Saturday, April 30, 2011

Oil companies are not gouging

Some facts about oil and money at ExxonMobil Perspectives.

ExxonMobil’s earnings are from operations in more than 100 countries around the world. The part of the business that refines and sells gasoline and diesel in the United States represents less than 3 percent – or 3 cents on the dollar – of our total earnings. For every gallon of gasoline, diesel or finished products we manufactured and sold in the United States in the last three months of 2010, we earned a little more than 2 cents per gallon. That’s not a typo. Two cents.
Taxes are much more than that. Governor Molloy in Connecticut wants to add another 3 cents to his state's 25 cent per gallon gas tax. Gas is cheaper in Rhode Island, and cheaper yet in Massachusetts, but most Connecticut residents don't live close enough to a border to make it worthwhile to cross over just for cheaper gas.

Read the Perspectives post, and this one at Power Line, which adds some commentary. Higher energy prices are part of the Administration's plan to Win the Future. WTF!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Palin in 2012

After listening to the podcast of the speech Sarah Palin gave in Madison yesterday, I felt like rushing to the polls to vote for her right away. Video and transcript at Conservatives 4 Palin.

Monday, April 11, 2011

A flappers' dictionary

Slang of earlier eras can be opaque. Here's a guide to some of it from the 1920's. Thanks to Virginia Lee on Facebook.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

"Crisis management in advanced democracies"

I like it when someone takes something I've sort of known for a long time and states it tersely and pungently. Mark Steyn's reader Ezra Marsh just did that, with this:

My experience is that most people, and all democracies, manage time in the following way:

Phase 1) A crisis is coming, but we still have time. There's no need to act yet.
Phase 2) Yes, a crisis is coming, but we still have time. There's no need to act yet.
Phase 3) We're out of time. There's no reason to act, because it's too late.

How often do we see this scenario? Seems like daily. Democrats are particularly good at it. They like to talk about vigilance as if it were paranoia, prudence as a culture of fear. But Republicans sweep things under the rug now and then, too. Thanks to Mark Steyn at The Corner.

Maybe that new car should have one of these

The Wave-Disk engine. What? I don't know, but if they can have a prototype by the end of the year as promised, this is a whole new direction for cars.

The Wave Disk Generator uses 60 percent of its fuel for propulsion; standard car engines use just 15 percent. As a result, the generator is 3.5 times more fuel efficient than typical combustion engines.

Researchers estimate the new model could shave almost 1,000 pounds off a car's weight currently taken up by conventional engine systems.

Thanks to Glenn Reynolds.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Obama's Marie Antoinette moment

One of many, really, but maybe this one will catch the public imagination.

Can't afford gas? Buy a new car!

That's the ticket. Glenn Reynolds has two posts so far. The first has a screenshot and link to video. The second, more thoughts on the matter. Update: Make that three posts: I missed this one.

And a couple of days later, another, with a nod to historical accuracy.

Heh. Another post on this: "LET THEM BUY HYBRID VANS." This topic keeps on giving.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Japan catastrophe

Received in email from Bud Tyler, the Old Marshal of Frontiertown, who claims not to have written it.

10 Things to learn from Japan--

Not a single visual of chest-beating or wild grief. Sorrow itself has been elevated.

Disciplined queues for water and groceries. Not a rough word or a crude gesture.

The incredible architects, for instance. Buildings swayed but didn't fall. (?????)

People bought only what they needed for the present, so everybody could get something.

No looting in shops. No honking and no overtaking on the roads. Just understanding.

Fifty workers stayed back to pump sea water in the N-reactors. How will they ever be repaid?

Restaurants cut prices. An unguarded ATM is left alone. The strong cared for the weak.

The old and the children, everyone knew exactly what to do. And they did just that.

They showed magnificent restraint in the bulletins. No silly reporters. Only calm reportage.

When the power went off in a store, people put things back on the shelves and left quietly.

I think number 3 has a lot to do with building codes, but the architects and contractors need to be willing and able to follow them.

The whole thing says something about media. Someone said something recently about how different real catastrophes are from Hollywood catastrophes. In movies, we always see panicked mobs. In real life, we more often see this kind of cooperative and often selfless behavior. Compare news coverage, largely fictitious, of what was supposedly happening in New Orleans when Katrina hit, with the reports that came later, when real witnesses began speaking up.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

"Palin-bashing by the brain trust"

To go with the previously noted piece on Obama, Van der Leun also gives us On Palin Bashing by the 'Brain-Trust': "As far as coward Charles Krauthammer goes…."As a commenter says, "How did we go from Reagan to Pansy Patrol in so short a period of time?"

A propos of Palin, this from Glenn Reynolds:

MARC AMBINDER ON FACEBOOK: “My hunch is that this election will hinge on who best harnesses the gut fear that America is in decline — and turns it into real optimism.”
Who does this better than she?

Van der Leun speculates on Presidential malice

The question of to what degree Barack Obama hates America and wishes to destroy it comes up in conversation from time to time. Van der Leun's analysis, contrasting Hanlon's and Heinlein's razors, seems like a good contribution. Excerpt:

21 months is an extremely long time to have a rogue ego and malicious mind actively guiding and making the day-to-day, life and death, decisions of the nation. Twenty-one months of appointments, foreign policy, executive orders, and the odd military adventure here or there, can add up to a lot of problems unless your goal is the weakening of the United States. In that case, it might just be enough time after all.
Read the whole thing: Presence of Malice: Against the Conservative Portrait of the President. There is much discussion in comments.

And see, for contrast, the next post: "Palin-bashing by the brain trust."

Friday, April 1, 2011

Pure gas

It seems that some lucky people, in parts of this great land of ours, can still obtain unadulterated, clear quill gasoline. The list of stations is maintained at Pure-Gas dot org. Hmm … they don't seem to mention whether there is MTBE in this stuff, or not. But that would still be better than ethanol. From Jerry Pournelle's mail.