Indian Giver

In this post the other day, Nancy Richy, at The Elephant’s Trunk, mentioned someone who earned a reputation as an “Indian giver.” Nancy the said that she realized that the phrase “Indian giver” these days is “totally un-PC and not acceptable.”

That got me thinking about how the phrase “Indian giver” came about. The expression means one who gives a gift but later takes it back. It derives from the alleged practice of American Indians of taking back gifts from white settlers. Settlers did not understand that gift giving was central to Native American culture. When a gift was presented, it was done so with honor, and with the notion that the gift would be used and valued.

But, if the recipient of the gift did not use it, then that was viewed as disrespect, and the item was taken back, and likely given to someone else who would use it and appreciate it. The settlers, not understanding these aspects of the Native American culture, were, in turn, offended, and phrase Indian giver was born.

Which is interesting because historians would now agree that, where deceit was concerned, it was the settlers who were the front runners. Especially when it came to taking back lands granted to the Native American in peace treaties.

By the 1900s, the term Indian giver had made its way into the American vernacular, eventually used mostly as a schoolyard taunt, such as, “Teacher, Billy gave me the ball and now he wants it back! He’s being an Indian giver!”

Considering the roots of the term Indian giver, it is today considered offensive.

No wonder the Washington professional football team changed the team’s name from the “Redskins” to the “Commanders,” and the Cleveland Major League Baseball team changed its team’s name from the “Indians” to the “Guardians.”

Now I’m the Bad Guy

I read two items in today’s newspapers claiming that those who own or promote electric vehicles are the bad guys.

One guy, on a letter to the editor, wrote “Funny how the more affluent (i.e., electric car owners), whose lifestyle produces more environmental damage, feel the need to tell the less affluent how to live.”

And another article pointed out how conservative pundits and politicians are blaming electric vehicles, which make up less that 2% of all vehicles on the road in California, for causing the electric system to fail, resulting in rolling blackouts.

One conservative pundit tweeted, “California outlaws gasoline powered vehicles, then announces that, in order to avoid brown-outs, residents should refrain from charging their electric vehicles.”

First, that outlawing of the sale of new gasoline-powered cars in the state is slated for 2035, so it has nothing to do with electric cars overtaxing the power grid during this historic heat wave. Second, the recommendation is that owners if EVs refrain from charging their vehicles during peak hours between 4 pm and 9 pm.

Most electric vehicle owners, me included, wait until midnight to charge their cars because that’s when electricity is cheapest. Duh!

In fact, data from the state’s Energy Commission supports that point: demand for electric vehicle charging is greatest at around midnight, when EVs account for about 2% of the state’s power load. The notion that electric vehicles are straining the power grid is absurd because there just aren’t enough of them to have that significant of an impact.

Totalitarianism and Supply and Demand

Last week, Fox News ultra conservative host Tucker Carlson dedicated a nearly 17-minute segment to California’s policy banning the sale of new gas-powered vehicle as of 2035 and to the state’s strained power grid. He called electric cars “a new way to overburden California’s already collapsing energy grid.” He suggested that a more sinister plot is behind the state’s policy. “The instinct behind all of this is totalitarian, which is to say, total control over you,” Carlson said.

This is where the old economic law about supply and demand comes into play. As the demand for EVs increases, it will result in the supply of charging stations throughout the state expanding significantly, as well as the investment in innovative ways to meet the increased demand for electricity to grow.

California plans to triple the state’s electrical grid capacity by 2035, when the mandate takes full effect, which will require the state to add about 6 gigawatts of new renewable energy sources, such as solar and wind farms, and storage facilities.

Over the next three years, California utilities already plan to add 8 gigawatts in renewable and storage capacity.

The truth is that those of us who have bought EVs and who encourage others to consider doing so are not the bad guys. And since there must always be bad guys, it’s those who continue to close their eyes and minds to the potentially devastating issue of unbridled climate change and who enable and support the fossil fuel industry in its efforts to stop the migration to cleaner, renewable energy resources.

FOWC with Fandango — Variable


It’s September 8, 2022. Welcome to Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (aka, FOWC). I will be posting each day’s word just after midnight Pacific Time (U.S.).

Today’s word is “variable.”

Write a post using that word. It can be prose, poetry, fiction, non-fiction. It can be any length. It can be just a picture or a drawing if you want. No holds barred, so to speak.

Once you are done, tag your post with #FOWC and create a pingback to this post if you are on WordPress. Please check to confirm that your pingback is there. If not, please manually add your link in the comments.

And be sure to read the posts of other bloggers who respond to this prompt. Show them some love.