More Poor Choices…

I’m writing this on Monday, October 18 and I’ve just learned this morning that Colin Powell died. There will be many tributes. There will only be passing reference to his participation in starting George’s War in Iraq. I have this concept I follow: none of us would like to be judged by his worst day. Generally, this is true but there ARE exceptions. Powell’s presentation to the United Nations that was so effective at convincing so many of so much pure, unadulterated bullshit, puts him squarely on the ‘judged for this one thing’ list. Powell KNEW he was presenting theoretical “evidence.” Maybe this, possibly that. As a military man, Powell KNEW people – innocent people – would die as a result of his misrepresentations.

Powell was well-respected before the UN debacle. Maybe, by refusing to give the speech, Powell could have averted an illegal war started on trumped up charges and false pretenses that killed hundreds of thousands. Instead, for his own personal gain (he thought maybe he would get to be the first black President – as a Republican), Powell helped sell that war to an hesitant population. THAT choice, defined the man in my mind. It was likely the most important moment in his life and he chose dishonor…

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I’ve heard a LOT of people from the television/film industry talking about the Alec Baldwin shooting. It appears some prop master handed Baldwin a loaded prop gun and told him it was not loaded. Until I have reason to believe otherwise, I’ll assume this was a horrifying accident. But everyone in the business agrees it was a completely preventable accident. It’s important to remember the prop man was non-union. Union workers go through regular training and follow union protocols. Non union workers? Well, maybe. Maybe not. Somehow, a system failed that has otherwise prevented this type of accident since 1993 – the last time a worker on a movie set died under similar circumstances.

I presume Baldwin’s production company hired non-union workers to save money. I guess it worked. Insurance companies will pay out the damages, not Baldwin’s production company. Then again, a lot of money went into making the parts of the movie that have been made and I would imagine the rest of the movie will NOT get made and it will not see a release date. If that’s the case, the choice to hire potentially less qualified property masters to “save money” seems to have gone poorly…

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I’ve heard much chatter, recently, about how Joe Biden is causing gas prices to skyrocket – and skyrocket they are. Over $5.00/gallon for Premium. It’s bunk, of course. Biden doesn’t sit in the boardrooms where production decisions are made. Just before CheetoJesus left office, the price of a barrel of oil was WAY too low as far as the industry was concerned so they cut back production. This was a business decision. The effect becomes real only months after the decision is taken – and when a Democrat takes over the Oval Office.

What I would like to see Biden do (though I wouldn’t actually see it) is get with the greedy CEO’s of those companies and tell them that he’s going to start revoking the various subsidies the industry enjoys. I know, some of those are granted by the bought and paid for Congress so the President doesn’t have much say but there ARE things he can do – or threaten to do, anyway. Things like revoking drilling rights and leases for example. In the short term, such a choice would reduce the damage high gas prices always do to our once-great nation.

Still, it could be that Biden knows the pain the high gas prices are going to cause but, like me, he sees that as people get taken to the cleaners by the gas companies, the public might well start making decisions to change their behaviors. Maybe they’ll choose electric cars, for example. In our vicious so-called “free market” Capitalist society the best way to effect change is to hit people in the pocketbook and the gas companies are hitting the American public HARD. Greed kills but in this case, maybe greed will kill the gas companies…

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As I write this, an atmospheric river is flowing over me outside. I’ve heard as much as 5″ of rain will be falling today. Nice. Now I guess I can go back to half-hour showers and letting my hose run and…what? Wait, I STILL have to be careful? What do you mean, this won’t end the drought? It’s a massive storm that promises to…

All right. I’ll stick to the drought protocols. But you’ve got to admit, it’s a hopeful start!

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