The Truth About Cars » Memorial Day http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Thu, 17 Jul 2014 18:06:11 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.1 The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars no The Truth About Cars editors@ttac.com editors@ttac.com (The Truth About Cars) 2006-2009 The Truth About Cars The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars » Memorial Day http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/themes/ttac-theme/images/logo.gif http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com To Our Veterans On Memorial Day http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/05/to-our-veterans-on-memorial-day/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/05/to-our-veterans-on-memorial-day/#comments Mon, 26 May 2014 14:24:27 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=832514 vfw_logo_hq

Thank you for your service.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/05/to-our-veterans-on-memorial-day/feed/ 27
For Memorial Day: A Father and His Son’s Pickup Truck http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/05/for-memorial-day-a-father-and-his-sons-pickup-truck/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/05/for-memorial-day-a-father-and-his-sons-pickup-truck/#comments Mon, 27 May 2013 05:00:25 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=489576

Click here to view the embedded video.

A couple of years ago on Memorial Day, songwriter Connie Harrington was driving her car, listening to NPR on the radio. On the air, Paul Monti was talking about his son Sgt. Jared Monti, who had been awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor, posthumously. Sgt. Monti, 30, was killed in battle in Afghanistan while trying to save the life of one of the men under his command, the third time in that firefight that he’d responded to calls for help. As the father described how he coped with his grief, Harrington pulled over and jotted down notes, particularly touched by the fact that Paul Monti still drives Jared’s 2001 Dodge pickup truck as both a memorial to his son and as a salve to that grief. It’s a four-wheel drive Ram 1500, a little beaten up, embellished with decals for the 10th Mountain and 82nd Airborne divisions, a Go Army sticker and an American flag.

photo3

“What can I tell you? It’s him. It’s got his DNA all over it. I love driving it because it reminds me of him, though I don’t need the truck to remind me of him. I think about him every hour of every day.”

photo4

When she got home in Nashville, Harrington started working on a song, first by herself and then with two co-writers, Jessi  Alexander and Jimmy Yeary. The result, I Drive Your Truck, was recorded by country singer Lee Brice. Last month the song went to #1 on Billboard’s C&W chart and so far Brice’s video of the tune on YouTube has been viewed over 5 million times (though Jared’s pickup is a Dodge, Brice’s video uses an older Ford F-100). I’ve always regarded the stories of Shelby Mustangs left in barns by young men off to Vietnam, never to return, as the stuff of legends, but I suppose that there have been such genuinely true stories since young men have driven cars before going off to war, so the song rings true. Some of those men came home alive, some didn’t. Somewhere there’s bound to be a 1916 Model T left behind by one of Gen. Pershing’s doughboys, hopefully being driven by someone who knows its story, not abandoned in a barn with its owner forgotten.

photo2

After the song was released and started getting radio airplay, Paul Monti was contacted on Facebook by the mother of another soldier killed in the same Afghanistan battle as his son. She too was driving her fallen son’s pickup truck and urged him to listen to I Drive Your Truck. The song is written from the perspective of a surviving brother, not a father, so neither on them realized the song was really about Monti, his son Jared and that Ram 1500. Paul tried to listen to the song but overcome with tears he couldn’t make it all the way through.

Jared-Monti-in-Afghanistan

In a more recent interview with Monti on NPR, the CMoH winner’s father said, “You know, I think it’s important for people to understand — or at least try to understand — what Gold Star parents go through. Your child is your future and when you lose your child you’ve lost your future, and I think one of the reasons so many Gold Star parents drive their children’s trucks is because they have to hold on. They just have to hold on.”

photo1

After some searching, Harrington was able to locate Monti. She told him that he and his son inspired the song and when the song hit #1 she invited him to Nashville to meet her and her co-writers and learn the genesis of I Drive Your Truck. While the truck, and now the song, no doubt help Monti deal with the death of his son, if you’ve ever had any contact with a parent who has lost a child you know that’s a pain that never completely goes away. In the case of Sgt. Jared Monti, though, his father has the comfort of knowing that his son was a good man who died the way he lived, helping others.

Paul Monti with his son Jared's pickup truck. Photo: John Wilcox, Boston Herald

Paul Monti with his son Jared’s pickup truck. Photo: John Wilcox, Boston Herald

Sgt. Jared Monti, according to his father and others, was the kind of son most of us would like to have, altruistic to the literal end. It’s a cruel irony that the best of us will sacrifice themselves to save others. When he was killed in 2006, Jared Monti’s 16 man patrol came under fire from a superior force of approximately 50 Taliban fighters. Monti was the commanding officer of the patrol. During the firefight, one of his soldiers was wounded and out in the open. Monti was mortally wounded in his third attempt to recover his wounded comrade under what his Medal of Honor citation describes as “intense” and “relentless” enemy fire.  The citation says that, “Staff Sergeant Monti’s selfless acts of heroism inspired his patrol to fight off the larger enemy force.” What the citation doesn’t say is what we already know, he loved his truck. So does his dad.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Sergeant Monti’s full Congressional Medal of Honor citation is below as are the lyrics to I Drive Your Truck.  If you follow that link, take a few moments to read some of the other citations and reflect on the meaning of Memorial Day. Since the start of World War Two, most Medals of Honor have been awarded posthumously. Sometimes, like Sgt. Monti, the awardees’ self-sacrifice earned them the medal. In other cases they gave their last full measure of devotion in subsequent action, not even related to the valorous behavior that earned them the Medal of Honor. Of course, most men who die in battle don’t get the Medal of Honor. That’s what war is like, it’s a risky proposition at best and heroes don’t fight for medals. On Memorial Day in America we honor the memory of Sgt. Jared Monti and the rest of those who have taken that risk so that we can enjoy our pickup trucks and other pursuits of our happiness. That’s not a glib comment. What could be more American than a pickup truck? Hell, even Toyota and Nissan build American pickups for Americans these days.

I don’t listen to much Country music and didn’t know about the song, so thanks to Lee Habeeb for writing so eloquently about it, Paul Monti, and his son Jared’s truck. The Monti family lives in Massachussets and there’s more about them, the song and Sgt. Monti’s pickup truck at the Boston Herald.

[I was going to embed a video from the Boston Herald here but it autostarts with a 30 second advertisement and after the 3rd or 4th time it autostarted with an ad while I was editing this post, I decided that you'd rather just have direct link to the video and decide if you want to watch the ad or not]

If you have fond feelings for a father’s love for his son, for America, for its people and even for its pickup trucks, you’ll have a hard time getting through the story of Sgt. Jared Monti without tearing up. It’s a great story that resonates at a number of levels, so I’m a bit surprised that the folks at Chrysler haven’t seized the opportunity to generate a little feelgood patriotic buzz for the Ram brand, what with Chryslers being imported from Detroit, the Arsenal of Democracy. Maybe they’re reluctant because of that Ford F-100 in Lee Brice’s music video. I’ll just point out to the Ram brand managers and marketing team that Mr. Monti’s memorial to his son is still used as a daily driver and though he clearly loves it as an artifact of his late son I’m sure that as a memorial it would last quite a bit longer if he had a new truck to use regularly instead. He’s already had to replace the engine. It probably wouldn’t hurt the Ram brand if they gave Mr. Monti a new 4X4 Ram 1500 truck to use as a daily driver so that he can preserve his son’s Ram the way it was when Jared drove it. While they’re at it, donating a similar  truck to a American veterans service organization in memory of Sgt Monti would likewise be a nice patriotic move for the Auburn Hills based (and now Italian owned) company. If I was in a cynical mood, I’d even suggest to the folks at Ram that they should license the song and reshoot the music video as a commercial, using Mr. Monti and Jared’s truck instead of that F-100 (if Ford could turn a Mercury hot rod  into a Ford pickup, Chrysler can turn a F-100 into a Ram). They could even tie it in to their military training and employment program, part of the Chrysler Academy. That was, as I said, if I was in a cynical mood, but right now, if you’ll excuse me, I have something in my eye.

paulmontitruck

Sergeant First Class Jared C. Monti

  • Date of Issue: 09/17/2009
  • Organization: U.S. Army, Headquarters Company, 10th Mountain Division

Citation: Staff Sergeant Jared C. Monti distinguished himself by acts of gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty while serving as a team leader with Headquarters and Headquarters Troop, 3d Squadron, 71st Cavalry Regiment, 3d Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, in connection with combat operations against an armed enemy in Nuristan Province, Afghanistan, on June 21, 2006. While Staff Sergeant Monti was leading a mission aimed at gathering intelligence and directing fire against the enemy, his 16-man patrol was attacked by as many as 50 enemy fighters. On the verge of being overrun, Staff Sergeant Monti quickly directed his men to set up a defensive position behind a rock formation. He then called for indirect fire support, accurately targeting the rounds upon the enemy who had closed to within 50 meters of his position. While still directing fire, Staff Sergeant Monti personally engaged the enemy with his rifle and a grenade, successfully disrupting an attempt to flank his patrol. Staff Sergeant Monti then realized that one of his Soldiers was lying wounded in the open ground between the advancing enemy and the patrol’s position. With complete disregard for his own safety, Staff Sergeant Monti twice attempted to move from behind the cover of the rocks into the face of relentless enemy fire to rescue his fallen comrade. Determined not to leave his Soldier, Staff Sergeant Monti made a third attempt to cross open terrain through intense enemy fire. On this final attempt, he was mortally wounded, sacrificing his own life in an effort to save his fellow Soldier. Staff Sergeant Monti’s selfless acts of heroism inspired his patrol to fight off the larger enemy force. Staff Sergeant Monti’s immeasurable courage and uncommon valor are in keeping with the highest traditions of military service and reflect great credit upon himself, Headquarters and Headquarters Troop, 3rd Squadron, 71st Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, and the United States Army.

 

“I Drive Your Truck”

by Connie Harrington, Jessi Alexander and Jimmy Yeary

Eighty-Nine Cents in the ash tray
Half empty bottle of Gatorade rolling in the floorboard
That dirty Braves cap on the dash
Dog tags hangin’ from the rear view
Old Skoal can, and cowboy boots and a Go Army Shirt folded in the back
This thing burns gas like crazy, but that’s alright
People got their ways of coping
Oh, and I’ve got mine

I drive your truck
I roll every window down
And I burn up
Every back road in this town
I find a field, I tear it up
Til all the pain’s a cloud of dust
Yeah, sometimes I drive your truck

I leave that radio playing
That same ole country station where ya left it
Yeah, man I crank it up
And you’d probably punch my arm right now
If you saw this tear rollin’ down on my face
Hey, man I’m tryin’ to be tough
And momma asked me this morning
If I’d been by your grave
But that flag and stone ain’t where I feel you anyway

I drive your truck
I roll every window down
And I burn up
Every back road in this town
I find a field, I tear it up
Til all the pain’s a cloud of dust
Yeah, sometimes I drive your truck

I’ve cussed, I’ve prayed, I’ve said goodbye
Shook my fist and asked God why
These days when I’m missing you this much

I drive your truck
I roll every window down
And I burn up
Every back road in this town
I find a field, I tear it up
Til all the pain’s a cloud of dust
Yeah, sometimes, brother sometimes

I drive your truck
I drive your truck
I hope you don’t mind, I hope you don’t mind
I drive your truck

Ronnie Schreiber edits Cars In Depth, a realistic perspective on cars & car culture and the original 3D car site. If you found this post worthwhile, you can dig deeper at Cars In Depth. If the 3D thing freaks you out, don’t worry, all the photo and video players in use at the site have mono options. Thanks for reading – RJS

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/05/for-memorial-day-a-father-and-his-sons-pickup-truck/feed/ 22
Close Encounters of the Japanese Kind http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/05/close-encouncouters-of-the-japanese-kind/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/05/close-encouncouters-of-the-japanese-kind/#comments Wed, 22 May 2013 14:10:53 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=488789 GSXR1100

At just 10:30 AM the sun was already near its full zenith and it beat down upon the city of Osaka with an intense, angry glare. Waves of heat shimmered up from the pavement and superheated the air which blew around in tepid, weak breezes that offered little respite. Perhaps later, the column of heat created by the great city’s many square miles of pavement would spark a sudden thunderstorm as it rose high into the stratosphere and the resultant rain would bring relief as it cascaded down and turned the streets into raging torrents. For now, however, there was only the glare of the sun, the stifling heat and, for me, the thought that riding an 1100 cc air cooled sport bike in a full set of leathers was a choice I should have avoided making.

The morning had begun as all summer mornings do in Japan, with the incessant shrieking of cicadas and the knowledge that sweltering heat and insufferable humidity were to follow. Regardless, my bike had sat unused for far too many days and I knew that if I failed to get the it out on the road I would regret my inaction later. To mitigate that future guilt, I decided I would make the trip across town to get a hot dog at Costco. My silly, trumped up excuse for action firmly fixed in my mind, I rolled my mighty GSXR from its hiding place under the stairwell of our apartment house, slipped into my familiar riding gear and set out.

It was still early enough that traffic was light and despite the big bike’s size, I weaved through traffic with relative ease, splitting lanes as needed but never really putting bike‘s full power to the ground. When it had been built back in 1991, my GSXR was as close to a street-going race bike as you could get. Regardless of that fact, its first owner had modified it to be even faster, adding larger carbs and a full stainless steel race exhaust that raised the bike’s horsepower well into the triple digits. It was loud, temperamental and, compared to the newer, fuel injected sport bikes made today, crude and it hated to be constricted by real world concerns like traffic laws and my own will to live. By the time I got close to my destination, the bike too was having trouble with the heat and was beginning to show signs of a fouled spark plug.

Photo Courtesy of Trekearth.com

I rolled onto the wide boulevard that led the last half mile to my destination and pulled up at a stoplight. Ahead of me, the road stretched out wide and straight, three lanes wide in each direction and on its surface only the shimmering waves of heat rising from the pavement gave any indication of motion. The light turned green and I revved the bike, using the open road as an opportunity to raise the revs a bit higher into their range to tray and blast loose that bit of carbon that I knew was clinging to the electrode of at least one of my plugs. It was the city, however, and I stayed in the lower gears, letting off the gas and killing my acceleration just under of the speed limit. Ahead, the last two lights between me and my destination turned green in tandem and I held my speed.

Just then, out of the entrance to a blind alleyway, a bicyclist shot out into the main street. How he failed to hear me, I have no idea, but the distance between us negligible and a collision looked imminent. I laid on the horn and just as quickly clamped on the brakes. I squeezed down hard and the big Suzuki’s brakes bit deeply, unsettling the bike’s suspension and shifting the bike’s weight forward onto the front end, almost bottoming out the forks. With me baring down upon him, the bicyclist stopped dead in the road and right in my path – a deer in the headlights.

You learn to make choices fast on when you are on the back of a sport bike and years of experience had taught me my options were limited. There was no time to swerve, and a sudden pivot in any direction would leave me dumped on my side in the street. There was no swerving then, my best option, I decided, was straight ahead, right up and over that stoplight running SOB. It was going to be ugly.

I bore down on him like a freight train, my big bike’s dual headlights boring into his soul as I closed the gap, my horn blaring steadily. The distance closed to inches and then, a split second before impact, in an act of sheer desperation the bicyclist kicked forward with is foot and rolled just one foot forward. That movement saved us both and I slid past behind him with a bare inch to spare stopping about 5 feet beyond what would have been our point of impact. I turned my head, glared back at him over my shoulder and extended my arm palm up, giving him my best sign language version of “WTF?” With a downward motion of his hands and a slight bow, he placated me and, with the cars behind beginning to bare down upon us, we separated, him to his destination and me to mine.

The manual operation of the bike occupied my attention while I covered the remaining distance to Costco and parked, but once inside the store the entire experience hit me hard. It took some time to compose myself, it isn’t every day you almost kill someone, after all. After a brief period of adrenaline related butterflies in my stomach, I headed into the store and my mind was filling with the other possible courses of action I might have taken. Lost in deep thought, I approached the food court.

For whatever reason the line at the hotdog stand was huge. Hundreds of small dark haired women, many with children scuttling around their feet, waited patiently in long lines, each one taking a few extra moments to verify the complicated menu that listed so many odd, Western food options prior to making their order. The process took far too long, but it was OK, after the events of the morning waiting mindlessly in a long, slow moving line was rather cathartic. After many long minutes I found myself before the counter, made my order and scurried away to condiment table where I dressed my hotdogs and filled my cup with cold soda.

Photo Couresty of travelsara.com

I turned towards the tables and found myself shocked at the site of a sea of sullen faced men, none with food in their hands, occupying virtually all of the tables as they waited for their wives who were lost somewhere in the mass of humanity lined up before the counter. There I stood, two dogs gripped in my right hand as it stuck through the chin bar of my full faced helmet, my leather riding jacket in the crook of my arm and my tank bag and a soda tenuously sharing the grip of my left. There was nowhere to sit, and I found myself flushed with sudden anger. This was typical.

Like a well practiced team, these men had rushed to the tables and staked out their places while their wives ordered and prepared their food, Meanwhile, no one else would be allowed to sit. I stalked into their midst staring them down and forcing them to turn and look away whenever they dared to glance in my direction. At last in the middle of this group I found a single table, a carefully folded jacket draped across one side of it. Frankly, I didn’t care anymore, chances are I would finish before the jacket‘s owner returned anyhow so I sat down and unloaded my food.

I unwrapped a dog and had only taken my first bite when they arrived. An elderly man, perhaps in his 70s, his small, silver haired wife, their daughter and grandson approached the table furtively and made to take the coat away. In their hands they each had a plate of food, a drink and I could tell when I made eye contact that, like me, they knew there was nowhere else to sit. I began to wrap my hotdog back up and rise, but the man bade me to sit and after a word with his wife the family sat down with me, the little man across from me, his wife to my right and the daughter across from her with their grandson on her lap. It was only mildly uncomfortable for us all and soon they were chatting away with one another about the most ordinary of subjects, carefully and politely avoiding the subject of the giant gorilla of a man who had stolen their spot. I finished quickly, gathered my trash and made to leave when the old man spoke to me for the first time.

“Are you an American?” He asked in English.

I paused. It could be something of a loaded question, I knew, but I am what I am and I looked him in the eye and said, “Yes.”

He bade me sit again and leaned in close. “I speak English,” He told me in a quiet, almost furtive voice. “I worked for the American Navy in Yokosuka at the end of the war.” And then he told his story:

I was 12 years old and my father had been killed in the war. Times were very bad and I needed to work to buy food for my mother and sisters. I went to the Navy base to look for work. I was scared. I had been told the Americans hated us and I thought they might kill me. But I knew that without food, we would die anyway, it was that bad.

They didn’t kill me, instead, they gave me a job shining boots. Every morning, I would go to the base and meet with the other workers in a small hut. Someone from the base would come to take them men to their work sites and bring us boys boots to shine. It was hard work and we got little money but whatever I earned, I gave to my mother and with it she bought food. It was never enough, though, and we were always hungry.

One day just before it was time to go home, an American sailor came into the hut where we gathered. He had a big shoulder of beef in his arms and he put it on the table in front of us. He told us, “Don’t anyone touch this! This base has a rat problem and we need to see if this shack has rats in it. I will leave this beef here and if it is gone in the morning I will know there are rats here and can call an exterminator.” Then he left.

We thought he was crazy! We were starving and he was going to leave the meat for rats! When he left, we cut up the beef leg and took it home. We knew it was wrong, but our families were starving. We thought we would be punished.

Fraternization was strictly forbidden in all theatres after the war.

Fraternization was strictly forbidden in all theatres after the war.

The next day, the man came back as we were going home and instead of punishing us, he put another large piece of meat on the table. He told us, “There must be many rats in this building because in the morning I didn’t even find a single of the meat left yesterday. I need to know how many rats are here, so I will leave this meat here as well and come back again tomorrow.” Naturally, we cut that meat up and took it home as well.

The man came every day for several months and we always laughed about how foolish he was. Today I am older and I understand what he was doing. That man had been told it was against the rules to give food to the Japanese, but he saw us starving and found a way to help us. He might have been arrested and punished for disobeying orders, but he put himself in grave peril in order to give us food. We laughed at him and I am sorry about that today.

The old man looked at me with tears in his eyes and, to the shock of his wife and daughter took me by the hand. “The Imperial military abused the Japanese people and they would have let us die for their glory. Our enemy came and saved us. I love America. I know it is the greatest country in the world. Thank you.”

I can see that sailor in my mind’s eye now. He is typical of those we call the greatest generation, tall, hollow eyed and raw boned. He might be a farmer from the Kansas plains, his brown hair bleached blonde from long hours of hard work in the sun. He might be shorter, heavier, and a survivor of the hard streets of New York or some other crowded North Eastern city. He might be an American Indian from the Southwest plains whose family had been consigned to a life of poverty on an isolated reservation, or an African American who had gone into the service despite his own country’s lack of respect or concern for him and his family’s well being.

Whoever he was, that sailor knew what suffering was when he saw it, because he had lived it. He had felt the bite of hunger, seen the swollen bellies of his brothers and sisters and he knew, despite the fact that the people in whose faces he saw it reflected had recently been our sworn enemies, that he could not let human suffering go unanswered. Instead, he chose to make a difference, and that choice echoes down through time to this very day.

On Monday, our country pauses to honor the men and women, our sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, mothers, fathers and grandparents who swore their lives to our nation’s service. We will remember their great deeds, the battles they fought and the obstacles they overcame. It is all too easy, however, to let slip away those other important things that they do in all our names, those times when they act out of compassion and simple human concern. We should seek to remember those things as well, because it is through them that we win the peace.

To all of you who have served, thank you for your service, and your sacrifice. More than that, however, thank you all for your humanity and your kindness. We honor you, because you have honored us all. Thank you.

"The American Way"  Painting by Norman Rockwell

“The American Way” Painting by Norman Rockwell

Thomas Kreutzer currently lives in Buffalo, New York with his wife and three children but has spent most of his adult life overseas. He has lived in Japan for 9 years, Jamaica for 2 and spent almost 5 years as a US Merchant Mariner serving primarily in the Pacific. A long time auto and motorcycle enthusiast he has pursued his hobbies whenever possible. He also enjoys writing and public speaking where, according to his wife, his favorite subject is himself.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/05/close-encouncouters-of-the-japanese-kind/feed/ 41
Remember Our Fallen Heroes: Was The Bailout Worth It? http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/05/remember-our-fallen-heroes-was-the-bailout-worth-it/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/05/remember-our-fallen-heroes-was-the-bailout-worth-it/#comments Sun, 29 May 2011 11:08:53 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=396529

This is the Memorial Day weekend, when we commemorate our fallen heroes and raise our cancer risk by burning chopped beef. Listening to the media, it looks and sounds like the fallen heroes of the year are not the ones who gave and give their lives in ceaseless wars, but the auto industry. It didn’t quite die. It was medevaced in a TARP and helped by the PTFOA to get over its PTSD.

Instead of thanking the nation’s heroes (he did so in an afterthought, asking for “single acts of kindness”) VP Biden thanked himself:

“When President and I came into office, we faced an auto industry on the brink of extinction, total collapse. At the time, many people thought the President should just let GM and Chrysler go under. They didn’t think the automobile industry was essential to America’s future. The President disagreed – and, in addition, he wasn’t willing to walk away from the thousands of hardworking UAW members who worked at GM and Chrysler.”

By taking full credit for the bailout, Biden once and for all put the argument to rest that the bailout had been inherited from G.W., and that the heirs had no other choice. Time for another pat on the administration’s shoulders:

“Because of what we did, the automobile industry is rising again. Manufacturing is coming back, and our economy is recovering and it is gaining traction.”

Some (see below) have a different opinion. The video is above and in full length, but don’t let the hamburgers go up in flames while you watch.

Meanwhile, over at the National Public Radio, an organization which is generally not under suspicion of right-of-center leanings, Memorial Day was celebrated by yet another commemoration of the heroic rescue of our auto industry.

That program was headlined “Chrysler Repays Billions, Was Bailout Worth It?” Which signaled some skepticism.

NPR is a fair and balanced station, so they had someone who was pro bailout, and someone who was against.

The pro-bailout-person, Micheline Maynard, senior editor for CHANGING GEARS, the public radio project that looks at reinventing the Rust Belt, offered only lukewarm support for the bailout:

“There a lot of people who said the court system is available. Why don’t we put the auto industry – or at least General Motors and Chrysler – through that same system? But there were also fears because the recession was, I think, at its deepest point a couple of years ago, when this all – the subject came up.

There was also worries about the auto parts part of the industry, because if Chrysler had gone bankrupt, for example, and liquidated, these auto parts suppliers served not only General Motors and Ford, but Toyota and some of the other foreign carmakers. So that was part of the argument, that we can’t let the whole network go down.

But there is this other argument that you have other ways to do this, and this is the cost of doing business. Some companies make it. Other companies don’t.“

The anti-bailout-man, Dan Ikenson of the Cato Institute, generally called “a libertarian think tank,” first said that “I don’t think that we’re really in a position to measure” whether the bailout was worth it. But then he laid into the directors of the rescue operation:

“It should have gone to court. I think that we were in a sort of crisis mode, you know, as Rahm Emanuel, when he was in the White House, as he said: Never let a good crisis go to waste.

Paulson, former Secretary Paulson, told Congress they need to pass this financial bailout right away, or else we’re all doomed. It prevents us from really thinking clearly and with circumspection as to what we’re getting into.

So the costs of the rule of law, property rights were trampled with respect to the Chrysler bondholders, and this competitive process was stymied.

And so I think we need to – and if we look at the economy today, this regime uncertainty, which still persists – you know, we’ve been trying to come out of this recession. We’ve been moving slowly. Business is keeping money on the sidelines.”

We have linked to the full 30 minute program (sorry for the empty box …), but again, don’t forget those hamburgers.

It sure was a memorable Memorial Day. We’ll remember it as the beginning of the Presidential campaign 2012.

Did you check the $3 box on your tax return?

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/05/remember-our-fallen-heroes-was-the-bailout-worth-it/feed/ 82
The Booth Babe Chronicles: Life, Liberty And The Pursuit Of Horsepower http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2010/05/the-booth-babe-chronicles-life-liberty-and-the-pursuit-of-horsepower/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2010/05/the-booth-babe-chronicles-life-liberty-and-the-pursuit-of-horsepower/#comments Sun, 30 May 2010 13:09:47 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=357624

Despite the fact that the Greatest Generation keeps me cornered at my info desk for 45 minutes while telling me filthy dirty jokes, I know if not for everyone’s grandpa I’d probably be heil-ing allegiance to the flag of the Rising Sun or some German/Japanese combo thereof. I can’t imagine any 18-year-old boy I’ve ever known doing anything nearly as heartbreakingly heroic as some of the things these men and women did, although I know plenty have since and plenty, sadly, will in the future.

There are many legacies left to us by these old cranky dudes who fought so I could have the freedom to say whatever I want in my blog, but I think one of the strongest culturally is the love of the automobile. They are the ones who spent that post-war disposable income on those big, beautiful machines that became instant status symbols by their sheer power and heft. They are the ones that started the grand American tradition of the summer road trip and backseat shenanigans, and without them we’d probably never have those little shaky-shaky hula girl dash ornaments.

Basically, without them cars probably wouldn’t be nearly as much fun. In honor of Memorial Day, here are some of the cars that helped those kids coming home from the Pacific and Europe remember what it was like to live again.

Buick Special

Buick’s entry-level full-size vehicle. Despite having two doors, which most parents would eschew today, the Special was touted as the perfect family car because of its big back seat.

Cadillac Coupe de Ville

Before Viagra, there was Cadillac. Every man born before the Depression has a major hard-on for this car. It is their generation’s status symbol. Me, I’ll take that gorgeous Harry Winston necklace. I miss the merlettes in the emblem, don’t you?

Chevrolet Fleetmaster Sport Sedan

Imagine this bad boy in the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb?

1947 Ford

This ad just cracked me up… “No other has 100 h.p.!” How quaint.

1946 Oldsmobile

The ad copy here is very telling of the point at which the industry stood: “Look to Olds for all that’s new!” The post-war world was new and these soldiers were coming home to start new careers and new families while enjoying a new prosperity that most of them had never before experienced.

Happy Memorial Day to all those who defend us every day. If things had gone differently a couple of generations ago, we’d all be driving Volkswagens and Toyotas. Come to think of it …

The Booth Babe is an anonymous auto show model who dishes about what really goes on behind the scenes. Read her blog at http://doyoucomewiththecar.blogspot.com. And if you treat her nicely, read her each Sunday at Thetruthaboutcars.com

Picture courtesy
]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2010/05/the-booth-babe-chronicles-life-liberty-and-the-pursuit-of-horsepower/feed/ 21