Archive for September, 2009

Friday Night Lyle Lovett

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How’s That Improving Economy Going for Y’all? It Sucks Down Here.

While I know that Obama is busily taking credit for “saving” the economy, we haven’t seen any improvement so’s you’d notice. Indeed, a man stopped by this morning that *used* to have a good paying job overseeing construction of several subdivisions. At his particular company, they went to work at 8 a.m. and at 11 a.m., everybody was called in from the field to the main office, told that the company was bankrupt, and given their final checks. He can’t even find a job cutting grass. He takes out a small boat, catches shrimp, and sells them by the pound door to door. He never dreamed that he’d be unable to find another job to support his family. He’s our (SwampMan’s and my) age, too young for retirement, yet too ‘old’ for an entry level job per anybody doing the hiring.

SwampSon stopped by briefly today. His savings are depleted; he’s behind on all his payments and struggling to keep his $600/month child support paid. He had to shut down his business, lay off his employees, and tries to find temporary work wherever he can. As a business owner, he was not eligible for unemployment. The company that he was working with invited everybody in for a dinner at company expense, told them how great everything was and what a great job they were doing, the head guys left, and then they were given their final checks at the door. That’s how they found out that they were laid off. We’ve offered to have him stay with us until he gets back on his feet, but he’s too proud to take our help. He’s luckier than most in that he has a number of skills to draw on ranging from crane operator to high rise master welder to job superintendent to concrete construction.

Ex-daughter-in-law’s electrician husband has had only 10 hours of work for each of the last two weeks. They REALLY need that child support from SwampSon to keep groceries on the table.

SwampDaughter may be getting a 3% pay cut at her job; at the same time, her husband’s work week is being cut to four days per week. With a 23% cut in pay, they still have to pay the same child care costs, same grocery costs, same gas costs, higher utility payments, higher taxes, and mortgage payments.

I don’t see any evidence of the economy getting better, folks.

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Oh, Dear God, Haven’t Georgians Suffered Enough Already?

MARIETTA, Ga. (AP) – Vice President Joe Biden on Friday pledged the federal government would help Georgia recover from the severe weather that swept through the Southeast, even as rain and the threat of more flooding was forecast for the weekend.

Biden toured the metro Atlanta area by helicopter and saw portions of the city still under water from the deluge earlier this week. At least 11 deaths in Georgia, Alabama and Tennessee were blamed on the storms.

“It’s not Katrina in its scope, by any stretch of the imagination, but the impact on their lives, on your lives, we understand it is Katrina,” Biden said.

President Barack Obama was closely monitoring (Editorial comment: Snorting sweet tea up my nose at THAT whopper was rather painful. Read news reports cautiously and with beverages at a safe distance. ) the situation from the G-20 economic summit in Pittsburgh, Biden said. After touring the devastation that washed out roads and highways, the vice president visited residents who have been staying at a Red Cross shelter in Cobb County.

How much punishment do they have to take, anyway? A politician with a fake smile has to pretend that he feels their pain, and they pretend that they wouldn’t rather have had the President send something useful, like dry socks and clean undies.

Of course Joe’s outer appearance of empathy for the little people was just a cover. We all know he was really stealing immortal souls.

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“Why Haven’t We Had a Revolution Yet?”

That was the question posed in the faculty lunch room by teachers that teach the Constitution. “What in the world is the matter with the American people? Can’t they see that the things being done by a power mad government aren’t constitutional and that it is our duty as American citizens to overthrow the leaders and get back to limited government?”

Good questions. I know I’ve begun thinking along those lines myself and, if those conversations are being held in faculty lunchrooms, the time may be sooner than we think. People are furious about the czars, government motors, the health care debacle, Obama’s cabinet officials that are tax cheats, Obama’s ACORN connections, Obama’s radical connections….well, the list just goes on ad infinitum.

I’m going to another protest soon but I’m a little tired of protesting and being ignored. I’m ready to really throw the bastards out.

An interesting (to me, anyway) aside: A woman mentioned that until she moved to the south, she never knew anybody that had served in the military. It just wasn’t something that normal people do. That observation was in response to a suggestion that perhaps it would be good to require people that wished to serve in the government to first serve their country through military service, although useless turds like John Kerry and Al Gore prove that even the military can’t make diamonds outta shit.

Update: Guess I’m not the only one noticing that people are nearly at the stage of grabbing their weapons and goin’ politician huntin’. Wizbang has a (better) commentary on what I’m also observing.

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Duval County Reports 8th H1N1 Death

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The Duval County Health Department confirms an eighth person in Jacksonville has died with the H1N1 virus.

The 37-year-old died on Sept. 15.

According to the state health department there have been 91 laboratory-confirmed H1N1 deaths in Florida.

“Our hearts and prayers go out to the family and friends of these individuals, ” said Surgeon General Dr. Ana Viamonte Ros. “H1N1 swine flu, like seasonal flu, can in some circumstances be very serious, therefore, all of us should continue to adhere to good health practices including, stay home if sick, cover cough and sneeze, and wash hands frequently.”

While most cases of H1N1 are mild, there are exceptions. Health officials said pre-existing health conditions often play a role in how individuals react to the flu.

From 9/22/09:

ST. JOHNS COUNTY, FL — The St. Johns County Health Department says it has received laboratory notification of the first H1N1 Swine Flu-related death.

The St. Johns County resident, a 54-year-old man, died today.

“Our hearts and prayers go out to the family and friends of this individual, said Dr. Dawn Allicock, director of the St. Johns County Health Department.

A friend whose child has suspected flu said that she called the pediatrician’s office when her child felt ill and ran a temperature; the office told her not to come in unless the child developed alarming symptoms. The office was apparently overrun with sick children and their anxious parents.

I know that various medical buildings that I’ve frequented recently have signs up prohibiting children because of the high volume of H1N1 patients.

And it isn’t flu season yet.

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Grandson Is Feeling Ill Tonight

*Sigh* I was going to NOT work this fall and be a resource for child care when the little darlings fell ill, but SwampMan was all worried about insurance despite the fact that the only reason I need insurance is to cover the medical expenses for the illnesses that I pick up from work. :eyeroll: Hardly anybody keeps children home when they are sick. If you give the kid enough cough medicine and Tylenol, he won’t run a fever until later on in the day. Yeah, we know that trick along with variations. Thanks for sharing that disease, parents!

SwampDaughter called this evening to tell me that Jacob was fine when she picked him up from school, although he complained of feeling tired. Then at Chick-fil-A , he ate his chicken sandwich but then laid down on the bench instead of playing. When they got home, he said his bones hurt all over, and went and laid down in a dark room of his own initiative. She thinks he might be running a fever but could not locate the thermometer.

Sounds like he may be coming down with the flu to me.

I’m going to call in the early morning to see if he was able to sleep through the night fever free in the hope that he will feel better in the morning, and perhaps he really WAS tired from a hard day at school and then lots of running on the playground after school.

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Georgia Has Severe Flooding

ATLANTA — Gov. Sonny Perdue declared a state of emergency Monday evening in 17 counties after flooding killed at least 5 people, including a 2-year-old boy.

According to a statement, Perdue issued the declaration after viewing storm damage in Douglas and Paulding counties from the air.

The counties affected are Carroll, Catoosa, Chattooga, Cherokee, Clayton, Cobb, Crawford, DeKalb, Douglas, Forsyth, Fulton, Gwinnett, Newton, Paulding, Rockdale, Stephens and Walker.

“Mary and I are saddened by the human cost the recent storms have wrought,” said Governor Sonny Perdue. “We are currently focused on rescuing victims of the storms targeting Georgia and preventing further damage. State personnel and equipment are being deployed to assist effected communities. The Georgia Emergency Management Agency is coordinating our response and managing the State Operations Center, the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Division (EPD) are deploying boats, high-water vehicles, and testing water. Other state agencies are deploying manpower and additional resources.”

Thunderstorms that rumbled across north Georgia spawned heavy downpours that flooded roads and homes and dumped as much as 20 inches of rain over three days.

Read the rest at the link above.

Hope your weather returns to normal soon, Georgia.

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Citrus Growers Abandoning Groves


Reflecting the woes of the U.S. economy and low farm prices for citrus since January 2008, Florida had 140,089 acres of abandoned groves, according to a survey done by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and released Friday.

That represents a 6.5 percent increase over the 131,540 abandoned grove acres reported a year ago, the first time the USDA surveyed the state’s 30 major citrus-producing counties for abandoned acreage.

The issue of abandoned acreage has become a major problem for Florida citrus growers with the decline of the industry during the past decade – from 845,260 acres in 1998 to 568,814 now – and especially since the fatal citrus greening disease surfaced in 2005.

Key in the greening fight is controlling the spread of the citrus psyllid, the bacteria’s insect host and the main vehicle in spreading the disease across the state.

Abandoned groves have become a major breeding ground for psyllids because the owners don’t regularly spray any pesticides that keep insect populations down. That allows them to spread easily to neighboring groves that do control for psyllids.

Tough times for everybody.

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Day Laborers Compete for Few Jobs

Excerpt from

To be first in line, men arrive at 4 a.m. with hard hats in hand. Most people are still asleep.

An hour later, about a dozen men stand on a corner. Some are slumped against a building, hiding their eyes under caps as they try to get some sleep. Others stand in a circle, quietly trading stories. Cigarette smoke fills the air and headlights from passing semi trucks pierce through the pitch-black morning.

They all want the same thing: a job. Many will be disappointed.

Dressed in orange vests and steel-toed boots, they wait outside Labor Ready on Talleyrand Avenue, one of many temporary labor pools across Jacksonville. These are desperate job-seekers.

And there are more of them now, competing for fewer jobs.

The recession has hit hardest in construction work, drying up the number of day-labor jobs. Even laid-off, white-collar workers are vying for a few hours at a construction site.

Most men say they wait every day. They are sent to jobs only once or twice a week. Sometimes it’s only for four hours of minimum wage, $7.25 per hour, which means less than $30 a week.

“When you wait and wait and you’re told that there’s no work for the day, it’s a bad feeling,” says 20-year-old Demarco French of Jacksonville. “It robs you of hope.”

“I make $30 a week. Now you tell me how that’s going to pay rent. How I’m going to eat? I’m not getting by. I’m struggling.”

The only way to get by on earnings of $30 a week is to commit crimes.

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U.N. Says Swine Flu Could Kill Millions Unless Western Nations Cough Up @ $1.5 Billion

Per the Guardian:

The swine flu pandemic could kill millions and cause anarchy in the world’s poorest nations unless £900m can be raised from rich countries to pay for vaccines and antiviral medicines, says a UN report leaked to the Observer.

The disclosure will provoke concerns that health officials will not be able to stem the growth of the worldwide H1N1 pandemic in developing countries. If the virus takes hold in the poorest nations, millions could die and the economies of fragile countries could be destroyed.

Health ministers around the globe were sent the warning on Thursday in a report on the costs of averting a humanitarian disaster in the next few months. It comes as officials inside the World Health Organisation, the UN’s public health body, said they feared they would not be able to raise half that amount because of the global downturn.

Gregory Hartl of WHO said the report required an urgent response from rich nations. “There needs to be recognition that the whole world is affected by this pandemic and the chain is only as strong as its weakest link. We have seen how H1N1 has taken hold in richer nations and in the southern hemisphere. We have been given fair warning and must act soon,” he said.

The report was drawn up by UN officials over the last two months. It was commissioned in July after Ban ki-moon, the UN’s secretary general, expressed concern that the H1NI virus could have a severe impact on the world’s poorest countries.

The 47-page report provides a detailed breakdown of the basic needs of 75 vulnerable countries with the weakest capacity to withstand an escalation of the virus. Six countries from Latin America, including Cuba and Bolivia, 21 countries from Asia and the Pacific such as North Korea and Bangladesh, and 40 countries from Africa such as Congo and Eritrea are included in the survey.

Seems to me that a lot of those nations are our enemies and the prospect of them falling into anarchy isn’t particularly bothersome to me.

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