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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

GM Woke

6 days ago

If Bruce can transition into Caitlyn then GM can do basically the same thing – with the difference being Bruce probably paid for his own surgery.
GM is going to want your “help” paying for its transition.
In a few days, you’ll see what you’ll be paying for. The shaved Adam’s apple; the . . . augmentation. And the removal.
The electric Hummer.
It is GM’s virtue-signaling plea for forgiveness. The bad ol’ GM wants you to forget all about those “gas guzzling” Hummers it made back in the early 2000s. It will now make a time-guzzling electric version of the same thing. Which is just as wasteful, by the way – but in a way that’s acceptable today.
But far more obnoxious.
The original Hummer never feigned virtue. It was what it

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Slow Going

7 days ago

If speed kills, why are people always  in such a hurry to get to the hospital? It seems to be the only time they’re in a hurry.
American drivers are marinated in the doctrine that any motorized movement  – not just acceleration – that doesn’t emulate the movements of a Galapagos tortoise is necessarily dangerous. This is based on the belief that most American drivers are so inept that allowing them to drive at all is dangerous. Hence the push to get them into driverless cars.
Meanwhile, they glaciate.
The guy behind the wheel of the car ahead of you puts on his car’s turn signal. After awhile, he begins to mosey over to the right. It is more like a senile drift than a turn. You could almost read at least the preamble to the

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Our Worser Half

10 days ago

Government is like a bad marriage you can’t get out of. An arranged bad marriage you didn’t even once upon a time think was a good idea that turned bad over time. You were forced into it – and you can’t leave it.
Just ask Mr. Lincoln.
So you end up doing your best to “make it work” – and are grateful for whatever small occasional concessions you can manage.
They are better than nothing, as the saying goes.
And yes – it could have been worse. For instance:
Our Worser Half was going to force us to buy nothing but hybrids and electric cars – by jacking up the price – via fines – of any new car that didn’t average at least 46.7 MPG – which is every car that isn’t a hybrid or an EV – by the 2026 model year.
This would have had a

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Minding Your Mood

12 days ago

Memory seats are nice. But how about mood minders? In-car sensors that assess your state of mind via eye movements, facial expressions, gestures – even your rising (or falling) heartbeat – and adjust the car accordingly?
Some of this is already here.
A number of new cars come standard with “drowsy driver” monitoring systems. Cameras embedded in the dash watch you as you drive; if the system thinks you’re getting heavy-lidded or distracted, a chime will sound and a warning light (it’s often a coffee cup symbol) comes on.

Soon, it’ll be much more than just a light and a chime.
At the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, the next Great Leap Forward was on display. In addition to cameras watching you, infra-red sensors will soon register your metabolic rate as an

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The Tractor Backlash

14 days ago

John Deere, like Ford and GM and all the rest, is forced by the government to build tractors as complicated as new cars – and just as impossible for the average owner to service.
But people still have the choice not to buy them.
Many are beginning to exercise this choice.
The Minnesota Star Tribune reports that a growing number of farmers have had it with government-mandated tractors that get uppity when their owner try to fix them rather than pay a Deere dealer to fix them. Or they just brick themselves.
Yes, really.
John Deere made the astounding claim about two years ago that the people who buy its new tractors are really just licensees. You possess the tractor and are allowed to use it, but Deere owns the software that runs

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Tesla’s 14th Victim…So Far

15 days ago

Tesla may have just killed its 14th victim; there are at least 13 confirmed kills so far  – as the result of Autopilot. Excluding auto-immolation.
This qualifies Tesla for serial killerhood.
But no FBI investigation – or even a recall.
Instead, an “advisory” from the National Highway Traffic Safety (sic) Administration that drivers of Autopiloted Teslas must always “keep their hands on the steering wheel and pay attention at all times” – which is right up there with Don’t Squeeze the Charmin.
What is the point of Autopilot and “autonomous” – automated – cars if you have to pay any attention at all?
If, on the other hand, it is necessary for them to pay attention – which NHTSA concedes by warning of its necessity –  then Autopilot

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Coonman’s ‘Tax Relief’

19 days ago

Car dealers are amateurs when it comes to the bait-and-switch. The true masters of this art are politicians – such as Virginia Governor Ralph “Coonman” Northam. He tantalizes empty-pocketed taxpayers – whose pockets are empty because of all the taxes they’re forced to pay – with lower taxes.
In exchange for higher ones.
Of course, he doesn’t quite put it that way, much less explain what he’s up to – so let’s do that.
Virginia, like most states, applies an annual vehicle registration tax – in addition to the sales taxes people are forced to pay when they buy a car, then the tax to title the car and then again each year for the conditional privilege of temporary possession – the property tax on the vehicle. Which if you fail to

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Orange Man Lobs One at Tesla

21 days ago

The Orange Man didn’t just kill an Iranian general last week. He may also have killed Tesla.
And not just Tesla.
This runs counter to the reports of Tesla selling more cars in the last quarter of 2019 than it ever sold before – which it did. But only because the federal government has been paying people to buy them.
Not anymore.
The president kiboshed a much-lobbied-for “extension” of the $7,500 kickback to electric car buyers that – up to the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve – has been perpetuating the fiction that there is a market for electric cars.
The kickback transformed a $40,000 Tesla Model 3 into a $32,500 Model 3.
Which made it seem cost-competitive with an otherwise similar non-electric compact luxury-sport sedan,

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Who Pays for the $1,500 Headlight?

22 days ago

Your next fender-bender could cost you thousands – and not because of the cost of unbending the fenders.
The price of headlights is skyrocketing – because they are no longer just headlights. They are headlight systems, many of them with dozens of individual LED lights – each of them costing more than a single sealed beam halogen headlight – all of them mounted in an ornate, fragile and rapidly yellowing plastic housing.
They are not merely plugged in. They are tied-in. To sensors and computers.
Some of them to GPS.
The latest systems – such as those found in higher-end cars like Audis, Porsches and BMWs – can set you back $1,500 or more for the pair.
And it’s not just Porsches, BMWs and Audis. Fords and Chevys are

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The End of the American Car?

27 days ago

Next year may be your last chance to buy an American car.
Not the brand. The type.
Arguably, there is only one company still selling American cars. Big, rear-wheel-drive cars with nothing smaller than a V6 under the hood – without a big price. Or at least a price that average Americans can still manage.
That company is – was – FiatChrysler. Which company just merged with a French car company, Peugot, that specializes in small-engined, small cars.
And electric cars.
Peugot just announced something foreboding, if you can read between the lines – and if you are a Deplorable who esteems big, big-engined non-electric American cars like the Chrysler 300, the Dodge Charger and Challenger.
These three (and they’re basically one – because

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The Useless in an Emergency Brake

28 days ago

It won’t be long before nothing happens when you floor the accelerator. Well, nothing dramatic. The car will gradually build speed – Not too much! Not too fast! – no matter how hard you push down on the pedal.
For ssssssaaaaaaaaaaaafety!
The principle has already been applied to breaking traction – via traction control – which in a number of cars cannot be turned off – or only turned partially off – or which comes back on after you thought you had turned it off.
For ssssssssaaaaaaaaaaaaafety!

The pull-up emergency brake is being emasculated for the same reason.
Or so they say.
If you can even find a new car that has a pull-up emergency brake.
The few car companies that still equip their new cars with a pull-up emergency brake

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Burnouts and Beatdowns

December 28, 2019

Detroit armed government workers are apoplectic over a public display of contempt for their authority – which they say is really just “concern” for “public safety.” But their steam-out-of-their ears overreaction to this incident suggests otherwise.
A burnout was committed on I-94.
Only tires were harmed.
But video was taken – with the license plate of the Camaro doing the burnout obscured and birdie-flips to AGWs conveyed. This concerned the AGWs very much.
Five-star “General” James Craig held a press conference worthy of the hunt for Dillinger. “Here’s my message,” the “General” said: We are going to find you and when we do, we are going to arrest you and we’re going to seize your vehicle.”
Over a burnout.
One performed, it must

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1775 . . . Again?

December 26, 2019

When people desperately trying to avoid a fight are left no choice but to fight, they are often the fiercest fighters imaginable.
The reason being an explosion of righteous anger – of berserker fury – directed at the bullies who will not leave them be.
Governor “Coonman” Northam of Virginia is such a bully.
He intends to rescind the current, ancient and long-acknowledged legal right of Virginians  who aren’t criminals to possess more than single shot rifles and pistols – by criminalizing anyone who does possess them.
These newly minted “criminals” will then be required to turn in their formerly legal firearms to the government or be subject to Hut! Hut! Hutting! by armed government workers sent by the Coonman to enforce

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Part-Time vs. Full Time Electric Cars

December 24, 2019

Hybrids are really part-time electric cars.
They have battery packs and electric motors, like full-time electric cars – but they don’t rely on them exclusively for propulsion, as a full-time electric car does. They aren’t dependent entirely on electricity as their fuel.
Which is why they are the only electric cars that make practical – as well as economic – sense.
Which probably explains why they’re being shunted aside in favor of full-time electric cars (punchline at the end of this rant).
The combustion engine a part-time hybrid carries provides much of the motive force for propulsion; it also provides fuel-on-the-go for the electric side of the drivetrain – converting gas (via combustion) into electricity to continuously

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Diminished Combustion

December 23, 2019

It didn’t work last time – but this time is different.
Last time, the method deployed to get rid of cars – or at least, cars for us – was emissions standards. The plan was to lay down requirements so severe that cars couldn’t be made to comply with them.
It was a brilliant idea. Don’t tell them you’re anti-car, just anti-pollution. Don’t ban cars, just require them to be ever “cleaner.” Until you can’t build cars that are “clean” enough.
At first, the plan appeared to be working.
Muscle cars were the first to be gotten rid of. By 1975 – the first year for catalytic converters – there were no more muscle cars. Just a few cars that looked like muscle cars such as the gimping-along Pontiac Trans-Am, Chevy Camaro (no more Z28) and of

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Money Better Spent

December 21, 2019

If it’s true that most buyers want “fuel efficient” cars why aren’t they buying them?
It’s  a question that’s almost never asked whenever the subject of federal fuel economy standards – which are mandates – comes up. Probably because the answer isn’t what those pushing for higher federal fuel economy standards want to hear.
Their argument is that buyers pine for vehicles that use less gas but the eeeeeeeeevil car industry – in cahoots with the even more eeeeeeeeeeevil oil industry refuses to design them.
Forces them them to buy “gas hogs.”
Enter Uncle. He will fix it! Using force.
He will make the car companies build gas-sippers. The problem has been getting people to buy them. Even when they are forced into showrooms it’s very

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Not to Worry…Usually

December 20, 2019

When your car starts making a strange new noise – or emits a strange new smell – it’s not necessarily something major. The first thing to do is calm down – and not assume the worst. The second thing to do – if you’re not mechanically inclined – is to find someone you trust to have a listen.
And a look.
One common – and alarming – noise that modern cars often make that isn’t usually something to worry about is an exhaust rattle. It’s probably not a death rattle. It’s a good bet the catalytic converter heat shield – a thin piece of metal tack-welded to the converter’s body, to prevent its very hot surface from touching – and possibly igniting – dry leaves and such underneath the car – has come partially loose.
When it does, it

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Birth Control and Enstupidation

December 16, 2019

One of the things that shied me away from having kids when I could have had them was the knowledge that if I did have them, I would be forced by the government – and armed government workers – to buy ssssssssssaaaaaaaafety seats.
As in several – as the child transitioned from baby to toddler to kid to almost-adolescent.
Many states force kids to be strapped in until they’re almost old enough to drive themselves.
This means probably five or six ssssssssssssssssssssafety seats per kid. If you have two kids, the cost of all those ssssssssssssssaaaaaafety seats probably would have been enough to put one through his freshman year of college.
Add in the cost of a stupid-huge vehicle (another huge and unnecessary expense) since

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The Coming ‘Post-Car Era’

December 12, 2019

It’s not just the government that’s banning cars – or making it hard to own a car. Private developers are working toward the same thing  – styled the “attrition of the automobile” in urban planning circles.
One of these developers – Culdesac – is erecting a specifically car-attrited stack-a-prole apartment complex in Tempe, AZ. There are no parking spaces or even places nearby to park a car. The whole point of the operation – in the words of Culdesac’s visionaries – is to build “housing” for the “post-car era.”
Which would be fine if it were a natural evolution. Some people either don’t like or don’t feel the need for cars – or for the personal space/independent ownership a single family home provides – and like the idea of being

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‘Drivers’ Who Aren’t…

December 10, 2019

Another auto-piloted Tesla has crashed into another car – two cars, actually – over the weekend. The Tesla’s “driver” – in quotes to ironicize the obvious – was reportedly “checking on his dog” in the back seat when his car rammed into a Connecticut State Police cruiser and then ping-ponged into another car that was parked on the shoulder of the road.
Several interesting questions come to mind – again. Including one probable inevitability that hasn’t been much discussed but which will eventually affect all of us, including those of us who prefer to be drivers rather than meatsacks driven around by autopiloted (and glaucomic) cars.

The first question is – who’s responsible for these crashes? Is it the “driver” who uses technology specifically designed to avoid the

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Revenue Collection and Something Else

December 7, 2019

It used to be that roadside mulctings were primarily, even exclusively, motivated by simple money-lust. Traffic enforcement as a kind of random tax-raising effort.
Many towns and even cities in the United States are extremely dependent on the “revenue” – as it is styled – which is generated by the fleecing of motorists. This is why there are so many “infractions” – and it is why many of them are deliberately contrived so as to assure almost every motorist will be “guilty” of at least one “violation” every time he drives.
Examples include absurdly under-posted speed limits that are often functionally impossible to comply with – unless you want to get run over. And pedantic requirements about exactly where one must stop at a stop

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The Panopticon Expands

December 5, 2019

Precedent always becomes practice.
Having established as legitimate the use of cameras to robotically ticket people for “speeding” and “running” red lights – timed to go red quickly, so as to ensnare as many drivers as possible – it was only a matter of time before the principle was extrapolated – now to include automatically ticketing people for using their cell phones while driving.
But it’s more than just cameras now – and it will be more than just cell phone use that’s targeted for confiscation (of your money, that is).
Because why shouldn’t it be?
If it is okay to steal people’s money (which is what we’re talking about here, shorn of the euphemistic language about “fines”) for those things, why not this thing?

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The Throughput – and Other – Problems

December 3, 2019

There was an interesting story over the holiday about electric cars piled up at “fast” chargers  . . . waiting in line for other EVs to finish “fast” charging. This brings up the problem of throughput – another of many EV problems not being reported by the general press as well as the car press (the latter being inexcusable).
It is a function of the EV’s much longer recharge time vs. a non-electric car’s time to refuel. Even in a best-case scenario – at what are hilariously (and depressingly) styled “fast” chargers – an EV takes at least five times as long (about 30 minutes) to recover a partial charge as it takes to fully refuel a non-electric car.
Consider what this means in terms of how many electric cars can recharge in one

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Electric Cars Cost More Than Too Much

November 30, 2019

Electric cars are costing us more than just too much money.
They’re also costing jobs.
Just in time for Thanksgiving, Audi announced the end of 9,500 of them – to help finance the development of electric cars. “We are now tackling structural issues in order to prepare Audi for the challenges ahead,” said Audi’s CEO Bram Schot.
The “structural issues” he speaks of are the outlawing of other-than-electric cars by the German government, effective come 2030.
The jobs lost amount to 15 percent of the company’s German workforce and by eliminating them, Audi will “raise” $6.6 billion – that is, cannibalize itself of that sum – to manufacture products it can’t make money selling but which the German government is forcing them to make.

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The Sovietization of the American Auto Industry

November 28, 2019

Pavolv’s dogs salivated whenever they heard the bell – even in the absence of food. They had been conditioned to associate the sound with the appearance of food.
The press reacts similarly when they hear the sound of Elon  . . . and that word.
They are currently salivating over what Elon tells them is going to be the Truck of Tomorrow.
Which is quite possible – as we live in a lunatic present.
How to explain the demented approbation for the Cybertruck?
In any other context, its debut would have resulted in peals of laughter based on its cobbled-together and spray-can-painted appearance alone. All that was missing, when the curtain came up, was Gil Gerard stuffed back into his silver thermal underwear for a reboot of

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If You Can’t Beat ‘Em…Sue ‘Em!

November 26, 2019

When you can’t beat ‘em in the showroom, go after ‘em in the courtroom.
General Motors says the lawsuit it filed against FiatChrysler is all about FCA supposedly  graft-giving union bosses under-the-table cashola to gain some kind of competitive advantage on labor costs.
The allegation is that FCA’s former head, Sergio Marchionne funneled payments to United Auto Workers bosses to secure wage and benefits deals more favorable to FCA and less favorable to UAW workers – which gave FCA an unfair competitive advantage over GM, which had not-as-favorable deals with the UAW.
But the numbers don’t appear to support GM’s claims.
The average FCA assembly line worker earns about $22 per hour while the average GM assembly line worker makes

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A-Bombs in the Neighbor’s Basement and the NAP

November 21, 2019

Objections to the Libertarian foundational premise – the non-aggression principle – often raise  outlandish, even hysterical scenarios designed to push the envelope of people’s fear tolerance  . . . in order to get them to accept being restricted and punished for actions that have not directly or actually caused harm to others.
Thus, the atom bomb in the neighbor’s basement – and the “speeder” doing 120 in a cul-de-sac.
Both scenarios are possibilities, of course. It would be silly to make the argument that, in the absence of laws prohibiting it, someone might decide to build himself an A bomb or drive 120 in a cul-de-sac.
But here’s the thing: Laws prohibiting such things do not absolutely preclude those things, either. Some

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Hurt Feelings Now Hut! Hut! Huttable!

November 19, 2019

A New York County just passed a law that makes it an arrestable offense to “annoy” an armed government worker. In other words, one can be Hut! Hut! Hutted! in Monroe County, NY for hurting the feelings of an armed government worker.
And not even that.    
How do we know – how would a court establish – whether the AGW’s feelings actually were hurt? Leaving aside the derangement of subjecting people to arrest – and a year in jail – for hurting someone’s feelings.
Well, not just someone. Only AGWs are to be accorded this special privilege of being able to cage anyone they claim hurt their feelings. It does not work the other way around. There are no special protections accorded ordinary citizens whose feelings were more than hurt by

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Nissan’s Nosedive … and Possibly Why

November 15, 2019

Nissan’s in trouble. More trouble, maybe, than former (and frog-marched) CEO Carlos Ghosn.
Reuters reports a blanching 70 percent drop in operating profit last quarter due to plunging sales and unfavorable foreign exchange rates
Net income fell by more than half to 59 billion yen ($546.8 million) in the July-September period. According to the Reuters piece – and a public announcement by Nissan – revenue decreased 6.6 percent to 2.63 trillion yen ($24.4 billion) over the past three months and global retail volume declined 7.5 percent to 1.27 million vehicles.
Part of the problem is heavy discounting, which gives any brand that does it the aura of a K-Mart Blue Light Special. Nissan also has several very old models in its new

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The Big Plantation

November 13, 2019

Are you more likely to be injured in a car crash because you weren’t wearing a seat belt – or because you were?
Both are possibilities – and sometimes, actualities.
An unbuckled driver might be hurled out of the vehicle and crushed by it (this happened to someone I know). But he could also be trapped inside the vehicle and burnt to death (or drowned) because rescuers couldn’t reach him in time to cut him free.
But the proper question isn’t which is more likely to happen but rather, who has the right to decide which of these two risks alarms them more.
Is it ourselves? Or is it someone else?
The government asserts – via laws and men with guns – its power to make that decision (and many others) on our behalf and contrary to our own

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