Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Reason show notes 070808

I mentioned this morning on Reason that I had made a birthday cake for George W. Bush's birthday. I'm sure you can read it. Wishful thinking. But it obviously didn't work out that way. On the show I discussed why I hate Channel 4 ... and their horrible looking new show coming up, Greatest American Dog. I also talked about the dangers of woodpeckers ... and read a column by my friend Bob Confer.

The new gold ...

Seems everyone this days is giving gas away as part of a promotional package. Buy a car, get free gas. Buy a boat. Get free gas. Buy a burrito, get gas. Well ... kind of.

Anyway, people aren't interesting in money, jewelery, or even gold. Diamonds aren't a girls best friend any more. Give 'em gas.

Even the Florida lottery has added gasoline to their list of prizes.

A lottery spokesperson said, “Once a week for the next two months, the second-prize winner in the latest lottery promotion, Summer Cash, will win free gasoline for life. And some people think that is a better deal than the game’s first prize, a quarter of a million dollars. ”

Actually, they'll be getting a $100 gas card every other week for the remainder of their life. That's $50 free dollars in gas a week. Or just over 10 gallons. Not that grand of a prize, really. Especially since later this year it will be just under 10 gallons ... and will likely quickly diminish.

Funny thing is, people don't notice that the value of the prize isn't nearly as good as the first place prize ... the quarter million dollars. They just hear free gas and go gaga.

The price of gasoline, of course, makes up a little bit of the price of just about everything; the food we eat, the stuff we buy ... and of course the places we go.

But keep in mind, it's only a portion of the cost of those things.

With the price of gas at $4.20 a gallon, and assuming, 20 miles per gallon, it's 21 cents a mile. Or $101.01 to get from my home in Lockport to my favorite vacation destination, Washington, DC. Round trip makes it $200 (give or take).

Two years ago, it would have only been $100 for gas for the same trip.

Of course, while on vacation, you'd spend a bunch of money on a hotel, tourist attractions, trinkets, etc. Let's say $1,000.

So add the gas in, and you've got a $1,200 vacation. As opposed to what would have been an $1,100 vacation if gas were $2.10.

Are you really going to skip your vacation over $100?

We need to stop treating gas as though it were gold. Otherwise, it might end up at $1,000 an ounce. And then we really couldn't afford to go anywhere.

Judge offers mixed ruling on Buffalo Casino

A Federal Court judge has ruled that the Seneca Nationproperty in Buffalo is sovereign territory. Which looks like a win for the casino. But to make it confusing, Judge William Skretny also ruled that the Seneca Nation does not have the legal right to operate a casino on that nine acre site in Buffalo's Cobblestone District.

Huh?

Apparently, the Seneca Nation and the anti-progress ... er, I mean anti-casino folks will both hold press conferences later today.

AP: Bruno might not finish his term ...

According to the Associated Press, Former state Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno may resign from office within the next few weeks instead of staying til the end of his term.

The 79-year-old Rensselaer County Republican had previously announced he would not seek re-election. Then he stepped down from his leadership post almost immediately thereafter. He's been in office since 1976 (and we've been in decline at least that long).

The AP reporters that there are several candidates angling to take Bruno's job. The general election is Nov. 4.

Given the well-known FBI investigation into Bruno, one would have to wonder if he's been coerced into making these decisions.