Trumpism At The Polls

It’s not hard to notice that Gallup’s latest poll on Trump’s Job Approval is several standard deviations different between Gallup and Rasmussen. Let’s go with Gallup. They know how to take polls scientifically…

Here’s what Gallup says:

OH! MY! Notice the trend. Since Trump started breaking up families at the border, the trend is downwards. The behaviour started in October, 2017 but was at a full public boil in June, 2018. On top of that, Trump went to war with the world with tariffs while playing footsie with tyrants. Folks started to notice businesses being hit by this “tax”. That’s what a tariff is, a tax on people spending their money the way they choose. Folks who loved Trump (shortsightedly ignoring the long term tax burden repaying the increased deficit) for tax-cuts are now seeing the light. Some have even noticed the climate changing under Trump’s feet (hurricanes, fires, droughts, and flooding) as he and his minions gut regulation and fight with states trying to save the planet. Some have noticed lots of his “best people” being charged with serious crimes as the Mueller investigation grinds along.

The mid-term elections looming on the horizon have gotten people’s attention. The only cure for Trumpism is to vote the bastards supporting Trump out of office. That’s going to happen.

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The Plight Of The Butternut

I wouldn’t care much about the butternut. It’s just a tree, but it has a bunch of useful characteristics:

and it’s in danger.

There’s this problem with the butternut. There’s a fungus about that’s lethal to all known butternut trees. The fungus spreads by spores, critters and rainfall. The numbers of mature butternut trees is falling so fast there’s a real danger of extinction, but we can do things to fight that:

  • saving seeds from healthy trees to propagate the species,
  • destroying trees too far gone to reproduce, and
  • planting more trees.

Folks are looking for any butternut with immunity but so far none have been found except a few hybrid species. The old-fashioned butternut seems doomed.

Then, I had an idea. Saving seeds and monitoring the population and planting more trees might slow extinction down but won’t prevent it. My idea has a few prongs:

  • plant trees in Manitoba where there aren’t a lot of butternuts and presumably not a lot of spores of the fungus…,
  • grow trees in a conservatory with sterile environment and filtered air and no unprotected visitors, and
  • plant butternuts in dispersed locations so that the rate of planting exceeds the rate of infections.

Logically, that could work. Some are already implementing some of this scheme. You can buy butternut seedlings if you are a landowner along the Assiniboine River in western Manitoba. If my theory is correct, those butternuts can survive because the fungus can’t get to them except very rarely. There’s a tree on the grounds of the Manitoba Legislature in Winnipeg and another on a residential street. If we plant butternuts every few miles in every direction we would have thousands…

Here are some places one can buy butternut seedlings and nuts:

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Electra Meccanica Heads Into Production

“Electra Meccanica intends to use the net proceeds from this offering for plant and equipment, production molds, sales and marketing and inventory associated with the mass production of its SOLO electric vehicle by Zongshen Industrial Group Co. Ltd., initial deliveries of which are anticipated in the fall of 2018.”
 
See Electra Meccanica Announces Nasdaq Listing and Pricing of $10 Million Public Offering
It’s been a long time coming but EMV is getting serious about production. They are now listed on NASDAQ and offering shares and warrants to fund start up of production in China. It’s about time…

I’ve been disappointed they could not ramp up production in Canada but their sole production facility in Vancouver is mostly used for prototypes and new designs. It’s all good as long as I get my shiny RED Solo.

UPDATE – Today’s (2018-08-09) EMV Update revealed that containers have already been booked for the first shipments from China and an EMV office in Los Angeles has been set up in an old BMW dealership in Studio City. Demonstrators are already there being registered. Deliveries should start to roll in and out by October. The assembly line in China is almost ready to go.

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Trumpism Found Wanting

“Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted reported that according to unofficial results, Mr. Balderson led Democrat Danny O’Connor by 1,754 votes. Mr. Husted added there are 3,435 outstanding provisional ballots and 5,048 uncounted absentee ballots. State law forbids counting of those ballots until Aug. 18.”
 
See Widely Watched Ohio House Race Too Close to Call
Trumpism stinks. Seeking to divide rather than unite is a deadly self-limiting behaviour. It will cause the GOP to lose badly in the mid-term elections.

Take, OH – 12 special election, for instance. This has been a solidly GOP seat for decades. Along comes Trump and despite GOP out-spending the Ds nearly 2:1 the race is too close to call. The absentee ballots which tend to the Ds, may actually cause the Ds to win. Insulting opponents and their supporters doesn’t make friends and influence people except to make them fight harder. Do that all the time and you lose.

In Kansas, Trump endorsed a real loser, Kobach, who edged out a legitimate candidate for the GOP (perhaps not… with 88% reporting Kobach is a few votes behind – stay tuned). Kobach is despised in Kansas… Kobach is Trump’s man because he wasted $millions unsuccessfully trying to find millions of invalid voters in the 2016 election. Kansas voters don’t easily succumb to conspiracy theories like that. Trumpism is one huge conspiracy based on conspiracy theories, madness. Trump won Kansas by 21% but Kansas won’t be fooled twice by the same lying bastard. Many who voted for Trump have their regrets.

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Tesla Playing Catch-up With Electra Meccanica

“Imagining what a single-passenger Tesla vehicle might look like, the first thing that comes to mind is low cost. With the Tesla Model 3 expected to be released at a $35,000 price point in coming months and demand far exceeding the capacity to actually produce the thing, it’s mind-numbing to imagine what a single-passenger vehicle could do. Cutting out 75% of the passenger space and 75% of the price could mean yet another Tesla revolution.”
 
See Tesla Building Mini-Car For Adults
Tesla is thinking about doing what Electra Meccanica has done, bring a single-seater EV to market. The idea is not new but EMV is the first to bring it up to date with modern motors and batteries. EMV’s Solo is a no-frills car but it has what’s important: lowest cost of transportion per kWh for one person, good aerodynamics/appearance, small size, responsive control and great visibility. Solo’s not perfect. It could use cruise-control for those of us who want to drive it on the highway.

What Tesla will do with such a concept is uncertain. They could raise the price, I suppose or add “features” but I doubt they can cut the cost of transportation any more than the made-in-China trike.

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Solo Production

I like numbers. Electra Meccanica has just provided one on FaceBook:

Because Canadian safety certification is not yet complete, I guess this number is units shipped to USA. Pity. Derek lives in Washington state. I’ll have to wait until 2019 to receive my Solo.

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Women And Evs

“Weekly trips to the gas station have now been replaced with daily plugging in at home, which is both faster and more convenient. The Leaf has a limited range of 80–100 miles, so it’s essentially a drive-to-work or haul groceries kind of car. That suits most of my driving, as I work primarily from home. For road trips or longer drives, I’ll continue to depend on my Civic SI.”
 
See Owning My 1st All-Electric Vehicle — A Female POV
I’ve long known women have quite different priorities about lots of things including automobiles. In the old days, men always lifted the hood. Women checked out the exterior and interior. Here’s an account of a women buying her first EV, a used Nissan Leaf. There’s none of the ego-driven need for speed. There’s just practicality. Will it get the job done? Yes. Is it convenient and easy? Yes.

As a second car an EV takes care of all the short trips one does wastefully in a gas-guzzler. Even a small/compact/”economical” gas-guzzler can’t compete for the short trips. An EV:

  • has instant warm-up,
  • never needs to stop at a “gas station”, and
  • rarely needs repair/service/maintenance.

Most of us are city-dwellers or live near cities so a “second” car may be all we need. I know it’s all I need. If I ever need to drive ~1000 miles I can rent a gas-guzzler or EV with longer range than my (soon!) Solo EV. The Solo (161km) has longer range than that old Nissan Leaf (135km), and costs less to operate (Solo 10km/kWh versus Leaf 6km/kWh).

So, women should try and buy EVs. It’s the right thing to do being economical and environmentally friendly.

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A Mystery In My Keyboard

The keyboard on Beast is an ancient Fujitsu thing, built like a tank, nicely curved surface, and with reliable hysteresis and feedback. This morning I went to use it and the keyboard had lost its mind. Keys weren’t mapped. “Enter” didn’t work and it was unusable. I rebooted. No difference. I attached a USB-keyboard. Instantly, I was in control of Beast again. Shortly thereafter, I found a puddle of water on my desk where the old keyboard had been…

Therein lies the mystery. From whence came that water? The normal human event is water getting onto a keyboard from some careless human drinker. I am not careless. There was no glass or tumbler near the keyboard. I do have a drinking bottle off to the side but I don’t slobber and the bottle showed no leak. The amount of water was considerable, perhaps 30mL. It’s hard to imagine any accident that deposited that much water without being noticed by the depositor. I checked the ceiling for water leaks. None.

Further, the amount of water on the desk is not something one could ignore. It even invaded the mouse-pad. It must have come from the old keyboard when I moved it away to install the USB-keyboard. There must have been a quantity of water in the old keyboard waiting for a time to disrupt the keyboard and to pour out when the keyboard was moved. Close examination of the old keyboard revealed a dripping from one of the openings in the case. I really have no idea how the water got onto the keyboard without my noticing. I’m the only one who uses that keyboard and I’m the only one who came near it in the last 24 hours. It’s a mystery. I hope the keyboard recovers after drying. If it was our well-water, I have doubts. If it was divine distilled water, there is hope…

In the meantime, I’m using a cursed, flat, ugly, black plastic keyboard from Logitech. My typing speed is in the single digits…

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Range

“A large majority of people, therefore, require a range of no more than 180 miles in their electric vehicle. It is notable that the 2018 Nissan Leaf, which I drove in a recent test achieved a range of 185 miles on my journey, and that Nissan Leaf has a battery that is 40 kWh in size. That being the case, it seems the vast majority of people require a battery size of no more than 40 kilowatt hours, and the Nissan Leaf would be an ideal family car for most people.”
 
See What Is The Optimum EV Range?
The range, the distance an EV can cover on the charge of its battery, is an important parameter for those loving or owning an EV and for those hating EVs and loving, stupidly, the gas-guzzler. For EV lovers, if the range is sufficient to get the job of going from A to B done well, there is no problem. For the haters, any range less than 1000km may be problematic. There go two solitudes.

Most people who try or drive EVs love them. They are quiet, efficient and economical and the range doesn’t matter if it covers their commutes and errands. One doesn’t need a big artillery piece to shoot a gopher. One doesn’t need 1000km range from an EV, most of the time. Data show that most folks drive around alone in their gas-guzzler and travel less than 80km in a day. If you travel daily on the highway long distances an EV may not be for you but you are a minority. The survey attached to TFA shows a majority would be quite happy with a range of 200km or less. That gets the job done and is achievable by many EVs from luxurious ones to bare bones ones like my favourite, the EMV Solo. It has a nominal range of 161 km which can be stretched to 200km by driving at the speeds I drive… That’s optimal for me as it takes only 17kWh of energy to do that. It costs peanuts to operate and to maintain. NO OIL CHANGES!!! VERY FEW MOVING PARTS!!! I need say no more.

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Days Of The Chokecherry

We’ve had an interesting couple of days. On Friday, our first real thunderstorm came by. It was scary. We could see it on the radar hours before, a chain of thunderstorms 100km long. It even spawned a tornado which wrecked a cottage community and killed a man. One family was partying in a light building and ran 200m to a basement to save themselves. Much of this we knew as the thing approached my area. Suddenly, the radar showed the storm breaking up and losing intensity. What I didn’t notice was that the eye of the storm passed over the radar station and blinded it…

The result was a blackout in Winnipeg and gusts of wind up to 88km/h at the YWG airport, ten miles away. I went out to check that everything was secure and found two or three items already moving around the yard in the stiff breeze. I tipped a table over and gathered up some grand kids’ toys, a plastic bag and plastic pail. Yesterday morning I could find no damage except a little gully across a patch of ground seeded to grass. We dodged a bullet. Some folks further north had golf-ball sized hail. It could have been much worse. I think travelling over a cold lake calmed the air considerable. Thank you, Lake Manitoba.

After that adventure my son and I went picking chokecherries (Prunus virginiana) in the wild. I collected hundreds of tiny cherries from just two small trees at the edge of a forest. The seeds/stones are now being cleaned and I will stratify them over the winter to plant next spring. Then I will have enough chokecherry bushes in my yard…

Speaking of our yard… It’s finally looking a lot like a yard should instead of patch of weeds with occasionally interesting stuff sticking out. TLW seems intent on finally finishing a bunch of berms which started as piles of mud four years ago, you know, when I told her how much trouble they would be growing weeds… She’s finally thinking of doing last what she should have done first, setting down barriers to the weeds. It’s all good. I may survive my wife’s silliness long enough to enjoy the fruits of my labours. As the labours to fight her weeds subside, I will finally be able to have a nice garden instead of a thriving patch of weeds.

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Fools Rushing In

“the Trumpinistas have done it. Not only will the EPA — now headed by Andrew Wheeler, former chief lobbyist for Murray Coal Company — roll back the fuel economy standards put in place with the consent of the auto manufacturers during the Obama administration, it will also revoke the waiver California has enjoyed since the Clean Air Act was passed in 1970.”
 
See Manufacturers Cheer Insane EPA Decision To Revoke California Waiver. Will Trump Kill The Electric Car — Again?
No, Trump won’t kill the EV. Yes, auto-makers who cheered Trump on will rue the day they ceded the market for EVs to foreigners and startups. Let me predict some stuff:

  • If the big auto-makers don’t think they have to compete with EVs, has anyone told the EV-makers? Nope. The auto-makers will cling to the gas-guzzlers during the Trump regime just as they did in the V-8 era. Remember how that turned out?
  • EVs will continue to gain sales in the double-digits annually and in two or three years will be eating the lunch of the big auto-makers who asked Trump to roll back the tide. King Canute new. Will Trump and the auto-makers ever “get it”? Not likely. Stupid.
  • In November 2018, the GOP will lose the youth-vote, the environmentally-aware vote, the women/givers of life vote, and the fiscally sound vote. They will lose the House for sure and have a good shot at losing the Senate. In 2019 Trump will be impeached before he can do more harm. In 2020, the GOP will lose the White House. Hell will freeze over before another GOP nominee gets to SCOTUS. All is not lost.
  • Eventually, the global-warming deniers and Trumpists and Tea Party and racist bigots and short-sighted politicians will all fade away, leaving a new age of enlightenment in USA and the world. It can’t happen too soon.
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The Koch Network Has Buyer’s Remorse

“guiding the network’s pivot is its angst over the direction of Republicans in Congress, who earlier this year approved a $1.3 trillion spending agreement that increased federal government funding for defense spending and domestic programs. Brian Hooks, the network’s co-chair, panned that legislation Sunday as the “most irresponsible budget in history,” expressing disappointment that “we supported the elections of these guys” in the Republican Party who backed it.”
 
See The Koch network threatens to hold GOP to account
Unlike Trump, the Kochs are businessmen. They are all about getting value for money and they don’t like what their dollars bought in the last elections, idiotic support of Trump and Trumpism. This decision to invest in results rather than following the crowd is the right one. Let’s hope the rest of the GOP sees the light sooner rather than later. One should not have to follow the leader over a cliff to realize the leader is headed in the wrong direction. Let’s hope this move ensures the Democrats take control of Congress this year to actually prevent catastrophe. Let’s hope the voters realize how close they came to losing their democracy just because of a few stupid empty slogans.

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