They’re All Government Motors Now

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GM gets ribbed a lot (and rightly so) for being “government motors” … having accepted (no, demanded) enormous sums of taxpayer money in order to avoid bankruptcy. The bailouts were the corporate equivalent of EBT (which conservatives somewhat oddly or at least, inconsistently, dislike . . . their ire apparently reserved for needy and greedy humans rather than needy and greedy corporations).government motors1

Anyhow, the plain fact is they’re all government motors now.

Every car company is a subsidiary of Uncle.

Either they are on the dole, or they are on the payroll. Does it really matter (to us, the people who pay the freight) which? The bottom line is they have their hands in our pockets. Or rather, they have appealed – successfully – to Uncle, who has his hands in our pockets. And, of course, a gun to our heads – implied, at least.

Actual, when necessary.

What’s happened is that the car companies decided about 20 years ago to work with the government rather than for their customers – on the theory that if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em. Instead of fighting mandates tooth and nail – government bureaucrats decreeing the features and equipment your next new car will have (and which you will pay for)  – the car companies came to the realization it was less hassle (and more profitable) to embrace the mandates. Even to the extent of anticipating the next one.

To assist the government in thinking up new things to charge people for.

For example, back-up cameras. These will no longer be optional after model year 2017. If you want to buy a 2018 model, you will have no choice about buying the camera. government 2

For “safety,” of course.

And de facto, this is already the case.

It is hard to find a 2015 model car or truck that doesn’t have a back-up camera as part of its suit of standard equipment. Often, it is “bundled” with features you might actually find useful or desirable – like an upgraded audio system or GPS.

Rather than wait for the mandate to kick in, the car companies went all-in early.

Not because buyers were clamoring for the cameras. But because the cameras add $$$ to their bottom line – and not just to the purchase price of a new car, but also to the cost of repairing the car. It’s inevitable that, at some point, either the camera itself (which is located outside the vehicle, usually built into the bumper or trunk/decklid and so exposed to the elements) will crap out. Or the LCD display inside the car (typically either built into the center stack or the rearview mirror) will develop a fritz. And because these cameras will be part of the federally mandated suit of “safety” equipment, it is a legal requirement that the system be maintained in operational condition on your dime. Else the car fails the mandatory (in many states) “safety” checks one must submit to every year in order to renew the registration.

Ka-ching!

In the past, the car companies would have fought this force-feeding on the theory (now severely anachronistic in Mussolini-ized America) that customers weren’t clamoring for it.. Or at least, let’s offer it and see whether they’re freely willing to buy it. If they are – great. Sell it to ’em. But if not, drop it.Uncle Sam

That was the approach taken with air bags – initially.

But when people did not buy them willingly, the government decided this was unacceptable – and ordered them to buy.

This occurred in the ’90s and marked a turning point, a sea-change attitude shift. The car companies realized (perhaps accepted is the better word) that, like it or not, government had become their “demographic” –  the car industry term for the object of their efforts, the audience they build cars for.

The reason today’s cars are so bleakly homogenous is a function of this. They are all designed to fit within a certain template – the big one being “crashworthiness” requirements but there are other templates, too. These templates are dictated by the government but nowadays, they are full-hug embraced by the car companies, too. For example, their engineers and “product planners” work directly with government bureaucrats to develop, implement and anticipate crash test requirements. This effectively dictates vehicle design – including the overall shape – of new cars generally. Irrespective of brand. Because everyone’s got to comply with the same standards. There is no possibility – legally – of a “rogue” car company going its own way and designing something along the lines of a 1959 Cadillac (or a ’69 VW Bug) because such a car would not fit the template.

Whether it appealed to buyers being an irrelevance.Il Duce

This trend toward ever-increasing homogeneity will continue because the standardization that is an element of corporatization  – saluta il Duce! – requires it.

All electrical outlets look pretty much the same for a reason.

The same forces are driving the adoption (the force-feeding) of small, heavily turbocharged engines in lieu of the simpler (read: less expensive/lower profit margin) larger, not-turbocharged engines that most cars used to be powered by. The reason for this is not market demand.

It is government edict.

Specifically, the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) edict.

Next year (2016) all new vehicles – this includes trucks, incidentally – will be required to average at least 35.5 MPG on the government’s test loop. Those that average less will cost you more – in the form of gas guzzler taxes. But also in the form of more complex/expensive engines (i.e., those with turbos, “auto-stop” and so on). This is why the new Ford F-150 pickup comes with tiny – but turbo’d – V6 engines now.

Rather than fight the federales‘ fuel economy fatwas, the car companies have bought in. Or rather, you have.

Or, will.'59 Caddy

Take a look at any new car, regardless of who makes it. Then look at other cars. The meaningful differences are increasingly superficial. Whether we are talking aesthetics or mechanics or electrics. Different drummer designs like the ’59 Caddy or the original VW Beetle with its rear-mounted, air-cooled engine and simple (inexpensive) overall design are nonexistent today, new car-wise. The marketplace – if it can be called that – is a kind of four-wheeled analog of suburban cookie cutter sameness. Those developments in which there are maybe four or five models of home, with the differences limited to the color of the siding and the orientation of the home on its plot of land.

The one upside is that power (and performance) levels have never been higher than they are right now. Cars like the 707 hp Dodge Charger Hellcat I recently got to test drive (and the soon-to-be here 750 hp Cadillac CTS-V I hope they’re going to let me test drive) would have been technically impossible, probably, back in the proverbial day. That kind of power was ungovernable – and could never be warranted. But because of all the other stuff these cars come encrusted with, they are economically impossible for most of us to even consider buying. The Hellcat is relatively affordable vs. the CTS-V, but the minimum price of admission is nearly $60k.

If only they could sell one without the air bags, the back-up cameras and all the rest of it.

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69 COMMENTS

  1. I am 71 years old, so am not enamored of Fifties or later cars as they are what I grew up with. All my life I have loved the cars of the late Twenties and early Thirties. No cars built since have had their elegance and stateliness. But you cannot drive any of them safely on today’s interstates, at least not safely. If, however, you are willing to look closely at cars of the late 1930’s, ie. immediate pre-WW II cars, you will find that some of them are modern enough in their design to be made safe for daily driving, even on interstates.

    My daily driver is a 1938 Cadillac 7519. It is an all steel and very heavy automobile. The chassis is a marvel of steel crash resistant design. I carefully removed the original L-head engine and dropped in a 350 block with electronic fuel injection and electronic ignition. Transmission is a modern six speed manual off the floor. Arctic Air supplied the A/C. The brakes are power assisted, hydraulic, four wheel disc brakes. The steering is now power steering. The audio system is FM/tape/CD based. While this Caddy appears inside and outside as it did in 1938, it is a modern automobile until you look under the hood or put it on a lift.

    Far more important, however, is how stately, how elegant and, yes, how intimidating this car is. It towers over all modern automobiles. Seeing this car in your rearview mirror is almost as scary as seeing a Peterbilt in the rear view mirror. Modern cars keep their distance due to the size and apparent mass of the Caddy. It is easy to get into and out of this car, especially the back seat. Rear legroom is over two feet. You can wear a top hat in both the rear and the front seat. It has compartments for your gloves, briefcase, umbrellas, boots, etc. Reading lights in the rear, interior curtains which may be drawn for privacy, etc. The trunk, like the passenger compartment, is cavernous. The seats, more comfortable than most expensive furniture, are covered in cashmere. With its 143″ wheelbase, it points beautifully on open highways. Tires are radial which appear to be bias ply, like the originals.

    I own a truck for hauling and a sports car for fun. I am rarely in either. The Caddy goes everywhere. It is considered an antique car by the state I live in so remains uninspected. Annual tax is low. I will probably be buried in it.

  2. Jean,Brent,Eight,etal;
    Like the Lord,I have wanted to put my wings around these clueless people and protect them.But I know so little and they so much,I want to know,are they going to be surprised when they are being herded?Doesnt anyone see the immediate lowering of the norm?Guys I concur wholeheartedly,something is” coming down the Pike”and I am not so sure a person can hide from it.
    People have been so browbeat,that GM is looking out for them,Yellow and Green will sale a product that leaves a lot to be desired(the secret is you dont have to think!Madison ave is looking out for you)I think it was Tom Edison that said”Few people think,because its hard work”Why dont we hold the doers and inventors with the same esteem as sports celebrities?(I’m not talking about Gates and Jobs either-few computers can actually dig a ditch,wire a house or plumb a building,plant a crop etc)Somewhere along the line someone has to get dirty and not stroll around in crisp jeans,safety glasses and immaculate hard hat.I want the parity back I almost had at one time,on my new pauper wages I cant buy crap!
    Wake up America! its too late,but maybe we can restore a sembelence of the Norm,”The greatest Generation” fought and died for-I would trade 10 decades like th 80s for one decade like the 50s.Been around too many Clipboard toting woman on road jobs,maybe they had a degree,but they sure didnt have any personal experience building silt fence,running a jack hammer or tamper,squatting in a live manhole trying to make a sewer hookup.I better quit(my ire will get the best of me)some jobs are just not suitable for the average woman,get over it woman libbers,there is a difference in the sexes,but alas too many of our males are turning into drones nowadays.
    I love Nature and I love trees,but to be honest I’ve neve found a face on a tree or heard the cute little critters speak English(*except for the Cats-they are all the time speaking Caton-nese to Me,which I generally cant decipher)

    • Kevin, I can’t argue. In fact, I must agree. I spent years digging ditches and very few didn’t involve a good bit of shovel work. I’ve wired houses and got very little recompense for it. I’ve plumbed buildings and planted more crops than I can admit. Spent night baling hay and days planting and days and night irrigating and working cattle and trucking in between and never made as much money as that sweet honey walking around with her clipboard and leaving work in her new Escalade. And I knew for a fact she had no college degree that got her that job.

      I’d bet my ass she didn’t spend all day picking up big pieces of concrete and chunking them in a dump truck after hammering it all out the day before. I can guarantee she didn’t spend years loading 18 wheelers, hauling the load and unloading whatever it is you might be hauling. Did she spend the nigh(?)spreading lady bugs in the field? Probably not since she doesn’t know what a lady bug is. I’d bet my life, sight unseen, she never spent weeks palpating cows and AI’ing them. I won’t go on. Nobody knows what I’m speaking of anyway. And I too, would trade many decades of the 80’s for just one decade of the 60’s, or 70’s, the ones I enjoyed the most by far……and I enjoyed the 50’s but wasn’t old enough to be “knocking it out” all the time. I’m sorry to say, You can’t fix stupid.

      • Yep,Eight,dont know were a lot of things are headed now.I do know the average working person isnt going to get ahead,as I said,”‘the norm is getting lower”Ward Cleaver or Darren Stevens,is going to have a harder time of it(He wont get to stay that clean either-some of the people I used to work for despised Me when I got dirty,(grease a 12G or 300 EL,with a hand grease gun ,without getting grease on you,especially when you are concentious enough to try to get the difficult fittings that others have skipped.
        Had a pleasant experience at a GMC dealer once(never went back)I managed to get the day in after a rainstorm and had a bit of mud on my person,no salesman would come tend to me,so I sit down at a table and perused a sales brochere,when finished I skipped it off the table top and left.Do people think the real world is made of Coffee shops and pot pouri?

        • I worked QC for a major manufacturer back in the 80’s. I never broke $20K a year. After 6 years TPTB in the home Chicago office decided mine and 3 others jobs were a waste of money, as if anyone made anything worth speaking of anyway so they did away with them. Best thing to ever happen to me in some ways. Now, when I work nights I simply call it trucking and don’t sweat it. Shift work will kill you anyway.

  3. Your possession of a “certificate of title” is proof that a title for “your” vehicle exists, but the title is in the possession of the federal government for all vehicles manufactured, assembled, or imported into the country, so the government has always owned your vehicle, so quit yer bitching.

    • I’ve found no proof of this concept anywhere.

      I also know two cars that haven’t been on the road in 15 years. The state government hasn’t come for them or even made a peep about them since the registrations expired.

      • Naw, I ‘ve got a plethora of them. I’ve never heard a thing since they quit being registered. Well, I gotta load 3 times and unload twice tomorrow and make 700 miles. Maybe the next day will be easier since I’ll only have to load twice….I hope. Now I gotta see what CJ is raising hell about. Need a night scope in a bad way. toodaloo

  4. Everyone knows how to get a car without all the additional safety features – just build it yourself. Unfortunately most of us (myself included) don’t have that knowledge.

    Which is why I invited you to consider the idea of an “Ikea car”. Please think about it.

    • The other way is to drive an older model, at least until the slimeballs take up the idea of banning them from the road. (Mine hails from 1972. No computers. No airbags. No hacking.)

    • Ayn, there’s a corollary to “building it yourself”. The price of parts for a complete car vs. insurance(you can’t get). I have been through this more than once. Have an older vehicle that’s in perfect condition, actually, better than new due to the aftermarket parts I’ve installed. But have a wreck and insurance wants to pay you “blue book” price for a 15 year old worn out vehicle. I can tell you from doing this more than once, it’s a tough row to hoe. If you have enough receipts and a good local insurance office(people you know), you “might’ get almost enough to rebuild it…..if it isn’t way too old and then you will simply get a check for a small portion of that vehicle. If it’s another driver’s fault, then you can sue……and get even less for it. I guess you just have to go there to fully understand it.

      • Eight,what happens,when”El Ponzo” collapses?I used to take with a grain of salt when someone said”90% of the population would be dead within a year ,if the grid crashes”now I’m not so sure,the signs are there,I think I finally lucked out a little bit-I believe I live in one the areas that will be isolated when SHTF(If they dont load Me and Mine up and cart us out when”SKYNET or whatever starts the Holocaust,I’m a pretty handy fellow,perhaps I can stay{yeah,right}.
        People I love are so clueless.the reduction will probaly happen,lets hope and pray I am wrong-its nice to be wrong on certain things.
        If something bad occurs people will try to survive and one cannot blame them,I hope people adopt the “Ant’ philosophy and lose the “Grasshopper” mentality,Nascar and Football wont give us water and food,if things go bad.

        • Kevin, well, I had a long reply and thought better of it, deleted it. I think we’ve been through the same thing. It won’t happen again…..not the same way, to me.

  5. GOV: “Guys? How do we create vehicles that will track the peasants every move?”

    N$A: “Um, we do like we did with phones sir. We create a company from the ground up (Verizon) and then attach our stuff in it so the people will have no clue how or what happened to their freedoms”

    GOV: “Yeah, OK…got any ideas how to pull this off?”

    N$A – “Well, we just crash the largest auto maker out there, buy it up for pennies on the dollar, convince the populace that we did it for their own good, and then we’ll have free hand to move forward taking away their freedom of travel.”

    GOV: “Wow! Sounds great! Can we do that?”

    N$A – “Well sure we can, we’ve been doing stuff like that for over 50 years.”

    GOV: “OK, get on it.”

  6. FYI:

    In a recent episode of the post-apocalyptic SF series “Falling Skies”, one of the main characters finds a mint condition Camaro SS under a car cover in a garage.

    Here’s the dialogue from the scene, copied out of the subtitles file:

    312
    00:16:24,707 –> 00:16:27,207
    Hello?

    313
    00:16:30,462 –> 00:16:33,130
    She’s pristine, Tom.

    314
    00:16:33,182 –> 00:16:35,516
    She got a big-block
    396 V8 engine,

    315
    00:16:35,551 –> 00:16:38,218
    aluminum intake,
    custom dual exhaust,

    316
    00:16:38,270 –> 00:16:42,723
    rock crusher four-speed,
    and a 12-bolt posi rear end.

    317
    00:16:42,775 –> 00:16:44,441
    Not terribly practical,
    though.

    318
    00:16:44,476 –> 00:16:48,195
    No, they never were.

    319
    00:16:50,566 –> 00:16:53,567
    She’s completely useless
    to us.

    320
    00:16:53,569 –> 00:16:56,203
    But I’ve never wanted anything
    so much in my life.

    321
    00:16:58,324 –> 00:16:59,623
    Dan.

    322
    00:16:59,658 –> 00:17:01,875
    I’m just gonna see
    if she still runs.

    323
    00:17:01,911 –> 00:17:04,578
    Don’t take too long.

    324
    00:17:04,580 –> 00:17:06,580
    No, no.

    325
    00:17:06,582 –> 00:17:09,583
    Ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh, baby.

    • Any follower of this website would know that, that far in the future, if you drive a car one mile over the speed limit, you would be immediately jailed (for your safety) and your car impounded (for your safety) and destroyed and then recycled (for your benefit) into electrical components and devices to….help track you!

  7. Well An.I dabble a bit in the construction business too as far as the Diesel engines go,I agree.I was very suprised when I learned UPS used a lot of 6.0 petrol engines in their brown box vans(that must be saying something,I will have to admit hybrid is going to be the wave on construction equipment(maybe like Mad Max’s twin engine monster with a little co gen engine to gobble the emissions)it can be done-but at what cost?The tree huggers are taking over around,which on the whole isnt so bad,but while I respect nature-I realize that man is at the top of the food chain.

  8. …not only did “government motors” demand to be “bailed out”, they converted their “financing arm”, GMAC (General Motors Acceptance Corporation) int a bank (Ally Bank), so they could get in on the bank “bail out” as well.

    • anarchyst, if you’ll take a look at the comment on down the page I posted earlier, you can see the date of the inception of GMAC and when it was transformed into a bank…….well before present day.
      I bought a 1984 and a half pickup from Nissan and was surprised to find I could more easily finance it with GMAC than any other way. Back then we had no credit, didn’t need it, only used a credit union and banking laws screwed everybody not using a standard bank back then. If you had always done business with a credit union, as we had, you had no credit rating. It wasn’t long after that we got our first credit card being forced to do so just to be able to rent a damned motel room.

      We still don’t use a credit card although we have them but use them as debit cards and never get a bill for “charges” which will ruin your butt easily if you don’t pay close attention….but I guess I’m speaking to the choir…..huh?

  9. For some reason the big three especially have been deathly afraid of CAFE from the beginning. I think once one of the big US or Japanese automakers says ‘F it’ and just passes the penalty on as a tax to customers it’s over. Although knowing the fedgov they’ve probably made that sort of thing illegal so customers don’t know about CAFE. The media and the politicians always act like they’ve gifted the public better fuel economy and I suppose most people believe it.

    The airbag mandate was the last thing the automakers fought against in a significant way. The political types got particularly brutal. Since then they’ve capitulated. Chrysler was just hit for 105 million for making SUVs to government standards that performed at least as good as everyone else’s in rear end collisions.

    On another note, even Japanese and other foreign makes get our money via the government. The Nissan Leaf is probably the head of that class.

    • BrentP, once I saw what CAFE was, in its inception, I said right then, and I have plenty witnesses….or had……that it was written in a way to virtually except foreign makers. Nobody else was in the truck market at the time. Oh, there were the odd little Toy’s running around but were rare in the early 60’s, really rare. Texans couldn’t even pronounce Toyota then……really. Now the SUV market is replete with Jap vehicles and I guess you have to give proof you’re a clover to buy a Honda now, or at least that’s the way it works when I come across them.

      It was in ’84 I think that you couldn’t buy a half ton pickup with a decent engine because of it. The big 3 were forced by those new regs to build millions of sorry little shit cars in a hurry…..and that was the problem. But I have doubts it was all that big of a surprise and they could undoubtedly made them much better. Whatever the case, it was the flood gate that let every maker in with a much better deal than they would have let a US automaker into their country. And that was the beginning of the really hard times in this country for everyone. It had been going downhill since the early 70’s, well, ’74 was the year wages peaked in this country. And since, starting in ’88 when the first Bushco wrote NAFTA and Billy C got it passed it’s been a steep and slippery slope for the American people.

      I used to get so mad at virtually everybody I knew cause they were all on that second Bushco wagon and it was easy to see where it was going. They’d simply say “Well, better than Clinton”. Amazing how you can throw the ignorant a bone(no, we ain’t takin your guns)and feed them so much shit they go blind. And hell no, it’s wasn’t better than Clinton in any way. It was THE worst thing that every happened to this country and established the precedent of what is going to eventually become the total unraveling of it.

      I won’t be surprised if nukes start flying in 6 months and we’ll have immediate martial law and “freedom”, just like Kris wrote, will be just another word for nothing left to lose. And nothin ain’t worth nothin but it’s free”.

      Hell, I would trade all my tomorrows for a single yesterday.

      • 8South,
        You nailed it.
        It is our own apathy that kills us. I mentioned the mouse utopia experiment before; after a certain population level, the mice don’t care, they develop strange diseases and cancers and such, they resort to cannibalism (with other food), they go live by themselves… and the colony goes extinct.

        The ONLY reason this has been allowed to happen, is that most people are (a) too stupid, and (b) too disinterested to care.

        So it falls to those who have the brains to see the writing on the walls, to either act or leave.
        We cannot leave; no one will act. “it’s WRONG, MMMKAY?”
        This is the rough equivalent of a bully poking you in the chest, and you turn around… So he belts you in the head, and keeps pounding, and you “turn the other cheek…”
        Great, we’re the most moral culture in the cemetery of history.

        I’d rather embrace human nature, and shred those to stupid/worthless to do more than procreate. I guess I’m a cynic and an amoral bastard; I just don’t see stagnation as an improvement over evolution. IF you allow the mice to grow unchecked, give them their utopia – we know where that leads. (It’s no secret, either, it’s even mentioned in the matrix… “Whole crops were lost. We thought we might not have the language to define your perfect world… No, it’s struggle. you define your lives by what you resist…” (I paraphrased after the first sentence, so you’ll need to google that line to get the whole Agent Smith monologue.)

        I keep commenting: Do we wait until the boot is pressed on our throat…? Until they perfect nanotech chips or in-cell computers, which regulate the hormones, allowing for PROGRAMMING of the human being? Show “Clinton” and the nanite or computers release dopamine… show “Rand”, and they cause headaches by denying dopamine, insulin, and serotonin….
        But at the rally, things have changed, and “we’ve ALWAYS been at war with Eastasia…” And the supporters are SO UPSET they brought the WRONG signs!

        We’ve been warned, we’ve been told we’re still too busy “making a living” to correct the knife’s-edge we live on – causing us damage every day, while the Borg Collective of homogeneity – evidenced not only in obvious things like car design, but also Just-In-Time inventory, classing those who have more than a few days food and water as “terrorists”, classifying Vets as terrorists, classifying those who want to be left alone as terrorists, classifying those who love their religion (unless it’s Islam) as terrorists… Etc, Etc, Etc. Homogeneity in all things, including your sexual relations…

        We’re at the point of being Drones (Borg again) already; are we really just going to sit back and let the world be homogenized by the out-of-control centralization?

        It seems so… (And it’s not unique to here, either – Facebook has the same BS, and even the “3%ers” (III%) types, and the militias, don’t want to actually step on Uncle’s toes…. No, we’re going to play nice, change the system from within, even though it’s shown it will crush us like a bug… And with as much interest, too!

        There’s Playing inside the system (and being ruled by it), or … Same thing on the other side. (Dempublican or Repocrat, same stink, same shit.)

        How are we not already AT the point of “nothing left to lose?” It’s being taken from us, AT GUNPOINT, already…

        Guess I’m in a “mood” today.
        But I’m watching my body waste away for no apparent reason, and I’m appalled at the lack of cojones demonstrated across this country… Young, old, white, Asian, Jew, black, male, female – it’s all been made “too easy”, there’s no character amongst the whole country… And I don’t intend to just pass quietly. What’s to lose, right? Might as well put up a fight.

        And starving the beast, BTW – with 50% of the population paying in, the beast CANNOT starve, even with the other 50% taking. TPTB have simply gotten the FSA under their control… And ensured they replicate faster than anything else. So most people are for sale, and don’t even know it – they’re unrestrained animals under the best of circumstances, and should be burned out like the cancer they are. E.G., They have the aggression in the FSA stock; but they’ll turn on anyone or anything, like a rabid dog. So they are only useful for inducing fear in the other 50% of the population, who believe in work and morals and are “God-fearing” types.
        then there’s the external pack of rabid dogs: Isis, NVA, VC, Russians, etc, etc, etc (what bogeyman do we trot out today to gain compliance…?)

        Do you allow the child to grab the hot stove so they learn they shouldn’t grab the hot stove? Or do you keep them away from the hot stove, so they still have fingers when they get old enough to understand hot=pain=don’t touch?
        Everyone here seems to expect some “conscious-raising” or “watershed” event.
        It’s not coming – they’re too fat and lazy and willing to ignore the problems – and so are also trained to accept a handout rather than rely on ourselves (scrounge it, barter it, grow it, build it, buy it as a last resort.)

        We’ve grown generations of children, mentally – and THEY have no interest in changing it. WE cannot wait until the children grow up – it’s not important to the children, nor to the powers that be, to have such “conscious” or “awake” humans; those are hard to control (and steal from).
        So since we cannot wake them up – we need to drag them along, by selling them a bill of goods (promise wondrous entertainment and utopia), and get them “licker’ed up” and turn loose the dogs on the shock troopers of TPTB, and let things fall where they may.
        Keep an accurate history – we’re already seeing niggers digging up Confederate Generals, all over a FLAG… Seriously, this is NOT something to protect, but a genome worthy only of scorn and destruction. Leave it as a footnote in the history books. These are animals (even if paid professional “grievance mongers,” they produce only hate and trouble, so burn them out of this earth.)

        Humans, basically, are “the mob” – mob psychology is the only method of controlling them. In other words, it’s a race to the bottom. Animals in stampede, or feeding frenzy; rabid dogs fighting each other. There is no leading, no governing; it’s emotional, not rational, and it cannot be turned easily. But if we don’t point them at each other and thin those ranks, they WILL consume us, and eventually the world…

        Need to END them. They’re as smart as the dumbest individual, MAYBE. This isn’t occult or arcane information, it’s crowd control and it’s available online in Political Science and Social Science writings, and “the psychology of the mob,” an old book on how mobs work, not meaning the criminal organization…. Just the lynch mob mentality.

        We either take a stand and get things done, or we go under, a straw standing before the tsunami…
        We’re following the straw’s method, standing and watching…. Believing the other straws will stand with us, eventually, if they just see the wave…
        But most don’t care, and most of the remainder turn away, as reality is too painful to watch… Better to go to Bread and Circuses, and let the world burn, provided they can stay fat and happy…
        It happened in Rome; the barbarian “general” told his raiders to leave the Romans in the Colosseum alone… Rome was sacked while the populace cheered bloodsports.

        In our case, the Barbarians are the financial and political elites (not the elected, not the low-level bureaucrats, those who shift things on the world stage, E.G., Gates, Soros, etc.)
        And they are winning, because we’re “busy earning a living.”
        how are we different from those who turn away because it’s “too painful to watch?”

        • Jean, once again you preach to the choir. Been reading my comments huh? Just this last week I spoke of the new “child” adult. But you know, I see a certain disconnect in most of those young-uns, since most are growing up much poorer than I did or maybe you did, realizing they’re getting screwed but it’s mainly just the men.

          I ran a hotshot load Sat. and when at the rig picking up equipment a young guy came over and asked me if that FR wasn’t hot. Shit no I said, just like yours isn’t and it was already approaching 95 at 10:30 am. He helps me strap down the load and then says “Boss, you smell like weed”. Everybody calls me boss and I guess it’s because I’m old. I told him that wasn’t my shirt and the damn truck stank so bad I couldn’t smell anything so it probably did smell like weed. He said “No, I was just yanking your chain”. I told him I was the only one in the company that didn’t smoke weed since being a driver you can’t afford a bad piss test if you have an accident and that can be at any moment.

          He was pissed cause he couldn’t smoke either, always pop tests on a rig or anywhere else these days. He said he hated it cause his wife smoked and he couldn’t. But this guy wasn’t the fat, strung out on HFCS model you commonly see. The patch is filled with very fat and not very sassy young men(and some women, the ones who walk around with clipboards but never seem to write anything). I’m amazed by it. When I first went to the patch in the late 60’s we were all lean, mean and tough MF’s. Go to a bar, no age barrier since they’d have to turn away half the crew or more. Halliburton in the bar and Tuboscope pulls up and comes in and the fight is on shortly. Rarely ever a cop of any sort and never in the remote bars in the middle of nowhere.

          Fred Reed just wrote a good article on pussification and the incompetence of women and it was right on. Naw. not all women are pea brains but few are big brains. And the women with big brains generally won’t say much but the ones without them say a lot.

          Fred pointed out a lack of curiosity by women and that struck me as very accurate. Why in hell they don’t want to disassemble things I don’t understand. Why they can watch something work and not want to see the intricacies of it is also a mystery to me.

          I was on a hotshot run the other day I knew would be easy and the truck’s a/c would work well and it would be comfy and offered to take the old lady and CJ(pit bull) with me. Nope, she wanted no part of it but CJ was up for it. But drilling rigs are new now and there are all sorts of neat stuff to see says I, don’t you want to see one working since you never have? Nope. Ok then but don’t get pissed when I speak of the cowscock or similar terms that have been used long before I was around. I didn’t invent any of it but it sure is fascinating…….to me…….and all those other guys. And a drilling rig is one place you won’t see a woman employed either. There are no non-dangerous clipboard jobs although I bet those are soon to come just from govt. pressure(how many women are working this rig?…..shit sherlock, none…..it’s work).

          Of course if I taught youngsters none of them would need drugs to behave either. I don’t know how men teachers can tolerate schools now. When I went to school, men teachers didn’t have to send you to someone to get “licks”. Women teachers did that. You just didn’t jack with men. They’d give you a HARD look and it shut you up real fast.

          I see this country as simply hanging on by a thread. Not sure what the pols see but the alphabet agencies damn sure see something since everyone of them from OSHA to NASA are buying up vast amounts of ammo. They want to be armed to the teeth when you and I check out their govt. paid for bunkers. I don’t need to fight them, I can starve them out.

          • “Fred pointed out a lack of curiosity by women and that struck me as very accurate. Why in hell they don’t want to disassemble things I don’t understand. Why they can watch something work and not want to see the intricacies of it is also a mystery to me. “

            Back in engineering school it seemed practically nobody wanted to work with the girls so I usually ended up with that task. I learned something, they never took stuff apart. I ended up doing most of the work in lab. Most of it was was just experiments on basics of how things worked. I’d make comments about how this was how something or the other worked and they would be clueless. Same in the design classes. I soon realized they had never taken anything apart to examine how it worked. When I started teaching the lab courses I found out many of the guys usually the students who got the best grades, didn’t either.

            Don’t get me started on the schools eight.

            • Probably one of the reasons my wife and I get along at all is she’ll take something apart and fix it, a rare quality in a woman and one I value highly.

              One day the Elco is in the shop(u-joint, had to be ordered, it was a trailer tow package) since I was working midnights and didn’t have time to work on it. The big pickup needed a water pump and had a new one in the box inside but I hadn’t had time to fix it. I was using the baby pickup and something was awry with the 1/2 T, just one of those freak combinations where you have many vehicles and only one is running.

              My wife asks if she can use the big pickup since she rightly thought something was wrong with it. I said if you want to put a new water pump on it but it has to have one and there’s a new one inside. I came home and the old pump is laying by the barn and she’s hauling rocks with the trailer. That wasn’t an easy job on a 4WD 3/4 T BBC either….although nothing like replacing one on a Ford.

              • I replaced the water pump on my ’97 Mustang. On the 4.6 Liter it’s right there in front in the middle of the V. Drain coolant, remove the belt, like four bolts for the WP. Easy.

                • They finally learned people who wrenched didn’t want to take everything off the front of the engine just to replace a water pump.

      • Light truck CAFE wasn’t a big issue until recently. Back in the 1970s most people had pick up trucks for business purposes so they got a big exemption. The result of course was that people found that hole to get what they want so government has been working on closing it and it’s mostly closed now.

        CAFE is the typical american control freak “solution”. To our dear leaders the problem was that automakers and their customers were choosing the wrong sort of cars so CAFE aimed to get them off the market and it did. The idiotic team D fans in this country think we are going to get Sweden. What we will get is fascist/corporatist control freak hell hole with what Eric calls yankees running every last detail of our lives. Telling us what we can have and can’t have. What we can do and can’t do. They can’t see that everything from CAFE to universal health care is being built in a manner for them to do that. These people feel that they have the right stuff to engineer society and they are damn well going to do it.

        If we got Sweden I could live with it. But that’s not what we will get because this country is still run by the same control freaks that were kicked out of europe because of their control freakism.

      • Isn’t it sad how the people chose one over the other because they thought it was patriotic? If the 2004 election wasn’t proof that BOTH SIDES of the coin have been staged (shaking head) then…never mind. I feel sorry for those that still fall for the Left-Right paradigm. Give them Coke or Pepsi, GM or Ford, Democrat or Republican but for gosh sakes GIVE THEM A CHOICE so they think they have control and THINK they are free!!!

  10. I find the current state of vehicles very frustrating. Even with all the government mandates screwing everything up, the car/truck market is full of enticing options.

    Just imagine how awesome things would be if the market were truly free? Has anyone seen the stripped Toyota Land Cruiser 200 GX that the Australian market gets?! It has vinyl floors, FACTORY installed intake snorkel, Turbo Diesel V8 and 4WD. That thing would be an awesome daily driver but due to US laws, it isnt sold here.

  11. Eric,

    Your articles lately get the piss and vinegar in my veins all stirred up. One step further on the government motors/safety and fuel mileage point is diesel engines and the after burning/blue def tier 4 bullshit. Diesel engines are so fu**ing complicated and undependable now it is sickening. And it’s only in the “greatest country on earth” where we have to have this government mandated bullshit. Canada and Mexico? Nope. They have none of it. China? Nope. None of it.

    I’m in the excavation business and Caterpillar, Deere, Komatsu, etc. build all of the same equipment for every other market, minus def and after-burning cycles on diesel engines. As for small diesel engines in pickups and suv’s, other countries have more of a selection of diesel engines because of these requirements. And they don’t have any of this worthless technology on them.

    If your business is profitable, you get the wonderful “choice” of heavy taxation or debt/payments on new machinery to “upgrade” the fleet. I fu**ing hate it. Do I trade out of my 10,000 hr 410E backhoe with easy to fix mechanical parts for a new model that has def and burn cycles operated by computer, the failure of which necessitates a service call to the dealer? Then plan on “updating” every every 3-4,000 hrs before the new machines wear out, remaining in debt slavery forever? Or bend over and write a check to old dirty bastard Uncle Sam?

    Ah the choices. Servitude, slavery, or a cage? USA, USA, USA, USA……………No wonder there are so many dumbfucks that prefer to sit around and watch the NFL and drink cartel beer. Just how uncle taught them to be. He even gives them an EBT card for their good behavior.

    Sorry for the mostly off topic rant, but I just needed to vent……to some people who won’t think I’m out of my damn head. Or maybe you will.

    p.s. If blue def is so great for us all, how about a round for all of them in D.C. to drink up? On me.

    • ancap I’ll chip in on the def and supply the enema bag for those picky ones too. I just love to get in a new machine and punch in that 4 digit code, push the start pad and wait……and if it doesn’t do anything, just shut it all off(as if you’ve done anything anyway)and go through that sequence again. Hopefully, some magic will have happened after you turn everything off and it will crank and no “bad” lights will remain on since they will eventually shut it off. Ah…..progress. And I do love those new Cat dozers that operate at idle or WOT which you have to continually use the decelerator pedal unless you’re going gangbusters so running in a small area or trying to do something intricate wears your damn foot out.

      I also love the new excavators with that tiny little pud you barely move to make big movements…..instantly. Fingers are gone in a few hours unless you have a big shot of horse or valium to settle your nerves. I guess you get used to it but I don’t intend to find out. I’ve seen young guys climb out after a long day and not be able to get their fingers limber. At least the loaders have an accelerator pedal.

      I saw an article a couple days ago about Cat losing their butts globally. Cat has always sold their equipment on a basis of being cheaper to operate over a long period of time. Now that so many companies lease a few pieces like dozers to do jobs that will take a year or less they find, even if they’re buying, Komatsu(Japanese for John Deere)are so much cheaper to run in the short haul they can’t compete.

      When any of this stuff doesn’t work properly you have to call a dealer mechanic with his dedicated electronics to find out a def sensor thinks it’s out when in fact, you just filled it up. And the mandatory egr that operates in unison with the def is most likely the culprit.

      Glad I’m not in your shoes. It’s one of those pull your hair out sorta things.

      • Eight,

        Since I have a receding hairline, I try not to pull it out. It’s all so damn maddening. equipment with start pads instead of a key! Automatic shutdown…….because manual shutdown might be during an “important burn cycle”. It’s a damn circus. My old equipment won’t last forever though.

        I lament for my little boy. He won’t know real equipment, real cars……real freedom. Safety and saving the environment is all uncle wants him to know.

        • We need to smuggle in the foreign stuff. I could sell it to small companies coming and going. I can remember when whatever you got offloaded at the dock and got on a truck was good to go. Nobody looked cause nobody cared.

          I recall my first livestock show in Ft. Worth, big fair and lots of everything to see. Wow, look at these little Kubota tractors. Are they any good? And the retailer was saying “I’ll let you ask some of my customers”. They were briefly cheap and then Mahindra shows up and it’s the same thing, nearly indestructible. John Deere strippers, $1M each or more and tractors too with more problems than they had in their entire company history. Thanks big gov.

          And the politicians that passed NAFTA are mostly out of office but the new ones are the same and we have over 50,000 companies that manufactured something that don’t exist today along with tens of millions of people scraping the bottom of the barrel……more like half the country or more.

          How many people now make the equivalent wage of 1974?

          • Eight,

            It’s still like that with my small Cat skid steers. Indestructible. They are exempt from the emissions bullshit if they are under 95 horse power or something like that. I’ve got a 2005 330 Cat excavator. Awesome. In 06 they went to tier 3 emissions, still okay. 2009 or 2010 tier 4 interim, the problems started. Tier 4 final is a damn nightmare.

            Getting that gray iron into the country is tough anymore. It’s about non-existent. The war on terror coupled with all of the “free trade” agreements has killed it off.

            How many people make the equivalent wage of 1992?

              • BrentP, been watching the gold market? That’s some serious shit going down there and what’s rank is that buying has gone through the roof as the price has tanked. It only makes sense if you’re an insider. Silver too but not quite as bad as gold although they mirror each other fairly closely over the long haul.

                • I’m hoping it’s just continuing paper manipulation to wipe out weak physical hands. But yeah the mint sales are through the roof but the price is going down. That’s a sign of dysfunctional market.

    • ancap, just spoke with a guy about upcoming Tundra’s and if he’s right, your wet dream is about to be fulfilled. He said they’re about to have Duramax’s in them. Well, they’ll have to remedy their failing up to this point, the frame, so there’s your next vehicle…..if your new tier 4 equipment doesn’t eat you alive. I can almost guarantee you that’s why nearly every new piece of equipment I see is leased. We’ve leased a lot and sent back several when they delivered a replacement, one of the best things about leasing. For my money, I’d buy a Volvo and never look back. The older one were as dependable as an anvil. Last year I saw an older one have the turbo literally explode with nearly nothing left to remove. I told the owner I’d pull the head for sure. He determined, since he needed it to be running right then, he’d take a chance on it and just replace the turbo. Months later it was running fine and using no more oil than it had been which wasn’t much. Being all over a couple states, I see 3 times as many Komatsu D 65’s as I do Cat D 6’s. And the Skytrak’s and small track hoes and the like are having their lunch eaten by a Korean brand I can’t call the name of right now. Every one I’ve seen has been a leased machine.

  12. Eric, yet another reason for my ongoing quest for low mileage, 10-12 year old cars, like the 2001 Lincoln Town car I picked up a year or so ago for 8 grand with 80k miles. Other than a new emergency brake cable I installed when I had the brakes done, the only other cost has been oil changes and tire rotation. I don’t need all the fancy dreck that’d be so expensive to fix.
    Hey DMV, just let me drive my old car and get out of my freaking way.

      • eric, that’s simple enough. Of course if I rebuilt mine I’d use TB and an OD transmission. The TA parts in the front, of which you can now get more specific front end parts for it, work great. A big sway bar in back and it won’t be a great deal different from your TA, just a bit weightier.

        That Laguna front end used to be findable and may be now as aftermarket. That’s what I’d like to do to mine if I rebuild it. A bit larger Z-28 coming at you from a distance morphing into the slightly larger Chevelle/El Camino.

        I used to pull my Ranger(boat)at triple digit speeds, rock steady. Just use coil-over helper shocks instead of air shocks. I”m a big fan of Edelbrock IAS Performer shocks for non-coil-over, big comfort and very fast response. I’ve had other Elco’s and air shocks suck for handling.

      • eric another thing with that platform I’m sure you know but I’ve known people to airbag the rear as an add-on for plain Elcos but the trailer towing package springs like mine are plenty stout for most anything. The brief ownership of it originally was a guy who had a club and had to haul the bed full of kegs and the cab full of booze. He traded it for a 3/4 T pickup and then Tx. changed the laws….again and he ended up not needing the pickup since he had to be service my law by a distributor. Some really crazy laws in Tx. for booze but it mostly comes down to secure financial futures for ex-pro athletes, mainly Cowboys. Now it’s changed again and everyone in a certain area has a choice of distributor but can only buy from one. They’d hate for free enterprise to determine who can sell alcohol.

        • In Illinois Jesse Jackson got himself a distributorship as part of the proceeds from his career. (sold a few years back) Sometimes I wonder if prohibition wasn’t just a way to get the alcohol business in to the hands of government and cronies or if it just worked out that way.

            • Oh I know of all of that. China is the model. Living in dorms or small apartments working for the global corporations in whatever densely packed city they send us to. Taking transit, no driving. Anyone can see it being built step by step if they look. That’s what we are progressing towards.

              They start the message in the schools, people pick it up, run with it, get foundation funding…. on and on it goes. Few people look and understand.

              So it goes. Po-tee-weet.

              • “Yeah, you’ve seen those “tiny house” shows, right? TLC or something, making a house the size of two Refrigerator boxes out to be a “mansion” of efficiency.
                It’s like a 6′ X 6′ X 8′ box. you had a bunk bed over the door, a range with a burner or two next to that front door, a fold-down table, a handful of cabinets, and I think a chamber pot (indoor plumbing is SO 20th century!) [OK, I made up the last bit, but I’m not sure I’m wrong.]

                Again, we must “sacrifice for Mother Gaia and bow to Government God’s will” – and here we go into oblivion.

                We should execute all the “elites” and see how they like Agenda 21 then….

            • Oh and I forgot… the article is about model new eco cities and the like. A very long time in the making. I again refer to HG Wells “Things to Come”.

              It’s too bad Leon Stover isn’t around any more. I’d like to hear his analysis of present day economic and world events with regards to Wells’ work and China. Stover literally wrote the book on “Things to Come”. I wish I hadn’t sold it now. Technocrat is in common usage now. Before the only time I heard it was from Stover.

              http://www.amazon.com/Leon-E.-Stover/e/B001HOV12O

    • “Eric, yet another reason for my ongoing quest for low mileage, 10-12 year old cars, like the 2001 Lincoln Town car I picked up a year or so ago for 8 grand with 80k miles.”

      I’m in the same mode as you. I love getting older cars that have taken most of the depreciation hit and are in many ways better than the newer cars.

      I just spent last night chatting with a guy who is retired and making side money working on cars in garage in his back yard(which is very well equipped), I dropped my wife’s 91′ Mercedes(inline 6) off to him for mild repair work…I think I found a guy who can do stuff for me when I’m too busy finally. (finding a good mechanic who won’t rip you off is extraordinarily hard in my area)

      Anyway, tucked away in the corner of his 3 bay garage/workshop was a 64′ Ford Falcon that’s been in his family since new….it’s never been restored yet looks like it’s right off the assembly line except for some nice aluminum rims.

      When I found out it had never been restored I asked about the motor(260ci V8)….he’s got over 300K on it and though it’s a “little tired” he still so no need to rebuild it…..

      A well chosen used car(meaning one cared for and well designed to start) will pay dividends to those who are thrifty(like you and me).

      • I think we should look into building a network of such people, to ensure the flow of vehicles post-SHTF.
        E.G., I’d LOVE to get a manual trans slotted into my 98 buick lesabre… And then shoehorn in a better engine, like a V-8. Maybe from a Jag…? I know it’s mostly a pipe dream to renovate that into something useful, but I’d love to see it turned into a “monster” of sorts. Like a tank, sort of, only a bit more nimble on the roads… And less “thirsty”.

        Been thinking there are some skills I should follow up on for my own edjumakation. Gun smithing and mechanics. Barter knowledge and abilities for food and water and shelter, if things go as bad as they might. (If they don’t, I’m still better off; if they do, I MIGHT be better off, but I’m also close to a city that’d likely be a target. Bean Town is still seen as a “bastion of freedom,” speaking historically – not factually… And if they “hate us for our freedom,” I can imagine that bright light coming a little TOO close…

        • Jean, you couldn’t do that in most states simply because their laws are so screwed up. You could get away with it in my county in my state. You could put a 455 and a 6 sp. Tremec or maybe something a bit heavier and a rear axle under it and make it by the woman that does ours. You could put a shaker hood and some big 4′ mufflers out the rear and get through.

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