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Is Arizona's Heat Wilting the Leaf?

In response to a The Truth About Cars article on the Volt, one commenter, then two, claimed that Leaf sales have fallen flat while the Volt is selling comparatively well. To my eyes, the Leaf is as sound a car as the Volt, so I wondered if range anxiety was keeping buyers away from the EV.

On Father's Day, a Bloomberg headline read, Nissan Sees Leaf Sales Doubling as Factory Begins Production, which would seem to contradict the TTAC commenters, but once past the headline, I read:

Leaf sales have dropped the past two months, trailing General Motors Co. (GM)’s rechargeable Chevrolet Volt and Toyota Motor Corp. (7203)’s plug-in Prius in May. Volt deliveries more than tripled to 1,680 units in May, while Leaf sales fell 55 percent to 510. The Leaf is made in a single plant in Japan.

“We’ve had to fulfill demand from one plant globally,” Krueger said. “Once we localize it in December, the second half of the fiscal year is when we’ll see most of the supply, demand be available.”
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Romney Won't Force You To Drive An EV

With the same quote as Detroit News, HybridCars also suspects that Mitt Romney would be no friend to EVs:

The Obama administration has also been a major champion for plug-in electric vehicles and hybrids. It has pushed for even higher plug-in vehicle subsidies and incentives on the supply side and consumer demand side of the equation to get the fledgling industry flying on its own. Those plus CAFE requirements – not to mention European legislation beyond the purview of the American president – are expected to be key motivation in developing more electrified automotive solutions in coming years, but Romney said he sees failure written on the EV wall already.

The Obama-led government is, Romney said, trying to "to force a market to adopt a technology that people aren't interested in."
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Livin' Large

With my plantar muscles feeling better, I've been running a two mile route past a few apartment complexes and through a new development of 3,000 SF single family houses—perhaps 300 of them. A sign indicates that they sell in the $500,000s, but asking prices actually range from $544,990 to $619,990. There are no full-grown trees yet, but down in the hollows are hundreds of saplings tied to stakes and protected from deer with plastic netting. Once grown they should buffer the community from the main thoroughfare. There are a few more houses complete every time I run through, a few more families settled in, a few more kids riding bikes and scooters on the sidewalks. One owner has added, or opted for, a full complement of photovoltaic panels on his South-facing roof.

Back at home I read articles like Real Homes: Small, frugal, and green, in which, "Recent college graduate Ella Jenkins lives with her parents while she builds her 103-square-foot home in their yard."

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The Unrestricted Warriors

You may be familiar with the theories of military historian and conservative political adviser William S Lind, that warfare has undergone several major transformations, or generations, since the formation of nation-states.

Very briefly, First Generation, or Formation Warfare (1GW) is where armies line up in formation and fire at each other. Second Generation, or Trench Warfare (2GW) is where armies use trenches as cover from massed firepower. Third Generation, or Maneuver Warfare (3GW) is where armies exploit machinery to maneuver much more quickly than the opponent. And Fourth Generation or, Insurgent Warfare (4GW) applies asymmetrical strategy and tactics against a superior conventional military force, intending to sap the opponent nation's political will to fight.

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Will BF Skinner Make You Skinnier?

My wife packed a chef salad for lunch—two cups—and I've eaten most of it. With the leftover chicken and lettuce, she included little cherry tomatoes that giggle as they dodge my fork. I eat them just before chasing the garbanzo beans around the bottom of the bowl. Also called chickpeas, they look like tiny brains and taste about like I'd expect brains to taste after soaking in two tablespoons of oil and vinegar. Then I get a peach Stonyfield Farm yogurt, a half cup of red grapes and a 3 1/4" apple. I eat much better when she's in town.

I'm measuring what I eat so I can enter it on LoseIt, a website designed as a sort of group hug for dieters. In, The Perfected Self, David Freedman discusses his brother Dan's diet, BF Skinner, behavior modification, people that don't like Skinner and prefer cognitive therapy, fat farms, Weight Watchers and eventually sites like LoseIt. I never took Intro to Psychology, but my roommates did, so I at least heard about Skinner and his boxes while they were studying.

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What is the 99% Declaration Working Group?

A post on Occupy Baltimore led me to a Daily Pennsylvanian report that both the Occupy movement and something called the 99% Declaration Working Group plan summer conventions in Philadelphia over Fourth of July weekend.

... The 99% Declaration group and the Occupy movement are both planning national conventions this summer, but the groups differ in their philosophies toward governmental change.

The 99% Declaration, or 99D, is hosting a conference called “Continental Congress 2.0” in Philadelphia beginning on July 2. One man and woman will be elected from each Congressional district to attend the event. The 878 representatives will be elected through an online ballot open from June 1 to 3.

Each delegation will submit a list of grievances, which will be voted on from July 2 to 4. The petition of grievances will be finalized by July 4.

“The idea is to get the list down to about ten key grievances and give it to Congress, the president and the Supreme Court,” founder of 99D Michael Pollock said.
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Arguing Double Standards

While the Trayvon Martin case slowly unfolds in Florida, supporters of shooter George Zimmerman feel compelled to play up any sort of black-on-white violence to prove that it's all good. On local Baltimore TV, over the last month or so, we've seen endless replays of a white man getting punched to the ground by a group of black people at supposedly safe Inner Harbor.

Last week, Republican Delegate Patrick McDonough, whose district includes parts of Baltimore County and Harford County, but not Baltimore City, issued a press release, "Black Youth Mobs Terrorize Baltimore on Holidays." Claiming that state investments were at risk, he called for Gov. Martin O'Malley to declare the Inner Harbor a "no-travel zone." Despite accusations of racism, McDonough now has called for Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake to resign because she is soft on black-on-white street violence. It's all red meat for his district.

For conservative website WorldNetDaily, Colin Flaherty author of “White Girl Bleed a Lot: The Return of Racial Violence to America and How The Media Ignore It,”  writes Call for crackdown on black-on-white terror. Yeah, terror.

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Diesels: So Bad?

My mama didn't hate them, but I never knew much about diesels. During the late 70s fuel scare, one of my many bosses bought an Olds diesel, probably with the 350cc engine, to try to get better economy without buying a small car. He complained about it constantly, and the 350 is now considered one of the worst engines of all time. I drove my aunt's big Mercedes turbo-diesel a few times, but never, ever considered buying a diesel myself. But diesel keeps cropping up in articles, and clean diesels regularly figure in green car competitions. If you've got a pile of cash, you can buy the world green car of 2012, the Mercedes Benz S 250 CDI Blue Efficiency (below) for under $70,000, except that it doesn't seem to be sold in the US.


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