American Elephants


The Exciting and Tantalizing Possibilities of the New Materials. by The Elephant's Child

072415nanoclastfiber-1437763528090

The potential uses of the new materials sound like science fiction: here’s a new electrically conducting fiber for— artificial muscles, exoskeletons and morphing aircraft. The fiber is made from sheets of carbon nanotubes wrapped around a rubber core, and can be stretched to 14 times its original length and actually increases its electrical conductivity while being stretched, without losing any of its resistance.

An international research team based at the University of Texas at Dallas initially targeted the new super fiber for artificial muscles and for capacitors whose storage capacity increase tenfold when the fiber is stretched. The researchers now believe that the material could be used as interconnects in flexible electronics and a host of other related applications.

The team has published research in the Journal Science describing how they devised a method for wrapping electrically conductive sheets of carbon nanotubes around the rubber core in such a way that the fiber’s resistance does not change when stretched, but its conductivity increases.

I wish they had indicated the amount of magnification in the photo above, for those of us who are definitely not materials scientists.

The researchers have also been able to add a thin coat of rubber to the sheath-core fibers and then another carbon nanotube sheath to create strain sensors and artificial muscles. In this setup, the buckled nanotube sheets act as electrodes and the thin rubber coating serves as the dielectric. Voilà! You have a fiber capacitor.

“This technology could be well-suited for rapid commercialization,” said Raquel Ovalle-Robles, one of the paper’s authors, in the press release. “The rubber cores used for these sheath-core fibers are inexpensive and readily available. The only exotic component is the carbon nanotube aerogel sheet used for the fiber sheath.”

As new materials have been discovered or invented, there is a mad rush for patents on potential uses, I  gather based on informed guesses, by corporations hoping to develop what the scientists discover. Free enterprise at work.

For other posts on the new materials, enter “new materials” in the search function over Bob Hope’s head in the sidebar.



The Real Ugliness of Planned Parenthood. by The Elephant's Child

RAMclr-072315-fetal-IBD-COLOR-FINAL.jpg.cmsBy now, you have probably seen or heard of the undercover video of the Senior Director of Medical Services released by the Center for Medical Progress, a pro-life group. Deborah Nucatola, an abortion doctor, had a conversation over a quite nice salad and wine lunch with two people  posing as representatives of a company trafficking in body parts of aborted fetuses.

The video exposes the animating principle behind the abortion industry and Planned Parenthood, a tax-payer supported industry. They do not consider abortion as any more problematic than cosmetic surgery.

There’s a lot of pretense at Planned Parenthood. They oppose the use of ultrasounds when the purpose is to reveal the humanity of the child, but use ultrasound to determine which parts of the baby to crush to preserve the desired parts. It’s ugly.  A second video has been released with another Planned Parenthood executive bargaining over prices for the fetal parts. Supporters of Planned Parenthood extol their other services like mammograms,  but its been well established that they don’t actually do mammograms.

The Left is heavily invested in Planned Parenthood, and in abortion, and the media have avoided any mention of the story, except to insist that the Center for Medical Progress is some kind of crazy pro-life group, and the video is false and the attack illegal. A reporter tried to ask a question of Josh Earnest, but was silenced with just an emphatic NO. Obama’s Department of Justice is planning to investigate, not Planned Parenthood for sales of body parts, but of the group that busted Planned Parenthood.

Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood, made the claim that the trade in body parts was a service to scientific research, but embryonic tissue for stem cells is old discredited science, and the gold standard is now adult stem cells.

Health and Human Services rejected an expedited Planned Parenthood Freedom of Information Request for documents and communications relevant to payment or compensation of fees from Mary Hasson of the Federalist. HHS said it didn’t fit the public’s “urgent” right to know.

“Further, in order to meet second prong of the compelling need standard, the requested information must be the type of information that has a particular value that will be lost if not disseminated quickly, and ordinarily refers to a breaking news story of general public interest.”

There are more videos to come, and the Left is in panic mode. Or perhaps “stonewall mode.” The Left has a lot invested in total sexual freedom for all, but I’m getting pretty tired of school teachers having sex with their underage students, and gender-neutral bathrooms, among other things.

Black Americans are about 12.6 percent of the U.S. Population, but they have 35.4 percent of all abortions.  On average 1,876 black babies are aborted every day. That is just terribly sad.



Some Days Just Don’t Go the Way You Expect Them To! by The Elephant's Child

image2Or, you could say, into each life a little rain must fall.



Look Out! The IRS is Going After Small Businesses who Help Workers Buy Insurance. by The Elephant's Child
July 2, 2015, 5:15 pm
Filed under: Domestic Policy, Economy, Health Care, Capitalism | Tags: , ,

Female Owner Of Coffee Shop

Some small businesses who reimburse their employees for the cost of the premiums for individual health insurance policies, or who pay their employees heath costs directly will be fined up to $36,500 a year — per employee — under a new Internal Revenue Service regulation that took effect July 1, 2015.

The IRS is considering an employer arrangement that reimburses or pays for employee individual health premiums to be “a group health plan” that is subject to the $100 per-employee per-day penalty. The penalty applies whether the reimbursement is considered a before-tax or after-tax contribution.  This doesn’t sound like it would pass the smell test in the courts.

That penalty is enough to destroy most small businesses.  This rule under which small businesses that get caught helping their workers to buy insurance or pay medical bills —can be fined 18 times more than large businesses that don’t provide coverage at all.

Under the rule, which appears nowhere in the Affordable Care Act, employers who do not offer a group health plan, but give their workers additional pay to compensate for the purchase of health insurance or direct medical expenses can be fined $100 per day, per employee.  Over the course of a year that’s $36,500 per employee up to $500,000 in total.  The penalty on businesses for failing to comply with the employer mandate is only $2,000 per year. …

In fact, according to NFIB research 14 percent of small businesses that don’t offer group insurance reimburse their workers instead.  They think they’re doing a good thing but they’re walking into a minefield.

There is legislation in both houses awaiting action (S. 1697/H.R. 2911).

This seems to fall into the “You Will Obey” category.  The EPA also goes in a big way for enormous fines designed to make people fall into line quickly. I wonder how many owners of small businesses have even heard of this regulation? Typical Obama administration act — force compliance, issue more regulations, and be completely puzzled about why the economy is still in the toilet — but brag about the success of administration policies in the marvelous recovery.  Sigh.



Obama wants Doctors to warn their patients that global warming could make your health worse. by The Elephant's Child

is_141117_doctor_patient_love_romance_800x600
Americans generally trust their doctors, so the White House wants these trusted medical professionals to help out in the administration’s propaganda campaign to convince the people to support Obama’s global warming campaign.

We also need doctors, nurses and citizens, like all of you”President Obama said in a taped speech presented to medical professionals gathered at the White House, “to get to work to raise awareness and organize folks for real change.

The EPA has long tried to cloak their power grab and excessive regulation under risible claims that carbon dioxide is a dangerous pollutant and must be eliminated. As Alan Carlin explained:

The much maligned carbon dioxide is not a pollutant, as EPA and Obama claim, but rather a basic input to plant photosynthesis and growth, which is the basis of life on Earth. Decreasing atmospheric CO2 levels would decrease plant productivity and therefore the food supply for the rest of the ecosystem and humans, and vice versa. Further, attempts to reduce it will prove enormously expensive, futile, harmful to human welfare, and in the longer run, to environmental improvement. It is now increasingly evident that efforts to reduce CO2 emissions by governmental coercion will have important non-environmental adverse effects in terms of loss of freedom of scientific inquiry, economic growth and development, and the rule of law.

Obama’s summit included the U.S. Surgeon General, top administration officials, and public health experts from around the country telling doctors nurses and other conference goers how to talk about global warming with their patients.

The central message: doctors should warn their patients that global warming could make their health worse. Uh huh.

As if doctors weren’t busy enough. The Surgeon General also wants them to ask their patients if they have any guns in the house. You’ve probably noticed that the inevitable paperwork you have to fill out is getting increasingly nosy. And with everything computerized, your entire medical record is open to any hacker who is interested.



Let’s Remember Just Why the Affordable Care Act is such a Mess by The Elephant's Child
June 26, 2015, 6:42 am
Filed under: Politics, Domestic Policy, Health Care | Tags: , , ,

Harry Reid glumHere is a really important article laying out just exactly why Obama Care is such a mess. Now that Chief Justice Roberts has decided that the intent, the viability of the Affordable Care Act is more legally important than its actual language, it’s worth taking a few moments to remember just how the law was passed, and why the inconsistencies and internal contradictions were not just predictable, but inevitable.

Obama keeps calling it health care and assumes that he has given millions of people who lacked health care a great gift. But he has given them only health insurance, and really poor insurance at that. The American people did not want it, and it polled poorly. The Democratic leadership, fearful that the momentum was failing decided to rush a bill through the Senate before they left for Christmas 2009.

On December 18, Majority Leader Harry Reid merged two separate pending bills into a bill to be voted on by the Senate….  To meet the self-imposed Christmas deadline, Reid provided only six days for debate. The Senate bill passed on a strict party line vote, 60-39.

Few people, including Senators and their staffs, had time to read the whole 2,700 page bill, much less note any possible weaknesses, flaws, or ambiguities. Reid and other Senate Democrats weren’t terribly worried about this. The bill was set to go to the House, then back to the Senate, then to “reconciliation” between the House and the Senate versions, and then to the president for his signature. Everyone thought there would be plenty of opportunities to make changes.

But a major impediment arose soon after the Senate bill passed. Democratic Senator Ted Kennedy had died that past summer, and the January special election to replace him was won by Republican Scott Brown, who ran as a strong opponent of Obamacare. This deprived the Democrats of their filibuster-proof majority in the Senate, and meant that the Senate would not be able to pass a revised bill. The only way to pass Obamacare at this point was to have the House vote on identical legislation to the Senate bill, while engaging in legally dubious procedural maneuvering. And that’s what the Democrats did.

They passed the bill as is and a separate reconciliation bill with minor changes, eliminating some of the most obvious flaws, but leaving the rest intact. So they passed a Senate Bill that nobody wanted and that no one had read in its entirety, and no one understood. Obama and the Democrats believed that it would become increasingly popular and Democrats would continue to control both houses of Congress. Anything wrong with it could be quickly fixed.

Didn’t work out that way. The people never liked it and Republicans took over the House and then the Senate, partly because of ObamaCare. Republicans don’t want to fix a law that they unanimously opposed. The Court, it was hoped, would realize that those who rush through a mess of  a law that they haven’t read and don’t understand, with no political support from the other side have to live with the consequences. Instead the majority decided that when the law is unworkable as written they should help out the other branches.

So, you blithely promise Americans who don’t want any such thing that their cost of heath care will go down, that they can keep their doctors, that their medical care will be more efficient, add volumes of regulations and taxes, add a vast bureaucracy to manage it all and make more regulations — pay for the new bureaucracy, then add all sorts of gimmicks sure to reduce costs (that don’t work at all) wrap it up in a computer debacle that only the federal government could manage to come up with, and there you have it. Only a Democrat would believe that could work.



Call it ScotusCare! The Supreme Court Does Legislating From the Bench. by The Elephant's Child

The Supreme Court announced their decision in King v, Burwell. Conservatives are dismayed at the Court’s complicity in rewriting the Affordable Care Act. President Obama has been threatening the court for days attempting to cow the Supremes. What influence his threats had is not known, but hopefully is is none. Nevertheless, Chief Justice Roberts bypassed the separation of powers, and decided to help the Democrats out by assuming that the law didn’t mean what it said, and he would fix it by rewriting it. Essentially what he did the last time around. Rewriting the words of Congress to mean what they would have to say to make the law work — is making law.  The Supreme Court is supposed to decide whether the words as written are Constitutional, that’s the judicial function. Justice Antonin Scalia, dissenting, called it “somersaults of statutory interpretation” but it is legislating, not judging.

Holman Jenkins got it right:

By one standard no government program can fail, and that’s the standard being applied to ObamaCare by its supporters: If a program exists and delivers benefits, the program is working.

The polls do show that 74% of ObamaCare’s eight million enrollees are satisfied with their plans, because 87% of them are getting taxpayer subsidies that amount to an annual $3,312 per recipient, which is a pretty good deal for the recipients, not so much for the taxpayers. Oddly enough, those who are basically in good health, but just need flu shots or treatment for some minor deal, a broken arm, a sore throat are pretty pleased with their health care.Taxpayers who find that their premiums are going up 20% – 30%. or who find out their deductible has gone up to $6,000 aren’t so happy, because they are paying their premiums and their full medical bills besides. Jenkins again:

The right question about any program is whether the benefits justify the expenditure of taxpayer money. ObamaCare’s cheerleaders provide not cost-benefit analysis but benefit analysis—as if money grows on trees or is donated by Martians or can be printed in limitless quantities by the Fed. …

In the meantime, however, no worthwhile thoughts about ObamaCare, pro or con, are to be heard from people who count a program as a success just because Americans enjoy receiving benefits at the expense of other Americans.




Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 7,344 other followers

%d bloggers like this: