Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Bad Timing

So gas prices are going down. Just my luck that they always seem to take the next drop immediately after I fill up my tank. Just like when they are going up, they always go up right before I get to the gas station. Such is the story of my life.

So Sayeth The Shack

Ironic Islamic

Concerning the recent Islamic reacion to remakrs, made by Pope Benedict, I overheard the following comment from a parent at a soccer game last week. "Isn't it ironic that the Muslims claim they are not violent, yet when someone says that they are, they threaten to kill them".

So Sayeth The Shack

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

New Orleans--What About The Regular Folks?

So football is coming back to New Orleans. The Superdome has been reconstructed, well ahead of schedule according to the news reports. This coming weekend, two teams of greatly overpaid professional athletes will be there. Some highly overpaid entertainers will be there. And some fans that can afford to dish out hundreds of dollars to pay the overpaid athletes and entertainers and to watch the spectacle will be there.

Not far away will be homes that were wrecked by Katrina over a year ago and have not even started to be rebuilt. Not far away will be people with little or no money living in FEMA trailers, or worse, waiting for their homes to be rebuilt. And farther away will be people who left the city and have still not been able to return to a home and may never be able to do so. What about all of these people? It would have been nice to have their homes rebuilt, maybe even ahead of schedule. But no. They are not celebrities. They are not professional atheletes. They don't have money. So they just don't count.

Another example of the misplaced priorities in our society.

So Sayeth The Shack

Monday, September 18, 2006

Higher Gas Taxes--Bad Idea

The recent drop in gasoline prices has many of us feeling a little better about things, if only temporarily. However, in an editorial column in this morning's newspaper, Steve Yetiv, a Political Science professor at Old Dominion University, advocates raising taxes on gasoline to take the price at the pump to around $4.00/gallon. He claims that this price would "seriously challenge our oil-guzzling culture". He is likely correct about that. We have already seen some of these effects as automakers have suddenly ended up with a lot of unsold pickups and SUV's and have started developing more hybrid vehicles. There is also a rise in the use and availability of alternative fuels. He also acknowledges that the tax would "disproportionally hurt poor people". I assume he is referring to those who cannot afford to trade in their old clunkers for a new fuel-efficient vehicle or who, because of the cost of housing, must live a large distance from where they work. However, he claims that these affects could be mitigated by a corresponding lowering of other taxes. First of all let me say "yeah, right"; I'll believe other taxes being lowered when I see it. Beyond that, however, there is one aspect of the concept of increased gasoline taxes that Mr. Yetiv does not address, and that is the domino effect caused by higher energy prices. Whether higher energy prices are because of taxes or because of the world price of crude, the average consumer ends up paying twice for it, first at the pump, and then in the cost of virtually everything else as the higher cost of energy is "passed on to the consumer" by the manufacturer who makes the product and the trucking company that transports it to the local marketplace. The consumer is at the bottom of the pile when it comes to this situation. There is no one left to pass on the increased costs to, and so these increased costs must be absorbed. (Most of us do not get automatic raises when the price of gas goes up). This gives the consumer less money to spend on other things. Since consumer spending is what drives the American economy, the entire economy ultimately suffers from higher energy costs. This is why I feel that Professor Yetiv's gasoline tax is a bad idea.

So Sayeth The Shack

Monday, September 11, 2006

911 Overload

Anyone besides me think we are overdoing this 911 memorial stuff? OK sure I feel bad for the victims, their families and all that, and we need to remember what happened and try to keep it from happening again, but do we really need all this? I think it just puts us right back at square one with the recovery and grieving process...sort of like replaying the death of a loved one years later. I don't want to relive the funeral of my dad or my grandmother or anyone else I have lost. I can remember them just as well without that.

So Sayeth The Shack

Sunday, September 10, 2006


So now they have Macintosh computers that will run Windows operating systems. That's sort of like putting a Ford engine into a Chevy Truck; you're ruining a perfectly good product.

So Sayeth The Shack

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Dear Doctor Z

(Please read this with a German accent)

Dear Doctor Z,

I vant to shoot you. I am so sick of your commercials on myTV. You are on there every 5 minutes. You are so annoying. I vill never buy one of your cars. And I have put you on my "feces list" because you are so annoying.

So Sayeth The Shack