Sunday, September 25, 2005


Saturday Six - Episode #76 & observations of a dying phreakazoid...

Get a copy of the questions and leave a link to your answers at Patrick's Place, home of the unofficial Official Mouthpiece of the VIVI Awards.
  1. Of the following, which one best describes you at your worst? (You can't select "None of the above!")
    a. One who doesn't finish what he/she starts
    b. One who talks the talk but doesn't walk the walk
    c. One who always finds the worst in a situation (see below the fold)
    d. One who generally knows what's right but does what's wrong

    2. Not counting shows like Saturday morning cartoons designed specifically for kids, what single show that you grew up watching religiously is now the one you most hate to sit through?
    I Love Lucy – it's sooo grating.
    3. Have you ever been so angry with a company that you swore you'd never do business with them again? If so, did you keep that promise?
    Yep, and so far I'm still not doing business with the local auto parts store that quited me one price and then claimed that was the jobber's price and I would have to pay full retail – about 150% more. Asswipes.
    4. Take this quiz: Are you psychic? No, despite it's claim that I am 70% ... I am a pre-cog and have trained observation skills, is all.

    5. READER'S CHOICE QUESTION #68 from Lily: What's the longest you've talked on the phone in a single phone call, and who were you talking to? I keep saying you're nosy, Patrick and you keep proving me right. Even though the question is attributed to someone else, YOU put it on the quiz. Four and a half hours. Someone who's pants I wanted into desperately. Yes, I married her.

    6. READER'S CHOICE QUESTION #69 from Betty: (She recently returned from a trip to Las Vegas!) How do you feel about gambling?
    I can take it or leave it. I get no thrill and in general have an aversion to risking money. My brother, now deceased, was addicted to gambling. He'd bet on anything and everything. It ultimately cost him a relationship with me and possibly his life. Now, that's shameful to gamble those away. On the other hand, I have gambled my life in many dicey situations and am not so egotistical as to believe that they were probably the stupidest things I could have done.

      Have a nice Sunday and an even better week. It is time to kick your giving up another notch for the victims of Hurricane Katrina and now Rita. Sucks to be in southeastern Louisiana right about now. My daughter informs me they still have no meat, peanut butter or milk and eggs in the grocery stores in Baton Rouge. Most gas stations are still out or rationing it at $10 a visit. That's 50 miles (crow's flight) from New Orleans in the capital and (now) largest city in Louisiana. Her husband, a paramedic, has just been informed there will be NO overtime pay for the three-plus weeks he has worked 12 hour shifts, 7 days on, none off. Same for police and fire. School has been out all this time as they are being used to house evacuees and/or power has yet to be restored. There are next to no clean up supplies or rebuilding supplies. Cable is still out. Even in good parts of the city there are strangers, evacuees, camping in public parks and playgrounds, so you can't let the kids go to there to play, even if with you. Imagine how well YOU would do with young children under those situations. It's a wonder she hasn't started to kill small animals. And snakes. Lots of snakes are reemerging from wherever they hid from the worst of the weather.

      Down the peninsula, many dairy herds are totally wiped out. Farm buildings are flattened, so it is impossible to milk the kine that have survived – thus they are all drying up. Help isn't available – the farmhands evacuated and haven't returned. There are millions of feeder animals that must be disposed of. The stench is truly horrendous. There's no diesel fuel to run the farm tractors and generators. That means no pumps or fans in the 90 plus degree heat. It is very bad for the living who remain. Still.

      The failure of FEMA, the State of Louisiana and of local officials to adequately provision and plan for a Category 4 or 5 storm is criminal. And you know what? It isn't any better where you live. Where once there were plans and provision for the future there are empty warehouses and emergency goods converted to sales goods at Big Lots because there is no attempt to prepare for disasters in this country. That's too much like “socialism” or “communism” according to the neo-cons and greedy yuppies in charge. “Let the free market provide the goods and services needed in an emergency.” “We shouldn't tie up capital (money) in goods that may never be needed.”

      Being conservative does not mean ignoring the needs of people in need. Being a capitalist doesn't mean you don't plan for a rainy day. Being the richest nation on the planet doesn't mean you haven't got people in need. Being stupid, poor and lazy IS the human condition. Particularly when the temperature around you is over 85 degrees -- once relief is no longer available by shade and removal of clothing, working hard in the mid-day sun is the height of stupidity and even the stupid man knows this to be true. Particularly when there are no jobs to be had in the inner city other than crime.

      The problems of the “have-nots” in a society of “haves” aren't solvable by throwing money in the “have-nots” general direction. There really is a huge gap in ways and means in this society of ours and it is only going to get worse as the pace of technological advancement accelerates. Quite frankly, it appears to me that a growing number of people have reached the point where they no longer able to change, adapt, absorb and keep up with the rapid technological growth of the past century. They simply haven't got it in them.

      There really is a need for “No Child Left Behind.” It just isn't going to work in the hands of the “faith-based.” At the current rate of change, the slightest hiccup in a child's environment and they are condemned to a life of rapidly falling behind the curve. Combine that with pre-existing ignorance and apathy, the ascendancy of the Superstitious Right (fundamentalist christianity) and you have a recipe for the collapse of the nation's economy, permanently. There is no turning the clock back 50 years. It will be a rapid decline into the worst of times.

      America doesn't work anymore. What's worse, there are many who don't care. Too self-absorbed to see the tiger at their door, they will be the first screaming about “rights” and “doing something” and they will be the biggest hurdle to reversing the trend, because they refuse to see the problem is them. You. Me.

      Really. When was the last time you exercised your brain cells in the pursuit of benefits for your community? Your region? Mankind? Anything other than self and family?

      I thought so. Me, too.

      I don't have a cure-all. There are no fast, easy or cheap cures. Real life doesn't work that way. But it doesn't work that way for reasons. Are you aware of why things are the way they are? Ever study economics for even a moment?

      It is a sad situation we are about to turn over to our children and their children. My generation was so self-absorbed, even the goody two-shoes, god-fearing straight ones, that we have sown the seeds of ruin of this once fine country. The fruits are now being harvested and they are bitter, indeed. For my part in this debacle, I am sorry. To my grandchildren and great-grand children, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa. I have no solutions for these problems – only the observations of a dying phreakazoid. That morbidity may take another 30 years is immaterial. I don't believe that a chance in hell exists to turn this around. The seeds were sown during the World Wars and Great depression. It has gone on too long, deteriorated too far. And for that, I am truly sorry.

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