Daily Archives: November 4, 2012

Have you noticed …

No cops collecting overtime are guarding the private utility workers as they restore power.  State (Democrat) law provides the police the luxury of demanding to be present, and paid, whenever a non-municipal crew works on trees or wires and this right is policed, so to speak, rigorously.

Obviously, enforcing the rule this week would bring all reconstruction to a standstill – our cops are too busy elsewhere –  so it’s not being observed, but I wish it were – it’d cause such an uproar that even Democrat politicians might be forced to revisit this sop to the unions.

UPDATE: received a message from one of the force, furious that I’m expressing ingratitude towards him and his fellows with this post. Nothing could be further from the truth – no one who’s observed these folks over the years, including this past week, risking their lives under horrific conditions to save fools like me, rushing to aid the stricken and keeping the town far safer than surrounding municipalities, could fail to be grateful and deeply appreciative for their service.

But if they deserve higher pay, then pay that directly and account for the cost; hiding that money under the guise of traffic safety is lousy government.

 

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When all else fails, try gratitude

But bring back our MTV!

I overheard a woman today complaining that her husband was “too cheap to buy a generator” and she and her kids had been stuck in the house all week, bored out of their minds. Her husband had suggested she go up to their house in Vermont, “but load three dogs and the kids into the car and go stare at trees? I don’t think so.” She didn’t mention towing the five horses she also owns up there – perhaps her husband would have been delegated to care for them down here, but either way, this was a very unhappy woman. Too bad.

My social circle is mostly comprised of men and women who have survived personal calamity in our lives and, on the whole, we all seem to have weathered this past week pretty well. I blame gratitude. Most of us compose some sort of gratitude list before going to sleep or upon arising, and that simple act of reflection offers surprising strength in times of stress. We’ve been laid low and come back, so there’s an easy platform to build on. Just a restored desire to live is a good starting point, and building from there might include gratitude for actually being alive, maybe a roof over our heads, children, healthy or not, spouses, or no spouses, and so on. One friend of mine tells me that when she’s really stuck finding anything at all to be grateful about she reminds herself that she doesn’t have rickets, and her list can grow from there.

We’re not a bunch of Polyannas; in fact, I think we’re some of the toughest people I know, strengthened by our experiences. And we’re by no means stoics, because life can suck sometimes, and we acknowledge that, and grieve over what that can bring. Certainly we aren’t some band of special people, above the rest of humanity and guided by a spirit received only by us. Any one of the thousands of people down in the devastated boroughs of Manhattan today passing out food and clothing is expressing and acknowledging gratitude, looking past their own self to recognize the need of someone else. And those volunteers, most of them, aren’t part of my group, they’re just fellow humans, fortunate enough to have been graced with perspective.

I do think it’s easier, perhaps, to remember to be grateful when gratitude was once so hard to find. When everything goes well, when life has been one success after another, when our children all get into an Ivy and marry just the right girl or boy and produce perfect, healthy grandchildren, while our personal wealth soars to heaven (where a special place has been reserved just for us), reality may hurt harder because it comes so unexpectedly and, surely, undeservedly.

We’re all going to suffer, it’s an inescapable part of life. People will die, jobs will be lost, houses will burn down and even, God forbid, we can lose access to the Internet for a week. All of those things are easier to accept and wallowing in self-pity easier to avoid, when accompanied by a shot of gratitude.

Or that’s what I’m thinking this sunny Sunday afternoon. Hope you’re all safe and back in your (lighted and heated) homes.

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No intolerance here

California poll worker fired for complaining about presence of UN observers.  “We can’t have any intolerance here”, said her supervisor when firing her. Presumably, in California, tolerance extends to non-citizens but not otherwise.

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Say, here’s a surprise!

Chaos at the government’s free gas giveaway.

The trouble-plagued giveaway began when Gov. Cuomo’s office announced in the morning that officials would try to ease the post-Sandy gas crisis by giving out free fuel to both “emergency vehicles and the general public.”

The gas was to be dispensed from trucks at five locations around the area — and throngs of desperate drivers showed up to fill their tanks.

A Cuomo-administration source blamed the mix up on the military.

“They told us. We simply conveyed the information provided by them,” the source said. “We had nothing to do with the execution. We didn’t select the sites. It wasn’t our trucks. It wasn’t our people. It’s not our fault.

It can’t be anyone’s fault in the world of progressivism because actions are judged by intention, not results. Obama himself once recognized that price affects demand when he promised to raise gasoline for Americans to $8 per gallon. So why would he think that giving away gasoline would be a good idea?

Two more days.

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Response, counter

From a reader who may want to remain anonymous (if not, BD, let me know and I’d be delighted to credit you):

Today the Greenwich Time opinion page published the Dems’ retort to Peter Tesei’s recent article about the impending fiscal challenge presented by Obamacare and the Cadillac tax on luxurious health plans.  It included this whopper:

 

“The ‘Cadillac tax’ does not go into effect until 2018, and it is expected that municipalities, including our town, will factor those costs into employee agreements and benefits decisions. Many towns have already done forward-thinking work to mitigate or eliminate the impact of this tax by setting up health savings accounts, providing different services, or in some cases, lowering benefits and increasing wages to offset the impact of this provision.”  -by Democrats Jim Himes, Drew Marzullo, and the Democratic members of the Greenwich BET: Bill Finger, Jeff Ramer, Randy Huffman, Mary Lee Keirnan, Sean Goldrick and Bob Brady.

 

So the Dems are saying we needn’t worry about the $19 million Cadillac tax because the town management will magically achieve an offset by reducing personnel cost.  Personnel cost is primarily driven by union contracts.  These Democrat authors are the very people who can’t be relied on to take the strict measures necessary to reduce the costs of the Town’s union contracts.  The needed modifications are sure to be opposed by the unions which form the strongest backers of these same Dems.

 Expecting these Dems to actually carry out that which they recommend would be as nonsensical as electing Democrat Dan Malloy to do the same thing at the state level.

 Oh wait…….didn’t we just do that?

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Gas has gotten tight up the line

Just (10:30) back from Westport and most of the gas stations on Rt 1 are out of gas, the few that aren’t have lines. I hear that if you head away from 95 you’ll still find gas: second exit of the Rt 7 extension from Exit 15, for instance.
Best advice is to just sit still for a couple of days to let panic buying subside. I saw a steady stream of tankers on the highway, so gas is coming in.
I was amused to see three flat beds carting replacement telephone poles (6 dozen, total) heading south on 95 while 3 flatbeds also carrying poles passed them heading north. There obviously is no central command distribution center at work right now, but a little patience will see things sorted out.

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Don’t blame the messenger

Storm Babe

Power’s back in most parts of town (sorry about those who are still freezing in the dark), and the recriminations and blame which started almost the night of the storm, have been growing ever louder. That energy is misdirected.

We live in a society entirely dependent on electricity, far more so, even, than a few decades ago. When the power goes, our modern world goes with it and it’s awful. But after tree massive, prolonged power outages in just two years we should, I think, acknowledge that it can and will happen again, and probably again and again, and prepare better for long periods of disruption. Blame global warming, blame CL&P or the refusal of homeowners to have their front yards denuded  for the protection of power lines, heck – blame Bush – the result will be the same.

You can buy a generator and assuming that doesn’t float away in the next flood, you can maintain heat and water, but I’d go farther (and I’d skip the generator myself, but then I enjoy a bit of camping out). Prepare your household for survival mode.

Mountain House

Stock up on freeze dried food - here’s just one brand, but one that I like. It’ll last for years and if disaster never comes you can use it for backpacking trips – tasty stuff.

Stock up on bottled water. Wells can fail, municipal water supplies can get contaminated when their own pumps lose power.You may very well want a water filter too. Here’s one, from Katadyn, a brand I’ve found to be extremely reliable and fool-proof in the woods, so there’s no reason to think it won’t work in Khakum Woods too.

Water and food are good things to have, as are sleeping bags for the family, cases of batteries and lights to use them in. You might consider a chainsaw, but if you do, the time to learn how to use it is before, not after a storm.

You get the general picture, but don’t forget a solar phone recharger. And if you have kids, buy a case of them – they power iPods, too. Bottom line: prepare now, be (more) comfortable later. “Bugout kits”, which enable you to quickly flee a calamity and shelter in your Adirondack baronial palace, involve far more than most suburbanites can handle: guns, real SUVs, a pre-stocked shelter awaiting you, etc. If it comes to all that, we’re so friggin’ doomed that we probably shouldn’t bother.

Happy camping.

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