Volvo Bashing

I am on my way North this morning, in an attempt to flee SW Florida and all the potential mayhem. Prayers appreciated as a Cat 5 seems to be bearing down on us. Mustang offers us a change of pace. I will catch you when I can….

 

Volvo Bashing

A story told by Rod Whitaker

Years ago, the man sought a vehicle that would suit the purposes of a country gentleman.  Upon the enthusiastic advice of a long-time friend, he ultimately decided on a Volvo.  His decision was predicated on the assumption that any automobile that cost so much, lacked beauty, comfort, speed, and fuel economy must at least be dependable and last many years.

Soon after he purchased the vehicle, our gentleman located places of rust, noted misaligned wheels, experienced grabbing brakes, and observed that his windshield wipers only flirted with the glass, and never once consummated their relationship.  Worse, the car had a trunk that required the two good arms of a weight lifter to close it.  He promptly returned the vehicle to the dealer, who punctually suggested that these were issues for the manufacturer.

Over many months, potential litigants exchanged letters, no one apparently willing to accept responsibility for the poor quality of workmanship at Volvo, until finally the company offered their condolences to squire’s bad luck in automotive selection.  Occasionally, we must all suffer a lemon.

The sullen landowner finally accepted his fate.  He set about transforming the Volvo into a vehicle capable of transporting sheep and bulky equipment into the high mountain regions, which were part of his vast estate.  He secretly hoped that the worthless vehicle would fall apart, forcing him to decide on a vastly improved replacement, but sadly, while he found no truth in the proposition that the Volvo was a quality manufacture, the vehicle’s claim to durability seemed entirely valid.  While it always ran poorly —it nevertheless always ran.

The country gentleman had some years earlier hired the village drunk to become his gardener.  In this, Pierre was utterly steadfast in two areas: watering the plants, and consuming no more than eight or ten glasses of Irouléguy each day.  It was to this man that the country squire assigned the additional duties as a chauffeur with the expectation that he would soon replace the Volvo.

Pierre had little trust in mechanical things.  In the first instance, he believed automobiles were far more complicated than necessary.  Pierre thus limited his interaction with the Volvo’s transmission to only two gears: reverse and low.  More than this was a waste of energy, he felt, for the result was the same had he managed to pass the vehicle in its fourth gear.  The clutch was good for starting off, but had no value afterwards.  It was just as easy to re-start the automobile at intersections where stopping was necessary and several times while negotiating tight turns to the left or right.

Normally, Pierre regarded stop signs as signals to proceed at flank speed.  It was also true that Pierre had little use for the foot brake, particularly when the hand brake was more convenient.

The local villagers were fortunate because it was possible to hear the Volvo’s screaming engine from a long way off.  It gave them time to park their scooters, leap over stone walls, or take shelter within the nearest tavern before the Volvo actually descended upon them, its engine racing, body rattling, and the exhaust polluting the air.

Pierre was a proud man.  He was also proud of his driving record; not once had he ever been involved in a traffic incident of any sort —which was more than he could say about others who used the narrow mountain roadways.  These other drivers would frequently run their scooters off the roadway, or drive their lorries into the business establishments along the mountain road.  It was not necessarily their lack of driving skill that bothered Pierre —it was their rudeness in offering him obscene gestures.  This was too much to bear.

In time, our gentleman came to accept that this monstrosity of a vehicle might even outlast him, who had just recently entered his 50th year.  In anger and disgust, he began kicking the vehicle before entering it, and upon exiting.  Initially, the local people found this quite amusing.  Then the friends of the squire began bashing the Volvo whenever they came across it parked in the village square, and soon it became a village tradition involving everyone —even the village priest, although without the profanity.

Thus began the custom of Volvo bashing in this small mountain village, and not just the Volvo owned by the country gentleman.  Tourists who rented Volvos had their cars bashed, too … and, in time, they too participated in this quaint behavior.  Then the jet setters that came to ski began bashing Volvos, and the backpackers who came to spend their parent’s money.  Within a year, Volvo bashing spread throughout Europe and there was soon a persistent if not mythical flavor to the rumor that the mountain people bashed their Volvo for good luck and it seemed to work for nowhere on the planet were there any Volvos older and more utilitarian than in the Pyrenees Mountains.

Rumors soon spread throughout Europe that in an effort to attract the smart set to an automobile that had sacrificed everything to passenger safety (despite their use of Firestone tires), Volvo would soon introduce a pre-bashed model.  This is how the Volvo Company ultimately appealed to the European affluent class, who remain convinced that their lives must surely benefit all of mankind.

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DOT and HHS conspire to ‘reduce’ driving

….but here we go. I guess we could say we knew this was coming. All of the LaHood’s previous statements would lead us to this. The mandate for those new Black Box requirement sure should have given us a heads up. But to put this together with DHS? They want us to “narrow our streets”?? Not one new road will be funded. Not one. Back in May, 2010 I posted: LaHood: “We are going to coerce people out of their cars”

On May 21, 2010 LaHood told reporters at the National Press Club that the “Partnership for Sustainable Communities’ his department had formed with the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Housing—sometimes known as the “livability initiative”–was designed to “coerce” people out of their cars.

The moderator later asked: “Some conservative groups are wary of the livable communities program, saying it’s an example of government intrusion into people’s lives. How do you respond?”

“About everything we do around here is government intrusion in people’s lives,” said LaHood. “So have at it.” -(an honest man).

As we know, elections have consequences, the wish now comes true. Withholding funds to States until they come under the boot of our infamous leader. Here we go:

LaHood and Sebelius used the press conference to release a proposed set of actions their agencies and Congress can take to advance the health initiative. Congress could withhold federal transportation funds until states develop and implement aggressive vehicle miles traveled reduction goals and public engagement campaigns highlighting the health impacts of automobile use. State DOTs and legislatures could also levy a health excise fee on auto purchases to fund cycling, walking and transit infrastructure. As the nation’s largest insurer, HHS would revise underwriting standards to reflect the risks of high-mileage communities, and pair medical treatment with interventions to introduce customers and communities to non-auto transportation. Tax benefits for automobile parking would be rescinded, and the NHTSA would move immediately to require automakers to install ignition interlocks on all new vehicles.

Ignition interlocks? We are all going to have to breath into a machine before we can drive. Are you nuts? The cost of this? Use a treadmill for 30 minutes before the lock opens? Where does this end?

Standing side by side with many state DOT heads, US DOT Secretary Ray La Hood and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius today announced a new public safety campaign to encourage less driving, lower speeds, and encourage more cycling and walking to meet the nation’s transportation needs.

“The use of motor vehicles, like smoking, heart disease and other public health threats, pose a grave risk to our children, friends and neighbors,” said Secretary Sebelius.

“For too long, the assumption has been that the negative impacts of auto travel are just the price we must pay for modern life”, said Secretary LaHood, “Well, no longer. It’s time to build a people-centered transportation system. We have the tools and policies to make change now, and we need to get to work.” LaHood urged DOTs and municipalities to begin immediately by reducing speed limits on residential streets, narrowing streets, and installing protected cycling facilities. LaHood also pointed to the benefits of the change, citing the continuing decline in vehicle travel nationwide. “Cities, counties and states no longer need to pour money into new infrastructure that will serve fewer and fewer drivers while their existing roads crumble. We’ll be doing our pocketbooks and the climate a favor while we reactivate our streets and improve public health”.

Secretarys LaHood and Sebelius tour a road ready to be retrofitted with a cycletrack

H/T: Streets.Mn and  News Alert

Jeff Gordon pranks a used car salesman

Time for a break from the heavy load of politics. Hang on for the ride of your life. Here we go:

 “Jeff Gordon and Pepsi MAX go to a car dealership where a disguised Jeff Gordon takes an unsuspecting car salesman on the test drive of his life.”

The reaction of the car salesman is priceless. Gordon goes on a thrill ride. resulting in the car salesman nearly losing his mind.

EPA defies court order- increases ethanol mandate

Totally lawless. Totally. We knew it was coming. Was this Lisa Jackson’s swan song as going out the door. We can only hope the court imposes consequences. Anarchy begins. This blend can be only used in cars 2002 and newer and harms smaller engines such as lawn mowers.  Americans can go to H*ll as far as this President is concerned. And corn prices skyrocket.

Officials at the Renewable Fuels Association, representing the ethanol industry, said ethanol fuels can be safely used in old cars if owners adapt the fuel systems with new parts. Thanks a bunch guys!

Just one week after a federal court rebuked the Environmental Protection Agency for mandating biofuel standards based on “wishful thinking,” the EPA responded by raising those standards to even more unattainable levels.

The EPA called for refiners and importers to mix 14 million gallons of cellulosic biofuels (ethanol) into fuel in 2013. “EPA calculates a percentage-based standard for the following year,” the agency explained in an announcement today. “Based on the standard, each refiner and importer determines the minimum volume of renewable fuel that it must ensure is used in its transportation fuel.”

This projection ignores last week’s ruling from the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, which struck down a rule requiring gasoline blenders to use 8.65 million gallons of the cellulosic biofuel because the mandate “was based on wishful thinking rather than realistic estimates of what could be achieved,” as The New York Times explained. Per Consumer Energy Report notes, the fuel isn’t commercially available.

The judges faulted the EPA for effectively saying, “Do a good job, cellulosic fuel producers. If you fail, we’ll fine your customers.

Sen. David Vitter, R-La., faulted the EPA for ignoring last week’s ruling. “The EPA continues to make up unicorn-like standards in this area of renewable fuels production, as emphasized by last week’s appellate court ruling,” Vitter said in a statement this afternoon. “Increasing the standard after their 2012 requirements were vacated is beyond ludicrous, and they continue to force refiners to either purchase even more gallons of product that doesn’t exist or pay a fine.” Washington Examiner

From am earlier post Recall this? EPA expected to OK more ethanol ? It will destroy many older engines.

The Environmental Protection Agency is expected to raise the maximum amount of ethanol that can be blended with gasoline for vehicles manufactured since 2007.

According to people with knowledge of the announcement, the EPA may say as soon as Wednesday that the newer vehicles are able to handle 15 percent ethanol, up from the current maximum of 10 percent for the corn-based fuel.

But the auto industry, environmentalists and a broad coalition of other groups have argued against an increase and called for more testing.

Opponents argue that the increase in production of corn and its diversion into ethanol is making animal feed more expensive, raising prices at the grocery store and tearing up the land.

Manufacturers of smaller engines – used in everything from lawn mowers to boats – also oppose increasing the use of the fuel, saying those engines are not designed for the higher concentrations.

Then there is this Lahood: ‘We are going to coerce people out of their cars – apparently after they destroy our cars or make them prohibitively expensive to drive.

Women arrested for refusing ‘Smart’ energy meter installation

While the story opines that the use of these meters may permit criminals to know when folks are home, I would say that is the least of our worries. No doubt with the planned energy shortage that Obama is implementing, the so-called Smart Meters will be turning our power on and off at will, and better yet, we will be seeing the start of rationing. Good news all around.

In Naperville, IL, two mothers were arrested last week for refusing to allow utility workers to install controversial smart meters on their homes.

 The city’s new Naperville Smart Grid Initiative requires new controversial smart meters to be installed in every home. Residents opposed to the smart meters have been fighting the initiative for over two years.

Jennifer Stahl, an advocate against the smart meters initiative, told The Blaze she “was protecting” her property when she refused to allow the smart meter installer install the device. She felt “like a momma bear protecting her babies,” she recalled.

 According to the Chicago Tribune, Malia “Kim” Bendis was also arrested on two misdemeanors for resisting a police officer and attempted eavesdropping, when she filmed police on scene, despite a recent federal court ruling that the state of Illinois’s ban on recording police officers in the line of duty was “unconstitutional.” The U.S. Supreme Court upheld that ruling in November.

 

More videos over at Breitbart

Posted by Bunkerville: God, Guns Guts, Comrades

Obama’s subprime delusional auto world

 

One of the biggest sellers for Obama these days is that he “saved” million and millions jobs by saving the auto industry, Especially in several key battleground states such as Ohio, we hear the constant drumbeat. No need to go into the real truth of the matter regarding the so-called bankruptcy that was not a bankruptcy. I caught this story that puts an even better explanation for what is really going on now with the auto industry. There are some great graphs over at the link at the end of the post that exposes what is and has gone down. Here we go:

If this strong auto recovery is not an illusion, how do you explain these facts? General Motors stock is down 42% since 2011. The highly proclaimed success story called Ford Motors has seen their stock collapse by 50% since 2011. This is surely a sign of tremendous success and anticipation of soaring profits for these bastions of American manufacturing dominance

Have you heard the news? Auto sales are booming. Total sales for the month of August were 1,285,202 vehicles, according to Autodata Corp, the highest monthly sales figure for any August since 2007, when 1.47 million autos were sold in the United States. Year to date auto sales have totaled 9.7 million and are on track to reach 14.5 million. Between 2006 and 2007, auto sales ranged between 16 million and 18 million. They crashed below 10 million in 2009.

The Keynesians running our government have pulled out all the stops to restart this engine of consumer spending. First they wasted $3 billion of taxpayer funds on the Cash for Clunkers debacle. Almost 700,000 perfectly good cars were destroyed in order to keep union workers happy.  This Keynesian brain fart distorted the used car market for two years, raising prices for cars needed by the working poor. After that miserable failure, they realized the true secret to selling vehicles is to give them away to anyone that can scratch an X on a loan document, with 0% interest for 60 months, financed by Federal government controlled banking interests. Add in some massive channel stuffing and presto!!! – You’ve got an auto sales boom.

This is America, land of the delusional and home of the vain. The appearance of success is more important than actual success. The corporate mainstream media dutifully reports the surge in auto sales is surely a sign the economy is recovering and the consumer has finished deleveraging and is ready to spend again. The government propaganda machine proclaims the surging auto sales are due to their wise and forward thinking policies (like the Chevy Volt). Luckily for them, there are millions of gullible Americans who believe the storyline and are easily convinced that driving a $30,000 new car, financed over seven years, makes them a success. The decades of Bernaysian marketing propaganda has worked its magic on the government educated, math challenged citizenry. There are only two things that matter to the non-thinking auto buyer (renter) – the monthly payment and what the next door neighbor and his coworkers will think. Buying a fuel efficient car they can afford, paying it off in three or four years, and driving it for ten years, while saving the monthly car payment, is what a practical, rational thinking person would do. The fact that only 20% of the 9.7 million vehicles sold this year have been small cars and the average sales price of new cars sold is now $31,000 proves Americans are still living in a delusional fantasy land of cheap gas and monthly payments for eternity.  H/T: Burning Platform

Ken Salazar channels Harry Potter re: energy policy

With savants such as Salazar, how can we go wrong? I think this sums up the week quite nicely.

“Not even Harry Potter” can bring down rising gas prices and nobody knows when they will stop rising, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said Tuesday.

“No one has the ability – not even Harry Potter – to simply wave a magic wand and say that we’re going to have gas prices at $2 or $2.50 or $3. It just doesn’t work that way,” said Salazar, whose department controls oil and gas drilling on federal lands.

“Where it will all end, no-one knows,” he said, then reiterated the view that Obama’s “all-of-the-above” policy would protect Americans from the volatilities of the global market.

Yes indeed. Just a victim of circimstances. More at CNS News

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