Good Morning America!

August 23, 2007 by susan
porch, Grand Hotel

Caution! Coffee at work!

It's so foggy here I can't breathe and I got up way too early and stayed up way too late. And coffee made me write this.

They filmed some TV show here today, the uber early morning show or something, and as I was writing in my office very late last night, I could hear a LOUD blast from an industrial barge, not like the soft hoot owl horn of a freighter passing gently in the Straits, but a nasty Republican in-your-face sort of blast, coming close, then receding, then coming close again, receding, and in the background a busy hum of fossil-fueled engines, and normally all you hear at night here is the clop of horses and the occasional whoop of a drunk, so I knew that this was the invasion of those mobile TV stations that they drive up to places like Waco and OJ's house so they can snake up their ET necks and bounce important messages into orbit, the sort of vehicles we're not supposed to have here unless they're horse drawn, but things they sneak in under cover of dark if it means "a really good opportunity" for someone -- more fudge sold, more horses harnassed, more beef tournedos served by Jamaicans paid less than your kid who sells lemonade on a bright summer morning.
Yep, there's more you betcha.

And so with all eyes turned to us, or at least the eyes of the unfortunate working stiffs getting up in hot NYC and tugging sleep-fogged toddlers out of damp sheets and feeding them fruit loops before catching the cross town #7 to drop them like apples from an apron into the arms of an illegal Dominican, who has left her own children alone in a neighbor's apartment being watched by a 12 year old 200 pound boy who does poorly in school and is called blobman and who never moves away from the TV which flickers images of bronze men with golden manes throwing other men with stubble cactus heads and chandelier earrings onto the mat and jumping on their chests while the children at his feet sit staring, numbly twisting their ears as if still waking up but this is as awake as they will likely ever be today, and another generation of Americans rises up in a fog of neglect and despair.
And yes, those working stiffs will watch this morning as the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island, in all its turn of the century glory --the other century when the porch was swept by Irish-here-to-stay and not by Jamaicans who will disappear like magic ink when the summer ends-- wakes up out of the Cedar banks, and florid-faced car dealers and their sturdy Dutch-blonde wives step out onto that magnificent porch, Lake Michigan to the right, Lake Huron to the left, and try to project the right blend of nonchalance and well-earned swagger to all those on the down side of that satellite, to give no hint that their 14 year old daughter is anorexic and their 18 year old son in rehab, and to provide a glimpse of the American dream to all those who are eating fruit loops and wishing they could be drinking Cafe Americano on the world's longest porch while staring out at a horizon that this morning no longer exists, just a giant blank silvergrey plasma screen of static nothing.
Thus spake Caffeinistra.

Posted in


barbara aka babs (not verified) | August 23, 2007 - 12:10pm

You know, it's all black or white with Republicans, or so it seems to me. That gray DMZ has gone missing. Noise and pomp and circumstance and glitz or deepest secrecy and stealth and sneakery.

So when we speak of the disappearance of the middle, it's not just about the middle class. A party of extremes, eh?

Meanwhile, the Dems are extremely fractious, which is positively Gift of Rove stuff. Pitted against each other because we tend to be idealists, hoping for justice and at least some measure of transparency -- neither of those evident for years.

So we snarl amongst ourselves (guilty), defend the poor and vulnerable, some of the time and largely just talking the talk (guilty) and letting the elephants stomp all over us. Our party logo should truly be a donkey skin as doormat. Except then PETA would be all over our butts and we'd feel guilty about that, too.

What's missing here is a rallying place/person to be a magnet for getting ourselves righted and organized. I mean organized in the Paul Wellstone sense of the word. Because if we don't . . . well, I can't bring myself to think the thought through, much less say the words.

It is ours to lose. And seems to me as though we're losing it. Any dissenters out there? Please!! I want to believe, I do. But I have clapped my little hands bloody, whilst praying for Tinkerbell to rally.

And meanwhile, the Reps word assiduously and effectively to stir the pot. Keep the noise coming to cloak the misdeeds.

Heckuva job, Dems.


susan | August 23, 2007 - 1:16pm

"What's missing here is a rallying place/person to be a magnet for getting ourselves righted and organized. I mean organized in the Paul Wellstone sense of the word. Because if we don't . . . well, I can't bring myself to think the thought through, much less say the words."

I think it's called leadership, sorely missing in the good ole US of A. Clinton, the first, for better or worse, and I think better, had it.
And can we talk about the final -- er, latest -- Rovian jujitsu flip of having Bush/Cheney, who weaseled out of the disatrous Vietnam war, turning it into a morality tale for Iraq? See, we left Vietnam and now?? Uh-huh? It's thriving and we go there as tourists and they've fogiven us and want to be like us (uh-oh) and trade with us and they're still Commies but it's not so bad, at least from our safe -- er, sorta safe -- shores.
As for all black/white with Repubs, well, not quite fair. I mean yeah, the loudest squawking ones, but I do know some who were pro-choice, moderate and reasonable and they've been drummed out, and I think to be honest we have to say that there are plenty on our side equally unable to see anything in greys. And while I'm one of them, according to my husband and right-wing Strib readers, I do try to see the bigger picture and understand why someone voted the way they did.
That little doily politely put forth, let me say that most of the braying right wing goons hellbent on dismantling gubmint and currently passing themselves off as Repubs are just as you say, and without any redeeming qualities other than being some poor mother's son or daughter.


Poet (not verified) | August 24, 2007 - 2:53pm

In the aftermath of the bridge collapse disaster in Minneapolis, people have been asking how safe are the bridges in our area. SO -- here is the information based on inspection records for Bridges in Jacksonville FL.

The span that carries University Boulevard North across the Arlington River to meet Cesery Boulevard has the lowest sufficiency rating of any bridge in Jacksonville. Federal inspectors gave the span that curves University toward the Clifton neighborhood in Arlington a seven on a scale of 100. The bridge that carries thousands of cars every day is one of 17 in Duval County listed as structurally deficient.

Sufficiency rating of Duval County bridges:

To summarize, the Mathews rates 40 out of 100 points;

the Hart Bridge is 59 out of 100 points,

the Main Street Bridge is 43.7 out of 100;

the Dames Point is 89 out of 100; the Buckman rated 93; t

the Acosta a 98;

and the Fuller Warren an 85.

Most ratings relate to the age of each span--the older the span the lower the score. With so many spans receiving a gfailing score it seems like jus a mater of time before our town has its own disaster.