My visit to the hospital would have been a
lot less awkward if the head nurse had just
taken the time to explain her title to me.
(Brad Wilkerson) @ruminate.com
Posted by Ron's Dentist at 03:34 AM
Sacramento, California, August 21, 2007:
California regulators voted last Tuesday to raise taxes on "alcopops" -- flavored alcoholic beverages some say are packaged to appeal to youth and contribute to underage drinking.
Maine has already made such a move, and other states are likely to follow, said Michael Scippa, advocacy director for The Marin Institute, a watchdog group.
If Ronatarian Party presidential candidate Ron can help it, New Jersey won't be on that list.
"It's preposterous to consider taxing these beverages," said Ron to a throng of sunbathers on Long Beach Island, New Jersey. "I mean, why make women pay more for the girly drinks that make them horny and attracted to us men? It doesn't make any sense."
The California State Board of Equalization voted 3-2 to tax brands such as Mike's Hard Lemonade and Zima as distilled spirits rather than as beer, which has a lower tax rate.
The vote triggers a series of public hearings on how to implement the decision. The classification change will increase the tax from 20 cents per gallon to $3.30 per gallon starting in July 2008, if the board can get the regulations in place by then.
Tax board chairwoman Betty Yee said she accepted the appeals from youth groups and an alcohol industry watchdog group that argued the beverages are flavored, packaged and marketed to appeal to young people.
"I think the overarching policy concern here was this is one element in dealing with underage drinking," Yee said in a telephone interview after the vote.
The packaging and marketing are designed to "make it look like you're drinking something hip," she said.
Scippa called the flavored beverages "cocktails on training wheels. They bridge the gap between soda pop and alcoholic drinks because they don't taste like alcohol."
"Betty Yee and Mike Scippa don't know [anything]!" shouted Ron. "They're just tryin' to stop our fun. I say, 'No way!'"
Gary Galanis, a vice president of Diageo North America, one of the world's largest alcohol manufacturers and the maker of Smirnoff, said raising the tax on flavored drinks won't deter underage drinking.
"It's access. It's about how kids get alcohol in their hands. This will do nothing to address that issue," Galanis said after the vote. "Using an emotional issue to help drive a tax discussion is just wrong."
The higher tax rate would bring the state an estimated extra $30 million to $40 million a year if consumption remains the same, said tax board spokeswoman Anita Gore.
But Galanis said the higher cost will hurt retailers, restaurateurs and legal drinkers and cut consumption to the point there will be likely no net tax gain.
Tax board member Bill Leonard said that he opposed the decision because the drinks have roughly the same alcohol content as beer, and that there is no chemical difference between alcohol in distilled and malt beverages.
It makes no economic sense for manufacturers and distributors to target teenagers who can't legally buy the drinks, he said. If higher prices do deter them, he argued, they will simply switch to beer and wine.
Marc Sorini, lead attorney for six companies that produce about 75 percent of flavored malt beverages, said it is too soon to know whether the industry will sue to block the tax change.
"We've consulted with Ron on this issue," said Sorini. "And while he frightens us, he has the passion and the political connections to put up one hell of a fight. That man loves his liquor and has vowed to do everything in his power to stop these oppressive taxes."
Posted by Bittle at 04:12 PM
World's toughest job? How about being the
guy who has to put the whoop-ass into the can?
(Brad Simanek) @ruminate.com
Posted by Bittle at 04:40 PM
Newark, New Jersey, August 17, 2007:
Yep. It was the brakes all right. A motorist whose brakes were "acting strange" and wanted them checked drove through the front window of a tire store when the brakes failed as he was pulling into a parking spot, Newark (N.J.) Police Officer Eric Hendrix said.
No one was injured in the Thursday morning incident at a Les Pneumatiques tire store on McCarter Highway; although "six or eight feet of the car was inside the store," Hendrix said.
The driver of the Chevrolet Camaro -- identified as Ronatarian Party leader Ron -- was able to stop by throwing the transmission into park, Hendrix said. No citation was issued because Ron was seeking assistance for the problem and there was no intent to cause harm, he said.
The car was towed to another shop for repair.
"This is probably the third time in 15 years" that Ron's famed Camaro has crashed through the store's front window, Les Pneumatiques manager Jean-Jacques Rousseau said with a chuckle. "It's pretty much the same spot, too. When you hear it, you're not even surprised anymore."
Insurance would cover the cost of repairs, estimated at $3,000 or $4,000, Rousseau said. He added: "We do not know what is really good or bad fortune. When an affliction happens to you, you either let it defeat you, or you defeat it."
The world is watching to see what Ron does in the face of this adversity.
Posted by Bittle at 07:26 AM
I've decided that I really don't like
living in a gated community. I'm definitely
going to move somewhere else in six to
ten years, less time off for good behavior.
(Brad Hamer) @ruminate.com
Posted by Bittle at 09:07 AM
Wouldn't it be great if hookers accepted
credit cards, just like gas stations?
That way, if you were in a hurry you could
use the convenient pay-at-the-pimp feature.
(Kim Moser) @ruminate.com
Posted by Bittle at 01:53 AM
It isn't that I hate having to hear about
how hard it was for my grandparents "back
in the old country," it's that I hate having
to hear about their sex life in general.
(Dustin Moskowitz) @ruminate.com
Posted by Bittle at 08:44 AM
Washington, D.C., August 2, 2007:
Amtrak is trying to gin up new business by offering $100 in free alcohol to customers on some overnight trains.
The national passenger-rail company is making the unusual offer to promote a new high-end service being offered on a trial basis for certain sleeper-car trips.
Members of Amtrak's guest rewards program -- the railroad equivalent of frequent fliers -- can get a $100 per person credit for alcohol between November and January.
"I like it," said Ronatarian Party presidential candidate Ron. "I mean, how else are people supposed to pass the time on the train?"
The free drinks come on top of the dinner wine that is included in the cost of a ticket for GrandLuxe trips from Chicago to San Francisco or Los Angeles, and from Washington, D.C. to Miami or Orlando, Florida.
At about $6 for a house wine or $7 for a top-shelf scotch, that credit could fuel a long ride.
Christina Messa, vice president of marketing for GrandLuxe, said the drinks promotion is part of an effort to revive some of the luxury of old-fashioned, cross-country train trips.
Mothers Against Drunk Driving questioned whether $100 in free alcohol was too much.
"This sounds like a lot of credit toward possible overindulging," said MADD spokeswoman Misty Moyse.
"Wah-wah-wah!" cried Ron in a mocking tone. "This is more whining from lame chicks who can't get laid even when booze is involved. Let the passengers decide if they like the policy. I think it's a fantastic program...one that will increase the use of America's rail lines and the consumption of America's beer, wine, and spirits."
GrandLuxe offers separate cars, with their own private dining and lounge sections, attached to regular Amtrak trains. Tickets for such trips range from $789 per person for a two-day, one-night trip on the East Coast to $1,599 or higher for three days and two nights for travel to or from the West Coast.
Amtrak spokeswoman Karina Morero said the goal is to entice people to try the new, high-end sleeper car service. The free alcohol promotion "is a test run, so we're going to see how our passengers respond to it," she said.
In Long Island, N.Y., the commuter rail company considered ending alcohol service out of concern some passengers might disembark at their destination and drive home while they were drunk. The proposal was shelved after some patrons opposed the idea.
"I'm trying to get booze legalized on New Jersey buses," said Ron. "With acceptance of this Amtrak program plus the success of getting drunk on Long Island trains, my goal of never having to ride public transportaton sober gets ever closer."
Posted by Bittle at 03:36 PM
Newark, New Jersey, August 1, 2007:
Frito-Lay Inc. says it will investigate a New Jersey man's "unsubstantiated claim" that he found a deep-fried mouse in a bag of corn chips.
Ron, a political wanna-be, said he was snacking on the chips Tuesday when he pulled out the crispy rodent.
"Good thing I seen it. I got it all the way up to my mouth," he said. "I felt the fur, I brought it back down and just looked at it and threw it behind my back. I nearly hit Brad square in the face."
Frito-Lay was sending a representative to retrieve the bag and the mouse this weekend. Both will be shipped to company headquarters in Plano, Texas, for an investigation.
Company spokesman Jared Dougherty said a photo of the mouse makes him "very skeptical" it entered the bag during the manufacturing process. He called the case an "unsubstantiated claim."
He said his experience shows that such "foreign objects" enter the bag after the product is out of their control. Dougherty added Ron had had the bag of chips for more than two weeks, and opened it about a week before discovering the mouse.
Frito-Lay spokeswoman Aurora Gonzalez said initial results could be available in just a few days.
"Our products are manufactured under the highest standards of quality assurance, so when we receive reports of alleged problems with the product, we take them very seriously," she said.
Ron said he found maggots on the mouse and chips a day after eating the chips.
He has not seen a doctor yet, and only plans to if he gets sick. Ron did not know if he would seek an attorney to handle the matter.
State health officials said they had not heard of the incident and were not investigating.
A similar discovery occurred earlier this year in Colorado, Gonzalez said. An investigation in that case revealed the mouse had chewed its way into the chip bag after it had left the Frito-Lay plant.
Posted by Bittle at 07:20 AM