Spring is just nearby. I’ve been splitting my time taken between shoveling drifts, pressing drafts of my forthcoming publication on VIA Rail backwards and forwards to my graphic developer, and creating some VIA-related memes. Which means you are given by me this pop-up post of springtime miscellany. Tim Hayman snapped a picture of the first CANADA 150-wrapped VIA F40PH-2D 6454. I used the expansive nose to do a bit of promotion including Tim’s role as a respected contributor (top image). Have you ever wanted to be in the 1%? VIA has covered Business Class car 3476 in the attractive ‘leaves’ variance of the CANADA 150 plan similar compared to that applied to the lounge car Glenfraser.

We’ll observe how that works. Last weekend’s Kingston Rail-O-Rama netted some fine finds. No longer available – we won’t have a monopoly on what game pieces we use. The thimble, wheelbarrow, and boot have been replaced by updated rubber ducky, dinosaur, and penguin. And a view no more available. It’s photos such as these that I was proud to include in my upcoming Trackside with VIA: Research and Recollections. My Dad’s trip accounts, early-80’s Corridor Canadian is composed and photos to get a well-deserved airing. Sharing this material is a fine legacy for data that I hadn’t even known existed.

Peugeot bought GM’s European operations – and is along the way of looking to do what GM failed to do – close or scale back on these profit-losing monsters. It could be the ultimate end of Peugeot. Worldwide, auto-creation capacity surpasses actual demand. As well as the auto industry is facing a slowdown lately, which portends a recession within the next year or so.

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Demand, if anything, will slacken. GM is to trim its sails now, to prepare for the storm. Workers at Lordstown are not “entitled” to perpetual employment, anymore than ordinary people are (again, tell that to the “Democratic Socialists” – they think a job is a “right”). Obsolete factories selling outdated products, with a brief history of labor strife – what’s not to like? And of course, the ultimate irony is that a Republican President – the party of industry and big business – is wanting to tell an organization what to do and what products to make.

This, after decrying the Obama administration for “picking winners” in the marketplace following the Solyndra fiasco. But then again, this might grow to be another situation like Carrier (a different one of my Alma maters) where in fact the President blusters and bluffs, statements victory, and then everyone anyway loses their careers. So long as his followers think he won, that is all that matters for the truth TeeVee President. The silver coating is, of course, that we now have careers aplenty in this economy – in car vegetation located further South. This does mean you have to move away from blighted places like Flint, Youngstown, or Michigan, Ohio.

It also means that at these new plant life, you have to work harder and often for less overall, instead of whining about what a rotten deal you have out of life and how your employer can be an asshole. But then again, a gun was put by nobody to your head and said you had to work on an assembly line. Maybe it’s time to “fall back” on that teaching degree?

Long before Tucker’s loss of life, the common myths were already circulating in Detroit. As students of free-market economics, I’m quick to concede a government-backed business conspiracy could work to stifle a new venture. The involvement of Senator Ferguson and the SEC does the waters in critiquing the Tucker collapse muddy.

In fact, however, Tucker needed no assist in destroying his company. The national government, if anything, bent the guidelines in Tucker’s favor when it granted him the vegetable in Chicago on very good terms. For Senator Ferguson, his more probable concern was not that Tucker would be successful, but that .he was going for a massive failure which would wipe out shareholders’ investments. The SEC didn’t doom Tucker, nor did it really carry out its role of protecting investors.