Saturday, August 27, 2011

Waiting for Irene

Sometimes I live in the country
Sometimes I live in town
Sometimes I take a great notion
To jump in the river and drown....

Goodnight, Irene
Goodnight, Irene
I'll see you in my dreams

-Huddie Ledbetter

This will be mercifully brief, I promise.

We are hunkering down for what promises to be the most awful storm to hit the northeast in a century or more. I've always thrived on a bit of excitement in my life and Hurricane Irene, scheduled to touch down here in Orange County at about two o'clock tomorrow morning, will more-than-likely fill the prescription.

Regardless of any devastating consequences that may transpire, we can take comfort in the fact that the "GOVERNMENT IS BAD" crowd that now pollutes our national dialogue, particularly those poor, hapless fools who find themselves in Irene's way, will be silent - if only for the time being. I have a funny feeling that in the next week or so, a few of these people might even rethink their entire, twisted ideology regarding the concept of government (And what a neat concept it is!) Maybe this is merely wishful thinking on my part. We'll see.

This much is as certain as the rising sun: A lot of us will not be taking the government - local and federal - for granted in the coming days. Here's something else you can bet the farm on: The response will be much more coordinated and intelligent than it was six-years-ago when Katrina made herself known. Any takers?

If you happen to be living in Irene's path take all necessary precautions. Have plenty of food and drinking water at the ready; keep some emergency candles handy - and for the love of Mike! - don't go outside in order to "experience" the storm. A projectile hitting one in the face at ninety-miles-per-hour is not a particularly good thing for one's complexion I would think.

So everybody batten down the hatches, be safe, and we'll report back when the sun comes out - or the power's back on - whichever comes first.


Tom Degan
Goshen, NY


Many radio stations along the east coast this morning are playing tunes with "Hurricane" or "Irene" related themes. In keeping with this trend let me add my own little contribution to the festivities. Here is Frank Sinatra at his most unFrank Sinatraest. From 1950 this is the Frankster's version of Huddie Ledbetter's Goodnight Irene. Although most Frankologists consider this period (and this song in particular) to be the absolute nadir of his career, I've always loved this recording:

Goodnight Irene by Frank Sinatra

Stop rambling, Stop my gambling
Stop staying out late at night
Goin' home to my wife and family
I'm gonna stay by the fireside bright....

Good night, Irene, Good night, Irene
I'll see you in my dreams

The photograph at the top of this piece was taken by Chris Pennings

UPDATE, 8/28/11, 1:05PM:

Hurricane Irene will be remembered as the mouse that roared - at least as far as the Hudson Valley is concerned. Although there was significant flooding, the "hurricane" that we were braced for never appeared. Time to breathe a sigh of relief - and start drying ourselves off.

UPDATE. 2:11 PM:

I just came back from a drive into the village. What a mess!

The Presbyterian park is completely flooded. The tops of the park benches are barely visible - and in some cases not visible at all. The flooding extends across the street to the bank parking lot. That stretch of South Church Street is closed as you can imagine.

I attempted to return home via Fletcher Street and 6 1/2 Station Road. That's when I got the real shocker. The bottom of Fletcher opposite John S. Burke High School looks like a lake - completely engulfed. While I was in the convenience store down the road from where I live getting a cup of coffee, a Sheriff's deputy came in and announced that the roads in Orange County have just been closed to all non-essential vehicles. Truth be told, I was relieved to finally make it back to the house.

And how was your morning?

AFTERTHOUGHT, 8/30/11, 9:54 AM:

Well, thank goodness that's over! Whatever your politics - left or right - I hope you made it through okay. That excludes all of you middle-of-the-road centrists out there. I hope you all died....Just kiddin'!

Cheerio! Pip! Pip!


At 7:36 AM, Blogger Donna said...

I love leadbelly!
Do you really think a hurricane is going to shut extremists up on either side of the fence? You're dreaming!

At 8:48 AM, Blogger Steve Gravano said...

Fair well in the storm. I agree with Donna, it will take more than a hurricane to turn off the nonsense.

At 8:58 AM, Blogger Jefferson's Guardian said...

Tom, all is still well down in my neck of the woods. Cloudy, yes, but still no rain or wind in the D.C. 'burbs. But, circumstances change in a hurry with these things.

Stay safe and ride 'er out, and we'll see you on the other side!

At 9:09 AM, Blogger Yellowstone said...

Remember the Cantor rant . . .

"No disaster relief unless we cut spending somewhere else!"

At 9:55 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

A spectre is haunting Europe and the USA — the spectre of communism and the New World Order. All the powers of old Europe and the USA have entered into a holy alliance to exorcise this spectre: Pope and Tsar, Metternich and Guizot, French Radicals, German police-spies, Rick Perry and the Koch Brother's Astro Turf Tea Party.

Where is the party in opposition that has not been decried as communistic by its opponents in power? Where is the opposition that has not hurled back the branding reproach of communism, against the more advanced opposition parties, as well as against its reactionary adversaries?

Two things result from this fact:

I. Communism is already acknowledged by all European powers and Obama and his czars to be itself a power.

II. It is high time that Communists including Jefferson's Guardian, Ellis D., Tom Degan, and Dave W. should openly, in the face of the whole world, publish their views, their aims, their tendencies, and meet this nursery tale of the Spectre of Communism with a manifesto of the party itself.

To this end, Communists of various nationalities have assembled in London and sketched the following manifesto, to be published in the English, French, German, Italian, Flemish and Danish languages.

At 10:35 AM, Anonymous Melba Smith said...

You are about to experience what we
in Louisiana have gone through too many times in the last few years.
Irene is a little less potent today so perhaps she will continue to diminish as she moves northward. Take all precautions and stay inside, good luck!

At 10:50 AM, Anonymous Snuffy Smith said...

Anytime I hear the words government and investment in the same sentence, I want to throw up. Investments in the private sector yield a return, whether in capital gains or dividends, or both. Somehow when investments are made from Washington they yield neither, just the opposite as they require ongoing influxes of ever more funds. Yet somehow they never see the disconnect. Earth to Washington, if there is no return (and I do realize that return can be in the form of public utility) than it was never an investment in the first place, just a collosal waste of money.

At 10:54 AM, Blogger Tom Degan's Daily Rant said...

Investment in human beings is not necessarily supposed to bring a "monetary return", Snuff. The payback is instead a healthy and functioning society - and that includes the economy, my friend.


Tom Degan

At 11:21 AM, Anonymous Snuffy Smith said...

Tom, my friend, do you support any of the new high speed rail projects that have been proposed?

You know the kind of project like Amtrak that was supposed to be self-supporting in 1974, but it still costing taxpayers $1,502,000,000.00 per year. Thats 1.5 billion in operational losses per year to the taxpayers.

None of these proposed high speed trains will ever be profitable. They are nothing but a massive payoff to the unions. You see folks, the Government makes sure that higher paid union workers build the systems, then the government makes sure that unionized workers run them. Of course, Obama can brag about creating good paying unions jobs, but if you calculate the cost it usually come to $400 or $500 hundred thousand dollars a job. The real payoff for the unions is running the taxpayer subsidized monstrosities.

Trains and Marxism are 19th century technology.

At 11:34 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I really liked your are hard hitting yet use humor which is far as Irene all that matters is that no life is far as a detraction from the state of this will be yesterday news and wverybody can once go ahead and hate each other.

At 1:55 PM, Anonymous Paul Krugman Ridiculously said...

If we discovered that, you know, space aliens were planning to attack and we needed a massive buildup to counter the space alien threat and really inflation and budget deficits took secondary place to that, this slump would be over in 18 months.... There was a "Twilight Zone" episode like this in which scientists fake an alien threat in order to achieve world peace.

At 2:42 PM, Anonymous Miss Anne Thrope said...

Anonymous, just what the hell does your comments have to do with the coming storm? If you can't stay on topic, why don't you just shut up or go the fuck away?

At 6:16 PM, Blogger Darlene said...

Stay safe all of you who are in harm's way.

At 8:18 PM, Blogger Anthony J. Pennings, PhD said...

Interesting comment about trains and Marxism being 19th century technologies. The Communist experiment in the 20th century pretty much died although with fascist reverberations.

Trains still move a lot of cargo although our society has been sufficiently "motorized" that they have not been very profitable. Of course they work great in NYC.

I like the automatrix idea where our cars become smart and driven digitally. This sounds scary but that is how our planes work for the most part. The only reason we have pilots in them is because of unions and the passengers like them as backup systems.

At 3:35 AM, Blogger Lydia said...

I am so wired thinking about you who are in the path of Irene that. Each post I have read from someone in that 'special club,' including this post here, has absolutely impressed me with its humor, candor, bravery, concern, and overall esprit de corps. It is one-half of America at its finest. I am thinking about what comprises the other half.

Take special care, Tom.

At 4:37 AM, Blogger Tom Degan's Daily Rant said...

Well, Lydia, it is now 4:35 AM and, thus far anyway, this is not much of a storm - although they were telling us that we would be feeling its full effect by 2:00. As hurricanes go, this one is pretty low rent. Still, it's early and anything can happen. We shall see what we shall see.


At 7:01 AM, Blogger Brick1101 said...

Hoping you survive with little damage and no loss of power. Your writings are such sanity.. sadly I have to agree with Donna and Steve in regards to the extremists...

At 7:13 AM, Blogger Tom Degan's Daily Rant said...

Thank you for the kind words. We'll keep you posted. It is 7:12 AM now and so far so good.


Tom Degan

At 9:16 AM, Blogger Jefferson's Guardian said...

Tom, it has pretty much moved out of the Washington region. As a matter of fact, I'm seeing some traces of blue sky up above.

It wasn't so bad where I live. The electricity stayed on, and never even flickered, although it rained like hell last night and was windy. The worst I can report are broken branches in the yard and up on the road. Otherwise, it was a fairly uneventful night.

It seems like the worst is right at your front door. Batten down the hatches, and let us know how you make out.

At 1:11 PM, Blogger Mary Mayhem said...

I hope the damage is not that bad and I hope your house didn't flood. I have been through way to many damn hurricanes, Tom. Andrew smashed my swingset and put a tree through my bedroom window and let the rain in to ruin all of my stuffed animals and barbie dolls when I was in the third grade, and I have hated them with a deep-seeded passion ever since.

At 11:06 PM, Anonymous Just the Facts! said...

So, Tom,
Was Irene all she was made out to be?

At 5:13 AM, Blogger Tom Degan's Daily Rant said...

Not really. By the time she reached us the high winds that were expected had pretty much died off. A heck of a lot of water damage though. Downtown Goshen is a mess!

At 11:48 AM, Blogger Bob Lowry said...

There was the completely predictable result of the mayor of New York City deciding to err on the side of safety by shutting down subways and public transportation. Because the storm wasn't as bad as folks had predicted he was criticized for over-reacting.

If he had not taken those steps and the storm had lived up to its billing, he would have been ripped apart for not being a leader and protecting "his" people.

Politics is a lose-lose game/

At 4:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't worry Tom - Bachmann & God have it all figured out.

At 6:57 PM, Blogger Avram Mirsky said...

Unfortunately, Tom, the "GOVERNMENT IS BAD" crowd wasn't silent (at least one of the noisier ones who hypocritically draws a government paycheck). Michelle Bachmann called is a "message from God" to cut government spending. "Batshit crazy" is too nice a label for that one. Why doesn't she start with her salary?

At 8:50 PM, Blogger Tom Degan's Daily Rant said...

Yeah, Avram....

I had this really stupid idea that these fucking idiots would give it a rest.


I need a drink. Seriously.

Tom Degan

At 10:41 PM, Anonymous Just the Facts! said...

Is it soup yet Tom?

At 12:55 PM, Anonymous solarcat said...

Irene has come and gone. We are unfortunate in the damage and in the fact that Eric Cantor was not swept away. Representatives in states effected by the storm have a responsibility to call him out on his despicable posturing relative to FEMA funds. His attempt to sound fiscally responsible is transparent. He is a tool -of the tea-party. I hope he needs fema assistance to remove a piece of storm debris from the place where his heart should be.


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