Eight off-road race fans were killed and five others seriously injured during a “Mad Max” type road race out in the Mojave Desert. This made the front page of the L.A. Times. Front page. Huge news. Or as the Times puts it, “Fans of desert racing say nothing beats the danger, dust and noise of watching 3,500 pound trucks roaring past – close enough almost to touch – and then rocketing into the air over treacherous jumps with nicknames like tthe rock pile.’”
Until the 3,500 pound truck flies into the air, lands then rolls over and smashes into those folks standing close enough to lean out into the path of the truck to take photos of airborne trucks, heck maybe get a few shaky shots of a truck rolling over directly towards them. Such fun! Until it isn’t.
And now some of those who enjoy leaning out into the path of roaring-by trucks are whining that it’s the promoters of this race who are at fault. They should have put up fences, ignoring the high probability that drunken fans would simply tear down fences to get closer. It being a macho, racy thing, sorta like running with the bulls. Or there’s the usual default fault – blame the Bureau of Land Management for not overseeing things better. “The feds have allowed a ‘Mad Max’ atmosphere to develop with too many people and too many machines crammed into too little space,’ said Kieran Suckling, executive director of the Center for Biological Diversity, a nonprofit environmental protection group that has had previous clashes with off-road enthusiasts. ‘The feds don’t have the resources and apparently not the interest, to regulate off-road vehicles properly.”
Is Suckling kidding? Try to regulate off-road vehicles properly? Try that and thousands raise such a ruckus that timid Congresspeople and understaffed BLM folks back off very quickly. Has Suckling paid no attention to our regular whoop-ups at the Oceaneo Dunes whenever some kid gets killed? Getting killed is part of the deal when 3,500 trucks fly through the air right next to crowds of people. Noted Bryant Layton, an off-road racer and friend of the driver who crashed, that “The crowds have been getting progressively worse every year. It’s known to be out of control, with lots of people drinking .”
Yup. Flying trucks, booze, Mad Max. It’s no wonder the poor desert tortoise is endangered. And as for the front page story? Slow news day. Pointless, stupid death is always a great way to gin up circulation.
How Much Is That Governor’s Job In The Window?
Again from the Times: Billionaire Meg Whitman donated "an additional $13 million of her own money to her effort to become California’s next governor, bringing the Republican nominee’s personal state in her election bid to $104 million.”
Guess that’s our future: Being ruled by wealthy oligarcs who can buy their offices outright. Or, since the recent Supreme Court ruling, being ruled by corporations, including foreign-owned ones, who will simply buy the office outright then install a puppet in the chair. Nice.