Wintery Knight

…integrating Christian faith and knowledge in the public square

How good a job is Obama doing running car companies?

Investors Business Daily explains.

Excerpt:

President Obama’s electric car vision is off to a hot start. First the heavily subsidized Chevy Volt started catching fire. Then government-backed Fisker Automotive had to recall all its cars due to a fire hazard.

Late last month, Fisker, the electric car startup that is busy spending its $529 million in Department of Energy loans, announced a recall of its entire fleet of luxury Karmas because of a faulty battery that posed a fire risk.

The battery maker at fault — A123 Systems — is another Obama grantee, having gotten $380 million in taxpayer support to make advanced car batteries.

Fisker says it’s already fixed the problem, but this is just the latest in a series of troubles plaguing the new car company.

Although it once promised to be profitably churning out 1,200 cars a month by now, Fisker has so far sold only about 240 — at a price almost 14% higher than promised. And the more moderately priced electric sedan it says it will build in an abandoned Delaware plant is still nowhere to be seen.

Bad as this is, Fisker’s troubles are just a taste of the expensive and dangerous mess in store for car buyers should Obama succeed in forcing the industry to bend to his green dreams.

In May, a Chevy Volt caught fire three weeks after a government crash test of the car. In follow-up tests in November, a second Volt caught fire after a test crash, and a third began to smoke and emit sparks.

[...]Volt sales came in about 30% below GM’s forecast for 2011 — in a year when overall retail car sales beat industry analyst forecasts by almost 12% — earning the Volt third place on 24/7 Wall Street’s list of worst product flops of 2011.

And that’s despite the substantial tax break to Volt buyers and the hundreds of millions in grant money to its suppliers.

Obama is spending a lot of taxpayer money on his Solyndra-style boondoggles. Taking money away from employers and families and just throwing it in the trash. We are now officially over 100% debt-to-GDP. We are entering a Greece-style debt situation and this dingbat is throwing our money away on Peter Pan energy policies.

Filed under: News, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

UK police force man not to display Bible DVDs in his cafe

From UK Daily Mail. (H/T Adina via Mary)

Excerpt:

The Salt and Light cafe in Blackpool has for years repeatedly played the entire 26-hour-long Watchword Bible, a 15-DVD set produced in America in which a narrator reads the whole of the New Testament, on a small flatscreen TV on the back wall.

The sound is turned down but the words flash on to the screen against a series of images.

[...]Mr Murray said the two uniformed officers from Lancashire Constabulary arrived at lunchtime on Monday, the cafe’s busiest time of day. WPC June Dorrian, the community beat manager, told him there had been a complaint and he was breaching the Public Order Act 1986.

Mr Murray said: ‘I told them that all that appeared on the screen were the words of the New Testament. There is no sound, just the words on the screen and simple images in the background of sheep grazing or candles burning. I thought there might be some mix-up but they said they were here to explain the law to me and how I had broken it.

‘I said, “Are you really telling me that I am facing arrest for playing the Bible?” and the WPC fixed me with a stare and said, “If you broadcast material that causes offence under the Public Order Act then we will have to take matters further. You cannot break the law.” ’

Mr Murray, who worked in a homeless shelter for five years before taking over the cafe three months ago, said he realised the only way to appease the police was to pull the plug on the Bible.

‘I was worried about being handcuffed and led out of the shop in front of my customers. It wouldn’t have looked good so I thought it was better to comply. It felt like a betrayal. They left the shop and told me they would continue to monitor if we were displaying inflammatory material. At no stage had they spoken to me like I was a law-abiding citizen trying to earn a living. I felt like a criminal.’

[...]Lancashire Police said they had received a complaint on Saturday afternoon from a female customer who was ‘deeply offended’ by the words she had seen on the screen.

A spokesman said they were ‘duty bound’ to respond to the complaint and had concluded the cafe could be in breach of Section 29E of the Public Order Act, which warns that people who play images or sounds that stir up hatred against homosexuals could be guilty of an offence.

However, it also says criticism of sexual conduct ‘shall not be taken of itself to be threatening or intended to stir up hatred’.

I think that if I went in to most Christian churches today and asked them whether Christianity was more about telling people the truth or about making people feel good, that they would think it was the latter.In fact, I can believe that the woman who complained was probably a straight Christians who had simply reinterpreted Christianity to mean “the voice of God speaking in my head” or “my emotions and intuitions”. I have seen many Christian women deny offensive Bible verses, deny Hell, and deny other passages, and yet still claim to be Christians. We aren’t doing a good enough job of separating out the moral claims of the Bible and setting them against our emotions, intuitions and feelings. And I think the reason why this happens is because the church presents the Bible in a feminized way – Christianity as personal preference, Christianity as life enhancement. Instead of presenting the words of the Bible, and then the evidence from outside the Bible. E.g. – the words against same-sex marriage, then the evidence against same-sex marriage. The words against abortion, then the evidence against abortion. The words for capital punishment and then the evidence for capital punishment.

How about showing this instead:

Or this?

Those should be real winners in the UK, because the bad guys are both British.

Sometimes, I think that Christians have their heads so stuck in Christian culture that they are unaware of how to present Christianity to non-Christians. Throwing Bible verses in someone’s face is not the right way to go. Instead of showing Bible verses, the cafe owner should switch to showing debates about God’s existence, the resurrection, the reliability of the Bible, abortion, and same-sex marriage. That would be more practical, and would be less inflammatory that Romans 1, since it concentrates on claims of fact and evidence.

Filed under: News, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Obama’s new fuel economy standards will raise car costs by over $5000

From U.S. News and World Report.

Excerpt:

Within a span of three weeks, President Obama has announced back-to-back new fuel economy standards for passenger vehicles and trucks. New regulations put in place will require a corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) of 54.5 miles per gallon for passenger vehicles by 2025. New standards for trucks will require a 10 to 20 percent increase in fuel efficiency before 2018.

Whether President Obama realizes it or not, fuel efficiency does not come without compromising other aspects of a vehicle. One feature that will undoubtedly be affected by these new rules is vehicle cost.

According to a study conducted by the Center for Automotive Research, the new passenger vehicle standards could eventually cost consumers an additional $5,000-$6,000 for each new vehicle. Even if gas prices rose to $6.00 per gallon, the average American driver may not recoup that huge price increase through fuel savings. Similarly, new rules for trucks are expected to add an additional $1,050 for work trucks and $6,220 for supercab tractors.

One of the most efficient ways to increase the amount of miles a vehicle can travel per gallon of gasoline is to reduce the weight of the vehicle. Therefore, auto manufacturers will be forced to make cars that are smaller and lighter in order to meet President Obama’s new CAFE standards. Far from a win for consumers, this type of government-knows-best policy is the exact opposite of how a market economy functions. Instead of making their own demands, car buyers will be forced to comply with a federal mandate that insists on prioritizing fuel efficiency above all else—safety, comfort, size, and performance all take a back seat. Car buyers will be forced to pay more and have fewer vehicle options to choose from.

Given the fact that this is such an important policy goal for President Obama, it is fair to look at his own driving habits. The president is chauffeured in a vehicle known as The Beast, a 10,000-pound limousine that gets 8 miles to the gallon. In order to achieve maximum safety and security for the president, the vehicle must be extremely heavy which, of course, decreases its fuel efficiency.

Obviously, lighter vehicles are not nearly as safe for families as heavier vehicles, so there will be increases in traffic fatalities as well.

This is consistent with Obama’s desire for equality. Americans are too wealthy – we need to produce less and consume less so that we are more like other nations. Nations like North Korea and Cuba. Naturally, Obama himself will be exempt from these standards, just as he and his family are exempt from Obamacare. Oh, and his union supporters are also getting exemptions from Obamacare in record numbers.

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