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chinese  congress  good  immigrants  lanzhou  marijuana  natural gas  new  perfect enemy  perfect  renewables  train  “ruthless preemption” 
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Fractals of Change

nothing great has ever been accomplished without irrational exuberance

Last Build Date: Tue, 16 Jan 2018 03:46:46 PST


The Wretched Refuse of Your Teeming Shore

Tue, 16 Jan 2018 03:46:46 PST

There are two major reasons why we accept immigrants. One is purely selfish: some immigrants have skills or money to bring which will make America better. These potential immigrants can presumably be identified. It shouldn’t matter where they’re from or what their race or religion is so long as they are bringing something of value. We have various programs like...

Marijuana and the Constitution

Thu, 11 Jan 2018 03:00:00 PST

It took the 19th amendment to the US Constitution to ban most manufacture, transport, and sale of alcoholic beverage in the United States. Why then was Congress able to ban marijuana and a host of other substances by simply passing a law? Good question and one worth addressing when this congressional prohibition is at odds with what most American apparently...

Marijuana and Congress

Fri, 12 Jan 2018 14:11:14 PST

The haze of bipartisan Congressional hypocrisy is thicker than the air in a marijuana bar. I’m for legalization; it’s time for Congress to stop blowing smoke and start legislating. The Controlled Substances Act (CSA), which classifies marijuana as a Schedule I drug like heroin and proclaims it more dangerous than fentanyl and oxytocin (Schedule II), was passed by Congress in...

AT&T-Run Network Announces “Ruthless Preemption”

Thu, 04 Jan 2018 07:12:22 PST

If you think this is some nightmare result of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voting to rescind the 2015 “Net Neutrality” regulations, think again. “Ruthless Preemption” is a feature of a so-far non-existent network called FirstNet for which the federal government has given AT&T a 25-year operating agreement, the exclusive right to sell FirstNet services to first responders, and lots...

The End of Net Neutrality Regulation COULD Mean the End of Last-Mile Oligopolies

Tue, 02 Jan 2018 03:00:00 PST

Landline networks like the old phone system and the new(er) cable systems do lend themselves to monopoly or at least duopoly outcomes. Building these networks is both very expensive and requires myriad government approvals. Once a system is in place, it is hard for anyone to raise the capital to duplicate it. Even a network of wireless towers is hard...

America Not So Great

Wed, 27 Dec 2017 04:38:39 PST

News about the new Lanzhou to Xian highspeed train in China made me sad. Service started this year with 35 roundtrips/day. Travel time is reduced from seven hours via the old train to 2.5 hours on the new train, which runs at 155 mph. I’m happy for people who travel between Xian and Lanzhou or make connections on this route....

Chinese View of US Tax Cut

Tue, 19 Dec 2017 03:41:24 PST

Certainly the tax bill, which is now close to becoming law, is far from perfect. Just as certainly it has some things in it that needed to be done like lowering the industrialized world’s highest corporate tax rate, doubling the standard deduction for individuals, and wiping out many (but not enough) loopholes. It will increase the deficit if there is...

The Bicycles of Lanzhou

Fri, 15 Dec 2017 03:03:00 PST

Lanzhou is a Chinese city , which you’ve probably never heard of , with a population of 3.6 million. It has a history: it’s here that the Silk Road crosses the Yellow River (on chained barges way back when). The Japanese never captured Lanzhou during WW2. It’s a major industrial city and a center of the Chinese nuclear industry as...

Vermont Shouldn't Let the Perfect be the Enemy of the Good

Thu, 30 Nov 2017 03:00:00 PST

State of Vermont In my last post I blogged that the world’s CO2 output is still rising despite various treaty commitments and huge expenditures on renewables. However, the US stands alone in having exceeded the emission reduction it would have been obligated to had we signed the Kyoto treaty. This accomplishment owes something to deployment of renewables but is largely...

Don’t let the Perfect be the Enemy of the Good

Tue, 28 Nov 2017 03:00:00 PST

Increased use of natural gas has so far been the most effective way to reduce CO2 emissions. Natural gas is an excellent complement to renewables for electricity generation since it can be used effectively at almost any scale to fill in when the sun isn’t shining and the wind isn’t blowing. Not surprisingly, those who sell competitive sources of energy...