I’d started building this a couple years ago and hadn’t finished the project until recently. It’s basically a high amperage battery charger with a small foot print, lot’s easier to move around than your run of the mill big box chargers. The primary side of the transformer is tapped for 5 charging rates from around 6v thru 15v + @ up to 30+ amps. I also added a carbon pile that can be used to load test the battery you’re working on if need be. The primary windings are relay switched and can only be energized with load from the carbon pile out of the circuit. In addition reverse polarity diodes are used on the output to prevent damage if the leads are reversed. The output is shunted for a panel mounted ammeter to be added later and it’s all mounted in a 16″x16″x6″ Wiegmann inclosure with 2 side mounted cooling fans.
Another class act is this young lass with a violin. Absolutely some of the best string work I’ve heard in my days anyhow. The new release is called Shatter Me and features Lzzy Hayle providing the vocal tracks. Good stuff indeed…
Analyst/trader Karl Denninger says Obama Care is doomed to failure because of pre-existing conditions of many signing up for coverage. Denninger explains, “If you are an insurance company and you only sell insurance to those who have already lit their house on fire, you’re not going to be in business very long. You have to have people who buy insurance who are not likely to have fires.”
That’s a link to the unsubsidized data dump — all 78,437 records — for each county and State under the Obamacare exchange program. I can verify that for at least my state and county the table is correct, since you can now look it up on Healthcare.gov without creating an account first (which I am not about to do.)
There are several very interesting statistical facts that come from this.
First, if you’re “27”, the average premium is $266.20/month or $3,194.40 per year. How many 27 year olds have an extra $3,200 to spend on this? Remember, this is the price that virtually every uninsured 27 year old must be willing — and able — to cough up in order to prevent the model this system is predicated on from collapsing.
If those 27 year olds don’t show up, and they won’t, then the system collapses instantly. If they do show up because the government threatens them with fines the economy collapses as $3,200 a year exceeds the average 27 year old’s disposable personal income after mandatory expenses (e.g. food, shelter, etc.) Remember, there are always exceptions but these premiums are averages and over large pools of people the statistical averages are what matters — not the ends of the barbell.
It gets better. The “average” 50 year old premium, again, for single coverage, is $452.87, or $5,434.44/year. How many 50 year olds will find that attractive compared against what they’re paying now? Probably more of them, especially if they’re already sick. But how about the healthy ones?
Note two things as well on this account — these premiums are for non-smokers (smoker premiums are grossly surcharged with reports being 1.5x the above) and they do not account for anyone other than one person. If you are a single parent with kids (rather common) the premium on average is $610.23/month or about $7,300, and if you’re a couple it’s $647.86 (again, $7,774 annually.)
Now let’s look at the government’s own claims. First, the CPI index claims that health insurance is 0.656% of the family budget. What percentage of couples make $1.185 million a year? Why do I ask? Because that’s the alleged median income for a couple if you believe the government’s CPI numbers.
Next, while some people will get “tax credits” to offset these costs all that does is lard it up on the federal budget, because someone else has to pay that bill. In other words this is the true cost that will come out of your hide one way or another — either directly by paying, indirectly by taxation, or indirectly by destruction of your purchasing power.
Next, note that this is the “50 year old” premium but you have to be 65 to qualify for Medicare. The price will rise each year after 50 that you happen to be and there are already reports that if you’re 59 these premiums are understated by half. How many couples who are 59 and cannot qualify for Medicare yet have not $7,700 a year of extra money laying around but north of $15,000?
That’s what I thought.
Are there people for whom these are “good deals”? Oh sure, if you’re fat, sick and nearly dead they’re great deals. The person with HIV who is guaranteed to suck out $30,000 or more in treatment costs each and every year has to be ecstatic at the premise that they can pay $3,200 and get back 10x what they spend on an indefinite forward basis, forever, or at least as long as the drug cocktails they’re taking let them live. Likewise someone with other diseases such as diabetes or cancer have to love these plans; they pay an effective nothing compared to what will be spent immediately and permanently (as long as they live) on them.
But for virtually everyone else these “plans” are nothing more than financial rape. Not only are the premiums outrageous for most but the limits on coverage, including deductibles, co-pays and out-of-pocket maximums means that if you get sick the so-called “price” is half or less of what you will actually spend, and this assumes you can find a doctor.
Oh, yeah, about that — most of these plans absolutely exclude payment of anything to out-of-network physicians and facilities. “You can keep your doctor” eh? Uh, no.
But before you start screaming about all this let’s back up and look at the figures, because while $30 billion sounds like a lot it’s actually not. Nor are “medical torts”; by some figures costing $20 billion a year (although dropping.)
Let’s add into this so-called “uncompensated care” — that is, the result of EMTALA and other similar laws that “force” hospitals to “eat” the cost of care for those who have neither insurance or money. This has been rising very rapidly (by some 400% in the last couple of decades) and currently stands at some $40 billion.
These are big numbers, right?
Well, not really. Between the statins, torts and formal cost-shifting the total is $100 billion.
The problem is that the cost of “sick care” is in fact more than $2,700 billion a year in the economy as a whole and of that half comes from federal and state budgets and is drowning our nation in debt.
In other words if we reduced to zero all cost shifting, we got rid of all statin drug sales in the entire category (or made them “free” by force) and in addition Obamacare completely eliminated everyone who had neither insurance or money, and thus got rid of the entire uncompensated care problem we’d save a whopping……
wait for it….
3.7% of what we spend on health care annually.
In other words it wouldn’t make any difference at all.
You have been told and sold otherwise by both the left (in the case of Obamacare) and right (in the case of uncompensated care and tort reform) and both sides of the aisle have knowingly lied and committed fraud against you to the tune of nearly $3 trillion dollars, or 17% of every dollar spent in the economy last year.
If you caught someone stealing that sort of money from you in the middle of the night in your house you’d shoot them, and with good cause. So why haven’t we politically shot these jackasses and then indicted and locked them up on fraud charges?
More to the point, why aren’t there a few million*****ed-off Americans in Washington DC right now who are surrounding the Capitol and refusing to leave until the lies stop and the scam is excised from our economy?
Probably because nobody, other than a few such as myself, have put these numbers before you and I’m willing to bet that not one in 100 of the people who read this were aware that all three of the above factors combined, were they to be completely eliminated from the health system, would shave off less than four percent of the problem.
But now you don’t have that excuse because here it is in black-letter facts and figures.
So where’s all the money going when we used to spend less than 1/3rd of this much in the 1970s (as a percentage of GDP) on health care, and why is it so damned expensive that you need “forced insurance”?
That’s simple: The entire health system is an organized racketeering outfit that has gotten laws passed to make their conduct legal — conduct that in virtually any other field would be an outright criminal felony.
Every contract, combination in the form of trust or otherwise, or conspiracy, in restraint of trade or commerce among the several States, or with foreign nations, is declared to be illegal. Every person who shall make any contract or engage in any combination or conspiracy hereby declared to be illegal shall be deemed guilty of a felony, and, on conviction thereof, shall be punished by fine not exceeding $100,000,000 if a corporation, or, if any other person, $1,000,000, or by imprisonment not exceeding 10 years, or by both said punishments, in the discretion of the court.
The industry doesn’t even try to hide their conduct. Indeed, there are even specific laws in many states, called “Certificate Of Need” (or “CON”) laws, that are formalization of cartel behavior otherwise prohibited by The Sherman Act. This leads to utterly common situations where the price for a given procedure usually varies by as much as 400% from one hospital in a region to another and in many cases varies by more than 1,000%, and it is virtually impossible for you to determine the price before you are treated.
How else do you get a situation like the Phoenix woman who was billed more than $60,000 for two vials of scorpion antivenom that sell for $100 each in Mexico where they’re made over the counter in a pharmacy, not far from Phoenix. If you get into your car and fill the trunk with said drug you are breaking the law as soon as you cross back into the United States (and if caught will be jailed.)
You want to fix the problems with Health Care in this country and solve Federal, State and local budget problems all at once? Break up all the monopolies by declaring unlawful all such conduct that restrains trade or fixes prices and void those laws that have made this behavior legal, mandate public disclosure and level billing of procedures, drugs and devices to all persons and prosecute and imprison violators — all of them, starting with every single one of the health insurance, pharmaceutical and big “managed care” executives.
The cost of health care in this country would crash by 80% overnight and with a price 1/5th of what is paid now nobody would need health “insurance”, save for catastrophic coverage that would cost less than you currently pay for insurance on your home or apartment contents and which you could choose to either buy or take the risk that such a catastrophe would strike and you would either have to cough up the money or die.
In addition putting a stop to this scam would immediately and permanently fix the Federal Budget without cutting one nickel of discretionary spending and it would not require gutting Medicare either. Only very minor changes to Social Security (indexing full retirement to longevity) would be required to bring permanent budget stability and in fact we would run, right here, now and today, a budget surplus.
Wake up America before you’re strangled and expire economically as a direct consequence of this three-decades-long scam.
“This population doesn’t understand why insurance is necessary,” Cheryl Smith, a health-exchange specialist at Deloitte Consulting LLP in New York, said in an interview. “It really is to protect your assets. When you’re young, you don’t have assets. You don’t worry about it.”
When you’re young and don’t have assets you don’t need much if any insurance. If something really awful happens you file bankruptcy instead, as you have nothing to lose.
This is why you carry minimum liability coverage on your car, and nothing else. You have nothing to lose. In a serious accident where you get tagged for $1m you file bankruptcy. It makes much more sense to cover only routine things (which you can afford) instead of the six sigma events that are extremely unlikely.
The latter, if it happens, has an “out” — you have no assets, so you head to the courthouse and file bankruptcy. This is not not only legal it’s entirely logical.
Note that if you’re a bit older and also have no assets the same calculation attaches. You have nothing, therefore you need little protection of assets because you don’t have any.
There is this insane proposition among those in Washington that is the same as the insane proposition among so-called “investment professionals” that I see on display all the time. I witnessed some of it recently among a group that were nearly-all in the “1%” (if not all) when one of the presenters asked “who in the room hasn’t refinanced their house twice during the interest rate drop.”
One hand went up.
Because most of the rest of us either had no mortgage at all or a very small one compared to equity and the cost of refinancing would not be recovered by the lower payments. In other words we didn’t turn the crank in that fashion because it made no economic sense.
The problem of course is that for the common man — the “99%” — the premise that the “health insurers” are trying to sell the population on is false.
As insurance costs rise the six-sigma event that puts you in the poor house becomes less economically interesting in insuring against.
At its core the “health insurance” mess is function of market manipulation through price-fixing and other forms of cartel behavior that are supposed to be illegal in the United States. But neither the left or right will take this on and the American Sheeple have been cowed into the corner and are unwilling to force a resolution through the political process.
The truth of the matter is that the entire medical establishment has become a cancer on the American economy and is consuming its host, resulting in an economic wasting disease that is emaciating everyone — and everything — in the American economy.
This cancer must be excised and destroyed or our economy will die. Attempting to find ways to build more arteries to carry yet more blood and nourishment to it is an idiotic response to discovering cancer. You don’t encourage the body to build circulatory resources to feed a cancer, you kill it, either by cutting it out and tossing it in the trash or bombarding it with high levels of energy and various poisons (e.g. radiation and chemo.)
That is the choice that was facing our nation two decades ago, a decade ago, in 2009 and now. But as with cancer there is a window during which you can excise that growth or it’s too late and you die.
Shortly after the re-election of President Obama, the agency announced new radical environmental regulations that threaten to effect people who live off the grid. The EPA’s new environmental regulations reduce the amount of airborne fine-particle matter from 15 micrograms to 12 micrograms per cubic meter of air.
This means that most wood burning stoves would now fall into a class that would deemed unacceptable under these new draconian measures. The EPA has even launched a nifty new website called Burn Wise to try to sway public opinion.
On their site, while trying to convince people to get rid of their old stoves and buy the new EPA-certified stoves, they state that these older stove must be scrapped and cannot be resold.
From the EPA Site:
The local air pollution agency says I can’t sell my old wood stove to help pay for an EPA-certified wood stove. Why is that?
Replacing an older stove with a cleaner-burning stove will not improve air quality if the older stove is reused somewhere else. For this reason, wood stove change out programs usually require older stoves to be destroyed and recycled as scrap metal, or rendered inoperable. (source)
Enclosed is the list of wood stoves certified by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The EPA Certified Wood Stoveslist contains information about wood stoves or wood heating appliances that have been certified by the EPA along with its manufacturer name, model name, emission rate (g/hr), heat output (btu/hr), efficiency (actual measured and estimated), and type of appliance. It also indicates whether the appliance is still being manufactured. An EPA certified wood stove or wood heating appliance has been independently tested by an accredited laboratory to determine whether it meets the particulate emissions limit of 7.5* grams per hour for noncatalytic wood stoves and 4.1* grams per hour for catalytic wood stoves. All wood heating appliances that are offered for sale in the United States are subject to the New Source Performance Standard for New Residential Wood Heaters under the Clean Air Act and are required to meet these emission limits. An EPA certified wood stove can be identified by a temporary paper label attached to the front of the wood stove and a permanent metal label affixed to the back or side of the wood stove.
One of the easiest ways for the government to force this issue is through homeowner’s insurance policies. If you have a mortgage, you have absolutely no option but to carry homeowner’s insurance. Even if you own you homestead outright, most people consider insuring their homes and property to be a vital safety net. When your policy comes up for annual renewal, the insurance company can require an inspection of your home. At that time, compliance can easily be forced by either charging insanely high rates or through the cancellation of the policies of those who have “outdated” woodstoves.
An Attack on Self-Sufficient Living
The ability to heat your home off-grid is a major part of most preparedness plans. Heating with wood is the number one way to do this. Much like our food supplies, the ability to keep ourselves warm and healthy and the ability to cook without being connected to the grid are vital to our freedom.
Those of us who live this lifestyle are constantly targeted. In many places it’s illegal to collect rainwater. Growing food in your front yard instead of flowers is all but outlawed. Sellers of raw milk have their farms raided by SWAT teams as though they’re running a meth lab instead of a dairy. We are being Codex Alimentarius-ed and Agenda 21-ed right into slavery and the government and it’s agencies try to make it appear that they are “saving” us.
We, the self-sufficient, by our very nature, are a threat to this insidiously spreading control. Our self-sufficiency means that we won’t be forced to be subjugated, tagged, chipped, and inventoried like our less prepared friends and neighbors. We won’t have to cave in order to survive. We can eat, stay warm, and stay off the radar. And this is a threat because we can withstand the assaults on our freedom. We don’t need the government’s benevolence to survive. Those of us who don’t need the government are the last hold-outs of liberty in a country that has strayed far from it’s freedom-loving origins.
Karl Denninger is very good at laying things out in way that most can understand, even if they don’t truly understand economics. Mathematics and those nasty little things called exponents have a way of creating rather huge problems if not kept in check and we’re starting to see it across the board both as a nation and on a global scale. Ignore it if you choose but it doesn’t change the eventual outcome.
Detroit’s labor unions managed to pull a so-called “Judge” (state) who essentially issued a ruling that the State Government had “dissed” The President in running into Federal Bankruptcy Court while she was intending to issue a ruling on one of a host of lawsuits brought by said unions.
The problem? Judges are not supposed to care who one “disses” — they’re supposed to rule on facts.
But the left never bothers with facts, just as it doesn’t bother with arithmetic. This works great (guns to the head are great motivators) right up until the checking account is empty and the overdraft line declined.
Then you have a problem — one that the left usually tries to solve by attempting to find someone else with an open credit line (such as the Federal Government.)
Nor should it have. Federal Bankruptcy law is not a “convenience.” It’s actually written in the Constitution as one of the explicitly delegated Federal Powers (Article 1, Section 8, if you failed your US Government class.)
Bankruptcy was left at the Federal level for the explicit purpose of preventing what the unions — and hacks sometimes found on State benches — tried to do here.
It puts the jurisdiction and determination as to whether someone is in fact bankrupt and what to do when they are in exactly one place. It takes the essential function of determining what assets and liabilities are and vests it in one place, cutting off all the BS and games of running to this place or that in attempting to gain an advantage.
In reality the unions and their pension plans forced this filing by refusing to negotiate against the realities of their own actions and demands for that which was impossible to provide. This is entirely understandable given that they would have had to admit they were complicit in order to fix the problem and that was unacceptable to them. So instead they tried to sue to get what was “promised” but which they knew damn well couldn’t have been provided at the time it was negotiated!
I started writing on this pretty-much when I started writing the Ticker — my articles on unions, pensions and related matters date to 2008. I’ve talked about with various people since long before that — the trend was obvious in the 1980s and by the time I was running MCSNet in the 1990s the outcome was not in doubt — only the timing was open to debate.
The essence of a ponzi scheme is that it always looks great when you begin, and in fact it looks ok right up until you stop adding people at a rate sufficient to pay those who are demanding their money back out. These schemes go broke slowly, then all at once as the rush for the door occurs when recognition happens that there is no money.
The numbers being thrown around for losses across-the-board in these funds — 50%, 70%, 80% — belie the outright lies that have been told to people in all areas related to these pensions — and bondholders. Nobody loses 50%, 60% or 80% overnight — it happens because the truth has been constructively or intentionally concealed for months, years or decades.
“General Obligation” debt is an opportunity for fraud in the municipal and state space. Remember that most State Constitutions forbid deficit spending. That is, the use of debt to fund general operations of the government is per-se unlawful.
So who’s going to jail for this serial abuse — both in not funding pensions at an actuarially-sound level (which would have exposed the problem and forced it to be cut off decades ago) and using general obligation funds to evade a Constitutional prohibition on deficit spending?
That’s the problem in a nutshell.
This crap infests governments all over the nation. Whether it is “borrowing” funds from one department to fund another (and then accounting for it as a “loan” — that is, deficit spending later on) or floating GO bonds that are allegedly only supposed to fund durable improvements such as roads but then shuffling the money around so the funds effectively wind up funding daily operationsthe fact of the matter is that this sort of hinky accounting is part and parcel of State, County and Municipal finance.
When that’s not enough then these government organs turn to even-more exotic crap such as interest rate swaps that are open-ended instruments of financial destruction and thus are effectively deficit spending in disguise as well.
Yet not only does nobody go to jail for this crap nobody is removed from office for doing it either. Amazing, really. Or is it?
That went down in Chicago but in Washington DC it’s “on” again. Go ahead and do it politicians. It’s much “easier” than addressing why the cost of living is rising faster than wages are.
That’s simple — politicians are increasing the denominator in circulating money and credit. They are doing it with deficit spending. This is the same thing economically as a tax increase but it’s temporarily hidden from the public, which is why it’s one of the favored ways to lie, cheat and steal.
Then when the cost of living rises but wages do not the lawmakers try for force wages upward.
But even if they do pass such a law they can’t force people to pay above the market value of a given hour of work. If the value is “$X” and the cost of providing that good or service including the imputed tax costs which includes the monetary dilution is greater than “$X” that job disappears.
The only actual solution to this problem is stop doing that.
But that means that the government agencies and organs must admit what they’ve done.
It means they must stop doing it.
It means they must cut off the ability of banksters to do the same thing by inflating the supply of money and credit, skimming off the “first cut” and leaving the scraps to the rest of people — scraps that are insufficient to balance the increase in the circulating money and credit and thus the inevitable destruction of purchasing power.
It means removing those distortions and allowing prices to contract and the economy to re-balance so that supply and demand come into balance — even though in the short term this will be very disruptive.
And it means that those who have extracted “promises” based on that lie must face the beneficiaries of those promises and tell them the truth: You’re not going to get what you were promised, you can’t because there’s no money, and here we stand before you hoping your sentence upon us will not be too harsh (a decent burial would be nice, in other words.)
And finally, if this path is not taken then the inevitable outcome is the collapse of the entities involved, whether they be businesses, cities, states or even nations.Jul 31, 2013 @ 19:16
These are a few pictures from my tour in Vietnam while serving with the 815 Eng. 102nd CS at Camp Dillard in the central highlands. I salvaged these from some 35mm slides I found tucked away so they’re fairly high resolution shots. Unfortunately when I was in the process of rotating back to the states some low life scum bags stole my luggage when I got to Long Binh along with 8-10 rolls of 35mm film that I hadn’t had a chance to get developed yet. In addition they made off with about 800$ worth of technical books dealing with electronics I’d purchased. It still pisses me off just to think about it, I’d give anything to still have those pictures. To add insult to injury when I got off my plane at LAX I left my 35mm Yashica under the seat. I noticed it right away but when they went back to check on it for me it was gone. It never ceases to amaze me how rotten to the core people can be.
Stateside I’d went through NCO training as a crawler tractor operator and upon arriving at Camp Dillard in June of 71 I was assigned duties pushing fresh blasted rock at the existing quarry across from the compound. The rock was crushed and turned into asphalt for building a road called QL-20 which snaked through the hills from Baloc to Dalat. At that time the quarry was still a fairly small operation and only making 25-30 hole shots using detcord and fuse caps as the initiator for the blasts. The drilling and blasting crew was being led by a Sgt Stanley Steves at the time and we became friends when I was assigned to help with the quarry team. Sgt Steves was being rotated back to S. Korea shortly and he picked me to train as his replacement.
We were working a lot of hours including some night shifts at the time and providing our own security with some support from the ARVN troops stationed in the area and things were pretty quiet for the most part. On one of those nights we were taking a break under the flood lights marveling at the size of the moths flying around (3-5″) when we heard the mortar team pop a round into the tube over at the compound and watched to see where it landed outside of the perimeter. Instead the ARVN mortar crew landed the dang thing on the compound. They fired a second one that didn’t explode and found out later it had also landed on the compound next to the PX, I had to dispose of that one later. The third one they fired also exploded inside the perimeter and they quit trying to hit whatever they were aiming at then. Nobody was hurt and it was funny as hell at the time.
There were 4-5 of us that went through NCO training together that were assigned to the 102nd CS Co.. Spc 5 Larry Greathouse handled our security with a gun truck when we were off compound and Spc 5 Mike Hopwood helped me with the drilling and blasting operations. After Sgt Steves rotated out I got my three stripes and plans were set in motion to open a new quarry 2-3 miles west of Camp Dillard, we drilled core samples, pushed the overburden off and started the blasting process to form the new quarry. We were drilling 200-300 hundred hole patterns and using electric time delay caps and good enough to pile the rock any where they wanted it before long.
I was replaced after a time by a Sgt Rohoer and they brought in a civilian engineer before the company stood down from operations in 1972. Sgt Rohoer became a casualty after running a track drill over an IED fashioned from an 81mm mortar round before things wound down. He suffered the loss of one of his legs and shrapnel wounds to is face and the rest of his body. The blast also killed an older Vietnamese man that worked with us. He was in shock and I shielded his closed eyes until the dust off helicopter arrived and was still alive when they flew him out. His name isn’t on “The Wall” so I assume he lived, I lost track of him and rotated out of country shortly after it happened.
Vietnam changed my life in a lot of ways I guess. Actually I was a basket case for several years after returning to the “real world” and blocked most of it out, but some things are hard to forget. Like the day a guy was standing in the pay line and accidentally shot himself in the foot because he left a round chambered in is M-16. Then there was the day I fired an M-79 grenade launcher and the round didn’t come out the other end. A green Lieutenant actually suggested I try and poke the grenade back out of the breach! I laughed at him and told him no thanks, I removed the sights and receiver blew the barrel on the spot with a bit of C-4. Some of the stories however are better left untold and I’ll go to my grave with those.
Click on the thumb nails for full size pics with captions.
One of the channels I subscribe to on You Tube posted this video the other day. Auusie50 is geek/engineer sort of guy that likes to have a little fun once in awhile and tinker with stuff. So anyhow, he killed this washing machine recently and I thought I’d pass it on. Good stuff!
I had no clue this project would go this far when I started, but no surprise really, it happens to me all the time. Actually I enjoyed the destructive tear downs, although the scrapping/recycling part was a bit of a chore. Oh well, it is what it is and a done deal for now.
A YouTuber known as MikesElectricStuff gave me the idea originally in a video he posted on his channel. If you’re into electronics and equipment autopsies check the guy out. He definitely knows his stuff and takes a look into some rather unique equipment and analyses it in depth at the component level.
Now it’s time to move onto something a little more productive.
Hat Tip goes out to Chromedome and Jackster for the equipment donations.