Monday, August 16, 2010

Oh, Dear, How In The World Did THAT Happen?

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.


Alon Perlman said...

"Officials said Sloppy, the driver, wasn't hurt. It was not clear why he lost control of the truck, a white modified Ford Ranger with "Misery Motorsports" painted on the doors."

Sewertoons said...

Ann, while I completely agree with you on the "buying an office" thing and the very real danger of corporate rule, let's not forget the role the dumbed down voters play in this scenario. Not reading the New York Times, the Economist, or not reading at all (don't want to waste time that could be spent watching "Dancing With The Stars"), plays a large part in rich people getting away with these schemes. Our education system under-serves more yearly, and too many parents do not themselves value the education that is available to their kids.

Watershed Mark said...

Jon S. Corzine was elected Governor of the State of New Jersey in 1995 after completing 5 years of a 6 year term in the US Senate. To attain these two offices, Mr. Corzine spent in excess of 100 million of his own money during the respective campaigns. This alone should give the average voter some insight into the sitting governor’s financial expertise. Why would anyone spend one fifth of their net worth to get a position that would return an amount less than a hundredth of their investment. Civic duty you say? Or perhaps a stepping stone to an even higher calling. Hmm. As a lifelong follower of the concepts of Realism, I tend to go with the latter as opposed to the former.

Since Corzine had spent over $62 million on his 2000 United States Senate elections,[60] the combined expenditures for Corzine's run for the Senate and Governorship exceeded $100 million.

I think Meg would make a fine Gubnah.

If Jerry makes to the Mansion m-a-y-b-e he will visit how the people in Los Osos are being WB'd...
He didn't do to well at protecting the people of California's best interests as AG.

Churadogs said...

Toonces sez:"Ann, while I completely agree with you on the "buying an office" thing and the very real danger of corporate rule, let's not forget the role the dumbed down voters play in this scenario."

One overlooked issue with rich people "buying" offices is that money can be used to "buy" up all available airtime for their own political ads, thereby leaving no ad time for other candidtes unless it's 2 a.m. Thus you can effectively control the information out there. There is no "fairness" doctrine and public airway licenses have little or no "public" service/benefit attached any more. It's all be effectively privitized so it's gone all Golden Rule as in he who has the gold, makes the rules.

M said...

I certainly don't have an answer about how we can elect our officials differently, but after receiving about my 100th full color, on nice thick stock paper campaign ad I realized that at least somebody is earning some money for creating these things. Thinking about it, if we made it illegal for a candidate to bash another candidate and require a profile of what the candidate would do if elected, maybe that would be more palatable. Another suggestion is to cut in half the number of politicians we have. They are unneccessary. After 230 years of legislating, how much more is there for them to legislate. Think of the pension savings alone.
Sincerely, M

Spectator said...

Why are some people poor? They are not suppressed as the women wearing burkas in an Islamic society.

It is always the communistic progressives blaming the rich for society's problems.

I have never worked for anyone with LESS money than me.

Wake up ANN. We have your number: