Politics


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Tata vs. Uncle

We may soon have access to affordable new cars once more – if Uncle will allow it. Tata Motors – a major automaker in India – recently announced plans to bring its Nano mini-car to the United states within three years. The Nano is smaller than a BMW Mini Cooper coupe but  being laid out…

End-Running Clover

I wouldn’t have any issue with Clovers (see here for samples) if they were wiling to live their Cloverish lives as they see fit – and willing to leave the rest of us free to live ours as we see fit. But of course, Clovers – by definition – cannot abide that. The quality –…

It Might Be Time to Stock Up…

On a good used car. Because the new ones – the ones coming online now and on deck for next year (and the years after that) – are going to be budget-busters as well as ball-busters. We are approaching the event horizon of reasonableness when it comes to car design. Because of the unreasonableness of…

The Double Yellow Prison

This country is painted over with double yellow bars – a sort of rolling-ribbon prison, from which escape is not possible. Or at least, very difficult. Legal passing zones – always rare – are becoming almost nonexistent. Painted over – for no readily discernible reason. Well, actually, there is a reason: It’s all based on…

The Bad News About Good Hybrids

I’m more than a little bit concerned the latest generation of plug-in hybrids (and all-electric cars) might actually work out. Because if they do, you can bet your bippie the government won’t let them get away with it. Paranoid? Internet commerce provides an ominous parallel. People were free to conduct business without tithing to the…

Dead Pool

How many car brands have died-off over the past ten years? How many will die off during the next ten? Among the dearly departed: Pontiac, Saturn, Hummer, Mercury, Oldsmobile, Daewoo, Isuzu, Saab, Plymouth. That’s nine. Which is a lot. History. There are still arguably too many contenders for too few buyers. Hair-thin profit margins for…

Legal Tender… Except When It’s Not

It still says, “legal tender for all debts, public and private” – but it’s becoming clear the powers-that-be would much prefer you used something else. Besides cash money, that is. Increasingly, they are insisting. A few weeks ago, for example, the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that a motorist on a toll road…

Pretty Flashing Brake Lights!

My pal Dom alerted me to a new annoyance – inevitably touted (and likely, soon to be mandated) as a “safety” measure: Third brake lights that flash or blink  instead of merely illuminating, along with the main brake lights. He posted a video of this phenomenon over at Clover Cam, in case you’re interested in…

Heroes … Not

Cops are the enemy. A harsh – and global – statement, certainly. But: Is it true? Consider the nature of the job. It is to enforce the law. By definition. It is not to protect any specific individual – you or me – from harm. It is certainly not to serve – other than as…

EPA Mandates How Much Gas You Must Buy

The government can force you to buy health insurance – so why not gas, too? The EPA has just issued another mandate – this one requiring that people who buy gas at stations where E15 (15 percent ethanol content) is sold buy at least four gallons of fuel. (See here for the news story.) Why,…