"A Copse. Evening"

"A Copse. Evening"
A. Y. Jackson, 1918
"I don't make hell for nobody. I'm only the instrument of a laughing providence. Sometimes I don't like it myself, but I couldn't help it if I was born smart."

1st Sgt. Milton Anthony Warden.
"From here to Eternity"

Paul Valery

"You are in love with intelligence, until it frightens you. For your ideas are terrifying and your hearts are faint. Your acts of pity and cruelty are absurd, committed with no calm, as if they were irresistible. Finally, you fear blood more and more. Blood and time."

The Wisdom of the Ages

"When a young man, I read somewhere the following: God the Almighty said, 'All that is too complex is unnecessary, and it is simple that is needed',"

Mikhail Kalashnikov
"Here lies the bravest soldier I've seen since my mirror got grease on it."

Zapp Brannigan

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Happy Labor Day - and A Happy Birthday!


No, yesterday was not Labor Day. It was the stupid let's-pretend-Washington-and-Lincoln were-born-on-the-same-day-and-that-it-was-always-a-Monday-or-a-Friday version of labor Day.
Ah, that great cornerstone of democracy, the three-day weekend.
Yesterday was a birthday as well. Freddie Mercury would have turned sixty-five.
That's not who we're talking about though.
The birthday girl in question, nine years and 364 days older than the late Freddie - and still with us, is the Yaquina Bay bridge in Newport, Oregon.
Dedicated seventy-five years ago today, it is the second-longest of the astonishing twenty-two bridges built by Conde McCullough between 1927 and 1936.
With its siblings it allowed traffic along the coast for the first time between Washington and California along Oregon 101.
The best part: It was a WPA project - built with Federal dollars - stimulus dollars if you will.
With that in mind, you'll have to acknowledge that none of the guys pictured at the left, hanging steel 135 feet above Yaquina Bay, was actually holding down a real job at the time because - of course - only the private sector can provide those.
So, even though these poor, deluded, nanny-state schmucks may have thought they were building the second longest bridge in Oregon, in fact they were building for themselves and their descendants a culture of dependency.
So, what is the ultimate outcome of this corrosive practice of simply allowing the bloated, Federal government to hand out such free-rides as the opportunity to risk life and limb building something the country actually needed?
It is a huge inventory of big, high-maintenance white elephants constantly in need of repair.
Really, had we counted the cost, would it really have been worth it to build, Fort Peck dam, Grand Coulee dam, Hoover dam (at least they named it after the right guy) and the Going to the Sun Highway, just to name a few.
Seriously, who needs to drive over Logan Pass?
Hell, if the mountain goats could just scrape together the airfare, they'd go to Palm Springs.

Then there's all those other roads, buildings and such that, had they actually been needed, could have/would have been done by the private sector, the guys who are really looking out for you - and not just your well-being - your character as well.
Okay, winding down the raving, here's a shot of that giant boondoggle in her younger days. That street in Newport still looks very much the same except all the buildings are filled with "brew pubs", restaurants and touristy boutiques.
You can stand on the left side and watch the charter boats come in in the afternoon. When they arrive, the more helpless of the passengers have their catch filleted by the crew who are quite something to see. Two slabs of bone-free salmon and a spine with a tail - in less than twenty seconds.
So, my warning: Don't fall victim to this whining about our "crumbing infrastructure".
Sure maybe a bridge will fall down here and there. Ultimately we'll reach an equilibrium where the bridges that are actually required (by the right sort of people) can be propped up - providing it can be made profitable - and all the other ones can be creatively recycled by the little people. They tend to be very inventive if not coddled to much.
Now, in closing (almost), I'll explain the photo at the very top.
That was provided in case someone may want to steal the identity of the man pictured above.
Taken by the brilliant Dorothea Lange in Oregon, August, 1939, it depicts an out-of-work lumber worker (logger, millworker. It's not clear) and his wife in a camp for bean-field workers.
I want to say Klamath Falls or Coos Bay but I can't find the book with the caption saying which.
Incidentally, despite the famous topsoil of the Willamette valley, apparently the only crops that grow exceptionally well here are beans (No flies on that. High fiber, protein and they fix nitrogen in the soil) and grass seed.
Guess which one they grow now?
Anyway, check this guy out. Nice hair, recent shave - with a Boston Blackie mustache - and an air of confident, self-possession that should be the envy of any Grover Norquist, Dickless Cheney... Madogre.
And, he's so at home with his new status as a "subject" of the nanny-state that's he's taken the trouble, expense and (minor) pain to have the evidence of same tattooed on his arm - and I don't think it's 'cause he'd forget it otherwise.
And, his wife is way cute.
Oh, and just so all you taxpayer-patriots can grumble a bit more, her photography was paid for by the government. Another one of the alphabet soup agencies, the FSA.
This agency is responsible for 175,316 photos (at least that's what the Library of Congress made available online) and they're being kept on your dime as well.
Don't that just frost ya'?
So, labor day. Outrageous unemployment and a Republican party that will do something about it (somehow) only when they can get that tanned fella with the funny name out of the White House.
A day when Jimmy Hoffa's son says that the Tea Party idiots need to be taken out (of office but he forgot to say that) and the aforesaid idiots view this as a direct threat.
Go here for some hilarious chest-beating. Full marks for correct use and spelling of "acquiescence".
In closing, for real this time, this is one Matthew Vadum - he's the one with the big tits, the one in the middle ("Toga-Toga!").
He's one of those clear-thinkers, a "Conservative Pundit" and sort of a putz.
The fat version of Dougie Houser here has put forth an absolutely brilliant thesis on the length, breadth and depth of what he doesn't know about democracy - or how to be a human being.
Read it here.
American Thinker! Could ya die?
I so want to photoshop that masthead into Uncle Sam on the shitter.
Anyway, Lumpy Rutherford here also has a blog - on Blogspot! Homie!
Stop by, give him a listen. Notice that he's affecting a goatee. All the cool guys have them... like... Jonah Goldberg.
Fat Matt's is a little slow filling in but... he's young and might be carrying a bit too much estrogen.

The very last cool people on earth with goatees were Maynard G. Krebs, Burl Ives (Blacklisted as a Communist) and my late Uncle Earl.

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