The Way it Was it Will be Again

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If you were to go back in time 120 years, to the dawn of the Age of the Automobile, what you would see is that the automobiles of that age were few and expensive. Most were hand-built, to order (you may recall GM’s “Body by Fisher” badges; these were remnants of the coach-built era).

Anyhow, we’re almost there again.

While not coach-built, new vehicles are becoming so expensive again that – inevitably – only a few will be able to afford them, soon.

You may have heard that last year, the average price paid (the so-called “transaction price”) for a new vehicle was about $45,000 – an all-time high. It does not mean that one could not buy a new car for much less; it means that lots of people didn’t – chiefly because they could finance more car – which they could because of low interest rates. But interest rates are no longer low and headed higher; this will result in fewer people being able to finance – ending the fiction of affordability.

At the same time, there are fewer and fewer vehicles left that do not cost $45,000 – or a lot more.

Almost all of this is due to “electrification,” which is inherently expensive. The typical EV costs about $10,000-$15,000 more than an otherwise similar non-electric vehicle. Ford’s F-150 Lightning, for instance, stickers for $55,794 vs. $41,530 for the non-electric F-150 SuperCrew. It costs thousands more this year than it did last year.

Some EVs – like the Tesla Model 3 – sticker for twice what an otherwise similar compact-sized hatchback sedan such as the Honda Civic stickers for.

This will get worse, not better, as more high-cost EVs are force-fed into the mix – and fewer low-cost non-EVs are left, as alternatives to them.

Why will this happen?

03-15-23_EponKMED     

In the first place, more EVs will mean more demand (artificial, but real) for non-renewables such as lithium and other vital materials that are simply hard to to get (like Cobalt) and very costly to convert from the raw material to finished product. This is why EVs have become more rather than less expensive over the past year, contrary not only to the saccharine promises made that EV prices would come down and also contrary to the usual pattern wherein something new is more expensive at first but becomes less so over time – in part because it is no longer new and also because as it becomes more common, the cost of making it goes down rather than up.

The Model T Ford is an excellent example of the latter.

But the Model T was designed specifically to be inexpensive and simple. EVs are not. The T was made using abundant materials that did not cost a lot. With EVs, it is the opposite.

And – in the second place – there will be fewer alternatives to EVs, as non-EVs are being systematically forced off the market via regulations and made EV-expensive in the meanwhile.

A good example of this is the new Jeep Wagoneer L I recently test drove and reviewed. The heart of this vehicle is Jeep’s new “Hurricane” in-line six cylinder engine, which replaces the Hemi V8 engine that is being regulated off the market. The new engine has two turbos, liquid intercoolers and a whole slew of additional parts necessary to make it all work – and make the power of a V8 without being a V8.

This is not inexpensive. The Grand Wagoneer L stickers for more than $90,000 to start. Most large SUVs – and not the electric ones – sticker for not much less than that. Try finding one with a base price under $50,000.

They will sticker for more as the pressure to “electrify” waxes, which it will.

The electric ones already sticker for more.

One of the newest examples being the 2024 Kia EV9, a mid-sized, three-row SUV with an anticipated MSRP of $63k (that’s with 260 miles of range).

When there are no longer non-electric alternatives to such vehicles, the last lingering check on the cost of EVs will have been removed, as there will be no other choice. The incentive, then, will be what it already is: To build expensive, ultra-luxurious EVs for the very affluent only. There will be no more market pressure to lower costs; no need to worry about being undersold by competitors.

It will be like it was, with a difference.

At the dawn of the Automotive Age some 120 years ago, vehicles were also expensive and few, an indulgence of the affluent. But only because they were new (EVs are ancient) and only because no one had yet figured out a way to make them less expensive – as Henry Ford did.

Instead, they are being made deliberately more expensive in order to recreate what Henry Ford undid.

The point being to return to the age when cars were for the few – and the rest walked.

. .

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97 COMMENTS

  1. https://www.reuters.com/business/autos-transportation/scratched-ev-battery-your-insurer-may-have-junk-whole-car-2023-03-20/

    >LONDON/DETROIT, March 20 (Reuters) – For many electric vehicles, there is no way to repair or assess even slightly damaged battery packs after accidents, forcing insurance companies to write off cars with few miles – leading to higher premiums and undercutting gains from going electric.

    And now those battery packs are piling up in scrapyards in some countries, a previously unreported and expensive gap in what was supposed to be a “circular economy.”

    “We’re buying electric cars for sustainability reasons,” said Matthew Avery, research director at automotive risk intelligence company Thatcham Research. “But an EV isn’t very sustainable if you’ve got to throw the battery away after a minor collision.”

  2. Only the billionaires will drive the collector cars…

    everybody else will be in an FMC 15 min city/ghetto/prison…..and own nothing and go nowhere….no cars, no vacations, no going to restaurants…just government delivered daily bugz meals, no money, no shopping, closet sized room, housed with all the mental patients they released and the prisoners they are going to release…..

    they said travel was the alcoholism of the rich….it will only be for the billionaire elites soon…

    the marxist/globalist elite nobility and billionaires at the top will still own ten $100 million mansions, 50 multi million $ collector cars, 300 foot yachts, 2 private jets and fly all over the planet enjoying life and the beautiful wilderness areas exclusive for their use now…..

  3. You’ll see new Henry Fords popping up once this kosher behemoth gooberment shits the bed. Hard to bribe the masonic goyim when the money becomes worthless.

  4. If you don’t like the laws the politicians are passing what can you do?

    The people are at the top of the power pyramid…the king or president works for them is their servant…below the president is the politicians in the power structure.

    somehow this got distorted and the people ended up on the bottom…which is against a number of laws….

    Edward Fitzgerald wrote a book on this……..

    SMOKE & MIRRORS
    by Edward Fitzgerald

    Transparency is paramount in a world of “Smoke & Mirrors”
    Either the Government or the people hold the power, it can only be one…
    In fact the people, that’s YOU, actually hold the power over the Monarch (the King/Queen), president?
    and in turn Parliament and the Government!

    This book is part of the Authors’ ongoing humanitarian initiative, to Transform 3 Billion Lives in a positive and meaningful way.

    This book is a first of a kind definitively researched exposé that challenges the status quo, with evidence (transparency), to the point that you may not accept another ‘official’ Government statement ever again without challenging or questioning.

    “This book describes our ‘Undoubted and Inalienable’ Rights and Freedoms derived from Natural Law, as being immutable, and can never be removed, rescinded, denied or given up and hold supreme over any written (man-made) documents. It presents the true order of the Laws of Nature and those absolute natural rights that are the birth right of every living man and woman on Earth.

    These absolute natural rights are above all else, above the creations, documents, constructions of men/women, the so-named man-made, written documents, above the role of Monarch, Church and Parliament.” ~ Dolores Cahill, Professor

    Topics covered include: Natural Law, Undoubted and Inalienable Rights, Brehon Law, Common Law, Trial by Jury, the Constitutions (of several nations), Customs and Ancient Laws, The Great Charter 1215, Declaration of Rights 1688/9, Coronation Oath Act 1688, the contract between the people and the Monarch, the Royal Prerogative and so-called Parliamentary Sovereignty, Statutory Legislation, Irish independence, Papal Bulls, a chronology of events, rights and wrongs spanning 700,000 years in the context of determining the truth of the undoubted and inalienable rights of every living woman and man.

    interview here….
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CaAt-fVEgqM

    • Edward Fitzgerald interview here….
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CaAt-fVEgqM

      @ 26:10 in video….in england the king gives royal ascent (approval) to new laws after they are approved in parliament…. in commonwealth countries…..the governor general for federal and Lieutenant governors in provinces… give royal ascent to pass laws after approval by the house and senate…or provincial legislature……a safety valve for rogue governments…to stop parliaments from passing bad laws….
      If the people don’t like a law being passed they can petition the king or his representative to stop it……

      @31:35 in video…..article 61 of the magna carta….security and peace clause…a way to get rid of a rogue monarch…

      If the people don’t like a law being passed they can petition the king or his representative to stop it……if the king won’t act to stop it the people can take action to rectify it….by the means necessary…..

      If the people don’t like a law being passed and they don’t petition the king or his representative to stop it they are stuck with the new law…silence = consent…

      @ 35:12 in video…the last time this happened was in 2001… prime minster blair was going to sign over sovereignty to a foreign body….

      @ 1:00:00 in video article 42 of the magna carta…the right to freedom of movement….this was violated with lockdowns and now with FMC 15 min cities coming now…..

      @ 1:00:00 in video parliament is not sovereign…but…they say they are…

      if you don’t speak up this happens……..If the people don’t like a law being passed and they don’t petition the king or his representative to stop it they are stuck with the new law…silence = consent…they try to silence people any way they can….and convince them they have no power….the government has all the power…..but…the people are sovereign…not the government…

      time to start petitioning them on all these bad laws past and present…..

    • Hi Mark,

      I would (if I could) pay $90k for a truly special/collectible classic car. But for a big mass produced SUV? An EeeeeeeVeeeeee? To me, it would be like living in one of those look-alike McMansions sitting by the side of the road on its half-acre “estate” lot….

    • Perspective Mark, if you’re currently driving a 60K car and it’s paid off, going to 90 is not the end of the world, especially if you can afford the 60K car in the first place.
      But the wealthy people I know that drive these cars all lease, all of them. To them, a car is an appliance. The pay their $1-2K monthly lease cost like it’s butter, and just go get a new one every 2-3 years.
      I drive a 70K truck that I paid 60 for, and it’s paid off. I traded a 45K truck for it. Next time, my truck will likely be worth 50K and the new one will be 75? and I’ll do it if it gets down to 65 which it always does if you have patience. So I write a check for 15 which makes my ‘payments’ approx. 400 (3yrs) per month. not bad. Just how I do it.

      • Another decent deal is to buy just-off-lease cars. My only caution on these is to get an OEM warranty on these ‘computer’ vehicles for as long as you are going to own it.

    • I have to agree with Chris. Basically, it comes down to what one can afford. What’s $90K if you make a million a year or have no debt? Different strokes for different folks. My only concern is can the person buying the auto afford the auto. It is like someone that buys a $3.5 million beach front property or a 64′ Riveria. Kudos to the person that can afford it. I have no issue with someone buying something that they will enjoy as long as they can swing the payments or pay for it in cash.

  5. I just read an article this evening, Eric, where GM vice-president Scott Miller states that “the nationalized company’s vehicles will soon be equipped with the notoriously woke ChatGPT artificial intelligence (AI) robot system, which he says will function as a “virtual assistant” to drivers. As part of a broader collaboration with Microsoft, GM wants to have the woke chatbot perform various functions and services for drivers, including providing on-demand information about a vehicle’s features. The AI system will also advise drivers about what to do when a diagnostic light appears on the dashboard.” And here I thought the seat belt nanny was bad just taking a quick drive around the corner to my neighbors house…..

  6. Speaking of things going back to what they were, money always talks in the end and trumps ideology.

    Germany is teaming up with a bunch of the poorer, eastern EU members to rescind the combustion engine ban:
    https://www.motor1.com/news/657035/germany-italy-europe-alliance-oppose-ice-ban-2035/

    The former soviet block countries know what totalitarianism feels like, and are reflexively against banning most things (except free speech, they love to ban free speech).

    • Meanwhile, California’s Bay Area goes ‘full Soviet satellite’:

      ‘Authorities from the Bay Area in San Francisco have decided to ban the use of natural gas-fired water heaters and furnaces, citing pollution and health concerns.

      ‘The Bay Area’s Air District Board of Directors made amendments to certain regulations to eliminate nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions from residential and commercial natural gas furnaces and water heaters by mandating that new appliances comply with zero-emission standards.

      ‘According to new amendments, only “zero NOx” water heaters can be sold or installed in the Bay Area beginning in 2027. Two years later in 2029, only zero NOx furnaces will be allowed to be sold or installed in the region. And in 2031, new commercial water heaters in the Bay Area will have to meet zero NOx standards.’

      https://archive.ph/a35nd#selection-1053.0-1053.317

      • Hi Jim,

        SF was a beautiful city. I have visited it several times. Now, like NYC, I regard it as a dead place, a wasteland – and hope to never see either again. They are no longer part of America but rather something diseased, like a necrotic finger.

      • And in other news:
        https://12ft.io/proxy?ref=&q=https://www.mercurynews.com/2023/03/16/thousands-still-without-power-in-south-bay-peninsula-most-schools-reopen-for-in-person-classes/

        >Crews sent by the Pacific Gas and Electric Company continued working throughout the day Thursday to reduce the torrent of Bay Area power losses, caused by a howling windstorm earlier in the week that left the utility with its most outages in a single day since 1995.

        The utility said it began the day with fewer than 100,000 Bay Area customers still without power after Tuesday’s storm;

        • I went to Carmel last week for the weekend. It was lovely, but the hotels had been on generator power for a week. When you took a walk thru the neighborhoods, you could hear the whine of generators being used by private homes and many of the shops were closed. so California…..definitely still relies on gas!

      • In 1848 San Francisco was a tiny hamlet of 900 happy souls.

        1849 arrives, San Francisco Bay has 300 ships docked and anchored, abandoned by sailors headed for the hills to dig for zee gold.

        You have 20,000 new residents in San Francisco basically overnight. The emptied ships are used for housing and meals.

        When there are lots of people, disagreements occur.
        Eventually, crimes are committed.

        The vigilantes in San Francisco took control and reined in the crime problem.

        Was in a souvenir shop in Deadwood, South Dakota in 1969, the cashier recognized me from a previous time I was a visitor there. She swore up and down that I looked just like an Austrian foreign exchange student that was attending high school in Deadwood.

        Anyhow, she said, “Come here, I want to show you something” and opened a door that led to a hidden basement area. It was an old opium den, had mannequins of Chinese gold miners working the gold mines in the Black Hills.

        Each were holding opium pipes. Working gold mines for hours on end in the dark using lanterns to see requires some relief somehow.

        You have to have an open mind in this world, be tolerant, raise awareness.

        Anything, something to make it a better world.

      • Oh, it’s a lot worse than you think. There are only two kinds of zero NOx heating systems today, and that’s heat pump electric, and resistive electric. Resistive electric (where an element gets hot) uses stupendous amounts of power and is less efficient than burning gas. Heat pumps are more efficient, but being air conditioners running in reverse, they are more complex, expensive and make noise. Our local noise ordinances often preclude installing heat pumps, and efficiency mandates preclude installing resistive heating! It’s madness. What people are doing in my neighborhood is putting heat pumps under their houses, which is very expensive.

  7. quote “You may have heard that last year, the average price paid (the so-called “transaction price”) for a new vehicle was about $45,000 ”

    ———————–

    “The Tata Nano was released in India for the price of $2,000 US Dollars”

    2 cylinder, 624cc engine that goes up to 105 kpmh max
    CD/MP3/Bluetooth
    1 windshield wiper
    4 wheels
    An enclosed cabin
    Seats and seat belts
    All the widgets that make a car run
    4 Doors

    I suspect that cars are so expensive in the USA because it is a carefully controlled market keeping rivals out. I know this is true for gasoline sales also.

    How is it, just south of the USA in Caracus Venezuela, gasoline is only 12 cents a gallon?

    https://money.cnn.com/pf/features/lists/global_gasprices/

    Venezuela Caracas $0.12
    ——————-

    Iran gasoline prices are $0.053 per liter, 5.3 cents per liter, or 22 cents a gallon USD

    https://www.globalpetrolprices.com/Iran/

    • Gas is 12 cents in venezuela because they can afford to subsidize the fuel for them. In the days before Hugo what’s his name, Venezuela made a crap load of money on oil exports. Their citizens benefitted somehow from the cheap fuel. You can afford to do that if you’re primarily an oil exporter. We aren’t and haven’t been for quite some time. In our best days, we exported a very small amount of our net production. By 1973, we imported 35% of our oil. By 2007, we imported close to 65 percent. By 2011, it was 70. By 2018, we were a net oil exporter. No one has really said what that means. We still buy Saudi and other countries oil since we produce maybe 12 mbpd and we consume close to 20mpd.

      On the subject of cars, I doubt that the government is imposing those regulations on cars to prevent foreign cars from coming in, though the automakers have been all too willing players in the regulations game. Since GM pulled that high school stunt on Ralph Nader by hiring him a prostitute, they have been less and less willing to challenge any regulatory action by the government. It gets worse with every passing year. In the last 30 years, the auto manufacturers have promoted more woke to the top ranks of management. This isn’t about money, protection. It’s about ideology. That’s what woke does.

  8. Eric,

    What’s the point of using a smaller engine that’s boosted? How does that meet the regs to produce less CO2 or other gases? When an engine is boosted, isn’t the boosting done to increase the fuel/air charge, so as to generate more power per each, more dense fuel/air charge? If the fuel/air charge is more dense, doesn’t that mean it’ll have more, not less, emissions of any kind vs. a normally aspirated engine? Am I missing something here?

    • Hi, MarkyMark,
      The theory of operation of a turbocharger is to capture the hot “waste gas” resulting from combustion, and use it to charge the cylinders, thus doing useful work. More useful work extracted per unit of fuel burned is, by definition, increased thermodynamic efficiency of the heat engine. The price to pay for this is increased mechanical complexity, as well as higher stress on the components.

      By contrast, a belt driven supercharger increases the engine output, but costs energy to drive the blower. So, a turbocharger is more efficient, because it captures the energy in waste heat and uses it to do work, rather than loading the crankshaft to spin the supercharger.

      Either way, increasing the compression ratio increases the thermodynamic efficiency of the engine.
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compression_ratio

      Back in the “old days,” say early 20th century, autos ran at much lower compression ratios (much lower thermodynamic efficiency) and thus there were auto engines with *enormous* displacements, which are unheard of today, because modern engines (whether normally aspirated or boosted) all run at much higher compression ratios.

      The heat source, of course, is the heat of combustion of whatever is used as fuel (gasoline, diesel, CNG, nitromethane, etc.). The First Law of Thermodynamics (conservation of energy) implies that the maximum energy available is equal to the heat of (complete) combustion of the fuel. The *theoretical* yield of complete combustion is known as stoichiometric mixture.
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Air–fuel_ratio
      In practice, theoretical yield is never quite achieved, due to physics of combustion (volumetric inefficiency, flame front propagation, etc.) but modern engines can get pretty damned close.

      The Second Law of Thermodynamics says that heat can *never* be converted entirely into useful work. For an IC engine, the way to increase the proportion of heat of combustion converted to useful work is to increase the compression ratio (see above).

      Emissions result from:
      A) Unburned or partially burned fuel, i.e. hydrocarbons and carbon monoxide, and
      B) Gases produced due to the high temperature in the cylinder, i.e. oxides of nitrogen
      Hotter engines will produce more NOx, less volumetrically efficient engines will produce more HC & CO. As always, the key question to ask is “how much?”
      in the words of the great Lord Rayleigh, “To measure is to know.”

      HTH.

    • A smaller boosted engine can be more efficient thermodynamically, because it can achieve higher pressures in the cylinder. When it’s running off-boost, it’s a smaller engine with less reciprocating mass so also more efficient. Everything in engineering has tradeoffs, though, so the smaller turbos are actually less efficient at high power than bigger naturally aspirated engines with similar power levels.

      • OL is right. To MarkyMark: it’s all about the EPA-CAFE test these days. Manuf. design their cars/engines to ‘pass’ the mpg test off-boost. so the smaller displacement engine will be more eff. during the test vs a larger one as long as it stays off-boost, thats’ the trick. It’s a all a game of smoke and mirrors.
        And JOhn is right too, all these high pressure engines will never last as long as a big-fat-and dumb slower rpm engine.
        I can imagine that if we used today’s Manuf. advances (cnc machines, etc…) to build an old school engine big-fat-dumb and happy, that they could last forever……
        But for the time being, at least we are still getting powerful engines, even though they won’t last as long or be as reliable.

        • Adjusting vehicles to pass the test is what destroyed VW diesels. But of course these other cars aren’t diesel, so it’s OK.

  9. The whole US, and by extension world, economy revolves around transportation. Car and truck production, and its long logistics and spare parts tail, fuel and lubricant production, state taxes on vehicles and fuels, our beloved law enforcers mulcting the little people with their “tickets”, the ability to do “just in time” production and overnight transport for critical items, all of it is interconnected.

    What is going to happen by the attempt to limit freedom for the “little unimportant people” is going to be a great unraveling.

  10. The big gamble was electronically powered autonomous vehicles. The idea was when you “must” travel, just wait for the self-driver to pick you up, take you to the public transportation station where you’d wait for the next plane/train/Greyhound to whisk you off to your destination (well, next transfer leg on the journey at least). So you’ll get there eventually. Hope you have more than 2 weeks vacation to make up for all the lost time cooling off at the gate.

    With that scenario who cares about recharging times? You’re only getting to the next leg, assumed to be under 250 miles, and the depleted battery would trigger an autonomous trip to the charging center.

    Turns out, driving is hard. Too bad. At least we got Chat GPT so we can pretend we have intelligent machines. But now they’re so far down the road with electric cars they need to wish and hope for a breakthrough so people can continue to drive. Because Uber with human drivers will never be profitable, and even less so when drivers have to budget for recharging time.

  11. ‘[Vehicles] are being made deliberately more expensive in order to recreate what Henry Ford undid.’ — eric

    How long till Henry Ford gets the sort of retroactive indictment which the New York Slimes just issued against Thomas Midgely Jr? Midgley, a mechanical engineer and self-taught industrial chemist, invented the anti-knock gasoline additive, tetraethyl lead, and Freon, making mechanical refrigeration and air conditioning possible.

    But here’s how Midgely’s monumental achievements are recast today:

    “Indeed, there may be no other single person in history who did as much damage to human health and the planet, all with the best of intentions as an inventor.”

    “If you gave a present-day environmental activist a time machine and granted them one change to the 20th century, it’s hard to imagine a more consequential intervention than shutting down Thomas Midgley’s lab in 1920.”

    https://archive.ph/QCGvT#selection-1095.799-1095.1015

    Steven Johnson, the author of this long-form article, actually does a great job limning the technological history of the early 20th century. Unfortunately, he marshals his evidence solely for the purpose of gratuitous, hindsight slander.

    While Johnson invokes the risk of contemporary technologies such as gene editing, he fails to urge ‘shutting down Fauci’s lab.’ Blinded by ideology, he takes down the giants of the past, while granting a free pass to the vaccine mass murderers of today.

    Smash the Lügenpresse.

    • And yet, despite all the evidence that modern men are destroying the planet, everything appears to be improving. There’s a real greening of the planet as marginal areas are starting to see growth. Plants are getting more leaf dense. Food is produced on much less acreage and with far less energy input than ever. Real, measurable species counts are going up, not down. And yes, people are on average living longer than ever.

      Why would anyone be a fatalist?

      Well, of course because they lack imagination. To them that are on top, the only way off the hill is down, so that’s all they see. And they’re enabling psychopaths’ delusions with the idea that somehow stopping human flurishing is going to somehow lead to a better world. Or they just hate their children and want to leave them cold and impoverished in the dark.

      • Socio/psychopaths revel in the suffering of others, even their children. It boosts their ego, “I don’t suffer because I’m better than you”.

      • Looks like Wikipedia already beat would-be historical revisionists to the punch:

        ‘[Haber’s] work was later used, without his direct involvement, to develop Zyklon B, used for the extermination of more than 1 million Jews in gas chambers in the greater context of the Holocaust.’

        This is an extremely bold and factually questionable claim.

        • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Degesch
          >Degesch was founded in 1919 as a subsidiary of Degussa. Its first director was chemistry Nobel laureate Fritz Haber.

          Haber died in 1934, so had no involvement in the Second World War.

          From the article on Fritz Haber:
          >The Haber–Bosch process was a milestone in industrial chemistry. The production of nitrogen-based products such as fertiliser and chemical feedstocks, which was previously dependent on acquisition of ammonia from limited natural deposits, now became possible using an easily available, abundant base—atmospheric nitrogen.[18] The ability to produce much larger quantities of nitrogen-based fertilizers in turn supported much greater agricultural yields, supporting half the world’s population.

          >Haber, a known German nationalist, is also considered the “father of chemical warfare” for his years of pioneering work developing and weaponising chlorine and other poisonous gases during World War I.

          > In addition to leading the teams developing chlorine gas and other deadly gases for use in trench warfare,[25] Haber was on hand personally when it was first released by the German military at the Second Battle of Ypres

          Unlike Midgely or Carrier, Haber’s work on mass murder by chemical means was entirely intended.

          >Haber was a patriotic German who was proud of his service during World War I, for which he was decorated.
          >Haber defended gas warfare against accusations that it was inhumane, saying that death was death, by whatever means it was inflicted
          ———————–
          Personal note:
          My first full time employment was as a junior level chemist with a company called GCA Corporation in Bedford, MA. GCA, founded as Geophysics Corporation of America by some former employees of AFCRL, was heavily involved in chemical warfare in its earlier days, and had an office at Dugway Proving Grounds. It is my understanding they were involved in the infamous Skull Valley sheep kill incident.

          By the time I hired on, in September 1970, the company was moving away from military work into peacetime environmental science, mainly sponsored by EPA. I worked for the Air Pollution Monitoring and Control Group, and was mainly involved with stack gas emissions from power plants.

          I did use computer code developed by the Dugway office to model diffusion of a gas from a point source for comparison with measured concentration of air pollutants. The science (Gaussian diffusion model) is the same, whether you are diffusing nerve gas or sulfur dioxide.

          Had I stayed with GCA, I would have been involved with a program to investigate the effects on the upper atmosphere of exhaust gas emissions from the proposed SST (Supersonic Transport), which was never built.

    • I liked leaded gas. I think it’s dangers were far overstated and who is to say that any of the other anti-knock additives we have aren’t any less dangerous. They like to tie leaded gas to low IQ and birth defects. How about today with the use of endocrine disruptors in plastics, food, and everywhere elese. Leaded gas was harmless by comparison.

      They banned lead in automotive paint. As a result, you can’t just compound your car down. Every 10 years you have to repaint it if the color starts to fade. It’s a disgrace, frankly.

      In the early 1970s, DDT was banned and atrozine was substituted for it. It is literally sprayed everywhere and isn’t as effected as DDT was. The runoff from atrozine is causing amphibious creatures in the missippi delta and elsewhere to change genders more frequently than they normally do.

      We have serious problems and leaded gas was the least of them.

      • Amen, Swamp –

        Our generation and older grew up with leaded – yet we seem less retarded than the younger generations that came after us… no offense to the younger generations intended.

  12. Paraguay: can get legal residency without even being physically present in the country. Doctors visit: $20 US. High end luxury apartments: $600 US. Dental work: $15-20 U.S.
    Doesnt get involved in overseas bullshit, low population, decently free, decently modern, not too dificult to travel too and from, warm climate, landlocked but close enough to the coast.
    Christan, happy to see new comers who can demonstrate a decent income… I think $3000 u.s. is plenty. Might need to learn spanish, eventually

    • venezuela….small 300 sq ft bachelor apartment $243 month….to buy it $14,000…one person can live there all in for under $1000 month….and they love classic cars there…like cuba…and gas 10 cents per gallon…it is full of the big gas guzzlers…it doesn’t matter….air cooled VW $800…in U.S. $6000+…….it is communist…but…the whole G7 is marxist/communist now and is far more expensive……..

      gas 10 cents per gallon…..take a tank truck there….lol

      air cooled VW $800……bring one back = $$$

  13. Tin Lizzy tires: 30″ x 3″ front , 30″ x 3.5″ rear, 60 psi

    High pressure + thin profile = low rolling resistance = great fuel economy

    Motorcycle tires same thing. You would never ride a bicycle or motorcycle with car tires. So what is this current damn obsession with short fat tires? I can remember when pickups all had 85 aspect ratio tires – which work very well in snow.

    I’ve always wondered how motorcycles tires (or even those donut spare tires) would do to improve fuel economy on a light weight car like a Geo Metro.

    The donut spare tires have high pressure ratings, and the 45 mph speed rating is because they are not balanced. Obviously you would want to select a donut spare that match the diameter of the existing tires.

    • So what is this current damn obsession with short fat tires?….to make everything handle like a track focused car…but…some people don’t want a track car….and the roads are never fixed so the wheels get broken…probably appearance too…..

    • To accommodate the weight of modern cars, which are 3 times heavier than the Tin Lizzy. With tires of that width, modern cars would just sink in the mud. Although, wider tires are not necessarily slower. Increased width reduces ground pressure and increased air volume improves suspension performance.

      However, we are all throwing it away with low profile tires, which suck in every way possible.

    • hmmm just figured out something on this site. If/when it says ‘slow down, you posting too fast’, and i hit the back tab, it then somehow puts me in the ‘new comment’ que vs. replying to someone. Just FYI Eric.

  14. a motorcycle is no place to be when it’s cold. 30-40 degrees going 40+mph sucks! under 30? forgetaboutit, haha… My personal limit is about 45-50degrees.
    Except maybe the larger touring models with full fairings, which are certainly better, but those are a far cry from mopeds, mini-bikes, and the average street bike.
    I think I’d rather walk if very cold.

  15. Long term the “plan” to outlaw by regulation won’t work. Most people will not long term put up with this. The question will be what will be the the final straw.

    • Indeed! My hope is that the increasingly absurd regulations (vis-à-vis automobiles) will “wake” more people up! I don’t think many people realize that 200 – 300 million citizens against an obviously tyrannical government will win in the citizens favor

    • Thinking about this further, there’s no way in he-hockey-sticks that this whole “49 mpg by 2026” requirement will take hold; something will have to give in a major way

      • They’re faking the EV MPGe ratings to make manuf. make them to get to the magical 49mpg for CAFE. All a joke of smoke and mirrors.

    • Things are pretty bad in North Korea, and people aren’t rising up. Eastern Europeans were living under totalitarianism for almost 50 years before anything changed, and they didn’t give up their freedoms willingly to their own governments.

      Things will get a lot worse before they get better.

      • Reminds me of a line from “Serendipity”. Agent: “It’s a lot worse than you think”. Mal: “It usually is”.

    • “Biden’s” fanatical leftist commissars just won’t stop.

      Couldn’t help laughing at the gratuitous cheesecake photo at the top of the WND article, though.

      If they’d just photographed the young hottie with her head inside in the washer, crying ‘Help, I’m stuck,’ it would have replicated a favorite cliche pose of … erm, ‘glamour’ photographers. 😉

  16. We’ll see what happens to EV’s with the coming recession and bank failures.

    I know this…the super-rich love recessions. It is harvesting time for them. They have all their competitors bank loans called in and ruin their businesses. The Fed backed banks may end up owning Ford and GM and can call the shots. They own part or whole of the banks (and Fed) that survive and benefit from “too big to fail”. And lastly…there are less of the hoi polloi walking around on Martha’s Vineyard during high season.

  17. Al Capone’s Cadillac had a V-16 for an engine. I’m sure the body was built by Fisher.

    When you are able to deliver 20,000 gallons of beer each day to thirsty beer drinkers in Chicago, you know how to run a business.

    Sometimes, you need a baseball bat to make sure the business stays in business.

    Back in the days of when anybody could run a racket, not just dot gov.

    The only racket the gov is conducting is war, the most profitable racket there is. Just ask Smedley Butler.

    War is good bidness and bidness is good.

    Especially when you can dump fuel on a spy drone and light it afire with the jet exhaust from a Russian fighter jet.

    Those Ruskies know how the bidness of war gets done.

    War ain’t cheap. Everybody suffers, but that doesn’t matter.

    Gotta get your war on. Time to sue for peace, the only hope there is.

    Pass an amendment to the US Constitution prohibiting war.

    I’ll drink to that.

    • Hi Drump!

      I never thought Capone was a bad guy – relative to the government. He provided services and products people want and are willing to pay for, something the government never does.

      • Eric, Al’s brother, Richard “Two Gun” Hart, was an AGW in Nebraska busting stills during Prohibition, a local hero. Until he succumbed to a world of crime, then he was humbled and stuff.

        Two Gun Hart

        A fascinating story and history.

    • “Pass an amendment to the US Constitution prohibiting war.”
      Wouldn’t matter. We already have a constitutional prohibition of war without a declaration by Congress, and that hasn’t stopped them for the last 78 years . We have an amendment against slavery, but bakers are required to engage in “involuntary servitude” to “protected classes”. A piece of paper won’t stop shit. As far as I know, the only one of the first ten amendments not currently blatantly being violated is the third, troops are not being housed in private homes. YET.

      • The only reason troops aren’t being housed in private homes is because it isn’t feasible logistically speaking.

      • The point of quartering troops in private homes was at least partly to surveil and intimidate those in the home. With electronic surveillance everywhere it is no longer effective, in fact probably counterproductive.

  18. ‘there are fewer and fewer vehicles left that do not cost $45,000 – or a lot more.’ — eric

    Five hundred and thirty-five anencephalic Congress Clowns cannot repeal the law of supply and demand, no matter how hard they try.

    When the demand curve drops across the board as recession unfolds, the average price will come down. Smart auto makers (if such exist) will shift their product mix to lower it further — for instance, making more Maverick pseudo-pickups and fewer F150s.

    Co-opted auto makers are headed for a world of hurt. EeeVee startups are dying first, as one would expect. Then the economic rot hits the entrenched incumbents as consumers hunker down, stranding their gov-subsidized EeeVee overcapacity. Write-offs loom, possibly before the new plants ever open.

    Tax receipts also take a hit in recession. Capital gains-dependent California will get whacked hardest. But so will the US fedgov. Once again, its deficit will widen to $3 trillion or so, a couple of years down the line. Meanwhile, my commie astronaut ‘senator’ is agitating to send F-16s to the freaking Ukies.

    https://www.foxnews.com/world/senators-tell-pentagon-take-hard-look-providing-f16-aircraft-ukraine

    *rolls eyes*

      • Eric,

        Crazy isn’t it how people who oppose this war and/ or oppose sending BILLIONS of dollars to “Keeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeev!” are smeared as PUTIN LOVERS! Speaking of our unnecessary involvement in this war, it appears there’s going to be another Anti-war rally in DC this weekend, in front of the White House. Will the establishment media smear attendees as “Tools of Putin!” considering that this time it’s LEFT WING groups putting this Anti-war rally together? I don’t know. They smeared attendees at last month’s Anti-war rally in DC as “Anti-vaxxers”, “Tools of Putin”, “Far Right Crackpots”, etc., even though attendees and speakers were people from all sides of the political spectrum.

        • Ironically, the weekend rally will almost coincide with the 20th anniversary of George W Shrub’s invasion of Iraq on false pretenses.

          A month before Shrub’s blunder, I raged against it with 400,000 others in Manhattan, as snarling NYPD cops kettled us into city blocks, and Bloomberg’s black-clad snipers aimed down at us from the rooftops.

          Today a new crew of stinking fascists are in charge. But the permawar game remains the same.

          • Hi Jim,

            Oh yes, the 20th anniversary of the start of W’s war against Iraq. I’m not sure if that’s why these antiwar groups are having a protest against the current war this weekend, but one would almost have to give them credit for being consistent instead of bragging on social media about “Stand with Ukraine!”

            There are also protests in Europe against this war and against NATO, though it’s likely establishment media here is IGNORING that.

            • >W’s war against Iraq

              How do you spell “war criminal?”
              Give me a “B”
              ””
              and it’s 1, 2, 3, what are we fightin’ for?

              I packed my bags and bought myself a ticket
              To the land of the date palm tree.
              Hello, Baghdad airport,
              And goodbye Tennessee.
              I just stepped down from the airplane
              When I heard my captain say,
              “Whack a whacka, nuke a city
              Whack a whacka, nuke a city
              Would you like to play?”

              Let’s play dirty in the Middle East
              We can bomb all day.
              Rockets fly in the Eastern sky
              You might die today.
              ”’

    • >my commie astronaut ‘senator’ is agitating to send F-16s to the freaking Ukies.

      If he starts making noises about A-10s, you will know the shit is about to get real.
      Caveat: don’t give him ideas.

      • Too bad they are too stupid to realize that unlike all previous wars, a nuclear one is going to hit everybody, including them, not just the cannon fodder. Your oceans won’t save you.

        • Yeah, except they have a “secret” lair under Mount Doom. They’re pretty sure they’re going to be just fine. We, on the other hand…well, we’re no concern of theirs.

          • >They’re pretty sure they’re going to be just fine.
            Surprise, surprise, surprise.
            All you zombies cry for freedom…

          • Oh sure you I wonder about that. See I figure they can go underground to their doom lairs and maybe technically survive but that the stress of that lifestyle which will be horrible, and the abrubt 180 degree difference in their quality of life will kill most of them anyway. Remember these are people whose money has enabled them to enjoy the best of what this world has to offer, lives of beauty and comfort, served by countless little people. None of that will be available to them in a nuclear aftermath.

    • “Co-opted auto makers are headed for a world of hurt”
      Not just hurt. Like the EV startups most of them will die.
      I’m just an old retired plumber, but I can easily see that the EV market is NOT a viable business plan. Reduce your market by 90%, and stay in business? Really?

      • So one would expect that carmakers will be reduced by 90% as well. Or more. A niche market may work for Gucci. It won’t work for cars.

    • The New World Order is all about keeping the same old borders. Don’t you understand that the countries of the Earth were perfectly defined in Paris by the wise and benevolent Progressive rulers of the day.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paris_Peace_Conference_(1919–1920)

      One wonders what might happen if Mexican citizens just started buying up land on the Texas side of the Rio Grande? Right now much of that land is owned by US citizens who like the current arrangement because they get 1.5 million acre feet of Colorado River water, third behind California and Arizona. But what if Mexican cartels just started buying up land through a shell company? What would happen if they just started planting Mexican flags in El Passo? Or busted through “the wall” because they wanted access to their property? Would anyone shoot them? Would the state go along with moving the wall to the other side of their property?

  19. With the ongoing economic collapse in the US, and elsewhere, I’m not sure it’s going to matter how much or how little cars cost, because those same very wealthy will be the only ones who can afford one any way. I suspect we may have a lot of other things in our lives go backward 120 years as well.

    • In fact, one of the stated goals of Henry Ford was to make a car that the people who made them could afford to buy. Which was, and still is, well outside the norm. For example, construction workers often can’t afford the houses they build.

  20. Perhaps we’ll become like several Asian countries I’ve been to. All the regular people ride mopeds or bikes. In the farming areas of Korea, some drive, what we would call, small tractors.

    I’m too broken and old to ride a horse but the desire is there..lol.

    • haha, good point Manse re: mopeds, etc…
      Reminds me of a very bad time my dad had and rode a small 250cc motorcycle for a couple years in all seasons in the NE. He got through the trouble, but he was a tough sob, not sure most could do it.

    • If only!
      The plan seems to be to put everyone into mass transit, which is effective for large and densely populated cities, but not so much for the rest of the world.

      • For sure, but Manse has a point, if they succeed at bricking all cars, or make them unobtainable, a lot of people would move to old briggs and stratton mini-bikes if they had too.
        And to Blackflag, i don’t think anyone will care what ‘regs’ they throw at you, at that point.

      • And what happens when folks in big cities can’t afford mass transit either? It’s all subsidized, and cities are going just as broke as the States and FedGov, only faster.

        • everybody herded into FMC 15 min cities…

          your new 15 minute city/ghetto/prison……

          globalist/communist/wef planned future

          All the prisons will be closed…the prisoners will instead be housed with everybody else in the 15 minute city ghettos, they will be your neighbours in your soviet era, closet sized apartment…along with all the mental patients they turned out onto the streets years ago ……where it is easier and cheaper to watch/control them/you….every body will be drugged to make control easier….

          15 minute smart city…no more rural living….off to the 15 min city……limited mobility, no cars…weaponized surveillance and control….water rationing…speech surveillance…..mobility tracking…rationing gas, heat, clothing, electricity…

          control of food supply

          …no more cooking/food ownership…..no hoarding/stocking up or growing/independent supply…..it will be a service delivered daily by the government…with your meds included in your bugz meal……..if your social credit score/cbdc balance is too low or cut off…no food for awhile…till you comply….

          the biggest killer worldwide is malnutrition…starvation….that is why the control group is taking control of all the food supply…and gates buying all the farmland….the most efficient weapon for these eugenicists is starvation….their favorite weapon……

          lock them into FMC 15 min cities (death camps)… where they can’t buy or grow food…then starve them to death…

          but …the marxist/globalist elite nobility and billionaires at the top will still own ten $100 million mansions, 50 multi million $ collector cars, 300 foot yachts, 2 private jets and fly all over the planet enjoying life and the beautiful wilderness areas exclusive for their use now…..

          The politicians enabling the w ef/globalist agenda will be exempt from 15 minute city restrictions…..but……later on….

          the bribed politicians that enable them are stupid….they think they will be part of the surviving elite ruling group at the top…they won’t….

          The third stage instigates a crisis that leads to a civil war, revolution, or foreign invasion. This stage only took 2-6 months.

          This is the stage when the leftist politician enablers of the w ef, or “useful idiots,” are no longer needed, because they would be disillusioned, become obstacles, push back, turn against the new government. They are going to be eliminated, exiled, or imprisoned. for one they know too much.

        • And the thing about the total control, one world government plan of mass vaccination, locking people into 15 minute cities that people don’t understand is the degree of total chaos that will make enforcement very difficult if not impossible. All the interlocking and interdependent systems that now run things need to be in place for the one world order to actually take place. When the shtf it will be a complete paradigm shift where people will go into survival mode but also be filled with anger and defiance. Think it will be much more wild west than obedient slaves controlled and oppressed by surveillance. When the electricity stops working the ai stops too.

    • Govco’s already making it harder to throw a leg over a motorcycle. They’re requiring enrollment in riders Ed now with very limited classes booked months in advance. When I got my MC endorsement all I did was practice riding on the street a few weeks and took the skills test. Mass adoption of motorcycles will be glacial in a depression. I could see 50cc scooters and ebikes gaining mass popularity though.

      • Hey, it beets hell out of walking. ESPECIALLY when its really cold, raining or snowing. And on the off chance the Psychopaths In Charge have their way, it ain’t getting warmer.

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