Sunday, July 15, 2007

What Your Car Says About You

I recently read somewhere that the number one reason people give for buying a Toyota Prius--any guesses out there? Perhaps to do good for the environment? I never really believed that for a minute since the concept of hybrids didn't really take off until after gas prices more than doubled seemingly overnight a few years back. I would have guess it was to save on fuel costs, but apparently, that's not the reason either.

The number one reason people provide for buying a hybrid--it makes them look cool. They want others to think they are environmental stewards of the world. I'm a bit conflicted about that. On the one hand, it bothers me that people are more concerned about their image than they are about the world. On the other hand, it's kind of nice to know that we can peer pressured people into doing what's good for the environment. (Not all peer pressure is bad!)

Ever since I read that article, though, whenever I see a Toyota Prius, I can't help but think, "How sad. They must have low self esteem if they are so concerned about how they look."

At the same time, however, I have a bit more respect for those driving around in a non-Prius hybrid. Perhaps they're doing it for selfish reasons (to save money at the gas pump), or maybe they're doing it for the environment (two thumbs up!), or maybe a combination of both. But those are reasons I can understand and support. Oddly, the more someone actively works on their image, the less respect I tend to have for them. Be proud of who you are! And if someone doesn't like that, well, that's their problem, not yours. Isn't it? =)

What your car says about you (the serious version)
What your car says about you (the not-so-serious version)

Monday, July 02, 2007

Bush spares Libby from prison

Doesn't that title make you angry? Yeah, me too.

The article then quotes Bush as saying, "I have concluded that the prison sentence given to Mr. Libby is excessive." Excessive? I've heard the same thing about Paris Hilton's prison sentence, but I didn't see her get a pardon.

Perhaps Libby's sentence is excessive--I'm not sure what is typical in a case such as this. But doesn't taking Libby out of prison completely mean his sentence is now too light?

There was also this nugget in the article: "Bush stopped short of an outright pardon, leaving intact a $250,000 fine and Libby's two-years' probation."

Hey, anybody else out there would rather have Libby serve out 30 months in prison and pardon the fine and probation instead? I think that would have been a fair trade. =)

I'm actually very surprised about the pardon, and wonder if Bush is trying to hide even bigger secrets. I'm not normally one for conspiracy theories. I think Lee Harvey Oswald really did do it. But consider this. This just looks bad. Regardless of whether it's fair or not, it stinks to high heaven. Bush had nothing to gain by keeping Libby out of jail, but a whole lot of bad press (which is the last thing he needs). So why would he do it? For justice? This, from the same guy that's probably done more to erode civil liberties and privacy than perhaps any other president in American history? So really, why would he keep Libby out of jail with absolutely nothing to gain?

Libby was entrenched very deeply in the White House. He probably knows a lot of things that Bush would rather not have public. How do you buy such silence?

Okay, it's circumstantial. Maybe Bush is just trying to be a good man, pushing for a fair sentence. But he's not exactly an impartial observer to be making such decisions. Just because he has the legal right to do so doesn't mean he should. I'm very disappointed.