As the revolt of the Yellow Vest spreads to France’s neighboring countries, the French President and self avowed “Roman god Jupiter” has abandoned his energy tax increases. The significance of this move needs to be understood in terms of the effect, i.e. the loss of an estimated €4 billion in tax revenue. This revenue deficit […]
Americans have always had a love affair with their automobiles. And… we likes ’em big.
No one had ever heard of a compact or subcompact before the ’70s oil crisis. And, now that the eco-clowns have been marginalized, it seems that fewer and fewer people are as concerned about fuel economy. Bigger vehicles have always proven to be safer if you happen to be in a collision. Couple that with the fact that your visibility is better, that you can see more from higher off the deck, and you can haul more stuff… little, vehicles are on their way out.
Maybe arabs still buy sedans… I’m not sure.
Big is Back.
Text from the link in italics below. You know… in case you’re sketchy about clicking on links.
The company which first successfully mass-marketed cars will soon no longer be selling any.
Well, not many.
Other than the Mustang and maybe a version of the Focus, the only “cars” Ford will be selling in the future will be jacked-up cars (crossover SUVs) and a few real SUVs – the ones based on trucks, like the F-150-based Expedition and Lincoln Navigator.
The reason for the giving up on cars has to do with the giving up of buyers on cars. It’s not Ford cars, per se. It is cars, generally. Toyota and Honda are having trouble selling cars, too. Including two of their cars – respectively, the Camry sedan and the Accord sedan – which have for decades been the best-selling cars on the road.
But getting to be less so.
For example, in March Honda sold about 24,000 Accords nationwide. Last March (2017) Honda sold almost 27,000 of them. And back in March of 2014, they sold almost 34,000.
Sales of the best-selling (well, it was) Toyota Camry are also down. This March, about 35,000 were sold. Back in March of 2014, almost 42,000 were sold.
Both the Accord and the Camry are new models, too. The higher numbers listed above were for sales of the old models. Usually, when a popular car is given a major makeover, people buy more of them. The fact that people are buying fewer is, as the saying goes, not good news.
The news is worse over at Ford.
Well, for Ford cars.
Only about 3,100 people bought a new Taurus each month for the year to date. Fusion sales are down by half (about 10,000 were purchased this past March vs. almost 21,000 back in March of 2014). The Fiesta’s free-falling, too: just under 5,000 of them sold this March vs. about 6,500 of them in March of 2014.
It’s hardly worth the effort. Which is why no more effort will be exerted.
Meanwhile, sales of the Expedition – a full-size SUV – have almost doubled over the same period. This March, Ford found buyers for about 5,600 of the just-updated 2018 Expedition (my review of this big ballsy bus is here) vs. 3,700 sold back in March of 2014. The Expedition’s upmarket twin – the Lincoln Navigator – is also doing even better.
Now you know why Ford has decided to stop selling cars and focus – couldn’t resist – on SUVs (and crossover SUVs) instead. It is not unlikely that other car companies will follow this lead, possibly even Honda and Toyota. But the question which is rarely asked (to borrow a line from The Chimp) is . . . why aren’t cars selling well anymore?
Could it be because they are too damned small?
When sedans ruled America’s roads, they were big. Six people could ride. Huge trunks, with plenty of room for whatever you needed to carry. And there were station wagons based on those cars, which had room for even more. The biggest of them could carry as many as nine people.
But they’re all gone now.
Did the market lose interest?
Certainly not. The interest merely shifted – to crossovers and SUVs. Which are big in the way that cars used to be. But aren’t anymore – for the most part – because of the pressure to make them ever-smaller, for the sake of achieving compliance with the government’s fuel efficiency decrees.
SUVs were born of these decrees. They came into existence as a way to get around the decrees – which initially targeted “passenger cars” but not “light trucks.” These “light trucks” were given enclosed beds, with seats bolted to them.
Crossovers – which came later – emulated the idea, but used cars as the building blocks. By this time, the fuel efficiency decrees applied generally – so the crossovers had to comply, too. But people had gotten used to – and really liked – the jacked-up ride height and even if the crossover was based on a smaller car, it still had much more room inside (especially for cargo) than a comparably-sized car. There’s only so much you can do with a trunk – especially if the car isn’t a full-sized land yacht such as average Americans were once able to buy.
But can’t afford to anymore because really big cars are almost all high-end (and high-cost) luxury cars well out of their financial reach.
Most current mass-market cars are mid-sized or smaller. The biggest of them have maybe 16 cubic foot trunks. Most are smaller than that. A same-sized (in terms of its footprint) crossover will usually have at least twice the space behind its back seats – and with those seats folded down, the available space opens up to three or even four times the space you get in the same-sized car’s trunk.
Crossovers and SUVs compensate for what’s been done to cars by Uncle.
47 dead here but there may be many more, just lately a doctor killed himself in the kitchen (with a knife to his own heart) weeks before his testifying against Hillary.All of these folks are indeed dead and it might all just be a tragic coincidence— But I wouldn’t want to be on their list of associates (just to be on the safe side)!!!!!!!!!!!
This is what happens when you have dirt on the Clintons :
1 – James McDougal – Clinton’s convicted Whitewater partner died of an apparent heart attack, while in solitary confinement. He was a key witness in Ken Starr’s investigation.
2 – Mary Mahoney – A former White House intern was murdered July 1997 at a Starbucks Coffee Shop in Georgetown. The murder happened just after she was to go public with her story of sexual harassment in the White House.
3 – Vince Foster – Former white House councilor, and colleague of Hillary Clinton at Little Rock’s Rose Law firm. Died of a gunshot wound to the head, ruled a suicide.
4 – Ron Brown – Secretary of Commerce and former DNC Chairman. Reported to have died by impact in a plane crash. A pathologist close to the investigation reported that there was a hole in the top of Brown’s skull resembling a gunshot wound. At the time of his death Brown was being investigated, and spoke publicly of his willingness to cut a deal with prosecutors.
5 – C. Victor Raiser II and Montgomery Raiser, Major players in the Clinton fund raising organization died in a private plane crash in July 1992.
6 – Paul Tulley – Democratic National Committee Political Director found dead in a hotel room in Little Rock, September 1992… Described by Clinton as a “Dear friend and trusted advisor.”
7- Ed Willey – Clinton fund raiser, found dead November 1993 deep in the woods in VA of a gunshot wound to the head. Ruled a suicide. Ed Willey died on the same day his wife Kathleen Willey claimed Bill Clinton groped her in the oval office in the White House. Ed Willey was involved in several Clinton fund raising events.
8 – Jerry Parks – Head of Clinton’s gubernatorial security team in Little Rock. Gunned down in his car at a deserted intersection outside Little Rock. Park’s son said his father was building a dossier on Clinton. He allegedly threatened to reveal this information. After he died the files were mysteriously removed from his house.
9 – James Bunch – Died from a gunshot suicide. It was reported that he had a “Black Book” of people which contained names of influential people who visited prostitutes in Texas and Arkansas.
10 – James Wilson – Was found dead in May 1993 from an apparent hanging suicide. He was reported to have ties to Whitewater.
11- Kathy Ferguson, ex-wife of Arkansas Trooper Danny Ferguson, was found dead in May 1994, in her living room with a gunshot to her head. It was ruled a suicide even though there were several packed suitcases, as if she were going somewhere. Danny Ferguson was a co-defendant along with Bill Clinton in the Paula Jones lawsuit. Kathy Ferguson was a possible corroborating witness for Paula Jones.
12 – Bill Shelton – Arkansas State Trooper and fiancee of Kathy Ferguson. Critical of the suicide ruling of his fiancee, he was found dead in June, 1994 of a gunshot wound also ruled a suicide at the grave site of his fiancee.
13 – Gandy Baugh – Attorney for Clinton’s friend Dan Lassater, died by jumping out a window of a tall building January, 1994. His client was a convicted drug distributor.
14 – Florence Martin – Accountant & sub-contractor for the CIA, was related to the Barry Seal Mena Airport drug smuggling case. He died of three gunshot wounds.
15 – Suzanne Coleman – Reportedly had an affair with Clinton when he was Arkansas Attorney General. Died of a gunshot wound to the back of the head, ruled a suicide. Was pregnant at the time of her death.
16 – Paula Grober – Clinton’s speech interpreter for the deaf from 1978 until her death December 9, 1992. She died in a one car accident.
17 – Danny Casolaro – Investigative reporter. Investigating Mena Airport and Arkansas Development Finance Authority. He slit his wrists, apparently, in the middle of his investigation.
18 – Paul Wilcher – Attorney investigating corruption at Mena Airport with Casolaro and the 1980 “October Surprise” was found dead on a toilet June 22, 1993 in his Washington DC apartment. Had delivered a report to Janet Reno three weeks before his death
19 – Jon Parnell Walker – Whitewater investigator for Resolution Trust Corp. Jumped to his death from his Arlington, Virginia apartment balcony August15, 1993. He was investigating the Morgan Guarantee scandal.
20 – Barbara Wise – Commerce Department staffer. Worked closely with Ron Brown and John Huang. Cause of death unknown. Died November 29, 1996. Her bruised, nude body was found locked in her office at the Department of Commerce.
21- Charles Meissner – Assistant Secretary of Commerce who gave John Huang special security clearance, died shortly thereafter in a small plane crash.
22 – Dr. Stanley Heard – Chairman of the National Chiropractic Health Care Advisory Committee, died with his attorney Steve Dickson in a small plane crash. Dr. Heard, in addition to serving on Clinton’s advisory council personally treated Clinton’s mother, stepfather and brother.
23 – Barry Seal – Drug running pilot out of Mena, Arkansas, death was no accident.
24 – Johnny Lawhorn Jr. – Mechanic, found a check made out to Bill Clinton in the trunk of a car left at his repair shop. He was found dead after his car had hit a utility pole.
25 – Stanley Huggins – Investigated Madison Guarantee His death was a purported suicide and his report was never released.
26- Hershell Friday – Attorney and Clinton fund raiser died March 1, 1994 when his plane exploded.
27 – Kevin Ives and Don Henry – Known as “The boys on the track” case. Reports say the boys may have stumbled upon the Mena Arkansas airport drug operation. A controversial case, the initial report of death said, due to falling asleep on railroad tracks. Later reports claim the two boys had been slain before being placed on the tracks. Many linked to the case died before their testimony could come before a Grand Jury.
THE FOLLOWING PERSONS HAD INFORMATION ON THE IVES/HENRY CASE:
28 – Keith Coney – Died when his motorcycle slammed into the back of a truck, July 1988.
29 – Keith McMaskle – Died stabbed 113 times, Nov, 1988
30 – Gregory Collins – Died from a gunshot wound January 1989.
31 – Jeff Rhodes – He was shot, mutilated and found burned in a trash dump in April 1989.
33 – James Milan – Found decapitated. However, the Coroner ruled his death was due to “natural causes.”
34 – Jordan Kettleson – Was found shot to death in the front seat of his pickup truck in June 1990.
35 – Richard Winters – A suspect in the Ives / Henry deaths. He was killed in a set-up robbery July 1989.
THE FOLLOWING CLINTON BODYGUARDS ARE DEAD: 36 – Major William S. Barkley Jr. 37 – Captain Scott J. Reynolds 38 – Sgt. Brian Hanley 39 – Sgt. Tim Sabel 40 – Major General William Robertson 41 – Col. William Densberger 42 – Col. Robert Kelly 43 – Spec. Gary Rhodes 44 – Steve Willis 45 – Robert Williams 46 – Conway LeBleu 47 – Todd McKeehan
I have said this, exact thing since Charlottesville eight or nine months ago. There is a post about it at the time on this blog:
In any case, the z man is correct. Assorted nuts and fruits are assorted nuts and fruits. Irrespective of where they say they fall on the political spectrum. Distance yourselves from goofballs. Of every stripe.
Text from the link pasted below:
By all accounts, the alt-right is at a crossroads. The movement that started as an internet phenomenon and blossomed into a full-blown political force in the 2016 election, has stumbled in the past year. Most people peg the start of the trouble at the Charlottesville riots, which were used to paint the alt-right as a bunch of torch wielding Nazis. Others put the blame on the personalities and their endless bickering. Of course, the troubles are exaggerated, but there’s no doubt that the movement is in a difficult patch.
In order for the alt-right to get out of the ditch and become an effective political voice, the leaders of the various groups within the alt-right have to stop screwing up. The number of unforced errors over the last year, by big names in the alt-right, leave people with the impression the movement is not serious. Leaders need to be something more than gags on-line. They have to be a respectable face to a skeptical public. That means being careful and prudent in their public actions. That’s not what has happened over the last year.
The first thing the alt-right needs to do is figure out how it got tangled up with people who turned out to be unstable or unreliable. Starting with Charlottesville, that has been the thread running through all of the stumbles. There’s always a wacko involved. Whether it was a “crying Nazi” at Charlottesville or a tubby cuckold at Michigan, the source of trouble has been people who should never have been given a place at the table. You cannot make up with enthusiasm what you lack in prudence, maturity and intelligence.
Fringe politics can be a lonely place, so it is tempting to welcome everyone, but this is why the Libertarian Party is full of goofballs. The trick is to avoid the temptation to embrace all comers and be skeptical of converts. Some are sincere and full of enthusiasm. These are the foot soldiers that add energy to a movement. Some are attention whores, looking for a cheap stage. Others are unstable loudmouths who like turmoil. A little skepticism about the new converts allows the movement leaders to avoid getting mixed up with nutjobs.
Another way of not inviting the troubles of others into your movement is to not get too close to the other movements. Quiet alliances can be quietly dissolved when they become inconvenient. The alt-right, which largely appeals to college educated suburban males, had no business locking shields with groups like the Traditional Workers Party at public events. Their thing is not your thing and the best way to avoid conflict is to keep a healthy distance. That way, you don’t pay for their mistakes, as has been the case with the TWP.
That’s the other thing that has to be front and center. The groups that have been operating on the fringe for generations have been on the fringe because they are either doing something wrong or they like the fringe. It’s always wise to be cautious of the older groups trying to hitch their wagon to your star. Charlottesville was not about “uniting the right”. It was crabs in the bucket pulling you back down into the bucket with them. A successful mass movement, in this age, will be one that is free of those of the prior age.
Dissident politics, like revolutionary politics, depends upon reliable communication and operational security. In all ages, especially this age, these can come into conflict. Making yourself available to speak to the people, make you vulnerable, and not just physically vulnerable. It makes your message vulnerable to corruption by others beyond your control. Effective communications means controlling the message, which is why the people in charge invest so heavily in monopolizing the media platforms.
Building your own media and supporting the media that supports you is the key. Here is a lesson that can be learned from the New Left. They avoided the mainstream press and instead relied on independent media. They would charge reporters for access to their events. In our age, it means never going on mainstream shows unless they are live, and never agreeing to print interviews. It also means not getting into fights with people on social media. You are the message. Your movement will judged by how you are judged.
This has the added benefit of not inviting attacks from the Left. The last year, from the perspective of an outsider, has looked like the alt-right picking a fight with the people in charge, only to be squashed like a bug. That’s bad optics. When you can’t even hold a luncheon for your people, without being harassed by the Left, it’s time to accept reality and become less public. The alt-right needs to be like an iceberg with a small public face above the water line and large rank and file underneath the water line.
Another thing the alt-right needs to understand is this is not 1920’s Germany or 1960’s America. The people in charge are not weak like the Weimar Republic and they are not complacent like the post-war American ruling class. The Nazis filled the vacuum left from the collapse of German ruling class after the war. The New Left was able to roll to victory because the people in charge at the time, were largely sympathetic and even a bit envious. Today, the people in charge are not weak and they are not sympathetic.
Those movements are not good models for today’s fight. Brawling with state sponsored goons like Antifa is a fool’s errand. Antifa has the backing of the Left and all the money from the billionaires they need. Similarly, demanding to go on campus, on free speech grounds, hoping to shame the Left with their hypocrisy, does nothing but display a fundamental misunderstanding of the opponent. The people running the college campus know that game backward and forward. There’s no beating them at a game they designed.
A better model is something like Irish nationalism. Ultimately, they were effective when they combined a guerrilla movement that operated in the shadows and a political movement that kept its distance from the fighters. We’re not in a world of car bombings and targeted assassinations, but we are in an age when an energetic social media troll can wreak havoc on the prevailing narrative. A guy putting up “It’s OK To Be White” signs around a Progressive hive is the modern version of the car bomb. It does real damage.
That gets to the heart of why the alt-right has stumbled of late. The alt-right had momentum when one wing stuck to making sensible arguments about the demographic reality of our age and what it means for the future. Meanwhile, the other wing took these ideas and used them in the meme war and comment sections of web sites. The reason the people in charge are dumping comment sections and purging social media of anyone with a whiff of heresy is they fear this more than anything. The alt-right needs to get back to what works.
This is a big subject that requires a lot more debate, but effective activism focuses on the effective, not on helping e-celebs get mentioned by Lefty. For dissidents, effective activism makes the strong side look weak and makes the dissidents look smart. If the organizers at Charlottesville had stopped at the Friday night event, and backed out of the rally on Saturday citing safety concerns, the ensuing riot would have been blamed on the other side. You would have effectively used their size against them by being clever.
Of course, the alt-right could only have pulled off such a move at Charlottesville if it was better organized. The overall lack of organization is killing the alt-right. There has to be small local groups of people who trust one another and will cooperate with other local groups, as long as leadership trusts them. This is a basic organizing technique. There should be alt-right clubs all over the country. They should be social clubs that focus on the politics of our age. The alt-right leaders need to focus on this rather than making noise.
Effective organizing means not airing your laundry on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Instagram. One reason competent people are not going to want to help the cause is the ridiculous habit of drama queens from the alt-right making grand announcements on social media. When Evan McLaren wants to move on to other things, he should tender his resignation in private like a man, not post it on Twitter like he is Milo promoting some new media scheme. High quality people do not want any part of this. It has to stop.
Finally, the leaders of the alt-right need to understand that in an information war, the message has to be effective against the target. When Mike Enoch says, “no one has a right to be around white people,” that is highly effective, because it states a simple truth in a way that gets the target audience to think of themselves as white. It speaks to people at a personal level.The whole point of the alt-right, allegedly, is to get white people to think of themselves as white. Anything that distracts from that must be avoided.
Way back in the olden thymes, Buckley Conservatism got going because it spoke to the masses of people revolted by what they saw going on with the Left. Bill Buckley never would have amounted to anything if there was not a willing audience, waiting for someone to provide intellectual leadership. Whatever that brand of conservatism became in the long run, it started as a group of smart guys, who took their task seriously. Most important, they exploited an eager market looking for an alternative to what was emerging on the Left.
The alt-right is in a very similar position. There are millions of white people looking around at what is happening in America, wondering why they are doing this to us. Fundamentally, and most importantly, the message of the alt-right is sound. It offers whites a reason to fight for their interests and cheer for their team. What must come next is a class of respectable spokesman and leaders who add weight to this message and organize people as a political force. It’s time for the alt-right leaders to take the next step or step aside.