Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Some good news from Ground Zero

Looks like Governor Pataki has finally put his foot down to quash the IFC's attempt to turn the memorial at Ground Zero into a 'museum of freedom' that would have depicted various atrocities from around the world, many of which with a distinct anti-American point of view.

While not totally abandoning the idea, he is making sure it doesn't get built on the Ground Zero site, which I agree with 110%. I guess the fact that almost every Police and Fire Fighter organization that has chimed in on the proposal has denounced it, as well as the various groups representing the family members of those directly affected (although admittedly not all) and the thousands of concerned citizens who just thought it was just a very bad idea.

And if anyone thinks that the 'museum' wouldn't have become a showcase of anti-American sentiment, besides just taking a look at the groups that were supporting the plan, or take a look at what these same type of memorial builders had originally intended to immortalize the crew and passengers of Flight 93.

So I guess we can add 2 to the win column in these cases.

Michelle has a lot of links to her prior posts over at her site. LGF is also doing their part to spread to good news.

Just 42 minutes after Pataki announced he was in effect 'vetoing' any attempt by the IFC to build their 'museum' on the site of the World Trade Center memorial, they announced that they were closing up shop.

So I guess the old saying is once again proven true, "The three most important things about a group of far left organizations trying to build a monument in an attempt to convince others that all the worlds ills are somehow the fault of successful capitalists are location, location, location!"

House Majority Leader Indicted in Texas

I don't know where you come down on the whole Tom Delay criminal investigation but all I can say is that if you are a Republican politician, being charged with criminal violations of Texas law with regards to campaign finance, there is no better friend in the world to have right now than Travis County District Attorney, Ronnie Earle.

Delay very well may have done the crime he is being accused of (although it appears extremely difficult to prove under Texas law) but Ronnie Earle's long history of unfounded accusations against people he considers political enemies can do nothing to help his case. In fact, Earle has been so openly partisan in his attacks that it is a wonder he has not been sued out of a job. Just a few months ago he was publicly talking about this case in his speech during a fund raiser for Texas Democrats. As far as I know that is one of the big no no's for any DA.

As I have said, I have no idea if Delay is guilty of the crime he is being charged with, but I am glad he stepped down as House Majority Leader without trying to put up too much of a fight. If he is found guilty, I hope that he surrenders his seat as easily. That being said, if he isn't convicted, I hope he goes after Ronnie Earle with everything he's got. If Earle's track record doesn't shine as an example of abuse of power I don't know what does. Just follow some of the links in this Michelle Malkin post to get a clearer glimpse of the man the people of Travis County have to represent their legal interests.

Jeff, over at Protein Wisdom, has more while the American Spectator has a little more detail into exactly what it is Delay is being charged with, here.

The Captain puts in his 2 cents over at Captain's Quarters.

Another review of the media coverage of Katrina ...

... and amazingly it appears Tom over at Aldaynet also doesn't seem to agree with Dan Rather's assessment that the coverage of the Katrina aftermath coverage was "one of television news' finest moments".

You know, if I had categories, I'd make one just for Dan related stories. Not that I necessarily like kicking a man when he's down, but in Rather's case, he's like the guy in the dunk tank who even though you've knocked him in a dozen times in a row, continues to insult your throwing technique; you almost feel obligated to do it.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

No Dan, No! Bad Dan!

Like my dog Foster and the extension cord under my desk, Dan Rather just will not let go of the TANG non-story, no matter how much harm it will do him. Newsbusters has an article on his latest televised interview here.

Once again he continues trying to shoot the messengers in the hope that by discrediting the bloggers that managed to bring to the forefront the type of shoddy investigating and reporting that had been going on over at CBS, he can gain back some of this lost honor.

The thing he doesn't seem to understand is that no matter if it was some form of conspiracy, it was so poorly planned (using a well documented Bush hater to deliver copies of unsubstantiated source material) that no self respecting news agency should have bitten. Sure, it may have peaked someone's interest, but it should never have been pushed as the basis of a major story, especially when even their own experts doubted the veracity of the documents.

Jeff, over at Protein Wisdom has a great little post about just how hard it would have been to stop the 'conspirators' dead in their tracks. For me, a well baked lasagna and some freshly made rice pudding would have done it. I would have even left the critical raisin/no raisin pudding decision up to the briber.

It seems Mary Mapes doesn't want to be forgotten either (h/t LGF)

Monday, September 26, 2005


For those out there with 'Blogger' sites, you ever notice how their online spell checker doesn't even include the word blogger, with or without capitals.

Or blogosphere either, for that matter.

Just find that odd, that's all.

The Compassionate Left (just don't disagree with them)

Just a quick note to all those far left people out there who like to pat themselves on the back and lay down the claim that the Left are just to kind and nice and are just now learning how to play the Rights games of hard ball; ever hear of Vietnam?

But I guess those far left zealots who were all to willing to spit on the poor serviceman, who may or may not have even volunteered to join the military, or label them all "baby killers" were just doing it out of love.

Or how about the people that get rounds of online applause when the tell their stories of insulting some poor old lady at the grocery store because she looked affluent so must have been a Republican, or of leaving some poor mother and her baby stranded because of a of a "W" bumper sticker on their broken down car.

If nothing else, blogs give us a much clearer picture of what goes on inside the various camps, both right and left, and I can tell you from what I've seen, while there are some mud slingers on both sides of the aisle, we on the right have a lot to learn about the art of personal attacks from the left.

Cindy Sheehan - Jailhouse Rock

So 'Mother' Sheehan has finally managed to get herself back into the headlines. Today, in an attempt to grab the attention she has repeatedly shown she so desires, she staged a protest in front of the White House with the sole purpose of getting herself arrested. Just look at the smile on her face as she get carried away by a couple of DC's finest. Ah the face of grief.

And don't forget, this is the women who has already publicly stated that she was glad the President didn't meet with her (for a second time) because it would have taken away her buzz and that the press have been paying too much attention to hurricanes (or as she puts it "a little wind and a little rain") and not enough to her.

I'm not saying she should be crying every moment of the day of anything, but when you travel back and forth around the country claiming to be motivated by the memory of your dead son (who volunteered to join the Army, TWICE I might add), I just don't think the party atmosphere she seems to be surrounding herself with, and enjoying to the fullest by all appearances, fits with the somber tone of her supposed mission.

Of course, as many on the far left have figured out by now, those of us who share that belief or would dare speak out about Ms. Sheehan's disgraceful behavior or statements are all members of the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy paid for in full from the KKKARL Rove Fund for Friendly Bloggers.

Hey don't worry Karl, this ones a freebie.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

It's all about the magic

I don't know why but I just felt the need to state publicly that David Blaine annoys the hell out of me. Criss Angel is starting to gain ground, but as of today, Blaine is still on the top of my list of Most Annoying Magicians.

I don't know if it's the fact he's one of those magicians that over plays the mystical powers part of their illusions, or if it's the fact that his tricks are not actually that good, but his entire act just gets on my nerves.

I'm not saying he's not a good illusionist, he is. Even though I have an understanding of the way in which his magic works, I know I couldn't do it, or at least not as smoothly as he does. It's just that the majority of his tricks are based on the same very simple principles of magic, right out of a standard beginners magic book. If you actually pay attention to his hands, and not where he is directing you to look, you'll often clearly see what he is doing to perform his 'magic'. Live and in person though, that's very hard to do.

There is also the fact that he has lied at least once to make a trick appear better than it was. His levitation trick for example, performed numerous times during one of his specials, was actually made to appear much more than it was using a simple bait and switch technique. He did actually 'levitate' unassisted for the people he showed in his special, to their amazement I'm sure (it can be quite an impressive trick if done properly) but the scenes shown in the special were mostly of him being hoisted by wires after the fact (the people were told it was for demonstration purposes only).

I guess I just respect magicians more who openly claim that what they are doing is a trick and don't try and pretend that it's some form of true magic, especially when half of their tricks use readily available magic props.

Can me a traditionalist, but I like the Lance Burton, David Copperfield (who I have seen live) and Penn and Teller (one of which may be a distant cousin of mine) type magicians. They may sometimes over do it a little on the presentations, but they rarely, if ever, make claims of true mystical powers.

I guess it all comes down to the fact I don't mind being tricked, I just don't like being lied too.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Dan Rather and the 'new journalism order'

When will Dan Rather learn to retire gracefully.

You'd think that being forced out of your job as one of the premiere news people in the world due to sloppy reporting, and even sloppier defences of that reporting would have been enough to teach the man some humility; apparently not.

Once again Rather manages to put on display what so many people see as the MSM's largest fault, their belief that they own the truth. He still seems mad at being caught trying to run a story based on obviously forged documents from a highly suspect and bias source as fact, during a Presidential campaign no less. And why shouldn't he. Prior to the explosion of the blogosphere, stories like the Killian Memos would have been accepted as gospel amongst the viewing public. Now, however, people are able to much more easily share information and discuss their doubts in a story with others, all around the world, and to dig up the truth on their own. In effect, the news organizations no longer have the control that they once had.

And despite Dan's assertions to the contrary, most of the pressure on the press to actually do their jobs and report fact, not opinion, is not coming from any formal Federal power, but from us, the independent bloggers who just want to see the whole story reported. Sure, the current White House may be a bit less helpful with the press than previous administrations, but if you were being attacked every day for troubles, both real and imagined, by people who then claim to be 'unbiased', wouldn't you be a little short tempered too (just look at the almost universal negative reporting on the current economy under Bush despite almost every indicator pointing to the fact that it is strong and growing). And why is it the White Houses job to do the work for the journalists? Shouldn't they be getting off their butts and out doing the legwork for their stories instead of hoping that the President's Press Secretary will spoon feed it to them?

You need to look no further than Dan's own statement about how he thinks the Katrina coverage has been one of the highest points in modern journalism to just see the level of disconnect that exists within today's media. Now we all should have been clearly warned that Rather had lost it when he brought up the who "speaking truth to power", but even so let's review the MSM's Katrina coverage.

- Reported estimates of number of dead 10,000+:
WRONG by a magnitude of 10
Score: -1

- Reported rapes and murders happening within the Superdome:
WRONG, few actual complaints of assaults have
been made and no credible witnesses produced
Score: -1

- Reported slow Federal response:
WRONG, response times are actually on par with
other natural disasters over the past 15 years
Score: -1

- Reported FEMA director unaware of evacuees at Convention Center 24 afters heavy news coverage:
WRONG, the first confirmed reports of the Convention Center
problem were made just prior to both the DHS and FEMA
directors acknowledging the situation. The actual time difference
was minutes, or at most an hour or two, not a day
Score -1

- Reported FEMA prevented Red Cross from entering New Orleans:
WRONG, that was from the very beginning, a state decision
Score -1

- Reported everyone expected the levees to breach
WRONG, overtopping during the storm was widely
assumed but the levees were expected to hold
Score -1

- Reported Hurricane Katrina made landfall in the southern US:
RIGHT (just had to give them something)
Score +1

And I won't even try to calculate how often they have gotten the separation of Federal vs. State powers wrong during their 'reporting'.

If the jumping to conclusions and knee-jerk unsubstantiated reporting we have seen over the past few weeks of Katrina coverage is what Dan Rather sees as great journalism, I say his ouster was long overdue, but like a bad penny, he just never seems to go away for good.

For more commentary and discussion check out the Anti-Idiotarian, Roger L. Simon or Angry in the Great White North.

(h/t Michelle Malkin)

Just adding a link to a post by VDH on the media coverage of Katrina.

Friday, September 16, 2005

When Hollywood attacks

There are two type of celebrities in the world, those who keep their politics to themselves, and those who should.

Now that doesn't mean that celebrities can't use their stardom to further their ideology, just that they should do a better job of choosing when and where to share their beliefs.

Just look at Bono as a prime example of what good a celebrity can do and still remain relatively politically neutral. While you may not agree with everything he proposes, he manages to do it without trying to make the President look bad. If he thinks the US should be giving more he says so, when they do give, he acknowledges it.

Or stars like Oprah and John Travolta and Kelly Preston, none of which are necessarily my favorite celebs, but in a time of crisis, they choose to put politics aside and use their star power to bring aide and comfort to those affected by Katrina, not to push their own agenda.

Now compare that to Sean Penn. No matter what the situation, he continually tries to make the current administration look bad. He has even gone so far as to defend some of the worlds most oppressive regimes simply because the President has expressed his dislike of them. Then there's his most recent decent into madness, his 'rescue' efforts in New Orleans. Now, if he had truly wanted to help save people, as opposed to trying to show-up the governments response, do you think taking along your personal photographer on a small boat with only space for 4 or 5 people really makes sense?

Or how about RFK Jr. who was almost falling over himself in his rush to blame the GOP for actually causing Katrina due to their environmental policies. Of course nothing they could have done over the past 5 years in power could have had any affect global warming, for better or worse, but that's really beside the point now isn't it.

The Revolution will be televised

The Nintendo Revolution that is.

Nintendo has finally released some pics of their new controller design, and it appears to live up to the hype that has surrounded it for months. 1Up has a great review of the new controller and how it works and feels for the several demo games that Nintendo had available at the Tokyo Game Show unveiling. The mystery surround the controller itself has led to hundred of fan generated mock ups, and even a controller designer over at Engadget.

I have no idea what this is going to be like when trying to play the standard console type game, but I can say that for the first time I may consider buying a FPS for a console instead of the PC. Of course if you don't like it the Revolution does allow for standard GameCube controllers as well.

Now any bets as to how long it will take for Sony and Microsoft to try and copy Nintendo's design?

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Katrina Controversies that weren't

Over the past few days I've seen a few great posts around the blogosphere debunking some of the various Katrina controversies. Instead of making separate post for each of them, I figured I would list them here, and possibly add any others I might find in my internet wanderings.
  • The Political Teen has a great video explaining the absents of Federal Troops on the ground in LA.
  • The Daily Howler has one of the best examples of how the big news organizations often create the stories they then report. Somerby's breakdown of the actual timeline for the reporting on the state of evacuees at the NO Convention Center is remarkable in how quickly the MSM, based on their own faulty reporting, created what was seen by many as one of the greatest examples of FEMA disconnect. The only problem was, it's a story that never was.
  • WuzzaDem has a complete breakdown of Jefferson Parrish's President Aaron Broussard's simply disgusting attempt to demonize the FEMA response to Katrina.

Weiser G., March 27, 1998 - September 13, 2005

At approximately 10:50 this evening, Weiser, my pet ferret for the past 7 and a half years, suffered a massive seizure in his cage and died.

He was a great ferret who could always be counted on to bring a smile to your face with his uncanny ability to get into the most amazing places, and when caught, to give the most innocent look of anyone you'd ever seen.

And then there's the fact that he was always there to act as the big brother and keep Miller out of trouble (about the only reason I would often leave the cage open while I was gone to work).

While he had been sick for the past several months, the timing of his death still came as a surprise. As of the writing of the post, his 'brother' Miller still doesn't know he will now be the sole resident of the cage they shared for the past 7 years.

It's just sad to think that after this scene being an almost daily occurrence for so long I will never see it again.

I'm still dreading having to tell my nieces and nephews that he's gone. The first place they always went to whenever they were visiting would be the cage to wake up Miller and Weiser, usually much to Weiser's chagrin =). And my neighbor is likely to require a few days off work to deal with Weiser's passing.

R.I.P. Weiser. You will be missed.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Today's Ottawa Sun - Monday Sept. 12th

There was really only one article that got my attention today; an op-ed piece by Eric Margolis, Sun Foreign Affairs Analyst, about the Bush administration response to hurricane Katrina.

Let's just say it found my last nerve, began to throttle it, stomped on it for a while and then for good measure, had it drawn and quartered.

The article, as well as my response can be found on Eric's site, here.

(A special h/t to Right Wing Nuthouse, Chrenkoff and Captain's Quarters as well as this Washington Post article for some of the exact figures I used in my reply. )

Welcome Washington Post readers.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Why do I continue to do this to myself?

It must just be the masochist in me that keeps me going back to this thread.

What Media Bias? - Katrina Edition

In what has become disturbingly clear in the wake of hurricane Katrina, the MSM, in general, has totally surrendered any supposed right to call themselves 'News' organizations. Truth has been sacrificed for their need to out do their competitors and try and prove their worth on an increasingly large global market. Collectively, they have taken the art of rumor mongering to an entirely new level. Nowhere is that more apparent than their general dislike for President Bush.

If you don't believe me please answer me this one simple question: Can you name specific examples of where the Federal Government, through FEMA, has failed in response to Hurricane Katrina. For bonus points, show how the response times of FEMA was different from their response times for other hurricanes.

Now I don't want answers like "Well just look at the devastation!" or "Well they should have gotten people out sooner!", no, I want hard facts that somehow FEMA's response was inadequate. And don't forget, your answers must actually include situations under FEMA's control, not situations where the state or local bureaucracies caused the problems.

That's not to say they were perfect, but if you watched the news or read a paper you would have to assume there are hundreds of such cases out there. After all, as every reporter was so quick to say, it was a Federal breakdown of enormous proportions that caused all the suffering but they continually fail to provide any details as to how the Federal system broke down.

If news organization had to follow standards anywhere near those used in a courtroom, the phrase "assumes facts not in evidence" would be a constant running banner across the bottom of the screen. Investigation has been replaced with assumptions and when facts come to light that put your assumptions at risk, either ignore them of yell louder.

If you happened to catch the Today Show this morning you would have seen a perfect example of what I'm talking about. Campbell Brown was interviewing the mayor of Myrtle Beach, Mark McBride, and asking him about whether he had concerns about the fact FEMA director, Michael Brown would be in charge of implementing the Federal portion of any relief efforts that would be required, in the wake of the possible landfall of hurricane Ophilia, after his mismanagement of the New Orleans situation (this would be where the banner would be running at the bottom of the screen). The look of surprise on her face when Mayor McBride said he had no concerns was priceless.

Even after repeated attempts to get him to blame FEMA for the poor results in LA (she actually had to preface her questions with "yeah, but"'s because she was not getting the answers she wanted), all she managed to do instead was to show the marked differences in South Carolina emergency preparedness and that of New Orleans.

Mayor McBride stated quite clearly, that FEMA had already helped through their training sessions which city rescue worker and officials had gone to earlier in the year and they had an emergency plan in place and were prepared to follow it through. In a statement that left her with a rather odd look on her face he actually stated that emergency response was a local matter, then state and only as a last resort, Federal. He clearly pointed out that all their emergency plans are based on the idea of no Federal response till well after the storm, which just happens to be FEMA's official instructions to everyone, and that it is the cities responsibility to make sure rescue equipment and personnel are removed from the danger zone prior to the disaster so that they can be quickly brought back in to deal with the aftermath. He even went so far as to say he believed that Director Brown was just being made a convenient scapegoat for some of the other failures in LA. I got the distinct impression that he was not at all impressed with Governor Blanco or Mayor Nagins response to hurricane Katrina, but was just too polite to say so. His stressing that the recovery effort is a State and local responsibility, was one of the first times I had actually seen someone, who was not just a talking head, state what is in fact the law, on the air.

The old adage "If it bleeds it leads" seems to have become to restrictive to today's MSM. They have moved from the realm of simply selectively choosing what to report, to essentially chumming the waters themselves and then yelling shark (whether one exist or not is irrevalant, can't you see the blood in the water?).

Just take a look at Jeff's 'review' of the recent NewsWeek article on the subject of the Federal breakdown, titled "How Bush Blew It" (that's actually NewsWeek's title, not Jeff's). It's simply amazing what passes for journalism these days.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Memorial Outrage

Frankly, words cannot fully describe what I feel about this (h/t lgf).

With the infinite possibilities that exist for the design for a memorial to those brave men and women of UAL Flight 93 who gave their lives to help save those of people they most likely would never had met, what are the chances that a symbol, so closely tied to the religion of the extremists responsible for the tragedy would be chosen? Well if you let the same type of people who wanted to build the "International Freedom Center" within the new Ground Zero complex in NYC, pretty darn good.

And for those unsure that the memorial and the Islamic icon are related, the title "Crescent of Embrace" should be a clue as to the artists thoughts.

For those unfamiliar with the IFC proposal for Ground Zero, you can check out Michelle's series of posts on the subject, or just Google it.

And speaking of Michelle, check our her latest on the subject including a great graphic by Zombie to illustrate the point perfectly.

And just when I had given up hope..

... comes The Daily Howler, a left of center Blog run by Bob Somerby, that is not afraid to call out fellow Liberals for their over the top rhetoric (make no mistake, he goes after Conservatives too and often justifiably so).

While I may not agree with everything written there, it's nice to see at least one liberal site that doesn't just tow the party line and actually challenges what so many on the left just take for granted. Just take his points about low income schools in this post for example. While agreeing that low income schools are a problem (as any sane person would), he questions the type of blanket statements like "we must fix public schools" that are so often used by those wanting to appear liberal. As he points out, saying they must be 'fixed' and actually producing a coherent plan to achieve that goal are too entirely different things, but as is so often the case pseudo-liberals, as he calls them, aren't really worried about correcting the situation as much as paying lip service to liberals concerns.

Through his writing (and I can only assume that he is similar in real life) , it's plain to see that Bob is just the type of thinker that they need more of on the left, or at least needs to be more visable. Instead of just parroting liberal memes (I'm really not a big fan of that word but it seemed to fit here), he attempts to look deeper to determine what the real issues are. He's the kind of liberal that a conservative could actually have an honest debate with, and Lord knows, in the blogging community, they are the clear minority (although I've been lucky enough to have a few drop by here once in a while).

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

It's like talking to a wall

I'm talking about trying to debate hard core member of the left. It happens all the time when I wander over to one of the many left wing echo chambers (You can usually tell the hardcore left sites because they love to have the word 'Progress' of 'Progressive' plastered all over the main page, or even in the title, but if they represent progress, well here's 3 cheers for conservatism). I know I shouldn't but sometimes after reading their lunatic rants I just can't help myself, I just have to comment.

It's amazing how the 'progressive' mind works. Such things as say, the actual law of the land, mean little or nothing when emotions get involved. If it feels right or wrong then it just must be, damn the facts or historical context (as you may have noticed, for many on the left time started in November of the year 2000).

My latest foray into the wilderness of course involves the aftermath of hurricane Katrina. I just don't understand how at this point in time bloggers (I can forgive 'laymen' who rely on the MSM for info as they have not really covered this in detail) still can blame Bush for all the troubles in New Orleans. I'm not saying he's completely blameless, but most of his foibles are PR related with little or no affect on the actual rescue efforts.

I know this won't be the last time I write this but here goes anyway; the responsibility for managing all rescue efforts within a particular City within a particular State are the responsibility, first and foremost of that City's Government, and failing that (or if additional resources are required), that State's Governor. End of story. It's how the United States was designed. Each State is essentially an independent entity that gives certain rights to the Federal government while retaining all others for itself. One of those being that they control all disaster relief within their borders. They can ask for Federal assistance, if required, but that only allows them to access Federal resources (personnel, equipment and monies) but does not relinquish any of their constitutional rights of self governing.

Nothing makes this clearer than recent posting by the Red Cross itself, to try and explain to all those complaining about why they were not present at the Superdome and Convention Center (these are often the very same people blaming the Federal government for the disaster):
"The state Homeland Security Department had requested--and continues to request--that the American Red Cross not come back into New Orleans following the hurricane." - Red Cross Disaster Faq (point 2)
Read it a couple times in case you missed the point. Or that still doesn't make matters clear enough try this one:
"Access to New Orleans is controlled by the National Guard and local authorities and while we are in constant contact with them, we simply cannot enter New Orleans against their orders." - Red Cross Disaster Faq (point 1)
That's about as clear as I can make it. It is the local authorities and National Guard (a State controlled defense force directly under the Governors command) that were preventing them from entering NO. Now they did have some reasoning behind this, they did not want access to fresh water and food giving people reason to remain in the city, but when you have 50,000+ people in two state/municipal run evacuation centers, does it not make sense to allow one of the most experienced relief groups in to help feed and hydrate them? It was this type of lack of thinking, at the local and State level, that contributed to the horrific images shown on TV over the last week, and precisely why President Bush made the request to transfer control to the Federal level last Friday (a request that was rejected by Governor Blanco).

Maybe the States should give more control over to the Federal government or maybe not, that's for each State to decide on it's own, but what the Katrina aftermath has shown that there needs to be some mechanism in place for the Federal government to take control of a situation where citizens lives are endangered due to blatantly gross negligence on the part of their State and local governments. At present such a mechanism doesn't really exist. A Governor can sign over authority to the Federal government if he or she chooses, but such authority cannot be seized.

Perhaps FEMA can be revamped to include first response teams, specially authorized by the individual States, to enter locations designated disaster areas and assume control. This would probably require the creation of a new classification of disaster zone as in most cases, such as a forest fires and such, where the situation is a bit more controlled, the individual States would probably still want to maintain the authority.

Presently, FEMA's main purpose is to be more of an after the fact support group, enabling better communications between the local and Federal levels. States are actually instructed not to assume a FEMA response for up to a week or more. Under the current system the locals are suppose to, after executing their own emergency plans, call in FEMA when they have an assessment of exactly what Federal resources they will require.

So there are many things governments at all levels can do to improve the US emergency preparedness, but as of today, the system they have is limited by the attempt to balance effectiveness with States rights. It may not be perfect, and I think Katrina is a prime example of how it isn't, but it is currently the only way the various groups can legally work together. To make things better, laws have to be changed on every level and just wishing it were so because you feel it should be just doesn't do it. But try explaining all this to a die hard Bush Bashing lefty.

I'm adding this link to a Think Progress post to illistrate my point.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

I'm almost beginning to feel sorry for Paul Krugman; almost.

When you see the shining light of left leaning media personalities take a spanking like this one from Power Line, you can't help but feel a little sympathy for the guy.

Ooooh, that's gonna leave a mark.

Monday, September 05, 2005

Now tell me how you Really feel

The members of Democratic Underground are really letting their compassionate side show after the news of Chief Justice Rehnquist's death.

Now I wasn't foolish enough to think that anyone over there would actually be praising Rehnquist for his service to their country, and that's their right, but these posts just blew me away.

No matter what his political stance, a man has died leaving behind a grieving family. By all accounts a man that as Chief Justice, performed admirably and ensured that the decisions of the highest court in the US were only reached after a well structured debate in which everyone was able to present their line of reasoning.

Just compare this DU post about the Rehnquist's death (actually the least offensive of the three) to this Captain's Quarters post about Senate Minority Leader, Harry Reid's recent mini-stroke. Notice any difference?

I would just like to send my most heartfelt condolences out to the family and friends of Judge Rehnquist.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

I couldn't have said it better myself

and Lord knows I've tried in some of my previous posts. Ben Stein manages in 12 easy points to totally put down pretty much every argument put forward by those trying to blame Bush for the horrible tragedy that the aftermath of Katrina has become.

Short, sweet and to the point.

(h/t to LGF)

Saturday, September 03, 2005

The Silver Lining

Even in the darkest moments you can always find some stories that show just how caring people can be. Michelle Malkin has compiled a list of just some of the good news stories that have managed to reaffirm peoples faith in humanity.

A special mention for the story of Jabbar Gibson, the 18 year old New Orleans native that took it upon himself to commandeer an abandoned school bus and after collecting almost 100 other refugees, drove the 8 hour trip from N.O. to Houston. I'm sure we'll be hearing a lot more about Jabber and his amazing bus ride in the coming days.

On a related note: Despite what you may read on sites like Daily Kos and Pandagon, no one, and I mean NO ONE, would ever prosecute this kid for 'stealing' the bus. In fact, the evil right wingers who they would have you believe would want to lock him up have only showered him with universal praise (warning, ACE gets a little heated in that last link).

I'm just adding this because the first link I found on Jabber with a Google search was from a Kos diary in which the claims of right wing prosecution were often repeated.

News Flash: "Flood coverage takes devastating toll on Sheehan campaign"

Sharp as a Marble has the must read post on this breaking story.

(h/t Protein Wisdom)

The lowest of the low - part 2

I thought that I was done commenting on this with my previous post but then there was Kayne, Kayne West that is.

You have to see his comments to believe it. Riehl World News has a copy of the video showing Kayne's appearance on last night's Red Cross/NBC telethon. Watch it. Watch it now. It is truly a disgusting site to see. I just feel sorry for poor Mike Myers who had the unlucky draw to be paired with Kayne for their segment, so was forced to be on screen during the entire thing. Essentially what he said was this; President Bush hates black people and wants them all dead. That is not a misrepresentation or an attempt to make things sound worse than they were, that's actually what he said, live, on national TV, during a telethon to raise money for the victims of Katrina.

It is that 'victim' mentality, more than anything else, that hurts underprivileged people today. When you see the world through eyes like Kayne's, where everything that happens is first and foremost due to your race, it just leads to a lot of hate and very little movement. It's always easier to sit there and blame other people for your circumstances than to take responsibility and try to change them. Sure there are situations like Katrina, where you have to rely on outside help, but you still have to do your part, like perhaps, not shooting at rescue personnel.

Confederate Yankee has more, especially in his comment section and Michelle Malkin has some more on the story, such as examples of Kayne's previous work, as well as several link to other posts on the subject.

And just in case you'd like to think that this is just some ignorant rapper making these claims, head over to Crooks and Liars for these two posts to see the reaction from the left.

The 'speaking truth to power' or 'talking from your heart' mantras of the left are some of the most idiotic sayings I have ever heard. It doesn't matter if you truly believe in what you are saying, BS is BS whether you believe in it or not, and just because someone attacks someone you hate does not make what they say any truer. This blind hatred of George Bush by so many of the left does nothing to help any situation and only succeeds in marginalizing those few remaining true liberals who actually have something constructive to say.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

The lowest of the low - Updated

With 80% of New Orleans still under water, and hundreds of thousands of people both in the City and the surrounding area trying to cope without food and water for days, unable to leave and in many cases unable to be reached by rescue personnel, what is the #1 issue on the minds of, what appear to be the majority of those on the Left? "How do we blame this on George Bush."

I've thought I had written enough in my previous Katrina post but since then so much has been said that I just had to write another one. It's hard to believe that there are people in the world that can look at the victims of Katrina and instead of seeing another human being, see political fodder instead. And I'm not talking just about the regular extremists at DU or DailyKos (although they have been hitting this subject hot and heavy). No. This seething hatred for the current US President is displayed in all it's glory right on the Democratic Parties own blogs.

Just try and find one article on there that does not mention the heartlessness of the administration and/or their inadequacies in handling the aftermath of Katrina. Please just one. Even things that are regular government business, and have absolutely nothing to do with the disaster, are tied into it just to try and make the GOP look bad. One of the worst examples, and this story seems to be a lefty favorite, is this post involving someone seeing Secretary of State, Condoleeza Rice, at a show and later shoe shopping in NYC. For one, she is Secretary of State, a position that has about as much to do with disaster recovery in the Southern States as does the White House Chef. There are departments within the government that are specifically tasked with handling national emergencies and she's not one of them. Secondly, no one on the left seems to get the irony of praising a women for confronting Secretary Rice for shopping while people are dying, who one can only assume, was doing the exact same thing. But that is a tendency with the left in general; never able to see the hypocrisy of their actions.

Then their the compassionate democrats like these people (linking through LGF just in case the articles 'disappear') who are actually advocating not helping people in distress simply because of their political leanings, real or imagined. If the question of whether or not a State was Red or Blue in the last election even enters your head when you think about giving them aid, there are no words to adequately describe how disgusting a human being you are. And these people have the gall to pat themselves on the back and call themselves 'compassionate'. It's easy to help someone you like but compassion is shown when you are willing to help anyone, regardless of your differences, a lesson that the left has never learned.

Then there's the 'celebrity' Dems who are coming out of the woodwork to jump on the Blame Bush bandwagon (always a safe stand to take amongst their circle of friends). Like Paul Krugman, who except for getting almost everything in his analysis wrong, as usual, is still one of the best experts that the left has to offer. Or Rhandi Rhodes, who sadly is not alone in her opinion that Bush is letting this happen because:
"This President is never gonna do the right thing. I think somewhere deep down inside him he takes a lot of joy about losing people, if he thinks they vote Democrat or if he thinks they're poor, or if he thinks they're in a blue state, whatever his reasons are not to rescue those people who are (planning?) for their safety."
I just can't comment any further on that without completely losing it.

Chrenkoff has a great collection of other comments from all over the Web and the world.

All you have to do to debunk most of the distortions, or outright lies, coming from the left is to use some common sense. Despite their need to make Bush and the GOP the bad guys in all this, the facts just do not support their arguments.

Argument #1: Bush caused the hurricane through environmental policies
  1. No man can affect the weather to any significant degree in 5 years. Even the worst case scenarios of global warming are usually measured in decades.

  2. Katrina actually follows the long standing cyclical pattern of hurricanes for the region, being that approximately every 10 years hurricanes tend to have a season where they are more frequent and more powerful.

  3. Kyoto, if actually enacted on it's proposed schedule, in the best case scenario, would have had absolutely NO effect on today's climate. See point 1.
Argument #2: The National Guard was not available because of Iraq.
  1. According to all reports from military personnel, they have more than enough National Guard members available to fulfill their needs.

  2. See this National Review article for a great explaination of the National Guard situation and that is involved with getting them to where they're needed.
Argument #3: Bush could have done more beforehand and afterwards.
  • It amazes me how one thing never fails to happen during disasters like this. People overlook all the safeguards built into the government, that while inconvenient at times of emergency, are vital for a well fundamental democracy. Bush, as President and essentially leader at the National level, has little authority to act on a State or Municipal level. That is why people elect Governors and Mayors. Until such time as a place is designated a National Disaster Area, there is really little a President can do. Even after the fact, he can really only offer federal aid, in the form of manpower and money, while much of the control still resides with the local authorities. It is called the United States of America for a reason. Pretty much all the pre-Katrina preparedness was the responsibility of the various Governors and Mayors, not the President.

Argument #4: Bush budget cuts weakened the levee system.
  1. Bush, despite what many on the left would have you believe, does not actually control the purse strings of the United States. The current House and Senate, as well as all those that have gone before them, have set up the programs that are currently in place. History did not begin in November of the year 2000.

  2. The spending on the levee system around New Orleans had been a heavily debated issue for the past 30 years, which each successive government (Federal and State, Republican and Democrat) spending less and less on the system.

  3. The State government have repeated failed to pass the necessary financing to fund their portion of levee program, as they did not consider it a priority.

  4. And oddly enough, the levee break that caused the actual flooding was not weak due to budget cuts. It was, in fact, one of the fully completed upgraded portions of the system that collapsed.
All I can say is that the type of people who look at this type of disaster and instead of a human suffering see a political tool are the lowest of the low. At times like this politics should be the last thing on anyone's mind. If there is a problem getting aid from point A to point B, fix that problem, do not spend valuable time and effort trying to make sure someone else takes the blame instead of you. The issue of how the entire hurricane Katrina situation was handled is something to debate after all the people in harms way are safe.

We all know there will be some group given the task of reviewing overtake that's happened to report on what was missed and what could have been done better. Until that time it is pointless to try and lay the blame on anyone. Maybe the evacuation should have been forced instead of semi-voluntary. Maybe agencies should have been stockpiling supplies in the days leading up to the storm. Maybe the National Guard and the Army could have been deployed faster. These are all valid questions that will be answered, in time. Until then, let the people who are needed do their job.

As usual, Michell Malkin has a good post on the subject of blaming Bush here, and Jeff at Protein Wisdom has a whole series of post breaking the situation down fro all angles.

Just adding this link to a recent LGF post.

Update II:
Chrenkoff has compiled more insane quotes from all over.

Today's Ottawa Sun

There were two articles in today's Sun that I think deserve special attention. No, they have nothing to do with Katrina, or soft wood lumber disputes, no, they have to do with people taking responsibility for theirown lives and actions.

The first has to do with a term that I believe should be stricken from the English language, "comparable jobs". Apparently us Canadians, or more specifically our Government departments, are not smart enough to comprehend the whole supply and demand system on which our capitalist society runs. They still believe that if a person in a male dominated job gets paid more than someone in a female dominated job then there is something wrong that needs to be corrected. It doesn't matter that the pool of potential employees for job A (the male dominated position) is so much smaller than Job B (due to required education, training, level of risk or any number of other criteria), or possibly, as in the example in the paper, that the collective bargaining group for Job A was just historically better than their counterparts at Job B. No, the only thing that matters is that Job A is a 'man's' job while B is a 'women's' job so therefore B must be paid as much as A, end of argument. So, while every other nation in the world has already debunked the idea that it is possible, or even makes any sense, to try to equate jobs in terms of pay equity, Canadians, or more specifically in this case Ontarians, are about to have to spend an additional 5+ million dollars on our already over budget library system so that clerks who chose to work in their particular jobs, knowing full well what they would be paid, can be 'compensated' for a wrong that never existed. Socialism sucks.

The second case is at once both tragic and infuriating. A father is looking for compensation from the Government and an ATV manufacturer because he claims he was not adequately warned that he should not allow his 7 year old to drive the machine alone, and as a result his son hit a pole and later died. You are not reading that incorrectly, his 7 year old was driving the ATV alone and unsupervised. And this man has the nerve to actually state that his son's death was not his fault but rather that of the Government andATV Manufacturer.

While this is a tragic story, what would be even more tragic would be if this man receives even one penny from either party to compensate him. Sadly too many people have this mentality that if anything bad happens to them or a loved one they are owed compensation. Sometimes, as in this case, bad things just happen. In fact if anyone is at fault, it would have to be whichever parent gave a seven year old boy the keys to a 400+ pound piece of machinery. It's hard to face the fact that a decision on your part has caused someone else harm, but sometimes that's all there is to it.
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