Mandatory Solar Power

I have to confess that I’m in two minds about this development:

While there was little doubt it would happen, it’s now a done deal: California will require solar panels on most new homes. Officials at a December 5th Building Standards Commission meeting have voted for the new code, providing the last bit of approval necessary for the policy to take effect. New homes, condos and low-rise apartments will need eco-friendly power generation on their rooftops from January 1st, 2020 onward. The only exclusions are for homes that are either blocked by taller objects (like trees and tall buildings) or don’t have room for panels.
The building code is the first of its kind in the US, and may serve as a bellwether for the rest of the country. Critics are concerned this will further raise housing prices in a state where they’re already a sore point and might only offer limited energy savings. Proponents, however, estimate the technology could ultimately save homeowners money (as much as $60,000 over a 25-year lifespan). It could also lower the overall strain on the electrical grid, especially at peak hours.

I know, I know, it’s Loony California doing its little Totalitarian Green Thing and imposing unnecessary costs on homeowners (just the latest in a long, LONG line thereof).  But let’s take off the political filters for a moment and look at what’s involved.

Let’s say that for the average new home, this will add about $15,000 to the construction cost — which given the typical construction costs in CA, means about a 3% – 4% increase in cost per square foot.  We all know that initial building costs are generally far cheaper than retrofitting, so it makes sense to add the installation up front.  (In an ideal world, the state would offer some form of tax rebate to lessen the cost, but this is California, which last offered a consumer tax rebate in… okay, they’ve never offered a tax rebate.)  So unless I’ve made a huge mistake in my calculations (and feel free to do your own), the impact on the homeowner will be quite bearable.

Now let’s look at the benefits.

I’ll start off by calling bullshit on the quoted savings, because they didn’t include maintenance / replacement in the cost, and in any event, nobody stays in a house for 25 years anymore, so no, homeowners will not  see sixty grand cut off their electrical bills.  I’d also suggest that initially at least, the supply of solar panels would not keep up with the demand and instead of (say) $15,000 per household installation, the cost would balloon alarmingly, making nonsense of all the potential “savings” put forward.

But all that said, let’s consider this question:  is making the individual home less dependent on centrally-supplied electrical power such a Bad Thing?  It might make rolling brownouts and blackouts (pardon the inadvertent racism /sarc) a thing of the past, and lessen Californians’ exposure to damage caused by natural disaster:  earthquakes, mudslides etc. — not as the latter whack the houses, but in case the utilities’ properties and distribution networks are affected thereby.

And yes I know: what works in sunny Southern California will not work in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, but the chances of Michigan passing such legislation are negligible anyway.  (It might become mandatory in New York State, but that would serve the NY voters right for electing those watermelon politicians into power anyway.)

Here’s how I see it.  The whole beauty of a federal republic, to paraphrase the Founding Fathers, is to let individual states be “laboratories” so that stuff like mandatory solar power collection and welfare reform can be tested in microcosm, and what works can then be rolled out through other states as they see fit.

And while I would support the hypothesis that while generally speaking, the proper course of action is to do the polar opposite of what California is doing, this might be one of the very few exceptions.

Discrimination!!!

From an article detailing how ex-President Token and his harridan wife are making millions, we find this little nugget:

In October 2017, Michelle Obama was a keynote speaker at the Pennsylvania Conference for Women, a non-profit that promotes education and networking. The New York-based Harry Walker Agency Inc., which books both Obamas for speaking gigs, billed the Pennsylvania Conference for Women $225,000 in 2017, according to the non-profit’s most recent tax filings.

Barack Obama currently rakes in $400,000 per speech, and earned at least $1.2 million for three talks to Wall Street firms in 2017.

But, but, but… #IncomeInequality !!!

Barack Shithead Obama earns twice as much as his Pore Wife, for doing the same job!

#ShameOnBarack #PayTheBitchMore #FairnessInSpeakingFees

Whatever all that shit means.

I’ll Give You Backlash

Insty linked to this article a while back:

Will #MeToo Spark Backlash Against Women in the Workplace?

You’d better believe it, although not just in the ways that the [female] writer of the article thinks.  Here are my thoughts on the topic, and I’ll bet anything that I’m not alone in this.

If I were a company owner or senior manager, my first obligation would be to the company:  its performance, productivity and profitability (the Three Ps).  In order to further that agenda, these are the things I’d do.

  • I would never hire a woman again, unless I absolutely had to.  In the latter situation, I’d hire an older woman with lots of experience only if there was absolutely no male candidate for the job with the same skills.  (Why older?  Because young women are fucked up, and I’m not interested in helping them.  Younger women are also more likely to affect one or more of the Three Ps because of their attitude, their propensity to cause trouble in the office, their sense of entitlement, and all the other characteristics which would affect the company’s productivity e.g. months and months of pregnancy leave.)  But honestly, I would prefer to hire male workers almost exclusively so we could concentrate on getting the job done.
  • I would not hire a Human Resources manager, or have an HR department.  HR is most often a refuge for women in any case, it has no operational function within a company, is quite simply overhead, and in many cases, malevolent overhead because it has to justify its existence, and can only do so by screwing with the lives of the employees and being an organ whereby dissatisfaction can be aired.  Every single technical function of HR can be handled by competent line managers, and what can’t be, I’d outsource.
  • There would be no administrative assistants (“secretaries”, as we used to call them, another hive for women to inhabit).  In today’s world, I would expect every employee to handle their own admin as part of the job description.  What they can’t handle (e.g. business travel planning, which can get complicated), I’d outsource that as well.
  • If I were to hire a woman, she’d have either a STEM degree from a technical college or any degree from Hillsdale.  I would make it plain, as part of the interview, that the focus of her job was to be the business, and nothing else.  And yes:  she would have to have a track record at least twice as good as any male interviewee for the position.

If all this comes across as hard-ass or “discriminatory”, I don’t care because I didn’t create today’s toxic environment, where men are vilified just for being men, where unprovable accusations are accepted as fact, and where prickly sensitivities have to be protected by company policy instead of by manners and decency.   To be frank, I hate the feminization of the business world, and in my own small way I’d be pushing back against it.

Of course, I’m never going to work in an office, or for Global MegaCorp Inc. or for anyone other than as an at-will worker.  Nor will I ever hire anyone ever again.  But let me tell you all, do not be surprised if the “backlash against women in the workplace” manifests itself in any or all of the above bullet points, even in part.

Men didn’t start this bullshit;  but we sure as hell can do our part to end it.  What you sow, you reap in the end;  and women need to understand this, if nothing else.

Recycling

Longtime Readers will know that I am often scornful of modern architecture on these here pages, but I have to admit that occasionally some light does shine through the gloom.  Here’s one example from, of all places, Shanghai, where somebody decided to put a played-out quarry to good use.  Before:

…and after:

…followed by a night-time shot:

We could use a few of those Over Here.  Gawd knows we have enough quarries and de-topped mountains (e.g. in Kentucky, eastern Ohio, West Virginia and Montana, to name but a few) which would support a decent-sized chain called (say) Quarry Hotels, Inc.

And if we’re not going to use the quarries for any other purpose (e.g. to bury all the dead socialists after The Glorious Day)…

Gurgle News

So Google has been in the shit recently, what with their buyout of an alleged sexual molester and subsequent mass walkout, their mismanagement of private data and its subsequent system breach, their tax avoidance schemes and their lickspittle attitude towards the foul Chinese government.

Couldn’t happen to a nicer bunch of monopolistic, greedy and “woke” assholes, as far as I’m concerned.

So far, so good.  Then along comes a loathsome ex-BritPM to the rescue:

Tony Blair calls for a ‘transatlantic alliance for technology’ with the US to force giants like Facebook and Google to obey ‘ethical standards’

…and immediately most of my enmity towards Goggle and Fecesbook evaporates because if Tony Blair suggests anything, the proper rule of thumb is to do the precise opposite (that, and/or kick the little toad in his tiny balls).  And of course, when Blair talks about “fair” taxes he simply means “more”, the oily socialist fucker.

And it’s only Monday…

Resi

That’s the in-house slang used by real estate agents (realtors) to describe residential real estate (as opposed to commercial).  So we have this, from Britishland:

Centre Point joins growing list of empty luxury skyscrapers as developer gives up trying to sell apartments for up to £55m each after receiving too many ‘detached from reality’ low offers

I would suggest that someone trying to sell a simple apartment for £55 million is the one who’s detached from reality, but then again I’m no market expert.  Even Mr. Free Market, who is, has expressed disbelief at some of the prices being asked for places that are, in a word, overpriced even for one of the most expensive cities in the world.

Judging from some of the pictures of said places, they could best be described as “not memorable”.

(Me, I’d call them pig-ugly but that’s because I detest modern architecture and decoration.)