Advice & Dissent: 2010

This was inevitable. CNN reports that one Koua Fong Lee, serving an eight-year prison term for killing three people when his 1996 Toyota smashed into their vehicle, has now decided the car is to blame - and CNN's reporter seems pretty well convinced of it.It's that Toyoda guy's…Read More
There have been many driver claims that they tried using the brakes but it couldn't override the engine at the full throttle into which alleged sudden acceleration had thrown them. Is this true? At some level, it's simple physics. Newton's Second Law is that force equals mass…Read More
This is my blog and I see no reason why it always has to be about political and social issues. So today I address one of my personal favorite issues, beer. Last night I went for my weekly beer and burger at the sports bar with the beautiful bartenders. This time it was Nicole, a…Read More
Some global warming skeptics have been using the remarkably cold winter and record snowfalls to attack the idea of global warming. Believers are crying foul. "You're confusing weather with climate!" they insist.Yes, global warming does cause cannibalism! And they're right. But…Read More
President Obama fully supports expanding the U.S. nuclear-energy industry - or so he'd have us believe. Obama got lots of publicity with his recent promise of more than $8 billion in federal loan guarantees for two Georgia nuclear plants, which would be the first built in more…Read More
One word kept appearing in reviews of The Hurt Locker: realism. In fact, as I observed in a Philadelphia Inquirer piece from last August, the incidents in the film are grossly unrealistic - as I know from having been a combat engineer myself and having embedded with a Navy-Marine…Read More
Toyota owners, every time there's a new sensationalist headline or a congressman spouts more demagoguery regarding your make of car, the value drops. Last month Kelley Blue Book dropped the resale values of recalled Toyotas twice in just four days, according to AP, leaving them…Read More
I just came across this from a November article in the Los Angeles Times. Richard Schmidt, a former UCLA psychology professor and now an auto industry consultant specializing in human motor skills, said the problem almost always lies with drivers who step on the wrong pedal…Read More
"On the very day Toyota was making a high-profile defense of its cars, one of them was speeding out of control," according to CBS News and a host of other news outlets. "It was a pretty frightening Monday afternoon for a driver in San Diego. The California Highway Patrol said the…Read More
As I write in today's Los Angeles Times, the imagery of Toyotas running amok like something out of a Stephen King novel is simply false, though it's certainly been good for demagogic government officials, the sensationalist media, those who see greater government regulation as…Read More