Friday, September 30, 2005

Oil would be well if it ended well, but oils not well..or a bigHola to Burton comes up dry

In another case of YOUR tax dollars at work, the LA Times reports here that oil production in Iraq is still lower than in the pre-war days, and that future oil production has been seriously harmed thanks to bungling by Halliburton and KBR.

Is this the case of the gang that couldn't drill straight????

My favorite is the $70,000,000 given to KBR for building pipelines that were only half completed forcing the Iraqis to pump the oil back into the freaking ground.

The Tennessean got our name right!!

In today's North Davidson section of the Tennessean that actually contained North Nashville coverage in three pages out of eight, Nancy Deville wrote a story about the new brownstone development in our neighborhood and she actually got our neighborhood name right - Salemtown. We've apparently graduated from being in 'the Germantown area'.

The City Paper managed to break the new development story about a month ago, but they also managed to tar the neighborhood as somewhat squalid and aluminum sided, with the caveat that the new development would lift Salemtown from its seediness. Needless to say, Salemtown bloggers didn't care for the characterization -S-TownMike's take and my own weigh-in.

The Tennessean piece didn't paint the new development and developers as saviors of a drowning neighborhood, so, even though they came to the story late, a tip of the hat to Ms. Deville.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Tennessee Rubes - What the Gas Guy really thinks..

I blog-strolled over to the Gas Guy's alter ego blog earlier tonight and happened to read his post on the Stones, along with a few of the comments..this one by The Gas Guy aka Evil Jeremy caught my eye:

You guys can, as consolation, all feel special that you know the answer to the Riddle of Gas and a bunch of poor rubes in the Volunteer State do not.

The Gas Guy is snickering with his pals who were in on the joke.

Turns out he really is a Gaseous guy...

Reaching out to my Republican friends

Are you lonely? Do you need a date? Are you having trouble meeting people who don't start foaming at the mouth when they hear the name Bush? This site is an answered prayer.

Thanks to MSNBC.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

If you're not watching Veronica Mars...

you are missing one of the best shows on TV. Kristin Bell, the actress who plays Veronica, may be 25 but she plays 17 quite well.

The writers know how to work a story arc over the course of a season without sacrificing the 'watchability' of individual episodes (check out Season 1 on DVD whenever it comes out and you'll see). Veronica is a sleuthing daughter of a private detective who manages to walk the thin line between the cool crowd and the dweebs and somehow masters the domain without really fitting in anywhere.

TV gets high school, maybe because many of the writers are mentally still in high school. TV doesn't do college well - witness any number of shows that centered on high school (Beverly Hills 90210, Dawson's Creek, Buffy) that were decent to good while the kids were in high school, but just totally sucked rocks when the kids went to college.

Veronica M. is as good as any of the aforementioned shows, imo. Kristin B is a star and has now replaced Sara Michelle Geller (buffy) as the ridiculously younger actor who I now I have a crush on...damn, was that my out loud voice???

Yet another theory - Salemtown name game

My friend Gary responded to an earlier posting about the naming of Salemtown. His theory makes as much sense as any I have heard or read:

The now named American Tobacco Company, makers of snuff and stuff in plant(s) in the area of North Nashville ajoining Salemtown was originally part of the original American Tobacco Company started by James Buchanan "Buck" Duke. Buck Duke was an original robber baron, but was best know in the tobacco industry for introducing ready rolled cigarettes from his factories around Durham, Winston-Salam, and other towns in North Carolina. When he started those factories, the people in the world who knew all there was to know about cigarette machines were Greek. Thousands of Greeks had immigrated to the Norheast and were lured to North Carolina by the American Tobacco Company. Even today, there is a relatively large Greek population in mid North Carolina many of which work for big tobacco.

That all being said. Working in a tobacco factory requires more skilled tradesmen than is intuitively obvious. One wonders if Mike, in his seminal post, had the tobacco right but the reason wrong. What if Buck Duke, or others, started snuff factories in Nashville and sent a relatively large group skilled workers from North Carolina who were from the Winston-Salem area who settled in the enclave in North Nashville within walking distance of the snuff factories? What if they called their new neighborhood 'Salemtown' in honor of their North Carolina roots?

I'm pretty sure no witches were burned here in S-Town, and I'm now sure that the name Salemtown pre-dates the Salem church. Tobacco has played a big role in Tennessee and Nashville history, so it really wouldn't be surprising if the name refers to cigarettes (lone wolf theory) or to a town named for a cigarette.

North Nashville - Salem's Lots helps out the Tennessean

I realize that I, a North End resident, may be a little bit sensitive on the following issue, but, is it too much to ask for the Tennessean to print at least one news item from North Nashville in their North Davidson edition?

I've included a terra-map of Nashville to help the Tennessean. The area below the 'upside down U' on the map is the main part of North Nashville. The eastern and northern boundary of North Nashville is the Cumberland River. The southern boundary is roughly Joe Johnston street extending out to the TSU campus on the west, and the Bicentennial Mall on the east. I know that some might quibble with these boundaries, but I don't think anyone would argue that the Waverly-Belmont area AND Woodbine school are anywhere near North Nashville. Both Waverly-Belmont and Woodbine school are written up in today's North Nashville edition.

As a long-time Nashville resident, I understand that Nashville geography is confusing. Much of what is commonly known as East Nashville is actually north of downtown. Old-timers know that South Nashville is roughly the Woodbine (Flat Rock for you real old-timers) area, even though the Granny White area is true south. I would have expected the Tennessean to have figured all this out by now.

I understand that the Friday edition of the Tennessean is going to cover some of the exciting new development in my neighborhood (Salemtown), thanks to S-TownMike. What I don't get is how both S-TownMike and I had the story several weeks ago, along with the City Paper, and the Tennessean is just now getting here. Maybe they were trying to find our neighborhood but got lost in Waverly-Belmont.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Baseball blog neglect - where's the LOVE?

I know there ARE some Nashville bloggers who profess their love of baseball. I read your profiles. I also know that Nashville is more of a football town than a baseball town, and I have to reluctantly accept that. I love the Dores (NOT bandwagoning here, i've been a fan since freakin' 1960 and yes, I have suffered) and I'm a Titan fan, but my heart belongs to beisbol.

We are coming to the end of an exciting baseball season. My beloved Yankees are battling with the devil-spawn Red Sox for dominance in the East. The young whippersnapper Indians of Cleveland are waging a full frontal assault on the wilting White Sox. The suspiciously large-headed Barry Bonds is back and bashing home runs for the Giants who are maintaining a weak pulse of a chance in the West.

The American League season will end next week with the first and second place teams playing each other in series that will probably determine who advances to the playoffs. The National League wild-card race is blazing....yet...

The local blog world is void of spheroid discussion. There is another sport out there you know.


Monday, September 26, 2005

My God, Flipper's got a gun and he's swimming this way...

At first I thought I was reading the Onion when I read this story. Apparently we've been training dolphins to pinpoint and shoot terrorists.

Hurricane Katrina has liberated these killer dolphins. I knew that the genetic makeup of said dolphins implies intelligient design, but I gotta wonder how they know the diff between a terrorist and an innocent scuba diver who doesn't know today's password or the difference between their intelligence handler and the PETA folks who are surely coming to the rescue.

Just my luck the next time I'm down chilling in Grayton Beach, I'll be attacked by a brainwashed dolphin who thinks that all non-conservatives want to destroy his way of life...

Sharon Cobb

I had the privilege two weeks ago to hang out with blogger extrordinaire Sharon for an evening at the Australian Festival in Centennial Park. Prior to that evening I had talked to her approximately three minutes on the phone. We spent about three hours talking, walking, being grateful we didn't spend $15 to sit under a tent to listen to the musical portion of the evening. Sharon is smart, clever, fun, not predictable (a high compliment btw) and someone I now consider a friend.

As most of you know by now, she is going in for surgery today. The cancer invading her body is a cruel imposter that will, hopefully, be removed completely today. Our thoughts and prayers have been requested, and I, like so many others, am not going to deny that request.

Peace and comfort, Sharon.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

The 'Rep' is channeling Martin Luther King..

Representative Campfield has devoted a post to the eloquent 'I have a dream' speech. Sadly, he left out the part of the speech that proclaims, 'I dream of a day when a white state representative will become a member of that state's black caucus'.

We can always dream can't we?

I was wondering how this particular post was not rife with grammatical errors and run-on sentences, and then I realized he was quoting from the King.

Not enough sense to get in and get out of the rain

I've said it before and I'll say it again. Reporters who stand out in the wind and rain during hurricanes are idiots, but more importantly think WE are idiots.By now most two year olds know that HURRICANES ARE BAD and they REALLY BLOW. Point your camera out from a window or porch if you want to show how that traffic light is being twisted and the big wow of another piece of aluminum siding blowing by. Give us a break.

Even sharks know better. I don't really want any of these faux-Jack-Londoners to die or even get seriously injured, but I do wish that at least one of them would get blown about 30 yards across one of their strategically important parking lots. Now THAT would be entertainment.

Friday, September 23, 2005

FDA Head resigns - I'm sure there's some horse show official..

out there ready to step in and take the reins..

FDA head Lester Crawford resigned today. The former vet's lowlights included the approval of Vioxx and the political decision (vs. the medical decision) to not approve the sale of emergency contraception and recalls of malfunctioning heart devices.

Stomp twice if you think that emergency contraception is baaaaaaaaaaaaaad...

Thursday, September 22, 2005

It was SUPPOSED to be the summer of George

I have a theory that pretty much every situation in life has some analogy or corollary from Seinfeld. If you have seen all the episodes (in some cases multiple times), you will recall a line or a scene or a plot twist that somehow relates to the current mise en scene.

"You know ....if you had told me twenty-five years ago that some day I'd be standing here about to solve the world's energy problems, I would've said you were crazy. Now let's push this giant ball of oil out this window."

An energy bill porked up with some interesting Texas expenditures and suspicious pollution waivers courtesy of Tom DeLay, that does not address CAFE standards, that does not intensely concentrate on alternative energy sources or new technology and that does not even address global warming concerns (yes, there IS a middle ground between Kyoto Protocols and doing freaking NOTHING) is about as sensible as pushing a giant ball of oil out of the window.

"So, has the summer of George begun? Or are you still decomposing?"

Having to cut that month-long vacation in Texas by two days must have been a jolt...

I don't know if you've noticed, but lately I've been drifting aimlessly."
"Now that you mention it."
"But I've finally realized what's missing in my life... Structure!"
Based on various reports about the President's involvement during the first three days post-Katrina, including his initial listless remarks which sounded like he WAS reading a laundry list, followed by a speech in San Diego and some golf and back to Texas.

"Yes, I was very wise to hitch my wagon to his star.."
General Colin Powell apologized for his pre-Iraq war speech to the U.N. explaining why we HAD to go to war in Iraq. Also pretty much every senator or congressman in a moderate non-blood red state who is identified with the Bush doctrine, now that everyone can see that the man is as fiscally conservative as a drunken _______ (fill in the blank with any group or person you wish to insult) at a whorehouse, and that the build-up to the war may have been well-planned but the post-war terrorist-recruiting prelude to a civil war plan ain't exactly working as advertised. And, yes, I know that much good has been done and that Saddam was bad, but I also know that we are up to 24,000 civilian deaths and 1,899 American military casualties. Oh yeah, most of the terrorist funding pre-9/11 up to today has come from Iran, Syria and Saudi Arabia.

"Why would we want to help somebody?" That's what nuns and Red Cross workers are for."
The Rush/O'Reilley initial response that the victims in New Orleans should have had enough sense to get out before Katrina, notwithstanding that 20,000 or so didn't have a car and/or enough $$$ to go anywhere. And for anyone wh thinks that killing someone for stealing a pair of sneakers is a good trade.

"Serenity now! Serenity now!"
"What is that?"
"The doctor gave me a relaxation cassette. When my blood pressure gets too high, the man on the tape tells me to say 'serenity now!'"
"Are you supposed to yell it?"
"The man on the tape wasn't specific."
This is for the American public at large who are still reeling from Katrina while waiting for Rita while watching gas prices spiral upward while paying more and more for the blood pressure medicine needed for the stress and bad diets we continually ingest while a war is going on and we are fed incessant reports of a missing rich white girl in Aruba while lots of other people were missing who didn't look much like the missing girl in Aruba, meanwhile the budget deficit is reaching epic historic prooportions and the beat goes on..and on...and on

"I was in the pool! I was in the pool!"

Bush's popularity and job ratings have certainly displayed shrinkage...

"You'll be out before we get the check!"

The American public and their children and their children and their children, etc, on Bush leaving office in 2008.

"It's time for George to start being George again."

God help us...

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Now HERE'S an ad

This ad sure beats the heck out of those demographically diverse pseudo-cool dweebs singing about Coke on some rooftop!

Click yes on that security pop-up window.

My dinner with Van Hilleary, er, Ed Bryant

I got to be a part of the bloggers bash with Ed Bryant today at the Sunset Grill (I think we are supposed to call it Nashville Area Political Bloggers group, but how do you say NAPB??).

First of all, thanks and props to Sunset Grill for allowing the bloggers to meet in a private dining room gratis, and for their always excellent food (not gratis, but reasonably priced).

Thanks also to Bill Hobbs and Sharon Cobb (who will be including a complete transcript of the luncheon tomorrow on her site) for their work setting this up.

Bryant's opening remarks began with his explaination for being late (he was barely late). He has been working with other West Tennessee Republicans to demand a recount/explaination/possible reversal in the Ophelia Ford 12-vote landslide victry over Republican John Roland. It sounds like Bryant and colleagues are putting just as much energy in demanding a re-count as his counterparts in 2000 did in stopping recounts.

One thing that surprised me, even though it certainly fits in with Bryant's conservative philosophy, is that despite what went on in Memphis (possibly the dead rose and voted according to Bryant) and the other electoral chicanery that has occurred over the years on a state and local level, Bryant does not see any need for federal standards or rules governing how local and state elections are run. He still believes that standards should be set on the local and state level.

One thing I really wanted to know: What's the diff between Bryant and Hilleary and Corker, at least according to candidate Bryant. What I found out for sure is that 'moderate' is the new 'liberal' (moderates are baaaaaaaaad). Corker, according to Bryant, is the moderate candidate while he (Bryant) and Hillary are going to duke it out for the conservative vote.

Polls indicate that the candidate of the moderate wing (are there enough of em' to be even considered a wing?) is not getting much support. Bryant's polling shows Bryant in the lead, while, believe it or not, Hilleary's polls show that Hilleary is in the lead. Both have Corker trailing in single-digit-ville.

But, why would a Republican primary voter go into the booth and select Bryant over Hilleary (or vice versa) if said voter wanted to nominate a conservative? I'm still not sure, even though Bryant did claim the 'better set of tools' for the job, based on his congressional and judicial experience. Bryant claims that he will be appointed to the Judiciary committe, if elected, which will put him in the right place to encourage the nomination and installation of 'non-activist' judges to Federal and Supreme Courts.

My impression of a non-activist judge is that he/she rules in a way that agrees with what conservatives want, but maybe that's just me.

Bryant's three big issues in the primary are: judicial appointments, immigration and traditional values. The only traditional values that came up in the luncheon were abortion and gay marriage. Not much commentary re gay marriage, but Bryant is clearly anti-abortion/pro-life. According to Bryant, abortions should be illegal (not clear what you do to the moms who get an 'illegal' abortion) because life begins at conception, but birth control pills and other birth control devices should remain legal. Considering that some pills and devices are technically abortions, I see some inconsistency there. At least he didn't break into the Monty Python number, "every sperm is sacred'.

When asked why one should err on the side of life when it comes to a fetus, but not in the case of the death penalty, Bryant responded that the fetus does not have the due process rights of the convicted criminal. Based on statistics I've seen over the last twenty years, some folks get a lot more due process than others.

Bryant's immigration stance would be onerous, but unenforceable outside of police state circumstances. All illegal aliens should be removed and sent packing, according to Bryant, who also stated that he disagrees with President Bush's recent proposals regarding immigration.

Regarding Katrina, Bryant did admit that rolling FEMA into Homeland Security was probably a mistake, and that we need to be careful with the enormous amount of money that we will be spending to repair and rebuild the coastal area, with the addenda that we need to cut spending in other areas to compensate for the massive post-Katrina cleanup expense.

Bryant supports the Bush SSN proposal while admitting the proposal is seriously stalled. He believes that private accounts will eventually become a gateway issue again and will re-surface.

Bryant is a gracious, nice-looking plain-speaking man. He was friendly and appeared to genuinely enjoy answering our questions. Even though I disagree with him profoundly politically, I trust the man on a personal level and would like to hear him explain the ramifications of his immigration policy, and what should happen to people who get abortions in a society where abortions are illegal.

I still don't know of any philosophical or political difference between Bryant and Hilleary. They are both pro-tax-cut in the midst of the whirlwind spending and I suspect their judicial temperments are identical.

If either Bryant/Hilleary is nominated, we, the voters of Tennessee will have a clear choice between the moderate, somewhat liberal Harold Ford and the deeply conservative Bryant/Hilleary.

UPDATE 9/22/05: I've been informed in an email from Jennifer Easton that Ophelia's margin of victory was 13 votes rather than 12, and that Ophelia's opponent is named Terry Roland, not John Roland. I've got to get off the John fixation.
My apologies.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

And the answer is: The fastest way to lose any street cred I have left

The answer lies within. What's that giant sucking sound coming from the west?

Ice, we hardly knew ye...

We CAN be heroes

Along with the snafus, multi-level layers of blame, and Brownie-you've-done-a-heckuva job palaver, there are Katrina heroes, including a Wal-Mart manager who stole a bunch of boats and brought supplies to hundreds of people and one federal 'agency' who got it right: The United States Coast Guard.

According to the Boston Globe, the Coast Guard had rescued 1,200 people before FEMA set foot in New Orleans. This piece in the Washington Post further details the impressive work of the Coast Guard in the aftermath of Katrina. Despite the fact that Coast Guard stations in the area were destroyed, the Guard eventually rescued a staggering 22,000 people.

The Coast Guard REALLY did a heckuva job...

Monday, September 19, 2005

I can't remember what this is about

According to this, Chinese scientists are working on a way to block memories, a la Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, by messing with the pre-frontal cortex of mice. Treated mice forgot about a shock related to a certain piece of music, and repeatedly listened to the same piece of music without flinching. Untreated mice panicked like a FEMA employee when asked if he wanted one of those 'hurricane' drinks.

The ramifications are ominous (movie studios could drug your popcorn making you forget how bad, say, STEALTH is, and as a result you might return to see the movie again and again, not realizing that the film is a wretched waste of celluloid).

On the other hand, judicious use of the treatment would enable me to forget:

1) Red Sox beat the Yankees last year in the playoffs
2) I ran over my cell phone last month
3) the song 'Horse with no Name' by America (and I'll take the treatment again if i hear that damn song again)
4) Paris Hilton ('nuff said)
5) the time in high school when I went out with this girl I really liked for the first time and I couldn't think of ANY thing to say, until I spotted a bright green home mailbox that I felt compelled to discuss. Oddly, no more dates with this girl..
6) 22 straight victories by Tennessee over Vandy in football (maybe events will overtake the need to forget this one!)
7) pretty much every haircut I got from the 7th grade thru high school
8) the time at work (I work for the state Health department) when I was involved in a discussion about breastfeeding promotion and I blurted out something about calling women who had quit breastfeeding and encouraging them to start again..doh!
9) the time I fell out of a trash can I was hiding in behind a map of the Holy Land in Sunday school class when Pat Boone's daughter walked into the class
10) Any movie starring Freddy Prinz Jr.

There's more, but I might start crying...

The name game - Salemtown mythology revisited

Last night when we out walking the hyper-dog Sparky, we stopped to chat with long-time Salemtown resident Patsy Gidcomb (Patsy lives on the 1800 block of 5th). Patsy has lived in her current house for 46 years, and for most of her preceding years, she lived across the street. She remembers Freeman's Restaurant on Buchanan and 5th, the dry cleaners and the grocery store all within two blocks of her house.

We asked Patsy the inevitable question: How did Salemtown get its name? She wasn't sure, but she did contribute mightily to our quest: "Salemtown had its name before the Salem AME church was created and built". Another naming myth debunked!

I'm leaning strongly to the theory espoused by the lone wolf of Salemtown in S-townMike's seminal post last week in his Enclave blog.

Smoke em' if you got em'...

Sunday, September 18, 2005

I want my Democrats back

A couple of weeks ago on Bill Maher's always interested HBO show, he made the observation that finally, after Katrina and the unspectacular response from government at ALL levels, that 'FINALLY, we have our press back'. Despite the rhetoric from the Fox-fused right, the mainstream press has not strongly questioned, badgered, or investigated the status quo during the Bush years. The build-up to the war in Iraq and the 'no-brainer' belief that WMD did exist in Iraq were both largely unquestioned by the NY Times, the Washington Post and any TV news that I could find.

It took a bigger-than-fricking-life natural disaster and live-on-camera dissembling and incompetence for the press to FINALLY step in and scream the truth.

As ill-conceived, dangerous and selfish as I think many of the Bush policies are, I am forced to concede that I have not heard or read any coherent message either as proposal or as response from Democratic leadership.

Stating and repeating that 'Bush is bad' and we are against what he is for didn't work in the 2004 elections and does not bode well for 2006.

Where are the Democrats?

- Energy and Environment - China's coming (watch your oil, boys) and much of our mid-eastern oil purchases are indirectly funding Islamic extremism. Is there a plan to seriously reduce our dependency on oil? Lamar Alexander has stated that the 'Clean Air Act' is not adequate to protect our air. Alternative energy sources, including (excuse me while I duck to avoid greenpeace missiles) nuclear need to be on the table.

Where are the Democrats?

- Massive deficits - How are going to pay for a war in Iraq, Bush's 'wet' Deal for the Gulf Coast, Homeland Security, etc. etc.? Somebody has got to more than call Bush on his profligacy, they've got to have a plan to cut spending or raise revenues (and I don't think tax increases are going to be happening soon).

Where are the Democrats?

- Genocide / Massacres in Africa - Bush has at least paid attention to what is happening in Danfur. Like him or not, Senator Frist, on his own dime, has flown in to Sudan and given his money and medical expertise to the beleaguered Sudanese. Genocide is happening and we can't be bothered.

Where are the Democrats?

Education - 'no child left behind' is under-funded and ill-conceived. One size doesn't fit all. Public schools have been, in many cases still are, and can be great. Creative thinking such as charter schools must be explored. Vouchers might be an option in some extreme cases, but would eventually kill public schools in most cities.

Where are the Democrats?

Where is meaningful, well-thought opposition that is more than RE-action. I want it back.

And, the caption is????

1. Man, the National Guard REALLY is stretched thin
2. Don't ask, don't tell..
3. We do more in one morning, than Mrs. Landers third grade class does in an entire week!
4. In a recent move to shore up military recruiting, the Bush administration has sliiiiiiiiiighly lowered the age limits
5. If you kids DON'T quit looting those blow-pops, there is going to be HECK to pay
6. This is my rifle and not my gun, look at me mommy, I'm having FUN!

Saturday, September 17, 2005

It's the end of the world as we know it (and I feel fine)

Matthew Chapter 24 - In the end days there will be wars and rumors of wars, earthquakes, famine and whirlwind, and men in Gold shall defeat the rebels, and their victories will be three.

Oh Baby.....

Philled with Inner Peace

Wonderful advice from Ron Gilbert, contract policy advisor of Alabama Arise *.

Inner Peace

I am passing this on to you because it definitely worked for me and
we all could use more calm in our lives.

By following the simple advice I heard on a Dr. Phil show, I have
finally found inner peace. Dr. Phil proclaimed: "The way to achieve
inner peace is to finish all the things you've started."

So I looked around my house to see all the things I started and
hadn't finished, and before leaving the house this morning, I
finished off a fifth of Crown Royal, a bottle of Merlot, a bottle
of Bailey's, a bottle of Kahlua, a package of Oreos, the remainder
of both Prozac and Valium prescriptions, the rest of the
cheesecake, some saltines and a box of chocolates. You have no idea how freaking good I feel.

*Arise is a coalition of 132 religious, community, and civic groups that promote state policies to improve the lives of low-income people.

George Delano Bush - The Wet Deal

President Bush's speech in New Orleans Thursday night reminded me of when we were teenagers in church youth group and were asked to speak at Sunday night church services. Some of our number actually went to a lot of trouble and wrote good speeches, but at 15, the delivery was halting and evidenced the fact that we had rather be pretty much anywhere than the current coordinates. Bush's speech was well written and had a great ending. By the time the speech was over, I'm certain that the spirits of the New Deal were smiling and that the ghosts of true conservatives were having the ghoulish equivalent of a coronory.

But let's look at where we really are and why we got this way. In a front page NY Times story today we see:

Nearly three weeks after Hurricane Katrina cut its devastating path, FEMA .... is faltering in its effort to aid hundreds of thousands of storm victims, local officials, evacuees and top federal relief officials say. The federal aid hot line mentioned by President Bush in his address to the nation on Thursday cannot handle the flood of calls, leaving thousands of people unable to get through for help, day after day.

S-town Mike cites a Memphis article that details how the government is paying thousands of dollars a day for trucks loaded with water and ice to idle in Memphis waiting for FEMA coordination.

The FEMA website created for hurricane victims to apply for aid was written so that only Windows and Internet Explorer users can access the application pages. According to the fine print ON the actual site: "In order to use this site, you must have JavaScript Enabled and Internet Explorer version 6. Download it from Microsoft or call 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) to register." FEMA to MAC users: drop dead!

How did this happen? FEMA was created during the Carter administration and given 'extraordinary' powers under the Reagan administration. FEMA under Bush 1 was criticized as being politizied and was broadly lambasted for the response to Hurricane Andrew. Many people think that Bush 1's loss to Clinton can be largely tied to FEMA response to Andrew.

Clinton actually appointed an Emergency Specialist to run FEMA. James Witt had been the head of Arkansas EM under Clinton's governorship and was universally lauded as a non-partisan effective manager, even today by many of the Bush II apologists. When Bush II was elected be nominated his Texas campaign manager, Joe Allbaugh, to run FEMA.

An article in Washington Monthly written in 2003 details:

In a May 15, 2001, appearance before a Senate appropriations subcommittee, Allbaugh signaled that the new, stripped-down approach would be applied at FEMA as well. "Many are concerned that federal disaster assistance may have evolved into both an oversized entitlement program and a disincentive to effective state and local risk management," he said. "Expectations of when the federal government should be involved and the degree of involvement may have ballooned beyond what is an appropriate level."

As a result, says a disaster program administrator who insists on anonymity, "We have to compete for our jobs--we have to prove that we can do it cheaper than a contractor." And when it comes to handling disasters, the FEMA employee stresses, cheaper is not necessarily better, and the new outsourcing requirements sometimes slow the agency's operations.

Under Bush (and sadly approved by congress), FEMA was folded into Homeland Security and had many of its emergency preparedness functions transferred to other sections of the new department. As a result, morale for long-time FEMA managers suffered, resulting in the loss of many key staffers in the first two years of the Bush II presidency.

An article in the Wall Street Journal from September, 2004 stated:

"Once the highest-ranked government office for worker satisfaction, FEMA is now dead last, according to surveys conducted by labor unions and the federal government's Office of Personnel Management. In the most recent union survey, 60% of FEMA staffers said they would take a job elsewhere if one were offered, and 80% of respondents said they thought FEMA has become a poorer agency since joining Homeland Security."

As implied in the earlier quote by Allbaugh, out-sourcing and hiring consultants became the chief focus of FEMA in conjunction with much of the philosophy writ by Bush II and his staff.

In 2003, William Waugh, a disaster expert at Georgia State University who has written training programs for FEMA, warned that the rise of a "consultant culture" has not served emergency programs well. "It's part of a widespread problem of government contracting out capabilities," he says. "Pretty soon governments can't do things because they've given up those capabilities to the private sector. And private corporations don't necessarily maintain those capabilities."

Allbaugh who was not lauded by anybody, left the Bush administration for lobbying pastures. Unfortunately, his leaving did not signal the end of his influence. He recommended Mike Brown, his old college roomie, who had little practical emergency preparedness experience. In a move that speaks louder than any words possibly can, the Bush administration, even AFTER 9/11, named this resume-padding horse-show-running boob as the director of FEMA.

Even Bill Kristol, a leader of the neo-con movement and a major Bush apologist stated that he could not find any reason why 'this man' got that job.

FEMA did not create Katrina. But the lack of interest from the Bush administration along with the politization of the agency has left the victims of Katrina to reap the fruits of 'the whirlwind'.

Based on the contents of his speech, Bush has apparently seen the federal light. His words sound good, his proposals are vast and expensive, and he sounds earnest.

But words aren't unsnarling the confluence of the consultancy culture that helped bring us this mess.

Some say FEMA stands for 'Failure to Effectively Manage Anything'. I'm thinking that maybe it really means: Feeble Execution - Mostly Air.

Here's hoping that FEMA re-attains the status it held during the CLINTON years.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Park the pork - federal spending on Lipscomb's garage

My alma mater (of many many years) is David Lipscomb University. When I went there it was a mere college. My children would say that I went there WITH David Lipscomb (circa 1880s), and I of course insist that I walked two miles uphill each way through snow deep enough to choke a bison. The reality is that I lived a block away and usually managed to stumble to school on time considering I never scheduled a college class before 9:00 AM. Lipscomb is a small Christian liberal arts school largely supported by churches of Christ and church of Christ members around the world. Lipscomb has received federal funding for some of their building projects through grants and has agreed not to teach any bible or religious courses in the buildings built with said funding.

Which brings me to the point of all this. Lipscomb is getting $3,000,000 bucks for a new parking garage as part of the, get this, recent highway bill passed by congress and signed by Bush (not that he's ever vetoed ANY spending bill). This bill is so loaded, larded and laded with pork that people of religious bent who eschew pork should probably not even read about the monstrosity.

The rationale - Lipscomb hosts a lot of 'public events' and needs more parking capacity for these events. At first, second, and third glance, this argument holds less water than a kiddie wading pool. Lipscomb is not holding these events for free. As one would guess, Tennessee pols, both Dem and Republican are behind this largess - Rep. Cooper AND Senator Frist.

Local blogsters S-townMike and Bob Krumm (and probably others) have weighed in on this porcinity earlier.

Some members of the current congress are questioning the huge spending that the Bush adminstration is proposing to spend on rebuilding the Gulf Coast in the wake of Katrina. The worry is that an already bloated deficit budget will swell beyond even the capacity of the cliched financial responsibility of our grandchildren, as in the next freaking civilization after this one. As a parenthetical note, I would like to add right here that the 'liberal' Democratic administration before the world of 'W' handed the incoming Bush folks one of the largest budget surpluses in history.

So, what can we do? There are plenty of places to economize, and my first suggestion would be to for Lipscomb to forego the $3,000,000 and apply it to the relief in N'awlins. They're gonna need new parking a lot worse than Lipscomb does.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

What's so funny about PC understanding or Peeved by PC

Ok, do you know ONE person who claims that they are truly politically correct without a trace of irony in their voice? Nobody.

Political correctness has evolved from a serious issue which examined the line between forthrightness and boorish, rude commentary. Today people use the 'PC' straw man to make statements that are rude, boorish, and often racist.

There is a huge difference between the silliness of PC and racism.

PC means you can't criticize someone because they are a minority or that you can't treat them as harshly because they are a minority.

PC states that any derivitive of white male Europeans is suspect because white male Europeans have been historically the oppressing, slave-holding class.

Ironically, these examples of PC are not only stupid, but racist.

Unfortunately, more and more people are using the stupidity of PC to mask their racist and stupid statements. Anybody who claims that what they are about to say is NOT PC and then makes a statement like 'black people all ______' or 'no black people are _________' is making a racist ignorant statement. Arguing against this type of statement is not being politically correct. In fact, arguing against this nonsense is the morally correct thing to do.

I'm sick of racist, boorish, rude statements made about any group of people by anyone acting like they are being so brave, brave enough to thwart the politically correct crowd. There isn't a politically correct crowd in the adult world outside of a few college campuses. Few people seriously dream of being politically correct.

Historically, you always knew that someone was about to make a hideously racist statement when they prefaced their words with 'I'm not a racist, but......". Nowadays, when someone brags about their political correctness, watch what comes out next..often some 'bold' statement that most people wouldn't make in front of the very people (or types of people) of whom they are talking.

On the other hand, I can state emphatically that many years of caucasian genes combined with 5 generations of church of Christ in my blood have rendered my dancing genes to a state little more than the lizard DNA lurking deep within my cortexes. I'd be really pissed about it, but all my white male european forebearer types have all died off and there's nobody I can yell at...

the angels wanna wear my red shoes...

Apparently the Catholic church is cracking down on gays attempting to enter Catholic seminaries. According to the NY Times the church is conducting a review of Catholic seminaries to ensure that gays are screened OUT of admission. The American archbishop supervising the seminary review said last week that "anyone who has engaged in homosexual activity or has strong homosexual inclinations," should not be admitted to a seminary. Given my saturation in the world of Seinfield I always expect a statement like that to be followed with 'not that there is anything wrong with that'. Perhaps the Times omitted that portion of the interview.

I'm not a Catholic so I have no real standing in this issue, but questions must be raised concerning the vetting of anyone who 'has strong homosexual inclinations'. Has the Catholic church developed some kind of 'gay-dar'? Perhaps Google, in their quest for world domination, is working on some bio-search software that the Church has secreted in the bowels of the Vatican.

Is the church administering some kind of questionaire including questions like: Did your heart skip a beat when you read that Judy Garland's red slippers from The Wizard of Oz were going to auctioned? Does the quiz include an audio portion where testers could judge applicant reaction to New Order's 'Bizarre Love Triangle'?

I'm not saying these are good, discerning or fair questions, but inquiring minds need to know!

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Welcome to Salemtown - Which way are we tipping?

Pictured: Norman's market on Garfield and 7th.

In Malcolm Gladwell's best-selling book, 'The Tipping Point', he eloquently presents the thesis that neighborhoods encourage crime and violence by allowing grafitti to remain without timely removal and buildings with broken windows to remain in place, because the surrounding environment strongly effects how people behave. In East New York, a project-filled neighborhood in which I lived in the late 1970s, crime dropped by more than half after the police and public works refused to allow grafitti to remain more than 24 hours without being 'scrubbed'. Abandoned building owners were given official notice, summoned and fined if broken windows weren't fixed.

Crime was pervasive during the years we lived in East New York. Crime became rampant and practically viral in the early 80s during the 'crack years'. The appeal of crack diminished in the late 80s, and crime diminished somewhat. In the mid to late 90s, the anti-graffiti policy was put into place. Crime dropped to the lowest point in East New York since the early 60s when the projects began to be placed in East New York.

The projects still exist in East New York. Population growth has been steady, but the crime rate continues to drop.

It is time for the people of Salemtown in conjunction with city officials and business owners to get the grafitti REMOVED. Abandoned houses need to be torn down or fixed up. A neighborhood that allows the kind of garbage written on the side of the popular market pictured above (along with other Salemtown businesses and abandoned houses) is a neighborhood enabling criminal activity.

I hear talk about the way Salemtown used to be. I'm pretty sure that one of the former charms of Salemtown was the lack of tagged buildings and fences (despite the fact that spray paint was on sell during the 'good' years). Salemtown is still a good place to live, but it can be made better, and I have a pretty good idea of how to start doing just that...

Why wait until 2008 for a solution to 'Eau de Salemtown'

when this Alaskan town's solution could be aspirated upon us or maybe just mixed in with the West Nile Virus spray???

Married to an artist, OR Oedipus lost

My wife is an artist. I'm obviously highly biased, but I think she is a very good artist. I present as evidence her picture of my brother-in-law. I doubt that any of you know him, but if you did, you would realize that THAT is Mark.

Her passion for painting is as evident as a blogger in a coffeehouse and that the coffee in that coffeehouse is often stimulating.

My father was an art teacher. He wasn't a great artist, but he was an amazing teacher. His passion for the power of art and the effects of art on our hearts and minds still reverberate in the lives of literally thousands of students (including me) even though he has been dead for nearly twenty years.

Maybe I was too close to the artistic forest, or perhaps there is a gaping laguna in my logic lodes, but it wasn't until about five years ago (after being married for 23 years) when I was reading this book called 'Wild at Heart' that I had a honest-to-God ephiphany. I had married my dad!!

Sorry, mom.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Duct, Duct, goose, goose

New FEMA Director David Paulison was the government official who said back in 2002 that in the event of emergency, Americans should stock up on duct tape AND, somewhat prophetically also mentioned that 'in the first 48 to 72 hours of an emergency, many Americans will likely to have to look after themselves'.

If those folks down in N'awlins had just freaking DUCT taped that levee!! Law enforcement officials could have duct taped looters to traffic FINDERS could have duct taped their findings together to make the findings easier to carry. NBC could have duct taped Kanye's mouth...oh, the possibilities.

New FEMA motto: Stick around, better things are to come...

As of TODAY...

THIS story could be about me. Quack Quack.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Help me get my feet back on the ground..

Unless you are CUBAN in which case we don't need YOUR kind of help. Geeze Louize, can't we put this kind of nonsense aside considering...

Going, going, gone - Brown Down!

Heckuva job Brownie

Inarticulate speech of the heart or Can you hear us knocking, George Bush?

"Inarticulate speech of the heart" is Van Morrison's wonderful description of earnest and honest prayer. The description also works for much of what has been said in anger, in fear, and in disgust about the Bush administration. The build-up of frustration of what many of us see as divisive, anti-environmental, irresponsible and short-sighted policies has often lead to statements as polarizing as the Coulterish-liberals-hate-America nonsense. Kanye West's 'Bush doesn't like black people' statement is certainly symptomatic, and as much as I've (and many others) have criticized his off-the-cuff overreach, we would all have to be completely tone deaf to not understand his frustration and rage.

The latest polls indicate that the Bush administration's own spin control levees are taking on water. For those of you who still don't understand why or who continue to tie themselves to the mast of the ship, the pre-Katrina, slow-buildup of the disenchantment is at long last unfettered by the shop-worn mantra of the apologists: ' Bush is good, his opponents are bad'. We may be falling over our feet to express it clearly, but we are being heard.

The early tone-deaf response by the President to the ravages of the hurricane finally may have exposed the near-nudity of the empire's garbish rationale for many of the earlier and continuing mis-adventures of the neo-con nabobs. Arguing about who is responsible for the response to the aftermath is not what I'm talking about here, but I have to say that the op-ed pieces and blogs popping up telling us that we need to basically shut up and help out are simplistic. Americans respond generously, gallantly, bravely both directly and indirectly. Many of these same Americans have the right to express their disgust/concern/disappointment about the way all of this has been handled..we are strong and WE can multi-task, ya know.

So, why are so many (and the numbers are growing) of us fed up (it's been buiding for a while!)?

1) Set aside the continuing argument about who won in 2000. Bush won, but it was by a thimble-full of votes in Florida. His lack of a popular vote mandate should have ushered in at least some Democratic appointment to Cabinet level posts, but, his early actions were telling, to wit:

2) Out of the gate: reducing mercury emission standards for coal plants. Clinton had crafted a reasonable 10 year approach to reducing emissions that included grandfathering in older plants. Bush immediately dialed back and increased the number of years that plants had to meet the watered-down standards. Check out the literature on mercury emissions and their effect on our oceans and food supply.

3) Cheney's energy plan. The secret committee that has yet to have its proposals made public. When Hilary set up the secret committee system to create a new Health Plan, conservatives and right-wingers reacted with near apoplexy. You don't have to agree with what came out of Hilary's committee to see double standards here. The administration's energy policies have yet to reflect that we are competing with a growing soon-to-be engorged giant (China) for the precious black fluid. The administration can't even come up with reasonable standards for auto mpg fuel standards.

4) Bush administration's repudiation of Kyoto standards for global warming. It is NOT that the administration disagreed with the standards (many reasonable people disagree with Kyoto), but that the administration did not bother to come back with a meaningful compromise. The government's own scientists admit that global warming does exist (check out the shrinking polar ice caps). Reasonable people can disagree about government policy vis' a vis' global warming, but to act like it may or may not exist is not adequate.

5. Bush's response to Saudia Arabia. 16 of the 9/11 terrorists were from Saudia Arabia. The Wahabi sect of Islam is not only misogynistic and anti-Western, but it is ingrained in much of the ruling families of SA. These are the chief sponsors of terrorism. These are the folks who have telethons to raise money for the families of suicide bombers. I don't buy into the Michael Moore culpability, but in view of who we attacked instead, and in view of our ongoing relationship with the ruling families of SA, we have to question these policies.

6. Bush's inability to admit any meaningful mistakes. His answer to the question about his own mistakes is telling. He could only think of a few appointments of people who disagreed with him and were therefore 'bad appointments'. No one should suggest that sack cloth and ashes are in order or that he needs to he should become a liberal to atone for his mistakes. An honest introspective assessment, with a little humility would be nice.

Many, many more including the triumph of politics over science.

In Spike Lee's prophetic movie, 'Do the Right Thing', his character Mookie, who has been treated well and loved by his caucasian boss at a pizza parlor, ends up throwing a garbage can through his employer's window as a result of the inchoate unrest and anger building up in the black community based on police brutality. On first blush, Mookie's action made no sense. There were plenty of targets to attack more justifiably, but the inarticulate speech of his heart moved him to make his OWN move, much like Kanye West's statement sixteen years later. We may not always say it well, but more and more of us are knocking on the door, and we aren't going to take simplistic answers and we do not hate America. The inner swelling of love we have for this place is WHY we feel the way we do.

Can you hear me now?

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Junebug gets it right

If you grew up in the South and appreciate the good things about the south, you are fully aware of the movie version: slack-jawed-conepone-three-teeth-chewing Geeezus-freakish-narrow-minded-kitsch-ridden-
somewhatgoodheartedalthosomewhatbigoted-semi-buffoons. We sweat a lot (see 'Time to Kill'). We are either blander than a church-dinner cookie-crumb-vanilla-pudding pie or we are just freaking WEIRD.

Watching the first few minutes of Junebug un-reeling, I was thinking - here we go AGAIN. We have the Gumpish-artistic-bible-quoting savant and we have bizarre folk-art festooning our streets. Here comes the attractive, somewhat coolish, intelligient Northerner and aren't we going to have fish-out-of-water-fun when the oil and water attempt to mix.

But something happened on the road to Deliverance. The folk-artist's declaration that he wants to make the invisible visible becomes the touchpoint of the film. The southern family that the cool Chicago art gallery owner marries into becomes flesh. Our northerner begins to have an understanding of her husband that she could never have garnered in Chicago. Each member of the family from the at-first-cloying and then amazing pregnant-daughter-in-law (Amy Adams) to her sullen angry husband (played by the guy who portrays Ryan on The O.C.) are shown both in moments of desperate isolation and knitted together in moments of grace...moments as simple as trying to tape a TV show and the wood-carving of a small bird.

Important to me, raised (some might say dragooned) in THE church, and engorged with church-supper-casseroles and Wednesday night prayer meetings, is that a movie GETS this southern church social life. Not just making fun, but understanding what church suppers are really like down in those church basements, and understanding what kind of food that people bring to such events. You don't have to like it, but it is rare that any movie gets close to this kind of compassionate understanding.

Junebug gets it right. There is a moment in the movie, when the art gallery owner's husband is singing a hymn during the church supper, when things heretofore incomprehensible slowly emerge into shape and form.

Real people becoming visible....I can't ask for anything more in a movie.

Friday, September 09, 2005

God destroys Jefferson Davis home

(God destroys Jefferson Davis home - if you can't see the title of this post)

When asked what took so long, a spokesman for God said that God moves in God's own mysterious ways and in God's mysterious time and that Mike Brown's great-great grandchildren might want to really REALLY watch out...

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Signs, signs, everywhere signs...

A visitor to Salemtown might think that our neighborhood is really called Crye-Leike, with someone named Terry Rymar as neighborhood president. Terry has signs all over S-town. In fact, Terry HAS HAD signs around here for many months.

Terry must not be paying a lot for these signs because they certainly aren't helping her move the houses and lots she is shilling.

Why isn't she moving the goods? Maybe because she has created false expectations for long-time home and lot owners. Maybe because the list price is $30,000 to $40,000 higher than what the price should be.

The future is bright for Salemtown. Terry knows this and she is trying to take advantage. But, unlike other builders in the area who price their wares at a level that many people can afford, Terry's houses aren't moving. Every well-built NEW house (often at prices far lower than Terry's collection) has sold almost immediately after completion and in some cases before completion.

Terry's tactics have been chronicled before here and elsewhere. Around here, we wish SHE would go elsewhere.

Missy Elliot gets excellent props from Aunt B...

over at Tangled up in Blue, Glen Dean's apolitical musical movable blog. Worth a read.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Our booorrrrrrrrrring rooms

There is a new house going up down the street from our house. The builder/contractor conveniently taped a floor plan on the front of the house for my convenience so that when I was nosing around peering through windows I would have a better idea of what I was seeing.

After perusing the floor plan a few seconds, I discovered that, comparatively speaking, we are quite pedestrian when it comes to creative room nomenclature. The new house has a 'MASTER RETREAT' (our bedroom is merely a master but seems to be quite the retreat for dirty socks). The real kick to the head is that the new house has a 'KEEPING' room. Not only do we not possess a KEEPING room, I don't even knowwhatthehell a KEEPING room is or what one does in such a place. Apparently the builder is not aware of the 'more blessed to give than receive' bit.

Before we moved into our new house here on the North End, we had the builder convert 1/2 of our garage into what we blandly call our TV/Music Listening room/den. There has got to be a better name for a room where I can grandly (and somewhat endlessly according to some people around here) sit on my rear for hours reading blogs, listening to the Stones, watching TV or reading, but I can't seem to come up with something that raises the level of butt-sitting to the dignified strata of the new house down the street.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

for the birds

This weekend when I was really pissed at mother nature, most of the Bush administration and other slightly more trivial things like the fact that our car CD player went out right in the middle of the new Van Morrison CD (it SWINGS!) which was followed by a salvo of f-bombs (from me) and soothing noises from my wife (sheesh, always putting things in perspective), we saw two hummingbirds hovering at our hummingbird feeder which has been conspicuously underused by h-birds since our move to Salemtown.

These tiny birds faster-than-bullets maneuvering would put any ace helicopter pilot's moves to shame.

I'm thinking that hummingbirds may be the exact opposite of hurricanes in the spectrum of mother nature's world. Little solace to the millions affected by Katrina, but a big reminder to me that grace notes do exist, symbolic of the fact that while we bicker and accuse, many millions of Americans have opened their hearts and wallets to the victims of Katrina.

I still am not happy about that CD player, but I've gotta be reminded from time to time of the somewhat paraphrased words written by a divine hand on the wall of Nebuchadnezzar - 'your stupid ass problems have been weighed in the balance and have been found pretty fricking wanting'. I dedicate this one for the birds who both grace our lives and wake me up.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

"I'm not sure of Katrina's orientation...

except possibly north(ward).."

Reverend Lane Denson today at St. Anne's Episcopal, in response to Repent America's statement that Katrina was the vengence of God against New Orleans for hosting events celebrating the gay lifestyle.

In my newly bolstered since of grace and forgiveness, I'd like to offer fund-raising efforts to purchase airfare for the Repent America Folks, and for Limbaugh and O'Reilley (both of whom in their usual blame-the-victim blather decried the fact that the folks in N.O. didn't leave when they were told, despite the fact that 20,000 of these people have no cars, and many more don't have the funds to go anywhere), so they could tell the survivors down there first hand, why they are suffering and to ask them why they didn't leave when asked.

Something we should probably all remember: Hurricanes aren't the only things that blow hard...

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Jesus walks

Kanye West, the author of the song in the title line of this post, got a little carried away last night on the NBC fund-raiser. Several bloggers, notably Sharon Cobb, pointed out that his 'Bush doesn't like black folks' comment was somewhat self-serving and at the least counter-productive to the purpose of the show. Of course, Kanye is the guy who in the aformentioned song stated that he 'needs Jesus like Kathy Lee needs Regis' (where's that rhyming dictionary when you need it!?).

I don't think Kanye's statement was any dumber than President Bush's blooper that 'I don't think anyone anticipated the breach of the levees', HUH?? Baghdad Bob couldn't have said it better.

When those of us trapped in our earthen vessels start bleating, pontificating, and postulating without examinining deeply what we are yakking about, our words rattle and stumble (Dylan called it 'Idiot Wind'). Most of us don't have a national stage upon which to blather.

The real point here is our Jesus walk is through our thoughtful actions and prayers. Jesus didn't need to announce that HE would be bringing papyrus copies of the Psalms to the stricken..He brought the word, and the word included comforting and feeding the afflicted. It is a dangerous game, though played by millions of 'WWJD' wristbanders, to try to predict specifically what Jesus would do in any situation, but I'm going to guess that it wouldn't have taken Him 4 days to find those folks in the convention center.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Hey, did you hear the one about the 15,000 people..

(hey, did you hear the one about the 15,000 people...- for those of you who can't see the title)...

In New Orleans who were taken to the Convention Center, left without food, water, medical care or police protection for two to three days, and the head of FEMA who said he hadn't heard about the convention center being used as a refugee center until YESTERDAY.

We're the Aristocrats.....whoops..wrong joke.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

More songs about buildings and food - 5th and Garfield revisited

Well, the sign is up and I'm glad to say that there is no mention of Crye-Lieke, and in fact the realtors are the folks from Village (so far, so good). Three story brownstones with 10 total units, with pricing from $199,000 for approximately 900 sq. ft. and $399,900 for a little over 2000 sq. ft., with the ground floor reserved for retail/office space (another possibity for COFFEE HOUSE!!??).

The website promises gated off-street parking for office and flat owners. I guess it was just a matter of time before there was Salem-gating. I'm not a gate-fan, but I guess for these prices, the cars in the gated parking lot will be a little more pricey than ours.

Am I naive to think that the high end prices (like those up the street for Garfield Place) are still a little much for the neighborhood? Of course, if Morgan Park Place is successful, we can expect more prices like these around here for new development.

I was hoping that there would be more flats (and more space in those flats) with the circa $200,000 pricetag. Developer Bill Eason (who built our house) is still managing to build attractive spacious homes and offer them for not much more than $200,000. I wish there was a way that more developers could build in this price range, but with the inflationary Crye-Lieke offers proliferating in the neighborhood, the $200,000 pricetag may be as extinct as good taste on the Bobby Brown/Whitney Houston reality show.

The design is pleasant, and compatible with the 'New Urbanism' exhibited down the street in Morgan Park Place, but I have to say I'm a lot more excited about the Morgan Park design.

Nonetheless, maybe this project will lift us from the 'squalor' of Salemtown as described in yesterday's City Paper...

Google's Plan for World Domination

On a lighter note, from the esteemed pages of the Onion, here.

This one is especially for MooCow..(c;

About me

  • I'm John H
  • From Salemtown, Tennessee, United States
  • Cruising past 50, my wife and I have reared three kids and several dogs. I work for state government and daily conspire to deflate bureacracy.
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