Beria’s Technique… As Applied to VW

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The trick is keeping your victim alive… so that the beatings can continue.beria-lead

That was Lavrenti Beria’s dictum.

Beria was Stalin’s secret police chief, the Soviet version of Nazi Germany’s SS chief, Heinrich Himmler. (Stalin actually referred to Beria this way when he introduced him to Hitler’s foreign minister, Joachim Ribbentrop, during the latter’s visit to Moscow to sign the NonAggression Pact that led to the dismemberment of Poland and WW II.)

Anyhow, the principle.

Make them suffer.

This is the policy of the U.S. Justice Department, which is “assessing how big a criminal fine it can extract from Volskwagen AG over emissions-cheating without putting the German carmaker out of business.”

How about that.vw-dark-skies

Punishment according to the victim’s capacity to endure suffering.

Somewhere deep in the guts of Hell, Beria is smiling…

And, keep in mind, no one’s been actually harmed by any of this.        

Well, other than VW – its employees, shareholders and customers. There’s nothing wrong with the “affected” cars, except that they “cheated” Uncle’s emissions tests.

Well, so?

What harm has been caused by this?

The EPA and its gang of Inspector Javerts have portrayed the “cheating” VW diesels as planet-defiling horror shows on par with the Deepwater Horizon offshore oil spill back in 2010. At least in that case, one could point to dead sea birds and oil-slicked beaches.

Actual harms caused.

But where is the evidence that the “affected” diesels have hurt anyone – or anything?vw-ceo

I mean, other than Uncle’s wounded pride?

The “affected” diesels date back to the 2000 model year – which is almost 17 years ago. By now, surely, the harm caused to the Gaiasphere should be plainly evident.

Did the skies darken? The incidence of asthma and other respiratory ailments uptick?

Er… uh… hmmmm.

All that did happen was evidence of “cheating” the tests was uncovered. After someone within the company narced to the EPA, apparently. Put another way, until someone narced – and sicced EPA on VW – there was no reason to suspect a problem because no one out in the world was complaining of one.

The narc squealed two years ago. For almost 15 years prior – back to model year 2000 – no one so much as  reported a case of the sniffles as a side-effect of VW’s “cheating” diesels.nkvd-beating

Which indicates strongly that there is no problem with the “cheating” diesels, as far as public health, air quality, etc. The real problem is that Uncle is mightily aggrieved over VW’s daring to defy its Authoritah.

And that’s why Uncle is determined to make VW suffer. Just as Stalin’s henchman, Beria, was tasked with the job of making Stalin’s enemies (real and imagined) suffer.

How much suffering?   

British Petroleum – which owned the Deepwater Horizon rig – was hit with $25 billion in civil and criminal fines. Sounds huge, right?

Here’s huger:

VW is looking at $50 billion in civil and criminal fines.The civil fines alone already amount to about two-thirds what BP had to pay out.

For not having hurt anyone, as far as can be determined.

It’s astonishing that – so far as I can tell – no one in the media has asked about that. Ok, VW “cheated.” Well, fine. People “cheat” all the time. It does not necessarily mean they hurt anyone. I’ve mentioned before the example of using a radar detector to “cheat” speed traps. I freely admit “cheating.” But have I hurt anyone? I mean, other than the county revenue collector.. and what’s the harm in that?   nkvd-thug

Of course, the parallel is that if the revenue collector discovers your “cheating,” he will treat you much the same as Beria would. He will do all in his power to make you suffer.

Just as the Justice Department appears determined to do to VW.

In order to teach VW – and everyone else – a lesson. That to defy Uncle is to risk serious consequences. Far more serious consequences than would ensue as a result of actually harmed anyone.

Volkswagen stock is currently rated BBB-plus by S&P, which is three levels above “junk” status. This bodes not well, especially when you factor in that the scandal is metastacizing to include VW’s Audi and Porsche brands, which also sold “cheating” diesels and so will also be subject to the Beria Treatment.

And, meanwhile, affordable, fuel-efficient diesels (which VW alone offered) are history.

GM has announced it will be offering several diesel-powered new models in the coming years. However – unlike VW’s “cheating” diesels – none of them will be inexpensive or economical to buy/operate.

But they will be compliant.

And that’s what matters most.

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

21 COMMENTS

    • At the parts store today and heard a guy tell one of the counter people(they were joking)he had a big backhoe and a lot of pasture. I heard it and said I have the same MO. Dig a deep hole and bury anything and a couple months later there will be no sign of it. At the right time of the year a couple weeks there won’t be a sign. I’m a firm believer in “have backhoe, will bury”. I also have hog pens. Ever see a hog go through bones? They don’t even strain. A small pen of hogs and 200 lbs of meat and bones are a done deal in a day.

      Last year a friend took a 450 lb hog to the buyer. He turned it in with a 150 lb hog and forgot to separate the two. A couple days later my friend showed up with some more wild hogs and there was just the 450 lb hog standing there by himself. i guess he got hungry.

      Hey Wu, got something for your hogs. Wu: “cocksucker”. They got some things right on Deadwood.

  1. The Beatings Will Continue Until Morale Improves!

    Seig Hiel! Mein Furher! Obombya!

    Attention! The above was issued from the department of Deplorable Operatives for Hitlery and her comrades to smear El Donaldo!

      • Hi Mark,

        Yup. Tricky Dick also laid the foundations for Obamacare and took the economy off the vestiges of the gold standard. And – like The Chimp – he saw himself as a “decider” whose will was synonymous with legal (and right). If you disagreed with him, you were an “enemy”…..

        Sound familiar?

        • eric, not only does this show how the prez can simply ignore any law and create his own but as we all know this wasn’t the first time that shit had been pulled. To this very day if someone has gold that was banned the first time, even though today that gold is legal, the feds will take the gold(at the end of a gun barrel)and give the finders(maybe)pennies on the dollar. Or in some cases, merely took it and told the finders to fuck off.

          If the gold was going for some good purposes it would be a bit more palatable but when the feds get it, it goes into somebody’s pocket via some legalese circumlocution to utterly muddy the water of their reasoning. Of course only naive people would let anyone know they found it. If I found coins that was very valuable above the price of gold I’d sail away to the Bahamas and find somebody there who’d give me a fair price no US govt. involved. I’ll admit that first 100 miles on the Clear Fork of the Brazos might be slow going but once I reached the Pedernales I’d be in decent shape. If it weren’t of some value greater than gold, I’d get out the old Babbitt pot and do some smelting. How does a few boxes of .45 semi-wadcutter 99.9% gold bullets sound?

          • Sorry, forgot to point out the first time was physical possession of gold vs going off the gold standard but both examples are over-reaches of the executive.

        • I worked for a large corporation once. They hired this guy out of college who probably simply graduated because he was a big basketball star. He was extremely tall but I’d never met him, still haven’t in any way of saying you’re met someone.

          There was word he was coming to our location and everybody was shaking their head and laughing. Oh, he was a Big boss by this time, based on his being such an a-hole I’m sure. He walked along like the big gander with his other boss ducks doing the “what he say” thing.

          I was meeting him and said hello as I would have to anyone. He didn’t even look at me. He carried his head in the air, like Trump. He’s only the 3rd or so person I’ve known who stuck their nose in the air. Not one of them was worth the .45 it would take to put them out of their misery. They were more along the lines of hitting them over the head with something very hard and enriching the whole world.

    • Notice the wording… premature death. If these experts estimate a person died 3 seconds earlier because of a little more NOx in the air…. it counts.

      • Just as if a drunk pedestrian falls in front of a car, it’s an “alcohol-related vehicular accident.”
        They’ve changed the words so that it sounds like the driver was drinking…
        Like the Mexican/Hispanic/Latino “youths” affected by “gun violence” – 21 or even 26 year old gang bangers shot by rival gangs. But they’re “children.”

        • They say the same thing if there’s an alcohol container, empty or not, in a vehicle, regardless that no one involved had been drinking. It makes the heroes look so much more heroish. And yes, that’s very close to bullshitish.

  2. I’d love to see VW tell Uncle to stuff it. Unfortunately doing so would require them to leave the Amerikan market and a lot of jobs would be lost as a result, but if they hired a good PR firm to make it clear that Uncle is responsible for that it might be worth it. Not sure if Merkel would stand by them or cave to the great and powerful USSA but would love to see that scenario play out.

  3. But the whole point is to get rid of GOOD cheap cars. Which last and are economical in the true sense of the word. Like the air cooled VW’s and the TDI’s. As well as works of genius like the Detroit diesel and the 6BT Cummins.

    To make driving a privilege reserved for the priveleged. The american peasants got uppity with their physical mobility and ability to dump arrogant employers and evade illegitimate government, so they have been trying to put the genie back in the bottle for a century.

    They already got civil aviation- it has become a privileged club of a few hundred thousand which can afford expensive mandatory licensed care of ostensibly private aircraft.

    There is no secret here- it is all about control.

    • Indeed. It is about control ultimately. Mobility of employment is a desired feature in the engineered society of the future but it will be controlled. Done such that everything we own fits in a shipping container. When the corporations need us somewhere else the pod gets packed and we are moved to our new rental unit in another city.

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