Wednesday, November 9, 2011


That's something you don't see in Phoenix. 7000 foot elevation is a different story.

I now have some access to the internet and will try to get mobile access in a month or two.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Leaving Phoenix

I'm leaving Phoenix today or tomorrow. Yesterday I cleaned out my car. Now I have to pack it with what ever I'm taking with me. My anxiety and stress have pegged the meter. I expect this will be my last time in Phoenix. I don't see any reason for coming back.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

What we wont see tomorrow

Rand has a heads up on hearings.

The government wants to take over private companies and ruin what makes them great (because only the government knows how to do things right, right?) We need to break free and offer the future an alternative.

It's not about the technology and the cost (while too high) are not prohibitive.

What is lacking is vision. Space has unlimited assets that people want that have nothing to do with sending material back to earth. Earth has something space needs to be viable... lots of people willing to go. Space has real estate. What those people need to go is funding. It's already economically viable with a great ROI (800%?) for any banks that agree to a settlement charter.

A mars settlement charter might say that every individual is allowed a reasonable claim by possession (one sq. km. is enough to make this economically viable.)  The banks in the charter will finance anyone willing to accept the terms of the charter (and become instant millionaires with the stroke of a pen.)

Suppose it costs [you pick any amount] to get a colonist to the surface of mars with sufficient supplies. A bank loans them that money for which the colonist agrees to develop and sell plots to future colonists. The bank expects to get 800% ROI or more to be competitively decided (by a number of banks offering different terms.) Zubrin has describe a 50m round hobby farm that could feed three. Let's assume that includes a habitat and so is the minimum plot size for sale. A one sq. km. claim would include 400 quarter hectare plots not all of which need be resold. Which means, to break even a colonist would need to sell a developed quarter hectare plot for just 0.25% over [the amount you picked divided by 400.]

New colonists should have a home waiting for them before they even leave earth orbit. It makes sense for them to buy it rather than trying to develop it when they get there. The cost to develop it is the same whether they do it themselves or a colonist already on mars does it. The difference is they can focus on other things when they land and will be able to take a different mix of supplies because essentials will come with the plot. They pay a few percent more for their travel package (totally financed by a settlement charter bank) to save months of time getting a start on arrival.

Suppose a colonist chooses to provide 160 plots for resale. Here is one potential scenario.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Adding lander capability

The SpaceX Dragon is soon to become the Dragon lander capable of landing not just on earth but on other rocks as well.
SpaceX can now start building the hardware at the heart of its innovative launch abort system.
Which is much more than just an abort system. Other than in testing they may never actually use it for any abort, but they will be using it to land. Expect to see Dragons on the surface of many rocks including the moon and mars.

Tax the rich

We're just about a year away from the next presidential election. It's time to give Obama a judo throw. Let him have his 'Tax the Rich' bill on it's own. The results are predictable. It will get conservatives elected and insure Obama doesn't get a second term. Then the next president can throw out the whole tax law to replace it with a flat income tax or fair tax.

Otherwise, the demagogue in chief (DiC) will have his issue.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

USB explained


No business going to mars

...if you can't do a Mars orbit rendezvous you have no business going to Mars.
Got me thinking. To reduce the cost of mars missions most things should not travel with the colonists. They should either be waiting in orbit or on the surface. However, safety requires some redundancy of things that do travel with the colonists.

We can put things on the surface of mars with a certain amount of accuracy (going up) and cost (going down.) Before they learn to live on mars ISRU we can keep dozens alive on the surface indefinitely (although healthy is debatable we shouldn't be afraid to find out directly and deal with it. Not going is not an option.)

People going to mars initially should be planning for a one way trip. This doesn't mean they never come home. It just means getting them home is a different mission for sometime in the future. They should go with the intent to settle or not go at all.

For best results we should be generous in over supplying them and getting enough hands on the surface to do meaningful work. My proposal is a dozen researchers on the first trip followed by several dozen on the second trip. First job, setting up their habitats and power. Second job, water ISRU and agriculture. Once they can produce enough food, water, air and power the next wave of colonists can follow.

These researcher start out in earth orbit in two ships that need refueling.* Mars landers have been sent ahead and wait in mars orbit. Resupply can also be waiting in mars orbit so the missions have some flexibility and margin of safety. The mars landers should also be reusable accent vehicles but that isn't essential.

By sending everything we can ahead using the least costly route and planning for a one way mission we can move toward mars settlement much faster than some paralysis by analysis methods. Looking before we leap is smart, but not taking the leap at all is not.

Update: *The ships start in orbit needing refueling. The passenger go to orbit when the ships are fueled and ready to go. There would likely be an exchange of astronauts. Those refueling the ships return to earth while others go to mars.

Obama killing christians

When I heard we were sending troops to Uganda I knew before reading it would be to kill Christians.

Update: This is not an endorsement of the LRA. It's root.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Imagining a new car

Start with a Tesla roadster or sedan. Take out the transmission. Take out 90% of the batteries. Replace the wheels (keep the tires) with regenerative braking electric motors. High torque in the rear and high speed in the front. Add a generator directly driven by a Stirling motor. The heat source is a small self contained thorium/laser unit that you replace every twenty years. You have about 400hp. Add a computer to manage it all.

If you prefer to refuel every 200 miles you could go with this...

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Thor to the rescue!

...using just 8 gm of thorium in a car should mean it would never need refueling.
Well, that's the kiss of death, isn't it.
...developing a portable and usable turbine and generator is proving to be a tougher task than the laser-thorium unit.
Did you get that? Nuclear power is the easy part! Makes me wonder if mating it with a Stirling engine might be the way to go?

Sunday, October 2, 2011

The word on soft

But among the hundreds of thousands of your readers who didn't know you were a sap until you told them three years later, soft choices have hard consequences.
You handed a multitrillion-dollar economy to a community organizer and you're surprised that it led to more taxes, more bureaucracy, more regulation, more barnacles on an already rusting hulk? 
Obama would not have withstood scrutiny in any society with a healthy, skeptical press. 
...there's nothing soft about a dead-parrot economy, a flat-line jobs market, regulatory sclerosis, "green jobs" multibillion-dollar squandering and a mountain of dead Mexicans.
Read it.

Also... Vodkapundit.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Paid better too

Schools just don't teach a person to be a good programmer. It really is about the person. I remember reading that programmers without a degree often make more money than those that do.

I do know that many of the people I've known that taught programming wouldn't make it in the real world outside of academics.

Update: speaking of teaching and income, shouldn't we teach kids about investing as part of general knowledge?

How fortunate are we?

They have lowered the estimate of earth threatening asteroids.

What struck me was how circular earths orbit is compared to both mars and venus.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Business model for mars settlement

For me, this was the exciting statement to read...
"Apparently [SpaceX is] proposing a business venture for a Mars settlement."
While the linked article had great information, I was a bit disappointed that it didn't really include a business model. However, we do have another data point for a business model...
Musk suggested a ticket price of $500,000 per person.
So here's my business model...

They put together a group of banks willing to support a mars settlement charter.

That charter specifies the conditions of a loan to anybody that wants to go to mars... anybody! They don't even need good credit, all transactions will be within this group of banks ensuring payments of the mars settlement loan package will be paid.

Assume one million dollars to travel to mars fully supplied for two years (this assumes Musk is giving a lowball figure and life support is non recycled.)

Assume a half hectare (time to use metric rather than non metric acres) plot developed for habitation is included in the travel package (life support for three.) This plot is selected by the traveler from a catalog of completely developed plots (with specified parameters) and purchased from an earlier traveler that has organized the work to completion on mars from a part of his own one square kilometer claim. Every person with boots on mars can make a single claim. This is legal by historical precedent. Everyone part of the charter will enforce this.

The bank gets paid immediately from the sale of this plot so the traveler has no down payment to make. A willingness to go and work in support of the charter is all that is required. They are free do to anything else they desire.

Suppose it cost $50k in material from earth to develop a habitable plot and six months of labor (another $50k.) They sell the plot for something in the neighborhood of $200k. The settler getting $50k and the bank getting $50k toward the payment of the mortgage loan. Assume 80% utilization one square kilometer provides 160 half hectare plots (from 400 quarter hectares.) This provides a potential eight million dollar return on a one million dollar investment. Plenty of room for banks and settlers to make a deal that works.

SpaceX has what it takes to make that work. Banks have an incentive to make it work. This provides a life time of income for the settlers. What's the hold up?

Update: Why this is not a Ponzi scheme...

Children will eventually be born and grow up and marry on mars. Which should have a vibrant economy by then. Suppose a couple buy a developed plot for themselves for $200k (the kids are moving out of the house folks.) This is not part of a mars settlement loan package; it's in addition to it. The two are paying only $100k each rather than a million each (no addition mortgage requirement on them.) They each have also gotten their own undeveloped one square kilometer claim... until the 144 million square kilometers on mars runs out. They could of course build rather than buy. Same choice as on earth.

Update 2: Where is this young couple going to get $200k for a home of their own? They have collateral: two square kilometer of undeveloped land. Their will be plenty of work to provide income to pay back a mortgage. This second generation will also have less debt burden. Ownership of real estate distributed among a population is the most important factor in economic growth. Too bad we can't learn that here on earth.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

A physical threat of violence

My cousin 'Deano' (by my mothers marriage to a big family) came into my room and threatened me today. He was some what drunk which tends to bring out the belligerence in him. He's never done that to me before but has shown anger to others in the household. Worse in some ways is he lied to my aunt in saying that I was saying contemptuous things about my aunt in an attempt to create some bad feelings. My aunt and I get along well so I don't see anything coming from that.

I do not like being threatened. I am certain the threats might potentially lead to some dangerous confrontation. If you don't count him standing over me waving a glass beer bottle at me while being belligerent. He wasn't interested in listening to me, but I told him if he kept it up I would call the police and have him arrested. I tried to use a firm calm voice that would get through his beer fog. I'm not in good health and would really like to avoid any attacks coming from him. I'm really not sure how I should handle this going forward since we both live in the same house. I'm going to be locking my bedroom door more often in the future. I would not live under such conditions if I had the financial ability to do otherwise. I may have to change my living conditions anyway which would be difficult.

It's very disappointing. I'm going to wait to see if this just blows over.

UPDATE: I talked to the cops. They said they couldn't do anything because nobody was physically hurt. Then, I went over to my aunts daughter, the only cousin I trust, to compare some notes after she got home from work and fed her kids. Between us we discovered another important point. Deano has been playing Wormtongue with my aunt for at least the past month concerning the both of us in different situations. She hasn't been coming by as often as she used to and Deano turns out to be the reason why.

I've considered leaving, but it would be better for both my aunt and her daughter if Deano leaves. He thinks of himself as a chess player, but he just made a huge blunder last night. In this civilized world, perhaps a person can't defend themselves, but if I do end up in the hospital I can make damned sure the cops do their job.

Hit piece too subtle-y?

Sarah Palin says, "Does a title shackle a person?"

Sheila Marikar titles her article... Sarah Palin: ‘Is a Title and Campaign Too Shackle-y?’

It's probably an attempts at humor riffing off of 'hopey/changey'

How about giving serious consideration to the question? No need perhaps. Sarah will do it for this reporter.

A Great Speech

Just read itA review.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The truth about Pakistan

Ally or enemy? Do we still consider those that kill our citizens to be enemies. If so, they are enemies (with nukes.) We have a low opinion of Saudi Arabia for paying terrorists to leave their government alone. Why is it different that we do essentially the same thing with governments around the world, including Pakistan? Are the friends of our enemies our friends?

The world isn't afraid of offending America with actual threats. They have more than boxcutters. Will the first nuke of American soil be from Pakistan?

Friday, September 23, 2011

Time Travel

Time slows as you approach the speed of light. Going faster than light means going back in time.

So finding neutrinos going FTL means science has a new path forward.

UPDATE: A splash of cold water.

Just math

Best Obama quote:
Obama is great at math. He divides the country, subtracts jobs, adds debt and multiplies misery.

China and IP

China is booming and does not support intellectual property. What does that tell us?

I would not presume to say at this point, but it's worth thinking about.

Resistance is futile

Microsoft continues...

W8 BIOS to exclude Linux.

Who needs programmers when you have lawyers.

Third parties not welcome.

Freedom comes at a price.

FTL in the real world

It's not just SF anymore.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Gary Johnson?

I'm watching him on Cavuto right now. I like him. Will he be able to shake up the debate tonight?

He is sounding solid to me. I haven't followed him before.
  • He says he would have a budget with lower spending and use his veto.
  • He's for the fair tax.
  • As president he could attack burdensome regulations starting with Obamacare.
He's not very charismatic and don't know if he can get support. Tonight's debate, his first, is very important for him. The media has already anointed the two front runners, the lazy bastards.
his first response always was to ask if government should be involved in that to begin with
I really like him.

Update: Could be the best answer of the night. Gary said something like "my neighbors two dogs have created more shovel ready jobs than Obama."

Update: Everything you need to know about Gary. He's too honest to be a politician.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

False logic of the social contract

Elizabeth Warren says...
“You built a factory out there? Good for you. But I want to be clear: you moved your goods to market on the roads the rest of us paid for; you hired workers the rest of us paid to educate; you were safe in your factory because of police forces and fire forces that the rest of us paid for. You didn’t have to worry that marauding bands would come and seize everything at your factory, and hire someone to protect against this, because of the work the rest of us did.
“Now look, you built a factory and it turned into something terrific, or a great idea? God bless. Keep a big hunk of it. But part of the underlying social contract is you take a hunk of that and pay forward for the next kid who comes along.”
Sounds good, but is it right?

the rest of us paid for

Didn't the factory builder also pay taxes to build those roads? Educate those people? Pay the salaries of police and firefighters?

The presumption is that factory builders are taking unfair advantage of others when in fact they are risking their own capital. We should be encouraging this, but they want to penalize this and it is class warfare no matter how well you disguise it. Is it any wonder the economy is in the dumps with idiots like this in charge?

Those factory builders have to compete with other factory builders for customers (unless the government picks winners and losers using stolen tax money to do it.)

All Lizzy is doing is justifying theft by using envy. Pure and simple.

You don't have to believe that business people are saints, but it's much worse to demonize them and use that demagoguery to get people supporting this idiocy. The demons are the crony capitalists working with these politicians.

Even if you agree that the 'rich' need to be taxed more, knowing it will do nothing regarding out of control spending... when does it end? Everybody is being taxed too much to support out of control spending. How do you like paying payroll taxes that will never provide social security down the road? Isn't that a road we've all paid for?

Update: Now over at Rand and Goldberg and PJM Tatler.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Injustice dept. fights another southern state

I thought redistricting was a states right?

2 million spies

You'd think they'd be noticed.

How blind is the media?

in the summer and fall of 2008, with dozens of reporters descending on Wasilla looking for background on Palin.  Actually, “background” is too nice a word for it; they were looking for dirt.
Yes. If the media did there job it would be old news to everybody that Sarah Palin has been fighting corruption (and winning the fight) for years.

It long over due we slapped them in the head with facts. Wake up. You're being called lame for a reason. Undeserve it.

The hollow president

It seems the president is as amazed as the rest of us.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Crisis Solved

The slump in the United States and other advanced economies is the result of a failure of demand — period, end of story.
There ya go. That putz, Krugman has solved everything. He said end of story didn't he? Could there be more?

How about a business environment of crony capitalism and no rule of law? Might that also have something to do with it? How about a president that calls employers evil for not doing their fair share and wants to rob them of the means of creating jobs? How about idiots like Obama and Krugman that think magic money comes from wishing and unicorns farts rather than hard working taxpayers?

So Krugman, STFU.

Time for some political judo

Judo uses a persons imbalance against them. Obama wants to tax the rich. It's time to let him. The rich aren't going to be taxed no matter what the rate. Yes, the poor will be hurt, but that's the point. Let it be even more obvious than now how bad Obama's point of view is so we can finally be done with it. I'm one of the poor. I can take it until the next election.

The next president, regardless of who, will have failed on the first day if they don't fire the entire justice department and replace them with people that will hold faith with the rule of law. The present crowd should all get jail time for the obstruction of justice. Never again should we allow such people to hold the reins of power.

Update: Obama's non proposal, proposal. It's result.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Nothing new under the sun

corruptissima re publica plurimae leges


When the republic is at its most corrupt the laws are most numerous

We have a lot in common with that old republic. We don't seem to have learned from it.

Panels or Power?

Which is a better business model, selling solar panels (Solyndra) or selling solar energy? I'm thinking energy has a better market, but solar only works during the day.

Not a big problem since we use more energy during the day. I just shut down my air conditioning until next season, but others will take up the slack no doubt.

But why is the government picking winners and losers? Doesn't that screw up the economy which corrects itself if left alone? That was rhetorical.

The fact is loans and loan guarantees are about getting political payola. They have absolutely NOTHING to do with making life better for taxpayers. We have got to end this corruption. Only Sarah Palin is focusing on this... as she did for the people of Alaska which gave her an approval rating in the 90s. How is the O doing?

Three for Thanksgiving?

Yesterday half the ISS crew returned home. Russia says they've fixed their problem so the next crew should go up Nov. 14th, but if not the ISS will be vacated Nov. 22nd.

SpaceX needs crew on board to do their demo resupply mission. Ironically, they could also deliver crew (w/o a launch escape system for now.)

Once there they become a more capable lifeboat that could remain on station longer and bring back more astronauts at a time adding to the safety of being on the station.

But they don't get paid until NASA gets it's act together. I bet they negotiate a better contract next time. Having more than one destination would be a good idea as well.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Monday, September 12, 2011


All too skinny for my tastes, but if I had to choose from this selection:

How long do we have...

...before we must be a space faring society?

Population growth on earth must end at some point. Energy growth as well. It must find an equilibrium. According to this graph...
...we have about 200 years left. It becomes a critical issue before the end of this century. I believe the next ten years will show the human race is on it.

No Bailouts: including the USPS.

I will be sad to see it go but I believe in creative destruction (Schumpeter not Marx or cash for clunkers.)

That the lead paragraph points out that Obama calls for passing a bill that doesn't exist is so funny and tragic.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Romney low blows Perry

I like politicians that are fighters, but not liars. Perhaps liar is going too far. He's definitely using scare tactics. Update: I have to say, giving the flyer some more thought, while it misrepresents Perry it does look effective. Like I said, I do like fighters.

I do not support Perry. He has some good points, but we need much more. I'm waiting for Sarah to announce this month. She's the real deal.

Sarah has her faults, but none the media and idiots have attacked her on.

Two good signs

Lots of good photos of a 9-11 protest including the first that has a sign that makes it clear the intent "ISLAM WILL DOMINATE THE WORLD"

The second sign is the fact that there was a Muslim counter protest...
A small group of Muslims staged a counter-demonstration nearby, holding up placards reading 'Muslims Against Extremism' and 'If You Want Sharia, Move To Saudi'
We need many more of that second group and I wish them well.

Redistricting; get the pop corn

We the people won in 2010 which leads directly to the fun.

We have a long way to go to root out the anti-Americans of both parties. This is a step in the right direction.


America is a country unlike any other. It is exceptional.

There are two rights from which all others are derived: Liberty and property. The governments ONLY job, and the very reason it exists, is to keep us each secure in these individual rights. A government faithful to these rights needs no enumeration of them.

The right of speech or thought or belief is the right of liberty.

Nobody would be debating if the right to bear arms were an individual or collective right. As long as a person doesn’t use weapons to deprive any other individual of their rights, the government should have nothing to say.

It would be understood that the government has no right over your property, not just for the quartering of troops without your consent.

You would be secure from search and seizure without some evidence of a crime and even then only by proper procedure specifically outlined and followed.

The fifth amendment is about the liberty to withhold consent. Eminent domain violates this principle of liberty and property.

Miranda rights, are not rights per se, but are a specification of a process to secure our rights from abuse.

Trial by jury is also a process to protect rights from abuse by the powerful.

Would we need to say protection from cruel and unusual punishment or excessive bail would be required if we held faithful to securing individual rights and really had a presumption of innocence?

The ninth and tenth amendments just restate what should be obvious.

We don't get our rights from government. The government exists to secure our rights. Anyone that doesn't understand this should not be allowed to vote or hold office. When a president talks in support of redistribution of wealth he has disqualified him or her self from holding office which requires defense and protection of the constitution. Nothing more needs to be said at that point.

Any law that isn’t both necessary to protect individual rights or properly balances the rights of individuals is unconstitutional. Equal protection means that state laws also needed to follow the necessary and proper rule.

Nobles do not define our rights. We peasants have inalienable rights no tyrant or government has the right to take away.

On this tenth anniversary of a despicable cowardly attack on America I pledge to defend my fellow peoples that hold these truths to be self evident to my very last breath.

Our dead will not be forgotten, nor those that cheered their death.

"I know who the enemy is"

3000 Americans died. For some, this was a cause for celebration.

I will never sleep until it is over.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

About emotions

I think they are all valuable but as has been correctly pointed out, they can be hazardous.

Emotions can both paralyze and motivate. They often cloud judgement.

Most important is they can be an important signal that should not be ignored.

You can define an animal as all emotion and no thought. We need to aspire to something more than animal.

I'm a person that literally sees red when angry. But even in that worst case I never lose my reason. I'm baffled that so many people seem to have no reason to begin with.

I was a big kid who for some reason got into a lot of fights (I never started one ever) in grade school. When forced to fight my main concern was not to hurt the guy. I always ended up on top. Like I said, I was a big kid. It was emotional. I cried.

Once I was in class and a kid came in to confront me at my desk at which I tried to ignore him. The teacher put down his chalk, bounced the kid out of the class, then returned to his chalk board. I can't help but laugh every time I remember it.

Anger is one of those emotions less appreciated. Most angry people are idiots to be sure, but anger is no more or less valuable than any other emotion. What signal does anger send us? It should help to teach us what to hate. We need to hate what is bad or we end up encouraging it.

All it takes for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing. We need anger and hate in proper measure and focus. We need it to survive evil.

Reagan Democrats

Sarah knows what it takes.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Bush Doctrine... again

With the tenth anniversary of 2001-9-11 coming in two days the media is again talking about the Bush Doctrine  as if they know what that means. Doing that makes them feel smart, but if they had to define the so called doctrine all that assumed intelligence would evaporate. That's because, as Wikipedia says, "various related foreign policy principles." In other words, there is no distinct "Bush Doctrine."

The media idiots think it means preemption. As Sarah explained correctly to that Gibson guy looking down his nose at her over his glasses... International law has always allowed preemption where a threat exists. You are not required to sit and take it until damaged.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

As smart as Sarah

Yup, that's what I want to be. I just got one of the books she read in the mail today from Amazon, "Saving Capitalist from the Capitalists." I'll let ya know.

Update: Finished reading it last night. It didn't say much I didn't already know. I was a bit disappointed. It underwhelms. The take away is that free enterprise is fragile to political shenanigans. Duh!

I have a few books by Thomas Sowell which are better at describing the problems and solutions.

Only idiots believe this sentence.

Do you believe that sentence? Read it again.


Just physics folks

But I can't help but see the divine.

Sure it's all just coincidence that we have all these valuable surface minerals. A very special moon. A close earth analogy just beyond.

Almost seems like a toddlers room full of toys. Our father, who art in heaven...

Art? Why did they teach us Art? Perhaps Bill Clinton made the word is unfashionable?

Yes, humor is an art as well. Perhaps science is the way to go?

Prime real estate


21 million light-years away

Is a good thing when it comes to novas.

Rarest Mineral?


Value added?

Lawyers? Can't live with them. Can't live without them.

Does that make male lawyers effeminate?

Infamous last words

"The true engine of economic growth will always be companies like Solyndra."
There's a campaign ad for ya.

In case you're wondering about the definition of crony capitalism.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Just an observation

Archie Bunker was how the left saw right wingers in the 70s. Watching 'The Five' on Fox I'm struck by the one member that both looks and acts light Archie. Right, their token liberal.

Update: Another observation...

Government likes oversight and punishing common folks. At the same time they waste taxpayer money with no apparent oversight or punishment of their own. It's time to shake them up. 2008 was only the beginning.

a decade-long kickback scheme

Just read it.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Think Big Unions

Nobody else offers more substance

Only one, as yet undeclared, candidate has the track record of fighting the good old boys and winning. We need her now more than ever.
...the real interests of working men and women.
Will be addressed when we have a fighter for freedom in the white house.

Weasel Wasserman

Gretchen should have closed with, "Thank you for not addressing the question."

Uninsured Increase, "Unexpectedly"

Ok, I added the Unexpectedly for the clueless (anyone that believes anything the president demagogues.)

Something really scary

Do you get the sense that the world financial situation is going to get a lot worse before it gets better?

New Top Spy Petraeus

This is better than giving Ron Paul oversight of the federal reserve.

Petraeus is going to kick butt.

Meanwhile, what worms will be revealed by opening this can?

Monday, September 5, 2011

Another sickening speech

His labor day speech is an example of why I don't listen to our demagogue in chief Obama.

He is destroying the middle class in this country and claiming the opposite. This speech was pure bullshit from beginning to end. It's just too much.
We’re going to see if congressional Republicans will put country before party.
He broke the irony meter with that one.
...that really mean the right to work for less and less and less.
No, it means letting the free market set the rate rather than thugs.

This is the stump speech that will play well with his thugs.


Sounds like a simple thing. Connect two spacecraft with an airtight mechanical seal that allows transfer of people and cargo between vehicles. Not when the geniuses do it.

They don't seem to appreciate the power of simplicity. First, it should be the same for all so somebody doesn't get a call, "sorry, your child, sibling or parent died because we were idiots." The same for all means androgynous rather than a master/slave difference. Simple means it should not include connections for fluids or electricity. Cables and hoses should not be a part of the design. That works against it's main purpose. It means they add explosives so they can disconnect in an emergency. If you keep it simple enough, no emergency requiring explosives would ever be required.

So, because this hasn't been the focus we have different docking adapters that don't work together and may lose the I.S.S. as a result. How much do we pay these guys?

Secondary ports may have different designs, but one primary port should be standard and identical to all others.

Berthing, as opposed to docking, just requires a flexible cable/hose with a standard androgynous connector at both ends. Include a robot if people are not going to make this connection.

This doesn't seem too objectionable and includes power connections. Simpler would be better.
UPDATE: So what would I do? Take the above and remove everything except a metal ring of a standard size and the two seals. Then add docking clamps to replace the guide petals. That's it. The docking clamps ensure rotational alignment and concentric mating and should deploy mechanically like a railroad boxcar. The clamps should hold tight enough to seal and overcome more than any expected forces. The release mechanism should be simple enough that explosives are never a consideration. No magnets, electrical connections or hook latches that might not release. I would include a chamfer inside the ring for sealant (stock sealant itself) to replace or backup damaged seals.  No pins and holes, although permanent connection is allowed by welding or bolting (drill your own holes.)  None of this affects how the dock is extended between vehicles which can be handled in any way that makes sense and does not require standardization.

Hoses should have a simple connector at each end. They don't need any valves to close them off. That would be part of the hoses they connect to which allows venting to vacuum before releasing the hose for storage. Power plugs should have one male and one female pin at each end. You can't get that wrong. It's a universal extension cord. That would actually work quite well here on earth as well.
Ok, so I'm a lousy artist and the tabs may be on the opposite sides or unneeded.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

We are governed by a permanent political class

Who govern by crony capitalism. This is the capitalism of connections, handouts, and influence peddling.
This is not free enterprise.
We need sudden and relentless reform [which] requires deeds, not just words.
  1. Enforce the 10th Amendment.
  2. Repeal Obamacare.
  3. Prioritize and cut spending.
  4. Have a robust and responsible domestic energy production.
  5. Eliminate all federal corporate income tax, corporate welfare and tax loopholes.

We need her because of her record of facing down crony capitalism as an executive and winning.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Broke my code

That's how you make progress. I'm going to allow a single claim per player which becomes their home world. Until they do that, they can explore the galaxy to find a suitable world. Creating a balanced economic system is going to be difficult. I intend the game to be free to play but with incentives to purchase in-game money to advance your player. Many players will never need to. Onward...

Thunder Lozenge

Thanks to Eric Weder for the link.

It's an ugly looking thing, but is only a first stage as I understand it. Replace the top with something like the Shepard which would then achieve orbit. Once in orbit, that second stage would become a SSTO for lower gravity rocks like the moon. For a billionaire, Jeff Bezos and Blue Origin does seem to be moving kind of slow, but then, they do have hardware flying so I won't give them too much grief.

That a supersonic flight instability destroyed it suggests they may need to rethink the shape of their vehicle.
SpaceX, as Mr. Musk's company is known, is years behind in testing its Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon space capsule
...the article says. I don't know (well, yeah I do.) Blue Origins was formed a few years before SpaceX, yet SpaceX has already been to orbit and retrieved their capsule in a spectacular (redefining the meaning of nominal) example of what they could do.

Going from suborbital to orbital is a big deal.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Wish my brain worked

I didn't get any coding done in the last two day. So today I will.

I used to be quite a great programmer. I'm not anymore. My brain just can't do it.

Still, I recognize crap code. That's something.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

I went for the moon pizza

But this caught my eye. They make 'em tough in Alaska.

There is no government dime

Let's say half the money spent to get to orbit or beyond is government money. I really have no idea of the actual percentage. Of the $800m that SpaceX has spent in nine years, $300m came from the government. So perhaps I'm not too far off. Could space exploration and development happen if there was no government investment?

I hear the gasps. Did someone just faint?

The government is a fickled beast and tying your business to it can be haphazard. The I.S.S. may be abandoned before the end of this year. Where does that leave the $1.6b COTS contract awarded to SpaceX to resupply?

The fact is the government has no money and never did. All they do is redistribute the taxpayers money. Some might find themselves with a conceptual objection to this. Could we do space without govt. funds?

Yes. Because space has tangible assets that overwhelm the cost of developing them. Once we learn to live off the land we can colonize. Before we learn to live off the land we can keep people alive indefinitely with supplies at a cost that is within reason.

In space they call it life support... per person per day is about 8kg (0.9 oxygen, 2.6 food, 4.5 water) to be generous let's say 1000 kg every 90 days (one cubic meter includes packaging.) Add to that power and shelter. At that rate a Dragon mars lander could provide 900 person/days of supplies to the martian surface for about $100m. So we could support a dozen researchers on the martian surface before ISRU for less than half a billion a year.

Water and air can be produced from the martian atmosphere given hydrogen, a Sabatier reactor and power, but water itself can be found subsurface so you don't need a hydrogen source beyond that. 2.6kg is hydrated food, which could be as little as 0.7kg freeze dried means support for a mission of ten people could become as little as $50m per year. That is within the means of a small business or one wealthy person. Is there enough profit potential to make that happen?

Yes again. How? (...and who could go?)

Some have said a claim the size of Alaska could finance exploration... but that's a mistake. Healthy, robust economies require distributed ownership among all members of the society. It turns out that one sq. km. claims per person is all that is needed to finance any level of space exploration.

Colonists will require life support (habitat, power, food, water, oxygen, etc.) Colonists will arrive in a temporary habitat (like a Dragon lander) but will need permanent shelter. That permanent shelter may take six month to build and should be available the moment they land. That's a market.

Given a one sq. km. claim, colonists could develop plots (80 to 200) for resale to later colonists. The later colonists are going to have to pay for their shelter one way or another. Paying a few percent over cost to have it waiting for their arrival is a no brainer. As a matter of fact, it should be ready for them before they even leave earth as part of a package deal. Make claims only available to individuals means companies will have to buy their land from them, furthering stable economic growth.

Who could go? Anybody that wants to regardless of their financial situation because it can be financed so that the bank get's all their money from a previous colonists, including the money down for the trip. It doesn't matter what the cost because that factors into the cost of the real estate. The cost of real estate being the cost to develop it plus a small percentage profit. A home on mars should cost about the same as a more expensive home on earth which means the bank gets somewhere in the neighborhood of a million dollars down for every package they finance. While they might get a better rate of return on other investments they would have the privilege of opening up the frontier to an economic sphere that will, over time, dwarf that of the earth alone.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Peasants and Nobles

It has always been thus. Peasants used to be called serfs which ranged from freeman to slaves. Today we confuse Villeins for the entire class of serfs. These were under contract to work the lords land to produce crops for the lord such as wheat and required permission to break the contract which usually meant buying freeman status. Freeman could serve any lord they chose.  This is why the confusion that the land owned them. Technically Villeins were not property or tied to the land which is a common misconception. Of course, this may be a distinction without a difference since poverty could bring about that same result. They also had their own land, either owned or rented which they worked to provide for their own families. That a lord might also be abusive and presumptive also doesn't change a serfs legal status. Some serfs were quite wealthy, but still peasants.

Thomas doesn't seem to appreciate these nuances.

The contract was for protection by the lord from outlaws that were plentiful at the time.

American exceptionalism could be defined as getting rid of the nobles.

T H E Y ' R E . . . B A C K...

Today we define those nobles by their thinking which is strongly influenced by socialism and marxism.

Taxation today is clearly related to the serfs wheat. Nothing really changes.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

How to chase an aircraft through a canyon

Stay above the canyon. Just sayin'...

I'm watching Clint Eastwood be a pilot in Firefox.

Watch Firefly to see how it works.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

In other news...

Paid my bills today... I now have eight dollars for the next month. I bought two new tires (I've been driving around town without a spare for several months now... glad to have a spare again.) Put money on my phone (13 cents for the last two weeks) ... looking to get an Android that will replace both my current phone and internet USB modem (can we still call them modems?)

I promised myself that each month I would do at least one thing toward my goal of having an online business. This month I bought an upgrade to my PowerBasic compiler.

I'm coding in VB because it's faster for development than PB. BG+M$ have conspired to make ADO code written on a W7 box only work for W7. If you compile on XP it works fine on either but I don't have an XP box anymore. Also the component I wrote in PB for ADO doesn't work on W7 either.

PowerBasic has an ADO product, but I think it's ODBC only. That's fine for SQL Server, but I have a second local DB that I have a direct connect to and don't want to use ODBC for that. They have a Btree product that I might use for local data but I'd prefer SQLite if I can get that to work.

I just spent three days tracking down a bug that would have taken five seconds if my brain still worked. Ah well, onward...

Monday, August 22, 2011

Social Security Plans

I just got a letter from Social Security which got me to thinking about the plan I would propose. The way it is, after ten years you qualify to get a check sometime after 65 of about a thousand a month.

My plan is take the current money (15.3%) and buy an annuities that immediately makes a monthy check that the government can never change.  Example assuming 5% return on money...

First ten years making $24k avg. gives you an immediate monthly check of... $159.89
Second ten years avg. 30k... two checks per month $159.89 and $199.86
Third decade at $40k... add another $266.48 check.
Fourth decade at $50k... another $333.09

So $1000 after age 65+ or...
18 to 28 you wait...
29 to 38 you get $159.89 each month;
39 to 48 you get $359.75 each month;
49 to 58 you get $626.23 each month;
59 to 68 you get $959.32 each month until dead.

At 69 you could get a fifth check (of several hundred dollars depending on your earnings.)

I like my plan a whole lot better and the money is actually in a lockbox trust. Just not the govt. lockbox.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Scientists keeping straight faces...

It's got to be a joke on the innumeracy of [well, you fill in the blank.]

There are hundreds of billions of galaxies. Each has hundreds of billions of stars. Multiply those two numbers together and then multiply that by all the thousands of rocks circling each star...

But aliens are watching what we do to this one planet???

You'd think they'd be happy for us to kill ourselves off so they can take it over and fix it with their superior ecological knowledge.

Update: The paper that started it all. PDF is interesting reading. SF gave us all this years ago.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Time keeps on slippin' slippin' slippin'...

...Into the future. I should post more, but I've started coding which has to be a priority.

I Intended to post about my coding, but that didn't happen. Yet. One day I hope to have something that relieves some of my other stresses... and adds others.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Fantasy Continues...

Adding to what I wrote here...

1st year is not just a shakedown of the ships but to help determine the crew to send to mars. Specialties needed for mars will also need to have a frontier settlement spirit and be able to handle the isolation. We need to see how tethering the two ships together for artificial gravity will work. Radiation mitigation will be a priority while not considered a show stopper. Everyone will understand and choose to take the risks.

2nd year getting supplies to go to mars is not an issue. We aren't going to get it right, but we will get enough of it right to go. We will fix things as we learn.

3rd year and 4th year. Getting supplies to mars will also qualify the vehicle for landing humans. Private industries are not the amateurs that the government elites actually are. Private industry will have dozens of tests landing where government thinks it's good to go on the second shot (or sometimes the first... those are the amateurs.)

5th year. We will first land half the researchers (perhaps 3 from each ship.) Not all the supplies on the ship will go to the surface (if much at all, we already have supplies directly sent to the surface.) The six or so on the surface will suggest what supplies from the ship (from as much diversity as we can provide) need to be brought to the surface. It may be the following year expeditions actually bring the rest of the supplies down. Eventually all researchers will be on the surface while the ships stay in orbit for future uses.

6th year. We have to wait for launch windows for the following researchers but can and should still send over supplies that don't have the same launch window restrictions.

7th year. We will now have a better idea of what kind of specialists are needed to figure out how to live on mars. We send lots of them. Landers may already be waiting in mars orbit sent there on lower cost trajectories. Mars is going to need labor. We need to make it possible for people besides the rich to go (there aren't enough rich to do the job.)

It's also important to get the right start. People that understand why ownership and the unenumerated rights our constitution talks about are important. Martians on the frontier should bring back that quaint idea that a persons word is their bond. Theft by 'consent' should be completely understood for the fallacy it is.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Getting the Onion rolling

With ... no indication of local zoning laws or taxes, conditions on Gliese 581g are almost textbook≠perfect for the industrial sector.

How many blogs could a blogger blog if a blogger could blog blogs.

I'm questioning whether I should keep this a one issue blog. I think not. So I will also post on any other subject that interest me. Hopefully some of them will interest you as well (talking to myself does provide a stimulating conversation but somehow less satisfying than having others add their thoughts.)

Do me a favor. Post any silly thing ya like in comments here so I know you came by. Doesn't matter when you do.

Thursday, August 11, 2011


I used to blindly accept the intrinsic value concept until my blind eyes were healed over at Rand's Blog. Value only exists because people assign it. Nothing has an value apart from people. Putting two words together (intrinsic + value) that independently do have a reasonable meaning is an example of the intellectual idiocy that happens when juvenile thinking is allowed to flourish.

Intrinsic just means that things have attributes. Value is an attribute. The problem is that 'intrinsic value' is a formulation that includes a contradiction. Value doesn't exist without a person to assign it. It can never be objective as the definition of intrinsic implies. Different people assign different value to things based on personal preference and situations. It's easy to come up with some formulation of value to assign to a thing, but even if useful, that is not it's intrinsic value. There is no such thing. So what does that have to do with the focus of this blog?

Martian real estate has no intrinsic value. It does have value. How do we determine what that is? For many it's simple: zero. For those of space settlement that value is $100 an acre. I say it could be both zero and millions of dollars a hectare (time to stop using mile and acre in space.) I will explain.

Suppose enough people agree to the terms of a charter that a reasonable claim is just one square kilometer per person, they get exactly one and only one claim per rock, and only by stepping on the surface of a world can they take legal possession of it. How much is that land worth to that claimer? To the bank? To a potential buyer? What factors help determine that?

It is reasonable to assume the claimer would assign a value near the cost of getting that land which would include travel, supply and loan costs. The banks assignment of value is simple... whatever the market will bare plus their profit. Now we come to the heart of it. There is only one objective determination of value. That is only determined when a thing is freely traded. So what is the value to the buyer?

Well the buyer paid expenses to acquire their 'free' sq. km. To acquire more, since they are legally bound by a charter they agreed to, would mean buying from others that would value their land at a similar cost. They might buy land from others that are not members of the charter, diluting its overall value, but going beyond that charter means they've lost a lot of potential buyers. Expect it to happen but not change things all that much. It just muddies the waters. By violating the charter they lose title to the one sq. km. claim which could then be claimed by someone else that did follow the groups rules and they have a cloud on the title to other land making it more difficult to trade and potential of being lost in legal battles. Legal battles for charter land is defended by all members of the charter (all now rich enough, even if they started with nothing, to hire some really good law firms. Think army of a vast legion of lawyers.)

Suppose they divide that claim up into 100 hectare plots for development and resale. The value of those should then be about 1% of the whole, plus development costs. We can assume those development costs will be about the same regardless of whether the buyer or seller pays them. The difference is that the seller can pay them before the buyer arrives making the best use of time. Also, the buyer is not likely to buy a developed piece of property unless it has had an independent inspection. Lives are involved.

So lets see... we're going to reuse the assumption of $40m as travel cost (we'll have a post on that later with some of the companies and costs likely to be involved) and assume the bank agrees to one million per hectare for the first fifty sold giving them a 25% profit (over some period of time where shorter is generally better for both the bank and claimer/seller.) Assume with all costs and a small profit included that hectare ready for occupancy could be sold for $2m (make it more if you like) would the buyer pay it. Meaning would they accept that value to them for it? What are the alternative choices?

1) No. They pay $40m to travel to mars and claim one undeveloped sq. km. They must buy or rent a place to live immediately upon arrival. This will cost them more than the package deal that includes title to a new home. A loan will be much harder to get because the bank will want a large down payment to compensate for the one million dollar down payment they would have gotten from the seller of the developed hectare if this chooser had made the next choice...

2) Yes. They pay nothing to travel to mars and claim one undeveloped sq. km. The bank that has a lien on their claim will find buyers for the plots they develop for resale.

I don't know. It seems like a tough choice. Go ahead, give me 3) et. al.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Real Estate

Space is unclaimed. Nobody owns it and nobody has jurisdiction over it.

Ownership always starts with a claim by possession. From then on it's sold or granted to new owners. Title is used to resolve various implications. Resources can be taken from unclaimed land. Once owned, others must come to term with the owner for his/her resources.

I have a model to present, but it's not the only possible model. I think it has many advantages over other models. The first is that it fully finances colonization allowing average individuals (even us poor) to take part at current costs (yes, even for the poor) beginning now (well, that's for another post.) With a good credit rating and a bank mortgage it could cost nothing down and be profitable for the bank so start packing! Well there are a few minor things that have to happen first and we'll get to them. Not everybody has to agree to this plan for it to work. They can follow there own plans which should have no impact on this one.

It starts with a group of people all agreeing to a settlement charter. All members of that charter agree that individuals can each make only one claim of one square kilometer of land per person by possession (they have to live on the rock but not permanently... no slavery!) If you or a corporation wants more land it has to be bought from owners through free trade. Eminent domain will not exist because that violates the absolute ownership of the charter.

Why one square kilometer? Because it is not only reasonable but it is enough to fully finance the trip and provides a lifetime of income. We don't need a welfare state. How?

Everyone that agrees to the charter may have a claim registered and enforced by all other members. They divide their property up into plots for resale (Planet Plots? Yes, you got it.) Mars for example would allow the first 144 million colonists to each claim their own one sq. km. plot.

Typically about 81% of a km^2 claim could provide plots (multiples of a quarter hectare) with all plots having at least 50 m. of frontage and/or perimeter road access. That's up to 200 plots for resale from a single claim. A single developed hectare plot could support a dozen colonists (three Zubrin 50m^2 hobby farms and a 50m^2 multilevel habitat with power, water, food, air, sewage, etc.) Assume it takes a year of labor to develop each plot... that's a lifetime of income by itself. So now we consider the bank mortgage for the trip.

Pick a number to pay for a total package that includes transportation to the surface and fully developed home when you get there. Let's say $40m per person as a reasonable example (this number DOES NOT MATTER.) To fully recover this cost (break even is 1.24% above cost per hectare) we agree to pay the bank one million dollars per hectare we sell for the first half of our claim within 30 years (a typical mortgage period in my youth.) So the bank gets a 25% return over that period (but normally in less time than the mortgage period as the seller has an incentive to sell property ASAP to get to the point of not giving up a million dollars in profit on each sale.)  If you default the bank get the unsold remainder of your km^2 claim. They don't have to charge you a single penny down for this deal since they will receive one million dollars from the previous colonist that sells you a plot as part of this travel package. They could require some down payment to qualify buyers but it's not actually needed (I would think traveling to another planet would be enough proof of commitment.) This seems like a good deal for the bank. Is it a good deal for the colonist (both seller and buyer?)

The buyer is going to need a habitat to live. Assume it takes a year to build that habitat. It's better to have that happen before the buyer arrives (actually, before they leave... you don't want that kind of surprise.) The cost of materials are going to be the same either way so that's a wash. You might save 2% on your ticket, but then the bank would have less incentive to loan you the money if they don't get that immediate mortgage payment from the seller. Seems like a win for the buyer.

The seller is the big winner. Suppose a couple gets an $80m mortgage package (they are $100m in debt) to go to mars and they claim their two sq. km. They get two habitat plots, one to live in and one ready for immediate sale which they sell for $1.5m (the bank doesn't get any of this, it's not part of the land claim mortgage.)

Cost to develop a half hectare plot? They hire two laborers to work with and finish a half hectare (one habitat and one farm) plot in six months: Sale price ($1m) - bank  ($500k) - labor ($100k) - material ($200k) = profit ($200k) - labor opportunity cost ($100k) = net profit ($100k)

As they accumulate wealth they can develop property at a faster rate than two per year and pay off their mortgage in 15 years (the bank likes that!) They've made a comfortable living and now have about $70m worth of unencumbered property to do with as they will. All for perhaps $100k down.

It's very likely they will also have started up a company or two to produce needed mars ISRU items and may even help finance new colonists to provide labor for their own ventures on mars.

Planet Plots

Choices have implications. A generation ago nations based their moves into space on a military structure. The result has been a false start and stagnation (going in circles for more than fifty years at far too much cost.) That is the government model.

That is changing because people with vision and resources and freedom to act are making it happen. They have been struggling for decades to figure out viable business plans. They are having some success with lots of failures. This is the corporate model.

Expanding the economic sphere into the solar system successfully will require a humble acceptance of economic reality. The most viable option that leads to the greatest success will be the individual liberty model. Planet plots is about how:

Ownership is the foundation that FULLY AND ABUNDANTLY finances space settlement.

Expanding the economic sphere into the solar system will add enormous wealth to our society. No magic bullets required. Costs are low enough today and will get better in the future.

The crazy idea I put forth is that ownership is the foundation of economic expansion. Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness are all based on the right of property ownership. Your body with its life is your property. Your thoughts are your property. Those things people have difficulty stealing from you. But thieves have become masters at stealing real property and possessions from you and making you believe that's the natural order of things. It does not have to be so.

I intend to focus on real numbers, real companies, real people, and real economic truth. So let's get started with my next post...

Update: Keeping track of where I spout off on this topic...