Thursday, May 31, 2007


Saw this on the intarw3b this morning, whilst reading my usual Yahoo! headlines with breakfast.

So I read the article. Did a complete eyeroll afterwards, and thought, "Compressed air?, how stupid can you be?" Four minute compression fill at 4K psi? Whatcha using to make that kind of pressure? The article is clearly non-specific, other than to say something in passing about a custom air source (gee, hard to believe that) , or plugging in to the grid to power its on board four hours.

Why is it that people think that plugging their car into their house is somehow "green"? My only guess is that they've been brainwashed into thinking that electricity is somehow "clean" power and that it doesn't have any emissions of its own. How wrong they are isn't any kind of a surprise to me.

Then I saw the comments portion below....and couldn't believe some of the stuff I was reading, to wit:

"the rich oil companies will pay off the American govt. to reject this invention" (I just love the conspiracy laden bullshit)

"Hydrogen allows a car to feel like a real car but only rejects steam. Check out the BMW 750H for a great example" (So, I need to buy a $100K+ German luxury sedan, so that I can fill it up at our non-existent liquid Hydrogen stations, so that it (the hydrogen) can increase my range by a hundred miles, or if we're talking about the electric (fuel cell) version of the hydrogen vehicle, it continually burns off through its on-board electrical generation grid, even while it sits in the garage. Just brilliant.)

"I'm wondering if it could power a small personal helicopter, gyroplane, etc There's no reason why this propulsion technology has to be restricted to cars." (Dude, are you fucking serious?)

"In Chengdu, China, all the taxies have been using Compressed Air (nature Gas) for a couple of years." (Jeezis, I'm assuming this girl means "natural gas", regardless, do these folks even know the difference?)

"The cold air emissions would balance the warm air compression, so ther is not ecological issue." (Didn't you pass physics? You've got to use energy of some sort in order to make the initial pressure. Aside from the heat created from the initial compression(yes, the expansion is cold, but as I just said, aside from any balance created by this), there is a machine of some sort that must be powered by something to make the pressure. It uses resources and isn't just imagined out of thin air. This creates heat. Period. There is NO way around it.)

"the spiking cost of oil after peak world production is reached will impact economies most dependent on oil... USA." (Ah, the Peak Oil scare tactic. I'm really not that concerned with it, and anyone who knows anything about oil exploration also knows that this is nothing but a red herring. The truth is that we haven't even begun to tap all of the reserves yet. The obstacle is actually just getting to that oil.)

"Let us all remember that the good old USofA is owned by big business. They will exert enough pressure on the government to declare the cars unsafe to protect their interests" (More "Big-Business Bogeyman Bullshit")

And my personal favorite:

"The only danger here is from big oil companies creating a hostile market for any non gasoline vehicle. The Bush administration could solve the dependence on oil with the stroke of a pen." (Again, the "Big Oil" conspiracy, somehow preventing the NextBigThing from happening, along with the childish notion that, somehow, it's all Bush's fault, because he could fix it by edict, or something. Note for the clueless on this last bit; it is impossible for politics to fix our "energy addiction" or whatever you want to call it, specifically, and, more generally, it's not likely that politics can fix much of anything, so quit trying to act as if it can, ya dolts!)

The list just goes on and on. These dolts don't understand anything about science or Newton's laws or thermodynamics, or... much of anything, really.

The real problem, as I see it, isn't so much that this type of thing is being investigated at a practical level, it's that there are far too many people, as evidenced by the aforementioned comments, who haven't a clue about what's at stake in this thing. All they care about is the preaching aspect of the whole thing. They've been coopted into believing the drivel that Al Gore and his ilk are absolutely shoving down everyone's throat, and once more, they like it. These same vermin vote, people, and that should scare the living hell out of you. Why?. They will make laws concerning what you can and can't do, and they are convinced they're right about it all.

For the others, it's better to live in Lalaland and believe in the tooth fairy, I suppose. It makes blaming you for their own suckage that much easier, since they get to define what the rules are.

If I made a lot more money, I'd ditch one of my current vehicles and get something with at least 400hp, maybe even 500hp, and drive it like I stole it, everyday, just because I can. Alas, I am poor, and have a huge mortgage to pay for. It'll have to wait.

I'm still completely unapologetic about using resources. Use what you can pay for, and tell the Eco-Preaks to fuck themselves.

Labels: , , ,

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Just what the dumbass populists have been demanding

I read this headline, via Yahoo! News/AP

"Obama offers universal health care plan "

Interesting to note that he says, "The time has come for universal, affordable health care in America," and then turns right back around and contradicts himself later by, quoting the article, "conced(ing) that the overall cost of the program would be high."

So...which izzit, you Commie Motherfucker?

Also note the branding and dropping of "names" in his little speech, specifically the, "Bush tax cut for the wealthiest taxpayers," jive. He may as well just start in with the hate whitey line, because that is all that this bullshit is, thinly veiled reverse descrimination.

I've really had it. It seems that it's just too much to ask for the Gummint, and the proles who elected the vermin into Congress, to leave everyone else to their own lives, and means to live them by. Petulant little fucks.

Another step.

Labels: , ,

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Another reason for it all ending badly

For Christ's sake, why do people still think in this manner?


I can not describe my ire at talk such as this.

"Modest proposal," my ass, motherfucker. Insidious behaviour, on scale with the death that was doled out by the likes of both Stalin and Mao, except that you don't actually know anything about those little pieces of history, do you, Fuckstain? Don't know anything about that other little bit of socialism, often misdirected as "fascism" by the louts who write and read the news to the peasants on the evening news.

And why is it that just because, "everyone else is doing it", as Pearlstein implies by stating, "just about every other major oil-producing country is organized around state ownership," is it considered A-OK? Just because Hugo Chavez is doing it, let's do the same. Just because Fidel and Raul are doing it, let's do that too. Just because Robert Mugabe is doing it, let's do it as well. You see, the rest of the world is doing it, so it can't be all that bad, right?

The fucking lemming mentality. Fucking mental midget of the first order. And, obviously, a socialist.

I simply love how he equivocates the "need" of the government to get in on the oil business, its benevolence guaranteed by, "operat(ing) within a vibrant, private-sector dominated market," as if joining wouldn't have the dire, and completely intended, consequence of an authoritarian set of rules that would, no doubt, rub out all of that competition, by way of modern regulation. If anyone doubts that last bit, ask yourself what he means when he makes statements like, "expose(ing) collusive behavior."

Uh huh. Sounds just great.

Let's face it. Government, at its very root, doesn't like competition folks. It is expressly in the authority game for its own sake alone, and will not, ever, allow anyone else to "share" those reigns, at whatever it thinks it can control through coercion.

Fucking dolts.

I'm really looking forward to this whole thing spiraling out of control. I want to see how it all ends. I want to be the last Roman, watching the city burn from a hill, after the festering putrescence from within has already eviscerated it. It's fitting, somehow.

Time to get on the land acquisition thing I've been contemplating for a long while, now.

H/T to Billy Beck, here.

Labels: , , ,

Friday, May 18, 2007

Fake "facts", again.

As I've illustrated before, the world community is in a serious state of denial about the pervasiveness of shootings, even in the "first world". Usually, they are quick to point at "statistics" about how violent America is, how many shootings and "gun deaths" there are, and proudly declare that in all other civilized countries, these types of things have been almost entirely eradicated, and all because the government has completely taken away the guns from the civilians, you see.

It's all really quite simple. Just pass a law that forbids the general citizenry the right to firearms and that whole silly little bit about murders and mass shootings disappears, right? (snark)

I love it when the real facts are laid out for all to see, instead of manipulated statistics. Notice the date on that last link. Tell me, in light of the "complete" disarmament of the populace of the UK, with regards to handguns, how is it that well after the ban, criminals can acquire these handguns, in this supposed surge, if we are to believe the government and sources of this story?

I'm really quite tired of all the smoke being blown about, with the constant message that these statistical arguments are some sort of concrete truth. There is manipulation in there, in every conceivable form, and from differing sources. Anyone care to venture a guess about the conclusions that can be drawn from from them?

Answer: NONE!

Want to know why? If one can take off the blinders long enough to look at some other stuff, the picture becomes clearer. Despite the occasional shooting, we are a nation of peoples who somehow manage to get along, with little more than fist fights.

(Disclaimer: the NationMaster site is NOT comprehensive and has MANY gaps, in countries excluded, methods of stat collection, interpretation of stats, and does not take into account the differing laws, customs and norms of each country included. Therefore, it is rather unreliable in determining any kind of absolutes or even necessarily any trends that might be suggested by using their data or statistics.)

Labels: , , ,

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Congress urged to "ease" gas prices

Ya know, as much as I'd like to believe that it's possible to do so, I know that it's simply the stupidity of the garden-variety dolt on the street that leads to the kinds of things that actually make gas more expensive.

The following story, to wit, with attached commentary by yours truly, Via Yahoo!:

NEW YORK - The average U.S. household is already spending $1,000 more per year on gasoline than it did five years ago, two consumer groups say in testimony they planned to present to a House Judiciary Committee task force Wednesday. That's an increase of 85 percent, and rural households have been hardest hit because they spend about 20 percent more on gas than urban residents, the Consumer Federation of America and Consumers Union said, citing Labor Department figures. (Eh boy!, this can't be good.)

"It is time for Congress and the administration to do their part to help alleviate the pain consumers are feeling at the pump," said Mark Cooper, director of research for the federation. At Wednesday's hearing, he plans to call on the federal government to provide greater oversight over oil industry market practices, create strategic refinery and product reserves, and enact policies that promote reduced oil consumption. (Just what we need, more regulation and bureaucracy.)

The rising price of gasoline has certainly increased the amount of complaining from drivers paying $3 a gallon or more to fill up their cars, but it so far has done little to curtail how much people are driving. (No shit.)

That's the message from government statistics showing that demand for gasoline is only just starting to level off even as refinery outages and tight supplies have sent pump prices soaring by 43 percent since the end of January. (Ya think that refinery output, that being the supply, has anything to do with the price of gas? Who thought up that? Oh, that's right, the whole Keynes VS. Say thing, gotcha!)

And brace yourself: experts say with gas already closing in on $4 a gallon in Chicago and San Francisco ahead of the peak summer driving season, higher prices could be in the cards.

Most Americans are locked into their driving habits and can do little to alter their fuel-buying patterns when prices rise, experts say. For example, the number of workers with commutes lasting longer than 60 minutes grew by almost 50 percent between 1990 and 2000, according to Census Bureau data. (Tell me something I don't know.)

"I drive 55 miles each way to work every day," Sandy Colden, of Medford, N.J., said one recent morning while loading groceries into her Honda Pilot SUV. "So I really don't have a choice, unfortunately." (I drive about 63, round trip, each day to the office, alone, and it ain't gonna change either. Cry me an effing river!)

But that usually means people have to cut back elsewhere, as Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is finding, to its distress. The world's largest retailer said Tuesday that earnings in the current quarter will fall short of Wall Street expectations, in part because of higher gas prices.

Weekly gasoline demand in April increased as much as 1.9 percent over the same weeks in 2006, even as the average national price of a gallon of gasoline grew from $2.71 to $2.97 by the end of the month, according to Energy Information Administration data.

Only during the first week of May, when prices jumped to $3.05 a gallon, did demand for gasoline abate slightly — by about two-hundredths of a percent, EIA figures showed.
Experts disagree over how high prices have to rise before consumers are shocked into driving less — at least temporarily.

"We might actually see some reaction at $3.50 (a gallon)" nationally, said Larry Compeau, executive officer of the Society for Consumer Psychology and professor of marketing and consumer psychology at Clarkson University in Potsdam, N.Y. (Gee, ya think you might see some?)

Lars Perner, assistant professor of clinical marketing at the University of Southern California's business school, disagrees, saying the tipping point is more likely $4 a gallon. (Again, this is NOT all that shocking.)

Try telling that to Jennifer Hoover, 32, a graphic designer who lives in the San Francisco area. She said she was startled by her bill — $58.69 to fill up her silver Audi sedan with $4.09 a gallon premium gasoline Tuesday — but was late for an appointment and had no other choice. (OK, Jennifer, you live in 'Frisco, and you drive an Audi, with a premium gas engine to boot. I drive an 11 year-old Nissan pickup with 150K miles, so go complain to someone who cares, will ya?)

"I was just thinking when I drove up — 'Why am I stopping here when it's $4.09?'" she said. "But it's on my way and I'm late and I have to do what I have to do." (Boo Hoo, Jennifer.)

Eddie Engles, 37, didn't blink twice after he filled up his GMC Yukon at a gas station near downtown Chicago on Tuesday. At $3.71 a gallon, the fill-up cost the clothing distributor $83.89. "That's a new record. Every time I pump up, it's a new record," he said.

Engles, who uses his sport utility vehicle to haul his wares, said he has few options when it comes to cutting down on travel and gas expenses. "I just need it," he said. "What am I going to do? Not fill up?" (Try a diesel, dude, or a different method of marketing.)

There was a definite consumer reaction in September 2005 after Hurricane Katrina outages pushed prices above $3 gasoline for the first time. Demand dropped as much as 6.5 percent. "There was ... something significant psychologically about the $3 barrier," Perner said. (Again, this is something that Adam Smith explained long ago, folks.)

Since then, however, consumers seem to have adapted, with demand rising throughout a brief period of prices above $3 a gallon last summer.

"People complain about higher oil prices ... but they still drive their cars, they still buy their SUVs, they don't want to carpool," said Fadel Gheit, an energy analyst at Oppenheimer & Co. (You think that mentality will change, Mr. Gheit?)

"It's a little inconvenient for me to take the bus," said David Harris, 31, a film school marketing manager in Los Angeles who commutes 40 miles a day for work.

Consumers may suspect that oil refiners are colluding in the recent price spike, but analysts say the real culprit is an unprecedented number of refinery accidents and maintenance outages this spring — combined with drivers' rising demand for fuel. Most prominent of the outages was a February fire that shut down Valero Energy Corp.'s 170,000 barrel-per-day McKee refinery in Sunray, Texas, for months. (And that could be attributed to the 100% operating capacity that every refinery has been at for over 20 years. Clue for the ill-informed: The last new U.S. refinery that was built around 1977. Why so long since, you ask? Think about who hands out those permits to do such things.)

"If you just count incidents, there are more this year than there have been in previous years," said Mike Conner, a specialist on refinery operations at the EIA.

As a result, gasoline inventories fell by more than half, to 93.5 million barrels in the week ended May 4, from 205.1 million barrels in the same week in 2006 and 214.7 million barrels in 2005, according to government figures.

Charles Drevna, executive vice president of the National Petrochemical and Refiners' Association, said many refineries shut down for maintenance for the first time since their operations were kicked into overdrive by Hurricane Katrina. When the 2005 storm knocked out gas and oil facilities along the Gulf Coast, refineries in other parts of the country had to step in and pick up the slack, Drevna said. In many cases, that meant putting off regular maintenance for years. (Shocker here. An expert in the field of such things agrees with me. I'm astonished!)

"There's still a lasting effect from that," Drevna said.

Also, he said, the process of turning crude oil into gasoline has become more complicated over the years, particularly as different governmental entities have mandated changes to the chemical makeup of gasoline for environmental reasons. It takes more equipment, more complicated processes and more oil to make gasoline now than it used to, Drevna said. (Gee, ya think that the whole MTBE fiasco, to name but one, could have anything to do with production volumes? Surely not. The Gummint can fix it all, right?)

Drevna said refiners have been steadily expanding their existing facilities, adding the equivalent of one new refinery a year, on average, every year for more than a decade. That's a cheaper and faster way to expand refinery capacity than going through the multiyear process of trying to win a permit to build new plants, he said. (What was I saying earlier?)

While higher gas prices haven't done much to cut demand, they also don't appear to have had much effect on consumers' car-buying behavior, according to Autodata Corp. Sales of lights trucks and SUVs declined 3 percent in April, less than the 12 percent slump in car sales. Light trucks and SUVs continue to make up the majority of vehicle sales in the U.S., or about 53 percent. (Again, I don't think this is ever going to change. Get used to it.)

At a Chevron station in San Francisco that was charging $3.95 for a gallon of regular gasoline, Nathan Sullins, 31, a computer programmer, gloated as he filled up his Toyota Prius hybrid for a fraction of what other drivers were paying. (Gloat if you want pal. I'd only do it that way 'cuz I'm a cheap bastard, and for no other reason.)

"High gas prices are a bummer, but you reap what you sow," he said. "If we had started making fuel-efficient cars 10 years ago, we wouldn't be in this situation." (You sound so certain. How can you be sure? Do you actually know what has caused the price of both crude and refined gas to soar in the last ten years? If you've been paying attention (cough, laugh), you'd know what you just said is BOLLOCKS!)

William Hill, of Pittsburgh, said he'd consider downsizing from his minivan to a hybrid sedan if hybrids weren't more expensive. (Why? Oh, it's those batteries again. Rare(r) earth elements that need to be mined, and all that jive, I forgot.)

"They charge you more for a hybrid to compensate for what you would pay for gas," Hill said while gassing his minivan along the Pennsylvania Turnpike one day last week. "So either way, you lose." (Not exactly, but you aren't any further off the mark than anyone else in this story, so I'll cut you some slack.)

This is the world, and people, I am forced to live with.

Where's the whiskey and my .45?

Labels: , , , ,

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

"Dictating design standards"

That was the thought that struck a nerve with me, here. Read it and be scared.

Both John and Billy are correct in their assumptions as well, since the Gummint will have the castrating knife in hand in this, both to the Big Three, and the consumer (You and Me) if this plan ever comes to light.

And seeing as how Obama is the commie-du-jour, I can't see how we'd end up driving anything but an electric version of this, or maybe not even that, considering that most folks I know haven't a clue as to how to maintain their current vehicle beyond 4-5 years (Notice the average lifespan of a Trabant - tells me volumes about the constitution of those people), about the same time when the battery needs to be replaced on their "environmentally friendly" vehicle. So, how is it that these same dolts are going to be able to own a vehicle that absolutely needs a mechanically sympathetic driver and caretaker, when their current, dependable, push-and-play cars can do everything for them except brush their teeth?

I can't wait to see how this plays out.

Labels: , ,