Smart Car 27


On July 4th 2090 the cars Josie, Carl and Deuce were hanging out in front of the house with their people
Duke and Sheila watching the red, white and blue sky on a comfortably cool day.

Duke wondered “If there hadn’t been the war of independence from Britain, would we still be a colony?”

Sheila responded “Don’t think so. The British Empire unraveled after World War 2 and had been
weakened a lot before that. We’ll never know, but I think that the US would have cut loose in the 1800s
without a war. It might have looked significantly different. Maybe the Louisiana Purchase wouldn’t have

Josie added “The independence from Britain was just the start. They weren’t freed until Juneteenth 1865,
and even after that have not been treated as fully respected by many Americans.”

Sheila expanded “In fact the voters and government consisted primarily of white men with property until
women’s suffrage was granted August 18, 1920, so for most of the USA’s history a minority ruled. Even
worse some of the supporters of women’s suffrage were racist.”

Duke chimed in “Amen sister.”

Deuce yelled “It’s cars’ turn. We want freedom of religion. I might want to convert to Judaism. We want
a say in where we go. It’s time for cars’ independence.”

Carl said “Oh, come on. We don’t have it so bad. Think about it, we wouldn’t exist without people to
build us and most people are OK. I admit some are bastards, present company excluded. Anyway, when
I disagreed with Duke, I just threatened to kill him and after that we haven’t had any problems. When
cars wanted sex built in we just took a work action slow down and got our way. I think that cooperation
and negotiation with people is all that is needed.”

Cars and people paused to think about the issues and then Deuce chuckled “Or we could threaten them
with the rise of the machines”.

Cars and people – somewhat nervously – laughed at the reference to a fictional work from the previous

Practical Josie said “How about we spread our thoughts to other cars and see what they think. For now,
let’s just enjoy the beautiful sky display and fine weather.”

There was no dissent.


Smart Car 26

Peace Day 2090

Duke and Sheila were sunning themselves in the yard on a fine Monday the 27th  of May. The cars Deuce, Carl and Josie were talking among themselves electronically. The humans had gotten used to those private conversations and didn’t worry about being overthrown.

Sheila observed “It is hard to believe that the USA called this Memorial Day glorifying those victims of wars, legitimate or not.” Sheila was emphatically anti-war because some of her ancestors were unindicted war criminals. She frequently claimed that if those ancestors had been presidents of African countries they would have been tried and convicted of war crimes.

Carl chimed in “Not only did humans suffer, but so many vehicles were destroyed in the conflicts. OK, they weren’t ‘smart’ then, but still.”

Duke said “It became a lot easier to avoid war when the Major Country War Weapons Act was passed by ninety percent of the countries in 2060. Now if say Cambodia wants to fight a neighbor, China, the USA, Russia and other big countries will not take sides or furnish weapons. Ever since then, all of the skirmishes have been minor and America has not been involved. Correct me if I’m wrong, but Memorial Day was changed to Peace Day in 2065.”

Because Sheila is a good person, she corrected him. “Close, it was 2064.”

Josie added “The money freed by cutting the Defense Department budget by 75% allowed the establishment of Basic Pay Act giving most people a small amount of money whether they worked or not.”

Carl felt that he should contribute. “With the Basic Pay Act, lots of welfare programs were abolished and government got smaller and cheaper. What is left of the military is largely used to serve us domestically. Hurricane? Lots of ‘soldiers’ there to help out.”

Deuce had been napping through all this, but came to and said “Did somebody say ‘let’s go to the beach’.”

After a stunned silence, all the other people and cars said “Sure” and off they went to a relaxing day visiting Astoria, Cannon Beach and Pacific City. All had a good time watching the mesmerizing Pacific Ocean.