Trump vs. the Zampolits

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If the Clovers are in a panic, it is probably time to get happy. And they are very panicky, indeed. About (cue Emperor Palpatine voice) a great many things. One of which is the prospect that Darth Trump – as they view him – might actually dial back the regulatory apparat that has given us cars designed by federal bureaucrats who function very much as Soviet-era political officers did – looking over the shoulder of field commanders (engineers, in this case) and second-guessing if not dictating their every move.

Trump may be agreeable to the idea that cars ought to be designed by engineers – responding to the wants and needs of the people who buy them.

Not bureaucrats, not self-appointed “advocates” such as the recently departed Clarence Ditlow.ninnies

Wouldn’t that be something?

We’ve become so used to Washington Motors that it’s almost reflexive to accept that it’s the rightful job of a small gaggle of bureaucrat/political officers in agencies such as the EPA and NHTSA to tell us what features we’ll have in our cars – whether we want ’em or not, need ’em or not.

Which we’re compelled to pay for, too.

Bu why should this be so? By what right do these bureaucrat Zampolits dictate vehicle design parameters?

Especially with regard to “safety.”

What comes out of a car’s tailpipe may cause harm to someone else. If so, then a morally defensible argument can be made that such emissions must be limited or reduced so that they do not cause harm.datsun-ad

But driving a lightweight car without air bags harms no one. At most, the driver – the owner – of the car might suffer injury (or greater injury) if he crashes. But if he does not crash, he isn’t injured and even if he is injured, that is his concern – not a DC Zampolit’s.

Assuming, that is, you reject the nauseating idea that it is the right and proper business of the government to parent grown adults.

Trump appears to grok the quaint American idea (well, it used to be the American idea) that grown-ups have the right, in a free society, to not be led around by the nose by other adults, for their “safety.”

This is sound morality – and economics.

“Safety” – which can be defined by such things as a given car’s ability to protect the occupants in the event of a crash, the crash-avoidance technologies it offers, etc. – is a value. One of the many idiocies purveyed by the DC Zampolits is the idea that people must be forced to buy things of value to them.volvo-ad

Well, what about Volvo?

The company (now in trouble, incidentally; comments as to why follow below) built itself into a global presence on just that.

Safety.

Without forcing people to buy in.

Volvo emphasized big, heavy cars that could handle barrel rolls and kissing oak trees head-on at 40 MPH better than just about anything else on the road. Volvo was the first to offer three-point (lap and shoulder) seat belts, too.

Which people who valued such things freely bought.

It is risible to believe – and this is the bedrock premise of the regulatory Zampolits – that absent the state’s forcing them to, people would not buy cars like Volvos or seat belts.

They inarguable fact is, they did.regulation-images

The problem – the thing the Zampolits do not want discussed – is that not everyone values things equally. Some people value other things more. Like lower cost, or lighter weight or higher fuel efficiency.

Why is this – free choice, freely expressed – verboten?

Back when we still had a mostly market-driven car business, you could choose to buy a Volvo 240… or a VW Beetle or Datsun B210. The Volvo was a tank and so exceptionally “safe” in terms of its ability to protect the occupants from injury in the event of a crash.

The Beetle and B210 and cars like them were smaller and lighter – and if you wrecked, you’d probably not be as likely to walk away from it uninjured as would have been the case if you’d been driving the slab-sided Volvo. But in exchange for that greater potential risk, you enjoyed the actual benefit  – to you, as defined by you – of a lighter, more fuel-efficient and more fun to drive car.

You had the choice – and so did everyone else.

This is intolerable to the Zampolits.

They insist everyone drive a (de facto) Volvo. That no one be allowed (consider the effrontery) to drive something not “safe” – as they define it. Thus, all new cars are Volvos. Federal regulations have made them so. There is no longer the option to choose a not-Volvo, something that emphasizes other values.

Which is why Volvo is struggling now, incidentally. When every car company is forced to sell “safety,” it is no longer much of a selling point. Porsche would be having a hard time, too, if the federal Zampolits upchucked mandates that decreed every new car be capable of accelerating from zero to 60 in less than 5 seconds.

Maybe they ought to – at least we’d have some fun, then.

In addition to being tyrants, the Zampolits are also killjoys – but that’s another rant.

Getting back to Trump.trump-pic

He ought to call a press conference and announce that, henceforth, it will no longer be the role of federal Zampolits to decree vehicle “safety” standards. This will not mean the green light for the car companies to build defective cars; that would be causing harm and causing harm is the sole legitimate reason for the government to weigh in.

It will simply mean that – as it once was – buyers (market demand) will determine how cars are designed, the features they offer. Engineers will design accordingly. Some cars will emphasize their superior crashworthiness, or technology that makes a crash less likely. Those buyers who value such things highly will be able to vote with their dollars, accordingly.

But other people – who value different things – will no longer be “nudged” (another exceptionally obnoxious term favored by Zampolits) to the Zampolits’ way of thinking. Car companies would be free once more to cater to the needs and wants of everyone – not just the Zampolits.

Think about it. Why – in a free country – should you be prohibited from buying a basic, $6,000 car not equipped with air bags, or other such, but which meets your needs for low-cost, A to B transportation?  Such cars are not hypothetical. They are available. The Renault Kwid, for example. kwid

Just not here. Because the Zampolits disapprove.

Well, screw them. It is none of their business what other people choose to buy or drive, provided what they buy and drive doesn’t hurt someone else.

Trump got elected because millions of people are dying for someone to tell the Zampolits to go to hell.

Or at least, go away.

If he delivers, he’ll go far.

And more important, we will too.

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53 COMMENTS

  1. Wouldn’t it be cool if Mr. Trump shuts down idiotic electric car subsidies(tax credits) and carbon credits and all of that BS? Imagine if Musky had to sell his “cars” with no subsidies?! He’d be out of business in a week!

    • Hi Nunzio,

      I agree… and (no bull!) I may get word to him. I have friends in low places. Some of them close to Il Duce.

      If it would help kick Musk in the nuts, I would rouse myself from the bunker and make the trek to DC to meet Our New Leader and try to sway him.

      Plus, I’d just like to meet the guy, to be honest.

      At least he’s interesting.

      • Awesome, on all points, Eric!

        If nothing else, maybe just his “energy independence” leanings will keep the price of gas low (As in: The A-rabs know we’re not as reliant on them, so they keep it low) and thus, electric cars having no real economic benefits, will dry up, subsidies or not.

        We think alike. Mr. Trump is the only prez of my lifetime I would actually care about meeting. At least he’s “real”. I can actually even stand to listen to his speeches, because they’re not some canned mumbo-jumbo written by a team of speech-writers, to be all things to all people- but instead, the man has the guts to speak his own words.

        I wouldn’t have pissed on Obama or Bush or Clinton or the other Bush if they were on fire!

        • I am awaiting the imminent death of that evil scion of the crime syndicate whose fingerprints are on everything despicable and nasty that’s occurred in this country since the ’30s, at least.

          I will hoist a glass, make a toast.

          • I have heard stories that Trump is good about answering his personal cell phone (one that the secret service wants him to give up and maybe has now gotten away from him). Even to the point of returning calls from numbers he doesn’t recognize. So if one of those people can supply you with the phone number to that phone, that maybe will your chance to at least talk with him.

  2. Volvo cars are all Geely out of China since 2010. They bought the business from Ford.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geely#Passenger_cars
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Volvo_Cars

    Volvo is Mack Truck, buses, heavy equipment…
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Volvo

    and is a Swedish multinational manufacturing company headquartered in Gothenburg.

    While its core activity is the production, distribution and sale of trucks, buses and construction equipment, Volvo also supplies marine and industrial drive systems and financial services.

    Although the two firms are still often conflated, Volvo Cars, also based in Gothenburg, has been a totally separate company since it was sold to the Ford Motor Company in 1999.

      • Since this article is about Trump I thought a good topper for it would be today’s article by Jon Rappaport. He makes me ready to give everything I own to have been there and seen it first hand when he took the press to task. Here’s what Jon had to say.

        Trump destroys media stars face to face in his golden tower

        by Jon Rappoport

        It was instant legend.

        Trump met yesterday with the rancid cream of media in his golden tower. They were there thinking it was all about creating a structure for access to the next president. Little did they know.

        Charlie Rose was there. Wolf Blitzer. Jeff Zucker, head of CNN. Martha “I weep for Hillary” Raddatz. Gayle King. Lester “the weasel-king of interrupters” Holt. Chuck Todd. George “property of the Clintons” Stephanopoulos.

        Fake, fake, fake, fake, fake.

        The whole gang.

        The NY Post has the story:

        “It was like a f-ing firing squad,” one source said of the encounter.

        “Trump started with [CNN chief] Jeff Zucker and said ‘I hate your network, everyone at CNN is a liar and you should be ashamed,’ ” the source said.

        “The meeting was a total disaster. The TV execs and anchors went in there thinking they would be discussing the access they would get to the Trump administration, but instead they got a Trump-style dressing down,” the source added.

        “Trump kept saying, ‘We’re in a room of liars, the deceitful dishonest media who got it all wrong.’ He addressed everyone in the room calling the media dishonest, deceitful liars. He called out Jeff Zucker by name and said everyone at CNN was a liar, and CNN was [a] network of liars,” the source said.

        “…he referred to a horrible network correspondent who cried when Hillary lost who [also] hosted a [presidential] debate – which was Martha Raddatz who was also in the room.”

        So…You can hate Trump, but if you can’t find joy in this story, you’re in need of a blood transfusion.

        Way back at the beginning of the presidential campaign, I said that if Trump does nothing but run against the media he’ll be doing the country a great service, because they’re all snakes and cover-up artists and liars and they’ve been hypnotizing the population for as long as they’ve been around. Trump went on to exceed my expectations in that regard.

        If you can’t stand Trump, you can fantasize about some other theoretical president who might have carried off his attacks on fake news as well, and with the same effect, but this is the man who did it. And yesterday was a landmark event in history.

        Understand that these grifters—because that’s what they are—believe they own the news and the truth, even as they’re making it up by the ton. They and their masters—six companies that control 90% of big media—dispense fake reality to the populace 24/7. And now…

        They’re lost inside their own bubble. They’ve never felt this kind of fury from a president. They don’t know what to do.

        They’ve got money, they’ve got arrogance, and they’ve got the airwaves, and it’s not enough.

        Of course they’re outraged, and of course they’ll continue doing whatever they can to undermine Trump, but they know he couldn’t care less that they’re deeply, deeply offended. Their little trick—“how dare you insult us”—won’t work. In fact, it’ll make things worse for them. Not long ago, one survey placed the public’s trust in media at 6%, which is about on the same level as the trust in public bathrooms in scuzzy bars by the railroad tracks next to mining camps in the 19th century.

        These media honkers can stand in front of their mirrors and keep combing their hair and they can bring in new make-up people, and adjust the studio lighting and build new desks, and they can laugh and smile at cocktail parties and pretend they’re still in the ascendance, but they’re rapidly turning into laughingstocks, and the derision keeps building. If you feel sorry for them, your sympathy is grossly misplaced.

        The final straw here is Steve Bannon, Trump’s new chief strategist and special counselor. The editor of Breitbart, Bannon recently stated in an interview: “The media bubble is the ultimate symbol of what’s wrong with this country. It’s just a circle of people talking to themselves who have no f-ing idea what’s going on. If The New York Times didn’t exist, CNN and MSNBC would be a test pattern. The Huffington Post and everything else is predicated on The New York Times. It’s a closed circle of information from which Hillary Clinton got all her information – and her confidence. That was our opening.”

        Trump is carrying out a sustained war against big media. He hasn’t stopped. There is no sign he will stop. He knows, and Bannon knows, that the public is fed up with mainstream media.

        The unchallenged authority of The News has been cracked like an egg.

        Yesterday, Trump doubled and tripled down.

        Wake up and smell the singed hair and the sagging plastic surgery. The media stars are fading in their fake sky.

        • I think I might get along with Trump … at least insofar as being simpatico with regard to EPA/NHTSA regulatory Stalinism. He could appoint me NHTSA head… for the 10 minutes it would take to call a press conference announcing its dismantling. “Safety” being no business of anyone’s except the individual people involved.

          • It would take more than ten minutes to dismantle it. For five decades plus the government has been controlling many engineering and design standards. They would have to be passed as they presently exist back into the hands of SAE or some other body.

            The voluntary world has many standards to follow, it’s just that the boobus doesn’t understand that. They think without government there is nothing.

            Once back into private hands the standards could then evolve to allow for realistic market choices. However the damage done may be irreversible. There may no longer be a big enough market for anything but what we have now.

            • Hi Brent,

              I wonder…

              Anecdotally, I find a lot of sympathy for the views expressed here. If my circle is any indication at all, people are growing weary of the hassle and expense of many things, especially cars. Particularly trucks. Every single one of my many “in the woods” country friends wants a truck like they used make them circa mid-late ’80s-through the mid-1990s.

              They don’t want an LCD touchscreen and six air bags and a twin-turbo direct-injected V6 … and a $40,000 sticker.

              They want a TBI 350 and manual roll-up windows…. and a $25k sticker.

              Like you, I believe the core thing driving this is debt.

              If people returned to living within their means – which includes not financing a $50,000 vehicle when you don’t make $50,000 a year – things would get sane in a hurry.

              • eric, I’ve been looking for weeks on Craig’s list for 90’s GM pickups. Just about any model, even regular cabs which have zero following here are going for at least $3500 and many twice that. It seems that truck people have caught on.

                To make matters worse, any used truck of any make is bringing top price. I can see how people would end up buying a new one. I’ve seen ’98 Dodge ext. cabs advertised at $15000, crazy.

          • I was starting to like Trump more than any politician I can think of (except for Ron Paul)….thinking that he might really give us a few years of respite from all of the craziness. Then I hear that he now says he won’t be prosecuting Hitlery! And he hasn’t even been inaugurated yet. By the time Jan. 20th rolls around, I wonder if he won’t have re-negged on ALL of his campaign promises? What’s next, no new 9/11 investigation?

            He’s starting to remind me of Reagan. Reagan said a lot of wonderful things, but they were just words. His actions were the opposite of his words, and we emerged 8 years later with the size and scope of gov’t having been increased second only to FDR’s admin.

            I guess we’re going to be reamed yet again. The US needs to break up. It’s sad that the best we can hope for is that a new pres will undo some of the evils created by previous admins, and not inflict too many more of their own.

            People keep wanting to believe that if they just elect a champion, not realizing that it’s the position/government itself which creates the problems and keeps them alive.

      • I like Volvos when they were Volvos.

        Cars like the 740 were big ugly tanks and gave people who wanted to go slowly (safely) the option. I have no problem with that. But I hate that every car is now a Volvo… and Volvos have become indistinguishable from everything else.

        • Eric, more and more, everything’s becoming the same. Cars all look alike; buses all look alike; government schools all look alike…. The young people around the country are even losing their regional accents. This what happens when we have a highly regimented centralized society/government/media/mis-education system.

          The ironic thing is, I’m a safety-conscious person, but my method of ensuring my safety is to drive 8,000 lb. vehicles which get horrible MPGs. Wonder how long before they’ll take THAT away from me? “Safety” or “being green” etc. only matters when they can inflict a new tax, regulation or mechanism of control upon us….. I could ride a motorcycle, on which I’d be 42 times more likely to die than in a car…but I can’t drive a car without a seatbelt? (We’d better ixnay the otorcyclemay talk, before they take that away, too!)WTF???!!!!!

        • I’ve been watching-again the old Nero Wolfe series on DVD. Those cars of the late ’50s were all “tank size” compared to the cookie-cutter things we drive now. But, my, with few exceptions they were gorgeous! And when I see just a little bit of a Cadillac, a Mercury, or a Chevy, I know exactly what it is. They went all-out on that series to fill it with automotive eye-candy. (Mine from that era was a ’54 Studebaker Commander Starlight Coupe.)

  3. In FL. it’s already illegal to live off of the grid. It’s perfectly legal to be a parasite with 8 kids and no husband and no income, and to have the taxpayers pay your electric (and all other) bills….but to be independent of the state is a grievous error which they will not tolerate!

    Hey, I got me some land (not in FL) and a Jim Rockford trailer. Still on the grid, ’cause electric is dirt-cheap here, but I hope to break free in the future. The bigger issue for me is the driver’s license. That and the utilities are my only ties to the state. If I could only do without the driver’s lic.! Really- the trucks, with the driver’s lic. and insurance and registration and taxes are the biggies. If it weren’t for that, even with the grid electricity and all, I’d be about as free as a person can be on this earth- at least so long as i stay on “my own” property which the government so kindly allows me to occupy as long as I pay them “taxes” so they can dumb-down my neighbors kids in their indoctrination centers.

  4. Don’t get your hopes up, Eric. Trump recently had a big meeting with Mittens Romney- must be considering that prick for some position- ya know, the guy who was governor of Taxachussetts- the east-coast version of California, where they give free cars to welfare recipients, and you have to pay the local Nazis $750 just for a permit to have your water heater changed when it breaks (for which you’ll pay a plumber there several hundred dollars per hour) and where they had their own ObozoCare before anyone even heard of Obozo.

    Yeah, drain the swamp. More like drain the water and keep the scum.

    • Awww, geez, now he’s gonna meet with Prick Perry….. It’s gonna be the Bush admin. all over again….. And now, as expected, all the conservatives have gone back to sleep ’cause their guy won. You can’t even so much as express a doubt about The Donald, without them calling you a Hitlery supporter….they don’t want to hear it; they put their faith in someone, and that’s it- they can do no wrong.

      Ah well…better than Hitlery, anyway.

      • Nunzio, I’ve read Jim Quinn for nearly two decades. He’s been right more times in a single article than I have been for most of my life. Here’s something to consider. We may be approaching the moment that years ago a group of us discussed and how prepared we might be. I thought my cousin summed it up best for most of us old farts when he said he was already stocked up……with a 1.75L of good Scotch and a single .357 round.

        https://www.theburningplatform.com/2016/11/19/grey-champion-assumes-command-part-one/

        • I’d say Part 2 of that article pretty much covers it. Except perhaps for “red territory”. It’s not quite that simple anymore. Red territory is only only some of the farms and land between the towns and cities. Pretty much everyone in even the small towns and smallest cities these days is Blue- and a good third of ’em or more get their sustenance from Onkle; and a good deal of the land between the towns and cities is Blue too. They may talk a little more Red than the douches in NYC or SF, but they’re getting the farm sudsidies; sending their kids to the liberal college in the city; getting disability and medicaid for cousin Zeke, who ain’t quite right; and a subsidy for them foster children who the state gave to them……

          Funny, my middle-aged neighbor, when his factory job went away, went to tirade,…err…trade school for 2 years to keep him off the official unemployment list, to learn a trade that most people learn on the job or in a few months at a private trade school, and even he was thinking for a while, that Obozo wasn’t too bad – It’s funny how those propaganda-meisters work, when they can even do their thing on a middle-aged life-long Red, eh? (Thankfully, shortly after graduating from the small-town college, my neighbor regained his sanity).

          But my point is, I don’t think it’s gonna be so cut and dry. For probably the first time in history, we’re not dealing with people who are fighting for intellectual/philosophical/religious ideals, but rather, most of ’em will simply be fighting for money/benefits/promises. Truly, as Eric said “The Free Shit Armu”.

          • Maybe it’s time for that plague/apocalypse scenario. If we ever have a shooting war in this country it will closely resemble something like that.

            We watched 24 Hours Later last night. Those Brit films never fail to remind me of their mindset. Their weapons were cricket bats and knives. Went through nearly the whole movie without a shot being fired till some survivors managed to find the “authorities” who turned out to be a platoon of soldiers they eventually had to kill to retreat and survive again. Of course jet fighters streaking through the air were their saviors. I suppose when you think everybody’s a zombie a jet aircraft does give you hope. I was amazed they didn’t get strafed when they set out their HELLO(seems like a dumb thing, why not SOS?)sign on the ground. Maybe Brits aren’t up on SOS……although it would be the best thing they had ever eaten if they had some. Damn, got hungry just thinking of SOS.

            • I don’t think anybody younger than 40 knows SOS anymore. Today, they’d probably put out a sign that says “SMH”.Then, after the rescue planes crash into each other, they coukld change it to LOL.

  5. Don’t forget the insurance mafia. “We won’t insure that car because it doesn’t meet OUR standards” (which just so happen to dovetail with the Ditlows of the world). Since you can’t get insurance you can’t get an ear tag which means it ain’t goin’ on the road which means it’s a paperweight.

    These parasites will not go away willingly.

    • Hi Mark,

      Not willingly, I agree.

      But that doesn’t mean they can’t be made to go away.

      The authoritarians have succeeded in part by using a distorted morality against us. You don’t want to help the children? Are opposed to clean air and safety?

      Let’s turn it back around on ’em.

      Hey, dickhead: What gives you the right to dictate whether my car has air bags? Do you think you own my person? Did you buy the car? If my “safety” is your concern – enforceable at gunpoint- then perhaps your waistline and bedroom activities and many other such things are my concerns – also enforceable at gunpoint?

    • Considering that the insurance industry insures all kinds of not so safe things, i.e. motorcycles, and if there is a buck to be made, I suspect that it would not be such an issue.

  6. The problem is that Trump just believes in other regulations. And now one of his people is talking FDR like projects and doings. Arg.

    I’ve thought about Volvo before this way. They lost their market niche. Now that all the cars were forced to be Volvo-like there’s little point to buying a Volvo. Their margin of better safety got smaller and smaller and smaller. Now it’s sometimes better to force one’s competition to do what you do if you can do it cheaper but Volvo couldn’t do safety cheaper. It developed safety and marketed it as a reason why their cars were worth spending more for.

    • More than safety (much more, in fact) as a selling point was Volvo’s “life expectancy of a Swede” commercials which touted the durability of a Volvo. Volvo’s Million Miles policy was in effect for a long time. Volvos were consistently staying on the road for 300k miles in an era when Detroit cars were routinely going to the crusher at 80k miles.

    • Part of the problem too is that Volvos have always been very expensive to maintain- even a simple thing like a fuel filter will cost you 3 or 4 times more for a Vulva than for a “regular” car. Add to that their nasty reputation over the last two decades for bad transmissions and other problems (you do not want t5o drive an aging Volvo these days!) and they really have nothing left to offer……

    • Now why do you think all that “transgender” bathrooms BS went down the way it did? More than any other factor, it was the federal government poking every American in the chest and saying, “Now hear This: there is literally nowhere we will not go, nothing with which we will not interfere, and nothing you can do about it. We will dictate anything and everything we want to.`

      • Hi Brother John,

        Yes, indeed.

        If people understood – and respected – property rights, this would be a non-issue.

        A person wishes to use my bathroom – whether in my home or my restaurant – it’s according to my rules. If you disagree with my rules, you are free to not use my bathroom. And free to either use your own or another whose owner’s rules are more to your liking.

        • Turns out, it’s not our uncle regulating things like pasta shapes. But the EU does! It has plenty of regulation on food that doesn’t need regulating.

          • Hey, in the EU, they even regulate the max volume on MP3 players. Wouldn’t want some poor unfortunate making themself deaf from listening to music that was too loud (according to the latest studies, of course). Most MP3 players aren’t very loud to begin with…but if you come across one with the required EU software running, you’d be amazed how feeble it is.

            Talk about regulating every aspect of life. Give it a year or two, I’m sure we’ll have the same here, too -‘specially now that we have pooblik healthcare…..

            • Plug in headphones on my phone and it automatically lowers the volume to a “safe” level. It’s fine there for the most part but when my tinnitus is way up there I sometimes feel the need for a 3 phase amplifier.

  7. But Eric, you’re delusional. For some reason you think that you own your own body. Sorry, but for 5 months out of the year your ass belongs to the IRS. And a major chunk of the rest of your year belongs to the health destruction industry, the banks, (in your case) the ex, and Social Security recipients. They all need you productive and contributing to their well being. If you somehow end up in an accident (and remember, most drivers aren’t expert -or even competent- drivers), you won’t be producing for the herd.

    This is the great failure of the income tax. It was the gateway drug for going after the productive output and transferring it to the unproductive.

      • eric, to disappear you’d need to find a rancher with a well off in a pasture and pay the meter bill in his name. Even at that, the State Poleez would come sniffin around. They used to drive vehicles with Texas Parks and Wildlife but recently they’ve been changed to State Poleez and some have both. That’s to make them more ominous I guess. In your case it might not have Texas on it but would be the same thing in essence.

        • What is terrifying for the powers that be is that as side effect of their green energy scam is that it might become affordable (probably not economical) to go off the grid. That means for the people who value independent living to pay the premium it would be within reason. It won’t be just for fanatics any more because a few or several thousand dollars for independence and privacy would be worth it.

          There have already been cases where people have been harassed by government for going off the grid. This will be on the increase.

          • Hi Brent,

            I’ve been piddling with this – off-grid living. My approach has been a kind of gradualism. I use not much grid electricity and continue to try to winnow that down by (as examples) not running AC in summer and heating with wood (I fell/chop) in winter. If I could get enough juice via panels or wind turbines or such to reliably run the lights and power the computer and the fridge and well pump, I could be effectively free of the grid. Not make any announcements about it, leave the service on – so as to not arouse attention. But I’m supposing a near-nil bill would be possible.

            • eric, I’ve been doing off-grid stuff all day. Washed a bunch of bed clothes. Didn’t get em near a dryer. I expect some day for some badged bureaucrat to come inspect my clothesline and install a meter on it. You just thought that sun and wind was free. Of course you have to pay for the meter that has a load gauge on the wires, a “sun-o-meter” and an anemometer as well as a spectrometer for determining light from dark clothes.

              We considered, with our plethora of cats, to use cat power for a buggy. It gets pretty buggy trying to figure out which ones to be adjacent to each other. It would never work without Cholley Jack running herd on them though. He stops cat fights toot sweet. Even the big 14 pounders act like they’ve been pissed on when he wades in. I wish I had a video of it. Two really bad-ass cats having it out and “he” jumps in. They both look really insulted. We haven’t found any cats that want to keep fighting when he runs in and stomps through. He stops right between them and whips his head from side to side staring at them. It’s all over but the crying at that point. He double-dog dares em to start again.

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