In years past I have written patriotic pieces on occasion of Memorial Day and Armed Forces day and on our country’s birthday.
I have not wavered in my love of America, from sea to shining sea, with all of our diversity and history of laws and apple pie and good purpose, and sacrifices of our men and women in wars to protect our freedoms.
And always after putting these thoughts to words, I’ve felt better about myself and my country.
So you want to read some words along line of those giant flags they unfurl at ball games go back and read those old blogs entries of mine about this day.
Thinking God and Country though, I got something else is on my mind this morning.
The first is the advent of driverless cars onto our highways. Well what did you expect me to say? We just came back from LA and spent part of our week-end in traffic. While robots can probably drive as well on the 401 as most of those humanoids I passed, I don’t think giving America the ability to put even more cars on the roads makes much sense for the general public, you know what I mean? And how do they plan on directing those humanless vehicles inside tunnels, where they can’t now receive a radio message? And doesn’t the potential of driverless cars give the terrorist or the common liberal buttercup the ability to stop traffic goin’ into, say, Washington DC by, say, having several stop side by side in the middle of the Key Bridge? And because driverless cars need computer guidance, and because of the vulnerability of our computer grids to foreign hackers, doesn’t that potentially put these cars at the disposal of our enemies who might take over operations and start running them down sidewalks or into crowds at sporting events? Or back to the bad, bad terrorist, what would stop them from the purchase of a car they can fill up with explosives and drive remotely into our places of government or worship?
And with these concerns in mind… what gov’t agency is controlling and assuming responsibility for the licensing of these new things? Dept of Transportation? Homeland Security? Who? And what are the thoughts of these oversight groups on this new phenomena?
And here consider this on the subject of the ELECTRIC CAR.
Ever since the advent of electric cars, the REAL cost per mile of those things has never been discussed. All you ever heard was the mpg in terms of gasoline, with nary a mention of the cost of electricity to run it. This is the first article I’ve ever seen and tells the story pretty much as I expected it to.
Electricity has to be one of the least efficient ways to power things yet they’re being shoved down our throats... Glad somebody finally put engineering and math to paper.
At a neighborhood B B Q I was talking to a neighbor, a BC Hydro executive. I asked him how that renewable thing was doing. He laughed, then got serious. If you really intend to adopt electric vehicles, he pointed out, you had to face certain realities. For example, a home charging system for a Tesla requires 75 amp service. The average house is equipped with 100 amp service. On our small street (approximately 25 homes), the electrical infrastructure would be unable to carry more than 3 houses with a single Tesla, each. For even half the homes to have electric vehicles, the system would be wildly over-loaded.
This is the elephant in the room with electric vehicles... Our residential infrastructure cannot bear the load. So as our genius elected officials promote this nonsense, not only are we being urged to buy these things and replace our reliable, cheap generating systems with expensive, new windmills and solar cells, but we will also have to renovate our entire delivery system! This latter "investment" will not be revealed until we're so far down this dead end road that it will be presented with an 'OOPS!' and a shrug.
If you want to argue with a green person over cars that are eco-friendly, just read the following. Note: If you ARE a green person, read it anyway. It’s enlightening.
Eric test drove the Chevy Volt at the invitation of General Motors ... and he writes, "For four days in a row, the fully charged battery lasted only 25 miles before the Volt switched to the reserve gasoline engine.” Eric calculated the car got 30 mpg including the 25 miles it ran on the battery. So, the range including the 9-gallon gas tank and the 16 kwh battery is approximately 270 miles.
It will take you 4-1/2 hours to drive 270 miles at 60 mph. Then add 10 hours to charge the battery and you have a total trip time of 14.5 hours. In a typical road trip your average speed (including charging time) would be 20 mph.
According to General Motors, the Volt battery holds 16 kwh of electricity. It takes a full 10 hours to charge a drained battery. The cost for the electricity to charge the Volt is never mentioned so I looked up what I pay for electricity. I pay approximately (it varies with amount used and the seasons) $1.16 per kwh. 16 kwh x $1.16 per kwh = $18.56 to charge the battery. $18.56 per charge divided by 25 miles = $0.74 per mile to operate the Volt using the battery. Compare this to a similar size car with a gasoline engine that gets only 32 mpg. $3.19 per gallon divided by 32 mpg = $0.10 per mile.
The gasoline powered car costs about $20,000 while the Volt costs $46,000+... So the American Government wants loyal Americans not to do the math, but simply pay three times as much for a car, that costs more than seven times as much to run, and takes three times longer to drive across the country.
Why don’t we read or hear about these things in the media?
And ah, the US media, my favorite whipping boy nowsaday. The newspapers that arrive at your doorstep in the morning are more and more like the tabloids bought in years past in the checkout line of grocery stores… with gaudy personality-driven headlines that catch your eye. NY Time, Washington Post, LA Times, USA Today are all losing customers, because they don’t deliver the goods anymore that we came to expect over the years; balanced reporting on a wide variety of subjects that impact our lives. They’re about image anymore. About the budget and health care. Health Care, friends. And they use words around that concept to make it seem national Health Care is as necessary to our way of life as air. When in fact it is a profit driven idea by the insurance and health industries, two of the biggest lobbies in WDC.
I spent 5 years on Indochina battlefields. With 3 years of that time under my belt, I returned to Vietnam in the CIA for a posting in the Mekong delta. It was a year after the US military had been withdrawn, leaving the preponderance of all US resources in Saigon. New to the country, most of these people, they didn’t have blood and sweat equity with our country’s longer involvement. They didn’t have a sense of that history or the sacrifices of so many good American men. And they had very limited contact with the South Vietnamese military that remained. Yet they were the “word” sent back to Washington on what was happening.
I see parallels between this and the role of the media now in our country. They sit in crystal towers of large US metropolises and pretend to report what is happening in the countryside. Hell, they didn’t know in Saigon, and today they don’t know in Washington. Almost always the first word spoken on the TV news at night, and the first word in the newspapers in the morning is “Trump.”
It is monotonous. This focus on the day to day activities of our government.
A government that has been Pelosized.
And there is no pride in that. No humor. Or anything really that makes you feel good about our system of governance. A system hijacked by divisive interest groups. Numbers don’t necessarily rule here in the US anymore. It’s minorities, with their widely disruptive ideas and demonstrations and interviews. Collectively they make up an anti-majority majority of our opinion making news.
God and country are not served so well when nature and the US countryside are being minimalized and deemphasized.
I was writing to a group of my high school friends a couple of months ago after Brenda and I went to a David Sardaris concert. Sardaris is a prissy little homosexual raised in Raleigh, NC who wore a dress that night, and spoke, arms waving energetically, about things he conjured from wild flings of his imagination. What was disconcerting was that I saw some of me up there.
And there’s the Unabomber. Who went crazy with the idea of technology destroying our lives. He wrote a long, windy, half crazy manifesto on the subject. Yet, like with Sardaris, I can identify with some of his shtick. The part that technology is taking over our lives… started with the industrial revolution at the beginning of the 20 century, to the point where we are now, with a whole generation holding their heads down, fingers texting in some Iphone, as in genuflecting to the tech Gods. When nature with its babbling brooks and rolling geography and wind and sun, are ignored all around them.
As I grew up and learned to communicate with friends and family, I picked up on non-verbal communications as intricate to American talk. Hell kids now, they don’t have that and I think deprive themselves of a whole medium of interaction, you know what I mean?
And kids, really, don’t know shit. They only way really to learn stuff is to associate or spend time with or at least listen to people who know something. You spend all your time with your head down communicating with other people your same age, with the same level of sophistication on how life works, you skipping a valuable part of coming of age. With this kind of background… at 30 you’ll have the wisdom of a perpetual 15 year old.
To my mind, like the Unabomber's, a kid shouldn’t spend more time with technology than they spend with their dog walking in the woods. Or they shouldn’t spend more time with their Iphone than they spend talking with someone over 50 years old. When I was young, people who watched TV all the time and didn’t go out and play, were comparable to today’s Iphone addicted youths.
So there are my thoughts today on God and Country and the USA birthday. Life here isn’t always beautiful and sweet and happy. Sometimes life in this great country is too technologized and Pelosized.
And we all think sometimes a little like Sardaris and the Unabomber. But just a little. Not enough to ruin our perspective, and appreciation for being lucky enough to be born in the USA.
Happy birthday, America.