Friday Musings 11/07/08

Posted by lex, on November 7, 2008

Premium gas is back below $3.00 per gallon in San Diego, and I filled the tank up on the GS for $12 and a bit. That’ll last me through the next work week.

There’s change you can believe in.

So, yah, I’m back to commuting via moto, these days. Perforce, actually. On account of the fender benders and such. Not me, mind, but my sainted wife.

It was a mutual back-up scenario in one of those parking lots so common here in Southern California: Painted as though the whole world drove Mini Coopers, when in fact – as everyone knows perfectly well – they all drive SUVs and steroidal minivans, and that. The great, rough beasts. Whilst talking on their cell phones, and gesticulating with their mitts. The horror.

So anyway, the dealership said it’d be four weeks until her auto-voiture was out of the body shop. To our consternation and dismay. Knowing, as we did, that it didn’t take four weeks for those stout Bavarians lads to assemble the thing, and themselves taking beer breaks ever so often.

So she gets my little car, and the Biscuit keeps the ancient Caravan, and your correspondent is left for to make his way to the salt mines and back on a two-wheeled conveyance. It’s not so bad, commuting on a bike in the big city. Put aside the risk of maiming, not to mention the untimely. On account of all the lane splitting that’s in it. Not to mention fuel costs. Saves time and money, and who’s to question that?

Sure, it puts you off your morning coffee on the drive down south. Not to mention the NPR. Which combination, when neglected, used to be a double plus ungood. But what with the public broadcasting radio journalists all sounding like breathless adolescents on laughing gas these last days and the thermos in the tank bag, I’ll chalk that up as a push, and make good time as I’m on my merry.

Speak, muse, and tell me of the relative merits of South Carolina living. A demi-hemi-semi potential opportunity having arisen, with housing options to be pursued betwixt the resort coast of Hilton Head, and the headquarters down in steamy Savannah.

Having already taken my fill of knowledge about the Lone Star State from occasional readers generous with both time and insight, not to mention a preliminary interview with such as might have paying work summers else than Sandy Eggo. Thanks to those that offered.

Accustomed as we are to living on the edge, ourselves job-seeking in an as yet unsettled economy. On account of all that toxic debt.

Speaking of viral (?) we’ve received just gobs of traffic in these our humble digs, wanting to know all about that killa thrill gent who landed ever so bravely on a wing and a prayer, apparently for the benefit of a viral marketing campaign. That sells sweatshirts, as best as I can tell.

But for your real landing thrills, you might do well to study on the skill of one Ernst Udet in between the War to End All Wars and the one that followed after.

[The Video was not saved from the Wayback Machine, but I am sure it was the following – BB]

The engine was out for that last bit, which no doubt gave Bob Hoover a wild notion of his own.

Udet was not shy while actually in the game as well. Sixty-two kills and lived to tell the tale. 62 to nothing is like dividing by zero, it can’t be done, except when it is.

Those were days.

Speaking about flying blind. Geez

Prop 8 succeeded in changing the California constitution, despite a very great deal of money thrown at it by all the usual suspects. To tell you the truth, gentle reader, I’m sick to death with all of it. Never in the course of human events, have so few so agitated so many. And for what? Recognition? Tax breaks? Hospital visiting rights?


The anti’s pitched this as a “civil rights” issue. Like marriage is a civil right.

You have to get a marriage license, duddn’t matter where you place your wedding tackle. If it was a right, could the state license it? Can you think of any other right the state gets to license? Can it license your right to free speech? Does the state license your freedom of religion, or right to assemble?

Can any right the state deigns to license – licensing implying the right to say “no” – really be a right? Because what the state can grant, the state can take away. Which would, it seems to me, make it something other than a “right”.

The state’s interest in regulating marriage is to ensure that the next generation is born without burdensome genetic disadvantages. Which is why brothers and sisters are proscribed from marriage, as are intergenerational familial relationships. The state also has an interest in a stable two-parent relationship, that environment being thought best for the formation of future citizens.

Like any of that still matters.

It’s GM now that is running out of cash and looking for a handout *. While promising that this is the last time. Ever. Mistakes were made, and that. Ever so sorry. Too big to fail, and so on. Ante up.

Keep this compulsory redistribution of wealth up from those who make it to those who’d like it, and they orta just call the darn things Ladas, issue us all a chit, and ask everyone to queue up. Wait your turn there, boy-o, and no jostling.

The short term lesson apparently being that the feds ought not to have let Bear Stearns go down. The long term lesson, I suspect, is that they shouldn’t have bailed out the rest of them.

There’s no middle ground between the market – that’s us – choosing winners, and the state choosing them for us. There’s no comparative virtue between letting a thousand small businesses be taxed and/or regulated to death, and bailing out a single plutocrat. There’s a lot of people employed by GM. But:

From a two-person software start-up to a fleet of trucks helping to build cities, the small-business sector catalyzes economic expansion by:

  • making up 99.7 percent of all U.S. employers, meaning that only 17,000 companies, or 0.3 percent of all employers, have 500 or more employees;
  • generating half the nonfarm output of the U.S. economy, and employing about half of all Americans not working for government, while adding 60 to 80 percent of net new (nongovernmental) jobs annually;
  • comprising 97 percent of exporters and producing 29 percent of all export value—key points when we consider that exports have accounted for about 25 percent of U.S. economic growth over the past decade and support an estimated 12 million jobs;
  • winning nearly 24 percent of all government contracts, ranging from ship construction to printing brochures.

Who’s looking out for them? One man!

Last month we were told that the “banking system” was at risk because investment banks no longer trusted one another. This month we’ll be told that the automotive industry won’t survive unless the government takes (or borrows) money from those of us who ordinarily wouldn’t have spent it on whatever it is they’re making. All for the greater good.

Like people would stop needing loans, or stop making money offering them. Like people would stop needing cars, or earn money selling them.

Hospitals are next, I reckon.

Yes, we have no sausage.

Golly. There I was having an easy-going Friday Musings and got all quasi-consequential on us. Apologies, regrets, gomen nasai.

It might be the ticking clock that has us in a mood. It’s our birthday Sunday, precious, and we’re about to be ever so much more superannuated. Which isn’t bad, given the alternatives.

But neither is it nothing.

Just the one flight tomorrow, but it’s with Earl the Pearl. We’ll get through.

Have a great weekend!

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** 01-12-21 Link gone – Ed

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Filed under Carroll "Lex" LeFon, Friday Musings, Uncategorized

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