Want to understand what is really going on behind the scenes in the Texas power meltdown? Read this article which puts the whole mess in technical, economic and political perspective.
One fact developed in the article that I had not been fully aware of is the remarkable strides that wind and solar sources have made economically in the last ten years. Those strides are summarized in this chart . . .
“The core problem: Power providers can reap rewards by supplying electricity to Texas customers, but they aren’t required to do it and face no penalties for failing to deliver during a lengthy emergency. That led to the fiasco that left millions of people in the nation’s second-most-populous state without power for days. A severe storm paralyzed almost every energy source, from power plants to wind turbines, because their owners hadn’t made the investments needed to produce electricity in subfreezing temperatures.”
For his sake, I hope he has massive personal liability insurance. The case against him is a slam dunk given that he defamed Dominion constantly in public but did not do so in court where there are sanctions for lying.
“Alternative facts” is a cute name for a very ugly thing – the technologically enhanced and systematic spreading of lies and disinformation. Voltaire’s famous aphorism is spot on – “If you can make someone believe absurdities you can make them commit atrocities.”
There is no better recent example than the absurdity that Donald Trump won the recent election in a landslide but victory was stolen from him. Millions of people have been made to believe absurdity this and the atrocity of an assault on Congress followed from it.
The problem is clear. The solutions are not easy or obvious but we must find them. On social media, various studies have found that the overwhelming bulk of disinformation originates in relatively few but very popular sources. Trump’s feed is an obvious example, but there are others. Begin there with stricter control over lies and incitements.
Beyond that I would suggest a return of the “Fairness Doctrine” in any media outlet that in any way relies on public resources. If the purveyors of lies knew that every lie would have to be matched with the opposite, there would be less incentive for those who finance these disinformation efforts to do so. Imagine the difference in our body politic if Fox News and Talk Radio actually were “fair and balanced” instead of being the mother lode of lies.
Seditious shitheads need a safe space to spread their nonsense and hatch their plots. After Amazon and Apple decided that “Enough is enough” sedition and lies on Parler and pulled the plug, Russia steps up to ensure that these shitheads will not be silenced. I guess Putin is dedicated to protecting the “Marketplace of ideas.”
There is no GOOD reason for these 750,000 or so tax-paying American citizens continue to be denied equal representation in Congress. The Constitution in setting up the District of Columbia sets only the maximum size it can be (10 Sq. Miles) and the current plan simply shrinks it down to the area of Federal facilities around the mall.
If this is paywalled, the gist is that the Norfolk office of the FBI received information about the planned attack on the Capitol and shared it with the FBI headquarters the day before it happened. One of their social media intercepts included in their report is both chilling and informative . . .
“As of 5 January 2021, FBI Norfolk received information indicating calls for violence in response to ‘unlawful lockdowns’ to begin on 6 January 2021 in Washington. D.C.,” the document says. “An online thread discussed specific calls for violence to include stating ‘Be ready to fight. Congress needs to hear glass breaking, doors being kicked in, and blood from their BLM and Pantifa slave soldiers being spilled. Get violent. Stop calling this a march, or rally, or a protest. Go there ready for war. We get our President or we die. NOTHING else will achieve this goal.”