23 March, 2012

As Promised: The Scourge of 2WD SUVs

There are literally MILES and MILES of gorgeous, pristine beachfront along the Atlantic coast of North Carolina's Outer Banks largely included within the Cape Hatteras National Seashore and the right to traverse those beaches, a right which has been enjoyed by generations of residents and visitors alike has been threatened by the yankee government. Read more about that HERE

For decades it has been a foregone conclusion that if you traveled to Rodanthe, Waves, Kitty Hawk, Corolla, Buxton, Irmo or Ocracoke you would need a 4WD truck, Jeep or SUV (formerly known as a "truck") to conquer the barrier sand dunes and foray out onto the shore. It seemed you couldn't swing a cat without hitting a set of 44" Mickey Thompsons or TSL Thornbirds. The people who owned, drove and LOVED their 4x4s were resourceful, sturdy and unassuming. They were kings of the road and it was unusual for anyone who did not have a legitimate, practical reason to be driving a Toyota 4Runner or Chevy Tahoe. They weren't necessarily economical. They weren't necessarily comfortable. They certainly weren't much to look at.

And then something happened in the mid-'90s. Gas prices stagnated and automobile manufacturers, inspired by obscene profits, minimal testing standards and cheap steel started to promote the SUV (Sport Utility Vehicle) to an emergent market demographic. The "minivan" (invented by Volkswagen in the '50s but commandeered by Chrysler in the '80s) and the station wagon were no longer "cool".

Let me take you back a little further. If you grew up in the '60s, '70s or even the early '80s you probably know what it was like to sit in the rumble seat in the back of a Buick or Oldsmobile touring wagon. You would stuff the car to the gills, and you and your little brother would sit in the seat furthest from mom and dad so you could make obscene hand gestures out of the back window at passing motorists.

But now the station wagon and even the minivan were losing favor. The "SUV" afforded the driver an elevated, commanding view of the road, presumed increased protection during collisions (it's a truck, right?) and the ability to carry nearly an entire pee-wee hockey team to practice, plus their gear. Many of these new, shiny products included options that beachcombers twenty years prior had only dreamed about - Pushbutton 4WD. Fold-flat seats. Modular roof racks.

But a strange thing happened next. Catty socialites and soccer moms began to appear in the driver's seats of the newest generation of behemoths. Shopping center parking lots began to fill with small land yachts being parked in as haphazard a manner as the sedans they'd once driven, but now twice the size and half the margin of error.

And even though many of these vehicles came with 4WD (or AWD) standard, the closest those vehicles would ever come to offroading is cutting the shoulder lane to beat a left-turn light. Many owners would proclaim that they could use the 4WD if it ever snowed which, in Southeastern Virginia is generally once a year, at most. But what most of these 4X4 neophytes fail to comprehend is that 4WD does not make you a better driver. It does not imbue upon you special abilities to drive through mountains of ice and snow or to stop on a dime in inclement weather. Like any other tool, it can only be utilized when its function and potential are properly understood.

Generations of North Carolinians know these things. Wait until it snows (or even rains) and see how many people in their indestructible 4WD monstrosities end up in collisions. This has further added to the danger of anyone NOT driving an iron behemoth because you are that much more likely to be pulverized by one of them in an accident. It is a simple equation when brought down to its most basic terms comes to their 5500 lb SUV bearing down on your 3500 sedan.

But that's not where it stops. Discovering that people with more money than sense (quite a lot of them) the manufacturers of these massive machines discovered that they could save thousands of dollars in manufacturing costs and sell more of these leviathans by removing one of the very components which made them so desirable in the first place - the 4WD transfer.

So now there are hundreds of thousands (if not MILLIONS) of 2WD SUVs out there being driven not as even remotely vehicles of practical convenience or UTILITY but as status symbols and grocery-getters.

America is supposedly "great" because people are free to make their own decisions and should be able to drive whatever vehicle they choose. My argument is not against the automakers who are looking to make a profit. My argument is not even against the state for licensing these passably (but barely) literate amateurs, but against the individuals for believing that they NEED a SUV. Forgetting for a minute that not a one of them knows to reduce their tire pressure before driving onto the ramp at Oregon Inlet, but let me make this perfectly clear, there is absolutely no way these vehicles should be driven onto the beach at Hatteras. Drivers of these vehicles are a danger to themselves and others and probably shouldn't be on ANY road.

To finish this argument I will share a little bit about the vehicles I drive and have driven. Presently my 2008 Dodge Dakota is a 4WD. I use the 4WD about once a week working on my property and in the summer I use it to pull my Hobie Cat onto and off of the beach at Chesapeake Park. Prior to that I owned a 2WD Dodge Dakota which I drove until the wheels nearly fell off it. I used it to haul building materials and tow the PA trailer for my band. When I needed 4WD to move my boat I borrowed my wife's GMC Jimmy, which we also took on annual trips to Hatteras and out onto the beach. Now that we have two children we purchased a Honda Pilot w/ 4WD for essentially the same purpose. We keep an offroad emergency kit aboard and a portable inflator for refilling our tires when we exit the beach.

I guess the point is that for my family 4WD has a practical and frequent use. Like thousands of families who live and work in conditions where 4WD is NECESSARY to their ability to work their jobs or maintain their homes and properties, we use trucks and SUVs for their intended purpose - doing work.

For those out there clogging the roads and driving outside your league - go home, sell your Chevy Suburban or Ford Expedition and buy a Camry. You don't need a truck. You shouldn't have one. Make the right decision.

Bill Maher: Another South-hating Liberal Mouthpiece

According to liberal pundit Bill Maher the South deserves to be as marginalized as the Irish, calling us "crackers" and implying that celebrations of our Confederate HERITAGE would involve incest.

His comparison of Southerners (citizens of an occupied nation) to Irish immigrants (with their own country quite far away) is disingenuous, and deliberately so.

Our flags wave proudly EVERY DAY proclaiming the respect our fallen ancestors deserve and true hope that our people may someday be free of the yoke of yankee oppression and occupation.

Video HERE

22 March, 2012

Slightly Off-Topic Rant

Throughout and intertwined with nearly every political narrative, national or local news story, or MPAA rating is a common thread - "Won't someone PLEASE think of the children?!"

I don't know how it works in other parts of the country (or the world, for that matter) but there is an epidemic in Southeastern Virginia - School Zones. They are EVERYWHERE. It is virtually impossible to travel from any one location to any other location in the hours most would consider reserved for transit from their homes to their jobs without passing through at least ONE, and sometimes SEVERAL school zones.

For anyone who has been living under a rock on Mars for the past fifty-some-odd years, a School Zone is designated generally by signage and amber blinking lights instructing drivers to slow from the regular speed limit (let's say 45 MPH) to the state-mandated urban residential neighborhood crawl of 25 MPH. I understand the basic premise that slower speeds may somehow prevent students who happen to live within each school's designated "walking" zones from being run over because their parents never taught them to look both ways before crossing, but strangely, I rarely see students actually WALKING up to the schools. Ever.

But never mind that. There appears to be a new and much more unnecessary purpose for these zones, and that is to facilitate all of the mommies and daddies whose little prodigies are too good to ride the bus. We no longer have JUST blinking signs and a ½-mile pub crawl, we have a crossing guard occupying space in the median stopping four lanes of traffic so that literally HUNDREDS of minivans and 2wd SUVs (a topic for another rant altogether) can queue into and out of the school's drop-off lane.

When did so many kids become too "cool" to ride the bus or so many parents become so helicopteringly overprotective that they have to actually see their children enter the school building each day to assuage some crippling fear that their child might be assaulted/abducted/injured... it borders on the ludicrous.

I remember as a child the ONLY time my mother drove me to school was when I MISSED the bus, and that was if she didn't make me walk the six-plus miles as PUNISHMENT. What happened in the past twenty years? Why are today's parents, the ones who are largely my "peers" and went to school under the same conditions that I did becoming such lameoids?

Every day the queue and the delay seems to get longer as I drive a stretch of road which, under even moderate conditions, takes about ten minutes to traverse. Sometimes there are mornings when that same trip takes over twenty minutes because of that asinine School Zone and the hundreds of inconsiderate, "I'm better, more important and my kids shouldn't have to ride the bus" interlopers.

All of this falls back to the most primary of arguments which is that public schools, on the whole, do more damage to students and communities as a whole than good. These school zones alone likely cost millions of dollars in lost man-hours and fuel spent idling as we wait for a white-gloved academy washout to flag us through an intersection choked with semi-luxury vehicles festooned with decals proclaiming whether their child is an honor student, student athlete, super citizen or gosh-darn special in any number of other ways.

06 March, 2012

Osama Bin Laden Buried At Sea? From "Suspicious" to "Unlikely"

On May 2, 2011, nearly every major news outlet in the world proclaimed the same unbelievable headline "BIN LADEN DEAD". Apparently a crack team of Navy SEaLs based out of CDSA Dam Neck engaged and/or intercepted Bin Laden, a man who has been on top of the FBI's most-wanted list since shortly after September 11, 2001 for masterminding the World Trade Center and Pentagon attacks in which commercial airliners are purported to have been flown into buildings while leaving almost no trace, causing two buildings to FREE FALL into their own footprints, a third to collapse after receiving only minor aesthetic damage, yet another to show no signs of engine nacelles or tail section impact (or debris) and yet ANOTHER leaving a debris field in middle Pennsylvania made up mostly of shredded paper.

Bin Laden, a man who is suspected to have died years ago from renal failure brought on by advanced kidney disease and poor access to medical dialysis, was "located" in a hideout in Pakistan, killed, airlifted to the USS Carl Vinson and DUMPED in the Arabian Sea mere hours later.

Then, to compound the suspiciousness of the event, not two weeks later the same "crack" team of America's finest surgical combat troops were riding in an obsolete, minimally-armored helicopter on a mission which would generally be considered "below their pay grade" and just happened to be shot down by an "insurgent".

All too convenient a coincidence, you say? Our own government would never leave a trail of bread crumbs which actually led right to their door?

Well, apparently those of us who never bought the "official" story about Bin Laden's capture (read: assassination) may be looking for apologies from the rest of you soon. According to Wikileaks content acquired and posted by Anonymous there may be an even bigger ongoing coverup emerging.

Read more about the VERY LIKELY POSSIBILITY that, once again, you have all been played the fool by your government at Huffington Post.

02 March, 2012

Federal Restricted Buildings and Grounds Improvement Act of 2011

As promised I want to let the fine men and women of Virginia who have perhaps not heard or wholly understand a piece of legislation which has just been passed nearly UNCONTESTED by the federal government despite vociferous opposition by the general public and most, if not ALL civil rights groups.

It is known as the Federal Restricted Buildings and Grounds Improvement Act of 2011 and it is essentially a direct and complete violation of the 1st Amendment rights to freedom of assembly and freedom of speech.

The premise of the resolution, as enacted, is to prevent opposition or protest groups from convening on federal (or other) property when the (p)resident or anyone designated by the (p)resident to be a "special" person is scheduled to appear AND the White House. It includes additional punitive charges for anyone who carries a "weapon or firearm" (§1752(b)(1)(B)).

The government is more and more interested in protecting itself from public access, scrutiny and criticism. EVERY SINGLE GOVERNMENT in history which has employed these tactics (including that of Lincoln) has journeyed further towards tyranny before being turned back by righteous and rightfully disenfranchised citizens through force of arms.

Unfortunately the armies of Lincoln were victorious and that government now believes it not only has the right, but the DUTY to legislate limitations on freedoms which we consider unconditional.

More HERE.

Bills Signed Into Law By Governor McDonnell

List available HERE

Be advised that the bills are listed in NUMERICAL order and not chronologically. So if a bill has not been signed (or sent to the governor for signature) yet it may not appear in the list.

Also keep in mind that any bills signed into law do not take effect until July 1st.

Most recently added to this list was a BILL to prohibit localities (or state agencies) from confiscating or prohibiting lawfully-carried firearms during a period of declared emergency in the Commonwealth. This has the added benefit of a provision which makes it illegal to restrict ones admission to an emergency facility or shelter AND disarm him.

Virginia Senate Passes Bill Nullifying NDAA

One of the most onerous pieces of legislation which has ever been introduced and passed by the yankee government (look for a follow-up post on the other one), the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act (or NDAA, for short) has the terrible and terrifying potential to allow indefinite detention of AMERICAN CITIZENS without due process nor being formally charged with the commission of any crime.

Virginia's General Assembly immediately recognized the Constitutional invalidity of such a decree and has already passed through both its House and Senate by landslide, veto-proof legislation a BILL which says, quite plainly, that no Virginia law enforcement, Defense or National Guard may act in any way which aids the federal government in its enforcement of the NDAA.


Seven other states at the time of this writing have introduced and/or passed similar legislation. The NDAA undermines the 5th and 6th Amendments by providing the executive branch the authority to designate American citizens as enemy combatants ("terrorists"), pursue them, incarcerate them and HOLD THEM INDEFINITELY without trial and without formally being charged.

The very idea goes against everything which we hold dear as Americans and should not be overlooked that the federal bill was passed with nearly unanimous bipartisan support. The entire government on the federal level thinks this is a good idea.

Do you?

01 March, 2012

Inflation: Not as low as you think

Your savings has been wiped out by high housing, food and transportation costs and a shocking 0.05% standard savings rate while banksters and CEOs have reaped WINDFALL profits and seen their portfolios and wealth skyrocket.

According to one CBS News 'Blogger ACTUAL inflation, which discounts major one-time purchases like homes and vehicles, is closer to 8% and rising.

While the Bernanke and the Obama continue to print more money and dump it on the raging inferno that is this country's economy, unemployment - REAL UNEMPLOYMENT - is above 15% nationwide with pockets of 50% and higher unemployment in numerous metropolitan/industrial centers.

In an election year which sees the potential for the first-time-ever lame-ducking of a wartime (p)resident, the economy and unemployment will be the professed bailiwick of whichever candidates are vetted by the international banking cartels to duke it out for supremacy over the next four years of continued deterioration of American liberty, Christian and family values, and our once coveted position as #1 in the global economic and industrial arena.