Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Opportunity Knocks

Katrina hasn't been bad for everyone:

The desperate efforts to impose some sense of order amid the chaos were further hampered by outbreaks of looting, particularly in New Orleans where one Wal-Mart store was ransacked with its whole collection of weapons taken.

"There are gangs of armed men in the city moving around the city," said Terry Ebbert, the city's homeland security chief.

I didn't even know you could buy weapons at Wal-Mart. They truly are one-stop shopping.

@ Creek Running North, Chris says: "I don't condone theft, whether it's a 25-inch television from an abandoned store or a pension fund. But I'm not going to waste a tear for property being taken by people who are, in effect, free-lance salvage workers." (This is out of context to this post -- this is not a reference to those stealing guns at Wal-Mart.)

@ Catnip, a look at who are considered looters and who are finders according to the MSM.

@ Bang It Out, wwilson says: "I am not saying that the single mother taking diapers and food for her children is necessarily wrong, I am pointing the finger at the ones who are taking what is not rightfully theirs and un-needed."

Reuters Cameraman Held Indefinitely in Iraq

They're holding a Reuters cameraman in Iraq, but they won't say why:

A cameraman for Reuters in Iraq has been ordered by a secret tribunal to be held
without charge in Baghdad's Abu Ghraib prison until his case is reviewed within
six months, a U.S. military spokesman said on Wednesday.


He said Mashhadani would be entitled to a review of his case within 180 days and
would be held at Abu Ghraib.

Rudisill said he would not be allowed to see an attorney, his family or anyone else for the first 60 days of his detention, which began in Abu Ghraib last week.

What the fook? I thought we were spreading democracy -- who the hell to? I'm not saying the cameraman's innocent -- people don't usually get in trouble for no reason (although it happens way more than anyone likes to admit) -- but think if you were tossed in the prison where they notoriously stacked up naked prisoners and took pictures of it, without anyone telling you why you were there for 2 months, and maybe getting no one to even bother with your case for 6 months.

That's bullsheet.

@ romunov's blog et al, romunov says "It’s just sick, how they openly basically kidnap people (but they call them arrests) and submit them to a tribunal."

@ Imagethief, comparing the U.S. to China in this case: "Away from the inconveniences of our Constitution, are we so different? If we're going to channel our outrage, we should channel some of it at ourselves as well. Especially as Iraq, Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo fatigue begin to set in and we stop paying attention to anything other than Cindy Sheehan."

@ The Houston Conservative, Will says: "Those evil American troops! Imagine the nerve of them wanting to make sure that this photographer is not part of the terrorist network. The press have really got a distorted view of themselves. This is a press photographer so he should be immune from scrutiny. After all, they're the press, incorruptible, unbiased, altruistic, only interested in the truth (as they see it)."

Katrina Could Have Been Worse?

Meteorologists are saying Hurricane Katrina could have been worse. That a "puff" of dry air from the Midwest knocked it down to a Category 4 hurricane from a Category 5.

But then they go on to say that of course this hurricane was 200 miles wide, in comparison to Hurricane Charley's 10 miles, and that it did huge damage to New Oreleans anyway, because the levies broke and the water kept rising even after the hurricane left town.

And it's probably not much consolation to Mississippi that everyone keeps talking about the storm moving east and sparing New Orleans the full brunt, because you know who got it? Mississippi. And I'll bet they'd be happier if the storm had moved a little bit more to the west, actually. No offense, New Orleans, but better you than us.

@ ROFASix, NOTR says "Worse is hard to imagine. And it seems incomprehensible that we should be thankful Katrina wasn’t. But that seems to be the case here."

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Bush Canceling Vacation to Focus on Katrina

It's looking like hundreds of people dead from Hurricane Katrina, so Bush is taking the unprecedented step of leaving vacation early to handle the crisis. No word on if Cindy Sheehan & he will be teaming up to help with the sandbags.

@ Think Progress, Nico says: "And even as one of the strongest storms in recorded history rocked the Gulf Coast, President Bush decided to continue his vacation, visiting the Pueblo El Mirage RV and Golf Resort in El Mirage, Ariz., to hawk his Medicare drug benefit plan." (Some compare and contrast pictures here, too, for your enjoyment.)

@ View From Above, Glenn says "Wanna bet
...that some yo-yo is going to claim that George W. Bush couldn't come back to Washington immediately to deal with the mess of Katrina because Cindy Sheehan kept him cornered inside his ranch?"

@ Human Voices, Capt. Fogg says: "George Bush has finally found something important enough to disturb his vacation. He intends to cut the 5 weeks of brush cutting and bike riding and confrontation avoiding short by two days."

Washington Post with Stick Up Its Ass Over Amazon Text Stats

The Washington Post has this annoying article today about how's Text Stats service deconstructs books to the lowest common denominator level so no one even has to bother reading, or at least reading above the brain level of an 8th grader.

Get the stick out of your ass, people. I know you have to fill space, but another blabfest about the dumbing down of society is BORING. If you like books and want to read something challenging, do it and leave us alone. If we want to use the Amazon stats to find out which book might be good for laying in bed for five minutes before we fall asleep without taxing our brain too much, we don't need some snooty graduate school intellectual to tell us we're stupid for doing it. Butt out.

@ elemenohpee, Scott says "This is just a case of someone trying to read more significance into what is a fun and harmless distraction."

@ Plato's Torch, Buckeye39 says, "Whoa there, cowboy! Don't get too worked up about this- you may hurt yourself..."

They Had to Make a Law?

California to Ban State-Funded Viagra to Sex Offenders:

The issue came to light nationwide in May after an audit showed New York State
gave Viagra to nearly 200 sex offenders in recent years. California subsequently
found it had distributed the drug to 137 offenders between April 2004 and May
2005 under its Medi-Cal system, said Ken August, a spokesman for California
Health Services.
Sometimes you just have to spell it out, I guess.