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Toyota Hybrid Horror Hoax
Forbes.com ^ | 03-12-10 | Michael Fumento

Posted on 03/13/2010 12:29:13 PM PST by GOP_Lady

Exploring an overblown media frenzy.

"On the very day Toyota was making a high-profile defense of its cars, one of them was speeding out of control," said CBS News--and a vast number of other media outlets worldwide. The driver of a 2008 Toyota Prius, James Sikes, called 911 to say his accelerator was stuck, he was zooming faster than 90 miles per hour and absolutely couldn't slow down.

It got far more dramatic, though. The California Highway Patrol responded and "To get the runaway car to stop, they actually had to put their patrol car in front of the Prius and step on the brakes." During over 20 harrowing minutes, according to NBC's report, Sikes "did everything he could to try to slow down that Prius." Others said, "Radio traffic indicated the driver was unable to turn off the engine or shift the car into neutral."

In fact, almost none of this was true. Virtually every aspect of Sikes's story as told to reporters makes no sense. His claim that he'd tried to yank up the accelerator could be falsified, with his help, in half a minute. And now we even have an explanation for why he'd pull such a stunt, beyond the all-American desire to have 15 minutes of fame (recall the "Balloon Boy Hoax" from October) and the aching need to be perceived as a victim.

(Excerpt) Read more at forbes.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Foreign Affairs; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: bloggersandpersonal; duplicate; jamessikes; prius; toyota; toyotahoax; warontoyota
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1 posted on 03/13/2010 12:29:13 PM PST by GOP_Lady
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To: GOP_Lady

The Sykes scam is a good analogy for the entire Government Motors’ dumping on Toyota (a chief competitor).

We are seeing fascist economics unfold before our eyes.


2 posted on 03/13/2010 12:30:52 PM PST by Ghost of Philip Marlowe (Prepare for survival.)
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To: GOP_Lady

Reminds me of the “exploding Pinto” stunt the news outlets pulled way back when.


3 posted on 03/13/2010 12:31:32 PM PST by RedDogzRule
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To: GOP_Lady

Michael Fumento

James Sikes

4 posted on 03/13/2010 12:37:26 PM PST by A.A. Cunningham (Barry Soetoro is a Kenyan communist)
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To: RedDogzRule

5 posted on 03/13/2010 12:37:33 PM PST by Pollster1 (Natural born citizen of the USA, with the birth certificate to prove it)
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To: RedDogzRule

...or the chevy pickup gas tank scam.

Just amazing the lengths people will go when there is no death penalty for costly scams.


6 posted on 03/13/2010 12:38:13 PM PST by wita
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To: GOP_Lady
But the press conference alone makes it clear Sikes' story didn't wash. Journalism schools are supposed to teach that skepticism is paramount. "If your mother says it, check it out," goes the old adage. Yet comments on Web sites across the country reveal that practically everyone thought the Prius incident was a hoax--though they couldn't prove it--except for the media.

Because most of the "media" are whores for the government, and the government owns a competing car company.

No mystery here.

7 posted on 03/13/2010 12:43:03 PM PST by spodefly (I have posted nothing but BTTT over 1000 times!!!)
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To: Ghost of Philip Marlowe

I do hope Toyota sues James Sikes, the irresponsible MSM and the 0bama administration while they’re at it.


8 posted on 03/13/2010 12:43:09 PM PST by Servant of the Cross (the Truth will set you free)
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To: GOP_Lady

I never get why the dispatchers, police and reporters refuse to ask the simple questions — like, have you turned off the ignition or how about shifting into neutral?


9 posted on 03/13/2010 12:44:11 PM PST by sbMKE
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To: GOP_Lady
California is overrun with scammers like Sikes. That's why I was suspicious about his story from the start.

Basically the state attracts parasites because they know if they scream loud enough, the cowards here will give in and hand them a free lunch: a house on the beach, an unearned income, a posh do-nothing job at 90k a year (none of these examples are made up, and the people in the government here are basically no different from him).

The financial implosion of California is the result of massive handouts that amount to a giant ponzi scheme benefitting the worst of the worst. The game is now ending.

Jim Sikes is just one of millions who are about to find out they don't have the skills or the character to afford the lifestyle they think they're entitled to.

10 posted on 03/13/2010 12:45:19 PM PST by Regulator (Welcome to Zimbabwe! Now hand over your property....)
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To: sbMKE

The dispatcher did tell him to put the car in Neutral, but he refused.


11 posted on 03/13/2010 12:45:50 PM PST by Republic of Texas (Socialism Always Fails)
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To: Ghost of Philip Marlowe

Yes, I was thinking the same thing. When you look at how Barry rose to prominence by smearing rival Jack Ryan for Illinois Senator you can see the same strategies now being applied to the car industry. Axelrod must have some devotees installed at GM.


12 posted on 03/13/2010 12:48:57 PM PST by purplelobster
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To: A.A. Cunningham

Thank you.


13 posted on 03/13/2010 12:50:23 PM PST by GOP_Lady
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To: Regulator

Bingo! Great post.

Calif is a capital of workmen’s comp scams. You are 100% correct that the game is ending in CA and grifters like Sikes are desparate.

Wasn’t the balloon boy clan from CA who wanted to be on Tv and they moved to Colorado. Sikes Prius was probably going to be repossesed. He was one grift after another. CA is the home of porn and has been for decades.

If you cannot make it in Hollywood there is always porn then prostitution then a state job or politics then scams then God knows what.


14 posted on 03/13/2010 12:56:13 PM PST by Frantzie (TV - sending Americans towards Islamic serfdom - Cancel TV service NOW)
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To: GOP_Lady

The next time I’m running late I’m gonna claim that my Yukon’s pedal stuck and I couldn’t get it stopped until I got to whatever place I was going.....:)

[I might even get a totally cool police escort to Wal*Mart, maybe!]


15 posted on 03/13/2010 1:00:48 PM PST by Salamander (....and I'm sure I need some rest but sleepin' don't come very easy in a straight white vest.......)
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To: Frantzie
If you cannot make it in Hollywood there is always porn then prostitution then a state job or politics then scams then God knows what

Eureka! Thinks Jimmy. I'll scam Toyota!

Bzzzt...off stage, sorreee Jimeee...we're on to ya

16 posted on 03/13/2010 1:13:00 PM PST by Regulator (Welcome to Zimbabwe! Now hand over your property....)
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To: GOP_Lady

I was taking a break from the news and missed the initial story. hubby told me about it the evening it was reported and seemd to believe it...until halfway through. He hesitated at the whole “unable to shift into neutral” thing and grimaced. When he got to the “all failsafes failed” part he was obviously getting skeptical. He just read this article. He does math. He appreciated it. Yep, it’s a hoax.


17 posted on 03/13/2010 1:18:46 PM PST by cake_crumb (RR on ObieCare: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fRdLpem-AAs&feature=player_embedded#)
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To: Servant of the Cross

Toyota might also consider suing the ABC/CBS/NBC/MSNBC/HLN and whatever news outlets they also deem culpable.


18 posted on 03/13/2010 1:20:29 PM PST by cake_crumb (RR on ObieCare: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fRdLpem-AAs&feature=player_embedded#)
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To: GOP_Lady

that might be the photo of the reporter, I’m not sure.

Anyway, this is a feeding frenzy of a car company that choses not to use Unions, and we KNOW what THAT means..!


19 posted on 03/13/2010 1:21:41 PM PST by TokuMei
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To: GOP_Lady

At first I didn’t know why you posted that picture. I thought it was a mannequin. Then I see it’s the author. Creepy.


20 posted on 03/13/2010 1:27:21 PM PST by rabidralph ("Precedenting" is a lot tougher than community organizing.)
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To: GOP_Lady

While Government Motors is benefitting from the Toyota show-trial and purge, this attack was actually the brainstorm of the UAW (also a GM owner). The real intent is to unionize the US Toyota factories—which would occur as part of an under-the-table settlement of some sort. Very Old School mafia type stuff—the way the capos sold protection. With Bolsheviks, you get a similar type of thuggery with lots of theater thrown in for good measure.


21 posted on 03/13/2010 1:27:33 PM PST by PaleoBob
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To: GOP_Lady

I wish we could call for an investigation into this hoax but, unfortunately, our whole damn government is corrupt. There’s nobody to go to anymore.


22 posted on 03/13/2010 1:28:44 PM PST by FlingWingFlyer (A proud American-American since 1949.)
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To: GOP_Lady

I’ve seen about a million (OK, a little exaggerated) articles about how to stop a car that has a pinned gas pedal. The one thing they agree on is that the only chance you have to get it stopped is to nail the brakes *once* *hard* and stand on them. If you can’t figure out how to get the car onto neutral, and try to pump the brakes or do two applications, they are going to boil the fluid and fail.

My Point: I know a Prius is a relatively light, relatively underpowered car, however, even though the Highway Patrol cruiser would have not had a pinned throttle, it would have had that one chance to get itself stopped, because the Prius had a (supposedly) pinned throttle. So he’s stopping *both* cars? I’m throwing the BS flag here.


23 posted on 03/13/2010 1:32:06 PM PST by Felis_irritable (Fool me once, I'll punch you in the...er, something or other...)
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To: sbMKE
I never get why the dispatchers, police and reporters refuse to ask the simple questions — like, have you turned off the ignition or how about shifting into neutral?

The police and dispatchers begged him for 20 minutes to do both of those things, but the guy refused again and again and again, saying he was too scared and needed both hands on the wheel. (Of course, he wasn't too scared to use his cell phone, or to reach down to try to pull the accelerator pedal up.)

The reporters, on the other hand, are ignorant, gullible, anti-corporate, pro-government, pro-trial-lawyer morons who will mostly be starving to death soon unless they have other marketable skills.

24 posted on 03/13/2010 1:54:36 PM PST by ccmay (Too much Law; not enough Order.)
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To: sbMKE

The radio traffic is online. The CHP dispatcher repeatedly advised him to put the car in neutral, and to shut it off.

http://10newsblogs.com/audio/prius-911call.mp3


25 posted on 03/13/2010 1:56:20 PM PST by ArmstedFragg (hoaxy dopey changey)
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To: Ghost of Philip Marlowe

I have mixed opinions of this. 2 years ago, our prius’ battery caught on fire.

My daughters and I were coming home from shopping. When we pulled into our driveway, we saw that the parked Prius’ windows were all black. I thought someone had painted them. I opened the door, and smoke started pooring out.

No one had driven the prius since the day before. We are very lucky it was not parked in our garage because our house could have caught on fire.

Anyway, Toyota was horrible (insurance was great).

Before the fire, there had been a service notice about getting the prius fixed, but it was not a recall. Toyota never said there was a risk of the battery catching on fire. We also had a check engine light that had been going on and off.

We took it to the dealership, but the dealership said there was no rush to fix our car. We wanted to wait a week because summer was about to start and I could go without a car.

Within a week of taking it to the dealership and before we actually had it fixed, the car caught on fire.

Here’s a link to the pictures of our car:

http://www.carspace.com/suzikn/Albums/priusfire/Suzi%20205.jpg/page/photo.html#pic

I think Toyota should have sent out notices to Prius owners that a fire could start with their batteries if they didn’t get the problem fixed. But, Toyota never did.


26 posted on 03/13/2010 2:02:50 PM PST by luckystarmom
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To: GOP_Lady
"On the very day Toyota was making a high-profile defense of its cars, one of them was speeding out of control," said CBS News--and a vast number of other media outlets worldwide. The driver of a 2008 Toyota Prius, James Sikes, called 911 to say his accelerator was stuck, he was zooming faster than 90 miles per hour and absolutely couldn't slow down.

Too bad this driver did not think to turn off his ignition, put it in neutral, and coast to a stop. Apparently he had plenty of time to take rational action.

The statistical data on reliability and low cost of repairs for Toyota remains in the top three. I will not hesitate to consider a Toyota for our next vehicle. We have been driving one for seven years.

27 posted on 03/13/2010 2:09:35 PM PST by olezip
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To: ccmay
"(Of course, he wasn't too scared to use his cell phone, or to reach down to try to pull the accelerator pedal up.)"

That's the crux of the whole thing. It CAN'T add up...also, I get teh impression from the way he talked that he MAY have been claiming to have the phone in one hand (probably his left) while trying to pull up the accelerator with (presumably) his right hand....while doing about 90 on a CA freeway....so who would have been driving the car at that time?

28 posted on 03/13/2010 2:09:44 PM PST by cake_crumb (RR on ObieCare: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fRdLpem-AAs&feature=player_embedded#)
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To: PaleoBob

Bingo! I have been saying this all along. Beat up, thug, smear, attack the biggest foreign transplant company in the USA who has non-union plants to get the UAW in those plants.

The other companies will be terrified they are next. Honda, BMW, Mereceds, Nissan, Hyundai, KIA, Subaru (lib & lesbian car so maybe they will not attack them).

Attack attack Toyo so the others cave.

Chicago-style and UAW thuggery.


29 posted on 03/13/2010 2:24:46 PM PST by Frantzie (TV - sending Americans towards Islamic serfdom - Cancel TV service NOW)
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To: sbMKE

They repeatedly instructed Sikes to shift into neutral and to turn off the vehicle and also to use the brakes. He said he was afraid to do each of these. (Sounds like the problem resides between the guy’s legs to me.)

But he claims he reached down and pulled up the accelerator while doing 90 miles an hour and talking on his cellphone.


30 posted on 03/13/2010 2:27:56 PM PST by gitmo
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To: luckystarmom

I don’t think the Prius is a flawless design. And if a car malfunctions, the dealership and car company ought to stand behind their work. So, it sounds like they treated you pretty shabbily, which I don’t excuse.

However, my point was that the US government is now using all their power as industry-regulators, union representatives, and the full, free access to the media that enables them to destroy a company with bogus attacks in order to bolster support of the company they now own via the business tactic that Leftists once condemned called “hostile takeover.”

All cars have their flaws. For the US government to use its power to select one maker (a chief competitor) and to apply the power of the government as it was never intended is an act of fascism.

All you have to ask to clarify this situation is, “What would the left and the state-run media be telling us if this had been George W. Bush or Dick Cheney attacking an oil company that competed with Halliburton?”


31 posted on 03/13/2010 2:33:59 PM PST by Ghost of Philip Marlowe (Prepare for survival.)
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To: GOP_Lady

FOLLOW THE MONEY!!!!!!

Sikes is a scam artist and our glorious Mainstream Media accepts his story without question because it demonizes the company who makes GM compete!!!


So why did he do it? Sleuth work at the Web sites Jalopnik.com and Gawker.com reveals that Sikes and his wife Patty in 2008 filed for bankruptcy and are over $700,000 in debt. Among their creditors is Toyota Financial Services for a lease on a 2008 Toyota Prius, with value at time of bankruptcy of $20,494. The Jalopnik Web site shows a copy of Toyota’s secured claims form, though when Jalopnik questioned Sikes by e-mail he denied being behind on his Prius payments.

Sikes also has a history of filing insurance claims for allegedly stolen items that are slowly coming to light. In 2001 he filed a police report with the Merced County Sheriff’s Department for $58,000 in stolen property, including jewelry, a prosumer mini-DV camera and gear, and $24,000 in cash, according to Fox40 in Sacramento. His bankruptcy documents show a 2008 payment of $7,400 for an allegedly stolen saxophone and clothes.


32 posted on 03/13/2010 3:08:26 PM PST by Presbyterian Reporter
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To: GOP_Lady

G. A. Y.


33 posted on 03/13/2010 3:10:06 PM PST by Cyber Liberty (I'm Ellie Light!)
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To: GOP_Lady; All

The real tragedy here is that the government has killed thousands by forcing people into smaller cars due to fuel economy standards: http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2468420/posts


34 posted on 03/13/2010 4:01:46 PM PST by raptor22 (The truth will set us free)
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To: Ghost of Philip Marlowe

I’m not a big fan of the government intervention here either. I think it’s pretty scary.

However, I’m not sure that I completely trust Toyota on this one.

It’s sad that I feel so much mistrust for our government.


35 posted on 03/13/2010 5:49:36 PM PST by luckystarmom
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To: luckystarmom
Toyota was horrible... Before the fire, there had been a service notice about getting the prius fixed, but it was not a recall. Toyota never said there was a risk of the battery catching on fire...We took it to the dealership, but the dealership said there was no rush to fix our car.

Overpriced/over engineered ugly piece-o-crap yuppie mobile.

That would have never happened with a handsome Jetta TDI (long lived, low tech 50+ MPG.)

36 posted on 03/13/2010 6:03:25 PM PST by ROCKLOBSTER (Deathcare...a solution desperately looking for a problem.)
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To: GOP_Lady

We live in the most litigious nation in the history of the world and i’d wager that at least 2/3rds of the claims against Toyota are little more than attempts by low-life scam-artists to hit the jackpot.


37 posted on 03/13/2010 10:54:10 PM PST by DemonDeac
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To: ROCKLOBSTER

It’s computer geek car. Would you believe my husband bought another prius after the fire?

My husband is such a geek (but a loveable one), and he loves the technology of the car.


38 posted on 03/13/2010 11:09:51 PM PST by luckystarmom
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To: Presbyterian Reporter
FOLLOW THE MONEY!!!!!! Sikes is a scam artist and our glorious Mainstream Media accepts his story without question because it demonizes the company who makes GM compete!

....... agreed.

39 posted on 03/14/2010 4:12:12 AM PDT by ICAB9USA (We have to pass the Healthcare Bill so you can find out what's in it.)
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To: luckystarmom

I would like to see a report on who buys these hybrid cars. I wonder if any very experienced mechanics drive them. I am not an auto mechanic but I have done repairs on my own vehicles before they got to be so danged complicated. I also went to electronics school in the Navy and have a lot of mechanical and electrical experience on other things than cars. I have used battery powered lift trucks. I would never consider a hybrid vehicle that uses batteries. I might consider one that uses hydraulics but the idea of all that battery power fills me with too much skepticism based on experience.

If fuel mileage was that important to me I would buy a little four cylinder car and learn to drive for maximum mileage. Most drivers who buy hybrids have probably never learned the basics of driving for economy. One very overrated idea is cruise control, it is still being touted for best economy, nothing could be further from the truth. Anyone who takes the trouble to learn can beat the heck out of cruise control for economy. Cruise works fairly well on very flat roads but how many of us drive on pancake flat roads? If there are any hills and curves to speak of cruise control wrecks your gas mileage.


40 posted on 03/14/2010 6:29:44 AM PDT by RipSawyer (Trying to reason with a leftist is like trying to catch sunshine in a fish net at midnight.)
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To: GOP_Lady

>>But the press conference alone makes it clear Sikes’ story didn’t wash. Journalism schools are supposed to teach that skepticism is paramount. “If your mother says it, check it out,” goes the old adage. Yet comments on Web sites across the country reveal that practically everyone thought the Prius incident was a hoax—though they couldn’t prove it—except for the media.<<

The most important line in the whole story - and the REAL story itself.


41 posted on 03/15/2010 6:13:55 AM PDT by RobRoy (The US today: Revelation 18:4)
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To: luckystarmom

>>However, I’m not sure that I completely trust Toyota on this one.<<

Beyond the philosophical “you shold never completely trust anyone except God”, what evidence supports your misstrust?


42 posted on 03/15/2010 7:07:17 AM PDT by RobRoy (The US today: Revelation 18:4)
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To: purplelobster

>>Yes, I was thinking the same thing. When you look at how Barry rose to prominence by smearing rival Jack Ryan for Illinois Senator you can see the same strategies now being applied to the car industry. <<

Yes, but what works locally does not work nationally - especially with the internet. Just ask Kerry about his Christmas in Cambodia and how that played out for him on the national stage. ;)


43 posted on 03/15/2010 7:08:42 AM PDT by RobRoy (The US today: Revelation 18:4)
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To: Felis_irritable

The cop car and the Prius never touched. Also, it was demonstrated that a Prius with a fully engaged throttle could be easily stopped by hitting the brakes, and in a relatively short distance. The brakes significantly over power the engine. And as the article pointed out, even a car with a 500+ horsepower engine was able to be stopped in 900 feet with a fully engaged throttle.

Sikes is gonna be in big trouble here. This is looking more and more like the Duke LaCross case, sans the corrupt DA.


44 posted on 03/15/2010 7:12:23 AM PDT by RobRoy (The US today: Revelation 18:4)
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To: RobRoy

Did you read my first post on this thread about our Prius that caught fire? If not, go back and read that. That’s why I don’t trust Toyota.


45 posted on 03/15/2010 7:12:47 AM PDT by luckystarmom
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To: Ghost of Philip Marlowe

Halliburton is an oil services company, not an oil company. There is only one other company on the planet large enough to bid against Halliburton on many huge projects (Schlumberger from France).


46 posted on 03/15/2010 7:16:06 AM PDT by Republic of Texas (Socialism Always Fails)
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To: Republic of Texas

You do understand it was just an analogy to point out the hypocrisy of the Left, correct?


47 posted on 03/15/2010 7:17:57 AM PDT by Ghost of Philip Marlowe (Prepare for survival.)
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To: Ghost of Philip Marlowe

Yes, and on that point we agree. I’m still rankled by the uproar over giving Halliburton no bid contracts in Iraq, when the only other choice was a French company.


48 posted on 03/15/2010 7:21:01 AM PDT by Republic of Texas (Socialism Always Fails)
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To: A.A. Cunningham

I guess no one’s ever heard if cruise control.


49 posted on 03/15/2010 7:24:44 AM PDT by InvisibleChurch (i prefer my-partisan over bi-partisan)
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To: Republic of Texas

You’re preaching to the choir. I have no issue with Halliburton.

And the no-bid-contract privilege was not questioned when it was in place under Slick Willy “I gave missile-guidance technology to the ChiComs” Clinton.


50 posted on 03/15/2010 7:30:17 AM PDT by Ghost of Philip Marlowe (Prepare for survival.)
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