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Archive for September, 2012

Does he look like a bitch?

Samuel L. Jackson, in Wake The Fuck Up!

Best. Political Ad. Ever.

 

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“Gary Johnson: Be Libertarian With Me”

Are libertarians fundamentally opposed to decent copy writing?

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Stranger Than Fiction

I love these TV shows where the main characters spend a few seasons slowly unraveling some big conspiracy that ends up tracing back to a senator, and its all to keep something embarassing or damaging from coming out. In reality, if you want to embarass a senator, just give them a Twitter account and wait 20 minutes.

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I’ve read my share of articles informing me of what an entitled shithead I am for expecting better than a job at McDonalds (or some other sweeping generalization about my generation which inevitably ends with me being an entitled shithead), but this trainwreck of a Larissa Faw column really takes the cake. In it, we learn that Millennials actually do like cars, but only if they’re fancy:

The reason Millennials are turning away from cars is simply because no one is giving them vehicles they want. It’s not about car-sharing trends affecting city-dwelling youth or that they are avoiding gas guzzlers in order to save the environment.

Today’s teens and Millennials are often called the entitled generation for a reason. They expect to drive their very own fully-loaded luxury vehicle with retractable roof and multi-speaker audio system. If they can’t have their specific dream car, then they don’t want anything and won’t waste time getting a driver’s license. Past generations of young drivers, by comparison, were satisfied with any piece of metal that moved.

My brother and I, like many other Millennials, weren’t willing to downgrade, compromise, or to be forced to drive a parent’s vehicle. I received my license at age seventeen only after I had my red convertible sitting in the driveway. My brother refused to even look at the driver’s manual until he received his BMW at age eighteen.

So, er, all Millennials are entitled jackasses and I know this because I am an entitled jackass, and thus I will look down upon the entitled jackasses via my horrible column at Forbes. Got it. So what, exactly, should I be looking for in a car as a member of generation entitled shithead?

Millennials expect high-tech gadgetry and fuel economy, wrapped in a sleek and sporty look. And if they can’t find it new, then they will purchase it used. “Our research finds that Millennials will purchase an older used luxury car so they can have [high-end] options, but at affordable prices,” says Bluhm.

Ford Motors sold 166,950 of its value-priced Focus in the first eight months of 2012, largely because of its approach to standardize high-end offerings, which include voice-activated music and navigation systems, rear-view camera, touch-screen info panel, and an application that enables the car to park itself. “Teens aren’t willing to sacrifice comfort and technology simply to have a set of wheels. Older drivers certainly appreciate creature comforts, but a modest interior is less of a deal-breaker for them,” says the Ford Motor’s Brian McClary.

Millennials want… quality? At affordable prices? The horror! I wonder if it ever crossed Larissa’s mind that maybe, just maybe, Ford’s success with the Focus had less to do with all the shiny things and more to do with the fact that teens and college students are fucking broke and so a decent car that’s affordable is a winner? Nah. But do please go on with the shiny:

Meanwhile, Chevrolet’s top sellers among Millennials are the Cruze and Sonic, both equipped with an infotainment system designed particularly with Millennials in mind, says Bluhm. “You can’t expect them to go into a zone where they cannot text or accept messages. This is a wired generation.” Ford’s McClary adds, “Millennials are looking for vehicles that incorporate features that are common place to them now; Features like aux inputs for their iPod, blue-tooth capabilities for their phones and streaming their favorite podcast.”

Infotainment! I love corporate buzzwords. But a serious question. Did anyone ever bitch and moan about how entitled kids were for having the nerve to want a tape deck in their cars? Or a CD player? The iPod input is just the next logical step. What’s next?

Millennials also want “what they want, and nothing that they don’t” when it comes to their cars, says Hubert of Scratch, which is working with General Motors to help the automaker become more relevant to young drivers. For instance, Millennial parents may want cars that come with square cup holders for juice boxes, whereas single Millennials may prefer leather interiors. Hence, [Chevy] Spark buyers are able to customize their cars by selecting specific features and “youthful” color options, including “techno pink,” “lemonade,” and “denim.” These pick-and-choose tactics helped General Motors sell 2,600 units in the U.S. during its first month of sales, exceeding the initial forecast of 1,900 units.

Wanting a car that’s family friendly? Entitled shitheads! And those colors, by the way, are just about as ’70’s as you can get. But it sounds like us entitled shitheads are eating up the Chevy Spark! Those bluetooth enabled electric denim i-juicebox holders get us every time.

Chevy’s Spark, for instance, sells for $12,995.

Or there’s that.

Larissa Faw looks in the mirror, sees an entitled shithead, and then hoists that onto an entire generation of which she is not a part! When I read this, however, I come to this conclusion: Millennials, when choosing a car to purchase, have available to them a range of “fancy” options like the ability to use an iPod. These options are available at a low price point. Cars that lack these options are available at a similar price point. They choose the fancy. Entitlement!

But I suppose that we should expect no less from Faw. Check out her Forbes profile. It’s almost as funny as her awful column! My favorite lines (with my sarcastic mocking comments annotations in italics, naturally):

  • “I love all things business and admire the entrepreneurs who are able to transform their dreams into profit.” All hail the Galtian Overlords!
  • “I typically am the first to know about new or cool trends.” And you make that abundantly clear in this column…
  • “I stay up at night fretting over the lack of respect and attention given to Huey Lewis and the News.” Their early work was a little too new wave for my tastes, but when Sports came out in ’83, I think they really came into their own, commercially and artistically. The whole album has a clear, crisp sound, and a new sheen of consummate professionalism that really gives the songs a big boost. He’s been compared to Elvis Costello, but I think Huey has a far much more bitter, cynical sense of humor. 
  • “I am not high maintenance, but I do prefer to live with most modern amenities, such as electricity, hot water, and a working subway system.” Not saying it’s critical like water, but I suspect millennials would consider the fancy options listed above to be modern amenities.

So there ya go.

 

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File this, from Constitution Daily, under “things that should have been obvious but I didn’t actually know”:

The 16th Amendment. As the Drys fought to ban booze, a key step was the imposition of a national income tax, to replace taxes on liquor sales. The 16th Amendment was ratified in 1913, providing a clear path to Prohibition. Somehow, after Prohibition was repealed, the government forgot to repeal the income tax!

So there ya go. Maybe I actually did know this, but forgot it. We’ll go with that.

 

 

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As I approached a TSA security checkpoint in the airport this weekend, a very helpful airport employee informed me that the line to her right was for first class passengers, and to her left was for those flying coach. Predictably, the coach line was long and the first class line had no one in it. The TSA screeners at the coach checkpoint were hard at work while those at the first class checkpoint were doing nothing, waiting for the next passenger to show up.

Having a security line dedicated to first class is a nice perk. No more waiting at the checkpoint. It’s a great selling point for the airlines, and I’m sure they get some added business out of it. But for taxpayers, its a raw deal. We are paying screeners to do nothing so that USAir can offer a sweet perk to people willing to pay. In the grand scheme of the federal budget,or even homeland security’s budget, this probably isn’t even a rounding error. But on principle, why are we subsidizing first class perks?

I’m totally fine with airlines offering this perk. But they should have to cover the cost of added screeners, equipment, etc.

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Kevin Drum highlights this little snippets of conversation that occurred between Obama and Gen. Petraeus back in 2009:

Inside the Oval Office, Obama asked Petraeus, “David, tell me now. I want you to be honest with me. You can do this in 18 months?” “Sir, I’m confident we can train and hand over to the ANA [Afghan National Army] in that time frame,” Petraeus replied. “Good. No problem,” the president said. “If you can’t do the things you say you can in 18 months, then no one is going to suggest we stay, right?” “Yes, sir, in agreement,” Petraeus said.

So there you go. I don’t really have anything to add, just wanted to point it out. It’s been much longer than 18 months, and we continue to face attacks from members of the ANA. We’ve already killed bin Laden, which was our excuse for going in in the first place. Not that the Afghanistan war had much of anything to do with that, but its always been used as a reason to stay. Can anyone articulate a good reason for us to continue fighting this war? Anyone? Bueller?

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