Archive for the ‘politics’ Category

Ten Years and What I have Learned

September 10, 2011

 The date of 9-11-2001 is burned into the memory of everyone in America.  There will be literally millions of posts and retrospectives and endless rehashing of the events of that day and no doubt it will be to the point where our minds turn numb from thinking about the horrific events of New York City and Washington D.C. and even the Pennsylvania wooded crash site and what was perhaps the one shining event of the day, if you can take anything out of the day and say it was a “good” thing.  The passengers and their bravery to determine from what they knew from earlier events decided their fates and ended what was to be an even worse outcome and they brought their plane down before their attackers could harm countless thousands more.

  I was working as a “Handyman” at the time and as luck would have it I was off that day and at home.  I had the CNN news in the background on the television while I went through my morning e-mails looking for job leads and prospective projects.  Then they broke in with what was described as a small engine airplane had crashed into the World Trade Center.  When they cut to live video of the scene, the first impression was that there was a large amount of damage area for being a Cessna.  It turned out to be much worse than the first report.  By the time the second plane flew into the second tower on live TV, everybody watching knew we were under attack.  There was no “accident” in the events we witnessed.  This was an open and shut attack on America.

  To say the date changed my life is only to say the date changed the lives of every single person in the United States and quite possibly… the lives of nearly everyone around the world.  We in America know how our lives were effected, but as we put together our “coalition” of nations to wage war in Afghanistan and then further to invade Iraq, we effectively made our problems those of the world as well.  The chain of events caused by our “War on Terror” are now part of history and I am not going to debate whether good-bad-or indifferent.  They are done and we still are going to be paying the bills for what has happened for the next 20 to 50 years.  We basically borrowed the entire funding for the war and we have yet to start the payment plan.

  I do not get into politics here on my blog and I am not going to now either.  The point is, the events of 9-11 made changes not just to our government but to our citizens as well.  Personally, I decided life was short and the events proved to me that nobody has any guarantee for a future.  Most of America decided the same thing because as a whole… America went on a spending binge.  We went out and bought bigger houses and more cars and boats and RV’s and ran up the credit card debts to the point where when things started getting tight, everything came tumbling down.

  We went from under 5% unemployment to almost 10% in the past 3 years.  Literally millions of Americans have not only lost their jobs, but also their homes.  Real Estate in no longer “Money-In-The-Bank” as it has been since I was born in 1957.  The value of your home was a savings account for anyone who owned their home.  Those days are behind us as values are often half of what they were 3 or 4 years ago.  I live in a subdivision that was built about 7 years ago and just on my cul-de-sac of about a dozen homes there are 3 repossessed homes sitting empty.  It was 4 but after 2 years one was finally bought by the people who defaulted in the first place.  Apparently after 2 years of no mortgage payments they saved enough to not only buy their house at its new reduced price but also to put another $20,000 into landscaping and privacy fencing, new patio and a new car.

Anyway, even in a bad economy there are ways to make steps forward is the point I guess.  The Classic Car hobby has also changed in the past few years.  The million dollar “Muscle Cars” have tapered off and unless the vehicle in question has a substantial pedigree it certainly will not draw a million dollar bid these days.  That’s not to say new records for price are not being set…. they are…. but it has to be a historical piece, not just a low production hemi powered Plymouth convertible these days. 

  The current situation for what I see at the major auctions is more of a thinning of the herd in collector circles.  With the overhead associated with larger collections, they seem to be selling the lesser value cars for reduced prices in order to buy higher value cars at equally reduced prices.  In other words they are selling a 25,000 dollar Mustang for 12,000 in order to buy a $60,000 Chevelle for $30,000.  In their minds they are not losing $13,000…. they are saving $30,000.  Actually a gain of 17,000 when you consider the loss.  But the downside is they are using cash out-of-pocket to do it and will not see that gain for a few years in all likelihood.

  For the guys like me, this is good news because there are more cars available at what is considered entry-level prices that come already restored or at a minimum in very good “driver” condition.  Even my beloved 1971 Plymouth GTX with it’s 440 engine and 4 barrel carb can be found for half of its previous $60,000 value.  Patience is all you need and of course….cash.

  Anyway, I guess the point I am trying to make is that despite the current bad economy, and all we have been through in the last 10 years, there are bright spots for all of us.  And the brightest thing of all….. is that we are still here 10 years later.

  Davey Boy

Advertisements

Not A Muscle Car Article…This One Is About Healthcare for Americans

March 21, 2010

I do NOT like trying to be political. The reason why is simple; I do not try to be politically correct.  Things in my world are usually black and white.  Not as in race, but in lies and falsehoods versus truth and fairness. So this is about the rage going on in Washington and all across America.  Guess what….a lot of those elected officials are liars.  Big news flash there.  Almost to a person those who are against healthcare reform are against it not because it is bad for the American worker or because the nation cannot afford it.  They are against it because the anti-reform forces are lining their pockets.  They are getting hundreds of thousands of dollars from Insurance companies and Physician groups to stay in office and do THEIR bidding.  Not for the people who they are legally bound to represent but the companies that make billions off of health care.

Republicans are the party of Business not the party of the people.  And right now the people are who are paying for health care.  The Republicans are worried that just like every other nation in the world with national healthcare, business will be paying for this new system.  And you know what….they probably will be.  And rightfully so.  If you own a business and do not want to pay for your employees health care then don’t.  Shut your doors and close down.  The fact is every business owner in America and around the world makes money off of every employee on their payroll.  They should give some of it back to those workers.  Every American deserves decent quality healthcare.  PERIOD.  And for the sanctimonious congressmen to say NO to healthcare is a crime against America.  They do not have the social security system; they opted out of it and instead have a very, very generous system whereby they retire with lifetime insurance at no cost to them and almost full pay as well.  They get a health club and personal assistants and the best health care in the WORLD for FREE.  We taxpayers foot the bill.  And all this talk about Socialized medicine is hogwash……we taxpayers are already paying for the system now.  If someone goes into the hospital without insurance and cannot pay the bill, we taxpayers are paying it for them UNDER THE CURRENT SYSTEM.  We pay it through higher premiums and higher prescription prices and through direct taxes that gets sent to those hospitals.  NOW.

There is no FREE healthcare in the United States….unless you are an elected official….or own your own business.  Yes; insurance for the business owner is deducted pre-tax under IRS rules so they get it FREE under normal accounting rules.

So because the Business owners want the illegal immigrants here for their cheap labor and do not want to provide the insurance for them and their other workers the whole system is in a rage over this health care reform.  Because they will have to provide a needed benefit for Americans.  And forget about the so-called liberal media bias…that is another lie told by the Republicans.  The media by and large is controlled and OWNED by the Conservatives.  Always has been – since it takes millions and millions of dollars to buy or operate a newspaper or a tv station or even a radio station, what kind of person did you think ran the media?  It would be like saying Rupert Murdock is a liberal.  Come on and get real.  Just because The Simpsons are on Fox does not mean Fox is a liberal media outlet.  They were among Bush’s biggest supporters.

Anyway, this whole Health Care Reform is just like any other reform deal that this nation desperately needs.  Do you think we are going to get Republican support for Banking and Financial reform?  How about Reform among Wall Street Brokerage firms with their derivatives?  How about Social Security reform?  Or Income Tax Reform?……Every type of reform cuts into those big profits that Businesses make and the profits they keep and share with the politicians who make the laws.

But then this is my opinion and unlike Congress- I could be wrong about all of it.

davey boy

Must Be Something To This Internet Thing

March 19, 2010

What would I be doing if nobody had let Al Gore invent the internet?  I realize he did not really invent the thing, that was a joke….one that has been around for years.  Not really funny anymore, but it is sarcastic at the least.

Anyway, the reason I once again find myself pecking at the keyboard is that a recent opportunity has come up.  There is a website that I assume is here on WordPress called Muscle Car Blog that is currently looking for writers and maybe this would be an opportunity for me to reach a larger audience with my knowledge of the genre.  The only thing that bothers me about what my perception so far of it all is this:  they believe that there are currently Muscle Cars being built.  As I have said before…a Muscle Car is NOT a Honda Civic with a nitrous oxide tank and a computer chip.  It is also NOT a current version Camaro or Challenger with a small block smog controlled and direct injected v8 with shut-down cylinder technology.  Muscle Cars are savage beasts and while some had small block v8 engines, the Big Blocks were on the option list.  And NOBODY bitched about getting 8 miles per gallon.  Granted gasoline was less than 50 cents a gallon…even for premium….but if you wanted a tank of gas to last a weeks worth of driving you bought a “family” car in those days.  The smile factor was why you bought a Muscle Car.  And it still should be.  But do not confuse any modern vehicle with a TRUE Muscle Car, because as someone who was there and still lives in the past, these modern sports cars are only imposters when compared to the real deal.

Forget about the 1/4 mile times and the time it takes to get to 60 mph.  It was knowing that every car manufacturer had a Muscle Car model and often had several you could go to any dealer in the country and buy right off the showroom floor.  And from the 1st stoplight you came to there were potential challengers to the title of “King Of The Street”.  And whether you had the nerve to challenge for the title or not…..you had the opportunity.  We worry about political correctness and we try to be environmentally responsible yet everything we do leads to the same thing- we are killing our planet.  The electric cars we seem to be leading to will run down the same road as the gasoline engine. Instead of the poison gas fumes we now pour millions of gallons of toxic chemicals down the drain to make toxic metals for batteries and plating all those electrical contacts and components.  Silicon Valley is among the biggest polluters in our nation, as I understand.  Where are they sending all their by-products from manufacture?  Or is it that they actually manufacture these components in other less-enviromentally conscious countries as I suspect?  We all know the levels in India and China of heavy metals.  These show up almost daily in painted children’s toys and our vinyl window blinds and car seats and the list goes on………

Any how…enough of the end of the world.  The point is that do not blame a 40 year old car for the condition of the planet…..it’s replacement is doing the same thing.  Personally since I am a smoker, I would rather deal with my breathing problems from bad air quality than have my children drinking most of the water that the world is now poisoning.

Last thought here, if I don’t get the chance to become a blog writer for those other guys…maybe I should just actually do this one more often.  I do get the occasional feedback from someone with a comment; and I do read those comments; and the trackbacks indicate that someone at least kind of promotes this and well; what else do I have to do that is any more important than just doing something that I like to do anyway?

davey boy

New Favorite Music Video

November 22, 2009

whatever you have to do to find this video either on yahoo music or msn video or by now i am sure it is posted on You Tube– you gotta check out John Rich’s video for a song “Shuttin’ Detroit Down”.  If you listen to the lyrics it pretty much says it all.

We as a nation have lost our way when Americans who have not just fought and risked their lives for this country and what it really stands for, but then we merely leave those people without a job to be able to enjoy their lives.  ALL IN THE NAME OF GREED.  This economy and all it’s problems are not due to the workers in any way -shape- or form.  It is all because of Wall Street and the Bankers.  Greed and deceit are what has crippled our economy and it is not the politicians who are in office right this minute but the ones who had the power and the authority in the past (some of those are indeed still in Washington D.C.) that screwed every taxpayer out of their future.  The current arguments about national healthcare and the money it will cost are not the problem….the problem is they have BORROWED every dime we have spent for our “WAR ON TERROR”  and then they stole all our retirements and gave themselves massive bonuses for doing it all.  We encourage every American company to send jobs overseas and give them tax breaks for doing so and our own American companies have legal ramifications for building dangerous products that kill and maim our consumers while these foreign companies can send lead paint by the tons and formica shavings in our pet food and baby formula and can pollute the planet and the air without any economic penalties because our courts cannot stop them. 

All because without jobs we Americans shop anywhere we can save a dime.  And every one of us is to blame for part of it also.  While it seems that the people in charge point to everyone else for the reason we are in this situation instead of taking blame for their mess.  Man up and look in the mirror.

now it is time to put away my soapbox.

daveyboy

Why is it so Hard to Understand?

April 21, 2009

For the uninformed…I do not wish to get on a soapbox here and detour from what this blog is about.  It is about Muscle Cars and the people who follow or the people who want to learn more about them.

However, the ongoing hypocrisy about the American car manufacturers and their “broken” business model is sadly all out of whack and most of the info out there is just plain wrong or just lies being used by the political supporters of one party.  You know which one.

Fact- American car makers pay their employees health benefits or greatly subsidize them.

Fact -the Foreign makers do not.

Fact- the profits of American makers are taxed under current American law.

Fact- profits from foreign makers are not even taxed by their home countries until those profits are taken to their home market. And are almost totally exempt from U.S. taxation.

The wages between the car makers are within a couple dollars of being even, it is all the retirees and pension costs and health care that creates the uneven playing field.  The Japanese and the Europeans build some vehicles here.  For the Japanese there are a couple reasons. They cannot build their large trucks and cars in Japan because they are too wide for Japanese roads and would have a tax levied on them, so the export only models are actually cheaper to build here.  The other reason and this applies to all the Europeans as well is Health Care costs.  Yes the very same as what our makers have to pay under union contracts here are National Law in every one of these car manufacturers home country.  Every worker in England, Germany, Japan, France, Italy- every one is covered by National health care and it is paid through their taxes on the employers as well as the taxation of all citizens.  Here they pocket those costs and fore-go the cost on the employer side because they do not employ the extra workers at home but rather in the U.S. where they get by being WalMart and not ponying up the cash.  And those dollars go back to where ever the home company is based as added profits.

We gladly handed out Hundreds of billions to try and make the greedy bankers and Wall Street solvent without any plan on making them actually solvent.  Here’s your blank check, since you are a banker you know better than us how to use it.  Basically that was it.  But when Detroit came calling for help, we made them jump through hoops and made them beg for tens of billions.  Despite the fact that these guys directly control a million jobs in this country compared to the financial sectors hundreds of thousands of jobs.  And between their suppliers and their iron mining and rubber making and the electronic suppliers and every thing else that goes into building and maintaining their factories there are another 2 million jobs involved.

Up until the 1970’s every foreign made car sold in America had an added import tax on it.  We eliminated that to make it fair for the foreign companies and instead we opened the floodgates and not only made the field level- we made it advantage to the foreigners.  Our politicians are telling us that our manufacturers are not competitive but they are not because the laws are biased toward the foreign companies.  We give tax benefits to American companies that end American jobs and send jobs overseas.  We blame the American workers in our factories and say they are not competitive enough or they are overpaid and too greedy and EVERY TIME YOU TURN AROUND ANOTHER WALL STREET TYPE HAS STOLEN MILLIONS OF DOLLARS. Or more correctly 60 BILLION DOLLARS.  It is not the workers who have caused this mess.

It is POLITICIANS AND WALL STREET AND BANKERS.  And we know who they are and why they hang together.

And for all you people who have lost your jobs and watched factories close and industries move out of town, I do sympathise with you all, but how many are driving a foreign made or a car made by a foreign manufacturer here in the U.S.  Sad fact is when you weaken one part of the economy you do not make the rest stronger….that is a lie.  A 3 legged dog is never as fast as a four legged dog and a house with 3 walls cannot protect its inhabitants when the wind and the rain come from the open side.  The economy is the same. It needs all of us supporting each other, not selling out to foreign companies that do not care about what it means to be an American.

If General Motors goes bankrupt and Chrysler goes out of business then America may as well raise a Korean or a Chinese flag over the White House lawn because we will have lost.  Without a viable auto industry, every European and Asian country knows you are doomed and they have spent billions to assure that their car makers stay alive.  And here in America we tell ours to find a foreign buyer and cut down in size so those jobs leave the country.  Somehow we Americans are now the stupid people and the rest of the world scratches it’s head. 

And while I could go on for another 6 hours with this tripe…that’s the end of this…..for now.