Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Saturday, October 4, 2008
As many of you may or may not know, the federal government passed the "bailout plan" for Wall St. Hundreds of billions of dollars have been approved to create liquidity in the market and take over bad mortgage based assets. Risky, speculative behavior has been rewarded. With OUR tax money, no less. Bottom line - assholes on Wall Street, fuckers who tried to make a fast buck by buying homes they can't afford and bad monetary policy by the Federal Reserve caused this rather fucked up situation and we are having to pay for it. And there's no assurance we'll see any of this money back.
What you probably don't know about - because all public attention has been focused on the Wall St. crisis - there's been another multi-billion dollar loan program being rushed through the halls of Congress and the White House.
- On September 24, 2008, a $25 Billion loan package was passed by the US House of Representatives
- On September 30, 2008, Bush signed a broad spending bill that includes $7.5 Billion to pay for this $25 Billion loan
Here's a little background information. Back in 1980, Chrysler was on the verge of bankruptcy and Congress came to its aid with $1.5 Billion loan guarantee to Chrysler's creditors. Those $1.5 Billion dollars - equivalent to about $4 Billion in 2008 dollars - brought us:
- Dodge Caravan
- Dodge Neon
- Plymouth Prowler
- Dodge Avenger
- Chrysler LeBaron
Fast forward to 2008.
- Gas prices are at historic highs, although it's not surprising
- The rest of the world has been paying exorbitantly high gas prices for far longer than we have and they've offered fuel efficient vehicles in their native markets for quite a while (more of this later)
- Chrysler is already in the shithouse after Daimler dumped the Detroit company after realizing it was a bad merger. After getting dumped - and rightfully so - Chrysler can't stand on its own two feet so they are taken over by a private equity firm, Cerebus Capital Management
- GM and Ford, which have been sitting on their fucking fat asses peddling big SUVs and trucks to a dumb fuckin buying public in the US, is suddenly facing huge excess inventory and models that can't sell in a world where gas costs $4.00 a gallon
- Foreign auto makers possess a competitive advantage in the US market because they have a good offering of compact vehicles
The $25 Billion loan package signed by the White House is meant for the Detroit Big 3. It's ludicrous that tax payer money has to save companies that failed to manufacture products that didn't meet the needs of the market. If you make shitty products, guess what? No one's going to buy it. Even though the Hondas, Toyotas and BMWs of the world cost more, people would rather buy cars from these guys because the product is better (something I wish knuckleheads in the aftermarket would understand).
Let's talk about GM. General Motors touting their "Employee Pricing" program is a big fucking joke. 100th anniversary? Nigga puhleeze. You look like you won't reach your 101st anniversary so you are blowing out existing inventory so you can sell cars to your dealers. But guess what? No one wants your crappy cars. Did you know that GM spends $3 Billion a year in advertising? They were the #4 US advertiser overall and #1 in the automotive segment. Did you catch their latest ad? The one featuring the Cadillac Escalade Hybrid? Are you fucking kidding me? The words "Escalade" and "Hybrid" shouldn't be used in the same sentence, let alone a model name.
What about Ford? Their old slogan was "Quality is Job 1." Would you agree? Have you seen the new Ford Focus? Have you seen those fucked up commercials for their Mercury vehicles? The Milan? The one with the hot chick? I'd fuck her, but I wouldn't buy a Ford car. And not too long ago, Ford announced they would modify some of their production lines so that they can start to produce the European spec Focus. Why didn't they do this in the first place? Why is it that Ford Europe and Ford Australia can make decent cars but the home team can't make a decent fuckin car for a chage? The Mustang? Puhleeze! That's a shitbox on wheels at best. And they spent $2.5 Billion in advertising in 2007, making them #6 overall out of ALL US advertisers.
Finally, what about Chrysler? It isn't even a public company. Once Cerebus took over, the company was taken private. Who the hell bails out a private company? And these are the geniuses who launched that "gas guarantee" program to schill their shitty (I mean SHITTY cars). But consumers weren't fooled as they still couldn't sell cars. And they still managed to spend $1.7 Billion in 2007 for advertising. All that advertising for probably the shittiest line up of cars in America. Let's face it. You can put lipstick on a pig, but it's still a pig.
So, we're bailing out the Detroit 3 because they made bad business decisions, they make shitty cars, they overspend on advertising (usually to offset shitty brand and product perception) and sat on their fuckin laurels for the past 5,6 years selling oversized, gas guzzling piece of shit SUVs and trucks. Lovely.
But that isn't all! It's the fuckin UAW (Union of Auto Workers) that have also contributed to this fuckin meltdown in Detroit. Would you believe... there's this thing called a "Job Bank" where laid off UAW members can go, sit around "looking for new work", do nothing, yet get paid the same salary as if they were working?! Hell, it wasn't unusual for UAW workers to get paid in the 6-figure range for working on the assembly line. Care to guess how bright these fuckers were? So the Detroit 3 agreed to pay fuckers who don't work and overpay them on top of that?
The $25 Billion passed a few days ago isn't the first. Last December (2007), Congress passed a $25 Billion loan to Detroit under the Energy Independence and Security Act (yeah, it even sounds like bullshit, doesn't it?). So taxpayer money is being loaned to Detroit so they can do things they were SUPPOSED to do in the first place, to revamp their production line and products to better meet consumers wants and demands (uh, isn't this what a manufacturer is SUPPOSED to do?) and to invest in more fuel efficient vehicles and technologies (again, isnt' this what they are SUPPOSED to do?). They are SUPPOSED to do this without asking for a bailout from the taxpayer. So they are going to use our money to make cars they can sell to us? That sounds like a case of fuckin fraud to me!
There's lots more than I can go into about how fuckin lame GM, Ford and Chrysler are (including how they have way too many fuckin brands... why not break them off and have them operate as independent entities, for one thing?), how we're getting fucked in the ass over and over by Detroit and Washington, but that would require an entire novel to scratch the surface.
Just know... this is the kind of bullshit US auto makers are pulling off. And they're succeeding. Write your Congressman. Let them know this is absolute bullshit. Better do that now, because automakers are poised to ask for another $25 Billion next year.
We, the People... need to declare our independence from this kind of blatant highway robbery.
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
The facts are clear and straightforward. That country of 1.5 billion is making SHIT and they have no problems killing people to make a quick fuckin buck. Cases in point:
And now, the Chinese are killing and making sick their own babies to make a quick buck.
BEIJING, China (CNN) -- A third baby has died and at least 6,200 children have fallen ill after drinking formula tainted with the same chemical involved in a massive pet food recall last year, Chinese officials said Wednesday.
China's largest producer of milk, Mengniu Dairy Group, announced the recall of three batches of formula made in January after tests showed they were contaminated with melamine, said Li Changjiang, China's director of quarantine and inspection.
Though it should not be added to food ingredients, suppliers in China sometimes put it in food to make a product appear to be protein rich. Melamine has nitrogen, and standard tests for protein in bulk food ingredients measure levels of nitrogen.
More than 1,300 infants are hospitalized with illnesses including malnutrition, kidney stones and acute renal failure.
Sanlu Group, one of China's leading dairy producers, has recalled more than 8,200 tons of the tainted formula following reports of sickened babies, news agency Xinhua reported. The manufactured also sealed off more than 2,100 tons of contaminated product, and another 700 tons still need to be recalled, according to Xinhua.
Investigators said the brothers confessed to watering down the raw milk and mixing in tripolycyanamide, also known as melamine. The paper reported the siblings did it to recover losses suffered when the factory rejected earlier milk shipments, and that 19 other people have been detained for questioning.Simply put, they don't give a fuck. So let me ask you fans of Chinese-made automotive products. If they don't blink an eye to killing innocent babies, do you think they give a fuck about a turbo that grenades? Suspension that collapses? Brakes that don't stop?
Do you see a pattern?
Sunday, September 14, 2008
"We have not dynoed this exhaust ourselves and I do not believe XO2 Racing has either"
The selling vendor, Invision Performance (yet another mail order house), is selling an exhaust without even knowing if it makes any power.
"Any word yet? i'm in need of new tips for jdm theory on oct 6 =("
Funny how this faggot is readying his car for JDM Theory, yet his exhaust isn't JDM. I suspect the rest of his car isn't very JDM either.
Anyways, he and others keep inquiring about tips. What's that about?
"And not pictured is the fact that you are supposed to get 4 screws, 4 nuts, and 4 washers for installing the tips; I got 3 screws, 3 nuts, and 1 washer."
No shit, sherlock. It's funny how these fuckin idiots rant and rave about this blatant copy of an HKS exhaust system because "it's just like the HKS system, but cheaper" yet turn around like a 2-faced little bitch and go on and on about how shit doesn't fit, shit's missing, yada yada yada. You get what you fuckin pay for. Perhaps you'll think about shit like this before you try to save a few bucks by buying bullshit.
In motorsports, the same standard holds. Formula 1, Indy Racing League, FIA GT, DTM, GP2, F3, ALMS, NASCAR, NHRA, etc, etc, etc all have a quantifiable standard by which winners and losers are determined. Whether it's the number laps or ET, there is something to say one guy won and others lost. And this means that each driver has to perform at his / her best over and over again, consistency being the goal. That's what determines champions and runner ups.
Does this same quantifiable standard apply to drifting? Nope. There's no qualifying per se. There's no lap time. There's no ET. Rather, much like figure skating, it's judged by people who frankly haven't won shit. Name one judge in the current Formula Drift series or the defunct Nopi Drift series who is a champion of anything. Judging is never consistent as it's completely subjective. If you aren't a champion, how do you recognize champion-like performance? How do you judge something for which there is nothing consistent nor really quantifiable? Entry speed? Slip angle? Amount of smoke generated? Sounds like someone is blowing smoke up people's asses more than anything.
So there's no consistent basis for judging. Let's talk about the drivers. Tanner Foust is the only guy out of the drifting pack who seems to have the talent to do something aside from clutch kicking or pulling on the handbrake. There's no one else who's achieved real success outside of drifting. (Does winning in drifting count as success in the macrocosm that is motorsports?) And who are all these people that come out of nowhere and all of a sudden have become drifting "stars"?
Does drifting help the industry? Sure, it led to the sudden explosion of used Nissan 240SX's all over the place, but what did it achieve?
No, it did not increase demand for REAL products.
If no one is buying parts, then it doesn't make sense for manufacturers to support drifting. That support dried up a long time ago. And when was the last time you saw a fully sponsored "works" race car compete?
No, it did not help sell tires.
If you've been to any drifting practice days, you know that Chinese tire brands dominate - Nankang, Wanli and Maxxis to name a few. So all that money and product major tire companies invested in drifting have not paid off at all. And these shitty Chinese tire companies are thriving because of it.
No, it did not improve the "tastes" of younger car enthusiasts.
You've seen it. Old, beat up 240's with primer, ill fitting body kits (see below) and steel wheels roaming about. What is old is new again, but what is old isn't fresh (for the most part; there are nice examples out there albeit rare).
No, drifting is not growing.
Quite frankly, the public is so over it. D1 died in the US. Whether the reasons were political, economic or social, it died. To expect D1 to come back to the States is a fantasy at best.
Nopi Drift collapsed as well.
Formula Drift tried to go into new markets; they aren't going back. 3 events in California, 1 event in Vegas, 1 event in Washington state, 1 in Jersey, 1 in Atlanta. Eh, what about the rest of the country? If drifting is so big and growing, why isn't this event list more diverse in scope?
Notice any similarities between the current state of drifting and the death of sport compact drag racing?
Yes, it created yet another new marketplace for knock off parts and companies.
Did it create a new marketplace for knock off companies? Of course it did. Anyone who considered building a serious drift car probably suffered a serious case of sticker shock when looked at the parts list alone - SR20DET swap, front mount intercooler, upgraded turbo kit, boost controller, stand alone, toe rod, tension rod, subframe bushings, LSD, etc, etc, etc. This is not even taking into consideration fabrication costs (stitch welding, cage, etc). Naturally, wanna be drifters looked for cheaper alternatives (turbo'd KA, welded open rear differential, etc) and shitty wanna be parts. I can think of a dozen "brand" names that came out of nowhere, offering "drifting parts."
Yes, it created yet another incorrect example of the motorsports lifestyle for the younger generation.
The top echelon of motorsports contains fine examples of ultra-dedicated drivers. Formula 1 drivers, for example, have basically been driving before they entered 1st grade. Even weekend SCCA club racers have dedicated YEARS to becoming very, very good on the track. Name one drifting "star" who's actually dedicated this much time, effort and resources into his craft? As I alluded to earlier, I can only think of only one driver who can make it outside of drifting. As for the rest, it began and will end with drifting.
Yes, it gave Universal another excuse to create another stupid movie.
Need I say more?
R.I.P drifting. I await the obituary.
Friday, September 12, 2008
"Type 50mm Blow Off Valve" - an obvious copy of the Tial piece
"Type S Blow Off Valve" - an obvious copy of the GReddy piece
Geez, looks awfully similar to HKS' Carbon Ti exhaust
Another blatant copy of an HKS exhaust system
Bottom line is, this kind of shady, bullshit operation wouldn't exist without buyers. Buyers who don't care about quality. Buyers who don't care about where shit comes from. Buyers who only give a shit about money they "save" by buying bullshit products. You're the same fuck that buys fake Bape t-shirts, download illegal copies of movies, use coupons at McDonald's and steal cable / satellite television.
Seriously. If you feel this fuckin crap is worthy to put on YOUR car (and more than likely, you drive a piece of shit to begin with), then I seriously suggest you pray a little before you get behind the wheel. Not only are you exhibiting bad taste and fuckin cheap ass behavior, you're fuckin with shit that can (and will) explode, fail, grenade, ping and detonate.
Heaven help you.