And I can’t get nothing. So he whips open the back door of his vehicle and peels off two towels from his blue Brawny roll … “You come prepared,” I pipe up like a boy scout. “I‘m a ranch hand, I have to be,” he says, not immodestly … So I whip off my glove to shake hands, before turning back to oiling my Civic, crammed to the gills, on my way to Denver for a statewide commissioner meeting … Then I hear the ranch hand’s Hispanic sidekick yelling “Stop!” and turn to see the ranch hand backing up their dirt blue beater, the pump’s hose still docked in the car’s gas tank, the rubber stretched its full length, stopping just in time … As the sidekick gets in the passenger seat, he starts giving the ranch hand [expletive deleted]. And me waving. “It was my fault,” I say as they pull out. “I got you distracted.” Disarmed. The cowboy shaking hands with the hippie.
REGULATORY DEGRADATION #2 … As my Moab friend Lance Christie has alerted many of us, the turn of the century Marxist economist Gabriel Kolko proposed the “capture” theory of regulatory agencies, describing how the industry which is supposed to be regulated takes over the government regulatory agency. Kolko was obviously prescient … Here’s an example … The government's rollover safety standards are based on the absurd standard that the top of the vehicle must not crush in with the windshield intact toa maximum of 1.5 times the vehicle's weight. Trouble is, the windshield is rarely left intact and the forces in a rollover exceed 1.5 times the vehicle's weight routinely. Volvo in Sweden, for example, uses 300 percent of the vehicle's weight with the windshield gone as their rollover design standard. Also, the U.S. requires testing the roof crush standard on only one side of the vehicle. In the meanwhile, as rollover-prone SUVs and pickups have proliferated, fatalities in rollover crashes have climbed to one-third of all vehicle occupant fatalities, 10,000 each year.
WEEKLY QUOTA … “Unless we put medical freedom into the Constitution, the time will come when medicine will organize into an undercover dictatorship ... To restrict the art of healing to one class of men and deny equal privileges to others will constitute the Bastille of medical science. All such laws are un-American and despotic and have no place in a republic ... The Constitution of this republic should make a special privilege for medical freedom.” – Benjamin Rush, M.D.,1789
OCEAN ALERT … The number of “dead zones” in areas of the ocean worldwide is now about 150. The number and size of these dead zones – where eutrophication from excess nutrients fugitive from human activities has depleted the water of oxygen so only anerobic bacteria can live there – is reported by oceanic scientists to be doubling in both number and square miles of ocean area affected every decade. On an NPR radio essay about this problem, the scientist being interviewed reported that cyanobacteria not prevalent in 500 million years are blooming now because the oceans are changing to acidity and nutrient content characteristics which prevailed before multi-cellular life forms were able to inhabit the oceans because primordial bacterial activity altered their pH and other chemistry to the form that permitted habitation by higher forms of life … Human impact has turned the evolutionary clock backwards in the oceans, and the ancient cyanobacteria are blooming out into the environment they last prospered in over 300 million years ago to start the job of making the earth fit for multi-cellular life over again.
(© 2008 Art Goodtimes)
THE TALKING GOURD
On the Way to Denver
a white filly with an obsidian mane
& equally black stockings runs
through a pristine winter pasture
of forelock-deep snow near
Cimarron at full gallop
& kicks his heels as I pass
further on a magpie flaps
its wings ahead of my hood