Don’t Drive That Car!

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You may have heard about BMW – not the government – urging that people who own certain BMW models not drive them. BMW being more concerned about “safety,” apparently, than the government that mandated air bags – which can and have killed.

The models BMW urges people not drive include the 3 and 5 Series sedans as well as X5 crossovers made circa 2000-2006 that were originally equipped with air bags made by  Takata that turned out to be more likely than usually to kill – and did.

And will, again.

There are a number of interesting things to ponder here besides the curious indifference of the government to the danger posed by the air bags it mandated – and not just the ones that turned out to be defective. 

Air bags – the various components that make up the system, including sensors and electrical connections – inevitably, unavoidably degrade over time. Just like everything else. Drive belts and hoses eventually need to replaced. It is why there are recommended service intervals that are wise to heed because if you don’t a belt will inevitably fray and fail – just as a hose will inevitably leak – leaving you stuck.

But when airbags fail, they can leave you dead.

The government admits it – even as it does nothing to ameliorate it beyond issuing blase voluntary recalls.

Sophie Shulman, who is the deputy director of the federal regulatory apparat that forced everyone who buys a new car to sit in front of an explosive device when they drive it (or ride in it, if you’re a front seat passenger) says: “If you have a model year 2000-2006 BMW with a recalled Takata air bag, get it repaired immediately – for free. These inflators are two decades old now and, with every day that passes, they become even more dangerous as they can rupture even in a minor crash.”

Italics added.

I test drive new cars each week and as part of the process, I like to read through the owner’s manual of each car I drive. It is interesting reading. In the manuals of many new cars you will find advisories about the importance of having the vehicle’s air bags replaced after “x” number of years – typically, around 12-15. These advisories are not for defective air bags.

They are for the ones that aren’t.

For just the same reason the manual tells you to have various other parts of the car checked – and replaced – after a certain number of miles/years go by. People are generally hip to the necessity.

Except as regards air bags.

The reason why is because of the catastrophic cost of replacing even one (the driver’s) air bag, which can easily run to $2,000. The typical car made since the early 2010s has four air bags and many later model vehicles have six – or more. All of them age out, eventually – just like a fan belt or radiator hose. The difference is that it doesn’t cost more than the car’s worth to replace an old fan belt or radiator hose.

On the other hand, how much is your life worth to you?

Which brings up another thing. Who is most likely to be driving a 15-plus-year-old vehicle, such as the ones BMW is advising people to stop driving? If you said kids, you get a star.  These BMWs are now beaters – and so are pretty much all cars that fall into the category of 15-plus-years old. They are old and high miles and so (relatively) cheap – having lost most of their original value.

That is why kids tend to drive them, not having the money to buy something newer.

Well, what about the children?

The government that mandated air bags isn’t mandating that these known-to-be-dangerous devices be removed from cars. The government urges replacement.

Note the commonality, politically, with the McGOP’s answer to Obamacare, which was not to repeal it but replace it – in other words, to keep it.

Keep in mind that even a new – and not defective – air bag inevitably becomes dangerous over time. The risks associated with that being entirely yours to bear – unless you have the means to mitigate them, as by spending more than the car is worth (by that time) to replace its tired air bags and all the peripherals.

Another interesting possibility raises its head – and I am reluctant to give voice to it. Maybe the fact that air bags inevitably become dangerous will be used as the justification to require that air bags – and all the peripherals – be replaced after “x” number of years.

In the interests of safety, you see.

There would be truth in this. But also insuperable cost. The latter serving as a kind of back-door “clunkers” program that could serve to force otherwise usable older vehicles off the road by making them impossibly expensive to maintain. The government could say it’s for the children – the ones most likely to face the danger of sitting in front of a decrepit and possibly malfunctioning air bag.

That they won’t be able to afford to replace the air bags would neatly serve to force them out of cars they could otherwise afford.

Just another “nudge” toward our owning-nothing-and-being-happy-about-it future?

It certainly trends in that direction.

Meanwhile, it would cost nothing to deactivate these dangerous air bags – including the new ones.

Well, excepting the freedom we once had to decide for ourselves whether to have (and have to pay for) an explosive device facing us every time we (and our kids) go for a drive.

. . .

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73 COMMENTS

  1. I think people are missing the point about dangerous airbags. Simply deactivating them electronically or by disabling a switch, still leaves you with a highly compressed, or explosive device, in you car. Could not such a device -being defective- still go off with hard jarring?

    • You are absolutely correct. An explosive can last a long time and become more dangerous. Look at the bombs still being dug up in Europe from WWI and WWII and in Vietnam and I am sure in everyplace we (U.S) have bombed the shit out of people. Those things will be killing for eons. We need to stop the demons.

    • Hi Gregg,

      You raise a very good point. The explosive inflator ( sodium azide, if I recall) remains “there” even if the device is disconnected. The whole business is evil. Other people – government – intervening in your private business and imposing risks (and costs) upon you, saying it’s “to keep you safe.”

  2. Eric,
    Your lab mix has a hereditary inclination to get fat. Keep an eye on that. One of my 13 year old 120+ pound dogs was a thorough bred Lab, 130+ pounds actually, and fat. I tried to cut down her chow, and she promptly went out and dug up a 25 pound ground hog, and ate it in one sitting
    RG,
    Diatomaceous earth will kill any thing with an exoskeleton, including intestinal parasites. Mix some with some fat, and they will eat it. Cheaper, and non toxic. I was under the impression that plants from the onion family, including garlic, are NOT good for dogs.

    • Thanks for the good advice, John –

      Pace is a hoss! I’ve had Labs before; never one as brawny and thick as this one. He’s a damn fine looking dawg, too!

  3. The problem with replacing an airbag for an obsolete vehicle is that you won’t be getting a brand new 2023 built part but that you would be getting a NOS part. In other words when you replace the airbags in let’s say your 1998 Taurus you would wind up getting a part built around the same time period and that’s even assuming you could find one at all.

    Saint Christopher medals hanging off the rear view mirror perhaps.

  4. April 13, 2016: Regulators state that there are 85 million potentially defective, unrecalled Takata airbag inflators that will need to be recalled

    2023: NHTSA has confirmed that 25 people in the United States have been killed when their defective Takata PSAN air bag inflators exploded. In addition, at least 400 people in the United States have allegedly been injured by exploding Takata air bag inflators.

    Takata airbags have CERTAINLY saved a lot more lives than they have ended from a defective activation.

    in a single year’s time – more than 46,000 people lost their lives in a preventable traffic crash; that’s more than 46,000 people who didn’t make it home to their families and loved ones in 2022.

    • Richard,

      Except if it’s you who didn’t “make it home” – because the air bag killed you.

      Right?

      Who appointed you – or anyone else – the arbiter of cost-benefit at gunpoint? This latter is the fundamental moral problem with government “mandating” things like air bags (and seat belts). In the first place, it is none of government’s legitimate business. The only legitimate business of government being to leave alone people who aren’t causing harm to others. Period. And to deal with those who do cause harm – actual harm – to others. Period.

      Even if air bags or seatbelts are a net benefit, that is not your call to make on behalf of others. If you believe it is, then I have an equal right to insist you eat your veggies (and so on). Endless nannying, “for your own good.”

      Do want to live in such a society? To be parented by other people, endlessly?

      And the fact remains that since air bags (and seat belts) can cause harm, it is utterly immoral – despicable – to impose those risks on other people.

      • Safety belts save lives
        Air bags plus safety belts add an at least ten percentage points to the saved ives percentage. Air bags with no belts save at least 30% of lives. That is the big advantage of air bags. The benefit when wearing a snug safety belt and shoulder harness is relatively small, but does exist.

        The problems with Takata air bags have been very small relative to lives saved by air bags in general. I base my statements on data
        You shoot from the hip and insult contrary opinions. With the non-thinking per-existing attitude that “everything government” is bad. That’s not libertarianism, it’s anarchy.

        • Richard,

          “safety belts save lives” – a generic statement. They have not “saved” mine. I do not wear them. And I am alive.

          Can you follow that logic?

          Regular exercise also “saves lives.” Shall jumping jacks in front of the TeeeVeeee every other day be made mandatory, too? Fines if you fail to do “your” jumping jacks?

          It would also “save lives” to ban driving altogether. Motorcycles, certainly. Do you see?

          No, of course you don’t.

          As I have already explained, anarchism means (literally) no government. It does not mean no rules. Minds such as yours seem to be incapable of appreciating the difference.

          I owe you nothing other than respect for your right to be left the fuck alone – and you owe me exactly the same.

          Do you get it, yet?

        • I prefer to not wreck, and haven’t for 47 years. Not that some absolute morons haven’t tried to cause it to happen. Anyway, I get notices all the time to have my passenger side airbag replaced. If you unhook the seat sensor it is disabled.

  5. Wait a doggone minute!

    Take the BMW to a Bavarian Motor Works dealership and they can deactivate the airbag system, the gov can foot the bill.

    If they refuse, demand immediate reparations of five million dollars.

    Somebody is responsible and it ain’t you. ‘It wasn’t me’ won’t work.

    Genug!

  6. Dont you love how they call it a do not drive “order”…. For a car you own. For an issue the government caused?

  7. For those who propose disabling airbags, consider this; cars are now designed with airbags in mind as part of their collision protection for occupants. When airbags were optional, cars were built to stop you from hitting the steering wheel and dash via seatbelt alone, and some people got airbags in addition to seat belts, because they were being sold as a backup restraint system in case you didn’t fasten your belt. The seat belts of the era had much more powerful tensioners that sometimes broke bones when they went off, but they kept you safe.

    When airbags became mandatory, the design of seatbelts changed, and now they deposit you safely into the airbag. They aren’t as forceful as they used to be, and combined with a well functioning airbag, people do get hurt less on average.

    It’s a shame, because they’ve affected car design in very significant ways, and there’s no way modern cars will last for decades like old cars (not just because of airbags, but pervasive use of short lifetime plastics)

    • I have a better occupant collision protection system. Don’t run into things. Although another driver did his best to hit me less than an hour ago. I was passing a clover, and another clover turned right out of his driveway in the same lane I was in, after I started passing so it isn’t like he couldn’t see me, he just ass u me d that looking left was all that was necessary. And he stopped, instead of doing the right thing and driving off in the ditch. Fortunately, I did see him, before he even pulled out. Glad he wasn’t five seconds later, or both of us might have been toast, air bags or not.

      • Oh, I’m with you. I’ve been driving for 34 years, and I’ve never had an accident where I ran into something. People have run into me when I was stopped and could not avoid them, but at no time have I yet benefitted from a seat belt or airbag, and I hope to keep it that way.

        I do wear my seatbelt just in case I get hit by the car I didn’t see coming.

  8. The government’s apparent indifference to defective airbags sounds an awful lot like their indifference to the harms caused by the COVID jabs that they tried to FORCE millions of Americans to take in 2021. The Biden Thing dropped their remaining COVID jab mandates recently, but somehow I doubt the government will drop its air bag mandates for new vehicles. Instead, they may DOUBLE DOWN on such mandates and require that vehicles have even MORE airbags.

  9. THIS INFORMATION IS FOR STUDY PURPOSES ONLY. DO NOT ATTEMPT TO DO THIS UNLESS YOU ARE QUALIFIED TO DO SO.

    Airbag disconnection is technically illegal under federal law but it can be done easily and safely.
    You will need tools to disassemble the steering wheel and will also need a volt-ohm meter. Additional parts needed will be a 100K potentiometer, used to determine the resistance value needed to turn off the airbag light. Connect the center and one of the side lugs on the potentiometer to the airbag vehicle connector, NOT to the airbag connector itself.
    1. Disconnect the vehicle battery and wait 15 minutes for the airbag circuit capacitors to discharge.
    2. Remove the airbag from the steering wheel and unplug the airbag connector.
    3. Reconnect the vehicle battery and connect the potentiometer to the vehicle airbag connector.
    4. Rotate the potentiometer shaft until the airbag light goes out.
    5. Disconnect the potentiometer from the airbag circuit.
    6. Using the volt-ohm meter, measure the resistance of the potentiometer center and side lug.
    7. Obtain a fixed-value resistor of the same resistance value (ohms) and attach it to the connector.
    8. Reinstall the airbag without plugging in the connector.

    IMPORTANT! DO NOT ATTEMPT TO MEASURE THE RESISTANCE OF THE AIRBAG DIRECTLY. IT WILL DEPLOY IF YOU USE THE VOLT-OHM METER TO ATTEMPT TO MEASURE AIRBAG RESISTANCE DIRECTLY.

  10. ‘Sophie Shulman, deputy director of the federal regulatory apparat, says: “If you have a model year 2000-2006 BMW with a recalled Takata air bag, get it repaired immediately – for free.”‘ — eric

    What about the rest of us toiling masses, driving vintage Toyotas and Nissans with SRS airbags which won’t be replaced for freeeeeeee?

    Gamble on good luck … or take a chance on killing ourselves or a passenger?

    It’s a Sophie’s choice, comrades. Do the right thing! 😉

    • Hi Jim,

      Just more additional fear porn from the federal government to push older vehicles off the road. If Big John won’t get rid of his 2001 Ford F150 then let’s terrify him to do it. Most cars have had air bags since the mid to late 1990s so we are talking around 25 years. How many accidents and homicides are occurring due to these older air bags? 15? 150? 1500? 15000?

      I would be more concerned (and distrustful) of taking my old car in and getting my air bags changed for “free”. Lord knows what the hell they are installing in its place. Cameras? Some other type of “safety” equipment? Yeah, no thanks. For anyone who is terrified of driving their 2003 BMW X5 due to this potential malfunction, I (and probably a few others) would happily buy them for dirt cheap to save lives!

    • The wait to get replacement airbags is months. The cost may be $0, but you’re now without a car for months.

  11. If something is mandated, the supplier has a guaranteed customer base. Hence, quality and performance take a back seat to profitability.

  12. All those thousands (millions?) of migrants coming in are fairly used to paying off officials and ignoring stupid laws. What happens when their sketchy 3rd hand cars have airbag faults? Do they take them to the dealer? Or do they take them to “my cousin” who knows how to deactivate them, like the old guy who deactivated Ben Richards’ explosive collar in The Running Man?

    Of course just saying that makes me a rassissss prick. Obviously the freedom loving asylum seekers are going to abide by every law on the books right at day one, even better than whitey. And when they make a mistake, well, ignorance is bliss and I’m sure now that they know it won’t happen again…

    But as most of us here realize, I’m celebrating the scofflaw, not condemning him.

  13. I think that I checked before and my old ’02 A6 Avant does not have Takata airbags. But, I’m pretty sure the airbags that are there are about as worn out and shriveled up as the rest of the car is. There’s NFW that I’m spending even a thousand dollars to replace those.

    But, more worrisome to me, is the 2014 A8 that I have. I’d bet anything that thing has at least 6 airbags. And that each one would cost a couple/few grand to replace! It’s my wife’s daily driver and I keep telling her that she should think about trading it in for another ICE car while we still can.

    But she loves it so much. It’s in great shape. It’s a monster V8 4.0T with the works inside! What’s not to like? I dunno, maybe she’ll be ok with spending however much to keep it. We’ll see!

  14. I’m sure there might be someone who has more information that could prove me wrong, but I don’t believe there is any statute that says you can’t disconnect your own airbag. Certainly a mechanic or a shop can’t do it, but I don’t know of any law against removing a fuse/capacitor/yellow wire on your own car. And even if there is some obscure law, who cares? If we’re going to withdraw our consent to be governed, part of that means ignoring their dictates anyway. I you live in a state that requires inspections, just put the fuse etc. back temporarily while you get it inspected.

    • That’s sounds like a good idea for my old 2002 beater. It’d be a nightmare to take apart everything just to disconnect the airbag connectors — if that’s even possible. Must be but I think just finding the fuse is the best way.

      I can also change some of the car settings with a gadget that I bought. But I don’t know if they have the airbag control mapped out or not. I’ll have to check. Not sure I’d trust that anyway TBH.

      • The very few I looked at, the fuse also controls needed important stuff. Been too long, don’t recall which.

        The fuse route, was a dead end.

        So, even if the wire to an airbag is disconnected, it still has a remaining charge (in a capacitor? unlike batteries, those thing hold a charge… forever?) & can be activated while not plugged in?

        If so, f-Ugg.

        • No, capacitors do NOT hold a charge indefinitely, but they hold a really high charge until they don’t. And unplugging one does not eliminate that high charge. Which is why you need to be very careful when changing out the start capacitor on an air conditioner condensing unit. A common failure point.

          • As per Scotty Kilmer, disconnect positive and negative terminals on the battery, then using a couple jumper clips, place a 1 ohm resistor across positive to negative cables and leave for 15 seconds. Every capacitor in the car will be discharged. Downside is that the memory on every single computer in the car will also be wiped out. But that’s ok, the car will relearn everything as you drive it.

            • Maybe you leave them connected to the battery, don’t remember the details right now, but you can find the procedure on his you tube channel, which I recommend, cuz I don’t want to be blamed for anybody destroying their car’s electrical system!

            • Maybe you leave the cables on the battery, I don’t remember the details on the procedure right now. Check Kilmers you tube channel, he goes over it step by step, probably better to listen to him than some idiot from the interwebs (that’d be me!).

            • On the gen II Miata, you disconnected the battery, and turned on the headlights and stepped on the brake for 15 seconds . Done deal. Blanked everything, including the check engine light and OBD
              codes, and your clock and radio settings.

    • Hi Floriduh,

      In states where a “safety” inspection is required, the SRS (air bag) system must be operational in order to pass. The good news it can be turned on just long enough to get through the inspection – and then turned off.

      • Or you can wire in an appropriately sized resistor, to fool the system into thinking the airbag is wired in & operational.

        The inspector isn’t going to take the car apart, they are just going to plug in to the obd port & visually inspect for obviously missing pieces.

    • I disconnected the airbags in both our cars by unplugging the connector right at the bag itself. Took some contortions under the dash and partial disassembly of the steering wheel but was successful and it doesn’t throw a code to rat me out at the saaaaaafety inspection. YMMV.

    • If there is one (and I’m not aware that there is) it’d be like ripping the tag off a mattress. No one is going to actually look, and if they do show up at you our house they are after much bigger fish than that.

  15. Too bad we didn’t deactivate Obamacare. I had a small hospital visit for 2 hrs. My portion of the bill was $2000. Insurance paid some but I sure I’ll get a bil from the X-ray tech’s brother-in-law in the next couple of weeks.

    • Hi Hans,

      I thank the Orange Man for one thing: His ending of the “individual mandate” to buy insurance; or rather, the fines associated with not buying it. This has saved me thousands of dollars – and kept me from going completely outlaw (because I absolutely will not pay these goddamned fines). Nor will I buy health insurance, either.

      • No you wouldn’t. There is no “health insurance”, there’s only a subscription to a Pharma service.

      • Hi Eric – I notice that I get a statement from my “employer” every year that I was enrolled in a qualifying health insurance program. I noticed that the Biteme administration hasn’t restored the Obamacare mandate either. I am working but refuse to sign up for useless insurance. I can’t afford it right now anyway. It’s like 400 a month out of pocket.

        • Hi swamprat,

          Take the money that you would use to buy insurance each month and save it. I have done this since Anthem decided to quote my family of four a monthly bronze plan of $1500 back with a $13K annual deductible in 2018. I told them to kiss my ass. I have been self pay ever since.

          How screwed up is the “healthcare” system? I just recently had a . mammogram. If I had Anthem the outpatient facility would have charged them $1071. Anthem would have sent me an explanation of benefits reducing the price to around $430 (my cost) since the deductible would not have been met.

          As a self pay patient with no insurance – $275….and the $18K a year that I save goes into my emergency fund to buy new contacts, glasses, dental procedures, labs, or is put toward a future catastrophe. Throw it in a 9 month CD and one can make an additional 5% return on top of it.

          • Hi RG. I was taught to never ask a woman her age, so I won’t do that, but I’m assuming you’re on the youngish side. Your plan makes a tremendous amount of sense if you’re young and reasonably healthy, but as you get older, it’s not feasible for most people. I’m in my 70’s. I’ve had 2 heart attacks, bypass surgery, partial lung removed for cancer, both knees replaced and back surgery to repair a ruptured disc. My wife had to have her hip replaced after a bad fall, and had her nose reconstructed from skin cancer. There is no way in the world we could have paid for any of that stuff without “insurance”. Hell, we can barely afford the deductibles and copays as it is. And yes, I understand that most of my problems were self inflicted, I smoked for many years. Nonetheless, everyone I know who’s my age has similar or other serious problems. No matter how well you take care of yourself, age catches up to you. It’s highly unlikely that you’ll get out of this world without hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical care, especially in the last 6 months or so of your life. I hate that we call it “insurance”, because that’s not how insurance works, and virtually everyone will take out more than they put in, eventually. It’s another Ponzi scheme and I don’t know how we fix it, but believe me, by the time you get to my age, your plan is not financially feasible. One heart attack, or a cancer diagnosis and you’ll be broke in about 5 minutes. I do believe that instead of making sure everyone has “coverage”, there should be a much greater focus on why things cost what they do. Hospital procedures, doctor visits, drugs, all beyond outrageous. But for now, it is what it is, and I for one would be either homeless or dead if it weren’t for my “insurance”.

            • The problem now is, that after the last three years, can you trust them? Might they just kill you, as they did so many with ventilators and Remdesivir (SIC I’m sure)?
              I’m 69, and I no longer do. When my time is up, my time will be up. Happens to us all sooner or later. I’m not going to sacrifice the product of a lifetime of hard work to bribe myself a few more years, if that. My heirs will get it instead.
              When you and I were born, life expectancy was about 70. Should we expect more?
              After watching my late father painfully fade away from 75 to his death at 90, I don’t want to go there. That’s my choice, you can make your own of course.

              • Hi John. I get what you’re saying, and I agree. I don’t want to prolong a miserable life either, and I have already decided that if I am diagnosed with a terminal condition or some debilitating disease , I will do nothing except try to enjoy my final days. However, every procedure that I’ve had was successful! After my heart attacks and the bypass, I felt almost new again. Same with the lungs, believe it or not, after removing part of a diseased lung, you breathe better. And I can walk without pain after knee surgeries. For all of its faults, modern medicine is pretty good at fixing some things. I don’t want to extend a shitty existence, but if I can get something fixed and get back to a reasonably healthy state and spend more time with my kids and grandkids, who wouldn’t do that? And believe me from experience, when you feel that elephant sitting on your chest, your first thought will not be “oh well, I had a good run”. It’ll be “good god, somebody call 911!”

                • Believe me, after spending most of my working life in construction, and suffering broken bones, burns, gashes etc. that go with that trade, none of it compared to the pain I felt with Rheumatoid Arthritis. I can easily understand why some would pay anything, $60k+, regardless of who actually paid the bill, to end it. I told them to Eff off. I’m not going to yield my assets or my morals to escape this. I don’t claim that as moral superiority, just that spending much of my life in pain, I’m pretty good at tolerating it.

            • Hi Floriduh,

              I am not embarrassed about my age. I am 45. Either I am still young enough not to care or too old to be insulted by it. 🙂

              I believe insurance has its place. It is to be used when disaster happens and we need to each make our own decision on the comfortability of risk associated with having it or not having it.

              My problem with the insurance industry (especially health insurance) is it does not address “healthcare”. Today, health insurance is used for everything from seeing a doctor for a sneeze to heart transplants. We have stopped focusing on the individual taking care of themselves to the best of their ability to “hell, I have insurance, the doctors will fix it.” That breeds corruption, entitlement, and apathy. That is the system that is installed in allopathic medicine today. It is not about healing or curing, but suppressing the symptoms or doing enough until the next mishap.

              What did our country do for the first couple of centuries when BCBS wasn’t established? We can take a look around our society and see health “insurance” is not working. The American public eats too much, exercises too little, and takes for granted that someone somewhere is going to extend their life. To quote our own Mr. Kable “there is no such thing as saving a life.”

              My parents are in their early 70s. They have the typical aliments associated with someone of their age, but all in all are in pretty good shape. Both of their mothers are alive as well. Some of it can be related to good genes, but it is mainly about care. We make it a point to eat healthy and not destroy our bodies. Emergencies do happen and that is what insurance should be used for – not everyday issues.

              • Couldn’t agree more. Probably 75% of our problems would go away if people ate right, stopped smoking and drinking and exercised every day. I’ve never met a doctor who addressed any of those issues, except maybe the smoking. And as for insurance, I’m with you. I think it’s generally a bad deal. I’ve paid in tens of thousands in auto insurance, never made a claim in my life. I’d get rid of it altogether if I wasn’t forced to have it. I did get rid of homeowners. Paid them tens of thousands too. Went through hurricane Irma a few years ago and had $9,000 in damages. They paid me zero. So I gave it up, and just went through Ian a few months ago. Had about two thousand in damages this time around, which is less than my premium would have been. I also think that if people had some skin in the game, these medical costs would go down. Because of my lung history, doc says I should have chest CT every months. I have “insurance”, so sure, I do it. Then I see the EOB, and it’s 1300 bucks! You think I would do that every 6 months if I had to pay for it? Not a chance! I’d be ok with catastrophic insurance and then just pay your own way with everything else. You’re right, our healthcare system isn’t working, but then not much else in our society is either.

                • Hi Floriduh (and RG) –

                  Here’s my personal attitude: I do my best to stay healthy and avoid Quacks, who in my opinion have become mercenary-bureaucratic employees of the hospital-insurance cartels and are not to be trusted. Not all of them – but in general. They have utterly discredited themselves over the course of the past three years. I might go to one in an emergency, as for a spurting artery/compound fracture. Otherwise? No, thanks!

                  I do not kid myself, though – and know that I will eventually (like everyone else) get old and more than likely suffer the debilities of old age. But I have decided to just accept what comes, for good and bad.

                  What I will not do is bankrupt myself to pay for “health care” – even if it does keep me alive. We all die. When my time comes, it comes. I’d rather die, in fact, than be kept alive half-dead and leave nothing to those I leave behind, all of it spent to keep me alive for a few months or even years longer.

                  Also: I have been lucky enough to live just in the nick of time, by which I mean was born in time to grow up and enter the workforce before people were forced to buy “coverage.” This saved me thousands – in my 20s – when “coverage” is something one needs like a hole in the head. More like a hole in the pocket! Instead of just throwing away all that money, I saved it and used to buy my first house and that eventually gave me the means to flee the filthy DC area for the country, where I have lived these past 20 years.

                  It was worth every cent I saved.

              • And modern “medicine” does not even address these issues. Other than “quit smoking”, more because it’s PIC than anything else. All health problems are a drug or surgery deficiency. I have nearly cured my Rheumatoid Arthritis simply by cutting sugar out of my diet, and taking D3 and Zinc supplements. The Rheumatologist wanted me to take “biologicals” which cost $60k per year. I fired her. She said I could get funding for it. I told her I would not be a party to this extortion. The pitiful part? My symptoms appeared about a month after a visit to the ER a few years ago, where they gave me a DPT vaccine while I wasn’t looking. In my 69 years, I have never known anyone with any of these three diseases. RFK Jr has vigorously opposed this vaccine.

                • Hey, they do the same thing with animals. I used to get in arguments with my wife about all the stuff the vet wanted us to do for the dog. She’d spend 20 or 25 bucks a month on heart worm meds, and I said geez, in my whole life I never knew of a dog that died of heart worm, seems like bullshit to me. But, corporate America has everybody brainwashed (including my wife), just do what you’re told and give us your money.

                  • Agreed, Floriduh. I have also noticed that vets seem to recommend shit dog food…I guess it all depends who provides the biggest kickbacks.

                    Whenever I walk into a vet’s office and see a Purina product I know to disregard most of the vet’s advice.

                    The last time we took them to the vet she made a comment on how big and healthy our pups (now approaching 7 years old) looked. My husband made the comment that we feed them real food. They eat what we eat. The vet then shook her head no and stated that isn’t healthy for them because they need certain vitamins and minerals. My husband then commented, “Didn’t you just say they looked healthy?” Crickets.

                    • My last two dogs were 120 pounds plus, and both lived past 13 years, which is unusual for big dogs. I did NOT spend inordinate amounts of money on their food, nor vet care. They are much like us. Omnivores that thrive on whatever is available, dogs preferring a more carnivorous diet. Not necessarily for a long life span, but thrive none the less.

                    • Hi John,

                      Our new dog – Pace – is about 100 pounds; he’s a German Shepherd/Lab mix. He’s massive! A bit more spastic than the Lab usual, but he’s beginning to settle down. We feed him much of what we feed ourselves – and he seems to like it!

                    • Do any of you take any kind of steps to prevent heartworm in your dogs?

                      It’s on my list of things to research and I wonder.

                    • Hi helot,

                      Carrots and coconut milk to prevent heart worms and to get rid of most parasites.

                      There are some tinctures like hawthorn that can be used, but I would just keep it simple.

                      Garlic is also very good for them, but I include this in my sauces that I mix with their meals rather than straight up. Mushrooms are also good. I give my dogs yogurt every now and then. Not the sugary sweet stuff but a solid Greek or one made with coconut milk. Don’t be afraid to add a couple blueberries, too! They love it.

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