Thursday, August 06, 2009

Yesterday's ride....

If ya gotta' go....
The Cedar in Waterloo....
Black Hawk Park pond....
The Cedar in Cedar Falls....
Rail bridge in Cedar Falls....
Abandoned fire plug at Washington Park....
Shelter at Washington Park Golf Course....
Warning!
First fairway at Washington....
Ninth green....
Washington Park clubhouse....
I got up early yesterday and rode with Jackal out to the plant. I didn't go to work, I just rode with him. It was good. Quiet, cool, and peaceful. After I'd left him, I rode through all the parks.... Hoing-Rice, Cedar Bend, around East Lake, Wyth, Gateway, Big Woods, Black Hawk, Island, Tourist, Washington, Pfeiffer, Hartmann Reserve. Did I miss any? 30 miles at a very slow pace. 2 hours.
A lot has been made of the "Cash for Clunkers" program lately. The Fed has put up a billion dollars so far to give rebates of $3500 to $4500 dollars if you trade your "gas guzzler" in for a more fuel efficient vehicle. That's a kind of tricky statement because the vehicle you purchase must get better mileage than the one that is being traded in. Your old Suburban that gets 17 mpg for a new Hummer that gets 18. Granted, you only get $3500 back from the Fed for that trade, but you still get the cash. The first billion is already spent and they are attempting to gain access to another two billion to continue this wildly successful program. (note sarcasm) Update: More money has been approved within the last hour.
The problem that I have with this is that the Fed gets it's money from you and me, and anyone else who actually pays taxes. I have a problem with my tax dollars being used to incent people to buy new cars through a taxpayer funded rebate program. I also suspect that the financial instutions that are lending the money for these new vehicles are getting at least some of their money from our taxes through the "bailout" that the government recently performed. It's being touted as an "environmental" program but, in reality, it's the government using our money simply to get people to buy new cars. It's a short term "stimulus" package that will stop "stimulating" when the government money runs out and people stop buying new cars and trucks. The money that was used for the bailout was borrowed from places like China. It will someday have to be payed back. Who's going to make those payments? We are. You and me. And our children and grandchildren. Unless the U.S. Government repudiates it's (our) debt. That's another story though, too ugly to contemplate. I hope this game goes better than the housing loan practices that helped put us in the situation that we currently find ourselves in.
In my opinion the money would be better spent on things like libraries. If this were the case people could go to these libraries and learn things that are no longer taught in our "politically correct" schools or at home.
Things like history and civics, government and social studies. They could read authors who write about honesty and integrity or authors whose writings could teach personal responsibility or personal accountability. Perhaps they would read authors who write about making your way in the world by learning a trade or skill and applying it to a real job that brings in an income. Heck, there are even books with stories about morality and how to get along with others in a community situation. Ethics in journalism or, perhaps, economics. Authors who write about not spending more than you earn. How about learning how to effectively participate in participatory representative government? The neat thing about the Public Library is that it's free to it's users. Free education. A good use of my tax dollars. All you need is the desire and initiative to use it. There is no limit to what you can learn there....
The most important thing that could be learned at these libraries is how to think. Once you have learned to think you will have the ability to see things as they really are and to make educated decisions on your own, rather than having the media or the government do it for you. Imagine the power you would posess if given the ability to think for yourself. The possibilities are nearly endless....
I suspect that this is simply wishful thinking. It would require effort on the part of the people who want something better. The problem, as I see it, is that the people who want something better do not want to put forth the effort to earn it. We've become fat and lazy. We've become complacent. We've developed the attitude that "if it doesn't affect me directly, I don't care."
I also suspect that the idea of an educated electorate scares a politician more than anything else in the world.
"How wonderful for governments that the people they administer do not think" ~~ Adolph Hitler
Just sayin'
Ride safe.
Peace out, yo!

8 Comments:

Blogger Captain Bob said...

Some good points there Blue.

6:48 AM  
Blogger Guitar Ted said...

What happens when your life is going so fast you lose the ability to stop and think, or when the information that is thrown at you is too much to process? (Baffle em with bulls#@%) Yeah...

Maybe folks need to be taking nice long 30 mile bike rides and skipping the "fast pace" for a day to get in tune again.

I dunno....but I can agree with all you have posted. It's crazy stuff dude!

Ride on and have a great weekend.

8:01 AM  
Blogger Craig, The Flanders Fat Cat said...

Unfortunately, it has been an administration as advertised by the opposition. I was hoping for better from all the sparkly rhetoric. Every time I turn around I hear about another few billion being spent or another giant program being proposed. Where does this idea come from that when you are a little light in the pocketbook, you need to spend more, a lot more ? Why don't they just get national guardsman to escort us over to the other side of town and make us write out some checks for cars and downpayments on houses. Oh, and what about half of this clunker cash going to stimulate the Japanese economy?Could go on, gotta go.

1:50 PM  
Blogger oldmanandhisbike said...

I agree with the clunkers issue. Not sure I see why another "bailout" of the auto companies is worth putting our future generations in hock. Don't see anyone offering cash for corporate jets. Oh, wait. Congress just bought 3 of them with our tax dollars. Guess they don't need it now!
With you on libraries. Wish more folks would take the time to open a book once and awhile. They might be surprised what they can learn.
Push away from the Xbox kiddies and go learn something.
And while your at it, get on a bike and get some exercise too.
Course', that's just my opinion.
Ride on Blue!

2:06 PM  
Blogger Susan said...

Do you remember when Physical Education was required every year to graduate?w...healthy body healthy mind... You know now it seems that Sex Ed is required EVERY year to graduate....Abstanence is not even in the equation (I asked) thanks but I will teach my kids that sort of thing.....oh Paul David....you get me going~ It is all good

8:08 PM  
Blogger Lily on the Road said...

Truly amazing....thanks for the info.

8:12 AM  
Blogger jusvelos said...

gave up cars at 63

ride a hundred miles a week on 70s steel.

i hate lawnmowers and motorbikes

9:15 PM  
Blogger weak and feeble said...

can I trade in a junk car to get a new bike? Waaaayyyy better milage, I think the $4500 would do me quite nicely- I could be a very well spec'd out surly big dummy with a full complement of accessories. If it needs to have the motor I can get the electric assist. Hmmm, bet that wouldn't fly- tooo bad.

DEA

1:51 PM  

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