That’s What You Get For Waking Up in Denver

October 30, 2009

Last night, my dad and I finally managed to get back from DC around 11. Then there was the hard part. Fighting our way in to our house. You see, when we went to the airport about 5 days ago, it was 60 degrees outside. My dad therefore decided we should take his car. It looks something like this…

audis5

Anyway, we had a hard time getting up the driveway. But we finally did, blasted up the heat so the pipes wouldn’t freeze, made sure the bird was still alive, and went to sleep. The next morning, we woke up to this headline.

Denver Water to Hike Rates 13% in Denver

Now you might think that my snow stuffed brain is exaggerating the importance of this headline. I mean, who really cares about a slight increase in water prices? Obviously not me, as I’m not paying the bills…yet. But the problem isn’t the fact that our water prices are going up, the problem is *why* the prices are going up.

If you read the article in the Denver Post (our ONLY newspaper…sigh) it says that the prices are increasing for some  ‘projects’. This is a blatant lie. The reason that water prices are going up is because people are using less water. And why are people using less water? Because Denver Water ran a giant  water conservation campaign, even winning an award for the brilliant billboards (pictured here) that they used to convince people to buy less water. denver water adsI’m not even kidding. I’m also not a conspiracy theorist. So let’s assume, best-case scenario, that Denver Water has been planning to raise their rates for a long time, and that it has nothing to do with the fact that they have a self-induced shortage of revenue. Fine. The fact remains that the way Denver Water thanks people for meeting their water conservation goals is to raise their rates. Denver water is essentially saying “Great Job Guys!!! We’re going to give you all a present. It’s called ‘more expensive bills.’ Enjoy!”

Humph. It’s things like this that give environmentalists a bad reputation. Oh well. At least Colorado isn’t a Democratic state…wait. Never mind.


A Plea For Believable Lies

October 26, 2009

This week, which is not the week I turned 17 (sorry for the delayed publishing time) I wandered around the southish eastish coast looking at colleges. The morning I was supposed to look at Georgetown, I got into a rather lengthy discussion with a gentleman from AIPAC, and missed the Georgetown tour. Not to be put off, I decided to wander around the campus pretending to be a student. This actually went fairly well–I enjoyed an econ class and a free cookie–until I started talking. Almost every person I talked to eventually asked me what dorm I was living in, and what other classes I was taking. My answer was usually…”um…yea I dunno the orangeish  one near that road…wait-actually-I-live-off-campus-my-parents-donated-money-but-like…look over there!!!!”

cartoon eyes

 

As for classes, I feigned deafness.

The point is, I could have spent about 5 minutes making my fake student life more realistic. Dorms are posted on the internet, and I had a list of classes with me. With these simple steps, I would have been able to keep up the conversations I was having, and no one would have known that I was really a whole two years younger than they were.

So what am I complaining about today? The fact that politicians no longer think Americans have enough intelligence for them to even bother spending a couple of minutes making up believable lies. Granted, politicians are going to lie. But they don’t have to be so blatant about it! It would be one think for Obama to say that he’s going to decrease the influence of lobbyists, but to say that lobbyists, “have not funded [his] campaign?” Obama, in making this statement, is flat out assuming that most Americans don’t know the definition of a lobbyist. A lobbyist is just someone who tries to influence policy. When we write our congressmen, we are lobbyists. This means that pretty much everyone who is trying to be actively involved in politics has been a lobbyist at some point or another. Who is more likely to donate to a campaign: someone who’s involved in politics, or someone who isn’t? This may seem small, but politician’s belief in American stupidity goes much further.

Obama says that Fox is not a valid news source. Love Fox or hate it, Obama doesn’t like it because they don’t agree with him. Yet he tries to tell America that Fox is just an invalid news source. He has some good points.

Obama pointing finger

Okay, bad pun. But Glenn Beck may well be insane…though the that could be said for Michael Moore or Arianna Huffington. The most biased parts of Fox are labeled as opinion shows. On the overall, the media has a liberal bias (even MSNBC admits this, having published this article about how more reporters donate money to the left), but Obama doesn’t call them invalid.

I’m not here to enter the Obama/Fox feud. I just want politicians to start treating Americans with some respect. How many of  you have seen an ad in which a candidate claims he’s better than his opponent because he’s ‘not a career politician’? This is physically impossible. Whatever he was before, he’s now a career politician. At the end of some economy segments, I’ve seen reporters apologizing for the technical stuff, and thanking Americans for bearing with them.

We have common sense. We know that a health plan is going to cost money, that is it going to contribute to the deficit. We know that we aren’t going to win in Afghanistan any time soon, and that Israel and Palestine aren’ t falling in love. The bottom line is this: it’s one thing to give us false hope,  but it’s another to tellobviously surrealistic  lies.

So why do they do it? Because you can’t get elected by saying that things aren’t going to get any better, or that it will take time for the economy to recover, or by admitting that you are going to spend lots of money. Americans beg their politicians to lie to them, by voting those who promise impossibilities. So I’m not out to change the system (see the discussion under this article), but I’d love lies that were just a little bit more believable.


My Birthday was Just as Newsy as Any Other Story This Week

October 26, 2009

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of turning 17. For those of you who don’t remember, you only get to do that once. The week of my birthday, however, the news was basically nonexistent, and my laptop was in for repairs. (It’s a Sony. They definitely stand by their products. I’d opt for the extended warranty.)

    So, because I didn’t have my laptop to keep you all informed, and because it was my birthday week, I’ll go ahead and recap the events of last week.

    1. Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize.

    I’m not going to blame him for this: he can’t help being popular. But those Norwegian politicians have got a lot of gall trying to influence our president. Good strategy though. What better way to end a war than to give the commander a prize for peace? Even he must have winced when he couldn’t attend some of the evnts because he was in a war conference.

    2. The Balloon Boy

    At first, this was a heart wrenching story about how a poor boy could have died. Then it became a story about mean attention seeking parents. Then it was a story about a Colorado photographer running away from an angry civilian. Finally, it became another heart wrenching story about potentially abusive husbands.

    3. The Dead Guy in The Pool

    One of Bernie Madoff’s associates, Jeffry Picower, was found dead in his pool. If it weren’t for people wanting to believe that karma had struck down this man who made $7.2 billion from investing in Madoff, it would have probably have taken a lot less time to realize that old guys have heart attacks. Sometimes while swimming. This often leads to death.

    4. Windows 7 came out.

    The Mac commercial sums this up nicely.

    5. NASA shot the moon

    Some people find this hard to understand. They sent two probes. One hit the moon so that dust would fly out. The other one analyzed the dust before it also crashed into the moon.  Results so far? The pictures were lamer than expected, but they “received good data.” (Dan Andrews)

    6. The Worthless Dollar

    The low value of the dollar made the cover of the Wall Street Journal 2 days in a row. All the same, the dollar’s low value has been beneficial in a couple of ways: it lowers our trade deficit, and makes it easier for our companies to export.

    7. Desperate for a Man? Move to China

    China is short 30 million wives. They’ve even resorted to importation, which contradicts their traditional value of a homogeneous society.

    8. Generic Celebrity Gossip

    Look it up.

     

    On the overall, not too much happened. Other than my birthday, of course.


    Californiacation

    October 7, 2009

    If California were a country, they’d be in the G-8. Yet California’s budgetary mess has been largely ignored by the mass media of late, in favor of more flashy stories about how Obama is going to murder our grandparents from the right and stories about how Roman Polanski isn’t really all that old from the left. Poor, poor California. Lost, alone, bankrupt, and not particularly newsworthy. Yet, the reasons for California’s bankruptcy aren’t just the usual despicable forces that cause a US deficit. In fact, the reason for California’s mess is that untouchable beacon of hope, that all powerful benevolent force that we Americans have come to know and love: our Democracy.

    When California first when bankrupt, no one was surprised. Bankruptcy was the natural result of bills proposed by voters that directly allocated money to specific funds, and bills that directly limited their taxes. In essence, voters voted themselves money that didn’t exist. When the state goes bankrupt, this leaves no one at fault. Legislators couldn’t reallocate money without breaking the law, and so while they were sometimes blamed, there was no real accountability. In desperation, legislators resorted to stealing money from the funds that voters had given to other programs, the theory being that by the time the lawsuits came through, the state would have found some more money. Obviously, the state didn’t find more money. The tune of these ‘stolen’ funds reached 3 billion dollars when the most recent set of lawsuits came through.

    Now, you might just throw this off to some weird liberal problem of California’s, but Colorado, among other states, is now following in a similar path, voting for increases in education funding that the state doesn’t have the money to pay for.

    Not to put too fine a finger on it, but this is a path of doom. Voters are voting to give themselves money where money doesn’t exist. When people vote for a free program, someone is still paying for it. When they further vote not to raise their own taxes, someone’s going broke. This exemplifies the problem of Democracy. Nothing is preventing voters from making poor, infeasible, or even impossible choices. I could propose an initiative to provide research to study the negative effects of the overhunting of unicorns, and if enough people voted for it, my bill would become law. Feel free to think that such things never happen, that the average American is smarter than this…feel free to ignore Californiacation.

    The majority has never always been right, and right now, California has seen just how wrong they can be.