Monday, October 29, 2012

The While-We-Have-Power Edition

Good morning, fellow traffic and weather fans, and my sincerest condolences to any of you who had money on the New York Jets. It's a beautiful day here on Long Island, with sustained winds of 30 to 40 mph and skies as black as Obama's heart. The forecast is for heavy rain starting late this afternoon, with gale force winds gusting to 70 mph and the usual bevy of uprooted trees and downed power lines. Traffic on the Island's major arteries is expected to be light, but given the insanity prevalent among Long Island drivers, one never really knows. Needless to say, Beth and I are staying home.

Rufus the Newfus severely disapproves of strong winds. He's now been out-and-in six times since 4:00 AM, and has become increasingly indignant with each sampling of the conditions. The weather, he maintains, is our responsibility, and he's waiting to see some definite action on the matter.

Anyway, I'll be droning on at the keyboard for as long as the power and Internet connections hold up. Updates at the bottom.

Once in a great while, one will be privileged to see a reporter commit a blatant act of actual journalism at great risk to his future in the trade:

Kyle Clark has demonstrated more reportorial courage in that one seven-minute interview than has the whole staff of the New York Times over the past four years. Barack Hussein Obama demonstrated his trademarked technique for "running out the clock" without actually answering the question asked. It suggests first, that Clark had better watch his back, and second, that we need more reporters willing to interrupt a politician when he starts to drone irrelevancies in the hope of deflecting an unpleasant question.

If you've been following the comments to this post, no doubt you've been entertaining two questions of your own:

  • Why can't I find something more constructive or entertaining to do?
  • What's with all this conspiratorialist jazz?

I can't help you with the first of those questions. The second...well, maybe I can't help you with that one, either. What I know about the Benghazi atrocity is no better than second-hand, so I can't claim any special insight into the events there. Concerning whatever degree of Washington villainy might have been involved, all I can say is that even the mildest conjectures about the matter reflect so poorly upon the Obama Administration that the entire lot of them should be put out on the street at once. Should the more shocking thesis advanced by my commenters -- that Ambassador Stevens was deliberately left exposed to lethal hazard by the Administration, for one reason or another -- turn out to be true, it constitutes murder by inaction.

In all probability, no official penalty will ever be imposed on anyone in the chain of responsibility. However, that doesn't mean there will be no unofficial penalty. Consider: Bill Clinton, whose misbehavior in the Oval Office was considered unprecedented at the time, nevertheless demands -- and receives -- hefty bucks for contracted appearances and "lectures." Given the degree of popular outrage at Barack Hussein Obama for what was at the very best an unacceptable display of spineless unconcern for the lives of Americans, what sort of future in the public eye should he enjoy?

We didn't inflict an adequate degree of disgrace upon Jimmy Carter after he left office. We've paid for it ever since as he's meddled in things far beyond his station. Neither did we properly ostracize Bill Clinton for his conduct. Let's get it right this time.

Here's another bit of opinion on the failings, not merely of the Administration but of the media as well:

Pat Caddell, a longtime Democrat who worked for the McGovern for President campaign, has expressed what any decent American should feel over the atrocity -- in particular, what we should all feel about the media's flaccidity over the affair. Whether expressions of outrage such as his will wake the Mainstream Media up to its responsibilities remains to be seen.

I'm pumping out this drivel because:

  • I can't sleep;
  • I can't make any headway on either of my novels-in-progress.

Next question.

From Joseph Curl at the Washington Times comes this pungent observation:

The main lesson from Watergate (after the no-brainer that you should never hire a guy named “Tricky Dick”) was this: The Cover-Up Is Worse Than The Crime. For some reason, Professor Obama seems not to know this crucial lesson. Or he’s just arrogant enough to say, “Well, that doesn’t apply to someone as brilliant as moi.”

My question: Did Obama's teachers and mentors persuade him that he's incomparably brilliant, or is his arrogance about his supposed intellectual gifts innate?

Sometimes our blessings come unusually well disguised.

This past Friday, I took a slowly leaking tire to my neighborhood tire shop, and learned something I hadn't known: A car with four wheel drive should always have identical tires on its front and rear axles. Mixing brands or tread depths endangers the transfer case and transmission, the repair of which can run to several thousand dollars. In consequence, I purchased two new tires for my front axle, and went home feeling relieved.

Well, this morning I was back at the tire shop, because the driver's-side front tire -- one of the two new ones -- was leaking even more swiftly than the one it replaced. The problem, of course, was the rim, which was cracked along the inside surface. In all likelihood, the previous tire was perfectly sound. By conventional logic, I didn't really "need" a new tire at all.

All the same, that cracked rim alerted me, through the information I received from the tire shop, to a potentially very expensive hazard about which I would not have known otherwise. Despite the cost, I feel that I should be grateful.

It's 2:30 PM Eastern, and the full force of the storm appears to have arrived: winds from the northeast at a sustained 50 mph, with gusts around 60 mph, and driving rain. So far, the power's holding, and I've only heard one warble from the local fire department’s sirens. According to Fox News, the Connecticut coast is seeing surges up to 11 feet. The most fear centers on the five boroughs of New York City, especially the southern tip of Manhattan Island.

Mayor Bloomberg ordered the most vulnnerable areas to be evacuated, but even if there are zero deaths or injuries from the storm -- an outcome profoundly to be hoped -- there's a possibility that Manhattan's infrastructure will be severely damaged, including both its transit system and the dense network of Internet arteries that run through the island. Some of the world's fastest and busiest routers are in the danger zone. Internet routers do their best to find a way around blockages and damage, but Long Island is an "Internet peninsula:" we depend on Manhattan for access to the rest of the world. We found out how bottlenecked we are on September 11, 2001.

Too much of the nation's commerce and communications depends on the Net. Let's hope it's sturdier in the face of Sandy's battering than it was before the nonexistent mercies of Osama bin Laden.

3:40 PM: It looks like we're about to lose power. Pray for us.


Anonymous said...

God bless you Francis during this storm. You and yours will be in my prayers. E. Burleson, Texas

rickl said...

I'm in the northern Philly suburbs, and it's been raining lightly but steadily all day. The wind has been gradually increasing. I don't have a wind gauge, but I think I just got a 40-50 mph gust a few minutes ago.

I'm well inland and 300' above sea level. But the center of the storm looks like it will pass very close to me, and I've heard reports of winds up to 90 mph near the center. My house was built in 1956 and I don't think it's ever been tested like this.

Good luck, Francis.