Monday, 5 September 2005
Bush Kills Rehnquist,
US chief justice dies
Washington - William Rehnquist, chief justice and a leading conservative voice on the US Supreme Court, died on Saturday after losing a battle with thyroid cancer, setting up a new political battle for President George W Bush over the makeup of the judiciary.
I am taking odds on where this Outcry will come from and how long it will take.
I mean we have from such intellectual luminaries as
Robert Kennedy Jr.
Michael- Fat Stupid Whiteman- Moore
and the assembled caste of the
That George Bush is responsible for
All International Terrorism
So I expect the Democratic Underground to break the News that The Chief Justices demise is part of a Sinister Plot to stack the Supreme Court.
Could not POSSIBLY have been Cancer. No way it is
the Karl Rove puppet Bush!
You know one thing I have never been able to understand?
On one hand Bush and Crew are defamed as stupid slow thinking hicks.
While at the same time the other side seems to be ALSO convinced that they are plotting masterminds and that ALL of the problems of the Democratic Party are Karl Rove Machinations.
How can both of these be true simultaneously?
Or are Democrats merely like the Red Queen and can believe "as many as six impossible things before breakfast".
Sunday, 4 September 2005
Do You Know Your Neighbors?
I have spent a lot of time reflecting on the last week or so.
When fractured, bone heals back stronger, when you exercise, muscle tissue breaks down and the body builds IT back stronger.
Those who spend their lives only avoiding mistakes, never learn.
Those who blame their mistakes on others or try to justify their actions, never grow.
Life is choices, decisions and actions, some wise, some foolish, but it is always about change and growth.
That which changes, grows. That which never changes withers and dies.
One odd thing about the bulk of the coverage of the effects of Katrina, is that it has mostly been about Louisiana and New Orleans. I say that because it was Mississippi which got hit with the brunt, the full force of the storm.
But we don't hear as much about Mississippi, Maybe because the actions taken, were by those who did not wait for the Government to do something.
That is the difference between those who say and think , "They need to do something" and then wait for it to happen, and those who say and think, "WE need to do something." then do what they can.
That first group has forgotten something very important. There is a hint in the first three words of the Constitution of the United States.
"We the People"
We ARE the Government. So when we say, "The Government should DO something." What we are really saying is "WE should do something."
Mississippi remembered. Some people in Louisiana, forgot. That may be the difference.
There are things the Federal Government needs to do.
There are things the State Government needs to do.
There are things the Country and City Governments need to do.
There are SOME things WE need to do.
Are we doing them?
Now is the time to start.
It does not have to be complex. elaborate or cover every detail.
All it has to be is a first step.
Talk to your neighbors.
You don't have to make fancy or elaborate plans.
It can be as simple as,If that happens here, we need to all gather together, leave together, and make sure no one on this block gets left behind.
That is where the lessons of Katrina need to start folks, not in finger pointing, placing blame, but at home.
Now while it is all fresh we need to start and that is why I began this and I end this with a very important question.
Do you know your neighbors?
Saturday, 3 September 2005
Bus Drivers Go To Work
The image of hundreds maybe thousands of buses
sitting in flooded areas that could have been used in the New Orleans evacuation continues to prey on my mind.
In my last post, I suggested that all of us need to see that the Local Authorities in our own communities do not do something SO pathetic, if it is US who need to be evacuated.
Still there is a truism about dealing with City Hall and I do not have to repeat it, we all know it.
So let's take this down one more notch closer to us.
School boards. Yes that is who we can contact. Schools use buses on a daily basis, these buses go to the same places everyday. Where they go is derived by the population of the area and everyone knows where the local schools are don't they.
In Captain's Quarters
I read the following.
"Because a rapid organization of so many buses would have been impractical,"
I had already compiled the basic ideas for this essay, but reading that made me see red. Confirmed in my mind the basic tunnel vision we face with the bureaucracy.
Let me repeat it.Because a rapid organization of so many buses would have been impractical,
Now somebody explain to me what is so difficult about have school buses go to the SAME PLACES that they go to EVERY DAY they run?
What is so difficult about telling people in an Emergency, "Go to the nearest School, Buses will be there to evacuate you."
Is there something I am overlooking here? Some facet that I just don't see?
Or are Bureaucrats really as STUPID as I think they are? After thought
Some people may be a fair distance from the Evacuation Points. What about them? You run the City Buses on their regular routes. That is how those without cars get around normally, most know where the local schools are, ALL know where the nearest Bus Stop is.
The simplicity is ALL the means are already in place and the Bus Drivers will be doing the same thing that they normally do when working.
In my next post I will take evacuation one more notch down to the neighborhood level and Libertarian voluntary associations.
Depend on FEMA
Not entirely, there are SOME things we need to tend to ourselves.
Experience from past hurricanes was invaluable in the recent crisis. Earlier traffic jam experience prompted the authorities to make all lanes of traffic
connecting to the affected areas of evacuation outbound, As a result 80% of the 1.4 million population was evacuated without much incident.
This left those without access to vehicles stranded. There have been voices raised in contempt at the Federal Government for not providing buses in a more timely manner. Only 4 days after the catastrophe this has been a cause celbre in from some talking heads.
The obscene part of this is that some of those who rant the loudest left thousands of municipal vehicles City transport buses, School buses and other vehicles SITTING IDLE, until they were flooded by the rising waters.
They were NOT in this condition during the evacuation!
We CANNOT depend on the Federal Government of Fema in these matters, not entirely. The affected area of the storm is some 90,000 square miles this almost equal to the total land area of Louisiana and Mississippi combined. How many cities are in this country? How many counties?
National Guard Units left prepositioned locations as soon as the wind velocities dropped below 50 mph. They had to CUT their way through blocking debris in some instances. Rather than a source of derision, scorn and contempt these young people are real heros, BUT how many counties and cities are in the Area of Disaster?
Do we want a Federal Government with the Power and the Ability to assume total control of such vast areas in almost no time at all?
When WE should be taking care of these matters? When it can actually BEST be done at the Local level?
If the Libertarian point of view means anything it means that WE should take steps to cease control of our own destinies,
This task is best attacked on the local level. How many vehicles can be called upon in an Emergency to evacuate those without access to them? City buses, school buses, church buses, private buses and vans? Where are reasonable assembly points to gather to be evacuated? What is the probable number of the population that will need this service.
I make an individual pledge to try to start, or determine if this has been addressed in my community.
We have a real opportunity here to start instilling Libertarian values and ideas at the local level.
Now some may stand on purity of principles and maintain that the State should not interfere in the individual whether to stay and die or be evacuated.
I do not live in a pure politically theoretical community. I live in one with a lot of women and children who might be rendered helpless in a situation such as in New Orleans now.
Heinlein said that a Society that does not say "Women and Children First" deserves oblivion (paraphrase from memory) Since the means are at hand I am determined that I will help see to it that those resources are not wasted as they were in New Orleans should they be needed in my home community.
The question is what are YOU going to do? Complain about the Federal Government, what FEMA did or did not do or take care of your own where you live?
Now I am not saying we need to disband FEMA and not call on the Federal Government for aid in a Catastrophe that would be ludicrous.
I am saying letting thousands of vehicles stand idle until destroyed by nature, and then wait for someone else in the Federal Government to take care of everything is even more ludicrous.
Waiting for Godot
The play is in two acts.The plot concerns Vladimir (also called Didi) and Estragon (also called Gogo), who arrive at a pre-specified roadside location in order to await the arrival of Godot. Vladimir and Estragon appear to be tramps: their clothes are ragged and do not fit. They pass the time in conversation, and sometimes in conflict. Estragon complains of his ill-fitting boots, and Vladimir struts about stiff-legged due to a painful bladder condition. They make vague allusions to the nature of their circumstances and to the reasons for meeting Godot, but the audience never learns who Godot is or why he is important.
They are soon interrupted by the arrival of Pozzo, a cruel but lyrically gifted man who claims to own the land they stand on, and his servant Lucky, whom he appears to control by means of a lengthy rope. Pozzo sits down to feast on chicken, and afterwords throws the bones to the two tramps. He entertains them by directing Lucky to perform a lively dance, and then deliver an ex tempore lecture on the theories of Bishop Berkeley. After Pozzo and Lucky depart, a boy arrives with a message he says is from Godot that he will not be coming today, but will come tomorrow. The second act follows a similar pattern to the first, but when Pozzo and Lucky arrive, Pozzo has inexplicably gone blind and Lucky has gone mute. Again the boy arrives and announces that Godot will not appear, also confessing that Godot beats him and makes him sleep in a barn. The much quoted ending of the play might be said to sum up the stasis of the whole work:
Vladimir: Well, shall we go?
Estragon: Yes, let's go.
They do not move.
I recall seeing that play in College when I was MUCH younger, in the first scene taking place in the Spring one Tramp takes off his boots with a sigh of relief and comfort. In the second scene the same Tramp returning spies the boots still sitting there and is delighted that they fit.
What we have witnessed in New Orleans is Waiting for Godot/Fema.
According to an article I read in the Wall Street Journal Marketplace, in many respects the New Orleans Evacuation could be a model for other Major Metropolitan Evacuations. Of 1.4 Million residents over 80% were evacuated without much trouble. Those were the ones with access to vehicles and the lessons of past traffic jams exiting Large Cities were used to good advantage by making all of the lanes outbound.
Those who did NOT have access to vehicles were another story, they sat in collecting points Waiting for Godot/Fema.
What we experienced is a complete breakdown of Local Authority. I do not want a Federal Government with the Power to Arbitrarily assume total control in any area of the United States it wishes to at its own whim. We MUST learn from this experience and spread the Libertarian values of Individual Responsibility and Local Authority, instead of Waiting for Godot.
Convoy greeted with applause and anger
NEW ORLEANS- More than four days after Hurricane Katrina struck, the National Guard arrived in force Friday with food, water and weapons, churning through the floodwaters in a vast truck convoy that was met with both catcalls and cries of “Thank you, Jesus!” from the suffering multitudes.
But 46-year-old Michael Levy said, “They should have been here days ago. I ain’t glad to see ’em” — words that brought shouts of “Hell, yeah!” from those around him. He added: “We’ve been sleeping on the ... ground like rats. I say burn this whole ... city down.”
National Guard Troops started out from pre-positioned points as soon as the wind velocities dropped below 50 miles per hour in many places they had to cut through debris and downed trees blocking the roads. This is the thanks they get?
"This is a national disgrace," said New Orleans' emergency operations chief Terry Ebbert. "We can send massive amounts of aid to tsunami victims, but we can't bail out the city of New Orleans."
Ebbert's job is to coordinate New Orleans' response to emergencies. Somebody should show him this picture and tell him to stop blaming everyone but himself:
And finally this from Mayor Nagin himself:
"I need reinforcements," he pleaded. "I need troops, man. I need 500 buses, man. ...
I've done it all man, and I'll tell you man, I keep hearing that it's coming. This is coming, that is coming. And my answer to that today is BS, where is the beef? Because there is no beef in this city. "
Nagin said, "Get every Greyhound bus in the country and get them moving."
Some need to ask these two men WHY they let ever City Vehicle. every City Transport Bus, every School Bus sit waiting to be covered by flood waters instead of USING them to move people!
Then they should be horsewhipped.
If they had to, they should have loaded people onto dump trucks to move them out of the reach of the storm.
What can we learn from this debacle? We learned good lessons the last few times about how not to clog the roads during an evacuation. Now if we
are lucky we have learned like Charity, Emergency Planning MUST begin at HOME.
Does your City have a Plan in effect to use City Vehicles and Buses to evacuate your City in an emergency? If not then maybe YOU had better do something about it.
I read in the WSJ about a family who went back to their house as SOON as the Storm passed, the woman complained they had no electricity, they had no water and they had no food. They also did not seem to be in too much of a hurry to get to where these things were.
So the question is are we going Take Responsibility for our own future and see to these matters OURSELVES? Or are we going to Wait for Godot
Vladimir: Well, shall we go?
Estragon: Yes, let's go.
They do not move.
Friday, 2 September 2005
Looting the Big Easy
In any plan, no matter how diligent the crafters, some details will be overlooked. The unforeseen will rear its ugly head and there will invariably be those demand vehemently WHY this is so?
I believe the decline in literacy, might be in part responsible for a lack of understanding of the concept known as "unforeseen".
One detail overlooked was, how DOES a Drug Addict get a fix during a Major Disaster. There appears to have been no contingency plan to address this issue.
New Orleans regrettably appears to be singularly vulnerable to this problem.New Orleans
teems with crime, and the NOPD can?t keep order on a good day. Former commissioner Richard Pennington brought New Orleans? crime rate down from its peak during the mid-1990s. But since Pennington?s departure, crime rates have soared, to ten times the national average. The NOPD might have hundreds of decent officers, but it has a well-deserved institutional image as corrupt, brutal, and incompetent.
Thousands of opportunistic vultures have looted stores all over the city, and shot in the head one police officer who tried to stop them. The New Orleans Times-Picayune has posted photos on its website of other police officers joining in the widespread theft from unattended stores. Looters have picked clean Wal-Mart?s gun department downtown. This anarchy is regrettably not all that surprising. Disaster does not make a weak peacetime civil and social infrastructure strong. Unfortunately, New Orleans must now ask for deserved billions in recovery money even as Americans see images of a city that loots itself on its worst day.
Still despite all the negative stories thanks to lessons learned from the last few major hurricanes,
about 80% of the 1.4 Million from New Orleans. We can do better, we must do better, we shall do better.
Too bad the bad eggs get all the publicity and all the hard work and sacrifice of those doing what needs to be done is overlooked.
One of the best articles I have seen was in the WSJ Marketplace Aug 30. But you will have to find an old hard print copy or subscribe to read it online.$$] Escape From the Big Easy
The evacuation of New Orleans in the face of Hurricane Katrina could be a blueprint for authorities elsewhere. But the relatively smooth departure was little solace to thousands who lacked transportation.
The looting of the Big Easy was not confined with ripping off hospitals and drug stores and the like.
The media looted the attention away from those who were working miracles in an impossible situation, because stories of what is going wrong always sell better than those about what is going right.
I was sickened this evening to hear while I happened to walk by a Television some NBC talking head ranting about it being "Amateur Time" there. You see he had seen Hurricane Recovery operations in Florida he had been there and knew all about it.
Who among us has experienced the complete destruction of a City of over 1 million in the US before? Are there any still alive who lived through the Civil War? Because I do think that was the last time we had a Catastrophe of this magnitude inside our Borders.
If some Recovery Worker who had been pulling dead bodies out of shattered buildings and from the stinking water that covers New Orleans now had laid that full out cold on Prime Time TV? I would have clapped.
There is responsible journalism and there is whipping up crowds into hysteria. They are not the same.
Thursday, 1 September 2005
Katrina Phishing Scams Begin
If I had one bullet and saw a looter, and one of the>se carrion, I would not hesitate in deciding which to shoot.
Brian Krebs on Computer Security
Katrina Phishing Scams Begins
It was bound to happen.On a hunch that we might see phishing scams popping up that take advantage of the terrible destruction that Hurricane Katrina has wrought on the Gulf Coast, I started looking up new Web address registrations for possible scam sites. In just a few minutes, I stumbled upon Katrinahelp.com, which claims to be a donation site for Katrina victims but was almost certainly constructed to steal Paypal usernames and passwords.
The DNS records have very little information on the registrant, which should be the first red flag. The only information in the DNS record is a P.O. box address registered to one "Demon Moon."
What's more, when you click on the "donate" link on the site, you are taken to a Web site designed to look just like Paypal.com. Only problem is that if you visit the site in Firefox, you will see that the Web address in the URL field is still Katrinahelp.com, when it should be Paypal.com.
Maybe this site tries to pull some tricks to manipulate what you see in that window if you visit the page with Microsoft's Internet Explorer browser, but I don't know. I haven't tried it yet. My advice would be to just stay away from this site altogether. I am sure the authorities will have it shuttered soon anyhow.
And then something just like it will popup somewhere else and no doubt someone will fall for it.
Folks stick with Charities you KNOW and it might be best NOT to click on any links you get in emails or elsewhere. Just copy and paste the address.The Red Cross can be trusted, but to be consistent with my former advice here is the URL to copy and paste. ;-)
Much other good trustwoorty information here
hurricane katrina -- flood aid--Instapundit Roundup
UPDATE: I just got paid tonight so I kicked off donations to the Red Cross from this site.
If you want to join in, use the links above to make the donation and Report your donation on The Truth Laid Bear Website with
Topic: Global Warming
There has been some flapping mouths linking Kyoto to Katrina. Robert Kennedy Jr for one I believe.
For the moment I will leave aside the Scientific Reasons why this is total nonsense and remind all
of a possibly forgotten detail of the Kyto Treaty.
BEFORE Al Gore went to Tokyo, A Bill was set before the Senate commonly called the
Sponsored by Senator Robert Byrd (D-WV) and Senator Chuck Hagel (R-NE)
Expressing the sense of the Senate regarding the conditions for the United States becoming a signatory to any international agreement on greenhouse gas emissions under the United Nations... (Passed by the Senate 95-0
In case you missed it let me in the manner of the US Congress ask for Unanimous Consent to Revise and Extend those remarks.
Passed by the Senate
which stated the Senate would not ratify the Protocol unless rapidly developing countries such as China were included in its requirements to reduce greenhouse gases.
The Clinton Administration announced it would not send the treaty to the Senate for ratification.
Somebody correct me if I am wrong, but I fail to see George Bush's name anywhere attached to this?
Not hard to fathom why, since this was before he became President
Whose Names ARE listed as supporting this Bill?
Well the total List can be found at
U.S. Senate Roll Call Votes 105th Congress - 1st Session
as compiled through Senate LIS by the Senate Bill Clerk under the direction of the Secretary of the Senate
Question: On the Resolution (s.res.98 )
Vote Number: 205 Vote Date: July 25, 1997, 11:37 AM
Required For Majority: 1/2 Vote Result: Resolution Agreed to
Vote Counts: YEAs 95
Not Voting 5
Now I encourage my readers to go to the website and view the Senate List themselves, but to start off I would like to List Just a few Senators who
VOTED NOT TO RATIFY KYOTO
A Yeah Vote is to support the Resolution actually its not to hard to deciphere, 5 Senators did not vote at all and EVERY Single Senator who DID vote, voted to support the Resolution and go On Record that they would not Ratify Kyoto as it stood.
Kennedy (D-MA), Yea
Kerry (D-MA), Yea
Durbin (D-IL), Yea
Moseley-Braun (D-IL), Yea
Boxer (D-CA), Yea
Feinstein (D-CA), Not Voting
Daschle (D-SD), Yea
Johnson (D-SD), Yea
I think I have made my point. I wonder if Bobby Boy discussed his essay on Kyoto and Katrina with his Uncle Teddy?
Wednesday, 31 August 2005
The Hot SAUCE Crisis
A Post on Baen's Bar There Might Be A Tabasco Shortage
by Tim Covington AKA De Opresso Liber Against the Enemies of Freedom
(Note you may have to register, to get in but it is free and has great discussion groups)
Brought up a possible effect of Hurricane Katrina that had not even occurred to me.This comes from my wife:
My mom had a wild idea the other night, that now doesn't seem so wild.
I haven't heard anything out of Avery Island, Louisiana. Not familiar
with Avery Island? It's the home of the One And Only McIlhenny's
Check out this map. Zoom it out a few times, and look at its surroundings.
Their website is http://www.tabasco.com/ but I haven't been able to hit it.
How much do you think the price on a bottle of Tabasco is going to go up?
Now folks you can walk to work and shop, you can ride a bicycle, but without the Spice of Life
bland food is just that, BLAND.
If need be the back country barbecues in Flyover, Jesusland might have to step in and help stem the hot sauce shortage.
Now where I come from in Western Kentucky Barbecue is listed in the Yellow Pages as just that Barbecue, not under Restaurants or any other heading but Barbecue.
The best pits don't even bother to advertise, and EVERY little hole in the wall Barbecue Pit has it OWN Hot Sauce recipe, usually made and curing in gal glass jugs.
Oh they do have 8 oz bottles with all the proper labels and things but that's for tourists, locals buy it in clear plastic fifth bottles the same ones whiskey comes in, no label, they just fill them up from a jug slap a top on and you pay and go. LOL
That stuff has a kick it has the same consistency as Tabasco sauce, NOT the thick gooey sweet barbecue sauce you find in grocery stores.
I am certain that the hinterlands of Jacksonian America can step into the breach if need be and stem any Hot Sauce Shortage.
Tuesday, 30 August 2005
You Might Be A Jacksonian American September.
Topic: Out of Flyover Land
It's time to bump up this contest. There are only 13 days left to enter.
To view the previous entries go to the comments on
My buddy Gabe and I were brainstorming some spinoffs of Jeff Foxworthy's You Might Be A Redneck Jokes while on a smokebreak at work.
We call them You Might Be A Jacksonian American
You Might Be A Jacksonian American
If you think MREs taste good
You Might Be A Jacksonian American
If you think using the New York Times to line
the bottom of a cat litter box would be redundant
You Might Be A Jacksonian American
If you think the US should withdraw its forces
from Iraq, through Iran
You Might Be A Jacksonian American
If you think the saying "Speak softly
but carry a Big Stick" doesn't need
the "Speak softly"
You Might Be A Jacksonian American
If you look at the following cartoon
with an air of wistful regret.
I think I am going to call a contest, open until Sept 11, 2005, winner will get a teeshirt I picked up in St Petersburg, Russia. The above entries are disqualified. I will pick some neutral bloggers to vote on the winner.
Now if you really want to LEARN something about Jacksonian Americans, all kidding aside, there is no better place to start than
The Jacksonian Tradition by Walter Russell Mead
UPDATE Here are some jpgs of the prize. Now you CAN get them online from RussianLegacy.com
I got mine in a Bazaar in St Petersburg, Russia
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