Sunday, September 18, 2005

Which Way Did He Go, George?

7/7/07 Update: I get a lot of traffic from Google searches, so I bet you came here to find the "Which Way Did He Go, George?" wav file. If so, you can get it here from these guys. I think that this link will also get you to a YouTube video. Don't say I never gave you anything. :)

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Original post:
Do you get the feeling that having some Looney Tunes cartoon characters in charge of relief efforts would perhaps improve the situation? I'm beginning to wonder. All you hear about is red tape, confusion, and frustration. We would be just as well of with this guy, even if his plans do tend to, uh, go awry. I'm sure he'd still get a Medal of Freedom though.

Update 9pm: Don't miss this article "A disturbing view from inside FEMA."

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Weasels in Elephant Clothing

Tell me, which creature sounds more like the modern GOP to YOU?
The long-tailed weasel is a solitary animal, except during mating season. It lives in the abandoned burrows other mammals, in rotting logs or under tree roots or rocks. Its nest is made of grass and leaves and lined with fur. The long-tailed weasel is most active in the night, but it also comes out in the day. It does not hibernate. The long-tailed weasel can climb trees and it is a good swimmer. It uses lots of different vocalizations including squeals, squeaks, trills and purrs. It also releases a strong smelling musk during mating season and when it is frightened. It is very aggressive when its territory is invaded.
As social animals, elephants live in small herds made up of females and their calves, led by the oldest and most experienced female, known as the matriarch. The herd works together to protect and nurture the calves. Males live either in bachelor herds, or alone, joining the females only to mate. Elephants are extremely intelligent and display complex social behavior. In some cases they appear to experience emotions similar to humans. For example, if a member of the herd dies, family members may cover the body with twigs and leaves and sometimes stay with it to mourn the loss, often for hours on end. Females have been known to carry the body of a dead calf for days before laying it to rest.
Whoa, back off Rove. I can smell your musk. And you guys, Rush and O'Reilly, stop squeaking at me.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Money, Money, Money, Must Be Funny, In the Rich Man's World...

Go check out the visuals on the stack of money we're spending on war. The only thing I'm worried about is that these guys who started the war will see something that looks like an office building made from money and think, "I gotta get me one of these!"

(Tip o' the hat to Bruce Cordell and his How To Visualize 272 Billion Dollars post.)

Flashback: Read My Lips

Haven't we been through this before? A Bush saying, "No new taxes." Well, I think that ultimately Bush the First blinked and the taxes were raised. Bush the Second is probably much better positioned to ensure that the taxes aren't raised... on his watch. So later, when the People are all experiencing great trauma and angst because the Right way turns out to be the wrong way, and taxes will have to be raised anyway, you can be sure that the Right will use this as a way to prove that Democrats are tax and spend.

Although personally I'm pretty fed up with politicians as a whole. I think that we could replace all of the people in elected positions with woodland creatures and end up with at least a zero-sum result, but quite probably an increase in citizen satisfaction. Our complaints would change from, "My (Senator, Representative, President, etc) is ineffective, corrupt and doesn't have my best interests at heart," to, "My (Senator, Representative, President, etc) is ineffective but so darn cute and snuggly," or perhaps, ""My (Senator, Representative, President, etc) is ineffective and currently gnawing on my leg."

I see this as a win/win.

What to do with our current elected officials? I guess they can go live in the woods.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005


You know you were curious. How DO hurricanes get their names? explains.

In 1953, The National Hurricane Center began naming storms, rather than relying on the old system of map coordinates for identification. Originally, all storms were named for women, but, starting in 1979, men's and women's names were alternated.

An international committee of the World Meteorological Organization now creates and maintains the annual lists. Names are used on a six-year rotation, meaning the 2005 list will come up again in 2011. (See this year's hurricane season outlook) Names of especially damaging and deadly storms are retired. From the 2004 list, Charley, Frances, Ivan and Jeanne -- four major hurricanes that struck Florida -- will not reappear when the list returns in 2010.

On this year's list, Franklin and Lee replace Floyd and Lenny, which were retired in 1999.

For 2005, Atlantic tropical storms will be named:

Arlene, Bret, Cindy, Dennis, Emily, Franklin, Gert, Harvey, Irene, Jose, Katrina, Lee, Maria, Nate, Ophelia, Philippe,Rita, Stan, Tammy, Vince, and Wilma

(9/18/05 Update: only 4 left to go)

Monday, September 12, 2005

Yeah, Whatever

I had always heard that Aussies were a rough and ready lot, not easily intimidated. The article in The Courier-Mail certainly supports that. Do they "raise the alert level" or use wild rhetoric to incite their citizens? Heeeeelllll no. The article is called Terror threat 'not surprising' and right out of the box says, "An apparent Al-Qaeda tape threatening a terrorist strike on Melbourne should not surprise anyone, due to Australia's support for the US war on terror..." It's not even on their top page. What's is there? The honor goes to " Brisbane – dead boring or just plain dead?" an article about a humorous travel book.

Maybe I need to move to Australia.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Civil Rights Lawyer vs. Katrina

The personal accounts that are starting to come out of the New Orleans fiasco are amazing. Read Peter Berkowitz's story at MRZine.

I don't know what else to say. We were anxious all the time. The nights were the worst. Partly because nights are generally more frightening. Also because there were often shots or explosions. There was always a surprise. And it was always bad news. It seemed like it would never get better. We just waited and scavenged. We worried that things would get more violent as they got more desperate. We also made incredible friends and saw amazing acts of kindness.

"It's Not Too Late To Start Believing..."

This just kept me up way past my bedtime. The photojournal of Alvaro R. Morales Villa, a hotel employee from New Orleans. One hundred and ninety-seven images he calls "Five Days with Katrina." I picked up the link at TalkLeft.

What's That You Say?

The Green Knight has a collection of quotes from the past week - the good, the bad, and the ugly.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Frankly, Scarlett, I Give a Damn

I found that Rhett Butler at is doing a good job keeping up with the zoo news in the Katrina area.
For those of us with ties to Hattiesburg I also found out that ALL of the animals in the Hattiesburg Zoo made it through Katrina. There are trees down and the animals were understandably stressed, but they made it out alive.

Blame Game Time Bombs

Adam Felber has outdone himself.
Yes, that’s right, as early as the first Bush budget, there were people preparing to set the President up. Looking forward to the blame game, no doubt, should something terrible happen. A secret liberal-funded program of covert “public warnings” and “widely-circulated scientific reports” and “vociferous protests” was organized under the radar, ensuring that those documents would be sitting there in the archives like time bombs, waiting for the moment that something went wrong…
Read the rest of his beautifully sarcastic post at Fanatical Apathy.

Thursday, September 8, 2005

Aquarium of the Americas

In case you missed your chance to tour the Aquarium of the Americas (like I did), I found an online picture collection. Check out Ingrid H. Shafer's photo tour.

Wednesday, September 7, 2005

Dammit, Isn't It Enough to Be Killing the Real Ocean?

The first reports out of New Orleans were that both the Audubon Zoo and the Aquarium of the Americas had made it through the storm and the flooding. There was some concern because the small staff at the Aquarium had been made to evacuate, but I assumed that someone somewhere had a clue and realized that since that aquarium is something of a National treasure there would be a priority on letting them return to care for the animals.

I was wrong.

The fish are dead. One of the premier collections of fish in the world, all gone. Smelling to high heaven. I quibble with CNN's headline that "Katrina kills most fish in New Orleans Aquarium." No, neglect killed them. And they were only neglected because no one let the keepers go back. Yes, those animals are dependent on dissolved oxygen in the water. But I'd bet a year's salary that my husband (JD, the marine ecology/teacher guy) could have MacGyvered a solution if he had been there - and I bet they have one of those guys on their staff, too. If someone had been let in the building this wouldn't be such a total pooch screw.

Tuesday, September 6, 2005

How many body bags?

If you've got the heart for it, read this post on Blanton's and Ashton's.

When Mama Ain't Happy, Ain't Nobody Happy

Mother Nature isn't done yet. I had heard that a typhoon was bearing down on Japan. Well, Typhoon Nabi has landed and they have a death toll of five so far. My sympathies to Japan.

Reflections on Autonomy

So that it wouldn't get completely lost in the archives, here's something from the comments for Liberal Values Part II: Autonomy of the Individual.

Thoughts That Get Stuck In YOUR Head

Gravatar If liberals are synonymous with "taking responsibility for ourselves", why the adamant liberal support for welfare programs?

Just something to think about.

Gravatar I believe in welfare programs to the extent that there are those who CANNOT take care of themselves. The issues come from people who WILL NOT take care of themselves, and that is really the area of greatest curiousity for me.

The thing that is interesting about this belief in independence/responsibility to me is that my conservative friends and I agree right up to the point where I interject that I/we have some responsibility for those who cannot take care of themselves. Then I really stagger them when I propose that for some of the ones who will not, they may need some help - training, etc. I think I see the word "responsibility" as being much bigger than they do - it is my responsibility to society as well my responsibility to take care of myself.

Monday, September 5, 2005

Special Report: Geraldo Has a Soul

One of the surprise outcomes of the Hurricane Katrina disaster has been the discovery of Geraldo Rivera's soul.

"I'm as amazed as anyone," said the Fox News broadcaster. "It was so small and shriveled I just thought it was an old raisin. Turns out I have some humanity!"

The newsman was on the scene in New Orleans when he made the discovery among the squalor and inhuman conditions of the evacuees from the Hurricane and subsequent levee break.

When asked how he thinks that this discovery will change his life Geraldo isn't sure, but he points out, "I think maybe I should take another look in Capone's vault to see if I missed something because I didn't know something so small could be so important!"

Sunday, September 4, 2005

“This place is going to look like Little Somalia”

Zift Pryme dropped me a link to the Army Times that I couldn't believe. Yes, the title is a quote from it. Check it out.

Saturday, September 3, 2005

It Feels Good to Do SOMETHING

Today JD and I did a fundraising event for the Red Cross for the victims of Hurricane Katrina. It felt good to be able to do something, no matter how small. It also felt good to see how many people want to help and are willing to do something.

I figure our next few summers will be devoted to Gulf Coast Rebuilding through Habitat for Humanity.

Thanks to everyone else out there who is doing whatever they can. This is going to take a lot, and it's going to take awhile.

Friday, September 2, 2005

Finally, a Real Coalition of the Willing

Get all the details from Reuters.

Who wants to help:
Belgium, Canada, Russia, Japan, France, Germany, Britain, China, Australia, Jamaica, Honduras, Greece, Venezuela, the Organization of American States, NATO, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Greece, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Mexico, South Korea, Israel and the United Arab Emirates.

Assistance ranged from medical teams, boats, aircraft, tents, blankets, generators and cash donations.
He said:
President George W. Bush said in a television interview that the United States could take care of itself.

"I'm not expecting much from foreign nations because we hadn't asked for it. I do expect a lot of sympathy and perhaps some will send cash dollars. But this country's going to rise up and take care of it," Bush told ABC's "Good Morning America."
They said:
"The sheer size of this emergency makes it possible that we can supplement the American response with supplies from other countries, or with experience we have gained in other relief operations," U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan

"This idea that 'well they're the most powerful, wealthiest country in the world' -- but when something like this strikes, the poor and the vulnerable are the same all around the world," [ Australian Prime Minister John] Howard said.

Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon wrote to Bush offering medical teams. "During these difficult times, we, the people of Israel stand firmly by your side in a show of solidarity and friendship," said the letter, which was released by the Israeli Embassy in Washington.

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, a vocal critic of the United States, offered to send cheap fuel, humanitarian aid and relief workers to the disaster area... Chavez... on Wednesday called Bush a "cowboy" who failed to manage the disaster.

Cuban President Fidel Castro, a close Chavez ally, led a minute of silence in remembrance of the victims of Katrina in parliament on Thursday. The parliament then returned to normal business with a resolution attacking Bush over the Iraq war.

Help for the Golden Buckle of the Bible Belt

The government is dropping the ball, but the Baptists have leapt into action. Now I know that people will get fed. I learned from the Red Cross that the Baptists are the best at doing mobile kitchens and mass feeding. I don't think that they will let a few logistical problems get in their way. I'm not much for organized religion, but I think I'll be throwing some change their way for the forseeable future.

Thursday, September 1, 2005

Why Journalists Go to Hell

Yes, this is an actual screen capture from the CNN website. Do you think they even realize what they did? It's like an ad for the Roman Coliseums. "Watch Death and Despair!" It's just sickening.

Raise Awareness, Raise Money

September 1st was declared Blog Relief Day and I am participating by encouraging you to throw some change at Habitat for Humanity. Once rescue efforts are complete the long term issue is going to be housing. Everyone I know on the Coast... that I've heard from yet... has had their home destroyed.

If you are interested in other charities please check out Instapundit's Round Up and The Truth Laid Bear's Relief Page. These are the guys who organized Blog Relief Day.

If you donate TTLB encourages you to document it at his contribution logging page so that bloggers can see what a difference they are making.

Also, don't forget that if you donate at a Lowe's they will match your gift before shipping it off to the Coast.