Saturday, September 24, 2005
Sunny and cool
Hurricane Rita downgraded to a Category 2 at the time of this post; however, it’s still pretty bad, and it will be awhile before we know how much damage it cost. I’m hoping that it’s not as bad as they feared. It seems that Houston was spared the worst of it, although Beaumont was hit pretty hard.
Of course, the oil companies are gleefully rubbing their hands together with plans to push the price of gas up to at least $4 a gallon and probably $5 a gallon. Publicly, they’re moaning and crying and tearing their hair, but it’s all acting.
The refineries in the path of Rita constitute between 25-30% of the nation’s refineries, depending upon the source. The ones disabled by the last hurricane – some of which are back in production – constitute 8%. At the top of the line, that means 38% of our oil production. More than a third, but less than half.
We’re talking about companies that made multi-BILLION dollar profits last year. The money went into the pockets of their executives, which it doesn’t need to do.
Congress needs to pass legislation immediately – yes, get off your asses and go in to work on a Saturday – freezing gas prices at $3 a gallon.
To get production back up, start running the refineries in the rest of the country 24 hours a day, and take displaced workers from the Gulf region and put them to work there. That way, they’re still making a living and rebuilding their lives, and you get production up. Every few days, shut down one terminal or so for maintenance, because you need to make sure everything is running smoothly so you don’t have a major equipment failure.
Cut executive and CEO salaries. No one NEEDS to make six figures and have seven figure bonuses. No bonuses this year. Cut print and television advertising (which runs into the millions of dollars) for a few months, until everything is back online the way it should be.
Take a portion of the billion dollar surpluses from the previous years and put it back into the company, instead of into executive and political pockets.
Don’t use lobbyists until the crisis is over – and then make sure the lobbyists point out the sacrifices made by the oil companies to keep the country running at a time when millions of people were thrown out of work and hundreds of thousands were homeless. Making it work for the people of the country will give the companies a profit three years from now. Of course, the greedy sons of bitches want it three weeks from now, and the President will allow them to screw the population as much as they want.
So write your Senators and Representatives TODAY and make your voice heard.
The way Fox News is spinning the evacuation – calling it a success – they’re on WHAT kind of Happy Pill? Unbelievable. Even the Daily News today said (paraphrasing), oh, sorry these people were inconvenienced, but what do you expect when lots of people flee?
I expect an organized plan with the support set up along the route to make it work. Anything less is a colossal failure and unacceptable.
And, of course, New Orleans is filling with water again. It’s just heartbreaking.
My writing gig for today was postponed to next week, so no museum for me today. That’s fine, I need the rest. I’m still trying to figure out if I should do some work on the serials “just in case” or wait until I know something one way or the other tomorrow. Of course, we might not hear tomorrow. And, since we weren’t paid for September, technically, the contract is already broken anyway. AND – for 3 out of 4 – my contract ends Oct. 2.
My editor liked the curry article—good, because by the time I sent it, I couldn’t look at it anymore.
I wanted to join the Poets Against War contingent at the March in Washington today, but I only found out they were going yesterday, and, without them sponsoring busses down there, I couldn’t get it together to go today. I simply can’t afford the gas to drive to and from Washington today, and the trains are running strangely again.
Also, I think today is an inappropriate day to have the march. Granted, it’s a gorgeous day and good for walking. However, in light of the fact that Rita is still battering the coast, to me, it feels disrespectful. Just because the government disrespects the citizens of this country doesn’t mean those working for change need to respond in the same way.
The Smirking Slug talked himself into a corner the other day, saying that to pull quickly out of Iraq now would be to repeat the mistakes leading up to 9/11. So now he’s admitting mistakes? The mistakes he refused to discuss with the 9/11 Commission? And, at the top of that list, would the biggest mistake be the way his father handled Desert Storm? That is really the root of our problem in Iraq. Bush Sr.’s poor judgment back in Desert Storm.
I put a polish on the piece for tomorrow’s benefit upstate and shot it off. That should be an, um, interesting experience. I’m sorry to miss the benefit at the show (it’s been getting some good television coverage), but these guys booked me first and it’s a unique opportunity.
Finished Going Postal, which is so amazingly relevant to modern corporate politics, and started Thud!, Pratchett’s most recent release.
Did about six pages on Never Too Late last night. Really need to change that title.
I am Title Deficient right now when it comes to this piece Or is it Title Challenged? I guess I need to be patient and let the title reveal itself when it’s ready, sort of like it does for each chapter.
Two loads of laundry done, and cats sitting on top of the warm, fresh laundry because I didn’t put it away immediately.
Need to get some work done, and then I’m going to go visit a friend and get some writing done on the deck overlooking the water.
And it might be a good idea to clean off my desk, as I can barely see the bottom part of the computer screen.
I created a new set of GDR questions for 2006 – building on what we started in 2005. No point in asking yourself the same questions over and over, is there? I’m going to post them in a day or two. It’s going to take me three months to figure them out.
Oh, and a cat just pulled the cell phone off the table by its charger cord. Guess I should go over and make sure it’s still working.
Imaginative Powers -- 16,750 words
Never Too Late – 23,250 words
Periwinkle – 16,344 words