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Tuesday, March 27, 2007

The hidden costs of going cheap

Yes, spring has finally come to West Michigan. And with the coming of the warm weather comes that eternal reminder of just what kind of financial crisis our state is in, pot hole season. There have been many times in the last month that I have been reminded rather violently of this quite jarring phenomenon while driving my car to work. Yes, it seems that the state of Michigan just does not have the funds to keep more than sixty to seventy percent of the current road network usable to the public. The auto repair shops love this season.
But it seems that business has already proposed a solution to this problem. Their solution is to increase the state taxes consumers pay at the gasoline pump. If the extra funds generated actually would go toward improving our roads, personally I do not see a problem with using this approach. The only problem is that Americans always seem to think that they can always get something for the price of nothing.
When people complain about the supposed high price of gasoline, they forget where the taxes gained from those gasoline taxes are spent. These taxes where the state gets it's funds for the maintenance of our road system. Money just does not grow on trees.
There is a hidden cost to not paying the higher price of gasoline. That price is the cost of repairs to people's cars, repairs that can cost thousands of dollars. That would far outstrip the higher cost of gasoline. People just seem to not understand this painfully obvious fact and can't see beyond the cost of gasoline.
The question is, would this tax really be used to improve our roads? Or would it be used for government pork projects?

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Eye candy for the motor addicted

Here are some great pictures I found on the web. I think that these will make some awesome additions to this blog. It was fun looking for these photos and I hope my readers enjoy as much as I do. Please, I am alway looking for more pictures to add to this website. Email me at The Cell Phone Disconnect.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Tech overloaded society

I found this rather interesting article in the Grand Rapids Press. This piece deals with technology and how much it has come to overload our lives with unnecessary gadgets that are difficult to use and we really don't need to shell out hard-earned money for anyway. It just goes to show how much Corporate America has control of our lives and has convinced us that we really need all this stuff.
Has anbody checked out MySpace pages lately? It can be rather dificult to make out what someone has written on their page and they are difficult pages to navigate. The Ipod Mini? For the same price ($249) you can get a regular Ipod that holds twice as many songs. Not to mention the Ipod Nano that is $50 less and has just as much available space for music. With Windows Vista, it may be more secure now, but give crackers just a few months and they will find holes in the program and will be telling others how to exploit those holes.
The one that I think does still hold out at least some promise would be satellite radio. Imagine, being able to listen to the same station on long drives where ever you go in the U.S. All with cd quality and without losing the station when you are out in the middle of nowhere.
My point is, there comes a time when we just have to say that enough is enough. You have to question whether you really need that new gadget or could the money really be spent elsewhere like your child's education?

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Say no to the draft!

Lately there has been a lot of debate in our newspapers about whether or not the United States military should reinstate the draft system. It is in the opinion of this author that this great nation, the sole remaning superpower in the world, has gained it's place in the world by relying a military that is made up completely of a volunteer force. Every one who currently serves in the U.S branches ofthe military, whether they be Army, Navy, Air Force (in which I have served), Marines, or Coast Guard, made that choice to join the military voluntarily. To reinstate the draft system is to forget what makes our military thhe most well trained, feared, and respected in the world.
The draft, as it was set up, was never truly equal. The poor and lower income families were always the ones who saw their sons, brothers,and fathers sent off to fight wars started by the rich families who got to send their children off to college. If you look at our current top government officers, you would see that this country is run by a bunch of rich brats and draft dodgers. Dick Cheney got out of going to Vietnam by going to college and President Bush got out of going to Nam by joining the Texas National Guard and belonging to a powerful family.
But that is the way the draft always worked. The less well to do have always had to pay for the mistakes of the wealthy. It is the wealthy who make policy and the not so well off who are the tools of that policy.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

The conspiracy of the blue-tooth idiocy

Have you ever seen those people who use those blue-tooth enabled cell phones with the headsets? You know, the kind that always seem to be talking to themselves while being totally oblivious to the world around them? They always seem to look like a bunch of freaked out space cadets, gesticulating around while seemingly talking loudly to no one in particular, until you finally notice that tiny earpiece in one ear. It is only then you realize that they are only just as oblivious to the world around them as any other cell phone user, which happens to include 99.9% of everyone else in the world.
It dawned on me that this is a conspiracy spawned of the collective Borg consciousness that happens to be composed of corporate America. This is technology run amok and taking over our lives. People who use these devices always seem to be connected to the collective corporate hive mind that apparently has taken over this country and erased our free will. Now, we can no longer be out of reach of the Queen bosses that delude themselves into thinking that these devices do anything but make our lives even more miserable. We have no free time and are always on call to them. Sometimes, it is just better to just disconnect, even for just a little while.
It was just the other day when I was listening to the radio when this comic came on and started talking about her experience with another person who was using blue-tooth. She evidently thought that this other person and her were having a conversation. She thought he was talking to her and apparently, without knowing what was going on, she was answering back and it was only after that she noticed the blue-tooth earpiece. And when she stopped talking, he kept right on going like nothing happened.
What really draws my ire is when these are used while driving a car. These people actually think that they drive safer when they use these headsets!? Hello!!!!!! It does not matter how many hands are on the wheel when it is inattention to the road ahead of them that always causes the problems, not where their hand and eyes are. These people can't even walk straight! They can be looking right at you and not even see you! They will walk blindly right into you and not even see you until after they hit you. And they think that they can drive straight when using these things? A few words on that: I DON'T THINK SO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!