Another “Option” Now Mandatory

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Rearview cameras are now mandatory – or soon will be, starting with model year 2018 vehicles (see here for more). The government takes the position that you and I cannot back into a parking spot or out of a driveway without driving over a small child . . . unless we have the assistance of a closed-circuit camera system built into the car.back-up 1

Ironically, it is because of the government that people have been backing up over small children.

To understand this, you really need to sit behind the wheel of a car made before the late ’90s – and then jump behind the wheel of a car made today. “Beltlines” – the height of the doors – are much higher than they used to be. You sit lower in the car as a result. The roof is supported by A, B and C pillars (A pillars being the ones at either end of the windshield, B being at the mid-point of the car – if it’s a sedan – and C being toward the rear glass) that are two or three times as thick as they used to be. Rear glass is as a result of this typically smaller. And then there are a pair of tall-standing backseat head restraints that eat up much of the already limited view to the rear.

Result?A pillar pic

It’s hard to see what’s next to you. Or what’s behind you. Even if you’re using your mirrors; even if you’re trying to be responsible. Your available field of vision is diminished. I’ve been test-driving new cars for more than 20 years – and the difference (Then vs. Now) in terms of outward and peripheral visibility is startling.

So, why?

The design aspects of modern cars described above are there to make new cars compliant with the latest government side-impact, anti-whiplash and (most recently) roof crush safety standards. And they are safer. . .  if you have an accident. But they’re also less safe – in that you’re more likely to be involved in some sort of accident because of the impaired visibility.

And so, mandatory back-up cameras.

We get to pay – an estimated $140 per car, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration – for the government’s mistake. Or rather, for the unintended consequences of government edicts. It’s not unlike having to take another drug to counteract the side-effects of the first drug one was prescribed. The difference being your doctor can’t – yet – force you to take the drugs. When it comes to government mandates, the cost-benefit analysis is made for you – and then imposed upon you.headrests pic

That $140 figure is also – as usual – fundamentally dishonest.

Even if accepted at face value, it does not factor in future repair/replacement costs. Keep in mind that the cameras are built into the rear bumper. Rear-ender accidents are probably the most common type of accident. And now there’ll be another component to replace – at your expense. At everyone’s expense – because insurance costs will surely go up in response to higher repair costs. And even if no one rear-ends you, eventually, the cameras will stop working or the LCD display screen will crap out.

Stuff wears out.

Things go snafu.

Especially electronic things.

And because these back-up cameras are now mandatory safety equipment – exactly like seat belts and air bags – it will also be mandatory that they’re maintained in working order for the life of the vehicle. If you live in a state that requires vehicles to pass  “safety” inspection in order to get or renew registration – which is most states – the inspector will fail the car if the back-up camera system isn’t working. Just as he would if someone had cut out the seat belts or disabled the air bags. You will then have to have the back-up camera system repaired – or replaced – in order to pass the inspection.back-up 2

In order to be allowed to continue to drive your vehicle.

So – how much are we really looking at? Price the replacment cost of a late-model car’s outside rearview mirror – without a camera or an LCD display but with power actuation, say – to get an idea.

$300 or so is probably about right for an LCD display screen that – in addition to being not-cheap for the part itself – will also require an hour or two of dealership book-rate labor to install. (In many current-year cars that have back-up cameras, the LCD screen is integrated into the dashboard – not an easy item to remove/reinstall.)

Thus, the true cost – the total lifetime cost – is likely to be closer to $500. Perhaps a lot more than that. The truth is no one really knows – and that includes NHTSA. They’re just guessing. But you and I will be the ones paying.

Even if it is “only” $140 per car, factor that out over the millions of cars manufactured and sold in just one year.

It’s a lot of shekels.

A more cost-effective approach would be to make it easier to see what’s around you without needing electronic Band Aids. One very simple way to do this – without in any way compromising the “safety” of new cars – would be to nix the Tall Boy backseat headrests in most new cars that reduce the already limited view you’ve got to the rear to virtually nil.bureacracy pic

At least, nix ’em when there’s nobody riding back there. The headrests could be stowed in the trunk or – better yet – made optional, since not everyone carries backseat passengers.

The problem, of course, is that Government Knows Best. It’s a problem, because government does not know best. It’s no more infallible than the people who pull its levers – and point its guns. It merely chooses – as all individual people do – a given course of action based on cost-benefit analysis. Which is inherently subjective – i.e., based on value judgments. For example, a “safer” car – if you wreck it – as opposed to one you’re less likely to wreck in the first place, because you can see what’s going on around you (and behind you) better.

The question is – or ought to be – who rightfully should be the one making those value judgments?

You? Or someone in a government bureaucracy, acting (so they’ll claim) on your behalf – but without your consent?

Throw it in the Woods?


Eric Peters is a veteran car/bike journalist and author of Automotive Atrocities and Road Hogs.

If you like what you’ve been reading here, please consider tossing a couple bucks. We’re a reader-supported outfit and depend on you to keep the wheels turning.

Our donate button is here. For those not Pay Pal-inclined, you can mail us at the following:

721 Hummingbird Lane SE
Copper Hill, VA 24079


  1. Steinbeck is perhaps the quintessential Cali novelist. Born in Salinas, California, in 1902, he went on to create a body of work that is closely connected to the land, people, and history of his home state. As a young man, Steinbeck worked as a hired hand on farms and ranches throughout the Salinas Valley, forming lasting impressions of the land and its people that would influence virtually all of his later work. Meanwhile, his father, a local government official, and his mother, a former schoolteacher, encouraged his burgeoning interest in writing. After finishing high school, Steinbeck started at Stanford University in Palo Alto but left before finishing his degree in order to pursue work as a reporter in New York City. He returned to California the following year, supporting his writing endeavors with a steady income from manual labor.

  2. Reading this story is good. Real good, Anthony. Better than anything I used to do outside before Anothy got so many policemen to protect me. Anyway this internet is real fine and I get to read all these stories. And watch things. These stories are good. Real good, Anthony.

    It’s A Good Life – by Jerome Bixby

    Aunt Amy was out on the front porch, rocking back and forth in the highbacked chair and fanning herself, when Bill Soames rode his bicycle up the road and stopped in front of the house.

    Perspiring under the afternoon”sun, “Bill lifted the box of groceries out of the big basket over the front wheel of the bike, and came up the front walk.

    Little Anthony was sitting on the lawn, playing with a rat. He had caught the rat down in the basement–he had made it think that it smelled cheese, the most rich-smelling and crumbly-delicious cheese a rat had ever thought it smelled, and it had come out of its hole, and now Anthony had hold of it with his mind and was making it do tricks.

    When the rat saw Bill Soames coming, it tried to run, but Anthony thought at it, and it turned a flip-flop on the grass, and lay trembling, its eyes gleaming in small black terror.

    Bill Soames hurried past Anthony and reached the front steps, mumbling. He always mumbled when he came to the Fremont house, or passed by it, or even thought of it. Everybody did.

    They thought about silly things, things that didn’t mean very much, like two-and-two-is-four- and-twice-is-eight and so on; they tried to jumble up their thoughts to keep them skipping back and forth, so Anthony couldn’t read their minds.

    The mumbling helped. Because if Anthony got anything strong out of your thoughts, he might take a notion to do something about it–like curing your wife’s sick headaches or your kid’s mumps, or getting your old milk cow back on
    schedule, or fixing the privy.

    And while Anthony mightn’t actually mean any harm, he couldn’t be expected to have much notion of what was the right thing to do in such cases. That was if he liked you. He might try to help you, in his way. And that could be pretty horrible.

    If he didn’t like you … well, that could be worse.

    Bill Soames set the box of groceries on the porch railing and stopped his mumbling long enough to say, “Everythin’ you wanted, Miss Amy.”

    “Oh, fine, William,”Amy Fremont said lightly.”My, ain’t it terrible hot today?” Bill Soames almost cringed. His eyes pleaded with her. He shook his head violently no, and then
    interrupted his mumbling again, though obviously he didn’t want to:”Oh, don’t say that, Miss Amy … it’s fine, just fine. A real good day!”

    Amy Fremont got up from the rocking chair, and came across the porch. She was a tall woman, thin, a smiling vacancy in her eyes. About a year ago, Anthony had gotten mad at her, because she’d told him he shouldn’t have turned the cat into a cat-rug, and although he had always
    obeyed her more than anyone else, which was hardly at all, this time he’d snapped at her.

    With his mind. And that had been the end of Amy Fremont’s bright eyes, and the end of Amy Fremont as everyone had known her. And that was when word got around in Peaksville (population: 46) that even the members of Anthony’s own family weren’t safe. After that, everyone was twice as careful.

    Someday Anthony might undo what he’d done to Aunt Amy. Anthony’s Mom and Pop hoped he would. When he was older, and maybe sorry. If it was possible, that is. Because Aunt Amy had changed a lot, and besides, now Anthony wouldn’t obey anyone…

    10 pages redacted, which is good. Real good.

    …Afterward, they watched television. They all went into the front room, and lit just a few candles, and pulled up chairs around the set. It was a small-screen set, and they couldn’t all sit close enough to it to see, but that didn’t matter.

    They didn’t even turn the set on. It wouldn’t have worked anyway, there being no electricity in Peaksville. They just sat silently, and watched the twisting, writhing shapes on the screen, and listened to the sounds that came out of the speaker, and none of them had any idea of what it was all about. They never did. It was always the same.

    “It’s real nice,”Aunt Amy said once, her pale eyes on meaningless flickers and shadows.”But I liked it a little better when there were cities outside and we could get real–”

    “Why, Amy!”said Mom. “It’s good for you to say such a thing. Very good. But how can you mean it? Why, this television is much better than anything we ever used to get!”

    “Yes,”chimed in John Sipich. “It’s fine. It’s the best show we’ve ever seen!”

    He sat on the couch, with two other men, holding Ethel Hollis flat against the cushions, holding her arms and legs and putting their hands over her mouth, so she couldn’t start screaming again.

    “It’s really good!”he said again. Mom looked out of the front window, across the darkened road,across Henderson’s darkened wheatfield to the vast, endless, gray nothingness in which the little village of Peaksville floated like a soul–the huge nothingness that was evident at night, when Anthony’s brassy day had gone.

    It did no good to wonder where they were … no good at all. Peaksville was just someplace. Someplace away from the world. It was wherever it had been since that day three years ago when Anthony had crept from her womb and old Doc Bates–God rest him–had screamed and dropped him and tried to kill him, and Anthony had whined and done the thing.

    He had taken the village someplace. Or had destroyed the world and left only the village, nobody knew which. It did no good to wonder about it. Nothing at all did any good except to live as they must live. Must always, always live, if Anthony would let them.

    These thoughts were dangerous, she thought.
    She began to mumble. The others started mumbling too. They had all been thinking, evidently. The men on the couch whispered and whispered to Ethel Hollis,and when they took their hands away, she mumbled too.

    While Anthony sat on top of the set and made television, they sat around and mumbled and watched the meaningless, flickering shapes far into the night. Next day it snowed, and killed off half the crops–but it was a good day.

    It’s a Good Life – Jerome Bixby

    It’s a Good Life (The Twilight Zone) Aired Nov 3rd, 1961's_a_Good_Life_(The_Twilight_Zone)

  3. Dear Clover

    re: “This is where we disagree…”

    At the moment Voldemort declares Harry Potter to be dead, Voldemort becomes the de facto government at Hogwarts. To whom would your obedience be granted, throughout the story arc of final Harry Potter movie: The Deathly Hollows Part 2?

    What do you think of Bob Bennete’s comment, Clover?

    “Your followers would back you on anything you are their messiah. You’d be a fool not to notice it. And you do take advantage of it. I presented facts in the last post and you removed the “reply” button. it’s another step that you take to avoid descussion.

    I don’t want to debate you because it’s impossible. Next it will be your “clover” routine, whereby you name the person, myself in this case “clover” so you can defame them as quickly as possible. You’ll even get a follower or two of yours to pile on. It’s the same every time. I just thought I’d point out your pattern.

    Enjoy… I’m done now.”

    Specifically the part where he accuses Eric of removing the reply button. Your comment also doesn’t have a reply button. Do you also think Eric removes your reply button as well? If so why?

    Also I’m glad you’ve gotten over your hay fever.

    “I used to have hay fever a long time ago. I could sneeze 2 or 3 times out of nowhere. Sure glad the people around were not carrying at the time or they would have blown me away. Eric you say that people who carry rarely use them when they should not. You get a few million people out there that rarely kill someone when they shouldn’t and you have thousands of people killed. I feel a hell of a lot safer if the guy in the grocery store is not carrying when he gets upset when I put the apple in my cart that he was going to grab.”

    Another question for you Clover:

    Who is the hero in this scene, Voldemort, Potter, Both, Neither

    Awkward Voldemort Moments

  4. Eric, very good article and thank you.

    It’s getting to the point where I’m seriously considering renting a vehicle year round instead of owning one. I don’t drive everyday and rarely travel great distances (i.e., more than 100 miles) per trip. Perhaps I can work something out with Enterprise or another low cost car rental business.

    It used to be fun to work on your own vehicle until all the federal regulations made it too costly for me to operate and maintain my own car. That’s where I’m at right now.

    • Poke,
      Take a look at Zipcar, if applicable, and I see that Enterprise does something similar. Rent by the hour schemes, which are costly beyond belief if you over-use them – but excellent if you drive a few hours once a month. 🙂

  5. Wu Li –

    Before enlightenment, chop wood, carry water.
    After enlightenment, chop wood, carry water.

    Acceptance without proof is the fundamental characteristic of Western religion, rejection without proof is the fundamental characteristic of Western science.

    Reality is what we take to be true.
    What we take to be true is what we believe.
    What we believe is based upon our perceptions.
    What we perceive depends upon what we look for.
    What we look for depends upon what we think.
    What we think depends upon what we perceive.
    What we perceive determines what we believe.
    What we believe determines what we take to be true.
    What we take to be true is our reality.”

    – Wu Li

    Wu was a convert to Catholicism. Having become a member of the Jesuit Society, in 1688 he was ordained one of the three first Chinese Catholic priests.

    Wu Li – Bootsfahrt auf dem Fluß unterhalb eines buddhistischen Tempels

    Wu Li – Spring comes to the lake

    Trivia question, the language of Shanghai is… Cantonese, Mandarin, Wu, Jin, or Gan?

    You can all go your own way – Dancing Wu Li Masters – why waste your limited time waiting for sanction or confirmation from your competitors?

    • The first one, “The page isn’t redirecting properly”

      Damnit, Tor. You know I’m going to catch Hell for staying up and clicking your links and being accused of drinking All the tAkILLyA.?

      Lila Rajiva over at has one that blows my mind just about as much as your, ‘What’s for dinner’.

      That brings to mind methylamine ‘s comment over at the, ‘we try not to discuss it here” thread’:

      “”keep in mind I don’t call myself Christian, but l’m coming back to being a Theist…

      What if our existence here is a very temporary arrangement; if we have a “soul”, or whatever nebulous thing it is that animates our sentience…the OS of our brain which is itself merely a physical computer?

      And what if the Mind that make that soul knows this…and sees our lives here much like a proud father sitting on the sidelines of his son’s little league game? And that same Mind watches the son’s tribulation on the field–which the son takes VERY seriously–knowing it’s just a small trial, a character-building exercise…a game…but with important lessons to be learned, and a will to be forged for greater trials later?”

      Anyway, I’ll give you a hundred bucks if you can get Lila to tape up her libertarian card. And, I’ll send double that to eric.

      I couldn’t get her to do that. In fact (regretfully) I think I’m partially the reason she tore it up in the first place. Worst ever experience I’ve had online.
      My single greatest regret,… outside of that 17 year old girl I knew when I was 18… But I digress. I have to, the world has gone bonkers.

      • Here’s the full article the pic comes from.

        Those two women look stable, both think they’re attractive, and appear to be looking right through the guy who’s hard at work.

        I would probably pass on them, because they are probably going to hold out for their market value. I would try finding women with lower self esteem that are more “motivated sellers.”

        If you’re going to pursue them anyway, go for the less attractive one of the two. Lavish all manner of compliments and attention on her. Completely ignore the prettier one of the two.

        The less attractive one will appreciate being the one being pursued for a change. The prettier of the two will make an effort to get you to confirm she’s the prettier one, because that’s what everyone has told her is true, and you’re upsetting her worldview.

        This might confirm for the less pretty one that you are a desirable mate because her friend is trying to impress you.

        Lila Rajiva is all over the web, arguing with people in the comment sections. The way to get her to engage, is probably to find a specific instance where you disagree with her, and then tell her point blank that she is wrong and you are right about where you disagree.

        Don’t worry about winning, I don’t think that’s the objective. Worry about getting her to want to persuade you to agree with her. Take the alpha male position, that it doesn’t matter what she believes in, only that she is trying to influence what you believe in.

        Generally, women’s beliefs are usually a collection of the beliefs of those people in her life she has chosen to follow and agree with. Your challenge is to seem more interesting than Bill Bonner, Porter Stansberry, and the other men of original thought she has worked with and written for.

        Your beliefs, in contrast to hers, should only be ones you’ve chosen for yourself. Should you fail to win her over, consider you’ve amassed a powerful rhetorical skill set, which can be used and further honed on many other women who you might also find intriguing.

        • Bonner is a direct marketer whose greatest sell job is pretending other people’s ideas are his.

          Talk to him in person or hear him speak and you’ll figure it out immediately.

          Read the books he’s written on his own and compare.
          He has some gift for writing but there’s nothing much going on behind that.

          Porter Stansberry is a medium sized con, once mentored by a much bigger one.

          You don’t want to shine a light down that hole at all.

          His chief originality lies in devising creative ways to bamboozle people, for which he certainly deserves an Amazon award.

          Lila Rajiva comes off as unnecessarily combative at times,
          but no one with an ounce of intelligence who has read her writing will credit the last bogus comment, apparently created by a sock-puppet on behalf of the two mentioned.

          • Another coincidence, 8. I was just watching Cathy Ames(Katniss/Jennifer Lawrence is protraying her in a film) in the new movie Mockingjay.

            I’m not sure what this sociopath website is all about, but if Cathy Ames looks like Katniss, I’m in.

            As a capitalist, I have 100% respect for the Cathy’s of the world regardless of their words, attitudes, and thoughts. They deliver the goods.

            It takes a small man IMHO to blame the women in his life for much of anything. Last I checked, women aren’t killing, enslaving, and torturing people.

            It’s true they’re trying to get them into that line of work, but I don’t think they’ve made much inroads.

            I think there’s a lot of truth to be gleaned from what’s below. Most of the truth has to do with the shortcomings of the reviewer. And also Steinbeck even, if the reviewer is to be believed.

            That’s the old Capitolist swindle right there. Rather than produce goods and services themselves. They make their livings preventing and casting aspersions on the ones doing the producing.

            Down with Capitolist Swine, is what I say…

            [To the literary world – that takes for granted government sanctioned psychopathy…] The most prototypical sociopath portrayal in literature is Cathy from Steinbeck’s East of Eden.

            There are monsters born in the world to human parents. Some you can see, misshapen and horrible, with huge heads or tiny bodies; some are born with no arms, no legs, some with three arms, some with tails or mouths in odd places. They are accidents and no one’s fault, as used to be thought. Once they were considered the visible punishment for concealed sins.

            And just as there are physical monsters, can there not be mental or psychic monsters born? The face and body may be perfect, but if a twisted gene or a malformed egg can produce physical monsters, may not the same process produce a malformed soul?

            Monsters are variations from the accepted normal to a greater or a less degree. As a child may be born without an arm, so one may be born without kindness or the potential of conscience.

            A man who loses his arms in an accident has a great struggle to adjust himself to the lack, but one born without arms suffers only from people who find him strange.

            Having never had arms, he cannot miss them. Sometimes when we are little we imagine how it would be to have wings, but there is no reason to suppose it is the same feeling birds have.

            No, to a monster the norm must seem monstrous, since everyone is normal to himself. To the inner monster it must be even more obscure, since he has no visible thing to compare with others.

            To a man born without conscience, a soul-stricken man must seem ridiculous. To a criminal, honesty is foolish. You must not forget that a monster is only a variation, and that to a monster the norm is monstrous.

            It is my belief that Cathy Ames was born with the tendencies, or lack of them, which drove and forced her all of her life. Some balance wheel was misweighed, some gear out of ratio.

            She was not like other people, never was from birth. And just as a cripple may learn to utilize his lack so that he becomes more effective in a limited field than the uncrippled, so did Cathy, using her difference, make a painful and bewildering stir in her world.

            There was a time when a girl like Cathy would have been called possessed by the devil. She would have been exorcised to cast out the evil spirit, and if after many trials that did not work, she would have been burned as a witch for the good of the community. The one thing that may not be forgiven a witch is her ability to distress people, to make them restless and uneasy and even envious.
            . . .
            Even as a child she had some quality that made people look at her, then look away, then look back at her, troubled at something foreign. Something looked out of her eyes, and was never there when one looked again. She moved quietly and talked little, but she could enter no room without causing everyone to turn toward her.

            She made people uneasy but not so that they wanted to go away from her. Men and women wanted to inspect her, to be close to her, to try and find what caused the disturbance she distributed so subtly. And since this had always been so, Cathy did not find it strange.

            Cathy was different from other children in many ways, but one thing in particular set her apart. Most children abhor difference. They want to look, talk, dress, and act exactly like all of the others. If the style of dress is an absurdity, it is pain and sorrow to a child not to wear that absurdity. If necklaces of pork chops were accepted, it would be a sad child who could not wear pork chops. And this slavishness to the group normally extends into every game, every practice, social or otherwise. It is a protective coloration children utilize for their safety.

            Cathy had none of this. She never conformed in dress or conduct. She wore whatever she wanted to. The result was that quite often other children imitated her.

            As she grew older the group, the herd, which is any collection of children, began to sense what adults felt, that there was something foreign about Cathy. After a while only one person at a time associated with her. Groups of boys and girls avoided her as though she carried a nameless danger.

            Cathy was a liar, but she did not lie the way most children do. Hers was no daydream lying, when the thing imagined is told and, to make it seem more real, told as real. That is just ordinary deviation from external reality. I think the difference between a lie and a story is that a story utilizes the trappings and appearance of truth for the interest of the listener as well as of the teller. A story has in it neither gain nor loss. But a lie is a device for profit or escape. I suppose if that definition is strictly held to, then a writer of stories is a liar — if he is financially fortunate.

            Cathy’s lies were never innocent. Their purpose was to escape punishment, or work, or responsibility, and they were used for profit. Most liars are tripped up either because they forget what they have told or because the lie is suddenly faced with an incontrovertible truth. But Cathy did not forget her lies, and she developed the most effective method of lying. She stayed close enough to the truth so that one could never be sure. She knew two other methods also — either to interlard her lies with truth or to tell a truth as though it were a lie. If one is accused of a lie and it turns out to be the truth, there is a backlog that will last a long time and protect a number of untruths.
            . . .
            Nearly everyone in the world has appetites and impulses, trigger emotions, islands of selfishness, lusts just beneath the surface. And most people either hold such things in check or indulge them secretly. Cathy knew not only these impulses in others but how to use them for her own gain.

            It is quite possible that she did not believe in any other tendencies in humans, for while she was preternaturally alert in some directions she was completely blind in others.

            Sociopaths in literature: East of Eden’s Cathy

            • Well Tor, thanks for the heads-up on this. I’m a Steinbeck fan from way back. I wrote two term papers about him and his works. Being in high school, no doubt they lacked a great deal but flew over the heads of my classmates anyway(Stine what?).

              Now juxtapose something almost the complete opposite, West of Eden. I’m not even thinking of inter-specie breeding, just the female dominance of the entire society(ies?). Of course a good dose of totalitarianism comes through as an irresistible concept if not force. Not sure why i thought of these totally opposite ends of the spectrum……..or are they? Harrison wrote a lot of really intense and very accurate stories even though he mostly set the world on its top. I never read either of those authors books that didn’t mean a great deal to me, even the Stainless Steel Rat series. Harrison probably in there somewhere gave a name to “clover”. I think he felt like many of us do about clover, not as much disdain as pity. While we can’t help but despise her for her lack of intelligence and or lack of curiosity, we also(at least me)have this part that greatly pities her ignorance and stupidity. P.S. I just sat for five minutes trying to find a nicer way of stating that last sentence…..but we all know I’m fairly blunt at times(‘at times dammit, say it, say At times)….ok, so I’m fairly blunt, just use whatever power it takes to poke it in the wind but I want to be kind, well, you know, not REAL blunt. Seriously though, I do feel pity and sorrow for clovers. Just think of all the things they miss and how much better their lives would be if they could simply have better perception. And I guess it goes without saying how much better our lives would be. But when you come down to it, which burden do YOU want to bear? Easy peasy for hell-raiser measy.

      • Ha! Well said Helot, the analogy of the boy playing so earnestly at Little League as the mature father at the sidelines looks on with love and pride…seeing a microcosm, a practice field for the real world.

        I’m in a long-running discussion with my very good friend about Free Will–and whether it exists.

        I’m fully in the “Yes!” camp; of course we have free will, it’s our defining characteristic. He’s of the deterministic camp; every action dictated by a mixture of upbringing and the Newtonian clockwork of biochemical computer brains.

        I reject that as the heresy of the psychopathic Illuminist global masters; an intentional attempt to reduce us to automatons, to animals….because if we can be convinced to think of ourselves as biological androids or smart apes, we will willingly submit to their predations. They, more than perhaps anyone, know the truth–that we’re deeply, intrinsically free.

        They fear that more than anything, because they themselves are so aware of it because they themselves lack it! They are the true automatons; without the animating spirit of that mystical something else, comprised of equal portions childlike wonder, barbaric savagery against enemies, tender merciful love…the numinous sense of higher power–without that THEY are the beasts, and they know it.

        They hate those qualities in us; every psychopath does, he calls it “weakness” or “irrational”.

        But those qualities are the soul that drives the biochemical computer in our skulls and animates our lives.

        • Meth –
          I believe in predestination, because Paul talks about it in Romans. But I’m not sure exactly what it means.
          I believe God gives us choices (free will) but sometimes He tells us what to choose, as in “Choose life, so that you and your children may live.”

            • I don’t pretend to understand the math. But there’s a theory of the “holographic universe”; that we’re living in a projection of the “edge” of the universe and, like a hologram that appears to be three dimensional but is actually a static wave-phase pattern etched in the medium, the movement is illusory.

              Time, then, is a shifting perspective on a static projection.

              Nonetheless the actual stasis does not absolve us from acting of our own “free will” in the illusory transit of time, for that is the reality revealed to us.

              Will we see from the perspective of “outside” one day?

              Really interesting stuff.

              Meanwhile I have kids to raise, tyrants to fight, and guns to clean 🙂

          • Hi Phillip,

            I seems to me that – logically – if god exists and has the attribute of omniscience then in a very real sense (from his perspective at least) free will does not exist. Because the outcome of everything is known; because time is not unfolding. There is no time – as we comprehend it. Everything just is. And already was.

            Put another way, the totality of everything is static. At least, from the perspective of god. Which brings up an interesting question.


            Why bother with the human drama? The outcome is known. Before god made Adam, god knew he would “sin.” Adam may have believed he had a choice, but his choice was inevitable. It could only have gone the one way, as the other way was not even a possibility in the grand scheme of things.

            This must be so, logically speaking.

            Because the alternative is to deny the omniscience of god. In which case, he cannot be god. At least, he cannot be the omnipotent deity described.

            I kind of dig that, by the way.

            I’ve had a soft spot for the pagan pantheon of gods – each having powers and flaws – since childhood!

            Crom is your god, Conan. And he lives in the earth…

            • eric, that makes sense. It’s good logic but I can’t help but wonder how precognition relates to it. I believe a large amount of creatures, esp. mammals, have some precog abilities. If everything isn’t pre-determined, how do we have free will? Is free will merely an illusion?

              I know how I come down on precognition since I have it to a fair extent although it’s not something I can control. I can’t will or wish myself to look into the future. Instead, Glimpses of it simply happen. The distance into the future can be seconds to a year or so. I don’t find it to be a positive. I’d gladly be rid of it.

              Just knowing it exists brings more questions on more than one front. How do predestination and free will align? If free will is the ability to simply change actions for any reason, how can precognition really work? I feel like there is at least one dimension we aren’t aware of.

              It must be some form of ESP but how it ties into the future and free will is virtually impossible to know. Can both exist concurrently? Do both exist or do we really only think we have free will? Stay tuned for the answer…….sometime……

            • Hi Eric!

              Glad to be back, I miss you guys and the scintillating conversations here.

              I see both; it’s possible for God to be omnipotent and for us to still have free will.

              It’s a matter of perspective; we’re put in physical bodies that exist in a 4- or 5- or 10-dimensional universe, 4 of which we directly perceive…three spatial axes, one of time.

              It doesn’t matter that from outside that universe, it’s static; from inside, the progress of time is very real to us.

              Maybe it really is a simulator. Maybe it’s an opportunity to be away from the undeniable reality of the presence of God, and to choose good or evil in a simulator where it’s impossible to prove the real existence of either.

              I certainly can’t prove it. But I think there are powerful hints–mostly the incredible engineering just under the surface–that reveal the nature of the simulation.

              • methylamine, good to see you again. You say “It doesn’t matter that from outside that universe, it’s static; from inside, the progress of time is very real to us.”

                But isn’t it static, if you want to view it as “inside and outside” in both places, mediums, whatever term you choose?

                But here is my problem. When you have precognition time takes on surreal aspects as if following a plane. If that’s true, how could I glimpse somewhere else along that plane if it’s truly a plane? The only thing that makes sense to me is there is another dimension, perhaps even another universe or infinite time lines or no “lines” at all.

                I’ve had precognition since I was young. In early life I didn’t broach the subject for many reasons, mainly for being judged in a negative way. Once I could no longer ignore it I was still reluctant to tell anyone else. It was only after years of telling my wife and my best friend what I had seen that I wasn’t afraid to say it to them at least. They both now know it to be true. Someone on epa once said his wife wondered how he could speed everywhere but then slow down when there was a cop around. She said he smelled them. I think he did too, but with his mind. I drove like a banshee everywhere in everything for decades and rarely got caught. I learned to make a statement and have the person I spoke to think it was their idea.

                I was thinking to a DOT guy once “I can’t be overloaded”. He asked me for my weight ticket, looked it all over and asked me how long my trailer was. I blithely lied to the effect it was shorter and not as tall as it was. Then he said “Hell, you can’t overload…can you?” Nope, says I, I can put all I can on and not be overloaded. So he cuts me loose. I get back in that heavily overloaded truck with the over-inflated tires and made that Detroit wail like it was just pulling a regular load with a lead foot on it. That guy never stopped me again. We’d wave to each other after that. It was all perception but I saw it all playing out that way the first time we met. It was like I was running 10 seconds ahead of him in what we call “time”. Similar things have happened countless times since. One thing I learned early is to expect no one to believe me.

                This is something in my life I never asked for, never wanted and after knowing I had it, wished to hell I didn’t. Almost everything I see in advance I’d rather not see till it’s happened. I also learned to never say “I saw that before it happened”. After it happens it somehow becomes my fault for not stopping it… if there were something I could have done. Nobody listens till after the fact.

                • Good to be back! I need this site.

                  In the end 8-south, it’s what we choose to believe…because really, what the hell do we really know about the universe?

                  We expect a total paradigm change in physics every few generations…first Newtonian, then Einsteinian, now quantum, soon string or M-theory or whatever baroque bullshit mathematical construct replaces them.

                  We just don’t know.

                  So in the end I take the evidence at hand and construct what makes sense to me and resonates with my soul.

                  • meth, well, I’ve written half a dozen, several paragraph replies and axed them all(Ax Ike). Right now, I simply can’t produce words to describe what i think. I should do this more often.

  6. Good article. This is another example of how, without fail, every government mandate works against stated objective. (In our town, the local planners are taken to putting up flashing red left turn signals at traffic lights requiring a stop before a left turn. One doesn’t have to be a genius to foresee the result. Drivers who think they can turn ahead of an oncoming driver stop, then go, having already made the decision to turn, dangerously close to oncoming cars forced to brake.)

    On subject of car cameras, you might like this. I drive a Maserati. There is no front license plate. The local constabulary seem to think that having a front plate is a high priority, so have been stopping—typically high-end sports-type vehicles—and handing out tickets. I told one cop that since I was the only royal blue Maserati QP in town, I would willingly accept responsibility for any traffic infraction committed by a royal blue Maserati QP if I didn’t have to drill holes in my car! Anyway—and here’s the point—the front license plates manufactured for Maserati QPs block the front camera so I have to turn off my camera every time I get in the car! Admittedly, the design is not the government’s fault, but it the result is that my car is less safe, but does have a front license plate!

    • Makes me wonder why front plates aren’t mandatory on motorcycles too. They can use all the “safety” they can get! I bet they’d be super duper safe if they mandated side license plates too. Plates on the front/back and both sides! Damn, I got it. Plates on all sides AND cameras! Bring back the curb feelers too..
      curb feeler

      • curb feelers!?

        Ha! …Please don’t give them any ideas.

        “Plates on the front/back and both sides!” And flashing strobe lights too?

        And God, please don’t let them mandate those mother fucking annoying as hell beeping backup alarms on every car. The world is ruined enough by all the city trucks with those infernal tormentors of the early morning hours.
        If that comes to pass. For sure, then, I’m moving to Donkey path Valley.

        • And what about the flashing strobes on GIC Prison Transport – er, I mean school buses. As anyone can’t see that big yellow box.

        • Got damn those fucking back up alarms. Like wow they are blood curdingly annoying. I always say, if you get run over by a tractor backing up at .67 miles an hour then Darwin has ruled.

      • Dom, you forgot the rollover cage, the hard hat, the face helmet, the thin vinyl gloves (to prevent food poisoning), the safety BOOT (not just a shoe), bulletproof vest, backup camera (just in case you try to backup your motorcycle at your nearest school), orange fluoro vest……

        Hmmmm, did I leave off any safety gear??????????????????????

        • You’re right! What we should really do is have an avatar created that can live out all the “dangerous” activities in our lives.

  7. Might I also add the importance of relentlessly mocking all of the bastards and bastardettes as well?

    Die Stiefel Sind Zum Wandern by Eileen

    Immer wieder redest du von Liebe. immer schwörst du ewig treu zu sein. seh ich dich mit einer anderen Feundin.
    wie lang glaubst du sag mir bin ich dann noch dein.

    Die stiefel sind zum wandern. und wirds mir mal zu dumm.
    geh ich eines tages. mit den stiefel auf dir rum.

    – I go one day around. with the boots on you. geh ich eines tages. mit den stiefel auf dir rum.

  8. Werner said: “We don’t live under the kind of extreme stress and distrust of government you appear to be subjected to.

    Glad to be living in Canada.”

    Likewise. Especially as a refugee here from Uncle Cornpone’s Great Adventure in Bringing Democracy to Vietnam. But the faith you may have in King Stevie and the rest of the privileged class is decidedly not shared by the majority of Canadians.

    For instance, as noted in Toronto Sun columnist Lorie Goldstein’s recent column, an” Ipsos Reid poll in June, 2012, found only 5% of Canadians believe MPs and Senators have a lot in common with them, compared to 95% who believe they have nothing or only a little in common with them. Eighty-four per cent said federal politicians and bureaucrats are out of touch with the concerns of ordinary Canadians and 57% said they don’t trust the federal government to do the right thing. government to do the right thing.

    “Canadians are also suspicious of the size and scope of government, with 72% saying it intrudes too much into their daily lives, while 77% believe they are overtaxed for the quality of services they get from the federal government.”
    My spouse insisted that her Infiniti EX35 AWD come equipped with the latest all round cameras and lane wander warnings. After a few months, she got sick of the endless beeps. The owner’s manual contains so many caveats about the limitations of the camera system that anyone would seem a fool to depend on it in any way.
    I wonder if overdependence on bu cameras may result in more rather than fewer tragedies.

    • Worthy, we do not feel severe distress or distrust over our government here either. It is libertarians that make up stories that police stop everyone and beat them up. The facts do not back their views. I have knows thousands of people over the years and not one has been injured by our government. Even the videos that they come up with often do not show what they are saying. Just a week or two ago there was a video online where police were shown holding down a guy. Of course the title above the video said they were beating the guy if not worse. They love to make things up. I do not have a clue why most of them lie.Clover

      • By the way. The news is out that they guy that died in OK was found to die of heart problems caused by him struggling with police. No sign of a beating but the truth does not matter here. Lies on here help to promote hatred and also pays the bills here.Clover

        • Clover,
          When there is a physically stressful event between a mundane and a cop, if a mundane dies from the additional stress, exertion, whathaveyou from being beaten, restrained, confined, bound, whatever by the cop the death is blamed on whatever health issue the mundane had. However, when it is the cop who dies, then it is considered murder or some other crime by the mundane.

          Yep, that means if some teenager sprints away from some fat porky of a cop and the cop gives chase, has the big one and dies, the teen could be charged with killing the cop.

          • CloverBrent I would like to see that case where a guy that never touched a cop was charged with murder. Give me a link on that one. Good luck with your search. The guy was responsible for his own death do to his choice of fighting rather than talking to the police. He was breaking the law as soon as he made an aggressive confrontation to the police.

          • How a pet sees the world, and their masters in it:

            “He was breaking the law as soon as he made an aggressive confrontation to the police.”

            Pets are to Never act in a way that is unexpected.
            They are to always obey without question! To always yield.

            Puppies: just embrace the kick.

          • You’re babbling again Clover.

            You know as well as I do any cop dying for any reason when on a call, even his own bad driving is the fault of the perp.

          • BrentP wrote, “You’re babbling again Clover. ”

            Ha! …Every time I see that. Cracks me up.

            “Babbling”, it’s like dog drool.

          • We know Brent. Anything you feel like making up is declared as a fact in your mind. Proof or examples are not needed because you are in your own world. You are just like the other examples of people saying the guy was pummeled, dog piled on, beat up, beating of a dead man etc etc. All things that were made up to justify your and others rage and stupidity.Clover

          • Clover – what about the case of the unarmed man in Times Square. Police fired at him and killed 2 bystanders. He was charged with murder, because it was his fault the cops were shooting at him. ???

          • Clover you know as well as I do that perps get charged with things the cops do. If a cop kills someone in a chase or shoots someone not his target, the perp he was aiming for is charged.

            I’ve read of cases where perps were charged when a cop’s weakness surfaced and the cop died trying to make the arrest.

            Simply put you know as well as I do that in copland everything is the perp’s fault.

          • And while I am at it, that’s how governments get people to do bad things.

            “look at what you made me do” is what a cop or some other government muscle will say. He’s not a fault, the person made him do it.

            Look at your own words. You use the same thinking.

            • BrentP,

              “look at what you made me do”

              Isn’t this something that an abuser would say?

              Blaming others for the consequences of their negative actions.


              Wake up a get a clue. One day you may receive a wood shampoo from officer friendly, and wonder why.

          • Yes you are right Brent. A dangerous law breaking person should be responsible for everything it takes to apprehend him. If a guy shoots someone and takes off in his car and the police chase after him he should be responsible for everything. He should even be responsible for the gas in the police vehicle in my opinion. Yes Brent In that case I do believe he should be responsible for everything. If the guy did nothing wrong then he would not have any liability. For one thing the police would not be chasing him if he did nothing wrong. I know you are all about protecting the dangerous law breaking individuals and that is where I disagree with you and everything you stand for.Clover

          • Clover,
            You’d make such a good nazi. Not to mention all the other tattle tales and collaborators and such throughout history.

          • didja read about the cop who tried to shoot at a suspect, missed, and hit an innocent in the area…. THEN charged the suspect (found to be innocent of everything else they had dreamt up) with the injury to the innocent that the cop caused by his rotten aim/ true story, came out maybe four months ago in some big city.. Philadelphia or New York….

        • Clover – You ain’t Paul Harvey that’s for sure, because the rest of the story is that the autopsy ruled that Luis Rodriguez’s death, heart condition or no heart condition, was a HOMICIDE:

          That’s right you badge licking passive-aggressive puke bag, the cops killed him. Yeah clover, he was killed for the heinous crime of failing to show an ID and you apparently love it. May you have all of the government you so richly deserve. BrentP is right; you’d make a fine Nazi or at least one of their boot licking cowardly collaborators. Did your daddy happen to come over here under Operation Paperclip by any chance?

      • I have been given a glimpse into the mind of ‘mass man’ here.
        It’s mostly an empty space.
        The rationalizations and leaps that go on in there is a wonder to behold.
        If it were just one or two individuals who thought like that, I’d pass it off and ignore it. But, there are millions out there just like ’em.


        • The clovers fail to learn the lessons of history. Police have historically been responsible, yes even in this country, for incredible levels of brutality and murder against citizens. For example, it was very common in the South for sheriffs to be KKK members who terrorized and killed blacks and anyone who sought to assist them in bettering their lives. (Lynching party on Saturday, church on Sunday.) This was not a few “bad apples,” it was business as usual.

          As another example, the Miranda warning is so entrenched now that people don’t even think about it or the court decision that lead to it. Reading the Miranda case is very instructive, you’ll see how police departments routinely used methods varying from rubber hoses to cigarette burns to force “confessions” out of suspects.

          It’s still the same, human nature does not change, and the cop mentality has not changed. The current documented cases of police brutalizing citizens on the flimsiest of pretexts are nothing new, they are the continuation of one of the State’s oldest traditions. (Though it does appear to be escalating in recent years as local and state police departments are increasingly militarized and federalized.)

          Likewise, the clovers feel “no distress” when their government monitors them, compiling extensive dossiers, watching virtually their every move, logging every detail of their lives.

          “I have nothing to hide,” say the clovers. If they bothered to crack open a history book they would find the pages piled high with the corpses of ordinary people who believed they had “nothing to hide” from their governments. Aside from the impropriety of such all-encompassing surveillance, history guarantees us that this information will be misused, and probably sooner rather than later.

          • Interesting comment, Jason Flinders.
            I studied quite a bit of history when I was young. When I came across the writings of The Anti-Federalist, it was all ‘opened eyes’ from there on out.
            I had to spend some time reading, and a lot of time in a library, to find that information. My instructors certainly Never gave it to me. God forbid if it was ever on the TV screen.

            I wonder, are all Clovers averse to reading and learning history and spending even an afternoon in a library?

            I’m no geek/nerd/tweed jacket with an elbow patch kind of guy, but I spent just a little while with some books. Did they Never?

            Who am I kidding? Of course they don’t. They don’t even pay attention to the present and what’s going on around them now.

            …Suddenly, in the background, I can imagine the people in the past who demanded books be burned in a pile in the town square. They are the same people who lead the nations now and the same people who cheer those leaders onward and headlong into shit-storms that didn’t have to be.


          • Interesting comment, Jason Flinders.
            I studied quite a bit of history when I was young. When I came across the writings of The Anti-Federalist, it was all ‘opened eyes’ from there on out.
            I had to spend some time reading, and a lot of time in a library, to find that information. My instructors certainly Never gave it to me. God forbid if it was ever on the TV screen.

            I wonder, are all Clovers averse to reading and learning history and spending even an afternoon in a library?

            I’m no geek/nerd/tweed jacket with an elbow patch kind of guy, but I spent just a little while with some books. Did they Never?

            Who am I kidding? Of course they don’t. They don’t even pay attention to the present and what’s going on around them now.

            …Suddenly, in the background, I can imagine the people in the past who demanded books be burned in a pile in the town square. They are the same people who lead the nations now and the same people who cheer those leaders onward and headlong into shit-storms that didn’t have to be.



            [No ‘s’, sorry, eric.]

          • Jason Flinders I make priorities in my life. Worrying about being harmed by our government with the facts that I know is at the bottom of my list. If you can show otherwise where I or my family have even a slight possibility of being harmed I am ready to hear it. From the facts that I know I would worry far more about drunk drivers, aggressive drivers, scam artists and individuals stealing my identity and causing theft than I am worried about my government harming me. If you can give me some facts that say I should put my government on the top of my list above any of the others that I mentioned then I am all ears. Clover
            In my world if there is a bad cop or whatever there are legal ways to remedy that. We do learn from our past and that is why we have multiple checks and balances in the government that we have.

          • @clover–

            I’ve never had a mugger take HALF my income.
            I’ve never had a mugger threaten to steal my home if I didn’t pay $15,000+ to him, every year.
            I’ve never had a mugger threaten to kidnap me and put me in a cage if I grew the wrong plants in my garden.

            No mugger tells me what kind of milk I can drink.
            No robber can steal my children if a neighbor makes up an abuse story.

            Thing is, you’re so used to being abused by your own government, you can’t even see it anymore–it’s called Stockholm Syndrome.

            Or battered spouse syndrome.

            But see, you’ve learned it’s YOUR fault. And you’ll be good. You promise.

          • methylamine you are free to leave the country. There have been taxes hundreds of years before you were born. Where my brother lives they had a referendum on the last election form for an increase in sales tax for their county. It was not passed. The tax was not increased. That is how our government works. If a majority had decided it was better to have the tax for the community it would have went through. If you disagree with that form of government then leave because it is working for the rest of us. LEAVE.Clover

          • @clover–No, YOU leave, you fucking retarded slave!

            This country was built on FREEDOM, individual rights, and the absolute right to property.

            People like you, who WANT to be slaves, have progressively wrecked it. YOU leave; it’s YOU who don’t appreciate what it is.

            You say if people vote to increase or decrease the tax–that is, STEAL more or less–then that’s “The Law”.

            Once upon a time, it was The Law that white people could OWN black people….because they voted for it.

            You are, singularly and collectively with every mouth-breathing decerebrate troll of your ilk, the dumbest people on earth.

        • The most frustrating thing, for me, is their (Clovers’) inability to grasp (much less accept) logical progression. They only see the isolated “good” (as they perceive it) and never grasp the principle that’s been accepted – nor the precedent set by acceptance of this principle.

          Thus, they not only favor (as an example) the piece-by-piece evisceration of hard-won bulwarks against authoritarian (and, inevitably, totalitarian) government such as the gutting of the 4th Amendment in the name of (pick one) “fighting terror”/”getting drugs off our streets”/”going after drunk drivers” – they cannot see where this must and will lead.

          Even as it literally unfolds before their dull and glassy eyes.

          • This particular clover has never once brought an outside thought or article to anyone’s attention.

            This clover has no regard for anyone here as a sentient being. He only seeks to observe and report to authority, to engage and refute those it sees as having illegitimate power that should rightfully be his.

            Even if you posted an article about police pulling over children on their way home from school and beating and gangraping them, clover would continue to defend the police and the importance of following each and every rule to the fullest.

            Here is clover’s entire contribution to this blog – “you’re a bad man”

            This twilight zone episode – A Good Life – is clover’s fondest dream. Imagine having the power of this young boy to “make a gopher with three heads”

            – Somebody wish clover into the cornfield, please

          • Dear Tor,

            That Twilight Zone episode has never been surpassed as a depiction of life, correction, existence under an tyrant with absolute power guided by arbitrary whim.

            Excellent example.


          In the article linked above written by the professor, Butler Shaffer, he states the stat that 22 veterans kill themselves every day.

          That is nearly one every hour.

          Now, just how many children will be “saved” by back-up cameras mandated in all new passenger vehicles?

          It is obvious to me that military service is a far greater threat to personal safety than motor vehicles and their drivers.

          If you truly love “safety” (and the eventual well-being of children), then we should ban military service for anyone who is a US (slave) citizen or resident.

          • Right.

            In order to be accepted as Conventional Wisdom in a democratic dictatorship, an argument needs to be a flat out contradiction. Only then will it not be rejected as “tinfoil hat conspiracy theory.”

            This is the insane, topsy turvy world we inhabit.

      • @Clover – Be careful when you go camping in the Albuquerque foothills.

        Police Shoot Homeless Man During Camping Arrest (GRAPHIC VIDEO)

        From a source I’m sure you would consider credible:

        ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Days after violent protests led officers to launch tear gas at hundreds of unruly demonstrators, Albuquerque Mayor Richard Berry on Wednesday requested the Justice Department to step in and help the city overhaul its troubled police force.

        • Thanks very much Garysco . This is another instance where you and your friends want to protect dangerous people. You want to protect a guy with a record of multiple assaults. You want to protect drunk drivers. You want to protect terrorists. The videos you and others here usually present are actions of police against dangerous law breaking people. You want to protect them? Clover
          There have been multiple posts here that say I should look out for an out of control government. I do not go around assaulting people so I would say I am safe.

          • @Clover – Thank you for confirming your views of what is acceptable behavior in a free society, and what should be done with any dissent.

          • Garysco – Our clover would have been a Tory and decried the revolution as seditious and treasonous against the crown. You could show him videos of US military or cops raping school girls and shooting them in the head and he would claim it only happened because they refused to cooperate with the authorities. Clover is sick. He is undoubtedly in the six percent that Lobaczewski wrote about in Political Ponerology. But since clover apparently is mentally ill, he thinks those of us that believe it is better for ten guilty men to walk free than one innocent man to suffer at the hands of the state are the ones with the problem. Clover would be a perfectly happy snitch in the prison system. He would pick the biggest, baddest gang-banger and be his bitch; then claim it wasn’t so bad in the big house if you just followed the rules and went along to get along. Right clover?

            • Hi Boothe!

              Exactly so.

              Clover defends the system because he likes the system; because it works – for him. I am certain he is a government official of some sort, perhaps a cop. His livelihood, in any case, surely depends on a government check. He probably makes a good living on his government salary. Has a nice home and car.

              He does not care that others have been forced at gunpoint to provide these things. And will certainly not give up them up willingly.

              Put yourself in the shoes of say Martin Bormann or Vachyslav Molotov. Their respective systems worked well, too – from their perspectives. For a time. They enjoyed relative affluence as well as relative immunity from the tyranny around them because they were Inner Party. I suspect Clover is a similar personage.

              And that explains his presence here!

            • Hi Helot,

              The American attitude used to be characterized by what I refer to as the Bugs Bunny mindset: Sharp, on to the con. An awareness that officialdom is ridiculous and to be gotten around.

              Now, Americans are more like Clover. Not merely obedient and unquestioning themselves, but outraged that anyone else might not be.

          • Helot the way I figure it, I am the government. I voted recently. That makes me part of the government. You say that government is a foreign body. Government is you and me. Are you saying all governments are bad? The only examples of bad things others have brought up here are people using gun, knives and fists toward the police. That leaves out 99.99% of the people so tell me what the major problem is?Clover

            Like I said before, I set priorities in life. The most recent thing that came into my life is when my nephew’s coach was killed by a drunk driver. That same person could have lived a million lifetimes before such harm would have come to him by a policeman on duty. You tell me where our priorities should be?

          • @Boothe – Clover would never make it to Bubbas module under his own power. The mere sight and sound of the outer hard door closing behind him would send him mental and into medicated protective custody. The injustice of a pristine life spent in morbid fear of getting into trouble would be too much to take and cause a fuse to blow.

          • Garysco – I don’t know if that’s right. Clover is already “institutional man”; he might do quite well in “the joint.” If he’s a cop, they’d put him in the “special” unit for cops. lawyers and child molesters (the fact that they lump them together for protective custody ought to tell us something…) so the honest criminals couldn’t get to him to kill him. If he’s just a workaday minor functionary in the bureaucratic hive, he’d probably still do alright because he’d turn snitch, and or (depending on his ethnicity) join the skinheads, the crips, bloods or MS-13 for protection. And then he’d do what he was told until his time was up. He’s the sort that after the lifers had him in the shower once, he’d be first in line to do the same to the next poor noob that got thrown in there. Clover’s kind always figures a way to work within the system for their own benefit at everyone else’s expense.

          • Clover reminds me of someone….
            “I AM THE LAW!” -Judge Dredd

            Somehow, clover thinks he has a right to order us around, tell us how to live…
            At least Dredd had the balls to do it HIMSELF, and was (per story) impartial and honest in execution of the law. (Incorruptable, I think would be the word.) He had no delusions of being above the law, nor of being of sterling MORAL (as opposed to Legal) character.
            Our little Rabbit Green wants someone ELSE to do all the risk-taking and enforcing, so Clover can cream his panties on how MORAL he is (Which, prima facie, is: IM-moral. IE, NOT. Because someone who is unable or unwilling to take risks themselves, has NO BUSINESS telling others how to live their lives. He’d escort us to the Matrix pod or the Oven without a thought. “But it’s a good thing (day/TV show/ book/etc)…” And that Twilight Zone episode / short story, oh so long ago, HIGHLIGHTED THE PUSSY THAT IS CLOVERS: “I could distract him, and one of you could sneak up behind and hit him with the fire poker!” Yet no one did. SOMEONE ELSE has to make the decision, take the risk, ACCEPT THE RESPONSIBILITY…
            And Clover will accept that as “the new normal.” Up to and including the end of the human race, including Clover. “It’s God’s Will,” “en shallah,” etc. It’s a GOOD thing…)

            Well, my blood pressure WAS down…

        • ABQ Shooting protest marches peaceful

          DOJ Reforms For ABQ Could Cost APD Millions

          Shootings renew call for NM health changes

          UN Human Rights Committee Finds US in Violation on 25 Counts

          “Recently, in Albuquerque, New Mexico, police shot and killed a homeless man. His crime? Illegal camping . . . in the Albuquerque foothills. Albuquerque police went to arrest 38-year-old James Boyd, who was sleeping in a campsite he set up. After arguing with police for three hours, Boyd was apparently about to leave and picked up his belongings.

          As he started walking down the hill, police shot a flash-bang device at Boyd. He dropped his bags, appeared to take out a knife, and then police fired multiple bean-bag rounds and six live rounds at Boyd. The man dropped to the ground, hitting his head on a rock, his blood spattered on it. Officers yelled at him, telling Boyd to drop his knife.

          When Boyd didn’t answer, police fired more bean-bag rounds and sicced their dog on him. Boyd was later taken to a hospital and pronounced dead a day later. In addition to stun guns and bean bags, officers shot six live rounds at Boyd. The shooting prompted an FBI investigation, which is ongoing, and a protest in Albuquerque that was met with intense police violence as officers fired tear gas into the crowd.”

          • CloverTor Libertarian this is where we disagree. If a guy comes after the police with a knife or gun or whatever the police have the right and duty to take him down. If someone comes after you with knife are you going to kiss his ass or would it be you kiss yours goodby?Clover

            Think logically, do police have the responsibility to act any differently than any other individual should in a particular situation? Do police have the responsibility to put a target on their chest and tell the person to stab me here?

          • Clover – the late George Carlin had a term for the stuff that spews forth from your keyboard: brain droppings. The main difference is his were funny and witty. Yours: very similar to what we cleaned out of the chicken coop yesterday, only without the redeeming quality of being good fertilizer.

  9. If it’s such a great idea, and everybody wants it, why does the government have to mandate it? Shouldn’t consumers be demanding it from the manufacturers?

    Oh, wait.. these systems have been available in autos for many years now. You’ve even had the opportunity to retrofit a rear backup camera into any vehicle you want. And I’d probably be correctly assuming that anybody that wanted one (and could afford the cost) in their vehicle has had one installed either by the factory or their choice of garage.

    So, why the mandate?

    I think that Garysco touched on possibly the REAL reason. What better way to have 150 million active cameras on the streets, transmitting images of anyone behind you straight to TPTB where it can be run through their facial recognition software, instantly alerting them to every terrorist’s (formerly known as citizen’s) location, direction, rate of travel, as well as the identity of all passengers in their vehicle. And all at YOUR expense!

    Think of it.. Now LEO will have access to actual photographic evidence of you talking on your cell-phone while driving. They can mail you a ticket based on undeniable photographic evidence. So much more convenient for you!! And look at all the tax money saved by not having to actually pull you over with their squad-car! And it’ll keep all those nice officers out of harms way.. after all, look at how many LEO’s get injured during traffic stops.

    So much safety!!!

  10. None of the posters here have yet mentioned the most basic negative fact of back-up cameras — they do NOT “WORK.” (This is my experience with a 2012 Mazda CX-7)

    First, their depth of field of vision is 2 Dimensional, so it is IMPOSSIBLE to accurately judge DISTANCE.

    2nd, the camera’s peripheral field of vision is TOO NARROW; much narrower than the average human’s naked eye. Consequently, it is STILL NECESSARY for the driver to physically turn around in his seat and LOOK out through the back window, to see the FULL scope of what is behind him. To rely on the limited view of the back-up camera alone, is to invite even MORE accidents.

    Thus, the entire device is just another expensive gimcrack for gadget freaks. As well as something else to break down and require repair or replacement, and to give the Nannies in the Nanny State more power over us.

    The Kindergartners at NHTSA are inflated with hubris and power but most of all, ignorance and stupidity. We are truly being governed by lunatics.

    • Don, but they are doing something, congress cares the beuracrats care! That’s the american way. It doesn’t matter if it works or not, they have to show they care. They have to do something. When people figure out that the cameras really don’t do much good if any then there will be another answer…. three cameras. And when that doesn’t work, five…. then there will be under car cameras to make sure little Billy or Spot the dog isn’t under the car.

      Knight Rider

    • Hi Don,

      I’ll amen that – as a guy who tests new cars every week. The range of vision is very limited, the view is skewed – and it’s arguably more dangerous to assume the way is clear based on this limited image than to turn your head and use your own eyes to make sure the way is clear.

  11. One other point: metal is lighter than glass. Smaller windows means lighter cars, and closer to reaching the cafe standards.

    I’ll bet this does nothing to save lives though. At work we need to practice the “circle of safety” when driving a company vehicle. That means we have to look in front of the vehicle (in the direction we will be traveling) prior to getting in the driver’s seat. While this is sort of a waste of time, there have been cases where kids have been playing in driveways. It takes less than 5 seconds and generally you don’t even need to break your stride to check. I’ve carried the practice over to when I’m in my personal vehicles. Simple, effective and free.

    • Eric_G – I tend to circle my vehicles before I just jump in and drive without being required to. You may notice something as glaring as a flat tire (or bottle that rolled up under the tire) since you parked it. Or more recently, I noticed a “goose egg” in the side of one of my Miata’s tires. Apparently I had hit something and damaged the sidewall. If hadn’t done a walk around, I might have found out about that bulging sidewall at 60 MPH in a sharp curve the hard way. There are a lot of good reasons to do the circle of safety none the least of which is the potential to run over a child or a pet.

      The reason a lot of companies mandate that their employees do it is because too many of us are lazy. We’d rather just pick up that box or drag that pallet instead taking a few more steps and a couple of more minutes to go get a hand truck or a pallet jack or do a walk around before we drive off. Then you read the accident reports: “Employee twisted knee dragging pallet with motor on it.” “Operator felt sharp pain in his back while lifting box.” Almost every time I’ve been party to an accident investigation, it was “Well, I leaned over like this to pick up the box…”: Improper body mechanics and lifting technique. “I jumped in the truck to back up and didnt’ see that actuator back there.”: Employee backed up over equipment without looking behind vehicle. That obviously costs the employer in lost time, workmen’s comp and higher insuance premiums. So it’s in their best interest to promote a “safety culture.”

      But then the safety Nazis see these same reports and try to make whatever piece of equipment or vehicle that was involved “idiot proof” from their office chair. No matter how hard they try to “make things safef”, better idiots will always come along and up the ante. It all comes down to a matter of self discipline. If you follow proper safety procedures and wear the correct personal protective equipment for a given job, you will go years without hurting yourself, anyone else or tearing stuff up. But since a lot of people won’t “police” themselves we get things shoved down our throats like safety glasses with foam around them, back up cameras, supplemental restraint systems (air bags) and spring loaded ladder gates. And it will still be just as easy for the average idiot to ignore the back up camera the same way he or she fails to walk around the vehicle to begin with.

      • Boothe, I have to laugh at you again. You say you just walk around your car and then everything is safe to go. Do you have any idea how far a 2 year old can go in the 5 to 10 seconds it takes you to get into your car, start it up and start backing? Have you ever had a 2 or 3 year old? Are all libertarians so lacking in common sense? Do any of you have a brain? OK, you are in a parking lot and you check behind your car. Did you check around the other dozen cars around you because a kid can walk or waddle faster than you back up. I know, you can then blame the parent for not having a chain around the kid.Clover

        • Clover – You can’t be serious. I live in a very rural area. My yard is fenced and gated. The nearest two year old is…hmmm? I’m not sure. Maybe a mile or more down the road? That’d have to be one fast fence climbing kid! And as others have pointed out, a two year old could just as easily crawl up under the rear of the vehicle out of the camera’s field of view, so even that’s no panacea. There aren’t a dozen other cars around me where I live either. When backing out of a public parking place I do a thorough check and tend to be even more careful. Hence I have a decades long clean driving record. Can you claim that? If I was lacking in common sense, I’d have string of tickets and accidents in my wake. I don’t. Oh, and I’m not a libertarian either. I don’t belong to any group, I’m unique…just like everyone else. So don’t make things up or write of that which thou dost not know.

        • Clover,
          You think poorly.
          If you let a 2 year old run around you shouldn’t move the car unless you can see that he is clear of your path. Not that you can see your path is clear of him, but that you can see he is outside of it. This way if he moves to intersect your path you stop.

        • One more thing Clover – I had three children, all of whom reached adulthood. So yes, I have had 2 and 3 year olds. I didn’t back over any of them. Nor anyone else’s children either. They were toddlers at a time when “backup cameras” were unheard of. I’ve never even met anyone that backed over a child that I know of. I did know a man who ran over a little boy because the child’s mother called him to cross the road and he ran out into the street without looking. The fellow never got over it either, even though it was clearly the mom’s fault. So yes, when I see a toddler running loose I certainly do hold the parents responsible. But I am afraid to intervene these days, because people like you have everyone on high alert. If one did take an errant youngster by the hand to lead them to customer service or the nearest cop, one might find himself “taken down” for attempted abduction in our current police state.

          When my youngest boy was a toddler, he had a propensity for running off when we were in the grocery store, the mall, what have you. We solved that issue with a coily-cord child tether attached to his wrist and his mother’s wrist when they went out. But guess what; one day this nosy busybody (a female of the cloverian ilk) saw this and had a fit, lecturing my wife because my son had a “leash” on him “like a dog.” If, on the other hand, he’d run off and been abducted or hit by a car, your kith and kin would have then been screaming that my wife should have been a more responsible parent. And your set would use that to justify parental licensing, a social worker in every home and state mandated ed-ju-kay-shun from daycare through college; because some folks can’t be trusted to raise their own children, so nobody can. Right clover?

          Total surveillance. Total supervision. Total control. Then we’ll all be safe, right? We have a segment of our society that already lives under those conditions. We call them “inmates.” But guess what; they aren’t safe either. They still get raped, they still get beaten and they still get murdered. No matter how much you try to eliminate risk, life yet remains risky. It is people like you that want the rest of us to pay for your preferred safety features, your total surveillance state, your militarized police and your cradle to grave government “care” that are the real terrorists in this society. Why? Because it is people like you that want to make sure a portion of our property is stolen under pain of death to pay for the causes you support!

          You want a backup camera? Good; you pay for it. You don’t want a gun? Great; don’t buy one. You don’t want to give your teenage daughter immediate negative feedback for lying about where she’s going and who she’s running around with? Fantastic; but don’t expect the rest of us to pay for her abortion, STD’s, WIC and drug rehab. In other words, take responsibility for your own life and leave the rest of us alone. Until you can do that, you’re the liar, you’re the thief, you’re the murderer even if it’s only by proxy; and you’re actually the one with no “common sense.”

        • You bet Clover. I have told them to go inside over and over, but they are still crawling all over my driveway. How do I get rid of them?

          P.S. – Here is a non-govermnet mandated solution for $52.99, no tax and free shipping. Also includes night vision so you can see them in the dark.

          Disregard if you think people are too stupid to get their own.

          • Thanks for that mention of a reversing mirror Garysco, but I think electronic ones are overpriced.

            I’m surprised nobody’s mentioned the reversing mirrors normally fitted to the the top of the rear door on vans:


            Would be a cheaper alternative, or even a replacement for the expensive revcam system when entropy and cheap electronics ensures it goes belly-up. Besides, in using this mirror, at least you’re already looking in the right direction.

  12. Quite a discussion! How did it ever stray from the simple matter of mandating backup cameras to the outright banning of all vehicles, including motorcycles and bicycles? It is a simple inexpensive extra compared to all the other electronic gadgets that many people demand and pay for when buying a car: Adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, blind spot monitoring systems, touch screens for ordinary controls and for GPS and such! Long is the list!

    Tempest in a tea pot! If one backs accidentally over a child one wishes that one would have had a factory installed backup camera that may have prevented it. The money spent on that may have been less than the cost of the chromed alloy wheels!

    • Clover wrote, “How did it ever stray from the simple matter of mandating backup cameras to the outright banning of all vehicles, including motorcycles and bicycles?”

      You really need to understand why.
      For starters, contemplate the phrase, ‘slippery slope’.

      And ask yourself why you’re not demanding a 5 m.p.h. national speed limit, everywhere.

      • Helot first of all that was not clover. I love your libertarian slippery slope excuses. It is like the ones where a cop gives you a ticket for driving poorly and the next thing in your mind is there will be a slippery slope and the cop will shoot you in the head instead of giving you a ticket. I found that it is impossible to argue with your kind because facts do not matter to you. It is all about what could happen in your mind not what does happen.Clover

        • A Clover, is a Clover, All the world over.
          The one, is the same as the next.
          Their ideas and thoughts (or thoughtlessness) defines them.
          As it is with everyone.

          Some people say ‘The Internet’ represents a process, not an episode, that this ongoing thing called ‘The Internet’ is about a consciousness, the forming of an electronic hive-mind.

          I’d say that perhaps there is only a sharpening of two opposite minds.
          One wants to be free.
          The other wants to rule.

          One is deep, rich, complex and full of life.
          The other is shallow, basic, ruthless and full of death.

          One is aware.
          The other willfully decides to remain ignorant.

          The one is attacked.
          The other attacks.

          Red is gray and
          Yellow white
          But we decide
          Which is right
          Which is an Illusion

          • CloverHelot yes I am full of life. You on the other hand want to change that. You do not want rules. You therefore want more deaths. Drinking and driving laws, reckless driving laws and and the dozens of other safety rules that keep me and my family alive you want to take away. Tell me, does that also give me the right to point a loaded gun in your direction and pull the trigger? It might not hit you so I guess that would be fine with you.

          • “The rules” keep you alive?

            Such a bizarre outlook on life.

            You’d hug “The rules” if you could. …And lick their boots.

            It doesn’t bother you in the least that you act like a pet?

          • Clover – Pointing a loaded gun at someone and pulling the trigger is a violation of that person’s rights. In legal parlance, that would be attempted murder or at the least, assault with a deadly weapon. There is no comparison between that and requiring that all new vehicles have a backup camera. Sheesh!

    • Because, Werner, it’s the PRINCIPLE at stake–if they can mandate this, what else will they mandate in the future?

      Or put differently–why do you want to “solve” all problems with violence?

      Because that’s what you’re proposing…using violence to address a problem.


      I’m a car manufacturer (hypothetically). I make a very, very inexpensive car for poor people to have basic transportation. I agonize over every item’s cost. So, I refuse to spend the $135 to put the cameras in.

      Government tells me I must.

      I refuse.

      In a very shot time, armed government goons will come and put me in a cage, and if I resist, will SHOOT me.

      All because I wanted to keep my car cheap, and refused the “mandate”.

      What about the people who want to buy my cheap car? If I go out of business–or I’m kidnapped and put in a cage–which car will they buy? Ah, they’ll buy the one with all the “mandated” crap they didn’t want, because they were prepared to look around the fucking car before backing up.

      But now they have to buy the mandate-car.

      And it’s not JUST the backup camera–let’s add up just a few of the mandates:
      Antilock brakes
      Antiskid computers and actuators
      Backup camera
      Rollover standards
      Telescoping steering column

      There are literally thousands of these mandates, that very easily double or triple the car’s cost.

      What if? What if I could decide for myself how safe I wanted to feel, and buy accordingly? Isn’t that freedom?

      But no. Werner wants mandates for safety, mandates that might save just one life–so none of us are free.

      Now it’s backup cameras. Yesterday it was seatbelts, then airbags.

      Those are all good ideas, wonderful stuff–if I’m free to choose them voluntarily

      Don’t force me. Stop using violence to solve problems.

      • Werner here (some think I am a Clover just because I was under the impression that one can express a reasonable different opinion here without being insulted!) and I wouldn’t drive the kind of stripped down cheap car that you desire to have! My friend was killed by a broken neck because he refused to wear his seatbelt. He dented the inside of the windshield. The driver who wore his seatbelt survived with a broken leg. They had a blowout at 70 miles per hour and went off the road hitting a large tree stump.

        Violence? I am against all violence, preferring serious discussion and wise consensus to any kind of violence.

        Well, good luck to you! We don’t live under the kind of extreme stress and distrust of government you appear to be subjected to.

        Glad to be living in Canada.

        • “a reasonable different opinion” – It’s funny how some people think it’s reasonable to force others to obey them.

          • Helot safety standards have saved hundreds of thousands of lives over the years. Forced you to do something? As Eric has said before that environment changes have made the air that you breath clean enough to now see through it. Seat belts and crash bags and other safety standards have saved hundreds of thousands of lives and hundreds of billions of dollars in savings of medical costs. Maybe people need to be forced to do something if they are too stupid to do it themselves.Clover

          • Clover – How would you feel if “someone” (i.e. government) forced you to do something you didn’t like: lets’ say, leave your home and move to another country or maybe just to keep your mouth shut, since you were “too stupid to do it” yourself. Various governments have done this and worse to “their” citizens down through the ages. When you have a friend or family member killed or seriously injured in a traffic accident, that is a significant emotional event in your life to be sure. But the circumstances and your perception of the incident are purely anecdotal.

            I have an old friend that ran his Toyota pick up truck over a bank, went about six feet in the air and hit a power pole sideways. He was ejected through the passenger’s window and “died” twice on the the way to the E.R. He wasn’t wearing his seat belt (tch-tch). The Virginia state trooper that investigated the accident said…wait for it…”It’s a good thing he didn’t have that seat belt on. The way he hit that phone pole he’d have been cut in half.”

            He would have arguably been “safer” wearing his seat belt in regard to his. But actually, since the whole driver’s side of that truck ended up on the passenger’s side, he would have been dead for real. If it would save just one life…

          • Boothe asked Clover (a question he will Never answer) “How would you feel if “someone” (i.e. government) forced you to do something you didn’t like”

            It seems, they would like it Very much.
            I can see now why eric decided on the image he did for an article awhile back on the subject of Clovers and submission. The one with the S&M black leather.
            Yeah, they’d be Very happy to be told what to do, even if they didn’t like it. I think maybe Clovers do Not like to decide things. They like things to be decided for them.

            Wow, so The Judge in Caddyshack was used to getting a “Yes!” when he said, You’ll get nothing and like it.” Wow. Art imitates life, or the opposite?

          • I came across a description of Clover heaven tonight:

            “We may feel that the government telling us how to cut our hair is just silly and would never happen, but in North Korea it is normal for the people. […] they have required criticism sessions; this means that as a community once a week they must come together and say the bad things the individual had done in the week and the bad things they had seen others do. ” …

            Freedom and Liberty is all in the Perception


          • Well there you go. Clover knows people are to too stupid and must have government rules to keep them alive.

            Who makes up government Clover? The same stupid people or is there another kind?

          • Dear Gary,

            “Who makes up government Clover? The same stupid people or is there another kind?”

            Answer: The stupidest of the same stupid people.

          • @Bevin – I will help Clover and hint at the answer. Those that cannot/ will not seek their livelihood in the free market of products and services.

        • Hi Werner,

          It’s not really “government” we distrust. It’s the idea of endowing other people with the power to impose their will on us. Because human beings are flawed; they make mistakes. They are not all-wise. Much less all-benevolent.

          It’s bad enough when one makes a mistake oneself. But it’s worse, isn’t it, when a mistake made for you, against your will, by someone else costs you money – or something more important (such as your liberty, or perhaps your life)?

          This is why we – Libertarians – take the position that it’s only ok to use force in response to force. That is, defensively.

          If someone is merely doing something you disagree with or find inadvisable – but has not actually harmed you (or anyone else) then we believe he has an absolute right to be left in peace.

          Thus, we find it outrageous that some people (i.e., “government”) have arrogated unto themselves the power to force us to buy things like back-up cameras and air bags or to “buckle up for safety.”

          These things are – rightfully – none of their business. Unless you take the position that some people (those who wield government power) have ownership rights over other people.

          I don’t believe they do.

          Do you?

          • Please do not think that I am attacking you as a person Eric because I think that we are n the same side; but the words that you have typed deserve philosophical thinking,I for one do object to government and distrust it entirely. There has never ever been such a thing as a good government! I ask for anyone to present an example of a government that doesn’t violate the N.A.P. or steal funds from people in the recorded history of man. I doubt that anyone in this world can present a globally-recognized government that follows the principles that I have just mentioned.
            We Americans have been indoctrinated into believing that we live in the freeist country on Earth, and that our so-called founding fathers fought the British in order to gain liberty for us all. Nothing could be further from the truth! If you do a little research you will find out that George Washington had a low opinion of his soldiers and their wives. You will also discover that many of our so-called founding fathers opposed freedom for the non-elite. The Revolutionary War was supposedly fought in part because of taxation without representation, yet our new government promptly raised taxes even further and stole land from the peons who were out fighting the war. On top of that, the new government purposely allowed the well-heeled to profit by buying the assumed worthless pay vouchers from the common soldiers just before the new government decided to actually make good on those debts by establishing a national debt upon us all, thanks to founding father Alexander Hamilton!
            Apologists for the founders tell us in one breath that the reason our government is so unconstitutional now is because the founders could not foresee how future politicians could misinterpret their words, yet in the other breath praise them as being supremely wise men. Well, which one is true? I invite you to read the anti-federalist papers which will dispell the first one easily.
            My family of origin arrived in this country before 1776, and nobody in my family tree ever owned slaves, so I have no ancestors to defend. Many countries ended slavery without bloodshed. Abraham Lincoln was our Hitler because he was directly responsible for the murder and starvation of many thousands of civilian women, children, and old folks in the south. Lincolns 2nd address is very well known (but complete sophistry if you actually read it rationally), but how many people have read his first one where he is threatening war if the sovereign southern states don’t obey him?
            These things can be most easily found on Lew Rockwells site by using the search engine there. Feel free to try to debunk them rationally by searching elsewhere.
            The truth is that governments, forests, schools of fish, herds, flocks, squads, platoons, crowds, etc do not really exist because they are merely human-created concepts. Nobody can touch any of those things. You can’t touch a herd, but you can touch cows one by one. Ditto with forest/trees. Governments do not physically exist; but there certainly are groups of control freak parasites that call themselves the government.
            We as humans need to return to using the concept of Natural Law which is based upon the nature of man. No man wants to be robbed or violated, therefore statuary law is invalid.
            Yes, well have a long way to go before there exists a large enough number of people to effectively collapse this government via non-participation, but no other option can work. There has never been such a thing as a limited government.

            • Hi Brian,

              I agree with all you’ve written (because it’s accurate!)… why would you imagine I’d view it as a criticism?

          • Brian you say that all governments are bad. I say that you need to move to the country without a government. What is that country because I do not know what it is?Clover

            Our country was set up with a form of government and you obviously do not like that. Move then. Our form of government was started hundreds of years before you were born.

        • Dear Werner,

          I am sorry for the loss of your friend in a freak accident.

          But I am sure you are aware of the fact that not everyone wearing a seat belt, come out of an accident in better condition than those who are unbelted.

          My daughter and a couple of buddies were in a roll-over. The vehicle rolled diagonally. The friend in the back of the suv was belted in and his only injury was a broken leg.

          The friend in the front passenger seat, unbelted, was thrown out the window and landed on his head, causing permanent brain damage.

          The driver had a broken nose, knee cap almost severed, broken back, a hole that went almost all the way through from the top of her foot to the soul of her foot. She was not belted in either.

          Had she been belted in, the way the car rolled, (the driver side roof was smashed to the height of the head rest), she would have probably been decapitated. Maybe she would have survived with her skull crushed, who knows? It’s really too gruesome for me to contemplate.

          Today, she is an architect with the Bank of Hawaii, and avid snow-boarder and a wife and mother.

          Seat belts are good for some situations; they are certainly not all they are touted to be.

          • This is a reply to Clover, who replied to my post by saying: “Brian you say that all governments are bad. I say that you need to move to the country without a government.” To which I reply: Please start thinking. Governments claim to own every inch of soil on this planet except perhaps Anartica and tiny islands in the ocean which get blasted by waves during storms and cannot support man. Lets just take a look at the Indians in this country. After being nearly completely exterminated, they finally got some parcials of land that are for the most part barely habitable by man. The Indian tribes still consider themselves as being completely different cultures than ours and consider their reservations to be separate nations. Yet the U.S. claims to own all of it and no governments internationally do not recognize their tribes nations. All of Oklahoma, Arizona, New Mexico, etc is considered to be owned by the federal government first and sub-owned by the state. You will not see the Hopi nation on a globe in a government school classroom. Therefore it is utterly impossible to move into a country without a government because there is no such thing as a country. The word country in this area is merely a concept that people equate with a land mass which is being ruled by a government. Thinking otherwise is circular thinking at best. You also said:
            “Our country was set up with a form of government and you obviously do not like that. ”
            1. If its “our country”, then my portion of it is every bit as important as yours is. When reason is added to the mix: Then my opinions are more valid than yours.
            2. The government does not acknowledge us as being co-owners of “our country.”
            3. The government established itself via the ruling class. We had the Articles of Confederation before it got illegally replaced with the inferior CONstitution. That said: The common man (and women, slaves. etc) never got a chance to vote for either of those forms of government. The CONstitution was imposed upon us all!

          • Cool response to the defenders of empire, Brian.

            Your only problem is, you’re arguing against a pet.

            Pets like things the way they are.

            Pets are just fine with slaves not having a say in the outcome invented by their so-called “former” and now current masters.
            Heck, even the great-grandson’s of slaves have been turned into pets, just lapping up the slop their masters dole out to them and demanding more.

            Pets gloss over and scoff at the reality of the condition and station in life of the Native Americans. And just like the many of the grandson’s of the former slaves, many of the grandson’s of the once free Native Americans have been turned into pets, too.

            Know this: Governments – and the pets that support them – claim to own every inch of soil on this planet! As if they were a team, just like when some pre-conditioned sports fanatic says, “We won!” Even Antarctica and All the tiny islands in the ocean which get blasted by waves during storms and cannot support man. Every blade of grass, and every rock, is theirs,… in their mind. ALL must obey them! As if they are one with their masters,? When, in fact, they are nothing more than pets.

            That’s why I pity them.
            They just don’t get it.

            The relationship of the sucker, and the taker.

        • How does your friends’ death justify pointing guns at other people in the name of preventing their deaths?

          It’s sad bad things happen to people. But that’s the way it goes on this rock. Everyone has to decide their own level risk. But by socializing things everyone becomes their neighbors’ keepers.

          But what does this (USA) society do? It enforces prudence for little things like seat belts but on the big things, the macro things, such as financial matters, it punishes the prudent and rewards the risk takers. The guy not wearing his seatbelt has very little effect on me. Bailing out wall street with QE has a huge effect. But look how things go and who gets cops in their face for their risk taking.

        • Dear Werner,

          “Violence? I am against all violence, preferring serious discussion and wise consensus to any kind of violence. ”

          You are against all violence?

          That is good to hear. Because that is exactly what “Volutaryism” advocates. Being against all initiation of violence against others. All interactions between human beings must be voluntary.

          No exceptions. this of course includes initiation of violence against others to rob them of their money or to compel them to obey. The former you probably know by its more common name, “taxes.” The latter you probably know by its more common name, “laws.”

        • Your friend chose not to wear a belt.
          I’d like the same choice. In fact, I HAVE the same choice–and I choose to wear a belt not because the State will ultimately shoot me if I refuse, but because it’s a good idea.
          Your friend, and I’m sorry for your loss, serves as another object lesson to encourage the wearing of the belt.

          But you would force me to wear it. Not you personally; but you by proxy, supporting a State that forces me. And if I refuse, and refuse to pay the ticket, and refuse to be put in a cage, they will eventually kill me for it.

          That’s the violence you support–stop deluding yourself that “I am against all violence”. You’re not. You support violence by proxy.

          There already IS consensus–wearing a seatbelt is a Good Idea. Some still choose not to. That is their choice–would you force them? Or allow someone else (for whom you voted) to force them?

    • WHAT electronic equipment everyone is demanding? No, you missed. The fancy junk the makers are loading onto our cars are their own inventions to satisfy their own desire for more profits….. try and buy a car WITHOUT that trash….. a friend of mine liiked for nearly a year to find a used SUburban with some truly useful features but WITHOUT the stupid video system built in. Why? He REFUSED to have the video in front of all his kids when they travelled. He finally found one…. ‘

      These toys are an example of supply side economics in action… the junk is invented, put into the cars, they are IN them so the consumers think they are OK, besides try and find a car without them. So they buy them… paying the premium for them in spite of their better judgement. Or wishes.

  13. Thanks, again, for highlighting more madness from the control-freaks in government, Eric. My blood pressure spiked yesterday when I read about it at . Headline includes:

    Advocates ask: What took so long?

    We’re being propelled into slavery not just by government thugs, but also by “advocates” who never stop whining: “Why is it taking so long??” Really makes me sick.

    • Ah, the Consenter Christians and their “science.” Praise Jeebus. And all mandatory Jeebusing.

      More great articles from our pals, the Christian Scientists.

      US Must Update Laws on Face Veils

      Amazing Christian Scientist Contribution To Astronomy

      – revised fiat green rule, do unto others as permitted by statute
      – pick up your cross and follow the PTB. It’s the law.

      • From the face veil column:

        American governments need to ask what genuinely constitutes a security threat, thoughtfully examining situations on a case-by-case basis and drawing on a long list of historical precedents for balancing religious liberty with societal needs.

        My GOD, what is he talking about? Have I missed news reports of masked bandits running around the country shooting people? What “security threat” is his tiny little mind imagining, and what “societal needs” must be satisfied by getting a close-up look at every woman’s face?

        I notice that the ban the author proposes is couched not as a “prohibition”, but rather as an “update” to our laws. Kind of like the word “progressive”: who could be against progress and updates? Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain who wants to run your life down to the smallest detail.

        The astronomy headline I take as humor, and fairly good humor too. But that could be wishful thinking on my part.

        • I wrote:

          Have I missed news reports of masked bandits running around the country shooting people?

          Silly me. We DO have such a problem, and the masked bandits are called cops. Special cops, even more thuggish than the usual variety.

          I somehow doubt the face veil author was talking about these criminals, however, or would favor forcing them to remove their masks.

          • If they must ban something, why not those bandits?

            Here’s the actual article, not a jpeg

            “Asteroid looks like a giant rock floating through space” reports one astronomer

            Reuters Article CSMonitor Rewrote: Huge asteroid headed for close encounter with Earth

          • Not just cops, JDL.
            Islam demands women not show any flesh, as they might incite lust in the hearts of men.

            I’d point out, the burka is also VERY good at hiding explosive vests, and identity – even from good-quality surveillance cameras.
            Up here they finally got smart and said no driver’s license photos with a burka. (Hijab is OK, I believe.)

            France woke up several years ago… We will eventually rebuild, problem is, no one wants to accept, it will be built on CORPSES.

            Revolutions of ANY sort always are. Not just 1776; Radium was a medical revolution, which killed Marie Curie, IIRC. Vaccines killed their fair share, too. (Weren’t always successful.) Health care will do the same. Russian revolution. Spanish civil war. Cuban revolution. Tobacco war. Drug war. War on poverty.

            Government is the BIGGEST killer, Q.V. Democide. Khmer Rouge, Stalin, Mao. We don’t have different rulers – just different psychopathy.
            Sometimes you need to set the backfire to contain the damage, and that’s all you can do…
            We don’t MAKE the rules, we just live within them.

    • What’s worse is now we are well into the Elvis stage. Where interventions are now largely needed because of the side effects of previous interventions.

      Won’t someone think of the children! That’s the problem, someone thought of the children in the car, just not those outside of it.

    • the term “advocate” is code for government paid or sponsored shill on a mission to create the appearance of independent support for a government mandated programme. We have them in car “safety” issues, diet and food issues, gun control issues, minimum wage issues, mandated “healthcare insurance” (which, in reality is neither), appliance compliance standards (safety and energy, both false categories), and so forth. Folow the money, there is someone getting VERY rich from this scheme… just like what happened after the Panty Boimber was escorted past check in at the Amsterdam Airport and onto the flight to Detroit… tried to fry his nuts and those of everyone else on the plane, and suddenly, from out of nowhere, magically appear hundreds of already manufactured full body scanners, now “serving” the travelling public in an airport near you. Did someone make some coin from THAT scam? Oh yeah, BIG coin………

  14. You have to refuse that whole “it saves 15 lives” bull$#it right from the start. This idiotic camera will not save a single life, and it will probably cost dozens of lives. All it does is A- Make the cost of all new cars (Much?) higher, and B- as related, make the cost of inspecting or registering a used car much much much more.

    (A $4,000 econobox micro-car anywhere else in the world gets a Fiat badge and a ? 15,000 price tag in America) Where does that extra ten grand go??

    The end result is that those without the money to buy a new or well-operational used car, will be stuck with “whatever they’ve got, that they can get through inspection” which means, whatever old ancient barely-working contraption that they can get through inspection is what they’ll be driving, insanely dangerous, but it passes inspection. Government doesn’t give a krap about safety, but only about preening about safety and shoving “safety” measures down the public’s throat. We get skrewed royally, but some GS-16 soccer mom who can’t even drive a stick gets to brag to her sycophants about all those “lives she saved”

    • Hi Still,


      And: It is not the business of government to “save lives.” The only plausibly legitimate business of government is to protect people’s rights. My life is mine to “risk.” The cost-benefit calculation mine to make.

      I have the right to make, sell and drive whatever sort of car I wish – provided my doing so causes no tangible harm to anyone.

      The trap is buying into the “someone might” (insert here) argument that is used so effectively by people who seek to direct and control the lives of others.

      Someone might back up over a child – therefore, mandatory back-up cameras.

      • When I started driving in the 70s no one ever got backed over, esp. kids. Now it is becoming common, esp. here in Australia. And all the runoverkid drivers are young, and driving late model cars or more so, SUVs. And I bet they all had backup cameras, but the press never ask this question of the owners, so we really don’t know.

        If I ever get a car that has one of those idiot cameras, I will remove the sensors and put rubber plugs in the bumper bar.

        • Growing up, I can’t recall anyone backing over kids, either. Not that it never happened; there probably were occasional incidents. Just as there are occasional incidents today. The government references 50-60 such, IIRC. Out of a nation of 310 million. It is probably mathematically inevitable that, out of that many people, a couple dozen will get backed over by cars – for a variety or reasons.

          Most of those reasons coming down to: Obliviousness on the part of the driver and negligence on the part of the parent, leavened by the unintended negative consequences of car designs that are what they are because of government mandates.

    • Ah yes, the seen and the unseen. This is akin to Bastiat’s broken window example. The seen is the supposed [insert number here] lives saved as a result of the camera, but the unseen is the lives and treasure lost (as well as the opportunity cost) by the camera mandate.

      By the way, this mandate really has nothing to do with saving lives. That’s just the pretext. I’m certain it’s a result of manufacturers pushing the requirement as a rent seeking measure as well as creating yet another barrier of entry for those interested in competing with the entrenched U.S. auto sellers.

    • You have well applied the principle of the seen and the unseen. Nobody sees the problems that result when people are forced to buy cars that are lesser than they would have otherwise been able to.

      Years ago all this nannyism would be told to take a hike. Today everyone’s a victim and every victim deserves a new law to restrict or cost everyone else. Why? Who’s interests does this serve? If it didn’t serve someone’s interests it would not get traction. The media would not portray it the way they do.

      There is IMO something more sinister afloat. I don’t think any of the self appointed planners for society, those who direct/influence government ever thought the engineering class could meet the goals they have already set out and still build affordable cars. That’s why they are pushing for so much now. They want to make the product unaffordable. That is their apparent goal.

      We will see a rise in auto rebuilding as labor value drops in real terms and new car prices increase. Nobody in government cares about auto restoration/rebuilding right now. It’s not popular. When it becomes mainstream, when a young couple can’t afford a new car and instead buys a restored 1984 Oldsmobile Delta 88 Station Wagon instead of a new minivan with 30 air bags, 12 cameras, and the latest in artificial intelligence auto pilot, then government will stomp on auto rebuilding.

      First the media or the usual nannies will find some tragic incidence where some old vista-cruiser was crunched by a semi truck and some kids were left tragically injured or killed and demand congress do something about these horrible monsters that restore old “unsafe” cars and sell them to unsuspecting families. It’s even better if they can find a tragic crash where a car restorer that did shoddy work or missed something. From there the screws can be tightened in many ways.

      Regulations can require resto-modding to modern standards in key areas. It could restrict use to collector purposes. It could require very detailed restorations regular people cannot afford. Expensive inspections where a rusty screw head would mean failure. It could simply ban the industry. I’m just touching the surface, but the goal would be to force people into new car, recent car, or no car, preferably the later.

      Dense urban cores. Small rental apartments. Transit. That’s what is being pushed. If you don’t want to live that way you will be impoverished until you have to.

      • And from a European viewpoint the unelected EU commission will step in and ban the practices mentioned across the European Union. The EU parliament will simply rubber stamp this. We are seeing this with banning kids from older cars if they are not fitted with certain “safety” devices. What next banning adults and only allow historic cars for parades no b****y thanks!!

        • Hi Charles,

          I live in almost constant dread of that happening… a retroactive mandate that old cars be updated to meet modern car “safety” (and perhaps also emissions) standards… it would be a de facto outlawing of older (and especially pre-modern) cars.

          I am convinced it’s their ultimate goal. They just know it will have to be done piecemeal…

          • Im afraid Im with you in terms of fear- call me paranoid if you want but control is control- we need to set up a global movement to fight these bureaucrats. However Im not sure which is stronger however the safety or the environmental arguments- they come from different backgrounds even though their result will be the same- more control.

          • There hasn’t been much activity on the ‘ban old cars’ front in a very long time now. They were beaten back in the 80s and 90s and the only way they’ve had any success is to simply pay people above market value for their old cars.

            I think it will remain silent on that front until something happens that forces their hand. A rebuilding for daily use industry would be one. Or after we are down to just government run automakers with very high prices and waiting lists causing most of the market to move to used cars. If they just want to stimulate new car sales they’ll use the same broken window they did last time.

            In the old fight they never were able to convince the american boobus that old cars posed some sort of concern to them. So they were met on the political battlefield by the old car hobby and the money the industry represents without any backup by the public at large. But, in an impoverished future where a little boy dies in a tragic crash when a semi truck hits a Country Squire Wagon with frame rot that a rebuilder didn’t fix, then the boobus will demand action by the government and get it.

          • Oh, it’s started alright.
            By the same sneaky back-channel underhanded bullshit they’re using for guns.
            The last lead smelter in America shut down–by the EPA. Cue higher ammo prices.

            Ditto old cars; the permitting procedure for a shop to dispose its oil, clean up its workspace to avoid killing some bacterium no-one’s ever heard of…you BET they’re coming after the fix’em-up shops.

            Not sure if it’s been mentioned here before, but study UN Agenda 21–it’s the umbrella program for the final transformation to a full Hunger Games world.

            She’s either One Of Us or a helluva researcher, because Hunger Games portrays exactly what they’re trying to achieve.

          • Brent in what way do you mean “beaten”? I know there is quite a market for historic cars I mean look at the various auctions some go for at.

          • @Charles–

            Oh. My. God.

            Just looking at that WHO/UN website on tobacco “control” made me want to vomit.

            Just try to imagine the actual people behind all that; a bunch of ugly, pasty-faced losers. No friends, unless you count their “friends” at work who are equally socially retarded. The same mousy nothings who were losers in school, or the glad-handing fake-smilers running for “class president”.

            And now? They sit around parasitizing us–producing NOTHING–but pretending to Make The World Better?

            It’s enough to make me run to the gun cabinet and stare lovingly at my new 7.62 AR

            BTW–I have a gun recommendation for everyone!

            If you’ve always lusted after a 7.62×51 (.308 Winchester) AR, but shied from the price…the Smith & Wesson M&P 10 is your answer!

            Give or take about 1500 bucks. Really nicely built, with ambidextrous controls all round including mag release.

            And the excellent S&W “5R” barrel. The riflings are cut to minimize copper fouling and reduce friction while enhancing accuracy.

            I can attest to it; I’m not the most fantastic shooter, but I’m pulling routine 1 MOA five-shot groups from this thing!

            Highly recommended.

          • Dear meth,

            Jeff Quinn at reviewed it.

            It looks good!

            I don’t have any particular attachment to the AR design per se. My concern is more for the 7.62x 51 NATO chambering.

            If I’m not mistaken, some of the classic battle rifles that I really like are no longer available. The HK-91 and the FN-FAL.

            For a SHTF situation, standardized rounds widely used by various military forces ensure maximum availability. Surplus ball ammo is cheap.

            The 5.56×45 NATO has never appealed to me. Too small to be effective at ranges beyond 300 yards.

            The .300 Winchester Magnum and .338 Lapua Magnum are of course even more capable sniper rounds. But both lose out on cost $$$$$ and availability.

          • @Bevin–

            Major props on your taste in battle rifles–HK91 has always been one of my favorite. As they say in South Africa, it’s so reliable it’s “Kaffir-proof”.

            Accurate too.

            But originals are around three grand last I checked.

            However, PTR makes their PTR91 and it’s a dead-on copy, made here in ‘Murrica. Can be had for around $1500.

            I do like the AR platform, it’s grown on me tremendously. The 5.56 round though–I hear you. BUT that said–would YOU want to be hit with one, even at 500 yards? Yeah. Me neither. 🙂

            338 LM….mmmmm, wants me some. But tres cher, and bring the muzzle brake–the recoil is ferocious!

            If I’m going big, I’m going big–50BMG baby! Why leave any trace of one’s enemy?

          • Boothe the big pharma companies are funding this because they want to get their share in the nicotine market- a very lucrative business.

          • @Boothe–

            Does not surprise me at all. Why do narcissists and control freaks do what they do? Might as well ask the scorpion why he stung the frog…it’s his nature.

            So many other examples of natural medicines they’re working to suppress. I’m convinced cancer is optional–but it’s so profitable “treating” it they openly kill cures like DCA and laetrile.

            How about magic mushrooms for depression? Well-controlled research has shown that one trip cures depression for three to six months. But it’s “illegal”.

            I look with contempt and disgust on orthodox medical authorities. The doctors themselves are merely dupes, acolytes and candle-lighters in the High Church. But the priests themselves–the gatekeepers–are control-freak eugenicists.

    • You claim that older cars that “barely get through the inspections” are not safe. Balderdash and poppycock. My 1977 Mercedes 123 Sedan is far safer than most of what’s out there on the roads today. I can SEE everywhere round about it easily. It is simple, thus far easier to maintain and repair on the rare occasions it does need some minding… last major issue was a somewhat sticky brake caliper, changed in well under an hour’s time at a cost of $55 for a new one. Before that it was…. oh, a water pump, $35 new German made OEM, 1.5 hours to change. I’ve had the car for ten years and I believe that’s all I’ve had to do. And it HANDLES… predictably and precisely. My state doesn’t have the insane safety nspections (why is that the purview of GUMMINT anyway? Why not leave that in the hands of my insurors? THEY are the ones freighting the risk of mechanical issues as I drive it).

      And I’ll lay some pretty high stakes at some rather long oddes that my old Benz can take a hit far better than ninety percent of what’s out there, and not only drive back home but remain in service. No plastic wrap-round “bumpers” to get knocked off onto the macadam by a shopping trolly….. or cost $1500 to replace and respray. Stupid gummint stooges sitting about in a smoke filled room (oh wait, they did clean that up, didn’t they) contemplating what unnecessary device to foist upon the masses because we’ve been so well trained as to be incapable of either thought OR responsibility. A pox on the lot of them.

  15. Repost from Karl Denninger at 04/01/14

    A Tale Of Two Government Stupids

    The stupid, it burns.

    First, there’s GM and their ignition switch fiasco. For those living under a rock GM, years ago, was trying to build a “world platform” car. This would have (if successful) dramatically lowered costs by having one platform that was sold worldwide for a large number of vehicles. As a part of this attempt they were putting a boot on the neck of suppliers, including Delphi and others, to lower costs, including some amazingly-draconian terms for forward pricing and terms.

    There is a problem with this sort of cost control, however, and that’s quality control. You have to keep up with it. One of GM’s attempts to do this included liability assignment even if their specs were met. A number of suppliers pushed back hard against this, including TRW which was a brake component supplier — and IMHO with good reason. If I supply you with a component that meets your specs and the specs turn out to be inadequate and thus there are failures, the cost of that should be on you, not me.

    GM thought it should be the other way around.

    But one place where inadequate attention appears to have been paid was the lowly ignition switch. These sound really simple but they’re a bit more complicated than they first appear. When “off” or “on” they have to be resistant to some degree to turning, but not too resistant. In other words it has to rotate reasonably-easily when you want it to so you can turn the car on and off, but when you’re driving it must not rotate, or your engine will shut off unexpectedly.

    Yes, there’s a spec for that.

    What appears to have happened is that the spring that created the tension to prevent the rotation of the key out of the “on” position was too weak, and thus if you had a keyring with other things on it the switch could turn off due to whatever was on the ring swinging around and/or interacting with your leg, especially on rough roads or when you hit a pothole.

    The claim is that not only would this cause the engine to stop but that it also disabled the airbags at the same time, since the car was not “on.” I’m not sure I buy the latter claim, but this is what the government is saying — the reason for my skepticism comes from the myriad warnings on working around airbag systems and the risk of accidental deployment immediately after the battery has been disconnected, which strongly suggests that the controllers all have some amount of stored energy in them and will fire with the key not in the “run” position. That makes sense too, since a wreck might immediately interrupt DC power — perhaps quickly enough to prevent airbag deployment (consider where the battery is on many vehicles; it could literally be “first hit” in some cases.)

    But — let’s take it at face value. There are two aspects of this story that are deeply troubling. The first is that GM apparently knew about this shortly after it started happening and buried it. The second is that it was hidden when the government took the company over and rescued it during the crash.

    The latter is a potential criminal matter; hiding a liability during what amounts to a bankruptcy proceeding can constitute criminal fraud.

    That is especially important in this case because one of the components of a bankruptcy or, as in this case, “government rescue” is how liabilities get allocated. GM effectively threw off its declared and known past liabilities for product problems on the “old GM” which went under and effectively ceased to exist as an operating company. This caused many people who had outstanding product liability claims to wind up with little or nothing.

    The fair question is where did that liability wind up for this situation, since it was not disclosed — and if it was deliberately hidden, as appears to be the case, what’s the punishment for that deception upon both the government and the courts.

    We’ll see how this shakes out, but whether or not there is criminal liability here it sure smells bad.

    The second however is yet another shining example of government overreach and outrageous intrusion: Back-up cameras.

    The idea sounds great. And the cost sounds small. But are both true?

    It is true that people get run over by cars travelling in reverse all the time. But the number of people so-killed is small; 15 or so a year. To put this in perspective there are something like 15 million cars and light trucks sold a year and the claim is that the cameras will cost “only” about $135 per vehicle.

    That’s $2 billion, or about $135 million per life saved.

    What’s worse is that the cost is not limited to the car itself. It also will perpetuate and make far worse certain design decisions that are today causing a real problem in new vehicles — integration with the technology systems that make them impossible to replace.

    It wasn’t that long ago that car stereos came in only a couple of standard sizes — double and single-DIN. Before that was the two-knob style. And while manufacturers over the years have made things somewhat more-difficult in the last few years it’s gotten entirely out of hand, with “infotainment” systems being inexorably designed into the dashboard and non-replaceable.

    This is a fairly big problem because technology changes and that fancy new stereo in your car might not talk to your new phone very well. But that integration is one of the things you wanted when you bought the car.

    This mandate will make that materially worse, because it will force a particular size of screen into the cabin and manufacturers will have an integration requirement that will become even more odious. That in turn is almost-certain to result in the further destruction of your ability to throw off the chains of a buggy factory-installed stereo and replace it.

    Do I think backup cameras are generally a good idea? Probably. But do I believe in forcing consumers to spend $135 million per year to save 15 lives?

    No, neither should you, and there ought to be something we can do lawfully to people like Jackie Gillan who promoted this raw theft from you, the consumer — a cost that was shoved up your ass without so much as a vote from Congress.

  16. I know of an instance where a woman killed a toddler while backing up down a driveway. The child was trying to get to a ball which had rolled under the car. A tragedy. She later committed suicide.

    If these things become mandatory and if they are properly designed to sound an alarm when they observe an obstacle – just one innocent life saved is worth the whole effort.

    • I know of multiple instances where children were killed in auto accidents because the cars were traveling at a high rate of speed. Had they only been moving slower these lives would likely have been saved.

      It should be mandatory for all speed limits to be reduced to 20 miles per hour or less. Just one innocent life saved is worth the whole effort.

      • I think you’re entirely too dangerous. Reckless, even.
        Simply ban cars. Enough.
        Haven’t we seen too much car violence already?
        Cars kill more than thirty thousand people every year.
        High-capacity cars can kill five or more in one accident.
        Who really NEEDS high-powered cars? Single-piston cars should be enough to hunt groceries. Only the military and police need large-displacement cars!

          • I can see you’re a kindred spirit. My God it’s good to have someone else understand for once!

            Why can’t people just be SAFE? Give UP these insane tools!

            Fire, electricity, machines–they’ll kill us all!

          • Hi Jason,

            A clever person once observed – rightly, I’d say – that if motorcycles were “new” they’d never be allowed. Far too “dangerous” to be allowed.

          • Jason – The other posters are right. Bicycles are way too dangerous. I have the answer though; we just build cars like the ones Fred Flintstone and Barney Rubble had. In fact if we would just follow the example of the fine folks of Bedrock, we’d not only save lives through feet powered cars, we’d have a lot of othre inventions that would cut greenhouse emissions, save fossil fuel and ensure a much more physically fit society that lives in perfect harmony with dinosaurs…err…nature:

    • I completely agree! If it saves just one life!

      Here are some other things that I think would save many of these incredibly tragic accidents*:

      1) Mandatory ceiling-mounted safety harnesses for all showers…341 lives saved!
      2) Mandatory low-tensile fish-net bed sheets to prevent accidental suffocation or strangulation in bed–327 lives saved!
      3) Mandatory elevators, eliminating the ever-present danger of stairs…1,307 lives saved!

      As you can see, all those are much more than “just one life saved” and so they’re clearly worthwhile! How much safer the world will be! And those are just three examples! Werner–surely you would wear the shower safety harness, to save one life?

      By the way–fewer than one hundred children a year are killed by being backed over.
      Thousands die every year from poverty–bad nutrition, bad healthcare, absent parents working three jobs to put food on the table–because the government’s stealing them blind mandating stupid shit!

      * year 2000 statistics

      • Wouldn’t it be even better if we all lived in government-assigned and monitored barracks? With proper 24-hour supervision and monitoring, and controlled diet and forced excercise, just think of how many innocent lives can be saved!

        • This, actually, is the inevitable no-exit cul-de-sac we’re headed for if all this nonsense isn’t quashed. Total, absolute control of everything we do. No latitude to exercise choice in anything.

          Which might be ok if those making the choices for us were in fact the superior, god-like intellects they presume to imagine themselves to be.

          But of of course, they’re not gods – and (typically) inferior types. Do-nothing talkers, who haven’t got the know-how to make an origami duck, much less a car.

          • “Do-nothing talkers, who haven’t got the know-how to make an origami duck, much less a car.”

            Roll roster of Atlas Shrugged villains.

            Wesley Mouch and Cuffy Meigs come to mind.

            It’s all coming true.

          • Even if they DID know all that, that still does not give them the right to manage anyone’s lives but their own.

      • Dear meth,

        I’ll raise the ante on this one.

        How about “we” make it mandatory for all people to be placed in pods, hooked up with umbilical tubes, and wired into a virtual network like in “The Matrix?”

        People would be forbidden by law to ever emerge from their pods for fear that they might risk injury or even death.

        There would of course be exemptions for “our political leaders.”

        I’m not joking.

        “Any political principle that gains currency will eventually be mandated in its most extreme form.”

        Unless the trend is reversed, expect mandatory tracking chips and even “kill chips” implanted in every “citizen.”

        • People are incredibly infantile. They see life where none exists.

          Throw a stick at a dog, he might growl and attack the stick. In his primitive mind, the stick itself is alive, and has attacked him for no reason.

          Dogs can amuse themselves with toys and balls for hours on end. The balls are alive in their minds.

          When I was a young child, I too felt my toys were alive.

          I cried for my Tonka cement mixer when some older kid at daycare broke it. In an adrenaline fueled surge of protective instinct, I bashed his head with my Tonka skid loader across his head and drew quite a lot of blood from him.

          I was defending my family. My toys were alive and a precious part of me. This misplaced fealty led to my being expelled from day care and being left on my own at an incredibly young age. In hindsight, it was a blessing that has rescued me from a lifetime of delusion.

          It’s a common mistake, for kids to think their toys are alive. Or fore adults who watch football on TV and indulge in similar fantasies. They think they’re teams are alive. That the ball and the game itself has life.

          They root for their living home team. Of their living home town. In their living home state. of their living home country.

          These low wattage minds actually think their teams and their governments are alive.

          That the laws that restrain them have life. That their votes are imbued with life. That the bloodstained political machinery is sentient and endowed with true problem solving abilities.

          When I read the comments, I get the sense that many people hear think GM is alive somehow. It creeps me out to no end. That the invisible hand is attached to the invisible arm, which is attached to the living body of the cruel capitalist Godzilla known as General Motors.

          That is why there is no real progress. That is why Ayn Rand’s simple ideas tower so far above everyone. Above neocons, conservatives, mutualists, libertarians, NAP adherents, and all the rest.

          Like the ancients, she understood that God is dead. Religions are dead. Government is dead. Corporations are dead. Associations are dead. Political parties are dead. Chambers of commerce are dead. Factories are dead. Charities are dead.

          She absorbed the lessons of the great philosophers, yet did not make the Great Modern Error. The error that systems have life. That ideas themselves are sentient and breathing and can act on their own without any corporeality whatsoever.

          Nietzsche knew God was dead, but then saw a delusion of life in German government. He devoted his life to animating imagined corpses of German Perfection.

          Communists knew God was dead, but then saw their collectivist system as possessing life. When the Bolsheviks seized power in 1917, they didn’t disturb a single statue, or confiscate a single Czarist weapon.

          They were only there to kill the old institution. And then to immediately erect a new living institution. The institution of the Communist Commonweal.

          To find men who are mature enough to know what is dead and what is alive, you have to go all the way back to before Aristotle. To Aristotle’s teacher Plato. To Plato’s teacher, Socrates. To before Socrates and the ancient wisdom of the Ionian Enlightenment.

          It’s been that got-damn long. Together Brits and Americans are the current rulers of this world. But there’s is a horrible tyranny, because the PTB all suffer from the delusion that their Central Banks are alive.

          That their treaties and alliances are living creations. That the United Nations and Member Nations are all endowed by them or their Creator with life and breath and true autonomous capability to rule over the myriad humans upon this planet.

          We suffer under the reign of abject toddlers, who refuse to give up their delusion, and will kill us all to maintain it.

          The plain and simple truth is that abstract institutions can never be alive, and must never be acknowledged as having any reality or being whatsoever.

          O Superman – Laurie Anderson

          O Superman. O judge. O Mom and Dad. Hello? Is anybody home? Well, you don’t know me, but I know you. And I’ve got a message to give to you.

          Here come the planes. So you better get ready. Ready to go. You can come as you are, but pay as you go. This is the hand, the hand that takes.

          Here come the planes. They’re American planes. Made in America. And the voice said: Neither snow nor rain nor gloom of night shall stay these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.

          ‘Cause when love is gone, there’s always justice.
          And when justice is gone, there’s always force.
          And when force is gone, there’s always Mom.

          So hold me, Mom, in your long arms. In your automatic arms. Your electronic arms. Your petrochemical arms. Your military arms.

          – congratulations you damned dirty apes, you’ve managed to create a frankenstein world where the dead has more life than the living. Ironic you say that I’m using the internetmatrix to say this? Fuck you damn dirty apes for seeing my hypocrisy and complicity as well.

          — Hold me closer, great Earth Internet Mother, you’re the only love I know how to feel anymore

    • @Werner: As tragic as this child’s death and the subsequent mother’s death was; IMHO FORCING 10-15,000,000 car buyers annually to buy this technology is ABSOLUTELY NOT worth the effort of saving one life at all. Perhaps if this mother (and the tens of other drivers who back over someone) would be a better driver, this accident (and the tens of others annually) would not occur.

      “They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.” — Benjamin Franklin, sometime shortly before February 17, 1775 as part of his notes for a proposition at the Pennsylvania Assembly, as published in Memoirs of the life and writings of Benjamin Franklin (1818)

    • Saving one life is *not* worth it. It’ll cost a few lives per year just to build and install 15 million backup cameras.

      • Hi William,

        The issue, as I see it, is that each of us as individuals have the absolute right to make such cost-benefit analysis for ourselves – and that no one else has the right to make such calculations for us, against our wishes.

        Put another way: My life is of incalculable value… to me. I may therefore elect to spend my money on “x” if I perceive it will enhance my safety in a meaningful way. But if I decide that “x” is not something that meaningfully enhances my safety, then it is my right to decide not to spend my money on it. Because it’s my life.

        Clover will screech: But the children! You might back up over one! Yes, that is a theoretical possibility. Just as it is a theoretical possibility I might do a variety of things. But it’s wrong to penalize/restrict/control people not on the basis of what they’ve actually done (in terms of causing harm to others) but on the theory that they could conceivably cause harm. That “something” might happen.

        Clover’s philosophy (if you can call it that) is an endorsement of limitless-in-principle tyranny of the 1984 (or Brave New World) sort.

        Only he’s too dull to see it.

        • If it was seat belts I’d agree with you completely. I do agree with you mostly, since as I understand it most backup accidents are the parent’s fault — not something the general public should be responsible for.

          But there are few cases where the driver is a complete stranger and the victim or responsible adult has no control over the situation. We should address these with probabilities and costs and such. Maybe it’s 10% of the ~60 kids expected to be saved, i.e. 6 kids. Is that worth requiring 15 million vehicle buyers to shell out a combined $2.1-$7.5 billion? Wow. Probably more than 6 will die commuting to work trying to earn this additional money.

          Plus, I happen to think backup cameras make backing up more dangerous because they encourage the driver to face forward rather than turn their head around while backing up. I was nearly hit a few years back by some idiot staring into her backup camera instead of looking at the wider scene. I’d like to hear what driving experts say about that. If widespread use of backup cameras *causes* a few dozen deaths per year, forget it!

          • Hi William,

            On a practical level, I look askance at anything that encourages driver passivity – and in my opinion, these cameras do exactly that. They encourage the driver to trust in a view that is (typically) grainy, distorted – and much more limited (especially peripherally) than using one’s own eyes.

            I speak from experience. I test drive a new car every week; often several. I have been doing this for years. I’ve driven pretty much every vehicle in production and have personally tried out the camera systems in these cars.

            None of them are superior to the Mark I eyeball – and a bit of prudence and common sense!

  17. I swear, Eric, the more of these (excellent, if frustrating) articles of yours that I read, the more I’m becoming convinced that I’ll need to overcome my longstanding aversion to programming and start learning whatever language(s) the automotive software is coded in. With each passing day, I can see a second career in hacking automotive software (part of the War to Restore Motoring Freedom).

    • Thanks, Lib!

      God’s truth, I wish I could just do car reviews – of interesting cars, free of government-mandated crap. I envy guys like Uncle Tom McCahill (and Brock Yates, et al) who were around in time to get a slice of that before it all got taken away…

  18. This camera deal is like all the “labels” on things. Those who really NEED them won’t be bothered to look at it. Such a display is just as easy to ignore as anything else.

    But don’t worry… as soon as we are all herded into the 25 sq. ft. cells, er… “apartments” in the big city, we won’t need to have cars or drive anywhere.

    I don’t plan on going there, of course. 🙂

    • Dear Mama Liberty,

      Their communism isn’t as strong as they think. Commutism is much stronger. The urban corps may be hypnotized by the neon lies. The grim gruesome grime. By the thickening fogs and fumes.

      But with their last flickering brain cell, they might just make it to the wide open skies of Montana, Wyoming, and the Dakotas. Once their, they start blinking and breathing fresh air and eventually snap right out of it.

      The PTB may very well manage to disable 95% of this nation with their prohibitions and mandates. But we will all get in our cars, buy a plane, bus, or train ticket. Or walk and hitchhike if we have to. To the still functioning 5%.

      Many Americans are still willing to go where the jobs and opportunities are. If that means uprooting everything and and putting a for-sale sign on the cabin great-grandpa built with his own hands, we’ll do it.

      If that means we have to commute 1 or 2 hours each way to a good job far away every day, we’ll do it. If the tools, machines, guns, or cars we want are hundreds of miles away, we’ll go there and buy them wherever they can still be found.

      Should this country completely collapse, you’ll find many of us in Mexico, Brazil, Chile or wherever we have to go, to continue to prosper and remain free.

      The commutist will never surrender. He will always seek and find some measure of sanctuary. Always bigger cages. Always longer chains. Infinite slack in my shackles. Fences so far they can’t even be seen.

  19. Classic. It’s the same old story, again, and again, and again.
    It’s amazing so few people see through their plays.
    The PTB have very few plays they execute, and execute frequently:

    Divide and Conquer.
    False Flag.
    Damn Furriners.
    Bribing for Votes.
    Broken Leg.

    This one is “Broken Leg”–government comes to your house one day and beats the shit out of you, breaking your leg.

    The next day it comes back and hands you crutches. “See? Without ME, you couldn’t walk! Remember me on election day!”

  20. behold:
    Samsung Galaxy S6 to Feature a Metal Detector and X-ray Scanner
    Posted by jun auza On 4/01/2014
    …With “bigger and better” being a consistent motto throughout the product’s timeline, Samsung plan to launch the S6 with some rather unique features.
    …S-metal, a built-in metal detector and S-ray a portable X-ray scanner.

    Citing security and health as the two main areas of focus for the Galaxy S6, the Korean mobile behemoth plans to turn your phone into your very own bodyguard and your doctor. We talked to a Samsung representative and he has finally confirmed the two features:

    “We all know how helpful X-ray machines are. But who has the time to go to a doctor? That’s why Samsung has added S-ray, a new X-ray feature that is built right into the Galaxy S6’s camera.
    Just snap a picture of any part of your body using the “S-Ray mode” a
    nd it will instantly show you an X-ray image of that part on your phone.

    The image is then matched with hundreds of X-ray images of normal,
    healthy patients to diagnose any abnormality in your body.
    The diagnosis is instant so that you won’t need a doctor to tell you what problem you have.

    You can also share that image to Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram or add cool filters to it.
    Overall, we believe that this feature will revolutionize smartphones,” said the representative.

    The S-Ray mode, according to reports, will integrate tightly with the heart-rate monitor and S-health.
    Samsung also has plans to launch more features
    that will help users diagnose complex diseases.

    When asked about the metal detector, Samsung added:

    “Every time you turn on the S-metal mode,
    your phone will start scanning for suspicious metallic objects in your proximity.
    It’s best used like a handheld metal detector by hovering over a suspicious person’s body.

    As an added security measure,
    you can also opt to send the data to NSA to help them fight the war on terror”…

    Written by: Abhishek, a regular TechSource contributor
    and a long-time FOSS advocate.

  21. Based on the NHTSA data, they state these cameras will save on average just 210 lives annually. According to the CDC (2010 data), that their “estimate” (a lie of course anyway) accounts for only 0.0085074% of America’s annual deaths — but their mandate effects over 10-15,000,000+ new car buyers annually.

    I contacted NHTSA, and told them that I know how to drive, I know how to turn my head around and look behind my vehicle, and I know how to look in my rear view mirrors; and that I do NOT want or need the unnecessary cost or complexity that these cameras will add to any new vehicles I might buy in the future.

    I told them that our Constitution does not give them the authority to impose such a mandate (not even the General Welfare clause). And I told them that do not want to surrender my liberty for their “supposed” imposed security or safety.

    • @Don – Ever wonder if a camera image (moving or stationary) with license plate, facial recognition, etc software sent over OnSrar or stored until queried remotely with GPS info might have value? And to make you pay for it would be even better.

      • You think it won’t be a live feed to government data centers?

        Combine the worst of Minority Report, 1984, Brave New World, and the recent Judge Dredd, and Resident Evil, and Equilibrium…
        THAT is their Utopia. They all believe they will be Big Brother.

        It will only happen if we allow them to live…

        • @Jean – But on the bright side of surveillance tech –

          SAN FRANCISCO — Microsoft has lost customers, including the government of Brazil.

          IBM is spending more than a billion dollars to build data centers overseas to reassure foreign customers that their information is safe from prying eyes in the United States government.

          And tech companies abroad, from Europe to South America, say they are gaining customers that are shunning United States providers, suspicious because of the revelations by Edward J. Snowden that tied these providers to the National Security Agency’s vast surveillance program.

          Even as Washington grapples with the diplomatic and political fallout of Mr. Snowden’s leaks, the more urgent issue, companies and analysts say, is economic. Technology executives, including Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook, raised the issue when they went to the White House on Friday for a meeting with President Obama.
          Continue reading the main story
          Related Coverage

          Obama and Tech Executives to Meet Again on Privacy Issues MARCH 21, 2014

          It is impossible to see now the full economic ramifications of the spying disclosures — in part because most companies are locked in multiyear contracts — but the pieces are beginning to add up as businesses question the trustworthiness of American technology products.

          Despite the tech companies’ assertions that they provide information on their customers only when required under law — and not knowingly through a back door — the perception that they enabled the spying program has lingered.

          “It’s clear to every single tech company that this is affecting their bottom line,” said Daniel Castro, a senior analyst at the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, who predicted that the United States cloud computing industry could lose $35 billion by 2016.

          Forrester Research, a technology research firm, said the losses could be as high as $180 billion, or 25 percent of industry revenue, based on the size of the cloud computing, web hosting and outsourcing markets and the worst case for damages.

          The business effect of the disclosures about the N.S.A. is felt most in the daily conversations between tech companies with products to pitch and their wary customers. The topic of surveillance, which rarely came up before, is now “the new normal” in these conversations, as one tech company executive described it.

    • @Don – Ever wonder if a camera image (moving or stationary) with license plate, facial recognition, etc software sent over OnSrar or stored until queried remotely with GPS info might have value? And to make you pay for it would be even better.

    • It gets even better yet. The number 210 is actually all child back-up fatalities, with “58-59” lives expected to be saved. The Clovers will pule “how much is a life worth” but in truth, we strike compromises between cost and injury/fatality constantly.

      If practicality is no object, the best thing we could do to save children’s lives in auto accidents is to electronically govern cars wherever children live or go to school to go no more than 5 mph. The same speed would be applied to any vehicle the child is in, too.

      • Hi Ross,

        Indeed – and, how come they never turn that “if it saves even one life” shibboleth around? For instance, how many lives might be saved if cops were disarmed? Better yet, if government itself were disarmed?

        Why, millions of lives would be saved.

        But it doesn’t make an impression.

      • If practicality is no object, let’s just completely do away with the automobile, or even the horse for that matter.

  22. full NHTSA rule is at:

    their cost/benefit analysis is amusing.
    also, this rule kicks in 1 May 2016 — that 1 May 2018 date is the 100% full compliance mandatory date for all new vehicles under 10,000 pounds.

    [“All legislative powers herein granted shall be vested in
    a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and
    House of Representatives.”]
    …so how did NHTSA bureaucrats get the legal authority to self-legislate new laws/rules on automobiles and impose them on the public? The Constitution has been a dead letter for over 150 years.

      • Eric, “these people” are those “swarms of Officers” “sent hither” “to harass our people and eat out their substance” we were told about on that other old hemp rag: The Declaration of Independence. King George III, as proud and foolish as he may have been, couldn’t have even conceived of the massive bureaucratic quagmire the swine on the Potomac have foisted upon “the colonies.” My! How times have changed!

        • King George would be apalled at what has happened here. Back then, even the King believed there were limits.

          Today, Amoroncans could be kept in a bottle with no effort; they welcome the safety and security. Like sheep in the paddock…


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here