Posted by: coastcontact | October 23, 2016

Fiat Spider — Italian fun via Japan

  Fiat revives the 124 Spider

I dreamed about buying a Fiat 124 in the 70s but it was a stick shift and my new wife said NO to the idea.  So I settled for something that was a very conservative sedan. Ugh!

The collaboration between Mazda and Fiat to share the latest MX-5 roadster platform sees its Italian iteration with the Fiat 124 Spider. But the Spider is more than a rebadged Miata. The Fiat carries a 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder MultiAir engine from the Fiat stable that generates 160 horsepower and 184 lb.-ft. of torque. With a price tag around $28,000, the slightly luxurious Fiat Spider Lusso is similar to a tony Mazda. The MX-5 155 hp has a 2.0-liter four.

Road & Track says “One of these cars is very good. The other is truly excellent.”

Consumers Reports has yet to review this car.  That organization always cautions people that first year models can be buggy and it is best to wait for the second year of car design.

Still it might be fun to at least take the Spider on a test drive.


Posted by: coastcontact | October 22, 2016

America’s Free Enterprise System Is Coming to an End!

attSo the wealthy have the power to do as they wish. These are oligarchs. They are only interested in accumulating unbelievable wealth that will provide their family generations of luxurious living without ever having to work a day in their lives. As our society evolves into a nation controlled by those very wealthy, the vast majority of Americans are becoming ever poorer. Donald Trump talks about the shrinking middle class and the 45 million people either in poverty or near poverty. He is correct in pointing out the discrepancy but he really doesn’t have a solution. He is one of those oligarchs. Those oligarch just don’t care no matter what they say.

Thus we see AT&T buying Time Warner. In what way will this benefit society? It won’t. What it will do is put more power in the hands of a few. It will be a more controlled society.

Wells Fargo may pay a fine but its power remains. The rest of the banking industry is just happy they have not been caught in some other manipulation.  The former Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf “retires” with a $100 Million plus retirement package.

This is a sad collapse of the free enterprise system where individuals can open small businesses and make a living. Privately owned drug stores, food markets, and hardware stores were part of the American well of life. Now its Walgreens, Walmart, Kroger, and Home Depot that control the price we pay and the jobs we have.

Posted by: coastcontact | October 19, 2016

The Man Who Cannot Accept a Loss


The essence of this is that Donald Trump is always the winner. Anyone who is selected over him has won by some illegitimate means.

In three different years, Donald Trump claimed the Emmys were stolen from him when he hosted The Apprentice.

Donald Trump has been saying the election is rigged since the primaries were in play.

That claim has been a continuing part of his campaign almost from the beginning. He claimed that the allocation of candidates to the GOP convention were set up in a way of denying him the nomination. Obviously he was wrong. He simply did not understand the way the delegates were won.

Thus today he is still saying the very same thing. He blames everyone but himself for his lagging poll numbers.

If the election is rigged then I ask a few questions.

  1. If you know you can’t win, why are you continuing to campaign?
  2. If the election is rigged how did George W. Bush get elected? The media and the Democratic Party were no different in the year 2000.
  3. Since you say you can’t win why should anyone vote for you? After all those voting for you are wasting their time.

Now after doing fairly well in tonight’s final presidential debate he refuses to say he will concede the election if he loses. That is going to be a big problem for the Republican Party. And the nation too!

Americans have always believed our elections are honest. This is not a third world country where losers have not accepted the results and in some instance refused to relinquish power.

Trump has tried to deny the Obama presidency from its beginning by claiming that President is not a natural born American. His insistence that the election is rigged could give his followers a rallying claim to delegitimize a Clinton presidency.

Transcript from the debate:

CHRIS WALLACE: Mr. Trump, I want to ask you about one last question in this topic. You have been warning at rallies recently that this election is rigged and that Hillary Clinton is in the process of trying to steal it from you.

Your running mate, Governor Pence, pledged on Sunday that he and you — his words — “will absolutely accept the result of this election.” Today your daughter, Ivanka, said the same thing. I want to ask you here on the stage tonight: Do you make the same commitment that you will absolutely — sir, that you will absolutely accept the result of this election?

TRUMP: I will look at it at the time. I’m not looking at anything now. I’ll look at it at the time.

What I’ve seen — what I’ve seen is so bad. First of all, the media is so dishonest and so corrupt, and the pile-on is so amazing. The New York Times actually wrote an article about it, but they don’t even care. It’s so dishonest. And they’ve poisoned the mind of the voters.

But unfortunately for them, I think the voters are seeing through it. I think they’re going to see through it. We’ll find out on November 8th. But I think they’re going to see through it.

WALLACE: But, sir, there’s…

TRUMP: If you look — excuse me, Chris — if you look at your voter rolls, you will see millions of people that are registered to vote — millions, this isn’t coming from me — this is coming from Pew Report and other places — millions of people that are registered to vote that shouldn’t be registered to vote.

So let me just give you one other thing. So I talk about the corrupt media. I talk about the millions of people — tell you one other thing. She shouldn’t be allowed to run. It’s crooked — she’s — she’s guilty of a very, very serious crime. She should not be allowed to run.

And just in that respect, I say it’s rigged, because she should never…


TRUMP: Chris, she should never have been allowed to run for the presidency based on what she did with e-mails and so many other things.

WALLACE: But, sir, there is a tradition in this country — in fact, one of the prides of this country — is the peaceful transition of power and that no matter how hard-fought a campaign is, that at the end of the campaign that the loser concedes to the winner. Not saying that you’re necessarily going to be the loser or the winner, but that the loser concedes to the winner and that the country comes together in part for the good of the country. Are you saying you’re not prepared now to commit to that principle?

TRUMP: What I’m saying is that I will tell you at the time. I’ll keep you in suspense. OK?

CLINTON: Well, Chris, let me respond to that, because that’s horrifying. You know, every time Donald thinks things are not going in his direction, he claims whatever it is, is rigged against him.

The FBI conducted a year-long investigation into my e-mails. They concluded there was no case; he said the FBI was rigged. He lost the Iowa caucus. He lost the Wisconsin primary. He said the Republican primary was rigged against him. Then Trump University gets sued for fraud and racketeering; he claims the court system and the federal judge is rigged against him. There was even a time when he didn’t get an Emmy for his TV program three years in a row and he started tweeting that the Emmys were rigged against him.

TRUMP: Should have gotten it.


CLINTON: This is — this is a mindset. This is how Donald thinks. And it’s funny, but it’s also really troubling.


CLINTON: So that is not the way our democracy works. We’ve been around for 240 years. We’ve had free and fair elections. We’ve accepted the outcomes when we may not have liked them. And that is what must be expected of anyone standing on a debate stage during a general election. You know, President Obama said the other day when you’re whining before the game is even finished…


WALLACE: Hold on. Hold on, folks. Hold on, folks.

CLINTON: … it just shows you’re not up to doing the job. And let’s — you know, let’s be clear about what he is saying and what that means. He is denigrating — he’s talking down our democracy. And I, for one, am appalled that somebody who is the nominee of one of our two major parties would take that kind of position.

TRUMP: I think what the FBI did and what the Department of Justice did, including meeting with her husband, the attorney general, in the back of an airplane on the tarmac in Arizona, I think it’s disgraceful. I think it’s a disgrace.

WALLACE: All right.

TRUMP: I think we’ve never had a situation so bad in this country.


Donald Trump has set the stage for calling Hillary Clinton an illegitimate president. That is something he tried to do to Barack Obama with his “birther” movement. Such claims could be at worst a revolution. More likely it will make the Republicans look like fools if they support his views. This could end the American democracy.

Posted by: coastcontact | October 18, 2016

Automation at Work

Where have all the jobs gone? That is the question asked by so many people.  Of course many have gone to low labor cost countries but that is not the entire answer.  The new 2017 Honda Civic Hatchback is being assembled in the U.K.  That is not a country known for its low labor costs.  This model will be sold in the United States, Canada and elsewhere.  The video is a little too long but notice that there are no people in the video for over 4 minutes.  Then the number of workers is small.  The car is welded and painted without  human interaction.  That part is all automated.  Assembly of the parts still requires human activity but if Honda and the other car manufacturers can find a way to do automation they will employ that opportunity.

2017 Honda Civic sedans will go on sale in the U.S. and Canada this month. The sedans are assembled Greensburg, Indiana, and in its Alliston, Ontario, Canada, plant. The Civic Hatchback will be manufactured in Honda’s U.K. Manufacturing plant in Swindon, England, but make no mistake, the 1.5-liter double overhead cam, direct-inject turbocharged, in-line four-cylinder engine is all Japanese.

Posted by: coastcontact | October 17, 2016

The vast right-wing conspiracy is back

Donald Trump says the reason his presidential bid is collapsing around him is the result of “a global power structure” that is out to get him. He didn’t name names  — no self-respecting secret international conspiracy would be sloppy enough to let names slip out — but he knows what they do for a living.

Corporate interests, the media … oh yeah, the media is in it big time …. and dark forces allied to the Clintons are all part of the web, which spans the globe (other than perhaps Russia, where, you know, Vladimir Putin is doing a pretty good job and, according to Trump, could be a real pal for the U.S. in fighting terrorists if he were president.)

“For those who control the levers of power in Washington, and for the global special interests, they partner with these people that don’t have your good in mind. Our campaign represents a true existential threat like they haven’t seen before,” Trump warned a rally in West Palm Beach, Florida on the weekend.

“They knew they would throw every lie they could at me and my family and my loved ones,” Trump said. “They knew they would stop at nothing to try to stop me. But I never knew, as bad as it would be, I never knew it would be this vile, that it would be this bad, that it would be this vicious.”

Obviously, given his knowledge of the secret game plan, Trump must have an informer within the conspiracy, feeding him the inside dope. And you have to admire him for making his allegation right in the heart of Dark Forces territory. Palm Beach is one of the wealthiest communities in the U.S., with an average per capita income of US$125,000. Mansions line the oceanfront, including Mar-a-Lago, Trump’s own vast 20-acre estate. You can’t have a decent international conspiracy without the funds to finance it, and you have to figure some of Trump’s own neighbours must be among the shadowy donors intent on making his life miserable. You want proof? Trump once erected an 80-foot flagpole on his front lawn, with a massive U.S. flap flapping at the top, and was told to take it down because it was too big. How anti-American is that?

As with all global conspiracies, it’s hard to put a finger on the full details of this one, but here are a few possibilities:

The vast right-wing conspiracy: In 1998 Hillary Clinton claimed “a vast right-wing conspiracy” was behind the persistent scandals dogging her and husband Bill, who was then in the midst of claiming he’d never had sex with Monica Lewinsky, except when he did. Although he wouldn’t call it sex. More, just, fooling around, you know? When you’re a star they’ll let you do anything.

It would be sort of weird for the conspiracy that tried to bring down the Clintons to now try to bring down Trump, in alliance with the Clintons of all people, but that’s what makes international evil geniuses so successful, their ability to switch sides at the drop of a hat and confuse the population.

Stephen Harper (Former Prime Minister of Canada): After he quit being prime minister, reports surfaced that Harper attended a super-secret meeting of like-minded males at Bohemian Grove, which is described as “a hyper-exclusive, men-only luxury campground in a remote section of California.” No one could figure out why he was there, since the Grovers mostly do silly stuff like putting on skits and drinking too much, which is not really Harper’s sort of thing. But now we know: He was there plotting with other Republican worthies to bring down Trump and seize control of the agenda for …. Hillary Clinton? Wait a minute, does that make sense? Probably not, but wily evil-doers are known for their malevolent ingenuity.


SPECTRE: Go on, admit it: you thought SPECTRE was just make-believe, a fictional organization invented by Ian Fleming so James Bond would have someone to battle against over the fate of the free world. Right? So how does it feel to be wrong, dummy? Only an organization so clever, so bold, so confident in its malicious intentions could be brash enough to hide in plain sight, turning fact into fiction to hide the fact of its own existence? Fortunately, Donald Trump is up to their tricks. As he revealed in Palm Beach: “There’s a whole deal going on — we’re going to figure it out. I always figure things out. But there’s a whole sinister deal going on.”

The Pope, the Trilateral Commission, the Bilderberg Group: It wouldn’t be a conspiracy without these three, which, as we all know, are secretly run by the international banking cabal controlled by the Rothschild family. Who are, you know, not Catholics. If you get my drift.

The Media: Well of course. Everyone knows the media is a cesspool of hopeless left-wingers. The New York Times, the Washington Post, the CBC, the BBC, all the U.S. networks, Anderson Cooper … we’re all in it together. In fact, I’ll admit it: as a member of the international media conspiracy, I personally get to pull the strings that make world leaders jump on command. Oh, it’s fun. You should see the look on their faces when I yank them this way or that. Pure delight.

Is there a media plot against Trump? Of course there is. And the sheer genius of it is evident in the fact that until a few months ago the media was under fire for enabling Trump’s spectacular rise and his shock triumph over a dozen other Republicans seeking the nomination, by according him vast amounts of free publicity, opening airwaves to his every utterance, failing to do its homework and dig up the dirt that is now burying him and his hopes of victory.

See? It was all part of the plot. Build him up so we could tear him down and make Hillary the president, even though Hillary hates the press, won’t give press conferences and blames the media for 25 years of Clinton scandals. Excuse me a moment while I cackle.

National Post (Canadian), author Kelly McParland | October 17, 2016 12:45 PM ET

Posted by: coastcontact | October 13, 2016

How Rich do you have to be?

Wells Fargo CEO Stumpf retires but won’t receive severance pay. That headline reads nicely but it does not reveal all the facts. He will receive more than $100 Million in vested stock and a 401(k) exceeding $24 Million. Forbes magazine reports that “Even though he left on a low, John Stumpf, former CEO of Wells Fargo, will take about $133.1 million into retirement. ’’

What does a man do with $100 Million? I understand that as CEO of Wells Fargo he headed the second largest banking company in the United States but does that entitle him to earn so much money that his family will live in luxury for generations?

Take a look at the board of Directors of Wells Fargo or any other giant corporation and you will see that those directors are almost always part of a very wealthy economic club that sustains their way of life and works to keep their average employees at the same low pay that is 1/20 to 1/30 of theirs.

Stock holders don’t care as long as their shares continue to appreciate and they receive their dividend checks.

Our free enterprise society was built on the right to earn as much money as you can regardless of who remains in poverty and who does not have the money to provide their children with a good college education.

 Forbes Billionaires: Full List Of The 500 Richest People In The World 2016 tells me that we have a world where the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. Neither Donald Trump nor Hillary Clinton will change that reality.

Posted by: coastcontact | October 12, 2016


#Blackish is literally the funniest show ok tv. No lie … I had to explain to my 76 yr old mother that #Blackish was kinda like the reverse of Archie Bunker.

I just don’t agree. It seems to be an effort to an updated version of “The Cosby Show.” That was a comedy that centered on the lives of the Huxtables: obstetrician Cliff and his lawyer wife Claire, their daughters Sondra, Denise, Vanessa and Rudy, and son Theo.

There is no comparison. Blackish tries to confront issues of a successful black family in Sherman Oaks. That is an upscale neighborhood in Los Angeles.

This is not a program I watch with any frequency. I did tonight as the program confronted a White 4 year old child on an elevator alone, going to a meeting of White home owners association and being stopped by the police while driving home without a driver’s license. The father Dre Johnson (Anthony Anderson) runs away from the police when he is stopped on the way home. That is not funny and there is no explanation about how he gets home without being stopped by the police. Not funny!

This program is trying to address serious issues using comedy. Frankly, in my opinion, it fails.

Posted by: coastcontact | October 9, 2016

“What have you got to lose?”

This second debate and the November election is all about Donald Trump. You are either for or against him. It is Donald Trump’s election to win or lose. Votes for Hillary Clinton are really vote against Donald Trump. Trump has put himself front and center.

The first 30 minutes of the second presidential debate was VERY nasty. Donald Trump’s effort to deny he is an abuser of women was a failure. I cannot imagine that any women in America is willing to support him based on his comments about a Miss Universe contestant and the video recording of him on a bus at Universal Studios in Studio City. Billy Bush has been suspended from the Today Show based on that tape.

Examples started from the first question asked by Anderson Cooper:
“You called what you said locker room banter. You described kissing women without consent, grabbing their genitals. That is sexual assault. You bragged that you have sexually assaulted women. Do you understand that?”

TRUMP: “No, I didn’t say that at all. I don’t think you understood what was — this was locker room talk. I’m not proud of it. I apologize to my family. I apologize to the American people.”

Later in the debate

TRUMP: “Well, you owe the president an apology, because as you know very well, your campaign, Sidney Blumenthal — he’s another real winner that you have — and he’s the one that got this started, along with your campaign manager, and they were on television just two weeks ago, she was, saying exactly that. So you really owe him an apology. You’re the one that sent the pictures around your campaign, sent the pictures around with President Obama in a certain garb. That was long before I was ever involved, so you actually owe an apology.” 

The remainder of the debate saw Trump hold his own against Hillary Clinton. Some have thought one of them won the debate but to me it was a tie.

Both Trump and Clinton may have liked each other at one time (the Clinton’s were at Trump’s last wedding) but it was obvious that they have developed a real hatred.

Donald Trump’s response to the American Muslim women looking for a reason to support him was not given a shred of response that would encourage her to give him any support. Likewise the Black man was not given any reason to give him support. In both cases Trump was short on details on how he would reach out to those communities.

Hillary Clinton smiled through the entire debate and remained unflapped by Trump’s attacks.

I doubt that many people changed their view of these candidates as a result of watching this debate.

I predict Donald Trump will win the election. The reason is that Hillary Clinton has offered nothing new. Many people have lost their jobs. Trump may not bring them back but “What have you got to lose?”

Posted by: coastcontact | October 7, 2016

The Astonishing Donald Trump

Name calling is a trade mark of Donald Trump - I can fix it!Donald Trump. He uses name calling to further his political ambitions (crooked Hillary, lying Ted, etc.). He makes fun of people with disabilities, calls women names, and thinks that Mexicans are mostly rapists and drug dealers.

Donald Trump’s history of remarks about women is not something that he stopped doing a decade ago. Just this past week he tweeted in the wee hours of Friday morning, August 26. The impulse-control-deficient Republican nominee let loose a torrent of tweets, calling former Miss Universe winner Alicia Machado “disgusting” and accusing her of having a sex tape.

Then there were Trump’s remarks about Megyn Kelly, a Fox News anchor, after she questioned him about his derogatory remarks she said the GOP hopeful had made about women, from “fat pigs” to “dogs, slobs and disgusting animals.”

So without listing anymore of Trump’s commentaries my question is When has Donald Trump stopped making crude remarks about women?

The answer is he has not stopped making remarks about women. Perhaps the latest reaction of some leading Republicans will begin to have an impact on the Trump campaign. He has been dis-invited to a Wisconsin event on Saturday, October 8. Jason Chaffetz, a leading Republican congressman from Utah and Utah’s Republican governor, Gary Herbert having both withdrawn their support for Trump.

I do not agree with the conservative views of most Republicans but I do respect their insistence on the upholding of their moral views. Donald Trump has to be an insult to them.

Posted by: coastcontact | October 5, 2016

You Don’t Have to Be Rich to Obtain Tax Breaks

Do you own a home and have a mortgage? All the interest you paid on that mortgage this year is an itemizable deduction on next year’s income tax report you will file in 2017. That one single item is usually the primary basis for having a total of deductions that will exceed the standard deduction. Without that interest deduction your total itemizable list will probably fall short of the amount needed to itemize all your expenses.

Are you going to say to yourself “I feel an obligation to pay more to help support the government.” Or are you going to itemize your deductions to lower your income tax liability? I am guessing you will itemize and pay the lower amount of taxes.

If you buy municipal bonds in your state issued by any municipality or your state government the interest you earn on those bonds is not subject to any federal income tax. Will you list the interest as coming from municipal bonds or will you list the interest as not coming from those sources and pay the taxes that would apply? I am guessing you will claim their tax free status.

The maximum rate of tax on qualified dividends is 0% on any amount that otherwise would be taxed at a 10% or 15% rate. Will you also not take advantage of that benefit?

Why is it inappropriate for Donald Trump to take all the deductions available to him?

Of course $916 Million is a big right-off. Did Donald Trump do something illegal? No. I have never heard anyone say they have a moral responsibility to pay more taxes than they are legally required to pay.

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