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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

Virginia’s Automated Revenue Collectors

22 days ago

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

24 days ago

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

26 days ago

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

29 days ago

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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You’ll Freeze in Your Car This Winter

February 6, 2019

Have you ever run an electric space heater in a room with no other source of heat – when the air temperature is say minus 10 (or lower) as it is right now in many states? You stay warm, sort of – but you can almost see the dollars burning in the red hot glow of the coils.
The good news is the space heater doesn’t have to move the room down the road at 60 MPH, too.
It’s also connected to the grid – not a battery. So while it costs a fortune to run, at least you won’t run out – of heat, that is.
Range, on the other hand . . .
How long would the space heater continue to provide heat if it were connected to a battery?
And also had to keep the room moving down the road at 60 MPH?
Electric heaters cost a lot to run – in energy and so

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China Shows the US How To Do It

February 5, 2019

It’s funny – or sad, depending on your point of view.
America car companies are downsizing and U-hauling operations to China as fast as they can . . . at the same time that Chinese car companies are preparing to launch a kind of vehicular Operation Overload directed at the mainland United States.
Two Chinese car companies – Zotye and GAC, which sells cars under the Trumpchi label (no reference to the Orange Man, it translates as “passing into happiness”) have announced they will begin selling cars here just a few months from now.
There will be “landings” in a dozen states, including Virginia, Florida, California, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Kansas, Oklahoma and Maryland.
GAC has met with 80 potential distributors, according to the

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Electric Cars Are Far More Expensive To Run

February 4, 2019

Electric cars continue to cost lots of money – contrary to the now-forgotten original point of the exercise, which was once upon a time to find a lower-cost alternative to gas-powered cars.
That’s gone away because gas is so cheap that – even with all the add-on taxes (about a fourth of the cost of each gallon) and the cost of regulatory mandates (such as the ethanol mandate) that have made fuel both more expensive and less efficient than it would otherwise be – finding a cheaper source of energy is going to take something spectacular, and battery power isn’t it.
That  inconvenient truth plus government subsidization of high-performance luxury-sport cars that happen to be battery-powered has perverted the incentives for electric

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What Cadillac Should Have Done

January 28, 2019

As Cadillac’s market share continues to wilt, it’s worth considering what Cadillac once was – and could be again.
If, that is, it could take off the Me Too blinders it has been wearing for the past 30-plus years and resumed building . . . Cadillacs.
Not BMWs with Cadillac badges.
Certainly not electric BMWs with Cadillac badges.
Batteries are about as sexy as Depends – and Depends at least work.
Cadillac was successful – once upon a time – because Cadillacs were not BMWs. Or Audis or Benzes or any other such foreign thing. They were American things. Boldly – even belligerently so.
It wasn’t so much about finesse as it was about a very particular style – obstreperous, insolent. Not merely the opposite of politically correct but

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The Double-Batteried Electric Polecat

January 26, 2019

The Electric Dementia continues to wax, the latest evidence of which is Volvo’s announcement about its Polestar performance car arm becoming its electrified performance arm.
Hold up there, chief.
Weren’t electric cars supposed to be a better way to get around – that is, less expensive to own and drive, more convenient – rather than a faster way to get around?
And if speed is now the main EV draw, why is the government still subsidizing them? Isn’t it like subsidizing ribe-eye steaks and sushi for all? Which is a nice idea – if you’re the one getting the subsidized rib-eyes and sushi rather than the one getting the bill.
There is also an environmental affront here. High-performance cars, whether electric or IC, use more energy

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Gearing Matters

January 24, 2019

Weight – and gearing – have a yuge effect on fuel economy. Even to the extent of almost eliminating 40 years of “advanced” technology, including computer-controlled electronic fuel injection. To make the case, I offer the following comparison:
I own one relatively modern vehicle – a 2002 Nissan Frontier pickup – and one extremely not-modern vehicle – my infamous 1976 Pontiac Trans-Am, aka the Orange Barchetta (or Great Pumpkin).
These two are very different – and very similar.
One is a truck and has a fuel-injected, computer-controlled four-cylinder engine. The other is muscle car with a huge V8, fed by a carburetor controlled by my right foot.

The V8 in the TA displaces 455 cubic inches, which amounts to 7.5 liters in today’s

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The ‘Revenue Opportunity’ Behind the Wheel

January 21, 2019

There is a saying that goes, if you’re not paying for the product, you are the product. But what if you’re paying for it – and you’re still the product?
Welcome to your next new car – previewed at the Consumer Electronics Show in Vegas earlier this month – in which you’ll be surrounded by new technology designed to “monetize” everything from your musical preferences (it knows which stations you like) to where you like to go (it keeps track of where and when) and what you like to eat.
Perhaps even what you look at as you drive.
The cameras so many new cars come with already will soon be pointed at you. You’ll be surrounded sensors, too – in the seats, in the dash – anywhere they can be put where data about you can be mined.

That

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Teslas Suddenly Get Pricier

January 17, 2019

Tesla announced the other day that it will no longer be producing the least-expensive version of its Model S sedan – which lines up with Tesla’s failure to produce many (f any) of the lower-priced versions of its constantly trumpeted Model 3.
It’s a hint about how one of the biggest problems with electric cars – their being too expensive for most people to consider, so long as their are less less expensive options available – will be handled.
We’ll all just pay more – because their won’t be any less expensive options.
And not just at Tesla stores.
As “electrification” gallops ahead – every major car company is practically on a war footing, frantically rushing as many EVs to market as they possibly can and retiring as many

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Don’t Fall for This One

January 14, 2019

People are – understandably – terrified of any correspondence that looks like it’s from the government since it usually means something bad and something you can’t avoid. Scammers have glommed on to people’s fear of anything official looking and are using it to trick people into opening crap correspondence they’d otherwise just trash without even looking at.
So when an official-looking envelope arrives from the Vehicle Notification Department – and an IMMEDIATE RESPONSE TO THIS NOTICE  is staring at you in all caps bold-faced type – well, one tends to give it a second look at least.
Which is about all it’s worth – if that.
The “Vehicle Notifications Department” is in fact a shystery extended warranty outfit – AutoAssure, LLC –

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Fake News?

January 10, 2019

Trump gets flak for characterizing the mainstream press as purveyors of Fake News. But what about no news at all?
Isn’t lack of coverage even worse than biased coverage?
Well, how much news have you heard or read about the gilets jaunes – or “yellow vest” – protests in France? CNN hasn’t got anything on its main page today (Jan. 9). Neither did NBC or CBS. Lots of the usual – endless – carpet-chewing coverage of Trump, though. And also of such important stories as “Want to Pay off Your Mortgage? Try Frugal Minimalism.”
You might think France, a major western European country, coming unglued – and on the verge of its government outright banning “unauthorized” criticism of its actions – might at least be  . . .  well,  news.

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The Unmentionable Alternative

January 9, 2019

The first reason originally given for the necessity of force-feeding electric cars to people was the supposedly imminent scarcity (and associated rising cost) of gasoline. This was en vogue back in the ‘90s – when the first electric cars came out – and quickly went away, because back in the ‘90s there were no subsidies to float them and no mandates to force them.
But the whole point of the exercise, we were constantly told, was that we had to find an alternative to fossil fuels right away – because we were on the cusp of running out of them.
Except it turns out we’re not.
There is so much gas, in fact, that a new excuse had to be found – “climate change,” the wonderfully elastic hypothesis that whatever the weather is doing that

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A License To Kill

January 8, 2019

Imagine being empowered by the state to threaten people with murderous violence over hurt feelings.
Or for pretty much any reason at all. Without having to worry much – if at all – about ever being held criminally responsible for such abuse.
To say that such a policy is dangerous is like saying there’s a slight problem in the Titanic’s hold, after it hit the iceberg.
It is catastrophic – as great a threat to our liberties as the gushing-in seawater was to the souls aboard the doomed liner.
In this video, a man who flipped The Bird to an armed government worker finds himself in mortal peril because he hurt the AGW’s feelings. Not because any law was broken – much less any harm done to persons or property, the only moral

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Smart Cars

January 5, 2019

One of the arguments used by automated car pushers (I use the term deliberately, to convey the fact that the market isn’t asking for automated cars any more than it is electric cars; both are being forced upon the market by parties who are frustrated by the market’s reluctance to “embrace” either thing) is that they are saaaaaaaafer than cars controlled by us.
In a sense, this is true.
If you begin with the premise that “us” consists of the typically dumbed-down 18-year-old driver. Whose driving has been dumbed on purpose to create the pretext for automated cars.
This process has been under way for a long time but desultorily – until fairly recently. Something changed for the much worse in the early years of this new century.
It

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Radar Invisibility?

December 31, 2018

Some of you may remember the ‘80s movie adaptation of the epic (and excellent) sci-fi novel Dune by Frank Herbert. The characters in this far-distant future wear defensive shield belts that, when activated, partially protect them from attack.
But they are not invulnerable to attack.

Radar detectors amount to the same thing. They offer partial shielding. They do not guarantee immunity from tickets. But they can greatly reduce you odds of getting one – if you understand what they can (and can’t) do and adjust your driving accordingly.
Radar detectors can’t detect radar that’s not on – but police radar might still be there.
Some cops keep their radar running continuously and that’s the radar detectors are able to detect. The radar

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Why No Safety Exemption

December 28, 2018

You may have caught my article about the brand-new 1960s Mustangs you can legally buy – upgraded in all the right places but left alone everywhere else.
They have modern, fuel-injected engines, high-capacity four-wheel-disc brakes and modern suspensions that make them the equal – or better – of a brand-new (2019) Mustang not only in terms of performance but also everyday driveability, low maintenance and long-haul durability, too.
Also their emissions – which are as low as the new Mustang’s and so Uncle-approved.
But they haven’t got any of the other stuff Uncle has been mandating since the 1960s that may have made cars more crashworthy but also less beautiful and individual. No air bags homogenize the steering wheels; no

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Leased Cars Are Wrecking Auto Sales

December 25, 2018

Did you know that the percentage of new cars sales that are actually leases has risen from about 3-5 percent in the early-mid 2000s to more than 30 percent as of this year?
It appears about a third of the population – about five times as many as used to be able to –  is no longer able to afford to buy new cars.
At least, not the cars they want – the $30,000 and up ones, laden with all the latest gadgets they want (plus the ones mandated by Uncle).
There are still new cars priced under $20,000 – and most people can still afford those. But they’re the slow-movers. And they’re disappearing – both because they are slow-movers and also because the government-corporate nexus is pushing electric and hybrid-electric cars, which are on track to become the only kinds of cars

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The Saaaaaaafety Exemption(s)

December 24, 2018

It’s a curious thing . . .
The same government which says it’s so very “concerned” about our saaaaafety that it won’t allow us to ride a motorcycle without a helmet – and will threaten us with violence if we don’t wear a seat belt – won’t allow us to disable known-to-be dangerous air bags and is  very loosey-goosey about self-driving/automated cars.
Which have demonstrated how unsafe they are.
Like air bags, automated cars have killed – unlike me not buckling up. But that’s not enough to get them banned or even restricted very much.
Uber just resumed testing its self-driving cars on pubic roads, in Pennsylvania – nine months after it voluntarily suspended testing them in Arizona, following some negative publicity about one of its

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Obergruppenfuhrer AGWs

December 22, 2018

Here’s news coverage from a local Vegas, NV ABC affiliate about the former Obergruppenfuhrer (note his four stars and “campaign” ribbons) and his stellvertreter (deputy) who were both fired after an internal investigation regarding sexual harassment, including ass grabbing.

Leaving aside the ass-grabbing, it’s both hilarious – and depressing – to see these geeks wearing military rank insignia.
Generals and majors, everywhere . . .

We hear of “stolen valor” all the time – but what about these cases?
The pictured Obergruppenfuhrer is not a commissioned officer. He is not even agefreiter.  He is certainly not a four-star general. Yet he is wearing costume jewelry so indicating. The badges of rank on my old Boy Scout uniform are more legitimate. I am, after all,

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Inside EV Baseball

December 21, 2018

Most people have no direct experience with electric cars – and neither do I.
Well, not officially.
The difference is, I should have it – because unlike 99.9 percent of the population, I am a car journalist. The car companies send me new cars every week to test drive and evaluate.
It’s been my full-time job for more than 25 years.
But I don’t get electric cars.
And not just me. Other car journalists don’t get them, either. And that ought to serve as a kind of 9 volt canary in the coal mine about electric cars. 
Why don’t some of us get them?
It’s not because we don’t want them. “Want” in the sense of professional obligation. I’ve been accused of not liking electric cars – which is true.  I also do not like minivans and most

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High Water Marks

December 19, 2018

As a guy who reviews new cars, I am often asked which cars are my favorite cars. Almost all of them are old cars – which could be nostalgia but maybe (I like to think) because they just had something new cars don’t.
Like this one, for instance.
The 1973 SD-455 Trans-Am.
This car was in my opinion the apogee of muscle cardom. It was also the last real muscle car, not only because it was built at a time when almost all other high-powered American cars had already disappeared but because it was the last really powerful American two-plus two coupe built without catalytic converters or significant emissions controls of any kind and no air bags, traction control, ABS or other electronic impedimenta. It was a raw and surly car that had

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Guillotines and Red Octobers

December 14, 2018

The French would be in the streets.
Of course, they are in the streets – but that’s in France. What about here? General Motors just announced it will be closing five plants and firing about 15,000 people – and that’s probably just for openers.
This, by itself, isn’t cause for pitchforks.
Companies sometimes have to lay people off – because sometimes, people aren’t buying what the company is selling. Even when this is the result of mismanagement, it’s a normal part of life in a free economy.
But GM used the government as its personal Luca Brasi to mulct taxpayers – including those people GM just fired – to the tune of $33 billion back in 2009 – so that those jobs would be saved.
That, at any rate, was the alleged basis for the

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The Cost of a Time Machine

December 12, 2018

The good news first.
You can legally buy a brand-new car without a single air bag or any of the saaaaaaafety equipment mandated by the government since the late 1960s.
No back-up camera, ABS, TCS or black box data recorder.
Not even a seat belt buzzer.
A car you can see out of, too – that doesn’t need a back-up camera. Doesn’t try to parent you – and never nags you.
Even better news, these cars are brand-new 1960s Mustangs. Not restored originals, but brand-new cars – built using all new Ford-licensed sheetmetal and put together to a standard that wasn’t possible in the ‘60s.
Panel fitment is exacting; the doors close as tightly as a new Camrys. These new Mustangs do not squeak or leak. Trim is not misaligned. The paintwork

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