Hero Spotting Just Got Easier

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There is at least one upside to Ford’s announcement earlier this year that it will be transitioning (like Bruce) away from making cars to making mostly crossovers and trucks. The Mustang will survive, but the Taurus and Fusion sedans are on borrowed time.

Which will mean less confusion about which cars armed government workers drive. Which will make it easier for us to avoid them – which is important for our safety.

Armed government workers are very dangerous – to us. “Terrorists” haven’t killed anyone this year and not many last year or the year before that – and they haven’t managed to take away any of Our Freedoms.

Armed government workers, on the other hand . . . are a constant threat. And not just to our freedoms, whatever’s left of them.

The most minor “offense” can result in us lying facedown on the pavement, bleeding out … if the armed government worker feels  his authority has been affronted. .

They are best avoided.

Right now, it is harder to suss them out.

Lots of cops drive the Taurus – which replaced the Crown Vic when it got retired back in 2011 as the main cop car of choice – after the Dodge Charger.

And the Charger, too, is on borrowed time, too.

It is literally the last of the V8 Interceptors – for those of you speak Mad Max. And the problem with that – for FiatChrysler, of which Dodge is a subsidiary – is that cars like the Charger are a huge drag on corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) . . . averages.

One V8 Charger in the lineup makes it really hard to average 30-something MPG, the current mandatory minimum decreed by the government. It will make it impossible to average the 50-something MPG mandatory minimum threatened by the government.

Trump is trying to hold the line but even if he does, his successor as Decider – either in 2020 or 2024 – could just as easily re-Decide and the car companies all know this and fear this and have been revamping their lineups on the assumption that whatever the current Decider does, it will be temporary at best.

Even if the fuel economy fatwa is dialed back, temporarily or longer term, the government has a back-up plan to get rid of cars like the Charger: The unanswerable trump card of “greenhouse gas emissions.”

No matter how clean-burning in terms of actually harmful emissions Chrysler manages to make the Charger – and like all new cars, it is already so clean it is almost a Partial Zero Emissions Vehicle (PZEV) by the government’s own standards – its “greenhouse gas emissions” (carbon dioxide) can’t be scrubbed or substantially reduced without fundamentally changing what it is to something very different. Something much smaller – and much smaller-engined.

Not suitable for cop car “duty.”

The Taurus has the same problem – as well as the additional problem that it’s just not selling. Which is why Ford has decided to stop selling it. GM – the other purveyor of cop cars – is also dialing back. It won’t be making the full-size Impala much longer and the mid-sized Malibu, also used by armed government workers, may be gone soon, too.

Which leaves SUVs.

The Ford Explorer and the Chevy Tahoe, chiefly.

These two will shortly become the primary vehicles used by armed government workers – which will make it easier to avoid being mulcted (or worse) by armed government workers.

In the first place, because they are bigger, taller – and harder to hide. You’ll be ale to spot one lurking in a cutout much sooner than you would an on the-down-low Taurus or Charger.

In the second, field recognition will be made easier when there are fewer makes/modes of armed government worker-mobiles on the road. Right now, it’s prudent to be wary around any Charger or Taurus or Malibu until one is certain it’s not an armed government worker-mobile.

In another few years, when those sedans have been attrited and retired, we’ll only have to be on our guard around Tahoes and Expeditions. If there’s a bullet-headed thug with Darth Vader opaque sunglasses behind the wheel, you’ll know. And knowledge is power. 

Finally, Tahoes and Expeditions will be easier to lose.

Although they are quick, they are SUVs. Jacked-up, heavy. They do not handle as well as cars, in the curves or at high speed. If you are in a fast car – or on a fast bike – your odds of not being issued a piece of payin’ paper (and Tasered or worse) just improved by 50 percent.

One wonders, though, how the planet will fare when all these big, heavy and CO2 -spewing armed government worker-mobiles are out there harassing and collecting. Should’t the government be setting an example by having its heroes drive hybrids, like the Prius?

Apparently, “greenhouse gas emissions” are only of “concern” when it comes to our vehicles.

. . .

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40 COMMENTS

  1. Cop cars spend most of their time idling. Which means their mpg goes to zero. And when they’re not idling, they’re being run at full throttle, either because they’re chasing a perp, or just because the officer can (hey, *we’re* the ones paying his gas bill..)

    I can’t help wondering if vehicles sold into police service get an exemption from CAFE stats. Because those behaviors by their drivers would be a serious drag on the numbers.

  2. Expect sales of Mustangs to go through the roof. They’ve already got a few around here doing enFORCEment. About the only way you can spot them is that they have very heavily tinted windows and an orange permanent GovCo plate.

    I even saw a Chrysler mini-van that had someone pulled over.

    They have no shame.

  3. My new 300 v8 rwd-only just got 28mph on a 4hr trip. Hammer time too, having fun with it passing almost all with ease with a grin on my face, and the v8 making beautiful music to my ears.
    I could care less about mpg, but 28mpg for a 300 V8, seems ridiculous to me, why would I need more than that? I’d even take much less mpg to have a car that’s that much fun, comfortable, and big enough to take people and stuff. Long live the 300/Charger in it’s current form………
    The death to CAFE asap.
    Maybe I should buy the last Charger 392 and mothball it. Hard to justify putting $40-45K in the garage though. It looks like the last great v8 non-turbo’s are going away forever.

  4. If Eric’s predictions here are correct, aside from a few very expensive “sports car” type vehicles, the average person won’t be able to find or drive a normal sedan vehicle. Other than used, which will eventually age out.

    So handling and acceleration disadvantages of cop SUVs won’t be much of a problem for them. And as others have noted here, their SUVs will blend in with everyone else.

    Of course few drivers try to outrun cops anyway. In urban areas that is nearly impossible due to congestion. Most who try around here (large city/suburbs) end up crashing into something. Of course they are stupid and often poor drivers in stolen vehicles. In rural areas it is more likely to work especially at night. Still not a useful strategy unless you are Bonnie & Clyde on the run. What seems like a good “plan” for some drunk teenager is not often a sound strategy. The days of hot-rodding from cops in their Whale sedans have been gone from all but memories for quite a while. In Texas anyway, cops of all kinds just love car chases which grow quite crowded with cop vehicles. Then they get so jacked up at the end you are lucky not to be shot to pieces even when surrendering. If not white, odds of survival are low. Not much better for the Anglos.

    • I remember a trip to San Francisco I stayed in a hotel overlooking a major highway. There were traffic jams the whole trip and it was bumper-to-bumper all night. Then on Sunday morning I looked out and the road was almost empty. The exception being several tuner cars, running flat out.

      No way would I run fast at night anymore. Too many Enforcers and too difficult to spot.

  5. Next week congress will vote for a bill that will make a federal crime of evading police. So now it will be federal prison time if you choose to avoid a confrontation and dust them. The current crop of chargers are so dealership dependent they are not suitable to own beyond the warranty.

  6. Eric, you write some things that get my undies in a bunch, and this article is a good example. Several times you wrote “armed government worker”, which is incorrect. The difference between a “government worker” and a “government employee” is that one is an oxymoron and the other is a regular moron. 😀

    Also, if you choose to use the word “hero” type it in quotes just like that, “hero”. (Most) cops are criminals, not heros, and they should be called criminals. Nobody breaks more laws than the police, when I see a “hero” I lock my doors. That poor man in New Mexico who got sodomized for nine hours for running a stop sign was my last straw … and then they sent him the hospital bill. This is not going to end well.

    Or does someone know how we can stop this evil bullshit so we can live in peace??

  7. “They are best avoided.” Yep, couldn’t agree more, but how best to avoid them? Driving down the road seems to be one of the best ways to encounter them. There are a lot of videos online of people with cameras in their rear windows searching for highway patrols and troopers just so they can stomp on the gas and lose them in the dust. Some places have regulations governing how they may engage a speeder and when they are required to break off a chase. Those might also be of interest to those who are in the habit of speeding.

    The best way to avoid these highway thugs is to stay off the highways.

    • “The best way to avoid these highway thugs is to stay off the highways.”

      Yes, of course, just as the best way to defend one’s liberty and property is to run away to Costa Rica. I wonder why eric hasn’t started putting the Dancing Clover icon on your posts.

      • Ed, you’re not defending anything but your own ego. Whining and crying about how your rights and liberties are being trashed isn’t defending them. You don’t even have the balls to go out and protest like some idiotic clover. You’re about as useful as a wilted dead clover.

      • Well Ed, you stay and “comply” or deal with the consequences of interacting with the badged thugs. Lets hear YOUR plan.

        Oh…you think it doesn’t affect you…until it happens to you? You don’t mind seeing it going on all around you and affecting everyone else in the meantime?

        You’re turning into a ringmeat mongoloid dickweed!

        Yeah, yeah, we know…you’re going to stand your ground…until the first pig shows up, or maybe even just a threat in the mail or a dyke code-enforcement bitch…. Yeah, stand your ground. Let us know how that works out. After you do that, maybe you can go and save one of the sovereign nations whom we’re invading/bombing, ’cause for some reason, they’re not as tough as you…

  8. Seems to me that law enforcement and other government-only vehicles received CAFE exemptions back in the 1980s, so the vehicles don’t have to meet any mileage standards, nor are they counted in fleet CAFE. Check me on this, but I remember something of the sort back then. Note that the manufacturers make it difficult or impossible for civilians to buy police-spec cars, which tends to suggest some regulatory reason for the restriction.

    The decline of sales for sedans is the real culprit. Cop cars are sold at such low profit margins that keeping such cars as the Taurus in production just for that market isn’t worth it. Ford restricted Crown Vic sales to governments and fleets from 2008, which eventually made the car untenable as competitors’ cop cars got better and took much of that market.

  9. It just occurred to me, the SUVs the police will be using would have a higher center of gravity and would be less able to travel at speed on a twisty road which would mean that sedans and sports cars would have an advantage over a police SUV.

    • You can’t run from the cops – their fancy in-car cameras probably got a picture of your license plate, and they have radios and can radio ahead your description and have other heroes intercept you. The get kick out of this stuff, just like English nobles used to love fox hunts.

      We like to joke about it, but if you run from the cops, if they ever ID you, you’re basically screwed for life. On a motorbike with a missing plate – maybe, since you can hide behind something really fast, but that kind of maneuverability is impossible in any car.

      • They will run your plate and wait at your residence(registered location of car) for you(or licensed drivers at your residence)…had a friend’s wife get read the riot act about his driving speed, as he had lost the police, but they had his plate…no video evidence of the high speed infraction, so no citation…

  10. At some point there may be a special police vehicle. A government contracted vehicle design like the post office and military have.

  11. I think the “easier to spot” is mostly wishful thinking, but it’s a nice thought. Here’s why:

    1. For those of my generation, the Ford Crown Vic has been the defining “cop car” for the past 30+ years, dating back to at least the 1980s. They haven’t made any new units in a long time, yet only in the past year or two have I seen a significant shift away from them to newer vehicles, and we still see plenty of Crown Vics running around in local and county guise in most of the US. Additionally, since virtually nobody drove those except government agencies, especially police, they were easy to spot. Newer cop cars tend to be based on much more popular models, such as the Dodge Charger or the Ford Explorer/Chevy Tahoe. All of these are far more popular among average tax victims than the Crown Vic ever was. They are truly pigs in sheep’s clothing. Given the explosive popularity of SUVs, this will only make the problem of pork-spotting all the more difficult.

    2. It used to be that police cars were painted white or black/white for visibility purposes. They were, after all, supposed to be for safety, not for revenue generation, historically. Now the trend is to have low-visibility paint jobs, common consumer colors (gray, black, silver, dark orange) that do not stand out, purely to sneak up on unsuspecting victims.

    Here in Arkansas the state troopers often now drive Dodge Chargers that are of typical off-the-lot colors and have no obvious external markings. Initially they had no markings whatsoever, so you didn’t know if they were even “legitimate” law enforcement or simply someone with a blue flashing light in their windshield jerking you around. A couple of years later, probably due to complaints, they decided to put some minor markings on the passenger side of the vehicle (the side away from traffic if they are in the rightmost lane) in dark gray that is barely legible in broad daylight from a few feet away but completely invisible to any traffic looking at the car from any angle within a range of about 300 degrees around the car. Ostensibly these are for “traffic enforcement,” but there seems to be no more blatant declaration that “we’re in it for the money” than to be driving around in such vehicles. They even have normal factory rims and many have normal license plates (no government plates).

    By the same token, many of the Chevy Tahoe cop cars around here are painted black, with blacked out rims, black grills, and, no kidding, black sheriff’s decals on the doors. You literally cannot see that they are a sheriff’s car in broad daylight unless you are very close to them. The decals happen to be reflective tape, so they actually show up better under headlights than under sunlight, but only from the side. Combined with low-profile light bars where the roof rack rails should be, and you cannot tell if they are a cop car or just someone pulling out of a parking lot (or parked in a parking lot).

    This morning my radar detector went nuts as I was traveling on the interstate in moderately heavy traffic. I dutifully slowed to the precise speed limit and pulled into the middle lane gently. Lo and behold there was a Ford Explorer a few cars ahead in traffic, running below the speed limit, and because of the low-viz paint job and low-profile light bar, it just looked like someone’s grandmother was blocking traffic (causing, might add, a very unsafe “clot” of traffic and impeding the safe flow). Those of us within a 1-2 car radius of the cop had to slow down and pace him for fear of being accused of speeding, even if we were all going 5mph under the posted speed limit. Everyone behind us got mad and couldn’t pass at normal, safe speeds. He was intentionally causing road rage, waiting for someone to crack and pass him doing the speed limit or a little over, not spotting him in the far right lane until it was too late. Fortunately nobody took the bait this morning, and he pulled off the exit, eventually.

    3. As someone mentioned above, as traffic cameras and other enforcement technologies become more popular, we will have the privilege of simply getting a ticket in the mail. As more cars become self-driving and/or contain electronics that permit external control by authorities (e.g., OnStar can already shut off a vehicle as it is driving down the road, as can most other such systems), and “black boxes” in the cars record our every move, our biggest enemy will become the very vehicle we spent an exorbitant amount of money on to buy in the first place. At least it’ll have Netflix and a couple dozen USB charge ports, though.

    All of this reminds me very much of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s Gulag Archipelago wherein he describes communist Russia under Stalin as an open-air prison of sorts. Everyone was a potential snitch on everyone else, and even the mere accusation of having uttered an unfavorable word towards the authorities often resulted in decades of torture in the gulags. In today’s US, every car is a potential cop car, and every action is a potential infraction. The goal is to make everyone live in fear so as to fall in line under the regime unquestioningly. It’s not about freedom, or right and wrong, or especially not about safety.

    • low profile light bars, internal lights… everything seems to be hide and pounce now.

      But there is one way to still spot them. The spot light on the driver’s side A pillar. They try to fold it in so its hard to see but its still there. Not great for night time spotting. Another thing is because of the light bar change they aren’t up aiming the headlamps like they used to. That’s how I would spot cops behind me at night.

        • never heard of it. Sounds like a decent theory to work on if they are always transmitting on a certain frequency. Receivers generally have very little regulation on them.

        • Before all cars and nearly everything else had GPS we truckers bought these units that detected the GPS signal so we could tell when DPS and some other cops were out there. It was better than a sharp stick to the eye and if you stayed on top of the CB you could tell to some degree which direction they were moving or if you were merely getting closer. I hadn’t thought about that in a while.

    • Hi SojournerMoon, “Those of us within a 1-2 car radius of the cop had to slow down and pace him for fear of being accused of speeding, even if we were all going 5mph under the posted speed limit.”
      I really dislike it when I catch up to a group of cowardly docile car drivers following a slow driving coproach enjoying the ego-boost! I go right around them all of the time at the speed limit and never once got a ticket! Their radar gun will record the actual speed, and any speeding ticket for driving the speed limit would be easy to get dismissed. Such widespread irrational servile cowardice makes me ashamed of being a so-called ‘American.’ ‘Land of the FREE, home of the BRAVE’ My ASS!!!!!!!!!!!

      • Brian, this has been one of my pet issues for a while. I always tell people that if more people would pass leo’s then more people would see that it’s okay to pass leo’s, and more people would start passing leo’s. It would snowball, and this nonsense would stop. Most places you can go 5 mph over the posted speed limit without any repercussions. If a leo were to cite you, the judge would just throw it out anyways.

        What I love is when a sheriff or trooper is going 5 mph under the speed limit, and I go flying by them 5 mph over the speed limit. I’ve never been pulled over for going 5 over.

        • Hey brian, I’m pretty sure that’s what I had on my Raymarine. I still have the packaging it came in. Everyone I talk to swears by navionics.

      • Brian, I do same and often faster than the PSL. I never once took a loaded truck off cruise doing 79 when I saw the car a long way off and the traffic was thick. If they want to stop me for 4 over, let them make their case. Again, I know…that they know….that I know. Stop me before it gets overly complicated ha ha.

    • @ SojournerMoon, thanks for the 411 about OnStar, I didn’t know that. I rent vehicles several times a year and lately most have it (in addition to numerous other irritating “features”). I don’t see how Eric continues to test drive and write reviews for these rolling pieces of crap.

      • Hi Pris,

        Remember the original Godfather? The scene with the mortician, after Sonny gets machine gunned to death? “I want you to use all of your powers to make him look good, for his mother,” the Don says.

        That’s my talent, such as it is!

      • That’s what I find very ironic: These modern cars are the embodiment of anti-libertarianism. They’re state-mandated non-free-market tracking devices, made to accomodate the lowest common denominator inept drivers, and festooned with mandated safety devices which in most cases actually make them more dangerous (Airbags; automatic braking;…), which are also economic disasters (Require indebtedness to purchase, and are essentially not viable after the warranty period, etc.).

        Having reviews of such on a Libertarian website is tantamount to having reviews of rp “music” on a fundamentalist Christian website.

        Very few Libertarians are going to be buying any of these cars, and conversely, most of the people who are content to suck it up and buy such cars, are not going to be interested in Libertarianism.

        Sometimes “What we do” can be counterproductive, or at least not very helpful to other aspects of our lives. About the only car reviews I look at, are those “tetro car reviews” on Youtube- and I wish Eric were doing them, because the guy who is doing them, is not very good, and does not seem to be a Libertarian.

        No offense Eric, but I think the new car reviews are a waste of your talent. You’re very good at documenting the assaults on our liberties, and the moral case for Libertarianism; and you write well, and make very good videos- but I just don’t think that the new-car stuff is being consumed by anyone other than John Q. Public who is searching for a new car- and even if he should manage to see any Libertarian content, will just conclude that “you are a nut”, or take offesne at what he sees and click away.

    • My thoughts exactly, Sojourner. When half the population is driving Explorers and Tahoes….the ones the pigs drive just blend right in. Actually, if they were in sedans, they’d stick out more and be easier to spot. They still mostly oink-along in sedans here where I live, and as such they ARE easier to spot, because 90% of the vehicles on the roads here are pick-ups and SUVs. So any time you see a larger sedan- ‘specially a white, pewter or light gray one, there’s a very good chance that it’s a porker. When they all make the switch to SUVs here, THEN they’ll be hard to spot.

    • The sheriff’s depts here have done that for a while. Some have HD diesel pickups. Around here where there are pickups and SUV’s galore it doesn’t make it any easier to spot them.

      • Same here right down to white 3/4T Ext. cab and crewcab Chevy pickups. They have some moniker that identifies them as a govt. vehicle but I forget the name. Of course you have to be right behind them to read it. It’s on the endgate.

        I’ve been avoiding Tahoes for a couple decades since they sell a model that looks just like the black cop jobs and since they’ve gone to internal lights the spot light is the only difference. In some areas they use all kinds of SUV’s in all sorts of colors, generally sheriff dept’s.

        • Yep. Blue, gray, maroon, forest green, black and white are all the colors they use around here. Lights inside and in the headlamps.

          The bastards blend right in.

  12. In the Phoenix region, the highway patrol (aka DPS,) love to confiscate late model “sporty cars,” like Camaros, Mustangs, and even some totally vanilla sedans, as long as they’re fairly new. Only thing you can count on (so far,) is that they stick with American models. These cars are only lightly retrofitted, suitable mainly for freeway traffic enforcement.

    If one of these is behind you, vigilant scanning of rear view mirrors will usually reveal subtle stalking behavior. This gives you a sporting chance to go innocent before they strike. If they are cruising at the speed limit in the next to right hand lane AHEAD of you, you could blow right past, going well over the limit, at which point, it’s Too Late. Although equipped with radar units, they rarely seem to use them. Bagging detector users makes them extra happy. You probably will see more of this soon in a “neighborhood near you.”

    Stay Alert out there!

  13. The logical next step is to have a military contractor or other custom vehicle manufacturer design an Enforcer. Sure it will be easy to spot in a crowd, but who cares with all the cameras and other tracking devices out there it won’t matter.

    All other government bodies have custom vehicles: the US postal service, local fire departments, and of course the military. Why are police “forced” to use off-the-shelf vehicles?

    • These “off the shelf vehicles” you speak of will remain available for the enforcers. They will remain available for us, just without the traditional IC engine. Battery power will be for the non enforcer crowd.

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