Category Archives: Current and Future

Is a Tesla car (or other EV) “Green”?

The short answer is NO.

The longer answer would be “Compared to What” and also involve “At what Cost?”.

The issues here are complex. If you have a 4,000 square foot poorly insulated house and downsize to a 3,200 sq. ft. of same insulation – it is “greener” of course, but it is not green!
This is the type of problem we run into when trying to calculate advantages or disadvantages of Electric Vehicles (EV). We could point out some instances or anecdote where an EV “helps a little”, however – as Yales study concludes, EV’s as current made and sold are not compatible with Climate Goals. We can’t “get there” with “it’s a little better” or, “it’s about the same” or even “it’s 30% better”. Note that Hybrids are at least 100% better than many non-hybrids…that’s revolutionary, although not as sexy.

Let’s start at the top and work down through the issues. Some of them may be of more importance to prospective buyers – others less so.

  1. The Big Problem is the combination of “Car Culture” and the amount of resources and infrastructure needed for it.

This should be obvious – but many don’t even think this far. An EV will weigh 500-1500+ lbs more than many ICE or Hybrid vehicles. This means it takes more energy and “stuff”  to manufacture. It also means that the wear and tear on roads, bridges and tires is greater. Gasoline infrastructure is mostly built – while we need to spend trillions on improving the electric grid and millions of charging stations.

Read this article – just on tires! A 4400 Lb Tesla will vastly “out pollute” 3400 lb Hybrid in this way.

Buying a EV does nothing to avoid the building of those additional lanes on the interstate. It does nothing to help with the waste of time in traffic – and it currently  does nothing to avoid the death and destruction on the highways.

In short, many would say it’s the wrong direction in the first place – to continue the full-on car culture instead of building Bullet Trains and other forms of transport which are 100% proven to be vastly greener. We are not going to get “there” by having vehicles that are 5% or 10% “better and greener” than the last generation. Consider a good modern Hybrid car – they are 200% to 300% better than the gas cars from 15 or 20 years ago.

By pointing to Car Culture as the Main Problem, this writer is not saying “we must get rid of all cars” – rather, the point is that investment should geared toward solving the real problems – at a cost we can afford.

The greenest car you can have is an ancient used model that sits in the garage most of the time.   Remote Working, uBer, eBikes, etc. allow many modern families to get by with one (or fewer) cars. If the USA were to truly plan a greener future, we’d be building Bullet Trains as quickly as we could. A cynic might note that there is not nearly as much profit in Bullet Trains as there is in selling every household an EV or two! Imagine – 100K+ in revenue per household…a dream for capitalism, but not for the Planet.

2. Initial Cost of Vehicle and ongoing Costs.

Short Version – the 5 year cost of ownership or a Tesla Model Y is $52,000
The same for (larger) Avalon Hybrid is $30,000
The same for  Honda Hybrid is $24,000 to $27,000
A Tesla Y buyer is spending $25,000 extra over 5 years…

Do your own research at this Link – Tesla is not even in the top 100 vehicles for low cost of ownership.

At present, the cost of a mid-level EV from Tesla is 50 to 100% more than a hybrid. “Green” applies to many things, including money (value for the dollar). Even if EV’s were greener then they are (they might be someday), they have to be affordable. The consumer could spend that extra 20 or 30K on many things which might provide better results (PV on their house, insulation, new furnace, carbon offsets, eBikes, etc.). None of these are as sexy “look at me” as a Tesla, but likely will provide MUCH more help for Mother Nature per dollar spent.

Some parts of an EV may outlast those on regular cars – but others, such as tires, roads and bridges, are going to cost more due to the excess weight.

Fuel costs can differ – in general an EV costs as much or more than a good hybrid in per mile driven (fuel). Gasoline can spike – some lucky few live near Hydro plants or have large Solar PV arrays on their own roof…in these cases, the EV gets both greener and cheaper.

Right now – the Energy Mix in most of the USA is such that approx. 60% of the Electricity is generated by Fossil Fuels (Nat Gas and Coal). Therefore, in most cases, the critics who say “Your Tesla is powered by Fossil Fuels” have a point. On the other hand, in a country like Norway where almost 100% of the electric is renewable Hydro, an EV is much cleaner when it comes to the actual emissions generated. In these types of use cases, an EV may only take a year or two to “pay for” the increased use of manufacturing materials.

Yale and others have done extensive studies on comparing EV’s – studying to see if they could be part of the solution to Global Warming (CO2 reduction), etc. – their summary? Exactly what I am saying in this article. The existing EV’s are not compatible with “Green”.
“the current demand level of personal motorized transport is compatible with ambitious climate targets only under two major conditions: (1) consumers must switch to more energy-and material-efficient vehicles, for example, smaller or shared electrified vehicles, and (2) the energy used to charge these vehicles must be highly decarbonized.” 

Current EV’s are not “smaller and shared” – and surely not more material efficient! In fact, some of the popular and newer models weigh as much as 6,000 lbs – DOUBLE the weight of many Hybrids and ICE cars. Double the weight, in general, means double the resources from the Planet.

Q and A – anticipating what many folks might ask

Q: If this is the case, why are so many people – including Elon Musk – promoting these machines?
A: Two Teslas in your garage = $100,000+ in revenue to Tesla. The cost of Bullet Trains, Trams, Light Rail and other upgrades to transportation and efficiency don’t “make money” in that fashion. “Capitalism” and “The Economy” left unchecked attempt to sell (and often create debt) the largest dollar outlay for “solutions”.

Q: What qualifications do you have? What do the real Experts say?
A: I have been in alt energy since the 1970’s – installed Solar Panels commercially starting in 1979. Imported, distributed, installed tens of millions of dollars worth of renewables. Studied energy of all types extensively.
Yale did a study in 2021 – quite detailed asking these same questions. The only way an EV works out, according to their research, is as I myself promote (small, shareable, public transit – and, more renewables. Here is their summary (read carefully).
“the current demand level of personal motorized transport is compatible with ambitious climate targets only under two major conditions: (1) consumers must switch to more energy-and material-efficient vehicles, for example, smaller or shared electrified vehicles, and (2) the energy used to charge these vehicles must be highly decarbonized.” 

Q: Would Full Self Driving Change the “Green Calculation:?
A: YES! In fact, the entire idea of Tesla being green is dependent on full self-driving – something called Level 4 or Level 5 automation. Tesla is currently at Level 2. WayMo (google) appears to be the current leader in this technology with Level 4 cars on the road.
However, we would need a large percentage of cars to have these features to move the needle.
In reality, this is unlikely for decades! Meanwhile, the folks buying these (and the resources used, etc.) are simply fooling themselves (but driving cool wheels in come cases)/

Q: When will Tesla have Full Self Driving?
A: The question should be modified to ask “Will Tesla EVER have Full Self Driving, and – if so, when is it likely?”.
There is no good answer to this so I will bring forward the current situation, delays and opinions of other experts. Tesla claimed, in 2019, that they might have this “Robo-Taxi” functioning by 2020. It didn’t occur. Now, Tesla is predicting 2024/2025, which is 10X as long as the original claims (made on AI Day in 2019). Some experts in AI (Artificial Intelligence) say it may never happen to the extent claimed – “never” meaning 20+ years, IMHO.
The writer, if he had to guess, would say it will be 20 years before self-driving makes an “energy dent” in the big picture of car culture.

Q: How many Companies are Actively working on Self-Driving cars or software?
A: Quite a few! It’s safe to guess about a dozen which have a very serious commitment to the project and many more working on smaller parts of the problem. This includes ALL the big car makers worldwide in addition to the newer EV-only companies, as well as various IC (chip) and computing companies.

Q: If I buy an EV now, will be be able to be upgraded to Full Self Driving with software?
A: Maybe…but probably not-don’t count on it in terms of making an expensive purchase decision. The Self-Driving hardware of Tesla was upgraded in 2019 and odds are it will be upgraded every few years. Newer hardware is vastly superior – and since the self-driving problem has not been fully solved, no one can say exactly what hardware is needed to get to Level 5. These problems have always been underestimated and there is no reason to think this will change.
Companies like WayMo (google) are likely to license out their software and hardware package to existing manufacturers…when and if that happens, you would know that you have a vehicle that passes the regulatory burden. Same with Tesla – if and when they have full approval from all the regulatory bodies and have their cars running in public at level 4 and 5 you will then know that the hardware/software is ready for the job.

Q: Can you detail some of the big problems of so-called “Car Culture”?
A: Sure, first – look around you! Highways are adding more and more lanes – and yet traffic persists. 40,000 dead each year just in the USA – many more terribly injured. Blacktop and roads and parking lots all create excess runoff and pollution – use large amount of energy to produce (blacktop made from coal, oil, etc.). Landscape is often ruined – take notes for just one day and see what your car does and what is needed to support it! Like this:
1. Parked in my garage (cost for garage, insurance, runoff, etc.).
2. Drove down my driveway (blacktop, runoff, heat sink).
3. Drove to Store (roads, lights, danger to pedestrians, large parking lots needed)
You get the idea. Your car is MUCH more than just “a car” – it requires vast amounts of support which costs money – and create many problems.
High Speed Rail, for example, would take up much less space and be many times as efficient per seat-mile. It doesn’t require rest stops, gas stations, hotels along the way, eateries, etc. – you get from here to there without the entire landscape in-between being highly disturbed.
The same is true, to some degree, with newer airliners. You need an airport at each end, but no ribbons of hotels and roads in-between.
Newer airlines get approx. 80 MPG for a single seat, making them more efficient than most cars for longer trips…even when two people are traveling (40 MPG equiv).

Summary – an EV may be a nice car. But, please, do not fool yourself that this is the path to a sustainable situation for wasteful countries and cultures like the USA. We need a real plan – which includes 10’s of thousands of miles of Bullet Trains, properly planned communities and much more.

It’s actually pretty simple. Look at your total lifestyle….if you are living in the typical “upper middle class or above” Western Fashion (flying here and there, have a nice house or two, two or more nice cars, TV’s, computers, etc.) you (and I) are the problem – not the solution.

Buying a Car or two…and then believing we are “Saving the World” due to slick marketing or talking points, is silly. We need real change…which isn’t going to happen by switching car brands.

All About COVID, with a Focus on Florida Follies!

Oct Update – Wow, these articles are aging quickly! As bad as things were, DeSantis and his mass infection plan have made them MUCH worse. As I write this FL experienced a peak of 500 deaths in a DAY as well as record hospitalizations. We are on the down-turn now (wave burned out – NOTHING to prevent another in Jan/Feb).  All avoidable -with no consequences! To see what FL has done in a simple graph (#51?), click here.

It appears Florida has finally gotten the recognition for what I and many knew long ago – and wrote about long ago. It is now officially the worst – or very close – state in the USA as far as COVID deaths since basic testing/treatment available, and certainly the worst post-vaccine.


But…But…But….Compared to….We did OK…what about? WhatAbout? – If the preceding sentence contains terms and ideas you use to understand the US and Florida Failure of COVID Policy, my suggestion is that you stop reading here and go back to repeating BS.  Also, if you don’t believe in Logic, Reason, Germ Theory, etc.  – you are wasting your time. However, for those who have an open mind there is much to be learned in this “endless” post.

Yes, it will be long. However, I will soon add chapter links here at the top allowing readers to skip to various sections quickly.
Here’s a separate article if you want to know why – just maybe – you should read this article…that is, what my basic qualifications for writing it are!

This overview may provide a fuller understanding of current problems in the USA . Although we will focus through the lens of the Trump Admin and Florida, these issues have been similar to other historical movements in terms of “know nothings”, selfishness and False Patriotism – together they are causing our Republic to be shaken to the core.

The Founders famously said that our Constitution is ONLY for a moral and ethical populace. It is not designed for others. The so-called “checks and balances” only apply within the scope of logic, reason and moral/ethical debates. The Constitution is not – and can never be – a document which covers everything…one which cannot be gamed.

It is likely that, if nothing else, most readers will agree that our Constitution has been gamed – that our Leaders are often not “For The People” nor “For the General Welfare” but rather out for themselves or their paymasters (lobbyists, foreign powers, dogma, etc.).

Jump to (under construction!) – DeSantis Picked Mass Infection – doomed Floridians

Jump to- DeSantis decided against Proper Vaccine Program – RESULT: Florida is #1 NOW in new Deaths


There are certain reasonable and human viewpoints which you must possess to learn more about the Floridian and American response to COVID. If these type of statements ring true ,  you are likely flexible minded enough to read on.

  1. With Great Power comes Great Responsibility.
  2. Honor thy Mother and thy Father – the Meek (weak) Shall Inherit the Earth (these are the targets of COVID).
  3. It’s not the Hand Dealt, it’s what ONE DOES with the Hand Dealt, that defines a person.
  4. A Politician does not make the Sun come up in the Morning, nor does everything that happens “under” them, both positive and negative, happen because of them.

If your view is that Donald Trump is a moral and capable man and a great leader, you may be wasting your time reading further. If we cannot accept basics such as Gravity, Germ Theory and Leadership Expectations, Morality/Ethics – we likely can’t agree on much else other than perhaps the Flavors of Ice Cream we enjoy (please – no mint!).

Please – no rebuttals using World-o-meter and.or “joe blow’ or Fox News metrics or sources. The entire idea of this post is that the Big Picture contains much more (in nuance, let alone numbers) than “self-reported” state figures. As a simple example, if a person from NJ flies to Florida, becomes infected, and starts a chain back in NJ and NYC which grows to 100’s of cases, who caused that? I’d say Florida, the Fed Government, the Airline and the 1st Individual in that order (there are multiple responsibilities)

The Really Big Picture – Claims from Our Leaders

We all know the story of “6 cases and down to zero”, “go away in April”, “pews will be filled by Easter (2020)” and similar statements. There are too many of these to quote, however there is an number range which we must consider if we are to understand Cause and Effect with the COVID Response – this involves the Realistic Predictions and Scenarios made AFTER more was known about the Virus. A good middle ground involves a statement recently made by Dr. Birx, member of the Trump Administrations COVID Team:
“There were about 100,000 deaths that came from that original surge. All of the rest of them…could have been mitigated or decreased substantially.”

This was not Pie in the Sky but rather came from a Doctor (expert in Pandemics) who was on the Front Lines and clearly saw that effects of Lack of Leadership (failure to act).

This figure, 100K deaths, lines up roughly with statements from other experts as well as Trump himself. Initially, Trump claimed that if we keep deaths to 50-60K it would be an amazing accomplishment. A few week later this was revised to 100,000 deaths (end March, 2020), a figure which scared Americans as this was an unheard of number of deaths from a novel disease. Finally, as the level of failure became clear, the figure was broadened to 100K-200K. Given the variables, this is/was a realistic scenario. All of these projections fit into the general realm of the Birx statement – whether 60K or 200K – the range seemed applicable.

As I write this in July of 2021, the total death toll in the USA (IMHE) projection is 950K – which includes excess deaths and adjustments from related causes (lack of seeking medical attention, MV differences, Suicides) – some of these add to the toll, some of them may lower it! Given the variants and recently increased positivity along with continuing deaths in some places (Republicans are not taking the vaccine enough to achieve herd immunity), we can use One Million as a rough figure. If we are generous on the low projection side of things and use the 200K number, we can start with the assumption that we have killed 800,000 of our Mothers and Fathers and Weak intentionally – through our foolishness, selfishness, etc.
Another way of expressing this is we have seen 5X (500%) as much damage/death from COVID as need be – given the modern world and our resources. These excess deaths were optional.

Hello Florida! Quick Overview

As per the Introduction, the COVID response is much too complex for comparisons in general – and especially for State to State comparisons. This should be evident – Germs don’t care about State Borders. Germs travel in cars and on planes. However, Florida is very different from many states in some aspects – which does make it somewhat of a “Petri Dish” study.

  1. It is a Peninsula, therefore COVID isn’t coming in from all sides by ground transportation.
  2. Mass Transit is almost non-existent – car culture allows for separation of the population
  3. Ventilation (outdoors) is accessible year-round
  4. Many Residents have some living space – i.e. single houses
  5. Vastly fewer Direct Flights from Asia and Europe – No Airports in Florida were FAA/Fed Gov. airports taking US Travelers back in when COVID struck)

Unlike many hard-hit states, the vast majority of Florida Deaths and Infections hap. pened AFTER the first 100K deaths (see: Birx above).  A date of June 15, 2020 is a good cut-off point since that was after both testing and treatment were available and also allowed time for those already infected weeks back to add to the mortality. The percentage of deaths vs. infections were cut by 70% or more once the basics of treatment were known, one important reason why “comparisons” are moot. Florida did not develop these treatments, but having their infections later meant much lower deaths per 100K infections.

IMHE shows approx. 4K deaths in Florida by June 15 – a time when the Gov. claimed the state was out of the woods and could largely re-open. IMHE now projects 58,000 Deaths in Florida before the end of 2021, meaning 93% of Florida deaths happened after the cut-off date – the date when Birx and others claim we could have stopped or slowed ALL deaths. This is a very important point – as it is the best indication of “what was done with hand dealt ONCE treatment and testing and avoidance techniques were known”.

DeSantis Quick Report Card

The Gov. of Florida claimed that the State was largely finished with COVID at about 3.5K deaths. This is a tweet direct from his Press Sec. – saying that projections of 4K or 4400 Deaths were flatly wrong. In addition, this was approx the time (end May, 2020) when Gov. claimed that all numbers were so low that the State could start opening up.

Those who have followed Florida probably know some of the situation with Rebeka Jones, a Dept. of Health Employee who was let go (and then her house raided for computers, phones) for “insubordination” – in this case her knowing that Florida was likely to get much worse and not being able to live with herself if she went along with the Story Line that the State was Ready to Open. However, Jones was one of tens of thousands of Floridians who had been closely looking at the Florida Situation and KNEW it was too early to open…and, in fact, that the numbers were going UP, not down….meaning the Gov. was going against his own plan and promises to open Florida in the face of Mass Infection waves starting.

In the end, Florida deaths will be 10 to 15X what the Gov. claimed (promised) as he re-opened the state. His promises were not made early when no information was available. Those would have been excusable to some degree – these were made months after the whole world knew what COVID might do to us.

It Gets Worse – MUCH WORSE

Given such massive numbers – as many deaths in Florida as were projected for the entire nation  – one might be excused for trying to reconcile these deaths by using the common techniques of comparisons and/or what-about. However, there is a important subject regarding Florida which has largely been overlooked – that being the question of how many COVID cases and deaths Florida has spread to the rest of the Country. There is no other state that comes close to the “Florida Effect” of COVID spreading – which has to include ALL these criteria.

  1. Heavily travelled – over 100 Million visits per year – many of them by quasi-residents and many to and from heavily populated areas.
  2. A continuous high positivity in Florida for over a year – the state never having settled even at the highest “community spread” number of 5% – but rather exceeded 20% (% is over 5% still as this is written in July, 2021).
  3. Leaders who promote Mass Infection and make laws and statements regarding the “freedom” of a lack of mass mandates.
  4. A Culture, and specifically a Travel Culture, of partying, drinking and general Lack of Responsibility toward others (a selfish culture).
  5. A poorly educated populace – many who value the Medical Advice of a Preacher (the Bleach Church and other such institutions pervade Florida) – combined with vast Media devoted to Hate and Backwardness, affect the thinking of many.

Regarding the last items, Florida (along with NY – where many Floridians come from!)  just came in last among ALL states in a measure of Patriotism – one that used various statistics such as volunteerism, participation in the military or Americorps, etc. – As with some other areas of the US (SoCal), it is a ME ME ME culture.

There is already proof of Florida infecting and re-infecting much of the country over and over again – what we don’t have yet are actual numbers (statistics). In the coming months we are likely to see some additional studies. However, it is safe to assume – even from anecdote – that millions of cases of COVID elsewhere were spread by travel to and from heavily infected Florida back to much lower infected areas. No matter what other states did, it became impossible to tamp down COVID as long as Florida itself didn’t take the disease seriously.

As a single anecdote, I was in my Northern home of MA in the mid-summer of 2020 – the citizens of the State had tamped down COVID to less than 1% positivity. A single hospital employee traveled on vacay (w/o telling the supervisor), came back and infected 33 people in the hospital (staff and patients). If one person – luckily found and traced – could do that, just imagine 100 million travelers to Florida!

It now becomes clear why Gov. DeSantis never took contact tracing seriously – why would he want to know what Florida was doing to other states? That would be something only a moral or ethical person would care about. In this case, out of sight and out of mind – as long as the numbers didn’t add to Floridas, all was good for the Gov.

Back at the start of the Pandemic, a number of infected Cruise Ships were anchored off Florida as decisions were made as to what to do with them. The Gov. finally acted – he let them dock,. shuttled the passengers directed to Ft. Lauderdale Airport, and sent them on their merry way – WITHOUT ANY TESTING OR TRACING. Imagine the infections resulting from just this?

Florida is costing ALL US CITIZENS vast Sums of Money – The Economy still Sux

Florida has always been a “taker” state. Try hard to think what was invented in Florida (nothing) or what large companies from there are paying big time into the US Economy (taxes). Whether Drugs, Housing Booms/Busts, Oligarch and other Money Laundering or Organized Crime, Florida has always relied on “alternative” means of making money. By ignoring Public Health, Florida assumed they would make money (tourism, etc.). However, the Florida economy is not only in Recession but it will take many more years to recover and grow than other states – as this is written, Florida is #37 among the states in how quickly it is recovering financially.

As with the exporting of COVID Cases to other states, the Gov. was happy to make $500 profit from a tourist visit. He was not concerned if that person ended up costing “US” $40,000 in terms of spreading COVID back home and a hospitalizations associated with the spread.

As a quick illustration of how badly COVID turned out for Florida, not only is/was the COVID infection rates incredibly high and avoidable, but there is no “up” side – that is, the talking point about “the economy” is wrong. Florida has now gained a bad reputation nationwide (and worldwide, to some degree) and tourism and business development will suffer for many years. DeSantis vendettas against “liberals, democrats, New Yorkers and tech companies” means fewer of all of these will be loving the idea of Florida.

Not to say that “the short term economy” is worth killing 10’s of thousand for – but if one buys that argument, Florida didn’t get the intended result anyway! Lose-Lose – lost the lives and losing the economy.

The Federal Government (taxpayers) could have simply given a couple 150 Billion to Florida  (1 and 1/2 years of the Budget) and a few extra hundred billion to keep business afloat and it would have been much cheaper – with few or no deaths. As a comparison, the total cost to the US Economy of Florida COVID is projected to be 1.4 TRILLION dollars!

These few tourist dollars ended up costing both Florida and the US many times the initial “profit”. However, the media and experts will never do these calculations. We don’t employ Generalists in our institutions so many policies which make sense are often overlooked.
(total US cost of COVID Pandemic is current estimated to be approx. 20 Trillion Dollars). 

Why Would DeSantis Let So Many Die?

Normal people can’t conceive letting others die when it could be changed with the stroke of a pen or a couple of sentences. Yet DeSantis, when presented with easy choices to save lives (with NO economic or other penalty) almost always chose to do the wrong thing.

No one can read minds – but there are only a couple possibilities as to why – my opinion is the first (most of this article is fact, so I will make it clear when I throw opinions in!).

  1. DeSantis simply follows what Trump does or what he thinks Trump would do – this makes sense because Trump was in office for most of the Pandemic.
  2. DeSantis is a Sociopath or Psychopath making it so there is no difference – and perhaps even some pleasure – in doing the wrong thing. The evidence for this lies in his seeming lack of caring – it is very rare (if ever) that DeSantis choked up or shed a tear as 10’s of thousands died. In fact, quite the opposite.
  3. DeSantis is Lazy – doing things requires work. I have seen a lot of direct evidence that DeSantis takes the easiest path he can get away with. If the Fed Government (Trump) and.or Florida Citizens are OK with mass deaths, he doesn’t have his own person conscience that says “Ron, you can save many lives because it’s the right thing to do”.
  4. DeSantis is Ignorant and/or Stupid – It’s hard to imagine a Harvard Grad being unintelligent – but it is possible to be ignorant. His believe in Mass Infection (the Great Barrington DeClaration) is an example. It’s doubtful that he reasoned out this approach (mass infection) as the best path – however, it became a Name Brand he could hang his hat on – that is, he can claim Mass Infection was a Real Policy based on Science.

He Opened, Floridians Died

One of the stickiest claims made in regards to Florida is that the Governor along with a large team (who I believe will be shown to be Rubber Stamps) created a Plan to re-open which involved step-by-step and the meeting of certain metric (downward trends in positivity, cases, deaths, hospitalizations, etc.) in order to move from one step to the other.

This particular claim is not in question. Nor is the fact that the Gov. did not follow HIS PLAN. Nor is the fact that not following HIS PLAN resulted in mass infection and death. How can I make these claims with such confidence? Simple – the Plan Exists, the Numbers and Dates exist and The Gov. Himself claims that he is sorry he even made the plan and started with it (an admission that he never followed or finished it). For those who want the shortest explanation, it went like this.

  1. Plan stated that re-open cannot occur until COVID was way down and headed down lower. In fact, plan stated that any reversal of such would result in rolling BACK of the plan.
  2. There has never been a time since Late May, 2020 when Cases, Infection, Deaths or other Metrics met the goals.

We cannot be more clear than that! Here if the chart from Floridas own site with the opening data noted. You can see what happened after that – making it clear that no plan was followed.

If you would like to do more reading on Floridas Plan, which was obviously tossed in the trash, you can download it from Floridas servers.

You will note that the Plan starts off with bragging about how Great Florida was doing – a very dated claim which clearly shows that marketing and PR was more important than the lives of Floridians. As stated previously, 93% of Florida infections and deaths happened AFTER this time – therefore this document shows the complete opposite of what the Gov. thinks…it shows that actions COULD have been taken to save lives, but were not.

If you want a single Page PDF we created – which spells out the Plan and Failure in a simple manner, click this link.

The Folly of Mass Infection and/or “Protecting the Vulnerable”

Mass Infection Kills

Gov. DeSantis believes in “herd immunity through mass infection” – i.e. The Great Barrington Declaration. This approach has been disproven throughout history and once again during this pandemic. It is not in question. It is not part of a reasonable debate. Given the extended lifespans that modern science and medicine have brought to us, we cannot let diseases freely “run their course” without major consequences.

DeSantis was spreading disinformation on this subject and had his video removed from Youtube – even late in the pandemic he was content to spread lies that would result in excess deaths. Part of the misinformation of “Mass Infection” involved the talking point of “We will protect the vulnerable so that Mass Infection won’t end up killing them”. This is, of course, impossible to do in the real world. Elders and those with disease cannot be isolated – as they need food, housing, caregivers, medical care (in-person appointments) and more. If one state allows COVID to spread unchecked (15% positivity, for example), many more seniors and disabled will end up getting sick as compared to another state/locale where the positivity is 3%.

As mentioned in the Introduction, comparisons of large states is very difficult due to the large number of factors which are involved – international airports, other travel, density and more. However, a small “control experiment” in Mass Infection results can be viewed in a state like South Dakota…vs. Vermont. Both states have similar (low) populations and a rural lifestyle. Neither are heavily traveled. In fact, Vermont probably has more Negatives in the case of COVID being within 2 hours of Boston (a COVID epicenter) and also having an international airport in Burlington. Below are the COVID statistics to date for both of these states.

The State where the leaders (Bernie Sanders!) and people (general liberal and science based) tried hard to manage the Virus ended up with vastly better results – results which reflect almost perfectly the original premise – that the USA allowed 5X as many people to die as might have if we had decent leadership and less ignorance among out citizens

These numbers leave no room for discussion. DeSantis bet on the wrong horse – a powerful Stud Named Mass Infection – who ended up stomping on us all.

Vaccine Failure Kills Floridians AND others!

As I write this (Oct 1, 2021) Florida is 1st among the states in current deaths from COVID – also among the top in Hospitalizations and Infections – with a recent positivity rate as high as 20% – wave burned out and down to 6-8% now, still 3X what many stats are. 23,000 (or more) excess deaths among Floridians in the past 90 days – now passing 76,000 total in the pandemic – NOT INCLUDING exports and many other populations.

How is this possible? In theory, it can’t be happening because a proper vaccination program is estimated to cut COVID deaths by up to 99%. Florida has had enough Vaccine for MANY months in order to give shots to that population. This is a true miracle – but not in the “positive miracle” sense, rather it’s a Evil which required direct action (and inaction) to produce.
(Document – click here to see the 99% reduction list).

The following paragraphs will tell the story – as I saw it while residing in Florida during the time when Vaccinations were important to prioritize. As with the other writing (above) you’ll have to sharpen a bit of your math and reasoning skills to see how big the failure was/is. Those who use talking points such as “He protected the vulnerable” will never get to the truth…because not only didn’t the Gov protect the vulnerable, but his actions, orders and words did the complete opposite.

To set the stage, we have to understand so the basics of COVID Mortality. An 80+ year old male with typical health conditions could easily have 50 to 200X the risk of dying from COVID than a healthy 65 year old. It is incorrect, therefore, to say they are both in the “most vulnerable” group and should have the same priority in getting vaccinated. Vaccinate a single 85 year old and you have saved as many people (or more) than vaccinating 100  65 year olds.

A good vaccination plan, with the proper priorities,  requires a massive effort – even more so in a state with over 20 million residents. The Federal Government required all states to submit a detailed vaccination program by October, 2020 – long before the vaccine was available. Florida created and published a plan – which still exists on the Florida State servers. It’s 52 pages and quite detailed.

Ron DeSantis threw that plan away. This is not an opinion nor an issue up for debate. He admits to tossing it – claiming later that “No plan is the best plan”. As I write this I find it hard to believe – but Floridians and other DeSantis supporters somehow eat this stuff up….or, perhaps they aren’t paying attention?
“Florida is the only state without a clear vaccination plan. DeSantis says it’s better that way”. 

This is the equiv. of crashing an airliner into the ground and then stating that you saved the trouble for the recycling company because it’s now in small pieces!  And, of course, the result in Florida has turned out MUCH worse than just crashing a couple airliners in the Ground. COVID deaths in Florida since March 1 (IMHE) are approx. 34,000. This does not include the likely massive chains of infections that Florida is still exporting (millions of visitors – some going home with COVID) nor any resulting deaths. Even a poor job by DeSantis could have saved 60% of those – 20,000. In perspective, a state such as MA, adjusted for population to match FL, had about 15K total in that time period. MA is the 2nd most dense state in the USA – massive public transit, 1 million in higher education, etc. – so, in theory, it has potential for worse COVID results.

It can start to boggle the mind. Why would the Gov. let 20,000+ extra people die even AFTER Vax was available – when he could have changed it with a few sentences outlining a real plan for vaccine priorities? Why won’t he, to this day, make multiple PSA announcement and take some tours around Florida trying to get the vulnerable vaccinated?

The above is a summary of what has happened – some of the details follow. Some of this is either opinion and/or guesswork because it must be – I obviously do not sit in the Board Rooms of Hospitals nor am I in the Gov. Mansion. It has been reported quite often that DeSantis is largely a 2 man show – he and his wife (who does marketing and PR). – The team has expanded to three with his new “Russian/Ukrainian Expert” Press Secretary.  The Point here is – there is no true leadership team involved – the COVID response and Vaccination Program have been chaotic – as you would expect when no one is running things.

Let’s Start at the Beginning

No state needed the vaccine more than Florida! Given the policy of “Hoax/Mass Infection”, COVID has been out of control in the Sunshine State for much of the pandemic. Luckily for DeSantis, Trump was in the White House and the political situation looked good for all involved. Ron helped Trump win Florida  – one of the reasons was a slow-down in COVID death reporting – mysteriously happened in the weeks before the election. We can be sure that Trump made sure Florida had the proper allocation of Vaccines – or better. But having vaccines and GIVING vaccines are two different things – and the most important, giving to the right people, is yet another step which had to be taken to tamp down the body counts.

There is no doubt that any planned Vaccine program was tossed. The question(s) are WHY and then the issue is what happened instead of proper planning. As to why the program was tossed, we can use Occam’s Razor and/or known events (and even rumors and speculation) to make some guesses. It could very well be a combination of reasons.

  1. As guessed at the start of this article, we can speculate that the Gov. has a mental issue which results in him not caring about human life. As hard as that is to imagine, there are very few other possibilities given his words, attitude, actions, etc.
  2. He was/is incapable as a manager and executive of doing anything of this level – we have to remember that DeSantis has no Executive experience. He was a lowly Congressman – unheard of – whom Matt Gaetz helped promote to political success. Being part of the legal crew at Gitmo is a LONG way from being a General (making decisions!).
  3. His well-known temper and lack of being able to get along with others (his former employees claimed they have PTSD and started a support group) might have made it impossible for him to assemble and give responsibility to a team. We have to assume that there WERE people in Florida somewhere who could have accomplished this task – the Vax Program. For whatever reason they couldn’t be organized.

Further to the last item, this rumored email showed up on twitter many months back – 

Both the style of it – and the general subject – fit in with much else that IS known. For example, we do know many state employees quit during the Pandemic – which is very strange in itself. Wouldn’t a once-in-a-lifetime pandemic be the time where a State Employee would want to be part of the team? I know I would….IF the team and leaders were doing the right thing.

I also have it direct from an employee involved that turnover is extremely high – the State is said to pay terribly and, according to my source “most anyone who gets a chance to leave – does”. It pains me to think about one of the largest states in the USA – one located in the sub-Tropics and/or Tropics, is “saving money” on Public Health, yet that is – without question – true.  Public Health in Florida also has been decimated over the long term, going into overdrive with Rick Scott, who is, of course, against Public Health and in favor of Corporate Health Care. If you’d like to read up on the Public Health Defunding in Florida- here’s one story to get you started.
“state-run local health departments spent 41% less per resident in 2019 than in 2010”

All of the above fits perfectly in with the Deregulation and Privatization policies of some of our Political leaders.

No One Is Home!

As the Vaccine started to arrive in Florida, it quickly must have become evident that there was no one in charge. This is not a guess. There as nothing spelled out about how things were to proceed. The Plan was tossed and replaced with a 3 line Executive Order from DeSantis. Unfortunately, Executive Orders and Signatures do not do logistics!

The Executive Order had only 3 Main Bullet Points:

Long-term care facility residents and staff;
Persons 65 years of age and older; and
Health care personell with direct patient contact

Notice there is no priority given – who gets it and when? This is also missing the #1 causation of COVID hospitalizations and deaths! That cause involves “co-morbidities” such as diabetes, organ transplants, etc.

To personalize that last sentence – our local Facebook COVID discussion group had a member who was 64 years old and had a lung removed. Her other lung was only 50% functional. She was begging – pleading – for MONTHS….to get a vaccine. She could not. I watched a PR event where the Gov. was asked Point Blank if he was including pre-existing conditions – “We can’t sort them out” was his answer – even though the Vaccination Plan which he approved and signed previously DID sort them out! Most all other states sorted them out – as this was the REAL order suggested to minimize deaths:
1. Phase 1a:  health care workers and long-term care facility residents
2. Phase 1b:  persons aged ≥75 years and frontline essential workers
3. Phase 1c: persons aged 65–74 years, persons aged 16–64 years with high-risk medical conditions,

By using the 75+ age priority, many (perhaps most) with serious medial conditions would overlap – which is not true of 65+. That is, people over 75 are more likely than not to have co-morbidities. Within these guidelines, states and localities had some differences – for example, some states (like MA) vaccinated all “congregate settings” such as prisons, group homes, etc. as these are obvious sources of spread.

In Florida it was “Every man for himself” as the Gov. promised 6 million people (12 million doses – it would take to cover all in his executive order) when he had only 1 million doses…and then more little by little. It was complete chaos. A 65 year old Marathon Runner or the Accounting Department at the Local Hospital (those are not “patient facing” health workers) might get a vaccine – the very vaccine that should have went to someone with 200X the chance of death!

Once it became clear that no one was in charge – and no one was watching – we can only guess at all the possibilities for malfeasance. We do know of some – as reporting has been done on the matter.

No, Really, there was No One Home!

Due to the magic of Social Media (Next-door, Facebook and Twitter) we were able to keep up by the minute with the chaotic rollout. The DOH in Sarasota is 4 blocks from our house – and we surely hoped we’d be able to get a vaccine there eventually (never happened). Florida is a big state so I am going to limit the next tales to our local area – however, I have heard first hand stories from many other parts of the state.

The first Vaccines to land in Sarasota were at two places – the larger Hospital in the area and the Department of Health offices. The Hospital claimed their vaccines were for them (internally) although they likely received many thousands (perhaps tens of thousand) of doses. If the Hospital followed the initial guidelines the first vaccines would go to patient facing Medical Personnel – those much more likely to be infected with COVID. Public Health and Common sense would dictate that you’d give them (internally) in order – first to those working in the ER, ICU  and COVID areas, next to those who are in the general area of COVID patients (but not in contact) and so on. It goes without saying that a local mid-sized community hospital does not have tens of thousands – of “Patient Facing” employees.

Within a week or two we began to hear first hand stories of Hospitals giving to “any or every” employee….or, with some, to every employee over 65 even if they had nothing to do with medicine or patients (the accounting staff, etc.). Then we heard people say the Hospital was also giving them to the families of health care workers. Some may think “oh, well, that’s not too bad because maybe the Nurse will go home and infect their own family” – but keep in mind this was well before the 90 year olds at the Nursing Home got their shots! In these cases, once again, the shots that anyone healthy (or outside the lines of the order) got were shots that others did not.

The Hospital’s PR person was on Social Media answering some questions so I sent a Message  with my concerns about whether large numbers of vaccines were going outside of the Gov. Executive Orders. Like any good PR person, she danced and skirted the issue 3 or 4 times…like any good Bulldog, I rephrased the question until I finally got the answer. Yes, they were giving vaccines outside of the Gov. Executive Order. But what did it matter? There was no enforcement. There was no PR by the Gov saying “if we find you taking vaccines from our most vulnerable and giving them to your families, we will fine you $10,000 for each instance. The point here is not our local “community” Hospital – evidence suggests this was done to a much greater degree all throughout the state. Some hospitals had to be reprimanded when they decided to try and make their own rules (remember, it’s a Federal Vaccine – paid for by US taxpayers!). It’s the old story – if we pass a candy bar down a long time of people and each of them takes just a little bite – there is none left at the end! I’m sure these people getting vaccines were happy – and, in their minds (and in reality) they were doing nothing wrong. It was the System (the Gov) who was doing wrong by allowing it all to happen.

At our local Board of Health the vaccines just showed up one day. Yes, they just landed. No person to contact (at State) about them. No software program to keep track. No email. NOTHING – just vaccines showing up at their doorstep.

It’s hard to imagine but this is exactly what happened and it illustrates just a small part of the chaos involved. A stripped down DOH gets thousands of vaccines with no idea what the plan is! If I remember correctly, it was 3,000 doses on the first delivery, yet the basic demand for vaccines was unlimited (since you can cross county lines). A basic idea is that 250,000 of us were qualified and waiting in the local area. That would mean 500,000 doses – including the county next to us (3 miles away). So, what was the Dept of Health supposed to do?

This isn’t leadership. It’s embarrassing to think this happened in the USA – given TRILLIONS of dollars in free money awarded to states and business….yet the State couldn’t provide a relatively simple database system and apps? The DOH was left hanging out to dry – and so starts the next chapter in the Florida COVID Lottery, Sale, Flea Market and Mob Scene. With no tools in their shed, the DOH scrambled and used EventBrite – a web based system you’d use to set up your local Club Meeting – to schedule Vaccines! To do this they created an “Event/Meeting” with 1,000 attendees (on three separate days with tickets going to the first-come, first served. But wait! How would the public even know there were vaccines available? How would the “most vulnerable” those who are very old or very sick, know? This population is not on Facebook or Next-door. Well – there was no time to worry about such details – the shots had to go in arms, so EventBrite became the only way locals could get a vaccine.

This, of course, favored the connected and tech-savvy…with NO priority either for age or co-morbidities or mortality from COVID. It also invited gaming of the system – which started immediately and continued for months. You see, just like getting tickets to a Springsteen Concert, the tickets for COVID Vaccines went to those with the most computing power and best connections. Pictures were posted of people in multiple states – each with multiple devices – all ready to go at the very second the “tickets” were released. It goes without saying that said vaccine were gone within one minute or less. Thousands, or tens of thousands, were let 1/2 way in – that is, EventBrite would allow them to submit their form – tell them to await their ticket – and then give them the “Sold Out” screen a moment or two later.

This was not a one-off. As more vaccine arrived, more EventBrite events were posted and the vast majority of people failed over and over to get vaccines. This was beyond bad administration – it was downright cruel to have Seniors trying and failing day after day and week after week. Note: This was MANY weeks before the PUBLIX and other messes that hit the news. However, as we waited for our vaccines we saw troubling stories about upscale  HOA’s and others who were rumored to have gotten their vaccines en masse (rumor were confirmed as true – the Gov. even showed up!). It was also clear that most everywhere was in the same boat – no leadership from the State and complete chaos.

Nothing was Done Properly

Health Care workers – that is, your local Physicians Group, Dentist and the 10’s of thousands of others who are not directly working at the hospital….there was no program for them to get vaccines! I know…this sounds impossible. However, we had the posts, tweets and other direct evidence from people with names and occupations claiming they could not get vaccines! This went on for a LONG time – at least 2 months after the Vaccines were 1st available. Even many nurses and other health care professionals that later traveled to Florida to help out with the mess – they couldn’t get a vaccine. Here, for example, is a critical care nurse unable to get a shot in Florida as of 2/17/2021. This was not a one-off. We heard many stories from all different levels of medical professionals and even congregate settings (group homes, etc. for disabled, etc.).

The Biggest Lie – The Whole “Most Vulnerable” Thing?

From the very start and even today, DeSantis and his backers say he “protected the most vulnerable” – the assumption being that those in nursing homes, long term care facilities and other such situations were FIRST to get the Vaccine. After all, these are people with the 200X and greater risk of getting COVID and dying – they MUST have been singled out, right?

No. The big problem here is that people believe what the Gov. puts out as PR. As an example on the same subject, DeSantis got a lot of press when he said he was going to send National Guard “Strike Teams” to test every resident and worker in Care Homes. He admittedly never did. Under questioning months later he said the figure was 5 or 6 % – that’s a long way from 100% and a long way from protecting them. But now – he has the vaccine and he has all the Federal Money he wants and needs – surely he made sure to do our most vulnerable citizens? Well, I will let a picture speak for itself – this is the Government bragging about giving the first shots to the most vulnerable MONTHS after DeSantis donors and even the lucky (and tech savvy) public might win the lottery. Check out the date! Imagine – how clueless this Mayor had to be to BRAG about this? It just shows some of the disconnect.

Remember, many thousands were dying each month during the period between having plenty of Vaccine (for care homes) and when these were given. Not only is not “protecting the vulnerable” – it’s leaving them hanging as they had NO CHOICE. Other states quietly made sure vaccines went to the “right places” before tempting millions of 65 year olds with the possibility of getting one. Florida decided that people are ignorant – and that they would appeal to our most selfish instincts by letting us think that a chance of getting a vaccine (for ME) was better than an organized Public Health Program that would cut down deaths and hospitalizations.

Even I, a realist and cynic (given what I had seen) could not imagine that it took this long to do this population. I knew that vast populations were ignored – all the elders I often see in my volunteer jobs….no one was knocking on their doors and they certainly didn’t have multiple devices nor the tech skills (nor even the basic information) to know how to get a vaccine.

Myself and the thousands of others watching this were aghast- we were definitely making noise to ALL the authorities we could contact. I was begging for vaccines to be given to the eldest and co-morbid, having done the calculations which told me that MANY more Floridians would be dying given the ongoing Chaos.

As some real life examples, neither myself nor my 70-something neighbors could get a vaccine. I finally figured out a way to obtain one 90 minutes away in a county with less demand. Some ended up driving as long as 6 hours – of course, impossible for the truly vulnerable. My neighbors, multi-generation Floridian professionals, could not get a vaccine – they tried the County and various Doctors and then Publix when that Supermarket Chain was given exclusive or semi-exclusive rights to distribute vaccines.

No Publix Story Here

As to the exact story of Publix – some of which has been in the Media, I am not going to write much about it – except to say that Publix wasn’t even in the picture during the beginning of this mess. My guess is that, given the tossing of the vaccine and logistics plan, DeSantis hoped that he could “privatize” the distribution of the vaccine with one stroke of the pen. It didn’t work. Publix was the same mess as DOH – people waking up at 6am (when Public opened registration for shots) and failing day after day to find an appointment.

What I can say about Publix is that the narratives fit perfectly into all the rest of the nightmare – they were only available at certain Stores – and in very limited quantity before mid-April. It was just one more stab at DeSantis trying to get someone else to do the work that he failed at.

Favoritism – True or False

Were vaccines and tests in Florida shunted to the wealthy and to donors and friends of DeSantis? Of course they were. There are plenty of stories reporting on these – a few of them happened in places where we were on the waiting list. Manatee Country, with 150,000 on a “lottery” system waiting, had a “pop-up” clinic in an upscale area built by a top DeSantis donor – and the records (texts, emails) of the country commissioners rubbing their hands together (Gov. showed up that day) are available. In fact, one Commish started a VIP list of her and her contacts and friends to get special access – meanwhile, 150K others waited for the lottery – and it makes sense to say some ended up in the hospital and/or dying due to having to wait. When challenged about this, DeSantis said “You better not complain or I’ll take them away from you too” (my paraphrase). In any sane world, this would be enough to have a leader tried and impeached – but in Florida it’s accepted and Business as Usual.

The truth of the matter is that most of the dying and hospitalized are unseen…out of sight, out of mind. Many are likely in long term care facilities with hospice centers attached or nearby. Others may be elder retirees with little family left…and still others have left the state (they were snowbirds and.or tourists) and therefore not counted or thought about in Florida. For DeSantis, it seemed, it was all about the numbers that he could claim. If 10,000 people elsewhere died as the result of Floridians or Tourists infecting them, that meant nothing – as long as it didn’t add to “Florida Resident” totals….speaking of which, it’s very different to define a “Florida Resident”. But that’s a story for another time.

October, 2021 – But But – Florida has a high percentage of vaccinated…so either the vaccine doesn’t work or the entire country is going to get hit as hard as Florida did in the Delta Wave.

The above bold text represents some of the current talking points. After all, if Florida has as high as a vaccine %, surely – people cannot be dying there by the thousands each week?

This is perhaps one of of the most fascinating takes on Human Nature. Who counts the Vaccines? If there are no “vaccine passports”, then who has the accurate data? If DeSantis gave Vaccines willy-nilly to 100’s of different “distributors” with no software programs or other methods for perfect tracking, we are back to two questions.

  1. Can we believe ANYTHING DeSantis and the State of Florida say or report (NO, of course not!).
  2. Vaccine % does not separate out the co-morbid…so, we could have the exact same percentage of vaccines given and yet 5X or 10X the deaths if vaccines were not done right (as explained in the last number of paragraphs).

It is extremely troubling that so few Florida insiders have come forward and told the truth about what they have seen. Many may not know – due to compartmentalizing of data. Others have had the State come down on them like a Ton of Bricks for attempting to warn the Public.  Much of the leadership and others have left (the Surgeon General, Chiefs of Staff and head of the DOH response).

Likely someday this will all come out in books, articles and other investigations and testimony.  Odds, however, favor that DeSantis will either be re-elected by then…or, (shudder) even be POTUS.

I have know the American System for over 50 years – from my first run-ins with “Justice” to the affirmations along the way that we were headed downhill. However, the Florida (type) of response and full-on allowance of Senecide (leaving elders to die) is past even the worst I have experienced or considered. We have seen both the worst (FL, TX, etc.) and the best (MA and many places that care about Public Health and Seniors) play out, Given our broken political and education systems, it is very likely the worst will continually “win” in the coming years.

I would enjoy being wrong on this but there is no evidence to back this up. Selfishness seems to the Core of the New American Spirit.

Be Safe.



Part #5 How to start a successful (or failing) Blog in 2013-14

It’s now going on one year since I had the idea of starting the blog and web site. This post will bring readers up to date on the effort and also offer some additional tips and advice.

Statistics of Traffic (Readership)

First, a quick update on readership – a metric webmasters call “traffic”. I use two measurement services to study the traffic – one is google analytics and the other is quantcast. Both are free. In order to get the most accurate measurements, you need to place a piece of code which they give you onto your pages.

Our quantcast stats are public and can be found at:

If you hit the “month” tab, you will see that we are up to as many as 100,000 pages being read per month. The growth has been fairly slow and steady – expect for a very strong uptick during the holiday season. This was due to interest in quadcopters for gifts AND the amazing amount of free publicity given to drones when Amazon ran their story about using them for future deliveries. Our site traffic doubled during the week following that story. I expect our traffic to settle down somewhat now that the holiday season is over, so rather than compare it to the previous month, I will be comparing (internally) to the same month the year before.

Google Analytics chart - click to enlarge

Google Analytics chart – click to enlarge

The basics of the chart are shown in the upward angle of the chart. We had about 10,000 page views in the month of Feb, 2013 – the first month I started this blog. In December, we had about 10X that many, and in the previous months 4-6X as many. Once again this reaffirms the wisdom of purchasing an existing (but, in this case, abandoned) blog which had some traffic – as opposed to starting from scratch. I don’t think Droneflyers would be doing nearly as well if we hadn’t spent a few bucks to get a baseline of traffic and articles.

Current Setup of Site

The original site was a blog with articles posted by one author. The current site is still following this basic format, however I added a forum section which allows others to login and post their reviews, comments and questions. The forum part of the site has not been really busy – but that’s OK – in many ways it serves our purpose of not being complicated. In terms of keeping the site going, here are some of the important points which contribute to it’s success:

1. A very focused and clear mission and subject – We are a site geared toward beginners, those getting started in the hobby. More experienced hobbyists have plenty of other sites to visit – there is almost unlimited technical material on drones online! However, there is not much for those getting started – so we are focusing on those who are in their first couple years of R/C (radio controlled) quadcopter experience.

I should note that one of the biggest mistakes I see made on the internet is the tendency to claim too much “real estate”. In my opinion, you will be much better off to be narrowly focused and do a good job on that piece.

2. A mature attitude and member “vibe” – since the site is about quadcopters for beginners, we don’t allow off-topic conversations, arguments and all the stuff which seems to ruin much of the internet these days.

3. A subject which is growing or underserved – this is an “either/or” proposition. Let me explain. My other site,, is focused on a very tiny niche subject – mostly people who heat their homes with woodstoves and firewood. Yet it has millions of page views per month – because the subject is underserved (not a lot of independent info) on the internet.
The quadcopter (drone) site covers a quickly growing subject. These consumer drones are really quite new – the last two years has brought the real explosion in their use. Also, to repeat, by focusing on beginners we are chasing a bit of that underserved market.

4. Consistency – although I don’t spend a lot of time on new articles and content for the site, I do make sure that it does not appear or become abandoned. Maybe I’ll post some good pictures, links, a couple comments, etc – and a few other forum members do also. Maybe I will update an existing articles and/or some links. It’s important to not let a week or two go by without adding something to your ongoing blog or forum…

5. Not forcing the issue – I don’t suggest putting a bunch of new features on a blog or forum unless there is a clear use for them. KISS is the word (keep it simple)….better to have fewer features which are used more than to have too many and have them languish. Watch the statistics and only offer new features, forums, subjects and articles based on what people actually want and need.

Promoting and Advertising Updates

In the former installments of this series, I mentioned the use of google adwords and similar programs as a low-cost way to spread the word. In this update, I’ll review most of the ways you need to promote your blog – both free and low-cost….

Cost per click advertising – These are programs such as google adwords – Bing has an equivalent as do some other large sites (Yahoo!, etc.). – My blog,, is currently spending about $50-$60 per month in google adwords. This amount sends about 400 extra visitors to the site per month.

Twitter – I have to admit it. I have never been a big fan of Twitter as a consumer. There is just TMI (too much information) to follow! However, Twitter does create a decent platform for you to promote your new site and articles. It also establishes you as a “player” in the particular sector which you blog about. In fact, one company contact me via Twitter and sent me an expensive sports camera (free) to review! It is also a good way for you to find decent links, stories and happenings which relate to your subject – and perhaps post them or blog about them.

Facebook – Many internet sites would benefit from having a page on Facebook. However, most of your real content should be on your site (blog, forum, etc.) NOT on Facebook. Facebook also allows low-cost advertising – called “boosting your post”, while allows your page to quickly become popular. Our Facebook page has only been active for a month (as of this writing), but as you can see we have a lot of exposure and “likes”

Other Forums and Sites – can provide traffic to your new site for no cost. Take part in valid discussions elsewhere on the net. Some sites allow you to post links to your site (reviews, for instance). Even Amazon product reviews can steer people to your site!

Of course, the original advice always applies – that is “Content Is King”. Adding quality articles, posts, pictures, videos, link and other content to your site is the best way for the search engines to “bless” you….meaning more readership at little or no cost.

Show me the $$$

In some of the former posts I mentioned the potential revenue sources for your blog/site. However, there is little need to concern yourself with these until you have decent traffic on your site – realistically, until you have a couple thousand pages read per week you are unlikely to be able to “monetize” your site if you are a publisher. However, some of you may be in the business of E-commerce, that is…selling things directly from your web site. Your content may be a way of educating and informing the customer. In such a case, it’s possible that $$ can be gleamed from a smaller readership…assuming the readers are targeted. As an example, if you sell consulting services, it may be that one out of every 500 visitors to your site contacts you for paid advice.

My experience is mostly with web publishing – that is, sites which provide information as opposed to products and services. In my case, income can be made in these ways:

1. Ad programs such as google adsense allow you to make money from ads served by google.

2. Sponsors you obtain – in this case you have to find sponsors who are willing to pay you for banners, text links or other promotion on your site.

3. Affiliate links – these are the Amazon (and similar) programs where you can place product links on your site and get paid a small commission if your readers click on them and make a purchase.

4. Book sales, etc – I used my blog writings as the basis for a book – called “Getting Started with Hobby Quadcopters and Drones”. This is an e-book (paperback available also) which I self-published at a very low cost. The book is selling well.

Currently, I am making 70% + of my site income from Amazon affiliates, 20% from book sales (which may be unrelated to the site – they find the book on Amazon) and 5% from Google Adsense.

While the site is not making enough for a full-time living, it is doing very well and is more than paying for my pursuit of this hobby and my investment of time and money. If I was able to invest more time into the effort it’s likely that it could provide 2X or 3X the current income, which would bring it up close to being a “full time job” in terms of $$.

In closing, I hope these posts provide some hints for YOU to succeed on the web.


Part #4 How to start a successful (or failing) Blog in 2013!

Part #3 is here – and other others are linked from there!

Ok, so enough time has gone by now that a basic judgement can be made as to whether the new blog/forum is (or could be!) a successful venture. As you may remember, I purchased an abandoned blog appox 4 months ago, in late January, 2013.

I have spent some money and quite a bit of time adding content and doing various forms of promotion – in fact, the official Grand Opening is NOW, during which we are giving away various prizes along with copies of a free quadcopter ebook which I am working on.

I’m pleased to note that our traffic (visitors to the site) is WAY up – in addition, the site is actually making some money, although this is not the current intention. It was curiosity, they say, which killed the cat and I couldn’t help but throw some ads and other tests onto the site to see if it would be possible to someday “monetize” it.

Visitors for by week in 2013 - Click to Enlarge

Visitors for by week in 2013 – Click to Enlarge

Some comments on the chart:
The basics show an increase in page views from less than 1,000 per week to over 7,000. The actual statistics are even better, since I have added a forum to the site which does not have it’s statistics measured in this chart.

Your mileage may vary, but in a very general sense, crossing over the 1,000 page views per day seems to where a site can be economically feasible. Of course, monetary income is only one possible reason (and often one of the lesser) for having a blog or a web site, but it’s nice to get some of the costs covered and make a bit of side income. In my case – since I am investing a couple grand in this venture – it will be satisfying to see a bit of payback eventually come in.

Income vs. Expenses

Based on the current traffic, a site such as this could easily make $2-300 per month in income…and possibly more if the owner spent some time acquiring sponsors and tuning the site. Such a site would pay off the initial monetary investment within the first year or so, and then could provide a positive cash flow. The ongoing costs once all my giveaways, etc. are done with will be less than $40 per month. This includes a decent web host (server) and the costs associated with the forum software, add-ons an upgrades.

Of course, good blogs and web sites require a substantial investment in time and talent also. If I billed myself by the hour, I’d have been broke long ago!

Where the Money comes from?

Most of my previous experience has been with two common forms of selling ads:
1. Private sponsors – this means signing up vendors who might want to put their products or message in front of your sites’ readers.
2. Google Adsense – this involves putting a small piece of code on your site and becoming a partner with google in serving ads (from googles clients).

A third option which I have tried before with poor results involves referring blog visitors to for purchases, and receiving a small fee from Amazon for doing so. In contrast to my former experience, the Amazon links I have on the droneflyers blog are doing quite well.

Yet another option would be to open some kind of a web store and sell related products yourself – something which would probably bring in the largest revenue of any of these options. However, running a physical business requires more time and has additional responsibilities tied to it.

In the case of my new hobby site, it’s my guess that referrals to Amazon along with some adsense will be the best way to create income with little hassle. However, independent (directly contacted and sold) sponsors may be willing to pay higher rates…just that I am not that ambitious at the moment!

I’m going to consider this the final installment to this series – as the site and blog are officially underway. Thanks for reading and I hope you were able to pick up some tidbits of information to make your new blog successful.


Part #2 How to start a successful (or failing) Blog in 2013!

As you may remember from Part #1, I decided to go ahead and start the Blog on Quadcopters (consumer drones) and started looking for domain names and/or possibly an existing site I could purchase and expand.

My list of possible (available) domain names is shown below….
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Part #1 How to start a successful (or failing) Blog in 2013!

As some may know, I have run a successful web site ( since 1995. We have a very active forum community and many other features, but most importantly a good community of helpful members who spend their time helping others. This has resulted in MILLIONS of pages being read each month as well as a community which mostly takes care of itself.

When I started the internet was like the wild west – very little “land” had been claimed, and a decent site on ANY subject had a very good chance of success if the basics were in place. However, now that anyone can – and millions do – start web sites, I think it would be a LOT harder to succeed when starting from scratch.

As an experiment, I am doing just that…and I will blog here on the effort so that others can learn from my failures and successes.
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How I become familiar with computers and then a Webmaster!

How I become a Webmaster and started

For those who are unfamiliar, I am the founder and publisher of, a popular web site about wood stoves and related appliances which has been active since 1995.

When I first decided to start this informational hearth site, it was my goal to have 10,000 readers per month…now we have more than that number in ONE DAY. Stats for Fall, 2011, show 460,000 visitors in November alone, reading over 3 MILLION pages!

In fact, is the most read stove and fireplace publication in the world and perhaps the only independent source of hearth information on the internet or in print!

Let’s turn on the wayback machine and discover how came to be.
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More about Craig – childhood

I was born in Philadelphia in November of 1953 – a baby boomer, for certain, albeit on the younger end of that generation. Although many periods in history are full of upheaval and change, there is something unique about the speed and severity of the changes which started to occur as I entered primary school. The sequence of events are fairly well known, but to see them close at hand as a growing child was quite alarming. Continue reading

Steve Jobs, Apple and the Singularity

I’m sorry to hear of Steve Jobs leaving Apple, although very few human beings have had as good a run as he.

His illness and eventual passing brings to mind the question of the Singularity, that being the idea that computing power is now close to being able to contain consciousness offloaded from the human brain. Those not familiar with the topic should check out these links –
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