Weekly Roundup: The Unraveling Of The Lie Edition

Sometimes, during a long drive or while suffering on my elliptical machine, I like to daydream. When I was younger, these daydreams often involved being fearsomely wealthy, much better looking than I really am, or in close quarters with a Titanic-era Kate Winslet. In my senescence, however, I am permitting myself to daydream bigger. As an example, I like to wonder,

“What would have the media of 1950, or even 1970, made of the COVID-19 pandemic?”

Talk about a fantasy, right? I’d like to think that the serious men who ran newspapers back then would have handled it as a non-partisan issue, as many things were handled back then. (Alright, K-Graham would have no doubt blamed it on Nixon somehow, but still.) I want to believe that the reporters would have viewed Fauci and his ping-pong policy with an appropriate amount of skepticism, because in those days newspapers considered it their duty to “comfort the afflicted, and afflict the comfortable”.

The endless partisan propaganda about “frontline workers” and all the people whom the media selects for its most cherished accolade, “exhausted“, would be mostly notable by its absence. They would have held Trump to account for an effective response to the pandemic, rather than playing an endless game of “gotcha”, and they would have held Biden to account on his pandemic policies, rather than penning Dear-Leader-style panegyric to a man who, by all accounts, is alternately confused by, and terrified of, the world around him. I doubt that the cigar-chomping desk chiefs of the era would have spent ten seconds listening to the “wet market” theory, a repugnant fabrication that haunts both the Left and the Right to this day.

Oh, and the “transitory” lie regarding our Carter-era inflation never would have dared to rear its loathsome head.

Surely they would have ferreted out the truth about the number of people, particularly older people, who die with COVID rather than from it, something that is just now being admitted by the health bureaucracies in many countries. I believe that the media would have been vigilant regarding the removal of personal freedoms, and leonine in their efforts for the restoration of same as soon as the situation permitted. Last but not least, I’d like to think that we wouldn’t seen the current utter politicization of COVID beliefs, in which lefties wear meaningless masks while driving solo and carpet-bomb social media with exhaustion porn while righties froth at the mouth regarding even the most harmless of policy responses thanks to random and often just plain false information from fly-by-night news sites.

Oh well. It’s just a fantasy, and no more likely to come true than the one where Christian Horner calls me to explain that next year’s RB18 will fit a 225-pound driver and that they know just the guy, and it’s me, and also Geri “Ginger Spice” Horner would like me to come over for dinner. And it hardly matters, because unlike the practitioners of Ingsoc, the media-governmental complex in this country does not quite have absolute control of the Narrative. How do I know? Well, just look around!

And how ironic that it’s the fictional home of Ingsoc, the United Kingdom, that is breaking ranks. The putative reason — that two-thirds of British subjects have reached the always-moving target of “fully vaccinated” via a booster shot — is obviously meaningless. The only people who really want boosters are the elderly… and the COVID hobbyists who have chosen to structure their previously meaningless lives around Being The Best At Following All The Rules And Making Sure Others Do Too. Everyone else has given up on injecting yet more mRNA garbage into their bodies just for the pleasure of publicly indulging in a conformity fetish.

Outside the cities where COVID serves in place of church or religion, everyone has given up on wearing masks, compulsive handwashing, elbow-bumps, and all the other dystopian paraphernalia of compliance. The “Omicron wave” that was preparing to make frontline workers even more exhausted has proven to be almost meaningless; stories about overwhelmed and exhausted hospitals, when examined in detail, almost universally resolve to, “We fired everyone who wouldn’t get triple-jabbed and let some of the rest go because there was no elective surgery happening, so now we are understaffed.” This isn’t a side effect of the disease; it’s a side effect of incompetent policy.

As are the “supply chain issues” that have led to empty store shelves across the country. Everybody is out of everything; getting a new car or any other big-ticket item is starting to have a very Soviet feel. Whom do you know? Your humble author cashed in a marker to get his new truck built — more on that in a few weeks — but I’d also like to order a new Maverick hybrid. Nothing doing. They’re sold out for the 2022 model year. In January of 2022. The same is true for everything from sportbikes to bespoke sportcoats. The only stuff that’s available is Chinese-made, because China managed the pandemic as a non-partisan issue where the primary priority was going to work. They didn’t force-feed four trillion dollars of junk money into their economy. So right now is a great time to buy an LCD monitor or Apple product, but if you want anything decent made in the West you need to wish in one hand and… you know the rest.

And wait until people actually get around to reading the tax provisions of the recent Biden bills. They will go nuts. The payment providers like Paypal and Venmo have already agreed to share data with the IRS… but even Facebook Marketplace is now warning people they’ll need to provide an SSN in order to sell on the site. Even though Facebook doesn’t handle transaction payments. Guess where that data will go? Everyone’s real-world taxes are about to skyrocket.

This country is convulsing. People won’t go to work. Not because of welfare or “COVID bucks” — despite what your wealthy uncle says, there aren’t a lot of “COVID bucks” out there for anyone except the hospitals. Rather, people are giving up on work because they have lost hope. The media has convinced them that a 1-in-1,000 killer disease is the authentic Apocalypse, and they’d rather spend the days before the end of the world smoking weed in front of Netflix. Can you blame them? Imagine you lived in a city where you couldn’t be evicted and you could gig-work your way into eating a few meals. Why would you work a square job? Everything you’d want to do with that money is locked down, restricted, unavailable, sold out, no longer available.

A massive lie has been inflicted on the American people. We have been told that COVID-19 will forever change our lives. It won’t. It will kill some of us, in lower percentages than any pandemic in recorded history, and the rest of us will go on as before. Except we won’t, because we keep running into structural changes being made in this country and this economy in the name of COVID-19. Yes, I know some of you have lost family and friends, as have my brother and I. But we lost family and friends in the years before, too, and in no greater numbers.

If what I’m seeing in the streets and reading in the samizdat is reliable, we are about to wake up from that lie and its consequences. We are going to demand a return to normal life. We are going to return to work, pick up where we left off, get on airplanes, see our family… in short, do everything that your humble author never stopped doing. I keep reading on Instagram about people who are seeing their family for the first time in two years. Imagine abandoning the people who love and need you because it makes you feel pleasantly compliant. I kept moving, kept flying, kept driving. My son and I drove across the country multiple times in the past two years. Nobody died or even got sick. We rejected the reality of CNN and HuffPo, substituting our own. And we were right.

There is an election coming in ten months. We have a stark choice. Not between the mostly imaginary policy positions that purport to divide Democrat and Republican, but between compliance and freedom. Let that be foremost in your mind, and choose accordingly. If Ms. Ocasio-Cortez decides that she’d like to return the country to reality, the same way she vacationed in reality when she went to Florida for a maskless, no-restriction holiday recently, then she’ll get my vote. If the most pro-“freedom”, pro-3/4-ton-truck Republican out there thinks that we need to lockdown “just to be sure” then he can be kidnapped by an angry ostrich for all I care.

In other words, let’s live in reality. The way we would have done in 1950. Scratch that. The way I’d like to think we would have done in 1950. That’s my fantasy: that we could have lived in reality. Does that make any sense? It makes as much sense as masking-up in a car, anyway.

* * *

For Hagerty I talked about mid-engined cans, er, vans and very fast imaginary cans, er, vans.

126 Replies to “Weekly Roundup: The Unraveling Of The Lie Edition”

  1. Newbie Jeff

    “If Ms. Ocasio-Cortez decides that she’d like to return the country to reality, the same way she vacationed in reality when she went to Florida for a maskless, no-restriction holiday recently, then she’ll get my vote”

    Are you sure this makes sense considering everything else you unpacked about the pandemic? I’m not trying to advocate mindless partisanship, but there are some pretty starkly different “realities” between Florida and, say, California or New York. Whether or not people have been living in fragile normalcy or outright misery directly correlates to the red or blue shade of their state…

    …I say this because as the covid hysterics start tiring of their hysteria, in perhaps election-influencing majorities, the same Democrats who punished their constituency for wanting to exercise outside are probably going to be changing their tunes… “I think it’s time to return to reality!” says the ideological authoritarian who stole it in the first place. I know voters have short memories, but I hope it’s not that short. Some American politicians have done extraordinary damage in the past 20 months, and the absolute LEAST they can do is suffer political consequences.

    Reply
    • stingray65

      I think the interesting questions to consider are the following:

      1. Can anyone think of a Democrat politician who has been consistently rational and thoughtful with regards to Covid policy?

      2. Can anyone think of a Republican politician who has advocated mandatory jabs, mandatory masks for extended periods of time, locked-down businesses (especially small ones) for extended periods of time, locked down schools to support teacher’s unions, suggested that the unvaccinated not receive medical care and/or be locked in detention camps, supported open borders and shipping Covid infected illegals all over the country, ordered nursing homes to take in Covid patients, supported the firing of unvaccinated nurses, doctors, firefighters, police, and military, ordered police to arrest joggers and kids playing in parks, and ordered prisons to release violent criminals to protect them from Covid?

      3. Why should anyone believe AOC, Pelosi, Biden, etc. if as November approaches they suddenly “return to reality” and actually start following the science in their proposed policies?

      Reply
  2. LynnG

    Jeff, totally agree with “Some American politicians have done extraordinary damage in the past 20 months, and the absolute LEAST they can do is suffer political consequences.” However, there are just two things to remember: First, politicans are not chosen by their voters, the voters are chosen by their politicians, ie: can you even think that a responsible conservative politican could unseat AOC in her Bronx district (answer not a chance). Second, is the first law of action in DC which states, there are those that are responsible and those that are to blame, the difference is that in DC, those that are responsible do NOT lose their jobs, those that are to blame DO. Therefore the incompentant bureaucRATS that are responsible for all the yanking of the chain of the American people will not be held accountable because they are responsible and will sholder none of the blame.

    Reply
  3. anatoly arutunoff

    i recently turned 85. when my mother had a ’49 cadillac fastback she’d belt along the straight stretches between bartlesville and tulsa to the south at 85 occasionally, and would talk endearingly to the car un her ukranian-accented english. when she got her ’54 caribbean she drove slower because the packard somehow really wasn’t that kind of car. go back to the ’30s–as i did when i was doing my m.a. thesis on fitzgerald’s characters’ development–and in magazines there were ads like nash’s ‘0-80mph in 3 city blocks,’ and hudson’s something like ‘able to maintain speeds of 70 and above over any kind of road.’ when nevada had no speed limit there were fewer major accidents in the nevada portion of l.a.-to-vegas than on the california stretch (there might’ve simply been more calif.-internal traffic). and in my large collection of traffic safety publications, in ’73 nevada and montana–both with no speed limits–ranked 24th and 25th in deaths per vehicle mile; there was even a comment that the rate would’ve been even lower if the time between the accident, discovering the accident, and getting the injured to a distant hospital would have been shorter. in my 70+ years of driving i’ve also noticed urban traffic accelerating more slowly than before that idiotic 55 garbage. the limit has been gone so long i don’t think the trepidation it caused could still be around today; i have no explanation.

    Reply
    • stingray65

      Interesting that the Caribbean was not as comfortable at speed as the 49 Caddy. Given that the Packard had more power (212 hp) than the Caddy (160), and similarly brick like drag coefficients, I would have to guess the difference was due to the extra noise created by the convertible top of the Caribbean or the better gearing of the 4 speed Hydramatic on the Cadillac.

      Reply
  4. JMcG

    Thought provoking article on speed limits, Jack. I graduated high school in the early eighties and it seemed like the 55 mph speed limit would be with us forever. It was genuinely stunning when it went away. Like it was morning in America, maybe.
    My high school physics teacher told a story about driving with his parents on the Pennsylvania Turnpike back in the early sixties. His dad would drive at a comfortable speed, but then insist on stopping at a rest area for a break. He knew that time of entry was stamped on the toll ticket and insisted on having his trip average out to legal speed as far as the government was concerned.
    I read recently that the Irish government plans to use entry and exit times on their tolled motorways to assess fines to drivers.
    https://www.newstalk.com/news/m7-average-speed-detection-cameras-not-expected-to-go-live-until-2023-1294924

    Reply
    • S2kChris

      I was convinced in 2020 that the pandemic was exploited wildly to topple Trump. I still am. His much-maligned “it will be over by summer” was due to that more or less being the reality of all the bird/swine/h1n1/etc etc flues that were hyped and then disappeared after 3 months because no one cared. But this was something that could be used to rid us of The Great Evil, who was primarily evil for stealing Hillary’s Historic Moment of Destiny.

      But then when it dragged on into Biden’s presidency, I wondered if I was erroneous, or if maybe the left and the MSM had crawled too far into their own fear cave and couldn’t find their way back out. But now I’m convinced it’s something else; all the local government and national bureaucracy petty tyrants (see Dr. Tony F.) were enjoying their power and influence a little too much, but more importantly the mainstream news industry realized without the Trump presidency, no one had any reason to tune in. Watch Biden stutter through a meaningless press conference? Yawn. So all ahead full on the Covid fear porn. But even here in Chicagoland all of my liberal friends who were having panic attacks in the summer of 2020 are happy to meet me out for dinner in a crowded restaurant, as long as we engage in the theatrical showing of the vaxx card and wearing of the mask to the table before removing it for 2 hours of gluttony. Oh well. I’d love to make a stand but going YT/FB/Nextdoor viral for not wearing a mask while grabbing a 6-pack just isn’t worth it. It will flare back up when politically expedient (August-November of 2022?) but otherwise even here in Chicagoland it’s over. But we’re telling ourselves here it’s over because Biden and Tony saved us, not because it was a big lie all along. Sigh.

      Reply
      • Newbie Jeff

        “…but otherwise even here in Chicagoland it’s over. But we’re telling ourselves here it’s over because Biden and Tony saved us, not because it was a big lie all along”

        This is my greatest fear. That the idiotic herds of the American Left have lived in terror for 2 years, watched as “science” was wrong about virtually everything, watched as the “experts” demonstrated complete and utter incompetence, sat thoroughly confused as their governors and mayors wrecked their states and cities… and now that the whole stupid thing has just burned itself out, they will somehow sort it out in their heads that Biden, Fauci, and the Democratic Party were ultimately successful in “defeating” the coronavirus…

        Which means despite all the damage, the wreckage, the flaming dumpster fire American society has become, we won’t learn a goddamn thing.

        Reply
    • jc

      I’d bet 20 bucks that we get some kind of speed camera enforcement thing in the US before 2030. Accidents are already going up, and it will get blown out of proportion by politicians/media with some help from lobbyists. That’s how we get speeding tickets mailed to our houses in the year of our Lord 2030. I just can’t wait till kids with 22’s shoot the cameras like we used to shoot street signs growing up

      Reply
    • stingray65

      I believe French tollways have been using timing between toll booths to fine speeders for many years, and I know Norway has timed intervals between distances to also automatically fine speeders.

      Reply
  5. goose

    Absolutely true!

    ” vehicles that are larger and faster than ever before, being operated by people who have never been less qualified, more distracted, or more uninterested in the process of driving. “

    Reply
    • stingray65

      It isn’t just that vehicles are larger and faster than ever before, but also quieter, more economical, and more relaxed than ever before. Most vehicles until the mid-80s had the aerodynamics of a brick even if they looked “fast” (i.e. C3 Corvettes, Countachs) which meant lots of tiring wind noise and very heavy wind resistance and fuel use at speed, and many cars also had serious aerodynamic lift at speed that made them very unstable and uncomfortable (i.e. C2/3 Corvettes, Mustangs, Datsun Z cars, all Lamborghinis), which tended to keep cruising speeds down. With 2/3 speed automatics and 3/4 speed manuals dominating, most cars from this era were also geared to be spinning their anemic engines very hard at 60+ mph with the associated vibration, noise, wear, and high fuel consumption that also kept cruising speeds down (my 1976 2002 was spinning 4,000 rpm at 70 mph, my 1965 Stingray with 3.36 rear axle was spinning over 3,000 at 70 and many muscle cars from that era equipped with a 4.11 or 4.56 rear axle). And even at 25-30 cents a gallon, getting 6-10 mpg while cruising at 70+ mph was financially painful for most people.

      But with rising CAFE standards automakers were forced to start making their cars more aerodynamic and stylists could no longer ignore the wind-tunnel results, and hence vehicles started to have much less wind noise and lift at speed. Meanwhile the engineers were busy designing 5-7 speed manuals and 5-10 speed automatics that when mated to strong engines could let the car lope along at 70+ mph turning well under 2,000 RPM with no noise, vibration and 25+ mpg even for larger more powerful vehicles. And now we have electrics that offer zero vibration and noise, are aerodynamically clean and have low rolling resistance tires to maximize range, and are fueled by electricity that is not burdened by the cost of road taxes, carbon taxes, etc. Throw in the invincibility of 27 airbags, ABS brakes, stability control, radar adaptive cruise control and lane keeping assist/autopilots, and there has never been a time when it was more comfortable, economical, and perceptually safe to cruise along at 80+ mph, which no doubt encourages non-car enthusiasts and “busy” people to concentrate on their phones, makeup, infotainment systems, daydreams, etc. rather than their driving as they fly down crowded highways full of similarly inattentive “drivers”. And now that George Floyd’s “murder” has made arresting people of color effectively illegal and a jailable offense, highway accident and death rates are starting to increase for the first time in modern history. On the other hand, low speeds won’t necessarily save you either, because the George Floyd effect also means car-jackings are reaching record highs.

      Reply
      • stingray65

        One other important change from the old days – going from 4-70 A/C (4 windows down, 70 mph) to modern climate control systems also greatly cleaned up the aero and reduced wind noise at speed. Most imports, high performance cars, and economy cars weren’t even available with factory A/C until the late 1960s to mid-70s, and most didn’t get ordered with real A/C until the 1980s. Throw in the wind whistle from poorly sealed windows on the hardtop body styles popular in the 1950s to 70s, and discomfort at speed was further “enhanced”.

        Reply
        • gtem

          Youre 100% on the money stingray. The massive reduction in NVH and focus on a relaxed highway ride even in smaller cars has inevitably lead to much higher average speeds. Throw in some taller seating that lessens the sensation of the pavement flying by underneath you and the effect is increased even further.

          Reply
    • Ice Age

      I think exotics, for example, took the wrong path and went down the road of the Porsche 959 instead of the Ferrari F40.

      The 959 was easy to drive, as cars of that performance level are measured. The F40, on the other hand, watched you intently for any sign of weakness and went for your throat if it found one. And that’s how it should be.

      Fast, powerful cars SHOULD be difficult and intimidating to drive. Hell, ALL cars should require some basic level of skill that’s over our heads currently, but anything capable of a significant fraction of Mach One should demand a focused, attentive, skillful driver. That’s why YouTube is splattered with thousands of Supercar Fails videos – because as strange as it may seem, that Huracan Performante is too easy to drive.

      It’s an odd thing to comtemplate but ironically, a MORE difficult car to drive will live longer. It’s kind of like a former coworker of mine once said about four wheel drive – “It doesn’t make you more capable, it just makes you dead farther from help.”

      Reply
  6. CJinSD

    Joseph McCarthy was right about everything, but the media of the day lied like the New York Times in order to protect the Marxists he was trying to expose. It’s worth keeping in mind when one gets nostalgic about his childhood news anchors.

    Whether Americans stop playing the COVID games or not, the people running Biden are trying to get us into a war with Russia in order to open the door for Chinese adventuring. The dollar will go up in smoke in the process.

    Reply
    • stingray65

      I’d like to think that Anthony Fauci would have received the Rosenberg treatment (i.e. execution for giving Atomic secrets to the USSR) if he had pulled his Covid stunts in the 1950s. Arguably the Rosenberg crime was less severe, because Fauci paid the Chinese Communists to develop a deadly virus that actually killed Americans, while the Rosenbergs gave away Atomic weapon secrets to Russian Communists that never killed any Americans. Yet the Rosenbergs got the chair, and Fauci will retire with a $300K taxpayer funded annual pension and a stock portfolio heavy with China and Pharma equities worth $10+ million.

      Reply
      • John C.

        Careful guys, talk of the Rosenbergs and McCarthy is going to disturb some of our most loyal allies at the head of our movement. Gosh, I feel like Ron Klain walking back Biden on the other side.

        Reply
        • stingray65

          The difference is that McCarthy was correct that Communists had infiltrated many parts of government, media, and Hollywood, and the Rosenbergs actually were traitors and spys (and Communists), while everything Klain, Biden, and Fauci say are lies, fantasies, and butt-protecting spin.

          Reply
          • John C.

            Before my time of course, but it seemed like you couldn’t pin down McCarthy’s opponents as to whether those he was accusing were in fact communists or that it was more who are you to judge or question their patriotism. Same problem the left is having labeling those whose patriotism to zog is in question as terrorist and or fascist. I think a sooner Nixon like outcome for Klain to be openly President of zog is more likely than McCarthy like humiliation.

          • Ice Age

            One other thing you never hear these days is that Joseph McCarthy actually accused only a few hundred people of being Communists, and only if he had evidence. It turned out that just about everyone he accused was eventually found to have either ties to, or sympathies for, the Soviet Union.

            Not far off the reason they hated, and endlessly smeared, J. Edgar Hoover.

    • Trucky McTruckface

      That was the same media that hid FDR’s paralysis and JFK’s health problems and philandering from the public. They’ve always been frauds who hide their manipulation under a layer of preening moral imperative.

      It’s amusing that the profession that still regularly jacks itself off over Edward R. Murrow’s takedown of McCarthy has zero qualms about stuff like the January 6th committee, and never questions the endless fishing expeditions peddled by politicians like Adam Schiff.

      By the way, I’m convinced McCarthy was right in spite of himself. His self-promotion, demagoguery, and truth-stretching strike me as rather Brandon-esque. In the end, he accomplished nothing more than to discredit any investigation into communist infiltration and to become a convenient boogieman for leftists to cudgel their opponents with for the last 70 years.

      Reply
    • Ronnie Schreiber

      Sorry, but McCarthy’s exaggerations and in some cases outright lies harmed the anti-communist cause. Yes, in broad strokes he was correct about Soviet subversion in the United States, the Venona transcripts show that pretty clearly, but he was a flawed individual who gave his opponents plenty of rope to hang him.

      What I think is interesting is how Bobby Kennedy went from working for Joe McCarthy hunting commies and later for a subcommittee looking into labor union corruption into being an icon of the Democratic left.

      Reply
      • CJinSD

        Who did Joseph McCarthy lie about and what lies did he tell about them? Flawed individual? Because he was a decorated World War II veteran? A respected circuit court judge? A staunch anti-communist? It’s a good thing that the lies about him drown out the truth, as he single-handedly disproves the imaginary party-platform swap that the Democrats use to disavow their overtly racist history.

        Reply
        • Ronnie Schreiber

          And an alcoholic who hired the odious Roy Cohn. McCarthy was ultimately on the right side of history but that doesn’t make him an angel.

          Reply
          • CJinSD

            Who did Joseph McCarthy lie about, and what lies did he tell about them? It’s a more important issue than any ad-hominem attacks in your quiver.

  7. stingray65

    We don’t need to imagine what would happen if we had 1950s journalists covering the current Covid panic, because there have been far more serious virus pandemics during that earlier era. The Spanish Flu of 1918-19 killed somewhere between 17 million and 100 million people globally in a world with 1.8 billion people. The Asian flu in 1957-58 killed 1 to 4 million people globally in a world with about 2.8 billion people. The Hong Kong flu in 1968-9 killed 1 to 4 million people globally in a world with about 3.8 billion people. Until the polio vaccine was developed in the 1950s, polio crippled up to 60,000 mostly young Americans annually, and killed as many as 3,200 annually at a time when the US population was less than 160 million. In fact all of these pandemics were far more dangerous to younger and healthy people than Covid, and yet there were few if any mass lock-downs (in fact the Woodstock concert took place during the Hong Kong flu), there were no Spanish/Asian/Hong Kong flu bucks paying people to stay home, there was no “racist” hysteria about the ethnicity of the flu, there were few if any mask mandates, and the media wasn’t blaming Woodrow Wilson or FDR, or Eisenhower for “killing” Americans due to inaction on the flu/polio front or having daily front page stories keeping count of flu cases/hospitalization/deaths with an emphasis on which ever statistic was most scary.

    So the question is why in these days of far more advanced medicine have we panicked so much over a virus that we knew within weeks was only dangerous to the very ill and very old? I suspect it is a combination of things that have changed since 1918 or 1958 or even 1969. First, we weren’t funding Communists in those days to develop supercharged viruses, which I suspect is the reason the research community has been so irrational and hysterical, because they didn’t want to be blamed for the fatalities and were perhaps concerned that the Chinese had been a little too good at creating a superbug that could become an inadvertent biological weapon. Second, we are a whole lot less religious and nobody is more scared of dying than someone who doesn’t believe in an immortal soul/heaven and God’s grace, but instead believes Leftist governments can fix everything, which includes about 99% of our hysterical journalists. Third, women are much more fearful of risk and much more empathetic with those who suffer than men, and women now have a strong voice and power in journalism, politics, and science where their irrational fears can do some real damage. Fourth, we are a whole lot older and wealthier than we were during earlier pandemics, and hence a virus that kills old people afraid of dying is likely to be more concerning, and since we have more money and can always print more, there is a feeling that we can afford to protect people even if they already have one foot in the grave. And finally, we have social media, which gives voice to every mentally ill person on the planet to spread their irrational fears.

    Reply
      • stingray65

        Was the 19th Amendment a mistake? I personally have nothing against letting women vote, but I do have a problem with letting citizens of all colors, genders, religions, etc. vote when they have no skin in the game. Limiting the vote to property owners as was the practice in earlier times was done for that very reason, although I would broaden voting rights to any citizen 18+ of age who pays more in taxes (federal, state, local including social security and other premiums) than they receive in government benefits (which would include the value of all forms of welfare, social security and government pensions, government funded education grants/supports and medical care/supports, and government salary with the exception of active members of the military and police who stake their lives to protect the Constitution and enforce laws). I dare say the size of the permanent, unelected bureaucracy would be much smaller under my voting rule.

        Democracy dies when people who receive benefits can vote in a government who promises to use the coercive power of government to confiscate the property and wealth of those who earned it. It will die even faster when non-citizens, especially those who are not even in the country legally, are also allowed to vote as is increasingly the case in Blue parts of the US.

        Reply
      • hank chinaski

        If you look at what sorts of things women vote for as a whole and over the long term, you’d take the ‘maybe’ out. It’s ‘anti-civilization’ all the way down. (in before NAWALT)

        Reply
        • stingray65

          I understand your position Hank, but my policy would exclude about 90% of women from voting, and if a Margaret Thatcher or Kristi Noem type gets to vote I have no problem with that.

          Reply
    • dejal

      Thank you. I searched all the text on this page for the HK Flu.
      I was 13-14. I don’t remember it being a thing.
      I do remember man on the moon.
      I do remember the 68 World Series.
      I do remember WoodStock.

      Reply
      • Ronnie Schreiber

        I’m the same age and while I don’t remember it being a big thing, I do remember it being a thing. Certainly not on the level of Neal Armstrong or Mickey Lolich, though.

        Reply
  8. NoID

    I was cross-shopping E-class wagons and R-class…umm, wagon-vans, to replace my wife’s company car when I tell my current employer to FOAD in a few weeks over their unnecessarily extortive new COVID mandates, and was disappointed to see the disparity between how well the 350 is holding its value versus the AMG versions. If I wasn’t replacing two vehicles I’d probably splurge on an AMG, but needs must come before wants.

    In the end we decided the family hauler is going to need more ground clearance than either of those vehicles in order to perform some mild “soft-roading” on our new property, to get building materials and such out to various parts of our acreage, but I’ve kept a saved search on AutoTrader to keep an eye on them.

    As for the Big Lie…I am cautiously optimistic that it will be revealed, but I see no downturn in CNN’s coverage of this. It’s always a mix of “OMG CRISIS” and dancing over the grave of yet another anti-jab/mask/quarantine/*insert COVID measure here* individual who died. It’s truly…exhausting.

    Reply
    • Carmine

      I think about at least 50% of those stories are fabricated…..they all seem to follow the same exact wash, rinse, repeat narrative….

      “Anti-Vaxxer dies 4 minutes after getting coof with Gadsen flag in his hand next to his pick up truck….his last words to his family said that Faucci is a genius and in no way should be prosecuted…..”

      In regards to the other part of your post…..quitting your job AND buying a late model used Mercedes?

      Talk about living dangerously……that’s like not wearing protection….at a house of ill repute…..in Haiti….

      You should be on the next episode of “Rex Kramer….the words most dangerous man!”

      Reply
      • stingray65

        Now that we have more vaccinated people in hospitals and morgues than unvaccinated, I wonder when we will get media stories with a picture of the masked victim with her booster updated vaccine passport and a report that her last words to her cat were curses about Fauci’s lies regarding the protection provided by masking and vaccines?

        I agree with you Carmine – a late model MB is not the best type of vehicle for post employment moves to a rural acreage. On the other hand, one of those 1970s-mid 80s MB diesels that can run on old french fry oil on their way to 2 million miles might not be a bad option.

        Reply
      • NoID

        Oh, I’m not quitting until I line something else up, and I’m pretty close right now. I’m compliant with my company’s policy so there’s no pressure, I’ve just decided that I don’t want to work for a company that threatens its employees in this manner and for these purposes.

        I’ve had a soft spot in my heart for wagons with rear facing third rows ever since my parents purchased a 1994 Buick Roadmaster Estate Limited Edition back when I was a wee lad. The E-class is the only contemporary luxo-barge wagon that doesn’t limit the space between the C and D pillars to cargo that I’m aware of.

        Yeah, I know the 3rd row in the R-class isn’t rear-facing and it isn’t really a wagon…I just think the AMG version is bonkers enough to make that sacrifice.

        The likely candidates for us are a 2012 or prior Nissan Pathfinder for the working vehicle (I’ve decided a low range transfer case is a need, or at least at the top of the list of wants) and a small car with manual transmission for secondary duties (mostly driving me to and from work). Maybe I can “Ask Bark” if he’s still accepting submissions. I found a 35k mile Chevy Sonic RS that I could live with, fingers crossed it’ll still be available when it’s time for me to pull the trigger. There’s also a nice red Jetta GLI 2.0T nearby which would fit my lifestyle better, but I’m not stoked about paying for premium fuel. I was hoping to find a lower-mileage Buick Regal GS with a manual transmission (another vehicle I’ve pined for) but I can’t find much of anything below 75k miles. I’m keeping my eyes peeled and I am fine purchasing a car with 75k – 100k miles for the right price, but not when I can find something that meets my needs with half the mileage for the same or slightly higher cost.

        Reply
        • Ken

          @NoID – I believe you and I have similar tastes. I own an E class (2010 coupe) and a similar Nissan (2010 Xterra). The 4.0L V6 Nissan in both the Pathfinder and the Xterra are stout – aside from the “SMOD” issue AKA “Strawberry Milkshake of Death” AKA coolant mixing with transmission fluid due to a faulty radiator. An internal weld fails over time w/in the radiator and allows the two fluids (which should be separated in different baffles) to mix. The issue is most prevalent from 2005 to ~2011 when Nissan switched parts. I have a 2010 that I’ve had since new. I changed to an aftermarket radiator early on and haven’t had problem. (SMOD is pretty easy to google – and don’t let it scare you away from an otherwise great truck.) Only other “weak” points on these are the rear leaf springs which don’t seem to last as long as you think they should – most folks (myself included) have to change the rear pack at least once – and when I did I had an extra add-a-leaf included. Brakes are OK, I think they are somewhat undersized for these trucks and while they are up to the task of stopping moderately well – I find that I need to change them more than I would like (perhaps a combination of my driving style, commute, and that I use more aggressive / lower life pads to get more stopping power). Gas is what you’d expect – 19/20 combined. I’ve had mine for 12+ years now, 170k, and it’s been the most reliable vehicle I’ve owned. Easy to work on, cheap to fix, does everything I ask of it. Both Xterras and Pathfinders don’t seem to have the following that 4Runners / FJs / Wranglers do, so you should be able to find a decent deal, even in this market.

          My E coupe I just bought about a year ago, I’m still getting used to its personality and quirks. The W212 is surprisingly easy to work on. Although to be up front mine is an “E / W212” when it comes to the engine, transmission, and several other major mechanical bits – but it’s actually a W207 and closer to a CLK with its chassis and suspension. I’m sure you’re aware that a Mercedes will require a bit more upkeep, they aren’t as reliable as that Nissan you’re looking at, but they are durable (Jack has a great article on that over at Road and Track). My neighbor (who’s a mechanic) has a 2010 E350 sedan w/over 212k miles – it still looks and runs like its brand new! Here’s what I was told to look for (specific to E’s): The air suspension equipped ones can be problematic / costly to fix and maintain, if in the salt belt some of the brake line connections can rust causing reduced braking / loss of brake fluid, the interior chrome and wood trim can be prone to peeling if the car is typically parked outside, the front pass SRS airbag warning can come on if the battery is low (as will other odd electrical gremlins, like the power seats acting up), the NA engines are a bit more sorted and reliable over the turbo variants (although they have less power), halogen headlamps are easier than the fancier auto leveling Xenons and the transmission fluid is not “lifetime” and should be changed every 75k or so. Hope that helps – they are truly lovely cars, a great drive, and despite a few nigs, overall, they are probably the “newest” Benz that harkens back to the tanks of the old – they are durable, and if you get one with the right options, not as bad to live with as you would think a Mercedes would be (in terms of maintenance and repairs).

          Lastly, on the Buick Regal – another neat choice. I had, perhaps the spiritual successor, in a late model Saab 9-3. Both based on Opel designs. They were so close, that in fact, I used Buick Regal GS parts interchangeably (the 6 speed clutch and other bits) on my 9-3. I don’t think you could go wrong with those year regal GS sedans. I did ask Jack once about the newer Wagon (which was being blown out a couple years ago a dealers but has since gone up in value with a niche following) and he waved me off the runway. The Wagon had too low of production numbers and too many specific parts – would be a nightmare for someone like me who keeps cars a long time and would need parts eventually to keep it on the road. You may be able to find a charry 9-3. They made them up until 2010 (under GM anyway) and people still don’t have a ton of love for them, even though they are reliable and easy to repair. I had a 2.0T 6 speed that was a hoot. Good on gas too.

          Reply
          • gtem

            Just a random little anecdote about the Nissan VQ40, which I likewise had always thought of as a perfectly sturdy engine: a customer of my brother’s has an 05 Xterra that he’s tried to use as a sort of one-man-one-car leasing business. First my bro helped him repo it from a non-paying customer, my brother went through the truck and fixed it up, full service, new oil etc. It had somewhere close to 200k on it at this point iirc. And I *think* it may have been making a bit of that whining noise that indicates timing chain guide wear. Anyways, car goes out to the next customer and a month later is trailered home with a hole in the engine block. Oil level was fine. Haven’t pulled the pan yet but some looking around online and there have been a number of cases of these VQ40s suffering from low oil pressure issues. One working hypothesis is that worn off bits of the chain guide clogged up the oil pickup tube. Another issue looks like there is some kind of inner timing cover that can leak (internally) which negatively affects oil pressure. past 2009(?) apparently the timing chains/guides were redesigned to eliminate that premature wear issue.

        • Eric L.

          NoID, I love you man, but you’re the exact kind of headscratcher that Bark complains about. You’re interested in either buying an expensive E Wagon or an AMG minivan. But then you mention “Welp, maybe I’ll buy a Chevy Sonic crapbucket, instead.” wat.

          @gtem: I had to do (read: assisted the mechanic at my work, using the company’s lift on a Saturday-Sunday project) the timing chain guides on my ’05 FWD VQ35 around 120K miles. Easily the most challenging thing I’d done. We should have dropped the engine, gah.

          The, ah, strawberry death doesn’t seem to affect the FWD vehicles, but I did see a lot of posts from the 4.0 RWD guys while researching the noise. It seems that the RWD VQ35s never used those plastic covers. My ’05 G35 is still noise free at 77K miles–and doesn’t gently tick like the FWD VQ35s at around the same mileage.

          The redesigned Armada, now running on the Patrol/QX80 platform, is ~$45K for 45K miles, for 2017/2018era vehicles near me. Our brave new world of used car prices continues to disappoint.

          Reply
          • NoID

            Eric,

            It makes more sense if you understand that I’m looking for a family hauler that needs to fit 6 people, and a runabout that will generally only carry one adult and sometimes carry one adult and four kids. The E-class wagon or R-class would be the family haulers if the mission never included going off the road, and the Sonic would fill in as my commuter vehicle. The Sonic and the E-class/R-class were not being cross-shopped.

            Basically the only requirements I have for the runabout are 5 seats, a manual transmission, good gas mileage (ideally 30+ highway), and some character.

  9. Martin

    I ordered a Transit passenger van back in August when the order window for the ’22 model year opened and there’s been zero word from Ford when/if they are ever going to build the thing. I could buy a 5 year old used model from Enterprise with 80k miles for more than current MSRP, I suppose. But hey kids, we’re going to mandate the switch to electric cars that require even more content sourced overseas and you’ll totally be able to find one on a lot someplace.

    Reply
    • stingray65

      Given the Leftist love of public transit (or everyone except themselves), perhaps the vehicle shortages are a feature and not a bug? On the other hand, when we do eventually get our EVs with Chinese batteries and electric motors (assuming the whole thing isn’t built in China), boy will a lot of people be surprised when the renewably generated electricity that has also been mandated ends up being more expensive than gasoline (especially after road taxes, equity taxes, and environmental taxes get added to your per KWh price), and your vehicle will only be allowed to be charged when the wind is blowing and the sun is shining, and the government gives utility companies the right to draw power out of your EV battery to keep the grid from blacking out during a cold windless night.

      Reply
  10. dr smith

    I am of the belief, as others, that we can’t vote our way out of this. Yes, the so called Republicans might win a “huge” in the fall elections, and they might temporarily try and have limited success to quell the angry people – but in the end it will all be an illusion just as the pandemic was (;how did anyone know the pandemic was fake – ever recall any massive shortages of candy, chips, or soft drinks? I did not , and I am will to bet most other can’t think when those items were a problem, either….only things that can be made it healthy, home made food run continuous short)

    They will let things sort of get back to normal kind of, then it will start to happen all over again…..because those that think they know better want to make a permanent change in how people live, work, eat, existing – if you are allowed to exist at all. Want confirmation , check out what the head of the former Chrysler now named whatever said – basically said people don’t want BEVs and the automakers don’t really want to build them, but the governments around the world are mandating them. Sounds all too familiar…..the ICE vehicle shortage is fake, too, not from an actual perspective (they are note making as many ICE as they used to) but from the fact that it is being planned as they move to BEV. You want and new a new vehicle, right? Within two years, it will be your choice – wait a year to get that ICE vehicle, or you can have a shinny new BEV that can delivered to your door within a couple of weeks. Heck they might even have a new BEV on the lot for you – how nice!

    Reply
    • NoID

      You’re dead wrong about the vehicle shortage, and the reason is wrapped up in the same comments by the Stellantis CEO to which you referred. The level of investment to “make fetch happen” with regard to BEVs is enormous, and the profit margins on those BEVs will need to be drastically reduced in order to sell them in the mass market because the material costs certainly aren’t going to be comparable to ICE-powered vehicles. So why in the world would the OEMs artificially reduce their sales when they desperately need that cash to burn on the altar of electrification?

      Trust me…the shortages are real, I deal with them every day.

      Reply
      • dr smith

        @NoId –

        I did not say the auto companies wanted to make fewer ICE vehicles, and for some of the reasons you point out. It is more like the are being forced to make few ICE. Future regulations and policy are forcing the issue.

        Up until 3 months ago, I used to work at one of the major auto manufacture – Fix Or Repair Daily is one of the colorful handles one of our cross town rivals used to call my former employer.

        You are right that part of it is money; I can tell that future development for new components money past 2024 has literally dried up for ICE vehicles – no new engines, transmissions, suspensions, vehicle electrical. All frozen & reallocated. However, even if the money was/is there, would still be an issue because we also don’t have enough people with the right skill sets to do major projects in dissimilar areas at the same time. When I joined up, there were nearly 100,000 white color employees alone in the USA now there is not even 30,000 globally and in a couple years time it will be 1/4 to 1/2 that number.

        Most people don’t realize this started well before the pandemic – it is hard to say when it started to happen in earnest, but I recall in 2018 seeing a prototype of the new skateboard architecture to underpin future BEVs……it was a major change in the electrical bus control systems in that it does not have multiple controllers/chips, just one box like a laptop that controls everything. Some of the slightly younger more ambitious engineers were all excited because they were sure such a system could also work in an ICE platform. They went off and made a prototype and it worked well enough everyone could see the advantages of it – but it never went anywhere – not just because of cost or even effort/man hours needed. Best we could tell was lack of interest or so we thought. It took a retiring engineer VP to tell us the truth….it was because ICE was not the future, and he somehow knew this two years before they made the announcement of going as much as all BEV by 2035.

        I agree with another post here; conspiracy the riots are only that if they aren’t true….but the longer you wait the more true they seem to become. Strange how that works out, Isn’t it?

        Reply
        • stingray65

          Automakers who bet the farm on BEVs might be cutting their own throats if battery costs stop declining and/or become tied to politically unfriendly suppliers in China/Russia. BEV popularity with consumers may also take a hit when electricity prices spike or electricity supply becomes unreliable as we attempt to electrify everything while converting to expensive and unreliable renewables, and governments start adding taxes to electricity to make up for lost gasoline tax revenue.

          Converting the world’s vehicle fleet from ICV to BEV is going to require unprecedented increases in mining and processing of the minerals needed for hundreds of millions of large capacity EV batteries, which is why it isn’t safe to assume battery prices will continue to fall. Throw in the increasing evidence that climate change fears are greatly overblown and the political pressure to (and subsidies to support) convert to renewably charged EVs may also disappear, and then what happens when Ford and other automakers have fired their ICV engineering staffs, stopped development of ICV technology? ANSWER: they will lobby to be protected from automakers such as BMW that are not throwing all their resources into BEVs.

          Reply
    • stingray65

      Yes voting won’t solve much, because the federal and all blue state/city local government permanent bureaucracies are 99% Democrat and they are actually the ones who write and enforce the laws. The biggest opportunity that comes from voting out Democrats is that it keeps them from nominating and appointing judges who from day 1 ignore the Constitution whenever it conflicts with the latest Leftist policy preferences and/or are total idiots but have politically correct skin color and plumbing (Hi Justice Sotomayor).

      Reply
    • Martin

      I am becoming more convinced that, while you are correct about the intentions of our betters in the government/WEF/NGO class, their reach is massively exceeding their grasp. The hubris of this class is matched only by their complete incompetence and near total rejection of reality in favor of complicated verbal constructions. Maybe they think that systemic collapse will just pave the way for their grand, unified control of the world’s populations, but so many of their assumptions are based on the conditions of the world immediately after the end of the Cold War. What happens when China decides it doesn’t want to simply remain the manufacturing center for decadent Western nations? How will the Metaverse enslave everyone when there are rolling blackouts all the time from insane green energy policies? I think we are headed for complete disaster alright, but anyone who thinks they can ride this tiger to a glorious Great Reset is delusional.

      Reply
      • dr smith

        Martin – 1000 percent correct. They have over reached, and the symptoms are all around us of that fact.

        Thing is, they thought they could get both Russia and China on board, or at least one of them….would have made their job much, much easier. Not only have both those countries reject the NWO, others are joining Russia and China. Iran is one; Turkey is likely another one to say see ya later to the NWO. Afghanistan never was, never wanted that joy ride; ditto Pakistan and North Korea. Notice a couple of things about those countries – location, oh and plus the fact next to near all of them also have nukes.

        However, the real fun fact is this – what if others start to want off the joy ride, then what? what is Japan changes it mind? What about India? Both of those countries played along with the pandemic rituals until both suddenly stopped. Plus both have been beefing up their respective militaries recently and most of it is by focusing on their own domestic production capabilities. What about France and Germany? Many people assume France is part of NATO – they are not, and they are not cooperating in Ukraine 2.0. Neither is Germany, either (no troops, no equipment, will not even allow US military to fly over) – and they are a founding member of NATO.

        I am starting to think within 20 years or less the West will be more like South America than North America of a couple decades ago. I am also thinking the NWO types never really wanted or need a utopia, more like they just wanted mere mortals out of the way, or to be unseen/unheard like good staff to. a king. Either way, it spells a period of not a lot of fun for most people in the West for likely two to three generations or more.

        Reply
        • hank chinaski

          Those countries are seeking shelter as the largest tree in the forest starts to creak and sway with rot.
          Expanding NATO towards Russia’s doorstep was always a mistake, and we promised not to do so when the Soviet Union and Warsaw Pact fell apart over three decades ago. It has no reason to exist and should be dismantled. I somehow doubt we’d be rattling sabers in Ukraine if our resident in chief and his son hadn’t been balls-deep in corruption with their puppet government and energy sector. The bad actors there probably have a poison pill to release if they go down.

          Reply
          • stingray65

            You raise some good points Hank, but poison pills don’t work against the Biden’s or Democrats generally, because the social media billionaires and Leftist mainstream media will simply label the poison as “Russian disinformation” and bury the pills. Meanwhile AG Garland is too busy rooting out white supremacists to take time to investigate any corruption among members of his own party, and the FBI is too busy with 5 AM SWAT raids at the homes of grandmothers who were in the vicinity of the capital on Jan. 6.

        • BlueovalDave

          Have you been peaking at Martin Armstrong’s website ArmstrongEconomics? He has been running some sort of expert systems computer program for years and it predicts The Great Reset Build Back Better will indeed collapse, but so will the western world, by 2032. Coincidentally the 2000 year anniversary of the crucifixion of Jesus.

          Reply
          • Tom Klockau

            “Martin Arthur Armstrong is an American self-taught economic forecaster and convicted felon who spent 11 years in jail for cheating investors out of $700 million and hiding $15 million in assets from regulators.”

            OK then…

          • BlueovalDave

            he was never convicted of anything. His program predicted the Oct. 1987 crash and TPTB wanted it and he wouldn’t sell. They harassed and jailed him but he was never convicted of anything.

            So then you must disagree with his prediction.

      • Newbie Jeff

        “The hubris of this class is matched only by their complete incompetence and near total rejection of reality in favor of complicated verbal constructions”

        This exactly. People – and particularly intelligent people – are prone to seeking meaning and connections in big, complex issues. People gravitate towards narratives, because we’re all humans and humans like a good story… we like things to be arranged in a way that makes sense… cause and effect, good guys and evildoers, biases confirmed. We’re all guilty of this to some degree, myself included…

        …I’m not saying billionaires don’t pull some strings or that people in power have ulterior motivation… but vast, complicated social control and power stacking by an elite class just doesn’t sit with me as an adequate explanation for the chaos engulfing American society. They may be complicit in our clown world, but they are in no way in control of this.

        The simplest explanation is this: our country has propelled the most incompetent people to virtually every position of power and influence in our society. There are a million reasons we did this… political agendas, social justice, racial grievance, disinformation from the media, misinformation from social media, etc… it sort of doesn’t matter now. Because however they got there, there they are… from the Oval Office to your local school board, we are quite literally ruled by retards who fuck up everything they touch.

        Reply
  11. hank chinaski

    These events all allow the Great Reset to happen: disrupt supply chains of food and energy, pop the everything bubble, nationalize all savings and investment accounts into a global electronic currency, enact a social credit system tied to everything, no borders, monthly boosters, eat the bugs, live in the pod, et cetera, et cetera.

    The further along we get on this bizarre timeline the closer reality comes to conspiracy theory, past what even Davos man dares to utter in public. World War always comes next. If it came out that the jab was deliberately designed to bump off the old and sterilize the young, I’d not be surprised at all.

    Reply
    • Greg Hamilton

      Hank,
      I was going to comment, but you summarized my points nicely. Well done. (Not that any of this is good news.)

      Reply
  12. CliffG

    There for awhile in the last few years I was of the opinion that the media were simply the running dog lackeys of the DNC, But after looking at the polling of African Americans regarding voter id and border policy, that really didn’t make any sense. So I moved on to the running dog lackeys of the billionaire oligarchs. Dare: find a policy/angle that the media boosts that isn’t favorable to the billionaire oligarchs. I’ll wait.

    Reply
    • stingray65

      How many black folks own a major news channel or newspaper?

      How many billionaires own a major news channel or newspaper?

      How many billionaire Leftists own a social media channel?

      Reply
  13. MrGreenMan

    I had Delta really bad. In 2018, I had the flu really bad. They were different; I lost three weeks for Delta, but I lost two weeks for the 2018 flu. Back in 2018, I was still at the gym with a trainer at least 3 days a week (10+ consecutive years), but I got Delta a year after they took away my gym and my trainer and I got fat, so I don’t think I was in as good a shape when I faced it.

    We have had fewer funerals at my church than I remember over the past two years. Those who died were > 75 years old. Covid rolled through families….but the flu used to roll through families. People got sick for two weeks at a time. The children’s room girls were more vigilant about sending home sick infants and snotty toddlers, but it didn’t do much to stop the spread – once it arrived, everybody got it.

    We’ve got one fellow in advanced care right now. We pray for his recovery. As I understand, he’s very tall, but he’s approaching four bills, and he’s old enough to be a great grandfather who has retired from his second career. I had a friend who got COVID right at the start – who is short and now over three bills, and who really put on the weight when they shut down his gym.

    I’ve lost (contact with) friends and relatives to COVID in the sense that they’ve cut themselves off from society, and they remain that way. I’ve seen a lot of mental decline – especially in verbal skills – when I talk to people who’ve stayed home for two years. God could restore Job, but government candy cannot restore the lost years.

    Reply
    • stingray65

      Perhaps the most stupid public policies related to Covid have been the forced shut down of gyms and the restrictions/arrest of people who dared exercise outside. We knew very early that Covid was most deadly to the obese and was unlikely to be transmitted outdoors, and our “expert” policy prescription was to lock up people inside their homes for two weeks that turned into 2 years. Rather than mandate jabs and masks, the authoritarians/fascists in charge of public health should have mandated that people get off their butts and start moving around. Instead of firing people for not getting vaccinated, they could have fired people who refuse to go outside and walk/jog/climb steps for 15-30 minutes 3-4 times per week at a minimum – it would have been 100 times more effective for both mental and physical health than lock-downs, masks, and jabs.

      Reply
      • Gianni

        I think closing schools and going Zoom remote “learning” is the worst. Once again, the old have really screwed the young.

        Reply
        • stingray65

          Yes the school thing was definitely stupid, but it wasn’t so much the old screwing the young, but instead it is the Democrats (and Democrat run teacher’s unions) screwing the young.

          Reply
          • Ryan

            I disagree to an extent. As Jack pointed out, there are/were a number of “Conservatives” who parrot the same lines as their blue counterparts about COVID. Many of these were those who fall into the higher risk categories.

            It’s not unfair to say that nearly all of these COVID measures were meant to protect our elders at the expense of younger generations. This may not be a popular opinion, but I have yet to see any evidence to the contrary.

          • stingray65

            I’m sure there are some, but I personally don’t know any elderly Republicans who thought it was smart to shut down the whole economy and schools in order to protect people with one foot in the grave (including themselves). Most of the Covid Nazis are young/middle-aged single women – the number one constituency of the Democrat party and teacher’s unions.

          • dejal

            Actually replying to your 4:13 PM post.
            I fall in that category.
            If “They” had focused on the ones most susceptible to COVID I doubt we’d be in the situation we are in.

            I fall into the old guy with issues category. I want to be saved. I don’t think you should screw up everyone’s lives to save me.

            I doubt if that was done that way, the body count would be much different, but the damage to society would be much less.

          • Rick T.

            Also an older conservative but no comorbidity issues other than age. I told my doctor two years ago that we should put our efforts into protecting the vulnerable and let the rest of society get on with their business and lives. This would have all been over by the first summer. Yet here we are.

        • Ronnie Schreiber

          Secular leftists have put their children (and others’ children as well) at great disadvantage to the kids going to parochial schools. My grandsons’ yeshiva has had in-school classes throughout the pandemic. They required masks for a while but not this year. I had to drop off a package at the Post Office and had the six year old with me. Since USPS facilities seem to be demanding fealty to the mask regime I had to scrounge around in the car for a mask for him (I keep a mask I had custom printed with “This Only Protects Feelings” in my back pocket for when property owners require masks, I’m against mandates but try to respect property rights). I found a poorly fitting adult sized surgical style mask that was literally hanging off his face, but hey, it complied with their silly rule.

          Reply
  14. Ryan

    When did Matt Fellow go from the guy DDing a Raptor in LA to drinking the “trucks are evil” Koolaid?

    I unfollowed him awhile back because he became insufferable with the whining. After the Merc article, I went back and he seemed to have doubled down on spewing nonsense.

    Reply
    • Ronnie Schreiber

      There’s nothing wrong with being born on third base, as long as you don’t think you’ve gotten there by hitting a triple yourself. My late uncle made a successful mortgage company and savings & loan out of a $150,000 loan from his father in the late 1940s. His father came to the U.S. as a poor 17 year old, and four years later he was a practicing attorney. He ended up doing a lot of title work for small landlords, which got him into real estate, which was why he was able to loan his son that much money. It’s not a matter of getting dealt a good hand, it’s a matter of playing the cards you are dealt well. By the way, my uncle’s father required a complete business plan before he loaned the money, which was earnest money needed to participate in the then new VA & FHA housing loan programs.

      Reply
      • Ronnie Schreiber

        FWIW, I think the fellow who daily drove a Raptor is a different guy than the one referenced in the story, notwithstanding Raptor driver’s limousine liberal stance on Twitter.

        Reply
        • Ryan

          That very well could be. The first name/last initial clicked in my head and that’s whose “voice” I channeled when reading the article.

          I still stand behind my statements regardless of who the article may or may not be referencing.

          Reply
      • Ryan

        I don’t take offense to him growing up with wealth. Some of my friends have money, others don’t have a pot to piss in. If anything, I am more critical of the latter knowing that they came from a similar middle-class background and squandered it.

        Based upon what I’ve seen, Matt has doubled down on woke bullshit in recent years. Maybe it’s performative bullshit that’s popular with the coastal elite these days. It’s not my place to say really. All I know is that I got sick of hearing the guy complain about everything.

        Reply
  15. anatoly arutunoff

    i think it was that the packard was more ponderous. i drove ’em both wide open. tom mccahill said a packard sedan would do 104–that was the 4,000rpm power peak. the caribbean would do that; i timed it on the 10-mile new highway with section roads 1 mile apart. the caddy would bury the 115mph speedo needle. i never timed it but i’m sure it was more than 104!

    Reply
    • stingray65

      I’m sure the OHV short crank Caddy V-8 could out-rev the long spindly crankshaft of a flathead Packard straight 8 (even one with 9 main bearings), but the Packard was smoother.

      Reply
    • stingray65

      I seem to recall that when Briggs Cunningham took 2 Cadillacs to LeMans in 1950 that they got valve float at about 4,400 RPM, which equated to about 115-120 mph on the Mulsanne straight.

      It really demonstrates how far Cadillac fell, when a basically stock 61 coupe could finish 10th overall in the 24 Hours of LeMans in 1950 against the top sports cars of the time, and only 30 years later they were building among the slowest luxury cars in the world. I also highly doubt the 105 HP Olds Diesel or 125 HP HT 4100 would last 24 hours in competition.

      Reply
      • John C.

        While the Briggs Cunningham stuff is interesting, it probably reflects disarray among early post war European sports car makers. Given the cross purposes of building a sports and a luxury car, taking Cadillacs to Lemans was a stunt, like when Mercedes in the 1970s put a few TD 5s in C-111s at Nardo.

        To hear female C/D tell it, the CT5 Blackwing is a better M5 than a M5.Yet it isn’t saving them and isn’t solving the longings of those who want a real Cadillac. No you can’t have a Fleetwood, a Seville or an Eldorado. Instead we are going to go down building better, cheaper M5s, so those that hate us will be owned. A surer blueprint for failure than a 4100, to make a car that buyers like sellable.

        Reply
        • stingray65

          It wasn’t a stunt to bring Cadillac to LeMans. Briggs was a real patriot and wanted to showcase American technology in Europe, and Cadillac had arguably the most advanced and powerful motor in the world in 1950. From what I understand, when he decided to build his own sports car he originally planned to use the Cadillac V-8, but GM wouldn’t sell them to him so he got the Chrysler Hemi instead (with 20 more HP, but also substantially more weight).

          Virtually everyone likes a fast car, especially buyers of luxury brands who pay more so they can brag about being better than the guy who can only afford a cheaper brand. Cadillacs were known for being fast cars from the 1949 launch of the high compression OHV V-8 until the early 70s when emission regulations really killed performance in what was essentially a bigger version of same motor they launched in 1949 (yes I know if was a newer generation, but it was still a cast-iron carbureted OHV V-8), but in a much heavier and larger car (but without any more room inside). If Cadillac has invested in some technology and quality instead of constantly cheapening their interiors and gutting their performance during the 1970s and 80s they would have never had to spend the last 30+ years “rebuilding” their reputation with M5 clones, and X5 clones, and 3 series clones, and BMW, MB, Lexus, Acura, and Volvo would still be niche brands (if they existed at all) in the US market.

          Reply
          • John C.

            Thanks for doing the research Ronnie. 98mph seems almost doable, in the sense of the stunt 80s Saab turbos at oval Talladega that the speed called to mind. Perhaps use a 78 Eldo that was a few inches lower to the ground than the sedans and for 78 had a standard FI 425 to go with it’s 31.7mph/per 1000 rpm direct drive third. At under 3200rpm no rods thrown, Smokey Yunich once said in MI that if you were 15% below redline you were okay for durability, talking about a cvcc Honda. The 5 mph 5200 hundred pound bumpers will push aside Euro trash like Dame Diana Rigg/Contessa Theresa in her big M with Mini Coopers and 1st gen Escorts when she was On Her Majesty’s Secret Service in 69. Just use the cruise control and have a chilled thermos of old fashioned.

          • stingray65

            I’d certainly pay to see a mostly stock 78 Eldorado try to maintain a 98 mph average around the LeMans circuit.

          • Carmine

            How about a Seville with F-body WS6 suspension parts, Olds 350 with W31 components and a SuperT10 in the tunnel?

            That would be my Cadiilac choice for LeMans in 79……

  16. anatoly arutunoff

    someone wrote ‘way back when, that briggs asked cadillac what their cam specs were and they said something to the effect that they’d used the same cam from ??possibly the ’30s, at least the ohv cam was the same as the flathead–they obviously didn’t care. that’s when briggs decided to go with the chrysler for his ‘production’ cars

    Reply
    • CJinSD

      That’s amazing! I just read an article by Leon Mandel written when he borrowed your Ferrari Boxer to test consumer reactions in a supermarket parking lot. I was amused that a friend of yours broke the car before he could drive it.

      Reply
  17. KoR

    My only comment on the issue presented is a hair West Wing-ian in desire, but boy would it be cool and good if a lot of the “conservatives” could get with the “extreme left” of the country and just talk about some shit. Quiiiiiite a lot of similarities in ideology once you get far enough. I say this as someone who donates every year to the socialist rifle association and considers themselves something closer to an anarchist than anything else. So it goes.

    The OTHER question I have is entirely irrelevant to the topic at hand, but Jack (or the rest of the esteemed commentariat) how do you feel about the new gen Volvo S60s? They have escaped much of the appreciation surge because no one really cares about them. A quick test drive and their outstanding CPO program has me strongly considering one to replace my Giulia for my 30k miles per year of driving the I95 Corridor.

    Reply
      • stingray65

        Has any automaker besides BMW announced that they will continue to develop new ICVs and IC motors and components?

        Reply
        • hank chinaski

          Mazda. They have been making hybrid noises across the lines, but are still improving upon Skyactive. There was a patent filed for a 3 rotor hybrid, but I won’t hold my breath.

          Reply
      • KoR

        Well, the CPO warranty is both bumper-to-bumper and also 10 years/unlimited miles from the in-service date. So, there would be a legal contract stating that they would care about the ICE engine in my slightly used Volvo until at least that long.

        I don’t really see how what you’re saying is relevant at all, truthfully. I don’t care if they switch to exclusively EVs in 2028 as I will a) almost certainly not have the car by then anyway and b) has absolutely zero effect on what I think of the 2019 I’m looking at. Just a weird point you seem to be trying to make here, man.

        Reply
        • John C.

          Could you tell us how you liked your Giuiia? The reputation for reliability is not the greatest but they are perhaps the sportiest of the near lux sedans.

          On the S60, this generation shrunk the gas tank so highway range with a T5 is only 400 or so miles. I would want mine to have the Inscription interior and the pro pilot assist for a road tripper.

          Reply
          • KoR

            Love, love, love the Giulia as a driving experience. I’m nothing approaching a good driver so take this with a million grains of salt, but it’s so wonderfully charismatic. The steering is incredibly precise, sharp, and accurate. The suspension and chassis are dialed in just about perfectly. It’s fast enough (~280hp or so), handles like a dream, stunning to look at in Misano Blue, and even gets shockingly decent gas mileage. I’m right around 29mpg over the past 12k miles. The engine is the least characterful thing they could have possibly shoved into the car, which is bizarre, but it is at least effective.

            However.

            However.

            The base seats are miserable. Not enough cushion and the bottoms pads physically aren’t long enough. Have to stretch for a minute after every long-ish drive. My legs cramp up some. It’s not great.

            The build quality is pretty bad, in typical FCA fashion. At 34k miles, there are a lot of weird rattles and quirks that continue to manifest is odd ways. For example, it refuses to take a gas nozzle unless it’s upside down. Been to the dealer several times, and it’s never been fixed.

            It hates the cold. The sunroof rattles like mad and the engine makes horrible noises until it warms up a bit. I get it’s not alone here, but this particular engine tries its best to never be heard, so it’s a touch concerning.

            Backup camera also shuts off from time to time for no particular reason. Slamming the trunk shut a couple times cures this, though.

            My fault for buying a lesser model, but the stereo is horrendous, and the lack of driver assist gets a bit old on those 700 mile weeks up and down 95.

            The warranty is only 4 years/50k from in-service date. I’ll be at 50k by July. The only place that feels comfortable servicing it is the dealer, which is about an hour from me.

            And, to cap it off, because of The Current Market, is only be looking at losing like $2k from my purchase price as a trade-in. That’s not not nothing, BUT I would consider that pretty ok for 6 months and 15k miles of driving.

            Also, looking at a T6 R-Design in the delightful Fusion Red. Not the best choice, but those seats are delightful and that powertrain makes some fun supercharger whine. Also, with the warranty, I’ll never have to pay for it when it breaks.

          • John C.

            Thanks for the commentary. Reading it, I could almost hear the voice of someone talking about a 70s Alfetta.

            Best of luck with the S60!

  18. Ryan

    That very well could be. The first name/last initial clicked in my head and that’s whose “voice” I channeled when reading the article.

    I still stand behind my statements regardless of who the article may or may not be referencing.

    Reply
  19. yossarian

    you don’t really need to fantasize with how 50s or 60s media would have dealt with the pandemic because there were pandemics in both decades. there were terrible flu outbreaks in ’59 and ’68. the vulnerable were quarantined and doctors used there own judgement on providing early treatment. the media didn’t fear monger and the event slipped into history as a footnote.

    Reply
  20. anatoly arutunoff

    my dad said hiring cohn was a stroke of genius: a homosexual jew. this cut off 2 avenues of potential attack by mccarthy’s enemies. i still have dad’s “i’m for mccarthy” button; i wore it occasionally longlong ago to trick folks into thinking i was for ‘clean gene.’

    Reply
  21. anatoly arutunoff

    it didn’t break; someone at the factory didn’t tighten a radiator hose clamp! o the stories i could tell about getting the car legal and selling it…

    Reply
  22. stingray65

    I’ve been feeling an empty hole in my life that last week or so, and I couldn’t figure out why. But then I realized I hadn’t been called a racist, liar, coward, or fake conservative by our Golden State Nate during the last several RG essays from Jack and Tom. Anyone know why Nate has gone silent? If you are reading this Nate, please let us know if you are ok – I wish you the best.

    Reply
    • Eric L.

      He’s probably just busy. Still reading, but has too much going on to reply. I, personally, enjoy his essential – Nate – ness.

      Reply
      • Jack Baruth Post author

        My concern is that he’s dead, either from COVID or from the street trash of whom he says he does not live in fear.

        Nate is a wonderful example of those gentle souls who truly believe that they can secure peace by complete and abject submission to the prevailing morals and assumptions of the moment. At best these people are only humiliated over time; at worst they are trampled.

        Reply
        • dejal

          It’s feast or famine with him. You get ______——-^^^^^^—–_____ intensity. When he’s at the ^ level, I wouldn’t be surprised he’ll “show” us (though we can’t see) how he can interact with feral animals. That interaction reenforces him and his “I’m not afraid…”

          I hope it’s not a Timothy Treadwell/Grizzly Man situation. “See? They are peaceful”.

          Reply
          • CJinSD

            Nate is still actively commenting on Curbside Classic. Maybe he is more comfortable with the moderation style that silences anyone who doesn’t hold approved viewpoints.

  23. anatoly arutunoff

    this sounda goofy; it’ll never happen, but consider: letting only women vote in this election, only men in the next. there’d be incredible insight into the country’s specific attitudes on many many things

    Reply
  24. sgeffe

    Ronnie, that damned construction zone on I-75 just south of Downtown Toledo has been the bane of my existence since 2018! ODOT FINALLY got the part between the second exit past the Maumee, Wales Road, and the next exit, Buck Road, a couple miles further south, finished late last year. But my daily commute since fall of 2018 has been a nightmare! Two lanes, and as I’ve said here and on TTAC, most of the sheep..uhh..DRIVERS around these parts think nothing of texting and driving, or doing anything else BUT paying attention to driving, but woe to someone who’s running late, or just wants to drive at their preferred pace, because aforementioned sheep have never seen a speed limit that they would willingly exceed, and of course, a certain percentage of said sheep will pull in front of you in the inside lane, when there’s a ZIP Code’s worth of space behind you, just so they can project their alleged moral superiority on you! (And to add insult to injury, those same idiots are always the ones who can’t be bothered to merge into freeway traffic at over 45mph! I don’t get up to the Detroit area, where you’ll be run over at the posted 55mph, and where there’s some semblance of LANE DISCIPLINE present, as much as I used to, and I miss it!)

    I have my adaptive cruise set to 74mph in that zone regardless, especially since the “nine you’re fine, ten you’re mine” maxim seems to be the MO of the Ohio Highway Patrol; I didn’t see a Charger belonging to aforementioned LEO establishment in the median as I was proceeding NB towards the beginning of the construction zone the other week in light to moderate traffic, and at 74mph, he would have had me dead to rights. But he didn’t move!

    How close to the decennial Ohio State shellacking by that (superior) team up north was that encounter that you witnessed in that zone before Har-Blow descended back into the mediocrity which passes for college football in Ann Arbor when Georgia disemboweled them on New Year’s Eve? That could have had something to do with it! Entropy was restored, and now I’m sure the beatdown in Columbus next year will be in the triple digits!

    Reply
    • CJinSD

      Is it worse that the government expanded their propaganda efforts to include the US, or is it worse that their propaganda was designed to make the rest of the world hate the US and this act was enacted so they could make US residents hate their country too?

      Reply

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