Tesla Pokes Fun At ICE’s

This cracked me up: it’s Tesla “test-driving” an ICE (Internal Combustion Engine). First they make fun of how you have to buy an ICE from an independent “middleman” (dealership), which is also the repair shop (Tesla refuses to do business with dealerships, but I have to wonder where one takes their Tesla if something goes wrong?). Cute.

This part made me laugh:

So we sat in the car and pressed the START button. The car’s gasoline engine coughed to life and started to operate. One could hear the engine’s sound and the car’s whole body vibrated as if something was broken, but the seller assured us that everything was as it should. The car actually has an electric motor and a microscopically small battery, but they are only used to start the petrol engine – the electric motor does not drive the wheels. The petrol engine then uses a tank full of gasoline, a fossil liquid, to propel the car by exploding small drops of it. It is apparently the small explosions that you hear and feel when the engine is running.

I took Mr. Beale’s Highlander to the repair shop for him last week because he was slammed at work. Since I’ve been driving a Leaf for almost four years now, there are things you forget about an ICE — like how noisy they are, the rumble of an engine (and Mr. Beale drives a hybrid, so it’s actually quieter than most cars) and the delay in acceleration. With an EV, you’re smooth, quiet, and as soon as you push the gas, you’re moving. None of that ICE lag.

And then came this:

Sure we filled the tank full in two minutes, but it did cost us an unbelievable €30! A full charge would thus cost us double that – a whopping €60! We cursed our luck that we apparently have chosen one of the most expensive gas stations, and began to ask the seller what other alternatives are there? How much does it cost to fill up at home, and how many free stations are there?

The seller looked very puzzled at us and explained that it is not possible to refuel gasoline cars at home, and there are no free gas stations. We tried to explain our questions, in case he had misunderstood, but he insisted that you can not. Apparently you have to several times a month drive to the gas station to recharge your petrol car at extortionate prices – there are no alternatives! We thought it was very strange that no gasoline car manufacturers have launched their own free gas stations?

[…]

We also begun to understand why there must be so many petrol stations everywhere, if all petrol cars always have to drive to them to refuel. Imagine if you could charge your electric car only at the power companies’ most expensive fast chargers – and nowhere else!

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!

Last week I was walking the dog at a state park and someone who was considering buying a Leaf saw my car parked at one of the public EV chargers. He waited until I returned so he could pepper me with questions. Apparently he really wanted to buy a Nissan Leaf but had been advised against it by the Carmax salesperson. LOL. Of course he wanted to know how much it costs to charge the car and of course no one can really answer that question because it depends on how much you drive, just as with an ICE. But I charge at home, and it’s much cheaper than using one of the public stations, which charge a whopping .02 for 30 seconds of charging. Do the math … if you’re a Blink member in Tennessee, that’s .04 a minute (and quite a steal compared to other states, like California and New York, which are 0.49 cents a minute). So if you charge for an hour, that’s $2.40, about what gas is going for around here these days (a little cheaper, actually — last I saw, gas was going for around $2.50). And how far do you go on an hour’s charge? Hard to say, because it depends on whether you’re running the A/C or on the interstate, and other factors. But I’d say an hour’s worth of charging could take care of me for a couple of days. It’s just not comparable, cost-wise, even with gas prices lower than they’ve been historically.

But again, I have a charger at home, and so I charge even cheaper than this — plus, there are a couple of free chargers around town. I rarely use the public chargers.

Final dig:

We returned the car to the dealer’s premises, pulled the handbrake and step out of the car. The petrol engine continued to run! Apparently one must manually switch off the combustion of the precious liquid. But we wanted to see the petrol engine, so the seller opened the bonnet. The entire front portion of the car was completely cluttered with hoses, fittings, fluid reservoirs, and amid all a huge shaking cast iron block which apparently constituted the motor’s frame. There was no space for luggage in the front of the car! Despite its enormous size, high noise and vibration, the engine barely delivered one hundred horsepower. The engine was also extremely hot, we burned ourselves when we touched it. Even though this was on a warm summer day so the engine did not need to generate heat to the passenger compartment.

One of the first things I appreciated about the Leaf — after how quiet it is, of course — is that it doesn’t generate a lot of heat. You can drive it around town and pull it into the garage and your car isn’t emitting heat waves for the next three hours. I actually really like that. The second thing is, it’s practically maintenance-free. In four years I took it in once for a software update. Got new tires at CostCo another time, and that’s it. No oil changes, no “every 6,000 miles” visits to the dealership/repair shop. It’s gotten so you forget about those things.

Because Nissan is located just outside of Nashville, you see an awful lot of Leafs around town. Used to be I was one of the only ones, but nowadays you see them everywhere and it’s just no big deal. I can’t imagine why the rest of the country hasn’t jumped on the bandwagon yet. Especially if you’re in an urban area. I get that if you live in suburbia, range can be an issue. But for most of us who work five or 10 miles from where we live, it just makes sense.

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Congratulations, Unidentified IN Man! You’re Our 2nd Amendment Hero Du Jour!

He’s not likely to win any Dad of the Year awards, so let’s nominate him for 2nd Amendment Hero, right?

GARY, Ind. (WLS) — A young boy accidentally shot his sister in Gary, police said, when the two children were left alone in a car with a loaded handgun.

“It appears that her brother was playing with the handgun and she was shot in the vehicle,” said Det. Edward Gonzalez, Gary Police Dept.

Police say two children, ages 3 and 6, were left alone in the car outside a day care while their father went inside to get two other younger children from inside.

Their father told police he’d been out of the car for just a minute or two when the older child got hold of a handgun the father left in the car. It went off, hitting his sister and shooting a hole through her hand.

Brilliant.

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Tennessee Gun Report

Here’s our Gun Report … need to get back on schedule with this, but it is what it is.

• May 7, 2015:

A Gun Report update: The responsible Williamson County gun-toting commissioner who responsibly forgot guns aren’t allowed on school property pleaded no contest to bringing a gun to a school work session last November:

The deal allows the charge, which is not technically a conviction, to be wiped from Sturgeon’s record, so long as she follows unsupervised probation terms for six months. Donations of Depends will be gladly appreciated.

Sturgeon said Thursday that during that time she will give up her carry permit, though she wouldn’t say whether she planned to start carrying again once her probation was up.

I just don’t know how the poor dear will survive without carrying her gun everywhere for six months. Why, she’s just a walking victim. A sitting duck. Maybe she’d just better stay at home with the doors locked until she can have her security blanket by her side again.

• May 6, 2015:

Drunk Henry County good ol’ boy roars up on his ATV with a handgun to threaten a man looking at property for sale. Yee haw!

A Henry County man was arrested for aggravated assault and public intoxication after he allegedly threatened another man with a handgun near his home Tuesday night.

Hubert T. Rose, 66, of 1160 Jackson Drive north of Paris also was charged with possession of a handgun under the influence by Cpl. Jim Sanders of the Henry County Sheriff’s Department after the incident.

In his report, Sanders stated the victim was looking at some property for sale near Rose’s home when a man, later identified as Rose, allegedly drove up on a 4-wheeled ATV holding a handgun.

Rose allegedly began cursing the man, and telling him to leave.

While making the call to 911, the man told officers he was afraid Rose would shoot him if he left.

Officers arrived on the scene within two minutes and found Rose standing at the end of his driveway with a pistol in his right front pocket and holding a wine glass.

Okay, when it comes to stereotypes, I gotta say, the wine glass doesn’t fit the mold. Should’ve been a can of Budweiser.

• May 5, 2015:

A Murfreesboro man found a loaded Glock on the street by his mailbox.

• May 4, 2015:

1- In Murfreesboro, a man dropped his fanny pack at Walmart, and his gun discharged. Freedom!

The man told police he adjusted his belt and the fanny pack fell to the ground, at which point one round was fired, the report stated.

According to the report, the man was lawfully carrying his handgun and had his permit with him.

Most responsible ever!

2- A Nashville high school senior “forgot” the gun in his backpack.

• April 30, 2015:

1- Seven guns were found at Tennessee airports this week. Three of them in Nashville alone.

2- A gun report update: a Nashville man who pulled a gun on the McDonald’s manager because his double cheeseburger was missing has been arrested.

• April 28, 2015:

Two neighbors in Woodbury have had a longstanding dispute; one decided to resolve it with a gun. Welcome to your armed/polite society:

Details about the exact nature of the disagreement were not available, but officials said Smith fired on Lonning, who was struck multiple times.

Lonning was taken by LifeFlight medical helicopter to Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville. Information about the nature the injuries was not available, but he was expected to make a full recovery.

[…]

Because they were unsure where Smith was and whether or not he was dangerous, nearby residents were evacuated from their homes.

Officials were finally able to make contact and negotiated with Smith for three hours before he finally gave up and turned himself in peacefully. He was taken into custody and booked into the Rutherford County Jail on charges of attempted murder.

Bond was set at $1 million. Smith was scheduled to appear in court on May 7.

Smith had previously been charged on January 3 with four counts of aggravated assault.

• March 23, 2015:

This is an old one but I think it escaped my notice before. An Alcoa teen thought a semiautomatic pistol was a BB gun and shot her 17-year-old friend:

Investigators said a 14-year-old girl told them that she thought a semiautomatic pistol was a BB gun. When she picked it up, it fired, and a 17-year-old boy was hit.

He was in critical conditon at UT Medical Center.

The names of the teens involved have not been released. Alcoa Police are calling the shooting an accident.

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GunFAIL, Extra Special Law Enforcement Edition

I’ve always said that law enforcement folks are no more immune to gun accidents and gun negligence than your ordinary 2nd Amendment Hero walking the streets with their concealed-carry permit and gun strapped to … whatever.

And it’s true, you’d think with all of the training and instruction and day-to-day interaction with firearms that law enforcement people get, they’d be a little more aware of gun safety. But they aren’t.

Which doesn’t bode well for the rest of us schlubs out there in the world. I mean, I know I mock it enough, but I’ve certainly heard that concealed-carry holders are the safest, most responsible gun owners in the whole wide world often enough from politicians and NRA members; you’d think that law enforcement officers would be the safest, most responsible gun owners in the whole wide world too, wouldn’t you? But if they can’t be safe and responsible, I don’t think anybody can.

There’s been quite a spate of gun negligence from the world of law enforcement this week. Here are a few items culled from the headlines.

• “Detective’s mom stable after being shot at wedding

A McCracken County detective’s mother is in stable condition after the officer accidentally discharged his weapon at a church wedding Saturday in Carlisle County.

Carlisle County Sheriff Steve Perry said Debbie Golightly sustained a gunshot wound to the abdomen. She was taken to Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee. The detective, Cory Golightly, and his mother were attending a wedding at Bardwell Baptist Church on U.S. 51.

• “Concord officer accidentally shoots himself at firing range

A Concord police officer accidentally shot himself this week while conducting firearms training at the Cabarrus County Sheriff’s Office Training Center and Firing Range on Irish Potato Road.

The officer shot himself in the lower calf. The injury was not life-threatening, and the officer remained lucid, Concord city spokesman Peter Franzese said.

• “Police officer’s stepdaughter shoots self in leg

A 13-year-old girl accidentally shot herself in the leg Monday afternoon with a handgun owned by her stepfather, who is a Gilroy police officer, police said Tuesday.

At about 3 p.m. Monday, officers responded to a report of a teenage girl suffering a gunshot wound to her leg at residence in the 500 block of El Cerrito Way in Gilroy, Sgt. Royce Heath said.

Arriving officers determined the home was owned by a Gilroy police officer, according to Heath.

• “Officer fires gun accidentally in Pacoima

PACOIMA — A shot was fired accidentally today by a law enforcement officer involved in a parole-compliance check in Pacoima, authorities said.

No injuries were reported in the incident, which occurred about 7:25 a.m. in the 12800 block of Van Nuys Boulevard, said Officer Liliana Preciado of the Los Angeles Police Department’s Media Relations office.

• “Georgia sheriff faces reckless-conduct charges after shooting friend in the belly

A Georgia sheriff faces reckless-conduct charges after shooting a real estate agent while conducting what he described as “police training tactics” inside a model home in a suburban subdivision.

Clayton County Sheriff Victor Hill turned himself in at the Gwinnett County Adult Detention Center on Wednesday evening and was released after posting $2,950 bond.

Hill shot his friend Gwenevere McCord in the abdomen on Sunday afternoon while they were alone inside a house that was for sale in Lawrenceville, a suburb northeast of Atlanta. He says the shooting was accidental.

McCord, 43, remains in critical condition and cannot speak.

• “South Carolina Police Responding to Home Invasion Call Shoot Home’s Resident

Police who were dispatched to a home invasion in South Carolina shot the resident, who now has “life-threatening” injuries, the Charleston County Sheriff’s Office said today.

At around 11:02 a.m. this morning, Charleston County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded to a home invasion call and reports of shots fired in Hollywood, South Carolina. A statement from the police said that when the deputies arrived, two black male suspects were seen fleeing the house on bicycles toward the backyard.

“Our deputies proceeded to the rear of the home and were confronted by an armed subject exiting or standing at the back door of the residence,” the sheriff’s statement read. “Our deputies challenged the subject and ordered him to drop his weapon, which he didn’t at the time. As a result, one of our deputies fired his service weapon striking the subject once in the neck area.” Police said the subject who was shot is a homeowner or resides at the property.

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Tennessee Out-Crazies Texas With Wingnutty Homeland Security Group

So, who is this weird “Tennessee Task Force on National and Homeland Security” claiming it has a “mandate” from the Tennessee legislature in its fundraising letters and on its website?

The group in fundraising literature describes itself as a “non-profit publicly funded and operated body with a mandate endorsed by Members of the Tennessee State Legislature to protect the citizens of Tennessee from the existential threat posed by various acts of terrorism.”

The legislature, for its part, is distancing itself from the group, saying,

[…] the group “does not function in any official capacity.”

and,

[…] it would be “erroneous” to claim the group had been endorsed by the General Assembly.

As an side, I’m curious, what do they mean by “publicly funded and operated”? Do they get public appropriations? Or are they saying they get money from the general public? I ask because on their website they say they are,

[…] a non-profit privately funded body with a mandate endorsed by Members of the Tennessee State Legislature to protect the citizens of Tennessee from the existential threat posed by key terroist entities.

Which one is it? Privately-funded or publicly-funded? Do they even know?

I wanted to know more about this strange group that doesn’t know where its money (or mandate) comes from. Let’s ask the Great Gazoogle. Here’s a story from March of this year in which they held a private “briefing” for legislators. Their spokesperson is Jeff Hartline, the Tea Party wackaloon who unsuccessfully ran for Jim Cooper’s Congressional seat:

The group is chaired by Jonna Z. Bianco, formerly the vice president and director of the congressional Electromagnetic Pulse Caucus.

Yes, I’ll stop you right there, buckaroo. The Electromagnetic Pulse Caucus is a delusional sci-fi conspiracy popular with the WingNut Daily crowd. As Salon.com explains it, the fear is that some Dr. Evil-type will detonate a nuclear weapon in the upper atmosphere, which:

[…] sends gamma rays flying in all directions, which produce high-energy electrons, which create an electromagnetic pulse that will damage electronic systems. According to the Federation of American Scientists, to create an EMP that would affect the entire country, the malefactor in question would have to detonate a “large device” some 400-500 kilometers over Wichita – roughly the altitude at which the International Space Station orbits earth.

Alrighty then. So maybe technically possible but realistically bullshit. So this is the group “briefing” our Tennessee state legislators in a closed-door meeting to which the media were excluded. Why am I not encouraged that the legislature is making very weak noises about not being associated with these crazies? The fact that they’re even listening to what they have to say is alarming enough. And they do seem to have found a kindred spirit in notorious Agenda 21 wackaloon Rick Womick.

From the March Nashville Post story:

Legislators said, off the record, after the closed meeting the information shared by the task force was interesting, but some details appeared taken out of context.

Hartline said aspects of the group’s message include organized crime, illegal weapons transferred in and out of the state, human trafficking, and electromagnetic pulse devices. “That’s a piece of it,” Hartline said about EMPs, “because that does present a clear and present danger to the ongoing of commerce in Tennessee.”

In 2013, state Rep. Rick Womick claimed in a legislative hearing that an electromagnetic pulse bomb was set off outside of Shelbyville, an attack local authorities said they had no record of.

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!

So who is Jonna Z. Bianco, this group’s “chair”? Again, to the Great Gazoogle:

Jonna Bianco is the president and founder of the American Bondholders Foundation (ABF), an organization that seeks to hold the People’s Republic of China accountable for its debt obligations to U.S. investors dating back to the first half of the 20th Century.

Ms. Bianco brings an encyclopedic understanding of this matter, and achieving liquidity for ABF’s bondholders has been her sole professional focus since 2001.

She also sits on the following related boards:

• United States Congress’s EMP Caucus “Task Force on National and Homeland Security”
• Prague Security Studies Institute (Czech Republic)
• Prague Security Studies Institute (Washington D.C.)
• National Defense University Foundation
• Center for Security Policy (Washington D.C.)
• Tennessee Freedom Coalition (Nashville, Tennessee)

These are interesting groups. The Tennessee Freedom Coalition has been labeled an anti-Muslim hate group by the SPLC. The Center for Security Policy is Frank Gaffney’s fearmongering anti-Muslim organization. See a pattern here? The rest are some lower-tier Neocon think tanks and free-market groups operating on the fringes of the foreign policy apparatus. What’s interesting is that I couldn’t find any supporting documentation that Bianco actually sits on some of these defense boards. However, I did find this interesting lawsuit related to her work with the American Bondholders Foundation.

This “Tennessee Task Force on National and Homeland Security” is starting to exude a strong stench of merde. Yes, kids, I’m starting to think the whole thing may be an elaborate scam. And it certainly wouldn’t be the first time a Tea Party-affiliated group was just an elaborate money-grubbing hoax.

I’m not sure we’re any clearer on who the Tennessee Task Force on National and Homeland Security is. Quite honestly, I’m not sure even they know who they are. One thing I’ve learned about the Tea Party is that organizationally it is like a hydra that continually spawns new crazy groups with which to fleece the gullible. And that’s exactly what this group looks like: a bunch of tin-foil hat paranoiac grifters who will ultimately embarrass this state worse than Jade Helm 15 has tarnished Texas.

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Congratulations, Unidentified OH Man! You’re Our 2nd Amendment Hero Du Jour

Another of our safest, most responsible citizens evah responsibly forgot their gun in a most responsible way. Hilarity ensued:

NORTH ROYALTON, Ohio — North Royalton High School and Middle School were temporarily locked down on Friday morning after a holstered handgun was discovered on the bumper of a car in the high school parking lot.

[…]

Police discovered that the gun belonged to a student’s father, Det. Dave Loeding said. The father left the gun on the bumper of the car and the student — who didn’t know the weapon was on the car — drove the car to school, Loeding said.

The father, who has a concealed handgun license, took full responsibility for the accident and will not be charged, Loeding said.

Not sure when your concealed handgun license became a get out of jail free card for your irresponsible behavior. In a perfect world if you do something stupid like leave a gun lying on your kid’s car bumper like it’s a goddamn ShamWow you’d lose your gun permit for being an irresponsible dumbass.

But we don’t because Reasons.

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Tennessee: Where Conservatism Has Come To Die

National conservative groups are focusing their activities (and money) on Tennessee, and I find that very odd:

Most prominent in enhanced spending are three national organizations that have dramatically expanded their Tennessee activity within the past three years:

* Americans for Prosperity, based in Arlington, Va., was founded and — at least initially — mostly funded by businessmen and philanthropist brothers David and Charles Koch with the proclaimed aim of advocating for free enterprise. AFP’s Tennessee operation reported spending more than $1.1 million in Tennessee lobbying last year. AFP reported spending less than $10,000 in all prior reports filed with the Tennessee Ethics Commission since it became active within the state in 2012. AFP reported no explicitly political spending, but state Director Andrew Ogles says the lobbying report covers “educational” ads that sometimes criticized or supported legislative candidates.

* The American Federation for Children, based in Washington, D.C., advocates education reforms involving “school choice” for parents. The AFC’s state organization reported spending between $75,000 and $150,000 on Tennessee lobbying in 2014 to the Ethics Commission and reported a total of $606,345 in political spending by the political action committee set up by its state affiliate, the Tennessee Federation for Children, to the state Registry of Election Finance during the 2014 election cycle, including 2013. The state PAC was launched in 2012.

* StudentsFirst, based in Sacramento, Calif., and founded by Michelle Rhee, a former District of Columbia school superintendent, also advocates expanded options for education, including school vouchers. The organization reported spending between $100,000 and $200,000 on lobbying in 2014 — plus a $13,907 reception for legislators — and reported spending of $573,917 within the state during the 2014 election cycle by its state PAC, which was launched in 2012. (Rhee was formerly married to Kevin Huffman, who served four years as Tennessee’s education commissioner.)

These groups set up shop in Tennessee fairly recently and started building a “grass roots” network of state resident members, although much of their funding still comes from outside the state — substantial chunks of money transferred from national headquarters in the case of StudentsFirst and AFC.

The article also mentions other national conservative groups actively lobbying in Tennessee, such as the National Rifle Association and U.S. Chamber of Commerce. In addition to lobbying, I know that all of these groups have been buying up beaucoups amount of local TV air time, too — at least in the Nashville market.

And I find this very odd. Republicans have a supermajority in Tennessee. Our legislature is as hard-right, Teanutty wackadoodle as it comes. Why do the Koch Brothers and Michelle Rhee need to set up an office here and spend over a million dollars in one year lobbying a Republican legislature already friendly to their ideas? Why devote so much time and money and energy to a state that should be a gimme? Shouldn’t they be focusing this kind of intensity on more “purple” states where they could make some headway, not a deep-red state where they’ve ostensibly won the fight?

How is this not a sign of retreat? Would like to hear your thoughts on this.

Oh, and this from the article made me laugh:

But Harwell said legislators can be trusted to look to the interests of their constituents, not of the lobbyists.

Riiight. Harwell is the one who voted “present” instead of “no” on controversial guns-in-parks legislation, even though she said “my district doesn’t want it.” Great representation, lady.

[UPDATE]:

Related: A Heartfelt Breakup Letter to Tennessee: This Is Why I’m Leaving.

Good read.

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