Monday, December 15, 2008

Some morning thoughts...

Okay people -- Happy Monday.  This Monday post thing won't be regular because normally I don't have time to not to work on Monday, but today is your lucky day!

My Google Reader had 1000+ unread items and I'm about halfway through with that ... so I am taking a break.  I realize that most people have no idea what Google Reader is, and calling a RSS aggregator does not really help people understand.  You can read about it on my favorite site - wikipedia - by clicking here.   I guess the best way to explain it is that it looks at all the blogs and news sites that you like ... and puts them into one place.  If you are reading this, and don't use a RSS reader - I suggest you get on that.

Here is a round-up of random things I found interesting this morning...
  • Via the T4 blog, the Associated Press reports on a study that not at all surprisingly has found that leaner nations walk, bike, and use mass transit to get around.  What a shock ... Americans, who can't seem to function properly without a car are obese - and the rest of the world is thin -- not surprising.  Read here.

  • WaPo reported over the weekend on the plans for the 'New New Deal' and that the ready-to-go projects will likely be the first funded.  These are projects that have been on the back-burner in DOT offices around the country because they really aren't a huge priority, but if the money is there - they are ready to be done right now.  The article is here.

    I have two thoughts on this issue ...
    The first is that our roads and highways are in a state of disrepair.  Any funding that can be put towards roads that are falling apart should be.  There are also many cities around the country that desperately need new roads to be built - roads that never were due to 70's highway opposition.
    2nd, roads are dead.  We need to get over it.  Trains, trains, trains.  Let me say that again; trains, trains, trains.  Why do we delay this so much ... why are Americans so afraid of trains - I just don't understand.  Let's get on it people.

    Either way - we need to get on it.  This money needs to be spent ASAP.  This is a once in a lifetime opportunity, and we can't sit around and bicker about spending it because before we know it the opportunity will be gone.

  • Our friends over at Beyond DC have a post about the auto-bailout.  Here!  They list four points that they would use as 'strings' for giving out the money.  I practically vomited when I saw this list, but I guess everyone is entitled to their personal opinion.  I will go down their list, and write my comments afterwards.
    1. No more off shoring.  Fine, no more off-shoring, that seems legit to me.  As long as we can agree on one other matter - no more unions.  The auto industry should agree to not off shore any jobs, if Congress scales back laws and statues which basically necessitate the creation of unions.  While they are at it, Congress should void the current union contracts - let's start with a clean slate.
    2. 10% of each companies output be converted to things unrelated to vehicles traveling on roads within the next 7-8 years, 20% by 15 years.   I have a wild idea ... no.  Okay, I get it - if we are going to throw money at these people we should have a say in their business model - that makes sense - like a shareholder.  But to tell a company to change businesses seems ridic.  Tell them to make buses or something, I don't care - but don't force them out of their own business.
    3. No golden parachutes, luxury jets, etc.  Not that I think we should  be meddling, but fine.  I'll agree to this one - sort of.  I don't know what a 'luxury jet' is, but I can tell that most of these CEOs and their executive teams need private jets to get around.  It's just easier for everyone to not have to fly commercial.
    4. Make clean cars.  Fine.  I think they got that memo already though.

  • Speaking of the Big 3 and cars -- this AP story is very exciting.  Even as gas prices are hitting record lows, driving continues to decline.  Woot!!  Come on people - now start using mass transit instead of just staying at home.

  • In New York news - via SubwayBlogger - the MTA unveiled the new South Ferry Station to reporters last week.  It will be opening to the public sometime next month.  How exciting!  The most exciting part is that the entire train will be able to platform - currently only the first 5 cars (trains are 10), of the train platform at South Ferry.  View the NYT (Paper of Record) article here.

  • Oh and just a comment on this whole 5am bar thing for Inauguration.  Get over it people ... honestly - I'm sorry.  Let's live a little for once - this happens once every 4 years.  I personally don't understand why bars are ever forced to have last call - in my world they'd be open 24 hours.  But whatever.  Anyway ... write Senator-to-busy-running-for-Governor Feinstein and tell her to BACK OFF!  You can click here to email her, or you can feel free to call her DC office at 202.224.3841.  I won't even bother listing anything about the Senator from Utah because that is just no hope - we already know they hate DC and drinking.
That's it for now ... bye bye.

Sidebar: Did you know a post can only have 20 labels.  Odd.  I'm a label whore.

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