The little what?

Yesterday, two-thirds of the front page of the paper was given over to the death by shooting of some promising rapper. Oh, I’m sure, very promising. What with almost certainly misogynistic and anti-authority and oh so presidential in-your-face rhymes set to the same pounding beat as every single other rapper’s tweedle. Now, I’m sure the death of the young man was heartrending to more than a few people. Like his family, and his friends, such as he had them. And of course to his record label, now lost of their prodigy. But still, did this story really warrant so much space? Of which half of that was a photo of the man alive. I don’t think so. It is, in fact, nearly completely irrelevant to our times.

Shouldn’t the story that dominates our front page be the ghastly federal response to, and the huge technological hurdles of, the oil fracas in the Gulf? You know, the one that affects every American so much? But, not to worry, it’s so under control that the president has time to appoint partimers and blue ribbon commissions to handle the issue in between demanding that Americans pay vast new taxes and surrender still more power unto the Federal Maw, and attending any number of sporting and entertainment events. I suppose, though, like with children at Thanksgiving dinner preparation time, it’s good to send them out to play in the yard. The president’s speech the other day got him a point or two lower in every poll and a continued bafflement from every keen and dull observer in the land. So why doesn’t he just say, “Well, folks, it’s BP’s problem and I’m outta’ here!” Yes, go play Barry, the world’s rappers need you.

Meanwhile, barges for sucking oil out of the water are sidelined while looking for errant fire extinguishers and life jackets, or so it was said. Though who ordered the stupidity is not determined yet, the sleuths on our paper have naught to investigate, for a rapper is dead! A rapper! Scion of our culture and light of our being! Really. But still, couldn’t the Coast Guard have pulled out a swift boat, even one piloted by John Kerry, keen environmentalist that he claims to be, and brought all the necessary or required safety equipment out to the barges at work? Couldn’t Al Gore come up with a helicopter and air drop life jackets to all who had not falled off a boat yet? Or did the Coast Guard think that the slow, lumbering, flat bottomed, square-sided barges could outrun the speedy delivery of life jackets and any other apparatus they thought was so important? Me? I’m thinking that the swift craft in the hands of our drug smuggler fighting Coast Guard could deliver fresh hot coffee from dockside to barge every few hours to keep those clean up crews alert. And it still be hot and frothy.

Now, speaking of rap-star culture, and all the human decency that entails, let me quote one of our illustrious state senators: “That little whore wants all the credit.”

Wow! Nothing like civility in the public process, eh? And who is the “little whore”? Why ’tis the governor himself. Apparently the governor opposed some legislation of dire importance to the state, one would presume, indeed, of such importance that he’s a “little whore” for now doing what his job is: Listening to the whims of the public and agreeing to the legislation. The public was mighty upset about the governor’s planned increase in the drivers license fee. We the people did speak, somehow, and the message got across: no new fees. The governor, busy trying to plug a few hundred million dollar gusher of red ink, thought the fee was not so onerous, as many governors never do think new fees are onerous. He saw it as a money maker of course. Would that money have gone to the DMV so that not only is it self-funding, but actually provides the service required of we supplicants in a nice, pleasing, quick and efficient manner? No, the money would have gone to the general funds, as every other penny collected seems to go. So that it might be mushed around and spewed out to some other worthy program to help us get over the increase in fees. Economic development perhaps. Still, the money was found in an “emergency fund.” So all is OK, till next year of course.

Though if we have emergency funds I’d put them to the emergency at hand. Oh, like life jackets for anyone who might fall off into the boat strewn waters of the Gulf where supposedly hundreds of vessels are working diligently putting down boom not yet delivered, or dispersants not yet approved, or former actor Kevin Costner’s oil-picker-uppers not on line yet. Why, with all those boats out there doing nothing while awaiting response from the White House or someone, and the barges that Michael Phelps swims faster than, I’m sure anyone who fell overboard would be oh so quickly rescued. Or, just maybe, the oil being so thick, and hardening in the sun, could very well just walk on over to any boat nearby, which would probably be the barge he or she fell off of. And how does one fall off a barge?

But still, should state senators be calling governors “whores” of any size? I don’t think so. No doubt Senator McPherson will one day have to speak to Governor Jindal about some dire need of the people. I’m sure I can imagine the greeting: “Hey there, you little whore, wazzup?” “Not much you big hooker!” Yes, civility in our times, right up there with butt kicking and kissing of enormous sorts.

Now, it seems that Billy Nungesser, the parish president of Plaquemines Parish at the mouth of the Mississippi had to call the White House to get permission to continue to use his oil sucking barges given the possibility of life-jacketless sailors on the troubled waters. Should the White House really be involved in such detail as to whether to turn on a vacuum pump? And all because the Coast Guard was concerned about safety violations? Bizarre. And one would have hoped that our Advocate would not just parrot the press releases of parish presidents but go find out and even speculate as wildly as they do about the cause and effect of rapper’s deaths about why the Coast Guard is now so concerned with “safety violations” when there’s a Bidenesque Big F… mess to clean up. I can’t figure that out, nope.

Then, in a sidebar on the front page is news that I thought would be far more important than the news which occupies the bottom third of the paper this morning. That four people died when hit by a train – what? Are people still unaware that trains don’t whistle in the dark because they’re afraid? Are people still so cocksure they can outrun a speeding locomotor? What did they think the “loco” part of the word was for? Oh, there’s no lights or automatic crossing arms at the intersection of road and track, horrible! Where was the Coast Guard? Ah, but there was a stop sign! Yes, that little octogon of safety which says “STOP” – and then to look – is that too hard? You need more? Once one looked wouldn’t one have seen a train? Or heard it? No? You got to be kidding right? I can hear the train whistle from trains more than 2 or three miles away. This lady in the car hit couldn’t see nor hear the train a-coming? So close that in the no more than 10 seconds it took to get from safeside road to smack dab on the tracks with oncoming train she really needed some contraption to tell her “NO, DON’T DO IT!” Bah.

Some spokesperson for Amtrak, which was the train which scrunched the car, said: “If drivers heed the warnings, these kinds of tragedies are usually avoidable.” Usually? Oh, I’d say if you can safely negotiate stop signs, traffic lights, and lane changes all the live long day than you could surely have seen that train. So, frankly, my sympathy meter is very low. Sure, people died, young people, pregnant people. But still, I’m not so sure this dead idiot really deserves the press attention, which will cause the shark-lawyers to salivate at suing everyone but the one at true fault – the moron who drove into the path of an oncoming speeding 100 ton train blaring lights and whistles and horns and making such a godawful racket that it would even drown out the shooting of a rapper in mid loud volume rap.

I wonder what the state senator would call the lady who did the stupidity?

Ah, but there in the sidebar is this nugget: “Also, the state added 11,100 jobs in May, the state’s Workforce Commission said in a separate report” which is tagged on to the bottom of a sentence that posits “Real personal income rose a [breathtaking] 1.4% in the first quarter according to Federal Bureau of Economic Analysis. Yah. Exactly 11,100 jobs. I’m sure. I think the number is too exact to be real. Why not 11,101? How could they know? And if the entire country added but 21,000 jobs in May, though 411,000 or so temporary census jobs supposedly, too, as was so breathlessly reported in the mush pit just a week or so ago as a sign that the Obama is working, then you mean to tell me that fully one half of all the new jobs in America that month were created right here in Louisiana?

And our governor is a “little whore”? Why, one would think that this is earth shattering news, to be trumpeted from on high and from down low. Why, jobs are pouring out of a sinking economy so fast, it’s like a gusher of oil on a placid sea!

Or are those 11,100 jobs for people inspecting and delivering life jackets to coffee drinkers on the high sees waiting for their turn to reach the White House?

“Oh, I’m sorry,” I can hear the White House social secretary saying, “The president’s not in right now, he’s off to a baseball game, can you leave a message?”

The little …

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