A neighbor and former Musk admirer, Chap Ambrose, rallies local opposition.
There is nothing quite as pitiful as whiny billionaires. And the whiniest of all is the richest — Elon Musk. This self-entitled bully runs over anyone in his way, then whines when they protest.
Elon’s latest high-pitched screech was prompted by public demands that his profiteering schemes obey clean-water and safety regulations. He owns a corporation named (believe it or not) the Boring Company — an underground tunnelling venture based in Bastrop, Texas, digging out tons of soil, chemicals and contaminated groundwater. But where to put all the waste? I’ll just dump the stuff in the nearby Colorado River, said Lord Musk. Lots of stuff — 140,000 gallons of wastewater per day!
But that river is our main water source, said local people — you’ll need to comply with water treatment and disposal rules. Outrageous, whined Elon, maniacally squealing that “construction is becoming practically illegal” in America. So, he proceeded to dump his waste without a permit.
Then he encountered Chap Ambrose, a Boring neighbor and former Musk admirer. Chap began asking questions and getting nothing but evasions, lies and disrespect. Musk was messing with Texas, so Ambrose rallied local opposition through a website he named “Keep Bastrop Boring,” promoting it on a local billboard. With a drone, he videoed Musk’s expanding industrial mess, broadcasting the videos throughout the area. He filed actions with county, state and national regulatory authorities, and got his state senator to hold a hearing, attended by hundreds of residents in this rural county.
Musk can bamboozle powerful officials, but not feisty people like Chap Ambrose, who recently ridiculed the pouty billionaire. “I’m sorry, neighbor,” Ambrose told him. “Development remains legal in Bastrop, but what is illegal is polluting Texas water… You’re making this way harder than it has to be.”
The fight goes on — and I’m betting on Chap.
The Secretive Presidential Primary That Excludes You
Are you excited by — or do you dread — the upcoming presidential election season? Either way, buckle up, for it’s only 12 weeks till the Iowa caucuses, and then (zoom!) there’s nonstop voting across America for the rest of 2024. Democracy at work!
Well… unless you don’t notice the Plutocratic Primary, where — shhhh! — presidential voting is already taking place. However, this balloting is only open to a teensy number of very exclusive voters: billionaires.
These privileged ones don’t have to go to public campaign events; candidates come to them for closed-door tete-a-tetes, making undisclosed promises in exchange for millions of dollars in campaign funds. This secretive primary lets moneyed elites initiate or eliminate policies that candidates obediently support. Moreover, by granting or withholding large donations, billionaires can determine which candidates are considered “viable,” letting the superrich have a heavy hand in “choosing the choices” that we commoners will have next year.
The New York Times reports that this flexing of the money muscle was recently exercised at a closed meeting of GOP sugar daddies in Utah. Ron DeSantis, Nikki Haley, Chris Christie and other presidential wannabes were on display, pleading with the donors to choose them as the party’s alternative to former President Donald Trump — and to shoo the other Republican contenders out of the race.
Haley bluntly appealed to the rich clique’s plutocratic ego: “I think it’s up to the donors to decide which candidates should get off the stage.” Christie went a step further toward plutocratic rule, asking the elite attendees to decide who would be “the best president.”
No one in the room bothered asking the obvious question: Best for whom? Everyone knew he meant best for the rich. No need for messy elections; let the billionaires choose!