Soft on the Outside

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Cars used to be able to take a hit. They weren’t as “safe,” it’s true. But the price you’re paying for that – literally – comes in the mail every six months or once a year, whenever the insurance mafia sends you the bill for it.

The bill – which has gone up by 26 percent on average over just the past 12 months – is based on the potential repair costs of fixing your late-model vehicle. Or the other guy’s. It doesn’t matter.

What does is that most of the cars on the road are soft on the outside. Their exterior panels are almost wafer thin, especially hoods. Raise yours and see. It is probably supported by a pair of small struts – because that’s all that’s needed to support a wafer-thin piece of metal you could probably bend by hand. You can imagine how much it will bend if you run into something.

“Bend” isn’t the right word, either. Bends can usually be fixed.

What will happen is the wafer-thin hood will fold up like a piece of cardboard – which might actually be preferable as hood material since cardboard is a lot cheaper to replace than a piece of wafer-thin stamped steel or aluminum.

Push on the fenders and watch them give. You can imagine what happens when they’re struck. It doesn’t take much to make them throw-aways. It’s literally hard to straighten them once bent and often not worth the expense of trying. So instead the panel must be replaced, which is also expensive.

See your bill.

The front and rear ends of all modern vehicles are covered in plastic so there is nothing to protect the plastic from being torn when the vehicle bumps into something (or another vehicle bumps into it). The plastic is held in place, typically, by plastic press-in rivets that snap easily, causing the entire front end to shear off the vehicle. The grille is also plastic and there is nothing to protect this very expensive piece of plastic from being broken by a wayward shopping cart. Same goes for those plastic headlight assemblies all new vehicles have. Also very expensive – and very easily damaged.

And just behind that plastic is a plastic radiator. And an aluminum AC condenser. Might as well cover them with cardboard, too.

Interestingly, this exterior fragility covers an underlying solidity.

The structure of the modern plastic-covered (and thin-skinned) car is very stout. Specifically, what you might call the passenger cage – which is an accurate way to describe it because that’s more or less what it is. This is the part of the car that has substance. It is – typically – the underlying welded-steel unibody onto which the superficial (cosmetic) parts of the car are bolted. Most of the vehicle’s weight lies in the structure of the cage. This weight has been increasing massively – literally, just the right word – along with federal “safety” requirements that can realistically be complied with only adding physical structure to the vehicle.

Which adds weight to the vehicle.

Which is why the average new car weighs massively more (about 800-1,000 pounds more on average) than a car of about the same size that was made before it was necessary to add all that weight to make the car “safe,” per government requirements.

This has created an interesting incongruity.

One the one hand, new cars are “safer” to be inside of if you are hit hard by something else – or hit something else, hard. The parts of the car you can’t see – the underlying structure – can absorb a lot of force. But this adds a lot of weight – and now you have a problem (if you are making cars) trying to comply with other federal regulations, especially those requiring the car deliver ever-higher-gas-mileage (and ever lower gas emissions). The heavier a vehicle is, the more gas it will use.

The more electricity it will use, too.

EVs are double-whammied in this respect because they are already overweight due to the exorbitant weight of their battery packs, plus the weight of their underlying structure, which must be weighty just the same as any other new car in order to be “safe” per government requirements. That’s why electric half-ton trucks like the Ford Lightning and Rivian R1 weigh more than three tons and cost a ton to insure, too.

It is also why everything else is costing more to insure.

In order to compensate for all that hidden structural weight, cosmetic weight has been shaved thinner than prosciutto. There is almost no structural solidity on the outside of a modern vehicle.

Just enough to cover things up. Leaving them very fragile on the outside. Minor impacts impart major expense. Because plastic usually must be replaced. And – oddly enough – plastic isn’t cheap, at least when it comes to car parts.

It’s the cost of all of this that’s being covered up.

Many people are understandably resentful about the rising cost of insurance – now about $2,500 per annum, on average –  but their resentment isn’t directed at the right target. Yes, the insurance mafia is just that. It uses the government to make us pay. Which means it can make us pay more.

But it is the government that really makes us pay – by imposing all of these costs.

Maybe we ought to have a say, given it’s us who have to pay for all of these costs. “Safety” is well and dandy, but it’s also hypothetical. The cost of covering a car based on those hypotheticals isn’t.

A point may come when most of us can no longer afford to pay these costs. And at that point, it won’t matter how “safe” new cars are.

. . .

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  1. There is a rather infamous video of an official highway safety crash test of a 59 Chevy Bel-Air and a modern sedan with ‘crumple zones’, in a head-on collision. The Bel-Air interior ‘killed’ the test dummy, but the modern car’s passenger compartment was virtually unphased. Well, recently the ‘truth’ about the ‘safety test’ was leaked out. The modern car still had all of it’s mass, engine, drivetrain, etc. The Bel-Air had been lightened by 30%, having its motor & transmission, and part of its front framework removed. They were very careful not to reveal any of this in the crash-test footage, as well. In other words, the 59 Chevy was rigged to collapse and compromise the interior, to make the modern car appear ‘safer’. Smoke and mirrors folks, and just plain lies!

    • ‘the 59 Chevy was rigged to collapse’ — gtc

      During freshman year in high school, I caught a ride home every day with Bryan H, a 16-year-old friend in the neighborhood. His aged car was a faded blue ’59 Chevy 4-door sedan, with a straight six and three-on-the-tree. No seat belts, of course. The unvarying musical soundtrack was Cream’s Disraeli Gears.

      Retroactively, I now feel safer, despite Bryan having died in his late 20s in a high-speed car wreck … though not in the old Chevy, which he’d replaced with a fast muscle car of the era. Maybe he shoulda stuck to his dowdy old Chevy Bel Air sedan, which looked like this:

      • GTC, this is good to know. I had someone try to use that stupid test as an example of how the “laws of physics” had changed. A concern troll.

        The old Dateline old Chevy trucks, saddle gas tanks and bottle rockets “journalism”.

        Self serving nonsense. They get the money to fund wrecking brand new cars by pooling profits from not paying claims to turn around and lobby for more nonsense saaaaafety regulations

    • A carnival stunt. A “Well, duh” moment and waste of an old car.

      Funny how that car survived 50 years without encountering an off-set accident with an equal weighted car in a controlled environment like a test lab underperfect conditions in all it’s time on the road.

      Notice they didn’t crash a 59 Chevy into a 1909 Buick. OMG the 59 is soooo much saaaaaaaaaaferrrrrrrrrrrr!!!

      These cars went billions of miles before they clapped out, rusted out, had no lethal wrecks and were retired, delivering what they were built to do: go from A to B.

      People drove them all those miles unbelted, unrestrained and survived.

      To this day nearly 50% of all automotive deaths are attributable to the nut behind the wheel not wearing a seat belt.

      What was said in the 70s was true: all the regulations and emissions laws would double the cost of a new car within a few years. Lo and behold!!!

      Trying to address that last tiny % of passive saaaaaaaaaafety will produce $125,000 small cars in short order.

      And nearly 50% will still die driving without a belt.

      You want to be “saaaaaaaafer”? Keep your hands on the wheel. Wear your seatbelt. Use your signals and mirrors. Stay off the frigging phone. Stop playing with the radio, eating or driving drunk or impaired. Maintain safe speeds and distances between your car and the one in front, maintain your vehicle. Bam! Risk of driving reduced by a good amount.

      I’ve driven a 63 Valiant for 42 years, it just has aftermarket seat belts. Long distances, LA traffic, congestion and have never felt “un-saaaaaaaaaaaaaaafe”.

      And here, I thought five mph bumpers front and rear were supposed to save us all that damage and cost!

    • F1 cars are designed so strong now…in a crash they don’t deform or absorb anything…so the weak point is now the soft driver….they absorb the G forces…it just rips them apart…hitting a wall at 200 mph….

  2. I keep only the LEGAL MINIMUM coverage on my ’95 T100

    paid $175 every 6 months for several years, up to $188 last time

    so far, big increases seem to be on “comprehensive” policies only

    hope that lasts (like my truck)

    • Hi clbrto –

      I have been paying about $200 annually for a liability-only policy for my ’02 Nissan. I am willing to pay this, much as I resent being coerced to pay it. But I will stop paying it if it ever rises much beyond what I am paying. Because I won’t just stand there, obligingly, like a milch cow, and display my udders. I haven’t got kids so I can afford to be “irresponsible” if need be. Let them take me to jail. For once, they can spend money on me. How’s that go down, clowns?

  3. Haha, sounds like Mickey Mouse has been smoking a bit too much.

    Get better, Eric. 😉

    Also, one horrible thing about plastic radiator components is the useless petcock that always seems to begin leaking before long. Most people just pull a hose to drain the coolant. Stop putting the damn thing in the radiator body.

    • The way to get back to more older vehicles on the road is Resto-Mods.

      Newer/modern engines and transmissions mounted into older body vehicles, or the body of an older vehicle placed on top of the frame of a newer, but still used, vehicle.

      I see these for sale a lot, and find them much more tempting than doing the whole rebuild process myself.

      As much as I enjoy wrenching on cars, it is simply because of the more beneficial time/money/health exchange equation.

      My health isn’t what it used to be, and will continue to decline over the long term.

      I have more disposable money now than when younger. And if I’m allocating transportation funds to running older resto-mod vehicles from regular new car payment, all the better.

      Your time is worth something, and the amount of money it takes to buy an engine/transmission, sort them, install in another vehicle, repair and maintain them in reliable and running order in an older car is pretty considerable. When it’s already done by someone else who has done this and enjoyed it, and is ready to move on to another project, well, its a very attractive unicorn to own and enjoy.

      And, virtually no one else will have what you’re driving….exclusivity…like Johnny Cash sang about in his Cadillac song….

  4. The only way you’re gonna’ get thick sheetmetal and no plastic is to go back to vintage vehicles. Let’s say 40’s -70’s to minimize plastic. Even stretching from 80s into early 2000’s plastic fascia’s and trim were propagating ever more rapidly.

    I know Eric as well as a few others here drive older vehicles (myself included) but in practice, almost no one is driving a 40s vintage car as a daily driver.

    Gotta be willing to walk the talk before we bitch too much about modern vehicles.

    • True that. I have mixed feelings about it. I drive a 2006 Honda Pilot and a 2012 Acura TL. The TL was a compromise vehicle for me as I hate the small windows and horrid visibility. It was the only car I could find that had the performance and reliability I wanted.

      In the 1960s and 1970s, I heard my dad bitch about the size (and probably handling) of the contemporary American cars. He termed them bombers. He bought a 1963 Corvair as an antidote and later, a 1967 Jaguar sedan. I never drove the Corvair, but the Jag could keep up and handle turns just fine. The suspension was solid with very good rebound and recovery. By contrast, European vehicles of the time had the steering and suspension that could keep up with modern driving demands here pretty well, even though the lower cars had questionable engine performance. They were a little short on power.

      My dad wasn’t the only one. Car and Track show host Bud Lindemann often complained about wallowy suspensions of American Cars during the late 1960s. One of the exceptions was the 1971 Oldmosbile Cutlass which he said the rear followed the front through the turns or somethings like that.

      The cars of the 60’s and 70s had horrible driving dynamics and automakers often cut corners on sway bars that resulted in cars that could spin out and fail to negotiate a turn. To be entirely transparent, I don’t think that I would have enjoyed driving as much as I do had I had to drive a 1970s crap box from Detroit.

      The only way I would is to buy tighter springs, radial tires, rack and pinion steering and thick sway bars. Front disc brakes would be a minimum. European cars of the day had those things. Of course, The transmissions would have to be overdrive to enable relaxed highway cruising and higher fuel efficiency.

      That said, none of the supension and steering enhancements mentioned have been required by Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards nor has the EPA mandated that cars carry an overdrive transmission. All of these enhancements have been market driven.

      The US Highway fatality rate began dropping in 1970 and took a big dive during the fuel crisis. One reason for that is that Radial tires were offered as standard on all new cars by 1976. The switch to Front Wheel driven cars has also had an impact as up to the the limit, FWD cars offer more predicable handling than RWD offerings. It was the fuel crisis that forced that change, not government.

      Therefore, all of the FMVSS enacted since NHTSA’s unconstitutioanl inception need to be tossed in a landfill. Same thing with fuel economy regualtions which have been weaponized against drivers since 2007 when congress gave teh EPA complete authority to set the levels.

      I won’t drive 70’s cars, but I won’t drive todays cars either, with all of the design compromises afoot.

      • “European vehicles of the time had the steering and suspension that could keep up with modern driving demands here pretty well, even though the lower cars had questionable engine performance. They were a little short on power.”

        I call BS on any claim of cars being short on power. No matter what I drive I’m 600’ in front of everyone shortly (5-10 seconds) after leaving a traffic light.

        People have more power than ever on tap and can’t accelerate at more than 0.1G. It’s pathetic.

        Same when merging into freeway – I have no issues in sub 100HP cars and usually end up accelerating an merging in well ahead of puttering traffic that can’t even seem to manage the posted speed limit.

        Lack of power is a non-issue all the way until you get to a 40HP Beetle which will struggle to keep up beyond 70 mph.

        • The Beetle was short on power. So were a lot of cars like the MG, Austin, Skodas, etc.

          And I agree. Back in the day, I drove a 58hp 1981 Toyota Starlet faster than people in 300 HP corvettes. My Starlet had a top end of 87 mph. It probably would have done okay in commuting traffic, but on my long distance jaunts where I am at cruising at 85, no.

          • Hi Swamp,

            I drove a ’74 Beetle on the DC Beltway back in the early ’90s. Totally doable. Fun, too. You just had to be willing to work the thing, which is what made driving that little car so much fun!

          • Dad had a ‘62 VW bus, the motor went out in ‘66 and being short on cash he opted for the cheaper less HP Bug motor. Whoops, that didn’t work too well freeway was a real challenge!

      • 80’s era Volvo 240s for me. I had several and they were tough, reliable and safe as hell. Even the wagons weighed less than 3,000 lbs. They show up on BaT once in awhile and I am sorely tempted to get one.

  5. Hi Eric ,
    I doubt its only the government on this one. Its not like these things couldn’t be made sturdier. They use plastic pins that are stacked on top of each other. Machine folds a 100 of them at the same time and inserts them. No screwing no welding etc necessary. Pulling stuff out as an individual wanting to fix his car becomes hell. Also the margins are huge on oddly shaped plastic parts and company makes more if they easily break . Many new cars bumpers are expensive and i could brake them with a naked foot.

    • My one score under “extended coverage” on the 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee was a radiator replacement 2 years ago. Glad it was covered, what a cluster “F” indeed. Front bumper cover and grill come off, several of the plastic retainers are single use only. Then discharge the A/C the condenser is attached to the radiator factory instruction remove with radiator. Drain coolant remove radiator / condenser assy. Replace radiator and reverse to install everything with several new retainers, recharge a/c and refill coolant. Total billed to “extended coverage” was north of $1500.

      Remember parts families from the ‘70s? Probably into the ‘90s? My ‘70 Firebird needed a radiator in ‘80. The boneyard had a pristine one from a ‘78 Camaro think I paid $85 with a 90 day warranty. They also sold new rads for cheap, the ‘91 Silverado got a brand new radiator in ‘98, the GM plastic tank failed behind the upper hot intake port. Same composite design made in Thailand fit perfectly including the trans cooler and oil cooler ports and is still in there today. Probably used a plastic compound with real chemicals for heat resistance, EPA not involved.

  6. Very much brought to you by the Insurance Institute For Highway Safety………just another arm of the insurance mafia. They have succesfully coerced the OEM’s to engineer vehicles to not only “just” the NHTSA standards but to their ridiculous scenario tests that they perform as well, which the MSM is soooo happy to cover ad nauseum. It’s 3D chess really.

  7. Remember Saturn? Remember how they made a big deal about how their exterior panels were flexible plastic that were bolted on to the chassis? How a dinged fender could easily be replaced? The print ads even had a “naked” SL2 and talked about how it was cheaper to carry collision insurance because it was cheaper to repair.

    Reality of course was that eventually those body panels weren’t kept in stock so eventually they were no longer available unless you found one at a junk yard. Didn’t really work out the way they thought. But I also wonder if your average Saturn owner was likely to have an accident anyway.

    Manufactures seem to have taken a page from the Saturn playbook, except instead of having easily bolted on parts made of deformable plastics, they just go for the ultra thin sheet metal and brittle plastics painted to look like metal. I’ve seen a few F150s with broken rear quarter panels, looking like they got hit with job site debris or something. There’s no metal, just brittle plastic. And the newer years have that aluminum bed to boot. Better not actually use your truck like a truck…

    My Cherokee includes a roof rack. I make good use of it. When I first installed the carrying pod I leaned a small ladder against the door to make it easier to reach. Now I have small dents all along the door where the ladder was against it. What the hell Jeep! Probably could screw around with a puller, but why bother? I see lots of vehicles with cracked ground effects, missing fog lights and lots of dings and scrapes. It just seems like no one cares, and I understand why. Small imperfections don’t matter any more, now that even simple fixes cost thousands of dollars. And they aren’t for home gamers without a lot of trips to Harbor Freight for that tool you’ll use once.

  8. Simple fender benders used to not be such a PITA. Local shop could pop dents, prime, sand, paint & would be fine. The end-to-end timeframe, depending on the shop’s workload, would usually be a few days.

    Today it’s a major PITA between dealing with the insurance companies, body shops, etc. The sheer expense is mindnumbing and the hassle intolerable.

    • Hi Mike,

      Neighbor lady has a late model Subaru Forester. It has a modest dent in the driver’s side door. She took it to the shop thinking it’d be an easy and relatively inexpensive fix. They want $2,400 to replace the door.

      • If I were her, I would hang out on EBAY and wait for a simlar colored door to show up. It will run her between 500-800 bucks and plus installation. A lot cheaper.

      • Let’s not forget that a bunch of this nonsense is due to customers that won’t accept minor paint mismatch and expect perfection.

        Open the door cavity to do hammer and dolly work and next thing you know you have to remove electric windows, power locks etc. Far easier to replace the door.

        Likewise, many won’t accept aftermarket parts and want to insist on more expensive OEM parts.

        All this “high maintenance customer” and litigiousness is preventing her from getting a basic quick fix at an affordable price.

        Bad behavior has consequences.

        • Very true, Lead –

          I told the neighbor lady that it was likely the cost was at least in part a function of the labor to take apart that door and deal with all the electronic guts within the door. Even just removing a seat is mo longer simple – four bolts to take it off the tracks, as it use to be – because even the goddamned seats are now wired to the car.

        • Aside from that, opening the door panel has become a real problem since the plastic fasteners either break or work too well and rip out the door panel material. And as the metal has gotten thinner, the inner panels have gotten razor sharp. These days if I fix a modern car I hit it with a couple holes and a morgan pounder or my trusty Harbor Freight stud welder, then slap some putty on to smooth it out. New stuff is impossible to do quality hammer and dolly work anyway- but I have gotten very fond of cheap chinese replacement panels. Replace a whole rusty fender for about 80 bucks, what’s not to like?

      • She should look into Paintless Dent Repair.

        Lots cheaper and it saves the factory paint.

        Youtube or Google it…

        Good luck!!

        • Hi Saxons,

          Yeah, but this dent is along a pressed-in (factory) crease and that is (apparently) not fixable, per the body shop. It’s getting really crazy. Fixing “minor” damage – bread and butter cars – is becoming as expensive as repairing Ferrari fender benders.

    • Yup. My first car in ’63 was a ’50 Chevy Fleetline 2 dr. It had spring-steel bumper. I hit a dent from behind with a hammer she popped out good as new. The only “damage” remaining were some hairline fractures in the chrome; hardly noticeable.

  9. I apologize. I could not help myself. Eric’s squeaky girl voice cracked me up. And, it was absolutely fitting with the subject he talked about in the video. The thin hood, the plastic parts, all less-than what they should be, normally.

    Also, RG’s FinCin troubles are not quite OT, imho. Same kind of feature as the thin hood & plastic parts – the whole – is not created & operating as it should,… in a non-Bizarro World. It’s all working exactly according to plan.

    [Unsolicited granny-witchin’: Crush a garlic clove. Wait 15 minutes, within 45 minutes eat the clove. Repeat until cured. And, gargle some salt water.]

  10. RG, I’ve done almost the same thing for years. I started after I was charged for something I didn’t purchase. Since then I have an account I call “Cyber Commerce” that I transfer just enough into for whatever spending purpose, and keep a balance in that account of around $5. My money, my accounts, my business. Same as you. Amazing the kind of country the US has become.

    • It’s been my experience that you can’t just have a separate account, they will fuck that up, too. One way, or another. Ya gotta keep that “Cyber Commerce” account at a whole separate institution.

    • Hi Bill,

      Who knew we were doing something bad safeguarding our information? That subaccount has saved me more than few times. I usually keep about $50-100 bucks in it, but one time Kohl’s debited a payment twice far surpassing the amount that I paid them or keep in there. Another time there was fraud on the account and it saved me from having $2600 go missing which would have happened if it was tied to my main account.

      For some reason the corporations and government in this country hate people taking care and defending themselves whether it is monetarily or physically. They won’t do, but they also refuse to allow you to do it.

  11. ‘Just enough to cover things up.’ — eric

    Why not just skin vehicles in clear plastic — like the Accutron Spaceview 2020 skeleton watch?

    I guarantee you a skeleton car would be an absolute show-stopper. Intrinsically, it would oblige auto makers to stop hiding the engine under a bland tent of black plastic, and start exposing the mechanical parts (intake manifold; valve covers; exhaust manifold) for their aesthetic value.


  12. This has absolutely nothing to do with the article just a heads up with anyone with a bank account who uses it as a “sub account” to pay bills and receive payments. They are tracking them. I don’t if “they” are the Federal Reserve or the bank, but I have been locked out of my 30 year old account for “suspicious activity”. I can’t transfer in, I can’t transfer out.

    Am I doing anything shady? No. What do “they” not like? That I am not allowing access to my main operating accounts. When the $300 electric bill is due I transfer the money internally with the bank into the sub account. I then have the electric company debit the payment from that account. Why do I do this? So my main account number is not out floating around for anyone to try to hack or misuse. Personally, I thought it was a smart security measure and something I have been doing for 25 years. How many times do we receive letters that our information has been “compromised”? AT&T, OPM, Mr. Cooper, Cigna, hospitals, etc. The list goes on.

    The other thing I do is receive Zelle payments with it. If a client wants to pay me (it is usually the younger generation that opts for this) with something other than a check or credit card I let them use the Zelle account. The Zelle account is registered to the sub account. Because, why would I give them my main account number? They can’t guarantee that they can protect my information, so I have to. When the Zelle payment comes in it immediately is transferred to the business account as income. The bank has a freaking paper trail showing this. How much have I taken in with Zelle this year…a whopping $6200. Not tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands, or millions, but $6k. Apparently, this is extremely suspicious. My vocalization of the CTA to my local Congressman (woman) probably adds fuel to the fire.

    I am obviously on someone’s shit list. I can’t wait to hear the bank’s explanation when I call them in a hour. What a crappy morning.

      • The Corporate Transparency Act. This is what I have cautioned my clients about. They will track the bank accounts and deem you guilty until (if ever) they state you are innocent. They have proven my case for me. If “they” can’t follow the money trail, or are to lazy to, “they” will just lock you down. It doesn’t matter that you have a paper trail a mile long to prove that nothing illegal is taking place. They don’t like your methods so that is reason enough.

        I almost feel sorry for the person at the bank who gets my call this morning. I am going to ruin their day.

          • Didn’t you know I am in cahoots with the electric company, John? 😉

            I can’t wait to try to explain this to Amex. I am sorry Amex, but TPTB have decided me sending money to you each month to pay off my bill is “fishy” and have locked my account down. I am sure they will understand.

            I just talked to the bank. The matter is being “investigated”. I have to wait for a return call from their higher ups later this morning. I can’t wait for the explanation! Just another mess to add to my awesome tax week!

            I did notice when I tried logging into the business side that account has completely disappeared from view. I can no longer pull it up. I knew those damn $400 Zelle payments were going to do me in.

          • Exactly what ‘Biden’ is doing, sending dozens of small arms transfers to Israel, each beneath the threshold that triggers review by Clowngress.

            Laws for thee, but not for me.

            • It amazes me what passes as sense in this day and age. The Defense Department can’t locate $1.9 trillion dollars, but God forbid, if a small business owner accepts a $900 Zelle payment. I am beyond disgusted. They are going to waste my time and theirs to locate nothing.

              Here a problem with many of the banks today…and to show you what is coming. A few of the banks (BOA and Wells Fargo) have already started denying the opening of business accounts if you are not registered with FinCEN. A business is not required to register yet, but the restrictions are already in play.

              Right now, I am starting to believe the safest place for my money is in a Chock Full of Nuts can in the backyard.

              • Here’s one for you. A year ago I paid the final IRS bill on my father’s estate, which amounted to $627. Then I got a bill for a “late fee”. I sent them a PDF of the check, front and back, so they could see it was cashed, and by whom. The latest from the IRS is a $2000+ bill for late fees, on the payment I made last April. They aren’t giving up. On my son’s advice, I’m going to pay it, to keep from having a gun fight at my door, which would be the next step. But it will be the last payment, and if a gun fight ensues, then so be it.

                • Why would you pay it, John? You don’t owe it.

                  If you are willing to save $2K type up a letter to the address that is on the letter explaining the situation. Keep it brief. A paragraph or two is fine You have received their letter, notice blah, blah, and you are disputing the charges. Explain that your father has passed and the estate has been closed out. On behalf of your late father, “the estate is kindly requesting a first-time removal penalty for the accrued fees through today” (whatever date you send the letter). Tell them your father and his estate has a timely payment history and the late payment was no more than an oversight.

                  Be sure to offer hugs and kisses and your professed gratitude, but it has a guarantee of removing the penalty of about 90%.

                  Send them a copy of the check, along with the letter, and your response and mail it certified return receipt. You want to make sure you get the snazzy little green postcard back with someone’s signature on it. Keep the tracking number and make sure you pull the information on line within 90 days (otherwise it goes into the USPS dump box and cannot be seen again) after it has been delivered for proof.

                  You should receive a response in about 75 days likely removing the penalty.

                  • Been there, done that. All I’ve gotten for my trouble is letters that they have received my communication, and it will take 90 days to resolve it. At which time I get another IRS communication stating the estate owes them an additional penalty. I’m a bit paranoid over it.

                    • Fighting debt collectors with AI…..

                      The slaves can use AI now to fight back against the control group’s debt collectors……

                      The nobility control group slave owners are using AI against the slaves…now the slaves can use it to fight back…

                      Fighting the control group’s debt collectors….AI designed just for that purpose….

                      Robert O’Deck, from the Observation Deck channel has programmed an app for this purpose…


        • Well, Raider, this is what cryptocurrency is all about. The trick, of course, is converting your Federal Reserve notes. You either use a bank transfer to an exchange to buy crypto, somewhat defeating the purpose, or, a better but more arduous option, is to use a crypto-ATM. The primary purpose of crypto from the beginning was to bypass these bastards with their dictates and scrutiny while maintaining your ability to make quick, digital transactions.

          Of course, as you know RG, this can be a tax reporting nightmare, should one decide to do so.

          Something must be done. It’s none of their goddamned business where or how we spend our money.

    • ‘My vocalization of the CTA to my local Congressman (woman) probably adds fuel to the fire.’ — Raider Girl

      The horrifically intrusive and burdensome dragnet of filing Beneficial Ownership Information for most businesses under the CTA is sponsored by FinCen, as this website makes clear:

      Already, FinCen admits that fraudsters are exploiting the new reporting requirement with phishing scams (see posted alert) — completely substantiating your protective measures. Thanks, FinCen — you did more damage than good.

      Also, FinCen notes the National Small Business United vs Yellen lawsuit, which would stop this BOI nonsense in its tracks before it becomes mandatory next year.

      I don’t merely object to BOI reporting — I have vociferously objected to FinCen itself since it originated and started metastasizing in the 1990s, purely via Treasury Dept orders (no vote in Clowngress). Burn the sucker down and prosecute its board members, I holler.

      If you get any nonsense from your bankster-bastard dung beetles after ruining their day, yank your accounts and move ’em somewhere else. No long-time customer should be treated in this peremptory manner, without even the courtesy of a phone call. That’s contemptuous, and is a firing offense in my book. Haven’t these dimwits ever heard that ‘the customer comes first’? JERKS.

      • I agree with everything you wrote, Jim. The NSBU vs Yellen was overturned by an Alabama Court in early March and was deemed unconstitutional. Congress, nor the US Treasury, have both overstepped their bounds and our Constructional rights. This was clearly stated by the Court.

        Yellen and Company appealed it on March 12th and we are awaiting another court case. This will find its way up to the Supreme Court, but will it be by the final date of registration 12/31/2024? That is doubtful. In the meantime, you have small business shareholders across this country having to provide personal information on not only their business, but themselves, along with proof such as passports and Driver Licenses into a large database that will be hacked and 32 million small businesses and 70 million American citizens (who own those small businesses) will have their information out there for every Tom, Dick, and Harry to replicate and sell.

        That they are using the excuse of “money laundering” is ludricicous. Ninety percent of money laundering takes place in large corporations not ABC Company, LLC owned by Joe Smith who has a total revenue of $225K a year. The US Treasury does not need a database for registration. They already have access to this information with annual business report filings on Forms 1065, 1120S, 1120, and Schedule Cs. Go after the ones that appear questionable and leave the rest of us the hell alone.

        • ‘small business shareholders across this country having to provide personal information ” — Raider Girl

          Congress Clowns rake in millions in campaign donations, with a relatively high risk of money laundering being involved.

          If BOI is sustained by the Hacks in Black, then every check-kiting Congress Clown should be obliged to register their BOI data. I’m lookin’ at you, Abigail Spamberger [sic].

          Remember the House banking scandal!

          • ‘In September 2020, George Santos’ congressional campaign reported that Victoria and Jonathan Regor had each contributed $2,800—the maximum amount—to his first bid for a House seat. Their listed address was 45 New Mexico Street in Jackson Township, New Jersey.

            ‘A search of various databases reveals no one in the United States named Victoria or Jonathan Regor. Moreover, there is nobody by any name living at 45 New Mexico Street in Jackson. That address doesn’t exist.’


            Ghost donors are salted all through campaign contribution reports. No one in the wholly corrupt Beria Garland DOJ gives a flip.

      • John
        That ‘customer comes first’ thingy went obsolete decades ago!

        You are now a consumer that needs watched and reported on with any deviation.

        Amazing eh,,, the largest money counterfeiter,,, launderer,,, scammer on the planet making sure we little people don’t do what they’re doing.

    • Tell them you’re an illegal immigrant. You’ll get $10,000 and other goodies. Law abiding American = criminal. Real criminal = entitled victim.

      • Hi Mike,

        I will probably reach the point that turning in my American passport and moving to Saba may be the best option. This is getting pretty damn scary. Now, I just need to come up with the $2 million to make it happen.

        • RG….
          Unfortunately Saba is pure Hurricane bait with No self sustainability… in “case of emergency “.
          At present I’m on a veranda in Ceiba Puerto Rico listening to tree frogs chirping away!

          Very nice geography 👍 …
          Habitation costs are expensive… But I have a Shit Kicking view from my balcony.. that looks like a scene from the Scarface movie Bolivia thing👍👌🎯
          Hey Kids..US Territories are a JOKE 😂😂
          Expat lite ..
          PR AGW’s aren’t prancing around in battle gear yet….
          The Frogs are going Nuts after the rain.. sounds like a flock of birds ..
          This place has Serious “Halfway house possibilities…for “testing the waters “….before you take the expat plunge

    • Buy prepaid credit cards….then use these to pay bills and make purchases online….

      Don’t use pre authorized payments…giving someone access to your bank account is dangerous….

      Pay cash for most things… a convenience debit cards are quicker if there is line ups….but there is a potential for stolen info…..

      If you use a regular credit card it will probably get compromised…then some criminal will use it to buy stuff…but…they are convenient for traveling….

      E transfers….probably another way to have your info stolen….

      Ideally….pay cash for everything….have no bank account…but….hard to do…

      CBDC is coming in 12 to 24 months…..then all the slaves are screwed…..

    • Jesus, RG…

      I’m in a similar boat, at least potentially. What has become of this country? We all know. Banks treat us not as customers but as suspicious agents. I have to hand over my so-called driver’s license (government ID) every time I do business there. I mean literally hand it over – so they scan it. They know who I am. I have been doing business there for 20 years. I know everyone at the bank. And if they needed to verify my ID as a formality, my showing it to them ought to be sufficient. But it isn’t.

      The net is closing. On the upside, once it closes, we no longer have any incentive to play by their rules. I wonder whether they have thought of this.

      PS: I’m sorry (to all) about the Tiny Tim impersonation in today’s video…

      • Hi Eric,

        The bank has never asked me for my ID. I just deposit. I don’t cash out anything on the business side because I don’t want to have to deal with the bookkeeping of that. If I need money I take payroll or a distribution and (once again) there is a paper trail.

        I will not let anyone scan my DL. They try that at Harris Teeter when I buy beer. I will show it, but forget scanning it. I am a middle aged woman. No one is going to accuse me of being under 21. The state owned ABC Store takes one look at me and doesn’t ask for ID. I wish every other business possessed such common sense.

    • The out of control inflation you see right now…

      The slave owner’s official narrative is…… nobody controls it or saw it coming…. it is a freak accident…just random bad luck…

      The real reason is….. it is a way to control the slaves….bankrupt them, starve them out….you will own nothing and be happy…

      @ 57:07 in video

      The old system…..chattel slavery where you own the person…personal property…own the laborer…but you had to care for them….

      The new system….capital control of labor…slaves…. by control of wages by controlling money…the bankers idea…controlling the slaves…through fiat money inflation…

      Thomas Jefferson…
      ” paper is poverty.. It is only the ghost of money and not money itself”

    • Just a follow up: It was the not the bank that shut off my account. Even the higher ups at the bank stated to me “this is not from our side.” Now, we move forth with a service ticket to the network provider of the bank…who apparently handles many, many banks. The investigation moves to them and we will see if they can fix it. It will take a day or two.

      In talking with the bank’s representatives I am the only one experiencing this problem, but I did send them a screen shot of what I am seeing on my end so they know we (I) do have a problem. I am not feeling warm and giddy.

    • I saw one of those things on the road today. It is by far the most non functional ugly vehicles I have ever seen.

        • Gil,

          What do you mean by ” in a crash the other driver will off second best”?

          If you mean (as I am assuming you do) that the other driver who has been hit will “off second best” if the driver who hit him hasn’t got insurance, then you are making an assumption he cannot (or will not) pay. In other words, you are presuming the person is a deadbeat. After you have presumed he will cause the accident. Do you not see the wrongness of this? Do you not understand the dangerousness of this sort of thinking?

          Do want to be presumed a dangerous deadbeat – even though you have given no one any cause to slander you as such? To punish you as such – without your having given cause first?

          Or are you just too damned dumb to grasp that when anyone can be treated this way in “case x” then all of us can be treated the same way in myriad other cases, too.

          Ever wonder why you are treated as a presumptive terrorist merely because you want to take a commercial flight? That you are treated as a presumptive drunk driver by cops for no reason at all – other than you being a driver?

          Try to think, man. It’s not as hard as it looks.

          • Hi Eric,

            I think he means the other dude will likely get hurt or die due to the Cybertruck hitting him. To off second best usually means to not win. I very much could be wrong, but I don’t think he was responding about insurance or someone being a deadbeat just the impact of the truck (and its stainless steel panels) would cause more damage to other vehicles, unless of course, he is hitting a semi.

          • The Cybertruck doesn’t seem to have the modern crumpling quality of modern cars and is more rigid akin to older vehicles.


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