Saturday 18 June 2022

Irresponsible Car Ads KILL

Promoting Horsepower Wastes Precious Lives and Energy

In a world where we love to rant about energy crises, climate change, violence, and guns to name a few fav's., car company ads are completely vile.

For decades there have been debates about violent video games and programming causing kids to turn to violence in later years. We also have debated the role of fossil fuels in ruining our environment and dooming the future of the planet for our kids. Both are legitimate concerns and the campaigns should continue.

To expand upon this car companies and their advertising should occupy a special place in hell. What do you see on virtually all of them? Typically it is the promotion of overpowered speed machines with enough horsepower to pull a freight train! They are all guilty. It is one thing to argue which pickup truck can pull the heaviest load with its super horsepower and torque. It is quite another to show their cars roaring down the highway with both men and women playing the role of professional race and stunt drivers.

BMW: Supercharged BMW M3 7:25 Nürburgring Sport Auto lap - YouTube
Ford: 2021 Ford Mustang Mach 1 Commercial/Advertisement - YouTube
Dodge: DODGE UNCAGE / 2021 Commercial - YouTube
GM: Corvette C8 Commercial || 2022 - YouTube
Mercedes: Mercedes-EQ 2022 Mercedes-AMG EQS Commercial "Advisory" - YouTube

Mercedes is already coupling electric vehicles with speed.

Most adults respond to this just like the kids do with the video games. Muscle cars are apparently still king with car companies. Almost none of these influenced adults know how to drive fast - they have never been trained.  Despite all the lame duck arguments to the contrary, speed kills.

When are they likely to demonstrate their newly acquired rocket's power over others on the road? Unfortunately it is when they are also under the influence of two other things - substances like alcohol, and road rage both of which reduce their abilities ever further.

Apparently car companies don't care. They wimp out by saying that they are only producing what people want. That's the same argument cigarette companies used in addition to outright lying. The same can be said for gun manufacturers and drug labs. Car makers should be promoting responsible driving, not depicting public roads as drag strips, rally circuits or Daytona 500 speedways.

As to the second point in the title the claim about energy waste shouldn't even require justification. Nobody needs a high revving engine with several hundred horsepower to commute to work or go shopping. Car companies should be promoting low capacity and more efficient engines.

There is a role for governments here as well. They already tax the hell out of fuel. What about giving rebates and tax refunds for low capacity engines or higher mile per gallon vehicles AND taxing further the cars with lousy mileage? They could also limit the capacity of passenger vehicle engines and put heavy duties on cars that people try to import to skirt the limitations.

This is no longer about wealthy people arguing that they worked hard to create their lavish lifestyles, can afford big cars, and therefore should be able to drive them. That is like saying that with their wealth they should be able to hoard drinking water when thousands are dying of thirst. It is about limited, extremely necessary global resources that belong to all of the people.

Some car makers are indeed starting to advertise or promise future electric vehicles. Many engines are now available that are smaller and more efficient but that is not good enough. Pulling from the same analogy, tobacco companies offered small cigarettes and packages, and smaller and larger cigars, but took no initiatives until forced, to encourage smokers to quit.

One car company won't break from the pack and lose sales as a result. If governments force their hands, they will all have to conform.

Smaller engines alone won't stop the carnage due to speed. Stiffer penalties are also needed. Such engines will certainly help to lessen the energy crisis.

Instead of competing for fastest, they should push most efficient. With government incentives, it could make a big difference.


Wednesday 15 June 2022

LIV Proves Money can Buy Anything - or Anyone

Money Makes the World Go Round

If you have ever watched the movie Cabaret, you have to remember the number performed by Liza Minnelli and Joel Grey with the above title. It is a classic. Treat yourself here if you have not seen it: Cabaret - Money makes the world go round - YouTube. The expression has been around for a long time. It has always been true and probably always will be.

Money has always driven wars and battles, or at least the riches and resources that belong to others, which selfish and ruthless people want for themselves. It is the foundation of dynasties, religion, dictators, and extremists.

It finds a home and flourishes under all forms of government. This includes central so-called democratic free enterprise systems; left leaning socialistic ones; and extreme right totalitarian regimes. It drives all corporations and small businesses. Money in various forms provides the basis for international business and trade.

You get the picture. What it brings out most in humans is greed - pure and simple greed. People with money - lots of it - always want more and are capable of doing horrible things to get it and keep it.

I have written before that I believe it is behind racism and white supremacists, which is still behind many of the world's problems, especially in America.

We seem to accept this when it comes to providing us with entertainment. Look at the obscene incomes doled out in sports events, movies/videos, and music.

Now to the topic of the day - this newly formed LIV Golf league. Here is a good summary of golf movements historically: The LIV Golf series: What we know, what we don’t, and the massive ramifications of the Saudi-backed league | Golf News and Tour Information | Golf Digest. More specifically, this one explains more the new undertaking: What is LIV Golf? A simple primer on the controversial new golf league.

Greg Norman is saying it his attempt to expand competitive golf throughout the world. Some of the players who have jumped ship are trying to justify their moves the same way. Mickelson is worse - he initially called out the backers of the league ("They're scary motherf—ers to get involved with"). This is Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund worth some $600 billion. Then he justified it as a way to pay off his gambling debts. Most of the winnings in the PGA Tour are provided by sponsors, not national leaders.

You might accept some pro golf foreign nationals not feeling as loyal to the PGA Tour because many of them already play in leagues all over the world. However for those who became famous and very wealthy through the PGA Tour, the motive is greed. Phil is reported to have been paid $200 million just to play there in the events. For DJ it is said to be $120 million. Winnings would be on top of that.

The PGA Tour and many of its stars like Arnold, Jack, and Tiger to name a few, have a proven record of paying back in the form of charitable and educational foundations, and hospitals. I doubt you will see the same from this Arab league.

I also predict that if it succeeds it is just the beginning. The effort has become known as Sportswashing. What will be next? How will America react when top athletes from baseball, football, basketball and others move to a more financially lucrative league elsewhere? Would they play in a new Russian League today if there were one - just for the money?

America has few friends in the Middle East. It is sad to see so many ignore their ethics for the almighty dollar. It is heartening to see others like Rory (who is not American), Tiger, and Justin demonstrate their loyalties.


Monday 6 June 2022

Election Apathy

Canadian Problem Shared by other Democracies

A recent Canadian provincial election for the Premier of Ontario was pathetic. Although the existing Premier - Doug Ford - was re-elected in a landslide, the turnout for voters was a mere 40%. This says a lot, none of it good.

I suspect the same problem exists elsewhere but the one in which I just voted brought it home.

Those of us who live in a free society - even with what we are witnessing in Ukraine where Russia is trying to remove freedom, we are ignoring the very thing that keeps us free. Even in American elections the numbers should be much higher.

To me it is a reflection of just how spoiled we in the west have become. Fortunately my generation have never been forced to go off and fight, possibly never to return or to return a different person, mentally or physically. Apparently we take this freedom for granted.

I have heard the pathetic excuse for too long even from friends and family that one vote won't make a difference. Of course not but that is not why they don't vote. If thousands of these people got off their asses it would make a difference. The truth is that for most people the whole political process is boring. This is true but it is better than what Russia or China has.

People - especially with today's entertainment forms, would rather watch an event on TV. They claim that they don't understand issues or know the candidates. Again of course not if you ignore them deliberately every day.

With today's media this is no longer a valid excuse. You can see and hear about the issues, parties, leaders, and platforms in any number of ways - but not if you are watching football, hockey, or the Amazing Race.

This reminds me of people - usually men - who won't work in the garden because they don't know the weeds from the flowers. Some have even destroyed plants deliberately to remain a couch potato themselves. The same men could probably identify every player in a major league of their choice and quote tons of statistics as well. It is a matter of participation. If you planted the flowers enough times you would remember what they looked like.

I don't know the stats but I suspect most of those who did see active combat and survived DO vote in elections and are pissed at others who don't. They are why you can sit on that couch eating chips and drinking.

I am not suggesting that we all watch Parliamentary debates but ten or fifteen minutes of news or reading a day is all you need to make an informed decision. You will probably learn to hate certain politicians in which case you will have an added incentive to vote them out!

Vote at times when your favorite show is not on. You can vote online, by mail, or early if you don't want to stand in line. You owe it to those who did die for you.