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Old 01-17-2008, 07:30 PM   #61
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I question your concept of "freedom" and entitlement.

Lets make a loose comparison to the party we are having with oil right now.

What if you are in a canoe with someone else. You were fortunate to be able to have been taught how to swim, not so for the other person. You suddenly get a itch to boogie down (hey whats wrong with that?) and subsequently swamp the canoe and cause the other occupant the greatest of hardship. Does libertarianism mean you can ignore the effects your actions have on others?

Time for another visit from the wombat:

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Old 01-17-2008, 08:12 PM   #62
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high standards?

First, what qualifies as "high standards" is purely subjective. If I wanted to drive a monster SUV, I could certainly afford to do so. But I like the numerous advantages of small cars. It's not just FE. They are more maneuverable, and easier to park. They feel faster (I think because of being lower to the ground and having the windows closer in so it looks like the scenery is whizzing by faster), so it helps me drive slower. You can easily reach across to the other side to open up doors. And they are actually quite safe. For one, it's a lot harder to roll a little, low center of gravity car. They can often stop in shorter distances. Contrary to what most people think, bigger is not always safer. There's a lot more to safety than mass and size.

Then there's the appearances angle. It just amazes me the value judgments people unconsciously make. Everyone thinks you're poor as dirt if they see you in a little old car, especially if it's dirty at the time. That suits me fine. If the guy with the chromed to the max shiny pickup that has two trailer balls hanging in a sack from the hitch stays as far away from me as possible so my car can't possibly sully his paint job, that's all to the good. See, the guys who drive monsters only think they have right of way. It's the most beat up worthless cars that have right of way in those sorts of pissing contests. They have a lot more to lose in a fender bender than I do. So they aren't going to try to push me around as much. If the Lexus driver keeps his distance because he fears I might be uninsured white trash, I like it. If the cops leave me alone out of pity that I'm "forced" to drive such a "crummy" car, that's great. The rare person who thinks well of me for being green is the best of all.

To me, "high standards" is the best little car I can find. And "best" does not mean most luxurious, it means most durable, easily maintained, and drivable. To me, the car is a tool, nothing more. It's not a status symbol. At times I've been stuck having to drive a Mercury Grand Marquis. Damn things wallow like a boat when turning a corner. Had stupid leather tops, which some people think is a bonus, but I know better. Leather tops are a maintenance nightmare. Give them tender loving care and they'll still be rotten in 10 to 20 years. Hated the feel of that car, the sense of waste and sluggish responsiveness in the way it lumbered its ungainly weight down the highway. The early pioneers made the same mistake. The earliest ones struck out on the Oregon Trail in the Cadillac of wagons, the Conestoga which was a big heavy lumbering wagon. After a day or two, those people were throwing out anything they could to lighten the load. Later pioneers learned from this and set out in much lighter and smaller wagons, taking only the real essentials, and were therefore able to travel faster and farther per day, and could negotiate obstacles more easily.

Some people can't understand why anyone would "waste" money tinting the windows of a little car. I have a cousin who thinks that way. It's taken him 20 years to get his notions about us right, and understand that we actually choose the little cars we have. Some of our neighbors have never seen past their preconceptions, and we sure aren't going to disabuse them. Was pretty funny when some yuppies lived next door. They'd strut past us like we were worms, and were always snitching to the city about the neighbors, us included of course. They were desperately trying to keep up appearances and most especially the all important "property values". Finally moved away to a "better" neighborhood.

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Old 01-18-2008, 07:00 AM   #63
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But here's the thing: I don't have any desire to take away your choice to buy a small, fuel efficient vehicle, nor do I believe I should have the right to if I wanted to do so. What makes anybody else think they are high and mighty enough to take away my choice or somebody else's choice to drive a bigger car?

It's a two way street that only looks attractive when the traffic's going your way. But on the road, like in life, you have to accept that there's going to be traffic that runs counter to your own.
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'09 Harley Nightster - 48mpg and 1/4 miles in the 12's
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Old 01-18-2008, 07:06 AM   #64
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Similarly, doesn't a manufacturer have a right to build vehicles that customers will buy? Certainly, they must conform to the rules and regulations that are set forth.

I'm all for better fuel economy, but a car the size of a Smart car won't fit a lot of my needs. I haven't seen electric cars that have the range that I would need for daily work.

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