The Car Biz Goes Full Clover

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Well, that didn’t take brake lead

The car companies have decided – on their own – to install automated braking in all the cars they make by the 2022 model year, just six years from now.

They have come to love Big Brother.

No, they have become Big Brother.

Anticipating a federal mandate, they have decided to pre-empt NHTSA – the federal bureaucracy that has somehow found authority in the Constitution to “keep us safe” (I’ve looked, could not find the clause) by making us pay for new, expensive technologies most of us neither need nor want.

Like automated braking.

It appeared a few years ago as a gewgaw in high-end cars – which nowadays justify their high prices mostly by touting electronic gewgaws such as this, because meaningful amenities such as power windows and locks, AC, cruise control and a great stereo are standard equipment in nearly every new car made, down to the humblest “economy” brake schematic

Seemingly overnight, automated braking – which is typically marketed as “collision avoidance” technology – is almost everywhere, available optionally (which is ok) in probably 50 percent of current-year new cars.

But optional is never enough.

Everyone must have automated braking. Just as they must have six air bags, ABS, TCS, seatbelt buzzers, tire pressure monitors and back-up monitors.

NHTSA will make the official announcement this week.

The systems use radar or laser (which is always on, and makes radar detectors practically useless) to scan the area around the car for objects in the vehicle’s path. If the driver doesn’t step on the brakes when the computer thinks he ought to – which is typically a football field’s length away from the object – the computer steps in and applies the brakes for him.

Maybe this sounds innocuous – even like a good idea (to a Clover).

Allow me to disabuse you of that notion (assuming you are not a Clover).Mark Rosekind

First, you should know that this is how they’ll take you – the driver – out of the driver’s seat. It’s not just that the computer is going to continuously second-guess you (and pre-empt you) when it comes to “avoiding collisions.”

It will do that, of course – applying the brakes prematurely and unnecessarily, just like a near-sighted old lady. Trust me. I know. I am a car journalist. I test drive new cars every week. Cars equipped with these systems get upset if you get even remotely close to another car – and will do fun things like hit the brakes when you are trying to exploit a rapidly closing window in traffic.

You are caught behind two cars pacing each other, the guy in the left lane just barely moving faster than the car to his right. He creeps forward just enough to give you daylight enough to zip in between and get around the Clover clusterfuck.

Not anymore.cattle chute

The computer considers this “unsafe” and will apply the brakes just as you are trying to accelerate.

Just one of many possible scenarios. Basically, the systems are programmed to “drive defensively,” in DMV argot. That is, like the Ultimate Clover.



Any move your mother-in-law would not like, the computer will not like. And not permit.

Which brings me to the other thing.

A car that can automatically brake to “avoid collisions” (no matter how theoretical) can also brake automatically for other things.

Like speed limits.

Has this occurred to anyone?cattle chute 2

Your car probably already knows what the speed limit is, too.

On any road, at any given moment.

It’s piped in via the GPS or OnStar or BlueLink or whatever “concierge” system your particular make/model car has. Perhaps you have noticed the way the helpful little speed limit icon on the LCD display turns from white to red when you “speed.”

The automated braking system will notice it, too.

It’s like one of those Temple Grandin cattle chutes designed to keep the cows calm as they take their final walk. They follow one another, oblivious to what’s ahead.

Of course, all of this is all about Our Safety – as is everything these days.

Actually, it’s all about idiot-proofing – and making a buck.Claybrook

About 1,700 fatal rear-ender “accidents” happen each year, according to current NHTSA Overlord Mark Rosekind. So, because about 1,700 people weren’t paying attention or following too closely, hundreds of millions of people will be forced to accept (and pay for) the in-car automatic braking nanny.

Just as they have been forced to accept back-up cameras because a handful of idiots backed up over a child.

But ultimately, this is about controlling us.

We will take a backseat to the superior judgment of Our Betters – that is, those in government, like Rosekind. Check Takealot Specials and Woolworths Specials. They will decide when it’s time to slow down. And we will no longer have the discretion to decline to do so.

Joan Claybrook – the former NHTSA administrator and John the Baptist figure of the Safety Cult, who gave us the 55 MPH speed limit back in the ’70s and then the air bag mandate, which arguably set in motion the now-complete Cloverification of the car industry –  is experiencing moisture in her panties for the first time since 1969. depends on you to keep the wheels turning! The control freaks (Clovers) hate us. Goo-guhl blackballed us.

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  1. I think that the best option for some of us is to partially build our own cars. Folks living in the rust belt can get glider kits for their cars: This might also be the perfect solution for that fellow who needs a hatchback for his “image” requiring business.
    The spam filter here is requiring me to continue this message in another post.

            • Nope, that’s a workhorse that pulls a 53′ bullwagon at extra-legal speeds, note the pre-emissions Cat with 15 liters.

              Here’s an RV:

              I see those RV style trucks frequently with box trailers to match or sometimes aluminum drop decks with a matching box tied down to it. Don’t know what they haul but it’s gotta pay well.

              About 20 years ago a friend borrowed my scaffolding to build a big rig. I had to go see. It was a new, wrecked Freightliner with a turned up(550hp) 60 series Detroit and an 18 speed. He cut off the sleeper, grafted on more frame and took an old timey type RV, all rounded off like back in the day and through a couple years of long days grafted it into the cab and supported it with 6 air bags. It had beds, kitchen, toilet, shower and the works. He pulled a Mayflower van that he customized too. He received an award for most innovative rig that year from Mayflower. I wish I had a pic of it. It was really pretty with the old style camper as the sleeper. It had a back door on the cab so hooking up was easy. He integrated side foils to match the trailer so it was almost a continuous looking match from rig to trailer, all done in Imron aircraft paint in Mayflower green.

              • Now that’s the way (uh-huh,uh-huh) I like it.
                I would have just said “Like” but you know how WP would have reacted to that.
                I was traveling a few years ago and saw what seemed to be a moderately sized motor home, pulling a trailer bigger than it was. Whole back end of the trailer was a drop gate, so I’m thinking custom show car or some such. When I got around it, it said Mack on the nose.

  2. Even when they don’t put this stuff on, they can rarely get it right. And they’re all a bunch of slimy robots. I’m dealing with Jaguar right now. The F-Type in reviews had a bad, slipping clutch and it was supposed to just be a pre-production glitch. Now, me and a few other owners on the jaguarforums are having the same problem and Jaguar of course is just giving us the runaround.

    Jaguar says go to the dealer. Dealer says it’s normal, drive slower… One guy’s clutch exploded and he eventually found out they even changed the part numbers, but nobody at Jag is willing to admit it. Absolute nonsense how these car companies operate these days. I can’t wait to get away from this thing and go back to something 50’s. To hell with all of them.

    • Hi Fritz,


      I had a brand-new BMW 7 a couple weeks ago… brand new and press car… and several electric glitches occurred during the week I had it.

      Beautiful car.

      Glad it’s not mine!

  3. Ol Ted was a fan of primitivism, but not a part of it.

    No more so than the man who killed a president and was a fan of anarchism. Had anything to do with anarchy.

    Green anarchy primitivism communism progressivism. All schools of thought are free to compete in the agora of ideas. But when you say you need to kill a few eggs to make an anarchocapitalist or socialist omelette, it is only then you become evil and anathema to life and liberty.

    No mere philosophy is good or bad I don’t think. Only useful or useless. Popular or obscure. Primitism has many interesting ideas. Yet where is even one guy who presents it peacefully as a humble idea purveyor. All of those who are well known advocate violent overthrow and wholesale murder.

    Guys like Ted are maybe just more honest instances of the subtle tyrant Naders.

    Industriality and its future

    If all you seek is a mere improvement in the local barbarism are you much of a liberty lover yourself?
    Failure of symbolic thought

  4. Automatic Braking! Helping Carjackers one car at a time! Just have someone step into the path of the car and stay there while the Carjacker unlocks the car with his remote unlock tool. That tool is available for peanuts on the web! I need to change professions! 😉

    David Ward
    Memphis, Tennessee

  5. I have a feeling that Murica’ won’t put up with another decade of this shit Washington has been shoveling down our throats. Mark my words…The day that the mortgage, auto lending and credit card bonds implode is the day that you head for the hills and wait for the fires to die out.

    The Trump rallies are just the tip of the iceberg. A dark storm is brewing and once it passes either the tree of liberty has be watered once again or it will have withered away into nothing.

  6. Probably shouldn’t overlook the possibility of the feds taking over your cars features such as this. What better way to enforce a Boston Shelter In Place like event than to automatically apply the brakes to every citizen car in the city. But nevermind, it’s all with strictly the purest intentions. 🙂

  7. Troy: Come on Jimmy, let’s take a peek at the killing floor!

    Jimmy: *Gasp*

    Troy: Don’t let the name throw you Jimmy. It’s not really a floor, it’s more of a steel grating that allows material to sluice through so it can be collected and exported.

  8. Anyone ever read Jaques Ellul? He said technology, no matter how “neutral” it actually appeared to be, would ultimately lead to the ultimate tyranny. He wrote decades ago, when stuff like automated braking would have been thought as likely as a Buck Rogers jet-pack, but boy, was that old Frog philosopher right!

    • Anyone ever read Jaques Ellul? He said technology, no matter how “neutral” it actually appeared to be, would ultimately lead to the ultimate tyranny.
      That was the kernel of Ted Kaczynski’s manifesto.

      • “That was the kernel of Ted Kaczynski’s manifesto”

        Really? I often wonder if Ted really did the things he was accused of? His purported actions would seem non-sequitur for someone who was into such philosophy -but then again, maybe he was just crazy.

  9. Contrarian here because of this observation, though I agree with everything said. Once a week in winter I run my Mark Sisson Grok sprints on the gym’s three-lane indoor track. Walking, passing, and running lanes. Microcosm of driving society: texting soccer moms to talking grandpas. People can’t even avoid being clovers and maintain situational awareness under their own power on that track; I trust about 1% of them on the track and on the roads. The same 1% that were abolitionists before the Civil War and like us anarcho-capitalists now. These people, even ostensibly trying to prolong lives by working out, should not be trusted with vehicles. I support the rise of the machines.

    • If people like us programmed the machines that would work out. But it won’t be us and if were it won’t be for long. The control freaks will have complete control one way or another and use the advancements to impose their will and way of thinking and doing on us.

      For decades we have been promised an engineered future much like a libertarian minded engineer would create it. 120mph automated roads. An engineered society that creates a life of freedom and leisure. But that’s not what we will get. If we get any little facet of it, it won’t be for long. Remember how engineers first made jet travel? Look at it now. Find some renderings of what a flying wing passenger aircraft was supposed to be.

      What we are being sold is not what we will get. Technology won’t be used to make the masses better it will be used to make those who stand out to be smashed down.

      • I don’t disagree–except generally tech has made life “better”. I am glad to have indoor plumbing and heat/AC. All we can do, at this point, is educate (and pray) like Ron Paul said. The real hope is non-government roads. Chances, now: slim to none, except at Disney World.

        I don’t stand up for the national anthem at sporting events. Eventually I will not be allowed to attend because some eye in the sky will see my non-conformance, but I will have made my point.

        • Eric, those things are great – as long as they don’t include any “intelligence”. Once “intelligence” enters the discussion, then the question becomes, Who will control the intelligence?

          • ” Who will control the intelligence?”
            More importantly, who will define intelligence?
            George Orwell, phone home.

    • “The same 1% that were abolitionists before the Civil War and like us anarcho-capitalists now………… I support the rise of the machines.”

      Seek help before you snap and kill us all.

      • Thanks Ed. I read that after drinking quite a bit of bourbon and didn’t trust myself to reply. I was afraid the C(choose one….or more) word would pop out along with a few hyphenated words of “color”… to speak.

    • Hi Eric,

      The problem is this: If you accept the premise that because “some people” can’t handle a thing (like driving, or possessing a gun) responsibly and therefore, control (of everyone) is justified… how do you draw the line? About anything?

      Where does it stop?

      How do you propose to stop it?

      Your position endorses the Eloi-Morlock dynamic.

      I’d rather not be either an Eloi or a Morlock.

      How about you?

      • It stops via the market, as Mises teaches us. When I said I agreed with everything said, I especially included the b.s. of “cooperating” with federales. I’m saying humans are complex and the machines we have created are complex. Self-driving cars, via the free market, will unleash productivity (working while being driven in your own vehicle; yes, your fear of driving toward government mass transit is also real). I’d never trust one built by bailed-out Detroit engineers, though. BMW, Subaru, and Ford can help separate the Elois and Morlocks.

  10. I just saw some idiotic commercial from VW about some new “feature” for teen safety and reporting. I immediately said out loud “Oh, hell no”. I’ll never buy any vehicle with anything that will rat out someone. Because the machine doesn’t know a teen from the adult. And why should it even care if monitoring of everyone is the aim. Right now it’s about keeping your kids ” safe” (you can almost hear the orgasm from brain dead collectivists coast to coast). Subaru has lost me, now VW. And it’s one more reason I must flee these shores. Maybe a good used Tata is in my future.

    • That why I drive a 1987 C20. Its got no electronic nothing. crank windows, manual choke, 4 speed. Yes I go slower and get there later BUT I w no black box technolgy, I can fix everything and there ain’t much to break. I live in New Hampshire where I don’t need auto insurance. No seat belt law too (not sales tax or income tax as well). Big Bro has got very little over me.

  11. Imagine the lulz you might get if you find yourself, in an older model car, amongst a gaggle of these on the highway. If you get that opportune moment and can pull it off, when you move over, you can start the chain reaction, and, if really lucky, cause a system-wide standstill and bring it all to a halt.

    • Salt, be sure to be in front cause I can’t stop 40 tons that quickly. I foresee terrible accidents with truckers “at fault”.

  12. Just purchased a new 2016 Wrangler Rubicon, base model. It “features” manual transmission, manual door locks, manual windows, no auto braking, no remote entry. It does have a engine computer and ABS, but someday I will do a diesel conversion and that computer will be adios, and I actually like the ABS in 99% of braking situations. So given where cars are going, I am going to be keeping my jeep for a very long time. Just bury me in it. 😉

  13. Every time I read your articles on new car tech, i simply end up liking my 2001 Ford Expedition 4×4 even more.
    Just remember this: a GPS antennae can be defeated simply by wrapping it securely with aluminum foil. Two or three layers will do. No need to disconnect anything at all.

  14. We have almost totally lost control of technology while American knaves and fools applaud. Big Brother’s new dictum: If we can do it, we will do it.

    • Hi Ross,

      Are you familiar with Frank Herbert’s Dune series? Technology – thinking machines – became the enslavers of humanity.

      • Eric,
        Don’t forget Skynet from the “Terminator” movies or the Cylons from “Battlestar Gallactica”, seems like the sci-fi writers are more like prophets than novelists.

        • Hi Mike,


          I also read Frank Herbert’s Dune series as a kid; similar idea… out of hand technology enslaves humanity…

  15. I seem to recall a time when video screens were absolutely Verboten! in the driver’s line of sight.

    I guess I missed all the times idiots backed up over children. But those were morons who were self-importantly in a hurry, right? Just like those imbeciles who go down my one-way street because they’re too damned important to go the way they’re supposed to. I know. I’m doomed to be run down by one of these dicks because it was my fault: I should have known that they would be too freaking important to follow the rules.

  16. automatic breaking will make for even lazier people behind the wheel. They’ll let the car automatically brake for them. It will also be exploited in numerous ways. Want to cross the street now? Just step out in traffic. want to troll motorists? Just put something in the road and their cars will brake on their own. Want to carjack someone? Stand in the road.

    People will learn the new normal and exploit for everything from crime to trolling to just plain lowest energy needed to complete a task.

  17. I’ve noticed an increase (or maybe I’m just paying more attention) in the number of times an automobile will be in the passing lane, going a few MPH faster than I have the cruise set. They’ll get a little more than a car length behind (certainly not 3 seconds, which was what I was taught) and then slow down to the same speed I’m going. This causes three big problems. First it blocks the passing lane for anyone who might want to pass us both. Second, if I have to pass a slower vehicle it makes it much less safe because I’m basically forced to cut that person off. And third, at night I’m basically blinded by their lights in my side view mirror. If I slow down a little, they’ll slow down a little. The only thing that seems to work is if I shut off the cruise control or even brake a little and scrub off a lot of speed. Then they pass, although they’ll usually stay in the passing lane anyway (which is illegal in Colorado but you’ll never see anyone get pulled over for it).

    Clover behavior or adaptive cruise control?

    • No, I don’t think it’s some auto system on a 10 year old vehicle that makes these idiots slow and hang on your tail in the passing lane. I deal with it every day, many times a day. It’s called incompetence, nothing more or less. These fools slow down everyone behind them and pace your for a while and then finally, if you’re lucky, slowly pass, all the while building up a conga line of cars that simply want to get back to the PSL. This is one of the things that makes me want more midnight or all night runs. Those fools, for the most part, tend to stay at home or at least off the beaten path in those hours. And most of the badged thugs tend to stay home during those hours or whatever nefarious activity they do that keep them off the road.

      I was going to start in on having to let the idiot at the inspection station drive your vehicle but it seems like the last couple times I haven’t had to endure that. Maybe that’s the silver lining of some insurance company thing. If it is, hi ho I say. It’s about time something good came from mandatory insurance.

      Seriously though, doesn’t everybody hate having someone drive their vehicle? Oh yeah, sure, just hop in with your clothes that stink like cigarettes and other things, your feet that have shop shit on them, your hands you haven’t washed and your sharted pants on my pristine seat. Sure, just have your way…I love it. Now I can go home, after you’ve locked up the brakes on my diesel pickup(gee, these things are sure touchy…..yes idiot, they are), done harm to my tires I depend on to be circular instead of intermittent flat spots and just doing things I don’t want to be done including simply having you in my pickup not to mention the ultimate insult, your stupid ass driving it.

      So now I can go home and clean everything you touched, take my custom seat covers off and clean them, clean my floor mat, and pedals and steering wheel and shifter and whatever else you have touched and then Ozium hell out of it to rid the rest of your stink. Remove that sticker you insisted on putting on instead of letting me do it(it doesn’t happen…..I won’t let them do it) and putting it side by side instead of on top of each other to block my view when doing things like riding a narrow trail with steep drop-offs needing every bit of the corner of the windshield you can get.

      I don’t even like my wife to drive my pickup, jerk, jerk, cough hiccup, jerk. Gee, will you ever learn to shift? She says “I going to take the truck since you won’t need it”(how the fuck does she know this? does she see future?)and then comes back in and slams the door and says “That goddamn pickup won’t start” It won’t do a thing.” Funny that, it was running fine when I parked it. So I have to go out and get in and push the clutch to the floor and start it. Then this makes her even madder. I DID push the clutch all the way down…..If that was so, why did it not start? Well, I just don’t know what you do that makes it start. Gee sweetie, maybe it’s because I push the clutch to the floor. You asshole, I hate that goddamn pickup. Well, don’t drive it, take your frickin car. It’s too big for the parking places too. Not if you take up three spaces and park 90 degrees to the lines instead of the same way everyone else does way out there in the corner where there are no lines and if someone wants to drive close to it to park, and slam their door into that drill collar bumper, be my guest. Go ahead and slam it into the bright, shiny chrome GM front bumper too and watch it bend your door and laugh cause it’s old school and just shines if you knock over a tree with it.
      I gotta quit. I simply detest someone else to drive my truck.

      • Eight I used to argue with the Goons at the inspection station about where to place the sticker,I didnt like trying to look through it when trying to make a turn ,etc(finally ,I gave up trying to explain to the tech that the state didnt own my vehicle.(I liked the greasy fingerprints on everything too )If the state was concerned about safety they would pay more attention to how they block the vision at intersections with signs .Its all about control and the “sheeple didnt even bleat ,when they were rounded up ” You wouldnt believe what I saw a policeman do on “Teller and Penns ” “BS”.

        • “If the state was concerned about safety they would pay more attention to how they block the vision at intersections with signs ”
          The state does not really care about your safety. It cares about control and compliance. Safety is just the palatable excuse.

          If we can save even one child, then… ____fill in the blank with some intrusive, expensive, annoying, soul sucking compliance bullsh-it___.

          And you know what? The Care & Safety Fascists (who know better than you whats good for you) support it & vote for the politicians who deliver the new law that makes us safer. Safety always trumps independence for them.

          • @Poolside &Eight , the one poster mentioned all the good things about NH ,wonder if there is any room left ?this Commonwealth where I reside has just about made me broke .The BS regs that are nothing more then justifications for an overpaid bureaucrats job ,endless crap every year “VDOT motto “From now on only the best will drive ”
            I am seriously considering getting rid of my CDL , the state is the most anti business entity I know of .

      • Last oil change (company truck, not a DIY option) the “oil change specialist” just let one loose (must have had a bean burrito for lunch) in my truck. He only drove it about 100 ft, so I have to think it was intentional. I almost went back in and complained, but that would have been racist…

      • ” I simply detest someone else to drive my truck.”

        I know it, 8. It’s MY fuckin truck. The reason it’s a nice’un is that I don’t let random assholes drive it. Gotdammit. There, I feel mo’ better.

    • Hi Escher,

      I have come to believe (like Brent) that the true motive is to make cars increasingly unaffordable and unpleasant such that most people voluntarily give them up. See Cass Sunstein and “nudging.”

      Cars as we have known them represent individual autonomy.

      The autonomous car will put an end to that.

      • Until older vehicles are banned outright, there will be plenty of them still running in states that don’t rely on road salt.

        I haven’t bought new (Acura) since 1995 opting instead for 5-6 year old’s (Honda), all the while keeping them for a decade before selling.

        • Still running my 1977 Mercedes 300 D. Runs like a swiss watch, handles well, comfortable, cheap to operate, reliable as all get out, easy/cheap to fix, rarely needs it, is still amazingly pretty for a car, and the only “electronic” gizmo on the whole thing is the cruise control, which I NEVER use on any car I have ever had. I can foot it better, faster, and more economically than the machine can. (I can see the grade we’re approaching, the gizmo cannot.)

      • Correction. It won’t be autonomous but under the control of something/someone else.
        Those of you who are (older) science fiction fans might recall stories by Isaac Asimov where he described a future world with a giant central computer running things for mankind’s benefit. We are getting there, but the benefit is questionable.

      • eric, when cars are unaffordable they can fall back on making guns again as well as equipment. Maybe Libertarians can get a Lend-Lease deal on ICBM’s…..with self steering and automatic braking… to speak.

  18. Eric:

    Your ability to spike my blood pressure writing about asinine automotive decisions equals that of William Normal Grigg’s ability to do the same writing about cop behavior.

    In case you were wondering, that is a very strong compliment.

    Keep up the good work.

    Now I need another BP pill…

  19. So when the wind blows a plastic bag across the street cars will slam on the brakes, i see a increase of rear enders from this one and possibly a increase of road rage, people will get mad at the car in front of them braking for no reason

  20. Any capable electrical or electronics engineer should be able to disable the system. I know that I would, on my own vehicles….

  21. At least some of the comments on the article are negative. Probably just readers from here………

    Two points I would like to make.

    1. It will give the feds ammo to ban older cars. Here is an example on how: there is this first car, it auto brakes unexpectedly, for no reason. The car behind it (car #2) also auto brakes, and there is no crash. But the third car (#3) behind it doesn’t have it, and crashes into car #2. It won’t matter that auto brake car #1 actually caused the crash by braking for no reason. The blame will of course fall on the driver of car #3. It would not matter that there would have not been stopped cars to begin with hadn’t it been for the error of the computer of car #1.

    They will use the excuse of computer errors to remove the human driver.

    Most people, as driving is coming relentlessly annoying will be happy to give up driving. And happy to give up the freedom of your own car, because you KNOW their will be more restrictions on auto use. People are such rubes now, imagine what it will be like in another 15 years?

    2. The subject of “voluntary” actions. What did the regulators threaten to do if this “agreement” didn’t happen? Require it like it an insane short time frame (like next years model?).

    They maybe be making money on airbags and the like right now, but they are sowing the seeds of their own demise.

    • I think you can have right but i think that drivers will always be needed so we will never give up driving. I tell you why i think that. First, look to airplanes, no other transport mode is so technology advanced like airplanes and pilot still are here and they can take control in anytime because they must oversee and eventually correct what autopilot is doing because machines are not dependable. Second, I recommend to read book: “Our Robots, Ourselves: Robotics and the Myths of Autonomy”. This book is about autonomy and about fully-autonomous cars. Author of the book explains why fully-autonomous cars are much more difficult to build than anyone thinks and explains why fully-autonomous cars are not future. Here an example of an interview with the author:
      Sorry for my not so good English 🙂

    • Rich:

      Great points.

      A similar tactic was used to blame “capitalism” at the last economic crash.

      Gee: Where did the funny money that inflated the housing bubble in the first place come from? Was this capital used to make trillions in risky loans saved by savers – or was it created out of thin air? What does too big to fail have to do with capitalism?

      Capitalism requires mismanaged business to fail and be taken over by competent management – not to be bailed out by unwilling taxpayers, same management to be handsomely rewarded for their stupidity, and made even stronger by an implicit guarantee.

      That is called moral hazard

      How – on earth – one can think capitalism = facsicm is beyond me. But it looks to have fooled everyone “feeling the Bern” right now. aka Free Shit Army

      I can see autonomous cars creating accidents will be blamed on “those old clunkers” just as easily.

      The comments in that Automotive news article are riddled with Cloveratic comments.



  22. Yet another reason that I just can’t let go of my old iron.

    If they want me to buy new, the automakers had best get their collective heads out of the technology geeks’ nether regions and make a product that I am willing to own. While I am in no way a Luddite, I will never be a fan of letting a computer make my decisions for me. I once made the mistake of trusting the GPS directions without verifying in the good old road atlas and found myself not only losing nearly 3 hours worth of time, but also touring some neighborhoods in LA that I really had no business touring in the middle of the night in a rental car.

      • Same here. I’m out when it comes to cars made after 2010. I still have a 2001 Saturn L100 in Florida that I need to pick up. It runs better than my 2010 Subaru Legacy. It’s stick. Manual trans and NO POWER anything. Except for a rear window defogger and A/C. I can’t wait to get it back.

        • The safety crap has reached a point – for me – such that I have come to dislike almost all new cars. Even the ones I like, I’d be reluctant to buy … because of the fact that they’re just too damned over-teched or pre-emptively nannyish or include “features” I simply don’t want and have no interest in paying for.

    • In poking around at new cars, I’ve come to determine that you can still avoid all the extra tech by buying a *bare bones* work truck. Think F250 XL. They still have all the good hardware (i.e. V8’s) but hardly any of the BS. Although there are many aspects of a heavy duty pickup that are a PITA and very real (mainly the height of the bed makes for difficult loading/unloading and the overall size of the vehicle for maneuvering, and gas mileage) I’m beginning to think those outweigh all the other expensive crap just waiting to break.

      • Hi Tom,

        Unfortunately, if you want a V8 and 4WD, you’re probably looking at $30k-plus at the least. PLus – as you’ve noted – they are just too damn big and clunky.

      • The “bare bones” F250’s-F550’s we have at work aren’t bare bones enough not to be unreliable and overly delicate pieces of shit.

        My assigned F550 can’t go for more than 3-4 weeks without being down for days with some sensor or other totally unnecessary item failing. I won’t even mention the brake line that corroded all the way through from leaking DEF.

        There’s nothing like being in a haul road crossing with a line of loaded Cat 793’s (300 ton capacity) coming at you full throttle when the computer puts the truck into “reduced power” mode for no reason whatsoever. Those are the days I don’t even need coffee!!

        • El, same thing we go through with Dodge’s. Our 550 is THE most unreliable truck I’ve had the displeasure to work. Others have nearly gotten whole crews killed by disconnecting from the drive by wire accelerator crossing a busy highway. I had one crewcab when pulling a trailer do that with 3 other people aboard and it just stopped. Cycling it five times when seconds count is not an option. The well-used Chevy’s the company bought aren’t perfect but everybody would fight for one cause they don’t quit and ride and drive so much better it’s not even comparable.

          Yesterday 4 of us are in the 550 and pull into a convenience store. It has a huge pipe guard along the front. We were still rolling when it disappeared and it finally stopped. I couldn’t believe we didn’t hit the pipe and neither could the driver. We got out and the license plate was touching the pipe. Maybe there’s a sensor there that stops it cause the damn brakes didn’t.

  23. I have a car with these fancy features, a 2016 Subaru Outback. We recently needed a new windshield due to some road debris, and I was quite shocked by something- you can’t just call a glass shop and replace the windshield. The camera based safety systems have to be “calibrated” to the new windshield at the dealer, so that they take into account the optical imperfections in the glass. What was a simple $300 deal on a normal car turns into an $1000 affair which includes a dealer trip on one of these fancy cars. God, I hope I can keep my other cars without electro-nannies running forever.

    All this tech is turning cars into unfixable, disposable toys with high insurance costs. Hey, if my car will avoid accidents by itself, can I stop buying insurance? Please uncle?

  24. Eric, do you think that cars will have “Turn off” button for automatic braking? im not sure but many of the current cars with automatic braking system have this button.

        • They sure did. The beginning of this scourge was when automakers put a time delay on the interior lights turning off. Has driven me nuts for almost 40 years.

          • Second that Swamp, cost me a battery not too long ago when I ran into the house on a particularly cold night without realizing the door wasn’t fully closed. Not even a click from the solenoid the next morning! Now I stand next to the car until the damn light goes out no matter how crappy the weather.

  25. I wonder if this means more drunk, and I mean totally plastered, drivers will gleefully get behind the wheel assuming their collision avoidance systems will save them from hurting anyone too bad.

    No telling what other unintended consequences this might promote.

    • You bring up a good point. How can they justify a DUI charge if the computer is driving? Human drivers should no longer require a ‘license’ – they aren’t doing the driving. Might as well open it up to toddlers and infants, that’s the point anyway isn’t it?

      How long will it take to complete the transformation to Eloi?

      • DUI is defined as being in control of the vehicle. That’s why sleeping it off in a parked car is DUI. If the car is driving itself the guy sitting in driver seat is still legally in control of the vehicle. DUI is big business. They aren’t letting that get away. the fact people will considered taking an automated car home to be responsible will just allow them to rake in more money.

  26. So, funny thought: How long before EVERY film is “The Cure for Insomnia”? (Actual film, BTW.)
    Can’t do car chases this way.
    There will need to be more and more geek characters to turn off all the different GPS, tracking, auto-stop, self-driving circuits. (Which is all illegal by itself, lending credence to the anti-gun control arguments; it’s illegal to buy a gun for someone who can’t buy one themselves; illegal to sell to someone you know is doing such a purchase; illegal for a felon to have a gun; illegal to steal a gun; illegal to kill someone; illegal to try to kill someone. But somehow the bad guys will get guns anyway, in real life as well as movies.)

    But, either the movies stop reflecting reality (Greek plays with Deus Ex Machina, maybe?) or they … stop reflecting reality. A long train of felonies led to “start point X”, what’s a little tweak of removing the GPS from the phone/car? Guns are prohibited globally, yet somehow the US Army will still have a faulty inventory system and the bad guys will have guns…. But no one else will.
    No car crashes, but the bad guys can’t run away in a car… And the police will have their Big Brother drivers disabled….
    Obvious how this will go.
    No conflict = boring story, or – more likely – all the Metrosexual cr@p is going to be “revealed” as an actual “illuminati plot” and the only thing you’ll actually have on entertainment is girly-men and butch-women emoting in Black Lesbian Poetry Jams. (Blank Verse, mind, but it’ll be nothing but chick-porn emo stuff.)

    I had to read a book back in HS, wish I could recall the title, but… African village, roughly the era of British colonialism. It traced the life of a villager, from his youth, to his becoming an elder (god) of the tribe, to his suicide…. Because of the invading culture. Same as the opening of Carlito’s Way, actually: “Mi Bario, il n’existe.” My neighborhood (home), it doesn’t exist. Men must be women, women must be men, someone else must confirm (affirm) what I do, but House Slytherin (rulers) are exempt because they’re “Smahteh.” (Boston accent there.) As in, Crabbe and Goyle are smart. As in, the Bully in the school is smart. Etc.

    And people here want to follow the NAP? You’ve been taking a NAP while this world has been created, and you want to pretend it’s all mere coincidence? “There is no coincidence.” (frequent line on TV detective shows for the last… 30 years?)

    Back to my comment, we’re already being aggressed against. Attacked. And we’re still saying the party hasn’t started. Weimar Germany’s Jews were more aware. But they had obvious signs…. We’re voluntarily getting tagged….
    And you say the war hasn’t started. It’s like Clover’s drivel that the cop with the gun on his hip isn’t government force, isn’t implicit deadly threats.

    (Why I’m supporting Trump, actually, as the best of bad options. Hoping that Scott Adams is wrong about the comparisons to Il Duce. 😛 )

    We need to get the party started, and education will NEVER reach the lowest common denominator. We either reach those we can and arm and armor up, or we end up DOA – John Brown being an example of moving too fast, but also an example of how to move things along. Bundy, the Oregon bit, those were too polite. The control freaks LEARN. We need to make them play to OUR points; right now, we’re playing to THEIRS. We can’t make the Boobus Americanus wake up, can’t educate them – we need to make them EMOTE and EMPATHIZE and FEAR. And then point the rabid mob.
    Because those people (at least the lower 2/3 of society) will choose enslavement. Every. Single. Time. Even the SMART ones! My father, Rocket Scientist, CLOVER (aka, “So Blue Pill he could be a Smurf.”) My boss, Masters Degree, foreign born immigrant from Korea, been here since a child, rabid LawN Order Conservative -> Cuckservative…. His boss…. (and above that, they’re PROFITING [ProfiTEERing] from this decline… )
    How can that NOT be the flash of the neon light? IT split the night. And Echoed in the sounds… Of Silence….

    But the People Bowed and Prayed / To the Neon God they’d made… [NAP Uber alles] …


    BTW, anyone watched “Colony” on CW, I think it is? Looks more and more like the US!
    Wondering how they play the next episode or two. They’ve got an alien body; but will they take off the space suit? I’m hoping they do, and find a human, and confirm it with DNA. Because the actions? Are about the same as modernized Nazis. All art goes to the invaders/”our hosts”, and there are internment camps and a lunar prison colony… Walls prevent people from coming and going. Families physically split by being wrong place / wrong time at the invasion. People from the old power structures (FBI, CIA, military) placed into high-ranking counter-insurgency type operations.

    Or will the producers chicken out, and make the “host” an alien? [Could still be home-grown transgenics though, but at that point, the impact will be lost. Like how Matrix could’ve gone somewhere, but took a wrong turn in Albuquerque… And then crashed into Venus in the third installment. 😛 ]

    • Hey Jean,

      I believe the book you’re thinking about is ‘Things Fall Apart’ by Chinua Achebe.

      Likewise I had to read that back in high school.

    • Whenever I hear the comment “we need to educate” people about blah blah blah… I have to roll my eyes. Seriously? What we have are the most educated slaves imaginable. And even then you don’t hear calls for a proper house cleaning. It’s always “one day” or “you just wait and see”. In all honesty I have no hope for anything to change.through peaceful avenues any longer. Those days have passed

      • “What we have are the most educated slaves imaginable.”
        No, the bulk of the US population has been through the GICs, where they were trained, not educated, how to be ‘good citizens.’

  27. I often need to make a left turn from a main street to get to my house. At the light, there is a dedicated left turn lane that begins about 100 feet from the light. This light has a left green arrow before the straight green light turns on. Many times when I’m approaching the light, the left green arrow will be lit. Three or four cars are stopped in the straight lane at a red light. I have plenty of time to get into the left lane and make the turn while the arrow is on. But, I need to get within 10 – 20 feet or so of a stopped car in order to access the left turn lane. With automated braking, say goodbye to that (perfectly safe) move.


    • Big Brother will be exempt.
      Can’t do a Ram maneuver with collision avoidance enabled.

      The California stop, was it?
      Can’t express authority if you can’t hit people!

      I’m reminded of South Park, the v-Chip installed in everyone’s head to make sure they don’t swear….

    • What Jean said…

      Cops will be exempt. Just as they are exempt from having to “buckle up for safety” and don’t have to worry about being hassled for texting while driving.


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