Highway robbery: The progressives’ devious plan to make the rich pay more per mile of driving

by editor on February 1, 2011

Clever devils, those socialists. They’ve devised a devious plan to create progressive driving rates, whereby the rich will be required to pay more per mile of driving than the poor.

How, you may ask, is that possible? How can that be accomplished when gas pumps don’t know your income? Simple. By migrating gas-powered drivers to electric cars.

electric car charging

Fill 'er up, Comrade! We need to get to the revolution!

Consider, for example, the fact that Barack Obama and Joe the Plumber can now fill their gas tanks down at the corner Arco station and they’ll each pay the same price per gallon and the same taxes per gallon. In effect, a flat tax.

This obviously does not sit well with liberals. In their ideal world, everything would be taxed progressively.

And that’s where the electric car comes in.

When you drive an electric car, you will no longer fill ‘er up down at the corner gas station and pay that same taxes, rich or poor. No. You’ll charge your electric car at home and be billed for the additional power by your electric utility.

Therein lies the socialist rub. Electric rates are not the same for every home and every homeowner. They are determined by the amount of electricity a home uses, usually defined in progressive (uh-oh, there’s that word again) tiers based on the number of kilowatt hours used. The more electricity you use, the higher tier you fall in, the more you pay, just like the progressive income tax.

The owner of a small home that uses very little electricity may get all his electricity at the lowest rate. He may even get it for free, because exemptions and subsidies allow some low-income people to avoid some or even all of their electric bill. However, the additional electricity required to power a medium-sized home is priced at a higher rate. And the additional electricity required to power a McMansion is priced at a still higher rate.

In most states, the highest usage tiers are priced significantly higher than the lower ones. For example, here’s what those progressive tiers look like on Pacific Gas & Electric bills in California:

Price per Killowatt Hour

Tier 1: $0.11877 for the first 98 KwH
Tier 2: $0.13502 for the next 29.4 KwH
Tier 3: $0.29062 for the next 68.6 KwH
Tier 4: $0.40029 for the next 52.3 KwH

(As you can see, socialism has come to our electric rates just as surely as it’s come to our tax code.)

Larger incomes mean larger homes. Larger homes mean more electricity. More electricity means higher tiers. Higher tiers means higher prices.

Finally, since electric and hybrid cars generally cost considerably more than their gasoline equivalents, it stands to reason that they are being purchased primarily by higher income earners who already live in larger homes and already pay higher electrical rates. If they weren’t already in the highest tier, the additional electricity required to power their new electric vehicles will surely put them there now.

Viola! Just like that, a person converting from a gasoline-powered car to an electric car goes from a flat tax (the same price for every gallon of gas) to a progressive tax (tiered pricing depending on usage).

Very clever, you socialist redistributors of income. Very clever, indeed.

{ 120 comments… read them below or add one }

neo bonbon February 1, 2011 at 8:50 am

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This has been in the Planning since the ’60′s and 70′s. No Nuclear Energy movement, etc. No stone is unturned, when it comes to sticking it to the ‘Rich’. Freedom and Liberty mean nothing when there is a nickel to be redistributed.
Commie Pinkos never die, they , multiply.
Stalinist Scumbags need to be taught another lesson 2012.

whiskeyriver February 1, 2011 at 9:01 am

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Why do you think our gooberment likes “social” programs? Welfare, food stamps, medicare and medicade, free cell phones, little things here and there like “energy assistance” and tax “rebates” for those that do not pay taxes anyway?

When they have enough sheeple on the public dole the last step will be to try to take our weapons away. And when that happens we will be done as the greatest, most generous civilization ever known in the history of man. I’m glad I won’t be around to see it happen but I do feel sorry for my grandchildren because they may be here to see the shame of the downfall.

whiskeyriver February 1, 2011 at 9:06 am

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You will never see me driving one of those little shoeboxes on tires. It would require an extention cord on a reel heavier than the shoebox itself to get me to town and back. Besides that, where would I put the bales of hay to feed the cattle with?

contrarian February 1, 2011 at 9:32 am

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The “progressive” electric rates will be the nail in the coffin of these little penalty boxes. A fine example of the left tripping over their own failed ideas.

C. Strasburger February 1, 2011 at 1:37 pm

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Its always been that way….but these people have never done well with reality, never done well with economics, never done well with history…..and they have very short memories of their own failures…

See my post below for more facts….

YT February 1, 2011 at 10:21 am

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I’d argue that even with flat KWH pricing the rich will still pay more for every marginal KWH consumed. The fast chargers, from what I understand, are basically like an arc-welder and will need 240V, high amp service. Utilities typically charge you based on your total energy useage and your peak power useage. So anyone that pays for the fast charger will get hit harder than the poor people that will need to stick with the 120V 12-hour charger.

Then there will be a DIY kit for a garage based battery system to charge all day and fast charge your car at night. Then the gov’t will go trolling around to find them.

Like in 2008 when the states and IRS started tracking down people that made their own bio-diesel 10 gallons at a time and hit them for thousands in taxes.

TaterSalad February 1, 2011 at 11:47 am

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Here is the typical, know it all view of a progressive’s take on the 3 branches of government by Chucky Shumer (D), New York: They know it all ! Was this Senator a “community organizer” before becoming a Senator?

Lee February 1, 2011 at 11:49 am

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The rich enviro-whackjobs wont drive an electric car anyway. They`ll buy one and park it in the drive way so all their neighbors can see how environmentally conscience they are, and that`s where it will sit because everyone else is supposed to stop burning fossil fuels, not them.
And, with the 7,500 dollar “tax credit” for buying an electric car, you have tax payers subsidizing cars for rich anti-CO2 morons.

Wes February 1, 2011 at 12:27 pm

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“The more electricity you use, the higher tier you fall in, the more you pay, just like the progressive income tax.”

And on a sidenote: In my area, the electric company that contracts with the government is guaranteed x amount of money. So if people start “being green” and using less electricity, guess what? That’s right, they raise prices to make up the difference. A main guy from the power company said this straight-out on a local, radio-call-in show.

C. Strasburger February 1, 2011 at 1:34 pm

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Why Liberalism is a Psychological Disorder (clearly fits here)

It can be explained with great clarity why the kind of liberalism being displayed by Barack Obama and his liberal minions can only be understood as a psychological disorder.

Based on strikingly irrational beliefs and emotions, modern liberals relentlessly undermine the most important principles on which our freedoms were founded. Like spoiled, angry children, they rebel against the normal responsibilities of adulthood and demand that a parental government meet their needs from cradle to grave.

A social scientist who understands human nature will not dismiss the vital roles of free choice, voluntary cooperation and moral integrity – as liberals do.

A political leader who understands human nature will not ignore individual differences in talent, drive, personal appeal and work ethic, and then try to impose economic and social equality on the population – as liberals do.

And a legislator who understands human nature will not create an environment of rules which overregulates and overtaxes the nation’s citizens, corrupts their character and reduces them to wards of the state – as liberals do.

It is clear the liberal agenda preys on weakness and feelings of inferiority in the population by:

* creating and reinforcing perceptions of victimization;

* satisfying infantile claims to entitlement, indulgence and compensation;

* augmenting primitive feelings of envy;

* rejecting the sovereignty of the individual, subordinating him to the will of the government.

The roots of liberalism – and its obvious associated madness – can be clearly identified by understanding how children develop from infancy to adulthood and how distorted development produces the irrational beliefs of the liberal mind. When the modern liberal mind whines about imaginary victims, rages against imaginary villains, and seeks above all else to run the lives of persons competent to run their own lives, the neurosis of the liberal mind becomes painfully obvious…

anon 2 February 1, 2011 at 2:18 pm

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add-on to wes above;
back in the mid 70′s ‘our local ‘electrical power provider’, put on a big ‘promotion’, about ‘Saving ‘Energy’, – you know, ‘we’ citizens were supposed to cut way back on the energy that we used – and, ‘we’ did – people put few – if any, xmas lights up, that year – etc., etc. – as a ‘community’, we got behind the initiative – and really, must have made a big dent in the power usage, – ’cause (you guessed it) – the next spring (June), they bitched and moaned about how much ‘revenue’ they’d lost (due to everyone’s conservation efforts) until the ‘state utilities commission’ gave them a fat “electric rate hike” to ‘make-up’ for their losses. ( – I won’t go into what that ‘did’ to community moral). The same thing happened here again, – with a ‘water conservation’ program. The same thing happened with the corn/ethanol plants – food prices went up (less corn for food = higher prices ‘and’ less land to grow ‘food’ on = higher prices), gas milage went down (you get less mpg -w/ ethanol blend ‘vs’ 100% gas), gas prices went up (ethanol costs more than gas). The ‘Same Thing’, will happen with ‘Electric cars’ “Q”; why are electric powered cars considered so ‘GREEN’ ? – the electric power has to be ‘generated’ to charge them up – right ? For power generation plants; you have; Coal-fired (air pollution), Natural Gas-fired (carbon monoxide/air pollution), Hydro-Elect./dams (salmon, stergeon, etc.-kills endangered species), Nuclear (think Chernobyl + we haven’t ‘any’ place to put to put the waste), Geo-Thermal (not enough of us live ‘over’ a lava field – think – Yellowstone Nat’l park), Wind Energy (the wind doesn’t always blow enough + irritating low level noise + expensive), Solar (sun doesn’t shine at night + expensive), Wave Power ( works 24/7 – underdeveloped -needs funding, R+D, etc) So, the conclusions i draw, would be, the extra electricity that would have to be generated for electric cars (should they become as popular as gas vehicles) would come, at a ‘unique’ cost, of it’s own- ”Higher Electrical Rates”, ” We’ll ‘All’ Be In, Those ‘Top’ Electrical Rate Tiers ” -W/ A DEGRADED Living Environment, to boot. – while the “Rich’ ride around in their gas guzzling Limo’s, and the ‘common man’ will ‘have’ to buy the ‘electric’ cars’.

CurtisHx February 2, 2011 at 1:21 pm

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So having a buttload of small, inefficient engines is better than having a few huge, efficient generators? The efficiency of an ICE is only around 15%, where as coal powered plants (one of the worst), are up around 40%, and that’s after generation and transmission.

However, a flat rate should be applied to electricity.

gar February 1, 2011 at 2:45 pm

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- oh, by the way, some folks have ‘baseboard’ type of electrical heaters, that ‘heat’ their homes.
they get ‘nailed’ by those HIGH ‘tiered’ electricity rates, – by just trying to keep their house above freezing

SoberVoter February 1, 2011 at 3:02 pm

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Didn’t you read the article? Only poor people have those types of heating systems. So they must get them for free.
We are trying to defend wealthy people here. The poor people have a voice, all the liberals in politics.
We are trying to stop the victimization of the rich. Even as I type this I assure you there is much nashing of teeth, rending of clothes and sobbing all throughout Martha’s Vinyard.

SoberVoter February 1, 2011 at 2:51 pm

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First off, isn’t it the “Green Energy” liberals who buy electric cars? If I’m not mistaken, you gas guzzling refrigerator on wheels (hummer) conservatives fuel you cars with gasoline don’t you?
Second, before any of you lose sleep lamenting the trials of the rich and wealthy, you know the put-upon and dis-enfranchised masses of millionaires. Consider this, if they do get an electric car they’ll just set up executive charging stations where they work and make up the electrical costs by slashing the janitor’s paycheck. He don’t have a union anyway so f–k-em.
There you see? nothing to worry about.

C. Strasburger February 1, 2011 at 4:09 pm

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LOL….morons are everywhere, even here at times. Blame the rich, blame the rich!!! Yes, it is the rich people’s fault…you got us.

Talking points, talking points, talking points….can’t you be more original than that? Hell, I’m not even asking you to be factual!

BTW, it was you that gave me the thumbs down above, right? Come on, you can admit it…trust me, most every one here knows it…and they, for the most part agree with me….facts being what they are and all….

Moron…from your post, I thought you were sober…from your posts, apparently not….

SoberVoter February 1, 2011 at 4:41 pm

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Who blames the rich? I don’t. I like rich people. In fact I wish I was one of them.
I’m making fun of you morons spending all your time defending people who need no defense.
Do you begin to see the point? No? let me take your little hand and walk you through it, you see rich people have lots of money. They have accountants and lawyers to find all the loopholes and tax write offs that let them get away with paying almost nothing.
Not that I have a problem with that. I say more power to them. I would do the same in their position.
The person I make fun of is you. You are not rich, but spend your time defending them from some perceived threat to their upward mobility.
So while I haven’t attacked rich people, you have felt compelled to defend them for no apparent reason.
So tell me, please let me hear you defend the rich man even though he’s not under attack. Tell me of his misery and mis-fortune. How will he ever afford that seventh home. Please, let me hear the lamentations of the rich as told by a stooge.
After you’re done, consider what it is in your nature or programming as the case may be that compels you to knee-jerk defense of rich people even when defending them isn’t warranted. Sounds kind of brain-washy to me.

SoberVoter February 1, 2011 at 4:48 pm

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P.S. Yes I did give you a thumbs down. Somehow in your mind did you think I would deny it? Of course I did. Your an idiot. If I could get your mom to log on you’d have two thumbs down. Now what?

C. Strasburger February 1, 2011 at 4:55 pm

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You see, obviouslynotsosober, I didn’t defend anyone. Not one of my posts, not one, defended the rich, but now that you mention it, I do. What I did do, however, was state the obvious facts about liberals, of which you clearly are one. Only jealous little uneducated, liberal twit lemmings would go on an attack based on talking points, which is exactly what you did. Your mindless repetitive rant in every one of your posts tells us all we need to know about you.

And how do you know I’m not rich?

editor February 1, 2011 at 5:28 pm

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You can’t win this one, C. If you aren’t rich, he’ll say you are mindlessly, stupidly defending something you will never be. If you are rich, he’ll say, “Just what I would have expected from someone who’s rich.”

SoberVoter February 1, 2011 at 8:41 pm

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The entire article is a defense of the rich. Isn’t that the subject, how wealthy people have to pay more for electricity? Which by the way is not proven by the article because there are so many variations in electrical pricing by time of day and distance from source that I’m sure if you looked you could find someone who’s poor that pays more per KWH than another who is rich.
I made a statement regarding the absurdity of pretending rich people are suffering, and you took issue with it. That is defending rich people.
Also, you may indeed be rich. It’s been my experience that many people lie about their status online but let’s say you are wealthy. If that’s the case then I say count your blessings. You are a truly fortunate person. Everyone has problems to deal with. Some people know hunger their entire lives, there is no hope of education or an improvement in their living conditions. They are doomed, from cradle to grave to eek out an existence in poverty. Maybe you do get charged a little more for electricity, or maybe you do pay higher taxes. Is it fair? probably not, but surely you can see that with all the suffering and mis-fortune in the world, your complaint about electrical pricing for wealthy people isn’t going to move people to tears right?

Lee February 1, 2011 at 6:06 pm

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“Second, before any of you lose sleep lamenting the trials of the rich and wealthy, you know the put-upon and dis-enfranchised masses of millionaires. Consider this, if they do get an electric car they’ll just set up executive charging stations where they work and make up the electrical costs by slashing the janitor’s paycheck. He don’t have a union anyway so f–k-em”.

That`s not an attack huh ?
Once again we see the idiot liberal double standard, ok for me but not for thee.

BTW, I think your mom left some more Cheetos and KY outside the basement door for you.

SoberVoter February 1, 2011 at 8:58 pm

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No it wasn’t an attack on rich people. It was an attack on people who feel the need to defend rich people. Look, rich people live fantastic lives. They have the money to come and go as they please, they can purchase the best of everything, visit and see all the sights in the world, afford the best in medical treatment, enjoy long vacations, own multiple homes. They really have it good. Make no mistake about it, rich people live almost magical lives. Being rich is fantastic!
Good for them.
Now let’s talk about you. With all the problems in the world the cause you’ve taken up is to defend rich people? As if they are suffering? All the hard cases in the world and you feel compelled to defend Paris Hilton?
And yes, wealthy people usually find ways to externalize costs by dumping them on others. Look at the Bush tax cuts. Rich people kept the extra tax money and to make up for it Bush and the Republicans raided Social Security for the money. Working class people picked up the tab so that rich people could get a free ride. And for what? A vague promise of them creating jobs? Well where are the jobs? We’ve had trickle down for ten years and where’s the jobs?

I have an idea, maybe rich people just need a little more money to create jobs. So what I propose is that all middle and working class Americans must pay an overtax. I know you don’t like the sound of that, but hear me out. Everyone else can pay an overtax and that money can go into a fund to buy mansions and exotic sports cars for rich people. Hell, let’s pay their electric bill while we’re at it. With the money they save they can create jobs. That’s what we’re doing now. If rich people don’t pay someone else does.

alien February 1, 2011 at 9:43 pm

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Good money is spent in many places to convince Americans that our ridiculous income disparity is not a systemic flaw

I like this overtax debating point. It does beg the question: if money in the hands of the rich is so much better at driving the economy, then why the heck aren’t we giving them more?

At some point, you cross a tipping point, and the money flies out of control and beyond national interest, to be invested on foreign shores or blown into bubbles. I suspect something like this happened in the 2000′s

perlcat February 2, 2011 at 9:12 am

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The problem is that the entire concept of income disparity presumes that all should get roughly equal pay for equal work, and therefore, what we do has equal value, because everyone has an equal value to society, because they “deserve” to be paid the same as everyone else through some “underpants-gnome” form of logic.

It is circular reasoning, and does not take into account the value of knowledge/skills/’spark of genius’.

While I am not thrilled that some creep like George Soros, who through taking advantage of a fluctuation in market value, harvested billions of dollars from the pension funds of ordinary people like me, apparently he knew that the market would drop when nobody else would. I cannot say that he deserves it as a human being — but he knew something that I didn’t, had money I didn’t to buy the equity position he needed to take advantage of it, and so he profited (and I didn’t). Sucks to be me, I guess.

If I deny his right to invest as he sees fit on the justification that he does not deserve the returns, then I deny everyone else, including people better than he, the right to invest in better ideas and businesses, and to use the same financial tools he used to preserve the safety and security of their investments as a whole.

It is all a moot point. The net effect of any so-called “soak the rich” tax provisions is ALWAYS to bankrupt the middle class. The “rich” have tax accountants, as you pointed out. They also have strategies that we cannot take advantage of. Remember the rich Lebowski in “The Big Lebowski”? He did not own any money. If he did, it would all be taxed. Heavily. His *business* owned money. His business financed his rich lifestyle as a vital part of his business*.

If we turned and taxed businesses in order to ‘reach’ people like him, in the first place, we’d destroy jobs for ordinary people. He’d just can his driver, his secretary, and do without a few of the many conveniences that he has. In the second place, the business people, being the ones that finance these politicians, would simply move their money elsewhere — don’t worry, the advance notice that these changes will occur is a very lucrative piece of information for a politician to have — the only people that won’t know this strategy in time to move is John Q. Taxpayer.

There are a *lot* of millionaire congressmen, and many got that way through “investments” their own businesses made while in office. Others claim to be poor, but live great lifestyles, since their businesses feel that they ought to live well. Doesn’t it make you wonder, when a politician will spend millions of his own money for a position that pays a measly $150,000? If you don’t smell a rat, see an ENT, and please pay the poor devil cash.

The “class warfare/soak the rich” argument is a classic shell game. “Punish X, and you’ll feel better about yourself”, the politicians say, and then they punish their constituents for being chumps instead.

It is a no-op, and a waste of time to tell me that we ought to make rich people pay more taxes, or that I’m a fool for defending them — they’ll pay what they want, when they want, to whom they want. If you find a way to get them to want to pay more, then they’ll pay more. They don’t need the likes of me to defend them — they really don’t care what our collective opinion is of them. Why should they? They’re rich.

There’s no need for me to defend them — but there is a need for me to clarify the point — the rich don’t use money they way we do, and taxes that supposedly punish them only punish poorer people. It results in fewer jobs for low income people, and higher taxes for the middle class, which, as of the lastest round of political doublespeak, was neatly eliminated by moving the bar of being ‘rich’ down to $250,000 a year.

This amount is low enough to include people that pay a high proportion of taxes that cannot skirt confiscatory taxes (doctors and such — look into setting up a Professional Corporation if you don’t believe me.), and high enough that the ex-middle-class feels relatively poor. It is a class warfare tactic, and it is working brilliantly in dividing people, and keeping people from addressing the problems at hand. It works *so* much better than the old way of just defining “poor” as the bottom 10% of the US by monkeying with the poverty level — that didn’t foment enough unrest, and as a tactic, had to be abandoned — by definition, the number of “poor” never grew, always remaining at, you guessed it, 10%. Since moving the “poor” definition up didn’t work, they moved “rich” down. Instant victory in the Democrat war on the middle class! Winners: Politicians. Losers: America.

Politicians as a group are adept at causing problems, then claiming they are the solution, if only you’ll elect them, and let them award their cronies with government cash.

* — the plot was kind of stupid — any rich guy that understands that would never want that kind of money on hand when he can simply control his businesses money. Having a sudden million in cash would cause a lot more problems explaining to the IRS than it would ever solve. But that rug really brought the room together…

C. Strasburger February 2, 2011 at 9:32 am

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Well and succinctly put, Perlcat. I was not going to get into this anymore, but couldn’t help myself with this one from you.


SoberVoter February 2, 2011 at 11:27 am

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Your entire argument, while thought out and well articulated starts from a false premise. That false premise is that someone is out there claiming that everyone should make the same pay. Not true, there is no one that I know of making that argument.
Of course a CEO is worth far more than a janitor. An engineer is worth far more than a press operator. People who start or found comapanies, or invent or innovate new products or services should be richly rewarded many times what they pay their base worker.
No one is saying that everyone should make the same pay.
Having said that, I do beleive that there is an argument to be made that there has been a huge re-distribution of wealth over the last thirty years or so. CEO’s average making 500 times what the base worker of their company makes. In the 70′s CEOs made roughly 45 times as much. While CEO and executive pay has gone through the roof, worker wages have stagnated. When you factor in inflation people make less on average than they did in 1979.
So there’s room for a reasonable argument about the effects of concentrating the wealth to the top 1% without employing ridiculous arguments about everyone making the same pay.
Your argument is a false argument of your own design. No liberals or democrats anywhere are making that argument.

Necron_99 February 2, 2011 at 12:16 pm

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Sober Voter = False Premise

perlcat February 2, 2011 at 12:35 pm

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Clue me in, then.

If the actual “rich” wind up not participating in income redistribution due to their normal tax avoidance methods, who is it that is in the ‘from’ part of the list for getting income redistributed?

Even if the equal work for equal pay part of my argument is invalid, the net effect is the same. One set of rules for one group, another for the other groups. The whole bill of goods is sold on the argument that income has to be redistributed. I have a problem with that, and always will.

When people actually contribute their own fair share willingly, then maybe I will lose some of my cynicism about redistribution. While you’re at it, you need to address the Geithners, the Daschles, the Kerrys, and all the other cabinet-level/congressional multimillionaire tax cheats who feel that it is better for us than them to pay taxes (unless they get caught). Seems like *you’re* defending the rich, and I’m defending the downtrodden here, bub.

The way I see it, Mom & Pop (and their doctor) still pay to maintain the welfare society, and the Lebowskis, with their various tax sheltering entities they’ve created for themselves thanks to crony capitalism, claim they make less than minimum wage, and with a little luck/creative accounting, collect an EIC payment on top of the pittance in taxes they actually pay.

I’m just trying to see the fairness in that, and how the actual net effect of the ‘soak the rich’ mantra gets spun.

SoberVoter February 2, 2011 at 1:19 pm

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I hear your arguments perlcat, and while they are once again well formulated, you kind of go off on a couple tangents here.

1. Wealthy people do avoid paying most of their taxes and that’s even under the current tax rates. Remember, back in the 50′s wealthy people were taxed at a 93% rate. Yes, pretty obscene, you would think that 25 or 35% would be palletable but obviously not. My argument is that many wealthy people don’t pay their share of taxes and that includes kerry or Daschle or anyone else. I’m not excerpting them, you are. I say they should pay taxes but that is not the focus of this argument. We’re talking about income trends not taxes.

2. You talk about sets of rules that determine who gets paid what. That’s a pretty draconian and inflexible approach. But the reality is that many people who decide who gets paid what have been re-distributing wealth for a number of years now. Just as it is unfair for someone to say a CEO can only make X dollars, it is equally unfair for executives (who by the way are hired employees, not the founders or owners of the company or corporation) to give themselves unending raises and bonuses while stripping the pay and benefits from everyone else working for that company. This is re-distribution of wealth by proxy and it is equally foul. Unlike the perceived re-distribution that conservatives complain about, this one is real and has been going on for nearly three decades.
If it were up to me I would propose a salary cap based on the amount of money a corporation makes. For example, if a company makes $1 million dollars (in profit after taxes and expenses and dividend payments) in 2011, then they could pay $500K to the CEO and top ten execs, and pay the other $500K to the remaining employees. This would allow a company or corporation full control over who gets paid what within certain margins. So one company could pay their CEO $200K and split the $300K between the execs. Another company may pay the CEO $300K and split $200K among the execs. Likewise either company would have control over worker pay as well. Engineers would make more than janitor and so on. The only real difference would be that the law would prohibit them from funneling all the money to a handful at the top while stagnating or reducing wages at the bottom. The NFL has a salary cap and it has been pretty beneficial to the owners.

3. You’re right that everyone should contribute their fair share. If that janitor doesn’t show up for work or does a bad job he should be penalized or fired. I’m right there with you on that one. If you’re referring to people on welfare, then again, you’re getting off topic. We’re not talking about unfair wealth distribution to welfare recipients. We’re talking about working men and women who get up and go to work each day and do a good job but don’t get a fair shake because someone at the top decided to buy a new yacht.

4. I feel the same way about mom and pop paying to support welfare recipients. Some welfare cases are clear abuse of the system and need to be addressed. Having said that, we are in a bad economy which has swelled the welfare rolls with many people who would otherwise be working. For the most part, Clinton and the Republicans fixed welfare in the 90′s. They introduced the “workfare” program that made people go to work for their food stamps and welfare checks after a certain period of time. This reduced the welfare rolls to their lowest point since 1968. In fact I believe that welfare rolls were reduced by 53% during that time. But again, there was also a good economy so that certainly helped nudge people off of welfare. I don’t think that welfare is the problem that it use to be in the 70′s and 80′s. I would even be willing to bet that when the economy picks up the numbers will bottom out once again. After all, the workfare program is still in effect.

alien February 2, 2011 at 1:04 pm

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I take issue with the socialist strawman you have reeled in. I shall burn him with fiery arrows!! Alas, i cannot comment at length, since I must work for my fat paycheck (well, it feels fat enough, anyhow, and keeps me from taking arms against bloated plutocrats).. So later, then, and have at it with SoberVoter. Til then, Alien abides

SoberVoter February 1, 2011 at 3:13 pm

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By the way, the cars pictured in the article are Tesla roadsters. Let me make sure I understand this, you can afford to buy a $100K car, but complain about charging it?
And who’s charging these rates? Isn’t it the electric COMPANY? They don’t call it the “electric government”. It’s a businessman who’s found a way to make more money. I would even guess that he’s a conservative. After all, the liberals are all at home collecting food stamps right?
If a wealthy energy company decides to make a profit from people charging their electric cars then that is their business. Why don’t you stop interfearing with capitalism?

P.S. Electric rates change by region as well. Most of it depends on your supplier and how far the power has to travel to get to you. Regardless of income level or size of home.

Exile February 1, 2011 at 4:52 pm

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I thought electric utility companies defined a ‘tier’ by time of day. During high peak demand times they charge more to give industrial users an incentive to move energy intensive production to lower demand periods of the day. I’m pretty sure everyone pays the low rate (tier) at 3:00 am!

editor February 1, 2011 at 5:25 pm

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That is absolutely wrong. Tiers are levels of total usage that have nothing to do with time of day or peak demand periods. Here’s how Pacific Gas & Electric, IHTM’s electric utility, explains it on its website:

“Electric tiers work like many mobile phone plans – you get a low rate when your use stays within certain limits. If you go over your allotted kWh, you will be charged a higher rate, just as if you went over the allotted minutes in your mobile phone plan. PG&E has a 5-tier rate structure where each additional increment, or tier, of use beyond the baseline level is charged at a higher price.”

For further information, here’s the page on PG&E’s website that explains it:


SoberVoter February 1, 2011 at 9:26 pm

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Isn’t it likely that more liberals are driving electric cars than conservatives? I mean the liberals are the ones always talking about fossil fuels and moving toward a green economy right? So wouldn’t it make sense that most electric cars are purchased by liberals?
Also, aren’t most liberals lazy free loaders who lay around the house collecting food stamps? If so, then it would follow that the people who are running the power company are good hard working conservatives right?

Are you sure you don’t have this completely backward? Wouldn’t the argument make more sense if someone said that greedy conservative industrialists are overcharging green loving liberals for charging their electric cars? Just employing common sense here. This article seems to have everyone’s stereotype backwards doesn’t it?

alien February 1, 2011 at 9:32 pm

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Maybe wrong for PG&E, but SRP has tiered pricing based on demand patterns that fall within weekday timeframes. “Tier” may not be the exact terminology, but I make sure to run appliances after 9PM (well, some of the time.. and it might be 7PM. And I forget precisely 49% of the time. My wife knows)

I expect this to change if enough people buy electric cars in this market. Cheaper electricity at night will go away. I don’t think this is a progressive plot. Tis supply/demand, very free market.

alien February 2, 2011 at 12:44 pm

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does the downvoting coward disagree with my understanding of my own SRP bill?

Necron_99 February 2, 2011 at 12:51 pm

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Alien, it’s probably a ‘Very Sober’ thumbs down… LOL

alien February 2, 2011 at 12:55 pm

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more likely a hateful lurker who deems me inhuman, since i won’t make fun of gays or FLOTUS’ buttocks

perlcat February 2, 2011 at 1:08 pm

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[gouging out mind's eye after you wrote the phrase: "FLOTUS' buttocks"]

Say that six times real fast.

I dare you!

alien February 2, 2011 at 2:16 pm

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OK ok.. i did it.. and its raised a lot of questions around here

C. Strasburger February 2, 2011 at 1:00 pm

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Alien, its unquestionably the notsosoberone down-voting… Me thinks all the thumbs down belong to him on this particular thread….you know, the notsosoberone that “loves” rich people….

One of his posts here talks about how all the rich republicans are the ones cavorting with wall street….when the fact is most of wall street, for whatever ridiculous reason, contribute far more the democrats. Don’t you just love how easily these liberals are led by the lies and distortions of their heros?

perlcat February 2, 2011 at 1:05 pm

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SoberVoter February 2, 2011 at 2:04 pm

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Really? Rolling on the floor laughing your ass off? Are you sure you’re not exaggerating?

P.S. If it was that funny, why didn’t you give a thumbs up? I’m looking at your post at 4P.M., you made the comment at 1P.M and at this time Strasburger has no thumbs up.

perlcat February 2, 2011 at 2:17 pm

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Context is everything.

SoberVoter February 2, 2011 at 1:58 pm

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Well Strasburger Holmes, it seems you’ve broken the case wide open. Only problem is that nearly all of my comments have gotten thumbs down (which is impossible for me to do) and many times my comments have multiple thumbs down (which is even more impossible for me to do).
So your theory that I am the ONLY one thumbs downing everyone is a little shotty.

Second, I don’t beleive that I have ever made a comment about conservatives and wall street.

P.P.S. I’m thumbs downing you. Seriously, first you say I’m the only one giving thumbs down which is provably false. Then you claim I make a comment that is nowhere in the thread. Very poor detective skills.

alien February 2, 2011 at 2:23 pm

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i collect downvotes on this here website

perlcat February 2, 2011 at 2:34 pm

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As long as you can keep your rug dry.

JJJRO February 2, 2011 at 3:09 pm

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SoberVoter February 2, 2011 at 3:48 pm

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I’m sorry, this must be one of yours. Here you go. ;)

CaliforniaDave February 2, 2011 at 12:52 am

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Oh, and where does all that electricity come from? The Electric Fairy?


How is that good for the environment? Now, if we had nuclear plants…oh, wait…

SoberVoter February 2, 2011 at 11:38 am

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Well you’ve conveniently omitted wind turbines, hydro-electric, geo-thermal, and solar power from your argument, but never mind that.
Yes liberals are aware that we generate a great deal of electricity from coal fired and nuclear power plants. Having said that, the electric car itself does not burn fossil fuel on a daily basis. No it’s not perfect, yes in most cases the electric source is dirty but to pretend that electric cars are just as bad as combustion powered vehicles is ridiculous.

C. Strasburger February 2, 2011 at 12:56 pm

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So now you admit you are a liberal…..you said last night you weren’t…or you implied it. You people are so predictable…. LOL…

SoberVoter February 2, 2011 at 3:17 pm

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Let me clarify for you just a little, “yes liberals are aware that we (we as a society) generate a great deal of electricity…”

You have to pay attention to what you read just a little more carefully. Liberals are aware that me and Strasburger, perlcat, alien and the rest of American society generate most of our electricity in a non-green way. I’m not saying I’m a liberal, I’m saying that liberals are aware of where society gets its energy.
Now, re-read the post and correct yourself.

DrunkVoter February 2, 2011 at 3:25 pm

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You’re sorta boring.

SoberVoter February 2, 2011 at 3:36 pm

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Apperantly I’m not. After all you went and created a moniker that is a play on mine. Did you have to create a new email address and everything to do that?
Gotta say, it seems like a lot of work to go through just to reply to someone you think is boring.

That’s right baby, you got scorched. Now go get a new email address, make up another name and pretend to be someone who didn’t get burned.

DrunkVoter February 2, 2011 at 3:56 pm

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I think we know what Keith Olberman is doing in his free time now, SIR!

SoberVoter February 2, 2011 at 5:07 pm

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That is soo funny! You took the fact that Keith Olberman was off the air, and then pretended like I was him and turned that into a joke!
That is so original! I have never seen or heard anyone do anything like that ever!
OMG! you are sooo funny!
Thumbs up! and bravo! You are nothing short of a comedic genious!
LMAO! no, no wait….ROFLMAO!

alien February 2, 2011 at 5:54 pm

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I was called Michael Moore, Rosie O’Donnel, libtard, etc.. Seriously, my only shield was tenacity and service (army). Sad to think that my wife.. my brother, with the same views, would not garner begrudging respect, and we are all very solidly centrist

SoberVoter February 2, 2011 at 6:40 pm

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I know it’s the same on all the political rags. Over here I’m Keith Olberman, over on Huffpo I’m a “pug” or a “troll”.
People get to a hard extreme and there’s no room for a reasonable argument.
If you say working class people aren’t getting a fair shake then the right says you hate rich people and want to re-distribute the wealth. If you say affirmative action is reverse discrimination in some cases then the left says you are a racist and a bigot.
What’s funny is that some people on Huffpo think I’m a wealthy snob, and people over here think I lay around and collect food stamps.
In reality, my economic status just like my political beleifs fall somewhere in the middle.

whiskeyriver February 2, 2011 at 4:32 pm

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Why did you conveniently omit the fact that solar, wind, hydro electric, all the “green”forms of energy only produce about 9% of our annual electricity needs? And if you take hydro power out of the equation you are looking at less than 2% of our power needs come from alternative methods.

Saying electric cars are as bad as gas powered cars is not ridiculous. Putting 10 million electric cars on the roads will cause more pollution in the long run. Most will have to be charged twice a day. To get work then to get home. The amount of coal that would have to be burned every day so 2% of the workforce can get to their jobs and back far outweighs the pollution gas powered cars would spew into the air. And what makes you think electric cars won’t run on a daily basis, requiring charging every day? Everyone I know goes to work every day, goes to the grocery store a couple of times a week, takes their kids to the dentist, every day of the week they take their car somewhere for some reason.

Checked the weather lately? Don’t you know that battery output, or duration, drops by half when the temperatures drop below freezing? A car that has to be charged every 300 miles will have to be charged every 150 instead. What will that do to the demand for electricity? Gas powered cars don’t use much more fuel either way, warm or cold. How many people may have lost their lives this past few days if they had been driving an electric car? People stuck in the storms for 6, 8 or 10 hours? Remember what I said about battery output dropping with the temperature?

We have a long way to go before technology will catch up making electric cars feasible so for now lets work with what we have. Build cars that get 50 miles per gallon. Improve engine designs so they produce less pollution. Use what we know will work and improve on it. It will give us time to develop the tecnology and resources needed to go electric instead of rushing at it without a clue as to which direction to go.

C. Strasburger February 2, 2011 at 4:46 pm

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Whiskey, good post. If we have learned anything over the last 50 years, it should be that liberals don’t/can’t think beyond tomorrow afternoon at 3PM. I don’t think I need to expound on that for most of us….and I don’t feel like it.

And BTW, notsosober, I don’t have to give you a thumbs down…I rarely ever do that….and in your case, I didn’t think it necessary…your words speak for themselves……

There is an old saying….it is better to keep your mouth shut, and be thought a fool….than to open it, and remove all doubt…. Might do you well to remember that…..

Necron_99 February 3, 2011 at 12:14 pm

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“liberals don’t/can’t think beyond tomorrow afternoon at 3PM”

I think you mean 4:20… That’s when they all “self-medicate”…

RockingHorseGuy February 2, 2011 at 11:57 pm

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Whiskey, don’t forget the fact that whenever somebody tries to build an example of a clean energy generator, the envirowhackos put a stop to it. If you can’t put a solar array in the middle of a desert that nobody ever goes to, they’re certainly not going to let anyone dam up a river, or erect wind generators. I think that switching off the power to the homes of environmentalists is the only way to get them to pay attention.

whiskeyriver February 3, 2011 at 6:21 am

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That’s where the eco-freaks are running into problems. A coal fired plant large enough to produce 2,000 mega-watts of power covers about 10 square miles of land and will supply about 300,000 homes.

A solar plant large enough to produce the same 2,000 mega-watts would cover 259 square miles of land. A little over 1,660,000 acres of land covered to supply a community that covers about 1/4th the same area of land.

alien February 3, 2011 at 6:58 pm

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Did they design that solar plant in the 19th Century?

If Spain can generate 300MWe off of land measured in hundreds of ACRES, so can we.


and its been around for several years now, to be completed in 2013.

editor February 3, 2011 at 7:57 pm

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That article was from August, 2010. Since then Spain has pulled the plug (you’ll pardon the expression) on its solar program and admitted that it’s a colossal, costly failure that cannot be sustained.

alien February 3, 2011 at 8:50 pm

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This is news to me. If you are correct, i am burned

alien February 3, 2011 at 9:06 pm

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I see that Spain has retroactively cut subsidies, not the program.. its still a private venture, just not as lavishly funded

Sounds like the power will be expensive, which we all recognize solar will be until the engineering improves, and Spain screwed up by not investing in its own manufacturing capability. Oh well. Another day

C. Strasburger February 4, 2011 at 5:07 am

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Spain cut subsidies to this program for several reasons, including the fact that it has deen determined to be a collossal failure in practice, and because they are broke, broke, broke…sort of like the USA, due in full, again, to liberal policy making. They too thought they could prop up an industry…..

Been watching the news? Spain is broke due to really bad spending habits…as is Greece, as is Portugal, as is Iceland…as is…. The same old story of out of control spending with the thinking (if you can all it that) that the government can grow economies with taxpayer money….fact is, at some point the taxpayer money runs out…this is what happens with socialist policies. Everyone gets a handout…no one works, government pays everyone not to work, so no one contributes, revenues go down, down, down….and, unfortunately, we know how this movie ends…..

I could have a field day with solar panels and wind generators and how they will not do what the left thinks they will with respect to supporting the electrical needs of approx 310M people, and now to add cars to that grid? I have a thought…why don’t we all come back into the real world…. Alice doesn’t want us anymore….

alien February 4, 2011 at 7:56 am

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I’m not sure Spain’s mistakes are an indictment against solar power, per se. I have an in-law who runs her house off solar outside of Benson (of course this is AZ sunshine). Not sure if she could throw an electric car on that, though, and her upfront costs may have been partially subsidized.

I didn’t get the impression that the facility was a failure itself (in terms of generating power): just that is was way over-budget and recessionary Spain decided it couldn’t handle the burden. Spain’s never been a first-class economy like Germany, either. I never realized the extent of Spain’s subsidy.

I figure the efficiencies are coming, and it might take decades to be mass-market ready. My original point was about the geographical footprint of a solar plant, which i do not believe are as enormous as depicted above.

C. Strasburger February 4, 2011 at 9:11 am

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Alien, I never said there was an indictment against Spain specifically, but the simple fact is voltaic circuits (current tech) have an effective effiency rating of approx 15%….

I know this because I use solar on my yacht, and the time it takes to just impact about 340 amps of my total 680 amps of house battery banks is substantial (btw, I also have a windgenerator that requires at minimum 15mph of constant wind to even get close – I could go into substantial detail but I won’t here). I still have to run the engine when we cruise because sometimes the sun doesn’t shine….many times the wind does not blow….

Now, equate that to the requirements of a simple household (including your new elec car) with just your basic power requirements, or a city, or even a city block….just not enough efficiency to make it worthwhile. Last I saw, the calcualtions to run just the city of Dallas would require a solar farm the size of Texas… The Germans are are working on a new nano tech solar array tech, but the costs outweigh the benefits….and will for years. And I loved the other recent idea from liberals that we all paint our roofs white…what morons. Simple physics….what happens when you reflect light/heat back into the atmosphere???? That was a rhetorical question, btw…

Either way, we currently have the same financial problems as Spain (which is the real issue) and the EU as a whole (save Germany), and we cannot support doing this in any way in the near term.

Not saying in anyway that we should not be looking at alternatives (not that we will run out of oil anytime in the next 2 centuries), but sometimes you just have to face reality…something liberals never have done well with….

alien February 4, 2011 at 4:41 pm

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@strasburger i never said you indicted Spain.. i said Spain’s mistakes aren’t necessarily indictment of solar power

SoberVoter February 3, 2011 at 10:53 am

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If you’re implying that the same people who are proponants of wind and solar energy are the same people who complain about wind and solar array construction then that is a lie.
People who support wind a solar energy also support the construction of wind and solar arrays.
Most of the people I’ve seen complaining about these constructs were just everyday people who are a little self-centered and care more about their view than solving our energy problem.
What’s more, who cares what these people want? Have you ever seen an oil refinery? It’s square miles of pipework, they stink beyond beleif and they belch smoke and fire 24/7. If the enviro-whackos as you call them can’t stop the construction of an oil refinery then why should they stop solar or wind arrays?

Administrator February 3, 2011 at 11:38 am

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No, it is not a lie SoberVoter. Allow me to enlighten you.


And right in the backyard of IHTM, in the Carrizo Plain of the California Valley, there are plans for SunPower to build the largest solar plant in the country. But our local paper is filled with concerns by eco-wackos over the naive rat, the wild weeds, the effect of construction crews, and so on and so on.

And don’t get me started on wind. From views destroyed (if the certain lib happens to live there) to birds killed, environmentalists fight against wind farms all the time.

SoberVoter February 3, 2011 at 12:34 pm

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If what you are saying is true, then why is it conservatives are the only ones who ever bring this up? Go to Huffpo and look at related articles. Thousands of posts and the only people you will see complaining about this stuff are the conservative posters. Liberals love wind farms and solar arrays. Fact of life guy.
Rachel Maddow once did a piece on conservative media articles just like yours that try to pretend the people who are for renewable energy then go against the construction of these facilities.
She may be right, she may be wrong. I don’t know who’s starting the debate, I do know that Rachel Maddow is a pretty hard left liberal and she loves wind turbines and solar arrays, and every liberal I’ve ever had an argument with seems to love them. I find it hard to beleive that these same people would then complain about actually constructing them. I know you guys like to sit here and pretend that liberals are all retarded morons, just as the people over at Huffpo say the same things about you. Fact is, most people are not that stupid. No matter which side they are on. You will never convince me that liberals are against solar arrays, just as no one could ever convince me that a bunch of conservatives are getting together to block the construction of an oil rig in Alaska.

perlcat February 3, 2011 at 1:25 pm

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Well, for one thing, I would be surprised if people would go around bragging about being hypocrites.

You are using absolute terms like ‘Liberals love wind farms and solar arrays’ as your proof that liberals would *never* say ‘Not in MY backyard’. It is just plain silly, to be honest. Did I, or anyone else say that *ALL* liberals are closet windmill haters? Nope. Just certain prominent ones. And when they rear their hypocritical heads, everyone on the liberal sites like HuffPo do the old cover up dance, and then we mock them, and their chumps defend them.

As a matter of fact, it can be proved, time and time again, that certain liberals who are VOCAL about wind/solar/carbon issues, suddenly have an about face when it comes to installing some of the wonderful in their backyard. It is as sure as, begging your pardon, SUV’s, private jets, and stretch limos at AGW conferences, or rabid human rights violators in prominent positions on the UN Human Rights Commission.

When you take this position, all’s we have to disprove you is come up with one [cough] Paul Newman [cough] Al Gore to disprove you.

The fact that places like HuffPo and others cannot find these situations only serves to prove their outrageous bias — I mean, lawsuits and their contents are a matter of public record — if they can’t find them when they’ve been pointed out, then they sure as hell aren’t looking. If they don’t look, and they ignore it when it is handed to them, how are they going to find any opposition?

Again, we must wield our powers of scorn and ridicule.

C. Strasburger February 3, 2011 at 1:38 pm

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You forgot that good old teddy ‘drunkin-killer” kennedy (vomit!) and his disdain when they wanted to put a windfarm off martha’s vineyard two years ago…

This guy, notsosober, goes to huffpo for his info…does that not tell you everything you need to know about him? Seriously, folks, don’t pay attention to the moron behind the curtain…..enough…

SoberVoter February 3, 2011 at 4:15 pm

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No I wasn’t talking to you, hence my post appeared under perlcat’s comment and not yours, as this one is doing.
You are incorrect. While Senators and Representatives have the ability to get subsidies to purchase their own health insurance, almost none of them do.
The government provided care is much more affordable and delivers better care for fewer dollars.
P.S. Apperantly, I come to this web site for my info as well, so are you going to add that to the indictment?

SoberVoter February 3, 2011 at 2:55 pm

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Are you talking to me? Because you lecture about casting people in broad terms should probably have been applied to RockingHorseGuy who started the whole conversation with his enviro-whakos line above. Or do you only see what you want to see? Take issue with only the side you don’t agree with even when your side started the broad generalizations.
Really? Your a regular on IHTM and you have a problem with people being put into a catagory?
Have you ever heard the name commie? how about libtard? I know you don’t like enviro-whacko because you blamed me for repeating it after your conservative buddies used it.
P.S. You can find hypocrites everywhere. Just like all the Republicans in congress that have government run healthcare and LOVE IT. They love it baby. You couldn’t pry it from their cold, dead, greedy, corporate pipe fitting hands. But you and me? we don’t need it. We will be much better off paying lots of money to their buddies. Odd how these things work isn’t it? They have it and it’s great. If we get it there will be death panels and all that stuff. It almost makes me beleive someone’s making a profit off of us buying private health insurance. But that can’t be true because that would make ABSOLUTELY EVERY LAST REPUBLICAN IN CONGRESS A HYPOCRITE.

C. Strasburger February 3, 2011 at 3:12 pm

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Ok, so……I guess to start, I should ask if you were referring to me, I mean about referring to you….well, the answer would be yes, I was.

Next, I guess you are an environmental whacko, or perhaps, just a plain whacko, since you took umbrage with rocking horse guys comment about your kind and took great pains to point that out above…LOL….

And, finally, the members of congress have government run healthcare, really? That’s interesting…no, really it is! Geez, it really amazing just how smart you are! I guess the rest of us that know factually that the government and all its employees own private healthcare plans paid for by our tax money to various insurance companies are just plain, dumb, republican, schlub, hypocrites… Please forgive us, oh great one!

I think I hear your mommy calling…its time to take your meddies! Nite Nite!

All, I know I said I was finished with this environmental, whacko, clown, but I couldn’t help myself…and it really is fun to watch this turd spin himself down the bowl….LMAO!

Administrator February 3, 2011 at 2:01 pm

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You say something is a lie and ask for proof, so I send you a link to an article that uses Reuters for a source:


And yet, you say, “You will never convince me that liberals are against solar arrays.” Reuters won’t do I guess.

You’re right. No one will convince you of anything you disbelieve since you care not for facts.

But please, keep it up. While I don’t have time to come and engage with readers often, I must say that I do browse some of your comments and they are quite entertaining in there lack of logic, and frankly only serve to advance the conservative movement. Thank you.

alien February 3, 2011 at 4:46 pm

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Syllogistic fallacy. BOOM(!) there goes the logic!

not all conservationists are liberal.. not all liberals are conservationists.. some turtles may in fact like it in the shade of the great solar array..

Or.. is it tortoises? Damn you words and your meanings

SoberVoter February 3, 2011 at 2:33 pm

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Read the article and it doesn’t mention liberals at all. Are you sure you posted the correct link?
Or are you just assuming that all liberals are environmentalists? Becasue Perlcat doesn’t like that sort of thing.

Administrator February 3, 2011 at 3:08 pm

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Now you’re simply delusional, lying to yourself, and just plain ridiculous.

Careful now, you’re about to lose it. I can feel you’re on the edge, calling people on other threads Nazis and such. Hold it together. Take another pill. Take a breath.

SoberVoter February 3, 2011 at 3:30 pm

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Well, you could copy the line from the article that mentions liberals and paste it in to a comment. Then it would be there for everyone to see and I couldn’t deny it.
Also, are you referring to the thread with the guy who used “commie” are you talking about the “commie” comment that I responded to? You know the guy who started his comment off with the word commie? is it the commie comment that you’re talking about? The guy who said commie so I said nazi? Just trying to make sure you have the right comment. Because it was the commie one you know? It was the commie comment that I was responding to.

SoberVoter February 3, 2011 at 3:34 pm

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P.S. Commie, commie, commie, commie, commie, commie, Commie, commie, commie, commie, commie, commie, Commie, commie, commie, commie, commie, commie, nazi.Oops, there I go using that mean old nazi word again. And right in the middle of all those nice words.

perlcat February 3, 2011 at 12:08 pm

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…and just to throw my $100,000,000,000,000 in, your sentence “If the enviro-whackos as you call them can’t stop the construction of an oil refinery then why should they stop solar or wind arrays?”

is Just Wrong.

There hasn’t been a new refinery built in the US in years.

The only reason the “No Growth Flat Earth Marxists”, as Mark Levin so charmingly calls them, hasn’t been picketing refinery construction sites is because nobody wants to deal with the negative publicity.

It’s got nothing to do with the Flat Earthers being tolerant of badly needed oil refinery construction in spite of their ugliness in the landscape. I’ll bet you that *any* oil refinery *proposed* *anywhere* on US soil will ignite a firestorm of picketing.

The only way to build one would be to build it offshore, as it’s harder to picket.

alien February 2, 2011 at 12:51 pm

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Who is it that doesn’t know about electricity-from-coal, exactly?

I’m more concerned with peak oil then climate change, at this time. The effects of major disruptions in the oil economy are coming at us a lot faster, and will hit harder. We need to get ahead of this, as a nation.

SoberVoter February 2, 2011 at 3:26 pm

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Yes, peak oil is a very big deal and we need to start taking some real approaches to breaking our oil dependancy. Not for green reasons or global warming or even national security. It’s running out. Doesn’t matter where you drill, there is a finite amount of fossil fuels and we are exhausting them at an ever increasing rate.
Right now we make most of our products with petro-chemicals. Everything from car tires to toothbrushes. We can’t even seed and fertilize our crops without petroleum based products.
We run out of oil without converting to other things and we are done. Thumbs up for bringing up a good topic.

perlcat February 3, 2011 at 2:36 pm

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The real question is does anybody know how oil is made?

The answer is that very few do.

The next question is, if we don’t know how it is made, where is it found?

The third question is, can we make more?

It’s your lucky day. I know more than the average bear.

Oil is not made by a bunch of piled up dinosaurs gradually rotting until [magic happens] and we have oil. The fact that coal is made by rotting wood in acidic bogs has no relation to how oil is created. The end product is fossilized energy, but the process is markedly different. First you have an ocean, where lime (calcium carbonate) is piled deep. Then it is covered, and a combination of the earth’s heat, salt water, and pressure causes the carbon, oxygen, hydrogen, and trace minerals to combine to form crude oil. So oceans make oil. It only makes sense, especially since if there was great big piles of meat hanging around some 500 feet deep in order to form billions of barrels of oil, the earth would have other problems.

In order to accelerate the natural formation of oil, you have to accelerate the sequestration of carbon in the air in the oceans. To do that, fly out over the remote areas of the ocean, where trace minerals that usually blow off land are hard to find, and supply them. It will not happen quickly, unless you’re defining time on a geologic scale. However, if you needed to remove a LOT of carbon from the atmosphere, that’s the fastest, cheapest way.

In order to make oil more quickly, the recipe is simple, and well-known. It takes a nuclear plant, sea water, and carbon from the air. It yields oil and oxygen. However, hippies hate it.

Now, oil, being normally formed as a geologic process in oceans, you look for it in those places. The oil found on land is OLD. It isn’t being made anymore. It will run out. The oil found in the oceans is new. In addition, there are hundreds of trillions of barrels that have not been found — but I personally know of several hundred billion that have, but nobody’s pumping it. The reason is basically political. There are plenty of places like that. The problem is, usually, getting it out is a matter of paying the right price. I don’t expect, knowing of the reserves some geologists and I have spoken of, that we will run out in the next couple hundred years. We have much more serious problems facing us to deal with before that becomes a factor.

However, the price for oil will gradually rise until the social cost of using nuclear power to produce oil becomes palatable. At that time, we will have an essentially indefinite oil supply — make more as we need it.

All this becomes relevant because of the one critical failure of electrical cars. The recharge rate does not match the use cycle of typical long distance driving. If it take 8 hours to put a charge good for a one-hour drive on a car, remember, that in order to achieve parity with the energy density in gasoline, you’d need to spend 64 hours charging to go 8 hours. They don’t make batteries that large, and who wants to spend days charging their cars?

While you may enjoy a short commute, and this is not a factor in your driving plans, many people live by driving longer distances. I, for one, would think it stupid to lay out $60,000 plus for a car that doesn’t do what the $1,500 beater I bought 5 years ago does (and gets 30MPG to boot) does.

SoberVoter February 3, 2011 at 3:21 pm

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Gotta be honest with you, I have never heard of anyone claiming that you can make oil by combining nuclear power, salt water, and carbon. That is a very good recipe and I would keep that close to my vest if I were you. Could be worth a lot of money.
P.S. The cars shown in the article are Tesla Roadsters. They get about 200 miles to an 8 hour charge. At least that’s what the company claims. How much power that charge consumes I have no idea. But suffice it to say, the range problem you described isn’t always a problem.

perlcat February 3, 2011 at 3:39 pm

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Well, I’m afraid I’m already screwed on that one. The recipe was published, and I don’t have a nuke plant in my backyard. I’ll take your suggestion under advisement, though.

I know those were Tesla Roadsters. If I recall correctly, they cost substantially more than $60,000, the price of 40 of my cars. And, with a range of 400 miles on a tank of gas, and filling up taking less than 20 minutes, including getting a soda and taking a leak, I can go 1,000 miles in a day, and get up the next day and do it all over again. The Tesla? Not so much.

Will the Tesla out-accelerate my car? Sure. At the price, it damn well better. At the price, I’d want substantially more than a BJ in the car lot as well, although if someone gave me one, I wouldn’t be too proud to take it. It’d take me a very short time to sell it to my neighbor and pocket the cash!

However, the discussion was not about whether or not Teslas get better range than the $60,000 car of my example (although your numbers prove that the answer is no) — the question was whether or not the rate at which electrical cars can recharge can equal that of a $1,500 gas burner in order to suit my use pattern. The answer is still no.

SoberVoter February 3, 2011 at 4:31 pm

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I was merely pointing out that these cars have a 200 mile range on an eight hour charge, which is considerably better than the appraisal you gave electrics.
True, the Teslas get more than standard electrics. They are gradually making improvements especially with the gaso-electrics. The Volt has an extended range of almost 400 miles but it’s running gasoline after the first 35. And brand new it runs about $33K.
I am in the same place you are. I like the electrics and hope the technology will improve to the point that they become practical alternatives. Right now, I do pretty good with my little 4 cylinder.

perlcat February 3, 2011 at 4:40 pm

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The architecture limitations on energy transfer present a catch-22 — if I lived close enough to power company main lines to have the 1,000+ amp service to charge it at a decent rate, then I’m probably close enough to decent mass transit. If I had decent mass transit, then this wouldn’t be a problem.

alien February 3, 2011 at 3:31 pm

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Seriously, if the only thing stopping us from making Oil from a nuclear power plant, seawater, and atmospheric C02 is HIPPIES(!).. then we’ve got a far bigger hippy problem then i ever suspected.

They must be friggin everywhere, possess chimp strength, and vote early and often. Why aren’t we doing this (particularly when it seems like a great potential carbon sink)?

perlcat February 3, 2011 at 3:43 pm

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I was going to use hippies as reaction mass, and possibly as a handy source of soylent green.

However, right now, they’re all in VW vans, driving up and down Hwy 1 in California. (All except for my hippy neighbor. His son is rebelling. He’s listening to country music and talking of joining the service. Poor guy.)

alien February 3, 2011 at 3:50 pm

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OK, we might consider cannibalism as a last resort, but how about this Nuclear Oil thing first.. let’s do this!!

(cuz i’m pretty sure political opposition to nuke plants has greatly waned since the 1970′s)

perlcat February 3, 2011 at 4:15 pm

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I don’t know — I’m kind of a pessimist where that is concerned — but there will be a point where it is viable socially speaking.

If you can make JP-8, which is essentially light oil, you need heat and catalysis to make gasoline (or just burn in a diesel or a turbine)


and so far as peak oil goes, this is an interesting article:


All’s you need to do is to distract the hippies. Did I mention that I think pot should be legal? Happy hippies are peaceful hippies. Just produce enough Doritos and midnight Taco Bell to keep them from wandering the streets, and all will be well…

alien February 3, 2011 at 4:36 pm

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That is seriously impressive.. we could just set these things floating offshore where all the water is, to start. And its jet-fuel, not oil, so unless they’ve got other hydrocarbon assembly in the works, we might still be screwed in the plastics/non-fuel arena, etc.. (assuming oil economies collapse.. if not.. well, hey..! what’s all the screaming for??)

so, here’s a blow against pessimism.. It’d take investment from feds, probably, to build out sufficient nuclear capacity. Thoughts on that in this crowd?


SoberVoter February 3, 2011 at 7:35 pm

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Well, I think off the rip you’re going to have a bunch of anti-nuclear power protestors. Yes the topic has cooled since the 70′s but then it hasn’t really come up much. If we started talking seriously about it again I think all the same arguments would get dragged out of the closet.
Then on the other side, there might be people complaining about massive government spending on such a project. But then, if corporations can be brought in to make sufficient money off the deal that should not be too big a problem. Most anti-gov. spending crusades originate with big business men. So they would just have Hannity and Limbaugh and the rest parrot what they want them to say and there wouldn’t be much opposition.
But I don’t really beleive that you can do this anyway. I looked for it online and you cannot find anything about using nuclear power plants to make oil. I read a couple articles about using spent plutonium rods to help in benefication of oil trapped in rock but that was it.

perlcat February 3, 2011 at 9:41 pm

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It’d take big money.

If there is enough money in it, somebody, whether that’s a government or a contractor, will come up with a plan. If I were a utility company, though, I wouldn’t even *think* about thinking about building a new nuclear plant for this purpose until people are good and ready for it.

The thing about hydrocarbons is that once you have the basic molecules, you can do other things with them, including combining them into plastics — they’d have a job of it if plastic molecules were normally part of crude oil. They get many different products like that through catalytic reactions. It is a far cry from the days when they’d just skim off white gasoline from the top of crude oil and burn it in cars.

I’m not going to say the technology is here today. However, if you can make jet fuel, you can make other things. Jet fuel just happened to be what DARPA wanted at the moment. They being who they are, I cannot imagine that they wanted just the one use, though.

The biggest problem is just to break ground on nuclear plants. Even waste disposal isn’t the main issue — if you are already processing waste, you can process more from the existing locations, rather than adding new locations to store waste.

whiskeyriver February 3, 2011 at 6:26 am

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Yes, but in the meantime we have to use what we do have to keep our economy from stagnating any more than it has. How are we going to pay for the research if we have no money? We need to drill, we need to cut our dependence on foriegn oil, we need to help ourselves before we worry about the rest of the world. Because you can bet your ass they care nothing about us, just what we give them.

SoberVoter February 3, 2011 at 10:45 am

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You’re right about the fact that we have to use oil and petroleum based products at least until we have viable alternatives. I don’t think anyone would suggest we just quit using oil without anything to replace it.
You seem to know quite a bit about energy production based on your stats for solar power and such. Do you know how much oil is estimated to be in America’s un-tapped fields? Last I heard, and to be fair someone could be lying, but it’s been said that if we tapped all the reserves we would produce enough oil to sustain America for about a year. But realistically that’s never going to happen. People need to get over this idea that tapping America’s reserves is somehow going to benefit Americans. The oil will be pumped out and sold on the market where OPEC has set a nice fat price for it. If anyone beleives that drilling in the United States is ever going to save them a nickel at the pump they are sorely mistaken.

whiskeyriver February 4, 2011 at 8:10 am

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The Bakken Formation, which lies under parts of N. Dakota, Montana and Saskatchewan, contains an estimated 3.6 billion barrels of recoverable oil using TODAY’S technology. It’s important to remember every estimate here of recoverable oil is by using only the technology we have today. As we learn more about recovery processes, the field may yield as much as 10 billion barrels.

The U.S. Department on Interior estimates we have about 86 billion barrels of recoverable oil off our outer continental shelf. This includes both coasts and the Gulf of Mexico. These fields could yield much more as technology improves.

ANWR has an estimated 10.4 billion barrels of recoverable oil and the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska contains an estimated 10.6 billion barrels.

That’s over 110 billion barrels of recoverable oil we have in our country we could be tapping into right now. And, have I mentioned this before?, this is using the technology we have today! As our knowledge of how each oil field works the yields could be much higher.

To make a comparison look at Prudhoe Bay in Alaska. It had an estimated 25 billion barrels of oil, we have pumped less than 2/3rds of the oil there, and as technology has improved estimates are now 30 billion barrels may be possible before the field runs dry. And we have been pumping out of that field since 1977.

I’ll add something else nobody hears about any more. The United States of America, our country, has the largest shale oil reserves in the world. We have and estimated 2,175 GIGABARRELS, 100 million billion barrels of oil lying right under our feet. Canada has several working shale oil fields and has made tremendous strides in recovery, pollution control and protecting the environment around their fields, and we cannot do the same? And we, the United States of America, the richest country, with the best and brightest people in the world, cannot do better than Canada? No disrespect to you Canuks out there but the truth is what it is. We can do better if our gooberment would just let us.

And there lies the rub, the fly in our soup, the gravel in our grease, our own damn government. All our oil reserves lie under vast areas of “protected” land, off limits to oil leases and drilling. Who decided these millions of acres should be protected? Our government. Who decided that developing shale oil fields would disrupt the environment? The government. Who decided that covering hundreds of thousands of acres with mirrors is a better idea than one hole in the ground? The gooberment. Our own back stabbing, sorry sons of bitches who are more worried about their little special interest groups, like the eco-freaks, than doing what is best for America and its citizens. That’s who is holding us back, trying to turn us into another third world country, while lining their own pockets and those of their slimy cronies.

editor February 4, 2011 at 9:23 am

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Peak oil is nonsense since we really have no idea how much oil is out there. As you pointed out, as technology improves, so do proven reserves. The key word there being “proven.” Immense oil reserves are being discovered all around the world. We have more “proven” reserves now that we had 20, 30, 50 years ago. And I assume technology will continue to improve and new discoveries will continue to be made.

alien February 4, 2011 at 10:11 am

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i will concede that i’m not as worried about Peak Oil as I was a few days ago.. somewhere else i’d seen there some giant reserve under Paris, of all places

Sooo.. what about funding foreign nations via the Oil trade? Are we still worried about this?

alien February 4, 2011 at 4:34 pm

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what in the world about this comment would garner a downvote? Can’t be logical

C. Strasburger February 4, 2011 at 9:33 am

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Brilliant, factual post Whiskey…started to get into that last night…. I was hoping you’d get to the shale in the Green Rier Basin alone….glad to have seen it. Bravo!

Let’s add a little factoid here though…it is not just the government….it is the mindless and incestuous relationship of the government (we all know which ones) with the environmental whackos. Getting the oil has been proven to be safe…while protecting the environment…but these nutjobs, with their agenda, like this article, do everything they can, including environmental terrorism to stop it….hence our dependence on the middle east….

I mean, let’s lay blame where factually the blame is due, considering this issue of dependency is one of their pet peeves….but they’d never accept the responsibility….liberals never do.

alien February 4, 2011 at 9:54 am

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Isn’t Bakken being drilled now? I’ve read that there are unused leases expiring soon all over the formation, in addition to active rigs all over N Dakota. I have to think there are economic reasons in addition to eco-freaks involved, if you think its not happening quickly enough.

A lot of the shale fields aren’t even viable unless you’ve got $100+ barrels. I expect when the market gets dicey, the government won’t stop the bulk of extraction.

I just re-learned about Exxon bailing on a big Colorado shale project in the 1982.. they deemed it too costly after oil prices dropped. It is just easier for oil & gas companies to grab the cheap sweet stuff abroad first. Perhaps this ends up being sound strategy, as we can bank our own stuff for the future.

I appreciate the facts i’m picking up here, definitely. But i’m not impressed with repeated analysis that narrowly blame government and a small set of partisans for every woe we suffer . We confront problems complicated by interaction of free market and government. Restricting our views hamper our ability to address them.

C. Strasburger February 4, 2011 at 10:41 am

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It is exensive, Alien, no question about it….but near as expensive as the potential of the Suez being closed, if obama has his way and the muslim brotherhood gets a big seat at the table (http://www.newsmax.com/Newsfront/egypt-muslim-brotherhood-exit/2011/02/03/id/384956?s=al&promo_code=B9B3-1) in Egypt….they’ve already stated they would, among other things.

Yes, Exxon bailed….its all about economics and the free markets…but the fact is, it’s there, available for the taking, and whether you want to agree with the reality of the eco-freaks or not, it is still reality. The same reality of why we have shut off further drilling in the gulf, closed another 200M acres in Alaska….and still won’t allow driling in Anwar. These are just facts.

Why would we fund France? That would not solve the problem of dependency in any way shape or form. Let them fund their own development until we get our collective personal act together. Or better, perhaps they buy from us….

I’m absolutely blaming government and a “small” number of partisans because if it weren’t for them, we would not have this problem, and we would be drilling everywhere we could to disassociate us from dependency, created in fact by liberal eco policy. Think about the positive economic impact it would have on every level, from jobs all over the place, tech development, to doing away with our dependencies. And before anyone starts on me, I clearly don’t advocate putting rigs in everyone’s backyard, but this eco-whackiness is way past out of control.

Frankly you can’t logically deny that this president and the socialist left, to include the eco-freaks, do NOT have America’s best interests at heart…and that’s a fact too…

SoberVoter February 4, 2011 at 12:43 pm

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Strasburger, you need to relax on all of this muslim brotherhood and caliphate crap. The POTUS is not a muslim and he is not in league with secret muslim or marxist societies bent on world domination. You’re listening to too much Glenn Beck. If you get your information from him, everything that happens everywhere is part of some giant conspiracy. If you really think Beck is right about all this stuff, then why in the world wouldn’t these people rub him out? We have these massive conspiracies to take over the world and they don’t have the balls to take on one radio personality? Cut it out man, you’re embarassing yourself.

Whiskey, you make some good arguments about oil reserves in the U.S. But there are several problems, not counting the shale reserves which are very expensive to extract and would require us to terraform the entire country to get it all, you give a total estimate of about 110 billion barrels of oil reserves in the U.S. That’s tapping every field and yeilding every barrel. By way of comparison Saudi Arabia produces about 132 million barrels a day for the world market. All the reserves you just mentioned don’t add up to two weeks of Saudi production. Also consider this, the U.S. consumes about 20 million barrels of oil per day. Some places put the estimate at 17 others at 21 0r 22 so let’s split the difference and say 20 million per day. At that rate, tapping all of our reserves and getting every last barrel you project, we would have enough oil to supply America for about fifty five days. Again, this doesn’t include youre shale estimates. In order to get all of that oil we would have to tear up every field and farm in the country at some point.
And at the end of all of this, one day, either sooner or later it will run out. We consume it far faster than the Earth can produce it.
We need a three pronged approach.
1. We need to invest heavily in research to improve or devise renewable energy sources. Not for some global warming, or national security reasons, but for the simple fact that oil will run out.
2. We need to find ways to cut our consumption in the short run so that reserves last longer.
3. Place stipulations on the oil drilled on U.S. soil. If we drill it out and sell it on the world market we haven’t helped anyone but a handful of industrialists.

C. Strasburger February 4, 2011 at 1:11 pm

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Dude, really, there you go again. As above in my NOT attacking rich people as you accused me of, now you accuse me of injecting Glenn Beck into the conversation. I did neither. Perhaps you should actually read the article I posted…and what a hater you are!

Further, it is apparent that you are still getting you info from Arriana Huffington….and other lib sources. Your data re: oil reserves, are factually incorrect. I also notice you didn’t attack my posts regarding electrical energy above…all factual, just like Whiskey’s above. I think that is where this thread started….

What your sources are telling you, is incorrect as well….and relative your #3 above, we’ve helped ourselves which is, frankly, the most important thing. You are so transparent and predictable….now attacking “industrialists…”tsk, tsk, tsk….

You seem like you may be a somewhat intelligent guy, but you are being corrupted by a complete and utter lack of real intellectual thought on your side. Frankly, I’m really bored with you at this point….and it really is time for you to go away….

SoberVoter February 4, 2011 at 1:42 pm

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Well it’s like this Strasburger, you may have had some meaningful and useful information to contribute to the conversation.
Your first line however went like this: “It is exensive, Alien, no question about it….but near as expensive as the potential of the Suez being closed, if obama has his way and the muslim brotherhood gets a big seat at the table”

You see, other people were having a reasonable conversation about energy concerns. I know that everyone isn’t going to see it my way just as Alien and Whiskey know that everyone won’t see it their way. But everyone is contributing their thoughts and ideas to the discussion.
Then you come in and right from the begining you’re talking this Obama and muslim brotherhood fairy tale crap that has nothing to do with any reasonable conversation.
Once I read the first line I moved on. If you have to engage every conversation with outrageous and bombastic statements people aren’t going to take you seriously.
You need to grow up and cultivate a more mature attitude.

SoberVoter February 4, 2011 at 1:53 pm

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P.S. How do you figure I’m attacking industrialists? I said that without stipulations that the oil drilled here should be used here that only a handfull of industrialists would benefit.
That’s not an attack, it is a fact. If we let oil companies drill the oil and then sell it on the world market, then they are the only ones who benefit. That’s what happens now. Americans aren’t getting U.S. oil for $40 dollars a barrel or some other arrangement. Their selling it at the price OPEC has set on the world market. The American people don’t benefit from oil being drilled here. Only the companies that drill it do. If that offends you, don’t take it out on me, they’re the ones doing it. I’m merely giving you the play-by-play.

alien February 4, 2011 at 5:11 pm

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c’mon SoberVoter’s interactions are entertaining.. I guarantee you that Admin & Editor appreciate the dynamics of it, in terms of page loads, etc

Much better than tiresome trading of poorly crafted jibes at FLOTUS and libtards and blasphemers

alien February 4, 2011 at 4:26 pm

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I am being fairly conciliatory, and being gracious about learning new facts, and yet you can’t help distorting my words.

“Yes, Exxon bailed….its all about economics and the free markets…but the fact is, it’s there, available for the taking, and whether you want to agree with the reality of the eco-freaks or not, it is still reality.”

My point is just that Exxon bailed for NON-EcoFreak reasons, yes? Did not say its NOT-there-for-the-taking.

“Why would we fund France?”

I said nothing about funding France. I just used it as an example of oil reserve news.. that its popping up in seemingly unexpected places (this kind of news delays the peril of Peak Oil, i figure)

“I’m absolutely blaming government and a “small” number of partisans because if it weren’t for them, we would not have this problem”

Feel free. I do not agree with that narrow view. The majority of public land leased for oil development have gone unused this decade. These are leases approved during the Bush administration too. Economics dissuades actual extraction. When foreign oil gets more expensive and holds the price, you’ll see the industry dive back in, eco-freaks or not. Is it so hard to believe that a corporation would decide to hold off on drilling, while oil-for-trade remains cheap?

SoberVoter February 4, 2011 at 9:39 pm

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Well thought out arguments, and reasonable deductions are not always appreciated by everyone. If someone starts a conversation with “commie pinko” or “libtard” or any of the other various and sundry platitudes being bandied about on this blog, then chances are slim that you’re going to have a reasonable conversation.
To some people, if you don’t agree on one political issue, why then not only are you a political rival, but you’re also an anti-American, closet communist, out to usurp the United States and destroy everything good in the world. You don’t love your children, you don’t pay your way, you don’t have a job and you collect food stamps. If you continue to disagree, well then they may have to consider their second ammendment rights. These are fine upstanding Americans who simply want you to see everything their way or die.

alien February 4, 2011 at 9:42 pm

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@stras where’d the post about getting tired of this country go? and getting ready to take off in your boat? It was RIGHT HERE

KimmyQueen February 2, 2011 at 10:52 am

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This is interesting. Overall though the people that buy these cars are usually the people that want (others) to pay higher taxes so it seems “fair” but of course it isn’t, because from this there is nothing to stop the progressives for finding ways to punish those who still decide to use normal fuel for their cars in essence (like healthcare) forcing them to get electric cars to then of course be met by this… it is a never ending cycle that needs to be stop.

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