Monday, June 02, 2014

NRU mish mash

It is hard to know how to take the outrage expressed by those who want to shut down the parking lot mechanics.  I understand that there are probably a lot of legitimate worries associated with the practice.  However, these guys are doing what they need to do to survive without killing anyone, using guns or selling drugs.  They are working on a schedule that works for them; they are getting much less money than they would if they worked in a shop; they are not taking away from the other businesses because their customers can't afford more.  In the big picture, they are helping to keep going folks on the lower end of the income spectrum.   How many of their customers might have to give up their jobs if they can't get their car running?  As long as those folks understand the risks of having these guys work on their cars instead of someone at a shop, who exactly is getting hurt?  As far as I know, if the mechanics at the dealer mess up on my car, I don't really have a lot I can do besides take it back upon which time they probably just tell me it is another problem I need to pay to get fixed.  In a time when we complain so much about those who are not doing for themselves, why are we not celebrating the spirit embodied by this cottage industry?  Someone, please tell me how to deal with these contradictions.  Ken, in the story, gets it:
"They take care of their car like it was theirs," Hoskins said as Bolo replaced a burned-out taillight bulb. "The mechanics at the shop, they'll be jacking you, making you spend more and more money. I'd rather come help these brothers, they're trying to feed their family, doing what they gotta do to survive."
In slightly better Bay Area news, looks like the Oakland Bishop is starting to recognize that his morality clause wasn't helping anyone ... and perhaps was jeopardizing parochial education.  Maybe the spokesperson is the one who has a hard on for the morality clause.  I don't think any Catholic school, even in the Bay Area, can really afford to alienate folks -- especially those who are most likely to financially support the schools outside of tuition.  May we all learn to be more tolerant.  The students deserve the best teachers they can get ... and their parents are paying for it, outside of their taxes, after all.   We will wait to see what finally happens since the blogger at the Chronicle didn't have the last word, yet.

Ooh... I might be giving up my hope for a hybrid truck in favor of this electric car.  I can't remember the last time I read such an enthusiastic review.  But, then again, maybe I don't read many car reviews?  I do remember the review by the car talk guys that convinced me to buy the Prius in the first place.  I just think I could afford this car and that would be a big selling point.  All electric?  I hadn't really considered it before now, but ... sure, why not?  I will probably try to read another three or four reviews and see the safety rating for the VW Golf before I get too excited.

Heartbreaking look at the ravages of the drought in California.  I am glad that some Republicans have recognized that their "global warming is not real" stance is untenable.  But continuing to deny that humans have anything to do with it means that we have no way to bring about the changes necessarily for our survival and that of our planet.  ****UPDATE: This piece on California Chrome, the race horse going for the triple crown, is an interesting counterpoint (on Coalinga/Centerville ) to the bleak picture of portrait of Huron in the previous article.

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