2012: Plus Ca Change…Down with the Czars, up with the Czars

 

I am strong

I am big and well made.

I am sick of a nation’s stenches.

I am sick of propertied czars.

I have deamed my great dream of their passing.

I have gathered my tools  and my charts.

My plans are finished and practical.

I shall roll up my sleeves- and make America over.

“The Dreamer”-Rexford Tugwell, Assistant Secretary of Agriculture

and member of  FDR’s “Brain Trust.”

 

Remind you of anybody?

My wish for 2012 is that America not be made over and remain fundamentally untransformed.

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The Commerce Clause: Herding Economic Animals into the Statist Corral

Article I, Section 8, Clause 3

(Congress shall have Power) To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian tribes;

 

This same question—what are the limits of Congress’s authority under the Commerce Clause—is at the heart of the dispute over the health-care law’s individual mandate.Adam Winkler, “Daily Beast, November 11, 20011

 

Man is an economic animal as well as a political animal andis, therefore, born into an industrial system as inevitably as he isborn into a political state. -Henry J. Thurston, “The  Teaching of Economics in secondary Schools Schools, The School Review, Vol.4,no.8, 1896

 

T

This administration is rather big on logos.

There are plenty of amateur constitutional scholars out there; I’m not one, yet it seems to me that a little common sense and average reasoning skills would lead one to be deeply troubled by Obamacare, not just in itself, but also as proof that our governed really knows no limits, and only observes those that suit its purposes of the moment.

If the government can tell you to buy a product you may not want or need, and can tell the seller how to configure the product, what can’t the government do in any field of economic activity?

If Obamacare can tell you to buy insurance, and tell the insurance company that it must keep your children on your policy until they are 26, why can’ t the government tell you to buy an electric car, and the manufacturer that it must include GPS and a high end stereo whether you want these features or not?

No doubt it can, and may well do so one day.

If the government can tell Insurance companies what their profit margin should be, as Obama care does with the “medical loss ratio” proviso,  why can’t the government dictate what is an acceptable profit in any industry, even to the point of none at all?

Under the line of argument presented by Obamacare’s defenders, and if indeed man is an economic animal, then there is little of our behavior that  government cannot regulate.  The devil can quote scripture, and this administration can and will cite the Constitution of a government clearly conceived to be limited, in order to further its limitless ambition.

Obama’s Honeyed Voice: Beware of People Traps

Tom Friedman on NBCs Meet the Press Sunday December 25 said,

He's so articulate...Oops!

When the story is speaking to you, shut up and listen. And I think Newt’s rise is speaking to us.

And what it says to me is, is that I think there’s a lot of Republicans who are starved for a

candidate for their party who would be able to debate Obama head-to-head, they think is as

smart and mellifluous as the president…

:

Mellifluous?  Must have aced the SAT vocab component.  Let’s have a look at the word itself:

From Merriam Webster on line.

Definition of MELLIFLUOUS

1
: having a smooth rich flow <a mellifluous voice>
2
: filled with something (as honey) that sweetens
mel·lif·lu·ous·ly adverb
mel·lif·lu·ous·ness noun

smart and mellifluous as the president(it = Newt’s ascendancy)

Being on his high school debate team would have helped.

As for the first definition, “corpseman” and other GWB “nucular” style gaffes give the laugh  to that one.  Just search “Obama” and “Uh,”  “Er”  and “Um” for a sample of his teleprompter free incoherence, or if you doubt these amusingly edited videos,  take in his next press conference.

 

 

The second definition reflects the word’s Etymology.

mellifluous
early 15c., “sweet, pleasing” (of an odor, a style of speaking or writing, etc.), from L.L. mellifluous “flowing with (or as if with) honey,” from L. mel (gen. mellis) “honey” (related to Gk. meli “honey;” see Melissa) + -fluus “flowing,” from fluere “to flow” (see fluent).
Honey is nice on bread,  but in literary use it can be a watch word for deception.  A seducer uses honeyed words.

Consider the scene in Shakespeare’s “Richard the Third” in which Lady Anne speaks of her enslavement to the royal traducer, whom she had come to love even though he  killed her husband and father-in-law.

Lo, ere I can repeat this curse again, within so small a time, my woman’s heart grossly grew captive to his honey words and proved

the   subject of mine                                                                   own soul’s curse(IV,i)

 

In 2008, the electorate was willingly seduced.  The President told us what we wanted to hear: We were the ones we had been waiting for; we could have whatever we wanted; we would not have to pay.  Obama is only the foremost of those speaking in the honeyed phrases we so love, the words that we think will protect us from the harshness of life, relieve us of the burdens we shirk, and chase away the darkness.

If we listen once more,and fall into the honey trap again, we may never escape.

Beware of the people traps.
(There are many honeyed words.)
Beware of the people traps,
Beware of the people traps.
(There is so much misinformation.)
Watch out, watch out, watch out, watch out.

– Shonen Knife, “People Traps”

Obama to Congress: Buddy Can You Spare 1.2 Trillion?

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration says the federal government has nearly reached its borrowing limit – again.

Treasury officials said Tuesday that the White House plans to request another $1.2 trillion in borrowing authority Friday…(HUFFPO)

Congress to Obama:   Sure, pal.  Here ya go.  Get it back to me, well, whenever.

President walks away whistling, jauntily tossing a freshly minted  $1.2 trillion coin.

Update: I decided this really wasn’t fair, so…

President continues his walk, stops in a convenience store, buys some stuff, and then walks back to the congress and tosses out some change, 100 billion dollar coins, aiming handfuls of them at his buddies, but everybody gets some.

To the Nanny State: Hands off My Rubber Ducky!

Sounds like a lot of work. 20/30 seconds in the microwave?

I was idly surfing around the other day, looking for something to fulminate about when the vagaries of internet pop up advertising algorithms obliged me with this:

Good Lord.  Ayatollah Khomeini famously wrote at length on how to clean one’s bung hole ( and his contribution is only one to an extensive literature on this fascinating subject), and while we don’t yet have the government telling us how to do that( Wait, do I know that for sure?), we seem to be headed in the same direction.

Like the Feds, the late Imam seems to have had a hand in, or up, pretty much everything.(click on image for more off topic fun)

I’m from California, which is home to  a particularly  pernicious endemic pink bathroom mold. There are two major schools of thought as to how to deal with it:  dry everything in the bathroom after use, and immediately put the towels used in the laundry; or. wait until the pink slime is really unsightly and scrub down periodically. Or just move every so often.

I’d like to show this pop up to a Paulbot and watch him( they usually are he/him) go into meltdown as to how this is not one of the enumerated functions of government.

But it really isn’t, unless you want to envelop it in a penumbra emanating from the phrase “domestic tranquility.”  Dirty bathrooms can really annoy some people.

Wait, wait about the general welfare?  Won’t someone please think about the children?  Studies show that “x” number of children suffer from something or other due to moldy bath toys.

The  ad does also bear the logo of the Ad Council, but that is not as private sector as you might think. The council is funded by corporate donors but you can find the government among the partners involved in execution, so somehow tax money seeps in.  If you think about it, isn’t a corporate-government partnership advising us on “social issues”  kind of creepy?  And they have been doing it since 1942.  That accounts for a lot of things.

What is the "social issue" with bath toys anyway? Perhaps this is only a stalking horse: everybody should get free internet so they don't miss important messages on subjects like rubber ducky care.

We don’t need the EPA to tell us how to keep our bathrooms clean: that is among the enumerated functions of mothers-in-law.

 

 

Truly a great moment in advertising. The environmental cleanup begun in the 70s was aboslutely necessary, but going aftr rubber duckies indicates the big battles have been on won.

I thought the EPA was about saving trees and cleaning up rivers, so Indian chiefs don’t have to cry.

Merry Christmas and Eid Mubarrak

Chistmas mid 1950s

I’m not much for religion, and never have been, pretty much telling the Supreme Being to bite me in first grade.  I thought being Lord of the Universe was a pretty good job, and I wondered how he got in.  Seemed unfair, fixed, to me . Raised Catholic, I dreaded Sunday mass with the droning Latin and boring sermons, and the feeling that I had to “act holy” when basically, I didn’t give a shit.

Christmas was different. Of course, the presents under the tree were the highlight as we woke near dawn and squirmed in our beds waiting for our parents to rise.  But  on that day church too was enjoyable.  The choir gave its all to those beautiful old carols. I found myself singing and meaning it,   not in a devotional sense, but fully embracing the communal sense of good will, and the the world was a beautiful place, and we fortunate to be in it together.  It might have rained or sleeted on some Christmas days, but my memories of Natal mornings are always sunny,  snow on the ground in New York, or warm with a light breeze in southern California.

And there was  the food.  Not just turkey and  trimmings, but the nuts, cookies, and sweets, that for this one day we could eat with out limit and no fear of  adult admonitions. A chance to play and show off our new toys to neighbor kids.

When my family lived a few years in New York, Jewish friends had me over for Hannukkah celebrations and passover seders, and I saw that while these gatherings were about religion, and a different one than that I had been told was mine, they were also about family and community, and just plain fun.

Having spent a lot of time in the Islamic  world, I found that the Muslims have their feasts too, and in their own way celebrate family and community just as the Christians and Jews do.  During the fasting month in some places there are dazzling night markets where families eat seasonal treats and greet their neighbors after breaking the fast.  Once on the island of Morotai, in the far north  Moluccas of Indonesia, I attended a celebration of Eid Ul Adha, the feast of Sacrifices, where local Christians joined as well.  There was even a dance – no touching- as young men and women did simple steps, circling each other and flirting.There was an enormous buffet of sizzling meets, savory curries and fresh fruit.  Christians in the Moluccas will tell you the Muslims are far better cooks, and it’s true,

Some years after that, the Moluccas erupted in religious violence, jihadis poured in from Java, and the different religious communities remain separated to this day.

A predictable sign of the holiday season these days is  postings on YouTube of varius imams and mullahs urging Muslims not to give the heathenish greeting: “Merry Christmas.  In Indonesia, it was years ago common for Muslims and Christians  to extend cordial greetings on their respective holidays.  This is no longer the case, and sadly, it is largely the majority Muslims  who have withdrawn from these neighborly rituals.

A former student of mine,an Indonesian engineer  who spent many years working in Saudi Arabia,  an official in a local Islamic charity and who has a large zabiba (prayer bump), startled me some years ago by mailing a Christmas wish,  and he has done so every year since.

That means  a lot.  I’m an atheist, but I acknowledge that religion is hardly going to disappear any time soon.  Thus, my Christmas wish is to see the hatred taken out of religion. But let’s keep the holidays.  And the food.

Only $19.95! Get Your Baby Kim NorKor Dictator Blowup Doll! Operators Standing By!

Visa, MC, Amex,  Discover, Diner’s Club and the foreign aid coffers of countries terrified of a regime meltdown, as well they should be.

Stick a pin in him.

Seriously when I first  starting seeing pictures of this critter after Pop’s demise, I thought it was a joke.  He should stay in his room and play with his x-box.  He probably is.

North Korea is not a systemic threat as is militant Islam, but it’s a worry nonetheless.  Those who fear a missile launching gotterdammerung, however, in my view are mistaken.

The Kim regime(all of them) are, within  the scope of their own aspirations, have been and will be completely rational.  They have everything they could want: power, luxury, women.  (See Bradley Martin’s “Under the Loving Care of the Fatherly Leader” for a detailed account of how these monsters live.)  History is full of stories of kings and emperors who ruled only for their own advantage and pleasures, and  these accounts are often cast as comforting morality tales with the Caligula getting his comeuppance.

But it doesn’t always work out that way.  One recalls Idi Amin spending his declining years in Saudi Arabia, comfortable and unrepentant  The North Korean leaders and favored followers will find a similar refuge.  Their country is unimaginably poor; they are rich, and there are still wild enough places in the world to give them refuge for the proper price.  I’m betting on an Islamist regime myself, or perhaps even China

Te regime will fall.  It could be made to fall at any time, but the incalculable cost of succoring a  people brutalized to the point of dehumanization, and then establishing a decent government, let along reunification, is beyond the means of  a world struggling with its overdrawn finances. The disparity between the North and the
south is a quantum measure beyond what separated West and East Germany.  East Germans had cars and TVs, albeit crappy ones they had to wait years for, but they lived in a way that at least tried to imitate life in the West.

The cultural obstacles are such that bringing North Korea to a state anything like what the world at large recognizes as normal would be impossible in the near or medium term. It is too late for gradual reform.    Deng Hsiao Ping invited back Shanghai Industrialists in the 70’s;  the Hungarian regime brought back some of  the country’s prewar  capitalists.in the 80s.  When the wall fell, the eastern satellites still had a pool of people not yet past their productive years who remembered a different reality   The USSR did not have a pre-revolution generation, and this may well account for its lagging its former satellites.,  Still the   communist countries were never as isolated as North Korea.(There was Albania, but with a tiny population and no military power)  Benny Goodman toured the USSR; Cubans receive remittances and family visits. There remained, and remains, something to build on.

Steven Green, aka Vodka Pundit over at PJmedia posits an occupation by Chinese paratroopers to keep order to keep order in a collapsing state.  First, paratroopers?Mr. Green needs to pour another Absolut and  read up on military history. Paratroopers: the Phyrric German victory at Crete and so on.

In any case why would the Chinese intervene?  Tto stabilize the country and keep the millions of refugees  from pouring across the boarder?  Even merely maintaining order at the point of a gun without any humanitarian aid would be immensely expensive.

The Chinese have secure borders.  They will use them.  When the leaders have left and the border guards themselves attempt to flee bodies will pile up on the Chinese razor wire and the hordes will turn south.

What will South Korea do?  What will the world do?  I have no idea, and no suggestions. In the interim such minimal aid as outside powers hope will keep all this from happening will continue to flow, until it does.

.

Shariah Says: No Mohawks

An Indonesian "punker" rallies in support of his Aceh brothers and sisters.

Euro punks ca 80s

Not lost amid the events roiling the world – the threatened euro meltdown, riots and repression in Egypt, killings  of protestors in Syria, the death of North Korea’s dear leader, is the story of a bunch of kids snatched up by police at a Punk rock concert in Aceh, Indonesia.

Punk has been around a long time.   Sid vicious and Johnny rRotten raged in the 70s, but to a lot of kids around the world, adapting what they see as a punk lifestyle,centered on music, tattoos, piercings and just generally, looking and acting weird, and not fitting in, is the way to find identity in repressive societies.

Aceh, the northern most part of Sumatra in the West of Indonesia, is a beautiful land of forested mountains, rushing rivers, long white beaches and reefs teeming with life. A trading entrepot for many centuries, its culture is a an eclectic mix of local, India, Arab and Chinese influences.

Caning in Banda Aceh. Despite generally very nice people, great food, and stunning scenery, Aceh's tourist potential is unlikely to be developed soon.

It is also the place where Islam entered Indonesia, and has been under Shariah law under the terms of the autonomy agreement signed in Helsinki,in 2005, between the Indonesian government and rebels who had fought a three decades long independence war.  Aceh has long been a place ruled by traditional Islamic mores, and while the shariah regime is yet lighter than in Saudi Arabia,  it is tightening its grip.

Aceh first came to the notice of the entire world for its enormous suffering from the 2004 Tsunami,  but lately its press has been rather poor.  The punk round up is the latest in a series of stories  that have shown the brutal, and frequently illogical,  face of shariah to the world.

Ritual Purification? Punks are unclean!

“There will be a traditional ceremony. First their hair will be cut. Then they will be tossed into a pool. The women’s hair we’ll cut in the fashion of a female police officer,” Iskander said on Tuesday. “Then we’ll teach them a lesson.” said Aceh police chief Ins. Gen. Iskandar Hasan, as reported by the Jakarta Globe.  “I’ll remind [police] not to breach human rights,” He concluded.(13 December)

Human rights in Islam are analogous to animal rights in an abattoir: they may be acknowledged, but the outcome in both cases is equally grim.

Chief Hasan may sound hypocritical and illogical, but within the closed system that is Islam, he makes perfect sense: helping Muslims adhere to Islamic rules upholds their right to be perfect Muslims, and more importantly, the right of the Ummah ( Islamic community) to have no imperfect Muslims among its members.

The Globe headline speaks of “reeducation,” but what the police chief proposed, and subsequently carried out, has much in common with Isamic religious practice and jurisprudence.

He has every right to proceed  as he has because

“That which the Muslims consider good, Allah considers good.” *(see end note)

.And clearly these Muslims do not consider being a punk good. The “pool of water ” is reminscent of the ghusl, a purificatory  bath to remove janaba, ritual  defilement. The haircuts too, have some support:

It is offensive to shave part of the head and leave part unshaven.

So mohawks are out.

Mohawks are prohibited, but a clean shave is OK,

However,

There is no harm in shaving it all off

On the other hand,The girls  who had their long hair shorn may have a beef:

These self righteous frumps seem to be multiplying exponentially here in Indonesia. Maybe a burqa would be preferable in the barberess' s case.

It is unlawful for a  woman to cut her hair to disfigure herself, though if done for thesake of beauty it is permissible.

So Siead O’Connor is ok, but one would think have disfigurement imposed would not be, but the policewomen with the clippers no doubt would take the legalistic view: the ruling says “disfigure herself” and they did it for these wayward girls.

The Aceh punk roundup story has legs that are still running strong. “AnarchoPunks n Moscow have grafittied the Indonesian Embassy in Moscow with slogans such as:

“Religion=Fascism.” and  “Punk is not a crime.”

Buy those lads some vodka!

Sinéad is shariah compliant, as long as she didn't intend to "disfigure herself." Who knows?

As of  yesterday, December 20, the punks were holding up well.. This WP/AP story details their defiance.

At the same time, Secretary Clinton has been holding a conference( closed proceedings ) with the OIC in

Fully compliant

Washington so as to work on eliminating defamation of religion and religious prejudice.  No doubt a press release announcing a multifaith center with a church and a synagogue  in Mecca is forthcoming.

What's the big deal? It's just a haircut! No disrepect to Holocaust victims meant. Islam, like Nazism is a supremacist, totalitarian ideology. Totalitarianism starts incrementally.

Listen to the punks: they know the truth.

*( From: “Reliance of The traveler, a Manual of Islamic Sacred Law”  A compendium of scholarship of the Shafi school.  Published in English and Arabic by Amana Publications, Maryland USA. 2008 edition.  Certified for accuracy of translation and scholarship by Al Azhar University Cairo and the International Institute for Islamic thought, Herndon, Virgina, USA, among others.  All other comments on Islamic law and religious practice in this piece are from the same source.”

Arguing With Fools

All questions answered

I spent 25 bucks on Amazon for a copy of “Reliance of the Traveller.”  It is not a travel guide, but a manual of Islamic sacred law( fiqh), which encompasses, and expands on, the the shariah of the Koran,  according to the Shafi’i school of jurisprudence. The “traveler” is the Muslim living his life from birth to death, and the book provides religious guidance and rulings for aspects of life on which he may rely.

It sat on my bookshelf for months, a weighty read not happily anticipated,  but when I finally opened he wrapping , the book surprised me with its readability, and so far has confirmed my forebodings as to Islam.  In fact, things are worse than I thought,

One learns that there are more than one school of Islamic jurisprudence, of whichi the Hanafi is one, but that they are largely in agreement on matters of faith and morals,  That which has been agreed on by a consensus of scholars is obligatory;  that which is not ,is decided by the ummah, the muslims as a community,  That which has been decided by the ummah in the past is in effect and not to be questioned,  An ordinary Muslim is not to question a scholar in command of sacred noweldge,

And the purpose of sacred knowledge, that is theology and in Islam, law as well, without distinction, in obligation is to enable Muslims  to follow the example of their messenger,  Using the techniques of scholarship for any other purpose is forbidden:

Anyone who seeks Sacred Knowledge to argue with fools, vie with scholars,or draw people’s attention to himself, will take a place in Hell.

Thus there can be no scholasticism, as in Europe where reason was used in an attempt to justify faith, but in the end overturned its unchallenged authority over human life. Instead, in Islam a dense legalism nibbles at the edges of the religious corpus, as so much has been decided that scholars are left to debate minutiae or shoehorn unexpected situations into agreement with the precedents of a millennium or more ago,

Reading this book is instantly enlightening.  That precedent cannot be overturned and that ancient  consensus must hold forever the reader thinks, must be related to the stasis, and backwardness of Islamic societies.

Knowledge other than sacred knowledge or learning that may be used to advance sacred knowledge is unlawful.a

These are are areas of  unlawful knowledge in Islam:(page 14, section a7.2)

sorcery

Philopsohy

magic

astrology

the scence of the materiaists

and anything that is a  means to create doubts(in eternal truths)

That philosophy and science based on material observation are proscribed likely  has much to do with countries like Saudi  Arabia still finding sorcery and magic to prosecute.

There is much more to read  and reflect on, a task of some months, but I have seen enough to know that Islam constrains itself with iron limits  on the spirit and intellect that have kept it in the state of underdevelopment that it so resents, and that may in the end be its utter undoing.

Why do I undertake this task?

To argue with fools.

Green Corruption

It's bad, and it's gonna get worse.

Last week I posted on what I see as the hopelessness of the all electric Chevy Volt ever finding a real market.  Commenter TFS took issue with me  I’m glad he did, because as so often happens, when I take a deeper look into an issue, I find that things are far worse than I first thought. The only green I can find in the various “Green Jobs” initiatives is the putrescent sheen of rotting pork.

Here is TFS’ comment:

dear master ranter,
Sorry to let facts get in the way of a good rant but the Volt development started in early 2005 when the car company was privately owned. Tesla technology was the first basis. So could you relate the basis of “And this company manufactured a vehicle using a power train technology that the government chose.” ? Or was that the keyboard that done it??again???
The piddling subsidy isn’t going to get people to buy it unless they can build a good car.
The government has a long history of funding research for military and scientific products that have led to breakthroughs in the public sector. Then the public sector responds to consumer pressure to lower the cost. Mass production of electric cars could help us get away from importing oil ( the Volt has an equivalent 93 miles per hour).

Enviros have gottn pretty good at turning pork into long green.

And that money stays in the US!!

Speaking of keyboard glitches I believe you mean 98 mpg, not MPH.  GMestimates a

EPA mileae sticker for Chevy Volt

sizzling 100 mph as the Volt’s top speed.  I had a ’78 Datsun two door that beat that by 20 on a straight away.

As to mileage, there is a little more to it than that. Check the “buts.”  I have no idea how the EPA came up with its MPG equivalent.  Electricity rates vary according to season, and location; as does the cost of gasoline.  I wonder if folks in Arizona, who have to budget all year long for their summer cooling costs, will be lining up to plug this one in.

And still on the subject of key boards, I think you just hit your macro for feel good green jobs “facts.”

Here's some government directed automotive technology that did work out. The VW bug was never mass produced by the Nazis but the air cooled engine was designed specifically for operations In Russia.

The government funding research for things it needs, and pushing a particular technology onto the private sector are two different things.  DARPA came up with the basis of the internet because it needed it for national defense. The same with GPS. That these were of immense benefit to all( when will the world send us thank you note?) is wonderful but was not the thrust of the original work. It’s a good thing Al Gore wasn’t allowed to build the information superhighway or we might have ended up with som3thing like France’s Minitel.

Now we haven’t reached the point – yet – where a politburo tells industry what to do, but the government is very influential. The pics of President Obama behind the wheel of a Volt are a very clear visual representation of what is going on here, which is the latest round in the CAFE two card monte game. Build the vehicles that bring the fleet averages in range, cars that no one really wants, so they are dumped on government and fleet buyers at fire sale prices, while making the vehicles that people really want,  a profit.

Development may have been begun in 2005, but why exactly?  Did the Sages in Flint sense a ground swell in favor of electric vehicles?  I doubt it. However, California’s adoption of a zero emissions program, promulgated in 1998, was certainly an indicator of the way things were headed.

The Volt is a toy for people who don’t have long commutes, and who have the income to afford an additional  vehicle for things like family vacations, as the electric Chevy, with less than 40 miles on a 4 hour charge, won’t get you far. And who earn enough to offset against the tax credit.

So we have a vehicle that is zero emissions in electric mode.  Tres verte, n’est-ce pas? Hardly: the emissions are simply shifted to the power plant.  And this power won’t be coming from the coal fired plants going off line as EPA restrictions kick in.

China, however, is bringing lots of coal fired capacity on line, and will have plenty of juice to manufacture solar panels we can buy, our state subsidized industry certain to collapse as did the one  in Spain. Perhaps you believe G.E.’s claims that it will produce competitive panels without subsidy.  I don’t, especially since it’s G.E. And there is wind power too, still subsidized after decades, so we can cover our beautiful Southwestern deserts with acres and acres of glaring panels, and stud ridge lines with whirling bird killers.

And driving around with a big battery full of toxics doesn’t seem very green. How will these be disposed of, and who will pay?

I’m betting there won’t be a 2013 Volt.

Interesting that you should mention Tesla, where Mr. gore did lend a hand with a celebrity endorsement., ordering one himself( The former Vice President and arbiter of all  things green had a more direct hand in Fisker Motors, which is to produce a high end electric car in  with a U.S. government  loan. “Fisker Automotive, backed by a powerhouse venture capital firm( I thought venture capitalists put up their own money) whose partners include former Vice President Gore…”  These vehicles will be manufactured in Finland, not in Joe Biden’s Delaware, as he promised.  Even an insider gets shafted now and then. This time, it’s not evil businessmen off-shoring, but the U.S. government.

Tesla describes itself as a manufacturer of ”Premium Electric Vehicles.”  Model S starts at $49,000, after a Federal tax credit. At one point, in Colorado, total subsidies added up to a “piddling” $49,000.  They love their green in Boulder.

On the Tesla Motors website:

TESLA MOTORS was founded in 2003 by a group of intrepid Silicon Valley engineers who set out to prove that electric vehicles could be awesome.

Intrepid indeed, takes real courage to  lap up hundreds of millions in subsidies.

THE TESLA ROADSTER hit the streets in early 2008 as a car with no equal. Three years later, over 1,800 Roadsters drive emissions-free in more than 32 countries

Proof that you can find suckers with too much money to spend pretty much everywhere. 600 cars a year, wow!

The Tesla has somewhat better acceleration, while the Elise is faster. Tesla costs double the Elise, unless you score a subsidy.

Tesla likes to compare the   to a Lotus Elise, while the Model S may as well be a Toyota.  I couldn’t find any prices on the Tesla site( it appears that one must go through the order process to come up with a price, and I have better things to do), but one variant requires a forty thousand dollar down payment,  which gives you an order of magnitude at least.   I’ll settle for wikipedia: The Roadster has a base price of US$109,000 in the United States, £86,950 in the United Kingdom, and €84,000 in continental Europe.

Hardly a People’s car. These are the Volga sedans of the green nomenklatura.  These multi million, billion dollar experiments are not only stupid, but corrupt, venal, and brutally immoral.

Leo and his Fisker Karma. Wanker!

Ordinary people pay taxes and watch their government accrue even more debt so that Silicon Valley types, tenured professors, Hollywood figures(the first Fisker Karma was delivered to Leonardo DiCaprio)  the whole heedless “creative” crowd who have destroyed what was once considered a workingman’s party can show off their membership in the environmentalist elect.

DOE Secretary Stephen Chu: Should have stayed in the classroom.

It’s clear they don’t really want most of us driving anyway.  Steven Chu continues to repeat his call for higher gas prices. Four bucks a gallon is just spare change at his pay grade.  Even at ten bucks a gallon, you can be sure he and his ilk will be tooling by in something sporty while the rest of us wait at the bus stop, electric of course, or scan the tracks for the high speed rail that never arrives.