Episode-1338- Listener Feedback for 4-21-14 — 58 Comments

  1. Jack,

    Love the 1.5hr + shows you’ve been putting out lately, just long enough to cover my entire commute home 🙂


  2. Regarding the Portland water flush topic: I’m in the Portland area so I’ve had a few days to think about this. I think it’s just easier for them to flush and refill the reservoir than it is for them to explain to the public that the water is treated already and birds already dump in the reservoir so one person urinating in 30 million gallons isn’t going to have any impact.

    What’s worse is there’s still talk of covering the reservoir to prevent birds from pooping in the water. Of course they’re blaming this need on potential terror threats. It’s almost like the majority of the water for the area doesn’t come from open rivers and this reservoir is one tiny portion of the water system…

    • Brian I totally agree. My guess would be that the officials making this decision don’t think its necessary to dump the water but that they rather have the bad press from dumping the water than the bad press from keeping the “tainted” water. I think the official is right in that for the general public there is a perception difference between human urine and animal waste. I don’t think that its a perception that holds up to any amount of rational scrutiny but it exists nonetheless. Just to clarify I don’t agree with the decision but I think its made more out of fear of bad press than stupidity… which I guess some might argue is stupid…

      • I think they are fricken morons! There is no need to even make a point of telling anyone about this in the first place.

        • I agree that the situation as a whole is idiotic but I’m just not sure that the person quoted in the article is necessarily to blame. I could be wrong and maybe he is completely responsible for making the decision but as a person who works in water resources there are many stupid, stupid rules that I don’t believe in personally and that I don’t think serve the public at all and yet I am compelled to comply with them or face being in violation of the law. Like I said that may not be the case here at all but I think its at least possible that there is more going into the decision than meets the eye.

        • With regards to not needing to make the public aware I think that it might have been the right decision. At least now they can say that they’ve been transparent. I think they could have faced an even worse situation if it had somehow gotten out and it looked like they were trying to cover it up. I agree that its a non-issue but I would imagine a lot of people would not have seen it that way if it looked like they were trying to hide the fact.

        • Oh nonsense, I am not saying to hide it, just don’t broadcast it to every news outlet on the planet. The average moron is too busy looking for Kim Kardashian’s baby bump to give an F anyway.

        • I started to send you this article, but figured 100 people beat me too it,but, I too thought about this for a few days and can’t figure out why they didn’t sell it to the Cal. Farmers in dire need of water or hell why not gift it to them?
          I think it’s stupid as hell to dump it but why waste it?
          It wouldn’t be that hard just send a train up there and pump it into tank cars and haul it down too them.
          Where are the Environmentalists?
          Wouldn’t they normally be screaming from the roof tops?
          I guess since they are putting it back into the river it’s ok.
          Thanks for all you do!

      • He’s being a good bureaucrat, which is to say an idiot by any sane standard. Dumping all the water costs HIM nothing, a trumped-up “scandal” contrived by some yellow journalist or attention seeking aspiring politician, or political enemy over not acting on this footage could cost him his career. So what does he do? He throws away 30 million or whatever it was gallons of water at tax-payer expense rather than stick his own neck out one angstrom by saying “anyone with a brain knows this doesn’t impact the quality of the water in the slightest”.

        In his mind he hears the local news anchor: “Shocking video suggests your drinking water may not be as clean as authorities claim, we have the exclusive video for you right after the break” and figures a quarter million dollars worth of water paid for by others (just a guess) is a small price to pay for avoiding the risk (very small risk) of an ugly scandal directly affecting HIM.

    • This is why I moved to WA 🙂 Portland people are just weird its the slogan of the city. Not sure how you get rid of these people, let me know if you figure it out. I would could get rid of the ones that dropped 1/2 a million on some rusted iron art on MLK two blocks away from the homeless kitchen with a line around the corner.

      Not in a drought, umm last I checked we were in a drought and are still down since a dry December. What I like is Portland spends millions for a Green Street project to soak water into the ground instead of the running it into the river, but no problem flushing it 40 million gallons. If its treated you are probably dumping chlorine in the river now?

      • It funny you say it is the slogan of the city, Portland is known in Texas as the little Austin and Austin’s Slogan is keep Austin Weird LOL!

    • Brian, I expect that your right as to why they did it (and I haven’t listened to the podcast yet), but it’s very wasteful and unnecessary. Perhaps if taxpayers saw the cost of doing all this then maybe they would object, I don’t know, but public health was not in danger and people need to learn to make more logical decisions. There’s places in California right now that would love to take that water.

    • Yeah, that’s Portland all over. I can say that because I live here (for now), but then again when they are this stupid, everyone should say it.
      The whole State is pretty much brain dead at the leadership level. They are still flogging Cover Oregon even though the website still doesn’t work, hundreds of millions of $ are missing and they are signing up illegals.
      Then there is the bridge project that cost us over $200 million and counting. It was designed to0 low to accommodate river traffic, to large with bike and pedestrian lanes and no public buy in. The project was hemorrhaging cash, it was finally killed and we’re out the money. Oh, and they want to raise taxes again for the children and roads.
      ~We gotta get out of this place, if it’s the last thing we ever do…~

  3. Regarding the definition of Rights and what are and what are not I think you’re exactly right that anything which implies a positive obligation on one person cannot be a right for anyone (healthcare for example). I’d also add that anything that cannot be universally applied to all people cannot be a right. I’m not sure if this is a distinct criteria or just another way of stating the same idea but it’s a useful perspective for me.

    One critique I have with almost all libertarians who go into this topic though is the use of the word “harm”. As in “as long as my actions do no harm to you I should be free to continue them”, but this still sells us short on our liberty. Almost any action can be said to harm someone if they want to be anal enough about it. If I list my house for sale I’m “harming” everyone else who’s trying to sell in my area at that moment by increasing the supply, conversely when I buy a house in a new town I’m “harming” all the other prospective buyers in that area by reducing the supply. I know it sounds ridiculous, but the sad fact is we see exactly this kind of argument used all the time to justify government infringements on liberty new and old.

    We need a better term than “harm” that is easily understood to mean “a violation of the rights of another” without the potential to be easily twisted by the evil and the foolish to mean “If can find anyone anywhere who would prefer you not do that then it’s wrong for you to do it.”

      • When I first started listening to Jack I did a lot of fact checking. It was rare that I found anything that I disagreed with or when the numbers didn’t add up. In those rare occasions it was economic stuff and to be honest if you dig deep enough you can find econ numbers to back about any argument you want to make (as long as no fact checkers want to dig deep). Jack’s info is mainstream and to the point. I didn’t post this as a fact check, just a PSA for anyone wanting to dig deeper. I do recommend you dig deeper on any TSP subject you are interested in, it can only increase your knowledge.

    • Thanks for that list Dave.

      I think the most chilling thing about it is that most of those on that list happened in the past 100 years. I have heard it said that the 20th century was the bloodiest century in the past 2 millennia.

      I just wonder why people think we modern humans are so much smarter and more peaceful than our ancestors, why? because we have government to make the world a better place?

      Makes anarchy not sound so bad after all.

      • I noticed that also. This could be because we’ve been better at documenting these things for the last 100 years, or this could be because we’ve gotten better killing in the last hundred years. I don’t know. I’d like to hear Alex Shrugged chime in on this area. We could use some math buffs as well as history buffs here, maybe it’s just greater population leads to greater atrocities? Either way, does not look good for the future.

    • Regarding the “Genocide List” and the 20th century, the reason there are more people dying in the 20th century is because there are MORE PEOPLE around to die in the first place. I saw an article in the American Spectator years ago that went though the tally and frankly, even at the time of Noah’s Flood, counting every person who drowned… there just weren’t very many people alive at the time. Thus the totals of the dead don’t add up very quickly until you get to modern times.

      What does this mean? It means “the bigger you are, the harder you fall.”

      I’m not sure you can do much about this. You can inform people but you can’t force them to act responsibly. When they act irresponsibly, people die. When there are a lot of people around at the time, a lot of people die.

      This also puts the lie to the secularist complaints that the religious caused the most deaths over the centuries. I’m not saying the religious wouldn’t have done so if they could, but practically speaking, there just weren’t enough people alive at the time for the religious to do a better job of killing. It was only in the 20th century when you had more people and more efficient ways of killing them that you had larger kill rates…. mostly from SECULAR GOVERNMENTS!

      Of course, that doesn’t mean that we should put in a religious government and expect any better. (Actually I’d like to think we would get marginally better at not killing people but only marginally.) We need safeguards on ANY AND ALL governments.

      The Founding Fathers were religious people. They still put in safeguards.


    • FYI… according to Wikipedia, the word “genocide” implies “intent”, yet the Wikipedia list of genocides includes the death of the American Indians due to disease brought over by the Europeans. If genocide means something intentional, then these deaths must not be included with the totals for genocide. When the Europeans came to America they didn’t know about germs. They thought is was some sort of magic or the the judgement of God. In fact, when a person died of tuberculosis, it was believed such people were vampires.

      Passing a disease on while unawares cannot be considered genocide because genocide (in English at least) implies intent. Therefore the Indians deaths due to European diseases cannot be considered genocide without specific cases identified with evidence of intent.

  4. Grid Tie Solar, if you are grid tied, you are producing maximum power at maximum load if you are in the south in the summer time. Max power in the summer is for the AC cooling load for business and residence during the day. Many times residential AC is not on full blast, or on, during the day time when residents are at work. So max solar production is actually when there is max demand on the grid because of the AC demand.

    Also, when I BUY power from my electrical company, I do pay, on my bill, a transmission fee, so I’m paying for the infrastructure, so its fair to have a fee for the people selling solar back to the electrical company.

    Keep in mind, Steven Harris does NOT endorse grid tie solar. You won’t get your money back, ever, unless you got a huge huge amount of money from the state or feds….and that is theft of our tax money to put money in your pocket and that’s immoral. You could very well get a big solar system setup, with a 10 year Return on Investment, and then the laws change in 5 years and you are screwed. Right now the laws are saying in many places, that you get paid for your power, what you pay for power, or a rate that is elevated because you are making ‘green’ energy. That rate can and will change. The power company will want to pay you what is called the ‘differed rate’, which is the rate at which it would cost them to make a KWh when they build their NEXT power plant. So you could be getting 10 cents / kwh right now for your solar, or in California, even more, and then the laws change and you get the differed rate of anything from 1.8 to 3.6 cents per KWH. So you can end up being screwed pretty quickly. Grid tie solar does NOT give you power when the grid is down…. nor is it anywhere easy to make it do that at all. There are not batteries on grid tie system that are charged off the solar panels. Only thing you can do is make a Harris battery bank and then plug into the wall for charging.

    Jack is so right, if this worked, people would be putting this in by the shit ton, and its absolutely impossible to do this without the government grants and new laws, and all of those things can go away with the stroke of a pen and you can end up having your retirement money sitting on top of your roof and not doing what it was suppose to do and you’re screwed.

    Steven Harris

    • Thanks for your input Steve, You’ve guided my solar aspirations for a while now. I’m currently small scale and experimental, but I’ll be upgrading soon and I’ll be smart about it. I’ll have power anytime the grid goes down.

      Love your work, Thanks.

      • Some points to consider:

        Solar subsidies/rebates – you might consider this as getting back some of the money taken by government, as Jack would say, stolen at the point of a gun. It would only be immoral if you hadn’t paid that amount in taxes, which is probably not an issue for those that can afford getting one of these systems.

        Paying to use the utilities infrastructure – I do pay a fee for infrastructure when I use their power, so now I pay again for the same infrastructure. In Arizona, APS proposed charging from $50 to $100 a month as a ‘convenience’ fee. Their rational is that the people putting in these systems are more affluent and use more power, and the more you use the higher the rate. This leads to the faulty logic that since they use less now and sell it back, that they are getting too high a rate for what they sell back by off-setting their own usage. The Corporation Commission did approve a lesser plan to allow charging ~$5 a month to new installations.

        Utilities forced to buy my solar power – You may say that the utility must buy back the power, but because of the system, I have to buy power from them. No free market involved.

        To sum up, I agree with Jack that the government involvement in this is what is core to the problems. There is no free market operating at least around me. In the Phoenix area, where you live determines if you use APS or SRP, no choice for you. And let me tell you, the companies are making plenty of money. In fact, we get a nuclear reactor and California gets the power from it!

    • There is some misinformation in the podcast that needs to be clarified.

      Utilities in Oklahoma are NOT required by law to purchase power from residential solar producers. They may do so if they choose. And when they do, it is as the utility’s avoided-cost rate.

      It also should be understood that most people with these systems are only producing enough energy to offset a fraction of the energy that they use.

      A summary of the Oklahoma law concerning PV solar can be found on the DSIRE website.

      While I am not advocating for or against these type of programs, I do believe it is wise to check the facts before going off on rants about them.

      • i have to back tim up here. i live in oklahoma and i am off grid 60 % making my own power wind an solar both. i choose not to be grid tie. i have batteries as back up and have a full system separate from the grid system because the electric company where i am refuses to even consider buying extra electric at all. if you wish to check this out it is east central electric. they dont mind if i hook to their lies grid tie, but it has to be how they want it. it has to be inspected or installed and certified by a licensed electrician. they then still refuse to pay you for anything you send them. while charging you full price for what you use this new law would allow them to do that and still charge you cause you sent them some, so i refuse. i dont give them any. tim is right now law in oklahoma that makes them pay you one red cent for anything you send them, unless they want to and most do not want to.

        • And when you do business with anyone you do it on their terms. Again it still strikes me that people who get an incentive of any kind are shocked to learn there might be a catch attached to it.

    • To back up Steve’s point, there is a reason those of us in the utilities business call spring & fall “outage season”. That’s when power is cheap because no one needs it (open windows for fresh air, etc.). That’s also when the sun is frequently covered by clouds, reducing insolation.

      When you ARE generating it, you are (probably) also using tons of it. Summertime with blazing hot (i.e. insolating) sunshine also requires those high draw A/C units to flip on so your computer doesn’t melt. Wind and hydro are the only “miracle” technologies (solar, wind, all the other stuff Uncle Scam subsidizes) that generate grid-tie in off-peak hours. At least in the south, we don’t get much wind during peak demand hours (or even seasons).

      IF you can sell back your power to the grid AND you are lucky enough to sell it back to us at retail rates, the shoulder seasons are when you’d make your money since the south still has regulated utility rates that are basically the same all year. However, Steve’s original point is that you aren’t going to make any money unless you are taking your neighbors’ and mine via Uncle Scam’s backdoor shady deals.

    • So I live in a location that the solar is subsidized through higher rates… and you think I should forego installing solar because it is, in your opinion, immoral… yeah… right… you can’t possibly be that obtuse…
      I am tied to my location by business and familial obligations… the higher electrical rates were imposed on me by the general populace through a vote and by state politicians through legal processes. If you chose not to take the subsidies for the solar power, in my opinion, you are being STUPID! But, then again, you have your opinion, I have mine… whatever! Bottom line, my system covers 90% of my use… and payback was complete in 38 months while my “take” ran for 60 months.
      To make a system work for grid down scenarios is not that hard, it does involve a ng/propane generator powering the “meter” side of the system so the power flows from the solar side of the system. Or installing a battery bank system that the grid is excellent at maintaining its charge until needed.

      • No one claimed you were immoral! Quit acting like a child. What was said is when you take a subsidy you become subject to other requirements and stipulations. So if you take the subsidy, don’t bitch when the criminal that gave it to you wants “a favor” in return.

        • How about saving our tax money from going to ALL subsidies and everybody just pays for their fair share.

          For example, if we abolish the subsidies that unnecessarily go to the oil companies who do not need it, at this point in their evolution over the past 100 years. Now those companies may for whatever business reasons decide to increase the cost of their products like gasoline and diesel.

          Now this will increase the cost to someone who chooses to commute an hour or more per day that they pay for fuel for their vehicle.

          But the existing system forces people like Jack Spirko and I who choose to work from home to subsidize the fuel cost of those who choose to drive. Hmmmm?

          Keep up the good work, Jack, and enjoy your well-deserved vacation,

        • See I think you should stop with, “How about saving our tax money from going to ALL subsidies and everybody just pays for their fair share.” When we start down the “like the oil companies who do not need” we get into minutia that is unnecessary. Worse, “who do not need it”, implies that someone needs it somewhere. Yep just stick to,

          “How about saving our tax money from going to ALL subsidies and everybody just pays for their fair share.”

          Or more accurately loose the fair share crap an say, How about saving our tax money from going to ALL subsidies and everybody just pays for what they actually want to buy.

        • gee Jack… I guess you missed this…

          “Keep in mind, Steven Harris does NOT endorse grid tie solar. You won’t get your money back, ever, unless you got a huge huge amount of money from the state or feds….and that is theft of our tax money to put money in your pocket and that’s immoral.”

          which is exactly what I was responding to, that’s why my comment was inline with Steve’s… had I been commenting on your show comments I would have had them as a stand alone comment.

        • ok, I can’t edit my previous comment so let me add this…
          I agree with your statements regarding taking subsidies and being subject to other requirements, et all…

      • Jack I have been thinking long and hard about what you said concerning solar.

        Frankly, let me start by stating the obvious–these utilities might have a ton of regulations but they are only there to legitimize how they operate. This is just a cartel of energy companies raking it in.

        So the alternative, when do you think they might put the mountain tops back on the mountains? That is how must coal is produced now a days.

        Here is another issue with how you categorized the subsidy transactions for the electric companies: you said, if I remember correctly that they are forced to take power from the grid tie ins at night correct? I do not see how a solar energy system is pumping electric into the system at night, unless one has batteries which would be a strange use of batteries.

        The other issue I had was that you stated that owners of solar electricity do not help out the grid during the peak times which would be most beneficial to the companies and the system.

        If the ones with solar are not pulling from the grid during peak hoirs that lessens the demand on the system and all the stresses on the system which I would hazard to guess saves a ton for the electric monopolies.

        That isbthe thing. I do not have a choice with electric companies and those bastards can come on my property any time they so damn want to and put up poles wherever they so please.

        I have proof of this. The electric company has poles climbing up the property line then cut into the middle of my pasture and end there. They are not too keen on removing them either. To get this done the burden is completely on myself. Meaning I have to pay good money to chase after the bad money to correct an issue I did not create.

        Otherwise I agree for the most part with your take on subsidies. I think the unforseen consequences, aka the blow back, from these things has created loads of waste and artifical values that are both unstable and unsustainable.

        But there are two sides to the coin. Yes, pollution caused by humans is not that great in the big scheme of things but I wonder if the balances are hanging and we create enough of movement in our small way if that is enough to wreak havoc on us all?

        I mean to say, is I certainly do not have all the answers and it is so damn hard to find any unbiased answers to legit questions out there.

        Concerning Bundy where were all these militia men when people who have done nothing questionable needed a hand and the cause would be without question just?

  5. Greetings, We get surveys from the Republicians from time to time. The last one that arrived had a AHA question: Should changes in the AHA reduce costs? There was nothing about repeal anywhere in the survey. The Rs have joined the Ds again. Surprised?

  6. I don’t want to pay any taxes anymore. Just so there is no more money to support idiots running the system. Wouldn’t it be great if we could just starve the parasite?
    Unfortunately there is no magic pill for STUPID to take to cure them…. There is a cure for stupidity but I am not going to say what it is so some faint of heart don’t get bend out of shape…:)

  7. conflicted Monday

    My take on how I would approach another group post SHTF,well, that depends. I would be patient. I would want as much intel on the group. I would send scouts or go myself and observe on the daily comings and goings of this group. I would do it as anonymously as possible. I would want to make sure this group had the kind of souls I want associating with my people. our groups should have compatible goals and means to achieve those goals. I would some how get word to this group that our group and theirs would somehow start bartering. A trade relationship would be formed long before our groups would merge.

    • I can agree with all of that. I would also be listening in on the groups communications if they were that well setup. If they’re running security, scouting, foraging (or raiding) teams they’ll have comms. Comms are easy, keeping them private is not, join your local ham club.

    • my thoughts would be… very very very cautiously! unless there were some kind of extenuating circumstances… such as an approaching army of cannibal raiders… and then it would just be very cautiously!

  8. Great show. No real arguments here, except one… “Here’s your sign” was Bill Engvall, not Jeff Foxworthy. Wrong redneck.

    Heeeere’s your sign. 😀

    • hehe I knew someone would point that out, but really they are best friends and write their acts together and Bill wrote the the you might be a Redneck jokes and sold them to Jeff …it made Jeff a hundred millionaire

    • I heard a guy say one time, “I just wish God would give me a sign!”

      The “No Smoking” sign fell off of the wall.

      We laughed our backsides off. 🙂

      • I had a charismatic Christan run up to me on the street and say,” Sir… do you know the greatest story ever told !!??” My reply was a very flat and assured, “Yes of course, Star Wars.” He was completely silent as I walked off.

        Steven Harris

  9. @Jack
    You said you weren’t doing ANY work in Sanibel…

    I was under the impression you were going to be doing research on that LONG overdue fishing episode you’ve been promising. That would make this business travel, right?

    PS – Say hello to Doc Ford and Tomlinson for me while you’re there.

  10. @ Jack and Steve re: solar subsidies,

    When it comes to residential solar, the incentive from the federal government comes in the form of a 30% tax credit on personal federal income taxes.

    Please elaborate on your statements that the government is taking (stealing) money from the pockets of some people and handing it over to those installing PVS and claiming that tax credit.

    Is the claim that any tax credit on income earned by one individual is theft from the pocket of another?

    In contrast, the ACA (Obamacare) does not offer a federal tax credit to individuals with a tax federal tax liability able to prove their purchase of private individual health insurance following 12/31/2014.

    I am having a difficult time following both the claim of theft from the pockets of others and the analogy to the funding of the ACA.

    Thank you for your clarification.

    • You pay less because you bought something, hence someone else pays your part of the total bill.

      Now remember I don’t even think there should be an income tax. NOR DID I SAY YOU WERE STEALING, fricken really people stop being childish. I said the government was the one stealing money.

      I mean do you not get that your “deduction” is actually government spending? That it goes on the nations balance sheet as such?

    • some states give you up to 75% back on the money you spent on a solar installation, this is a rebate, not a tax deduction. The guy on here that said he got his system paid back in 38 months was one of those people.


      • Steve…
        There were/are federal credits available, at the time I purchased my system the limit was $2000. One year or so later, the GW Bush administration signed legislation that increased that limit to 1/3 the cost with no upward limit (as far as I remember). It made no difference to me as my tax liabilities would not have allowed me to utilize much of those credits.
        My rebates were based on system performance… 35 cents per kilowatt hour. Utilizing dual axis trackers helped to maximize the system performance and more than made up for the cost difference. I am still waiting to see how the trackers effect panel performance… one good reason to purchase high end panels.

      • YOU’RE GETTING 35 CENTS PER KWH !!??? That is theft from some place, because most people pay 10 cents per kwh and even in the socialist republic of california its is only around 24 cents max for what people PAY. How can you be getting paid more than what people pay for power when the electricity company is not even getting that much money for the solar power….

        …and 2 axis trackers are the only way to go, along with an MPPT charger.


        • I was… my Performance Based Incentive expired a couple of years ago. I was one of the first PBI accounts for the state’s solar initiative…
          you haven’t seen the upper tier cost for electricity in the SCE area in awhile have you… tier 4 and 5 get really expensive, and it doesn’t take a lot to get there.
          How can someone get that rate? get in early! I am pretty sure that current installations don’t get anywhere near that rate. the program was set up to encourage early adoption with a graduated scale of return based on the number of system participants. The program was approved by the voters of the state… because one takes advantage of another’s idealism is not theft… at least not in my book… the idealist chose that path. Have you priced out grass fed anything lately? or what is going on with the price of fuel? or how about how much some pay for a PDC? or what some pay for online information? and you think 35 cents a KWH is theft? I guess it’s a matter of perspective.

    • While there are no “tax credits” for ACA health insurance, isn’t a portion of the costs of that insurance used to reduce your gross income, thereby lowering your taxable income? I am pretty sure Jack has stated in previous shows that utilizing every deduction possible to lower your tax liabilities only made good sense… and it is not theft in any way possible. If it were theft, the government would never allow it, they hate the competition!
      As to the tax credits allowed for personal power systems… it can reduce your tax liabilities, but if your liabilities are to small, those credits do you no good, but are lost. I think you can spread the credits over a number of years… but if you have $20,000 in credits and your liabilities only total $5,000… the 15k in credits are never utilized, in essence, they are lost. I guess it is better for the wealthy to install solar and wind systems… but then again, when is not better to be wealthy!

  11. Regarding pandemic, I have enjoyed listening to The Great Influenza by John M. Barry. It’s fascinating–history, biology, biography. Most interesting is how the pandemic was denied, then played down, by “patriotic” censored journalists.