Weekly Roundup: An End To Memory Edition

Given the broad variety of my acquaintance, it came as little surprise to me to find out that one of my friends is a member of Antifa — more specifically, a member of the Portland Antifa meta-group, the folks who are causing either all of the trouble or none of it depending on how the Facebook algorithm perceives your desire for news. We had a meal together last week in California while the fires raged yet again back in his hometown. I asked him if it was true that Antifa had no leaders; he laughed at me as if I’d inquired regarding the actuality of the Easter Bunny. Of course there are leaders, organizers, treasurers. How else could we get all of this done? Then he made a joke about checks from Soros. He’s never seen any money personally, but he’s heard stories.

He says that you can hear his voice on a video where Portland mayor Ted Wheeler is being abused by Antifa while attempting to march with them. Talked about the six plainclothes cops Wheeler had — “the biggest human beings I’ve ever seen in real life.” The whole thing was oddly kayfabe. But that’s okay, because he says the protests are thinly disguised parties most of the time. You get out there for a while and shine lasers into the pigs’ eyes or whatever then you retreat to someone’s house and the hardcore shit comes out — MDMA, LSD, the “dab” marijuana with its eye-watering concentrations of pure THC — and then it is time to get it in. Polyamory, orgies, you name it.

And thus it has long been, ever since the Woodstock hippies: the girls do this stuff because they’re naive and the guys do it to have sex with the girls (and, increasingly, with each other). I’ve seen the girls involved, so I’m not going to burn an Apple Store just to make their acquaintance, yet I can see how some of them would have some appeal for people who would otherwise be “incels”. That’s how the foot soldiers of the revolution are recruited.

Above the foot soldiers, however, you have the people who are running the show. Presumably these folks are motivated by more than the chance to hook up with a meth addict while listening to Rage Against The Machine. What is that, exactly? Who are these people? More importantly, what do they want?

This much I know: either the people running the Antifa/whatever colossus are exceptionally dim, or I am exceptionally dim. (A third possibility will be considered at the end of this article.) To begin with, their perception of reality does not appear to align with any available statistics whatsoever. They subsist on a diet of outrage and grievance that has, to be frank, contained some pretty thin gruel lately. The killing of Daunte Wright was originally said to be the product of a racially-motivated stop to harass him about having an air freshener hanging on his rearview mirror; when it turned out that Wright was driving on an expired tag, had a warrant out for his arrest on an armed robbery charge, and had recently escaped a traffic stop on the same grounds by assaulting a cop then fleeing the scene, the New York Times took a deep breath and then ran a story about how another Black man who was not an escaped violent robber was stopped for an air freshener in his car. It’s a fairly breathaking shift to watch in real time, because the purpose is to keep the outrage stoked long after the original fuel for the fire has either run out or proved to be damp in the first place.

Of course, nothing actually happened to the fellow who was stopped for Driving While Freshening The Air, but that didn’t stop the Times from then talking about another incident where a Ford Freestar full of illegal immigrants got deported because they had a tree air freshener hanging off their rearview mirror. The Times reporter, Nicholas Bogel-Burroughs, took it for granted that readers would be horrified by the idea of illegal immigrants being deported, and is probably correct in doing so. The people who steer American society are, more or less, Guild Navigators. They require enormous amounts of spice to retain their power, and the spice has many forms: cheap or free labor, unrestricted trade, panopticon surveillance via public-private partnership, endless racial unrest, and a money printer for which the rate of acceleration continues to increase until Weimar infinity.

Are the Antifa et al. leaders mere servants of the Navigators? Are they part of the conspiracy Zoom calls? Or is this some sort of distorted fellow-traveling where the black-bloc crowd will march in lockstep with Target and Apple until the moment it suits them to break away?

There may be a clue in the “No More History” graffiti spray-painted on the front door of the Oregon Historical Society, which got thoroughly trashed in last week’s rioting. The people who advocate socialism and/or anarchy on a broad scale in America have to be dimly, vaguely aware that these concepts have never truly worked before. To someone like me, a Jurassic holdout from the days of Western Civ, this suggests the likelihood that these concepts will fail again in the future, unless some sort of magic bullet is found. To the Antifa crowd, however, the solution is to free one’s self from history and the future in a single swift stroke, all the better to live in the perpetual Now of Year Zero. They will consume American society like locusts until nothing is left, at which point… who cares? They have the self-awareness of heroin addicts five minutes after the injection.

Like I said, either they’re stupid or I’m stupid. My approach to society’s problems is pragmatic: get everyone working, make sure that we produce what we consume, stay out of trouble overseas. Their approach is something along the lines of: burn it all, level every human being down to animal consciousness, exist in the perpetual moment, neither sow nor reap the harvest. I’m always struck by the nagging thought that maybe these people are right. Maybe we can all quit our jobs and maybe the food will keep showing up somehow. How hard could it be to engineer such a situation? Is it harder than landing on the moon or building the B-29?

The most likely answer is that I’m not stupid and neither are they. Instead, all of this is simply their hustle. Consider, if you will, the case of Patrisse Cullors. Ms. Cullors, one of the founders of Black Lives Matter, was just exposed as having indulged herself in a $3.2 million property-buying spree that included a primary residence (with guest home!) in lily-white Topanga Canyon. If you view Ms. Cullors as a ideologue struggling to obtain justice for Black people, than her decision to siphon off a home for herself in Whiteworld is a bitter, cynical betrayal of “the struggle”. If you view her as simply an entertainer or agitator, like Alex Jones or Joe Rogan, then it makes perfect sense. Rush Limbaugh had a $50 million home; why shouldn’t Ms. Cullors have some nice real estate herself? The money was given to her by IBM, Bank Of America, and other corporations. They didn’t say she had to spend it on anything in particular.

(A left-wing defense of the “Black Lives Manor” can be found here, and it’s fairly cogent although it waves its hand at the rather startling concept that one of the primary benefits of advocacy for African-Americans should be the ability to get as far away from African-Americans as possible.)

I used the word kayfabe earlier, and not without purpose. Kayfabe is the underlying concept of pro wrestling, and it states that while the blood and pain may be real (should be real, if possible) the plotlines and stories provided to the “marks” in the audience are always fake. It’s easy to see the entirety of 2019 to now as one long kayfabe storyline. We destroyed the economy and trampled on cherished freedoms for a killer pandemic that kills around one in a thousand people. We saw the “heel” Donald Trump defeated by the “face” Joe Biden, but the kids are still in the cages and there’s still a wall, only now it’s around DC. The Mayor of Portland marches with the people who want to burn the city. Apple turns its Portland store into a memorial for George Floyd; they burn it anyway.

Anything can happen in kayfabe, but you have to exist in the moment if you want to enjoy it. The plot twists and wacky stories don’t make any sense if you look too far back; Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson was a “babyface”, then he was a “Face”, then he was a “heel”, and there was never any real reason for it. (Donald Trump was a “babyface” as a thirty-something real-estate mogul, then a “face” as the leader of “The Apprentice”, then a “heel” as a fascist Nazi politician from fascist Nazi-land.) If we are going to have kayfabe as our guiding principle for real life, therefore, we have to stop thinking about what’s already happened, or what might happen. Just watch CNN and find out what today’s storyline is; they’ll cheerfully mutilate the truth on command.

The reward for being a player in the kayfabe is obvious: you always get a gorgeous home, whether you’re Barack Obama or Mitt Romney or Les Wexner or Patrisse Cullors. You get money, a limited amount of power, a chance to be part of the great game. The reward for being a “mark” in the kayfabe is less obvious, but it exists: you’re entertained, you’re distracted, you have the sense that you are on the right side of history in a triumph of garbage secular humanism that is no less pre-ordained than the ending of The Lion, The Witch, And The Wardrobe but is no less thrilling for being so.

Both the players and the marks, however, must accept the same basic condition: that of zero history. So if you choose to learn history, or to learn from it, you must also understand that you are opting out of the game. Which is a miserable choice in 2021. Make it wisely, even if you choose to abandon wisdom after doing so.

* * *

For Hagerty, I drove some old Hondas, rented a retro truck, and discussed the undesirability of enthusiasm.

88 Replies to “Weekly Roundup: An End To Memory Edition”

  1. AvatarTomko

    The USA seems to work best when it feels that it has a powerful enemy. Be it real or imagined. But now, regardless of political tribe, it seems that it is the enemy within.

    Are we witnessing the transition to a post-capitalist America?

    Reply
    • AvatarCJinSD

      Capitalism is just a name given to freedom by those who want you to surrender it. Somehow, they say they’ll get to keep their property if they have used fascism to accumulate enough of it.

      Reply
    • Avatarstingray65

      Democrats/Leftist hate white people and most countries including the US where white people have been dominant because they have been the most successful places on earth. Republicans/Right hate Democrats/Leftists because they hate America – the country that gave them a right to “peacefully” protest against their own existence.

      Reply
  2. AvatarRonnie Schreiber

    It’s easy to see the entirety of 2019 to now as one long kayfabe storyline.

    I believe you meant 2020.

    Reply
      • AvatarNewbie Jeff

        Actually, wasn’t 2018 the year of “collusion!”? 2019 was the year of “quid pro quo!”, 2020 was the year of “pandemic!”, and 2021 was the year of “incitement!”. The narratives used by Democrats to save democracy and depose an elected president are sort of difficult to keep track of, especially after they’ve outlasted their political usefulness, become mostly disproven, and are discarded into the dustbin of history.

        I believe the latest narrative declared to be “not supported by solid intelligence” is the Russian “bounty” for killing American soldiers… I believe that was used in a 2020 “pandemic!” lull to keep the TDS hordes’ riled up…

        Reply
  3. AvatarSobro

    Eh, I’ll snipe from the sidelines but I don’t have much skin in the game any more being 3/4 retired and work whenever I want. The “Faces” will keep my portfolio healthy only because they are also invested.

    Regarding the Ram article, I think “Fury” should be the moniker for the Hellcatted Ram, not the Tradesman.

    Reply
      • Avatardejal

        Didn’t mean you. You and Jack go back a bit. But on a serious note, I wouldn’t consider that relationship the relationship of friendship. The other party would gleefully watch misery happen to you and yours. It lives for that. I can find enemies that would treat me better than that.

        Reply
  4. AvatarJohn C.

    That Antifa fellow with all the talk of post violence sex, drugs, and rock and roll must have had the rebellious half of the boomers nostalgic. It rather made me nostalgic for Nixon, Agnew and Mayor Daily.

    I am afraid I couldn’t get much nostalgia going for the CRX. Nixon and Daily would have quickly spotted it as a clown car, and I think even the fans realize that is what it was. They were just on the lookout for the available middle finger, and there it was. Honda should have put Rising Suns on the roof like German Mini did with the Union Jack.

    Reply
  5. AvatarMrFixit1599

    I’m a 49yo white guy, living in the midwest, that got pulled over for having a pine tree hanging from my rear view mirror. I was driving a 1990 Ford Bronco II, probably 15 years ago in Illinois. What prizes do I win for being emotionally scarred by the experience?

    Reply
    • AvatarJohn C.

      I think the pride of being a “good boy”, that “didn do nuttin” should have been enough to carry you through.

      Oh wait, I read now that you are white and over the hill and thus were expected to have achievements this far along. Too much to ask I know, but are you at least talented playing video games.

      Reply
  6. AvatarArk-med

    “The people who steer American society are, more or less, Guild Navigators. They require enormous amounts of spice to retain their power, […] a money printer for which the rate of acceleration continues to increase until Weimar infinity.”
    What are your thoughts on Bitcoin and its ilk, which are engineered to never inflate?

    Reply
  7. AvatarWidgetsltd

    Too LAZY to sell cars? My time selling at an Acura/Isuzu dealer in Cincinnati in the early 90’s revealed it to be an awful job. I can thank that experience for helping me into a career working for a few different manufacturers in the service side of the business. I still refer to sales as the Dark Side.

    I don’t think that the problem is enthusiasts, per se. It’s enthusiasts of average (or worse) means. Porsche builds the 911 GT3 and Cayman GT4 with a stick because the enthusiast buyers demanded it…even though the German engineers rightly insist that the PDK is faster at the track. The wealthy enthusiast buyer gets what he/she wants.

    Reply
    • AvatarCJinSD

      I took the company Audi in for service shortly after 991s started showing up in US dealerships. The Porsche dealer in San Diego is next door to the Audi dealer, so I wandered over while the Audi’s oil was changed and the Christmas-tree’s-worth of warning lights were reset. In the showroom by the 918 Spyder were a couple of Targas that were optioned up to about $60K over my highest guestimate of their price. A salesman approached and suggested a test drive. He was as happy to hear that I was only interested in cars with manual transmissions as Jack’s Ford manager would have been. He also said that nothing they had in stock was manual, that the first 991 manuals were many months away, and that they weren’t real manuals anyway. He said the gear lever was only connected to the transmission by wires, and that a computer did the actual shifting. I’m pretty sure that this is false and he only said it to discourage me from holding out hope for a manual Porsche.

      Porsche can charge enough for their cars to make CAFE fines their customers’ problem. They would still prefer to only sell cars that won’t embarrass their customers by requiring driving skills.

      Reply
      • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

        He was telling you the truth. The stick shift in a 911 just issues commands to the 7 speed PDK transmission. The clutch is real and hydraulic however.

        Reply
        • Avatarstingray65

          I used to play racing video games simulating real driving where I had a steering wheel, throttle, brake, clutch, and shifter that were nothing but switches sending digital signals to the computer to simulate my desired driving action, which could result in a crash if I commanded my imaginary car to do something the physics of the game said shouldn’t be allowed. Today the situation is reversed, because actual cars are simulating driving games by designing the human manipulated car controls to merely send suggestions to the computers controlling the engine, brakes, gearbox, and steering box, where the computer then commands the mechanical bits to move the car at my desired speed and direction unless the computer decides I’m doing something dangerous and tells the brakes, steering, and throttle to disobey my commands so I don’t crash. Of course, someday the computer won’t even bother with getting commands from the human manipulated car controls that will be deleted by the automakers to cut costs, so the only “real” driving people will have the opportunity to enjoy will be driving simulations.

          Reply
        • AvatarCJinSD

          Isn’t the PDK a dual clutch transmission? Aren’t gears shifted by one clutch disengaging as a second clutch engages? How does the driver’s left foot control that?

          Reply
          • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

            In the “manual” 911, the dual clutch mechanism of the PDK transmission is replaced with a single hydraulic clutch. But the gearbox isn’t arranged internally the way a standard manual would be — that’s how they get 7 gears in the space of 6. So the “stick shift” issues orders to the same electromechanical forks that would normally shift inside the PDK.

          • AvatarNoID

            Paulson, wait until “clutch by wire” goes mainstream. I’ve driven a clutched manual that required anywhere from traditional clutch use to no clutch pedal actuation at all, depending on the mode the computer was in. The shifter was physically in control of the gearbox, but the clutch pedal was not hydraulically connected to the clutch. Instead there was a calibration (not unlike current electronic throttle pedals) which converted pedal travel into clutch travel.

            It was actually pretty cool, though at one point we had a weird, embarrassing three-way ballet between automatic start/stop and me stalling the vehicle out when I forgot what mode the transmission was in at a stop sign.

        • AvatarWill

          And people (not necessarily reading this website) wonder why their used cars are more valuable than their newer counterparts. Taycan’s for everyone anyway soon.

          Reply
        • AvatarWidgetsltd

          Are you sure that the 992’s manual transmission is electromechanically shifted? I can’t find any write-up which says that. According to an old tech article in Car & Driver, the 991’s manual transmission was a close relative of the old PDK 7-speed which shared a bunch of internal parts with that unit. That manual box was still shifted mechanically and had a single, dry clutch. I found a link to a Porsche aftersales training (aka – service training) book which explains the 991 transmission system. The trans has an internal mechanism which provides for the traditional H-pattern shift gate even though the gear pairs (that is, gears paired to an individual synchronizer sleeve) are not in sequential order. I would suspect that this system is essentially carried over to the new 992. Unless, of course, there is some documentation from Porsche indicating that the 992 has a new (and rather fake) shifting system.

          Reply
          • AvatarWidgetsltd

            I just checked the online parts catalog at a Porsche dealer’s website. It shows a pair of Bowden cables attached to the manual transmission shifter on a 2020 911 Carrera S. If Porsche were just using the shifter as an input to the PDK electro-hydraulic controls, I can’t imagine that they would use conventional shift cables. I’m gonna guesstimate that the 7-speed manual transmission system on the 992 is a close relative of the 991 system. I was watching a review video of the new GT3; the guy mentioned the available 6-speed manual. I suppose that the GT3 box is a more conventional manual transmission which (unlike the Carrera S unit) is not related to the PDK?

    • AvatarJMcG

      Please don’t take this personally, but I’ve had many, many more awful experiences with dealer service departments than I’ve had with sales.
      I don’t think I’ve ever had anyone lie to my face like a couple of service managers I’ve had the extreme misfortune to deal with.

      Reply
      • AvatarWidgetsltd

        I agree that there are some absolute crooks in the service biz, which is a damned shame. There should be enough legit service work for a both techs and shops to earn a very good living.

        Reply
  8. Avatarstingray65

    Interesting that the manufacturers provide the car magazines/blogs with a disproportionate share of enthusiast models and non-enthusiast models all equipped the way an enthusiast would order them (i.e. a pony car or CUV with hot engine, sport suspension, sport seats, aero package, and sporty color), but when the enthusiast goes to the dealer to buy the cool car they read about in Car and Driver or Hagerty all he finds is a sparse selection of sport models or loads of CUVs all equipped with the base engine, base suspension, non-sport seats, and in some shade of gray/white/black. I guess only enthusiasts read auto enthusiast journalism and they won’t subscribe or click on reviews for the Mustang with the secretary equipment or the CUV with the family truckster package or any vehicle sparsely equipped enough so that it can be bought/leased for less than $400 per month that he might actually be able to afford to buy and insure. Meanwhile most non-enthusiasts see cars mostly as utilitarian devices and their only enthusiasm tends to be for “status” brands, comfort/convenience, and a monthly payment they can almost afford, and enthusiast cars only tend to provide the status brand but nothing else.

    Reply
    • AvatarDaniel J

      This truly ticked me off when I was shopping a few years ago for a car. I was looking for a Kia Optima SX or a Hyundai Sonata Limited with the 2.0T. I could not find one within a 150 mile radius.

      Reply
  9. Avatarhank chinaski

    “the rather startling concept that one of the primary benefits of advocacy for African-Americans should be the ability to get as far away from African-Americans as possible.”
    Dot gov am not allow. If they don’t reverse single family zoning and section 8 them in, an air-drop of ‘refugees’ will be on the way.

    If I had more garage space and even less brains I’d assemble a collection of budget pocket rockets from that era….CRX Si (but 2nd gen, yellow, natch), a Mk1 Mister Two (early black bumper or maybe the hen’s teeth SC, red of course), and perhaps a 323 GTX.

    Babyface/Face/Heel. Biden/Xi Jinping/Putin?

    Reply
    • AvatarJohn C.

      You shouldn’t forget to include a Colt GT in your pocket rocket collection, remember it won the 1990 C/D camparo of the breed. That was despite being the second slowest car in the 10 car test. Well it was yellow, and the fastest car in the test was a Pontiac, so how could it win.

      Reply
      • Avatarhank chinaski

        The Colt was really a Lancer, so I guess that will work, but a Pontiac in the mix will be a problem when they form up into ‘Voltron’, or ‘G-Force Phoenix’ depending on how old you are.

        Reply
  10. Avatarstingray65

    It is interesting to see where and how Black Lives Matter. Black lives are certainly important to the Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity majors and administrators populating colleges, corporate HR departments, Non-Profits, and Leftist politics, because without the continued failure of blacks in most educational and economic endeavors they would not have anything to complain and agitate about and be out of their lucrative careers. Black lives are also certainly important to the criminal justice system and welfare state, because without black criminality and failure the need for police, courts, prisons, and various welfare programs would be reduced by 50+%. Black lives are also important to professional sports as they make up 80% of the NBA, NFL, and are over-represented in most sports not involving snow or ice, where they earn millions each year playing a game in front of mostly white ticket holders proudly wearing made in China replica jerseys of their favorite black player, while said black players take knees and complain about systemic racism that is keeping the black man down. Black lives are also very important to race hustlers, because unless they have enough talent to earn millions with a basketball their best chance to get rich is to become a professional complainer about oppression from slavery that ended in 1865, or Jim Crow that ended in 1964, or black thugs who get shot while violently resisting arrest in order to get sympathy or fear based payments and power from rich white people and corporations.

    On the other hand, where don’t Black Lives Matter? Black lives definitely don’t matter to most black people who steal from and murder from each other more frequently than any other racial group. Black lives also don’t matter to the media, race hustlers, or the diversity and inclusion crowd whenever a black “victim” is killed or robbed by a black perpetrator. Black lives also don’t matter to most of the Asian and Hispanic immigrants who are rapidly displacing blacks in many major cities as the dominant minority group, because they feel no guilt for slavery or Jim Crow and are annoyed that their kids get discriminated against by a welfare/affirmative action industrial complex designed to assuage white guilt and prop up a continually failing black culture, and angry when they get beat up and robbed by mostly black perpetrators. The day is coming when whites will be just another minority group in the USA, and I highly doubt that the Hispanic/Asian hegemony will tolerate “peaceful” protests that destroy loot and burn their businesses and keep their kids out of the good schools, and disparage the police that protect them – all in the name protecting and celebrating worthless thugs, drug dealers/users, and violent criminals such as George Floyd, Breonna Tayler, Daunte Wright, Trayvon Martin, etc.

    Get back to me when Black Lives Matter movement starts to celebrate and promote Thomas Sowell, Clarence Thomas, Walter Williams, Larry Elder, Tim Scott, Coleman Hughes, Candance Owens, and Ayaan Hirsi Ali as their heroes and role models.

    Reply
    • AvatarJohn C.

      It remains to be seen how long any white, Christian people will remain season ticket holders in the face of all the kneeling not before God. The teams are now just rich man’s toys, and fewer and fewer of the rich men Christian, The model has seemingly changed to box seats for corporations. They can do without us, and I can certainly do without them.

      Reply
      • Avatarstingray65

        The weakness of Christianity in the face of opponents without morals or values is that Christians tend to forgive and then get run over by the other side that sees forgiveness as a sign of weakness to be exploited. We will see if the wokeness of big time sports leads to permanent declines in fandom by those who have less and less commonality with their “heroes” in terms of race, lifestyle, or values. On the other hand, appeasing the Left won’t bring their side to the season ticket sales booth, because Leftists hate competition, hate meritocracy, and hate people who make more money than they do.

        Reply
      • AvatarRonnie Schreiber

        The teams are now just rich man’s toys

        Sports teams used to be rich men’s toys, though some team owners, like Bill Veeck, were entrepreneurs and not wealthy.

        Today, however, a major league professional sports team is a billion dollar asset, not a toy. Martha Ford’s stock in the Detroit Lions is worth more than her shares in Ford Motor Company.

        Reply
        • AvatarJohn C.

          You may have a point with the Fords as there seemed to be a division among the heirs with the Lions and the Motor Company. How much of that is that the money is running out and illiquid I don’t know. As to how Christian they are, the Ford Foundation would argue not much.

          The fact is though that they mostly very rich owners for whom the theoretical value of the sports team is a small percentage taken on in later carreer or semi retirement. A dangerous period, as they have more money than they could ever spend, and the not Godly belief in their own genius.

          Of the Jewish current owners, can you think of an observant one? I can’t among heritage Christians

          Reply
          • AvatarRonnie Schreiber

            To be honest, other than Robert Kraft, who owns the Patriots, and Steve Cohen, who owns the Mets, I couldn’t tell you the name of any Jewish sports team owners. The only reason I know about Cohen is the recent Gamestop bruhaha as apparently his hedge fund was involved.

            The vast majority of American Jews are not religiously observant so I wouldn’t expect any Jewish team owners to be so.

            The late William Davidson was not personally observant, but his philanthropy benefited the Jewish community. His foundation has underwritten the online publication of the Steinsaltz Talmud. https://www.sefaria.org/william-davidson-talmud

      • AvatarRonnie Schreiber

        fewer and fewer of the rich men Christian

        The opposite is true here in Detroit.

        Only one of the four major league teams in Detroit has been owned by someone who wasn’t at least nominally Christian. That was Bill Davidson, who owned the Pistons, but his estate sold the team to Tom Gores, who was born in Nazareth, Israel and is a Catholic of Lebanese and Greek descent. The Tigers and Red Wings are owned by the Illitch family, who are Catholic, and the Fords, Protestants, own the Lions. MIke Illitch bought the Tigers from pizza competitor Tom Monaghan, who is a very religious Catholic. Most of the owners of the Tigers have been Catholics, except for John Fetzer, who was raised as a Seventh Day Adventist and was involved in spiritualism much of his life. Fetzer bought the team from Walter Briggs (who owned the Briggs car body company), who bought it from Frank Navin. Navin and Briggs are both buried at Holy Sepulchre, a Catholic cemetery. Navin’s tomb is guarded by two lifesize bronze Bengal tigers.
        https://www.gannett-cdn.com/presto/2019/08/14/PDTN/fbeba913-2606-41b4-9eed-c7ecdf9c5bc1-navin2287.jpg

        Reply
    • AvatarBenjamin “Jay” Grimm

      Dude, you have covered ALL, and I do mean ALL, of the spaces on your “Racist Bullshit Bingo” card today- someone give this man a prize!

      Reply
      • AvatarJohn C.

        Jay, Stingray gave you a long, well thought out argument that included statistics that were easily refutable if it was all BS. He didn’t require that you agree with him. You respond with your sad bingo card of bad. Was your father missing when he was supposed to teach how to construct a counter argument, A skill known as rhetoric. Perhaps he was out digging ditches 18 hours a day to keep you and your 20 siblings in rags and gruel. However even the failures that Stingray described would have come back with something catchy and perhaps even rhyming. If you can’t raise your game, I suggest you stick with your like minded dudes.

        Reply
      • AvatarRonnie Schreiber

        Benjamin, please explain how anything Stingray said was racist. Just where is he applying different standards for different races?

        Reply
      • Avatarstingray65

        CD – You are correct, and I’m sorry that I forgot to consider how black lives matter to the music industry, which would definitely not be where it is today if not for the efforts of black artists who have given us such delights as WAP, and expanded our vocabulary with lyrics that rhyme with bit*h and wh*re, and extol the virtue of crime and killing cops or orange skinned presidents.

        Reply
  11. Avatarstingray65

    Jack, your Hagerty stories this week are very interesting. I was a young man in my 20s when the CRX Si came out and it was the type of car my enthusiast and semi-enthusiast friends all wanted. Some were partial to the MR2, some liked the Fiero, a few liked the VW GTI, but nearly everyone wanted to own one of these small, sporty, and reasonably affordable cars that typically got very good MPG, and were otherwise fairly practical while still providing a sports car like driving dynamic. I didn’t know anyone my age who lusted after a truck or SUV except for purely utilitarian purposes, and I don’t remember anyone at that time being worried about getting killed by a texting driver of a Suburban or F-150 even though accident and death rates were higher then than they are now. Flash forward about 15 years and I remember talking with my teenage just got his license cousin and his dream car was a Durango and most of his friends wanted something truck like with one of the issues driving this preference the perception of greater safety. I suspect a large portion of buyers of the current Civic SI are old guys like me who fondly remember our CRXs and want the nearest new equivalent, while today’s younger “enthusiasts” are the ones who are well aware they are likely to be the texting while driving perpetrator and want a RAM sporting a few tons of steel and 89 airbags to protect themselves and their precious iPhone from damage when text themselves into an accident.

    Reply
  12. AvatarMike

    You cut me to the quick with your showroom tale of enthusiasts. I was the “enthusiast” who went shopping for a 2018 Mazda3 back in late 2018. It had to be the Sport model (lowest trim, 2.0 engine), “Eternal Blue”, and a 6MT. There were exactly 2 of them left on the East Coast, and to their credit one of the 3 Mazda dealerships in my area was willing to work with me, get the car transferred from 200 miles away, deliver it to my door washed and vacuumed, and sell it to me for 4k under sticker. I’m assuming the car was lot poison for whoever had it, and there was probably a CX-5 involved in the deal I didn’t even know about, since those make up about half of Mazda’s sales volume these days.

    I also fit into your comment about Engineers. I didn’t want the deal to take any longer than the dealer did and I had my own financing, so the F&I guy and I had a pretty short conversation.

    Reply
  13. Avatargtem

    I’ve caught myself stopping to consider just how insane the current atmosphere/situation is in the US, compared to, say, when my family immigrated in 1992, and we’d walk to our local downtown Woolworth’s and buy made in USA cotton Fruit of the Loom underwear and toys. A stolen election, a senile stooge (Brezhnev-like) propped up and surrounded by a 30,000 strong force in DC, endless rioting, fanned on by the media. Completely crazy stuff. I just don’t know how it will all end. I somehow doubt it will “wind down” all on its own. Like you said, too many people making money and consolidating power off all of this. Something truly radical needs to happen to fix this, namely clamping down on these media conglomerates and NGOs and their funding. Trump was WAY too mild and “presidential” to do what really needed to be done… the people who screamed about him being an “evil nazi” might gain a bit of perspective yet.

    Reply
    • Avatarstingray65

      Trump’s temperament was not the problem in terms of doing what really needed to be done. All evidence suggests he largely knew what needed to be done but as one man he couldn’t do much without the cooperation/obedience of his staff, the permanent bureaucracy, and in most cases the Congressional and Judicial branches. Since Trump didn’t have any political history, his staff were either swamp members or incompetent or both and therefore wouldn’t or couldn’t follow orders or give orders to ensure that what needed to be done was actually implemented. The permanent bureaucracy is 95% Democrat, so even if Trump or his staff managed to issue a directive, they certainly weren’t going to follow through in a timely or efficient manner. And even when Trump had Republican control of Congress between 2017-18, most Republicans are also swamp creatures who don’t want to do what needs to be done or are cowards and afraid the media will call them racist or sexist or Nazi even if they are inclined to do the right thing, and the rest of the time the Democrats (aka real Nazis) controlled the House and were too busy trying to impeach him to cut deals. Finally, venue shopping special interests could always find an activist Leftist judge to issue a nationwide injunction against any actual policies Trump could manage to slip through the swamp to slow or stop doing the right thing until the Democrats and Media/Social Media allies could engineer enough fraud to get Trump out of the White House. It truly is one of the most amazing feats of presidential leadership that Trump managed to get so much done when everyone and everything in the swamp was constantly throwing obstacles in his way.

      Reply
      • Avatargtem

        I agree with everything you said, yes Trump’s early cabinet picks really ended up hampering his agenda. That and using up his majority on a big tax break (in hopes of building some credibility/good will with the swamp Repubs?) instead of pushing for some really serious border funding/immigration restriction right from the get-go. I agree that he got as much done on trade is incredible and I hope it sticks around.

        Reply
        • AvatarSobro

          Ryan and McConnell wouldn’t allow anything against the swamp’s agenda. They were fine with Making Business Great Again, America not so much.

          Reply
          • Avatarhank chinaski

            I was never much surprised that Mitch and company stuck to their swampish M.O., but the outright insubordination by the MIC was unprecedented, regarding Afghanistan and NG deployment the riots.
            The fact that Trump vetoed not a single budget, fired those under his purview too little or too late, and instead ‘monitored’ are on him. Or that was his plan all along, and his supporters were the ‘marks’.

            The bobbleheads praising Dementia Joe for the imminent ‘pullout’, while transparently winking and nodding that private contractors will stay on forever anyway is par for the course.

            related: https://www.zerohedge.com/political/taibbi-afghanistan-veteran-looks-back-first-postmodern-war

    • Avatartrollson

      Yes! How different the cpuntrybis when compared to just a few decades ago is mind-blowing.

      I blame the internet.

      Reply
  14. Avatargtem

    Civic-CRX comparison: I haven’t driven a stick shift SI, but my limited time piloting a CVT+1.5T “touring” was rather disappointing. Nicely sorted suspension with more compliance over bad roads than any prior Civic, and impressive by the numbers: acceleration and MPG are incredible. But, a totally unengaging and poorly built car: nasty cloth with laughably crooked/bunched seams, poor panel fitment outside, and my friend has had several issues within the first two years of ownership (suspension clunk traced to loose bolt on subframe iirc, and a failed cowl trim piece) that were very un-Honda-like. Throw in all the fake scoops, and I really don’t care for it. A few years ago I test drove an ’89 Prelude 2.0S (the carb’d one with 105hp). Even on flat farm roads at 35mph that car felt like some kind of incredible classic exotic car to drive, really something special. 10x the engagement and smiles-per-mile of anything new.

    Loved the Ram rental review, your rental reviews always knock it out of the park. Came close to pulling the trigger on a new-gen Tradesman 1500 4wd/Hemi/crew/offroad package+3.92s last summer before I came to my senses and bought a 289k Suburban. Love the seamless and lovely sounding Hemi+8spd (felt awesome with the 3.92s), the ride and handling and interior (even in cheap spec) were all excellent. If I were to finally buy a new half ton this would be it, hands down.

    Reply
      • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

        One of my readers mentioned this, but all fleet sources I could find indicated a weight gain.

        Reply
        • Avatargtem

          Might be how they were optioned or something where the new fleet trucks have more “stuff” standard than before. The press release mentioned a redesigned frame being a large source of the weight reduction between generations.

          Reply
  15. AvatarDanio

    One point on the Ram article. The new generation is actually lighter than the Classic. They are screaming deals, though. I put a deal together for my cousin on a well equipped Express (bucket seats, 20″ wheels, 8.4 radio) for $39k Canadian.

    “The 2019 Ram 1500 will be about 4 inches longer but 225 pounds lighter than the 2018 Ram 1500. Chrysler used a combination of high-strength steel with some aluminum components to lighten the future Ram’s over-all weight.”

    https://www.torquenews.com/3768/2019-ram-1500-longer-lighter-and-loaded-technology

    Reply
  16. AvatarDan

    Chrysler got those Rams awfully right. The standout to me is that other than – a big other than, admittedly – the badly dated transmission these were basically all there all the way back in 2008. Two Chevy and two Ford major redesigns later it’s still broadly competitive and in many ways surpasses them both. The ZF8 is still the best transmission out there, the Hemi ought to be the 6.4 but is pretty good anyway, coils in back are still the best way to do a truck suspension.

    I liked my 2014 a lot. If I’d had better luck with the QC, or cheaped out less on the trim to not take the trade in excuse, I’d probably still have it.

    Reply
    • Avatarstingray65

      Interesting that GM used coils on their 1960s era pickups with notable benefits in ride, but then abandoned them – probably to save 50 cents per truck in manufacturing costs.

      Reply
  17. AvatarLongshankshammer

    The Yarvin fan in me sees a lot of upper middle class kerman in support of the woke billionaire blm kayfabe.

    Reply
  18. AvatarNoID

    Jack, when are you going to bite the damn bullet already and buy yourself a Challenger? It isn’t like you’re saving money or being judicious in your purchasing habits. Maybe relative to your past life, but relative to most people I’d say you’re still pretty free wheelin’.

    You will buy and sell more toys this year than I’ve owned in my entire life, including childhood. Guarantee it. What’s one more?

    Reply
    • Avatargtem

      I’ve kind of thought the same thing. Jack sure has spent a lot of time singing the praises of the good ol LX platform (I would love to replace my wife’s Camry with one).

      Reply
    • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

      The problem is that I wouldn’t use it. I’m not driving a lot of miles right now and the ones I *do* drive are spent pulling race cars or enormous downhill MTBs. I’ve been thinking about a green TA392 stick shift for a long time. But it would sit idle.

      Reply
      • Avatarstingray65

        Jack – isn’t that the whole Hagerty business model – offering reasonably priced insurance for cars that rarely get driven? As I get older my fantasy about having a fantasy garage filled with all the classics and modern vehicles I’ve lusted after over the years becomes less and less compelling as I think about going out to take my Gullwing or SJ or GTO out for a spin only to find the battery and/or tires flat, the gasoline stale, oil leaks from dried out seals, and the dust so thick I can’t see out the windows, and deciding to turn around and do something else that requires less effort. I guess I need to add a staff of mechanics and restoration specialists to my fantasy so they can keep all the batteries charged, tires filled, attend to the maintenance and upkeep, and run the vehicles regularly enough to keep the seals fresh and blow the dust off, but managing a crew of employees to help me with my hobby also sounds like a lot of work.

        Reply
  19. AvatarHarry

    Very late to this, but in law enforcement circles multiple air-fresheners are referred to as a “felony-forest”.

    Reply
  20. AvatarNaked Ape

    It all makes perfect sense:

    “The monkey looked up at the stars
    And he thought to himself
    Memory is a stranger
    History is for fools
    And he cleaned his hands
    In a pool of holy writing
    Turned his back on the garden
    And set out for the nearest town”

    Reply
  21. AvatarDavid Sanborn

    Let me simplify your lengthy, ponderous and pearl-clutching screed Jack. You pontify in some of the squarest verbiage I’ve ever read about this imaginary, shadowy Antifa buddy who hints at Soros money and the astonishing organization behind Antifa while fretting over the broken glass at the Oregon Historical Society. Cool story bro! So let’s put it in perspective:

    Two utter dumbasses got arrested for the broken glass and were apparently the only ones in a group of about a hundred that had a low enough IQ to set their cause back with senseless property destruction. That’s it. It’s a FOX News nothingburger. Yet here we are.

    Meanwhile law abiding America is traumatized from the brutal Trump insurrection of Jan 6th that literally claimed lives and showed that yes indeed Mary fascism thrives in America. When I read about the stunning acts of gleeful violence and near or actual murder it turns my stomach. But you? Pearl clutching over broken windows in Oregon.

    https://www.cnn.com/2021/04/23/politics/capitol-riot-cop-dragging/index.html

    PS The death toll of the pandemic in the USA is closer to one in 500 (not a thousand as you wrote). If we’d had an actual human as president this last year we wouldn’t lead the world in deaths per capita. But you? I guess leading the world in deaths isn’t good enough.
    PPS Any reference to Zoolander is always welcome.

    Reply
    • Avatarlh

      You have to be a troll/shade account. No person with a single functioning brain cell believes anything the MSM says

      Reply
      • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

        Using the phrase “brutal Trump insurrection” kind of gives the game away. I used to think he was sincere but now I think it’s some kind of deep cover trolling.

        Reply
        • AvatarDavid Sanborn

          I’m the illustration in the dictionary under the definition of ‘sincere’ on this topic, an actual etching of my face with worry lines.

          It’s telling that someone who has a very visible linked blog (me) and who posts under his own name (me) and not some unlinked icon and a nondescript pseudonym like CJinSD or whatever would be accused of “deep cover trolling” WTF that means. It’s so obviously not true but you and your kind find it’s better to spin the truth than to admit your contradictions.

          Who said I’m not thinking about Officer Sicknick who died of a stroke after being bear sprayed by insane seditionists? Why is his death the one you wish to minimize? Are you still arguing that Ashli Babbit was a patriot who got murdered or are you starting to realize she paid the price for leading a mob of insurrectionists into the Senate Chamber while lawmakers were cowering in fear?

          Oh and “lh” (no name, no linked social media) with your msm excuses: here’s the FBI’s very own webpage on the topic since you’re so incapable of clicking a CNN link:
          https://www.fbi.gov/wanted/capitol-violence

          But yeah, some yokels break windows in Oregon and you opine two thousand fearful words about it. That’s your strength, I guess.

          Reply
          • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

            Nobody thinks there was a “Brutal TRUMP INSURRECTION.”

            Be serious or go home.

          • AvatarRonnie Schreiber

            If you’re going to accuse others of being inaccurate, you shouldn’t lie.

            Who said I’m not thinking about Officer Sicknick who died of a stroke after being bear sprayed by insane seditionists?

            The medical examiner said bear spray had nothing to do with Sicknick’s death, but you already knew that.

            Are you still arguing that Ashli Babbit was a patriot who got murdered or are you starting to realize she paid the price for leading a mob of insurrectionists into the Senate Chamber while lawmakers were cowering in fear?

            Another lie. Ashli Babbit was nowhere near the Senate chamber, she was killed trying to enter the “Speaker’s Lobby”, adjacent to the House chamber. As for her killer, he was cleared of violating a very narrow section of federal civil rights law. Unlike police officers in Minneapolis, Kenosha, and Columbus there will be no local criminal investigation.

            Why has that Capitol Police office not been identified if he’s the big hero you say he is?

            I’d rather have lawmakers in Washington cowering in fear than jurors in Minneapolis. You pretend to be outraged by the former while you celebrate the latter.

            By the way, what’s it like going through life as an insufferable, arrogant, prick?

    • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

      Glad to see you’re no longer worried about the “murder” of Brian Sicknick. ZERO HISTORY!

      Reply
    • AvatarPanzer

      I checked the WHO numbers a few weeks ago. The covid death rate is around 500 and change per 100,000 which is about the same as France and the UK. Hardly world leading.

      Moreover, if ‘law abiding America’ is so traumatised by people sitting on Nancy Pelosi’s throne, how traumatised do you think law abiding working class people really are at seeing their livelihoods destroyed by BLM/Antifa and a complicit Democrat Party?
      How traumatised are they watching the decomposition of their children in real time after almost a year of lockdown?

      Reply
      • AvatarDavid Sanborn

        It’s telling that you don’t see a big problem with Jack’s 50% error in American Covid deaths. If he’s going to play the role of op-ed dude, the least he can do is get fundamental assertions correct.

        We have been leading the world in deaths per capita. Sure places like Gabon or Moldova may have beaten us in the deaths-per-capita game, but it’s nightmarish that despite being ostensibly a “first world nation” we lead the world in overall deaths. Go us! Because wearing a goddam mask and not singing hymns with our mullet-headed pals at church is … (gasp) TYRANNY.

        News flash my friend: we’re living through a once-in-a-lifetime pandemic. I’m sorry that making any compromises to that reality is so hard for you guys. Here, let me get my 1/16th scale stradivarius and play some nice chamber music just for you and Jack.

        https://www.statista.com/statistics/1093256/novel-coronavirus-2019ncov-deaths-worldwide-by-country/
        or
        https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/map.html
        or etc. etc. etc.

        Reply
        • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

          “Because wearing a goddam mask and not singing hymns with our mullet-headed pals at church is … (gasp) TYRANNY.”

          Consider this a first and final warning.

          If you gratuitously insult people of faith on this comment section again, you’re gone for good. This is as bad as you trying to surreptitiously use the “N-word” a while back.

          I’m not going to sit here and listen to you attack people of any race, color, creed, et al.

          As for my 1 in 1,000 number, I’ll stand by it. The vast majority of COVID deaths have comorbidities. As far as your once-in-a-lifetime pandemic, that’s ridiculous. This DEBOOONKING! article by Scientific American contains a graph that indicates that overall death rates in the US for 2020, the Year Of Mighty COVID, were basically the same as the death rates for… the year 2000. What about the year 1998? Deadlier than 2020. Hmm. Well, back then we had a lot of people dying of flu, something that mysteriously ended in 2020:

          https://www.advisory.com/en/daily-briefing/2021/03/30/flu-season

          I understand that COVID-as-secular-Apocalypse is critical to your self-image, but again, it’s a one-in-a-thousand thing.

          Reply
          • AvatarDavid Sanborn

            You’re trying way too hard to read nonexistent subtext while ignoring the text. Choral singing at church is a super awesome way to insure everyone gets Covid:
            https://www.livescience.com/covid-19-superspreader-singing.html
            Also, the mullet as a hairstyle is making a comeback. If that’s anti-Christian then so be it.

            And a big bronx cheer at your belief that this _ _ _ _ _ _ = the N word. As you despise BLM and rode the racist Harambe meme’s coattails, I was positing that you, Jack Baruth, have a R A C I S T slant to your writing. You try valiantly to pin a mountain of evil on BLM – an organization that exists expressly because Black people have a 4X greater likelihood to die in police custody than whites. I can understand why the Black community is fed up. Somehow, you can’t. Please spare me your inevitable “I have Black friends” rebuttal. Even David Duke has a Black friend I’d wager. Meanwhile, if the N word actually offends you, here’s what the Black capitol police officers experienced Jan 6th at the hands of Trumpists:
            https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/emmanuelfelton/black-capitol-police-racism-mob

            Re. your link on 2020’s flu season, did you even read it? It’s premise is that social distancing and mask wearing wiped influenza out. Nowhere does it suggest we’re not in a pandemic. Also: suffering from some ailment, then dying of Covid does not mean you didn’t die of Covid. It means that Covid pushed you off the cliff. Also: tell the two ICU nurses I know that their recently overflowing wards weren’t Covid. They’ll enjoy your company immensely I’d wager.

            I found your Scientific American article DEBOOONKING Covid deaths, thanks! (sarcasm)
            https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/covid-is-on-track-to-become-the-u-s-s-leading-cause-of-death-yet-again1/

            I’ll depart this discussion with this: threatening to Cancel me is what you guys do. You did it to Kapernick, you did it to the Dixie Chicks, you did it to Nike. You should have the stones to accept criticism and make an honest effort to have a dialog rather than contrived drama over imaginary subtext. I’ve brought up many valid points, all with substantiating links, and all ignored. I guess that’s how you roll. Cancelling is for losers.

          • AvatarRonnie Schreiber

            Also: tell the two ICU nurses I know that their recently overflowing wards weren’t Covid. They’ll enjoy your company immensely I’d wager.

            What hospitals do they work at?

            Michigan has experienced a spike in Covid cases, a big red spot on the national map. General bed occupancies and ICU utilization, though, are at their normal 80%, not overflowing. The 7 day new case average has already been falling for nearly a week.

            You’re trying way too hard to read nonexistent subtext while ignoring the text. Choral singing at church is a super awesome way to insure everyone gets Covid:

            What’s the difference, in terms of the spread of Covid, between singing in church and chanting “No Justice, No Peace” at a BLM rally? What’s the difference, in terms of spreading Covid, between singing in church and sending Covid infected patients into nursing homes, as Governors Cuomo and Whitmer did?

            Have you ever considered that if there weren’t folks like Jack that you can turn into racist boogeymen and feel morally superior to that you might have to face your own shortcomings?

        • AvatarPanzer

          “We have been leading the world in deaths per capita. Sure places like Gabon or Moldova may have beaten us in the deaths-per-capita game, but it’s nightmarish that despite being ostensibly a “first world nation” we lead the world in overall deaths.“

          Fuck. I think Jack might be onto something with the professional troll thing.
          No one can possibly be commenting here and also be as dense as you. Deaths per capita is the only reasonable metric to measure the effect of this disease because here’s something radical – Countries across the world are all different sizes! So saying we ‘lead the world in overall deaths’ is another way of saying there are 320 million people in America + at least 20 million illegals. You know, we are the third largest country in the world 🤙
          So I checked the stats again just now, i’m still right, the UK has 200+ more per hundred thousand than us and we’re within +/- 250 of France, Spain, Portugal and Poland. Again, I see no commentary from the factcheckers about how these western, european countries have dropped the ball.

          Reply

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