980 and 84.

Change is once again on the march as hope is gaining strength in the corn fields of Middle America for the GOP. 

Let the race begin – take back the White House 2012!

Post Election Poll by Zogby – Obama Supporters

Okay, believe it or not there is still a good amount of information that seems to be filtering out in our post-election environment.  One of the more interesting items that have taken place recently is a new Zogby poll.Election 2008

Zogby conducted an unbiased scientific poll that was commissioned by John Ziegler.  The purpose of the poll was to determine how informed the Obama supporters were of all the Presidential candidates and if the hypothesis about a bias media is correct.   The poll provided startling results

So, let’s break down the poll.  The poll was conducted from 11/13/08-11/15/08 with a sampling size of 512 (229 male and 283 female) with a margin of error of +/- 4.4%.  Further breakdown on the specific sample group and results of the questions can be found at http://www.zogby.com/news/wf-dfs.pdf

Here are results of the 12 question survey:

  • 1. 12% correctly identify Obama as the candidate whose energy policies would bankrupt the coal industry in this country.
  • 2. 17% correctly identify Obama as the candidate who won his first election by getting all of his opponents kicked off the ballot.
  • 3. 72% could not correctly identify Biden as the candidate who quit a previous Presidential run due to plagiarism of a campaign speech.
  • 4. 47% did not know that Biden stated that Obama would be tested by an international crisis during the first six months of his administration.
  • 5. 56% could not correctly answer which political party controlled both Houses of Congress prior to the election.
  • 6. 86% correctly associated Palin with the $150,000 wardrobe purchase by her party.
  • 7. 81% correctly identified McCain as the candidate who did not know how many houses he owned.
  • 8. 23% correctly identified Obama as the candidate that claimed to have campaigned in 57 states.
  • 9. 87% correctly identified Palin as the candidate whose state they could see Russia from their house.
  • 10. 94% correctly identified Palin as the candidate with a pregnant teenage daughter.
  • 11. 81% correctly identified Obama as the candidate who stated that government should redistribute the wealth.
  • 12. 44% correctly identified Obama as the candidate who started their political career at the home of two former members of the Weather Underground.

So, did the media really shape the minds of the voting population with tilt toward the left?  Is the voting population so misinformed that “we” fail to question what is being told to us?  Has our media-driven society turned into the vision that George Orwell wrote about in 1984?  I truly wonder…

Should GM fail?

GMWholly printing press Batman!!!!  The window at the U.S. Treasury is still open for business.  Just a few weeks ago, Congress passed the unprecedented and quite controversial $700 billion bailout plan for the Financial Industry.  Since then the market seemed to settle down and our financial institutions were saved from a so called “collapsed.”  Unknown too many, Congress was also providing relief to GM, Ford, and Chrysler LLC with a $25 billion loan to assist them in retooling their manufacturing base toward small and economical vehicles.  Wow!

Now just over a week from the completion of the 2008 Presidential Election, Congress and President-Elect Obama are talking about another bailout for our “beloved” auto industry.  This time around dollar amount is extensively higher to the tune of $50 billion dollars.  Unbelievable!!!!  I can’t believe the Congress and the President-Elect are willing to give away taxpayer money to an industry that resisted altering their business model for the last 20 years.  Guess what…that lack of denial has now come home to roost in Detroit.

I agree with most economist that a company the size of GM is too large to let fail due to the ramifications it could have on the economy – the enormous lost tax revenue, the increase in overall unemployment rate and fuel to this prolonged “Rescission” for several more years. 

Here are some facts to give you an idea how enormous this industry is and what an integrated part of our economy this industry is.  The automobile industry makes up four percent of the U.S Gross Domestic Product and 10% of U.S. industrial production by value.  One out of every 10 U.S. jobs is auto-related.

Yes, it is a big chuck.  However, shouldn’t the market dictate if these companies should survive or not.  Bankruptcy laws were written and passed for this reason, to provide companies a shield to assist them in developing a better business model while negotiating for better leases, labor, etc.  The goal is to emerge as a leaner and stronger company.

This option would be perfect for GM, Ford, or Chrysler LLC.  Filing Chapter 11 Bankruptcy would provide the auto manufacturers the ability to take power back from the powerful outdated labor unions and negotiate a reasonable/fair market wages, close unprofitable factories, secure better/cheaper parts network, and reduce the dealership network to a more manageable number.

Believe it or not, filing for bankruptcy is a better option than using taxpayer money to keep afloat an industry that has a broken business model.  What will keep the this industry from coming back to Congress a one, two, or five years to ask for another bailout. 

Does anyone really think that this money being proposed by Congress would honestly be used to turn things around again.  If you do, then I have some wonderful beach front property to sell you in Nevada.  Remember, bankruptcy worked for the airline industry before and after 9/11. 

If Congress and the President-Elect is willing to provide the auto industry money, what is stopping them from providing bail outs to other industries that are suffering from this economic down turn, bad business models, and/or high commodity prices like – the airline industry, steel industry, satellite radio, farmers, etc.  Heck, how bout Circuit City?  How can we let the second largest electronic retailer fail?  Where will I get my fix of new Simpson DVDs?

If the Feds are willing to hand out money to any company that declares them as a bank a la American Express and Goldman Sacks, then I hereby declare that I am now a bank holding company.   I am ready for my windfall of “lottery” money.”  So let’s make a deal!!!”

With all seriousness, these government-sponsored handouts need to stop.  The market is an extension of Darwinism – survival of the fittest.  It is time for the Bulls and Bears to battle it out!

Our economic philosophy is based on Adam Smith economic model…not Karl Marx!

The Fourth Estate is for Obama

Can you believe that Election Day is just a few short days way?  For both candidates November 4th is Christmas, the seventh game of the World Series, and Super Bowl all rolled up in one day.  This day is also when “The Fourth Estate” pulls out all the stops to help report to the American public who will be our next President from the time sun peaks over the eastern horizon to the blurry hours of the next morning. “The Fourth Estate” is the eyes, ears and the American Public in a neutral environment.

As noble as that all sounds, the truth of the matter is that “The Fourth Estate” is not that noble nor is it that neutral in reporting on candidates this election year.

Courtesy of Journalism.org

Courtesy of Journalism.org

A recent study published by Journalism.org has examined the impact that media has had on the 2008 Presidential Election.  This study investigated the amount of negative and positive media each candidate received from both cable and network news channels.  The goal was to determine if the media has been fair their coverage of Sen. Obama and Sen. McCain.  The study looked from September 8 through October 16 time period. 

The study disclosed some rather interesting statistics and evidence that most Americans have suspected – the majority of the media is basis toward the left.

During this time frame Sen. Obama received 36% negative and 29% positive stories while Sen. McCain received 57% negative and 14% positive stories.  A startling statistic, especially when the media touts themselves as a neutral body that looks at everyone with equal eyes.  If you think these numbers are bad, review these other statistics.

  • Fox News reported 40% of the stories about Sen. Obama as negative while reporting 40% of the stories about Sen. McCain as negative. Is this right, it’s the same for both?
  • MSNBC reported 14% of the stories about Sen. Obama as negative while reporting 73% of the stories about Sen. McCain as negative.
  • NBC has reported 54% of the stories about Sen. McCain as negative while its same coverage for Sen. Obama was 20% negative.
  • ABC and CBS coverage was fairly neutral for both candidates.
  • CNN reported 61% of the stories about Sen. McCain as negative while its same coverage for Sen. Obama was 39% negative.

The study also provided credence for many of us who have always argued that MSNBC, NBC, and CNN have ideological views that line up with Democratic Party.  While Fox, ABC, and CBS taken a neural stance toward reporting on both candidates, you could almost could say all three were – “Fair and balanced,” still a line from Fox News.

Side note: Interesting that Obama decided not to by his infomercial last night on ABC and CBS?

So, has media failed to provide the American public an unbiased coverage of the candidates or has the Media been coerced by the left to produce positive stories for Sen. Obama that would help influence polling number and campaign contributions?  A good question…a person could possible say there is an underlining conspiracy at work here that would make Nixon look honest.  Does the Media really hate the Republications a.k.a. President Bush so much that journalism has taken a back seat to activism?  If the last seven years is indication, then I would say…YES!

History will look back at 2008 as the year that “The Fourth Estate” died.  R.I.P.