The Council Votes and Moves On

Watcher's CouncilGates of Vienna took first place for a spin-off of Little Green Footballs’ take on Karen Hughes’ speech to those spoiled Saudi women. Remember the audience of specially picked professional women who told Mrs. Hughes they loved their chains? Charles Johnson was spot on: they do live in a gilded cage. Buncha Marie Antoinettes, only without the big hair. Her ridiculous wig was no worse than their abayas and they all had a “let-’em-eat-cake” attitude. Sad thing is, they sound just like the battered women in this country.

On Harriet, Hurt, and a Huffy was Sundries Shack’s contribution this week. He explains his dismay on learning of President Bush’s next choice for Supreme Court:

     This was supposed to be The Nominee – the one that folks like me have been waiting on for 5 years, the one we could defend with a clear conscience against all comers on beliefs and rock-solid Constitutional grounds. This would be the nominee that would make us feel good for eating dirt on the budget and McCain/Feingold and all those things we weren’t all that hot about but defended him anyhow because he was close enough.

Lots of others are in agreement with Sundries Shack on this one. Since I’m too ignorant on the subject I wait with great interest to see what becomes of this story and this nominee. Will she turn out to be a Schwinn hidden under that Huffy exterior? Will she get shouted off Capitol Hill?

Meanwhile, Sigmund Carl and Alfred walked away with most of the votes for a moving account of his grandfather. He even beat out one of the best essayists in the country –James Lileks — for Lessons From A Decent Man. His childhood memoir is a tale of integrity, generosity, and the notion that service is the essential center of a life lived in love.

     When I was very young, my grandfather was my hero. He could do no wrong and he loved me, most of all, or so I believed. I would follow him around and listen as he told me stories of his youth, about his successes and his failures and the lessons he learned quickly and others that took him longer to understand. His incessant message was one of service. No matter what, do things for others and never look for recognition.

It is perhaps most telling that his grandfather had the ability to make his grandson believe that it was he who was most beloved. Probably all of this benevolent man’s grandchildren thought the same! What a gift.

Digger’s Realm threads the needle and sews another piece of the picture in an alarmingly growing tapestry of American community life: the abuse of eminent domain in the name of “community growth.”

Riviera Beach Mayor Stabs 6000 Residents In The Back With Eminent Domain Abuse

     The mayor of Riviera Beach, Florida has decided he knows what’s best for the homeowners of a local community and has decided that throwing them out of their homes and onto their asses is the best course of action.
Last week, the Riviera Beach City Council tapped the New Jersey-based Viking Inlet Harbor Properties LLC to oversee the mammoth 400-acre redevelopment project.
“More than 2,000 homes could be eligible for confiscation,” said H. Adams Weaver, a local lawyer who is assisting protesting homeowners.
Viking spokesman Peter Frederiksen said the plan “is to create a working waterfront,” adding that the project could take 15 years and that “we would only use condemnation as a last resort.”
Viking has said it will pay at least the assessed values of homes and businesses it buys.
Other plans for the project include creation of a basin for megayachts with high-end housing, retail and office space, a multilevel garage for boats, a 96,000-square-foot aquarium and a manmade lagoon.
Yes, I would trust the word of this business that is using an appalling action to confiscate land that they would only use condemnation as a last resort. A last resort would be if someone refuses to accept their deal. They’ll be offering the residents only the assessed value of their home, not taking into account the costs of moving. Sure they say they could pay more, but I highly doubt it when they could just kick them out and not have to offer them anything extra.

Don’t think “it couldn’t happen here.” As is all too apparent it’s happening in lots of places where a fast buck is put before the integrity of a community. Losing moral gravitas is not just an individual slide.

There’s lots more back at the ranch, including a great diatribe on Ronnie Earl; the catastrophe of political cronyism; evacuation hell; a tribute to baseball (it is that time of year); teacher-soldiers; and a new political cartoon blog sure to build wide appeal: what in the world do you suppose a “Quantum Catfish” is? One who’s figured out the theory of relativity, maybe? There are some mighty old and wily catfish lurking at the bottom.

When you drop by, don’t forget to thank the Watcher for his blog service. He provides a forum for blogs we might not otherwise see. For one — ignorant as I am –it was he who provided me with my first glimpse of Varifrank. The man’s a genius. But, of course, all of y’all knew that already…I definitely have to move out from under this rock and take a look around.