Machine Gunning a Tesla

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There is an episode of the TV show Top Gear involving a Prius hybrid and automatic weapons. God, I wish I could afford to do the same to a Tesla.

Unfortunately, I (and thee) are too poor to afford a Tesla. But that doesn’t mean we won’t continue to be forced to “help” Elon Musk build these mobile – just barely (and briefly) monuments to crony capitalism.

This is a company that bleeds money like a machine-gunned hemophiliac, yet doesn’t die because fresh transfusions are always available. Just last week it was announced the company lost another $100 million and change while delivering fewer than 10,000 cars. Tesla has yet to earn – properly speaking – a single honest dollar. The money it takes in (a very different thing) is obtained chiefly via carbon tax credits ($130 million from the state of California alone; that is to say, from the pockets of the taxpayers of the state of California) and everyone knows all about the $7,500 per car subsidy Uncle dangles in front of prospects to lure them into buying one of these flashy, yet functionally useless, electric Edsels. There are in addition state-level subsidies (in 23 states) ranging from $1,000 to $5,000 per “sale.”carbon tax image

Do you know what a “carbon tax credit” is? It’s a tax, first of all – only one paid to an entity (I won’t call it a company, as companies are businesses and Tesla is neither) like Tesla rather than to the government. Here’s how it works. I own a business that makes things people are actually willing to buy without being coerced or subsidized. But, alas, my manufacture of this product results in “greenhouse gasses” – carbon dioxide having been decreed the primary one (even though it is far less of one than several other gasses, such as methane and also water vapor; but we’ll leave that aside for now).socialism pic

Well, I want to make the thing and you want to buy the thing, but in order for me to be allowed to make it, I must send money to an entity like Tesla as a kind of (no, an actual) kickback. Because Tesla is “green” while I am not – except of course as regards the color of the money that’s been transferred to Elon Musk’s ever-growing bank account – which is very green indeed.

The argument is that each Tesla built with these kickback dollars amounts to “x” quantity of carbon dioxide negated overall. I’m allowed to build my economically viable product, so long as I “help” Tesla manufacture his not-economically viable products.

But they are “green,” right?chinese factory

Certainly. In the same way that an outhouse is clean… before you use it. Only with Tesla, it’s the reverse. The finished car may not produce any noxious emissions, but it took a lot of noxious emissions to build the thing. Do American haters of internal combustion ever stop to wonder why Tesla is building factories  in… China?

Where there is no EPA?

Do you know what goes into making a Tesla’s lithium-ion electric battery pack? Caustic, highly reactive solvents and cobalt oxide, a nasty compound that is uber poisonous and carcinogenic. Carbon dioxide and water vapor have been accused of triggering “global warming” (oops, “climate change” now) but breathing either will not give you cancer or neurological problems.

Cobalt, on the other hand… . cobalt mining 2

And how do you get cobalt? By mining other materials such as nickel and copper. Then, using various noxious processes to separate out the cobalt, such as “froth flotation,” “roasting” and “leaching” with sulfuric acid.

Mmmm mmmmm good!

This form of Gaia-rape is ok, though, because it does not occur within sight of Al Gore’s house. Most of the cobalt needed to make Tesla and other electric batteries is located in places like China, Afghanistan and Africa. Those parts of the earth are ok to fist and finger.

Battery production (like sausage making) is an aspect of EVs that is routinely overlooked – deliberately. Because the picture isn’t pretty. In addition to the environmental nastiness of the materials, it takes a great deal of un-green energy to transform those materials into the finished product (a battery). Nearly twice the energy that goes into making a conventional (internal combustion engined) car, as it turns out.cobalt rape 2

Where does this energy come from? Like mountain oysters, you really don’t want to know. But maybe you should. Coal and oil. Which are used to run the heavy industry plants that make the damned things. And which also make most of the electricity that powers the damned things. Did you know that electric cars that depend on coal and electric utilities are actually 17-26 percent worse, in terms of their total “carbon footprint, than a gas or diesel-engined car? (Those interested in more will find this study worth a look.)

Captain Planet, phone your office.

Meanwhile, Elon Musk continues to suckle the teat of Uncle. Which he must, because his operation is fundamentally a con. Without the force of government backing him, he’d have to bankroll this epic failure himself – which a smart guy like Musk would be unlikely to do. If we had a free market, he’d have no choice but to do that… or shut down.Tesla lead

Instead, he does the corporatist thing.

Which would less obnoxious if he didn’t constantly preen about the virtues of lightening the wallets of millions of average people so as to further fatten the wallets of millionaires and billionaires, who are the only people buying Teslas and profiting from their existence.

Throw ’em in the Woods.

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207 COMMENTS

  1. I drive as little as possible, as of late I am soy captain of a Honda Accord.

    If you put a different car in its place with identical colors and it was a Toyota or a Tesla, what would it even matter. I might hardly notice even.

    Because where can I take the thing, these days. It’s about as useful for what I’d like to use it for. As a $15,000 transparent polycarbonate cane is to a crying old 70’s Indian.

    Both our worlds are gone.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j7OHG7tHrNM

    Ay, arriba y arriba… Por ti seré, por ti seré…

    Would I have been better off in a Tesla at Las Vegas Airport picking up my family, when they landed and then were stuck waiting for a gate for a nearly an hour, and there’s no legal place for me to be.

    I find a dark quiet abandoned patch far from buildings or anything, and two yellow shirted bike security heroes are at both sides.

    I was going to leave before they even came up to me, but that’s not how it’s done. Gotta block me in and talk me down and get the deets for why I dared stop moving and trespass.

    “Are you lost… state your business… are you a jew, gypsy or criminal… ” just the smug tone of the grey bearded douchebags on mountain bikes irked me to no end. I’m the a-hole paying for their abuse. And their screwup in not being on time as they promised.

    Did you get the memo. You can’t park here. You’ll need to wait while we call in your plate and file a TPS report for our captain now.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fy3rjQGc6lA

    Your only option at an airport, shopping mall, etc. is to trap yourself in some byzantine parking maze. or keep circling and circling in a holding pattern until finally a gate can be found and the plane can be unloaded.

    Yeah… if you just go ahead and do that… that’d be great… make sure to use the cover sheet…

    There is no customer at the airport, or the car dealer, or the liquor store, or the Target store. Everything is a blinding white lighted cubicled mouse maze, where you get your cheese once you get to your knees and wait for the nice men in white uniform coats.

  2. America has gone full crony retard, it’s true.

    I think Eric likes the Tesla case, because it’s more intuitive for others to grasp and maybe get their backs up about things, and to stop floating aimlessly down the boat on a river – rapids of Styx to Hades – with the HDTV spokesmodel girl with kaleidoscope eyes and hope for the best.

    Look at beer, for example. Anheuser – Miller makes 70% of America’s beer mostly out of Brazil and Belgium. We’ve sold out so completely, and made standards so impregnable, that even a simple lager has to be imported here.
    http://www.businessinsider.com/global-beer-industry-consolidation-2014-2

    Also, BTW, Anheuser-Miller are the same company now. One ring to rule us all. And a few lesser rings to keep up appearances that we have a free market.
    – – –

    If you were a starving every winter Chinaman from last generation, or a chick, or don’t mind be ordered about.

    Things have never been better and easier for almost everyone. And I wouldn’t snatch a premium slice of bread or handheld device from anyone’s hand, whether they earned it, or were handed it, just to make me a little freer. I just want the radioactive ox goring rodeo clowning madness to cease.

    I don’t know what to do. Or if anything needs to be done even. Maybe every generation becomes weaker and more pussonified and nothing can be done about it.
    – –

    Bukowski kicking his soon to be fiancé
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g8KJiay6EI0

    as I near 70 – I get letters, cards, little gifts – from strange people. – congratulations, they tell – me, – congratulations – I know what they mean:
    the way I have lived – I should have been dead in half – that time

    I have piled myself with a mass of – grand abuse, been
    careless toward myself – almost to the point of – madness, I am still here
    leaning toward this machine – in this smoke-filled room, – this large blue trashcan to my – left – full of empty – containers

    the doctors have no answers – and the gods are – silent

    congratulations, death, – on your patience. – I have helped you all that – I can

    now one more poem – and a walk out on the balcony, – such a fine night there
    I am dressed in shorts and stockings, – gently scratch my old belly,
    look out there – look off there where dark meets dark

    it’s been one hell of a crazy – ballgame

  3. I hope Tesla keeps losing money and drops out of the car business. I’d much rather see Eloi Elon have everyone’s focus be on the 4,000 SpaceX workers.

    It’s the only team assembled because of competence and ability around. Advanced degrees or resumes mean nothing there. If you’re gonna fanboy about Musk, at least get excited about manned space flight and loftiere accomplishments no one has done before.

    Or at least the high speed hyperloop be brought closer to fruition.

    Those Teslas are like a computer browser with wheels. You couldn’t make them more boring if you tried.

    And besides, it’s those cars are TINO’s. Which is to say Tesla’s In Name Only.[1] It’s Japanese tech there, and Japanese workers there. And also at the Nevada battery factory.

    My Japanese is a little rusty, so it’s gonna be hard to know what’s happening at Teslayota anyway.

    [1] The current Tesla facility was opened in 1962 as the GM Fremont Assembly, and later used as a plant for New United Motor Manufacturing, Inc. (NUMMI), a joint venture between General Motors and Toyota. The plant is located in the East Industrial area of Fremont between Interstates 880 and 680 and employs around 3,000 people.

    On May 20, 2010, Tesla Motors and Toyota announced a partnership to work on electric vehicle development and collaborate on the “development of electric vehicles, parts, and production system and engineering support”. This included Tesla’s partial purchase of the former NUMMI site, mainly consisting of the factory building, for $42 million.

    Tesla Motors officially took possession of the site on October 19, 2010, and opened it on October 27. The first retail delivery of the Tesla Model S took place during a special event held at the Tesla Factory on June 22, 2012.

    Over $17 million of manufacturing equipment and spare parts were acquired from NUMMI and Toyota in 2011, at significant discounts (cough, crony) compared to new equipment.

    As of 2015, about 1,000 cars are made per week, mostly to fill pre-orders. Musk says they average around 20 changes to the S per week.

    On July 2, 2015, Tesla Motors announced that it had delivered a total of 21,537 vehicles in the first half of 2015. All vehicles were manufactured at the Fremont plant.

    The manufacturing process uses more than 160 specialist robots including 10 of the largest robots in the world, named after X-Men characters.
    http://demotivators.despair.com/shirt-art/madeinusabyrobots-shirt.gif

    Many of the Model S’s unique components, including the battery pack, battery module, and drive units are manufactured in-house. The plant has a high level of integration, with most processes taking place within the Tesla Factory.

    This includes most of the stamping and machining, painting, and some coding. The hydraulic press lines used to stamp the body panels are the largest in North America and the 6th largest in the world. Around 60% of the car parts are sourced from North America. Design engineers also work at the factory itself, rather than a separate facility.

    Each vehicle is made to order with a two to three-month wait time for delivery, although individual vehicles only take between three to five days to complete the assembly process. Tesla delivers by train rather than by truck, as costs and damages are less.

    This Is What Happens When You Confront Lord Voldemort A Rothschild Banker
    http://www.conspiracyclub.co/2014/12/24/wearechange-meets-rothchild/

    War On Cars Expands – Tesla Tumbles After He Who Must Not Be Named’s Media Yanks Its “Best Car Ever” Recommendation, Now Says Tesla Has “Poor Reliability”
    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-10-20/tesla-tumbles-worse-average-reliability

    • Tor, I am assuming you have never driven a Tesla to know what you are talking about, it is not a browser on wheels, and it is anything but a “bore”.
      Space X, well I don’t know how much stolen loot they are getting either.
      And again, I am not extolling the virtues of Elon Musk.
      Haha really my only reason to post on this topic was to say I think the car is pretty cool, being a owner of one. Oops, a lessee of one.

      • Hi Joshua,

        Some “inside baseball” –

        Tesla hasn’t been able to send me a car through the usual channels. Normally, I get to drive everything. I’ve been doing this for 20-plus years now.

        So why not a Tesla?

        The same reason VW hasn’t been able to send me an electric Golf.

        They can’t make the trip.

        Well, not in one day.

        It’s about 200 miles on the highway from press fleet HQ to my place out here in the Woods. No electric car available can make that run without an extended pit stop to recharge. A three hour trip in an IC car becomes at least an all-day trip (and probably an overnighter) in a Tesla or other such electric Edsel.

        One of the silliest things about the car, additionally, is that its much-touted quickness is also its Achilles Heel. Run one 0-60 full-out a dozen times (or drive continuously at 80, keeping up with traffic) and see what happens to the range….

  4. Eric,
    While I don’t consider myself a “rich dick” and agree with your take on Tesla being a crony venture, I just got a new P85D.
    My whole family loves it. I’ve heard all the reasons why they suck, but I love the car.
    Every other vehicle we own is a diesel, full size, so this has been a new experience for my family. And well, it’s pretty amazing. I own a GM too, (3500) and those suckers got bailed out. I own fords, and if I am not mistaken they are the only
    ones who haven’t taken a bailout? But these days, which freaking big corporation doesn’t take advantage of the stolen loot the government offers? Who knows if the Tesla would need government loot if it weren’t for government regulators? Well to that point all of us would have way more money in our pockets of the government didn’t regulate the car industry. And of course, we would all be better off if the gov would cease to exist entirely.
    Anyway, love your blog, reading you on Lew Rockwell and your podcasts with Tom Woods, keep up the great work!

    • Hi Joshua,

      Yeah, I have to concede your point about the others (GM, et al) dipping their beak. What annoys me particularly about Tesla, though, is that the buyers are dipping their beaks, too. And while I oppose all such beak dipping, in this case, it’s particularly obnoxious (my opinion) because the people are almost necessarily affluent and so can afford to buy their own cars without any “help” from people who struggle to keep up with their taxes, let alone buy a brand-new $70,000 car!

      • Amen eric. I don’t really care to subsidize any vehicle and especially one I can’t afford for people who obviously could afford the actual costs(I suppose, although without the taxpayer ponying up a great deal of money who can say, other than Tesla, what that cost would be). But it’s the age-old crony capitalist way of taking the profit from the taxpayer, just as was done in Guatemala with United Fruit. The coup there had nothing to do with Communism, hell, the people there didn’t even know what Communism was, just that they were getting screwed for rich people’s profits. The govt. there expropriated a couple hundred thousand acres of United Fruit lands and paid them the exact price UF had stated it’s worth when paying taxes. As if the State Dept. of the US had any say in the matter, they then sent the Guatemala govt. a bill for nearly 15 times the amount UF said the land was worth.

        Well, that worked so well in Iraan setting up the Shah they used the CIA to depose the then president Arbenz, and then as before, the US taxpayer paid the entire bill. Banana Republic is a very apt name.

        As Peurifoy, the man who ran the coup said in a cable to Ike, If Arbenz isn’t a Communists, he’ll certainly do till one comes along.

        And the US press corp was part of the process, just as it was/is with Tesla. The only difference being, the deal with Tesla didn’t involve the CIA directly or or arming foreign “freedom fighters”, simply another way to say mercenaries. Otherwise, it’s business as usual for those who control the controllers.

      • I thought the rebate was just a “tax write off”? Where you could claim it on your income taxes for $7,500? You don’t get a check for $7,500 do you?
        Or it different than this?
        Well, either way, I did the 3 year lease option, didn’t want to buy something I was a little unsure about and be left with owning something I couldn’t stand. This way I can trade it back anytime and in 3 years for a new model, if I decide I want to.
        Btw, I have to say, the autopilot is pretty crazy amazing and darn fun.
        Like I said before, I am not for any government subsidy for anyone, I hate the State.
        I can only dream of the State getting out of regulating my business.
        Thanks.

        • The Tesla rebate means a couple with 2 kids, $98,000 in income, and a fully paid off house pay $63 in total taxes instead of $7,563 they otherwise would have paid.
          http://www.bankrate.com/calculators/tax-planning/quick-tax-rate-calculator.aspx
          – –

          This means they…

          1 Buy the car with no down, because they likely have a great credit score, Tesla wants the sale. Cronies want a success story.

          2 Enjoy a $10,000 tax rebate instead of the $2,500 with-holdings rebate they get in a normal year when they don’t get a crony car.

          3 Drive without ever paying a dime for fuel, since Tesla electricity is freeeeeee.
          – –

          Owner of a Tesla says: Being An Owner Is Awesome, Until You Get In An Accident
          http://cleantechnica.com/2015/01/05/model-s-owner-owing-tesla-awesome-get-accident/

          Tesla: Keep Warm On A Cold Night
          http://www.freakingnews.com/pictures/113000/Tesla-Electric-Car-on-Fire–113459.jpg

          • Ok, so they don’t get a check for $7,500, but get to write it off and not get a higher amount stolen from them?
            What the heck is wrong with that? Libertarians are for every “tax credit” or tax exemption they can get. And more so, we are against ALL taxation whatsoever. No different than buying a new D6 dozer from CAT and writing it off, is it? What can be wrong with using every means possible to keep your own labor?

            • It’s crony capitalism, Joshua – that’s the issue.

              Tesla is a gigantic fraud. Not capable of standing on its own. In order to build cars, it must rob people by proxy, via the government. That’s a hard fact to face, but it’s a fact nonetheless.

              And it does differentiate Tesla from Ford and even GM (now). These car companies build cars that can be sold at a profit without government “help.” Fundamentally, they are economically viable, and so morally viable enterprises.

              Tesla is not.

              There is – my opinion – something inherently idiotic about a $70k electric car, given that the primary reason for building (and driving) an electric car is not performance, not luxury, but economy.

              On economic grounds, the Tesla is as bizarre as The Double Cheeseburger Weight Loss Plan.

              • Eric,
                It is crony capitalism. Do you buy fuel for your car? Oil? Grease? Differential oil? Transmission fluid? Tires?
                How is this any different? The largest cronies in the world are Exxon, ConocoPhillips, BP, ENI, and so on. I know. I haul freight for them all here in Alaska. (Well if they read this maybe no more haha) And they get the biggest subsidies the US gov. can give, except maybe outside the military industrial complex.
                Musk may be a billionaire, and I agree he is a crony, but these corporations make him look like a small tiny pimple. And their subsidies are manifestly ginormous compared to his.
                Yet anyone with a car pays them for their products, and contributes to their cronyism.
                And it’s a choice they make too.

                • It’s crony capitalist system and its unavoidable making it only a matter of degree. But here’s the thing, there aren’t Nissan Leaf fanboys and others telling us about the guy the worship and why we should worship him too.

                  The Nissan Leaf is far more crony than Musk’s automotive venture. Musk is living out boyhood fantasies on the taxpayer dime even though he’s a billionaire that it just rubs people the wrong way. A crony deal for Nissan is just another day in the corporate world.

                  Musk with his showmanship earned the special treatment.

                • Hi Joshua,

                  Yes, it’s a crony capitalist system. But the differences are several. Oil and grease… they work. They are genuinely useful products that would survive on the merits. Tesla isn’t. And – again – there is something especially obnoxious about a billionaire suckling the teat of government, then purveying an exotic car to very affluent people who need “help” buying these things like Musk needs an EBT card.

            • What’s wrong with it?
              Ok, how about a 10% tax credit for every dollar spent at Walmart?
              Is that good?
              How about a 10% tax credit on every purchase of a product that comes from in whole or in part a Koch Brother’s company?
              How about a $7500 tax credit for taking government transit for 2 years?

              How is fedgov’s manipulation of people’s decisions any better through the tax code than it is at the barrel of a gun?

            • Hi Joshua,

              Whether I personally like (or dislike) someone else’s car is an irrelevance. The thing may be as fantabulous as the owner you reference claims. If so, though, it ought not to be necessary to pay him off to buy the thing.

              I mean, I’d sing the praises of, say, the new Honda Fit (just random) if I got a $7,500 inducement off sticker to “buy” it.

              Again, the thing that really sticks in some people’s craw is the Tesla is an exotic and there is something especially obnoxious about “helping” affluent people drive around in $70k-plus exotic cars.

              • My whole reason for bringing up someone who loves his tesla was just your point really, who cares? People love and hate the same thing, doesn’t really prove any point. It was a response to Tor.

        • Hi Joshua,

          I don’t grok this. Your write:

          “Like I said before, I am not for any government subsidy for anyone, I hate the State.”

          And yet, you decided to help enable what is arguably among the most egregious examples of crony capitalism extant.

          Tesla exists only because it is subsidized.

          This doesn’t bother you?

          Musk is a billionaire. Why doesn’t he subsidize his own company?

          • I can’t justify my participation with leasing a Tesla. This was not my intent in posting here.
            Musk should be able to run his company on its own merits, just like I have to.
            Everything I buy, well pretty much, is getting a government subsidy. Heck, every quarter the extortion check I send to the State is given to some entity that benefits from the stolen loot. Farmers, oil companies, equipment makers, clothing manufacturers, banks… I know.
            Tesla gets a lot of government money. From me and you.
            I don’t get jack in subsidies. I’m proud of that.
            I wanted a Tesla.
            Just like sometimes I want a cob of corn.
            Or a potato.
            Or a bag of chips.
            Or a can of mixed fruit.
            Or a GM car. GM may not get government loot now, but maybe Tesla will follow suit with GM and be able to stand on their own feet.
            Ha, I doubt that though.

            • Hi Joshua,

              It’s a false comparison.

              Conventional (IC) cars stand on their merits. They are functionally – and economically – viable products.

              Electric cars are not.

              The only reason Tesla exists is because of government payola. Take that prop away, and the company goes away.

              The same would not happen with regard to manufacturers of conventional IC cars. Because they work. Because they do not need subsidies.

              Tesla has got to have them.

              So – with respect – you’re rationalizing.

              You didn’t need a Tesla. No one does. You could have bought an IC car.

              But you wanted one. And by buying (or leasing) one, you’ve helped to legitimize an illegitimate operation. One that is entirely dependent on extortion.

  5. McCain is a little short dude. Same height as Napoleon. He was likely held captive because his daddy was the Admiral of the Pacific Command.

    Grandpa McCain
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_S._McCain,_Sr.

    4 Star John Sidney “Slew” McCain Sr. (August 9, 1884 – September 6, 1945) was a U.S. Navy admiral. He held several command assignments during the Pacific campaign of World War II.

    McCain was a pioneer of aircraft carrier operations who in 1942 commanded all land-based air operations in support of the Guadalcanal campaign, and who ultimately in 1944–1945 aggressively led the Fast Carrier Task Force

    Papa McCain
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_S._McCain,_Jr.

    4 Star United States Navy admiral, who served in conflicts from the 1940s through the 1970s, including as the Commander, United States Pacific Command.

    0 Star Naval Aviator non-admiral fuckup Clover McCain
    John McCain’s early military career began when he was commissioned an ensign and started two and a half years of training at Pensacola to become a naval aviator. While there, he earned a reputation as a partying man.

    He completed flight school in 1960, and became a naval pilot of ground-attack aircraft aboard the aircraft carriers USS Intrepid and USS Enterprise in the Caribbean and Mediterranean Seas.

    McCain began as a sub-par clover flier who was at times careless and reckless; during the early to mid-1960s, the planes he was flying crashed twice and once collided with power lines, but he received no major injuries. His aviation skills improved over time, though he continued to be someone who tended to “push the envelope” of his skills in his flying.

    His class rank was 894th of a class of 899. Basically, John McCain is the Chimp of the McCain clan.

    In 1982, McCain ran as a Republican for an open seat in Arizona’s 1st congressional district. Every local despised him and called him a carpetbagger.

    The McCain clan provided him a catchy response to the plain truth of him having ZERO ties to Arizona whatsoever: “I wish I could have had the luxury, like you, of growing up and living and spending my entire life in a nice place like the First District of Arizona, but I was doing other things for 22 years in the Navy. As a matter of fact, when I think about it now, the place I lived longest in my life was Hanoi.”

  6. Ron Paul is a native of the Pittsburgh suburb of Green Tree, Pennsylvania, Paul is a graduate of Gettysburg College and the Duke University School of Medicine, where he earned his medical degree.

    He served as a flight surgeon in the U.S. Air Force from 1963 to 1968. He worked as an obstetrician-gynecologist from the 1960s to the 1980s. He became the first Representative in history to serve concurrently with a son or daughter in the Senate when his son, Rand Paul, was elected to the U.S. Senate from Kentucky in 2010.

    Paul is a Senior Fellow of the Mises Institute, and has been an active writer, publishing on the topics of political and economic theory, as well as publicizing the ideas of economists of the Austrian School such as Murray Rothbard and Ludwig von Mises during his political campaigns.

    It’s quite possible Paul isn’t really an active writer. Perhaps he is as much a writer as is Barack Obama. Which is to say not at all. Ron Paul was a wage earning surgeon and obstetrician/gynecologist. He could have worked as one all his life. He is not a Human Plantation in disguise, I don’t believe.

    David Stockman is a lifelong creep who never earned a dollar from the market.

    Ayn Rand got the ball rolling on all this libertarian stuff. She earned a living as a screenwriter and a novelist. She formed her own cult of personality with her own effort.

    Murray Rothbard is also a lifelong creep, I’ve recently decided. He helped mutilate and mischaracterize the early liberty movement as some kind of scholarly progression of the Jesuits and European academics.

    Which is an outright lie. I can’t waste too much time dismissing Stockman, because I can’t see how any self-respecting non-bootlicker can defend him with an intact penis. Lionizing your emasculators is the ultimate in mangina-mindedness.

    There is free market in production and services. This is the primary value of human cooperative endeavor. There should also be a free market in ideas and social protocols. This should ideally be the secondary value of human cooperative endeavor.

    In nearly every case, anyone who succeeded in producing and providing services on his own merits, will also have something of value to bring to the Free Market of Ideas. Eric is an example of this, having held all manner of positions in the work world. And continuing to struggle to do so as an independent for-profit webmaster.

    Let’s look at another guy, Lew Rockwell.

    Rockwell was born in Boston, Massachusetts in 1944. After college, Rockwell worked at Arlington House publishers and became acquainted with the works of Ludwig von Mises. In the mid-1970s Rockwell worked at Hillsdale College in fundraising and public relations. Rockwell met Murray Rothbard in 1975 and credits Rothbard with convincing him to reject statism completely.

    There’s no cut and dried Libertarian Purity Test, as described on Bevin’s website, but to some extent, people are what they do and accomplish, not what they profess and receive institutional funding for.

    Machine Gunning Statism will probably include purely academic and institutional libertarians sooner or later. Maybe they serve a purpose at this point. But in the long run, the discipline of EARNING payments and other exchanges of value for your efforts is the only path that’s going to lead to freedom.

    • Dear Tor,

      Needless to say, I agree that there is no simple test for libertarian purity.

      The test I included at my site was merely a useful and entertaining indicator, not an ironclad guarantee.

      We can all figure out for ourselves who is and isn’t the real thing with our common sense.

    • I don’t know if I’d go so far as to call Rothbard a creep. I have learned a lot from his books and writings. It is true that he wasn’t really an entrepreneur, but nit everyone is. I’m an entrepreneur. I don’t need to learn that from anyone, as it comes more natural to me. What I do need to learn is the intellectual thinking behind libertarianism. Rothbard, Rand, Block, Woods, Hoppe, and so many others have influenced me in that area.

      I enjoy listening to arguments from utilitarian perspectives and deontological perspectives, the latter being where I lean. There are so many perspectives out there. I can appreciate Lew Rockwell for keeping the ideas of Mises, Garet Garrett, Leonard Read, Bastiat, and so many others alive. That is one thing where the Randian side lacks somewhat. Her side seems to me to be the Cato’s and Reason magazines of the world. Not as pure. Not as NAP.

      That doesn’t mean that I think she was not a great thinker. I believe that she was and that we all now have the convenience of taking from the great thinkers and finding what resonates with us.

      Like Bevin says, there is no test for libertarian purity. But I do believe the NAP to be the best litmus test for purity.

      I also believe that the David Stockman’s and Pat Buchanan’s of the world have something to offer, even if it is purely informational. Even if I disagree.

      • Dear ancap,

        “Like Bevin says, there is no test for libertarian purity. But I do believe the NAP to be the best litmus test for purity. ”

        I agree. If we are being generous, and classify minarchists as “libertarians”, then it’s harder to come up with a simple test for purity.

        It’s much easier and neater if we apply the NAP in hard-nosed fashion and condemn minarchists for not being 100% consistent. That would be theoretically consistent of course.

        But I’m not sure that’s a constructive approach when attempting to convert living, breathing individuals. That’s why most of the tests, such as The World’s Smallest Quiz, allow for some deviation from 100% purity.

        • Bevin,

          That is why I’m a purist in belief ad theory…….but in the real world, not so much. At a place like this(epautos)I’m inclined to speak my mind about a guy like Rand Paul. I could not and would not defend him against the types of attacks he would receive here.

          Throw me in a room of republicans and “constitutional conservatives” or whatever they call themselves and I will defend Rand. Not because he is great. Just greater than their muddled little minds have ever considered voting for. Their vote for Rand is a better move toward a free society than having Hillary as president.

          I’d rather be able to criticize and point out the problems with a Rand Paul presidency than have a Hillary Clinton where absolutely everything is wrong……but then again it may take total tyranny to get people to wake up. In that case my thesis is totally wrong.

          What’s your take, Bevin? Or anyone else?

          • ancap51 – I pretty much agree with you. Probably why I have not yet completely weaned myself off voting.
            I don’t know if you’ve heard of Chuck Baldwin. I voted for him for VP in 2004 and Prez in 2008 on the Constitution Party ticket. He is a Christian (pastor, in fact) but once in a while he comes off sounding like the Constitution is as important as the Bible. He’s now calling for a new Constitutional Convention, as if the results would be any better than the one Hamilton and Madison ran in 1786.
            I say, why do we even need a national gunvermin any more? The smallest state, population wise, Montana, has almost half as many people as the whole US had when it started. And they are hardly in danger of being invaded by anyone other than the last army to invade a US State – the Army of the Potomac.
            If any of the ‘States’ was unwilling to cooperate with the others, tradewise, then fishheads is all they get.

            • Phil,

              I have weaned myself of voting. I’m in Idaho. No matter who the republican is in November in an election year is a lock for Idaho.

              I do argue and plant seeds of anarchy. I will defend Rand in circles in Idaho. I deal with constitutional conservatives all the time. If they are teetering between Chris Christie and Rand, theirs no question where I will push them.

              The best I can do in many conversations is get people to start thinking toward anarchic thoughts. We all have them. The word “anarchy”is just maligned and any independent thoughts that we have, we have been trained from childhood to banish from our minds.

              “But how do we get minarchists to convert to anarchism? How to we get them to see that “if we give them an inch, they’ll take a mile”?”

              There’s the crux of the issue Bevin. That’s the big question and there’s no one size fits all answer. It is situational.

              The problem I have found is that people that I might convince of libertarianism in principle, reject it as unpractical. Basically their position is “you’re right, but it will never work. It isn’t workable.”

              Many times the principle of the idea isn’t as important to them as it is to me. I suppose we all run into that problem; we wouldn’t be here if that weren’t the case. We come here to converse with people like ourselves. People like Eric, who are concerned with being on the “right side of right”, more than on the right side of history. We all know the cliche of who writes the history.

              • Morning, Ancap!

                I hone in on the NAP. It’s ultimately the whole kettle of fish. I will say things like:

                I’d prefer that people chose to interact with one another and resolve their disagreements without violence.

                This broaches the topic of aggressive violence, which you can discuss without “getting political” (discussing specific issues). Most people don’t like violence; accept that it is a moral wrong. So, you have a crack in the proverbial door. Use it. Jam a bread knife in, then something with more leverage. Get them to confront the violence behind everything left, right, red and blue, liberal and conservative.

                Make them uncomfortable.

                And make them begin to see that the “it’ll never work” argument is a straw man designed to end-run any discussion of the moral legitimacy of aggressive violence.

          • Dear ancap, Phil,

            I think we’re pretty much on the same page here.

            Since any amount of conventional government, however “minimal”, necessarily involves flagrant violation of the NAP, minarchism is morally intolerable. We need to be clear about this in our own minds.

            But how do we get minarchists to convert to anarchism? How to we get them to see that “if we give them an inch, they’ll take a mile”?

            One strategy many libertarians have talked about is deliberately letting things degenerate so far that a backlash takes place.

            Lately I’ve been thinking that societies the world over are so far gone that the choice may no longer be ours to make. The S is going to HTF no matter what we do.

            The one thing I’m sure about is the need for a revolution in social consciousness. To wit:

            Larken Rose on the Belief in Authority mp4 (short 4 minute video)
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nYbpICtfFwo

  7. Personally, I’d prefer a ruling class of Teslas, or anyone really, who actually produces something, over vampires like Stockman, who’s a straight up leech of the parasite class.

    Anyway here’s the info on David Stockman. A psychopathic technician and slave owner with great soundbites, soft sweet soothing small talk while his broods bite into your neck and cage and whip you besides.

    Early life and education
    Stockman was born in Fort Hood, Texas, the son of a fruit farmer, and of German descent.

    Raised in a conservative family, his wife’s Father was a Republican county treasurer for 30 years. David received a B.A. in history from Michigan State University, East Lansing, during 1968. He performed graduate studies at Harvard University, He attended Harvard Divinity School.

    Political career
    He served as special assistant to United States Representative and 1980 U.S. presidential candidate John Anderson of Illinois, 1970–1972, and was executive director, United States House of Representatives Republican Conference, 1972–1975.

    Congress
    Stockman was elected to the United States House of Representatives for the 95th Congress and was reelected in two subsequent elections, serving from January 3, 1977, until his resignation January 21, 1981, to accept appointment as Director of the Office of Management and Budget for U.S. President Ronald Reagan.

    Office of Management and Budget
    Stockman became one of the most controversial OMB directors ever, which lasted until his resignation in August 1985. Committed to the doctrine of supply-side economics, he assisted in the passage of the “Reagan Budget”, which Stockman hoped would be a serious curtailment of the “welfare state”.

    He thus gained a reputation as a tough negotiator with House Speaker Tip O’Neill’s Democratic-controlled House of Representatives and Majority Leader Howard Baker’s Republican-controlled Senate. During this period, Stockman became well known to the public during the contentious political wrangling concerning the role of the federal government in American society.

    Stockman’s influence within the Reagan Administration was negatively affected after the Atlantic Monthly magazine published the infamous 18,246 word article, “The Education of David Stockman”, in its December 1981 issue, based on lengthy interviews of Stockman.

    Stockman was quoted as referring to Reagan’s tax act as: “I mean, Kemp-Roth was always a Trojan horse to bring down the top rate…. It’s kind of hard to sell ‘trickle down.’ So the supply-side formula was the only way to get a tax policy that was really ‘trickle down.’ Supply-side is ‘trickle-down’ theory.”

    After “being taken to the woodshed by the president” due to his candor with Atlantic Monthly, Stockman resigned OMB and later wrote a memoir of his experience in the Reagan Administration titled The Triumph of Politics: Why the Reagan Revolution Failed, in which he specifically criticized the failure of congressional Republicans to endorse a reduction of government spending to offset large tax decreases, in order to avoid the creation of large deficits and an increasing national debt.

    Fiscal legacy
    President Jimmy Carter’s last fiscal year budget ended with a $79.0 billion budget deficit (and a national debt of $907 billion as of September 30, 1980), ending during the period of David Stockman’s and Ronald Reagan’s first year in office, on October 1, 1981. By September 1985, four and a half years into the Reagan administration and shortly after Stockman’s resignation from the OMB during August 1985, the gross federal debt was $1.8 trillion.

    In 1981, Stockman received the Samuel S. Beard Award for Greatest Public Service by an Individual 35 Years or Under, an award given out annually by Jefferson Awards.

    Business career
    After leaving government, Stockman joined the Wall St. investment bank Salomon Brothers and later became a partner of the New York–based private equity company, the Blackstone Group. His record was mixed at Blackstone, with some very good investments, such as American Axle, but also several large failures, including Haynes International and Republic Technologies.

    On the strength of his investment record at Blackstone, Stockman and his partners raised $1.3 billion of equity from institutional and other investors. Using a contrarian investment strategy, he bought controlling interests in companies operating in sectors of the U.S. economy that were attracting the least amount of new equity: auto parts and textiles.

    With the help of about $9 billion in Wall Street debt financing, He completed more than 20 transactions in less than 2 years to create four portfolio companies: Springs Industries, Metaldyne, Collins & Aikman, and TriMas. Several major investments performed very poorly, however. Collins & Aikman filed for bankruptcy during 2005 and when Stockman sold Metaldyne to Asahi Tec Corp. during 2006, Stockman lost most of the $340 million of equity he had invested in the business.

    Collins & Aikman Corp.
    During August 2003, Stockman became CEO of Collins & Aikman Corporation, a Detroit-based manufacturer of automotive interior components. He was ousted from that job days before Collins & Aikman filed for bankruptcy under Chapter 11 on May 17, 2005.

    Criminal and civil charges
    On March 26, 2007, federal prosecutors in Manhattan indicted Stockman in “a scheme … to defraud Collins & Aikman’s investors, banks and creditors by manipulating C&A’s reported revenues and earnings.” At the same time, the Securities and Exchange Commission brought civil charges against Stockman related to actions he performed while CEO of Collins & Aikman. Stockman suffered a personal financial loss, estimated at $13 million, along with losses suffered by as many as 15,000 Collins & Aikman employees worldwide.

    Stockman said in a statement posted on his law firm’s website that the company’s end was the consequence of an industry decline, not fraud.

    Publishing
    In March 2014 Stockman launched a web based daily periodical, David Stockman’s Contra Corner featuring both his own articles and those from leading contrarian thinkers on geopolitics, economics, and finance.

    Personal life
    Stockman lives in Greenwich, Connecticut. He is married to Jennifer Blei Stockman and is the father of two children, Rachel and Victoria. Jennifer Blei Stockman is a chairwoman emerita of the Republican Majority for Choice, and President of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation Board of Trustees.

    Quotes

    “The Republican Party was hijacked by modern imperialists during the Reagan era. As a consequence, the conservative party cannot perform its natural function as watchdog of the public purse because it is constantly seeking legislative action to provision a vast war machine of invasion and occupation.

    “(Social Security) has to be means-tested. And Medicare needs to be means-tested…Let the Bush tax cuts expire. Let the capital gains go back to the same rate as ordinary income.”

    “The Republican Party has totally abdicated its job in our democracy, which is to act as the guardian of fiscal discipline and responsibility. They’re on an anti-tax jihad — one that benefits the prosperous classes.”

    “I invest in anything that Bernanke can’t destroy, including gold, canned beans, bottled water and flashlight batteries.”

    “Ninety-two percent of the wealth is owned by five percent of the people.” (Bloomberg TV 2013)

    – tl;dr. Stockman is not even worth wasting the ammo machine gunning. He’s a cartoon dictator over cartoon subject morons, who sadly believe the charade of authority actually confers a benefit or has any substance worth discussing.

    • I have to agree with you on this one Tor. The only politician that I have read that doesn’t give me the creeps at least a little bit is Ron Paul, though he is more government than I agree with.

      I never have had that creepy feeling when I heard or read his words. There’s something with Stockman that I don’t like.

    • Tor – speaking of leeches, John McInsane’s father and grandfather we both career Navy, retiring as admirals. So he grew up sucking the gunvermin teat, and never weaned himself off it. If it hadn’t been for his ‘legacy’ status, he probably would not have graduated from Annapolis.

        • Yes, that too. It was likely a mistake of his own that led to him being taken as a POW. Oops, I started to type an S instead of a W.

  8. Dear Eric,

    You’ll like this!

    David Stockman needs no introduction, but I’ll give him one anyway. He’s a former US Congressman who, upon assuming responsibility as Ronald Reagan’s budget director in 1981, became the youngest presidential cabinet member of the 20th century.

    Following a 20-year career on Wall Street, David is now an outspoken critic of government stupidity. He argues on behalf of outdated notions like a balanced budget, free markets, and for the government to just plain leave us alone.

    Below, David shares a scathing financial analysis of Tesla… and that’s putting it nicely. He argues that Elon Musk’s company is a crony capitalist creation that owes its very existence to government handouts and bailouts.

    http://www.caseyresearch.com/cdd/david-stockman-tears-apart-tesla

  9. Electric Edsel.

    The Edsel was sold to the public as new and improved but was wholly assembled from items already in the Ford, Mercury and Lincoln parts bins with a few gee-whiz gizmos added to highly styled sheet metal and a horse collar grill. Edsel still found about 100,000 buyers over 26 months of corporate existence. Now 57 years later an Edsel is fully capable of being a functional automobile as is any other automobile from that era.

    Tesla owners will not be as fortunate. Nor Prius or Leaf. Museum pieces only.

    • Ya know, the Tesla wouldn’t be a bad car, if it weren’t for it’s dependence on batteries and government cash.

      Replace the Li-ion cells with a Sr-90 nuclear battery, and get back to me.

        • True. If pigs had wings they could fly.

          I suspect the whole battery powered electric vehicle strategy is a blind alley.

          The wealth confiscated by the goonvermin and turned over to Musk might well have led to breakthroughs in other forms of alternative power, made by private capital. Hydrogen power for example. I don’t know.

          Now we’ll never know. The money is already gone, Squandered.

          • Pigs are very dense with a high mass to volume ratio. Even though they might be more aerodynamic than Pegasus, they would need VERY large wings to be able to fly.
            Just like the EVs need larger batteries to enhance their range.

            • Dear Phil,

              Bastiat was a friggin’ genius.

              “He was notable for developing the important economic concept of opportunity cost, and for penning the influential Parable of the Broken Window. His ideas have gone on to provide a foundational basis for libertarian and the Austrian schools of thought.[1][3]”

              Bastiat, Etienne de La Boetie, Francois Quesnay, and Vincent de Gournay contributed so much to libertarian thought.

              Fascinating footnote:

              The laissez faire slogan was popularized by Vincent de Gournay, a French Physiocrat and intendant of commerce in the 1750s, who is said to have adopted the term from François Quesnay’s writings on China.[4] It was Quesnay who coined the term laissez-faire, laissez-passer,[5][6] laissez-faire being a translation of the Chinese term 無為 wu wei.[7]

              Gournay was an ardent proponent of the removal of restrictions on trade and the deregulation of industry in France. Gournay was delighted by the Colbert-LeGendre anecdote,[8] and forged it into a larger maxim all his own: “Laissez faire et laissez passer” (‘Let do and let pass’). His motto has also been identified as the longer “Laissez faire et laissez passer, le monde va de lui même!” (“Let do and let pass, the world goes on by itself!”).

              Although Gournay left no written tracts on his economic policy ideas, he had immense personal influence on his contemporaries, notably his fellow Physiocrats, who credit both the laissez-faire slogan and the doctrine to Gournay.[9]

              In other words, there really is no “east vs. west” conflict. The real conflict is between libertarians the world over vs. authoritarians the world over.

              • PtB, don’t confuse pigs with their accountants, butlers, butt-lickers, housekeepers, car washers, construction companies, etc. All that traffic is just their support staff.

                • You’re right, of course. I should have thought of them. And if they are willing to work for swine, it can’t be just for a paycheck. No wonder so many of them are clovers.

  10. Dammit even if I had the money, I’m still not buying an over priced golf cart from a guy whose name sounds like a dollar store cologne.

  11. Not surprisingly, aside from almost audible name calling, those who have posted here against this article, have zero evidence backing them up.

    Musk are is an excellent marketer, but a Steve Jobs, he ain’t.

    Energy cell technology is nowhere ready for cars, and nowhere near “green,” unless one just believes it to be so.

    Meanwhile, taxpayers are getting skunked, and wall street continues to rule the game.

  12. Just to drive you nuts, Musk wants to expand to solar house batteries. The UK is experimenting with battery powered trains.

    But Musk has to be praised for taking on auto dealers.

    So why cant I have a lithium battery to replace the lead acid one in my car?

    • Lead acid batteries are tougher and cheaper than Li-Ion. On that cold morning when it takes everything in a battery to start your car? Lead acid survives and can be charged. Li-Ion? If it falls below its minimum voltage, its done. Throw it away.

      Elton Musk didn’t know this with his first cars and neither did the people he hired. If one of them was parked for several weeks the battery fell below the minimum charge and it bricked. That’s what happens without a BMS to protect the battery. Which I guess could work with a starter battery but instead of the car slowing cranking to life it would sit there and do nothing until recharged.

      Oh and I don’t think jump starting would work well with Li-Ion either, but it probably could be safely engineered some how, just wouldn’t be the traditional way we know.

      • I should add something to this. Lead-acid batteries are recycled economically. A ‘spent’ lead acid car (starter) battery can fetch between 5 and 10 dollars as scrap material. It can then be recycled into another car battery.

        A spent Li-Ion battery however has no commercial value and recycling as far as I know cannot result in a brand new battery. Things may have changed recently, but last I knew the materials have to follow a degrading usage curve or simply be disposed of. This will probably eventually improve but it will not be as easy as with lead acid batteries.

  13. What are all the major boondoggles the new world Guinea Peoples have been coerced into buying, forced to maintain, and made to bequeath to the World Ownership Class against their will? The least you could do is say thank you, thanks for inventing and perfecting such tools of World Enslavement and volunteering to prove people can continue to produce under all kinds of human confinement and social husbandry impositions.

    Transcontinental Railroads
    Transoceanic Freightliners and Personnel Carriers
    Bombings and Murderings on Demand of Europe, East Asia, and the Pacific
    Interstate Highway System
    Aerial Bombers, Fighters, and Surveillance Flights
    World Military Barracks
    Ocean Warships and Patrollers and Undersea Cables
    Worldwide Airports and Aerospace
    Free Primary, Secondary, and Public Universities and Research Institutions
    NGO Non-Profits and Social Cause Foundations and Institutions
    Telegraph and Telephone Utilities and a Fully Wired World
    World Health, Medical Care, Population Control, Free Services
    Reserve Banks, World Banks, Worldspanning Coordinated Debt Systems
    Electric, Gas, Coal, Hydroelectric, and Nuclear Power Facilities
    Scientific and Industrial Farming and Ranching Capital and GMOs
    Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles and Surface Life Extermination Devices
    United Nations Forums & Institutional Infrastructures
    Rockets with Men to the Moon and Animals Into Orbit
    Satellites in the Skies for entertainment, surveillance, forecasts, solar system explorations, global positioning, and monitoring
    Golfcarts on Mars
    International Space Station
    Upcoming Moonbases and Marsbases
    Internets and Cellular Telecommunication and Wireless Device Networks

    What can Red, White, and Blue do for you today?

  14. In what way are electric cars a “birthing” technology that needs tax thievery to suppport it?
    OK, combustion engines have had a long development run – it still blows my mind that I can have and control such a useful technology with my meagre means.
    But I also use electrical energy-to-torque converters and battery technology that has had just as long a history and as much commercial incentive to become light and convenient as piston engines have.
    If electric cars were ever going to work, then they should have done so by now.

    • Exactly.

      The general ignorance about the history of electric cars is part of the reason Tesla, et al, get away with it. Most people think it’s “new” and “emerging” technology and just needs a little “help” to become viable. In fact, electric cars have been in development at least as long as IC cars and unlike IC cars have yet to achieve the everyday viability of the most humble economy compact.

      I could go out today and for about $12k buy a brand-new Nissan Versa or Hyundai Elantra that is superior in every way – as transportation – to a Tesla or any other electric car.

      The Tesla is quick, yes. But so what? When did being quick become a relevant consideration for a car powered by electricity? Isn’t the primary object to avoid the cost associated with gas?

      • If someone thinks the “new and emerging” technology of electric cars just needs a little help, no one is stopping them from helping. Just don’t stick a gun in my face and force me to help.

  15. Is Eric misleading his audience?

    a) yes, he is a rigid ideologue who makes up his mind and constructs deceptive arguments and cherry-picks data to support his beliefs post hoc.

    b) no, he makes it clear he is a pundit. he is willing to listen to any reasonably pleaded argument, but in the end, he states his own opinions and beliefs including the facts and explanations that he claims support his claims.

    c) no, he is strictly a popularizer of mechanical and automotive factual science. underlying his journalistic flourishes, is a grounded mechanical analyst of the vehicles he reviews and discusses on his website. he deals only in experiential reality. he is not generalizing nor engaging in what if’s and possibly might be’s using artistic license.

    d) yes, eric is given wide latitude to write on a gamut of topics, yet he constrained by agreed-upon parameters and agendas of his corporate and institutional sponsors and patrons including Koch industries, the John Birch Society, the Mises Foundation, and the Unification Church.

    The Tesla is an Green Technology Automotive Atrocity

  16. In the past, I have made every complaint all of you make, from Stalin to Social Contracts to government subsidies to voting. I’m not trying to make the case that the US is a Constitutional Republic. I’m saying the country is in end game. I’m saying the only good thing left in the US is the 2nd Amendment and Hillery will send her goons out to pry your guns out of your cold dead hands soon after she gets that power. You are now the minority without Constitutions protections.
    Back to the subject. After you are silenced, the world will go on. Tesla will keep making electric cars, batteries, PV panels and probably some kind of new fangled transport system to move cargo efficiently. The new fascist US will keep borrowing and spending until it can’t. The global oligarcy will continue to make lots of money off wars. The military-industrial complex will find new supporters. And, writers like Eric will find another audience to mislead.
    Enjoy it while it lasts.

    • I was with you until you accused me of misleading. My facts stand. Tesla is a crony capitalist con. The Tesla car is an overpriced, economically unviable and functionally impaired car, a failure as a way to efficiently get around.

      • Eric,

        Overpriced? How do you price the safest car ever built? The new model price is droping faster than computer memory costs. And did you include no repairs and free charging? Please let the buyers determine that. Clover

        Economically unviable? For a gas guzzlers yearly fuel costs a Tesla gets free charges for life. If you’re still complaining about the subsidies, the FED is just making those numbers appear on a computer screen somewhere. It’s not real money. If Tesla sells out, would you consider changing your opinion?

        Functionally impaired? A Tesla is safer, cheaper to operate, has no flamable fuels, excellerates faster than anything in its class, has traction plus and doesn’t need a dealership. Are you thinking it comes with an extention cord or something?

        Questions: Are the dealerships influencing your opinions? Are you beholding to those scoundrals? Is your income influenced by Detroit? Are you expected to trash something anti-Detroit to stay in business? Are you really an auto-conservative with stock in big oil? LOL

        • “Safest car ever built”?

          All modern cars are “safe.” Or put another way: There is no such thing as a modern car that’s not crashworthy and which doesn’t provide a high level of occupant protection. “Safety” is a bogey. It’s not 1975. As with emissions, we’ve been at the point of diminishing returns with regard to “safety” for a long time now.

          The price is dropping? No, it isn’t.

          Tesla just sells a “cheaper” (and less quick and lower range) entry model. Which still has a base price over $70,000. (You could buy two loaded Camrys for that – and have several thousand dollars left over for gas money.)

          The six figure model is still six figures.

          “Gas guzzler”?

          Please. There are only a handful of new vehicles that qualify. Let’s compare the total ownership costs (cost to buy, feed and maintain) of a new $21k diesel VW Golf vs. a new $70k base model Tesla. How much fuel (and maintenance) does the $50k you didn’t spend on the Tesla buy?

          “Functionally impaired”?

          Yes, a six figure Tesla accelerates quickly. But just briefly. You know (or are you trying to mislead us) that if you run a Tesla WOT 0-60 a few times, the battery will discharge very quickly; that if you operate it at high speed for a sustained period of time, the same. It is like owning a BMW M5 that you must drive like a Yugo. If you want to travel more than 100 miles at time, that is. The Yugo had more range, refueled faster and cost a fraction as much.

          So yes, it is functionally impaired. A $5,000 used Corolla is superior in every way as a transportation appliance. “Sexy” and “quick” (briefly) are relevant considerations only when economic considerations are secondary or tertiary. Why the fuck should I be forced to subsidize a “quick” and “sexy” car that only very affluent people can afford? Why can’t these rich assholes pay their own way, like I do?

          PS: No “flammable fuels”? True enough. Just a very flammable battery pack.

          Am I an “auto conservative”?

          Hell no!

          I’m a Libertarian. I therefore don’t believe in the use of aggressive violence, which is why I oppose how Tesla builds and sells cars. Not that Tesla builds them or wants to sell them. He’s a thug. He may not personally threaten people with violence. But he absolutely relies on others to do so on his behalf.

          And that, Free Ranger, is why I don’t like the flabby-faced little pigfucker.

  17. Well Eric, it could get worse….the iCar…

    http://www.tomsguide.com/us/apple-electric-car-2020,news-20477.html

    “Even if Apple is composing an automobile super-team in Cupertino, five years is a fast turnaround time — most manufacturers spend up to seven years developing a new car. According to Bloomberg, GM and Tesla are working on electric cars to be released in 2017 that can get up to 200 miles on a single charge and will cost under $40,000.”

    200 miles? Wow. I could almost make it to Vancouver. Well, a little over half way anyway. Oh wait, mountains. Maybe halfway. And it’s cold. Maybe 1/3.

    Now I don’t care about who makes technology, just that it works. Have you ever listened to an Apple fanatic? Now cross that with a sanctimonious Prius driver….yeah.

    • Yup.

      A 200 mile range is pathetic. Even the grossest “gas hog” can make it farther (and takes minutes to refuel).

      It’s madness.

      But it’s subsidized – and so, encouraged – madness.

      Which is truly nuts!

      • I think in New York City 200 miles is fine. Having near zero maintenance and no need to go to the gas station and pump your own gas, which is almost universal in NY state, might be worth it for some. Getting a vehicle serviced in NYC is a pain.

        • Hi George,

          The range (and other such) is ultimately not the issue. If these cars can sell on the merits, great. More power to their designers. But if they can’t succeed on the merits, then why should anyone be forced to “help” their manufacture and sale?

          And the Tesla thing is particularly obnoxious because it’s a luxury indulgence for extremely affluent people. I have no problem with affluence or indulgence, mind. But I do have a problem with being forced to “help” affluent people indulge. Being forced to “help” the poor is bad enough. But now I have to help some rich dick buy a $70,000-$100,000-plus automobile? This does not anger you?

        • Claim is up to 200. If you never have reason to go more than 150miles between charges, sure. If you actually need 200, cross your fingers.

          But if you are a city dweller, $40,000(minimum) + insurance + parking…… Isn’t a taxi or mass transit cheaper and more convinient?

          Personally, I think electric could work for some. For me, not so much. B.C. is a really big place and major cities are often 200+ miles between, over mountain passes in sub-zero weather. Like my example above.

          Check the driving directions for Vancouver to… well, anywhere else of appreciable size.

          Vancouver – Kelowna 244miles
          Vancouver – Seattle 145miles
          Vancouver – Kamloops 225miles
          Vancouver – Calgary 610miles (2 major mountain passes)

          Now,the Calgary run might not be common, but the rest are considered day trips around here. Ocassionaly return day trips.

          • Also, if i run out of gas on the side of the road, any motorist with a can of gas can help out. If I misjudge the mileage and need more fuel, gas station.

            If I run out of juice, basically nobody but a tow company can save me.

        • A free market is all about niches. In a real free market any need that isn’t served or under served eventually gets served. These openings are filled. Not out of central planning but out of selfish greed. It’s the only system that turns greed into serving society that we know of.

          A big city where many people would be well served by a car he drives once or twice week for less than a 100 miles would be a niche electric cars could fill. Build one at the right price point and it should sell well enough to be profitable venture on its own merits.

          If I was living like I did 20 years ago a performance oriented electric car on the order of a Focus RS would get my attention if I was living somewhere I could charge it. Back then I drove a couple times a week and rarely did I need more than 60 miles of range. I don’t think I ever needed 200. However, at the size and price of Tesla, I’d just buy a gas powered car like a ‘hot hatch’ and fill it up once a month. $50,000 pays for a lot of gasoline.

          I really wish we had a free market. My needs would be much better served. Back before the web got popular it was difficult for me to get stuff I wanted. Then the web made it so I could get it. Competition from the web now means I can even find stuff I want in stores now. Even Eastwood has a retail store so I don’t have to order stuff any more. When I run out of something I’ll just pick it up there. Even Illinois sales tax is often cheaper than their usual shipping charges.

          Anyway my rambling point is that if we had a free market there probably would already be viable cheap electric cars for big cities. But because we don’t, well the development has been stifled because only crony players can play and they don’t much care for niches, they care about incentives and mass markets. In other words fascist/corporatist “efficiencies”. The $70,000 – $110,000 electric car is the perfect product for this unfree market by maximizing incentives, margins, etc. The inexpensive electric city car? Forget about it. Buy a $40,000 Volt.

  18. It was fun watching someone shoot up that car, but the times I was left stranded on the side of the road by my Detroit made heap I would rather see them shot up, not a new electric. I’m afraid you, Eric, are going to be on the wrong side of history very soon. It’s already happening with Photo Voltaics and battery packs. Soon the electric cars. It’s interesting that Musk is at the forefront of all three!

    • Cars were crap generally – relative to now – for most of the history of the car.

      On the wrong side of history? All I care about is being on the right side of right. And it’s wrong to filch people’s pockets (especially working and middle class people) to “help” affluent people buy $70,000-up exotic toys and line the pockets of a crony capitalist crook like Elon Musk.

      • Eric,

        I agree with you 100%. I’m living in your “teeth hurt” world today. I’m arguing about Tesla with–of all people–other ancaps. It really does make your teeth hurt. They love Tesla and Elon Musk, so much that they all of the sudden, just forget that he epitomizes central planning and state control.

        Good for you wanting to be on the “right side of right”. Even if Tesla becomes viable, the way they did it will never be erased. Wrong is wrong, no matter how we want to justify it. Our overlords use this all the time when they justify removal of a “bad guy” in some foreign land. Maybe it is better without the “bad guy”, but at what cost? Where’s the guarantee that the new bad guy won’t be worse?

        Bastiat was a prophet of sorts. What is seen and not seen can be applied in virtually every thought and action we perform on God’s green earth.

        If I were worried about history, I wouldn’t donate a dime to EPauto’s. Since I worry about only whats right, I donate generously. Keep doing what you do, and i’ll keep pitching in. Fuck the “right side of history” whatever that means.

      • eric, you can call them crap and I’d call them heaven on earth. When I was a young teen my version of maintenance was filling up the fuel tank, occasionally adding some oil and replacing obvious failures like tires, gushing seals or no brakes. The old pickup quit in the middle of nowhere, plenty of gas in the carb, air cleaner removed so it had to be spark. After I’d tested the coil and wet my pants I looked under the cap on the distributor. I’ll be damned, the points were broken. Down the way a bit I saw a John Deere 4020. The points looked very similar so with no help from an adapter kit nor anything but a screwdriver and pliers those Deere points were soon replacing the ones on a Blue Flame six. Ah, and now to the races so to speak.

        Another time in the middle of the night, a rare pouring rain had me on the side with a split coil, plenty of fire but not where it needed to be. A mile away, Ma Bell had a large installation in the middle of nowhere with lots of autos. I don’t guess it would have made much difference which one I borrowed a coil from. While I did replace the points on the 4020 and probably nobody even knew about it, Ma Bell wasn’t so lucky. Who’d want to go back to MB though and try to give them back a part and be turned into Baby Face Nelson? Besides, way back then they charged me $.35 to place a call to a point 9 miles away. I’d bet the coil didn’t cut into their bottom line too much.

  19. The email function of this website is at least as defective as anything Tesla ever made. I have to assume that it is my lack of a degree in computer science that prevents me from setting the reply reporting correctly, so I wind up with the choice between no reporting and getting everything that is posted in this thread. I’ll always take the former over the latter.
    At least one reply already made my point that Eric has gotten the government that he deserves. The obvious approach for a free marketer would be to economically develop something better than Tesla’s products without taking any kind of subsidy from anyone.
    Dean Kaman spent ridiculous amounts of money designing the Segway successfully, and got stung by the author that he selected to document it doing so with honesty and accuracy. It is always best to wait until after one is successful to wave ones ego out the window.

    • Bill,

      It’s not my government. And that’s the whole point. I – and millions of others – are in the position of a shopkeeper having to deal with Luca Brasi.

      Government is a mafia. Nothing less – or more.

      And Musk is using the muscle of the mafia to enrich himself.

      If he wants to build six figure electric toys, fine. That’s not what I object to. I object to being compelled to “help” him do so… and then to “help” people buy the got-damned things!

      If you disagree, then perhaps you will send me a check to “help” me install an off-grid solar array… so I can be “green”…. which would be ok, actually, if you sent the check freely. But if someone threatens you with violent repercussions if you don’t… well, then that’s another kettle of fish.

      And it’s the essence of Tesla’s “business.”

      • Indeed. I have not received one cent of public money to go off-grid.

        In fact, in the form of taxes on the equipment, I am penalized for doing so. Tax money that (if I was in the US) would be handed out to the rich so they could buy a LUXURY item like a Tesla.

        Basic electrical needs with an eye towards sustainable self sufficiency. Pay tax.
        Luxury toy of limited practical use. Receive tax.

  20. While your article is technically right, Eric, I think it has some misdirection. I agree that all the government meddling and financial fiddling is wrong. Whenever they get into things, they are backwards.

    However, when a new technology is going through its beginnings, there are some birth pangs. Of course, right now these Tesla cars aren’t going to be as effective and efficient as one would want. But, hopefully, as the technology progresses, it may prove to be a great form of travel. I find it interesting to follow, and hope Tesla cars someday prove to be and affordable and usable leap in technology.

    • Oh for Christ’s sake!

      Electric cars have been around for 100 years. The “breakthrough” in batteries and so on has been “just around the corner” for as long as I have been covering the industry (going on 25 years).

      Bottom line: They are too expensive; they have serious functional liabilities. This has been the case for … 100 years.

      I have no problem with someone trying to make them work. Just not on my nickel. Or yours (assuming you object to this sort of crony capitalist crap).

      • Agreed, but wouldn’t you agree that Tesla seems to be making much greater advancements in the technology than have been made up to now? I see a company that seems to be taking a stagnant technology, and going places with it.

        • No, I would not agree.

          The Tesla is touted for being quick and sexy. It may be sexy (not to me) but it isn’t very quick (not the $70k base model, which does 0-60 in the mid-high fives, which is nothing special these days) and here’s the key point: If you use its quickness, the range plummets. So you have a “quick” car that you can’t drive quickly (or fast; see what happens if you take a Tesla out on the highway and maintain 75-80 for 30 minutes or so). Which strikes me as ludicrous. Like walking around with a bulging codpiece… though you yourself are impotent.

          Besides: Isn’t the object of the exercise to lower the cost of driving? The Tesla increases it. And we’re made to subsidize it!

        • yeah, and I remember the “free” power of the electric car back in the fifties outlined in Popular Mechanix which was merely a retard’s dream and never produced although some large(GM) companies fiddled with the idea(not too much since they didn’t want to bite the hand(big oil)that fed them.
          Then we had the atomic powered car, another pipe dream of which the only part of it that actually existed was the check the artist got for his “rendering” of what it would look like.

          Some friends and I had a great time designing the cowshit car for a couple hours one night. Plenty of fuel around so a long handled shovel(who wants to bend over?), plenty of extra water, lots of batteries to power the electric pump that would have cost as much as a new car to compress the methane and a primary propane powered engine to run it all when there wasn’t enough methane….which would be 98% of the time. We had lots of laughs imagining our wives running around the pasture “gathering” fuel while we did the technical parts they didn’t understand(making sure we didn’t run out of ice for the beer). And then there are those miles and miles of cropland and not a cow in sight. But it was funny, still is when you think about the details of it.

    • Really? You mean back in the 80s was the time to subsidize the birthing pangs of those electric vehicles? But, then again, weren’t we subsidizing those birthing pangs back in the 70s with the Carter tax incentives? Just when do the birthing pangs stop needing to be subsidized?

      Lets see steam powered locomotives drove transportation from around the 1820s until they became obsolete in the 1920s. Electric cars have been in the process of being ‘birthed’ from the 1920s until the 2010s… and they’re still being ‘birthed’? At that rate, they better be economically current for the next 900 years! Do I see any hands who view the world driving electric cars in the 2910s??

      • Hi Danny,

        A few years ago, I got invited up to Hemmings Motor News’ HQ, where they have a neat collection of antique cars, including a circa 1908 (IIRC) Baker Electric. It failed for the same reason modern electric cars have failed: Battery performance/recharge times.

        Musk is not a stupid man, I’ll give him that. He sexed up the heretofore homely electric car… but looks do not obviate practical/economical realities.

        A $5,000 used Corolla is superior in every way as transportation to the $70k Tesla.

      • The problem with gunvermin subsidies – aside from the obvious one of funding it at the end of a gun barrel – is that ‘the collective’ doesn’t know shit about what does and does not ‘deserve’ to be subsidized.
        Take a look at NASA. What have we gained from the billiions of $ poured into it? Was Tang worth it?
        Look a little farther back. The Trans-Continental Railroads received massive subsidies from Uncle Sugar. Except for the Great Northern which built its track at its own cost. Guess which one was the first to show a profit?
        If it’s a good idea, the market will support it (unless the gunvermin is jamming up the market). If the market will not support it, then it’s either NOT a good idea, or it’s premature and the market is not yet ready for it. One or the other is obviously the case with EVs.

        • Actually Tang was not a result of the space program. It was largely a failure until NASA selected it for use in space. It was developed by General Foods (remember them?), and they marketed its use in space in order to save it.

          • Thanks richb. I did not realize that.
            So we can’t even thank NASA for Tang? What are they good for – if you don’t think ‘first to the moon bragging rights’ have any market value?

            • General Foods probably needed to thank taxpayers for saving what would have likely been a market failure had NASA not come along. Tang and NASA will be forever linked but that is due more to marketing then actual space age technology.

  21. Dear author and clueless commenters, you deserve the government you have.
    Musk is working within the rules approved by your elected representatives. When you vote in a democratic election, you agree to empower the majority winner to represent you and they have the power to make the rules you are all complaining about. These representatives are yours and they have your power. Do you understand that? Therefore, those government benefits the author complains about were done with your agreement and power.
    The author has conveniently left out the network of recharging stations built and being built by Tesla that runs ONLY on solar PV on the roof. NO grid power is used. Get it? Isn’t that important to mention? Therefore, the authors whole case about nuclear and coal becomes irrelevant. Right? And, the Tesla buyers can pay a few thousand dollars more for a lifetime of FREE charges! Clover
    And, since the manufacture of batteries can be dirty, are there complaints here that the EPA chased the manufactoring to China? Well, Tesla is building a “mega-factory” near Reno, NV, EPA approved. Why didn’t the author mention this? Answer: because he is trying to mislead you!
    BTW, about the authors issue of Tesla loosing money every year. Tesla is not only a new auto manufacturer, but is also building free charging stations around the world. How much money would your internal combustion car manufacturers be loosing if they had to build a system of gas stations around the world, before they could sell their stuff?
    I am sorry to see that so many commenters are clueless about Tesla and bit this authors misleading bait. Please do your research before commenting. Clover
    BTW, I am not supporting Tesla nor electric cars. I do appreciate that Tesla has designed and built a car far superior to Detroits “designed to fall apart” crap. I have had to accept this my whole life and Musk did it without Detroit’s help. I think you need more entrepreneurs like Musk in the US and fewer clueless whiners. What do you think Mr. Clueless?

    • Free Ranger,

      I’ve not given proxy power to anyone – yet you make the claim that because others have voted (for politicians or laws) that binds me and I ought not to complain. Because, hey, I could vote for “Smith” and – having done so – I have bequeathed unto him essentially limitless authority to make binding decisions on my behalf.

      Bullshit.

      This is the fallacy of “consent of the governed.” Unless you can show me a contract that I have freely agreed to, then my consent has not been given and I have every right to object to things done contrary to my will, especially those that entail forcing me to fund them.

      These politicians are not my representatives (though perhaps they are yours).

      The Tesla is “superior”? Really? How so? The base model costs $70,000 and accelerates about as quickly as a $26,000 turbo four Mustang. If you drive the Tesla faster than 60 for any significant length of time (or accelerate WOT more than a couple of times) or need to drive it in the cold and use the heater or in the heat and use the AC, the real-word range is not even half the Mustang’s. And when it runs out of power, it takes at least 45-60 minutes to recover charge, assuming you have access to a high-output charger. The Mustang refuels in less than 5 minutes.

      The charging stations? More taxpayer subsidized make-work. The Soviets were adept at such things. Unfortunately, America has become the new Soviet Union. And the Tesla its Trabant.

      PS: Henry Ford did not require subsidies to build or sell the Model T. And neither did the rest of the car industry (before they became crony capitalists; i.e., within the past three decades or so).

      So much for “clueless.”

      • Eric, I think Free Ranger had quite a few more important succinct points than the government representative one. There’s always a lot more to a subject than one might expect.

      • Dear Eric, when anyone votes in a majority rule democracy, they are agreeing the majority winner wins all and that the winner will represent those who voted.
        The politicians you voted into office do not represent me, because I do not agree to anyone representing me and therefore I cannot participate in that election. And, I did not.
        I think you should complain. And, I think you should be ashamed of yourself for purposely misleading the readers as you have attempted to do. BTW, I enjoy your writing style.

        • Sorry, Ranger – I did not not give you or anyone else proxy power and merely screeching “democracy” and “majority rule” does not legitimize such.

          This is a fundamental philosophical point of difference between collectivists (all varieties) and Libertarians, who espouse individualism and interactions based on mutually agreeable free consent only.

          “Democracy” is a vile doctrine; it is three wolves and a sheep voting on what’s for dinner.

        • FreeRanger – you say “when anyone votes in a majority rule democracy, they are agreeing the majority winner wins all and that the winner will represent those who voted.” That’s what THEY claim. Does that mean you are one of THEM?
          Many of those who post here do NOT vote in these scam elections. Others of us are weaning ourselves off of the nasty habit.
          But just because some of us occasionally try to play the game by their rules, just so we don’t get shafted quite so hard, does not make their claim valid.
          Did you ever think about why the Framers accepted the Bill of Rights (knowing the Constitution would not be ratified w/o it)? It was not JUST to protect the rights of the people (not citizens, people) from the gunvermin – it was also to protect the minority of the people from the majority. It was not a granting of rights. It was an acknowledgement of pre-existing rights.

        • Freeranger: It’s worth distinguishing between legal and legitimate/just. Adolph Hitler took dictatorial powers legally and thu’ the democratic process. Yet no sane person can say that his actions, legal tho’ they were, were legitimate/just.
          Your contention is a variation on the Rousseau idea of social contract and general will-much beloved by despots since. Very dangerous and very bloody.

          • Dee – well said. Legality often has nothing to do with right and wrong – but it should.
            What do they say in the NBA? No harm. no foul!
            We protest often against victimless ‘crimes.’

          • Hi Dee,

            While your general point stands, Hitler never received a majority of votes in any German election, but was appointed as Chancellor by Von Hindenberg who received 53% of the vote for President of the Wiemar Republic vs. Hitler’s 36% in the runnoff in 1932. The rest of that whole debacle was a sham, much like elections in the USSA have been at least since the Bush/Gore boondoggle. There exists a ton of denial by the usual suspects who have to use the guilt card to condemn any German who was alive during the Hitler years. Somewhere down the road, card carrying supporters of the USSA will be viewed identically by history because the U.S. government is far more powerful, technologically advanced and just as evil as the Third Reich ever was. Goebbels would feel right at home here and now.

            Not only are these clovers who bleat about how elections are binding on the non-consenting wrong, but these elections are totally rigged in any case. Only a blind sycophant, cheering on the warfare/welfare state could possibly deny that. Our problem as individuals who actually believe in freedom is that these unthinking cattle are much more common than your basic rational creature. Look at the reactions to people who want Edward Snowden (where are the Snowdens of yesteryear..name that quote and win nifty prizes) executed as a traitor to illuminate the absence of critical thinking skills in the USSA. We’s happy slaves of course and we don’t want nobody upsetting our apple cart by complaining about their precious civil rights….no sir.

            To drag this kicking and screaming back to principle vs. the Tesla, here is a summation IMNSHO.
            1) Elon Musk has created a car company to build cars that cannot be sold in a free market at a profit.
            2) Elon Musk has lost a ton of money in spite of the coerced taking of money from individuals from subsidies, and even with those artificial inducements, very few Teslas have been “sold”.
            3) On top of that, Elon Musk has proposed more projects like “free charging stations” and the Hyperloop project.
            4) The Tesla is a technological failure. Even if it were not, its method of funding cannot be condoned by anybody who values individual liberty.
            5) Elon Musk is a proxy thief. When Eric compares government to the Mafia he errs in one way. The Mafia does not pretend to be a benevolent entity…thus making it much more honest than the government of thieves and their beneficiaries.

            Oh, well….pass the popcorn…things are gonna get really interesting before they get better.

            • Where are the Snowdens of yesteryear? From Catch-22, referring to the dead man in Yossarian’s tent. The question is a takeoff of “Ou sont les neiges d’antan? [Where are the snows of yesteryear?] from an old French poem by, IIRC, Francois Villon.

              What nifty prizes do we have for our guest?

              I must say, this game is a lot more fun than Beat the Reaper.

              • Squeeze the wheeze bozo,
                Looks like we’re all in the line for re-grooving. Back to Tesla, David Stockman has an article posted over at LRC that demonstrates how truly bad the numbers are for this particular boondoggle…..Eric underestimates the true degree of misallocation of resources on Tesla. Happy snow day folks.

              • “I don’t know what it is, but I think I’m gonna die!”
                “I’m sorry, that’s incorrect.”.
                Well technically it was correct, just not properly phrased.

      • So, Eric, why didn’t you mention the off grid recharging stations and the EPA approved Nevada battery factory? I say, because you purposely tried to mislead your readers. What do you say?Clover

        • I just replied.

          They’re “off grid”? Lovely. Maybe you should be forced to pay for an “off grid” array for my house… so I can be “green” and not have to pay utilities?

          But let’s leave the recharging stations alone for a moment.

          The fact remains that batteries are extremely un-green. The mining of materials; the manufacturer of the batteries themselves (and the massive non-green energy inputs associated with both).

          But let’s leave that aside, too.

          The most obnoxious aspect of this whole thing is subsidizing exotic toys for the very affluent.

          Elon Musk is a billionaire making toys for millionaires … by using government to ass-rape the working and middle classes.

          • I’m afraid that Free Ranger falls into the category of people whose view of democratic government is nothing but an extension of an infantile concept they have of mommy and daddy who always know best and whom one always obeys.

            When you have a tyrant despicably claiming his actions are legitimized by sole virtue of his rule being consented by his subjects (even through fake “laws” that he wrote himself), then that’s no different than the excuses every sodding dictator and power tripping madman made throughout history.

            Democracy was never about “consent of the governed” or “social contract”. It’s for averting a tyrannic government by distributing decision making process amongst large number of constituents – ideally selected by the entire population. This in principle is supposed to prevent any special group, individual or party from seizing plenary power. But it only works so long as the bulk of the people are aware of the constitution’s true intent, and don’t see the state as a cornucopia of handouts and benefits handed out in exchange for their consent to be yoked.

            Free Ranger’s vision of “democracy” is not quite different from Stalinism. In the interrogation room of the NKVD the victims of repressions used the exact same reasoning. The Soviet government was always right, because it reflected the will of the proletariat – as such the legitimacy of its decisions was taken for granted post-facto. If you disagreed on any point you were assumed to be an anti-social element, a traitor or saboteur. You either unquestioningly obey the dictates of the handful of “spokesmouths of the masses”, or you get excluded from society – this meant a one way ticket to a nice resort in Siberia, which they undertook. Many committed no offense, even under the warped and draconian Soviet legal system – they simply had the misfortune of belonging to a social class which didn’t constitute the majority of those “consenting” to Bolshevik rule.

            What is the difference between a typical progressive today and a Stalinist? He believes that a handful of Ivy League academics periodically meeting behind close doors with selected leaders of business and government to decide what to do with the money and fates of millions of countrymen without their knowledge is sufficiently justified by the artificial and imaginary authority vested in them by the democratic legal system which they are able to influence and whenever necessary, ignore altogether “for the best interests of the country”. Whatever decision they thus issue is supposed to reflect the consent of the governed, by the standards deemed necessary for the role they assigned to themselves? But who decided that? The people? If that’s the case, then the people have collectively voted away democracy in exchange for oppression. A nice deal I tell you.

            If something is a law, does it make it just? If a badged thug busts down my door and puts a gun to my head does that make him a representative of the people’s will? If a billionaire profits solely from vast government subsidies and then openly proclaims that the crony officials he bankrolls decided that “what was good for him was good for the country”, does that lend him a shred of credibility? If tomorrow a certain group or minority was ordered to be purged from the country, would the progressives prattle that “the law is the law and we must obey it, because the government decides what’s best for us”? Since when did people, with individual reasons, beliefs, interests and ethical values, relinquish them all to a handful of bug faced bureaucrats possessed of neither? Tell me, are you even a human being to see that as legitimate?

            • Great post.

              “infantile”

              The most accurately descriptive word for the mentality out there.

              Another good one is ‘domesticated’.

              Wiki – “Domestication (from the Latin domesticus: “of the home”) is the cultivating or taming[1] of a population of organisms in order to accentuate traits that are desirable to the cultivator or tamer.”

            • “Democracy was never about “consent of the governed” or “social contract”. It’s for averting a tyrannic government by distributing decision making process amongst large number of constituents – ideally selected by the entire population. ”

              The purpose of declaring the American form of government a democracy, despite the fact that it isn’t established as any such thing in its constitution, is to accomplish exactly that which you claim democracy will prevent.

        • your off-grid PV panels won’t be doing much charging up in my neck of the woods; besides their being buried under 8 feet of snow there hasn’t been much sunshine the past several weeks. Unless you want to be driving your fancy Tesla around dressed like Nanook of the North most of the battery power is going to run the heater in this single digit temperature environment.
          I’ll stick with my 12 year old Corolla – 40+mpg on the highway and basically unlimited distance, got us the 1500 miles to Florida in 26 hours last year, probably take weeks in a Tesla.

    • TheFreeRanger – You’ve made my argument for me! Withdraw from the government’s clutches as it enforces the whims of the clueless voters around you! How you say? No, don’t get off the grid… drive a 1990s F150/Expedition. Almost non-existent insurance cost, no emmissions tax (grandfathered in), no advanced electronics, mechanicals with a life in excess of 20 years, no gov mandated 6-way airbags, back up cameras, low pressure tire monitors, lane assist or proximity buzzers… and adherence to the old ODB II emissions requirements (again, grandfathered in)… and in another 5 years, get the classic plates and you don’t have to ever worry about the emissions issue again!

    • 1) Networks of charging stations are being built on funds looted from taxpayers, at least that is how it is being done in Illinois. Eric could have covered it but it would have strengthened his point, not weakened it.

      2) With a lot of other people’s money and subsidies and tax breaks and all the other crony benefits Tesla Motors gets and there are a good number of people out there who can get a car company going that sells at the high end of the market. You don’t need “Detroit’s help” to build a car in this country but you do need Uncle Sam’s because Uncle Sam has put up barriers so not just anyone can do it. Remember what Uncle Sam did to John DeLorean? What about Preston Tucker? You don’t build more than a couple dozen cars a year unless you’re playing ball with uncle sam or else.

      3) Tesla Motor’s Nevada facility is a huge crony capitalist deal. Musk pays people, people like me, people with different skill sets than me, to make everything happen. He’s not that special other than he hit the right thing at the right time and became a billionaire and then turned that into a bunch of crony relationships.

      4) Voting. If I don’t vote government wins. If I do vote government wins and those I voted for don’t win. I am held to what ever the ‘so-called’ representatives do regardless of my choices. I signed no contract with them but I am bound by circumstance of my birth alone. If those circumstances were different it would only change to whom I am bound. Even if voting could do something I would be out voted by other people. So long as government has the schools, so long as the ruling class has the media, the ritual of voting has no real meaning.

      • BrentP – I have sent emails to my CongressCritter regarding what he should do to represent ME. So now I am on his email list. A few weeks ago he sent one where he says he wants to look into how the redistricting process is done and ‘reform’ it. This is the height of irony, because he never would have been elected if this district (MD6) had not been gerrymandered.

        • One thing ‘my’ Congressman always says in his messages is how he is representing me.
          I told him the following:
          “First, the size of the average Congressional district is rapidly approaching 3-4 of a million people. NO ONE could possibly represent that many people, even if it were a self-selecting group.
          2nd, you live in the Peoples’ Republic of Montgomery County (MD). I can’t afford to live there, and would not choose to do so if I could afford it. So how can you represent me?”

    • Ranger, note, nothing free with you, here is the type of thing you get from “duly elected politicians”.

      Debbie Riddle wants Potty Police to combat gender bending in Texas restrooms
      From the “You Can’t Make This Stuff Up” Department, I think this may be my favorite* new crime proposed yet in 2015: Texas state Rep. Debbie Riddle has filed legislation making it a Class A misdemeanor for a transgendered person to use the restroom of their adopted gender, even after reassignment surgery, and a state jail felony for a building manager to allow them to do so.

      Indeed, the bill goes beyond transgendered people to criminalize anyone entering the restroom of the opposite gender with three exceptions: if they enter for custodial purposes, to give medical attention, or accompanying a minor under eight years old. I can think of more than one instance in my life where I would have committed a Class A misdemeanor under this provision, how about you?

      My wife suggested that many women may have violated this proposed law at nightclubs or public events because the lines to women’s restrooms are always quite long and the stalls in the men’s room are frequently empty.

      Criminalizing that demographic may be an unintended consequence. But to me, what makes it look like the bill targets transgendered folk are the particular gender definitions imposed in the bill:

      For the purpose of this section, the gender of an individual is the gender established at the individual’s birth or the gender established by the individual’s chromosomes. A male is an individual with at least one X chromosome and at least one Y chromosome, and a female is an individual with at least one X chromosome and no Y chromosomes. If an individual’s gender established at the individual’s birth is not the same as the individual’s gender established by the individual’s chromosomes, the individual’s gender established by the individual’s chromosomes controls under this section.

      That definition understates the complexity of possible chromosomal variations and conflates a cultural construction – “gender” – with chromosomal sex determination in ways that don’t jibe with modern understanding. “Gender” is not necessarily “established by the individual’s chromosomes.” According to the World Health Organization, “Gender, typically described in terms of masculinity and femininity, is a social construction that varies across different cultures and over time. There are a number of cultures, for example, in which greater gender diversity exists and sex and gender are not always neatly divided along binary lines such as male and female or homosexual and heterosexual.” One may or may not agree with that assessment of gender vs. sex, culture vs. science, but the WHO analysis points to the fact that these questions are not nearly so cut and dried as the binary framework suggested in Rep. Riddle’s bill. At a minimum, it would set the stage for years of litigation as every gender-identity permutation steps forward to assert their preferences. Implementing this statute would be a full-on mess.

      Ironically, it’s likely that, if this bill passed, it would hasten the move toward unisex restrooms so that building managers wouldn’t risk committing a state jail felony if the wrong person uses the wrong toilet. It’d seem like the only rational response from a business perspective. Why risk committing a state jail felony when you can eliminate the possibility by posting two stick figures on the door instead of one?

      Unintended consequences, anyone?

      Nothing like committing a felony cause all the pots are taken and you’d rather use the other sex’s bathroom than fill your own pants. BTDT. Well, girls, you’d sure be looking a lot harder at me if I “hadn’t” used your commode.

      BTW, maybe the best thing about Walmart is their “family” restrooms. A lock on the door and total privacy plus a generally cleaner facility. I’m always amazed by how much pee is on the floor surrounding urinals. I’m not under any illusion I can stand 3 feet away and drop it over the edge.

      • What is so amazing is that americans will laugh at other countries where people live under many detailed control freak laws but then its often the same sorts of people who put in their own brand of the same here.

      • To make things more complex, let’s examine a few things about “chromosomal determination.”
        Mosaicism: An individual has multiple DNA sets. The DNA of their ear and their nose and their hair and their eyes, Etc ad infinitum, can all be different.

        Chimerism: Two developing embryos merged into one organism. Can be fraternal twins that merged…

        Kleinfelter’s syndrome: 47+ chromosomes, centered on the number of sex chromosomes. Normal human is 46 (XX) or 46 (XY); Kleinfelters (those who survive) are usually 47 (XXY). 48 is not unknown; beyond that, I believe they don’t live long, the DNA variation of orders is just too great.

        Extra chromosomes: 47 (XYY) is the “traditional” example, and was theorized to be EXTRA violent, because, well, MAN IS EVIL and woman is the only pure PoS… (This was used as a premise in Alien3, BTW – the penal planet was filled with “Double Y Chromos.” Rapists, murderers, all the most violent… Etc.) [the theory was disproven, but we still deal with the results, as it was from the era of, “Men are brutish and must be civilized.”]

        AIS/PAIS: Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome (Partial AIS): Genetically, these are MALE individuals…. Meaning, 46 (XY) karyotype. they don’t know they’re “male,” and only a chromosomal screening would tell you. Imagine telling someone who was raised female, has the “F” on their original birth certificate, that they are MALE…?

        OTOH, you cannot SERIOUSLY tell me that Betty Freidan or Nancy Pelosi would pass even cursory inspection as a “born woman.” Further, would they question Michelle Obama, who is – to quote Joan Rivers – “A Tranny”?

        And the first time a woman is pulled because she used the men’s room? You can BET this will be either a “p*ssy Pass” or, if the woman has (P)AIS…. You can IMAGINE the stink to follow!
        As to any men affected by this? Who cares, they’re just “sex offenders”…

        • to quote “the late” Joan Rivers – who died of a heart while in her doctor’s office, shortly after saying this on air. Also claimed Barry O was gay. I guess Michelle was supposed to be his ‘beard.’

  22. Bravo Eric Peters:
    You have alerted us to one of the greatest scams in US History–akin to the Credit Mobilier scandal under Hoover, or the great Train Wreck development of the railroads that the US Govt. fell for by granting 1/2 mile of land on each side of the railroad tracks to the developers of the railroads–Stanford aka The Robber Baron, The original mascot of Stanford was the Robber Barons, Huntington and others.
    How about the banning of pot by Hearst who could have died with the cheap price of hemp used instead of his timber stands all over the Northwest for newspaper copy, or the banning of alcohol by Prohibition funded by John D. Rockefeller, so Henry Ford could not use ethanol to power his ICE cars. Ethanol was banned under Prohibition as alcohol.
    Americans and most of all Congress are all stooges for the rich and 1%. Will Rogers once opined: “There are thieves and there is Congress, but that would be redundant.”
    Bonehead Boehner and Bitch McConnell are rump roasts for the Koch aka Crook Brothers, the Waltons, not Bill my UCLA and broadcaster hero, the military industrial complex and Obama are no different for campaign contributors, including Schumer’s Wall Street Mafia EvilDoers. Follow the money. Follow the Evil.
    Behind every billionaire is a bigger larcenous icon. Schumer controls the indictment process in Manhattan by his appointment of Preet Bharara https://www.google.com/#q=preet+bharara the US Attorney in Manhattan who does not sneeze nor go to the bathroom without consulting Schumer. He worked for Schumer in Washington. Schumer demanded he be appointed to the US Attorney position in NYC, so he could be Schumer’s gatekeeper and indict the little fish to mesmerize us how he is a big crime fighter, but he is really a smokescreen for manipulation and a complete cover up. Why has ne not indicted Steve Cohen?
    NO indictments on Wall Street even Steve Cohen, Mozillo, Diamond or even Jack the Ripper or Lizzy Borden without Schumer signing off with the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval or the UL approval nod.
    As Wilbur Mills once opined: Money talks and bullshit walks. So goes the continuing circus in DC. Better to fund Tesla than to provide free healthcare for all Americans.
    Pat Maginnis
    310-500-8609
    ousoonersocal@aol.com

  23. The whole idea behind electric vehicles, or EVs, is that they’re supposed to be a solution to several problems with gasoline/diesel vehicles…but they’re not.

    First, EVs are sold as being “zero emission” and “pollution free.” They may not belch smog (or greenhouout of their exhaust pipes (in fact, what gasoline/diesel vehicle today does that?) but generating the electricity involves pollution from coal and nukes, and as you mentioned, producing the batteries involves really bad pollution…and can you imagine the pollution when you dispose of them? I mean, you’re not supposed to put rechargeable batteries in the trash ’cause they’re so toxic. Imagine a junkyard with toxic, flammable lithium ion batteries piled 100 feet high.

    Next, EVs are touted as more economical, as they do an end run around expensive gasoline and diesel fuel. For one thing, electricity may be, at any given time and place, cheaper than gasoline/diesel fuel per unit of energy, but it’s not free. You may pay less at the pump, but more in your electric bill…so you pay just the same. On top of that, the additional demands on our ancient, creaking power grid at best means higher bills to meet the expense of upgrading the grid, and at worst means frequent brownouts and outright blackouts.

    Finally, EVs are sold as a way to reduce our dependence on a scarce resource that enriches unsavory political regimes and terrorist groups. Instead of using crude oil from Iraq, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Russia and Venezuela, we’re using rare earth metals from Afghanistan, China and Africa. I’m not a geologist, but it stands to reason that the world’s supply of crude oil woul be far more plentiful than that of rare earth metals.

    And to top all of that off, EVs may work OK in the People’s Republic of California, where the terrain and climate are relatively benign, but their utility in places like, say, Colorado, which is mountainous and gets really cold often, or Texas, which gets incredibly hot (and humid near the coast), is really limited.

  24. Electric cars will work once the range exceeds 300 miles and the recharge time does not exceed 15 minutes.
    Another aspect of electric cars that the “greenies” don’t get is that the pollution point is merely moved to the electric utility…
    As to nuclear power, maybe the solution is to “think small”. A BB-sized pellet of a radioactive substance could provide enough heat for a stirling-cycle engine that could run a generator or even a car for a very long time. Reactors sized for individual use could get around the mass-scale problems with nuclear power…

    • “Electric cars will work once the range exceeds 300 miles and the recharge time does not exceed 15 minutes.”

      Agreed, sure.

      But… when?

      I’ve been covering the car biz since the early ’90s… I’m still waiting!

      Also, cost is a huge factor.

      Even if the range and recharge issues are taken care of, if the car costs $35,000-up (as they all do) it’s going to be damned hard to make an economic case for it. What’s the point, if I could buy a perfectly decent $15,000 IC car instead? How much gas could I buy with the $20,000 I just saved up front? Or, put another way, how many years before I reach “break even” (relative to the IC car) by spending $35k for the EV?

      And cars like the Tesla – base price $70k – are simply absurd.

  25. Everywhere you look, there is something being done to us all – and don’t you know – it’s for our own good, right?
    Good Ol’ Fred Reed just wrote about the net sensor-chip that they are trying to get us to want, because after all, it is just used to foment hayte if we don’t clamp down on the uncontrolled nature of things, like the E-man and his “market forces” drivel that no self-respecting politician would ever embrace.
    See Freddy here:
    http://www.fredoneverything.net/Internet.shtml
    His take on this tragic twisted IDEA(L) shoves the proverbial pipe up the … so we can vent silently, and only those with the nose for truth will detect the stench passing for gov-mental gastric distress.

    2 strokes FOREVER RD-350 pocket rockets GOOOOOOOOOO

    Death rides a blown Hayabusa with extended swingarm for 200+ mph road roids

  26. Vehicles have been gradually electrifying.

    When’s the last time you saw a belt-driven radiator fan?

    And soon A/C compressors, water pumps, etc will be electric, not mechanical.

    Because like it or not, start/stop will be the next mandatory addition to new vehicles (driven by CAFE requirements), at which point, they’re all hybrids.

    • You’re right, Bill… unfortunately.

      I’ve been ranting about it for years; people thought I was over-the-top. Let’s see who’s laughing two years from now!

    • I don’t have a problem w/electric fans. My Sportwagen TDI has 2 of them, thermostatically controlled.
      My boss used to have a P1800 that didn’t even have a fan. Driven only on local short hops, it did fine, w/o the hp robbing device.
      I do agree that the other items you mention, esp the water pump that is a constant need, should not be electric.
      And fish heads are too good for anyone that would even consider mandating auto stop/start. Someone wants it, fine, they can have it. Include me out.

  27. People don’t even realize that electricity is produced largely by the combustion of fossil fuels, or nuclear plants which IMO is probably much worse. Then you have to factor in all the energy losses associated with converting raw fuels into usable electricity. Teslas are far from efficient and greeeeeen. We should all be growing hemp and using hemp fuels, but nooooo that would be illeeeeeeguull. The fuck is that! Throw ’em all in the woods, or better yet into the fires of Mordor to burn for eternity where they’ll feel some true “climate change”!

    • You honest opinion about nuclear power is wrong:

      http://nextbigfuture.com/2011/03/deaths-per-twh-by-energy-source.html

      Nuclear power is far and away the safest way to produce electricity. There simply aren’t the millions of dead people that we’re always told are out there due to nuclear radiation and other boogiemen.

      Yes, radioactive materials are scary, which is why the people who handle them are well screened and very well trained. The upside is that if all of your energy (electric, gas, gasoline, etc) were all supplied by nuclear power a lifetime of spent fuel (IE waste) would only be the size of a 12oz beer can. Hell, I think even the government could manage to keep that out of the environment. And if electric companies were permitted to build new reactor designs, that “waste” could be converted to fuel and used again -with the added benefit of reducing the 1/2 life down to a few decades instead of thousands of years.

      Take time to educate yourself about nuclear power and you’ll find that you’ve been led astray by people who would rather you keep paying them millions of dollars for their expensive (in comparison) coal, gas and “renewables” (Wind and solar being backed up by gas turbines).

      http://www.cravenspowertosavetheworld.com/nuclear-energy-faq-mainmenu-30 is a great introduction to the reality of nuclear power. Ms Cravens was firmly in the anti-nuke camp until she started looking at the facts instead of the hype.

      • I don’t trust government or its crony corporations to manage anything correctly. Just look what happened in Japan. A nuclear plant on the coast in an earthquake zone with the stored ‘spent’ fuel in pools on the upper floors and generators necessary to keep the whole thing safe below grade.

        The storage pools should have been in the basements and the generators high and dry.

        • Location and nominal stupidity aside…

          If you read the G.E. manuals for the Type 1 units, the upper pool was specifically only for short term storage during refueling. Hours at most. These morons stored years worth indefinitely.

          You are not wrong on the “I don’t trust government or its crony corporations to manage anything correctly”. Specifically, there were proper procedures which were ignored.

          More than that on Fukushima and Type 1 in general. Someone signed off on a design that required external power to stop the nuclear reaction. No, outside power = meltdown.

          Fail-safe. How hard is that shit to understated? Even in 1950?

            • Fukushima has recently began leaking from a new source…..far out!!!! I have read research done by people without a bone to pick that showed the entire power required to build and operate a nuclear power plant is a losing situation for the short or long run. Having known many people involved in building them and working on them continuously and ever more of that as they age, I’d have to give credence to the report saying they’re a negative energy “source”.

              Maybe it wouldn’t be so if the whole point of nuclear power plants as built today were not the production of nuclear materials for weapons. It would appear at a close look to be a shell game.

            • IIRC There have been auto scram unit designs since ~1960. Not sure why they were not used originally. Any system that requires power to shut it down is just idiotic. This was a know catastrophic failure vulnerability since the early 1970s.

              One problem is that the green movement (with good intentions) managed to stop many of the proposed new reactors from being built. So the old reactors were refurbished and kept in use way beyond the original design life as there was nothing to replace them.

              Either way, the designers of Fukushima and Tepco executives should be dropped into the damage reactor cores. Unfortunately almost all of the GE designers are already dead. I hope there is a special level of hell just for them.

        • While you’re at it, look into WHY they chose to go with Uranium instead of thorium.

          And also, look up the “pebble-bed reactor” designs.

          There are ways to do this MUCH better, but then human nature intrudes.
          The “best” part is that some of the most advanced designs have come from Germany, and including standards, yet, they dumped their industry whole-sale.

          Now they’re surrounded by far less well managed sites, and are buying power as a trade item.
          DUH!

          That’s what propaganda does, worked so well….

          • “The masses are asses.” Old line from my mom’s investing class…

            Most people don’t understand propaganda. Surprisingly, Elliot hulse on youTube got it right from the opposite side: He was talking self-hypnosis by what you listen to, especially music.
            No one realizes that GI Joe, He-Man, She-ra, even My Little Pony – is all propaganda, programming.
            So is Barney, Wiggles, Sesame Street, Romper Room, Zublie zoo, Lambchop, Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood, Saved by the Bell, Dawson’s Creek, Etc, not to mention the films….

            Chick Flicks = Emotional Pron for girls.
            Action flicks = Hero pron for Men.

            Yet we cannot make the connections between the impossible ideals show there, and the realities of life….
            We are becoming the land of Babel.

          • I was always amused by the way the French basically built their Nukes along the German border to take full advantage of the prevailing winds from the west in case of a mishap.

          • “While you’re at it, look into WHY they chose to go with Uranium instead of thorium.”
            I guess I should do that. I’ve always assumed it was because they weren’t trying to invent nuclear power generation, but nuclear weapons, and the power was just a ‘fringe benefit’ (or side effect).
            Is thorium any good for weapons?

        • Yes, theoretically Thorium is the “solution.” But where to get it in sufficient supply?

          Those fysicians are spending hundreds of billions or trillions until now, and what was the promise (theoretically possible too) ” nuclear fusion “from the years 6070′ when I was student, has produced nothing at all.
          Now they get a Bigger Toy ( CERN= Hadron Collider costs 100 billions ) just to play Gods without any results to be apllyied for us.
          They made possible only weapons to dream of and maybe( some fysicists says for sure !) the vaporisation of the entire planet.

      • Thank you for enlightening me. I admit my opinions about nuclear energy are based on the fears I have regarding Fukushima’s continual leaking into the ocean and atmosphere, as well as stories I’ve heard about Chernobyl and how they have to keep adding layer upon layer of concrete to cover up the catastrophe and keep the radiation buried.

      • Say what?! Nuclear is just another government mega-disaster. Which insurance company can insure a nuclear reactor? The answer: There isn’t one; only a government could insure such an aberration in the free-market.

    • And here I’d always used a PFD to keep from drowning(and mainly, to not be ticketed) and thought POP was a speed radar unit. Live and learn.

  28. You know, what’s really sad about this is that electrics are kind of a neat toy. And hot rodders and small time players like myself could probably have niche businesses building them. But the niche market is being sucked up by the likes of Tesla and GM.

    My electric trike is a neat toy. The all torque start is fun, as is the almost perfect silence except for the wind rushing by. The chrome girder forks and old slotted mags make for a really cool adult big wheel clone. And if you are ok with the 20 mile range, good for you.

    The same with windmills and solar power. They are interesting but are not even close to economically viable alternatives for mass markets. They work great in an off gird cabin, a hunting shack, an outbuilding, etc.

    But the damned fools trying to force them on us with the insane idea that there is a free lunch, that they can decree that this is what the future will look like, discredits the real innovators and steals scarce resources from viable ideas and systems.

    The commie kooks are making it look bad, and the unthinking reaction from the other side is that none of it is worthwhile and that it should be stopped if not banned.

    Why are these resources being diverted from fusion? From thorium reactors and modular pebble bed reactors? Because GE controls the 60 year old reactor technology in this country and know nothing fools have government storing waste rather than recycling it into useful forms.

    So long as we are enslaved under a democracy, the most corrupt and evil 0.1% will propagandize the entire left 50% of the bell curve things will continue to get worse.

    As an aside, that boy really didn’t do much damage to the tin box with that ma deuce! Viscerally satisfying, but an old D8 Cat would have done a better job.

    Oh well, 18 below cabin fever rant off. Stay warm. Eric, keep up the good work.

    • Remember, the capacity factor (amount of electricity produced compared to the “nameplate capacity”) for wind and solar plants is about 33%. The shortfall has to be made up with gas turbines, since they are easy to start and stop:

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capacity_factor#United_States

      There’s a real reason why we quit using wind after the discovery of the steam engine, and an even more real reason why we quit using solar after we discovered how to make fire. Why the hell we’d ever want to go back to depending on the weather for our energy just boggles the mind.

      • Oh, absolutely agreed. I’ve built both wind and solar installations. It takes a big friggin windmill way up high to develop very modest power. Works off grid though.

        Also solar cells and battery banks- don’t make sense unless you can give up a $40/month connection charge for a seldom used property. The the $1000 minimum for a couple of Harbor Freight solar panels and a couple of commercial 12V batteries and a big inverter can make sense. But I can’t run my welder on it. I can charge the trike and run some lights occasionally.

  29. Hmm. Interesting.

    Eric, have you tried to get your hands on one of these?

    http://www.viamotors.com/vehicles/electric-truck/

    The price is IMO insane but I’m kind of frugal apparently. Considering what people pay for bling-barges and ego-green boxes, relatively, it ain’t that bad. Seems a step in the right direction anyway.

    And you get some other peoples money to help buy it… 🙂

    • I’ve asked for various electric cars; none have been sent because they can’t make it to The Woods … at least, not under their own power. Not in the same day, anyhow. They either have to be flat-bedded or the driver needs two days to make the trip (instead of four hours) because of the need to stop and “refuel.” Which takes 6-12 hours if a so-called “fast” charger isn’t available.

      This is among the reasons I savage electric cars at every opportunity. Here’s a vehicle – a class of vehicles – not one of which can make a 200 mile trip in one day.

      Pathetic.

        • After some more surfing, nope, you ain’t getting one. Aimed at fleets atm. Invite only showings too.

          Shame, as at first review I think this is not a bad design. Not the way I would design it and there are some irregularities that make me think ‘vapourware’ but if close to claims, this seems like a not a bad concept.

      • What about Toyota’s Mirai? Fills up in a few minutes, can do a whopping 700 km per charge, and sells or less than 60k. I know, I know, where do you get the H2?

          • If the gunvermin would quit interfering in the market, hydrogen cars may become practical some day – when Peak Oil becomes a reality.

              • No, unless abiotic oil is true (and I’m not ruling out that possibility) we will eventually run out of economically feasible crude oil. But that is not likely to be for decades. By then even a partially free market should have developed reasonable alternatives – w/o gunvermin ‘assistance.’

              • Ed, peak oil, ROTFLMAO. I’ve been working hand in hand with a huge pipeline company lately. Now that nearly all their gathering points and compressor stations have been tied together in a large portion of west Tx. they’ve decided they’ll have to lay more pipeline to COMPLETE THE LOOP so that they can access a series of storage tanks that aren’t filling quite as rapidly as the rest of them even though it’s a steady stream of oil tankers hauling it away.

                A friend much younger is in hog heaven(you know, where the piggies fart Yankee Doodle in a 5 octave range)making $30/hr. and hauling oil from every place you can imagine(but mainly, mostly places you can’t imagine) in a multi-state range.

                He laughs manically and says he can’t believe it’s such a cushy job(of course, he wouldn’t say that if he drove the trucks I do).

                And eric’s butt gets sore after two hours in a Merc? He could go straight to the emergency room after 15 hrs in the T-800 KW I recently refused to drive again(and that will be my cue to drive for another company). Peak Oil, WTF? The federal govt. won’t allow a new refinery to be built and that makes as much sense as any other thing it does. So where does all that new oil go when refineries aren’t able to expand to any point that could process it? Clovers will say it’s not needed while they turn up the thermostat cause they’re little tushes are cold. They don’t worry about the price cause Uncle they work for will keep upping their salaries.

              • Hi Ed,

                The problem with asserting “peak oil” is that it’s just that an assertion. A possibility. Yes, yes, I understand that everything that everything on Earth is ultimately finite. But the relevant question is: To what extent? To draw a parallel: The sun will eventually run out of hydrogen to fuse. But it will not happen for a very long time. It is entirely possible that we will not run out of economically recoverable oil for a very long time.

                And, if we do, real incentives will come into play that create alternatives to oil.

                This Tesla (and EV generally) thing is all about false incentives (i.e., those not based on market signals but rather on government force) and these false incentives arguably misallocate resources better spent on other things.

        • Hydrogen may have some serious environmental issues. Hydrogen may damage the ozone layer. Hydrogen H2 is lightest element can travel to the ozone ( O3 ) layer. 3H2 + O3 + Lightning -> 3 H2O. Hydrogen is very hard to contain. Small amounts will constantly escape. Large amount might escape from storage. This problem is rarely pointed out. But the inability to store hydrogen has thus far been the deal killer.

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