The news so far this year has been dominated by the shut down of the U.S. government caused by President Trump’s insistence that a physical barrier be built along the US/Mexico border. Trump has been pushing for a wall ever since he started running for president almost 3 years ago.
When Trump was running for president, he insisted that the wall was needed for security and that he guaranteed Mexico would pay for it. Mexico has stated on numerous occasions that they have no intention of paying for this wall. Since Mexico won’t pay, Trump has insisted that U.S. citizens should pay for the wall, to the tune of $5.7 billion.
As a U.S. citizen, paying taxes to the federal government is mandatory. Unfortunately, the federal government too often misuses the money we pay to them and, apparently, nearly half of the citizens in this country are alright with that.
An ABC News story this morning, along with other news sources, reported that support for a border wall has increased during the past year. Last year, 34% supported building a border wall. Now, 42% support building the wall. It’s a small wonder that the government is able to waste taxpayer money so easily. All that is needed is for Trump and the Republicans to continue their insistence that we are being overrun at our southern border and, apparently, people eventually believe it.
Actually, none of this really surprises me anymore. I was watching TV the other night and saw an advertisement for the continuation of a series on TLC, Seeking Sister Wife. You have got to be frickin’ kidding me! So, a reality show that is basically about polygamy is popular? If you look at the number of mindless TV shows that are popular in this country, it’s not hard to recognize how we have found ourselves in this situation.
The president of France, Emmanuel Macron, was rebuked this week by thousands of protesters, who are angry with a new carbon tax on gasoline and diesel. The Champs-Élysées looked a bit like a war zone yesterday after protesters set vehicles on fire.
President Macron justified the tax by saying that France needs to move to clean, renewable energy and not to rely on fossil fuels. I think his justification is sound. The problem is that most people don’t agree that the use of fossil fuels is bad. Personally, I’m surrounded by people, who have no interest in abandoning their use of fossil fuels. They see no need. Putting gasoline in their cars is how they’ve always refueled and they are not interested in changing.
An analysis from President Trump’s own administration this week reported that climate change will continue to fuel weather extremes, which will result in bigger disasters from hurricanes, floods, wild fires and droughts. Most people just don’t get it. It is not logical that we now have wild fires that wipe out whole cities and that is the new norm because people want to continue to use fossil fuels instead of a clean alternative.
I started driving an electric vehicle in July of this year. My electric car is mostly powered by electricity generated from solar panels on my house roof. If I were not using solar power for my car, a month’s worth of electricity would cost me around $25 for my normal driving. The only regular maintenance I have to do with the car is to rotate the tires every 6,000 miles. There are no oil changes. The car’s electric motor is more powerful than most internal combustion engine cars and the power is instantly there when I hit the accelerator. Electric cars are so much more efficient than gasoline or diesel cars, and yet, most people prefer driving a car that runs on gasoline or diesel. The choice of the majority has sentenced all of us to the climate future we face.
I am very thankful that election day is only a few days away. In the past few weeks, the annoying advertisements for prescription medications have been replaced by annoying political advertisements. Very few advertisements tout just the position of a candidate or proposition. A large number of the advertisements supporting a particular candidate are directed at the opposing candidate. There are allegations galore of why the opposing candidate is the wrong person for the elected position.
I was watching the news this evening and the station had reporters asking likely voters who would get their vote. I was amazed at the response by one gentleman. He quoted, verbatim, a moniker the Republican candidate labeled the Democratic candidate in his attack ads. The Republican had labeled the Democrat as “Dr. Tax.” This likely voter proudly declared that there was no way he was voting for “Dr. Tax.”
When I heard the interview, I just shook my head in disgust. As far as I’m concerned, the ads from both the Democrat and the Republican in this particular race are way out of line. Unfortunately, the ads apparently do get traction with people, which is why they are done.
An idea occurred to me this evening. I think the majority of the citizens of this country are swayed by what they watch on TV and they apparently cannot separate truth from fiction in what they see. President Trump was on a TV show called The Apprentice and, apparently, a lot of people watched. I never did. A good portion of what the citizens of the United States believe to be true comes from what they watch on TV. It’s no wonder that we, as a country, are so screwed up.
The news continues to demonstrate that a lot of the human race has been and continues to be quite barbaric. Saudi Arabia has been the major news story this week concerning the disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi, a Saudi national, who was living in the United States and was a journalist for the Washington Post. Khashoggi was apparently planning to get married. To that end, he went to the Saudi Arabia Consulate in Istanbul, Turkey for some kind of documentation. If you are not aware of this story, you can read a news article that came out yesterday from the Associated Press, Saudi account of Khashoggi’s killing is widely denounced.
It is not very surprising to me that agents of Saudi Arabia would brutally murder an outspoken critic. It is also not surprising that the regime of Saudi Arabia would put forward an explanation for Kashoggi’s death, which reminds me of a lie that a child might concoct to cover up some wrong doing.
Also still not surprising to me is the response by President Trump to this despicable act. Saudi Arabia is in the process of purchasing $110 billion in arms from the United States. President Trump, being the lover of money that he is, has refused to denounce Saudi Arabia and he has said that he believes Mohammed bin Salman’s explanation that Kashoggi’s killing was an accident. Again, this is not surprising since Trump also did not question Vladimir Putin’s assertion that Russia did not meddle in the 2016 United States presidential election. Trump has received a lot of money from Russia, so it follows that he is not going to question a source of money. I wonder if Trump is really that gullible or perhaps it’s just the money?
What escapes my understanding is that there are still a lot of citizens of the United States, who continue to support Trump. Not long after Trump was declared to be the 45th president, I wondered how long it would be before he was removed from office or resigned. I have lost hope that either of these outcomes will occur. We are now about a year away from the 2020 Presidential Campaign, so it seems likely that Trump will complete at least 4 years. It also wouldn’t surprise me if he got elected to another term.
Trump’s lies and treachery are very obvious to me. How can there be people, who do not see this? Clearly, I must be missing something.
The relentless attacks on Tesla continued this morning with a report from the Swiss investment banking firm UBS claiming that the base model of the Model 3 will not be profitable. Over a year ago, UBS did a tear down of a Chevrolet Bolt EV and, using that examination, determined before the Model 3 was even in production that the Model 3 would not be profitable. UBS said they recently did a tear down of the Model 3 long range battery pack and they have concluded that, at best, the Model 3 will be a break-even product.
It’s interesting that 2 other research firms have dissected the Model 3 and concluded that the Model 3 would be very profitable to produce. What is also interesting is that I don’t remember seeing any mainstream media coverage of the positive reports about expected Model 3 production costs.
The problem for the big oil interests is that the Tesla Model 3 is a game-changer. I own a Model 3. Long before I bought my Model 3, I’ve wanted to drive a car that does not use gasoline. After driving the Model 3, it is beyond me why anyone would want to continue to drive an automobile that is not an electric vehicle.
The cost for electricity for the Model 3 is less than half what I was paying for gasoline for my Toyota Prius. I have a charging station in my garage, so my car is charged mostly at home. When I take long-distance trips, I use the Tesla Supercharger network, which is also less than half the cost of gasoline. The Model 3 does not pollute the air, it is always powered by the Sun when I charge at home, and the car’s performance is well beyond anything I have ever driven.
After the UBS report, Telsa stock plunged by nearly 10%. It apparently doesn’t matter that Tesla is selling thousands of Model 3’s a week. The negative press aimed at Tesla is not surprising. Tesla is threatening the century-old cash cow that is big oil.
This past week on Epic Homes, a TV show on the Discovery Channel, a $43.5 million home was showcased. The owner was an oil trader. Need I say more. The oil interests will not go quietly.