Friday, September 2, 2011

Notes and tidbits.

There is one thing I meant to mention in my last post which I forgot in my mental sputtering over the machinations of the Republicans and their Tea Party allies.

As I watched videos of hurricane/tropical storm Irene and its effects on Vermont, I saw something which I did find a little disturbing. The waters of several flooding rivers were running red. There was a river which turned red a week or so ago in the west or Midwest. There was a river that turned red in China the other day. There were others. But now, when I do a search for this topic, the news stories seem to have disappeared. Rivers running red is, of course, a sign of the Biblical apocalypse.

Last year, while I was writing about British Petroleum and the oil "spill" in the Gulf of Mexico, Austanspace noted the odd increase in earthquakes. This morning, as I was reading online news, stories started appearing about a category 6.8 earthquake off the Alaskan coast. Was it last week, or two weeks ago, there was the earthquake from Virginia which rocked much of the east coast of the United States. Last evening, there was a 4.2 in the greater Los Angeles area. Yesterday, there was a 5.9 quake in the Santa Cruz Islands. Also yesterday was a 4.6er off the coast of Sumatra. There was a 4.9 off the coast of Ecuador. And a 4.3 in western Iran. And a 4.5 near San Juan, Argentina. And that's just the reporting this morning.

Oh, I should probably mention that in one small Vermont town, the flood unearthed 30 some caskets from the graveyard. Many were opened by the waters, and bones are strewn all about. Route 100 even had an open casket w/dead body in the center of the road.

I've got to stop now and go off to work.

September 2 is the 245th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar.
There are 477 days remaining until the end of time.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Jesus H. Christ.

I'm watching the news. The funding of FEMA (the Federal Emergency Management Agency) is under attack. The Republicans are lining up in an effort to tie any money spent on emergency aid to budget cuts.

Wait. What? I have just seen a commercial in which we see a house that has been destroyed in some calamity. It looked like it was taken yesterday or today in Vermont or New Jersey. It turned out to be a commercial for Insurance! What gall.

Michele Bachmann, comedy relief among the Republican Presidential candidates, came up with this little bit of humor Sunday night :

US House Majority Leader Eric Cantor is out there doing his usual imitation of extremely well tailored slime, insisting that any aid approved be paid for by budget cuts. Funny, he was happy enough to take FEMA money in his own state - and without budget cuts beforehand.

Florida just passed a law that limits welfare, unemployment monies, etc to those who are drug free in tests paid for by the worker (later reimbursed if it comes back "clean").  If you fail the test, no reimbursement, no welfare, unemployment, food stamps for a year, and then subject to a new drug test etc.

Meanwhile, the President has caved to the Speaker of the House - they were fighting because the President requested a chance to talk to the nation about jobs with both Houses of Congress present - the two will only be in session at the same time for two days. The speaker denied the President his request (something that has never happened before) as the Republicans have a Candidate for President debate that night. He suggested the next night - the National Football Leagues season opener. Obama caved.

Google maps took Route 9 - a major US Highway east west route, off the map between Brattleboro and Wilmington. That's how little is left.

Where are these people coming from? Where did they get these attitudes? Maybe the question is where have these folks been?

News from Austanspace...

If anyone is checking here for news about my friend Laura over at Austanspace:

Laura is fine. A friend has been putting her up. She hasn't been able to return home yet. The area in which she lives suffered damage from the "tropical storm" flood. There is a new and very large trench (5 feet deep and 10 inches wide) which went right up to the foundation of her home. The engineers are still taking a look at it, but they've allowed the electricity to be turned on. She'll be going over there some time today. Typically, she is more concerned about her neighbors than herself. In this morning's email, she noted that she "can't even keep up with all the emails full of love, so please do put that on your blog. i'm ok. it's all gonna be fine.".

The area we live in has suffered a great deal of damage. Just about everyone is helping out, often to or for people they don't know. That's one thing about Brattleboro and the area in general - people come out in droves to help when an emergency occurs. The past few months have been very dispiriting around here, but the response to people in trouble has been great amid all the chaos. That's one of the reason's we live here.

Monday, August 29, 2011

After the hurricane

Town is a mess. An even bigger mess than my room. A still larger mess surrounds us. The hurricane faded away about 2:30pm or so yesterday afternoon. Here are a couple of pics I purloined off the web:

Here's a couple of clips 

Well, that was something, eh? The upcoming clip affects me quite a bit. This is not a Brattleboro clip. It comes from a smaller town further upstate, but it gives you an idea what the country side around here looks like:

This next is from our Community Television:

A lot of roads have damage. In this county alone, there are at least 13 towns or villages which are cut off from everything becasue bridges washed away, or the road washed out, etc:

The folks who were in low lying areas were evacuated before the storm to stay at the local High School. Here's the gym being readied:

A little panorama, please

As I mentioned, the news from the towns around Brattleboro is bad. Areas completely cut off. Still a lot of people without electricity. And they might not get it for a week. The stories vary. It is difficult to tell what is real, what is exageration, and what is made up. A couple of towns up the road there is one of those picture postcard villages (it was, ummm, 'helped along') named Grafton, well known for its cheese. Here's two of my own pics, one looking back towards the village, and the second of a visitor's stop at  the Grafton Cheese Company entrence. It's just the beginning of what we've lost.