Saturday, September 03, 2005

It seemed familiar to me too

Robert Tracinski - An Unnatural Disaster:
It has taken four long days for state and federal officials to figure out how to deal with the disaster in New Orleans. I can't blame them, because it has also taken me four long days to figure out what is going on there. The reason is that the events there make no sense if you think that we are confronting a natural disaster.
My wife, Sherri, figured it out first, and she figured it out on a sense-of-life level. While watching the coverage last night on Fox News Channel, she told me that she was getting a familiar feeling. She studied architecture at the Illinois Institute of Chicago, which is located in the South Side of Chicago just blocks away from the Robert Taylor Homes, one of the largest high-rise public housing projects in America. "The projects," as they were known, were infamous for uncontrollable crime and irremediable squalor. (They have since, mercifully, been demolished.)

What Sherri was getting from last night's television coverage was a whiff of the sense of life of "the projects." Then the "crawl"--the informational phrases flashed at the bottom of the screen on most news channels--gave some vital statistics to confirm this sense: 75% of the residents of New Orleans had already evacuated before the hurricane, and of the 300,000 or so who remained, a large number were from the city's public housing projects. Jack Wakeland then gave me an additional, crucial fact: early reports from CNN and Fox indicated that the city had no plan for evacuating all of the prisoners in the city's jails--so they just let many of them loose. There is no doubt a significant overlap between these two populations--that is, a large number of people in the jails used to live in the housing projects, and vice versa.

There were many decent, innocent people trapped in New Orleans when the deluge hit--but they were trapped alongside large numbers of people from two groups: criminals--and wards of the welfare state, people selected, over decades, for their lack of initiative and self-induced helplessness. The welfare wards were a mass of sheep--on whom the incompetent administration of New Orleans unleashed a pack of wolves.

All of this is related, incidentally, to the apparent incompetence of the city government, which failed to plan for a total evacuation of the city, despite the knowledge that this might be necessary. But in a city corrupted by the welfare state, the job of city officials is to ensure the flow of handouts to welfare recipients and patronage to political supporters--not to ensure a lawful, orderly evacuation in case of emergency.
Hey! I bet NO Mayor Ray Nagin is a hoot at Mardi Gras!

Update: On a related note - Australian hero of Horrordome:
BRISBANE man Bud Hopes was lauded as a hero for helping save dozens of tourists as the supposed safe haven of the city's Superdome deteriorated into a hell-hole.
Mr Hopes, 32, from Kangaroo Point, said: "That was the worst place in the universe.

"Ninety-eight percent of the people around the world are good ? in that place 98 per cent of the people were bad.

"Everyone brought their drugs, they brought guns in, they brought knives. Soldiers were shot in there."

Realising that foreigners were being targeted, Mr Hopes and fellow Aussies gathered other tourists into one part of the building.
More on how they managed to survive by following the link. What a complete and utter embarassment. I guess they don't call Ray Nagin, NO Mayor, for nothing. I hope he was comfy in Baton Rouge.

Mayor Ray Nagin breaks out his tinfoil beanie!

Mayor Ray Nagin breaks out his tinfoil beanie!

One of the posters on FR just spotted him wearing it on CNN:
On CNN just now. New Orleans Mayor Nagin, apparantly stressed out, in interview segment, said he has been yelling at the President and the Governor, and for all he knows, the "CIA could wipe me out". (Paraphrase) Just now.

Turning into a strange, macabre show now. Blame continues, spiraling out of control. Sad. It even raised CNN's eyebrows a bit.(5:57 p.m. Eastern/4:57 p.m. Central)
Ray would be better served to watch out for the constituents that he has served so well.

And now for something completely different

Man Fired for Eating Pizza Wins Contest:
A computer engineer who lost his job because he ate two pieces of pepperoni pizza left over from a company meeting has been named the winner of an offbeat Internet contest that solicited stories about outrageous firings.

A panel of Silicon Valley judges assembled by Simply Hired, a Mountain View startup that sponsored the contest, picked Jim Garrison's strange tale from more than 1,000 entries submitted during the past month.
The runners-up included these bizarre stories: a furniture mover who got fired after he and a co-worker were caught fencing with some adult sex toys that they found in a customer's bedroom; a worker who misunderstood a manager's instructions to send some sensitive data to microfilm and e-mailed it to a "Michael Finn" instead; and a warehouse worker found doing perverse things with the prosthetics made by his employer.

It made for such fascinating reading that one woman posted an account about how she got fired for spending too much company time scrolling through all the postings on
More by following the link and at This sounds like the everyday equivalent of "Dumb Crook News."

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Blogging for Katrina victim relief

Salvation Army shield

Glenn Reynolds is coordinating a blogburst for Katrina victims. (See also the TTLB Katrina Relief page.) Only rarely do I make contribution suggestions to my readers, but today please let me urge you to donate to relief for the victims of Katrina. If you don't have a favorite charity, I would also like to recommend the Salvation Army. They have been doing good for 140 years and operate with minimal overhead.

Technorati tags: flood aid, Hurricane Katrina

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

This just in!

Hugo Chavez says he's not gay!

Hugo Chavez took time out today from his busy Bolivarian Revolution schedule to once again declare that he's not gay. He finished off the declaration with an impromptu rendition of "Macho Man."

Time to break out the virgins!

Virgin sacrifice to the angry weather gods

Yep, the moonbats have arrived and no virgin is safe in their desire to appease the angry Weather Gods. Take your pick - you can have the rare Hyannisport Lightweight; the monomaniacal Boston Scribbler, or an elite German Ecowanker. I'm sure there will be more soon! James Glassman applies the requisite spanking.

Update: An observant reader points out that no women are safe when a Kennedy is around. Related: Greg Gutfeld (the only voice of sanity at the Huffington Post) has declared martial law:

Because of the mass disaster taking place in New Orleans, i feel i must declare martial law on the huffpo. Therefore, posters may be shot with a paint gun on sight:

1) for pretty much ignoring world class tragedy in the gulf coast because it didn't happen in an NPR-approved third world country and therefore cannot be blamed on American indifference.

2) for trying to tie the 'natural' disaster to global warming, the evil bush family or any political opponent, like, say Haley Barbour.

Or not waiting, say, 5 minutes before the bodies are fished out of the water to attempt to make political gain of tragedy. Boldness Points: For a Kennedy issuing blame over an event that involved drowning.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

And speaking of old media whores!

Dueling diesels:
Maybe she just can't let Cindy Sheehan drive off with her thunder. Jane Fonda has announced the dates of her new anti-Iraq war bus tour, which was only a nascent rumor in recent weeks.

Miss Fonda plans to tool around the nation aboard a "biodiesel" bus in the company of British politician George Galloway, who was expelled from the Labor Party for pacifist rhetoric, reported yesterday.

The Brit is quite giddy, calling the upcoming jaunt "fantastic." And of course he's also plugging his new book, "Mr. Galloway Goes to Washington" -- because he is.

The Fonda tour kicks off in Boston Sept. 13 and ends in a rally in Washington on Sept. 24, and include stops in Chicago and Madison, Wis.

Mrs. Sheehan, meanwhile, will leave her Crawford, Texas, anti-war vigil on Sept. 1 and begin her own cross-country bus trip -- which will also wind up in the District on Sept. 24.
Sept. 24 promises to be a harmonic convergence of bozos in DC.

(Hat tip: Sacred Cow Burgers)

One old media whore meets another!

No, not Al Sharpton and Cindy Sheehan. I'm talking Jesse Jackson and Hugo Chavez - Venezuela to sell cut-price heating oil to U.S. poor:
Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez said on Monday his government plans to sell as much as 66,000 barrels per day of heating fuel from its U.S. Citgo refinery to poor communities in the United States.

The offer, made after populist Chavez held talks with U.S. civil rights activist Rev. Jesse Jackson, would represent 10 percent of the 660,000 bpd of refined products processed by Citgo. The deals would cut consumer costs by direct sales.

Venezuela's Energy Minister Rafael Ramirez said officials were still working on the details on how the oil would be sold from Citgo, a unit of the state oil firm PDVSA.

"We are going to direct as much as 10 percent of the production, that means 66,000 barrels, without intermediaries, to poor communities, hospitals, religious communities, schools," Chavez told reporters at a press conference.
No intermediaries? How's Jesse going to get his cut? And I wonder if ole Hugo is going to drive the delivery truck himself?

Levee Break in New Orleans

More bad news for New Orleans - Levee breach floods Lakeview, Mid-City, Carrollton, Gentilly, City Park:
A large section of the vital 17th Street Canal levee, where it connects to the brand new ‘hurricane proof’ Old Hammond Highway bridge, gave way late Monday morning in Bucktown after Katrina’s fiercest winds were well north. The breach sent a churning sea of water coursing across Lakeview and into Mid-City, Carrollton, Gentilly, City Park and neighborhoods farther south and east.

As night fell on a devastated region, the water was still rising in the city, and nobody was willing to predict when it would stop. After the destruction already apparent in the wake of Katrina, the American Red Cross was mobilizing for what regional officials were calling the largest recovery operation in the organization’s history.
Incongruously, they're still running New Orleans real estate ads on the sidebar. But it wasn't all bad news:
Two men surviving on generator power in the Lake Terrace neighborhood near the Lake Pontchartrain levee still had a dry house, but they were eyeing the rising water in the yard nervously. They were planning to head back out to the levee to retrieve a vast stash of beer, champagne and hard liquor they found washed onto the levee.
The law of salvage, I guess.

Monday, August 29, 2005

Young rowdies alert!

Report: Swazi princess whipped for loud music:
EZULWINI VALLEY, Swaziland -- The king of Swaziland's daughter was whipped by a palace official at a party of teenage virgins ahead of a festival where more than 50,000 maidens are available to become her father's 13th wife, media said on Sunday.

Princess Sikhanyiso, 17, told the Times of Swaziland a palace official whipped girls, including beauty queen Miss Swaziland, at the party as a punishment after they refused to turn down the music. She was pictured showing her bruises.

Thousands of bare-breasted virgins will dance for Africa's last absolute monarch in Monday's Reed Dance ceremony, which King Mswati III has used to choose new brides.

Critics say the ancient ceremony, meant to celebrate womanhood and virginity, has become little more than a shop window for the 37-year-old king to choose young brides.
Hmmm, shopping!
Thousands of girls, some swathed in drapes bearing the king's image and some in beaded mini skirts, streamed into the royal compound on Sunday singing songs and carrying towering reeds to present to the Queen Mother -- also known as the Great She Elephant.
Now that's a homey touch.
The girls -- who must be virgins and older than 13 -- were flanked by male supervisors dressed in animal-skin loin cloths with traditional porcupine quills in their hair.
That's nice too!
Mswati has courted controversy for his lavish lifestyle while two thirds of his subjects live in abject poverty. Critics say he sets a bad example by encouraging polygamy and teenage sex in a country where 40 percent of adults live with HIV.
No to worry, all of Mswati's brides are rigorously checked before the er, knot is tied.

You can also check out the Times of Swaziland version if you can wait out the the slow link. Aside from semiclothed snaps of the princess, there's:
Princess Sikhanyiso was among the maidens that were given accommodation at Mfumbaneni poultry at Mphisi farm while the rest of the thousands of maidens were housed in tents at Mphisi cattle breeding station, situated about 500 meters away from Mfumbaneni.
Rather apt.
The princess shared a room with selected maidens including other maidens from the royal family.

A few metres away from their room were another group of maidens, most from Ludzidzini royal kraal.

Witnesses told this newspaper that hell broke loose when Dlamini (Ntfonjeni) arrived after having been called by police officers who had become concerned with noise coming from where the Princesses were accommodated.

Ntfonjeni responded promptly and on arrival, he found a lively party going on with some maidens displaying their dancing skills outside the room.

Entry to the party, a witness said, was only assured if a maiden had a mini skirt.

One of the songs of the night was South African Afro-pop groups Nisixoshelani (a song about party poopers), which some of the girls danced to, just before the traditional and uncompromising Dlamini pounced on them.
You know, it's almost like an H. Rider Haggard novel. Except they get a vote at the United Nations.

Religion of Peace Party Poopers!

(Via LGF) Over in Pakistan where football means soccer, The Daily Times reports:
Ulema in Saudia Arabia have issued a fatwa (religious decree) declaring football an un-Islamic sport, and have urged the youth to quit it immediately, BBC radio reported on Saturday.

According to the report, the clerics urged the youth to indulge in jihad and other constructive activities that could help the Muslim ummah, the radio reported. The ulema argued that football wastes a lot of time and the participants wear shorts, which they said was an un-Islamic dress, the radio reported.
Gosh, I wonder how they feel about Beach Volleyball?

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Media whoring as a career choice

Media whore Cindy Sheehan

I see that yesterday was the big patriot rally in Crawford to counter Cindy Sheehan and her leftoid pals. It's no surprise that it was a Saturday, because, aside from the retirees, regular American folks have icky stuff like regular jobs that keep them from protesting full time. That never seems to be a problem for the leftoids because protesting is their regular job. All you need for an all expenses paid lifestyle of the sleazy and shameless is to find some wealthy sugar daddies:
Leading the group is Fenton Communications employee, Michele Mulkey, based in San Francisco. Fenton specializes in public relations for liberal non-profits.

Their bills are being paid for by True Majority, a non-profit set up by Ben Cohen -- of Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream fame.
A literal sugar daddy!
Ben Cohen, True Majority: "People are willing to listen to her and we want to do as much as we can to make her voice heard."

Cohen's group has teamed up with Berkeley based, an anti-Bush group co-founded by Joan Blades.
Joan Blades is the Flying Toaster millionaire and MoveOn is one of the favorite charities of the Number 1 Sugar Daddy himself, George Soros.
Earlier this month, MoveOn helped organize anti-war vigils in support of Cindy Sheehan.

Current Democratic National Party Chair Howard Dean's organization Democracy for America is also involved, as is the more radical anti-war group Code Pink organized by San Francisco's Medea Benjamin.
Deano is trying to break into the Bigs!
Money donated through these groups and others is helping to pay for Gold Star families whose children have been killed in Iraq to attend anti-Bush protests.

This week Simi Valley California Gold Star wife Melanie House flew to Idaho for a protest and then flew to Crawford.

ABC7's Mark Matthews: "Can you tell us if you're getting help in airfare to come down here?"

Melanie House: "What difference does that make?"

There is real reluctance to talk about who's paying, and the P.R. machine that's promoting Cindy Sheehan, but not everyone here is completely comfortable with it.
I guess they aren't fully acclimated to the brothel yet.

(Hat tip: Ryne McLaren)