Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Thought for the day...

"We must be willing to fail and to appreciate the truth that often Life is not a problem to be solved, but a mystery to be lived."

M. Scott Peck - Author who passed away this past Sunday

Monday, September 26, 2005

Thought for the day...

"Liberty without learning is always in peril; learning without liberty is always in vain.

-John F. Kennedy

Sunday, September 25, 2005

The "Here's your Sign" quote of the week...

"Now tell me the truth boys, is this kind of fun?"

-House MajorityLeader Tom Delay to three young hurricane evacuees from New Orleans at the Astromdome in Houston, Sept 9, 2005

Saturday, September 24, 2005

A Word to the Wise..

I was about to wax prophetically about a great new blog, but why re-invent the wheel when your best friend has already done so..

(Thanks Kemp ! http://blogofkemp.blogspot.com/ I couldn't have said it any better so I will grab your well written verses)

Spread the word, there’s a new sheriff in town. In the never-ending attempt to create thought in today’s society (a rare and, unfortunately, sometimes misunderstood concept), my friend Kemp and I have decided to launch another blog.

This one, of which we will be the prominent posters & writers, will have one subject. One topic that can bring people together…or tear them apart.

It will only be about politics.

Yes, you read that right: politics.

No family posts.

No entertainment posts.

No pop culture posts.

No coffee pos— (wait a minute, that one we may have to think about a little more)

Our other blogs will be for that (those links by the way are http://blogofkemp.blogspot.com/ & http://scottsrantspot.blogspot.com/

This one will only be about politics.

All day – all night – 24/7

We will have occasional guest posters, some of whom may even be less Liberal…or worse yet, Conservative Republicans. (I know what some of you are saying, but, let’s practice some tolerance for those who disagree with us – are you listening Bush administration??)

You never know what can happen in the world of blogging.So, if you are into politics, and I know many of you are, take a gander, I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

Here's the link: http://thebushwhackedleague.blogspot.com/

What's that link? It's http://thebushwhackedleague.blogspot.com/

In case you missed it, that link is http://thebushwhackedleague.blogspot.com/

Have a read.

Monday, September 19, 2005

The more things change the more they stay the same....

Greetings all. Other than my 'Thought of the day' you may have noticed that I took a few days off from spouting my opinion. I have been very busy working and decided to try and not think over the weekend. Now its Monday and it's back to the real world, so here goes...

Over the weekend the mayor of New Orleans, Ray Nagin, announced that the city would be re-opened as of this morning section by section starting with the least damaged areas. There was major disention among the various agencies (Local, State and Federal) about the call by the mayor of beginning to re-open the city. I agree with the dissenters, why rush to open the city? Why? My opinion, and it's just that, mine, is two reasons. 1st is so that Ray Nagin can thumb his nose at everyone else and say 'You can't tell me what to do, I am the mayor, and this is my city." The 2nd is the almighty dollar. Yes, what a surprise, let's get these people back in the city but first we will open the businesses that way the people will have a place to spend money and start the rebuilding process.

Now let's look at this from a distance and a distant perspective. If the businesses re-open there are a number of problems as I see it. I will list these in no particular order:

  • Before you can re-open a business you have to clean up whatever damage may have occured. Where do you place all the refuse from this clean-up? Do you prioritize the pick-up of this refuse over the clean-up of massive amounts of general refuse laying around the city?
  • Not only do you have general clean-up refuse, but what about decontamination of buildings that have been inundated by water contaminated by e-coli, cholera strains, human and animal waste, oil, gas and other toxic chemicals?
  • Many of the areas are without electricity. How do you operate your air conditioning, cash register, credit authorization terminals, security systems, etc.?
  • If you are a food store or are in any way connected with food service the 3 points above are even more critical. The clean-up and decontamination are going to be a much larger problem. (I know I wouldn't want to eat in any restaurant in that area for quite a while...)
  • If a business is operating, I am sure that the city and state will want there share of the taxes based on the revenue. How will they collect this from the businesses? And how will they know which businesses to collect from and how much to collect?

I am sure that there are many others that I am missing but this is not meant to be a comprehensive list, just some obvious thoughts.

Now if you are a private citizen who is planning on returning to the city, here are some points to ponder.

  • Decontamination of your residence. (Toxic chemicals in the surfaces of your home such as carpets and drywall.
  • Clean-up and disposal of refuse. (Same issue as a business)
  • Toxic chemicals in the soil.
  • There is no clean water.
  • There is no working sewer/sanitation system.
  • This is sporadic electrical service.
  • No 911 service.
  • No medical clinic
  • No Level 1 Trauma Hospital.
  • No banking access.
  • No grocery stores.
  • Do you really trust eating at any restaurants for the near future?
  • No fuel for driveable automobiles.

Again I am sure that I am missing a number of other things. But these are just obvious ones that quickly come to mind.

But even with all these things to consider, the mayor wanted to let people start returning. Then this afternoon comes word that after talking with the President (and I am sure a number of other smarter people) that the mayor is now reversing his decision and is tellin people to once again evacuate New Orleans and the surrounding areas.

The reason.....Hurricane Rita.

Yes, another Hurricane. Rita is is the western carribean and heading towards the Florida Keys. It is then expected to pass between the Keys and Cuba and into the Gulf of Mexico where it can then suck up the warm waters of the Gulf and Supersize itself into another kick-ass Hurricane. Will it become a monster the likes of Katrina? Who knows... I doubt that it will. However this hurricane is enough to have a lot of people wetting their pants.

Mayor Nagin announced that if the area was to receive 8 inches of rain, or a storm surge of at least 3 feet, that the city would once again be in dire straights. NO KIDDING !

Maybe the Mayor needs to think before speaking. Politically he got lucky, he can blame the change in plans on another hurricane. But really, did he maybe think about some of the points I have made above and think to himself that maybe people moving back so quickly is not a good idea? I doubt it, but I would like to think that.

Again, maybe that is just too simple.....

Thought for the day...

"Men always want to be a woman's first love, women like to be a man's last romance"

– Oscar Wilde

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Thought for the day...

Tom Hardy: How was California?
Danny Detillo: Sunny..
Tom Hardy : Sunny? You’ve been in California 2 years and all you can say is sunny?
Danny Detillo: The Simpsons are on an hour earlier…

'Striking Distance' - 1993

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Thought for the day...

"I haven't felt this bad since I saw that Ronald Reagan movie"

-from the movie 'Airplane'....but I wouldn't be surprised if this is being said around Washington lately.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Thought for the day....

"Some people are like Slinkies. They're really good for nothing, but they still bring a smile to your face when you push them down a flight of stairs."

submitted by a dear friend.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Thought for the day...

"Wherever you go, there you are"

from the 1984 movie, The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension

A picture (no matter how altered) is worth a few hundred words at least...

....you never really know.....

I have to send out kudos to Kemp for sending this picture to me....

There is some balance in the Universe after all.....

"Three Days After Losing Katrina Duites, FEMA Chief Resigns Post" - NY Times Sept, 12, 2005

nuff said.....

The "Here's your Sign" quote of the week....

"I don't think anybody anticipated the breach of the levees." - President Bush on ABC's "Good Morning America, Sept 1, 2005

Hmmm....Mr President, didn't various experts give repeated warnings about the damage expected from Katrina. Also if I remember correctly, they have also said for years that the levees wouldn't stand up to a storm of Katrina's intensity.....

Here's your sign....

Efficient land use during a time of national crisis

Ok, here is something that I have been thinking about for days and finally have a few minutes to put my thoughts down on cyber paper.

We have hundreds of thousands of 'evacuees' (we do not call them refugees for a number of reasons..) from the Gulf Coast region following the near total devistation by Katrina. We also have the government shuttling people all over the country in order to disperse this massive group of people and not strain the infrastructure and resources of any one or two metropolitan areas. Much of this on an admitted temporary basis.

Now, wait for it....here it comes....We also have closed military bases around this great nation with hundreds if not thousands of units of housing that could be put to good use. Ok, I will give you a minute to let this sink in.....

Think about it, you have entire subdivisions/communities that need to be relocated. Military bases were commuies in and amoungst themselves. Having spent time in the service of this country, I can tell you that many of the military bases were set up to be somewhat self-sufficient. They contained large storage facilities, medical clinics, barber shops, and a PX, to name but a few.

A closed base could be re-opened and set up to house a displaced community. Supplies that are being handed out of the back of trucks could be placed into some of the storage facilites and then used for distribution of blankets and clothing. The medical clinic(s) could be re-opened and staffed by the many volunteers who are now set up in make-shift clinics. The PX could be re-opened and used to keep and distribute food and other basic necessities (toothbrush, toilet paper and other hygiene items). The people from the community would have the ability to try and re-establish themselves and live in more of a stable environment. This would also allow for a mental healing from the events of the past almost 3 weeks to begin. Communities surrounding the closed bases would begin to see increases in purchases at local businesses. I know someone is going to say that there would also be an increase in crime in the surrounding communities, and yes, I think that is going to happen when you have an influx or large groups of people to an area. It doesn't matter the area, or the races involved, it is just a natural occurance associated with large populations.

Overall it would appear to be a win-win. Other than one or two things I have pointed out above, I don't really see a downside to this.......but then I am not in government helping to screw up things with the recovery.....

Sunday, September 11, 2005

No bitchin, moanin or complaining from me today.

I will be going to church and spending some time in rememberence of September 11, 2001.

I remember where I was, what I was doing and who I was with on that fatefull day.... I hope we all do, and that we never forget how the events of that day made every American feel.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Brownie and the Disaster...or How could one guy screw a bad thing up even more.

Ok, I know it has been a few days since my last post. But as a single father of a pre-teen, working full-time and temporarily living 42 miles away from my son, I get really busy. Divorce support group 1 night per week, great visitation time with my son 2 nights and every other weekend, and some days returning to work in the evening after visitation, it doesn't leave me much time for anything else, like I said.....really busy. So while I have had attitudes and opinions about the happenings of the world around me, there have just not been enough hours in the day lately. Thank god for that miracle elixer "coffee". I could go on and on about the virtues of coffee, but instead why not read one hell of a well written blog by my best friend and coffee gourmet, Kemp at http://blogofkemp.blogspot.com/ . I could not have written it any better myself.

The only caveat that I can add is that I am what Kemp refers to as a coffee junkie. Now I love a great cup of fresh gourmet coffee as much as the next person, and can truly appreciate it. However, I am also the guy that can reheat the coffee from yesterday and enjoy it, and having been a police officer and having served in the U.S. Army I can drink any beverage that is hot, black, and able to pour without having to 'cut' it with a knfe as the cup fills... bring on the sludge!!

But I digress.. The big item to rant about this week, again, is Michael Brown. Would I much rather be spouting off about our puppet-in-chief, you bet, but I cannot let this one go by.

I am at work yesterday at lunch when I get an e-mail from CNN.com with Breaking News. The news turns out to be 'FEMA Director Removed From Katrina Duty". Wow, it only took the largest natural disaster in U.S. history and 11 days of incompetency for this 'yutz' to be taken off the front line of response.

Wasn't FEMA rolled into that newly hallowed institution known as the Department of Homeland Security in order to place our nations readiness and responsiveness resources under one centrallized chain of command? Now a chain is only as strong as it's weakest link, and in the supposed 'Steel Chain' known as the Department
of Homeland Security, Michael Brown is evidently a paper link. That's right, you get the paper wet and the chain will break. Almost two weeks ago his link was soaked !

You know it's bad when Democrats AND Republicans are essentially calling for his head on a platter. (I would prefer his head to be placed on a pike and placed near where Interstate 10 enters New Orleans, but that is just me....ah the good ole days...) When our President visited the Gulf Coast region on September 5, he was quoted as saying "And Brownie, you're doing a heck of a job. The FEMA director's been working 24 hours".

Now maybe someone forgot to tell the President that the hurricane hit the area on August 29th and that there were approximately 168 hours since the hurricane. So, what had 'Brownie' been doing the other 144 hours????
Obviously not much.

We also find out that Michael Brown was a longtime friend of Presidential campaign manager Joseph Allbaugh, who himself was a FEMA Director. 'Brownie' was Deputy under Allbaugh and was moved up when Allbaugh left the agency. Here my friends is the undeniable, living proof of the phase "Being promoted past your level of incompetency." What a surprise, patronage in a high ranking government position!!

Now you may say Michael Brown must have had a good deal of prior experience working with emergency situations or disaster preparedness in order to be placed in charge of the nations emergency response agency. You may say that, but remember, just cause you say it doesn't make it so!

According to CNN and many other reliable news agencies, before joining FEMA, 'Brownie' was a top official with the Arabian Horse Association. Reportedly in a capacity as overseeing the judging of Arabian equestrian events. And as reported on CNN, the secretary of that association says 'Bownie' was asked to resign in 2001. Ok, now how incompetent do you have to be that they ask you to resign from the Arabian Horse Association??

If working for a Horse Association qualifies you for running a goverment agency, I should be a shoe-in for 'Chief of Staff' for the next Democrat elected to the White House.

Now before you start thinking to yourself "Well he must have had the educational background or other previous work experience to justify his holding such a position"...not so fast. Time magazine and The Associated Press were both told by various officials with the City of Edmund, Oklahoma, and the University of Central Oklahoma that the information contained in his resume regarding positions held with the City and the University were not necessarily as stated.

So, how do we make sure that should another disaster, natural or man-made, god forbid, strike within our nation, the appropriate people are in the proper positions of responsibility. Simple, demand accountability from our elected officials. Nothing less.

After all they are elected by us, and are supposed to be in Washington or state government to represent the peoples (our) best interests.

You know, you're right, maybe that is just too simple....

Thursday, September 08, 2005

'The Clue'

Here is a quote that I came across on my explorations of the internet.

"Women and cats will do as they please. Men and dogs should relax and get used to the idea."

Now most guys who have not yet attained 'the clue' would scoff at this notion that they have no control when it comes to the women in thier lives. However there are those of us who have discovered 'the clue' and this quote makes perfect sense. I shared this with my best friend Kemp, and not one to miss a beat he came back with the only statement that any honest man can, "That is such a true statement that it's almost pathetic". Yep, you can't slip anything past the man. Now I can also honestly say that quote is one of truths on the path to the elusive secret of life.

I am sure that my 'ex' would be surprised at my comments, but then, she never really knew me...except for the fact that I had obtained 'the clue'.

Now you may ask, how do men obtain 'the clue' ? Well you cannnot tell someone how to do it, it is one of those things that one day a light bulb goes on and a guy just gets it! Now don't misunderstand me, not every guy gets 'the clue', some will never get it. Just like some guys will never be able to ask for directions or admit they are wrong. Those are the same guys who will never get 'the clue' . But ladies, rest assured there are many of us who have, and not all of us are married. Keep looking and you will find us, sometimes where you least expect.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Birthdays and Water Filters

What do these two things have in common? Normally nothing, except that is what happened yesterday, my dad's birthday and helping install a whole house water filter at my brothers house. Both of which on thier own would be an excuse for the family to get together, but combine them and you have one hell of a hootenanny!!

OK, not really a hootenanny, but a hell of a good time none the less.

It is always a good time when the men in the family get together to work on a project. Actually one of us would be fully capable of doing most of these projects on our own, with a few screw ups along the way to final completion. But it is just a whole lot more fun to have your parents and siblings involved to contribute to the many more infinate ways to possibly screw up and have people not only laughing with you but at you in a good natured way! We have done this for years over many a project and will hopefully be doing this for many more years to come.

So anyway, Dad was over helping my brother Eric put in the water filter. Yesterday was also Dad's birthday and we were going over to celebrate his birthday and since we were going to be ther anyway dad offered to help Eric with installing the water filter. I arrived about an hour and a half later and went down into the basement. Things looked like they were proceeding right along.... a work of art was created out of copper tubing and gate valves in order to create a bypass and 'loop' for directing water either through or around the filter. It looked exactly as it should (which was of course an improvement over the directions contained with the filter as over the years we have learned that obviously the people who write the directions have no clue as to the item they are writing about.) because we have a knack for doing things the right way.

As I said I went downstairs and saw that things were moving along at a good pace. Eric was about to cut the pipe coming out of the pressure tank which 'feeds' water to the house, when I had to open my mouth and say "There is no give anywhere in that pipe, how are you going to insert the filter assembly?" At this point Eric looks at my dad and all works stops. Now I said this, not because I am the 'smart one', nothing of the kind...I just happened to come along with a fresh view after Dad and Eric had been looking at the whole thing for almost a couple of hours. I am sure had the roles been reversed, that the newest arrival would have noticed the same thing.

Now indeed this pipe is where the filter needs to be inserted, however the pipe is rigidly fastened at either side of the area that is to be cut out, and there is no way to insert the plumbing assembly for the filter.... I feel bad that I have caused all work to cease, but I am glad that I said something before the pipe was cut...something about measure 8 times and cut once was bouncing around in my head.

So as the three of us pondered about what should be done we came up with the solution (as we always do...it may take a while, but we are always able to figure things out..) A run to the hardware store was made to aquire the needed parts and after a couple of beers, a number of soldered joints (good job Eric !) and about 6 hours (including a dinner break) the filter was installed and the house again had running water!!

Of course Murphy (of Murphy's Law fame) had to visit during the time the water was off. During dinner my youngest niece began to choke on items that she shoveled into her mouth (as kids will do..). Well after 4 adults sprung into action and she stopped choking, she proceeded to throw up. First thing everyone thinks of is "Get a wet rag".....no water. Take her into the bathroom and rinse her off.....no water. Thank god for wet wipes!

Well after trips to the hardware store, finishing installing the filter, eating dinner, baby excitement and a few other things. We finally sat down for Dad's birthday cake. Made by my Mom and very good of course. We all had some good laughs about the happenings of the day.

Why am I telling you this? Because it was part of my life, and it tells you about my family and any good family really. It doesn't matter what you are doing, the fact that you are doing it together, and that people are there because they care and want to be there, that is family. The ability to laugh at each other and yourself during mishaps and follies, that is family. And I wouldn't trade mine for anything. The past few years my family and a couple of really good friends (you know who you are) who are like family, have been there for me through some rough times, times when I wasn't sure which end was up, and even darker times. Without them who knows what my life would be like today, and I thank them with much gratitude. They have stuck with me and believed in me....... that is family.

The "Here's Your Sign" quote of the week...

"It is clear our nation is reliant upon big foreign oil. More and more of our imports come from overseas." - George W. Bush, Sept. 25, 2000

I am glad that he cleared that up. I always wondered where imports came from...

Here's your sign....

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Sometimes you don't want to know...

So we are getting ready to go to my brothers house to celebrate my dad's birthday, and my son comes down the stairs with his shirt off to put it in the laundry. Now you think I would know better than to ask, but always curious to what the answer may be I ask, "You were just in the bathroom, how did your shirt get dirty?" To which he responds "I got poop on my shirt"..... I restrain myself from asking "How do you get poop on your shirt??"....some things are better left unknown.

Any of you who have children, feel free to shake your heads in agreement, thats right, you know that you little angels have all done similar things.....And if not, they will!

Friday, September 02, 2005

Thought for the day...

"There's nothing wrong with America that can't be fixed by what's right with America"- President Bill Clinton

My first day as a blogger...

Well so much for the work week. It was busy and frustrating at times..so what else is new. So my first day and this is pretty cool. I am hoping that in the coming weeks and months that I will be able to enlighten and entertain you with my ramblings.

I picked up my son for the weekend, and surprisingly he was not ready to go when I got to his mom's house. So I went in the backyard and played with Jessica Autumn Bear (Jessie for short..) she loves it when the Alpha comes over to play, and I just have the best time playing with my puppy.

One day when I have the time I will fill you all in on recent happenings in my life.

Oh I also stopped into the doctors office as they want to run another test. They said that the first test results showed a very high level of Cortisol. I would probably be a poster child for Corti-Slim. I told the nurse that they do not need to run the test again, that the abnormally high levels are accurate, I have enough stress to choke a small elephant!! But they insist on a confirmatory test...oh well... According to the doctor, the excessively high level of cortisol that I have would explain why I have gained weight in the past year despite eating right and exercising.

I am watching Fox News Channel and Bill O'Reilly is talking to Geraldo and the Police Chief of New Orleans and they are describing the situation at the convention center in New Orleans. I cannot believe the conditions that are described and the images that are shown of the human suffering in the Gulf Coast. This is America and what I am hearing and seeing is how you describe a third world country....the lack of response by the federal gvmt is inexcuseable.

"Long is the way, And hard, that out of Hell leads up to light" - John Milton

Has 'Brownie' been playing with himself since last weekend?

I know it is mid-day and I would normally not post at this time but during lunch I was checking CNN to get an update on the situation in New Orleans and the other areas devistated by the Hurricane and I found this quote " FEMA Director Michael Brown told CNN on Friday, 'My heart breaks. What we're doing, we're ramping up.' "

Ramping up??? What the hell has he been doing for the past week?? And just how long does it take FEMA to 'ramp up'? Isn't thier job to be prepared for 'Emergency Management' ????? The response to this disaster has been disgraceful.

I'm a blogger, you're a blogger, she's a blogger, he's a blogger, wouldn't you like to be a blogger too.....

Sorry, my first blog and I am breaking into a bad song from the days of free love and people singing with soda bottles in the streets of San Francisco. But I digress. Welcome to my blog, the 'Rant Spot', why 'Rant Spot', cause "Bitchin, Moanin and Complaining Spot' just seemed to ordinary.

I want to thank my good friend Kemp for turning me on (we're not gay...not that there's anything wrong with that) , as I was saying for turning me on to this great site. For lively quips of wisdom, keen insight and a little (ok a lot..) of politically and socially charged espression of free speech please visit his blog site at http://blogofkemp.blogspot.com/ you'll be glad you did. Join him on his never ending search for Truth, Justice and just some plain ole common sense in this crazy world.

Ok, now what are my intentions with this blog, purely honorable sir or maam as the case may be. I intend to share with you my thoughts on life as it happens. Whether it happens in my life or elsewhere in the world, you give me 10 minutes and I'll give you my opinion.

That's all for now. I really need to work.

You're still here....don't you people have homes...