Transitional Times

Over the holiday I had some free time for deep thoughts while driving from one holiday house to the next. Conversations at one would spark thoughts on the way to the next.

I have decided that we are in a time of transition - an uncomfortable and clumsy era of finding our way.

Cars
Recent changes to the CAFÉ Standard have been made. Over the next decade auto manufactures selling in the United States will need to make cars that have better gas mileage and lower emissions to meet these new standards.

My elder Republicans have argued that the federal government should place fewer burdens on corporations and allow for a free market to determine the demand for product.

Consider that in “Boomer World” there is an emotional tie and connection to the American Classic. They grew up associating with the characters of “American Graffiti,” paying less than $5,000 for a car they could work on in the garage with a few tools, and experience their first love in the back seats.

But unlike the GTO’s, Dodge Dart’s, or Thunderbolt’s the Y’s grew up with the Transporter, Civic, and top-selling Corolla. The closest this generation can come to equal for an emotional apex is “The Fast and the Furious.” Cars are so complicated there is little one can do besides check and add fluids without going to the dealership or garage. For $5,000 one can buy a pretty crappy used car today.

It is the Y generation that will buy the CAFÉ Standard automobiles affected by this recent change in law just like today we are dealing with the aviation shortcomings signed into law by Jimmy Carter. While the cars of the Carter administration like the Bandit’s golden chicken hooded Trans Am were fast and fun for their time, they were also considerably less safe and held few features then a car of today.

We might consider that the transportation in our future will combine the emotional ties we cling to with the energy independence we need.

Writers
It has come to my attention that there is a strike being held by a group of people in the entertainment industry. These are people who are often attributed as being the creative drive to content. They are also epitomized in comedies as spineless arrogant know it alls who are under appreciated for their talents.

I am not a huge fan of unions. When you speak about organizing a group of people to represent specific interests against an authoritative figure it sounds like a great deal at first. It is often seen as a “David and Goliath” struggle of the “American dream”… nay, “right!” They promise provisional membership benefits, collective bargaining, and PAC/Industry actions.

But the outcome of those struggles has become increased prices, relocation of workforce to “global markets,” wealthy lawyers, very wealthy union representatives, and a division between management and workers.

The quality of entertainment over the last several years has been on the decline for me. Maybe I am an old curmudgeon, but we can use a show that is highly writer centric like Saturday Night Live. Has that gotten better in the last five years? Do they deserve a raise? Spiderman 3, better than the first? What about other sequels? There sure are an abundance of them showing a lack of faith in original content.

With the increase of interesting content on the Internet we should consider treating these union members like the air traffic controllers of the early 80’s and find some new talent.

Guns
When Virgil Earp re-posted the sign outside of Tombstone Arizona reading “no guns in city limit’s” he was not an anti gun activist. He was enforcing city law to prevent “Cowboy’s” from getting drunk and killing more than one another.

A few weeks ago when two different churches suffered attacks from a gunman the criminal was taken down by one of the guard’s at the second church.

The Colorado Springs church was not a gun free zone like the high school at Columbine Colorado. Members of the church had volunteers trained and licensed to carry a firearm.

I can only imagine that these people must feel like targets to have an advance plan in the case of a church shooting. It would also seem to me that having gun free zones can only signal to criminals that the location is one they can dominate in fear, as they are criminals and have no or little regard for the law.

So I guess, like Virgil Earp, we should not say there are gun free zones. Instead, responsible individuals who can protect others from criminals and “Cowboys” that will prey on the average citizen should carry firearms.