Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Our favorites (Part one)


Volvo V60

Some may argue that the V60 is just a hatchback as the cargo space is too small compared to the BMW 3-series Touring and it doesn't really have much in terms of rear seat legroom. What we do love about the V60 is how much wagon  you get for your money. Volvo tends to be quite generous when it comes to standard kit and the V60 doesn't disappoint at all. Plus there's a version for everybody. The entry-level Dynamic offers plenty of flexibility, low running costs and decent purchase price. R-Design gets sportier looking styling and a more potent 306hp turbo engine. Top of the range Polestar gets a thumping 362hp turbo engine and of course is the only real high-performance wagon you can option for currently. (We're looking at you BMW.)



The king of the hot hatches continues to be that. It may not have the hooligan appeal that the Focus ST does but for someone looking for hot hatch turn of pace in a classier more refined package, you won't be disappointed with this one. For 2018, Volkswagen has given the GTI a facelift with new LED headlights and restyled infotainment screen. The 2-liter turbo has been pumped up to 220hp and also new snazzy looking alloys are also fitted standard.



Kia Optima

When it comes to mid-sized sedans, we think that the Kia Optima is one of the better choices out there. You can choose between three engine options; 2.4 four-cylinder, 1.6-turbo and 2-liter turbo. The 2.4 is the pick of the range as it makes the most sense financially. We do like that Kia offers the 1.6-turbo but it just doesn't really offer much of a benefit in running costs over the 2.4. The top of the range 2-liter turbo doesn't feel as potent as the horsepower figures suggests, but for most buyers looking for a competent mid-sized sedan that's roomy and offers tons of value for the money. Look no further.


BMW 2-series

You'd think that opting for the cheapest BMW coupe of the range would be a total penalty box, but it is the complete opposite. You can get the 2-series with two amazing engines (2-liter turbo four 248hp, 3-liter turbo six-cylinder 320hp) and a slick shifting six-speed manual; if you can't drive stick-shift then you can choose a eight-speed automatic which is just as good. The M-tuned version of the 2-series is quite literally the best M car from BMW in a long time. Just because it sits at the entry-level spot in BMW's coupe range doesn't mean that it's a penalty box and of course it can get quite expensive as well.


Land Rover Discovery

We fell in love with the Discovery when we had it as a rental. It's very comfortable to drive, has plenty of flexibility from both engines and won't disappoint with it's legendary off-road abilities. We'd choose the diesel engine which makes the most sense financially, especially considering that most buyers will do tons of highway driving with their Disco. You can also carry seven-people aboard and opt for uniquely trimmed versions. Land Rover isn't famed for its reliability, but it's very hard to fault it for what it really does bring to the table; in our

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Homophobia makes no sense (Part two)

 “All men can marry women, and all women can marry men. Therefore there is no inequality.”

The inequality lies in your straw man. It is perfectly okay for a man to marry a woman and vice versa, but yet someone whom is gay can’t marry the person they are attracted to? Do you not see the inequality here?! Are you stupid! It’s understandable to have a limit on the number of people you can marry and also having a limit on the age in which individuals are allowed to marry. However, it makes no sense to try and ban same-sex marriage because you don’t agree with it. You have no place in telling two adults in a consensual relationship that they can’t get married. Therefore your argument here is invalid.

“If we legalize gay marriage, what’s next? Pedophilia? Man-dog sex?”

We have legalized gay marriage and yet it still makes absolutely no sense to bring up pedophilia and bestiality. Bestiality will never be considered norm because it is illegal! Animals are not humans and cannot give consent. Any person under the age of 18 is considered a minor, and having sex with a minor is considered statutory rape and you will go to jail! Both of these will not be the norm so stop using them to justify taking the rights away from the LBGT Community.

“There are more important things to worry about than gay rights.”

I agree, which is why it should’ve never been an issue from day one! How would you feel if you were told you couldn’t marry the person you loved because it offended people? You would do all that you could to fight the oppression and marry that person; now put yourself in the shoes of someone whom is gay. It literally is the same thing, you are telling two adults that are in a loving relationship that they can’t share their lives together and have the same rights/benefits that every other married couple have. It’s pretty stupid if you think about it. Interracial couples suffered the same fate but we redefined marriage and we did the same with same-sex marriage, please get off your high horse and seriously get over yourself.

“Gay rights should be put up to a public vote.”

No it should not! You cannot walk into someone’s bedroom and tell two adults that they can’t have sex or sleep in the same bed. You cannot dictate someone’s life, especially if they aren’t harming other people. It’s one thing to make laws that say ‘don’t kill anyone’, ‘you can’t rape people’. These laws were placed for a reason! Society cannot function if people have to constantly worry about walking down the street and being attacked or killed by other people. Secondly, I really don’t see why you’d want to dictate someone’s life. You are attracted to the opposite sex that’s fine and others are attracted to the same-sex and that’s also fine. But what isn’t fine is your need to bully and discriminate against those who don’t share your interests!

“Calling me a bigot just makes you a bigot too.”

Bigot: a person who is intolerant toward those holding different opinions.

Now that we have that out of the way, it is not bigot to call out someone for being a bigot. You cannot call me a bigot because you are the one being intolerant of someone else’s life. You want to deprive people of their basic human rights and yes you will be called out on it. You can have your opinion and you can wear it for the rest of your life, but don’t you dare try to enforce that opinion onto other people. Two consenting adults in a loving relationship whether they are two men or two women should be able to have the same rights as everyone else. Please remember, that gay people don’t want to make other people gay. Homophobes want to make other people homophobic. Who has the real agenda here?

Homophobia makes no sense! (Part one)

 “Marriage should be between a man and a woman, because it has always been this way.”

Marriage ‘should’ be between two adults who love each other. It shouldn’t matter if they are two men or two women. Marriage is a manmade concept and not created by god. Secondly, there have been gay marriages prior to the spread of Christianity. It was more of a taboo topic and people were killed because of it, especially around the time Christians began enforcing their beliefs onto other people. Some can say this was one of the many reasons the Roman Empire fell. It may have been the norm then but it surely isn’t the new norm now, the LGBT Community has the right to marry so get over it.

“Homosexuality is a choice.”

It is certainly not a choice! Please stop with this lie about everyone being born heterosexual. You are born with your sexual orientation and it has been proven scientifically, you don’t choose the gender you are attracted to. It’s becoming really sad that homophobic assholes are trying so hard to invalidate someone’s life because it doesn’t fit within the guidelines of their religion. It would make more sense if you were to attack rapist, murderers and pedophiles that are actually harmful to society. Two consenting adults in a loving relationship not harming anyone shouldn’t be on your list of attack, just saying.

“Homosexuality is condemned in the Bible.”

We have this wonderful thing called freedom of and freedom from religion. You can have your religion, practice it day and night. You can wear it on your sleeve and scream it from the rooftops. It becomes a problem when you try to enforce it onto other people. The government realized that it can’t ban gay marriage because it was pandering to an ideology that it should’ve never been supporting in the first place. It’s understandable that your little world is being shaken and the government isn’t putting your religion on a pedestal, but can we please get over these same stupid arguments!

“Homosexuality is wrong because it is unnatural.”

There are at least 450 species in the animal world that have been recorded having same-sex partners. It also has been proven that you don’t choose what gender you are attracted to, with that said it is perfectly natural to be gay. Just because your religious text says it’s not doesn’t validate anything in your argument. It just makes you look even more stupid.

“Gay marriage is wrong because homosexuals do not procreate.”

Again, you are using the bible to justify your argument and even so that isn’t a good one either. There are couples who are heterosexual that can’t produce children. What if an elderly couple were to marry? You are shaming more than just the LGBT Community in this argument. You are shaming anyone who can’t produce children. Everyone may not want children either! What is so wrong about two adults being in a loving relationship? What is so wrong with that?

Thursday, December 7, 2017

(Look-back) Mini Roadster was the odd Mazda Miata Fighter

Image result for mini roadster no copyright photo

If you wanted a two-seat roadster but didn't want to pay much money. Your only option would be the Mazda MX-5 Miata. It's not a bad option but what if you wanted something a little different from the MX-5. Well your prays have been answered! Mini has a new Roadster which can go toe to toe with the MX-5 in both fun to drive and affordable price, but is it a winning argument?

Performance: There are a familar range of 1.6-liter engines that all Minis offer. The Standard Mini Roadster uses a 1.6-liter non-turbo four-cylinder with 122hp. Cooper S trim uses a turbocharged form with 181hp, while the top of the range JCW gets pumped up to 208hp. Pick of the range is simple and yet the best form of a Mini you can buy the Cooper S. It's quite flexible and simply the most fun to drive and the more sensible choice of the range. The base trim feels a little underpowered while the top of the range is excellent but rather priced a little steeply.

On the road: The Mini Roadster has a rather firm ride, it's not nearly as firm as the Mazda MX-5. At highway speeds the ride surprisingly feels settled, even at low speeds the firm ride is forgiving. The Mini feels sharp and balanced through bends and corners with well weighted steering that has sharp response. With the roof down ther'es a lot of wind buffeting in the cabin. Road and engine noise can be heard at highway speeds. The exhaust emits an appealing pop and bangs.

Behind the wheel: Finding a driving position that suits you best won't be hard to find. The dashboard is a differ story however. It's funky retro design looks good but functionality is poor. Many of the controls feel fiddly to operate and confusing in layout. Rear visibility is very limited with the roof up. It's not as bad in the Mini Coupe. Compared with most two-seat roadsters, the Mini Roadster is very practical. The boot offers a decent size with a pass through for skis.

Equipment: All the roadsters come with the basic specs which includes alloy wheels, air-con and parking sensors. A part-electric roof is also standard as well. For those who wants to customize their Mini to their tastes, there are plenty of customizations to choose from.

Buying & Owning: The Mini Roadster costs about the same as the Mazda MX-5. The Mini Roadster is more fuel-efficient and offers better storage and resale value. The news gets even better when you pick the Mini Cooper S over the Mazda. Not only do you get a more powerful engine, but it's cheaper and more still more efficient.

Quality & Safety: Cabin materials are very iffy in quality. Some areas look down right cheap. Mini does well in reliability and customer satisfaction, but still we question Minis long term reliability. Mini comes with stability control and anti-lock brakes to keep you safe. The brakes are sophisticated and there's plenty of airbags to keep you safe in the event of a crash.

The Mini Roadster is very pratical and sensible option compared to the Mazda MX-5. It's quite fun to drive and offers much value for the money if you stick with the Cooper and Cooper S forms. Howver, the Mini Roadster suffers from a stingy equipment level and isn't as fun to drive as the Coupe form. If you are looking for a two-seat roadster that's practical and affordable the Mini Roadster should be on your list.

Devon's Pick: Mini Roadster Cooper S is the sweet spot of the range. It's not as expensive as the JCW but is just as fast and is more fuel efficient than the JCW.

Likes: Go-kart handling. Surprisingly comfortable despite firm suspension. Very practicla for a roadster also.

Dislike: Dashboard controls are fiddly to operate. Options can send the price soaring. Not as sharp to drive as the Mini Coupe.

Devon M

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Let's talk about Islam


"Kill the unbelievers wherever you find them." Koran 2:191

Murder anyone who isn’t a believer in Allah. This presents a huge problem because not everyone has even heard of Allah or the religion of Islam. Does this mean that people who aren’t believers should die? There are roughly 4,200 religions in the world, how do you know that your religion is the right one; also how can you say your holy text doesn’t promote violence? It’s clearly saying kill those who don’t believe!!

"Make war on the infidels living in your neighborhood." Koran 9:123

Infidels: a person who does not believe in religion or who adheres to a religion other than one's own.

Religion does teach you to spread the word of the holy text to everyone, but this is taking that to another level. You can’t go around making war and promoting violence against anyone whom doesn’t want to follow your religion; also calling someone an ‘infidel’ because they don’t want to adhere to your religion isn’t showing any kind of love, tolerance and peace. It’s quite opposite to be exact.

"When opportunity arises, kill the infidels wherever you catch them." Koran 9:5

This is completely fucked up on so many levels. First, you have to seek out people in your neighborhood who aren’t practicing the religion of Islam and wage war against them. Then when the opportunity arises you should kidnap them and kill them? You have to be literally fucking insane to think that this is a socially acceptable thing to do! Secondly, opportunity arises to kill someone how? What the fuck does that even mean!

"The Jews and the Christians are perverts fight them."... Koran 9:30

Doesn’t this sound so familiar? Christians calling all people in the LGBT Community ‘perverts’ and now Islam Extremist calling all Christians and Jews ‘perverts’. I don’t think any of you understand what the definition of a pervert is.

Pervert is a person whose sexual habits are not considered acceptable.

Two consenting adults having consensual sex aren’t ‘perverted’. However, an adult trying to have sex with a child would be considered perverted. Rapists are perverted as well, are there examples of these in all groups? Yes, but to label everyone ‘perverted’ is just plain dumb. You can disagree with someone’s ideology but insulting them like this isn’t making matters any better.

"Maim and crucify the infidels if they criticize Islam" Koran 5:33

You can’t say anything bad about Islam or else you will be injured to the point your wounds will never heal properly, or you will be killed. Kind of like throwing rocks from a glass house isn’t it? You can call Jews and Christians ‘perverted’ but if they say anything bad about your religion it becomes such a severe problem that results in irreversible injuries and/or death. This is truly a religion of peace.

"Punish the unbelievers with garments of fire, hooked iron rods, boiling water melt their skin and bellies." Koran 22:19

I find it quite disturbing that some people think that Islam is a religion of peace. So far all I’ve been told is that I must seek non-Islamic followers and bash their heads in and/or kill them if they say anything bad about my ideology or don’t want to follow it. Such a peaceful way to promote your ideology: if I don’t agree with it. Don’t want to follow it. I will be brutally attacked and possibly killed. Almost like religion is based off someone’s personal opinion rather than the opinion of an actual god.

"The unbelievers are stupid urge the Muslims to fight them." Koran 8:65

Non-believers and non-followers of Islam must be sought out like wild animals. War must be waged against them; they must be brutally attacked and/or killed. What the fuck is peaceful about any of this? I’m not entirely sure which is more stupid, the author of the holy text or the individuals who think that it’s okay to do exactly what the text says.

"Muslims must not take the infidels as friends." Koran 3:28

Religious arrogance, you don’t befriend anyone who isn’t following your religion or ‘infidels’. Actually I don’t see how you’d befriend anyone who isn’t following your religion when you have to wage war against them, brutally attack them and/or kill them. Last time I checked people don’t befriend people who want to force their religion down their throats and throw violent threats at them. That’s more like an enemy than a friend.

"Terrorize and behead those who believe in scriptures other than the Qur'an." Koran 8:12

Terrorize, wage war, attack and murder. These are not acts of peace. They are acts of violence.

"Muslims must muster all weapons to terrorize the infidels." Koran 8:60

These scriptures are clear proof that Islam isn’t a religion of peace. There is nothing peaceful about terrorizing people and brutally attacking them for not adapting your ideology. Islamophobia is a dangerous path and yes I understand, but the point I am trying to make here is simple. If your ideology tells you that it is okay to harm other people for not sharing your point of view, you seriously need to consider a new one. It is not okay in any way shape or form to harm others for having a different view point, especially if their view point doesn’t involve harming other people.

Religion can be used as a weapon and that weapon can be very dangerous. It's not okay to threaten someone or wage violence against someone in the name of your religion. It's one thing if someone is harming other people and you take a stand against them; however it becomes a huge problem when you instead wage violence against those who don't believe what you believe; that's a communist way of thinking and that should never be socially acceptable.

Nissan Altima review [Updated]

Image result for 2017 nissan altima no copyright image

Family saloons have never really been seen as cool or fun to drive. Honda and Toyota have pretty much ruined the family saloon image. Nissan however is trying to change all of that with the Nissan Altima. It's roomy, stylish and offers a suprising level of kit for the money. Can the Altima bring style and substance to the dull market of family saloons?

Performance: There's a 2.5-liter four-cylinder with 179hp, and a 3.5liter six-cylinder with 270hp. The pick of the bunch is the 2.5S. There's a great balance of performance, fuel economy and price. The six-cylinder engine is smooth, but feels overwhelming to the car's chassis.

Ride & Handling: The Altima offers decent handling if you don't push it hard. The six-cylinder models offer a sports suspension that makes them more of a kick to drive. You'll either love or hate the ride comfort. It feels floaty even on the bumpiest of roads. Trade-off is the suspension soaks bumps up really well, but there's body roll and not much driver entertainment. The steering feels lifeless and leaves the driver feeling disconnected from the car and road.

Refinement: Wind and road noise is well supressed in the Altima. The transmission sounds buzzy when accelerating from standstill. But once you rev the engine, you'll hear a sporty exhaust noise. But it fades away quickly and continues to pull strongly. There's little noise from the suspension.

Buying & Owning: The Altima is more stylish than its rivals. If you stay clear of the V6 and ignore the base trim level, you'll find a Altima that's reasonably priced and holds its value well. The hybrid offers a fuel economy benefit and tax credit. However, the higher asking price and rarity of the vehicle makes it harder to find at dealer lots.

Quality & Reliability: The Altima has excellent fit and finish inside out. The interior feels logical and well laid out. There's all your controls within easy reach. All the plastics used look and feel like they will last long hard use. Mechanicals shouldn't give any worries as Nissan has excellent reliability record. With above average customer satisfaction scores on JD Power Survey.

Behind the wheel: Some drives may not like the front seats. They lack upright seating position, which makes the driver feel like they're sitting further away from the steering wheel than desired. The seats are comfortable, and there's reach and height adjustments for both the steering wheel and seating.

Space & Practicality: There's plenty of room for five passengers. The trunk has an old fashioned hinges, which eats into the cargo space. The rear seats offer plenty of room for two, there's room for three. However, the third passenger will have to make do with sitting on the transmission tunnel.

Likes: Roomy interior, peppy range of engines, slick shifting transmission, well balance of refinement and quality.

Dislikes: Ride often feels floaty, lifeless steering, front seats don't offer upright seating comfort.

Overall: The Nissan Altima presents an excellent alternate to the class leaders. While there are other rivals that offer more driving satisfaction and extensive safety kit. You'll like the Altima's charm and the low asking price for such a stylish well made vehicle.

Monday, December 4, 2017

Marriage Equality

A year ago today we wrote a blog about marriage equality and how we supported it. A few months after we posted it. The U.S. Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage in all states. We wanted to celebrate Pride Month with a few little flashback posts, despite our radical move forward. People still need to understand the importance of marriage equality especially in countries around the world where it is still deemed illegal to be in the LGBT Community. 

“We need to protect marriage.”
Protect marriage how? People have married landmarks, video game characters and even themselves. Shot gun weddings exist and even getting married out of wedlock. Marriage should be a union of two people that love each other whether they are two men or two women. Marriage doesn’t need protection; marriage needs to be redefined because it’s no longer just one man one woman and we shouldn’t be throwing religion in people faces to dictate what a marriage is.

“We must preserve traditional marriage.”
Man + woman
Wives submit sexually to their husbands
Interfaith marriage is forbidden
Marriage generally arranged, not based on romantic love
Brides who could not prove her virginity was stoned to death

Man + woman + woman’s property
Man could acquire his wife’s property including her slaves

Man + woman + woman + woman
Man could have multiple wives also known as polygamy

Man + brother’s widow
Widows who had not borne a son required to marry her brother in law, must submit sexually to her new husband.

Rapist + his victim
Virgin who is raped must marry her rapist. Rapist must pay victim’s father 50 shekels of silver for property loss.

Male soldier + prisoner of war
Under Moses’ command, Israelites kill every Midlantie man, woman and child; save for the virgin girls who are taken as spoils of war. Wives must submit sexually to their new owners.

Male slave + female slave
Slave owners could assign female slaves to his male slaves. Female slaves must submit sexually to their new husbands.

These are all examples of traditional marriage and if these are the kind of weddings you want to preserve then you really do want to live in the dark ages because all of these marriage ideas are awful.

“Marriage is a sacred institution.”
Marriage is not a sacred institution! And marriage was not created by god! Marriage was seen as a social contract between two people to keep an inheritance in a family; to keep a last name going or keep a wealth within a family. It had nothing to do with god and even if it did, Christianity only existed for at least 6,000 years which means that marriage existed long before Christianity.  Further proof that your argument is flawed!

“Marriage has always been a bond between one man and one woman.”
Marriage may have been strictly between a man and a woman for those that feel the need to push their biblical standards. But as a society entering new times, we are seeing that love can exist between two men and two women. We should not be dictating who you can and can’t love if that love isn’t harming anyone.

 “Gay marriage will confuse gender roles.”
Gender roles basically say that women should be submissive to their husbands and men should be emotionless robots. I’m glad we are entering a time in which it is becoming socially acceptable for men to express their emotions and women can take on the supporting role. This is the way a marriage should be; two people supporting each other and kids should see this because that is how a marriage should work. Not the dark ages where women weren’t even considered people.

“Gay marriage will confuse the terms ‘husband’ and ‘wife’, or ‘mother and ‘father’.”
Again this is the same argument as the last one. Gender roles is the same as mother and father; husband and wife. Just because two people are of the same sex doesn’t mean that it will confuse these awful gender roles. Instead it should show that we are living in a different times and the word ‘family’ is no longer just a mother and a father.

“Gay people cannot have children and so should not be allowed to marry.”
What if the couple is sterile and can’t have children? What if the couple doesn’t want children? Does this mean that they can’t get married? Sorry I forgot marriage isn’t about love and wanting to share your life with a special person, it’s all about women being baby factories and the man being an emotionless robot. Yes that’s the best marriage ever! 

“No one has the right to redefine marriage.”
Yes we can redefine marriage and do you want to know why? We created marriage! God didn’t! Marriage was a social contract between two people to keep a last name going, to keep a blood line going and to keep a family inheritance in check. It had nothing to do with god and I’m pretty sure there were marriages long before Christianity existed. Oh wait, the world is 6,000 years old and people just pop into existence from bones and dirt.

“The minority should not have the right to dictate to the majority.”
No one should be dictating to anyone about anything! All gay people want is to live their life and be treated like everyone else. I don’t know why this is so hard for you to understand! No one is forcing you to participate in gay sex. No one is forcing you to perform a gay marriage. Marriage is a human right and of course everyone deserves that right. If you aren’t harming anyone why should you care? Are you secretly gay?

“Public opinion polls show most people are against gay marriage.”
Most people that are against gay marriage actually don’t have a real valid reason as to why they are against it. Also what is crazy is that most people who are against it actually think that they themselves will have to become gay and marry someone of the same sex. In fact that’s quite the opposite. All gay people want is to get married and share their life with the person they love. This shouldn’t be an issue because you surely don’t want your rights taken away from you, and you surely don’t want anyone to dictate your life. What gives you the right to do that to someone else? If they aren’t going around harming others then let them be!

“Why is it so important for gay people to have marriage?”
The same reason that heterosexual couples want to get married, to share your life with someone you love and care about. Oh yeah, I keep forgetting the only reason to get married according to the bible is to create children. There’s no love in marriage it’s all about having children and being miserable with someone you don’t even care about.

 “There are two sides to the argument. Why can’t we compromise?”
Did women compromise when they were fighting for the right to vote? Did interracial couples compromise when they wanted the right to get married? No, there is no room for compromise when your rights are steadily being stripped away from you. No one should compromise and settle for anything less.

“Gay marriage is immoral.”
I guess rape, murder and slavery are perfectly moral then? Your bible says that all of the three are okay and even though thou shall not murder is in the Ten Commandments; it’s not even in the top five which is disturbing. Also god told people to kill other people and even had the Israelites eat their own babies?? Yeah gay marriage is so much more immoral than these acts I mentioned above.

“I love my best friend, my brother and my dog. That does not mean we should have the right to marry.”
There is a difference between loving someone and being in love with someone. The love you have between you and your mother in law is not the same as the love you’d have for your spouse or significant other. You love your dog yes that’s fine but are you in love with your dog? No you aren’t. So this argument makes absolutely no sense! But then again this is coming from someone who thinks that two people should marry to have children and not because they love each other.

 “God made Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve.”
Adam and Eve creation doesn’t make any sense to begin with. What proof do you have that men are formed form dirt and women are formed from bones? People just pop into existence from dirt and bones. Also, it’s quite mean to say what someone has between them and their partner isn’t real because it’s not biblical love.

“Gay rights are fashionable right now.”
Fashionable, if being gay were fashionable how come there are people protesting at anti-gay marriage rallies? Everyone seems to have an opinion about gay marriage and most of them are hate speech. I can’t imagine anyone thinking that they should have fewer rights and wanting to be treated like second-class citizens. There is nothing fashionable about having your rights taken away from you and people openly discriminating against your lifestyle because they refuse to understand it.

“Gay people do not even want marriage.”
If this were true how come there are so many gay people fighting for the right to get married? How come when gay marriage is allowed in a state the number of gays getting married in a single day are in the hundreds maybe thousands? Maybe not all gay people want to get married right away and maybe some don’t want to get married at all. But to deny the freedom of marriage to someone because it violates your bible is not a valid reason. After all this country was founded on religious freedom and we shouldn’t be throwing biblical agendas down people’s throats.

“Gay people can already get married – to people of the opposite gender.”
Do you even now what being gay means? It really means being happy but a man who is attracted to other men and a woman that is attracted to other women is considered being gay. Now that we have that out of the way, why would any gay person marry someone of the opposite sex as opposed to the person they really love? Are you stupid?  How about I force you to marry a man because it offends me that you want to marry a woman, do you see how stupid that is?!!

 “There will be drastic consequences for society if we accept gay marriage.”
Canada allowed gay marriage and nothing has happened. Here in the U.S. there are currently 37 states that allow gay marriage and none of these states have been wiped off the face of the planet. Do you think that being gay is a plague? Only thing that will change and should change is people’s attitude towards gay people. Homophobes carry this mentality that if you hang around a gay person you will become gay. If this were true; I fed some ducks in a park and I guess that means that I’m a duck now.

 “Gay marriage will cause the disestablishment of the church.”
“State churches that use government power to support themselves and force their views on persons of other faiths undermine all our civil rights. Erecting the wall of separation between church and state, therefore, is absolutely essential in a free society.” Thomas Jefferson

Gay marriage will not in any shape or form disestablish your church. However, what should be disestablished is the hatred and bigotry that is associated with most churches. Instead of radically loving others, you hate those who don’t agree with you and banish them to hell. Rapists, pedophiles and murders are welcome into your church and those individuals should be banished to hell for harming other people. Do you see where I’m going with this? A gay person not harming anyone is sent to hell, while those that harm others are redeemed.

 “Gay marriage will lead to polygamy/bestiality/pedophilia/etc.”                                                 
This is so scaremongering and ridiculous. Your bible however does promote two of three. If you refer to my traditional marriage argument many men had multiple wives and even to this day some states allow you to have multiple wives. Pedophilia also exists in the bible too when soldiers destroyed a city and killed every living thing in sight except for the young virgins who are used as war scrap and have to submit to their new husbands sexually.

 “Gay marriage caused the end of the Roman Empire/September 11th/etc.”
There are many reasons why the Roman Empire fell. One of them is the spread of Christianity at the time. People were stoned to death because that’s what religion does it controls people. September 11th was a false flag attack used as a scaremongering tactic to invade Iraq. The gay mafia had nothing to do with either.

 “You are too emotionally involved to make a rational argument.”
Yes I’m upset because we shouldn’t be having this conversation. You’re basically using your religion as a weapon to discriminate openly against people that aren’t harming others. This is why separation of church and state exists; we should not be allowing religion to influence laws. Otherwise we will be living in the dark ages all over again where stoning people is okay; rape and slavery are perfectly acceptable.

“We are in an economic crisis, so we should not be wasting time on gay marriage.”
Equality shouldn’t be considered a luxury add on. How would you feel if your rights were slowly being taken away from you and you were being treated like a second class citizen? Yes you too would fight for your rights until you get what you deserve and so should gay people.

It violates natural law.

Saint Paul taught in the Epistle to the Romans that the natural law is inscribed on the heart of every man. (Rom. 2:14-15)

Mainstream psychology has proven that being gay is not a choice. People are born with their sexual orientation and learn what they are and aren’t attracted to as they grow up. Saying this violates natural law is just plain idiotic. If you are getting your information from a book that tells you God created Adam from dirt and Eve from a rib and placed then in a garden with a talking snake. These events surely do sound more convincing. Being gay is as natural as being heterosexual and should be treated as such.

It imposes its acceptance on all society.

Those of the LGBT community should be treated and accepted by society because they are people and all they want is to have the same rights like everyone else. You don’t see gay people going from house to house trying to recruit people like you see in some of these religions. Who has the real agenda here? Also teaching your child about homosexuality should be adapted in schools. Oh wait I forgot teaching your children to hate is so much better than teaching them love and tolerance of people that aren’t going around hurting others. That’s just fine! Keep hating gay people because you don’t understand their lifestyle and refuse to want to understand it.

It offends god.

This statement makes you look stupid and do you want to know why? You claim that it offends god that someone is gay, but it doesn’t offend god that babies die every day of starvation or illness that have cures. There should be a lot of things that offends god and yet god does nothing to help those people. God doesn’t even reveal himself or show himself to people individually to prove his existence. If being gay is so offensive to god then why did he create gay people in the first place because being gay is not a choice. But then again this is coming from the same god that created Adam and Eve with a forbidden tree and he knew they were going to eat from that tree and cursed all of humanity because of their fuck up.

If homosexuality is right, then how come two people of the same sex not produce a child?
Just because two people can’t physically produce a child doesn’t mean that they’re lifestyle is wrong. Some heterosexual couples can’t produce a child and have to go by the means of adoption. Does this mean that they are wrong also?

Sunday, December 3, 2017

What we'd like to see (part two)

Mazda Speed 3 (Please!)

Mazda has confirmed that the 2.5-turbo four-cylinder from the CX-9 can fit in practically fit in the Mazda6 and Mazda3. With that being said, it would be pretty cool to see this engine optional through out the range. Which means that a Speed 3 could be make a much wanted comeback seeing that there's a lot of competition from the Focus ST/RS and Honda Civic SI/Type-R. We're just saying Mazda, if Honda is making cool cars again with the new high performance versions of the Civic. The Mazda 3 needs to step its game up with the Speed 3 variant pushing between 250 to 300hp would be ideal.

Note: The Mazda 6 will get the 2.5-turbo engine with its refresh for 2019. Also, the CX-5 is going to get a turbo-diesel engine option. 

2017 Kia Optima 3 Sportswagon Front.jpg

Kia Optima (wagon or lifted-crossover-like-wagon)

We know we sound like a broken record but we thoroughly enjoyed the Kia Optima Wagon that we drove while overseas. What we loathe the most is that diesel engine, it had the torque which made it feel lively around town but it loses steam quite quickly and is not very refined. With that being said, Kia should bring the Optima here in either the wagon form or lifted-crossover-like-wagon to compete with the Subaru Outback. It would be nice to see this stylish wagon brought to our shores with all three engine options and standard all-wheel-drive. We'd spend our money on a Kia Optima crossover wagon if offered.

2015 MINI Cooper Hardtop 2 door -- NHTSA test 9062 - front.jpg

Mini 3-door Hardtop (Cooper SD)

We know that diesel engines get bad rep here and it would be particularly expensive to bring one here. However, it still doesn't mean we can't wish for one. The 2-liter diesel from the 3-series could be placed in Minis line-up and offer a relatively inexpensive diesel engine option for our shores. It would be quite interesting to see Mini offer such an engine here, especially since Volkswagen no longer sells TDI engines here.

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Smart Forfour

Smart has discontinued the 1-liter turbo three-cylinder from the Fortwo Range due to low sales. You can still buy a Fortwo but only EV (electric vehicle) configuration. What we find even more interesting is that Smart isn't selling the larger Forfour here. It would be nice to see a four seat version of Smart sold here, however the price tag would be way too expensive for most tastes and that 0.9 turbo engine is very laggy and tricky to drive. Mini has the market almost to its self at this point, mainly due to BMW origins so it has the classy image and driving dynamics that Mini is known for. The Forfour has the quirky charm but won't translate well here in the US but it would still be nice to see this little hatch here on our shores.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Can Devon find a Spark in a micro-sized Chevy? (Used)

File:2010 Chevy Spark LS (4359987176).jpg

Gas prices are high and the cost of owning a vehicle is going up. Chevy figured this would be the perfect opportunity to launch the Chevy Spark. It's a subcompact hatchback that has real potential to go toe to toe with the Fiat 500 and Toyota iQ. Even though Americans haven't really warmed up to small cars yet, will the Spark be able to spark something in this steadily trendy segment? Let's find out! 

Performance: There's only one engine available with the Spark and that's a 1.2-liter four-cylinder producing 84hp. It's not the peppiest engine and won't spark any excitement. Fuel economy however is the main concern here and that's where the Spark really sparks. It's at home around town where the little horespower it has is peppy and can catch up to traffic with ease. On the highway you may want to plan out your overtaking because it will take a while to get up to pace with the rest of traffic. We suggest sticking with the manual gearbox as it works better with the small amount of horsepower the engine has to offer. 

On the road: The Spark has a comfortable ride for a city car. Around town the suspension copes well with bumps and helps the Spark dart around tight urban areas with little to no effort needed. Venture outside of the city limits and the Spark's composed ride often feels unsettled. Most city cars feel out of their element outside of the city, so the Spark isn't too far off from its main rivals. 

Refinement: You'll have to work the engine hard to get any momentum out of it. The manual gearbox is better suited with the small engine size and output. Wind and road noise will intrude in the cabin at higher speeds making the Spark feel less refined than its rivals. 

Behind the wheel: The dashboard has a very user-friendly with most of controls and dials easily labeled and easy to reach from the driver's seat. The instrumental panel has a motorcycle like gauge which helps spark a little flare inside the cabin. There's plenty of adjustments for the driver's seat, but the steering wheel doesn't adjust for reach. This isn't a deal breaker but can compromise the driving position for taller drivers. 

Space & Practicality: Even though the Spark is small, the interior is roomy and offers plenty of space for four adults. There is plenty of headroom and legroom for front and rear passengers if the passengers are willing to share out the space. The boot space won't wow you but it's pretty decent compared to most rivals, you'll have to push the front seats forward to fold the rear seats down to extend cargo space. 

Equipment: The Spark starts at the right price tag but the base trim loses out on cd-player, keyless entry and a few other bits that you'd desire. You'll have to step up to the mid-range trim to add these features which we highly suggest. Top of the range trim adds leatherette seating surfaces, Chevy's MyLink, alloy wheels with roof rails. 

Buying & Owning: The Chevy Spark running costs should be low thanks to the ultra efficient engine under the hood. You may lose some of the fuel economy benefits due to the fact that you have to work the Spark's engine harder on faster paced roads. Starting prices for the Spark are below $13,000 which should appeal to the tight budget minded buyers. We however suggest sticking with the mid-range trim which adds keyless entry and few other bits that you'll want on your daily drive. 

Quality & Reliability: The Spark's interior is very nice but is surrounded by hard and cheap looking plastics. You can tell that this car was built to a price. It's a shame because the Spark has such a fun loving character. 

Safety & Security: The Spark comes with front and side curtain airbags standard. Hill start assist and electronic stability are standard across the range as well as traction control. The base trim loses out on a theft alarm and keyless entry which leaves the Spark vunerable to break-ins. 

The Chevy Spark is a spacious and roomy city car that benefits from an extra pair of doors for added versatility. It's stylish and quite a joy to drive around the city. Venture outside of the city and everything goes down hill from there. The engine doesn't offer enough momentum to really get you off the line and you'll have to plan out your overtakings. The rear seats are very difficult to fold down and the base trim feels rather short on kit. If you need a small urban runabout that can seat up to four and is cheap to buy and run. The Spark really does spark up these and shows that it is indeed a great car to consider.

Devon's Pick: The 1LT trim makes the most sense. You get air-con, keyless-entry, cd-player and cruise control standard. You still get the same 1.2-liter engine as the base trim but you're not losing out on comfort features. 

Likes: Fuel efficient, fun to drive around town, roomy for four adults. Stylish exterior looks and a well thought out interior design. 

Dislikes: Obvious sign the car was built to a price. Overwhelmed outside city limits. Rear seats fold down feature is fiddly to use. Color choices won't appeal to all. 

Devon M 

(Used) Devon test drives a Chevy Impala

Chevrolet Impala -- 12-26-2009.jpg
Likes: Roomy interior for five, large roomy trunk, decent fuel economy, ride comfort is smooth.

Dislikes: Bland styling, forgettable driving experience, poor build quality and low-grade interior, four-speed automatic soaks up the engine's power, and the handling is lackluster at best.

Large front wheel drive sedans are slowly being replaced by more fun to drive rear-wheel drive vehicles.  There are plenty to choose from. So where does the Chevy Impala fit in that formula?

Performance: There are two six-cylinder engines to choose from. The base 3.5-liter six-cylinder produces 211hp, and a 3.9-liter six-cylinder with 230hp. The pick of the bunch is the 3.5-liter six-cylinder. Its smooth, provides quick acceleration and decent fuel economy. Not that there's much of a difference between the two engines in terms of gas mileage. But both engines have to make do with a old four-speed automatic. This ruins the potential that the engines have to offer. The shifts often feel delayed and unresponsive at times. Leaving you with no oomph when you desire it the most.

Ride & Handling: The suspension is set towards comfort. It irons out bumps, and handles well if not pushed to its limits. This is where the Impala feels cheap. The ride and handling often feels loose and uncontrolled at times. Making the vehicle feel unsettled when pushed hard. Even the top of the range feels more geared towards a Sunday drive.

Refinement: The six-cylinder stays hused until pushed hard. However, the noise is far from intrusive. The Impala feels like a comfortable on long journeys. The driving experience is very forgettable.

Behind the wheel: There's plenty of adjustment for the driver's seat. The steering wheel adjusts for both reach and height. There's a sense of logic to the interior. It doesn't feel high quality, but it serves its purpose well. All the controls are easy to reach, and there's even power adjustments to the seats for added luxury.

Space & Practicality: The boot is very massive, something you'd expect from a sedan that's so big in size. The seats fold down to increase cargo space. You can sit up to five passengers in comfort.

Equipment: The base engine is well equipped for the money. There's automatic headlamps, cruise control, keyless entry and six-way power driver seat. The top of the range adds luxury tuned supsension, 18-inch alloy wheels and a sunroof.

Buying & Owning: The Impala seems like a good deal on paper. This however changes when you come to selling the vehicle. With steep depreciation, your investments aren't well protected. There are rivals that offer better value for the money all-round. The Impala does get decent fuel economy, but has to make do with an ancient four-speed automatic. Rivals offer six and even seven speed automatic gearboxes.

Quality & Reliability: The interior feels and looks well put together. There's no indication for the gears on the automatic transmission. One will have to look into the instrument panel to see what gear they are shifting into. This can get annoying at times, especially when parking. The whole cabin feel is on the cheap side. Even in the top of the range, there's a sense of low-rent quality to the cabin. The Impala has scored low in JD power survery for reliability.

Safety: The Impala comes well equipped in safety. There's front and side curtian airbags. ABS and ESP are both standard across the range. However, the construction of the vehicle feels cheap. You may want to consider this before buying one. There are deadlocks and a theft alarm to guard against theft.

Overall: The Impala is one of the few large front wheel drive sedans that offers plenty of space, and decent equipment for the money. However the negatives seem to outweigh the positives, and there are far better rivals that are better value for money and offer much more than the Impala.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

(Remember) Helping Ms. Indecisive: Hyundai Elantra Variants

Picking a car can be quite challenging. The first thing you always want to keep in mind is your needs vs your wants. You always want to pick a car that will meet your demands. Never pick a car that you know down the road will be too impractical or won't fit your daily livestyle. I am here to help Ms Decisive pick which vehicle will suit her best. 

Photo provided by
Raul Gonzalez

Hyundai Elantra Sedan 
There's no getting around the alluring style of the newest generation Elantra. Long gone are the days in which you'd buy a Hyundai because they were cheap and that was it. The new Elantra is stylish, and still offers tons of value for money. In sedan form, the Elantra offers tons of room and practicality. It's not as spacious or versatile as the hatchback form, but it does have a more spacious rear seat if you want to carry extra passengers. In standard form you get air-con, power windows, keyless entry and cd-player standard. You'll have to step up to the top of the range to get keyless start, 17inch alloy wheels and navigation system. These features however you'll have to pay extra for. 

Compared to the Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla the Elantra sedan is a better choice. You get more power and extra luxury bits that both vehicles don't offer. Plus it's not as bland and dull to drive. 

Likes: Spacious interior for four, stylish exterior looks with plenty of value for money. 

Dislikes: Feels like it trades style for substance, road noise at highway speeds. 

Photo provided by
Raul Gonzalez

Hyundai Elantra Coupe 

The Elantra Coupe is the sleek and stylish offering in the Elantra range. Compared to the Honda Civic Coupe and Volkswagen Golf. The Elantra Coupe has a sleeker profile and the overall image gives the impression that this is sportier than a GTI. However, you'll be surprised that the level of excitement doesn't really match the sporty looks. The engine is geared more towards fuel economy rather than sport. So your trade off is that you get great gas mileage but no excitement behind the wheel which is disappointing. 

Picking the Elantra Coupe is a no brainer here. If you want a sleeker version of the Elantra and don't really care too much about passengers, than this is obviously the better choice. It's just disappointing that it isn't fun to drive like the looks suggest. 

Likes: Much more sleeker looking than the sedan form, still carries the value for money factor well. 

Dislikes: Looks sporty but feels like it's aimed towards fuel efficiency. A turbo version would broaden it's appeal even more. 

Image result for 2013 hyundai elantra gt no copyright image

The Hyundai Elantra GT isn't shaped like the funky fastback of the previous generation. Instead it switches to a more conventional hatchback that is similar to the Toyota Yaris and Honda Fit. All three versions come with the 1.8-liter four-cylinder 148hp which is pretty zippy for what it is. In hatchback form the Elantra GT offers a roomier interior for extra luggage. Compared to the coupe and the sedan it costs more than both. If you need the extra practicality and space the Elantra GT is the perfect choice. 

Likes: Extra space for utility and practicality. Fuel efficient and stylish. 

Dislikes: Extra premium over the coupe and sedan. 

Devon M 

Devon test drives an odd-ball Mini (Used)

Mini Cooper S Clubman Facelift front 20100508.jpg
The Mini Brand offers tons of quirky niche vehicles that are fun to drive. But what if you want the quirkiest of the bunch? The Clubman is the Mini that will appeal to you the most.

Performance: The Clubman comes with the same 1.6-liter engine the rest of the Mini Range comes with. There are three variations to choose from; the Cooper trim offers 122hp. Cooper S offers a turbo which pumps out 180hp. Top of the range JCW offers the potent 208hp version of the 1.6. Pick of the range is the Cooper S trim, which offers the most engaging driving experience all while offering decent fuel economy which is a win-win over the base trim.

Ride & handling: The Clubman is just as fun to drive as the hardtop Mini. Even though the Clubman has a longer wheelbase, the overall feel in the corners and bends is still spot on. Ride comfort however isn’t as disappointing as the Countryman. Although the fun to drive character is still there, it still leaves a lot to be desired when compared to the hardtop Mini.

Refinement: The engines sound sporty and are fun to rev. The turbo versions offer the more engaging driving experience. Wind noise can be heard in the cabin at higher speeds but it’s far from intrusive. Some road noise will sneak into the cabin also. The manual gearbox gear pattern shoves the reverse gear in front of first gear, which makes it very easy for you to select reverse instead of first gear.

Behind the wheel: Even though the Clubman is bigger than your standard Mini hardtop, the seating position and overall view out of the car is still spot on. Only problem we have is the barn doors styled tailgate. It creates an awkward blind spot when parking and looking through the rearview mirror. The dashboard like other Minis is just fussy and fiddly to operate. Many of the controls are jammed in where ever there’s space, which makes it awkward and overly complicated to navigate through.

Space & practicality: This is where the Clubman shines. Thanks to the added length and wheelbase, there is plenty of space for actual passengers in the rear. Two adults can sit comfortably thanks to added headroom, legroom and even hip room. The club door is placed on the passenger side of the car which means that rear passengers won’t have to exit into traffic. The boot is also well sized and shaped. The barn doors styled tailgate adds a touch of quirk to the overall appeal of the car.
Equipment: All three trim levels are equally equipped with the same level of kit. You’ll have to pay extra for desired features that should be standard. The Cooper S trim and JCW trim adds special body-kit trim and few other touches to separate them from the Cooper trim. If price is a concern for you, we’d suggest sticking with the Cooper trim and stay clear of the options list.

Buying & owning: The Clubman is slightly more expensive than the hardtop Mini, but in return you do get more space for rear passengers and a distinct image all round. Running costs shouldn’t be too bad thanks to decent fuel economy, while resale value won’t be a problem at all thanks to strong demand for the Mini Badge.

Quality & reliability: The Clubman and all other Minis have a premium small car image. It’s a shame that the interior quality is a big let down. Some switchgear and controls are iffy in terms of quality. Mini Customers are a happy bunch and rate Mini high in customer satisfaction, even though the company’s reliability record is patchy.

Safety & Security: Front and side curtain airbags are standard across the range. As well as traction control, electronic stability program, anti-lock brakes and a tire pressure monitor. An engine immobilizer is standard as well as deadlocks; you’ll have to pay extra for an alarm.

If you want the most distinct and quirky Mini of them all, the Clubman is clearly the choice hands down. It may not be as roomy as the Countryman, but it’s not as disappointing to drive and overall driving satisfaction is right there next to the Mini hardtop. If you don’t mind paying the premium for the options that you’d most likely want, the Clubman is the perfect car for you.

Devon's Pick: Mini Clubman S is the most fun to drive of the range without being overly expensive like the JCW trim. You still have to pay extra for bits that you may want, but it's still entertaining to drive and the most popular form of the Clubman. 

Likes: Fun to drive with roomy interior for four passengers. Decent running costs with quirky club doors and tailgate.

Dislikes: Some controls are fiddly to operate. Desired options push price sky high, while standard kit is considered stingy. Reverse gear too easily selected instead of first gear.

Devon’s Pick: The Cooper S is the best trim to pick. You may have to pay the premium price for it, but it offers the most engaging driving experience. All while offering decent running costs.