No. P01135809


Absurd! Outrageous!

2,000 Illinois Children Abused by Priests

You read that figure correctly. Over the past 70 years, 2,000 children in Illinois alone were abused by Catholic Clergy. Instead of punishment in any form, many priests were shunted around to various parishes in an outlandish cover-up.

We've said it before, when such offenses first came to light. We must say it again. The absolute maximum number of abuses committed by any priest, anywhere, should have been ONE. That person should have been removed from his position immediately, and the Church should have made it perfectly clear that such an atrocity will never, ever be tolerated.

Gunshots: Not Again ... and Again and Again!

One week in April was a big one for gun-wielding homeowners. When a 16-year-old Black boy went to the wrong house in Kansas City to pick up his siblings and rang the bell, the 84-year-old white man inside answered with gunshots, firing through the glass door. Days later in upstate New York, a 20-year-old woman riding in a car was shot and killed by a 65-year-old man, after her driver inadvertently turned into the wrong driveway. On a Saturday night in Alabama, a Sweet Sixteen party for a 16-year-old girl ended with four young people killed and 32 injured. Late on a Tuesday, two teenage cheerleaders were shot in a Texas supermarket parking lot when one of them tried to open a car door, mistakenly thinking it was her own vehicle.

In Nashville in March, a shooter fired 152 shots inside a Christian elementary school, killing six: three 9-year-olds and three adults in their 60s. Two mass shootings took place in California within a two-day period in January. Eleven lay dead, with nine injured, in attack on dance studio near Los Angeles, as elder Chinese-Americans celebrated Lunar New Year. Near San Francisco, a farm worker shot workmates.

In the first three months of 2023, about 130 mass shootings took place, according to the Gun Violence Archive. NPR reported that 89 incidents involving a gun occurred at schools during that period. The nation's killing spree continued into early May, in Texas, where a man killed eight at an outlet mall, raising the nationwide total of mass shootings to 199. By mid-August, the total reached 460. And on, and on, and on.

When Will We Finally Learn: GUNS KILL!

Thinking About the Unthinkable

Could Mid-term 2022 Be Our Last Real U.S. Election?

Yes, the future (or demise) of democracy was on the November 8 mid-term ballot; and for many Americans, its prospects didn't look good. Two years earlier, as the 2020 presidential election drew to a close, voters for both candidates (but especially for Biden) expressed fear for the future.

Some of us began pondering possibilities that would have seemed ludicrous a few months previous. With the potential for political disaster looming in the 2022 Midterm election, searching for a way out seemed more compelling than ever. Subsequent events in January, as Republicans opened Congress with a slim House majority, added to the concern for American democracy. By April, two days after Donald J. Trump was indicted in New York, with nearly all Congressional Republicans taking his side, the country appeared more divided than ever, with no potential solution evident. What can we, as individuals on the liberal or progressive end of the political spectrum, do to survive?

• Leave the country (not as easy as many Americans think).
• Intensify peaceful protests.
• Turn our attention to the states.
• Tune out: Strive to ignore the worsening political scene.
• Weigh the merits and drawbacks of splitting the country into red and blue nations: a drastic and difficult action, but possibly the only real solution.

If the latter still sounds too far-fetched, forming state coalitions could be a workable alternative. States with similar leanings might band together for their mutual benefit on such issues as trade, health care, abortion; and especially, the future of America. A Pacific States of America coalition, for instance, might include California, Oregon, Washington, and even Hawaii. In the same vein, groupings of several red states could appeal to anti-liberal conservatives.

Gun Advocates: Don't forget Annabell and Xavier

Annabell Guadalupe Rodriguez and Xavier James Lopez, both age 10, were best friends who texted "I love you" to each other. Acknowledging the young sweethearts' affection, their mothers had them buried next to each other at Hillcrest Cemetery in Uvalde, Texas. They were among the 19 children and two teachers murdered in schoolroom.

For more on Uvalde shooting and aftermath, as well as a report on an abortion-rights protest, Please Click Here

Could American billionaire halt global starvation?

David Beasley, director of the United Nations' World Food Programme, recently claimed that just 2 percent of Amazon chief Jeff Bezos' multibillion-dollar wealth could halt global starvation. Rival billionaire Elon Musk quickly responded, vowing to sell some Tesla stock to donate $6 billion to the cause of world hunger. With one proviso: that Mr. Beasley explain exactly how such a result could be achieved.

How much is that, anyway? Sounds like a lot, but $6 billion buys about 170,000 new cars; or half a million high-end iPhones. Those totals are a bit easier to grasp than a "6" followed by nine zeroes.

We, too, look forward to details on the calculations made by Mr. Beasley, who has expressed willingness to meet and elaborate. The World Food Program tweeted that a "one-time donation from the top 400 billionaires in the U.S. could help save the lives of 42 million people this year." If so, who else will step forward?

Democracy R.I.P.

By censuring Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney, Republicans proclaimed the death of their party and the imminent demise of democracy in America. As CNN's main headline put it, May 12, 2021 was "a major turning point in US political history." One columnist noted that a single line in Cheney's speech to Congress "will haunt Republicans" from now this point forward. That line, referring to the "Big Lie" perpetrated by Donald Trump:

"Remaining silent and ignoring the lie emboldens the liar."

Donald Trump:
Partial President

Unlike any predecessors, Mr. Trump never even pretended to be president of all the people; only his followers and MAGA Republicans. Everyone else was deemed an enemy, subject to verbal abuse. As his utterances, tweets, and actions made perfectly clear for four years, he was emphatically not the president of Democrats and progressives. For additional comments on Trumpism, please Click here.

White House Woes

Trump's Presidency In News Briefs

During first two years of his presidency, we compiled news items outlining the outrages committed by the Trump administration against American laws, values, and principles. We revived coverage for his final year in office, as the Covid pandemic erupted, concluding in January 2021. A PDF chronicling the three-week period prior to 2017 Inauguration also is available.
Click here to download White House Woes (PDF)
Click here for 2020-21 News Briefs
Click here for Countdown News Briefs (PDF)


July 24: Swedish court fines Greta Thunberg about $240 (U.S.) for refusing to obey police order during climate protest at oil facility. "We cannot save the world by playing by the rules," she told journalists after hearing the guilty verdict. She then rejoined the protest.

Since 2019, teenage Swedish activist Greta Thunberg has been speaking out forcefully about the lack of action on global climate change.

Ms. Thunberg has spoken at such events as the UN Climate Action Summit and the World Economic Forum, berating world leaders for doing "basically nothing" to reduce carbon emissions. In 2020, Greta returned to school, having dropped out for a year, but she continues her protest activities.

Greta mocked world leaders at Youth4Climate forum in Italy, asserting that for the past three decades, climate action has amounted to no more than "blah, blah, blah.... empty words and promises" that failed to lead to action. In February 2022, shortly after Russia attacked Ukraine in what it called a "special military operation," Greta joined a group of "Stand With Ukraine" protesters at a Russian embassy. Early in 1923, Ms. Thunberg carried off by police officers in Germany, following her participation in a coal mine protest. Not long afterward, she was briefly detained by police during a protest against wind farms in an indigenous area of Norway. Wind farms are said to adversely impact grazing by reindeer, which are herded by the Sami people in the region.

Click here for additional details on Greta's activities.

Toil & Trouble

A Century of
Pay and Prices

Chronicle of workers' wages and commodity prices, 1886-1986

How much did Hudson Hornet sedan cost in 1953? What was average worker earning? Click here to find out.

While chronicling the Trump phenomenon and its impact on American life, starting in 2015, Tirekicking Today began this section on work and labor. It builds upon the singular views in Work Hurts, one of our Books in Progress.

"No man is good enough to be another man's master."
George Bernard Shaw,
in Major Barbara

"I don't like to work. It tires me out."
Actor James Garner, portraying the reluctant lawman in Support Your Local Sheriff

"Only suckers work."
Actor John Derek, portraying criminally-inclined Nick Romano in film version of the Willard Motley novel Knock On Any Door (1949)

"I work all night, I work all day,
to pay the bills I have to pay.
Ain't it sad....
In the rich man's world"
Song lyric, ABBA, "Money, Money, Money"

Words On Work

Surprise! Some of us don't mind paying taxes (2023 update)
New Ways To Look at Work
Overview: Imaginative Approaches Required ...
Reject! For some applicants, job search is futile exercise
Quit calling us consumers!
Solidarity Forever? (2023 update)
Prioritize! Living with Less and Liking It
Own Nothing, Owe Nothing
Let's break the chain of consumer debt
Needed Now: Jobs, Not Careers

New essays on labor, work, money, and related topics will be added periodically.

Work/Labor News Headlines

October 30: GM agrees to new contract with auto workers' union. Days earlier, Ford, followed by Stellantis, signed similar agreements. Workers must vote on the new contracts before they're finalize. Workers are to be granted 25 percent wage increase over 4.5-year period.

October 24: UAW strike expands to Ram Truck plant, with 6,800 additional workers walking out of job.

October 6: September jobs report is surprisingly strong, with 336,000 new jobs; unemployment rate steady at 3.8 percent.

October 6: UAW president Shawn Fain gives update while wearing "Eat the Rich" T-shirt, as autoworkers strike continues into fourth week; GM agrees to let new EV battery plant be unionized. Actors also remain on strike, but writers are back at work. Strike against Kaiser Permanente ends after three days, the limit for healthcare workers, but union advises that another strike is possible.

October 4: 75,000 workers strike against Kaiser Permanente ... called biggest healthcare worker's strike in American history.

September 27: Film/TV writers' strike is settled; late-night talk show hosts quickly announce prompt return to TV. Meanwhile, Hollywood actors' strike continues.

September 15: United Auto Workers union strikes against "Detroit 3" automakers, seeking wage hikes, reform of wage-tier system, and a four-day week.

September 4: Los Angeles topless bar recognizes union of striptease dancers, under auspices of Actors' Equity Association, likely making it the nation's first unionized strip club in a decade. (CNN)

September 4: Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that 187,000 new jobs were created in August, as the unemployment rate increased to 3.8 percent (from 3.5 percent in July). The number of unemployed persons rose by 514,000 (to 6.4 million). A year earlier, the unemployment rated as 3.7 percent and 6.0 million were unemployed.

September 4: Texas governor continues to send busloads of migrants to northern (Democratic) cities, notably New York and Chicago, overwhelming capacity of both cities to provide shelter. Migrants have been living temporarily in police stations and shuttered schools, as well as repurposed hotels. Critics call for substantial increase in number of "expedited" work permits, issued at a quicker pace, which would allow many more asylum seekers to work in the U.S.

August 25: Strike by Hollywood screenwriters hits 115-day mark, well past duration of the 2007-08 strike action. Negotiations halted in early May. but resumed on August 11. Actors also remain on strike, as movie and TV production companies stand idle. Like other scripted presentations, late-night TV talk shows continue to rely on reruns.(The New York Times)

August 25: United Auto Workers union members vote overwhelmingly to authorize strike, "if warranted," while contract talks with "Big 3" automakers (GM, Ford and Stellantis) continue. Final count is not yet completed, but union claims 97 percent voted to authorize. Four years ago, in a similar situation, 96 percent voted in favor. (CNBC)

August 21: Teamsters union settles with UPS, diminishing threat of strike.

July 21: As part of move to relax child labor laws, since 2021 seven states have lowered the age at which a person can serve as a bartender. Wisconsin is seeking to reduce the age for serving alcohol from 18 to 14. (CNN)

July 6: Survey of 2,500 adults finds they would need to earn $233,000 (average) per year to feel financially secure, and nearly half a milllion to feel rich or attain financial freedom. (Bankrate)

Additional Labor news items, especially related to low-wage, contract, and temporary work, will be posted periodically.

"No Human Being Is Illegal"
Sign carried by protester marching in support of "Dreamers" on January 19, 2018

Work/Labor in Print

In 2018, Amazon announced that 20 cities were on the "short list" of possible sites for the company's second headquarters. Each city offered massive incentives in its quest to attract Amazon, which promised to create 50,000 jobs.

Before a final decision was made, residents of those cities might have benefited from reading a vivid description of the working life in an Amazon warehouse, in one chapter of Nomadland. Jessica Bruder chronicles lives of "houseless" Americans, many elderly, who live in vans and RVs, working at seasonal and short-term jobs (including Amazon warehouses) to survive. A film version directed by Chloe Zhao, starring Frances McDormand, won Academy Awards for Best Director, Picture, and Actress.

On the Clock, another book focused on low-wage toil, painted an even bleaker picture of worklife within an Amazon warehouse. Laid-off reporter Emily Guendelsberger spent an exhausting, painful month at a massive warehouse in Kentucky, then traveled to North Carolina for a job at a call center. Not only does she report in fascinating detail about her experiences, she provides an excellent chronicle of aspects of labor history that led to today's low-wage worklives. Her observations on Henry Ford and Frederick Taylor, a pioneer in industrial efficiency, are especially illuminating.

In 2019, the PBS NewsHour aired an investigation of safety records at Amazon warehouses. A year later, as many employers faced serious labor shortages, Amazon announced a plan to hire 150,000 temporary workers for holiday season.

"[W]hile there is a soul in prison, I am not free."
Eugene Debs (in 1918 court statement)
Five-time Socialist candidate for president

Work On Film

12 Vintage Movies About Work and Labor that should not be missed:

The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948)
I'm All Right, Jack (1957)
The Organizer (1963; Italian)
Wages of Fear (1953)
Office Space (1999)
The Misfits (1961)
Death of a Salesman (1951)
Bachelor Party (1957)
They Drive By Night (1940)
No Down Payment (1957)
Greed (2019); scathing satire on extreme wealth and poverty
The Good Boss (2021) Spanish film starring Javier Bardem

Please Click Here for details on each film.

Turning to TV...
Revival of the Roseanne TV sitcom, renamed The Connors following the forced departure of the principal actress, again serves as a reminder that TV shows about working-class families can demonstrate excellence along with witty humor. The original series (1988-1997) was adeptly written and expertly performed, realistically depicting the troubles and joys of an economically-challenged family. Initially, the current iteration retained much of the flavor of the original, but later episodes have been less compelling.

You know what the weirdest part about having a job is? You have to be there every day, even on the days you don t feel like it.
Jemima Kirke as Jessa Johansson, in episode 4 of the HBO series Girls, created and written by Lena Dunham

"He that has to obey the will of another is a slave."
Samuel Fielden (1886)

Success is going from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.
Typically attributed to Winston Churchill, but actual source is uncertain

The Dunning-Kruger effect: "Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge."
Charles Darwin

"I am, somehow, less interested in the weight and convolutions of Einstein's brain than in the near certainty that people of equal talent have lived and died in cotton fields and sweatshops."
Stephen Jay Gould (1941-2002)
Paleontologist, The Panda's Thumb

"Anyone who is willing to work and is serious about it will certainly find a job. Only you must not go to the man who tells you this, for he has no job to offer and doesn't know anyone who knows of a vacancy."
B. Traven - Author, The Treasure of the Sierra Madre

UPDATED: November 26, 2023

Third group of released hostages includes four-year-old Amanda and an American woman

Fifty women and children held by Hamas are expected to be released over four-day period, along with 150 Palestinians held in Israel jails. Hostage releases will be accompanied by four-day pause in Israel’s air and ground assault on Gaza.

Palestinian death toll from retaliatory assault on Gaza by Israeli military has passed 12,000 according to source tied to Hamas, though Israel says total is far smaller. Gaza residents who have not evacuatedcontinue to suffer lack of of water, electricity, food, and fuel. Despite pleas from United Nations and aid organizations, Israel's President Netanyahu refuses to order cease-fire. UNICEF has declared situation to be on verge of "catastrophe."

Tirekicking Today home page is currently being updated and revised

NOW ON SALE: Autobiographical Fiction by James M. Flammang

Untied Knots

Tales of Travel and Back at Home

Three groups of short stories, each with an offbeat twist or two, make up Untied Knots. Nearly half are travel-based, focusing on second-class journeys through everyday life, steering around the posh and the touristy. Several stem from real-life journeys within Mexico, undertaken as far back as the mid-1970s.
"Back At Home" tales are more fictional, though inspired at least in part by real people and places. The collection also includes several early stories, strictly fictional, from the author's archive.
Untied Knots is available through major retailers, in print or ebook form. The printed paperbound book may be ordered directly from the author, for a discounted price of $16 (including shipping in U.S.)
Review copies, in PDF form, also are available. Please e-mail all requests to
Excerpts from Untied Knots:Contents ... Introduction ... Excerpts: Night Train Out of Queretaro ... Scandal in the Dayroom ... Bad Sports ... Desk Duty ... Ready? Go!

After 23 years covering the auto industry, Tirekicking Today shifted gears in 2016 to focus on social, political and economic issues – led by unprecedented ramifications of the Trump presidency and its election-denying aftermath.

Please see Used Car section (bottom of page) for articles on used car trends and growing electric-car market.

All 20 chapters of Clunkers & Creampuffs, editor James M. Flammang's comprehensive history of the used car (1900-85) are now available. See details below.

Additional automotive history:
Easy Shifting: a detailed history of the automatic transmission
Gasoline Rationing: Learning from the pastPart I covers World War II period (1942-45)... Part II deals with public reaction, along with threat of revived rationing during 1970s.

News That Matters ... Covid Update

Although the "national emergency" stemming from the Covid pandemic was declared over in April, as of November 2023, Covid-19 hospitalizations are rising substantially in number. Updated vaccinations remain available, and U.S. government is offering another round of Covid test kits free (four per household). Request may be made at

Early in May 2022, the U.S. death toll from Covid-19 passed one million. By mid-July, two new, more contagious variants of the virus were accounting for most new cases. Vaccine that claimed to repel the Omnicron variant became available (free) in September. In late October 2022, the daily average of new Covid cases was 37,412, with 27,002 hospitalized. Death toll averaged 358 daily. As of May 2023, about 1,100 patients were dying each week from the virus. Currently, number of hospitalizations has been topping 10,000 daily.
For previous Covid news and opinion please Click Here

National and Global News Briefs

Selected news items highlight some of the most worrisome recent events and statements, augmented by periodic essays related to the bitterly partisan U.S. political scene.

October 10: Three days after assault by Hamas, Israel declares war.

October 8: On Sunday, protest rallies for both Israeli and Palestinian side of long-standing conflict take place in London, New York, and Chicago. Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu promises "mighty vengeance." CNN analyst describes attack as a "Pearl Harbor-type of moment for Israel." Others compare it to "9/11." Hamas soon threatens to kill hostages one by one, sparking widespread condemnation.

October 7: Hamas fighters brutally assault southern Israel, firing thousands of rockets, while ground forces break through Gaza/Israel border. Hundreds are killed, including at least 260 attending a music festival. At least 150 civilian hostages are taken by force to Gaza.

October 6: Representatives Steve Scalise (R-La.) and hard-right firebrand Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) are vying for House speakership, made vacant by unprecedented expulsion of Kevin McCarthy.

October 6: PBS notes four especially troubling comments made by Donald Trump in recent weeks: calling for execution of Gen. Mark Milley, for treason; mockery of attack on Paul Pelosi by hammer-wielding intruder; stating that shoplifters should be "shot on sight"; and asserting that migrants crossing Rio Grande are "poisoning the blood of our country" (a theme used in Nazi Germany). He has also called migrants "terrorists," released from "mental institutions and insane asylums."

September 30: Government shutdown averted at last minute, but short-term agreement will last only 45 days.

September 22: UAW president Shawn Fain advises that action against GM and Stellantis is expanding to 38 locations in 20 states. Citing promising negotiations, the strike against Ford continues at only one plant.

September 15: for the first time ever, workers strike against all three Detroit auto manufacturers (Ford, GM, and Stellantis) at once. Initially, only one factory for each automaker is affected.

August 25: Ex-president surrenders at Georgia jail, arriving with long motorcade; pays 10 percent of $200,000 bail ... speeded-up process includes mug shot and fingerprinting. Donald Trump is officially booked as prisoner number P01135809. Grand Jury's 41-count indictment relates to former president's attempts to overturn 2020 election in Georgia. Federal indictment includes 18 additional persons.

August 23: Debate between eight Republican presidential candidates set to take place in Milwaukee, with former president absent. Debate is televised only by Fox News.

August 21: Donald Trump ordered to pay $200,000 bail when he surrenders at Fulton County Jail in Georgia, for latest indictment. At least half of co-conspirators must put up cash bail, and at least two are seeking to move case to federal court.

Please Click Here for Chronology of Post-Inauguration News Briefs, starting in February 2021.

News Briefs from the Trump Years Are Available

Please Click Here for News Briefs from mid-March through December 2020, plus the final days of the Trump presidency (January 1-20, 2021). Two years of Trump News Briefs (January 2017 to December 2018) may be downloaded as a PDF file. News Briefs from the period prior to Trump's 2017 inauguration also are downloadable in PDF form..

2023-24 Book Publication Schedule

TK Press (a division of Tirekicking Today)

Tirekicking Today editor James M. Flammang, the author of more than thirty books (including six for children), has been working for some time on additional titles. Several are nearing final stages of pre-production. Untied Knots (described above) went on sale in March. Each views its subject from an oblique and often lighthearted – yet serious – perspective.

Note: Preliminary outlines and/or unedited excerpts may be accessed by clicking on each link below. Inquiries from book publishers or agents are welcome. Please send e-mail to

Fraidy Cat

Surviving a lifetime of unwarranted fear and fright

A personal look backward, focusing on lessons learned about living with debilitating fear, anxiety, and panic, includes ways to cope and survive. Unlike some self-help books on the subject, Fraidy Cat isn't just about fear in general, recounted and analyzed by an impartial observer. No, this is personal, agonizing, overpowering fear – the sort that constricted and devastated a decades-long chunk of the author's own life and continues to do so, if to a less ferocious degree.

This personal memoir covers more than half of a lifetime, starting in adolescence. It concludes with warnings and pleas for fearful young folks to get help now, or be doomed to look back upon a lifetime of regret.
Fraidy Cat: Contents ... Outline ... Excerpts: Chapter 1 (Childhood) ... Chapter 3 (Sex) ... Chapter 5 (Addiction)


Logical Lapses in everyday life and thought

Comprehensive collection of stinging essays gazes with disbelief at dozens of aspects of modern life, from self-driving cars (left) to heroism, job searches to ownership, political division to economic inequality. Chapters are arranged in sections, including Work, Money, Identity, Communication, Technology, Consumption, Politics and Law, Pastimes, Sex, and Transportation.

Work on this book began before the 2016 election of Donald J. Trump. Therefore, the final chapter focuses on his bizarre, unprecedented presidency and its worrisome aftermath.
Absurdities: Contents ... Overview .. Chapter Outline ... Excerpt from Section III - Work (Our Biggest Myth)

Work Hurts

Reflections on a wasted life

Aptly titled, Work Hurts questions the conventional wisdom on work and careers. For untold millions, including many with "good" jobs, each day's toil delivers no joy and little reward. In addition to scrutinizing workplace issues in the past, Work Hurts considers viable alternatives to conventional employment led by the fast-growing "gig" and "temp" economy, and its impact on less-than-happy toilers. Along the way, we illuminate the prospects for not working at all, potentially made possible by establishing a guaranteed income.
Work Hurts:Contents ... Chapter Outline ... Chapter 1 (Without a Paddle)

Hotel Life

Living small in an age of large

Assesses the satisfactions of simpler living and minimal consumption, while chronicling the joys (and drawbacks) of residing in low-end accommodations. Hotel Life considers such relevant topics as the guaranteed income, shrinkage and change in the labor movement, older suburbanites moving back into the city (or pondering the RV life), and the tiny-house movement.
Hotel Life:Chapter Outline ... Overview ... Contents

Steering Toward Oblivion

A caustic look at the history and future of the Car Culture

A vividly critical but frequently humorous observation of the car culture and auto business, including the automotive media. Steering examines automotive history as well as today's (and tomorrow's) cars, emphasizing their impact on daily life, the transportation network, the economy, popular culture, and the environment. Author James Flammang has covered the auto business as a journalist and historian since the 1980s.
Steering:Chapter Outline ... Overview ... Excerpts: Chapter 1 (Media) ... Chapter 13 (Motoring Manners)

For further information on any title, please contact us at

Books by Flammang ... already on sale

TK Press, the book-publishing division of Tirekicking Today, has issued four titles since 2014. Each was written by James M. Flammang, author of more than two dozen previous books. Click Here for a list of his books and other publications.

Incompetent: Coming up short in a world of achievement

Whether it's sports, business, personal relationships, the arts, or any other area of life, some of us score a flat zero in the skills and talents department. Blending serious concerns with a humorous tone, each chapter covers a specific area of incompetence with which the author, amazingly, is all too personally familiar.

Incompetent is available at: Amazon ... and Barnes and Noble
ISBN (print): 978-0-9911263-2-3 ($10.50)

Mr. Maurice Knows It All ... and tells you so

In 78 concise chapters, the debonair yet down-to-earth stuffed pig known as Mr. Maurice – who just happens to know everything – unleashes a torrent of acerbic, humorous, delightfully wise words on subjects ranging from work to movies, money to citizenship, status to guilt. An emigrant from Britain with obviously French heritage, Mr. M. manages to combine strictly contemporary attitudes and piercing opinions with a gallantry and sophistication reminiscent of the era of Mark Twain and Ambrose Bierce.

Mr. Maurice ... is available at: Barnes & Noble ... and Amazon.
ISBN (print): 978-0-9911263-3-0 ($8.50)

Both titles may be purchased directly from TK Press. PDF review copies are available FREE. Just e-mail Please ask about printed copies, signed by the author.

Excerpts from Incompetent and Mr. Maurice ... may also be seen at

• Articles and essays on current affairs, including automotive subjects, will appear periodically.

Tirekicking Today editor James M. Flammang, a veteran auto journalist, has contributed countless product reviews and feature articles to such publications as, New Car Test Drive, CarsDirect, and Kelley Blue Book. He has written extensively for a variety of major outlets, including J.D. Power,, and the Chicago Tribune. Flammang is a member of the Freelancers Union and International Motor Press Association, and is a past president of the Midwest Automotive Media Association. The author of more than thirty books, mostly on auto history, also has contributed extensively to Consumer Guide publications and to auto trade publications.

TK Press, established in 2014 as a division of Tirekicking Today, has already published four books by Flammang. Several more (described above) are well underway.

Clunkers & Creampuffs

A casual history of the used car

1: Early Days
2: Ford's Model T
3: Production and Prosperity
4: "Easy" Payments
5: Family Cars and Family Life
6: Five-Dollar Flivvers
7: Rise and Fall of Used Car
8: Saturation and Salesmanship
9: A Global Blowout (1930s)
10: Selling In Hard Times
11: Wheels for the Workingman
12: Okies, Nomads, & Jalopies
13: Motoring in Wartime
14: The Postwar Boom
15: Chromium Fantasies
16: Dealers Face Image Problem
17: Wheels for '50s Workingman
18: Teens, Rods, Clunkers
19: Everybody Drives
20: Personal History of Clunker Ownership

Used Car

Following a several-year hiatus, Tirekicking Today has been reviving coverage of the used car market, again adopting a consumer focus. Relevant reports on new vehicles and other aspects of the automobile business and car culture also will appear in this space.

Editor James M. Flammang has been reporting on used cars since the 1980s, not only for this website but for Consumer Guide's used car buying guide and other consumer publications.

This section began with a report on the gradually growing market for electric cars, including a brief history of EVs. Next came a detailed look at the volatile used car marketplace, Used Car Trends, featuring comments from experts attending the annual pre-owned car conference presented by Auto Remarketing magazine.

Subjects covered in this section include:
Are EVs finally ready for prime time?
Used Car Trends
Cars vs. Trucks in sales race (Hint: Trucks have strong lead.)
What's happened to used car prices?
Whatever happened to the Repo Man?

Note: In addition to news items, occasional articles on automotive history and the car culture will be featured in this section, led by Easy Shifting, a comprehensive history of the automatic transmission.

NEW! Part I of our detailed, two-part history of gasoline rationing covers the World War II period (1942-45). Part II deals with public reaction and threat of rationing during 1970s oil crisis.
Click here for Gas Rationing during World War II

Ever since the first automobiles began to age, early in the 20th century, the used car has been a notable yet seldom-heralded element of American life.

News Headlines
in the Auto World

What's New for 2023-24

September 30:: Latest GMC Acadia is enlarged to full-size dimensions ... Super-performance Mustang GDT will cost about $300,000 ... Jeep Gladiator features GPS with off-road trail mapping.

September 15: Auto workers strike against all "Detroit 3" automakers (GM, Stellantis, and Ford).

September 12: Ford unveils "new look" 2024 F-150 pickup (above) on evening prior to Detroit Auto Show.

September 10: Detroit Auto Show set to open on September 13.

August 17: Fully electric Acura ZDX, including Type S varient, set to go on sale early in 2024.

August 17: Jaguar plans to drop I-PACE model. Mitsubishi will discontinue subcompact Mirage. (Autoline)

August 16: J.D. Power study, reported by CBT News, suggests that customer dissatisfaction with charging stations may inhibit sales of new electric vehicles. Critics have pointed not only to shortage of charger locations, but to inoperative chargers and long wait times.

August 11: San Francisco faces objections for allowing driverless cars to operate as taxis. (CNN)

August 8: Fisker plans to add four models, joining Ocean SUV; lineup to include hatchback, grand tourer, and pickup. (Inside EVs)

March 6: Tesla raises prices of its electric cars for fifth time since start of 2023. (Reuters)

Expanded coverage of latest auto news will resume shortly.

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