Squid Fry 09-01-11
Thursday, September 1, 2011
THANK YOU FOR CHOKING… A sketch of actor Aaron Eckhart’s chin, taped to Squid’s computer monitor, is a constant reminder of what industry lobbyists are trained to do. In Thank You for Smoking, Eckhart plays a tobacco flak who shamelessly greases politicians and reporters to subvert the nasty truth about cigarettes. That dimpled chin juts out at Squid every time the American Chemistry Council butts in on civic conversations about banning polystyrene foam and plastic bags. Even as the ACC lobbies politicians to block plastic bag bans, it’s priming the next generation to stay hooked on the toxin-leeching, non-biodegrading stuff. The powerful plastics industry group has convinced California school officials to add pro-plastic-bag sections to its environmental curriculum, even lifting some of the language directly from ACC letters, according to California Watch. One section teaches 11th graders – including those in Carmel Unified – that plastic bags are handy-dandy and energy-efficient. For now, the curriculum “edits” are considered a controversy. But Squid has faith humans will eventually recognize their own stupidity, and pro-plastic kiddie propaganda will one day be viewed in the same light as cartoons glorifying smokes.
PAC A PUNCH… Last Squid checked, no self-respecting cephalopod would associate with the political action committees allowed to shovel unlimited wads of cash into campaigns. But that was before faux-conservative Stephen Colbert formed a PAC, and local business interests wouldn’t dare be left behind. Last week, a coalition of groups including the Carmel and P.G. chambers of commerce, CHOMP, Monterey County Property Owners Association and Monterey County Association of Realtors launched a fundraising campaign for the Monterey Peninsula Issues Political Action Committee, for the express purpose of “helping us avert economic disaster for local businesses.” Squid’s cracked the code already, thanks to Squid’s monstrously large brain: By “avert economic disaster,” they mean “get as much water for growth as we can conceivably guzzle.” The Monterey Peninsula Chamber of Commerce press release says as much: “The Monterey Bay Regional Desalination Project must move forward now or Monterey Peninsula will face devastating consequences of severe rationing – 35 gallons per person per day in 2016!” (PR guru Wendy Brickman makes a habit of laying on the exclamation marks.)
Chamber President Jody Hansen says the announcement went out before the chamber got through registering the PAC. But she’s ready to fight: “Without water, we’re going to be dead in the water.”