Saturday, November 29, 2008

Truck Sales in America

I heard on NPR the other day that with falling gas prices that small trucks are America’s biggest sellers again. If the economy ever recovers gas prices will shoot right back up. China and India alone will force prices up and everyone knows it. I wish I understood America’s attention span.

Cooper has made a Mini that gets 100 miles on a charge. The Tesla gets more than that and it uses cell phone batteries that recharge in a few hours.

Why are we bailing out the big 3 when they can only come up with the Volt? It gets 40 miles on a charge and they’re saying the battery technology isn’t quite there yet.

This money should go into R&D to bring prices down to a consumer level for companies that really work.

The big 3 will eat the money up, we’ll be broke and things will go right back to the way things were.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

I Have To Wonder

When I hear anyone talk about legislating family values or their belief in a strong military I have to wonder. These are the same folks that talk about small government and low taxes.

What is it that motivates people to be reckless about military spending but want Uncle Sam’s nose out of their personal business? It seems obvious to me these people have been motivated by fear, greed, or any base instinct that will gain support.

First of all, if we want infrastructure (roads, cops, education, parks, HEALTH CARE) we have to pay taxes. The trick is to be smart about how we use the money and not impose too much burden on citizens.

We humans are a weak species. Our intellect made it clear our survival depended on our banding together. Loners starved or were picked off by stronger predators. Just like dogs. Of course there will always be the irrational element so we have to make rules or laws.

This brings me to corporate deregulation. There are those in government that tell us we should leave the corporations alone. They’re feeding the rest of us.

If you believe in corporate deregulation you must also believe we don’t need laws. We should understand an entity whose sole purpose is the acquisition of wealth and power is looking out for our best interests.

When folks get angry with bleeding heart liberals who want to help parasitic, unemployed single moms they have to realize it’s a symptom of the socialization of our species. It’s necessary for our survival as a whole. 

Saturday, November 15, 2008


I can't understand why people have to force their views on each other. Why does gay marriage scare so many people. How does it affect their own marriages anyway? 
At its heart their objection must be what they perceive as a religious issue. If this is why then it's a clear violation of the separation of church and state and unconstitutional. Of course these people are willing to rewrite the constitution if it fits their idea of justice.
Keep your damn nose out of other people's lives! Judge not lest ye be judged. Can't we all just get along?

Saturday, November 8, 2008


I just had a weird flash of optimism. In my lifetime I've seen a man on the moon, the end of Apartheid, the fall of the Berlin Wall, peace in Northern Ireland, the collapse of the Soviet Union and the election of a black U.S. president.
Could xenophobia end just as abruptly?
Probably not. I suspect it's part of some human survival mechanism.


Why aren’t we automatically skeptical when a proposition appears on the ballots? Valerie was an election judge this year. She had to vote early so she would be available all day to help voters. Now she wishes she had learned a little more about the issues.

Prop A was the first issue on the ballot. As far as anyone knew it was a way to stick it to the casinos for taxes that would go directly to our schools.

I worked as a computer tech for Harrah’s for 3 years. They used to round us up every time an issue came up that required our vote. This was a big one for them.

When I worked there we prayed they’d take away the loss limit in Missouri. It made up about 85% of our computer problems. We had a whole police department on site for the Gaming Commission to make sure loss limit rules were observed. There were several ways around it though.

I personally think we have to deal with our own demons. The loss limit isn’t what bothers me.

This issue is being pushed as a school issue. My mother and Valerie both figured why not so they voted for it. There will be no new taxes for us and the kids will benefit from the sin tax.

I drive for a living right now. At the more trafficked voting places you would see young people in matching T-shirts holding “Yes on A” placards.  At Clayton and Skinker there must have been 10 to 12 of them. I almost yelled, ”which casino do you work for?” out my window.

The hypocrisy wasn’t lost on me when the Missouri casinos accused the Illinois casinos of trying to create an unfair playing field when they threw money behind the “Vote No” campaign. They said Illinois didn’t want the competition it would create.

Illinois casinos put up $150,000. Missouri casinos put up $15,000,000. A bit of an advantage I’d say.

What’s getting in under the radar is that they added a limit to how many casinos are already in Missouri. “We don’t need any more casinos!” you might say. All the casinos in Missouri are owned by 2 Nevada based companies.

To generate the amount of money for our schools they’re talking about people would have to lose billions of dollars that would all go to Nevada.

The city of St. Louis won’t see any of this anyway. Only 9 or 10 schools will be affected.

When the casinos first appeared on the scene they promised money for our schools. Everyone was surprised to learn the money actually went into the general fund. This new money only goes straight to the schools.

Think about it. If you’re a small municipality and you’re used to getting a certain amount of school revenue from casino taxes you’re going to put the rest of your money somewhere else.

I don’t blame the casinos for being greedy. Money is the issue with them. Imagine the money that would be funneled back into the Missouri economy if Missouri businesses owned casinos.

I guess my real issue is the reason people vote. We rarely research the issues. We even admit openly that we don’t care about the issue when we vote for our representatives. We care more about their character. This is maddening to me. The issues represent their real character for us as a whole. Who cares who they sleep with?

My dream is to erase the stigma of non-voting. If you’re not informed don’t vote. I’ll still let you bitch. You don’t have to make a choice about everything that’s on the ballot. If you don’t know don’t vote. The internet is a good place to research the issues. The mainstream media are all owned by one or two people. Ignore them.


Saturday, November 1, 2008


It’s obvious to me that the reason people hold different political points of view comes down to personal philosophy. I have friends on the right that tell me my opinion that Republicans are the party of greed and intolerance is too simplistic. They don’t really disagree with me though.

This post came to me because of an incident I experienced in the county a few years ago. We were taking our kids trick or treating and passed a house with a Democrat yard sign. One of the dads muttered, “Asshole.” I said I had always thought of the Republicans as the party of greed, sexism, and racism. His response was, “So?!!”

I hear them say they’re the party of Lincoln. The Republican Party in those days was the party of the left. Social and economic conservatives would never have done away with slavery and they know it. They never would have rebelled against King George either.

I love to hear social conservatives talk about how religious our founding fathers were and what their intention for our government was. Franklin was atheist and a lot of the others were deists.

A deist is someone who believes in God but believes God already has it all mapped out. There is no petitioning through prayer. They were against churches. This was the “Age of Enlightenment” a time for reason.

I don’t believe social conservatives are aware the line “Under God” in our pledge of allegiance was added during the “Red Scare” McCarthy era in the 50s.

I was listening to NPR (lefty that I am) the other day. They had the Saturday Night Live writer that wrote most of the Palin skits. When Palin actually showed up he was asked if it was hard to clear his material with her handlers.

He said the Republicans always gave them free reign with their jokes but the Democrats scrutinized every word.

I was a little surprised by this. He was asked why he thought that was. He said if the Democrats stumbled in any way the Republicans would use it against them mercilessly. If the Republicans did the Democrats would let it slide and the Republicans knew this.