I was surprised by the news last night about the flooding at Cairo, Illinois. Not because of the flooding itself. After all, the town lies at the confluence of the Mississippi and the Ohio. Nor because of the plan to breach the downstream levees to relieve the floods upstream. But because of the description of Cairo as a 'town of 2800.' My paternal grandmother used to shop there and I remember going with her the summer she taught me to sew when we bought the fabric for a dress in Cairo. I remembered a lot more people. According to Wikipedia the 2010 census put the population at a little more than 2800--considerably less than the high of 15,000 in 1920. Rather brought home the stories I have been reading of the depopulation of some northern cities such as Detroit which has lost about half of its population over the last 20 years and is expected to loose even more over the next decade.
The mainstream 'snews' media is irritating me more frequently of late and the coverage of the death of bin Laden has reached a new high on the irritation meter. Consider the question posed on several news programs: do you feel safer now that bin Laden is dead? (paraphrasing various similar questions.) No, I don't feel safer. But, then, I didn't feel terribly unsafe in the aftermath of 9/11. Frankly I was very bemused by the responses of numerous acquaintances some of whom appeared on the verge of outright hysteria. Do you think the unity being expressed by Americans in the streets will translate to unity among our elected leaders in dealing with the deficit/budget? Hell, no!! They are already disagreeing on how much credit Obama deserves for giving the order to take bin Laden out. Most of the Repthuglicans engaged in some fantastic verbal contortions to both give Bush the credit and to avoid mentioning Obama at all. How much of a bump will this successful assassination give Obama in his bid for re-election? Hel-l-l-o-o-o!! Earth to pundits: the election is 18 damned long months away! By that time half of the 'electorate' will probably believe the Repthuglican spin. And, no, I really don't want to see bin Laden's death photos.