Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Winter At Last!

Just a week or so ago, folks were tubing down the West River in Dummerston (with Global Warming protest signs) -- I kid you not -- a first for Vermont history in January.

Finally, though, we got hammered Sunday and yesterday with just a bit of the winter weather that's been nailing the rest of the country. Though precious little real snow fell yesterday -- it was a lethal mix of sleet/freezing rain, maybe an inch or so -- it was, at least, real winter weather. Mid-January. In Vermont.

Now, the last winter I recall with this little snow at this point in the season was back in 1979-80, while I lived one my own (pre-marriage to Marlene) in a brick school house on Fisher Hill Road in Grafton, VT. We had no snow until late in January, but we had the usual winter cold -- meaning the frost layer sank dangerously deep, sans the protective insulation of snow cover to keep it at bay. Folks had their wells freezing, and the mud season that spring was mind-bending, the worst I've ever seen.

This winter, though, has been the warmest on record for Vermont and New Hampshire. While it's been a real blessing for Marge and I, with the move and all, it's been a disaster for every VT business imaginable, from ski areas to eateries, including local yokels dependent in part on the money they earn plowing. With 60+ degree days (and some nights) until this past weekend, it's been unlike any VT winter in this half-a-century-old Vermonter's memory. Weird.

Anyhoot, it was therefore a treat to stay in all day yesterday, pretending the winter storm was much, much worse than it was. That said, while I'm unafraid of driving in any kind of snowstorm, I give the greatest respect and widest berth to freezing rain and sleet storms -- hence, easy-pie decision to just. Stay. Put.

Nice, too, to have a leisurely day home with Marge. I did fuck-all. Sweet.

Back to work, now.

Bush, Whacked -- For Real?

I've thought this for a long time, and with greater conviction since watching all I could stomach (rather than just listening to) last week's Iraq War speech from our President (that was fifteen minutes of a twenty-minute speech -- I almost made it):
  • check out this weekend's edition (you may have to scroll down to "One Flew Over the .... White House?") of NewsForReal.com,
  • and tell me it just ain't so.

    Delusional? "Delusions typically occur in the context of neurological or mental illness. A false belief based on incorrect inference about external reality that is firmly sustained despite what almost everybody else believes and despite what constitutes incontrovertible and obvious proof or evidence to the contrary. The belief is not one ordinarily accepted by other members of the person's culture or subculture."

    Antisocial Personality? "Is a psychiatric diagnosis recognizable by the disordered individual's impulsive behavior, disregard for social norms, and indifference to the rights and feelings of others. Central to understanding individuals diagnosed with antisocial personality disorder, is that they appear to experience a limited range of human emotions. This can explain their lack of empathy for the suffering of others, since they cannot experience the emotion associated with either empathy or suffering. Risk-seeking behavior and substance abuse may be attempts to escape feeling empty or emotionally void. The rage exhibited by psychopaths and the anxiety associated with certain types of antisocial personality disorder may represent the limit of emotion experienced, or there may be physiological responses without analogy to emotion experienced by others."

    And so on.

    It all makes so much sense of the insanity of the current situation.

    While you're at it, scroll down to "News For Real" for January 4th:

    "The Washington media spent the holidays trying to guess what the President's new plan for Iraq might be. Meanwhile in the back rooms of the White House Karl Rove and White House Chief of Staff, Josh Bolten were doing what any world-class chess player does when facing defeat -- plot a series of aggressive moves to throw their opponent off balance in the hopes of regaining the initiative.

    How do I know this? Well, since God only talks to Rev. Pat Robertson – and, when He can't get through to Pat, George W. Bush – I didn't get it from Him. No it came to me in this news flash late yesterday:

    Washington, D.C. - As President Bush prepares a new statement and stance on the war in Iraq, his cabinet is once again in the midst of transition. In the latest change, National Intelligence Director John Negroponte will resign to become deputy secretary of state, according to a government official....The shift, while seemingly abrupt, will allow Negroponte to return to his former career path as a diplomat. Negroponte will serve under Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

    It was that last line that gives away the strategy. “Negroponte will serve under Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.”

    Never! Negroponte quits as head of one of the most important and powerful posts in government, a job that puts him face to face with the President of the United States every morning, of everyday of the week, to accept a position as Rice's assistant?

    Fat chance.

    So what's up? Here's what I think is up -- and if I were Bush I would be itching to get on with the game.

    Move 1: Announce what the administration knows will be a very unpopular decision to send more troops to Iraq.

    Move 2: Let the Democrat-controlled Congress throw a fit and hold hearings the administration knows will stir up additional opposition and shake loose new damning information on the administrations march to war and mismanagement of that war.

    Move 3: Just when all the above is hitting the fan, Dick Cheney announces he is retiring from office early due to “health concerns," and because he does not want to be "a distraction" when he is called to testify in purjury trial of his former No. 2. Scooter Libby.

    Move 4: The next day Bush announces he will nominate Condoleezza Rice to replace Cheney.

    Move 5: At the same time Bush announces he is nominating Negroponte to replace Rice as Secretary of State.

    The above series of moves makes political sense on so many levels that I consider it inevitable...." etc.

    [Thanks to Tim Viereck for steering me to this blog; much appreciated, Doc!]

    Crazier still, I'm willing to bet yesterday's post about Swamp Thing merchandizing atrocities continues to score more hits and comments than this does.

    Ponder the insanity of our Commander-in-Chief and the Biblical Armageddon he's determined to foment, or fuzzy Swamp Thing slippers?

    The slippers win every time!

    It's a whacky ol' world...

    Have a great Tuesday, all.

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