Monday, October 31, 2005

We Interrupt this Broadcast

Did my New Orleans trip shock y'all into some sort of reverent silence? (I understand though, GulfSails will break your heart today.) I've still got a coupla pieces to write about all the Crescent City, but those will come in due time. The world still turns, and we've still got Hell to raise round here.

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First of all, I'm suffering a little hangover due to a certain football game from this weekend and I wrote my long winded thoughts about it. I didn't even drink that much...that honor goes to Jerz, who doesn't remember the end of the game and later passed out with his eyes open. He was still in dire straights on the downstairs futon last night.

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Also, for any who were wondering, there is a significant difference between voluntary (and legal) prayer in school, organized and led by students, and compulsory attendance to a faux tent revival. (Which is illegal) This is a post I'm sending out in the coming days to everyone I know, (and I hope you good readers will do the same) especially those individuals who somehow think Christians are persecuted in America, and the way to solve it is to force Evangelical and Literal Based Christianity down the throats of Catholics, Episcopalians, Lutherans, & Methodists. Not to mention Jews and Muslims, and anyone else who may not want to be "washed in the blood of the lamb" between Algebra and English. Give to Ceasar what is Ceasar's and give to God what is God's. Even Jesus argued for the seperation of Church and State.

Follow up, and sincere classiness on Jen's part, can be found here and here. And this ain't the first time Eagles players and Evangelical student groups have been given an inch and taken a mile.

Remember, folks, those "can't offend anybody at school" laws were designed to protect sweet, innocent Christian baby darlin's against troublemakers with long hair, steel toed boots and dirty southern rock (like me). Don't push y'all's luck. I'm waay better at being offensive than I am at being polite.

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Speaking of which DADvocate is getting conversation going about Men's place in society. I bring this up because I know its one of the things a lot of us see but don't talk about.

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And, finally, though I can't bet money on football to save my life, here's some more reasons I should put money on politics. I might have got a lot of what happened here wrong (I didn't know the viscious attacks would come from Right Blogistan) but I pretty much called the play. Good thing the Democrats didn't waste a lot of political capital on Misers, 'cause they're gonna need all the help they can get when they filibuster this new guy.

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Friday, October 28, 2005

Wind from an Enemy Sky

  • Part 1: A Pilgrimage

  • Part 2: The Journey

  • Part 3: Wind from an Enemy Sky


  • And Floods from an Enemy Sea

    That wasn't what D'Arcy McNickle was talking about in his books, but that's what New Orleans looks like right now.

    For a while, driving on Interstate 12 on the north shore of Lake Pontchartrain will decieve you into thinking you're through the worst of the damaged areas. Though you still see downed trees and roofs without shingles, the canopy returns a lush green. The Interstate blacktop is very smooth, and the ride becomes quite peaceful. You can almost imagine the Crescent City across the river, and if the damage here isn't that bad, it can't be that much worse in the City.

    Looks are decieiving. First of all, the North Shore did not escape unscathed by any stretch of the imagination. There is just as much damage here as there is in Mississippi, it is just hidden behind the trees when looking from the interstate. The wind was blowing a different direction here, and may not have been as fierce, having expended itself over the areas of Mississippi I described earlier.

    My father and I turn onto the Causeway, where even on a day as clear as this, you can't see the South Shore and the City. This, one of the longest bridges in the world, looks like it falls right off the end. It is places like these where you understand why Cristobal Colon had to beg the Spanish Crown to fund his expedition to the Indies. One of the results of that journey await us on the other end of this span.

    The Northern Capital of the Carribean, this is New Orleans. Palm trees, spanish moss, ironwork balconies. Gas lamps. Old World streets and American drive thru menus. Jazz and blues. Overpriced artworks. The smell of jasmine and magnolia and the sweet sticky stink of the river. This is my own Shangri La, the place in the world I most want to live; one of the few places in the world where my envy is quelled and I feel at home.

    I have known her as a relative, as so many of my family have come from here. I have known her as a tourist, in the bright lights of Mardi Gras 2000. I have known her as a starry eyed boy of 12 years, walking the streets of the quarter after my Cousin Catherine's rehersal dinner at Antoine's. I have known her as a guest, as my brother and I have visited these streets and stayed in my Aunt's home. The last time I was there in May, I introduced to her two of my best friends. Every visit has written a legend into my life, and the lives of my friends who share those stories with me.

    Crossing the bridge, the first thing you notice is not the smell, but the traffic. I expected something different than sitting on Jefferson Highway, though sometimes what you can see from the road tell stories just as important as those on the ground.

    There is new signage everywhere. Construction crews: Drywall Hangers! Window Installers! Shingles: Slate and Otherwise! Cleanup crews: House Gutting! Carpet Removal! Rebuilding supplies: Plywood! Pipes! Delivered! If the election were held today, and votes were based on only the wireframe signs that dot the sides of highways, House Gutting would win over Various Supplies in a landslide, though Now Open would be the glamour candidate.

    The debris gets to you. It is hard to see what is livable and what is not. Things that aren't moving could go either way. The giant, and that is not an understatement, mounds of refuse are striking. Think of any spring cleaning you've ever done where you just threw out everything. Now imagine the leftovers from the last day in the dorms, and all the trash that is moved outside. Add all that together and then drop a house and two cars on top of it from a height of 20 feet. That's what the piles look like. Thats more or less what the piles are.

    This goes on for miles.

    And miles.

    You learn very quickly to see beyond those piles, so you can get some idea of the damage to structures, vehicles and trees. You look for the waterline. It is best when viewed against a lightly colored house. Even my colorblind eyes can tell that the water in this neighborhood left a bluish tint, in this neighborhood an orange hue. On brick and dark colored houses, that line disappears.

    You start to understand how high the flood was by the debris in the front yard. Refrigerators only: little or no flood here. Refrigerators, other electrical appliances and furniture, little flood, brick house. Appliances, furniture, walls, curtains, toys: the flood was serious, "basement" (in New Orleans this is usually a sunken first floor) or "first floor" (nebulous term based on the architechture of the home, the existence of the aforementioned "basement" or just a raised foundation) were flooded to some extent. There are some cars that are illegally parked, and dirty looking, covered in dust. These were usually inundated.

    Then there are houses with nothing on the curbs. These houses were total losses, and the owners may not be making a return trip.

    On every door or porch, and on the sidewalks in front of many houses there is some sort of sigil left by the fast moving squads of National and Coast Guard units, or perhaps some other government entity. When given the green light, these men (and women) made up for time missed in the confusion of those first days and braved flood waters that were still rising in some places in a mad rush to clear these homes of living people. The sigils, left in spray paint or chalk, kept them from rechecking homes during the hours when double work could cost lives.

    Next to these sigils, usually a few letters with no obvious meaning (with the exception of DB for "Dead Body") are small paragraphs in green spray paint. "Found 2 Cat, 1 Inside 1 Out, Caught, Contact XXX-XXXX for info." These were the Humane Societies and ASPCA's who went house to house bringing people's pets out of the flood. The National Guard was saving lives and could waste no time on pets. But they thanked the animal rescuers, because cats and dogs scream out in the night for rescue just like humans. Anytime something screams, you want to help, and that is the stuff of nightmares. But this was a dual rescue effort, the pros getting out the people, volunteers going in after pets. Heroes one and all.

    "No cat. Tracks. Left food" Is a common paragraph.

    The streetcars aren't running on St Charles. The lines are down, and too many emergency vehicles need places to park. Too many places, people need space to put the things that can't be salvaged. Temporary stop signs have replaced traffic lights, but that seems to be going well. The wind damage is also extreme. Trees down everywhere, branches down everywhere, signs ripped down and turned the wrong way.

    There were many one way street signs in the Garden District. They were mere suggestions then, they are useless now.

    Some of the houses look like they have recieved some sort of indirect machine gun fire, or the slashings of a horror film. These are from the traditional slate shingles on the roofs of New Orleans. Like ninja stars and steak knives they were hurled through the streets of the city. You shudder when you think what those flying blades could do to the skin.

    That is what New Orleans looked like when I got there. We didn't even get out to the East End, Lakeview or the 9th Ward. But my Uncle has been to India, Nepal, and Afganistan in 1978. He watched Kabul as she was shelled by the Communists. He says the east of town is the worst he's ever seen. I'll take his expert word on that.

    But that's not all you see;

    There are people and crews climbing all over houses and businesses. If ants could wear hard hats and masks, and you kicked up their hill, this is what it would look like. Noone rests during daylight. Everyone who has a civilian look about them waves to the Humvees and Police Cruisers on patrol. Those smiles are genuine, as are the smiles back. Though the boys (and girls) don't seem to mind when folks cheer the arrival of utilities and refuse pick up. That just brings good natured laughter.

    I thought, suddenly and as I saw this: this is the reception our boys and girls were promised in Baghdad. I take more pride than I can say in the fact that the South was able to deliver on that promise. Apples and oranges to be sure, but I'll be damned if that wasn't something to see. I'll be damned if that ain't something, in and of itself, to believe in.

    We made a right turn off of St. Charles into Uptown, there was a FEMA station at the corner, and people lined up for Red Cross meals. My Aunt and Uncle live a few short blocks away.

    Tuesday, October 25, 2005

    The Journey

  • Part 1: A Pilgrimage

  • Part 2: The Journey

  • Part 3: Wind from an Enemy Sky


  • St. Simons to New Orleans on Interstate 10

    Don't drive through the heart of Jacksonville, Florida. A humble warning to all weary East Coast travelers. They have apparently decided to continue their construction of that City by ripping apart all the inside interstates without warning people before they miss the ByPass.

    Heading West.

    Of course Interstate 10 through the Panhandle is one of the most boring sections of Interstate one can encounter. Its like Interstate 16 but much, much longer. One thing of note are the convoys. Tree service vehicles and emergency services are moving East. Like an army to ward off our next unwelcome visitor in Wilma. Onward to Gainesville and Lake City this army moves. Moving eastbound with us are the semis loaded with construction material. Five tons of drywall here. Overloaded lumber there. A flatbed with nothing but new glass windows. For every one that turns off into Alabama, two pass us on the way to Mississippi. It is mostly empty dump trucks that follow us to New Orleans, as telling as that is. But there were a few bringing the new stuff in.

    A very interesting anecdote is that the main drag through Tallahassee, the Capital of Florida, is named "Tennessee Street."

    In Pensacola, you start seeing the damage. But this is damage from Ivan, a hurricane from 2004. Escambia Bay is spanned by steel instead of concrete roads. Especially in the Eastbound lanes. While just as sturdy (I'm sure) as their concrete brethren, these steel spans give the impression of flimsiness. But the concrete spans of the bridge, if you look just close enough, are just a few inches off kilter in some spaces. They aren't terribly noticable, but once you see them, you can't stop looking. This is terribly distracting to someone driving this bridge.

    We stopped in Fairhope, Alabama, where my cousin Elizabeth and her boys have taken up temporary residence. More on this little city later, but it is build hard against Mobile Bay. This is a little town, shops and bed and breakfasts, one pub aptly named "The Pub." It may be as close to 'Perfect' as any Walgreen's commercial.

    Every pier on the East side of Mobile Bay, it seems, has collapsed. The Grand Hotel will not open for another year, and people here in the coves lost their homes to the sea. That's what I heard, but I didn't see much of it. Many New Orleans exiles have taken up residence here, especially ones with children, and they have been welcomed into the town with open arms.

    The George C Wallace Tunnel is still open, and the USS Alabama looks as defiant as ever (though I always wish they'd turn her around so her face is to the open ocean). In western Mobile you start to see houses that have shingles missing and tarps for roofs.

    Outside of Mobile, you start to see the trees.

    The great stands of Southern Pine look diminished now, as foliage and weak branches were downed. It is odd that evergreens take on the look of November oaks, and canopy starts disappearing. Every once in a while, you see one that has been snapped in half like a matchstick. For some, you never see their tops. For others, their upper halves point to the Northwest.

    This continues to get subtly worse the further west you drive. Then you cross the Mississippi line.

    "Mississippi, It's Like Coming Home" the sign states. As if to underscore what has happened here, the first thing you see is what was once a billboard of strong black metal. It is now heeled over, mangled, and bent back towards the ground. With the frame of the sign twisted, it reminded me of the bones of a bird's wing. Broken on the side of the road.

    The newest hotels hard by the Interstate betray the worst damage. Particleboard roofs ripped away and discarded, replaced with flapping blue tarps. Piles of debris line the parking lots of the gasoline stations. The twisted metal alludes to what was once signage, walls and things that were moved out of the way so traffic could get through. Road barrells, trash cans. Boards and what looks to be the remains of wall. Though these piles are smallish in nature, you can't really tell where the contents originated.

    Here, the damage to the trees becomes noticably worse. Instead of diminished, the pines are decidedly wounded. Broken trees become fewer and further between. Hardly any green is left below the actual canopy (why that is must be a natural phenomenon I can't imagine). With this curtain lain bare, you can see the communites usually shielded from Interstate eyes. They also become easier to spot, even to my colorblind eyes, by the striking blue of their tarpaulin roofs. Almost every home has them. The ones that do not stand out. These houses are the lucky ones to have sustained, for whatever reason, less damage. (Or maybe the owner has not returned to contract the roofer yet?) They are as common to the eye as other houses that no longer need a roof, for they are the unlucky ones: nothing but piles of lumber and memory.

    Every open shop within sight has a "Now Hiring" sign on its door.

    Gas station patrons, to those stations that actually have gasoline, can be seen with three and four containers they are filling in addition to their muddy wheeled trucks. If there is a reason we've had an SUV and truck frenzy in the past years, it is paying off in dividends now.

    Just north of Biloxi, the trees are down in rows. Like the hand of God came down and started ripping out chunks of forest. You now start seeing uprooted trees, down whole to the the ground. A new sight: trees down pointing North and east. These are the ones that survived the northside of the storm, but were weakened enough to fall once the eye had passed and the wind changed direction. They interlace in moments like latticework. You start to realize that those white trees you've been seeing in ones and twos, that are now coming in fours and fives, aren't white trees at all: they are Southern pine laid bare of bark by the howling wind.

    Have you ever peeled bark off a pine tree? Imagine a wind so strong it could lay almost a whole forest bare. That wind lived here for a time.

    Again, the foliage being gone gives a view to that place just beyond the trees we usually aren't privy to. The FEMA trailer parks for the dispossesed come into view. They are brand new with no signs of life, appearing more Orwellian than post-Apocalyptic. There are hundreds within our sightlines alone.

    The debris also becomes more pronounced, here in Mississippi. Shingles, trash, sheet metal. Mattresses and chairs: the discarded items of a population in flight, realizing that their lives are more important, or perhaps just knocked off the car's roof by the rising wind in those failing hours?

    Outside DeLisle, Mississippi, the damage becomes extreme. I have already spoken of broken billboards, and I will do so here again. There are strong steel structures that reach into the sky. Here, the ones that remain standing are missing at least their sign, if the frame itself isn't heeled over. If you're not looking, you will miss the many that have simply been slammed to the ground. Sometimes in half, more often whole. Most tragically onto nearby homes. Was someone in there when it happened?

    Racing towards the Pearl River, where the monster came ashore her final time, it appears that the angry hands of giants had grown weary of ripping out chunks and decided here to take up the scythe.

    Over the Pearl River you look down onto a forest lain bare of leaves. It looks like a northern winter instead of a Gulf Coast Indian Summer.

    We cross into Louisiana at the end of this bridge.

    Monday, October 24, 2005

    A Pilgrimage

  • Part 1: A Pilgrimage

  • Part 2: The Journey

  • Part 3: Wind from an Enemy Sky


  • As many of you know, my Aunt Anna and Uncle Elmore live and work in New Orleans. My cousin, Elizabeth, made her home in New Orleans and worked in the public schools in Jefferson Parish. Her husband Warren is the proprietor of two (once three) restaurants in New Orleans. They have two boys, Ike and Sammy, and a third (a girl)is on the way. They have more friends and family there than I can count.

    My Uncle Dan from Atlanta was down there two weeks ago, to do what he could.

    Last week was mine and my Father's turn.

    Like a lot of Americans, what we know of the situation is shaped by what we see in our inadequate news media: creating a frenzy and panic in the short term, and proclaiming 'mission accomplished' far too soon so that our attention could be turned to other things. We knew a little bit more by my Mother's and my scouring of the Internet for all things NOLA. We knew the situation personally everytime we spoke to my Aunt on the phone, or got an email from my Uncle.

    Last week, we went to see our family, and the Crescent City, for ourselves.

    What we saw, something that seems so unique to America, is something both utterly devastating and powerfully uplifting. What we saw was a lesson in duality, and how to laugh through the tears. What we saw was testament to the journey of a thousand miles starting with the first step, or the sweeping of a sidewalk. What we saw was that, in spite of everything wrong and every fault, our nation is undoubtedely made up of the finest people to walk this Earth.

    This story isn't in the news, because the news doesn't want you to believe in miracles. Not the big miracles, but the little ones, the little ones that start by rebuilding families, friendships & houses, and end up rebuilding neighborhoods, whole cities, and whole nations.

    You can believe in everything going wrong, or you can believe in miracles. As I write these lines, many things will be about everything going wrong. But the miracles are in there, for those who will look.

    You can believe in miracles in New Orleans.

    And just to show that i'm not shirking my duties as resident mean-guy...

    I'ma let Mr. Neal Boortz speak for me today:

    HOPING FOR U.S. CASUALTIES

    The anti-war left has finally let it slip...they've shown their true colors about what their agenda is, and if you didn't read between the lines, you might miss it. Here goes. The Crawford Crackpot Cindy Sheehan, along with other Bush-bashing protest groups are gearing up for the 2,000th American Military casualty in Iraq. The only problem?

    They're a little short. As of yesterday, the death toll stands at 1,996. Cindy Sheehan says she plans to tie herself to the White House fence and refuse to leave until the troops are brought home. But for Crazy Cindy to activate her plans, she needs 4 more troops to die. And thus the entire agenda of the anti-war movement is exposed: their political agenda is only served by U.S. Military casualties and setbacks. Good news in Iraq is bad news for them. They are an extension of the Blame-America-First crowd.

    Nowhere in the media statements of Cindy Sheehan does she say that she hopes there won't be a 2000th casualty. If that doesn't happen, she's out of a job. And of course, it's all about her. So what happens if no more troops die? That wouldn't be good for Cindy. She needs 4 more lives to be lost to achieve her next big round of media attention.

    These groups claim to be worried about the welfare of troops serving in Iraq. But yet they just can't wait for that 2000th soldier to die...they'd probably speed the process up if they could.

    Moooooooore bleatings from Cindy...

    And lo, a scream rang out...

    ...as if millions upon millions of 'wampires' suddenly had the life drained from them...

    Blah, blah blah, and such...

    Thursday, October 20, 2005

    Bush and Bono

    from Salon.com's caption contest:
    "You must be thinking of a different Jesus."

    (just a little light comedy in a world gone mad)

    Friday, October 07, 2005

    Speaking of the Supreme Court,

    Liberalism, and Tennessee...

    I thought this may be an interesting read for us. Here's the question, civil liberties fans: when should the government be able to use eminent domain to take away your home or land? Should they ever be able to take it away, and then turn it around and sell it to others as private property?

    DADvocate chimes in with his opinion on the matter here. And a hat tip to him for coming across this article from Facing South.

    IMHO, eminent domain should only be used in the most rare of circumstances, when the need for public works must outweigh the property rights of the individual. Major highways, lakes (like what the TVA was supposed to do...), cleaning up hazardous pollution and clearing out blighted areas. But those lands are confiscated lands: lands confiscated from individual owners. Just compensation must be made, and that land then belongs to the public (as the government belongs to the public).

    The idea of governments turning around and selling these lands to higher bidders, so those bidders can make a profit is just wrong and one of the most un-American things I can think of.

    Thursday, October 06, 2005

    Sports Week

    Meanwhile, over in the Sports Section:

    We have Headlines and Patrick and Jerz's College Football Predictions.

    Additional commentary from Sports Fans is appreciated. The conversation is dominated heavily by College Football.

    And don't worry, Jerz will soon have really real internet, so he'll be able to post for himself.

    The New York Whines (Again)

    I'm on the Bearfoot Hookers' email list. Their bass player, a good friend of mine by the name of Jon Tonge (who bought my amp when I left Athens for the Coast) sent this out to me and many of the other ne'er-do-wells that end up on that mailing list. Despite his on-stage (and off stage, to be sure) antics, he's one of the smartest cats I know, and he had this to say on a subject I love to report on. I agree with everything in the letter, though I have only edited two words.

    I hope to give this the most publicity popular.

    Even though he decries the "blogs written by idiots" out here, I still thought we'd enjoy (and get a good chuckle) out of the read.

    Dear New York Times,

    I can't believe the audacity of you greedy thumbsuckers. I have been a loyal and constant reader of your newspaper for five years now (I'm 25). In college, I could afford a discounted, 5-day-a-week subscription and enjoyed it immensely. I have a box full of clips from your paper of stories that I found well-written, extremely informative or otherwise off the beaten path. I've defended your snotty aloofness in debates with friends and colleagues both public and private. I feel like I've gained a great deal of knowledge from both your print and electronic pages that otherwise would have been lost.

    But no more. Now, I suddenly have to join the Times Select club to reap the benefits of what used to be an open Web site? I'm reminded of a Tom Petty lyric. "As we celebrate mediocrity/all the boys upstairs want to see/ how much you'll pay for what you used to get for free."

    I'm a registered member of your site. I've given you my personal information (which I normally am loathe to do) and I've taken your silly surveys when you've emailed them to me. Is the ad revenue generated from my constant presence on your site no longer enough? Do you really need my $7.95 a month to get by? I know you've been canning people left and right lately - reporters included - but don't take it out on me. (Which, by the way, is the absolute pinnacle of idiocy if you hope to keep me around but I guess that's not a big priority for you anymore. By all means, lessen your news-gathering ability by 700 employees in a year and try to tell me the "quality" of the paper won't suffer. How many investigative reporters do you have these days? Anyone can read the wire. I used to count on you guys for in-depth reporting. Do you think your readers are on crack?)

    I actually used to send people to your site. Online debates and message boards. I would constantly post links to your stories and make people read them before I would continue a debate. Actively driving people to your Web site so you can get your dirty ad money to keep this "public service" going. Also, the last two years when I had cable TV, I intentionally bought the package with the freaking New York Times chanel on it. What a sucker I was.

    So now I can't read Friedman anymore. That's fantastic. Thanks a lot. Actually, I can't read any of your columnists anymore. Super. I also noticed that in your little Top 5 Emailed Articles suddenly none of your columnists are on there. Two of the five are Op/Ed Contributors, which you don't charge for. What a coincidence. It used to be Friedman, Dowd and Krugman like clockwork, but now half the world won't have a clue what they're saying. That's a great way to just take your columnists (and by extension yourselves) out of the public dialogue. Thank God I got Safire until the end. He was a gem.

    I am poor, by the way. I mean really poor. In debt from college and this year will be the first that I'll be above the poverty line since I graduated. But poor didn't have to translate into dumb and uninformed thanks to that fourth branch of democracy, the press. Anyone could log on and read. The great equalizer, knowledge. But I won't always be poor, you hacks. I always thought that I would know I was making it if I could afford the Times subscription at my house - the fat Sunday paper included. Get that, the Post, the Journal, the AJC (if I'm still in the South) and a local. Boy, I'd be in hog heaven then. I don't like to support outright greed and hoarding of knowledge for the wealthy, though. Columbia University kicked me out of their library once because I wasn't a student there and I've never forgotten it. Knowledge isn't something you have a right to disseminate to your wealthy cronies alone. And you wonder why you're insulated and out of touch with America? You just keep making it a paper for the rich and the rich alone and you'll just keep slipping farther and farther away from relevance with the masses.

    Why don't you just deliver only to country clubs? Everyone knows that's where the real opinion makers live. You could have a set of zip codes and if a person doesn't live in one of the wealthier zip codes across the country, then tough s***, "No Times for you." You could probably charge a fortune for subscriptions. Once the rotten greed-heads in the country knew it was exclusively for them, they'd pay anything. So much for the press doing anything for the good of the people. I guess we've been away from that for a while, though.

    I stuck up for you bastards all along and this is how you repay me. I'm not good enough for the f****** Gray Lady anymore. Don't have enough money. Story of my life. I even stuck up for you during the last elections - WHEN IT WAS CLEAR EVEN TO ME THAT YOUR NEWS COVERAGE WAS SLIGHTLY PRO-KERRY! I tried to explain it away because I don't really believe there is a bias in the press on either side, but it was there, all right. Not as much as most would say, but a presence nonetheless. And when I say press I mean newspapers because that's the only thing that's worth a damn anymore. Or ever was, really. Anything on TV is and always will be sleazy entertainment, pure and simple. But you just keep pushing people toward blogs written by idiots and overtly partisan publications and these loud-mouth talking heads on the box. That'll help.

    So, in closing, you guys can kiss my ass from now on. This will definitely help you in the long run. Alienating the poor, the young who crave information and don't have money but one day will. Our memories tend to be exceptionally long. This is the very crowd you should be courting and you're taking the best of your content and hiding it away until we can afford it and then you think that we'll ever come back to you when we can? Well, the whole damn place can burn in hell for all I care. The press may not be biased, but I can't deny the elitism anymore. I used to buy a print copy once or twice a week - even though I can't afford it - because it's comforting and real. I loved it. But you won't ever see it on my doorstep now, you bastards.

    You're getting farther and farther away from what the press is supposed to be about and you don't even realize it. May Sulzberger, Jr. get a paper cut as he's wiping his ass with hundred-dollar bills. I never thought I would have to do this. Disillusionment comes hard for everybody, I guess. You worthless whores. I'm actually about to tear up, here. It's like I'm breaking up with my girlfriend. Damn you greedy sons of bitches.

    Yours in sincere disgust,

    Jonathan Tonge

    Our Turn

    Tropical Storm Tammy

    Typical St. Simons: some folks were cracking jokes about the last two days being 'like a hurricane.' When I informed them that what we had was, in fact, a tropical storm named Tammy, they were astounded.

    "We knew something was different!" They'd say.

    I guess that's what you get when your main source of news is the vitriolic and tabloidesque St. Simons Tribune.

    Things over in Brunswick were a little different, and apparently a lot more dangerous. Though, the quote of the day is this one from the Brunswick News: "Schools report some increase in absenteeism Thursday, particularly at Brunswick High School." That just may have been the results of the hurricane parties...but we'll chalk it up to atmospheric convection anyway.

    Its been decades since a major storm crossed the Island. There is standing water outside my office (but that happens with any big thunderstorm), several houses flooded in the heart of Brunswick (again, that happens with any big thunderstorm, it was just deeper this time) and the worst damage was over at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC). Define ironic? Several Department of Homeland Security vehicles were flooded out and had to be towed away. We lost power several times, and there are big chunks of trees down, but nothing we can't clean up before watching Georgia vs Tennessee on Saturday.

    The one drawback is the beach. Ophelia did some damage earlier this year, and now this. I haven't been there yet, but I bet the topography has completely changed.

    Today? The weather is great.

    Wednesday, October 05, 2005

    curiouser and curiouser...

    KISS

    You wanted the next Democratic scandal?!? YOU GOT THE NEXT DEMOCRATIC SCANDAL!!! IT'S THE INDICTMENT OF TOM DELAY!!!

    /KISS

    Yes kids, it's true, or at least is appearing to lean that way.

    What we have here today is the story of how the prosecutor in the Tom Delay case sent his case to a grand jury three times in four days in an effort to get an indictment against Senator Delay.

    Apparrently, the first crime that the prosecutor, one Ronnie Earle, tried to get Tom Delay indicted on, wasn't on the books when Senator Delay allegedly committed the crime. This is what we call Ex Post Facto, which patsbrother will likely inform us was on his law terms matching quiz last week.

    When the first indictment didn't stick, Mr. Earle decided to run money laundering charges up the flagpole, and whaddaya know, the grand jury returned an indictment.

    You can't tell me that Mr. Earle didn't know that the first set of charges wasn't going to fly, or that he didn't bother to research when the law went into effect, so why bother trying to run the indictment?

    Here's a secondary link, for those of you who want more to read about...

    apparrently, it takes 3 grand juries to get an indictment...

    Tuesday, October 04, 2005

    Case Study

    Sometimes it is just too good.

    1. How the right-right wing thinks. This is a former policymaker with an outrageous and morally reprehensible idea harkening back to the eugenics experiments of darker and bygone days.

    2. How the right-right wing talks about what they think when they think noone who disagrees with them is listening. This is that same former policymaker with his own radio show.

    3. How the right-right wing lies about what they said they think when they realize they gave too much away, and really real Americans have taken exception to their outrageous and morally reprehensible ideas.

    4. How the right-right wing blames liberals for coming up with those outrageous and morally reprehensible ideas in the first place, even though liberals didn't come up with those ideas at all.

    5. How the right-right wing blames the media for all of this and never has to apologize or take repsonsiblity for whisperin' you know what.

    And it is all wrapped up in the same article for your convenience, including refrences and an internet roundup!

    Have fun!