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cletus8269

Can we not ditch this guy somewhere?

12 posts in this topic

Rest assured whenever the guy is short on attention he has to rear that freakishly ugly mug of his and expose us all to his incurable diarrhea of the mouth.

Michael Moore Posthumously Hates Roger, Wants GM To Die

Monday, June 1st, 2009

Goodbye, GM ...by Michael Moore

I write this on the morning of the end of the once-mighty General Motors. By high noon, the President of the United States will have made it official: General Motors, as we know it, has been totaled.

As I sit here in GM's birthplace, Flint, Michigan, I am surrounded by friends and family who are filled with anxiety about what will happen to them and to the town. Forty percent of the homes and businesses in the city have been abandoned. Imagine what it would be like if you lived in a city where almost every other house is empty. What would be your state of mind?

It is with sad irony that the company which invented "planned obsolescence" -- the decision to build cars that would fall apart after a few years so that the customer would then have to buy a new one -- has now made itself obsolete. It refused to build automobiles that the public wanted, cars that got great gas mileage, were as safe as they could be, and were exceedingly comfortable to drive. Oh -- and that wouldn't start falling apart after two years. GM stubbornly fought environmental and safety regulations. Its executives arrogantly ignored the "inferior" Japanese and German cars, cars which would become the gold standard for automobile buyers. And it was hell-bent on punishing its unionized workforce, lopping off thousands of workers for no good reason other than to "improve" the short-term bottom line of the corporation. Beginning in the 1980s, when GM was posting record profits, it moved countless jobs to Mexico and elsewhere, thus destroying the lives of tens of thousands of hard-working Americans. The glaring stupidity of this policy was that, when they eliminated the income of so many middle class families, who did they think was going to be able to afford to buy their cars? History will record this blunder in the same way it now writes about the French building the Maginot Line or how the Romans cluelessly poisoned their own water system with lethal lead in its pipes.

So here we are at the deathbed of General Motors. The company's body not yet cold, and I find myself filled with -- dare I say it -- joy. It is not the joy of revenge against a corporation that ruined my hometown and brought misery, divorce, alcoholism, homelessness, physical and mental debilitation, and drug addiction to the people I grew up with. Nor do I, obviously, claim any joy in knowing that 21,000 more GM workers will be told that they, too, are without a job.

But you and I and the rest of America now own a car company! I know, I know -- who on earth wants to run a car company? Who among us wants $50 billion of our tax dollars thrown down the rat hole of still trying to save GM? Let's be clear about this: The only way to save GM is to kill GM. Saving our precious industrial infrastructure, though, is another matter and must be a top priority. If we allow the shutting down and tearing down of our auto plants, we will sorely wish we still had them when we realize that those factories could have built the alternative energy systems we now desperately need. And when we realize that the best way to transport ourselves is on light rail and bullet trains and cleaner buses, how will we do this if we've allowed our industrial capacity and its skilled workforce to disappear?

Thus, as GM is "reorganized" by the federal government and the bankruptcy court, here is the plan I am asking President Obama to implement for the good of the workers, the GM communities, and the nation as a whole. Twenty years ago when I made "Roger & Me," I tried to warn people about what was ahead for General Motors. Had the power structure and the punditocracy listened, maybe much of this could have been avoided. Based on my track record, I request an honest and sincere consideration of the following suggestions:

1. Just as President Roosevelt did after the attack on Pearl Harbor, the President must tell the nation that we are at war and we must immediately convert our auto factories to factories that build mass transit vehicles and alternative energy devices. Within months in Flint in 1942, GM halted all car production and immediately used the assembly lines to build planes, tanks and machine guns. The conversion took no time at all. Everyone pitched in. The fascists were defeated.

We are now in a different kind of war -- a war that we have conducted against the ecosystem and has been conducted by our very own corporate leaders. This current war has two fronts. One is headquartered in Detroit. The products built in the factories of GM, Ford and Chrysler are some of the greatest weapons of mass destruction responsible for global warming and the melting of our polar icecaps. The things we call "cars" may have been fun to drive, but they are like a million daggers into the heart of Mother Nature. To continue to build them would only lead to the ruin of our species and much of the planet.

The other front in this war is being waged by the oil companies against you and me. They are committed to fleecing us whenever they can, and they have been reckless stewards of the finite amount of oil that is located under the surface of the earth. They know they are sucking it bone dry. And like the lumber tycoons of the early 20th century who didn't give a damn about future generations as they tore down every forest they could get their hands on, these oil barons are not telling the public what they know to be true -- that there are only a few more decades of useable oil on this planet. And as the end days of oil approach us, get ready for some very desperate people willing to kill and be killed just to get their hands on a gallon can of gasoline.

President Obama, now that he has taken control of GM, needs to convert the factories to new and needed uses immediately.

2. Don't put another $30 billion into the coffers of GM to build cars. Instead, use that money to keep the current workforce -- and most of those who have been laid off -- employed so that they can build the new modes of 21st century transportation. Let them start the conversion work now.

3. Announce that we will have bullet trains criss-crossing this country in the next five years. Japan is celebrating the 45th anniversary of its first bullet train this year. Now they have dozens of them. Average speed: 165 mph. Average time a train is late: under 30 seconds. They have had these high speed trains for nearly five decades -- and we don't even have one! The fact that the technology already exists for us to go from New York to L.A. in 17 hours by train, and that we haven't used it, is criminal. Let's hire the unemployed to build the new high speed lines all over the country. Chicago to Detroit in less than two hours. Miami to DC in under 7 hours. Denver to Dallas in five and a half. This can be done and done now.

4. Initiate a program to put light rail mass transit lines in all our large and medium-sized cities. Build those trains in the GM factories. And hire local people everywhere to install and run this system.

5. For people in rural areas not served by the train lines, have the GM plants produce energy efficient clean buses.

6. For the time being, have some factories build hybrid or all-electric cars (and batteries). It will take a few years for people to get used to the new ways to transport ourselves, so if we're going to have automobiles, let's have kinder, gentler ones. We can be building these next month (do not believe anyone who tells you it will take years to retool the factories -- that simply isn't true).

7. Transform some of the empty GM factories to facilities that build windmills, solar panels and other means of alternate forms of energy. We need tens of millions of solar panels right now. And there is an eager and skilled workforce who can build them.

8. Provide tax incentives for those who travel by hybrid car or bus or train. Also, credits for those who convert their home to alternative energy.

9. To help pay for this, impose a two-dollar tax on every gallon of gasoline. This will get people to switch to more energy saving cars or to use the new rail lines and rail cars the former autoworkers have built for them.

Well, that's a start. Please, please, please don't save GM so that a smaller version of it will simply do nothing more than build Chevys or Cadillacs. This is not a long-term solution. Don't throw bad money into a company whose tailpipe is malfunctioning, causing a strange odor to fill the car.

100 years ago this year, the founders of General Motors convinced the world to give up their horses and saddles and buggy whips to try a new form of transportation. Now it is time for us to say goodbye to the internal combustion engine. It seemed to serve us well for so long. We enjoyed the car hops at the A&W. We made out in the front -- and the back -- seat. We watched movies on large outdoor screens, went to the races at NASCAR tracks across the country, and saw the Pacific Ocean for the first time through the window down Hwy. 1. And now it's over. It's a new day and a new century. The President -- and the UAW -- must seize this moment and create a big batch of lemonade from this very sour and sad lemon.

Yesterday, the last surviving person from the Titanic disaster passed away. She escaped certain death that night and went on to live another 97 years.

So can we survive our own Titanic in all the Flint Michigans of this country. 60% of GM is ours. I think we can do a better job.

http://www.michaelmoore.com/words/message/index.php?id=248

Jalopnik responds (greatly) to this.

Upon GM's announcement of bankruptcy, celebrated self-promoter Michael Moore patted himself on the back while typing out one of the most singularly anti-capitalist, reality-free diatribes we've seen in quite some time.

Take a couple minutes to head over to his cute little website and read it. No seriously. Though if you have a weak stomach or troubles with high blood pressure we'd advise you to be careful. HERE it is.

Now that you're back, we're prepared to address Moore's points. First, his obviously biased introductory statement. Moore's central argument is GM needs to die because his lazy friends and family in Flint didn't have the guts and motivation to build their own companies and provide for themselves when GM closed a poorly performing plant. Furthermore, GM is evil for pursuing profits and reacting to the business environment in a prudent fashion.

We can agree GM has made some heinous mistakes in the past and that's why they're in Chapter 11, but vilifying capitalism for working properly is plainly moronic. Moore goes on to outline his vision of a transportation future free of personal choice and based on bullet trains and electric cars and rainbows and unicorn farts. We'll make fun of all the points in order:

1) Automobiles contribute between 3 and 6% of the total greenhouse gasses to the environment (depends on what source you use and what their motivation is). If he wants to make an impact, perhaps he should look to heavy industry and sea shipping. Of course, it's easier to attack the faceless corporate enemy who pays their employees so they can buy tickets to Moore's poorly researched films.

Let's just forget that calling the Detroit Three out as the culprits of global warming is obnoxiously biased. Are we to believe no other automaker in the history of the world wasn't interested in making cars? And please don't pay attention to the fact that Moore's beloved foreign brands fight against emissions regulations as fervently as Detroit does.

2 through 5) Moore advocates giving the government funds allocated to GM to the workers so they can build future transportation. Problem is this is essentially what's being done by funding vehicle programs and maintaining payrolls. Dropping 50 billion into a company like GM isn't like paying off banks, GM actually makes things and runs factories. The central concept he maintains is GM must die and be rebuilt as a renewble energy and train company. Bullet trains, light rail, wind turbines, solar panels and electric cars for all. We won't point out that there are plenty of companies in these segments already, but we will look into this train business a little closer.

We're fervent believers in the free market. If there's a niche, a service, a product, a system that consumers want, we're confident the market will provide it. We also believe in the power of consumer choice, each dollar is a vote and a winning product will be rewarded. Moore argues we force should GM to build up a far more train and bus dependent society. It's been about a hundred years of wide scale transportation in the US, that's a long time and a lot of modes of transportation. When the highways system was implemented, people abandoned trains and buses en mass, rail cars and cross continental train traffic plummeted, and when air travel became more mainstream it was hit even harder. The public had spoken, and continues to speak about trains in the US.

Certainly, there is an argument which says trains work in Europe, why not the US? Because the US is big and yet largely empty. Densely populated areas along the coastal regions already have trains like the Acela or have plans for high speed trains like the planned system in California. Add to that many cities already have light rail or subways for urban transportation. There's profit to be made and the market spoke in those areas. If you live anywhere between the coasts feel free to watch your government subsidized Amtrak train pass every day with four or five passengers on it.

6) This point is incredibly ignorant on so many levels, but a commercially viable, long range electric car which consumers will buy in large numbers as more than a toy of the wealthy is still not within our technical capabilities. Additionally changing over a plant for an entirely different product which isn't even designed will absolutely take more than a month.

7) Windmill and solar plants already exist, if the demand for their implementation was so strong, not only would there be new competitors popping up daily, but they'd compete on price and reduce the overall cost, that's how capitalism works. Introducing a glut of unwanted product onto the market would only serve to bankrupt current competitors developing new technologies leaving a bloated, flabby, government subsidized GM holding the bag on a product they aren't interested in building.

8) Apparently Mr. Moore doesn't pay very close attention to the goings on of the world as there's a hybrid tax incentive already in place. These incentives exist on both the Federal and local levels and wouldn't you know it, people stopped buying hybrids anyway when gas fell back down to reasonable levels.

9) A gas tax would most certainly move people out of gas guzzlers, but because people like personal freedom and the ability to travel when they want and where they want, it won't necessarily mean they move to mass transit, just to smaller cars, which, we're pretty sure the big bad gas engine producing, environment hating Toyota will be happy to provide. Moore seems to think because there was a momentary rise in fuel efficient car sales, people actually want those kinds of cars. On the contrary, Americans buy the biggest and best they can get for their money. If we move to all-electric cars, we'll buy the biggest, fastest, most comfortable electric car we can get, it's just the way it is.

The bottom line is, Moore isn't really arguing against GM and its sins, he's indicting you, the consumer, for making the best choice for you. If he wants to change the way we think about intermodal transportation, he shouldn't be meddling with a company which hopes to emerge from bankruptcy as a stronger competitor and pay off debts, he should be building business models, collecting capital, getting government subsidies and building these magical systems he's dreaming of. Otherwise he's just a loud-mouthed blow-hard begging for someone else to change the world for him.

http://jalopnik.com/5275891/michael-moore-...wants-gm-to-die

Edited by cletus8269
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rural folk tend to farm and have trucks.

they need the truck to do their work. he is asking them to give up their truck and ride a bus.

rural folk tend to have firearms.

rural folk tend to be self supporting and independent and do not like things like buses.

i am certain if michael moore went to a rural farm house and told the people to give up their truck and ride a bus, he would likely get shot.

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Someone needs to silence Moore...permanently.

Jalopnik's response was beautiful.

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Someone needs to silence Moore...permanently.

He and Roger Smith should have been locked up together without food...

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Since everything about this guy, and his bull$h! has been said already, I'm just gonna put this is. Man, this is the second Matt & Trey thing I've posted today...

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Michael Moore is an idiot, but like anyone else he can say what he wants. The sad thing is that people actually listen :(
I feel the same way about Limbaugh.

Chris

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Just wanted to point out:

>>"the company which invented "planned obsolescence" -- the decision to build cars that would fall apart after a few years so that the customer would then have to buy a new one -- "<<

'Planned obsolescence' was STYLING oriented, not reliability/longevity oriented.

When it came into fashion, American cars had excellent reliability.

What a dumb douche.

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Given the mindless cars we have today, I'd kill to get some of that styling based planned obsolesence back...

Chris

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Just so you guys know, most of the liberal blogosphere and newsmedia have criticized him strongly for his viewpoint. Not even DailyKos supports it, and I think half the regular writers on there are so far out there in la-la land.

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