Thursday, September 08, 2005

Kill 'em with Kindness

I understand and appreciate that liberals constantly strive to understand ‘root causes,’ and that liberals believe ‘there are no enemies, only friends we don’t understand yet.’ In support of those sentiments, and on the off-chance that a liberal will accidentally wander onto this site, permit me to take a few moments of your time, gentle reader, and introduce you to the root causes behind what some perceive as a blaming the victim mentality with respect to Hurricane Katrina.

First, you need to understand the worldview of those you perceive to be evil. Here are some commonly held precepts:

  1. Bureaucracies and committees are inefficient and cowardly.
  2. Governments are essentially composed of either a strong but usually vile single leader (dictatorship), or a herd of bureaucracies and committees.
  3. Money is power. The more money you give to government, the more power it has. The more power it has, the less power you have.
  4. A large group can do more damage than a single individual.
  5. We are all human, and therefore fallible.
  6. We are all human, and therefore capable of rising to great heights, if the need and motivation are present.

Put all the above into a pot and let it stew for a while. When it’s done cooking, one inevitably reaches the conclusion that relying on a government is iffy at best. Even if a particular government organization has great processes and 50% super-duper people, the not-so-super-duper will be afraid to act or incapable of acting promptly and efficiently, whilst the super-duper will have conflicting ideas about how to act. Research, analysis, and consensus-building all take time and tact.

On the other hand, each individual knows his own situation and is (or should be) in control of his own actions.

When you see us screaming at the TV "Where is your food? Don’t you know how to purify water with bleach? Why didn’t you leave?" we are not saying "chump. Serves you right." We’re saying "We want you to live! Why didn’t you want you to live?!"

Seeing people in pain and knowing that their pain wouldn’t have been quite so painful if only they too had been a bunch of redneck, survivalist nutjobs hurts.

The lack of preparation is also a reproach1. Among the 90,000 competing thoughts that scramble for attention when watching the devastation, one thought emerges repeatedly:

"I am a moron."

Two days before Katrina, I’m in Wal-Mart looking at the camping equipment. "Oh, a snake bite kit. Maybe I’ll add one to my hurricane kit next year."

1969, 500 people in Louisiana died of snake bite after the hurricane. I have still not purchased a snake bite kit. I am in Florida, with diamond-back rattlesnakes and pygmy rattlesnakes and water moccasins and coral snakes. Maybe this weekend . . .

"That could be me."

I don’t have anything to poop in, for pete’s squeak.

Will my water purification tablets take care of things like pesticide? I don’t know, but one day my life may depend on it.

Will my wind-up weather radio with the cell phone re-charger actually work? I don’t know. I’ve never tried it.

Will connectivity be available? Probably not.

If I could get in touch with anyone, could they reach me to help me? Probably not.

& so I get angry, on a primeval level, at all the evidence Katrina and her victims present to me, reminding me that I am human and fallible. Maybe if they’d done what I’d done, they’d be okay and I wouldn’t have to be reminded of my own mortality.

I’ve seen some comments and posts that imply we should not ‘blame the victim.’ But it is a mistaken kindness, and a false sentiment, that confuses ‘blaming the victim’ with ‘stating the facts.’ It is a fact that some people would still be alive today if they had been better prepared.

It is necessary to state that fact if we don’t want more people to die in future hurricanes. There are three hurricanes in the Eastern Atlantic right now. There are more hurricane seasons to come, one each year, and many more years to come, pray God.

When we holler "Why didn’t they . . .?" we are trying to help future hurricane victims. Maybe the LLLs, with their super-sensitivity, can help us re-phrase it, but do not try to shut us up or close your eyes to the value of the content. If you succeed, the life you fail to save by utilizing the expanded knowledge and increased personal responsibility of hard-hearted, evil right wingnuts may be your own.

Person A’s life trumps Person B’s feelings. There is an ever-widening gulf between the worldviews of an LLL and a conservative/libertarian/whatever I am, but surely we can all agree on that?


1 Incidentally, when Christians talk about natural disasters being a warning, reproach, or punishment from God, they are generally meaning it in this sense. Those of us who escaped are to take it as a 'warning ticket' from God, that we need to behave ourselves in the future, look to our souls and also use the good sense that the Good Lord gave us.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

ok, I've calmed down.

Maybe Mayor Nagin just freaked out and is behaving like a civilized person now. We're all freaked out right about now.

& we will be for quite a while, I imagine. Please, let's try not to make any stupid laws until we're out of reaction mode, okay?

Let it percolate for a while, and discuss it when we're all once again rational. I'm not talking about help or aid, obviously give now and give until it hurts, but about making new laws and new departments and new regulations.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Carping at people who are trying to help is unproductive. It will only discourage them from helping in the next disaster.

Mayor Nagin, are you listening?

I'm starting to hear some things from people who are volunteering in the New Orleans area that ought not to be happening. I don't doubt that NO is under a whole lot of stress, but don't make the people who are helping you, out of their own time and own pocket, wonder why they bother.

Update: By. Gads. He didn't even read his own city's evacuation plan.

Nagin, just shut the fuck up. If ever I get my hands on your balls, you'll be wearing them for a necktie.

Update 2: It gets worse. Order an evacuation after commercial transportion shuts down, leave city transportion in the flood. Nice.

George Bush is not a weather god, racist or otherwise.

Persons evacuating to the Superdome in New Orleans were told to bring food and water for 3 days. If, as a crazed radio man stated, people were indeed dying in the SuperDome of deydration as early as Wednesday, they were either robbed or they came ill-prepared.

Recommendation for Florida EOCs, as a result of lessons learned:

Charge an admission to shelters, equal to 3 days food and water per person. Confiscate at the door and ration.

ok, water is heavy and there will be many people who can't carry 3 days worth. Stock those shelters with water, have 'em bring what they can

Carping at people who are trying to help is unproductive. It will only discourage them from helping in the next disaster.

Rebuilding New Orleans in situ is stupid. NOT WITH MY TAX MONEY, YOU DON'T!! Move the damn town, or what's left of it. I cannot bear watching this again. The remarkable adaptability of man is what enables us to survive from the cold wilds of Alaska and Siberia to the steaming heat of Mexico and dry heat of the Sahara. So embrace your humanity and adapt to geographical reality of New Orleans - which was not below sea level when originally built umpteen years ago.

The government is not your mama. Charity groups are not your mama. I am not saying this to berate those in trouble today, but to help those who may be in trouble tomorrow.

Can we stop laughing at traditional values, now, please? "Be prepared," that corny old Boy Scout motto, can come in pretty handy.


Saturday, August 06, 2005


scared ya, didn't I?

Friday, July 22, 2005

Registration never leads to confiscation

O no. Never.

"Xena became an outlaw. . .won a reprieve . . . (she may) never return to Denver . . ."

Git outta town, girl, we don't like your kind.

It's bad enough that I won't willingly consider moving to some place like California or NY because of the gun registration there, but this is simply insane. Worse, in a day-to-day way.

Floridians who don't like thieves need to write a letter

The Select Committee to Protect Private Property Rights
1101 The Capitol
402 South Monroe Street
Tallahassee, Florida 32399-1300

Re: HJR31


I appreciate the good intentions behind the introduction of HJR 31, and am pleased that the Florida Legislature has the good sense to be appalled by Kelo v. New London. However, the amendment as proposed is not tight enough.

Under no circumstances should any government take property from one private party and provide it to another. It doesn’t matter whether the recipient is acquiring the property for development purposes or to create a private haven for the spotted owl or injured pelicans; theft is still theft.

At the risk of sounding facetious: There are many thieves and robbers in the private sector, and the government is forbidden to compete with private enterprise.

On a more serious note, a government’s job is to protect citizens’ rights. The government that usurps its citizens’ rights has rendered itself obsolete.

Please tighten this amendment. Thank you for your time and attention.

Brian Blair, My Hero!

Raise a glass to Brian Blair, Hillsborough County Commissioner. According to the radio, my noble statesmen (countymen?) have informed 'the state' that eminent domain requests will not be considered unless they're for genuine public use, such as roads and schools, and requests for economic development will be right out. You go, Killer Bee!

According to the Orlando Business Journal, Florida's fair legislatures and governor aren't best pleased about Kelo either.

A blog entitled The Matrix Has You, but apparently run by a business called Florida Homestead Services, links to the amendment proposed by the Florida House to tighten definition of public use, but in my view it doesn't go far enough. Under no circumstances should the government transfer property from one private party to another, whether it's for economic development or not. What if the stealing party wants to use it protect spotted owls or something? It's still theft.

The following is from the Orland Business Journal Article, which also states that Florida is among the eight toughest states for eminent domain:

"Locally, the decision and Florida's law could be tested soon in places such as the Home Acres neighborhood near Winter Park, where developer Dan Bellows has bought up 51 acres in the community with the plan to redevelop it into a mixed-use project.

Not everyone in Home Acres, however, wants to be a part of the project, and Bellows has asked the Winter Park City Council to create a Community Redevelopment District and use its power of eminent domain to help with the project.

That would completely transform the blighted area, says Bellows.

The likelihood of the project happening seems slim, though, as city officials are not even sure if they would use eminent domain for such projects.

'I'm not comfortable at all with eminent domain being used for a private development, especially when it runs to the advantage of one developer," says Winter Park Mayor Kip Marchman. "Blight, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder, and we need to be careful that any project is truly for a public purpose, meaning literally everybody benefits from it."

If Florida is among the eight toughest states, citizens of 42 states are really screwed. There appears to be nothing standing between the Home Acres folks and the Robber Barons but one mayor's good sense and decency.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Would someone please throw some ice cubes into the Gulf of Mexico?


Friday, June 10, 2005

P.E.T.A. = Cat Killers

If you happen to see a PETA member, be sure to remind them that they are responsible for any harm that may come to Allison and Smokey during this hurricane season. Why? Because, due to the machinations of animal rights activists, animals can no longer be shipped with the luggage, in pressurized but not temperature controlled areas. Due to PETA and others of their ilk, it is now more expensive to fly one of my cats than to fly myself. If I must evacuate out of state, I will not be able to afford to take the cats. I'll be leaving them here, in flood zone You-gonna-die-girl, to fend for themselves.

Thanks, PETA. Thanks a fucking lot.

Anybody who has a problem with the above can set up a $1600 escrow account for me, with the funds to be released when a hurricane is Tampa Bay bound.

Friday, June 03, 2005

Florida Tax Holiday, June 1 through June 12!!

Press release here and more details here.

Stock up on those hurricane supplies! No tax on flashlights, lanterns and candles under $20 (including Yankee Candles? o boy!)

Gas cans under $25

Batteries, coolers, ice chests, first aid kits under $30

Radios and tarps under $50.

I didn't see water purifiers on the list, though. O well.

The tax holiday is over June 12th - go shopping now!

& a special "Thanks" to the Honorable Jeb Bush.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

That explains a lot!

Rongorongo (Easter Island, C.E. 1800)You are RONGORONGO. You are the script of the
language Rapanui. The language is still spoken,
but no one can read the script. Are you
ideographic? Phonetic? Ideo-phonetic?
Hieroglyphic? A comic strip? Illustrations for
a fairy tale? No one knows.

Which Indecipherable Script Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

Headdress tip to The Politburo Diktat

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

'Twas a dark and scarey night

cuz dey ain't no street lights in this town

There are two types of street lighting available to unincorporated Hillsborough County residents: Area lights, which are privately placed, owned, and paid for; and Street lights, placed on county property, maintained by the county, and paid for with your tax dollars.

To get an Area Light, call TECO, 813 635-1500, and schedule an appointment.


  • Two year contract required
  • Minimum charge of $10 per month, added to your electric bill
  • Light must be placed on your private property, not on the easement/devil's strip/parkway
  • A large truck (about the size of a dump truck) must be able to access the property.

To get a Street Light, work with the Hillsborough County Street Lighting Program, telephone 813 272-1551.


  • Street Lighting must be done to the entire subdivision
  • Petition required; a majority of homeowners must sign it. See website for details
  • Your property taxes will increase by an unknown amount. A study must be done; number & type of street lights determined, etc. County could not provide a minimum or maximum dollar figure.
  • In the February following petition signature, the street light request will go before a public hearing. If approved, "street lights could be installed the following year." (emphasis added) Or, presumably, they could not be installed the following year.

In short, if you feel the need for better lighting, start with TECO and see if an area light does the trick. If yes, fine. If not, start the street light petition process. By the time it goes through, your TECO contract will have expired.

Sunday, May 29, 2005

How to install a catflap in a steel door

Step 1: Get a Dremel.

Step 2: Get a Cut-off wheel and a grinding stone. Grab a steak knife from the kitchen.

Step 3: Sketch the template outline on the door in accordance with the instructions.

Step 4: Cut down the outline you have drawn, using the Dremel and cut-off wheel, just through the steel. Wear safety glasses for this, really. The sparks fly!

Step 5: Pry out the steel. It's just an outer lining. Take the steak knife and carve out the foam inside the door. Smooth the steel edges with the grinding stone.

Step 6: Cut out the other steel lining with the cut-off wheel. Smooth out with the grinding stone.

Step 7: Shove the cat through the hole a few times.

Step 8: Follow the instructions for putting up the door. Here, you will need a metal-cutting drill bit and probably a regular drill, or maybe an attachment for the Dremel. Anyway, my bit wouldn't fit my Dremel. Do not drill into the foam; you only want to pierce the steel. Your cat should catch on to using the door right away, if it's been through the open hole a few times. If your cat is dumb, like one of mine is, put them on one side of the door, and food on the other. Go shopping. By the time you get back, your cat will have figured it out.

The above is the wrong, Persnickety way to do it, but darn it it worked. The right way is to draw your outline, use your metal bit and electric drill to drill holes clear through the door in each corner of the outline. Then, using a jig saw and metal-cutting blade, insert the blade into one of the holes and cut out the door hole clean through, following merrily along the outline. Power tools and $10 blades notwithstanding, I lacked the physical strength to control the saw, particularly when it cut through the steel, encountered the soft foam, then hit hard steel again. I actually broke the saw blade off inside the door. The right way is probably the quicker way, for those with the muscle. But the right way is the wrong way if it's not personally possible.


P.S. You may have another bit of difficulty with the wood at the bottom of the door, or the door panels. The bottom two inches of my door is wood. My cat flap just barely fit. Ideally, the bottom of the cat flap should be at the same height as the bottom of your standing cat's belly. You might want to do a little measuring - of the cat, the door, and the various available cat flaps, before you start carving holes in anything.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Crazy Kids

Well, I'm back.

Der kinder is married now, and I guess that means he's officially all grown up. May God bless and guide him and his bride, and grant them a long and happy life together.

It was quite a ceremony. They memorized their vows and said them without prompting from the priest, with no 'repeat after me' stuff from the priest. Their feeling was that their love should be strong enough that it needed no prompting. They're both musicians, and played some of their own wedding music.

You should have seen them - him in his tux at the piano, her in her wedding dress with the flute. Nerves of steel, I'm tellin' ya.

After they exchanged rings, they both just looked at their hands for a bit, with the rings on them, like 'Gosh, it's really real.' Then he wasn't sure how to kiss her without stepping on her dress.

May the good Lord bless you and keep you, my children. May He make His sun to shine upon you.

Saturday, May 07, 2005

One Team, One Fight, One Focus!!

Denzel Washington was visiting BAMC (Brooke Army Medical Center, Fort Sam Houston, San Antonio, Texas) earlier this month. BAMC is where soldiers who have been med-evac'd from the combat zone via Germany come to the US to be hospitalized, especially burn victims. At Fort Sam Houston they have facilities called Fisher Houses. The Fisher House is basically aplace where soldier's families can stay (at little charge or no charge) while their soldier is recovering at BAMC. Even though Fort Sam Houston has more than one Fisher House, you can easily imagine that they are all "filled to the brim" almost constantly. While Denzel Washington was visiting patients in BAMC, they gave him a tour of one fo the installation's Fisher Houses. During the tour, he asked how much one of these Fisher Houes cost to build. When he received the answer, he got out his check book and wrote out a check for the full amount, right there "on-the-spot." The soldiers in BAMC were amazed to hear this story, and they want to "get the word out" to the American public because it warmed their hearts. I hope that you too will spread this "good news" story. May God bless Denzel Washington and good-hearted people like him.

Update: or maybe not quite.

Name of newsletter/people removed because hey, we can all mistakes and it's my blog and I'll do what I want to.

Nar nee Nar nee boo boo.
I have the best kid in the whole darn world.

So der kinder is getting married on the 15th. Apparently there's some sort of mother-and-son dance which the bride requires, so der kinder called to discuss songs we could both stand, that weren't too long. Said he wistfully: "I kind of wish we could use Puberty Love.

Me too, kiddo, me too.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Why are comments disappearing, and where do they go?

Monday, May 02, 2005

Da Agony of Defeat


is a Giant Bee that shoots Laser Beams, carries a Samurai Sword, is Radioactive, and Tunnels Underground.

Strength: 3 Agility: 8 Intelligence: 7

To see if your Giant Battle Monster can
defeat Persnickety, enter your name and choose an attack:

fights Persnickety using

You'd think a sword-wielding bee would stand a pretty good chance in a fight, but Bthe Backroad whupped me with the weather.

Friday, April 29, 2005

Ah, the Good Old Days

Jeff at Alphecca posts on schlock Sci-Fi movies, and goodness but I feel nostalgic now. His commenters mention two movies that will forever be dear to my heart: The Adventures of Buckaroo Bonzai and Attack of the Killer Tomatoes.

My son would usually have friends over for New Year's Eve. It worked out well - other parents could go do the New Year's Eve thing, the kids generally had a pretty good time, and so did I.

We'd watch these two movies on New Year's Eve - at least 3 or 4 years in a row. & we'd play Killer Tomatoes all year long. The boys would curl into a ball and roll around on the floor saying 'greeble greeble' until I sang Puberty Love at them; whereupon they'd gasp and choke and stretch out on the floor.

I could nearly always get them to mind by singing Puberty Love. It even worked when they acted up in public, although I did receive a few weird looks.


Does anyone want to play Killer Tomatoes with me? You be the tomato, and I'll be the radio.
Come on, baby , light my fire

Eric lit a fire under my apathetic arse with a pass-it-on blog challenge he received from Ghost of a Flea. I had to blow the dust off my list of passwords to access my blog, and no. way. can I match the Erudite Eric, but what the hey.

"Following this is a list of different occupations. You must select at least five of them. You may add more if you like to your list before you pass it on (after you select five of the items as it was passed to you). Of the five you selected, you are to finish each phrase with what you would do as a member of that profession. Then pass it on to three other bloggers. OF COURSE you all without blogs are welcome to play along in comments!"

If I could be an IRS Commissioner...I would audit Bill and Hillary Clinton, because turn-about is fair play. Then I'd audit every congress critter who voted for silly pork programs (all of 'em, I think!) Then I'd figure out what percentages of your tax go to idiotic programs like the NEA, and I'd let you all know just exactly how much of your money goes where.

Then I'd break for a nice cup of tea. On your tax dollar.

If I could be a scientist...ouch ... this is what I wanted to be when I grew up, but circumstances forbade. I ended up with weird allergies and basically, working around the most commonly used solvents could kill me so I had to change directions. Almost killed myself when I was little, playing Mad Scientist in the basement. No, you really should not mix bleach and clorox. It's not just one of those goofy things parents say.

Lessee, where was I? O yeah. If I could be a scientist, I'd be an organic chemist, working in an analytical job where they give you an unknown and you have to figure out what it is. That's my idea of a good time. Can you imagine getting paid to play with puzzles all day long?

If I could be a bonnie pirate... I would sail the seven seas on stormy scarey nights and in gentle sunny breeze, I'd touch all ports of land, know all manner and type of man, dance upon the sand, hold a starfish in my hand, call the deep my home and forever, ever, roam.

Plus, I could have lots of black powder weapons, which would be really cool.

If I could be a painter... I would paint Absurd!, a painting I can see in my mind but lack the talent to execute. I see a trendy bar with a dock on the Anclote River. On the dock, a heavily made-up woman eyeballs a pelican with a fish in his mouth. The angle is woman-profile and pelican-head on. I'm not sure if the woman is older 'mutton dressed as lamb' or younger, with a bejeweled belly hanging out between her low-riders and crop top.
& I would be such a good painter I'd earn my own way. Then I'd go visit the NEA parasites and say 'na na nanaa na.'

If I could be a TV-Chat Show host... I'd ask:

Sean Penn - so, just how many oil vouchers did you get from Saddam Hussein?

Whoopi Goldberg - Ms. Goldberg, you have publicly stated that 'Communism is not so bad.' Do you still hold that opinion, and if so, may I have half your assets?

Sony Executives - Sir (or madam as the case may be), through its advertising, your company actively encourages young people to play extremely offensive and unpalatable music quite loudly. This is harmful to the hearing and spiritual health of young people; hard on the environment; and it causes older people and people of taste to despise the younger and cruder. How in the sam hill do you manage to look at yourself in mirror without throwing up? What arrangements has Sony made to deal with the inevitable lawsuits you can expect to see in 5 to 10 years, as people begin to experience hearing loss due to the very loud bass your stereos spew out and push as a desired feature? Or, as an executive with a golden parchute, is this something you simply don't worry your pretty little head about?

Wow - I'm up to five already! . . must . . stop . . .

Oh, just one more:

If I could be a linguist, I would pluck out the effing tongue of the next person to use 'authentic' in the snooty, condescending, elitist artsty-phartsy manner of Nina Gilden Seavey.

"Will country music allow them to be who they're meant to be?"

What the F?!? Who in the h does little Ms. Seavey think she is, determining who other people are 'meant to be?' Arrogant bitch. What? Am I not permitted eggrolls and tacos unless I can point to chinese and mexican roots? Does my scottish/german/english heritage condemn me to saurkraut, haggis and warm beer because Ms. Seavery determines my cultural heritage 'meant it be'?


faugh . .

Ahem. 'kay, I'm done.

Inka Bink
A bottle of Ink
The cork fell out and now
Robert at the Back Road has to do this, because his posts have all been way too technical for me, and James and Dave because I want to see what a gun guy can do with a candlestick.

The list is long enough, guess I won't add any more.

If I could be a farmer...
If I could be a musician...
If I could be a doctor...
If I could be a painter...
If I could be a gardener...
If I could be a missionary...
If I could be a chef...
If I could be an architect...
If I could be a linguist...
If I could be a psychologist...
If I could be a librarian...
If I could be an athlete...
If I could be a lawyer...
If I could be an innkeeper...
If I could be a professor...
If I could be a writer...
If I could be a backup dancer...
If I could be a llama-rider...
If I could be a bonnie pirate...
If I could be a midget stripper...
If I could be a proctologist...
If I could be a TV-Chat Show host...
If I could be an actor...
If I could be a judge...
If I could be a Jedi...
If I could be a butcher . . .
If I could be a baker...
If I could be a candlestick maker...
If I could be an IRS Commissioner...
If I could be an Indian Chief...

It's a fun exercise -

If I had a hundred dollars to spend, or maybe a little bit more

Happy Spring!

Friday, April 08, 2005

BiPartisan Tyrant Act of 2002 - FEC seeks comments

Federal Election Commission Released Proposed Rules Regulating Internet Use In Campaign Financing

The Federal Election Commission released for public comment proposed rules regulating paid political advertising on the Internet.

The Commission proposed the rules in response to the federal District Court opinion in Shays v. Federal Election Commission, in which the court held that the Commission had no authority under federal campaign finance law to deliberately exclude the Internet from the scope of its campaign finance rules. According to news reports, a draft of the proposed rules presented to the Commission would have regulated political weblogs, but the Commission scaled back the rules in response to public outcry.

The proposed rules are available here.

The above information comes from
Brown Raysman Millstein Felder & Steiner LLP. They periodically send out a newsletter on 'technology and Internet law recent developments.'

From the same source, also on bloggers:

Regardless Of Status of Bloggers As Journalists, Trade Secret Owner Is Entitled To Discovery Directed At Source Of Online Disclosures

Apple Computer is entitled to discovery directed at an e-mail service provider for a Web site that published confidential information regarding its product introduction plans. Apple Computer, Inc. v. Doe 1, No. 1-04-CV-032178 (Cal. Super. Ct. Santa Clara Cty March 11, 2005). The court found that the computer company had made out a prima facie case that the published nformation was protected under state civil and criminal trade secret protection law, and that it took "adequate steps by way of internal investigation" before seeking
discovery from external sources. The court concluded that California trade secret law applied to the disclosures, regardless of whether the anonymous parties that disclosed the information were journalists, bloggers or anyone else."

The opinion is available at
You're next.

Saturday, March 26, 2005

Annual Easter Joke

Q. What do you get when you pour boiling water down a rabbit hole?

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Bikers and Ginger Ale Punch with a Raspberry Ice Ring

Take II

My original attempt to write this up failed as despondency overcame me. I truly believe that today, most US citizens are afraid of freedom. If they do not fear the responsibility that comes with freedom, then they fear their neighbors too much to allow freedom for others. It seemed an exercise in futility. However, this posting by La Shawn Barber at least gives me some hope. Apparently there are some 'liberal,' 'progressive' groups that haven't let their hatred completely overwhelm every last smidgen of decency. If they won't stand shoulder to shoulder with pro-life groups, at least they aren't standing against them out of sheer orneriness. & so the butterfly in Pandora's box still flickers her tired wings . . .

Also, in violation of all known blog etiquette, I have no links, no references, nothing to go by but my own faulty memory. Sorry 'bout that. There's not much to be done about it, unless someone wants to go to Villa Park, Illinois and manually search the dusty archives of the Villa Park Argus.

Once upon a time, probably around '84 or '86, I was young and full of joie de vivre. Also, alcohol. 'Twas a sunny Saturday afternoon in the springtime when I wandered half-schnockered out of my local watering hole at the same time as a drinking buddy, Carbide. Carbide strolled over to his bike and his biker friends; my eye was caught by a table set up across the street, outside the feed store, manned by two well-dressed, respectable looking ladies and covered in pamphlets. "Gee, what's that all about?" sez I to myself - and shortly repeated the question to the gentlewomen, as a light spring breeze wafted my whiskey breath merrily down the lane.

A well-manicured eyebrow was raised, but the question was answered politely enough. The ladies were (I think) with the Presbyterian Ladies' Auxiliary or some such group; apparently someone somewhere recently had had a potluck supper and salmonella was an unfortunate result. Nobody died, but I expect it was unpleasant and probably embarrassing for whoever brought the offending dish. The sad quirk of an incident had prompted the Villa Park government to propose a law outlawing potlucks, church suppers, bake sales and the like for 'the good of the people'.

Well. You can't tell something like that to a young, intoxicated female without getting some sort of reaction. The tears sprang to my eyes. "But . . . church suppers and potlucks are where everybody gets together and enjoys themselves. It's one of the few things that everybody likes. Can they do that?"

Responds a grim matron: "They're certainly trying to. We need those fellowships to reach out to each other, and the government wants to do away with them because of one isolated incident."

"Carbide!" I bawled. "They're going to make potlucks illegal!"

"What?!" Carbide looked at me as if I had three heads, but strode across the street. He looked at the ladies "What's this all about?"

The poor ladies thought I was scary; at the sight of 6'+ Carbide, in his leather vest, chains and obligatory tattoos, the women turned pale. But the lady in lavender took a deep breath, handed him a pamphlet, and explained.

I never hope to see such a display of righteous anger again.

"God fucking damn it!! That's not right!"

Is it just my imagination over time, or did Lady A really start to rise up in indignation? Did Lady B really pat her arm and bring her down, saying "Different people have different ways of expressing themselves. His heart's in the right place."?

In any case, Carbide really did yell across the street to his biker buddies - about 5 or 6 as I recall - and they all came traipsing over.

"Politicians are trying to tell old ladies they can't have any more get-togethers!"

"Shit, food is the only thing that could ever get me into church!"

"No way!"

"Are they insane? Tellin' me I can't have potato salad?"

& then the magic words . . . "What can we do to help?"

"Well . . . there's a town council meeting coming up . . . "

And the rest, as they say, is history.

Naturally, I was out of town for most of the excitement. Upon my return, I swear to you I saw Cadillacs sporting bumper stickers saying "When potlucks are outlawed, only outlaws will have potlucks."

Rumor has it that, in addition to various church ladies' groups, the Outlaws and the Sons of Satan also attended the town meetings. In any case, before Memorial Day with its traditional gatherings of food, friends, family and fun, the Lombardian (or possibly the Lombard Spectator) printed an article stating that the Villa Park government decided to drop its proposal. "When groups so diverse oppose a law, maybe it really is a bad law."

& the moral of the story is:

Celebrate Diversity;

Different people have different ways of expressing themselves, but that doesn't mean that their hearts aren't in the right place; and of course

When potlucks are outlawed, only outlaws will have potlucks.

True story.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Welcome to visitors fromNo Quarters and Pervasive Light.

Have you made your illegal political link today?

: )

Saturday, March 19, 2005

It's . . . Felonious Mom!


The crime that shocked the nation take place before your very eyes!

As an ordinary, middle-aged woman and mother becomes a hardened, vicious felon with no change in her daily habits!

At the naivete of bloggers who actually expect their senators, representatives, President, and Supreme Court to treat the US Constitution and the Bill of Rights with respect!

At the depravity that thrives deep within the heart of the notorious Madame Persnickety, a secret member of the McCain-Feingold Insurrection and Shameless Linker to Political Websites!

. . . The following preview brought to you by PetSmart and Globastat . . .

"We should sue for false advertising!" she typed, on her unregistered Compaq keyboard. Russ Feingold's site claims he protects civil liberties and civil rights, but really he is a a nefarious tyrant! He and his buddy, the bitter and power-mad John McCain! Vile Creatures! Have they never heard of a declaratory and restrictive clause!?"

Her terry-cloth robe flapped excitedly in the wind; her glow-in-the-dark bunny slippers glowed fiercely with the heat of her heart.

"Ye Gads!!" The politicians and media wept and trembled in terror. "Are there none to stop this madwoman? Who will saaavve us?"

Out leap
McCain and Feingold to the rescue! Mild-mannered senators by day; fearless freedom-stompers by night - will the shush & shut-down duo be able to stop this dastardly criminal?

Tune in the next time I feel like typing this much for . . .

Felonious Mom!

To report this violation of the BiPartison Campaign Reform Act of 2002, please file a written complaint with the Federal Election Commission. The complaint must be made in writing, and sent to the Office of General Counsel, Federal Election Commission, 999 E Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20463. The original must be submitted along with three copies, if possible. Facsimile transmissions are not acceptable.

A complaint must comply with certain requirements. It must:

Provide the full name and address of the person filing the complaint (called the complainant); and
Be signed, sworn to and notarized. This means that the notary public's certificate must say "...signed and sworn to before me..."

Not that I am bitter.

Thursday, March 10, 2005

You can't bite City Hall

It's 134 years old.

It was a World War I ration. 86 years later, it still turns up in the British Warrior's survival kit.

It made it to the top of Mt. Everest

But it can't survive the European Commission.

Saturday, March 05, 2005

More things to celebrate

March is Women's History Month. If you're a woman with a past, this is your month!

Friday, March 04, 2005


I sure wish someone would go over to old books and read something. It's enormously tiresome to re-type them. I can't be the only person interested, can I? Not in the whole wide Internet?

Here's what's currently there:

We Thought We Heard the Angels Sing, a first hand account of being adrift in the Pacific Ocean for 21 days. Of interest to WWII buffs, Eddie Rickenbacker buffs, sailors, survivalists, Christians and anyone who loves a good adventure.

". . . 14 hours SSW Oahu. May have overshot island. Hour's fuel."

"As the coppery sun shot into the sky on our sixth day adrift we all began to realize the gravity of our situation. It had been almost 120 hours since our Flying Fortress had disappeared beneath the waves.

During that time each of us had had three minnows, one morsel of raw fish, and a fragment of sea swallow in the way of solid food. We also had moistened our mouths with three segments of orange. If you ever have to try it you find there is mighty little nourishment in such a diet. We had drunk no water since we left the plane."

The Gallogly Family/The West Family, actually a letter or series of letters containing genealogical information on (you guessed it) the Galloglys and the Wests of Ohio, from arrival in the New World in the early 1800s to the 1920s. Of interest to genealogists and anyone who's curious about ordinary lives in 19th century Ohio.

"When Dorothy West and her sister Mary McAfee with their children came to America, they were twelve weeks at sea. Little Mary Ann West died on shipboard and was buried at sea, having contracted measles after sailing."

When's the last time you heard of someone dying from the measles? Yet at one time it was very, very common.

"Mother walked at one time to spend the afternoon with a friend. On the way an ugly looking bull separated himself from the band and challenged her right to pass. Mother was carrying an umbrella. She opened it quickly and, putting it before her, charged the bull. With a bellow he turned and fled."

I'm currently working on Ten Nights in a Bar-Room, prohibition propaganda. I'm not sure when it was first published; my copy has a sticker in it indicating that it was book number 698 of the Library Association of the M. E. Church organized March 7, 1874. Can't tell whether 1874 has anything to do with the publish or purchase date, or if it's merely the date that the church was established. Ten Nights was entered into the Library of Congress in 1860. I've finished chapter 3 and have 7 more to go. blech.

But it's terrific propaganda. We are fortunate that Michael Moore is not so talented as the Ten Nights author, Mr. T. S. Arthur.

Pack your toothbrush, you're going to jail

Dear Constituent:

As Congress debates the future of Social Security, I thought you would be interested in reading an article I wrote about this critical program and the importance of preserving Social Security for future generations. The article below appeared in today's edition of the Tallahassee Democrat. Please feel free to forward this message to anyone else you think may be interested, and I hope you will take the time to visit my website at

"In Florida and nationwide, countless retirees have come to realize that they may outlive both their savings and good health. With more than three million Floridians receiving benefits, Social Security has become a virtual lifesaver in our State. So as Congress and the President consider the challenges facing Social Security and how to preserve the long term viability of the program, they should follow the advice of their own doctors who abide by the oath 'Above all, do no harm.'"

"As part of any debate on reforming Social Security, Congress and the President must first agree on the magnitude of the problem. The President likes to talk about Social Security as if it has life-threatening pneumonia. In fact, Social Security has a cold, which must be monitored and carefully treated before it becomes a serious illness.

"The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) states that Social Security will remain fully solvent until 2020. At that point, due to the growing number of retirees, Social Security payroll taxes will not be sufficient to meet the needs of beneficiaries, and Social Security must begin drawing on the trust fund make up the difference. Fortunately, the Social Security Administration predicts that in 2020 the trust fund will contain $5.8 trillion. The CBO estimates that these reserves will keep Social Security operating until 2052.

"Clearly steps must be taken to ensure that Social Security's promise is kept for future generations. However, the President's prescription of establishing private Social Security accounts is more likely to worsen the program's condition.

"Social Security benefits are funded through a 12.4 percent payroll tax, divided equally between employees and employers. Under the President's proposal, current workers could divert up to 4 percent of that 12.4 percent tax to private accounts. This would create a 30 percent shortfall in Social security funds used to pay current retirees' benefits. Private accounts Could actually undermine Social Security and worsen its financial troubles.

"To make matters worse, the CBO estimates that this shortfall will drive up the federal debt by as much as $2 trillion over the next ten years alone, and the President has offered no plan on how to cover these costs.

"Florida's economic prosperity has been closely tied to the low interest rates that throughout the last decade have allowed small businesses to secure loans, families to take on home loans and young people to go to college with the help of student loans. Driving up the federal debt will increase interest rates and erode investors' confidence in our economy, adding a second burden on the future generations forced to pay off the debt.

"Furthermore, even if the cost of the President's plan was magically covered, retirees may gain nothing from private accounts. Due to the administrative cost of accounts, monthly benefits will only increase if accounts grow at a rate of 3 percent above the inflation rate, and if accounts earn less than that amount, monthly benefits will decrease.

"Congress and the President should not reform Social Security at the expense of our nation's economic well being. And if the goal is to preserve Social Security for the sake of future generations, we should be sure that any reforms do not leave them with a legacy of unpaid debts, or put their benefits at risk.

"Instead, we must have an open and honest discussion about the challenges facing Social Security, ways to preserve the program for the future and the full consequences of all reform proposals. We can start by exploring ways to increase returns on Social Security trust fund investments or increase the amount of individual income that is subject to Social Security taxes.

"Most importantly, Americans of all ages must be part of the discussion and the search for a solution."

(You have received this email because you subscribed to my e-mail
updates, authorizing me to send to your inbox periodic e-mail updates from my Congressional office. If you would like to be removed from my e-mail update list, please send your name and address to and type "remove" in the subject line.)


Jim Davis
Member of Congress

Dear Mr. Davis:

I am fine with privatization of social security. I personally don't need to worry about it, because, thanks to your support of McCain-Feingold, I'll be spending my life in jail and being supported on taxpayer money.


Nice going, sir.

You could make amends by working to have this repealed. Since you were an original supporter, your change of heart would carry weight.

Best regards,

More on this at The Captain's Quarters.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Happy Archaeology Month!

In addition to being Frozen Food Month, March is also Archaeology Month.

According to the newsletter put out by Central Gulf Coast Archaeological Society:

The tsunami that devasted the Far East on December 26 has exposed an ancient city and parts of a temple in Mahabalipuram, India. Archaeologists have begun underwater excavations there.

Three rock structures with elaborate carvings of animals have emerged. As the water receded, the force of the water removed sand deposits that had covered the structures. These structures appear to belong to a port city built in the seventh century.

The six-foot rocky structures include the elaborately carved head of an elephant and a horse in flight. Another structure has a reclining lion sculpted on it. Archaeologists believe these could be part of the legendary seven pagodas.

Further excavations may expose more edifices to be found.

CGCAS credits the St. Pete Times, 2/29/05, but that can't be right.

The Times of India has a cute little article, though:

. . the archaeologists are an excited lot . .

I bet they are. I could not find anything on the 'legendary seven pagodas" except more articles on their discovery. Seems like somewhere on the web there'd be, you know, a legend or something.

Anyway - Celebrate March! Take an archaeologist a frozen pizza!

Update: O Ho! India's No. 1 Weekly News Magazine printed an article June 2003 on the legendary seven temples. Scroll down to myth #4 - the sunken Temples of Mamallpuram.

"The story of the sunken pagodas of Mamallpuram - or Mahabalipuram - is like a ghost story. No one has seen a ghost, but everyone would claim to know someone who has seen it."

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Bring us to your table!

Hurrah! March is Frozen Food Month!

Let's celebrate!

Well. . .

Your Brain is 20.00% Female, 80.00% Male

You've got the brain of a manly man

Feelings, schmeelings... tears aren't for you.

You could break both legs and not get misty eyed.

A great problem solver, nothing ever phases you.

Anytime I take a gender test, I always get results like this. Maybe I'm a gay man trapped in a woman's body. Is there a support group somewhere for me?

The questions drive me nuts, though:

5. In an argument or heated discussion, you find it most important to:

Drive your point home
Come to an understanding

Is it possible for two parties to come to an understanding unless each party drives its point home?

hat tip to Cut on the Bias

Sunday, February 27, 2005


As I understand it, Harold Fish has not yet gone to trial. Due to suppression of evidence by the County Prosecutor, the defense attorney is trying to get the case brought back before the Grand Jury in an effort to have the charges dismissed. In the meantime, Mr. Fish is not permitted weaponry. The Payson Roundup continues to lather up the loonies with inuendo and partial stories.

As far as I know, no action has been taken against the Payson Humane Society, despite their knowingly releasing a dangerous dog into the care of a mentally unstable man.

Background here.

Monday, February 21, 2005

Lost in the Mangroves

I found a lost kayaker again yesterday. Maybe shop owners don't tell buyers this, or maybe they do but aren't listened to.

If you're going to be wandering about in places with no street signs, like estuaries or wilderness trails:

Check your back trail. Things look different coming and going. Going out in a new area, & depending on side trails, you may need to spend as much time turning around and looking as you do going forward.

Choose your landmarks/navigation aids carefully. In a tidal area, it's no good choosing a sandbar as a landmark. The tide may have covered it by the time you return. In any case, it will look different. If possible, choose two permanent landmarks (such as buildings or dead trees) and line them up. Those little white poles you see sticking up periodically? Those are permanent markers - you can rely on those. You cannot rely on sandbars, flocks of birds, and fishermen.

Bring water! There's something very odd about forking out $1300 + for a top-of-the-line Wilderness and refusing to spring $2 for a couple extra bottles of water.

If you didn't go under a bridge on your way out, you probably shouldn't be going under one on your way back.

Assist yourself. A GPSr is very cool, and you can get one with trackback for about $100. Bring spare batteries. If that's too expensive, get some colored, biodegradable twine and leave little bows to mark your way back. Go with a companion who has a better sense of direction. Pay attention!

Check your back trail, check your back trail, check your back trail.

I worry about people sometimes.

Friday, February 18, 2005


Looks like the Fish trial may be underway?? Anyway, Keep and Bear Arms has posted a vile Letter to the Editor from the Payson Roundup, which is a biased yellow rag I won't link to.

Some Fish background here.


Under the boardwalk, Weedon Island

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Help Wanted

Predatory Female Willing to provide instructions on how to recognize and target wealthy males for exploitation. Pay on commission basis only, 10% of the take. Send copies of divorce decrees, jewelry receipts and resume to

Auntie Persnickety's Advice for Young Ladies

Before you drop your drawers . . . before you profer your tender heart to that handsome Romeo . . . before Ol' Mr. Moon shines over the blue lagoon on warm night in June . .

before, PLEASE child, before

go here. Read down.
Well, thank goodness that's over with!

This year I managed to escape Valentine's Day with nothing worse than a blown transmission. A few carless days, a couple thousand dollars, and life goes back to normal.

This is much less painful than many of my other Valentine's Days. 'Tis a cursed day. I'd take Friday the 13th over Valentine's Day if I only could.


Some years I take off work and spend the day cowering under the bed. Those are the best Valentine's Days I've ever had.

Monday, February 07, 2005

So What?

Please tell me people aren't really getting excited about drinking and cavorting at a private party? Please tell me this post by Michelle Malkin is some sort of a joke.

I mean, really, a bunch of military folks get rowdy and uncivilized in their off-hours. BFD.

I am the Queen of the Prudes . . truly, the world's dullest woman. I am (say it loud!). . . Out of it and Proud of it!

I think Justin Timberlake should be hung by his balls for last year's half-time fiasco. I personally would no more flash my tits than . . well, I can't think of anything I'm less likely to do, offhand. If someone put a gun to my head and said "Flash your tits or paint your house purple with orange trim," I'd probably go with the paint. Really. I don't even jaywalk.

But - really - the world is full of two-bit whores and boorish, piggish men. Always has been, always will be. Even the more refined are inclined to let loose when under pressure. If you work hard, you have to play hard and all that. The best of us make asses of ourselves from time to time and 'we all have to eat a little dirt before we die.'

In my prudish opinion, the partiers were harming themselves. But that's hardly my business, is it?

This is a non-story being hyped up by the media in the hopes of getting conservatives type to dislike the military and the idea of defense. That's all, just attempted manipulation.


Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Bikers and Ginger Ale Punch with a Raspberry Ice Ring

I read Please Pass the Cake, a Tech Central article pointed to by the Instapundit,. Unfortunately, the 2005 Dietary Guidelines put out by the Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion, although lame and silly, aren't quite as bad as Ms. Swarzc makes out. The guidelines are full of disclaimers. Presumably anyone who reads the damn things at all will read the disclaimers as well.

Why unfortunately? Well, I was hoping the feds and 'Central Control' had finally jumped the shark.* Really, really bad food laws and advice might finally get people riled up. Food brings people together in ways that nothing else does. & We need to come together and grab back some of our lost freedoms.

Lefties, for instance, need to come down on the unmitigated bastards at the ACLU and come down on them hard. Righties need to dump a few buckets of cold water on various loud and unpleasant sub-sects of their own. Left & Right need to read and cherish our rapidly vanishing declared rights.

See, I had a nifty story to share with you about small town politics, bikers, and church suppers - all mushy and happy endings and how diverse groups can work together for the good and freedom of all. True story - but why bother? Who cares?

Freedom in America is a pipe dream anyway, anymore. I don't know how people like Kevin and Ravenwood can keep it up. Most US citizens are frightened of freedom, and want to live under a bureacratic dictatorship, and so that is the type of government we are getting. The government can throw you in handcuffs for not wearing a seatbelt; in most states, it can take your house if it wants the higher property taxes generated by a shopping mall that wants to build over your bathroom; it takes your money to care for forests and meadows that it won't let you use; and on, and on, and on.

& We the People refuse to come together enough to fight it. Socialism is ingrained in this country now - it's self-styled 'progressive' because it sounds better, but it's the same old socialism that slaughtered over 100 million people in the 20th century, and it will slaughter more still in this century, and apparently until the same old slaughter under the shiney new name actually occurs, very few people outside the right sector of the blogosphere will care. I don't think we can stop it now - maybe we can just keep the ashes of freedom alive, and in 30 or 50 years, those who haven't been executed For The Good of the People can fan the coals and light the fire one more time.

The road to Hell is paved with good intentions, and in our travels on that road we've passed all the exits and turn-arounds. Now we'll just have to go through it and hope we can come out the other side.

* I know the term 'jumped the shark' has jumped the shark; does anyone have a substitute?

Friday, January 07, 2005

What is it?

Definitely not a samovar. I've never seen such a thing!

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Thursday is Kick-a-fashion-designer Day!

Isn't it? Well, if it's not, it should be!

You may have deduced by now that I went shopping yesterday. What with the Christmas cookies, the holster, and Steve's book, my wardrobe's been a bit snug. So off I go . . .

I hate shopping for clothes. Have you seen the crap they expect women to wear? Stretchy, tight, no pockets, itchy-scratchy man-made material that doesn't breathe ... FAUGH!! Would you wear it? No, of course not. No sane person would. The blouses are as bad - stretchy, clingy, airless and impractical. Jiminy!

Have you eyeballed the few woman who are actually wearing these clothes? Maybe one in 53 can pull it off - maybe. The 1st thing I notice on these poor, misguided souls is their bad posture. Ladies, if you're going to show everything that the Good Lord gave you, at least stand up straight and suck in that gut.

So, okay, I'm no fashion queen. I do things - you can't do things and wear useless, airless, pocketless clothes. & yes, I'm pudgy. There are times when it's more merciful to conceal than to reveal and, well - 'nuff said.

Anyway, I decided cross-dressing was the way to go. I went to the men's department for some sensible apparel. Found some jeans or khakis or whatever they are with lots of pockets!! But even then, they're kind of weird. They're whaddayacallem pants - parachute pants? They have big pockets on the leg. They also have long strings hanging off the pockets and I can't for the life of me figure out what they're supposed to be for. To strap down your six-gun? In case you want to be tied to the bedpost fully clothed?

Well, I tied them into pretty little bows, added that feminine touch doncha know. I suppose I'll just cut them off but I would like to know their purpose.

What drugs are fashion designers on? or are they just passive-aggressive haters of the human race?

Anyway, if you see a fashion designer, spit in their eye and tell 'em Persnickety sent ya.

P.S. Not that this has anything to do with the price of tea in China, but this is why I find male cross-dressers so strange. Why, o why, would anyone voluntarily submit themselves to the torture of heels, itchiness, eye-watering hairspray and the whole nine yards, when society not only doesn't demand it of the male, but actually frowns on it a bit? What else do cross-dressers do for fun? Stick themselves under the toenail with an icepick?

Yet another aspect of life that is completely over my head, I guess.

O well.


Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Madison Avenue Resistance

Some friends got me a set of plastic glasses for Christmas. I guess it comes from reading James Lileks, but I fell in love with the box. It looks like the only change they made to it since 1941 was to add 'dishwasher safe!'

If you've been through the Lilek Gallery, and still want more, check out Tervis Tumblers!

Works like magic!

Sunday, January 02, 2005

Too darn lazy to come up with New Year's Resolutions?

I know I am!! Luckily, Acidman finds the modern technology to help us out!

Your New Years Resolution Should Be: Wake up before noon

You've been accused of sleeping your life away
And it's a little bit true - you are really into your pillow
In fact, it may be years since you've seen a sunrise at the *start* of your day
Sleep a little less. Some sunshine would do you good.

from the same site:

You Are a Dreaming Soul

Your vivid emotions and imagination takes you awy from this world
So much so that you tend to live in your head most of the time
You have great dreams and ambitions that could be the envy of all...
But for you, following through with your dreams is a bit difficult

You are charming, endearing, and people tend to love you.
Forgiving and tolerant, you see the world through rose colored glasses.
Underneath it all, you have a ton of passion that you hide from others.
Always hopeful, you tend to expect positive outcomes in your life.

Souls you are most compatible with: Newborn Soul, Prophet Soul, and Traveler Soul

Well, that's all for now, folks! It's past my bedtime.

Saturday, January 01, 2005

Jeb goes to the Indian Ocean

"Bush is sending a a delegation to the region Sunday led by Powell and his brother, Fla. Gov. Bush, to assess aid needs.
from Friday's Wall Street Journal

You go, Jeb!

There is probably no one on the planet better equipped to contribute to relief coordination than Jeb Bush. I don't know what the etiquette is of sending your brother and/or a governor on something like this; I've no doubt that cries of nepotism and dynasty and yada yada blah blah will be just around the corner. Notwithstanding the inevitable yapping of the pocket dog contingent, Jeb is the best man to go.

He's not George. If Jeb were president, Mineta would've been fired probably before Sept. 11, but certainly after. Jeb will actually fire people who do a crappy job. If he doesn't have the authority to fire someone who deserves it, he just steps out of their way and lets them have enough rope to hang themselves.

He'll have a far more difficult time with the tsunami than with the hurricanes; the scale is much greater and the cooperation will be much, much, less. Instead of honest concern from one southern US state to another, he'll be dealing with nasty, petty, puffed-up daughters of a horseleech. With the hurricanes, he had advance warning, real authority and a reasonable knowledge of what tools were available. He'll have none of those things with the tsunami efforts. & of course he won't be running the show; he'll just one of a committee in a sea of egos. So he won't be as useful as he would under other circumstances.

Poor Jeb. I really got the feeling during the hurricanes that 'this is not what I wanted to be when I grew up.' But he stepped up to the plate.

Anyway, time to deal proactively with the pocket dog contingent:

"Why isn't George Bush going himself? 'The people' need the symbolism of the actual President, not some surrogate!"

ACtually, no, you're mistaken. People who are homeless, hungry, and helpless need food, shelter and clothing. People who are physically traumatized need physical help. People who are emotionally traumatized can suck it up. No offense to George, but Jeb will be more useful than his brother. Honestly, between security and yes-men, the presence of a US President would probably just muck things up.

and furthermore,:

"In countries like India or Indonesia, where family ties are more significant to personal success or even survival, the presence of First Family member will be taken seriously, . ." (RTWT)

so quit being so damn ethnocentric.

Dynasty!! Royalty!! Nepotism!!

Give me a list of US officials with comparable experience and expertise, and then we'll talk. Neither George Bush nor Rudy Guliani make that list, by the way. September 11 was physically concentrated in a way that hurricanes and tsunamis are not; the logistics have to be very different.

Of course, the Red Cross and Salvation Army have experience in these areas, but they are already there and are not US officials.

Yeah, well, Florida still hasn't recovered from the 2004 hurricanes. Jeb isn't so great.

Hell, there are parts of Florida that still haven't recovered from Andrew, for pete's sake. Hurricanes are big and devastating. You can't wave a magic wand and undo what's happened. You can, however, minimize the damage and move on.

Godspeed, Governor. We'll keep the homefires burning.