Automated Cars – And Dumbed Down Drivers

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One of the arguments used by automated car pushers (I use the term deliberately, to convey the fact that the market isn’t asking for automated cars any more than it is electric cars; both are being forced upon the market by parties who are frustrated by the market’s reluctance to “embrace” either thing) is that they are saaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaafer than cars controlled by us.

In a sense, this is true.

If you begin with the premise that “us” consists of the typically dumbed-down 18-year-old driver. Whose driving has been dumbed on purpose to create the pretext for automated cars.

This process has been under way for a long time but desultorily – until fairly recently. Something changed for the much worse in the early years of this new century.

It used to be both common – and legal – for 15-something-year-olds to drive. One got one’s learner’s permit that year and in many cases, had already learned how to drive years prior. Parents – fathers – usually being the instructor. Dad would take son – or daughter – out to the shopping mall parking lot, or maybe a mostly empty back road – and begin the schooling.

That was before kids were strapped into Hannibal Lector saaaaaaaaaafety seats in the back seat, of course. They rode up front, often in Dad’s lap – holding the wheel while he explained.

That would get Dad arrested today, of course.

But back then, most American boys, at least, had some behind the wheel experience before the government-prescribed minimum age. Just as most also had some familiarity (and this they still do) with beer before the government gave its royal okay.

Regardless, by fifteen and change, American kids – boys and girls – could begin to learn to drive, legally, in most states – as recently as the late ‘80s and probably well into the ’90s.

And at sixteen – that very day – they were legally licensed to drive. Full privileges, the same as anyone else. And with it, independence. Freedom. They could come and go as they pleased, almost anywhere, almost anytime. This made the getting of the license attractive to a teenager; gave the teenager incentive to learn how to drive.

Most wanted to – badly. And so, made it happen, whatever it took.

And made the grade.

Basic competence  was expected – and achieved – at an early age, years before nominal/legal age for drinking, being drafted or being able to sign a valid legal contract; years before the boy or girl typically left their parents’ home for college or work. So that by that time, the young man or woman already had years of driving experience – which generally has the effect of making one a better driver by the time one embarks upon the adult world.

A better driver – who likes to drive.

Today, it is very depressingly different.

Most states now impose a regime that seems deliberately contrived to perpetuate childhood by delaying the age at which a kid may legally begin to even undertake driving lessons; the “learner’s” stage is also effectively extended for years – the boy or girl not being full privileged (loathsome term) until they are 18. And thus are turned loose on the adult world with fractured/limited experience and marinated in Fear Talk about the Dangers of driving. Many states don’t permit those under 18 to drive at all with other teens in the car – or at night. It defeats the point of driving.

It becomes a chore – and a bore.

And so no great surprise that something like a third of all 16-24-year-olds not only don’t drive but have no interest in driving.

Many do not drive well, either.

This cohort of marginally skilled, not-much-experienced drivers without much affection for driving is the cohort engineered for the automated car – and the one used as the reference point to make the (meretricious) case that putting cars in charge of us will be saaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaafer.

Well, speak for yourself – please.

Many of us can drive, quite safely. Evidence of that being crash-free driving (irrespective of the number of government extortion letters – i.e., “tickets” – we may have received over the years for various contrived “offenses” and “infractions”).

The accident-free driver of several decades presents an irrefutable counterargument to the one presented by the pushers of the automated car. The two are at least equally safe and arguably, the accident-free human more potentially so because his brain can think while a programmed car can only react.

Which fact, while we’re on the subject, accounts for the fact that automated cars are programmed for uber-cautiousness, to a degree that makes even Safety Nazis tap their feet in frustration.

Or, more.

Automated cars are being attacked by autonomous humans. A New York Times story details at least 20 such incidents, just in Arizona. They are being pelted with rocks, their tires slashed and their algorithms toyed with. The Times quotes one Erik O’Polka, who brakes in front of automated cars to frazzle them into pulling themselves over – and “bricking,” going inert as a result of computer catalepsy.

O’Polka told The Times he does this out of anger over an automated car almost running over his 10-year-old son.

And there is the Replacement Angle.

Zero Hedge quotes New York City University media theorist, who characterizes automated cars as “scabs” on wheels. “Just think about the humans inside these vehicles, who are essentially training the artificial intelligence that will replace them.”

He adds: “There’s a growing sense that the giant corporations honing driverless technologies do not have our best interests at heart.”

Of course they don’t. They have their profits at heart – and those profits can be maximized when they have control over our cars. And that interest meshes with Uncle’s interests.

That’s not a rip directed at profits, per se – with which there’s nothing the matter, if it’s a matter of voluntary free exchange. But there’s nothing free about being controlled by your car.

Especially when you didn’t ask to be.

. . .

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    • Everything is subjective. Someone coming from a Muslim gulag in Chinese wouldn’t consider anything else to be a police state until they got here and discovered that they are the new niggers, here.

  1. I know you do not like electric cars, but you are fighting a trend which will drive internal combustion engine to become obsolete.
    Just read the following article in MIT Technology Review and you will see why.

    “For consumers, the government promised one of the most difficult things to obtain in China’s metropolises: a license plate. To combat pollution, the number of license plates issued each year is strictly limited. Beijing awards them through a lottery, but the chance of getting one in any given year is now 0.2%. Shanghai sells them at an auction with prices of over $14,000, more than the price of many domestically produced cars. Electric-vehicle plates are not only faster to get; they’re free.
    Pie chart showing where Lithium-ion batteries are made
    2020 forecast from The Wall Street Journal

    “The world needs a different way of powering the economy,” says Bill Russo, CEO of the Shanghai consultancy firm Automobility. “China recognizes it can’t be dependent on fossil fuels—it will choke on its own fumes.””

    • Hi Chang,

      Two things are being conflated here: The pollution which is choking China – and “greenhouse gases,” which are not.

      Carbon dioxide has no bearing whatsoever on smog/air pollution. It is the other poorly controlled (in China) industrial effluvia which are the problem.

      It is alleged that C02 causes catastrophic “climate change.” This allegation is grossly overstated and poorly supported scientifically and in any event, your problems are not caused by C02 and so going electric isn’t going to ameliorate them.

      And besides, the Chinese can afford $40,000-plus EVs in less than Americans can.

    • Chang, what you describe is not a “trend”. It is government coercion/tyranny. A “trend” is when people do something because they choose to; what the article describes, is something that inflicted on people in order to alter their behavior- in this case, essentially forcing them to buy inferior cars, for a bogus reason.

      It would be a “trend” if people of their own volition went into a car dealership and said “Is this all you have; ICE cars? I want an electric!” without being prodded and penalized by the government to make that choice.

      Just like air bags and back-up cameras which are now mandated in American cars. We didn’t ask for it. The car manufacturers didn’t start putting them in every car because people were walking into the dealerships asking for such things; they put them in every car because the government mandates it, and we are forced to pay for them, even if we don’t want them and or they kill us.

      Very few people of their own volition want electric cars. Who wants to pay double or more what an ICE car costs, for a car that has a gimped range; takes hours to refuel; will need very expensive battery repl;acement down the road; and is a technological glitchy nightmare because of all it’s electronic and technology, thus rendering it obsolete and economically unviable much sooner than the traditional ICE car? Only rich, virtue-signaling wacky libtards want that.

  2. As a young fräulein I learned to drive and survive in icy conditions by taking the family KdF-Wagen out onto a frozen Minnesota lake and performing various violent maneuvers—steering and braking—and observing the consequences thereof. The experiences thus garnered have stood me in good stead for nigh-on fifty years now. (Damned good fun, too.)

    It would be interesting to do the same with one of these “self-driving” vehicles and see how the “AI” handles it; or whether it can indeed learn anything at all.

  3. If the same drivers manual is being used to study for the written test, and the test is honestly scored, the only place where dumbing down can exist is in the driving test. Since everyone has to pass, essentially, the same driving test to get their first license, it is apparent that what is being dumbed down are the drivers after they have passed the driving test, when they generally neglect to obey most traffic laws and the police neglect enforcing them.

    • Might have some vailidity and from what I’ve seen most drivers get away with a lot, thus reinforcing their incompetence.
      HOWEVER… there is a part of the current equation that is often overlooked: most states now MANDATE that formal for-hire driver instruction be the ONLY way, or at least must be completed, prior to first license most times for those under 18. SO.. Suzie wants to learn how to drive, Dad can’t legally teach her, and/or Dad canot be ONLY teacher, the “school” MUST get their shot… but most kids learn driver’s ed at or through their school. Commercial for hire instructors. Maybe this planis OK.. but the RUB comes in when one considers WHO does the testing….. THE INSTRUCTORS!!!! And guess what? Nearly every driving school GUARANTEES the piece of paper in her pocket when they’re done…. so WHERE is the incentive to turn out high quality drivers? Nowhere. When Suzie Space Case is a problem, the instructor does not want to spend the extra time to overs=come the difficulties or faiings. No incentive. Its all about the dough ray me….. more time with SUzie means less time with a NEW student that pays again… he’s already GOT Suzies’ bucks. Think about it…. THAT is why the mandated formal for hire training is sich a rotten idea. Dad will keep working with her till she’s got it.. cause Daddy wants his Darlin Baby Furl to come homoe everty night in one piece, not die stupid cause she did not learn the needed skills. Instructor Smith? Why should HE care? Get her OUTTA here somehow, and get in another body with another fat money poke.
      ANY TIME government mandate anything, we get more of it, and the quality goes down in inverse proportion to the rising of the price for the anything in view.

      • Same as the gun laws in Canada.

        Instructor teaches the class, administers the test and gives you a form stamped ‘pass’ to send in to get a license.

        Sounds OK. But the class I took had a woman who did not understand the different types of actions, did not understand the difference between rim fire and center fire and would put her finger directly on the trigger when handling a gun. Every time.

        This was after the lessons and the instructor repeatedly explaining that the finger should never be in the trigger guard unless ready to fire. She simply would not grasp the concept.

        He coached her through the entire test, nod and wink style.

        She now has a gun license even though there is no way in hell she should be allowed near a firearm and would certainly fail the test if she took it tomorrow.

        It is all bureaucratic theater.

    • Hi Vonu,

      These so-called driving tests have little to do with actually driving; they are mostly concerned with testing whether the applicant is a good Clover who has memorized all the laws (and cant) associated with driving.

      • What else would a driving test concocted and conducted by a government agency test but its rules? If they really wanted to enforce their rules, they’d have totally unmarked cars follow those who do not obey the laws until several instances are documented on video and then have a marked enforcer pull over and ticket the mass offender with enough offenses to easily terminate their license. The whole program could be easily supported by the forfeitures charged by the administrative driver license court, which would report any non-compliance to the insurance agency covering such. Then a single stop, for driving without a license and/or insurance would ensure the removal of the miscreant from the road and the in rem seizure of their vehicle.
        I would support all of this because I would never fall prey to it, having a 30 year clean CDL preceded by a 15+ clean drivers license.
        You have just destroyed what I thought a clover was, so could you kindly redefine it?

        • Hi Vonu,

          “Then a single stop, for driving without a license and/or insurance would ensure the removal of the miscreant from the road and the in rem seizure of their vehicle. I would support all of this…”

          Lack of a license or insurance are not adequate indicators of a “miscreant” driver. Likewise, failure to “obey the laws” dose not, in itself, warrant punishment. The standard, as Eric tirelessly points out, should be harm caused.


        • Hi Vonu,

          To Hell with all these penny ante rules – many of which are simply arbitrary and often mindless – such as the one that demands a full stop at every stop sign, even when it is obvious there is no cross-traffic and so no good reason to waste fuel and time and increase vehicle wear and tear by mindlessly stopping, just because there’s a sign there.

          To Hell with having to get government permission to drive, too.

          And mandatory insurance.

          Instead, leave people alone unless there’s a problem. Defined as harm caused to property or persons. Otherwise, all you’ve got is “he might” and “what if?” – and while I understand that there are close calls – things which could very easily have led to harm caused (but didn’t) I submit it’s preferable to allow that possibility rather than impose the actuality of harm on everyone – because “someone” might.

          • I think what Vonu is getting at is that 100% enforcement would destroy the system. It is the selective enforcement that allows the system to function and live on. If the basis were safety then 100% enforcement would not be an issue. But 100% compliance would create a non-functioning road system. 100% enforcement would cause an uprising.

  4. Some years back I followed the multi yearserialised sagaof a family of six in New England when the parents realised the hash the gunnit skewlz were making of their four kids. Yanked them out and began homeschooling them, and during that year liquidated some large assets, bought a fifty foot ocean sailing ketch (two masts) and worked as a faily to outfit her for a multi year cruise round the world, going where they felt like going next. They wrote about it in installments as they sailed, I believe it was serialised as received in Cruising World magazine.
    This one part fits in this discussion. After about two years of doing this, where they’d spent time in many different countries, interacting with locals and exposed to all sorts of different cultures, etc, they transited the Panama Canal eastbound and sailed across the Caribbean. The kids had learned navigation, continued with their home schooling, etc. The two older ones, 13 year old daughter and 11 year old son, were fully capable of standing their own watches at sea, keeping track of their position, other vessels, etc. This part happened as they neared the main port in the Bermuda. Port protocol included a radio contact at least two hours out, requesting permission to berth, describing vessel, etc. In the wee hours of the morning, well before dawn, the 13 year old was in full command of the boat, singlehanded ly sailing her along just fine. She got on the radio, raised the Harbourmaster, began to make her requests, ask details, etc. She was asked to describe the vessel and crew, did so. At some point the Harbourmaster asked her age… she rsponded “I am tjhirteen”. Well, WHO is in command of ghe vessel? “I am”. Where are your parents? “They are off watch, asleep in their berths.”. What’s wrong with them, that neither fo them are running the vesssel? “Nothing. Its MY watch, and I’m standing it, just like always”. How do you know your position? “I know navigation, and have been plotting our position since I came on watch?. Are you under power, or sail? “We are under sail and have been since we left Panama”. How are YOU handling the vessel alone on watch? “I have been doing it for two years since we left New England southbound around Africa”. Harbourmaster was completely flummoxed.. a THIRTEEN YEAR OLD GIRL alone on watch single handing a fifty foot ketch, and doing so as matter of factly as if she were sailing a ten foot dinghy in a small lake.
    AS they neared the port, of course, the others were awakened as the dawn approached and they sailed in, the 13 year old still at the wheel, giving all the commands to the rest of the crew, and docked her under sail, neat as you please. The Harbourmasters were completely dumbfounded as they watched…… could barely believe their own eyes as she handled the vessel better than most sailors would.

    So, what was that about young kids being incompetent, helpless, unskilled, ignorant? And that “gurlz” can’t DO certain things?

    • I think that I just read about that family on the Lin Pardey website, but it wasn’t about that incident but rather how strange it was for the teens to re-integrate into the idiocracy of modern American high school after several years of a wild and free but responsible life.

      My two dreams in life were horses and deepwater sailing. I got the horses but you can’t do everything I guess … // sigh

    • That is pretty cool. I think kids are more capable than we often give them credit for.

      Aviation was always my thing. When I was about that age, I played Microsoft flight simulator religiously. Could navigate using only the instruments in a 737. If it would have been up to me, I would have gotten my pilots license before my driver’s license.

  5. I love driving and have done my share of zipping around back roads. At the same time, I’m also looking forward to having the option of ordering up a driverless car to take me someplace. I don’t perceive the same threat that you do, Eric, that automated cars will squeeze human-piloted cars off the road. It’s true of course that states are making drivers licenses harder to get (I quickly went cross-eyed when my granddaughter rattled off the many stages of licensing in our state). But kids who are motivated to can still get them. If fewer do today, of their own volition, who am I to criticize them?

    Any day now, hot cars are due to become the next “in” thing with kids, anyway. That should be fun.

    • Hi JdL,

      The reason I perceive the threat is because I’ve come to understand the actuality. They want to control us – as well as mulct us. The automated car is thus a two-fer. And key to this is not allowing an alternative. No opting out (like seat belts, or Obamacare).

      Keep in mind there is almost no market impetus for this stuff. It is almost entirely top-down social engineering.

    • Two of the big ways government and social engineers take power over us is to appeal to people’s desire to just have someone else take care of things for them and to put all sorts of hurdles, hoops, and other obstacles in the way of doing things. The second follows the same lines as the ‘but it is a private company’ censorship model. In that censorship model the government aids certain players that become dominate then those players do the censoring. See you can still build your own company up but you’re disadvantaged. Here with motoring they just make it more and more difficult, expensive, and annoying to have your own private automobile under your control until most people simply give up. Once enough people give up they may even force the matter. It’s about nudging and boiling the frog.

      Through all the early stages people will say ‘but if you’re motivated enough’ then when the ban comes it will be ‘well nobody drives themselves anymore anyway’.

      This process is seen other places too where a change in society is desired by our “betters”, our rulers. Little by little. If you just had more motivation, just man up, whatever, they make the work load more and more knowing full well this amounts to a price increase where people will decide it is not worth the bother.

      • Hi Vonu,

        There is that, certainly. But – for me – the worst thing about these automated cars is the loss of yet more control over what used to be our lives. We’re becoming feed lot cattle.

        We at least used to be free range cattle.

  6. This article reminded me of my joy of driving, since like most everyone here, it was the way I learned also. I did enjoy the account of Mr. O’Polka about his retribution against the entire unleashing of Uncle-appropriate vehicles with motors and algorithms.

    However, there is one possible benefit that could happen (if Uncle and his apparatchiks implements the correct solution [HA!]): If I get drunk somewhere away from home, will my automated vehicle drive me safely home? Or will it drive me to the police station…oops…Law Enforcement Depot? But that’s for another time.

    • Hi Travis,

      Given that you can be arrested for “drunk driving” while sleeping in the backseat of a parked car, I see no reason why a person would not also be subject to arrest for the same thing in an automated car.

      • The (completely twisted) rationale for the sleeping “drunk driver” is that he COULD wake up and start driving. An automated car that the passenger has no way of controlling wouldn’t be subject to that rationale, nor to any other I can think of, even in the micromanaging minds of our rulers. Of course, by saying this I’m tempting Murphy to prove me wrong…

        • Hi JdL,

          Here’s what I think they will claim: The “drunk” not-driver could interfere with the saaaaaaaafe operation of the automated car in some way; perhaps he might open the door and step out, etc.

          You know as well as I that they’ll come up with something along these lines!

            • Sure it’s different, Frog. Now they can not only track your every little movement- but they can even predict your intent and know where you’re going before you get there!

          • eric, I recently learned that a drunk passenger can be charged with drunk driving in many states. Talk about stretching……

            • They’ve been going for that for years. For instance lets say a perfectly sober person is taking a drunk person home and as they move through an intersection with the green signal they get T-boned when a sober driver runs the red signal.

              What is that classified as? Alcohol related. Why? A passenger was drunk.

    • I was hoping that the benefit of automated cars would be the end of revenue collection by our “enforcers”, but actually no – the evolving legal trend is to let AI drive while making the driver still responsible for AIs actions (and blunders).

      • Great input, all! Sounds like we all agree that the Overlords of Saaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaafety will do the exact opposite of the right thing here.

        I would think a better use of resources would be to have those LEO’s solve actual crimes (where some actual injury has occurred) instead of these revenue-enhancement shake-downs. Do they not realize that too many of these police-civilian altercations start from such minor things as burned-out taillights?

        The pathetic thing is that we’ll get neither what we want nor deserve. It will only get more unbearable.

  7. Many valid arguments against automated vehicles. One argument in favor is the huge increase in stupid and aggressive driving on our nation’s highways: incredibly risky passing on two lane roads, drivers determined to drive faster than traffic on the freeway and the associated tailgating and stupid lane changes, widespread determination, attitude of entitlement to exceed the speed limit regardless of weather or traffic conditions, obsession to run the yellow light, complete disregard for curve and construction zone speed limits etc. etc. As a commercial driver these past many years I have had a front row seat to the massive increase in selfishness of American drivers so many of whom will risk the safety of everyone around them to save a couple of minutes of their own precious time. I am pro individual freedom and anti nanny government but there are a lot of drivers out there that are too stupid and too selfish to be making their own driving decisions.

    • Hi Milo,

      I agree with you – but the danger (as always) is imposing a blanket “solution” on everyone, most of them having done nothing to warrant it.

      The argument over guns is analogous. A handful of criminal/irresponsible people cause a problem – and everyone (so the argument runs) is to be treated as a presumptive criminal and forbidden to own/carry a gun.

      The solution – no quote marks, to indicate it’s a sensible and morally valid one – is to hold specific people specifically responsible for any damage/harm they cause to other people or their property. But leave people alone who’ve not caused any damage/harm… no matter how much you might like what they happen to be doing.

      • Eric, watch a video of young gun grabbers. They don’t know shit and have no idea that knife deaths are 5 times gun deaths which include suicide but probably few knife deaths are suicide.
        They have no idea that feet and hand deaths top the list. No idea 110,000 people die each year from taking OTC drugs as prescribed and no idea that malfeasance by medical personnel take 120,000 people each year, my mother being one of that statistic.

        They have no idea handguns are used in over 80% of mass shootings. Most think AR means assault rifle. And while we’re on that subject, I’d add if you want a top of the line AR spend a couple grand and not twice that for a custom and get one of the many models made by Armalite… in Armalite Rifle….duh. They’re a superior product to even some custom rifles.

        Nearly every new rifle I see is made from polymer and black Parkerized alloys regardless of the type simply because nearly all rifles now have free floated barrels.

        The antigun crowd is basically clueless of WHY there is a second amendment.

        If you can afford an ICBM with a nuclear warhead the 2nd Amendment is supposed to enable you to do so. Nowhere in the 2nd Amendment is the word “gun”. Just because the NRA is a posturing bunch of weenies having already accepted the government limits on arms, it doesn’t mean the 2nd Amendment is just speaking of firearms.

        When Trump attacked Syri, Russia didn’t stop the US missiles with ordnance, they did so with digital communication. Everyone is fixated on firearms but that’s not what the 2nd Amendment says.

      • Yes Eric I couldn’t agree more. Unfortunately blanket solutions seem to be the only option for the huge centralized ever expanding government that ours has become. Sadly I don’t see shrinking government anywhere on the horizon.

        • Hi Milo,

          I may be naive, but I think the thing to do is not accept the inevitability of coercive collectivism. While we live and can act, there is always hope.

          I won’t cede the field until I’m forced to – and even then, I hope I have the courage to go down guns blazing and barrels glowing red from the heat.

          Keep in mind: It has always been the case that a committed minority determines how a society rolls.

          Just ask Lenin.

          • Eric,

            We’re too late to the battle. We’ve already lost. Our fellows in arms have gone home.

            Our captors would offers as proof of our defeat, that we buy the licenses; pay the taxes; buy the insurance; abide by their dictates (or are ever so careful if we don’t, to not do so in plain sight). Our actions and long-term plans are altered or pursued with regard to how the enemies decrees will affect them, and how we can best avoid or at least minimize damage.

            Free people don’t live like this; conquered people do.

            We can’t expect defectors from the other side, when most of our own compatriots have given up and have gone over to their side.

            There’s no one to stand with us. The only question is: Do we play kamikaze (Which benefits no one, other than our enemy), or do extricate ourselves from the conquered territory?

            • “or do extricate ourselves from the conquered territory?”

              One world government is the goal. One world government is going to happen. There is nowhere that will be allowed to stay ‘outside’ their control.

              At best, the rural can stay ahead of the encroaching salve farm perimeter. Each in-country move I have made has been further from the city for mainly this reason. Even that is going to end soon in the First World as universal, real time, AI analyzed, total surveillance by the corp-state is only a decade away at the outside. Telescreen on steroids that are on steroids.

              The new de-facto, soon to be enshrined in law no doubt, Privacy=Criminal intent.

              The only (temporary) escape is to live in a country too poor to support a police state. Even then, TPTB will eventually force compliance and an IMF loan to pay for it eventually.

              • Exactly, Froggie!

                That is why the only places of interest to me, are in the third-world- and not the “developing third world”.

                The de-facto One World Government is already largely in place in any places with a large population; and especially ones that contain large cities.

                The places which have not yet embraced any of this BS, will take many decades to do so, because the only ways to establish a state, take either time and money- so as to gradually indoctrinate the residents into a state of compliance, or at least non-resistance; or through violent force and coercion- which usually doesn’t work very well in the long-term, because it then is apparent that there is an enemy, and who exactly that enemy is.

                So, places that are largely wild/still free now, are likely to remain so for at least several decades- as indoctrination to the point of becoming ingrained and self-perpetuating, and or the enticements of various economic “benefits”/enticements take both time and money to establish.

                It’s pretty easy to spot the places which are on track to control/surveillance, as they are the places embracing “progress” and technology and socialism, in the name of “economic development”.

                In the first-world, such is the very pursuit of every government at every level. It has now been well established in just about every place, from big city to small town and rural area- and the few places that still have any vestige of freedom here, are just tightening up the remaining loose ends to comply with the rest of the locales. It spreads like cancer.

                When I first moved here to rural Kentucky 17 years ago, people were still legally smoking in grocery stores, and not wearing seatbelts. Now? They can’t even smoke in bars, and the State Poopers set up roadblocks in the very rural counties to snag those who aren’t yet complying with the seatbelt and “child restraint” BS. 🙁 And perish the thought that my mother (who will be 94 in a few days) should try and get her sleeping pills or blood pressure pills so much as a day early….

                Most of the people are becoming indistinguishable from the New Yorkers I left behind 17 years ago, for the TV and the schools wreak their mind control on all, wherever they are.

                • I hear that Madagascar is still pretty wild (?)

                  I wouldn’t want to go anywhere that I couldn’t sail to, along with a boatload of guns and ammo.

  8. People WILL screw with the autonomous vehicles, just like there are people who just like to f*** with other humans. Just watched a TED talk about a woman who reverse-engineered J-Date to find her perfect man. Her story started with a jerk who took her to an expensive restaurant, ordered a ton of food and skipped out leaving her with a $1300 bill. Why would someone do that? Same reason someone would call 911 and swat another gamer: For the LULZ of course. The added benefit is that in the case of delivery vehicle tipping you might get some free lunch too.

    I don’t understand that sort of behavior, but I’ve witnessed it first hand, many times (although not quite as mean as sticking a blind date with a $1300 dinner). And I believe it is a uniquely US phenomenon, perhaps more Anglo-Saxon because I think it happens in the British Isles too. Hell, I’ll bet a major percentage of Trump voters were just doing it for the LULZ. We have a tradition, nay duty, to knock Dean Wormer and Neidermeyer down a peg. But this isn’t the same thing. It is chaos for chaos’ sake. And there’s really not much difference between the woman hacking J-Date and the jerk who skipped out on her. Except that the woman gets a milquetoast husband, TED talk and a good moral outrage story in polite society, and the man got a great meal for free and boasting rights within his peer group.

    • I wouldn’t call that an Anglo-Saxon thing KiloWatt. Perhaps white people did those things you have mentioned, but it’s usually the blacks and the Hispanics who paint graffiti on buildings, train cars, and semi-truck trailers. I don’t know whether the Indians and the Orientals do any of those things or not. I also don’t know whether these things happen in other countries either.
      These things boil down to a lack of respect for other people and their property! Yet child abuse is rampant in this country, particularly in black families! Hitting/bullying kids is so much easier in the short term than teaching/ disciplining them in other ways. Then there are the parents who let their children run wild. I read somewhere years ago that Countries with low rates of child abuse tend to have a society that is anti-war. Many of the people in this country are pro-war and nationalistic. I guess this comes from having the opinion that foes in other countries can be beaten into being our friends and obeying our government.
      I also object to the disrespect truck drivers and certain other working class people get. Portapotties! Many companies nowadays have no regular restrooms for the truck driving picking up or delivering loads. Amazon is among them! They sometimes do provide portapotties. I bet nobody in their offices has to use them. One company claims that the reason for this is that some truck drivers steal toilet paper. I do not know how much portapotties cost to rent, but I bet the price is higher than for a few rolls of toilet paper. The real reason, I suspect, is because some truck drivers write on bathroom stall walls and urinate with the toilet seat down. This, again, displays the lack of respect for other people and their property! But making all truck drivers use a portapotty because a very small number of them do things like that is a collectivist response. Portapotties are great when no real restrooms are close by, but they are an insult to use otherwise. I bet Donald Trump, other policians, judges, and lawyers have never used one!

      • This isn’t graffiti or vandalism. Gang tagging is an attempt to claim territory/ownership within a cashless and lawless society. LULZ are basically a wanton disregard of societal norms for fun. DOXXing and SWATting take advantage of unsuspecting and naive people who are far too trusting. In the case of doxxing, people who put too much information online, although sometimes it can be for frontier justice. In the case of SWATting they’re just exploiting a loophole in the system that assumes anyone who would call 911 is serious. Just another form of hacking (classic meaning) really. Hacking culture wasn’t about profit motive until someone offered to pay someone for information collected. I once knew someone who collected prerelease movies, and he had such a big collection he couldn’t possibly watch them all. That’s not the point. Like classic hacker culture it is more about the act and “stealing” a file was the evidence that you accomplished something, which is worth far more than money. A one star film that is captured from a server while still in post is an incredible find, far better than downloading a clean 4K copy of Star Wars. Unlocking cars with an antenna and TV amp is a pretty cool hack, and I’ll bet the guy who figured out how to do it never took anything from anyone’s vehicles. It’s an epic hack. And BTW, if your SWAT isn’t streamed live on the Playstation network it doesn’t count.

        We keep hearing about the “Russian hackers” who gamed Facebook to “get Trump elected.” Where are the FBI Most Wanted posters? When will we be invoking our NATO right to require the EU to stop trading with Russia? My guess is that anyone who “hacked” FB only wanted to get Trump in office for the LULZ, and at most hid their tracks through a Russian VPN, assuming this happened at all. Trump himself might be considered the ultimate hacker, except that his motivation seemed to be to get into the most exclusive club on Earth, not LULZ.

        People screwing with self-driving cars are doing it for fun, not malice. It’s too early for the Teamsters et al to launch an attack because the vehicles aren’t more than a conceptual threat at this time. There’s no impact on their income, and no one has been laid off yet. If that were the case we’d see massive retaliation attacks on Uber and Lyft from cabbies first -I have a feeling the smart cabbies became Uber drivers.

        As for the elimination of restrooms, that’s just a budget decision. Outsource janitorial services to the lowest cost solution. Some competitor did it and no one quit, so I guess everyone’s OK with it. Are you going to quit your job because you have to piss in a plastic outhouse? The LULZ are from your coworker tipping it over when someone was inside. Failing to clean up the graffiti implies tacit acceptance. Writing the most hateful statement you can come up with is the LULZ. I put up with more BS from my employer than many of my predecessors but I make more money than they did too. I’m also a lot less loyal than they were too, being much more of a mercenary and not at all interested in singing the company song.

        • I made a mistake KiloWatt in my previous message because I got interrupted by a warehouse person telling me that I was unloaded, so I had to close things up, collect my paperwork, enter the shippers address into my GPS, drive there, tell the forklift operator my load information, and back up to the dock. I lost my train of thought. You are absolutely correct that those things you have mentioned were worse than my examples, although I wonder what evidence you have that all of those things were done by white people who have Anglo-Saxon ancestors. Regardless of your potential answers, my statement about the culturally widespread disrespect for people and their property remains true.
          As to your second paragraph: No. The examples I had given included the fact that the staff of the business had real restrooms to use already. This means that the janitor still had the same bathrooms to clean. The addition of the portapotties for truck drivers means that additional labor had to be hired to service them weekly. It was really stupid of you to try to talk down at me by making it appear as though the issue was that I only wanted a better place to urinate in. You know damned well that the issues were about the times when one has to shit in them. YOU go inside one of those things when it is 110 degrees outside on a breezleess day and probably 140 degrees inside and take a shit. I have done that many times, and in the oil patch, I expected no better options! OTOH, a warehouse with real restrooms for their staff ought to let truck drivers use them too (and most do). Would you be tempted to quit your job if your boss made you the only person is his company to be banned from using the restroom without justification, and provided you with a “fiberglass outhouse” to use and no sink to wash your hands?
          Clearly you are no libertarian!: “Failing to clean up the graffiti implies tacit acceptance”
          No it does not! You are stating that it is OK for people to deface the private property of others, and that it is up to the property owner to clean off that graffiti if he doesn’t want more of it . Absent the state: those people would be forced to leave the property or get shot! They would also have to spent their own money and time removing that paint from what-ever they had defaced! The State hinders justice because presently the owner has to call the cops who probably won’t bother to show up. At best, the cops will only suggest that the owner purchases insurance to cover for that sort of damage, but insurance companies like to raise rates if you try to actually collect a claim. Further, spending time and money to clean up that mess is no guarantee that the place will not get graffiti sprayed on it the very same night. The owner is not allowed to shoot that scumbag or to even to brandish his gun at the aggressor. The State is nearly always THE problem!

      • Brian, those 110 degree days when the Porta potty service is behind or just negligent send me into the pasture if there’s any near. I rarely have used them although it’s not an option.

        A couple of pipeline companies had 2 sets, one set with locks only management had keys to. I used a piece of equipment or my truck to block their view just to piss down the door where you stepped in if they kept me long enough I couldn’t go elsewhere. I thought it the ultimate insult to every one else and the women had their own. They should be incensed since that’s discrimination…..oh yeah, it’s not discrimination when it works for them.

        It was worse for drivers back in the time before Porta potties. Many a time I’ve opened a bathroom door and shut it to walk away trying not to gag and using my other hand to get my hand cleaner for the hand I’d used on the door.

        • Yes, I know 8S. I have taken many a dump out in pastures and forests. In the military, I had to dig cat holes to shit in and bury it when I was done from time to time. I have shit into plastic shopping bags after ensuring they had no holes in them what-so-ever (I was in the truck due to weather and I didn’t want any leaks).. I have always done whatever I had to in order to releave myself.

          • [Pictures Brian blowing into plastic bag like a balloon and inflating it, to check for leaks. One day Brian’s tired, and mistakenly craps first, and then inflates bag….. 😀 ]

    • Online dating is used by some women to get lots of free meals and stuff. Some guy gets angry about it, wants payback, stupidly considers all women the same entity, and then well you get the story you described. Of course the only story anyone makes anything out of is the later.

    • RK, bullies like easy target which can’t fight back, and where there is little immediate chance of getting caught (As I mentioned in another post in the Spandex Harleys comments, as to why cyclists are often the objects of rage and abuse by those whom they’ve done no wrong to).

      It’s adult bullying. Being able to dumbly exercise power over someone/something, by defacing, destroying, pilfering, etc.

      And it certainly isn’t unique to white people. If you’ve spent any time in “the ‘hood”, you’ll see in fact that such bullying is much more overt, common and violent among blacks and browns (but generally not yellows).

  9. I really think one of the main pushes for self driving cars is coming from the Uber/lyfts of the world…. what amazes me is that they are practically everywhere in the world (even landed in cities i couldn’t say the name of properly, but they had Uber), they take a sizeable commission from the drivers, have no overhead to maintain or finance the car….. yet they STILL cant make a profit!!!!

    The only way the will ever be profitable is when they actually get rid of the driver and his cut altogether…. hence the push for self driving cars…. …..

    • I don’t “get it” though, Nasir. If they can’t make a profit not having to own any vehicles or pay any insurance; having few expenses other than paying the drivers a few bucks…and they can’t make a profit, how is having to own or lease, insure, maintain, and fuel fleets of technologically-advanced (delicate, expensive to repair, soon obsolete) vehicles going to help them?

      It’s like taking on a $100/hr. expense to get rid of a $15/hr expense.

      But that’s not surprising. As we’ve seen with most of these tech companies…they don’t seem to think things through very well. We’re heading for a new Dark Age, ’cause all of this stuff is going to come crashing down all at once, one day quite soon. Nothing is done with regard to any viability or long-term sustainability anymore.

      • Hi Nunz,

        Here’s what they (the corporations pushing this and the government) want, in two parts:

        One, they want revolving debt in perpetuity. They do not want you to own your car or anything else for that matter. They want to charge you for each ride and that will cost you more, in the long run, than owning your own car, so more profit for them.

        Two, they want control over transportation. They do not want you in control of your transportation. This goes beyond the obvious dumbing down/prevention of such horrors as “speeding” and failing to come to a complete stop at every stop sign. It also entails knowing every last detail about your movements and – possible – even knowing your conversations inside the automated cage.

        • Absolutely, Eric. It’s about establishing the total control society- and that includes control over our finances, interpersonal relationships, communications, and transportation. And just think how far along they already are on those things!

          Uber and Lyft, et al, desiring automated cars though, to their own detriment, doesn’t make sense from a business/financial perspective though…unless of course, maybe such companies don’t exist for “business”, but are in fact just operatives of the powers that be- which would ‘splain how it is that they could go on for years and even decades not making a profit, and even losing hundreds of millions…and yet continue to exist.

          I’m not saying that such is the case…but it would seem to make a lot of sense and answer a lot of otherwise unanswerable questions, eh?

      • Uber is a fed money spigot funded operation to arrive at a social engineering goal. It’s not supposed to make a profit at least not for now or in the near future. Sure along the way it serves as a wealth transfer device but profit is not the immediate goal. If it’s the last service left standing when the social engineering goal is achieved then great. If the big automakers are, then great. Any way it is sliced the owners get control and are steps closer to the one nation and even one world company town where they own everything and everyone else owns nothing and just rents. That’s the game. It’s been the game for about 150 years. The company town model of human enslavement.

    • Hi Nasir,

      That’s it, exactly. They will make money when we’re forced to buy their services – which is the end goal. And we’ll pay in other ways as well. In time – and loss of the freedom to control our own mobility.

  10. I never wore a seatbelt till I was in my 20’s (when it became law in NY)…much less a freaking car seat!

    One of the best childhood memories I have is a lifelong family friend who was like a father to me, letting me sit on his lap and steer the car when I was 6 or 7. THAT single act of greatness started my love affair with cars and driving! (Same guy also taught me to drive a tractor when I was 7- First on his lap; then by walking alongside as I drove it by myself!)

    There was a 15 year-old girl around the corner from where I now live (She may still be there…but no longer 15) who could drive her family’s dually with a big cattle trailer attached….and even back it like a pro (Could put me to shame!).

    And they call what we are seeing now “progress”? Rather then empowering us and keeping us safer, government is restricting our capabilities; dumbing us down; and exposing us to much greater dangers (Automated cars; airbags; incapable dumbed-down drivers who are taught to just “follow the law” rather than react to the actual circumstances, and who learn at a later age when learning is harder and less effective!).

    Scotty Kilmer brings up a great argument against automated cars too: Mentioning that if we see an erratic driver a ways ahead, we recognize the danger and can make a decision as to what to do- i.e. hang back, or zoom past when a good opportunity presents itself. By contrast, the automated car does not even recognize the danger, let alone calculate in advance how to handle the situation.

    Automated cars are the ultimate dumbed-down drivers!

  11. Well, the minimum thing we can be doing is correcting the wording. I correct people all the time now. Automated vs autonomous. The media, government, car companies etc are deliberately using the wrong word, “autonomous” to describe the computer cars.

    The correct use of the word autonomous is what we have today. Cars we drive ourselves. Cars under our control.

    “Automated” is the computer cars. You will never have complete control of that vehicle, even if you “own” it. At best, you will be in about the same control of it as you do with a personal computer, which is not a lot. As it will do things you don’t want, and it won’t let you do things you want.

  12. Eric, I can easily see how your premise is correct for the masses. I guess I live in a bubble, cause my kids and all their friends like cars, work on them, etc….
    Maybe it was because I had them all running dirtbikes at 6+ and made them fix them when they broke, haha.

  13. Automated and electric cars are also a government effort to herd us all into the cities likely where we’ll be easier to control. Pretty sure guvmint doesnt want country boys with trucks firearms and the ability survive off the grid.

  14. It is crucial to distinguish between automated cars that are part of some high tech taxi fleet, versus fully automated cars that are to serve as our own personal vehicles. The former doesn’t trouble me much, assuming the functional “glitches” can be worked out. The latter spells the end of freedom of mobility.

    If The Overlords don’t want you to go to certain places, you can be sure the automated car will be programmed not to go there.

    If The Overlords don’t want you to go anywhere, the car will be programmed accordingly. If they decide they want to apprehend you, you will be locked in when you enter….and the car probably will drive you right to the entities who wish to imprison you.

    • And it will be all about safety too. Everyone loves to point out that these cars will only operate under ideal conditions. That bug will be fixed by just closing down roads when it snows. Because no one will stick their necks out and say their vehicles are able to run during inclement weather.

  15. Ever notice that it is progress when technology makes stricter or more detailed management of the population possible and those who oppose it are simply opposing progress? Meanwhile if there is a technology that frees people from their managers it is dangerous.

    I’ve seen this thing about people attacking the robot cars as people who oppose progress. Interesting how that works. And then the media is largely silent on the dangers of the robot cars on the road and even testing on the roads. I’ve seen people calling the deaths and injuries the price of progress. Meanwhile if someone can’t manage to tell the accelerator from the brake because the pedals are too close or piles up floor mats such that the accelerator pedal gets stuck or whatever that’s a real danger the automaker is responsible for. Oh the automakers who actually do have problem to fix, usually a complex one of if-then-elses. That’s horrid. Bad evil corporations killing their customers to make an extra nickel. Robot cars and their obvious faults that it is only a matter of time before they kill and then they do? Ah… it’s just the price of progress.

    Interesting how that works.

  16. Similar deal with guns. Raise the legal age to 21, and by that age one has pretty much found other interests than shooting.

    I had my girls shooting at about 10 (nine, maybe?), and driving some by 13 or 14, out in an oil patch in an old Suburban with no power steering and four speed manual!

    The 2 grand-daughters have already shot a gun when they were out here to visit; they were maybe 3 or 4 or 5. They had to stick the butt stock of the .22 single shot under their arm. Number Two was scarily having fun!

    Looking forward to having the 2 girls and 2 boys out west again next year (I hope!): ride horses, shoot guns, drive the jeep (the tractor hasn’t run in years and needs the wheels replaced).

    • so true. i was driving at age 14 in a manual transmission sports car and shooting my dads 22 at age 12 as well. I learned real quick about why we need to wear hearing protection. I was born in 88 but grew up in the country/burbs.

  17. Isn’t the radar of self-driving cars going to conflict with each other? IOW, if they all use the same radar frequency bandwidth, aren’t they going to basically “jam” each others’ radar? Each car will not only get it’s own radar signal reflected off of objects, but it’ll also get reflections of other cars’ radars, so the radar will think an object is far away, then near, then far away again, etc, so that completely messes up the radar.

    How do they plan to prevent this problem?

    BTW, putting self-driving cars on actual roads is a huge crime because they’re obviously endangering the publics’ lives with their experimental unproven tinkering, AND they’re blasting people all around their cars with high-powered radar which is a known fact to be injurious to humans & animals. All these self-driving car companies & their employees should be in jail for many decades. Anyone working in the self-driving car industry should immediately quit because karma is real and justice will be done… they’re racking up alot of BAD KARMA.

  18. On a second note, had an argument with the boss lady recently about car seats. Neighbors and inlaws who have young kids have both happily thrown their kids as old as 4th grade into the state mandated booster seats for retards. I told my wife we didn’t use those growing up so our son won’t either. She brought up the whole saaaaafety argument but I countered that it is her and I’s resonspibility to be safe drivers not forcing our son into some contraption state mandated seat. I remember riding in parent’s vehicles as young as 4 and EGADS! I am still alive today to tell the tale. Hell, an entire generation of millions grew up with NO SEATBELTS and magically are here today still breathing. (same can be said for the state mandated vaccines)

    • The booster seats and other nonsense are often required by law and exist to mitigate the damage that airbags can cause. Because we are to never ever consider that Joan Claybrook and her fellow travelers were dead wrong about the unbelted male standard for airbags. It’s just one contraption and law after another to mitigate the effects of these busybodies overriding engineers.

      • Hi Brent,

        Overriding us, too.

        As others have pointed out already, millions of us grew up never buckled up; having never been placed in a saaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaafety seat. And we lived.

        God help parents today.

        I think one of the biggest disincentives to having kids is having to go through this rigmarole every time you go for a drive with them until they are almost teenagers…

        Strap them into their seat; strap them out of their seat… no more just jump in the car and go.

        It’s depressing.

        • It is depressing.
          At three I was getting myself into the car and putting on my own seat belt. They weren’t like today’s easy ones either as that car was a ’69 Mustang and had manual adjust airplane like seatbelts.

          Recently I came across a graph I saved regarding automobile fatality rate. Basically it’s a steep decline to the mid 1960s then a slow decline into the 80s then essentially a flat line.

          • Hi Brent,

            Yup… I am convinced one of the main reasons behind the declining interest in cars ties in with this. Kids grow up with cars that are mobile cages, basically. They are literally one step removed from being a cat in a carrier carted to the vet’s. Worse, actually, because at least the cat is free inside its carrier.

            How suffocating it must be to have to be strapped in like that all the damned time… with the implicit Fear Programming that goes with it…cars are dangerous, scary things!


            I have noticed this in the teens I know. It is completely unlike it was when we were teens.

            • eric, my generation had a common scar on the forehead where we hit the rear view mirror when the driver had to slam on the brakes and wasn’t able to get the arm up in time to catch you since kids riding standing up in the front seat was common.

              I recall our 1st car with seat belts, a 64 Biscayne. If you wanted to use one you had to go to a great deal of trouble and flip the back of the seat up some to dig the filthy things out from spending their life balled up under the seat. Of course only about half the family children lived to adulthood due to the dangerousness of riding unbelted.?. One of my favorite places to ride in the 57 station wagon was the big aluminum cooler in the back we kept our drinks and food in when going on a 2÷ hour trip.

              Convenience store? Excuse me, what are you talking about? If you ran out of drinks you could stop at a gas station but that was pricey and they didn’t serve iced tea anyway. If you forgot the mustard or mayo or ran out of bread you’d have to catch the next grocery store or General Merchandise store. Those were the only places to get ice anyway and most of us, certainly not all, were spoiled having grown up with a refrigerator or icebox.

              I don’t recall our 1st refrigerator or cookstove since they pre-existed me but recall the luxury of getting a washing machine and later on, a dryer. Damn, we were in awe when we got a little roundish squarish tv. It only got one station and did so poorly even though we had a big antenna on a power pole. I loved that power pole nearly as much as the TV since it had steps on it and the neighbor boy my age and I spent a fair amount of time on the roof. We were quiet, invisible snipers with our Daisy bb guns. My fondest memories of TV was the twice weekly local musical show starring Slim Willett and the West Texas Playboys. I loved to sing Don’t Let The Stars Get in Your Eyes. People began taking their supper at that time before going back to work.

            • My mom is dead because of a seatbelt and an airbag, (the seatbelt trapped her and the airbag knocked her out) however, my Dad lived thru that accident because he would never wear a seatbelt and was able to escape the wrecked vehicle …

              • Sounds as if the airbag was the primary issue.
                The unbelted male standard is why they are so overpowered for many women, children, people wearing seatbelts, anyone smaller than the median male, etc.

                Airbags are designed to protect the median sized man not wearing a seatbelt so he can walk away. Trouble is that amount of power can injure or even kill anyone smaller.

                • The airbag was not the primary issue. When you are restrained in an accident and there is a sudden stoppage of the car, the internal parts of the body keep moving till they hit something solid. Usually the ribs and sternum which then shatter and rip major blood vessels. That is why seat belt restrained motorists die of “internal injuries” even though the belts and bags did their work properly. The dad survived because all of his body was moving at the same time.

                  • You’ve changed the conditions of the problem. 15 yard penalty. Loss of down.
                    Your conditions were “the seatbelt trapped her and the airbag knocked her out”

                    As to the new conditions of moving internal body parts, well they are going to stop almost as hard when the body is stopped by the dash, windshield, tree, rock, ground, whatever. Except now there are also injuries from the external impact.

                    “The dad survived because all of his body was moving at the same time” but didn’t impact the dash and windshield because? Let me have a guess at it, an airbag?

        • The “just one life saved” crowd doesn’t care about what happened, only about what might have happened. Thank goodness none of you were hurt! Didn’t you see the high speed film of the crash test dummies? Didn’t you get your ride on the “convincer” in driving class? Why, just the other day there was a story about a pileup on a snowy highway, that could have been you!

          • I was involved in a snowy pileup as were several other kids when we built a big snowman in the center of an FM road and since people were nice and not knee-jerk dick weeds he lived till mother nature turned him back into water. It made us feel good everyone was able to drive around him. Nobody back then would deliberately run down Frosty.

      • Quite funny this debate….. there are billions of people out in Asia right now living just fine without seatbelts to this very day!! Infact, whenever we travel abroad and my kids get to sit in the car without carseats or even seatbelts – they are just cant believe their luck… This time when we went to see my parents, my dad even took my 6 year old and and let her sit in his lap and drive…..when she got back and told her buddies… none of them could believe it!!

        • When I was a kid, Nasir, my cousin and I used to ride the 60 miles from Long Island to NYC in [say in fearful reverence] the back of a station wagon, as the adults sat and talked in the front and back seats.

          Yet I continue to live!!!!

          I can not even imagine how warped I would have been, had have had to be strapped in…….

          • When we were kids we’d ride on the open tailgate of a station wagon with our feet almost dragging on the road (local roads, not highways). Anyone doing that nowadays would probably get a full on swat team response.

            • Hi Mike,

              My experience as well- being a kid, riding in a station wagon or truck owned by one of my friend’s parents, unbuckled, tailgate down, our feet hanging in the breeze.

              Yes, of course – there is always the chance something could go wrong. But as with so many things in life, there is also another side to consider. What is gained. The experience of freedom, the lack of constraint – the sheer effing enjoyment of it.

              This notion that saaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaafety ought to be the overriding consideration is insane. Or at least, it is the value of some people – and not everyone – and those some people have no right to impose their values on others, whom are not their property.

              • Hey Eric,

                “This notion that saaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaafety ought to be the overriding consideration is insane.”

                It’s not only insane, it’s dangerous, both physically and emotionally. Modern helicopter parenting is harmful to children. Without rigorous play, proper bone density does not occur in the developing skeleton. The system responds to stress, without it, the bones do not attain full strength. This process occurs up to full growth, after which there is little one can do. At best, one can maintain bone strength, one cannot improve it after this period. So, a generation of sedentary children will likely be enfeebled long before they otherwise would have been.

                Likewise, structured activities retard the emotional and psychological growth of children. Unstructured play is essential. Through it children learn cooperation and conflict resolution. They find out that their wants are often frustrated and learn how to deal with that. They learn independence and develop confidence. Without it they become, well look at any college campus. Many are reduced to shrieking hysterics at the mere thought that someone may say something they don’t like. What’s worse, far from understanding that they have been mentally crippled, they consider their pathological sensitivity to be a moral virtue.

                Anyone concerned about this should check out the remarkable Lenore Skenazy.



                  • Hey Brazos,

                    Yes, the organization is sorely needed. Lenore is an unlikely activist. When her son was 9 years old she agreed to let him navigate the NYC subway system on his own (after teaching/familiarization). The experience was so positive for both of them that she blogged about it, encouraging other parents to recognize the abilities of their children.

                    Well, that’s when the shit-storm started. She was vilified as America’s worst mom, some lunatics even thought she should be arrested. But, unlike many, she did not back down, she doubled down and pointed out the irrational and dangerous nature of her critics hysterical assertions. This is another reason we should admire her: never back down or apologize to these people, as they will only hound you further. The only way to win is to stray true and tell them to fuck off (though she would not use those words).


                    • My now 80 something year old uncle was going to Yankees games via bus & subway (from Jersey) starting at about age 9 (sometimes with friends). It was completely normal back then.

                    • Hi Jeremy,

                      As anyone who is a Gen X’er or older can attest, it was once upon a time routine for kids as young as seven or eight to play/explore outside and generally do their own thing – free of any adult supervision – for hours on end. As soon as they got home from school, until it got dark. All day Saturday – again, until it got dark.

                      This was the normal – and American Rockwell – experience until the ’90s.

                      Since then, kids being allowed to develop their independence, entertain themselves, explore and so on has been pathologized by the Safety Cult. Which has turned both kids and their parents into neurotic wrecks, in a state of perpetual Fear about What Might Happen.

                      It is sickening – and very sad.

                    • In the 30’s, my mother at age 11, in the heart of NYC used to walk to Central Park, after dark, all the time. The thought of it being abnormal, or that anything nefarious might happen, wasn’t even an issue. It was normal life.

                      In the 40’s and 50’s in NYC, my grandmother’s neighbors would leave their babies out in front of the house, on the stoop or sidewalk, in their carriage, alone, for fresh air.

              • Hey Eric,

                Whenever “safety” comes up in conversation, I always say, “I think safety third is about right”.

                Many people think I’m joking. In some cases this quip has lead to very good conversations about trade-offs, rational risk assessment, etc…


                • Hi Jeremy,


                  “Safety” is such a subjective thing – which is one reason why it ought to be an individually decided thing. I do many things which others might consider “unsafe,” including solo backpacking trips, weight lifting and (of course) riding motorcycles. But the risk is mine to evaluate – and to assume. Everyone else has the same natural right. And no one has any right to presume to decide for someone else what’s “safe” – and not.

                  • Hey Eric, Tionico and Nunz,

                    While busybodies have always considered themselves to be virtuous, there was a time when most Americans understood them for what they are: petty, vengeful, wanna be tyrants; and treated them with scorn.

                    Now that these cretins have achieved real power, both politically and socially, no area of life is safe from them; and most seem too cowed to fight back. The concerns of busybodies were once mostly confined to the actions of others, but now we have psychic busybodies who insist that even our thoughts must be subject to their will.

                    One of the reasons I have grown to despise democracy is that this system attracts and empowers those who are pathologically concerned with the behavior and thoughts of others.

                    C.S. Lewis nailed it a long time ago:

                    “Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.”


                • The TV host Mike Rowe (Dirty Jobs) always makes this point as well. If safety is “first” all the time, you’re generally going to end up doing nothing.

                  • Hey Rich,

                    The irony of the “safety first” cult is that it’s not safe. My above post argues that modern parenting actually harms children. Parents, terrified by phantom threats, invasive laws, sensationalist media and loathsome busybodies, behave in a way that is known to cause harm (at least to those who study it) because they fear that which will almost certainly not happen.

                    Humans are strange creatures.


                    • The media and the institutions make the threat seem common and certain. Government has to protect us from things or people might figure out they don’t need it or much much much less of it.

                    • Friends of mine had lived, with their two daughters, five and maybe two years old, livedin Ecuador for abouteight years.. the second was born there. This takes place on her first trip back to the US. they flew from Quito to somewhere, then into LAX to catch their last leg to Seattle. As they passed through LAX they had to collect all their stuff and suffer the debacle of Customs. Meaning they had ALL their travel stuff with them. He snagged an abandoned rental baggage cart, piled their suitcaseson, their kids were VERY weary at that point, so he took three of their heavy alpaca wool blankets, and made a “nest” on top of all their stuff, piled high, and slogged onward. As they worked their way through the airport, some nagging nannie type got in my friend’s face big time.. YOU ARE ENDANGERING YOUR POOR CHILDREN WHO WILL BE SCARRed FoR LIFE FROM THE DANGER YOU ARE PUTTING THEM THJROUGH> YOU CANNOT LET THEM RIDE ON THAT BAGGAGE CART.
                      He was stunned… so stunned in fact he began “responding” in spanish just to make her go away. Asked the kids something in spanish and they responded in same. She huffed and puffed and scurried away muttering oaths about how insane foreigners are. After she got out of earshot, all four of them had a good laugh. If that busybody had seen those two girls traipsing through an outdoor market high up in the Andes, on their own, climbing all over everything, meeting and talking with local strangers as with long time friends, sampling foods NOT stored per USDA regulations, then scampering up and down steep mountain trails the nag would likely have died of apoplexy, and good riddance.

                    • Hi Tm

                      That airport scene you described tells all that’s wrong with this country now – and didn’t used to be. Americans – in general – used to loathe and ridicule busybodies and busybodyness. Now, most Americans either are busybodies or they accept busybodyness as normal. This happened over the course of about 50 years. A complete sea-change in attitudes and customs.

                      It is a variant of the broken window argument in re dealing with crime. If you let petty things slide, the big ones start to occur.

                      Well, America allowed busybodyism to enter into the mainstream at a couple of identifiable points over the past 50 years. Nader, Claybrook – seatbelts and air bags. Established the premise that it’s ok to empower buysbodies to define and decree what constitutes “safe” as regards our cars – and our bodies inside those cars. Which are our cars.

                      Then the checkpoints. We let that pass. We should have fought them – physically, if necessary. It would have been possible to stop them, then – and more than just them. Instead, we let it pass – and so let the idea stand that it is acceptable to subject citizens at random to government interrogation/searches for no reason at all – other than a vague assertion that “safety” demands it.

                      Now we must allow our women and children – and ourselves – to be handled in a manner so humiliating and degrading as well as tyrannical just to board an airplane (or attend a major sports event) that would have been considered justification for violent revolt 50 years ago.

                      But it’s okay now, routine.

                      Because busybodyism won.

                    • Wow, Tio! If that isn’t a PERFECT illustration of why this country will never be free…. Uncle has created a whole society of brainwashed mindless programmed fools, who will gladly do his bidding without even realizing that they are doing it; and that they are destroying normal life.

                      Disgusting, isn’t it?!

                      It was brilliant of the guy to speak Spanish. Ignorant Americans will either cut a foreigner more slack, or simply not want to deal with the hassle of another language. If he had spoken English…the cops would have been called.

                    • People don’t even understand that these submission rituals and the arbitrary nature of government authority in travel is the thing to be afraid of, not the plane crashing.

                      Just look at what China is doing now. Holding people because they are from Canada because Canada arrested a wealthy Chinese citizen for the empire.

                      If you tell people your concern over the TSA or government (foreign or domestic) they look at you like you’re crazy. They have no clue how little it takes to have a big problem and that little bit may be entirely out of your control.

              • Hey Eric,

                Yep, on weekends, with our bikes, our “circle of freedom” sometimes reached 20+ miles.

                Anyway, to illustrate how much things have changed, I grew up during this scare:


                All of our parents discussed this with us and told us to be careful, don’t get in a car, approach a beckoning stranger, etc… Not one of my friends was told to stay home or only venture out with adult supervision. We all carried on as normal, just exercised a little more caution.


              • Back seat hell, Eric! Dad had me riding on the hood of his 67 squareback as he and mom pleasure drove on dirt roads through the Black Hills. That channel between the rounded hood and the front fender held a 6 year old kid just fine and it was, I assure you, a wonderful experience. Fresh air, pine trees, and a sensation of freedom and mastery of the natural world make for magnificent memories.

            • Mike, no shit. We did same but not often because of the dirt factor. We mostly rode in the back of the pickup and preferred it to being in the cab with adults. We were still doing so in the 80s.

              We had some awesome steel lawn chairs that the entire frame was a spring providing plenty comfy ride in the bed and religiously used them at the drive in theaters.

              A big cooler of beer and it beat the walk in theaters all to pieces. Park in the back not to block those less fortunate in cars and had the added advantage of being able to burn one without offending the ad hole crowd. I was barely able to believe it when state law outlawed it. Of course on rural roads we did it anyway…..and still would if everybody didn’t have a pussy that made them hate road hunters.

            • Haha – I can remember riding in the back of my moms station wagon in the 80s, or even in the back of a pickup as late as the early 90s as kids…. can’t imagine how quick my ass would be hauled to jail if I did this today with my kids !!!!

              • Nasir, back in the 90’s when I still lived in Hell….I mean New York- where it was already long illegal to ride in the back of a pick’up- I’m stopped at a light with my turn signal on, and this group of young teens run up to me ask “Are you heading towards the lake? Can we hitch a ride?” So I say ‘yes’ and they all pile into the bed of my truck.

                I ask where they’re going, and it was a little ways past where I was gonna turn off, but what the hey, I volunteered to take them all the way anyway.

                Just as we pull up to a light where I would normally have turned- but not too far from where they were going, I see a cop a ways back in my mirror. I knew these kids had pot on them, too.

                So I said to them: “Guy, A there’s a cop heading right for us, and it’s illegal to ride in the back of a pick-up in NY!”.

                They scattered so fast it was amazing, but not before offering me a “tip” of the green variety!

                To think….we were involved in highly ‘criminal’ activity!!!! How sick is that?!

          • Hiya Nunz,

            I am certain this strapping in business was contrived to condition the young to dislike cars and driving; if it was not so contrived, it has had the same effect.

            No one wants to be tied down like an animal. And then isolated from everyone else in the car.

            If I ever have kids, they will ride in the car as I did. And having kids might be the one inducement that gets me to seriously consider leaving this creeping Gulag for somewhere that’s at least more free in terms of the little things that, collectively, add up to a lot.

            • Amen, Eric! NEVER have kids here! The state just uses them as weapons against you; and THEY(the state) have more say over your kids than you do. Have kids here, and they’ve got you for the rest of your life[ you’re neutralized- the state then has the ultimate item to hold for ransom- not to mention (as you already know) the divorce laws and fambly courts, so when “she” leaves (as most will these days..unless ya kill ’em first! 😉 ) you have 50% or less say over the kids’ lives, and they get shuffled liked a pair of jokers from place to place, having no permanent secure home life.

              In my very rural one traffic light county, most of the rural folks weren’t messing with car seats and seatbelts…. So what’d local Uncle do? Now they regularly set up “check points” in this county and others- “areas where there was low compliance with seatbelt and car seat laws”…..

              They will not leave us one iota of the remotest part of this country where we can escape their grasp! They have code enforcement and pigs with radar in the most barren stretches of desert in CA and AZ….

              Why anyone would bring another innocent life into this mess; where we are not free; just another tax slave in training, or alternately, fodder for the prison industry, is beyond me.

              And one thing to consider too: While a lot of the foreign women who come here are seeking to become just like American women- liberated and materialistic bitches- many of the ones who stay in their own countries are still much more traditional….and would consider someone like yourself to be a great catch- even much younger ones who aren’t used up, worn-out wrecks, addled by long-term drug problems and tattoos and pierced body parts!

              There’s hope for you yet, my friend!

              Don’t waste your time in this dead-end dying country. You’re youinger than I- and i can tell ya, you only get older.

              I can tell ya, whether moving from a metro area here, to the sticks, or from here to Bumblephukistan, the only regrets you’ll have is that ya didn’t do it much sooner!

          • My cousins and I too rode in the back of grandmas station wagon with no seat belts around Texas. And this was in the 90s!

        • So? Without a seat belt I probably wouldn’t be here today. Your choice. Plus I find they help keep me in place when cornering hard etc.

          • Brent, I used a seat belt decades before it was mandated for the reason you just gave. There were times and vehicles I chose not to use them.
            It’s a real PITA to try to drive a pasture road when you’ll be in and out constantly but the pickup never gives up its dinging and light flashing. It’s also a literal PITA to sit on a closed seat belt.

            There was a time you could simply unplug the beeper from the fuse box but now they’re inaccessible and the damn pickup probably wouldn’t run if you messed with it.

            I’d hope someone would be able to turn it off with a scanner and computer but my old Chevy only has a light in the dash easily ignored.

            It also has a place to use the ignition key to turn off the airbag on the passenger side. The wife and I made a pact from day one neither of us would turn it on.

            Air bags are one of the many reasons I am going to find an early 90s pickup I can rebuild, along with the fact they’re simpler easier to work on, more comfortable and more durable. Cruise control, electric windows and locks and cold a/c are the only options I need……and an 8 ft bed.

    • I’m already working on the excuses when the AGW’s pull me over when my future kids aren’t in the retarded seats

      I’ll also be driving manual sports cars w/them as well

      • It is legal in texas in the fact that YOU the driver cannot be pulled over for it alone. If you are caught speeding or some other nefarious moving violation then they can tack it on your ticket. However it seems the ‘child not restrained’ tickets are commonly thrown out by judges. I’m willing to err on the side of freedom…

    • There is another SAAAAAFETY concern that seems to get overlooked with regard to strapping kids into rear facing car seats behind the driver: the kids that are forgotten in the car and left to roast to death in a hot car!!! If your child is on your lap, you are never leaving them behind in a hot car. What of all those kids who suffer those horrific deaths because of the laws mandating safety seats???

      • To the busy bodies it is only a reason for more laws, more technology, and more punishments. They will never accept the blame for what their intrusions cause.

        And speaking about being left in the car. I liked to be left in the car many times when I was a child. Of course back then the windows rolled down and up with a crank. Didn’t need to have the car powered up. If I was hot I rolled the window down. If I was cold I rolled it up.

        • I’ll second that, Brent! Some of the best times of my life were spent waiting in cars- usually by my own choice, because i didn’t want to go where the adults were going. Sometimes, they’d even leave the keys, so I could listen to the radio!

          Funny, I didn’t die. Not even once! I never remember the weather being an issue. We didn’t have A/C at home, and our apartment used to get hotter on some hot days than I ever remember a car with open windows being…..

  19. Dad did the home test with me as my 3 yr older brother went with the local sleepy-eyed-old-man driving school and got the government rigor morale and no practical training. We spoofed many of the driving hours after Dad noticed I was alert enough behind the wheel. At 14 he let me drive back from the deer lease in deep east texas to Houston, 190 miles, in his 92′ F-150. Zero problems, kept up with traffic, signaled when changing lanes, all the logical things. I passed the written test by 1 point/question but you know, that is irrelevant. Hope to do the same with jr some day and hope driving is still legal in 2033.


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