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Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Hurricane stopper

Seeing the devastation from Katrina, its pretty clear that there is no way to harden against such a storm, but I wonder if there might be a way to unplug it, using its energy against itself. One possibility occurs to me.

Assemble a huge ring shaped wind farm that could be adjusted in size, by pulling in or letting out cables, to be a few miles larger in diameter than the eye of the target hurricane. The energy from the wind barges would be used to kill four birds (not to mention probably a lot of birds). 1) It would take energy from the wind. 2) It would use that energy to power underwater propellers in the opposite direction of wind travel so that it could keep taking energy from the wind. 3) It would direct its propulsive streams so as to also follow the eye of the hurricane, and 4) it would also angle its propellant streams the vertical dimension, so as to drive cold water up from below, drawing thermal energy away from the warm winds that power the hurricane. The temperature differential is key, so the barges would use long tubes to suck their propellent water from deep down.

Would the cold-water dredging operation be more efficient if it went with the wind, using underwater propellant streams to try to augment surface wind effects in creating an ocean whirlpool? Interesting to think about. Maybe cables wouldn’t even be necessary, with each barge sailing under its own wind power. Just have each one drive in as close to the eye-wall as it can, getting as much wind energy as possible into its wind turbines, with all power not needed for navigation being used to pull cold up. The wind power would not be sufficient for the barges to stay in place, but they could swirl around the eye, kicking cold up and out, which tells what the advantage of the cables would be. With cables in place, the barges would not have to propel themselves inward, which means more power could be used to drive cold up, but since ideal cooling would probably call for cold to be propelled out as well as up, this advantage might not be large, especially compared to the coordination costs and other costs of a cable system.

One swarm in the mid-Atlantic, one in the Indian Ocean, both nipping tropical storms in the bud, and one in the Gulf, just in case.

The ultimate solution will come when we understand enough about how to sample and project wind currents that we can figure out just where to detonate a big-fuel air bomb so as to disrupt the currents that create a tropical depression before it starts, but maybe in the meantime a big eye-affixing wind-farm is just low-tech enough to be within reach. Whaddayathink?

UPDATE: In the offseason, the wind-farm barges could be parked in some windy place and used for electricity generation. Such a dual use might even make the scheme economically viable, not that electric generation would pay for it, but that when all benefits were accounted, it might return net benefits. Could this actually work?

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Cindy Sheehan, deadly flypaper for Democrats

Using the death of a son to attack the cause that the son volunteered to fight for, and died fighting for, is not an act of love, it is an act of betrayal. If Cindy Sheehan wants to be anti-war, fine (or at least, not SO bad), but how is it acceptable to ANYONE that she use her son Casey’s death to attack his beliefs? A moral person would leave him out of it. Not Cindy Sheehan.

Many people who understand what is wrong about her behavior excuse her as a woman crazed by grief, but Sheehan’s hostility to towards her son Casey preceded his death. In a radio interview she stated: “I told him I would run over him with a car, anything to get him not to go to that immoral war.” Her confessed reason for wanting to run him over was not to protect him. It was to stop him from doing what she thought was wrong.

Michael Reagan cites a host of similar indications:
...she says of her son, "He died for oil. He died to make your friends," Bush’s friends, "richer. He died to expand American imperialism in the Middle East."

How dare he?
Patterico notes the bizarre extreme of Cindy Sheehan calling the Islamo-fascist insurgents in Iraq "freedom fighters":
It takes your breath away, doesn’t it? These are the very people who killed her son, and she is calling them “freedom fighters.”
That would be the freedom to impose totalitarianism? Sweet.

And don't forget her "This country is not worth dying for," quote:
I take responsibility partly for my son’s death, too. I was raised in a country by a public school system that taught us that America was good, that America was just. America has been killing people, like my sister over here says, since we first stepped on this continent, we have been responsible for death and destruction. I passed on that bullshit to my son and my son enlisted. I’m going all over the country telling moms: “This country is not worth dying for. If we’re attacked, we would all go out. We’d all take whatever we had. I’d take my rolling pin and I’d beat the attackers over the head with it. But we were not attacked by Iraq. We might not even have been attacked by Osama bin Laden if [drowned out by applause]. 9/11 was their Pearl Harbor to get their neo-con agenda through and, if I would have known that before my son was killed, I would have taken him to Canada. I would never have let him go and try and defend this morally repugnant system we have.(Via Xrlq.)
Notice again that her motivation for wanting to forcefully interfere with her son's choices has nothing to do with wanting to protect him. She only wishes she could have successfully interfered with his choices because she is violently opposed to what he chose to fight for. She is very consistent and very candid. She so hates the choices her son made that she feels justified in betraying him.

As bad-mom gets more exposure, her efforts to misuse her son’s death will almost certainly backfire and Casey will get some cosmic justice: his death will again serve the cause he believed in. So march on, bad-mom. Become a deadly fly-paper that exposes and destroys the credibility of all who are attracted to you. Lend your backing to anti-war candidates. Press the leadership of our anti-war party. Gobble up newspaper reporters and editors. Spray them all with your grotesque stink, which many pretend not to smell out of sympathy for your loss, but which fills their noses none the less. Let all who see that forbearance as an opening walk through it and become drenched in your odor. Help win the war at home that Casey was fighting abroad.

Friday, August 12, 2005

FX drama Over There ruined by clueless leftism

Episode 3: The terrorist finally talks when U.S. interrogators threaten to turn his fifteen year old sister over to Pakistani intelligence for a slow death by beatings and gang rape. He agrees to tell where the stolen Stinger missiles are hidden, on condition that the innocent farmers, who do not know what has been stashed in their barn, are spared. The episode ends with the farm being wiped out with a smart-bomb from two miles up. Thus the terrorists are depicted as concerned about the welfare of Muslim girls and the protection of innocents while the U.S. military is depicted as unwilling to take steps to avoid harm to non-combatants. Is it possible to frame a more dishonest scenario?

Over There (the new FX drama about the Iraq war)is full of these perversions, but it is perfectly obvious that the writers are not even aware of them. They are creating the show purely from their imaginations, without reference to any knowledge of what is actually happening in Iraq. In episode 3, as in episode 1, the squad at the center of the drama gets pinned down by a superior force for hours on end. Has this EVER happened in the Iraq war? On the few occasions when the enemy has tried tactics of ambush in force, our troops haven't hidden behind a Humvee for 12 hours. They have immediately taken the fight to the enemy, devastating larger enemy forces, while calling and recieving rapid backup that quickly brings overwhelming force to bear. That's why the Jihadies only tried it a handful of times and rely instead on IED's. The writers of Over There obviously don't know and don't care. The scenario of getting pinned down presents dramatic circumstances that to the writers seem interesting, and that is what guides what they write.

The show is pure Democrat-left imagination about the war, with no concern for what is real. Hence it constantly throws off Michael-Moorish jaw droppers, like the terrorists being depicted as the one's who care about not harming non-combatants, without any hint that this is anything but a gritty/honest depiction. Its WAR right? Let's be honest. In war, we drop bombs and accept the "collateral damage," right? Gritty honesty. Gritty honesty. Gritty honesty. Never mind that smart bombing the farm in the story from two miles up would make it impossible to verify how many Stinger missiles had been destroyed--i.e. that the action depicted is not just against our actual policy of avoiding non-combatant deaths where possible, but it also violates all strategic sense. All that matters is what in the left-wing imagination constitutes "gritty honesty."

The show is not entirely stupid, because the left wing imagination is not entirely stupid. Just the leftist part is out-to-lunch. The interrogator in episode 3, for instance, is an interesting invention. It's just that the WHOLE SHOW is invented from whole cloth, making it inevitable that the leftist idiocy of the writers will blare through in every second scene. Like what kind of mind does it take to depict the stateside wife as a slut who goes out to bars every night to get picked up for sex, leaving her seven year old boy to fend for himself? This is how a show on the military chooses to depict military wives? Their depiction of stateside husbands is just as grotesque. They show a left-wing female's wet-dream of a "sensitive man," welcoming him to a support group as one of "us wives."

No doubt the Democrat writers of the show think that in showing this husband getting in touch with his feminine side they are presenting a fantastically positive politically-correct figure. You can just see them brainstorming: "Now what should we do with the military husband?" No concern for the reality of military husbands. Just a left-winger's dream about what would make an interesting scenario about a military husband.

Proceeding constantly by this method, the show is quite disgusting and quite fascinating at the same time. Kind of like The West Wing, with all of that show's absurdly fevered imagination about rapid-fire scheming and wits, with no regard for whether the subject matter actually makes any sense. The simple fact is, the left DOESN'T make sense, and hence has no capacity to ground anything in reality.

UPDATE: Nice take-down by Fumento. (Via MM.)

Friday, August 05, 2005

"Smart" in San Francisco: homosexual "boy toys" calling The Passion a snuff film

Get this, from San Francisco Chronicle television reviewer David Wiegand. He is reviewing Weeds, a new Showtime series about a pot-selling suburbanite soccer-mom who deals drugs to, amongst other people, a high-school drug dealer named Josh who is, in Weigand's words, "the new boy toy for a wealthy older man." Here's a snippet of Weigand's rave review:
... Josh, hits Nancy up to replenish his stash because there's a new movie at the mall and his supply "hasn't gone this fast since 'The Passion of the Christ.' "

"I thought that was a religious film," Nancy says.

"Religious my ass," Josh replies. "It's a straight-up snuff film."

"Weeds" may indeed be the best-written new show of the year so far, but the performances are superb as well...
Oh yeah. That's some real first class writing! I'm no prohibitionist (well, except about selling drugs to high-schoolers, and about homosexual men having high-school "boy toys"). If leftists want to make cracks about smart people doing stupid things (i.e. about themselves) that's fine. But that bit about Gibson's Passion is bigoted and clueless in so many ways I don't know where to begin.

Inhabit their blue-state-bigot world-view for a minute and suppose that The Passion really is "a straight-up snuff film." That would drive marijuana sales? Of course the implication is not supposed to be that Christians who went to see the film were getting high. It is that drug-addled secularists were seeing it for a thrill, getting high first. What??? Marijuana makes people paranoid and want to be mellow. Coming up in the 70's, I saw plenty of pot smokers, but I never met one who would get high and want to see a violent movie. "Weeds" isn't just slandering Christians, it is slandering pot smokers! Never mind the depravity, the sheer STUPIDITY is mind-boggling.

Then of course there IS the depravity. The Passion is about the faith of Jesus and all that it accomplishes. By fulfilling prophecy, up through the critical act of having enough faith in God's love to die on the cross, Jesus ushers in a new covenant, where the law of love now takes priority over the Mosaic law of "sin and death." Where the letter fails to capture the spirit (love), Christians are free to follow the spirit. If we follow the faith of Jesus, if we have faith in love, as he did, we can in that way get right with God. Thus was ushered in the world's first fully moral religion.

Of course our left wing bigots know nothing about any of that. They have no idea what is happening in that central moment of choice that Gibson built his whole move around, the moment when Jesus stands back up, and the Romans start murdering him. They have no idea that that moment opens the door of trust between man and God, so that we can live by the spirit of the law. But is ignorance any excuse for spitting on Christ's sacrifice in the most cretinous terms? To Weigand, nothing could be more amusing.

Weeds is by blue-state-bigots, of blue-state-bigots, for blue-state-bigots. This is something to celebrate? Maybe the show IS smart. I haven't seen it. But the snippets that Weigand picks out to demonstrate smartness are moronic and despicable.

Interestingly, just as positive Chronicle reviews can be taken negatively, negative Chronicle reviews can be taken positively. I wasn't expecting Dukes of Hazzard to be any good, but the Chronicle's leftist stinkbomb movie-reviewer Mick LaSalle gave it an empty chair today, so maybe it will be worth seeing after all. Collaborative filtering experts say that you can't get much information from negative correlations in ratings preferences, but LaSalle has so far been an exception for me. When I saw he gave Team America an empty chair I knew it was going to be great, and it is.

Misogynistic song "changed the world"

Hearing Bob Dylan's "Like a Rolling Stone" on the radio the other day, I was struck by the deep misogyny of it. "How does it feeeeeel," to live in a world where men don't protect women; "to be on your own, with no direction home," "scrouging your next meal," asking the mystery tramp, "do ya wanna make a deeeeeeel"; and just think that you used to hold your head up high, back when people cared about you, before you descended into the liberation from responsibility that is the counter-culture, and now there is no one you can trust, nothing but a sneering minstrel to applaud your downfall.

Very interesting to see that a poll of 60's rock stars rated Rolling Stone the song that most "changed the world." Unlikely that the song itself changed much, but it is a good choice as a song that most marked the change in the world.

I remember going to a Dead concert at Stanford's Frost Amphitheater, back when the Dead were still alive. A group of groupies sat nearby, talking about the last concert and where they were going to caravan to next. Amongst them was a really beautiful 20 year old girl, dressed like a flower child. I had a few words with her. She was sweet, like the girl next door, and I could see a sad kind of whistfulness in her as she looked out across the amphitheater, seeming to look past the trees, as if she was trying to see outside. One of the fellows in her group picked up on it too and started taunting her. "What are you looking at Jennifer? Are you wishing you could stay here in Pullo Ulteauuuuu." Before dragging the name Palo Alto out with his weird left-coast accent, he aspirates the P into a spray of spit. It is impossible to describe the sacrasm dripping from his voice. He knows she wants a normal life, and just imputes all the distain to it that he can muster, as if even the thought of valuing the normalcy of "Pullo Ulteauuuu" makes her a traitor: This is what we hate! Don't you know that? You gonna "sell out" Jennifer? You gonna give up on ideals and be a NOTHING? Pure demagogic manipulation. A sick creep with a little bit of a grip on a pretty girl, twisting it for all he's worth. You dirtbag. I wanted to punch his face. The band sparks up the next tune: "Shake it, shake it Sugaree. Just don't let on that you know-ow-ow me." Hear that song Jennifer? You are amongst MISOGYNISTS!

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