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Tiny Louisiana Village With Just 226 People Collected $1.3 Million In Traffic Fines In 2022



Small southern towns that police and ticket for profit are nothing new, but one village in Louisiana takes the cake though for making its revenue through ticketing.

Fenton, Louisiana is a unique place, with a law allows the mayor to be a judge and the village. That’s probably because Fenton is a tiny village of just 226 people in an area that covers just 20 blocks. Anyone with a mind for civic engagement is going to need two jobs in a town that tiny, but it is also a system ripe for corruption.

Nothing about Fenton’s revenue is tiny though. Audits show the village took in $1.3 million in traffic fines and asset forfeiture in 2022. That’s not just the highest in the state, it’s also one of the highest in the country. Data from the Urban Institute shows the average U.S. municipality gets just 1.7 percent of its revenue from fines and forfeitures; Fenton sits at 92.5 percent.

It’s all thanks to a small town setup where the mayor is the judge and decides the fate of those ticketed.

The fines were collected through what’s known as a “mayor’s court”: a little-known type of small town court found only in Louisiana and Ohio. In Fenton, its primary function is processing the thousands of traffic tickets written annually by a few police officers. Here, the mayor is also the judge, appointing the prosecutor and, if drivers ask for a trial, deciding their guilt or innocence.

Those fines in turn help run the city and pay officials’ salaries, including the mayor’s. It’s a huge conflict of interest; so much so that a case about it went to the Supreme Court in the 1970s where a ruling “curtailed the power of mayors who take in a lot of money through their court.” Experts say Fenton may be violating the Supreme Court with how it’s doing things.

Worse yet, when ProPublica and New Orleans’ WVUE Fox 8 requested access to things like court minutes, body camera footage and case summaries, the town didn’t actually want to give them access; ProPublica was granted a meeting with the mayor for just five minutes.

Because everything is revenue driven, getting out of the ticket can prove tough for drivers, especially when the court seems to be purposely petty.

Fenton’s court records paint a picture of a justice system in which some people are punished for how they act while others are rewarded for who they know.

We found a dozen court records that include notations from officers and village employees saying not to “help” people or “fix” their tickets because drivers were rude. On a ticket for driving 71 mph in a 50: “Refused phone number, driver was very disrespectful no help.” Fine: $305.

A ticket for 81 in a 50: “Very bad attitude. Do not fix.” Fine: $490.

Video from an officer’s body camera during one traffic stop shows a woman, stopped for driving 62 mph, asking the officer to show her the radar reading and to let her go with a warning.

“What else do you guys do around this town?” she asked the officer after he handed her a ticket.

“Protect and serve,” he responded.

Her file reads, “Bad attitude.” She was fined $215.

Head on over to ProPublica to read the rest of the report. Prepare to find yourself getting more pissed as you read. It paints a damning picture of just how many small cities across the country do business by screwing over its citizens.

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Lewis Hamilton’s Car Was So Bad This Year He Doubted His Own Talent



The 2023 season will certainly go down in the history books as among the worst in seven-time Formula 1 Champion Lewis Hamilton’s 16-year career. Despite beating everyone in the World Drivers’ Championship bar and two Red Bull teammates, he saw just six podiums from 22 races, his lowest ever in the sport. He scored just 234 points this year, which is his lowest points tally in a decade. That kind of performance will weigh on a guy who won six championships and 81 races between 2014 and 2021.

According to Hamilton, it was enough to make him doubt his ability to continue racing at the top level.

“Ultimately,” Hamilton said in an interview with the BBC, “when you have difficult seasons like this, there are always going to be moments when you’re like: ‘Is it me, or is it the car? Do you still have it? Has it gone?’

“Because you’re missing that, you know… when the magic happens, when everything comes together, the car and you, and that spark, it’s extraordinary. And that’s what you’re in the search for.”

“I’m only human,” continued the 38-year-old. “If anyone in the world tells you they don’t have those things, they’re in denial. We’re all human beings.”

Hamilton admits that he knew immediately he’d end another season without a win when he first drove this year’s Mercedes-AMG F1 W14 chassis. Following a terrible 2022 season, the driver’s first in F1 without a single victory, Hamilton knew the car had to make big sweeping changes for the 2023 season. At that first test session the new car didn’t feel any different to drive than it had the prior year. “I had asked for certain changes, and they weren’t done.”

“Having the experience of the previous year, I just applied myself, in terms of digging down, sitting with the guys. We were having much better meetings.

“I was able to stay a lot more positive during the year and be like: ‘It’s going to be a long season, but let’s not give up. Let’s keep pushing towards getting the maximum out of the car, whatever that may be.’

This season the Red Bulls, Max Verstappen, and Adrien Newey’s RB19 chassis just had the measure of the field. Max won 19 of 22 Grands Prix this year, and that kind of trouncing is just downright demoralizing. When the whole field is finishing half a minute down to Max at the checkered flag, it has to cross your mind that you just don’t have the talent anymore.

Hamilton gave a long and sweeping interview to the BBC, and it’s well worth reading. You should head over there now to check out the rest of what he had to say.

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These Are The Coolest Car Companies



This is gonna be a polarizing take because 1) they don’t actually make cars, so much as heavily modify them and 2) very very few people here will actually agree, but it took me a really long time to get to this point and I have to give credit where credit is due.

You’re probably thinking of one car company but it is definitely not that one. What I’m thinking of is Mansory.

Now you’re probably thinking, “dude, nobody should be buying these statement pieces for insecure egocentric blowhards with money that outnumbers sense 1,000,000-to-1″ but lemme tell you, there are very very few people who are willing to hack apart rare, exotic unobtainium and turn it into even rarer, exotic (and oftentimes uglier) unobtainium. If I was buying a completely bespoke one-of-one car that can be a better representation of my flaccid and shallow personality than I could ever be, I’m asking these guys to hack apart my nonexistent Ferrari or Lamborghini into a hodgepodge of forged carbon, chameleon paint, and unnatural cyan-colored leather that nobody else will have.

Let’s be real too. There are tons of car companies that do this, and they are specialists. There’s at least a dozen for classic Porsches and Ferraris and other niche cars like Subaru (Prodrive), Lancia (Kimera, Automobili Amos), Alfa Romeo (Totem), but when you’re talking about so many different rabbit holes for people doing what is essentially the same exact thing, who among them is standing out when the color-shifting widebody Urus Coupe shows up? Drive a Matchbox car or a Hot Wheels car. They’re both relative versions of cool, but very different types.

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The Cleanest Cadillac Cimarron You’ll Ever See Is For Sale In Dallas



There is a rarity for sale on Facebook Marketplace. It’s a triple threat of a car that not only is cheap, but also controversial and pretty clean. The car in question: A one-owner 1983 Cadillac Cimarron with just 38,000 miles on it that’s listed for just $3,000.

If you’re a car enthusiast, you likely know the story of the Cimarron all too well. If you aren’t, here’s a brief history. By the early 1980s, Cadillac wanted a car in the lineup that was smaller than the Seville to meet the demands of a buying public that wanted compact vehicles. Rather than properly invest in a ground-up design for the brand, Cadillac went and developed its own version of GM’s J-body, which consisted of the Chevy Cavalier, Buick Skyhawk, Pontiac J2000, and Oldsmobile Firenza. That’s not exactly a lineup of cars you want to develop a small luxury sedan from, and it’s said that General Motors president Pete Estes warned Cadillac’s general manager at the time against making a J-body into a Cadillac.

Despite that, the Cimarron was born. Aside from a different grille, a few plastic panels and new tail lights, the Cimarron was identical to the other J-body cars. And it was not well received. Somehow, though, it managed to stay on sale for six years before it was axed in 1988. The Cimarron has been called one of the worst cars of all time, and it’s one of the reasons Cadillac lost market share going into the 1990s, something the brand would ultimately come to regret.

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Image: Facebook Marketplace

Despite that rather dark history, this Cimarron is pretty clean, and the seller says that it’s a one owner car. Whoever owned it must’ve not liked driving (or maybe not liked the car) because it’s pretty remarkable for any 40-year-old car to have just 38,000 miles on it.

The interior looks to be in pretty great condition as well – the leather(?) on the seats doesn’t even look that worn. Don’t think about getting anywhere fast, though. While the Cimarron debuted with a 1.6-liter inline-4 making all of 88 horsepower for 1982, that decklid badge on the trunk says this one is powered by a 2.0-liter engine. Despite being bigger than the previous year’s engine, its tuning meant the 2.0-liter motor lost two horses for a whopping 86 HP.

If any of this appeals to you, the Cimarron is still listed as of this writing, though it’s been updated to say that a sale is pending. Apparently someone bit.

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Image: Facebook Marketplace

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