Beria's Technique... As Applied to VW

GM Picks up the Pieces... Maybe

2017 Nissan Armada

End of The Month Push

2017 Nissan Armada

Well, they all do it. Sell lesser – and nicer – versions of their big SUVs. For less – and…

End of The Month Push

Last month, I was able to afford to have an IT guy take a look at the site and fix…

New Car Reviews

2017 Nissan Armada

17-armada-lead

Well, they all do it. Sell lesser – and nicer – versions of their big SUVs. For less – and more – money. GM has the Chevy Tahoe… and the GMC Yukon. There’s the Cadillac Escalade, too. Same basic thing, sold three different ways- each progressively fancier and (of course) more expensive. The Tahoe, for example, shares its frame and basic layout with its pricier GMC and Cadillac-badged siblings. But…

2017 Fiat 500X

17-500x-lead

You know what “Fiat” stands for, right? Fix it again, Tony. Well, they keep on trying. The 500 coupe – which is small and cute like the Mini Cooper – isn’t selling like the Mini. And the larger, less cute 500 L isn’t selling at all. Fiat needs a winner. Maybe a Jeep will do. Like the Jeep Renegade – which does sell.   Enter – sbrigati! –  the 500X. It’s the Italian cousin…

2017 Hyundai Sante Fe

17-sf-lead

What makes Crest better than Colgate? Pity the copywriter whose job it is to come up with … something. And the car journalist whose job it is to explain what makes crossover A superior to crossover B. The theme song from Weeds plays… . But, every now and then, they throw you a bone. Something different to hang your hat on. Like two different wheelbases and seating configurations (five or…

2017 Mercedes C300

17-c300-lead

Conan told us what is best in life:  Crush enemies, see them driven before you. Hear the lamentations of their women. It’s a good description of the Mercedes C coupe. Which can be ordered with engines ranging from a turbo four to a turbo V8 – with a twin turbo V6 in the middle. Horspower ranges from 241 in the turbo four C300 to 503 in the C63 AMG –…

2017 Mazda CX-9

'17 CX-9 road 5

Which major car company only sells four cylinder-powered cars? The answer is surprising. It’s Mazda. It’s surprising because Mazda is the “zoom zoom” brand – and four cylinder engines are not generally known for having much of that. Particularly when installed in a full-size (three row) crossover SUV like the CX-9. It is the only big crossover SUV that doesn’t at least offer V6 power. Several of its rivals –…

2017 Ford Transit Connect

2011 Transit Connect

Minivans used to be practical, inexpensive and – most of all – mini. They are still practical. If you’d like something that’s also inexpensive, practical and mini, you might want to check out the Ford Transit Connect and its two chief rivals, the Nissan NV200 and the Dodge Ram ProMaster City (which is also mini except for its name). All three are retakes on the original minivan concept: They’re about the…

Politics

Beria’s Technique… As Applied to VW

beria-lead

The trick is keeping your victim alive… so that the beatings can continue. That was Lavrenti Beria’s dictum. Beria was Stalin’s secret police chief, the Soviet version of Nazi Germany’s SS chief, Heinrich Himmler. (Stalin actually referred to Beria this way when he introduced him to Hitler’s foreign minister, Joachim Ribbentrop, during the latter’s visit to Moscow to sign the NonAggression Pact that led to the dismemberment of Poland and WW II.) Anyhow, the principle. Make them suffer. This is the policy of the U.S. Justice Department, which is “assessing how big a…

GM Picks up the Pieces… Maybe

equinox-diesel-image

Diesels are coming back. Just not VW’s diesels. The German automaker, if not kaput, has tapped out of that market to focus – mea culpa! – on electric cars (which will render the company kaput, if they’re serious). Which means there are currently no affordable diesel-powered new cars available on the market, as VW was the only automaker selling them. Now it looks like GM will be selling them. Except maybe not. The affordable part, I mean. There are at least two on deck – a diesel powered version of the Chevy Cruze…

VW’s Politically Incorrect Chick Car…

mii-lead

There are men’s – and women’s – clothes. Different cut, different colors, different emphasis. No one sane complains that either derogates the other. If anything, the opposite. Women’s clothes make women look better; men’s also. It’s kind of the point. They are tailored to fit their different bodies and different preferences. Because the sexes are not the same. Either physically or – generally – in terms of their respective preferences. Products are routinely designed and marketed to appeal to one or the other, which makes sense if the object is to… er… sell…

The Always Losing Argument

dino-pic

I read an article the other day, recommended by a friend, about “conservatives” and the futility of the reactionary politics that defines them. They are always looking backward, to a time when things were “better.” But the getting there always stymies them. Well, sure. Because it doesn’t have intellectual pull. It comes off as the philosophical-political equivalent of “get off my lawn, you damned kids.” An old man fulminating about lost youth. It doesn’t sell. But arguing principles – especially good ones – does. Or at least, can. The political left has been successful…

Electric Seppuku

seppuku

You have probably watched a samurai movie – and know about Seppuku. Ritual suicide to avoid the shame of being dishonored – particularly by defeat in war. VW is in the process of committing Seppuku. The electric car serving as its samurai sword. The imbecile shame over having “cheated” government emissions tests (like “cheating” a speed trap by using a radar detector) being the motivator for the disembowelment-in-process. Which takes the form of a corporate decision to embrace the electric car shibboleth; to stake the future of the company (and whatever money’s left…

Recycled Heroes

kezeske-chase

You may recall the Catholic Church’s troubles with pedophile priests. The trouble wasn’t just that some priests had an interest in little kids. It was that the Church was interested in covering it up. One way this was done, it turned out, was to send a kid-touching priest to a new parish. One where the parishioners didn’t know about his interests – or his background. The same rat line is in place for armed government workers (aka, cops) who abuse citizens – and the law – in the “line of duty.” They might get fired but…