The Clover Who Squealed

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Late last week, it was revealed who squealed.

The Clover responsible for making it impossible for any of us to buy a diesel-powered Volkswagen henceforth – and a lot more – is Stuart Johnson, the former head of VW’s Engineering and Environmental Office in Auburn Hills, Michigan. He was outed in a book written about the VW “cheating” business by New York Times reporter Jack Ewing.

Johnson, of course, is about to get everything short of a ticker-tape parade. A bust of him will likely be cast and placed in the Hall of Mirrors – or whatever the equivalent is in the foyer of the EPA. He is already being lionized in the Usual Corners as a “hero” (that term, along with “community,” has worn out its welcome and ought to be etymologically euthanized).

You’d think he did something good. I suppose this depends on your perspective.

If you are a government bureaucrat then Johnson is your kind of guy. The sort who is pained by the idea of any action contrary to regulation or edict. Who feels guilty when – as here – a business attempts to get around a ridiculous edict or absurd regulation.

Which are never perceived as ridiculous or absurd by people like Johnson because they come from the government, are “the law” and therefore must not merely obeyed but reverenced. Visualize the ritual triple curtsey before The Presence of the king. . . .

Such people are the new people in American business, popped out of their molds after 12 years in care of government molding centers, then sent – the smarter ones – for higher technical training. But never training in how to think conceptually, beyond the narrow range of their specialty, such as engineering. And then off to work either for the government or on its behalf in the increasingly not-private sector of the economy. Which has become – operationally speaking – a kind of adjunct or subsidiary operation of the government.

They are fully compliant – not just in letter, but in mind.

Goodthinkful.

Consider this Johnson character. Being an engineer, he had to know that the “cheating” performed by VW was fundamentally the same thing as using a radar detector to avoid a speed trap. Just as the “speeding” driver causes no harm and is only guilty of using a device to dodge a con, so also VW’s only crime was to use a device – software – to dodge another con.

Of course, Johnson is probably the kind of guy who objects to the use of radar detectors.

Remember the children’s story about the Emperor’s New Clothes – which didn’t exist? The Emperor was a fool, suckered by a con man, who sold him a fine new outfit made of materials that no one could see but everyone pretended to – out of fear of affronting the duped Emperor.   

Same thing here.

The media, most of the automotive press (except your humble off-the-reservation narrator) and of course the EPA/CARB/DOJ ayatollahs ululating in ecstasy over Johnson’s squealing  . . . have any of them produced anything that can be seen, felt, handled as far as demonstrating or even tending to suggest some tangible, actual harm caused by VW’s “cheating”?

Thousands of “noncompliant” VWs waiting to be destroyed

That is, other than harm caused by the alphabet agencies to VW – and to us?

That can be quantified.

Multiple felony indictments, $25 billion – so far – in fines, “fixes” and buybacks. Hundreds of thousands of near-new and actually new perfectly good cars simply thrown away in a disgusting orgy of gratuitous waste.

The complete elimination of all diesel-powered engines from VW’s U.S. model lineup.

The needless burning of oceans of gasoline instead.

VWs like the Golf and Beetle and Jetta sedan with the TDI diesel engine were capable of better than 50 MPG on the highway. I have driven all of them and know it from first-hand experience.

The best any of them can do with a gas-burning engine is mid-high 30s.

Instead of incredibly fuel-efficient but fraction of a percent per car higher oxides of nitrogen emissions (the “cheating” at issue – and this only under certain conditions, such as wide-open throttle) clean diesel engines, we get thirsty gas engines that burn 20 percent – whole numbers! – more fuel and produce whole numbers more of things like carbon dioxide, which in this case, the “environmentalists” are strikingly not “concerned” about.

Other manufacturers – Mercedes-Benz, for instance – are pulling diesels out of their lineups, not because they “cheated” but because the compliance costs have become prohibitive and also because the manufactured stink emanating from the VW Thing has tainted diesel engines generally.

We ought to feel cheated.

But few care – and many cheer. One can almost picture the Party orator at the lectern, fist raised, shrieking about the atrocities committed by Goldstein. It will come to that, soon enough. Because the people in the crowd were popped out of the same mold as Johnson.

They, too, are fully compliant.   

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56 COMMENTS

  1. The beauty of being in Thailand is the availability of nice diesel pickups everywhere. Quiet and clean burning… and no DEF to deal with either. Who-da thunk it!

    • Hi Inner,

      Ironic, isn’t it? That with all the “freedom” we supposedly have in the Homeland, you can’t buy the diesel-powered vehicles commonly available almost everywhere else…

      • Dear Eric,

        Just after you commented, I found this in my inbox:

        “This is, in theory, still a free country, but our politically correct, censorious times are such that many of us tremble to give vent to perfectly acceptable views for fear of condemnation. Freedom of speech is thereby imperiled, big questions go undebated, and great lies become accepted, unequivocally as great truths.” — Simon Heffer Source: Daily Mail, 7 June 2000

        “One of the shrewdest ways for human predators to conquer their stronger victims is to steadily convince them with propaganda that they’re still free.” – N.A. Scott American author, intellectual, anti-totalitarian figure.

  2. As with most subjects about which you write, you have an interesting perspective on this, Eric. I had never thought about it being so trivial, but I think you are right. It’s a shame that we are going to be deprived of these fine vehicles because of the clout of faceless bureaucrats.

  3. I just had my unmodified 2015 VW Passat TDI in for a 30,000 mile service at the dealer. Declined the engine control “fix” but had the required state emissions test done for registration renewal since I live in one of the northern Virginia counties in the Washington, DC suburbs. The car passed with no problems but the test report had “N/A” where I would expect numbers. The VA Dept. of Environmental Quaility website states this is normal, without explanation. The site also states:

    “1997 and newer diesel vehicles with a manufacturer’s designated gross vehicle weight rating of 8,500 pounds or less will receive the on-board diagnostic computer system test. Diesel vehicles will not receive the tailpipe test, visual component inspection, or the visible smoke inspection.”

    In other words, there is no “test” of the emissions, just a “test” that the computer says everything is OK. My “dirty” diesel car must not be that much of a problem. Unfortunately, I’ll probably take the VW buyback because it makes economic sense and because of VW’s craven behavior to the various governments that came after it. This is a colossal waste of human and economic capital.

  4. I just like the term “Little Stalin”…..it just conveys the meanig better than “clover”. …yes I realise the term clover has been around for long time, but I challenge you to just do a word search for “clover” and replace it with “Little Stalin”— then reread it. I’ll bet you’ll enjoy it more. Go ahead, just try it. And please use it if you like it.

    • No thanks, Treg – Clover is what I’m sticking with.

      “Little Stalin” doesn’t have that ring to it, first of all. And it doesn’t convey the infantilism of – yes – Clovers. They are for the most part small-minded little busybodies who would shy away from violence themselves.

      Clover is just the right term for them.

    • While the name ‘clover’ was chosen from the resident troll it encompasses many traits including those of the character ‘Clover’ in “Animal Farm”. I think maybe that’s why it works. Because this character believed what what authority told her and that authority will improve her lot. Also the repetition of what they (Boxer and Clover) were told to think to others.

      • Clover is a female horse who is Boxer’s close friend. She symbolizes the women of the Revolution. She is a motherly figure who is caring and provides comfort to the other animals. She is a firm believer in Napoleon, but is sometimes suspicious.

        Clover is described as being a bit dumpy, having never gotten her figure back after her fourth foal. She is a cart horse, not a sleek pretty horse like Mollie.

        As Clover looked down the hillside her eyes filled with tears. If she could have spoken her thoughts; it would have been to say that this was not what they had aimed at when they had set themselves years ago to work for the overthrow of the human race.

        These scenes of terror and slaughter were not what they had looked forward to on that night when old Major first stirred them to rebellion.

        Clover, thought she remembered a definite ruling against beds, and went to the end of the barn and tried to puzzle out the Seven Commandments which were inscribed there. Finding herself unable to read more than individual letters, she fetched Muriel…

        “Muriel,” she said, “read me the Fourth Commandment. Does it not say something about never sleeping in a bed?”

        With some difficulty Muriel spelt it out… “It says, ‘No animal shall sleep in a bed with sheets,”‘ she announced finally.

    • There are certain “human beings”, which are really just tiny Little Stalins, just ready to take charge and ram down their opinion upon you. These Little Stalins are sprinkled out over corporate America, especially in the mainstream media and Hollywood. Little Stalins are found clustered in places like your local county and city governments. But without question the greatest infestation of Little Stalins are to be found in and around Washington DC.
      Yes, Little Stalins are instinctive authoritarians. They can be found on the political left and the political right and everywhere in between. They do not believe in live and let live. They believe in telling others how to live.
      Little Stalins can’t abide the organic society, voluntary interaction or free exchange. The are driven to control and regulate and micromanage.
      Little Stalins think individual dictators are bad but the dictatorship of the “majority” is acceptable.
      Morality for a Little Stalins is a function of numbers.
      You are not free to disagree with a Little Stalins .
      Little Stalins equate legal and illegal with right and wrong. If an action is legal than it it is morally right. And if an action is illegal then it is morally wrong.
      Little Stalins believe the state can be a “victim” and that the greatest sin is to affront the authority of the state.
      Little Stalins always have “plans” and speak in terms of “we.”
      Little Stalins reflexively presume the right to speak for you.
      A Little Stalins will speak of “our children” when he really means your children.
      Little Stalins believe that their feelings about what “someone” might do justifies punishing people who haven’t actually done anything to anyone.
      Little Stalins believe that you are guilty until you prove yourself innocent.
      Little Stalins believe the ends always justifies the means.
      Little Stalins believe “there ought to be a law” whenever they see other people doing something they happen not to like. Or aren’t doing something they believe other people ought to do.
      Little Stalins think it’s ok to take your money if it’s called “taxes.”
      They like to “help” others… with other people’s money.
      Little Stalins think people are too irresponsible and foolish to be trusted to govern themselves – but put limitless trust in people with special titles and costumes such as “officer” and “senator” and “president.”
      Little Stalins measure everything according to their standards – which must then be imposed on others. If Little Stalins thinks 80 MPH is “too fast” then driving 80 MPH must be made a punishable offense.
      Little Stalins suffer from a Parent Complex. They insist other adults be compelled to “buckle up” for “safety.”
      Little Stalins are also terrible drivers. Read more about road-going Little Stalins s here. Also here and here.
      Most rank-and-file Little Stalins are, at bottom, bullies and busybodies – but also cowards who hide behind euphemisms (see above regarding “taxes”) and proxies like the ballot box. They are not bold enough to actually take other people’s things themselves and shy away from telling other people what to do – such as personally telling their neighbor to “buckle up for safety” – but are eager to vote to have others perform this work on their behalf.
      Little Stalins are generally only dangerous in herds, but out of that heard, you can be sure there is one real Stalin is just waiting to rise up when the situation presents itself to seize power.

      • Treg, no shitski. BTDT, BT SEEN that so many times I’m nauseas. Had a 22 year old try to teach me trucking 3 years ago, 50 years after I’d started hauling freight he didn’t know existed.

      • Dear Treg,

        Amazing isn’t it how people can lie to themselves. They know perfectly well that brute force coercion is just flat out wrong. But they are able to lie to themselves about it as long as they camouflage it and dress it up.

        Free and fair elections. Consent of the governed. The Social Contract. Constitutions. Legal mumbo jumbo in Latin. White Marble government buildings with Roman Slogans carved into the facades. Titles such as Mr. President. First Lady. Senator. Congressman. Special blue costumes for the mob “soldiers”.

        All bullshit. None of it with a single iota of legitimacy, because the entire rotten structure depends on brute force coercion, and is built on a moral foundation of sand.

  5. If a bust of this clover’s head is made, I’ll be the one to take the sledge-hammer to it and bust the head of the goober.

    Those clover-weenies still believe that anything that says “Diesel” will belch out extreme quantities of black sooty exhaust that smells of fresh sulfur. Especially since this got them off their one-legged diatribe against carbon dioxide.

    Next time I drive through their tent compound, I want to be in a (Kenworth) T-800.

    • Don’t forget to cover the step plate in front of the 5th wheel with as many fired-up diesel smudge pots as you can. 🙂

  6. Government is nothing but weaponized busybodies.

    Woe unto anyone who does not heed strict obedience to the “righteousness” of those who know what is best for everyone else.

  7. I would love to see a hard numbers environmental impact study of production and use of this car vs. its big competitors including the Prius. The real emissions numbers at 0, 50000, 100000, 200000 and for this car 300000 plus miles potentially. I imagine this car will be by far the least polluter. I personally don’t have the skills required to do this.

    • big, that reminds me of a guy who has an old 6.5 Turbo Diesel Chevy with over 900,000 miles. What was the environmental impact of the new pickup made for him every 3 years or so…..that he didn’t buy. The environment clovers don’t want this example to even exist much less be investigated.

      This is a great article by Walter Williams on the environmental fraud. Back in my day it was global cooling and in 30 years no crops could be grown, we’d all freeze and starve to death. Then we’d starve to death due to the Population Bomb which was pushed hard at TTU when I was there.

      Anyway, it all turned out to be bullshit so global warming became the mantra and after NASA was caught fudging temps for decades to further this crap it overnight became “climate change”…..as if the fuckin climate didn’t and hasn’t always been changing…..only now we blame it on humans. Don’t know who the Neanderthal’s blamed it on. They probably had no fall guy or blamed it on mastodons like present day SJW’s blame cattle. “Do you know how many people could be fed instead of one cow?” I don’t, and don’t care since I don’t eat grass and tree leaves and have been through many BBQ pits and smokers since I was a tween and took over not over-cooking the steaks my mother ruined.

      http://straightlinelogic.com/2017/04/26/environmentalists-are-dead-wrong-by-walter-e-williams/

      • exactly… and how about the Kalifornia highway fruit check stations that force millions of vehicles going 65 mile per hour to come to a complete stop (insert illegal search here) and then accelerate back to 65 all in the name of environmentalism. How many gallons of fuel wasted? Logic is simple and apparently simple to ignore.

        If only there was a word to define such behavior?? hmm

      • Dear 8,

        it overnight became “climate change”…..as if the fuckin climate didn’t and hasn’t always been changing

        Talk about control freaks. The ecofreaks really take the cake. They really need to take five and think about what they are saying.

        It’s ironic. They accuse technology advocates of anthropocentric arrogance, of presuming that man is master of all he surveys.

        In fact, with their presumption that man is so powerful that he can affect the climate so easily, they are the ones guilty of anthropocentric arrogance, megalomania even.

        But none of that really matters. Their real agenda is not conservation of resources. If it was, they would never have done the number they did on Volkswagen. NO, their real agenda is psychopathic control over other people.

        They are convinced that unless they enjoy total control over other people, then the unwashed masses will pose an intolerable threat to their security. Hence their pathological preoccupation with “safety”.

        This is what drives the Greenies. This is also what drives the Neocon “benevolent global hegemonists”.

      • Dear 8,
        “Back in my day it was global cooling and in 30 years no crops could be grown, we’d all freeze and starve to death. ”

        That was my day too. I remember full well the Greenies’ headlines back then.

        THE COMING ICE AGE.

        If we had listened to these Chicken Littles back then, and taken preventive measures to prevent a COMING ICE AGE, in the belief that their dire prophecies were correct, we would have had to undo decades of anti-cooling measures just to get back to our original starting point and prevent GLOBAL WARMING, assuming their new dire prophecies are correct.

        Madness!

  8. With VAG’s power and money, why haven’t some of these troublemakers died? A lot of these guys could have – at least – had their lives ruined but instead, VW has dropped to its knees with its mouth open and pleaded for forgiveness. I just returned from the VW Handler asking about ordering a VW T6 California with the 204PS TDI and manual gearbox. Because of the CO² scam, the pussies at VW have pulled this power combination and the motor is now only available with DSG. I am walking away from a car which was available 6 months ago because VW, as well as other manufacturers, do not have the balls to kill, dismember or, at least, cause great bodily harm to a few of those who have nothing better to do than (or are paid to) cause as many problems and expenses as possible.

    • Maybe later…. As close as I can recall the illustration, Tom Sowell used to comment on his book “Ethnic America” (a great read!) with a story about two Irishmen getting in a bar fight. Punches, knockdowns, blood all over them, and 20 minutes later they are buying each other beers. Two Germans have the same fight. Eight months later one turns the key in his car and there is a huge explosion.

  9. The EPA is one of the many of those federal agencies that long ago outlived its uselessness. For the past thirty years ICE powerplants have actually functioned as net air-purifiers, eg, what comes out of the tailpipe is now cleaner than the air in any big city in this country. The old tried and true method committing suicide by closing one’s garage door and breathing the exhaust fumes of one’s car no longer works – try it today and you’d be sitting in the garage hours later when the car finally ran out of fuel. Now you have to use a gun (which makes a mess) or hurl yourself off a high bridge, likely causing a traffic jam by all the eager gawkers. Sadly, the closest thing to eternal life yet achieved on this earth is a US Federal Agency.

    • You just need a better sealed garage.
      The quiet cars with the push button ignition have killed people who parked them in the attached garage of their modern house and left them running.

      • Ouch! I suppose that I had better read advice from you carefully BrentP. 🙂 Hopefully, slabotnavich didn’t take your advice.

    • The main point to comphrend is that the EPA is working perfectly, and efficiently fulfilling the function for which it was created, to inflict defeat on the evil capitalist west by tying them up in regulatory knots and all for the greater glory of the Soviet Union.

      Final victory is near; even if the Soviet Union no longer exists.

      kerdasi amaq

  10. The problem with the new generation of EPA Nazis is that the old stinking cars are gone. I worked with the mainly chinless wonders the EPA. For the most part cars are clean now. The dunces in the EPA thought by now we all would be driving little boxes with a top speed of 70, I actually had a higher up person in the EPA tell me years ago the age of private transportation was gone, they would see to that. Well we won, cars are faster more luxurious and longer lasting. They feel thwarted and have the wrath of an Italian woman scorned. There is nothing wrong about the VW diesel other than the people from on high have been thwarted.

    • Hi Jinx,

      Exactly that. They feel thwarted. They are vengeful. As I point out to Clovers, most new cars are – by EPA’s own standards – Partial Zero Emissions Vehicles (PZEVSs) and emit negligible quantities of harmful pollutants. The problem has been solved, but this can’t be admitted – since to do so would bring into question the need for the EPA itself.

    • Interesting… because the end of private transportation is exactly what our betters have in mind for us. Not themselves of course. They’ll still have their automobiles, private jets, and possibily private pullman cars.

  11. How much coal and “Fossil” fuels were burned to manufacture these diesel VWs from the digging of the ore to the final assembly? How many Volatile Organic Compounds were released into the atmosphere from the plastics and paints used? How many thousands of gallons of used motor oil, transmission fluid, freon and antifreeze will have to be removed and disposed of from these VWs?

    So to save a fractal of a percent of pollution from these out of spec (according to the EPA) cars we will crush them and build brand new ones from scratch resulting in the re-use of massive amounts of coal and “Fossil” fuels that would not have been needed if the offending cars were not crushed.

    Makes perfect sense.

    • Hi Guerrero,

      It’s even more ridiculous than that. VW will build fleets of economically idiotic, functionally absurd electric cars to make amends for its “cheating” ways.

    • Dear Guerroro,

      It does make perfect sense, if one is a Clover Caligula, a sociopathic control freak whose real priority is exacting obedience rather than actually conserving valuable resources.

  12. There may be some hope, not for VW or Gov’t thugs in general, but mankind – I read an article in Automotive news about the options for ridding the US of the offending cars, and most commenters thought every option ridiculous and that at least send them to a country that has looser environmental laws where these things would actually do some good instead of the environmental harm caused by outright destroying them. It really is insanity.

    • Dear rich,

      I believe it’s Nader, not Nadar.

      Although I think it should be Nadir.

      nadir
      ˈneɪdɪə,ˈnadɪə
      noun
      1.
      the lowest or most unsuccessful point in a situation.
      “asking that question was the nadir of my career”
      synonyms: the lowest point, the all-time low, the lowest level, low-water mark, the bottom, as low as one can get, rock-bottom, the depths

  13. VW capitulated. They bowed before the bastards, begging for forgiveness and asking for mercy instead of flipping them the finger. Until people start standing up and disobeying, things will only get worse. Every time they win one of these battles, they get a little bolder, a little more brazen. Refuse to cooperate. Make them do what it always comes to… bring in the men with guns. Only that way will people start to realize what the government is all about.

  14. We all know by now that what is most important to the politicians, their bureaucratic minions, and the obsequious Clovers, is not the environment, nor the health and well being of the people, nor their liberty, nor their safety from foreign enemies and domestic criminals (the private ones); what is most important is obedience to the State.

    Or as we are fond of hearing from the likes of them: “It’s the Law”. Therefore, let us kneel before
    the Law our Saviour. Let us give thanks for the blessings of Liberty it bestows upon us. Take and eat for this is the body which you so lovingly have given the State. And drink ye all of this, for this is the blood of your children which was shed for the glory of the State. Hallelujah! Great God! Amen.

    • Exactly, Art –

      This is not about the “cheating,” per se. It is about VW end-running Uncle, about challenging (however obliquely) his authority.

      The crucification of the company is meant to send a message – very much like the message Sonny Corleone received when he got Luca Brasi’s bullet-proof jacket and a dead fish…

    • Well, there’s one law they actively ignore. The US Consititution is a “worthless piece of paper” (although Bush never actually said that). You and I can be ticketed for going as little as 1.5 MPH over the posted speed limit, but things like free speech and gun laws are considered nebulus and open to interpretation by whomever’s agenda is being forwarded.

      • “worthless piece of paper” Well, it either allows this kind of crap (The Constitution) or it is incapable of stopping it. In either case it is worthless..

        • Exactly, Johnny…

          I have come to believe that was intended. Hamilton and his supporters knew exactly what they were doing. Centralize power, then use vague, lawyerly language to allow endless “interpretation” and expansion of that power.

    • Dear Art,

      You won’t get any argument from anyone here.

      The bottom line of “law enforcement” is not any alleged link between law and order. The phrase “law and order” is a Big Lie.

      The bottom line of law enforcement by Clover politicians and bureaucrats is the sociopathic obsession with obedience, hence control.

      The pathological fear that unless one wields total control over other human beings, that one is not safe from unnamed and undefined dangers, is a form of mental illness.

      Our society does not recognize who is truly mentally deranged and dangerous. Individuals such as fictional villain Hannibal Lecter are not the fearsome predators among us. The seedy “elites” in Washington are. Barack Obama, so-called “leader of the free world”, murdered vastly more innocent people with bombs than Ted Kaczynski, the “Unabomber”.

  15. The Clover who Squealed is a great title for that piece of garbage. He may have done it to avoid jail time. In any case, I would also like to rip the assholes who set up VW in the first place. Wasn’t it some environmental testing company in VA? In any case, I like the description of gratuitous waste of disposing of perfectly good machinery. I think about some of the people who are willingly disposing of their perfectly good cars and want to throw a few punches to the right ones. Then, I realize I have problems of my own.

    • It wasn’t an environmental testing company to outed VW, it was a research lab at the University of West Virginia. That’s where the lemmings continue their education after the twelve years of government molding which Eric mentioned.

      I’m appalled at the waste of resources and energy that dealing with these “dirty” cars will produce.

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