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Cancer is never cured – it merely goes into remission. You think it’s over and then . . .

Just so, the apparently never-ending diesel emissions “scandal.”

Mercedes-Benz, now. It has become the target of a criminal inquisition in Germany. Polizei in Stuttgart raided company offices there and seized materials which they plan to use as evidence that Benz engineers diddled with BlueTec diesel engines to make them – a la VW – temporarily compliant with government emissions tests.

The German Javerts accuse the company of that and false advertising, too – on account of having claimed that its line of  BlueTec diesels were “clean.”

Which, of course, they are.

But that is not the same thing as compliant.

An analogy might be helpful to understand what’s really at issue here: The law says the speed limit is 65 MPH. If a cop catches you driving 70, he will pull you over and hand you a ticket. The court will convict and fine you for the offense of “speeding.” You will be compelled to hand over money.

But no harm has been caused to anyone. A statute has been transgressed. Nothing more.

And nothing more need be proved.

Most people understand that speed limits are both arbitrary and almost always under-posted. That is to to say, they are set so low as to be absurd. Almost everyone drives at least a little bit faster than almost every speed limit. A law that is ignored by almost everyone can safely be characterized as absurd for exactly that reason.

This is why very few of us feel moral guilt when we are pulled over and issued a ticket for “speeding.” We understand that it’s a kind of cost-of-doing business and the cops and courts are just as cynically minded as we are.

It’s all about the money.

Well, the diesel scandal is all about the control. About – as Humpty Dumpty so eloquently put it to Alice – which is to be master, that’s all.

Just as doing 70 in a 65 is a moral irrelevance but a statutory offense, so also the “cheating” VW admitted to and which Benz (and FiatChrysler) have been accused of. Except it’s more like doing 65.1 MPH in a posted 65 MPH zone – and then being fined $5,000 for getting caught.

The government decrees that – two model years from now – tailpipe emissions of “x” must be reduced by 50 percent of one percent. The two-years-hence car must emit almost immeasurably less of the exhaust byproduct at issue than a current-year car in order to ascend from the current “tier” and “bin” to the next-highest one. All of these “tiers” and “bins” as arbitrary and under-posted as most speed limits.

This is not an exaggeration.

The differences between one “tier” and “bin” and the next-highest are not measured in whole numbers but fractions of them.

This is because whole number reductions are effectively no longer possible – upwards of 97 percent of the exhaust stream of every current and recent-vintage car having already having been scrubbed of harmful combustion byproducts and the remainder being extremely hard to get at or reduce further without just turning the engine off (hence the odd embrace of plug-in hybrid and electric cars – not by buyers but by the government, which is pushing them with the avidity of a crack dealer in a Baltimore back alley).    

Compliance must be achieved no matter what it costs, no matter how it affects the resultant car’s mileage or performance – and regardless of any need for it.

Because of the government’s need to assert control.

It is striking that everyone seems to accept that it’s ok to criminally prosecute a company like VW (and now, Benz) because it adjusted its engines to “cheat” government emissions tests – but that said “cheating” involved the equivalent of driving 65.1 MPH in a posted 65 MPH zone.

This is not an exaggeration.

We are dealing with almost unmeasurable distinctions between this “tier” and “bin” and the next up “tier” and “bin.” Fractional, minuscule differences that are probably meaningless as far as air quality and public health but which come at prohibitive cost to the public. Which is denied affordable, high-efficiency (and extremely clean) diesel-powered vehicles, which are superior as cars and economically superior to all hybrids and electric cars  . . .  on account of an arbitrary government test regime that long ago became more about compliance than clean air.

It bears repeating – because no one else seems willing to say so – least of all the j’ accuse car companies.

Probably because the executives at these countries are hag-ridden by political correctness and would sooner do a blackface routine than question in even the mildest manner the environmental shibboleths now ruining their industry. They are also acting out of calculation as much as caution. A CEO of a major car company is at the apex of his career – and he will not be CEO for more than a few years, probably. His job is to maximize quarterly profits – for the company and for himself.

What happens to the company – and his successor – five years from now is of not much concern to him.  

A critical element of tragedy is avoidability. It did not have to happen this way.

If only one car company would find the courage to stand up rather than roll over, things could be different.

But that would take courage – and there’s the rub, as always.

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    • Yep! God offered them liberty; an alternative to what was even then the normal way of the world- authoritarian collectivism- But just like today, the people said “Oh no! We gots to have government! Give us a king, so we can be like everyone else!”.

      Truly, nothing ever changes!

    • Per that same book, God established civil government to “bear the sword against those who DO HARM.” Until some of these gummit dweebs can establish a speicific harm and then establish a value thereto, there can BE no trial. Because no HARM was perpetrated.

      • Hi Tionico,

        Yup – this is key. Proving a harm has been caused; that there was a victim. Absent that, the idea of punishing someone for not harming anyone is pretty twisted.

        Of course, the hang-up many people have is, “well, he was about to” – and they posit a usually over-the-top example such as a guy driving 100 MPH through a suburban neighborhood.

        My answer has always been: Well, yes, that is a possible scenario. And harm could very well ensue. But until it does, I’d rather the risk – and the liberty for all – than the certainty of punishment for all, and not just for the extreme “what if?” scenario but – inevitably – for an always growing roster of increasingly remote risks and – as now – over mere technical foul violations of some statute.

    • Reading 1 Samuel 8 converted me to anarchism long ago. Strangely, my bible-thumping sister (biological only) continues to pray to the R political party because she wants to be a conformist amongst her CONservative christian-like republican friends. I am the infidel black sheep in my family of origin because I reject every man as being a king including the queen himself. I remain open-minded as to the question of human origins even though I am personally quite positive that a spirit world exists. The origins of human life remains a mystery to everyone who hasn’t blinded himself with establishment dogma!

      • The funny thing is that “science” concerns itself with such things as the origins of human life, and yet rejects any and all references which claim to be historical or eye-witness accounts.

        One can no sooner discover the origins of life by examining the remains of decayed non-functional (or even living, fully functional) bodies, than could one document something as recent and relatively elementary as the origin of the automobile by examing the remains of a 1959 Chevy, if they knew nothing of Henry Ford and Carl Benz, etc.

        The mere existence of something is not sufficient to provide the evidence of it’s origin. In most other fields, they thus seek to find relevant historical evidences; but when it comes to the origin of life, they reject all evidences, and thus whatever they propose as the possible narrative is just speculation and fantasy.

        • Science increasing is being corrupted by nefarious groups with an agenda.

          Most of us here understand the gradations of science.

          Physics is seen as pretty solid. Anthropology not so much.

          Deists, who many of the founding fathers considered themselves. Believe that all of nature is the ultimate bible.

          If you want to understand the creator, purposefully and meticulously begin to understand how nature works under the hood.

          No need to read the “Good Book” which I have found is mostly plagarisms of ancient writings.

          The Jews greatly exaggerated their contributions to the world. And claimed the accomplishments of all kinds of ancient peoples who in no way shape or form would consider themselves having anything to do with Hebrews, Christians, and Muslims if you were able to construct a time machine and ask them in person.

          I deeply appreciate their preservations of ancient thoughts. But utterly reject their apotheosis of any particular writings as being written directly by the world’s creator himself.

          Even in their own book, the Jews admit the Creator does not speak with the tongues of men.

          • Nature tells us that there must be a god; and even reveals the glory of God; but when we, who were created in the image of God, start acting like the animals, that is not a good thing.

            Nature was put here for our benefit; for our sustenance. Animals do what their programmed instinct tells them to do. Their actions are not predicated upon thought and philosophy; and being very limited in body and intellect, their actions do not have far-reaching consequences.

            They do what their instinct allows them to do in order to survive and multiply and fulfill their purposes for which they were created (i.e. coyotes and vultures cleaning up the landscape of dead carcases, etc.)

            We, on the other hand, are not content with mere survival, nor fulfilling some menial task in the sceme of things (Although the modern world with it’s governments and corporations would force us into such a position).

            Our actions have far-reaching consequences, which can result in mass death and destruction; enslavement; oppression and the perversion of the natural order, unless we adhere to the principles which demand that we overcome mere animalistic survival and rather behave on the higher plane for which we were created.

            We, unlike plants and animals, are the pinnacle of the Creation. If we take our cue from that which is below us; i.e. that which was created merely to serve us and to maintain the earth and other life-forms, then we become nothing but brute beasts with terrifying capabilities.

            And this is exactly what we see happening. If we reject the laws of our Creator (Like someone rejecting the rules of maintenance given by the car manufacturer) we become incapable of fullfilling the purpose for which we were created (Just as the neglected car becomes unable to fulfill it’s purpose if the oil is not changed at recommended intervals).

            So, if we behave like the animals, we can knock-up 20 different sows and just walk away; and when we’re hungry or in need or want of something that tickles our fancy, we can just kill someone else and take theirs. If we are mere animals, why not? (Maybe this is why most of the Founders did not consider schvatzes to be human….)

    • After listening to that link…ashamed to admit I never heard of them. Listened to one song and was hooked…album is on the way. Thanks!

  1. Did you ever read “The Pump House Gang”? It saw Home Depot before it existed. Instead of products displayed upon shelves, there would be bins of the things we desired. The person who advocated this was Marshall Mac Lelan, Tom Wolfe commented: “What if he is right?” The most radical position lately is a form of what many believe to be sovereign citizen garbage. Why should I listen to you? Even if you grind them into the ground “What if they are right”? They have presumed themselves correct all this time. What else is there?

  2. Getting diesel engines banned is just the warm up act for when they come for the gasoline powered ones. All of them, not just the big V8’s and V6’s, even those little two liter four bangers and more. It’s the practice session, to test the general public. To see if they push back. So far they haven’t.

    People are accepting the little 2.0 liter engines. Mazda already offers nothing else (they won’t ever get the diesel here in the US). Ford has stopped selling V10’s and is quickly phasing out V8’s. If it wasn’t for pesky pickup truck and Mustang owners, the V8 would probably be history already. The GT is a V6 not an 8. I remember when they were pushing the Ford 500 with the V6 with the power of a V8. Now its replacement only offers a V6 in the very top of the line and its not even 3 liters.

    Just wait until they have the success of ending diesel, when the general public either doesn’t care or even applauses it. Then the full fury of the statist state will be upon all internal combustion engines. Not just vehicle engines mind you. They will be after ALL internal combustion engines. That means your lawn mower and other yard tools, speed boats, generators, anything that uses gasoline. Remember outside of California, most of those gas powered things don’t have much in the way of pollution controls on them like vehicles do.

    To be honest, that statist fury will someday go after the electric cars too. They aren’t any more green then internal combustion engines are, and someday they will remember that. Or maybe that’s the plan all along.

    • We have followed this website for many years. The comments and tests of the Mercedes Benz GLK 250 Bluetec were very much in favor of this vehicle, so we purchased one. It is a marvel to drive, lots of passing power and overall great quality. Mileage on the highway is often as low as 5.5 liters per 100 km, but never more than 6, even in winter. In town driving is usually about 7.5 km per 100 km. It is quiet, powerful and very comfortable.
      There is never any smell from the exhaust, unlike the gasoline powered vehicles we previously owned. The whole persecution and prosecution thing is a witch hunt. We plan to drive the GLK for many more years!

      • I was informed by our MB service manager that as far as the AdBlue fluid goes, the system is secure. If the level of the AdBlue drops below a certain value an Alert message appears that calls for topping up. If the owner ignores that and keeps driving and the level drops below an even lower value she/he will not be able to start the engine unless the tank is filled up again. Our regular annual service shows that perhaps 20 liters were added! There is sufficient fluid in the tank to drive at least one year between services without having to worry about a thing. The exhaust emits pure nitrogen! Our breathing air consists of about 80% nitrogen! So what appears to be the problem?

  3. It’s a shame that we have to be a part of such a world as this (and maybe if we try harder, we CAN find a place to escape the absurdities and toast marshmallows on the flames of the destruction of Western civilization…) but there is a sort of poetic justice in all of this- I mean, the statists – the authoritarian collectivists- ARE getting exactly what they voted for; what their turning of a blind eye towards morality and freedom, and serving the state naturally brings upon them; what dutifully paying all those taxes funds.

    This is what they are working for. I guess that is why the average stooge doesn’t get too excited when he hears of such oppression and miscarriage of justice. This is why they are willing to buy into the lies- like “global warming”- because by doing so, they vilify the innocent, and justify their god, the state; and their own actions which they do against the innocent and on behalf of the state.

    • “…their god, the state;” And with that, you nailed it. Ponder the point that if you have read from the Book, (and don’t presume I’m a bible thumper, but I have found millennia of wisdom compressed in one book an unwise thing to ignore), the lord demands that we give ten percent of our income and not have gods above his jealous self.

      Its acolytes and priests- the nazi cops and the corrupt judges and lawyers, are zealots clinging to their false beliefs.

      The evil state, demands all our obedience, our freedom, and the cash/wealth that is the product of the life which nature (or nature’s god) gave us. Is not every one of those demands putting the state, the democratic/communist machine, above the god of the book(s)?

      I don’t care much for mysticism but does this not reek of an end times scenario?

      • You nailed it PERFECTLY, Ernie!

        I am a student of THAT Book….and what you describe has been the physical/collective side of the struggle since the Tower Of Babel and the first city-state – Babylon; and is described in the Book of Revelation to culminate in a short-lived worldwide system, which I’m sure you can see is being put into place right before our very eyes.

        And what amazes me, is the speed at which these things have started to come to pass as of late. When i first started studying these things in 1984, it was unfathomable that politicians would be openly advocating the things which they now do; much less the rot and corruption among what calls itself organized Christianity

        If what we were seeing were just happening in one country, it might even have some significance; but to see things being played out on an international basis like never before, is truly amazing.

        It’s like I said over in the Utah/Theocracy comments [I really need to get back to that!] – ALL government is theocracy. It demands obedience above all else; it defines morality (law); it is honored with wealth (taxes); it takes to itself the right to determine who lives and dies; how you raise your children or who will raise them; it defines and disseminates knowledge (“education”); It will be a husband to loose women, and a father to their bastard children (with your money, of course…), and it even defines what is legitimate to think and say. It truly does seek to usurp the role of God in every way.

        • Except Russia. It would appear Russia is the only truly christian country in the world and for that they must die.

          Disclaimer: I am not christian, muslim, jewish, hindu, shinto or any other organized religion.

          I do ascribe to a creator! However, being a creator myself, I look at creation as a result of an entity being bored and wanting to do something that matters. I have written more than 3000 songs but do I remember each one? NAH! Do I even go back and tweak any of them? NAH! This is the view I take of the creator. Did he have input early on? Probably, especially if time is non-consequential but I’m still of the mind set that all beings even creators move on and try other experiences.

          None Ya Biz

            • Matter is not eternal, it had to be created. That which created it therefore, must be superior to it, and not subject to the laws which govern the physics of mere matter. It is hard for us to conceive of that which is eternal, because we are made of matter and therefore get old and die. Time would be irrelevant in a realm which was not limited by matter. We tend to assume that the limitations of our own limited realm are common to every realm; or that no other realm can exist if we can not see and touch it.

              • A lot of assumptions here. Nothing more than smoke and mirrors really.

                Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence to support them. You are of course free to believe as you wish, but there is simply no evidence to support your contention.

                • Think of it this way: There _has_ to be something which has always existed whether it be outer space or a creator. What ever that thing was: it had no parent and no beginning. If you believe in the big bang theory, fine; but what exploded and why did it explode?

                  • Not only that, Brian, but where did the matter come from, that exploded? And since they believe that all matter in the entire universe was compressed into a tiny dot the size of a >.< period (LOL- Hmmm….where's their extraordinary evidence for that extraordinary claim?!!!) it would have taken more energy to have compressed all of that matter into such a state, than it would to blow it up. Imagine even compressing one little diamond into the size of a period? Ain't gonna happen….but these Big Bangers believe the whole universe was so compressed (and it still doesn't answer the question of where the matter came from).

                    And then they'd have us believe that order and life were produced as a result of an explosion, when in fact, no explosion has ever observed to produce anything but disorder and destruction/death.

                • Jason, I’m afraid that I don’t understand what you mean. How are my claims extraordinary?

                  Would you not acknowledge that matter is not eternal? (If you believe that it is eternal, then that is an extraordinary claim, for every form of science- from real and observable, to theoretical, acknowledges that it isn’t).

                  So if matter is not eternal, and it couldn’t have created itself if it didn’t already exist, then there of necessity must be something else outside the bounds of mere physics which could create something which at one point did not exist.

                  You follow?

                  This is basic stuff.

        • Religon is a great regulator of unrestrained capitalism. It is the one thing most libertarian thinkers seem to forget. Capitalism (such as it is) seems to reward bad behavior, at least in the short term. So if you have a product that kills 20% of the users, hey, that’s just fine it’s up to the user to know the risk.

          Except that humans are terrible at calculating risk/reward ratios and all think they are the exception (example: Las Vegas). But most moral producers would be appalled to sell a product that killed 20% of the customer base, unless the reward (to the consumer) was sufficiently high. Having a shortcut to morals and an easy way to help out your fellow man over time has morphed into organized religion. That’s all fine except that in the 1950s and 60s the state got into the act and took away the “help your fellow man” portion of religion. Efficacy of the welfare state aside, this made religion into a purely spiritual experience and a pretty selfish one at that. The old timers who attended church every Sunday when I was growing up weren’t at all that religious by modern standards, but they were the ones who actually helped out their fellow man. Once the church changed they had no need for it anymore and left.

          One generation later and religion is completely walled off from the rest of society. It’s just another club or hobby. The mainstream media is pushing SJWs as the new moral compass, but for the most part there is no moral compass aside from the golden rule. But hard and fast rules are difficult when dealing with large corporations who have conflicting goals. So the state steps in again. This time with environmental regulations, but it could just as easily be net neutrality, drone privacy, or land use permitting. We don’t need another law, but we do need a moral compass. Government cannot possibly provide one, so instead they turn to threat of violence.

          • I have spent twenty years in product development and I have yet to come across this stereotypical situation of making a product that harms the customer for a profit. I’ve spent most of my career working on stuff that if it is not used properly it can really hurt a person too. Never once have I run into that.

            Here’s what really happens: A field issue comes up that nobody saw coming and then the media says it was because the company wanted to save a dime or whatever. But it’s bullshit. Most problem fixes increase cost no matter what the problem is. After the fact fixes by their very nature tend to that. Sometimes a fix can be a cost down but the media never latches on those.

            The GM ignition switch thing was just a field issue that landed on someone’s desk that was misdiagnosed. But of course the media people never had a part land on their desk and were tasked of figuring out what went wrong with it. So much of the time a part comes back and it functions as designed. Anyway someone at GM decided upon a ‘fix’ but because of their misdiagnosis checked the wrong the box on the engineering change notice. Because they thought it was heavy key rings they checked the boxes for a running change with no difference for service instead of the OMG! change everything NOW, use new parts boxes.

            To anyone who has ever dealt with these problems that’s is clear as day. But the media spins it as evil corporation kills its customers for a nickel.

            Harming customers is the thing of here today gone tomorrow hucksters.

            • It’s true, Brent! In my whole life, I have NEVER brought a vehicle in for a safety recall, nor any other products for any kind of recall. If it’s working fine for me…well…don’t fix it if it ain’t broken!

              The one item I bought- a GE fridge, it turned out had an issue with noisy fan motors….which I found out because I hate noise- but of course, THAT wasn’t a recall or anything, it was just like a TSB acknowledgement- so I had to spend $50 to buy the quieter motor for my new fridge!

              Stupid media though! Thanks to them, we can’;t have lead paint anymore…and lead paint was GREAT! They got everyone so scared of it, just because a few unsupervised niglets would eat the flaking paint off of their windowsill…. Hey! Maybe if your damn kid is eating the paint, he already HAS problems, like brain damage or neglectful parents!

              Or how about asbestos? It didn’t do anybody any harm once it was inside the walls….but they started all of this asbestos abatement BS, digging it all out, and THAT did more harm than anything!

              • So you make the jump that all these things were done to harm you to save some money?

                How about you develop a product, something simple like a fridge and you catch everything right down to the customer annoyances and have advanced knowledge of every material’s toxicity and possible harm no matter what people do with it. You don’t get to weigh and balance factors. If it harms you did it to save a buck. So of you pull that off and then we can discuss your assumption of intent.

                Let’s take your fridge for instance. There is an internal company standard for noise and maybe it passed in testing but real world applications turned out to be something else or the standard was too high. Not everyone complained but some do. So a service part is made available. Some companies make it for purchase some warranty it. Some do a little of each.

                I’ve had situations were customers use and abuse a product for years and nothing happens then one day someone gets it and uses it in a very specific way and it breaks within a day of use. That’s just how it is. Improve the product and move on. Sure it’s one out of a few hundred thousand units, but you don’t know about that use until someone does it.

                Almost all auto safety recalls are voluntary and good hunk of them IME are due to corrosion because government spreads salt on the roads every winter for our safety. Even with salt spray testing it’s just not the same as what cars see in service. But you act as if everything should be foreseeable and was done to save a nickel. It’s never that simple.

                Lead was used for thousands of years before 20th century bans and knowledge of how harmful it was. Coverups after the fact? In some cases. That’s human nature but that doesn’t mean there was an intent to harm the customer with the product initially.

                The only people with knowledge that can get away with this stereotype are corporations that government protects or make stuff for government use.

                • Brent, you replying to me?

                  No, you misunderstand- I was agreeing with you.

                  I was just saying that I ignore all the media/legal profession/safety-cult gov’t BS….and yet I continue to live……

                  • ah… ok.
                    I am used to people dragging lead and safety recalls into a discussion as proof that companies want to kill us.

                    I have so much stuff that’s decades old. But I take care of and fix my stuff so there’s that.

                    • Ditto!

                      And let’s not forget the lawyers! (And jurors) who foist upon us the mentality that everything should be absolutely perfect all the time, and if there’s so much as a crack in a sidewalk; or if a product did exactly what it was supposed to do, but didn’t anticipate that that a moron or drunk would using it, and thus didn’t cripple itself in 18 different ways so as to make it absolutely impossible to injur yourself, even if you were trying to do so….then somehow the manufacturer owes you a million dollars, even if you’re an unemployed “aspiring rapper” whose on welfare and whose medical bills were paid by the taxpayers….

                      Like the parents who bought their teenage son a hi-po Camaro, and then sued GM when the kid crashed it and died….and WON. 🙁

                      That says it all. There is no justice in this country. Why anyone would want to continue doing business here is beyond me.

          • Any economic, political, philosophical or religious system will only mirror the ethics and behavior of those who practice them. Since human nature is pretty much the same all over, the only place you will find any relief from it’s baser aspects is among those who consciously seek to overcome that nature.

            REAL Biblical Christianity is all about restraining the impulses of human nature by the voluntary compliance of the believer- but of course, mainstream Christianity is more concerned with numbers, so it ignores such things, because it does not appeal to most people.


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