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tv   [untitled]  CSPAN  June 20, 2009 9:30am-10:00am EDT

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look at bill gates. now if you were worth a gazillion dollars, wouldn't you go barber college to get a decent $5 hair cut? labor union leadership is maddening but it is one thing to be mad at the lujan leaders and it's another thing to be expecting those labor leaders to be down at the uaw hollis standing on a chair yelling, we demand less money from the bosses. that was not going to happen. a car workers make $600 an hour or so i am told. but they get laid off every time a camel parts at an opec meeting. [laughter] maybe their pay is too high but it is not like they are getting back pay. so i think to understand what do with the american automobile cannot we have to give up on economics and a half to turn to melodrama. you see politicians, journalists, financial analysts and all the purveyors of the
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canal, they have been looking at cars sf in convertible were in business. it isn't. fire the nba's, hire a poet. afraid of detroit is not a higher prices of foreign competition and corporate greed, union intransigent energy costs or measuring the seuss size of the footprints in the carbon. it is a tragic romance, it is a tragic romance about an these passions of a titanic clash as, lost love and and while horses. especially wild horses because you cannot understand the automobile unless you understand horses. a hundred years ago richard kipling wrote a poem called the about of the kings just and a kipling has this afghan tribesmen from the u.s. always ahead of the curve on the board choose subjects, and afghan tribesmen says four things less
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than all things are women and horses and power and more. now if you insert and other power after the worst in adverse was as true in the suburbs of my boyhood as it ever was up in the khyber pass. horsepower. hp is not a quaint leftover of linguistics or some sort of big metaphoric anachronism. james watt, the father of the steam engine, the progenitor of the entire industrial revolution did not have a term, he lacked a measurement for the movement of a way to over a distance in time. but what we would call for short energy and what we would call in and she this was not even in an intellectual concept in the late 18th-century. imagine living in a world where energy isn't even an intellectual concept so he started from scratch and did all
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this research using draft animals and he found out that under optimum conditions a big drop torras could lift 33,000 pounds 1 foot off the ground in one minute. now james watts, because of what was named after him had not been named yet, did not have a name for this so he called the quite logically 1 horsepower. and incidentally one hp is equal to 746 watts. unless you are a threat to petraeus could eliminate much of ballet. causing and other harmful lead pollution to offset the global warming that you prevented by not buying in escalating. [laughter] by 1978 pontiac ceto, made the brand name recipes, had horsepower to the number of 370 in the time of one minutes for the space of a one ft. that ceto
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could move 12 million from a 210,000 pounds and it can move those pounds down every foot of every mile of all the roads to the end of the earth for every minute of every hour until the driver nodded off at the wheel. 40 years ago the pimple kid down the block using $3,500 in saved up soda jerking money, he procured mind and in maine beyond the wildest dreams of the biggest con. whose words 1/4 to pillage mounted upon the last month that is in a moderately floor. janus, and the pebble in were looking for a date basically because horses, horsepower all the same thing. it is all about being cool. a night in ancient rome, the aristocrats in ancient rome is simply called in latin and
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equestrian, a guy on a horse. cavalier. means the same thing. if cal -- if you look at the on the front of cavalier the dictionary says debonair, march by a lofty disregard of others' interests, rights and feelings, highhanded arrogant and supercilious and helpless that? [laughter] are the cowboys always cool, plus a per verbally cool man on horseback to whom we turn in troubled times. i think one reason it is impossible to take anything serious the geren has been doing in this whole fiscal crisis let alone in the car industry, one of the reasons it is impossible to keep a straight face is the mental picture of a party frank astride a prancing horse. and the lone ranger manner. [laughter] hi ho executive compensation and
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away. [laughter] is happening here early witnesses to the automobile urged the motorists to get a worse but that in effect was what the automobile would do, it would getting worse for everybody. once in the model t was introduced we all became sir lancelot and gained a seat at the round table, we were privileged to joust for the favor of their maidens at dragon movies. the pride and the proceeds of a noble amount was roused shaped to the common man into the common woman to because no one ever tried to get the ladies to drive sidesaddle of both legs hanging out the car door. now a car is not necessarily cheaper than a horse, it is just cheaper than a horse you want. about the same time that henry ford -- i looked this up -- about when he was peddling at model ts for $780 initial price, the price would actually go down over the years but the original
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price for model t in 1908 was $780. that same time there was a yearling filly named sceptre, an untried race wars from a good blind but had never been erased, sold at newmarket outside london for 10,000 guineas vs $780. a guinea is a pound plus a shilling. if you convert 10,000 guineas into current american dollars, let's just say that a rick wagoner, the fired a gm chief, africa wagoner had been at this done hoss -- had been this done worse than sired scepters, if rick wagoner had been that studhorse it would have been at gm telling the obama white house to go get some new management is what would have happened. karzai the reliable especially
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the cars but neither our horses and a list of cars it is not personal. horses have complex psychologies, they have little brains. horses are like your adolescence children's. cars are like your computer but the computer may be bulky and slow and may even be worth less, but it never addresses itself in all black, gives every part of its keyboard pierced, screams that you don't understand and goes out and takes the drugs and is brought home by the police at 3:00 a.m.. [laughter] actually horses don't do that either but you understand. changing a tire on a car is no fun but easier than issuing a horse and will get kicked or britain or have menorah dump on your head and was a change in a very bad neighborhood. you take apart and put it in a damp space and there for months and the spca will not get on your case. for that matter you could be a car in the street without raising in a public protest as
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long as you own a car that you are beating. even when opec is doing its worst, cars are more efficient to fuel than horses are although a role in the hay is preferable to a role in the petroleum. and anyone who thinks that cars and to greenhouse gases and horses do not has not spent enough time behind a horse. [laughter] for the purpose of ennobling us, the car is just better than a horse in every way. it costs less, is more convenient, if we don't get kicked and smelly, and it is much easier to drive and then it is to ride. i speak with some feeling on this subject because i took up horseback riding when i was almost 60. on the other hand, i began to drive, when i began to drive a i was so small when i was driving my cousin tommy had to lie on the transmission, and operate
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the accelerator to break with his hands because i could not reach them with my feet. all the grown-ups who went to bed, we shifted the buick into neutral. this very card, as a matter of fact, or one very like it pushed it down the driveway out of your shot, fired of the engine and we to word that the neighborhood. now comparatively speaking the difficulty of horsemanship verses driving can be illustrated by what happened to tommy and me next which was nothing. we maneuvered the car home, we turn it off, rolled it back up the driveway, we were raised in the blessedly flat midwest so that was easy to do and during our foray the buick speedometer reach maybe 30 m.p.h., but 30 miles per hour is a full out to gallop on a forest and for those of you don't ride horses for and everything you have seen about wars by writing in the movies and on tv. possibly a little kid who had
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never been on a horse could ride a horse at full gallop without killing himself and possibly one of the jonah's brothers could land and f-14 on a carrier deck. [laughter] so this is why cars took the place of horses and our hearts. once we had caught a glimpse of it will turn a good. checked out the curves of the body work in the vendors, the old gray mare was not what she used to be. and we embark upon of life in the fast lane with our new paramour. a great love story of man and machine. road to the future paved with less and then ming got married and moved to the suburbs. in being away from the central cities meant americans had to spend more of their time driving and over the years are away got farther and farther away. eventually this meant that americans have to spend all of their time driving.
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the plane did was 40 miles from the chuck e. cheese, this limit was 40 miles from the cello lesson, the montessori it was 40 miles from the math coach. dad's job was 40 miles from bonds job and both their jobs or 40 miles from the three car garage. the cars ceased to be object of desire and equipment for adventure and it turned into office and rec room and communications hub and breakfast nook and recycling bin. a motorized cupholder is what the modern car has become. americans, the richest people on earth, were stuck in a conference of the crossover suvs, squeezed into the space than tax support call center employees at a mumbai queue local farm. in we became tired of our cars and became angry at our cars and the pointy headed busybodies of the environmentalist new urbanist utopian communitarian
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ilk, they blame the victim. they claimed it was the car. the car have forced us to live in widely scattered settlements in the wilderness of big box stores in the olive garden. if we would all just get on our segues or hop on a trolley is that america could become an archipelago of cozy duologues on the portland, oregon model with everyone nestle together in the most sustainably carbon neutral diverse and ecologically an impact away. but cars did not do this to us, it did not shave our existence. cars let us escape with our lives. we are living way the heck out there in a valley bottom heights and trout antler states because we were at war with the city is. we fought run public schools, in the municipal bureaucracy is, corrupt political machines, rabin criminality, and all the
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appointed heading idiot -- pointed tenet busybodies. in this battle cars davis are dragons and lantos speed and mobility, they've let us count the terrain and pulled the enemy lines and thanks to our cars when the lost the city's better not forced to surrender, we were able to retreat. but our poor cars pay the price. and they were flashing swords beaten into until plowshares. cars became appliances period or worse than appliances -- nobody is ticked off at the driver of the dishwasher much less at the refrigerator. we all recognize these as laborsaving devices. the car, on the other hand, is seems to create labor. we hold of a car responsible for all the jury errands to which it needs to be steered and we're thinking, held, a golf cart is more fun. you can ride around with a six-pack tousing canada agrees
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on the fairways in taking swings at the golfers with a nine iron. we lost our love for cars and we forgot our debt to cars in the meanwhile the pointy headed busybodies -- busybodies have been exciting their revenge. wheat escape the polk other nose once when we look down but we will not be able to pilaus so fast this time because in the name of safety and emissions control and fuel economy and global warming and all the rest of it, the simple mechanical eloquence -- elegance of the automobile has been rendered cumbersome and incomprehensible. you might as well by the back of an eye upon as pop the hood on a contemporary motor vehicle. aging shade tree mechanic like myself, i look in there and i sat back down in the shade. [laughter] or i would if the car were visclosky at me like a rehearsal for a divorce.
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he left vician, you left the door open, you left the lights on, you left you're dirty socks in the middle of the bedroom floor. just me crazy. [laughter] i don't believe the point he has given a damn about climate change or gas mileage much less about whether i survive a head on with one of their tax sucking mass-transit projects. [laughter] all they want to do is make sure i hate my car. because how proud and hanson was a ritual alexandria, how proud and handsome with that look airbags five melbourne our bumpers and a maze of pollution control equipment under her tail? and that is it -- that was it, the end of the american automobile industry because when it comes to bill practical ugly things that poor and annoy me, a japanese things cost less. and the cup holders are more convenient relocated. i myself have something old
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school under a tarp out of my basement roush, but i bet that after my will has been probated some child of mine will yank the dust cover and use the proceeds of the ebay sale to buy a mountain bike. fourth thing is greater than all these are and i am pretty sure bicycles are not one of them. there are those of us who've had the good fortune to meet with strength and beauty, majestic force in which we were feeling to trust our lives and the day comes that strength and beauty fails and a man does when a man has got to do and i'm going to go downstairs and put a bullet in '88. anyway, thank you very much and that is everything i know about cars. [applause] but if anybody has some any questions i will make up some other stuff. [laughter] i have bad news on the question front, however not that i won't answer any questions however ridiculous or personal not that
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i'm saying i will tell the truth but i will answer. you have to come to this microphone because of your reporting this, and if you don't always get is my stupid answer and i you're intelligent question. does anyone volunteered to step up to the frightening microphone? there you go, take your time, i am over 62 and not moving as fast. >> i must admit i got my first car in 1953 for my 14th birthday so i am pretty old. >> plus rissole. i love it. >> it was a 29 model a that cost $50 to mad god, those of the days. i own my first car before i was 16. >> i want to ask you, what was the greatest car you ever own a? >> you know, it is really a matter of affection and i have a 199911 which to me is the portia that is right and to the end of
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the visible portion era. it is at the beginning of the pot -- complicated porsche era because by 90 they begin to figure out they were selling these and nobody under 52 for these cars sold guys like me who were buying the car. but they hadn't yet gone on to producing a rocket lexus which is essentially what is now so is still an old fashioned with the germans call a barefoot car with a key on the left in a porsche and the reason for that is so that you can started on the track without getting in it so you get started up while working on the thing and don't have to sit in the car and turned on. i've loved that thing so that is mine. that is my little baby. that is actually what is under the tarp and i say of the eight because of putting a bullet in a horizontal legal beat six dozen have the same residence. [laughter] mack i read somewhere that you said you became a conservative as soon as your daughter was born. i was just curious if that was
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only on certain issues like drugs for example or if that was in the panorama of social issues? >> is everything but i became a conservative when i got my first paycheck was when i became a conservative actually. [laughter] i became a right winger. i became a conservative when my daughter was born because suddenly the world as a threat. i was very libertarian until my daughter was born. drugs are okay, what ever anybody wants to do, mary a hippo, fine then you get this baby girl and you think of the world out there. my model on everything now that i have seen grand torino if anybody has seen that and i totally recommend is get off my lawn. [laughter] thank you for saving in the neighborhood -- get off my lawn. anyway i became -- when i ceased to be a liberal and leftist i was a, a socialist, as some sort
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of college not and i got a job. that did not hear me. i was still a not for the first two weeks of the job. i got a job for 100 of the dollars a week paid every two weeks and i was looking for to $300 and so was my landlord. $3 was a lot of money. so i got my paycheck and ended at $185 and $0.63 after federal tax, a city tax, social security contribution, pension fund. i was interested in that at that age. health care union dues. i say with a minute, i am a socialist, i have been demonstrating in this streets and i get a job and find out we already have socialism, they took half my money. i am not rockefeller, what is going on here? so that's not be added that. but that is one thing but then when you have a kid then you really turn against the whole world. [laughter]
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>> p.j., you dedicated this book to david e. davis and david e. davis in it icon that you made him more of an icon by associating with him in a car purrs automobile magazine. it is planned this indianism between you and david e. davis and how that came about and you got to know him? >> david davis for those of you who don't know about him, and absolutely amazing legendary character in the car world. he was in the original editor of car and driver and has some pre history of what was called sports card to complex to read and boring, or something like that. he treated car and driver and ran for a long time, quit and was a car advertising guy for a long time. as a davis by david back to run car and driver for a second time in the '70s which is when i met him. david loves language and loves
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writing and voice and great writing. he eventually won car and driver was sold he quit and start an automobile magazine and when that for a long time and now is back a car and driver for round three. davis is absolutely great but what made some great is an interesting story. david was like a lot of us care has back in the 50s who was a race,. he had an and gtd and he was out here selling other sports cars for a living such as it was but what he really lived for was racing cars and he had this duty and it was right around here in l.a. and he flipped it and in the old days there were no world barzan these things any had one of those helmets on. he took his face of. david, big looking guy and i've seen pictures of him and all of a sudden he was so scary looking he could not go out in public. he went out in public on a foggy
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day on the beach and a woman saw him and she threw up. he was so horrible. he had no eyelids, had to rebuild his eyelids, steel pins through his cheeks and he, this was in the days before face transplants and so he spend years getting his face rebuilt. he was completely out of action for a. this was a guy with a high-school education like a working-class guy, worked in factories, race cars, he spent that year while getting his face rebuilt reading everything about the automobile and not only did it teach him. there is nothing he doesn't know about cars and not only did it not teach him about everything about automobiles but everything about writing to and he began to realize that he loved and cared about words. so he emerged like a sort of accidental intellectual from the end of this ordeal. it was a terrible thing to have happened to david but a wonderful thing to have happen
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to the car culture. this guy emerged in the late fifties from having his face taken, he is pretty good looking now but he wears a. but if you look at him carefully, it is a good face but not symmetrical. it is different on one side, like old italian bodywork on the specials from the '50s. the we did this side and we noted that side. [laughter] so that is one of the things that made david such a force and power and david wrote the quote at the beginning of my book about why politicians hate cars because it turned people free, they make people like a say in the declaration of independence free to leave. politicians say that, they want you around. >> i was curious about your view on the chrysler fiat the merger. >> the two companies who could
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never fit a door. [laughter] they are now one. it will be interesting to see what happens. i really don't care who owns two but the thing is i do care about government money because the government doesn't have any money that is our money, i am sorry. they may be printing into at of nowhere, but it is still us who are going to have to pay for that. and i don't like our money being used for these things, not that i'd want to see these car companies survive, but that is a big part of freedom is failure. everybody thinks freedom is about success and capitalism is about success -- it is not, is about failure occurred when a company quits' making products people want at a price they want to pay it is time for that company to go away. if you keep that company around with government infusions' what you get is everything they had east of the berlin wall before the berlin wall fell over. i spent a lot of times with
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foreign correspondents in eastern europe back during the cold war and people ask me sometimes, what do you think caused the end of the cold war and the fall of the berlin wall, was the star wars, was the reagan foreign policy, the war of afghanistan and i said no, it was bulgarian bluejeans. they could not get anything but bulgarian in blue jeans over there, big baggy and a word in blue. they were whatever color they felt like making that day because they were government bluejeans. one-size-fits-all bulgarian bluejeans. and finally the people east of the berlin wall coming east of the iron curtain said we ain't wearing bulgarian blue jeans anymore and finally they came out in the street and said you can shoot us and we won't wear bulgarian bluejeans. we have had it, we ain't wearing that stuff anymore, we want a pair of levi's 501. open up that wall. and it happened. the crash -- the pressure was
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too great and you don't want government running industry even if it seems -- i hate to see those jobs lost in detroit in hate to see the secondary companies that made the parts and that fasteners and stuff, it is none of their fault. i hate to see them go under but i hate to see the government get involved more than i hate to see that. we can come back. that is the thing about money and freedom, when your freedom is taken away, when you lose your money you can make more money and when your freedom is taken away you can make more freedom. money is not zero sama. you are getting rich does not make me poor. just because you have to many slices of pizza doesn't mean i have to eat the donnels box. money is not zero some of freedom is zero some. in freedom you take for me is freedom i don't have. i can't go out and make more freedom. >> du csp gone that freedom? where do you see the car
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industry putting in terms of car industry? >> i do not see as we gain the freedom -- basically what made the car so appealing i think two people my generation was that it was simple. and modern cars are tinker proof and for lots of different reasons but the emissions controls and the safety stuff and the gas mileage stuff essentially makes them -- there are kids out there that can make very fast automobiles avenue cars. and i admire those kids but they are primarily computer programmers. that is really what they're doing most of all to those cars is reprogramming the computers and them. bless them but it is a bit beyond me. it is one thing to go out in the garage and say see you later honey and a time when the kids are in bed, i will be out in the garages tinkering with a car. you can do that with a computer sitting right there in the middle of the living room. you end up


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