Thursday, December 21, 2006

Good timing

Just in time for Christmas. From National Geographic I found outt there is a virgin birth expected at Christmas. Maybe not what you expect from a virgin birth, but still pretty exciting.

That's because the virgin in question is Flora the Komodo dragon, a giant lizard at Chester Zoo in England that has laid fertile eggs despite never having had a mate.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

New way to get through the holidays

Are you dreading all the forth coming holiday celebrations? I have found a way to get out of it. Let me tell you about....hibernation. Other creatures have been doing it for millions of years, why can't we?

Now we can.

A man who went missing in western Japan survived in near-freezing weather without food and water for over three weeks by falling into a state similar to hibernation, doctors said.

Mitsutaka Uchikoshi had almost no pulse, his organs had all but shut down and his body temperature was 71 degrees Fahrenheit or about 21.6 Celsius when he was discovered on Rokko mountain in late October, said doctors who treated him at the nearby Kobe City General Hospital. He had been missing for 24 days.

I'm kind of curious on how I'll figure out how to snap out of it though. I don't want to miss new year' eve after all. It's going to take one hell of an alarm clock.

Another one bites the dust...

From the WaPo comes this gem:

Henry A. "Hank" Crumpton, the chief of the State Department's counterterrorism office and a key strategist in the war in Afghanistan, will announce today that he is leaving government...

So why is he leaving? To spend more time with his family of course.

[He]decided to leave for "unexpected, unplanned and compelling family reasons," including family health issues and financial obligations for higher education for his children,

Wow, what an original idea. I wonder how long until we hear about the investigation or indictment.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

What a waste

You may have read in the news recently about the highest ranking woman killed so far in Iraq. Something you probably didn't hear about was the "mission" she was involved in when it happened.

Marine Maj. Megan McClung, a public affairs officer who became the highest-ranking woman killed in Iraq when she died two weeks ago, had been escorting Oliver North and a FOX News crew through Ramadi just moments before a roadside bomb took her life, a military spokesman told E&P on Monday.

Oliver North, right wing radio hack wanted to see Iraq and report on it. Couldn't do it without a military escort though. I wonder if the "it isn't as bad as the media makes it out to be" line is something he will be using again any time soon.

Many journalists go out without any military escort, even in dangerous areas.

Not Ollie though...he's too important.

Michelle Malkin now plans on going over as well. She needs to prove that the AP falsified a story. I wonder how many escorts she is going to get, or if she will even leave the green zone.

Hannity and O'Reilly were there last week. Anyone see any stories yet about their experiences?

Bah. I can't continue this, I'm getting too angry to remain coherent.

Government pulling an Enron?

This article is about our deficit and is pretty bleak. The government released a report showing the deficit at an unimaginable $247.7 billion. But is actually much worse.

The federal deficit for 2006 would have been 81 percent higher than the $247.7 billion that was reported two months ago if the government had to use the same accounting methods as private companies.

Apparently this is some weird accounting thing about reporting stuff different ways. Corporations and big companies aren't allowed to use the same method the government used because it is misleading to investors. Go figure.

The real deficit? $449.5 billion. I think I'm going to go cry now.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

3 Atlanta police officers shot while serving a narcotics a 92 year old woman!

One was hit in the arm, another in a thigh and the third in a shoulder. The officers were taken to a hospital for treatment, and all three were conscious and alert, police said.

The reporting doesn't go into specifics about whether or not the warrant was justified, or if anything illegal was found. They raided the house in plain clothes and were apparently shot before even making it in to the house. It sounds like a pretty sad story, but the fact that a 92 year old woman has that good of aim and is alert enough to know someone is trying to break in to her house is pretty damn impressive.

Sadly, the police promptly shot and killed her.

For the New Orleans folks:

Of the police brutality cases we've had, this is the most egregious because of the woman's age," Hutchins said.

Hutchins said he would try to meet with Atlanta Police Chief Richard Pennington and would also meet with lawyers.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

So many things in the paper today got me upset, I don't even know where to start. Let's start with the local news shall we?

First head shaker of the day comes from the Times Pic this morning. It is about Bayard, the NOPD Captain who spoke out pretty harshly about the cities hurricane preparations and everything police were involved in during the aftermath. This includes a brief to a Senate committee. He is a 30+ year veteran of the NOPD, and is very well liked in the rank and file of the department.

Until about a month ago, Bayard led the department's narcotics and vice squads; now he works in a vaguely defined office job as a liaison to the Orleans Parish district attorney.

This is typical Riley here, rather than fix something he will get rid of anyone who disagrees with him. I realize you could make a case about this being "payback" for the whole Bangkok Spa thing, but Riley doesn't even use that as his reason. His reasoning for reassigning Bayard is pretty pathetic for a law enforcement agent.

Riley, who took over the department soon after Hurricane Katrina, said he simply had a philosophical difference with Bayard over drug-enforcement tactics: The chief wanted more busts of small-time street corner dealers because of the violence associated with that trade; Bayard preferred chasing kingpins in extended undercover probes.
The major narcotics unit "wasn't doing what I wanted them to do," Riley said. "That is why the move was done."

The Chief of Police thinks the way to solving the cities drug problem is to arrest the dime bag dealers on the corners rather than the big boys. This does absolutely nothing to fix anything. It does however add to his arrest totals. He thinks this make him look good to the feds, and is able to tout his numbers whenever he brags about what a difference he is making. What a tool.

Just to put this out there...Riley needs to go. He is dragging the department down to new lows when the situation is most dire. Kind of reminds me of Bush/Rumsfeld. When will Nagin figure this out?

Now, for my favorite part of the article....

Bayard received a call and gained the confidence of a man representing a series of massage parlors in eastern New Orleans, the French Quarter and other parts of the city that were fronts for prostitution. The man offered Bayard thousands of dollars in bribes for police protection.

Bayard contacted Loicano, who oversaw the public integrity bureau, and went undercover, posing as a dirty cop for 14 months and receiving more than $100,000 in bribe money that was used as evidence in cases that closed all 10 massage parlors. The operation also resulted in the arrests of 46 people, one of whom was a 14-year police veteran.

That sounds like a TV show there. Go go Timmy.

edit: fixed a bad link

Monday, November 13, 2006

Scary though

From Bush's Veterans Day radio address comes this tidbit.

"Whatever your opinion of the outcome, all Americans can take pride in the example our democracy sets for the world by holding elections even in a time of war."

Even in a time of war? Call me paranoid, but I want to know if not holding the elections something he considered? Even worse, is it something he is considering for when his term is up?

He's already started dismanteling the constitution, what's to stop him from going a bit further? Another disaster like 9/11 for the country to rally around him and give him more power for "our own good"?

He ended his address with:

"The message of this week's elections is clear: the American people want their leaders in Washington to set aside partisan differences, conduct ourselves in an ethical manner, and work together to address the challenges facing our Nation. This is important work that will demand the hard effort and good faith of leaders from both sides of the aisle, and I pledge to do my part."

Amazing how now that he can't ram through any thing his little black heart desires it's time for bipartisan conduct. Thank God for those elections....even if it was in a time of war

Thursday, November 09, 2006

This is some funny stuff. While I was reading quotes from Rush about how he has been lying to his listeners for the last couple of years I stumbled across this. Be careful, you'll be singing this all day.

Friday, October 20, 2006

This has got to be one of the coolest things I've read about in a long time. I want one.

While it still isn't finished, a prototype invisible cloak has been created. How crazy is that? Just think of the fun you could have with one of these on Halloween.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Money not well spent

We can't get money for cat 5 levees, but the contractors in Iraq sure seem to not have any problems getting money from the feds. So, how much is the war costing us?

$2,000,000,000.00......a week!

I have a hard time picturing how much that is, so I broke it down a little.

$285,714,285.74 per day
$11,904,761.90 per hour
$198,412.70 per minute

I would have to work for six weeks to clear what it costs us as a country to run this war every second. Helped me put it into perspective a bit, you?

Thursday, September 21, 2006

The net sure has some crazy stuff. Today I found a disturbing page from the White House. It is titled Setting the Record Straight. It is an amazingly bizarre page that tries to show how the president's policies on everything are great, and everything bad that people say about him is just wrong. When I read some of the stuff on here the only thing I could think of was double-speak.

This is some stuff from their Hurricane Preparation page where they try to show how they were on top of things, and to disprove people who say otherwise. A lot of the "proof" they use is quotes from themselves in interviews they gave after the fact. Seems a little strange to me.

The Administration Knew Flooding Was Occurring And Focused On Saving Lives.

On August 29th, The Coast Guard Was Conducting Search And Rescue Operations. FOX NEWS' ANITA VOGEL: "Now, earlier the Coast Guard had to step in or fly in using helicopters. They're searching for residents who are stranded, people literally stranded in their attics and they're fetching people from rooftops using baskets, making very dramatic and heroic rescues and bringing them safely, dropping them onto I-10." (Fox News' "On The Record With Greta Van Susteren," 8/29/05)

Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't the Coast Guard do a lot of rule breaking and show a lot of initiative in their rescues? They didn't wait for the feds to tell them what to do or they wouldn't have done anything. The Coast Guard was great in spite of, not because of, this administration. And since when is quoting Fox news a good way for the white house to prove they were on top of things? That's like asking the president of the Brittney Spears fan club if she is a good singer.

But The President Was Closely Monitoring The Situation And Not "On Vacation."

To prove he wasn't on vacation they say that he met with wounded soldiers that morning. Somehow that is supposed to show that he was on top of the hurricane situation? Then they quote his speech urging people to evacuate....the speech he gave from Crawford Texas. But he wasn't on vacation.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Better late than never

It seems Powell has finally decided to make a stand.

Former Secretary of State Colin Powell endorsed efforts to block President Bush's plan to authorize harsh interrogations of terror suspects, even as Bush lobbied personally for it Thursday on Capitol Hill.
The latest sign of GOP division over White House security policy came in a letter that Powell sent to Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., one of three rebellious senators taking on the White House.

I had such high hopes for him at one point, before he was turned to the dark side. As much as I would like to think he is trying to make up for past mistakes, I'm a little too pessimistic to believe this comes from pure intentions. Something tells me we are going to be hearing a lot more from this man in the near future.
Chalk up another one for Algiers.

A 27-year old New Orleans man was shot to death Thursday morning near an Algiers apartment complex.

It seems like every time I look through the local paper Algiers gets noticed. Most of the time for another murder or cop shooting. One of the reasons I moved to my neighborhood was the lack of crime. This stuff is beyond getting out of control, it's just plain crazy.

More depressing Algiers stuff here, here, here, and.. I need to stop now, this is making me depressed.

But on the good side, Riley says our crime rate is actually way down. Everything must be just peachy.

Anyone wanna buy a house in Algiers?

Sunday, September 10, 2006

This story in today's TP has a couple of head shaking items from an interview with one of my least favorite people ever, Dick Cheney.

Cheney said he now recognizes that the insurgency in Iraq was not "in its last throes," as he said in May 2005. "I think there is no question but that we did not anticipate an insurgency that would last this long," the vice president said.
"It's still difficult. Obviously, major, major work to do is ahead of us. But the fact is, the world is better off today with Saddam Hussein out of power. Think where we'd be if he was still there," Cheney said.

Apparently some other people anticipated the insurgency, and were told to shut up about it. And the world is better off now? Could have fooled me. Maybe he means for Haliburton stock holders and defense contractors.


He said the U.S. had done a good job on "homeland security, in terms of the terrorist surveillance program we put in place, the financial tracking we put in place, and because of our detainee policy."
Cheney disputed that he ever directly said Saddam had any role in the Sept. 11 attacks.
He defended his past statements both on links between Iraq and the al-Qaida network, and on the existence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, saying the pronouncements were based on the best intelligence he had at the time. No such weapons were found, nor is there clear evidence of links between Saddam's government and Osama bin Laden's organization.

Is he really claiming our detainee policy has been a good thing? I thought the Supreme Court told the admin that it needed to change and that they were illegal.

Asked if the U.S. still would have invaded Iraq had the CIA told Bush and him that Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction in 2003, Cheney answered yes. He said Iraq had the capability of obtaining such weapons and would have done so once U.N. penalties were eased.

We don't need any stinking justification. If we want to go to war then by golly we are going to war! You tell 'em Dick.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Why doesn't this suprise me?

Remember the whole "new city hall, jazz museum, and other developments" thing a couple months ago? Turns out it isn't happening. Not only that, but the developers of this project never even got an agreement to purchase the buildings where this was going to happen. It seems the big announcement and following press releases were a little premature.

What's going to happen to this site? It's being turned in to condos.

In July, negotiations between the two ended and Hertz said he was pursuing demolition of the three-story mall and the conversion of the tower into condos.

Even though it seems the whole thing is doomed, I found the following pretty funny.

A unique part of Mayne's plan is for Poydras Street to become a tunnel under the park. A two-story underground garage would be built, as would an underground 280,000-square-foot retail center.

Hmmm, seems to me like this might not be the smartest or most cost effective way to do things in a city below sea level. Maybe Nagin thinks this would be a good place for everyone to park their cars so they can take buses to evacuate if another storm comes. Trust us...they will be safe there.

Why Disney loves the GoP

From MYDD I learn the reason. Taxes....

Instead of the standard 35% tax rate I thought all big companies paid, Disney actually paid the following:
2001 - 27%
2002 - 7.5%
2003 - 3.4%

And if you think that is bad...check this out from 2001 to 2003.

Pepco Holdings (–59.6% )
Prudential Financial (-46.2%)
ITT Industries (–22.3%)
Boeing (–18.8%)
Unisys (–16.0%)

I wonder how long it will take to pay off our deficit when we are giving money to the biggest money makers.

Friday, September 08, 2006

What's in your wallet?

Lindsay Lohan's purse lost and found

LONDON, Sept. 8 (UPI) -- Actress Lindsay Lohan's missing handbag containing valuable jewelry has reportedly been recovered by police at Heathrow airport in London.
The contents of the bag are valued at over $988,672 and it is not yet known whether the Jewelry was taken from the bag or not, Britain's Sky News reported Friday.


Can you imagine carrying that much jewelery around with you? Makes the $18 in my wallet seem even sadder than it did a couple of minutes ago for some reason.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Favorite post of the day

comes from AMERICAblog. A little bit of hypocrisy you to enjoy (or cringe at).

Charles Elloie

Today the TP had a story about my favorite lenient judge....Charles Elloie.

Harrison was booked with aggravated battery by shooting. Jail logs show he entered Orleans Parish Prison shortly before noon Aug. 30 and was released shortly before midnight the same day after a $30,000 bond was set and posted, said Renee Lapeyrolerie, a spokeswoman for Criminal Sheriff Marlin Gusman.
Sunday, exactly one week after the first shooting, the same 41-year-old man was shot near Chippewa and Soraparu streets.
After police issued an arrest warrant for Harrison on Labor Day in the second shooting, the suspect -- who was convicted of cocaine possession in 2001 and sentenced to five years -- turned himself in. Police this time booked Harrison with attempted second-degree murder.


"We're in the midst of a violent crime wave, and here he is once again releasing a violent offender back out onto the streets without getting input from the police or prosecutors," Goyeneche said. "It's a scenario we've seen replayed with Judge Elloie for the 10-plus years he's been on the bench."

If I can dig up any of the old stories I read about this judge before I started this blog it will get even better. Some of the stuff I remember was pretty outrageous.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Bush gave a speech today

One of the things I found odd was that I couldn't find his speech anywhere on TV. It seems the main stream media is more interested in making sure people don't miss any of their precious soap operas in the afternoon. Either that or they don't care about what Bush has to say anymore.

The speech can be found here, with my favorite part below.

"I want to be absolutely clear with our people, and the world: The United States does not torture. It's against our laws, and it's against our values. I have not authorized it -- and I will not authorize it. Last year, my administration worked with Senator John McCain, and I signed into law the Detainee Treatment Act, which established the legal standard for treatment of detainees wherever they are held. I support this act. And as we implement this law, our government will continue to use every lawful method to obtain intelligence that can protect innocent people, and stop another attack like the one we experienced on September the 11th, 2001. "

Hmmm...I like how he talks about McCain's bill. Didn't he push against it, and when signing it add one of his famous signing statements?

"So today, I'm sending Congress legislation to specifically authorize the creation of military commissions to try terrorists for war crimes. My administration has been working with members of both parties in the House and Senate on this legislation. We put forward a bill that ensures these commissions are established in a way that protects our national security, and ensures a full and fair trial for those accused. The procedures in the bill I am sending to Congress today reflect the reality that we are a nation at war, and that it's essential for us to use all reliable evidence to bring these people to justice."

Silly me...I thought congress was supposed to write laws and the president signed or vetoed it. I didn't realize he could right a law and then sign his approval to it as well? I wonder if he will add a signing statement to his own bill.

I read a nice quote from Abe Lincoln earlier today that I think Bush should consider.

"Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves."


Here is the bill he is sending to congress, and here is a pretty good rundown of the highlights.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Bush and his minions strike again

Oh wait, turns out this guy isn't such a good idea after all....better appoint him with no discussion. What a tool. The more I read the news the more disgusted I become.

Taken from Think Progress

Five days before Labor Day,
President Bush has announced he will recess appoint Paul DeCamp a corporate lawyer who represented Wal-Mart and built a career fighting against unions as head of the U.S. Labor Departments Wage and Hour Division, which oversees the nation's wage and hour laws, including overtime laws, workplace discrimination laws, and child labor laws. More at AFL-CIO Now. August 31, 2006 4:53 pm

This just in....

This just in....kind of. It's actually an old article, but I just found the link on Wonkette today and I couldn't believe it.

Are americans really this stupid. If this is from the country as a whole, can you imagine if they just polled New Orleans public school graduates?

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Quote quiz

Quiz for the day. Who said the following tidbits in a speech about 4 years ago? I put my favorite parts in bold text with comments below each part.

For whatever lies ahead, our men and women in uniform deserve the very best weapons, the very best equipmentt, the best support, and the best training we can possibly provide them. And under President Bush they will have them all.

(body and vehicle armor anyone?)

Simply stated, there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction. There is no doubt that he is amassing them to use against our friends, against our allies, and against us.

(no doubts here, you?)

The elected leaders of the country have a responsibility to consider all available options, and we are doing so. What we must not do in the face of a mortal threat is give in to wishful thinking or to willful blindness. We must not simply look away, hope for the best, and leave the matter for some future administration to resolve.

(all available long as invading is the decision we come to)

Some have argued that to oppose Saddam Hussein would cause even greater troubles in that part of the world, and interfere with the larger war against terror. I believe the opposite is true. Regime change in Iraq would bring about a number of benefits to the entire region. When the gravest of threats are eliminated, the freedom-loving peoples of the region will have a chance to promote the values that can bring lasting peace. As for the reaction of the Arab "street," the Middle East expert, Professor Fouad Ajami, predicts that after liberation, in Basra and Baghdad the streets are "sure to erupt in joy in the same way the throngs in Kabul greeted the Americans." Extremists in the region would have to rethink their strategy of jihad. Moderates throughout the region would take heart. And our ability to advance the Israeli-Palestinian peace process would be enhanced, just as it was following the liberation of Kuwait in 1991.

( wow,

And the answer is......

Our lovable, totally realistic VP


Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Random news clippings after Katrina

I'm new to this, so I don't have any links to these stories, sorry. They are an assortment of stuff that caught my eye and I saved for one reason or another. Most of them are from if I remember correctly.

1----Early Wednesday, National guardsman and the police department's SWAT team swarmed the Algiers Fischer Housing Development, where someone fired on nearby technicians trying to restore cell phone service. Two men were arrested.

This just blows my mind. Why people would shoot at out of town workers trying to help the city is disgusting to me.

2----But their fears were based on actual experiences. The day after the hurricane, Pervel was carjacked as he tried to check on his other properties in the neighborhood. Two guys clubbed him on the head with a sledgehammer, grabbed his keys and stole his van, which he had filled with hurricane supplies, a full tank of fuel and his credit cards. The next afternoon, as Pervel and his mother, Harris and Stubbs stood on their porch, a gunfight between armed neighbors and "looters" erupted on the corner of Pelican and Valette streets, half a block away. The neighbors, whom Pervel would not identify, shot two of the men. "We screamed to Mrs. P., 'Hit the deck,' and she did," Harris said.

This is from an article published soon after Katrina about an event that happened in my neighborhood. I'm so glad I didn't stick around to see this. People that did stay have some pretty vicious stories of the aftermath. Thankfully the military set up their command post close to my house and peace and quiet were restored fairly quickly. It was still disturbing to see how jumpy my neighbor was almost two months afterwards though.

3---- Rep. Bobby Jindal, R-Kenner, said he too has been overwhelmed by the offers of help from his congressional colleagues, some of whom traveled to the state to personally deliver relief supplies like water and ice.
But he's also been able to personally attest to the breakdowns of bureaucracy that delayed the resolution of urgent requests for help, he wrote this week for the Wall Street Journal. Among his examples:
"A mayor in my district tried to get supplies for his constituents, who were hit directly by the hurricane. He called for help and was put on hold for 45 minutes. Eventually, a bureaucrat promised to write a memo to his supervisor."
"Evacuees on a boat from St. Bernard Parish could not find anyone to give them permission to dock along the Mississippi River. Security forces, they say, were prepared to turn them away at one port."
"A sheriff in my district office reported being told that he would not get the resources his office needed to do its job unless he e-mailed a request. The parish was flooded and without ."

typical NOLA bureaucracy at work. Need I say more?

4----The most bizarre such case, he said, came not from New Orleans but from farther west near the coastal town of Cameron, where Hurricane Rita left behind a casket. The dead man was from the Cameron graveyard, where he had been buried in the 1950s. In 1957, Hurricane Audrey had dug up the casket and carried it out of the cemetery. It had been sunk somewhere in a salt marsh east of town until Rita came ashore and resurrected it again.
"He'd been lost there underwater nearly 50 years," Yennie said. "There were barnacles on his coffin."

This one made me scratch my head. Life is just plain out weird sometimes.