How Big Pharm has convinced us to subsist on the one while condemning the other. “Asia’s crowed, Europe’s too old Africa’s hot and Canada’s too cold And South America stole our name Let’s drop the big one There’ll be no one left to blame us.” —Randy Newman, Political Science, Sail Away “The rule of US customs and traditions is one of the main objectives of all of what are called international military education training.” —Lt. Colonel Richard Downie, US Army, Commandant, Western Hemispheric Institute for Security Cooperation, the author’s tape recording, WHINSEC, November 2001 The Petrblt “method,” such as there is, contains some not fully understood factors involving the magic of synchronicity. This was sparked by a friend appearing out of the jungle shortly following yet another letter the Duh Noose Papuh wouldn’t touch. No calls, no emails, nothing… just the same yawning silence that spurred the launch of “Peter Built” at the old Spectator. The letter attempted to provide some context by which to counter uninformed, sensational anecdotal drivel emanating via such august voices as Dr. Phil and You Tube, backed not by a shred of what they call “knowledge,” spurring legislative action that could result in potential felony convictions for possession of yet another plant-based molecule, Salvia Divinorum. Far beyond simplistically, “legal LSD,” as variously opportunistic and hysterically mis- and uninformed voices whisper, has been subject to such a paltry body of research that nobody in a position of true authority, a scientist, thank you, can rank it as anything other than a botanical mystery. Keep reading below the fold.
Peter Eichenberger is tired of breathing your exhaust fumes. I haven’t ridden the thing yet, first, ‘cause I have this thing about busses, second, that unless one is incapacitated, like too drunk to walk, downtown Raleigh is as walkable as you’ll find, and finally, that free is really free via the bicycle. But forget me, the R bus line, by reducing the “necessity” of driving a car everywhere one must go, rain or shine, night or day, in a dense, urban grid, is the best, smartest idea Raleigh has had in, gee, I dunno, a generation. But here’s the predicable Greek Chorus, “whaaah, whaaah, whaaah,” from the car set: “It’s not free! It costs me money and I don’t ride it.” Listen up, ya babies, let’s talk about “free.” How did it somehow become written in the sky and implicitly understood by every mother’s child that the motorist is exempt from some normal standards of responsibility with this century-long free ride to foul their path with zero or minimal responsibility to clean up the mess their fiendish contraptions leave? Every time I go anywhere, I have to breathe your exhaust fumes, dodge your oil spills and jagged heaps of broken car that litter nearly every intersection and never seem to get swept up – not to mention never getting a chance to relax from the mortal danger waiting at every turn via inattentive drivers futzing with their music, phones, hair, yada, yada. So tough tits. [Continued below the fold.]
Peter Eichenberger takes a look at spending, shopping malls, and our current recession. As the end of this decade will more or less mark the sixtieth birthday of pioneer shopping center Cameron Village as well as the very first credit card purchase ever, at Major’s Cabin Grill in the Empire State Building the same year, 1950, some scritchings on da money mess: With typically savage ironic synchronicity, I recently found myself at Quail Ridge Books (love the place) in a Christmas return pickle. The more I dug into what I walked out with, James Carroll’s latest, House of War: The Pentagon and the Disastrous Rise of American Power, the more I was struck by parallels between the “defense” morass and the “Economic Crisis,” “Financial Crisis,” or whatever the Meltdown (TM) will be called five years from now. As the shopping center/card synthesis gelled around the same time the Department of Defense consolidated its power, the comparison is timely—and appropriate.
In a unfortunate bit of synchronicity, the oil spill at NCSU’s central heating plant occurred the same week the following piece was written. With a negligence smacking of happy-news cover up, the N&O as well as NCSU tried to soft pedal that the oil did in fact leak into Rocky Branch via a storm drain on the north side of the creek, near Pullen Road. Tuesday morning, The News and Observer report read, “NCSU workers noticed the spill Monday evening and worked to prevent it from reaching Rocky Branch Creek, which runs through campus.” The story went on to report that workers at the city’s Neuse River Wastewater Treatment Plant noticed the bunker oil clogging intake screens at the plant and suspended discharge into the Neuse river Tuesday, “leading city officials to declare there is no threat to the public.” I read the story Tuesday morning, then surveyed Rocky Branch amid a heavy odor of fuel and black tarry residue and reported my findings to NC State. [Continued below the fold.]
My faith in systems, political, economic, religious, has been over the years largely eroded away. Presidents, Popes and Plutocrats. Paah! So 9/10. A dimming ember of interest in the piddly, jittery pond of humans, save what we inflict upon this home of ours, this fragile world, has led me back to a renewed, always humbling study of geology, put on the back burner apres my undergraduate years at NCSU and a general requirement class, Rocks for Jocks it was called, conducted in a cavernous lecture hall by Dr. Victor Cavaroc, an ironic and wise sort imbued of the patience perfect for a geologist. [Below the fold, Tuesday’s inauguration becomes embedded in the sedimentary layers of time.]
With further layoffs and decreases in coverage comes a few words of response from Raleigh newspapers, acknowledging complaints. Peter Eichenberger’s ongoing account of the downfall of the great American newspaper: Back in the saddle after the newly departed hollowdays, among my favorite times of the year. Not for the usual reasons, mind you. While Christendom celebrates the wrong day, wrong guy (Santa sharing the same letters as SATAN) we malcontents receive a few days of relative, welcome respite from annoyances like dumb-ass BOOMP BOOMP BOOMP mobile stereo jockeys, sirens, dump truck traffic and the ceaseless, infernal beep beep beep, crunch from the fuggin’ prison job over yonder. Nothing but the wind in the trees amid muffled sundering of wrapping paper and accompanying delighted squeals of the children… Continued below the fold:
With an all-too familiar lack of imagination, aesthetics, history, safety and disregard for it’s own procedures City Council, in a seven to one vote (Thomas Crowder being the only renegade), sent a message about its fealty to the internal combustion engine and how easily cowed it apparently can be by a gaggle of self-indulgent youngsters staging a sit-in on the front lawn – sitting in Daddy’s cars. [Continued below the fold.]
News is what somebody else wants suppressed. All the rest is advertising.—Lord Northcliffe Advertising is the heart and soul of the free press.—Josephus Daniels Regarding the decade-long, ritual suicide of the US paper and ink “news” business, seems to me the disaster is unfolding via two factors: (1) The smartest guys in the room, as is so often the case, aren’t and/or (2) there is likely some deliberate nature to this. Other nations’ newspapers seem to be bearing up reasonably well. It isn’t so much that people don’t “like” newspapers anymore; on the contrary, surveys show that a desire for them remains high. It is simply that more and more readers are dissatisfied with today’s offerings. What is so unique about the Land of the Free, Home of the First Amendment? Newspapers are unequivocal in pointing the fingers of blame at the Internet, as if it were a vampire wolf gobbling precious advertising revenue. But sagging ad revenue is just another symptom. Read Petrblt on New Raleigh.
Back in the old pre-crash days, my relationship with the man was never what you’d call adversarial, more professional in a perverse sort of way, merely a component of the operational conditions which occasionally didn’t go my way. “My job is to have fun,” I told one arresting officer as he cuffed me. “Your job is to try and catch me. You caught me.” He made this sort of muffled, choking sound. “But you’re gonna have to catch me every time!” Then he laughed. I had a good run with the not being caught part. That was the sum of my relationship with law enforcement—nothing personal, just business. The policeman’s lot is not a happy one, in part courtesy of jerks like me. Petrblt on New Raleigh.
Autumn: a season of change; the death of the year; the contemplation of things undone… heralded by the swish of dry leaves, cerulean blue skies, bracing north winds and—from the outermost suburbs to the Capitol grounds, as ubiquitous as the caw of crows—the grating whine of the leaf blower commencing at seven AM, right alongside newschoppers hot on the trail of traffic shots. Petrblt on New Raleigh.
Remarkable. The events of the last few weeks are deserving of that oft overused adjective. The people of the United States, in a show of wisdom and courage, elected a man who is truly and accurately an actual African-American, half Kenyan and half Kansan. In the welcome, resounding reverberations of a black man cresting the last political hurdle, we, all of us, additionally have a marvelous launching point for an open and wide-ranging discourse on the festering wound of the US race matter. The issue is not going to change immediately, of course, but the reverberations of the event have a potential to alter the nation and world, if channeled and directed with conscious effort. Read Petrblt on New Raleigh.
What I want to know today is why, still, in these days of high fuel costs, drivers continue to leave vehicles idling while they gallivant off to have their nails done or whatever it is they do that is so important that they forget to turn the engines off? Petrblt on New Raleigh
The City Council’s reflexive, automatic, predictable approval of the Stanhope and Cameron Village towers should be illustrative enough of the meaninglessness of Raleigh’s Comprehensive Plan as to remove it from the serious list. Despite all the grand talk, it is a matter of history that a great majority of our elected officials seem possessed of the vision of a Chihuahua, the backbone of a frankfurter and the ethics of a five dollar road whore. I’m not much of a bettin’ man, but I saw this one coming so far off that there was no sense in keeping up with the news, automatic. I’m not to the level of insouciance of Joe. That’s next. Petrblt on New Raleigh
Photos Courtesy base10 Let it come down. A Depression-type reality check might be just what the overfed infantile US “citizenry” could do well with. The correction/recession coming due via Market Forces sounds about right to me. The people of Cuba survived deprivation of their needs after the US embargo, urban gardens and all. Put that quarter acre ‘burb plot to use for something other the family Shih Tzu. Petrblt on New Raleigh.
Anyone else catch the surreal theme of NCSU’s homecoming weekend “Operation Take Out Boston?”
“Get on with thy bad self,” Sir Walter Raleigh exhorted me from a street side banner, sporting shades that appeared to have been pilfered from Bootsy Collins’ nightstand. Sounded good to me. Friday morning, downtown was abuzz with preparations before the start of Raleigh Rips His Knickers Off aka Raleigh Wide Open, an unfortunate sobriquet mindful of a seventies porn flick. After all the shouting, and despite the grand expenditure and hoopla surrounding the wide-openness of the Convention Center, Raleigh still remains the beloved minuscule wet spot described by Barney Fife: “The big city, Andy, go go go, folks readin’ magazines, eatin’ peaches.” Raleigh Wide Open III on Petrblt.
Residents of Boylan Heights, the neighborhood adjoining the site of the new Central Prison Regional Medical Center and Mental Hospital, are being dusted by the airborne residual from the demolition of old buildings and site grading that is being conducted in preparation of construction. North Carolina Department of Correction and the contractor Balfour and Beatty have filed to implement standard practices to mitigate so-called fugitive dust, usually accomplished by simply watering the material being worked. They are avoiding the effort and attendant costs by letting the dust blow onto their neighbors, much as a litterbug would toss cigarette butts out the window of a car. “They’re supposed to water the site. That’s the law in every state,” said a construction worker who did not want to be identified. “I haven’t seen watering truck one. You see trucks carrying fuel to the dinosaur track hoes, but I haven’t seen a single water truck.” Read More below The Fold
Given North Carolina’s statistical position in the US prison-industrial state, the attendant collapse of North Carolina’s Department of Health and Human Services mental health sector and the already obsolete and dangerous Central Regional Hospital in Butner, a new facility to deal with the growing number of medical and mental cases remanded to the care of the Department of Correction is a genuine need.
The Capitalists will sell us the rope with which we will hang them,” V.I. Lenin famously boasted. Nineteen years after the collapse of the Soviet Empire Wall Street seems to be doing what Communism couldn’t: threading its own neck through the noose.
The Fourth of July, forty or so dedicated cyclists braved temperatures in the mid-nineties to ride in the First Annual Independence Day Paride…
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