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About ACBarnett

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    Level 2 Member
  • Birthday 03/31/1986

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    Lexington MA

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    Sailing, Cars, Women, Art, Architecture, Music
  1. I think he's taken to the bottle again and just doesn't care, he knew he was hated as he went into his second term, and I really can't blame the guy given his current situation I just wish that they would be honest about the reasons behind the iraq war, I'm sure they were halfway decent and since I'm not fighting there I couldn't care less about what happens.
  2. ding ding ding we have a winner There should be more border security than we have right now, but also it should be alot easier to naturalize and become an american citizen. Like it or not this country is made up of nothing but immigrants, and nothing is more hypocritical than the idea that this is the land of the free and the home of the brave, but only if you happen to have been born here. I'd ad a few months to the 90-day amnesty period, and go about systematically deporting any immigrant with a serious criminal record, those people we most definitely DO NOT need. And as someone of latin-american descent, I hate the idea of a bi-lingual america. We will always be a predominantly english speaking country, and we're condemning immigrants to a life as second-class citizens by teaching them anything but english. Like the many immigrant groups before them, their language will be able to live on in their homes and be taught by their families while they learn english at school so that they can integrate and function with the rest of society.
  3. I'm a pretty hardcore conservative when it comes to the economy and other financial issues. I'm not as worried about the growing gap between rich and poor, at least as a result of the government. I think what we're seeing is capitalism running it's course, and those who want to be wealthy and have enough common sense to know how to do it are moving into that top "richest people" group. Many people seem to think only of the billionaires when they hear of the "richest growing richer" and forget that that group also includes the upper middle class, people earning ~175k a year and higher. One look at the housing prices in any of the prosperous cities in and around the coasts, not to mention the fact that they are still selling to see that that increase in wealth has alot to do with a growing upper middle class. This is important because while it's near impossible for the average american to end up a billionaire within a lifetime, it's far, far easier to end up comfortably upper middle class. I think what we're seeing is society stratifying itself into the people who are comfortable as-is and just living their lives, AKA the middle class, and the people who aim to acquire material wealth, who become the upper middle and upper classes. I think the best way to fix or aid this issue is to give people more of a level playing field as far as the resources at their disposal. This means financing things like the public schools and libraries while dropping the tuition at state colleges and universities. This way we have solutions that help everyone without being handouts targeted at certain groups, and it still leaves the final decisions about what to do with their life in the hands of the individual. On the topic of immigration and the border, I say let them in and make it easier for them to become legitimate citizens so that they are paying taxes to support the services that they use. At least up here in MA the poor central american immigrants easily the hardest working of the poor groups, and I have no doubt that within 20 years they will be just another integrated group like the italians, irish, and other european immigrants did a hundred years ago. At the same time I think we need to give the indigent, multi-generational poor within our own borders a kick in their proverbial buts so they can at least move up into the working class. Id love to see a proposal to link the welfare payouts of families with school-age children to the academic attendance and performance of those children. I think we'd suddenly see alot more parents becoming interested in their children's school careers. I'd love to combine it with something as simple as making community college tuition free or greatly reduced to residents of the county that the colleges serve so that welfare payments continue to families with children who are in college and doing well, to offset even the small school costs that they might have. I think it would do wonders and could break the cycle of urban poverty within a generation or two. A nice little catch however would be a mandatory depo shot to every able-bodied woman who is receiving public assistance of any kind. If you are unable to support yourself or your family on your own, there is no reason why you should be having any more children, period. If you want to have more kids you're free to go off the dole and pop them out till your heart's content, but don't expect the taxpayers to subsidize one bit of it. I'm all for non-polluting energy, and I'd love to see more nuclear, hydroelectric, solar, and wind power installations as well as a meaningful effort on the part of the US government to work towards commercial fusion power with the rest of the world. I think we should also work towards increasing the part that ethanol and biodiesel play in our fuel scheme, but there is no reason why we can't develop commercial ethanol and biodiesel plantations in places like africa where it would both be cheaper to us, while also helping to give that region a cash crop and something to base the economy off of. Other than that I don't have much to say other than that we should have had the CIA carry out a coup in iraq placing an america-friendly general in power if we wanted an influence in that region, and that "the war against terror" while it seemed to be valid in 2001, now seems like a pathetic attempt at creating fear over an enemy that we will never really beat until islam reforms itself from within.
  4. I still cross my fingers and pray that GM wisens up and builds a buick riviera based off of the new camaro. With the build quality that the enclave has they could make a great GT car in the 35-40k pricerange and it would do wonders to change the brand image. Ok my real reason I want them to do it is so that they'll have a body with which to bring back the grand national. A turbocharged LS-engine or northstar derivative making ~500 hp would be the absolute balls. Make it so it's not quite as fast as the Z06, but a stage 1 or 2 ECU flash away from being damn near undriveable. Now that would be hot.
  5. Just try to pretend that the 2003 9-3's (like your vector) didn't happen, other than those I've heard nothing really bad about the new cars. The 2003-2006 interior kinda blew though, the new one is a big improvement, though still not up to volvo's standards. That said the mechanicals of the new saabs seem pretty bulletproof, and you can't beat their crash ratings.
  6. Don't remind me, at least my opel vectra has the REAL saab engine. The Ecotec thing isn't so bad as it might seem though, saab has never had an in-house engine design. The ld two-stroke wasa DKW engine, the V4 was a ford engine, the engine in my 2000 9-5 aero is basically the same engine that was in the ~1970 triumph dolemite with a new head and balance shafts, and the ecotecs in the 9-3's are heavily modified compared to the base ecotec in your average cobalt. The same goes for the V6's. I used to hate alot of GM's decisions with saab, especially the 9-2x and the 9-7x, but now that GM has admitted that those models were half-assed stopgaps and is replacing them with the 9-4x and the 9-1 I have a bit more respect for them. I see it this way, whereas under ford, volvo has killed the R-line, made the S40/V50 into a car that's inferior in every way to the jetta yet sells for $5k more while allowing the S80 to balloon into an overpriced swedish DTS wannabe, under GM saab's actually making a halfway reliable car, the 9-3 is a great performance deal for the money and we finally get AWD. Not just any AWD either, but a torque-shifting system that's supposed give audi's true quattro systems a run for their money. To top it off, they're making a 320hp version of the new AWD 9-3 aero that will sell for ~38k. They might be moving 9-3 production to germany, but then again, all the S60R's and V70R's were made in belgium and nobody questions their swedish-ness My first choice for a company to buy volvo would be volvo truck/penta/everything else, just because they don't have an existing sport/luxury line to slot volvo under and therefore would be the most likely to let the brand mature into something a bit more like mercedes or audi. My second choice would be renault, for the same reason that they need a true european luxury division, nissan is building some of the best engines in the world right now, and I would love to see what carlos ghosn could do with the brand considering his turnaround with infiniti. My last choice would be BMW because they already have a premium line, they already are THE name in sporting luxury cars, and under their ownership I can only see volvo languishing behind as a line of stodgy, reliable safety-barges aimed at the people who would normally buy a lexus over a BMW. There will most likely be little to no platform or engine sharing between the brands, and the only good that could come of it might be nicer interior materials and build quality. If we're really lucky they'll spare volvo from the joys of shift-by-wire, idrive, and "active steering".
  7. mitt romney had my vote the moment he called al sharpton a racist
  8. As a latin-american immigrant, I think that spanish-only programs are absolutely retarded. In order to function as a member of the society at large, you need to be able to speak the language of the majority and be fluent with their ways and customs. The italian american, german-american, and irish-american immigrants of the past all assimilated into the greater cultural sphere while still keeping their own distinct cultural identities. There's no reason why the central americans can't do the same while still learning english. If you want to be seen as a true equal with the status quo in a country, you need to be able to play by their rules and do a good job at it to boot, and spanish-only ptograms just serve as setbacks to having central americans integrate with the rest of society and fufill those dreams that made them come here in the first place. It's not like they can't learn and still speak spanish at home, but they need to be taught to speak it in school. I'd even go so far as to have free english classes offered at all of the community colleges.
  9. The BMW starts at $10 grand more than the S80, and with the volvo you get something that's a cool winter car AND something that doesen't make you have to deal with idrive. If I was looking for a comparison car that really beats the volvo in every possible way, I'd go for the audi A6 4.2, which has a better engine than the volvo, a far more advanced suspension, a nicer and sportier interior, one of the best and fastest-reacting manumatics that I have driven short of a DSG, and most importantly the best AWD system short of a skyline GT-R. It also lists at $55k for the base price, an absolute bargain for what you get, and they look sweet and much better than the volvo as well. You can spec oue out with 19's, sport seats and the whole S-line package in pearlescent red on black for the base price of a 550i, there is no doubt in my mind about what the best V8 luxury car deal on the market is. That said, the S80 is a close second, the price differential between it and the 550i is more than enough for the mods to bridge the performance gap
  10. yeah, but what european competitor sells a V8 AWD car for $50k? much less one with an interior and all of the other gadgets that the S80 comes with. that's what I thought I don't think that even the japanese or the americans can match the stuff/price factor on the new V8 S80.
  11. starfish is still funny every time I come and read the political threads as to deterrent, I think 3 strikes is a good idea, it gets rid of people who were beyond help anyways. Tent city sounds a bit over-the-top, but I'm all for chain gangs, bare minimal meals, etc. Make it bad enough to put people on their best behavior just so they can get out and try to keep out of getting back in. That said, the prison system should also include job training, and have connections with employers, etc to break the crime cycle. I also think that prison guards and the people running the prisons need to do more about breaking up gangs and violence between inmates, if you start sh!t in prison with another inmate you should definately get a major beatdown by the guards. It might not be as cushy as a more hands-off approach, but it would help give incentive for the inmates to keep civil, and civility as a result of brutality is far better than violence and a less invasive guard staff.
  12. I'd like to see volvo truck take a second try at volvo cars, or at least buy a 50% stake in it or something of that nature. Jaguar I could see getting sold to renault, ghosn has a way with turnarounds and renault needs a european-market premium car company since infiniti's aren't sold outside japan and the US and renault is too mass-market of a company. That's cool though that Prodrive is buying AM, maybe they can pick up TVR while they're at it and wrestle the MG name away from the chinese as well. Ideally I'd like to see saab go to renault, renault seems like they would respect and promote the brand, and they are both companies with a big emphasis on innovation and out-of-left-field designs. A PSA buyout of saab would also be good, especially if it meant a saab rally team.
  13. aston-martin's problem is that it's TOO low volume even though the profit margins are good. The only way it could have been profitable would have been through downmarket models (and I don't mean the "merely" $90k DBS) like what porsche did with the 944 and the boxster, as well as a high-profit "must-have" badge-engineered car like the cayenne. Ford could have done it, but it would have diluted the brand in a big way.
  14. All I know about howard zinn and noam chomsky is that they both live in my town. I used to bump into chomsky when I walked my dog in one of the big stretches of conservation land around here. Other than that I've never read any of their books, but we did do a few zinn readings when I was in HS and I thought the guy had some good points but that they were sometimes lost in his delivery and overshadowed by his more outrageous accusations and opinions.