Sexual Abuse Means What

The suggestion is going ’round that the identification and opprobrium heaped on some mega serial abusers is evidence that society’s toleration for such behavior is waning. Right! And the election of an admitted abuser to the presidency means what?

From where I sit, all abusers, regardless of the characteristics of their victims, are tolerated because they provide a service to the non-abusers. In comparison, nice guys don’t finish last, but look much better when there are bad guys around. It’s sort of like “what would the cops do if there were no burglars to catch?”

Emergency Management

Emergencies obviously cannot be managed while they are on-going. Emergencies require pre-planning and the pre-positioning of resources that will be needed during and after the emergency itself. That is why Collier County, a coastal region on the tip of Florida, was able to accommodate residents at 20 schools to take refuge from the storm. Doubtless the facilities were outfitted with generators to maintain electric service and communications and the kitchens were stocked with emergency rations.

Of course, Collier County, which typically serves 47,000 students and housed 17,000 evacuees during Irma provides no basis for comparison to Glynn County, whom the Red Cross has ordered not to provide any shelters and considers sending people onto potentially flooded highways a better alternative. People killed on the highway outside the county don’t count, even if they were heading into the cone of influence.

After the fact, Glynn County discovered that the Brunswick High School served first-responders well, but the question remains why, given all the rebuilding of Glynn Academy, the Brunswick Middle School and Goodyear, as well as the new construction at Oglethorpe Point and Satille Marsh, those projects weren’t designed to resist the impact of water and wind.

It’s not rocket science. When Hurricane Andrew struck Homestead, Florida, it demonstrated that just following the building codes then in place, as only Habitat for Humanity did, kept the roofs from blowing off buildings. It also taught us that good code enforcement is definitely required because where that didn’t happen builders “saved” themselves a few bucks by attaching each shingle with two nails instead of four.

While here in Glynn County the community is dissatisfied about not being allowed back into the county to start cleaning up, the explanation for poor communications (rather than poor planning) we are supposed to swallow is that the officials requested 6 public relations people from the state and only got one! That’s why only two public service announcements a day were posted on the electronic web site for people whose electricity was out for a week. Who relies on electronic communications when everyone knows that even public buildings, sewage treatment plants and lift stations aren’t a priority to be kept up and running?

That Matthew visited last year and Irma visited this is instructive because it was the same old, same old. Sea island had power restored within a day. Elsewhere, including major intersections on Saint Simons, rotten wood poles came down last year and this year again.

We have to do better and some did. The Brunswick Housing Authority residence, for example, experienced no flooding, which no doubt pleased the majority of the residents who stayed behind. One hopes that before the new Burroughs/Mollette is constructed the plans will be checked to make sure the potential impact of water and wind have been taken into account.

For the rest, one hopes Glynn County will prepare an inventory of structures suitable for refuge and start planning for the next event.

On Being Frisked/Wanded

To: John Powell, Interim Chief of Glynn County Police

Following up on our brief conversation last evening, let me point out
that since, as an ordinary citizen, I am only permitted four
opportunities a year to address the County Commission, I have to husband
my appearances in case something important comes up. Police infringing
on our personal privacy before we access the hallowed halls of the Glynn
County Commission is not high on my list of priorities. Few citizens are
actually affected since most have given up on interacting with the
Commission long ago.
Continue reading

Maxwell Update

It is slightly amazing what ramifications a little inundation can have. The water-logged heat and air conduits under the house were relatively easily replaced and, while the unit initially worked well, water took its toll eventually and the condenser had to be replaced. Then it turned out that the circuit breaker was jimmied a long time ago with pieces of copper pipe, instead of batteries. And then the pressure gauge on the compressor proved defective.
Long story short, we are till without AC, except in the annex and whatever cool air a fan can send into the rest of the house. Moist hot air turns out to be rather debilitating for us old folks.

Meanwhile, one of the circuits tripped and electricians took several hours figuring out that another circuit was actually to blame. And the ceiling fan that stopped working in the annex is not actually caput. A new one only worked for a minute and putting a cord and plug on the old one shows it to be working fine. So, the problem is twixt the switch and the box in the ceiling and I’m betting on the outside outlet being the problem. Electricians will have to return. Interesting that things work for a while and then they quit.

Two of the cars are now in the shop. One has a cranky clutch, even after it was replaced and the other had rodents chewing on the electric wiring. It is not true that nothing consumes carbon-based matter. Roaches love plastic bags and even ants feat on sheathing on wires. Perhaps they like the colors.

wednesday addendum:

Now the AC is supposedly fixed, but it is so quiet that it is most disconcerting. I cannot hear whether it is on.

The ceiling fan in the mud room is still not working. But, it turns out an upstairs outlet is also not working and it seems to be on a different circuit since it sparked when I thought I had everything turned off. Still waiting on the electricians.

Dear Bill

Dear Bill Crane:
I assume you are the William Crane who lives on Saint Simons. Before I comment in a neighborly fashion on your interesting column in the Brunswick NewsBrunswick news this morning, let me share my experience with firearms:
As I approach my eightieth birthday, I remember my ninth, when my father gave me a .22 caliber Remington rifle that would fire as quickly as I could work the bolt and pull the trigger. My parents were separated and I knew he was trying to annoy my mother who had refused to let me have a BB gun.
“He needs it to protect you and our daughter way out here in the country,” he told her.
Like any responsible parent, he regulated my use of that firearm by telling me I should never point it at anyone unless I intended to shoot them, and never shoot anyone unless I intended to kill them. “And if you kill someone outside, drag him into the house before you call the sheriff.”
Ironically, he was the only person at whom I ever pointed my new rifle. That happened a few weeks later when he got drunk one night, forced his way into the house, and tried to claim his conjugal rights. Awakened by my mother’s angry screams, I ordered him out of the house at gunpoint. He left–but had his way a few days later when I was at school. Had I shot him dead that night, I would not have the beloved younger brother who is now a senior deputy attorney general of one of our great western states.
When I was fourteen, I went to a sporting goods store and bought without benefit of license or background check my first handgun: a .22 semi-automatic target pistol. It never occurred to me to shoot anyone when I took it to my high school to practice on the ROTC firing range. All of the M1 rifles we drilled with had firing pins, but it never occurred to me or any of my fellow cadets to bring our own .30 caliber bullets in order to settle adolescent scores.
On my seventeenth birthday, I joined a well-regulated militia (the National Guard) partly because that was the only way I could purchase from the government a surplus M1, the basic combat weapon of the Army and Marine Corps during WWII and the Korean conflict. A semi-automatic, it fired eight rounds as fast as the trigger could be pulled.
By the time I started college, I had assembled a personal arsenal that would have allowed me to fire about two dozen rounds without reloading.
But by the time I started graduate school at the age of twenty-one, I had sold or given away all my firearms. Ten years later, as a liberal faculty senator at the University of New Hampshire, I argued against allowing the campus police to arm themselves with M1 rifles–the same kind that members of the Ohio National Guard would use to kill students a year later at Kent State.
Since then, I have tried to ignore the gun control debate except when I come across something so dreadful that I cannot in good conscience fail to respond. In other words, something like what you wrote. Here goes:

You began your column with a reference to “the dozens needlessly slaughtered . . . on the Las Vegas Strip.” Under what conditions would there be a legitimate “need” to slaughter dozens in Las Vegas?
You then claim “there would have been virtually no way to prevent or stop the shooter from taking a semi-automatic weapon, disassembled, into his hotel suite, over a period of days, then reassembling and opening fire on the masses assembled below.” Why do you refer to only a single semi-automatic weapon that was disassembled and reassembled? Why don’t you acknowledge the shooter had multiple semi-automatic weapons modified to fire at full automatic.
The major flaw of your column is that you try to distract readers from the gun control issue by focusing on helping the mentally ill.
In your last paragraph, you claim that “Seizing or further restricting access to firearms among our citizenry is not a realistic solution.” But the “solution” you tout in your title (“Finding the will to help the mentally ill”) is far less realistic than straight-forward and enforceable federal regulations limiting the kinds and numbers of firearms citizens may own.
Which brings me to the most shameful part of your column: your choice of an epigraph attributed to Rosalyn Carter: “A leader takes people where they want to go. A great leader takes people where they don’t necessarily want to go, but ought to be.”
We need great leaders who will take you, Mr. Crane, and many others where you and they don’t want to go.

Julian Smith

Donald Trump is not a cannibal

That is the best Stewart and Colbert could say about the Dude.
I want to note that I have been making the point that capitalism is nothing but virtual cannibalism.

The reason the Dude is not a cannibal, is because he is a failure. If he weren’t being sustained by a host of parasites, he would already be dead.