Friday, April 29, 2016

There are More who are Homeless than Those who have been 'Chronic'

   It's been a year and a day since Utah trumpeted that it had solved chronic homelessness. The Road Home remains one of the largest shelters in the nation. How to deal with the problem has remained one of the city's biggest concerns. The state has adopted a satellite approach, planning to move the homeless out of the downtown area by opening facilities in outlying communities.
   Below are links to two great articles on the subject. I think we must be concerned for the businesses Jay Evensen mentions in his article. A third link speaks of what is being done in Portland. I can't help but look at the pictures and wonder if they have only created a ghetto. By comparison, you can drive by Palmer Court in Salt Lake City, and not even realize you are passing by housing for those who have been homeless, so nice is it. (See the picture in the fourth link.)
   Yes, what Utah is doing for the chronic homeless seems wonderful. What it has achieved is wonderful. But, do I read that 1,000 are served by the Road Home? Or did I read somewhere that between the downtown and Midvale sites, no less than 1,300 are served? Even if the figure is only 1,000, it astounds me.

http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/apr/27/utah-homeless-shelters-housing-first

http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865653081/Utahs-homeless-problem-still-rages.html

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2015/apr/01/oregon-tiny-houses-solution-homelessness

http://www.homelessshelterdirectory.org/cgi-bin/id/shelter.cgi?shelter=9059

Sail on, America; Consider Land Sailing, if You Will

   You might think -- as I did -- a sail-powered vehicle could only achieve slow speeds. Surprise, the world land speed record is 126.1 miles per hour, set in 2009 by Richard Jenkins at Ivanpah Dry Lake in Nevada.
   Land sailing is a sport, perhaps more common in Europe than in the U.S. The point is, land sailing vehicles are not unheard of. That noted, however, I wonder if there has been any effort to employ them for transportation. Would these sail mobiles tip over? Would they slide across street lanes? While sail boats have hulls that go beneath the water, to anchor them, the sail carriage has no such advantage.
   Ahh, the "sail carriage." I read how they date back at least to the Sixth Century A.D. in China. They were used on the Great Plains, being called "wind wagons."  And, did you know a sail vehicle has been proposed for use on Venus?
   But, have sail vehicles ever been considered for transportation purposes? Mind you, the reason I explore this idea is that I have been persuaded global warming might well be a reality, and, I believe that if it is a reality, then we should be doing all we can to counter it. This is an important matter, with some urgency. If there are transportation alternatives that do not have greenhouse emissions, we should be considering them, exploring them.
   Sail mobiles should not be too quickly dismissed as impractical. The urgency of solving the problem should persuade us to place them on the table as we consider solutions. This would only be a very small part of the solution, but it could be definite help, the same. Whatever miles our nation accumulates on wind power, are miles without greenhouse emissions.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

The Worm: Utilizing Power Sources with no Greenhouse Emissions

     A solar-paneled, wind-powered car would have to be a long vehicle. So, I'll call it the Needle. You can't place the solar panels and sails atop the car, as it would topple over if the center of gravity were not kept low.
   The sails would need to be short, limiting their effectiveness. And, they might only be employable at slow speeds, as the wind generated by a fast-moving vehicle defeats any natural wind.
   A third power source would be rotors or  wind mills or wind turbines, or whatever they are called, at the front of the vehicle, capturing the wind created by the car, itself, moving forward.
   A fourth power source would be required, as all three of the other sources, even combined, could not usually keep the car going full strength. So, an electric engine, perhaps.
   Why make such a car? Well, solar and wind are two sources of power that do not generate any green house emissions, to my knowledge. If the goal is to reduce green house emissions, it makes simple sense to pick power sources that do that the best.
    The car would likely be so long, it would need to have as part of it, a trailer or two. So, instead of calling it, the Needle, call it the Worm.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Ban the Gasoline Vehicle and Give Me a Solar- and Wind-Powered Car

   No time to study on this tonight, but I will throw out some thoughts. I have been somewhat undecided on global warming, on whether to believe in it, but today I decided we are fools not to do something. With so many scientists saying there is global warming, and saying it is man-made, we would be foolish to not consider they might be right.
   If something possibly is causing great damage, even if you don't know for certain, you take steps to alleviate the problem. We have sayings to guide us in this one: Prudence is the greater part of valor. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. I would add another one: Warnings are made for the wise.
   One thing I wonder whether we should do, is to outlaw the traditional gasoline car. This is what I wish I had time to study tonight. Does it cause just as much pollution to manufacture the batteries or whatever? Or, is the electric car truly better for the environment? Do we go to natural gas? Could solar-paneled cars work, or would the size of the solar panel be too large to carry around on a car?
   At any rate, without studying, it seems we have enough options that we should be able to survive without the traditional gasoline car. So, why don't we ban it? I'm serious. I wonder. I know it isn't the only polluter. Seems I've read automobiles only account for a third of our pollution. Still, it is a large chunk of the problem. If we had a smoker who was diagnosed with emphysema, we would think him foolish if he didn't give up smoking.
   Are we just as foolish for not giving up the gasoline car? I'm thinking, I'd ban it. And, why wait for the whole nation to do it? Utah could go ahead and do it.on its own. Encourage one or two start ups to build electric, or natural gas, or whatever cars, so there would be more offerings when you pull the plug on the gasoline car. If it is impractical to have non-gasoline farm tractors and semi trucks, then let them stay on gasoline, but ban the gasoline car.
   Hey, if it'll work, have a contraption that offers both solar and wind power. It might look like a monstrosity, but if it can be done, make such a car. All this might seem like a little much, but is it? Remember the guy with emphysema. He simply has to quit smoking.
   And, so do we.
  If something will work, you don't laugh at it; you do it.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Throw the Bums Out of Office Who are Throwing the Bums Out of Office

   Perhaps this would be the place to start, if we are to have term limits: Let's limit how many times a person can serve as a convention delegate.
   Or, do we even need term limits to do this? Let's just throw the bums out of office. I use the term "bums" only because it is part of the commonly used phrase. They are not bums. They are great people. It's just that they don't seem to represent the people. In last Saturday's convention, they relegated Gov. Gary Herbert to second place, giving him only 45 percent of the vote to 55 for Jonathan Johnson. This is a popular Gary Herbert. This is the current head of the National Governors Association.
   Was it but few years ago they tossed a sitting senator, Bob Bennett, out of office? They didn't let the public even have a voice in that one, eliminated Bennett in convention before the race could reach a primary.
   How long ago was it they booed another sitting office holder of their own, Gov. Mike Leavitt? That was in 2000. Leavitt, too, was popular, with an 80 percent approval rating. They forced him into a primary.
   Or, go back to 2004, when for the first time in 48 years, a standing governor failed to win the party nomination. Gov. Olene Walker, the state's first female governor, finished fourth in the delegate count, failing to advance to the primary.
   I don't know how many delegates are there year after year. I wonder if some might have been there even as far back as the defeat of Walker, or even four more years back to the testing of Leavitt.
   Throw the bums out of office? Maybe someone should throw the bums out of office who are throwing the bums out of office.

Monday, April 25, 2016

If the Creative Minds Stayed at the Top, Our Economy Would be Better

   Some time ago, I believe I blogged on how it would be good to keep the people who produce the product in charge of the product.
   Let doctors run the show in medicine, dictating how much their patients are charged, and how many patients they see.
   About a week ago, I was writing about how it would be good to strip the the defense industry of the layer of fat at the top, if I can call it that. I just wonder if we couldn't pare off most of the top executives with no harm being done. I was thinking in terms of reducing our military bills.
   As I went to bed, two thoughts came to me:
   1. When an industry starts, the creative minds are usually running the business. Look no further than the computer industry: Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, etc. Then, think back to the automotive industry, and how Henry Ford ran Ford Motors. I do wonder how we could fashion our economy so that the creative minds remain at the forefront, and remain in command of our businesses.
   2. If we could strip the exorbitant pay of executives from our companies, the mystery of what to do about the income divide would be solved. No longer would the top 2 percent be so much richer than the rest of us. How to achieve this? How to keep superfluous executives from planting themselves at the top? In the defense industry, it might could be done. Simply not accept bids from companies whose executives pass a certain salary threshold.
   But, do we take this solution further? Do we outlaw executives from making too much money? Do we say, you cannot go beyond  a certain threshold?
   . . . Or, do we say, Unless it is your product? Now, we are putting the creative mind back in charge of the company.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

The Big and Spacious Building and Those Who Laugh at Porno Concern

   I think on how some have told me America is laughing at Utah for declaring pornography a health care crisis. And, I think on a scripture the LDS people have. A man named Lehi is telling the story.
  "And, I also cast my eyes round about, and beheld, on the other side of the river of water, a great and spacious building; and it stood as it were in the air, high above the earth. And it was filled with people, both old and young, both male and female; and their manner of dress was exceedingly fine; and they were in the attitude of mocking and pointing fingers towards those who had come at and were partaking of the fruit."
   I see no reason to mock. I find it not wrong to declare porn a health care crisis. But, it is the same with those who mocked those partaking of good fruit. Why laugh at those who are eating good fruit?
   Bless those who find it humorous that we should declare pornography a health care crisis that they will understand. Pornography does have harmful effects. These include health care effects. It is a worthy concern. Laugh if you will, but there is not good reason to.