General Info/News Archive

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He Told You So

Eric Peters wishes he was wrong but…. he wasn’t. 

told you so

The government bodies are hard at work turning this:

ford car

into this:

prison cell

The automobile used to represent freedom but now the state is turning them into a rolling prison cell we are supposed to ride in on our way to a job (maybe) so that we can be robbed of our income by the very same people all so that they can further empower themselves to continue working for us (sic).

Tell me again why government is necessary…?

If it wasn’t so tragic, it would be amusing.

amusingly tragic

Well, I Told You So… .

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Remember a few weeks back when I wrote about the ’14 Lincoln MKZ – and the creepy real-time updating “Speed Limit Currently Is” warning icon displayed in the gauge cluster? The way it knew whether you were “speeding”? The way the car slowed down without any input from you when it felt the need? (Read here for more about that.) Big Brother car lead picture

Now comes confirmation – via Europe – where it’s all ultimately headed. You’re not gonna like it. But don’t say I didn’t warn you:

The European Commission’s Mobility and Transport Department – which wields regulatory power over most of Western Europe’s roads – has put forth a proposal under the typically banal-bureaucratic-sounding rubric, Intelligent Speed Adaptation (ISA). It would use the technology I referenced in the MKZ write-up – which endows a car with the power to know the speed limit on any given road, updated continuously in real time via in car-cameras/ GPS – in conjunction with automated braking – to electronically prevent the car from ever being driven faster than the posted speed limit.

News story here.

Big Brother car

The hard (and soft) ware would be made mandatory – and not only for new cars. Older cars that didn’t come with the technology from the factory would be required to submit to a retrofitting – at the expense of the owner, of course.

But the most ominous angle is the one not mentioned in any news story. It is, simply, that all cars more than a few years old would be banned from the road if this measure becomes law. Reason? They can’t be retrofitted. At least, not within economic reason.

For instance, if a vehicle does not have ABS – four-wheel ABS (many trucks, even fairly recent models, only have rear-wheel ABS) – it can’t be made to brake automatically, via computer control. The only way to “fix” that would be to gut and replace the factory-installed non-ABS brake system with an ABS system – and now we’re talking money. An ABS pump, wheel speed sensors at each wheel, specialized master cylinder and brake distribution box – plus all the necessary software to make it work – tied into a computer capable of governing the works (the factory unit may not be, in which case, a new, ABS-friendly computer would also be required).

2013 MKZ warning light

You’d need to address throttle inputs – and that entails drive-by-wire, which most cars more than a few years old do not have. Ditto the GPS unit – necessary for the “real time” updating of speed limit data as you drive.

Holy mother! There is some money to be made.

And control to be had.

But here’s where it gets really clever: If a given vehicle does not have a computer at all, forget it. Such cars also can’t be controlled – at least, not without a wholesale re-engineering of their entire drivetrains at prohibitive cost. This means virtually all cars made before the early 1980s  – and almost all motorcycles, for you bikers, made before the early 2000s – would be rendered illegal to operate.

Dennis Vafier

You might say: So what? That’s The EU, not the US. To which I’d reply: If only. What’s done in Europe first – everything from the Prussian government school model to the UK’s cameras everywhere – seems to be imitated here within a few years.

I have been ranting about this eventuality like a kind of automotive Savanarola for years now. Perhaps it is because, as an automotive journalist, I have become pretty good at noticing automotive trends before they become obvious to people outside the industry. The way the pieces are going to fit into the puzzle. One such piece of the puzzle is the fact that the car companies have gone completely corporate. They no longer cross swords with government. They might as well be an agency of the government. They have learned it is easier – and much more profitable – to anticipate what government will eventually mandate.

And more, to push themselves for it being made mandatory.

black box picture

That way, instead of having to sweat, say, a competitor who does not force-feed its customers black box data recorders, they all get together and egg on the passage of a law requiring them to force-feed customers black box data recorders. GM tried to do do this with Daytime Running Lamps, too. And it is exactly how we’ll be force-fed things like mandatory in-car GPS, cameras that can “see” speed limit signs – and automatic throttle control/braking to force us to obey them.

How could anyone object? After all, it is accepted conventional wisdom that “speed” kills. Why, therefore, should anyone be allowed to speed? (Cops and Dear Leaders excepted, of course.)

control freak picture

The only way to counteract any of this is to challenge the basis of all of it. Not merely the idiocy that “speed” kills. That’s just Romper Room twaddle and everyone – Clovers excepted – knows it already. The more profound avenue of attack is to challenge the right of our would-be (and, increasingly, actual) controllers to control us in any way whatsoever, absent actual harm done to others – including most of all for our “safety” – which is none of their got-damned business.

When enough of us awaken to this – and get mad enough to insist that our right to be left in peace absent actual harm done to others be respected, that no other individual (or group of individuals) has any right to meddle in our affairs in any way whatsoever unless someone else has been harmed – then the problem will take care of itself.

Our task is to incite rage against any person – inside government or inside a corporation  – who thinks he’s got the right to control/restrain/threaten his fellow man for any reason that’s not self-defense.

For his “safety” least of all.

Throw it in the Woods?

PS: We have thrown Google – and Google ads – in the woods. They blacklisted us – so we dumped them. See here for the full story about that. So, we need your support to make a go of it and keep EPautos rolling. Please consider supporting this web site in whatever way you’re able. The link to our “donate” area is here. Thanks in advance!

Original HERE.

 

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Government Does What It Does Best

And that’s making things that were once exciting, fun and innovative boring, slow and ugly.  Government makes everything worse through their dicatates, taxes, legislation, regulations and edicts.  Nothing good comes from coercion.  I wasn’t born until the 80′s but even I know this is a sign of class and individuality:

bel air

and this is what happens when government gets involved in emission standards and safety regulations.

fugly suv

Paul Craig Roberts talks cars and government and why the 2 don’t mix well.

Growing Up In America

It was 1955 when I came of driving age. What a glorious year on the automotive scene. The first V-8 engined Chevrolet appeared in the striking art work of the 1955 Bel Air hard top coupe. Often two-toned, usually pastels, this car, stock from the dealer, had the acceleration to match the souped up flathead V-8 Ford engines that were ensconced in the hot rods of the day.

The small block V-8 found its way into the Corvette, saving the Corvette from extinction.

Ford came out with its new overhead valve V-8, installed in the 1955 Thunderbird, still a show-stopper today. The Thunderbird existed as a two-seater for 3 years. The 1955 and 1956 Ford Fairlane hard top coup looked like it was doing sixty sitting still.

The dramatic styling and energetic engines appeared everywhere in Detroit’s lineup, in the Mercury, the Pontiac, Oldsmobile, the Buick Century. So many two-tones, acceleration times cut in half. Life was good.

Not to be outdone, Chrysler produced the 1955 Chrysler 300 with a 300 horsepower Hemi engine. This car was the high speed king, reaching 130 mph. In 1956 the 300 Hemi delivered 355 horsepower capable of 140 mph. By 1957 the 300 Hemi produced 390 horsepower, outrunning the Ferraris of the day.

Every style of every marque was distinctive. There was no mistaking one model for another. Driving on city streets and country highways was a feast for the eyes. Style and color were everywhere.

Even in those days driving occupied much of a person’s time. To be among striking designs and color combinations that excited the imagination was good for the psyche. We were a different people.

Decades ago a rare piece of fiction in Road & Track resulted in a premonition of the brutal and indistinguishable appearance of today’s SUVs and oversized pickup trucks.

It was the only piece of fiction, aside from a cartoon strip feature, that I recall ever appearing in R&T. The magazine is about road tests, car reports, and race results.

Perhaps the explanation for the fictional story is that a prescient car guy realized the brutal design implications of the looming car safety standards and wrote a story set in the future.

In the story, a man has a lovely sports car from the past that, unlike the mandated safety vehicles, is fun to drive, but he can no longer take it out during normal hours. Under federal safety mandates, vehicles had become massive hulks, brutal in appearance, and capable of smashing the cars of the past without injury to themselves or their drivers. Drivers of the safe machines patrol on the lookout for cars from an earlier, more elegant time. It was a sport to corner them and to crash into them, thus terminating their existence and removing the offense to the ugliness of the safe cars mandated by the government.

To avoid the demise of his car, he only took it out at 3:00 AM in order to avoid encounters with safe cars. But one early morning two of the hulks were waiting for him. The safe cars approached from both ends of the road, leaving him no way out. But the agility of his car and his skills as a driver permit his escape. Henceforth his enjoyment of his car is confined to visits in the garage and memories of past drives.

I don’t remember if the story was illustrated or whether the image of the SUV was created by the writer’s words, but years later when I saw the first SUV, now with names, such as Titan, to go with their brutal appearance, I instantly recalled the R&T story.

The young have no memory of the past. They cannot know how exciting automobiles once were. The excitement created by the explosion of styles, colors, and performance in 1955 is gone from the world. It was a 15-year experience, with the muscle cars of the 1960s keeping the thrill alive.

When the Jaguar E-Type appeared in 1961, no one could believe that such an extraordinarily beautiful and fast car could be had for $5,000. Enzo Ferrari, the master car-maker of all time, declared the E-Type to be the most beautiful car in the world. One sits in permanent exhibition in the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. Who could imagine a SUV being there, or an over-sized pick-up truck? If we had called for our Saturday night dates in such vehicles, our dates would have been mortified and would have refused to come out of the house.

Anyone who has sat in the driver’s seat of an E-Type, the first modern car with all independent suspension and 4-wheel disc brakes, looking over the long and louvered bonnet (hood), and starting the powerful engine with its Jaguar growl finds today’s vehicles utterly depressing.

Another extraordinary design of the era was the Lamborghini Miura. It came 5 years after the E-Type and was an equal show-stopper.

Today if you have a quarter of a million dollars to spend on a car, you can purchase cars that can outperform these icons of the 1960s. But if you drive up in your Audi A-8, your AMG Mercedes, your Porsche turbo, your Ferrari Italia, the audience will flock to the E-Type and to the Miura. Style, when it was not dictated by Washington, was brilliant. There will never again be anything like it.

Today cars from the fifties and sixties, including the 1954 Oldsmobile Super 88 coupe, if in reasonable condition, are more valuable than most new cars. A good Miura goes for $1 million. A Series 1 E-Type, produced in much larger numbers than the Miura, goes for $125,000 if in good condition. I have a friend who in the mid-1960s bought and sold for $9,000 a Ferrari 250 GTO. This Ferrari, an aggressive and beautiful take-off on the elegant E-Type, won the world championship for three years in the early 1960s. There were only about 36 of them produced. One sold recently for $35 million. Try to imagine, short of dollar hyperinflation, any vehicle of our time ever fetching $35 million as a used car.

Seeing a car, rather than a SUV or monster pick-up truck, is becoming a rare event. Recently, I made a count on a stretch of Interstate highway, and 75% of the traffic consisted of SUVs and over-sized pick-up trucks. Americans want to appear brutal like their vehicles, and their police, and their governments.

SUVs were an unintended consequence of federally mandated fleet gas milage standards. Auto makers complied with the mandate by eliminating station wagons. People looking for station wagon replacement settled on delivery vans and panel trucks. These vehicles, classified as light trucks, were exempt from the gas milage standards, and the SUV was born.

The unintended consequence of safety standards is to take beauty out of almost all vehicles. How many attractive vehicles do you see today? I recently made a 370 mile trip and saw one car worthy of notice. It was a $300,000 600HP Bentley coupe, a rare and unusual car. When I came of driving age, beautiful and colorful cars emitting wonderful sounds were everywhere. We were surrounded by them. They were Chevrolets and Fords. They weren’t for the mega-rich. The working class could afford them.

Think about this for a minute. People spend much of their lives in passenger vehicles. They commute to work and back to home. They travel to shop. They travel to vacation destinations. They take children to school and back to home. All of this time that they spend in vehicles they never see anything beautiful or artistic unless some unusual remnant from the past or a rare modern day supercar, whose cost exceeds their lifetime earnings, happens by.

This was not true in my day. We were surrounded by color, style, and attractive designs. Literally everyone could afford it. The epitome of style was the two-door hard top coupe. Such a vehicle would cost, perhaps, $400 more than the base model that lacked the elegant touches.

Today, in our brutalized transportation existence, in which no make or model can be identified from any other and in which a two-tone paint job doesn’t exist, anyone with a collection of 1950s and 1960s two-door hard top coupes is a wealthy person not merely in money but also in spirit.

Today a person with a beautiful car from the past does not yet have to worry about being chased down and destroyed by a modern safe-car hulk, but he has to worry about where he parks it. Beauty and style elevate. Ugliness uglifies. People who drive barbarian cars can themselves become barbarians.

Terrible things happened in the 1950s and 1960s. McCarthyism got loose for a short period. President John F. Kennedy and his brother Bobby were murdered, as was Martin Luther King, perhaps by their own government. The reliance on fear to keep the profitable cold war going and the elimination of those who would change course are antecedents of the present. We still suffer from them.

The difference is that then enough Americans had a frame of mind that had space for the optimism that permitted blacks to be legislated into full citizenship and for the protests that brought to an end the military/security complex’s profitable aggression in Vietnam.

Perhaps elegant cars had a civilizing influence and contributed to that frame of mind. Get Washington out of car design. It might help to restore our humanity from the brutality that surrounds us.

Paul Craig Roberts, a former Assistant Secretary of the US Treasury and former associate editor of the Wall Street Journal, has been reporting shocking cases of prosecutorial abuse for two decades. A new edition of his book, The Tyranny of Good Intentions, co-authored with Lawrence Stratton, a documented account of how americans lost the protection of law, has been released by Random House. Visit his website.
Copyright © 2013 Paul Craig Roberts

Article from LRC is HERE.

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A Dark Road Ahead

The automobile used to be the embodiment of real freedom but it is being morphed into nothing but a rolling slave ship and coffin.

Eric Peters does some basic maff (for all the public school learning non-critical thinking masses and state worshippers), 2 + 2 =4 and vehicular freedom is disappearing.  The architecture is mostly there as Mr. Peters points out.  The only thing remaining is the will for the evil cabal of the big car companies, insurance racket companies and the thugocracy to flip the switch.

road ahead

A View Down The Road

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A few weeks ago, I wrote a story about Ford’s creepy MyKey system (see here), now standard equipment in all new Ford vehicles, and the ugly possibilities for controlling how we drive by controlling how the car can be driven. This week, I’m test-driving one of the latest Lincolns (the new MKZ) and it’s got some more of the same:

MKZ55

As you drive, an icon within the speedometer (small image to the right of the speedometer needle in the image above) tells you what the speed limit is on the road you happen to be on – updated continuously via GPS as you drive.

The car doesn’t do anything – yet – beyond oh-so-helpfully remind you how fast the government insists you ought to be driving. But, consider the possibilities – and consider how all the technological pieces of the puzzle are rapidly coming together.

GPS mapping of virtually every surface street in the country is a done thing. A majority of new cars come equipped with GPS navigation – which is rapidly becoming a default standard in much the same was as power windows or air conditioning. Within a few years at most, it will be as difficult to find a new car without GPS as it is right now to find a new car without power windows or AC.

The latest versions of these GPS systems have “real time” functionality. They can adjust route guidance to take account of accidents along your planned route, for instance. This is handy. But the same functionality can be put to other uses, too. For instance, there is no technological reason why the new Lincoln MKZ’s ability to keep abreast of the speed limit wherever you happen to be driving could not also be used to limit the speed you drive – or at least, record your failure to abide by the speed limit and perhaps report your noncompliance to the authorities. Or more likely, your insurance company.

Perhaps both.

ST Mykey3

Remember MyKey (all new Lincolns have it, too). An “administrator” can program the car to never exceed a pre-set speed. Once programmed, the system cannot be over-ridden except by someone who has the “administration” key. For the present, this is you – the vehicle’s owner. But the fact is that Ford – or the government – or your insurance company – could simply arrogate to itself “administrator” powers – and that will be the end of your ability to use your car as you wish to use it. The car’s electronic nanny knows the speed limit is 55 – or 35 – or whatever it happens to be at any given moment – and will not allow you to drive the car any faster, no matter how hard you stomp on the gas pedal. (Just as you’re not allowed to build an addition on “your” home – without the government’s permission.)

Cars could also simply be turned off, individually (as when you haven’t paid a fine or dome some other thing to incur the government’s displeasure) or en masse – in the event of some “national emergency.” Imagine a Boston Bomber scenario. For security reasons, the authorities throw a switch – and no one goes anywhere.

At least, not by car.

Far-fetched? No, technological fact. (See also the hacking of a Prius – making the car accelerate, brake (or not brake) via remote control. This is not a Prius-specific possibility. Any modern computer-controlled car is subject to being hacked – to being controlled externally – in this way.)

Oh, come on, Eric. They’d never do that. It’s ridiculous!

Really? In this day and age?

police state picture

“Speeding” is, after all, illegal. How, pray, will you – how will anyone – defend continuing to allow people to own vehicles capable of being used in an illegal manner? When technology is available that would “save lives”?

The entire legal system is now premised on the concept of prior restraint – on the idea of controlling people who haven’t yet done anything in order to prevent them from possibly doing it. The public accepts random, your-papers-please checkpoints on the theory that someone might be driving without a license, without an updated registration or state-issued “safety” sticker. Perhaps unbuckled – or much worse, “drunk.”

Why not accept in-car systems that make speeding impossible – or at least, impossible to get away with? The children! Think about the children!

To me, it’s all as obvious as a freight train coming down the tracks – with us stalled out on the tracks, awaiting the inevitable. The insurance mafia has succeeded in making its service mandatory. It is beta-testing in-car monitoring (see here) which will likewise morph from being something you could opt for to something you cannot opt out of. The cars themselves will, within a few years, all come equipped with the necessary monitoring equipment.

And then, the gate will be slammed shut.

2013 MKZ warning light

New cars are this close to being independent of driver control. This new Lincoln? In addition to monitoring the posted limit wherever you go, it will flash a series of frantic red lights if it thinks you haven’t slowed down fast enough and will actually step in and apply the brakes for you if it decides you haven’t done it fast enough on your own (Collision Warning With Brake Support). It beeps and flashes other warnings if you tread across the yellow line (Lane Departure Warning). The car is capable of parking itself – no input (beyond pushing a button) required of you.

It’s not just Lincoln  – or Ford, either. I merely used their systems as examples of similar systems you’ll find in a growing roster of new cars. It will not be long before no new cars lack such systems. At which point, we’ll be locked in – and become passengers more than drivers.

And as passengers, we’ll just be along for the ride. The when/where – and how – will be up to someone (or something) else.

Throw it in the Woods?

eric

Author of “Automotive Atrocities” and “Road Hogs” (MBI). Currently living amongst the Edentulites in rural SW Virginia.

Original HERE.

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To ABS or Not To ABS?

The correct answer is NO!  Why can’t people stop trying to boss everyone else around.  But then the lil’ hitlers wouldn’t have anything to do.  I might have to buy another motorcycle before they mandate ABS for all of them.

About 2 years ago I read an article in which the staff tested the new cbr (at the time) with and without abs (would share the article if I can find it).

(on dry pavement) The writer having not ridden the bikes much was able to stop quicker with abs initially but after riding for a few hours was able to have shorter stops on the version without abs.

(on wet pavement) The abs bike came to a halt sooner pretty consistently.  I remember reading this and thinking I definately don’t want ABS (I had a ’05 GSXR 750 at the time), it would only proivde a benefit if I rode in the rain, which i avoided.

Eric is absolutely right that there is pride in being able to do something that others don’t which is part of the reason I like my mid-engine mr2 (no f’n abs).  It takes away so much of the intimacy.

Something like this will lead to more fatalities in the long run because once bikes are made easier to ride more people will do it.  And the majority of those people will be morons.  To me it is similar to a situation where an engineer is taught how to run FEA software but doesn’t learn the basics of Strength of Materials, Calculus, Statics, Dynamics, etc…

Should Bikes Be Required to Have ABS?

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The insurance mafia thinks so – and is “petitioning” the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to make it so. Which means (if they’re successful): You’ll pay more for your next new bike, your next new bike will be more expensive to service – in part, because you probably won’t be able to service it yourself  – and it will cost you more to insure, since the ABS-equipped bike will have a higher replacement cost (the primary basis for figuring premiums) than a bike without ABS. It will also likely become more of a throw-away, in the same way (and for the same reason) that modern cars have become throw-aways: Ten or twelve years down the road, when the $800 ABS pump craps out, it won’t be worth fixing. So, the bike will get tossed.

brakes lead

Why can’t the insurance mafia ever leave people free to choose for themselves? Oh, of course. In that case, it would no longer be a mafia.

It’s not that people are being denied access to the technology. You can buy a new bike equipped with ABS right now, if you wish. The problem – as the insurance mafia views it – is that you don’t have to buy an ABS-equipped bike. You can choose not to. And that cannot be permitted.

They – the insurance mafia – claim pure motives. That they’re concerned about our “safety.” But, as they used to teach in journalism school, follow the money.

brakes 1

Bike manufacturers can increase their profit margins by force-feeding ABS (and ABS service) to everyone instead of just a relative handful. The insurance mafia gets to charge more for “coverage,” which of course is also force-fed (because it is mandatory). Win-win.

For them.

But how about us? The people buying (and riding) the bikes?

Leave aside the money issue for a moment.

ABS is a tough sell to the two-wheeled crowd because it takes control away from the rider. For a novice or unskilled rider, ABS (and linked brakes) may, indeed, provide a safety net. Exactly as it does in cars. But, there’s a reason why race cars don’t have ABS. And it’s the same reason why most riders who know how to ride don’t want either ABS – or linked brakes, either. That reason is, simply, the greater degree of control one has over his machine when he is in control of the brakes: How much (or little) pressure to apply to the front (or rear) calipers; the ability to finely “trim” (as they say in aviation) how the bike reacts, especially in a high-performance environment. Put another way, it is the personal satisfaction that attends becoming a skilled rider.

brakes 3

ABS – and linked brakes – takes much of that away by rendering acquired skill largely irrelevant. Instead of learning just how hard to squeeze the trigger – while at the same time applying just enough pressure (or none) to the pedal that controls the rear brake . . . developing that sixth sense about incipient wheel lock and learning both how to avoid and how to deal with it when it does happen  . . . one just grabs the lever and that’s it.

The ABS system does it all for you.

The bike becomes “safer” in the sense that it’s more idiot-proofed. But it’s also become less of a bike – and more like a car. Which ultimately means there’s less reason to ride the thing. The experience is watered-down.

bike control freak

Anodyne.

What drives people to throw a leg over? Is it not, at least in part, that bikes are more of a challenge than cars? The pride that comes from being able to do something well that most people can’t do at all? Bikes are scary – in the same way that parachuting out of an airplane is scary. Neither is done lightly. There is a learning curve. You had better know what you’re doing. Those who don’t get mustered out – one way or another.

Is this a bad thing?

Why must motorcycles be dumbed-down, too?

They – the insurance mafia and its flip side, the government – have already sucked most of the joy out of driving. I say this as a guy who test drives new cars every week. Never before have cars been as powerful/capable as they are today. They are also over-nannied, over-teched – and overpriced. Which is exactly what’s happening to bikes.

H2 pic

A new ZX10 may be light-years more capable than a ’73 H2 750. But almost anyone can ride a new ZX10 – and very few could ride an H2 at all.

Let alone ride it well.

We are losing something – or about to lose something – very important. And the worst part is that “we” aren’t the ones deciding – or even being asked our opinion. These control freak pricks aren’t asking. They aren’t suggesting.

They are insisting.

Capo di tutti capo Adrian Lund of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety says: “”The data continue to accumulate in support of motorcycle ABS five years after we first reported on its effectiveness . . We hope NHTSA will agree that it’s time to take action to ensure all riders get the benefit of this lifesaving technology.”

Italics added.

Lund dick

Why can’t individual people be left alone to “take action” for themselves? If it’s such a good idea, surely they’d freely choose to buy ABS on their own? And in any case, isn’t it their right to choose for themselves? The casual effrontery of mafiosi such as Adrian Lund almost beggars belief.

What was it Seinfeld used to say? Who are these people?

And who appointed them the boss of us?

Throw it in the Woods?

Original HERE.

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Drivers Are Gonna Get Dumber

Eric Peters is always looking out for libertarian ideals and specializes in the ones that revolve around the automotive world.  He goes after the soon to be likely mandated “brake assist” systems.  Essentially cars that are smart enough to brake for you.  This will inevitably lead to less safe driving which is what the idea supposedly “cures”.  If only mandates could “cure” everything.  Maybe that should be mandated, govt cures all with solitary decree.  There, all done.

reading while driving

I personally don’t even like ABS or traction control, a gadget that causes the necessary skills for good driving to atrophy and disappear.  In my mind it is akin to (in engineering) learning how to run a piece of Finite Element Analysis software but never actually learning Strength of Materials so all you know is how to run the software and have no idea how or when to correct the “smart” car when it makes a mistake.

her brake assist didnt work

Remeber, it’s not her fault she is a bad driver; it’s that she wasn’t mandated to buy a car with “brake assist.”  Think about all the boats that will be saved from deranged drivers with this mandate.

 

The Next Mandate You’ll Be Paying For: Brake Assist

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Do you feel the need for a car that brakes for you? Are you interested in paying more for a car that brakes for you? Apparently, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the federal agency that tells us what kinds of cars we’ll drive and how they’ll be equipped – is on the verge of telling us that we will have cars that brake for us. (News story here.)

brake assist 1

And of course, it won’t be NHTSA that’s paying for it.

We will be paying for it.

It’s called “Brake Assist” – and it’s a feature (currently optional) that can be found in several higher-end new cars. It’s a high-tech form of idiot-proofing, designed to end-run the problem of inattentive drivers by having the car pay attention instead. The vehicle is fitted with radar or cameras that have the ability to detect objects in the vehicle’s path. If the driver doesn’t react to the presence of these potential obstacles within a predetermined time, the system takes over and automatically applies the brakes. Some systems are capable of completely stopping the car without the driver even putting his foot over the brake pedal.

Print

Cue broken record… making this technology part of the required-by-law package of standard safety equipment in all new cars will “save lives.” Which is probably true – but then, so would outlawing driving altogether.

You know what might really save lives? Encouraging people to be better drivers. Expecting them to pay attention to what’s going on around them. To be prepared to brake for themselves when the need to do so arises.

Ah, but that would be expecting too much – and besides, there’s neither money nor power in that.

brake 3

Adding Brake Assist will add another line-item to the bottom line cost of new cars. How much per car, it’s hard to say – because right now, Brake Assist is integrated with a roster of other complex system in expensive high-end cars. But figure a couple hundred bucks at least up front – and potentially a lot more down the road, as the various components begin to fail and have to be replaced.

dollars

The average new car’s braking system is already a very complex system because of add-ons such as ABS and traction/stability control (which works through the ABS system). Like these features or hate these features, there’s no debate about the expense of these features. Just one example: An ABS-equipped car has a part called an ABS pump. This is the device that pumps the brakes for you, in order to avoid the wheels locking up during a panic stop and so, avoiding an uncontrolled skid. That’s great. But if/when the pump goes bad – and this happens pretty regularly, because people tend not to get their brake systems flushed as often as they ought to and old, contaminated brake fluid is very hard on ABS pumps – the vehicle’s owner is typically looking at a $500-plus bill for a new pump.

You might remember the days – not all that long ago – when you could service the entire brake system for a third that amount.

FILE: Transportation Secretary LaHood To Resign

Point being, there are costs involved. And given that it’s us – each of us, as individuals – who will pay them – shouldn’t we have a say in the matter? There’s something startlingly obnoxious about a bureaucrat in an agency deciding for us – and then handing us the bill. Such a bureaucrat is one David Friedman, the new deputy (stellvertreter des fuhrers) head of NHTSA. Friedman was formerly a “transportation analyst” at the Union of Concerned Scientists – a left-wing authoritarian outfit that’s one of the epicenters of For Your Own Good at Gunpoint. He, of course, “earns” a six-figure income extracted by force from unwilling victims (that’s us) and so, probably won’t notice or much mind paying an extra couple hundred bucks for his next new car, equipped with the mandatory Brake Assist. But what about the rest of us? Perhaps we’d like to have the choice. Our choice. Since we’re being “asked” to pay the bill, after all.

wreck 1

But the real cost ought to be measured in terms of ever-lowering competence expectations. Brake Assist will arguably make drivers less attentive – since after all, the car is now paying attention for them. And less attentive drivers are – wait for it – less safe drivers. Brake Assist might not work one fine day – then what? Will the driver of a car so equipped who expected his car to stop for him be consoled by the fact that it should have stopped but didn’t – and the car ended up plowing into something – or someone?

bad driver 1

Granted, that’s not likely to be a common occurrence (even though it could and probably will happen as no man-made system is or ever can be free of flaws; eventually, everything falls apart/stop working; it’s called entropy). But we can already see the effects of dumbed-down driving all around us. Cars have never been more capable than they are right now. But drivers – on average – have never been worse. There is a relationship. When it took more skill – and attentiveness – to operate a motor vehicle, the typical driver had to – of necessity – acquire some skills and practice them. This made him a better – and thus, safer – driver. As cars take less and less skill to operate, the result is going to be, almost axiomatically, lower-skilled drivers.

eloi 1

Technology is only as good as the people who use it. A highway full of Eloi in automated or nearly automated cars conjures a bleak picture of a future, not too far off, in which passivity trumps competence. In which people don’t do things but expect things to do for them.

It’s a world that appeal to guys like David Friedman, perhaps. But it makes me want to run for the hills, screaming at the top of my lungs.

Throw it in the Woods?

Original HERE.

0

The Season Of Construction Is At Hand…

In Pennsylvania there are really only 2 seasons, Winter and Construction.  Rte 83 in Harrisburg has been under some form of repair/construction for about 3 years now.  The latest project is a redesign of the 581/83 bridge that runs between Carlisle/Camp Hill and Harrisburg.  This section of highway is ridiculous, it can’t handle 1/3 of the traffic it sees and the construction was long overdue.  I am so glad I no longer fight work near there and have to engage in vehicular combat with the state drones twice a day.  I am sure the union slackers will get it done under-budget and ahead of schedule (lol).

constructin season

Well, there has been a “snag”, a truck transporting diesel fuel rolled over on the one of the interchanges between 22/322 and rte 81.  This is in northern section of H-burg.  When I tell you the trailer burned to the ground, I mean it (see the pic below).  Further details are in the article at the bottom.

interstate-81-truck-fire--ef5b999e0f260acb

The fire damaged the overpass so much that pieces of 322 are falling into the lanes of 81 below.  I am sure this development will do wonders for the locals commutes.  This project will likely need to be done quickly so I expect the costs to high.  I would not be surprised if the costs of the repairs ends up being paid for with a small state-wide gas tax increase.  After all it wouldn’t be fair for the trucker and his trucking company to have to pay the bill, aren’t we all part of the same “village”?

 

Road repairs could take at least two months after tanker fire on Interstate 81

Emily Previti | epreviti@pennlive.com By Emily Previti | epreviti@pennlive.comThe Patriot-News Email the author | Follow on Twitter on May 09, 2013 at  4:19 PM, updated May 10, 2013 at  7:00 AM

Tanker Fire
A tanker truck loaded with diesel fuel overturned about 6:10 a.m on the I-81 northbound ramp to Route 322 west on May 9, 2013. The tanker truck accident closed down Route 22/322 and I-81 in the vicinity of I-81 Exit 67 as PennDOT evaluates the structural damage to the bridges.  Christine Baker | cbaker@pennlive.com

UPDATE: Northbound interchanges of Interstate 81 on west shore reopened this morning

Damage from a fuel tanker explosion near the interchange of Interstate 81 and Route 22/322 will cost tens of millions and shut down a small section of road for two months or more, state officials said Thursday afternoon.

Earlier Thursday morning, a fuel tanker exploded and rolled over on the highway, causing what Gov. Tom Corbett believes is the worst damage to a Pennsylvania highway since a tire fire off I-95 near Philadelphia in 1996.

Both directions of I-81 from Route 581 in Cumberland County to I-81/83 split in Dauphin County are closed. Officials said they expect it to reopen in time for the Monday morning commute.

The ramp from northbound I-81 to westbound Route 22/322 remains closed. Eastbound Route 22 through the interchange toward the City of Harrisburg remains closed.

Earlier this afternoon, PennDOT re-opened the ramp from westbound Route 22 to southbound Interstate 81 in the I-81 Exit 67 interchange.

Tanker Fire
At about 6:10 a.m. Thursday, May 9, 2013, a tanker truck that was fully loaded with diesel fuel overturned on the I-81 northbound ramp to Route 322 west in Susquehanna Township and exploded.  The tanker truck accident closed down Route 22/322 and I-81 in the vicinity of I-81 Exit 67 as PennDOT evaluates the structural damage to the bridges.  Christine Baker | cbaker@pennlive.co

Westbound traffic on Route 22 approaching the I-81 Exit 67 interchange can now continue through the interchange to go west toward Dauphin and State College, north onto northbound I-81, and south onto southbound I-81.

To help ease traffic, Pennsylvania Turnpike tolls are being waived between the Harrisburg East and Carlisle exits. The turnpike said in a news release that tolls will be waived until at least Sunday or Monday.

State officials hope to reopen one lane in each direction to traffic on the outbound side in time for the Monday morning commute, but the inbound side needs to be removed along with the bridge overhead the spot on 81 where the explosion occurred.

Detour signs will be posted on roadways. Officials also encourage motorists to check the

Tanker Fire
At about 6:10 a.m. Thursday, May 9, 2013, a tanker truck that was fully loaded with diesel fuel overturned on the I-81 northbound ramp to Route 322 west in Susquehanna Township and exploded. The tanker truck accident closed down Route 22/322 and I-81 in the vicinity of I-81 Exit 67 as PennDOT evaluates the structural damage to the bridges. Christine Baker | cbaker@pennlive.com

511pa.com traffic web site.

About 2,000 gallons of fuel also spilled into Paxton Creek and Wildwood Lake. Environmental crews are on site cleaning up now and will continue to monitor for at least a couple months.

The explosion and roads closures also caused a gridlock on roads throughout the Harrisburg region that delayed school buses and business openings and will cause delays indefinitely.

State police have not yet released details about the cause of the explosion, the name of the driver, nor the company that owns the truck. He was burned only “mildly”, according to initial reports, despite fuel fire temperatures that can reach as high as 1,400 degrees, PennDOT officials said.

State police expect to release updates to the investigation by Friday.

Corbett is seeking federal approval for an emergency declaration, but said state workers will have a typical schedule Friday. He advised them – and everyone else commuting Friday in the Harrisburg area – to allow extra time to travel.

Original HERE.

2

POS Car

I was reading TBP and Jim Quinn mentioned the first new car he ever bought was a Chevy Beretta. No offense to Jim, but talk about a car that was a piece of sh!t even when it was new. It made me think, I have owned many vehicles, but never bought one brand new (and don’t plan on it), I don’t see the point in it. I am not scared of having someone else’s farts embedded into the seat cushion, I sit on it, I don’t eat off of it. In 15 years I have owned 11 different vehicles (wife thinks I have problem). The newest vehicle I have ever bought was my truck which was 3 years old when I got it; it’s also the only vehicle of the 11 I have ever financed. Almost everyone I know personally who has ever actually been responsible for themselves and their finances (and not dependant on mommy or daddy into their 20′s and 30′s) has owned a POS car at least once. It gives you character; I have always driven them with pride because I knew I was saving money or keeping miles off the cars I enjoyed and cared about, like my MR2.

Probably the best (or worst depending on your perspective) POS car I owned was a 97 Suzuki Swift with 150k on it, it was a white hatchback so a co-worker dubbed it “the egg.”  The Swift was basically a rebadged Geo Metro, its pizza cutter wheels were great in the snow. The cloth headliner sagged and constantly made contact with my hair but I fixed that over a lunch break with a stapler. It had no A/C but the heater kicked ass. The best part was that I bought it for $800 off of a mechanic who kept it well-maintained mechanically. I drove it for almost 3 years without anything more than oil changes being required. I never worried about leaving it at BWI airport when traveling for work (no one would still something so cheap) and it cost $3/month to add to my insurance coverage.

A few years ago, as a gift to ourselves, my wife and I bought a big screen tv but I didn’t want to pay to have it delivered. Then my buddy sold his pickup right before it arrived in the store so I had to find a way to get it home on my own. I took a few measurements, removed the passenger seat and hauled a brand new $1,000 tv home in an $800 car, hahaha, I love telling that story.

Eventually electrical gremlins made it prohibitive to fix so I donated it.  Hopefully it was able to help someone else out as a parts car.

Adam Sandler used to be really funny, Ode To My Car is my favorite song on what I think is his best comedy album: What The Hell Happened to Me?

If you want share you own POS Car “love” stories…

Enjoy.

0

None Shall Pass

Eric Peters with a good commentary on the fact that legal passing zones are disappearing.  Instructing drivers to mindlessly follow the “laws” of the road leads to people who cease to think and make judgement calls on their own.  Some will say “but the idiots out there will…”; having idiot drivers isn’t an issue of “law”, you can’t legislate away stupidity; it is an issue of incompetence in the testing/training/licensing requirements.  Many were given a full functioning brain when all they plan on using is the stem.

NONE SHALL PASS!

The black knight is a pretty close representation of the stupidity of the gubbermint/system, and it really does think it is infallible and invincible.  I say we start cutting off its limbs.

 

The Double Yellow Prison

October 10, 2012

By

This country is painted over with double yellow bars – a sort of rolling-ribbon prison, from which escape is not possible. Or at least, very difficult. Legal passing zones – always rare – are becoming almost nonexistent. Painted over – for no readily discernible reason.

Well, actually, there is a reason:

It’s all based on the idea that because some people are too inept to execute a quick, safe pass when the opportunity arises, no one shall pass. It does not matter that some drivers have the judgment and skill needed to perform a safe, efficient pass. They get ticketed just the same – and irrespective of the competence of their maneuvering. The ticketing cop may even admit – in court – that the driver he ticketed wasn’t proceeding recklessly; even that his pass was safe. Such considerations are irrelevant in a modern American traffic court. Legally speaking, the only relevant issue is: Did the person violate the law?

The absence of proof of any harm done, any victim (that ancient precept of common law – and long before that, of natural law)  is both irrelevant and no defense.  Guilty. Fine – plus costs.

Next.

Result? Log-jammed traffic almost everywhere – even in rural areas. Not so much because there are more vehicles using the road, but because it is no longer possible (legally) to pass slow-movers except in a handful of designated areas -  very few and far between.

All it takes is one slow-mover to create a Clover Conga. When there are more cars around, there are more slow-movers around.

Which ends up resulting in a perpetual – inescapable – Clover Conga. (For those not hip to the usage of Clover in this context, please see here. To observe Clover in situ, see here.)

The eradication of legal passing zones – and the gimped-up legal doctrines that apply in the few remaining, such as you must never exceed the posted speeeeeeeeeed limit when passing (which makes it all-but-impossible to pass safely) have rendered the United States one giant Clover Cluster-you-know-what.

In more sensible lands, the driver is given leave to use his judgment as to when it is safe to pass – as opposed to being conditioned to obey a pigmented strip on the road as though it were a deity of some kind. Underpinning this is a premise that’s the opposite of that which governs here: The driver is assumed to be competent. More, he is expected to be competent.  The competent are not throttled down to the level of the not-competent, as they are here.

Europe, though riddled with Cloverism in so many ways, is actually pretty sensible when it comes to driving – and so, also when it comes to passing zones. Virtually everywhere is a passing zone. There, the double yellow is as uncommon as the broken yellow is here.

Of course, the primary reason for that is the much higher quality of the typical European driver. Unlike here, where the quality of the typical driver is incredibly low. And it is low chiefly because it is under-developed. Or rather,  because our system contrives in every way imaginable to make sure it is never developed. Teens, for example, are instructed to never exercise their own best judgment  – but rather, to always obey the law. Because the law is always right! It is infallible. It is perfect.

And must be obeyed.

People here are inculcated with dangerous nonsense, such as that business mentioned earlier about never exceeding the posted speed limit when passing. They are admonished that it’s “safer” to just sit behind the slow-mover and “be patient.” The idiocy of this business is perhaps best mocked by applying it to pedestrian traffic. If you came up behind, say, an old codger shuffling along at half your speed, would you “be patient” and adjust your pace to his? Would you only walk past him at a pace just slightly quicker than his?

Yet on the road, we’re supposed to do exactly that. It has bequeathed unto us the uniquely American phenomenon of one car doing 57 MPH attempting to “pass” another running 55.

And even that is technically illegal – and so, ticket-worthy.

Fear of such tickets – combined with stunted wheelman skills – has resulted in a nation of drivers who cannot (or will not) pass and when they do, it is often done with painful ineptitude. A slow-motion pass is much less safe than a proper high-speed pass. It requires more time – and longer sight distance. The more time you spend in the opposing lane of traffic, the greater the danger to oncoming traffic and yourself.

But, tell that to the cop – or the judge.

Years and years ago – before Cloverism became the New American Way – automakers touted the passing gear performance of their cars. To access the passing gear, you applied pressure to the gas pedal. The transmission would kick down – and the car would surge forward. You quickly (and so, safely) passed the slow-mover. You did not gimp slowly by – so slowly you could roll down the window and have a chat with the other driver.

Today’s cars are ferociously faster than the cars of that ancient, largely Clover-free era. The average new car is quicker (and faster) than most high-performance cars were, pre-Clover Ascendant. But they’re as useless as tits on a boar. Ornate codpieces on eunuchs is better, actually. A representation of virility.

One in desperate need of Viagra.

Throw it in the Woods?

original here.

3

Joyriding Ferris Bueller Style

Granted its no 1961 Ferrari GT California, but if someone went joyriding in my ’97 Chevy Cavalier Z24  (if I owned such a marvel of late 90′s engineering), I would be pissed to say the least. All I could think when I read this article was …

Vincent: It’a been worth him doing it just so I could’ve caught him doing it.
Lance: What a fucker!
Vincent: What’s more chicken shit than fucking with a man’s automobile? I mean, don’t fuck with another man’s vehicle.
Lance: You don’t do it.
Vincent: It’s just against the rules.
-Pulp Fiction

 

Camaro owner records mechanics abusing car, scheming to get damages paid for

 

When you own a sports car, you inevitably get a little paranoid about how it’s treated when in the care of strangers. One South Carolina man was worried enough that when he took his 2010 Chevrolet CamaroSS in for service at a Chevy dealer, he hid a voice recorder in the car. He was right to be worried: The recorder caught mechanics doing burnouts and discussing how to make the owner pay for a ruined clutch the car didn’t have before coming in. Now the Internet Justice League has taken the wheel.William Clark says he took his Camaro to Best Chevrolet-Kia in Easley, S.C. for a clunking noise in the car’s six-speed manual transmission. After a previous visit to a different dealer, his Camaro had died shortly after Clark retrieved it; while he suspected the staff at that dealership of joyriding, he had no proof at the time.

This time, the voice recorder hidden in the door pocket catches employees doing several burnouts and hard launches in the Camaro; Clark later says the techs drove it harder in 20 minutes than he had in three years. Once back in the shop, the mechanics realize the Camaro’s clutch has been fried, and come up with a plan to blame the damage on Clark, saying to “write it up as him buying a (expletive) clutch,” while saying another part failed under warranty so that General Motors would pay for its replacement.

Clark says he’s taken his evidence to the dealer and Chevrolet customer service; the dealer offered to reassess the damage or take the Camaro as a trade-in on another car, but refused Clark’s demand to buy the car back. Clark says Chevrolet customer service washed it hands of the problem, saying it was an issue between him and the dealer. As of the last update, the car’s smoked clutch remains untouched.

Unfortunately for Clark, there’s few other steps he can take that don’t end in court. Dealers are regulated by states; Clark can file a complaint with South Carolina officials, but even with an audio recording the assessment of damage isn’t so clear-cut as if the mechanics had wrecked it on a test drive. Instead, other Camaro owners have taken up the cause, posting Clark’s video to the dealership’s Facebook page and otherwise making noise about the problem.

You can hear the entire exchange, including the profanity, here. A lawyer for Best Chevrolet, in a request to Yahoo Autos to take down this story, told us in an email that the audio was “misleadingly edited.” Clark has said the dealership has threatened to sue him over the audio, but has also spoken with him about buying the Camaro back. The dealership may soon learn that in the Internet era, one burnt clutch can create quite the stink.

UPDATE: General Motors says in a statement that if the recording is valid it does not condone the behavior described, and that it is “actively working closely with the dealer to resolve this situation to the customer’s satisfaction.”

0

The Next “Model T”?

Eric Peters runs a great site; the info, ideas and discussions are simply outstanding IMO.

Here we get a two-fer.  Peters test-drives and reviews the 2013 Prius Plug-In hybrid and makes the bold statement that it might be the next generation “Model T.”  (Read the review here)  It isn’t perfect but it’s a real jump that could make the idea truly practical in a real sense.  FYI, he is no fan of hybrids/electric cars and his favorite ride is his classic Trans-Am.

Then his second article is more of a response to the fact that the need for gasoline powered cars might actually hit an inflection point and asking the question, what will be the government’s response.

This is very intriging to me, I don’t believe for one second that the guv-thugs want fuel efficient cars because it will improve America.  They promote it to grift the hoi-polloi and tricking the people to believe what isn’t true.  But what happens when it is true, the grift scheme they have been running becomes jeopardized.  Or does it just open the door to more taxation and even more control/monitoring?

So-called “smart meters” and ”mileage taxes” replacing the “gas tax” of today is likely inevitable.

The Bad News About Good Hybrids

October 9, 2012

By

I’m more than a little bit concerned the latest generation of plug-in hybrids (and all-electric cars) might actually work out. Because if they do, you can bet your bippie the government won’t let them get away with it.

Paranoid?

Internet commerce provides an ominous parallel. People were free to conduct business without tithing to the state. So-called e-commerce blossomed – the two obvious examples being Amazon and eBay. This could not be tolerated, of course – and the state is on the verge of passing new legislation that will force online retailers to collect taxes (see here) and even force users to file 1099s (in the case of eBay; see here) just like any “storefront” business, but without even the greasy pretext used to shakedown the “storefront” business – i.e., the fact that a physical business can be said to use the “resources” of the state/municipality and thus must compelled to “contribute” its “fair share” to the state/municipality.

Now, they just want the fucking money.

Or else.

And more than just the money, actually. They want to know what you bought – and sold – and to whom.

They want control. Absolute, total control. Of everything.

The state ruined Paypal – which originally provided a way for people to transact business anonymously and without cutting in Uncle Sam (a major “crime” in the USSA) and will soon ruin Amazon, eBay and countless other online retailers. The Net is about to be locked down as tight as anything else under government’s thumb. It was permitted to be free until it became too successful. And that is exactly what’s going to happen to the cars that are supposed to free us from $4 a gallon fill-ups. As soon as they can actually do that – and as soon as there are enough of them in people’s driveways – the boom will be lowered.

I suspect we’ll end up paying even more to drive – that is, whenever we’re allowed to drive.

I just got through reviewing the 2013 Toyota Prius plug-in hybrid. (See here for that.) Unlike all previous Priuii this one can realistically operate entirely on electricity. Fully charged, it has a range of about 14 miles or so so – enough to make it to the office for many people. If they can plug the car in at work, they might be able to make it back on electricity, too.

And that’s the rub.

Do you suppose the same government that will soon force eBay users to file 1099s and which is going to apply taxes to all formerly “tax-free” online purchases will stand back and do nothing as hundreds of thousands – then millions – of people buy a car that uses no or very little gas – and so pay no or very little gas taxes? Do you suppose it is possible the government will make electricity more expensive? Perhaps even limit access to it?

Right now, it costs very little – almost nothing – to charge up a plug-in hybrid like the Prius. The DOE says  the Prius needs about about  3.2 kilowatt-hours of  juice to travel 25 miles – which works out to about 75 cents’ worth of electricity (see here for more stats.) Put another way, the cost per mile is about 2-4 cents on electricity – as opposed to about eight cents per gallon for a vehicle burning $4 gas that gets 30 MPG.

Keep in mind that each gallon of gas includes roughly 60-75 cents of tax (federal, state,local). While electricity is also taxed, it is taxed far less. Right now, anyhow. How long do you suppose that’s going to last? What will the government do when a third of the vehicles out there burn no – or very little – gas? And their owners pay very little in the way of taxes? Will it stand idly by as revenue is diverted from its pockets back into the pockets of those who earned it (and who are trying to save it)?

Expect electricity to be heavily taxed in the near future. It will be sold as necessary for “conservation” and “the environment” – since so much of the electrical generating capacity of this country is based on coal and oil-fired utility plants. Instead of being the playthings of OPEC, our controllers will be much closer to home.

In our homes, in fact.

You may have heard about “smart meters.” These are being installed in homes all over the country – often, against the wishes of the homeowner. One guess why people might object…

No?

Here’s why: Smart meters make it possible for the power company to closely monitor your home’s electrical usage in real time – and gives the power company the ability to “adjust” how much power you may use at any given time. In New York – fief of Gauleiter Bloomberg – the power company can (and already does) turn down people’s home AC units while they’re away – in the name of “energy conservation.” The homeowner can – for the moment – over-ride the power company and turn the AC unit back up to whatever level he likes. But this “demonstration project” should give any thinking person the creeps. (Read up on smart meters here.)

Back to hybrids and electric cars. Imagine five or so years down the road. Millions of these cars are in circulation. They are drawing a considerable amount of power from the grid (or at least, that’s what we’ll be told).   The grid – already on the verge of blowing a fuse in 2012 – can’t handle the additional load.  Brown-outs (real or contrived) become routine. Go to the head of the class if you see where this is headed. Yup – restrictions on the use of electricity. In particular, its use for private transportation purposes.

Now here’s where it gets really clever.

Not only will Smart Meters allow the PTB to limit how much juice you’re allowed to download – into your home as well as into your hybrid/electric vehicle. Your vehicle – which will be equipped with a GPS transponder (as almost all new cars are already equipped with) can – and will be – turned on and off remotely, by the same PTB. Those of a certain vintage will recall the days when gas was rationed.

In the future, private transportation itself will be rationed.

You will be permitted to “fuel up” – and drive – only when (and where) your controllers say you may. And unlike the old days, there will be no end-running around this control grid.

High ethanol-content fuels such as E85 and E15 will eliminate most older vehicles – forcing people to buy a new vehicle, equipped with all the technology needed to keep track of them and control them. (Cars without this technology will be deemed “unsafe” – and either outlawed outright or required to be retrofitted with the required technology).

It’s all coming – and soon.

The moment hybrids and electrics actually work – that’s the moment when the hammer will come down.

Expect it.

Depend upon it.

Throw it in the Woods?

original found here.

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