Quote of the Day #2 – 2013-09-12

By Robb Allen:

There’s a sickness in the belief that only a gov’t can keep everyone safe via regulation, regulation, regulation.

‘Nuff said.

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Quote of the Day – 2013-04-02

From Sean Sorrentino, in a comment at Shall Not Be Questioned.

Because Compromise is the process where you lose slightly less of your rights than the anti-rights crowd asked for, BUT YOU STILL LOSE.

This. It’s what the anti-Rights cultists have been doing to us since NFA ’34. The best illustration of how it works is LawDog’s Parable of The Cake. They continually talk us into a “compromise” where we lose yet another little bit of our Rights and they lose nothing, and they consider it a win because they can always come back later to push us to “compromise” again, and again, and again, until our Rights are gone.

No more. As the anti-Rights bills move through Congress and your state legislature, tell your Representatives, Senators, Governors, everybody, “No more compromises.” Enough is enough.

It’s my cake, dammit. They’ve had too much of it already.

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The Great Gas Experiment – Interlude and Side Note

I have once again filled my tank with non-alcoholic gas. I used the full-service lane this time (it doesn’t cost extra, so why not?), so there wasn’t any “topping up” to the nearest dollar from where the pump cut off on its own. I’m calling this an interlude because I want to do at least one more refill that way before running the numbers again, to make things a little more consistent. I will say that my car’s computer is currently holding steady at 24.5 mpg, and my FuelLog app showed a more realistic 24.29 mpg this time around.

On a side note, McThag pointed out an article on Edmunds.com detailing a road test they did comparing E85 to regular gas. The results?

Gas Result:From San Diego to Las Vegas and back, we used 36.5 gallons of regular gasoline and achieved an average fuel economy of 18.3 mpg.

Gas Cost: We spent $124.66 for gasoline for the trip. The average pump price was $3.42 per gallon.

E85 Result: From San Diego to Las Vegas and back we used 50 gallons of E85 and achieved an average fuel economy of 13.5 mpg.

E85 Cost: We spent $154.29 on E85 for the trip. The average pump price was $3.09 per gallon

Gas/E85 difference: The fuel economy of our Tahoe on E85, under these conditions, was 26.5 percent worse than it was when running on gas. [Emphasis mine - Jake]

Another interesting point with this test:

The drive from San Diego to Las Vegas (a popular destination for many Southern Californians) was just over 333 miles one-way — within easy reach for the Tahoe running on gasoline with its 24-gallon tank. [...]

Our preliminary E85 fuel economy estimates came out 20-25 percent lower than the Tahoe’s 15 mpg city/21 mpg highway rating on gasoline. Reaching Las Vegas on a single tank of E85 looked doubtful. To avoid being stranded in the desert, we took along six gallons of E85 in plastic gas cans.

They ended up having to use some of that extra gasohol to finish the trip, too.

Bottom line? Alcohol is simply not a good enough substitute for gasoline to be economically or practically feasible. But then, we knew that already, because if it was a viable substitute the government wouldn’t need to force the fuel companies to foist it off on us. Economics would do the job for them, no force required.

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The Great Gas Experiment – Update 1 (2013-03-15)

Update 2013-03-15: Edited to correct a math error I noticed that was due to a typo when calculating the cost per mile.

Today marked the second filling of the car with alcohol-free gasoline, and the end of the first tank.

  • 12.17 gal @ $3.699 / gal = $45.01
  • Distance traveled = 279 miles

Preliminary results?

According to my car’s trip computer, there’s a definite improvement. For the last couple of tanks of adulterated gas, the car’s computer has calculated that I’m getting an average of 23.8 mpg. Today, when I went to fill up, it said 24.5 mpg. The caveat? I don’t know what time frame / mileage range it calculates that over, so it could be reading low due to including data from adulterated gas.

According to the Fuel Log app on my phone, I got 22.93 mpg on this tank, which is lower than my previous two fill-ups. However, I also think I “stuffed” a little more gas in than usual trying to get up to an even dollar amount (which, of course, I overshot by one frelling cent), which would make it look like it took more gas than it did to go that distance. (FYI, it is, according to the owner’s manual, an 11.9 gallon tank.)

At this point, I think my car’s calculation is probably more accurate than my phone’s calculation, so it looks like I may be getting a noticeable benefit from the alcohol-free gas.

Like last time, the cost at this station is more expensive than at my usual Kroger station – $3.699 / gal compared to $3.489 / gal at Kroger. However, today I noticed that there is a full service lane at this station, and they charge the same for full or self-serve. That adds a little convenience to offset the additional cost, if I want to take advantage of it.

The cost analysis, based off my car’s mileage estimates:

  • 23.8 mpg = 0.0420 gal/mile * $3.489 / gal = $0.1465 / mile
  • 24.5 mpg = 0.0408 gal/mile * $3.699 / gal = $0.1509 / mile

That works out to a difference in cost of $0.0044 / mile in favour of the alcoholic gas. But remember that this is a very preliminary conclusion, since my “sample size” is so small. And I would again point out that my car’s computer may still be using some data from before the switch, so the actual mileage for alcohol-free gas may be even higher, which would probably put it ahead of the regular gas.

Distance per tank and cost per tank estimates:

  • With alcohol: 11.9 gal * 23.8 mpg = 283.22 miles | 283.22 miles * $0.1465 / mile = $41.49 / tank
  • Sans alcohol: 11.9 gal * 24.5 mpg = 291.55 miles | 291.55 miles * $0.1509 / mile = $43.99 / tank

Notice that, despite the ~$0.20 / gal difference in cost, it’s only about a $2.50 difference in cost per tank. Not enough that I would really consider it to be significant, especially when the added wear and tear on the car from the alcohol is considered – yes, as a 2008 model my car is supposedly designed to handle it, but I strongly suspect that it’s still going to have a negative effect on the life of some parts.

If you see any errors in my methodology, or in my math, please mention it in the comments. However, note that this is not a truly scientific experiment. My “control” consists of not making any deliberate changes in my driving habits, which does not equal driving exactly the same for every tank of gas.

I have not made any conscious effort to change my driving habits or style in any way, but minor changes in schedule, weather, etc., may mean that this one tank is not representative of any true change in fuel consumption. I’ll have another update after my next fill-up.

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An experiment

I filled the car with ethanol-free gas today. I want to see if there’s a change in my gas mileage, and if it’s enough to justify the extra $0.23 / gallon that it costs.

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Quote of the Day – 2012-10-18

From Zermoid, in a comment at Sebastian’s blog “Shall Not be Questioned“.

There is something very wrong with America when you can have a serious discussion about “you won’t need to smuggle in a Big Gulp. You can buy one legally.”.

There’s really not much I can add to that.

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Quote of the Day – 2012-10-15

From an article at United Liberty by Doug Mataconis.

On the whole, the conservative argument to libertarians regarding the 2012 election has been dismissive, insulting, and based more on the false assumption that we want to be loyal Republicans.

This is, in a vast majority of the cases I’ve seen or experienced so far, unarguably true – libertarians who complain about Romney and talk about the possibility of voting for Gary Johnson are met with insults and ridicule, and occasionally even outright hostility.

Food for thought. And while you’re digesting that, think about the possibility that, if everyone who thought that “A vote for [$LIBERTARIAN] is a vote for [$LEAST_DESIRED_CANDIDATE]” stopped accepting that fear-mongering self-fulfilling prophecy, maybe the Libertarian candidate would actually have a chance of winning.

Don’t accept the FUD. Vote for the candidate you want, because voting for the lesser of two evils again and again only results in more and more evil.

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(h/t PostLibertarian by way of Borepatch)

I keep hearing that a vote for Johnson is a vote for Obama.

Well, maybe not.

PPP’s newest Nevada poll finds Barack Obama’s lead in the state falling to 4 points at 51-47. [...] When Gary Johnson’s included he gets 3% and actually takes mostly from Obama, pulling his lead over Romney down to 48/47. That could be something worth keeping an eye on.

Emphasis mine.

One thing to remember is that the Libertarian platform – and Johnson’s campaign in particular – has many points that appeal to nominal Democrats as much as it has points that appeal to nominal Republicans. In particular, there are many Democrats who are financially conservative but who abhor the Republican Party’s continual pandering to the socially conservative crowd. When given an alternative, they will happily – and even eagerly – vote for that alternative. Many Democrats are greatly disillusioned with Obama, even angry. But they can’t bring themselves to vote for Romney because of the Republican Party’s social baggage. They, too, would willingly vote for a third party to express their dissatisfaction.

Johnson will draw votes from both main candidates, not just from Romney. The old saw that “third parties can’t win” is a self-fulfilling prophecy, and if enough people stop listening to it now, more people will stop listening to it the next time, and eventually the third parties will be able to win.

Continual voting for the lesser of two evils has brought us nothing but more and more evil. Stop listening to the FUD and vote your conscience. It’s the Right Thing to do.

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[Source: Public Policy Polling article, retrieved 10/11/12]

(h/t Politico)

What government does.

Threatens to sue a man for cleaning up 40 tons of garbage from an abandoned lot. It was city property, see, and the city not only refused to do it themselves, but refused when he asked for permission to do it himself. So the city wants him to put it back.

But the Daily News reports that Feibush went ahead with his plans anyway, reportedly spending more than $20,000 of his own money not only to remove the trash but also to level the soil; add cherry trees, fencing and park benches; and repave the sidewalk.

[...]

However, the city agency was less excited, demanding that Feibush return the vacant lot to its previous condition and saying it is considering legal action against him.

Why would the city do this? After all, they got a free cleanup and significant improvements to city property, right?

“Like any property owner, [the authority] does not permit unauthorized access to or alteration of its property,” Paul D. Chrystie, director of communications at the Office of Housing and Community Development told the paper. “This is both on principle (no property owner knowingly allows trespassing) and to limit taxpayer liability.”

Hmmm. I smell bovine excrement in that answer. I bet the real answer is that he either made someone look bad, or that there was some backroom deal that he inadvertently interfered with. In the eyes of city hall, either one is an unforgivable offense that must be punished.

The “unauthorized alteration” of city property may be a legitimate issue, but it’s certainly a threadbare one. That trash-filled empty lot was very probably hurting his business. But, technically, the “proper” way for him to address that problem would be to spend thousands of dollars to take the city to court (costing the city money at the same time), suing them for the damage to his business, and tying the whole issue up in the courts for the next couple of years while trying to define the nebulous amount of any damages his business was suffering because of the city’s failure to properly maintain its property, with little to no chance of success.

Every city employee involved in this fiasco needs to be fired, publicly humiliated, permanently barred from public employment and office, and run out of town on a rail. Tar and feathers optional, but strongly encouraged.

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[Source: Yahoo! News article, retrieved 9/20/12]

A hint for our chief executive

Warning shots – like those being fired by the security forces at our embassy in Yemen – only work if the people being warned believe that there’s a chance you’ll actually shoot them if they don’t stop. So far, we have not given them any reason to believe this.

These “protests” are invasions of sovereign American soil, and are acts of war. Treat them as such, and shoot the bastards.

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