Subjective Safety

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If they were at least consistent, you might be persuaded that Our Controllers were truly concerned about our safety. As opposed to using “safety” as the pretext for controlling us.

Not infrequently, to the detriment of our safety.

There are many examples to prove the point but the latest is the push for congressional approval of an exemption for automated cars from the federal safety requirements that apply to not-automated cars. Specifically, an exemption from the regs which forbid the sale of automated cars that lack back-up controls which a human driver can use to prevent the car from doing something manifestly unsafe because its automated systems have experienced a technical hiccup.

Having some way to intervene when an automated car runs amok doesn’t seem like a bad idea – assuming Our Safety is the criteria  – especially given that automated cars have run amok and given that the more of them there are in circulation, the more often this will happen – for the same reason you get more flat tires when there are 10 million cars out there driving around vs. 10 cars driving around.

It’s an odds game.

And the odds worsen over time, too – as technology (like everything else) is subject to deterioration arising from wear.

But the truth that must not be spoken is that technology is fallible. Imperfect humans cannot create perfect anything.

Without, say, a steering wheel – which Ford is talking about removing from its automated cars, just a few years hence – what happens when the car decides to steer itself off the road? If there is no brake pedal, what will be the fate of an automated car – of the people inside the automated car – when mud obscures the camera that feeds the data to the computer that automatically applies the brakes when the car “sees” traffic stopped ahead, or a red light – but doesn’t see it, this time?

It doesn’t seem particularly safe.

But that is not the objective here. If it were – well, there would be no talk of exemptions from safety standards. So why is it being pushed?

The reason for the exemption push is severalfold:

First, there is a bullying determination to get automated cars on the road and in mass-circulation as soon as possible  – safety be damned. Like electric cars, they are being force-fed to the public via mandates and subsidies.

The why for that is simple enough to grok: Automated cars are controlled cars. And not controlled by us. This is why I very specifically refer to them as automated rather than “autonomous” cars – the latter term being the favored disingenuous term of the technocratic elites, corporate and government, who are using all their prodigious resources to impose automated cars on us by convincing us the cars will be autonomous.

As in, independent. Free of control.

This verbal shuck and jive is of a piece with Repeal . . . and Replace Obamacare.

Remember when they talked about just repealing it? Now the plan is to enshrine it. But a Republican version of government-controlled health as opposed to one conceived by Democrats.

Either way, government-controlled health remains.

Automated cars will be as un-autonomous as a city bus. They will operate on their schedule, not yours. They will be programmed to operate a certain way – not your way – and that way will be based upon the least common denominator. The risk/comfort threshold for speed (as well as getting up to speed) of the most nervous old lady or “mom.” The parameters of operation set down by the same people who post speed limits at least 10 and often 20 MPH below the ordinary flow of traffic. Only it will be far worse because in an automated car, driving faster than granny-paced speed limits and disobeying idiotic traffic regs will literally be impossible. No steering wheel, remember.

Wait and see.

The idea – floated by the technocrats – that we will be whisked along, Jetsons-style, at high speed to our destinations is as silly an idea as believing that getting to where you’re going via the Greyhound Bus will be faster (and more enjoyable) than driving there yourself.

Which is why they are touting “autonomous” cars. It’s deliberately deceptive – the ear of fresh corn used to lure the cow to the chute.

Of a piece with the shuck-and-jive that they are only concerned about our safety. Ranchers are more honest with their cattle.

The second reason for the exemption push has to do with liability. They are much less concerned about our safety than they are about their money. Automated cars represent a massive risk  . . . of lawsuits.

As things stand.

For example: When Teslas with automated driving technology have crashed (several have) who gets the bill? Is it Tesla? Or – counterargument – is it the fault of the driver, who failed to correct for the automated car’s mistake in time?

The lawyers representing both sides get a nice payday. The car’s occupants get taken for a ride – for good or bad.

The stenography car press never touches on these issues; they are much too prickly. They get in the way of the goal – which is not to free people, charge them less – or make things safer for them.

The object of the exercise is to corral and control them – and when “safety” concerns present a problem, those concerns are either ignored (see, for instance, the history of air bags) or exemptions are given, as is being proposed lately.

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  1. As sane as it sounds, I would prefer that non-automated cars be exempt from all the ridiculous “safety” provisions, instead of the automated cars having these exemptions.

    At the minimum, the car with the human driver can react to incidents without the need of a camera to show him where he’s going.

    • Hi George,
      Did you read the replies to that article from “LiberalSmallInvestor2”? My God! It has to be the one and only “Clover”!

    • ….if what Eric insists is true…and I agree that it is primarily about control…the idiots have not thought the scenario through very well. With automation…(if working properly)…comes accuracy and efficiency. When the onboard computer prevents speeding, running of red lights, illegal lane changes, right turn on red, rolling through a stop sign and speeding by school buses…there goes a huge portion of the traffic violations revenue, as well as legitimate probable cause for pulling a car over. Additionally, data-records from the car will be admissible in court, as well as 360 degree digital recording. Their traffic stops drop, their ticket revenue and asset-seizure revenues dry up…and the people put in these…”for-profit-prisons”…drops due to the reduced probable cause effect! Ha!
      RJ O’Guillory

      • RJ, Maybe it’s all about control and maybe there aren’t even any plans for actual automated automobiles. Maybe it’s just part of the push to eliminate privately owned autos altogether. It seems to me that there’s no way to control such complexity as free travel by free people, so it has to be eliminated instead.

        • Hi Ed,

          I think you’ve hit upon what’s really happening. This is about eliminating the truly autonomous car. The one you’ve got in the garage right now.

          • More accurately, the one I would have in the garage if my 2 car garage wasn’t so full of stuff that only one car can be parked there. 😉

      • Hi RJ,

        They will still go after people for drinking and using arbitrarily illegal drugs – for the same reason they will arrest people sleeping in the back seat of a parked car with a stone cold engine who clearly wasn’t driving.

        They will also replaced the road taxes you mention with other taxes. You can see this already setting up: Mileage taxes vs. motor fuels taxes.

  2. Great call Eric on not using the deliberately deceptive word “autonomous”. The control freaks are masters at using deceptive language like the “Patriot Act”, “Earned Income Tax Credit”, “schools”, and – my personal favorite – “tolerance”. And the great dumb masses just continue on happily marching to their own doom.

    Here’s a question: What happens to motorcycling when cars and trucks are all automated? My guess is they will be outlawed – hell I am stunned that they are not already! Cannot have non automated vehicles sharing the road with “dangerous” and “selfish” humans. But what is the bloody point of motorcycling if it too is automated?!

  3. Musing tonight over my years here and the startling changes I’ve seen. Although what’s in motion now was already starting when I was a kid, it’s still a shock to see the crap finally hit the fan. I scarcely recognize my fellow citizens as thinking Americans anymore. What do you say to someone whose epitome of living is to live with a smart phone in one hand and an embedded chip in the other and is as content as Mill’s pig in a cornfield?

    No wonder I’m a luddite. Other than the Internet’s vast access to information, I can’t think of an advantage to the digital age that isn’t at least as heavily burdened by downsides. Google, PayPal, Youtube, Facebook, etc. are all set on stifling us, and can do so far more effectively than any newspaper or post office machinations in the past could imagine.

    • Morning, Ross –


      The changes in the just the past 20 years or so years are startling. Hardly more than yesterday, you could board an airplane without being felt up or made to assume the I Surrender! pose and be irradiated and scanned. Outside of bad neighborhoods in big cities, most cops were not body-armored stormtroopers with itchy trigger fingers. Your bank was not a department of the Eye Are Es, narcing out your “activities.” If our mail and so on were read, it was illegal for them to do so without a warrant. They had to convict you of a crime before they could take your property – or put your person in prison.

      Almost no one seems to remember. Fewer seem to care.

      • …plenty of us care. I’m 57…and my Dad was a corrupt cop from way back in the 60’s…so we have watched this progression from a corruption standpoint for some time… but I don’t think the technology is completely to blame. Aggressive human nature, greed…the need to be in power over others….these are timeless human qualities that often take advantage of the newest technology to abuse others, but it isn’t the technology that is the issue. As an epileptic who no longer drives…(and who’s last drive was off a cliff at 70mph)…I would appreciate this technological development…as long as it works! I would trade the benefit of being able to control my own travel outcomes, regardless of who tracked me or kept track of me. They can kiss my ass. I’d love to see Medicare have to pay the 80% cost of my necessary… “medical-device”…! Ha!
        RJ O’Gullory

  4. The three things I was promised as a kid were going to the moon, flying cars (don’t liken this crap to Jetsons Eric), and Jetsons phones.

    NASA blocked going to the moon.

    The FAA blocked the flying car.

    But hey, we sure did get FaceTime/Jetsons phones with Orwellian cameras that Magnus Frater controls.

    The new “cars” provided to us by our benevolent overlords will be sans any occupant controls.

    We’ve already grown accustomed to being being strapped in and then locked in shortly after the Takata claymores have armed.

    And for the convenience of the “customer,” digital exams will be administered by the vehicle according to Trumpcare guidelines.

    I’m looking forward to the birthday when the Zyclon B mobile comes to pick me up.

  5. Hey Folks!
    I just saw the most idiotic of ironies a few minutes ago. While taking a break just now, from my splattering of random posts here, I went out to walk my dog in front of my shop, which is where we live (I wonder why). Lo and behold, a millenial comes driving down the hill toward the shop….”blap, blap, blap, blap, blap, blap. The car is the little shit-box Smart, sporting a rubber pancake on the RH rear, where a tire used to be. Stops at the stop-sign at the corner, doesn’t even glance at the shop, just pulls out and limps on up the road out of sight blap, blap, blap blap, blap, blap. The irony? A stupid little shit-box twat-transporter, and its equally “smart” operator. Somehow I envision an entire nation doing this in unison befor the end of the next decade……a homogeneous mass of emasculated twits duck walking in chain-gang fashion to the tune of blap, blap blap blap, blap, blap, splat! Meanwhile God is looking around and asking “what happened to the humans I created, and who left this diaharrea here for me wipe up?”

    • Hi Graves!

      Paraphrasing the Reichsmarschall: Every time I see a SmartCar, I feel the urge to pull out my pistol…

      These things are: Expensive and shockingly fuel-inefficient, given their size/power/performance. A dual sport or touring bike can carry as many people and cargo, gets better fuel economy and costs half as much. The only upside to the “smart” car is that it does have an enclosed passenger compartment.

      But the thing is a perversion of the tiny/basic car idea. Those cars were inexpensive to buy an cheap to operate. A BMW Isetta, for instance.

      I feel like a mammoth stuck in a tar pit. I know I should try to get out, but I feel paralyzed and await my doom…

      • Eric –

        You are free, Eric. You could pick up and take the house proceeds and live decently in a country like Thailand, Cambodia, Laos or even the Phillipines, although their president is a Castro type nut job. They are not as far down the technotronic rabbit hole as we are. Take some time and travel. Find some Asian chick to show you around. You can write about cars from anywhere.

        Take care, man.


        • Hell just take the bike on a day trip to a small throwback town in the Carolinas even. Somewhere the Yellow Roses still bloom.

          She: You’ve traveled down some dusty roads
          And slept out in the rain
          But this yellow rose is always here when you come home again

          He: She knows I’ve done some hard time

          She: You’ve stumbled and you fell
          I just kept your pride from dying

          He: You saved my soul from hell
          She’s a diamond of the desert
          She’s a golden flower of spring
          She’s the yellow rose in Texas
          She can make a man a king

            • I’ll gladly pay.

              Women love corny and juvenile.

              Childhood is totally wasted on the young. Why not keep some of it for yourself?

              Even the kids who grew up in the epicenter of the former ISIS Islamic State will look back at their youth fondly. Because relatively speaking, it was a magical time. It always is.

  6. Eventually the nonconformists, a.k.a. you and I, will be rounded up and imprisoned or executed while resisting arrest, or whatever excuse they make up, and then the rest of the sheeple will duly march into the stock pens.
    I full y intend to die as I live,of my own free will. Ironic how we have allowed the servants to become the masters.

    • Me as well, Graves.

      Do you know the story of Giles Corey? He was the ornery old guy who – accused of some idiocy by the Salem witch trial ayatollahs – refused to play along and was subjected to a torture method (which could kill) involving the placement of ever-heavier rocks on his chest, with the object being to crush the life out of him if he would not talk.

      The ayatollahs demanded he speak, tell them what they wanted to know.

      His reply was, simply: More weight!

  7. NOTAM Number : FDC 7/3416 Download shapefiles
    Issue Date : August 30, 2017 at 0453 UTC
    Location : United States
    Beginning Date and Time : August 30, 2017 at 0445 UTC
    Ending Date and Time : September 05, 2017 at 2030 UTC
    Type : Hazards
    Replaced NOTAM(s) : N/A,-93.8481445259098&chart=301&zoom=8

    If you were stranded and had a helicopter (and knew how to fly it) would you abide by the “temporary” flight restriction? Remember you won’t get clearance without a waiver from the FAA, ATC is very clear on this point. Only military and “first responders” are going to be in the air over Huston. What if you could get food and water delivered to an area that needed it? And what if you could charge for delivery (but that would be price gouging), how much do you think people would be willing to pay? Do you think any pilots might be willing to fly into the area if they know they’ll make a buck?

    But instead, Uncle grounds everyone and only allows who he deems worthy of flying into the area. Help be damned. Just send yer cash…

  8. It’s too bad that the average asshole on the street can’t get at these scheming bureaucrats and just beat the piss out of them all. Admit it: y’all would love to get your hands on some of these schemers, wouldn’t you? I know I would, even though I can’t deliver much of a beating anymore.

    We need to Make America Ass-whupping Central for politicians and bureaucrats. If a candidate ran on that platform, I’d even vote, even though the new slogan ain’t as succinct as MAGA.

    • Kids grow up too pampered and soft these days.

      I was too, but only 75% of my childhood. The other 25% I was the Young Man in the Glass Castle

      I too enjoyed a school year of silk sheet suburban ease. But every summer break it was nearly 3 months of all out war hundreds of miles from any allies except a cousin and my mothers sister. He became like my brother in arms, cause it was all out war there in the lands of the mighty SWPs.

      I get the sense most people have never been in a real fight for survival and street dominance in their lives.

      WE FOUGHT A LOT in Welch. Not just to fend off our enemies but to fit in. Maybe it was because
      there was so little to do in Welch; maybe it was because life there was hard and it made people hard;
      maybe it was because of all the bloody battles over unionizing the mines; maybe it was because mining
      was dangerous and cramped and dirty work and it put all the miners in bad moods and they came home
      and took it out on their wives, who took it out on their kids, who took it out on other kids.

      Whatever the reason, it seemed that just about everyone in Welch—men, women, boys, girls—liked to fight.
      There were street brawls, bar stabbings, parking lot beatings, wife slappings, and toddler whalings.

      Sometimes it was simply a matter of someone throwing a stray punch, and it would all be over before
      you knew it had started. Other times it would be more like a twelveround prizefight, with spectators
      cheering on the bloody, sweating opponents.

      Then there were the grudges and feuds that went on for years, a couple of brothers beating up some guy because back in the fifties his father had beaten up their father, a woman shooting her best friend for sleeping with her husband and the best friend’s brother then stabbing the husband.

      You’d walk down McDowell Street, and half the people you passed seemed to be nursing an injury sustained in local combat. There were shiners, split lips, swollen cheekbones, bruised arms, scraped knuckles, and bitten earlobes. We had lived in some pretty scrappy places back in the desert, but Mom said Welch was the fightingest town she’d ever seen.

      Brian and Lori and Maureen and I got into more fights than most kids. Dinitia Hewitt and her friends
      were only the first in a whole line of little gangs who did battle with one or more of us. Other kids
      wanted to fight us because we had red hair, because Dad was a drunk, because we wore rags and didn’t
      take as many baths as we should have, because we lived in a fallingdown house that was partly painted
      yellow and had a pit filled with garbage, because they’d go by our dark house at night and see that we
      couldn’t even afford electricity.

      But we always fought back, usually as a team. Our most spectacular fight, and our most audacious
      tactical victory—the Battle of Little Hobart Street—took place against Ernie Goad and his friends
      when I was ten and Brian was nine. Ernie Goad was a pugnosed, thicknecked kid who had little eyes
      set practically on the sides of his head, like a whale.

      He acted as if it was his sworn mission to drive the Walls family out of town. It started one day when I was playing with some other kids on the tank parked next to the armory. Ernie Goad appeared and began throwing rocks at me and yelling that the Wallses should all leave Welch because we were stinking it up so bad.

      I threw a couple of rocks back and told him to leave me alone.
      “Make me,” Ernie said.
      “I don’t make garbage,” I shouted. “I burn it.” This was usually a foolproof comeback, making up in
      scorn what it lacked in originality, but on this occasion it backfired.
      “Y’all Wallses don’t burn garbage!” Ernie yelled back. “Y’all throw it in a hole next to your house! You
      live in it!”

      I tried to think of a comeback to his comeback, but my mind seized up because what Ernie had said was
      true: We did live in garbage.
      Ernie stuck his face in mine. “Garbage! You live in garbage ’cause you are garbage!”
      I shoved him good and hard, then turned to the other kids, hoping for backup, but they were easing
      away and looking down.

      That Saturday, Brian and I were reading on the sofa bed when one of the windowpanes shattered and a
      rock landed on the floor. We ran to the door. Ernie and three of his friends were pedaling their bikes up
      and down Little Hobart Street, whooping madly. “Garbage! Garbage! Y’all are a bunch of garbage!”

      Brian went out on the porch. One of the kids hurled another rock that hit Brian in the head. He
      staggered back, then ran down the steps, but Ernie and his friends pedaled away, shrieking. Brian came
      back up the stairs, blood trickling down his cheek and onto his Tshirt and a pump knot already
      swelling up above his eyebrow.

      Ernie’s gang returned a few minutes later, throwing stones and shouting that they had actually seen the pigsty where the Walls kids lived and that they were going to tell the whole school it was even worse than everyone said.

      This time both Brian and I chased after them. Even though they outnumbered us, they were enjoying
      the game of taunting us too much to make a stand. They rode down to the first switchback and got

      “They’ll be back,” Brian said.
      “What are we going to do?” I asked.

      Brian sat thinking, then told me he had a plan. He found some rope under the house and led me up to a
      clearing in the hillside above Little Hobart Street. A few weeks earlier, Brian and I had dragged an old
      mattress up there because we were thinking of camping out. Brian explained how we could make a
      catapult, like the medieval ones we’d read about, by piling rocks on the mattress and rigging it with
      ropes looped over tree branches.

      We quickly assembled the contraption and tested it once, jerking back
      on the ropes at the count of three. It worked—a minor avalanche of rocks rained onto the street below. It
      was, we were convinced, enough to kill Ernie Goad and his gang, which was what we fully intended to
      do: kill them and commandeer their bikes, leaving their bodies in the street as a warning to others.

      So we piled the rocks back on the mattress, rerigged the catapult, and waited. After a couple of minutes,
      Ernie and his gang reappeared at the switchback. Each of them rode onehanded and carried an eggsized
      rock in his throwing hand.

      They were proceeding single file, like a Pawnee war party, a few feet
      apart. We couldn’t get them all at once, so we aimed for Ernie, who was at the head of the pack.

      When he came within range, Brian gave the word, and we jerked back on the ropes. The mattress shot
      forward, and our arsenal of rocks flew through the air. I heard them thud against Ernie’s body and
      clatter on the road. He screamed and cursed as his bike skidded. The kid behind Ernie ran into him, and
      they both fell. The other two turned around and sped off. Brian and I started hurling whatever rocks
      were at hand. Since they were downhill, we had a good line of fire and scored several direct hits, the
      rocks dinging off their bikes, nicking the paint and denting the fenders.

      Then Brian yelled, “Charge!” and we came barreling down the hill. Ernie and his friend jumped back
      on their bikes and furiously pedaled off before we could reach them. As they disappeared around the
      bend, Brian and I did a victory dance in the rockstrewn street, giving our own war whoops.

  9. I am guessing they won’t actually have to ban human drivers. It will be the cost of insuring a human driver that will put most in automated cars. Automated cars will probably cost about what it costs now to insure a car, but they will likely charge extra if you actually want to drive your car yourself.


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