I’m a little more calm now, although not anywhere near anything I’d call, you know, peaceful. The good news is, my first profanity-filled political rant also earned me my very first troll, which is a genuine milestone. I’m a real blogger now! He even used the *F* word! I couldn't be more proud.
My Labor Day weekend was busy enough that I didn’t have a lot of time to watch TV coverage, which, I think, is a good thing. We shopped, we went to the Minneapolis Farmers’ Market, we attended family gatherings. And yesterday the Demigoddesses and I spent 8.5 hours at the Great Minnesota Get-Together, during our annual trip to the state fair.
As per tradition, our day took us first to the fish pond at the DNR building, and then through the various animal barns, where we were privileged to hear a rooster crowing competition and I actually paid 50 cents to milk a dairy goat. (I really did.) The pig barn always smells the worst of them all, hands down, but it also boasts the biggest boar at the fair—this year’s winner weighed in at 1,060 pounds—and piglets. Who can resist piglets?
Then we took My Ho to the Agriculture Building for his first ever viewing of crop art. Several works had a surprisingly political slant this year. I had no idea there were so many lefties with a lot of time on their hands in rural Minnesota.
I haven’t seen anything so memorable since the year someone did an interpretation of "The Scream" in seeds. To this day I wonder what inspired that one. Must’ve been a looong winter on the farm.
We rode the chairlift over Machinery Hill and took a tour of a model mobile home, which the Demis decided was much nicer inside than our house, and truly, it was. We collected information on alpaca farming, and with no prompting from me whatsoever, each Demigoddess purchased her very own political button at the DFL booth (such wonderful blue children). My Ho was a remarkably good sport as we visited the L’Oreal tent, and he waited most patiently as the girls and I tried on a variety of new hair colors. We saw fine art and creative arts, and we picked up free pine tree seedlings from the Education Building. They always have the best free crap in the Education Building.
We ate cheese curds, Sweet Martha’s Cookies, and Tom Thumb doughnuts. We ate frozen apple cider, honey ice cream with sunflower seeds, and Fudge Puppies (the delightful chocolate-dipped Belgian waffles on a stick with whipped cream and sprinkles that are my personal favorite state fair delicacy). It really wasn’t as bad as it sounds, because we divided nearly everything four ways, although things got progressively weirder as the day wore on. We ate spaghetti and meatballs on a stick. We ate cheeseburger wontons. Believe it or not, the most appalling item on the day’s menu was not the Reuben on a stick (don’t ask). It was—brace yourself—a deep-fried Twinkie.
It doesn’t taste much different from a regular Twinkie. Go figure.
My very favorite state fair moment came at the end of the day, as we were waiting in line for the River Rapids ride, our traditional last stop before boarding the shuttle bus back to the car. A sign posted at the start advised various individuals not to ride the River Rapids, including pregnant women and people with high blood pressure, motion sickness, or heart, back, or neck problems. Demigoddess the Younger observed aloud, “Head Injury Barbie wouldn’t be able to go on this ride.” I guess it’s a good thing she stayed home.
So it was definitely a state fair to remember, and, aside from a tiny bit of guilt at all the gluttony, I hardly thought about natural disasters or how angry I am at the federal government at all.
But then this morning I was back online, and I read something that made me remember a little. At the risk of this becoming a political blog, I have to post a bit of it, because it makes me want to lay a big fat wet kiss right on Keith Olbermann:
“No one is suggesting that mayors or governors in the afflicted areas, nor the federal government, should be able to stop hurricanes. Lord knows, no one is suggesting that we should ever prioritize levee improvement for a below-sea-level city, ahead of $454 million worth of trophy bridges for the politicians of Alaska.
But, nationally, these are leaders who won re-election last year largely by portraying their opponents as incapable of keeping the country safe. These are leaders who regularly pressure the news media in this country to report the reopening of a school or a power station in Iraq, and defies its citizens not to stand up and cheer. Yet they couldn't even keep one school or power station from being devastated by infrastructure collapse in New Orleans — even though the government had heard all the ‘chatter’ from the scientists and city planners and hurricane centers and some group whose purposes the government couldn't quite discern... a group called The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
And most chillingly of all, this is the Law and Order and Terror government. It promised protection — or at least amelioration — against all threats: conventional, radiological, or biological.
It has just proved that it cannot save its citizens from a biological weapon called standing water.
Mr. Bush has now twice insisted that, ‘we are not satisfied’ with the response to the manifold tragedies along the Gulf Coast. I wonder which ‘we’ he thinks he's speaking for on this point. Perhaps it's the administration, although we still don't know where some of them are. Anybody seen the Vice President lately? The man whose message this time last year was, 'I'll Protect You, The Other Guy Will Let You Die'?
I don't know which 'we' Mr. Bush meant.
…All that was needed was just a quick "I'm not satisfied with my government's response." Instead of hiding behind phrases like ‘no one could have foreseen,’ had he only remembered Winston Churchill's quote from the 1930's. ‘The responsibility,’ of government, Churchill told the British Parliament ‘for the public safety is absolute and requires no mandate. It is in fact, the prime object for which governments come into existence.’
In forgetting that, the current administration did not merely damage itself — it damaged our confidence in our ability to rely on whoever is in the White House.”