Public service announcement

From the Mt Holly NJ National Weather Center:

Sandy is expected to slam into the New Jersey coast later Monday night, bringing very heavy rain and damaging winds to the region. The storm is a large one, therefore do not focus on the exact center of the storm as all areas will have significant impacts.

This has the potential to be an historic storm, with widespread wind damage and power outages, inland and coastal flooding, and massive beach erosion. The combination of the heavy rain and prolonged wind will create the potential for long lasting power outages and serious flooding.

Preparations should be wrapping up as conditions are expected to worsen tonight and especially on Monday.

Some important notes…

1. If you are being asked to evacuate a coastal location by state and local officials, please do so.

2. If you are reluctant to evacuate, and you know someone who rode out the ’62 storm on the barrier islands, ask them if they could do it again.

3. If you are reluctant, think about your loved ones, think about the emergency responders who will be unable to reach you when you make the panicked phone call to be rescued, think about the Rescue/recovery teams who will Rescue you if you are injured or recover your remains if you do not survive.

4. Sandy is an extremely dangerous storm. There will be major property damage, injuries are probably unavoidable, but the goal is
zero fatalities.

5. If you think the storm is over-hyped and exaggerated, please err on the side of caution.

We wish everyone in harms way all the best. Stay safe!

And if you’re dumb enough to stay, please write your name and Social Security number in permanent market on your arm, so they can identify your body.


I don’t know what it is about impending natural disaster that makes me want to cook — because I really don’t like to. This morning, I made Crab Benedict for breakfast. For dinner tonight, spaghetti and meatballs. Maybe because they might be the only normal meals I have for a while…

Virtually Speaking Sunday

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Cliff Schecter & David Waldman talk politics.

Follow @CliffSchecter @KagroX

Also featuring Culture of Truth’s satire of the Most Ridiculous Thing That Happened This Sunday on the Sunday morning gasbag programs.


Decisions, decisions

Trying to decide whether to duct-tape my windows. I know they don’t keep them from breaking, but it should keep the shards from blowing around.

Anyone with any experience with that sort of thing?

Odds and ends

Today I’m doing laundry (because damn it, if I’m going to be without power for a week, at least I’ll have clean sheets!), and cooking what I can of what’s in my freezer. One friend told me to make sure to loosen the strings on my guitars, because the humidity may warp the necks. (Thanks, Steve!)

All these supplies… so much more canned food than I’m used to having in the house. And crunchy things, like taco chips. What is there about stress that makes us want to really chew something?

I really, really hate these LED lights; they hurt my eyes. I think if I have to read by these for an entire week, I’ll go mad.


I can’t remember the last time I agreed with Tom Friedman:

In my world, you don’t get to call yourself “pro-life” and be against common-sense gun control — like banning public access to the kind of semiautomatic assault rifle, designed for warfare, that was used recently in a Colorado theater. You don’t get to call yourself “pro-life” and want to shut down the Environmental Protection Agency, which ensures clean air and clean water, prevents childhood asthma, preserves biodiversity and combats climate change that could disrupt every life on the planet. You don’t get to call yourself “pro-life” and oppose programs like Head Start that provide basic education, health and nutrition for the most disadvantaged children. You can call yourself a “pro-conception-to-birth, indifferent-to-life conservative.” I will never refer to someone who pickets Planned Parenthood but lobbies against common-sense gun laws as “pro-life.”

“Pro-life” can mean only one thing: “respect for the sanctity of life.” And there is no way that respect for the sanctity life can mean we are obligated to protect every fertilized egg in a woman’s ovary, no matter how that egg got fertilized, but we are not obligated to protect every living person from being shot with a concealed automatic weapon. I have no respect for someone who relies on voodoo science to declare that a woman’s body can distinguish a “legitimate” rape, but then declares — when 99 percent of all climate scientists conclude that climate change poses a danger to the sanctity of all life on the planet — that global warming is just a hoax.

The term “pro-life” should be a shorthand for respect for the sanctity of life. But I will not let that label apply to people for whom sanctity for life begins at conception and ends at birth. What about the rest of life? Respect for the sanctity of life, if you believe that it begins at conception, cannot end at birth. That radical narrowing of our concern for the sanctity of life is leading to terrible distortions in our society.

Respect for life has to include respect for how that life is lived, enhanced and protected — not only at the moment of conception but afterward, in the course of that life. That’s why, for me, the most “pro-life” politician in America is New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. While he supports a woman’s right to choose, he has also used his position to promote a whole set of policies that enhance everyone’s quality of life — from his ban on smoking in bars and city parks to reduce cancer, to his ban on the sale in New York City of giant sugary drinks to combat obesity and diabetes, to his requirement for posting calorie counts on menus in chain restaurants, to his push to reinstate the expired federal ban on assault weapons and other forms of common-sense gun control, to his support for early childhood education, to his support for mitigating disruptive climate change.

Now that is what I call “pro-life.”

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