Politics


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The Case Against Driver’s Licenses

ID one

That little plastic laminated card you’ve got in your wallet or purse – you know, the state’s permission slip for operating a motor vehicle? Ever stop to reflect how peripheral the driving part of a driver’s license is? Because, of course, a driver’s license is in fact our national ID card. It’s impossible to function…

Here’s What We’re Missing …

econ 1

Best-case mileage you can get in a new car is 48 MPG – the advertised highway mileage of a 2012 Toyota Prius hybrid. It sucks. If, that is, you can remember… . Back in 1981, the Dodge Omni (and several other small cars) was delivering 50 MPG. And 40-something was common. That’s gas-powered cars, too.…

How Not to Save Money

hybrid lead 2

Hybrid vehicles are many things, some of them positive. I tested an Infiniti M hybrid recently that had so much right-now torque (an electric motor strong point) that it launched like a dragster, almost getting air under the front wheels. I tried out a Chevy Volt that could operate at 60 MPH on battery power…

Road Clovers

Clover old

Charles Darwin categorized the flora and fauna of the Galapagos Islands. My job is to provide a taxonomy of Cloveris Americanus – the various sub-species of atrocious “driver” who makes driving miserable for those of us who can: * The Bracket Racer – This type of Clover likes to go fast when the road is…

Get a Ticket – Get a Date?

cop 1

This one registers a solid 10 on the Creep-o-Meter: A woman (I’m leaving her name out on purpose) was recently pulled over for “speeding” by Chicago cop, Chris Collins. The cop issued her a piece of payin’ paper, but apparently that was merely foreplay. Collins later did a search for the woman’s home address in…

Suing Honda . . . Watch Out, GM!

2009 Honda Civic Hybrid

Heather Peters (no relation to this writer) is hopping mad at Honda. She says her ’06 hybrid Civic’s actual mileage more than just varied: About 30 MPG vs. the EPA (and Honda) advertised 50 MPG. So she’s going after Honda in court – small claims court – for $10,000. Which is  the maximum payday she…

Going Old?

old 1

I’ve begun noticing a lot more older cars on the road. And they are not headed to an antique car show, either. Almost every day, on my way into town, I pass a guy driving a mid-70’s era Pontiac Sunbird. Then there’s the other guy with the orange and brown Pinto. I see him at…

Cop Types. . .

cop ninjas

Bad laws attract bad people to enforce them – while pushing out the good (and semi-good) people. It’s a sort of Gresham’s Law as applied to human society. And more, a sort of authoritarian feedback loop that makes the situation progressively worse as time goes by. Consider the position of “law enforcer” in 2012 America.…

That Word…. Progressive

prog lead

Progressive insurance is a lot like public education. Both are euphemisms that sound happy enough but mask a number of not so-smiley-faced realities. In the case of Progressive Insurance – the company – the smiley-faced ad girl you see on TV is quite unlike the cold, impersonal entity that will be riding shotgun with you…

The Next Step

there 1

Are we there yet? No, but we are getting very close. We are now at the point, I suspect, that our colonial ancestors were in the early 1770s. They were still British subjects, but had begun to question the relationship – the supposed right of the British sovereign to rule them. Within a very short…