Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Toyota, trolls, and the government's assault on free speech

Efforts to block readers from visiting this blog have been on the increase lately, epitomized by a recent skirmish with Houston's ABC-13 over a story they cooked up which criticized cops for refusing to file charges against the driver of a runaway Lexus. Granted, operations such as Houston's ABC-13 are privately owned, and from a legal standpoint, permitted to "moderate" discussions as they see fit. Problem is, with rare exception, we have a corporate-controlled mainstream media, fearful of losing broadcast licenses if they cross ol' Sammy, and fearful of losing advertising dollars if they cross corporate interests. Factor in anonymous comments generated by so-called reputation management companies, and it all boils down to making a mockery of a free press, including a deceitful assault on free speech.

The government is too cowardly to limit free speech outright. So it's done the "American Way," with behind-the-scenes maneuvering designed to maintain the appearance of freedom while cleverly placing shackles on those who dare to speak truth. Especially in this age of the Internet.

The government and its mainstream media stooges have been determined to keep word from spreading about evidence galore pointing to electronic defects in Toyota's throttle control. The "Just Us" Department underscored ol' Sammy's unwritten directive with a high-handed "No comment" when a freelance reporter for trade journal EE Times dared to confront Holder's gang with the facts. David Benjamin's EE Times' article exposing what happened ranks in my book as wunna the all-time masterpieces of investigative journalism.

ABC-13's article is typical of the propaganda bandied about under the guise of journalism. Their "legal analyst" feigns ignorance of the electronics issue associated with vehicles speeding out of control, and there's no report of what the Lexus driver said happened. But perhaps the most glaring omission - as ABC-13 spotlights the driver's age - is a discussion of how extremely difficult it is to stop vehicles when electronic defects get the upper hand. A recent seminar at Carnegie-Mellon took a close look at the issue - see slide number 8 - as part of a presentation on electronically-induced unintended acceleration. Notice that brake pressure is normally in the 15 to 43.6 pounds range, whereas a whopping 175 pounds of force is required when vehicles accelerate on their own. Back in 2010, Consumer Reports ran an article, complete with a video, that corroborates Dr. Koopman's presentation. It's preposterous to believe that Houston's ABC-13 is unaware of the facts.

ABC-13's article smacks of a corporate-controlled ploy intended to mislead the public and have a chilling effect on cops declining to charge drivers when vehicles speed out of control. Absence of charges raises questions that admitted crooks like Toyota doesn't want people askin'.

The first response to my comment was an insulting, mindless "reply" from an anonymous source, then came the removal of my comment, while the anonymous blabber - quite likely associated with a troll employed by a reputation management firm - was permitted to remain posted. Here's a copy of my now-deleted comment, and the troll's "reply":

Parris Boyd:
ABC-13 legal analyst Joel Androphy has never heard of electronically-induced unintended acceleration? Especially in Toyotas? Especially in the admitted crook's much-ballyhooed Lexus? Where ya been, Joel? Trying to cover up for the auto industry? ABC should be addressing the epidemic of runaway vehicles crashing into buildings. The Miami Herald dared to discuss the issue. Parking - not age - is the biggest common denominator, and how about telling us what the DRIVER said happened? There's evidence GALORE of electronic defects in Toyota's throttle control, and I've been blogging about it. Search "Beware of Toyota. Their next victim may be YOU..." 

disqus_J5VKk8FJ
Dumb again, Parrisite. Another case of old lady driver error. "The woman, who police said was 70 years old, was not intoxicated according to officers on the scene. Police said she hit the gas instead of the breaks while she was trying to park her Lexus SUV outside the restaurant."

This is not the first time mainstream media in Texas - a state proud to host the new North American headquarters for a murderous, admitted crook like Toyota - has taken exception to my comments and made sure that neither Toyota nor the public read my views. How many other comments get axed in the Lone Star state for being critical of the Coverup King is anyone's guess.

The government's propaganda-censorship game isn't limited to Texas, and this certainly isn't the first time I've written posts about the issue. What's important to realize is that ABC-13's behavior exemplifies the kinda stuff going on all across the country regarding every topic imaginable. Former Assistant Secretary of the Treasury Dr. Paul Craig Roberts targets the issue in his latest article, "The Prospect of Nuclear War." Just out of curiosity - not that I have proof of any - I inquired about the cost to protect this blog from Distributed Denial of Service (DDOS) Attacks. The bill would come to $3,000 per month. Real hoot, but at least I got a thigh-slappin' laugh out of it. Not to mention a far better appreciation of the costs associated with politically-sensitive websites that make a serious effort at maximizing hits.

Alluding to this sorry state of affairs in his 9/14/2014 call for donations (preface to "Washington's War on Russia"), Dr. Roberts sums things up admirably: "It will not be long before only a masochist will be willing to speak the truth in the United States or in any country of the West."

Sunday, November 9, 2014

As word spreads re electronic defects, cops decline to charge the driver of a runaway Lexus

When is admitted-crook Toyota and scandal-soaked NHTSA gonna own up to the facts regarding unintended acceleration? Not long ago, Honda made an admission of electronic defects associated with these events, and now Nissan has reluctantly chimed in with an admission of software defects causing Infinities to unexpectedly take off. It's way past time for Uncle Scam (sic) to get serious about the electronics issue in general, and Coverup King Toyota in particular. There's evidence GALORE of electronic defects in Toyota's throttle control, presented over a year ago when the Coverup King lost the landmark unintended acceleration case in Oklahoma. Thanks to trade journals, bloggers, and comments on social media sites, word has gotten out in spite of the government's silence, and an attempted news blackout by this corporate-controlled government's mainstream media stooges.

As I've mentioned, there are literally too many crashes suggestive of electronically-induced unintended acceleration to keep track of. The Miami Herald addressed the alarming number of vehicles crashing into buildings, but carefully avoided any mention of defective software and the auto industry's refusal to install adequate fail-safes.

Apparently, cops are starting to think twice before charging drivers whose vehicles crash into buildings. News that the driver of a runaway Lexus won't be charged in a devastating crash in Houston is certainly not the first runaway-crash devoid of charges against drivers, but it may well be the first time the absence of such charges - which speaks volumns to informed consumers - has made headlines for an article devoted to blaming the cops. Not charging the drivers of runaway vehicles tends to raise questions; tends to embarrass the scandal-soaked auto industry.

Notice the tantrum thrown by ABC-13's "legal analyst," as he feigns ignorance of the electronics issue. Notice the careful omission of any reference to what the driver said happened, much less a ton of evidence showing how incredibly difficult vehicles are to stop when electronic defects take over. Find my comment below the article and notice the anonymous "reply" - sheer blabber which immediately popped up - by what appears to be a troll from either the government, the auto industry, or a reputation management firm. //Update 11/9/2014 - My comment exposing ABC-13's one-sided reporting of this story and referring readers to this blog was removed shortly after I posted my remarks earlier today. The inane "reply," however, from disqus_opJ5VKk8FJ remains posted.//

I won't belabor the electronics issue. There are plenty of references and discussions elswhere on this blog, and on the Internet.

What an outrage it is that folks are being injured, killed - and in some cases unjustly jailed - all because of a crooked, corporate-controlled government that panders to murderous thugs in the auto industry. Deadly gnition-switches, exploding airbags that sling shrapnel, electronic defects in throttle controls without adequate fail-safes, and it's anybody's guess as to what blood-spattered defect - and coverup - will be revealed next. Meanwhile, the most we get from Repukes and Demagogues is another round of theatrics aimed at making sure nobody at any of these murderous, blood-drenched corporations goes to prison.

This is one sorry excuse for a government. To say it's tyrannical is to understate the case.

Update 11/12/2014 - JUST IN: At 7:06 PM EST (see 11/10/2014 update), Detroit News reported that GM CEO Mary Barra will not be receiving the award. Public outcry, organized by Laura Gipe Christian, founder of "GM Recall Survivors" prevailed quickly. 

Update 11/10/2014 - BREAKING NEWS on the ignition-switch scandal: E-mails that GM wanted kept secret have now been released - thanks to attorney Bob Hilliard - that raise justifiable questions regarding the much-ballyhooed "innocence" of GM CEO Mary Barra. Stay tuned as the founder of "GM Recall Survivors" takes aim at the National Womens History Museum and a senate sub-committee over Barra being presented with an award based on safety.

Update 11/9/2014 - HOT OFF THE PRESS: Just over an hour ago, USA Today's editorial board published a scathing review of the airbag fiasco.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Toyota's airbag supplier accused of coverup starting in 2004

Update 11/7/2014 - Just in: "Feds suspect Takata errors date back to 1998." Watch auto-industry-lapdog NHTSA - caught red-handed in GM's ignition-switch scandal - squirm. USA today sums it up well: "The airbag problem has taken on a grim likeness to GM's faulty ignition switches, spotted within the company in 2001 but not recalled until early this year. The switches can fail and disable airbags. They are linked to 30 deaths."  

Coverup King Toyota has apparently been doing business with a like-minded airbag supplier. As the scandal widens over those shrapnel-slingin' airbags from Takata, two former employees have now come forward to say Takata knew about the problem in 2004, conducted secretive tests, and then covered everything up.

I thought it was kinda strange when Toyota rushed to defend Takata. Both corporations - Toyota now an admitted crook - have a way of producing defective products that kill, federal investigations, and whistleblowers. Of course, the federal "investigations" never amount to anything more than some grand theatrics, underscored by a curt "No comment" if anyone dares to confront the power structure. How much longer tail-tucked Americans are gonna tolerate a corporate-controlled government that panders to murderous thugs in the auto industry is anyone's guess.

Meanwhile, Clarence Ditlow, executive director of the Center for Auto Safety estimates that there are up to 25 million vehicles in the US that have shrapnel-slingin' airbags. Back in June, Ditlow issued a statement targeting NHTSA's cozy relationship with parts-supplier Takata.

Pleasant dreams.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

SECRECY: the hallmark of crooks like Toyota

Update 11/1/2014 - A few hours ago: Takata says a new flaw was discovered for airbags it made from 2008-20014.

I just love it when the public is suckered by "proposed legislation" that stands no chance whatsoever of passing after elected officials (don't blame me - I quit voting years ago) are bribed - er I mean educated - by lobbyists. Buys time until well-entrenched business interests can do their thing with America's two-headed, one party sham of an electoral system.

Admitted-crook Toyota is perhaps the most notorious of all when it comes to those "confidentiality agreements" Senator Blumenthal says he wants to outlaw. The Coverup King has been rushing into such agreements like crazy ever since embedded systems expert Michael Barr spilled the beans on the auto industry's unintended acceleration scam about a year ago in that landmark case in Oklahoma. Electronic defects galore were exposed in Toyota's throttle control, ushering in a barrage of settlements structured to keep things quiet the "Toyota Way."

Really, folks. By what convoluted reasoning are crooked corporations like Toyota allowed to purchase the public's right to free speech as part of "settlements" involving deadly defects? It's a bullying tactic that's been going on for many years, Mr. Blumenthal, and never should have been allowed in the first place.

Toyota is still in tantrum mode because word of defects in their throttle control is spreading, thanks to that landmark lawsuit the Coverup King lost in Oklahoma last October. Lately, the admitted crook and first-class bully has been targeting whistleblower Betsy Benjaminson - a single, unemployed mother of four - with a slew of pricey, court-sanctioned actions aimed at intimidating Benjaminson - and anyone else - from daring to exercise free speech. Crooks like Toyota are outraged that in this age of the Internet, bloggers, trade journals, and shrewd use of social media can play havoc with the efforts of bigshot "news" organizations and auto-industry stooges like NHTSA to keep safety issues quiet. Note the graphic - a blood-spattered Toyota emblem - featured in today's update about Benjaminson.

Meanwhile, the latest scandal - exploding, shrapnel-laced airbags that injure and kill - leaves consumers at the mercy of auto-industry thugs, propped up by a corrupt, corporate-controlled government that has "no comment" when truth is exposed.

Update 10/31/2014 - Amidst scandals and recalls galore, the airbag fiasco may be the straw that broke the camel's back. Marketing research shows that consumers are finally getting wary of Toyota's never-ending safety problems now that fundamentals such as airbags and seatbelts are making headlines.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Airbags: Toyota sez "Stay outta the front seat." Better yet, just stay outta their vehicles.

Update 11/2/2014 - "Trust us" indeed (see 10/28 update below). Toyota's response to the airbag fiasco has turned out to be highly controversial. It must be awful to have to depend on an admitted crook and Coverup King like Toyota to do the right thing about defective airbags. Of course, auto-industry-stooge NHTSA quickly approved Toyota's response to the scandal.

Updates 10/28/2014
> Appearing on CNBC, Toyota's Jim Lentz has the gall to say "trust us" regarding airbags. Trust a corporation that pled guilty to a federal FRAUD charge? Talk about a thigh-slappin' HOOT...

> Lawsuits claim Takata knew about the airbag defect in 2001. "Car owners allege they were duped into buying models that weren’t as safe as they were made to believe because of the potentially dangerous air bags ... Representatives for Takata, Honda and Toyota declined to comment..."

So we're expected to believe that Honda has known about the airbag fiasco for years, but Coverup King and admitted-crook Toyota was left unaware. Forgiveness is sought for those of us who find that a bit difficult to believe, and pardon me for bringin' this up, but wonder what else the "world's largest automaker" is "unaware" of. Whatever. Toyota's response to those deadly, shrapnel-slingin' airbags gets more interesting by the minute.

The Coverup King is now advising folks to "keep passengers out of the front seat of several models." Really. And never mind that this sage advice for U.S. customers comes four months after Toyota took similar actions in Japan. Well, I guess stayin' outta the seat is better than trustin' Toyota to disable the things. Bear in mind that among the multitude of recalls Toyota has become infamous for, on occasion they've had to issue second recalls for the same problem 'cause initial efforts to fix things didn't work. Does anyone in their right mind wanna trust an admitted crook to "disable" what amounts to a roadside bomb?

Frankly, with all the software problems Toyota has encountered - not the least of which is computer expert Michael Barr finding electronic defects galore in Toyota's throttle control - I wouldn't bet too heavily on their airbags performing properly even without the bungling from parts supplier Takata. Here's a peek at problems associated with Toyota's airbags.

"Oh what a feeling" indeed. Just make sure passengers don't have it while riding in that front seat.

Updates 10/22/2014 -
> Believe it or not, Coverup King Toyota is supporting Takata's bungling - er I mean handling - of the airbag fiasco. Birds of a feather...

> Just in from USA Today: "NHTSA didn't say why it only now is raising an alarm about the imminent danger of the bags, some of which have been on the roads since 2000, and which began being recalled by automakers in 2008." So the feds are "confused" now that the facts are coming out? Really, folks: If Americans are DUMB enough to tolerate murderous crookedness out of this repulsive little oligarchy - Repukes n Demagogues alike - as it panders to thugs in the auto industry, so be it.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Picketing: Don't glare at ME, Mr. Salesperson. Glare at TOYOTA.

Yesterday as I picketed Toyota in front of West Columbia, South Carolina's new Fred Anderson Toyota dealership, wunna their sales force came out, stood about 10 or 15 yards away, and glared at me for several minutes. That's fine, if that's what the guy wants to do, but I have a suggestion for the lad: Instead of glaring at me, glare at admitted-crook and Coverup King Toyota. You know. The thug you've chosen to sell vehicles for.

You see, I didn't bring this situation about. Toyota brought it about when they refused to acknowledge an obvious manufacturing defect in MR2 Spyders, turning their crooked backs on hapless owners such as myself, out the better part of $10 grand when the engines disintegrated. Leave it to a bully like Toyota to take advantage of the fact that Spyders were a limited production vehicle, thereby making class-action lawsuits as impractical as individual court pursuits.

Crooked automakers like Toyota, GM, and now Honda have learned that it pays to ignore manufacturing defects. After all, they can get free passes from their bought-and-paid-for "safety" stooges like NHTSA, as the government agency's bigshot employees look forward to being rewarded with high payin' jobs in the auto industry. Meanwhile, the Department of "Just Us" stands guard to make sure nobody goes to prison if and when dirty facts are exposed. Short of time-consuming, expensive lawsuits, there really isn't any viable recourse for consumers. Factor in a tail-tucked public, bullied into accepting any kind of crookedness imaginable, and there you have it: a formula par excellence for immoral and illegitimate profits galore at the consumer's expense, both physically and financially. It's called tyranny, something that's come to be the hallmark of this little police-state, corporate-controlled oligarchy and its corrupt, two-headed, one party sham of an electoral system.

What do you expect me to do, Mr. Salesperson? Knuckle under to the crook you work for, and simply kiss the better part of $10 grand goodby? The next time you get the urge to glare at someone, Mr. Toyota Salesperson, focus your gaze on the culprit instead of the victim.

Update 10/21/2014 - NY Times published a GREAT article yesterday about the growing airbag scandal. "Toyota said it would in some cases disable the air bags, leaving a note not to ride in the front passenger seat."

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Jury awards Plaintiff $12 million in Toyota lap belt case

“The whole courtroom was in tears, and so was the jury. The evidence was strong; it was an absolute slam dunk.” - Chelsie Hill's father, quoted by KSBW.com news.
 
Who woulda thought? Coverup King and now-admitted-crook Toyota is having problems convincing juries that it's telling the truth. No wonder Toyota prefers out-of-court, confidential settlements. Even more so since it lost that landmark unintended acceleration case in Oklahoma last October.
 
It's a real shame that consumers have to file expensive, time consuming, and emotionally draining lawsuits to stand a chance of prevailing against crooked corporations like Toyota. Equally bad that we have a corporate-controlled government kissin' up to these crooks by manufacturing bald-faced lies - no, NASA did NOT rule out electronic defects as a cause of unintended acceleration - and simply "refusing to comment" if anyone dares to confront the auto industry's repulsive little puppets with a few facts. 
 
In Hill's case - involving a 4Runner - admitted-crook Toyota is "expected to appeal." Is anyone surprised?

Update 10/18/14 - Another article puts the situation in proper perspective. Hill's lawyer says "Toyota misled the public about the safety of their lap belts and now there are millions of people out there driving those cars," and Ben Kelley, a Center for Auto Safety board member who testified at the trial, points out that "As of 2014, there are more than 3 million Toyota vehicles with at least one lap belt - similar to the one Hill wore - driving in the U.S."

Update 10/19/2014 - VIDEO: former Assistant Secretary of the Treasury Dr. Paul Craig Roberts offers some GREAT comments on the revolving door twixt this corrupt government's so-called regulators and the industries they puppet for, paving the way for lucrative jobs in those industries. NHTSA (No Help To Solve Anything) and Toyota are prime examples, which probably explains how Toyota's lap belts squeaked by "safety regulators" in the first place. Kudos to Dr. Roberts for pointing out that Americans no longer care if someone has the reputation of being a crook.