By on September 2, 2015

yukon

As those of you with access to the Internet will know, President Obama recently discovered the executive superpower to rename mountains. As a consequence, Mount McKinley, the highest peak in North America and the tallest mountain in the world when the measurement is taken from the surrounding ground, is now known by the name given to it by the Athabascans: Denali.

In a prepared statement, Mr. Obama said, “With this action, I am fulfilling two of my most cherished dreams. First, I’m living the progressive dream of presiding over the surrender of a national monument to a native group. Secondly, I’m honoring my childhood memories of Mount Kenya, which rose in splendid African majesty over the place of my birth and early years.”

Just kidding, of course. Mr. Obama is as American as Dave Matthews or Steve Nash and to suggest otherwise is to lend strength to the right-wing racist slander of people like Linda Starr and Philip Berg. But enough of that twaddle. If you’re like me, your initial reaction to the news was simple: What does this mean for General Motors?


Face it: When you hear “Denali”, you think “GMC”.

The only people who don’t are certain native-born Alaskans and people who knew what a “piton” was before Krakauer published Into Thin Air. GMC has spent millions of dollars and sold hundreds of thousands of vehicles to make sure that you associate the word with a Remington-shaver grille and not a national park. If you don’t realize just how critical the Denali sub-brand is to GM’s fortunes, let me bring you up to speed.

“GMC’s Denali line represents about 23 percent of all GMC sales but is nearly 60 percent of Yukon and Yukon XL full-size SUV sales and 44 percent of Sierra HD sales.” Think about that. The plain-Jane Yukon is actually rarer than the Denali nowadays, which is a staggering fact once you consider the seventeen-thousand-dollar premium for that chrome cheese grater up front. Much of that seventeen grand is profit, and every penny is needed to balance out the continuing and inexcusably tragic implosion of GM’s passenger-car line.

Just as important, the demographics of the Denali line are beyond reproach. Buyers of the Yukon models are eight years younger than Escalade owners (46 v 54) and nearly as wealthy ($188k household income v. $200k) despite that age gap. If you read between the lines of PR comments about Denali owners, you’ll also hear a lot of socioeconomic clues about race and class. GM wrings its hands about the “athletes and rappers” image of the Escalade — “Cadillac says they wouldn’t mind retaining them, but aren’t going out of their way to attract them.” I assure you that any time a company says it “wouldn’t mind retaining” a few customers for a $90,000 product, that what they really mean is “we wish to God that we could prevent those people from driving them in public.”

The positioning of the Yukon Denali as the vehicle of choice for old money, horse-farm types, and “quietly confident” self-made business owners, compared to the old-people-and-rappers Escalade, combined with the never-ending tailspin of Cadillacs that don’t have a twelve-square-foot grille mounted at the height of the average American woman’s thorax, means that the Yukon Denali XL is, effectively, the flagship of General Motors. It’s the American S-Class, complete with a Cheap-class variant (the Acadia Denali) for the people who want the look of the premium product without the functionality or price. As such, the name is slightly less likely to disappear from GM order books than the names “Corvette” or “Silverado” no matter how politicized it becomes in the near future. If Donald Trump is re-elected and he changes the name of the mountain back, it might even cause a few progressives to shed their LX470s and Range Rovers in favor of the big GMC refrigerator, strictly as a statement of intent. “Yes, I drive a Denali, not a McKinley, thank you very much.”

Truth is, you can learn a lot about America from the place names given to GM cars in any particular era. Think of the Chevrolet Malibu: it appeared in 1964, just in time for the nation to fall in love with California. The Monte Carlo? 1970, a time when more Americans were focusing outward and looking to Europe for ideas about cars and fashion. The Pontiac Bonneville? Straight outta the power-crazed, post-war Fifties. The Cadillac Calais? An attempt to give the base ‘Lac some Continental glamour. The Celebrity Eurosport? Let’s just forget about that one.

But the choice of “Denali” twenty years ago to adorn an upscale GMC truck was one of GM’s marketing master strokes. It was the perfect name, on the perfect product, at the perfect time. At the time, the country’s upper middle class was entering a period of bizarre self-exaltation-via-self-abnegation. Bling was out: conspicuous non-consumption was in. The farmhouses of upstate New York were stripped of their rough-sawn furnishings as Manhattan housewives battled tooth and nail to make their kitchens “rustic”. David Brooks nailed it in 1998:

It is perfectly acceptable to spend lots on money on anything that is “professional quality”… You must practice one-downmanship… you will proudly dine on a two-hundred-year-old pine table that was once used for slaughtering chickens… Eventually, every object in your house will look as it had once been owned by someone much poorer than you.

The Denali, therefore, was acceptable, even desirable, “one-downmanship” from the S-Class or Siebener in your neighbors’ garages. It was “professional grade”, and it could easily be used for an expedition that your ninety-hour work-week at Goldman Sachs or Intel would never permit. Once the truly wealthy bought in to the Denali ideal, the upper middle class dutifully lined up behind them. What it means when suburban attorneys shoulder a $1700-per-month car payment they can ill afford, all in the service of pretending to be Boston Brahmin in their slummin’ truck, is an exercise I leave up to the reader.

Thus it happens that this most American of vehicles is named after a mountain in a park in a state that wasn’t even a state until after the Korean War. Nobody goes there, although it’s possible to be short-roped up the thing the same way the socialites are dragged up the side of Everest. I have no idea what the terrain around Denali looks like and neither do you. What matters is that it represents something beyond civilization:

But I reckon I got to light out for the Territory ahead of the rest, because Aunt Sally she’s going to adopt me and sivilize me, and I can’t stand it. I been there before.

That’s what Denali is: the territory ahead that we will never reach. Instead, we’ll stay at the office for another evening of forcible civilization and Starbucks. It’s all the better for being essentially useless and inhospitable, because that helps it remain just an idea and not a place you’d use your NetJets share to visit on a long weekend.

And that’s what America has become in 2015. You live in offices and put the names of things you’ll never understand on the side of trucks you don’t need, can’t afford, and can’t even change the oil on yourself. Our president is so helpless in the face of the economy and the multinationals and the media that he resorts to apologizing to people he’s never harmed in hopes that someone will grant him absolution for crimes he didn’t commit. The daughters of your friends drive Jeeps to party schools and the daughters of the people who grow your food drive MRAPs over landmines. There are no jobs left and the ones that are available are all at Amazon, and that’s a hellhole. Every day you’re beaten over the head about your responsibility for the inevitable climate change but when you fly anywhere it’s in the middle seat of a Southwest 737, not the teak-appointed cabin of a G-Five. You don’t believe you can change anything and if you thought you could you’d be afraid to try.

No wonder, then, that the mountain is being renamed. We don’t deserve a Mount McKinley. McKinley was a winner. He protected American jobs and saved the economy and won a war and picked up Hawaii while he was at it. And when he died, the man he agreed to take as vice-president did a pretty decent job, too. We couldn’t use a guy like that nowadays; wouldn’t know what to do with him. So it’s perfectly reasonable to change Mount McKinley back to Mount Denali. Maybe Rainier will change back to Tacoma before you know it. That’s been in the works since 1921 or so, and it makes more sense. And it would free the name of Rainier to find its natural home: on the side of upscale Enclaves. Enclave Rainier. You know it makes sense. What better way to celebrate a class of vehicles, and of owners, that never looks up from the quotidian to the mountain, or, indeed, anything at all?

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283 Comments on “No Fixed Abode: Denali Ain’t Just A Mountain In Alaska...”


  • avatar
    JimC2

    “…memories of Mount Kenya, which rose in splendid African majesty over the place of my birth and early years.”

    Trolling like a champ, Jack. I hadn’t even had my coffee yet.

    Well played, sir, well played. ;)

    • 0 avatar
      don1967

      Funny, I took the birthplace comment as humour, with “right-wing racist slander” being the actual troll.

      Regardless, well played.

      • 0 avatar
        eunos

        “Mr. Obama is as American as Dave Matthews or Steve Nash”

        Haha – there’s layers upon layers of trolling here. I’m staring into the troll abyss!!

        Well played Mr. Baruth.

        • 0 avatar
          ellomdian

          I think most people are missing the point that you nailed – Jack isn’t trolling one side or the other, he’s trolling both sides against each other.

          The only way to appreciate most of his writing is from the middle. Or with anything other than a thin-skin. Very Thompson-esque.

          • 0 avatar
            Syke

            Harlan Ellison comes to mind more readily than Thompson when you’re reading Jack.

          • 0 avatar
            Jack Baruth

            I worked with Rich Ehrlich in school. Rich was a contemporary and friend of Ellison and had a lot of stories.

          • 0 avatar
            VolandoBajo

            @ellomdian I wanted to weigh in with a comment to the effect that this work of Jack’s is so far above and beyond trolling as to be worthy of having a new word invented for what has been done by him.

            But your comment about both sides against the middle, and similar, does justice to what Jack is capable of, and has done here.

    • 0 avatar
      Monty

      Well other than Steve Nash being a South African born Canadian, this was pretty good (although part of me thinks the choice of Nash was deliberate).

      Reading the comments gave me a splitting headache, though. Some people just don’t get the point. I guess it’s much better to constantly reiterate your party’s talking points than to apply critical thinking. It’s what the illuminati want us to do, though, right? Fight amongst ourselves while they divide up the cash?

  • avatar
    kvndoom

    The truth hurts, but you make it hurt so good…

  • avatar
    Spartan

    “Secondly, I’m honoring my childhood memories of Mount Kenya, which rose in splendid African majesty over the place of my birth and early years.”

    Someone had an aneurism after reading that ;)

  • avatar
    anti121hero

    Great read. Bravo for echoing mine and plenty of others thoughts.

  • avatar
    Drzhivago138

    I don’t mind the name change. Pres. McKinley never visited the mountain, which had been called Denali for thousands(?) of years. But I can imagine the Fox News crowd having a hissy fit over it.

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      As someone observed, if Obama cured cancer, the American right would claim that Obama was waging a war on oncologists. Lots of sound and fury, signifying the usual nothing.

      • 0 avatar
        TW5

        I think people are tired of the sideshow coming from the executive branch. Obama excels at angering Congress. That is his only achievement. The Democratic Congress, in particular, suffered greatly under his failed attempt at healthcare reform.

        He is a genuinely awful president, but it’s his behavior, not his politics, that have caused so many problems. Renaming Denali is another act of conceited defiance, and it’s having roughly the same affect as his other acts. Obama is a troll whose star is outshined only by his nemesis, The Donald.

        • 0 avatar
          Pch101

          More sound and fury, with its customary lack of significance.

          • 0 avatar
            TW5

            The lack of significance is a trickle-down characteristic President Obama’s executive actions. You can’t expect his critics to find actual achievement in the use of executive power to rename a mountain.

            US is not in particularly good shape, and now that China is struggling, the world needs us to step up quite badly. Obama is using his power to rename mountains and help Iran enrich uranium. His use of executive power is confused and insignificant.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            Some folks confuse verbosity with profundity. Must make things easier.

          • 0 avatar
            VolandoBajo

            And the self-appointed arbiter of the Obama Reputation Defense Committee weighs in with more sound and fury signifying nothing, in an attempt to denigrate all that he surveys which does not stand in awe of his idol.

            Pch could be replaced by a small shellscript, and no one would notice, except for a slight improvement in consistency.

          • 0 avatar
            dolorean

            @Volando, with small minds comes small thoughts and even smaller arguments against someone’s perceived character, not the larger discussion at hand. So please, when grownups are talking, sit quiently and drink your own Kool-Aid.

        • 0 avatar
          jmo

          He’s worse than W?

        • 0 avatar

          I really don’t see how he’s awful really he seems more average then anything.

      • 0 avatar

        … and those who support the capitulation to the Iranian’s nuclear dreams aren’t expressing their own tribal affiliations, right?

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          Who was more threatened by Iranian nuclear dreams? Saudi Arabia, Israel, or the US? (hint its not the US)

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            We are going to have closer ties with Iran going forward. Neither country wants to see ISIS grow and there are economic reasons to normalize relations.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Pch points out below the Iranians officially restarted their program in 2006 but it actually has roots in the 1950s. One of the reasons for a deal is to prevent a nuclear exchange between Israel, who has nuclear armaments, and Saudi Arabia which is believed to have access to weapons via Pakistan. I’ve heard theories about Saudi oil running low and a pivot to Iran because of it as well, but these are not substantiated. The point is, the people of the United States do not directly benefit in such a deal.

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_program_of_Iran

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            I don’t even think it’s about the oil. We aren’t going to be getting oil from Iran. However, Iran has a population of almost 80 million and a major city with a metro population of over 12 million. It is also a young population (median age of 26) that American companies would love access to.

          • 0 avatar
            VolandoBajo

            And which of those was NOT threatened by Iranian nuclear dreams? Hint: None of the above is the correct answer.

          • 0 avatar
            dolorean

            Again, volando supporting a scarecrow by simply adding a NOT in caps and attempt at wit.

            SA and Israel have very specific arguments against a strong Iran that have little to do with it’s Nuclear ambitions. For SA, its the terrifying thought that they won’t be King $hit of Turd Island anymore in the hegemonic Middle East and for Israel its to lobby the US for more money through fear mongering.

        • 0 avatar
          Pch101

          Iran restarted its nuclear program in 2006. If only we had had a Republican in the White House who could have shown them who’s boss.

          Oh, wait a minute…

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            You always makes it a red/blue thing when in fact it is not.

            The State Department of President Peace Prize has already brought us the geopolitical disasters of:

            Egypt
            Libya
            Ukraine
            Syria

            Sometimes shit happens, but shit happens four times and the West lurks behind the scenes of all of them? Fool me once…

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            I can’t think of a US presidential administration that had any idea what to do with the Middle East. Absolutely no clue. Our track record is straight up awful.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            Some of you folks need to realize that the world keeps spinning with or without the United States.

            Not everything bad that happens is attributable to the occupant of the White House at the time that it happens. The US could not have prevented the Russians from attacking Ukraine any more than it could have prevented them from going after Georgia during the Bush administration or the Warsaw Pact uprisings under Eisenhower. They aren’t nearly as US-centric as you are.

            The irony here is that the Arab Spring was exactly what the neo-conservatives wanted to happen — the hope was that the Iraq “liberation” would inspire the rest of the Arab world — and look at what happened.

            And it might have occurred to you that part of what motivated the Iranians to re-nuke was the power vacuum created next door to them thanks to the Iraq war. Bush the Younger destabilized the region in ways that his father deliberately tried to avoid during the earlier Gulf War.

          • 0 avatar

            As I said, some folks must demonstrate their tribal bone fides.

            The fact that those doing the virtue signalling think of themselves as more sophisticated than those they consider to be jingoistic rubes is almost humorous.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            The idea that nations don’t cut deals with their opponents betrays an ignorance of history.

            I suppose that Reagan shouldn’t have negotiated arms reduction with the Soviets because they were godless communists.

          • 0 avatar
            CJinSD

            Wasn’t it Reagan who said, “trust, but not when they say they’re going to kill you?”

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            RE: “going after Georgia”

            Russia mopped the floor with Georgia only after Georgia launched an overly optimistic blitzkrieg on the South Ossetian capital of Tshkinvali, and killed a bunch of Russian peacekeepers there under international mandate in the process. Hell an OSCE report months after the fact confirmed that the initial attack was clearly Georgia. Was Russia’s response disproportional? Was the first Gulf War disproportional?

            It is no secret that the “color” revolutions in ex-Soviet Republics are in large part sponsored and driven by the US State Department, Nuland and co. brag about the billions spent on ‘promoting democracy’ in the Ukraine since the 1990s. That’s not to say that the unrest is artifical or unpopular, but simply that the US likes to rock the boat and destabilize countries, especially if it will be a thorn in Russia’s (or someone else’s) side.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            The Russian penchant for western conspiracy theories and their resentment for the loss of the Soviet Union explain a lot.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            @bball

            FDR was smart enough to treat with the Saudis. Under his regime the Middle East was relatively peaceful despite the Second World War.

            http://www.ameu.org/getattachment/51ee4866-95c1-4603-b0dd-e16d2d49fcbc/The-Day-FDR-Met-Saudi-Arabia-Ibn-Saud.aspx

            Personally I say let the region go up in flames.

            @pch

            One well detailed article with citations which elaborates on the Western backed coup in Ukraine:

            http://joequinn.net/2015/02/20/euromaidan-anatomy-of-a-washington-backed-coup-detat/

            “Arab Spring” consisted of four main actions:

            Tunisia: The only seemingly genuine (and successful) revolt
            Libya: Western backed intervention to topple Gadaffi.
            Bahrain: Revolt crushed with Western support
            Saudi Arabia: Bought off the population with more welfare to quell any uprising

            You make an interesting point on the power vacuum which hadn’t occurred to me, although I would have to do some research before I could agree. FWIW as you probably know Iran sent in troops to defend Baghdad last summer when it was thought ISIS would try to take the city. Part of the problem which supposedly led to ISIS I read was the Shia led government ostracizing Sunnis. One might argue Iran has stepped up its influence in the country in response to the power vacuum created by Saddam’s removal and the withdraw of US troops.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            FDR made that deal because he knew they had oil and Standard Oil was already drilling for oil there. He also met with the Saudis in 1945. The result of the war was not in doubt at that point. That’s some pre-Cold War positioning.

            The Middle East was not peaceful prior to FDR. There were all kinds of conflicts between the fall of the Ottoman Empire and post WWII. Some continued to modern day. The US was less involved in them though.

            Arab-Western relations have been poor since the Sykes-Picot agreement.

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            @Pch

            So you’re saying the State Department hasn’t funded most of the opposition NGOs in ex-Soviet states with millions (actually, billions) of dollars? Let’s stick to the facts on this one.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            The people of western Ukraine don’t particularly want to be governed by Vladimir Putin and his Soviet 2.0 government. They don’t need the CIA to convince them of that; they have long memories, and don’t have the nostalgia for the USSR that many Russians do.

          • 0 avatar

            Bball nailed it this isn’t a party issue it’s more a were f…ed no matter what issue.

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            Then the people of western Ukraine should have waited until the elections to vote Yanukovich out. He had been elected in what is considered by the international community a monitored, fair election in 2010. Isn’t that democracy defined? Or is a mob of people hurling molotov cocktails now the kind of “democracy” the US wants to promote? What do you think would happen to protesters here in the US if a bunch of Tea-Partiers came to Washington to demand Obama’s ouster, stormed government buildings, and threw bricks and molotovs at riot police? What in God’s name was John McCain doing in Kiev sharing the stage with literal neo-Nazis? Didn’t he have his fill yet hanging out with heart-eating ISIS members in Syria?

            In another act of democracy, the Ukrainian Communist Party was outright banned, journalists and Party of Regions members that spoke out against this new state of affairs were intimidated, beaten, some committed suicide. When people in the Eastern regions started up anti-Maidan protests, the interrim government sent in APCs and troops (some of whom simply gave up their vehicles and left) without pause. 40 people burned to death in Odessa, the government refuses to have a full investigation, in the same way they refuse to investigate the origin of the shootings that happened on the Maidan right when Yanukovich had given all of the concessions?

            You still haven’t addressed the issue of the State Department openly speaking of fomenting unrest in the former Soviet Union.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            The people of western Ukraine sure didn’t vote to have Putin invade the eastern part of their country.

            The Maidan was a local affair. Blaming the US for a domestic uprising is a pile of dung. It isn’t really your business what the Ukrainians do to select or depose their leadership, but I suppose that you might feel otherwise if your attitude is that Ukraine is a Russian colony.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Must be nice to ignore facts to support your argument.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            Oh, I forgot. The US hired a few hundred thousand actors to protest the Yanukovych government that everyone adored.

            Of course, they preferred to be pushed around by the Russians rather than pursue a greater connection with the more prosperous Europeans. Who wouldn’t want to be under Putin’s boot heel?

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            They went from Putin’s to Washington’s, its not as if these people had a say in the matter.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            You have a poor grasp of geopolitics and your fondness for conspiracy theories doesn’t help matters.

            A few things that might help:

            -Most of the world does not live in the US and does not base its every act and thought on the US. This is one of those situations.

            -The Soviets were not a popular occupier

            -The western Ukrainians saw that they had been left behind economically and were PO’d about it. Having a leader who intended to drag them eastward was not just oppressive but bad for their wallets.

            -Meanwhile, the Russians see Ukraine as part of their buffer zone and were unhappy with the idea of a Ukraine with less Russian and more European influence

            Putin did not want Ukraine to find its own way west and join NATO. That’s what this was all about, and the US pretty much had zero/zilch/nada to do with it.

            What we probably should have done was to take a clear stand against Ukrainian NATO membership and offered to Finlandize it, but I will criticize the current administration for not reacting as it should have. (Didn’t cause the problem, but didn’t respond to it optimally, either. Of course, the Republican approach was even worse, as usual.)

          • 0 avatar
            VolandoBajo

            And of course, the world is so much better off (at least from the Iranian worldview) now that we have a US President who isn’t afraid to stand up to the Queen of England (by sending back that Churchhill bust), and who also isn’t afraid to show Iran that the US will not only not stand in the way of Iran’s nuclear dreams, it will actually cheerlead for them.

          • 0 avatar
            dolorean

            volando….step away from the breitbart and just breathe in the normal slowly.

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            @PCH

            You keep talking about Western Ukrainians and their supposed resentment of Soviet rule and all things Russian. Well what about the eastern half of the country? Take a look at a voting map from the 2010 election. There was definitely a bi-polar division between Yanukovich (East, party of Regions) and Timoshenko (West). The East mobilized voters enough to win, fair and square. If the Western Ukrainians don’t like it, they should have campaigned harder in the next election, and hint hint, maybe tone down the nationalist rhetoric and try to appeal to ALL of Ukraine. And if the “Russian yoke” is too much to bear and IMF loans and EU austerity measures are that enticing, then they could split off and have their beloved Ukraine be West of the Dnieper. You have to understand just how integrated the economy of Eastern Ukraine is with neighboring Russia. The course charted out by the Maidan activists and pro-Europe alignment was simply unpalatable.

            The nationalist rhetoric being perpetuated by the vishivanka wearing “patriots” of Ukraine isn’t doing the country any good. Trying to unify the country with a single language and a bizarre re-writing of WW2 history that canonizes Nazi collaborators and villifies the Red Army (which was made up about 1/6 Ukrainians from all regions) is just pushing the Russophone East farther and farther away. The pulling down of Lenin statues by Right Sektor and other hooligans is a prime example of the sort of behavior that many in the East detest. If the Western Ukrainians want to do that in their home towns, by all means. But to come to someone else’s city and to try to impose their own values and beliefs was met with strong, even violent resentment. I know that if someone tried to tear down the Lenin statue in my grandma’s Siberian village, she would personally tear the perpetrators limb from limb. The attitude in many Eastern Ukrainian cities and villages is the same. I’m not a communist nor do I support that ideology, but I understand the idea of not imposing your will and beliefs on someone else just because they don’t jibe with yours.

            I’m not saying Russian involvement in supporting the East is right (and make no mistake it is that, including massive amounts of weapons and even troops), but it is hard to stand by and watch relatives and friends live under the heel of those vehement nationalists. It is also hard to argue that the population in Crimea isn’t massively better off under their new flag.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            Eastern Ukraine is being blown to bits and the clock being turned back. I can only hope that the locals are enjoying the byproducts of Russian “leadership.”

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            You’ve yet to make a single cogent response to any of the issues I’ve raised, you’re just spouting off CNN headlines. Not a very useful conversation. I’ve already stated that I don’t support the Russian escalation of the conflict in the East, however I do support the annexation of Crimea. It was bloodless, and even the Western press is now begrudgingly admitting that the majority of Crimean citizens voted in favor of it.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            Your points aren’t particularly relevant.

            Putin isn’t trying to rescue Ukrainians from each other. He’s trying to destabilize the country so that it doesn’t join NATO or become too independent for his tastes, and he wants Crimea for its warm water port. It’s not that complicated.

  • avatar
    ajla

    I’m shocked that you and the guy that does “Regular Car Reviews” aren’t pals.

    And any name is better than alpha-numerics.

  • avatar
    Syke

    Another dead white male from American history being dissed and pushed further back into oblivion. So what else is new? That’s been the general narrative on American history for the past decade and a half (if not longer).

    I await day where it will be claimed that all the signers of the Declaration of Independence were transgendered. Anything other than white European-born males.

    • 0 avatar
      MPAVictoria

      Yes truly no one is oppressed like the American White Male….

    • 0 avatar
      Syke

      Never complained about the American white male being oppressed. What does annoy me (as both a amateur historian and re-enactor for the past 30 years) is the constant attempts to rewrite history to match the current state of American thought (usually from the left wing side, the right is usually happy to leave history as it was) with no consideration whatsoever to how people were thinking back in the days when that history was current events.

      Most historical re-writers conveniently forget that attitudes held as normal in 2015 would have you at best considered mad, and at worst arrested back in, say, 1815. Yes, life and attitudes change, its the evolution of society. But to disallow any consideration of what people were thinking back in the day is at best criminally stupid. At worst it guarantees that you would have no clue whatsoever was going on back in the time being referenced.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        History is a set of lies agreed upon -Napoleon

        • 0 avatar
          VolandoBajo

          History is the narrative of events according to the victor. Though there is in fact some actual absolute truth that exists in there somewhere, no matter how painted up and tarted up political correctness attempts to make it.

      • 0 avatar
        nitroxide

        +1. Well said Syke.

      • 0 avatar
        MPAVictoria

        Except no one is doing that….

        Go take a few history courses at your local college. You will be pleasantly surprised.

        • 0 avatar
          TW5

          Sure, and Standard Oil can teach us the virtues of market-based competition, too.

          The education system shills for the culture, political orientation, political party, government bureaucracy, etc. that protects its monopoly.

          Perhaps this is why students learn that LBJ is the architect of modern civil rights, though he was actually an ardent segregationist who blocked civil rights during Eisenhower, while also drafting minorities into Vietnam and creating the modern welfare state, which intentionally/unintentionally removes access to employment for minority citizens. But LBJ came from the correct party (as of today, could change tomorrow) so he is lauded. See also: JFK didn’t intend to get the US entangled in Vietnam. See also: Nixon is a scumbag, though he was basically LBJ 2.0, upgraded for more progressive competence and less war, but Watergate :*(

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            I thought this site was called “Truth about Cars”? Not US Politics and World History. What has the above got to with the GM Denali?

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @Robert Ryan – more hits if politics get woven into a car story.

            Jack needs to add gays, guns, and religion into it and we’d see 50 more pages of posts ;)

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            @Lou_BC
            Great idea, it would come out as Multi Volume work. Just print it out and would make great bedtime reading. More subjects than the Encyclopedia Brittanica

        • 0 avatar

          Why pay tuition to be given a particular view of history by ideologically skewed instructors when you can learn all the history you want to learn, from a variety of perspectives, at the public library?

          I respect Charles Hyde a lot, but I’m not sure that taking a course with him would cover as much ground as any one of his books on automotive history.

          To be sure, there’s some pedagogic value to the teacher-student relationship, but I don’t see that outweighing the negative side of today’s academe.

          • 0 avatar
            VolandoBajo

            @Ronnie “What you said!”

          • 0 avatar
            dolorean

            Ronnie, I don’t believe there’s a “positive-negative” side to education. Higher learning isn’t about mechanical memorization of facts and dates and saying, “This is EXACTLY what happened when…” because there’s no way anyone can actually know that. Even if we have someone from that time period that lived throught the events, all we are going to get is Their View and that’s all.

            You have to take everything with a grain of salt and if it interestes you, you look it up to learn more. No one is actually interested in the Truth because its such a moving target that its pointless. The best you can hope for is a reasonably high guess that this is true and here are some references to back your argument.

            Unlike Volando, who just makes up things to suit his world view.

      • 0 avatar
        Bokonon

        The name “Mount McKinley” was slapped on the mountain as a partisan political prank by a bunch of out-of-staters. And has been kept there against the wishes of the State of Alaska for decades. There has been a lot of political chicanery and foot-dragging and bumfuzzle at the federal level to bog things down. So … having the NPS recognize that Congress isn’t going to do anything, and recognizing the “Denali” name again cuts through a bunch of Washington B.S. And it corrects a historical wrong.

        Syke – based on your respect for history, I would think you’d appreciate that (rather than focusing on the dead white male aspect).

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        @Syke – yes one must consider the values and ideals of the era but Colonialism is never good for those who initially inhabited the land. I’m sure that ISIL has all sorts of rationale for what they do and we all know that the victor gets to write the history books.

        “First Nations” or “Aboriginals” or if you prefer “Indians” we subjected to genocide either directly or indirectly in the USA. Just because the beliefs of the time say it was okay to push “Indians” off of their land, to sequester them in reserves and even kill them does not make it right.

        You must recall that slavery was an accepted practice partially due to the belief that “blacks” were inferior to “whites”. You saying that was right because it was once considered acceptable? Is it still right in this day and age because it was considered right in the past?

        I do not feel guilt or shame for what happened in the past but I do need to change my views and correct things in the present. We can’t change the past but we can right wrongs in the present.

        • 0 avatar

          If colonialism had no benefits, why are former British colonies among the most successful countries in their regions and on the planet?

          Slavery was a near universal practice, including in places where concepts like “blacks” and “whites” are foreign.

          There were no aborginals in North America. The people who were here when the European arrived were relatively recent entrants onto the continent. They had come here from Siberia and wiped out earlier immigrants (see: Clovis spearpoint). That population was later decimated by a lack of resistance to viral diseases, mostly because they didn’t raise livestock and there were few infection vectors. It was primarily smallpox, naturally transmitted by voyageurs and missionaries who unknowingly carried the germs, that wiped out most Siberian-Americans, not genocide (unless you propose there was knowledge of the germ theory centuries before Pasteur).

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            Ronnie,
            You are correct about colonialism. What Colonialism had done is introduce cultures into new lands.

            The most successful nation was Great Britan. The British system has evolved ever so slightly across many nations.

            One must remember, culture is the instrument that governs society.

            The best and most successful culture will survive as the most competitive.

            This is the problem in the Middle East. Too many clashing cultures managed by the “elite and influencial”, not the people.

            China is in a similar position. The people have little input. The elite rule. I can see a Bad Moon Aris’in in China.

            Civil war. Why else do the police need tanks?

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            Ronnie Schreiber – I said “Colonialism is never good for those who initially inhabited the land”.

            Exploiting someone else is always good for those at the helm.

            The Siberian land bridge is but one theory.

            Not all were killed by disease. Custer’s last stand just another example of Indian savagery?

            Siberian-Americans.. oooohhh, I like that one.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @Big Al – “What Colonialism had done is introduce cultures into new lands.”

            The psychological crutch of the oppressor – we are saving the savages from themselves by introducing them to our superior culture.

            Google “Cultural Genocide”.

            Reserves and government/church run schools ring a bell to anyone?

            Probably not since most of us are middle-aged white guys of European descent.

          • 0 avatar

            “Probably not since most of us are middle-aged white guys of European descent.”

            It’s funny that you say that, because I’m Jewish, a member of a group that white guys of European descent have been oppressing for about 2,000 years.

            That doesn’t change the fact that if I had to pick between the Spaniards, who expelled Jews who had been living in Spain for centuries, and the Aztecs, I’d still say that the Spaniards had a more advanced culture. They may have been Jew-haters but at least they didn’t practice human sacrifice (or, for the matter, slavery on the scale practiced by the mesozoic Central Americans).

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            Ronnie Schreiber
            – You have said you were Jewish before. So, being from a persecuted minority means that it is okay to condone the persecution and/or subjugation of other minorities?

            I thought it would be the other way around!

            I used to believe in the rhetoric espoused by the colonial masters.
            Some of us grow… others just continue on.

            Work with cough hack “Siberian Americans” for a while and see what kind of a mess colonialism made of them.

            Human sacrifice? Looks like we just traveled further south in the “Americas”.

            Are Aztecs and Incas also “Siberian Americans”???

            Slavery? So we picked that one up from the Indians er Siberian Americans?

          • 0 avatar

            “– You have said you were Jewish before. So, being from a persecuted minority means that it is okay to condone the persecution and/or subjugation of other minorities?

            I thought it would be the other way around!”

            A look at the history of pre-Columbian North America shows that the “natives” were pretty good at subjugating other groups. The Europeans didn’t introduce slavery, war and for sure cannibalism to North America.

            Your notion that because of historic Jew-hatred and being the historic objects of persecution, Jews today must line up in support of whatever groups progressives have anointed, including those who wish us harm, would be considered to be dictating to an oppressed minority group how they should act, were Jews considered one of those anointed groups.

            If Arabs are “brown”, in your racialist calculus can Jews, genetic cousins to Arabs, at least be considered beige?

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @Ronnie Schreiber – Actually, no. My assumption that since you say you are from a persecuted minority then you should at least be able to understand to what it is like to be part of a different persecuted minority.

            “Racialist calculus”…… “Siberian/Americans”

            Where do you get these gems?

            So now you are rationalizing colonialism because early “natives” were cannibals, slavers, and went to war with each other…..

            You get funnier by the minute.

            Is that deliberate?

            I hope it is deliberate!

            All of my “Indian” (i.e. East Indian and/or from the Indian sub continent) regard themselves as “brown”. I didn’t know that extended to the Arab East.

            Truth be told, Arabs are Caucasian.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            Lou,
            The reality is we will not stop the success of the “better” cultures. Look around the world. Even these indigenous people want what we have. But it does come at a cost, that is the loss of their culture.

            You talk of the carnage that the settlers of North America had on the local indigenous people.

            Maybe if their culture was strong enough history would of been written differently.

            I’m not condoning what had occurred in the past, but I’m not responsible either.

            It’s called Darwinism, survival of the species. Even within a species the strongest will rein supreme.

            As brutal as this sounds it’s a fact of life and science.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            Big Al from Oz – “strong enough culture”. Wow. Another pearl.

            Children were taken from their parents and put into residential schools. The point was to eradicate their inferior culture and language.

            Most Western First Nations people had verbal histories passed down. It wasn’t written. Strip them of their culture and you strip them of their history. Makes it much easier to take over their lands without a fight.

            Darwinism and survival of the species?

            Just in case you missed the memo, we are all the same species = human beings.

            Wow.

            How is that so hard to comprehend?

            It is okay if my tribe subjugates or wipes out your tribe as long as mine survives.

            Superior civilization my azz.

          • 0 avatar
            VolandoBajo

            Spain didn’t do too badly either, for a few hundred years. There is a reason why Spanish is such a widely spoken language in the world today.

            “¡Para Santiago y España!”

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            Lou,
            What you state is tragic, but it is small scale compared to what has actually occurred overall.

            I’m stating that the local Indian and Eskimo cultures where not as flexible as the European culture.

            The culture that is the most flexible is the most progressive. It will be the dominant culture. That is the best tool for a society to thrive and achieve.

            Any culture that needs to be supported in any shape is doomed. This is sad but true.

            There will be a legacy left behind from these obsolete cultures. Look at what the ancient Greeks and Romans have given us.

            Cultures will homongenise eventually.

            3 000 years ago there were over 36 000 languages on the planet, now 3 000 are left.

            Language is a good measure of culture.

            This is sad, but the successful culture adapts the better aspects of the outgoing culture to strengthen or even placate and/or reduce acceptance by the “conquered” culture.

            This is the way for thousands of years.

      • 0 avatar
        dolorean

        Pres. McKinley wasn’t really all that great or memoriable. The mountain was named for him by a guy who simply read his name in the paper as a nominee for President. The name change was approved way back in the 80s (Denali National Park and Mt. McKinley but had a rider that stated Congress had to vote to keep the name every two years). His name was kept there by an eccentric Representative from Ohio (McKinney being from there as well) who had nothing better to do with his time apparently that finally decided to retire last year.

        No one is disallowing any considereation of what actually happened. At the time, no one really knew much about Alaska and could’ve cared even less about the name. The Spanish-American War was taking off. the West was finally settled, the Gilded Age with it’s Robber Barons was supreme and the end of the Century was at hand. This took up very little of anyone’s time.

  • avatar
    cwallace

    McKinley? Some musty old president that did stuff, like, before the internet? Pass.

    Now, nobody had better mess with Mount Rainier. Rainier Wolfcastle is the greatest fictional action hero ever conceived, and easily deserving of his own mountain. Ice to see you, indeed.

  • avatar
    Dan

    Rare form for other writers, just another Wednesday morning TTAC for Jack. Well played.

  • avatar
    Spartan

    Jack Baruth complaining about this, being from New York and all, is akin to those around the country complaining about the Confederate Flag being taken down in South Carolina and have never lived there to experience the truth surrounding that rag flying on government property.

    Americans like complaining about a lot of things that they zero perspective on because they want a voice. They want someone to listen to them talk, for whatever reason. Usually, it’s because they want to sound smart based off what they’ve read on the internet and want people to agree with them. Narcissism at its finest.

    Native Alaskans never had a voice to have this changed. Finally, they get it, and people complain, as many people knew they would. When was the last time Jack Baruth visited Alaska? Has he ever lived there? Has he ever spoken to a single Native Alaskan about how they feel about having the mountain re-named or their opinion about it being named after McKinley in the first place?

    Honestly, I would have expected better from Jack Baruth. I’ll go to Jalopnik for my fix if this is the new standard for TTAC.

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      It’s as if a bunch of toddlers got together and formed a political movement. Me, me, me. No, no, no. Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa.

    • 0 avatar
      tresmonos

      “…is akin to those around the country complaining about the Confederate Flag being taken down in South Carolina…”

      Racism isn’t even in the same ball park as some dead president and a mountain that people only hear about in 3rd grade geography class.

      Getting worked up about someone’s opinion about something that doesn’t even matter is ridiculous. I read this as more of a commentary on the state of our country.

      • 0 avatar
        Spartan

        I think you misunderstood my point.

        This isn’t about getting worked up at all. This is about someone writing about something that they have zero perspective on. ZERO!

        I don’t write about quantum physics because I’m not a quantum physicist. So I can’t write about that at all, or at least I shouldn’t. So for me to write a 1,000 word op-ed on it would be asinine. The same applies here to Mr. Baruth. What does he know about this other than he’s outraged? He’s outraged because he’s outraged. He’s entitled to his opinion, but on TTAC, really?

        This reeks of “IM OUTRAGED! LISTEN TO ME TALK ABOUT IT ALTHOUGH I’VE NEVER BEEN THERE AND I DONT’T HAVE ANY IDEA OF HOW THE PEOPLE WHO ACTUALLY LIVE THERE REALLY FEEL! BUT I STILL WANT TO COMPLAIN ABOUT IT, EVEN THOUGH I HAVE ZERO PERSPECTIVE ON IT! WAAAAAAH

        Yeah, kinda like that. This article is beyond ridiculous, especially for a car blog. This belongs on the Daily Caller, not TTAC.

        • 0 avatar
          Jack Baruth

          You really think I could write for the Daily Caller?

          *blushes*

        • 0 avatar
          hreardon

          Spartan, I don’t believe Jack expressed much outrage in his piece….unlike yourself.

          • 0 avatar
            Spartan

            I’m not outraged, I am concerned about reading a piece like this on a car blog. It felt like an article from the Daily Caller, which I read. HOWEVER, I don’t want to read that here.

            If I appear to be outraged, that’s why.

          • 0 avatar
            VolandoBajo

            I will second what @hreardon said. All in favor, say “Aye!”.

        • 0 avatar
          CJinSD

          There are lots of people that are interested in Jack’s opinions on any number of topics. His writing is one of the top draws for this site. You read this piece before realizing it was your turn to have your feelings hurt. Sorry that you’re not inside the joke this time, but that’s just the risk you take for the rewards of reading intelligent commentary. Trying to silence Jack because you know he’s influential and thoughtful, which makes you question you’re own imprinted beliefs, is not appreciated.

          • 0 avatar
            VolandoBajo

            OMG! @Spartan has detected a flagrant violator of the sacred boundaries of content on TTAC! And right there in the middle of the Internet, where anyone could run into it.

            Thanks for lighting a flare for us, @Spartan, so that we will know to beware should we stumble upon another Jack Baruth article that dares to discuss anything other than auto features, specs, sales figures, design standards, and such.

            Jack, you’re just going to have to learn to respect the conventions of the Internet and of the blogging world, as so carefully delineated by Spartan. If you don’t, total anarchy would reign, and God knows, we don’t want that. And especially not here on TTAC, which as we all know, should never EVER deviate from the straight and narrow, unless perhaps to corner at high speeds.

            You’re forgiven this time, Jack. Just don’t let it happen again, OK? Otherwise poor Spartan will have to read it again, and will have to rise once again to defend these sacred blogging boundaries, so carefully carved in electrons by the minds of such careful arbiters of acceptable blogging tastes as Spartan. We’re watching you, buddy! ;-)

        • 0 avatar
          tresmonos

          It looks like I completely understood your point.
          So… Spartan, chill out. You shouldn’t care so much about an op ed.

          I personally enjoyed how Jack drew a parallel to sh1t that actually matters (our hallowed out infrastructure) to something that doesn’t (god damned remnants of a dead indian tribe and a dead president). There is comedy here, if you read into it.

          • 0 avatar
            hreardon

            Damn straight, tresmonos. Jack, this is one of your better written, subtle commentaries. Well done.

          • 0 avatar
            Spartan

            I saw some parallels here and I hear you. However, that was overshadowed by the whole mountain name change thing and his last point was particularly disturbing to me, which I commented on a few posts down.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            tresmonos – agreed. People get up in arms over a name change of a mountain while the country crumbles around them.

            I don’t see it as “Jack complaining” but as Jack shining a light into the dark corners to see what scurries out.

            That is what journalists are supposed to do, shine a light upon what we do not want to see.
            The other part is to trigger discussion – good or bad.

            Jack scored a direct hit on both counts.

            Good work.

      • 0 avatar
        Jeff Waingrow

        I read it the same way too, and a damn good commentary at that.

    • 0 avatar
      Dan

      The culture that produced men like McKinley civilized the world. That culture has me sitting in an air conditioned house with more food than I can eat and a computer to type on that’s indistinguishable from magic. That culture built 350 ton machines that can fly a Mohammedan’s bastard child from Washington to Fairbanks in 6 hours.

      I don’t give a goddamn how painted savages feel about it.

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        You’re a poet.

      • 0 avatar
        Spartan

        Therein lies the problem. Today’s generation values speedy evolution over culture when we could have easily had both.

        We will pay for that sooner or later.

        • 0 avatar
          CJinSD

          Do you even know what you’re talking about when you say we’ve sacrificed culture? What did we sacrifice? Human and animal sacrifices? Repression of almost every group at some time? Unrepentant ignorance of the physical world? Slavery? Tribalism? Divine rulers? There are reasons that our mediocre culture led to so much more prosperity than every other culture, reasons they should be nothing more than curiosities.

          • 0 avatar
            tresmonos

            For once I am enjoying your posts today. I probably should abolish the internet.

          • 0 avatar
            Spartan

            Led to so much more prosperity according to who? I take it you don’t travel much, because there’s lots of great places/cultures/countries around the world that are better than living in the United States and have been for quite some time. There’s more to life than consumerism, Budweiser, politics and a 24 hour news cycle.

            Go see the world and get your passport stamped a few times outside of the US, or better yet live in a foreign country for a while.

          • 0 avatar
            tresmonos

            Spartan,
            Go get some passport stamps that actually matter then you can open your mouth again.

            Your perspective is so f*cked up I don’t even know what you’re talking about.

            There are some dark places on this earth and it looks like you have no perspective what so ever. America isn’t so bad so long as you get out and see it. And unlike the other countries I’ve lived in, the experience is relatively cheap, safe and environmentally clean.

          • 0 avatar
            Spartan

            I’ve been to every continent minus Antarctica. I’ve been all over this ball of rock and water many times over. So I’ll “open my mouth” as much as I ___ well please.

            And if you can’t follow what I’m talking about, then I seriously question your cognitive ability. Your simple minded posts about “getting out to see America” has nothing to do with the price of tea in China, particularly in regards to my point.

            Where have you lived besides the US? Exactly. You’ve probably been a transient somewhere for a week, BFD.

            Funny how you use the word perspective after reading my posts, I’m flattered.

          • 0 avatar
            tresmonos

            Spartan,
            If it’s tied to NAFTA, I’ve lived on site in a heavy manufacturing environment for years in Mexico and Canada. If it’s Asia Pacific, then a few weeks here or there. I have experience in program management, procurement and manufacturing.

            You’re traveling and world experiences may rival that of my ex girl friend who lives with her parents. I’m so honored you can bestow your global worldly views you gathered while instagramming your meal in Florence. Your contribution and insight into the auto industry is non existent. The world is not political talking heads nor is it your bodacious experiences in a hostel. It’s pretty black and white and it’s driven by money. If you can’t see the big picture and see how the EU is crumbling, Canada’s economy is dead or actually believe that America is a bad place to live then I can’t help you.

            You continue to spew non sense and drive your overly outraged typing home for nothing.

            You haven’t stated a point besides being overly outraged, you like Jalopnik, America sucks, the EU is all the rage and that you are a worldy person. Get a f*cking job on the line in a northern Mexican Tier 1 supplier job then rethink your idiotic position.

          • 0 avatar
            Spartan

            tresmonos,

            Your attempts at insulting my “travel experiences” fall flat in this argument and do nothing to boost your own.

            The type of traveling I’ve done doesn’t matter. So you’ve lived in Mexico and Canada and you’ve changed planes in the Pacific. Like I said BFD.

            My worldly experiences in the developed ME, Korea, China, Japan, Sweden, Germany, the UK, France, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, Brazil, Australia, Canada, Mexico, Guam, all US territories in the Caribbean, and that’s all I care to mention right now without compromising anything, are far more meaningful than some Instagram yuppie type that you probably date on a regular basis. How nice of you to insinuate such.

            If you can’t see my point because you have your blinders on and choose not to, so be it. That’s not something I can fix nor do I even care about. That’s your problem and if we disagree, so be it. But your condescending tone to try to minimize my point because you fail to understand shows your maturity at best and your ignorance at worst.

          • 0 avatar
            tresmonos

            Man it isn’t worth the energy. I still don’t know what your underlying mystery point is. Sorry for the condescending tone but I don’t take your assumptions lightly. Please accept my apologies for the insults

          • 0 avatar
            Spartan

            tresmonos,

            We can disagree. Discourse is the spice of life.

            No harm no foul. My apologies if I came off as an a-hole. We’re all car guys, that’s what matters.

        • 0 avatar
          VolandoBajo

          @Spartan Yes indeed! We will PAY, I say, PAY!

          Jack is just going to have to learn that people are offended by his playing fast and loose with words, as if they were something he was free to do whatever he wanted to, with.

          (Sorry, ended that one with a preposition. Only cure for that is “…whatever he wanted to, with, *sshole!”

          Not intended personally, just trying to append a hopefully useful grammatical technique to avoid ending sentences with prepositions.

          Or should I have said “…to avoid using prepositions to end sentences with.”?

          See what you’ve done, Jack? Just keep adding to the confusion of people who wish to have their boundaries clearly delineated.

          We need less of this aimless wandering around about topics, and more rules, dammit, rules, to restore some order to this website!

          Now where did we put that BS banhammer? Can never find it when we want to use it.

          • 0 avatar
            50merc

            As Churchill said, “This is the sort of nonsense up with which I will not put!”

            And Jack is a great writer, despite all the snarking his pieces inspire from the dyspeptic fools gallery.

      • 0 avatar
        VoGo

        President McKinley invented the internet? I thought that was the vice president’s job.

        • 0 avatar
          VolandoBajo

          You are right, VoGo. Everybody knows Al Gore invented it up there in DC. Those engineers just bent the wrenches to get it installed.

          But the same people who can never find anything good to say about Obama’s reign are the ones who continue to try to denigrate Gore’s contributions.

          (Hmmm, can I still use the word “denigrate” or is that one of the ones that got banned last year?)

      • 0 avatar
        Andy

        Not sure if I’m allowed to applaud here, or being set up…

        The textbooks refer to “gold, glory, and God” like it was a BAD thing. The light of Christ was actually a huge net positive. (While it lasted…)

    • 0 avatar
      hreardon

      Oh please, Spartan. Jack’s commentary is more about the state of American consumerism and economic life than a mountain or a president – both living or dead.

      • 0 avatar
        Spartan

        If that’s what you got out of that article, then I seriously question your cognitive ability. Jack usually writes great stuff, but he’s making a mountain out of a mole hill here. For what reason, I don’t know. Perhaps he’s trolling us, but something tells me he looked at this over and over and decided to post it anyway.

        And for what it’s worth, for Mr. Baruth to say we don’t deserve a Mount McKinley because he was a winner is borderline anti-Americanism in the guise of humor, and that’s not funny to me.

        • 0 avatar
          CJinSD

          “And for what it’s worth, for Mr. Baruth to say we don’t deserve a Mount McKinley because he was a winner is borderline anti-Americanism in the guise of humor, and that’s not funny to me.”

          “I take it you don’t travel much, because there’s lots of great places/cultures/countries around the world that are better than living in the United States and have been for quite some time. There’s more to life than consumerism, Budweiser, politics and a 24 hour news cycle.”

          You only approve of ‘anti-Americanism’ when it isn’t in jest. You certainly don’t let consistency restrain your efforts to defend your position.

          I’ve done a fair amount of travel, probably not as much as you. You sound like one of those adventure tourists though, that buy packaged experiences to the embarrassment of everyone within their earshot. I know someone like you. Right now she lives the best life that slave labor and capital squeezed out of the over-regulated West can provide. Does that make it better to live there than in the US? Not if you’re a slave. Incidentally, when she isn’t taking part in an all-Lamborghini motorcade or playing golf in a hotel suite, she’s posting SJW idiocy on Facebook.

          As for the rest of your US-denigrating rant, our culture is an off-shoot of that of the UK. They had the rule of law and property rights that created our wealth, it’s just that the leeches have had more time to rot the body politic there. There’s great wealth being made many places that aren’t as far along the decline of progressive agendas as we are, but how many of them have obese poor people with cable television? If I hadn’t lived abroad, I’d be as down on the US as anyone. We’re squandering our greatest gifts. Subversive malcontents are the majority now. The only thing the US has going for it is that it isn’t any of the other countries on the planet.

          • 0 avatar
            tresmonos

            “The only thing the US has going for it is that it isn’t any of the other countries on the planet.”
            And this is such a gift. We haven’t completely squandered away everything, our cut throat economy still yields a semblance of growth in spite of ourselves and we don’t have to deal with ‘world average’ corruption in the government or police force.

            I’m going to go home and half heartedly wave an American flag.

        • 0 avatar
          VolandoBajo

          Hell yes, @Spartan. Who does he think he is, anyway, using satire to smear a great DWEM American?

          “I knew I had to say something to strike the farmer weird. So I said ‘I like Fidel Castro and his beard!\'” — Bob Dylan

          But what can you call borderline anti-Americanism in the guise of politics, as is the current agenda in the Obama Department of State?

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        The president can’t rename a rock without the right wing having a hissy fit about it. That’s what the rant is about — the president is the foreign-born captain of an American Titanic, we’re sipping lattes as the ship goes down, oh woe is us, etc., etc. It’s an attempt to create linkages that don’t exist.

    • 0 avatar
      Toad

      “Jack Baruth complaining about this, being from New York and all”

      I think Jack hails from Columbus, Ohio. There really is a world of difference.

      “Every day you’re beaten over the head about your responsibility for the inevitable climate change but when you fly anywhere it’s in the middle seat of a Southwest 737, not the teak-appointed cabin of a G-Five”

      I loved that line; the rise of Sanders and Trump are a direct reaction to that kind of hypocrisy that virtually all of us see every day. It reminds me of the line “I won’t believe it’s a crisis until the people who are telling me it’s a crisis act like it’s a crisis.”

    • 0 avatar
      01 Deville

      Can’t agree with you more.
      The first thing I do when visiting TTAC is to scan the page for Jack’s contributions, which are getting rarer by the day. This piece is hardly up to his standard though and reads like a pseudo thoughtful rant.

  • avatar
    tresmonos

    Jesus f*ck. This depressed the sh*t out of me.

  • avatar
    CJinSD

    I have three friends that drive Denalis. None of them has reached 40 years old. They all either are conservative or pose as conservative to avoid ridicule. I’ve tried to convince them that buying UAW is tantamount to treason, and now Obama has given me new ammunition. Thanks Obama!

  • avatar
    thelaine

    What a fabulous article. Thank you.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    Great, now my copy of Oregon Trail is out of date.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      You always die of dysentery anyway…

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        I’m gonna play Cross Country USA instead. (Cannot find copy of that online, BTW. I have Oregon Trail already.)

      • 0 avatar
        VolandoBajo

        @28-Cars Yep, you always die of dysentery, over and over, endlessly going by.

        From the performance piece “Home of the Brave” by Laurie Anderson:

        “A one-armed man walks into a florist shop and asks the florist ‘what flower is it, that expresses days go by, endlessly going by, days going by?’. And the florist replies “White Lilies”.

        Dysentery is a bit like that, too.

        Though I never really associated dysentery with Alaska…but it sure did a job on me in Mexico. Bravely/foolishly I tasted the pulque, a “fresh squeezed” variant of tequila, and with hours my entire dietary life began passing by my eyes, as I looked down, wondering when would it end? For a few days, I thought it would be me, and not it, that ended.
        an
        Here we go again. Drifting off into dangerous ground, totally ignoring the boundaries of decent car blogging.

        Jack, it’s all your fault. It always is. With those literary conceits of yours, and your attempts to inject meaningful insights AND humor into your writing.

        It never ends well, Jack. You should know that by now. Poor Spartan must have his panties completely in a bunch by now. And all over some damned commie-subsidized gas-guzzling Cadillac wannabe, sent here from Detroit, to confound Obama’s attempts at owning the Denali name.

        I knew this wouldn’t end well. It never does. Dammit Jack, just stick to cars, I say, CARS! That is what we are paying for here as readers of TTAC. Don’t F*** with the formula, please.

    • 0 avatar
      nitroxide

      Brilliant. I lawled.

  • avatar
    velvet fog

    Tacoma is a city 30 miles south of Seattle. Tahoma is what Rainier was called by the native americans.

    Otherwise another fine screed from our Mr. Baruth.

    • 0 avatar
      Jack Baruth

      True, but in 1921 the city of Tacoma petitioned the state to rename Rainier after *them*.

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        PNW resident here. There is some wish to rename Rainier, and the new name asked for is always “Tahoma.” It’s nothing like Denali, though — everyone already called the Alaska mountain Denali, while most people still call the Washington mountain Rainier.

  • avatar
    olddavid

    That’s 10 minutes I will never get back. Time to see the Doc again, Jack. Ask him to try an MAO inhibitor this time.

  • avatar
    dswilly

    I’m in the group that doesn’t think of GMC. Although I never summited Denali (my brother has) I have been on the Kahiltna Glacier twice. I chose to climb El Cap that year. I support the name change, and see this as a small victory for Alaskans and a political slap to John Boehner. Sorry Ohio, you’re not Alaska.

    • 0 avatar
      sgeffe

      Be nice to see Bone..uhh..BOEHNER outta there for good! (And he can take his lapdog McConnell with him!)

      Truly not a dime’s worth of difference, especially with those two always capitulating!

      (Just MHO! No flames, please!! I still don’t have my Nomex underwear back from the cleaners!)

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    Denali Moose Tracks is also a dang fine ice cream.

    If you really want to go downmarket their is a Terrain Denali as well. I believe it is available in 4 cyl FWD form, that is definitely a version with which Denali is a place you’ll never go.

  • avatar
    319583076

    There are lots of jobs available for people with STEM degrees, even from party schools or impoverished state schools. If you understand some mathematics and have anything resembling a work ethic, you can get hired.

    The post-WW2 American manufacturing economy is dead and never coming back. You can either face the future or pine for the past, just don’t expect widespread sympathy for the latter because most of the world has moved on.

    • 0 avatar
      Spartan

      Most of the world hasn’t moved on, only the US has destroyed its manufacturing base from within by not protecting it. The Koreans will set up shop here all day long and sell us their cars, but try to gain a foothold in their market, ain’t happening.

      You are correct about STEM jobs. STEM jobs and distribution of goods is what’s hot right now. Everything else is service based with crap pay.

      • 0 avatar
        bikegoesbaa

        “the US has destroyed its manufacturing base from within by not protecting it.”

        False.

        The manufacturing output of the US is significantly higher now than in any point in the past.

        Manufacturing employment is much lower, because manufacturing is much more efficient now than it used to be. We can make more stuff with fewer people.

        Manufacturing employment =/= manufacturing output.

        There are also fewer people working on farms today than there were in 1900. That doesn’t mean those people don’t produce way more food.

        • 0 avatar
          Spartan

          You know what I mean and understand what I’m saying, but you’re playing the numbers game to make a point, in which you detract from mine.

          My point stands. You can thank Nixon for opening up trade with China and Bill Clinton for NAFTA. More of us would be working had it not been for their short-sightedness.

          • 0 avatar
            bikegoesbaa

            Your point appears to be that “the US has destroyed its manufacturing base.”

            This is demonstrably false, as the volume and value of goods produced by the today is higher than it has ever been and generally increasing year over year, global economic calamities notwithstanding.

            It is not a “numbers game” to show how reliable statistics prove that you are absolutely incorrect.

          • 0 avatar
            MBella

            “This is demonstrably false, as the volume and value of goods produced by the today is higher than it has ever been and generally increasing year over year, global economic calamities notwithstanding.

            It is not a “numbers game” to show how reliable statistics prove that you are absolutely incorrect.”

            You are the that’s incorrect, and have no actual perspective of American manufacturing. When today you cannot purchase your raw material, for the price that your Mexican competitor can produce the finished product for, does not result in increased value of American manufactured goods. No matter what, you are playing with the numbers to make your point. Maybe in raw dollars or volume you are right, but not when inflation is taken into account.

          • 0 avatar
            bikegoesbaa

            “You are the that’s incorrect, and have no actual perspective of American manufacturing.”

            I have been directly involved in mass-scale American manufacturing for 15 years.

            I sit right now typing this in a very large, very modern, high-volume high-value manufacturing facility that employs more than one thousand American workers.

            I have developed the production equipment and processes for a significant portion of this facility.

            I don’t claim to be a genius and I may even be completely wrong, but if that the case it’s not a result of my lack of “perspective” on domestic manufacturing.

            “No matter what, you are playing with the numbers to make your point. Maybe in raw dollars or volume you are right, but not when inflation is taken into account.”

            Absolutely, emphatically, no.

            Expressed in inflation-adjusted dollars the US manufactures a much greater value of goods than we did in the past. The absolute output of US manufacturing is higher than it was in the past.

            The following things are down vs the past:
            -Manufacturing as a % of GDP – Not because manufacturing has shrunk, but because other industries have grown more quickly
            -Manufacturing employment – because fewer laborers are needed to make a given quantity of goods
            -US trade balances with other nations – not because we make less stuff, but because we also import increasing amounts of stuff.

            I would be very grateful if you can direct me to a credible source indicating that us manufacturing output is lower now than in the past. All the sources I can find clearly show the opposite.

          • 0 avatar
            VolandoBajo

            Yep, dammit. If you aren’t perplexing Spartan with words about things other than cars, you are playing fast and loose with numbers, totally obliterating his arguments. No respect for a decent point that doesn’t add up when you do the numbers.

            Seems like your point got knocked down, rather than standing. Unless you are standing sideways.

            And I maintain that it was far-sightedness, not short-sidedness, that led to China trade and NAFTA. Perhaps not benevolent far-sightedness, but those players know damn well what was going to happen and which side their bread was buttered on. And it sure wasn’t on the OH or the NYC side, or even the Main Street business leaders’ side…it was the “big boys” who won outright, and most of us lost. Which is why on per cent of the top one per cent of people in the US are the big winners in this brave new world.

            The definition of the less-developed countries has changed, and the US, or at least its former middle class, is now among those less-developed countries.

          • 0 avatar
            MBella

            Again, you are just playing with the numbers. There are very few things that are American made. I can’t comment on your business since you didn’t specify what it manufactures. The US might assemble more finished products then it used to, but most of the components are built elsewhere. What used to make manufacturing the driving force in America was that every step was done here. From refining the raw material, to casting it, machining, etc.. That is all done somewhere else. The unskilled factory jobs are gone because of automation. The skilled jobs are gone because of outsourcing. Somebody still has to setup and repair the robots. That somebody just isn’t from the US anymore, most of the time.

      • 0 avatar
        onyxtape

        The manufacturing wasn’t destroyed by NAFTA, but by automation technologies.

        There was once a factory in New Jersey or thereabouts which created 60%-70% of the world’s optical discs. It only staffed 300 people. Workers are just highly efficient and productive. And this particular factory closed a few years ago due to the advent of streaming media.

    • 0 avatar
      tresmonos

      It’s coming back.

      STEM degrees are now globalized. Nothing is sacred anymore.

      • 0 avatar
        bikegoesbaa

        It is coming back inasmuch as lots of companies who jumped on the “Low Cost Region” bandwagon got burned and never saw the promised cost savings materialize in reality; and are therefore looking to move production back to the US.

        It’s not coming back in the sense that manufacturing will never be a mass employer and a social force like it was in Flint/Youngstown/etc simply because modern manufacturing is much more efficient and does not need tens of thousands of laborers to make vast quantities of stuff.

        I know you work in industry and know all this, but it’s important for us to remember that people outside of industry very often think “manufacturing” means “manufacturing jobs”.

        I’ve spoken to many otherwise educated and knowledgeable American adults who genuinely believe that virtually nothing is made in this country.

        • 0 avatar
          Pch101

          When people claim that the “US doesn’t make anything anymore” (which isn’t true), they’re really reacting to the US’ enormous trade deficit and its mass importation of the kind of consumer goods that used to be made here but no longer are (which is true.)

          We’re exporting inflation and raising our prosperity levels by depending upon cheap foreign labor to give us more of the stuff that we want. Consumer products are considerably cheaper as a result, and I doubt that many of those who complain would want to pay $2,000 for what is currently a $500 computer in order to help some American factory workers.

          • 0 avatar
            TW5

            If you forgo $1,000 of income to save $500 on Walmart furniture, are you better off?

            You’re making a Bush-era argument, prior to the discovery of global asset bubbles and liquidity traps. The trade deficit is not a net benefit for our society, and the policies that created the deficit (clearly not “free-trade” agreements, since we have none with China) must be reversed. Specifically, we have to stop gutting productivity spending, and transferring everything to transfer payments for the elderly. We end up with less tax revenue, more public debt, and less income security for seniors.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            I didn’t make any argument at all. I’m just correctly pointing out that most of those who complain about imports would be unwilling to accept the higher prices or lower prosperity that they would have without them. Whiners who can’t connect the dots.

          • 0 avatar
            VolandoBajo

            Props where props are due: @pch101 That was a spot-on analysis and definition of the problem.

            No solutions offered, but you didn’t pretend to have one, either. And you did nail what actually is, and why.

    • 0 avatar
      TW5

      Post-WWII manufacturing economy was taxed and apportioned out of existence. It can come back if/when we want it to come back.

      • 0 avatar
        VolandoBajo

        @TW5 Not to mention administrative rulings running roughshod over common sense, to the benefit of the bureaucracy.

        And as always seems to be true, no one notices the elephant in the living room. There is only one industry that is totally exempt from antitrust laws and regulations, and it was intended by Congress to exempt it only for one year after WW II to allow that industry to recover, but the lawyers tied it up in courts literally in perpetuity.

        Quick, can you guess the industry? My guess is that even here, not one in ten would know the answer to this fox in the henhouse of the US economy.

        Scroll down a bit to see the answer:

        [That didn’t work; the software strips out the blank lines, but here it is anyway.]

        The insurance industry.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    Also, that particular old Denali is a bad one, you don’t want that one. It’s been owned by an Expedition-class customer. You can find nice gen 1 Denalis around, and they look pretty good in dark green or red.

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      Interestingly I know someone who had a very first generation Denali but had so many issues with it and was so pissed about how GM handled his warranty claims he’s sworn off GM altogether.

      But then again he had Cadillacs prior to that so I’m sure those cars left him with a bad taste in his mouth as well.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        Did those have a unique AWD system like the Denali and Escalade do now? I wouldn’t think there should be THAT many issues with late 90’s Tahoe item, no? They’re easy to find with very high miles, still driving round.

        Also interesting – the Denali got a nicer looking two-tone interior that the Escalade did not for this generation. Though they shared the “modern” body kit items and frontage.

        • 0 avatar
          PrincipalDan

          It was prior to my time knowing him (it’s my wife and mother-in-law’s boss). He has so much lingering resentment that he wouldn’t even let his wife test drive an Acadia when she was looking for a replacement for her 2010 MKT. Not a subject you want to discuss with him.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    Glad to see our fearless leader could take time before the back nine to enact another pointless edict. I feel safer already! How’s that geopolitical quagmire in Syria you created going?

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      Geopolitical quagmires in the crossroads between Europe, Africa, and Asia have existed since before the invention of writing.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        The West is responsible for the current ones in Libya and Syria.

        • 0 avatar
          FreedMike

          No, 28, I’d say the people in Libya and Syria are ultimately responsible. They’re the ones who can’t deal with modernity and can’t live peacably without a jackboot dictator to keep things from spinning out of control.

          Consider this sick thought for a moment: would ISIS exist in Iraq if Saddam was still in power? Not a chance. He’d have gassed them into oblivion long ago. Not to say that I approve of that sort of thing, but the awful truth is that this is how things function in much of the Middle East.

          Our culpability in the whole mess is simple: we try to impose our political ideals on countries that aren’t ready for them, or go in and messing with the status quo. The result is stuff like the “government” in Iraq, which has always been an epic joke. We gave them political freedom but they had no idea what to do with it. The result was a power vacuum, and someone or something inevitably fills those. In this context, ISIS and Al-Qaida are blowback.

          If anything, I think Obama’s policies reflect some hard-won wisdom about trying to impose our systems and beliefs on countries that aren’t ready for them. Unless we’re prepared to be more ruthless than ISIS (which we aren’t, and shouldn’t be), then we have no business even playing in their sandbox unless the people in those sandboxes are LOOKING for our help, and they aren’t. My perception is that they’d rather continue their old blood feuds than build a country that works. And it’s not like Middle Eastern countries are somehow incapable of doing that – any number of them are successful, even if they don’t replicate our ideals.

          Doesn’t speak well for American omnipotence in the world – and ruffles conservative feathers, since that’s long been their baliwick – but that’s the way it is. I’d like to say this is a new development, and we just learned about this, but that’s not true. It’s the same basic storyline as Vietnam, just set in the Middle East.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Libya was a Western op from start to finish. Gadaffi had direct ties to the Western political elite and relations had thawed since the 2003 period. But then they turned on him, why?

            Here is everyone’s favorite politicriminal with Gadaffi’s son Mutassim in 2009:

            http://www.kabobfest.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/12/Mutassim_Gadaffi_Hilary_Clinton-300×234.jpg

            and here’s her laughing about his death in 2011:

            http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2015/06/19/flashback_2011_hillary_clinton_laughs_about_killing_moammar_gaddafi_we_came_we_saw_he_died.html

            Gadaffi funded Sarkozy’s political campaigns:

            http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/nicolas-sarkozy-did-take-50-million-of-muammar-gaddafis-cash-french-judge-is-told-8435872.html

            http://www.france24.com/en/20140128-france-sarkozy-gaddafi-campaign-funds-libya-television

            Tony Blair and he restarted economic ties in 2004:

            http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-13070025

            …and Gadaffi eventually paid compensation for Pan Am 103:

            http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/story?id=6158491

            Tony Blair even tried to save him and now faces scrutiny:

            http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/tony-blair-tried-to-save-colonel-gaddafi-just-before-bombing-of-libya-10479415.html

            So why did they go after him?

            Oil:

            http://www.salon.com/2011/06/11/libya_9/

            “Libya has some of the biggest and most proven oil reserves — 43.6 billion barrels — outside Saudi Arabia, and some of the best drilling prospects. . . . Throughout this time, oil prices kept rising, whetting the appetite for greater supplies of Libya’s unusually “sweet” and “light,” or high-quality, crude oil.”

            Gold backed money:

            http://www.thedailybell.com/editorials/2228/Anthony-Wile-Gaddafi-Planned-Gold-Dinar-Now-Under-Attack/

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Modern_gold_dinar

            Intended Africanization of Europe:

            http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-11139345

            The ordinary people did not topple the regime, it was Al-Qaeda as Gadaffi himself claimed:

            youtube.com/watch?v=iBStM58xjJk

            http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article27759.htm

            The dangerous issue about this for the politicriminals is if Gadaffi is right, then it suggests the West now works in concert with Al-Qaeda and contradicts the 9/11 narrative. Oops.

            The ordinary people did not impose a “no fly zone”.
            The ordinary people did not launch cruise missiles from US and British submarines.
            The ordinary people did not fly sorties over Libya.
            The ordinary people did not air drop weapons to Al-Qaeda.
            The ordinary people only had the privilege to die. Rinse and repeat.

            http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-13955751

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Odyssey_Dawn

            http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/20/world/africa/20libya.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

            Which continues with ISIS (who just came out of nowhere with brand new trucks!). Oops:

            http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/oct/22/isis-us-airdrop-weapons-pentagon

            Cui bono?

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            28, you also kind of left out that there was a civil war there…

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Started by Al-Qaeda elements and funded by the West. They tried running the same script in Syria but its running into production problems.

  • avatar
    VenomV12

    This is basically a combination of drivel and clickbait.

    • 0 avatar
      fvfvsix

      You clearly haven’t read any of DeMuro’s submissions.

    • 0 avatar
      TW5

      Cars are part of a rich cultural tapestry. Sometimes people weave things together though they don’t actually belong, like Denali the mountain and Denali the GMC Yukon trim. GM started it, btw. Jack is just weaving the threads together in new ways. This is avant garde auto journalism, particularly the title.

      Denali ain’t just a mountain in Alaska. It’s an intentional malapropism (eggcorn), mixed with metalepsis. Or maybe it’s just a form of catachresis?

      What do you think?

  • avatar
    Andy

    Escalades are for rich people who like being rich. Denalis are for rich people who hate it when Obama calls them rich. Of course, they all live in the same neighborhood. It appears to be about 50/50 around here.

    • 0 avatar
      Spartan

      ^ Winner winner chicken dinner.

    • 0 avatar
      VenomV12

      Ha, I was literally going to write that in my comment above but I said forget it. I’ll just sum it up this way as a casual observation from my neighborhood and people I know. Denalis are owned by white trash with money, guys that own blue collar businesses that make a lot of money and want nice homes and things but are uncomfortable with them. They also tend to be Republican even though their businesses tend to employ lots of illegal immigrants, but I digress.

      The Escalades on the other hand tend to be owned by college educated, usually white professionals who like displaying their wealth and have no problem with doing so and have no interest in associating with the Denali or Tahoe crowd.

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        Where do you live? Here, Escalades never had a chance to be considered as anything other than tributes to bad taste. Denalis share driveways with high end Audis, which oddly enough are somehow considered less showy than other German cars. People that just don’t give a frig about what others think pair Range Rovers with big Mercedes, but clearly many Range Rover buyers are taking their fashion cues from the chrome wagon wheel club.

        I suspect you’re wrong about Denali buyers being uncomfortable with nice things. I used to think that they were buying them for similar reasons to why old money buys Land Cruisers; that they enjoy spending money in ways that only people too sophisticated to ever brag about their cars will recognize. That isn’t the case though. They drive Denalis because Denalis are luxurious rolling offices that they can call on their customers in without inciting class hatred. Almost all of them have other cars for when they aren’t doing business with someone that may confuse patriotism with buying a UAW product. One Denali driver I know has different airplanes for different tasks.

        • 0 avatar
          VenomV12

          The guys that own Escalades in my neighborhood are bank presidents, physicians, dentists, attorneys, finance guys, top execs and guys that own large corporations. The guys that own Denalis are guys that own asphalt companies, tool and die shops and other successful small businesses things like that. The Denali people tend to stick to themselves and seem uncomfortable to going around the neighborhood and interacting with others. Our association meetings are usually held at the local country club and those guys almost never show up and never want to be board members, been that way for as long as I can remember.

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        Escalades in my area are considered ghetto, and most of the wealthy folks would be embarrassed to be seen in one. Denalis are not, although they’re less common among wealthy folks here than LX570s, Range Rovers, or Mercedes GLs.

    • 0 avatar
      Dan

      It’s regional.

      In my corner of Maryland there’s a Tahoe or Suburban on every block, a Denali occasionally, and I can count the Escalades that I’ve seen being driven by a white person on one hand.

      (I can count the number of new Cadillacs at all and still not use up the other hand.)

      • 0 avatar
        krhodes1

        I agree very much that this is regional. In Maine, if you see an Escalade it will have MA, NY, or NJ plates on it. But you will also rarely see a Denali with ME plates either. You will see plenty of mid-trim level plain white or black Yukons or Tahoe/Suburbans though. We cheap Yankees know that the extra $17K only gets you bling, and bling is never fashionable here.

  • avatar
    LS1Fan

    Maybe, instead of Mt McKinley’s name change being a totem of American influence waning in the world, perhaps it’s just changing the name of a friggin’ mountain?

    See, my view as a minority is this; America has spent so much of its national time trying to be The Best that no one stopped to think about whether we should.

    Maybe thinking about the natives, the environment, and why we deifiy men who exploited other men and thus wrote the history books is a good thing. Maybe we should just be Just Another Country , so that someone else’s kids can go get blown up on a political adventure. If being a superpower means financing ourselves into oblivion, sending our troops to die fighting someone else’s war, trampling all over civil and female rights while driving badge engineered trucks which haven’t even touched a gravel path, maybe it’s a trophy we should hand over to another country dumb enough to chase that empty prize.

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      American conservatism has become a distillation of the old Dixiecrat wing. For the American right, a day that isn’t devoted to trashing minorities and celebrating white guys is a bad day.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        What about those people/regions which had no exposure to the Dixiecrats or their ideas?

      • 0 avatar
        MrGreenMan

        It is a shame, too, as apparently conservative today is being “War War!” and really just means wanting things like they were 20 years ago, whereas there used to be a saying – Republicans get us out of Democrat wars – in that the Democrat party was the one about power. They were the ones who wanted to annex Mexico.

        Lots of the social things are a complete side show to stir up interests – e.g., if either the Democrats or the Republicans could, tomorrow, enshrine for all time a constitutional amendment settling a hot button issue in their favor, they would not, due to the loss of future fundraising opportunities.

        Much like the idea “we deserve better villains”, I’d like to say we deserve real choices, but, like swallowing the idea that “compassionate big government conservatism” is anything but an oxymoron, we probably have gotten what we deserve.

      • 0 avatar
        TW5

        You are mistaken. The right-wing of the GOP is more like the radical abolitionists of the antebellum era. The US has socioeconomic programs that have trouble passing tests of moral scrutiny or measures of economic progress. Certain sects of the country tell us these problematic programs are necessary to the survival of their way of life, and they’ll never make changes. They also claim the programs are implemented for the good of the beneficiaries, who can’t really be expected to take care of themselves. Everyone thought these programs would die out as the economy modernized, but the programs just keep getting bigger and the effects grow more scurrilous.

        The radical abolitionists want to build an army to burn these vestigial programs to the ground, though the Republicans don’t have any plan to help the affected parties after the deed is done. But it’s okay because freedom will pull us through, just like president Abraham Reagan said, and most important of all, the Democratic plantation owners will never be able to tell people what to do again. The Democrats have vowed to die fighting (again) to the last man.

        Uhmurica, Uhmurica. God shat his grace on, thee.

      • 0 avatar
        VolandoBajo

        Amazing how acceptable left wing racism has become.

    • 0 avatar
      bikegoesbaa

      American Exceptionalism strikes me as at best unrealistic and at worst dangerous. There’s no reason to expect that a single country will be #1 in everything forever and will perpetually dictate terms to the rest of the world, and the costs of attempting to maintain this as the status quo are not sustainable.

      Most folks who buy into this idea seem to base it on the fundamental concept that the US is specially selected by an almighty deity to do his good work on Earth.

      Where exactly this guy was when we were committing genocide, exploiting slavery, and overthrowing democratically elected governments throughout the globe is never explained.

      From America’s behavior I conclude that either we are not specially selected to do the work of a benevolent god, or we have been specially selected to do the work of a schizophrenic god.

      In either case, the sooner we become Just Another Country the better.

      • 0 avatar
        TW5

        Sure. The reason humans strive for status because they have a God-complex, not the pleasure center rewards associated with a distinguished existence.

        We have amassed a great deal of power and wealth. The corresponding responsibility associated with American privilege is not under-achievement and middling competence.

        The quota for stupid Americans was met long ago. Pull yourself together.

  • avatar
    Whatnext

    It’s amazing that someone can summit so much outrage over a geographic feature’s name being restored. It makes perfect snse to restore a name it held for thousands of years, and junk the one slapped on it after a largely forgotten president who never saw it, but had the misfortune to be shot.

  • avatar
    TW5

    Yes. Renaming the mountain isn’t that big of a deal, especially since it’s located in Denali National Park. However, the circumstances of the change are depressing. The impotent hope-and-change Lilliputian grasping at straws in a bid to forge some sort of legacy. In the process, he trolls the public and Congress, while underlining his own lack of accomplishment.

    With the $7T-$8T he’s spent, Obama could have bought us all Yukon Denalis.

  • avatar
    philadlj

    The Truther About Cars! Let’s get you on OAN’s On Point with Sarah Palin to discuss this in more, or perhaps more appropriately, LESS detail! ;)

    Seriously though, not being an Ohio native, I don’t have much skin in the game (unless you consider the renaming a defeat for white men, which I don’t). I also happen to prefer one-named mountains like Fujiyama, Aconcogua, Ixiztaccihuatl and Popocatepetl (gesundheit!)

  • avatar
    MrGreenMan

    Given how the Grand Army of the Republic building was trashed, this is par for the course for Americans in ignoring and wanting to forget their past.

    President McKinley: A private in the Union Army who did what he was told; who rose to the rank of Commander in Chief; who was known for having been a moderate balancing the interests of business and labor, and much more liked than his grasping Vice President Roosevelt, who buffaloed him into war with Spain; killed by a lunatic immigrant anarchist.

    The Civil War had nameless, faceless heroes who went off to fight because they were told to do so. McKinley was one of those who became known. But, again, the GAR building was supposed to be maintained forever; the Daughters of the Confederacy do more to remember their war dead than the Union cause ever has.

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      The esteem McKinley is held in has dimmed as time has gone by but Teddy’s star has only risen. I’ll take Teddy any day, he did what he thought was right and really didn’t give two shakes whether the policy was labeled Republican or Democrat.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        McKinley’s adoration of the gold standard and high tariffs was doomed to fail.

      • 0 avatar
        MrGreenMan

        It probably would go down differently if they had instead chosen to reassign it to honor somebody else. Reverting to the pre-honorific label is kind of a snub; I understand why it’s Petrograd again, and that’s because they ran Lenin’s boys out of power on a rail.

        Mt. Roosevelt? Sure. If there was a name of a guy who organized the territorial guard and led the Alaskan natives in defense against Japanese invasion, I would have been fine with that as well.

        There is just something odd with using a name that simultaneously un-honors a guy and also is so closely attached to a trim level of trucks.

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        +1, Dan.

  • avatar
    KixStart

    If it was up to me, extra points would be awarded for quoting “Huckleberry Finn.”

  • avatar
    Zackman

    Funniest thing I have read on here for quite a while! I just sit back and smile at those who get their shorts in an uproar!

  • avatar
    S2k Chris

    A) Denali reminds me of neither a mountain or a car; it’s the name of the ubiquitous North Face fleece owned by suburban white people everywhere north of the M-D line (myself included).

    B) Any idiot can visit Denali, as I have done, via bus ride following an Alaskan cruise. No I didn’t go up the mountain, but I did go to the national park of the same name. No big deal.

  • avatar
    eamiller

    Over 100+ posts and nobody even mentions the fact that the Buick Rainier actually existed…

  • avatar
    pdl2dmtl

    Good one, Jack. As usual, your article generates a lot of comments as it should. And the day is not over yet….

  • avatar
    RideHeight

    Why all the huhu?

    Can’t President Trump just rename it right back?

  • avatar
    30-mile fetch

    So this is the conversation sucking all of the oxygen out of the TTAC room today. Thomas posts an account of journeying to be with his mother at her death and it gets 28 comments thus far to this one’s 155. And what’s all this hubbub largely about? The shallow and raw political nerves frayed by renaming a mountain that NO ONE in this forum cared about before, culminating with a lovely comment about “painted savages” wherein I just stopped reading the thread altogether.

    What’s that we call ourselves around here? The Best and Brightest?

    • 0 avatar
      SV

      I’ve wondered for some time if “Best and Brightest” was meant to be ironic. It helps the headaches I get reading about “painted savages” and “Mohammedans” on a car blog when I tell myself that, anyway.

    • 0 avatar

      As has been stated here before, there is no link between the amount of readers a piece gets and the amount of comments it gets. My recent post on car designers’ patent art, was linked to by Japlopnik and got a ton of traffic but relatively few comments.

      It’s to TTAC’s credit that things as thoughtful as Thomas’ post and as provocative as Jack’s can get published here side by side.

    • 0 avatar
      Jack Baruth

      I’ll tell you something about TTAC that is applicable to the Internet as a whole and life as a telos: The number of comments on any story is directly proportionate to the amount of personal opinion said story engenders.

      Thomas wrote a brilliant story. So what are you going to comment on? You going to argue with him? You going to criticize his methodology? Make fun of his mom?

      If comment counts were reflective of quality, Doug DeMuro would be the greatest writer in American history.

      • 0 avatar
        TW5

        Bikeshedding is how the comment section works.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        Oh Lord help us all if that were the case.

      • 0 avatar
        30-mile fetch

        I don’t doubt that comment count is proportional to amount of personal opinion. The corollary then is that we have more personal opinion about the red meat political aspect of a mountain name change.

        I really can’t exempt myself from that since I’ve turned nasty on a couple of commenters here before on political matters. And most TTAC commenters have manners. But the juxtaposition of beauty and ugly was pretty stark here this morning.

        Comment count vs. article quality is a separate issue, my comment was an indictment of the conversation not the article.

    • 0 avatar
      shipping96

      I cared about it as did most Alaskans. We have been calling the mountain Denali anyway, only “outsiders” (lower 48) in general call it McKinley. In fact our Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski tried to get it changed to Denali. McKinley (Republican hero since the renaming) was not a mountain climber, never saw the mountain, never even set foot in Alaska. It was named for McKinley when he was a candidate for president by a gold miner who supported McKinley’s candidacy because McKinley favored the gold standard.

      More than 400k people visit the park every year, with an estimated 32k attempting to summit the mountain. There is about a 50% success rate. It’s earth’s largest mountain on land, when you measure from base to summit. I brought my family to the park this summer and it’s breathtakingly large and beautiful when it appears out of the clouds. But hey nobody cares about it here. Ugh.

  • avatar
    Luke42

    “I have no idea what the terrain around Denali looks like and neither do you.”

    The landscape around Denali looks a bit like this:
    https://youtu.be/WLqDYdxcN3c

    I’m pretty sure a GMC Denali couldn’t handle that terrain. They’re using skiplanes for a reason.

  • avatar
    05lgt

    If Ohio has the naming rights for the worlds tallest above water (not highest, tallest) mountain, California should get to name Ohio’s most prominant natural wonder…. oh. Nevermind.
    NW in the house! Bow down!

  • avatar
    dal20402

    As someone who grew up in the PNW and has spent about 3/4 of my life there I genuinely had no idea the official name of the mountain was McKinley. Everyone of any ethnic background in Alaska, and everyone in places heavily influenced by Alaska (western Washington, western BC, and Yukon), has been matter-of-factly calling it Denali for decades.

    It baffles me why some people in Ohio are so butthurt about recognizing reality.

  • avatar
    an innocent man

    When they decided that every road had to have an actual road name because of 9-1-1, my old address of RR4, Box 196 was changed to a street name. I’d like the original back. Thank You.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      This must have been a by-state determination. I worked at a call center back in 2002-2004 which was a CS and ordering center for a few catalog-based plant/garden supply delivery companies (weird, I know).

      Anyway, I encountered RR addresses then quite often. Well after the integration of 911.

    • 0 avatar
      Drzhivago138

      I’ve preferred my current address to the former RR 2, Box 8. The way the new ones are set up makes it easier to figure out the actual location where people live, which is more than I can say for the old one. But we’ve still gotten mail to the old address.

  • avatar
    05lgt

    Jack, how many rewrites does it take you to get this density of multi-entendres into a piece? Its awesome, cynical, funny bone tickling bear baiting…
    How is PJ O’Rourkes old column not yours yet?

  • avatar
    RideHeight

    The log has dropped!

    I’ve read and re-read this hot mess of an article and I think I finally got the gist:

    Because today’s America and Americans so egregiously suck the most successful ones deserve to have their vehicle of choice tainted with the stink of Obama’s craven pandering to the primitive peoples over whom we once towered.

    Well, now I feel like a kitty leaping out of the litter box after a job well done! Ima zoom-zoom a little!

    • 0 avatar
      wmba

      “pandering to the primitive peoples over whom we once towered”

      A comment worthy of March 15, 1892, and racist to boot. Well done.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        wmba – many seem to think that towering over the primitives is perfectly acceptable.

        Looks like blacks, gays, and religion are taboo but Indians er Siberian Americans are still fare game.

      • 0 avatar
        RideHeight

        woomba,

        You’re of an age… care to switch to Athabascan cardiology?

        • 0 avatar
          wmba

          I see you’re determined to dig yourself an even larger hole. How would you like to subject yourself to an 1890s doctor complete with his electric prod gizmos?

          That’s about when the First nations were finally locked up in reservations and unable to advance in any way.

          Just like you, apparently.

          • 0 avatar

            Ah, so the establishment of reservations in the 19th century explains why the inhabitants of North America were still using sledges (i.e. had not developed the wheel) in the 16th century, by the time Europeans and Asians had developed ocean going ships.

            The civilizations in Central and South America were unquestionably more advanced than those in North America, with architecture, agriculture, animal husbandry, written languages etc. If I can compare the relative development of the Incas with the Ojibwa, why can’t I compare the Ojibwa to the Europeans?

            As stated, I have no great sympathies or allegiance to European culture. Europe is a vast Jewish cemetery as far as I’m concerned. That doesn’t change historical truths about the Americas.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @Ronnie Schreiber – Anyone here actually questioning documented history?

            I’ve talked to and dealt with enough “Siberian Americans” personally and professionally to see first hand what colonialism did to them. I live in an area with very high First Nations populations. Say what you want, “we” did very well, they didn’t. “We” fvcked them over all in the name of “our” religion, “our” culture and “our” financial gain.

            Keep painting.

            Your portrait gets uglier and uglier with each brush stroke.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            RideHeight was using the sarcasm font.

          • 0 avatar
            RideHeight

            “an 1890s doctor”

            Dood, indigenous Americans are at this very moment making, selling and believing in soul catchers.

            Around here they favor the feathers-around-bent-twig variety though I believe ‘bascans prefer making theirs of carved bone.

      • 0 avatar
        Dan

        So much as considering that your people, you know the ones who built the industrial world, DON’T tower over what amounted to cavemen without the caves is racist as hell against your own.

        Primitive isn’t a figure of speech. The northern indigs were still quite literally in the bone age in the mid 20th century when we first had significant contact with them – they were hunting seals and stacking rocks, Western civilization was building arctic radar stations in preparation for Global Thermonuclear War.

  • avatar
    King of Eldorado

    For years I’ve heard the mountain referred to interchangeably as Mt. McKinley and Denali, without really knowing which is correct. It’s good to finally have this resolved.

  • avatar

    The history behind the name from Wikipedia.com (which also would be agreed upon lie):
    “During the Russian ownership of Alaska, the common name for the mountain was Bolshaya Gora (Russian: Большая Гора, bolshaya = Russian for big; gora = Russian for mountain), which is the Russian translation of Denali.[19] It was briefly called Densmore’s Mountain in the late 1880s and early 1890s[20] after Frank Densmore, an Alaskan prospector who was the first European to reach the base of the mountain.[21]

    In 1896, a gold prospector named it McKinley as political support for then-presidential candidate William McKinley, who became president the following year. The United States formally recognized the name Mount McKinley after President Wilson signed the Mount McKinley National Park Act of February 26, 1917.[22] The Alaska Board of Geographic Names changed the name of the mountain to Denali in 1975, which is how it is called locally.[5][23] However, a request in 1975 from the Alaska state legislature to the United States Board on Geographic Names to do the same at the federal level was blocked by Ohio congressman Ralph Regula, whose district included McKinley’s hometown of Canton.[24]”

    Nobody talks about kicking Hamilton out of $10 bill though – the man who saved and established American financial system. And for what? To celebrate some idiot modern politician instead. I will not be surprised if Hilary ends up on $10 bill as a first female president (as if it is the achievement).


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