Open Letter to Senator Wyden

Dear Senator Wyden,

          My suggestion is for a new national law which would immediately employ over a million people in 48 states.  Because this suggested new law wouldn't effect our state or the state of New Jersey, I think this bill should be co-sponored by someone like Senator Menendez (D, NJ).

          Using the Emergency Highway Energy Conservation Act of 1974 as a template, and incorporating sunset provisions (for no shorter than five years) I suggest a bill which would duplicate ORS480.315 making self-service gas stations illegal nation-wide.

          Additional suggested requirements which should be included in the bill (which would affect Oregon and NJ):

          -  Require a dispensing license (which will have a fee which is similar to an alcohol certification or a food preparation license).  This training can be made available online, but could only be issued in person (by a licensed gasoline retailer) to US citizens who are at least 18 years old.  (The purpose of the law is to employ out-of-work adults, not high school students and illegal immigrants.)

          -  Require each State Fire Marshal to employ additional Inspectors, funded by the additional fees and fines.

          There are many safety and equality justifications cited as to why full-service may be better than self, but I suggest this new national law only be proposed in order to quickly employ a large quantity of Americans.  I estimate this law would employ between 1.2 and 1.8 million people.

          Obviously, all—or almost all—of these employees would be minimum-wage, less-than-full-time, non-benefit, employees.  And, also obviously, the fuel distribution companies would raise the cost of gas and pass the added cost to the end-consumer (I estimate that the cost of gas would increase between 10 and 15 cents a gallon).  None the less, the added jobs would definitely spur spending and grow our economy at a time when it is most needed.

          My quick calculations indicate there would be about 240,000 gas stations affected.

          I've been wondering, for some years now, about the incessant "job creation speechifying."  I think if this new law were proposed by an Oregon Senator, he would be seen as proposing a fix which (because it would have no direct benefit in his state and was only an attempt to improve the national economy) would quickly employ millions of Americans.

          I hope my suggestion is of some use.

          Veach Glines

I read in 2012


Dangerous Artists?

          Although this banner is riddled with wrong on many levels, it's that very fact which explains why people are drawn to it.

          It's not an actual poster from the 1950's McCarty-era (a claim made by the type of individuals who also choose to think that contrails are chemtrails and be-damned with hot exhaust/cold atmosphere physics).

          Artists don't mix.  They certainly are a part of all of human society no matter how one decides to pigeonhole or categorize, but—mostly—creative types don't mix very well.   We try, dammit, but we don't often succeed.

          Creative people want to be perceived as out-beyond-the-edge and as non-conformists.  And those who are driven to create would absolutely love to wear the label: most dangerous.  However, every artist I've ever known is no more threatening than a drifting cloud of condensed water vapor.

Today is Someday: Book 1 - Watership Down

          This is the first book in my Today is Someday series.  I'd hoped to like this more than I did and I hope the next should-already-have-read-classic is better.  A few more like this one and my list will quickly relapse back into I'm Fine With Tomorrow Being Someday.

          I first failed to read Watership Down in High School (at that time it had been around for only a few years and was assigned reading).  I could only get through a few chapters back then and wrote a paper from the cliff notes...as I occasionally did when I was fifteen.

          Now, I can truthfully say I've read it.  I've lied to myself and others for almost forty years.

          The plot was interesting.  The suspense was deftly handled.  The characters are wonderfully solid.  But...the author was not able to always keep me in the story (as I believe is the job of good authors).

          Violations of proper grammar abound.  Odd, clunky, and irritating changes in tone and point of view continually throw the reader off the page.  First person becomes third person singular switches to third person dual which slides into omniscient and then quickly shifts to detached.  It feels like two dozen short stories instead of a 24-chapter book (which made more sense to me after I read the introduction, which I did after reading the book because whenever a forty year old book contains a 'new introduction' it most-probably contains spoilers).

          Then there is this type of constant foolishness:
          "I need to clearly explain my dissatisfaction," Veach thought. "But I wonder what would be a good way to do that?"
          "There are some problems which could easily have been fixed with a good editor," Veach said. "Because.  Of all the many ways to smoothly mix a character's thoughts and dialogue this, dear reader, is definitely not one of them."

Jesus Henry Christ - review (☆☆☆☆)

          Although Wes Anderson had no part in the production of this film, the director—Dennis Lee—is to Wes Anderson as Blind Melon is to Led Zeppelin.

          Jesus Henry Christ is one of those 'hidden gem' feel-good films that (unfortunate for those who enjoy intelligently scripted, well-acted, films on the big screen) slipped in-to and out-of theaters almost a year ago without notice...mine, yours, or anyone else's.  It's now available on all home-viewing formats.  To miss it now is nobody's downloadable fault but your own. 

          It's not as whack-a-doodle as a Wes Anderson, but in many places it looks, feels, and sounds so much like a Royal... Aquatic... duck... (named Rush) that one may desire to pause the film and check IMDB to determine if, maybe, Mr Anderson was some kind of Producer (He was not, Julia Roberts was). 
also don't continue to avoid: