Electricity manager for Texas wants AC settings raised during heat wave

With an early-season heat wave searing much of Texas over the weekend, the nonprofit that manages power to more than 26 million customers wants them to turn up their thermostats.

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) made the appeal in a statement Friday…”We’re asking Texans to conserve power when they can by setting their thermostats to 78-degrees or above and avoiding the usage of large appliances (such as dishwashers, washers and dryers) during peak hours between 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. through the weekend,” interim CEO Brad Jones said in the statement…

ERCOT came under scrutiny last year after record cold temperatures in February caused the state’s highest electricity demand and more than 200 people died during the power crisis, with the most common cause of death being hypothermia.

Wild temperature swings are a vaguely understood part of our changing climate. And scientific understanding means a lot less – politically – than public comprehension. Most symptomatic response continues fruitless and foolish in a state that believes that planning for public needs is so much less important than fully employed political hacks. The class that spawns most Texas bureaucrats.

The underground gets ready

One bright afternoon in early January, on a beach in Southern California, a young woman spread what looked like a very strange picnic across an orange polka-dot towel: A mason jar. A rubber stopper with two holes. A syringe without a needle. A coil of aquarium tubing and a one-way valve. A plastic speculum. Several individually wrapped sterile cannulas—thin tubes designed to be inserted into the body—which resembled long soda straws. And, finally, a three-dimensional scale model of the female reproductive system…

Ellie snugged the rubber stopper into the mason jar. She snipped the aquarium tubing into a pair of foot-long segments and attached the valve to the syringe’s plastic tip. In less than 10 minutes, Ellie had finished the project: a simple abortion device. It looked like a cross between an at-home beer-brewing kit and a seventh-grade science experiment…

I had read about such devices before. But watching the scene on the beach towel brought history into focus with startling clarity: Women did this the last time abortion was illegal.

For Ellie, the Del-Em was more symbolic than pragmatic—an amulet from the past to carry into an uncertain future. After all, pharmaceuticals can now be used to end pregnancies in the first trimester, when more than 90 percent of legal abortions occur. (Almost 99 percent of abortions occur within the first 20 weeks.) There are also modern, mass-produced manual vacuum-aspiration devices for doing what the Del-Em does. Community providers have talked about stockpiling such supplies in case Roe falls…

Given the uncertainties, she suggested, it couldn’t hurt to have a do-it-yourself tool like the Del-Em. “Just knowing the people who came before you had other ways of managing these things, not necessarily through a doctor or condoned by a government—there’s something really powerful in that,” she said.

Nothing new about some portion of your life kept ready to deal with corrupt politics, politicians with the ethical standards of criminals. RTFA, folks. You may need it as reference, some day.

VW ready for the EV Scout

Volkswagen is planning to resurrect the iconic “Scout” brand as an electric vehicle in the United States.

In a report…the Wall Street Journal said the German automotive giant was aiming to launch a “new Scout-branded electric sport-utility vehicle” as well as an electric pickup truck, also under the Scout name…

The Scout’s history dates back to the 1960s, when International Harvester — today known as Navistar International Corporation — started development.

According to Navistar, the Scout was “marketed as an all-terrain family recreational vehicle” before evolving into a “true SUV.” Production of the Scout ceased in 1980. Today, Navistar is part of the Traton Group, which is itself a subsidiary of the Volkswagen Group.

In March 2021, Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess…was asked if he would rule out any future deal with Elon Musk’s electric car maker, in which VW could manufacture its cars, or if the Tesla and VW brands would ever unite.

“No, we haven’t considered [that], we are going our own way,” he replied. “We want to get close and then overtake.”

I imagine they have the talent and funding to do just that. Gonna be a couple interesting years for car geeks.

The 2nd American Civil War is beginning


Hannah Beier/Reuters

The US supreme court’s upcoming decision to reverse Roe v Wade (an early draft of which was leaked last week) doesn’t ban abortions; it leaves the issue to the states. As a result, it will put another large brick in the growing wall separating blue and red America.

The second American civil war is already occurring, but it is less of a war than a kind of benign separation analogous to unhappily married people who don’t want to go through the trauma of a formal divorce.

One America is largely urban, racially and ethnically diverse, and young. The other is largely rural or exurban, white and older…

Surveys show Americans find it increasingly important to live around people who share their political values. Animosity toward those in the opposing party is higher than at any time in living memory. Forty-two per cent of registered voters believe Americans in the other party are “downright evil”.

Increasingly, each America is running under different laws…

“States rights” was always a cover for segregation and harsh discrimination. The poor – both white and people of color – are already especially burdened by anti-abortion legislation because they can’t afford travel to a blue state to get an abortion.

They’re also hurt by the failure of red states to expand Medicaid eligibility under the Affordable Care Act; by red state de facto segregation in public schools; and by red state measures to suppress votes.

“What is to be done?” is the question waiting for an answer. Not for the first time in any nation; not even the first time in this one. But, a non-violent solution is to be preferred. That doesn’t include “States’ Rights”.

New Mexicans will be opening more abortion clinics near state lines

Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains and other providers could be opening up more brick-and-mortar abortion clinics near New Mexico state lines, one official with PPRM said.

On the heels of the leaked U.S. Supreme Court document this week, Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt signed a bill Tuesday, effectively immediately, that initiated a Texas-style mechanism to make abortion unobtainable in that state at about six weeks gestation. The law would allow anyone to sue an organization or individual who “aids and abets” a patient receiving an abortion on or about six weeks gestation…

Before the six week ban went into effect on Tuesday, Oklahoma abortion clinics served 45 percent of abortion patients coming from Texas since the beginning of September, Neta Meltzer, director of communications strategy for Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains, told NM Political Report.

Texas’ six-week gestation law, which made abortion illegal in that state through what some call a “vigilante” style enforcement, went into effect on Sept. 1.Dr. Kristina…

Dr. Kristina Tocce said the fact that Texas has made providing abortion services impossible for patients after more than six weeks in gestation shows that what one state does is not limited to that state alone.

“It’s impacted the entire nation. Every single time a state passes something it affects the entire nation. Every person of reproductive age is affected by these unjust laws,” she said.

The cost of staffing and providing service for citizens from any of the nearby states run by backwards political hacks will be shared beyond our borders. New Mexicans needn’t fear being overwhelmed by costs, public and private. I’m confident people of good will have sufficient consideration at heart to help provide aid to abortion seekers while continuing the good fight inside their own state lines.