Wednesday, December 31, 2008

About Rod Marinelli and the 0-16 Lionis

I liked what Rod Marinelli said in his Monday News conference. Coach Marinelli had just led the Lions to an 0-16 record, the worst in NFL history. Yet he fought of the label of the "worst" team. Football coaches aren't the best politicians in the world. They aren't always articulate or eloquent. Sometimes we need someone like Cyrano to speak the words that need to be spoken.

I came across these words once offered by Theodore Roosevelt that made me think of Rod Marinelli. I thought it was very fitting.

> It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better.

The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.<

What a great commentary! I think that's what Rod Marinelli was trying to tell us last Monday... and I admire him. I don't think we've heard the end of Coach Marinelli.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Palestinian rocket kills 2 Gaza girls. Nobody cares

GAZA (Reuters) – A rocket apparently fired by Palestinians on Friday struck a house in the Gaza Strip, killing two Palestinian sisters aged five and 13, Palestinian medics said.

As you can see from the link, Reuters ran a very brief story about this. Naturally, the story got little play in the mainstream media. How typical!

Please keep this incident in mind over the next weeks. If Israel sends its armed forces into Gaza to end the indiscriminate shelling of its civilian centers, you're likely to hear every imaginable "human interest story" of "Palestinian suffering" described in elaborate detail.

This story stands out as typical of what we see when Arabs kill Arabs.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Grain isn't a limited resource

Grain isn't a limited resource. We can grow tons more. Right now, the government pays farmers NOT to plant crops. But wait! There's more!
Most corn grown in America is feed grain for cattle. In the ethanol distilling process, only the starch is used. All the protein fiber and oil is left over for use as cattle feed.
But wait! There's more! There's no need to limit ethanol production to corn. There are other sources of ethanol including sugar cane (Brazil is running their cars on sugar-cane based ethanol) and other sugar-bearing crops. Plus, there's cellulosic ethanol, the next coming technology.
But wait! There's more! There's no need to limit our automotive fuels to ethanol. We can run our cars on METHANOL which can be made from darn near anything including coal, waste wood, waste paper, and even garbage.
Diesel powered vehicles can be run from dimethyl ether, another alcohol derivative.
In the third world where economies are agrarian in nature, growing plants for automotive fuel holds the potential for economic growth that these countries so desperately need. Why let the poor countries get raped by OPEC when we can have THEM make our automotive fuels.
Yet if you read my post, you'll note that we don't have to do anything to MAKE ethanol. We merely have to make our vehicles CAPABLE of running on alcohol fuels. By doing that, we can place a cap on the price of petroleum that will limit OPEC's ability to control prices.
We can't lose if we have motor vehicles capable of running on biofuels. The possibilities are endless. We can even derive bio-fuels from algae fed from CO2 emissions from power plants that we are currently throwing away. Even the tree-huggers will like that one!

Flex Fuel Vehicle Mandate is a MUST

With petroleum and gasoline prices falling, there is still plenty of room for ethanol in America's future for transportation fuels. Naturally, ethanol is losing its competitive edge as the price of petroleum falls with the world economy slipping into a major recession.

But all is not lost. You see, NOW is the time to bring about a federal mandate for flex fuel vehicles.

We don't need to make any more ethanol (especially corn-based ethanol) than we are not to finally put a cap on the price of petroleum. A mandate that all cars sold in America be flex fueled (Any mix of gasoline, ethanol and/or methanol) would forever place a ceiling on how much OPEC can charge for petroleum.

Right now, the equivalent price of a gallon of gasoline in the form of ethanol is about $2.25/gallon. That was VERY competitive with last Summer's gasoline prices that exceeded $4.00/gallon. However today, this is not competitive with gasoline selling for well under $2.00/gallon.

However, if every car sold in America could run on any combination of gasoline, ethanol and/or methanol, the prices of these alternative fuels made-in-America will forever be a cap on the price of gasoline and petroleum.

That is why it is imperative that the United States pass a flex fuel vehicle mandate as soon as possible.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Where have I heard this before?

Hillary Clinton has now left a vacancy in the U.S. Senate as she fills her appointment to be Secretary of State.  The Governor of New York must now select a replacement and Caroline Kennedy has offered to fill the vacancy.

Remember when George Bush ran for President?  Remember the commentary?

  • Rich kid short-listed for effortless political success. 
  • Political family stretching back several generations. 
  • Daddy was President. etc etc.
Why were these slights missing from national news media and commentary coverage of Caroline Kennedy's effort to be appointed U.S. Senator from New York?

Friday, December 12, 2008

Algea Power

Algae holds a lot of potential as a biofuel. As petroleum prices tumble making ethanol less competitive for the present, algae holds a double potential because it can be used to reduce carbon emissions from conventional power plants. While I'm not a fan of the proponents of global warming, there is no good reason to throw away perfectly good CO2 when it can be used to make transportation fuels.

Isaac Berzin has a prototype system in place at MIT's power plant. He's not alone.^l2141

Here's anothe researcher:

Algae hold the potential to far out-produce corn as a source of biofuel.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Why Now?

Why did the Feds arrest Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich NOW?

Gov. B was going to fall. It was just a matter of time. Everybody knew it!

The question is the TIMING. Why now?

Well... it seems that the very NEXT scheduled interview for the vacated U.S. Senate seat was none other than Jessie Jackson Jr. Jr. has kept his nose clean in Chicago politics for 12 years as a Congressman; an admirable record, I might add.

With the Feds wiretapping Gov. B's solicitations for money in exchange for the appointment, Jessie Jr. would have become dirtied up in the affair.

Who knows! Maybe Jessie might even break and offer to pay up with the tape recorder on.

With a new boss coming to Washington D.C. any Chicago-based FBI agent knows he must prevent this; especially if he/she thinks Jessie Jr. is the new President's favorite to fill his old job. That is why the FBI acted yesterday.

This is my personal speculation based on what I currently know about the story. Other facts may come to light demonstrating that this speculation is unwarranted.

***** UPDATE *****

According to My Way News, AP reports that Rep. Jessie Jackson Jr. interviewed for the U.S. Senate seat vacated by Barack O'Bama on Monday, December 8, 2008. The FBI filed their affidavit on Sunday December 7, 2008, a day before the interview.

An examination of the FBI's affidavit does not indicate a warrant to bug Gov. Blagojevich's Governor's office. Therefore , because the FBI struck early Tuesday morning (December 9, 2008) to arrest Blagojevich, it is unlikely that they picked up any recorded conversations indicating a payoff was discussed between the two.
Whatever was talked about was not likely recorded by law enforcement. Testimony in Blagojevich's trial may reveal heresay evidence embarassing to Rep. Jackson, but it is unlikely it would convict him.

The FBI affidavit seems to protect Jr. Moreover, even though the FBI arrested Blagojevich after he interviewed Jr. for the job, the speed in which they moved and the timing is still highly suspect. They may have moved to prevent Jr. from further discussing the U.S. Senate appointment over those Blagojevich phone lines which the FBI had tapped or offices which they had bugged.

A copy of the affidavit showing the date it was filed can be found here:

The AP story on Rep. Jackson's denial of wrongdoing is located here:

The question remains as to whether Jessie Jackson Jr. had any conversations with Gov. B about the appointment that was recorded by FBI wiretaps and/or bugs. If so, the FBI hasn't indicated that yet. Jessie Jackson Jr. claims he's not the target of any investigation or charged with any misconduct. The Federal prosecutors office refused to confirm or deny that statement. Perhaps they are leaving the door open for evidence that may come to light later either through wiretap transcripts or testimony in Rod Blagojevich's trial.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

2008 Mumbai Attack Was Directed Against Everyone

As the dust settles on the devastating terrorist attack on Mumbai, India I couldn't help but notice some things in the news coverage I found a bit disturbing. By now, the death toll is well over 160 people and the attacks were quite wide-spread across the city including two major luxury hotels.

Yet there seemed to me to be disproportional attention by the mainstream media on the attack on the Chabad House in Mumbai. Personally, I was deeply saddened by the attack and murder of the Chabad House staff and residents. I participate in our local Chabad House activities from time to time and have the utmost respect for the Chabad organization; what they stand for and the work they do.

But to hear it from the mainstream news media, you might think the only people who got killed in this devastating attack were the 6 people in the Chabad House. So much attention was paid to the attack on the Chabad House, you better not have been quickly surfing your TV channels before you heard about the rest of the story. As the death toll climbed past 150 people, 50% of the news covered the attack on the Chabad house. Adding insult to injury, AP, ABC and CNN used the pejorative term "ultra-Orthodox" to describe Chassidic Jews. So not only did the mainstream media focus on the Chassidic Jewish victims, several major outlets found it necessary to insult them. That REALLY made me mad!

First of all, there is no such thing as "ultra-Orthodox Judaism". Here in America, there's Orthodox, Conservative and Reform Judaism. There is also "reconstructionist Judaism", but it's pretty much another form of Reform Judaism. The term "ultra-Orthodox" was invented by a liberal media (and secular atheist Jews) to imply that religiously observant Jews are political extremists. Nothing could be further from the truth. There is absolutely NO relation between Orthodox Judaism and political extremism. If anything, the most politically extreme Jews in history were those who were atheist and openly fought for Communism. I shall not digress on this issue further except to repeat that the adjective "ultra-Orthodox" is an insulting way to describe Jews. Indeed, the LIB media outlets who used this pejorative term probably wanted to bait people like me into a digressive discussion on the matter.

That would be a smart thing! I say this because I'm convinced that the mainstream media's coverage of the Mumbai attack left one thinking that it was an attack against Jews. While over 155 people were lying dead, 50% of the news coverage centered around the "Jewish Center" or the "Orthodox Jewish Center" or worse. I realize my "50%" is an unscientific number, but I'm hoping some of my friends at CAMERA can come up with some quantitative data on the issue. I won't be ashamed to find out I've exaggerated a little. With 155 people known dead and 6 of them known to be in the Mumbai Chabad House, the math works out to be 3.87% of the casualties during the three-day period of 24/7 news coverage. During these three days, it is impossible that news reporting of the dead people in the Chabad house comprised 3.87% of the total reporting of the Mumbai massacre.

So you might be wondering: What's TINSC's beef about this?

My problem with this is simple:

The mainstream media wants people to think that Islamo-Fascism, Islamic extremism,
Islamism, or whatever you want to call it, is directed at the Jews. If not for the existence of
the Jewish State, there would be no grievance feeding these heinous terrorist attacks.

Folks, if you believe that mainstream media myth, we are all in for big trouble. Islamo-Fascism is an imperialistic totalitarian movement similar to many born in the 20th century. Anti-Semitism is a prime component because it easily disarms the general population. The message is: "You need not fear us. We only hate the Jews."

As the general public falls for the lie, resistance to the totalitarian movement weakens because the average person feels un-threatened. Once the totalitarian reign is established, the rest of the public suddenly realizes a very unpleasant fact: "Uh oh! I guess they don't like US either". By then it's too late.

Media reporting is feeding the lie!

While the vicious attacks on Mumbai were going on, Iraq was subject to a rocket attack and Pakistan was hit by a suicide bombing; neither received much news attention. The imperialistic movement to make Sharia the supreme law of the land is directed toward EVERYONE, Muslims included. This is the essence of the problem. Regardless of which form of Sharia Islamo-Fascists wage terrorism for, the attack is directed at EVERYONE.

Fortunately, most Americans understand this. Unfortunately, this understanding has not translated into reporting from the mainstream news media that continues to report disproportionately on Islamo-Fascist attacks against Jews. It's a dereliction of duty for the mainstream news media to report Islamo-Fascist terrorist attacks this way whether the message is made implicitly or explicitly.

Monday, November 10, 2008

President-Elect O'Bama

OK! The victory celebration is over. With crisis in our financial markets and the Big Three American auto-makers, there was hardly time to celebrate.

Unlike some of my conservative friends, I'm not in a panic over the Democratic Party victory. I'm not predicting doom and gloom; another 9/11 etc. Not that those things can't possibly happen, but I doubt our new President-elect will be on vacation if and when they do.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

O'Bama and McCain

I like these guys! Both of them! They're both delightfully flawed, yet so much better than George Bush.

I plan to vote for Sen. McCain and here's why.

Imagine two Christmas presents in boxes. One box is wrapped in newspaper. It's got a few dents in it, but you know what's inside. The other box is flawless. It has no dents. It's wrapped to perfection and even has a big candy cane strapped to it... but you don't really know what's inside.

That's the choice I see. Sen. O'Bama has some excellent policy proposals; often times better than Sen. McCain. But I don't know what's inside the package. I don't know whether Sen. O'Bama really intends to deliver on his proposals. Campaign promises are not legally binding.

That's why I'm voting for Sen. McCain.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The REAL Battleground State

In my opinion, IOWA will be the fault line battleground state. Republican leaning, but right next door to Illinois where O'Bama can easily ship his most dedicated campaign workers. McCain opposes ethanol subsidies and tarrifs on Brazilian ethanol; a bread-and-butter issue for the state.

Last time I checked, Iowa was too close to call.

It's not exactly a Pennsylvania, Ohio or Florida, but IOWA is where the two candidates will battle it out the closest. If it's a tight race, Iowa will decide it.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

About Colin Powell

A week after he left office, former Sec. of State Colin Powell was personally presented with a brand new Jaguar by Saudi Ambassador Prince Bandar. As Bandar once explained: "If the reputation then builds that the Saudis take care of friends when they leave office, you'd be surprised how much better friends you have who are just coming into office."

Friday, October 10, 2008

OK! Moschiach isn't coming... yet!

What! You really thought the Cubs were going to win the World Series?

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Cheer up football fans!

Cheer up football fans!

There's always NASCAR!

Seriously! I know what it's like when my beloved college team is "rebuilding" and there's no relief to be found from my favorite NFL team (in my case, the Bears but in your case UM fans, I'm afraid it's the Lions).

NASCAR has all the elements you could want from football. Big crowds, tailgaiting and lots of hard-hitting on "the field".

Even though that's a deal, we'll throw in 43 teams playing all at once. You can root for one team or several teams; whatever you like.

But wait! There's MORE!

Chicks really dig NASCAR because the essential objective of the game is to finish your team's car first. There's no explaining all the intricacies; no Dummies books by Howie Long.

Now how much would YOU be willing to pay for all that? But wait! There's MORE! You get to bring your own BEER into the stadium.

So don't get down this season if the Wolverines are "rebuilding" and the Lions still SUCK beyond your wildest imagination. Tune into NASCAR and see what "contact sports" was meant to be.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

A Paul Newman Memory

Today, Paul Newman died at age 83 and I have a story to share.

Mrs. TINSC and I were at a Michigan 500 CART race at Michigan International Speedway. This was in the old days of the 1990's when they packed in big crowds.

We were living in Illinois at the time and would spend the evening before the race in Battle Creek. In the morning, we'd eat at Bob Evans and then head out to the track where we'd get there early to find a spot on the infield in the 3rd turn. In the 3rd turn, you could see the back straightaway where the cars would whip off of turn 2, duke it out on the straitaway and then hang on for dear life in the 3rd turn.

We always got there early to get our spot and therefore had time to kill. In those years, we always took a walk around the WHOLE track. Michigan Speedway is a 2 mile oval so it's quite a hike to walk the whole thing, but there were always interesting things to see on the infield.

So we're walking around the backside of the pits and this helicopter lands. We didn't think much of it. Then, the door opens and Paul Newman walked out and walked right past us! It happened so fast, he was gone by the time I realized he had just walked past us except for the fact that i was hanging on to Mrs. TINSC. She was just a tad bit weak kneed.

And I'll never forget what Mrs. TINSC said to me: "Wow, Paul Newman! That made the whole day worthwhile!"

At the time, Paul Newman owned a great CART race team with Mario Andretti as his driver. Eventually, both Michael and Mario Andretti would race for Paul Newman.

I know that a lot of people are going to talk about Paul Newman's contribution to hollywood, but I will always be thankful to Paul Newman for his contribution to auto racing.

He was a remarkable man who did some really cool things. Some of those things he did for himself. Other things he did for the less fortunate.

I am thankful for all the years he participated in auto racing and I'm glad I bumped into him once at the speedway.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Sen. Clinton - Actions Speak Louder Than Words

I'm afraid, it seems like Ms Rodham must have a different definition of "we" and "everything" Last week, she cancelled out of a ralley at the UN (in her home state) against President Ahmadinijad's visit to the UN. Sen. Clinton's spokesman said she was concerned that the rally had become a "partisan political event" - although her own participation would have ensured the opposite. So what does this tell us of Sen. Clinton's recent remarks at the AIPAC Policy Conference last June? I believe it tells us that she is an insincere politician who doesn't really care if Iran incinerates Israel.

Let us review what Sen. Clinton said at the AIPAC Policy Conference. Shall we?

>The second principle is simple one; no nuclear weapons for Iran. Iran is a country whose leaders, whose President denies the Holocaust. He defies the international community. His government trains, funds, and arms Hamas and Hezbollah terrorists in attacking Israeli civilians. He threatens to destroy Israel; just this week he said that Israel is about to die and will soon be erased. We can never let Iran obtain nuclear weapons. The next President will have to deal with the Iranian challenge from day one. This is not just in Israel’s interest; it is in America’s interest and the world’s interest and this is a threat that I take very seriously. I’m a co-sponsor of the Iran Nonproliferation Act. I support calling the Iranian Revolutionary Guard what it is--a terrorist organization.

I have also said that should Iran ever--ever contemplate using nuclear weapons against Israel they must understand what the consequences will be to them. BUT WE MUST DO EVERYTHING IN OUR POWER TO PREVENT SUCH AN UNTHINKABLE DAY FROM EVER HAPPENING (emphasis mine) and the best way to do that is to stop Iran from getting nuclear weapons in the first place.<

Apparently, doing "everythingin our power" didn't include attending a rally against Iran's nuclear weapons program in her home state.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Moshiach is coming!

So I was passing some time after work today with my local Lubavitcher Rebbe. And I says to him: " I see signs Moshiach is coming." He says: "Good! So do I!"

So I says: "Let me tell ya! I see signs and wonders. The Cubs have won their division title. And if they win the National League Championship, Moshiach will be even closer. If the Cubs win the World Series, Moshiach will come. I know this! Do you KNOW how many people have been born, lived and died since the last time the Cubs have won the World Series?"

The Lubavitcher Rebbe listened attentively. He tapped his fingertips together, kinda like Don Corleone in THE GODFATHER and said: "I have somewhat different criteria... but whatever works for you!"

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Have you ever noticed?

Have you ever noticed that individuals and factions generally partial to greater state control of economic life, have found the evidence for global warming to be quite compelling?

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Another busy week for America and Ethanol

For starters, it was really nice to see Texas Gov. Rick Perry suffer defeat by the EPA recently. Gov. Perry, claiming to represent poultry farmers in Texas (as if the as if petroleum companies aren't encouraging him) led a charge to roll back ethanol production mandates. I have written before about the myth that ethanol is blamed for tight food supplies.

Now, FAITH BREMNER of writes a fine article in the link below:

WASHINGTON — Ethanol producers will use about a quarter of the U.S. corn crop this year, an amount that alarms ranchers and poultry producers who depend on corn to feed their animals. As the demand for corn and energy costs climb, so do prices at the grocery store.

But the ethanol industry's impact on the nation's supply of corn for feed isn't as dramatic as it may seem.

One-third of all the corn used to make ethanol ends up as an ingredient in feed that farmers in the upper Midwest — where most of the ethanol plants are located — give their cattle, poultry and pigs.

This year, farmers will feed 18 million metric tons of this ethanol byproduct, called distillers grains, to their animals, up from 2.3 million tons nine years ago. Last year they used 14.6 million tons. About 1 million tons will be exported to places such as Canada, Mexico, Taiwan and Japan.

The article goes on to say that distillers grains aren't easy to come by where there are no distilleries, so Texas chicken farmers are probably experiencing difficulty. Given that Texas is enjoying the fruits of soaring petroleum prices, I think the state can manage for a while. Funny how Gov. Rich Perry doesn't complain to the EPA about soaring petroleum prices. And let's face it! The EPA's mission on earth is not to regulate the price of chicken feed (or the price of tea in China for that matter).

Maybe Texas needs some distilleries producing distillers grain. Maybe Texas petroleum companies need to share some of their record profits subsidizing the state's embattled poultry farmers. I think Texas can solve this problem quite handily without any help from the EPA, the Federal Government, and the rest of the country. All they have to do is get with the program.

In other wonderful news...

Going to Google News and entering "Ethanol" for a search yields fresh news every day about new plants coming on line. Ethanol plants go up FAST. It takes 2 years from start to finish to put an ethanol plant on line.

There are a lot of new cellulosic ethanol plants coming on line too. Each one has rather unique technology; some which may turn out to be more efficient than others. The soaring price of petroleum is fueling a surging technological race to replace it with alcohol fuels.

FYI, the EPA mandate for corn ethanol has already been met (or will be so by the time you read this). The race is on for more cellulosic ethanol production which is the other half of the EPA ethanol mandate. Ooops! Gov. Perry didn't mention that when he whined about the price of chicken feed.

I'll tell you a little secret: Texas has some of the best darn energy engineers found on the planet. They can probably put up distilleries faster than the rest of us. All Texas has to do to fix their little chicken farmers' problem is get with the program.

In yet additional good news...

Yahoo AP reports:

Oil touches 3-month low on stronger US dollar

NEW YORK (AP) -- Oil fell to its lowest price in three months Friday, briefly touching the $111 level after the dollar muscled higher and OPEC predicted the world's thirst for fuel next year will fall to its lowest point since 2002.

Gee! Maybe some of these spot market speculators are figuring out that we have a very nice future with automotive fuels that will compete quite nicely with petroleum sold at ridiculous speculative prices. Maybe OPEC is starting to realize that the party is over. I wouldn't go dancing in the streets just yet. Alcohol fuels start losing their competitive edge at around $50/barrel; still a VERY healthy price for petroleum.

Nobody is going to starve because we put alcohol fuels in our cars. In fact, we'll all have more jobs making fuels here in the United States that bring a good buck to American workers.

Eventually, our idiot politicians are going to get bowled over by economics performing a work of nature that cannot be stopped. It would be nice if they act smart and pass the Open Fuels Standard Act of 2008 and make every car sold in America capable of running on any blend of gasoline or alcohol. Then we'll have even more domestic alcohol plants, more jobs, the price of petroleum will be forced down, the dollar will regain its glory and we'll all live happily ever after.

Have a nice day,

There is NO Santa Claus

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Lithium-ion Batteries for Automotive Propulsion

I promised someone on the Newstalk forum that I'd blog this. It's kind of a long story and there was no sense in doing all the typing and letting it slip into the archives never to be seen again.

So there I was at the AIPAC policy conference last June (2008) and we're at the break-out session on energy independence and what Israel is doing in that field. As I mentioned in my last entry, I hit it off immediately with Dr. Robert Zubrin who was sitting to my left on the panel of four presenters. Unfortunately, I can't remember for the life of me who the others were.

So anyway, for those of you who don't know, the State of Israel is embarking on a bold new adventure with electric cars. Because Israel is so tiny, commute distances aren't that great and electric cars are viable there.

Here's a brief article on the project:

The Israeli car will be developed by a joint-venture between Renault and Nissan. The cool thing about this car is that it will have a drop-out battery. Rather than requiring recharge, there will be special stations that are much like those 20-minute oil change places. You pull over the hole. The old battery is dropped out and a new one is plugged in. The whole process takes just a few minutes; probably no longer than it takes to pump gasoline in the car you own now.

So here's the rub. The guy presenting the Renault-Nissan prototype was sitting on the far left. He mentioned that this car would have a 110 mile radius on one battery charge. This immediately perked my ears for one basic reason: right now the "talk of the town" in electric cars surrounds the Tesla Roadster being developed in England. I'd also digress to point out that there is at least one person in Tesla's management from my Alma mater (University of Illinois College of Engineering) and also one from Israel.

Here's the link for the Tesla roadster:

If you go over to the Performance tab on the web site, you'll notice that the Tesla Roadster has a radius of 220 miles on a single battery charge. This is TWICE that being quoted for the Renault-Nissan prototype.

So back to the AIPAC conference. It was now the question-and-answer period and I got up to the microphone. I introduced myself and asked the guy on the left a simple question: "The Renault-Nissan prototype gets 110 miles to a battery charge. Tesla motors is getting 220 miles to a battery charge. What is Tesla doing different?"

So the presenter on the far left stumbles and says: "Well... if you want a car that goes from 0-60 mph in 3.9 seconds, that's a whole 'nother thing. We're not trying to accomplish that here."

I felt like he was ducking my question so I pressed him and answered: "But WHAT IS TESLA DOING DIFFERENT THAT THEY GET 220 MILES ON A SINGLE BATTERY CHARGE?"

He responds: "We feel that the Tesla Roadster uses unproven technology. They use Lithium-ion batteries and we use conventional Nickle-Metal-Hydride batteries."

I thanked him for answering my question and let it go because I knew he was looking for an "out" and this was the best he could do. And besides, I kinda understood what he was saying, even if I didn't agree with him.

Just to tell you how lame this response was, a mere two weeks later, the wire services (AP, Reuters etc.) all ran stories about how Toyota can't keep up with demand for their hybrid cars. The bottleneck is that they can't make enough batteries quick enough. That was the bad news. The good news is that help is on the way. Toyota and Matsushita Electric (aka Panasonic) were building a joint-venture factory to make even MORE batteries for their hybrid cars and better yet! The new batteries were going to be Lithium-ion packs which were smaller, lighter and held more charge.

SO... apparently the world leader in hybrid cars thinks that there's nothing "unproven" about Lithium-ion battery packs for automotive propulsion. I think perhaps the Renault-Nissan folks need to strongly consider this improvement for their upcoming Israeli vehicle.

In all fairness to the presenter at AIPAC, the Tesla Roadster is hardly a family car. It's a two-seater built for performance. Moreover, it's battery pack is not designed to be conveniently swapped out like the Renault-Nissan prototype. This is a key feature of the Israeli car and essential to it's commercial viability. Designing a Lithium-ion battery pack that is also easy to swap out is a significant technical issue; one not to be taken lightly. Nonetheless, the notion that Lithium-ion batteries are "unproven technology" for automotive propulsion is definitely not shared by Toyota Motors. Frankly, I think the subject of Lithium-ion battery packs needs to be re-visited by those working on the Israeli project. Even if the first cars have the older Nickel-Metal-Hydride batteries, I'd like to think there would be little trouble upgrading once a newer Lithium-ion battery pack is developed.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

The Strategic Path To Victory In The War On Terror

Remember folks! You heard it here first.


There! Read that. Remember where you read it and quote your source often.

I had the opportunity to meet Dr. Robert Zubrin recently at the 2008 AIPAC policy conference. We hit it off right on the spot. I merely told him what I wrote above in bold letters. Dr. Zubrin commented that he ALMOST agreed. He repeated what I said and added one word. In Dr. Zubrin's opinion: "The strategic path to victory in the war on terror is the elimination of petroleum as the ONLY prime mover of our transportation system."

I'll let you decide whether that's "splitting hairs". I like his attitude. Besides! He's done a TON more research into this than I have. I've been merely following ethanol vehicle fuels because I grew up in Illinois farm country. I've long been convinced that America could produce enough ethanol to power our motor vehicle fleet; the largest in the world. Dr. Zubrin has written a book that all but proves it out.

The book is ENERGY VICTORY and it is presented at:

Of particular importance, PLEASE review the on-line slide show highlighting his thesis.

In short, Dr. Zubrin's thesis is that we could create competition in the motor vehicle fuel business by mandating that all cars sold in the US be flex fuel.

I concur with Dr. Zubrin. Giving American automobile fuel consumers CHOICE will cause competition that will break OPEC's absolute control over motor vehicle fuel supply. Make OPEC nations work for a living, competing against the rest of the world which can grow something that can be made into ethanol. This competition will cause a significant shrinkage in the capacity of the money pipeline to international terrorism.

We're not limited to corn. We're not even limited to ethanol as methanol is even cheaper to make. Methanol is still used in American open wheel auto racing.

I don't care how you add it up! Petroleum selling over $100/barrel makes ethanol competitive. Whether you use corn, sugar cane, coal, wood, or something we're currently throwing away, you can make alcahol fuels out of it.

There is even great potential for biodiesel. CO2 from power plants can be pumped into ponds growing oil-rich species of algea. The oil can be extracted and used for diesel fuel. There is a paper from the University of New Hampshire on the web that is somewhat dated, but interesting reading.

Now I know a lot of you are hearing all this talk about how ethanol is robbing the food supply. This is ridiculous, but apparently not obvious to all.

Let me assure you, there is compelling evidence to lead any rational person to know that ethanol is not robbing the food supply. Rather, it is increasing the food supply. Grocery prices have risen because trucking prices have risen due to high petroleum prices and more specifically, diesel fuel prices.

Nonetheless, this is explained by Dr. Zubrin and any number of other people as well as the USDA.

Dr. Zubrin writes:

Here are the facts. In the last five years, despite the nearly threefold growth of the corn ethanol industry—actually, because of it—the amount of corn grown in the United States has vastly increased. The U.S. corn crop grew by 45 percent, the production of distillers grain (a high-value animal feed made from the protein saved from the corn used for ethanol) quadrupled, and the net U.S. corn production of food for humans and feed for animals increased 34 percent.

Contrary to claims that farmers have cut other crops to grow more corn, U.S. soybean plantings this year are expected to be up 18 percent and wheat plantings up 6 percent. U.S. farm exports are up 23 percent over last year. America is clearly doing its share in feeding the world.

So much for the food dis-information campaign. There is also another insidious myth floating around about ethanol. This myth says that it takes more energy to produce ethanol than the energy contained in the fuel. Even if this were the case, ethanol would still be a viable motor vehicle fuel for several reasons. It's not just a matter of whether we gain or lose energy. It's a matter of whether we can put it in our gas tanks and run our cars. The real fact is that modern farming and distilling methods have clearly made ethanol a net energy gain

This is best articulated by the American Coalition for Ethanol:

What does "net energy balance" mean?

What is ethanol's energy balance? Net energy balance is a term used to describe how much energy is needed to produce a product versus how much energy that product provides. Two professors that are long-time critics of ethanol claim that ethanol has a negative energy balance, but this is simply not true and has been debunked again and again by science. Scientific study after study has proven ethanol's energy balance to be positive. The latest USDA figures show that ethanol made from the drymill process provides at least 77% more energy as a fuel than the process it takes to make it. The bottom line is that it takes about 35,000 BTUs (British Thermal Units) of energy to create a gallon of ethanol, and that gallon of ethanol contains at least 77,000 BTUs of energy. The net energy balance of ethanol is simply a non-issue.

The raw price of ethanol is currently less than petroleum. It's just a matter of automakers adding an average of $100 to the cost of a vehicle to make it flex fuel. The economics will take care of themselves. In a few years, we would have millions of flex fuel vehicles on the road and fueling stations would have to carry ethanol/methanol/E85 because their raw cost is way lower than the present market price for petroleum products.

This is such a no-brainer! Brazil has already done it! We need not feel like we're driving in the dark without our lights on. Besides, if Brazil can do it, certainly the United States of America, land of the free - home of the brave, can do it.

The American motor vehicle consumer deserves CHOICE in motor vehicle fuels. The small scale of ethanol production in the U.S. over the past 3 years has proven itself. Depending on market conditions, ethanol may or may not be competitive. With flex-fuel vehicles that will not be a problem. We will always be able to choose the cheapest fuel.

Thus, whether or not ethanol completely replaces gasoline or not, the fuel supply for America's motor vehicle fleet can be secured with ethanol and other alcahol fuels. Once OPEC no longer controls the cost of our transportation, the money pipeline to terrorism shrinks significantly.

*UPDATE*  (10/28/12)

I have added the web site Open Fuel Standard to the "My Blog List".  The blog is "... the central action hub for all things concerning the vitally important legislation, The Open Fuel Standard Act.
 I encourage my readers to follow this blog. - TINSC


Friday, July 04, 2008


In keeping with the tradition of our founding fathers, let us remember their reason for seeking independece: TAXATION WITHOUT REPRESENTATION IS TYRANNY.

So today, let us all rebel against the evil King from a far off land who has mercilously taxed the American people through an illegal OPEC cartel: King Abdullah. And if you or anyone thinks that the situation is different or the stakes aren't the same, think again! America is being taxed by an evil King from far off shores and it is our duty to rebel and set America free again.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

What the media won't tell you about O'Bama

I really like Sen. O'Bama. I met him in late 2003 when he was running in the Illinois primaries for Senator. A lot of the hysteria you are reading is just that. Even this latest bru-ha-ha about his clergyman is a deep reach for "the dirt" that the media is so desparate to get on any candidate for President.

But there's one thing, ONE THING, the media routinely fails to tell us about O'Bama. It's no deep dark secret. It's not particularly dirty or nefarious. It's just that it doesn't fit into the media's LIB paradigm.

You see, the LIB media wants us to think that Barak O'Bama (By now, you'll note I've changed the spelling of his name.) is a strong, brilliant, young man who has pulled himself up by the bootstraps to earn contention for the Democratic Party nomination for President. They want you to think he's an "underdog" fighting his way against Hillary Rodham's mighty political organization.

Just a week ago, I heard a Sunday morning pundit describe Hillary Rodham's campaign committee as "the most powerful political machine in the United States". That my friends, is simply untrue. It is this untruth that is repeatedly told by the LIB media that leads me to believe that they are intentionally omitting one facet of the O'Bama campaign that explains how he got so far.

So what is this deep dark secret the LIB media refuses to tell us? I suppose I could just tell you, but I'd rather tease you a little more. And besides, I think the explanation will make my case more obvious to the casual reader.

You see, I grew up in the Chicago Metropolitan area. My family still lives there. My wife's family still lives there. Therefore, it's not unusual for us to visit the family in Chicago. We found ourselves in Chicago during Christmas 2007.

We met my brother in Millers Pub on Wabash for beers and lunch that Monday afternoon (Christmas Eve). I was amazed at how empty Chicago had become. The roads were normally more congested, even on holiday weekends (if not more so), but today, the city seemed strangely quiet and deserted, even in the shopping districts where you would normally see a lot of crazed last-minute shoppers.

We're eating and drinking as we normally do and I couldn't help but notice what the table next door was talking about; going to Iowa and campaigning for O'Bama. Somebody's brother and sister were already in Iowa and he was going to join them after Christmas. I guess I shouldn't have been surprised. Davenport, IA is only about 3 hours drive from Chicago.

We went to a Greek restaraunt in Greektown that night. Same deal! At a nearby table, they're talking about going to Iowa to campaign for O'Bama.

Christmas day, we went to eat in Chinatown. Sure enough! At the table next door, they're speaking Chinese and every other sentence they're saying "O'Bama" and "Iowa".

By the time Christmas was over, it was apparent to me that a good portion of the City of Chicago had emptied out and gone to Iowa to campaign for Barak O'Bama. What does that tell you?

It tells me that a pundit who claims Hillary Rodham has "the most powerful political machine in the United States" is either an ignoramus or they are deliberately censoring a fact that should otherwise be obvious to everyone. You see! The most powerful political machine in the United States is the Cook County Democratic Party (aka CCDP) and has been for several decades.

THAT my friends is what the media won't tell you about O'Bama! He is backed by the Daley Machine and has been so from the very beginning. Because of Iowa's close proximity to Chicago, the CCDP was able to put far more boots on the ground than Hillary Rodham could ever have hoped. With those campaign workers, O'Bama scored an early and crucial victory which propelled him instantly into the national limelight.

Geraldine Ferraro knows this. The whole media knows this. Ya gotta wonder why they won't make more out of it. Why won't Hillary's campaign address this remarkable advantage?

Well... I can only speculate, but I think a lot of this has to do with WINNING IN NOVEMBER. If Hillary Rodham gets the Democratic nomination, the last thing she'll want is a CCDP that is unenthusiastic about campaigning for her. Illinois is a crucial state in any election and just carrying the City of Chicago is never enough to win the 26 electoral votes. A Democratic candidate has to win the City overwhelmingly as well as the subarbs and downstate. That doesn't happen unless the CCDP is fired up and enthusiastic.

Nobody is going to mess with the CCDP! Not Hillary, not the LIB media, and not anyone who wants a Democrat in the White House come January 2009.

Yet it's no dirty little secret. Mayor Daley endorsed Sen. O'Bama early in the campaign. The local Chicago newstations noted that this was somewhat of a break from the past, but everybody in Chicago assumed the obvious: O'Bama is part and parcel of the Daley political apparatus. Nothing unusual there.

Yet in the national media establishment, they are PRETENDING to scratch their heads, wondering how a freshman Senator has managed to contend for the nomination against Hillary Rodham. They say: He's such a great orator. He's got tremendous appeal. His message and policies resonate with the voters. ect. ect.

Well maybe so but at the end of the day Barak O'Bama is just another power politician with political machine backing. All this talk about "change" and "hope" is great, but before you set your expectations too high, I suggest you look at the City of Chicago and its political history. Should I wake up one day in January 2009 and find President O'Bama leading our nation, I fully expect politics-as-usual to remain the status quo.

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