TIS CANE SEASON--BIG BLOW A'COMIN'?
By Andy Weddington
Tuesday, 21 September 2010
First, follow-up to last Friday's Commentary--the reprise remembering 9/11 and Lieutenant Commander Patrick Jude Murphy, U. S. Navy.
Shortly after posting, I received a note from a reader asking how to anonymously make a contribution. Since it was long past time for us to contact the family--our friends--my wife phoned the following morning to catch up and gently ask about open funds/trusts for the children. The call was heartbreaking. We learned that on 11 November 2009, Veteran's Day and two months after the eighth anniversary of the attack and my Commentary remembering Pat, their youngest son died in an accident. It was 11/11/09 and he was 11 years-old; Mom thinks Dad was calling for him. We had no idea as she was not able to tell friends and still cannot bear to talk about it. Their special request granted, he's buried atop Dad in Arlington National Cemetery. She and her surviving son are doing okay--as well as can be expected.
We learned college educations for the 9/11 children are funded. But she reiterated her request at the end of her son's obituary that anyone wishing to donate to a worthwhile 9/11 cause do so in her son's name--Casey Akira Murphy--to: http://www.tuesdayschildren.org/
The following is direct from their website: "Tuesday's Children is a non-profit family service organization that has made a long-term commitment to every individual who was directly impacted by the events of September 11, 2001 and more recently those lives that have been affected forever by the effects of terrorism around the globe."
Contribute if you wish. Jim did. So shall we.
"All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident." Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860)
Long before the National Weather Service began naming hurricanes in 1953, Naval meteorologists referred to the big blows by women's names. I can only guess the logic for naming after the fairer gender was because the ladies and storms share common characteristics; at least through the eyes of men. For example, natural beauty; costly--against a budget or economy; complex temperament; and spin counterclockwise hence the inclination to suddenly and inexplicably change their mind (e.g. as to where headed), and change again. Go figure.
For whatever reason, and some think the Women's Liberation Movement had something to do with it, the female naming tradition only lasted another 26 years. It was in 1979 male names were alternately added to the lineup; though not nearly as many common characteristics--those that do I shall keep to myself--come to mind to justify the honor.
Anyway, with storm names as they now are it's not uncommon to hear folks refer to blows as "herracanes" and "himmacanes." Whatever. A storm's a storm--and since 1979 the males and females have been equally destructive.
The list of names for the 2010 Atlantic storm season include: Alex, Bonnie, Colin, Danielle, Earl, Fiona, Gaston, Hermine, Igor, Julia, Karl, Lisa, Matthew, Nicole, Otto, Paula, Richard, Shary, Tomas, Virginie, and Walter. And this is the lineup that comes up every six years; as do the other five lists of standard names.
Only names of devastating storms--e.g. Andrew, Camille, Katrina--are retired. That is, in 1992 Hurricane Andrew struck the northwest Bahamas, southern Florida, and southwest Louisiana leaving massive destruction in its wake--he was a monster that secured a line in the record books. As such, the 1998 season started with the name Alex. And 12 years later--two cycles of the lists--Alex still heads the list.
Weather forecasters--meteorologists--relying on all sorts of high-tech data-collecting, collating, and analysis gear predicted anywhere from 18-21 named storms for the 2010 season. So far so good as to no real significant impact on the United States. Yet. But the season has a long way to go. Who knows.
Nature's big blows aside, there's another type of blow coming...
Political forecasters--"politicologists"--with far less scientific tools for data-collection, collating, measuring, tracking, modeling and crystal-balling their "storms," while knowing there'd be busy times following the 2008 Presidential Election, have failed miserably, to the glee of many, with their predictions.
They've failed in large part because, tools aside, they've ignored what's really going on outside. And not only have they ignored but they've failed attempting to ridicule and otherwise off-handedly dismiss the clear signs of brewing and approaching foul weather. Denial is not working.
Any half-competent meteorologist has the time-tested, fool-proof tool--a rock--sitting atop a table or stand outside within view from inside. For after consulting sophisticated computers reporting say clear skies, the weatherman takes a quick peek outside to confirm a dry rock; less appearing completely foolish from the TV studio reporting clear skies when it's actually pouring rain. The same methodology applies to computer forecasts for sunshine, overcast skies, and snow. The rock tells all. It, unlike a computer, is never wrong.
The politicologists failed to notice last year's fool-proof tool--a sign--seen regularly during angry American (Tea Party) rallies: "Shove it down our throats in 2009--We'll shove it up your ass in 2010!" There's no misinterpreting that sign's message--not so much a threat as a promise. A promise being realized for some time now.
In short, the Tea Party--actually not a party at all but a spiraling movement of seething Republicans, Democrats, and Independents better described as a dangerous "politicane"--has been hovering over the country since shortly after the election of Mr. Obama. This cane, though still growing and forming, needs an identity; a name--a gender neutral name. It occurred to me "Sam" would be ideal. Sam as in that of our patriotic-attired national uncle (but these days we may as well have an "Aunt Sam(antha)", too).
Hereafter known as Sam, with ill-defined eye, has been spurning "storms" since 2009. That is, an angry and engaging public, backing herracanes and himmacanes, has been methodically taking out Obama-supportive incumbents; from both parties. "Storms"--in New Jersey, Virginia, Massachusetts, New York, Alaska, and Delware have passed; favored corpses strewn in their wake. And the "death" toll is only going to climb.
Last week conservative Herracane Chris(tine) (O'Donnell (R, DE))--note Hurricane Chris is not due until the 2012 season--blew away her "established candidate" moderate opponent longtime serving Representative Mike Castle (also a two-term governor), in the Delaware Republican Senate primary.
"Established candidate"--the new buzz term the elite, those who believe themselves the anointing authority in control of whom shall be elected, are using to describe their favored one. You know the ones--those who've grown accustomed to having their rump smacked (with lips) and show teeth-mashing contempt when it's trumped. Most recently, Lisa Murkowski--who lost to Himmacane Joe Miller in Alaska's Republican Senate primary--has decided to launch a write-in campaign. Pathetic--she has no chance. Another spanking's inevitable.
"Established candidate"--the term comes across as pompous, sounds like an entitlement, and seems
condescending to the public. "Established candidate" is at the core of why our country's in the mess it's in. For what does "established candidate" have to do with; (1) good representative government?; (2) finding and electing people who will best tend to the business of supporting those tenets, principles, and values upon which our country was founded--the Constitution?; and (3) entrusting fellow citizens with the privilege of serving (not ruling) their countrymen from law-making to prudent collection and responsible investment of our communal resources?
"Established candidate"--a term now becoming synonynous with "loser." Vote them all out. Conversing with a learned gentleman a few weeks ago he believed our House of Representative should be, by law, comprised of plumbers, electricians, ditch-diggers, engineers, artists, bus drivers, mechanics, grocery store employees, computer programmers, et. al. and maybe a doctor or lawyer or two. Well, you get the idea. And no one, no exceptions, serves more than one term--returning to society to live with the laws they passed. Interesting but not today's focus. So to move on.
Herracane Chris(tine) is not of the "established candidate" pedigree. From education to work experience to social circles dismissers and attackers see her as unfit for elective office. Opposing candidates, consultants, hacks, pundits, liberal-leaning media, and Democratic party peons--the blind loyals--who've never had an original thought unapologetically mock her. All scoff that it took her 20 years (only because of a lack of resources) to earn a college degree and from somewhere other than Snob U. They scoff that she's had more than her share of life's challenges, financial hardships and a bank moved to foreclose on her home. They scoff that she lost all previous runs for elective office. They scoff at Chris(tine) because she is not the "established candidate"--the one not "approved" by them for office.
But Herracane Chris(tine), not believed a serious storm, surprised most everyone. That is, everyone who is not in tune with what's going on in our country--whether regarding hurricanes or Politicane Sam. She, reinforced by another powerful storm--Herracane Sarah (Palin) that struck in 2008, defied them all. She won.
Now the enemy camp is saying winning the primary is one thing. But the general election is another ballgame altogether and Herracane Chris(tine) will cost the Republicans a crucial seat in the Senate come November. These folks--no matter their credentials and resumes--simply do not get it. They need to reconsider the aforementioned forecasting sign as to shoving. They need to think about what has been going on with elections since the presidency changed hands. They need to take a peek out the window--the skies are not clear; storm clouds are thickening and darkening. Surely they're seeing the signs of rage--the politicane--sweeping America. Surely they didn't miss the Glenn Beck crowd that blew into Washington, D. C., a few weeks ago.
Fact is Herracane Chris(tine) better reflects representative government than anything Delaware, and most of the country for that matter, has fielded in some time. She's knows struggle; she's been there.
Her Democratic opponent in the upcoming election, a guy by the name of Chris Coons, is radically different than Chris(tine). Gentlemanly speaking, he's of the flavor America has been rebelling against. And yet the politicologists question whether or not Chris(tine) can defeat him in November. Their position, again, based on the absurd 'he's the "established candidate"' model.
They are missing the obvious--right in front of their face. The election is about country (our true national identity) and individual freedoms and economics--to adherence to founding tenants, principles, and values. And about small and fostering not cumbersome and smothering government. Coons is an Obama drone--maybe worse. He's out of sorts with the angry public. The likes of him have been consistently defeated since our current president assumed office. He, too, shall fall.
On top of all else, critics cite Chris(tine)'s lack of a record of achievement. That may be true. It may not be. But she holds an undeniable achievement--she beat Castle. So she's a fighter and a survivor. She's not the first during the last couple of years to win an election with a wafer thin resume and questionable "achievements." I'll leave it at that. Chris(tine), regardless of whatever else she has done or failed to do and though currently polling about 10 points behind, should win the upcoming election; respectably.
Scientists have yet to figure out how to preempt hurricanes; man's will is not likely to ever conquer Mother Nature's.
But politicologists et. al.--perplexed, frightened, and now scrambling to weather Politicane Sam--have all sorts of ways to try to fizzle herracanes and himmacanes. What they can't dig up is typically, without shame, made up. Already there's interview footage circulating about a remark Chris(tine) made more than a decade ago as to "dabbling in witchcraft." She said it was something from her high school days and amounted to nothing. Who knows where this will go--in truth or lie. And what else may surface--true or false.
Though it's always prudent to investigate anomalies, it's unlikely her "crimes" will come anywhere near the real crimes of congressmen trolling public restrooms, seducing House pages, cheating on taxes and spouses, accepting sweetheart mortgage gifts and the like, and so on and so on and so on.
For now Herracane Chris(tine) churns and gains strength (raising more than a million dollars in the first 48 hours after winning election), and she's causing some modest if not respectable damage. Her eye's taking shape. Like many a cane, she may wobble but there are no signs, as of yet, she'll fall apart. But certainly anything can happen over the course of five weeks. That's why meteorologists scope out wide cones for hurricane paths--things can go from sweet to sour and vice verse in hours much less days and weeks. It's the same for herracanes. And himmacanes.
Though impossible to predict the path of any storm, pinpoint accuracy is irrelevant this time. Politicane Sam--mothering herracanes and himmacanes--circulating, growing, and barreling along for months and months and months--enveloping our country's coasts; Atlantic, Gulf, and Pacific--continues toward monsterdom. Stand by for the blow; a great big one. It's a'comin'!
Calm and sunshine to follow. Then cleanup. Recovery thereafter.
Sooner than later new storms will form.
So goes cane season and life in America.
Stormy days ahead--literally (maybe) and figuratively (absolutely). Whether you like the weather or not.