My collection of rants and raves about technology, my kids and family, social/cultural phenomena, and inconsistencies in the media and politics.


Google + NASA

Google and NASA announced plans Thursday for Google to build a million square feet of offices at the NASA Ames Research Center at Moffett Field.

"Google and NASA share a common desire to bring the universe of information to people around the world," said Eric Schmidt, the company's chief executive officer, in a statement. "Imagine having a wide selection of images from the Apollo space mission at your fingertips whenever you want it."
In addition to supercomputing, the research and development between Google and NASA will involve biotechnology, information technology and nanotechnology, the development of extremely small devices.
Google stands to gain from learning about NASA's supercomputers, which could come in handy as the Mountain View search engine compiles even bigger indexes of information and video. NASA leaders cited the benefits of getting access to Google's search expertise to pick out nuggets of information from the volumes of data streaming back from satellites and human space launches.
"NASA is nothing but drowned in information when we come back from our missions," said Scott Pace, associate administrator for NASA.

The burning question on my mind is whether they will name the new facility Google-Plex.

[Via SFGate]


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Pervasive broadband

Matsushita (better known in the US as Panasonic) has created a chip which enables 170Mbps connections (about 70% faster than Ethernet, and 114 times faster than a T1) throughout your house using standard electric outlets.

TOKYO (AP) - The common electric socket will serve as your home's connection to broadband with a new chip developed by Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. - doing away with all the Ethernet cables or the hassle of hooking up to a wireless network device.
Products are still being developed, but gadgets embedded with the chip from the Japanese manufacturer of Panasonic products can hook up to a broadband network by plugging into the common electrical outlet, company officials said Thursday.
That's because the Osaka-based company has come up with technology to use electric wiring in the home to relay not just electricity but also data.
The technology has been around for some time - including in the United States - but Matsushita's system is unique in that it delivers fast-speed broadband information at up to 170 megabits per second, which is faster than Ethernet.
... Matsushita official Tomiya Miyazaki said that even homes with optical fiber connections don't have broadband outlets in every room, and people are tired of setting up gadgets with their home wireless LAN device.
"Our goal is to have every gadget plugged in this way so that people don't have to even think about connecting it to broadband," he said.

The upside of this is obvious - no more running CAT5e wiring to each room of your house, and you avoid the headache of configuring wireless securely. The downside I see is that you have to put locks on any outdoor outlets (or even lightbulbs!) to keep intruders from having free run of your home network.

While a lot of consumers will appreciate "not having to even think about connecting it to broadband", this isn't a perfect solution. Sometimes thinking is a necessary and good thing. Case in point: downloading software on the internet. It used to be that users "didn't even have to think" about where a program came from and what it might do. Viruses, worms, trojans and spyware have changed that, and now an awful lot of people and companies are spending an awful lot of time thinking about what you allow on your computer.


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Haircut on the fast side

Well, Genius Boy came home from school today with a two-inch strip of his hair missing. At school during craft time, he "decided" that he didn't like his hair so long in front (it was only half an inch to begin with) and the way it stood up, so he used his scissors and cut a wedge straight up from the center of his forehead.

Trish pulled out the home clippers and shortened it all to about the same length. I don't think he fully understands why we're upset, nor how much trouble he's in. He'll go to our usual friend for a real cut tomorrow sometime.

Sorry, didn't get any pictures. Luckily for Ethan.

Labels: ,


  • At 6:51 AM CDT , Anonymous said...

    I don't fully understand why you're upset either.

    Why are you upset? It's just hair. It grows back!

  • At 10:16 AM CDT , Ethan's mom said...

    1. He's five
    2. In the process, he stabbed himself in the forhead with the point of the scissors leaving a sore.
    3. He was in school and was to be working, not grooming.
    4. Yes, it will grow back, but not in time for picture day, which was a week later.


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The mainstream media myths dissolve

Not only is the deathtoll from Katrina lower than predicted, the casualties from the aftermath are much, much lower than reported.

After five days managing near-riots, medical horrors and unspeakable living conditions inside the Superdome, Louisiana National Guard Col. Thomas Beron prepared to hand over the dead to representatives of the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Following days of internationally reported killings, rapes and gang violence inside the Dome, the doctor from FEMA - Beron doesn't remember his name - came prepared for a grisly scene: He brought a refrigerated 18-wheeler and three doctors to process bodies.

"I've got a report of 200 bodies in the Dome," Beron recalls the doctor saying.

The real total was six, Beron said.

Of those, four died of natural causes, one overdosed and another jumped to his death in an apparent suicide, said Beron, who personally oversaw the turning over of bodies from a Dome freezer, where they lay atop melting bags of ice. State health department officials in charge of body recovery put the official death count at the Dome at 10, but Beron said the other four bodies were found in the street near the Dome, not inside it. Both sources said no one had been killed inside.


Orleans Parish District Attorney Eddie Jordan said authorities had confirmed only four murders in New Orleans in the aftermath of Katrina - making it a typical week in a city that anticipated more than 200 homicides this year. Jordan expressed outrage at reports from many national media outlets that suffering flood victims had turned into mobs of unchecked savages.


"I had the impression that at least 40 or 50 murders had occurred at the two sites," he said. "It's unfortunate we saw these kinds of stories saying crime had taken place on a massive scale when that wasn't the case. And they (national media outlets) have done nothing to follow up on any of these cases, they just accepted what people (on the street) told them. ... It's not consistent with the highest standards of journalism."


Four weeks after the storm, few of the widely reported atrocities have been backed with evidence. The piles of bodies never materialized, and soldiers, police officers and rescue personnel on the front lines say that although anarchy reigned at times and people suffered unimaginable indignities, most of the worst crimes reported at the time never happened.

Most disturbing is that this news will probably not reach the ears of most people who heard the original, false reports. The "facts" about the anarchy, child and infant rape, 200 dead bodies, and rampant gunfights are embedded in people's memories, and will no doubt be used as "evidence" many times over.

[From the Times-Picayune weblog at, via DrudgeReport]


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Houston's new residents

Update: The letter below turns out not to be most likely untrue. See comments for details.

Kevin (my coworker) sent me this letter, which appears to have been making the rounds via email.

Here is the real truth. I went to volunteer on Saturday, September 10, to help Hurricane Katrina evacuees in Houston for two reasons.
1. I wanted to help people.
2. I was curious.
I have been watching the news lately, like everyone else, and I have seen some scenes that have made me physically ill. No, it was not the death and the destruction that made me ill. It was PEOPLE'S BEHAVIOR that bothered me the most.
So many of the displaced people were DEMANDING help. They were not asking nicely, but were demanding it - as if society owed them something. Well, the honest truth is society does NOT owe them anything! Help should be asked for in a kind manner and then appreciated after received, but this is definitely not what the different news organizations were witnessing and reporting.
What most of us have seen, on television and in the print media, have been individuals/groups who are yelling, demanding, looting, killing, raping, and even SHOOTING back at those who have arrived to help. MSNBC even showed one news report of several New Orleans policewomen looting a Wal-Mart!
I am thinking to myself, This cannot possibly be true - or can it?!?! Truthfully, I did not want to believe this could be true of the people who so desperately need help during this crisis. I now tell my story, and you can decide.

I arrived at the Astrodome only to find out there were too many volunteers at that location. Volunteers were needed elsewhere - especially at the George R. Brown Convention Center.
As I walked up to the Convention Center, I noticed a line of vehicles that wrapped around for blocks. These were "ordinary" Houstonians coming with water, diapers, clothes, blankets, food, every type of needed item; lots of it was NEW. As I helped to unload these vehicles, I felt such great pride that the wonderful residents of Houston would be so generous.
I then went inside the building and noticed approximately 100,000 square feet of clothing, toys, all types of needed items, that were organized and ready for the people in need. I signed in as a volunteer, received a name badge, and was on my way, eager to be useful.
I toured the place to become familiar with my surroundings. The entire Center is probably about 2 million square feet. I noticed rows, as far as the eye could see, of mattresses - not cots - but blown-up mattresses, that had nice pillows and plenty of blankets. There were also two or three bottles of water resting on each bed. These full-size to queen-size mattresses, by the way, were comfortable. I briefly rested on one of them, just to see for myself!
Next I went to look at the medical area, and I could not believe what I was seeing. A makeshift hospital had been created in 24 hours! They even had a pharmacy.
As my tour continued, I also noticed that other volunteers had worked hard to create showers...with hot water! Then upstairs, on the third floor, I found a huge cafeteria that had also been established in 24 hours. There were rows and rows of tables and chairs and food everywhere! There was enough food to feed an army, and I am not talking about crappy food either! They had Jason's Deli food, fresh fruit, snack foods, sandwiches and lots of beverages. By the way, the beverages were put on ice and chilled!! All of this "mini-city" - including a library and a theater room - had been created in about 24 hours by volunteers, so the evacuees would have a comfortable shelter.
Here is what further happened during my time there. I started by handing bottles of COLD water to evacuees, as they exited their bus. Many took the water, but only 20% or less even said, "Thank you." Lots of the evacuees would shake their heads and ask for sodas! This went on for about 20-30 minutes,until I was weary of being an unappreciated servant. I then decided that certainly these folks would appreciate some food! So, I went upstairs to serve these evacuees with some GOOD food. (Food that I wished I could have had at the moment!)
Evacuees came slowly to receive this mountain of food, worthy of a king, that was being served. I explained to them that we had two types of great deli sandwiches to choose from: ham and turkey. Many looked at the food in disgust and DEMANDED burgers, pizza, and even McDonalds! (Let me tell all of you folks who may read this, that Jason's Deli is better than McDonalds any day!!) Even many of the children were demanding and rude! Only one out of ten people who took something would say, "Thank you." The remainder took items, as if it were their God-given right to be served, without a shred of appreciation. Some even asked for beer and liquor! Many complained that we did not have "good-enough" food. Some went so far as to refuse the offers of food and laughed at and/or cursed at the volunteers. This was not true of all of them, but at least 70% of the evacuees treated us volunteers with total disrespect. Maybe 20% were appreciative, 10% took the food without any comment, and the remainder had some disgusting comment to say.
We volunteers then began to observe that many of the people would eat their food and leave their mess on the table. Oh sure, a few would clear their tables, but the majority left their tables for the volunteers to clear and clean. Needless to say, I was in utter shock at their behavior.
From the food area, I went down to help set up some additional mattresses. That is when I observed something else! I saw many young ladies carrying mattresses, but WHERE were the hundreds of able-bodied young men evacuees who could help?! When I asked a group of young evacuees in their teens and early twenties to help, they cursed at me!! One said, "We just lost our ****ing homes and you want us to work?!?!" The next one said, "Cracker, you got a home...we don't.
"I looked at them in total disbelief. Here were women carrying THEIR beds and these young men would not lift a finger to help themselves!! I started to wonder, WHY SHOULD I HELP PEOPLE WHO DO NOT WANT TO HELP THEMSELVES?!?!?!
As I turned away, they laughed at me and made obscene and distasteful comments. This is when I began realize that I did not need to waste my time on a bunch of pitiful losers in this area of the shelter.
Next, I went to a nearby restroom where I noticed a man shaving. I used the restroom, washed my hands, and then saw this same man throw his razor towards the trash can. He missed. He also walked out, leaving his dirty razor on the floor for someone else to pick up!
I could call these people ignorant ("lacking knowledge"), but they were not ignorant. They were arrogant ("proud and overbearing through an exaggerated feeling of one's superiority")! To put it bluntly, the majority of them are thugs...and lazy!
We are inviting the lowest-of-the-low to Houson and, like idiots, we are serving the people who will most likely soon steal, rape, murder, and attempt to destroy our beloved city. We are funding our own destruction!
Please note, I am absolutely NOT referring to a specific race of people!! People who WANT to help themselves should be helped in every possible way. Those who do not want to help themselves should be left to destroy themselves, but they should not be allowed to destroy Houston at the same time.
I do not believe in being poor for life. My family immigrated here. We came here very poor and now, thank God and due to HARD WORK, we are doing well.
If immigrants who come here - and do not even initially know the language - can work and become successful, why can't the majority of the other poor "homegrown" citizens do the same thing?!
I have personally just witnessed selfish, arrogant, unappreciative behavior by the very people who needed the help the most. These same people cursed me and other volunteers. They refused my city's generosity. They refused to help themselves. They pranced around as if they deserved to be waited on. When they did receive something, they said it was not good enough. As far as I am concerned, from now on, these people can fend for themselves!
Writer's Name Withheld

A big part of the answer to the writers question ("If immigrants can work and become successful, why can't the "homegrown" citizens do the same thing?") is of course the entitlement mentality which our nation has engendered through programs like Welfare and even Affirmative Action. However nice the idea is of providing for those who cannot provide for themselves, it is not an appropriate long-term solution for those able to care for themselves (even those who are not willing).

As the adage goes, "Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach a man to fish [or some versions say "give a man a fishing pole"] and he will eat for a lifetime." In the middle of a crisis, we must certainly give out lots of "fish". At some point in the not too distant future, however, we must start giving out "fishing poles" and some "fishing lessons", and then transfer the responsibility back to the displaced families. Despite what Cindy Sheehan thinks, the US does not guarantee prosperity, only opportunity.

There is another point which I think has been missed. It is often assumed that those providing help do not expect anything in return, and in some cases this is true. As the writer points out, many do expect something in return - an expression of gratitude and humility. The person without a home has suffered great loss due to circumstances beyond their control, and I can hardly blame anyone in that situation for being a bit grumpy. I would even expect that some among the displaced may have trouble expressing gratitude in normal situations, so having fewer thank-yous per person wouldn't upset me terribly.

It should not be ignored that the person providing charitable aid has suffered loss too. Though the catastrophe has not affected them directly, they have chosen to give up their time, vacation days, money, food, comfort, time with their family, and many more things. That these losses are voluntary deserves recognition, most of all from the direct beneficiaries of that aid.

I think "entitlement" has also contributed to this problem in another way. By teaching people that they can expect housing, food and medical care without any contribution on their part, they learn that their own efforts are not valuable and not valued. Generation after generation has learned that they should not work, should not try, should not take responsibility for their actions, because doing so doesn't make any difference - the checks keep coming. They have learned that their skills and their efforts and their personal value are zero. And so, with their house and possessions gone, they really do believe they have nothing at all until someone else gives them something, at which point their value rises from zero to the value of whatever it is they have been given.


  • At 5:33 PM CDT , Bruce said...

    Whoops. Looks like I should have researched this a bit more.

    My cousin Brent pointed out the Snopes page for letters like this one. While the status is still considered "Undetermined", the comments make sound like this letter may have been devised to play off what people would like to think about the evacuees. Apparently it worked, because I fell right into it.

    The last paragraph on the Snopes page sounds like a pretty realistic summary.

    Regarding the Katrina evacuees, there are going to be abuses of the kindness of others because that is simply human nature: among any group, there will always be rotten apples, those who behave badly no matter where they are or under what circumstances. The question remains whether among this particular group if the rotten apples are the exception or comprise the majority.

    I will still defend my comments about the negative effects of entitlement, but I cannot pretend that I know for a fact an entitlement attitude is a big problem in the Katrina aid efforts.


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A handy tip

Even on your anniversary, a martini for lunch is a bad idea.

'Nuff said.


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John Kerry raises campaign money from Katrina rhetoric

Yes, our dear friend John Kerry is hard at work, earning a living off the misfortune of others.

Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) unleashed a furious attack on the Bush administration at a Brown University speech yesterday, upbraiding the president’s response to the hurricane that recently devastated the Gulf Coastand tying it to what he sees as other flaws at the White House.
“This is the Katrina administration,” read prepared remarks posted on 2004 Democratic presidential nominee’s website, “Katrina is a symbol of all this administration does and doesn't do,” read Kerry’s script, portions of which were included in an e-mail to supporters that ended with a fundraising appeal.
In a brief interview, Tracey Schmitt, a spokeswoman for the Republican National Committee, called Kerry’s pitch for cash “repulsive.”
In a news release, she said, “John Kerry's attacks on President Bush's efforts to assist the victims and rebuild the Gulf Coast don't come as a surprise. Armchair quarterbacking on tough issues has never been a problem for Senator Kerry. The American people have pulled together during a difficult time and Democrats’ efforts to politicize this tragedy are unsavory at best.”

This illustrates why I see the DNC as the party of vicious opportunism. I have yet to see a claim so outrageous, a connection so tenuous, or a position so outlandish that Democrats will not line up behind it, so long as the result is to show that they oppose the President.

I read this trend as an act of desperation. The Green party has shown itself to be a more moderate option, and one which numbers of people may consider. Independents have also been gaining traction in each election, even in Congress. After the spanking they got in the last presidential election, I'm sure more than a few Democratic candidates are searching around for a tenable platform. Unfortunately, with President Bush advancing all the good ideas (even if he doesn't always implement them correctly), and no compelling alternative plan, the democrats are limited to ad homenim attacks.

[From The Hill via Drudge Report]



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Cindy Sheehan strikes again

Now offering dramatic (but still clueless) counterpoint to the people who say the President moved in too late, Cindy is screeching about how he shouldn't have come in at all.

Let's take a close look at her latest tirade.

"I don't care if a human being is black, brown, white, yellow or pink. I don't care if a human being is Christian, Muslim, Jew, Buddhist, or pagan. I don't care what flag a person salutes1: if a human being is hungry, then it is up to another human being to feed him/her2. George Bush needs to stop talking, admit the mistakes3, 4 of his all around failed administration5, pull our troops out6 of occupied New Orleans7 and Iraq, and excuse his self from power. The only way America will become more secure8 is if we have a new administration that cares about Americans even if they don't fall into the top two percent of the wealthiest9."

Point by point:
1 Okay, okay, we get it. You don't care.
2 The hungry person bears no responsibility whatsoever for feeding themselves, even if they may be capable of doing so.
3 So you're saying he should stop talking and admit his mistakes? Like, at the same time? "Don't eat with your mouth full!"
4 Apparently, Cindy was too busy crafting this finely worded statement to hear the President's address where he said he bears the responsibility for the failures at the federal level.
5 Ironic that the same people who accuse him of failing also accuse him of maliciously doing so much damage. If you say President Bush wants to hurt the country, and that he is hurting the country, then isn't he succeeding at what he is trying to do?
6 ...thereby causing two catastrophes big enough to finally drum him out of office (you hope). Unfortunately for Cindy, the state of Louisiana, not the federal government, controls the National Guard. Guard troops from other states have been called in, not sent in.
7 "occupied New Orleans"? Well, maybe, if you are of the opinion that the Governor and Mayor were running totalitarian regimes which needed overthrowing (I'm more inclined to believe this, anymore) If I was more cynical, I might compare Saddam's abuse of his people with the Mayors abuse of the citizens of New Orleans. Aren't you glad I'm not more cynical?
8 That's right, folks! There's only one way to improve security, and Cindy is here to tell us about it. It also doesn't involve foreign policy or border patrols or equipment at airports.
9 The big revelation! Yes, the war on Iraq is nothing but a thinly-veiled tax break for the rich! How silly of me not to see it!

Hey, Cindy! Right now as I type this, I'm hungry. (I had a banana for breakfast and no lunch.) I'm also not in the wealthiest 2% of Americans. Could you please direct me to the person or persons who are responsible for feeding me?

The most nauseating thing about the whole statement is that it comes on the heels of the announcement Cindy has penned a lucrative contract with Speaker's Bureau. She's not only spouting nonsense, now she's also getting paid for it. Of course, one might rightly wonder how she could afford to camp out 1200 miles from home at the President's ranch, and now to lead a bus tour across America without some outside funding.

With any luck, she'll spend some of that money on a grammar tutor.

[Via DrudgeReport]


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Humor: The Yuppie and the Cowboy

The West Texas cowboy was herding his herd in a remote pasture when suddenly a brand-new BMW advanced out of a dust cloud towards him. The driver, a young man in a Brioni suit, Gucci shoes, Ray Ban sunglasses and YSL tie, leans out the window and asks the cowboy, "If I tell you exactly how many cows and calves you have in your herd, will you give me a calf?"

The cowboy looks at the man, obviously a yuppie, then looks at his peacefully grazing herd and calmly answers, "Sure, Why not?"

The yuppie parks his car, whips out his Dell notebook computer, connects it to his AT&T cell phone, and surfs to a NASA page on the Internet, where he calls up a GPS satellite navigation system to get an exact fix on his location which he then feeds to another NASA satellite that scans the area in an ultra-high-resolution photo. The young man then opens the digital photo in Adobe Photoshop and exports it to an image processing facility in Hamburg, Germany.

Within seconds, he receives an email on his Palm Pilot that the image has been processed and the data stored. He then accesses a MS-SQL database through an ODBC connected Excel spreadsheet with hundreds of complex formulas. He uploads all of this data via an email on his Blackberry and, after a few minutes, receives a response. Finally, he prints out a full-color, 150-page report on his hi-tech, miniaturized HP LaserJet printer and finally turns to the cowboy and says, "You have exactly 1586 cows and calves.""

That's right. Well, I guess you can take one of my calves," says the cowboy. He watches the young man select one of the animals and looks on amused as the young man stuffs it into the trunk of his car. Then the cowboy says to the young man, "Hey, if I can tell you exactly what your business is, will you give me back my calf?"

The young man thinks about it for a second and then says, "Okay, why not?"

"You're a consultant for the National Democratic Party." says the cowboy.

"Wow! That's correct," says the yuppie, "but how did you guess that?"

"No guessing required." answered the cowboy, "You showed up here even though nobody called you; you want to get paid for an answer I already knew, to a question I never asked; and you don't know anything about my business."

"Now give me back my dog.".


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Katrina and the war on terror

The death toll is coming up lower than expected (in the low 400's as of today, and not likely to reach the 10,000 predicted). The press continues to wail about the poor job FEMA has done, even after Brown was called back to Washington, and then resigned of his own accord. Charitable organizations are working in high gear to meet the many needs.

I hear people saying loudly that it's President Bush's fault for the delays in assistance from the national level, crying about the helplessness. Sure, we wish we could do more for the people hardest hit. "There, but for the grace of God, go I" applies as much now as ever. But uninformed screeching on the subject doesn't do anything to fix either the past or the future.

Through the storm after the storm, a few important points need to be made, or perhaps refreshed in our memories.

  • Preparedness involves more than having a plan. The plan must also be executed. Having 2000 buses at your disposal does not guarantee safety.
  • True preparedness requires flexibility, because a real crisis involves surprises.
  • The rule of law cannot be ignored in time of crisis. Not by looters, and not by the President.
  • Holding public office does not automatically confer expertise, presence of mind, or good judgement. Therefore, these things must be considered when selecting people for public office. Therefore, informed voting is part of being prepared. Voting for a candidate over a single issue is voting for unpreparedness.
  • As much as we all like to complain about government, the law and bureaucracies, most such bodies do serve a purpose, if imperfectly, and we miss them when they are not present or fail to perform.
  • Whether through terrorist attack or natural causes, there are many situations we can neither predict nor control.
  • For all the posturing about which level of government is responsible and how many deaths may have resulted, the plain fact is a lot more people would have died if the levee broke because of a terrorist attack.
  • While we live safer lives in the United States, our protections against disaster are still very weak. With liberty comes risk. We simply can't guard every levee, reservoir, hospital, school, power station, nuclear plant, mall, airport, hotel and internet connection against those who would do us harm.
  • People are not generally good by nature. Getting along with others is a learned behavior. Some choose not to learn this, others are taught not to.
  • There are, in fact, people in the world who do not respect human rights, whether the right to live, the right to believe what you want, or the right to not have their property stolen.
  • If an potential attacker is willing to die to achieve his goals, he has much wider selection of ways to successfully attack you. All penalties under the law are basically ways of removing part or all of your life (freedom of movement, money you could have spent, etc.). To one willing to die, these punishments are meaningless. The only sure-fire defense against this is to kill the person before they kill you.
  • War is Hell. It is not pleasant or tidy or quick or clean. People die in war.
  • We are not fighting an enemy who wants something from us. He cannot be negotiated with, and will not play by our rules. Our enemy (the terrorists) want only to destroy every person who will not choose his twisted perception of Islam.
  • Safety at home will only come by having less people willing to give their lives to destroy ours.

That's the world as I see it. I welcome any comments.


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Another hit from Scrappleface: Sharpton's Driver Victim of 'Velocity Profiling'

Best line in the whole piece:

"He wasn't pulling over every car on the Interstate," said Mr. Sharpton, who was headed for the airport after leaving Cindy Sheehan's summer home near Crawford, TX.


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Coffee: the new health food

Just the news I was looking for!

If your hand is trembling over your third coffee of the morning, do not despair. You could be getting more healthy antioxidants from your liquid fix than are from the fruit or vegetables you eat, according to a study of US diets.
Although dates, cranberries and red grapes were the richest source of antioxidants, researchers found these were not a common part of the average American's diet.
The scientists measured the antioxidant content of more than 100 different food items, including vegetables, fruits, nuts, spices, oils and beverages, and then examined national data on the contribution of each food item to the average American's diet.
Both caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee emerged as the biggest source of antioxidants, given that Americans do not eat sufficient quantities of fruit and vegetables. Black tea came second, followed by bananas, dry beans and corn.
The research is the latest in a number of studies to suggest coffee could be beneficial, with consumption linked to a reduced risk of liver and colon cancer, type two diabetes, and Parkinson's disease.
"Americans get more of their antioxidants from coffee than any other dietary source - nothing else comes close," said Joe Vinson from Scranton University in Pennsylvania, who led the research.

Read the whole thing. Discovered through Scrappleface under the heading "Medicare to Cover Starbucks Antioxidant Treatments".


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News flash! Bush to blame for Hurricane Katrina damage

From AlterNet via the DNC website:

Washington knew exactly what needed to be done to protect the citizens of New Orleans from disasters like Katrina. Yet federal funding for Louisiana flood control projects was diverted to pay for the war in Iraq.

Well thank goodness - I wasn't sure if they were going to be able to pin this one on the President, but they found a way.

New Orleans had long known it was highly vulnerable to flooding and a direct hit from a hurricane. In fact, the federal government has been working with state and local officials in the region since the late 1960s on major hurricane and flood relief efforts. When flooding from a massive rainstorm in May 1995 killed six people, Congress authorized the Southeast Louisiana Urban Flood Control Project, or SELA.

Yet after 2003, the flow of federal dollars toward SELA dropped to a trickle. The Corps never tried to hide the fact that the spending pressures of the war in Iraq, as well as homeland security -- coming at the same time as federal tax cuts -- was the reason for the strain. At least nine articles in the Times-Picayune from 2004 and 2005 specifically cite the cost of Iraq as a reason for the lack of hurricane- and flood-control dollars.

Of course, we all know that if a newspaper prints it, it must be true and should be accepted without question, but lets set that issue aside for the moment. In this case, it is true that many of the funds for levee maintenance were diverted to Iraq, as were the dollars intended for lots of other projects.

Quiz time: Your house is in need of some repairs. You've got a leaky roof, a basement that floods, and the locks on the doors are pretty much a joke. You discover that a gang has moved into your neighborhood - they've already broken in once before. After paying your bills, you only have enough money to finish one of the projects, but can make minor progress on the others. Do you:

  1. Fix the roof
  2. Waterseal the basement
  3. Put in new locks and an alarm system
  4. Give most of it to the homeless guy who keeps coming around

Whoops! That other option is only for the liberals.

Make no mistake - the damage from Katrina is a huge tragedy. We all wish that it hadn't happened, that we had been more prepared for it. The fact of the matter is that there isn't enough money to adequately prepare for every catastrophe. The President didn't create this problem. They've been working on fixing it for 10 years, and they've known about it since the 1960's. When we recognized the importance of freeing Iraq, a lot of worthy projects had to move to the back burner. That is the cost of war.

Personally, I'm absolutely thrilled at how well this war is going, considering the vehement opposition from liberals and the Lamestream Media.

I'm still waiting to see how they're going to blame the President for the damages to the oil rigs, other parts of the state, and all the other states who were affected. No matter how improbable, I'm sure they'll find a way.


  • At 10:46 AM CDT , Bruce said...

    Update: Powerline and Michelle Malkin have more, including information from the Army Corps of Engineers saying that not only wasn't funding an issue, but the levee that broke was 100% complete according to plan.

  • At 12:53 PM CDT , Femi-mommy said...

    I fix the roof - within a house you have many belongings, but the thing you need to look after more than anything is the house. Who cares if your tv gets jacked if you don't have a house to put it in. Logically the roof would do the most damage if it gave way (a leaking basement would just ruin the stuff down there). Therefore, I fix the roof.

  • At 9:21 AM CDT , Bruce said...

    Sorry, but I disagree. The lives of the people inside the house are more precious than anything inside the house or the house itself.


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No mail in New Orleans

This just in from the US Postal Service:

Suspension of Standard A Mail (Letters and Flats) and Periodicals Mail acceptance to storm-stricken areas

Effective immediately, the Postal Service is not accepting any Standard A Mail (Letters and Flats) or Periodicals Mail — from any source — addressed for delivery within the following three-digit ZIP Code ranges: 369, 393, 394, 395, 396, 700, 701 and 704.

This emergency action has been taken as a result of severe facility damage, evacuations and other issues resulting from Hurricane Katrina.

We are now formulating plans to address the handling of Standard A and Periodicals Mail already in the mailstream and addressed for delivery to these eight ZIP Code areas.

We will update this information as circumstances warrant.

"Neither snow, nor rain, nor heat, nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds." -- USPS Motto

I guess they can be forgiven for not delivering mail from a submerged post office to a possibly non-existent address.


  • At 8:00 PM CDT , Crystal said...

    Here is what I said in my blog in referance to all this.


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