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  1. “That society cannot be powered by only wind, water and sun.”

    Obviously not. It takes a printing press.

  2. Bernie Sanders!??1 OMG, Rod. So you’re also of the notion that the only reason that communism has always been an epic failure is that the right people have yet to be in charge of it? How does someone who ostensibly believes in the bedrock principles of personal accountability, initiative, and American exceptionalism continue to cling to the concept of the welfare state and shared misery? Adios, and good luck with that.

    1. @Dan Williamson

      Perhaps we disagree because I learned a different set of “bedrock” principles.

      “We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men [mankind] are created equal, and that they are endowed by their Creator with inalienable rights. Among those are the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

      I also learned that our founders sought to create “a more perfect union,” that they sharply limited the rights of both the federal government and the sovereign states to intrude on personal “rights” and that they gave the legislative branch, the president and the courts a charge to protect the common good.

      There is no exceptionalism described for those who, by the luck of birth, are supremely advantaged.

    2. Wait, so raising the minimum wage is communism? Having privately owned industry that is well-regulated is communism? What part of Bernie’s platform is communism? “Free college” – maybe; that skirts closer to communism, but still isn’t truly communism.

      What else is Bernie advocating that you are claiming is communism? Bernie isn’t asking for Supreme Power like the communist dictators had – he’ll still just be the President, and the powers of the President are very limited.

      1. @Jeff S

        “Free public college,” not free college. Some contributors here might recall the pre-prop 13 days when California’s state university system was the gold standard that other states with visions of prosperity strove to emulate.

        Tuition in that system was either zero or pretty darned close to zero.

        Maybe Bernie is aiming for the stars in hopes of “just” making it to the moon at first.

        1. So what happened to the UC system? It’s not like it’s downfall can be blamed on military spending.

        2. I find it odd for you to make a distinction between free public college and free college. If you get to go to a public college for free, you are still getting free college, are you not?

          But, at least college students will tend to pay more taxes over their lifetime due to increased earnings after college, so that is quite possibly a program that will largely pay for itself.

          1. @Jeff S

            The distinction is important. Sanders is not telling potential college students that they will be able to attend Harvard, Emory, or Sweet Briar and have the government pick up the tab.

            There is a broad spectrum of college degrees offered in America. He is promoting the idea that part of that spectrum, mainly the land grant colleges and community colleges will be available to qualified students without requiring them to pay tuition.

        3. It was the University of California system not the California State University system that was the gold standard.

          1. @Susanne E. Vandenbosch

            The portion of the higher education system known as the University of California system might have been the gold standard of quality for the elites or those striving to be new members of the elite, but the whole system was a gold standard in terms of providing a useful, accessible level of education to everyone who wanted it at a moderate price approaching zero.

    3. Practically all governments are a mixture of capitalism and socialism.

      Economically, the US Department of Defense is probably the largest socialist organization on Earth.

  3. If the two parties were focused on maintaining their power, they might run populist candidates in their primaries to short circuit an attempt by a genuine populist. If I were a conspiracy theorist, I might believe this.

    However, we know that our political parties only advance candidates and policies that they sincerely believe to be in the interests of the American people. We know that the media present only unbiased, true information which the American people consider and reflect upon using sober reasoning to decide their votes. In fact, the more selfless and wiser among this population are the ones that step forward and submit themselves as candidates for public office.

  4. ‘Bye, Dan Williamson, and easy on the doorjamb on your way out — others may wish to use it. At the end of the day, two of these well-intended chuckleheads are going to be nominated, and one of them elected.

    There is an old German adage: “Politics is the art of the possible.”

    This cycle I forsook my life-long progressive guidance and became an issue candidate. First Lindsay Graham — cringe in peace, poa — next Martin O’Malley, now Hillary Clinton. The Secretary shoulders her own baggage, and there is no guarantee she’ll be nominated, or elected if she is.

    But whoever next becomes President, the physics won’t change, and I’m going to continue my efforts to bring some semblance of arithmetic to the climate and energy debate.

  5. @poa

    Haven’t you learned by now that I publish Atomic Insights as a vehicle to share my thoughts and knowledge? I don’t try to appeal to anyone else.

    If people like to read what I write, they keep reading. If they don’t, they stop. Either way is fine with me. There are no advertisers to please or impress with statistics.

    Some people, present company excepted, like what they find here enough to contribute financially to help sustain Atomic Insights through challenging times. Some have stepped in with enough support to make the effort more than just sustainable.

  6. But it’s not Bernie or Helen or Arnie who are the problem or symptoms here of nuclear’s bad image. The biggie that nuclear Just Does Not Get The Word Out About Nuclear’s Merits in spades on the same playing field as the sources of their spam and FUD do. If your neighbor’s slinging mud at your house and you stay totally mum about the situation, who’s the bigger idiot? It’s Darwin that’ll do nuclear in, not Helen and Arnie & Co. who know how to play the grass-roots adaption and disinformation game.

    James Greenidge
    Queens NY

    1. @ James

      I agree that nuclear power has about the worst PR efforts this side of thalidomide. Every morning I’m subjected to a Shell commercial with a woman explaining how great and safe fracking is — I have heard it so many times that I hear myself muttering her pitch as she says it. If the nuclear power companies were serious they would do the same thing, keep running a commercial until it is programmed into people’s amygdala. AREVA did a pretty good job with their commercial, using a popular song in the background with great animation was near genius.

  7. Regarding the specfic subject of energy, Bernie is against baseload generation excluding hydro. That’s really it. And I guess he fails to realize the impossibility of an all wind, sun, water grid? I guess he also fails to recognize the catastrophe of trying to limit all fossil fuels while also shutting down nuclear. Its a double whammy as far as energy supply and prices go.

    For all of the name calling this election, especially in regards to the intelligence of one particular candidate, Bernie’s energy stance is about as dumb as it gets. He’s fortunate that the even dumber general electorate fails to recognize the folly of his energy stance.

    If you are anti-CO2 emissions then you have to be pro-nuclear or you make no sense. Of the 4 remaining viable candiates all except one are pro-nuclear.

    And that would be Bernie. For this and many other non-energy reasons he has zero chance of getting my vote.

  8. I doubt if it is a case of just listening to the wrong people, although that is certainly a factor. Everything Bernie Sanders has said and done shows a deeply-rooted hared of nuclear energy that cannot be explained as simply listening to bad advice. There will be over 600 people in Vermont, constituents of Bernie Sanders, who will have their livelihoods destroyed, due in large measure to the actions of Bernie Sanders and those like him. Bernie didn’t give a damn about them. These peoples’ families will be uprooted and/or have their lives turned upside down because it furthered the political ambitions of a few, Sanders among them. And no, you cannot lay it all at Entergy’s doorstep, because Entergy did what they did in no insignificant measure because of the poisoned environment that people like Shumlin and Sanders created, one in which anything Vermont Yankee tried to do was opposed tooth and nail by those in power. If Sanders has such little regard for his own constituents, God help those of us in the nuclear business if he gains power on the national stage. The industry may be dying now, but Bernie will bury it.

    1. @Wayne SW

      As much sympathy as I have for former VY employees, I have to wonder how many of them met with their Senator to explain why they believed that nuclear fits well with a Democratic Socialist agenda.

      1. Well, I know Shumlin wouldn’t meet with them, or even acknowledge them at one of his political shindigs. I don’t know about Sanders, but I’m guessing likewise, given his comments about VY in the past. When VY finally went under Sanders did his bit to celebrate, then offered the VY victims a bone by muttering some platitude about a “just transition” and “protecting” their jobs by putting them to work on decommissioning. Thanks for nothing, Bernie, asking fuel analysts or I&C engineers to go grab a meter and a mop.

        1. @Wayne SW

          Shumlin won his first election by a close margin. The pro VY guy he beat could have won with just a little help. How much effort did Entergy or VY employees put into the campaign?

          1. Probably a lot. It didn’t matter, because Shumlin and Sanders worked the political calculus and bet that there would be a lot more anti-VY votes than pro-VY, so they took an anti-VY stand to capture those. And in politics, especially with Dem candidates, a one-vote win is as good a win as a million votes. They’ll claim a “mandate” and do whatever the hell they please. And no, I don’t mean “like the 2000 contest between Bush and Gore”, because that involved the federal election machinery of the Electoral College. In VY and elsewhere, governors and senators are always chosen by the PV. Shumlin and Sanders threw the VY employees and their families under the bus and never regretted it, because they took a win, close or a landslide, right to the bank.

  9. If you really want to push for a Dem (and I think you do) for President who does not have a hatred for nuclear energy as many seem to, I suggest either Jim Webb or Evan Bayh as possibilities. Webb is a principled man with a record of accomplishment that those currently running sorely lack. A Webb/Bayh ticket would be a very strong one, and probably generate the kind of broad-based support that is needed for national office, especially compared to the pretenders we have out there now.

    1. @WayneSW

      I was rooting for and supporting Jim Webb all the way until a month or so ago when he announced that he had determined there was no way he could mount an independent campaign.

  10. Both Rod…and Ben Adler are correct. Bernie is listening to the wrong folks on energy policy, captured by the Green ooze of Vermont politics. His *vision* however, is 100% correct:

    To quote Rod challenging Sanders:

    ” They’re envisioning a country with good jobs paying at least $15 per hour; where all qualified students can attend public universities with free tuition; where roads, bridges and rails are being aggressively repaired and improved; where electric cars and trains replace gasoline and diesel fuel, and where extra electricity is available to create clean hydrogen as fuel to replace natural gas.”

    That’s my vision as is for others, in other words, heading toward what civilized countries should be doing (and have) to advance our species and away from where others envision us to go: the deregulated fantasy that is Haiti, Camaroon, and Honduras…where the wish list for a deregulated, privatized, & “small gov’t” is the law. The race downward toward the bottom is what I hear coming from conservatives with their “we have to work longer hours, retire later, be more productive”. Why? To stay “competitive”. At least Sanders rejects this neo-liberal nonsense.

    Those of us on the left have been fighting an important battle to combine our socialist and democratic perspectives with a pro-science, pro-nuclear…hell: pro-ENERGY program. We need both the ‘right’ and the ‘left’ fighting over who are the most assertive fighters FOR nuclear instead of making it a partisan issue in and of itself.

    I’m glad this discussion taking place. Rod’s opinions are his own and that he may be a minority on *every* issue is his right. We are here because no matter how much we disagree with him on this or that issue, his views obviously have value…or we wouldn’t be here in the first place!

    1. @David Walters

      I hope you realize that I share the same vision you do. I wasn’t challenging Sanders on vision. I want to help him understand that nuclear energy is THE tool that can enable it to be achieved.

    2. David,

      What do you think of the argument that the anti-nuclear slant of the Left may partially be down to infiltration by the intelligence services? While the KGB had an obvious motivation (oil and gas exports) to curb nuclear energy in Western Europe, didn’t the CIA also fear the possibility that Western Europe may adopt a left-leaning neutralist stance (think of the politics of someone like Olof Palme — very anti-nuclear-weapons but also very pro-nuclear-power), which would be far easier if it became self-sufficient in energy?

      1. No, George, I don’t believe that whatsoever. There simply is no evidence this and as nuclear was the general position of ruling class in most countries, they would slant it to support nuclear, at least through the Reagan Admin.

        The KGB did infiltrate organizations, left and right, especially in Germany, via the GDR’s own intelligence apparatus. But it wasn’t really to effect policy, rather it was to garner information for the advantage of the Warsaw Pact.

        At any rate, one would of seen the evidence by now released to press about their intentions.

        1. During college in the early 1980’s, I was an intern at the NRC when they were in Bethesda. On weekends I would go in to DC and explore the city.

          One day, there was an anti-nuclear rally on the mall. Pete Seeger was on the stage singing, “split wood, not atoms”. Someone handed me a flyer pointing out all the evils of nuclear power. The arguments presented in the flyer concluded with, “Only the Socialist Labor Party can be trusted to control the use of nuclear power”.

      2. The CIA did finance some of the modern art movement in attempt to sway it’s Leftist “artists” away from a tendency os supporting the USSR as well as demonstrating that the West was tolerant of cultural expression in contrast to “socialist realism” displayed in Soviet art. This is covered by author Frances Stonor Sanders (no relation to Bernie):


        There are credible assertions that the CIA also financed National Review. Bill Buckley was CIA.

        1. Bill Buckley was CIA.

          He was also a spy novelist, so let’s confuse him with Ian Fleming too.

          Buckley (not to be confused with another William F. Buckley) was out of the CIA years before he started National Review and he didn’t do much for the CIA while he was in it.

  11. *** RANT ALERT ***

    Bernie only seems Commie because US politics has drifted so far to the right since Reagan that Atilla-the-Hun would seem like a pinko.

    My politics says Pursuit of Life, Liberty and Happiness is best achieved in part by providing equality of *opportunity* (not outcome) to all, which means for starters universal access to healthcare and universal access to education regardless of circumstances of birth. The USA today has a very low degree of social mobility, i.e. the biggest determining factor of later socio-economic success of a child is the wealth and income of the parents. Donald Trump is a prime example.

    I also believe in enterprise and the ability to reap benefits of one’s initiative and hard sweat, that people who achieve good things should be rewarded by society. That’s why I believe taxation of labor should be LESS than that of income related to capital. It is abhorrent that someone can make millions flipping financial instruments and will pay tax at a rate less than someone working two jobs being paid by the hour. Money made by financial manipulation should be taxed hard. That’s not commie – that’s common sense if the purpose of the economy is to serve ALL of the people, not just those at the top who have the power to “rent seek” (i.e. generate returns beyond that of ideal free market because of the ability to buy influence and favor, change regulations or tilt the market using their financial power). The Investor Class will scream that taxing capital gains, certain financial transactions and re-regulating Wall St. will crash the economy… I wonder why?! I guess the 91% top marginal tax bracket made Eisenhower a commie too, and that wreaked devastation to the 1950s economy??? To quote FDR: “We know now that Government by organized money is just as dangerous as Government by organized mob.”

    Big Money and Wall St. OWN the media, and influence what you think more heavily than anyone dares to admit to themselves. A Government of the People is the only thing standing between us and tyranny, but corporate media (esp. Fox News) has done everything possible to make government a bad word, YOUR government. If government is so bad, why do the people who own the media and their cronies want to run it????

    You think that Oligarchs, Plutocrats and other billionaires with wealth to buy news networks, or even countries for that matter, have YOUR best interests at heart? Leave the power to control society exclusively in the hands of Big Money and fascism or worse is what you’ll get and that’s the direction it is current heading. And, guess what – the people with power based purely on money don’t give a fig about your rights and welfare. We need the likes of Bernie to stand up and say NO loud and clear in the name of The People. Get the Big Money OUT of politics. If all of this is commie, then I think the framers of the US Constitution were all commies!

    A government responsible to the people, serving the best interests of The People, is the only way. It has only drifted so far off, IMHO, because many have become cynical and disengaged from their government. If you don’t like what happens in government, far better to stand up and speak out, hold officials to account, get political and get involved (it is called DEMOCRACY) rather than to cede control to moneyed interests who are happy for you to disengage, to continue to believe “government isn’t the solution to the problem, government IS the problem.”

    So, I’m with Rod on this one. And can you remind me please Rod where / how I can donate?

  12. Ah, EP, you poor fellow, a victim of my writing. How convenient it would be if you could simply demand our host remove all traces, eh? Then you would not be forced to read my opinions.

    Considering the epic issue of the deterioration of the middle east, the rising incidence of radical Islamic terrorism, and the billions upon billions of taxpayer treasure we heap in the Israeli coffers, you think that our candidate’s positions regarding Israel is taboo for discussion? Or is it that you would just rather not shine a spotlight on Israel’s treatment of those brown people who you have openly labeled as inferior humans?

  13. “Six years ago, as a result of the disastrousCitizens United Supreme Court decision, by a 5-to-4 vote, the U.S. Supreme Court essentially said to the wealthiest people in this country:  you already own much of the American economy.  Now, we are going to give you the opportunity to purchase the U.S. Government, the White House, the U.S. Senate, the U.S. House, Governors’ seats, legislatures, and State judicial branches as well.”

    “The Citizens United decision hinges on the absurd notion that money is speech, corporations are people, and giving huge piles of undisclosed cash to politicians in exchange for access and influence does not constitute corruption.”

    End quote, directly from Bernie Sander’s campaign rhetoric. So tell me, how does one support Bernie Sanders, yet still tout Citizen’s United as a free speech issue? A past debate here revealed a grouping of participants, including our host, who soundly supported CU as a free speech issue. If there is any one thing that any of these candidates have right, it is Bernie’s stance on Citizen’s United. Am I to assume, Rod, that you have changed your opinion of CU, or would you rather we just didn’t discuss it?

    1. @poa

      My memory may be fading, and I don’t feel like searching right now. However, my comments during a wide ranging discussion on Citizen’s United were about the fact that any group of people has the right to ban together and become a corporation. There shouldn’t be any a priori prohibition on corporations getting involved in campaigns when wealthy INDIVIDUALS are already allowed to spent unlimited amounts of money on their own campaigns.

    2. I feel that campaign contributions should be limited both in the AMOUNT one can give and WHO one can give if the office is for U.S. Senator one should only be able to give to senate candidates from the state in which one resides. I should not be able to give to the candidates IN other states. i should only be able to contribute to candidates from the congressional district in which I reside and gubernatorial candidates from the state in which I reside.

  14. Politicians hire advisors that confirm what they already “know” and tell them what they want to hear.

    1. I think that Rod believes that Bernie’s advisors wrote all of his op-eds and policy positions over the years.

      Bernie is a big boy. He has been in Congress since 1991 (about 25 years ago) and he entered politics well before that. (Actually, he’s an old man with all the mannerisms of an old man.)

      Frankly, I think that Rod’s article is somewhat insulting to Sanders. It’s treating him like a child who doesn’t know what he’s doing instead of a career politician. I know that if I were a Sanders supporter, I’d be insulted by it.

      1. @Brian Mays

        No. I believe Bernie is a member of and aging group (tribe) that has been telling stories to itself since about the time I was born. Some of the members — Stewart Brand, James Lovelock, and Jim Hansen for example — have already realized there collective mythology was false. Most, like Boxer, Bradford, Von Hippel, Lovins, and Sanders are, for whatever reason, still recirculating scare stories with about as much connection to reality as Big Foot.

        1. Bernie does not have a coherent energy policy.
          He’s not misinformed he is just trying to collect various factions including anti-nuclear under his tent.
          True politician style although he fancies himself as the opposite.
          He has the least logical energy policy and that includes Trump.

          1. Bernie tends to come off as policy-incoherent and, worse, disinterested, in more areas than just energy.

          2. I agree.
            Its almost laughable to even have an article on him.
            He advocates no fossil and no nuclear and I’m not sure he is even pro-hydro because you know it hurts the fish.
            He basically advocates turning the grid off or believes it will magically stay on just with windmills and solar panels.

            He advocates expanding the ACA disaster to single payer, picking up mega student loan debt, developing even more debt by paying for future college eductation. Talk about doubling down on two existing bad ideas.
            And all will be paid for by just taxing the 1% more. Trust him.
            I mean its Onion material

    2. @FermiAged

      That’s a big part of groupthink and something worth trying to correct. We now live in a society where barriers that used to slow independent publishers have lowered considerably. It might be possible to penetrate the group with hard-to-ignore disruptive information that they would prefer to avoid hearing.

      1. I think it may be easier to convince the youthful and enthusiastic crowd that gushes over him that nuclear is the right tool to use in his environmental goals. I have yet to see a politician yet change their mind of anything unless his or her constituents lead them to do so. Bernie Sanders seems as bull headed as they come and aggressively fights against any perception that he flip-flops on any issue. I agree if he makes it into office that it will be well worth the trouble to try to get him to see the great benefits of nuclear power or at least wait till coal power is gone. I doubt (hope I am wrong) that he will change his mind and I believe he will try to follow through with his commitment to shutdown the nuclear power industry.
        I also hope that I am wrong in believing that none of the other remaining presidential candidates will be better then a neutral advocate for nuclear unless the general populous comes to their senses and demands it. We have a lot of work ahead of us.

        1. @Joe Schiewe

          Absolutely. The young are part of my target audience. That’s one of the reasons I’m stepping up my college speaking engagements.

          Speaking of which, if you’re interested in a guest speaker, contact me. (This applies to anyone reading this thread.)

  15. Just a general reminder. I’m the host. I don’t take kindly to having my guests insulted, and I have a button that allows me effective “take this bickering outside” control.

    Profanity and words like “scumbag” aren’t welcome here.

    Please don’t come to my site and tell me you don’t like the way I run it.

    1. Rod, nicely put. After working my way down through all the comments it was nice to finish up with a smile on my face. Thank you.

  16. Here are a few observations about why our politics are the way they are.

    The federal government was designed to make decisions by consensus.

    The federal government has expanded its sphere of involvement into areas undreamed of by its creators.

    It becomes more difficult to reach a consensus on particular issues as the sphere of government grows. There are also more issues to deal with which challenges even the most well informed and motivated person to keep up. Each issue has its die-hard partisans.

    The voting franchise has expanded beyond the white, property owners envisioned.

    The population has gone from nearly homogeneous northwestern European to eastern/southern European to where these groups will be a minority in a few decades. This has already happened in many areas. While we are constantly bombarded by the cliche that “diversity is our greatest strength”, repeating it doesn’t make it so.

    For a long time, there was an expectation that everyone largely adhere to WASP values at least in public. Ethnic groups were segregated (often by choice) where WASP values were relaxed. This is no longer the case.

    I am convinced by Nicholas Wade’s arguments in “A Troublesome Inheritance”, that racial/ethnic population differences are real and due to evolutionary pressures based on environment and social structure. Someone mentioned the supposed “small government” examples of Haiti, Honduras etc. It’s no accident that they are 3rd world hell-holes. Consequently, the Scandinavian countries were able to build a functional welfare state. However, with their loss of population homogeneity, the Scandinavian systems will loose public support and begin to break down.

    We can only seem to momentarily regain a sense of unity when we are at war. And we do seem to find ourselves at war quit often. But as noted, it is temporary. And the hangover is a doozy.

    The bottom line is that we are headed for two dramatically different futures. We will either decentralize and form smaller political units with racially/ethnically segregated populations. Or we will attempt to maintain the status quo under an increasingly authoritarian government.

    1. Fermi….

      So…it sounds like you too are a person that subscribes to the “science” of eugenics?

      Considering mankind’s nature which hasn’t changed much since we clubbed each other in the head with handy rocks, to now, when we simply incinerate each other, it just seems to me the only way our murderous nature will be undone is by the eventual melding of all racial differences. But apparently this inevitable conclusion will not be reached without those such as yourself being pulled along, kicking and screaming, incensed that evolution will erase your imagined superiority.

      1. That there are genetic racial/ethnic differences is established fact. It is recognized in medical and drug research. And it is pretty evident that an organization that must make numerous and complex decisions on a consensual basis will have a harder time making those decisions. This task will be even more difficult if the consensus must be reached among a more non-homogeneous group.

        I don’t believe that it is feasible or desirable to enforce a policy of eugenics beyond laws against marrying close relatives.

      2. @POA – Population homogeneity does not guarantee harmony. African and Native American tribes fought each other even though they had minimal racial differences. But it makes harmony more likely. And some degree of harmony is essential for a successful state that operates on a consensual basis.

        Ability to reason abstractly (IQ) is also important. Although not PC to discuss, IQ varies significantly between ethnic/racial groups.

        Consequently, states composed of multiethnic/multicultural populations are authoritarian such as the USSR, Yugoslavia, Iraq and many of the African nations were/are held together by force and ruled primarily by one ethnicity.

        Switzerland has ethnic Germans, French and Italians. Switzerland is a fairly decentralized state and the states within are dominated by specific ethnic groups. Plus, each of the populations have relatively high IQs. So Switzerland is able to function on a consensual basis.

        For these reasons, I don’t think your racial “melding” idea will work.

        1. @FermiAged

          I can’t quite express how much I disagree with your racism. For the record, I’m the product of a very stirred pot. There’s a reason I get compliments on my tan in the dead of winter, even though I’ve never visited a tanning salon.

          1. FermiAged is mixing metaphors. “Africans and Native Americans” fought…so did Europeans in far greater numbers through…well one can argue WWI… who were mostly of the same ‘stock’. Europeans generally can’t stand on any moral high ground with regards to how many of their own they slaughtered.

            All scientists in the field of *genetics* REJECT eugenics in the same way they reject Trofim Lysenko’s theories as well…FermiAged could of stated that fact. And, as most anthropologists note, they also reject the concept of ‘race’. There are differences between hundreds of different ethnic groups. None are profound beyond skml color and *physical* characteristics based on genetics.

            The ugly racist implications of Eugenics dies when all it’s leading protagonists were put on trial in Nuremberg.

          2. I don’t think there is anything wrong with diversity but on the other hand lack of diversity is not necessarily an issue. If diversity was a variable in a truth table I would categorize it as “don’t care’.

            That being said we should not discount observations because we don’t like their implications. Assuming we all believe in evolution then an easy conclusion is that mankind’s intelligence has evolved/improved over time versus the neanderthal man.

            What makes you think that certain groups of the species have not evolved in different ways? The theory of evolution proposes all sorts of different evolutionary paths for animals which of course humans are part of.

            I don’t think race necessarily has anything to do with it. However your ancestoral lineage definitely matters. Anyone that goes on a trip to Cancun will notice how tall they feel amongst the Mexican workers who are mostly of Mayan descent. They’re short! Innate intellligence also appears to not be solely by chance anymore than a Mayan being short is by chance.

            Thats not racist.

          3. Assuming we all believe in evolution then an easy conclusion is that mankind’s intelligence has evolved/improved over time versus the neanderthal man.

            Aside from a little bit of interbreeding, which scientists are only now beginning to find in the genome data, we’re all descended from modern humans (H. sapiens), not Neanderthals.

          4. Jim – One would think so, but then I turn on the TV or read something on the Internet or glance at the magazines for sale while I wait to pay for my groceries, and I seriously wonder. These days, I suspect that most phones are “smarter” than their owners.

            Actually, there’s a strong case to be made that humans suffered a loss of intelligence when they moved from a hunter/gatherer structure to a more stable, but less mobile, agriculturally based one. Much of this has to do with changes in diet. There’s good evidence that it resulted in making humans smaller physically; it could have affected cognitive development too.

            Much of the recent advances that make us think that we’re “smarter” than we used to be has more to do with improvements in the ability to communicate with each other and preserve knowledge, rather than a discernible increase in raw cognitive ability.

          5. Rod, you’d better inform my wife. She is of a different race than me. She is also a legal immigrant.

            The racism charge is just a way to cut off debate. Similar to the way the charge of anti-Semitism is used to counter any criticism of Israel. Or for example, dismissing advocates of nuclear power as corporate apologists or anti-environment. As I’ve noted elsewhere, everyone has their own dictionary.

            For the past several decades, we have followed policies domestically and abroad based on the Lego brick theory – that people are essentially the same and can be snapped together like Lego bricks of different colors. These policies have failed and in several cases, have been harmful to those they were intended to help. When a hypothesis repeatedly fails to predict accurate outcomes, isn’t it time to discard the hypothesis?

            By the way, the data says that there are racial/ethnic groups with IQs higher than my group average.

            1. @FermiAged

              My use of racist isn’t a synonym for prejudiced. It doesn’t accuse you of having a superiority complex.

              Instead, it is used to point out that you apparently adhere to theories that “race” is a true, defining quality that applies and that group membership is a predictor of something.

              I believe individual variations are large enough to render all race based predictions useless.

          6. I’m sure that the Palestinians feel oh so much better having non-racists in the US enacting policies that affect them. God forbid, some racist gets in and realizes that the policies are wrong and ends them.

          7. What “racist policies” have I advocated?

            You can argue that eugenics is being practiced when a spouse is selected based on appearance (attractive children are more likely to reproduce) or even their occupation (more intelligent spouse will result in more intelligent children).

          8. I believe in treating all races equal. I am not espousing to anything other than what I stated in my previous post.

            I agree that even the observation of negative traits in certain groups is immediately dismissed as racist even though it’s pretty obvious in many cases. If you can’t acknowledge it you can’t correct. See Alcoholics Anonymous.

            Negative behavioral traits especially remain uncorrected since you are not allowed to point them out.

            So let’s treat all races actually equal. This means no special groups.

            For example no affirmative action. No quota systems under the guise of diversity.

            Everyone is actually treated equal. And that’s not Bernie at all by the way.

          9. “Africans and Native Americans” fought…so did Europeans in far greater numbers through…well one can argue WWI… who were mostly of the same ‘stock’.

            Life is a competition for resources, and warfare is the endpoint of politics.

            All scientists in the field of *genetics* REJECT eugenics in the same way they reject Trofim Lysenko’s theories as well.

            Lysenko was simply wrong.  Eugenics, however, isn’t a scientific theory but an application.  Animal breeders are devout eugenicists, and every variety of pet or farm animal you can name was produced by selective breeding for desired traits—eugenics.  It works, proving that the theory is at least useful.

            No geneticist can publicly advocate eugenics because the Narrative is that this is something only Hitler would do.  The PTB ruthlessly crush anyone who so much as admits that genetic traits are unevenly distributed among different groups; what James Watson said was very mild and completely supported by evidence, and the hysterical reaction he got proves just how carefully the ideological police mind the boundaries of “acceptable” discourse.

            The ugly racist implications of Eugenics dies when all it’s leading protagonists were put on trial in Nuremberg.

            Eugenics was an international Progressive ideal pre-war; Sweden had an active program until 1975.  And whatever happened to “you cannot massacre an idea”?

            Note that this has already been converted to a joke, the Godwin-Warhol Law:  in the future, everyone will be Hitler for 15 minutes.  I have to keep up my hipster credentials, so I’m doing it before it’s cool.

            as most anthropologists note, they also reject the concept of ‘race’.

            Post-Boasian anthropologists do this.  Geneticists run labs which will test your cheek swab and tell you which continental groups your ancestors hailed from, or even which African tribe.

            There are differences between hundreds of different ethnic groups. None are profound beyond skml [sic] color and *physical* characteristics based on genetics.

            You have to include the personality traits of a superiority complex, insecurity and impulse control.  The last one is so important that the Marxists running the Seattle public schools tried to label “future-time orientation” as racist.  The system’s current stance mealy-mouths around the issue, but you can bet that the exact same thing is applied today sub rosa.

            Lack of impulse control or future-time orientation is the only way you can explain shooting someone to death because they left your cookout early.  It’s a sign of recovering social health that people who try to attribute such acts to “the legacy of slavery” or “white privilege” are increasingly laughed at.  Such claims are now laughable despite the best efforts of the Marxist mafia to enforce ideological conformity.  This is why their grip is failing, the Overton window is moving, and they are becoming increasingly desperate and shrill.

            I’m taking bets on how long this comment stays up.

          10. Aside from a little bit of interbreeding, which scientists are only now beginning to find in the genome data, we’re all descended from modern humans (H. sapiens), not Neanderthals.

            Actually, all non-Africans have some Neanderthal admixture.  Some, mostly Australian abos and Micronesians IIRC, have some ancestry drawn from an extinct human subgroup called the Denisovans.

            Much longer, extensively-cite-laden response to David Walters is stuck in moderation and will likely never come out, as it offends Rod’s ethos.

          11. I understand Rod. You are correct in that I do not believe that race is a “social construct”. History would have been far more peaceful and progress more rapid if this were the case.

            I am convinced that this is not the case and trying to avoid it is futile.

            I did not mean to divert this thread so far from the original topic.

          12. Instead, it is used to point out that you apparently adhere to theories that “race” is a true, defining quality …

            Well, with genome sequencing, it’s now an entirely measurable quantity. How is it we can talk about how much Neanderthal DNA is in certain groups of modern humans? (By the way, it maxes out at about 2% in certain populations according to what I have read recently.)

            … that applies and that group membership is a predictor of something.

            Well, if it is not, then my wife had better get into another line of work, because she and her colleagues believe — based on very solid scientific evidence that is so established that it is textbook stuff — that group membership is a pretty darned good predictor of risk factors for many diseases.

            Feelings are no substitute for science.

            1. @Brian Mays

              Unlike carefully bred creatures like show dogs and thoroughbred horses, a large fraction of humans on the planet qualify as “mixed” breed. There are far more individual disease risk factors than “race” risk factors. Heredity places a role, but it’s not destiny.

              People can choose to improve, develop skills, push out bad habits with good, and accomplish more. They can seek to help others achieve rather than take a superficial look at their exterior features to make a judgement about potential.

          13. … warfare is the endpoint of politics.

            “War is a mere continuation of politics by other means.”

            – Carl von Clausewitz

          14. I googled a portion of EP’s post, verbatim….

            “Lack of impulse control or future-time orientation is the only way you can explain shooting someone to death because they left your cookout early”

            The site that came up is called The Daily Stormer. I won’t link to it, because I would need to take a shower afterwards. Go check it out, if you wanna get a feel for where EP is coming from.

          15. Curious.  I threw the same string into ixquick and that site didn’t come up in the first 2 screens (I checked no further).  And of course, my direct article link is to the Baltimore Sun.

            Google is known to customize search results to what it thinks you like, so I think POA has something to tell us that he’s been holding back.

          16. Whats a matter EP, afraid to reveal your sources? Try google. But no matter, you’ve pretty much exposed yourself here. I leave it to the participants here to draw their own conclusions as to what you are. I’m sure that many have already got you pretty much pegged. Those here with integrity, at least.

          17. “Google is known to customize search results to what it thinks you like, so I think POA has something to tell us that he’s been holding back”

            The more I thought about your comment, EP, the more comical it became. Do you think the participants here are all idiots? Do you think they’ve missed all of our interaction, your comments about the inferior blacks? My disgust with your ugly racist mindset? Your attempt to tie me to the stormfront website says as much about you as your open bigotry does. You’ve hung yourself out, EP, for everyone to see.

          18. Heredity places a role, but it’s not destiny.

            Heredity, Rod? I didn’t say anything about heredity.

            You said “groups,” so I referred to groups. Although there is an active field of epidemiology called Genetic Epidemiology (look it up sometime), cultural factors play an important role too. This can be seen in comparing the risk factors for certain diseases (particularly those related to lifestyle choices — diet, smoking, etc.) between first-generation and second-generation immigrants of certain ethnic groups. Once again, there is a distinction between groups.

            The problem is that you’re trying to approach scientific evidence from a humanities perspective. Destiny is a concept that comes from the humanities, originating in Western thought through Greek mythology. Science says nothing about it and doesn’t care about how you feel about something. Proper science relies only on hard data and objective interpretation of those data.

            I’m not saying that you’re wrong. Some of the things you say are mere tautologies: for example, if one works hard to improve oneself, one will likely do better in life. Well, no kidding! That should be obvious, but it has nothing to do with the mean, the variance, and the outliers. Those three are what science (even in such rigorously weak disciplines as the social sciences) is concerned about. You don’t get to veto them just because they make you feel uncomfortable.

            1. @Brian Mays

              It was an interesting feeling to be chided by YOU for expressing my disagreements with “science” supported by weak statistical evidence gathered using practices that you admit have serious issues.

              You didn’t provide known examples of the weaknesses that plague social sciences data gathering, but they include bias, small sample sizes, non-random sampling techniques, etc.

          19. I won’t deny reading cop blogs, POA.  You might want to try it sometime; it might help break your Manichean view of race relations and your idolatry of the Sacred Minority.

            1. @E-P

              I just downloaded a Kindle version of a book titled “A World More Concrete: Real Estate and the Remaking of Jim Crow South Florida.”

              I’ve only finished the first hundred pages or so, but it is helping to explain the world in which I grew up. It’s sobering, eye-opening, angering and sad. It also provides food for thought on how to change the situation that remains as a result of more than 100 years of organized, overt and sometimes subtle segregation.

              Please broaden your reading list and your perspective.

          20. It was an interesting feeling to be chided by YOU for expressing my disagreements with “science” supported by weak statistical evidence gathered using practices that you admit have serious issues.

            Rod – Well, that’s what happens when you take such an extreme point of view as to claim that there are no measurable differences between groups.

            Yes, the social sciences tend to use sloppy methods to try to quantify difficult-to-assess problems, and yes, bias resulting from trying to promote a favorite social program or policy is rampant in these fields. Nevertheless, that is no excuse to draw the sweeping conclusion that no differences are measurable. Let’s not throw out the baby with the bathwater.

            Besides, my examples were taken from the field of epidemiology, which is not a social science. They tend to use SAS rather than SPSS for their analyses (inside joke for statistics geeks).

        2. Don’t a lot of the racial differences in IQ have environmental rather than genetic origins? For example, didn’t black Americans have lower IQs than whites (the gap is now narrowing) due to brain damage from lead poisoning — with blacks being more vulnerable because a disproportionately large number of them lived either very close to freeways (until recently full of cars burning leaded gasoline) or in old unrenovated housing with lead paint?

          That would also explain why black American IQ is somewhat lower than white American IQ but considerably higher than black African IQ, as African IQs are no doubt low due to malnutrition and other consequences of extreme poverty.

          1. You musta missed it when EP blamed lead poisoning on the victims. On a short discussion about the recent Michigan poisonings. Being inferior beings, its their own fault they got poisoned. Don’t take my word for it, I’m sure many others here recall the exchange.

            BTW, other than Rod, this is the first time I have seen any participants here speak up in opposition to EP’s despicably racist mindset. I am heartened by it. At last, a few voices of reason. Very few, but a few at least.

          2. The alternative (and simpler) explanation is that most AA’s have some White ancestry.

            This is one point in favor of POA’s “melding” hypothesis.

          3. AA’s average something on the order of 20% European ancestry, and there is also the euphenic effect of iodine supplementation of all table salt in the USA which eliminates most iodine-deficiency retardation.

            I recall a passing reference which claimed that Whites in the 50’s and 60’s had lead levels now considered “dangerously elevated” among Blacks.  For some reason, the social effects were not even remotely similar.

    2. If you liked “A Troublesome Inheritance” you will probably get a lot out of “The Ten-Thousand Year Explosion”.  I would not recommend “The Bell Curve” just because of its extreme length, and the explosion of new data since it was written makes a lot of it of mostly historical interest anyway.

      1. Heres the NYT’s review of “A troublesome Inheritance”. But of course, if rabidly racist, one can simply label this highly critical article as being the product of a “liberal rag”.

        Bigotry isn’t science.

        1. Ironically, Nicholas Wade was a science editor at the NY Times!

          NY Times also ridiculed Robert Goddards’ assertion that a rocket could reach the moon and said that rockets could not work in a vacuum. In the 1930’s, Walter Durranty was filing dispatches in the NY Times saying there was no famine in the USSR.

        1. Great. Lets advertise literature rationalizing bigotry, and disguise it as science. “A Troublesome Inheritance” has been criticised as unscientific, unfounded, and unproffessional by geneticists, anthropologists, and in book reviews.

          1. … POA says, about a book he would never so much as crack open on principle.

            But his denunciation of something of which he maintains ignorance about for fear of ideological contamination is not bigotry.  Because that’s something the Left gets (rather, gives itself) a pass on.

          2. “POA says, about a book he would never so much as crack open on principle”

            I wouldnt go to see a movie that a majority of critics and viewers told me was lousy , either.

            Its called common sense, EP.

          3. I wouldnt go to see a movie that a majority of critics and viewers told me was lousy , either.

            Let me tell you a little story.  Back when my home town had its own newspaper, it had a movie reviewer that lots of people complained about.  They said they didn’t agree with his reviews.

            I didn’t agree with his reviews either.  That his tastes and mine were different didn’t matter, though, because I could generally tell from what he said whether or not I would like the movie.  The reviews were still useful.

            In this age of hyper-sensitivity and politization of everything, if something is denounced as “scientific racism” without any factual or logical errors listed, you can bet that the brouhaha is all point-and-screech virtue signalling from leftist pod people.  The alternative is the silent treatment.  For instance, the heart-failure drug BiDil is formulated for particular quirks of African metabolism, but nobody dares mention it.

            Its called common sense, EP.

            Maybe if you bothered to check out the material for yourself, you’d be able to see if the trust you place in those critics is misplaced.  The book’s dense, but not a slow read.  Get it by inter-library loan if you must.  It’s full of verifiable facts that will definitely enlighten you; the speculation about the spread of Proto-Indo-European along with lactose-tolerance is worth the time to read the whole thing.

          4. I won’t be reading it, EP. For me, it would be a waste of my time. I judge the humans around me by their actions. I have seen respectable actions by individuals of every race and ethnic group I have been exposed to. And the opposite is true as well.

            For instance, my opinion of you isn’t dictated by your racial heritage. It has been formed by your comments here, and how you have interacted with me, and others. So, what I find so detestable in you, is that a result of genetics? Of course not. Even if I accept your imagined superiority as real, it does not change how I view you, your demeanor, and your opinions.

            I prefer Chevrolets over Fords. Reading a Ford repair manual isn’t likely to change that.

  17. Well,

    As interesting as Bernie is as a populist candidate, perhaps one shouldn’t ignore the front running Democrat. Here’s a link to a description if her energy ideas. (Or those of her advisors):


    Perhaps I missed it, but did not see the word nuclear once. However I do see:

    “Hillary’s $30 billion plan to revitalize coal communities will ensure coal miners, power plant operators, transportation workers, and their families get the respect they deserve and the benefits they have earned; invest in economic diversification and job creation; and make coal communities an engine of US economic growth in the 21st century, as they have been for generations.”

    “Ya dance with the one who brung ya.”

    It would be very interesting to see whether a response to this article will be given by the Sanders campaign. Entering the dialogue would be an exhibition of open minds.

      1. Clinton’s Clean Energy Challenge Grants are targeted at states. So is Iowa going to develop an MSR?

        Maybe these grants can be used to defray the costs of NRC regulations.

        Too bad she’ll never be indicted. Gotta have the first woman president.

        1. I think you’re right. They will play the “victim” card over and over, and generate a lot of sympathy from the LIVs. And arcane things like energy policy won’t matter if its a choice between a candidate with female parts vs. one without them.

          1. @WayneSW

            Not sure who “they” may be, but the women in my life — and there are many — think hard about finding the right person for a job. There are a vocal few that care more about plumbing than brains, but they’re a minority.

          2. In reply to the misogynist label (and everyone has their own dictionary), I will admit that one of the advantages of a woman president would be that women are far more reluctant than men to use military force.

            By her record and her rhetoric, Hillary Clinton fails even in this respect!

          3. I will admit that one of the advantages of a woman president would be that women are far more reluctant than men to use military force.

            I take it that you have never been through a divorce.

          4. I just don’t trust Hillary, based on her record. My previous comment was a general one that there are many voters who base their choice on factors unrelated to competence for the job, gender being one of them. Maybe they are in a minority, but often a minority is enough to swing an election a particular way. I saw this in 2008, when a good number of people I knew voted for Obama because they thought it would be “cool” to have a “black” President. Competence for doing the job and character seemed to have little weight with a lot of people I knew back then. FTR, I am not a misogynist. I will gladly vote for a competent female candidate of good character, but Hillary ain’t it. At this point I am not a Trump supporter. I think he is an interesting candidate in that he doesn’t seem to fit the Washington insider mold, but so far has not made clear his positions on a lot of things. I have heard he is pro-nuclear energy but I haven’t heard many specifics. I will withhold opinion until he makes himself clearer on that and other things. If I were to choose today it would probably be to write in Jim Webb as a protest vote, but my fear is that would be the same as a default vote for Hillary, so the prospect of that is not terribly appealing either.

      2. Thanks – I watched her movie and read the information. I haven’t been too fond of Hillary, but she certainly seems more open minded on the subject than Mr. Sanders. Then I read a little more and found this statement on another site:

        “Because nuclear energy generates 63 percent of all carbon-free electricity in America, any program to reduce carbon emissions must preserve existing nuclear power plants and ensure a role for new reactor development, including advanced reactor technology.”

        I would think both of them should recognize that this is the best tool in the clean air / climate change toolbox.

  18. I wake up this morning and WCBS-Radio and CBS/NBC-TV here in NYC are in a FUD tizzy about “faulty bolt” liner bolts being found at Indian Point and are pumping up Governor Cuomo’s VERY public assertion that the plant (nuclear plants) is INHERENTLY unsafe and must NOT get relicensed for another 20 years, and how the Hudson River Clearwater alliance is howling! Reporters (WNBC-TV) are even slinging loose comments that we’re taking about the “nuts and bolts holding the reactor together!! Is there any nuclear media “push-back” getting the mouths of these “servants to the public” straight? Spell crickets.

    NEI and ANS have to SERIOUSLY get off their humps off the lecture circuit and replace their PR honchos with people who know how to sell ice to Eskimos like other successful companies do, or else what good are they just watching their industry take hits with lips tied behind their back? In light the zit support VY got from nuke communities near and far leaving them hanging in the wind all alone for the slaughter, all nuclear plant locations should support another in matters like this because they’re all in the same public perception boat. NEI and ANS, if you’re NOT going to do mass media nuclear education ADs (like lowly shoestring Puppy Rescue) at least PICK UP THE PHONE to WCBS-Radio and TV and flash your pro credentials and straighten them out! The industry and jobs you might save might be your own!

    Sorry for the off-topic but nuke blogs best shine getting the word out!

    James Greenidge
    Queens NY

    1. The nuclear power industry could *really* use a group that actively and vigorously defends against lies, misinformation, propaganda etc.
      I was going to refer to the Anti-Defamation League, but didn’t want to ignite the race/not race wars on this thread…

  19. Bernie is not going to get the nomination. Can you say super delegate?

    So his ridiculous energy policy, no fossil or nuclear, is irrelevant.

    Hillary is a panderer but as pointed out in earlier posts she generally doesn’t even mention nuclear. When pressed before the Idaho primary she stated she was pro-nuclear (of course she was in Idaho remember).

    Trump and to a lesser degree Cruz are unambiguously pro-nuclear.

    1. True. However, Sanders could be the VP on Hillary’s ticket. That’s even more worrisome since the VP is often tasked with the less glamorous issues so the president can get us in wars to “protect our freedumz” that the “evildoers” are tryin’ to take away from us.

        1. I have the capacity to re-evaluate my judgements when I see that they don’t match reality.

          Case in point is free trade. For years, I accepted the argument that free trade was overwhelmingly positive. That trade imbalances are just a numerical curiosity.

          When I saw that industry was being decimated and the FT advocates response was that we would just have to deal with it or industrial workers would just have to retrain themselves to be programmers and develop internet content I looked into the assumptions behind FT and discovered that they did not match reality. I am in a quandary in that I bought and still accept the libertarian argument about government incompetence. Perhaps the best solution is a tariff which is how we funded the federal government for most of our history. Incidentally, Marx favored free trade since he believed it was destabilizing. The free traders don’t like to point this out.

          I am not a fan of Keynes but I do like something he supposedly said. “When the facts change, I change my opinion. What do you do?”

          1. Isn’t international trade essentially an iterated prisoners’ dilemma? No good reason to freely allow imports from the incorrigibly mercantilist nations of East Asia — Ricardo’s famous principle of comparative advantage simply assumes trade will be balanced, which isn’t the case if some countries systematically force their currencies artificially low.

          2. The argument FT apologists make is that we are exchanging pieces of paper for real goods. The foreign holders of these pieces of paper then “reinvest” the proceeds here.

            The problem is, they invest the proceeds largely in Treasury bonds which encourage government growth and debt and no increase in productive capacity.

            Riccardo’s example of wine and wool was based on an exchange of real goods.

          3. How many Trump supporters do you think are willing to overlook his racism for the sake of his protectionism?

  20. There has always been a certain segment of the population, on both the left and the right, that feels that the advancement of science and technology is the reason for the world’s troubles– instead of the solution. In fact, it was a common theme in many science fiction films during the 1950’s.

    Of course, in reality, the advancement of science and technology is the only thing that’s keeping more than 7 billion from starving to death on this planet.

    Sanders is also hesitant to fully support America’s space program.

    I believe that Sanders is correct in his concern for stagnant wages and an unsustainable health insurance system. But I’m not pleased with his solutions. And his hostility towards scientific and technological advancement would only make America a lot poorer.


    1. I see consistencey in Bernie.

      Bernie’s energy policy is clueless. All of his policies are pretty clueless.

    2. JFK’s 1962 “moon speech” before Rice University makes some good points about technology not being inherently good or evil. I wish this speech and his “peace speech” at American University in 1963 would get more attention than his frankly, dumb inauguration speech gets.

    3. You’ve got it right Marcel.

      I really like Sanders in some ways. The issues he has been championing are of great concern; wealth inequality, affordable education, campaign finance, soaring health costs, etc. All of these are in dire need of reform.

      Sanders also has rightfully said the Climate change is one of the biggest issues of our time (let us all not forget that another particular political party acts as though it does not exist).

      I would argue that climate and energy are THE issue of our time. Darn near every part of modern global society depend on those two items.

      But the scientifically and mathematically ignorant solutions he proposes to climate and energy just ruins it. It’s almost as though Bernie is simply saying what people want to hear, rather than coming up with genuine compromises that take into account science and facts. But Bernie is not that type of politician is he? At the moment I stick to wishful thinking and that he is simply misinformed or ignorant of much needed information.

  21. I see some lack of logic here. When it comes to energy we all seem to be in agreement that Bernie’s no fossil , no nuclear, maybe water, all windmills and solar is nonsensical.

    But then there are statements that he makes sense otherwise??
    Take income inequality
    Does anyone really think incomes should be equal and that government should be the arbriter of what’s fair and equal?
    Doctors janitors engineers stock boys all equal?
    Sorry he makes zero sense on a whole bunch of stuff.
    Someone give me a contrary example.

    1. @Jim Doyle

      Sanders’s message threatens the ad supported media. They’ve responded by caricature or avoidance.

      Bernie’s speeches describe the negative effects of gross inequality where CEOs, who used to make 20-50 times the income of an average skilled worker, often make several hundred times as much.

      Bernie doesn’t think we should all have the same income, but he does think our country functioned better under conditions where one person had one vote, and where those who had more privilege gladly accepted more responsibility.

      1. Isn’t the main reason why income inequality is bad because it means that too much money is sitting idle in the bank accounts of the super-rich people who couldn’t spend more than a tiny fraction of it even if they wanted to, rather than circulating throughout the real economy to be spent on goods and services?

        Increased inequality can be a good thing in a developing country where there are lots of productive investment opportunities crying out for funding, but not in a developed country where more money in the hands of the rich will just inflate asset bubbles!

        1. I suspect that the money of the “Idle Rich” sitting in vaults is small relative to the size of the economy.

          We have an economy based on debt. Money is created based on anticipated future production. This is easy to do. However, it is so easy that investments are made in ventures that cannot pay for themselves. How many Bed, Bath and Beyond stores are really needed? Seems to be one everywhere.

          The future production never meets anticipated levels. More debt is required to keep the system going and to handle current debt.

          The system is administered by bankers nominated by politicians who have received contributions from the very same bankers. This is to give the illusion on independence and public input.

          Those at the top of the food chain such as other bankers, investment houses, government contractors and speculators get first dibs. Is it any coincidence that income inequality has increased as the financial sector has grown in relation to the rest of the economy?

          1. Maybe instead of “in the bank accounts of the super-rich people” I would have been more accurate if I’d said “in the coffers of the People’s Bank of China” (along with those of other mercantilist-nation central banks).

        2. My hypothesis is that we deliberately made trade concessions to bring them into a global corporate/security structure that has been envisioned for decades. It used to be referred to as the New World Order until that term came to be used by those that opposed it. They would like to bring the Russians to heel but they won’t play ball.

          Ironically, we have built up China to the point where it can finance more ambitious international aims. We are told that we have no choice but to continue with free trade but now also have to adjust defense spending to counter a potential threat from China. Corporate profits all around!

          Funny how that works out.

      2. Rod

        CEO’s make what their shareholders think they should make .
        And rightfully so they own the company .
        If you think they should make less buy some stock and vote the CEO a lower salary.
        Bernie can have that same opinion. Opinions are free and it is still a free country right?

        But government has no place in this matter.
        I can’t think of something more idiotic than some government imposed multiplier on salaries I.e. a maximum wage.

        Bernie has the most idiotic platform of any of the candidates A to Z.

        His incoherent energy policy matches the rest .

        1. @Jim

          I own shares of a number of companies. Started investing almost 40 years ago in individual stocks. I’ve never been offered a chance to vote on compensation packages.

          Most corporations have compensation committees often composed of executives from other companies with a stake in the continued ratcheting process to remain “competitive.”

          1. Rod

            True most corporations do not allow direct shareholder voting on CEO or salary in general. Typically this is done by the Board of Directors whom the shareholders do elect. Compensation committees merely provide non-binding recommendations to the board.

            Many corporations including the one I work for and own stock in also allow shareholder initiatives which can be passed strictly by majority vote of the shareholders. A number of years back an initiative on CEO salary passed by the way. Influence is of course based on how much stock you own. As it should be.

            Of course “competitive” is the benchmark. It is in anything.

            See this is where it seems to go off the rails with the Bernie “income inequality” crowd.

            So you dislike what private companies pay their leaders and you wish you made more? Therefore you think you should vote in a political election for a portion of that person’s salary.

            That is an awful idea in a free society and much less fair than the shareholder system I describe above.

            Here is a real life example. Lebron James and the beer vendor. Lebron makes a ton of money literally thousands of times more. Lebron has a very unique skill. He is the best basketball player in the world. The beer vendor has a very ordinary skill. He can walk and he can count money.

            There is no equation that says Lebron must make no more than x times the beer vendor. The two are unrelated. Pay is based on skill set.

            Same is true for CEO’s. Mythology has it that “anyone” can run these companies. Having been involved in the middle but not the top of these hierarchy’s I say BULL. Not true. The skill is not as rare as Lebron’s but is still pretty rare. Anyone cannot do it.

            But the Lebron model is still true. The janitor and the CEO’s pay are not related by any multiplier. They are based on skill set.

            As they should be.

          2. The problem I have is not entirely with the amount these people receive, but that there seems to be a de-coupling between performance and reward. Every job I’ve even had was one wherein if I didn’t perform up to snuff the only thing I got was the gate. Some of these CEOs that run their companies into the ground get golden parachutes and severance packages even if they get fired by their Board. What did Fiorina get, something like over $40 million when the H-P board fired her? Heck, I’d get canned if I screwed up on even one project, much less getting the whole company in trouble.

          3. So what role do you see in this for government?
            You think corporations private companies are run poorly?
            They pay their CEOs too much!
            So what.
            Opinions are free. Buy some stock then and change it
            It’s up to the shareholders to fix it not Bernie,

            So your solution is for Bernie to swoop in and take some of their income?
            Wow how noble

      3. Rod

        If you reply to my comment you shouldn’t moderate out the response.

        Just some thoughts on etiquette.

    2. Nobody believes that. Not even Sanders:-)

      But all jobs that have to be done in order to run a human civilization– are valuable.

      And both Sanders and Clinton are both advocating a reasonable increase in the minimum wage, IMO.

      But the biggest burden for private employers is the escalating cost of private health insurance through the inherently inflationary premium based health insurance system– a cancer that is killing America’s ability to compete around the world.



      1. Marcel

        Sorry but the problem is the ACA not the insurance companies.

        The ACA doubled own on some of the worst aspects of the previous system
        1) Insurance is provided by your employer not direct
        2) Coverage is largely mandated , customer has no choice.
        3) Fees and thus profit is controlled by the gov’t not the market, thats a new one

        I am going to stop right there although there are more.
        Insurance is a business even health insurance. Health insurance from a business persepctive is the same as auto or homeowners. Third party, no consumer choice and price controls are recipes for absolute disaster.

        Note none of the above exists in the auto insurance business and there is no “crisis” as far as getting auto insurance or crazy price escalation.

        1. No the problem is not the ACA, per se, it merely institutionalized the already high cost of insurance and medical care in the U.S., the most expensive in the world. Most other industrialized countries have vastly superior systems. Their citizens always criticize it but there simply a zero constituency in any of these countries that want anything like we have in the U.S.

          The ACA is bad because other than allowing and encouraging millions more (requires actually) to be insured, it does zero to make it more accebile beyond the few million ACA covers and it has only delivered to a limited number of people, with costs the same.

          The previous system was as terrible…extremely bureaucratic (25% of all bills are for paper work and administration), paper work heavy, and with insurance death squads deciding what is covered and what is not.

          I have no doubt a true socialized medicine or a single payer system would vastly reduce costs, along with takeovers, if need be, of medical schools (another issue).

          After all there exists a reason people prefer their “public option” (undemocratically denied to the American people by banner waving “We Love Our Insurance Companies” Tea-party fools): it works and it works well.

          The same could be applied to an even handed Federal energy policy that brings all nuclear energy under state control, but with support for entrepreneurial creativity where appropriate. Both China and France have done well with socialized energy sectors. So can we.

          1. I think the TVA should be allowed to sell all of its– fossil fuel power plants– to private companies in order for the TVA to finance the building of more nuclear power plants at existing sites and methanol electric power plants for peak load power production (utilizing methanol produced through nuclear electricity: electrolysis of water to produce hydrogen synthesized with syngas produced through the pyrolysis of urban and rural biowaste).

            I also think that the TVA should be allowed to purchase nuclear facilities from companies that want to decommission their existing nuclear power plants.


          2. Ugh. The best system for delivering goods and services is the free and voluntary exchange of goods and services. Ie. capitalism , not socialism.

            Its true of anything.

            Reality does not support your conclusions. My premium is up 40%, my deductible is up 300%, my scope of covergae actually down on things that matter to me, ACA thanks for the free birth control that I dont need though.

            Socialism has totally failed anywhere its been tried. And thats what Bernie is. A socilaist.

            And thus my contention that he’s not just misguided in energy. He is just misguided in general.

            PS: Tea part fools? Labelling and name calling are signs you’ve lost the debate

            1. @Jim Doyle

              Some goods and services do not adapt well to “free and voluntary exchange.”

              Example: I am a huge fan and user of good roads, yet privately owned roads are few and far between. I’ve read several articles in the past couple of weeks about several of them that have had a great deal of difficulty attracting customers.

              Of course, the owners of those roads would be in much better position to make substantial returns on their investment if they could figure out a way to ensure there are few alternatives or that the available alternatives are so hampered with traffic signals, speed bumps, and bottlenecks that cars and trucks cannot make good time using them.

              (That is an analogy meant to be read on multiple levels.)

          3. “PS: Tea part fools? Labelling and name calling are signs you’ve lost the debate”

            Well, Jim, I know quite a few of the local members of a meet-every-wednesday group of people that claim to be “Tea Party”. And I can state that across the board they are among the most uninformed, misinformed, and opinionated people I know. To engage them in a debate about foreign policy, the middle east, and many domestic issues reveals an ignorance that is appalling on its face. Saddam Hussien supported Al Qaeda. Saddam Hussien was involved in 9/11. Obama is a Muslim mole. We found WMDs in Iraq, we just don’t admit it. (Huh?? Gotta love that one, eh?) Obama ain’t a US citizen. The list of idiotic ignorant beliefs goes on and on, ad nauseum, with these people. If it waddles like a duck…quacks like a duck….

          4. Jim is right, I should use terms like that. But they also the most mis-educated people, due to listening to right-wing radio I’ve heard on almost all the issues around that came up between 2008 and 2012. Truly astounding.

          5. Jim…you should read the Blog entry here that Rod noted some years ago…basically, *closely* paraphrasing him: “If France is socialism then call me a socialist”.

            Of all the “Big Gov’t” programs nuclear is one of the most successful. France nationalized their energy sector in 1946/47. This “Big Gov’t” program then went, under a very rightwing gov’t, and built, using that same socialist enterprise, EDF, the best nuclear system in the world, bar none, and did so in record time.

            I should add as well they have a phenominal socialized medicine, which costs around 40 cents for every 100 cents we spend on medince with a totally more effective response time to full body treatments from pre-natel to old age care. Over there the state actually PAYS WOMEN to have kids. In most European social-democracies the stress levels we see here in the US over things like education and health care simply don’t exist.

            We should have a national energy systems as well. At least in nuclear. It makes perfect sense and at least historically most countries have done it this way. The market is irrelevant, and should be, with regards to energy. It’s too important to leave it to…profit.

            BTW…having to pay 1800$ for my family when my salary was $40,000 is simply grotesque. That’s capitalism. And it has has to go.

          6. @Doyle

            All economies are a mixture of capitalism and socialism. The fossil fuel industry in America is heavily subsidized by government policies. Even the Persian Gulf oil routes are protected by the US military at a cost of $30 to $70 billion a year to the tax payers.

            The libertarian universe that you seem to be advocating has never really existed because big business loves government more than anyone and will do almost anything to manipulate it in their favor at almost any cost.

            And right now, the big oil companies see no reason why they should throw away their trillions of dollars of investments in fossil fuels just to keep the world’s coastal cities from drowning a century or two from now.


          7. On the subject of health care, the Tea Party are in my opinion selfish rather than foolish. Most of their supporters are retirees, which not only explains why they don’t give a monkey’s about the difficulties that working-age Americans have in finding jobs (in fact, wouldn’t a depressed economy be in their interest as it would mean cheaper care?), but also means that they already have socialized medicine (ie Medicare).

            The slogan “Keep your government hands off our Medicare” actually means “we want government-funded healthcare to remain the exclusive privilege of OUR generation — not shared with the working-age population”.

          8. Taxed Enough Already = TEA
            I went to a rally hosted by David Web
            Who was not a fool or misinformed
            But yet you don’t actually contest any of my points , because you can’t.
            Just doubled own on the names and labels
            But you are Bernie supporters so doubling and tripling down on nonsense is required
            Got it
            Are any of you folks actually engineers?
            Typically a very logical thinking bunch
            China really ?

          9. Invariably when folks suggest that we nationalize a business we always end up with the subject of roads
            A common shared resource that is an awful analogy to the business of insurance.
            Roads are an over budget crony capitalist venture with fraud and corruption galore
            But they are a necessary function of government. One of the few
            So we wish health care to be like the corrupt fat cat crony road business
            Are you kidding me?

          10. This “Big Gov’t” program then went, under a very rightwing gov’t, and built, using that same socialist enterprise, EDF, the best nuclear system in the world, bar none, and did so in record time.

            That’s arguable. The US has the largest nuclear fleet in the world, and since the 1990’s, it has been one of the best-run nuclear fleets in the world. The raw statistics show that US reactors outperform French reactors year after year. To be fair to the French, this is a bit of an apples-and-oranges comparison, since EDF has a different philosophy for running its nuclear plants than US utilities do.

            Over there the state actually PAYS WOMEN to have kids.

            I hate to burst your bubble, David, but this is not due to France’s program of socialized medicine — which is OK, but not all that great. French doctors tend to rely on over-prescribing drugs rather than looking for more comprehensive treatment options that American doctors will consider. I speak from personal experience.

            The French State pays women to have kids because the white French people are terrified that their North African imports will eventually out-breed them. They want France to stay “French,” and if that means paying women to make babies, then c’est la vie.

          11. @Rod Adams

            The NJTP is a successful “private road” (owned and operated by the NJTP Authority) because it links two metropolitan regions and got in before the interstate system was really underway. When I worked for them in summer jobs back in the early 70s, as a mental exercise while riding the tractor I would calculate how many cars had to pass through the tolls at an average fare (about 55 cents back then) to make up my summer kid’s salary. Pretty amazing numbers. But I agree a plethora of private roads would really slow things down, like the Governor William J. Le Petomane Thruway.

            I am thinking a lot lately about energy security as a national strategic asset. We built the SPR as a hedge against supply disruptions and vulnerability to blackmail by foreign powers. Could a quasi-government agency, similar to TVA or BPA, be formed to take over these plants being abandoned by private firms? I look at plants like Vermont Yankee, Pilgrim, Fitzpatrick, Kewaunee, maybe now maybe Nine Mile Point, where there is nothing wrong with them from an engineering viewpoint, and cannot help but think of them as national assets that if they are unwanted by private industry, maybe should be handed over to a national agency to be maintained and operated as a part of national policy and security.

          12. I’m going to try and see if this post works. As I said before if you reply to my post I would think you would allow my reply through

            I am not for no government , i.e. anarchy. And gov’t must perform some things which I would put roads in general in that categroy although there may be a few isolated exceptions.

            My opinion, is most of what gov’t does it either does poorly because it is not market (I.e. consumer driven) and/or it does rather ineffciently.

            For example, national defense/military are not necessary gov’t functions and our military is excellent. But is not efficient and you can find articles daily about it.

            Roads are another necessary gov’t service. But road work is notoriously corrupt and driven by crony capitalism. Why? Because the gov’t forces you to pay for them. Once you don’t have to attract and serve the customer, customer service tends to generally suck. Its more about increasing the spoils and dividing them many times amongst the politicians and the contractors.

            Health insurance IMO is not one of those things that necessitates gov’t command and control. Insurance for all sorts of things is provided by the market and because of competition there are many selections of for example auto insurance and competitive rates. I just last year pegged my present insurance company against another and saved about 25% on my premium.

            I don’t want health insurance to be delivered just like the roads.

  22. Here is Hillary and Bernie’s problem (and who ever is president) as described by the Texas A&M researchers Glenn Jones (professor of marine sciences) and Kevin Warner (Ph.D. candidate in marine biology), in a their paper published in the international journal Energy Policy.

    “It would require rates of change in our energy infrastructure and energy mix that have never happened in world history and that are extremely unlikely to be achieved,” explains Jones.

    The Paris Agreement’s overall goal is to replace fossil fuels, which emit huge amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere which in turn leads to higher temperatures, with renewable energy sources such as solar and wind power and biofuels.

    “Just considering wind power, we found that it would take an annual installation of 485,000 5-megawatt wind turbines by 2028. The equivalent of about 13,000 were installed in 2015. That’s a 37-fold increase in the annual installation rate in only 13 years to achieve just the wind power goal,” adds Jones.

    [Now add in the shutdown of NPPs into the equation and the numbers may have to double.]

    Or is this part of the “Green Jobs” program?

    Google “Glenn Jones TAMU” His paper is pay-walled, but there are several articles on it.

    1. “It would require rates of change in our energy infrastructure and energy mix that have never happened in world history and that are extremely unlikely to be achieved,” explains Jones.

      Call me crazy if you like, but I think it can be done… with nuclear, and only with nuclear.  I’ve got the graphics for a new blog post sitting in The Gimp (hoping it doesn’t crash and lose my work yet again), but all AI readers will experience deja vu if they read it because I must have posted the kernel of the idea here half a dozen times.

      1. @E-P
        You’re crazy. But save early, and save often. Look forward to your post, and particularly your graphics, as one pitcher is worth at least a thousand three beers.

        I assume you’ll reference Potential for Worldwide Displacement of Fossil-Fuel Electricity by Nuclear Energy in Three Decades Based on Extrapolation of Regional Deployment Data Staffan A. Qvist and Barry W. Brook, PLOS One, May 13, 2015http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0124074, discussed in The World Really Could Go Nuclear by David Biello, Scientific American September 14, 2015.

        Do look forward to your graphics, they’re what matter in public presentation. They’re all most of the audience will ever see, or remember.

  23. The simplest way to make the transition from fossil fuels to nuclear and renewable fuels over the next twenty to thirty years is to simply mandate that a– gradually growing– percentage of electricity and transportation fuels come from carbon neutral resources.

    If the Federal government simply mandated that at least 50% of electricity from a utility must come from carbon neutral resources by 2025 and 90% by 2035, private utilities could decide to invest in the technologies (nuclear and renewable) that could get them there.

    The same would work for transportation fuels. We already know how to manufacture carbon neutral gasoline, methanol, diesel fuel, and jet fuel. The Federal government simply needs to mandate that at least 10% of transportation fuel sold in the US be composed of at least 10% carbon neutral fuels by 2025, 50% by 2035, and 90% by 2045.


    1. @ Marcel,

      Oh. You mean like a Renewable Portfolio Standard? Those have worked really well!

      Alternatively, the Federal Government might simply mandate an ever ratcheting decrease in ghg emissions, then get out of the way.

      1. If a utility can produce 90% of their electricity through renewable energy then good for them:-)

        But I don’t think it will happen for the overwhelming majority of US utilities. Nuclear will have to be in the mix.

        And nuclear would certainly be required for carbon neutral transportation fuel production, IMO.


  24. I have followed the following page for a while regarding Ontario’s energy transition. They have basically eliminated coal and have made a strong commitment to at least keeping their operating nuclear plants operable. Take a look at their CO2 numbers!


    1. Ontario is doing great, but their CIPK will blow up when they shut down the Pickering station, for which there is no good reason to do. Sensible people in Canada need to start pushing now to keep Pickering running, not throw it away for no good reason like the US is doing.

        1. I asked Steve Aplin about it and he said he would try to find out the whys of Pickering going down, but so far no response. I am unaware of any technical issues that would preclude continued operation of Pickering. I sent him an e-mail asking about the current status of Pickering. Lets see what he says.

  25. With you on this. Bernie is on the money with just about everything he says … except nuclear. The fact that he is receiving so much support is a healthy sign for this country. Of course if elected President, he would be opposed by practically every member of our bought and paid-for Congress (with a few exceptions).

    At some point in the future, maybe he will see the light on nuclear.

  26. Jim, what really RILES me is the sheer LACK of will and Guts (or far worst — lack of imagination and initiative) — among nuclear advocate orgs to get the almost stainless positive word out about nuclear! What are they doing in their PR offices — collecting checks? The biggest bull excuse I keep hearing from pro-nuke orgs is — “Oh, but its SO expensive to advertise!” TRIPLE DITTO LAZY-A BULL! Here in NYC we got among several shoestring budget outfits like Puppy Rescue — DAILY flashing sad-eyed pups and happy kid adopters to millions on NYC metro cable — likely the $$$ avenue of advertisement you find in the country — and they’re getting their Word out! In the meanwhile nearby Indian Point is under attack every which way to Sunday without ONE edu-Ad promoting nuclear’s merits or lecturing the unwashed about nuclear energy! Is one telling me that pet outfits and gypsy cab stands and pizza joints have deeper pockets to hawk their wares in NYC than the whole nuclear community/industry?? There was NO reason Shoreham or VY had to go down because they failed to educate the public to their side against a vehemently hostile media. Remember the near media and environmental disaster panic with Deepwater Horizon? Horizon who???? THAT’s the amnesic power of positive advertising! No Saturn-V science or long deep surveys and polls or Tupperware Party nuclear teach-ins needed. Just plain common sense and self-promotion wiles — and a heavy sense of self-preservation. Just like Puppy Rescue and Deepwater whatever. I’m over the point that I can’t any longer blame the antis for FUD-steamrolling over nuclear the way they do if their opposition never never pushes back or shows any will to survive. It’s called Darwin and U.S. nuclear industry better learn to heed that than keeping going goo-goo-eyed over whiz-bang new nuclear technology that won’t see daylight if the public is still scared crap over anything nuke.

    James Greenidge
    Queens NY

    1. It is kinda insane not to push a superior product. Reminds me of Amiga vs Peanut/Mac days. No contest yet Peanut won. Like Jobs says, Insane.

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