JS-Kit/Echo comments for article at http://smallestminority.blogspot.com/2010/10/how-could-they.html (78 comments)

jsid-1286424051-482  Laughingdog at Thu, 07 Oct 2010 04:00:51 +0000

They're religious fanatics, and we are the unwashed non-believers.  There's a reason they identify with Islamic terrorists, and groups like Hamas.

jsid-1286432834-978  Pascal (the derivative) at Thu, 07 Oct 2010 06:27:15 +0000 in reply to jsid-1286424051-482

Right you are. Fran Porretto wrote a series on this collaboration that began with the screed entitled "Convergence of the Death Cults" that will fill you in on why this is no joke. The warnings were there for all to see if we chose to see it. Few did,

jsid-1286425516-195  Bubblehead Les at Thu, 07 Oct 2010 04:25:16 +0000

There's a famous Quote from the Deceased New York Times Film Critic Pauline Kael (who never wrote a good review of ANY Clint Eastwood movie while she was alive, BTW).  It was the day after Nixon won in 1968.  She said "How could this have happened?  No one I knew voted for him!"  As an Anointed One, She could not comprehend that others might think differently than her and her ilk, and actually DO something like voting against Her Agenda.  These People have been a pest for centuries.  They need to be thought of like Locusts.  You may not be aware of them for years, then one day they spring up and destroy what you have worked so hard to build.  Eternal Vigilance, Eternal Vigilance.

jsid-1286429335-412  Ed "What the" Heckman at Thu, 07 Oct 2010 05:28:55 +0000

Actually, I do think the left is evil. Not because they are intentionally evil, but because they're too stupid to tell the difference, so they consistently fall for evil ideas.

I should also point out that from the Christian worldview, every person is evil to some extent, some more than others. Since the difference between a "good" person and an "evil" person is merely differences in the balance between good and evil, we cannot deny that we are also evil. Therefore we recognize that we are all in the same general boat when it comes to evil. In fact, when it comes to the evil of the left, "there but for the grace of God go I." Thus our reluctance to lean too hard on the "evil" meme.

The Frivolity of Evil, Dalrymple

jsid-1286433711-917  Pascal (the derivative) at Thu, 07 Oct 2010 06:41:52 +0000 in reply to jsid-1286429335-412

They could also have been so inculcated by evil ideas that they are sick, so sick that they are beyond reason. I have an example for you Ed too. I only just finished my latest screed about how bad 10-10 No Pressure really is.

Here is an excerpt, and it includes the evil and sick memes and well.

"The film's creators had authority figures use that button to blow up dissenters. Cheerfully. Smiling faces dispatching death without warning.

And of all the cheerful, smiling faces in authority, the teacher was the most despicable and evil. 

Think about how you felt about her before she pushed the magic button. You like her. She was pretty and sparkling and lovable; precisely the type you'd wish was teaching your kids (even allowing for her seeming gullible acceptance of AGW). 

And then she betrayed you in the most horrible way you could imagine. This was a monster in disguise. A wielder of a deadly weapon displaying smug pleasure in exerting total power with calm dispatch. Killing innocent children in a manner guaranteeing that their blood splatters on their classmates, and thereby assuredly intimidating the remnant who are trembling in horror. 

And if that is not bad enough, there is something even more sinister that was revealed by this unexpected horror-show. The Left and Statist shills think we should think this is funny! They are so sick they do not even recognize how sick!"

jsid-1286459685-327  dcmatthews at Thu, 07 Oct 2010 13:54:45 +0000 in reply to jsid-1286433711-917

You are so right about that teacher.  I had a somewhat vague idea of what I was going to see in that video based on what had already been written about it, but I still found it hard to believe that she'd press that button - until she did.  She then becomes the most hateful figure in a production that has more than its share of loathesome creatures.

jsid-1286556728-452  Laughingdog at Fri, 08 Oct 2010 16:52:08 +0000 in reply to jsid-1286433711-917

"Think about how you felt about her before she pushed the magic button. You like her. She was pretty and sparkling and lovable; precisely the type you'd wish was teaching your kids (even allowing for her seeming gullible acceptance of AGW).   "

Actually, I disliked her almost immediately, even before I knew what happened.  She was that same smug, "I just want to give the whole world a hug", type of person as all the other extreme lefties I encounter occasionally.  That whole concept that outcome doesn't matter, as long as you meant well.

I rarely expect those people to be the type to actually push the button.  They just write names on the list and hand the list to someone else to do the dirty work.

jsid-1286557967-272  Pascal (the derivative) at Fri, 08 Oct 2010 17:12:47 +0000 in reply to jsid-1286556728-452

Laughingdog: "They just write names on the list and hand the list to someone else to do the dirty work."

Precisely. This implied threat was IMO the intention of the damn commercial.

Another excerpt from "The Magic Button":

What exactly does the magic button represent?

Eligibility to government doled healthcare could be denied those who dissent.Jobs access or promotion or avoiding layoff or getting representation could be denied to those who dissent.

That's just for starters. I must thank Gates of Vienna for both ideas. The first item was in a story they ran a few years ago. I've written the Baron and Dymphna for a link to it [He wrote back he believes it was in Belgium, but doesn't recall the exact article]. The second was suggested by an item in their news feed on September 29."

jsid-1286558324-53  Pascal (the derivative) at Fri, 08 Oct 2010 17:18:44 +0000 in reply to jsid-1286557967-272

errata: the formatted number scheme did not carry over.

1. Eligibility to government doled healthcare could be denied those who dissent.
2. Jobs access or promotion or avoiding layoff or getting representation could be denied to those who dissent. 

Sorry Kevin, I should have expected it. (Echo needs preview. Oh, That Reminds Me, this is my fifth comment to the thread stream of the original post entitled "How Could They").

jsid-1286473771-448  Sarah at Thu, 07 Oct 2010 17:49:32 +0000 in reply to jsid-1286429335-412

Well put, Ed.

Therefore we recognize that we are all in the same general boat when it comes to evil. In fact, when it comes to the evil of the left, "there but for the grace of God go I." Thus our reluctance to lean too hard on the "evil" meme. 

And thus the conservative/libertarian ideology. When you recognize that everyone has a tendency to evil, you resist the notion of concentrated coercive power for any group. When you think only the other guy is evil, it becomes your mandate to have all of the coercive power for your group only.

jsid-1286917019-799  Paul from Texas at Tue, 12 Oct 2010 20:57:00 +0000 in reply to jsid-1286473771-448

When you recognize that everyone has a tendency to evil, you resist the notion of concentrated coercive power for any group. When you think only the other guy is evil, it becomes your mandate to have all of the coercive power for your group only.

Bravo for this insight!

This is THE most important difference between those who have statist/dictatorial tendencies and those who value personal liberties.  The same mindset that makes or likes this short is the one that sends little children with explosive belts to murder women and children who think differently, or cut the nose off of a beautiful woman for running away from her husband's house where her in-laws abused her.  It is responsible for Jihads, Crusades, the Inquisition, witch "trials," the mass Soviet murders under Lenin and Stalin, the Holocaust and the Cultural Revolution and a host of other ghastly crimes against both individuals and entire peoples. 

That the current resident of the White House could condescendingly view the Constitution as an outmoded impediment to government's ability to "do the right thing" is both confirmation of your statement and an extremely sobering reminder that people of this ilk have vast powers and control literally armies and multiple secret police organizations to enforce their version of what is "good."  Given this terrible flaw in human nature (to abuse power), I think it nothing short of divinely-inspired brilliance that the system of limited and divided governmental powers designed by the Founders has survived to this day (though not without some serious wounds and scars).  Including the 2nd Amendment in the Bill of Rights is equally inspired, since it gives each individual the right to defend themself, their family and their liberty against both this type of person and a government controlled by one - the ultimate in disbursed political power.

jsid-1286441012-634  Joe Huffman at Thu, 07 Oct 2010 08:43:32 +0000

I don't claim to be able to express or research things as well as Sowell or Lileks but I did put some effort into it with my post Why are liberals so violent?
The short version is that they are violent because they believe in the power of government (violence) to do good.

jsid-1286450627-500  GrumpyOldFart at Thu, 07 Oct 2010 11:23:47 +0000

The Vision of the Anointed has existed since at least the beginning of the eighteenth century, and it has survived (I would argue) largely because those of us with the tragic vision attribute sincerity, idealism, and good intentions to our ideological opponents.

This has to stop.

I don't know if attributing sincerity, idealism and good intentions to them has to stop, necessarily. But I will agree that in order to attribute such qualities and not have that attribution lead you astray, you have to remember to apply that same "sincerity, idealism and good intentions" to the mass murders of Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, Che, etc. Thus they become that most dangerous type that... Lewis, was it? described, whose tyranny and despotism will never rest, because their own consciences keep pushing them to continue it.

And of course, be ready for the fact that they will not get it when you hear that William Ayers seriously contemplated the murder of 25 million people, and you don't find that surprising.

jsid-1286466243-604  Ken at Thu, 07 Oct 2010 15:44:03 +0000 in reply to jsid-1286450627-500

"And of course, be ready for the fact that they will not get it when you hear that William Ayers seriously contemplated the murder of 25 million people, and you don't find that surprising."

That's a trenchant observation. I recall (ahem) somebody commenting here a while back that it was only a few million "Flat Earthers and Civil War reenactors" standing in the way of the Pace Car of Progress.

jsid-1286472615-386  theirritablearchitect at Thu, 07 Oct 2010 17:30:22 +0000 in reply to jsid-1286466243-604

And what's his name, again?

(rimshot) ;)

jsid-1286472808-213  Unix-Jedi at Thu, 07 Oct 2010 17:33:28 +0000 in reply to jsid-1286450627-500

Ah, Ayers.

He is a bit of an exception to my hard and fast rules below.

He actually blew people up with the courage of his convictions.

Too bad (for his goals) his convictions exceeded his competence.

jsid-1286451878-419  alan at Thu, 07 Oct 2010 11:44:38 +0000

"To understand the workings of American politics, you have to understand this fundamental law: Conservatives think liberals are stupid. Liberals think conservatives are evil."

And they're both projecting.

jsid-1286452827-975  Blackwing1 at Thu, 07 Oct 2010 12:00:33 +0000

As Rand noted in her updated version of Anthem:

Some might think -- though I don't -- that nine years ago there was some excuse for men not to see the direction in which the world was going. Today, the evidence is so blatant that no excuse can be claimed by anyone any longer. Those who refuse to see it now are neither blind nor innocent.


The greatest guilt today is that of people who accept collectivism by moral default; the people who seek protection from the necessity of taking a stand, by refusing to admit to themselves the nature of that which they are accepting; the people who support plans specifically designed to achieve serfdom, but hide behind the empty assertion that they are lovers of freedom, with no concrete meaning attached to the word; the people who believe that the content of ideas need not be examined, that principles need not be defined, and that facts can be eliminated by keeping one's eyes shut. They expect, when they find themselves in a world of bloody ruins and concentration camps, to escape moral responsibility by wailing: "But I didn't mean this!"

We can no longer afford the luxury of assuming that collectivists have good intentions...as noted above, "...they are neither blind nor innocent."  They're simply evil, they worship death, and want to drag the productive with them to the grave.

jsid-1286455877-388  geekwitha45 at Thu, 07 Oct 2010 12:51:23 +0000

>>"This has to stop."

It's not going to.

The Annointed will not voluntarilly constrain themselves.  It's contrary to their nature.

>>"Burke nevertheless said of those with the opposing vision that they "may do the worst of things, without being the worst of men."

Holders of the tragic vision won't constrain them either.

At least, not until they penetrate the glamor of the abuse of the color of "law" to reliably discern which elements of the implementation of the Annointed's Visions are in fact an illegitimate initiation of force, and firmly grasp their just prerogative to defend themselves from it, even if the courts will not.

Should that concensus ever emerge, coupled with a broad concensus that our mechanisms of governance have fundamentally failed in its stated purpose of protecting our life, liberty and property, the Annointed will find themselves on vulnerable ground indeed. Should it ever come to bloodshed, many an Annointed will bleed in ignorance, never comprehending themselves to be the aggressor, dismayed that the unwashed rejects their right to rule over them, citing as evidence of their goodness as men and the injustice of those who struck them down the alleged goodness of their intention.


I've long entertained the hypothesis that the (barely) failed attempt to de-legitimize the individual use of force to protect life was actually a stalking horse for the actual purpose of rendering the use of force to protect property and liberty unthinkable.

After all, it's much more tidy to imagine that governance has a total monopoly on the use of force. That way, you get to have one official guillotine setup in the square, and relegate the conflict to a "civilized" squabble mediated by the mechanisms of democracy over who gets to run run the machine, and who gets herded into the tumbrels.

This is, of course, allegory. Americans don't go for actual death camps, they really do insist that their statism come with a smiley face, a velvet glove, and a leash long enough that most would mistake it for freedom. No one should make any mistake, however, there are regions of ideology that are well outside the legitimate purpose of governance in which the law insists that you will comply, and that you will pay.

jsid-1286459223-126  Ed "What the" Heckman at Thu, 07 Oct 2010 13:47:03 +0000

Lileks' piece includes a paragraph near the end that says so much:

"An old friend who still believes what we believed in college took me to task the last time we met, and wondered where Mr. Middle Ground had gone, why I no longer seemed interested in finding commonality. The simple answer is that there is no common ground with people who think you’re a political leper, a winged monkey in the service of a green-skinned Nancy Reagan in a witch’s hat. Respect works both ways, and if it’s not returned, then something changes. There’s a difference between thinking someone’s strategies are wrong, and thinking them a knave who acts from ignorance at best, and more likely acts from malice. If that’s what you think, I am not interested in changing your mind. I am not interested in working together. I am not interested in suffering your insults or your condescension or any other form your preconceptions take. I am interested in defeating you, and getting down to work with the people who come in your place, and grant me the respect I’ll give them."

jsid-1286556844-521  Laughingdog at Fri, 08 Oct 2010 16:54:04 +0000 in reply to jsid-1286459223-126

You can't compromise with crazy.

jsid-1286459391-63  Unix-Jedi at Thu, 07 Oct 2010 13:49:51 +0000

In a similar vein to the geek's point, also note something that's always part of these leftist fantasies - magic and disconnection.

Magic - the "button" knows who's the problem and explodes them.

Disconnection - the teacher didn't do the deed herself, she just pushed the button and it _happened_. (Because it was meant to.)

Look at the antigunners, the JadeGolds, the James Kellys. We shouldn't _have_ guns, but they don't have enough strength of conviction to come take them from us by force. 
No, they "push the button" and have other people come do that - but it's not _their fault!_  They're not violent, even though they command and order violence on others.

The 10:10 movie is a cinematic masterpiece for illustrating in a way that mere words often don't in our tl.dr culture.  My lovely wife watched in increasing shock, and she got the point.

.... In the runup to the last Presidental election, a friend told me I had to get on board with HIllary. When I snorted, he said "We're just gonna have to re-educate you" I replied "Elect Hillary, and I'm sure there _will_ be re-education camps."
The reason he's my friend - he laughed for 30 minutes over that.

And when instead, a almost-unknown won... What did we get?


Magic - just work the way I wish it to!
Disconnection - we didn't have anything to do with the changes you're require to tell people about, stop blaming US.

jsid-1286460907-341  geekwitha45 at Thu, 07 Oct 2010 14:15:08 +0000 in reply to jsid-1286459391-63

I do believe you've identified critical elements that are deeply significant.

jsid-1286493674-436  DirtCrashr at Thu, 07 Oct 2010 23:21:14 +0000 in reply to jsid-1286460907-341

A magical car that gets 62mpg... "Make it happen"...

jsid-1286495156-667  Guest (anonymous) at Thu, 07 Oct 2010 23:45:56 +0000 in reply to jsid-1286493674-436

"A magical car that gets 62mpg... "Make it happen"..."

It happened many years ago.  VW Lupo 3L.  Only it got 78 MPG (3L/100 km), not just 62.

jsid-1286496315-191  Toastrider at Fri, 08 Oct 2010 00:05:15 +0000 in reply to jsid-1286495156-667

But would you really want to ride in it? I'm looking at the traits of the 3L now on Wikipedia, and I seriously wonder if it would pass ANY crash test. It weighs less than a ton (1830 lbs) and the frame is made of aluminum and magnesium alloys.

jsid-1286503187-112  Engineer-Poet at Fri, 08 Oct 2010 01:59:47 +0000 in reply to jsid-1286496315-191

The first VW I owned weighed 1900 lbs (Rabbit).  Formula 1 cars weigh far less and are made out of materials like graphite fiber, but drivers walk away from crashes which shred the vehicle.  What matters is how well energy is dissipated other than in the occupants; bulk is good (crush space), weight is actually a hindrance.

I wouldn't be surprised if you could make an ultra-safe vehicle with a rigid shell covered with plastic-skinned memory foam (rigid but recovers its original shape under heat or something).  If you hit it anywhere other than on a frame-connected member, the foam just crushes.  Put in a heat chamber for a day and paint the scrapes and it's good as new.

jsid-1286510329-799  MPH146 at Fri, 08 Oct 2010 03:58:50 +0000 in reply to jsid-1286503187-112

I recall, back in 2000, having a conversation with a coworker who didn't understand why all metal components in a car that were steel weren't stainless steel.  He figured such a car wouldn't corrode, and so it would last for ever.  He was wrong about that, since stainless steel still corrodes, and mechanical components will eventually wear out no matter what they are made of.  But the reason cars aren't made of stainless steel has nothing to do with evil car companies deliberately building cars of materials that will eventually fail due to corrosion, resulting in you having to buy a replacement (which is why he thought they didn't do it).  It has to do with cost.  Stainless steel runs from 3-10 times the cost of steel (depending on the grades of each).  So yeah, they can sell a stainless steel car.  But the Delorean cost $25,000 while its closest competitor (in terms of type of car, performance, etc.), the Fiero, cost less than half as much.  And the Delorean only had stainless steel body panels.  The rest of its metal parts were primarily of "normal" steel.  Imagine the last car you bought.  Now imagine it cost 3 times as much as what you paid for it.  Could you have afforded it?

This cost problem is even worse with the exotic components that, say a F1 car is made of.  So yeah, you could make a four passenger car weigh 1,000 pounds, be as safe as a Mercedes S class sedan (usually the safest car in the world), get 100 MPG, run like a jack rabbit on speed, and generally be the ultimate car.  But it would cost more than a Ferrari.  So basically, nobody would be able to afford it.

I guarantee (I'd bet your life) that the current CEO of GM would give his left testicle to be selling a car that had all the same characteristics as the Chevrolet Aveo (cost, safety, etc.) but got 200 MPG. The problem is that the universe's laws of physics won't let him do it.

But as far as current milage champs (non-hybrids, because it turns out that over the life of a hybrid, it actually is worse for the environment than a non hybrid; look into what it takes to make the high tech batteries, along with the electric motor) the diesel version of the smart fortwo is the way to go.  78 MPG city rating.  But even though it meets USA emission requirements according to the test results from the European Union emission test, smart (owned by Daimler Benz) won't import it because the costs for rerunning the tests for the EPA make it prohibitively expensive (the EPA refuses to accept the test results from the EU test), and they don't think they'd be able to recoup the costs.

As a final, humorous note, the preceding discussion reminds me of the "What would Jesus drive?" discussion from a few years ago.  What I found funny about it was all the "Jesus wouldn't drive some gas-hog SUV" claims.  Nope.  He'd drive an 18 passenger van.  See, there's him, the 12 apostles, Mary Magdelene, etc. that went with him on a lot of his trips.  So he'd need a big van to carry all those people.  Of course, while that's very cost effective and environmentally friendly when he's on a trip with 14 friends, it really sucks when you're just going a few miles to pick up this week's groceries.

jsid-1286512441-693  Engineer-Poet at Fri, 08 Oct 2010 04:34:01 +0000 in reply to jsid-1286510329-799

"So yeah, you could make a four passenger car weigh 1,000 pounds, be as safe as a Mercedes S class sedan (usually the safest car in the world), get 100 MPG, run like a jack rabbit on speed, and generally be the ultimate car.  But it would cost more than a Ferrari."

We weren't talking about a 200 MPG car, or even a 100 MPG car.  We were talking about a 62 MPG car, with reasonable performance (such as one might expect of a typical car of 1970).  You don't need expensive exotic materials to do that, just some common-sense engineering.  The problem we have in the USA is that some people reactionarily hate such cars because certain other people like them.  Some will even go out of their way to have a vehicle that burns more gas, makes more noise, etc. as an "in your face" to people they don't like.  (Hey, I resemble that remark!  Too bad human beings are, you know, human beings, isn't it? - Ed.)

"I guarantee (I'd bet your life) that the current CEO of GM would give his left testicle to be selling a car that had all the same characteristics as the Chevrolet Aveo (cost, safety, etc.) but got 200 MPG."

Past CEOs of GM did their best to cater to the reactionary mindset above.

"it turns out that over the life of a hybrid, it actually is worse for the environment than a non hybrid; look into what it takes to make the high tech batteries, along with the electric motor"

I've picked apart that claim and found it ridiculous.   The anti-Prius argument claimed to be about GHG's, but went on at length about emissions from a nickel smelter in Sudbury, Ontario (which creates an issue with sulfur, not CO2).  Lithium batteries don't even use nickel, so the argument doesn't apply to e.g. the Tesla roadster even if it was true.  And once you dig down to it, if the article's claims were true, Toyota wouldn't be able to sell the car for the price they do.   It was a smear job from the first drop cap to the final period.

jsid-1286557324-290  Laughingdog at Fri, 08 Oct 2010 17:02:05 +0000 in reply to jsid-1286512441-693

I hate them for the same reasons I hate Apple computers:  they're not even remotely cost-effective, and so many people that buy them act like jackasses about how superior their choice was. 

My ex-girlfriend was considering a hybrid.  I did the math, based on a range of gas prices going as high as $4.00 per gallon.  The hybrid costs so much more that, even at $4.00 per gallon, she would have to drive the car 280,000 miles to save enough on gas to justify the extra cost of the hybrid.  That doesn't even factor in whatever it would cost to replace the battery, because I highly doubt the original battery would last that many miles.

jsid-1286625392-643  Engineer-Poet at Sat, 09 Oct 2010 11:56:32 +0000 in reply to jsid-1286557324-290

"I highly doubt the original battery would last that many miles."

A taxi company in Vancouver had some early Priuses in service with well over 200,000 miles on them.  Toyota swapped them for new cars to see how the Prius was wearing in service.  Rumor is the batteries were still working like new.  Here's similar experience from San Antonio.

jsid-1286646553-126  MPH146 at Sat, 09 Oct 2010 17:49:13 +0000 in reply to jsid-1286512441-693

Engineer-Poet, I suggest you reread the post you made that I was replying to.  You know, the one where you mention the "exotic" materials in F1 cars, and how safe they are, and how "ultra-safe" cars could be made using non-metallic materials.  Indeed, of the 8 lines in your post, only the first half of the first line is about the VW, the rest was about less conventional (aka more exotic) construction.  So it sure looked to me like you had moved the discussion on from an older "62 MPG" car to new ones made out of more exotic materials.  

And yes, I understand that some cars from the past have gotten great milage.  But they wouldn't pass today's emission or safety requirements.  I was limiting my comments to what could be legally sold as new, now.  Especially since you mentioned, in the present tense, being able to make "ultra-safe" cars (see your second paragraph in the post I replied to initially), I presumed you were talking about what could be done now, rather than in 1970.  That's why I mentioned the modern exotic materials, not to be dismissive of older cars, or the points being made about them.

I merely carried your discussion about the present capabilities in car construction further, with an eye towards whether they are affordable.  I find it odd that you would assert that the discussion had not moved on from a topic that you had devoted only 1/16th of your post to, and that the new direction you had moved the discussion in was something nobody was apparently supposed to reply to.  But enough about that.

Here's why Toyota can afford to sell Priuses (Priusi?  What is the plural of Prius?) for the price they do.

The R&D, construction costs, as well as some of the retail purchase price of hybrids are government subsidized, both here, at the federal and state level, and in Japan.  That's how car companies can afford to sell them at these prices.  You're helping to pay for them, even when you don't buy them.  This fact has been reported multiple times over the last decade or so (in Car and Driver magazine, as well as in other media outlets).

When the Honda Insight first became available in the USA, Car and Driver magazine interviewed a GM executive about why GM didn't have something similar.  The response was something like this: "It isn't economically viable.  Japan heavily subsidizes it.  The cheapest way for GM to acquire the battery pack used by the Insight is to buy an Insight, remove the pack, and throw the car away.  The battery costs more when purchased from the supplier wholesale than the entire car costs retail."

Doubtless this has changed somewhat, but as Laughingdog has already said, when you consider the additional purchase price of a hybrid, and try to figure out how many miles you have to drive to recoup the cost difference in gasoline savings, it gets ridiculous.  It gets even worse if you add in the subsidies, and that the battery packs WILL wear out (nobody has created a rechargeable battery with infinite recharge cycles yet, as far as I know), although whether they will wear out before a particular car has reached the end of its life may depend on driving habits, recharge discipline (most batteries I know of last substantially longer if you don't discharge them too severely), location, etc. As for the Tesla, it costs $50K more than the Lotus it is made from, so assuming that the recharge is free, the break even point on the extra cost is, at $3/gal (gas in FL is slightly under this price right now), 350,000 miles.  Very few cars last that long (at 10,000 milers per year, that's 35 years).

As to battery types and costs, as raised by Laughingdog, the new Honda CR-Z uses 84 NiMH D cells, which would cost about $1600 to purchase (see Car and Driver, November 2010), plus some amount to install.  Of course, NiMH batteries are a hazardous waste, so there will be disposal/recycling costs associated with the old battery pack.  Last time I saw information on how long NiMH batteries will last, the claim was 300 full charge cycles.  I don't know how many miles/years that would translate to, other than it is not infinite.  The hysterical thing about the CR-z is that, for TWICE what a smart fortwo costs (base prices of both cars), you get a 2 passenger car with a lower MPG (but the CR-Z does have twice as much cargo space; which will, of course, spend most of its time full of air).

jsid-1286728471-975  Guest (anonymous) at Sun, 10 Oct 2010 16:34:32 +0000 in reply to jsid-1286512441-693

"Hey, I resemble that remark"

Yes.  Yes, you do.  And the fact that you consider that in-your-face gesture more important than depriving Wahhabism of revenue (and NOT incidentally helping the US economy by keeping more money in it) says something.

"Too bad human beings are, you know, human beings, isn't it? - Ed."

Too bad some people have badly misplaced priorities.

jsid-1286754970-788  khbaker at Sun, 10 Oct 2010 23:56:10 +0000 in reply to jsid-1286728471-975

Too bad you find it necessary to cast aspersions anonymously.

jsid-1286515936-452  JR at Fri, 08 Oct 2010 05:32:16 +0000 in reply to jsid-1286510329-799

>>I guarantee (I'd bet your life) that the current CEO of GM would give his left testicle...<<

What can I get for the right testicle?

jsid-1286646807-802  MPH146 at Sat, 09 Oct 2010 17:53:27 +0000 in reply to jsid-1286515936-452

Obama is holding on to that one, in an effort to encourage good job performance on the CEO's part.

jsid-1286551261-267  perlhaqr at Fri, 08 Oct 2010 15:21:07 +0000 in reply to jsid-1286503187-112

A large part of the reason you can't build cars like that Rabbit today for a reasonable price (Yes, there's Lotus, but those aren't exactly VW priced) is the regulations about safety.  Airbags and sound deadening add weight.

I've got a 2010 VW TDI Wagon that gets 45 mpg in the real world. (Doing 2 mph over the limit all the way from Albuquerque to San Jose and back, just last weekend.)  If you let me sell a car that weighed 1000 to 1500 lbs less, 62 doesn't seem impossible.

jsid-1286635726-854  DJ at Sat, 09 Oct 2010 14:48:47 +0000 in reply to jsid-1286551261-267

"A large part of the reason you can't build cars like that Rabbit today for a reasonable price (Yes, there's Lotus, but those aren't exactly VW priced) is the regulations about safety.  Airbags and sound deadening add weight."

In the late 70's, we spent a vacation in Hawaii. A business colleague was from there, so we visited him and his family while we were there. His father insisted on loaning me his car for sightseeing so we wouldn't have to rent one. It was a Volkswagen Rabbit diesel, and our tootling around Oahu, very little of which was "freeway", netted 53 mpg, if memory serves me correctly.

A year or two later, two friends of my wife were in a Ford Fiesta (a re-badged Rabbit) that was T-boned by a stop sign runner. I saw pictures of the vehicle; the only way I recognized it was by the two-tone paint color. It was wadded up as if made of aluminum foil. I saw them, too, many times; they spent some very painful months recovering.

I drive defensively, part of which is avoiding accidents, and part of which is driving what is, in comparison to those two Rabbits, an armored vehicle.

jsid-1286646555-250  Pascal (the derivative) at Sat, 09 Oct 2010 17:49:15 +0000 in reply to jsid-1286551261-267

Perlhaqr: "(Yes, there's Lotus, but those aren't exactly VW priced"

The price of a 2005 Elise was 39K, higher than a VW, low for a low volume, partially handmade specialty car. The R&D that led to the frame and other advances had to be absorbed by sales of the car, and Elise typically sells no more than 2500 per year in the US. A Detroit run of any model in a single year could be more than 30 times that. Elise type frame construction could be duplicated at reasonable cost with economy of scale like that of Detroit or the Japanese.

Lotus does design chassis for other manufacturers. Renault is one IIRC, and it's not a high priced car due to much larger numbers of units.  And it builds Tesler's frame and other items so that it even looks very much like an Elise -- while costing more than two Elises. 

DJ:  An Elise would never buckle like that. While it has thinly extruded Aluminum that is also thinly layered with superglue, that's for rigidity and not for crash safety. The safety comes form the wide gap (12' or more) between the Aluminums skins that is filled with that closed cell foam I mentioned earlier. It's thickness and shock absorbing properties is what makes for safety and prevents buckling. The Elise's sill, about a foot wide, makes for very careful and awkward ingress and egress from the car. I didn't realize how limber I could be until I learned how to get in one with the roof on.

jsid-1286680941-775  DJ at Sun, 10 Oct 2010 03:22:21 +0000 in reply to jsid-1286646555-250

"DJ:  An Elise would never buckle like that ..."

Overall, you describe how I would design it.

"I didn't realize how limber I could be until I learned how to get in one with the roof on."

Forget it.  I have trouble getting into and out of a chair at the dinner table.

jsid-1286650541-595  MPH146 at Sat, 09 Oct 2010 18:55:42 +0000 in reply to jsid-1286551261-267

You don't say which TDI you have, but assuming that it is the Golf 2 door, which weighs 3,000 pounds, then you'd be talking about a 1,500 - 2,000 pound car.  The smart fortwo diesel (not sold in the USA) weighs under 2,000 pounds and gets 78 MPG.  But it only holds 2 people.  If you need to carry more than two people, well, here in the USA you're out of luck.  Now in India, there's the TaTa motors car that runs on compressed air, and holds four people.  Of course, it is made out of plastic and wouldn't meet USA safety requirements from 1970, let alone now (basically it has no occupant safety features, but in a country with 1.1 billion people, I suppose the government is less concerned about traffic fatality rates than we are).

You can sell a car like yours that is 1,000-1,500 pounds lighter, as long as you meet the safety and emission requirements.  I would expect that to do what you want in a 4 passenger car, with the current technology available, while still meeting USA safety and emission standards, you'd have to use high strength, low weight, and extremely expensive materials.  Then you wouldn't be able to afford the car.

Another option is to increase the efficiency of the internal combustion engine (currently 50% of the energy your engine produces goes out the tail pipe as waste heat).  Of course, everyone has been trying to increase the efficiency of the internal combustion engine for 100 years, but for the last 50 or so, it hasn't increased (not to speak of, anyway).

I did like BMW's idea for a hybrid that they showed a few years ago.  They used the exhaust heat to power the accessories (something like a steam engine), instead of having them mechanically attached to the crank shaft.  This added less than 100 pounds to the weight of the car, and reduced the load on the engine by about 10 HP.  This increased mileage by about 20%, as it reduced the HP needed to travel down the road (at highway speeds) from about 50 to about 40.  It also nicely avoided all the performance issues associated with dragging around a 300 pound battery pack, along with the battery replacement issue, as well as the battery disposal issue.  But that would only get your car to 54 MPG (assuming you get the 20% power reduction and resulting 20% MPG increase BMW claimed).

jsid-1286650662-604  MPH146 at Sat, 09 Oct 2010 18:57:42 +0000 in reply to jsid-1286650541-595

OK, I don't get it.  I clicked reply at the bottom of perlhaqr's message, but my message was put after DJ's.  I was expecting it to be after perlhaqr's, but with an additional indentation.  Am I doing something wrong?

jsid-1286663408-438  Unix-Jedi at Sat, 09 Oct 2010 22:30:08 +0000 in reply to jsid-1286650662-604

No. Echo just sucks and hasn't thought through the design before they started coding.

jsid-1286509217-627  Pascal (the derivative) at Fri, 08 Oct 2010 03:40:17 +0000 in reply to jsid-1286496315-191

The 2005 S2 Lotus Elise made for the US market weighs 1950 lbs and is super safe.

E.g.: When a friend stopped for a late yellow light, a panel van didn't. It hit him from behind at 45 mph. That popped him across the intersection into a concrete wall. Totalled the car, but he sustained injuries due only to flying debris.

And the S1 Elise that was popular outside the US between 1997 and 2004 was only 1600 lbs and just as sturdy.

The reason is due to it's frame that weighs only 100 lbs. It's made of aluminum construction held together by super glue and filled with close celled foam. If the frame gets hit, it's totalled because the aluminum loses its integrity when bent, but the Elise really does make for a safe cockpit.

Lotus has always been in the forefront of lightweight tech, so it's kind of expected. Though the company hs often had hard financial times, it keeps passing into different hands over the years in part because of the name, but primarily because of its brain trust. It's a marvel it's survived to produce such advances given the soul stifling IngSoc in UK.

jsid-1286459746-499  Unix-Jedi at Thu, 07 Oct 2010 13:55:46 +0000

Oh, a comment I saw in passing, and recognized the brilliance only later, about the 10:10 masterpiece said something to the effect of:

"Wait, the kids weren't _against_ it, they just were apathetic.  You start killing schoolkids for being apathetic, and you'll be killing almost all of them!"  (Which I guess is one way to "nuke it from orbit", and get all those teachers driving to work sitting home not burning gas.....)

jsid-1286460807-828  geekwitha45 at Thu, 07 Oct 2010 14:13:27 +0000 in reply to jsid-1286459746-499

Quite right. I believe it was the corporate version of the commercial that made it explicitly clear that even being "not quite convinced" (or words to that effect) was sufficient to qualify one for the icky goo conversion.

The message is plain: "agree with us enthusiastically, or die"

jsid-1286465871-472  Russell at Thu, 07 Oct 2010 15:37:51 +0000 in reply to jsid-1286460807-828

What's also creepy, as if there wasn't enough already, they were demanding things from children outside of the children's area of responsibility! It's the parents choice whether little Susan rides her bike to school. The path between home and school could be long, or a degree of danger for a small child, doesn't matter the reasons, it's up the parents to make that choice.

The evil is beyond just blowing up the apathetic, which is horrid enough, the evil demands the child grovel before the dictates of the State, and the parents have no say in what decisions are made. Since the adults are later exposed to the same callous evil, the message is clear: only the ones in charge can make any decisions. Adults and children cannot do anything other than obey without question and must do so enthusiastically.

Comrades! It's for the glory of the State! All Hail Big Brother!

It's the same refrain we've heard from every single dictatorship.

jsid-1286475475-316  Ed "What the" Heckman at Thu, 07 Oct 2010 18:17:55 +0000 in reply to jsid-1286459746-499

That point was really driven home with the last "explosion." Gillian Anderson was actively helping by doing the voiceover, but she wasn't "doing enough." So she "gets the button."

That's a lot like how Muslims in strict Islamic countries act. And we're supposedly the ones that are JLAQ?!?

jsid-1286463041-52  Matt at Thu, 07 Oct 2010 14:50:41 +0000

Krauthammer has it backwards. They, with almost complete unanimity, think we're stupid. Some-to-many of them think we're _also_ evil, as well as being stupid, but "conservatives are stupid" is the truly _dominant_ meme on the left.

Likewise, the typical conservative attitude about leftists amounts to "only some of them are stupid, but all of them are evil".

jsid-1286465583-316  perlhaqr at Thu, 07 Oct 2010 15:33:03 +0000

I've long stated that I think the policies of the Left are evil, and, shall we say, not won myself any friends with it.  Then again, the people who aren't my friends are the same people trying to enslave me, so, hey, no big loss.

But they get so incredibly butt-hurt when you refuse to let them claim the moral high ground.

jsid-1286469034-856  geekwitha45 at Thu, 07 Oct 2010 16:30:35 +0000 in reply to jsid-1286465583-316

>>I've long stated that I think the policies of the Left are evil, and, shall we say, not won myself any friends with it

Me too.  Expressing certain ideas out loud in certain company gets you the pariah label.

>>Then again, the people who aren't my friends are the same people trying to enslave me, so, hey, no big loss.

This premise is one they absolutely refuse to comprehend, they literally connot concieve of themselves as servants to evil. And so they go with the alternative hypothesis, that I am some combination of stupid/evil myself, or more likely go with some de mimumus fantasy, that I'm some selfish grouch who "doesn't want to pay his taxes", or his "fair share" of some scheme they feel others are entitled to. (And it's always about some other guy's entitlement, never their own, because, of course, enlighted, reality based people's are selfish.  Selfishness is strictly the province of those who read Atlas Shrugs.)

jsid-1286466443-947  Mark at Thu, 07 Oct 2010 15:47:24 +0000

That is because all else follows from that.

jsid-1286470257-153  randy at Thu, 07 Oct 2010 16:50:57 +0000

Heinlien, as usual, had something appropriate to say in conjunction with this:

Your enemy is never a villain in his own eyes. Keep this in mind; it may offer a way to make him your friend. If not, you can kill him without hate--and quickly.

jsid-1286473536-664  theirritablearchitect at Thu, 07 Oct 2010 17:45:36 +0000

"KB;>>"This has to stop."  
Geek: It's not going to.  
The Annointed will not voluntarilly constrain themselves.  It's contrary to their nature."

This is the classic parable of the immovable object meeting with the irresistable force.

Something's got to give, and when that happens, my, aren't we in for a treat?

This is an astute observation, Geek, and one that I saw just this morning on C-Span. Some Douchbag Liberal Bitch was slobbering about how much "civility" has been lost in discourse over the last several years. I just couldn't bear to watch a single second more of that non-sense, since it was obvious that her point (and tone of her speech) was that we all should just sit there, like good little plebians, and take it in the ass from the (fill in the blank).

Fuck them all.

I'm getting older by the day, and I don't want my son to have to go through ONE DAY of fighting for his life, so that he can actually live it the way he wants to.

YOU ALL are going to have to get this idea through your heads; The Leftists (as we know) will make you do the bowing and kneeling routine to the Gummint, rendering your lives (and production) unto Caesar, under brute force (law). You MUST then realize that you WILL HAVE to KILL them to make that shit stop.

Gun to the face.

Knife to the throat.

Any means necessary.

Learn it.

It's a fact of HISTORY, folks.

jsid-1286473683-575  khbaker at Thu, 07 Oct 2010 17:48:12 +0000 in reply to jsid-1286473536-664

No offense intended, but: "You first."

As Hamlet put it, "thus conscience doth make cowards of us all."

jsid-1286474834-183  geekwitha45 at Thu, 07 Oct 2010 18:07:30 +0000 in reply to jsid-1286473683-575

Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin to slit throats.
-H.L. Mencken
Times like these, that temptation comes up regularly.

jsid-1286477131-789  khbaker at Thu, 07 Oct 2010 18:45:31 +0000 in reply to jsid-1286474834-183

Uh, Geek, in this thread weren't you the one who wrote:

"Well, if we assign a status of p-zombie to a person or group, we deprive them of moral agency, and therefore responsibility for their actions. Without power, agency, or responsibility, they become simply dangerous animals, subhuman untermenschen in need of wildlife management, and all the ugly bits that implies.    
"*Even* *if*, for the sake of argument, we stipulate the factual existence of p-zombies, since by definition, a p-zombie can pass a turing or any other test of sentience, it is indistinguishable from a fully enabled human. Because of this, for the sake of our own souls, we must presume that no one is a p-zombie, and give everyone the benefit of the doubt that they are full blown human. We guard against many errors that way, including some degenerate method of selection come into play, be it racial, religious, political, or on the basis of some objective behavior we arbitrarily find annoying or repugnant.  
"There's some real Dark Shit down that hallway, and I think it best no one goes there."

Isn't IA suggesting that we NEED to go there?  That's how I read it.


jsid-1286482128-554  theirritablearchitect at Thu, 07 Oct 2010 20:08:48 +0000 in reply to jsid-1286477131-789

Need versus what, Kevin?

I think need, possibly, could have a bit too negative a connotation attached to it, Kevin. Almost as if we want it?


Here's the point that you must allow for; The Left will NOT give up their ambitions for control, since it is (as we've established) in their nature to do so.

Assuming, for a moment, that enlightenment is cast upon them, and we are no longer subjected to these servile positions they've conveniently assigned to us (need we get into the examples?), I'd turn on a heel and never give another thought to smiting them.

You can stop laughing now, Kevin, since you and I both know it ain't happening.

I know who is the instigator here, and I'm not him.

jsid-1286496461-528  Toastrider at Fri, 08 Oct 2010 00:07:41 +0000 in reply to jsid-1286482128-554

In other words, if they'd stop fucking with us, there wouldn't be a problem.

Except they won't.

And chances are good the results will be messy.

jsid-1286485490-871  geekwitha45 at Thu, 07 Oct 2010 21:04:51 +0000 in reply to jsid-1286477131-789

The philosophical-zombie thing doesn't apply.  
In this case, we're not depriving the opponents of moral agency and relegating them to animal status, we are *acknowledging* their moral agency, evaluating their acts, and possibly assigning them *enemy* status as a result of their own actions.
As for need...well, I still think there's a whole lot of ground to cover between here and the slitting of throats, starting with manifesting an incivil invitation to take a flying leap to the next real person I meet who voices sympathy for the goals of our opponents.

Acknowledging an enemy doesn't require you to kill him, but it does make him distinct from those with whom you can conduct business as normal.

jsid-1286477967-231  Ken at Thu, 07 Oct 2010 18:59:27 +0000 in reply to jsid-1286473683-575

As Hamlet put it, "thus conscience doth make cowards of us all."

This is important, and I wanted to remark on it. Kevin's invocation of conscience and GOF's mention of William Ayers closed a circuit. Ayers, pretty clearly, is someone who is able and willing to game the system for his ends: remember his line, "Guilty as sin, free as a bird?"

Of course, Ayers saying "sin," at least in that context, is just an example of the devil quoting Scripture (in other words, of gaming the system by pretending to honor its rules, where doing so is of benefit).

The point, to the extent that I have one, is: This is what people of conscience (Nock's Remnant, maybe), are up against.

The other point is in Kevin's other statement, and it applies just as much to massive civil disobedience (which line Denninger sidled up to today, without quite crossing) as to other means that might be employed: Very few people want to find out the hard way that they went "over the top" alone.

And lest I fail to communicate, I don't imply for a second that anyone posting here is saying "Let's you and him fight." It perhaps illustrates the degree to which we have been isolated and, in a sense anyway, demoralized.

jsid-1286474617-85  Mark at Thu, 07 Oct 2010 18:03:37 +0000 in reply to jsid-1286473536-664

I think everyone agrees that is the end point, should things continue as they are now.
The sticky point is just how much force will it take to make them stop.
We have not tried massive organized civil disobediance, as of yet, and I think it's past time for that to happen.

jsid-1286474948-831  geekwitha45 at Thu, 07 Oct 2010 18:09:12 +0000 in reply to jsid-1286473536-664

Heh. "Loss of civility" = objecting to the norms defined by the statists & Left.

jsid-1286475754-165  Ed "What the" Heckman at Thu, 07 Oct 2010 18:22:34 +0000 in reply to jsid-1286474948-831

Ever notice the "civility" of the left? F--- this and F--- that. Burning in effigy. Nazi comparisons. Riots. Graffiti and vandalism. Intimidation. Yes, calling us stupid and evil. For example, go read Markadelphia's blog.

They need to either stop staring into the mirror, or start looking.

jsid-1286511165-990  MPH146 at Fri, 08 Oct 2010 04:12:46 +0000 in reply to jsid-1286473536-664

Another Heinlien quote, from Stranger in a Strange Land.  Jubal Harshaw asks another character how to tell if a culture is dying.  They didn't know.  So he, against his own better judgement, told them (rather than making them figure it out on their own).  The surest sign of a dying culture is the loss of common courtesy.

jsid-1286538933-668  GrumpyOldFart at Fri, 08 Oct 2010 11:55:33 +0000 in reply to jsid-1286511165-990

Actually I think that's "Boss", in Friday.

jsid-1286717582-405  MPH146 at Sun, 10 Oct 2010 13:33:02 +0000 in reply to jsid-1286538933-668

Now that you mention it, I think you're correct.

jsid-1286475886-639  theirritablearchitect at Thu, 07 Oct 2010 18:24:46 +0000


If it's indeed past time for the civil disobedience thing to happen (I've long had my doubts, apologies to Billy Beck on that), then our recourse is either survitude or fighting.

It is really quite that simple.

jsid-1286476055-420  theirritablearchitect at Thu, 07 Oct 2010 18:27:35 +0000


You are SPOT ON with that last comment.

Of course, when Dubya was in office, the Leftist would spout about how, "Dissent is the highest form of patriotism," or some other rot.

Not now, it seems.

Just redefine that shit as "hate speech," you see.

jsid-1286509706-554  perlhaqr at Fri, 08 Oct 2010 03:48:26 +0000 in reply to jsid-1286476055-420


jsid-1286511798-24  MPH146 at Fri, 08 Oct 2010 04:23:18 +0000

I define as evil anyone who wants to control another adult's solitary behavior, or their voluntary interactions with another adult.  As has been already said, that's a control issue.  And the extent to which someone wants to control me in such matters, is the extent to which they wish to be my master, and me to be their slave. That's what it really boils down to, even if the parties involved don't realize it.

jsid-1286555483-328  Russell at Fri, 08 Oct 2010 16:31:23 +0000

Off topic, but has p-zombies :)


jsid-1286559741-711  geekwitha45 at Fri, 08 Oct 2010 17:42:29 +0000

Hey! Zombies are people too!


jsid-1286867769-778  Justthisguy at Tue, 12 Oct 2010 07:16:09 +0000

Oh, Kevin? To misquote Cromwell, and echo Unix-Jedi,  I beseech you in the bowels of Christ to get a commenting program which doesn't suck.

jsid-1286894366-244  khbaker at Tue, 12 Oct 2010 14:39:26 +0000 in reply to jsid-1286867769-778

If I could, I would.  Perhaps someone is willing to write code that will collect the literally tens of thousands of comments that have accumulated over the past seven years, associate them with the blog posts they were written for, and let me migrate to another commenting software package?


Then I'm stuck with Echo.  Sorry.

jsid-1286899099-538  Pascal (the derivative) at Tue, 12 Oct 2010 15:58:19 +0000 in reply to jsid-1286894366-244

Kevin: "associate them with the blog posts they were written for"

When did Echo finally make improvements?  The link to your last comment actually contained the name of your post!

Only a few days ago, from this same thread stream, all that appeared was:


jsid-1286868260-678  Justthisguy at Tue, 12 Oct 2010 07:24:20 +0000

See what I mean?  I commented once, and my comment showed up three times. The most annoying thing is that yer comment program won't let my browser turn up the text size.  I'm old, and so are my eyes.  I really do keep a hand lens handy for reading comments here.

jsid-1286925562-189  DJ at Tue, 12 Oct 2010 23:19:22 +0000 in reply to jsid-1286868260-678

Firefox lets me turn up the text size.  I just hold down CTRL and scroll the mouse wheel.

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