Been thinking about those glaciers melting down in Antarctica, the changes it portents for the world, and it made me remember seeing Soylent Green on television a couple weeks ago. Flipping through the channels one evening I came across Charlton Heston’s mug and I knew it was Soylent Green. About 20 minutes into the movie. I sat down and watched it at the time, primarily because the last time I saw the movie was over twenty years ago and it seemed like a good time to brush up on a tasty little nugget of pop culture. Plus I knew it was Edward G. Robinson’s last role, and he goes out with a bang in Soylent Green. He is the heart and soul of the picture, the last vestige of humanity remembering what was lost. And his death is powerful, moving and chilling at the same time.
What surprised in watching the movie is how prescient it seems to me now. Overpopulation, widespread famine, global warming, the death of the oceans, powerful multi-national corporations, state sponsored euthanasia, and the widening gulf between the wealthy and the rest of the world. None of these things seems so far fetched anymore. We’ve made real strides toward creating the hellish dystopia depicted in that movie.
It’s been awhile since I did one of these, so let’s skim the headlines:
- Local Business Leader Edward Calvo Passes Away – Former senator and local business leader Edward M. Calvo passed after a battle with cancer at the age of 68. His funeral was on Saturday, September 26th. Calvo was on the board of Calvo’s Insurance, vice president of Calvo’s Enterprises (Mid Pac, KUAM, Payless Supermarkets, Market Wholesale, Calvo’s Realty, Pepsi, and Island Wines and Spirits), and president of EC Development (EC Communications, my ISP).
- GovGuam Faces Possible Shutdown – The governor vetoed the legislature’s budget proposal for 2005, and if a new budget isn’t completed by Friday, the government of Guam is facing a shutdown. The main bone of contention is the legislature’s pie in the sky revenue projections. The Republican governor says the Democratically controlled legislature double counted back taxes owed to the government, predicts little economic or job growth for 2005, yet somehow expects income taxes to increase by $20 million. It’s an election year – that means the legislature will not make any cuts in spending to the critical GovGuam voting bloc.
- Micronesian Casualities in Iraq – a Marine corporal originally from Palau and an Army sergeant from Pohnpei were killed in action in Iraq during the last two weeks. On September 13th, Cpl. JayGee Meluat was killed in action in the Al-Anbar province of Iraq. That’s where Fallujah is located. Sgt. Skipper Soram was killed in an explosion in Baghdad on September 22nd. The newspaper was sketchy, describing the source of the blast as ‘an improvised device.’
- Pedophile Found Guilty – Robert Campbell, the man indicted last year with attorney Haim Habib for having sex with 13 year old runaways, was found guilty on eight counts of criminal sexual misconduct yesterday. Sentencing is scheduled for October 18th. Habib’s trial was delayed after he was committed to Mental Health for several months this year after being deemed incompetent to stand trial. He was released from Mental Health in June 2004 and immediately transferred back to police custody. He is currently awaiting trial.
- Pacificare Wins Judgement, AG Continues To Fight – Pacificare won its appeal with the Supreme Court two weeks ago, clearing the way for the insurer to exit the GovGuam health insurance market. The attorney general vows to continue the fight, up to an including the US 9th District Court. Interestingly, the AG concedes that GovGuam is an unprofitable business for insurers, but maintains that if Pacificare is allowed to exit the market all other carriers will follow suit.
- Man Drowns From snorkeling on Boat Dive – The executive chef at the Sandcastle dinner show drowned while snorkeling off Agat yesterday. At the second dive stop of the boat dive he elected to snorkel instead of scuba dive. Divers found him on the bottom of the reef when they went to pull anchor. Apparently he passed out while snorkeling and sank to the bottom.
Okay, the name is great, but perhaps a bit premature. Virgin executive Richard Branson has signed a deal with Burt Rutan to start the first ‘spaceline’ company, using Rutan’s SpaceShipOne design. The plan is to construct a fleet of slightly larger sub-orbital vehicles and offer paying customers a ride into space.
Next stop: Orbit.