Backseat Saaaaaaaaaaaaaaaafety!

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Soon, you won’t even be able to toss a gym bag on the back seats. Well, not if you want to avoid the dreaded – and relentless – “buckle up for safety” buzzer. Which the government is about to mandate shall be wired into the back seats now, too.saaaafety!

For the children.

There is, you see, an epidemic (well, they want you to so see) of kiddies who furtively unbuckle themselves – unbeknownst to the parents up front. This, the Safety Cult cannot abide. Hence – and even if you don’t have kids – your next car (assuming you’re still willing to buy one) will come with the buckle-up buzzer in both rows.

Up to now, the buzzers have only been wired into the driver’s and front seat passenger’s seats.

“Wired” meaning not just designed to shriek at you like Hillary Clinton if you (or your passenger) don’t immediately put on the got-damned seatbelt – even if you’re just rolling the car down the driveway to the mailbox – but also meaning it’s wired into the (also mandatory) airbag system. Which means that almost any pressure sensed in the seat – such as that exerted by the weight of a laptop, or even (I am not exaggerating) a foot-long hoagie from Subway – will be “sensed” as an unbuckled occupant. And trigger the got-damned buckle-up buzzer. Ding! Ding Ding! Saaaaaaaaaaafety!

You either buckle-up your hoagie – or put it on the floorboards.

Until they put sensors there, of course.

So now, the backseats aren’t safe. For hoagies, that is. Or laptops or backpacks or bags of groceries. Unless they’re buckled up, too. Which is no joke. That’s exactly what the “experts” think you ought to do. Because unbuckled groceries might flop around in the event of an accident – which is always imminent in the frantic minds of the Safety Culters. Even if you haven’t had one in 30 years. Or ever.

But you might.

And that might justifies all these very actual interventions – from random sobriety checkpoints to dragnet-style eavesdropping on us. Someone might be drunk driving.

Or – possibly – a terrorist.

A few years back, when this teeth aching proposal first surfaced, the hoary archbishop of the Safety Cult – Ralph Nader – and something called Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety whinnied to NHTSA that “289 lives could be saved” (italics added) if backseat buzzers were mandated in all new cars. This is about five times less than the number of people who actually do die annually in the United States as a result of stumbling (and subsequently, falling). Really. See here, if you don’t believe me.baby huey pic

Logically, shouldn’t the priority be that instead? Or rather: If the roughly 16 million cars sold each year in the United States must be fitted with backseat buzzers in order to save a hypothetical 289 lives, why on earth is it still legal for anyone to walk around without a personal airbag strapped to their body?

Or at least, a buzzer to warn them of potential stumbling hazards?

Saaaaaaaaaafety!

And: How many lives will be lost as a result of these buzzers? You know – drivers startled and distracted by claxons that will not shut up? Now you’ve got to try to reach around behind you – with the car moving – to either shift the bags of groceries (or buckle them up) while you’re still buckled-up… . one cam almost hear the sound of crunching metal.

My teeth are really beginning to hurt now.

Did you know that it is considered dangerous “free range” parenting to allow your kid to walk down the street by himself to his friend’s house? And that Child Protective Services will probably be sicced on you, if you do allow it? You’re supposed to strap him into the minivan – soon, no doubt, with a helmet also strapped on – and drive him the half mile to his friend’s house. To be “safe.” Because of the one in a million shot that Chester the Molester might be lurking in the bushes. Danger, danger, everywhere.

Society has gone nuts. Which is bad news for the few who are still sane.

Back in 2005, Hunter Thompson blew his brains out – because he knew what was coming, Indeed, what was already here.

I am beginning to understand.

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Author of "Automotive Atrocities" and "Road Hogs" (MBI). Currently living amongst the Edentulites in rural SW Virginia.

52 COMMENTS

  1. I need to rehome my dog. She is 1 yrs old. Very playful and sweet. Her and my 3yr old are besties. I can no longer care for her. I agreed to get her because I have three boys and a husband that agreed to help. As you can probably conclude from the post, they are not. I do not have enough time in my day to give her all of the attention she needs.

    No on is helping so she spends a lot of time in the crate which isnt fare. If you can give her the love and care she deserves, please contact me. Her rehoming fee is $125. She is fixed, microchipped, and have her rabies shot. Her other vaccine is out if date. It usually ranges me $10-15 to get. Serious inquires only

    http://washingtondc.craigslist.org/mld/pet/4874024821.html

    i hope dear leader doesn’t flag this post for deletion, is that a legal rehoming fee, what is the law, i hope they don’t show up at his home with costumed thugs, maybe they’ll just ticket his ip address, we are now hightech north koreans, that’s all america is now

    • That’s one reason I do not sell rabbits as pets. They are livestock. What someone does with one after they get it home is on them, not me.

      • exactly Winston the Oceanian. rabbits are pets. rabbits are livestock. rabbits are created by Crom on the third day. rabbits descended from pterydactls. rabbits are mammals with all the rights of a human. rabbits are property for you to dispose of as you please. rabbits are whatever they say. rabbits are an invasive species in North America and must be killed on sight by law. Rabbits are a protected endangered resource, if you see a rabbit, contact the DNR for instructions, harming a rabbit is a felony.

        you see you are still “free” to transact provided you see five fingers when O’Brien tells you there’s five.

        This animal is livestock, the party says. You need only believe. This same animal is a pet, the party says. Yes, now you get it, its a pet now, because they’ve said so. Because using different words where one would do, is what is necessary to remain free to act. So it is done.

        You understand so well, that you play this game to your advantage with your mental inferiors.
        – – –

        O’Brien paused and signed to the man in the white coat. Winston was aware of some heavy piece of apparatus being pushed into place behind his head. O’Brien had sat down beside the bed, so that his face was almost on a level with Winston’s.

        ‘Three thousand,’ he said, speaking over Winston’s head to the man in the white coat.

        Two soft pads, which felt slightly moist, clamped themselves against Winston’s temples. He quailed. There was pain coming, a new kind of pain. O’Brien laid a hand reassuringly, almost kindly, on his.

        ‘This time it will not hurt,’ he said. ‘Keep your eyes fixed on mine.’

        At this moment there was a devastating explosion, or what seemed like an explosion, though it was not certain whether there was any noise. There was undoubtedly a blinding flash of light. Winston was not hurt, only prostrated.

        Although he had already been lying on his back when the thing happened, he had a curious feeling that he had been knocked into that position. A terrific painless blow had flattened him out. Also something had happened inside his head. As his eyes
        regained their focus he remembered who he was, and where he was, and recognized the face that was gazing into his own; but somewhere or other there was a large patch of emptiness, as though a piece had been taken out of his brain.

        ‘It will not last,’ said O’Brien. ‘Look me in the eyes. What country is Oceania at war with?’

        Winston thought. He knew what was meant by Oceania and that he himself was a citizen of Oceania. He also remembered Eurasia and Eastasia; but who was at war with whom he did not know. In fact he had not been aware that there was any war.

        ‘I don’t remember.’

        ‘Oceania is at war with Eastasia. Do you remember that now?’

        ‘Yes.’

        ‘Oceania has always been at war with Eastasia. Since the beginning of your life, since the beginning of the Party, since the beginning of history, the war has continued without a break, always the same war. Do you remember that?’

        ‘Yes.’

        Eleven years ago you created a legend about three men who had been condemned to death for treachery. You pretended that you had seen a piece of paper which proved them innocent. No such piece of paper ever existed. You invented it, and later you grew to believe in it. You remember now the very moment at which you
        first invented it. Do you remember that?’

        Yes.’

        ‘Just now I held up the fingers of my hand to you. You saw five fingers. Do you remember that?’

        Yes.’

        O’Brien held up the fingers of his left hand, with the thumb concealed.

        ‘There are five fingers there. Do you see five fingers?’

        Yes.’

        And he did see them, for a fleeting instant, before the scenery of his mind changed. He saw five fingers, and there was no deformity. Then everything was normal again,
        and the old fear, the hatred, and the bewilderment came crowding back again. But there had been a moment — he did not know how long, thirty seconds, perhaps — of luminous certainty, when each new suggestion of O’Brien’s had filled up a patch of
        emptiness and become absolute truth, and when two and two could have been three as easily as five, if that were what was needed. It had faded but before O’Brien had dropped his hand; but though he could not recapture it, he could remember it, as one remembers a vivid experience at some period of one’s life when one was in effect a different person.

        You see now,’ said O’Brien, ‘that it is at any rate possible.’

        Yes,’ said Winston.

        O’Brien stood up with a satisfied air. Over to his left Winston saw the man in the white coat break an ampoule and draw back the plunger of a syringe. O’Brien turned to Winston with a smile. In almost the old manner he resettled his spectacles on his
        nose.

        I have a question, Winston said, ‘Does Big Brother exist?’

        ‘Of course he exists. The Party exists. Big Brother is the embodiment of the Party.’

        ‘Does he exist in the same way as I exist?

        You do not exist,’ said O’Brien.
        – – – –

        There was no O’Brien. This was done to you by dear old Dad. By your loving Mother. By your wife, children, pastor, family, friends, neighbors, everyone who loves you enough to send a chopper to chop off your head and a matrix candle to light your way to bed if that’s what is needed for the party.

  2. latest development on the war on pets.

    you can’t exchange value for value anymore here, no more selling your kittens for $1 a piece or whatever.

    http://washingtondc.craigslist.org/mld/pet/4868333815.html

    You’ll just have to drown them, unless you have money to burn and can get them neutered, vet certified, registered for obamacare, titled, registered, documented, nationalized, rfid’d, and insured. So you can them give them away for freeeeeeeeee.

    now you are only allowed to rehome your pets for a fee. or some manner of Orwellian nonsense.

    calling people leftists. communists. socialists. that doesn’t really cut it. that’s really just about having you fight for one matrix over another. it’s a much deeper and pervasive fight really. the fight to end the ability of a totally stranger to control you. that is what’s at stake. are you the slave of men you’ve never met. or are you free?

    these things that prohibit pet sales and all the rest, they must be demonspawn taught to walk on their hindhooves. that really is the only plausible explanation.

    craig newmark retired from his list, he’s sick of the whole thing. they threatened him until he discontinued adult ads. and they’re not stopping now. they even ambushed him at his house to hound him about pet sales. how dare he sell things on his website dogooders don’t approve of. even though he has nothing to do with operations anymore, they hound him, because he’s created something of value, and they can’t stand anything that takes away their control.
    – – – –

    Craigslist Prohibited Items

    Users must comply with all applicable laws, the CL terms of use, and all posted site rules.

    Here is a partial list of goods, services, and content prohibited on craigslist. Check back in a month, it’ll be longer I’m sure:

    weapons; firearms/guns and components; BB/pellet, stun, and spear guns; etc
    ammunition, clips, cartridges, reloading materials, gunpowder, fireworks, explosives
    recalled items; hazardous materials; body parts/fluids; unsanitized bedding/clothing
    prescription drugs, medical devices; controlled substances and related items
    alcohol or tobacco; unpackaged or adulterated food or cosmetics
    child pornography; bestiality; offers or solicitation of illegal prostitution
    pet sales (re-homing with small adoption fee ok), animal parts, stud service
    false, misleading, deceptive, or fraudulent content; bait and switch; keyword spam
    offensive, obscene, defamatory, threatening, or malicious postings or email
    anyone’s personal, identifying, confidential or proprietary information
    food stamps, WIC vouchers, SNAP or WIC goods, governmental assistance
    stolen property, property with serial number removed/altered, burglary tools, etc
    ID cards, licenses, police insignia, government documents, birth certificates, etc
    US military items not demilitarized in accord with Defense Department policy
    counterfeit, replica, or pirated items; tickets or gift cards that restrict transfer
    lottery or raffle tickets, sweepstakes entries, slot machines, gambling items
    spam; miscategorized, overposted, cross-posted, or nonlocal content
    postings or email the primary purpose of which is to drive traffic to a website
    postings or email offering, promoting, or linking to unsolicited products or services
    affiliate marketing; network, or multi-level marketing; pyramid schemes
    any good, service, or content that violates the law or legal rights of others
    Please don’t use CL for these purposes, and flag anyone else you see doing so.

  3. Eric or anyone is this true?:

    To pick up on your point about seat belts and airbags, in Europe the seatbelt is the primary restraint and airbags (and other systems) are designed to supplement the protection afforded by the belt. The systems are integrated and tuned according to the crash pulse generated by the crash structure of the vehicle to minimise the loading experienced by the occupant across a prescribed set of body regions. Anti-submarine seats, collapsible steering columns, deformable steering wheels and bolster materials used in the dashboard and internal panelling also add to the secondary protection, all centred around the belt keeping the occupant in their seat.

    If we’re talking about America though the airbag has taken on the role of primary restraint (preventing ejection) as seatbelt use is not law in all states – hence they have much larger, more powerful airbags.

    See more at: http://www.roadsafetygb.org.uk/news/4157.html#comments

    • Charles, the site you refer to has this sentence that somehow, some fool thinks shows seatbelts save lives but the statistics say something altogether different.

      The IAM quotes DfT stats which show that of the 232 car occupants killed in 2013 for which seatbelt data was recorded, 45 (19%) were not wearing a seat belt.

      So we have here statistics showing 55% of fatalities WERE wearing a seat belt and 45% of fatalities WERE NOT wearing a seat belt.

      This must be some of the “new” math I don’t understand. 10% more people died using a seat belt. What am I missing here?

      I know I joked about people from small(enough)towns being a bit slow so maybe this is my small town upbringing.

      Perception is a great enabler/blinder for most of us. When I was 17 my dad must have been one of the dumbest people I knew. By the time I was 35, he’d become one of the smartest people I’ve known. He sure wised up in those years I matured.

      • When a youngster graduates HS and goes of to college, it is amazing how much their parents have learned by the time they go home for Thanksgiving.
        Advice to 16-yr. olds – leave home now, while you still know everything.
        Or the classic from Samuel L. Clemens, ” When a child turns 13, you should put them in a barrel and feed them through the bunghole. When they turn 16, you should plug the bunghole.”

  4. Debate going on on the following website where one can comment:

    http://www.roadsafetygb.org.uk/news/4157.html

    Here’s mine as Pablo:

    Well said Derek aren’t many of the injuries to the head?

    Steve do you think there should be a law for people to strap in dogs, shopping bags, luggage, laptops, books, coke cans because in an accident they too can become “projectiles” right?
    Pablo – See more at: http://www.roadsafetygb.org.uk/news/4157.html#sthash.GAZEUgxe.dpuf

      • Here is my reply btw : Hugh that is probably the most idiotic comment Ive heard in a long time not backed by any concrete evidence whatsoever. Plus btw it is demonstrates not demonstrates.

        • Here’s a reply that hit the nail: “My understanding is that the difference re seatbelts being primary restraint or not revolves around the US Bill of Rights which means that the vehicle manufacturers must protect the occupants without the requirement of the occupant to take action themselves”.

  5. When I get pulled over, I demand they show me the tinman authorizing their authority to regulate my conveyance and you should see the way those cowardly lions start sputtering when they realize this strawman refuses to be impeded during his travels about the public yellow brick roadways.

    They really start shaking in their ruby slippers when I start throwing proverbial pails of water at their flying monkeyshines wicked witchery.

    All it takes is a little sovereign courage.

    There’s no place like home rule.

  6. Meanwhile an organization in the UK warns about “worrying” trends:

    One in five car occupants still not wearing a seat belt

    http://fleetworld.co.uk/news/2015/Jan/One-in-five-car-occupants-still-not-wearing-a-seat-belt/0434018224

    Despite 50 years of seat belt laws, far too many drivers and passengers are still putting themselves and others in great danger by not wearing seat belts, warns the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM).

    The first seat belt law came into force in January 1965, which saw all new cars in the UK required to have seat belt anchorage points on the outer front seats, paving the way for compulsory seat belt wearing laws in the decades after.

    Yet, statistics from the Department of Transport show that of the 232 car occupants killed in 2013 (for which seatbelt data was recorded), 45 were not wearing a seat belt – equating to 19%, or nearly one-fifth.

    Research has found that for drivers seat belts are 50% effective at preventing fatal injuries, 45% effective at preventing serious injuries and 25% effective at preventing minor injuries.

    It also found for front seat passengers, seat belts are 45% effective at preventing fatal or serious injuries, and 20% effective at preventing minor injuries.

    Quite apart from safety factors, drivers caught without a seat belt face on-the-spot fines of £100 and three penalty points. If prosecuted, the maximum fine is £500. Kevin Delaney, IAM head of road safety, said: ‘The biggest problem is complacency.

    ‘Quite simply people feel it will never happen to them. They think if they are driving locally and at a low speed they will be OK. Statistics show that many accidents not only take place at low speeds but also within a few miles of home – so people are mistaken if they think that makes them safer.’

    Although putting on a seat belt is habitual to many car occupants today, evidence from the DfT’s THINK! campaign has found that people are less likely to belt up on short or familiar journeys.

    Kevin added: ‘The trouble is if people are not wearing a seat belt and find themselves heading towards an accident, it is far too late to do anything about it.’

    He called for continued campaigning by government, police and road safety bodies to ensure the issue of wearing seatbelts remains a priority message.

    ‘We need to keep spreading the message particularly on rear seat belt use. And if people don’t take heed of it, they will end up as a Department of Transport accident statistic.’

    • Yes, if they are careless drivers, or become the victims of careless drivers, they MAY be injured or even killed. How does that put anyone else “in great danger”?

      • Hi Phillip,

        The argument they’ll trot out is that the unbuckled driver is susceptible to losing control during an accident/emergency situation and thus poses a risk to others.

        Of course, the premise (that the typical driver is possessed of more than marginal skills behind the wheel and capable of high-performance accident-avoidance/emergency maneuvering) is termite-riddled idiocy.

        • eric, let me tell you what a seatbelt if for in a big rig. First off, any wreck that’s going to be bad for a big rig driver is probably(no, I have no statistics other than seeing and speaking with those involved)going to be worse if that driver is pinned to the seat.

          My big wreck last year when the frac sand truck driver ran over me is a good example. The back of my cab hit my seat so hard it knocked me out of it and over the steering wheel where I caught myself. When I told everyone what happened (emergency types), they all wanted to know if I’d hit the windshield. No, I didn’t hit the windshield but a bump on the head would certainly be better than absorbing all that shock from behind with a damned seat belt. BTW, the airbag(thankfully)stayed in it’s home and didn’t give me a double whammy.

          Of course they all seemed disappointed I didn’t exit through the windshield since they don’t get to see that every day.

          I have known many people who would not have survived an accident if they’d been belted in, esp. the friend who flipped a pickup that landed upside down on a tree trunk about 5 feet tall that smashed the bottom of the drivers seat nearly through the floorboard. He was thrown into the extended cab portion and walked away unscathed.

          Most big rig makers have a steel extension on the upper seat belt mount/pivot with a device attached so you can pull out as much belt as you want and flip the plastic holder up so it holds the belt wherever you pull it to.

          I recently had a seat belt lock on me in the middle of a tight turn, long trailer and very long wheelbase tractor. I desperately needed to lean as far forward to see if I was going to clear a vehicle that had stopped well beyond the line so designated as to let big rigs have enough room to turn. No excitement after the turn so I evidently didn’t hit that pickup but I certainly had no way of seeing it while I was turning. I was so pissed I threw the belt off after the turn. Company lawyer takes care of those although I don’t want to abuse that privilege.

          Seat belts COULD save injury or maybe a life. OTOH, seat belts definitely can get you killed as I’ve seen many times. I’d just soon not be belted in if I get t-boned and that’s just one very common occurrence. I saw one yesterday where a young guy in a pickup ran a red and tromped on it. I don’t know what he was thinking but he hit a car going through that intersection that had the right of way. I guess most everything is made of plastic these days. The entire intersection was pieces and parts carpeting the road. I couldn’t see the driver’s side but there was about an 8′ long section of what looked like the side of a car lying among the rubble. The pickup driver was alone but I saw some airbags that were half inflated so that will up the repair bill. I sorta doubt the car will be repaired. From the looks of things, I’m not sure the driver of the car will be repaired either and I’d bet they had on their seat belt.

  7. All arguments about safety should always start by asking the proponents to define what they mean by “safety”. Once you decide what “safety” is, then you might have a meaningful discussion. Until that happens, you might as well be arguing about beauty or happiness.

  8. Hopefully, auto manufacturers will be permitted to install cut-out switches so the operator can disable the feature if the back seats are not in use (by human, that is). Kinda like my trusty old 1998 Toyota Tacoma; there was a switch in the dash where I could insert the ignition key and disable the passenger airbag, in case one of my lil’ ones was strapped into a carseat.

    Perhaps I’m giving the Feds too much credit??

  9. It’s simple. Just don’t buy new cars with these ridiculous
    ‘features’.

    What’s left of the free market here in the States can respond to customer demand.

    If new car sales plunged, things would start to change. It would take time.

    But asking an average American to take a stand for ANYTHING but himself and his own ease and comfort is futile.

    Me first, Fuck You.

    That has become our national ethos, and as a result we have a bunch of MFFY types ruling us because no one wants to discuss politics (not polite-too negative) and general apathy is everywhere.

    Even though what I write about free market and demand is true, I just don’t think most Americans think past their next episode of self-gratification to care that much.

    And by the time the masses do awaken, the boot of government will be so firmly depressed on their throats that it will make removing that boot that much more difficult.

    Just say no to cars with Nanny features.

    I hate A/T, CVT, trac control, ABS, airbags, and every other feature which seeks to disconnect me from the car I choose to drive.

    I hate clovers with their argument “it makes me feel unsafe if you do X, therefore I will vote for laws to restrict X and use men with guns to make sure you comply, so I can feel safe.”

    In clover’s mind there is a law that says they have a right to feel safe at the expense of others’ liberty.

    When you break it down, every system in this country can be simply explained by this maxim:

    Fraud backed by violence.

    At the center of every ‘onion’ or ‘tootsie pop’ is a nice juicy center of fraud backed by violence.

    Any any scenario you can imagine, if you fail to pay tribute to the state or its soldiers, you will be attacked violently. If you resist. you will be confined against your will, killed. IOW you will be denied your right to life and liberty for completely arbitrary reasons that have nothing to do with common law principle.

    Traffic fines, property taxes, income taxes, free range kid raising, growing the wrong plants etc. It’s been discussed here ad-nauseum how failure to comply with the most trivial regulation can result in death if the non-complier resists the badged thugs.

    it’s all Fraud backed by violence.

    • The tough thing about that, is what do you buy in 10 or 15 years? Especially if you drive a lot like we do out west. Pickups don’t last forever, especially under heavy use.

      Salvage yard seatbelt clips will become a necessitiy. Then they will always be buckled for saaaaaaaaaaaftey.

      • ancap51, was it you that had the Duramax for sale or one of your family? As far as seat belt issues go, the DPS told me they look for the chrome glint of the buckle hanging. In big rigs most have an add-on thing that will stop the seat belt at any point so you can have it on but be loose. A tight seat belt will keep you from being able to lean forward and see traffic in your mirrors, a really bad thing at intersections or something not an option when trying to get very close but not hit something. When I get off a highway, I toss that damned belt. You see a glint in a mirror and some fool tries to pass you to the side or you’re close to something turning and need to see EXACTLY how close you are.

        Since we sic a company lawyer on every ticket, I tossed a seat belt the other day in a conventional dump truck. Stopped and pushed on the belt release and it was stuck. I got a little antsy and pushed harder and looked to see if I was pushing on the right part. I was but it wasn’t budging. It was then that memories of the Northern Pacific headed at me at 55 and right on top of me took over. I got it off right before my knife came out and never wore it again. A ticket is one thing, death from seat belt is another. Just FEAFEFH’s.

        • Yeah, that is my dad. I forgot to get back to you about it. He just had the trans seal fixed on it, so that’s not an issue you’d have to deal with. 210 or 220,000 miles. 2007 Classic body 4 door 3500, single rear wheel. Leather seats. Good shape. I’ll hit him up on the price tomorrow and let you know if you’re still interested.

    • And thus my disgust for free enterprise. No, not that it isn’t the most productive, effective way to supply the consumer and unleash economic freedom, but because it doesn’t work for my tastes (as if anyone should care). This back seat bushwa is the latest piece of feces to be foisted on us, like it or not, because the masses’s eyes will soon be rolling and their little beanie cap propellers spinning at this new gadget.

      I can’t find agreement with the mass consumer on a load of items, but the market has spoken and we just have to go along with mass morons. I want a motorcycle with a kickstarter, one of the world’s most practical items. How about a car that isn’t loaded with costly, complex garbage that will break down someday? May I please have a TV or phone that won’t spy on me? Maybe I can buy a piece of beef with a little fat (i.e., flavor) left on it just once more before I die? (Why do you think the steakhouses sell beef with all the fat trimmed off and then wrapped with bacon?)

      Do I really have to have my Subaru’s unbuckled belt alarm beeping at me not just for the first few seconds as a reminder, but continuously? Government mandated ethanol for gas, but the mass consumer just happily gobbled it up anyway, while my older machines suffer. Some days it seems anything the mass consumer is for I think is either a travesty or just plain stupidity. But the market has spoken, thus limiting me in nearly every direction. My concession is that a top-down command economy (communism, e.g.) would limit me even more, but that doesn’t ease the disgust I have with the mass consumer.

      • Ross – you are blaming free enterprise for something it did not, and would never do. Our command economy may not be totalitarian – yet. But it is certainly not free. Far from it.

      • I can indentify with your disgust with the consumer and “private enterprise.” It is the government’s job to keep markets free and it is our job to demand that. Anti trust laws and what not were designed to make an even playing field for the little guy. Unfortunately, they were written or twisted so that the big players have the big advantage. I have just about given up on the idiots I see every day. They love big government and big business. They vote for Coke or Pepsi thinking that they are changing things.

        Chrysler started selling “saaaafety” in the 80’s and people ate it with a spoon ever since.

        Regarding ethanol, people gobble it up because 99% of them are ignorant morons wouldn’t be able to distinguish between ethanol and diesel fuel.

        They don’t care about the complexity of today’s engines because even back 40 years ago, most couldn’t even gas up at the gas station much less change oil, fiddle with ignition timing, or change a shock. In the old days, maybe 10% of people worked on their own cars. Today, that figure is probably closer to 1%, however even 10% isn’t enough to move a mass market. At 1%, it’s almost hopeless, unless a breakthrough can be made.

        Yes, Americans are car illiterate. In a better world, people would know their cars before getting a license. Even though I am libertarian oriented, we live in an imperfect world, and that can’t be done without some kind of government action. People are entitled to information on what they are driving, how to drive it and how to keep it running. The current setup is biased to keeping people ignorant and people are all to happy to be that way.

        If people knew what the hell was going on, at least some of them would be outraged enough to storm a couple of government offices.

        • “It is the government’s job to keep markets free and it is our job to demand that.”
          That’s what “they” tell you, but that never was the case and never will be.
          There’s a book called “democracy, the god that failed”, by Hans Hoppe. A great read. You will fully understand why no government can or ever will keep anything “free”.

          “Anti trust laws and what not were designed to make an even playing field for the little guy.”

          That isn’t correct. Anti trust in this country gained momentum and were concocted by several businesses during standard oil dominance, that wanted to break up standard oils “cheap oil”. They barked about how it wasn’t fair for standard to sell oil and fuel at such low prices, because they were “predatory”. Basically, they were getting hurt and couldn’t compete, so they barked for intervention. They got it and oil has been cartelized ever since. Cartels always show up in highly regulated fields. The U.S. government is the biggest cartel on the planet. When the cartel intervenes, it only does so in the interest of the cartels. Consumer be damned.

          The cartel tells you that they are just trying to level the playing field and other such bullshit……and that’s all it is: bullshit.

          • Ancap51 – Right. At the time of the antitrust legislation aimed against Rockefeller (Standard Oil), the price of kerosene, the primary product at that time, was going DOWN. So the sheeple were protected against saving money, for the benefit of J D’s competitors. Similarly with Carnegie and US Steel.

          • Indeed. Reform is about keeping prices high.

            The only ‘natural monopoly’ is a company that keeps prices so low that nobody else can make money doing it. Sure the monopoly company can raise prices and then maybe the threat of lowering them could keep competition at bay. Problem is new competition will try to exploit that any time there is capital available to do so.

            It seems that the practical limit of monopoly is to have prices just at the threshold where competition can’t make it.

            Monopoly has to somehow keep everyone else too fearful or use government if it wants to charge more than a market rate.

  10. “the hoary archbishop of the Safety Cult – Ralph Nader”

    Would that be the same Ralph Nader who said that highway traffic fatalities would go up by 6,000 per year if the nationally mandated speed limit was repealed?

    The problem with back seat buzzers is that people will reach into the backseat while they are driving to shut the buzzer off. It is possible that 289 or more people will be killed every year trying to re buckle their kid’s seat belt or move the bag of groceries onto the floor.

    • toldev, I finally have to comment. I think you’re very correct. Nothing can cause a wreck faster than trying to retrieve something you can’t see so you finally have to turn and look. Maybe one out of a thousand people can do that and not change the direction of the vehicle……that is, if the road is straight and the car needs to be turned maybe to the left while someone is reaching into the back and turning it to the right. I’ve seen this cause many times. I know people who’ve totaled cars(sometimes, more than one)trying to find the cigarette lighter or the same they dropped.

      Big rigs are bad about this. It’s nearly impossible to take your eyes off the road and still be where you want to be in a few seconds. I’m constantly retrieving something off the floor I have dropped. Mostly, I have to then decide to simply stop at the next good place or try to remember how close the nearest point I must stop is. Nothing like getting a business call and your phone is “somewhere” down in that “stuff” you seem to always need in your floor. That’s the reason so many drivers wear bluetooth accessories.

    • Yep….and to think back in the 70’s and 80’s we had great fun in BRAT’s. Sure, sometimes people exited the back seats when not intending to but that was part of the appeal. “Hey, did you see Jimmy Joe fly outta the back? Hal didn’t even see him and somebody had to tell him he’d run over JJ with his 4WD 250. Naw, he’s ok. He was out cold and that Ford just clipped him here and there with running gear low points. Cold beer brought him right around….too bad about his ear. Ain’t that right Jimmy Joe? I said AIN’T THAT RIGHT JIMMY JOE? Aw hell, he can’t hear, he ain’t got no ear”. OK, I borrowed the last line from Paycheck. We never even looked for the ear or the piece thereof. It was dark, Jimmy’s ear was black and nobody realized it wasn’t just cut. Nice Afro Jimmy. I can’t even tell which side is missing the ear. I said I CA…never mind.
      We called that “fun” and it was. Gave Jimmy a good conversation piece…so to speak.

  11. The “Click It Or Ticket” youtube with the header “don’t cops have better things to do?” is funny . . . the answer of course is a resounding “NO” . . . THAT is WHAT they do: Revenue Extraction and Political Order . . . THAT is WHAT they do! Hell, these low-IQ coercion-monopolists are incompetent at anything else!

  12. Can you imagine the craziness if motorcycles had never been invented until now and someone suggested them? No way in hell you’d get them past the safety nazis.

    Nobody thinks for themselves, Nobody knows how to fix anything and no one is personally responsible for jack shit.

    WTF has this country become?

    All in the span of a couple of generations.

    • Sic, the fed gummint moved all the country folk to town during the 30’s so they’d know where everybody was and have them on the dole. A great many people living on the farm didn’t know there was a recession or what it meant. I think a great number of people came to realize what had been done to them after the fact and didn’t give a good goddamn afterwards. It was easy to take their kids(not as easy as the gummint would have you believe), brainwash hell out of them(not that easy since they were actually literate)and ship them off to some other part of the world to fight the Nazi machine(engineered by Britain and France) and the Yellow Menace the US had engineered by starving them and denying them fuel.

      You’ll notice by the short length of the Korean War people were fed up. Enough time had elapsed to brainwash the children of the big one and plenty of Kristol types and lots of rich Jews were complicit in the new brainwashing. Ten years later and it was time again but not enough demons in the middle east so it took another ten years to force a trumped up war in Iraq with a Bush leading the vocal charge and sending troops to die in a foreign land, more from our own weapons than the enemy.

      I used to have friends suffering from Agent Orange poisoning but not so many now. Now a large number has died from “spent” nuclear projectiles and the supposedly non-existent “chemical attacks” with agents supplied by the US to the very country we accused of using them. It’s always the “next” generation in the crosshairs before the truth is revealed. Goebbel’s was right. It’s easy if you tell the same lie often enough it becomes truth.

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