An Open Letter To Michael Bloomberg

Good Morning, Mr. Mayor.

I know you have a lot on your plate, that the world is an absolute mess right now, but I want to focus your attention somewhere that desperately needs your attention, one that normally takes almost no thought from the mayor of a city as large as New York City.

The running of the New York City Marathon.

Now Mr. Mayor,  I know you don’t normally read any of my articles, being a busy man and all, so you probably don’t know that I am runner and a regular one.  An all weather runner.  I run in every type of weather.  I also know that you don’t know that I am a  lifelong resident of Staten Island.

For most of my life I lived on the north shore, but I moved out of there after 35 years in 2002 and moved to Dongan Hills, where I lived for a few years before re-settling in Castleton corners, where I have been since 2005.

Enough of the background, let’s move to the foreground.

On October 29th one of the largest storms to ever strike land in the northeast, and certainly the biggest in my 45 years, struck us.  All of us.  New Jersey was crushed, as was the city. It dropped several feet of snow in the Appalachian mountains in West Virginia.  Hell it caused 20 foot surges in the great lakes.  Needless to say you also know about the billions of dollars in damage it did, and the number of dead.

And yet you want to have this marathon run through New York City, our city, now.

Yesterday, Mr. Mayor, yesterday the bodies of two small children who were pulled by the storm out of their mothers arms were found. Half of the city’s dead from this storm come from my island. Do I have to make the point that I have family members who live in that area still?  They’re OK thankfully, but plenty of other people aren’t, and there are tens of thousands without power, both on Staten Island and the rest of the city.

Generators are in Central park for the marathon that could be used to help people who are in dire need, who have lost everything, that could be used to power neighborhoods that need that help.  And yes there is a massive effort to help everyone, but can you say you are doing everything you can when generators that could help people in need are used for recreation?  Need I remind you that running is recreation, and that recreation comes third at best in times of need like these?

You say the race wont pull resources away from recovery efforts yet we know and we see with our own eyes that this is simply untrue.  I know that there are many people working on trying to fix things, I have eyes, I see them.  But when I see the people of Breezy Point and Midland Beach and South Beach who have been so harshly put upon by pitiless nature suffer so and efforts that could be made are quite simply not being made, I get angry.  And I am not alone.  There are hundreds of thousands of us, millions of us who don’t want to see this race happen, because it is simply not appropriate.  There is talk around the neighborhood and on facebook of simply walking en masse up to the start line and blocking the start line.

I’m sure your security people have already appraised you about that situation by now.

Idle threat?  Perhaps, but if you have angered these people, these working class Americans who voted for you that much where they are talking like that, it means that it is time you paid attention to us.  It is time to listen to the people and not dictate your will to them, Mr. Mayor. You are not our ruler, you are a temporary administrator. nothing more.  Don’t forget that.

Mr. Mayor I cannot find a single instance of any one city ever deciding to hold a race of any type 6 days after a hurricane made landfall and devastated the area.  We should continue this trend.  Want to run the marathon in December? If those who do the job of search and recovery are finished looking for the bodies of residents of this great city I am all for it.   Wanna make it a big running party on New Years eve?  That sounds like fun!  Might even do that myself!

But now?

No.

Mr. Mayor, please postpone the New York City Marathon. It’s the right thing to do.

Signed,

Michael Walsh

____________________

That’s it from here, America.  Talk to you later.

Local News

Pic of the day:  The Maimed by Pieter Bruegel

______________________________

Schisms do not originate in a love of truth, which is a source of courtesy and gentleness, but rather in an inordinate desire for supremacy. From all these considerations it is clearer than the sun at noonday, that the true schismatics are those who condemn other men’s writings, and seditiously stir up the quarrelsome masses against their authors, rather than those authors themselves, who generally write only for the learned, and appeal solely to reason. In fact, the real disturbers of the peace are those who, in a free state, seek to curtail the liberty of judgment which they are unable to tyrannize over.

Baruch Spinoza, Theological-Political Treatise (1670)

______________________________

I’m doing some reading up on  the local state assembly race here in my district, the 63rd, here on Staten Island.   You read some really interesting things when you check this stuff out.  And by interesting of course I mean complete and utter silly crap.

Now, when reading about facts from a political opponent you would expect there to be some meat in these factual attacks.   The incumbent, guy by the name of Mike Cusick, has done a decent job, about as well as anyone could do.  I doubt that a Republican could do better, I doubt that another Democrat could do better.

He has sponsored some quality legislation to the state senate. Over 145 pieces of legislation I believe.  Including a property tax exemption for disabled veterans, limitations on property taxes imposed by the state, and tax exemptions for self-employed people.

Not bad, and that’s just a small snippet.  But his opponent, Sam Pirozollo has a different picture he’d like to paint of Mister Cusick. He claims that Mr. Cusick lacks the leadership of his predecessors because the tolls on the Verrazano bridge have doubled since he took office.

Which is true but hardly Mike’s problem until Sam decided to make it his problem.  Seems to have made his entire case for not re-electing Mr. Cusick on his inability to keep tolls on the Verrazano down.

Sam never mentions that Staten Islanders get to cross the bridge with a discount.  True Mike had nothing to do with that, but no one in office now did. That happened back in the 1980’s, and took one unholy fuck of a lot of wrangling by a lot more than one assemblyman to get done.  Two state legislatures had to approve it, seeing how the Port authority has control, and that is run by both New York AND New Jersey.

Sam also says that Mike is hiding like a child (I’m not kidding, those are his exact words) behind all the other politicians on Staten Island.  I didn’t know we had that many that someone Mike’s size could hide behind them. Mike’s kinda tall. How he’s gonna hide behind 3 other assemblymen and two senators I have no idea.  That hiding thing is not happening in any sense of the word that I can see.

Sam also says that Mike is the leading assemblyman of Staten Island.  He does have tenure, having been there the longest.  Kudos to Sam for recognizing that.  But Sam does seem to think that Mike has committed one other crime.

That of being a Democrat.  On the basis of not getting Staten Island lower rates crossing the Verrazano, despite the fact that we actually pay less than everyone else, Sam says that because Mike is a Democrat “in the majority”, and because “they” have not done enough to bring relief to Staten Island (from what I have no idea, being too close to New Jersey perhaps?) that he represents a better option for Staten Islanders.

Sam seems just a tad clueless here.

Sorry, Sam.  Please stay out of my legislature.  Thank you.

__________________________

That’s it from here, America.  G’night.

February 2011 Random Thoughts

Once a month or so, I clear out some of the content on my Running Commentary, Random Thoughts, and 12 Notes pages and place them here on the main page to make room for fresh content on those pages.  This is the content from February’s 2011 Random Thoughts.  Enjoy!

_______________________________

It seems that Cairo’s Tahrir square, the scene of Anti-Mubarak riots over the past week, has turned into a giant mosh pit, with rocks thrown, knives and the like used, and molotov cocktails thrown.  Seems that the interior ministry people/Police/pro-Mubarak citizenry have decided to stand together to try and beat the crap out of the anti-Mubarak forces.  Can’t tell if the military is moving in quite yet, but one presumes if things get too hairy they will. (2/2)

___________________________________

Anagram:  Hosni Mubarak/ Ask a Bum, Rhino/ Oh, I Snub Karma/ Has Run Akimbo/ Ambush Our Mink/ Honk As I Rumba/ Hunk Ambrosia (2/2)

___________________________________

Staten Island Chuck, the New York groundhog, predicts that winter will end early, according to Mayor Bloomberg.  I predict winter will end when Spring begins, and not a moment sooner.  Snow and ice every week in New York until then. 🙂  (2/2)

__________________________________

I begin training at the part time job tomorrow.  $15 an hour to do actual work, when I’ve been sitting on my ass since mid november sounds pretty good to me.  Wondering whether this is the right thing to do though, part time work I mean, but I’ll find out soon enough if that is the right way to go.  Not to mention how well I handle working printers and machines for the first time in nearly 2 years, when I walked away from it, and was happy to leave all the crap it dealt me for 2 decades.  Wish me luck! (2/2)

_________________________________

Awake at 5:40 am, after having a few months of staying awake until 3 am.  Went to sleep early last night, didn’t sleep all that well.  Still feel good though, I go to earn money today, and it’ll be more than Unemployment would make me.  THAT feels good, THAT makes it worth it.  (2/3)

_________________________________

If I knew what I was going to write, I would not have written this.  But I knew I was going to write this at some point, so even though I didn’t know I was going to write this, I knew I was going to write this.  (2/4)

_________________________________

Anagram: Super Bowl Forty Five/ Overpower By Fistful/ Few Bury Profits, Love…/… Or Buy Twelve Ripoffs/ Low Poverty Is Buffer/ Liberty Offers Up Vow (2/5)

_________________________________

I sent out a number of resumes yesterday, about 7 or 8.  I went to work today, I was there from 8 til 4:30.  Kinda slow today at the office, so on my new phone, I went through some job listings there.  If they’re gonna work me part time once I finish training , I’m gonna use free time there looking for work elsewhere.  I’m not going to sit on my ass and do nothing for myself, and I’m not going to be obvious and make it easy for them to get rid of me by looking for work on their computers.  This is me being subtle.  Nice.  (2/7)

________________________________

I’m looking at taking some free writing courses.  Not sure which ones to take, and which ones are the best, and which are absolute crap.  If ya know any good ones, clue me in, drop me a line, let me know. (2/7)

________________________________

I looked behind me.  And smiled.  It’s February 8th, and my Christmas tree is still up!  Nice!  Gotta take it down soon though, the damned thing takes up space that could be used for other purposes, like, oh… I dunno… furniture.  Novel concept.    (2/8)

________________________________

The New York Rangers lost their fifth in a row.  Guess it’s that time of year, the Rangers Annual February Swoon is underway.  Henrik Lundqvist lost three games in a row, no blowouts, tight losses, and John Tortorella, genius that he is, not realizing the storm that is blowing in, decided to bench one of the best goalies in the league, with the team suffering from a lack of scoring (which is what causes the annual swoon)  and guess what?  Two more losses with the backup Biron starting! NEVER SAW THAT ONE COMING, DID WE, JOHNNY ROCKET?  The man is a Jackass. He made the swoon worse by putting the #2 in where the #1 would have gotten at least 1 victory, and probably two.  Moron.  (2/8)

________________________________

I got enough sleep, I have coffee in my system, so why do I feel like I’m not ready to go today?  Today’s no different from any other day, but it feels like it is for some reason.  Dammit.  Probably has to do with me being a lethargic non working out, non runner.  That I am hoping to fix soon.  (2/9)

________________________________

Joe Scarborough is an idiot.  (2/10)

________________________________

Sitting here drinking coffee at 7:45 in the morning, getting ready to go food shopping and then do laundry. Feh.  I went out last night, had a few beers with one of the guys from 814.  I was hoping to get some kind of update on the e-mail I sent to a union recruiter (who I wont name because he doesn’t know I’m writing about him here) but he wasn’t there.  So I hung out, drank beer, caught up with the one guy (who goes unnamed as well for the same reason as given before) on the things that are going on at Sotheby’s.  Had fun.  (2/12)

_______________________________

Last nights beer was also the reason I didn’t write last night.  Even though I only had a few, it would have affected the writing, negatively, and I don’t want that.  I can write shitty on my own, without the help of any alcohol.    (2/12)

_______________________________

 Tits, Tits, Tits, Tits,Tits . (2/13)

______________________________

It’s valentines day, and I have that damn bankruptcy thing running through my skull.  Came back from there a while ago, and found out that I need still more stuff, pay stubs from my last job, and 6 months of my wifes earnings, for the means test.  The woman I am working with on this says I can’t file if I don’t have them. 

I don’t have them.  Dammit.

I’ll find them, I just hope it doesn’t take too long.  (2/14)

_____________________________

I’m not gonna let it get me down though, not on Valentine’s day.  Love my wife, love her very much, and i’m not going to let this crap get me down, don’t want this raining on our parade.  Oh HELL no.  We gonna have us some FUN tonight!    (2/14)

_____________________________

6:15 am: Been listening to Joe Scarborough for the last 10 minute pontificate on a subject of which he knows nothing, aka the budget.  I tried to focus very hard on playing games on the computer before I go to work, but the stupid worked its way to my ears.  I’ll keep saying it until it stops being true; Joe Scarborough is an idiot.  (2/16)

_____________________________

8:50 pm:  I’m currently listening to Bach’s’ Brandenburg concerto #1, mostly for the joy of the music itself, but with headphones on, it allows me to drown out the crap on the TV that my wife is watching behind me.  Some stupid crap with unhealthy looking people cursing at each other.  Something about things being repossessed.  The epitome of crap tv, and my wife loves it… argh!  (2/16)

_____________________________

Loving the left right war going on in Wisconsin.  Best bit?  The right has to bus people in to make their arguments.  Not enough locals on the right to make their voice heard.  One wonders where all the people who voted for that union busting prick Walker went.  One wonders. (2/19)

___________________________

Took my wife to the hospital a little while ago.  She’s thought something was wrong, but it seems she’s OK.  That’s all I’m saying, and I’m happy to say it as well. (2/19)

__________________________

Sore.  Tired.  Beat. Right ankle stiff, right elbow stiff, left calf sore.  One of my toenails wants to fall the hell off.  All this and I just woke up.  Ooof is a good way to put that.  Sleep 7 hours and wake up feeling like you got hit by a train.  Lucky for me I was sleeping, had I been doing anything else, that shit might have killed me!   (2/20)

_____________________________

Mind you the ankle, elbow, and toenail thing are ongoing issues… but C’mon.  This is why drugs were invented.  Maybe I need to go do some. (2/20)

____________________________

Anagram:  President’s Day/ Sparsity Ended/ Sidestep Randy/ Daisy Pretends/ Ed’s Tardy Penis/ Sainted Red Spy/ Pay Deist Nerds/  I’d Pet Nerdy Ass/ Yep, Sadist Nerd (2/21)

____________________________

Been playing games a lot with the spare time I’ve had over the last two days.  On-line games.  Pogo games, facebook games.  Ya know, bullshit.   (2/25)

____________________________

Woke up too damn early today, but I have coffee in me now, so I’m ready and …tired as hell.  I was going to say raring to go, but I couldn’t be that full of shit at this point in my day.  Not yet, anyway…  OK, I could, but I choose not to be.  We’ll that is a bunch of bullshit to, guess I could’ve just lied to begin with and saved myself the trouble.    (2/25)

___________________________

Gotta pay some bills and hope I have enough in the bank to pay the rent afterwards.  Love the dread that accompanies that. 

THIS is a reason some poor people question capitalism, not because they are philosophically opposed to it or anything, it just sucks for the people on the short end of the stick, and they look elsewhere for relief.  The people on the other end of the stick, not seeing a reason to complain, come up with handy-dandy rationales to explain away the issues those who aren’t doing well, like they don’t work hard enough, or they complain too much, or are on drugs, or some such idiocy.

And thus are created social rifts that cannot be breached.  Maybe if the rich idiots tried to help rather than talk while we work in vain to meet our goals, we’d all get someplace better.  Rich people can be such pretentious assholes.  (2/26)

__________________________

Anagram:  Baseball Season/ Label As Ass Bone/ Asses Blab Alone/ Babes All Season/ No Saleable Bass/ Anal Babe Losses (2/27)

__________________________

I haven’t spoken to the people over at the place where I’m part-time working at since Wednesday.  So I am back to the full-time job search.  I am using a slightly different method this time. 

First; look at jobs I do on Careerbuilder.com. 

Second;  pick one job, apply.  After that it gives a list of similar jobs, and offers you the chance to quick apply to them. 

Third; apply to just about everything on that list.  I used to be picky, or pickier anyway.  Using this method, in the last 2 days doing this, I have applied for 68 jobs. 

What the hell, why not?

Next step is to go to craigslist and look there.  That is where I found the part-time gig after all, maybe they have something permanent for me.  After that I’m going to hit Hotjobs, and USAjobs. Then I’ll cross my fingers and hope I get a callback, and begin the search anew tomorrow.  (2/28)

Debunking Propaganda, Part I

When we risk no contradiction,
It prompts the tongue to deal in fiction.

John Gay, Fables

____________________________________

I thought today would be a good day to look at a few of the dumber lines and lies we have been asked, as Americans, to swallow.

Lie: President Obama said he would keep Unemployment at 8%.  But he lied! 

Truth: He never actually said that.   Christine Romer and Jared Bernstein did, in a report that came out a two weeks before the President’s Inauguration.  Now I know that this one has been stated and restated so often, that it is most likely taken as fact by most Americans. But it is testament to the disinformation and misinformation running rampant around America right now that the words of Mr.  Bernstein and Mrs.Romer’s, which were written in 2008 and came out during the second week of 2009, would be taken as President Obama’s, as if he actually said them.

When the report was written BTW, Unemployment was at 7.2%, and they were calling for an addition of 1.3% unemployment.  The Job losses that came after the report, and before the passage of the stimulus bill, was an additional 9/10th of 1 percent, to 8.1%.

Let that roll around your head.  Before the Stimulus bill was even passed.  And the report itself had this disclaimer “There is the more fundamental uncertainty that comes with any estimate of the effects of a program. Our estimates of economic relationships and rules of thumb are derived from historical experience and so will not apply exactly in any given episode.”

And while the estimates were, not surprisingly, off by a fair bit, the truth of the statement that Obama said 8% can simply not be proven.

Because he never said it.  His people wrote about it, BEFORE he came to power, but they are not his words.

___________________________________ 

Viddy of the day: Assessment the economic impact of the Recovery act, with Christina Romer and Vice President Biden.  This is a long one, at over 33 minutes, so grab a drink and some munchies before you watch this.

___________________________________

Wednesday’s link-o-rama:

New Program to help homeowners avoid Foreclosure 

Companies pile up cash but remain hesitant to add jobs  (those America hating assholes, making a bad situation worse)

White House: Stimulus funded 3 million jobs

Allen: BP to proceed with Gulf well’s integrity test

Toyota concedes 2 flaws caused sudden acceleration (buy American, dammit)

___________________________________

Nothing is so firmly believed as that which we least know.

Michel De Montaigne

___________________________________

Lie:  The Stimulus bill hasn’t worked.   Truth: According to the numbers, the Stimulus package has funded some 682,370 jobs, for the first quarter, the last quarter reported by recovery.gov.  That quarter was  from January 1st to March 31st of this year.

You’ve heard this one before. Obamanomics isn’t working. The Stimulus isn’t doing anything.  

OK, you see no effect, let me toss a few numbers at you, before I show you the effect.

The numbers, released by the White house today, put the amount of jobs created in total by the stimulus at 3.6 million jobs.  It will create tens of thousands more jobs in the future, far beyond the initial help of the stimulus.  In Holland Michigan, for example, the stim is expected to create 10,000 jobs in a town of 23,000 over the next ten years.  The Job market is currently depressed, but will soon see expansion.

Companies all over my hometown, Staten Island, New York, are reaping benefits. From the stim money that is paying for the work on the Staten Island ferry, to paying to help victims of crime with everything from shelter to legal advocacy, to various infrastructure projects and funding 2 clinics that bring health care to very under-served portions of the Island, the effect here has been both far reaching and positive. 

I want you to imagine how much worse off the country would be with 3.6 million more people out of work, and how many lives would be even more negatively impacted than they are now without the stimulus money.  Jobs have been saved. We would be looking at 14% unemployment by some estimates without the stimulus, what would that make the underemployment number without it? Care to venture a guess?  This is only a guess, but if the underemployed number now is around 18%, one can safely assume it may well have been at 22 or 23% without.

The stimulus is a great many things, and the best thing it does is it works.  Despite the negative effects of 30 years of mismanagement by conservative or conservative inspired laissez-faire fiscal leadership on a great many levels in this country for a great many years, the stimulus is helping America get out of the hole that they dug for us for all those years.

_________________________________

More like this tomorrow, Go to sleep America.

Crash Into Me

Remember this— that there is a proper dignity and proportion to be observed in the performance of every act of life.

Marcus Aurelius : Meditations

__________________________________________

Just a quick blurb about the ferry crash that happened this morning. 

Ouch. 

The accident happened on the same boat, The Andrew J. Barberi, that crashed into the pier near the ferry a few years ago, killing 11 people.  A fair amount of damage to the boat, 3 dozen people hurt, several seriously.  According to what I’ve heard it was a mechanical failure that did in the boat and caused the crash.  I kinda giggled though when listening to and reading some of the coverage.  SILIVE with it’s “Boat hit dock real hard” headline had a, pardon the expression, a boatload of people guffawing at how dumb that particular headline looked, just a bit like it was written by a seven year old, or the people on TV mentioning that  “you can see new york from there” among other hilarious statements.  Giggly funny stuff for a dead serious event.

Won’t affect tomorrows commute, but Monday morning might be affected.  I usually catch the Barberi in the morning.  One presumes not this Monday or a great many to come. 

________________________________________

Viddy of the day:  A simple camera shot from a helicopter above the Staten Island ferry, courtesy of the daily news, showing the Barberi in dock from this morning.  You can see that it’s wedged in far too deep into the dock just by looking at it.

_______________________________________

Saturday’s links of the day:

Staten Island ferry crash injures dozens aboard

Nearly 50 hurt when Staten Island ferry crashes into docking pier

A new setback in attempt to contain the gulf oil spill

Tea party movement ousts Se. Bob Bennett in Utah

U.S. Flag recalled after causing 143 million deaths  🙂

_________________________________________

Bob Bennett is a conservative.  He is pro gun rights.  He is for tighter immigration control.  He is strongly anti-abortion. He is anti-affirmative action.  He is about as conservative as you can get.  That matters not a tinkers damn to the tea party patriots, who today in a move that showed just how much power they have, in republican controlled Utah at the very least, kicked Sen. Bennett to the curb for not being conservative enough.  The hate for Bob began when he voted for TARP, and didn’t abate even though he has voted for all things Republican and conservative besides TARP, and has followed the party line, and done all he could for his constituents for the past 18 years.

I cannot say that I am the biggest fan of Bob.  I am a liberal, he is a conservative, we don’t see eye to eye on a lot of subjects.  But you have to feel for the guy when he has done all that he could for everyone in a way that has worked for many years, and have one vote bite him in the ass.

Won’t say I’ll miss him, cause I won’t, but people do need to be careful who they vote for.  I urge all Utah voters to look hard into the background of the other candidates, just to make sure they are the people they really want in the senate. 

_________________________________________

To finish things off, The pic and quote of the day.

What counts is not what sounds plausible, not what we would like to believe, not what one or two witnesses claim, but only what is supported by hard evidence rigorously and skeptically examined. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.

Carl Sagan

That’s it from here.  G’night America!

LET’S GO YANKEES!

Getting Ready

What’s up everyone! Welcome to rhinoland, I’m here just relaxing prior to my first day of honest to bob gainful employment in a dogs age, and I gotta tell ya, it feels good.  I’m a little antsy about it, but more because I have no real idea what I am walking into.  I will be flying almost completely blind on a job, without some kind of idea of what precisely the job entails.  Even my very first job I had something of an idea of what I was going to be doing.  

Well, I am lying just a bit. I do know something about it, I’ll be handling stuff (which could mean a number of things), maintenance work, kind of, sort of,  but from what little I know there seems to be a LOT of work on top of that.  We’ll see what happens tomorrow.  I’m going over in my head what I am going to do in the morning,the stuff I can control, ya know, how I am going to set up my morning routine. It won’t be too difficult, I just haven’t had one in such a long time, it’ll probably feel odd. 

It kinda feels odd now.  I’m not sure I remember ever feeling antsy about going to a new job before… maybe it’s just because it’s been so long since I’ve gone to a job where I am wondering exactly what’s gonna happen.  I am hoping for the best here. Wish me luck! 

__________________________________________________ 

And part of that antsy feel may have to do with all the extra energy I have because I haven’t run or worked out in two days.  I went to the park where I run today, just to see how it was.  I’ll tell you about the park in a minute, first an update on Staten Island itself. 

After yesterday’s wind and rainstorm, which dumped around 4 inches of rain on the area and whipped up winds at over 70 MPH yesterday, I wanted to see what the damage was like.  The damage in the neighborhood was bad, there is not one block, one single area that didn’t have at least one tree down, or leaning on power lines, creating a hazard for the locals.  At this point (9pm march 14th) there are some 600 separate outages, affecting over 17,000 people.  You can look at how Con Ed is fairing trying to get things back up and running here. 

A few of these lights are out tonight...

 

A quick FYI here. Courtesy of the national weather service, It’s FLOOD SAFETY AWARENESS WEEK.  They don’t need to talk to anyone from Staten Island.  We are pretty zarking aware of Flood safety, we almost all floated the hell away this weekend. 

Con Edison is saying that they are working on the situation, and are getting to it as fast as they can, but some people in the city and Westchester may not have power until the end of the week.  Con Ed currently has 210 crews working the Island, and that number will increase to 350 by tomorrow, according to the SILIVE report.  I and my wife never lost power here, but we really should consider ourselves lucky.  There was one tree leaning on wires down the street and a tree down that took out power to some people who live on the next block, and there are no less than 7 recorded power outages still in progress within a 10 minute walk from my front door.  

To the park.  I have to state it simply.  The park looks broken. I stopped counting the broken and mangled trees when I got to 20. Paths are blocked, and not by small trees either. There was one tree laying broken on the path, trunk split in two that on its side was taller than I am , the roots and dirt that were ripped out of the ground when this tree fell stuck a good 12 – 15 feet in the air, and the tree must have been 100 feet tall before it fell.  It was immense.  And there were others like it all over the park.  The ground was too saturated with moisture, the wind was too strong, and a lot of the older larger trees just fell because of their weight, wind and water.   

It was a mess.  

I do NOT envy the parks department personnel who have to clean this mess up.  The much more urgent need is to fix all the damage done by the trees that fell in residential areas and getting power restored.  Good luck to those Con Ed guys, They’re gonna need it. 

__________________________________________________ 

A random viddy, because I couldn’t find anything storm related worth watching, some quotes, and I am done.  Leo Laporte at a diggnation event in Austin, Texas, crowd surfing. 

Time to go do things, gotta be ready for work tomorrow.  See y’all later! 

Today’s nuggets, Via wikiquote:  Job: A state of employment everyone wants but few look forward to on a Monday morning.  Rick Bayan 

Work that is pure toil, done solely for the sake of the money it earns, is also sheer drudgery because it is stultifying rather than self improving.  Mortimer Adler 

Being busy does not always mean real work. The object of all work is production or accomplishment and to either of these ends there must be forethought, system, planning, intelligence, and honest purpose, as well as perspiration. Seeming to do is not doing.  Thomas A. Edison

Working On It

For those of you who read this space for political commentary, you’ve probably been somewhat disappointed the last few days.  There is a reason I’ve been kind of short on politics, and it really is simple.  I’ve been focused a bit more on my running,  on playing my guitar a bit more, but mostly a greater and sharper focus on getting a job.  Not that I wasn’t focused before, but I have had no luck lately, so I changed things up a bit.  Seems to have worked, at least a little bit. I had an interview last week! And I spoke to the people there and apparently they may actually like me. Now it is only a temp job, and may only go 6 months, but there is a chance that it may go permanent.

I am running the risk of actually being employed sometime in the near future!  I don’t want to sound too happy about it prematurely,  because I’ve been happy before in this job search and gotten shot down, so I’m gonna keep a very even keel here. 

I’ll be talking to them on Tuesday.  Wish me luck!

Now, it’s time to get back to the politics.

______________________________________________

I like my President. I like this health care bill.  I want to see it signed into law.  

The President has asked, as you can see in the viddy above, for a vote on health care reform, a straight up and down vote, and soon. Another deadline, but a doable one this time it seems, has been put out there.   To hear Republicans tell it, the end of the world is near.   My favorite quote has to be Orrin Hatch saying that  “You cannot ignore the fact we’re talking about, the first time in history, sweeping social legislation will be passed.” Because we clearly as a nation have NEVER passed sweeping social legislation before.

Either he’s speaking in code to somebody or he’s an idiot.  Neither possibility can be counted out. 

Now I like Orrin, and Republicans really aren’t bad people, they’re just…. slow as far as economics are concerned.  They believe in the laffer curve, supply side economics and cutting taxes without cutting programs.  That last one has been a hallmark of theirs for years, and was the main way the government did things while President Obama’s predecessor was in office. 

This bill more than pays for itself, and pares down the deficit, which is why the Republicans are so keen to kill it.  The Republicans don’t want to be shown for the economic idiots that they are.  They can’t control the economic message if the President up and proves them wrong by showing them how it’s done WITHOUT raising taxes, now can they?

So if the Republicans don’t want to help, so be it.  The Democrats will go it alone, and, like adults, take whatever praise, or damnation that goes along with standing on their own two feet without the crutch that is the Republican party.

_____________________________________________

A quick aside:

I went to the Staten Island St. Patrick’s day parade today.  Twas nice.  Basically stood in one place and watched the world pass me by, to be honest.  Wasn’t very social.  Should have been, but I wasn’t. My apologies to anyone who feels slighted by that.  Nothing personal.

A fair number of politics figures showed up there.  Mayor Bloomberg was there.  My younger brother and I called him as asshole, and got stared at by a few cops for it.  I, for one, smiled at them.  Let’em do something we said, we have free speech here.  Fcuk’em. 

Saw Sen. Schumer, who said something like America needs more Irish people.  I believe my response was “LET’S GO YANKEES”, because I’m odd like that. Plus I know he’s a Yankee fan.  He’s cool in my book.  Saw Reps. Mike McMahon and Anthony Weiner there. They were cool. 

Tea Party Patriots showed up as well.  A few hundred.  Twas nice.  They are silly.  They got some lukewarm support from the crowd, the most support I saw was from my younger brother, the same one who thought bloomberg was an asshole.  He says they’re independent.  I called bullshit on him. 

Twas fun, and a good time was had by all.  More happened, but nothing earth shattering, nothing that need be mentioned here.

______________________________________________

Back to politics for a minute, with a political ad.

This issue is next up after health care, and it should be fun.  THIS is where we will see if the Republicans really are the party of no.  Reigning in abuses on wall street by passing regulation is a highly popular view in these United States.  Now normally, the Republicans have been the laissez-faire party, the people who want to just let business take care of itself how it wants to.  They’ve been there for ages, it’s a basic part of the party’s economic platform.  But with anti-wall street fervor still gripping much of America (just ask them), it would be hard for them to sit back and ride the old platform the way they always have. 

One presumes that the Republicans will come up with a plan that regulates wall street, but not nearly as much as the Democratic plan, so that they can be seen as trying to do something, while decrying the Democrats as anti-business demagogues.

________________________________________________

That’s it from here.  Later!

Today’s nuggets, via wikiquote:  As a people, we have become obsessed with Health. There is something fundamentally, radically unhealthy about all this. We do not seem to be seeking more exuberance in living as much as staving off failure, putting off dying. We have lost all confidence in the human body.  Lewis Thomas

The best six doctors anywhere
And no one can deny it
Are sunshine, water, rest, and air
Exercise and diet.
These six will gladly you attend
If only you are willing
Your mind they’ll ease
Your will they’ll mend
And charge you not a shilling.

Anonymous nursery rhyme set to the tune of “Yankee Doodle”, quoted in “The Health Club” in School Life, Vol. IV (January – June 1920), p. 17