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Mid-Morning Art Thread | Main | "This Is the Point Where We Have to Draw the Line."
April 29, 2022

The Morning Rant – 4/29/2022


21st Century Atavism – My Oligarch Must Protect Me From My Enemies’ Oligarchs

I am thrilled about Elon Musk buying Twitter, and grateful that he intends to promote free speech while ending the suppression of unallowed opinions.

However, I am deeply disturbed that I must now look to oligarchs like Elon Musk to protect me from oligarchs like Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates, and Mark Zuckerberg.

It is dismaying that we have to turn to modern day lords for protection. Geoff Shullenberger wrote about this recently.

Twitter and the War of Oligarchs [Compact – 4/16/2022]

That only underscores the problem with market societies in which a handful of wealthy men lord over traditional and social media, wielding outsized influence over what we get to read and how to think. But these aren’t the present terms of the debate. We are instead fighting over which billionaire or set of billionaires is more beneficial to our common life.

So Elon Musk is my tribal warlord in the fight for free speech. Yay. I am not entirely thrilled with the prospect of being governed by Elon. His climate change beliefs threaten my freedom, as does his contribution toward having electric vehicles replace cars powered by internal combustion engines.

Western civilization replaced tribes, warlords, and private armies with a form of governance that provided protection for all while allowing dissent. That is slipping away.

My freedom is a threat to the left. The federal bureaucracy, as well as most of the media, universities, and corporate America, have all unified in enforcing indoctrination, with accompanying banishment for even stating simple, scientific truths that the left doesn’t approve of…truths such as “men cannot have babies.”

In a free, civilized country, I shouldn’t need a lord or an oligarch to protect me. The fact that we are all celebrating Elon Musk is an acknowledgment that we have won one important battle, but having to even fight that battle in this manner shows how woke culture has eroded our civilization. We’ve become 21st century vassals.

Hooray for my oligarch, I guess. May Providence give him the wisdom and fortitude to defeat my enemy’s oligarchs. But I’d prefer constitutional self-government.


Good Luck Replacing Your Electric Car’s Battery

Electric cars can’t run without a battery. Electric cars also need their batteries replaced periodically. That is bad news for electric car owners.

It’s really bad news for suckers early adopters who bought GM’s Spark EV. MisHum noted this story in a recent Overnight Thread:

GM reportedly stops providing battery pack replacements for the Chevy Spark EV [The Verge – 4/24/2022]

General Motors will reportedly no longer provide battery replacements for the all-electric version of the Chevy Spark, according to a report from EV-Resource (via InsideEVs). The Chevy Spark electric vehicle (EV) was first released in 2013, and GM continued to make new models until 2016.

With the oldest model of the Spark EV reaching almost 10 years old, vehicle owners may find themselves without a working car if their battery pack fails.

The spark had an 8-year, 100,000 mile warranty on its battery pack. After that, the car is ready for the scrap yard.

Even if you drive an EV other than a Spark, you’re still going to have a problem when battery-replacement time comes.

The big looming problem with old EVs: It’s really, really hard to change the battery [Driving – 8/14/2021]

This story tells of a Canadian who drives a Nissan Leaf that has lost about 40% of its range as its battery has aged. So he figured he could simply call his Nissan dealer to buy a new one and have it installed.

So Brander set out to do what he assumed would be easy: Call the dealer and buy a new battery. But the Powell River man soon discovered that virtually no B.C. dealer had ever installed a post-warranty battery, and they even struggled to quote him a price.

“They keep referring you to Nissan Canada, who refer you back to your local dealer,” said Brander, adding, “this problem is going to get bigger as more of these Leafs start to lose their range.”

If you can find a dealer somewhere that can actually replace the battery, how much would it cost?

The National Post conducted an informal survey of Western Canadian Nissan dealerships to ask the cost of replacing a battery pack on a 2013 Nissan Leaf. Estimates ranged from $8,000 to an eye-watering $30,953.28 plus $1,200 in labour.

With our own government trying to outlaw internal combustion engines by next decade, and with prominent auto companies promising to go 100% electric, surely the battery problem will soon be fixed, right?

Rivian CEO warns the looming EV battery shortage will make the chip shortage feel like 'a small appetizer' for what's to come [Business Insider – 4/18/2022]

Put very simply, all the world's cell production combined represents well under 10% of what we will need in 10 years, meaning 90% to 95% of the supply chain does not exist.

EVs have a limited range and a limited life span. They will never be able to provide the freedom that gasoline-powered cars provide. To our ruling class, who so zealously want to eliminate gas-powered cars, those EV problems are a feature, not a bug.

[buck.throckmorton at protonmail dot com]

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posted by Buck Throckmorton at 11:00 AM

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