The Paradox of Age and Time
Happy Halloween 2008

Of Politics, Blogs and Deadly Diseases

[EDITORIAL NOTE: Coming up is the final weekend (at last!) before the presidential election next Tuesday. Perhaps, in anticipation, you have a final blog post with your thoughts about all that has transpired in this campaign. If so, be sure to get links to me by Friday for the Sunday Election Issues post. If you're wondering what I'm talking about, see this post.]

You’re probably grateful that Crabby Old Lady has restrained herself from ranting during this endless election campaign. As we reach the final four days until it is over at last (barring, god forbid, hanging chads or their electronic equivalent), Crabby has just one thing to say: Sarah Palin isn’t qualified to be anything more brain taxing than a beauty pageant judge.

Even if Crabby were inclined to vote for Senator McCain (there are many good reasons not to), his choice of Palin as presidential place-holder is the number one deal breaker. Someone else said it first and Crabby agrees: McCain proved his unworthiness to lead the United States in his first important presidential decision - the cynical choice of this cute but vacant woman.

Recent polls show that Governor Palin’s strongest supporters are white men. Without referencing the obvious reason (see end of paragraph 2), may Crabby Old Lady suggest that if you’ve got one of these at home, find something else for him to do on election day. By doing so, you could be responsible for saving the future of our country from worse than the past eight years.

But that’s not why Crabby is breaking her silence today. She has two other items in mind – one is merely annoying; the other is terrifying.

Information-Free Blog Zones
There has been an uptick in recent months of lazy blogging. Surely you run across them as frequently as Crabby does - entire posts empty of all meaning:

“Not pretty in Ashtabula.”

“John has the scoop.”

“Wow. Great stories here and here and here.”

“Jane was right.”

Links are the lifeblood of blogging, but no one will follow them without a reason, nor will they return to blogs so devoid of anything worth knowing.

Crabby would like to report that it’s just kids who don’t know any better, but some big-time, popular bloggers along with a few elderbloggers are guilty too. All of them insult Crabby’s intelligence and waste her time. Always tell her - and all readers - what they can expect to find at the other end of a link.

Taking Deadly Chances with Horrific Diseases
The first story Crabby read yesterday morning in The New York Times set off bells in her head that didn’t stop clanging all day. It tells of a new bio lab built on the Texas Gulf coast island of Galveston that was recently flattened by Hurricane Ike.

Promoted by President George W. Bush, Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison and former House leader Tom Delay, the lab, run by the University of Texas, will study the world’s deadliest diseases, gruesome killers like the Ebola and Marburg viruses for which there is no known cure.

“’The entire island can wash away and this [building] is still going to be here,’ Dr. James W. LeDuc, the deputy director of the laboratory, said. ‘With Hurricane Ike, we had no damage. The only evidence the hurricane occurred was water that was blown under one of the doors and a puddle in the lobby.’”

Ike was a Category 2 (on a scale of 5) storm with high winds clocked at no more than 100 mph. What, Crabby wants to know, does a bio lab deputy director know about building construction and a structure’s ability to withstand hurricane-force winds? And what is the IQ of leaders such as the three who support this project? Bah!

[At The Elder Storytelling Place today, Tom J. Mariani shares a story he and his friends have been laughing over for years titled Downhill.]


To study these diseases, to find their cures, means having to store, handle, and dispose of these diseases over and over again. My father caught the most virulent of flesh eating bacterias while scraping down the hull of his sailing boat in a bay where such bacteria was probably being illegally and unwisely dumped. The question is not only what happens in a storm, but what happens day to day that we should be concerned about.

It's not just men, Ronni! I'm ashamed to say mother was known to vote for the better looking candidate or the one with the prettier wife. Fortunately, she has stopped voting because she doesn't want to be called for jury duty and it pains me to write this.

Thank God for my dad who taught me to assess the candidates on their merits and vote accordingly.

In the early 1970's, I was a member of NOW and campaigned for the ratification of the ERA. I cheered for Geraldine Ferraro and have been waiting all of these years to be able to vote for a woman for a high office. However, Sarah Palin is not the woman for the job.

No matter how much she is polished, dressed up and coached, she doesn't seem to have the savvy to be our nation's leader. McCain was playing politics when he chose her to be the vice presidential candidate..there are SO many more qualified women available.

Crabby tells it like it is and I look forward always to hear from her. What was McCain thinking when he brought Palin on board? More frenzied a person is he to risk sending this country to hell? In my opinion, he’s not only lost this election (please, oh please), but also himself in the mix.

McCain insults our intelligence. I think he got Palin because he thought it would bring him the Hillary vote. That says horrible things about his intelligence and about his attitude toward women.

I am not surprised that the Texas politicians have put the disease lab smack in the middle of a hurricane-prone area. That's just the sort of shortsightedness that has our education on the rocks, too.

It just proves that the inmates are running the asylum.

You said it all. I just hope people vote wisely and if they would vote on beauty, that, as you said, they don't vote.

Re: Links in blogs. I won't insult your intelligence any further.

I will be glad when Election Day arrives and passes. It seems like this campaign has been forever and I sense a lot of folks are just plain ole tuckered out. I decided a long time ago who I was going to vote for and my biggest "undecided time" was the primary. After that it was crystal clear.

I sense a lot of people are more concerned these days with the economy, 401K's, jobs, and the what is next. The what is next is a wait and see for the rest of the current administration as well as the new administration. I sense people are more focused on that. The undecided - I can't figure out how they/anyone can still be undecided. It seems a lifetime that we've had to make up our minds.

I have a group of blogs that I read daily. As I rise early, I have peace and quiet time. Some blogs I read in the morning - some in the afternoon. Most post daily - some take off for the weekend. It is all good. Some do link to an article and that is okay as long as there is content from the blog.

Links are great. I have found many blogs through them and wonderful for those times when you "want something to do" - however, so many blogs (not this one) do not update and it is very disappointing to find neglected blogs or discontinued blogs.

I'm not surprised anymore at most of the news I read. Decisions that should require careful consideration get little and so on and so forth. The real question is will those who live in that region speak out?

I just saw a clip from a recent Larry King/Madman McCain tete- a- tete. King asked Madman if he really thought Barack Obama was a (gasp!) SOCIALIST! The madman replied, without blinking a beady eye "No" and then proceeded to explain how Obama wanted to re-distribute wealth in this country by re-introducing the graduated tax system that was de-activated by Madman's mentor, George W.

The U.S. has to be one of the few countries in the entire world where Socialism is an obscene, terrifying word, where "ladies" faint at the sound and children pull the covers over their heads.

In the light of the most recent attack on middle class savings and income by the "Disaster Capitalism" commandos, one would think that even someone as challenged as Madman McCain, would know enough to avoid further discussion of the subject but,
the good news is that in less than a week, McCain and his android running mate will retire to the shadows.

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