OJ and Air Bags … vs. Oliver Schmidt

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UNDATED FILE PHOTO: (EDITORS NOTE: Best quality available) In this handout provided by the Broward Sheriff's Office, suspect Oliver Schmidt, an executive for Volkswagen poses in this undated booking photo. Schmidt was arrested January 7, 2017 in Florida and is expected to be charged with conspiracy and fraud in the Volkswagen emissions scandal. Schmidt was formerly a key emissions compliance manager for VW in the U.S. (Photo by Broward Sheriff's Office via Getty Images)
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OJ – who almost certainly killed two people and definitely got away with it – didn’t get away with participating in an armed robbery and kidnapping.

He got 33 years, served about 9 – and is scheduled to be released this fall.

Oliver Schmidt – the VW engineer who “cheated” Uncle – is looking at 169 years. He didn’t kill anyone or even trip them up. Yet if convicted, he will be taken out of circulation for life.

Several of them.

Who would you rather have running loose?

OJ? Or Schmidt?

It gives you a sense of the government’s priorities.

FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe says: “We can’t put companies in jail (he means prison) but we can hold their employees personally accountable.”

Unlike, say, the employees of the government.

Who routinely and deliberately get people killed and are almost never put in prison and rarely even scolded.

Forget “accountable.”

Consider the Takata air bag scandal – which by the way gets much less in the way of media coverage than the Oh, the humanity! coverage given Dieselgate. And not just Takata bags but airbags generally.

They have killed. Not “probably,” like OJ.

Actually.

Hundreds of times (see here).

And hundreds of those victims being kids.

These deaths were not “accidental,” either. An accident being defined as some unforeseeable event, an act of God, etc.

The government regulators who issued the original air bag fatwa knew air bags were dangerous. They were told – by engineers, guys who know stuff – that air bags were certain to hurt people, especially kids and older people. The government regulators deliberately ignored the engineers in furtherance of what, to the bureaucrats, was a Greater Good.

Unless, of course, it happened to be your kid or elderly mother who wound up dead because an air bag snapped their neck. How is it that this is not considered to be criminal and worthy of prosecution?

What was it OJ said?

It happens!

Yes, it does. But when the government does it, there are almost never consequences, particularly criminal consequences.

Consider:

The Chimp – George W. Bush – deliberately lied to the public in order to confect the war hysteria he and his bloodthirsty allies needed as a pretext for their pre-arranged agenda to invade a country – Iraq – that had not attacked the United States nor threatened to attack it. A manufactured war, exactly like the German (and Soviet) invasion of Poland in 1939.

Tens of thousands of people were killed and an entire country wrecked.

A war crime. German leaders were hanged for theirs.

But The Chimp is comfortably retired, free to paint appalling John Wayne Gacy-like watercolors and appear occasionally on the stage with Clintigula – another murderer who (unlike OJ) not only got away with it (Kosovo, Waco, Somalia) but never even got charged with it. Colin Powell – who presented the fabricated “evidence” on live TV – is likewise going to seed somewhere that isn’t an 8×12 cell. Ditto Rummy and Wolfie and the rest of the gang.

But Oliver Schmidt will be hounded to the gates of hell, those gates to be slammed shut behind him.

Over what, again?

Schmidt (and some other VW engineers) “conspired” to wiggle VW’s diesel engines past the EPA’s tailpipe emissions tests. They encoded software – “defeat devices” – to make the engines run just so for the duration of the test, but then run differently once out on the road. The difference amounts to fractions of a percent of a compound – oxides of nitrogen – which has yet to be shown caused tangible harm to anyone.

Keep in mind the “cheating” diesels have been on the road for more than a decade. If these cars were gassing people, Buchenwald-style, by now someone should be able to produce a corpse or at least a bad cough.

None such.

And the beyond-belief thing is, the government didn’t need to produce a corpse – or even a coughing complainant – before frog-marching Schmidt to the clink for the rest of his natural life and several lives beyond that. He stands accused – and will plead guilty to – violating a statute, end-running government rules.

His “crime” amounts to a larger scale version of using a radar detector – illegal in some states – to avoid a speed trap. The speeder hasn’t harmed anyone, but the law alleges he might, by driving faster than a number painted on a sign. It is not necessary to prove that anyone was harmed or even plausibly endangered by the guy caught doing 42 in a zone posted 35. Nor even establish that the posted speed limit accords with some tangible traffic safety engineering principle. 

The mere fact that he got caught doing 42 is all that’s necessary to hang a fat fine around his neck.

In Schmidt’s case, it’s not even a whole number offense. The “defeat devices” he engineered allowed a fraction of a whole number’s worth of NOx emissions to escape the tailpipes of the “affected” VW vehicles. This was done not out of malice – but for the simple reason that the engineers could not make the TDI engine both “complaint” and acceptable to buyers. The test regime had become too severe.

And so, they “cheated.”

Exactly in the same way – and for the same reasons – that people use radar detectors.

Maybe they’ll be frog-marched to prison soon, too.

As OJ might say… Look out!

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42 COMMENTS

  1. They could stop putting the “airbombs ” in cars tomorrow, wouldn’t hurt my feelings in the slightest. If airbags are so good, how come NASCAR doesn’t use them.?

  2. What happened to the air bag discussion? Peter the chart is dated 2007, really there should be some more resent data. This is crazy but I purchased a vehicle with air bags that do not work, the check light stays on. Have had the system checked with no faults. On the mainland there was no problem getting safety check but here on the island it is an issue. I am particular glad they do not work and I am fortunate to know a mechanic that approves my safety check each year stating ” the light was off when I inspected the vehicle “.

  3. Eric, I think a better comparison would be between Oliver Schmidt and the prosecutor Nifong.

    Nifong, with the full power of The State behind him, deliberately and maliciously tried to ruin the lives of several young men through blatant deceit for no other reason than to advance his personal career.

    And yet this absolute monster does not spend one day in prison. If ever anyone deserved to be locked up for life (actually the bastard should have been taken out and shot) it is Nifong.

    Justice in US amerika?! Don’t make me puke.

  4. The sad part about these emissions tests is that in Great Britain owners of these cars are reinstalling the devices which allowed higher emissions since their cars had no power after they were removed. Corrective surgery to correct the corrective surgery.

  5. Government regulators at all levels and throughout all regulatory agencies are now totally out of control, accountable to nobody, and free to inflict unlimited damage on individuals, corporations, and the nation as a whole. These are people who contribute nothing, create nothing (save headaches for the we the people), impede all progress, and are the single greatest destructive force in our nation’s history. Had these vermin existed when the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth rock we’d still have an average lifespan of thirty-five years, a 40% child mortality rate, be living in log cabins, suffering plagues, never moving more than ten miles beyond our birthplace, and wiping our bums with leaves. A basic principle of governance is that the farther representatives are from their constituents the less responsive they become. We’re now “ruled” not by representatives but by hordes of faceless, unaccountable, and invisible bureaucrats who actually do all the legwork of fashioning all our laws and regulations, which are then shoved under the noses of of our “representatives” to sign, unread and fully misunderstood and usually incomprehensible in any event, and fully equipped with statutory provisions for long prison terms for violations. I can’t even begin to imagine what our brilliant framers would think could they see the totally out of control monstrosity that is out federal apparatus today. “JHC, how could you people have effed this up this badly after the Constitution we gave you?!”

    • “Had these vermin existed when the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth rock”

      These vermin did land at Plymouth Rock. The Puritans brought that mindset to North America and have been a pox on this whole continent ever since. Regulators were inserted into government by Puritan Yankees after their overthrow of the Constitution via Lincoln’s war was successful.

  6. Hey Eric, I love the site. I’ve been reading for a few years but have never commented.

    Based on my research which included your positive reviews of VW TDI products, I bought a VW Golf TDI in September of 2015. Four days later, Dieselgate hit.

    I really like the car and have put around 2,000 miles per month on it (around 42,000 miles to date).

    The car rides similar to an Audi A3, but cost around $23k.

    I can get 60 mpg if I travel at 60 mph. Yes, you read that right: 60mpg. I routinely get over 50 mpg on my commute when I keep up with traffic.

    It is a true luxury to only need to fill up every 550 miles.

    I believe that Eric has encapsulated the ridiculousness of this situation.

    I just wanted to chime in and say that I think my car represents a unique product and we will all be poorer when they are mostly taken and crushed under the guise of saving the planet.

    I don’t want to turn in the car to VW for the crusher, but the spreadsheet that I run keeps saying that the best alternative for my situation is to run up the miles and the turn it in at the last minute (September of 2018).

    • I want to buy a VW diesel just to support them and give a fat middle finger to these fuckin’ busy-body regulators. So I take it these diesel cars are no longer available new? How’s the used market? I’d imagine prices have inflated due to popularity (due to private industry innovation) and constricted supply (due to gov’t intervention). Any advise of getting one of these would be appreciated. We are living in historic times indeed.

      • That’s just it. Too much vested corporate interests and their political lackeys that have skewed the entire concept of ‘alternative fuels’ in Amerikwa. Ironically, a far more FREE choice exists in Europe, where high taxes on gasoline (but not diesel, as even money-hungry European governments aren’t stupid enough to choke off trucking, BUSES, and rail lines, which are all heavily dependent on diesel) have caused the development of the (somewhat) practical diesel passenger car at all.
        Mercedes gave us a useful, bullet-proof diesel engine for cars, of which I’ve been blessed to own two. I suppose that here in the great state of Californi(cate), where there is still thankfully a large number of old Benz oil-burners (interestingly enough, the German acronym for the engine is literally, “Oil-Burning Motor”) still ply the Golden State’s roads. It wouldn’t surprise me if our all-knowing and benevolent Air Resources Board, which hath regulated the automobile to its almost demise in its once haven, will find a way to outlaw these holdouts in the interests of “Air Quality” and or “Safety”. Likely they’ll do it by either requiring ‘inspections’ which will, of course, be too costly to make legal registration affordable, or they’ll outlaw the resale of parts to fix them. Who knows? Just as the onerous requirements coming for ammunition purchases in California will w/o doubt create a huge black market to bring ammo in, so we’d see interesting scenes at the “AGRICULTURAL” inspection station, and see some “Known Diesel Head” have his ride torn apart in search of forbidden engine rebuild kits for the Mercedes OM617 engine.
        What’s sad is that diesel emissions, though if overloaded (temporarily) or seriously out of tune, or the engine is just plain tired, wherein visible soot results, are actually far cleaner than a typical gasoline engine, even with all the computerized emissions controls. Hence why the old stories of hapless jews being gassed at Treblinka by mounting a Soviet-built W2 V12 diesel engine, salvaged from a wrecked T-34 tank, is hogwash…it’s been demonstrated that such a setup would have at worst given the victims a mild headache, but was highly unlikely to kill ANYONE, whereas simply grabbing any two-stroke engine off a motorcycle and fiddling with the reed valve would have used much less fuel, and been cheaper and easier to maintain, had the chosen method indeed been to gas victims with exhaust gas. However, the Germans DID, as they were desperate for fuel all along, develop a “Holzwagen”, which produced carbon monoxide gas, which is quite flammable as well as extremely poisonous, which produced the necessary gaseous fuel by burning charcoal…and Germany still had plenty of trees and slave labor to cut them down and chop them up! Since the product of this wood gas generator was indeed carbon monoxide, it would have been quite easy to ship a unit or two to Treblinka and set it up directly to be a gassing device, and certainly there was plenty of wood to cut down just outside the camp fences and no shortage of inmate labor!
        Anyway, this sad episode shows exactly WHY a drastic downsizing of government is needed…the market would best come up with the solutions to vehicle propulsion and air quality.

      • Used TDIs usually don’t even make it to the resale market because they are being bought to turn in at a profit. I’ve had several dumbasses ask about the ’02 Passat I bought my daughter that ended up as a spare car for me when I found a 2010 Huyndai for her that she liked better.

        I’m calling them dumbasses because they think that offering me a little over bluebook for it so they can turn it in would be a smart move because they don’t yet know that a gas engine V6 isn’t the type of engine covered in the recall. If it ends up being for sale, I could probably unload it on an unsuspecting dumbass who comes asking after it thinking he can turn it in for a profit.

    • OJ Simpson, though reasonably charged with the murders of his ex-wife, Nicole, and Ron Goldman, still had the legal PRESUMPTION of innocence throughout the trial. He likely ought to have been found guilty, however, the prosecution was, to put it mildly, grossly incompetent. This folks, is what you get when you have a pair of “EEO babies” as your lead deputy DAs. Marcia Clark (nee Kleks) was a young feminist attorney, having recently gone through her own divorce and a mother of two very young sons, whom repeatedly hounded her ex for increases in ALIMONY and child support (evidently her salary as a fairly high-placed deputy DA with Los Angeles county paled in comparison to her ex-husband’s computer programming and IT administration pay, or he just had one terrible divorce attorney) on the bases that she “needed” a better wardrobe for the trial, I shit you not. Christopher Darden had trouble getting a job out of law school after he graduated from Hastings Law School (UC Berkeley), and indeed, after the Simpson case, was fired by the LA District Attorney’s office. Both of them already had book deals and seems to have greater interest in those than in actually winning the case. Their handling of Detective Fuhrman as a witness was downright negligent, in at least not ascertaining his ‘racist’ past (way hyped out of proportion) and dealing with how the so-called ‘Dream Team’ would place the ‘race card’. However, the whole ‘bloody glove’ thing was their greatest fiasco, and led to the one thing which transcends all that…REASONABLE DOUBT. As Chris Rock pointed out, OJ hadn’t been ‘black’ since his UCLA days, but now American blacks were identifying with him, so that jury, which had mostly ‘minorities’ (not all ‘black’, BTW), was inclined to look for reasons to exonerate rather than convict, and the whole “if the glove doesn’t fit, you must acquit” so expertly played by Johnny Cochrane cinched his acquittal. And that’s where it remains…OJ was presumed innocent, and is STILL, and always will be, LEGALLY innocent of the Brown-Goldman murders. The entire follow up, where the understandably outraged Brown and Goldman families, sought civil redress, was an expression of a sad deviation from the principle that the American justice system doesn’t allow “Double Jeopardy”…just as earlier, four LA cops, acquitted or at least a hung jury in the Rodney King beating trial (and that also played a huge part in the racial tensions surrounding the Simpson case), were prosecuted in FEDERAL court over the same incident, but with a SEPARATE charge of “Civil Rights Violation”, of which two of the four were found guilty, so the lawsuit against Simpson was nothing more than an effort to ‘Get it Right”, as was Simpson’s much later debacle in 2008. As a first-time offender, and given the circumstances, he shouldn’t have been found guilty of ‘kidnapping’ (his victim later forgave him), and ought to have received at most six years, and he would have been out in three, but there was very much a mood of ‘this time, we GOT the bastard”, so in effect, Simpson was being retried for the Brown-Goldman murders. Not that I feel sorry for him. He’s an egoistical, narcissistic, pathetic excuse for a man, who had it all and stupidly pissed it all away. However, we have to respect the jury system, with all its imperfections…and so many Libertarians have endorsed the concept of ‘Jury Nullification’, here’s a prime example…how do you like it?

  7. What is interesting about this witch hunt is from my experience with another Fatwa-issuing agency, FERC, is that they go hard after the non-monopolists in favor of the ones that already have government-granted monopolies. And too much unregulated capitalism is the problem!

  8. Less than 5% of deceased are autopsied:

    http://www.saturdayeveningpost.com/2017/05/08/in-the-magazine/dont-autopsies-anymore.html

    One of the reasons why air travel is so safe (real safety not airbags and giant A pillars) is because the industry truly wants to reduce risk. I’m sure the NTSB is just like any other government agency and I’m almost certain there could be a faster-better-cheaper solution provided by private enterprise, but set that aside for now and think about investigating an accident and providing a report to anyone who wants to read it means for the attitude of the industry.

    Every few years I re-read The Checklist Manifesto. The book is an introduction and report of several studies about checklists. The author is an MD who introduced checklists to the industry, with amazing results. Simple things like the nurse confirming the doctor washed his hands between patients did more to reduce infections than any amount of antibiotics.

    If only 5% of the deaths are autopsied, how can they possibly know if anyone has ever been killed by NOx exposure at normal atmospheric levels? There’s really no way at all. The best researchers can do is look for a pattern and maybe come up with a correlation, but so many variables cloud any result. Years ago there were studies that showed that homes close to high voltage transmission lines had a slight increase in the cases of cancer. They didn’t specify what types of cancer, nor did they bother to correct for smoking or other things that people who can only afford to live under the power lines do. Yet the whole world went nuts thinking magnetic fields are dangerous. Hello! The entire planet is generating a giant magnetic field all the time! It’s the only thing keeping the solar wind from blowing away our atmosphere! Without a giant magnetic field we wouldn’t exist!

    Sorry. Got way out there in the weeds. Anyway, how can anyone know if NOx is at all dangerous? If only 5 out of every 100 deaths is autopsied and investigated (and then mostly going to be people who get really good health care, not the poor people living next to the highway), then how can we really know that they died because of being gassed? Of course I’m not a scientist, nor am I a medical doctor, but I know that checklists help me do my job better and investigation of failed equipment helps me deliver more reliable service to my customers. But I guess the medical industry and epidemiologists aren’t like the rest of us.

    • One of the oxides of nitrogen gas is the one dentists use to put their patients asleep whilst their teeth are being hacked upon. Laughing Gas.

      I rather suspect the other ones we’d find when sniffing tailpipes are about as noxious……

      stoopud feds anyway…..

  9. I tried to get Redflex -aka redfucks- investigated for corruption here in Australia because of their criminality in the USA. No way, state the police, through a supposedly independent corruption investigator. Now those wonderful Europeans they burn, destroy, spray paint, and cut down scameras.

    • Redflex has always done business the way they did it in Chicago. When they came to Chicago I told people what redflex was, the dirtiest in a dirty business and I got the ‘you’re a red light running conspiracy theorist’ stuff as a reply. Of course over the passage of time I was vindicated but nobody cares.

      • Thanks Larry!

        How are things in Palm Beach?

        I hope he sues that blue state rag and wins bigly. NY newspapers are the worst. All US newspapers are worthless. Not a single one is the least bit independent, honest, and useful.

        Not sure anything independent of some big institution has been published since Whitman’s death bed final version of Leaves of Grass in 1892.

        With all the self-publishing printing resources currently available.

        How is it that still not one single book in a bookstore is truly unedited and independently written like Whitman’s self published single book of poetry so long ago?

        Nearly all media except that written by the thoroughly impoverished is allowed to exist anywhere these days it seems.

        Sad.

  10. Hi Eric,

    “The government regulators deliberately ignored the engineers in furtherance of what, to the bureaucrats, was a Greater Good.”

    They did more than that. They barred auto manufacturers from informing their customers about the dangers.

    Jeremy

  11. Poor comparison, Eric.
    OJ is and was innocent of murder- technically. Whether he did it or not remains an open question because the LAPD, like most cops in my experience, lied, cheated, and fabricated to try to convict him.

    Just the fact that laboratory blood preservatives were found in his blood allegedly found on scene should tell you a lot. And the jury, whatever its other failings would not convict him based on the totality of circumstances, just like a jury is supposed to do.

      • Ceteris paribus, should not a murder charge be dismissed when there is no eye-witness, no murder weapon, and the investigation and prosecution features a crooked cop?

        • Hi Mike,

          There is a saying: Hard cases make bad law.

          I have no doubt that the cops (per usual) were crooked and “helped” with the evidence.

          I also don’t doubt OJ is a double murderer and a sociopath. His pre and post-murder conduct is pretty persuasive. So also the totality of the evidence as well as his motive and his means.

          And sociopathy? Who else writes If I did it?

          • It was his post acquittal behavior that persuaded me that he committed the ultimate NAP transgression.

            Regarding his conduct before the murders, what lead you to think that he was the murderer?

            • Hi Mike,

              He beat his wife – several times. There is audio of him doing it. Any man – especially a large/powerful man – who beats women is immediately a person I consider capable of killing.

              The guy’s a freak…

              • Yeah,
                I don’t trust a guy who disappears with a cat in the middle of a “towering inferno” for hours, then reappears only moment after the crisis is over, with said cat still in hand.

                • Steve McQueen and Paul Newman were infamous for fighting with the script editor over their screen time, that they finally got exactly the same number of lines in the movie. Now I’m willing to bet neither one of them said “hey, where did this cat-fucker go for four hours while we were rescuing everybody on the top floor? and how the hell did he get out without a scratch, let alone getting soaking wet like the rest of us?” He was the building Security Chief for God’s sake! I’ve heard of Affirmative Action, but that bastard must have had a ticket on the “Escape Express”, lol! He must have been carrying the same ticket in his pocket while he was on trial for murder, eh?

              • The trouble is, Eric, the defense team amply demonstrated reasonable doubt, by both prejudicing the integrity and professionalism of the LAPD, especially Fuhrman, as to the validity of the forensic evidence, and the whole ‘bloody glove’ thing…MASTERFULLY pulled off by Johnny Cochrane. So Mr. Cochrane was a showboating jive-ass with a law degree. He did exactly what OJ paid him and the rest of the “Dream Team” gazillions to do…demonstrated, quite vividly with the non-fitting glove (the prosecution, by not more insisting on a more stringent fitting procedure, utterly screwed this one up), REASONABLE DOUBT. Never mind that there was doubt that Simpson had both the time to confront Nicole and Ron at the murder scene (not impossible, just unlikely), and that Simpson, then 47, a retired NFL running back, although in great shape for a man his age, had the physical strength, agility, and the martial arts skills, to take out his alleged victims, a 35 y.o. woman, herself fairly well-conditioned, and a 26 y.o. man, also in apparently excellent condition, with only a knife and without any signs of significant resistance by the victims. If one doesn’t have exculpatory evidence to get a criminal case dismissed (if there is, likely the case isn’t even pursued, or the cases gets dismissed because of it at the pre-trial hearing), then reasonable doubt is exactly what the defense goes for. The state still has to overcome the presumption of innocence. Although at times, as with Simpson, we may not like it, it’s what keeps the State from simply running roughshod over whomsover it doesn’t ‘like’. One many as well ressurect Herr Doktor Roland Freissener or Andrei Vishinsky and have them sit as judge, if we disregard the presumption of innocence.

                • Hi Doug,

                  No disagreement on any of that.

                  But I still think he’s a double murderer, based on the totality of evidence, the known fact that he brutally beat his wife in the past and his sociopathic actions after his acquittal.

                • No, Douglas, the defense didn’t demonstrate anything “masterfully” at any time during the trial. Cochrane’s silly demonstration of the glove not fitting over a thick dishwasher’s glove with OJ’s hand flexed as wide as possible during his faked attempt to pull it on has been criticized over and over ever since it was shown on TV.

                  The only people who didn’t notice what a sham it was seems to have been the prosecution team. From that point during the trial, it became obvious to plenty of people who talked to me about the trial coverage that the prosecution was obviously in the tank for the defense.

                  Simpson became a pariah despite media attempts to paint him as the victim of a false prosecution. This whole case is an object lesson in how the US news media will keep insisting that what it reports is what EVERYONE believes, no matter how many people speak up publicly in rebuttal.

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