Teslian eFleas

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When corporations get into bed with government, it’s us who get the fleas. Obamacare, for instance.

Big Med plus Big Government.

Sometimes, you can’t actually see the fleas. But they’re there, just the same.

An example of this unwholesome symbiosis has just emerged – in China. But it involves an American company, Tesla – which sells the same cars here.

Turns out Tesla – which builds electric cars but makes money by leveraging government mandates  – has set up its EVs to live-feed information about where each of their cars is at any given moment directly to the Chinese government.

Their car italicized to make the point that it’s not really your car when someone else has open access to it  – and so, to your life. The car tracks your movements, records where you’ve been, how long you stayed.

The government takes note.

According to the Associated Press, which broke the story, the Chinese government merely wishes to obtain “data points” for the purpose of “infrastructure planning” and – of course – to “improve public safety.”

How isn’t specified.

This from the same government which is instituting a nightmarish social shaming/ostracization regime which requires precisely such detailed, personal information – to establish panopticonic control over the population.

Not, this time, by bayonets in the back – but by simply cutting off a person’s ability to do everyday things like drive to work. Or drive anywhere.

The “data points” being sent to China’s Uncle are not anonymous; they are specific to each vehicle and thus serve as high-tech versions of the ear tags used by ranchers to keep track of each steer.

Each tag is numbered.

And so are you.

How else do you suppose they – and not just the Chinese – are going to keep track of the miles driven by an individual driver, in order to tax-by-mile, which is the way EVs will be taxed since they cannot be taxed (anonymously) per gallon?

And not just tax him.

These “connected” cars can also be controlled anytime they like.

This includes at least potentially the ability to turn the car off remotely, at their pleasure. Or rather, at their displeasure. Whenever they have decided you no longer ought to be allowed to drive.

Perhaps because of something you Tweeted.

De-monetizing is just for openers.

Paraphrasing the Soup Nazi from the old Seinfeld TV series: No mobility for you!

It’s much more efficient than sending out the goon squad. Prisons cost money; guards have to be fed. Better to just former-person the recalcitrant. 

The AP story doesn’t go into it, but modern cars – not just Tesla and not just electric cars – are already set up to be remote-controllable, as well as amenable to being real-time monitored, which they have been for years.

GM’s OnStar system, which has been around for more than 20 years, can shut off a car’s engine remotely. Every new car that has a similar system has microphones embedded in it. The newest Subarus have facial recognition systems. Toyota is putting Alexa in the 2019 Camry and Sienna minivan.

Some new BMW models can remote park themselves; the car can be auto-piloted into a parking spot via the high-tech key fob. Just push a button.

If you can do it Uncle (our Uncle) can, too.

Tesla already does.

Its cars constantly receive “updates” from Tesla, including the “unlocking” of various car capabilities, such as the battery’s maximum range or charging capacity.

This implies the car can be locked just as easily.

The company’s cars – you are the “owner”of a Tesla in the same sense that you “own” the home you paid for years ago but which you are still obliged to pay the government continuously for, if you wish to be allowed to  continue living in it – tet-a-tet with Tesla continuously.

Cellular hardware is embedded in the cars; they are thus “connected” to the Tesla controlling intelligence. At purchase, buyers are given a disclosure about this and a consent form to sign – under duress, similar to that used by the government get your “implied consent” to roadside blood draws as a condition of getting a driver’s license.

Your option is to not buy the car.

You cannot opt out of Tesla’s monitoring regime. The company will not “support” the car in that case. It’s then like a sail fawn without the ability to make a call.

Whether Tesla “shares” (in the soupy kumbaya language of late-model authoritarian corporatism) the information thus gleaned with the government – as it is doing in China – or just uses it for its own purposes is a distinction as meaningfully relevant to us, the flea-ridden, as the temporary recision of the “shared responsibility payment” used to enforce the Obamacare “individual mandate” to send money to the health insurance mafia.

And, again, it is not just Tesla. Soon, it will be all of them. And there will be no opting out.

A Brave New World is upon us.

. . .

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

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27 COMMENTS

  1. It’s funny: You tell this to people, and they will rightly condemn the practice as evil tyranny and communism……when it’s occurring in China.

    When the same thing is implemented here, well then “It’s for our safety; to fight crime; to prevent terrorism; to provide useful data. What’s the harm? WHAT HAVE YOU GOT TO HIDE??!!”.

    In the mind of the average statist, tyranny is only tyranny when practiced in a certain location. In another location, it is “liberty”…..

    Just like when I was a kid and was admonished to be thankful I lived here because “You could live in Russia where they break down your door in the middle of the night”; but now that they do that here, the same people who warned about Russia when I was a kid, think there is nothing wrong with breaking down doors in the middle of the night, because, of course, “Here, it is done to fight ‘crime’ “………

    • It’s called a SWAT raid and it might be your door that gets broken down…..by mistake and you possibly shot for holding a gun.
      Funny how in the old Soviet Union, they also had their own form of civil asset forfeiture.
      Now how does that tie in with the kind of government we have today?
      Hint, hint…..

  2. This isn’t about modding. It’s about removing ALL of the Orwellian control systems from any new car I have to get. We currently have a 2015 Ford Transit. What is already Orwellian on the Transit? Let’s say I need to buy a “used” car from a model year no older than 2014. I need to be a hacker now. How to strip down the car so it can’t be remotely controlled – at all. I’m talking replacing computer chips in all of the systems in the car with a home mod chip. Where are the groups of people working on this?

    • Even Orwell could not have imagined the extent to which a government would go to track and control people the way the government in Washington has.
      He simply could not have imagined the technology that has been developed and applied to everyday items even toasters and TVs.
      Very soon the air above us will be filled with drones either delivering pizza or spying on our every move.
      America is becoming an open air prison.
      I fear for the future of this nation and its people. I fear for the rest of the world.

      • johnZ,

        Serious question. You say, “America is becoming an open air prison.”

        What further things must happen for you to remove the “becoming” from your statement?

          • johnZ,

            Thanks.

            Because I read your posts and have been banging my head against the wall.

            This country has been a police state since June 14, 1990 – flag day. The day after the official demolition of the Berlin Wall began.

            That is when the USA 🇺🇸 officially sanctioned checkpoints. No need for a wall and CheckPoint Charlie when muricans could have a checkpoint in their very own neighborhood.

            The Cold War was over and the good old USA lost. A new world system of farming human livestock had begun.

            As 2019 nears, the livestock chats about which tax farmers will treat them better.

            That’s all there is.

  3. Gave up my ’97 Jeep to buy an economy car. Bought it on credit, first time I’ve done that since ’01. Heading down to the DMV right now…should I call 911 and report a robbery in progress? Methinks an older model is in my future….

    • I would have kept the Jeep! A friend has a Cherokee about that year and it’s a real nice vehicle. New enough to have a fuel-injected version of the Rambler six with electronic ignition, plus a 4-speed overdrive automatic transmission. Still old enough though not to have the most egregious crap found on today’s cars. If my old barge craps out before I do I might well look for something like that myself.

      • Oh I would have liked to, no doubt. But it was falling apart. I wasn’t the original owner, picked it up for a song and it gave good service, but was on it’s last legs.

        Back from my local car commissar….just over $600 on a car that priced at $5400. My clean driving record earns me a $800 p/yr insurance mafia payment…so, over 5 years, my combined tax/insurance hit will exceed the price I paid. Needless to say, I will be paying this down ASAP, extricate myself from the insurance, and save up for my next late ’90s car again.
        Jason, my Cherokee was alot of fun to bomb around in. Never locked it. Crappy fuel economy. But plenty of power, size, and all around bad ass ego-booster compared to what I have now.

  4. “Libertarian” –

    I have asked you – several times and nicely, at first – to stop peppering my site with promos for your site loosely disguised as comments in reply to articles here.

    You have ignored these requests.

    I’ve pointed out that Libertarians respect other people’s property – and this web site is my property. I work hard to earn the money that keeps it afloat. I do not work hard to provide free advertising for you.

    You have shown contempt for my requests as well as the concept of property by changing your ISP multiple times, in order to get around my having blocked you, or tried to, out of frustration with your obnoxious actions and attitudes:

    t2232@mailsac.com
    218.14.90.177
    t2322@mailsac.com
    113.83.73.33
    t23222@mailsac.com
    113.83.74.145

    You continue to “drive by” and leave your repetitive posts – “bankrupt, warmongering police state yada yada yada” – always with a link to your site.

    I post the above to let the readers here – who are Libertarians – see what a jerk you’ve been.

    I will continue to delete/spam your posts so long as they are attempts to get free advertising here. If you can learn to respect other people’s property and submit posts/comments that aren’t just free advertising grabs, I will consider publishing them. And if you’d like to buy advertising space, that would be fine.

    Otherwise, please bugger off.

    • Thanks for the link Frog. Did you read any of the comments on that article? Delusion is a powerful drug.

      If anyone needs a good laugh, go read the comments from that article.

      • “I can’t wait to see how fast GM, Ford and Dodge stocks are going to go down once Tesla introduces it’s electric pickup truck with specs blowing away even Ford’s venerable F750 series. And it will.”

        “Quit obsessing about headlights. Nobody gives a 02395098. This thing could compete against AWD Silverado HD. And win. Truck guys like torque and AWD.”

        “Start praying, Ford!”

        “What would be nice if they put some kind of amortization gauge on the display center basically showing you what you’re making per mile by running this vehicle in lieu of gasoline prices per gallon and it’ll probably show that within years that you will pay nothing for the vehicle based on gasoline savings I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if Shell and Mobil shows up with gangsters trying to threaten this guy”

        “Hey Detroit! You’re on your way to bankruptcy. Keep building ICE”

        “Hopefully the government will NOT bail them out this time. Backwards thinking companies belong in the dust heap of history nothing more” (The irony in this one)

        “This ought to ratchet up the anxiety levels of the C-Suites at F, GM, and FCA.”

        “No place to hide for ICE vehicles.”

        “It’s kind of like what Honda did with the ICE pickup – they really re-thought a lot about what a truck can be.”

      • ” Did you read any of the comments on that article? ”

        No, did not see any. Must be my browser blocking the script. The ones you posted are certainly, certain. Me, not so much.

        I always think ‘fraud’ when the only pictures or video ‘came from a Hollywood basement’.

        But if they can build something that has the specs listed, it does seem a better option than a Tesla at least. More likely just vaporware though.

  5. More and more, older cars are becoming more appealing

    So what if some don’t have ABS, 20 billion airbags, this, that and the other thing? Adds to the charm and keeps ya focused, plus dailying an older car shows your a true fanatic anyway

    • I’m with ya – at 57, I figure I’ve got 25 years or so of driving left. Need to figure out what I can make last that long. Do enjoy the current technology, with a few exceptions. Newest car in our fleet is a 10 year old Jeep, have a ‘07 F-150, ‘96 K2500 Suburban and couple of 48 year old GM products. Wife’s on board – she’s happy with something that’s clean and reliable – doesn’t care about having a “new” car – she is also in tune with what the future holds. Maybe we can avoid the borg . . .

  6. It’s the only why tesla is allowed to live even though its a zombie company that hasn’t made a profit except for 2 quarters in its entire existence. Tesla can break all the rules. Direct sales model which i actually like. No UAW in the US. Financial fraud via twitter lies. Empty model 3 promises.

  7. I work in the self driving car space, and my company does business in China, as do most self driving companies, since China is the largest market for it due to massive numbers of people being able to afford being mobile for the first time, but without the hundred year history of driving that we have here, meaning lots of people may fear driving, don’t want to drive, or aren’t very good at it. Many of my colleagues are Chinese immigrants, so I’ve had the chance to discuss these dystopian social credit systems with them, and to my horror, a lot of them support the notion. They trust their government to do the right thing to maintain social order, and individuals aren’t trusted there, organizations are – you are a member of your family group, of your employer group, of your city, more than you are an individual. It is a very different culture, for sure. Some people, of course, are critical of this, but I’d but the ratio of critical vs believer at 50/50, and my sample is biased, since these are people who left China. The Chinese government isn’t implementing this stuff without the people’s consent, sadly.

    • Some form of that “social credit” is going to happen here. In some ways it already has.

      This is how they will restrict people who don’t go with the flow. The Chinese government already is doing it to it’s people. It basically traps people in their homes if they disagree with the government. Imagine not being able to order plane tickets if you speak against obamacare, climate change and other nonsense. That’s the reality in China already.

      Scary shit

      • If you want to see a way in which this type of social credit scheme may ultimately play out, there was an episode of “The Orville” in which the intrepid crew wound up on a world where it was done on a planetary scale (Season 1, Episode 7, “Majority Rule”).

  8. A month or two after getting my 13′ silverado I washed it at one of those self serve car washes with a wand. To dry it off I decided to drive fast up and down a hill. Pulling out of the wet car wash parking lot I fish tailed onto the road and it triggered a call from big brother. A lady spoke and asked if I was okay as they got an alert, I told her to F-off and hit the power button on OnStar. The next day I pulled the INFO fuse for the unit to disable it.

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