February 2, 2007


Q1 - Shopping Carts: When you're done using a store's shopping cart (bricks-and-mortar, not online), do you return the cart to the store, leave it in the parking lot, or push it into one of those storage areas that takes up all the great parking spots?

Q2 - Global Warming: Do you think global warming is an environmental problem that is causing a serious impact now, or do you think global warming isn't having a serious impact?"

Q3 - Prison: At the Southeast State Correctional Facility in Windsor, Vermont, inmates have been told that the facility's prison cats must go. According to SSC's new superintendent, the facility, which for years has allowed cats to come and go as they please, is not conducive to a pet program. If you were in charge of the facility, would you voluntarily parole Ziggy, Marmalade, Smokey and Shane, or would allow them to stay?

Q4 - Taxes: After federal taxes are collected from the public, do you think the U.S. Congress thinks of the money more as taxpayer money to spend carefully or as their money to spend as they wish? How much of the money you pay in taxes do you think is spent on government programs that you personally favor and support?

Posted by Mikal at February 2, 2007 8:06 AM | TrackBack


Q1 - Shopping Carts: There are many who consider destructive acts a legitimate tactic in the fight for environmental concerns. There are those who associate consumerism with environmental degradation. There are some who feel the Shopping Cart is the ultimate symbol of consumerism. And then there are the few who consider the destruction of shopping carts their destiny as an eco-warrior. As a card-carrying member of the Center for Prevention of Shopping Cart Abuse, I swore to an oath that I would return carts to either the front of a store or to a designated storage lane in the parking lot. Squash the revolution, I say!

Q2 - Global Warming: Living in a state that has Green, Yellow, and Red days air quality, and where in the winter time you can literally see the smog hovering over your town, and where just up the road a town chose to move their grade schoolers indoors for recess... uh, yeah, I think global warming is an environmental problem that is causing a serious impact now. Anyone who doesn't has his or her head in a cloud of smog.

Q3 - Prison: Leave Ziggy, Marmalade, Smokey and Shane alone. They bring joy and compassion to a population of people who need it most.

Q4 - Taxes: I believe the U.S. Congress--as a whole--doesn't have a clue about the needs of the citizenry. From disingenuous applause during last month's State of the Union address and talking out of both sides of their mouths, to living it up on shots of 'ego boosterí and "I'm right and you're wrong," elected officials at the national level act like real life soap opera characters, all of whom are in quest of a daytime Emmy.

Do I think they consider the citizens interests or needs when it comes to spending taxpayer money? Momentarily, at best. For example, the federal minimum wage has been $5.15 per hour since 1997, and now, 10 years later, Congress finally voted in favor of an increase. TEN YEARS it took them to address this issue, and of course it goes without saying that the legislation that would raise the minimum wage to a whopping $7.25 per hour will take 2.2 years to enact. Unbelievably out of touch with the vast majority of taxpayers.

As for how much of the money I pay in taxes do I think is spent on government programs that I personally favor and support: I'd say less than 15 percent.

Posted by: Mikal at February 2, 2007 8:35 AM

1. I push it into one of the storage areas that take up the good spots. I figure as long as they are taking up the good spots, they might as well be used for something. Also, if the storage area is more then 15 ft. from where my car is, I'll find a way to ride the shopping cart by pushing off and then jumping on the back.

2. I think global warming is a BIG environmental problem that is causing serious impact now. Anyone who doesn't owes it to themselves to watch the documentary An Inconvenient Truth.

3. Despite how much I like Muse Watson's character Charles Westmoreland on TV's Prison Break, I would probably get rid of the cats.

4. I think Congress thinks of it as their money. I beleive only a small percentage of my money goes to programs that I personally favor and support, but I'm okay with that. If I were more involved politically, it might bother me more, but I don't really do my part, so I can't get to mad at my elected officials when they don't do what I think they should.

Posted by: Clark at February 2, 2007 8:38 AM

Q1 - I go more for the "how much can I possibly carry by putting 10 to 15 bags on each arm with a gallon of mily in one hand and my keys in the other" approach so that I can leave the cart in the store. Gimme back the parking spaces!

Q2 - Global warming is a health concern, but that doesn't mean I think people are much more than a drop in the bucket compared to the natural swings in the historical global climate. Warmings and coolings are natural. What really needs to happen is that we need to polute less more for our immediate health than for the long term effect of warming.

Q3 - I really am not a cat person, so I figure the cats are further away from me if they are in the prison.

Q4 - I think congress takes money baths in the cash they steal from us. I think if they cared about the average Joe's, then they wouldn't bury the Congressional budget in so much vague and misleading information. There are a lot of things that probably should be government programs, but that should cost the public far less.

Posted by: Greg at February 2, 2007 8:58 AM

Wow! Great to see your comments finally Mikal. This is truly an historic occassion.

1. I usually return them to the storage area. Those poor depressed teenage kids that work there got enough problems in their life, having to worry about whether they'll get a wedgie from the bullies in school and what not. I feel for them *sniff*

2. The impact is definitely serious. Anything we can learn and do about it now the better. Personally, to do my part my goal is to make all my vehicles (all one of them heh heh) bio-diesel. I saw an episode of "Dirty Jobs" where a guy drove around in one that spewed the great smell of burritos. Seriously now, what is cooler than that?

3. If I were in charge of the facility, I'd have to consider the impact that getting rid of the cats would have. I'd expect violence to increase almost immediately. Therefore, I would let the cats stay. That, and I love cats. However, I would put forth a decree that the cats be renamed Big Tom, Snake Killer, Mamas Boy, and Zeus the Bastie.

4. BAH! Don't get me started. Grrrr.... That's about all I'll say about Congressional spending.

Posted by: Stuart at February 2, 2007 9:10 AM

Q1 - Shopping Carts: I ALWAYS return the cart to one of the handy dandy storage units. I sometimes even take carts that others have left strewn about the lot and return them to the storage units as well.

Q2 - Global Warming: I believe that Global Warming is having a major impact, but I still don't think that it's going to be a serious environmental problem for probably another generation or so.

Q3 - Prison: I believe that pets can have a major positive impact on the demeanor and personality of a prison inmate, I would allow the animals to stay.

Q4 - Taxes: However much I would like to believe that our esteemed lawmakers don't use our tax money as a personal piggy bank, I'm afraid that happens more than we would like to know. Also, I would venture to guess that less than a third of my tax money is spent on programs that I personally support. I guess I have a pretty negative view of government, despite the fact that I once wanted to be a part of the governing body. Now I want to be an actor, same job requirements, it's just fewer people dislike actors as a rule.

Posted by: Fezzik at February 2, 2007 9:34 AM

1. I do all of those things with a shopping cart. Once, in college, my senior-year roommate and I pushed a cart from Star Market all the way to campus, through the Main Green, and on to the apartment. I don't know what we ever did with it when we were done.

2. Global warming is not something I believe or disbelieve. The scientific facts speak for themselves. Some folk are alarmist, others are belittlers. The only policy disputes should be about what to do and according to what timetable.

3. I did nearly 3 years in a state facility, and we had the odd stray cat. We were told to let it alone. The superintendent should remove the cats, for reasons of simplicity.

4. Some think it becomes their own little club's money. Others are trusted public servants. So, . . .check out the individual person.

Posted by: Lee McD at February 2, 2007 9:43 AM

1. If I take a cart outside, it usually goes into a cart corral.

2. Of course it's having a serious impact.

3. More information, please. If "come and go as they please" means that they are like the unvaccinated stray cats who hop into my patio from time to time looking for a food to scrounge, they aren't really pets, but if an inmate or inmates wish to formalize and adopt them (including vaccinations and spay/neutering, they should stay. If "come and go," means that they are prison cats who have free reign to wander from cellblock to cellblock visiting inmates, then no question about it--they should stay.

4. Of course they don't spend money carefully. Certainly not as carefully as they would spend their own, in any case. Like a rental car that gets abused because its Someone Else's Car, our tax dollars are Other People's Money and gets spent no more wisely than it would by a thief who just mugged you. As to how much of my money is being spent on things I support? With this administration, I'd be generous in saying 5%, but that figure probably wouldn't increase much under a Democrat-controlled agenda. There's simply too much waste for which no-one is accountable.

Posted by: mike at February 2, 2007 11:13 AM

1. I'll put 'em in a storage area if it's close. If not, I'll find an out-of-the-way spot somewhere close. Incidentally, I think there's a special place in H-E-double-tooth-picks for people who park their cart in the middle of a stall like it was the family minivan.

2. I used to worry a little bit about global warming Ö until this winter. Holy hannah! There sure hasn't been anything warm about THIS season.

3. Let them stay! Cats, for most people anyway, have a very calming effect, and I think a few of those cute little guys hanging around the corridors would go a long ways towards circumventing tension and improving morale. Of course, during the prison riots, guards can use 'em as weapons. HISSSSSSSS!

4. I would imagine no more than half goes towards stuff that I support.

Posted by: Neal Jenks at February 2, 2007 2:34 PM

Mine is up

Posted by: Irishcoda at February 2, 2007 6:38 PM

1. I usually return them to one of those cart returns in the middle of the parking lot. Or to the front of the store. I always think of those poor guys who have to collect them waaay far out in the parking lot, so I try to help when I can. If it's too cold or raining hard, I leave it in front of my car or up on the grassy curb away from other cars.

2. I definitely think global warming is having an impact now, especially when it is 70 degrees in January in New England! Glaciers in Alaska and in other northern climates are melting or almost gone. We humans have really screwed up the planet with over-consumption of fossil fuels and other pollutants.

3. As long as the cats weren't hurting anyone or causing trouble with the inmates, they should stay.

4. Most of my tax dollars are probably going to fund the Iraq conflict. But that's just a guess.

Posted by: Missy at February 2, 2007 7:25 PM

1. I park them in the cart corral if it is close and I'm feeling fairly well. I leave them in the middle of the lined section of the handicapped area up by the post out of the way when I'm not. If it is slick out, I leave them in the lined area then too.

2. I think we have some problems but I also kow that there are swings in the temps. An ebb and flow that is a natural to the climate. BUT, having lived in the LA area with the smog, I also think we need to do more about what we are doing to the environment. I think big money is being allowed to rule what happens in this area and that stinks.

3. If the cats are not diseased and are taken care of, what's the problem. Some people have allergies to them (like me) but they would be able to keep them out of their cells. Guess I can't see the harm.

4. Congress thinks it's their money. If you look closely at the "Pork Barrel" spending they do you don't have to question it. They say it is for their state but really it is for thier re-election. It's all about power baby and most of them could care less about you and me.

I'd say we're lucky if 10%-15% of what se pay in gets spent on things we personally favor or support.

Posted by: Deb at February 3, 2007 8:42 AM

My answers are posted at my blog.

In light of recent developments elsewhere, do you mind that I answer there and not here, in comments?

Posted by: Cat. at February 3, 2007 7:13 PM

1. I always push the cart to the proper place. Nobody likes scratched cars.
2. I think "global warming" IS a serious problem! I also think there has been a cover-up the severity of this problem... It is all about money and environmentalism{sp?} is on the wrong end of the green-stuff.
3. If they are not harming anyone, keep them where they are.
4. Congress spends money as they wish with no eye on what is best for the USA population as a whole. 10% of government funds is spent on programs I favor.

Posted by: Sallie at February 4, 2007 3:30 PM

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