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Ding dong the dick is dead.

Clarence Ditlow – styled as the “foremost advocate of automotive safety” (italics added, bear with) by The New York Times – is gone.


While it is bad manners to delight in the death of anyone, it is worse to misuse words when doing so entails causing harm to other people – and Ditlow was much more than an advocate for automotive safety. Had he merely advocated for such things as air bags and seatbelt and helmet laws and other such things I, too, would have been saddened to hear of his passing – as I would be in the case of any decent human being.

But Ditlow was not a decent human being.

Because he was a purveyor of violence, not advocacyninnies

He and his fellow travelers – Ralph Nader and Joan Claybrook, as well as their inheritors and minions – went beyond attempting to persuade others that they ought to have air bags in their cars and so on. They insisted – with the government providing the necessary inducement.

It isn’t relevant whether you think people ought to have air bags in their cars, or wear their seatbelts.

What’s relevant is that such decisions are rightfully yours – not Ditlow’s – to make.

Other people’s “safety” – as Ditlow defines it – is no more his or any other person’s business than what other people elect to eat for dinner.

Unless you are a Ditlow.clover-1

Which, unfortunately, too many Americans have become. Busybodies with guns. Or – like Ditlow was – a busybody who relied on other people with guns. This proxy violence obscured the nature of the transaction and made the soft-looking Ditlow appear to be nonthreatening. But everything he advocated for came down to an order – enforced by violence.

Why are such people lauded?

When did coercion become cool?

It has become an institution.

Ditlow founded the Center for Auto Safety in 1970 – and it became a might-as-well-be adjunct of the federal regulatory apparat. When the public didn’t voluntarily buy into air bags – which were offered as extra-cost options in several GM and Chrysler cars in the early ’70s – Ditlow and co. saw to it that the public was forced to buy them. This was a watershed achievement, the first time the market’s verdict had been over-ridden by a handful of self-appointed “safety” czars.busy-body

Precedent set, czars emboldened, cars today are packed with half a dozen air bags as well as back-up cameras, ABS, traction control, stability control and a multitude of busybody buzzers and other “features” that some of us would prefer not to have – much less be forced to pay for.

Ditlow and his spawn are heavily to blame for the soaring cost of new cars, which now take more than twice as many years to pay off as they did pre-Ditlow.

Ditlow and his “safety” jihad are also responsible for the absurdity of intricately complex drivetrains and peripherals in overweight cars that are less fuel efficient than the cars of 40 years ago.overweight-cars

It is because of his advocacy for “safety” that cars have been made heavier. But because they must also be more fuel-efficient (again, per Ditlow and co.) the car industry has had to resort to over-the-top engineering solutions such as costly/complex direct injection fuel delivery technology, variable displacement/cylinder deactivation technology, multiple turbochargers bolted to tiny engines, seven, eight, nine and (soon) ten speed transmissions, “active” grille shutters, engine start/stop systems, and much more such to come.

Though Ditlow (unlike Nader) was at least an engineer, he was not an economist – and the cost of things made no impression on him. Or – worse – he just didn’t care. His notions of “safety” trumped your and my concerns about how to pay for it all. And whether we wanted it all.

Or any of it.coercive-utopians

The NYT opines: “Over four decades, Mr. Ditlow badgered the (National Highway) Traffic Safety Administration for more stringent standards…”

Italics added (again).

No, he demanded that the standards he wanted be imposed – forced on everyone, including those who did not share Ditlow’s obsession with “safety.”

Personal story: When I was a young college student, I drove a ’73 VW Beetle. It was – to a guy like Ditlow  – extremely “unsafe.” It did not have air bags or very much steel to withstand impact forces in a crash. But I never crashed it. So the lack of air bags and hundreds of pounds of extra deadweight were of no use to me. On the other hand, the lack of air bags and hundreds of pounds less curb weight were of much use to me.

The car was cheap, easy to maintain and easy on gas (because it was light) and this despite not having direct injection, variable-displacement, a seven, eight or nine-speed transmission and all the rest of the technological artifices now necessary to counteract the effects of cars being overweight in order to make guys like Ditlow happy.

But what about us?old-nag

Shouldn’t it be our decision? To balance “safety” – a subjective thing – against cost and other considerations that we are obliged to take into account by the necessity of having to pay for them?

How about the people who’ve been killed by air bags? How about the millions (billions?) in fines extorted from people who did not “Drive 55” or who harmed absolutely no one by electing not to “buckle up for safety”?

Were Ditlow, et al, merely advocates – as they and hagiographers such as the writers employed by The New York Times dishonestly style them – I would be among those mourning his passing. Much as I would the passing of a fussbudget old auntie.

But when “auntie” insists – and shoves a gun under my chin – I will cheer the day the old bat finally goes tits up.

Good riddance, Clarence.

You will not be missed.

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  1. I too am glad ditlow is dead. Now if just claybrook and a few of those other idiots gronked, the pig sty will be clean for a change, till the next criminals come along.

    • My Mom always said “If you can’t say anything nice, then just shut the F#ck up.”.
      Only kidding. And to Eric’s question ‘when did coercion become cool ?
      In 1964 when the “Civil Rights” Act ended private property rights and the right to associate freely with persons of one’s choosing.

      • That’s when it ended on the federal level. Prior to that in various states there were laws about it. Racists made laws to force everyone else to behave like racists. Free association is something control freaks and government never wanted all that changes is the political fashion behind how it is not free.

  2. I am not the least bit sorry either. There will always be an asshole to replace someone like him, but I didn’t shed a tear when James J Howard passed on either. He gave us the 55 mph speed limit along with Nixon.

      • I knew Nixon was bad. He could have been that bad. I think that HRC, Obama and the Bushes were worse, but Nixon was a weasel in a rabbit suit.

          • eric, you forgot the most costly thing he did, the war on some drugs. The US public has been robbed blind, at least, those who haven’t been incarcerated and they’d been robbed of not only freedom but everything they had. Not being good enough for the predator class we’ve shipped this war to every country on earth and killed and robbed as many people as possible all for the predatory class.

            Ask anyone in any country about the US war on drugs and they’ll be hard pressed to sum it up in a single sitting. In Mexico they just look at Americanos and simply say “thousand needles”.

          • Nixon was a liberal “moderate” Republican. No real difference between one of them and a Democrat. But on the other hand, he ended the draft 6 days before I was to be drafted.And honestly, the Obama administration was a million times as lawless as the Nixon administration but they have gotten away with it (so far).

      • Wow.

        I’ve never read that before. It’s amazing!

        Agnew was the Joey Buttafuoco of the Nixon administration, and Hoover was its Caligula. They were brutal, brain-damaged degenerates worse than any hit man out of The Godfather, yet they were the men Richard Nixon trusted most.

        Beautiful. Thanks for linking!

      • Oh shit, that was a great article. Hunter is one of my greatest heroes. I have followed him since about ’70 in Rolling Stone and other places. He and I were doing stuff like Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas concurrently even though I chose different venues and different friends. I almost wrote him once, and probably would have if I could have gotten him a letter and told him to at least give me some credit in the footnotes if he, at a much older age, was going to do the shit I was doing. I have to give it up to Hunter though. He most likely didn’t suffer legally as much as I did…..and that was never in my plans or at least, not in my consciousness since I fairly much had no plans. My plans luckily have mostly been what you might call “generalized” even though when I made specific plans they often worked well even if I was sought after by people who had no good plans for me should they catch up to me. It was their inability to catch me for the most part that kept me cackling probably much like Hunter did or I imagined he did. Those were the days.

  3. I don’t think it bad form at all to celebrate the death of someone you despise.
    If you think they spread harmful ideas, then their death puts an end to that and should be celebrated.
    Often, that’s the only way to get rid of them.

    • Hi Erik,

      I try hard (and it’s not easy) to be respectful of those I disagree with. But when those who disagree with me resort to force (who applies it being immaterial) to get their way, then respect goes down the drain.

      I can abide even a communist, provided he doesn’t insist I become one also (or pay for his communism).

  4. Once auto insurance became the compulsory law of the land then it was necessary for the insurance companies to lobby for mandatory “safety” devices in order to protect their claims windows. If you have an automobile insurance policy ,whether compulsory or voluntary,then you must conform to your auto insurance contract. Its not the “safety devices” that are thrust on us but the collusion between the insurance companies and the state that is to blame.

    • Excellent point, Jerry!

      And the same “wedge” will be used to micromanage our lives via Obamacare. If Trump does not repeal this atrocity, we are destined to have virtually no discretion left as far as what we are allowed to do with “our” lives.

      • Even if we can get the government to back off on some of the safety crap, its likely the insurance mafia would make it continue. In order for relief we have to repeal mandatory car insurance as well.

        That’s why its so hard to make any gains against all this bs. Because its built up, and you have to raze it all, or you get countered. Just removing one thing doesn’t do it, it gets blocked by something else. But its so hard to tear it all down, and thats what the elite get away with it all.

  5. Ditlow died today of complications resulting in injury to the nasal cavity in his face. He was injured in a dog/car accident two years ago when he received the injury due to the inflation of an automotive airbag. Whether that airbag was one of over 7 million defective airbags on an unknown number of brands of cars is not known.

    As an aside, witnesses reported the dog, a pit bull terrier as having said “Naw, I’m fine, I land harder than that every day playing with my springpole.” Later reports had witnesses saying Ditlow had hit a dumpster also as he prowled the streets looking for pit bulls citing his feeling of needing to kill as many as possible. “Lucky” the pit bull Dilton hit later said “Yeah, you know some animals are just dangerous. He needed to be put down so I guess that gives us dogs a two-fer”.

  6. This is shaping up to be a splendid year! First Janet Reno croaks, then Hitlery gets her comeuppance, then Ditzy Ditlow. Now if Obastard would fade away…

  7. But Eric you don’t know you need it until you do. What you think people should wait until they are sick to buy health insurance. You must have had a stroke.

    • Hi Todd,

      Assume you’re being facetious… right? 🙂

      If not, the point is it’s our business as individuals to make the decisions for ourselves. No one else is the boss of me – or you. We are – by right – the boss of our own selves only. 🙂

      • Yes I was just messing with you.

        It would be interesting to see where we would end up if it wasn’t for all the mandates. Just as Mexico just stopped making the 1992 sentra because it gets totally creamed by modern cars. I’m sure we would not all be driving light weight and fuel efficient, cheap cars today.

        Crash testing would go on, it would be made public. The public gets a bad case of the fears and rushes out to buy the safer car. The lack of demand for the cheap car is such that they are no longer offered.

        Would we end up the same place we are even without mandate?

        We already see new cars every few years, they are always bigger, more powerful, that isn’t just a mandate by gov’t, it’s a mandate by consumer.

    • PS: A tenet of Obamacare is precisely that people have a “right” to insurance after the fact. The medical equivalent of demanding to be “covered” for a wreck after you’ve already had it – and for a premium based on your not having wrecked.

      • Medical insurance is really a creature of the way medical system developed in the USA outside of market forces. Basically we have system where life-long care is needed for so many things and then priced absurdly high. So if a person had insurance when it started he could be dropped but still need the care. What is he to do? That the pre-existing condition problem.

        Medical insurance is very different from other forms of insurance. Other insurance forms pay out on losses. Medical insurance pays out on fee for services. This makes them not comparable. I have some ideas how to patch things to move towards a market based system, but it really doesn’t matter if you get medical insurance before or after the condition is discovered because at any point after you can be needing new insurance to cover the high prices. Medical insurance has to move from being a benefit to being actual insurance that covers your total costs when X or Y or Z happens.

        • The only thing that will fix our healthcare system is the thing that can never happen. We need the government to completely get it hands out of it. Entirely, no licensing, not rules, no anything.

          That will never happen though, they never let go of anything.

          • Agreed, Todd.

            I have no issue with, say, a professional organization endorsing people. Kind of like Angie’s List. But why on earth should the government be the Great Decider as far as who gets to work as what (and how)? It’s paternalistic to the nth degree to suppose that people are too dumb to (as an example) stop going to an incompetent mechanic (or a quack doctor) without the Wise Guiding Hand of government.

            On a more everyday level, the current practice of using insurance to pay for everything is ridiculous. This would be obvious to most people if we were talking about cars. Imagine filing an insurance claim for an oil change. Yet people do just exactly that for routine physicals and so on.

            They think it’s “free” (or low cost) because they only see the co-pay. It doesn’t seem to occur to them that this is the reason why they are paying thousands of dollars annually for “coverage.”

            Also, the system encourages palliative medicine. Treat (suppress) symptoms; don’t do anything to remedy the underlying cause of the trouble. Give overweight people hypertension meds. Never tell them to drop weight and eat more reasonably.


            • Eric,

              “without the Wise Guiding Hand of government.”

              How long do you think it will be until this happens? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=csQAmclFLJo

              This is the government educational service calling. Your son has completed the government examination and the results have been analyzed. We regret to inform you your son’s intelligence quotient has exceeded the government standard according to rule 84 section 5 of the health code. You may specify now whether you wish his body interned by the government or would you prefer a private burial?

          • Hi Todd, Eric, et al,

            Without the AMA’s collusion with the feral govt, the market would, indeed did, provide medical care that all people can afford. As my good friend says, once doctors were granted the power of the pen to write prescriptions, freedom of choice in medical care was over. And it’s all of a whole cloth….the medical care monopoly, the insurance monopoly, the war on drugs, the making illegal of effective medicinal substances…the list goes on. Yeah, while as an anarchist, I don’t think highly of the Trumpster, I am reveling in the demise of the Clinton and Bush crime families. Now if La Pen can squeak into the French presidency and the Germans can lose Merkel, 2017 might be a pretty good year.

            BTW, Eric, two questions…have you ordered an Elio? And, is your donations pie chart correctly updated? Folks, if so, more of you need to chip in a few shekels.

            • Hi Giuseppe,


              It’s outrageous (but accepted by most people) that one must go, hat in hand, to a licensed doctor in order to obtain a prescription. Are we children? Why should a free adult be compelled to get permission from another person before he may treat himself, according to his own best judgment?

              Ditto on Trump and the Bush-Clinton syndicate.

              On donations: It has been a terrible month so far. The pie chart is accurate. I am going to have to post something about this (again).

              Honestly, I’m giving thought to a fundraiser day (or two or three) during which the site is closed down until things pick up. It sucks to have to do such things, but it sucks worse to not be able to pay the bills.

              PS: Got yours; thanks, as always! 🙂

              • Morning eric. Lots of Texans go to Mexico for everything medical. They have drugs there not available here that really work for what ails you and not at some ridiculous price. If you know what you need just go to the pharmacia.

                Several years ago I knew a guy who got his foot burned badly by hot tar. He went to the horsepitcal here and it was this and that extending into forever with no real relief. He got in the pickup and drove to Mexico where they treated the foot with something evidently not available here and sent him back with more of it and soon(I know cause I saw it)the scar tissue was healed over and he was working again. It was going to be one of those specialists followed by another and lots of going back for dressing it and looking it over and rehab and all sorts of shit. He didn’t have time. It was well within a couple weeks good enough to supervise his crews and a couple more weeks and he was doing the long hot days himself.

                Another friend needed one of those real rip-off fixes…..dentistry. It was going to be thousands so he went to Laredo and the whole trip cost him about $400 good as new.

        • The other part of the ‘pre-existing condition’ issue is that, due to gunvermin interference, very few people own their own insurance. It is the employer who provides it in most cases, and when employment ends, tough titty.

          • That is part of the development history I mentioned. It became employer provided because of wage caps in the second world war. It’s all government interference going back to 1910. But more government interference is supposed to fix it. Just more of other people’s money. Just enslave us a little bit more for compassion of the poor or some such. It will be fixed this time they tell us.

            It’s just a tool to enslave us to corporate employment at this point. If it wasn’t for obamacare I could simply quit and walk away. They needed this to enslave those of us who lived minimally enough that job loss didn’t matter much.

            • “It’s just a tool to enslave us to corporate employment at this point.”

              Yep, that’s the whole point. The invention of a corporation was to avoid taxes as well as liability. The old saw about corporations leaving the US because of the 35% tax is bs. Even the head of one of the largest corporations in the US(can’t recall his name”admitted it and came clean that there was actually a corporation loophole to avoid taxes.

              Every major oil company is heavily invested in alternate energy just for the added tax exemption. It’s a win/win for them as well as the alternate energy companies who exist only because of tax breaks……and yet the Supremes ruled corporations are the same thing as an individual human. Funny that, I don’t recall a corporation being incarcerated.


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