Shhhhh

I realize that this is not a well-read site. Often I feel like I’m just adding words to the whirling cyber vortex, which is probably why I haven’t made this a priority in my day-to-day. So I feel pretty confident that this is a reasonably good hidey-hole for things I might like to write about that might cross into “old crank constantly yelling on facebook” territory, and that’s what this is.

People are really gullible. Easily manipulated. Often really fucking dense. As a people, we’ve often believed things that our TVs and newspapers have told us that weren’t at all true. We believed that aliens were attacking New Jersey and a reporter at a venerable newspaper who lied about Iraq’s intentions in the lead-up to the second Gulf War. There’s a million more, I’m sure you can google it if you’re looking for that fantastic doomed feeling. Essentially, if enough people repeat something, people will believe it.

So this post is for the people I know that before the election were posting article after article critical of Hillary Clinton’s emails, that called her corrupt and a sellout, that claimed the primaries were rigged (especially people who posted that ridiculous paper about exit polls), arguing in forums that she was dishonest, a serial liar, who would ignore the pressure from the left and reward corporate cronies with plum positions in her cabinet. The people who are now yelling “I DIDN’T VOTE FOR TRUMP” and using sad-faced emoticons on all the stories pouring in of attacks on people of color, kids chanting racist things at their schoolmates and of swastikas painted on walls. The people who wanted to tear down the corporate system without really understanding what the system does. The people who drew their line in the sand as loudly and forcefully as they could, claiming equivalency between the corporate monsters. Yeah, you.

People listened to you. I’m a little confused why you’re so surprised and angry that you’re getting some of the internet stink-eye. Why were you posting those articles and arguing that she was a terrible candidate if you didn’t want anyone to listen to you? I mean, you weren’t going to change my mind, I had done my research, but there’s a segment of the population that doesn’t for a variety of reasons, and they’re passively consuming their facebook and Twitter feeds. They’re thinking, “huh, X believes there’s no difference between the two candidates. X is a good friend and I trust their judgment.” Add in the occasional cable news show and you’ve swayed someone towards the argument you now speciously claim you weren’t making.

Look, I’ll probably never tell this to your face. That’s the beauty of the internet, it is a safe space for grudges to wither and die. I just want to add one thing: the people who did this and are now crying hardest about Trump: white guys. They claim they “held their nose and voted for Clinton”, so Trump isn’t their fault. The first woman presidential candidate and you held your nose, huh. I didn’t have to hold my nose to vote for her, and I’m pretty sure that I can smell sexist bullshit coming from your direction.

 

 

Holy Shit

Yes, I am heartbroken. Whatever. I’ll fight on.

But holy shit is this election a terrible racist stew of awful.

I’m going to start with Trump voters, who deserve it. Trump voters weren’t the people making $50,000 and under, those people voted for Hillary by 12% in the lower income bracket, and 9% in the higher. All other income brackets went for Trump. Second, the two most important issues to Trump voters were immigration and terrorism, which this study says barely affect them. And the economy, a distant third as their median income is around $72,000. I understand that is at the low end of the spectrum for Republicans, but I digress. There is one interesting facet of Trump voters, that I admit is a problem, and I would love to see action on it – Trump voters tend to live in areas where white people are more sick and tend to die younger, and they see less income mobility for their children. Also their communities are all similar, in other words, they have almost no truck with the people they are railing against. This is all terrible, and deserves some attention, but that is not what Trump voters were concerned about. Immigrants and terrorism, and they got spoon fed delicious scapegoat pudding right out of How To Make Pudding and Propaganda 101.

Now, my leftist friends, who have been posting memes and insightful articles about how Bernie would have won, he was winning with white voters! We have to listen to all the fucking racist, misogynist, bigoted shit dressed up as white economic distress seriously!

No, we don’t.

First of all, African Americans voted overwhelmingly for Hillary. She did pretty well with Latinos, though not as good as Obama. I think the reason for this is twofold. First, Clinton had a lot of baggage to overcome from previous remarks about minority communities, and she took her primary victories for granted (75% of African Americans voter for her over Bernie) and did not do the work to get voters to early voting. Second, there were serious voter suppression efforts in these neighborhoods. And let’s be unbelievably clear; I am not saying that voter turnout was the sole factor in costing her minority turnout or the election, but I am pretty sure that it played a part, or at least the North Carolina GOP is pretty sure. If Clinton had been able to retain the 2012 numbers of these groups she would have won.

The pundits, by and large, don’t seem to care about this. It’s all hand-wringing about how we should have listened to what working class whites had to say. Well, the pundits are partially right, working class and middle class people are hurting in this country, but white people don’t have the exclusive rights to that fact. Why should we ignore the black working class? Or the Latino? Or any other minority who falls into this category? It seems like solving this problem by creating jobs that pay well would be a solution that would benefit all members of the working class, not just the whites. Who, I would like to remind you, definitely said the economy is not their main issue, and proved it by voting in the party who has advocated eliminating the minimum wage.

And besides, we have caved to the economic distress of white men over and over in our history. Reconstruction, Jim Crow, blocking blacks from New Deal benefits, and it’s gotten us to right here, where once again everyone views the ills of this country through the economic distress of white men. How about we progressives stop listening to them, and start listening to what all the other people in this country have to say? Because the solutions to these problems are for everyone, not just white people. They aren’t the only ones that are being left behind by changing technology and the creeping rule of the kleptocracy, all of America is, and increasing turnout in minority communities is just as, if not more important.

Now please stop sharing those ridiculous articles and get to work.

The Case for Clinton, or Why this Election Is Killing Me

I’m back, here at the final moments of the game that has come to be our national presidential election. Frankly, I am exhausted, and I imagine that there are many others who are also ready for a long winter’s nap.

As you may imagine, I am voting for Hillary Clinton. I came into this as a strong Bernie supporter, pretty excited to see the lone member of my ostensible political party making a run at the big chair. While I voted for him in the primary, my support began to waver over time. My one big issue, Autism, was given short shrift in his policy documents. He talked about getting services like behavioral therapy for veterans, which is great, but there was no other mention of how he would help the average family with services or adult care. A closer look at the rest of his policies proved them also anemic. I mean, not to the extent of the republican candidates’ policies (and I looked at every single one) but there was enough “hmmm, this would require executive action or for congress to die in a fire” to give me pause.

Then it became apparent he was going to lose and I had to take a closer look at Hillary Clinton. No, I didn’t consider the third party candidates for three reasons: first, I was a Nader voter; second, Jill Stein is problematic in many ways; and finally all of the cliches about how someone would never do something unless crazy conditions are met would have to come true for me to vote libertarian. Seriously. So Clinton it was.

And then, because I can’t take anything at face value and the stories being posted about her were…disturbing, I dug into the Clinton dirt. Here’s where you would expect me to begin recounting with horror all the moldy corpses I uncovered, but the reality was nothing. There was no there there.

Remember around July as the FBI was rapping up its investigation there were articles being posted fast and furious by your friends and relatives shouting that Clinton’s aides and IT people were taking the fith amendment? “Over 100 questions they took the fifth!” Those headlines were all generated by a FOIA lawsuit filed by a conservative activist group called Judicial Watch. They were trying to gain access to Clinton’s state department emails over a dispute as to how Clinton’s long-term aide Huma Aberdeen was paid. The reason for the fifth pleadings came because the judge set the scope of discovery in a narrow fashion, and Judicial Watch lawyers would ask questions far outside the scope to generate exactly the type of headlines that were posted over and over. So when you were reading stories about the FBI investigation and people pleading the 5th they were two separate issues, completely unrelated, but they sure looked pretty bad when combined.

Then there were the DNC emails, which were supposed to contain smoking guns leading back to Clinton fixing the primaries! Working with the press directly to suppress Bernie! These emails were in fact pretty awful. They showed political sausage being made, and it was indeed pretty gross. There was bad behavior and  But as far as “nailing” Clinton on fixing the primary, they fall far short of that goal.

And as to that “paper” that proved Clinton fixed the primaries? The one that was released by a mysterious organization that was not peer reviewed and had a lot of fancy statistical analysis (not from a statistician) that detailed discrepancies in exit polls yet did so by comparing two different sets of data, one of which is secret in its formulation? Yeah, nope.

The Podesta emails, while exposing more of that same political machinery, are more worrisome. Here is where I wish there was a different way of politics available in this country, as in these emails you can find plenty of evidence of an entrenched monster. This is where criticism of Clinton should start and end, not in the layers of nonsense I talked about above. Hillary Clinton’s presidency will be the same mixed bag as Obama’s. The whole reason of voting for her as opposed to Trump or any of the third parties is to continue some of the gains that we’ve made under Obama. LBGTQ rights, coal disappearing from our energy profile, the ACA, these are all a net positive that I am in no hurry to give up. But to see the same elites circling her that did Obama is disheartening, to say the least. I know she is a flawed candidate, and a master at the political game, and it’s hard to believe that real change will come from her turn as president. That’s not quite as sexy and shiny as “she’s a criminal and a liar!” but it should give people pause.

Then of course you look in the rear view and see Trump. I’m honestly confused at to what half the country is thinking, because unlike Clinton his dirty laundry is actually filthy. You can point to a mountain of lawsuits claiming he refused to pay contractors, he ran a fake university, he treats women like objects and worse, he mocks disabled people, and on and on and on. So on one hand, you have a candidate the represents the stars quo, and on the other, ???????????

It’s honestly confusing and upsetting. But soon this will be over, and this election will be half-remembered, wrongly, in the collective consciousness. Right up until the next election where someone just a modicum more charming and put-together than Trump taps into that same vein, and we start all over again.

Don’t forget to vote.

 

PS – I feel I should fully disclose that I am kind of excited to have a woman president. There will finally be someone in charge of laws over my body that has the same biology I do and isn’t a god-botherer! Neat. 

The Afternoon Magpie

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It’s been awhile since I’ve been active here, and to be honest my first instinct is to abandon this interweb outpost and start up again somewhere else. But, I am determined to stick it out and get the ball rolling again (I said for the 1,000,000th time). So let’s start with the stuff that interests me the most on the internet today:

I welcome our new, delicious when grilled, fish overlords: Clever Trout Match Chimps in a Cognitive Challenge

Who’s Buried in the Largest Greek Tomb? Watching this unfold has been extremely exciting for an archaeology geek like me – you can read more about the excavation here at Zeguma After the Flood.

I’ve become very fascinated with the work of Karl Polanyi – this merits a longer post but there’s a decent look at his seminal work The Great Transformation at The Amerian Prospect.

A Connecticut Yankee in Rick Perry’s Court

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So, my family moved to Texas.

The move was pretty intense; two adults, two kids, two cats and two fish crammed into a mid-sized SUV careening across the countryside hoping to find a hotel that allowed cats and was near enough to an eating establishment that catered to a hodgepodge of dietary needs made every day exhausting. It would take a catastrophic event to make me move cross-country again. This was my third such move, and I like the number three. It has cosmic implications, and I’d like to leave it at that!

So what made me, a serious progressive and avowed agnostic move to the alleged Republican utopia and religious fairyland of Texas? With most of my family out of the picture and a physical exam that lead to some serious tests, I began to wonder if Connecticut would be the right place to raise our kids. Since budget cutbacks had stripped the Department of Developmental Services of any usefulness to us, I couldn’t count on respite money to assist us with care of our Autistic child if anything happened to either my spouse or I. CT’s economic climate made it very difficult to justify staying as well; rental properties in the range we could afford were tight and very competitive, and I was beginning to have to consider cramming us in a two bedroom apartment. Adding in utilities on top of rent made left us with no wiggle room for emergencies or vacations or anything but the basic necessities. That includes the $20 an hour to pay a special needs babysitter if my husband and I ever wanted to leave the house.

After adding up all these variables, we decided it would be a good idea to get out of Dodge. And while I am sure I will be infuriated by Texas politics and confounded by my new senator Ted Cruz (oh, I miss you Chris Murphy!) I have to say that it’s pretty good here so far. The spacious and light house we rented would be at least $3000 a month back in CT; our electric bill is a third of what it was; and I never have to worry about saving for heating oil again. The schools are good and while I have yet to have my official IEP meeting with my son’s new staff, I feel pretty good about it. My husband and I went on our first date in years, and the kids love that they now have grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins to spend time with.

But then again, check back in August after a few weeks of 100+ degree heat and what I am sure will be a brutal gubernatorial election on the horizon. For now, however, I’m just going to go with it.

So, about the Sandy Hook shooting…

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Disclaimer, I live in the next town over from Sandy Hook. The shooting took place maybe 8 miles from my home. We almost moved to Newtown when we were looking for a place here in the armpit of Connecticut, but we had concerns about the schools (which were about special education and not the general quality). I know lots of people from Newtown, and a few of my friends went to Sandy Hook Elementary. I am incredibly lucky in that I am removed by one degree form people who were affected. I know people who know people, in other words.

The day of the shooting, I was at home. My kids, the same ages and in the same grades as the victims, spent the day on lockdown. I spent the day alternately crying and staring in mute horror at the television. My spouse came home early so we could greet the children as they got off the bus. We turned off the news and tried to decide how to talk to our kids about what just happened, as there was no way to actually shelter them from this. The shooting happened on Friday, and on Monday they would be back at school and out of our influence, and other kids would surely have tales of what went down.

My older son, who is autistic, was largely unaffected except for picking up on a general vibe at school and home that unsettled him a bit. My younger son, however, has not fared so well. While he went back to school without much of a problem, he has been plagued by nightmares and has an air of sadness about him that is proving hard to crack. We did have a tough year here, with the death of a close relative, major surgery, Hurricane Sandy and an uneasy housing situation, so the Newtown shooting was the icing on a mud pie of a year for us, him especially.

I think one thing that is bothering my son is a feeling of being…ineffective. My spouse’s company donated a bunch of supplies to the temporary school in Monroe, and my PTO organization has been working to see if the school needs any specialized equipment for their special ed classrooms, and I share these activities with him. These things don’t really contribute to a feeling of safety for him, nor do they help us to understand what we can do to stop something like this from happening again.

I’ve had lots of discussions in the wake of the shooting about what caused the shooter to go down this horrible path. These talks revolve around two subjects: gun control and mental health. My stance on guns is pretty simple: the 2nd amendment clearly delineates our right to bear arms, however, just as I can’t yell fire in a crowded theater for fear of hurting innocent bystanders with my freedom of speech, there should be limits imposed on gun owners for the same reason. I don’t support bans, as they are largely ineffective in my opinion, but I do support having to register your firearm. To obtain registration, you must complete a safety course and prove at measured intervals you are maintaining safe practices. In order to purchase ammunition for your registered weapon, you must produce this registration at the store. No more gun show loophole, stolen guns must be reported, and the Tihart amendment must be repealed. Mandatory background checks for every gun purchase. And seriously, if you’re one of those people who thinks this will make it easier for government to quell a revolt against whatever your discontent is, the government has flying killer robots. Not to mention an incredibly effective propaganda machine that will quickly make you look like deluded fools. So, by my reckoning making sure you know how to use a gun safely, giving law enforcement the tools it needs to trace and secure illegal guns and making sure “lawful” gun owners are the ones buying guns are all reasonable requests when you are using a machine that was designed to kill humans.

The mental health piece is difficult. There’s a pretty easy Venn diagram to draw that would show large overlap between gun rights activists who call for more attention to mental health that believe a single payer system, let alone the ACA is tantamount to treason. As a mother of an Autistic child who has been tossed around between state agencies and mocked in pediatricians’ offices, I can say with authority that the level of support for mental health is lower than the average person can imagine. Children like the Newtown shooter need a wide range of social and emotional support, something I know the Newtown schools struggle with. And sometimes parents of these kids need assistance in overcoming their reluctance to pursue help when mental health is the forefront of their child’s issues. There also has to be parity in the ACA between mental and physical health. I have a friend whom I’ve watched descend into paranoia and depression who will not go to a therapist for fear their insurance premium will go up. Doctors have to stop prescribing psychiatric medicine that is not coupled with a therapist’s guidance.

In the end, we as Americans need to look at what we value as a society. We denigrate teachers, call them freeloaders and lazy (oh, summers off they must be slackers) yet we expect them to put their lives on the line when our kids are in danger. We think the schools should do a stellar job in shaping our children into good citizens, but allow corporate intrusion into the classroom via standardized testing that sucks time away from building those skills. We give the military massive amounts of money while 22% of our children live in poverty. We let banking giants like AIG break the law and no one actually goes to jail. We praise violence in our media as art and make sexuality, something that involves a loving connection between humans, a secret shame. We cheer for the death of our ill, and we push the needs of the most vulnerable aside in the pursuit of profit. Frankly, I would rather have a national conversation about any of these points than debate a ban on Bushmasters.

And those are my thoughts on the Newtown shooting. I still cringe when I hear it mentioned in the media. It sounds…wrong. I only hope that something, any of the points I made above change because of the heartbreak and outrage of our community.

Wow, cliched post about time flying ahead

I can’t believe how long it has been since I’ve posted to my little corner of the internet. We got a little sidelined here by illness and an event that shook up my entire family. I truly mean for this to be a regular gig, to keep in practice with my writing and to have a place to exorcise whatever bee is in my bonnet. So without further ado, let’s talk about the freak illness that is still plaguing me to some degree, and then I’ll get to the event in another post.

In November, the Cassandra was sidelined by hand, foot and mouth disease, or the Coxsackie A virus. It’s an enterovirus, a single-strand RNA virus in the same family as polio. It mutates constantly, and there’s been some pretty severe outbreaks lately. I am no epidemiologist but if I had to guess I’d say I got the A16 strain which was going around the US earlier this year, with a reported cluster in my home state. I know exactly how I caught it: my son had come down with what I would say a mild case, and was mostly over it when Sandy hit and we lost power for 72 hours. We had no hot water and no light and he had a potty accident that resulted in a less-than-stellar cleanup, and since Coxsackie can live in the stomach for awhile and I was the frontline of hazmat cleanup, I managed to catch it.

And holy cats, did I ever catch it. This particular strain is noted for its sore clusters and for sores appearing in places other than the hand, foot and mouth. For people playing at home, it started with a bad headache that lasted two days. Then came the sore throat and lethargy, followed by the characteristic blisters on my hands, face, arms, feet and especially my scalp. At the height of the blisters I couldn’t open bottles or jars, pick up anything that requires a strong grip or walk much further than my kitchen. At first, looking up anything on the internet about the virus led me to articles about how to help your toddler or newborn make it through; but what about me, the 43 year-old?

Even after the blisters passed I had areas of skin that continued to present as blistered on my hands and feet. While my hands have finally returned to normal (as normal as hands can be here in the frigid northeast winter) my feet still look like I wore new shoes on a day-long city trek. I am still generally exhausted as well, but that may have to do with other areas of my life being less-than-optimal at this point.

This whole experience generally freaked me out a little. I don’t think I have ever gotten a virus that actually changed my body, like this did with the blisters. I’ve gotten colds before, stomach viruses, sinus infections and two summers ago I had a staph infection in my leg. This just seemed more obvious; I had contracted a living organism that was using me, another living organism, to propagate itself.

The Culture of Lying Facts

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I’m not going to try and hide my political leanings here at The Cassandra – I’d hardly live up to the Cassandra name if I did. I’m essentially a bleeding-heart pinko commie liberal, only I understand what all those words mean! I believe that government should work for its citizens, which includes a soundly constructed safety net, disaster assistance, free public education, access to health care, regulations that protect our air, environment, food supply and financial markets, wise military intervention in the interest of national security or humanitarian crisis, and construction and maintenance of our nation’s infrastructure and power supply.

I wouldn’t really call myself a Democrat. I’m more of a Social Democrat like Bernie Sanders. Usually these beliefs are in stark contrast to the Republican candidate for whatever office. Yet this election I’ve found that on some days my views seem to echo those of Mitt Romney (or his views are echoing mine) and some days not so much. If there hadn’t been a press blackout by his campaign for the past twenty or so days, I might know exactly what he thinks, but probably not. In fact, the prospect of the uncertainty of Romney as a candidate has led the Republican in our state’s senate race to throw her lot in with Obama. But for me, the most stunning thing in this election season hasn’t been the insincere weathervane-like gyrations of the Romney camp; it’s that the polls consistently show the race is close. Seriously, about one half of Americans apparently want a candidate with no position at all!

It’s possible that half of the country, or at least those who participate in conservative politics and media, have been primed to disbelief for years. In The Long Con: Mail Order Conservatism Rick Perlstein looks at how Republicans have been primed for years in accepting lies as truth. The sideshow of the conservative machine has been a breeding ground for multi-level marketing and fear theologians since the 1960’s and to them, it’s possible that Romney’s mixed relationship with the truth is a “feature, not a bug”. Says Perlstein:

Dishonesty is demanded by the alarmist fundraising appeal because the real world doesn’t work anything like this. The distance from observable reality is rhetorically required; indeed, that you haven’t quite seen anything resembling any of this in your everyday life is a kind of evidence all by itself. It just goes to show how diabolical the enemy has become. He is unseen; but the redeemer, the hero who tells you the tale, can see the innermost details of the most baleful conspiracies. Trust him. Send him your money.

As an example of Perlstein’s alarmist fundraisers, let’s look at Focus on the Family (FOF). FOF is a Christian conservative group that actively works to promote their version of Christianity in government, including denying marriage rights to same sex couples, repealing the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell and closing Planned Parenthood, among others. In 2008 they wrote a letter to their supporters that predicted the horros of an Obama presidency that turned out to be completely wrong. By now we should be experiencing rolling blackouts, a dearth of boy scouts, mandatory abortions, Osama Bin Laden pouring your morning coffee and PORNOGRAPHY EVERYWHERE. Admittedly FOF has hit a fundraising bump as of late, but I would attribute that to the changing attitude  about same sex couples deserving equal protection under the law rather than the erosion of belief that Obama will bring about the apocalypse. I mean, if that SAVE AMERICA DON’T VOTE OMABA sign down the street is any measure.

So you may want to chalk up all the dishonest priming success to a gullible segment of the population, right? This is a trap many people fall into; the other side is stupid and wrong and so deluded. It is easy to be deluded when you live in an echo chamber of the same ideas, and the people you associate with are receiving similar disinformation. Delusion slips in, beginning to masquerade as every day life. An example: we are toilet readers, so there’s always books and magazines in our bathroom. (Really, I am going somewhere with this!) At one point I had been reading an Autism magazine that featured an article on helping someone on the spectrum deal with death. This magazine stayed in our bathroom for a few months, with just the headline about Autism and grief sticking out. During this time I started to develop an obsession about what will happen to our son after we die. I became extremely depressed had several bad reactions to programs where intellectually disabled people were abused or bullied. One day I looked down at that grief headline and realized that I had been looking at it every day, several times a day for about three months. Even though I wasn’t reading the article I was reminded, almost subconsciously every day that one day I would die and my child would be on his own because every day I read that headline over and over. Once I moved the magazine to the recycle bin my fears began to lessen; and while the prospect still frightens me I am no longer paralyzed by anxiety over the issue.

So imagine that every day you receive emails, magazines, newsletters, listen to radio shows and television that sell you three things; a miracle cure, an easy way to make money, or fear of the unknown. Maybe your views already skew a little conservative, after all, you’ve subscribed to these things looking for like minds. And lo and behold, here is your candidate, a man who tells people what they want to hear regardless of facts and promises that he will fix things for you, often in a way that must involve magic. So while half the country rubs their eyes with disbelief at Romney and at your belief in his platform, Romney is a natural for you. He’s a human echo chamber combined with the slimy suaveness of a snake-oil salesman. Just what conservatives haven’t realized they’ve been looking for all along.

The Morning Magpie

The Magpie has a backlog from hurricane recovery, so here’s what caught my eye the past few days!

How are they getting the water out of the myriad of tunnels that connect Manhattan to the mainland? With big, very specialized equipment, some of which was used during Katrina. Ingenuity at it’s best.

When cars keep crashing into buildings in your town…well, I have no idea. They claim the number is not statistically significant but we have no where near that number of building-car incidents by a longshot. Put down the phone? Take your heart medicine? Put away that three-course lunch?

Not a math fan? People with math anxiety light up the area of the brain that perceives bodily threat in MRI’s. I’m okay at math. When I was in college I was taking a basic maths class along with Latin and I did notice that the work in each class involved the same way of thinking…it felt like I was starting a generator, or flexing different muscles.  I figured that the patterns involved in each were similar, as math can be used to describe phenomena the same way language can.

A man in England was renovating his chimney when he found the remains of a carrier pigeon, complete with WW II coded message. Unfortunately, we may never know what it says as it probably used a one-time pad encryption, and they’re almost impossible to crack unless you have the key.

Finally, the unlikely heartwarming story of a boy and his flying killer robot. Er, Predator drone. Whatever helps you sleep at night!

Sandy Aftermath

Hey, we made it through Sandy relatively unscathed! We lost one tree and were without power for almost 72 hours exactly. Once connected with the world again I was amazed at the damage. Crazy stuff. Our limited news through the radio really could not capture how devastated certain areas are. In fact, I’d say the radio was pretty useless throughout the storm and its aftermath; only one station really had any coverage and that tended to be all call-in stories. We live in a weird radio zone that doesn’t allow reception for most of the NYC stations and limits reception of CT stations along the coast.

So what did we learn on this third edition of “Freak Storm of the Century”?

  • If you have three of these storms in a one-year span, you need different qualifiers in your descriptions.
  • Fine, Connecticut Light and Power, I’ll start saving to buy a freaking generator AND agitating to have you taken over by the state and all profits reinvested back into the company. You laid off linemen this year and then whistled all the way to the bank, jerks.
  • We really need a TV band radio if we are going to hear news in a crisis. And a hand crank generator for our cell phones.
  • Triscuits are New England’s hurricane food of choice, as they were totally sold out at out local grocery before the storm. And no one likes natural peanut butter, which was the lone hold-out in a run on peanut butter supplies.

Now back to your regularly scheduled Cassandra!