Monday, December 18, 2006

Grove City Borough: 25 Years Without Tax Hike

Monday night, Grove City Borough Council unanimously passed the 2007 operating budget - the 25th in a row without an increase in taxes.

The property tax rate was held at 4 mills, which is the amount that some areas raise their taxes.

Of course, kudos goes to the finance and long-range planning committees for working with the borough employees to determine what the borough needs to run efficiently and effectively.

It is also important to mention the efforts of Borough Manager Vance Oakes. He came to the conservative stronghold of Grove City and made it better. His first budget is a very good one. Congrats!

On a personal note, this was my first budget as a councilman. The people on council take the process very seriously. A tax hike isn't allowed on the table. It's an honor to be with adults who are seriously concerned about the proper use of tax dollars.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Consumer Upadate Part 2: Grove City Tires for Less

You may recall my previous rant about Grove City Tires for Less and their apparent bait-and-switch move.

It seems that they have finally heard about my blog posting. They gave me a call today and offered to show me exactly what's wrong with my car.

I declined.

The owner, Jack Emery, notified me that the problem is that my cam bolts (the special $80 bolts) are worn out - thus the need to drill out my struts.

Luckily, I know about cam bolts. Cam bolts have a special shaft or washer (depending on the design) that is eliptical - you turn the bolt a certain degree and the oblong shaft changes the position of the part. My Jeep has them on the lower control arms for alignment.

Mr. Emery insisted that my bolts are worn out - apparently steel doesn't last as long as it used to. It seems 2002 was too long ago. My Jeep (another DiamlerChrysler product) doesn't have that problem. And I put my Jeep through a heck of a lot more than my Neon. I remember my regular shop adjusting rear cam bolts before.

When I upgraded the suspension on my Jeep, I replaced the cam bolts. Guess what? They didn't cost $80.

In all fairness, I'm trying to dig into the situation online. I do not trust Grove City Tires for Less. I'll talk to dealer technicians first, then other mechanics, then enthusiasts. I'll even dig into the Neon Technical Service Manual.

And if I'm wrong, I'll correct the post. No problem.

Mr. Emery wanted me to remove my post. I declined. He threatened to turn it over to his lawyer. I informed him of my First Amendment protection. He didn't flinch - neither did I. So be it.

I'm entitled to my opinion. If he wants the post removed, does he think that I wouldn't tell everyone I know, anyway? Besides, nothing in my post amounts to libel. And there is no actual malice, a key component of libel. I am acting with truth and fair comment protection clauses.

He has every right to start a site and tell the world that I am wrong.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Solution for Global Warming Found!

If you're a believer in global warming - the thought that man actually has the power to change the climate of the Earth, and that pollution is the worst in human history - then scientists have good news for you!

It seems that intellectuals have determined a small nuclear war would lead to a cooling down period for the Earth.
Using modern climate and population models, researchers estimated that a small-scale nuclear conflict between two warring nations would cause 3 million to 17 million immediate casualties and lead to a marked cooldown of the planet that could lead to crop failures and further misery.
This solution should please the global warming crowd and the overpopulation crowd. What a solution!

Of course, those of us who actually take time to use common sense recognize the silliness of this blog entry. I doubt anyone is advocating nuclear war to help the environment, but it does provide a great opportunity to discuss the lunacy that surrounds the environmentalist movement.

For decades, the anti-capitalist movement declared we were heading for a new ice age. Unfortunately, that theory didn't do much to stop industry. So, to further the anti-capitalist cause, they abandoned their beliefs to adopt the position that we were heading for global warming! Of course, this was brilliant - the media would push this without question and it would give environmentalists and governments the ammo they needed to stop global industrialization - particularly in the United States.

Here we are, two decades later, and every school child firmly believes the biggest threat to the world is global warming and the US economic engine. There are even tremendous amounts of college students who think the same thing.

Anyone can apply a little history, science, politics, and common sense and determine the threat of global warming. We know that the earth has historical trends of warming and cooling. We know that man - particularly Americans - have worked to make the environment cleaner than it has been in the last 200 years. We know that there are millions of people who hate the US and simultaneously feel guilty for everything that man (read: someone other than themselves) has done to the Earth.

We also know that we've drilled, mined, and nuked this planet hundreds of times over - with no effect to the Earth itself. It just smiles and keeps on spinning and lets us think we are significant enough to matter to its giant mass.

Of course we should be environmentally responsible, but to think we'll be the ones who destroy the planet is patently absurd.