A Neocon Victory, and a Neocon Thought

A couple things have been sitting in my mind:

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Chicago’s parking meters have been privatized, and it appears the city courts seem to have taken the job of enforcing the parking meter laws with a new vigor. Fees have been for the most parts increased, and the courts have been less and less forgiving, making a point of finding reasons to keep the fees. New rules for the challenge have been created and (of course) not written down or told to everyone. Obvious cases of pre-emptive ticketing have been held up, with every excuse used to make the tickets legal. Non-working meters seem to no longer exist.

As I sit here, I have to wonder why the hell the city couldn’t have done the price-raising on the parking meters themselves. Shift the price from $.25/15 minutes to $.25/10 minutes (and the hour spots to maybe 45 minutes or half an hour).

But I forget…it’s “The Magic of Private Ownership.” Never mind that Chicago has handed over control of the streets to some company for pennies on the dollar, they’re suddenly treating parking rules as so sacred that those rules stay in effect even when there’s rules that dictate exceptions (such that for broken meters).

And don’t tell me about corruption, as I’m sure the same rules for getting out of stuff exist today as they did before Daley sold off the parking meters.

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So now, along with the neocon whining about how prices aren’t being allowed to drop “down to where they belong” (interesting that they want prices and wages (always wages, and especially the wages of the workers) but never debts to drop) but they’re now talking about how “home ownership gums up the economic works.”

That’s right…you own your house, you’re messing with the economy.

Here’s how they explain it: People own their houses, they’re going to stay there when the jobs leave for “better shores” (cheaper wages, better exploitation of locals, grungier pollution of surroundings) thereby withdrawing their talents from the greater economy where it can do “the greatest good” (Not helping their kids grow or keeping the neighborhood stable by doing stuff in it or keeping the church going; NO…gotta keep the gears of the machine working, children neighborhood and God were meant to be ignored of course).

Now understand: There’s sometimes good reason for renting (limited time expected at the place, renting is more affordable, don’t care to take care of house and lawn, etc.), but generally owning a home is preferable to renting an apartment. Indeed, many places, neighborhoods and governments work to persuade people to buy houses instead of renting. The present depression was caused, in part, because of the abuses this drive for people to buy houses caused (or allowed).

So what do the neocons and corporatistas want? Simply put, a work force willing to follow them to the ends of the earth, wherever they choose to go, with no allegiances other to their jobs and the company who hires them at the moment. Why else would they praise IBM’s opening of foreign jobs to American workers (complete with helping them move to their new digs)?

Any wonder Communism and Socialism was popular once? And should be (imho)?

Pepsi and Dew Throwback

Yeah, it’s been a while since I posted anything about soda pops. But then, when Dr. Pepper keeps trying to put out a cherry version of their soda and Dew coming out with different flavors to expand THAT branding beyond any sense, I didn’t see any use. Besides, there were more important issues (like why the American Car Companies were dying, and why all the celebrations over their coming demise). Pepsi Natural seemed to be trying too hard to justify its name (and a bit too expensive to boot) to be worth a review here.

But Pepsi did something different: Put out their old recipes for their sodas. More specifically, these two items:

Pepsi Throwback mdewtbk

That’s right, the original Pepsi and Mountain Dew. Complete with Sugar. Not sure if it’s cane sugar or genetically modified beet sugar, but it’s sugar nevertheless. They each also have a few fewer ingredients than the present items (Pepsi now has BOTH sugar and HFCS; Dew adds Orange Juice amongst other things).

The Pepsi I knew right away was better than the stuff they put out nowadays as Pepsi. From the first sip to the way the taste holds up as it warms up to the smell as you work on those last drops; this was the old Pepsi that I remember drinking, the Pepsi that challenged Coke (and nearly passed Coke as the #1 cola before the New Coke made the Pepsi Challenge passe). Pure Sodapop Heaven! And to think that for years Pepsico accepted that Pepsi would have what some of us (me included) would describe as a dirty taste on the back of the throat!

Mountain Dew presented a challenge, as I think they handled the changeover better with that pop. The addition of Orange Juice added some flavor that seemed to make up for the effect of the HFCS. Indeed, I had to try the two out side-by-side to recognize the differences.

But those differences came up clear with the side-by-side. The HFCS Mountain Dew has a heavier taste that sticks close to the tongue and becomes bitter towards the back, whereas the Throwback Mountain Dew has a light flavor that rises in the mouth as you swallow it. Yes, I know that description sounds funny (“How does a flavor rise when it goes down the throat?”), but that’s how it feels to my mouth.

Overall, I would say the Pepsi Throwback is very much a success. The Mountain Dew is more up in the air to me, as I’d like the stronger flavor without the back-of-the-throat bitterness of the present day Dew.

And this comes from someone with TOO MUCH knowledge of what pops taste/tasted like.