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Showing posts from April, 2008

Tax Relief Stupidity

Have you heard how John McCain and Hillary Clinton are pandering to voters this week? They want to eliminate federal gasoline taxes for the summer to give us a break from high gas prices. With gas pushing $4.00 a gallon, who wouldn't think this is a great idea? Not me! Gasoline taxes are the primary source of funding for our roads and highways, which, if you hadn't noticed, are falling apart. The highway trust fund already has a deficit of more than $3 billion. The gas tax holiday would add another $9 billion to that hole! That's $9 billion that wouldn't be employing construction workers who keep our roads in shape. Clinton says she'll make up the difference by increasing taxes on oil companies. So oil companies would subsidize roads we all use. McCain says he'll cover the costs by eliminating pork in them transportation budget. Fat chance. There is pork, but nowhere near $9 billion worth. Eliminating a good 25% of the year's road money would cost collec

How do you say Jaguar?

I turned on the radio this morning and heard a commercial for the Monterey Jaguar auto dealership. I always liked the look of Jaguars, ever since I was a kid. And we always called the car "JAG-waar" My three dictionaries say this is correct. In recent years Jaguars have been advertised by gentlemen with English accents who pronounce it JAG-you-ar. That rattled my ears a bit, but two of my dictionaries still say it is correct, albeit as a secondary pronunciation.  That said, JAG-you-ar always sounded pretentious to me, as if the user thought the dictionary's first pronunciation was lowbrow. But on the radio this morning, I realized the local Jaguar dealer has no idea how to pronounce the name of their car. The lady with the voice selling cars said "JAG-wire." She's probably a "real-uh-tur" who supports "nuc-u-lar" power. Tags:

LBAM Mania

Last year when the California Department of Food and Agriculture started spraying pheromones to keep these alien light brown apple moths from breeding, I was cautiously concerned about the effects of the program, but not particularly alarmed by it. But lately, every time agriculture secretary A.G. Kawamura opens his mouth to reassure us the more worried I get. In a March 30th commentary in the Monterey Herald, Kawamura used an entire column from top to bottom to tell us that the moth was a "bona fide threat" but he never bothered to point to any actual damage done by the moth, nor did he show that the moth has no natural enemies to keep it in check. He completely failed to address concerns about the pheromone spray, particularly the so-called "inert" ingredients that people are worried about. His chief concern seemed not to be so much with the moth itself, nor with public health, but with Canada and Mexico's reluctance to buy California produce unless it is