Monday, September 26, 2011

A little of this, a little of that..

It occurs to me that I've been talking to myself lately. About what one may inquire? Well, about my astonishment that people I gave credit to for being tolerant, aren't. And not just intolerant, ignorant. It is upsetting and depressing.

I've said many times that I'm a true centrist. Because it is so important for folks to have labels, let me be clear about this. I evaluate issues independently. I base my judgements on my own thought processes and experience. If I can't figure something out, I wait until I can. Though it is occasionally difficult, I try and not judge others on their opinions alone.

Right now, I'd describe myself as a fiscal conservative, maybe even a Regan conservative fiscally, though I never voted for him, and a supporter of capitalism as the most resilient of the economic approaches. I've finally figured out that I lean toward social libertarianism, very different than being socially liberal mind you, except in two aspects, drugs and smoking. (I didn't say I was perfect, did I?) So that's the broad side. I can pick my way through discrete topics and can find myself on one side or another with perfect comfort and can accept that others will disagree without losing sleep over it.

What has me losing sleep is this: two people whom I know to be "good people" have begun to take to name calling. One is calling all Christians idiots because they disagree with him. I'm a Christian, I have a libertarian point of view when it comes to his pet cause, and it is opposed to his. As a libertarian, I feel that the citizens of his state have a right to self-govern. Some day they may change their minds, and in fact, probably will. But until then....suck it up. I am appalled that he finds it OK to publicly denigrate 85% of the country because he's having a snit.

The other attaches herself to every liberal nut that comes along. I already know this about her and like her anyway. She has contributed to the likes of Howard Dean, John Edwards, and is now posting the Elizabeth Warren rant on her FB page. The fact that the rant simply solidifies the notion that tenured faculty are not all they're cracked up to be (and some are, in fact, cracked), doesn't phase her. For a brief moment I toyed with the idea of shooting this nuttiness down publicly, but good manners held me back. Then I thought about maybe just sending an email privately, but I let the notion pass. It is too late. I understand how easy it is for someone surrounded by like thinking individuals to just grasp this stuff. Opinions are fine, but how about backing it up.

These two people live in the same state, and I'm beginning to think, instead of floride, they are putting intolerance in the water.By contrast, I live in a world where I must evaluate and support most everything I think. As one might expect I am rather an outlier.  I must find the path that allows me to be true to myself, yet support others to be true to themselves too. Tolerance is everything. But apparently I'm an outlier in that respect too. Seems to be what I'm talking to myself most about.

As an antidote, my blankie....still in progress.......knitting the "connectors" between squares now.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The synopsis, and a burning question.

Flooding, the quick synopsis:

 Mother and extended family are fine. The levees held even in spots that were of concern. Turns out this was the ultimate test, and now they can "fix" the spots that were causing trouble. The crest ultimately was ABOVE the crest in 1972, as well as the "public" figure for the current levee system (41') at 42.66'. Apparently, the Army Corps of Engineers gave them a little "wiggle room" to 43' and that turned out to be the thing that saved the two towns (Wilkes Barre and Kingston).

I just spoke to my mom today, and things still aren't good however. River Street, one street below Main, where she lives, was inundated (outside the levee system) and remains closed. Thus all the traffic destined for Rt 81 is rerouted to Main Street . It makes it nearly impossible to get out of the driveway (if you're an 81 year old nervous driver).  The water system is intact, and she didn't lose power. There are still three bridges closed, pending inspections. Market Street was opened this morning . Two in Pittston, and one that adjoins the county courthouse in Wilkes Barre remain closed.

Now the next new fight is going to start. When they reconstructed this levee system in the 10 years following Agnes, there were arguments about the height, and also about what would happen in the towns up and down river when the water was held out of Kingston and Wilkes Barre. Now we know. Folks that had water in their basements in 1972 had four or more feet on their first floors. Both up river, Pittston and West Pittston, and down, Bloomsburg, Shickshinny etc. Have no idea how they'll deal with this. I really feel for these folks.

But even so, the devastation is nothing like I remember from 39 (!) years ago. More dispersed, though.

So now, in the space of three weeks we've had a hurricane, earthquake and flooding. We're ready! Bring on the locusts. ( Re: the earthquake. The most interesting thing I noticed was that I became motion sick as the floor shook and the window glass waved. That was disconcerting.)

Finally...somebody please explain to me what are "they" thinking?????!!!!!!!

Attack Watch(!!!)

Please note the Twitter hash tag......#attackwatch!

Thursday, September 08, 2011


Have another post in draft, but must suspend operation until this is resolved


My mom is above the flood plain, but I'm having Hurricane Agnes flashbacks (I was 15), and we're hoping the levees hold and the bridge barriers are enough. I don't know what we're going to do if the crest is higher than the levees (41 feet) and she is without electricity and water for any length of time. I've got 100 miles of low lying roads along the Susquehanna to traverse to get there.