Thursday, May 28, 2015

New Doritos's product

Look out, if you try the new Dorito's Roulette chips!!!

Be sure to read the "Attention" warning on the front of the package. Even so, you'll probably disregard it. Right? After all, you can handle anything. Right?

The warning read, "Some chips are very hot."

Now, this is false advertising!!!

The warning should read, "All chips are very hot" or "some chips might not be very hot."

They are delicious! But be ready, because they are hot! Enjoy!!!

Jim M'Lady Nissan - a fair dealer?

Jim M'Lady Nissan is located in Crystal Lake, Ill. Have you dealt with that dealership?

Does it employ fair business practices when dealing with customers? You be the judge.

A potential buyer might think he is "just" going in to look, to get some information, look at models, get some prices. What he doesn't know or forgets is the motto of any car dealership.

"We are going to sell you a car today, before you leave, no matter what."

No matter if you didn't come in to buy.
No matter if you are not sure what you want.
No matter if you can't afford it.
No matter what!

M'Lady Nissan's sales tactics are no different than those at other new car dealerships in Crystal Lake or any other dealership, anywhere.

What if the shopper is inexperienced, impulsive, susceptible to pressure and fails to recognize that his inexperience is likely to cost him a bundle, when he is dealing with people who have a lot of experience in selling cars every day?

Why am I writing this?

Because I am livid about the number of new and used vehicles that a young man in McHenry County has purchased in the past three years. About six new cars and at least two used ones. And this is a young man on SSI and housing benefits, with a part-time job earning $100-200/month.

About three years ago he had a paid-for used car. I suggested he put a lien on the car, in favor of the person who paid for his car. That person was irate over my suggestion. "Why should I do that? I can trust him (the young man)." I explained my reasoning - because, without the lien, he is driving a paid-for vehicle and he can go into any dealership and trade it."

And that's exactly what he did. And then he traded again. And again. And again. Losing money every time. Seeing his monthly payment increase each time, to the point that it was nearly $400/month plus $100/month in car insurance premium!!! How do you pay that out of a $700 SSI check.

After numerous trades the same family member stepped in and bailed him out about three months ago, paying for a car for him. And within a month he had traded that, and now he has payments again!

What kind of financial information would be put on a loan application at M'Lady Nissan? Why would any bank finance a car, when an applicant's living expenses and debt exceed his means to pay?

I had suggested to the young man that he put freeze on his credit reports with all three major credit bureaus? Why? Because then a car dealership could not run a credit report on him. It would be at least a stop-gap measure to protect him from himself. And from the car salesman and finance managers.

Do I have experience to write on this subject?

In the mid-1980s I was a salesman for a Nissan dealership in Littleton, Colo. For two months. It was the worst two months of my life. Why? Because I didn't believe in the dealership philosophy, which was that anyone who came in the door really came in to buy a vehicle.

One day a kid and his pregnant wife rolled to a stop in front of the dealership in their old beater pick-up truck with a flat tire. They came in to use the phone to call a friend for help. And what did the sales manager tell me? Sell them a new truck. "You're kidding; right? They don't even have money for a spare tire!" I said.

He said he'd show me how to sell, and they went home in a new truck. Three days later the truck was back, when their financing was finally turned down. Of course, it was turned down!

What has been your experience with M'Lady Nissan? Have you ever been "sold" a vehicle there that he didn't intend to buy? Did you over-buy?

One Woodstock businessman told me about his daughter's experience there. She finally called her dad from the dealership, crying, and he went there and raised hell with Jim M'Lady himself.

Watch out for this "trick." They'll sell you a car you can't afford, then put you in a lease (because the payment is less), and then sell you a car because a lease is a sucker's game.

You and I know it's "buyer beware." Caveat emptor.

But what responsibility should a sales team have to not take advantage of a prospective customer? They know that, if they don't sell him a car, he'll just go down the street and someone else will.

Kinda makes you sick, doesn't it?

Monday, May 25, 2015

Memorial Day 2015

I spent an hour yesterday at the Fort Jackson National Cemetery in Columbia, S.C. It is one of the newer national cemeteries. As I walked among the headstones and read dates of birth and death, service branch information and names of wars such as World War Two and Vietnam, my thoughts were constantly of "all gave some; some gave all."

This cemetery was opened for burials in 2009 and many of the markers were those of older veterans.

Please pause today and remind your family of what Memorial Day is really about.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Did Zinke harm DEA investigation?

In an issue that Nygren and Zinke must hope is water over the dam (it's not), Pete Gonigam published an article on last week. It's easy to decide that, despite all the squirming around by the DEA and the FBI and the McHenry County State's Attorney Office, Zinke most likely harmed the DEA investigation by leaking information to Brian Goode, who was a strong financial supporter of Nygren and Zinke.

You can read Pete's May 18, 2015 article here:

Wouldn't it have been nice if Nygren had just done the job that he was being paid nearly $150,000/year to do; i.e., run a clean department? And what about Don Leist? Was he just Nygren's whipping boy and somebody who, in spite of having a law degree, was just being told what to do? One of these days Gonigam will get Leist's 100-page report, and then the world will know the truth.

And why doesn't the new Sheriff in town, Bill Prim, just release Leist's report? He could, but he seems to be keeping his head down.

The case seems to be that he is not doing anything wrong. Or is it that he's not doing anything, and that's what's wrong!

Too bad that McHenry County doesn't have a stand-up-tall sheriff like Milwaukee County (Wisc.) Sheriff David A. Clarke, Jr. Now there's a guy who is in charge and doing a great job.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Flags at half-staff today

The U.S. Flag is flown at half-staff today, Peace Officers Memorial Day, to honor fallen law-enforcement officers.

Fresh to us are the deaths of two Hattiesburg, Mississippi, police officers, the NYPD officers, an Idaho officer and others who have been murdered in the past month.

Pause today and reflect on the duty and service provided by law-enforcement officers. They go to work every day to protect and to serve. We want them to return to their homes safely every day.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Action at MCSD

What's going on at the McHenry County Sheriff's Department under the new sheriff, Bill Prim?

Prim seems to be doing a great job - of staying out of the limelight. And the Northwest Herald is being really kind to him. Prim has been in office almost six months now, having taking over the office on December 1, 2014.

What is Prim doing in the following areas?

Resolving lawsuits against the Sheriff's Department. Legally, many (all?) are being handled by the McHenry County State's Attorney, but Prim certainly ought to have influence and advice to the S.A. about which ones they are likely to lose and ought to settle. How many County dollars, if any, are still going to outside law firms?

Resolving employment disputes and lawsuits filed by former deputies. In fact, some of the deputies may not be "former". At least one was never terminated, even though Nygren tossed him out. Nygren never took that deputies case to the Merit Commission, as required under MCSD policies.

Will Prim decide that at least one deputy was unjustly terminated and put him back to work?

In another case, Nygren never took Greg Pyle's resignation to the Merit Commission, as required. Does this mean that Pyle might still be an employee of MCSD, because his resignation was never officially accepted in the proper manner? Could Pyle sue MCSD and get a settlement as a "nuisance" case that would be cheaper to settle than fight? Should Prim find Pyle's resignation and take it to the Merit Commission, in order to "stop the clock" for sure?

Has Prim re-opened any serious closed cases that were poorly handled by MCSD?  If you remember the triple homicide near Marengo from June 8, 2011 (almost four years), Nygren announced, in effect, "case closed" less than 24 hours after three people died. Several experienced people looked at the reports, and at least two said it was the worst example of a homicide investigation they had ever seen.

Did Prim ever pull that case and ask investigators (not the original ones) to take a fresh look at it? Why wouldn't he ask 1) Why weren't any blood samples ever sent to a laboratory? 2) Just whose blood was it that was found in various parts of the house? 3) Why weren't all the bullets found (more casings were found than bullets)? 4) Was there ever a re-enactment of the incident?

All of these questions could involve controversy. Does Sheriff Prim like controversy? Or like to avoid it?

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Freddie Gray's knife

Was Gray's knife legal or illegal? That is the question.

Maryland State's Attorney for Baltimore City Mosby calls it a switchblade knife.

The report of one of the arresting officers describes it as a "spring-assisted" knife.

A CNN report shows a knife that may be like the one that Gray was carrying. If that's type of knife Gray had, then the cops are right (being that the knife is illegal) and Mosby's wrong.

What if Mosby is wrong? What immediate action should be taken against her? Firing her would not be enough, or possible. Actually, as an elected office-holder, she can't be fired. So impeach her and charge her with crimes!

And Baltimore's silly mayor? She is recorded as saying, "I'm asking the Department of Justice to investigate if our police department has indeed been [sic] a pattern or practice of searches, stops or arrests that violate the Fourth Amendment."

Since when does the DOJ provide "consulting services"? What does it mean "to investigate if..."

If officers at the the Baltimore P.D. violated law, prosecute them.

The DOJ shouldn't be wasting assets as consultants. There are plenty of law-enforcement consultants available to advise the Baltimore P.D. and its City Council! Let Baltimore bear the cost, not the U.S. taxpayers!