Time Bomb

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In just seven years’ time – unless Trump does something before his four years are up – the average fuel efficiency of the average car will have to almost double. From 35.5 MPG (now) to 54.5 MPG by 2025. So reads the fuel economy fatwa issued by Trump’s predecessor.

No matter how much it costs, no matter what it takes.

To put this in perspective, as of 2018, there is only one car available that is capable of meeting the 2025 “goal” – as these forced-on-us things are styled: It is the Toyota Prius Prime plug-in hybrid. Nothing else comes close.

Well, except electric cars.

These average infinity – as far as gas consumption goes. Which is very helpful insofar as the averages. The federal fuel economy fatwa is formally the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standard, which is an arbitrary number pulled out of a hat by federal regulatory ayatollahs, who have somehow become the arbiters of how much fuel the cars we buy ought to use.

Those cars which use more gas than the arbitrarily decreed figure are subject to punitive “gas guzzler” fines meant specifically to discourage their manufacture as well as their purchase, by making them artificially more expensive to manufacture and more expensive to buy.

In case you wondered, this is why larger vehicles and vehicles with larger engines are becoming both scarce and exotically priced. If you’re young – 30 or less – you probably will not remember but there was a time when most Americans, including working-class Americans, routinely drove large cars with large engines. Bought them brand-new. Smaller cars with smaller engines were also available, but people bought them because that’s what they wanted – not because they were forced to by government fatwas that put larger and larger-engined cars out of their reach, as today.

It is also why suburbanites routinely drive SUVs today. “SUVs” are a made-up class of vehicle that did not exist prior to the CAFE fatwa. The class was made-up by the car industry as a way to get around the fatwa – which (at the time) granted a partial exemption to what were then just trucks, which were considered work vehicles. But if you enclosed the truck’s bed and added seats – you could carry people. Voila!

The SUV.

It took Uncle a few years to catch on – and for the CAFE regs to catch up. In the interim, vast fleets of SUVs hit the streets, because people still wanted large vehicles with large engines and the truck-derived SUV’s ground clearance and available 4×4 only made the combo even more appealing. Certainly more so than the “downsized” (and down-engined) cars the car companies were being forced to build, even though the demand was elsewhere.

Uncle did catch up, of course. The fatwa was changed to envelope SUVs and other “light trucks.” They are now on the endangered species list, too.

As are mid-sized cars with mid-sized engines. It is no random thing that six cylinder engines, which were as recently as two years ago abundantly available in the mid-sized/family car class of vehicle – are becoming extremely uncommon, if not unavailable. Most of the cars which used to offer them – examples include the Mazda6 and Honda Accord – no longer do.

Deep within the EPA . . .

Just as – a generation ago – V8s were all-but-eliminated from the mid-priced/family car class.

The current fatwa – 35.5 MPG on average – is already a bar too high. None shall pass. Not without radical redesigns, already becoming obvious in the person of nine and ten speed transmissions and aluminum bodies and other such artifices of desperation. Inevitably,  diminution in power and capability and also size will have to be resorted to – to get from 35.5 to 54.5 MPG.

That, or build far fewer larger (and even medium-sized) cars. And even fewer trucks and SUVs.

Or, build lots of electric cars.

Averages, remember.

This is the practical reason behind the weirdly sudden bum’s rush by every major car manufacturer to build electric cars. As many as possible – even if they don’t sell. Even if they have to be given away at a considerable loss per car (the loss made up by tax write-offs, “carbon credits” and other subsidies).

Because each electric car – which uses no gas at all – is extremely helpful mathematically, as a regulatory dodge – even if a disaster economically and practically. The presence of one EV on the left side of the scale balances the SUV (or even the car) on the right side of the scale. The more they build of the one, the more they can sell of the other.

It is the only way.

Because there is no other way that any car – except a very small hybrid car – is ever going to average 54.5 MPG. Not without extreme lightening up, at least – which will never happen because then the car would be “unsafe” – not able to comply with all the federal bumper-impact, roof crush and other such fatwas.

Or with a diesel – which the regulatory ayatollahs have also effectively outlawed.

So without vast fleets of electric cars to balance out the scales, other-than-small (and small-engined) cars will become much harder to justify building at all, because their cost to buy will become exorbitant, such that very few people will be able to afford them.

Yet people still want the larger (and larger-engined) cars.  Notice the demand for “gas guzzlers’ has not slackened, which must frustrate the fuel efficiency fatwa-issuers. Who are determined to force fuel economy down people’s throats no matter how much they didn’t ask for it.

Here’s where Trump comes in – or could.

He is, after all, the elected representative of the people – to invoke the monk-chant of “democracy” – while the regulatory ayatollahs represent no one except themselves and perhaps a few Claybrookian Clover types who are simpatico with the idea of forcing other people to do as they think best even when it’s none of their business and they ought to just mind their own.

Trump could – and should – simply countermand the CAFE fatwa. Tear the thing up, throw the pieces up over his head, confetti style. It was not, after all, passed by Congress – the representatives of the people. It was imposed by regulatory bureaucrats.

If we truly do live in a democracy – as we are constantly told – then the will of the people ought to prevail.

This would, of course, trigger wild ululations among the ayatollahs but wouldn’t that be almost as gratifying as a really top-drawer steak dinner with all the trimmings?

Trump would probably also assure his re-election, despite everything – because the people give a damn. Not about fuel efficiency. But about being left free to buy the type of car – or SUV  – that meets their needs.

The ayatollahs be damned.

. . .

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155 COMMENTS

  1. I would prefer that all the limousine liberals get in the same two-person Smart car, and that these cars be stuffed to the gills with these people, along with the ayatollahs of the Economic Prevention Agency. In other words: Lead by doing.

    With the United States increasing its oil production (subject to oil prices being high enough), it only makes sense that we should be promoting uses for all that oil and natural gas. It makes no sense to burn oil to create electricity, just as it makes no sense for a family of four to load up into their Prius or Smart car to drive cross-country. But it does make sense for the political class to stuff themselves in these cars for the trips to the local airport.

    • Travis, nothing is that simple. Last year Congress rescinded the bill that forbade US oil for export, right in time for Kinder-Morgan’s new fleet of tankers to haul that stuff to Europe. This is one of those times(it always is actually)when it’s time to consider what you might wish for. Keep the price of coal close to oil for electrical production and everybody gets rich…or at least the usual big players do and they’re the only ones who count. You or me take a hit in the pocket book and nobody knows cause our shareholders are few and expect little(to nothing, at least in my case….IRS).

      Well, we’d have a “re-positioning” of everything if our oil price were the same as Europe and electric cars would be forgotten as fast as yesterday’s wine.

      Congress critters would be lined up to “speak” to their constituents and assure them they wouldn’t starve. Well, they might get cold(you can just see them all bundled up this winter and wearing shorts in the summer)….and hot…and not like the small amount to eat but they won’t let people get “too” hungry.

      All the Democratic talk this past week of “you don’t need 20 rounds in a mag to hunt deer(no, and you don’t need 10 either)” would fall away since they know that’s not what a mag is for and hope “their” constituents don’t figure out it’s to hunt Democrats and Republicans and TPTB. When I first read one of the Dem’s had mentioned deer hunting I had to smile. Dear hunting is more like it and it’s their own asses that are “dear” to them. Their constituents are stupid enough to fall for this crap but most of the country isn’t that stupid. I live in stupid/don’t fuck with me land. Stupid as in Hispanics, horribly ignorant of politics, and good old boys who live and die by it…and know it. Black people for the most part, know that mag ain’t made for “deer”.

      Of course most people don’t worry about 20 round mags since they’re doubled up with 40’s and the newer style MagPul 50 and 60 rounders…..latch those together and do the arithmetic.

      • I was aiming my powder at the idea of all fuels being (supposedly) equal. It would not be a good idea if we have an energy grid that relies only upon electric power; we need balance between different sources of energy.

        It’s true that all energy sources could be converted to electricity, but why? The more times you convert energy, the less efficient the result. And it wouldn’t make much sense to transport oil to Europe for them to use for gasoline, since they already are further along the road away from carbon-based fuels.

        I was also addressing that many of the Washington Elites have limousines on call to transport them wherever they want/need to be. They should be stuffed into those Smart cars in a cramped-up manner, and be forced to take those vehicles to their final destination.

        No matter what fuel sources are used, someone or some group will benefit more than others. That’s fine. If there’s a market for gasoline or diesel-powered vehicles, several groups of people along the way are going to produce it. But limiting choices just because of having fatwas against one source is not a good idea; it forces other choices to be made that may not be viable. If Richard Kinder wants to purchase oil tankers to transport fuel beyond the borders of the United States, that’s his decision; he has a use for them, and they are not functionally obsolete. But eliminating oil, which has a higher energy density than any standard fuel, from the supply equation is going to be more difficult to replace than most people imagine.

        • The very reason enlightened people in WWll said we had changed from a coal society to an oil society. It wasn’t hard to see and the cheaper price of coal has always kept it in the market.

          Now we see various sources of energy forced by govt. on the taxpayer.

          An old college buddy fought tooth and nail to stop the transmission line across his place, too damn close to his house. He embraced the wind generators that paid him grandly for the land they sit on. So…..without the wind generators that pay him so handsomely there would be no need for transmission lines. I’m luckily not a candidate for either. I’ve worked beneath wind generators a great deal. Nobody I knows has one near their home.

          There’s two ways to handle everything. Some, usually unsuccessfully, seek a courts’ redress for infringement on their property. I handled it another way. A friend came to me early one morning while I was fabricating(I can do it in any position generally)in the barn. He said he guessed I wasn’t aware of trucks streaming through my gates. He was right and I handled it what I deemed the right way. They were staging inside my gate. I pull up to the first one, get out with my old side by side and asked who wanted to be the first. Activity came to a halt. We waited for the “company man”. He showed up, ready to negotiate. I got my price. They did their thing and I never regretted anything more. It costs me thousands more than I was paid to repair what they’d destroyed. Live and learn. Next time, no negotiations, no price, no pass.

  2. Much as I would like to see Trump dump the CAFE standards, you gotta ask – why hasn’t he done that already?

    Being a political animal, my guess is Public Choice theory applies – he maybe modifies CAFE standards, rather than dumping them, but only if he perceives that will help him in the crucial swing states.

    • Hi Jim,

      I wish I could have 5 minutes with the guy. He may not realize that his re-election could hinge upon this. 54.5 MPG will implode the car industry – and if that happens, the economy implodes.

      And so does he.

      • We will probably get some BS calculation like with the 55mph NMSL that says they are in compliance. Then the government people will tell us about how they granted us incredible fuel economy.

        The automakers will then be stuck as pawns in this political fiction.

      • If I wasn’t being afraid of being banned again, I bring some of this up with the millions of people on The_Donald at reddit.
        https://www.reddit.com/r/The_Donald/

        You would probably get banned or have your submission deleted there oddly enough, because you speak your mind without filter, let the consensus be damned. If you ever have anything put together for what Trump should do, I’d be happy to post it there as a trial balloon, and see how popular it is.

        My surreal rambling gets as much as 1500 comments, 84000 views, and 8700 net upvotes(81% up versus down). This is true even though I post mainly in the slow hours of internet traffic.

        Do the math with how much better of a writer and comment responder you are compared to me, you’d be talking some real quantifiable idea exposure.

        The hot item right now is 400+ sex traffickers being arrested today. How is that kind of BS going to MAGA?

        The rest of reddit is incredibly hostile to us, I wouldn’t recommend going many other places there unless you’re well armored.

        • Hello The_Donald readers and the entire Reddit community — this is going to be SO huge and I’m looking forward to answering your questions.
          https://www.reddit.com/r/The_Donald/comments/4uxdbn/im_donald_j_trump_and_im_your_next_president_of/

          I’m doing this in flight to visit the great people of Toledo, OH, so Internet connection might be spotty — I promise you, I’ll answer all the questions I can. I want to do BIG things for America and as your President, I WILL Make America Great Again! Be back in 30 — 7 pm ET!
          UPDATE: Proof: https://www.facebook.com/DonaldTrump/posts/10157382886305725

          Looking forward to answering your questions! We are still in the air on our way to Ohio.

          Best comments by the Orange Emperor

          I’m Donald J. Trump and I’m Your Next President of the United States. by the-realDonaldTrump in The_Donald

          [–]the-realDonaldTrump[S] 5867 points 1 year ago

          Americans in every party are tired of our rigged system and corrupt politicians, and want to reform our government so it no longer benefits the powerful at the expense of everyone else. They know I will fix it so it works for them and their families. Hillary Clinton’s message is that things will never change. My message is that things have to change, and they have to change right now.

          We have to change a foreign policy that has led us to one economic disaster after another, and an economic policy that has failed our poorest citizens. We will never fix a rigged system by relying on the people who rigged it in the first place.
          I am going to return the government to the people.
          Together, we will Make America Great Again.

          Though Bernie is exhausted and has given up on his revolution, many of his voters still want to keep up the fight. I expect that millions of Bernie voters will refuse to vote for Hillary because of her support for the War in Iraq, the invasion of Libya, NAFTA and TPP, and of course because she is totally bought and sold by special interests.

          She and her husband have been paid millions and millions by global corporations and powerful interests who will control her every decision. She is their puppet, and they pull the strings.
          We welcome with open arms all voters who want an honest government and to fix our rigged system so it works for the people. This includes fixing one of Bernie’s biggest issues, our terrible trade deals that strip our country of its jobs and wealth.

    • Hi Tor,

      It is amazing the way Tesla (and Musk) get stroked by the media. His “business” is a con,his product scheisse… but they fall at his feet as if he were the messiah.

      • The thing about the War of the North is that’s where the biggest most powerful plantation owners actually lived. Except for the ones in Britain, Europe, and Other European colonies of course.

        The notion that the major Southern Plantation owners were in the least bit harmed seems highly unlikely.

        More likely that the medium and small plantation owners got screwed, while the big boys divvied up the spoils of war like they always do.

          • We can all be a lot less poor if we’d hire someone like you to do a freedom audit.

            Take a tour of the guys home, vehicles, have him fill out forms about his family work and life so you can see places to save and live cheaper and simpler.

            Also look at all the big ticket items and show him what needs to be done to keep everything working well and not catastrophically failing sometime down the road.

            Get rid of high complexity risky things in your life so you don’t endure that life altering hiccup.

            We could each of us be a crowd sourced Life Wrench of sorts.

            In your case maybe there was warning signs of what eventually got Googuhl to black ball you.

            We could have had a separate forum not out in the cleartext google spider searchable part of the net, and kept EPAutos advertiser friendly as far as they would be able to see.

            Also what are the signs that your wife is about to blow up your entire world.

            In my case, my wife told me one time she was going to leave, and somehow I knew what to say to “nudge” her back into staying with me.

            She was going to move back to her parents. I pointed out they probably would rather she didn’t.

            Pointed out that her problems are things that wouldn’t get any better were she to be free of me. Chances are they would get even worse.

            In my case, I told her from day one, if we’ve ever split everything we have together is hers. I’ll leave with just the clothes on my back and other things that are of no value to her.

            That doesn’t mean I don’t have things elsewhere she doesn’t know about. But as far as my cleartext google searchable existence. It’s all hers already, and divorcing me won’t get her any benefits at all, except that she won’t have to listen to my opinions on things anymore.

            Not like I’m some genius. I’m actually a big idiot who does amazing on objective answer tests and so seems smart on paper. In the real world I’m dumb as a rock lots of times.

            Is Dollar Store the beginning of the end. Should you get out of your land now and move somewhere cheaper and more remote now while the getting is good.

            I bet all of us here could weigh in pretty well even more than we have. I think you would really dig Mexico. But I mean only the old Mexico I used to know. I have no idea what its like these last few years.

            I bet its not at all bad based on everyone I’ve talked to in Houston and Vegas about how things are these days.

            You can live like a Sultan down there on not much money at all, and still blog away. Maybe just go down there for part of the year, and get a new permanent place somewhere else.

            Strangely enough I’m all alone in the middle of Houston and I was in Vegas also. Day to day Clovers and Suburban Type Cod Piecers are invisible to me.

            I don’t even notice them or hear them when they’re trying to talk to me or interrogate me with their idiot questions.

            I hate rural areas these days except NV & TX because there’s only a few people and everybody gets to know everybody, and then there’s no privacy to be had unless you keep entirely to yourself, which I find kinda boring.

            But I lived that life too for many years, and it did used to be amazing back in the day before I had to vamoose from all the snitching intrusive Yankee Pod People.
            http://0.media.collegehumor.cvcdn.com/98/26/e4b73479e6b7d7bdda978cb70d750481.jpg

            • Move out by me – North of lake Houston – Huffman New Caney area – Lots of cheap (though still a little wet) places out here – and it is just like Mexico. 30 minutes from Downtown and if I don’t go outside and pop off a few rounds at 3am my neighbors think something is wrong! lol.

        • It was all about the Government taking money from the south (Monroe tariffs) where they had private railroads, and giving it to the big railroads in the north. That bastard Lincoln was willing to kill half his country for profit.

  3. Some of you long-timers might remember that I work at a very low level for Mazda. What follows is strictly my opinion, speaking for myself.

    Henry Ford II warned in the 1970s that the $2,000 Pinto would become the $4,000 Pinto with no changes other than federal safety and emissions mandates. It did, and was replaced by the $6,000 Escort that became the $8,000 Escort, then the $10,000 Escort, then…

    Likewise, the $20,000 Mazda3 subcompact is, I suspect, going to become the $40,000 Mazda3 in a few years because of all the new fuel economy, safety, and emissions mandates, unless something changes. These cars are going to be more and more complex, when means expensive to fix and tedious to operate. The new-car market is going to crash under its own weight because new units are already unaffordable for many Americans now thanks to stagnant wages, let alone after prices skyrocket. And you can bet that some in government and among the Left won’t be unhappy at that outcome; in fact, it might have been the goal in the first place.

    The record new-car sales we’ve seen in the US over the past few years will prove to be the swansong of the industry—and not even accounting for the looming specter of ride-sharing and driverless vehicles. In a nation of 330 million people, since 2013 we’ve sold a total of over 50 million new vehicles. That’s a hell of a lot. We won’t see those numbers again, I predict.

    They will become available to buy as late-model used cars as leases expire and they are turned in. People who need to buy a car will turn to one of these instead of buying ever more complex and expensive new ones. The 2013–2017 models, especially lower-trim models without all the expensive options, will be considered the last of the great cars before the shit hit the fan in the form of regulations and complexity.

    I know of some of the changes that are right around the corner, though I’m not free to describe them. Every vehicle company will be forced to make similar changes. Suffice it to say: I’m really concerned about our automotive future, but this is what happens when we keep reelecting the same lousy people to office and keep allowing unelected bureaucrats and judges free rein to make rules. You’ve been warned. Keep your old car or truck as long as you can.

      • There was recently a much greater depression when you look at the Dow Jones in terms of gold.
        http://www.macrotrends.net/1378/dow-to-gold-ratio-100-year-historical-chart

        1.94 ounces in February of 1933 bought the Dow while 1.29 ounces did the same in January of 1980.

        It takes a while for the Keynesian Animal Spirits to evaporate and for everyone’s malInvestments to Sober up. But most people lost everything they had and became debt slaves in the greater Jimmy Carter Ronny Reagan depression.

        The proof is right there for all to see.

        It’s a shell game even for residential home owners. Only farming or commercially productive land owners survive when these cycle lows come every 20 40 or 60 years like they always have more or less like clockwork no one can foresee.

        Stop being a softie, and go hard asset.
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hard_asset

        I say this as someone deeply in the tank with Berkshire Hathaway recently who one never knows where it’s going a year or a decade from now.

        I feel like one of Stalin’s chickens cozying up to all these warm legs that are going to keep my nest eggs warm enough for me so they hatch as needed on the regular barnyard schedule.

  4. I’m a carpenter.I pull a twelve foot trailer loaded with tools. How am I supposed to pull it with a car that weighs less than the trailer and has basically no engine?

  5. I drive a little Shadow 600 and can make the daily commute at 65 mpg where the car is 27.
    17,000 mile on the bike last year means I saved 368 gallons of gas.

  6. We got in this situation, and many others because the American people opted to live on their knees vs to die on their feet. Well, some of us did but that is another story. We abrogated our responsibilities and little by little let the gubment be responsible for our well being, safety, and security. Now we have little or none left.
    As people we are ignorant of history, we are ignorant of how the gubment is supposed to work, we are ignorant of current events, we are ignorant of the world we live in.

    “‘It is scarcely possible that the eyes of contemporaries should discover in the public felicity the latent causes of decay and corruption. This long peace, and the uniform government of the Romans, introduced a slow and secret poison into the vitals of the empire. The minds of men were gradually reduced to the same level, the fire of genius was extinguished, and even the military spirit evaporated.’ Now that no one buys our votes, the public has long since cast off its cares; the people that once bestowed commands, consulships, legions and all else, now meddles no more and longs eagerly for just two things—-Bread and Games!” Satire 10 Juvenal

    “Plays, farces, spectacles, gladiators, strange beasts, medals, pictures, and other such opiates, these were for ancient peoples the bait toward slavery, the price of their liberty, the instruments of tyranny. By these practices and enticements the ancient dictators so successfully lulled their subjects under the yoke, that the stupefied peoples, fascinated by the pastimes and vain pleasures flashed before their eyes, learned subservience as naively, but not so creditably, as little children learn to read by looking at bright picture books. Roman tyrants invented a further refinement. They often provided the city wards with feasts to cajole the rabble, always more readily tempted by the pleasure of eating than by anything else. The most intelligent and understanding amongst them would not have quit his soup bowl to recover the liberty of the Republic of Plato. Tyrants would distribute largess, a bushel of wheat, a gallon of wine, and a sesterce: and then everybody would shamelessly cry, ‘Long live the King!’ The fools did not realize that they were merely recovering a portion of their own property, and that their ruler could not have given them what they were receiving without having first taken it from them.”
    Etienne de La Boétie Discourse on Voluntary Servitude 1548

    If you will read No Treason: The Constitution of No Authority By Lysander Spooner,
    The Law, by Frederic Bastiat, and America’s Caesar by Greg Loren Durand you will be well on your way to recovery and will have an insatiable appetite for the truth. Or, you can go back to your Bread, Games, and complaining.

    A Traveler

  7. Why don’t the millions of miles driven by Honda motorcycles factor into this Honda automobile mpg equation? Are we just to pretend motorcycles don’t exist? If it were factored in personally my daily commute on my 60mpg rocket suzuki Vstrom would more then make up for my twice a week drive in my Dodge truck. What is the logic? Why am I not receiving a $5000 green grant check from the government every time I buy a new motorcycle?

  8. The government won’t tell anyone. They are faced with the impossible situation of the car in the garage syndrome. Over many years it has compounded to the current day. Turn a car on in a closed garage and watch it smother whatever is in that garage.
    There is simply too much carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide in the atmosphere for the plants of the planet to reverse it easily. Every day in my community two roads have well over 40,000 cars driven over them to and from work.
    The impossible situation is all these cars are built on 1900s technology. They have been improved over the years but the entire industry is engineered on tech that basically can go nowhere.
    Unless a drastic innovation occurs they are as extinct as the dinosaur.
    One promising tech is to preheat the fuel before it reaches the cylinder. Another is to break the fuel down before it is sparked in the cylinder. The only thing that might work would be to break the carbon dioxide down into oxygen before it reaches the exhaust pipe. All of which is probably impossible to accomplish or the auto industry would have done it all ready.
    So the only viable solution seems to be to go to pollution free electric engines charged in your garage.
    Thus destroying two really big industries in this country. The oil and gasoline people must be freaked.
    That means we have to have far more efficient battery storage and more long term storage or the whole thing breaks down after about 4-5 years when you have a really big expense replacing the batteries. Or a capacitor storage system that is unreal.
    The typical electric devalues way too fast right now. When that expense comes up.
    Dealers are stuck with a complete devaluation of a car worth 30-40K new to one that is worth 5K after a typical lease of 3-4 years.
    The other problem with a small vehicle is the typical driver that parks on your trunk lid at 70 miles per hour. They usually are driving a heavy vehicle like a truck. No cop in his right mind ever stops them. To do so is to risk your life for a speeding ticket.
    I typically drive a double cab truck with a really good steel bumper on the back and a trailer hitch for my wife’s handicap electric chair. To collide with that trailer hitch is to pretty much total you vehicle yet they still get way too close on the super highways.

    • “There is simply too much carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide in the atmosphere for the plants of the planet to reverse it easily.”

      DW, that’s the most cloverlicious statement I’ve read all week. Thanks for the laugh!

    • “There is simply too much carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide in the atmosphere for the plants of the planet to reverse it easily.”
      If that DAMNED Government would let us grow weed, then the extra plants would clean the entire world atmosphere! (oh wait, but then, we would be burning more weed, so we would need to grow more weed, but we would be burning more so…. )

  9. How is the CAFE law worded? Is it cars built or cars sold? Because they could stock the lots with Briggs & Stratton powered turkeys, and sell them at a serious loss after a couple of years. “{shrug} We built them, but people didn’t buy them, so we had to write down the inventory when we sold them at a loss to make room.”

  10. There’s a Mopar 440 mill sitting on a pallet in my garage, disassembled. I got rid of the 400 c.i. engine due to space concerns but kept the slant sixes. Maybe I’ll make a shrine out of them and charge people to see them–like a dinosaur exhibit.

    • Hi Ross,

      We’ll be like Medieval monks, with our mini monastaries, preserving the relics. I wiped down my Trans-Am yesterday afternoon. Checked the trickle chargers on the bikes…

      • I took my Charger (440 c.i.) out yesterday for a long drive. In one day, I probably reversed the perceived gains a dozen Prius drivers achieved that day. And the people showed their disdain for my enviro-blasphemy by giving me constant thumbs up and waves.

      • Hi Guerrero,

        Amen! May the blessings of Zora Arkus Duntov be upon you! If I get done with work in time today, I plan to uncover my “last of the V8 Interceptors” and take it out for some carbon dioxide-spewing fun. The 455 (7.4 liters in modern lingo) moves a lot of air and the moan of the secondaries as the big four barrel opens up is almost better than sex, which is easier to experience these days, alas.

        The kids, they have no clue…

        • I recently acquired a like new 2002 F-250 with a 7.3 turbo diesel that is barely broken in at 106,000 miles. No DEF, No EGR, no pollution controls at all. They will never pry it away from me. On the other side of the spectrum is my ’71 Custom 10 Deluxe with a 350 4 bolt, forged steel crank, flat tops, ported heads and fed by a Quadrajet. A guy has been wanting to buy it from years, and I told him he’ll have to wait for the estate sale after I am gone.

  11. Say the limit is 35.5mpg, what is the penalty for not meeting that? Practically? How much $$$ per vehicle would that add? Since electric vehicles are expensive, would it be cheaper to ignore the mpg limit?

    • Hi C_lover,

      The fines are recondite, calculated according to “corporate averages.” This is how it gets into money. Some manufacturers, like BMW, simply do as you indicate and continue building the cars regardless, just at ever-higher prices. But that only works if you are a luxury line and your buyer base doesn’t mind paying more, ongoing. And even BMW has had to embrace the electric tar baby, too – because in addition to CAFE pressures, there are now carbon dioxide “emissions” regs to sweat as well as IC engine No Go zones.

      The last two are recent, have cropped up in just the past several years. Because CAFE by itself was apparently not enough to do the job – i.e., kill of the conventional car.

  12. “If we truly do live in a democracy – as we are constantly told – then the will of the people ought to prevail.”
    Hi Eric, lately I have been encountering Breitbartbots, or Breitbots for short, commenting on message boards about this country being a republic, not a democracy. I had previously pointed out to these comment posters the fact that many countries, including communist ones, refer to themselves as republics. I would oftentimes get the reply: “And your point is?” I thought the point was very obvious that established labels for types of government are really meaningless.
    I now think it might be more effective to ridicule the reason for choosing a republican form of government in this so-called country. The stated reason is because the masses would be quarrelsome, spend frivolously with bias, and be unjust to the minority. I am opposed to ALL forms of coercive governance; but it sure is easy to point out to Breitbot statists the fact that their elected leaders vote up or down bills without even reading them based upon donations from certain companies, and the majority votes always win to the detriment of everyone else, including the common person. Then I ask the believer in “republican government” if he honestly thinks that the outcome of the votes from the masses would have been worse, and would have lead us to so many trillions of dollars of so-called public debt. I have yet to receive an answer from them.

    • we REALLY have a CONSTITUTIOINAL republic. That means, ANY laws, riules, regularionis, requirements that are binding upon we the PEOPLE must be in conformity to the Co\nstitution. READ that document, and it says a few things that are germane to this fatwa and subsequent discussioin. Aong those things are a short list of areas of authority granted or assigned to FedGov, anda SHARP and clear warning that unless an egenda item is specifically named and assigned FedGov, they are PROHIBITED exercising any authority in that area. WHERE do FedGov have ANY authority to meddle with any means of transportaion, any class of privately owned goods, or any type of manufactured product?
      Another pexky little item prominently prescribed within the COnstitution is that ALL laws shall be enacted by the TWO houses of the legislature, and then signed into law by the then-president. WHEN did Congress pass any laws relating to fuel consumption? Yeah, that’s what I thought, too.

      So, since we ARE a CONSTITUTIONAL republic, anything pretending to beor functioining as a lawMUST be concerning tasks assigned FedGov in the Constitution, AND must be enacted by the Congress and signed into lawby the president.

      Since these CAFE standards meet neither of these criteria, they are not binding are null, void, and of no effect. They are NOT law, and cannot be enforced.

      On another fine note, the definition of FASCISM is government control of private means of production. Here we have a clear case of government attempting, and so far successfully, controlling what sorts of cars Ford, Chrysler, Mercedes, General Motors, etc, MUST build…..

      • If the CONstitution were ever intended to really restrain the government, the the first 3 presidents and many other office holders would have been impeached. Why is it that we common people can face a firing squad while politicians only face impeachment at worse?

        • That did not happen until the Tyrant Lincoln was elected and declared war on the South, thus forever cementing a central federal government on the people.

          • What? You mean Lincoln was trying to deport all the black people – and they couldn’t deport someones property – and that was the only reason they “freed” the blacks? You mean they were MORE racist up north where (as in Ohio) it was actually illegal to BE black? I will not listen! Fingers in ears “la la la la la la”

              • Eric, I argue that the biggest mistake the South made was putting Lee in charge of the military. His great blunder was to fight the North on the North’s terms.

                  • Exactly. Rhett Butler’s speech to his fellow Southern gentlemen while the Ladies were napping was actually a pretty historically accurate representation of the real situation in 1861.

              • The south lost the moment shooting began. Being goaded into it (at least historically) didn’t help any but without it fedgov would have made something up. Once it began it was a war of attrition that confederacy did not have the depth nor the resupply to win. Even with perfect execution it would have not been able to take and hold enough of the north to break fedgov and fedgov would not stop unless it was completely shattered.

                • Hi Brent,

                  Exactly. Abe knew the value of getting the Southern marks to fire on Sumter. And Lee – while an admirable man in many ways – was an imbecile to invade the North.

                  If the Southern states had done… nothing. And waited for the North to invade, the North would have been perceived (rightly) as the aggressor and the South could also have practiced hit and run tactics (VC style) on its home turf while the North would be fighting far from home, in a foreign country (literally).

                  This could have worked.

                  The war was hugely unpopular in the North until after 1863. Draft riots in New York, dislike of Abe.

                  Such a shame.

                  The world would be a very different – and likely much better – place.

                    • Hi Cagey,

                      Agreed. The tragedy of the second war for secession is that it could have been won, probably with minimal bloodshed. There was a lot of sympathy for the South among the Northern population, as well as simply “let them go” sentiment. The federal army in 1861 was only about 15,000 men. It could never have invaded and conquered the South or even Virginia.

                      But when the imbeciles in South Carolina fired on Sumter, enlistment surged and Lincoln had his 911. The “enemies of freedom” have struck!

                      And – in addition to other mistakes touched upon – the Southern military made the same mistake the French imbeciles made at Agincourt. They adhered to a courtly code of chivalric conduct. Imbeciles. War is about slaughter and death, about winning by any means necessary.

                      Even Der Fuhrer made this mistake. The fact is, the Allies – Uncle’s troops – knew how to wage war better than even he did. For example: Hitler should have annihilated the pocket at Dunkirk. Had he done so, Britain would likely have folded and that would have been that.

                      Instead, der krieg ist verloren.

                      Same for the South.

                    • Hi Eight,

                      Yup.

                      I point out to people that the Allies – especially the Brits – practiced the totalen krieg Dr. Goebbels talked about. The fire bombings of German cities, for example. As opposed to the restraint showed by Hitler (toward the Western enemies, that is).

                      He was a softie.

                      Had he sicced Guderian’s panzers on the BEF at Dunkirk and annihilated it, followed by a very credible threat of an invasion (as opposed to the obviously fake Sealion operation) it is probable that Churchill would have faced irresistible pressure to sue for terms with the Reich. Had that happened in 1940, Hitler could have launched a concentrated assault on the Soviet Union which probably would have succeeded given how close to succeeding the actual Barbarossa operation was.

                      Then Man in the High Castle would be a documentary rather than alternate history!

                  • You have probably already know of this guy, but check out Dr. Clyde N. Wilson’s works on the War of Northern Aggression. Excellent historian, and right on the money

                  • eric: “Abe knew the value of getting the Southern marks to fire on Sumter.”

                    Since history is written by the victors, and today nothing can be believed coming from the schools or MSM – I’m not sure of the Sumter thing.

          • Guerrero, Hamilton’s group tried to get as big a centralized government as they could get during the convention. They knew they only had to get a camel’s nose worth under the tent to establish a central government which would grow into the Leviathan it is today. Lincoln simply solidified it all.

        • As Lysander Spooner said: “But whether the Constitution really be one thing, or another, this much is certain – that it has either authorized such a government as we have had, or has been powerless to prevent it. In either case, it is unfit to exist.

          • Spooner: “…it is unfit to exist”.

            The Constitution is just a piece of paper, if there is no support of We The People, of course its declarations will cease to exist.

            • Libertyx, I get your take but the problem is that “The People” are the very ones who vote time and time again against limited government (not that the constitution was ever about limited government).

              • “The People” don’t have a full choice when voting. Rs and Ds have fixed the process – through arcane ballot access laws. Recent example: all Libertarians were excluded from the Ohio ballot. Rs and Ds have also fixed the presidential “debates” to exclude others.

                • Hi liberty,

                  Of course, I’d rather have the option to vote Libertarian. But ultimately, this business of voting needs to addressed. This idea that it’s ok to walk into a box, touch a screen or pull a lever – and thereby deprive another human being of his property or his liberty.

                  H.L. Mencken described voting as a kind of advance auction of stolen goods. Exactly.

                  We’ll never end the shit show until people recoil from voting. Until they accept the moral ideas of voluntarysim and non-aggression.

                  Which I realize may be pie-in-the-sky.

                  But not impossible.

                  Because we have certain knowledge that some people – perhaps not many, but some – are capable of living that way. If some are, more could be.

                  It may take thousands of years of evolution.

                  But in the meanwhile, the longer we legitimate voting … the longer it will take.

                  • What about voting to not have your property or sales taxes or other taxes raised.

                    Any time that’s a possibility shouldn’t you vote for at least that?

                    Doesn’t mean you have to vote for any “deciders” of course if that’s against your beliefs.

                    • Hi Tor,

                      Sure, certainly.

                      Of course, that sort of vote is a reaction to the sort of votes that never should have been allowed to begin with. It’s absolutely outrageous that an act most of us would immediately consider a moral affront – the theft of someone’s property – somehow becomes ok when it is done by proxy, via a ballot.

                  • Electil Dysfunction as Tor so eloquently stated. I gotta wonder if the original Pilgrims suffered the same and guess it’s always been so. Will Thee vote for Fric or Frac today?

                  • So…voting is a waste of time and forget the Constitution. What remains? Voting is controlled by the Rs and Ds and the Constitution is ignored. It’s not known if voting, without corruption, would be useful, or if a fully enforced Constitution would restore a semblance of liberty. But if corrective action isn’t taken, we’ll never know. Action takes effort, but can result in a positive outcome.

                    Corruption has been in every country and government, it’s a matter of how much – “Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty; power is ever stealing from the many to the few…”

                    • Hi liberty,

                      I am torn… on the one hand, I get that – sometimes – voting can make a positive difference by (as Tor pointed) preventing a further abuse or limiting an exiting one. I understand the importance of not allowing the perfect to become the enemy of the good.

                      That said, things have gone so far that it may be more effective to simply not vote and thereby further erode any legitimacy the system still has. Make them be open about what they are and what they do.

                      Your thoughts?

                    • What remains? is rule by riot. If you go to quasi socialist countries you will see that the Elite give the cattle (the people) just enough to keep them from rioting. Just enough food, just enough wine, just enough air conditioning etc…

                • They should take the R’s and D’s OFF THE BALLOT! that would probably fix everything wrong in this country. Why do we vote for organizations instead of people?

                  • Theres an unfair time advantage.

                    They have forever and we are pressed for time trying to work 2 jobs and help our wives go to her 2 jobs so we can all have the same living standard we all had in 1970.

                  • eric: “Your thoughts”

                    Former Secretary of Agriculture Earl Butz remark regarding the Pope’s condemnation of population control: “He no playa the game, he no maka the rules.”

                    Winston Churchill: “Politics are very much like war…”

                    Conclusion: If one is not in the game of the pursuit of liberty, the game can’t be won. And the game is up-close-and-personal; if necessary being the tip-of-the-spear. Monday morning quarter-backing doesn’t get it.

        • What is today known as the Constitutional Convention was supposed to merely be a amending session for the Articles of Confederation. There really wasn’t anything really wrong with the AoC, at least for the common people. It was designed to be weak, with a little role for a central government.

          But people like Hamilton had other ideas. Go on the tour of his estate in Virginia. The tour guides will show you the room where he wrote most of the present Constitution. They will tell you how outdated the AoC was with the same contempt that many have for the second amendment today.

    • Hi Brian,

      Oh yeah… channeling my best Dr. Smith voice.. the pain, the pain!

      I am reviled by Republicans as much as by Democrats. Neither know what to make of me except that I am their enemy – which I grant. They are both authoritarian statists and fundamentally the same beast, like a Bobcat and a Lynx (pardon to these two cats; no intention here to insult them). Or rather, like a national socialist (German) and a Soviet communist Russian. These two mauled each other over minor quibbles in ends but never the means.

    • Brian, “Breitbots” – the conservative version of Snowflakes.

      Good take. Trust me there are a lot of us who argue the same as you and we get the same results as you – the do not know how to respond.

  13. Elon Musk has a face that says, “Punch Me”. Maybe the showrunners of this drama could write in a scene in which superhero Trump grabs Elon by his ankles and beats the fuck out of everybody at the EPA. Trump would flog them all until Elon’s corpse was a bloody rag and the EPA ayatollahs were all just a mess to be cleaned up.

    If the series took such a turn I would even watch it on TV every Sunday night. The way the story is going now, I ain’t all that interested in it.

    • Hi Ed,

      That would be outstanding! I hate the guy because of the fact that literally any preposterous thing he utters is taken as gospel and written about as if it were just a matter of Elon’s Magic Touch and anything is possible. Like Empire State-sized rockets ferrying passengers to Mars within five years. Or restoring Puerto Rico’s grid – presto!

      And the electric cars… god help us.

      This Elon character is truly the PT Barnum of our time.

      • Preposterous, a perfect description. If I proposed the ridiculous shit he posits I’d get steel bar hotel.

        The wife reads Yahoo news and sometimes regals me with select tidbits. She can cause me to RUNNOFT.

  14. The current candidate for VA Governor is croaking that same mantra, “I’ll bring more jobs back to VA, and cut taxes for all Virginians”. Bullshit, bullshit, bullshit. All politicians say the same thing, and then DO the same thing: promise, promise, promise, and recant, recant, recant. Two working parts, the mouth and the asshole, and both are interchangeable. All they really want is to take, take, take. You know the a song :

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aLEhh_XpJ-0

    • Hi Graves,

      I have done my best to not even be aware of which clowns are being trotted out for the office. After all, it matters about as much as whether my piss is yellow or really yellow tomorrow morning.

      • eric, you’d think the color of your piss wouldn’t be germane to anyone……..but no, to a government bureaucrat it can be offensive. I recently had to go for a DOT drug screen. The guy taking it began to pass judgment but then caught himself and said You are very hydrated….almost an implication I was trying to affect the sample. I drink lots of lemon water because I like it

        I half expected him to write something on the paperwork to get it kicked back….
        MF

        • Hi Cederg,

          George III wasn’t all that bad; arguably, he was less a tyrant than Alexander Hamilton hoped to be. The tragedy of the American war for secession was that it fell into the hands of people who loved the British system, but wanted to be in charge of it themselves. People like Hamilton and his allies (this includes Washington).

          The individual states erred grievously in not asserting their independence after the war. Instead, they allowed a small cabal of “deciders” to strip them of it for their benefit.

          And here we are.

          • You should look at a recent picture of Moscow.
            http://static3.bigstockphoto.com/thumbs/7/8/6/large1500/68771155.jpg

            It’s freakin amazing.

            You’ll never here about it, but Russians have unbelievably more freedom than thought possible before the collapse.

            Not to mention the 160 million people that managed to get out of the Soviet Super State altogether.

            If you’re talented and willing to work hard, there’s no limit to what you can accomplish.

            Or if you just want to be a drunk whore chasing lout, you can do that too in relative peace.

            Millions of kids just walk out the front door of their shitty homes, or away from their moronic skewlz and there’s nary a Soviet Hero to be found to drag their “truant” asses back to home or school.

  15. Trump, or any other president, doesn’t have the legitimate authority to determine fuel economy or other auto related issues. Unelected bureaucrats don’t have the legitimate authority either.

    In place of legitimate authority – the U.S. Constitution – we have the twin dictatorships of the President and 440 federal agencies. https://www.federalregister.gov/agencies

    It is nearly impossible to effect the outcome of anything in the face of this overwhelming illicit power. The Constitution is essentially our representative’s job description. If I was working outside my job description I would certainly hear – the Trump quote: YOU’RE FIRED!.

    Tenth Amendment: “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

    • Hi libertyx, I do not view the constitution as being legitimate. The common people had no say about what form of government they would be ruled by following the Revolutionary War. There was no public vote by the common people for the establishment of the Articles of Confederation, nor for its inferior replacement: the Constitution. But even if there had been a majority vote for either of them: What about the minority who would have opposed? What about us today? We had never voted in support of this mass of people who call themselves the government, and to be ruled by our moral and intellectual inferiors. Nobody is worthy to rule over me! I am not up to ruling over anyone else either.
      I think that you might find the following articles to be quite interesting to read: https://www.lewrockwell.com/2007/09/laurence-m-vance/is-the-federal-government-legitimate/ , https://jim.com/treason.htm

      • From Brian: “Nobody is worthy to rule over me!”

        The Constitution defines the limits of the federal government. It does not grant, or deny, ANY individual rights – it is to protect inalienable rights – and all rights are retained by We The People.

        From your Lew Rockwell link: “Although we would certainly be much better off if we returned to the limited government that the Constitution was supposed to set up — and perhaps that is the best we can hope for…”

        • Hi Liberty,

          I’d modify Brian’s statement slightly, as follows:

          No one has the right to rule over me.”

          Meaning: While there are certainly people smarter than I, better read, certainly more virtuous – none are my master by right. I would and do defer to such “better” men on occasion, out of respect to (for instance) their superior knowledge or wisdom. But none are entitled to impose themselves upon me using force.

          I think that’s more the ticket!

        • The CONstitution was violated before the ink on it dried by the first 3 presidents without consequence. The CONvention was a sham and a power grab.

          • Hi Brian,

            Yup.

            Adams egregiously trampled on free speech not to his liking, establishing a horrible precedent that would be exploited by later, even more thuggish leaders (especially Lincoln and Wilson).

            And Jefferson – much as I admire him – had no lawful authority to make the Louisiana Purchase, as he himself admitted.

      • the Colonies DID vote to ratify the Constitution, and demanded the Bill of Rights be drafted and included.

        Many of those who opposed the change in government left these shores…. about a third of the Tories moved to Canada. Others returned to England. The ones remaining here were not sufficiently motivated to take such drastic action.

        But the revolution against the Constitution began with that former corporate railroad lawyer who usurped authority not his to exercies, invaded a foreign nation and pounded it to powder with its army and navy, then imposed their will on the now devastated peoples who had left, forcing them under their federal thumb. That path has been persued at an ever increasing rate since then, ubtil today the “rule of law” is a joke, leading to issues such as this one… a runaway oligarchy allowed to inpose their foul will on the rest with impunity.

        • Hi T,

          I agree with you about Abraham Africanus (great Copperhead pamphlet, it’s where I got the name) but the rot goes back farther, to the Constitution itself, which was foisted on the states after a secret conclave not authorized to perform its skulduggery, led by Alexander Hamilton – who was at least as loathsome and just as treacherous.

          The Bill was added as a sop to placate suspicious leaders such as Mason of Virginia. But the entire point of the Constitution was to erect the framework of a limitless-in-principle central government and to reduce the states (and so, the people) to vassals thereof.

          • Hi Eric, I am posting here because I cannot find out if my previous post made it past moderation. https://www.ericpetersautos.com/wp-admin/edit-comments.php redirects me to a page telling me that I am already logged in. Is there another site where I can read the full comments instead of rows of vertical text under the ads?
            My earlier comment was about your Straight Talk phone purchase. You might now be obligated to keep them as your provider for warranty reasons, but eventually you might want to change your carrier like I have. I went to Ting.com , and the site showed me how to find out if I had an unlocked phone. I did, so I ordered their SIMM card. When I got it, I had Ting switch my phone number over. I got the message that the switch would take place with-in one business day. This worried me because it was late Friday afternoon, and I would need to have a working phone by Monday morning, and my Straight Talk renewal deadline was Friday night.
            I started texting my employer when suddenly my phone completely lost its signal. Rebooting did not restore its ability to find a signal, nor did performing a factory reset. The bastards at Straight Talk obviously sabotaged my phone before transforming my number over. I ended up buying a new unlocked Sony phone from Best Buy, because I will be dammed if I was going to buy one from Walmart.
            If you make the switch: Immediately shut the phone off and remove its battery and SIMM card!

            • I purchased electro magnetic material that blocks all radio signals. Using a scanner I noticed that my phone still transmits and receives even when powered off. My phone – you cannot remove the battery without destroying the phone such that no battery can ever be put back in. So every time I turn my phone off I wrap it in this material and it stops all radio transmissions. I understand it is also protected from EMP while in “the bag”.

                  • So if I do that.

                    And call one cell phone I’ve placed in the micro with a different phone.

                    It won’t ring right? I’ll get the “we’re sorry” or maybe m call will go straight to voice mail or whatever?

                    Should I turn off the house wifi so the phone doesn’t cheat do you think?

                    Sounds like a cool magic trick in the making. Will let you know what happens.

                  • Bad advice amigo.

                    I put a Samsung Galaxy S7 32GB in my microwave, closed the door firmly.

                    And was still able to call it and text it. Both times the phone rang like normal.

                    Has anyone scientifically tested the bag yet?

                    I think EPA needs to be our own scientists from here on out.

                    Seems like any authorities mentioned aren’t really any kind of authorities at all.

                    Thanks for the suggestion of course.

                    Making falsifiable assertions is the fundamental building block of the scientific method.

                    You’re all gentlemen and scholars in my books.

                  • Someone tested it somehow, that’s good to know.

                    I’m no expert, but if you call your cell phone and you hear it ringing inside the bag, that can’t be much of a testimonial about the bag.

                    My microwave failed that test. YMMV.

    • Correct: Mr. Trump nor any other president have no authoroity to set fuel economy. NO part of FedGov do.

      BUT. Mr. Trump DOES indeed have the authority, nay, the OBLIGATION, to declare that the EPA’s unconstitutionial fuel economy fatwas have no authority, and will NOT be enforced on his watch. Constitution grants no such authority to FedGov, and further these “rules” are not law enacted by Congress, which MUST be the source of ALL law in this republic.

        • 40 years ago I had a friend we all called Dough Boy. It was evident he’d never done a day of hard work in his life…..but he was a good guy.

          • Got those soft supple round puffy hands probably. You can always tell by hands. Smokers have burn marks and callouses. Crack and methheads have those pipe burned lips. Workers have angular deep stains and new cuts and bruises over older healed cuts and bruises.

            Sound like some Polish Mafia guyze I kinda sorta know. The kind that will work for beer not the made men kind.
            http://dyom.gtagames.nl/19/20180/Deliverer.JPG

            I’ve never Had to work but always have 50 60 70 80 90 + hours a week every week unless I was in Dominican Republic Mexico Canada or vacation somewhere.

            My Dad had to work, I was always bigger and stronger than him in any category except one. The grip of his hands could crush my femurs like toothpicks, or else it always seemed like it when he was sick of my carefree don’t give a dam attitudes. Even now in his debilitated feeble puzzle factory period.

            If he grabs an iron bar, its easier to cut through the thing with a metal vapor TEC torch light saber than to try to get him to let go of something if he doesn’t want to.

            Something about HAVING to work for things makes you hold on crazy Vulcan Death Grip tight to things.

            I think that’s a thing of the past for Generation Z and the newly emerging toddler Generation AA that’s coming online. They’ll grow up in a world where you never HAVE to do anything but obey.

            Survival will be automatic and unavoidable, you won’t even have a way of taking a life threatening risk, I’m starting to think.

            My biggest fear is that Heaven or Hell doesn’t involve some kind of work. I hate down time, I’m either up and at em or laying horizontal for a few hours of catchup cat nappings.

            Especially now days you can rack up hours even while you shitpost on all kinds of forums. I’m sure owners management even know about it, we all pretend to work, and they all pretend to pay.

            Actually even on most of those trips I was conspiring to grey market import export some doo dad or another. I’m like some kind of Ferengi really. It’s all about profit for my Jewgypsy hybrid ass.
            http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-ClzOwq7r3FA/UJAdp72wa5I/AAAAAAAAACU/xhHDH_Nqssc/s1600/Romney-Ferengi.jpg

            • Yep Tor, manual does get kinda stuck in your unconscious. I am one of those people not conducive to being put under. It’s a fine line between too much and not enough. My first surgery I came to coming out of the OR. That damn intubation tube was choking me, couldn’t take a breath. The nurses tried to help but I only knew somebody was choking me so I responded with swings and death grips connecting some and missing others. I guess somebody came from behind and got an oxygen mask of the tube, probably the only one that wasn’t bopped. I finally understood her saying “oxygen” and I settled down enough for them to get the tube out. They were a bit tousled looking and I’m sure I was a bit crazy looking. Later on they let me go too long, way too long with no PK’s and I bent in the bedrails. They didn’t do that again. In fact, my doc was called out of town and left his orders for my pain and sleep meds…..and so did his associate. In the evenings it was a smorgasbord of seconal, nembutal, valium and double doses of morphine, one in each cheek. I wouldn’t let them use disposables cause I knew the difference and didn’t want to leave there unable to sit. Ah, the glorious sight of a big SS and glass syringe lying there in all its sparkling beauty on a tray by itself and then another comes from the other doctor. What? me worry?

              After a couple days(they didn’t just shove you out the door right after you regained consciousness 50 years ago)my buds would come with their boots full of cold ones and handrolled ones. Damn, I coulda spent a month doing that.

              Never fear though, they sent me home with nearly the same thing I was getting except non-injectable(dammit)….but to be honest my butt was fairly worn out by then. I coulda sucked up on that for a while but the the B&C rousted my butt out of bed and made me walk 2 miles every day. The country was laid over with a coat of ice. That kinda jarred me back to reality, nice warm house to wham, 20 degrees and west Tx. wind. You didn’t need to push me those two miles either. Back at the house it was time for a big brew of coffee and valium. Had I been wealthy it would have been the end of me…but I wasn’t and knew there was a truck out there with my name on the seat, and sure enough, there was, countless of the fuckers.

              The doc said I couldn’t go back to trucking and refused to write me a permission slip so I said “I’m one hell of a typist, great at filing and know your medical nomenclature without needing to learn…..When do I start?” I guess he decided a truck, any truck, was better than me in his office so he wrote the slip……and to paraphrase Jackie Gleason, it was “away to the moon” or the highway as it were. Even the wife was impressed and said “That was fast thinking hitting him up for a job”. Ah, I do my best work in a pinch.

  16. Hi Eric,

    Seems like the only hope Mr Musk has is to survive till 2025…. when all of the sudden, he will have an immense advantage relative to other car makers…….. and effectively they will be forced to subsidise his shop…. Think his game is finally making sense… you have to hand it to him, as a crony capitalist, he is quite brilliant….

    • Hi Nasir,

      It’s a pincers movement. One of them is CAFE. The other is carbon dioxide “emissions” regs. Both will – if not stopped – destroy the IC-powered car except as a very expensive toy for the very affluent.

  17. Iran issues fatwas against nukes. The US against sanity. Who is the real enemy of reason and humanity? Oh, the self-declared “Land of the Free”!

  18. Trump could by executive fiat countermand recent EPA moves, even dump the unfair diesel emissions standards which led to the persecution of VW and the abrupt withdrawal of all the up and coming nice diesels.
    So, why doesn’t he? Is he chicken to confront the small but organized cadre of eco-nazis that rule the EPA as surely as Netanyahoo does the State Dept?
    As things stand right now there are few Ford, GM, or Dodge pickups more than a couple years old whose owners haven’t taken advantage of the cottage industry in DPF,DEF, EGR delete services available on the aftermarket and BMW drivers are flocking to performance shops offering “Off road” tuning. People want this except for the “coastal elites” who push ideas “So stupid only intellectuals could support them” (credits to George Orwell).
    People are so fed up and frustrated with car problems fixing expensive unreliable systems and they blame the car manufacturers and dealers. They just don’t know or understand that the blame shouldn’t be placed on the OEMs. I wonder why the OEMs don’t run ads similar to that old anti affirmative action political ad which began along the lines of: “You wanted that job, you needed that job, you were qualified for that job, but they gave it to someone else less qualified…”. If the motoring public were educated about who to blame for the high price of both acquisition and ownership of cars. But they’re not. Why?

    • I am so happy that cottage industries are springing up to fix or delete unreliable vehicular systems. Every indication points toward opportunity in this area. Plenty to fix with so many varied systems that cause problems as a vehicle ages.

      • Back in my Cadillac days, I found a cottage industry had sprung up for the elimination of the “self leveling ” air shock system and replacing it with a passive shock absorber system. The whole thing cost less than a single rear strut for the original system.

      • Hi Green,

        I have thought about this, too. My knowledge of carbs may one day soon come in handy. It seems very few people grok them anymore. But they may soon need them. Carbs, being simple mechanical things, work when electrical systems don’t.

      • Which ones? This sounds very interesting. I would like to get involved with making units to bypass the haptic touchscreens and the complex audio equipment on newer cars. You literally have to have a library full of reference materials. The advantage though, is that many automakers are lazy. They still like to reuse stuff, even though the workstation has enabled customization unheard of decades ago.

    • You nailed it Erik. I have thought the same thing. A guy named Herbert Shertz of Mobil Corporation did something called print advertorials. No one did it better. In the mid to late 70s, oil companies were looked on with unmitigated contempt by a public that got hit with one, then 2 energy shortages. Oil companies received about half of the blame. Mobil then started publishing stories about squirrels storing nuts for the winter and ants as well on being industrious. It worked. Mobil’s informative columns changed enough minds of influencer people that it I believe it partly was responsible for Carter speeding up the timetable for decontrolling oil prices and Reagan’s first executive order to do the same. Shortly, prices skyrocketed then settled out at about $1.20 until the Saudis started pumping in 1985 or so. Mobil’s 4 year campaign on price controls ended up in getting the price controls removed.

      My belief is that the auto industry is far less sophisticated than the oil industry of that time. The car industry was also hampered by the lessons learned by trying to mess with Ralph Nader. When GM sent spies to track his personal life, an air of undue caution ensued and automakers have been spreading their cheeks ever since. There is no doubt that they are responsible for selling out their customer in exchange for essentially nothing. In addition to that, automakers did know that they held back technologies such as stiffer sway bars and better brakes from average vehicles during the 1960s through the middle 1970s that would have drastically cut the accident rates. The evidence for that is the fact that European cars handled twice as well as the slugs were buying.

      I do think that the automakers had a chance during the 1990’s to correct the situation as auto sales records were being broken and people were becoming comfortable with performance. Today, who knows? It is a little murky to see what is going to happen.

  19. Eric: Are you hearing anything with respect to motorcycles in the U.S.? As it stands now we’re starting to see changes from the Euro 4 standard on imported bikes (2016 and newer). Right now it’s fairly easy to yank off the cat and flash the ecu; nobody in the U.S. seems to care. But I’m assuming they’ll get targeted eventually. And not one of my bikes even comes close to the planned 2025 mpg figures for cars…and I don’t see how they can while remaining anything approaching sporty.

    • Hi John, My silver 2015 Honda CTX 700N has fuel injection and a cat, and is supposed to get 64 mpg. http://powersports.honda.com/2015/ctx700n/colors.aspx I only have about 1200 miles on it so far. Once it is fully broken in, I will measure what the mileage actually is, but I already know that it does very well.
      Is it sporty? It looks sporty to me. It passes slow pokes very, very quickly, and it is fun to drive. It is easy to maneuver around in town. It has a low RPM engine for a bike. Its top speed is about 98-100 mph @ 5500 rpm red line.
      A great many bikes will outrun it and out-accelerate it for sure; and if it had full fairing on it with large saddle bags and a passenger on it; I would probably have to down shift 2 gears while climbing hills. I really like the bike because it fits under my short legs very well. There is even a forum for the CTX700: http://www.ctx700forum.com/

      • Hi Brian,

        I can almost match that – with my 1983 Honda, no cats or FI! The Silverwing averages a consistent 55 or so MPG no matter how hard I run it. While slow for a bike, it is very quick relative to most cars – even today. It’ll do a 14 second quarter mile and top speed is just under 120, all out.

        I bought it for $1,600 with 12,000 miles on it!

      • The new Honda Rebel sucks. I’d never buy one. Additionally, I’d never buy a bike that has asymmetrical exhaust. That includes the CTX series.

        When I was growing up the only bikes that had a single pipe had one cylinder, 2 cylinders and up had twins, one on each side. If that is what all asshole manus want fuck em.

        NoneYaBiz

    • Harley refused to remove the cat on my 2013 switchback so I traded it for a SUZUKI. Also, I believe because of the lawsuit:
      http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-harley-davidson-lawsuit/harley-davidson-to-pay-12-million-fine-over-motorcycle-emissions-idUSKCN10T1JP
      I hear they are changing their bikes so people who bought the bikes are UN-ABLE to re-program them. New Harleys getting tech that makes it almost impossible to mod the computer or change pipes / carbs etc… (i.e. remove cat). Even plug in’s will cause the things to shut down.

      • Big story in the news today – Harley sales down 45percent – AND used Harley sales through the roof. They did not mention Brothers lawsuit or the fact that computers and cats etc… make a harley, well, not a Harley any more. If you want a bare bones bike you can work on yourself you have to buy a ural.

        • Hi Johnny,

          Hat tip for this; I hadn’t caught the news. I am not at all surprised, though. A huge part of owning a bike is the freedom it represents. This includes being able to easily modify it to suit. If the thing becomes untouchable – something the average guy can no longer work on or afford to work on – much of the charm is gone.

          I doubt I will ever buy a new bike for this reason.

          My newest is an ’03 Kawasaki ZRX that came with carbs, no cats and no got-damned computer.

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