An update

July 31, 2009

Since the wife has the day off I’ve been busy being designated driver. Here are a few things I’ve been thinking about. The clunker bill appears to be in trouble and it hasn’t even been in effect a week. The bill which was pushed through by none other than Nancy Pelosi seems to have questions nobody can answer. It didn’t make sense to me when I heard only $1 billion was alloted for the bill. With administrative cost that doesn’t leave much to buy cars.

The raising of the minimum wage by seventy cents has a lot of people scratching their heads. This bill, passed to help those who are stuck in minimum wage jobs is only going to end up hurting them and/or raising the unemployment rate. The companies who hire these minimum wage people are not going to absorb a seventy cent an hour loss. That leaves them with two options: either give the workers
less hours at the same cost to the employer, or just fire them. Another well thought out plan from the people who rushed the stimulus through.

Health care reform still has me worried. The reason is simple. If Obama sticks to his word about the eight things that would have to be in the reform bill for passage, we citizens would lose five freedoms we currently enjoy. I agree they are freedoms because I don’t believe they are rights, but they are important.

1. The freedom to choose what’s in our healthcare plan.

2. The freedom to be rewarded for healthy living, or paying more for not doing so.

3. The freedom to choose high-deductible coverage.

4. The freedom to keep our existing healthcare plan.

5. The freedom to choose our own doctors.

Before you call me crazy I’d like to point out that these are not my words. They come from none other than CNN online. That’s pretty mainstream media to me. You should read the article
to get an idea of what is really at stake. We have more to lose and nothing to gain if this bill gets passed.

Lastly is a travel advisory I recieved by email from a friend. Here it is-

For those of you who might be considering a road trip, be
advised: Portions of I-64, I-70, I-29, and I-90 will be closed this weekend. Expect long delays along these interstate highways plus major traffic disruptions in Charleston, WV, Louisville, KY, St Louis, MO,
Kansas City, MO, and Omaha, NE.

A 500-ton piece of coal is being moved from West Virginia to South
Dakota so that Barack H. Obama can be added to Mt. Rushmore

Comments are always welcome.

Rant and a joke

July 29, 2009

Once again I wasn’t going to do a mini-rant post but with so much out there to choose from I will. Several issues caught my eye this week so at this time I’ll touch on a few.

I have noticed Obama appears to have mellowed a little since he has so much more experience than when he took office. I couldn’t figure out why the health care bill went from a crisis if not passed yesterday to an issue that can wait. Rumors are all over the board as to why and one of them seems to have some merit.

When the stimulus bill was passed there was a provision in it to “Nationalize health care records” to speed up the process and cut cost. Lets take a look.

What if this rider were in the 1,000 page bill-
“$400,000,000 shall be available…to accelerate the development and dissemination of research assessing the comparative effectiveness of health care treatments and strategies, including through efforts that: (1) conduct, support, or synthesize research that compares the clinical outcomes, effectiveness, and appropriateness of items, services, and procedures that are used to prevent, diagnose, or treat diseases, disorders, and other health conditions.”

In other words it gives the government the power to say we can’t have the operation because it costs to much for our age, we’re not important enough, or we’re not healthy enough to have the life-saving procedure. I believe this would affect a large number of people who do need various procedures to improve their quality of life or wish to
continue it and have the insurance to do it.

The stimulus bill mandates electronic healthcare records for every American by 2014 and would “encourage the development and use of clinical registries, clinical data networks, and other forms of electronic health data that can be used to generate or obtain outcomes data.” For whom?

What’s next with these people; a mandatory age when we just line up and jump into the fire? What would happen to babies with birth defects? Would costly research continue, or would it just be used to cure common colds and other inexpensive ailments?

And if this rumor is true what good would health insurance do us if the government won’t let us use the insurance? If true we might just as well quit paying our $900 a month and enjoy what time we have left. As I’ve said these are rumors, but I’ve been a lot more of them. Until it is proven I consider it food for thought.
This reminded me of a joke cruisin the internet right now about how older people could get around all the restrictions if they are put in place-

While discussing the upcoming
Universal Health Care Program with my friend the other day,
I think that we have found the solution. I am sure you have
heard of the ideas that if you are a senior, you need to
suck it up and give up the idea that you need any health
care. A new hip? Unheard of. We simply can not afford to
take care of you anymore. You do not need any medications
for your high blood pressure, diabetes, heart problems, etc.
Let’s take care of the young people. After all, they will
be ruling the world very soon.

So here is the solution:

When you turn 70, you get a gun
and 4 bullets. You are allowed to shoot 2 senators and 2
representatives (don’t miss!). Of course, you will be
sent to prison where you will get 3 meals a day, a roof over
your head and all the health care you need!!! New teeth,
great!!! Need glasses, no problem. New hip, knee, kidney,
lung, heart? Well, bring it on. And who will be paying for
all of this. The same government that just told you that you
are too old for health care. And, since you are a prisoner,
you do not have to pay any income tax.
Watching a little HLN I heard a story about woman being sued because of something she twittered. She mentioned a mouldy apartment and the owner of the property is suing her for $50,000. In a poll the station run 60% said you shouldn’t be able to sue over something twittered. Even if you agree she stepped over the line with the comment should the owner of the building be given that much money if they sue and win? Somewhere there should be monetary
limits on how much someone’s hurt feelings are worth.

East 15th street between Iowa and Pershing streets will be closed for another lateral repair. That means it could be closed through next week. We seem to have barricades all over the SoLo area because of these lateral breaks and some homeowners can’t afford the repair cost so the barricades stay up and the sinkholes get bigger. Somewhere,
somebody has an answer for this problem.
Comments are always welcome.

60 coolest cars?

July 29, 2009

Since I used the magazine in reference to the Clunker bill post why
not talk about an article in Motor Trend today? The article in the latest edition caught my eye because I didn’t agree with about half of their picks.

Called the 60 Coolest Cars. Six decades of the rides everyone
wanted. Here are some words from Arthur St. Antoine and Matt Stone-

They weren’t always the fastest or the most expensive. The sexiest or best designed or engineered. The most radical, iconic, famous, desired, or most outrageous. But they’re the coolest. It’s hard to define cool, but you know it when you see (or drive) it. As we kick off Motor Trend’s 60th Anniversary celebration, here’s a look-in random order- at 60 of the coolest, illist, chillist machines to roll earth’s highway during our watch, 1949-2009.

Here are their picks (in random order): 1962-1969 AC Shelby Cobra, 1963 Austin Mini Cooper S, 1955-1963 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing, 2002-2004 Ferrari Enzo, 1963-1965 Astin Martin DB5, 1955-1975 Citroen DS, 1955-1957 Chevrolet Bel Air, 1955-1957 Ford Thunderbird, 2009 Nissan GT-R, 1974-1989 Lamborghini Countach, 1968 Ford Mustang GT Fastback, 1964 Pontiac GTO, 1961-1969 Lincoln Continental, 1949 Cadillac Series 62, 1992-1995 Dodge Viper,
1963-1967 Corvette Stingray, 1985 Audi Sport Quattro, 1009 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1, 1968-1977 BMW 2002, 1990-2005 Acura NSX, 1967-1970 Toyota 1000GT, 1966-1973 Lamborghinin Niura, 1963-1969 Ford GT/FT40, 1963-1965 Buick Riviera, 1958 Cadillac Eldorado Brougham, 1989 Mazda MX-5 Miata, 1966-1970 Oldsmobile
Toranado, 1953-1954 Buick Skylark, 1955-1965 Chrysler 300, 1970 Plymouth Road Runner Superbird/Dodge Charger Daytona, 1948 Tucker Torpedo, 1963 Chrysler Turbine Car, 1966-1969 Alfa-Romero Spider Duetto, 1944-1985 Jeep, 1986-1992 BMW M3, 1968-1974 Ferrari Dino, 1961-1975 Jaguar E-Type, 1953-1964 Austin Healey 100/3000, 1963-1974 Iso Grifo, 1961-1982 Checker Marathon, 1973-1974 Lancia
Stratos HF, 1956-1959 BMW 507, 1953-1956 Porsche 550 Spyder, 1951-1954 Hudson Hornet, 1964 Porsche 911, 1969-1973 Datsun 240Z, 1949-1951 Mercury, 1959-1967 Jaguar MK II,1976-2004 Lotus Esprit, 1983 Land Rover 90 (Defender), 1961 Ferrari 250 GT Spyder California SWB, 1999 Pagani Zonda, 1970-1974 Dodge
Challenger R/T, 1965-1966 Shelby GT350, 1968-1974 Ferrari 365 GTB/4 and GTS/4 Daytona, 1992-1998 McLaren F1, 1960-1962 Ghia L6.4, 1962-1964 Ferrari 250 GTO,and the 1983-1984 Volkswagen Rabbit GTI.

I don’t know about you but there are a whole bunch of cars on this list I have never had a desire to own. Then there are some I don’t recall ever hearing of. Others on the list I did have owned. But it is their list and if they can’t define cool I’m not going to try.

Comments are always welcome.

Sometimes I wonder

July 28, 2009

President Obama has said the healthcare bill will keep government
out of the insurance business. This is the guy who didn’t want to be in the banking business, and the government is running the banks. This is the guy who had no interest in running the auto industry and the government is running GM.

He also said that the healthcare bill will not add to the deficit. That’s the biggest whopper I’ve heard in a long time. And of course the proposed $245 billion over the next ten years to increase Medicare doctor’s fees was already policy and not a bold face bribe to win approval for the bill. If the rumored cut of up to over 20% in doctors fees goes through with the bill it sure won’t get much support from the AMA. And this will raise the deficit.

Regardless of what this president does he will have caused a deficit of over $9 trillion in the next ten years. He can’t blame that on Bush or the Republicans either because his party has the majority. So who will he blame when push comes to shove? Or will he just invite every American of voting age to the White House to have a talk over a beer?

Of course Nancy Pelosi also made the news with her “let them eat cake” attitude. I’m glad she doesn’t think it’s a popularity contest because the same people saying they don’t trust her or like her are also the ones who might re-elect her. Naturally, when you’re a legend in your own mind I guess if you failed to get re-elected, you could call
it a victory, and rest on your record. These people are delusional anyway so even if she was soundly beaten in a re-election race she would blame it on ballot tampering, Repbulicans, Bush, or a conspiracy.

And why isn’t there a rider in the healthcare bill mandating that all government employees switch over to this newer, gentler, insurance? Since government has taken away our trans-fats, is looking to tax those of us who are obese, smoke, or are not active as they think we should be; do we really want them to be in charge of our

Yesterday I kept hearing about the Canadian astronaut who was harping about the disaster that man has turned earth into. He was quoted as saying it looks a whole lot worse than it did 12 years ago when he was in space. I’m not buying it because I don’t think anyone could remember every little nuance of our atmosphere from 12
years ago. I have to wonder how much Al Gore paid him to say it.
Comments are always welcome.

Clunker numbers

July 27, 2009

Here’s some information on the Car Allowance Rebate System (CARS) program. If you think you don’t know what I’m talking about it is better known as the Cash for Clunkers bill. This is what our money is going for.

The benefits are as follows-

You get $4,500 if your new car is at least 10 mpg more efficient, or if your new light-duty truck is at least 5 mpg more efficient.
You get $3,500 if your new car is at least 4 mpg more efficient, or if your new light-duty truck is at least 2 mpg more efficient.
For pickups and vans weighing 6,000 to 8,500 pounds, you need at least a 2 mpg gain for the $4,500 or you get $3,500 for a 1 mpg increase in efficiency.

To be eligible-

New cars must get at least 22 mpg and new light-duty trucks must get 18 mpg.
It only applies to purchase or lease of a brand new vehicle.
Clunkers eligible for trade in must get 18 mpg or less.
You have to have a valid title that proves the vehicle was yours for at least one year.
Domestic and foreign vehicles are eligible for both trade-in and purchase if the other guidelines are met.

What isn’t eligible-

Vehicles not insured for the past year.
Vehicles more than 25 years old.
The purchase price of new vehicle can’t exceed $45,000

Heavy truck information-

Pre 2002 model year trucks between 8,000 and 10,000 pounds will get a $3,500 voucher for the a new truck in the same or smaller weight class. There will be a limited number of these vouchers based on the market share of the vehicle class.

This data is from the September, 2009 issue of Motor Trend magazine who claim their source is the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce. It isn’t word for word, but all figures are as they appear in the article. The official government site is here.

When I typed this out last night there was no mention of the bill in any local media. As happens when I got up this morning I noticed this editorial in the QC Times.

Comments are always welcome

Weekend thoughts

July 26, 2009

The Bix weekend seem to go great with the exception of the storm that passed through friday night. Things got started on thursday with
bands playing in different spots. When I drove by the Col Ballroom that afternoon I noticed the Quad Cities Antique Ford Club had another nice display of Model A’s and other old cars in front of the Col.

The Street Fest looked like it went very well as it was wall to wall people on both friday and saturday went I had to walk through. We did hear a few sirens last night and saw one fender-bender, but for the amount of people it didn’t seem bad.

So far today has started out quiet and if it stays that way I’ll be able to catch my breath to get ready for the work week and get back to regular posting. We can only hope.

A Guardian Angel patrol stopped by where we worked the gate and we had a short talk. Everyone was looking good and I overheard a lot of positive comments. That’s what we like to see.

On another note, it would seem Obama’s plan to put us all in dinky underpowered rolling coffins isn’t going so well. Yesterday I stated the Camaro saved GM, now it appears the Taurus and F-150 is saving Ford.
I love it.
Comments are always welcome.

What a day

July 25, 2009

Yesterday the wife and I volunteered to work the gate at LeClaire Park for the Bix Fest from 11 am to 3 pm. I thought it would be an uneventful 4 hours, which it was. We chose the parking ramp to leave the new car in since we didn’t know we could park inside the Festival.

Then we had to get home. I’m thinking 3 pm on a Friday no problem.
It ended up being bumper to bumper from the parking ramp to the top of Brady Street hill. What a mess.

Later I patrolled from 7 pm until tropical storm AlGore hit. We were doing great when the wind picked up along with the lightning. The group shrugged it off and when the rain started we weren’t too concerned because it wasn’t raining hard. We made it back to our
headquarters almost dry and changed out of our uniforms. By the
time we made it down four flights of stairs the monsoon had hit.

With all the people downtown the closest parking spot I could find
was on the 700 block of Main Street. Needless to say by the time I made it to the car I was soaked. I think my sneakers will be dry in
time for Thanksgiving.

I’ll be heading down again to work the gate tonight from 7-11 pm.
We can only hope the weather co-operates today. Enjoy the weekend. If you live inside of the Bix7 route, the worst is over.
Comments are always welcome.