“Experience the Brand”

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New York City is probably the least car-friendly place in the United States. Its streets are perpetually gridlocked and garage fees cost more than rent in other parts of the country. Most people who live in the city don’t even own cars and regard them as an occasionally necessary nuisance. Mostly, they hail a cab. Or they walk or take the subway.

So it makes perfect sense for a major car company to relocate the headquarters of its luxury division there.

Right?

Well, yes – in a way. The new way.

GM’s way.

Which is not to sell you a car. Nor for you to own one. Instead you will “experience the brand” – these are the words of Cadillac’s new honcho, Johan de Nysschen. You will experience Cadillacs in the same way that you experience a stay at a fancy hotel:

Briefly.

Occasionally.

And, of course, expensively.

You will sign up for a subscription – a monthly/yearly fee, like a membership at a health club. This will allow you to use the facilities; to access different GM vehicles – in order to “experience” them.

De Nysschen does not seek buyers. He seeks consumers – his word. “We wanted to see luxury consumption through the eyes of our consumers,” he said about the move to NYC.

Consumption. 

In other words, short-term rentals of various models in the GM inventory rather than owning or even leasing one single car. Use by the hour/day/weekend – and so on. The car is never yours. The payments never end. Consume, consume, consume.

Such a deal!

Well, it is – for GM.

And for any other car company that follows this new consumption-based business model. Which – if GM’s admittedly bold attempt to “disrupt” the way the car business works succeeds – they will follow.

In which case, our transition to a modern-era company town model in which debt is perpetual and the serfs’ consumption is in proportion to their debt and no one except the latter-day equivalent of our feudal overlords owns anything will have taken another great leap forward.

But first, the money – which is why they’ll follow it, probably.

The margins on a new car sale are pretty thin. And new cars are becoming so expensive that fewer marks are stepping up. A crunch is inevitable.

But imagine how much more money a car company could make if, rather than extract a single monthly payment of say $500 from a single individual who is making those payments toward the purchase of the car – and who stands as the legal owner of the car the moment he takes possession of it and is therefore entitled to all the usufructs of ownership, so long as he continues to make those payments – the owner of the car (GM) could rent that same car to multiple people each month, each of them making an individually smaller but collectively much larger total payment.

Instead of $500 a month generated, perhaps several times that sum. That is very good business.

For GM. 

For the marks, not so much.

The analogy – to an extent – would be a house that you pay a fee to use occasionally – i.e., a timeshare – along with many other people who also pay to use it occasionally. It is a hugely profitable arrangement for the owner of the property, who is collecting the payments. And there is certainly an element of convenience and even savings for the occasional users, who are not burdened with having to maintain the place and who would otherwise have been facing a much larger monthly rental or mortgage payment.

But they will never have any equity in the house. The accumulated value goes to the owner, along with your rental check.

Just as – under GM’s new business model – you will never have equity in the car. Debt, ongoing – to permit momentary consumption.

This may work for some people, much as timeshare vacation properties work for some people – in the sense that they are convenient and there are fewer strings attached.

Except that a car is fundamentally a different thing. It is, to begin with, a regular necessity for most people – those who do not live in New York City, at least. Who prefer not to live in an urban hive like NYC.

It is also inconvenient to not have a car ready and waiting in your garage (or outside your home) that you can just get  into and go wherever you need to go on the spur of the moment, without having had to plan for the trip in advance.

As opposed to the experience of waiting for your rental-for-today to show up.

And then experiencing having to adjust the seat, the mirrors and everything else – which were set by the prior user to suit his needs, not yours. And then experiencing getting used to how the unfamiliar-to-you car drives, how its controls  – how its gadgets – work. 

Those are some of the practical considerations which no one seems to be considering.

But the more ominous aspect is the strings that will be attached. The legal strings.

If you own a car, it is legally your property – even while you are making payments.

Among other things, you have a right to privacy within it. If, as an example, a third party were to install a “bug” in your car, in order to record your conversations or to video you or to track your movements, they would have committed a criminal act. They are subject to prosecution. But if you are merely the temporary user of the car, which remains the legal property of another party . . . that party has every right to set the terms and conditions of use, which can (and will) include their right to monitor usage and perhaps monitor you, too.

If that seems a bit too far, consider that most over-the-road truckers who do not own their rigs are subject to exactly such monitoring – both audio and video. And consider that GM – and not just GM – has already installed at least some of the technology needed to keep track of you and what you do in cars already on the roads – and nominally owned by you.

What do you suppose will happen when GM holds the title?

Also, as the owner, you have full control over the vehicle. You can use it as you wish. If you are not the owner, on the other hand, it is the owner who will decide how you will be allowed to use his car. This will include everything from being required to buckle-up to not being permitted to drive in ways that the owners do not approve of – including when you drive and where, not merely how.

If you doubt this is the way things are headed, consider what Tesla is already doing. Its cars receive “updates” from the Tesla nexus – these “updates” controlling what the car does, and whether you want them or not. And these Teslas are – nominally – the property of their “owners.” 

Wait and see what happens when Tesla embraces the GM model – which it will. So will other car companies. There is just too much money on the table for them to resist – and too much control (for them) in the offing.

Anyone half-awake within the car business knows this is coming – like a freight train barreling down on someone tied to the tracks. You can feel the rumble, see the light in the distance getting closer.

It is all part of a concerted effort to control transportation; arguably, to eliminate the free movement of individuals in this country. Every authoritarian state pursues this course because it is essential to establishing the state’s total control of the populace. If people are still free to move – unmonitored, uncontrolled – then they are still largely free people.

It is of a piece with the drive to eliminate cash, to disarm the populace – with the end goal being a continental company town of – as the great comedian George Carlin put it – obedient workers, keeping their heads down – and their noses to the grindstone.

If we let it happen.

If we let them do this to us.

There is still time.

. . .

Got a question about cars – or anything else? Click on the “ask Eric” link and send ’em in!

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240 COMMENTS

  1. I see the future, and it’s made up of rent payments.

    I have noticed that television ads for new vehicles never mention manufacturers’ suggested retail prices anymore; they just say that you can have your dream vehicle for “$xxx a month,” with a substantial upfront payment. And that they expect you to return the vehicle after 36 months!

    Hell, my dad still tells me about the 1984 Chevette he got as a high-school graduation present. He keeps reminding me that it was the booby prize. It only stayed in the family driveway for three months.

    I guess the only thing a government will be good for is making sure the trains run on time.

    • Hi Travis,

      The reason for this change, of course, is that new cars are becoming too expensive to buy. They’ve hit a wall as far as pushing out the financing much farther (to keep the monthly nut manageable) because cars begin to rapidly lose value after about five years and by ten, are beginning to reach the end of their useful service life. Unlike a house – which can economically serve its purpose for 50-100 years or more – there is a built-in limit to how long a car can be financed.

      The problem is two-fold:

      Government continues to impose cost-adding mandates and buyers continue to demand expensive gadgets they can’t really afford.

      A correction is needed.

      The sooner, the better.

      • Cars are like diamond rings, they loose a large amount of value as soon as they leave the lot. The correction is simple, and Gary North uses the same system I do.

        • Hi Bill,

          Me, too. I never buy new. Well, with the sole exception of my 2003 Kawasaki ZRX, which I could not resist. I paid $7,500 for it. It’s still worth about $4,000 – so the difference amortized over 15 years is . . . not much. Well worth it, to me!

          • Eric,
            I’ve been looking forward to when PMs skyrocket and everything else is in a glut, and then I’ll buy whatever I’ve always wanted for pennies on the dollar. Of course the danger in my plan may be that I wind up with a very nice scooter and nowhere to go. Beer wagons should be very common and cheap, so maybe I’ll buy a lot of spares.

      • Eric, I agree completely. This was the direction I was pointing, but I wrote the original message while dividing my concentration with a podcast I was listening to, causing my ideas to fade in the ether.

    • What U.S. Soldiers Actually Sign up For
      By Laurence M. Vance
      October 31, 2017

      President Trump is in hot water for supposedly disrespecting the family of a slain U.S. soldier.

      Earlier this month, four U.S. soldiers were killed in an ambush by Islamic extremists/militants/terrorists/bad guys in the African country of Niger during a joint patrol by American and Niger forces. At a press conference over a week later, a reporter asked the president: “Why haven’t we heard anything from you so far about the soldiers that were killed in Niger? And what do you have to say about that?”

      The next day Trump called Myeshia Johnson, the widow of Sgt. La David Johnson, one of the soldiers who had been killed in Niger, while she was on the way to the Miami airport to receive his body. According to Rep. Frederica Wilson (D-Fla.), who was in the car when Trump made the call, the president told the grieving widow that her husband “knew what he signed up for.” She claimed that Trump’s call was “horrible” and “insensitive,” and that the president couldn’t remember the dead soldier’s name. Trump then tweeted: “Democrat Congresswoman totally fabricated what I said to the wife of a soldier who died in action (and I have proof). Sad!” Later, before a White House meeting with senators, Trump remarked: “I didn’t say what that congresswoman said. Didn’t say it at all, she knows it.” White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders claims that several senior officials witnessed the call and described Trump’s manner as “respectful” and “very sympathetic.”

      He said; she said.

      Missing in most all of the news stories about this event are two things that are much more important than whether President Trump was insensitive and disrespectful.

      What are U.S. troops doing in Niger?
      What do U.S. soldiers actually sign up for?
      The United States actually has almost 1,000 troops in Niger. It is not surprising that most Americans didn’t know this since even Lindsey Graham, the Republican warmonger on the Senate Armed Services Committee said that he had no idea. Some alternative news sources (here and here, for example) are asking what U.S. troops are doing in Niger so I will refer you to them. And, of course, it is not just Niger. Even the New York Times is reporting that the United States “now has just over 240,000 active-duty and reserve troops in at least 172 countries and territories,” plus an additional 37,813 troops on assignments that have not been made public.

      I want to take a serious look at what U.S. soldiers actually sign up for. What is a young man (or woman) actually getting into when he signs on the dotted line? What does it actually mean to wear a U.S. military uniform?

      There are a number of things that U.S. soldiers certainly don’t sign up for. No matter what they think, their family thinks, or what Americans in general think, U.S. soldiers don’t sign up to:

      defend the country
      fight for our freedoms
      keep Americans safe from terrorists
      support and defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic
      protect Americans from credible threats
      serve the country
      secure American borders
      patrol American coasts
      guard American shores
      watch over American skies
      fight “over there” so we don’t have to fight “over here”

      So, what is it that U.S. soldiers actually sign up for? Truth be told, they sign up to:

      boldly go where no American soldier has any place going
      obey orders unconditionally
      die in vain, for a lie, or for a mistake
      die for empire
      be a pawn in the hands of Uncle Sam to be moved around as he sees fit
      serve the state
      help unleash sectarian violence
      invade other countries
      occupy other countries
      fight foreign wars
      maintain U.S. hegemony
      make widows and orphans
      launch preemptive strikes
      spread democracy at the point of a gun
      be the world’s policeman, fireman, bully, and social worker
      be part of the president’s personal attack force
      enforce UN resolutions
      die a senseless death
      fight unjust wars
      kill and maim foreigners
      kill civilians
      die for imperialism
      destroy foreign industry, culture, and infrastructure
      change regimes
      nation build
      fight immoral wars
      defend other countries
      fight unnecessary wars
      carry out a reckless, belligerent, and deeply flawed U.S. foreign policy
      neglect their families
      intervene in other countries
      create terrorists, insurgents, and militants because of foreign interventions
      enforce no-fly zones in other countries
      fight undeclared wars
      take sides in civil wars
      engage in offense instead of defense
      get PTSD or a traumatic brain injury
      have their limbs or genitals blown off
      die for the military/industrial complex
      be a global force for evil
      These are the things that U.S. soldier actually sign up for.

      Joining the U.S. military is not patriotic. It is a bad decision. It is a foolish choice. It is, in fact, downright idiotic.

    • Bill, pore old god has been used and abused. While somebody somewhere may be thanking him, for the most part he’s being dissed cause he didn’t come through and people are disgusted by all the things he’s done….and he’s never even gotten a notice, just invocations willy-nilly with everybody thinking he’ll come through on. Now that’s a thankless job. If there was an omnipotent god why hasn’t it dawned on everyone he could just bitch slap the entire bunch and forget about it? Really? What’s in it for him?

      • Bitch slapping the clueless is a waste of time.
        In my reading about NDEs, I have come to the conclusion that they are the most reliable consensus about the afterlife, which is that we are here to experience a temporal life that the universal consciousness is incapable of. As I continue to learn about spiritualism, it makes more sense if it doesn’t include a deity. Eben Alexander’s “”Proof of Heaven” was a turning point, because his recovery from a week in a coma was as miraculous as it gets, IMO.

      • Since there are almost as many gods as there are followers, how else could it be?
        A very similar situation exists in political orientation. Most of us, short of sincere contemplation, are the same as our relatives and peers were, growing up.
        My father spent 22 years in the cavalry, Army Air Force, and Air Force. He spent my entire youth trying to interest me in a military career or membership in masonry. I suspect it was my refusal to consider a scholarship (to the Air Force Academy) that he had finagled from a fellow Shriner, Senator William Armstrong, that finally drove him to abandon my mother and me, after which I didn’t see him for 15 years. He thought that the Branch Davidians were terrorists and deserved to be murdered. He spent more time in front of the television than in any other religious pursuit.

    • It must started up again a year after that, ’cause it’s still being practiced there, as well as everywhere else in the USA- only on all people now- not just knee-grows.

  2. “Ed, that’s simply not true. “….etc.

    Nunz, you’re ignoring my actual claim, that Disqus, can and does lock people out. They’ve had me blocked since about 2014. Just because it hasn’t happened to you, doesn’t prove that it doesn’t happen. Site owners can and do ban users and delete comments while using Disqus on their sites, but Disqus does the same thing without the knowledge of the site owners.

    • Hmmm, Ed. That I just don’t know about- You could be right (You usually are!) but I’ve never heard anyone complain about that before with Disqus- but I suppose it could be true of any third-party comment thingy- I mean really, what internet-based business upholds free-speech these days, and doesn’t try to control and manipulate.

      (And not that I’m complaining about this site when I advocate for Disqus, mind you. This site seems to work fine most of the time, with the only annoyance being occasional spam filter issues, and the narrow columns of text with no reply button after about the fourth comment in a thread- but those are small prices to pay for what seems to be unhindered free speech.)

      • I did a websearch for a few different phrases including Disqus in the title and got several threads from sites for blog design and management. I found that I can’t post even a single link here, so I’ll just paste in a few comments from a thread at Chris Lema’s blog. The comment is from a blogger, BTW.:

        “Their moderators are horrible, Chris.
        After they removed a few of my comments, I contacted them. Disqus said, they do not moderate. According to Disqus, it is “the website” that the post originated from. I am deleting Disqus for the same reason you are and they duplicate comment pages. I have to scroll, scroll and scroll and scroll and scroll……
        I hate Disqus, but unfortunately, many sites use Disqus like Breitbart.”

        This guy says what I’ve found to be true about disqus.

        Another site owner posted this:

        “Most interesting. I adopted Disqus not long ago when I updated my blog with a spanking new design – and all my past commenters abruptly stopped commenting. It was like a Western, when the black-hat gunslinger walks through the batwing doors to the bar: suddenly all the chatter stops, instantly. If there were a piano playing on my blog, it probably would have stopped, too.

        After a month of wondering exactly what had happened, I killed Disqus and went back to the native WP comment system. The flow of comments began – I kid you not, this is literally the case – within twelve minutes.

        I had no idea about the data aggregation etc. But now I do. Just one more good reason.”

        Chris Lema, Blog Motive, and Reboot Authentic all had blog articles on dumping disqus and I emailed eric a link to one of them. They use the native WP with a plugin or two.

        I like the unhindered free comment system here too. A few other WP sites where I read content use the native WP comment system, but most seem enamored of disqus. I guess it does relieve the workload of having a comments section, but several bloggers have commented on how complicated the disqus system is to configure. YMMV, as always. Sorry for the long post.

        • Meh…..whenever a third party is involved, it’ll never be perfect. But as long as Turdpress is working decently here, I guess “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”.

          [Watch it break now! : D ]

          YOU’RE apologizing for a “long” post? Considering who you’re talking to, that’d be like someone saying to Hitler: “Sorry, I killed a Jew”! 😉

  3. ” I just thought of that. I wonder if that’s an issue, or maybe if it’s a way of “soft-banning” some people?”

    Nunz, it could be an issue with your browser, true enough. FF for linux in its latest incarnation, 51 or something like it didn’t play well with my slackware based puppy linux so I’m using the latest stable version from a slackware repos of a few years ago. FF runs well for me with a flashblock plugin and a few others. Flash has always been a problem for me on my linux machines, causing long lags in loading, etc.

    The loading issue on the comments sections of sites using Disqus is something I haven’t noticed, probaby because I skip the comments on sites that use Disqus. What I have noticed is that Disqus will just keep me from logging in anywhere or from creating a new account. I’ve been “soft banned” in that way for years by Disqus. I think that since it has happened to me, it’s probably happened to other people.

    • Eduardo,

      I only used to get that slow loading of Disqus on like 2 sites….so it wasn’t my browser. But yeah, this newer FF sucks! I should have known better- I usually don’t do updates- but I did this time, and it changed my Iceweasel into full-blown FF! The ancient browser on my ancient install on Slackware on my laptop works 10x better….but I don’t like using the laptop.

      When I get a chance, I’m going to replace this old install of Crunchbang with BunsenLabs Linux, and see wha’ hoppins.

      • Nuz, since you like Slackware, why not try slacko puppy? I can’t post a link to it but a websearch will turn it up. It has an older stable version of FF in one of the included Slackware repositories, and you can burn it to a disc or thumbdrive and use it without a hard install.

        • Here goes a check of the spam filter:

          OK, I make like $10,000.00 a day or something working part time from home on my computer. This post is obviously spam, so the filter should catch it, right?

        • Hmmm… Thanks for the suggestion, Edmeister! Does Slacko Puppy have some type of automated package management? (The only reason I don’t use Slackware as my main OS)- I may just have to give Slacko a whirl. NOTHING works better than Slackware, so this should be a natural!

          Thanks!

          • The package manager has several repositories with all packages compiled as “pets”, which are self installing once selected so, yeah, kinda “automatic”-ish. SFS packages are also available from the desktop.

            I think the latest slacko version comes with FF 38 installed. All the puppy linuxes are much smaller distros that most other linux distros. The slacko I’m using on this machine is about 380m total for the whole o/s. If you have it on a dvd you can use the disc to boot up, then remove the disc and the whole o/s will run in RAM.

            Try it. You may want to try one of the older slackos if your machine is Vista era or earlier, but I’m running a very recent slacko on one old Vista machine.

            • Ed, where’s the best place to get this? I had Lubuntu on a laptop but it had no dial up modem option. I bought a refurb desktop with Windurs 7 and I like it ok, in fact it’s pretty fast loading for dial up. The 8.1 laptop had been installed on an original XP Dell el cheapo. I’d like to get completely away from Windurs. I know longer need a business suite and even if I do there’s plenty open source that work fine.

              On that note, I’m seriously considering getting an Apple phone, not a latest and greatest and maybe not even new. I gotta get away from Google that has begun to stop me in my tracks for certain sites. You can probably guess a few that never seem to load up entirely and reconnect is a constant thing.

              • 8, the spam filter won’t let me post a link. Do a websearch for slacko puppy linux. The 32 bit version works best on older machines. Download it and burn the iso to disc.

                There is a very active forum with lots of helpful participants at murga-linux dotcom. There are lots of threads on installing and you can get help pretty quickly on the forum.

                I used several linux distros before settling on puppy. It’s the one that always worked for me right out of the box and it has an easy learning curve.

                I still have a couple of machines running XP for some things that I do like ebaying. For web browsing, I’ve been using puppy since about ’07, when it was an 85meg o/s.

                • Goddammit, I tried to simply reply “Thanks Ed”,but no, goddamn WP won’t accept anything other than verbosity.

                  I know I’m preaching to the choir but how many times has one word been the perfect reply and dickwad WP can’t accept it?

                  WP, you muthafucka, kiss my rusty ass.

                  • Morning, Eight,

                    I am not sure why WP doesn’t like you; I regularly have to “approve” your comments – and you’ve been a regular for years and I assure you, you’re not blocked or anything else… it’s just the got-damned Al Gore Ithm… or whatever it is.

                    The Solution is tantalizingly close… a full-time computer person to deal with all this stuff, as it happens. If the site’s revenue stream upticked by about 35 percent I could swing this. As it stands, I have a guy who I can call in emergencies and he’ll get to it when he can.

                    It would be a boon to all and a huge load off my shoulders to have the full-time computer guy. I’d also like to get a specific redesign that would address all the issues we talk about constantly.

                    Maybe this coming year. Unless GM whacks me, of course.

                    • Eric, in addition to what Johnny[Homer Simpson voice]D’oh! says, another alternative might be to simply solicit some volunteers who would be willing to help, remotely.

                      I used to have a forum, and I was constantly having people ask me if they could be “mods” or help out [Even though the forum wasn’t moderated- I’d only ever censor actual spam] -but I spent very little time actually administering the forum, so it was unnecessary- but I’m sure that some here would be willing to help you out.

                      Be careful about redesigns! When ya have something that works, and is familiar….don’t change it unless it really necessary….as it usually makes things worse.

                      I can’t think of one website or forum which was good, and then changed and stayed just as good or became better…..every one of them became worse.

                  • Tell me about it, 8. The siteware has me flagged as a spammer and won’t let me post a link. I get the warning page and it suggests I go back and try something else (unspecified) but when I go back a page , my post is gone and I’m at the top of the comment section.

                    This happened before and I quit coming around for a few months. When I checked back in I could post links again.

                    There are several good sites run by WP experts who answer questions and offer help to bloggers. If I could post a link, I’d do it.

  4. Eric,
    I’d be surprised if WordPress left me alone, as many times as I’ve made proctological suggestions as to what they could do with their highly anal and goofy systems. I have never found them worth the time and effort that would be required to figure them out enough to bother with them. I do what I can and let the rest follow the flotsam and jetsam downstream.

  5. Nunzio,
    I never had any more trouble with Disqus when I was using it on my HP Pavilion running Ubuntu 17.04 than on any other computer or OS. I’ve left my Windows 10 machine clear of all of that because I only use it for ripping CDs.

    • Ditto, Bill. I’ve never had any issue with Disqus. It seems very unobtrusive- which is why I like it. Works great on this old PC with a lightweight Linux OS.

      Why do you need Windurs to rip CDs? Something like K3B ‘ould do it just fine.

      • K3B? I was given the Windows 10 machine, by a online school whose software is incompatible with 10. I like Chrome too well to bother with Windows outside of WMP.

        • Exactly. So nuke the Windurs and install Linux (Preferably not Ubuntu- it’s so bloated, it’s almost as bad as Windurs!). I dumped Windurs in 2010- if it weren’t for Linux, I swear, I would have stopped using computers. I will not tolerate MS’s spying; the inability to control one’s own OS; nor the way their OS’s [don’t]work, and consume tons of resources/render your ‘puter obsolete every 6 months or so.

          • Ubuntu is the most popular Debian distro out there. Which Linux do you use? My favorite Linux is Chrome, but who knows what is in it’s kernel? If I cared, I’d use Chromium, but I’m not that geeky.

            • Ubuntu is popular because “It’s like Windows”- which tempts new Linux users, because they figure it’ll be familiar and have all of the features they’ve come to expect in Windows…but because it’s like Windows, and it’s a commercial venture, it is bloated and intrusive, and spies on you almost as badly as Windows.

              Chrome is just an OS which utilizes the Linux kernel- but is not really Linux, because it’s not open-source and community based; it’s, of course, just Google using the Linux kernel for their evil purposes.

              Why have a Debian-based OS? Just get Debian- it avoids all the clutter and spyware and works better; and whatever feature or program available to Ubuntu is available to Debian.

              I use Crunchbang (Which has become obsolete and has been replaced by Bunsen Labs Linux) and Slackware. (Crunchbang/Bunsen is just a stripped-down minimal build of Debian).

              I used to just use Debian- it’s great- but considering the age of my PC, and that I don’t use a lot of default stuff in any full-blown OS, I just went with the minimalist system)

              • Ubuntu is also for those of us who have gotten lazy in their old age. 🙂

                I started out with Slackware over 20 years ago and also used early Red Hat before it split off into Fedora and RHEL. They took a lot of tinkering to get everything working.

                These days I find that Ubuntu pretty much just works out of the box without a lot of fiddling around needed. Though I don’t care much for Ubuntu’s Unity desktop and stick with MATE or XFCE.

                I’ve played around with the BSDs a bit as well but they generally don’t have as good hardware or application support as Linux does. To me the main thing is to stay clear of Microsoft, Apple, and Google products.

                • Since Windows plays registry games, Apple uses Unix, and Google uses their own proprietary Linux kernels, there isn’t much left aside from very sliver OSs.

                • I left Ubuntu for awhile and tried SUSE. I liked it at first because I saw potential for greater customization. I got ired of certain things not working very well despite my having the correct repositories installed. I have mostly been a Ubuntu user in the past because they actually had the software for my HP 1020 laser jet printer working, and I always disabled Unity. I went back to Ubuntu because I read that they were dropping Unity. I installed Ubuntu Gnome 16.04 LTS. I may try out their replacement OS later. I also have Arch Linux on a thumb drive that I will play around with when I have more time.

                • My only problem with Slackware is that it’s too hard for a non-geek like myself to install packages.

                  Other than that, man! Slackware is rock solid, and makes even the oldest computer perform like a race car.

                  I’m lazy too, though- which is why I’ve been using the minimal Debian build (which is Crunchbang)- which is essentially what you’d get if you did a minimal Debian install yourself, with a few nice touches already added and configured (Like the Openbox window manager).

                  Trouble is, it works so well, and is so problem-free, that I never have to do anything, so I end up forgetting all of the technical stuff that I had learned when I first got into Linux!

                  The non-commercial Linux distros are a natural for us An-caps though- as the philosophy of FOSS [Free Open-Source Software] is a great example of how free-market voluntaryism can out-perform the fascist corporate junk, while promoting individual choice and maintaining the user’s privacy and control.

                  IMO, the bigger corporate distros, such as Ubuntu, destroy a lot of those advantages. I mean, it seems kind of defeating to use a Linux distro that phones home, and which seeks to enforce intrusive copyright protections.

                  Personally, I switched to Linux to get away from all of the Microsoft BS…not to emulate it. And so I wouldn’t have to keep upgrading my hardware….which seems to be the sole point of Microsoft’s existence…..

                  • Ubuntu tried the phone home thing back in 2010 and got enough people riled up that they turned it off. It’s not an issue in recent versions.

              • Chrome is just as Linux as any other Linux. The problem is that it has a proprietary kernel, so if you want a Chrome kernel to do what a non-Chrome kernel always has, you have to use Chromium so you can tweak the Chrome kernel to customize it if you want anything the slightest bit non-standard. Any GUI can be made to look like any other GUI by a competent programmer, but they seldom work with the designers.

                • Everything’s proprietary about Chrome- except the kernel- there’s no such thing as a proprietary Linux kernel, because it is licensed as free open-source software and can not be made proprietary….Linus Torvalds doesn’t sell it. It’s everything else they put around it which is proprietary- which defeats the whole purpose of Linux.

                  Kinda like Android and the software in TVs and appliances which use the Linux kernel….but are not truly Linux, because they’re just heaping their proprietary stuff on, and just using the kernel to power it.

                  • You must have a completely opposite definition of proprietary from every computer professional I’ve ever discussed this with. If everything but the kernel is proprietary, why would the kernel function at all?

                    • Bill, because the Linux kernel will work with whatever is put around it- the kernel doesn’t know or care if the code/software is proprietary or not.

                      The kernel CAN’T be proprietary, because the guy who developed it (Torvalds) and the community which maintains it, makes it available under the GPL v.2 license- which means it can not be made proprietary; only the stuff around it can be.

          • Used to have to “fix” my moms computer every few weeks. Used to have to buy her new computers every 3 years. Put Ubuntu linux on my moms PC and NEVER got another phone call it has worked flawlessly for her for the last 10 years. I am a developer and don’t have a SINGLE windows PC at home. Windows just plain sucks. You can’t even add an account without emailing microsoft for permission and using a “real” email address. Linux = free software, pro Audio and video production suites and office all for free. And they are BETTER than the software you have to pay for on windows.

            • I haven’t been on the Linux forums in a looooong time (No need to- it just works!)- could it be that Canonical actually listened to it’s users and saved Ubuntu from it’s Windofication slow death?!

  6. That’s a better assessment, 8. It’s more the way you describe it, with the end result being that I can’t stand to read the comments allowed by Disqus. The sites where commentary is somewhat bearable are those that require no login to Disqus or Google or faCIAbook.

    I do sometimes read comments on ZH or TBP, though both have lots of drive-by retards who pop in to post something retarded. Those types can be ignored, but on the sites that require some approval from Disqus to post, the discussion is pretty pukey.

    ZHers call their site “Fight Club” and it’s kind of a free-for-all brawl sometimes. The people who think that Disqus doesn’t interfere just haven’t yet had their posts deleted and haven’t yet been locked out for criticizing Disqus.

      • Yeah, ZH’s commenters are mostly insane or retarded, but a few there link to things I wouldn’t have found otherwise. The links in a comment section are what do it for me, not the brain farts of the mongoloids that seem to infest every popular site these days.

        Sometimes when I’m bored I’ll troll a few of the nutjobs there, just as I do here.

  7. I would have said that NYC was the most gridlocked place I’ve ever driven until I saw Shoshoni, Wyoming after the eclipse. I had never driven through the Wind River Canyon at 30mph before.

    • 30MPH?! THAT is a speed rarely attainable on a NYC surface street! If bicycles ain’t zipping past ya….you ain’t even close to NYC traffic!

  8. This is just another step along the way towards the ultimate objective of the UNs Agenda 21, which calls for governments to take control of all land use and not leave any of the decision making in the hands of private property owners. If you read Rosa Koire’s book, Behind The Green Mask, it will all start to make sense why all the things that are happening in today’s world are going down the way they do. Electric cars and driverless cars are part of the plan to demonize ownership of private property and herd people into “Human Settlement Zones” where you will be stacked and packed like sardines into a tiny living space, while rural and suburban areas will be turned into wilderness areas. This is not a conspiracy theory. You can look up the documents on the UN’s website where they spell it out. They’ve been hard at it for over 25 years and we are already pretty far down the rabbit hole. Like I say, Read Rosa Koire’s book, Behind The Green Mask. It’s a short easy read and very enlightening.

    • Hi Huck,

      You’re right. It took me years to grasp the enormity of it; to believe what seemed improbable – evil – yet the facts are facts. I’ve been professionally able to glimpse the workings of the Inner Party – and it is not pretty.

      I have personal and deep kinship with the plight of Jews and other undesirables in Germany who elected to stay while there was still time to flee.

      I understand it all now.

      • “It” IS “happening here”…. I’ve known several people over the years who made it out of Germany & Hungary, while their parents and other relatives stayed and were never heard from again.

        It’s scary enough here right now, what with all the killer cops; all the non-violent people in cages; and every aspect of life controlled and criminalized; and it’s going to get worse, especially for those of us who do not just “go along”, but who demand to live free. We will lose our freedom at best; our lives at worst.

        There’s really no future here. We should all be making plans and acting upon them, so we can get while the getting is good still possible.

    • In some states it will be easy to herd people into tiny areas. Did you know that less then 5% of Alaska’s real estate is privately owned? Between the feds, state and other smaller governments they own or control over 95% of the land mass of Alaska already. The feds own 85% of the real estate of Nevada. Other western states have over 50% government land.

      I used to think Alaska didn’t develop more due to it being cold. It’s more likely its due to where are you going to go when you get there? Blocking everything in so much of the state is the reason it stays like it does (granted I know plenty of the residents of Alaska are fine with that).

    • Speaking of Agenda 21, New Orleans currently has a mayoral candidate that’s a member of the Aspen Institute’s Global Leadership Network, which is one of the major technocratic think tanks in the world. Loyola even hosted a mayoral debate that was centered around smart growth policies.

      Yes, Agenda 21 is being implemented as we speak, unfortunately.

  9. Hi Eric,

    You and others have said this, but how can big car companies maintain current levels of profitability while essentially renting us cars rather than selling them to consumers the way they used to in the past? Once they switch business models the number of cars required by society will be reduced greatly, hence reducing money to be made… Furthermore, this model (as the current uber / lyft ) model is based on a much higher utilisation….. leading to much higher wear and tear…. which many modern cars with 10 speed gearboxes and multiple high pressure turbochargers controlled by computers may not be as suited for as say a simpler car from 20 years ago…….Fine, they may, via crooked accounting and some debt (by whatever off balance sheet entity) hide the issue for some time, but eventually they will have to deal with the reality…. I fail to see how they can possibly manage to make more money switching to this model…….

  10. I dunno, Eric. GM will have to compete with existing auto rental companies. My take is that they’ll have to offer competitive rates, or they’ll get flipped off by the consuming public and have to change their plans. It’s hard for me to see a new option as a bad thing.

    • They will like cut the existing rental companies out. Why let them make the money? I won’t be surprised if most car makers get to the point that they will refuse to sell cars anymore. It would be so much easier, just make all the models exactly the same. Just different sizes if that even.

    • That’s a good point. Renting a car looks like it’s a pretty cheap option for transportation. $40/day is a often quoted rate on travel websites. But then you add on the taxes, fees and extras and that quickly becomes the teaser rate to get you in the door. Right now the local Uncles see it as a cash cow with now political downside. After all, the majority of people renting cars in their fine city aren’t voting in their fine city, they just take it in the shorts and go back home. But what happens to that revenue stream when GM starts renting to the voting population?

    • The way these newer cars are made, with so many intertwined complex systems making them cost prohibitive to repair once out of warranty, the rental companies will have no cars if the manufacturers decide not to sell ’em, or jack up the prices even more. Seems like it’s already set up that way.

  11. It’s strange how car companies are more concerned about their “brand name” then ever before. It’s probably due to the fact that there is very little that is different between competing car companies let alone your own corporate division cousins. All the vehicles of a class look very similar, you have to walk up to them to tell the difference between a Toyota from a Ford to a Chevy or a Kia.

    Especially hard when your a “luxury” make like Caddy. What used to make a Caddy special and luxurious are now common things like electric windows and a/c. The new gadgets go into every car now, so that touchscreen is in a cheap Kia the same year its in the 75k Caddy. Eric has noted several times that if you like Audis, but can’t afford them, the VW’s are 95% of the Audi. So why would you spend the extra money, even if you can afford it? So most people don’t.

    So Caddy talks about a better “experience”. It could work, if we hadn’t thrown out what most people consider good service. One of my friends who is in his 80’s said to me “You have no idea what good service is, you have never received it”. “So its no wonder nobody can provide it” he continues. It’s very true. I remember my late grandma complain about how the service at Marshall Fields just wasn’t what it once was. And that was back in the 1980’s. And she quit shopping there.

    There is no way that Caddy or GM will be able to provide good enough service that people will be willing to pay a premium price for it. The way corporate structures are now only insure they cannot. They will be inconsistent enough to never be very good. They won’t spend the money necessary for consistent good service. No big company does anymore.

    Maven may make a few people in NYC happy at first, when they have few customers. If they have any volume, it will fall apart like a house of cards. There is just too much for a car share system to work right for the majority.

    • I might make the argument that any company that’s been around for more than two generations has no way to motivate employees to be kind to customers. Some employees care out of moral reasons, but they quickly get beaten into submission by the systems that were built to allow the company to scale. When customer service becomes a bottom line issue there will be wholesale changes to the product that basically define the product as what the company is able to deliver, not something that the customer will enjoy. Monopoly status helps. Once again Ma Bell comes to mind.

      In the Very Large Company I work for the choice has been to compartmentalize tasks, remove flexibility and make the process so complex and involve so many people that no one person can actually make anything happen. But anyone can be trained to do just about any task, at least that’s what we’re led to believe. When things go south though they all turn to those of us who bothered to figure out what the other guy did for a living. We get that stuff resolved, but we’re expensive and hard to find, so we’re going to be driven out. Probably going to be replaced with algorithms.

  12. I remember when my dad owned these dinosaurs and they had a real guarantee as to the reliability of said cars. But back then gasoline was 33.9 cents a gallon. So a gas hog was a fairly good car to own.
    The marketplace broke GM when the first Volkswagen came to our shores.
    Not only was it cheap, it was fairly reliable.
    Consumer surveys from consumer reports and other people showed a pattern of greed and overly expensive cars that were only reliable for an average loan period.
    So naturally when Japan went to war economically by producing a car that lasted a lot longer with better engineering GM hid behind “American-made cars” and kept up their fraud of consumers with a car that disintegrated in about 3-5 years.
    It didn’t work then and it doesn’t work now. So GM is basically bankrupt. It is difficult to recover from a name earned with shoddy products. It can be done but not easily.
    The only way GM can survive long term is to fire the CEOs that caused this lack of good reputation and put decent engineering into the vehicles they produce so that the surveys show they have reformed.
    Not going to happen any time soon.
    It means backing their vehicles with good warranties and making a car that the consumers out there are willing to buy and at a cost no more than 1/4 of your monthly net income.
    That is virtually impossible in the current wage earner’s economy.
    So they go to the lease agreements that are now backfiring as people no longer renew the lease at the end of the period it expires.
    GM is stuck between a rock and a hard place.
    Since most of the parts are imported they can no longer guarantee an “American-made” car.
    Their engineers are great at designing a one-horse shay. It lasts about 100 days and then starts to need repairs if it even lasts that long.
    Ford is starting to realize that the current operational model of bad car repairs is not going to make them many return customers. Again warranties expire and cars expire with them.
    Ford just went to Mexico. So they are no longer an “American-made” unless you consider it made on this continent.
    Dodos, dinosaurs, and GM and Ford are practically extinct.
    Until they start producing something that is well-engineered at a price Americans can afford.

    • Somewhere buried in John Taylor Gatto’s Ultimate History Lesson he says he interviewed a big-wig from GM and asked him how they got into their post-2005 mess. The Suit told him that somewhere along the way GM stopped being a car company and became a finance company. The way to the corner office and profit-sharing stopped being engineering, and started being how to make money with money and leverage. Well, that didn’t work the way the Harvard B-school boys had planned (remember the Immortal Michael Porter™: if you’re not growing, you’re dying!), and it sunk GM. Rather than fix the problem, they doubled down, because that expensive, Harvard Immortal Michael Porter™ learning can’t be wrong! We’re in for a world of hurt, because Ford and Chrysler did it too.

      • Eduardo, interesting point you make – there was a similar thing here in Europe some years back (think it was top gear) about Peugeot – and how their once legendary cars became extremely crappy, and now their reputation is a joke… and it started in the 90s when they stated making cars specifically to flog on the lease market very cheap, basically to people who couldn’t afford it and would barely get a lease – the cars were basically meant to last as long as the lease, and after that they don’t give a shit…. after some time, the are also basically bankrupt or just hanging in there till the next crisis….

    • Dave, I wish it were greed motivating GM. Then they’d make cars that people actually want to buy, and would make a healthy profit without taxpayer assistance; would fight the regulators who are killing the auto industry; and would provide a true benefit to the community by providing value and jobs and by creating needs for small ontramanures. America worked pretty darn good when businesses were motivated by greed- which, after all, is the only sane reason to even be in business.

      But quite the contrary today- companies like GM and the fools who run them don’t seem to care about money; they care about the perverted philosophies with which they’ve been brainwashed- such as “diversity” and “social justice”, and political correctness and all of that, which is not only ruining the consumer market, but also hastening their own demise and destroying the economy.

      Just like Elon Musk[rat], who has yet to even approach making a profit with Tesla- but just leeches off of corporate welfare, and sells virtue-signaling and ideologies, rather than functional vehicles.

      • “fight the regulators” If it weren’t for the regulators GM wouldn’t exist and we would all be driving $2000 Mahindras. The U.S. regulated industry colludes with the U.S. regulators to erect ever changing mine fields of rules and barriers to entry. (via lobbying / bribery etc..) The trick is, that the colluders know what is really coming down the pipe and can prepare for it accurately. For example: Assume the CAFE regulations are a trick, designed to fool the foreign competition into putting all their R&D into electrics and tiny crappy engines. American companies feign that they are doing the same, but KNOW that in reality, the regs will be rescinded and big V8 awesome cars will in actuality rule the day. Since they knew this in advance, the U.S. companies have a big advantage.

        • What US company will even have a V8? They are just as far down the road towards tiny ICE engines and electric motors as the rest of them.

        • Good point, Johnny- about the regulations working to the favor of the big guys to stifle true competition- BUT, eventually it comes back to bite them- as it drives prices so high, and causes products to become so crappy and out-of-tune with the actual market; and so needlessly unsustainable, that either the regulations go away, or work-arounds are found, and by then, the big guys are hated and have such a bad rep that it’s essentially over for them. No scheme lasts forever.

          Same deal with trades like plumbing, in places where the local nazis charge $750 just for a PERMIT to install a water heater….although it may help new guys out, eventually so many people do it themselves or find an unlicensed handyman (of which I used to be one) or relative or someone to do the whole job for less than the cost of the permit, that before long there’s not enough work for the “officially licensed” plumbers, and they’re at each other’s throats and start dropping like flies because of not enough business.

          Everything has consequences- and when they use ubcle to impose these draconian plans for their own benefit, at the cost of their customers, they will end up reaping those consequences sooner or later.

          Just like when GM bribed local Uncles all over the country to use their buses and get rid of trolley cars. What good did it do? They sold a lot of buses for a while…but now they don’t even make buses anymore.

        • I think it was govt. regulation that caused GM to be what it now is. Back in the 40’s and 50’s GM didn’t take as much market share as it could have fearing the SEC and their interpretation of “monopoly”.

          If the main spark for a new Constitution was really nothing more or less than regulating interstate commerce it really worked. It limited everything every company tried to do. And I’m not taking up for big corporations but I think big corporations, and their immunity for personal punishment were caused by the SEC and the interstate regulation bullshit.

  13. Hi Eric-
    I watch GM’s idiotic commercials and they reaffirm among other reasons why I don’t buy their products. George Carlin is dead on. I live in an “active adult community” and like it, but I know I’m living on a “reservation”. The builder is still building houses, so they own and control everything and consider the homeowners “sheep”. We’re scheduled for an HOA handover to the homeowners shortly, and then the real fun begins.

    • Be prepared for your HOA dues to at least double. Builders will frequently under-fund them, and the homeowners find out later that their expense projections were unrealistic.

    • They build entire neighborhoods below grade here in Houston. Developers don’t give a crap if it all floods – they got their money. and the damned County and City engineers NEVER even check the elevations. They will whine about fire codes and framing and electrical – but won’t once tell you “by the way – this will flood under two feet of water every year”

  14. OK, so the ass holes at GM are the type of folks whose cars are clean and pristine all the time. My cars have tool boxes, firearms, bullets, rope, jumper cables, skateboard, pads, helmet, change of clothes, guitar, tire repair kit – now, lets get to the stuff in the cubby holes and glove box… Seriously – it takes me about three days to clean a car out when I sell it.

  15. GM is no longer a car company; it’s a diversity, marketing-enterprise, on welfare. And now, like changing a California light bulb, we are to share the (Cadillac) experience.

    Will the last GM manager please turn out the lights – and then pull the plug?

  16. If truth in advertising were demanded- especially where Cadillac is involved, I’m pretty sure the phrase should be “Experience the bran“.

    • Morning, Nunz!

      Cadillac is doing gangbusters . . . in China. Here not so much. Part of this is the general sagging of the luxury-sport sedan market. But a big part of it is that people are becoming weary, I think, of the ghetto ethos and diversity cult that seems to define the Cadillac “experience” nowadays.

      • Yeah Eric, Crapillac has been dead essentially for near 30 years now, to all but the senile and ghetto-bangers.

        Friggin pieces of junk depreciate faster than Yugos! (At least the Yugos were cheap to purchase initially). It’s hard to believe that they once made cars which were status symbols, and the epitome of quality.

        Oh no! Eric, I’m getting these damn puzzles to complete in order to post here, now! Is that just something for today…maybe anti-spam settings were tweaked or something? I can’t tolerate that…

        • Just another reason to love Word Press?
          I’d like to see this site register with Disqus.
          Both would benefit from the association.

              • Hi Rich,

                No worries; I am not touchin’ nuthin’!

                PS: “Bob” will be pleased to know several new people donated after his posts (and my rebuttals) appeared!

                He is prolly chewing the carpet in a Motel 6 somewhere…

                • eric, a bit about discus from this past year. Help Net Security(a good email to get since they keep you abreast of the latest everything about the net. When you see an article you want to check out you can and if, like me, they’re speaking over your head, you can check it out and maybe learn something or pass it right on by.

                  The point they were making was Discus has a method now that some take advantage of and censor. They pointed out prices for various options and it seems like (to me) it was now fairly pricey….or maybe that’s just my take on it. But the deal is, a person signs up once for Discus and they have a Discus password and it isn’t always the site owners prerogative(if I’m remembering it correctly)whether someone gets censored or banned outright.

                  If I were you and were interested I’d check that out closely. I suppose it could bring people to your site but don’t know you’d like the end result. You fly your own way, I don’t see an advantage to being part of the flock.

                  • 8 (and Ed)

                    There are two “kinds” of Disqus, from what I know. One is where you set up your own little forum on the Diqus website- i.e. as part of the “Disqus community”- in which case they do take a lot of control- But the other variety, where you just use Disqus as a comment section for your own site, is a completely different thing- where you have complete control- and can control spam and censorship any way you want, or not at all, etc.

                    And there’s a “reply” button under every post.

                    I love it when I read an article and they have a Disqus comment section- it just makes life so much easier.

                    • Nunz, you’ll love it until it cornholes your computer. Disqus installs malware on your computer in the guise of its universal signin that allows you to post on any site that uses their malware.

                      I have their malware quarantined on my windows computers and Disqus blocks me from logging in to comment on my linux computers when I use the same IP address.

                      Actually, there aren’t any sites that use Disqus that make me want to post. Even reading the comments on those sites is annoying, with so many dimbulb clodhoppers all saying the same retarded shit they said on the other sites they infest.

                    • Must be a Windurs thing, Ed. I’ve been using Disqus for 5 years….no problemo; no malware- but then again, it ain’t gonna happen on Linux.

                    • Ed, not All saying the exact same retarded shit, some saying just the opposite…up to a point….and then they all agree on some perverted point they’ve been arguing over. I can’t read comments on other sites. It’s been years since I could tolerate the stupidity.

                      Almost everyone of them are arguing about what “USA is great” bs is applicable with the occasional religious freak saying everybody should just give their life to Jesus and posting a link to some psalm. It’s literally more than I can tolerate.

                      People disagree here and then make their case with logic…for the most part(where is Bill….really?). Just kidding Bill. The trolls are always the exception and if they don’t begin with name-calling they’ll certainly get there quickly.

                    • I’ve been using disqus for years without issue.

                      malware bytes has never detected anything and my occasional monitoring has never shown anything.

                      Neither have any of the protection plugins I have on my browser.

                      The only thing a search turns up is that disqus was hacked at one time.

                      I’ve even used disqus via Tor Browser.

                    • Nunzio,
                      I’ve only used the shared comment space on Disqus, and I particularly like its searchability, letting me find things that came from one of its subscribers without having to remember which one.

            • disqus.com
              Disqus is a shared platform for the comment sections of all its subscribing websites. It is the friendliest such I’ve found and, in particular, provides an edit function that can be used by the original poster anytime. Reply works as long as the thread is open for comments, which is usually not curtailed by most of its users. It major shortcoming, IMO, is that it doesn’t do any better at maintaining threads than this one does, but in both cases, that may be the creators’ and/or moderators’ shortcoming rather than Disqus’. I’m not geeky enough to understand how these things work, and Disqus works the best I’ve seen.

              • Hi Bill,

                If I had a trusted computer guy – full-time – who could handle this stuff, I’d give him leave to experiment, tune the site, figure out what’s best.

                But it’s just me here – and I’m just a writer monkey…

                • I can find lots of trustable computer guys, but I can’t afford any of them, living on $952 a month from Social Security.
                  The best solution I have found is the Chromebook. Since everyone spies on us, Google keeps it working the best, for me. I particularly like not having to surrender use of my computer to regular MS commandeering for updates. Most of the Chromebook’s updates are done in the cloud.
                  I’m sure that Disqus could bring you into their camp as painlessly as anyone. I have given up on understanding WordPress. If I don’t, or they ask me to sign on, I walk away.
                  If Ed is a child, he needs a spanking. If not, take away his television until he don’t puke telescreenism.

                  • Hi Bill,

                    The main issue with the site appears to be an overly aggressive spam filter. I am trying to figure out how to tweak that. Ideally, I’d like a custom redesign that’s not based on an existing template; one that incorporates a more comment-friendly interface.

                    Working on it!

                    • I have never noticed a spam filter on the site.
                      Gmail does the best of my two email servers, Yahoo is the circus clown of Internet access. I have never understood why their site does so many things so poorly. They both make WordPress look like anal retentive beginners.

                    • Hi Bill,

                      It’s weird; it seems to randomly go after some people – including longtime regulars – and leave others alone. I have idea!

          • Bill, if there was any doubt that you’re a mongoloid, you just removed it by trying to wish Disqus on this site. Eric already knows that Disqus is malware and that it takes over moderation on your site and bans people for its own reasons regardless of the wishes of the site owner.

            • In similar fashion, you have demonstrated that most of what you think is imaginary when it isn’t ad hominem. Malware, by definition, is covert. No successful social platform is ever covert, although WordPress is the best at trying to be.

              • WordPress sucks, but Disqus sucks even worse. Disqus is the adobe flash of the commenting world. Everybody uses it for whatever reason, but it barely functions. Disqus causes me endless problems, even when I am not commenting (slowing the browser to a crawl, or crashing it completely).

                Install Disqus, and this site will probably lose a good portion of its regulars.

                That’s the problem with computers, they are “designed” by computer people. Just because you can write computer code, doesn’t make you a “designer”.

                IMHO computer interfaces should NEVER be designed by a computer programmer. Same reason why today’s engineers shouldn’t be allowed to design the look of an item. They couldn’t design their way out of a paper bag. That’s why so many things today are ugly and hard to use. They aren’t designed by designers. They are designed by engineers and programmers. Those jobs are to make thing work and not fall apart. Let people who know how to make things usable and pretty do the design.

                When I was in graphic design school, one of the things used to show bad design, a windows based computer. It has almost every thing that an art director doesn’t want to see in a design.

                • Which OS do you have such a problem with Disqus on? It has worked well on Ubuntu, Windows, and Chrome for me. Sounds like a Unix problem, huh?

                  • Mac OS X. Old and new versions, old and new computers, all web browsers. Terribly slow, when it loads, which it often won’t do. Sometimes makes a website un-useable because it bogs down the whole website. Big PITA to even log into, which you have to do everytime at every website. I think its truly one of the worst things on the net today.

                    • I have a friend whose programming partner wrote code for the Voyager space probe, and there is no more demanding application. His code is tight and extremely fault tolerant, but every 10 update hoses something. He has gone to double-booting Linux so he can cross-compile to find the bugs faster.

                    • Rich, I’d say that the problem is in your browser/settings. I only have to log into Disqus if I haven’t used it in like a month or so….otherwise, it’s ready to go on any site that uses it.

                      Are you blocking cookies or something? Using a firewall? The problem is on your end.

                    • Nope not blocking cookies or a firewall. I think there is nothing I can do. I shouldn’t have to either, it doesn’t work and I have no idea why. I think they don’t bother testing it on macs (very common and annoying problem).

                    • Things are so complex now, that there is virtually no browser or OS that works well with everything.

                      While Disqus works fine for me, the latest incarnation Wunderground (Weatherunderground- a weather site) freezes up my browser for a good 2 minutes….

                      It’s crazy. And they keep updating these sites, and every time they do, they get slower, less functional, etc. and what for?

                      I noticed too: On sites that use Disqus, and which are into heavy moderation/banning etc. , those sites typically have issues with Disqus loading- I just thought of that. I wonder if that’s an issue, or maybe if it’s a way of “soft-banning” some people?

                • I can’t believe that some people get such completely opposite performance from Disqus! My ‘puter is 11 years old with a lightweight Linux OS which I installed 4 years ago and never updated….

                  • I see what you Disqus lovers did there. You made it all bout the performance of Disqus. So what if it threads well or always has a reply button? Not everyone who wants to comment is allowed to, though they haven’t done anything wrong on the site they try to post to, they’re banned by Disqus for a reaon that doesn’t even apply to any forum that uses Disqus.

                    You Disqus fans enjoy it elsewhere, since I doubt eric will ever use it here.

                    • If you were as good at reading the flaky WP thread as you are at telling the difference between deliberate banning from flaky software, you would have already seen Erik’s post where he said he isn’t going anywhere.

                    • Dear mongolid Bill. I already said that, so please shut up as soon as you can. I live in hope that Disqus grabs you while you are alseep and takes you to their quiet room where they keep the rest of the mongoloids.

                      Love,
                      Ed

                    • Ed, that’s simply not true.

                      I’ve been banned/had comments deleted from some sites Disqus comments sections, and on other ones, anything goes- it’s all up to the individual site owner and how they want to moderate- just like on Turdpress- I can say what I want here, because Eric allows it; whereas on other sites that use Turdpress, I’d be banned on first post.

                      I’ve found Disqus to be the freest comment thingy- as long as the site it’s on wants it to be. That is why I like it- if I get banned on one site, it doesn’t affect any other sites- I am still free to post with my Disqus account.

                • While no web commenting engine has come close to USENET and most newsreaders disqus is the best of the web commenting engines I’ve come across. It actually has decent threading and the text boxes work properly unlike Kinja, WP, and others.

                  When I’ve had rare problems with it loading etc years ago it had little to do with disqus but more the settings of plugins in the browser. I don’t think those exist anymore because I don’t remember needing to do anything with more recent machine changes and browser installs.

                • I forgot the second part.
                  The problem with modern programming is the stuff doesn’t work. Things that worked just fine for decades were redone to make them pretty and stylish and now they don’t work or are pain to use. They look pretty and follow all the trends but they suck to use.

                  • The problem started when web designing took over HTML programming, producing websites that are pretty but won’t load, because graphic artists aren’t frequently software technicians.

                    • The internet was better in 1998. Simple HTML- computers with a tenth of the power of today’s ‘puters, and a 56K dial-up modem, and it worked better and faster than half of the sites do today.

                      And what benefit do we get from all the new frills? Absolutely nothing.

                    • Make that the god awful More Stories pop up on the right side of the display. It most times covers the latest comments section of the page.

  17. Pay the bank a monthly check for a guaranteed depreciating asset or pay GM a monthly fee for on-demand automobile that won’t inspire any more than an Airbus A320 making the SFO-DEN-ORD milk run. Sell the destination not the journey.

    The sad thing is that it actually sounds pretty good on paper, especially for those humans who aren’t very responsible. You “can’t” remember to get the oil changed? That check engine light keeps coming on in the rain? Well now you don’t have to worry your pretty little head about that nasty ‘ol engine at all; just call the service department and they’ll bring out a brand new one.

    But say goodbye to any innovation or differentiation. It’s like the bad old days of renting you telephone from Ma Bell: You can get the black bakelite one, the wall mount one, or the princess (for twice the monthly rental fee), and an employee of the Bell System will be out to install it for you. Sometime next week when we get around to it. And install it he will, hard wiring it into the wall. Maybe he can mount it right next to your antique cable box.

    But take heart, Mr Consumer. GM Labs™ is hard at work on the next generation in transportation:

    https://www.youtube.com/embed/IC-FW_cbEDw

    • Hi RK,

      It’s like the TSA and being groped and scanned … it’s become accepted, routine … to be in debt, I mean. Perpetually.To make payments, forever. To never own anything.

      Make cars even more disposable and homogenous, as you say.

      It makes my teeth ache.

      • The thing that keeps me up at night isn’t the fact that I have a mortgage, it’s that I have some assets. I can walk away from a mortgage anytime I want and leave the bank on the hook. Sure there’s a big cost in that I lose what I have in the property, but I can still leave. And getting rid of that dammed mortgage will be a massive load off my shoulders no matter how it’s done -paying my debts is something I was taught at an early age though, so even though I have the moral obligation to pay back the bank (Fanny Mae and a bunch of pension funds actually), they hold no such obligation to me.

        The real concern is what happens when the idiots who thought they’d work forever have a bad day at work and think they can chuck it and retire? On nothing but a little bit of 401(k) and Social Security? Oh it won’t happen right away, but when that’s all used up, then what are they going to do? Honor suicide? Not in this county. Are they going to help themselves to my pile? Methinks that’s exactly what will happen. All this talk of soaking the rich is very disconcerting to me, because I’m not rich but I’m better off than the average. The real rich, the guys who fly into Aspen for Christmas, they’re just fine and always will be. The rest of us, who are better off than our neighbors through hard work and savings, we’re the ones who are going to have their assets removed for the cause. Remember Roosevelt stealing all the gold? Remember Nixon destroying the dollar? I’ll bet no one knows that all the silver coins were used to make calutrons (devices to extract uranium 235) during WW2 because there wasn’t enough copper. Oh but Uncle said he’d return it the treasury after the war. Guess what happened to that promise…

        What’s the answer? Own land? Well, maybe, but I don’t want to be a landlord and any choice property is going to be sky-high expensive thanks to asset inflation. Stock? Well there is a good argument for it with the rise of machines, but again, bubbles everywhere. Try to be a contrarian investor? What is contrary right now? Gold is off the high but still overvalued. Bitcoin? The first one to pop (and another way to screw the people of Venezuela for going commie and taking the oil away).

        I’m a little down right now because I just read Vonnegut’s Player Piano. If you haven’t read it you should because what was pure science fiction in the 1950s is actually unfolding today. He does’t get all the details right, but very prescient in understanding that people (men) who have nothing to do will lose their manhood. He also does a pretty good job of showing the inanity of corporate culture, especially management.

        • “Own land?” I just got got $15,000.00 worth of property tax bills in the mail. “Own” is NOT the right word. It is a perversion of our language. The only cars I own are the ones I don’t register, inspect, insure. They sit “resting” in the barn

          • Land ownership went away with allodial titles. ICLEI is replacing it. Fortunately, there are no ICLEI affiliates in Wyoming or the Dakotas.

        • Hi RK,

          We are in the same boat. I am by no means wealthy – see pie chart! But I own my land and the house. And that means I am a cow ready to be milked…

    • Unlikely Tor.
      Companies have gotten good at holding wages down while moving job functions down title. What used to be a lead engineer to an engineering director can often be found under a senior engineer title these days. One place wanted someone as a one man self contained turn key entrepreneurial resource under a senior engineer title. My reaction was if I could do all that by myself I would just start my own company.

      • When I was 25 writing software for a manufacturer, I was SHOCKED to find the engineers making a third what I was making. Even the senior guys made half what I made. Back in the day (1940’s) The engineers WERE the company. My Mom’s uncle went from engineer at North American – To president and CEO. Nowadays the CEO is some stock trader, and has no idea how the product is made.

        • Got my new PC at work. Got handed a machine that was half set up and half broken. I completed the set up and fixed the broken myself. Thing is these IT support people probably make more than I do these days.

          Ok, if I have to play captcha games all the got-dam’d time my commentary will become infrequent. I hate these things with a passion.

  18. Another place where I get to invoke Tim the Enchanter…. “I Warnnnnnnned You!!!!”

    Living in megacities, owning nothing, laboring for the nobility, and if anyone gets out of line they get turned off. No place to live, no transportation, no ability to buy food, nothing. Complete control just like the good old days in the dark ages. Better because now the peasants can’t revolt. They can still be revolting though.

  19. Sadly, the easiest way to some more freedom here would be for some states (so looking to one government to help you) to secede, but the states all Pledge Allegiance to Sodom-on-the-Potomac.

      • Hi Eric, that reminds me the difference between sex and rape is actual consent, not silence or shrugging your shoulders and saying go ahead and do what you were going to do no matter how much I protest.

      • Years ago someone started an online petition for Tx. secession. It had enough votes nearly instantly and of the next few days just went off the charts. It sat there and finally some dick in fedgov. responded by saying “Unfortunately, there is no way for a state to secedez”…… but thanks all you aholes for leaving your names and addresses so we can track you down.

        At some point people are going to get out their “too many rounds for deer hunting” mags and give an object lesson to the idiots who fall for the “guns are for hunting” bullshit.

        When I saw one dem. splittail say “You don’t need that many rounds to hunt deer” I knew she was whistling past the graveyard. Of course clover just eats that shit up.

        • Hi Eight,

          It’s always startling to me the way people can recite phrases such as “consent of the governed” and swell with pride that they live in such a country, yet ask them whether they ever actually consented… and what if they don’t?

          Likewise, a ten year old kid could see that, if, indeed, this country is based on the “consent of the governed,” then it would be contra that – immoral – to forcibly prevent those who do not consent from going peacefully their own way, as the Southern states once sought to do.

          But of course, the country is based on force – on the always present threat of its application in the case of any recalcitrance.

          Logically, how is this different in kind from any other authoritarian state that has ever existed on this Earth?

          Cue blank stares.

          • One of my favorite oft repeated nonsensical phrases is “serving your country”. How does being a disposable pawn for the banksters “serve” anyone other than those vile beings?

            • Exactly, Skunk. If one serves one’s country by committing acts of violence, murder and oppression against those who have not harmed them- just because they are told to do so and put their faith in certain men whom they elevate to the status of God/gods (because they believe that these men have the right to decree who lives and who dies, and all else which happens in the world; rights which are not rights at all, because they come at the expense of others) then they are serving evil and hurting one’s country by increasing the power of those who claim those illicit “rights” which no men truly possess.

              All of the atrocities ever committed in the world by any king or government or country, would not have been possible had it not been for those who were willing to serve the architects of those atrocities.

          • Exactly, Bill. As long as the people still believe in government, and consider it’s coercion legitimate, all the secession in the world won’t do much good, because they’ll just keep “building more”.

            And you can be sure that any state which would secede, would be thinking: “Sure, we’ll lose federal funding; but then our residents won’t have to pay federal taxes, so they can instead pay more to us!”.

            That’s why I’ve always said (since I was a kid!) that the only real way to accomplish anything, is for those who believe in freedom, to just drop-out/not participate.

            If our numbers are not sufficient to change anything that way, neither are they sufficient to change anything any other way- but at least by dropping-out, WE do not contribute to their illicit system; and we can live as freely as is possible in this occupied land, until such time as we can escape to a more remote place.

              • Amen, Jason! (And not just another criminal gang- but the most vicious, depraved, malicious, and violent of them all- who don’t just destroy a few lives; but who rather have destroyed civilization!)

                • The Mafia is a bunch of choir boys compared to government. They will generally leave you alone if you leave them alone.

                  No so with our so-called “public servants.” Private organized criminals cannot even begin to approach the sheer psychopathic viciousness of government, or the shocking level of theft, extortion, butchery, and destruction that is all in a day’s work for the State.

                  • When you kill a government employee you usually aren’t killing a relative to someone in the same gang/department. If so, you are doing your part to reduce nepotism.

                  • I used to know this guy (He worked for someone I knew) who used to burglarize drug stores for a living; had a history of street fighting; had a murder warrant in another state; was an alcoholic and crack-head…….and seriously, he had more of a heart than any cop alive today; and I’d trust him more than any cop or state employee.

                    Other than burglarizing drug stores…..if you didn’t bother him, he wouldn’t bother you- and if you didn’t know his past, you’d think he was a nice guy.

                    One time, the yard dog which belonged to the guy he worked for, got run-over by a truck. The owner (guy he worked for) was just going to let the dog lay there and die- (oh…did I mention, the employer had been a cop for a while?!).

                    The “bad guy” picked up the dog, and took him to the vet (They saved him) and paid with his own money for the dog’s treatment (The dog fully recovered).

                    Contrast that with any cop or employee of any government agency- who does nothing but harm to many innocent people….and probably has never done one kind thing (Except perhaps when they get older, if they have any conscience left at all- then they try and atone for their lives of evil by doing good deeds…which usually aren’t even good at all- just to try and squelch their own guilt. Maybe if we get lucky, once in a while they might off themselves- which is really the kindest thing they’ll ever do!)

            • Nunzio,
              Where is this remote utopia?
              I have been in all of the lower 48 in every season, and I have yet to find anyplace where I like the weather over a couple of seasons. That is why I’m going back to snowbirding.

              • It’s certainly not here in the USA- nor anywhere in the first world. No place is truly free or perfect, but there are plenty of places- especially once you get away from the big cities, where you can just be left alone; where they just don’t have the resources to police everything with the latest technology; and where the people pretty much ignore what government intrusion there may be. South America; Central America; the Pacific…. It’s really only in the First world where they have the resources to police every aspect of everyone’s life, and where the people have been conditioned to conform and obey and tolerate it all.

                We’ve become so used to it, we think it’s the norm- but it’s not. A good part of the world still lives without chemtrails and automatic license plate readers and police helicopters…. Only educated fools willingly accept all of this BS.

            • Nunz, you are correct about dropping out of the system as best everyone can. We certainly should not support the evil system. But, I argue, that that is not enough. We must work toward ending the evil system the best we can.

                • It really is so simple….but changing people’s minds and hearts so that they would want to stop participating in and supporting evil….that’s the hard part.

          • Secession has to start at some level. The question is at what level does it stop? Like most everyone here I would not like it to stop until it goes down to every single human being. But getting to that utopia is not going to happen by a “self rapture” of every individual suddenly realizing that force is not the answer.

    • Eric Morris, indeed; secession is the ONLY hope for freedom. Not just by some states but by all states with further secession from within the states as well. US amerika must be dismantled. There is no other way.

      • Secession would be a tiny step in the right direction- but would really not accomplish all that much- as the states are just as tyrannical as the Feds. Maybe some of their policies are “different”; or are more economically friendly to the state in question- but when it comes down to it, the problem is that any men have powers and rights which we the commoners do not- i.e. the fact that government exists at all. As long as there is government- no matter the shape and size of it’s boundaries, or who occupies it’s offices, there can never be freedom, because all governments tax(steal/enslave/destroy private property rights) and exercise violence to accomplish their objectives.

          • You can see that literally, Brent- like when people move out of NY or CA…..and then recreate the EXACT same environments from which they fled, in their new digs. (Which is why when I left NY, I immediately crossed off all of the typical places where NYers move to!)- A PERFECT illustration of: “It’s not so much the government; it’s the people”. (But thanks to Federal funding/mandates; nationwide mass-media; and government schools, that same mess is pretty much being created everywhere now-a-days, even where there are no outsiders. People will sell-out their own communities and freedoms for the promises of a few minimum-wage jobs, or some “funding”)

        • Nunz, yes, ideally secession would go on down to every single sovereign individual but that is, sadly, a pipe dream for now and probably forever (in this dimension, anyways).

          So the best we can possibly hope for is to break down government into the smallest possible human scale. That is why I say the states themselves must be divided up too. The fifty states that make up the US should be dismantled into at least 200 completely independent city/states/nations. And absolutely no central/federal government.

          • I agree, Skunkmeister. Anything that reduces the size and scope of government is a positive thing- and getting rid of the biggest and most intrusive layer of government would be a nice start.

          • Sounds like someone needs to read and study American government and history outside of the public fool system. Things were different after the confederation gave way to the democracy.

              • What don’t you understand?
                Have you read the writings of the founders outside of what was presented at school?
                I never read the Federalist Papers, the Anti-Federalist papers, the letters exchanged between the members of the Committees of Correspondence, or Age of Reason, let alone heard of them, until I was long out of the public fool system, about half way through my life.

                • Bill, since I was not discussing how “Things were different after the confederation gave way to the democracy” I do not understand why you would suggest that I “Sound… like someone (who) needs to read and study American government and history outside of the public fool system.”

                  What exactly in my posts makes you assume that I have not read and studied American government and history outside of the skool system?

                  But I fully agree with you that “the public fool system” is worse than useless at education.

                  FTR I have read the Federalist Papers, the Anti-Federalist papers, the letters exchanged between the members of the Committees of Correspondence, and Age of Reason (and a whole lot more). And I am like you in that I also did not do so until way past high skool (and college), after I learned how to think for myself. I take pride in being a self educated man.

          • I like the way L. Neil Smith has things broken up in his cartoons to some degree. The fact that Texas remains as is isn’t to my liking though. I think him not being a Texan(although he moved here last year)makes him think we all think alike which couldn’t be more wrong.

            The Hispanic population has destroyed freedom in San Antonio and dominates the population from there on south. Hispanics have been under the Pope’s fist their whole life so they view govt. as more of the Pope and take advantage of every freebie it has to offer in it’s current configuration.

            I’m definitely not a Pope fan…..or an anything else govt wise.

            My philosophy on life can be summed up thusly: I will leave you alone and you will leave me alone…..or I won’t leave you alone. Of course that’s anathema to govt. of any sort and those who support govt…..of any type.

            In a conversation with my neighbor one day he allowed as how my wife and I have been wronged by govt. I said I was a libertarian, actually an anarchist. He said he had a problem with libertarianism. I asked him who he wanted to rob. He didn’t reply. Still, the question remains, who do you want to rob? That’s the only reason for govt. to exist.

            • You put your finger on it exactly, 8! That is precisely why NY has been such a hell-hole of tyranny for so long, even back when other parts of the country were much freer: Too many damn Catholics!

              It’s true. I grew up around that nonsense. My whole fambly is Cat-lik. I renounced it officially when I was 13.

              Two main things Cat-liks are taught from infancy: To obey (Be it the antiChrist bastard in Rome, or the local homo-pedophile priest, or the goobermint), and to not think for oneself- but to let some “authority” (see the ones named above) do it for you.

              And I’ll tell you, ya get a bunch of Eye-talian and Irish Cat-liks in one area, and trhey’ll make the Hispanic ones look like Murry Rothbard by comparison. You’ll never see such a group of cop-sucking obsequious boobs…..

              • Nunzio, I know some Eye-talian catliks and they are et up with it.

                I figure there’s still hope though since you and my wife who went to catlik skool won’t touch it with a 10 foot pole….and neither will the Pole ha. Her sister doesn’t have fond memories of it although she now half-ass claims affiliation with some nondenominal bunch of sky worshipers.

                I was raised Babdis but it wouldn’t stick. Easy to turn your back on that bunch and haul ass…..maybe they won’t see which way you went and be clueless about one other thing.

                Oh lahsee lahsee, let me get down an roll aroun

                • Scary thing too, 8, a lot of people don’t realize how the Cat-lik organization is behind this Agenda 21 crap. (Any doubts, just listen to the filth that comes out of the mouth of their current head honcho…).

                  1.2 BILLION Calf-liks in the world…already primed and working for that agenda- whether cluelessly as useful idiots, or actually in positions of power.

                  The average person doesn’t realize just how much political power that organization still wields; but it is truly immense.

                  Look in any government or corporate organization, and you’ll either find Jesuits, or the Jesuit-educated.

                  They’ve gotten so much control, politically, and over their own sheep, that what they used to keep covert, they proclaim openly- as with what the head honcho now openly says.

                  • Nunz, agreed but it is not just the catholics. The Lutherans, like the catholic church, are making a killing from the feds with their support of refugees.

                    Separation of church and state my ass.

                    • Absolutely, Skunkster. Ditto the Baptists and the Morons…errr…Mormons; 7th Day Adventists; etc. Pretty much anyone with a 501c3, just like Boeing or GM or any other corporation, is a creature of the state.

                      Only difference with the Catholics, is that they are really pulling strings on a worldwide level- Not just participating, but actually calling the shots.

                      I mean, to what other “church” do countries, including the US, send ambassadors?! We actually have ambassadors to the Vatican!

                      Most of those other groups, if you look at their structures, lead right back to Jesuits.

                      The Catholic “church” is almost solely responsible for the spread of socialism across Latin America.

                    • skunk, nunz, let me highjack this thread real quick.

                      Another way to get it done….and homogenize everybody is what’s going on with “history” and how it’s been written by the unread and ignorant “minorities”. Well, here’s a bit of shit to throw in their faces when they lament of their fav prez who only wanted to save their poor, sorry asses.

                      Here are Some “Quotes”

                      The NAACP Does NOT

                      Want You to Hear!!!!!

                      United States Flag

                      “Quotes from The North”

                      Confederate Flag
                      Abraham Lincoln:
                      “My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union, and is not either to save or to destroy slavery. If I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone I would also do that. What I do about slavery, and the colored race, I do because I believe it helps to save the Union; and what I forbear, I forbear because I do not believe it would help to save the Union. I shall do less whenever I shall believe what I am doing hurts the cause, and I shall do more whenever I shall believe doing more will help the cause.” The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln edited by Roy P. Basler, Volume V, “Letter to Horace Greeley” (August 22, 1862), p. 388.

                      Confederate Flag
                      Abraham Lincoln:
                      “I am not now, nor ever have been in favor of bringing about in any way the social or political equality of the white and black races. I am not now nor ever have been in favor of making voters or jurors of Negroes, nor of qualifying them to hold office, nor of intermarriages with white people. There is a physical difference between the white and the black races which will forever forbid the two races living together on social or political equality. There must be a position of superior and inferior, and I am in favor of assigning the superiorposition to the white man.”

                      Source: Abraham Lincoln said this in a speech he delivered to the people of Charleston, Illinois in 1858.

                      Confederate Flag
                      Abraham Lincoln:
                      “Such separation if effected at all, must be effected be effected by colonization: … what colonization most needs is a hearty will… Let us be brought to believe that it is morally right, and at the same time favorable to, or at least not against, our interests to transfer the African to his native clime, and we shall find a way to do it, however great the task may be.”

                      Source: Abraham Lincoln said this in a speech he delivered to the people of Charleston, Illinois in 1858.

                      Confederate Flag
                      Abraham Lincoln:
                      “My first impulse would be to free all the slaves, and send them to Liberia, to their own native land. But a moment’s reflection would convince me, that whatever of high hope (as I think there is) there may be in this, in the long run, it’s sudden execution is impossible. What then? Free them, and keep them among us as underlings? Is it quite certain that this betters their condition? I think I would not hold one in slavery, at any rate, yet the point is not clear enough for me to denounce people on. What then? Free them, and make them politically and socially our equals? MY own feelings will not admit of this; and if mine would, we well know that those of the great mass of white people will not…A universal feeling, whether well or ill-founded, cannot be safely disregarded.”

                      Confederate Flag
                      Abraham Lincoln:
                      “I have no purpose, directly or indirectly, to interfere with the institution of slavery in the States where it exists. I believe I have no lawful right to do so, and I have no inclination to do so.”

                      Source: Abraham Lincoln September 18, 1858

                      Confederate Flag
                      Abraham Lincoln:
                      “I am a little uneasy about the abolishment of slavery in this District [of Columbia]…”

                      Source: Abraham Lincoln, 3/24/1862 letter to Horace Greely, New York Tribune editor

                      Ulysses S. Grant
                      “If I thought this war was to abolish slavery, I would resign my commission, and offer my sword to the other side.”

                      Source: Ulysses S. Grant 1866

                      Fredrick Douglas

                      “It is now pretty well established that there are at the present moment many colored men in the Confederate Army doing duty not only as cooks, servants, and laborers, but as real soldiers, having muskets on their shoulders, and bullets in their pockets, ready to shoot down loyal troops, and do all that soldiers may do to destroy the Federal government and build up that of the traitors and rebels. There were such soldiers at Manassas and they are probably there still.”

                      Source: Fredrick Douglass September 12, 1861

                      Confederate Flag
                      John Sherman:
                      “We do not like the negroes. We do not disguise our dislike. As my friend from Indiana [a Mr. Write] said yesterday: “The whole people of the Northwestern States are opposed to having many negroes among them and that principal or prejudice has been engraved in the legislation for nearly all the Northwestern States.”

                      Source: April 2, 1862 House of Representatives

                      Confederate Flag
                      Major General John Pope:
                      “Negroes are to be treated as maniacs or wild beasts, and by no means as people with whom treaties or compromises can be made”.

                      Confederate Flag
                      William Lloyd Garrison
                      “The free colored people were looked upon as an inferior caste to whom their liberty was a curse, and their lot worse than that of slaves”

                      Source: William Lloyd Garrison, vol. I, pp. 253-54 1915

                      “Quotes from The South”

                      Confederate Flag
                      Robert E. Lee:
                      “So far from engaging in a war to perpetuate slavery, I am rejoiced that Slavery is abolished. I believe it will be greatly for the interest of the South. So fully am I satisfied of this that I would have cheerfully lost all that I have lost by the war, and have suffered all that I have suffered to have this object attained.”

                      Source: Robert E. Lee 1865

                    • The North was MORE racist than the south. they didn’t want ANY Black people IN America. But they couldn’t deport peoples property.

                    • 150 years later….and people STILL believe it was about “slavery”!

                      -The power of propaganda.

                      Has their ever been a war where the pretext of at least one side wasn’t based on a lie or psy-op?

                    • Nunz, agreed. The catholic church is hardly a “soul saving” enterprise. But it sure as hell is an enterprise.

                    • Who runs this country? Lookit the Supreme Court- Who’s it made up of? 6 Catholics and 3 Jews. Any questions? : )

                  • Nun, and the “church” is everywhere. It’s one reason why Texans have always been so distrustful of yankees. I know there’s a lot of protestants in the N but it’s the catliks that march lockstep with govt. and tyranny, just the way the church did with the Nazi’s.

                    It’s another reason Hispanics get a bad rap. And the church has lain in bed with tyrants for centuries. Tyrants try to use the church and vice versa. The church always outlast every tyrant and picks up the pieces the tyrants left and adds to their collection.

                    • The War Prayer by Mark Twain

                      It was a time of great exulting and excitement. The country was up in arms, the war was on, in every breast burned the holy fire of patriotism; the drums were beating, the bands playing, the toy pistols popping, the bunched firecrackers hissing and sputtering; on every hand and far down the receding and fading spread of roofs and balconies a fluttering wilderness of flags flashed in the sun; daily the young volunteers marched down the wide avenue gay and fine in their new uniforms, the proud fathers and mothers and sisters and sweethearts cheering them with voices choked with happy emotion as they swung by; nightly the packed mass meetings listened, panting, to patriot oratory which stirred the deepest depths of their hearts, and which they interrupted at briefest intervals with cyclones of applause, the tears running down their cheeks the while; in the churches the pastors preached devotion to flag and country, and invoked the God of Battles, beseeching His aid in our good cause in outpourings of fervid eloquence which moved every listener. It was indeed a glad and gracious time, and the half dozen rash spirits that ventured to disapprove of the war and cast doubt upon its righteousness straight way got such a stern and angry warning that for their personal safety’s sake they quickly shrank out of sight and offended no more in that way.

                      Sunday morning came – next day the battalions would leave for the front; the church was filled; the volunteers were there, their young faces alight with martial dreams – visions of the stern advance, the gathering momentum, the rushing charge, the flashing sabers, the flight of the foe, the tumult, the enveloping smoke, the fierce pursuit, the surrender! – then home from the war, bronzed heroes, welcomed, adored, submerged in golden seas of glory! With the volunteers sat their dear ones, proud, happy, and envied by the neighbors and friends who had no sons and brothers to send forth to the field of honor, there to win for the flag, or failing, die the noblest of noble deaths. The service proceeded; a war chapter from the Old Testament was read; the first prayer was said; it was followed by an organ burst that shook the building, and with one impulse the house rose, with glowing eyes and beating hearts, and poured out that tremendous invocation:
                      “God the all-terrible! Thou who ordainest, Thunder thy clarion and lightning thy sword!”

                      Then came the “long” prayer. None could remember the like of it for passionate pleading and moving and beautiful language. The burden of its supplication was, that an ever-merciful and benignant Father of us all would watch over our noble young soldiers, and aid, comfort, and encourage them in their patriotic work; bless them, shield them in the day of battle and the hour of peril, bear them in His mighty hand, make them strong and confident, invincible in the bloody onset; help them to crush the foe, grant to them and to their flag and country imperishable honor and glory –

                      An aged stranger entered and moved with slow and noiseless step up the main aisle, his eyes fixed upon the minister, his long body clothed in a robe that reached to his feet, his head bare, his white hair descending in a frothy cataract to his shoulders, his seamy face unnaturally pale, pale even to ghastliness. With all eyes following and wondering, he made his silent way; without pausing, he ascended to the preacher’s side and stood there, waiting. With shut lids the preacher, unconscious of his presence, continued his moving prayer, and at last finished it with the words, uttered in fervent appeal, “Bless our arms, grant us victory, O Lord our God, Father and Protector of our land and flag!”

                      The stranger touched his arm, motioned him to step aside – which the startled minister did – and took his place. During some moments he surveyed the spellbound audience with solemn eyes, in which burned an uncanny light; then in a deep voice he said:

                      “I come from the Throne – bearing a message from Almighty God!” The words smote the house with a shock; if the stranger perceived it he gave no attention. “He has heard the prayer of His servant your shepherd, and will grant it if such be your desire after I, His messenger, shall have explained to you its import – that is to say, its full import. For it is like unto many of the prayers of men, in that it asks for more than he who utters it is aware of – except he pause and think.

                      “God’s servant and yours has prayed his prayer. Has he paused and taken thought? Is it one prayer? No, it is two – one uttered, the other not. Both have reached the ear of Him Who heareth all supplications, the spoken and the unspoken. Ponder this – keep it in mind. If you would beseech a blessing upon yourself, beware! lest without intent you invoke a curse upon a neighbor at the same time. If you pray for the blessing of rain upon your crop which needs it, by that act you are possibly praying for a curse upon some neighbor’s crop which may not need rain and can be injured by it.

                      “You have heard your servant’s prayer – the uttered part of it. I am commissioned of God to put into words the other part of it – that part which the pastor – and also you in your hearts – fervently prayed silently. And ignorantly and unthinkingly? God grant that it was so! You heard these words: ‘Grant us victory, O Lord our God!’ That is sufficient. The whole of the uttered prayer is compact into those pregnant words. Elaborations were not necessary. When you have prayed for victory you have prayed for many unmentioned results which follow victory – must follow it, cannot help but follow it. Upon the listening spirit of God the Father fell also the unspoken part of the prayer. He commandeth me to put it into words. Listen!

                      “O Lord our Father, our young patriots, idols of our hearts, go forth to battle – be Thou near them! With them – in spirit – we also go forth from the sweet peace of our beloved firesides to smite the foe. O Lord our God, help us to tear their soldiers to bloody shreds with our shells; help us to cover their smiling fields with the pale forms of their patriot dead; help us to drown the thunder of the guns with shrieks of their wounded, writhing in pain; help us to lay waste their humble homes with hurricanes of fire; help us to wring the hearts of their unoffending widows with unavailing grief; help us to turn them out roofless with their little children to wander unfriended the wastes of their desolated land in rags and hunger and thirst, sports of the sun flames of summer and the icy winds of winter, broken in spirit, worn with travail, imploring Thee for the refuge of the grave and denied it – for our sakes who adore Thee, Lord, blast their hopes, blight their lives, protract their bitter pilgrimage, make heavy their steps, water their way with tears, stain the white snow with the blood of their wounded feet! We ask it, in the spirit of love, of Him Who is the Source of Love, and Who is the ever-faithful refuge and friend of all that are sore beset and seek His aid with humble and contrite hearts. Amen.”
                      [After a pause.] “Ye have prayed it; if ye still desire it, speak! The messenger of the Most High waits.”

                      It was believed afterward that the man was a lunatic, because there was no sense in what he said.

                    • Bill, thanks. I had never seen that before.

                      Has there ever been a war when “god” wasn’t on “our” side?

  20. A recent experience comes to mind. Long story short, we got my brother’s rental car stuck at the bottom of a small hill on a clay mud road. It’ took 24 hours for the towing company to retrieve it due to torrential rains and clay mud that was slicker than weasel poop.

    My brother was a bit concerned because the contract said we couldn’t take it “off road”…including dirt…or in this case clay. I know the gps would have told the masters that we were leaving pavement. Why not just have the car shut down? It could do that any time, any where the “owner” decided it wasn’t going to go.

    Oh, we’re just gettin’ warmed up.

    Yes, George at his finest.

  21. Vehicles will be just like every other “public” utility. With the same crummy “customer service” you receive from your electric, phone, cable, internet and gas company.

    They will be regulated by your community, county and state so there will be little or no competition between them either. Your local community will “allow” one or maybe two companies (some places call them franchises) to “serve” your area. So they will be monopolies just like the rest of the utilities. Can’t have too much messy competition, plus it will be easier for the government to shut them off when the weather is bad or there is too much pollution that day. (Think they wouldn’t do that? Try flying a drone when the president is in town).

    Get ready for waits longer then a cab (45min to an hour minimum, yeah no way will a car be showing up in 2-5 minutes), dirty and unmaintained vehicles, probably the wrong size vehicle, lousy customer service just to name a few.

    Forget about competing with them too even if you live in a place that doesn’t decide to “franchise”. They will block others from buying cars, even if you have the money. I am guessing they will push out the current car rental companies too.

    And just wait for the taxes that will be dumped on top too. In many places half of your car rental bill is government taxes and fees already.

  22. If we had a free country. We could do this with the thousand dollar Indian cars, and it would actually be a good deal for the tiny payments.

    Everyone could afford their own personal car, at least part of the time.

    But of course only India is allowed such things, because since World War I, they’ve made each sovereign nation its own little cubicle, not able to freely trade with the other nations.

  23. I swear, I would love to see most of these “suits” swinging from the nearest oak tree. Of course, wee still have all these sheeple who buy into this shit whole-hog. Thinking has been programmed right out of society, and I don’t know of any real solution. It may just have to go like a bad case of diarrhea, and run its course.

    • Yep gtc, it IS like diarrhea. I had a friend who seemed to worry a lot about the scours. He’d dose up on commodium before we went fishing. I’d ask him why. If it’s in such a hurry to get out it needs out. Everything else shits in the lake. GM is fouling their bed so let them luxuriate in it. John Deere declared a few years ago you only owned the heavy stuff and everything that made it work was still the property of Deere Inc. Now we have farmers trying to bootleg German tractors into the US. Let the chips, or in this case, the brown water fall where it will.

      • Morning, Eight!

        Graves is a local friend of mine; runs a wrenching shop. He’s irascible and 190 proof Non-Clover, like most of us here. He has endless hilarious tales to tell about the people who come to his shop, too!

    • “They’re” in the process of suiciding their artificial society. Faster it (and they) die off, the better. We just need to realize though, as long as we are among them, we will suffer the consequences along with them. Best to find a place to sit it out and watch the flames from afar.

      • If you have buildings taller than a couple of floors within spitting distance, you should be finding a fire extinguisher. Grass fires are the safest.

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