Beware of scary situations.
What a nightmare day this has been. I awakened in a beautiful hotel room at the Hyatt in one of my favorite cities, San Antonio. Outside, a light rain was falling. I had my breakfast and dressed and went down to give a speech to a huge number of electrical distribution people. I sat in a green room with some of the other players. One was a speechwriter, actually, and we talked about electricity. I said, “Electricity makes us into gods. It gives us power earlier generations could not have imagined.”
The speechwriter, a pleasant fellow named Moriseau, said, pithily, “And the god-machine is the grid. It has to produce exactly as much electricity as is wanted and needed. It cannot store more than a trivial amount. As the grid gets smarter, it gets to be even more god-like.”
That’s about the wisest comment I have ever heard in a green room. I was damned impressed.
I gave my speech to good response. I talked about how I was born November 25, 1944, and how much things have changed. After the speech, I wandered about the exhibit hall and posed for photos. Some thoughtful fellow came up to me and said, “Hey, I was born exactly twenty-five years after you. Are you what I’m going to look like in twenty-five years?” He had an evil smirk on his fat face.
“No, no,” I said. “You’ll look a lot better.”
Then, off to the airport for a 41 minute flight to DFW and then to fly thence to DCA. When we got on the plane, an MD Super 80, the pilot said there was a line of bad weather and we would have to detour around it. No problem. It would add fifteen minutes to the flight time.
After about an hour in the air, the pilot said the line of weather had been a lot bigger than they had expected and they had to detour so far that they had almost run out of fuel and had to make an emergency landing to refuel in Abilene.
Five hours later we were still on the ground in Abilene. The problem? Even though it’s an American Airlines Eagle hub, there was no one in Abilene who knew how to refuel an MD-80. Plus the fuel gauge was broken so they had to use a stick to figure out how much gasoline was in the wing. And they didn’t have a stick.
So, I asked the captain how it was that they did not have enough fuel for an hour and a half flight. He looked deeply pained. “Nowadays, on short flights, we fly with only a little fuel on board so we won’t weigh much and burn up more fuel. Plus with more fuel, the plane is harder to stop on landing and brakes get used up faster.” He looked thoroughly embarrassed.
We finally made it to DFW. A kindly Egyptian man with a cart took me to my gate and I got on just in time to take my fourth replacement flight. I was so tired I could barely think. Plus the man next to me was as drunk as a skunk and also had a vicious cough. I put on my Bob Dylan “Hard Rain” disc and slept.
A very different story in D.C. My fabulous driver, Bob Noah, greeted me at DCA with groceries — a necessity since the powers that be closed the Watergate Safeway.
I made Bob and me ham sandwiches — my spécialité de la maison. I used Pepperidge Farm bread, honey ham, mayonnaise, and a bit of butter.
I visited with Bob for a while, then watched my favorite channel, “The Military Channel,” for a while. The show was about a tank battle in Iraq. Wow, the U.S. Army armored warriors are amazing. Just amazing. They just ripped up Saddam’s tanks.
“It was 1990s technology against 1970s technology,” said a U.S. Army officer. “They didn’t stand a chance.”
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?