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WindTapper's Blog

January 2016

The Crash of 2016 by Thom Hartmann

Finally, I got up to 91% of the book read. The rest are footnotes, which are very interesting, I might add.

Chapter 15 of 16 tells of how worker-owned businesses (co-operatives) are the answer to corporate greed/oligarchy. It also states that the U.S. is behind other developed nations in its number of worker-owned businesses (co-ops), even though we have an amazing number of these now.

Hartmann, I think, quotes somebody about the differences among Democratic Socialism, Communism, and Democratic Capitalism -- the last of which is represented by worker-owned businesses. You see, the CEO's and investment bankers are skimming off the profits while telling us all that businesses such as General Motors can't compete due to high wages of union workers. He shows that Germany has Mercedes  Benz which produces more vehicles, makes better products, and pays better than GM because their union and management are not at odds with each other.

And then, there's the last page of this month's Progressive magazine, with its one page editorial by Jim Hightower on merger mania. These two pieces of writing are so closely aligned that I dare to wonder if serendipity had anything to do with my reading them on the same day, or rather, is it because I support Bernie Sanders and am looking for reasons for my support of Bernie Sanders?

This is me, WindTapper.

Feb 2, 2016: Please see The New York Times November 30, 2015 front page. "Rich Governor And Allies Tilt Illinois's Future:  A New [OLD] Ideology Fueled by Political Spending" for evidence of Economic Royalists' plans to gut unions in Illinois, with their state pensions. We need to take back our Democracy from the Economic Royalists! Not simply sit around and dither about the country going to Hell. Vote for Bernie!

To Tether or Not to Tether

A tethered, spinning set of wind-powered blades -- that is, tethered at top and bottom on swivels, with the blades rotating horizontally - is the best way to control side-to side motions. This is best with limited horizontal spaces.

When the wind turbine has room to sway horizontally, then the advantage of the whirligig untethered at its bottom is that when the winds blow very hard, the magnets will be blown off the fixed coils (at the bottom) and will therefore avoid overproduction of electricity. This allows for almost-maximum numbers of turns in the coils, so that low wind average speed winds can be tapped for maximum electricity output.

The tethered rigs need to have fewer blades because the adverse tensions of higher winds will break their lines, as well as overproducing electricity overall -- thus causing fuse blowing or necessitating costly measures to provide safety against heat damage or to store excess electricity.

And so, I propose two separate designs, depending on how much horizontal space you can provide to the whirligigs.

And so, I will be building both types of whirligigs in order to 1)  test various ideas for how to create better, more durable tethers for the more narrow gigs; while also 2) testing the idea that higher winds must necessarily push the untethered gigs off their main configuration for maximum output at low wind speeds.

Later Note (midnight plus 30 mins. 1/31/16): Additional benefits to the untethered design: 1) greater stabilization and support for the coils; 2) much better ability to protect the coils from precipitation; 3) greater stability also provides for longer-lasting, more durable electrical connections to batteries and ground and other circuit controls.

So, perhaps I will use the interior of the swing set for tribo-electric experiments, rather than for the narrower but tethered gig experiments. Thus, the two outside ends of the swingset can be used for the untethered generators.

"Longer Boats" by Cat Stevens

After reading 70% of The Crash of 2016 and watching Bernie Sanders talk about what we should be doing with our country, I was vastly reminded of Cat Stevens' song, "Longer Boats." My memory comes from a later, more baritone voiced version than the link I just got to a video on YouTube:  1971 Longer Boats

"Longer boats are comin' to win us,
They're comin' to win us,
They're comin' to win us.
Longer boats are comin' to win us.
Hold onto the shore, or.
They'll be takin' the key from the door, a huh hor."

I mangled the last line, but the sentiment of the song is a great companion to the book and the Democratic platform. The housing crisis took lots of keys from lots of doors. The book explains how the crisis happened, is happening, worldwide, y'all.

Later Note: Now I have another 1971 song playing in my head: "Tin soldiers and Nixon coming, we're finally on our own. I hear the drummers drumming: 'Four dead in Ohio.'" Another YouTube video from 1971: Neil Young.

The Crash of 2016 tells of the Republican conspiracy, in which Nixon was an early player, to take over America from the people. Remember, "We the people"? Whose revolution came first? Let me see now. First the American Revolution, then the French Revolution, then the Russian Revolution, and according to The Crash of 2016, after the housing bubble in the 1920's burst, speculators made the stock market bubble which burst. And we all know how that turned out. FDR, WWII, Korean War ... Mao's Revolution, birth control pills....

Still Later Note: I am still shedding tears after listening to "Ohio" -- the name of the song by Crosby Stills Nash and Young from 1971. I didn't remember the name of the song, sitting here in Ohio, and all. My tears come from us white folks finally "getting it" about being shot down in the street. How many Blacks? Boston, Missouri, Illinois -- I can't remember them all. Where were we when they were being gunned down?

I guess the Baby Boomers had enough numbers to turn the tables on the overseers, y'all. Perhaps we can do it again before we die....

7:30 P.M 1/28/16: Investigating Rahm Emmanuel, as a Democrat, so far I have only the Wikipedia version of Chicago's situation. Emanuel was on retainer from Goldman Sachs for a while, but Chicago seems to me to be a war zone. With over 250 mostly black-on-black killings in gang warfare; and the 17 year-old youth of the infamous video being shot 16 times while on the ground, the Wiki entry for Emanuel says the youth was reportedly wielding a knife and hepped up on PCB.

This Chicago situation seems like a very long time coming, with zillions of social implications that I cannot even begin to unravel. Except to point out that inner city youth has no "leg up" financially, in the main, that I know of, while being socially responsible. Kosovo comes to mind as a war zone, as well as the Prohibition times of Chicago.... Our poor people are neglected. That is for sure.

8 PM: Regarding Cat Stevens, I must applaud the first verse of the song, but not the songwriter. The second verse takes aim at "the parson", but later Stevens converted to Islam and allowed that the Quran says blasphemy is a death sentence, regarding Salmon Rushdie. The Wiki has Stevens' bio and an separate article on this statement by Stevens....

Friday, 10 am.: I am still worried about the absolute veracity of the Wiki report that the guy had PCB and a knife. It is hard to say how long it will take to get the absolute answer to that question. I am surprised that nobody made a note at Wiki to the effect that more documentation is required for that entry.

Deteriorating Turbine Blades

Admittedly, the blades I chose are known to be fragile, especially when exposed to the sun. The plastic just doesn't hold up beyond a year. Even placed in a relatively shady spot, they still fall apart after time has elapsed. The heavy snow last year was the largest killer in this location (see previous photos).

Here's where it's at now:

All but one of the upper level blades is missing.
Let me show you a contrast from last year:
I would guess this was taken after the snow melted and had pushed the upper level blades down.

Anyway, the population of blades has decreased over time.


Two faces of capitalism -- the smiling, enriching, job-creating face; and the ugly, frowning, tyrannical face of unfettered greed. What makes the difference? Unfettered capitalism falls prey to the old adage: "Power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely."

I am now some 40% into The Crash of 2016 and recommend it to everyone thinking about voting in the U.S. Presidential Election this fall. For those of us who have believed our whole lives that Communism is bad and that Socialism is only another name for Communism -- think again.

Unfettered Capitalism falls prey to human nature. When you have a lot of money at your disposal, or which falls under your control, you concentrate on making more of it, often to the exclusion of the welfare of other people. This is what happened with Collateralized Debt Obligations or CDO's, made possible by the repeal of the "Glass-Steagall Act, also known as the Banking Act of 1933 (48 Stat. 162)...".

Once the hot-shots in charge of investing billions of dollars of various big banks ran out of the normally sound mortgage customers, then less sound, predatory lender debts, and finally, housing bubble -- caused by "free money" -- speculators all got into debt. CDO's were marketed abroad so that other Capitalists could "benefit" from the housing bubble here in the States. Apparently this bubble did not only travel to Germany and Switzerland (see The Big Short movie.), but also somehow found a similar way over to Chinese overbuilding.

2013 saw the publication of Thom Hartmann's The Crash of 2016, which details the Republican conspiracy to rewrite our textbooks, our newscasts, our laws, our political rhetoric -- all in favor of the oligarchs. The rich people wanted to get richer, keep all their money, and educate our children to help them. I recall something about Nixon getting in on this process.


I had also always assumed that any term that contained "liberal" was good, and that "libertarian" would also be necessarily good. "Liberal" stood for me as meaning "socially conscious," and the "libertarian" ideal of freedom harkened to "with liberty and justice for all" of the Pledge of Allegiance. Wrong again. Neoliberal is equivalent to "Economic Royalist" and "Robber Barron" as Libertarian recalls the arguments of the oligarchs. When the Neoliberals, Libertarians, and Fox News talk of freedom, they mean unfettered freedom of capitalists to rape and pillage all the rest of us. They will bring up the Second Amendment, and support the Tea Partiers.

Unfettered Capitalists want only more. They want the rest of us to be poor, to come crawling to them for jobs, to never pay taxes, to have enough poor people available to do their bidding, and enough poor people and immigrants to bring them money and to fight their wars. They want us to remain dependent on their drugs, their health insurance policies, their crumbling infrastructure, their crumbling schools, their crumbling debt obligations.

Unfettered Capitalists are oligarchs -- that is, only one step better than kings or despots. Socially responsible Capitalism, on the other hand, takes care of its workers, its environment, and helps the whole world to avoid global warming, disease, poverty, and slavery.

We need to vote either for Bernie Sanders or for Hillary Clinton -- whichever one wins the nomination for U.S. President. I, for one, hope Bernie Sanders can help us to "Feel The Bern."

Jack Fruit

5 inches of snow here, but I put in extra provisions yesterday. Started to process the Jack Fruit last evening:

This was our second Jackfruit. The first one was way more moist. It was too messy for my trying to take pictures. I am not sure why it was wetter. The store charged a dollar less per pound for the wet one, but it might have just been because it was new and on sale, then.

This one was 20 lbs at $1.29 per lb. So far I have 5 lbs of waste in approximately 1/3 of the way through. I'll get you better stats, eventually. Add water to the dry ones! Although, it tastes just as good as the wet one did.

So far I have lost 12 lbs on the "Fat Diminisher Diet" which consists of fruit smoothies for both breakfast and lunch, although a little bit of other stuff for lunch and a modest dinner are also included. Other ingredients are also listed, but I think I shouldn't report these as the recipes are for sale at .

That's all for now, folks.

5-10 Degrees Phenomenon

Now at 5-10 degrees for the second night in a row (maybe zero degrees two nights ago), I observe a new phenomenon approximately 1/8th mile from our house.

The parking lot street lamps across the highway started blinking. It turns out that the blinking is caused by where I sit on our front porch to vape, compared to where a heavy electrical line travels across the middles (by line-of-sight) of the two streetlamps. The line is apparently vibrating tonight, in what I roughly count as a 3.5 to 4 per second cycle. Which roughly equals 220-240 Hz, or the value of the 220 lines that deliver electricity to all of our homes, offices, stores, and such.

I have never seen this phenomenon before, although I have seen power lines caught in special swinging modes when the winds are at the right velocity and direction. But I don't believe that is what is happening now, since the cycles per second number observed is so close to the actual cycles per second of the electricity being delivered across the line.

On the other hand, I don't know if the line does this dance all the time, but that because of the temperature, the line happens to run exactly between the lights and my eyes, due to contraction of materials generally at lower temperatures, or whether the temperature is affecting the physical manifestation of the power flowing through the line.

Perhaps I'll find someone someday to answer this question.

Later Note: In the light of day I see the thick bundle of wire is on our street, while the lights are approx. 1/8 mile away. This is exactly the same wire that I saw doing a pendulum swing in the wind during the summer, btw. I believe it either brings the main power to our neighborhood, or helps distribute one of the three phases of 220 power to a third of our neighborhood. Our neighborhood, btw, includes two or three hills -- perhaps four, depending on how you count breaks in ridges -- and a bottom along a creek, with several houses. Not particularly relevant, however, lol.

The Revenant

Having trouble processing this flick, largely because it challenges conventional teachings/cultural biases on several topics.

I had always thought of the French trappers as being friendly to the Indians, as in several trappers marrying Indian brides. And French relations with Indians I had supposed were good, if only to counteract English settlers claims on territory. But this movie has French bad guys. I think it was very naive of me to think of all French trappers as I did.

Similarly for the Daniel Boone type of frontiersmen, with Appalachian accents. Hearts of gold, and all that.

Then there is the long-suffering, hearty hero who is either super smart, experienced, savvy, or who can rise above all evil and prevail in the end.

Add to that, the reason I went to the movie in the first place is because I read a review saying that DeCaprio surely would win an Academy Award for this one. Sorry, but I don't see it. I guess I'm used to revering guy's emoting more fully, even though this is probably counter-culture, girl-talk. I prefer DeNero to Brando, for example. There's simply more expression in the face. Of course, the beard hid the face of DeCaprio, so he was behind the eight ball all the way.

And that mangled leg of the hero, how could that have healed up so much? That bit of cinematography was definitely outside of the realm of possibility. That leg would have been amputated in those days, considering the bone never received a splint.

I was glad when that movie was over.

"The Big Short" (2015)

A fun movie, although, not as much fun as The Hot Tub Time Machine, lol, because The Big Short comes from a long line of documentary and popular flicks and books. (We did not get it in our town until 2016, btw.)

I took a tour on the internet, looking for past glories in this history of financial meltdown, having seen and heard MUCH about The Great Depression -- its causes and cures.

IMDB -- The International Movie Database, the Wiki, Bill Moyers' site, among others, helped me to compile the following list, starting with the oldest. I have yet to delve into the Keating S&L scandal, however, and then there was Enron....

The Corporation (2003)
Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room (2005)
Maxed Out: Hard Times, Easy Credit and the Era of Predatory Lenders (2006 movie, 2007 book; three YouTube sites; for sale at Amazon)

I.O.U.S.A. (2008)

2009 was a HUGE year for this topic in movies. In random order for 2009:

Frontline: The Warning (one of an ongoing series of TV documentaries on various topics)
Up In The Air (with George Clooney)
Capitalism: A Love Story (Michael Moore)
Plunder: The Crime of Our Time
American Casino

2010 movies or book:
Inside Job
The Flaw
Client 9: Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer
Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps

2011 Titles:
Too Big To Fail
Margin Call (with Kevin Spacey)
The Company Men

2012: 97% Owned

2013:  MeltdownWolf of Wall Street; The Great Deformation; The Crash of 2016: The Plot to Destroy America -- and What We Can Do to Stop It (has pdf upload plus YouTube Thom Hartman at Politics and Prose Bookstore); Money for Nothing: Inside the Federal Reserve.

Ancillary 2013: American Hustle; Wolf of Wall Street; Dallas Buyers Club.

Feel The Bern !

We in the United States are very proud of our Bill of Rights -- the first 10 (or 19) Amendments to the Constitution -- especially our right to free speech.

But I ask you, how free is speech when billionaires blare their megaphones across our airwaves zillions of times compared to how much each individual -- average or, indeed, poor -- citizen can have his or her messages heard?

Then, there are the sounding or resonating boxes, echoing each and every billionaire who stands before us, trying to be heard loud enough to get elected to our highest offices during our special election seasons. How many times have you had to sit through the speculation on news programs about the popularity of one billionaire? We have to endure a lot of billionaire propaganda. And, even though I believe in respecting minorities, that is one minority that should spend more time listening the the other 99.5+%.

I've had enough of my time wasted by that one billionaire. I feel it is way past our time to concentrate our thoughts, if not our supposedly "free" speech, onto issues that matter to the 300+ million citizens of these United States. It is time we came together to support and to Feel the Bern in United States politics!

[This message brought to you by your serendipitous quest for eco-friendly, homemade, alternative power resources, and my need to communicate my own desires and some of my own efforts to help create a better world.]


The cold weather finally arrived yesterday. Suddenly it was 10 degrees F. outside. Now it is 20. Big whoop. No snow, though.

Hubby and I went to the new Star Wars movie. I was disappointed that it rehashed some of the basics, but it is as though the new owners were getting their bearings, after all. And my husband had never seen a Star Wars movie, so I think that's why he enjoyed it much more than I did. I took a link to what George Lucas said about the movie, at first, and he pretty much agreed with my thoughts. Perhaps his second thoughts got 'round to realizing that Disney would not want Lucas involved because the whole point of the first movie is to get their own team able to do it themselves without the former owner, who, after all, SOLD the franchise.

On another topic, I acquired the TurboCAD Deluxe, then uploaded the 2015 as per links offered, but it still doesn't work for me. I've been waiting since 1994 for an AutoCAD program to become available for much less than $900. This was $80 but it doesn't work yet. On the other hand, I've been too busy to devote 24/7 to it lately. It might be that some features will turn off in 30 days from when I first uploaded it. So things may all be for naught.

We are having several bits and pieces of plumbing upgraded these days, so my mind is occupied with accomplishing that, for the moment.

Catch'ya later, dudettes and dudes!
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