Thursday, May 28, 2009

I Thought We All Understood the Rules of This Game

How shall we put this?

Delicately, of course.

Republicans “of color” aren’t really members of a protected class of minorities. They’re more like honorary white guys sporting great tans; regardless of ethnicity or origin, regardless of their personal tragedies and triumphs, hell, regardless of merit, they don’t much count as having “wonderful American stories.” That spot is reserved for minorities who buy into the idea that ethnicity defines political affiliation. Respectable minorities simply don’t vote GOP.

I prefer the Condi Rice view: “I found a party that sees me as an individual, not as part of a group.” Though, since I actually am a white male, my opinions on subjects concerning race and gender are immediately discounted. No such requirement of experience has stopped numerous folks of explaining to me just how privileged I am to be white (and quite particularly male) in the USA.

Or to put it simply, and as an example: I’m not allowed to speak with any authority on the black experience in America because I haven’t lived that experience and don’t have the proper frames of reference. Neither am I allowed to speak with authority on the white experience in America precisely because I’ve lived it and I cannot be objective. I’m guessing that if I had the right opinions, though, I might be granted a waiver.

I’d be nicer about it all, but I’m suffering an empathy deficit right now. Seems to be clouding my judgement.

Is it just me or does the post-racial America seem at least as screwed up and dishonest as it ever did before? Perhaps more so because we seem so tremendously focused on racial issues instead of matters of merit.

But what the hell do I know? I’m just a white guy who has lived a sheltered, shallow life not given to the formation of any great wisdom.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Lego Art for Car Fanatics

I’d try to duplicate the effort, but my ex-wife got the Legos in the divorce settlement.

Sad for me.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

The Obama Plan, Part 1

The path to national prosperity is lined with ensuring that people don’t want to do business with you.

For some reason.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

I Brake for the Funny

The Passion of MIley.



Tuesday, May 12, 2009

What Fucking Country Do I Live In?

I’ve been un-blogging of late. I’ve been busy, I’ve been cranky, and I’ve been tired of pawing over the same well-turned earth that’s kept me occupied for the last five or six years of my life.

It gets a little tiresome after a while.

But every day just gets me crankier, hoping like hell that things (in a national, political sense) would turn a corner and we’d be heading down a Clintonian path rather than Sir Don Ryder. To anyone who has looked at what happened to the British auto industry after the government took a heavy-handed role in running the affairs of British Leyland, it should be terrifying to read these words:

Obama Halves Chrysler’s Planned Marketing Budget.

And General Motors, heading down the same path as Chrysler, should be terrified about the future of their company.

If you haven’t studied up on BLMC, now would be a good time because it looks like our current government plans on traveling a very similar path. Trace the paths of Jaguar, MG, Triumph, and Austin Healyey to see what happens when the government starts making decisions for auto companies. Even the latter day successes (Mini, for example) were bought up and are now run by others (BMW in that particular instance). Hopefully that isn’t the fate of GM and Chrysler, but I wouldn’t put my money on it either by buying stock or buying one of their cars.

Just sayin’.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Good Deals to be Had

Without going much into details, here’s a little story from my last week.

A bit ago, I decided that it would be nice if I had a newer car. Much as I love the old one, it seemed time for something different. Given my debt load--which is significantly higher than it should be--I wasn’t sure what kind of loan I was going to come away with. Would the limit be high enough for what I wanted? Would the rate be low enough to keep me feeling that happy, unscrewed feeling? I was pretty sure that the answer to one or the other was going to end up being “no.”

I was very wrong. In fact, I had pre-qualified myself with Capital One auto loans (they had carried my last car loan) and been given a rate of 5.76%, which sounded like a solid deal to me. The guy who helped us with our loan at Tynan’s VW here in Aurora looked over my credit report promised that he could do better. He did. I ended up with a JP Morgan/Chase loan at just 4.99%

Not bad.

I’m not writing this just to be writing, though, there’s an actual point. The point is that, if you were thinking about a new car but worried that the current credit climate might shut you out of a decent deal, you might want to take a look. The prices are low and there are good deals to be had (especially with the new cars, although I chose the 2008 to keep my payments down and get immediately past the massive depreciation that comes in the first few years of car ownership). 


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