A heterodoxological moment

Teh Twitters are abuzz with mocking comments about the price of and capabilities of the new Chevy Volt

In the words of Samuel L. Jackson, allow me to retort. 

  1. I own a hybrid, a 2004 Honda Civic sedan. I bought it not because it was “green” or eco-friendly (it’s not: buying a used car is MUCH better for the environment), I bought it because it was (and is) good engineering. The electric motor in a hybrid is perfect for accelerating a car from a dead stop, and the gasoline engine is great for keeping it going at highway speeds. Thus, with a hybrid, you have the best of both worlds. 
  2. Speaking of smart engineering, in every non-hybrid car out there, stepping on the brakes just wastes energy: The forward motion of your car is turned into friction-generated heat energy that does absolutely nothing. Hybrids use regenerative braking to juice up the batteries while stopping, which turns energy that would otherwise go to waste into something that helps move your car forward after you’re done braking. 

    Like I said, smart engineering. 

  3. The Chevy Volt is the ultimate expression of the hybrid. I love the concept, and i’m looking forward to seeing what it does in real life. It’s not a true electric vehicle like the Nissan Leaf and it’s not a conventional hybrid like my Honda. What it is is an electric vehicle that carries around it’s own generator. 

    Smart. 

    This setup combines the advantages of an electric vehicle with the range of a gas-powered car. Yes, the price is high (really high), but it’s the most exciting advance in automotive power plants in years. 

Remember this? 

Boy, did it suck.

Yep, it’s the Chevy Citation. Boy, did it suck. But the X-Cars, along with the Chrysler K-Car (which also sucked) and the Ford Escort (which didn’t suck) represented a sea-change in Detroit. The monster road hogs of the 70’s were gone (all of which sucked. Yes, even the Gran Torino.); smaller and better-engineered cars (better-engineered at least in theory) were in. 

It took Detroit a few years to get it right, but at least they tried, and eventually, those efforts resulted in good, reliable compact front wheel-drive cars. That’s what the Volt represents: An attempt to re-engineer what a car is and will be for the next thirty years. 

Now, all that being said, will I buy one? 

Oh, hell no.

As long as Chevy and Buick and Dodge are owned by the government, I won’t consider buying one of their cars, not ever. And yes, the Volt is overpriced and isn’t worth the money. 

But I still think the Volt is a good idea, and I’m utterly convinced it represents the future of automotive engineering. 

More …

 
Number of comments: 0 Add comment
July 31st, 2010 by admindude

And a taxed rain’s gonna fall

The state of Utah is claiming they own every drop of rain that falls to the earth within their borders. (Via Moonbattery). 

Actually, this seems rather restrained, considering that cap and trade will tax the very air we breathe

More …

 
Number of comments: 0 Add comment
July 30th, 2010 by admindude

Piling on

First, the Obama Administration sues Arizona. Now, the “thousands of National Guard troops” they promised to send to help protect our border ain’t gonna make it here on time, or possibly not at all

An Arizona National Guard spokesman said troops will not begin bolstering security along the Arizona border this Sunday, despite what was announced by the Departments of Homeland Security and Defense 10 days ago.

“We won’t have any units deployed by August 1,” said Lt. Valentine Castillo, a public-affairs officer. “We don’t yet know when troops will actually arrive.” (emphasis mine)

If ever. 

Anarchy reigns along the border with Mexico, and Obama’s solution is to head to vacations in Maine, Florida and Spain

2012 can’t come fast enough. 

More …

 
Number of comments: 0 Add comment
July 30th, 2010 by admindude

Permit-less concealed carry starts today

More thoughts about what that means (and doesn’t mean) over on the gun blog.

More …

 
Number of comments: 0 Add comment
July 29th, 2010 by admindude

One of the better people in the world

One of my goals for Right Online was to come up with a way to turn blogging into a positive medium, to be FOR a cause rather than just picking apart those who would oppose freedom. Don’t get me wrong, those kinds of people deserve everything they get (and a little more), but it’s not enough to be against something, you have to be FOR something as well. 

Dan Geigor of The Media Research Center showed me how to blog about positive things. His solution? Just do it. Just start writing about the good things happening around you.

So I am. 

The title is a play on Olbermann’s “Worst Person in the World”: The people that will be mentioned here are some of the best people in the world, but they will never talk about themselves in such a manner: The First Rule of being one of The Better People in the World is that you don’t think you are one of The Better People in the World, in fact, you don’t really think about yourself at all. 

This is called “humility”, and in our world today, it’s rarer that platinum. 

One of The Better People In The World this week (and every week) is Pat McCalla, president of Streetlight Phoenix, a non-profit organization dedicated to eradicating child prostitution in America. 

The average age of a child prostitute in Phoenix is 13 years old.

Every day hundreds of children wake up in an enslaving nightmare. UNICEF estimates that a million new minors each year are coerced or forced into sex slavery such as Angie’s. Between 100,000 and 300,000 children in America are at risk for sex trafficking each year. As many as 2.8 million children live on the streets, a third of whom are lured into prostitution within 48 hours of leaving home. The FBI estimates that well over 100,000 children and young women are trafficked in America today. They range in age from 9 to 19. 

That’s right, child prostitution in our own country. If you think this is the sort of thing that happens only in backwards countries overseas, think again. Prostitution is NOT a “victimless” crime: It brutally enslaves thousands of woman and children each year into a living hell of rape, abuse and death. 

A pimp is not a hero, a pimp is a man who makes his living by abusing women. He is as loathsome a “man” as a rapist or a child molester or any other sexual predator. “To pimp” should be excised from our vocabulary just as other words of degradation and humiliation have been removed from polite speech. Streetlight Phoenix has had great success in taking children off the streets and guiding them from the absolute hellhole of prostitution back to society and into stable, healthy lives.

Pat is truly one of The Better People in the World, and he (and Streetlight Phoenix) deserve your support

If you know of another Better Person In The World, drop an email to kevin (at) exurbanleague.com, and thanks. 

More …

 
Number of comments: 0 Add comment
July 29th, 2010 by admindude

Scottsdale awash with protests as judge blocks parts of SB1070

I thought if had an acoustic guitar, it meant that you are a protest singer

Police in the northeast Valley are on high alert for violence today after today’s ruling in Federal court on Arizona’s common-sense controversial immigration law. 

Kevin James, head of security at Scottsdale Fashion Square, is particularly worried.

“We’re seeing a number of ASU students who look like they’re from a middle class upbringing milling about the food court, and we’re keeping an eye on the situation in case it gets out of hand, like there’s a shoe sale at Macy’s or something.” 

Outside the mall, tempers were heating up as news of Judge Bolton’s ruling filtered out . Tiffani Williams ,23, of Oak Park, Michigan, was particularly upset.

“Like, why couldn’t that Judge do something that’s um, like important, or something. I mean, um, like’s it a long drive up here from ASU, and like, there’s no other place around here that does a really good mani-pedi except at the mall here. Why can’t they make bad nail salons illegal, instead of people?” 

Dan Johnson, 22, from Escondido, California, had other concerns about the effects of SB1070. 

“Dude, man, it’s like totally going to ruin this semester for me, because my friend Enrique was doing all my Spanish homework for me and now I’m going to fail the class, man. Bummer. Plus that means I’m going to have to find a new way to replenish my stash. Bummer, Dude.” 

We’ll be keeping an eye on these developments from a curbside table at Martini Ranch and will have more news on these protsts once our cocktails get here. 

More …

 
Number of comments: 0 Add comment
July 28th, 2010 by admindude

A brief guide to SB1070

Brief. Law. Lawyers. Get it? 

I crack myself up. 

With portions of SB1070 blocked by a federal judge today, I think it’s imperative that we break down what Arizona’s new immigration law does and does not say. 

SB1070 allows Sheriff Joe to conduct midnight raids wherever and whenever he chooses

False. Sheriff Joe already does that.

SB1070 allows Arizona to deport anyone Mexican-looking

False. It allows Arizona to deport anyone Finnish-looking. 

SB1070 permanently bars Maroon 5 from the state of Arizona 

True. Thank God!

SB1070 allows the cops to ask for your papers whenever they feel like it

True. Oh wait, no, False. Sorry, I was watching TV news there for a second and got my facts mixed up (a common thing with TV news). 

SB1070 automatically makes anyone living in the town of Guadalupe an illegal alien

False. SB1070 automatically makes the entire town of Ajo illegal (something that is way, way overdue, IMO). 

SB1070 mimics Federal immigration law

True. And it does a pretty good imitation of of federal law, mainly because it’s been taking celebrity impersonation lessons from Frank Caliendo and will in fact open for him next month in Vegas. 

SB1070 supporters are really vampires who drink the blood of Latino children

False. SB1070 backers are on Team Jacob. 

SB1070 will cause illegal immigrants to flee Arizona

True. And why do you say that like it’s a bad thing? 

More …

 
Number of comments: 0 Add comment
July 28th, 2010 by admindude

Not with a bang, but with a poll

Turn out the lights, the party’s over

Senator John McCain has opened a 20-point lead over former Congressman J.D. Hayworth in Arizona’s Republican Senate Primary race. The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of Likely GOP Primary Voters in the state shows McCain attracting 54% of the vote, while Hayworth earns 34%.

For Hayworth, this represents another decline in support. In April, he picked up 42% of the vote. That fell to 40% in May, 36% in June and 34% in July.

For McCain, the 54% level of support is his highest yet.

It’s that last line that’s the final nail in the coffin of the Hayworth campaign. If it were Hayworth that was peaking and showing his best numbers ever, there’d be some hope, but he’s not and there isn’t.

McCain was very vulnerable in this election, but as much as he !@#$!’s off Arizona voters, Arizona Republican voters are even more leery of Congressmen who treat Washington as one big piggy bank. Arizona is last in pork barrel spending, and we seem to be pretty ok with that fact.

And now here’s Willie Nelson to sing the first line from this post. 

More …

 
Number of comments: 0 Add comment
July 27th, 2010 by admindude

Unknown legends in our own mind

If you’re not listening to the Jim Sharpe Show and/or podcast, you’re really missing out on a breath of fresh air on the Phoenix talk radio scene. Unlike others on the talk radio scene (for expample someone who came from Congress and are now trying to get back into the Senate), who rely on the force of their voice to make their point, Jim uses humor and wit to make his center-right conservative/libertarian message come across. Plus he’s got John McJunkin, the World’s Most Dangerous Radio Producer. Him too. 

And aside from

      1. who they book on their show
, (mp3 link), they’ve got skills. Give them a listen and find out for yourselves. 

And yes, John, the title is yet another music reference. 🙂

More …

 
Number of comments: 0 Add comment
July 27th, 2010 by admindude

14 Weeks.

Another great ad from the Republican Governor’s Association.

14 Weeks from Republican Governors Association on Vimeo.

More …

 
Number of comments: 0 Add comment
July 27th, 2010 by admindude