RUSH: Have you seen the story about General Motors making the deal with the makers of the Segway machine? Basically they’re going to have a wheelchair with a motor and a passenger compartment in there. You can’t call it a wheelchair with an engine. You gotta call it a wheelchair with a motor. They’ve got their little prototype here zipping around. Top speed, which means it will never be reached, 35 miles an hour. Top range, 35 miles. It’s electric. You plug it in. I just shudder to see what is happening to this once great country, which dreamed big, built big, expanded big, and here we’re taking ourselves back to the Stone Age under a false premise of climate destruction, global warming, or what have you. Look, Snerdley, if all these newfangled electric contraptions haven’t caught on, why the hell — you’re going to have your oddballs, fringe kooks and weirdos driving around in these things. Have you seen it? There’s no way they can be safe. How can they put an airbag in one of these things?
It’s the most ridiculous looking thing, and I know that the long-haired, maggot-infested, sandal-wearing crowd will be driving around in these things heading off to Whole Foods, but once you get to Whole Foods what the hell are you going to put in this thing to take home? I don’t know. It’s funny, it’s sad at the same time you look at all this. You just wonder, what the hell is happening here? This is not leadership. This is giving in. This is crying uncle.
RUSH: Even while he was traveling overseas, President Obama had time to send a verbal e-mail message to employees of General Motors.
(‘A Memo from Management’ spoof)
RUSH: President Obama’s memo to General Motors.
By the way, I guess I need to correct something. I was talking about the new wheelchair with a motor, the collaboration between General Motors and Segway, and I said, ‘Where are you going to put the airbag in the thing?’ I’m told — listen to this — it will not need an airbag because it will never, ever crash. ‘Ideally, the vehicles would also be part of a communications network that through the use of transponder and GPS technology would allow [the wheelchairs] to drive themselves. The vehicles would automatically avoid obstacles such as pedestrians and other cars and therefore never crash,’ said one of the engineers working on this. Now, if this is all true then the government is going to know exactly where you are at all times, driving around your little wheelchair here.
So it’s never going to crash. You can sit back and all you have to do is turn the thing on, and if you’re about to run down the pedestrian, somehow it will miss the pedestrian. It will take you on a U-y, and it will miss them. This I have to see. (laughing) I think this is… It’s just sad, folks. ‘But, Rush! But, Rush! This is innovation. This is going to save the planet. It’s going to reduce the pollution.’ People are going to have to be forced into these things. They are not at all representative of reality. Try driving around in one of these things in any kind of inclement weather. Try driving around one of these things when you’ve got a snow pack, when you’ve got some ice, when you’ve got heavy rain, when you’ve got wind — normal wind. Try around driving one thing things. It’s just… This is not the America that we have all come to know and to love.
RUSH: Do you know what they’re going to call this wheelchair with a motor on it? The P.U.M.A. Now, a puma is one of the fastest cats on the planet. This thing is not a puma in any way. That stands for Personal Urban Mobility and Accessibility — and they say that the GPS system in there is going to prevent this from hitting anything. You don’t have to drive it. You just sit there and be cool, calm, and collected. If it sees a pedestrian or it sees a car, it’s going to miss it. What I want to know is, what’s going to stop a car from running into it? This is the dumbest thing I have heard! If you’re going to drive around in this thing, I guarantee you, you are going to need knee pads, you’ll need ’em. Have you seen the picture of this? Well, you know what a Segway is, the stand-up thing? Imagine it with a little bubble on top of it with a little leg room in front that you sit down in. You’re going to need knee pads. These are hopped-up wheelchairs. Since you’re going to need knee pads, this would be a perfect thing for Monica Lewinsky to endorse as a product. Maybe Lewinsky and Clinton together can do it, as a means of spreading the word, shall we say, on the new P.U.M.A.
RUSH: Auburn, Alabama. Justin. I’m glad you called, sir. Great to have you here.
CALLER: Thank you, sir. Major 24/7 dittos.
RUSH: Thank you, sir. That means he’s a member in good standing at RushLimbaugh.com, ladies and gentlemen. As you could be, too. Yes, sir, what’s up, Justin?
CALLER: Well, I kind of found myself surprised that I disagree with you a little bit on the self-driving vehicles. I have a vision disability and was born with it, and I was on Social Security disability for a while, and I decided to go back to work, I wanted to contribute something and I think the self-driving vehicles are a good idea into getting people like that back into the capitalist system. I think it’s a great capitalist idea, getting people back into society and fending for themselves.
RUSH: Well, it remains to be seen if it’s a great capitalist idea because we don’t know if anybody’s going to buy them.
CALLER: Well, you know, if it comes out, I might at least look into it. But, you know, from a perspective that the government —
RUSH: You know, you’re going to have to have a driver’s license for this thing.
RUSH: How severely impaired is your vision?
CALLER: I’m legally blind. It’s effectively 20-200. You know, I could kind of drive. It’s just seeing the signs and stuff that I have difficulty with but, you know, it would help in giving me reassurance to be able to get out on my own.
RUSH: Now, what have I missed? Where have you read that somebody like you will be able to legally drive one of these things?
CALLER: Well, you know, there’s been talk via some of the vocational rehabs that something like this is being worked on. Granted, they have some of that via state and federal, but they’ve been talking about that’s been in the works for a while. I’ve been waiting for it for years, kind of curious to see if they are actually able to be successful.
RUSH: Yeah, but I mean the practical reality is here, you are legally blind.
RUSH: You’re going to have to rely on the promises that this thing is going to be able to avoid anything in its path.
CALLER: Well, yes —
RUSH: You’re basically going to rely on it to take you where you don’t know you’re going, where you can’t see where you’re going, and you’re going to have to rely on the fact that a speeding car somehow will miraculously miss this thing, if it runs through an intersection, a red light or what have you. Now, where have you seen — because if they’ve got that technology, why don’t they put it in the existing automobiles instead of waiting for this little wheelchair thing to come out?
CALLER: Right, and that’s what I’ve been hoping for is more of that. If it came out for a Suburban, I’d love to be able to use something like that but, you know, it’s one of those elements —
RUSH: I’m not a cold water kind of guy, but my inherent intelligence guided by experience says that any claim that any vehicle is going to, with foolproof performance, never get hit or will not hit anything else in a crowded urban setting, or anywhere for that matter, I don’t know where this comes from, but that technology does not exist. If it did, it would already be in vehicles. And, by the way, I’ll tell you, let’s just assume this is true. You know I’m not a pessimist, but I really have a problem with people getting false hopes about things at the same time, like John Edwards saying if only we elect John Kerry, then Christopher Reeve will walk again. I mean that was cruel. There was no truth to it, and it was giving people false hope, and that happened to be stem cells. Oh, speaking of which, last week, and I don’t know that this has made it beyond The Oprah Network, but there was a guy on the Oprah show named Dr. Mehmet Oz. I don’t know how he pronounces it. He is a regular guest on the Oprah show and apparently he’s highly decorated. He’s a cardiothoracic surgeon.
He’s rated the 34th most influential scientist in the world by TIME Magazine. He has advised McCain and Obama on American health care problems. He’s a very respected and accomplished physician, and he was on The Oprah show last week with Michael J. Fox. He was talking about stem cells, embryonic stem cells. He was holding a human brain and he was pricking it with a needle to show where various diseases in the brain are. And he said something that caused The Oprah to react in sheer horror. He said, (paraphrasing) ‘Oprah, the stem cell debate I think is dead, because we cannot control stem cells.’ He’s meaning embryonic here. And the reason Oprah got this horrified look on her face is because she understood the political ramifications of what her regular guest was saying. He said, (paraphrasing) ‘I think the stem cell debate is dead. Yes, we can inject stem cells, but after that, we can’t control ’em. They can become anything, including cancer.’ And Oprah had her mouth open and this horrified look on her face. I forget the terminology that he used. He had an alternative for stem cells and he said, (paraphrasing) ‘We might be looking at a cure for Parkinson’s in single digit years, nine years. But it’s not with stem cells.’ And you could see Michael J. Fox sitting there with a little bit of disbelief, but Oprah’s face was genuinely filled with horror as she realized the political possibilities here, and this is one of her favored, constant guests.
So, look, I don’t like to be a pessimist about things, but this notion that this new vehicle, see, this is what’s wrong with all this. Okay, essentially you’ve got a wheelchair. Here’s a guy legally blind looking forward to this based on how it’s been reported. Now, folks, this is so tough for me. Do any of you foresee the day — and this thing is supposed to hit, what, two or three years? Do we foresee the day when a tiny little vehicle like this is introduced to normal everyday American street traffic that there is technology that will prevent it from running into anything or prevent anything else running into it? So much so that somebody legally blind could drive one? Sorry, I find that very difficult to believe. But let’s assume, for example, can we get real, let’s assume such technology exists and let us assume that people who make the technology, let’s assume that it’s in every car, say in New York City, in Manhattan. And let us assume that this GPS technology will guide every car without the driver having to drive it. It will drive itself. That’s what’s being said here about the wheelchair with a motor. And as it drives itself, it will miss pedestrians, it will miss other cars. Every vehicle has this now.
Do you realize the chain reaction, if just one car with such a device in it swerved to miss a pedestrian or a car, think of the chain reaction in downtown Manhattan. The car that swerved obviously is now in the path of another car. That car would also have to swerve, that car would have to swerve, that car would have to do a U for there to be no collision, it would be impossible. There would be a boomerang collision involving all these vehicles for six blocks. Sometimes a single collision is preferred over a chain-reaction collision. The idea that there is a vehicle that’s going to never, ever get hit or won’t hit anything, all it takes is one vehicle to have this thing and it’s going to cause a chain reaction accident like you’ve never seen. It’ll make these interstate pileups look like sandboxes in Romper Room. And then imagine the lawsuits when the device doesn’t work. It may not again hit, but 13,000 other cars just did, and pedestrians. I know people are trying to think I’m trying to throw cold water on the parade. So let me again explain for those of you new to the program why and how these things happen.
You know, I am a traditional literalist. I don’t dream about the impossible. I don’t allow myself to live in a world where the impossible will be possible, the earthly impossible will be possible. I love and am devoted to the concept of individual freedom and liberty, which requires every individual to, I’ll use a liberal word, ‘celebrate’ his or her individuality. You cannot possibly be celebrating your individuality if you are going to buy into the notion that one of these little wheelchairs with a motor on it is the solution to anything. Now, you may want one, and it may serve you well where you live, taking the dog for a walk, you don’t have to walk, the dog can walk behind you. You can get in this thing and you can go to the store and pick up a carton of milk, that’s all it will hold, get it if you want to, but please, don’t become a militant, like the veggienazis, and force everybody else into these things under some false premise that it’s going to save the world or save the planet or reorder our energy usage and so forth.
I don’t think this car has come up on the drawing board because of popular demand. Has it? This car is on the drawing board because some central planner has a dream that as many people as possible are going to be packing themselves into these things. This is just the latest attempt here to tug popular sentiment into a certain direction. The automobile is quintessentially American and for people to start to sacrifice who they are, what they are, and what they want in a reasonable way here to the notions of a bunch of people who are trying to take away everybody’s individuality is what upsets me about this. These false promises that liberals are famous for, elect John Kerry and Christopher Reeve will walk; defeat George Bush or defeat Jim Talent and Michael J. Fox will get rid of his Parkinson’s. None of this was true. It was all false hope. It was all false promise, as this car is. If there are people thinking that the legally blind will be able to legally drive this thing safely, and I don’t know who’s putting that out, I don’t want to make too big a deal about this. I probably already have. It’s just part and parcel, the next thing down the line that is designed to eagerly get you to sacrifice some of your freedom under some false premise that you’re doing something for the common good that is an improvement, when it is not.
RUSH: Ah. This new Segway, this thing is not even a golf cart. Do you realize a golf cart makes more sense as a vehicle than this stupid thing does? Okay, so they’re now touting the Segway, the motorized Segway: 35 miles an hour tops with a 35 mile range. It’s all electric. They’re saying that it has GPS anti-collision insurance. Not only will you not hit anything when you’re driving it, nothing will hit you. (interruption) What? It could be romantic? The Segway could be romantic? Let me tell you something: How is this going to stop you being mugged? How is it…? You’re not going to be able to outrun anything. Stop and think. Instead of this GPS stuff, everybody knows this isn’t gonna work. There’s nothing around that can prevent you from hitting something or, more importantly, prevent something else from hitting you. We ought to just use military technology for this. We already have a solution to this.
If you’re in an F-16, and there’s a plane coming right at you, the technology is a missile. You launch the missile and it takes out the engine of the thing coming at you. So if this thing, if this wheelchair with a motor senses something in the way, it should just fire a small missile which disables the offending vehicle’s engine and the front wheels and just get it out of the way. Military technology! You don’t need to worry about this GPS stuff. And what happens — you know, there’s two tires on this thing plus four training wheels. What happens if you get a flat? What’s the spare tire in this thing? I’ve heard that it’s a walker. I’ve heard that it’s a walker. If you get a spare tire, somehow the roof assembly turns into a walker and you can shuffle on down to gas station (if you can still find one) and get your spare tire repaired.
RUSH: Look, folks, here’s all you need to know about the wheelchair car. It was really not designed to help the disabled. It was designed to handicap the rest of us. It’s designed to handicap the able-bodied. That’s how you have to look at this piece of garbage.
RUSH: This is Kyle. Kyle in Pittsburgh, great to have you, sir, on the EIB Network. Hello.
CALLER: Hello, Rush. I just wanted to say that I agree with you that these cars, the new features are not to help the disabled but to handicap the able-bodied.
CALLER: Because there’s already tons of features that are in new cars that are like the smart features, and there’s a whole bunch of them, and basically any time a car has a smart feature it assumes that the driver is getting dumber.
RUSH: Give me an example of the kind of smart features in cars you’re talking about here.
CALLER: Like my car, for example, has an automatic sensor where the lights come on as soon as the sun starts to go down.
CALLER: So any time I’m in my car at night, I cannot turn the lights off even if it’s just idling or for whatever reason —
RUSH: Well, you need a better car, because my car has that, too, but I can turn them off any time I want.
CALLER: Okay. Well, I guess I need to get a better car, but a whole bunch of features.
RUSH: Yeah, have you got the nav system that talks to you?
CALLER: No, no nav system.
RUSH: You don’t have a nav system? Oh. You ought to try one of those.
CALLER: I’m waiting for Obama to give me one.
RUSH: Well, it will be there. It’s going to be there in a little wheelchair with a motor, and it’s brilliant ’cause it’s going to keep you from ever running into a pedestrian and a pedestrian from running into you. Spare tire is a walker, and if that breaks down, there’s a cane. And both of them have GPS in them so you can walk across the street and nobody will hit you because it’s got a GPS unit in the cane or in the walker. It’s a brilliant device.
CALLER: That will be fun.
RUSH: Golf cart’s a new tow truck for these things. Now, I’ve been checking my e-mail and this is predictable. It’s identical, in fact, to what happened when I first started getting on the Sierra Club in 1995 when they started making noise about getting rid of and banning the SUV. I spent a lot of time on that and I tried to warn people, they said, ‘Come on, Rush, there are serious things happening out there, you’re boring me to death. Would you get off of this and get onto the issues,’ and, lo and behold, I’ve had some e-mails today, ‘You think you’re funny talking about this stupid little wheelchair with a motor, but it’s not funny. This is the first time I’ve ever turned you off in 20 years, and I don’t know that I’m ever going to turn the radio back on. I’ve never been more bored.’ Same thing that happened, 12 years ago, 14 years ago when I warned you people about the SUV. And all I’ve said about this is, ‘This is something nobody wants.’
In fact, what happened to the first Segway? Where the hell is the first one? This is the two wheeler that you stood on. Where is it? You see some lazy mall cops rolling around on them at the malls, but aside from that where do you see one? Where do you see an average citizen driving around with a Segway? Maybe you see them in Whole Foods, I don’t know, I don’t go into Whole Foods. You see ’em in there? Where do you see one? And remember how that was touted. It was the new IT. It was going to change the world, remember all the buildup, USA Today for a week before the event. It didn’t change anything and now we’re going to put a motor on one? Spare me, folks. You know, you’re going to have to learn to trust me and not doubt me, whether you leave the radio on or not. It’s for your own good! Why else am I doing this?