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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

White Spaces and Write Crime

2 days ago

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

3 days ago

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

10 days ago

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

11 days ago

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

12 days ago

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

19 days ago

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’

20 days ago

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

23 days ago

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

29 days ago

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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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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