Hurricane Fedzilla

Journalists are fond of castigating politicians for all sorts of grammatical and geographic bungles.  But throughout the coverage of Hurricane Irene in New Jersey, the journalists have bombed the geography test.  Among other goofs, they reported that:

 The collapse of Rt. 287 Northbound was in Parsippany.  It’s in Boonton.

  • The collapse of Rt. 23 occurred in Pompton Lakes.  The road was stripped away in Pompton Plains.
  • A photo caption of a shopping mall on Rt. 23 stated it was in Riverdale; it’s in Pompton Plains, where the highway collapsed.
  • Then yesterday, at a conference in Wayne, Gov. Christie spoke about a house blowing up Wayne; the house was in Pompton Lakes.

The newspapers really need to start paying their reporters more money.  The average salary is $35,000 a year.  Young journalists might also want to start studying maps of the areas they’re assigned to cover.  News12 NJ has been doing the best job; their meteorologist only missed one of the tributary rivers into the Pompton River, which begins in Riverdale – the Wanaque.  An A-minus for NJ 12’s weather dude.

Some citizen had the temerity to ask Gov. Christie a question, to which he replied, “I only talk to reporters.”  Evidently.  There he was patting the back of the despicable Congressman Pascrell.  Wouldn’t it be nice if the reporters talked to someone besides politicians about the building of the Pompton Dam.  Gov. Christie blamed the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.  He should have spoken to the guy whose back he was patting in bipartisan solidarity, evidently as a sneer at Tea Partiers and Town Hallers.  A note to Tea Partiers:  he’s never been our friend and has never said that he’s a Conservative, for all his sometimes humorous plain speaking.  Yesterday, he resorted to outright, decidedly unfunny insults, particularly towards some hapless reporter named “Lisa.”

To anyone who understands New Jersey’s shore, rivers, and roads, ordering the evacuation was the right thing to do.  Anyone who’s ever been stuck on the Garden State Parkway – a limited access road beyond the Cape May border, northward – knows just how bad the traffic can be.  Although the original forecasts turned out to be wrong, forecasters had the eye of the hurricane roaring right up the Garden State Parkway.

The storm shifted eastward towards the coastline, but only at the last minute.  The authorities couldn’t take the chance, with a forecast like that, that maybe the storm would shift and not sweep the traffic jam of cars right off the highway.  Don’t think that because some clowns were laughing and dancing around on the beaches that everything was beachy.  Take a look at Wildwood365’s Facebook pages.  The boardwalk in Point Pleasant upon which the clowns were dancing one day, were torn apart the next.

Some of those surfers, or surfers like them, that you saw on television out in the waves died.  We were lucky the storm shifted track towards the shoreline beaches and barrier islands, rather than farther inland, where permanent homeowners live.

As for the lack of wind – well excuse us.  The pundits and critics are making up for it.  The politicians may be overhyping the flooding.  This is neither the first nor the last time the mighty Passaic will overflow its banks.  It overflowed in 1968, 1984, 1999, just a few years ago, and this spring.  This isn’t global warming.  This is the glacier that cut its way through northern New Jersey some ten thousand years ago, leaving myriad lakes of melted glacier water, and rivers to drain them off when they became too full.

If journalists do want to find a scapegoat, start investing the real reasons for the creation of the Pompton Dam.  Follow the money trail.  Find out who would benefit by preventing flooding in Oakland along the Ramapo River.  Find out who would benefit by assisting such people involved.

Geographically challenged?  Follow the Hamburg Turnpike to the Pompton Dam.  Turn onto Route 202.  The sign says Terhune Drive.  Drive along Rt. 202 (you’re in Wayne at that point) and go as far as Doty Road.  Just the past the lake on the left (Pompton Lake) is the border between Pompton Lakes, Wayne and Oakland.  It’s that land in Oakland that was in dispute.  That’s the land, according to the locals, that the dam was built to protect.  Not the properties below the dam, the properties above. 

Since all 85 to 90 percent of all journalists are registered Democrats, and our Congressional representative is of that party, you can be sure absolutely no one is going to investigate and will happily lay the blame at the feet of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.  Anyone who does investigate is sure to come back with a report that is politically correct and favorable.  The Media will blame its meteorological faction.  The politicians will blame the engineers.  Democrat voters will happily accept federal money for throwing away everything in sight.

Then the flooding will continue.  Our friends in southern Pompton Lakes, going through their third or fourth flood in almost as many years, meanwhile, really are devastated.  “Sick to their stomachs” to quote them exactly.  They bought the house, which had never flooded before the dam was built, from a relative.  They’d lived here most of their lives and were certain of the area’s history when they bought the house (prior to the building of Pompton Dam) from her. 

The house was no sooner fixed from one flood than another flood came along.  The family only just recently returned to the house earlier this spring or summer, when Hurricane Irene came along.  In the meantime, our company was downsizing and they were about to sell the house and relocate to another area.  They couldn’t wait, they had said, just a week or so prior to the storm.

Not only is this mess devastating to all the flood victims, but billions of our taxpayer dollars are bailing out this political mess.  No blame to the neighbors in Pompton Lakes who bought safe homes.  This is Hurricane Fedzilla’s fault.  Like the red spot on Jupiter, it’s permanent and self-perpetuating.

For distraught homeowner, no doubt it’s so comforting, seeing Gov. Christie and Congressman Pascrell sympathizing with them.  For those of us who know the truth, it’s infuriating.  The governor and the Congressman talk tough.  They are tough, among other things.  But we northern New Jerseyans are tougher.  Whether they like it or not.

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Published in: on August 31, 2011 at 10:30 am  Leave a Comment  

New Jersey Crude

 Tomorrow, our mother celebrates the 50th anniversary of living in her house in New Jersey. The anniversary comes at a time when New York radio host and attorney Mark Levin is on a crusade against New Jersey Governor Chris Christie for conduct unbecoming a governor. Like the trailing winds of Hurricane Irene as she departed the metropolitan New York-New Jersey area, Mark is lashing out at the portly governor for his rude and crude orders to New Jerseyans to get off the beach before the storm.

The governor’s manner of speaking is perfectly all right by most New Jerseyans. However, he’s a little hard on the ears of out-of-staters and transplanted New Yorkers who are accustomed to such language (except when driving on the LIE or the Cross Bronx). If Mark has ever been east of the West Side, if he’s ever been over the East River, he has to know that the language is much worse there. The Bronx and Brooklyn are where New Jerseyans learned to talk. My parents were from the Bronx. My brother’s ex-in-laws were from Brooklyn and Queens. Then there was my grandfather, a seaman whose language was as blue as the seas upon which he sailed.

Who are we kidding, here? New York is the cradle of Jersey Crude. My parents moved north to Westchester for awhile. Living amongst wealthier relatives and neighbors, they gladly adopted the more genteel culture. But the Bronx was still in their blood. In our bedtime Bible tales, God spoke with a Bronx accent and attitude.

“Hey, Noah! Where’s my ark?!”

Once the George Washington Bridge was completed, New Yorkers who once only came (by ferry) to New Jersey for riverside vacations (!), came to live here permanently, building suburbs upon suburbs. My grandparents took up residence in a former cottage on the banks of the mighty Passaic River. Good thing Grandpa was a seaman.

My parents, eyeing the landscape and all the rivers warily, chose one of the New Jersey hills for our home. Mudslides instead of floods. They came to New Jersey to escape New York City and Westchester’s high taxes (by way of California). Only, New York City moved right in with them, including a neighborhood filled with former residents of New York’s infamous Hell’s Kitchen. The Hole in the Woods Gang.

The natives didn’t know what to make of the newcomers up on the hill. They weren’t happy we were here. But they had their own peculiar brand of roughness. One friend told us that as early as just before World War II, the locals had hillbilly feuds, where they’d shoot across the river at one another.

Hee-haw! Welcome to the suburbs!

The natives began moving farther west as New Yorkers encroached upon their territory. You can still find their remnants in western New Jersey. The second, third, and fourth generations went somewhat native, but we’re all more urban than rural. Mark can criticize the governor if he wants to. That’s his God-given, all-American, First Amendment right. However, it is interesting to note that just prior to the storm’s approach, the governor indeed told the beach bums to get off the beach. But he didn’t tell them that the government would come and get them. He told them that the government wouldn’t come and get them. If they got into trouble, they were on their own; he wasn’t going to send any law enforcement or rescue personnel out to try to save them. Good for the governor.

How many more people’s lives would be lost in the future, if our rescue personnel died trying to save some fool surfer out there in a hurricane, trying to “catch a wave”? If they want to catch a wave, go out to California, where the water is colder and so, the waves are higher. Our rescue personnel are more important than some darned fools running around in a hurricane.

Legally, the governor did what he had to do to cover the state’s assets from a lawsuit by these fools, or their families. He made it very clear what the state would and wouldn’t do. He had to. No, the government shouldn’t be ordering people what to do, except in an extreme emergency. Mark Levin is a great radio host and Constitutional attorney, but he’s not a weather forecaster.

In a little state like New Jersey, even a little hurricane can cause a lot of damage and danger. It takes a pretty big governor to get through to a lot of small-minded people that putting themselves in danger doesn’t just put themselves in danger, but many other people as well. Since only a relatively small number of people died (although any death is always tragic), mostly they were blockheads who didn’t listen, not even to someone as blunt, brusque, rude, insulting, and crude as Gov. Christie.

Everyone else got the message.

Published in: on August 30, 2011 at 4:50 pm  Leave a Comment  

Post-Irene: What’s the Big Deal?

Pundits and residents of hurricane-prone Florida think people in the Northeast are a bunch of sissies, panicking over a little Category 1 hurricane like Irene.  Down there in the land of palm trees, a Cat 1 is just a little storm in comparison to the Cat 5s they’ve suffered.

The Northeast isn’t the land of palm trees; it’s the land of oak trees.  Big, heavy oak trees that can crush a car down to its axles, rip through the top story of a house, or take out the electricity for about 40,000 homes and businesses.  We also live in the land of rivers – quite a few.  New Jersey, in particular, is a working class state, not the home of tourists and retirees.  If a vacation home gets blown away in the Sunshine State, the owner calls their insurance company and then goes home.  Anyone who can afford a vacation home in Florida can afford the insurance.

Here in New Jersey, you have to live in a flood plain to even qualify for flood insurance.  Unfortunately, not everyone who qualifies can afford the insurance.  Then, too, floods don’t always cooperate.  Sometimes they flood non-flood plain areas, where there is no flood insurance.  Those homeowners are just plumb out of luck.

Then of course, there’s the problem with FEMA.   They condemn everything in sight, even items that could be salvaged.  That’s where those billion-dollar figures come from.  Wet clothes – washing won’t do.  Out they go.  Furniture – gone.  Appliances that got wet, toss ‘em (that’s understandable, but still costly).  Rugs; well, you wouldn’t want them anyway.  Ring up another cost.  Repairs to the house and property.  Ka-ching!  There’s your billions, you sun-baked sun worshippers.

Next come the cars.  Down there in Florida, the damage is mostly water.  Here, we’ve got some choices:  flood damage, tree damage, accident damage.  If your employer tells you you have to go to work, you go, unless you’re lucky to have a governor like ours who declares a state of emergency ahead of time, and say a prayer as you’re driving down the road.

The roads.  Now there’s a category of billions of dollars right there.  Route 287 Northbound in Boonton just collapsed.  Repairs are going to be at least a day-long nightmare.  Route 23 is closed from the intersection of Rt. 80 right up to the intersection with Rt. 287.  This is a highway that floods regularly.  In fact, highways throughout the state, from Cumberland County to Sussex County’s Rt. 15 are flooded.  Power is out in many places as well.  When power goes down, so do businesses.

Irene may have been a little hurricane, but it only takes a little hurricane to cause problems in a little state with a lot of people, a lot of houses, a lot of cars, a lot of heavy oak trees, a lot of roads, and a lot of streams, rivers, and dams.  We’re glad that the governors of New York and New Jersey gave the extreme warnings.  Those people you saw in Battery Park and other places behind the news reporters were a bunch of very stupid people just asking for a heavy tree limb to fall on them and crack their empty skulls.  August is the time when trees are at their heaviest, even without a hurricane or tropical storm.  Add a little more rain and a little more wind, send out the clowns, and you’ve got a walking, talking disaster on your hands. 

Before you criticize us, come and visit New Jersey.  Not just the Shore, but take a trip around the state just after a storm like this has passed through.  But bring your helicopter, because that’s the only you’re going to get anywhere.

 

 

 

Published in: on August 29, 2011 at 9:33 am  Leave a Comment  

The Pomptons

Gov. Christie is doing such a great job with his press conferences during Hurricane Irene.  What other state governor would tell his tanners, “Hey, it’s4:30 p.m.  You’re done.  Get off the beach and go home!”

His main concern in the north is theRamapoRiver.  He keeps getting his Pomptons mixed up, too, which is quite understandable.  There’s Pompton Lakes, which has all the lakes (Pompton Lake, Lower Twin Lake, Lake Inez, and some other lakes) and three major streams that all converge on the border between Pompton Lakes and Riverdale.

 The three streams combine to form the Pompton River, which technically speaking, begins in Riverdale, and heads south through Pompton Plains (it’ flat; the Indians had a settlement there, where their high school is now located) and Wayne.

PomptonLakes is where the waters meet; Pompton Plains is where the waters go.  AlthoughPomptonLakesobviously floods.  The Lincoln School is already under water, according to my neighbor, who has friends who live in that neighborhood.

We just got the evacuation order.  Our OEM tells us that the Ramapo will crest aroundmidnightand that it will be a record, a full foot above the 1984 level.  In 1984, the water was so high that it flooded the ten-foot high railroad tracks.  If they hadn’t released some of the water on Friday, that would be four feet above the record.

The governor is supposed to be flying up here to PomptonLakes(not Pompton Plains, sir; the dam is on the border of Pompton Lakes and Wayne) to inspect the area; if he can get to it.  First of all, we’re experiencing wild winds up here.  Trees are coming down; the fire department is constantly on the run up and down the town and foolish people are driving around.

As for us, the question of evacuation is matter of the lesser of two evils:  stay here, and possibly get flooded, or leave now, and get crushed in our cars by some tree.  Until Post Brook starts spilling over the sidewall of the brook (and it’s still only halfway from that point), my neighbors and I figure we’ll just stick around and listen to the governor’s press conferences.

Maybe we’ll send him tee shirts fromPomptonLakesand Pompton Plains.  XXXL.

 

Published in: on August 28, 2011 at 3:10 pm  Comments (1)  

Release the Rivers!

In a nearly unprecedented move (at least as far as anyone in northern New Jersey can remember), N.J. Gov. Christie gave the word on Friday to reduce the reservoir levels by three feet in Wanaque and Pompton Lakes, ahead of the anticipated flooding from Hurricane or Tropical Storm Irene tomorrow.

The mayors of Wayne Pequannock, Little Falls, Fairfield, and Pompton Lakes spoke with the governor on a Friday morning conference call. He cautioned the mayors that he was taking a “leap of faith” in giving the order. By decreasing the water level now, authorities hope it will decrease the chance of major flooding when the storm hits.  The Newark Star-Ledger noted that “it remains unclear if all will go according to plan, or if moving that much water before the storm will have an adverse effect on towns downstream.”

The paper quoted U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-8th Distr.) as saying, “I have no idea what will happen when we open those gates. Maybe it will work.”

Post Brook was nearly bone dry below the Lower Twin Lake Dam on Thursday evening. Once the gates were opened, it quickly traveled off, long before Hurricane Irene even made landfall in North Carolina. By now it should have found its way out to sea. There’s a good chance Irene will pick up that water and drop it right back into the Wanaque Reservoir again. But at least the water will have someplace to go. The lake and reservoirs have been held back for years at the behest of lakeside residents. The Pompton Dam was installed to protect upstream residents at the costs of hundreds of thousands of homeowners downstream from southern Pompton Lakes right on down to Fairfield, where the Pompton River joins up with the Passaic River.

“Pompton” in the Lenni Lenape Indian language means “convergence” or “meeting of the waters.” Three major rives, or streams if you like, eventually meet up in southern Pompton Lakes – the Pequannock (“the river between two hills”), the Wanaque (“rest and repose”, and the Ramapo (“sweet water”), which then form the Pompton River.  The Pompton Dam may have once protected a small number of vacation homes up above Pompton Lake, on the Ramapo River, in long ago days. Since the 1960s, however, too many people have made their homes here for politicians and bureaucrats to send their common sense on vacation while thousands of working class people are driven out of their homes.

Since the dam was built in 2007, homes have flooded that never flooded before. It’s not just Old Wayne and Beaver Brook in Pequannock (all former vacation homes), or the former cottages along the Passaic River in Fairfield and West Paterson (where my grandparents used to live) that are flooding out anymore.  Route 23 from the junctions at Route 46 and 80, north to just short of the Route 287, is regularly flooded out, and in storms with less rain than Irene is packing. The road has been known for flooding, but never on the scales it’s known since 2007. Heaven only knows how long Route 23 is going to be out of commission after Irene is finished with us.

Thanks to Gov. Christie’s courage in ordering the release of the dams, “leaping” will not be the only recourse for residents of Riverdale, Pompton Plains, Pequannock, Lincoln Park, and Wayne in trying to cross Route 23.

 

Published in: on August 27, 2011 at 4:49 pm  Leave a Comment  

The Eye of God

Mayor Bloomberg evidently doesn’t believe in the power of prayer – or God.  According to a Wall Street Journal report on Wednesday, and a follow-up report by CNN today, no clergy have been invited to the 9/11 10th Anniversary ceremony in Manhattan next month.

The clergy can commiserate with the firefighters and police officers as well as EMS responders who also are not invited to this milestone remembrance.  Plenty of politicians of all stripes will be there.  The Media will be there.  The Families will be there.  But not the brothers and sisters of the uniformed first responders who ran into those burning buildings never to return, nor those who went in themselves and somehow survived.  Certainly not the clergy, who are despised by the Media, politicians and bureaucrats, and Progressive “Family” members who believe Government is God.

They want it to be just a nice, quiet ceremony where they can hobnob in front of the cameras in peace, without the unwashed masses, the hoi polloi, trying to elbow their way in and ruin their photo opportunities with the political movers and shakers of our times.  A few non-partisan words, a few tears, then it’s off for a little brunch in a reserved room at some exclusive – and expensive (that’ll keep out the hoi polloi) – Manhattan restaurant.  Ties, if you please, gentlemen.

They feel that there’s such an unsavory quarrelsomeness over religion.  That is, after all, what brought the buildings down, so it’s only fitting that God be non-personna at this ceremony.  God is definitely on their “C” list, along with the firefighters, EMS personnel, and the general public.  Such a waste of time and energy, religion.  Government is so much more efficient.

There’s not a miracle or wrath of God that science can’t explain away.  Global changes, of course, are man-made.  The on-coming hurricane is evidence of Man’s tampering, not God’s vengeance on a city that would honor murderer Che Guavera with a statue and ban prayers at Ground Zero.  Besides, the storm has turned eastward, as they usually do.  It’s the water temperatures, not God.  Besides, He’s always said He would never do something like that.  If He’d sent Irene directly over southern New Jersey, thousands of criminals would have been endangered in New Jersey’s Burlington County, which houses – what? – 14 prisons?

That would be cutting His nose off to spite His face.  Instead, Hurricane Irene is predicted to storm her way along the coastline, where LBIers are hastily boarding up their beach houses and heading home.  Cape May is still under evacuation watch.  The Garden State Parkway and other roads’ inbound (towards the coast) lanes haven’t been reversed – yet.  New Jersey is waiting to see what Nature and God have in mind.

Someone may have said a – gasp! – prayer for all the poor hoi polloi who live on the western side of the Garden State Parkway.  They’re the working class people who service the resorts on the coast and the prisons along the southern delta.  We who pray, pray that the storm will stay out to sea.  Coastal New Jersey will still get battered pretty good – but not punished.

What Irene and God will do after that is still unknown, for all the instrumentation of science.  Right, the eye of the storm is headed for the New York City-Nassau County border.  Mayor Bloomberg should say a prayer that God didn’t read the Wall Street Journal Wednesday or CNN’s website this morning, and change His mind about sparing Manhattan the full brunt of the eye of the storm.  If He does spare the city, Bloomberg should get down on his knees and utter a prayer of thanksgiving on 9/11.

 

 

Published in: on August 26, 2011 at 10:42 am  Leave a Comment  

Gov. Christie’s Pre-Evacuation Orders

This is Gov. Christie’s pre-evacuation order for the Garden State:

  • Gov. Chris Christie: “If I order a mandatory evacuation, you’d better leave. If it turns out to be less, you should thank your lucky stars.”
Published in: on August 25, 2011 at 3:21 pm  Leave a Comment  

What’s the Worst That Could Happen?

The Metropolitan New York area survived the earthquake.  Now it must prepare itself for a possible direct hit by Hurricane Irene.  Hurricanes are another act of nature that actually hardly ever happen to New York City and points west.  The last direct hit on the city was Hurricane Gloria in 1985.  Long Island is another matter altogether.  That’s where the hurricanes this area usually gets go on vacation. 

Hurricanes like the Hamptons and the Cape.  They pass by the Jersey Shore, but apparently consider the Wildwoods, Seaside Heights, and Asbury Park too low-profile to be bothered.  They’re not even impressed by all the seaside-cottages nestled on the Jersey Shore’s secret hot-spot (don’t tell those kids from Brooklyn and the Bronx), Long Beach Island (only real Jerseyites get to call it LBI).

Evidently, the Jersey Shore has caught Irene’s “eye.”  She wants to check out Snooki and the gang, maybe get Snooki’s autograph.  Snooki is a Jersey Girl by way of New York City and Hollywood, though.  The real Jersey Girls, that I know, can’t stand her.  They think she’s a poser and that she’s giving real Jersey Girls a stupid name.

People along the Jersey Shore’s barrier islands know they can’t be insured by the regular insurance companies.  The houses in Ventnor City (just south of Atlantic City), for instance, are all within the 1,000 foot setback.  There’s really nowhere you can go that isn’t within reach of a tidal surge, even on its back bay.  Ventnor City’s homes are all Millionaire Row homes.

If these homes get damaged, though, you can be sure the Media will blame the “evil” insurance companies for putting money ahead of community partnership.  Never mind that these are all vacation homes.  Or that the residents should at least be aware that they’re building a house 200 feet from the water.

New Jerseyans have an excuse, at least.  Hurricanes have sideswiped the Garden State, but rarely come for a visit, so Snooki feels relatively safe having a home right on the boardwalk (or wherever they are).  On Long Island, though they should know better, houses are built right along the beachfront, up to the water’s edge, cheek by jowl, with ne’er a thought of what might happen if a hurricane happens.

No need to worry.  Just blame the insurance company if something goes wrong and your house is washed out to sea.  Get your community organization united and picket your local insurance company’s offices for not insuring homes on the ocean side.

Health care is really the biggie for community activists who’ve been setting up the insurance companies for years.  The Progressives taught us for years that insurance companies were just like all those other “evil” corporations; only in it for the money.  Therefore, take whatever you can get from them.  Don’t sign on for health insurance until you can’t help it.  Let your employer – another of those big, “evil” corporations – take care of your insurance.

Young people are impressed and intimidated by the notion that buying insurance, especially at an early age, will be a drain on their limited finances.  Besides, it’s all part of the game; getting someone else to pay your bills.

Had any young person taken out health or life insurance, by age 50, they would have been paying a considerably lower premium at this point, as compared to trying to take out a policy at age 50.  Premiums do rise, but they would not have risen as catastrophically as they have.

Now, unable to stay in business, most insurers are fleeing the health insurance business completely.  One of the reasons is onerous state regulations (which will become federal, and therefore, pretty much permanent, if the Optional Federal Charter goes through).  In New Jersey, the governor is the mandatory head of nearly every major health insurance company in the state.  For the time being, that governor is Chris Christie.  A health insurer can’t do business here unless the governor is at the head of the table, making sure those companies don’t “profit” off other people’s “misfortunes.”

Misfortunes such as overeating, smoking, being too liberal with the salt shaker and the butter.  Sitting in lounge chairs watching Snooki and Friends instead of getting out and playing volleyball themselves.  Walking their dog.  Playing with the kids.  Driving when they could walk.

Gee, I sound like a Liberal.  Well, I don’t mean to sound like one.  Even if people do all that normal stuff, they shouldn’t have to pay $1,000 a month for the health insurance to cover life in general.  We have become too dependent on the health insurance for every little sniffle, without preparing for it ourselves in advance.  Now everyone wants to jump on the lifeboat – some people of whom are rather heavy, and others who are bringing along all their kids, for whom they should be able to manage the expenses themselves.

We wail in surprise that the health insurers are bailing out.  We have news for you:  they’re only supposed to be helping out.  Insurance companies aren’t charities.  But we listened to the Liberals telling us how “evil” they were, how we should let our employers pay the freight, and then let the government (read:  “taxpayers”) carry us the rest of the way.  We really fell into the trap and now we’re in a fix, especially with the rising unemployment rates.  Just when were we going to figure out that our companies couldn’t afford all our luxury benefits, and the health insurers couldn’t afford all the luxury benefits the unionized health care workers demanded?

Now we’re having a heart attack over the cost of health insurance?  Or a panic attack, at any rate.  Government’s suggestion is to throw Grandma over the side of the lifeboat.  That’s a solution?  As in the Final Solution?  Sadly, that’s exactly what Fabians like George Bernard Shaw had in mind.  Culling the herd.  We’re the “Bewildered Herd,” according to Walter Lippmann; we’re too stupid to make decisions for ourselves.  So the Death Panels – and that’s what they are – will make the hard decisions for us.

The worst is yet to come, though.  Stock up on your comfort food this weekend as you try to figure out (like me) how you’re going to pay for medical care if/when you lose your job and who’s going to pay for it when you can’t.

Published in: on August 25, 2011 at 2:18 pm  Leave a Comment  

Freedom Means Never Having to Say You’re Sorry

I was sorry to read an apology by my absolute favorite Conservative author, Andrew McCarthy, to Islamic moderates for the hypocrisy of Colonial Christians in the National Review recently.  I thought Mr. McCarthy knew his history better than that.

What the apologist-seekers say is true:  Colonial America was divided up into religious colonies.  The Quakers settled in Pennsylvania.  The Puritans held forth in the Massachusetts Bay Colony.    The Catholics claimed Maryland for their very own.  Roger Williams, an advocate of freedom of religious freedom and separation of church and state, was kicked out of Massachusetts and founded Rhode Island the Providence Plantations (the state’s official name to this very day).

Settlers not of the colony’s particular religion, like Williams, were finding it very difficult to settle or remain in that colony and were forced to go off to find other places in which to live.  As the colonies became more organized, they realized this wasn’t exactly liberty’s light shining at its brightest, and they began to enact laws to protect settlers.

Churches were the original centers of the communities in those days, and chose their own municipal laws.  Until more centralized colonial governments began to form, they were the laws.  The Salem Witch Trials of 1692 signaled the beginning of the end of such religious discrimination (the very thing the Pilgrims had left England to escape).

Various wars had dissolved the English charters in the Bay Colony, leaving the religious settlements to govern themselves, something they’d had in mind all along.  After the trials, there was such a public outcry, the Massachusetts courts were forced to reverse the decision against the accused (many of whom had already been tortured and executed) and exonerate them (some posthumously).

By the time the Articles of Confederation had been found wanting and the Constitution was being constructed, the Founding Fathers knew the new Constitution couldn’t be passed without a Bill of Rights, the very first of which had to guarantee citizens the right to freedom of religion and speech.  A town couldn’t keep someone from living there because they were not a member of the local church, or even a member of any church at all.

Therefore, present-day Americans owe no apologies for the religious attitudes of Colonial, pre-Constitution, pre-Bill of Rights Americans, who weren’t even officially Americans yet.  We have no legal proof from any Muslims, not even Moderates, that if they should overrun our country, that they would not force a conversion or dhimmitude upon us.  Their history, contrary to ours, gives every indication that mandatory conversion is precisely what they would inflict upon us.

They have given us no word or vow which we can trust.  They argue our own Constitution against us – that someone is innocent of a crime until proven guilty – even though the circumstantial evidence (their history) is against them.  Yet, by the grace of our Constitution, they can immigrate here and worship whatever religion pleaseth them.

Hardly any American (save KKK members) would deny them their right.  Nobody would care, really, how they worship, except that we know from their own ideologists’ writings that conversion, the subjugation of other religions, is part of their mandate.

The Founding Fathers were honest, righteous men who mended the wrongs committed by the original Colonists.  They believed in democracy, not theocracy, or at least a form of it; even they believed that men needed to be governed – but with laws, not whips, swords, and onerous taxes.

They also knew very well that Man, in his weakness, must seek forgiveness, not from other men, but from God alone.  Jesus taught us we must love our neighbor and seek our neighbors’ forgiveness as well, and that it’s our duty to forgive, if we expect to be forgiven.

There is the ideological divide:  Christians believe in forgiveness, through Jesus; Muslims think only God can forgive, that Jesus was just some dude who did some nice things, and until we cross that bridge, until we come to it, the Muslims have been assigned the special task of punishing everyone else whom they believe is apostate or sinful.

Instead of apologizing to fellow sinners (the Muslims), Mr. McCarthy ought to have asked these “moderate” Muslims:  “Who died and made you God?”

Published in: on August 24, 2011 at 11:51 am  Leave a Comment  

Shaking Things Up in D.C.

Earthquakes by the dozen happen in California every day.  They’re so frequently that the U.S. Geological Survey has given California its very own place on the USGS website’s Earthquakes section.  A 4.8 on the Richter scale is business as usual for them.  Nothing to see here, folks, move along.  To tourists, it can be alarming.  During a tour of the Universal Studios lot, the tour guide welcomed the visitors to California and noted wryly that the quake everyone just felt wasn’t a special effect.

Here in the Northeast, quakes aren’t common, but they’re not unusual, either.  At least until they start buildings swaying in New York City.  Last year (or was it last winter), a 4.8 quake out in the Atlantic set our fifth floor to undulating.  My co-workers didn’t even notice.  They noticed this quaker, though.

“Guys!  Something’s happening!!” cried one co-worker, who stood up.  And with a cry of, “Oh my God!  I think I’m going to be sick!” quickly sat down again.  Then one of my other co-workers stood up, and realized she was going to be sick.

Sure enough, the floor was rumbling and undulating.  I kept my seat, but I could see out the window.  The building was swaying back and forth.  Our building was made to withstand earthquakes.  Our upper floor was designed to be flexible, rather than rigid.  Which means, any time someone heavy comes by or rolls by with a heavy load, the floor shakes.  You know it’s an earthquake when the floor keeps on shaking.

The building shook so noticeably, we were certain the epicenter was here in New Jersey.  My co-workers were anxious to leave.  I suggested waiting until the shaking stopped.  Once downstairs and outside, beyond the reach of falling bricks (although I eyed the lightpoles in the parking lot warily), people started texting and learned the epicenter was in central Virginia.

For us to feel it here, it had to have been some earthquake!  But seismologists on television tell us it had to do with the terrain.  Between central Virginia and New York City, there’s not much rock to get in the way of a seismic wave; it can just go on and on.  That’s why buildings in the city as well as ours swayed.

Yet some people felt it, while other people nearby did not.  One of my co-workers is married to one of our facilities technicians.  He came up to visit later.  He and his co-worker said they didn’t feel anything, but saw that people were already evacuating.

“Do you think we should pull the fire alarm?” one asked.

“I dunno.”

“Well, people are leaving; something must be wrong.”

“Okay, I’ll pull it.”  And the guy did.

Once they checked the building for damage, we came back in and went back to work.  My older brother, who’s a facilities manager just south of here, felt it and was busy checking his building for damage.  My younger brother didn’t feel it and was disappointed.

“It happened at ten minutes to two?  I was just coming home.  How come I didn’t feel it?”

“Well, A., maybe it’s because you’re six foot four and drive an enormous, diesel-powered pick-up truck.”

Mom’s house also sits atop an enormous boulder that the developers were unable to blast away.  We’ve felt quakes in the past, but they were local quakes that would have more of an effect.

A couple of interesting things were going on yesterday, and a couple of interesting buildings were slightly damaged in Washington, D.C. (our co-workers in our office just south of Philadelphia thought the quake was “exciting”, like a wicked roller coaster ride):  the National Cathedral and the Washington Monument.  The Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial on the National Mall was dedicated on Sunday.  Here in New York, DHK was acquitted of rape charges against the hotel maid and Attorney General Eric Holder was just beginning the announcement as the earthquake hit New York.

Wall Street was busy having a party as the stock market was rising.  Vice President Biden was praising China for its one-child policy, a statement from which he backed off, and it was revealed that Maxine Waters not only said that the Tea Parties could go straight to Hell, but that she wanted to be the one to send them there.

A noted seismologist claimed that hundreds of quakes have happened in Virginia, but a look yesterday at a seismic historical map of Virginia – which has since vanished from USGS website – showed that the area has experienced no more than about 50 since the USGS began keeping records.  That’s compared to thousands in California (no surprise there).  Not unheard of, but not very common, either.  A Northeastern city that has known quakes to happen is Boston, where church steeples toppled over during the Colonial era.

No sooner will we “recover” from the earthquake, than newly-minted Hurricane Irene will come storming up the Northeast coastline to give us a piece of her mind.  Lightning storms, earthquakes, and hurricanes.  Strange that of all the buildings in the nation’s capital, only the Washington Monument was damaged enough to be closed, and now a heavy wind and rain is coming close on the heels of the earthquake.

The Washington Monument sits right in front of the White House, although it would be more likely to topple towards the Lincoln Memorial.  The Liberals sure don’t want a toppled-over Washington Monument creating any signs for the Tea Partiers, so they may just strap themselves, en masse, to the monument to keep it from being blown away in the storm.

 

 

 

Published in: on August 24, 2011 at 11:06 am  Leave a Comment