Thursday, July 24, 2014

Why Would Any Sane Person Buy A Car From GM?!?

My 2nd car was a Chevy Nova, like the one you see above.[1] It was labeled a Chevy, but it was technically a Toyota Corolla, if you can recall the 80s/90s when this sorta of domestic/foreign arrangement was the norm. And that car was a total piece of sh*t, that broke down as often as it cranked up. It was a hand-me-down from my parents for a job well done in college. I handed that sh*t back and bought myself a Honda as soon as I was financially able to do so on my own.

And now, a really poor segue...

The hits just keep on coming for General Motors. A company that required a federal bailout a few years ago is now embattled in a very different dilemma that may threaten the automaker's future yet again.
General Motors expects to pay between $400 million to $600 million to compensate victims of ifs faulty ignition switch tied to at least 13 deaths.

The families of those killed and people injured in crashes involving the ignition switch can start filing for payments next month.

The problem with the ignition switch can cause the car to shut off while driving, disabling safety features such as air bags, anti-lock brakes and power steering. GM has admitted that its employees knew of the problem a decade before recalling 2.6 million cars earlier this year.

The automaker has been under fire from Congressional, Justice Department and federal safety regulators for the delay and could face criminal charges.

GM (GM) said it set aside $400 million in the second quarter to cover victims' payments. But it said Thursday in its quarterly results that because its compensation program does not have a cap, it might have to pay an additional $200 million in future quarters.

The company also set aside an additional $874 million for the cost of repairing the record 30 million cars it has recalled so far this year. The combined $1.3 billion in reductions once again essentially wiped out the company's profit, leaving it with net income of only $33 million in the quarter.
GM's culture of quieting (and in some cases punishing) whistleblowers directly contributed to the issues with the ignition switch, which is just another example of poor management at the top that's hurt American automakers. It's also why, although other countries have their own auto problems, I won't but buying American anytime soon. Sorry, Detroit.

Question: What was your first car?!? Would you buy a car from GM right now?

[1] You already know about my first car. And my latest. Right?

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

AB.com Open Mic Tuesday

Busy week here. Ya'll talk amongst yourselves. I'll be back soon.

Question: What's on your mind today? Drop some links, start a convo.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Great Moments In Modern American Racism.

We all know that racism officially ended on January 22nd, 2009 with the election of the country's first black President. Apparently a lot of "Real Americans" didn't get that memo.

These are there stories...

I grew up in Klan Kountry. My rural suburb of Raleigh, NC was right on the cusp of one of the biggest clusters of KKK members in the state. It was commonplace for them to march in Christmas/Thanksgiving parades. I went to school with many of their kids, I'm sure. And in the winter, you could easily see their bonfires in the distance through the woods from my (all black) neighborhood.

Oddly, they never actually caused any real trouble. They were just a toothless sideshow. A handful of grown men who had been castrated of any actual power to invoke fear in others. They were sorta sad, pathetic, and comical. To my knowledge, however, none of them were actually high ranking police officials!!!
Echoing the once-segregated South, a Florida deputy police chief has resigned and an officer has been fired after the FBI reported that both belonged to the Ku Klux Klan

Fruitland Park Deputy Chief David Borst has denied involvement with the notorious white-hooded hate group that emerged after the Civil War and continued to terrorize and murder blacks through the mid-20th century.

The 49-year-old Borst, a department veteran of more than 20 years, was also fire chief for the Lake County city of 5,000, about 40 miles northwest of Orlando. He resigned both posts Thursday after being confronted with the FBI report.

Officer George Hunnewell, who was demoted last year over performance and attitude complaints, was fired Friday by Chief Terry Isaacs.

The state attorney's office is reviewing every arrest made by the officers and giving particular scrutiny to cases involving minorities, Isaacs said.

It the second time in five years that Klansmen have been found in the Fruitland Park Police Department. In 2009, Officer James Elkins resigned after photographs showed him in a white robe and pointy hood, and he later admitted he was a leader of the local KKK.
Uhhh, seriously... how does sh*t like this happen? Who's working in HR for the Fruitland Park Police Department? David Duke?



A Tea Party Congressional candidate is in hot water for mistaking a bus of YMCA campers for... wait for it... illegals!!!!
Arizona state congressman (and national congressional candidate) Adam Kwasman intercepted a bus full of migrant children in Phoenix Tuesday, tweeting, “Bus coming in. This is not compassion. This is the abrogation of the rule of law.”

Or so he thought. Kwasman was caught short when Arizona Central reporter Brahm Resnik informed him the bus he lamented was actually full of YMCA campers, who another reporter said were “laughing and taking pictures of the media.”

“I was actually able to see some of the children in the buses. The fear on their faces…. This is not compassion,” Kwasman was telling the reporter when Resnik broke the news to him.

“You know that was a bus with YMCA kids?” Resnik asked.

“Well, they were sad too,” Kwasman said. A moment later, he conceded, “That was a mistake,” and deleted the tweet.
I totally understand why and how this guy got himself into such a predicament. I mean, seriously, those brown kids are coming over the border quicker than NBA owners are signing marginal players to bad contracts. Whouda thunk a bus full of brown kids might actually be, you know, American citizens out on a field trip. This happens to the best of us. Nothing to see here. Movin' right along...

I remember the days when I could watch local news and not get a side of some jackass' biased social commentary. Unless said jackass is NBC4 DC's Jim Vance. That brother can talk as much random sh*t as he likes. He's an OG of the news game. So yeah, maybe I'm a little biased myself. But nothing excuses this New Jersey reporter who went all Anthony Cumia on broadcast recently.
News 12 New Jersey reporter Sean Bergin has reportedly been suspended for comments he made on-the-air Sunday evening about the black community.

After reporting on a suspect in the fatal shooting of Jersey City police officer Melvin Santiago, Bergin told his viewers that News 12 was “besieged” with phone calls from police officials “furious that we would give media coverage to the life of a cop killer.”

Those complaints were “understandable,” Bergin said. “We decided to air it because it’s important to shine a light on the anti-cop mentality that has so contaminated America’s inner cities.”

He then made the controversial argument that led to his reported suspension:

It has made the police officer’s job impossible and it has got to stop. The underlying cause of all of this, of course: Young black men growing up without fathers. Unfortunately, no one in the news media has the courage to touch that subject.

According to TheBlaze’s Jason Howerton, a source with direct knowledge of the situation confirmed the suspension of unspecified length. Bergin has, thus far, been asked not to come into the office on Monday and Tuesdayas station brass figure out what to do.

The segment itself has also apparently been scrubbed from the News 12 website.
Nobody's saying white people can't speak on what's happening in the black community. Nobody.



But there's a time and place for everything. Reporters do just that. Report the facts. Your personal opinion has no place here. Read what's on the teleprompter and shut the f*ck up.

But nah, racism doesn't exist anymore. It's just a figment of the imagination, right?

Question: What's with these three stories? Are these people actually racist, or merely misunderstood? What was your read on the Anthony Cumia story (that I totally missed blogging about)?

Friday, July 11, 2014

Lebron James Is Going Back To Cleveland. Why?

Earlier today, Lebron James shocked the world of sports by announcing that he'd buck conventional wisdom and return to the Cleveland Cavaliers after spending 4 years (and winning 2 rings) in Miami. While I was fairly certain James would leave the Heat after getting throttled by the Spurs in the NBA Finals, the Cavs were the last place I thought he'd end up. I mean, seriously, have you been to Cleveland? I have. It's the only place on Earth I've ever observed women in a nightclub wearing baseball (Indians) apparel. So yeah, go Cleveland. Where, I have no idea.

The move is odd simply because the Cavs (as presently constructed) aren't a very good team. At all. They were a dysfunctional mess last season despite having multiple Top 5 picks on the roster. "Star point guard" Kyrie Irving is a dribbling sensation that couldn't win a game of solo spades. Number one overall pick Anthony Bennett looks like he could eat himself out of a job any day now. Dion Waiters is publicly envious of/wants to be Irving, but has half the talent. I don't know what Tristan Thompson does besides be tall. Anderson Varejao and his hair are still there occupying space. Annnnnd, that's about it. The NBA gifted the Cavs yet another number one overall pick last month, which they used on Andrew Wiggins, a guy who was supposed to be The Next Lebron, but spent his single season at Kansas looking like The Next Harrison Barnes.

For all the complaints about James' supporting cast in Miami, reality is Wade and Bosh (especially Bosh) are light years better than anybody the Cavs have right now. Irving's pound the ball into the ground escapades are going to be a less frequent when he's sharing the court with James. Get ready to hand the ball over and go stand behind the 3pt line, buddy. The Cavs lack the shooters Miami had, and (of course) there's zero playoff experience among the supporting cast (sans Varejao, whose goose is cooked anyway). This has all the makings of a 2nd round loss to Indiana, unless the overall talent level is upgraded. A trade for Kevin Love might address that, but it likely involves losing a couple of the aforementioned players and draft picks. It still wouldn't make the Cavs better than the Pacers, and certainly doesn't make them better than the Spurs.

Maybe Lebron doesn't care about any of that. Maybe he really just wanted to go back home, which, if you think about it, he's certainly entitled to. Better teammates and wins will come with time. A ring? Prolly not. But whatever. Cleveland's relevant again.

Load up the bandwagon, "Cavs Fans". It's leaving South Beach as I type this.

Question: Did Lebron make the right Decision this time around? Will the he bring a title to the city of Cleveland?

Thursday, July 10, 2014

A Word From The Management Of AB.com (...And Today's Open Mic!)

No, this blog hasn't (totally) gone black. Folks, ya'll know the drill. I have a Day Job. I have a wife. I have #3Kidz. I don't have free time. Something has to give, and lately... okay, for the past year, this blog has been that something.

I'm not closing shop. Not even remotely. But sporadic posting is gonna be a way of life here until one of the aforementioned obstacles changes. I don't see that happening anytime soon, because I love my wife and #3Kidz, and I have bills. Pepco and Montessori schooling don't pay for themselves.

I hope you'll all stick with me nonetheless. You can always follow me on Twitter, which I mysteriously find a lot more convenient a place to talk. You know, 140 characters and whatnot. Follow me now! What are you waiting for.

Anyways, drop your links and whatever else below and keep the convo moving. I'll be back soon. Or not. Or soon.

Question: What's on your mind today? Drop some links, start a convo.