I Have a New Car

I’ve been thinking about cars more than I usually do, and I wanted to share this item I came across: My Car, My Crutch.

When I opt to use my car for transportation, it is easy for me to control my experiences and keep them uninterrupted by the vast, unimagined plethora of possibilities that otherwise wait for me in relatively safe Canadian cities. Instead of using my mind to assimilate and conduct unexpected, interesting stimuli into equally unexpected and provocative thoughts, I wait for lights and sit in traffic. Head in hand, elbow resting on the door’s window ledge, I fill the time by pondering my achievements, my assumed obligation to fulfill those achievements, or the nagging belief that I haven’t or won’t or can’t fulfill them. Perhaps my subconscious propels me into this space partly because of the monetary pressure my vehicle exerts on me. Or perhaps, since I never have to think about becoming waylaid by the irregularities of public transit, this car gives me the sense that I have temporal invincibility in my task-oriented approach to life.

A little over 10 years ago, I carpooled to work one day with a freelance programmer who was working on the commercial website I was building. When I picked him up in my then-new 1998 Accord, he commented, “Ooh, nice car.” I thanked him and observed, without really thinking about it, that it was “probably the nicest car I’ll ever own.”

He was shocked that I would say that, at least in reference to a sensible 4-door family sedan. His response reminded me of something I frequently forget: that there is this whole Cult of the Car that I’ve never been part of, with roadsters and Ferraris and all that stuff.

My prediction (that our ’98 Accord would be the nicest car I ever owned) had a chance of coming true up until a couple of days ago. But after 250K miles of ridiculously long commuting it was time to buy a new one.

I go into the car-buying process afraid. In the past I’ve tried hard to avoid being scammed, but the best I can usually do is to avoid being scammed in the particular ways I’ve previously been scammed, while being scammed in completely new ways that I don’t recognize until later.

This time was different, thanks in large part to Zag/Truecar, a reverse-auction site that has dealers bid for your business, and to salesman Mike Daegetano at Honda of Hollywood, who actually ended up selling us the car. I feel badly about how I treated Mike. I owe him an apology.

It’s a fairly long haul down to Hollywood from where I live, so I wanted all the numbers buttoned up before I went there. Mike gave me his out-the-door price over the phone, including the breakdown for tax, license, etc.

I told him, “Look; I don’t want to get down there and find out that there’s something extra being tacked on. This is the price, right?”

“Absolutely; I don’t do that kind of thing. I’m being straight with you.”

Yeah, whatever, I thought. “Fine,” I said, and hung up. But when I went over the numbers he’d given me, I saw that the California sales tax was $19.25 too high. That is, it looked like we were paying the 8.75% sales tax on $220 more than we should have been. I went over the numbers a couple of times, but couldn’t figure out why that money was there.

Until I thought, oh, of course. Car dealers. After all this, they’re going to pull this on me, and for a measly $20. But even with that, Honda of Hollywood’s price was still more than $1K less than any of the other dealers I’d been talking to, so I decided to just eat the $19.95, while keeping my guard up to make sure it wasn’t the first step in some ploy to get me to pay an extra $220. Which I assumed it probably was.

Mike called me the next morning. “Mr. Callender? I wanted to let you know there was a mistake in that price I gave you.”

Uh oh, I thought. Here it comes. “So you’re saying it’s going to cost us more?” I could feel my blood pressure rising.

“No, no. I made a mistake in the sales tax, because I took off the price of the window etching, like we agreed, but then I forgot to take that cost out when I figured the tax. So your actual out-the-door price will be $19.95 less than what I told you yesterday.”

There was a long pause.

“Mr. Callender? Is that okay?”

“Yeah, it’s fine,” I finally said. “It’s just… unprecedented.”

“Hey, I said I was being honest.” He sounded hurt.

“Yeah, I know. But you guys always say that. And until now it was never true.”

But it was. I was in and out of the dealer in 15 minutes, and am now driving what I’m pretty sure is the nicest car I will ever own. And if you are shopping for a Honda in L.A., you really should talk to Mike at Honda of Hollywood.

Diogenes, I’m sure, is spinning in his grave.

57 Responses to “I Have a New Car”

  1. shcb Says:


  2. knarlyknight Says:

    Nice! So, did you give him the $20?

  3. NorthernLite Says:

    That’s a sweet car. And an extremely honest car salesman?! Wow…

    In other news, what if the Tea Party was black?


  4. shcb Says:

    If the Tea Party were black? Hmm, if 90% of 17% of the population went from reliable Democrats to reliable Republicans, hmm, one can only dream.

  5. enkidu Says:

    nice wheels!
    I traded mine for my bike.
    Prolly harder to do that in LA (u have a long commute iirc)

    I hope the AC is in good working order

    113˚ new record for LA
    climate change denialists, start your rhetorical engines!

  6. Smith Says:

    Why a group that claims to advocate small government and fiscal responsibility would be reliably Republican is completely beyond me. The GOP certainly has done nothing to promote either of those goals. Look at 2000-2006. Deficit growth, check. Expansion of executive powers, check. Encroachment into personal lives, check. The only way the Tea Party would be reliably Republican would be if the TP was deliberately misrepresenting their goals in order to hide their true motivations. Hmmmm……

    That, or they are just too damn stupid to realize they are being duped by the GOP and Fox.

  7. shcb Says:

    Was that a rhetorical question/statement/ad nausea jab at conservative intelligence? You do understand the dynamics involved don’t you? They really aren’t that much different than the recent Obama mania. At least in this case the movement is being built around an ideal and not a single flash in the pan politician.

  8. enkidu Says:

    When you are funded by wrong wing nut job billionaires (Koch brothers, Dick Armey’s efforts etc) I find it difficult to accept the whole grassroots label… for all the whinging wwnjs do about evil overlord Soros – wait a moment, wait a moment… new instructions coming from SoroSentral… this week’s directive: destroy America. same as last week. (end snark)

    Or did I miss all those protests when shrubco doubled our national debt? O that’s right, wwnjs were busy telling everyone to stfu, there is a war on! Dissent of any kind is treason blah blah blah. Can you imagine if left wingers would have brought assault rifles to a bush event? O, right some naughty hippy in SF had a sign that compared bush to hitler. Because everyone knows when you invade other countries based on whopping lies, it is totally different when a wwnj does it. Totally.

    OK now back to the current day where Obama is hitler for trying to reform our healthcare system. Fascism! To arms o patridiots! Freedumb!

    The only teabagger ‘ideal’ is that they are peeved there is a π!@@&# in their White House (see, it sez WHITE house right on the label, no darkies allowed)

  9. knarlyknight Says:

    Amen enk.

  10. shcb Says:

    What? What did that tirade have to do with the natural progression of a political movement? I sometimes think Enky has a random word generator that just rearranges his pre-programmed phrases, sort of like the woman’s voice in my Garmin.

    Smith made some good points from a not very sophisticated political mind, now I know he has a very sophisticated political mind, so he was either venting a little or he was baiting me, or he was playing my straight man so I could school you guys in the vagaries of politics and political strategy. I’m pretty sure it wasn’t the latter.

  11. enkidu Says:

    lessee, discussion was about cars, then black tea party, then tea party…
    my comment was on the tea party, political discourse and conservatives in general

    o pls school us dumb libs! moran

  12. Smith Says:

    Please enlighten us all on why a group that ostensibly exists to promote smaller government and fiscal responsibility would reliably support a party that has a proven track record of deficit spending and expansion of federal powers. You are aware that the GOP has in no way demonstrated itself to be a bastion of responsible (as defined by the TP) government, right?

    “a single flash in the pan politician.”

    You mean Palin?

    You are pretty naive if you actually believe this: “At least in this case the movement is being built around an ideal”

    What ideal? If they are voting for the GOP, it sure as hell isn’t small government. “Fuck minorities”, perhaps, but definitely not “small government”.

  13. shcb Says:

    It was about the “tea party, political discourse and conservatives in general” I guess I’ll have to take your word on that, it seemed more a jumble of gobbledy gook.

  14. knarlyknight Says:

    damn good random word generator, beats hell out of arrogant wwnj musings

  15. enkidu Says:

    hurf durf! sociamalism!

  16. shcb Says:

    The Tea Party, like any other political movement, is not monolithic. It is made up of various factions some of them more pragmatic than others and some of them more experienced than others. The less pragmatic and experienced will tend to be more energetic and less flexible. They will also tend to be single issue oriented. For a movement like this to succeed it almost always has to attach itself to one of the two major parties because the major parties are the out of bounds markers in this game. Some examples of failed movements in the past that have that have decided to go it alone would be Teddy Roosevelt’s Bull Moose party, Nader’s Green party, or Ross Perot’s Reform Party. In each of these cases the splinter groups have done nothing but to act as a spoiler to the major party they were most closely aligned. On the other hand you can look at what George Soros did with his progressive movement, he was able to steer it so that it aligned with the Democratic Party, and moved that party decidedly to the left, we are now seeing the fallout of what happens when these movements get too ambitious.

    The more pragmatic and experienced members of a movement like this understand that they need the less experienced for their enthusiasm, and of course their votes. The enthusiasm is critical because it tends to draw in the middle-of-the-road undecided voters, these people just can’t seem to resist jumping on a bandwagon as it lumbers down the road. So it becomes a balancing act as to how to keep the purists energized and still interested enough in the major party so as to not become separated. Now the purists are always going to be disappointed, either they break from the party and fail, or they stay aligned and don’t get all they want because what they want isn’t practically achievable.

    The more pragmatic understand that it’s a numbers game, there are going to be a few more radical candidates nominated that stand absolutely no chance of becoming elected. They’re going to lose those races, but it’s a numbers game. The trick is to get more mainstream candidates to ally themselves with the movement just enough to garner the votes of those all-important swing voters that hopefully at this point aren’t just chasing that bandwagon there hanging off the side of it hootin and hollerin.

    We have an example of this going on right now in Colorado, our governor’s race is a three-way event, John Hickenlooper is the Democratic candidate for governor and is also currently the mayor of Denver, and very well-liked. The Republican candidate is in not very well-liked either amongst Democrats or Republicans, enter Tom Tancredo. Tom lost the nomination of his party and then tried to blackmail them into basically unnominating the nominee, when the Republican Party refused he held true with this threat and is running as a third-party candidate, virtually ensuring that Mayor Hick will win. As well liked as Hickenlooper is the chances of him losing weren’t very great to begin with, but Tancredo has pretty much sealed the fate.

    The ideal this moment has been built around is exactly as you say, lower taxes, less governmental involvement in our lives, and all the other traditional conservative values. Republicans may have not been perfect in the past but they have certainly been better than Democrats. Pragmatists are happy with moving the cause in the right direction even if their ultimate goals are never reached. It’s like a new bride trying to perfect her imperfect husband (and aren’t we all) if she tries to force him to change all of the habits she find so disgusting at one time the marriage will likely fail, if she takes her time and does it over a period of years and at some point decides she’s just going to have to live with a few of the faults chances of a successful marriage are much greater.

  17. Smith Says:

    “Republicans may have not been perfect in the past but they have certainly been better than Democrats.”

    Really? http://obrag.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/budget_deficit_or_surplus.gif

    “less governmental involvement in our lives,”

    You mean like expanded programs for domestic spying, accessing library records, holding people indefinitely without trial, wiretapping, subpoenaing websites for user data, telling consenting adults they cannot marry, blocking qualified individuals from pursuing a military career because of who they love, and so forth? Yep, sounds like the GOP is all about respecting individuals’ rights not to be bothered by the government. Of course, Obama has continued most of this, but he is basically a moderate Republican.

    “It’s like a new bride trying to perfect her imperfect husband”

    Perhaps if the bride didn’t support the GOP, she could have married the woman she loves instead of settling for the man she doesn’t.

  18. shcb Says:

    But those are all (exaggerated) issues most in the Tea Party agree with, so they will support the GOP on those issues, they don’t support the excesses of spending. So the pragmatic hope to get marginally more conservative representatives elected to spend less. The less pragmatic will be disappointed and say whoever is elected is just a moderate Democrat no matter how conservative he/she rationally is.

    As to your last paragraph, the same dynamic would apply to same sex marriages. But I know you’re just spittin mad and not thinking clearly.

  19. enkidu Says:

    “hootin and hollerin”
    like this?

    Mr Smith, good luck showing a graph (or your list) like that to a wwnj: they just disbelieve it. Saint Ronny doubled the debt? w was incompetent moran? (who also doubled the national debt) I’ve been duped by extremely wealthy and powerful forces that couldn’t give a crap about all the ‘issues’ that matter to me? (see above note on disbelief)
    best of luck with that ‘discussion’

    I wish Obama had a bit more fight in him, but I do realize that he was handed a monumental catastrophe and has actually done pretty well with it (excepting the laundry list of Smith’s, which Obama now owns more and more with each passing day). Biggest mistake was not prosecuting the war criminals. I know the economic crisis made a more ‘united’ response the best option, but it left these same neocons and radicals free to do it all over again.

  20. shcb Says:

    You really don’t read do you? Where have I disagreed with Smith that we spent too much during the Bush years? Or the Reagan years for that matter, we spent way too much

  21. Smith Says:

    “issues most in the Tea Party agree with,”

    In other words, this claim: “less governmental involvement in our lives”, is a complete lie. If the TP supports those issues, then the TP supports big, intrusive government.

    It seems apparent to me that by asserting that the TPers were advocating a false ideal in order to hide their true motives, I was giving the group entirely too much credit. As shcb has shown us, the average TPers don’t actually understand the ideals they claim to support. Believing that the list in my previous post represents “less governmental involvement in our lives” shows how little the average member understands of their own rhetoric. Apparently option B, “they are just too damn stupid to realize they are being duped by the GOP and Fox”, is the more accurate statement.

    I’m sure their are a handful of intelligent individuals at the top who are pulling the strings, and they are most likely using the alleged “TP Ideal” to control the useful idiots at the rallies; however, I seriously doubt they actually support the majority of those issues. Unfortunately, we cannot determine this, as the TP Intelligentsia is nowhere to be found in the comment section of this site.

    “As to your last paragraph, the same dynamic would apply to same sex marriages.”

    Add another one to the list of statements shcb cannot wrap his head around. Good job on missing the point. And no, I will not waste my time trying to explain it to you.

  22. NorthernLite Says:

    Less government intrusion is what the TP is all about…

    Unless a private citizen (with brown skin) wants to build a community centre somewhere, then they need the government to step in.

  23. shcb Says:

    Less, less, less… it’s a matter of degree, and you say I can’t wrap my head around a concept? “The average TPers don’t actually understand the ideals they claim to support” they understand them, they just aren’t going to get them to the level they wish, just as you aren’t going to get the ideals you want implimented to the degree you crave either, if you would you wouldn’t have to make statements like “Obama is a moderate Republican” because believe me he isn’t, he is just hampered by political reality. You guys and the Tea Party folks are flip sides of the same coin.

  24. enkidu Says:

    what a joke

    disagree with a wwnj: you’re a bigot
    disagree with bigoted TP morans: you’re the same, just lefty


  25. shcb Says:

    That is just false, everyone on this site disagrees with me, you are the only one that hates conservatives for simply being. (my impression)

  26. enkidu Says:

    We’ve been over and over and over this.
    I have no problems with reasonable common sense conservatives, or liberals (since this is the axis or lens you prefer to view our ‘discussion’)

    I’ll point to just one of my many examples already posted here. Bill Maher (lib) and Bill Frist (R) are on Bill’s show talking about vaccines and autism or some such. You would expect me to ‘hate’ Bill Frist and automagically choose Bill M over Bill F. But I think for myself, not by the ‘party line’. Bill M is wrong (tho I do share his concern to make vaccines safer/safest possible) and Bill Frist (the conservative/R) is right.

    I look for many sources of information (not just hate radio and fauxnews, tho did u guys catch the Stewart/OReilly interviews lately? jon called bill, the liberal at fox news, which was like being the thinnest kid at fat camp). On the vaccine issue, knarly and I disagree, as well as on the whole 911truther hypothesis (sorry, not convinced). We can agree to disagree, without all your name calling bigotry, bullshit and long winded bluster (frosted with homey anecdotes and ‘beer is good’ sprinkles). You can sugar coat it, but you are a wrong wing nut job. Maybe not as nutty as TV, Patridiot or our local Voldemor… ahem, nm. But no amount of fact, math or reality seems to change your opinion, so ‘discussing’ almost anything with you is indeed like arguing with the dining room table.

    You will, as usual, flip flop, twist and twirl until you can convince yourself you won this very serious debate (note, i am not ‘debating’, I just enjoy making fun of a particularly pompous wwnj. Everyone needs a hobby).

  27. shcb Says:

    I could live with that, I just hear a particular tone that leads me to believe you more than just disagree with conservatives. Me being an asshole, long winded, never going to change my mind… can’t argue any of that.

    Well, I’ve voiced my opinion of you, that is the last time I call you a bigot, I’m on the outside of the definition of the word anyway. I used it to prove a point once and got too used to using it, same complaint I have against you guys, spose it’s time to but it to rest.

  28. enkidu Says:

    you need one of these here random word generators
    lemme jes set the old girl to ‘wwnj’
    knob’s a bit hard to turn…. there
    punch in the number of words you want in your tirade and…

    “mud hut liberals”

    first one’s free

  29. Smith Says:

    “they just aren’t going to get them to the level they wish, just as you aren’t going to get the ideals you want implimented to the degree you crave either”

    Ah, but the difference here is that, unlike the TP (if we assume that small gov and fiscal responsibility are their actual goals [which seems unlikely]) I don’t vote for members of a party that does not support my ideals.

    If you think you can claim “less government interference” at the same time as claiming to support my previous list, you are an idiot who does not understand your own platitudes.

    “The ideal this moment has been built around is exactly as you say … less governmental involvement in our lives”
    “But those are all (exaggerated) issues most in the Tea Party agree with”

    Those are contradictory beliefs. It amazes me that some people have reached the point at which they are incapable of experiencing cognitive dissonance. I guess critical thought and self-reflection are out of the question.

    “because believe me he isn’t”

    The fact that Obama has willfully continued the majority of my list of things that the TP somehow simultaneously embraces and opposes, suggests that this is yet another instance in which you do not know what you are talking about.

  30. shcb Says:

    Huh, I guess you’re not as politically sophisticated as I thought you were. I stand corrected.

  31. knarlyknight Says:

    Yea shcb, it’s tough to be politically sophisticated, eh?” Winston sank his arms to his sides and slowly refilled his lungs with air. His mind slid away into the labyrinthine world of doublethink. To know and not to know, to be conscious of complete truthfulness while telling carefully constructed lies, to hold simultaneously two opinions which cancelled out, knowing them to be contradictory and believing in both of them.

  32. shcb Says:

    Well, I have a hard time figuring out if Smith and Enky don’t understand this stuff or just don’t want to. They tend to pick one characteristic of one faction and another characteristic of another faction together and say it applies to the group as a whole, and it doesn’t. Sure there are some general tendencies, but as I pointed out above, none of these groups, whether it be right, left, public or private is monolithic. Take for instance “If you think you can claim “less government interference” at the same time as claiming to support my previous list, you are an idiot who does not understand your own platitudes.” of course I can claim that, less is less, not none. If one dentist can fix my problem by pulling out one tooth and another wants to pull out three, the first is fixing the problem by pulling less teeth, now I surely want to have the problem fixed by pulling none, but that may not be on the menu. Someone who can’t understand something that basic doesn’t understand politics. Or it doesn’t fit their argument, which is my guess.

    Another example:

    I’ll point to just one of my many examples already posted here. Bill Maher (lib) and Bill Frist (R) are on Bill’s show talking about vaccines and autism or some such. You would expect me to ‘hate’ Bill Frist and automagically choose Bill M over Bill F. But I think for myself, not by the ‘party line’. Bill M is wrong (tho I do share his concern to make vaccines safer/safest possible) and Bill Frist (the conservative/R) is right.

    Why is it assumed the vaccines and autism link is a conservative/liberal issue? There is an answer to the question, because JBC and people like him have lumped anyone who doesn’t believe in AGW to the degree he does to every other theory they don’t believe in, whether it is justified or not. The spokesman for this movement is the big boobed blonde I can never remember, I doubt she is a conservative, so why does Enky think he is crossing a party line by holding the same view as millions of people, conservative and liberal? Baffling.

  33. enkidu Says:

    you are a tool
    you’ve said over (and over and over) that I am a bigot because I hate conservatards like you. My reaction to any given topic isn’t biased by the politics of the participants. The lib in the example is wrong and – wonder of wonders – the right winger is right (as in correct).

    Funny how you have to invert this, flip in the 4th dimension, pull it out your ass and somehow claim I am saying that I am discussing the vaccine issue and ascribing one end of the spectrum to this and the other end to that. Seems a pretty clear example where I am picking out specific individuals. Bill Frist is right and Bill Maher is dead wrong. I didn’t say anything about anyone else. Science doesn’t care about your politics.

    Talk about a lack of reading comprehension.

    The nuns did a really poor job with your edumakashun.

  34. shcb Says:

    Then why did you feel the need to add “wonder of wonders”?

  35. shcb Says:

    Smith, Knarly

    I’ll give you an example of when the prototypical Tea Party member might be in favor of increased spending, increasing the military budget. Now he would certainly like to see it offset with decreased spending in other areas, say welfare, but he has two choices, support one of the two major parties or support a third party, in the first case who is the logical choice? In the second case he risks not only losing the increase of military spending he risks a decline in the funding he approves of and an increase in the funding he disapproves.

  36. knarlyknight Says:

    shcb, I understand what you’re selling, and I’m not buying.

    But I will answer your question: “in the first case who is the logical choice?” Um, support the fiscally conservative Democratic party? Right? Because then he gets the money for the wars he wants and doesn’t get all the rest of his his teeth pulled out, Right? But if he supports the flagrantly profligat Republicans, then there will be about the same crazy amount of money spent on the military, but the rest of the budget will be gobschmacked by stupidity and plunged into a blackhole of debt so deep it’d make Dante’s inferno look like the Ty Wanrer Penthouse: http://pursuitist.com/travel/four-seasons-hotel-new-york-ty-warner-penthouse-at-35000-a-night/

  37. knarlyknight Says:

    Did you catch the last part of that hotel room description: “Maximum occupancy King bed: 3 adults,”

  38. enkidu Says:

    boo hoo, if Richie Rich doesn’t get him’s tax cut, he won’t be able to afford the other hooke… errrr escort

    knarls et al, if you haven’t watched any of the excellent RSA Animate series, this won’t be quite as cool, but at least it talks in plain language about where the tax cuts go. Even if you don’t watch this, go google the RSA animate thing on youtube, well worth the time.


  39. shcb Says:

    At least you understand, Knarly.

  40. knarlyknight Says:

    Thanks shcb.

    As for the TP, the strange thing is that whatever I read about them aligns near 100% with what Ron Paul has been saying for years, the whole TP “movement” seems like a continuation of the “Ron Paul Revolution” that showed some promise during the primaries but ultimately calmed in the face of the depressing McRain/Stalin reality.

    And it looks like Michael Moore agrees with your assessment that the Democrats are going to get their @sses kicked in November (& I agree with his recommendations) http://www.michaelmoore.com/words/mike-friends-blog/five-ways-democrats-can-avoid-catastrophe-and-pull-mother-all-upsets


  41. shcb Says:

    I didn’t keep up on Ron Paul that much, nor the Tea Party really, there is a group like this on either side more times than not, especially when the side they are most likely aligned with got its ass kicked the last time around, it emboldens them, we’ll see some iteration of this in a couple years on the liberal side if the Dems get kicked this time, don’t gain much in ’12, and lose the White House. It is kind of a natural progression.

    But to your point, on a whole I’m sure you’re right, at least the vocal part that is getting all the attention is probably a lot like Paul, and the folks that are most like him will be disappointed when this is all over, no matter how big the Republicans win.

  42. shcb Says:

    Oh my! Moore is a kook! number 5 is the only one that might not do more harm, to the US or the Dems.

  43. shcb Says:

    Met a lot of nice Canadians today, seems the high taxes drive air traffic and those taxes from Canadian airports and coffers to border towns like Buffalo. Enough to make the customs hassles worthwhile.

  44. knarlyknight Says:

    hurf durf. So predictable how you believe and jump on the “attack the taxes” bandwagon. Yea, our airport taxes are up there, my understanding is that it’s an effort to make air travellers pay for the airports, instead of having people like me who rarely fly but ride my bike a lot have to subsidize rich folks profligate jet setting. Is that how it works in the states? As for taxes in general, there’s always been a low level griping about taxes in Canada, that’s just human nature, but the level of griping is very much the same as it has always been; there is no pending tax revolt like might be coming in the states with the TPers, because the government services up here are fairly good and are being run by fairly competent people, for the most part.
    The real driver is that under Clinton the US dollar cost $1.50 Cdn., now thanks to Bush’s hyper-spending and the Dem’s inability to reel that in over the past year given the realities of your morbidly sick economy, we can now buy a US dollar for about $1.02.

  45. shcb Says:

    That’s all well and good but you are missing my point, Canada didn’t get those taxes so the “rich” could pay for their jet setting ways the US got a lesser amount of taxes. The 3 couples I talked to, who by the way weren’t rich, they just took a little trip to Vegas, those 6 people didn’t pay those taxes, they drove a couple hours, avoided several hundred dollars in taxes and gave a few bucks to the US government instead (so they could spend that money in the US, because money always stays in Vegas). So now the Canadian government sees its projected revenue dropping and raises the rates even higher, and downward it spirals.

    I know how much the difference is because I checked, I wanted to get a direct flight from Denver, none is available to Buffalo, the cost of the ticket into Canada was over 30% higher. I was talking to my daughter yesterday, she wants to go to Canada for winter break, her ticket is going to be 30% higher than a comparable US flight. Unfortunately she isn’t going to an area close to the border, we’re not rich, so part of her Christmas present is going to be paying some of your taxes.

  46. knarlyknight Says:

    Fine except for one thing, “So now the Canadian government sees its projected revenue dropping and raises the rates even higher, and downward it spirals.” That’s just pure conjecture, and not realistic.

    Everyone knows these air taxes (+fuel surcharges?) are high (relatively) and have a dampening effect, increasing them further is not an option. Years back we tried increasing taxes on cigarettes significantly, with the result that smuggling smokes in from the states became widespread. Rather than raising taxes further due to projected revenues falling, government lower the tax on cigarettes to the point where smuggling was less of an issue.

    The difference between our opinions on your conjecture (about government wrecking air travel by taxing it out of being feasible) is that you are anticipating incompetent government actions, while I am anticipating generally responsible decisions with the occasional mistake that, when made, will be corrected soon enough. Maybe we have had different experiences with government.

  47. shcb Says:

    You’re right, I was making more of a general point, only the people that live near a border town like Buffalo with a major airport could avoid the taxes.

    I did go see the falls today, pretty cool, but why is it suposed to be so romantic? Why do people get married there? it’s a river running over a cliff!

    didn’t make it to Canada though, we may go Wednesday if our testing goes well today and tomorrow.

  48. NorthernLite Says:

    Funny, the last government in Canada to balance a budget and pay down debt (8 in a row) was the Liberal Party and the last one to do it in the USA was the Democractic Party, which I beleive ran a few in a row and paid off significant debt. Why aren’t the Tea Baggers supporting these parties, the ones with a proven record of fiscal reponsibility?

    Our Conservative Party and your Republican Party have both racked up huge amounts of debt.

  49. NorthernLite Says:

    shcb, people don’t go cross-border shopping to “avoid taxes”, they go because the selection of merchandise is different and some things are cheaper – not because of taxes, because your minimum wage pay keeps workers in poverty.

    Our minumum wage is $10.50 an hour here. Even Wal-Mart has to pay its workers that. And don’t forget their healthcare is already paid for. See why we live longer and happier lives?

    I’ll agree that the Falls aren’t romantic. more “cool” than anything in my opinion.

  50. Smith Says:

    “of course I can claim that, less is less, not none.”

    If pretending you don’t support a large, intrusive, police run government (dare I say Fascism) helps you sleep at night, then feel free to continue lying to yourself. That you choose to allow yourself to play the fool for the GOP (party before people, right?) is no skin off my back. All I have lost is some small amount of time in the hope of providing you with an opportunity for some introspection, I guess I lacked the sophistication to realize you have no interest in/capacity for analyzing the beliefs you have absorbed from your handlers.

    “we can now buy a US dollar for about $1.02.”

    Yeah, the exchange rate sucks. I’m hoping to go overseas again soon (hopefully long-term), but the exchange rates are terrible in most of the world.

  51. NorthernLite Says:

    Oh, and if you’re looking for a low-tax destination for your next vacaton why not try Somalia? They have a very, um, crazy nightlife and as an added bonus, you can carry an AK47 with you at all times.

  52. knarlyknight Says:

    Niagara Falls are romantic because the water presents a beautiful metaphor of couples on a love high frolicking along at crazy speeds and then launching themselves into the air with their wedding vows, falling into order with the certainty and predictability of gravity and smashing everything to hell in a rocky divorce so as to temporarily exist in a confused fog where eager profiteers navigate the swirling mists in tiny boats of refuge; then eventually the water flows away, bereft of most of its youthful (useful) energy. Didn’t you read the sign? :-) That’s why: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/family-and-relationships/most-canadians-unmarried-more-couples-childless-report/article1741307/

  53. enkidu Says:


    It sure is fun to go on those boats that skim the edge of the falls (at the bottom, not the top! ;)… My eldest and I went without those silly blue plastic bags. Kids had a blast with all their CND cousins.

    But I noticed the globe n mail had another article about ‘back off all the bacon’. For one thing the picture was of ‘Merkin bacon (not the lean pea meal bacon sandwiches that make my mouth water). And second, keep yer filthy sociamalistical paws off my cheap n plentiful bacon!

  54. NorthernLite Says:

    This is quite possibly the most hilarious video I’ve seen ever. Stick with it, it gets better and better as it goes through:

    Donald Duck Discovers Glen Beck:
    This cartoon captures perfectly the manner in which Glenn Beck and his ilk employ lies and fear to indoctrinate their congregation of the feeble-minded. Plus, it is F@%KING HILARIOUS. Enjoy it before the Copyright Cops take it down.


  55. enkidu Says:

    boingboing.net, meet our canadian friends
    canadian friends, meet boingboing.net

    that was on bb a day or three ago? ;)

    the comments were at least as hilarious “perhaps mr duck wouldn’t be in such financial straits if he didn’t invest in so many antique radios”

  56. NorthernLite Says:

    LOL yeah I was reading some of the comments too and got a good chuckle!

  57. ethan-p Says:

    Nice ride, and it’s refreshing to hear stories of honest dealers.

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