Automotive Anomalies

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The ’60s Twilight Zone TV series specialized in the thought experiment – the what if? And the what the hell, too.

It’s becoming like this on the road – and in our cars. Bizarre and contradictory exhortations; injunctions to not do this – while that (as bad or even worse) is treated with inexplicable leniency. Let’s take a trip into the Zone – and have a look at some of these things:

Speed limits –

A better example of the abuse of language would be hard to find. Because speed limits are nothing of the sort. They are, in fact, the minimum speed for any given road. To drive below the speed limit is to be a piece of plaque clogging up the arterial. Even cops become impatient with people who drive the speed limit. And to drive below the speed limit is considered by the courts to be inherently suspicious – and cause for pulling the offender over.

If language mattered – to say nothing of equitable laws – a speed limit would be precisely that. A number reflecting the absolute maximum speed of safe travel on a given road, defined by objective parameters such as grip thresholds and sight lines and stopping distances. Instead we have the circus clown absurdity of speed limits universally ignored because they do not even approximate the absolute maximum speed of safe travel – and everyone knows it.

In other words, speed limits as we know them are useless – except insofar as mulcting motorists, of course. They do not have any informational value; they tell us nothing about safe rates of travel, even in the most general sense. Indeed, they do the opposite. Since everyone knows speed limits are absurd, no one pays any real attention to them – defeating the stated purpose of them.

But we are punished for exceeding these arbitrary limits, which are established precisely in order to assure that every driver is guilty of transgressing them at least once a day. In order to make punishment for everyone inevitable.

Speed limits are the equivalent of punishing people for eating more than once a day – or walking at a pace faster than a shuffle.

Selective impairment –

A person can be a terrible driver – inattentive, reckless – and it’s not much of a problem, as far as the government is concerned. Provided they haven’t been drinking.

But a driver who is found to have even trace amounts of alcohol in his system – even if his driving is not terrible – can expect nothing less than crucifixion.

This disparity informs us that dealing with impairment is not the true aim of the government. Rather, it is to selectively abuse people who drink, even when their drinking has no discernible negative impact on their driving performance. If this were not the case, then drivers whose actual driving can’t be faulted, who’ve not harmed or given reason to believe they will harm anyone – but do have an arbitrary trace percentage of alcohol in their system – would be more kindly treated by the system than the texter who ran a red light he was too busy texting to notice and – though he had no alcohol in his system – nonetheless managed to kill someone as a result of his inattentive and reckless driving.

Of course, it’s the reverse. The victim of a DWI “checkpoint” – who has harmed no one and may be more conscientious and careful and skillful driver than the current Sober Average – is treated far more severely than the reckless texter, the senile citizen and the worse-than-average driver, who actually does wreck and actually does hurt other people.

We are dealing with, then, a religious jihad – not a public safety issue.

Luxury-sport electric cars –

So far, no one has succeeded in designing and manufacturing an electric car that makes economic sense. Which is persuasive testimony that electric cars don’t make sense. If an EV isn’t a cheaper – and better – way to get from A to B than a standard car, then why bother with it at all?

For the same reason that ethanol is bothered with – there’s money in it. Obtained by taking it from victims who are made to subsidize it.

It’s astonishing that so few of these victims protest being fleeced for the benefit of people considerably more able to afford toys than most of them are. How else to describe an $80,000 luxury-sport car such as the Tesla S? Or even the forthcoming Tesla Model 3 – which will have a base price in the neighborhood of $35,000 – a sum which, on the face of it, is by definition uneconomic.

People buy electric cars for all kinds of reasons – mostly, the same reasons people buy jacked-up 4x4s and Porsches. The difference being that buyers of jacked-up 4x4s and Porsches don’t generally expect their purchases to be subsidized by people who – for the most part – cannot afford such toys themselves.

Whatever happened to the sans culottes?

. . .

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40 COMMENTS

  1. They went the same way as the cop, who is now the LEO.

    My understanding of a crime is that there is supposed to be a specifically-identifiable injured party or parties. But over the years, crime has devolved into anything that MIGHT potentially harm someone, just because it is careless. The term pre-crime comes to mind.

    I would prefer that drunk drivers who make it home safely be given a reward for demonstrating excellent driving skills, instead of being arrested for having in excess of a pre-determined arbitrary amount of a legal substance in their body.

    As for whether I am involved in a vehicular accident with a drunk driver instead of a sober driver: I don’t see it that way. Whether the person was drunk doesn’t impact the amount of damage a crash can do. If a sober person is so unskilled a driver that they cause an accident, that is more offensive to me than the driver who occasionally drinks that just happened to be involved in an accident on any random day.

    Just for the record: I don’t drink alcohol when I’m away from home.

  2. A humor columnist at the long defunct ‘Dallas Times Herald’ jokingly founded an organization, DAMM, Drunks Against Mad Mothers. The jihadist wet hen mad mothers saw to it that he lost his job.

  3. The posted speed limits have no actual bearing on traffic flow nor safety for that matter. Some posted limits are near ludicrous. For instance the road between Ellsworth, and East Jordan, MI. has a posted 25MPH section that extends nearly a mile from Ellsworth. I realize that Ellsworth was once a hot bed of Dutch Christian Reform but it ain’t any longer.
    The stretch of highway between Traverse City and Kalkaska, Mi., M-72, where I drive once every week or so, routinely sees drivers going 65 and 70 and almost no cops. I drive at least 60-64 and get passed all the time. Even on the stretch of U.S. 31 south of Charlevoix, I get passed by SUVs doing 65-70.
    It matters not, to me. Drive as fast as you want but considering the ability of so many American drivers and their penchant for either texting or driving with that god damned I Phone glued to the side of their heads, makes me nervous. Most Americans are not very good drivers. Lately I’ve noticed more bad drivers.
    Maybe I should get a dash cam…..
    However, no one would consider driving 70MPH through a residential section….unless the car was stolen.

  4. Politicians and bureaucraps are people (most likely aliens) who are psychopaths, control freaks, neurotic and bullying mentally ill communists, fascists, jihadists, and mass murderers rolled into one deadly package. They are the ones who induce most of the violence we see in the world. In fact, all the violence. People do not start war, only pollies and crats do so so they can obtain and satisfy their control fetish, even if it results in their conquest by their “enemies”. We human beings just want to live our lives and associate with our friends and families and help everyone out. Everyone, of course, excluding the pollies and crats, who are not humans.

  5. The boys in the blue costumes drive all day long while simultaneously typing on their dash-mounted laptops. Running random plates no doubt in order to generate revenue for their corrupt departments. Fuckers. Hypocrites.

  6. “We are dealing with, then, a religious jihad – not a public safety issue.”

    No, it isn’t about religion, it’s about revenue collection and feeding the prison industry, along with benefiting the insurance mafia’s SR22 profits. No level of government has any regard for religion except to use religious people as a pretext for passing revenue generating laws.

  7. Everyone who uses the road is ‘subsidized’. The gas tax covers about 1/3 of the actual federal highway spend. The rest of the money comes from the general fund with periodic top ups. That subsidy amounts to about $26 billion of the $39 billion spent at the federal level. At the state level the picture is pretty much the same. Not to mention the military budget spent to secure the oil supply. $2 trillion and counting! We need to ‘drill baby drill’

    • I recall when Texas had roads nearly paved in gold. We had so much fuel tax plus oil tax no other state was even close to the quality of roadways. Then they started pulling money from the road tax to “educmacashun” and more and more was taken. After that we started getting high sales taxes…..to pay for all that other shit. In the 70’s I cringed every time I got a load for “out of state”. New Mexico roads still suck the big one and Ok. ain’t that great either. At least I-20 across La. isn’t so bad but you can shut your eyes for 100 miles and know exactly when you cross the Texas state line.

      • 8, Virginia once had plenty of revenue invested in road maintenance, but they started giving their DOT employees higher wages and benefits far above what they could have earned off the state’s tit. Pretty soon, the roads start to go unrepaired to pay huge pensions and benefits as well as high hourly pay and salaries to their union protected employees.

        It used to be that government employees suffered through a career of low pay in order to get a modest pension. The low pay was a trade-off for a pension. Now, they’re unionized and they demand and get both inflated pay and much higher pensions as well as medical care.

        Virginia holds a monopoly on liquor sales, both wholesale and retail and the money is supposed to go to education, but it mostly goes to union employees to the extent that their liquor monopoly operates at a loss all the time.

        • So many cities and states are now in danger of default because of huge pension obligations. Hartford, Ct.rating has been downgraded by Standard and Poors , along with Moodys to that of near zero. Illinois, and New jersey are both bankrupt. Other states like Tennessee will not be able to meet its pension obligations. The list continues to expand all the while roads and other infrastructure continue to deteriorate.
          The American Society of Civil Engineers have given America’s infrastructure close to a failing grade.
          Yet America spends its future on disastrous and costly wars in the middle east, maintaining 800 bases around the world and sending Americans into harm’s way in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Niger, and South Korea.
          America is bankrupt, fiscally, morally and spiritually.

          • It seems inevitable that there will be a widespread default on those pension promises. The political class uses the bogus term “pension obligations”, though the agreements were made between unions and politicians. Let them strangle each other over who pays. When the money isn’t there, the pensions will be just have to be repudiated.

        • Curiously, the military got rid of the pension. New members will be left with a 401K-like plan with matching like the rest of us get (if we’re lucky). MAYBE that will be the eventual strategy of the state employees. Those already in will be grandfathered in, but no new ones?

          • Hmm, that’s interesting, Brandon. I kinda doubt, though, that state governments will be able to set up anythinglike that, as broke as they all are. The feds will just create the money out of thin air for the military and for their do-less dipshits. The states will be stuck trying to rob their citizenry even further.

            In Virginia, where I live, only a few counties around DC have a population that has anything left to steal.

      • Though I live in Washington State, half my family is from Texas. Visited there last month and the roads have gone in a similar (down graded) mode that we see in Washington and Oregon. Money goes to social engineering instead.
        Seems like Texas is no longer for Texans, sad.
        Roads are still not as bad as Idaho but, Idaho never had superior roads. Some Idaho residents like it that way.
        Driving around Texas we found our favorite part of the journey was driving Highway 380, once it got past Dallas.
        All the way to it’s juncture with highway 25 in New Mexico, it was a treat. Not super fast but, fast enough and very little traffic.

    • “Everyone who uses the road is ‘subsidized’”.

      Nope, not even close. When it comes to federal spending on roads, everybody who buys fuel pays, and the Tesla drivers don’t buy fuel. Nice try at using federal statistics, but you’re posting in a forum populated by thinking people. Save that shit for one of the comment sections where the retards post.

      • I detest those states that control the retail liquor. Pull up to a cinder block building that looks like it dates from some period when someone tried to start a business and failed.

        You go in and see a big counter with a-holes behind it and not much else. Don’t ask that you want to see what’s available. They will say “Ask and we’ll check”. No prices, everything in there makes me want to cold turkey…..from life. I was astounded as a young 22-23 year old when I found this shit going on in the south.

        Reconstruction at it’s finest.

        • I grew up in South Carolina, which had privately owned liquor stores, usually one in every neighborhood. There was a big selection and they had to compete for business. 20 miles away, in NC there were these little shitbox stores with just a few brands, and a limited selection of bottle sizes and there were limits to how much you could buy at a time.

          People would drive across the line and buy cases of half pints and miniatures of brands that they couldn’t get in NC and go home and sell it at a markup to people who liked to take a small bottle into a restaurant or ball game. Penalties for this kind of smuggling weren’t too bad. Today, there’s a huge liquor store right across the state line on I-77 at the first exit to SC.

          Seems that the people in NC and Va would try to put a stop to that kind of state owned monopoly.

          • Ed, a few years ago that’s what happened. That liquor store you spoke of made headlines as federal occifers keeping everybody safe from alcohol raided that store on some really lame charge. Of course it all originated in NC and everybody doing the raiding originated there(sic…..or in a sewer). That’s the worst state I’ve been in. I make that judgement from being held up by a state trooper who took all my cash and then threatened me to go unload and not come back.

            Well, I could have made a big deal out of it but I was trying to make a living so I took his advice….and never returned. To this day I won’t go to NC. I don’t care to go to Alabama or Ms.. I guess it’s all the chain gangs. BTW, Texas shut down one of their largest prisons and chain gangs at Colorado City. It’s a huge ghost town kinda thing now. There should be a big sign outside saying “Ann Richards, Rick Perry, George Bush, go such a cock”….but not mine. There really should be the dried carcass of “Fartblossom” blowing in the wind with the sign. “if it was evil and duplicitous, I had something to do with it”.

            • Damn, 8. I didn’t hear about that. Frugal MacDougal’s got raided? The last time I was down there was in ’08 and I stopped there and bought my wife a bottle of Remy Centaur for her birthday, because you can’t find it here.

              Charlotte is the butthole of the Carolinas. If you had to give both states an enema, you’d shove the nozzle right up Trade street.

              • Ed, it was all bullshit and easily proved. BATF from NC and their federal minions went there to stop “boot legging”.

                It was such a bunch of shit nobody was fooled and it was obvious why they were there, cause they have the gummint money and time on their hands and nothing to do but fuck with free trade, sorta like Washington did but they didn’t actually, physically hang anyone, just cost these owners and their clients a lot of time and money.

                Nothing came of it since they had no one really to charge except for some freelance operators who happened to get their booze there.

                Go ahead, move along, you’ve seen it all before. Hell, man, we can all say that. Of course we can’t really “move” people as that would be assault without a badge.

                • That’s funny. The bootleggers wouldn’t buy there, too public and full of tourists. Hell, the store is at the entrance to Carowinds, practically.

                  If I wanted to bootleg in Charlotte, I’d drive to Rock Hill and deal with the smallest, raggedest liquor store I could find. Get cases of half pints of Cutty, Smirnoff 100, and Tanqueray, or Jack in the Black, Jose Cuervo, and Bacardi, depending on the neighborhood. I could sell out in two hours on a Sunday morning and do it over the next weekend.

                  People like those little hip pocket bottles for smuggling into a movie theatre or ball game.

    • You need to stop using new urbanist math.
      First of all the taxation haul from motorists is much much much larger. Most of that going into general funds. Second of all roads are expensive because they are built to handle heavy commercial trucks. Third of all private passenger motor vehicles cause nearly zero wear and tear to roads build for heavy commercial trucks. Fourth, there is a certain level of roads which must exist even if motorcars did not. This level of paved roads has always been desirable and would exist today as they have existed since at least Roman times.

      When properly analyzed it is the ordinary private motorist who subsidizes all other road users.

      • That’s right, Brent. Take away that 50+ cents a gallon on 2-300 gallons of fuel a trucker buys every day and that doesn’t amount to a hill of beans. Then take away the federal road use tax(please, take it away). Then take away all the fees and charges the individual states have on commercial traffic and the outrageous toll fees and you have the bulk of what makes the roads viable.

        But like Ed said, the states are adept at eating huge amounts of money for jobs that used to be based on market need and now based on unions and federal bullshit monopolies and bureaucratic bs. I go by, every day, sometimes, several time a day, road jobs that had private contractors and a great deal of state employees who merely sit and watch. Sometimes they all get together and pow-wow while some very overpaid people watch other people do the work. Than inspectors come and assess the damage, er, uh, job results.

        The entire system could be done with half the money or less by private contractors and a couple inspectors who aren’t on the unofficial payroll.

        I’ve worked both sides of this coin. Everybody not in on it gets bent over and the truckers more than anyone else. Ever had a 4 foot long printed ticket with 15 violations? Just wait till you see the revenue this shit creates.

    • “Not to mention the military budget spent to secure the oil supply. ”
      What a clown.
      Not a cent of the trillion dollars a year pissed away on the government’s murderers is “securing the oil supply”.

  8. Epic post, amongst so many by you. I did a ride along with one of the local heroes and he didn’t understand why I was asking him why they don’t enforce the number posted on the sign.

  9. EVs make sense for those of us who lease…since their price is subsidized sometimes you can get a Volt for $99/month!

    Beats any lease on a conventional vehicle…

    • Yep.. Tesla lease runs about $0.90 per mile and $0.25 per mile if you go over the lease limit. 30k miles a year = $0.50 per mile, plus registration, insurance, tires. I get free charging at work (employer subsidy) and free charging on the road (superchargers). I retired a CNG crown vic last year that ran $0.58 per mile over it’s life.

      • Hi Electron,

        I assume the CNG Vic was your vehicle; i.e., that you owned it? If so, its actual cost per mile is probably a lot less than the leased Tesla, which you were just renting and so had no equity in. Also, one must – to be fair – take into account the subsidies folded into the Tesla to mask is true cost. The CNG Vic isn’t subsidized, either on the manufacturing or the retail end.

  10. So “holding” a phone and doing anything on it while driving is a crime now. But if it is attached to some kind of mount it is ok to use the gps and make and receive calls. Even worse, the infotainment system on my ’17 Ridgeline, and I suspect most other newish cars, is a complete distraction. But that seems to be quite ok with those who make the rules.

    • The point of making the rules is to make politicians feel like they’ve done something, or to appease their lobbyists, or some loudmouth constituents. It has nothing to do with desired outcome or effect.

      We live in the world of ostrich politics, where both politicians and their supporters stick their heads in the sand and ignore all evidence inconvenient to their world view.

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