Automotive Pre-Emption

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New cars do lots of things cars didn’t do in the past – which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Convenience has its merits.

But what about pre-emption?

Cars once did as they were told by their owners – and no more. If you didn’t want the doors to lock or the lights to come on they didn’t – until you locked them or turned them on. You could spin the tires – and lock up the brakes – as you liked.

New cars take those choices away from you – like a parent schooling a child.

It is about to get much worse.

Volvo – which is not-coincidentally owned by the control-freak Chinese – intends to include an upgraded version of its “Volvo on Call” technology in its cars within the next couple of years. What it means is that your Volvo will make a call – about your driving. If the car doesn’t like it – based on data gleaned from sensors which monitor how you drive – the car will slow itself down and park. Where you’ll wait until the car decides to let you drive again.

Assuming it hasn’t called the cops.

Volvo isn’t the only car company intending to install such technology, either. In fact most cars sold since about 2015 already have the technology to monitor – and stymie – your driving.

Soon, they may have even more technology.

New Mexico Senator Tom Udall – along with Senator Rick Scott of Florida – are “calling” for  a new federal law (see here) requiring that all new cars be equipped with passive and active technology to prevent the car from being driven – and stop it while it’s being driven – if sensors detect the presence of alcohol, the amount of that presence tunable to nil by the government-corporate nexus.

Right now, the legal threshold defining presumptive “drunk” driving in most states is a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) of .08 – but several states – such as Utah – want to lower it to .05 or even less. For those under the legal age to drink alcohol, which is 21, any alcohol – even if not actually in the person – constitutes “drunk” driving if it is found inside the car, under “zero tolerance” laws in every state.

Of course, the laws above are antiquated in that they require the overt act before punishment is imposed. No state has yet required that a person who hasn’t been convicted of DWI be required to have alcohol detectors – and ignition interlocks – built into his vehicle just in case he might attempt to drive after drinking.

So old fashioned! The guilty might escape – so let’s make sure the innocent don’t.

That, at any rate, seems to be the thinking of Inner Party members Udall and Scott and (of course) Mothers Against Drunk Driving, which has become Mothers Against Drinking – period.

Which may have merit but then one could just as easily “call” – as they style it – for the abolition of all these distracting touchscreens in cars, which could almost certainly be proved a hazard to concentration at least equal to having had a single beer, glass of wine or mixed drink with dinner – the amount of alcohol sufficient to approach the .05 BAC standard.

Probably more of a hazard, since alcohol may blur one’s vision – when consumed in large quantities – but doesn’t make you take your eyes off the road, as using a touchscreen necessarily does.

Never mind. The usual cognitive dissonance – and selective persecution – applies.

“The issue has a real urgency to it,” Udall asserts – though where the “urgency” he says exists is emanating from is hard to divine. To borrow a phrase delivered once upon a time by The Chimp: Rarely is the question asked  . . . If something is such a needful and good idea, why is it  necessary to force it on people?

Breathalyzers in cars used to be forced on people who had at least been convicted of drunk driving. Udall and Scott want to convict everyone a priori – and punish proactively. He is the secular reincarnation of 13th century papal legate Arnaud Amalric who, when stymied by the problem of the Cathar “heretics” having holed up in a town full of Catholics in good standing ululated – in Latin – Caedite eos. Novit enim Dominus qui sunt eius.

Kill them all – God will know his own.

This is the new legal standard in what’s still called America but no longer is. If someone’s a problem, make everyone pay for it. Even if there isn’t a problem – make them all pay for it. There is money in it. And control. Irresistible catnip to people such as Udall, et al.

“The industry is often resistant to new mandates,” Udall told Reuters. “We want their support but we need to do this whether or not we have it.”

Italics added to emphasize the fangs bared.

This will almost certainly not be necessary, though as the industry hasn’t been “resistant” to new mandates since the mid-’90s, when it made the cynical – and profitable – determination that it could make more money by forcing people to buy the mandated things. Air bags alone have increased the profit margin on every new car by at least $1,000.

In fact, the industry anticipates the mandates – and de facto imposes them before they become de jure.

Examples include Automated Emergency Braking, which has become unavoidable almost in a new car but isn’t – yet – federally mandated.

Who’s “we,” by the way? Udall and Scott really mean they.

We haven’t been consulted. We will simply be told.

If the Udall-Scott bill becomes law, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) will decree “rules for advanced vehicle alcohol detection devices” by 2024.

How will “alcohol” be “detected”? Via touch – sensors built into the surfaces of steering wheels, gear selectors and possibly door handles – and via sampling of the air inside the car. One assumes the sensors will (somehow) be savvy enough to separate the exhalations of passengers from those of drivers.

If not, then a designated driver will find himself in the same peril as the non-drinking driver “sleeping it off” in the back seat of a parked car – for which one can be convicted of “drunk driving.”

Eye movements will also be monitored for signs of “distraction” or “drowsiness” – the parameters established by those who program the technology.

Those parameters will, of course, be both arbitrarily set as well as set at a threshold of low and paralyzingly idiotic pre-emption – in the manner of Automated Emergency Braking and Lane Keep Assist, which “assist” when it isn’t needed or wanted by jamming on the brakes when attempting to pass a slowpoke and jerking the steering wheel in the direction opposite the driver’s chosen path if he hasn’t signaled his intention first.

Our choices are being winnowed to nil by the government-corporate nexus. New cars are becoming holding cells for prisoners who haven’t been charged with anything but who are nonetheless treated as such – and who are increasingly under the omnipresent supervision of electronic see-eye guards, who stand ready to “correct” them for deviating in the slightest from The Rules.

There is probably going to be a tremendous market for older cars – those made before the early 2000s – that operate under our control, which leave the choices to us and don’t scold (or punish) us for not doing things that aren’t anyone else’s business.

Better get one before the rush.

. . .

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150 COMMENTS

  1. Well, Eric, having FINALLY gotten a settlement over my 2014 Focus from Ford and its cynically misnamed “Powershift” dual-clutch transmission, I traded it in over the weekend and drove out in a 2020 (con)Fusion. Not too bad, took my pop’s advice about getting the next trim level above the “stripper”, but no more. Unfortunately, all “ConFusions” are four-bangers, most of ’em 2.0 liter fours, like this one, and fairly much the same plant that was in the Focus, though this one seems to have even better pickup in what is a heavier car. I did test drive the hybrid version, and though I would’ve been happy with it, I wouldn’t have been happy with about $10K more, and not just due to the hybrid running gear and battery, but also it only comes in the upper two of four trim packages (the $10K more being the so-called “Titanium” package, which all but has the driver’s seat give you a ‘hand job’!). I could have gotten a hybrid in the “SEL” package, which would have been about $7K for essentially what I’m driving as of last Saturday, but greater complexity, and CONSIDERABLY less trunk space, not a small thing in what I might transport my “Beloved Snips” and adult children (now NINE between us) and grandkids every now and then. It doesn’t take much calculating to figure that with an estimated 4 mpg better in the city and 2 on the highway, I’d have to own this beast about 20 years and 300K miles before I broke even, but that’s before figuring in the tax credit. Trouble IS…in “Calipornia”, said credit starts phasing out once you’re above a certain taxable income tax, and with our combined income, even with a daughter each in college and still therefore legally dependents, for all practical purposes, non-existent. And the Trump tax changes helped us greatly on the Federal but took back almost all of it on the state level, which is why, once I’m done and “ree-tahr”, at least from regular employment, we’re outta the “Golden” State for good, as we’ve no illusions that it’s OUR gold that Gavin Newsome and his gang of fools are after.

    • I don’t know you but please, don’t move to Texas. We’ve had such a huge influx it’s raised everyone’s taxes just for building roads and other infrastructure. So many of the millions to come here have done everything they could to recreate the fucked up mess they fled from.

      As Ronnie Reagan famously said one time “The nine most terrifying words are” I’m from the government and I’m here to help.

      • I know the feeling, Eight. While I realize there are lots of good people who really hate the socialism that’s imposed on them and truly want something different, what I’ve usually seen is what you describe. It’s amazing how many people flee states like California or New York — states that have become socialist basket cases — yet they don’t get that the very liberal ideals they espouse and treasure are the reason everything’s gone to pot there. So what do they do? They move to some state in the Southeast or Southwest, and they bring all their brilliant ideas with them, and immediately begin working to destroy their new homes! They’re like locusts — all they leave behind them is a wasteland.

        • Heh, that’s why when I escaped from Hell…err…uh…NY, I made sure to pick a place that would not appeal to most other escapees. Most of the other escapees tend to all follow each other to the same few places…which of course, they turn into Little New York all over again.

          Even if the above weren’t true, I would still want to be where other escapees are rare, ’cause who the hell wants to have to live amongst the same nasty pricks that we had for neighbors back there?!

          We do get our share of Shitcagoans and Indianapoloids here, but they’re relatively benign compared to turds from the Jew Yawk and Caliphornya.

          TN is seems to be becoming the latest “go to” place for escapees from both…and that is TOO close for comfort (just 20 miles away!!! Yikes!)

          • Wish I knew of a place where you really could avoid those types, Nunzio (and glad you’re keeping yours quiet). It seems that for every one of those quiet little Mayberry-like towns that still exists, sooner or later Southern Living writes an article about it, some big resort company comes in and buys up all the land, and in five years it’s another Disneyworld.

            • Hi Robert,

              Yup. It’s happening here, where I live… Floyd County, Va. Was a sleepy little town; becoming a tourist destination courtesy of the people who don’t understand that encouraging all these city people to “come and visit” means some will come to stay… and before too long, all the pathologies of the city will be visited upon the sleepy little town.

              I’ve been here almost 20 years and even ten years ago, there was almost no traffic on the main road on a Sunday morning, before the sun came up. Now, I count at least a dozen – which doesn’t sound like much, I realize …

              But it’s a 12-fold increase over ten years ago. I have seen the pattern before. The place is on borrowed time. I see McMansions sprouting and – just up the road from me – a Dollar General. Sure sign of The End.

              The one upside is I’ll make a pile of money on my place, though it’ll pain me to see my land subdivided to make room for a dozen McMansion “estates” on half acre lots.

              But I’ll be able to buy more land, somewhere very far away from the Clovers this time.

              • Sorry to hear about your town, Eric. Sorta like you describe, I can remember sitting on my grandmother’s front porch growing up, watching the cars go by. She’d know just about everybody who passed, and most would wave. You might go 20 or 30 minutes between cars. Now there’s a public school across the road, and the traffic never stops. And it’s like that all over the area where I grew up, in central SC.

                As for Dollar General, maybe there should be a Dollar General Index, like FEMA has for Waffle House. The rule of thumb would be something like, if you see a DG under construction, buy the property across the road, because there’ll be a strip mall with a Starbuck’s and a Panera Bread there in five years.

                • Damned if they haven’t flocked to S. Carolina. It’s close enough to the Mason/Dixon line they can almost see home while they bitch about not having a good steakhouse a few blocks from their private lake house.

                  • Yeah 8, the coastal states are done. Water; warmth; and “cheap” (By northern standards- but now outrageously expensive for the locals who aren’t on a six-figure pension).

                    Heck, the southern coastal states are getting so overcrowded with Yanks, some of ’em are now even braving the cold and going north- Maine is now becoming a thing.

                    I have relatives in VA NC SC GA and FL.

                    No one’s going to AL, MS. AR, KS,…..

                    Good thing about Yanks, is that they’re lazy. They just want to come and move into a condo or McMansion. They’re not gonna carve a place out of a pasture and be the only Yank in the area; they’re like Calf-lick nuns…they only go around in groups!

                    When they start making preparations for condos and McMansions…watch out!!!! (Gotta have decent stores too- they won’t come if thjere’s “nowhere to shop”.

                    • Thank god the wind never quits in west Texas, everyone drives like it’s a race, it rains every now and then even the dirt blows while it rains….when it does.

                      Then there’s the smell of everybody elses money and big rigs that expect you to get out of the way.

                      Over 50 miles between towns freaks them out too and when they get to a town, not a Louis Vitton store to be found. The latest fashions are Wrangler hard starched and creased that go to the ground behind your Tony Lama’s. Carhart western shirts and big belt buckles. Then there’s the fact they can’t see anything but the back of big pickups.

                      You need to be adept to avoiding deer, cattle, horses, hogs and fairly much everything that moves with hooves or feet with claws not to mention all the places the plethora of African animals roam.

                    • Yeah, 8. Trouble with most of the western states, is that most of the people in ’em these days are from somewhere else.

                      It’s a bad thing when ya have a transient population with no roots or tradition in the area, and no family to answer to if they do wrong.

                      Generally a recipe for people behaving their worst (see FL); and the common uniter seems to become the gov’t, which of course takes the place of the fambly and legitimate social institutions.

                      Even MT is on the slide lately. I might’ve gone the but for the cold. Glad now that I didn’t.

                      This country is done, no matter where ya go. There are literally only a handful of little out-of-the-way places left…and they’re in the process of being ruined too (Li’l town near me just got a grant for “Homeland Security”- I shudder to see what type of tyranny they’ll erect with it- in a place where there’s virtually no crime…much less any threat of “terrorism”, other than the kind that comes from badged terrorists).

                      Way I see it, if I’m gonna move, may as well go where the crap isn’t gonna follow me, and from where, once I find a place to settle, I won’t have to move again.

                      Decades ago, I would’ve loved to have settled in the West…but now, in a day when ya’d start a campfire and some ranger would come and piss it out and then fine you….and when they have the equivalent of traffic cops on the trails…and cops with radar on a flat stretch of road with nothing for 50 miles, but a speed limit of 65MPH….what’s the point?

            • Hey Eric & Robert,

              I think what’s helping keep my area good longer, is that it’s not a coastal state; no mountains/resort areas; and is generally hard/inconvenient to get to from the major cities.

              The fact that these were all dry counties around here until just recently helped too.

              2 hours from an airport too- so whether by road or TSA-express….it’s hard for ’em to go “back home” and visit- That’ll keepo most of ’em away, ’cause it’s been my experience that they want to “go back home” to visit and for functions, several times a year. (Remember, the only reason a lot of ’em left, was economics- they still pine for the places they came from, even though they realize that the quality of life is far superior in their new digs, and that their wallet is far healthier.)

              Heh, me? 18 years, and I’ve never been back once! Spat on the damn place as I was leaving!

              • Yeah, the coastal thing is right — the whole East Coast has become an extension of Long Island. I remember when I was living in New York, and started hearing folks from Jersey talk about vacationing in the Outer Banks. I knew it was only a matter of time then.

                Alabama and Mississippi are sounding better and better. (The joke in SC used to be “Thank God for Mississippi!” — because years ago, Mississippi was usually the only state whose public education system ranked lower nationally than SC’s. But now we may have a different reason to give the Creator thanks for that state.)

                • LOL, Robert, I’m from Lawn Guyland.

                  MS was on my list. Never made it there ’cause I found what I was looking for in KY.

                  My mother lived in SC briefly in the 1940’s- in a small town. Things were quite different then; they didn’t like Northerners, and especially Calf-licks! Even the schvatzes had a nattitude towards Yanks!

                  Wish it was still like that. (My mother enjoyed her time there). Now they welcome the Yanks and their money….and the place is losing all of it’s charm (but not the humidity!) and it’s long-time residents.

                  My cousin who lives there lives in a condo on a golf course…. There’s something wrong when you can say “condo on the golf course” and “South Carolina” in the same sentence! About as wrong as saying “KKK meeting in Newark”!

                    • eric, there’s beautiful mountains in Texas. You could brush up on your long distance shooting since you’d probably have to. Mexico is damned close.

                      A funny story about that. Some guys from the high plains(crazy mofo’s)took a couple vehicles to Big Bend and were camped out in a camping area with plenty other people.

                      This one guy who owns about 3 tractor dealerships but won’t ever grow up found one of the other guy’s HK 91 and a couple full mags for it…..early in the morning.

                      The beautiful peace of the park was broken by a .308 being shot one round after the other. People were grabbing up their kids and freaking out.

                      Of course that was 30 years ago or more since you’d be cut down by a DHS chopper these days.

                      He said “I just wanted to see how it shot”. He liked it. Not so much for the other soon to be non-campers.

                      I used to own a 91 and they were great guns but ruined every case that went through them. I sold mine, looking like new since it was for cheap. Next thing I know they have a buffer to keep that from happening……dammit.

                      Back then the only way to go was reloading. Now reloading isn’t any cheaper than buying 1,000 rds of match ammo.

                    • Eric, I never fathomed living far from the ocean…but here I am. There are always trade-offs.

                      If the Appalachians pass for mountains…then you can find as good or better just about anywhere.

                      Sadly, CA. has some of the best real mountains. My uncle lived in a valley nestled between the Sierra-Nevadas and the White Mountains, and I’ve been there, and they were truly impressive- always i the background, no matter where ya were.

                      Going through the Rockies to get there was pretty cool too.

                      I’d be leery of ID though- It’s mostly federal land, with all of the resultant federal goon and agencies; nastier-than-average cops, etc. and a large contingent of escapee Californians…..

                      But yeah, it’s gotta be a beautiful place. I’m hoping to find something like that, but not on US soil…..

        • You just described Travis County, Texas, Robert! Though, there seems to be an innate weird Austin virus zombie thing that can convert even a hardened Cali loons into “Keep Austin Weird” nutcases…

          • Is that virus zombie thing good or bad, Crusty? 🙂

            It IS amusing to see leftist Yankees become NASCAR and SEC football fans, and eating grits and Southern-style BBQ. But scratch the surface, and those old we-know-better-than-you-hicks attitudes reappear.

            Maybe each state in the Southeast should come up with a litmus test for an ex-Yankee now claiming to be a Southerner. Here in South Carolina, it could be eating chitlins. Not sure what a comparable challenge would be in Texas for those Calis flying south …

            • Hi Robert,

              I was born in NY – no fault of mine. Being Southern seems to me as much about attitudes as birth places. I know – and regret knowing – numerous Southerners-by-birth who are as bad as any “yankee” in terms of their values and attitudes. I also know people who were born or raised up North who are as southern as the General Lee.

              • Hi Eric. Yes, I’ve known many people too who were “Southerners at heart” — even if they were born somewhere else. I also lived for many years in the Northeast, and got to know many wonderful people there, from many different backgrounds (I especially loved the old-school Italians from Brooklyn and the Bronx). What I mean by Yankee is more of an attitude — what Prof. Clyde Wilson calls “the Yankee problem.” It’s this attitude that we know better than you do how to run your own life. And though it can come from anywhere — including the South — I’ve seen an awful lot of it emanate from New England (my apologies to any New Englanders that might offend — but I’ll imagine a lot of you would agree as well). And let’s face it — any time outsiders arrive telling everybody else how they ought to live, you’re gonna have problems. No matter where they’re from.

                • Robert, that reminds me…. A few years ago I was down at the courthoiuse renewing my vee-hickle registrations (which takes exactly 2 minutes here- vs. the several hours it used to in NY)- So there’s this 30-something guy in there, who, the way he talked, I can safely assume was from Caliphorny- and he’s ranting to the county clerk how the roads here should have shoulders and sidewalks…yada yada….

                  So why didn’t he just stay in CA. where they have all of those things, and the requisite taxes that pay for them? They don’t think about that!

                  • Well, I’ve wished for a shoulder or sidewalk in S. Carolina. The Texas rigs are longer since we used to haul a lot more weight than the SE would allow. Of course 100 year old bridges did leave something to be desired.

                • Hi Robert, sadly that strain of Puritanism waxes and wanes but never dies. I grew up in NJ and got my EE degree in Boston and ended up staying here because I had a good job, family, friends,etc. Happy hour at bars and restaurants went away years ago with all the hysteria over “drunk driving” and yet when I visit my sister in Florida every place has happy hours and there doesn’t seem to be any more crashes there than anywhere else. I think it was H.L.Mencken who said the Puritans couldn’t stand the thought that someone somewhere could be having fun.

                  • Yous are all right!

                    The NY to Boston corridor used to essentially be California- the source of all tyranny, busybodyness, etc.

                    Then, about 40 years ago, CA. started ramping-up their craziness, as if to out-do NY-MA. -which they now are, but only slightly, as the craziness from the east coast seems to be accelerating again…..

                  • Hi Mike. That’s a great quote from Mencken. Only problem is, it’s in the past tense. The Puritans are still with us, but instead of fretting over sins, they’re worrying about “carbon footprints” and other creeds of their enviro-weenie, Earth-worship, health-obsessed religion called Progressivism. But the idea is the same: You people are enjoying yourselves too much, and I don’t like the way you live. I feel guilty for you, and you must share my guilt. And if I can’t persuade you to live my way (which I never manage to do), I’ll force you to, at gunpoint.

                    The perfect example of their mindset is smoking. Smoking cigarettes is a blue-collar luxury, and they hate it because they hate the people who do it. But smoking pot? That’s cool! Because, again, it’s about the people who engage in the behavior — not the behavior itself. They can preach about health hazards, healthcare costs, etc., all they want, but it all comes down to: I don’t like the people who smoke cigarettes. And I like the people who smoke pot.

              • Yeah, I hear exactly what you are saying. When I moved to Texas 30 something years ago, I would have thought it would have been far more libertarian than it was. In reality it was kind of authoritarian. If anything today, it is fracturing across cultural lines. And the Caucasian population is arguably more libertarian today than it was 20 years ago. Problem is, Caucasians haven’t been reproducing.

                  • Hi Anon,

                    Libertarians want no gun laws at all; at least, no laws in any way forbidding or restricting possession by adults who’ve not done anything to warrant such.

                  • Yes, of course – which is pretty much the way it is/was in the western mountain states from the beginning, at least regarding open carry which is getting less “acceptable” in general but never illegal.

                    But my understanding is that by the time the Peacemaker came out in 1873, handguns were already illegal to carry in TX. Probably that law was ignored for a long time as long as you had the required lack of melanin. Today TX requires a very expensive carry permit process, and you can’t even legally open carry without the permit.

                    Funny that even Kansas which isn’t particularly libertarian in general now has constitutional carry.

                    • As of late, you can conceal-carry here in KY without a permit. I picked the right state! Didn’t see that coming, but sure glad that it did!

                      I had always thought TX was all about guns!

                    • Hell, Brian is in the right state, Missouri, with Constitutional carry. They’re working on it in Texas but of course it doesn’t apply to me, the old outlaw I am. Danger is my middle name ha ha ha.

                    • AFAIK, you can still legally open carry in CO. There was a big court case a few years back where some CS cops hassled some guys at a downtown park and finally got spanked for it. So last I heard it’s still fine in CS if you want to put up with people freaking out. Out in the hills it should still be really fine but there’s other states to visit that aren’t so Californized.

                    • Nunz-

                      I loved living in Kentucky. One of the things I like about the state, that although taxes are high and some of their regulatory agencies are no good, their legislature only meets every two years. Makes implemetation of new laws tricky. It’s beautiful there. If there was work there, I would go.

                    • I’ll tell ya, Swamps, there are indeed some awful nice places here; still places where you can drive 50 miles on a 2-lane state highway without even encountering a traffic light- but lots of purdy scenery.

                      Definitely has remained one of the freest states too- but ya can see the signs of encroachment coming- it’s just a matter of how long, and how much.

                      If not for that creeping encroachment and the fact that the whole country is going to Hell, I’d be content to stay here for the resty of my life.

                      It is actually MUCH much better than anything I could have imagined when I made the decision to move here.

                      I’d always had a nagging toward Montana- but between it being so far, and the cold & snow, I settled here. Now seeing the way MT. is going as of late, I’m really glad I picked KY!

                      Before moving here, I had thought that all my good years were in the past; but really, the last 18 years here have truly been a blessing beyond what I had hoped for.

                    • Nunz – as long as KY’s income tax and property tax (on cars) remains high, I think that KY will stay the way it is. It’s not particularly corporate friendly as the development hasn’t uncontrollably spread past Lexington and Louisville. Elizabethtown is still the same as it was years ago with just a little hotel sprawl here and there. I love getting on the BG and heading towards Bardstown. It’s fun out there.

                    • Hey Swampers,
                      Hmmmm, that’s an interesting perspective. I had never really considered those aspects…but now that ya mention it, I guess it all helps.

                      You’re right too- things don’t change fast here…and that’s a nice change from NY, where nothing stays the same long (New strip mall where the woods used to be, even though 50% of the stores in the existing strips are empty!).

                      Heck, the little town 10 miles from me, was bustling when I moved here; Had traffic on the main street; lots of stores. Now it’s becoming a ghost town (fine by me!)

                      I tend to think that it’s more a case of being that the current generation no longer want to farm, or work in the trades, or work at modest small-town jobs….even though they can live quite nicely, ’cause the cost of living here is low.

                      They all want to go to the bigger town and work at the hospital, or one of the big factories…even though it means commuting, and working in dark chambers where ya never see daylight; or they want to go to the cities, ’cause you know, life is so much better among a see of parking lots belonging to chain restaurants and Starbucks, ’cause “that’s where the money is”….even though it costs exponentially more to live there and the quality of life is nowhere near what it was in the small town/countryside.

                      Then the politicians are so anxious to glom more taxes, they court all sorts of busy-nesses “to bring jobs to the area” [Jobs that nobody wants to work at]- So they lure a dog-food company to come to that little town, and it stinks the place up so much it basically ruined half the town, and has caused a good number of people to move away. As usual…government. Oh, and what taxes? They have to give out such incentives to lure companies to an area that is incoinvenient to get to; and had to improve infrastructure for them……

                      Thank goodness for such incompetence though, ’cause if they knew what they were doing, and this place grew, it would be ruined, and just another clone of everywhere else.

                      Heh, and I drive old vehicles, so the property tax on ’em still comes out a LOT cheaper than what the reg fees would be in NY for ’em.

              • Heh, yeah, I lived the first 39 years of my life in NY- being born to parents who were born and raised a few blocks from Times Square….and I’ve always been a hillbilly Southerner.

                Sad thing is, now the real southerners have daughters who can’t cook, and who shack-up with jigaboos and have their babies, etc.

                The culture of the South is essentially dead. It’s probably more alive in us ex-pat Yanks, who have experienced first-hand the ways of the North, and rejected it; but we make up a infinitesimally small percentage of the fleeing Yanks- most of whom are fleeing only for logistical reasons- i.e. to escape the absurdly high taxes; the high prices that those taxes have created, and the Third-world conditions they have to live under while residing in some of the most expensive places on earth, because of the decades-long influx of invaders whom the politicians they vote for coddle, because they have to replace the human capital which is fleeing.

                There’s only really one culture now in this country- and it comes from Hollywood.

                • Well-said, Nunz… sadly.

                  I have this recurrent fantasy of traveling back to 1861, knowing what I know… and (somehow) preventing the Southern states from getting suckered by Lincoln into firing on Sumter… and invading the North. Idiocy. And for not publishing and disseminating a Thomas Paine-style tract about peaceful separation – as attempted by the American colonists – based on consent of the governed.

                  The CSA was – would have been – far from perfect. But far better than the consolidated (and rabid) union-at-bayonet-point that prevailed.

                  • The south was being starved out with the first act of war by the standards of any country as the North blocked their ports, took their ships and even their crews.

                    They should have gathered a very large force and burnt Washington to the ground first thing though.

                    • Trouble is, the uncivilized barbarians are always more likely to win.

                      Mercenary Northerners with their conscripted angry rabble did things to the South, those in between ’em, and even their own people, that the God-fearing Southerners who were defending their land and families and heritage would never do.

                      As is often the case, nice guys finish last.

                    • Hi Nunz,

                      This is so… even the (rightly) feared Waffen SS refrained from doing what the Red Army did routinely. Which is why the Red Army won WWII.

                    • eric, I don’t know the Red Army would have won without food and materiel from the US.

                      The Brits and US really fucked up on that one. Not only did Stalin send troops to murder entire towns of 20-30,000 people but he starved millions to death because he didn’t feel he was getting his just due(70% of their income). Isn’t that what AOC wants to get from people who make a few million? Dumbass, it’s been tried before and it never works but you can’t use logic with her illogical mind.

                  • I second that wish, Eric — and I agree with most of what you said. But I might take issue with the idea of the South invading the North. The primary definitions of the word invasion imply a desire to conquer or plunder. I’m not a historian, but from what I’ve read, the South had no intention of conquering or plundering the North. Sadly, the same cannot be said of the North.

                    If I’m wrong about the intentions of the CSA, please point me to some sources.

                    Of course, from the literal standpoint, you are correct — both sides invaded the other’s territory repeatedly, once war had begun. But even in a defensive war, invasion of the enemy’s territory can be a valid strategy, I think — even if there’s no intention to possess and rule afterwards.

                  • Hey Eric!

                    Awww, it’s so good to at least now know some [here on this site] who understand the gross injustices that Abominable Abe and a bunch of Yanks perpetrated on their fellow human beings and people who were much better than themselves.

                    I hated any mention of the War Of Northern Aggression in NY- whether in school or just conversation, because it was basically universally accepted that the Yanks were the ‘good guys who were saving the world’ – It’s like listening to a German justifying Hitler.

                    Sadly, there are far too many Lincoln admirers here even- and ya see the Rebel flag less and less- but at least ya can still find some people who know the score and still support the Confederacy vs. NY, where you’re “all alone”, as they say “Thank God the North won!” from a room with bars on the windows to protect them from what’s in the streets of their victorious land……

                  • There’s a science fiction novel where a guy goes back in time with all the part drawings needed to make a full auto rifle with mid 19th century technology. His goal to bring to the confederacy so they will win the war.

                    • I remember that one. It was Afrikaaners going back and delivering crates of AK’s to the Confederacy. When the rebs got in conflict with them the time travelers killed Lee with an Uzi- very low budget sci fi.

              • Good one, Eight! Yeah, that would probably work! Although then I’d fail myself — that’s one Southern “delicacy” I haven’t had the guts (balls?) to try. Damn, I just excluded myself. Well, maybe the Midwesterners will take me …

                • Robert, they’re well washed. Trying one won’t hurt you. Honestly, I can’t stand oysters, taste like shitty mud but I can go through a pound of mud bugs toot sweet as we say in Texas.

                  When I’m sucking heads and eating tails the only danger is getting too close to me. Those elbows are dangerous.

    • “Powershift”- That’s what they called some of the trannies in their tractors back in the 50’s…and those trannies were such notorious piles of shit too, that even today, anyone who knows anythang about old tractors, knows to avoid “power-anything”.

      Boy, that’s brazen!~ Even giving their crappy new piles of shit the same name as the old!

      A good rule of thumb is to always avoid recycled names! If they use the name of a formerly-failed product over again…it will likely be worse than the first time around; If they use the name of a good old legendary reliable product for a new one… it’ll be the worst piece of crap ever.

      • I was surprised to see “Powershift” since it was a name that was patented by John Deere. Those were great transmissions that lasted a long while and made plowing and such much more profitable since before them you had to start in the same gear you plowed with. With the Powershift, you started out in whatever gear you could pull off with and then gain speed by just pushing a lever to change gears after you were moving and in the engine powerband. They’d outplow plenty of tractors with more power but manual gearboxes. It was the fly on the wall that was the beginning of the end to Versatile in their huge tractors that used big rig engines and transmissions. All you had to do was compare fuel useage from one to the other. There was a point when a 3-400 hp Versatile sold cheap once somebody saw the light and bought a new John Deere with a “Powershift” transmission. I think Versatile might still make a really big tractor and some sort of transmission like the Powershift but I haven’t seen one in ages.

  2. I’m understanding more and more why young people have no interest in cars. (For example, my 16-year-old nephew is happy to have his parents, brother, and friends drive him around, and though he did get his license recently, he probably wouldn’t have bothered if his parents hadn’t pushed him to do it.) With cars becoming electric robots with seats — and in line with this trend, rolling detainment cells — who’d want to buy one of the things? If I eventually have to use these abominations to get around, I’d rather just pay per use, or subscribe to a “service” — and I imagine that’s where the industry is headed, unless there’s a major disruption of some sort.

  3. What happens when the alcohol sensors go bad? I can’t drive anywhere until they are fixed? Even if I haven’t taken a drink in the last 5 years? I will need to have my car towed just for that? After reading the chilling book “The Passengers” by John Marrs, I want nothing to do with the new technology. Vehicles are becoming a prison on wheels and the joy of just going for a drive is fading faster than the latest Rambo movie (actually I like Rambo). And all this nonsense based on the Marxist propaganda wave called global warming. Adding more gizmos on a vehicle means more can go wrong which means more expenses and more frustration. I think in 5-10 years, the older cars will become more valuable. Of course, they could be banned altogether if certain politicians have their way. Great article, again giving us more to contemplate about the direction these idiots are taking us.

    • The masses, being (dumb)asses, won’t put up a fuss when the old iron is legally consigned to be no more than a “trailer queen”, and only rich guys with plenty of disposal income will bother. The rest will be conned and/or cowed that the “dirty” old cars are bad for the “environment”, or in the interests of s-a-a-a-a-a-f-t-e-e-e. The rest of us will simply be ever more passengers, as automation takes over, slowly, and at first sold as a “voluntary” feature (like, for example, you get to freely use the ‘diamond lane’ if you’re riding in a robotic car), then, as the “manual” iron is aged out, it becomes the default mode, and then REQUIRED.

      Of course, the power-hungry politicians won’t pass up the huge opportunities (for them) to tax and CONTROL. It’ll lend itself to new ways to, as Eric puts it, “mulct” the boobsie in their gimped rides, but also will be easily used to put any of us “malcontents” in “detention”, by nothing more than the ride won’t start or move, since you’re in the negative on your “social credits”! Of course, if that becomes common, then it’ll be also easy enough to simply cut off your “sail fawn”, internet access, and so on, thereby doing what was done by the Commies (or is still done in Red China, but ol’ Chairman Mao would freak out if he saw what the Commie party oligarchy is up to these days!)…render any dissidents as “non-persons”, if it’s too troublesome to just clap ’em in the gulag or shoot in the back of the skull. At that point, the First Amendment will be treated by our “Betters” much as they currently regard the Second Amendment, but don’t say I didn’t warn ya!

  4. Gee, why don’t the elites just go full “Hitler” and send us all to Auschwitz already?! America and other “first world” countries have officially become the modern day “Third Reich”. The only difference is that now the death is slow and even MORE painful. Well, I’m sick and tired of it! Just make it happen already!

    • Trying to be polite,but you seem to be confusing national socialist Germany
      with Bolshevistic Russia. Big difference. Kind of tells me who you are, though

      • Difference in degrees. National Socialist Germany believed in the right of private property to act in their own interests with the consent of a government that could direct those actions towards their perceived best social value, the communist Soviet Union didn’t believe in private property at all and directed all actions towards their perceived best social value. Hardly any difference really, certainly not a belief that individuals held full rights over their property and could utilize it towards whatever end they determined was best without permission to be granted.

        • Beat me to it, Spaz!

          It really just comes down to semantics. “Private ownership” where everything is tightly controlled and taxed by the state differs only from “public ownership” in names on paper…and how many people lose when the busy-ness fails.

        • Under the National Socialist regime, IF you were sufficiently one of the “Volksdeustch”, it wasn’t all that bad…but it did HELP if you at least would “be a smarty, come and join the Nat-Zee Party!” It was Jews, Communists, and to a lesser extents, Social Democrats that didn’t kow-tow to the “New Order” that had it bad under the Nazis.

          However, don’t be misled that the 1930s German National Socialist Worker’s Party wasn’t LEFTIST by our standards, it very much was, hence those that label right wingers or members of the “Alt-Right” as “Nazis” reveal their ignorance of history and politics. There were MANY social programs and interventions in the free market, partly being sold by saying that the Jews had used “capitalism to exploit the German people. And a lot of them had a more straightforward objective…as Germany had lost so many soldiers in the “Great War”, and had a declining birth rate, which affect the other Europeans countries as well, the Nazis decreed that they needed soldiers, therefore, it was babies, babies, babies, at all costs, with government incentives to breed prodigiously. More future soldiers or mothers of future soldiers, with, of course, many “sports” and other programs designed for basic training and especially INDOCTRINATION. It got to the point that many a ‘hostel’ for the League of German Girls, especially as the war went on, were little more than high-class brothels for the Waffen SS, with the teenaged girls effectively becoming brood mares. Had Nazi Germany survived and at least gotten things militarily and politically to, say, as depicted in the novel and TV movie “Fatherland”, by Hitler’s 75th birthday, assuming he’d survived, Germany would have easily been able to field an large army of well-trained and completely indoctrinated young soldiers against even the “Mongol Hordes” of the depicted rump state of the Soviet Union, with “Uncle Joe” still himself going at age 85.

  5. This system will destroy a lot of jobs and revenue. A whole industry is built up around DUI’s. The state gets fines, the insurance co gets sr22 money. There are counselors that convicts are forced to pay, There are shops installing and renting the breath samplers. The tow truck companies count on this revenue also. The list goes on.

    • There’s a justice reform group in Texas. They have done some good things but reducing arrests isn’t going so well, Cop unions and bailbondsmen fight it tooth and nail. As long as they do it so blatantly, then judges and prosecutors don’t have to get into the fray.

      • Why do sharks not bite lawyers? Professional courtesy.

        If the Founding Fathers had another bite at the Bill of Rights, I think they would have added an absolute right to own and operate unfettered personal means of transportation. In the days of the horse and buggy, no one would have foreseen or ever dreamed any gummint goon trying to regulate, tax, or restrict said horse or buggy, that’s why they transport is not mentioned as a right I think.

        • Crusty, I’ve often thought the same; but then, that is tempered by the thought that even with the Founders comprehensive understanding of human nature and government, even they couldn’t foresee that this country would ever turn into a collectivist system in which the roads would be built by state and federal governments to accommodate a specific kind of vehicle, with money extorted from the citizenry by a plethora of taxes, including several on their labor; and then claim ownership of those roads, and then require a license to use them, as well as more taxes for the “privilege”.

          They probably figured (and rightly so) that any people who would tolerate, and even foster such tyranny, would be unworthy of the liberty which they sought to preserve.

          I mean really, when it has gotten to that point, where the masses no longer care about the basic freedoms, but are willing to give up virtually everything- including their most basic privacy (report everything you earn to uncle, and every financial transaction!); their their right to bear arms (about 80% of the people in this country live in areas where guns are regulated to the point of being either useless, or downright prohibited) and are willing to tolerate licenses to travel; national ID [“Real ID”]; absurd taxation and regulation of their property and businesses, etc. what else is left? You can’t force people to care about their own liberty when they don’t; and our father stopped caring many decades ago.

          Just like the 2nd amendment or the 4th or any other…mere words on paper can not restrain tyranny- it has got to be in the hearts of the people.

    • Ah, so their IS an “upside” to driving a “gimped” ride! Ehh…the blue-nosed “Reformers” and the Prison-Industrial Complex will just figure news ways to declare “impairment”. Next thing you know, we’ll have driving under the influence…of a Red Bull!

    • SC, I have been beaten to a pulp, cut and nearly shot but at no time did I need a cop or cops. It was an attack of two guys a lot larger than me so when I finally regained my vision, I walked to a phone, made a call and was on my way when a cop stopped, called by some a-hole who’d seen me. I’m thinking, Ah shit, a night in jail to top it off. Well, he asked me if I was ok. I said sarcastically, I’m Purrrfect…..looking like I’d gone through a thrasher. He got so tickled he just said “Well, good luck” and left. Best cop I’ve been exposed to.

    • “Who would actually pay money to have this demon in their life?”

      The same idiots who think (anti-)social media or “h-sht-gs”* are absolutely “essential” to communicating with one another; and this is coming from a tech-savvy “millennial”. In other words, the sheep think that if something CAN be done, it MUST be done.

      *Excuse the censoring. I just hate saying or using that particular word.

  6. I love it@! I freaking love it!

    People getting the government they deserve, and the products that they line up to go into massive debt for!

    They keep speaking of “freedom”, but when you ask them why they tolerate all of the BS, they say that they have no choice- not even realizing the ludicrous contradiction, nor even being willing to give such a passing thought if you point it out to them.

    The politicians are not the disease; they are just the symptom.

  7. This is real and easy to deal with. Just don’t buy a “new” car. I’m extremely sure that the market will adjust if they don’t want to fail. Just stop buying new cars, super simple. ‬there is jack on the market that interests me anyway. Definitely some cool stuff, but not cool enough to make me pay or ignore the fact that so much of this “cool” stuff is a double edged sword. Only the fools that engage in car payments perpetually think this is all fine and well. Bullshit. It’s expensive and leads to control. Of us. Fuck that.

  8. This stinks on ice; my ‘03 Corolla still runs like a Swiss watch but the rust is going to get it eventually, probably (hopefully) before I check out permanently. Chances of finding a non rusty pre 2010 or so vehicle up this way are pretty slim; think it might be a good time to call my sister in Florida and have her scout out something in that age range before they become unavailable anywhere.

      • eric, a car like that with dual 2 1/2″ exhaust, a flipped lid on the air cleaner, a little playing with the QJet and it’ll be a nice car. I liked them all but being a dog guy, prefer the Vista Cruiser. I just don’t want one of those damned 307’s.

        • >a flipped lid on the air cleaner

          What does that get you, just out of curiosity? I had a ’77 Cutlass Supreme until a few years ago (downsized everything after my wife’s untimely demise, including going from 3 cars to 1); wouldn’t pulling cold air from the front through the duct be better for performance than the warm/hot air sitting above the engine? (Not that the duct was entirely intact in mine; the flexible part had rotted to uselessness long before I bought it.)

            • Everything I’ve done it on only sucked air through a tiny cone on the air cleaner body. When it’s upside down it can get air from every direction and it makes a world of difference in power. And you get to hear that QJet moan too. You can get almost that same sound if you do that with a TBI too. Damned if I understand why my Z has a muffler on the air intake. I need to find one that doesn’t(they’re not all made the same)so it’s easier to remove.

      • Eric…is such a vintage ride EXEMPT from smog certs? If so, I’d find a decent old sled like that, and gradually accumulate spare parts, especially suspension and steering, which will get harder and harder to find. Likely that “Olds” will have a 305 or 350 Chevy engine in it, but that’s a decent plant to work with. Also a 3.8 Liter Buick V6 is a good “vintage” ride, there were oodles of ’em made and that’s a tough motor.

        Me, I’d opt for finding something like Al Bundy’s Dodge Dart Sport with a 225 Slant Six and Torqueflite automatic or the A833 “overdrive” stick. I’ve even got an good idea to fuck over the local cops…get a mannequin of a little girl with a blonde wig and a peizo speaker that recites math equations, and then, when shaken, particulary when it hits the back of the front seat, says, in a “ditzy blonde” voice…”Shiney, shiney shoes!”

      • Just picked up an amazingly clean 86 BMW 524TD from Arizona. Should be good to go for another 20 years! And I can burn soybean oil or old stale heating fuel so aside from the enforcers I have it beat.

      • Probably a pre 2010 Corolla or Camry, possibly a RAV4; just my personal prejudice that Toyota makes some of the most reliable cars out there.

        • So, which one are you most serious about. I stay in touch with a local dealership that sells Fords and Chevy’s but they trade for all sorts of vehicles.

          If I didn’t live in the sticks I’d drive a Camry no problem. Seen many of them just go and go.

          • Heh, yeah, even back in the 90’s when I was schlepping junk, I was always amazed at how many old Toyotas I’d pick up with 250K or more miles on ’em, even from the early 80’s, and they were still in mechanically excellent shape…just being junk ’cause of rust or accident damage- this, when all of the American cars of the same vintage were being junked because they were done, with often less than 100K miles, and never more than 120-130K, even though they had clean bodies- but they were worthless, because they weren’t worth doing a head gasket, motor or tranny on.

            It was like a bad joke, seeing the way ther American companies were trying to copy the good Jap cars- ‘specially when they got into small front-wheel drive stuff…but without the quality or good engineering.

            The “mercan cars were like cheap Chinese knock-offs!

        • Recently serviced a customer’s car that truly asounded me. 1985 Corolla, 1600 inline, five speed, 200K on the clock. It was dirty and neglected when it came in, but as I worked on it I really befame attached to the silly thing. Needed a clutch, the reason I had it. Then they aeked me to check other things out. Needed both drive axles, front discs/pads, hub bearaings, a couple of mounts, was overdue for the cam belt, which also meant water pump. Clutch hydraulics were shot… the car had sat for some time after the clutch failed, they finally gathered up the bux to put it back on the road.

          The thing that astounded me was the overall conditioni of the entire car… not a speck of rust, seats still nice, oh, they wanted shocks and struts, too. They spent about $1500 with me…. but when I test drove it after all that it drove, sounded, ran, like a brand new car, except for the fusty smell of having sat closed up for too long. What a sweet ride that was. They dawdled getting the money to bail it back out once done, and I found myself almost wishing they’d flake so I’d end up owning in on the mechanic’s lien.They paid, though…… sigh. Light metallic blue, too. Amazing car.

          • Darn, that is impressive, Tio!

            I often envy people with vehicles like that. New vehicles don’t tempt me….but when I see someone with an old vehicle with character and high mileage, that is still going strong and seems like it will forever….

            My old Econoline was like that- 300K; never a problem (I bought it at 240K); ran like a clock. I regret selling it- but after 15 years, I thought it was time. I’m sure it’s still going strong.

          • Nay, 8. It was the [prepapre yourself] 4.6 Triton. Original motor- never touched. Those pre-’03 Tritons (before they went to 3V and VVT) were bulletproof. Tons of Towncars [used to have one’a them too] used as limos and car-services with half a million miles on ’em……

            Knew someone with an F150 with the 300-6…had around 450K on it. Those things were probably the most bulletproof injuns ever made.

            • We had an 89 F150 with the 300-6. I suppose the engine was just fine, but it sure had a lot of other crazy problems including electrical. Something would start humming under the hood by itself when it was parked, and often run the battery down. My experiences outside of GM have not been impressive.

            • They were certainly the best engine Ford ever made.

              Traditional, I’m with you there. Ford makes stuff really hard to work on and uses lots of specialty tools in doing so. Never made sense to me to spend all day tearing off every component on the front of a Ford V8 to change a water pump. A friend did a 350 TBI water pump in 15 minutes. You won’t do it that fast on an LS but it beats hell out of nearly any water pump replacement I know of except the old style Chevy V8’s. BBC, SBC, easy peasy.

              • Then there’s those donut clutch slave “actuators” (can’t exactly call them a “cylinder”) combined with the TO bearing that you have to pull the transmission and transfer case to replace. My Chevy is stabbed in through the dust cover and held with two bolts, though it does make the starter hard to change. Fortunately the Ford “burped” and started working again as we were limping it to a shop in town. Just had to replace a leaky fitting, saving about $600.

                • A 93 Ford 4WD takes removing the transfer case and transmission to replace the slave unit. My 93 Chevy comes out from the front of the transmission housing with two bolts and nothing in front to keep you from pulling it straight out.

                  There’s different ways to look at a single piece vs two piece driveshaft but I’ll take the single every time. It just slides out of the output spline and if you bend it, it’s just one piece. If you bent a two piece which is much more likely to get crap in between the two pieces, you have to replace both.

                  Ford designs everything to cause you to hopefully take it to the stealership to get fixed.

                  My starter and solenoid, 2 bolts to get both. Remove 2 bolts and you have the alternator in your hand.

                  When I was young we only had Chevy’s and I worked on them with minimal tools. My cousin bought a Mustang and needed an alternator. I helped him and removing the old one was much like a Chevy. Installing the new one we found the upper brace where the bolt for belt tension went, didn’t line up like a GM did. The brace was too high when it wasn’t in a bind so it took one of us to bend it down and the other to put in the bolt. We were doing it in his dad’s shop. It was then I realized why his dad always had Pontiac’s and Oldsmobile’s.

          • But it’s not like Toyotas never break down.

            Thirty years ago I was working way up in the mountains, and a couple young guys in a nearly new Toy pickup/topper broke down up the creek a ways. Seems like it was a fuel pump or something (not uncommon of course in any make), but they had to get a ride 50 miles to town where they could order the part and wait a week or so. I or someone (don’t remember now) dragged them down from the forest service to camp by us where I was working until the part came in (of course they had to get another 90 mile round trip ride to town to pick it up). I let them camp there at the little store/cabins that I was managing that summer.

            It was a nice little 4×4 pickup, but no doubt a Chevy part would have been sitting on the shelf. So back in the 1980s it wasn’t at all clear that Toyota was really better. Parts are probably more readily available now than back then.

            • Anon,

              The worst thing about Toyotas is that [and especially in the 80’s] they are light and not physically tough (Which is why I’ve never owned one)- but the thing is, mechanically, they are usually well-engineered. Of course parts eventually wear out…but with decent maintenance (and often even without) they just have far fewer minor problems than most other brands…and often NO major problems, if not abused.

              Oh, and they did rust, in rust-belt states- and their lightness tended to make the rustiness fatal much sooner than if it had been a heavier car.

              But too, it depends what we’re comparing ’em too. They really shine as far as small/mid-size cars go; but yeah, their pick-ups? Not so much. Now-a-days, they may be doing better with the pick-ups…but sheesh…those little flimsy soda-can things they’d make in the 70’s and 80’s were toys.

              There’s no substitute for the full-size ‘Mercan pick-up.

              • There is some attraction to a smaller pickup for off road adventuring, but then you pretty much have to camp with backpacking gear. My old K20 would go almost everywhere and carry almost everything while you were doing it, including 40 gallons of gas. It never broke down on me either.

            • I had a Nissan and it cured me of Japanese pickups. Everything on it was 4 prices too high and nothing was ever in stock. When I first bought it I went to get an oil filter. Gas or diesel they asked. Hell, I didn’t even know they had a diesel or that’s what I’d have bought. Turns out the diesel filter fit the gas engine but was twice the size. I never used a gas oil filter on it. It just wasn’t up to farming and hard work. It also wasn’t, just like Toys back then, up to Texas heat. Blown head gaskets. It’s nearly impossible to find either one now.

              I worked for the county till recently. There was 1/2 T Chevy 4WD and a Toy similar but the Chevy got the hard work cause the Toy wouldn’t do it. Even the damned hood on that Toy wouldn’t stay up, gas cylinders whereas the Chevy had regular spring hinges. Had to be careful with those Toy wheels too or they’d bend.

              • Hi Eight,

                I’ve had two Nissan Frontiers (still have one, an ’02). Both great little trucks that cost me almost nothing to keep. They do tend to rust, though – and I can’t speak to heavy duty use as I use mine for general duty and occasionally haul a load of something to/from.

                The ’02 still has its original clutch with appx. 147k on it…

                • I recall not having a lot of miles when a noise began and turned out to be the transmission. Boy was I ever pissed when I found this bicycle duty ball bearing as the front input shaft bearing. Took me two days to get the shifter lever loose in the transmission.
                  I had to put a winch mount on it just to have a semi-bumper and some protection for the front. I wanted to put some fender extensions on it but the metal was too thin to hold a screw.

                  Well, getting stuck in one is to be expected, 4WD or not but getting stuck just because it’s just two axle drive and not real 4WD is another thing, not that Nissan was the only company to do that(they all did) but every other brand I knew of you could get a limited slip or locker for the differentials. Not so for Nissan. Not only did the factory not make it, no aftermarket place made any either. It was embarrassing getting stuck in places I did so I bought an extra set of wheels and pure mud tires. Then it was doubly embarrassing to be stuck with mudders……in the mud.

              • Even with the newer Jap trucks- just compare the frames to the frames on the ‘Mercan trucks. No contest!

                People say Nissan ain’t what it used to be, but I never thought it was much. Interference engines and lots of Rube Goldberg engineering. The old Sentras could last…if finessed- but then, so can most things. The rest? Meh…don’t see many high-milers.

            • Also, thanks to the “Chicken Tax”, import parts cost a SHIT LOAD of money as compared to their domestic counterparts. Paying $300 for a replacement starter, and likely you could get it ONLY from the “Toy” dealer, was not unheard of.

    • Been shopping late 90’s and early 2000s cars. These are going to become like gold in short order (ask Doug DeMuro). Prices are already rising, and news like this is only going to push them higher. Good cars from the mid 90s like a BMW M3 can be entirely rebuilt for pennies on the dollar and upgraded to modern performance standards. M3s that were less than $10k a few years ago are now $30k and up. The mid 90s BMW M coupe that everybody laughed at when it first rolled out, now sells for $50k at a minimum. I just revamped my 1998 3 series convertible because even the Kelly Blue Book is double what it was 5 years ago. But on the flip side, a 2000 BMW 540i, maybe the finest luxury car built in mankind’s first 2000 years, can be still bought in pristine condition for under $10k. $30k for a drive-by-wire Toyota Breathalyzer is pure comedy by comparison. Everybody already knows that.

      Now rather than complain about all this you need to ACT. Reject their Stasi-style-shitboxes and leave them to sell them to the third world. Volvo is Chinese because they already failed in Sweden. Land Rover is now an Indian Company, because westerners actually had standards. And no surprise they’re failing in China too. Jaguar is now an Indian Company because they were too shitty to even exist under Ford’s umbrella. Amazingly, they’re not giving up their dreams of total control yet, but don’t let that fool you into thinking victory isn’t already yours. It is. They’re all ALREADY failed companies. Keep your boot on their throat. These are all last ditch efforts to endear themselves to governments, since consumers already abandoned them. But sadly all of the governments are effectively broke too, so its just another failed strategy. Make the long play. Vote with your dollars. Keep your current car as long as you can keep it running. Then buy an older one. Until they have to feed their sensors, potentiometers and monitoring systems to their starving families. Trust me they would do the same thing to you. That’s how they got here. This is how we’ll win. So lets win.

      • Dutch, it’s not my place to give you advice but I’ll give you the experience I’ve had with various year model pickups and cars. For pickups, 94 is the shut-off point of not being loaded with expensive mechanicals and too much nannyism. I’d say about 96 is for cars with the only nanny beside seatbelts is their airbags. If you can tolerate GM pickups, 94 and down gets you all the whistles and bells you’d want with no airbags and only a simple engine ECU that just mainly controls the TBI. When GM changed from the 350 TBI to the 5.7L engine, that was the end of their really long-lived pickup engines. They had more power than the 350 but the 350 got better mileage and ran forever if you kept the oil changed. I’ve seen 3 examples with over half a million miles and running fine.

        Here’s my list of “must haves”. Electric windows and locks(not so much the locks but on a wide interior it helps, esp. when some ne-er do well is approaching. You were free to change the stereo/radio without a work-around for a computer. A/C….and a good one in Texas. Oh yeah, cruise control. You can get tired rolling across Texas without it but the best part is, you know how fast you’re going at all times. I prefer Captain’s Chairs but each to his own. I also prefer one tons to all others although not a dually. For me, 4WD is a must. With a one ton you get an 11.5″ ring gear and huge brakes. I got 18 mpg with my Turbo Diesel, mighty good mileage in my book. I intend to do it again once I get the cab and front clip off the 98 installed on my 93. I’ll change to the 93 interior and wiring harness(a must). I’d rather have the 93 cab but can’t find one. The 98 isn’t as tall in the rear of the x cab part. I’ll remove the VIN off the old 93 and put it on the 98 body. FEFEFH’s. They’ll never know. I’d still like to find an insurance company that would sell me comprehensive. Typical insurance companies don’t do that to help sell new vehicles that require higher insurance premiums.

  9. Just wait until this ‘thinking’ on the part of our overlords is applied to homes. Houses are already massively over regulated for construction codes. Here, condos are required to have fire sprinklers, not such a bad idea, but now there is talk of all new single family homes requiring them. Only a matter of time until installing real time monitoring of the inside of your house is required to get an occupancy permit. Probably a shit-testing toilet to monitor your diet too. For your safety of course.

    Orwell was an optimist.

    • Hi Anonymous,

      Yup. And how about a federal property tax on homes and land? We already have state income taxes piled on to federal income taxes.

      The principle has already been established that government can simply take whatever it likes; so it’s entirely logical that it can – and eventually will – take it all.

      Any who doubt this could ever happen need to answer the question: Why not? What principle in logic – or law – would serve as a viable defense against a 100 percent income tax? Against confiscation of all formerly “private” property?

      The only security for property lies in property being regarded as sacrosanct – inviolable – in law and general custom. Either you own something – or you do not own it. There is no middle ground. And to own something means no one can take it away from you – not lawfully, at any rate. If it can be taken away from you lawfully, then you do not own it. You are a transitory user, allowed conditional and temporary possession – nothing more.

    • I’ve heard about some of the “home management” “apps” that people are stuid enough to BUY and voluntarily fit to their homes… anyone in the family can say something and the silly thing does it. I’ve also heard that, at least the Amazon product, is listening all the time, even to “private” conversations, and has the capability of recording and/or reporting to.. somewhere. If I know my gummit half as well as I think I do, it are they who are being informed. Sheesh, and folks volunteer to pay money AND bring that abomination into their dwelling places? Just saves da gummit the “troube” of forcing it on us.

      Back to cars, bee thinking of late maybe I should change my plans to sell off the small fleet of 70’s and 80s Mercedes diesel cars floating about the place. All remain solid cars, maybe I should just keep them about…. drive one until it is too far gone to warrant repair, flog it off to someone who has more time to spend, and move on to the next one. If I build a new super-effiient engine for one of them, though, I doube I’ll outlive it. I’ve known of some of those 917 engines to turn 750K and still be running strong. I doubt I’ll drive that many more miles before I cash it in and leave this old dirtball.

      • If you MUST part with one, give Eric the contact info and my beloved Snips and I will take a trip out there to look at it and likely purchase. Especially if you have a mid-70s 240D with stick that you want to let go.

  10. I have driven in drive by wire cars and they are less reactive than ones with a steering shaft. There are oh so slight hesitations as the code churns deciding how hard the wheel was turned. Soon it will all be like an Arcade.

    • If one pays close attention, one can see the intent of all this is so the car can be controlled remotely by law enforcement and the manufacture/dealers AND the driver under constant surveillance. Of course they claim safety because it will stop high speed chases and other “dangerous” issues. With the car reporting it’s speed, location, driving conditions, and even the drivers state of mind via blood pressure, eye movement, grip of the steering wheel and the conditions within the car via several cameras you thus are under continuous machine observation. Step out of line,,, the man come and take you away! The next step for these control freaks is 5g. It will enable all this and much, much more while toasting your brain. Why do you think Corpgov is so interested in rolling this out. Controlling you is their wet dream.

  11. My family and I will never buy a car like that. I’d even go as far as saying I would drive a not technically legal vehicle and take my chances. Assuming they outlaw ‘normal’ vehicles. I guess it could get to point that if your car doesn’t have the passcode somewhere along the road that it would alert ‘authorities’. but again, you should be able to beat that crap as well.
    I can see enforcement in urban areas, but I don’t see how it could be done in rural areas.

  12. What will happen when you dodge fallen tree branches and debris after a windstorm?

    Here we get those from October-February but October-end of November are when most of the branches/debris are on the roads..You have to drive dodging debris..and yes I drive a lot at night on rural roads leaving me the space to swerve into the other lane and hitting my brakes and not worry about other cars…So these new cars will shut my car off and call the Cops on me then the Cops will give me a suspension/fine because the car said so! As the Cops wont let you go even if no booze or drugs are found/no smells etc…

    Future doesn’t look to bright kids,too bad I am only in my mid 40’s I still have time to see the sh_t show continue!!!

    • I was thinking the other day in the Houston rain that these cameras with eyes cannot determine water pooling on the road at night or low light conditions or know how to approach such an obstacle.

      • Yup. Since the camera in that Tesla wasunable to see the 53 foot white dryvan crossing in front of the car, and drove right under it, how da heck dey gonna make one keen wnough to see a puddle worthy of dodging, and so identify it in time to “emergency brake and stter round it? Not gonna happen. These clowns are tyring to play God, and they aint a gonna make it. Too stupid.

        • Hi T!

          Accidents will happen, of course. But my bone to pick with all this stuff is simply that I want to be in control of my goddamn life. Because it’s . . . mine. I am no man’s property.

          If I wreck, I want it to be because I lost control – not because my car lost control. We’re literally having life or death choices seized from us by arrogant know-it-alls. I’m arrogant, too – but I confine my arrogance to myself and my own life, which things are my business. There is nothing more obnoxious than an arrogant person who imposes his arrogance on others.

    • And here in Australia we have kangaroos and emus to worry about. Swerve without signalling and the car will take you right back into the roo. Then there are the people on the sail fawns who get pissed when someone passes them because the caller is driving 30 km slower than everyone else.

      • Here in west Texas we have hogs, deer, coyotes, emus, ostriches and nearly every sort of horned animal Africa has to offer. I use a dirt road to a Farm to Market road, both of which you’d be stupid and possibly dead to run fast on at night and daylight isn’t a done deal.
        The wife and I passed over a culvert on the FM road recently and she commented it was a highway for deer and hogs. I concurred since we both have had to deal with it every morning in the dark. I told her “you should try to avoid those things with a Peterbilt”. I’m amazed I have. A lot of trucks in Texas run big “cowcatcher’s on the front. They’ll save tens of thousands in repair and over a hundred thousand if you end up with a livestock hauler on its side.

        I recently saw what appeared to be a moving carnival a few miles in front of me. Since I was hauling ass, I eventually caught it. It was a bullhauler with a polished trailer and more LED lights on it than I could count. It was about midnight so he never moved from the center lane which was no big deal for me. In fact, I rolled down the window just to hear that diesel sing.

        A friend worked for a cattle hauler. They had a new 379 Peterbilt in the yard that topped out at 100 mph. Nobody would voluntarily drive it because it was too slow.

  13. Scott is an asshole. Yankee clueless slugs fleeing States they screwed like California and New Jersey are now screwing up Florida, even Texas. These are the morons that have to be ‘taught’ how to operate a voting machine. Those running the poll centers are fraudsters, in fact now the entire system is fraudulent / crooked from top to bottom, as are the two major party’s. They lie, cheat and steal their way into office then do as they wish to enrich themselves by stooging for the corporations and Wall Street. Take Scott,,, he is worth over $200 million. He was Chief executive of Columbia/HCA fined (as they all are) for Medicare and other programs… and still voted in as Governor and Senator. And he is a Rhino. Of course, this is true of all elections,,, local, State and Federale… which is why I don’t bother to vote. We are a lawless oligarchy voting in fools like AOC, Pelosi, Schiff, Cotton, McCain, and Presidential Appointees like Bolton, Pompeo etc ruining the nation stooging for the MIIC. Look what’s running for President on the Democratic side! Full blown communists and not a peep from the electorate. I seen more outrage over the pregnant Barbie doll than the country being flushed down the toilet.

    So no,,, this stuff will never stop and will continue to get worse so long as asshole inmates are running this asylum.

    • Jim, NOT buying a new car is easy for nearly everyone. The economy has already tanked quite a bit. That bullshit employment number for Trump is more sleight of hand with the “employed rolls”. Every administrtion does it and it’s all a lie.

      They take 10’s of millions that have been looking for a job for a long time plus including part time workers and it looks good. It doesn’t look good from where I sit. Oh, most people in my part have a job of some sort, just not enough to make a living. It’s becoming more common to see a bunch of very used cars at one house, signs the bedrooms and every other room is full. It’s not a new thing but jacking with China is already biting some industries. We can no longer recycle plastic or glass because the Chinese quit taking it. it will finally dawn on some not too dim politician we’re being over-run with glass and plastic in the landfills.

      • And all the container go back to China empty.

        I have an easy, one line, two sentence tax bill fix.
        All net profits are taxed at 35%. Net profits are US revenues- US Expenses.

        • Hell, they sell the containers and haul something else back, like glass or plastic. OH wait, they’ve quit doing that. Gong to make us eat the stuff while they’re giving Trump the finger. Of course he isn’t bothered, just the people of this country.

      • “We can no longer recycle plastic or glass because the Chinese quit taking it.”

        Ah! So that explains the sudden war on plastic…everything. It all makes sense now! Good ol’ “Merikan” logic; if you can’t profit from it, ban it.

        Of course, the sheep are told that the ban is to “save the little fishies”. lol

  14. Within the lifespan of most of your readers, the automobile will have transformed from one of the greatest symbols of personal freedom into one of the biggest tools of government oppression and control.

    And while it has many fellow travelers, Volvo has truly become the Hitler of Automakers.

    • Agreed, Mike… and it’s picking up speed. Five years ago, I was writing almost exclusively about cars. Not about cars controlling us. It’s frightening – and maddening. On the one hand, cars today are almost miraculously good. The Mustang GT I am writing about is 98 percent the car that the BMW 850i I wrote about earlier is… for about a third the price. And the standard four cylinder Mustang is stronger – and quicker – than the Cobra R race car I drove back in ’95.

      But the bastards are putting the kibosh on all this goodness, using saaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaafety and “climate change” as their cudgels.

      I think I understand how Mencken felt after Roosevelt got elected…

      • Eric, the new technology is great…WHEN IT WORKS.

        When something like the erstwhile Focus befuddles even a mechanical engineer with degrees in mechanical and nuclear engineering and 35 years and counting of military and civilian experience, that’s saying that the damned things are too complicated. But, it’s one thing to twist wrenches on a project car, or the second ride…but I need something that I can just “call the guy” if it craps, which the Focus was actually good on. We’ll see how this new (con)Fusion does.

        And it’s one thing if all this gadgetry is a product of market demand…but get “Uncle” involved…well, if you knew how much the 18 Ohio-Class SSBNs cost the taxpayers and all the problems they had, and, thanks to changes overall, it’s not like Uncle has any realistic choice other than “GD” Electric Boat in Groton, CT. Now the Navy wants the new Columbia class, 12 of ’em (never mind that the Russian Navy can’t keep more than three or four of their SSBNs going, with the rest moored up at Archangel or Petropavalosk, they just can’t AFFORD any more!), and supposedly these boats are going to go for FIFTY years without the reactor needing to be re-fueled, and employ all other manners of newfangled gadgets that were “Buck Rodgers” when the USS Ohio (SSGN-726) was launched. Who knows, maybe it’s all part of Skynet’s master plan to let we stupid “meatbags” build the instruments of our own annihilation, and PAY for it!

    • Mike,

      Well they did it with airplanes, space travel, and boats.

      Why not cars? Almost a bit surprising that it has taken so long.

      Terry v. Ohio was decided over 50 years ago.

      • Tuanorea,

        You’re right, the probable cause requirement is long gone. Only reason it has taken this long was the time needed till technology could put “a cop in every car…..all the time.”

  15. New car prices, along with the decline in real income, are already encouraging us to keep older cars going, which I’m happy to do. Considering the loss in trading an older car in for a new one, the cost of replacing an engine or transmission makes doing so cost effective. Of course you can get a loan for a new car, and typically can’t for a repair. Putting money away instead of making car payments can solve that problem. Older cars are typically also easier for the owner to work on. Take care of your old car and it will take care of you.

    • You fairly much have to be able to do your own wrenching to make such a proposition work. It’s not just that shop labor has gone up exponentially, which it has, it’s that the “old school” mechanics are dying off. Most of these new guys are those trained to plug in diagnostic equipment and read the codes, the manual that describes specifics of replacement is usually built right in!

      The other problems with the old ride is that between car manufacturers and DEALERS (a significant source of sales tax revenue for local goverments), insurance companies, and so on, is that they lobby your state and, of course, “Uncle” to legislate it off the road, all in the interests of the “Environment” or S-a-a-a-a-f-t-e-e-e! I won’t be surprised to live long enough to see a SWAT team show up at my son’s place in the dead of night, and not even bother with the search warrant, over a report that he’s doing “illegal auto repair”, and find an excuse to seize his home over a “contraband” Chrysler 318 Cubic in “Poly” engine, still on the stand, in the back yard, wrapped in a yard bag.

  16. “But Eric, we have to do SOMETHING!

    I think we should outlaw driving unless you are a paid professional. Back to the future, as it were. When cars were new they were complicated, difficult to maintain and usually only driven by chauffeurs or other professionals. Jay Leno often jokes about the owner’s manuals of the old steamers having complicated checklists to be completed by “your man.” It’s time to bring back that golden era, but with gender-neutral manuals of course.

    What’s that? You say you cannot afford to pay a full time driver to be on standby? Oh, that’s no problem. We’ll just “ride share” with your neighbors. Perhaps someday the car might drive itself (turns out to be much harder than the trolley problem), but really we need to do something with all those English majors who can’t make a decent cup of coffee, so we’ll just have ’em drive for you. And any shortfall in income will be printed up by the central bank, to hell with your nest egg.

    It will be a beautiful world of drunks and stoners getting driven to the 24/7 music festival, but only if you all play ball!

    • Morning, RK!

      Spot on… it’s a push from several directions toward a common result: The ending of driving in favor of being driven. In the past, at least, one had some degree of control over one’s “man.” You could tell him how to drive – and if he didn’t obey, you could fire him and get a new driver.

      In the zukunft, we will have no control over the machine… which will be controlled by electronics programmed by men we don’t even know and whom we can’t fire because they are the boss of us.

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