We had some ferocious winds here yesterday — not really a phenomenon that’s out of the ordinary around here during the winter time.  Last week Lori had a bit on her own blog about a storm with high winds and I think I commented then that those types of conditions aren’t unusual around here at all.

Anyway…

They recorded a wind gust at 75 mph at the airport at 5:30 yesterday morning.  While it’s not unheard of in these parts, that is a bit stronger than what we’re used to when they have those “high wind warnings” out for the area.

So, what happens when you have high winds in a lushly vegetated and highly populated area full of trees, shrubs, homes, cars and traffic lights?  Yep.  Trees and/or limbs fall.  Untethered patio furniture or children’s toys becomes flying missiles.  Garbage cans skitter up and down the roads, doing a horizontal rolling dance around traffic.  Buildings lose pieces and parts.  Pools collapse.  Electricity goes out.  Traffic lights fail.  Idiots shine.

More than 25,000 people are still without power.  Actually, for our local utility company, that’s really quite good.  In 1991, following a severe ice storm in March, many people were up to 5 weeks without power.  Power companies from 5 neighboring states had to send crews in to assist with the restoration and our local utility company was heavily fined by the PSC for their lack of any type of disaster preparedness plan.  Of course, the consumers paid the fine, ultimately, but the utility company put procedures in place to ensure that would never happen again.

So now, kids, let’s review.  What’s the LAW regarding traffic lights that are not operable?  Anyone?  Anyone?

That’s right — it’s treated as a FOUR WAY STOP!  It does not matter if you are going stright on a main thoroughfare and someone is trying to turn onto the road you’re on from a side street.  YOU DO NOT AUTOMATICALLY HAVE THE RIGHT OF WAY!  Everyone must stop.  He who reaches said intersection first, proceeds first.  It’s very simple, really.

Yet, this morning I saw cars racing through intersections without any regard to the laws that govern such situations.

Yesterday, a woman lost her life because some asshole blew through the intersection she had entered.  

This morning, on my way into work, I was in an area where the traffic lights were out.  Two lanes going in each direction and a center “turn” lane.  Traffic was bottlenecked a bit there because everyone was doing the right thing — stopping.  Everyone except one asshole who, clearly, felt his time was more valuable than everyone else’s there.  Rather than wait patiently, he pulls into the center turn lane, whizzes past all the traffic and blows through the intersection without so much as a hesitation, as if he was the star attraction on Cops trying to elude the police.  Horns honked.  Tires screeched.  Two blocks later, he was pulling into Tim Horton’s — a coffee place (sort of like Starbucks).

It’s assholes like him that are the reason our automobile insurance premiums are so costly.  The comedian, Gallagher, once opined that everyone should have a dart gun in their car.  When they see someone being an asshole, they shoot a dart onto the asshole’s car and, when it has 3 darts on it, the cops pull him over and give him a ticket for being an asshole.  I like the idea.

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In other local news, parents complained about a registered sex offender walking into a school to vote.

Well…DUH!

When your polling place IS the school, where’s the guy supposed to go to vote?  I strongly, STRONGLY believe in civil liberties and, no matter what this guy is guilty of, if he is not legally ineligible to vote, then there should be nothing stopping him from doing just that. 

Perhaps a change in location for the polling place is in order — that seems like the logical solution to the problem, rather than just denying the guy entrance to a school.  Even the local law enforcement agencies agree that he broke no laws by entering the school to place his vote.

When a school is used for this type of public access activity, what do they expect?

Our polling place is a church.  The other polling place for our town is at the local community center.  Realistically, these, too, would be places where the possibility of sex offenders coming into contact would be very real.

But, just for a moment, let’s stop and get real.

Just because a person is a registered sex offender, that doesn’t automatically make him (or her) a pedophile.  I know a young man who, at the age of 18 (and while still in high school) had sex with his 16-almost-17-year-old girlfriend.  The girl’s father went nuts when it was found out, and had the young man arrested for statutory rape.  The young man had no choice but to plead guilty — he was convicted and now resides on the sex offender registry.

There was a case out in the midwest where a young man and his girlfriend were IN THE ACT and she calmly and matter-of-factly said “I think I should get home.”  Later, she cried rape and, because he acknowledge that she said “I think I should get home,” he was convicted of the rape.  He now resides on a sex offender registry.

And what about the convicted rapist?  His target isn’t children, it’s women.

I’m all for caution and keeping children safe, but I’m also dead against stereotyping and pigeon-holing people.

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CNN proves, once again, that they are “fair, unbiased, and neutral” in reporting that some Clinton supporters – at Clinton events – booed Obama during his speech in New Hampshire.

Was yesterday really that slow a news day?  Nobody died in the Middle East?  No children are missing?  No murders occurred?  No sports teams played?  Britney, Paris and Nicole behaved?

I saw THAT article on CNN but nowhere did I see anything about the 13 year old boy who attacked classmates with a knife and a propane torch.  I did not see one single mention of the three groups that are trying to get polar bears on the protected species list.  I saw no mention that former American Idol contestants Taylor Hicks, Ruben Studdard and Katherine McPhee had been dropped by their record labels.  No mention of Nancy Grace’s return to television after her near-death pregnancy.

Yeah.  I believe CNN isn’t slanted one way or the other.

But then again, I believe O.J. Simpson was innocent, Santa Claus really DOES come down the chimney to deliver presents, and Dubya has this country’s welfare as his first priority.

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