With the King Fire so close, I have been focused on the fire so blogging has been intermittent. The fire is at 73,379 acres this morning with, thankfully, slow growth last night due to cool moist weather last night. Although we are living in a blanket of smoke this morning, hopefully as the winds shift from westerly to northeasterly, we will get a break. I will post some pictures and create a King Fire page. We have been packed up and ready to evacuated, but things are looking up as the cut fire breaks and light backfires within a mile or two of the house.
The first thing that crosses my political mind is that we now have 4425 firefighters living here and saving our asses. The community shows their appreciation in so many ways, and yet I don’t think they ever stop and think about their hatred of government and smaller is better, and recognize this is the beast they are starving. The fire is costing $5 million a day and when it is all over in November they will go to the polls and vote for the guys who will further slash these budgets and deny global warming that is causing this problem. Why they can’t connect the dots, I have no idea.
If I had my life to live over, and I had good eyes (which kept me out of pilot training in the first place) there is nothing I would rather do than be part of the fire fighting air campaign. It would be a government job and I would never get rich, but what a contribution to our safety working as part of a team for something meaningful (and of course I love to fly). For those of you who want some cheap thrills, you can download an App called Police Scanner 5.0 for your iPad or iPhone, and then listen in to the air campaign (California, El Dorado County). Took me back to my Vietnam days and forward air controllers as they directed in attacks, but this time, dropping retardant. It was the cool professionalism of these people that took me back to the old days.
Some of the crews out here are inmate crews and they do a wonderful job. I read where most of these guys find the work rehabilitating, yet have a hard time getting a job in fire fighting when they get out because of their criminal record. Go figure. It is one of many things we get so wrong.
One current event commit in the category of connecting the dots: The Scottish bid for independence. In many ways I was divided on this one. My heart said yes, my mind said no. Paul Krugman probably gave the best reason for them staying with Britain and that was economic. Without their own currency, their economy, whether dependent on the British pound or the Euro, would be out of their control, and the very reason they wanted to leave, independence, would be crippling dependence on other’s monetary policy.
My heart said yes because they were sending a strong message, not just for to the British conservative government, but to other leaders of the world that they need to represent the common man, not the special interests that is driving policy away from what helps the common man. Scotts are basically progressives and the European, American, and British drive to austerity policies have hurt everyone’s economy, only benefiting the rich. Here in America, our government controlled by the right (give me a break, House in Republican hands, and nothing passes in the Senate without Republican minority approval (except some judicial nominations)), they are not representing what the average person wants, from infrastructure investment, to minimum wage hikes.
The latest is the massive student debt, estimated at over $1 trillion, and we can’t pass legislation to help reduce that debt load by refinancing much of this debt to the lower interest rates because Republicans block it. What we are doing with conservative policies or lack thereof, is creating indenture servants. If you have been watching Ken Burns wonderful series on the Roosevelts (Teddy, Franklin, and Eleanor), it will dawn on you that the stuff they were fixing early in the 20th century is trying to be rolled back in the 21st by Republicans. The whole ideal that we only succeed when we all succeed is lost on them. So back to my title, we are voting for all the people who have got it so wrong, and expecting different results. We are oblivious to our own history. Oh well.