Odds ‘n Sods:

Are we approaching something like the Maunder Minimum? Sun’s Fading Spots Signal Big Drop in Solar Activity. Come on, make up your minds. Al Gore is dying to know, will it be global warming or a Little Ice Age? Either way, be prepared for multigenerational TEOTWAWKI.

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Several readers have written me to mention this study: Freedom in the 50 States. It is an interesting yet slightly flawed study. Since when does perverting the definition of “marriage” constitute a freedom? In their criteria for measuring Paternalism, the authors of the study chose to weight “domestic partnerships” nearly as high as “gun laws”. They also weighted “marijuana legalization” even higher than “gun laws”. By doing so, they skewed the the study’s outcome. If homosexual marriage and marijuana laws were factored out, then the American Redoubt states would have ranked higher. (See the study details.)

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Jonathan B. sent this news headline from Nanny State Britannia: Energy bill: landlords could be forced to refurbish energy-inefficient homes. Jonathan’s comment: “Ah, the sweet smell of communitarianism in the morning:”

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Don at Creative Lightings in Cleveland wrote to mention a new product: a 2-foot LED Retrofit Tube Light. Don tells me that these replacement tubes work great with 12 to 24 volt DC alternative energy systems. SurvivalBlog readers can use the coupon code sb-20 for a 20% discount. (Creative Lightings is not a SurvivalBlog advertisers, but they have a solid reputation.)

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From Market Ticker, Ten Things for 2011, by Karl Denninger