Vouchers for digital converter boxes? Why not for cars? | Street Jazz

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Vouchers for digital converter boxes? Why not for cars?

Posted By on Tue, Jan 13, 2009 at 9:55 AM

So, like many Americans, I’m looking at the various bail-out plans with some trepidation. Unlike the soul-less lunatic fringe, I’m not into union bashing, and I am aghast that one of the conditions for the recent loan given to the car-makers requires a “no-strike” pledge on the part of the unions.


But even with the loans, is there any certainly that people will rush out and begin to buy American cars?

For months - though it seems like decades, doesn’t it? - we have been on the long march toward the digital conversion of TV signals. Which now, of course, may or may not happen after all. But for months we have seen the offer of government vouchers to help folks pay for the converter boxes.

Well, how about a government voucher program designed to help people buy hybrids and electric cars? Everybody on cable news shows raves about these being the wave of the future, but the price is just way out of reach for most Americans - a fact seemingly beyond the grasp of most financial reporters on TV.

A voucher program - along with some sort of limited bail out - would, in essence, be a sort of social engineering, but it would also steer Detroit into building the cars that people actually want.

And it might help ordinary Americans purchase and drive the cars that they actually want to


Quote of the Day?

When I was a boy, people were already talking about fiction going downhill. In the years that have elapsed, almost everything has gone downhill, including the people who said it. But fiction remains at the top of the tree. - Sir Osbert Sitwell


Science and Science Fiction

Marvin Hilton emailed me to let me know that Michael Straczynski will appear in a program entitled "Science and Science Fiction,” which will be shown on C.A.T. this week, on the following dates.

Wednesday, January 14: 10pm
Friday, January 16: noon
Saturday January 17: 8:30pm

As always, C.A.T. is shown on Channel 18 of the COX Channel line-up in Fayetteville. Or you can watch it online:


Straczynski is the creator of Babylon 5 - and so is as a god among men. He also worked on a fun show I used to watch in the 1980s, Captain Power and the Soldiers of the Future. If you can find it, it’s a lot of fun.

I’m not all that big into remakes, but Straczynski has been approached to write the script for the remake of Forbidden Planet, so there may be some hope for that one. For more information about a man whose feet we should all be worshiping at:



No Tattoos, please, we’re stuffy

It’s sort of interesting reading the views that some in the Archibald Yell Blvd. Area aren’t all in favor of having a tattoo parlor in their midst, as it it would not be “compatible” with either a retail space coming into the area, or the residential area that it is in.

I’m not sure if these folks we’re actually paying attention, but the last business to occupy that space was a sex novelty store.

And not just novelties - Extreme novelties.

You always sort of have to wonder about the conversation around the house when a husband or wife comes charging through the front door, arms laden with plastic bags. “Honey, tonight we’re gonna have extreme fun!”

“Yeah, right. That’s what you said when you bought the Star Wars Monopoly game.”


George Bush - the action hero morphs into something quite different

Watching the bizarre performance of George Bush yesterday, and I realized that this man, who has for so long tried to portray himself as some sort movie action hero, has - at long last - morphed into the grumpy old man down the block.

Yes, he’s become Mister Wilson, from the “Dennis the Menace” comics.   


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