Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Check it out! Another post!

So, I've been hearing the folks at WBBM radio and CBS News nearly salivating over the news that GOP's numbers are low right now. It's pretty easy to remember what got the Republicans into office in 1994: fiscal responsibility, smaller government, and lower taxes. The Republican Party needs only to rededicate themselves to those ideals and they'll do better in the 2006 elections. How? Well, making sure your budget isn't loaded down with all kinds of discretionary spending while you're fighting a war is a sure way to help.

Gas prices are on their way up. Some folks will say that we need to feel pain at the pump before we change our ways and get rid of our evil baby-eating SUVs (or whatever they're saying is bad about SUVs these days), but I say they're wrong. Even the most efficient mass-transit system is not going to have the same feeling as being able to ease out on the highway under your own command. I do have what I think would be a more modest proposal than self-criticism at the pump. Why not break down the nation into various specialty fuel regions, and having folks buy flexible fuel engine-powered vehicles? Since ethanol doesn't travel well, use it only in ethanol-producing areas. The places that can generate enough waste products for biodiesel can switch to that. There's going to be a need for gasoline for the time being, like it or not. Long-haul vehicles like tractor-trailers will still need regular diesel and there will need to be enough supply of that, but careful regional uses of renewable fuels might help remove the fuel price woes. Honestly, I'd love to be able to switch my Tucson's engine to a flex-fuel or hybrid model. It's not so much that I care about the air we breathe as much as I'm a cheapskate. If I can get E-85 for a lower per gallon price, why not make the switch? And if I can use less of it, that means fewer trips to the pump. And for convenience stores, that may mean more chances of my purchasing an ungodly-huge cup of soda.

Speaking of gas, political pundit gasbag and comedian Bill Maher is having a show here in the Chicago area next month. If you've heard the radio ad, it's not just offensive, but it's also bad history. Here's a quote from the ad:
"Did you see all the black people at the 2000 Republican election? The last time the Republicans had that many blacks up on stage, they were selling them!"
Hmm... painting Republicans as racists AND getting history wrong. Maybe he should look at who ran those slave markets. I think they identified themselves as Democrats, Bill. Whose party had the anti-slavery platform? Oh, right, the Republicans. If you need to vent your spleen about how the GOP has beaten your favorite candidates, just come right out and say it.

Speaking of historical inaccuracies, Ron Howard has defended his desire to not put any disclaimers on his film, The DaVinci Code. Ron is correct that most people should realize that it's a work of fiction, but there are also people who should realize that the book "The Protocols of the Elders of Zion" is also a work of Czarist fiction from the late Russian empire. At the very least he could say something like "Dan Brown decided to drag the name of Opus Dei through the mud because people are intimidated by Latin words and it sounded all menacing and shadowy to the untrained ear. These same people find Latin to be a mysterious and thus scary language. People who don't have much education are an important part of our audience, assuming they can read this. We thought tapping into this easily-influenced group was a good idea, so we made a movie based on Mr. Brown's very fictional (though who are we to say it's not true in part?) book. Now sit down, shut up, and watch our movie." I think that would be a lot more honest even more than "This is a work of fiction."

That's about it from here. Take care.

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