Oh God, the Bag Bill Passed the State Senate

This comes as little surprise. I do not and I will not support it:

The following statement found within the article is wholly incorrect: “The hotly contested bill, strongly supported by environmentalists, would allow stores to charge customers 10 cents for paper or reusable plastic bags as an alternative” (2014, LATimes, McGreevy & Mason). To read the entire bill, click here. What makes less-than-truthful the statement in McGreevy and Mason’s LATimes article is the verb, to “allow.” It indicates that a store has a choice about whether to charge for paper and compostable plastic bags at the point of sale. Actually, SB-270 mandates that stores charge “not less than ten cents” per bag, and that fee may be raised. In my opinion, it represents a regressive tax similar to a sales tax (which is up to 8% in Orange County, CA). The wording of the article suggests a bias by the authors.

While I agree that plastic bags have been a problem for as long as they’ve been used by retailers, the same was never true of paper. Paper degrades in the environment, by itself, and quickly. One could argue that they do not degrade once buried in a landfill. While that is true, I can’t imagine that bags are the biggest problem at landfill sites.

So-called “reusable” bags must be kept on hand. Some people do not own a car. So, wherever they go, they’ll be carrying those reusable bags (made of thick plastic), or they’ll have to pay 10 cents per bag when they purchase products at retail stores. This is something that many car-less people can ill afford.

The legislative bill is one of at least two recently attributed to State Senator Alex Padilla that I oppose. The other disagreeable Padilla legislative bill has to do with mandating that public school students complete a computer programming class. I will save telling that story for another time.

I anticipate that Governor Brown will sign the bag bill into law. I’m sure that Californians will swallow this so-called environmental medicine, and remember, a spoon full of sugar will help the medicine go down, but it will cost an extra 10 cents for the bag to carry that sugar home!

A “Tool” in the Airline Seat Wars!

In my Platinum days on American Airlines (a time I’d rather forget), I encountered a few people who were real pains (in the back) about reclining seats. I’ll not forget one woman on Cathay Pacific (part of the “One World Alliance”). She and I met on a San Francisco bound flight, out of Hong Kong. Sitting directly behind me, she would not let me recline my seat more than an inch or so before yelling and screaming. Certainly, I could not put up with that. After all, how can one sit in an upright position for close to eighteen hours? Luckily, there was an open seat just a few rows aft. So, I moved, and perched from behind I could observe that see-you-next-tuesday of a woman apparently having no qualms about reclining her own seat to its maximum extent. I was furious, and I steamed all the way home, across the South China Sea, the East China Sea, the Bering Sea, and the Pacific, like I was the Titanic!

Now, someone named Ira Goldman has come up with a “tool” permitting a passenger to restrict the movement of the seat immediately in front. It’s called the “Knee Defender.” Any person who should ever try using that sort of thing on me will be eating that Knee Defender. As for Ira Goldman, he should catch the next flight of bin Laden Airlines, bound for the side of the Empire State Building, and he should be strapped into one of those non-reclining seats just forward of the above-wing emergency exits!

You’re Such a Tool!

The word, “metrics,” was the mot de la décennie précédente. Managers across the US found a way to use “metrics” at least five times, daily, during the double-aughts.

Now, the word of the moment (not sure if it yet qualifies as the word of the decade) may be “tool.” This seems particularly true of legislators and psychologists. Legislators refer to new restrictions and taxes they wish to impose as “just another tool.” Psychologists refer to self care abstractions in very much the same way. Meditation is now a “tool.”

Keep your ears open. The word’s been bouncing around for several years, and now it seems to have reached a loud crescendo.

California High Speed Rail: Powerful Forces Oppose It!

From today’s Los Angeles Times:

The forces at work to foil a western high speed Metroliner rail program will stop at nothing to “derail” the project. In particular, the airlines, including American, Delta, United Continental, and Southwest want nothing less than an end to the idea of highspeed rail transit between San Francisco/Oakland/San Jose and Los Angeles/Long Beach/Santa Ana/Ontario. How many flights go wheels-up, per hour, between those airports? I’d bet that an interregional Metroliner would wipe out 50% of the air service presently offered.

To get an idea of the underhanded filth in the airline industry, take a look at this excerpt from a Wikipedia article about how Southwest Airlines put the kibosh on highspeed rail for the Texas Triangle:


What I find so curious is how deference is paid by legislators to the likes of Southwest Airlines, McDonalds, and Comfort and Clarion motels at the expense of the larger economy and the environment. Yet, individual citizens receive no deference from elected officials who make macro economic decisions that can quickly negate any individual training or educational self-investment. In other words, legislators are not at all bothered about pulling the economic rug out from under large numbers of people, but the same is not true for small numbers of big businesses. Legislators are more than willing to hurt large numbers of single citizens. They are, however, not willing to do the same with small numbers of big companies, no matter the huge benefits to society, if they do.

That is completely unjust. It is completely unfair. Why should any state be so willing to damage itself in the name of big companies but fail to support single citizens who are much larger as a collective group?

Copyright Infringement: Oh Mighty ISIS!

I’ve been meaning to have a little fun with the Latest Angry Muslim Group of the Middle East: ISIS!

If you’re my age, and you lived in the United States in the mid-1970s, then you know the show! I admit that I watched Oh Mighty “Isis,” every Saturday morning. It followed immediately after SHAZAM, which I watched, too!

Click here for a Youtube upload of the opening to Isis (rated NB for “No Beheadings”)!!!

(00:49) Listen to what Isis stands for: “Dedicated foe of evil, defender of the weak, champion of truth and justice.” Modern “ISIS” would claim the same values.

Most American news reporters, nowadays, are about my age. I am confident that they nearly choke every time that they refer to the Islamic group with the same name as what was likely also one of their preferred mid-70s Saturday morning TV shows. Maybe, that is why they’re trying desperately to figure out another name, like IS or ISIL for the group. The other possibility is that they don’t want to get sued by Filmation Associates (if the firm still exists).

God, it seems that the 70s really were better days.

No Escalation of Military Ops to Syria!

I fully disagree with an escalation of US hostilities in the Middle East, particularly in response to the beheading of James Foley who:

  • Had already been kidnapped in Libya, one year earlier
  • Was rescued from the Libya kidnapping episode
  • Chose to return to the field, fully knowing the risks

Also, people should keep in mind that the United States supported ISIS when backing the so-called “Arab Spring.” My previous wexBlog is no longer accessible, but in it I asked the question: Who are we supporting? Now, we know, don’t we? Remember, also, that one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter. Furthermore, given few resources for a military campaign, grizzly beheadings may be used in place of more photogenic missiles for committing murder. Which is more barbaric, however: a sterile missile strike or a mano a garganta killing? At least in the case of a beheading, the killer knows exactly who is being killed. Missiles are indiscriminate, no matter how precise.

Finally, MEMO TO ISIS: your work is over-produced and hardly believable.