Eden Hill Journal

Comments, dreams, stories, and rantings from a middle-aged native of Maine living on a shoestring and a prayer in the woods of Maine. My portion of the family farm is to be known as Eden Hill Farm just because I want to call it that and because that's the closest thing to the truth that I could come up with. If you enjoy what I write, email me or make a comment. If you enjoy Eden Hill, come visit.

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Location: Maine, United States

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Alternative to Flimsy Theories of Origin

I just stumbled on this website this evening. Considering the debate raging in Kansas now, and around the country, this site definitely deserves your time and effort of thought:

Friday, September 16, 2005

Sobering Thought

Here's an ABC News article that offers a sobering thought:
No wonder Bush had that book about the flu epidemic on his vacation reading list.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Piss On Rove

You know, for quite awhile I avoided commenting on the hurricane and all the political bickering that has been going on over who did what to impede whom and who promised what and didn't deliver and who was on vacation when he or she should have been in Washington coordinating their staff. I submit that it's one thing to point out that things went wrong. It's quite another to turn a national disaster into a political pissing match. But despite Bush's "blame game" snub, the official White House strategy since the end of the first week has been political damage control. First they tried to blame state and local officials and even the victims themselves. Then they initiated what may become a meaningless avalanche of confessions of responsibility. The White House has been anything but above the fray. For that, we can thank Karl Rove and Dan Bartlett.
Rove, of course, is the one who outed Joe Wilson's CIA wife and then apparently lied to prosecutors and to Bush himself about his role, yet continues in his Machiavellian role of smearing Bush's reputation beyond recognition. Bartlett, reportedly, is the one who somehow made Bush's Texas Air National Guard records disappear.
I can be petty. That's my right. But what's the point in the White House being petty? That I don't see.

Strange Thought

A strange thought came into my head today when I was out gathering firewood. I've been wondering for awhile why conservatives seem to link multiple partners in with the gay agenda suggesting that it is going to break down the institution of marriage. I mean, even if some gays do have multiple partners (ignoring the fact that some heterosexuals do too which, if anything, would undermine the concern about homosexuals), what connection is there between that and heterosexual marriage? How would that destroy heterosexual marriage? Are conservatives concerned that the legal definition of heterosexual marriage will be expanded to include polygamy?
Well it dawned on me today that fearing polygamy could very well be a Freudian thing. I mean, if polygamy were legalized, it isn't very likely that the majority of polygamous marriages would be one super woman with multiple husbands. Chances are that most polygamous marriages would be one husband and multiple wives. Yes some marriages would involve multiple husbands and multiple wives, but in general, women would tend to group up on one man. At least that's how polygamy has been in the past and it makes sense that it would be that way if polygamy became legal.
However, some men might be afraid of the consequences of such a thing. I mean, some men might have a Freudian fear of inadequacy, a fear that if women were allowed to choose, they might group up on and choose the best endowed men and leave the less adequate men out in the cold, either unable to attract a wife or forced to accept an unattractive woman as their wife, all because some men don't have an adequate male apparatus. I'm not saying that women would use that criteria to choose, but isn't this how Freudian fears work?
Did Freud ever contemplate this? And why is it predominantly the conservative and Christian men who have this concern?

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Never Happen

Some say this will never happen. I say it can...

Blame Game

I haven't written much on Hurricane Katrina or the aftermath, although it has certainly been plastered all over the political landscape. It bothered me that the President, Vice President, and Secretary of State were all on vacation during the hurricane's immediate aftermath. That seems inexplicable to me, but so did Bush sitting in on a second grade reading class photo-op four years ago looking dumb long after he had been notified that the second World Trade Center had been hit - same sort of irresponsible and totally inexplicable behavior. I'm guessing we won't understand it this time any better than we did back then. We'll all just forget it, except for Michael Moore, that is. He won't forget it. Maybe he'll remind us a year or two down the road. I read that he is considering making a film about Katrina and New Orleans.
It's pretty obvious that some things happened before, during, and after Katrina landed that probably shouldn't have happened. FEMA's head Brown really does seem to have messed up. Then there's the fact that a contingent of Louisiana's National Guard were over in Iraq. It was in the Maine news when some of them came through Bangor International Airport last week heading home to Louisiana. Normally states rely on the National Guard in emergencies for rapid response.
I think what really stunk, other than FEMA's slow response, was the political posturing and strategizing, the Rove effect, the defense used by the White House against criticism, the "blame everyone except us" approach. That may have passed now that Bush has accepted responsibility for any federal failures, but the damages has been done. The political posturing against the state and local officials was divisive and will resonate in the conservative and liberal spin machines for a long long time. It just should never have happened.
But Bush's "blame game" snub bothers me. It is a snub. It berates the need for a timely accounting of what went wrong and why. It brushes off the obvious arrogance of top White House officials during that week when they were on vacation, and it further widens the gap between Bush and his critics. It divides us even more, just as every other display of presidential arrogance has divided us since Bush came into office. Accounting for the reasons why people died isn't a "game."
To be fair, though, Katrina was a killer. No matter what, that storm would have killed people, lots of people. Louisiana and Mississippi were not prepared for that big of a storm. Yes, stronger dikes might have saved New Orleans this time, but what about next time? And what about all the surrounding flood plains where rural people live? Katrina didn't hit New Orleans head on. What if another storm does do that five or ten or twenty years from now? And what about all the other cities that can be hit by hurricanes? Big storms like that are killers. Is it realistic to think that the federal government, FEMA or Homeland Security or the Pentagon or whoever else in Washington, can save everyone's life? Somehow I just can't imagine that it is.
Personally, I think each state should work with the National Guard on preparedness. Every locale should be prepared as best it can be. State and local governments should provide as much support as possible in a flood like this to local citizens for immediate search and rescue. No agency, local, state, or federal, should refuse to enable citizen rescue efforts. I hope they didn't after Katrina. But the role of the federal government immediately after a disaster like this should be to send in as much support as is possible as soon as possible. Food, water, gasoline, communications equipment, experienced coordinators, medical supplies and professionals, evacuation vehicles, any and every possible help. And the help should come automatically, without political posturing, without territory disputes, and without delay.
What is needed now is an accurate accounting to determine to what extent these things were not done and why they were not done. How can all the red tape that separates the federal government from the people in times of emergency be removed? Forget the political posturing. Forget the defense. Forget the "blame game." Forget manipulating the accounting to cover up mistakes. Figure out what went wrong, who hindered who and why, and start making the changes that will prevent these mistakes from being made again. Don't do what we did after 9/11. Don't cover up the truth and concoct new layers of bureaucracy. Trim the fat and empower the people themselves to save lives in their own areas. Streamline government to work with the people in emergencies.
And finally, bring the National Guard home from the war. Americans need them here at home. Stop using the Guard as if it was the regular Army and bring them home to American soil where they belong.
Anyway, that's my take on this. Maybe I'll have more thoughts on it later, but that's it for now.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Flagging Empire

This link is a fairly long read, but it points out a few things I hadn't read before, and a few things I have but you may not have. The tone is a turn-off for a proud American, but if you can get past that, the info is worth reading, and the many opinions stated, worth filing in the databases of our minds.