Category Archives: Energy

Voltswagen vs. Volkswagen, by Eric Peters

Once upon a time there were car companies interested in building economical cars that were affordable for even people of very modest means. Those days are long gone, and will be even farther in the rear view mirror when electric cars become the norm. From Eric Peters at ericpetersautos.com:

The name change – even if April Foolsey – is indicative of what this change is all about.

The Volkswagen was – literally – the people’s car. It was Germany’s open emulation of America’s people’s car, the Ford Model T.

In terms of their looks and layouts, they were as different as a square and a circle. Henry’s car had a water-cooled, inline four cylinder engine up front powering rear wheels, out back. It was angular and upright and jacked up off the ground – to enable travel over America’s then mostly dirt roads.

The Beetle – as the first Volkswagen was affectionally called – had its air-cooled horizontally opposed four cylinder engine mounted in the rear – on top of the rear wheels – and it was as round as the T was not.

It sat low, to take advantage of aerodynamics and Germany’s new system of Autobahns, which predated America’s Interstates – which emulated them – by more than 20 years.

Yet both reflected the same wonderful concept, that of putting people behind the wheel. Which opened up not just the road but possibilities that average people of modest means had never previously had. With a people’s car – whether it was the Model T or a Beetle – the people were mobile. Just like that, they were freed from the necessity of having to stay put – or stay close. They could live at a distance from where they worked. They did not have to consider the proximity of the bus stop or the train station to either.

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Coming to America: LA Metro’s Model of Extreme Capital Consumption, by MN Gordon

It is almost impossible for urban passenger rail systems to break even, which must be why the Biden administration wants to direct 100s of billions of dollars towards them. From MN Gordon at economicprism.com:

How much does gas cost in your hamlet?

Here in the Los Angeles Basin the price of gas is now over $4 per gallon.  One year ago, it was just $2.89.  Could this be an example of what Fed Chair Jay Powell calls “temporary inflation?”

Maybe so.  Certainly, supply will increase to meet demand.  At the time of this writing, the latest Baker Hughes rig count shows 430 active drilling rigs.  That’s 13 more rigs than the prior week.  But 234 less than one year ago.

We have a hunch that Los Angeles gas prices in excess of $4 per gallon will be here until at least the fall – possibly longer.  Especially now that California refineries have switched over to producing state mandated summer blend gasoline.

What’s more, gas price increases may also be a function of rampant money printing…in addition to rising demand.  Thus, gas prices could go much, much higher.

President Biden, however, has a plan.  On Wednesday he outlined it in his $2.25 trillion American Jobs Plan (to be later followed up by the American Family Plan).  And if Biden, and his central planners get their way, we soon won’t have to use gas at all.  We’ll all drive electric vehicles and ride commuter trains.

The largest spending item in the American Jobs Plan is transportation ($620 billion).  Of this, $174 billion will go to electric vehicles, $85 billion to public transit, and $80 billion to passenger and freight trains.

Like all good central planners, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg is a commuter train enthusiast.  While Mayor of South Bend, Indiana, Buttigeig championed a new downtown station for the South Shore Line.  The proposal’s massive price tag, and other factors, limited its development to merely expensive feasibility studies.

Indeed, South Bend taxpayers may have dodged a bullet.  But with the American Jobs Plan, U.S. taxpayers may soon be funding such moronic proposals through to execution, in countless cities across the nation.

What follows is our own boots on the ground experience of what may be coming to a city or town near you…

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Germany’s Political Crisis And The Future Of Nord Stream 2, by J. Hawk

So far the Biden administration is neither winning friends nor influence people in Europe. Trying to diplomatically bludgeon Germany into abandoning the Nord Stream 2 pipeline is generating fierce blowback. From J. Hawk at southfront.org:

Germany’s Political Crisis and the Future of Nord Stream 2

In a Blinken of an Eye

The Biden Administration entered the White House accompanied by hopes that it would return to some kind of normal in its relations with the European Union. While Biden, unlike Obama, would not score a Nobel Peace Prize solely for his existence, his victory was warmly welcomed in capitals around Europe as a sign that liberalism would vanquish populism ushering in a new era of “business as usual” in the form it was practiced during the Obama Administration.

Once in office, however, the Biden Administration has been working overtime in order to dispel any notion of a relationship of mutual respect between two more or less equal allies, US and EU. Instead, Biden officials have acted as if US and EU are a contemporary version of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, two countries with ostensibly separate political systems linked by a personal union in the form of the Emperor (Biden), held together by a common army (NATO) whose main task is preventing any separatism by “Hungary” (the EU) and whose foreign policy is made wholly in “Austria” (United States). Events like Brexit merely represent a part of the empire moving from “Hungary” to “Austria” for a variety of cultural and racial reasons. In practice it meant that, in addition to Biden replying affirmatively to a court journalist’s question whether Vladimir was a “killer” and Blinken provoking a major row with a Chinese delegation by informing them the US intended to deal with China from a “position of strength”, Blinken also issued a blunt warning to European companies working on Nord Stream 2 could be subject to US sanctions if they did not immediately withdraw from the project.

To make matters worse, at the EU summit Blinken pointed out that his threats aimed at Nord Stream 2 are a reflection of US Congress laws demanding any and all firms participating in its construction to be sanctioned, though omitting that the Executive Branch has considerable freedom of action in implementing legislation impinging on the presidential foreign policy prerogatives.

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It Got Serious In A Hurry, by Robert Gore

He’s a joke, but nobody’s laughing.

Trump’s five years were fun. He said things that provoked outrage among all the right people, often because they were true. You could laugh at their hypocritical idiocies, hysterical posturing, and sputtering anger. To paraphrase Oscar Wilde, anyone who can watch Keith Olbermann or Rachel Maddow without laughing has a heart of stone. Frothing anger fueled effort after effort to depose Trump until success was realized with overblown pandemic panic, riots, and a clearly rigged election. If nothing else, Trump exposed the mendacity, arrogance, incompetence, venality, and criminality of the Corruptocracy.

Reality doesn’t invert. A corollary is that the severity of consequences from an inversion is the square of the distance between the inversion and reality. Consider the US military. It has disregarded the realities of the wars it has fought—the relative difficulty of invasion versus defense, the deadly effectiveness of guerrilla warfare and insurgency, the corruption, tyranny, and lack of domestic support for our puppets, and so on—losing every conflict since WWII, often after lengthy and in some cases ongoing engagements.

The current crop of corruptocrats have introduced yet another inversion in the military, the woke inversion. The military will now be graded on its commitment to combat-irrelevant factors: the racial, ethnic, gender, sexual preferences and political creeds of its forces, and their professed fealty to regnant political dogma. In other words, “diversity” in everything but thought.

This inversion is huge and given the distance squared corollary, it will soon render the armed forces incapable of fighting even a war for the protection of the United States proper. Given its ineptitude fighting offensive wars, the military will be completely useless. The defense budget, however, will grow ever more bloated.

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Joe Biden aspired to mediocrity in his prime and it’s been downhill ever since. As for Kamala Harris: some are born hacks, some achieve hackness, and some have hackness thrust upon them. She’s all three. They and their string-pullers have taken things from fun to serious—deadly serious—in a little over two months.

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The Consequences of Selections, by Eric Peters

Bad choices make for bad consequences. From Eric Peters at ericpetersautos.com:

Selections have consequences – again.

You may have noticed how much more you’re paying at the pump now that Orange Man is gone. For most of the country, it’s about 50 cents per gallon more – with more to come. This has increased the cost of life for most Americans by more than the $600 “stimulus” check they got last year – and will likely end up costing them much more over the next four years than the $1,400 many are supposed to get this year.

You may soon notice how much more you’ll be paying for every mile you drive.

The Orange Man’s replacement has just floated this idea through his new Secretary of Transportation, Pete Buttigieg – who has long favored this idea. Probably because he won’t have to pay it, since the taxpayers are forced to pay for it – for him.

Also probably because it’s much more than just another tax. It’s also a way to keep track of your movements.

Not just how far – but where and when.

The tax, if it comes to pass, would almost certainly be implemented electronically – via connected car technology, which almost all new cars and almost all cars sold since around 2010 already have. The same convenience technology used to find you the nearest gas station can also be used to find you, very conveniently.

The odometer reading would be read by communicating with the computer, which stores the data. Long-gone are the says of analog odometers that were purely mechanical things that had to be read in person, as when you took your car in for an oil change. And the data regarding miles driven isn’t kept in some isolated cubbyhole of the computer’s memory banks. It is stored along with the rest of the car’s data, which means whoever has access to the some data has access to all of the data.

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The Iran-China Axis Is A Fast Growing Force In Oil Markets, by David Messler

The Chinese and Iranian governments are sealing their alliance with oil and a shared antipathy towards the US. From David Messler at oilprice.com:

One of the things that doesn’t get a lot of discussion in the press is the under-the-table relationship Iran and China have had when it comes to oil. At first glance, they wouldn’t seem to have a lot in common. One is a theocracy with a radical view of non-believers and the other is probably the only example of a successful communist dictatorship since this form of government was created. But, if you look a little deeper they have a couple of things that align their mutual interests strongly. The first is they are both absolute dictatorships, meaning the institutions of government and national policies can be changed at the whim of those at the top. The second thing they have in common, and this is the main takeaway, both countries have serious geopolitical issues with the United States.

Iran suffers from years of sanctions imposed primarily by the U.S. to compel them to comply with U.N. resolutions regarding their atomic program. China views this century as the one in which they displace America as the world’s dominant Super Power. The place where these two authoritarian government’s worldviews align is in their opposition to the U.S.

It’s worth noting China’s apparent success has been funded by western economies over the last 75-years, thanks to our desire to buy everything as cheaply as possible. In that time, China has become the manufacturing center for the world and amassed immense wealth in doing so. The pandemic has caused a rethinking of the wisdom of outsourcing strategic commodities to despotic regimes, but for now, if you buy something other than food odds are it was made in China.

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Undeniable fact: “Carbon Dioxide” is NOT a “pollutant” but a Giver of Life, by Dr. Klaus L.E. Kaiser

With all the measures out there against carbon dioxide and global warming, maybe we can get rid of carbon dioxide entirely, and maybe humanity as well. From Dr. Klaus L.E. Kaiser at iceagenow.info:

Open Letter to the Canadian Prime Minister from chemist Dr. Klaus L.E. Kaiser.

Dear Prime Minister,

Presumably, you’ve welcomed the Supreme Court’s ruling on the “carbon tax”.

It never fails to amaze me how “climate change” is being equated with “carbon dioxide” (commonly referred to simply as “carbon”) or even termed “carbon pollution.”  In fact, carbon dioxide (chemical symbol “CO2”) is the substance that is absolutely vital for all life on Earth!

The ruling only mentions “carbon” and “pollution.” That’s simply more misunderstanding, confusion, and “politics.”

Yes, “climate change” has been going on (up and down) ever since this planet came into existence. Just 22,000 years ago, the whole eastern part of Canada was covered with a 1 to 3 km thick sheet of ice. Since then, over a period of around 15,000 years, it just melted away with natural “climate change.”

Does any sane person really think it was because of some camp-fires by the few earthlings then inhabiting the continents? And, why should that natural process have stopped once the ice was gone? Furthermore, analyses of deep ice core samples showed that the carbon dioxide rose well after the ice began melting, with a time lag of nearly 1000 years.

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Crashing Saudi Oil Economy Explains Urgent Yemeni Peace Offer, by Finian Cunningham

The House of Saud is discovering a lesson scores of governments have run up against in the past: war, even against smaller and weaker opponents, can be a costly affair. From Finian Cunningham at strategic-culture.org:

The Saudi rulers are facing a humiliating defeat as the Yemenis take revenge and Uncle Sam washes his hands of blood.

After six years of blowing up Yemen and blockading its southern neighbor, the Saudi rulers are now saying they are committed to finding peace. The move is less about genuine peace than economic survival for the oil kingdom.

The Saudi monarchy say they want “all guns to fall completely silent”. Washington, which has been a crucial enabler of the Saudi war on Yemen, has backed the latest “peace offer”. Secretary of State Antony Blinken this week endorsed the initiative from the Saudi rulers, saying he had spoken with them “on our work together to end the conflict in Yemen, facilitate humanitarian access and aid for the Yemeni people”.

The Saudi foreign ministry stated: “The initiative aims to end the human suffering of the brotherly Yemeni people, and affirms the kingdom’s support for efforts to reach a comprehensive political resolution.”

Can you believe this sickening duplicity from the Saudis and the Americans?

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Better Than Banning, by Eric Peters

Governments bent on denying things to their subjects often find that it’s easier to make ownership prohibitively expensive rather than an outright ban. From Eric Peters at ericpetersautos.com:

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Bans are problematic when the thing being targeted is already in wide circulation. Gun being an obvious example. They can decree no new sales but what about the ones already sold – already possessed – by literally millions of people?

Door-to-door confiscation risks physical resistance and is logistically difficult regardless. It is much easier and equally effective to not ban possession of guns outright but rather to require that those who wish to continue continue possessing them pay for the privilege.

That they pay a lot for it. Not just once, either.

An annual registration fee, for instance. With the threat of criminal repercussions for failure to pay, if discovered (as during a “routine” traffic stop, for instance).

Also make ammunition expensive – as via heavy taxes. Not illegal, per se. Just generally unaffordable.

Presto! You have banned without actually banning.   

This method will likely be applied to cars that aren’t electric cars and – most particularly – cars that are not modern cars; i.e., those without built-in spyware (marketed as “apps” and “concierge services”) which present the threat – to the electric car agenda – of  being an alternative to them.

The electric car agenda is about more than just electric cars. It is about connected carsand electric cars are the apotheosis of connectedness.

The source of motive power is almost incidental to the fact that the powers-that-be can remotely control a connected electric car. Its range, for example, can be increased over-the-wire via a “software update.” It ought to be obvious what this implies. If the range can be extended, it can also be reduced.

To zero.

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Maybe Washington Should Let Nord Stream 2 Go, by Daniel R. DePetris

The US can threaten all the sanctions it wants, but the Nord Stream 2 pipeline is 95 percent complete and there’s no chance the Europeans will abandon it. From Daniel R. DePetris at realclearworld.com:

Nord Stream 2, the undersea Russian pipeline designed to transport more natural gas to Germany, is the energy project nearly everyone in Washington, D.C. loves to hate. Some lawmakers are going to great lengths to drill home their point. Sen. Ted Cruz, a co-author of mandatory sanctions legislation targeting the pipeline, blocked a vote on President Joe Biden’s nominee to lead the CIA, William Burns, over the issue. That hold that was lifted about two weeks later after Secretary of State Antony Blinken indicated all entities associated with the project were at risk of U.S. sanctions. Blinken reiterated this position during his latest meeting with NATO foreign ministers.

The $11 billion pipeline could theoretically double the amount of Russian gas that flows to Europe, boosting Moscow’s bottom line and providing Russian President Vladimir Putin with a potent geopolitical weapon to wield against the West. The question, however, is whether the benefits to the United States of destroying Nord Stream 2 are worth the costs, which have not been properly considered.

As frustrated as some lawmakers are with the pace of sanctions by the Biden administration, there are legitimate reasons to think twice before plunging into a full-scale economic assault against the project.

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