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Of Politics, Blogs and Deadly Diseases

Posted Nov 10 2008 4:51pm

[ EDITORIAL NOTE:Coming up is the final weekend (at last!) before the presidential election next Tuesday. Perhaps, in anticipation, you have a final blog post with your thoughts about all that has transpired in this campaign. If so, be sure to get links to me by Friday for the Sunday Election Issues post. If you're wondering what I'm talking about, see this post. ]

You’re probably grateful that Crabby Old Lady has restrained herself from ranting during this endless election campaign. As we reach the final four days until it is over at last (barring, god forbid, hanging chads or their electronic equivalent), Crabby has just one thing to say: Sarah Palin isn’t qualified to be anything more brain taxing than a beauty pageant judge.

Even if Crabby were inclined to vote for Senator McCain (there are many good reasons not to), his choice of Palin as presidential place-holder is the number one deal breaker. Someone else said it first and Crabby agrees: McCain proved his unworthiness to lead the United States in his first important presidential decision - the cynical choice of this cute but vacant woman.

Recent polls show that Governor Palin’s strongest supporters are white men. Without referencing the obvious reason (see end of paragraph 2), may Crabby Old Lady suggest that if you’ve got one of these at home, find something else for him to do on election day. By doing so, you could be responsible for saving the future of our country from worse than the past eight years.

But that’s not why Crabby is breaking her silence today. She has two other items in mind – one is merely annoying; the other is terrifying.

Information-Free Blog Zones
There has been an uptick in recent months of lazy blogging. Surely you run across them as frequently as Crabby does - entire posts empty of all meaning:

“Not pretty in Ashtabula.”

“John has the scoop.”

“Wow. Great stories here and here and here.”

“Jane was right.”

Links are the lifeblood of blogging, but no one will follow them without a reason, nor will they return to blogs so devoid of anything worth knowing.

Crabby would like to report that it’s just kids who don’t know any better, but some big-time, popular bloggers along with a few elderbloggers are guilty too. All of them insult Crabby’s intelligence and waste her time. Always tell her - and all readers - what they can expect to find at the other end of a link.

Taking Deadly Chances with Horrific Diseases
The first story Crabby read yesterday morning in The New York Times set off bells in her head that didn’t stop clanging all day. It tells of a new bio lab built on the Texas Gulf coast island of Galveston that was recently flattened by Hurricane Ike.

Promoted by President George W. Bush, Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison and former House leader Tom Delay, the lab, run by the University of Texas, will study the world’s deadliest diseases, gruesome killers like the Ebola and Marburg viruses for which there is no known cure.

“’The entire island can wash away and this [building] is still going to be here,’ Dr. James W. LeDuc, the deputy director of the laboratory, said. ‘With Hurricane Ike, we had no damage. The only evidence the hurricane occurred was water that was blown under one of the doors and a puddle in the lobby.’”

Ike was a Category 2 (on a scale of 5) storm with high winds clocked at no more than 100 mph. What, Crabby wants to know, does a bio lab deputy director know about building construction and a structure’s ability to withstand hurricane-force winds? And what is the IQ of leaders such as the three who support this project? Bah!

[ At The Elder Storytelling Place today, Tom J. Mariani shares a story he and his friends have been laughing over for years titled Downhill. ]

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