SBaker wrote:

> I have always believed, and will always continue to believe,

Translation: "I know what I want to know, and I'm not interested in
knowing anything different.  That would require me to give up one of my

[See my 4/22/04 post, "Automotive religion"]

> that (all things
> being equal) I'd rather be in a "tank" in a collision vs. an
> econo-type car.

If everyone felt as you do, the roads would be filled with these  (Note that my connection is down
at the moment, and this is an old link.  I hope the page is still there,
and that it's what I think it is.)

Neon John wrote:

> >The only problem with that attitude is the other car. When you're 
> >driving a behemouth and hit a much smaller vehicle, killing the 
> >occupants, do you still feel so good about yourself and your
> decision?
> Yes, absolutely.  BTDT.  Several decades ago I got hit head-on by a 
> drunk driver driving a beetle.  I walked away with nothing other than 
> a seat belt burn across my chest.  He went away in a casket.  I'm am 
> completely satisfied with the outcome.  I hate that his wife died also

> but then again, she made the decision to ride with a drunk.

Your take on this is stated very firmly.  So firmly that it tends to
obscure the original issue.

Would you feel the same way if the collision was your fault?  Face it -
even the best drivers have lapses in judgment.  It seems to me that
you're reaching a bit too far to justify a rather self-centered
position.  We don't need to know this, but you do - how would you feel
if you zigged when you should have zagged in your SUV, and an econo-car
driver died from the resulting impact?  That's a very different
situation from what you describe above.

> I think the root problem is, people are doing things that you don't 
> like and it frustrates you that you can't do anything about it.

Yes, but you're (conveniently?) missing a very important distinction.
The things that people are doing that many on this list find
objectionable are actions that damage others.  Directly and indirectly.
The damage is not necessary.  Yes, it *is* frustrating.  People on this
list tend toward doing the right thing, not doing whatever they can get
away with because it's legal or lines someone's pockets or just strokes
their ego.

> >When you live in a community you are to some extent responsible for 
> >their safety and well-being, just as they are for yours.
> Americans as a
> >cultural entity seem to have almost totally lost any sense of social 
> >responsibility.
> No, the problem is that there are a small percentage of the population

> that try to impute their belief systems on the rest of us.  When we 
> reject those systems, the minority whines "social responsibility".

No, you're twisting Michael's words.  In this case, when a small
percentage tries to "impute their belief systems" or "whines 'social
responsibility'", it is only to call attention to the
*direct*human*costs* imposed on all by the more self-centered among us,
costs that those self-centered individuals either don't have to pay or
don't give a damn about.

Obviously you don't like having a belief system imposed on you.  No one
does.  The other way to look at it is that you don't like being told
you're not allowed to pollute, consume resources, or endanger others
more than is due you.  Which is the more valid viewpoint?  The first
step in properly answering that question is to take your personal
interests out of it.

Here's where Michael openly and neutrally invited you to do whatever you
want, as long as it doesn't hurt others.  You couldn't defend your
position, because it *does* hurt others.  So you changed the subject to
divert attention from the real question:

> >When you come up with some way to drive whatever you want, no matter 
> >how big, dangerous, polluting, wasteful, or whatever,
> without damaging
> >any of the air anyone else breathes, using the same oil anyone else 
> >uses, tearing up roads anyone else uses or endangering anyone's life 
> >other than your own, then I will say you have every right to drive 
> >whatever you want. Until then, you have a responsibility to make 
> >well-reasoned decisions that consider the potential
> consequences rather
> >than gut emotional ones.
> Ignoring your socialist eco-theological babble for a moment, you do 
> bring up an interesting point, but probably not the one you meant to 
> bring up.
> The point is, EVs are using the same roads, "tearing them up" as it 
> were, as ordinary vehicles without paying for the privilege.  Right 
> now they're riding scott-free.
> By that I mean that EVs pay no road use or fuel taxes.  That is a very

> big free ride.  Combined federal and state fuel taxes here in Tn 
> amount to something like 60 cents a gallon.
> If I convert my vehicle to run on, say, propane I still have 
> to pay the road tax.  I have to buy a decal for my windshield 
> that tells the propane filling station that I pay my taxes.
> Perhaps it is time to start taxing electricity used for transportation

> on the same BTU basis as other fuels.  Easy enough to do - simply 
> install a separate electric meter for the EV charger.  Perhaps a 
> sealed logger on the EV that could be read by taxing authorities to 
> make sure there was no cheating going on.
> Seems to me like EV'ers should be paying their way (and their fair 
> share) before they sanctimoniously point their fingers at others.

You apparently haven't been on this list very long.  This issue comes up
every so often.  Every time, the consensus is that EVers would *gladly*
pay their fair share of taxes.  In fact, I think in some states they get
a special tax bill that is pretty stiff.  Elsewhere, EVs aren't enough
of a concern for the regulators to even notice us.  Trust me, if EVs got
sufficient recognition to warrant special taxes, most of us would think
that's a Very Good Thing.

As I said in my "Automotive religion" post, everyone believes what makes
them feel comfortable.  It's not easy to give up your beliefs.  I don't
really expect it.  But please at least consider that we do ourselves and
everyone else a huge favor when we examine what we believe and make
changes when necessary.  This applies to those holding views on *all*
sides of any issue.  No one benefits (at least not in the long term)
when we warp reality to fit a comfortable belief system.

Now we're definitely talking religion here, and I don't really expect to
change anyone's mind.  I also don't want to chase anyone away from the
list.  If you have a genuine interest in EVs you are definitely in the
right place.  I am aware of no better source for EV information.  You
will find though, that there are few places on the internet that are as
BS-free.  *Any* position that can be backed up with real facts will
stand just fine.  Unsubstantiated opinion and spin don't stand a chance.

Let's try to talk in terms of facts, or at least opinions that can be
backed up by facts.  We'll all get along much better.


Ego is what separates us from the higher species.