Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Some Of The Many, Many Things That Rankle Me

There are many, many things that annoy me on a regular basis.  Here are a few:

1.  Drivers who don't say thanks after I've extended them a courtesy.  They seem to assume an entitlement to the courtesy.

2.  Drivers who can't figure out how to turn right.  They wait, hesitate, look around, but seem incapable of completing the turn.  God help them when they try to make a left.

3.  Drivers who turn without signalling.  It's as if it's too much trouble for them to employ a finger-flick to flip the turn flasher. 

4.  Drivers that honk when I wait for walkers in a cross-walk.

5.  People that say, "I have your back" or "I've got your back."

6.  Gretchen on the Real Housewives of Orange County.

7.  The judges on American Idol.  Although they are nicer, they are useless---having nothing meaningful to say:

     a.  Steve Tyler:  "That's really good, man.  I like it."  (Really constructive and intelligent!)
     b.  Jennifer Lopez:  "I've been a fan all along and am glad you're coming through.  Nice."  (Again, really constructive and intelligent.)

     c.  Randy:  "Not bad, but a little flat.  A bit too pitchy."  (Give me a break!)

Saturday, March 12, 2011

The Fix Is So Easy And So Relatively Inexpensive

Above, I posted about the deteriorated state of our infrastructure, including particularly our roads.

The fix would be so easy and relatively painless.

  1. Our nation, or each state, should resolve that all roads will be rejuvenated.
  2. How to pay for this?  Those who use the roads.
  3. The cost of fixing the roads should be estimated and a fund created for the repairs.  The fund should not be usable for any purpose other than fixing roads.
  4. Once the estimated cost is calculated, a tax per gallon of gas should be added at the pumps and the tax should go directly to and only to the repair fund.  I don't know the number, but I'm thinking anywhere from $0.25 to $1 per gallon or per fill up should be added.  
  5. Would people object to any increase?  Yes, but the cost would not be back-breaking and it would yield the funds that are necessary.
Use the roads; pay for the roads in moderate increments to the cost of gas.  This would not break anyone, and those who use the roads the most and use the most gas would pay the most for repairs.  If someone doesn't want to pay, then don't drive.

I've not thought through the system completely, but I don't see any holes.  And, one infrastructure problem could be addressed.  Similar fixes could be proposed with respect to other infrastructure deficiencies.

What Happened To America's Sense Of Pride And Self-Esteem?

When I was growing up in the 1940's, our country had a self-assuredness---a sense of can-do and pride.  

We continue to proclaim we are the best, but I feel we are really starting to realize (at least silently) that it's no longer true.  What we have definitely lost is our sense of pride.

There should be a feeling of shame that our infrastructure is crumbling.  Our roads are in tatters, our electrical grids are antiquated, are bridges are crumbling.  I'm saddened and shamed that our country, during my lifetime, has declined so noticeably.  But, what may be worse is that there seems no will to do anything about it---and no sense of shame that we can't or won't fix the mess.

What happened to the American sense of pride that once existed?  Has it become ok to live in squalor?  Third-world.  Let's get used to it.

Friday, March 11, 2011

The Conservative Approach to Babies

The conservatives preach:  End Roe v. Wade.  End abortions.  Don't kill the unborn.  Let life bloom.

The conservatives further preach:  Cut all discretionary spending; cut the deficit.  The proposed cuts in discretionary spending specifically target the many programs designed to advance the health, wellbeing and education of the babies who would have been aborted.

So, do I understand this?  At all costs, let them live, but only in ill-health, in squalor, and in ignorance.   Smart.

Simple Voting Recommendation

Somehow, it became obligatory during my lifetime for elected officials to wear lapel pins.  They are everywhere.  Most Congress members wear them.  

The pins used to be flags, but that no longer seems to be the trend.  Now, the pins are small gold or silver things (containing a logo or message that is not decipherable when viewed on TV).  I guess the pins are supposed to suggest the wearer is a Super Patriot or Super American of some sort.  What else are they supposed to suggest?

My voting resolution:  If a candidate or representative finds it necessary to impress me by wearing one of these pins, then I won't vote for him or her.  Simple.   

The United States: Approaching Third World Status?

There is much debate about whether the Super-Power of the Twentieth Century---the United States---is an empire in decline.  Sadly, I believe the answer is yes, indisputably.

I have a simple test:  Look at the condition of our streets, roads and highways.  Third world, with no prospect of improvement.

I'll know we are no longer in decline when our country finds the will and wherewithal to restore our roads. Simple, easy test.  Roads repaired = better prospects for our country.

Should I hold my breath?