Hurricane Frances managed to impart a large degree of damage, contrary to the ever bullish "rebuilding" spin bantered about by the robotic pundits scripted to turn those storm shuttered frowns upside down. Counties are simply stretched beyond budget and looking for FEMA to pick up the tab beyond what resides in the State's coffers; given it's an election year and having been the swing state in our last PEZidential Election... brother and Governor, Jeb Bush is assured immense support in the form of Federal Reserve Notes flowing our way. We, the taxpayers, can worry about the Federal bills somewhere down road. That two-lane highway... looks a lot like Indian River Drive north of Port St. Lucie and on up to Fort Pierce... washed out and impassable at present.
The Local Business Community has been deeply affected. Most retailers are closed, and remain boarded for now. Our Tertiary Micro-Economy is going to suffer far and wide as the restaurant and bar business is in very bad shape. A number of companies have set about laying off 50 to 75% of their workforce until "things" turn around... this is the state of affairs presently for the ranks of the unemployed living paycheck to paycheck. Listening to the radio yesterday I heard all sorts of "Emergency Equity Loans" being offered up in lieu of real disposable income. A situation that merely parallels all that has come before with respect to over-levered housing in the Sunshine State. County Budgets have no wiggle room for these types of disasters, none.
Two dear friends typify the broad based effects of Mother Nature's wrath and its devastating consequences: Pat and Carla have been Salerno, Florida for two decades plus. Carla is a Master Chef serving on-board large yachts; Pat an old world craftsman, who according to Gerry Garcia builds one of the best guitars ever made. After 8 days of feeding immigrant laborers and living in a sauna, Carla had enough. Banks had no cash... and food, gas, water and ice were scarce. When I spoke to her from Louisiana her tone was defeatist... she is one of the toughest people I've ever had the pleasure of knowing. Absolutely resolute in her convictions and assessments, Carla is an amazing person, as is Pat. They are now in Louisiana having taken my place at our former neighbor's home.
Hurricane Ivan is heading their way now and as of this morning they were getting out as New Orleans is one big saucer 15 feet below sea level with Ivan bearing down upon them. As we passed Pat & Carla on the turnpike heading home I ran into the National Guard making preparations to evacuate to higher ground in Lakeland, Florida. These poor guys had not slept in days, they were entirely exhausted and sleeping at a truck stop in 104 degree heat at Yee Haw Junction... smiles were still plentiful amongst them.
I was glad they were stateside and not in Iraq given what has come out to play in the Mid East. The result has not been "Democracy", but looting, anarchy and terror. Freedom evidently requires more than upturning a social caste, but the rule of law. Objective morality is clearly absent there and within its mirage of reconstruction... romantic fallacies abound within the Lord of the Flies temporal lobe. The human condition remains front and center to the rest of the globe, in stark contrast to Americana. Something this observer believes will exact an ever increasing toll upon the hierarchies at play within our great nation.
At present, we appear to be setting a course not far from the tribal secularism currently dividing Iraq, but that is simply my opinion... as our knowledge is simply nothing more than a intricate mélange of intuition, truths, induction and deduction... to each their own as it were.
Having spent several days towing my newly purchased covered, single axle trailer at 60 mph, plenty of time was spent listening to talk radio. At times it was exceptionally difficult not to attempt a catch-up to the misses... borrow her celfone and make a few calls to Rush, Shaun and Neal. The overwhelming theme is always division... as in "You're either with us, or against us", more secular division placed squarely in laps of the populace. Very little attention to actual details is ever factually presented. It's as though someone's decided to run a boot camp for cheerleading lemmings. Kerry this, Bush that... compare and contrast very few discernable differences... Corporate Fascist Kleptocracy at its finest exercising its Clear Channel mantra. No one begins to even ascertain the real underlying damage done. And that is sad. Neal seems to believe a consumption tax @ 20% is a good idea, fair enough that's a beginning, but GOD himself only thought one of ten was a good idea. In addition, he believes many Americans are apparently too stoopid to vote, so they should not. Lovely... if we become an more secularized in our ways, we might as well begin to divide the union in republics.
No mention of the fact FRD decided back in February of 1945 that a relationship with the House of Saud would be an exceptional idea. And in offering "protection" for the monarchy, Saudi Oil would find its primary consumer here in the US of A. No discussion of our vapid Foreign Policy of Blood for Oil, no mention of current military strategy underlying the on-going maintenance of the 10 key Oil Zones currently being occupied by large United States Military interest. Our Foreign policy is nothing more than preserving the flow of oil as without, we are cooked. God forbid someone should begin to look outside the profit centers at Halliburton...this would disrupt the use of "Custodial Trust" accounts... as in Social Security. I don't foresee the Republicans asking congress to hoist the budget ceiling once again prior to election. It is far easier to raid GL accounts in this money for nothing environment. Alternatives are shunned. Net metering in Florida? The state Disney choose due to its inherent streaks of 340+ days of clear blue... no, no thank you. Solar power, clean, renewable and plentiful... forget about it. Rush, Shaun and Neal would tell you it's a Net loser, that is consumes more energy than it produces. True, but that's merely another distortion swallowed ever so easily by the listener-ship with talent on loan from God. 3 decades ago then PREZident Carter warned us in no uncertain terms we had better begin looking in alternatives, regardless of cost, as the age of cheap oil was coming to an end and we'd be damn glad we'd converted some of that cheap oil into things like Solar Photovoltaic Cells while the converting was good. Now it merely costs more... brilliant. No alternatives? Well that's alternative. It merely parallels our unwillingness to see the trees and forest while stopping to pick up larger twigs today.
We have serious decisions to make going forward, as a nation and as individuals. "Value Judgments" so haplessly discarded by Economists need to be restored and not discarded. That is a rather lame attempt at rationale... unable to explain the unexplained. I barely comprehend magnetism, yet it is what it is. Much in the same way the inflationist path to Financial Armageddon and massive deflation will befall the early 20th Century Industrial Powers, the twigs will be collected until the cart tips over and becomes immovable. Sociology has a place in Modern Science, its Value Judgments are no less a science than one Alan Greenspan's bizarre and distructive Alchemy.