Sunday, July 26, 2009

Smitten with a giant Ford?

I notice that I haven't written anything automotive in a while. I think that's a function of being cranky... I've written mostly grumpy negative stuff in recent posts, including the last automotive thing I wrote. There's a bit of confusion in this topic, but not really the negative kind.

What am I confused about? Well, normally I like smaller cars. My current car, a 2005 Subaru Legacy GT Wagon, is the largest car I've ever had as my daily driver. Even so, the Legacy is on the smaller end of its group of competitive midsize cars, and even though mine is enlarged a bit because it's a wagon, it's not a large car, and never FEELS like a large car. Why then do I like the Ford Flex?

This thing is big. I think it's something about its overall proportions and especially the ride height that make it look reasonably sized. Visually, it seems to be smaller than the Edge, which is actually the smaller of the two by quite a bit. In actual dimensions and interior space, it's close to the size of GM's Acadia/Traverse/Enclave trio on their Lambda platform, but it never looks as huge as those.

I thought at first that it was just some photographic magic, but I've seen many of them in person and they seem to be the "right size" somehow. Happily, I'm not in the market... My Legacy is a great car and I'm still very happy about it, and working from home has really cut the number of miles I'm putting on it anyway. At this rate I'm likely to keep it until I can pay cash for my next vehicle, which would probably make me even more insufferable than usual. Maybe I'll go drive one and feel like it's huge and hate it, but what if I don't hate it? 355 hp/350 lb-ft of torque from Ford's new EcoBoost V6 wouldn't suck, though all that weight would certainly take its toll on performance.

Ah, well, it's safe to be fascinated with expensive toys when I'm too practical and cheap to buy one!

Contradictions in terms: "Glenn Beck" and "Common Sense"

I was shopping at Costco yesterday, as is pretty normal for me on a Saturday. I browsed through the books, which is less typical of late because I've been utilizing Fort Worth's excellent library system for my own books since we're spending big bucks on David F's textbooks these days.

I noticed a paperback the just set off the "WRONG!" warning in my head... a book by Glenn Beck entitled "Common Sense." Now, the synopses I've read sound like at least part of the book focuses on a decent topic (that our government is spending us into a very deep, dark financial hole) but it just strikes the wrong note with me that a "news" entertainer who frequently comes across like a bipolar guy who's off his meds should fancy himself a modern-day Thomas Paine and brand his musings as common sense. Maybe it's just the title that concerns me, but I'm loathe to give him $6.59 to find out. (Oh, and I noted in reading up about the book that it costs the same for the real, physical paperback at Costco as it does to rent the ephemeral right to read it on your Kindle until Amazon changes their mind. Buy the real one if you're buying.)

Friday, July 24, 2009

Rick Perry loves tolls, hates affordable health care

Ah, Rick Perry... everyone's favorite States' Rights proponent. I guess he's been logically consistent about States' Rights. He certainly supports the State's right to sell off its highway system to the bidder offering the sweetest backroom deal and the best junkets.

Now Mr. Perry has come out against the proposed federal health care plan. No surprise there, since Perry hasn't spent a penny he didn't have to on health care, trusting that the Magical Market will somehow improve preventative health care for the poor and the working uninsured. Like Roy Blunt (R-Mo), chair of the "GOP Health Care Solutions Group" Perry has no alternative to offer. No market-based magic bullet to lower health care costs or improve access to insurance, just that worthless "Not gonna do it!" attitude.

Liz Cheney supports "Birthers," thinks Obama is unpatriotic

Liz Cheney thinks that "birthers" aren't crazy, she and they are just concerned that President Obama doesn't "defend our nation overseas."

So, here we see the arch-con(servative) attitude coming out. Being respectful of other nations and cultures rather than being bellicose and swaggering is "not defending our nation." Admitting that we as a nation have perhaps not always done what is best for the world is not sedition, it's intellectual honesty. Of course, there's no reason to expect Ms. Cheney to have learned intellectual honesty at home...

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Fox News' Brian Kilmeade channels Hitler for morning show

Ah, such entertainment that's offered by Fox... as long as you aren't actually looking for what they say they are selling (that fair, balanced thing) you can be amused endlessly by their slant, lies, and racism.

This morning, Brian Kilmeade educated us all on why America is going to the dogs... MISCEGENATION! Why, those Italians and Irish aren't even the same species as us dUhmuhricuns! And Victoria dingbat Jackson thinks Obama is the one like Hitler?

There's a link to video of the segment here at

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Senate's amateur buffoon fears competition from professional comic

Perhaps the most ridiculous and ridiculed member of the US Senate, James Inhofe (R, OK) must be worried about competition. After all, he never seems to be worried that someone listening to the dreck that spills from his festering pie-hole might think he's an idiot, so he must be going for the laughs, right?

Now he's concerned that the senate is "... going to get the clown from Minnesota." Inhofe is the same backwards knuckle-dragger who offers such intellectual gems as comparing proponents of Global Warming to Nazis by stating "It kind of reminds . . . I could use the Third Reich, the big lie." He has also compared "An Inconvenient Truth" (which he admits he's never seen) to Hitler's "Mein Kampf."

Inhofe manages to be enough of a redneck jackass to embarrass Oklahomans, many of whom are damned proud of being redneck jackasses. He's worried that with someone in the senate offering a bit of thinking humor, people will realize that his yucks stem from thoughtless buffoonery.