Wednesday, January 25, 2012

State of the Union Address

I guess The Empty Suit had his Presidential moment last night, and I guess we should be thankful that no crypto-Nazi from South Carolina was in the congressional gallery to heckle him last night. But I cannot, and will not, get excited over a political speech, not in a country where those holding office are almost universally out of touch with those they ostensibly represent and when half the country is seriously ignorant and bigoted to the point where the belief system they hold is completely repugnant to me. And I especially do not wish to invest even an hour of my time watching such a spectacle in a year where there is a presidential election, because it becomes essentially a campaign speech.
So I'm not going to post some detailed analysis of what was said last night and what our resident Brownshirts had to say in reply, because I didn't watch it. I am sure that in the days and weeks to come, whatever was referred to last night will be discussed ad nauseum like it actually matters. The things that would have gotten my attention were not said because even a cursory glance at the headlines would have told me about them--namely, we're getting out of Afghanistan and the Justice Department has decided to actually pursue prosecution and incarceration of those who lied to us about getting us into our Iraq adventure and of those whose financial transgressions looted and ruined the middle class of this country. Short of that, it's all window dressing, more of the same bullshit, and I'm not interested anymore. I will do my patriotic duty in November and cast a ballot, even though there is no guarantee anymore that it will be counted the way I cast it, because believe it or not, it could be worse if some of the people who want to be in charge actually get to be in charge. But I have given up hope of ever having a candidate to vote for that I actually like, and I have nearly exhausted any hope that I once held that there will be substantial change in the direction this country is going in short of a 1790's-in-France-style bloodletting.
And for the second time in a year, I got a glimpse of what the future may hold yesterday. I went home for lunch at about noon, and I discovered that there was no power in the house, and then, checking around outside, I found it was out over a wide area of the West Side and Johnson City. It was quickly restored--something blew in the substation about a mile away on the JC line-- but as I wandered around the house opening shades so that I could see, I realized that I am not really prepared for such a situation--one half-gone candle, a rather weak LED flashlight, and I still haven't gotten a way to get in the garage when the door is down and the power is off. It was only an hour, but God forbid something happens when it is off for a while. And not for the first time, I realized just how much life as I know it depends on electricity. And how catastrophic it really would be if the grid gave out.
And yet I am willing to bet than when politicians talk about repairing and upgrading our infrastructure, they are talking about highways and bridges. Not that they aren't important, but our top priority really should be that the lights stay on. There have been voices for years telling the world that the current grid is overworked and is not going to meet the needs of the country much longer, and we just keep not doing anything to rectify it. And I'm going to go out on a limb and say the Empty Suit said nary a word about the nation's electrical network last night.
I am sure that the White House and the Capitol have world-class emergency generator systems. But I don't. And that's the difference between the top and the rest of us in a nutshell; they don't have to worry about the same things we do, so our worries and needs are not a priority for them. The smart ones realize this--but there are fewer and fewer smart ones in positions to do anything about it. That's why last night was a pointless spectacle, a waste of our time.

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