Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The big event this quarter

The big event in my personal blogosphere this past month was the (hopefully temporary) destruction of the Combat Effective BBS. I still don't know the motives behind this crime, but I believe the owner of the board is working on resurrecting it, and we may eventually discover who the criminals were.

I began a campaign to comment on other blogs around the country, but have not had much time to do enough of that, but did notice that at least one of my comments (and not a controversial comment) was deleted. Will have to watch responses to my comments more closely.

In the past couple of months, I posted a lot of random material about Christianity and Bible Study, and even got corrected on an event in Britain where it, at first, looked like a case of persecution, but turned out the news paper had jumped the gun and the rest of us followed suit.

I still plan more on Bible Study, but will be taking it on somewhat of a different track, since all people are not equal in their needs, when it comes to study material. I also plan more articles updating my previous ones from years ago on net neutrality and on the cost of producing and or storing electricity.

I have decided to make my first post of each month on the subject of either Christian Living, or Bible Study. This just seems to make more sense to me, if for no other reason than economic statistics are not ready until several days into the month. And it will add some consistency, which is something I need.

I spent some time trying to restore some recent substantial material from CombatEffective (dead link) on France dealing with Shariah Law. This link from Politics Daily might substitute.

But I could not find anything to replace his article on Comparing War to Hockey (another dead link).

Hopefully the next few months will be better.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Finally Somebody Takes Action

From the BBC:
A suspected pirate has been shot dead as private guards repelled an attack on a cargo ship off Somalia, in what may have been the first such incident.

Now, all we have to do is wait for the LEFTIST's to attack these law abiding shippers.

Or maybe not. If all goes well, piracy will be a lot less fun and profit in the future.

But then again, that is why the LEFTIST's will attack them.

(LEFTIST: Lying Everywhere, Fighting Truth In Society Today)

Monday, March 22, 2010

Border Fence - Quick Update

I didn't post on this topic in February, but I think from my January posting, we can see four things.

First is that a border fence, despite propaganda and disinformation to the contrary, is an effective deterrent. And this can be seen, even with the incomplete fence we now have. Second, the U.S. population is distracted, at this time, by high unemployment and the Obamacare fiasco. Third, we have a long way to go. The goal is not to increase the number of smugglers and other illegal crossers that we catch. Our goal is to make the border so impenetrable that the number of smugglers and other illegal crossers actually is reduced, due to the perception that it can't be done. Forth. we need a website that details the progress of the border security project. It should all but ignore things like busts, numbers of border agents, deployments of troops, and other "make work" distractions. We need a site that concentrates on when and where the security infrastructure is being beefed up.

Some notes on Border Patrol press releases.

Among the many articles are tons and tons of Marijuana, and millions and millions of dollars worth of other illegal drugs. Much easier to catch this stuff if it is funneled into narrow corridors at the legal border crossings (and funneled into ever smaller 'holes' in the fence) In addition, there are stories here of capture of sex offenders, and of smugglers getting creative. Even to the point of trying to use SCUBA to go through the sewer system.

What is missing from the month of Feb are the stories of illegals. Can't be certain why. Could be the weather, or that jobs were so scarce here that the illegals just stayed in Mexico. In March they were back in the news, with a story every couple of days.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Successful LED Lights

This article is mostly historical, as I give some thoughts on most of the LED Flashlights I have owned in the past. Eventually every light must be replaced. Especially working in a somewhat harsh environment, like I do. If God is willing, I will write an article on my current lights and post it in a few days.

One of the first Headlamps I owned was a "Kids Adventure" headlamp, that I can't find any more. It would run for a night or two on 2xAA batteries. I replaced it with a cheap headlamp I got from a supply house that used 3AAA batteries and had 5 LED's. It would run for several nights and gave off more light. Around the same time I bought a 14 LED flashlight that also took 3AAA batteries, and it did a pretty good job, but the color spectrum was decidedly deficiant, so I would also carry a little krypton bulb flashlight to check colors when I needed to do that.

This was back around 2005, and about that time a serious cave explorer near Boston published an article that said White LED's Suck. Naturally, that slowed down my desire to buy a good LED flashlight, even after the rough treatment and harsh environment killed off my 14 LED flashlight.

However, around that time, I got a 3 LED Mag-Light conversion kit, and while it wasn't perfect (no focusing), it did create more light for much longer battery life. And the light color out of it was pretty good.

Also, by chance I ran across a TaskForce 1W LED flashlight that bragged: "Super High intensity LED flashlight" (it used to be available at many department stores and hardware stores for about $20 but not available any more). It was marked half price, so I snatched it up and it was the best flashlight I owned for a couple of years. It ran on 3 AA batteries, had pretty good water tightness (better than the one above). It was brighter than the 14 LED flashlight above, and the better focus provided far more reach. The body of the flashlight had a couple of weak points, but those were fixed with electrical tape and I used it for about 4 years, until the switch wore out.

As I used it, though, I noticed the LED got progressively dimmer over the years, unitl at the end, it was about half the brightness of when I got it. I found out that this is normal, although it happened a little quicker than normal. LED's don't usually burn out, but they grow progressively dimmer after hundreds of hours of use.

In the mean time, I bought a cheap 3W LED flashlight that did no better than the 1W TaskForce light and did not last long at all. One of the problems with this light is that it ran on 2AA batteries, and without a regulator (an expensive add on, at that time) it could not achieve full brightness, nor would it stay bright very long. The beating it took riding around with me on the job soon broke the parts loose inside and it died.

One other nice thing I bought a few years back was a 12 LED lantern. Runs on 4 D cells, the light is blueish and not very bright. But it does the job I got it for. It gives me an area light, brighter than candles and will run for days during power outages.

It will probably be next week before I post
about my current assortment of lights,
mostly made by Ray-O-Vac

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Todays LED Lights

While the hype of Green House Gases and Global Warming has been shown to be a complete hoax, there have been some good technologies that came out of the push for being greener than green. One of those better technologies is the vast improvments in LED's

While white LED's have been around since before the year 2000, the quality of light was very poor. One article, written several years back was actually titled "Why White LED's Suck," The author had a point. The brightness available from the early "bright white" LED that he tried was lacking, and the color rendition was horible.

I did some previous research and
posted three articles on LED's back
in December 2006 on this blog.

Geek Alert: the following discussions repeatedly refer to 1W, 3W, 5W and 7W. The W is short for Watt. These are power consumption ratings of various lights, and generally just mean we are using more power from the batteries, getting more light, producing more heat, running the batteries down faster, and in some cases (like 5 and 7W LED's) running risk of damaging the LED's.
But things have gotten better. The light from 1W LED's is somewhat brighter, but much more importantly, the color of the light has improved. And over past several years, not only have manufactures learned to coax more power through the LED's for even brighter light (hence 3W LED's and even a few 5W and 7W LED's) from essentially the same 1 W Luxeon

Even more resently, a couple of new LED's have emerged. The Seoul SSC P4 and the Cree XR-E. Both produce more light and can be used for 1W to maybe 5W lights. These show great promise for brighter lights and longer lasting batteries, but are just out of reach for my budget right now. There are even more advanced LED's, but these get progressively more expensive, putting them out of my reach.

As LED lights have improved, they have rapidly gained a well earned acceptance as the light of choice for almost all battery powered applications. This is because of the high cost of electricity from almost all battery (and some generator) sources. I touched on the cost of batteries and generators for power back in October 2008 in this blog. Suffice it to say that power from rechagable batteries or a generator will cost you 20 or more times what it costs coming out of an outlet, and power from non rechargable batteries will cost you about 10 times as much as rechargable batteries (over the long run).

Still, with limited exceptions, like the under $3 LED night lights and some Christmas lights, LED's are not really a good deal for household lighting. The difference in efficiancy between them and flourescent lights isn't enough to reccommend their use.

Sources for more information. Nearly all of the information in this article comes from discussions on the CandlePower Forum and from the Flashlight Reviews website. At these websites, you can find people who can only be described as addicted to lights of all kinds, especially flashlights. Some even modify or manufacture their own devices. (Actually, I suspect some of those who post there are flashlight or other tool manufactures.)

I expect to post on some specific flashlights I use, sometime in the next couple of weeks.

Prosperity and Unification Herasies

I noticed some years back, that there seemed to by an upswing in the "prosperity gospel" heresy. It seems to have caught on in the corporate world, where it led many down the path of destruction in both the very late 90's and again in the Economic Bubble (really bubbles on top of bubbles) of 2004 -2007.

Here is an article from Bloomberg Financial News that sheds a little light on the origins of how this heresy caught on in the corporate world.

Here is an excerpt (if you can't stand the messed up formatting,
see the original):
Lundborg: When did the business world adopt positive thinking?
Ehrenreich: It came into the corporations beginning in the late 1980s as a way of calming people down during layoffs.
You send the laid-off people to the out-placement firm, where they get pep talks on changing their attitude. The
survivors need motivational speakers so they can do the work of two people.
Lundborg: But it didn’t stop there?
Ehrenreich: No. I thought it was something brought in cynically, but I was surprised to learn it came to
be believed by the higher-up managers themselves.
There was an amazing change away from rational analysis, and toward an idea that leadership meant
having brilliant intuitions, charisma and almost mystical powers.
Lundborg: How did it turn toxic?
Fire Negative People
Ehrenreich: Positive thinking became the ideology of the business world in America. You could not raise
criticisms or doubts because there were policies to fire negative people, those who brought other
people down with their skeptical thoughts.
So, the upshot is that the corporate guys brought in this stupidity to cover themselves when they laid off their employees, then became infected with the same disease themselves.


Everybody remembers the "Moonies." Those guys who used to sell things and ask for donations at airports. They haven't gone away. Jesus, in Luke 21:8 (and other places) warned "See that you not be deceived, for many will come in my name, saying, 'I am he,' and 'The time has come.' 3 Do not follow them!" (New American Bible)

Well, successful cult leaders have to reinvent themselves from time to time. Now (and probably always) called the "Unification Church." Rev. Moon is reinventing himself, while trying to unite all of the various religions under one roof.

Sun Myung Moon today seems more bent upon his quest to recasting himself in global public opinion than ever. As J. Isamu Yamamoto put it well in the mid-1990's: "Like any man in his late 70s who has tons of cash to throw away, who is obsessed with how people perceive him, and who still yearns to fulfill the glorious dreams of his youth, he is trying to purchase an exceedingly expensive face-lift. He wants to appear more culturally relevant and less religiously arcane by transforming the image of his movement from a church-oriented crusade into a family-affirming organization" (1). Unificationism has long hidden behind the veneer of respectability that its support of academic, political, industrial and conservative front groups has provided for it. But Moon's self-imposed mission of ecumenically-oriented values crusading has been openly seeking for years to create a base of interracial and interfaith support for his real agenda, the advancement of his antichristian Unification platform. This is perhaps the most disturbing development in the Unification Church's ambitious efforts in recent years.

Hasn't this been tried before? Ever heard of the Baha'i Faith?
The Bahá'í Faith has been an active part of religious and social life in America since the late 1800s. We are a recognized advocate for spiritual solutions based on the Teachings of Bahá'u'lláh on issues such as the elimination of prejudice, the equality of women and men, the universal education of children, and the establishment of world peace.

The Bahá'ís are part of a worldwide religious community united by the belief that there is one God, one human race, and one evolving religion.

Nothing New Under The Sun (or the Moon)

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Update on sluggish economy

The past few weeks have seen a lot of optimistic talk, and just a few naysayers. Some people, mostly the Democratic Party Clueless and Obama Worshipers think this thing is behind us and even when confronted with evidence to the contrary, will say things are rosy.

A recent speech by Obama shows he is out of touch with reality. And a quote from that speech is all I need as evidence of his delusion:
"it is largely thanks to the Recovery Act that a second depression is no longer a possibility,"

The "recovery" (not even a real recovery yet) is so fragile at this time, that the weather can bring it down.

And in addition, China is facing its own banking crisis, this time because of their role in the Chinese stimulus programs.

Looking at a six month chart on the manufacturing sector shows after last month's little jobs growth the growth in manufacturing is now back to flat.

The Wall Street Journal has a little blurb that, while the facts are correct, over all gist is bologna. (Many think that this is a conservative paper, but really, it is just one segment of their staff and much of their readership that is conservative.) Even in a six paragraph article, the author tries to spin bad news to sound good.

Surprisingly, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel presents the same facts, without the spin (but I don't know if that link will stay up).
A quote from that article shows the real story:
"This 2.9% loss of jobs over the decade continues to be the first decade-long decline in jobs since the Great Depression," the firm wrote in a report Friday. Reflecting the nation's growing trade deficit, "the manufacturing sector suffered most over the past decade," losing 5.7 million jobs - "perhaps the worst decade for manufacturing in U.S. history," the forecasting firm noted.

So, dig your heels in for the long haul. Real recovery, with jobs and good wages, is still years (maybe 3 years, maybe 10 years) away.

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Charaties - Salvation Army and GoodWill

From time to time I find that people don't know what Goodwill and the Salvation Army are all about, so here is a short piece to clear up matters. There are two primary differences between the Salvation Army and Goodwill. The Salvation Army is an Evangelistic Mission that grew out of a Fundamentalist Church, with the dual purpose of reaching the hearts of the people through their stomachs and building a respect for the Church through a clean and consistent presentation of their people.

Goodwill, more correctly, Goodwill Industries International is a secular organization that works to train and find employment for people. All of their donations and sales work towards the furtherance of getting people trained and into meaningful employment.

While there is almost no similarity in their final mission, there is similarity in their methods and in their intermediate goals, and thus the confusion. I feel that both are necessary in our world, both are reaching out to the poor and probably providing more benefits, in the long run, than any governmental organization ever could.

another review of CFL's

Well, it is getting warmer - or at least less cold. If you are at all concerned with your electric bill, one of the things you probably consider is whether to switch to compact fluorescent lights (CFL's) I write this at the end of winter, since any extra heat from your lights in the winter is no problem, as it merely warms your home. In the summer, which will be here soon, extra heat must be pumped out by your AC, so a 100 watt incandescent bulb actually costs you for about 120 watts of electricity.

I have written about this subject in the past:
In my first article I recommended them and warned that LED lights are still not ready for household use. In the second article, I clarified that I didn't mean to go out and buy one for every light in the house, discussed improvements they have made in quality of light and size of the bulbs. And in the third article, I said that I am still not satisfied with the state of the art, that they need to get a little smaller yet, but that it may put a little green in your pockets if you switch some of your bulbs. I have switched about half of mine.

So, here is this year's update:

Most of us have pretty good electric rates this year, so I am of the opinion that this isn't too critical yet, and anyone who thinks they don't want to buy CFL's this year won't really lose a lot. And for that matter, I am disappointed in how little progress there has been in the quality of CFL's. They are still half an inch or so longer than their incandescent counterparts (I thought I found some that were the same size, but am very disappointed with the quality of the light output).

On the other hand, the price has come down, so you can get good quality CFL's for $3 or 4$ each (the ones I bought that I didn't like the quality of were 6 for $10, so stick to brands you trust) rather than the $6 to $8 they used to cost. Don't believe the reports you hear of them quitting after only a month or so, those people either had an ax to grind, or were just extremely unlucky. I have bought about two dozen over the last 10 years, and use dozens of them at work, and I have only had one of mine, and maybe a couple at work, die prematurely. Buy four at a time, from a descent quality name brand, and the economics should work in your favor.

LED lights are still not ready for home use, except if you find the little 1/4 watt LED night lights for a couple dollars. Those seem to be good. And a friend of mine has had good luck with LED Christmas lights. But overall, I only recommend them for things that run on batteries, and I will write more about that later.