The Big Two

"Good People"

Last Minute Car-Guy Christmas Gifts

For-Profit Policing

The Big Two

Well, they’re still using the Dodge Brothers in ads. But they’re hired actors – like shopping mall Santas. It’s an…

"Good People"

I’ve mentioned my neighbor, the state cop, before. We know one another; I’ve been over to his house – and…

For-Profit Policing

You’ve heard of greasing the skids? A bill introduced in the Texas legislature would do just that – giving cops…

New Car Reviews

2015 Cadillac CTS

'15 CTS side view

Do you want the good news – or the bad news – first? All right, the bad news: The 556 hp V-8 powered CTS-V is no more. At least, for now. At this moment in time, Cadillac no longer sells a V-8 powered passenger car. Cadillac! GM’s luxury division was once synonymous with V-8 luxury cars. Big V-8s – in big luxury cars. But, the market has changed and neither…

2015 Ford Mustang EcoBoost

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A four cylinder muscle car, anyone? Ford has done it before – back in the ’80s. Remember the Mustang SVO? It rivaled the V-8 Mustang GT’s straight-line performance, but did so with greater sophistication as well as better handling in the curves due in part to its lower curb weight (the result of having several hundred pounds less cast iron under its hood). Take two – thirty-something years down the road.…

2015 Subaru Legacy

'15 Legacy lead

Subarus used to be such an easy sell. If you were a buyer looking for an AWD car, Subaru was one of the few that sold them. And pretty much the only one that wasn’t also an expensive German brand. Subarus – including the 2015 Legacy reviewed here – still come standard with all-wheel-drive. But several competitors now offer it, too – including the 2015 Chrysler 200 I reviewed recently…

2015 GMC Canyon

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Stay smallish – or go bigger? That was the question GM product planners had to ponder when considering which way to go with the Chevy Colorado and its GMC-badged cousin, the Canyon (subject of this review). The previous Canyon/Colorado were still nominally almost-compact trucks … smaller than the Dodge Dakota (RIP), but not quite as small as a Ford Ranger (also RIP). The all-new Canyon/Colorado edges  closer to Dakota-sized. That is, it…

2015 Chrysler 200

2015 Chrysler 200S

The American family car came this close to extinction. People never stopped buying family cars, of course. They just bought fewer American-brand family cars. Half a million Toyota Camrys find homes in American garages every year. Almost as many Honda Accords. And of course, the Koreans have been making inroads, too. But now – as the commercials for the car snarkily style it – there’s a new “import” on the block.…

2015 Mini Cooper

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The latest Mini is a bit bigger now  – and slightly smaller engined. Usually, that’s a recipe for slower – and drinks more gas. Would you believe (best Maxwell Smart voice) this one also  goes faster – and uses less gas? Now, the Mini is not perfect. Which I will get into below. But it’s become a much more practical car than it used to be, while still being as…

Politics

“Good People”

omelettes

I’ve mentioned my neighbor, the state cop, before. We know one another; I’ve been over to his house – and he to mine. He has an old bike – and we’ve hung out in our respective garages talking bikes (and cars). He seems to be a nice guy and probably is a nice guy … on this level. And yet, it is a near certainty he spends his workday committing numerous acts of petty and not so petty violence, “enforcing the law” without much caring – much less thinking about  – whether these…

For-Profit Policing

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You’ve heard of greasing the skids? A bill introduced in the Texas legislature would do just that – giving cops credit card readers, as an adjunct to their radar detectors. Instead of just, license, registration and proof of insurance, please – it’ll be: License, registration, proof of insurance… and Visa or Mastercard, please. And no, I am not making it up. The bill is HB 121 and you can read all about it here.  It was introduced about a month ago by a – you guessed it – “conservative” Republican. You can always…

The Right to Resist

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If  someone attacks you, it is unquestioned  that you have a right to defend yourself. If, in the process, the attacker is injured – even killed – it’s fundamentally on him. Why does this maxim not translate to our interactions with cops? Why is it that they may attack us – and even if it is lawless attack, we are expected – required – to supinely endure it? If we are killed by the cop, the presumption is reversed – in the favor of the cop. Even in obvious cases of grotesquely disproportionate use of force, it is…

Worst New Car “Safety” Features

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Some of you might remember the ’90s sci-fi flick, Demolition Man. It starred Sylvester Stallone and portrayed a future world obsessed with “safety.” That’s our reality, today. If you’ve seen the movie, you probably remember the scene where a car crashes and a gazillion air bags inflate. That was comedic back in ’93. It’s our reality today. Here are some other “safety” features you’ll find (unfortunately) in many new cars: * Automatic transmissions that throw themselves into Park if you dare to try backing the car up with the door open. Really. Seriously.…

Vidcast: Airbags

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People are angry at Takata – the company that apparently sold defective air bags to various car companies, including Honda and Toyota. But they ought to be angrier at the people who forced them to buy air bags in the first place – and who will never be sued, much less jailed, for the harm to people and property they cause. Here’s a little history lesson/rant about these explosive devices the government puts in our faces, threatening us with injury and even death every time we go for a drive: If you value independent…