Let them eat car

Poor kids lose child-care while legislative leaders ride in comfort  
By PHILLIPE AND JORGE  |  September 5, 2007

The lovely ladies at the Urinal’s “Political Scene” column, Kathy “Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!” Gregg and Elizabeth Gudrais, make a very sharp point in their column earlier this week. They ask whether it might be not just ostentatious, but very insulting and irresponsible, for the state to pay for two new SUVs (cost: $1636 per month), so that House Speaker Bill Murphy and Senate President Joe Montalbano have access to comfortable rides, while “thousands of young people are being tossed off state-subsidized child care or removed from the Department of Children, Youth and Families to save money.”
It should be noted that the vehicles in question are spanking, brandy new four-door Ford Explorers of the “Eddie Bauer” line (using an environmentally friendly 15-21 miles per gallon). This is at the high end of the Explorer line, since, of course, our legislative leaders need all the accompanying bells and whistles to which Messrs. Murphy and Montalbano want to be accustomed. What is the obvious message to the kids who got the boot from desperately needed social services? “Fuck off, you don’t vote.”
This is just another unfortunate example in The Biggest Little of politicians who are not just greedy, but absolutely tone deaf when it comes to the real needs of the public, and of what issues should ring most loudly and clearly for any member of the General Assembly, never mind its leadership.
Appearances and perceptions are indeed everything, and if our august friends of West Warwick, really wanted to promote the common weal, they would be driving their own cars to work. Instead, our boys are farting on leather seats. Nice.

Call me irresponsible
Phillipe + Jorge’s longtime buddy, the lovely Pogey Princess, became dumbfounded (or began laughing hysterically, your choice) when she encountered the following instructions at a local Bank of America drive-thru ATM:
“To request Braille or audio ATM instructions, call . . . ”
OK, let’s back this bad boy up for some serious examination and application of logic. While we appreciate the effort to ease the use of the ATM for our unsighted friends (disclosure: Jorge is the director of radio for In-Sight, a nonprofit that serves blind and visually impaired Rhode Islanders, and he had no hand in crafting this particular item), how many blind people are behind the wheel of a car that will pull into that ATM?
And shouldn’t we be told, at least as a basic forewarning, to be extra alert when out on the highway? (At least they aren’t bothered when some typical Vo Dilun driver fails to use his turn signal.)
Then we have the extremely original concept of a person who cannot hear making a phone call to receive instructions. How do the Bank of America operators spend their days? Shouting “Who is this?” with no reply, or “Can you hear me now?” ad infinitum into their phones? Reach out and scream at someone, indeed.
No wonder Bank of America is fleecing us at their ATMs by charging a fee for non-BoA members. It must be needed for those hefty salaries they pay the geniuses who came up with this signage.

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