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Posts Tagged ‘USA Today’

Summertime Gas Prices upon us

June 1, 2009 2 comments

swbtherantfilesThe sun is out, the flowers are in full bloom, the sap is starting to fall on your car from the trees ….. and we are all waiting for that one last sign that signifies the start of summer – skyrocketing gas prices.

It has showed already, even faster than expected, but … in articles like the one seen in USA Today (Click Here to read) by Julie Schmit, it is being reported that prices will level off because consumer confidence may not be as high as expected and global economic recovery is not happening as quickly as expected.

HOW DARE THEY!!!!

There are three things the summer is known for:

  • Outdoor cookouts of burgers and hot dogs
  • Outdoor drinking of beer and margaritas
  • Complaining about gasoline prices

If you take away complaining about gasoline prices in the summer, the only thing your are going to have by process of elimination is a bunch of fat drunks. How do you thinks this will help the economy ?!?!?!

Think about it – if we become a bunch of overweight carnivorous eating slobs that can’t fit out the front door – who’s going to buy gasoline? … our pets??? How dare the oil companies stop raising gasoline prices in the summer … it’s our God-given right to be gouged when the sun comes out!

-SWB

PS – For the clueless … we were being sarcastic in this post. If you still don’t get it, have a friend explain.

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NYC Photo Op Fly By

April 28, 2009 Leave a comment

cluelesstrophySo what do you to to push NYC residents already on edge when a plane flies lower than 30,000 feet?

You fly one very large plane below 2000 feet with an Air Force fighter in tow – and you only tell a few people, excluding the mayor (he’s not that important), and the actual residents of NYC.

It doesn’t take much common sense to figure out that even thought it has been over five years, New Yorkers are still going to be a little touchy when they see a low flying plane, even if it is Air Force One. Not telling the people of New York risked their safety by possibly triggering a mass exodus by the residents and workers. Why would you even chance that? In more one news report it was stated that the people that were informed were told to not notify the residents of NYC. I’m thinking Mr. Louis Caldera may not be having a job soon.

Anyway … Mr. Caldera gets the latest “Clueless” award, and Click Here to read The Oval’s take on it.

-SWB

PS – It’s a bird … it’s a plane … it’s and idiot doing a photo-op.

Earth Day Links and an SWB Earth Day Challenge

April 22, 2009 Leave a comment

earthdayracoon2bgFree Clip art from Kaboose.com … click image to go to their site. It’s Earth Day, so there are allot of articles out there SWB doesn’t want you to miss.

They range from stories about the “lunatic” natural farmer to Wal-Mart upping it’s solar initiative. The are a few that show what can get worse if we don’t get to fixing things. BTW … SWB challenges you to replace at least three light bulbs in your house with CFL Bulbs.

Here is the list:

We’ll add more when and if we get them – feel free to post comments with Earth Day site links in them.

-SWB

The Micro and Mini Car Dilemna

April 20, 2009 1 comment

cluelessandconfusedbwFirst they praise them as the answer to our fuel issues, then they chastise them as the biggest safety issue of the day – the is the mini car.

It’s not the change of mind that amazes SWB … it’s the timing. Just when GM and Chrysler are headed for bankruptcy … very fuel efficient micro and mini cars (not to mention space efficient) now become unsafe. Who says they are unsafe? The media, not the labs testing the cars in crashes. The labs just provide base data. You can determine that by looking at what car companies advertise where, who is saying what about the safety, and when that opinion changed. And, yes … this time SWB is accusing the media of selling out. I own one of these cars – the Honda Fit. I also have owned since 1999 the predecessor of that model – the Honda Civic CX hatchback. I’ve been involved in minor wrecks to both the front and back of my 1997 Honda Civic CX hatchback. A friend of mine is an insurance adjuster, so I ask him to estimate the speed in any wreck I am involved in just as a second opinion in case the insurance company tries to prove otherwise. The front end hit to my car as at 11 mph, the hit to the back was at about 10 mph. Both cars that my small Honda made contact with were mid-sized American cars. Both of the American mid-sized cars had thousands more in damage than my Honda did – and they were supposed to be safer because of their size and weight. My Honda required no repairs other than touch-up paint.

Here is what is comes down to. If you do a crash test where you take a mid-sized vehicle slam it into a mini car at 100 mph you will total the mini car car. If you take a touring sized car and slam it into a mid-sized at 100 mph you will total the mid-sized car. If you take a one ton Econoline van and slam it into a touring sized car at 100 mph you will total the touring sized car. With that basic logic , the only reason to really push the un-safeness of the mini cars and not push the benefits of minimal fuel usage is to get readers and viewers to go back to buying the mid-sized cars. Consider that on average they make 50% more profit on mid-sized cars than the mini cars, thus helping the media’s advertising customers sell their mid sized cars that are sitting on lots due to their lower fuel economy environment issues. It’s a little obvious when you first praise something, then you chastise it … you are doing it for reason. Against the popular belief of the media’s P.R. people – Americans are not that clueless.

If you want additional safety on the road, you push for more people to buy mini cars. Therefore if you have more mini cars on the road, then the results of accidents are less due to them being mini car to mini car. You don’t try to present a false negative safety rating by presenting very skewed crash tests.

Here are a few articles on the crash tests (please look up more to determine the validity of them yourself):

  • Click Here for an article on Yahoo!Finance from before the mid-sized car makers were going to have to proceed on to possible bankruptcy.

Here are ones from after:

  • Click Here for an Associated Press article by Ken Thomas as seen on WPXI.com
  • Click Here for article from MSN Money with video
  • Click Here for an article from USA Today by James R Healey.

Note: These example article are just picked from search engine results to be fair. They were not picked in any way to accused their specific publishers of selling out to their paaying advertisers. SWB does encourage you to see who does advertise in the media that is publishing a review (on a crash test or and item) before taking that review as black and white. If that review is skewed, like the mini car crash tests, you need to do additional research.

cluelesstrophyWe are going to give the media a minor clueless award for “selling out” to the mid-sized car vendors to keep advertising income, but not a full one for having their hearts in an attempt to save an American industry (along with themselves).

—————–

-SWB

PS – Crash test are valuable information for deciding on a vehicle to buy, but they need to be viewed along side other pertinent information. If not, they only serve two benefits:

  1. To sell cars for a specific industry and the oil companies
  2. To give the insurance companies reason to raise your rates

Domino’s Delivers More …

April 16, 2009 Leave a comment

utternonsenseprod…or a least a few employees do.

I wasn’t going to write about this, simply because I rolled my eyes when I saw the clip about it on the news and just said under my breath, “stupid teens”. Talk about being wrong.

First thing … some kudos need to go out to domino’s for how they are handling the situation.

Second thing …. the employees that did this were in their early 30s.

Although most people start growing up around 25 (I remember people in my parents generation were starting to own homes and be respected in their jobs around that age range), this unfortunately highlights how badly some people in this country have regressed. Common sense says “you stop doing this stuff when you are out of high school”. Common sense says “you are most likely going to get fired for doing something like this – especially with all the news on other food poisoning issues”. Common sense says “a company may seek to have you brought up on charges for doing something illegal in their restaurant”. Common sense “if you are really going to do something that stupid, you don’t film it”. Common sense didn’t prevail here.

For those fighting against the use of social media monitoring by employers – you can thank the two idiot Domino’s employees for giving companies and even bigger reason to do that. The act of monitoring an employee’s presence on the Internet is still controversial, but those two just gave “the man” more fire power. Domino’s has rightly (and thankfully) fired the two employees. The authorities have warrants for their arrest. I wonder if they will enter a “not guilty” plea.

SWB is usually in practice of defending the little guy, but in this case, as a company, Domino’s should not have to defend itself because to clueless idiots exist in this world. Do people not learn basic courtesies and manners these days, or are they just not taught because parents and families members don’t want to make the younger generation feel bad about themselves when then are corrected? I think the root cause of the Domino’s issue is a generation and a half of “feel gooders” instead of hard workers.

cluelesstrophySo, the newest recipients of a “clueless trophy” are the two employees that caused a legitimate company a PR nightmare. They also got the “utter nonsense and such” listing. Getting both from SWB takes much hard work. Most likely this will cost Domino’s more than the two dolts will earn in their lifetimes combined to do damage control for this incident. Personally I’ll still order from Domino’s when they are located close to where I am at. I don’t believe a company should suffer through the actions of employees without brains.

Click Here for a good reference article on the issue from Bruce Horovits of USA Today.

-SWB

PS – If you even wanted to know what the secret ingredients are in specialty items – you know now.

The New American Slave

April 16, 2009 Leave a comment

chains120208Occasionally I wake up in the morning and turn on the TV and there is an infomercial on. This morning it was something like “Debt Cures they don’t want you to know about”, a book they were trying to sell. It basically looked like the set of Desperate Housewives. Normally I switch channels right away, but a comment the author made really put the current situation with banks in the spotlight. They are creating The New American Slave.

Corporate Investigations Inc did a mini-post highlighting that some banks have started paying back there TARP money (Click Here to read that). You do have to give credit where credit is due, but some are asking if the banks just found a better place to get the additional money to bail themselves out. That may be the bigger truth.

That author selling his book this morning on that semi-annoying infomercial may actually know something. As Gomer Pyle would have said “Surprise! Surprise!”. He mentioned that the banks are “on record” as saying their “bread and butter” is the low income, uneducated, and mostly minority population. That is because they pay the biggest portion a banks income on higher interest rates, charges, fees, etc. They are also the first to get increases whenever they are dishes out.

Most of those people described are slowly reigned in the being an indentured servant by the banking increasing their rates, fees, etc to a level where their debt can never be repaid. Does this sound any different that a person paying the way to bring someone into a country, but holding a debt so high over their heads they can never repay it effectively making them a lifetime servant? It isn’t, and now the banks are branching out. They reaching out and lassoing in the lower middle class. So they look good by paying back some TARP money and profit by gaining a few thousand new American Slaves.

Reference Links:

Slavery never went away – the banks just bought out the previous owners and added some color. This is a very good example of quickly they forgot that the TARP money originally comes from the people of American.

-SWB

PS – This article is not defending those that over spent on their cards, it’s about the people the banks truly take advantage of.

Kudos to the Navy Seals

April 14, 2009 1 comment

swbkudosKudos out the The Navy Seals … along with a load of thanks.  these guys go through training rigorous enough that most athletic people would consider pure inhumane torture.  They do this to make sure they have the ability to save people that others find humanly impossible to save. If you have every read about the training they go through, you will find out that sometimes they even put their lives on the line during training. It’s just that tough.  You know your friend that holds up the end of your car with his bare hands while you change your tire? He probably wouldn’t make it through Navy Seal training.

This is a call-out too …. they are looking for about another 1000 to be trained by 2014. Click Here for their website if you are interested.  If you are not familiar with them, these are the guys that saved the Captain of the Maersk Alabama from Somalian Pirates.

If you don’t want to join … and you know a SEAL – thank them profusely, for if you are ever traveling internationally and needs rescued you will surely meet one.  They give up three years or more of their lives for pure basic training to protect you.

Click Here for a reference article from USA Today by Tom Vanden Brook and Oren Dorell on the Navhy Seals sniper training.  This gives you a really good summary on what these guys go through to finally get to the advance sniper training.

-SWB

PS – I hear these guys make good club bouncers.