Monday Morning Warm-Up, 3/2/2020: Idling, Stigmatizing, Lying

Good Monday!

1. Totalitarianism watch.  Idling one’s car for longer than three minutes, or more than one minute while adjacent to a school, is illegal in New York City. There have been anti-idling laws since 1972, but they were previously examples of the law being used to encourage conduct rather than enforce it. Now, with socialist Bill de Blasio at the city’s helm, the laws are being enforced with a vengeance.

The city is offering bounties to  citizens who report their neighbors, for example. “If you witness a vehicle idling illegally, you can potentially receive a reward for your enforcement efforts through our Citizens Air Complaint Program” says a city website.


The theory is that forcing people into not idling their car will mitigate climate change, just like forcing people to ride bicycles and to stop having children when the Left gains sufficient power and the Green New Deal is within reach. Cars idling for no reason is a pet peeve of mine, particularly when they idle in a parking space with cars waiting while the driver checks his or her messages on a cell phone. There are, however, good reasons for idling. I have idled while recharging a dead battery for example. I have idled in sub-freezing weather to keep the car warm while my wife, who had a cold, ran into a 7-11 to buy some cough medicine. The blunt boot of the law does not belong in this matter, like many matters that today’s progressives and socialists want to turn into government edicts.

Oh—the PR geniuses in de Blasio-land decided that the ideal spokesperson for the anti-idling campaign is washed up rocker Billy Idol.

2. So much for the “Legally married teacher who shows a picture of her soon-to-be -spouse that the community objects to” Principle… Stacy Bailey, a Texas art teacher, was placed on administrative leave after talking about “her future wife” in class and showing a photo of her and her then-fiancee dressed as characters from the movie “Finding Nemo.” Bailey sued, and reached a $100,000 settlement with the Mansfield Independent School District last week. The district near Fort Worth agreed to remove the eight-month leave from her record and offer mandatory training on LGBTQ issues to human resources and counseling staff in its schools.

And how could a school district be so bone-headed as to suspend a teacher under those circumstances? My third grade teacher–Where have you gone, Miss Julalian?, your students turn their lonely eyes to you, woo woo woo—told us all about her impending wedding, photos included. I guess the district thought Bailey’s plans were icky rather than romantic.

Morons. Morons teaching our children.

3. “Nah, there’s no mainstream media bias!” Coronavirus Division. Here is the President’s rambling statement about Democrats politicizing the latest rogue virus threat:

Now the Democrats are politicizing the Coronavirus. They’re politicizing it. We did one of the great jobs, you say, “How’s President Trump doing?” They go, “Oh, not good, not good.” They have no clue; they don’t have any clue. They can’t even count their votes in Iowa. They can’t count their votes!

One of my people came up to me and said, “Mr. President, they tried to beat you on Russia, Russia, Russia. That didn’t work out too well. They couldn’t do it. They tried the impeachment hoax. That was on a perfect conversation. They tried anything, they tried it over and over. They’ve been doing it since you got in. It’s all turning, they lost, it’s all turning. Think of it. And this is their new hoax.”

But you know, we did something that’s been pretty amazing. We have 15 people in this massive country, and because of the fact that we won early, we won early, we could’ve had a lot more than that. We’re doing great. Our country is doing so great. We are so unified. We are so unified.

Here is how various mainstream news sources reported it:

CNBC: Trump says the coronavirus is Democrats’ new ‘hoax’
Politico: Trump rallies his base to treat coronavirus as a ‘hoax’
ABC via AP: Trump lashes out at Dems, calls coronavirus their new ‘hoax’
CNBC: Trump calls outbreak a ‘hoax,’ South Korea has record jump in cases
Politico: Biden blasts Trump for calling coronavirus a ‘hoax’
The Hill: Democrat gets in heated exchange with Pompeo at hearing: ‘Do you believe coronavirus is a hoax?’
MSNBC: Michael Moore: Trump calling coronavirus a ‘hoax’ is ‘dangerous’

Fake news. Yet this is the interpretation I saw over and over again on Facebook, posted by people who allegedly graduated from the sixth grade. This one is so blatant that even some of the usual suspects in spreading false narratives about the President began flagging  it. When Mike Bloomberg was asked on “Face the Nation” by CBS’ Scott Pelley about his position on the Coronavirus emergency, Bloomberg said, “I find it incomprehensible that the President would do something as inane as calling it a hoax.” Pelley, to his credit, corrected him, saying, “He said the Democrats making so much of it is a Democratic hoax, not that the virus was a hoax.”

Bloomberg ignored him and persisted in misrepresenting what Trump said.

After Politico claimed that the President “tried to cast the global outbreak of the coronavirus as a liberal conspiracy,” Facebook  rated the piece as containing false information, saying  “The primary claims in the information are factually inaccurate,” in a  warning attached to the article…

46 thoughts on “Monday Morning Warm-Up, 3/2/2020: Idling, Stigmatizing, Lying

  1. My poor transmission! I drive a manual. In NYC temperatures, do you know what it is like to try to shift a manual? Gear oil needs to warm up first before the gears get lubricated. I can’t say that I am surprised that a Democrat would do something so draconian, then offer bounties to the public to turn in their neighbors. This is right from the Communist playbook. “And when we come to take you, your neighbors will look away. They always look away.”

    • First they came for [X]. But I did not speak out, because I was not an [X].

      This way totalitarianism comes — creeping on little cat feet.

  2. 3. This is the Big Lie writ large, but the Democrats have been using this tactic for years, if not decades. They are now so invested in it that it is the go-to tactic.

    Now the media are using their platform not just to enable the Big Lie, but to create one whenever they think the Democrats could exploit it.

    This isn’t just bias or cheerleading, it’s a de facto in-kind campaign contribution. And even if that weren’t illegal, it is ethically reprehensible to deliberately mislead Americans for more clicks.

            • I don’t see how anyone can say that given the claims that climate change is the #1 existential threat to life on Earth. The Green New Deal would ban cars, which are bad because of their CO2 emissions. Obviously efforts to minimize the emissions from cars are now considered especially urgent because of climate change. Hence the sudden promotion. Coincidentally, the same day the various articales came out on the NYC idling law, Polar Bear International wrote,”Encourage Change in Your Community: Don’t stop with yourself, find ways to encourage change in your community. PBI offers a series of toolkits to help animal lovers bring Earth-friendly action plans, like no idling and pro biking programs, to their communities.”

              Yes, no idling in NYC will save the polar bears…

      • Actually, many law enforcement agencies have policies that limit idling, primarily to save fuel. My former agency instituted such a policy in 2008 when gas hit $4.00 retail. Officers were expected to idle vehicles no longer than ten minutes without a ten-minute break, unless it was over 90 degrees or under 20 degrees, or if emergency lights were activated. K-9 units were exempt: gotta keep that doggie warm, or cool as the case may be. We knew that compliance was not universal but it saved us from busting our annual gasoline budget.

  3. It was just 2 years ago when I posited to some prominent people about how we go about “regulating” (for lack of a better term) journalists in a way that restored some amount of trust and accountability into the profession. By “regulating”, I wasn’t talking about the creation of government regulation or oversight, but some type of legitimized internal fact checking process that would address that top complaints of each piece and maybe give an overall rating to authors, publishers… like a reliability score. I was laughed at, called a communist, and said to be anti-free speech.

    They then went on and harped on FB until they forced FB to fact-check their articles and rate their content and character.

    I guess all roads lead to the same place, just as long as you don’t call a rose by it’s name.

    • But notice that FB only uses reliably left-wing fact-checkers.

      So they weren’t responding to the essence of the complaint. What they did is the equivalent of virtue-signalling, allowing them to claim “fairness” without actually being fair. Had the been more diverse in their fact-checking selections, those who motivated them to change would still be complaining ever more loudly.

      So this is little more than a cynical ploy all along, and straight out of “Rules for Radicals.”

  4. 3. “ ‘Nah, there’s no mainstream media bias!’ Coronavirus Division.”

    Fact-Check: Obama Waited Until ‘MILLIONS‘ Infected And 1000 Dead In U.S. Before Declaring H1N1 Emergency

    And what did President Obama do after waiting 6 months? He told people to wash their hands!

    Compare that with President Trump’s response, and the Lefty media’s portrayal of that response.

    NYT’s Gail Collins: Let’s Call It The Trumpvirus

  5. CNBC: Trump says the coronavirus is Democrats’ new ‘hoax’
    Politico: Trump rallies his base to treat coronavirus as a ‘hoax’
    ABC via AP: Trump lashes out at Dems, calls coronavirus their new ‘hoax’
    CNBC: Trump calls outbreak a ‘hoax,’ South Korea has record jump in cases
    Politico: Biden blasts Trump for calling coronavirus a ‘hoax’
    The Hill: Democrat gets in heated exchange with Pompeo at hearing: ‘Do you believe coronavirus is a hoax?’
    MSNBC: Michael Moore: Trump calling coronavirus a ‘hoax’ is ‘dangerous’

    That’s a pretty good example of the Principles of Progressive Goebbelism.

    Since the truth doesn’t progress progressives narratives, progressives seem to see no value in the truth. Progressives and the anti-Trump resistance movement have proven themselves to be morally bankrupt political hacks. I wish we’d hear more true Liberals calling these hacks out for their morally bankrupt tactics but what we hear instead is a deafening ends justifies the means silence.

  6. Jack wrote, “The theory is that forcing people into not idling their car will mitigate climate change…”

    FYI: Actually that doesn’t align with what the program is trying to fix.

    Citizens Air Complaint Program
    Idling emissions from gasoline and diesel motor vehicle engines are known contributors to health related impacts, including asthma, respiratory and cardiovascular harm…”

    Jack wrote, “I have idled while recharging a dead battery for example.”

    Something interesting that many people do not know, idling your car to charge your battery usually has the opposite effect. Why; the alternator in a car is specifically designed to generate enough current to operate all the electrical systems and charge the battery when the engine rpm is at a more usual operating speed so around 1500 rpms or higher. At idle speed it’s actually more likely than not that the battery is being discharged rather than charged. These things can depend on the differences between the crank shaft pulley vs the alternator pulley, the alternator pulley is much smaller to increase the rpms of the alternator. Here is a nice paper describing this.

      • Just a general remark regarding writing text with html tags.

        You wrote,

        I didn’t close the block tag properly after the quote

        This is a common issue.

        Most webdevelopers use the following order when writing text with html tags.
        They write the openings tag followed directly by the corresponding closing tag.
        And then they move the cursor between the two tags and start typing (or pasting) the text that needs to be between the two tags.

        This way of writing is less error prone.

    • I don’t understand. If I’ve gotten a jump start and shut down the car, it doesn’t start. I drive it as long as I have time y=to, then let it idle. It’s never failed.

      • Jack wrote, “I drive it as long as I have time to”

        That is actually what did the charging. Heck you can sit there for 5 minutes with the rpms up to somewhere between 1000-1500 and you’ll likely get enough battery charging that it’ll restart. Once they get up to the point where they are putting out more current than the system is being used they charge batteries pretty quickly. Most cars idle somewhere between 450-700 rpms which is usually below the charging threshold.

        • It also depends on the current battery charge, whatever smarts are built in the cars electrical system, etc.

          In any case, when recharging while idling the safe bet is to rev your engine to 1,500 for a while.

  7. Morons. Morons teaching our children.

    Hi Jack. My son attends a Mansfield high school – and while I believe there are some morons teaching our children, I have also encountered many dedicated, committed, and fairly intelligent teachers — even in Mansfield. I’m fairly certain you meant that the administrators who suspended the teacher are morons – egged on by overly sensitive (and possibly moronic) parents.

    I would add that as a conservative Christian, I don’t necessarily agree that elementary school-aged classrooms are the age to bring up gay marriage, but I also know when a ship has sailed.

  8. If they were really concerned about idling overheating the Planet, would they spend so much time (and municipal fund$) establishing Immediate Cross crosswalks where people need only press a button?

    This stops any number of vehicles, causing them to idle, because the all important schedule of the pedestrian, or the BIKIE, requires they need to proceed unimpeded.

    FTR, I just continue the old-fashioned way, waiting til traffic clears (which it always does) and allows safe passage.

  9. Here is a rather outlandish quote I found on another forum.

    Speaking generally, Democrats actually believe in ideals like justice and fairness. For republicans on the other hand. those are just tools. So either they can say that they stand for those things, or, more often, point out when democrats fall short of those ideals. All at the same time openly flouting those ideals and rules. Because, generally speaking, the far right and republicans. Don’t believe in justice and fairness. They believe in winning by any means necessary. Even embarassing their opponents. Or humiliating someone for political gain.

    Chicago is a clear counterexample.

    • The whole comment is bigotry and facile reasoning. “Fairness” is a complex and debatable concept, as is justice. That conservatives don’t believe in the Left’s view of these and other concepts doesn’t mean they don’t believe in the concepts.

      • Yeah, that’s exactly right. The Left has claimed for themselves the absolute right to define what is “just” and what is “fair,” and by doing so are acting neither justly nor fairly.

        It is a pathetic pean to political correctness in disguise.

  10. Jack wrote, “The theory is that forcing people into not idling their car will mitigate climate change…”

    If people are really pushing these laws like the anti-idling law because they think it will help fix climate change refer them to things like this…

    “The EPA tells us in its Carbon Monoxide Trends report that since 1980, there has been an 84 percent decrease (8.8 ppm down to 1.4 ppm) in the national average.

    But wait — we’re being told that we need a carbon tax to reduce overall carbon emissions in order to slow or reverse climate change. Yet we’ve reduced carbon emissions over the past 37 years by 84 percent, and we’re still being told that the climate is getting worse, which requires drastic action like a new tax to fix it? How stupid do they think we are?

    The carbon put into our atmosphere by fossil fuels is only a small portion of the carbon put in the atmosphere from other sources. Some estimates say that fossil fuels contribute less than 5 percent of the total carbon (see graphic representation below) in our atmosphere and the United States produces about 15 percent of the world’s CO (see pie graph below).

    If the USA stopped using all fossil fuels overnight, it would only make a 0.75 percent difference in overall global carbon. [EDIT January 21, 2020: These numbers have changed slightly. The USA is now considered to be contributing 16%. There is a new pie graph at the link provided above that shows this 16%. So the 0.75 percentage stated above now calculates to 0.8% which is 16% or 5%. ]”

    “I think climate change is happening and I honestly don’t think that it can be denied but we cannot control mother nature. The real debate is, or should be, why the so-called “settled science” promoters are using science that really isn’t settled at all to scare the hell out of people with apocalyptic predictions that they have already proven to be false.”

    Should Congress enact, and the President sign, a carbon tax?

    • Because it isn’t about climate change, but adopting a system of government that denies all but the elite the right to do anything, and restricts freedom of action for the rest of us to the point of making us all joyless proles.

      Saul Alinsky would be proud of the climate change alarmists.

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