Tuesday, June 22, 2021

What to Conserve


Benjamin Boyce: “The bottom part of the left wants to destroy every order and the top part wants to centralize things.  I don’t know what the left means.”

To which I replied:

Yes, you do.  You just said it.  There is nothing consistent or coherent about the left when you dive into it (and, by the way, much of what we label the right politically is equally left).

This is why, when the left is most successful at tearing down every order, you get a Stalin, a Mao, a Hitler (National SOCIALIST, as opposed to the communist left who are international socialists), etc.

And this is why the top part supports the bottom part – the top part knows that as the bottom part tears things apart by destroying traditional intermediating institutions and hierarchies, the top part will gain ever more monopoly power over the rest of us. 

Destroy all intermediating institutions, tear down a natural law ethic, drive Christianity out (all the work of the bottom part and the desire of the top part), and the top part gets to absorb more authority.  There, in one sentence, is the democrat party in the United States.

And from here, I offered the following:

What does conservativism wish to conserve?

What does liberalism wish to liberalize?

What does progressivism wish to progress to?

Only one of these has a functional answer, yet those who label themselves as such (conservative) are ignorant of it or don't wish to aim at it.  That would be the purpose of man, which is the foundation for discovering the natural law - the foundation of which only comes to full development through Christianity.

The other two offer no target at which to aim, as there is always more to liberalize or to progress to.  So we have Bari Weiss wishing for the NY Times of three years ago, apparently ignorant of the countless Walter Duranty types that preceded her by decades or more.  And Jordan Peterson, who wishes to go back only a few years further - when [personal] pronouns actually had some definitional value.

I would like to expand on this, beginning with such labels in the current political scene.  For us, the term “left” is associated with political parties labeled democrat or liberal, while “right” is associated with parties carrying labels such as republican or conservative.  In this post, I will use the following terms in the following ways:

Right / conservative: those who want to support and defend something akin to a natural law ethic, with government intervention limited to defending / prosecuting acts of aggression.

I recognize that this is a much narrower definition of “right” or “conservative” than is currently employed.  This is why I suggest that much of what is labeled “right” today is actually “left.”  Without an anchor in a natural law ethic, the right has no place to stand. 

Republicans: politicians who claim to support some sort of (nebulously articulated and conveniently ignored) traditional values; some may even mouth the words “natural law,” although it seems few understand it.

What traditional values are republicans conserving (or, in reality, attempting to, but failing to, conserve) these days, beyond that which they fought against not even twelve months ago?

Left / liberal, progressive: those who want to move humanity away from something akin to a natural law ethic, with government taking an active role in the process.

They don’t put it in these terms, but this is the reality.  Every move away from a hierarchy that accepts the nature of man and the resultant natural law ethic moves human beings away from their intended purpose and, therefore, away from natural law.

Democrats: politicians who unashamedly articulate such visions and act accordingly.

The first thing, perhaps, to notice: most republicans are hypocritical on this matter – claiming to support traditional values while acting contrary to this; democrats are not at all hypocritical in their actions or words – they claim to want to drive change (progress, liberalize), and they put their words into action.  Unlike republicans, democrats are at least honest about their aims.

Therefore, it is fair to conclude that while virtually all democrats can be labeled “left,” most republicans can be labeled “left” as well. 

Saturday, June 19, 2021

Why Would Anyone Live in California?


Sure…you can’t beat the weather.  But isn’t that what vacations are for?

High taxes, crazy governor, a regulatory zeal that makes the federal bureaucrats look tame….

And now, this:

Porsche Can't Sell Its 2022 911 GT3 with a Manual in California

Is it because Californians are so soft that they don’t know how to drive a stick?  Well, maybe yes in most cases, but apparently not for all:

Porsche informed us that, due to the state's sound regulations, it can't sell the manual-equipped cars there, only the ones with the standard seven-speed dual-clutch automatic.

Before getting to the (il)logic about why a manual transmission car runs louder than one equipped with an automatic transmission…despite having the same engine and exhaust system…what’s the big deal, you might ask.  Most cars are sold with automatic transmissions these days, anyway.


 (Marc Urbano, Car and Driver)

The 911 GT3 is a track car that is legal to drive on the road.  A naturally-aspirated six-cylinder engine, 502 horsepower, 9000 RPM redline, lightweight with just 6.3 lbs./horsepower, 0.34 drag coefficient, 1.11 g on the skid pad, 100-0 braking at 262 feet, zero to sixty in 3.2 seconds based on Porsche’s always-conservative numbers (3.7 seconds with the manual), zero to 160 in 19.1 seconds, the quarter-mile in 10.9 seconds at 129 MPH, top speed of 198 MPH.

It is a street-legal race car.

So how does California conclude that a car with the same engine and exhaust system is not too loud with an automatic, but is too loud with a manual?  If you guessed “bureaucratic stupidity,” you would be correct:

Our Colleagues at Road & Track have found out why the manual-equipped 911 GT3 fails the SAE J1470 test. The procedure requires the manual 911 GT3 to run closer to redline in third gear, while the test hinders the automatic-equipped cars' acceleration. You can read the story here.

This SAE test measures sound decibels as the vehicle accelerates past a microphone.  For the Porsche 911 GT3, the test is to be done while beginning in third gear.  The issue is this: the car is to accelerate as hard as possible without inducing a kickdown.  The manual, obviously, will not kick down; the automatic, at full acceleration, will kick down.  So…the automatic is not pressed at full-throttle the way the manual is pressed.  No full-throttle acceleration equals not as much noise.

So, why blame California?  SAE is a private organization, and California is just following this private testing procedure.  Well, yes…and no:

See, SAE J1470 was first published in late 1984.

Well, you ask, it isn’t California’s fault that this procedure hasn’t been updated.  You could think that, but you would be wrong:

SAE International addressed this with an entirely new vehicle standard: SAE J2805, published in 2008 and updated as recently as May 2020. J2805 completely revamps the drive-by test procedure. Rather than a full-throttle (or nearly full-throttle) drive-by, J2805 lays out a hugely complex method of calculating the appropriate rate of acceleration for each individual vehicle being tested.

Since late 1984, when the previous standard was published, powertrains have gone through tremendous change – hybrids, electrics, hydrogen.  Transmissions now include CVTs – continuously-variable transmissions.  Much has changed.  But California hasn’t:

Here's the problem: California doesn't use J2805.


For those last few holdouts…if this doesn’t get you to move out of California, I am certain nothing will.