Thursday, April 30

Trans Am

Who would have ever thought that our largest industry - autos - would be on its death-bed inside half a generation? The largest, General Motors, recently announced that it would discontinue its Pontiac line including this '82 Trans Am, pictured (photo from 

And what an ugly car - no wonder the company restructuring to 38,000 employees down from 350,000 at its peak in 1970. This is deeply sad for the workers who only want to work and provide for their families. Management should be hung out to dry for being caught-out by energy prices. Building an industry around a depletable resource and not preparing for energy-price increases despite A) rising populations, B) global economic growth; and C) political instability in oil-producing regions tom-foolery. 

The Big Three famously built SUVs, city-trucks and hummers while other countries like Korea and Japan prepared themselves for hydrogens and electrics. Of course, dumb-ass non-caring Americans bought the giants during the leverage-years and what me worry? while Congress, influenced by lobbyist, maintained laughingly low fuel efficiency standards; sadly Detroit preferred to sue states rather then raise standards to local MPH mandated levels. China, meanwhile, forces manufacturers to adhere to mileage rates nearly three-times the USA. Their cars reflect this and will soon sell everywhere- not just the local market. 

 Well, we are all guilty and now it doesn't matter so much but as I say - feel sorry for the worker.

The PTA convenes last night and all I can say is: boy, can these women drink. Following several hours of mish-mash concentrating on school-safety, new jungle-gym &c., we end up at the Victoria for a few more drinks. Not that I am complaining, mind you - despite moving rather slowly this morning. This afterall how the community bonds and power shifts. The PTA budget over several hundred thousand pounds thanks to fund-raisings including the Summer Fair. We are somewhat depleted due to the school's new kitchen, which is brilliant and serves 80% of our children (the remainder bring bag-lunches). We are catered by a local organic and the quality of food has a big impact on education, not least because the kids love their meals and eat 'em.

Me to Madeleine: "Has Ms. X (teacher) ever yelled at you?"
Madeleine, gravely. "Yes. Five times."
Me: "And what for?"
Madeleine: "Number one for moving when I should not have. Number two for talking. Number three I don't remember. Number four for not listening. And number five for being there."

The BBC reports, as I write, that 48% Americans think our country heading in the right direction, up 30% since the election. To Bush: good riddance and may you remain gone.