Potpourri: a collection containing a variety of sorts of things; an assortment of items.

That definition describes this new feature of the Bad Nick Blog. There are things that I’d like to mention from time to time that don’t justify a complete blog, random thoughts and observations, and the occasional short vent. You’ll find them in the Potpourri column.

Fiscal Genius – The State of Arizona has closed its state parks and rest areas due to budget shortfalls, but this week the  Arizona Game and Fish Department announced plans to spend $1.1 million to purchase a 160 acre ranch near Winona, in northern Arizona, to use as a regional shooting range. The Game and Fish Department said the money  would come from $2 million held over from a previous appropriation to build a northern Arizona shooting range.

Okay, I’m a shooter, and I appreciate having a good, safe place to shoot. However, there are thousands and thousands of acres of public land in northern Arizona where one can go for target practice. The Game and Fish Department spending money this way, while things like state parks and rest areas, which are used by a much larger segment of the population are being closed, is simply ridiculous. That money should go to fill other, more necessary needs. For the Game and Fish Department to say “it’s our money” in today’s budgetary crisis, is like a husband or wife not being able to pay the household bills, while their spouse buys a new car with “their” money!  

Turnabout Is Fair Play – California, the land of quakes and flakes, is screaming about boycotting Arizona over that state’s tough new law on illegal immigrants. But yesterday, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger announced plans to drastically cut back on welfare benefits to help ease his state budget problems. How about other states boycott California because the Governor’s new plan would discriminate against welfare rats, which every state has a huge surplus of?

Stupid Is Not A Handicap – I saw a sign that said that a few years ago, and I never forgot it. While I am very sympathetic to those with disabilities, I get really ticked off at people who pretend to be handicapped to ride the gravy train. I had a lady a few weeks ago who demanded preferential treatment at an event I was hosting because she was handicapped. As it turns out, her handicap is “toe fungus.” Yeah, that’s what I thought too.

Oil And Water – While the news media is climbing all over the Gulf oil spill, the terrible flooding in Nashville, Tennessee, which has claimed at least 29 lives and destroyed much of the city, didn’t get much more than a mention. While this may be the largest non-hurricane related natural disaster in American history, nobody seems to be rushing en masse to help the good people of Nashville. Of course, maybe that’s because they aren’t whining and complaining because the government isn’t there to make it all better for them. Instead, they have rolled up their sleeves and gone to work to do what is necessary to get life back to normal. After all, this isn’t New Orleans.

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9 Comments on Potpourri

  1. MichaelG says:

    Did they evacuate Nashville before the floods? They did with New Orleans, and I think that contributed to the disaster there.

    If you tell people there’s a disaster coming, everyone with any sense will leave. That means the people who stay are… the ones with no sense. They got stuck in New Orleans and made it all worse.

  2. Pam says:

    Tennessee doesn’t need to “whine and complain that the government isn’t there for them” because the government has been there for them.

    “I’ve never seen this kind of response,” said Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen, “and we’ve had our share of tornadoes and so forth.” The Volunteer State governor was speaking to reporters on a conference call arranged by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) from Nashville, which has been hit hard by rains last weekend.

    “FEMA and the White House could not have been more helpful in this thing,” Bredesen said. Record amounts of rain fell Saturday and Sunday, more than 13 inches recorded in parts of Tennessee. Officials Thursday reported the state’s 20th death from the storm and subsequent flooding.

    After speaking with the governor Monday, President Obama signed a disaster declaration for the state Tuesday, sending federal aid to Tennessee to help supplement the state and local recovery efforts. While Governor Bredesen wouldn’t put a precise dollar amount on a damage assessment, he admitted, “it’s a lot of money, it’s a lot of money. I’d be astonished if not a billion dollars.”

    Governor Bredesen recognized his state’s emergency was “sandwiched between” the news coverage of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and the attempted car bombing in New York’s Times Square, and while he wanted to call national attend to the “extraordinary event”, he noted the Obama administration has been focused from the beginning. “FEMA was on the ground before the rain drops fell,” said Bredesen, who noted he’d not only spoken to Mr. Obama, but Homeland Security Secretary Napolitano and Senior Adviser Valerie Jarrett. “We’re very pleased with the response we’ve gotten from the administration.”

  3. Gene Teggatz says:

    FEMA has had lots of practice responding to floods. Two years ago, Cedar Rapids, Iowa was hard hit by a massive river flood (a 500 year flood) brought on by up-river rain. Things haven’t gone exactly smoothly, but assuming that someone in FEMA was watching, the next time ought to be smoother for everyone.

    Sadly, since so many of our early cities developed around the river landing, this is going to be a pattern for years to come.

  4. Redbear says:

    “After speaking with the governor Monday, President Obama signed a disaster declaration for the state Tuesday”

    This was a necessary formality.

    If you know anything about the Stafford Act, which allows Federal assistance to local areas, there are two steps before the Feds become involved:
    1. The Governor declares a state of emergency, declaring local resources are overwhelmed, and
    2. The President declares a state of emergency, declaring state resources are overwhelmed.

    I don’t think the Feds can’t even make a small business reconstruction loan or use Federal employees (other than as advisers) without these steps occurring first.

    I understand one of the tragedies of Katrina was that the Louisiana governor had a request to the president put in front of her by her knowledgeable staff, but wouldn’t sign the request. The report is that she thought it would look like Louisiana couldn’t take care of itself.

    Everyone asked: “Where are the Feds?” “Why are they late?” Not to take up the issue of whether they should help, the answer is that they were not invited (i.e. permitted) to go and help.

    Mississippi had no such made for TV image issues. From all reports, they were as devastated as Louisiana, but they signed the papers, rolled up their sleeves, and started rebuilding.

    At least that’s how the story was heard up North, if you searched deeper than the nightly news. I apologize if any of this is remembered incorrectly.

    God bless the people of Tennessee.

  5. There are more than two sides to every story, Nick, and your readers set this one straight!

  6. Nick Russell says:

    I’m sorry, I did not state my point clearly about Nashville. I did not mean to imply that the federal government is ignoring the problem. My point was that while the national media is in a frenzy over the Gulf oil spill, this story has hardly been covered, and that the people in Nashville are DOING something to help themselves, not just sitting on their rear ends waiting for somebody else to do it for them.

  7. Mary Lou says:

    Nick, you are absolutely correct. Over 50 counties in TN have been declared disaster areas and there would have been many more deaths if neighbors hadn’t helped each other. FEMA is not going to restore your life to normal only provide some assistance to make your home safe to inhabit. The “volunteer spirit” we have in TN makes me proud to live here.

  8. Allan says:

    I think the people in Tennessee have a whole different mindset than the people in New Orleans. I have every confidence that the people from the Volunteer state with a “can do” attitude would have helped each other back on their feet even without the federal governments help, but I’m happy to see they did get some assistance. I agree with you Nick, the major media didn’t give Tennessee a fair shake.

  9. Butch says:


    While I am also a shooter and an RVer, that loves to visit AZ, the shooting range/preserve does make sense in some legal terms.

    Unlike family finances, once government funds are allocated and appropriated, they can’t be used for anything else (use it or lose it, maybe to some other branch of government) and can only be put back into general funds (sometimes, depending upon the source and conditions attached, for example if it was a donation)for WHATEVER use the legislature deemed necessary, schools, roads, remodel the governors’ mansion etc.

    At least that is my understanding of the way it works in IN.


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