Thursday, May 28, 2015

Politics and "Solyent Green."

The thought occurred to me today while I was reviewing the comments on the efforts of local legislators to pressure our county council into allowing the pass-through of several tens of thousands of taxpayer dollars to CREDC (Columbia River Economic Development Council) that politics and the 1973 movie "Soylent Green" have a great deal in common.

This post would make a little more sense if you had seen the movie prior to finish reading this post.

So, if you've got some time, take an hour or two and watch this effort with a star-studded cast.

Otherwise, you might miss the point.

For those who HAVE seen the movie, this is the critical line in it at the end.  And yes, it's a spoiler.

So, what does this have to do with politics?

It's simple, really.

Politically, the only thing I will tolerate is action based on the will of the people.

Earlier this year, when the "It-was-oh-so-important-to-have-the-GOP-take-over-both-the-US-and-State-Senate-because-they-were-Republican," caucuses betrayed us, I made the decision to get out of campaigns.

Every day that goes by serves to reinforce the idea that my decision to end involvement in campaigns after a mere 25 years was absolutely the right thing to do.

One can only take so much betrayal.

Today, we have an issue that is so minor as to be almost laughable.  But it's certainly a symptom of the greater disease.

Recently, many in local and legislative government have been telling us something I believe to be completely false:

The CRC is dead.

That's like a Republican Senator who ran for the job telling me and all of us as they ran on a platform of not supporting a gas tax increase when they were elected that all of that declaratory statement was, well, "negotiable."

It's kind of like Republican Scott Weber, county clerk, lying about his desire to get rid of the position of county clerk as an elected position.

It's kind of like Tim "The Liar" Leavitt lying when he falsely claimed he was opposed to tolls.

It's kind of like the scum behind I-502, the pot initiative, lying their collective asses off on the amount of revenue legalization would provide... only to get bailed out by the Legislature instead of punishing those behind it by recriminalizing pot and forcing those same scum to go BACK to the people and tell the truth about revenue if they want to increase the number of ways to get wasted..

It's kind of like letting our Lieutenant Governor, Brad Owen, off the hook for breaking about every rule in the book concerning ethics violations so one might "have a friend in the Lieutenant Governor's office."

It's kind of like that same Lieutenant Governor declaring a GOP Senate rule "unconstitutional" to get a gas tax passed, only to suddenly discover it WASN'T "unconstitutional" when he didn't want it to be...  to get the General Fund budget passed.

When I was in Combat Arms in the Army, we had a a saying:

"Everyone wants to be Infantry until it's time to do Infantry stuff."

We elect people and we support people for a variety of reasons.

I have supported people in the past because I foolishly believe they're telling the truth.

This year, so many I've supported and fought for have proven me wrong.

The upshot of all of this is the bruhaha over the pass-through CREDC funding that Councilor David Madore has threatened because he believes CREDC has been advocating against the will of the people of this county.

I support Madore's position primarily because I support the idea that agencies, public or private, that work against the will of the people should not be subsidized with public dollars for that effort.

Obviously, I'm a simple guy.

If CREDC has been advocating against the will of the people of this county... than they should be cut off without a dime.  As should the Chamber of Commerce.  As should ANY agency that sees their view as superior to that of the people living here.

I know in the past CREDC HAS been engaging in that sort of thing: who can forget their complete idiocy and bogus economic reports in conjunction with the rest of the downtown mafia's stupidity concerning the ballpark scam, for example?  ($200 million in economic activity, indeed.)

If CREDC has, in ANY way, been lobbying/supporting the rip off of the I-5/Mill Plain interchange which was on the CRC project list AND will only serve to assist one single company, then they shouldn't get a dime.

In discussions, I'm told about all of the wonderful things CREDC has done, and how great Mike Bomar is (He's never impressed me all that much; he's on the anti-people side of far too many issues for me) and how the earth rotates on it's axis because CREDC so ordains it.

The result was what I consider to be an idiotic letter that, essentially, is being used by many who signed it to publicly flay David Madore... because, well, hell, there's no politics or favoritism involved in that and none of these legislators would even consider using this issue to further the candidacy of the those THEY support at his expense, right?

Leftists like Mark Brown, who never saw a waste of taxpayer dollars he didn't like (as long as unions received the largess) and complete scumbags like Ed Barnes are tap-dancing on Madore's skull over this issue.

Rhetorically speaking, of course.

And that's kind of what brought me to the conclusion that with those in politics, the last thing they concern themselves with, on either side of the aisle, is the will of the people.

The last thing they give a damn about is right and wrong.

What they care the most about is who they know and what they can get.  And if that aligns with the people, then great.

If it doesn't, then, oh, well.  Google Steve Stuart for examples.

But I don't play that.

I take a different view.

Right is right and wrong is wrong.  Those we elect must ALWAYS put the people first.

Not their buddies.

Not the special interests.

Not the big money.

And that's the connection between politics and the movie.

"Solyent Green is made of people."

Literally, manufactured from the corpses, processed and then used for feed.  People feed.

And it's a big secret. The people providing the corpses don't know.  Government lies to them about the eco-system recovering, to make them THINK one thing while they DO another.

So is local politics.

So is all politics because the people we elect are far too quick to forget what they're there for.

For example, to get elected, someone once wrote this:
I believe in the concept that every dime of taxpayer money (meaning every dollar of revenue from whatever the source) should be squeezed until it screams. I will not support an increase in the gas tax. I will not support increases in tab fees. The people have spoken and I have listened. We will spend billions to move the tiniest number of people when we should be finding an implementing new and innovative ways to move the MOST number of people for the LEAST amount of money. Wasteful spending like that on the CRC is not what we want or need. Massive projects like that MUST have the permission of those who, allegedly, will “benefit” from such a project at the ballot box. At minimum, ALL of the financial impacts, including the obvious negative impacts on families and small business depending on the hundreds of dollars per year must be considered: not just the cherry-picked variety favored by proponents of light rail and replacing a bridge in the same location
And now, what is the GOP-controlled Senate going to do without asking us?  And what did the GOP-controlled Senate vote to allow municipalities to do?

1.  Raise the gas tax.

2.  Raise tab fees.

And what did this legislator do about it?

Supported both of those.

So many people forget.  I try not to.  I try to hold those who promise, cajole and threaten accountable, much like I try to hold those who "never let a crisis go to waste" for political reasons accountable.

I am not even remotely concerned about the party they claim allegiance to.  None of that makes any difference.

What matters is that those we elect act as a reflector of the will of those who put them there.

And every day that goes by, it becomes more and more obvious that those who should matter the most, in reality, matter the least.

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