Archive for July, 2008

Solar Stocks

Thin Film Solar Panel

Thin Film Solar Panel

DayStar Technologies DSTI is attempting to elminate the two barriers to the big panels: $$ and looks.  They’re risky – but on the upside, they’re one of the early guys with Thin Film solar panels.  Thin film is avoids the higher cost of silicon (currently in limited supply), and is not as visually unappealing (Panels are embedded into the roof tiles instead of a big eyesore on the roof).  More:

Seems like there are a lot of players in the solar market. For the industry as a whole, it’s going up – but the individual companies in the industry?  Some will have to go!  The big solar companies like STP and FSLR might be less volatile – but as far as a cheap-ass stock…DSTI is interesting and its smaller size will allow it move quicker.   

Another roll of the dice is WorldWater & Solar Technologies (WWAT.OB)- a penny stock.  Another a high-risk stock, but…for less than a $1 it’s worth a look.  They’ve just completed the largest solar airport install in the US, are breaking ground on a project in New Jersey and just signed another in California. 

There’s also a SOLAR ETF and a WIND ETF that are both around $23 right now.  These invest in the entire industry so they’re less risky. 

Solar ETF is TAN
Wind ETF is PWND

Intel, IBM, and National Semiconducter are also moving into the solar industry.  When companies if this move in, results will follow.  

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July 30, 2008 at 3:49 pm Leave a comment

Longest Serving GOP Senator – Indicted

Ted Stevens

Stevens - Seattle Times

NBC News

07/29/08 12:10 pm cdt
WASHINGTON – U.S. officials say the Justice Department has indicted Alaska Senator Ted Stevens on criminal charges related to a long-running investigation of business dealings in Alaska.

What did he do?  Cheated Cheated Cheated. Took bribes from energy companies so that industry could help create US law.  (See “Banning Toxins in Toys” for another example).  Wasted millions of US Taxpayer dollars with heavy earmarking and pork barrel spending. You’ve heard of the “Bridge to Nowhere“? 

Lawmakers scuttled plans to spend $230 million to help build the “Bridge to Nowhere,” a span that would lead to an Alaskan island populated by about 50 people.

He was also behind the Polar Express to Nowhere (a similar project). 

In 2006, Ted Stevens blocked legislation submitted by Barack Obama – the creation of a Federal Spending Database.  The database would be an easily-accessible Google-like database of all federal spending, which totaled $2.5 trillion last year.  This system would allow federal spending to be visible to the tax payers and Ted couldn’t have that.  (I’d love to see this database built). 

Now, the longest serving Republican can add criminal charges for bribery from the industries in his back pocket:

Stevens, the longest-serving Republican senator in history, is under scrutiny from the Justice Department for his ties to an Alaska energy services company, Veco, whose chief executive pleaded guilty in early May to a bribery scheme involving state lawmakers.

Bribery, Justice Department, FBI:

Stevens, who is famous for bringing home federal earmarks for Alaska when he was Appropriations Committee chairman, was not previously known to be linked to the Justice Department’s probe, which has uncovered evidence that more than $400,000 worth of bribes were given to state lawmakers in exchange for favorable energy legislation.

Two executives of a prominent energy company have pleaded guilty to bribery and extortion charges and are cooperating with the inquiry, which is being run by the Justice Department’s Public Integrity Section and includes two federal prosecutors and FBI agents.

July 29, 2008 at 5:50 pm Leave a comment

Solar – Upwards and Onwards

 Solar – Nowhere to go but up.  Businesses are going Greenand with the advent of thin film, more are turning to solar and the advent of thin film helps move it along.  Thin film is made with a new semiconducter called copper indium gallium selenide (CIGS).  It allows for very thin panels. Solar panels can now be integrated onto roof tiles instead of the massive silicon panels mounted on rooftops.  The drawback is that they are less efficient than the larger & thicker silicon panels.

“Solar power today is where air conditioning was in 1950 — everything is a window unit designed for retrofit on existing construction — its more expensive, its not as good, its not as a cost effective,” Langdon said. “But by 1960 no one built a building without saying ‘Should I put a central air system in?’ – and the same thing is going to happen with solar.” said Bret Adams, a spokesperson for DayStar (DSTI).

The number of solar installations in the United States rose 45 percent to 150 megawatts in 2007, according to the Solar Energy Industry Association, or the equivalent of the total energy use of about 37,500 homes.

A 45% increase is still less than 40,000 homes?  Seems like there’s a lot of room for growth – let’s see:

Total solar capacity of 3,400 MW, not including pool or lighting systems, was less than 1 percent of U.S. annual use last year, leaving plenty of room for growth.

July 29, 2008 at 3:11 pm 1 comment

Banning Toxins in Toys – Slam Dunk

Does it get any easier than this: Lawmakers agree to ban toxins in kids’ items

“Concerns over lead and other toxins in toys have prompted lawmakers to call for a ban on a class of chemicals used in many children’s products.

Congressional negotiators agreed Monday to a ban on a family of toxins found in children’s products, handing a major victory to parents and health experts who have been clamoring for the government to remove harmful chemicals from toys.”

Slam Dunk.  What’s easier than banning harmful chemicals in the toys of children?  It’s ‘done’, right?  Well… not so fast.

George W. Bush’s White House opposes the bill and according to White House spokesman Tony Fratto “it is too early to say whether he will veto the measure”.  

Ahh, yes… Bush.  Cheney. The Rebulican adminitration.  (Cue the Darth Vader music).   The GOP is throwing around the “veto” on a bill to keep toxins out of toys. 

And don’t count out the special interests – the role that big business plays in writing American law.  The chemical industry launched a big campaign against the Toxins-in-Toys ban in the House.

“The campaign was led by Exxon Mobil, which manufacturers diisononyl phthalate, or DINP, the phthalate most frequently found in children’s toys. The company spent a chunk of its $22 million lobbying budget in the past 18 months to try to prevent any ban.”

Another example of Democrats speaking for citizens and Republicans speaking for industry. 


July 29, 2008 at 2:14 pm 1 comment

Score 2 More for Obama

Obama vs McCain – he shoots, he scores!

On Friday Mr. McCain went so far as to say that the idea of a 16-month withdrawal, which Mr. Obama supports, was “a pretty good timetable,”

Obama vs Bush – High-level talks…now where I have heard that before?  Gooooaaaaal! 

Republicans also say the administration’s decision to authorize high-level talks with Iran and North Korea has undercut Mr. McCain’s skepticism about engagement with those countries.

I wonder else he’s right about? 


New York Times
Elisabeth Bumiller

July 28, 2008 at 4:08 am 1 comment

More Nascar sponsor changes

More sponsor changes…beating. 

Stewart, as we all know is leaving Joe Gibbs Racing to be an owner at newly formed Stewart-Haas Racing.  It looks like he’s taking Ryan Newman with him.  So both these guys will have new numbers…but what about new sponsors?  New colors?  Yup. 


July 23, 2008 at 4:43 pm Leave a comment

Public Wolf Hunts?

  An upcoming court ruling is expected to block public wolf hunts in three states that aimed to kill up to twenty-five percent of the wolf population in the region. 

I’ve sometimes thought about those idiots who killed off the bald eagles.  I shook my head arrogantly at the tiny brains of those before us for not being able to resist sending a species into extinction.  And here we are, talking about public wolf hunts.  It’s shameful. 

Here are the sub-species that lived in our 50 states: 

Kenai Peninsula Wolf (Canis lupus alces) Alaska, EXTINCT!
Texas Gray Wolf (Canis lupus monstrabilis) Texas and Northeast Mexico, EXTINCT!
Great Plains Wolf (Canis lupus mubiles), EXTINCT!
Southern Rocky Mountain Wolf (Canis lupus youngi), EXTINCT!
Northern Rocky Mountain Wolf (Canis lupus irremotus), EXTINCT!

Updated 8:32 p.m. CT, Fri., July. 18, 2008

BILLINGS, Mont. – A federal judge has restored endangered species protections for gray wolves in the Northern Rockies, derailing plans by three states to hold public wolf hunts this fall.

Molloy said hunting and state laws allowing the killing of wolves…would likely “eliminate any chance for genetic exchange to occur.”

Full Article: 

Good job Judge Donald Molloy!  Good job to all the environmental groups!  Thank you to all those who also took time to donate to these groups and to sign petitions! 

You can help protect the remaining wolves by joining Wild Earth Guardians, a 4 star charity by  (4 stars is the highest grade).  Wild Earth Guardians is the new name for the Forest Guardians.  If you are looking for a great cause backed by a very efficient charity that is tax-deductible, this is a good one! 


Gray Wolf / Timber Wolf: 

July 19, 2008 at 6:11 pm 1 comment

Karl Rove in Jail


Former White House Advisor Karl Rove today ignored the congressional subpoena ordering him to testify before Congress.   

This sounds like a dream, doesn’t it? Well, it’s not. We have a unique opportunity right now to send Karl Rove to jail, but only if we take immediate action.

We put together this video to explain the issues surrounding Rove’s failure to testify before Congress, and why Rove should be held in contempt and sent to jail. Check out Send Karl Rove to Jail, and sign our petition to ensure that the House Judiciary Committee holds Rove in contempt.

Watch the video and sign the petition.

July 18, 2008 at 5:28 pm Leave a comment

Reborn Dolls

What can be called “Cuddle Therapy” by some while also causing “feelings of intense unease” in others?  Lifelike “reborn” baby dolls.  They look real.  Really real.  Many appear to be breathing and have a heartbeat. 

They look so real that you better not leave one in plane sight in your car or the police may smash your window to rescue the ‘baby’. 

Some customers are the elderly who may be lonely, missing their children.  The reborn dolls provide a lifelike experience.  Grieving parents are using them to help them say goodbye.  Others are weirded out but that’s OK.  I’m a little weirded out by it, but I can see why some could find them comforting. 

Here’s a good description from TLC Baby Creations: 

TLC Baby Creations

TLC Baby Creations

Some photos:


July 18, 2008 at 5:02 pm 1 comment

Artest and the Mavs

The Josh Howard Show

The Josh Howard Show

Rumor is that the Mavericks offered Stackhouse and Bass for Artest and the Kings rejected.  Next part is that they would take Howard for Artest. 

Artest is better than Howard, fine.  But does trading your #1 defender for a better defender make you so much better that now you’re over the top?  I’m not saying it doesn’t help, I just don’t think it’s the most helpful scenario.  Cuban would buy a championship if he could, and this might be an opportunity for him to try. 

In any sport: Of the 2 teams in the finals, the team with the better defense will generally win the championship.  You gotta score enough points to get there and you gotta score enough to win, we all agree.  But how much you score is determined partially by your own offense…but greatly by the opposing defense.

So with that in mind, Dallas should keep Howard and add Artest, boosting their defense.  This would allow them to maintain a defensive presence throughout the game when one is resting.  Howard is versatile enough to work as a swingman when he plays with Artest and/or play the 3 spot when Artest sits. 

The Kings are rebuilding their team, so their 2 goals are getting out from under big contracts and getting draft picks.  So first you take on one of their crappy contracts and second you give ’em a draft pick or two.  Next you send a couple of players – some possibilities: Stack (definitely Stack), Devean George, Antoine Wright (I believe George & Wright are FA, so this takes some doin’), Bass, and anyone else down the bench (Berea, Lue).

Keep Josh Howard.  Add Artest.

** UPDATE **: The Mavs rejected the “Artest for Howard” deal.  I’m on board with that!

July 18, 2008 at 3:46 am 1 comment

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