Saturday, March 28, 2015

If Only There Was An Opposition Political Party

The Weekly Standard reports:
An Iranian journalist writing about the nuclear negotiations between the United States and Iran has defected. In an interview Amir Hossein Motaghi, has some harsh words for his native Iran. He also has a damning indictment of America's role in the nuclear negotiations.

“The U.S. negotiating team are mainly there to speak on Iran’s behalf with other members of the 5+1 countries and convince them of a deal," Motaghi told a TV station after just defecting from the Iranian delegation while abroad for the nuclear talks. The P 5 + 1 is made up of United States, United Kingdom, Russia, China, France, plus Germany.

Sounds like treason, except for the "black guys who look out for big corporate interests" exception to the treason law.  If only Republicans wanted to pursue their partisan interests, they would be opening impeachment hearings.  I am glad that I don't live somewhere likely to be attacked; Iran is  going to nuke the areas with strong liberal populations, and they are going to be astounded that their president assisted in their own destruction.

To their credit, French gays are beginning to support  the National Front:
Beauvais France ((AFP) - Sebastien Chenu, a former gay activist, does not seem a typical member of France's far-right National Front (FN), a party accused of deeply reactionary views with a history of homophobia.

"The National Front is the only party whose leader is a woman and its deputy leader is gay," he points out over a glass of Chablis in Beauvais, the northern town where he is standing as a candidate in local elections this week.

Despite opposing same-sex marriage and touting traditional family values, Chenu says the FN under leader Marine Le Pen is actually more open to minorities than mainstream parties.

"Marine Le Pen represents a sort of absolute freedom in a political world that is very policed, where everyone resembles each other. She has come in and shaken things up," he says.

But it is not long into talking with Chenu that the limits of that freedom become apparent.
Asked about Muslims and Roma migrants, Chenu quickly reverts to common FN tropes.
Roma "poison the daily life of Parisians"; immigrants "reproduce cultures that destabilise areas of towns... It's not for us to integrate them, it's for them to assimilate themselves," he says.

Gay support for the FN is rising: a recent Ifop poll showed 26 percent of homosexuals in Paris supported the party, compared with 16 percent of heterosexuals.
I suspect the throwing gay people off buildings thing is beginning to cause French gays to reconsider the merits of replacing Frenchmen with Muslims.

More Mileage Boasting

Crossing Sierra on I-80,  29.8 mpg,  74.0 mph.

Friday, March 27, 2015

the Ring Frodo Throws Away At the End Of Lord of the Rings

Rhonda was beginning to think it was reborn as a key fob.  She could not get the Jaguar to stay locked.  If you have the fob within one meter of the door when you lift the handle, it automatically unlocks it.  Clever, sort of.  So it feels like it isn't lockinng!

my wife is driving

Note the average speed and still impressive gas mileage.

Interstate 90 in Nevada.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Winnemucca. What A Sad Little Town.

Some years ago, I was driving thjrough northern Nevada, and I saw a civic boosterism billboard that was just tragic: Winnemucca: city of paved streets.  Compared to the road from there to Oregon, that is a distinction.  The only thing that makes it tolerable is Nevada now recognizes my Idaho enhanced concealed weapon permit.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Americans Least Concerned About Global Warming

Gallup reports that of all the environmental concerns Americans have, global warming is at the bottom of the list:
PRINCETON, N.J. -- Americans' concern about several major environmental threats has eased after increasing last year. As in the past, Americans express the greatest worry about pollution of drinking water, and the least about global warming or climate change.
In most of America, they answered this question with chattering teeth!  I must confess, the power of the left speaking with one voice, and at high volume, seems to be less powerful than I assumed.

Electric Cars Not Less Polluting Than Gas Cars

CBC (amazingly enough) interviews a Green professor who says electric cars often do nothing to reduce CO2 production:
Yet new research suggests that even if every driver in Canada made the switch, from gas to electric, the total emissions might not actually go down. It all has to do with where the power that fuels those electric cars comes from. Depending on where in the country you live, going electric might not be as green as you think. 

The study comes from Chris Kennedy, a professor of Civil Engineering at the University of Toronto.
Coal provides the electricity that charges those cars in much of Canada, and when you consider transmission losses, no surprise!  This study of electric vehicles vs. internal combustion engine cars in France comes to a similar conclusion: the nuclear power plants and hydroelectric power in central France is what makes electrics sensible.   This is no surprise: electric cars, like most other environmental causes, are really a way for those who lack a conventional religion to feel morally superior, and that they are "doing something."