Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Why this is the perfect time to vote for Bernie, even if you don't want him to be president

I voted for Bernie today. I am not sure he'd make a good president.

What I like about him--his refusal to be bought, his idealism, his modest lifestyle, his populist appeal, his independence, his concern for the common good--are the very characteristics that would probably make it hard for him to govern a nation that's in thrall to Money and Power.

But I voted for him anyway, even though it's highly unlikely he'll be the candidate in November.

And if you're a Hillary supporter in one of the 18 states still awaiting their primary, this is the very best time to vote for Bernie. Your vote will not make Bernie the candidate, but it could very well make Hillary a better president.

I voted for Bernie because Hillary needs to hear his message, over and over again. She needs to hear it so insistently that it will get through to her in spite of the power brokers who have financed her campaign.

She needs to know that a lot of us think she is dangerously hawkish. Her vote in favor of the Iraq war might be excused based on the misinformation available at the time, but her handling of Libya (and I don't mean Benghazi) shows her eagerness to rush in where better angels fear to tread.

She needs to face a continuing, relentless wave of public protest against her ties to big money sources including Wall Street and foreign governments.

If she becomes president, she needs to use her admirable skills to get Citizens United reversed and to do whatever it takes to assure that elections are never again bought and sold.

If she doesn't pay attention to those of us who wistfully admire Bernie's principles, the United States may soon be in big trouble. The rest of the world has gotten fed up with rich bullies. Despite their blustering, the sun did set on the British Empire, and it could soon set on ours.

I wish we had a candidate with Bernie's ideals and Hillary's political savvy.

But since we don't, I voted for Bernie because his heart's in the right place. And in November, I expect I'll vote for Hillary because her heart was once in the right place too... and maybe we Bernie supporters can help her see the light once again.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

DOLLAR car rental update

That certainly has been our experience. Repeatedly.

See my earlier post, "Beware DOLLAR's "Lock Low and Go" Scam!" for the whole story.

When the Better Business Bureau intervened, Dollar offered us partial reimbursement of the money they overcharged us. We refused their offer. If a price is guaranteed, that's the price we should pay. Unlike the Dollar manager we dealt with, we believe that's what "guaranteed" means.

UPDATE: Dollar has now agreed to refund the full amount that they overcharged us. We have told the Better Business Bureau that we accept this resolution, but that it shouldn't take repeated calls to customer service followed by complaints to the BBB, to the Chicago Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection, and to our credit card company to get a company to honor its guarantee.

I have not enjoyed pursuing this scam. I often thought I'd rather just let it go--it wasn't all that much money. But then I thought of all the thousands of people who rent cars at Midway Airport. If all of us who are overcharged take action against scammers, maybe the car rental companies will figure out that there's more profit in being honest than in trying to repair the damages caused by dishonest employees.