Elon’s “Compelling” New Offer

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Elon Musk has just announced he’s going into the insurance business with Liberty Mutual – a partnership as natural as the getting-together over coffee of the Gambinos and Columbos.

They’re really going into the data-mining and mobility control business; the insurance business is merely the storefront.

The plan, according to Elon, is to offer “compelling” premiums . . . by compelling policyholders to let him (and the sickly-named Liberty) monitor their driving via real-time telemetry – just like the Apollo program.

And surrender it, too – by turning that over to his infamous auto-pilot system.

Which for the record hasn’t exactly got a great record.

Several auto-piloted Teslas have already piloted themselves into fixed barriers and other vehicles as effectively as any reckless human driver.

There have been losses – including of human lives.

At least two lawsuits are currently in process – including one filed by the family of Walter Huang of California, who was killed when his Tesla wandered out its travel lane and then accelerated into a lane divider – without Huang having touched the accelerator pedal or the steering wheel.

Will Elon surcharge himself for this risk?

Shouldn’t the general risk presented by every auto-piloted Tesla be accounted – for since all of them use the same known-to-be-faulty automated driving system that has already resulted in several fatal wrecks?


What’s likely is that everyone driving a Tesla will find themselves paying more to Elon.

This time for the “coverage” rather than for the car. Which is why Elon’s is itching to offer this “compelling” coverage. He needs to figure out a way to generate cash to offset the cash he’s losing on the cars he can’t sell for what it costs him to make them – even with all the subsidies he’s managed to rent-seek from the government.

Which of course gets the money it gives to Elon from us.

But he needs more green – so to speak – and now he has a plan to get it from us directly. The government hasn’t yet issued a fatwa that we have to buy electric cars; we’re just forced to help other people buy them.

But insurance is mandatory.

It’s another form of telemetry – a mainline from our wallets to the coffers of the insurance mafia.

And now, literally.

Because soon it will be impossible to drive without being narced out as a “bad” driver.

Elon will know. The mafia will know.

Every single time you drive even slightly faster than the posted speed limit. Every less-than-complete stop at stop signs; every technically illegal but perfectly reasonable right-on-red.


We are caught between a rock and an expensive place.

Traffic laws are designed to be impossible to obey and be a good driver. Anyone who hews exactly to universally under-posted speed limits will find himself obstructing traffic and creating a hazard. Therefore, almost everyone drives at least slightly faster than the speed limit. It’s illegal – but it’s reasonable.

And safe.

Coming to a complete stop at every stop sign – in the obvious absence of cross-traffic wastes gas as well as time – and increases wear and tear.

So most people don’t. They almost stop – an then proceed. Safe, reasonable – and technically illegal.

Waiting for a red light to change that never changes is mindless – not unsafe.

It’s also illegal to “run” it, regardless.

The true purpose of traffic laws that defy common sense is to create a pretext for mulcting by armed government workers and the insurance mafia.

Everyone knows it – including the AGWs and the mafia.

We play patty cake with the AGW who pulls us over, pretending that we’re sorry while he pretends he’s keeping us saaaaaaaaaaaaaafe by serving as a mobile tax collector.

But the tax collecting has heretofore been incidental – occasional.

Most of the time, we have been able to drive reasonably – if illegally – because AGWs can’t be everywhere all the time.

But Elon can.

Fail to come to a complete stop at every stop sign – and then wait the prescribed amount of time before proceeding – and Elon will know. “Run” a red light that refuses to cycle . . . and Elon will know.

Every single time you “speed” – the moment you do – Elon will know

“Excessive” braking.

“Aggressive” acceleration.

Failing to buckle-up for saaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaafety. Even if you’re only driving down to the mailbox.

Elon will know – and charge, accordingly. He promises to, if the driver operates “in a crazy way.

So much for “ludicrous” speed, eh?

It won’t even be necessary to stop you to mulct you.

Instead of the occasional cop who might catch you not obeying some mindless rule that used to be possible to ignore without consequences, a “connected” car that watches your every move, as you make it – and then reports it.

And not just from Teslas.

This is what the mafia has in mind for all of us. And all new cars have the same telemetry abilities that Teslas do. This is not by accident.

At some point in the near future, it is likely we will have as much freedom to say no to being monitored in real-time, all the time, as we have about saying no to insurance itself.

They will, of course, claim that this will “save us money.” Elon says so.

If so, it will do so by making driving miserable.

Unless, of course, you give up driving.

Give Elon money – or give him control.

Either way, Elon wins.

And we lose. Our money. Our mobility. Our freedom to choose.

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  1. All it takes to ruin a good thing is for government to find a way to stick its nose into the tent.

    Or if not government itself, some goober who thinks it’s a good thing to have a busybody monitoring you all the time and tattling to some government goon. Even if that goon is a computer program.

  2. Oh I bet the people over at Elektreck.co will be gushing with joy on this news! And ready to go prone and “take” the new technology!

  3. Well, having seen several LibMut ads, it’s pretty obvious that they’re marketing to the least intelligent among us. It almost hurts to listen to them.

  4. Hey Eric,

    “The Hilb Group, headquartered in Richmond, Va., has confirmed that three regional executives died in a plane crash near Roatán, Honduras, on Saturday, May 18.

    Rob Miller, regional leader, Hilb Group – New England, and managing director of Dowling & O’Neil Insurance; Brad Post, regional leader, Hilb Group, Tri-State; and Rick Tepel, regional leader, Hilb Group, Mid-Atlantic, and managing director of Raley, Watts & O’Neil, were traveling together on a personal fishing trip in Honduras, according to a Hilb Group spokesperson.

    According to a report by La Prensa, an independent newspaper in Honduras, the single-engine plane crashed off the coast of Roatán, an island about 40 miles off the Honduran coast in the Caribbean. La Prensa reported the plane fell into the sea minutes after taking off from the Roatán Airport. The make of the plane was a Piper PA-32-260, local authorities said.”

    Does Elon like to fish? I hear the fishing in Honduras is to die for

  5. Every year or so I get a letter from my insurance carrier (State Farm) inviting me to take part in a program that might reduce my insurance rates, if I let them spy on me every time I drive. I don’t remember if they make it clear what the mechanism for spying is, but they’re definitely watching speed at all times. Huckster that he is, Elon wants to get in the game himself — and ratchet it up another few notches if possible.

  6. “Instead of the occasional cop who might catch you not obeying some mindless rule that used to be possible to ignore without consequences, a “connected” car that watches your every move, as you make it – and then reports it.”

    Cops will carry readers that will scan your dash board, and instantly generate tickets based on whatever outrages it finds. Finally, they will eliminate the cop and just put readers on intersections and highways…you could get a monthly bill for infractions mailed to your door…along with a new and updated insurance billing! Maybe even automatically generate an appointment at the DMV to have your license restricted or revoked.

    • They’ll never eliminate the pig, ’cause stopping people for traffic “infractions” is the number-one way they nab people for more lucrative “crimes”- such as DUI’s; drug possession; having warrants, etc. etc. – The traffic infraction is the excuse the pig has to pull you over; vet you; interact with you; look into your car; etc. etc.

      The electronically-reported stuff will be in addition to- or maybe just for the insurance companies…or maybe if you get a few uh-ohs in one day….the ins. co. will narc on you to the pigs, and they’ll be waiting for you to go by and intercept you….now having “probable cause” to stop you, even if they didn’t see you doing anything.

      These diabolical bastards are nefariously clever!

  7. At least this scheme is voluntary. And Elon’s self driving software is nowhere near ready to be rolled out. So this is just more Musk hype. You may hate trial lawyers but they know deep pockets and foolish risks when they see it.

    Tesla’s share price is down 40% from recent highs. Elon’s periodic announcements about things that won’t happen soon — if ever — such as running a moon based tourism business, has raised far too many questions about his business focus and Tesla’s long run viability. Trying to shoehorn in some insurance discount is just another car selling gimmick. Insurance companies will offer discounts when the data is in hand that it will save them claim costs. The “mandatory” bit is liability only. Self driving software “might” reduce impaired driver crashes or simple stupidity, but how much is uncertain.

    I expect Tesla to be Chap. 11 soon enough. Musk is running out of promises to hype.

  8. Opp, I doubt we’re ever going to see an Elio in production, due to ever more stringent hoops they must jump through.

    I was watching a video(will try to find it)yesterday of a guy who was predicting businesses that would simply disappear in the next 5-15 years. Car ownership was one. Why would you want to pay for an expensive car when all you need to do is call Uber/Lyft or some such to cheaply(oh yeah?)get where you want to be. He seemed to be fine with it since it made sense…..to him.

    My prediction for automobile ownership is grim and costs of keeping even an older model will become prohibitive. So I guess I see a future where I pay through the nose to register a Class 7 truck. Hopefully, a farm will still qualify for you to drive a smaller truck.

    I thought of a great way to have Uber….for cars. An enclosed trailer with lights and a/c and heat that will hold 3 vehicles….and illegally, their occupants. Fake bills of lading and put a seal on the rear door(don’t know any more than what it says right there ossifer, didn’t load it and won’t unload it since I wasn’t allowed to see it loaded, I’m just hauling it). This could be a service that would work…..till somebody dropped a dime on you. And maybe it would work with a small bus to haul people with the trailer behind.

    I know a guy who took a bus, put in a door as required to separate driver from passengers and hauls people to sporting events and back. They can legally drink if they can’t access the driver. He drops them off right at the stadium where the busses drop off and picks them up when it’s over. He’s up to 3 of them now I heard.

    I’ve considered getting a 30 passenger van, putting nice chairs in it and picking up people to go to the concert/bar nearby and hauling their drunk butts back home. It won’t be cheap but it beats hell out of a DWI.

    • Honey, round up the kids. Let’s go for a nice ride in the country. “O-K, dear, did you call Uber, or shall I?”.

      (No wait… Today, it’d be more like: “You kids wanna go for a ride in the country? Who should we call; Daddy #1, Daddy #2, or daddy #4? (Daddy #3 is in a jail for flagrant non-support, since he got sick and lost his job). Dylan? Kaitlyn? Make sure you have your phones, so you don’t get bored! I have your Medicaid cards, in case you have an allergic reaction to the nasty grass or flowers we may pass; or in case someone is so inconsiderate as to wear cologne!”)

      • Who says you’re permitted travel the country, Prole? Doubleplusungood, that priviledge is allowed for Inner Party officials only. Do you have an ex-London permit? Back to Victory Mansions with you.

        Heard the rumour? Choco ration’s going up – 25 grammes next week!

        • Bah! What is thgis ‘country’ you speak of? And why would you want to leave the security and safety and convenience of the city where everyone works for ‘the common good’; and where all of your needs will be provided for [Needs as determined by the wise bastions of the state] and there are no worries of wild animals or poisonous plants or of people who do not feel the obligation to be under the state’s control for their own and your good?

          The country is nasty business, for rebels, lunatics and enemies of the state!

          • Exactly why I prefer to hang out in said country. Stoplight racing isn’t really a thing anymore so what can you even do for fun in a city? On a regular basis, I mean? Pubcrawl? Go to nightclubs?

            This is in addition to constantly being blocked in on all sides by people you don’t know.

            (Meanwhile, NASCAR is back on broadcast TV and bent on proving why I’m so obsessed with defending street racing. Four stages, good grief! NASCAR has been a spec series in some form since at least the 90s, but their greed has really got the better of them over the last 15 years or so.)

            • What kills me, Chuck, is why people pay TOP DOLLAR to live in those disgusting, ugly, crowded, noisy, smelly cities!

              I mean, I could see if they were the cheap places to live, and those who couldn’t manage to sustain themselves any other way flocked there to survive, for lack of being able to do so anywhere else; but instead, the rich and middle class live in these steel and concrete jungles which are more hospitable to cars than to any forms of life; and can’t even support life- since asphalt and bricks and steel can not sustain any forms of life, but rather must be supported by the countryside remotely…..

              And for that, people pay top dollar and delegate their every decision and right to elected fools and crooks….

              I just don’t get it! When I lived in NY, my whole life was centered around getting out of that place. Yet other people work their lives away to live in that filth…..

              • Money, power, desk work, that sort of thing. Commuting is kind of a chore, so people who aspire to those things seek to live close to them. If you can be amused by the kind of vapid “nightlife” cities support, can stomach the high cost of living, and don’t really care about the countryside or just drive out there a few times a year to ride your bike all over it, then I could easily see how cities could be attractive.

                • I can’t believe the conditions under which people are willing to live- Some 15-foot wide attached rowhouse in what was the slums 15 years ago- $500K- and a crowded smelly 45-minute subway ride to the office 5 miles away- or $2.4M for a similar row-house in the heart of the city- with a view of a brick wall…. And regardless of which one ya choose…bars on the windows, ’cause you have to be in prison, since ‘gun-control’ applies only to law-abiding citizens and not the homies.

                  • Those who live in hellholes such as New York City will never own anything but personal possessions. Ownership of real property is out of the question for almost all New York City dwellers.

                    • Anarchyst,

                      So true! Make that NYC and environs! Left when I was 39, and had never owned a thing!

                      The talking heads keep telling the fools that the blue states are all about “the poor”- LOL- well I guess it’s true,m ’cause you’ll be poor as long as ya live in one; and with little hope of ever digging out from under, thanks to all of the high taxes and uber regulation of everything.

                      People always say “But I can make more money here” LOL! Yeah…but it’s just numbers on paper- because the cost of living is so much higher. I now make a fraction of what I made in NY- but I have a home and land that I own free and clear, with negligible taxes; and more than I’ve ever had- despite working a lot less. And not to mention, a quality of life that no one can have in NY.

                      Friend of mine who is worth a few million- hesitated leaving NY. His wealth is so depleted now…it’s like they took almost everything he had in taxes and fees- and now that he’s finally ouit, and sees how much better life is elsewhere, he’s wishing he would’ve gotten out long ago.

                      People get into a mindset; they don’t want toi leave that which is familiar to them; where they had good times before- no matter how bad it may be now.

                      Frog in the pot. The heat was turned up gradually; they acclimated.

                      Same thing as pertains leaving this stinking country for freer pastures…. People complain, but few leave; Then, when they do, they wish they would have done so sooner instead of squandering all of their time and effort and heartache and wealth.

                      And whether speaking of leaving a hell-hole like NY, or this country, the difference is even more dramatic for those of us who don’t have much- as it makes the difference between living in a squalid apartment vs. having land and a home of our own; living like cattle, vs. living like human beings; Living in an artificial world vs. living amidst nature; etc.

      • Nunzio,

        I don’t know why I even leave the house.

        WTF kind of world are we existing in?

        We are only living to the extent that we are not dead.

        Eudaemonia, it seems, is an other world concept.

        • Tu,

          I have it set up so I need only leave my property on average once a week! I have my own little self-sufficient world here.

          I used to like to explore every nook and cranny when I was young; when there were still unique places; and when you were left alone if you didn’t bother anyone.

          Now? Everywhere is the same; and going “out there” is often at the cost of sacrificing your most basic rights…or fighting for them and not coming back.

          I suspect once I leave the police state, I will again be prompted to explore.

          • Nunzio,

            Even filling up the tank is a freaking chore.

            Inevitably I’m behind the Holmes holding on to his money with the same hand that keeps his pants from falling past his knees. As he straightens out his cash to pay for a grape flavored cigar tube, more of his ass is on display.

            Then on the way out to the pump we have the lady whose ass is too wide to fit through the door. Gotta wait for her to sidestep through the doorway and then catch her breath.

            Back at the car you put the nozzle in and then back to the cashier (who is most likely texting) and ask them to turn on the pump.

            If you don’t hit the prepay on the nose, it’s back in and you get to wait for the scratch off lottery person to gather their $35 winnings from the $100 they invested.

            The only good thing about Hawaii was no state lottery.

            • Oh, the lottery! Ya gotta love it! The gas station makes cash-paying customers stand and wait to pay for a product that they make a little profit on, while some sow who thinks that her vagina is a clown car spends her welfare money playing da numbas, so she’s can get her teefs fixed as birfsday prewsent to herself, and then spend the rest on meth.

              This country has become so insane, I think we’d do better if we stopped in at the loony bin instead of most of the retail stores and gas stations and such!

              • Nunz, I have to wonder….and I’d like to ask Mike Judge if, when he wrote Idiocracy, if he thought it would happen this quickly.

                I pulled into a truckstop/convenience store in Stanton, Tx. one day. I needed to find a particular place and had a hand written note. As I paid for something, fuel I think, I asked a girl checking me out if she could halp me with a local property. Maybe she says, and it was obvious she was a local. I hand her the note, she looked at it and said “I don’t do cursive”.

                I was surprised more that she knew it was cursive than that she couldn’t read it, ok, maybe not, since I had never considered a difference between printing as I mostly do so it can be read by anyone. I left sorta in a daze and “I don’t do cursive” kept running through my head.

                I couldn’t get it off my mind. Of course the guy at the parts house helped me quickly and I was on my way with a new fuel filter.

                When I got to the Santa Rita I handed the note to a guy who was overseeing the job, probably 10-15 years younger than me. He read it and asked why I handed it to him. I said I was wondering if you come across this(describing the encounter with the checkout girl).

                He just smiled and said “yeah, they don’t learn much these days”. No shit Ronnie, they certainly don’t. Those fastfood places don’t have pics of what you order on the register keys for nothing.

                Brawndo, it’s everything you need!!

                • Cursive? Uhh…I know hell, and damn… [-Bart Simpson].

                  Imagine, Eight- it’s as if us older farts have our own secret code!

                  Ha! That reminds me though: On my last trip down here before eggscaping NY, I decided to take a different route home, which involved crossing the Appalachians on a li’l two-lane local road from a small town in KY into VA.

                  It was unclear from the Rand-McNally which road I had to take out of town- but there weren’t many roads, and I was headed in the right general direction.

                  I stop at a gas statiion on the edge of town, on what I presumed to be the right road -it’s a Sunday morning. I walk up to the clerk- a guy- and ask him if I’m on [what ever the # of the highway I needed] the right road. He hasn’t a clue- but points to a group of guys in suits, which I presumed were local church-goers, and says [pointing to the shorter rotund guy] ask him, he’s the mayor”.

                  I ask the mayor. After some polite conversation, and gestures of intellectual searching, he says “I think that [pointing] may be the road- but I’m not 100% sure, as I’ve never been on it”.

                  I leave, and continue driving on the road that I was on- the one I assumed was the right one- and sure enough- it was!

                  • Ahahaha! I’l bet you were on US-460! On a map it looks pretty prominent, but that’s not the reality. I was driving back home to Blacksburg, VA from visiting my kids in Phoenix, and made the same mistake. I made a stop in Bowling Green as I came up from the south off of I-10E. I saw the start of US460 on the map, which in MOST of VA, is a 4-lane highway. However, it starts in KY as a 1 1/2 lane unlined back-road of chip & dip asphalt, winding back and forth through the coal-mines of Grundy, VA for endless miles! The map, however, had shown it as 4-lane from the eastern end of KY all the way to Newport News, VA…….ooooppps!

                    • Nope, nope…. I think it was KY 160, GTC. Once I knew I was on the right road…it wasn’t bad- 2 lane; yellow line; even guardrails! (And awesome views- Didn’t know the Appalachians were that high!).

                      The tricky part was once in VA. working my way northeast to I-81.

                      Stopped at one gast station in VA. -again, no help. So I just figgered it out on my own- and did good.

                      Looking at Google maps now….I’m sorry I threw away my anceint Rand-McNutty….. Could’ve never figured it out on Goo=ghoul!

                  • First mistake was asking a politician for directions! Even if he knew the right way to go he’d hedge and waffle until he had an answer that made you happy, even if it was 180º in the wrong direction.

                    • Ain’t THAT the troof, Ready!

                      Funny thing was: You shoulda seen this town that this guy was mayor of! A dead former mining town- Cumberland, KY.

                      I never saw anything like it; most of the buildings downtown were abandoned; the ones that weren’t abandoned looked like they were preparing for the zombie apocalypse; the pig sty (PD) had bulletproof glass and bars on the windurs…. and the few people ya saw walking around looked like zombies. It felt like ‘the hood’, only I didn’t see one nig.

                      And I mean, I’ve been in dead mining/dead oil towns before- in PA etc. that looked like thius place, minus the zombie apocalypse preparations; zombies; and high crime.

                      Funny thing too, I had remembered seeing an article about this place in National Geographic, from the c. late 70’s/early 80’s- and it had looked really cool; I had always wanted to see it, after having seen the article (It was already in decline then- but I’m attracted to such places!)- so when I saw that I could take a different route back to NY for a change of scenery, AND get to see Cumberland, I was happier than an AGW in an unguarded evidence room!

                      Alas though; the town looked pretty much the same as in the Nat. Geo. article- but somewhere between c.1980 and 2001 cultural decay seems to have caught-up with the people of Appalachia.

                      ‘Least I know to steer clear of the eastern side of KY! -It’s a different world!

                    • Hey RK,

                      Your post reminds me of this scene from “The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser”, one of my favorite movies when I was an artsy, punk rocker in the early 80’s.


                      Still, don’t let that scare you off, it’s hilarious.

                      Hey Tuan, did you ever go to the Punch and Judy theater?


                    • Hey Jeremy,

                      Didn’t Punch get arrested for domestic violence against Judy? (I think it was right around the time that Kukla -of Kukla, Fran & Ollie fame- came out of the closet… 😉 )

                • Eight,

                  “I’d like to ask Mike Judge if, when he wrote Idiocracy, if he thought it would happen this quickly.”

                  Every time I see Fuddruckers I read it as Buttfuckers.

                  And their gift cards are at most checkouts so it happens with some frequency.

                  I was in line at McThings 10 or 12 years ago standing behind a black gal with a bar code tattoo on the back of her neck. As we were waiting for our “fast food” orders, we had a nice long conversation and I asked her where she got her tattoo.

                  Much to my surprise she said prison.

                  Life imitates art.

                  • Jeremy,

                    “Hey Tuan, did you ever go to the Punch and Judy theater?”

                    Just for the Burnin Down the House! tour.

                    But we poor white boys from the west side did frequent Cobo, Roostertail, and occasionally Clutch Cargos. Even had season tickets for the DSO.

                    You ever go to Uncle Sam’s across Telegraph from Farrell’s Ice Cream?

                    • Hey Tuan,

                      I went to Cobo and Clutch Cargo’s (pretty sure I saw Fishbone for the first time there). You saw the Talking Heads at the Punch and Judy, wow. I went to Farrell’s as a kid, never went to Uncle Sam’s.


                    • Jeremy,

                      The Farrell’s/Uncle Sam’s was a date strategy.

                      If a young lady was adept at consuming her ice cream cone, very little alcohol and dancing across the street was necessary for an exceptional evening.

                      That was before a hummer became an instrument of war.

    • Haven’t heard much of anything about Elio in a while. At this point my assumption is that they’re in the “stick a fork in it” stage. The fundamental problem seems to be Elio had no real plan for raising the huge amount of money needed for production. Kind of like the underpants gnomes; Step 1: Collect underpants, Step2: ????, Step 3: Profit!

      It’s quite clear the elites want to herd the proletariat into cities end individual car ownership. It’s hard to call their agenda a conspiracy because they really don’t hide it. Most people just don’t pay attention because they are too busy gushing over the latest crap on the telescreens.

  9. Not exactly on topic Eric but I did witness first hand a bit of the stupidity bought to by modern CAFE standards.

    While in stop and go traffic I was next to a Jeep SUV, not sure of the model but it was a small one and looked very new. This was the traffic where you pull up 10 feet and stop, repeat as needed. Three times I noticed the engine starting when he stepped on the gas to move up, seemed like other times the engine had kept running.

    All that shutting off and cranking the starter to move up 10 or 15 feet cannot be good for longevity can it?

    • Hi Fred,

      It certainly isn’t good for the battery. 12V starter batteries are basically the same today as they were 50 years ago. They were designed to start the engine once – or maybe two or three times. Not a dozen times in succession. This will almost certainly reduce the service life of the battery – and possibly the alternator, which will have to work harder to constantly keep the battery charged up. One or both of these will obviate any incremental fuel savings – and leaving aside the unpleasant paint-shaker shuddering… .

      Also: Unless the vehicle has electrically-driven AC, you lose AC when the engine cycles off.

  10. http://investmentresearchdynamics.com/more-evidence-tesla-is-in-a-death-spiral/

    Tesla’s Solar City business was given $750 million in State subsidies to build the plant in NY in exchange for employing at least 1,460 people and spending $500 million per yer in the State over 10 years.

    The factory employs far less than the 1,460 required and the State has no hope of ever seeing the $500 million per year.

    So they lose the subsidies, right? LOL, not likely.
    Keep paying your taxes though…..

  11. Great point about not being able to obey the laws of driving. Vehicles are becoming like jails. You have less control and some eye in the sky or snoop in government will know and control your every move. Musk may be a visionary, but he is still a liberal idiot wanting to serve us on a platter to the dictatorial government. That is a slick move to join up with an insurance company…it’s just more legerdemain designed to gain more control. We see it everywhere from Big Tech, Big Banking, Big Pharma and numerous other institutions. I want no part of it.

    • Amen, Tom!

      I don’t get the Elon Worship. He struck gold with PayPal. Ok, good for him. And for us. A useful service; not a rent-seeking scam.

      But his EV venture is – obviously.

      How did we arrive at the point where it’s “cool” for rich virtue-signalers to mulct working people… and get cheered by liberals?

      • eric, liberals don’t work….or don’t work much from what I see. Oh, I know there’s the ones who knock back large 6 figure salaries but those you see protesting are living off someone else’s dime, such as their liberal, make too much money for what they do parents.

        Damn, if I’d only got a degree in psychology I could be sitting back, smoking a pipe and going, a Pat Bedard used to say “mmmmm, mmmmm,”.

        I once with a friend whose parents sent him to a psychodelic, wait, psycho doctor cause the guy was taking speed. He wanted me to go and I didn’t really want to but needed some parts and it was 130 miles I wouldn’t have to pay for and get some free beer and food….so I went. He was in a chair that screamed “I’m damned important and don’t forget it”. He never moved, just sat and judged and made some gutteral noises between questions. He turned to me and asked, not what I did for a living but if I took speed also. Not to speak of I said since I’m too speedy anyway and have to watch my coffee intake. Never? he said. Well, I will take a bit of something on a rare occasion I’m sleepy and have to get a load somewhere at a specific time and am tired. I didn’t mean a few times a week or a month. I meant what I said, on a rare occasion. I don’t, didn’t like speed, fairly simply thing. He looked me over and said “Well, you’ll be dead in a year”. I quit listening after that. He was a pompous ass and if it hadn’t been for my friend, I would have told him same. Yep, every trucker who ever took the occasional dose of stimulant to stay away, opposed to going to sleep at the wheel, are all dead, not a one of them left.

        It would be nice to know everything. I put two spoonfuls of coffee in a coffee cup this morning, the one I drink ACV and honey and water from. I then dumped it in the French press and chided myself. That speed is just now starting to take effect. Actually, I had other things on my mind such as Two Tone, who I haven’t seen in 3 days. Not likely he’s alive.

      • The first time I heard mention of Musk-Rat, was overhearing someone’s conversation and them praising the guy because “everything that guy touches turns to gold”. Before learning anything else, my first impression was that E-Loon was a con-artist. Additionally, these people praising him were the new patsies with too much spare cash, and desperately need to be relieved of it ASAP! This was before my learning of any of his actual con-jobs, even. I find it ironic that people often will say someone has the “Midas Touch” about someone who is ridiculously wealthy, as if it were a great accomplishment. If memory serves me, the story of “King Midas and The Golden Touch” was a precautionary tale warning of the folly and misery of excessive wealth.
        People can really be so damned stupid, and so incredibly often!

    • “Vehicles are becoming like jails.”

      More and more every year they are becoming Fourth-Amendment-Free zones; in many states they’re already Second-Amendment-Free zones. Cars are becoming much less like your house and much more like your mailbox — you have to buy it, but from then on it belongs entirely to the government.

      I used to have a pal who worked for Liberty Mutual — or, as he taught us to call it, “Slippery Mutual.” No surprises there.

      • I like driving but the threat of total bankruptcy and jail from a liability incident or some crazy nut police officer really makes me want to give it up entirely. Then theres maintenance liability and insurance. Parking. It sucks. Im at a stage in my life its really stupid to risk it. .Let the lyft or uber driver take all the risk.

    • “Vehicles are becoming like jails.”
      One can see why you may feel this way, but its not really true for everyone.

      Vehicles are becoming like jails for people that cannot service their cars or read the users guide.

      This is not a side-effect of the vehicles or manufacturers, but is the same force which allows Thee The Sheeple to be unaware of the privacy and personal-data implications of computer apps and mobile phones.
      When you just buy a car and hop in it without knowing all the “stuff” it does and what that means for you as a driver, then you are just a Sheep in your monthly payment mobile, and that car is your prison in a number of ways.
      It does not have to be that way, and I bet many here on EPAutos are not the usual Sheep.
      Cars do have more computer parts, but they are also able to be repaired by regular people without access to all the “factory” tools and testers.
      We still have a large industry of private automotive repair businesses which is more than 10X the number of “dealer service centers”. Try as they may, the auto manufacturers have to deal with the private repair places because they know they will be used more often than any dealer service center.
      Also, in the parts industry there are means for private auto techs to report problems with any repair diagrams or processes. This feedback is devoured by the manufacturers to get ideas how to make the cars easier to service. Oddly, the manufacturers don’t get feedback from dealer service centers (other than for technical bulletins), which I surmised was due to them following the repair maps and not actually Thinking to fix the problem. (and they ALL do this, even the high-end autos)

      What this all means is that any initiative to lock us down to the vehicle and its data cannot be accomplished without all parties in the automobile repair and manufacturing industry working toward the same goal.
      When you go to a dealer to get your car repaired, they have very specific equipment that is designed for their line of cars. When you go to a private service center they use generic test equipment which has adapters to fit numerous cars. This is an example of how the dealers would like all repairs to utilize their process and equipment but can’t get manufacturer-specific tools into the hands of the private repair facilities.
      Private repair facilities also do not, and really can not provide manufacturer-specific data on any repairs. The guy at Bob’s garage has no way to know the data format required by a manufacturer, so if he reports any data, it is gleaned from the parts he orders because there is no other data available from the private garage. (Bob can’t get stats from the OBD2 port unless he runs the car with a logger plugged in, but Hyundai can plug in and get some past info about how the car was driven without even starting the car.)

      Here is reality:
      – GPS is not accurate enough, and does not have 100% good data about speed limits in the U.S.
      – Wireless covers 60% of the U.S. land-mass and is not durable enough to ensure 100% data collection from all vehicles.
      – There will always be private repair shops, and they will not get help from any auto manufacturers and will figure out how to repair the car anyway. I will too, as well as millions of others.
      – Any part of our government has shown that it cannot handle the most simple distributed computing platform. It even sucks worse than We The People at password management. They would not be able to build a data collection system which works. They already implemented facial recognition, and it does not work half as well as the country where the technology was purchased from!
      – Car manufacturers have myopia, and rarely make the cars we want. How can they force data collection on every person?

      We have reached a point of complexity in cars and society where we will not make any more significant improvements towards the surveillance society the oligarchy desires. Too much entropy in general, and too much ineptitude running the car companies.

      Stay in control and give them nothing.

      • Chet,

        You’re living in the past.

        Just to touch upon a few inaccuracies from your post:

        On most new cars today, one can not even properly bleed the brakes without access to the manufucturer’s proprietary computer interface. Most automatic transmissions are now sealed; they don’t even have a dipstick; Many engines do not even have an oil dipstick.

        These cars are being made to be disposable; and to keep all but the stealership service department from doing anything but the most basic maintenance to them- largely via the use of non-serviceable parts, and proprietary software.

        True; it seems that whatever the government does, turns into a huge bumblefuck- but that’s only until you realize that the intent of most government programs is in reality, usually the very opposite of that which they state it is.

        When you understand the true aims, intents and motives of what the government does, you will see that what they do is usually very effective.

        For instance: If you look at their pushing of the electric vehicle agenda, it may appear to be a boondoggle, as far as the stated intents of reducing “emissions”; and that there is no infrastructure in place to sustain the use of EVs on a widespread scale, etc.

        But when you realize that the true intent is to rid of us of personal autonomous transportation by making functional traditional cars obsolete through attrition; and by destroying the infrastructure which supports those cars…suddenly their EV agenda (which is designed to fail) makes perfect sense- and we can see hopw effective it is going to be. Just on an emotional level, look how many people are on-board with the idea of EVs, and fail to see it’s shortcomings; and will gladly pay 2 or 3 times the price of a traditional car, if they are able, for an EV which has neither the functionality or durability of a normal car.

        Thus, ‘they’ have won the war before it has even gotten off of the ground, because they have managed to sway the thinking of many millions of people into supporting something which is ultimately the self-interests of those people, but very much for the interests of the rulers.

        True- GPS may not be accurate enough for speed detection (But it can sure track your every move)- but the vehicle’s own OBD II /CAN-bus data CAN effectively and accurately monitor your speed- and if recorded or broadcast….mission accomplished! This technology already exists in all cars built since 1996.

        Just look at how effective their surveillance is at boothless toll bridges/roads now: If you (wisely) don’t have a transponder that allows them to send you a bill for the tolls…they simplky get your data from automatically taking a picture of your license plate as you pass the toll point, and look-up your data and send you a bill.

        And I take no comfort in the inaccuracies in their fiendish systems, as those imnaccuracies never work to our advantage, but rather, to our detriment. (e.g. you never fail to get the bill for the tolls you used; but you may well get a bill for ones you didn’t use; or a bill several times higher than your actual usage; or be considered as the suspect of a crime, merely because their data puts you in a certain place at a certain time)

  12. One should be reading that E-Loon Slogan as “It Will Be Compulsory!” I, personally would take a dime I hadn’t earned from a customer, but then, I guess that guarantees I will never be wealthy either. I don’t regret my choice to live within my means, as I’m sure E-Loon doesn’t regret any of his scams and fraudulent “earnings”.
    I have been blessed with kind and generous customers who have helped me succeed as much as I have helped them, if not more. I don’t suspect E-Loon will ever have to answer for his financial abuse and fraud, much like the Vanderbilts, Rockefellers, Carnegies, and so on. Nor do I see the modern generation of billionaires, E-Loon included, as becoming philanthropists in their twilight years. I wonder if later generations of historians will recognize him as the quintessential 21st Century robber-baron? Probably unlikely, since the push for PC will likely outlaw criticism of any one so ignorantly idolized in this age of technocracy.

    There is a chance, however slim, that he may not be king of the dung-hill forever, though. Remember that REAL engineers and entrepreneurs, such as John DeLorean, and Lee Iacocca also had their magic carpets pulled out from under them when the PTB saw fit. And they actually saved their respective employers with outrageously profitable, useful, and affordable automobiles, JD with Pontiac, and Iacocca with both Ford and Chrysler! I guess maybe the old axiom is true that the nice guy finishes last, and the unscrupulous, charismatic, crooks get to retire in wealth and luxury!

    • Amen, GTC!

      E-loon can keep hisour filthy lucre! He’s nothing but a glorified con-man; a robber-by-proxy. When he serves the purposes of his political masters, he can do no wrong; when he is no longer needed for that role, he will be spit-out- maybe even prosecuted, rather than those whom he serves.

      We, on the other hand, can sleep very well, and have no regrets. We have the joy of reaping the benefits of our fair, simple and honest actions; and the peace of not having compelled anyone; but rather of treating everyone as we desire to be treated- and respecting their own dominion over what is theirs- instead of trying to make it ours; and that of not supporting/participating in a system which uses coercion and violence to force people to do what is against their own will and or best interests.

      No amount of wealth and luxury can replace the joy and peace of mind that the simplest of a direct, honest existence such as we practice begets. E-loon will not even be a footnote of history, but rather, just the modern-day equivalent of a Ron Popeil or Crazy Eddie- only with political connections, and the compulsion of the police state, instead of whacky commercials.

  13. The reason TM is going into the insurance business is because insurance companies are charging ever higher rates to the owners of TM products. The reason is of course Musk’s control freakism. Because parts cannot be easily sourced and TM has them priced to punish anyone who dares not ‘just buy a new one’ the cost to repair a TM automobile is very high. Because TM needs to control who is authorized to work on their products the wait is very long. Which means a lot of rental car expenses. This means a lot of totaled TM cars.

    But wait, there’s more. Because TM will actively work against people who rebuild TM cars the value of the totaled cars at auction is pushed down. Although do to the shortage of parts that pushes it back up. The net result is these cars no matter what the damage are only good for their parts.

    So after the insurance companies do all their math the net result is charge higher premiums. This of course makes it more difficult for TM to sell cars. So Musk has a choice, dial back the control freakism or get into the insurance business.

    We can see where his priorities are.

  14. I thought it was the Onion when I read the headline.


    Given that Tesla has implemented so many cost cutting strategies in the past, it was easy for us to wonder: what’s left to cut?

    That answer is apparently toilet paper. Sources familiar with the matter said that teams at several Tesla facilities are not only skipping ordering office supplies, they’re also skipping on ordering toilet paper. This is forcing some employees to bring toilet paper from home in an effort to help Tesla reduce its overhead.

    In addition, Tesla is also cutting down stipends that it gives its employees for cell phone plans and implementing other “traditional” cost reduction methods.

    I think that should be ‘terminal’ not ‘traditional’.

    • My first full-time “career” job was brought to an end a few weeks after the memo explaining that we’ll all need to pitch in to keep the office tidy after the cleaning service was canceled.

      I learned a lot about business that day.

      • Hi RK,

        I am not always the brightest bulb on the Christmas tree, but I saw what’s here coming back in the ’90s – as regards journalism. I knew then that within a few years, everything would be different – and the time to bail and go independent was now. This was circa 1997 – and I’ve been flying solo ever since.

        The downside, of course, is that I am now a not-so-great copy editor and graphic designer/paginator as well as a writer… and only being paid for the one job.

        • eric, when you do sleep, at least you’re not having a nightmare of someone calling you a presstitute.

          It would seem that many of your former co-workers chucked their honesty after 911. How could anyone with a shred of honesty see shrubco as anything but a bunch of bloodied bandits?

          After BO showed up they had to turn a blind eye to the crap he did.

          Now we have a congress where 75% of the members want to see more war with Syria, Iran and Russia. That’s simply being a whore……a treasonous whore to boot. They think of their electorate as fools to lie to while their real employers make weapons.

    • 😉 “Musk[rat], while speaking to a group of Tesla employees, told them emphatically to “Cut the shit”. When questioned later as to his motives for making the comment, E-loon admitted that he just wanted to lick the knife”. 😉

      • Hi Nunz – and everyone!

        Sorry for being offline for much of today; my left shoulder has been killing me (tendonitis) and I got no sleep last night, which always kills y writing mojo… trying to reboot…

        • Awwww, Eric, buddy, I hope you can take some time to just kick back and relax a little; look at the clouds, and do nothing, and just “be”. Sometimes, we just need some rest or some down-time- physically and mentally!

          Part of the joy of not being chained to the 9-5, is that we can indulge in such things!

          Hope ya feel better!

          • Thanks, Nunz.. gonna try.

            I had to do some down and dirty carpentry… on account of carpenter ants. A sudden effusion of them, everywhere. A day spent pulling boards to find and kill them is what did my shoulder in, I guess. But I think I got the ants. I went Medieval on them!

            • You should have hired some of them instead. They were just doing the jobs American carpenters don’t want to do.

            • eric, I already had my right shoulder fired up but working on big equipment in the first part of the day last Thurs. had it going hard.

              I took a couple ibuprofen(desperate) and then weed-eated for over an hour and then sprayed Roundup. I was switching hands with the wand because both shoulders hurt so badly.

              Yesterday I got out the TENS unit and put 4 pads on the muscles around the shoulder. It really helped and I’m sure I’ll be using it again today.

              Something I hadn’t realized about a TENS unit until 10 years ago was that it would “exercise” your muscles and increase their strength and size. I had my right shoulder going pretty hard and began using it for hours after work every day. I often wore it to bed.

              I highly recommend them to anyone who has joint problems. They won’t rebuild the joint or some such but they do stimulate blood flow in the area and not only help the joint but actually build muscle. They’re fairly cheap these days running less than $150 for a good one.

  15. ***”. by compelling policyholders to let him (and the sickly-named Liberty) monitor their driving via real-time telemetry – just like the Apollo program.”***

    Only, unlike the Apollo Program, you can be sure that this telemetry data WON’T be “lost”.

    I’m actually glad to see this though! This is exactly what virtue-signaling greenies who drink the Tesla Kool-aid deserve! (As well as most other statists). It’s hardly different than what they get when they trade their liberty for convenience when they tolerate being strip-searched to board a plane; or live in a place like CA or NY where their most basic rights are nullified, and they pay uber taxes for the “privilege” of living in such places.

    This is the world that the advocates of slavery build. (And what Tesla driver doesn’t advocate slavery, in the form of subsidies, taxation; the use of violence by the state to impose their will; etc.). Slaves furthering the slave colony- and in a world so bereft of sense, that anyone )even executives) still take this E-loon character seriously despite his inability to accomplish anything other than to use the political system to further loot the taxpayers.

  16. It’s only a matter of time before the “telemetry” in cars is hacked. False data could be inputted to the OBD-II port showing the speed limit instead of the actual vehicle speed.
    Where there is a need, there is a way…

    • Wouldn’t it just be easier to get the bas****ds from implementing this instead of ‘work arounds’ that probably won’t work anyway? The ECU will simply send data showing its been tampered with. Then the ECU will likely brick the car. It could result in you losing your ‘Permission Slip’ from Father to drive along with a hefty fine and possibly jail time.

      • Since this is already being done by John Deere, and others, in the form of proprietary software that requires a “subscription” to run privately owned farm equipment, I would have to say the answer to your question is “apparently not”. At any rate, ALL states already have a regulatory apparatus that is very low-tech and guarantees govt control of your automobile, that being DMV. By State Legislators simply “mandating” whatever they deem “necessary”, they can then hold your plates, driving permit, etc, hostage through the DMV. The omnipresent AGWs will then confiscate (rob you of) any vehicle not “legally” bearing authorized plates, registration, insurance, etc, as well as incarcerate you for doing so without “legal” permission. It IS already being done in the UK and many other European nations. The only reason it is taking so long to coalesce here in the “States” is the mind-numbingly slow bureaucratic processes that our system works through. But to actually stop it? You would have better luck stopping a volcanic lava flow with your bare hands!

        • gtc, I was at the NAPA store earlier to get some JD filters. A guy about my age asked if I was getting some parts for one of those “John Deere’s you don’t own”. I said no, hell no and it won’t ever happen. I said they could stick their proprietary software where the sun don’t shine.

          He began speaking of working on Volvo’s and said their ECU for ABS always went out about 75,000 miles and the replacement cost $645, just for the ABS. Then he asked me about my SR 71 cap and we had some good conversations about that.

          It turned out he was from my county, a year older and went to a different school…in another county. But he was of a family I had known my whole life, just not his part of it. He said he had just bought a place and I asked where. It’s near me and a house and barn I know well.

          It was one of those really weird things but weird in a good way. He and his wife moved from the communist republic of Austin back to near Sylvester, Tx. We had more good conversations about wrenching and cars.

          Not a few minutes later I was in a supermarket and met him again. I later went to Wally where I promptly met him again. It was sorta funny. BTW, he said one day replacing the ECU for a Volvo brake system a guy who was computer savvy wanted to see what was in the original so he took his tamper-proof torx set and took the top off. He said he could buy the parts in it for $50 and it would be good as new so he did and they kept that ECU around as a diagnosis tool. I think we’re gonna be friends, esp. since I knew the other half of the family. He also said he was looking at lifts he could put in the barn/shop so he could work on his toys. “I don’t get around on a creeper like I used to” he said. I was standing there with shoulders and back and foot killing me from crawling under a backhoe and a grander Thursday. Then I got to weedeat for an hour and a half and then held a wand out the pickup door spraying Roundup, my favorite thing to do. I’d change hands every few minutes since both shoulders were hurting from working on big equipment.

          I did screw up when I allowed I could fix this and that when I first went to work. My coworkers both say “I’m no mechanic” and it works for them. I know just what eric’s shoulder feels like or close enough. I’ve had surgery on one and it was hell to recover from. I need it again, on both shoulders but don’t see it in the cards. I could maybe pay for it if my damned taxes weren’t so high. I have to pay for the SJW’s who want to take my country away from me and turn it into a shithole country they’d eventually starve in. I’m amazed at how stupid the liberal mind can be.

          And to think I used to consider myself a liberal, in the vein of Jefferson. They even fucked up the meaning of the word just the way they did with Democrat, which used to be the old conservative “keep foreigners out and taxes low” that morphed into the “other” war party.

    • OBD-II is an open standard – I can synthesize any data I want and feed it to an OBD-II reader, cheaply. I think I could do it for under $50 if I packaged up a small, efficient system built around a Raspberry Pi or something (https://www.raspberrypi.org/).

      The problem is that manufacturers like Tesla have a proprietary system which, if properly encrypted, can not be defeated. There are ways of using cryptography to ensure data isn’t tampered with. If you tamper with it, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) will make you a criminal. The EPA already mandates “sealed”, ECU’s which aren’t user serviceable, and within a few years, you won’t be able to do any modifications to ECU programs. They monitor your emissions system, and the car simply snitches on you if you’ve made changes. The lockdown is ostensibly to prevent people from removing their catalytic converters, but it’s a big hammer, and prevents any kind of modification. You can install an aftermarket ECU, such as many made by EFI, but then you lose integration with stuff like transmission and AWD controllers. It’s a freaking mess.

      As someone who isn’t afraid to dig deep into modern car systems, since it’s peripherally part of my job, I’m finding it increasingly harder as a hobbyist. Only manufacturers will be able to do any car tweaking probably within, oh, five years or so. I wish I was a billionaire who could afford to take a chance running a car company. I’d try producing a simple car, built to modern standards, with no infotainment, but plenty of USB ports everywhere for people to plug in their own, and make all the control logic open to everyone. Naturally, this car would be illegal in the US, but the world is a big place.


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