Living Red Barchetta

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California’s Gesundheitsguv Gavin Newsome just decreed what the rock band Rush foresaw coming back in 1981.

The Motor Law.

The song described a future time in which all cars were outlawed. Newsome just outlawed the sale of cars that aren’t electric by 2035, which is much closer to now than ’81 is the rearview.   

And which amounts to the same thing.

Newsome didn’t decree that people in California who do not buy electric cars will be forced to turn in their non-electric ones after 2035.

They probably won’t be forced to turn them in.

It’s much easier to tax them in.

As in China – the model for what the United States is becoming, courtesy of the China Virus, as the Orange Man styles it (while not doing enough to treat it – as by ending the Face Diaper Farce, by taking off the Face Diaper, especially around corpses secured inside coffins).

In China, you don’t have to buy an electric car. But you do have to buy a $14,000 license plate if you want to legally drive a non-electric car. This sum approximates the price difference between a low-end EV and low-end IC.

In the U.S., the analog would be the difference between the 2020 Nissan Leaf EV (appx. $30k) vs. the 2020 Nissan Versa IC (appx. $15k). A $14k license plate tax applied t the Versa would makes it equivalently expensive. And thus make the Leaf “competitive” – in the manner of breaking a marathon runner’s legs so that a paraplegic can be competitive with him in a foot race.

The license plate tax applied to not-new cars would cut deeper.

Imagine having to cough up $14k – or even $4k – to register your ten-year-old non-electric car that’s only worth $10k (or $4k). And worth even less, actually, because who will want to buy your used IC car knowing they’ll have to spend an additional 50 percent or even more to get a license plate for it?

Just the nudge needed to get people to turn in their non-electric cars without actually requiring them to turn them in.

This is brilliantly evil.

You can have any car you want – so long as you pay the required fees! Since most people can’t pay the fee, most people get Red Barchetta’d. Their IC cars hidden away under tarps in barns, totems of a better, vanished time.

You’ll be able to look at every now and then – and remember. But you don’t dare drive it – as in the Rush song – because it’s not 1981 and while there aren’t “gleaming alloy air cars” to sic on you, there are neighbors and roadside cameras. The same people who sic the Sickness Sturmabteilung on the Undiapered will sic them on the EV Apostates who “cling” to the combustion-engined cars. The noise of an engine will alert them. The surveillance cams will give them away before they get very far.

And how far will you be able to get when you can’t get gas? Ammunition bans – and exorbitant taxes on ammunition – are also much more effective than outright banning guns. Let them have their guns. What can they do with them if they can’t afford to shoot them?

A car without gas is just as useful as an AK without ammo. It is already very expensive to gas up in CA, where the average cost of a gallon of regular unleaded is currently almost twice the national average right now. Imagine it four times as high. Gesundheitsguv Newsome need only Tweet it and it will be so.

This may only happen in California – which, cruel irony, was once upon a better-vanished-time the focal point of car culture.

If the disease doesn’t spread.

The problem is, it already has. California policies can be found in formerly healthy parts of the country; some parts of the country have become California, sans the good weather. Michigan, for instance. The former “Motor City.” And Colorado, the former Libertarian Elba, where people like Hunter Thompson could breath freely, by driving at Top Speed in convertible big block Chevys which you can’t do anymore without attracting keening crowds of affronted Prius drivers.

All of this being due to the spread of Californians, who’ve left behind their diseased and dying state but brought with them the plague of California politics.

No more fun, the Dr. wrote in the note he left when he left.

He saw it coming. So did Rush.

And here we are, almost.

. . .

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

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39 COMMENTS

  1. “There are times, however, and this is one of them, when even being right feels wrong. What do you say, for instance, about a generation that has been taught that rain is poison and sex is death? If making love might be fatal and if a cool spring breeze on any summer afternoon can turn a crystal blue lake into a puddle of black poison right in front of your eyes, there is not much left except TV and relentless masturbation. It’s a strange world. Some people get rich and others eat shit and die.”
    ― Hunter S. Thompson

    God only knows what Uncle Duke would have said about this current crop of Corona Craziness consuming us nowadays.

  2. Nearly fifty years ago in 1971, Kenneth Lamott published a prophetic book titled Anti-California: Report From Our First Parafascist State. The chapter titles sound like they could have been penned by Hunter S Thompson:

    http://catdir.loc.gov/catdir/toc/fy0603/76149463.html

    To say that Anti-California was way outside the mainstream is an understatement. For instance, a best-selling book released the previous year — The Greening of America by Charles Reich — actually was being taught to credulous college students as an Important Text. It lauded the coming wokester ecotopia, which took an unforeseen several decades to arrive.

    Like the alleged fable Report From Iron Mountain, which details the government’s need for permanent crisis and warfare to regulate the economy, Anti-California was a distant early warning that all was not well on the Left Coast. A Sixties media onslaught painted California in rosy colors — Surfin’ USA; “I wish they all could be California girrrrrrrrllls”; etc — but the darker truth already was there for Lamott to see.

    Indeed, Woody Guthrie spotted the problem as far back as the 1930s:

    Lots of folks back East, they say, is leavin’ home every day
    Beatin’ the hot old dusty way to the California line
    ‘Cross the desert sands they roll, gettin’ out of that old dust bowl
    They think they’re goin’ to a sugar bowl but here’s what they find

    Now the police at the port of entry say
    “You’re number fourteen thousand for today”

    Oh, if you ain’t got the do re mi folks
    If you ain’t got the do re mi
    Why you better go back to your beautiful Texas
    Oklahoma, Kansas, Georgia, Tennessee

    California is a garden of Eden, a paradise to live in or see
    But believe it or not you won’t find it so hot
    If you ain’t got the do re mi

    And if you DO have the do re mi, socialism insists that you share it at gunpoint with the less fortunate and the less prepared.

    Empress Kalamaty Harris is the Trojan horse who, once installed in the White House after old broke Joe loses what’s left of his marbles, will seek to Californicate the entire country. Hand over your gun, your pickup, and your papers, comrade. Or else …

  3. My whole family including me are ex-pat Californians 20-years + ago (except my marxist sister who still lives there). We all saw changes coming that caused all of us leave or our own reasons. Back in the day California was a paradise lost. Great weather, car and surf culture, you could start a business and worked it hard you could be a success, but no more. It’s a marxist paradise going forward.

    • Hi Hans,

      My sister lives in San Diego; they pay appx. $12k in property taxes annually on a home that’s about 1,100 sq. feet. They have a postage stamp-sized lot. There are Diaperers everywhere and gas costs $4 per gallon.

  4. As egregious as anything else they do is that the AGW’s and other GovCo apparatchiks will have all the fuel and ammo they could ever need, and the vehicles and arms to use them. Some are more equal than others, y’know

    • Morning, Nasir!

      I have one, but many people know about it… I often wish I’d gone farther out, bought 50 acres in the middle of nowhere and then built an off-grid cabin on it. Sigh, hindsight.

    • I, thankfully, have a 10+ acre rural piece here in Az. I began to understand in my youth that owning land was THE most important think I could do for myself, especially if it were out of sight and mind of the world’s vampires, and what you call here, the AGWs. Property taxes are ~$200/year, by the way, and that property is infinitely more valuable than anything in Kommiefornia, in my opinion. Unfortunately, I still live in the city, for the time being, because there aren’t any jobs out there, but I aim to change that, soon.
      “Land is a man’s very own soul.” -from Far And Away

    • Nasir, its LONG past that time. Its time to keep stacking, for as long as the supply lines are still functioning, and make sure that any gaps are properly filled. Its also time to make sure that back up plans are still current, and that one has as many options as possible.

    • Morning, BaDnOn!

      Now that is high praise and I’ll take it – because I need it. Medicine for the sick. Of sickness psychosis and all the others, too. Weirdness is good. Evil, bad.

      I miss the Dr. a lot – even though I never got to meet him.

  5. How could this hold up in court? It is not a law. The commiefornia legislature did not vote on it. It’s probably not going to be a USA problem much longer anyway since it appears that state will either sink in the ocean or be given back to Mehico. If only we could forcibly send the commiefornians who have infiltrated the USA back to commiefornia.

  6. “And how far will you be able to get when you can’t get gas? Ammunition bans – and exorbitant taxes on ammunition – are also much more effective than outright banning guns.”

    Eric, you say that as if Kali weren’t going to have extremely severe, third-world electrical outages on an almost daily basis. It has started already. The irony is delightful.

    Of course, the ultimate goal “is” to deprive those Kali commoners of all personal mobility, except for walking, or human powered bicycles. They may have limited access to mass transit. But I don’t call that “personal mobility.”

  7. What kind of civilization is this where the people don’t even get to vote on anything? Mad dictators just make up this stupid crap. There’s really only one problem in the world — people let dictators do whatever they want.

    • Fear does tragic things to people. Plague is one of humanities oldest fears. Trust those who would Rule us all, to use that ancient dread. But I must say that voting is over rated. Look at all of the messes it has gotten us into over the centuries. ^^

      Hans Hermann Hoppe, has written a great book called Democracy the God that failed. It deals with the various inherent problems of democracy, and looks at possible solutions.

      https://mises.org/library/democracy-god-failed-1

  8. This is a conversation I recently had on Reddit. Original submission from someone else:

    “I recently rewatched u/Doug-DeMuro’s video (on his More Doug channel) on why the 2000s were the best era for cars and thought to myself that yes, I agreed with everything he said with the 2000s being the last true era of the manual transmission, the revival of muscle cars, and the incredible supercars that came out during that decade, but to be completely honest, I prefer the 1990s as my favorite time for not just the cars that came out, but car culture as well. Here’s why:

    The Japanese bubble era: Japanese sports cars and compacts are my favorite type of vehicle, and almost all my favorite cars came out during the 90s. During the economic bubble in Japan, we had the Miata, the FD RX-7, the AZ-1, the R32, R33 (R34 I believe was after the bubble), the Silvia, the 300ZX, the 3000GT, the Supra, the NSX, the Evo, literally every carmaker had like, 3 performance sports cars on sale at the same time! You can’t say the same about the 2000s and after. I know it’s a cliche thing to say, but this was truly Japan’s equivalent of the muscle car era.
    Manual-only supercars: Doug DeMuro cited that the 2000s was the last era of the manual transmission in supercars, which I agree with, but those 2000s cars all had automatic transmission options (that most buyers opted for). Meanwhile, almost all 1990s supercars were manual-only. The 993, my favorite Porsche 911, mostly came in all manual forms, especially for higher performance models, the Ferrari F355 and Lamborghini Diablo (I believe) came in only manual, the NSX was manual-only, BMW M cars were manual-only, a lot of Aston Martins came with manuals, and, to top it all of, the McLaren F1, which that car alone tops my argument. Even though the 2000s was the last era for the manual, I believe the 90s was the best era.
    The 1990s was car culture in its purest form: This was a time before the Fast and Furious movies and Need for Speed games were inaccurate depictions of true car culture, and their newest releases have even more continued this. The 90s was when car entertainment was by mainly car guys, and when it was the purest, best, and nonviolent. Racing games entered the 3D era with Ridge Racer, one of my favorite racing game series despite having no manufacturer cars. Gran Turismo, the most influential racing game ever created came out and made us fall in love with the JDM cars we all know and love, racing them on super-realistic tracks while jamming out to alternative rock soundtrack. Initial D and Wangan Midnight introduced wonder into the eyes of those who love Japanese car culture, and the tapes starring Keiichi Tsuchiya created the art of drifting.

    The 1990s was simply an era that is almost impossible to recreate and that’s why I appreciate this time the most. That being said, every era has it’s benefits and I look forward to the next few decades.”

    My response:

    “My opinion is that it goes like this:

    When technology outruns the regulations that govern it, the result is strange and beautiful things that people love for decades afterward – since meeting the regulations quickly becomes trivial, leaving spare development resources to spend on performance, style, and the driving experience. We saw this from the dawn of the automobile up through about 1971, and again from about 1987 through about 2007 as manufacturers got to grips with things like EFI and turbocharging.

    On the other hand, when regulation outruns technology, the result is an automotive dark age where all available development resources are spent on satisfying the Department of Not Letting You Build Things People Might Actually Want, leading to a profusion of beaten-down Proletarian Transportation Modules. We saw this the first time from about 1972 through 1986, when OPEC’s hissy fit, urban air quality, the nascent green movement in general, the insurance mafia, and the screechings of the Naderite fringe all melded together into a single undifferentiated lumpen-juggernaut of No Fun Allowed. Now we’re seeing it again, and we’ve been seeing it since 2008 or so. The illusion that we’re not has been propped up by a combination of heroically talented engineering, test-cheat devices, and regulatory structures that allowed high-end and truck-type vehicles to skate for a while. Now all those things are going away or reaching their limits, and the cracks are starting to show.

    The difference is, I genuinely don’t think car culture has the gumption to pull through and out the other side this time. Back in the 70s and 80s, new cars were getting battered by mandates, but the grassroots kept the flame alive. The authorities said everything had to have a catalytic converter, so people bought gutted-out ‘test pipes’ instead. The authorities said not to use X modification on the street, and people just ignored them and kept driving whatever they wanted. The authorities said the speed limit was X MPH and not a single mile over would be tolerated, people just bought radar detectors and kept going as fast as they were used to.

    In many cases, also, the manufacturers were right there behind us with ‘off-road’ (wink wink, nudge nudge, know what I mean) performance parts that could put you new, say, 5.0 Mustang back on the level of, at least, a factory small-block muscle car from the late 1960s. This is because they still contained a significant number of real, untamed car guys, with gasoline in their veins and combustion chambers in their hearts, who never bought into all the green, safe, Nader-compliant BS, and were just waiting to put their talents back on full display with magnificent road-slayers like the Miata, the M3, the various Mustang Cobras, and even gloriously pointless sports pickups from the GMC Syclone all the way up through the Ram SRT10.

    Now? Forget about it. Brock Yates would be throwing up in his grave if he could see what car culture has devolved into. ‘How dare you question emissions rules, climate change is real bro!’ ‘Ugly cars are better than dead pedestrians!’ ‘Side curtain air bags should be mandatory because one made way before they were mandatory saved my dad’s life!’ ‘How dare you complain about non-drivers in the twisties, I have a right to ride my bike wherever I want and you’re a selfish, reckless fascist if you think I should use common sense!’ The car manufacturers have been taken over by empty suits and HR types, with the remaining gearheads kept carefully penned up and marginalized, and ‘car enthusiasts’ today are so in love with rules and the government that I doubt they would even bother to speak up against an uncompensated ICE confiscate-and-crush program. They’re also addicted to comfort and cognitive dissonance; we live in a time where people will dump on a $20,000 Chevy from 2005 (or a $13,000 Pontiac from 1993) because ‘muh build quality’ or ‘muh interior materials’, but a $40-60-80K Tesla gets a free pass on fit and finish so atrocious that owners resort to removing and reinstalling all the body panels themselves… because that’s how they’ll notice that a critical cooling system part is shimmed in place with corner moldings from the hardware store.

    And then, because cognitive dissonance is in style right now, these people will turn around and worship Japan for the street scene it used to have, while at the same time doing everything in their power to ensure that kind of raw, untamed, un-woke car culture can never happen again anywhere. I’m tired of fighting alone against vast herds of 15-going-on-50 scolds who think I’m literally worse than Satan because I think the government has too much of a say in car design, or that prosecuting a 2AM roundabout drift 8 months after the fact based on footage discovered accidentally while investigating something completely unrelated is way overboard, or even just for accelerating too quickly away from stoplights.

    Yeah, don’t get me started about this. I’m looking forward to the ‘next few decades’ the way a death row inmate looks forward to their last meal.”

    Someone else’s response to that:

    “This is a thoughtful comment, but a little histrionic and ‘old man yells at clouds’, no? I don’t see the transition away from ICE as something to fear, and if you have a combustion car you love, keep it. No one is going to come from the government and take it from you and 93 octane will be available for decades to come.

    Will people still be commuting in performance combustion cars? Probably not. But commuting has been sort of subsidizing enthusiast car culture for decades. That will go away – no one commutes on a horse to work but horse racing still thrives.”

    My response to that:

    “A few big problems with that.

    First is cost. You mentioned horses, but horses have been a rich person’s hobby for a long time, and cars are heading the same way. The downstream supply of affordable, workable ‘base material’ is drying up, to the point where I’ve even heard the XV10 Toyota Camry mentioned as a possible hidden gem, and this situation is going to get worse as the anti-sporty eco-turbo technological marvels of the last 10 years sink down to become the bread and butter of the $1-3K range – just as all that fancy tech starts to go on the blink.

    If you decide to look anyway, even $6-7K gets you either an ultra-sketchy clunker, or a candy coated lemon like the Veloster I’m currently paying on but can’t drive. A 2012 V6 Camaro with 5 previous owners and no mods except a set of loud pipes is over $10K. Everyone wants way over book for anything sporty, even with major issues like obvious steering slop or a gearbox that won’t go into 5th. Someone tried to charge me $2.5K for a 1995 3.4L Camaro which was so poorly repaired that the gearbox felt like it was about to fall out and smoke poured from one wheel well after a mile and a half drive.

    Of course, if you’re buying new, you have to be at least comfortably middle-class to afford anything you might actually want, unless – maybe even if – you’re willing to accept a 6-7 year loan.

    This is even before you realize that some of the more desirable cars of the Great Before, even four-cylinders like the S13 240SX and EM1 Civic Si, have actually started to appreciate, at least if you can find one that’s stock and I’m good condition. Is it still just scene tax, or has the same type of person who made the old muscle cars completely unaffordable by treating them as investments now decided to drop in and ruin the market for imports as well? Frankly, I don’t know anymore.

    The second problem is policing. Our ever-growing safety consciousness knows no such thing as ‘good enough’, and has made speeding and especially racing into unforgivable secular sins. See the example of the 2AM roundabout drift from my previous comment. Granted, there were always people who thought that way, but now there are more of them and a great many claim to be car enthusiasts themselves.

    The third problem is, again, a lack of backbone in the car hobby. On another forum I go to, there’s one person who thinks I shouldn’t have a license because I accelerate too quickly away from lights, another who thinks all manual driving should be confined to closed courses as soon as robocar technology goes mainstream, and another who sees no problem with people moving in right next to racetracks and then shutting them down with noise complaints. Do you really trust these people, who want to guide car culture gently into the waiting arms of obsolescence at best, or destroy it outright in the name of some other cause at worst, to protect and grow your hobby into the future? The dedication and resilience which kept the flame of the 50s and 60s alive through the dark days of the 70s and 80s just aren’t there anymore.

    As for EVs not being something to fear, I beg to differ. Yes, they can be very fast, but even the fastest ones, by their very nature, commit the worst sin a car, especially a performance car, can commit: meekness. They have performance, but they don’t and can’t shout performance. Pure speed isn’t worth much to me without the sound and fury to go with it. High-end EVs just take the odious ‘everything is a number, only that which can be precisely quantified exists or matters’ line of thought, and apply it to performance rather than efficiency.”

    You be the judge, I guess. Personally, I’m getting very tired of fighting this raging dumpster fire. Getting real tired of the horse comparisons in particular; people act like that’s a hobby just anyone can participate in. Also getting tired of the people who act like switching over from ICE to electric power, in the process losing everything that makes the car hobby being a part of, is no big deal.

    • Reddit generally is a cesspit echochamber of dipshits that think they’re intelligent. Their true intelligence is revealed when they type a statement as fact, but that “fact” contradicts the reality one can see if they actually leave their house and do or experience the thing in question. Their politics are more important than any hobby they pretend to have. And if the two conflict, the party takes precedence every time. Even if that eventually means the destruction of their hobby and eventually their life. Many people infiltrate groups just to destroy them. Pretending they support the group, but what they advocate for will kill the group. Happens with car communities, video game communities, even the Libertarian party. They work to destroy, not build.

      The place has an aura of soyboy meekness, petty gossip, and viciousness (against anyone their hive disapproves of).

      • Funny you mention video game communities, because in my experience the absolute worst places for anti-car “car enthusiasts” are forums related to driving-sim video games. I feel like these places have a higher proportion of smug, arrogant narrative believers than Reddit itself somehow. They attract people whose interest in cars is mainly theoretical, whose love for rules and the government knows no bounds, and whose politics are whatever is fashionable at the moment. The Gran Turismo community in particular is a toilet, but I’ve had similar experiences on the official forum of an indie physics simulator.

        • Hi Chuck!

          I’m a guy who loves cars and driving – fast – and never got the driving game thing, even though I played mucho video games as a kid. The driving games do nothing for me because I have driven real cars, really fast – and the games are a weak simulation of that. No feedback, nothing “3D” about them at all. Visually, they’re interesting – but the “action” isn’t.

    • >“This is a thoughtful comment, but a little histrionic and ‘old man yells at clouds’, no? I don’t see the transition away from ICE as something to fear, and if you have a combustion car you love, keep it. No one is going to come from the government and take it from you and 93 octane will be available for decades to come.”

      Just like R-12 is still somewhat available to keep your older car’s A/C working. Never mind that if you have to ask how much it costs, you can’t afford it. Before it was yanked off the mass market, you could buy the stuff for a dollar or two per can.

      • Hi Scott,

        Indeed. My ’76 TA needs a recharge but the Freon costs several hundred bucks even with my “friend” discount. And I can’t buy it. My friend (mechanic, “certified”) is allowed to. I am not.

        • Eric, Enviro-safe hydrocarbon refrigerant works really well as a drop-in replacement for R12, it’s even more efficient, and easier on the AC system. I’ve used it for ages now:

          https://www.es-refrigerants.com/products/w/id/173/t/enviro-safe-r134a-replacement-refrigerant-w-dye-6-oz-cans-cases/details.asp

          (Envirosafe is now labeled as an R134 replacement because of Uncle, but was originally marketed for R12 AC systems and works great in them.)

          I’ve also read that R152 (as used in air dusters) works well in old R12 systems but have not tried it myself. Here’s an example video:

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3wkBnhcyO3Y

          You just need to be aware that if you put an alternative refrigerant in your AC system no shop is going to touch it, you need to either work on it yourself or have a good friend work on it.

          By the way, the license to buy R12 just requires you take a very simple open-book test. I was “certified” for R12 refrigerant back in the 90s and still have the license, but the stuff is so expensive when you can find it that I don’t bother since there are alternatives.

        • R134a can work in the older systems but at somewhat degraded performance. Most of the retrofit kits sold were nothing more than the R134a size fittings.

          • Morning, Brent –

            Yup. That’s what my mechanic friend Tim says, too. But I want the “frost on the vents” performance of a ’70s Harrison compressor pumping Freon… remember?

  9. The power to tax is the power to destroy. The authority to collect a tax on a thing is the same as the authority to confiscate all of it, whether your income, your property, or your car.

    • JWK, or your life. Remember conscription? This in spite of the CLEAR meaning of the 13th Amendment. Just another example of laws, being what ever the government says that they mean, when they say that they mean.

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