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..There's a little Samuel Pepys in all of us..

Saturday, May 09, 2009

An interesting discussion this evening has left some lingering thought of the North American.. indeed, the worldwide future of the auto industry..
Leaving Ford out of the overall picture, for that company seems to have managed to weather this storm to date.. it would seem the drivers in the States and Canada will need to redefine what a 'family car' means.. while the other end of the demographic will have to accept that 'muscle cars' are an anachronism..
This is the knowledge that the new Camaro comes with three engine options.. the smallest of which is a 315cu/in displacement.. and that others in the market are offering up to 6 litres, the new Mustang Shelby as an example.
The US is unique in that it has never had war fought within it's boundaries other than that of it's own making, and it has always had success in expanding it's boundaries, and it's pre-eminence in world affairs..
The average American is, to varying degrees, well aware of this history, and has usually been adamant resisting change to what are now considered to be 'inalienable rights', one of which is to accept that at some time or another, their youth will want to own the 'biggest, fastest goddam car in town'. Those with parents solvent enough may well get one in a rite of passage, others may simply save, or use credit..
Regardless, the 'right' to own a car who's maximum speed, if reached in any populated area would cost the license of the driver, is shared by most Americans to be as inalienable as that to bear arms.
No doubt, had the Founding Fathers been aware of auto's having the horsepower of a small aircraft, they would have included them..
One has to wonder, with GM within days of declaring bankruptcy, and Chrysler seeming saved by some extent by Fiat, what the reaction will be to small, fuel efficient cars the likes of which we take as normal. Where a 2 litre engine is considered big.. It will be yet another challenge for the American man on the street..It was suggested that the outcome, in eventual terms for the industry, would be three companies left at the end.. all in foreign hands. That any hope in industry had, was to concentrate on European designs, maximizing fuel efficiency or compatibility with hybrid fuels, while leaving a niche market by leaving Cadillac..the Corvette,, the Mustang range for those who can afford to pay road tax reflecting the displacement of the engine alone..
But consensus was reached, to some extent, that the era of 4-wheel drive off road vehicles as a status symbol, was at an end..

Notably.. That Steven Harper should spend so much time in the US, talking with Barack on how to manage their economy according to a Canadian model..
Moot as to that which works with an economy as damaged as the American.. or how the Canadian model, based on a population of 55 million, would work on such an expanded scale in the States..
And besides the population issue, the American model requires the cooperation of all 50 States, and their own particular lobbies and vested interests..
How would the hospital insurance industry react if free health care the like of OHIP were brought into effect in say, New York States, or California..
And how on earth would the Federal and the States governments pay for such a magnanimous scheme..?

Worthwhile to keep an eye on the Taliban in Pakistan..
That country's military doesn't appear to be coping with the problem either with it's border with India, or Afghanistan..Mind you the Pakistani government is preparing for an expected half a million refugees from the Swat Vally, where the Taliban had a tacit agreement with the Government to restrict their activities in exchange for allowing Shari'a Law in the area..
Not an arrangement the British or Americans are happy with..
Pakistani soldiers are being deployed.. But their success rate, to date, has not been good..
It will be interesting to see Islamabad's reaction to an inevitable American strike to at least contain the problem..
It's difficult to envision as to what the next moveswill be in the 'War on Terror'..
If there is an end in sight, it certainly not within the perspective of this generations lifetimes..
We have determined to rid ourselves of fleas, while constantly playing with 'friendly dogs..

Ahh Hugo..
The Venezuelan President has tightened his grip on the country's oil industry to amounts to a strangehold by sending troops in to occupy industries in the immediate downstream of the oil refineries..
At the moment, Venezeula's the largest producer in the America's, and with falling oil prices, Huho's making premptive moves to ensure all the cash that can he wrung frpm the industry goes into the governments coffers..
One woders what would be done if, say, Gordon, or Barack, had such powers of arbitrary action..

Soon to be election time across these Isles, as we decide who to send to Brussels to represent us in the European Parliament..
Labour is in such dire straits at the moment it boggles the mind..
Google 'UKIP'.. the UK Independance Party.
They'll likely push Labour back to third place, or could indeed be sending a large number of MEP's to the Continent..perhaps a national majority..

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