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Eric Peters

Eric Peters

Eric Peters is a freelance car/bike/political columnist. He escaped the corporate-owned media Big Boys years ago. Without the censorship of the corporate tools

Articles by Eric Peters

Replacement Revenue

7 hours ago

If it’s no longer possible to “speed” – if cars become automated and drivers become passengers – won’t the government lose all the money they currently mulct from “speeding” drivers?
Of course not.
The revenue will simply be collected via other means. Which means will probably involve much more than merely the collection of revenue.
Distance, for instance, will probably be the replacement tax – applied generally. And emissions per distance. Too much of either – as decided by the government – and we’ll probably be more than merely mulcted.
The car – automated, remember – simply won’t motorvate.
That is, it won’t move once you’ve exceeded your allotted monthly/weekly/annual distance or emissions allowance. Those who control its

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Riding Dirty Daydreams

5 days ago

Lately I have been giving serious thought to “riding dirty” – without insurance. Just cancelling all of it.
The savings would be considerable – equivalent to eliminating my monthly electric bill as well as my monthly  Internet bill and a portion of my monthly food bill.
These things I need – and so I buy them, without anyone jabbing me in the back with a bayonet. I am happy to pay for these things – because I do need them. I am grateful to those who provide them.
The insurance I’m forced to buy for my vehicles? Not so happy about this. I need vehicle insurance like I need a mortgage payment on a condo in Hungary.
I have never visited Hungary.
I long ago stopped paying the home insurance mafia – which is one of the few forms of

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A Peck on the Neck

7 days ago

A vampire’s continued existence depends on the continuous flow of the blood of the living. The same principle animates Tesla and other purveyors of electric cars – who are about to receive another $2 billion-plus from FiatChrysler (FCA) over the course of the next three years.
This ought to stave off bankruptcy long enough to bankrupt legitimate car companies like FCA (which choose not to purvey electric cars, because people aren’t buying them).
After which, the vampire will feast on the blood of us – directly, this time.
The cash infusion is performed via what is styled the “purchase” of carbon credits. These are purchases in the manner of our “contributions” to Social Security – i.e., they are extorted payments made under

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Why You Can’t Afford Not To Buy a Classic Car

11 days ago

If you like cars, you probably like classic cars. Like looking at them, at least.
But if you’re like most of us, you probably don’t own one – because you’ve probbaly never been able to afford one.
Well, now you can.
At least, if you can afford a new car. Which, arguably, no one can.
New cars have passed several Event Horizons, the first and most obvious being their initial cost. The average price paid for a new car sailed past $35k for the first time last year. This is well-equipped Camry/Accord family car territory.
People routinely spend this much on minivans, pick-ups and crossover SUVs.
And more on modern muscle cars like Camaro, Mustang and Challenger.
Money in that ballpark could also buy you a classic car – a restored one,

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The Commuter (and Privacy and Other Things) Tax

13 days ago

If you don’t wan’t your dog to run away, you leash him. The government doesn’t want you to run away, either – but has a different kind of leash in mind.
The commuter tax.
It’s called the mileage tax but like so many things being pushed down our throats the term used doesn’t describe what’s actually meant.
What’s described by proponents such as Rep. Peter DeFazio, a liberal Democrat from Oregon who unfortunately chairs the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, is a merely modern replacement for the gas tax.
But what’s meant is a tax on driving – and the distinction is critical to grok.
When you buy gas, part of what you’re paying is tax, about 50 cents or so in federal and state taxes, folded into the price. But where

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Our Former Right To Travel

14 days ago

Control mobility – free movement – and you have controlled the population. Their other rights are automatically cheapened into functional irrelevance if the right to come and go without permission and free from interference is denied.
And so it has been.
It took a couple of generations, but most Americans seem to implicitly accept the idea that travel  – even on foot – is a conditional privilege conferred (and legitimately regulated) by “the government.” Which of course is just an evasive euphemism for the busybodies and control freaks who have somehow acquired a legal monopoly on the use of force – and who use its threat (and actuality) to enforce their busybody/control freak ideas.
One of these ideas is that movement beyond the

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The First Autonomous Car

15 days ago

You will probably never hear a TED talk about it, but the fact is the most autonomous car ever made was last made almost 100 years ago.
It was the Model T Ford – produced from 1908-1927.
Here was a car that did almost everything on its own – the defining essence of autonomous. It needed almost nothing from the external world except some gas in the tank. Not even a starter.
You were the starter.
Which meant that as long as you had at least one good arm and there was gas in the tank – gravity fed, so no worries about a fuel pump failing – you would probably not be walking.
It didn’t even have to have gas in its tank.
The Model T’s cast iron, 177 cubic inch four cylinder flathead engine could – and would – also run on alcohol or

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The Smart Car

16 days ago

Mercedes is giving up on the not-so-Smart Car, citing “declining micro-car market” in the U.S. and Canada.
U.S. Smart sales in 2018 plunged 58 percent from a year earlier to 1,276 cars.
What’s interesting about this is that Smart became electric-only in 2018.
Yet another example of the lack-of-demand for EVs, even when they are massively subsidized and their manufacture mandated (de facto, via “zero emissions” vehicle production quotas).
Which brings up another interesting thing.
Mercedes is going to bring a series of electric cars to market next year. Beginning with the EQC, a compact electric crossover SUV. It is the first of at least ten new electric Benzes scheduled for deployment.
Apparently, lesson not learned.
Of course,

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That First Taste of Freedom

18 days ago

Riding a bicycle has changed – and the change may account for the waning of interest in driving as well as the waxing hostility between cyclists and drivers.
Cycling is mostly an adult activity now. It’ rare to see kids out riding their bicycles – especially by themselves.
They used to.
A bicycle was once upon-a-time a kid’s first taste of real freedom. This appetizer tended to instill a hankering for more. An expectation. An awakening.
Those who grew up before the era of helicopter parenting commenced in the ’90s will remember it because they lived it. Saturday morning came and as soon as you were finished with breakfast, you bolted outside, got on your bike – without putting on a helmet-  and took off.
By yourself. To find your

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Grokking the Con

21 days ago

Anyone who hasn’t grokked the con by now is probably a hopeless case. Tesla has been in “business” for going on 15 years and still loses money despite taking billions.
Ask yourself what kind of “business” gets propped up by the government for that long – and what it implies about the reasons for propping it up.
Tesla’s purpose isn’t crony capitalism/rent-seeking, except incidentally.
Its purpose was to habituate the public to the EV as a “normal” car. As the inevitable replacement for our current (IC) cars.
To get the public used to hearing about and seeing electric cars. And most of all, to sex them up.
This was also done in order to nudge the car industry into the Electric Car Era – to nudge it into committing billions to EV

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The New ‘Stop Resisting’

25 days ago

Obeying the speed limit (or any other law) is no defense against vindictive armed government workers, as the first video which follows below shows.
The AGW who stopped this car with the threat of murderous violence – implicit in every non-consensual interaction with an AGW – admits, openly, that the driver was not exceeding the posted speed limit – but asserts that his not exceeding it is itself “suspicious.” This assertion of “suspicion” gives him, the AGW, pretext to stop anyone he likes and subject them to an Authority Display.
“I seen (sic) you going 31 miles per hour in a 45,” the AGW illiterately exclaims. The driver points out that this is not illegal. This fact cuts no ice. “Suspicious vehicle,” exclaims the shaved-head

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White Spaces and Write Crime

April 19, 2019

Some of you may have noticed the huge blank spaces on the site. This is my punishment for publishing “dangerous and derogatory” material; articles such as The Turbo Tax – which was “flagged” by Dagoooog for being  . . . “dangerous and derogatory.”
I committed the Write Crime of explaining to people why all of a sudden so many new cars – and even trucks – are coming from the factory with very small, highly turbocharged engines. I dared to connect this with federal fuel economy fatwas, which are orders issued by the busybodies and control freaks who constitute “the government” that all cars achieve X miles-per-gallon, or else. The “or else” being fines imposed on the car companies, passed on to you, the buyer. The other cost being

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The Fleeting Feeling of Freedom

April 18, 2019

Every now and then, I do something “risky” and illegal, to remind myself what it was like when we were still relatively free.
I roll one of my old bikes out of the garage and take it for a ride around the backroads near my place without a helmet on.
This used to be legal, once upon a time — on the sound premise that it was your head to break and so your business to risk it. Then it became the business of busybodies and control freaks — aka, “the government,” which passes laws that assert the contrary.
It is important to keep this in mind. That there is no such beast as “the government.” It is a term of manipulation only; a technique for getting people not to think about what government actually is — which is a proportionately

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Automotive Embalming

April 11, 2019

ABS can only do so much.
After going gangbusters for the past several years, new car sales are skidding all of a sudden – and the industry might just end up in the ditch, again.
The reason for the power slide is easy enough to grok –  the rising the cost of money – which is upticking alarmingly, if you’re in the market for a car.
Or trying to sell them.
About 14 percent of people who took out a loan on a new car last month are paying more than 10 percent interest – and the average interest rate is now well over six percent.
Which is higher than it’s been since – interestingly enough – about ten years ago.
Which was the last Time of Troubles for the industry, back in ’08.
People talk about the bailout, but that’s not really what

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The GPS Granny Nanny

April 10, 2019

America is slowing down. How long before it stops entirely?
Literally stops?
A reader who is a commercial driver wrote to tell me about how his work vehicle is monitored and controlled via the saaaaaaaaafety tech that is coming soon to your garage and may already be there, just waiting to be fully enabled.
His work van “fusses” at him for”hard cornering, idling too long, hard acceleration and hard braking.” And – of course – for not wearing his seatbelt, even for a moment.
It actually does more than “fuss” at him.
It narcs him out to his employer for accelerating or braking or cornering in a manner considered by the onboard nanny to be too “hard” for its tastes. Which means, paralytically hypercautious. Imagine a paranoid

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The Elon Mordita

April 9, 2019

Extortion is illegal provided you call it that. If you call it something else – “emissions credits,” for instance – then it’s ok.
Tesla just extorted several hundred million dollars from FiatChrysler (FCA) via this legal means of extortion. FCA is forced to pay Elon for not building enough electric cars which people don’t want to buy – but which don’t produce that deadly inert gas, carbon dioxide. While the cars FCA sells – without subsidies – do.
These CO2 “emissions” – which every living soul on this Earth also “emits” with every respiration – have been hystericized into a Planetary Threat for political reasons. An inert gas – but one essential to life on this Earth – has been rebranded into an “emission,” a term which once meant harmful byproducts – things which

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The Air Bag Body Count Upticks

April 2, 2019

Sixteen actual Americans have been killed by Takata air bags so far. The latest victim in Buckeye, AZ. As opposed to the hypothetical Americans not actually killed by VW’s “cheating” on Uncle’s emissions certification tests.
More actuals are going to die, too – from the air bags. It’s inevitable; the odds are heavily stacked.
There are hundreds of thousands of cars in circulation with air bags Uncle knows are defective; knows have killed and so – great leap of logic – are probably going to kill again.
Yet Uncle does not hurl a fatwa granting permission for the people who were forced by Uncle to buy these air bags to even temporarily disable them until they can be replaced with new air bags that may also kill them, but which at

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Replacement ‘Revenue’

April 1, 2019

Do you remember when repeal Obamacare became repeal . . .  and replace? In other words, government managed and government-enforced “health care” is now a given.
The government will simply diddle with the particulars.
And diddle us.
It will be the same with speed-limited cars, once those are fatwa’d here – as is now all-but-inevitable given they have just been fatwa’d there  – in Europe, where about a third of new cars sold here are made and so will be made with the same tech embedded in them and ready to go.

Think DRLs – the absurdly always-on headlights that almost all new cars have had since the ’90s, when GM began installing them in all its new cars because some of them were built (or sold) in Canada, which required them.
It

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The Tsunami Approaches

March 29, 2019

Tsunamis are nature’s surprise party. The sky is blue, the waves lap the shore gently as usual. No reason to pack up the beach towel – much less run to the car and drive at top speed as fast as you can to the nearest highest ground.
But across the ocean, an earthquake. The wave is coming, even if all looks fine here – for now.
Such an earthquake hit the other day, across the ocean – in Europe. And the tsunami is coming. It will hit us about two years from now. And when it hits, you won’t be able to drive fast to the nearest high ground.
Or get away from a psychotic squeegee man.
The European Union has decreed – fatwa’d – that beginning with the 2022 model year, all new cars shall be electronically gelded, forced by software to

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The Amen Corner

March 23, 2019

I’ve written about the media’s active complicity in pushing the EV Agenda. This includes the car media, which seems to have very few car people behind the bylines. Car people being people who regard cars as more than transportation – as a service or otherwise. And who – as journalists – ought at least to be asking relevant questions to get answers relevant to people who consider cars more than mere transportation.
Instead, they operate a kind of EV Pravda – the old Soviet journal that had as much “truth” in it as – well… Automotive News.
Which recently ran an article (here) about the “huge increase” in sales of Volvo’s plug-in hybrids and that “demand” was grossly “underestimated” for them. It hagiographically quotes Volvo’s CEO

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Elon’s Game

March 21, 2019

Elon is in the news again – but not for the right reason.
The SEC is angry with him over his Tweets – which ought to anger Tesla shareholders even more (not because of the SEC’s investigating Elon but because of the effect of Elon’s Tweets on the value of their stock).
But why isn’t anyone – including Uncle – angry with Elon over his extremely misleading – arguably fraudulent – advertising?
Not about the real-world range of his electric cars – and the effect of very cold (and very hot) weather on how far they’ll go – though these are also things you won’t read about in Tesla product literature. Which things would get any other automaker in at least warm water with various agencies of Uncle. Who – to make the point – went after

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The Unintended Consequences of ASS

March 19, 2019

The Japanese make Bonsai miniature trees by stunting real ones. In this case, the result of altering the natural course of things is pretty.
When government stunts the natural growth of things, the result is usually not.
It’s also almost always expensive, too.
A good example of both is ASS – Automated Stop/Start – and the 48 volt electrical systems being grafted (just the right word) onto many new cars to make ASS palatable.
ASS is an engineering expedient, not a feature.
There was no market clamor for a system which automatically shut off a vehicle’s engine every time the vehicle came to a stop – as at a red light – and then automatically re-started it (with a slight shudder as well as a slight delay) when it came time to get

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Virginia’s Automated Revenue Collectors

February 25, 2019

Speed cameras are like kudzu – they have to be beaten back every so often.
If, that is, the public has any idea they are about to get mulcted by them.
With almost no notice and even less media coverage, Virginia is on the verge of erecting these automated revenue collectors on its highways. Two companion bills (509 and 917) have already passed the General Assembly and now await the signature of Governor “Coonman” Northam.
Virtually no one seems to be aware of it.
The main instigator behind the pending legislation is a former in-person revenue collector by the name of Bill Carrico, who is a state senator now but was formerly an armed government worker.
That is to say, a guy who spent his days hiding in roadside cutouts pointing a

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The Last Buick

February 23, 2019

It hasn’t been announced yet, but Buick won’t be around much longer. It’s already mostly gone.
GM just announced the cashiering of the Cascada convertible – after less than three years on the market. This follows on the heels of the cancellation of the LaCrosse sedan, which leaves the Regal as the last Buick standing.
Well, the last Buick car.
There are still three Buick-badged crossover SUVs – emphasis on the badging. They are “Buicks” in the same way that Crest would be Colgate if you switched their boxes. The three models – Enclave, Encore and Envision – correspond to the ChevyTraverse, Trax and Equinox (respectively).
None differing in their essentials.
Or rather, their mechanicals.
Buick – like Pontiac – outlived itself. The

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Houston AGWs Murder Couple

February 21, 2019

That word – in the headline – is harsh. But it’s editorially honest.
A middle-aged couple, Dennis Tuttle (59) and Rhogena Nicholas (58) were Hut! Hut! Hutted! to death in their Houston, TX home by a pack of armed government thugs who invaded their home on the basis of a criminal warrant  . . . the criminal part being the lies confected by “lead investigator” Gerald Goines.
News story here.
It turns out (post mortem) that Goines deliberately lied about material facts in order to obtain the warrant that led to the fatal Hut! Hut! Hutting!
This has been admitted to by Oberstgruppenfuhrer (i.e., five star “general”) Art Acevedo.
Goines made up a story about drug transactions allegedly taking place at the home – which even

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Millennial Repo

February 18, 2019

An interesting data nugget percolated the other day about a “sharp worsening” – that is to say, an increase – in the number of car loan defaults among borrowers under 30 years old. According to Bloomberg Financial News, the rate for the Millennial demographic was 4.04 percent last quarter vs. 2.36 for the general population, or about twice as high.
But it’s not just The Youth who are in danger of having their cars repo’d.
The overall delinquency rate last quarter was at its highest level since 2012 – and the total number of car loans (new and used) as well as leases is up by 5.2 percent.
More people, in other words, are buying cars they can’t afford.
What’s especially interesting is that the increase in delinquencies isn’t happening in parallel with a recession.

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American Cars Are Less Safe

February 15, 2019

If cars are so much saaaaaaaaaaaafer than they used to be – courtesy of the beneficence of the federal government – how come fatalities are increasing rather than decreasing?
It’s another one of those awkward questions (like the ones about rivers of molten steel in the basement ruins of the Trade Center Towers) that no one seems to want to ask . . . probably because the answers don’t jibe with the conventions.
Or – in this case –  the regulations.
About 40,000 people died in car crashes last year.
2018 was also the third year in a row that fatalities increased.
Curiously, that’s roughly the same interval of time during which the most aggressive – the most pre-emptive – saaaaaaaafety systems have been mandated or otherwise become

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Tasered 11 Times

February 14, 2019

Here’s a particularly awful story and video out of Glendale, AZ – with implications that are national.
Armed government workers followed a car into a parking lot – over an alleged turn signal violation – and almost immediately escalate the traffic stop into a violent “takedown” that ends with the front seat passenger being Tasered 11 times.
He “don’t got no ID,” says the AGW. “Shut up. Shut up. You’re fine.”
The passenger – who was not driving – didn’t make the alleged illegal U turn and so objected to the AGW’s demand for his ID. Many people do not realize – understandably – that when a vehicle is stopped by AGWs because the driver allegedly committed a traffic violation, the law in some states empowers AGWs to demand ID from

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A Cold Breeze for EVs

February 12, 2019

There’s only so much lipstick you can put on a pig. Eventually, even Stevie Wonder can tell what it is – if only by feel.
Well, some EV owners were feeling mighty cold last week. Nervous, too. About the effect of cold weather on their electric cars. Apparently, no one told them that using electrically powered accessories – like the heater – draws power from the battery which propels the electric car.
Resulting in it being propelled less far.
Nor that batteries suffer a kind of erectile dysfunction in cold weather. They become flaccid, sooner.
Less range, again.

But – for the very first time – the general press actually reported this.
CNBC headlined their story with the news that “Electric car owners have discovered cold weather

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Why Saving Gas

February 11, 2019

If the government’s fuel economy fatwas “save” Americans so much money, how come it’s costing them billions?
FiatChrysler just made the latest payment – $77 million – which was actually a fine for failing to make its cars “save” enough fuel . . . for Uncle’s tastes.
Irrespective of FCA customers’ tastes.
FiatChrysler’s model lineup – the ones that sell well – are big cars like the Dodge Charger and big SUVs like the Jeep Grand Cherokee – and Uncle is not happy about it.
Similarly about Jaguars ($46.2 million in fines) and Mercedes ($28.2 million) and other car brands that don’t make cars “efficiently” enough to make Uncle happy. These get socked with fines as above, every year. It is not small change. And it will become even more

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