The most pressing issue of the day

Actual flyer received by a District 36 voter:

District 36 starts in northwest Tulsa and continues out into the countryside.

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Sporting of them

From the days when people’s eyes didn’t bug out at the sight of an ordinary rifle:

Vintage ad for Colt AR-15 Sporter

Aimed at the “hunter, camper or collector.” Solid citizens, the lot of them.

(Via Jessica Alent.)

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Mine eyes grow moist

So what happens when you base a Japanese commercial on a song by a Canadian singer, a song which incidentally was my favorite song of 2015?

You get this spot for Moist Diane (!) shampoo:

They’ll never know unless you say so.

(Via Paper Magazine.)

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From under this particular bridge

Where do all these farging trolls come from? Robert Stacy McCain proposes an origin story for some of them:

[M]aybe the average cubicle-dweller lives such a dehumanizing existence — crunching code, responding to inter-office emails, attending pointless staff meetings, etc. — that when he finds an unrestricted Internet playpen where he can say whatever he wants behind the screen of a pseudonym, his inner adolescent inevitably emerges.

Eight hours a day, five days a week, the cubicle-dweller does whatever it is he does to pay the bills, and there are all these rules, see? The 21st-century office environment is quite hostile to free expression. The list of Things You Can’t Say grows longer every day, and the cubicle-dweller’s inner adolescent must be strenuously repressed, lest he accidentally say or do something “offensive” that will get him written up or fired for violating the human resources policy. This regime of repression, I suggest, is why so many guys delight in saying rude things in any Internet venue where anonymity protects them from consequences.

I have noticed that rather a lot of them make a point of misunderstanding the First Amendment; maybe Congress “shall make no law,” but reddit or Facebook or, yes, God help us, Yahoo! Answers can make whatever rules they like, and if you don’t like them, you can go fart up a flagpole.

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Are you hanging on the edge of your seat?

This European ad for the Dacia Duster is, um, killer:

Although there’s always the question of whether Freddie would have approved. But then, Mercury’s dead, and so is Freddie.

(Via The Truth About Cars.)

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10 out of something

The post-auto service survey pressed upon you by the dealer is genuinely a pain, and often dealer personnel will turn humble, even servile, hoping to persuade you to max out the black circles on the far right.

TTAC reader pch101 explains why this is so:

I seriously doubt that the OEMs genuinely care about the survey data per se.

The point of the survey is to motivate the dealer to provide better customer service. That includes all of the hoops that the store has to jump through in order to get the perfect survey score.

The survey process forces the dealer to follow up after the sale and to be nice to you if you weren’t happy. Instead of suffering in silence, the customer gets to complain and the dealership is given an opportunity to fix it. Forcing the dealer to grovel its way to a perfect score is the automaker’s best tool for imposing better practices on the store; presumably, the dealer will eventually be motivated to improve its behavior in order to reduce the amount of sucking up and freebies that it will have to provide in the future.

Makes sense to me. You?

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Gonna send you back to Walker

Johnnie Mae Matthews, the Godmother of Detroit Soul, once wrote a song called “Gonna Send You Back to Georgia”; singer Timmy Shaw recorded it in early 1964, early enough for the Animals to put out a cover version, though since Eric Burdon and friends knew nothing about Georgia, they replaced the word “Georgia” with “Walker.”

Of course, “walker” to me these days is a made-in-China medical device, with which I can get around a bit easier. There is, of course, one exception: the walker is 1.5 inches too wide to get into the bathroom unless I remove the bathroom door. I am not removing the bathroom door; I’ll leave the device parked in the hallway and stagger the three or four steps to whichever bathroom function I require.

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No more Saabs (maybe)

Are we at last done with the subject of Saab motorcars? I’d call this a Yes:

National Electric Vehicle Sweden AB (NEVS), the Swedish holding company that bought up Saab Automobile’s assets in a 2012 bankruptcy sale, just announced it won’t sell any vehicles under the Saab name…

NEVS produced a handful of electric Saab 9-3s using the vehicle’s old platform for a brief period in 2013-2014, but production stopped as the company filed for bankruptcy protection and went on the hunt for wealthy investors. It also lost the licensing agreement from the defunct brand’s parent company that allowed it to use the Saab name.

In a message published today on its website, the company states, “NEVS will be the trademark of the company’s products including the first electric vehicle based on the 9-3 platform with start in 2017. That means that NEVS will no longer use the Saab trademark.”

The pitch to the general public is a bit more florid, but no less specific:

From today onwards, we are NEVS — both on a company and product level. With that comes a new logo, a new look and a reinstated commitment to, and focus on, electric vehicles and mobility solutions.

Building on our car manufacturing heritage, we will continue to focus on quality, craftsmanship and people-centric solutions, but we will add new dimensions to our business through our partnerships and collaborations. In doing so, we will leave the Saab trademark and go forth with a new identity that will support our large and increasingly important vision — to shape mobility for a more sustainable future.

And yet I can’t help thinking that the Saab story isn’t quite over yet.

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Don’t leave Rome without her

Meet Virginia Raggi, newly elected Mayor of Rome:

Virginia Raggi

Judging from this interview, conducted three days before the election, she does stage presence well:

Movimento 5 Stelle, Raggi’s political party, which says it doesn’t particularly want to be called a “party” as such, is generally considered to be populist, anti-establishment, environmentalist, anti-globalist and Eurosceptic. Who would start a non-party like that? Beppe Grillo, comedian, activist, and, um, blogger.

Raggi will turn 38 next month. As a proper Italian woman, she’s working some pretty high heels:

Virginia Raggi in d'Orsay pumps

I note purely in passing that her campaign site was apparently set up to take donations from abroad.

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Now this is answering

A very typical Y!A car question:

I recently found two cars that I like. One is a 2004 bmw m3 and one is a 2003 g35.

How much should I expect the monthly insurance to be?
Is it expensive as a 2004 bmw m3?

There are basically three types of drivers who ask this:

  • Young drivers
  • Shitty drivers
  • Young, shitty drivers

I blew off this question, but fortunately, someone else gave this little twerp what he needed:

Yes, Mark. Performance cars are very expensive to maintain and insure. And you’ve already been told hundreds of times that at this point in your life, it makes absolutely no sense to purchase one.

Last year, after graduating high school, you started classes at Bergen Community College, but dropped out a week later because you read on one of your course syllabi that class participation counted for five percent of your grade. Since you were nervous about talking in class, you quit school and went to work full-time stocking shelves at Costco.

Now, you are considering returning to college at age 19 (almost twenty). You clearly need a more practical car — one that has good reliability and gas mileage. The money you’ve managed to save should go entirely towards your educational expenses, which is an investment in the future.

I can’t, for the life of me, figure out why you think it’s so important to go from 0-60 in a short time. There’s absolutely no benefit in that. Since you live with your parents, you should sit down and have a heart-to-heart talk about your future. Perhaps they can set you straight and help fix some of your delusions. For example, you’re not a “straight-up gangster” and you’re obviously not black.

You are an extremely short and plump Indonesian teenager, with delusional aspirations towards the thug lifestyle. (You’re 5-5, small-framed, and a whopping 232 pounds!) In other words, you’re a fat little “gangsta-baby.” A Toyota Corolla would would be a much more practical option for you. Get an education and lose that 100 pounds of fat. Once you graduate college or university and get a decent job, you can start thinking about high-performance sports cars.

Basically, Mark, you need to fix your life-priorities. You are wasting your time fantasizing about being an inner-city hoodlum and driving fast cars. This makes absolutely sense no at all and you ought to be ashamed of yourself. You seriously need to grow up and start acting like a responsible adult. The waitress you are crushing on was totally correct about that.

Even if only a third of this is dead accurate, he has the twerp dead to rights.

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Fantasy and then some

Claire Farron here is the new face of Louis Vuitton, kinda sorta:

Lightning for Louis Vuitton

Not that she’s going to walk the runway for them or anything: Ms Farron, better known as Lightning, is the protagonist of the game Final Fantasy XIII, and her existence is purely virtual. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, I guess:

On the ad pages of a recent Vanity Fair, Lightning can be seen sporting her trademark pink hair and brandishing a metallic leather handbag. The clothes and purse look ordinary, but her skin is smoother than that of even the most excruciatingly Photoshopped human woman. Lightning dwells in the uncanny valley; she is real enough to pass as a model, but her dead eyes and perfectly regular features create a subtle sense of unease.

If you ask me, she’d create a subtle sense of unease were she “real”:

Lightning is determined, concentrated and independent. Initially, she is cold and standoffish, distancing herself from her companions. She only looks out for herself and doesn’t care if others are left behind.

Sound like any flesh-and-blood models you’ve heard of?

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Such behavior will not be tolerated

This is the kind of thing that gets you suspended these days:

An eighth grade student at Killeen’s Gateway Middle School was suspended after taking a classmate who was having an asthma attack to the school’s nurse, and the boy’s mother isn’t happy about it.

The boy, Anthony Ruelas, said the girl who sits next to him complained about not being able to breathe.

The teacher, following school protocol, emailed the nurse, but in the meantime, the girl fell out of her chair, he said.

He said he feared the girl could die, so uttering an expletive, he carried the girl to the nurse’s office, which is in a separate portable building on the school’s campus.

When he returned to class, he says, he was suspended for one day for leaving class.

Pretty obvious what message the school is trying to send:

“Kids, let’s not have any more of these life-saving, caring about your fellow classmates shenanigans!”

Live by the rulebook, die by the rulebook.

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Gatherers, not hunters

What kind of people sign up to become part of the Mainstream Media these days? This kind, says Kurt Schlichter:

Instead of the colorful ink-stained wretches of the past, today’s journalists are social justice twerps whose daddies can shell out north of $59,000 to get a degree in what old school reporters learned on the job — though old-school reporters didn’t have the dubious benefit of leftist indoctrination and diversity seminars. Today’s cloistered creeps utterly missed the anger among normal Americas that led to Trump, but then they don’t think much of normal Americans. Recently, Karen Tumulty of the Washington Post took umbrage at one of my tweets and sneered, “Beginning to understand why you will never #readabook.” Her bio indicates I have more degrees than she does. Nice reporting there, Scoop.

No wonder public regard for journalists hovers somewhere between “Raw Sewage” and “Herpes,” yet they still assume they are better than everyone else. I’ll remember that when I toss Karen a quarter out the window of my fine German sedan as she and her pretentious dinosaur media pals stand by the freeway off-ramp with a sign reading, “Will Reinforce the Leftist Narrative for Food (Locally Sourced Only).”

As a general rule, people who want to Change The World don’t actually want to go to the trouble of seeing how the world works in the first place.

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This is spinal tapping

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Which shall be Master?

Once upon a time, I had a MasterCard with a $100 limit, just for online stuff, on the basis that I couldn’t lose a whole hell of a lot.

Those were the days before the Big Credit Crunch, and by the time it was through and I had to throw in the towel, that same card had somehow metamorphosed into a monster with a limit of $12,500.

Obviously this was insane, and no one should allow me to borrow twelve and a half grand. The last time I bought a used car, the price was less than twelve and a half grand, though not much less; then again, that note was secured.

Having squared those matters away, I went and got a MasterCard with a $200 limit, just for online stuff, on the basis that I couldn’t lose a whole hell of a lot. You can probably guess what happened next.

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You may wait here in the sitting room

This is not the least bit heartening:

By the time a new patient hears the words “the doctor will see you now,” it may have taken weeks or even months to get that appointment. Need to see a dermatologist in Boston? The average appointment wait time is a staggering 72 days, according to a recent survey.

“It’s often said what sets apart the American healthcare system is that if someone encounters a problem, they can schedule an appointment and be seen by a doctor at any time,” said Daniel Ehlke, an assistant professor of health policy and management at SUNY-Downstate Medical Center School of Public Health. “But if you look closely at the local level, it usually takes a considerable amount of time to see a doctor.”

Merritt Hawkins, a healthcare consulting firm, conducted a survey [pdf] to determine the average time new patients have to wait to see a doctor in 15 metropolitan areas. The survey focused on five medical specialties: cardiology, dermatology, family practice, obstetrics / gynecology, and orthopedic surgery.

The average wait time was over 18 days. Orthopedic surgery was the only specialty that averaged less than 14 days.

And that was 2014. There’s no reason to think things have improved since then.

Unless someone cancels between now and then, I have a 33-day wait to see the neurologist. By then, I might be dead. (And right now, that looks like the preferable outcome.)

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