Of Deteriorating Dams and Drowning Men:
In Taunton, Massachusetts, the people are waiting to see if the dam bursts. The Whittenton Pond Dam is falling apart, and no one knows if it can hold back the flow of water from the Mill River and Lake Sabbatia. There's been, as you may know, a hell of a lot of rain in the Northeast of late. Dams can only hold so much. It's a wooden dam that's been breached before, but this time the whole thing may break apart, sending six feet of water into the small city of 50,000. Some residents have already left, but many are staying in Taunton, wanting to ride out the flood, protect property, act macho, who knows. Surely, if the dam breaks, some of those people will drown.

Drowning is a horrible way to die. Human beings are built to breathe - it is a reflex, not a choice, and even if it is suppressed, the body will take over the mind and try to breathe. When you attempt to breathe when all around you is water, you will suck in water. This will send your mind and body into a panic state, and you will try to cough out the water. However, since you are surrounded by it, you will merely inhale more water. Your throat will constrict to try to prevent the water from entering your lungs. Another bodily reflex is the will to live, but in this case, your body will fail. Yes, water will be diverted to your stomach, but eventually, in the vast majority of drownings, it will get to your lungs. Generally, if you're lucky, this happens after you've gone unconscious. The worst part of drowning, though, is that you know you're drowning, and there's nothing you can do about it, even though you will try. You will suffer asphyxiation. Your organs will fail. And you will die, probably floating, bobbing in the water, feeding the fish.

Taunton is a town filled with anxiety right now. The mayor and everyone in there, save a few cynical reporters, are hoping that the dam holds. If it does hold, chances are there will be some minor patching done to the privately-owned wooden structure. Everyone will go on with their lives as if nothing was going to happen, although some will keep in the back of their heads that the dam almost burst apart; some may even call for a complete re-building of the dam, that to wait for the next storm to warn them once more would be dangerous. Those people will be dismissed as fools.

If the Whittenton Pond Dam breaks into pieces, the worst part will be not knowing what will be wrecked, what will be preserved, who will be swept away, who will be safe. All that's known is that Taunton will have to figure out how to renegotiate its identity, having been around since the 17th century, having been part of so much of the history of this nation, from the origins of the colonies to the signing of the Declaration of Independence. So much is unknown of what lies beyond the dam burst.

In Washington, DC, there's much the same feeling, of watching a swelling build up behind a human-constructed barrier. There's so much pushing against that wall right now. So much greed and corruption and crime and so, so many lies. The Republican party is praying that the barrier holds, the dam they've constructed of media and power and manipulation. For if it breaks, the streets of DC will be clogged with floating, drowned corpses, like so many turds in a giant toilet.

The Most Optimistic Thing the Rude Pundit Can Say About Plamegate:
The Rude Pundit is not a prognosticator. But there's something that he's feeling in his gut: that Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald may just try to save America. If Fitzgerald is the hardcore law and order guy we've been led to believe, then he may just decide it's his job to take down the Bush administration, so rank with the stench of lawbreaking.

Why the gut feeling? Because if, as some Rude Pundit readers have suggested, that this is all just a show, that there'll be some whitewashed report and it's done, then it would have been over by now. Fitzgerald would have put on a good show, held a press conference or two, and it would have been done a long time ago. But more and more, the indications are that Fitzgerald is going after something more than a couple of powerful aides who committed something akin to treason. Fitzgerald has fucked with the PDA schedules of many, many administration members and hangers-on. He has opened up the investigation into the evil White House Iraq Group.

Unlike that pathetic gloryhound wannabe, Ken Starr, who had to bray about every semen stain to make it seem as if he had a real case against Bill Clinton, Fitzgerald's investigation has been virtually impenetrable and quiet. And it's always the quiet ones who end up being the most vicious killers.