Tuesday, December 13, 2005
$204.4 billion: The cost to the U.S of the war so far.
2,339: Allied troops killed
15,955: US troops wounded in action
98: U.K troops killed
30,000 : Estimated Iraqi civilian deaths
0: Number of WMDs found
66: Journalists killed in Iraq.
63: Journalists killed during Vietnam war
8: per cent of Iraqi children suffering acute malnutrition
53,470: Iraqi insurgents killed
67: per cent Iraqis who feel less secure because of occupation
$343: Average monthly salary for an Iraqi soldier.
Average monthly salary for an American soldier in Iraq: $4,160.75
5: foreign civilians kidnapped per month
47: per cent Iraqis who never have enough electricity
20: casualties per month from unexploded mines
25-40: per cent Estimated unemployment rate, Nov 2005
251: Foreigners kidnapped
70: per cent of Iraqi's whose sewage system rarely works
183,000: British and American troops are still in action in Iraq.
13,000: from other nations
90: Daily attacks by insurgents in Nov '05. In Jun '03: 8
60-80: per cent Iraqis who are "strongly opposed" to presence of coalition troops
Wednesday, December 07, 2005
Wednesday, October 12, 2005
Bush Tax Panel Considers Limiting 2 Popular Deductions
WASHINGTON, Oct. 11 - President Bush's tax advisory commission indicated today that it would not propose replacing the income tax with a national sales tax or a value-added tax but would recommend modifications in the popular tax deductions for mortgage interest and employer-provided health insurance.
Wednesday, September 21, 2005
At lunchtime, dozens of motorists were reportedly lined up at gasoline stations along U.S. Highway 49 from Hattiesburg to the Gulf Coast. Nina Smith, 33, of Biloxi got a call from a friend who told her -- wrongly -- the pumps would be shut off at noon.
Rumor fuels run on gas stations
By Nell Luter Floydnlfloyd@clarionledger.com
Rumors about a gasoline shortage in advance of Hurricane Rita are untrue, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency. William L. Carwile, federal coordinating officer for FEMA, said there is plenty of gasoline in the state, and neither FEMA nor the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency has the authority to commandeer gasoline supplies.
"Those rumors are absolutely untrue," he said. "The retail distribution system for petroleum products is fine."Milinda Evans, an employee at the Shell station on High Street in Jackson, said traffic at the station picked up about noon. A line had formed by 1 p.m. and there was a steady stream of drivers."We have gas," she said. "Our company said there isn't a problem."
Most drivers filled up their tanks, she said, noting the station had done double its normal business between noon and 1 p.m.Drivers also formed lines at the Texaco-Interstate Station across the street from the Shell station. Across town there were lines at the Pilot Travel Center on South Gallatin Street.
Latrichia Thurman of Jackson, a loan processor, stopped to gas up her 2002 Ford Escort after she saw the line at the Shell station on High Street. "I heard everybody was getting gas and that (Jackson mayor) Frank Melton was raising the price $1 a gallon," she said.
Kennedy Thomas of Jackson, who handles billing for anesthesiologists, filled up his 2000 Nissan Xterra at the Shell station."I was planning on getting gas and I went ahead and filled up," he said.
Will Morton of Magee, a third year student at Mississippi College School of Law in Jackson, said he went to fill up his Toyota Tacoma pickup after his wife called and told him FEMA planned to take all the gasoline."I drive back and forth from Magee every day," he said. Morton said the wait at the Shell station was only 15 minutes, about 30 minutes less than after Hurricane Katrina.
Please, people, will everybody just please calm down? Geez.
All four stations I passed on the way back to the office after lunch had long lines of stupid selfish weak pathetic people waiting for gas, probably to top off their @#$@#$@ Escalades so they can get their stupid fatasses to the buffet at Corky's or the Wal-Mart whenever they feel like it or something stupid like that.
They should re-deploy the cops who sit in the median of the interstate doing fundraising to each of the stations in town. If you have more than 1/4 of a tank, you get a $500 ticket and have to get out of line. The police department gets half the money for having to waste time policing these sorry sacks of #$#@$, and the other half can be given to people who lost their vehicles in the hurricane.
I hope like heck this is just a really short term thing and people will start behaving responsibly, but after the way these pathetic animals and reprobates acted last time I'm not betting on it.
It's a good news/bad news situation. Robert Lane is set to start Saturday against Wyoming. The Clarion Ledger has a preview/Lane profile. The good news is Lane will probably start. The bad news is that Noel MazREDzone is our offensive coordinator.
I've wanted Lane to be the starter since he stepped on campus. Some of that is, for sure, this peculiar phenomenon among supporters and fans that when the team is playing poorly, the guy who's not playing is always better than the guy who is playing. Never mind that the coaches and the reporters and the people who make it their business to know these things think differently, I GO TO THE GAMES AND/OR WATCH THEM ON TV, so I know more and, more importantly, I can see the forest better (ie, the big picture) because I'm not deep in it all the time, blah blah blah. (Notice: digression over).
Anyway, Robert Lane is set to start, and I'm pretty excited about that. I think Robert Lane, while not the most accurate passer, is a winner. A winner like Tee Martin. A winner like Jason White. Not the most gifted passer or the most comfortable in the "system" but a winner. Someone who other players rally around. Someone who puts his head down and fights. That is what I've seen when he's been in there. You can sense the team playing just a bit harder. You can sense the crowd getting more into it.
The prospect of this season turning around with a gutsy winning performance from Lane is exciting. After his fumble on the last play of the last game (when he was rushed into service following the injury to Spurlock), he said "It was a tough situation to be put in, but I survived it, I learned from it and it'll make me a better quarterback. I plan to lead this team to victory." That's a winner talking.
Lane's NOT saying "I've learned the offense and am comfortable and I look forward to the challenge of implementing the system at full speed in game conditions." He's planning on LEADING the TEAM to VICTORY. That's what a quarterback should do. Whether he does that with his arm, his head or his legs doesn't matter. His familiarity with the "system" doesn't matter. Winning matters. Offensive coordinator Noel MazREDzone said of Lane ""He's got a bit of a bow in his neck ... he brings that to the team, a toughness at that position. He's got a little moxie. Now, we have to roll the ball out there and see what he knows for real."
That's not the whole picture. MazREDzone has to get him in the stupid "system." MazREDzone also said: "There are all kind of wrinkles in that offense, we're trying to iron them all out." (As if it's the execution, rather than the stupid "system" that's to blame for our poor offensive performance thus far. Why does there have to be a system? NASA needs systems, computer networks need systems. Offenses need plays. Anyway, I digress).
What really gives me pause, however, is this "Mazzone said Lane is "night and day different" from the player he saw on film last season and early in fall camp — a quarterback who struggled to throw the ball downfield and often took off to run too soon. " Oh no, MazREDzone is taking that square peg, moving it toward his round hole. He's gotta stay in the "system" even if his talents aren't suited for it. Look, Mazzone's been mediocre with that offense everywhere he's been and he's not gonna change the "system" just to adapt to the personnel he has right now, no siree.
MazREDzone goes on: "I don't know how much they asked him to step back and read coverages last year, but we've been working with him on staying on his progressions and getting to the third reads. At times, he's too anxious to take the football and show everybody he can run over people." Translated "I know he's a better runner than passer. But that doesn't matter to me. What matters is he runs MY offense (so I get the credit when we succeed). If we don't, it'll be a matter of EXECUTION. It won't be because i'm asking a running, scrambling quarterback to stand back in the pocket and make 3 and 4 reads even though I know it's not his strong suit."
The point is Lane CAN run over people (and Spurlock can run around people), so why not just let him do it? Is that such a difficult thing to understand? Will the world come to an end, will the offense and team just completely break down into chaos and anarchy if he only makes TWO reads and then takes off for a 6 yard gain running the ball? Isn't that the point, to go forward toward the end zone? Is it better for him to make his third read and throw it away than make 2 reads and run for 4 yards? If he takes off and runs a few times, won't there be more receivers open later when LBs and DBs cheat up to stop that (like they do when you have a traditionally effective running game)? I'm no expert, but will someone point out the flaw in this approach? I must be too much of a simpleton, because I can't fully comprehend the "system" It's almost as if the "system" is more important than first downs and points.
I wonder what would have happened had Ole Miss brought in an option-oriented OC when Eli was here. Would they have made Eli run the option? That makes about as much sense as asking Lane or Spurlock to sit back in the pocket and make 3 or 4 reads when their strengths are running, scrambling and improvising. Apparently, MazREDzone (and Cutcliffe last year, who started Flatt over Lane and also insisted on a slavish devotion to a stupid "system") is more concerned with Lane staying in the "system" than actually moving the ball and scoring points. Of the three touchdowns we've scored on offense (that's 1.5 per game against powerhouses Memphis and Vandy), 2 have been players improvising (Spurlock and Mico), not flawless execution of some stupid wrinkle in MazREDzone's super-crafty "system."
So I'm excited, but I sure hope Lane just goes out there and plays on gut and instinct. We'll see Saturday.
Check out this "report" from AP, which is nothing more than a poorly disguised hatchet job on New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin. This is clearly just an opinion piece. And it's not credited, either. So called "liberal media" strikes again.
First, the headline: "Mayor's handling of crisis questioned"
Really? by whom? The classic use of the passive voice. Who, exactly, has questioned the mayor's handling of the crisis? Name someone. The reason no one is named is either a) the author hasn't bothered to run a google search to find and/or interview someone or b) the only people the writer found were republicans and divulging only their viewpoints would expose the bias of the writer.
Then, about 5 paragraphs in, "Some observers from outside New Orleans say, Nagin's handling of the crisis has created the perception of a leadership void in this city at precisely the time it requires a steady hand."
Again, really? Who exactly are these OBSERVERS (plural) The OBSERVERS is/are 1 person, Melissa Harris Lacewell, a political science professor with the University of Chicago's Center for the Study of Race, Politics and Culture. First, what exactly about his "handling" of the crisis would a political science professor know anything about? Is she trained in engineering? Is she trained in emergency management? She's speaking to a "political crisis," not the Katrina crisis. This suggests, to me, again, that the writer is coming from a political angle, not an emergency management or policy angle. (Lacewell is probably considered a liberal, from what I can tell based on the little research I did on her.)
"Others have said in Nagin's defense that he is dealing with an enormous and unprecedented crisis" Again, who exactly are these "others?" Care to name even ONE?
Lazy, shoddy reporting. Pathetic.
Tuesday, September 20, 2005
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- President Bush's vow to rebuild the Gulf Coast did little to help his standing with the public, only 40 percent of whom now approve of his performance in office, according to a CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll released Monday.
Just 41 percent of the 818 adults polled between Friday and Monday said they approved of Bush's handling of the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, while 57 percent disapproved. And support for his management of the war in Iraq has dropped to 32 percent, with 67 percent telling pollsters they disapproved of how Bush is prosecuting the conflict.
The survey had a sampling error of plus or minus 4 percentage points. Fifty-nine percent said they considered the 2003 invasion of Iraq a mistake, 63 percent said they wanted to see some or all U.S. troops withdrawn from that country and 54 percent told pollsters they favor cutting spending on the war to pay for disaster relief.
Will someone please pass this on to the SCLM?
Monday, September 19, 2005
Friday, September 16, 2005
Well, we already know that means "except for local and state officials" and the people who didn't evacuate.
Now it means environmental groups, as well.
10:31 A.M. - JACKSON, Miss. (AP) -- The federal government is trying to find evidence of any past efforts by environmental groups to block work on New Orleans' levees, according to a published report.
The Clarion-Ledger said Friday it obtained an internal Justice Department e-mail sent out this week to U.S. attorneys that asks: "Has your district defended any cases on behalf of the (U.S.) Army Corps of Engineers against claims brought by environmental groups seeking to block or otherwise impede the Corps work on the levees protecting New Orleans? If so, please describe the case and the outcome of the litigation."
Full account here.
Breaches in the levees which ring the city allowed the water in, so the floods were not caused by an "act of God," contends the lawsuit filed Thursday in 19th Judicial District Court.
from WWL's excellent Katrina blog.
Friday, September 09, 2005
As Kos notes:
42 percent of Republicans want us to start pulling troops out. Message to the idiots at the DLC and the rest of the timid DC Democratic establishment -- there's nothing radical or extreme about the growing anti-war sentiment in this nation. The position in favor of withdrawal is now supported by a 3-2 margin. Those advocating staying the course are now the extreme on the issue, marginalized to the fringes.
Thursday, September 08, 2005
"At a news conference, Pelosi, D-Calif., said Bush's choice for head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency had ''absolutely no credentials.''She related that she had urged Bush at the White House on Tuesday to fire Michael Brown...
He said 'Why would I do that?''' Pelosi said.'
''I said because of all that went wrong, of all that didn't go right last week.'
And he said 'What didn't go right?''
'''Oblivious, in denial, dangerous,'' she added."
Tuesday, September 06, 2005
Today, September 6, 9:22 A.M. - WHITE HOUSE (AP) -- The White House is rebuffing calls to fire the federal disaster chief in the aftermath of Hurrican Katrina. Press Secretary Scott McClellan says, "We're not going to engage in the blame game."
WASHINGTON, Sept. 4th (NYT) - Under the command of President Bush's two senior political advisers, the White House rolled out a plan this weekend to contain the political damage from the administration's response to Hurricane Katrina.
It orchestrated visits by cabinet members to the region, leading up to an extraordinary return visit by Mr. Bush planned for Monday, directed administration officials not to respond to attacks from Democrats on the relief efforts, and sought to move the blame for the slow response to Louisiana state officials, according to Republicans familiar with the White House plan. The effort is being directed by Mr. Bush's chief political adviser, Karl Rove, and his communications director, Dan Bartlett.
And, oh yes, in case anyone forgot. From Shrub's inaugural address:
"Encouraging responsibility is not a search for scapegoats, it is a call to conscience. . . .I will live and lead by these principles: . . . to call for responsibility and try to live it as well."
See also this.
Monday, September 05, 2005
Here's your president. First it was blame the victimes (see "Chuck and Duck")
Now it's blame state officials. This is what the WH is concerned about. This is the only thing it's ever concerned about.
Scumbag sociopathic lying liars.
It took them days to come up with a rescue and relief plan but it only took them a few hours to come up with a political salvage plan for their Dear Leader.
Scumbag sociopathic lying liars.
From the NYTimes:
Under the command of President Bush's two senior political advisers, the White House rolled out a plan this weekend to contain the political damage from the administration's response to Hurricane Katrina.
It orchestrated visits by cabinet members to the region, leading up to an extraordinary return visit by Mr. Bush planned for Monday, directed administration officials not to respond to attacks from Democrats on the relief efforts, and sought to move the blame for the slow response to Louisiana state officials, according to Republicans familiar with the White House plan.
The effort is being directed by Mr. Bush's chief political adviser, Karl Rove, and his communications director, Dan Bartlett. It began late last week after Congressional Republicans called White House officials to register alarm about what they saw as a feeble response by Mr. Bush to the hurricane, according to Republican Congressional aides.
As a result, Americans watching television coverage of the disaster this weekend began to see, amid the destruction and suffering, some of the most prominent members of the administration - Richard B. Myers, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; Donald H. Rumsfeld, the secretary of defense; and Condoleezza Rice, the secretary of state - touring storm-damaged communities.
Yep. Scumbags. More here.
Why? Well there's this:
Scenes from New Orleans
Sunday Sept. 5, 2005 10:45 p.m.
By Jim Varney
In the midst of this, Joann Guidos, 55, perched on a bar stool in the front door of Kajun’s Pub on the 2200 block of St. Claude Avenue. She brandished her pump action shotgun at any unknown vehicle or pedestrian, but said she did so with good reason.“If you noticed, every place around here has been looted, except this one,’’ she said, noting proudly that she never closed during or since Katrina.
3:15 A.M. - (AP) -- Not even Hurricane Katrina could prevent the Decadence Parade from being staged in the French Quarter. The annual Labor Day gay celebration drew about two dozen people. Street musician Matt Menold summed it up best: "It's New Orleans, man. We're going to celebrate."
On a related note:
6:24 P.M. – Saints GM Mickey Loomis – we would like to play our games in Baton Rouge but we have to see what is possible. The NFL will have a lot of say. No decision has been made.
I had seen on television news that the Saints would play the season in San Antonio. I hope they stay in the state.
Saturday, September 03, 2005
The Rebels are preparing to face Memphis on Labor Day at the Liberty Bowl in a game that will televised by ESPN."I think they're both playing well; it looks like a tie " said Orgeron, who had hoped to name a starter last Monday but said the competition has been too close to call. "We're going to have to make a decision, but it's really close in our minds. The (decision) will come down to the intangibles and looking at the whole picture."
Read more here.
C'mon Robert C'mon Robert:
Here's a self-explanatory picture
This is a picture from the upper deck before the game
The jewel of my chicago pic collection. This is a classic ButtCuttMullet. Fella thought I was taking a picture of the game, but I was always intending to get the shot of his mug, his butt cutt, and, of course, the beautiful plumage. In a million years I couldn't have gotten him to pose any better. Scary though, he looks a bit like Coach O:
Mia Hamm was in the audience, as well. We waited to get our picture made with her, but she was preoccupied, so we violated her privacy this way:
Friday, September 02, 2005
This time it's blame the victims. From an interview with the Sheep in Wolf (Blitzer's) clothing, the head of FEMA, the liar Michael Brown:
BROWN: Well, I think the death toll may go into the thousands. And unfortunately, that's going to be attributable a lot to people who did not heed the evacuation warnings. And I don't make judgments about why people choose not to evacuate.
But, you know, there was a mandatory evacuation of New Orleans. And to find people still there is just heart wrenching to me because the mayor did everything he could to get them out of there. And so we've got to figure out some way to convince people that when evacuation warnings go out, it's for their own good. Now, I don't want to second guess why they did that. My job now is to get relief to them.
It was the fault of the victims. These guys will stop at nothing. They take no responsibility for the Iraq debacle (it's the media's fault!), for the economy (blame Clinton!) or take any responsibility for this (they should have heeded the evacuation warnings!).
See Josh's post here for a good breakdown of the insanity and cowardice of this position, but before you do, remember, on the day after Katrina hit, as New Orleans was flooding and hundreds of thousands of people were stranded, and as the Mayor of NO and others begged for assistance, the accountability president, the CEO president, was doing this:
Tempers exploded in a south Jackson gas station line this morning as an angry driver shot into the air.
Jackson police charged Lloyd Coleman with a misdemeanor count of discharging a weapon in city limits. The shots were fired at at 10:45 a.m. at the Pilot Travel Center on Gallatin Street, just south of I-20.
"He had waited in line two-to-three hours. Somebody from the back cut in front of him. (Coleman) tried to talk to the driver, but he wouldn't listen," Jackson Police officer B. Sanders said.Coleman grabbed his black .357 revolver and fired one round straight into the air to get the driver's attention, Sanders said. No one was injured. Police did not have the other driver's name or more information on Coleman.
They really should go after the line-cutter, too. C'mon people, let's stop acting like animals.
See also: "Woman charged in gas line assault"
George W. Bush, today: "We're going to stabilize the situation, and then get food and medicine and water."
Ya know, I wonder if the situation is NOT stable because no one had a plan to get food and medicine and water in there sooner?
Bush also said "right now we need to get food and clothes and medicine to the people"
No, George, food and clothes and medicine needed to get there 4 DAYS ago."
Bush also thanked and applauded Sen. Trent Lott (R), Thad Cochran (R) and Governor Haley Barbour (R). He did NOT mention Rep. Gene Taylor (D), who represents the Mississippi Coast in the House of Representatives.
2:50 P.M. - WWL-TV
LIVE pictures show thousands still wait to be picked up from I-10 and Causeway. Buses arrived a few hours ago, but the refugees say that it's the first sighting of buses in 12 hours. Some of the refugees have been waiting four days. State Police say five people died Thursday while waiting.
2:54 P.M. - WWL Reporter Jonathan Betz says the refugees at I-10 and Causeway are standing in squalid conditions. He said there are only 10 portable toilets for thousands of people and the Interstate median is full of human waste.
3:14 P.M. - St. Bernard Parish officials say that FEMA has not called them yet...five days after the storm.
I don't mean to go off on a rant here, but if we don't have a unified, central federal government for events like this, why do we have it? MS and LA might as well secede again if we're gonna have to rely on ourselves anyway. And I will make it my personal mission to destroy, discredit, humiliate, unseat anyone who says/hints/intimates that anyone in New Orleans/MS Gulf Coast deserves any of this because they didn't evacuate or they looted a store. Let some of these falsely self-righteous sanctimonius bastards live like these people have had to live for a couple of days and see how they do, see how they react. These are human beings, Americans, most of them poor who simply did not have the resources to get out (government checks are issued the first of the month, this happened on the 29th). Many had no way to get out. And even those who were just stubborn and chose not to leave, do they deserve to be abandoned and betrayed like this because of one stupid decision?
I still can't fully comprehend that New Orleans is gone.
Randy Newman "Louisiana 1927"
What has happened down here is the wind have changed
Clouds roll in from the north and it started to rain
Rained real hard and rained for a real long time
Six feet of water in the streets of Evangeline
The river rose all day
The river rose all night
Some people got lost in the flood
Some people got away alright
The river have busted through clear down to Plaquemines
Six feet of water in the streets of Evangeline
And before you start screaming that this is a Rep./Dem. issue or some sort of partisan opportunism, see the comments of Sen. David Vitter (R-LA):
3:07 P.M. - BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) -- U.S. Sen. David Vitter said FEMA's efforts to deal with the hurricane have been completely ineffective, and he called the federal government's response a failure.
"I think FEMA has been completely dysfunctional and is completely overwhelmed, and I don't know why. This situation was utterly predictable," said Vitter, R-Metairie. "It seems like there was no coherent plan, which I don't understand because this precise scenario has been predicted for 20 years," he said.
Reports indicate that the town of Waveland, a coastal city of about 7,000 in Hancock County west of Gulfportand Biloxi, is about 90% gone. In addition to the people I know who've lost so much, homes and all, and inaddition to the destruction of a city which is home to a million people, and of which I am quite fond, the destruction of Waveland is a notable loss for me. Not as notable and certainly not as catastrophic as those who live there or who have family who live there, but a personal loss nonetheless.
Our family had a second home there, a small three bedroom "shack" about a block and a half from the beach in Waveland and we spent significant chunks of summertime and other time there. We goofed on the beach (it was an easy walk through a neighbor's yard and down a small street), spent days at the Buccaneer Park Wave Pool (it had a ping pong table), traipsed through the nearby woods, played croquet on the (tiny) front lawn, played wiffle ball in the bigger yard of the neighbor, we walked or rode bikes to town, played monopoly, checkers, cards, or napped in the afternoon to the cool whurrr of the scattered a/c window units. We went out to the movie theatre trying to meet girls, we cruised the streets (after we were old enough to drive).
Sometime after my sister and I left home, we abandoned that house but it holds a special place for all of us. We hadfriends there, friends stayed there with us, and it was always a warm, welcoming, relaxing place. Dad liked to go to get away for a weekend and just read. I spent a few weekends there during college, crashing there after a Paul McArtney show in the Superdome, or after winning big at the Casino Magic in Bay St. Louis.
I smoked my first cigarette in Waveland. I saw my first and only sandstorm (if that's what it's called)in Waveland. I skinny-dipped in the Gulf in Waveland. I evacuated from my first hurricane in Waveland and returned,joyfully, to find that it was still intact.
It was always a common place for me and my family, a place of happiness and joy and peace. Now it's gone. I haven't been there in many years, but my soul is a little shaken by its absence nevertheless.
12:09 P.M. - (AP): The stench from backed-up toilets inside the Superdome is unbearable and people are afraid to go into the unlighted bathrooms.
Sandra Jones says she and her family use a box to relieve themselves instead of using restrooms because "The stink is so bad you can't go in there anyway."
Even though she's hungry, one hurricane refugee in the dome says she's not eating. Michele Boyle says eating would mean she'd have to use the dark, dangerous and filthy restrooms in the dome. So she's going without.
Boyle has been spending some of her time trying to keep a small area of the dome as clean as she can until help arrives. Boyle and other refugees found some brooms and swept up the mess.
She says they're simply "trying not to let it get any worse."
As Kos pointed out, why aren't those helicopters in New Orleans or on the MS Coast? Why aren't those soldiers in New Orleans? Oh, that's right, it's because they have to be there for George's photo-op.
2:50 P.M. - WWL-TV LIVE pictures show thousands still wait to be picked up from I-10 and Causeway. Buses arrived a few hours ago, but the refugees say that it's the first sighting of buses in 12 hours. Some of the refugees have been waiting four days. State Police say five people died Thursday while waiting.
From the Los Angeles Times:
A 2-year-old girl slept in a pool of urine. Crack vials littered a restroom. Blood stained the walls next to vending machines smashed by teenagers.
"We pee on the floor. We are like animals," said Taffany Smith, 25, as she cradled her 3-week-old son, Terry. In her right hand she carried a half-full bottle of formula provided by rescuers. Baby supplies are running low; one mother said she was given two diapers and told to scrape them off when they got dirty and use them again.
At least two people, including a child, have been raped. At least three people have died, including one man who jumped 50 feet to his death, saying he had nothing left to live for.
There is no sanitation. The stench is overwhelming. The city's water supply, which had held up since Sunday, gave out early Wednesday, and toilets in the Superdome became inoperable and began to overflow.
"There is feces on the walls," said Bryan Hebert, 43, who arrived at the Superdome on Monday. "There is feces all over the place."
Thursday, September 01, 2005
About 15,200 people who had taken shelter at the convention center to await buses grew increasingly hostile.
Police Chief Eddie Compass says he sent in 88 officers to quell the situation at the building, but they were quickly beaten back by an angry mob.
Compass says, "We have individuals who are getting raped, we have individuals who are getting beaten."
He says tourists are walking in that direction and they are getting preyed upon.
In hopes of defusing the unrest at the convention center, Mayor Ray Nagin gave the refugees permission to march across a bridge to the city's unflooded west bank for whatever relief they can find. But the bedlam appeared to make leaving difficult.
Go here first.
Possibly the best Kos post ever:
George W. Bush was once known as the C.E.O. President, a term his handlers eagerly coined in order to convey that the country would from now on be run like a business. That quickly evolved into the less flattering Enron President... then the War President... now it's looking like we can all finally settle on one. George W. Bush: the Disaster President.
"I don't think anybody anticipated the breach of the levees."
He honestly said that. If that brings up more than a passing twinge of familiarity, being a more than remarkable restatement of Condi Rice's now-famous assertion to the Senate panel -- then I suppose we shouldn't be surprised.
But it does bring up something that we joke about often, but apparently have never taken quite seriously enough: our President is an idiot. I don't mean an average, run-of-the-mill idiot. I mean an idiot who apparently, for the entire duration of his presidency, literally was paying absolutely no attention to even the most life-threateningly critical tasks of government.
The administration specifically cut the funds to fix these specific levees, in order to specifically divert that Corps money to Iraq, despite urgent warnings and predictions of catastrophic disaster if the levees were breeched. The administration specifically cancelled the Clinton-backed flood control program to preserve and restore the wetlands between New Orleans and the gulf, instead specifically opening parts of that buffer zone for development.
Nobody anticipated this disaster? It was identified by FEMA as one of the top three likeliest major disasters to strike America. (That link, one of countless stories, was from 2001, by the way.) It has been a major disaster scenario for years. Everybody anticipated it, which makes this single statement by George W. Bush possibly the most dishonest, lying, craptacularly false thing he has ever said in his presidency -- even surpassing his now-infamous State of the Union Address. Truly, this is President Bush's blue-dress moment.
And yet, funneling the money into Iraq was more important. You better bet your crapulent, lying, one-track, drink-addled ass that's a political issue.
He also said today:
"I hope people don't play politics at this time of a natural disaster the likes of which this country has never seen."
Oh, I'm touched. Utterly touched. After 9/11, the entire Republican Party went en masse to get Twin Towers ass tattoos. The Republican convention was a wholesale tribute to crass exploitation, the sets themselves designed to evoke the aftermath of the attack. Every domestic and international policy this administration -- no, this entire Republican government -- has produced has been heaved up before the public while waving the spectre of 9/11 as the catch-all vindication of every administration whim. Every tax cut, every civil rights issue, every budget cut, every budget expansion, no matter how tortured the logic must be, has some Republican senator standing on the Senate floor and proudly raping the corpses of that day as justification for their particular agenda item.
Oh, we've seen politicization of disaster. Every Republican campaign for the last four years has revolved around the politicization of disaster.
But Lord help us, George W. Bush is going to get the vapors if anyone asks him to explain his administration's active cuts of the very programs designed to keep New Orleans safe.
"Matt McKenzie, spokesman for from AAA-Northern New England, predicted gas prices would hit $3.70 to $3.80 by month's end in that region of the country, causing frugal motorists to begin carpooling, curbing errands and maybe even scaling back fall leaf-viewing trips. "
Yes, that would be tragic. Here in Jackson we have an entire population sitting and sweltering in 95 degree heat, with no power, no gas to run generators, many without jobs, many worrying about loved ones on the coast or in New Orleans. And of course there's the comprehensive tragedy south of here.
But to have to scale back the fall leaf-viewing trips? Time to call out the National Guard. SOMETHING MUST BE DONE!
And then this:
At one of the few stations open, Steve Clifford, 48, pumped fuel into his Isuzu sport utility vehicle. "I heard it was going to go up to $4 a gallon tomorrow and there were going to be shortages, so when I got home from work I kissed my wife goodbye and said I was going out to find gas," he said.
That's so sweet. Excuse me while I go get a tissue.
Two motorists in line nearly came to blows.
I fear that if something is not done, if troops are not brought in to restore order, the city of Jackson could descend into chaos over this weekend.
I sure hope that doesn't happen.
I'm frustrated, for sure. Why in the heck can't someone, FEMA, the executive branch, someone, direct some gas down this way? There's no plan for this? There's no mechanism by which this can be done? People are getting panicked here, people are testy and if something is not done about the gas soon, there will be violence. On top of that, the power company trucks and other emergency and public service vehicles can't get gas, either. Something needs to be done very soon or it could get very ugly in a lot of places. I mean why are we part of a union anyway? Why in the hell DO we have a federal government anyway, if not to address this kind of situation? Get some damn gas trucks down this way, geez.
This is nothing compared to the problems and pains of those south and west of here. Nevertheless, the gas shortage seems to be a problem with an easy solution that's easily implemented.
Many are still in a sort of suspended state of shock. Many people do not have access to the images people elsewhere have been seeing for a few days. When I first saw some of the images from the coast and the Big Easy, I got very emotional. I know those places, I know those people. I grew up in and around there. I spent many a summer day in Waveland which is, I understand, now gone entirely. I am tremendously grateful for my and Wendi's safety and the safety of our friends and family. Others I've talked to are experiencing the same sort of thing. A sort of zombie-like state where we can only focus, if at all, on the next immediate task.
It still hasn't completely sunk in.
Wednesday, August 31, 2005
Caption: President Bush plays a guitar presented to him by Country Singer Mark Wills, right, backstage following his visit to Naval Base Coronado, Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2005. Bush visited the base to deliver remarks on V-J Commemoration Day.
This is just a terrible tragedy. I can't bear to watch the footage from New Orleans and the coast.
Thursday, August 25, 2005
News and Notes About Ole Miss Rebel Football
Kelvin Robinson regaining form (subscription)
Daily Journal OM beat writer Parrish Alford Q&A
Frosh DL Jada Brown will not rejoin Rebels
Defense performs well in scrimmage
Profile of DB Travis Johnson
DBs comfortable with 4-3 defense
Special Teams Analysis
No Roundup tomorrow. Next Roundup Monday, maybe Sunday. If I've omitted a big story from today, please feel free to link or paste it in the comments.
Wednesday, August 24, 2005
News and Notes about Ole Miss Rebel Football
DT Mckinley Boykin urged to practice as hard as he plays (Scrimmage summary). (subscription)
QB Michael Spurlock engaged. (subscription)
Rebels Work on Pass Rush.
Secondary Analysis (Clarion Ledger)
Ole Miss D-Line Shines in Scrimmage
Report on Terry Levy (OM commitment and Dandy Dozen star)
Upgrading Talent Orgeron's First Task (Macon Telegraph)
QB Ethan Flatt Attempts to Reclaim Starting Role.
If you see anything I might have missed, feel free to add the link in the comments.
Tuesday, August 23, 2005
Limbaugh's comments about Cindy Sheehan (which he's since denied making because he's a spineless puke):
"I mean, Cindy Sheehan is just Bill Burkett. Her story is nothing more than forged documents, there's nothing about it that's real, including the mainstream media's glomming onto it, it's not real."
"They [mainstream media] are going to try to claim that Cindy Sheehan is responsible for the Bush poll numbers on Iraq being down, but those numbers were falling before Cindy Sheehan did this."
"What's she got? A hundred stragglers have showed up down there, a hundred peaceniks, a hundred long-haired, maggot-infested, dope-smoking FM types, essentially, are down there joining her."
"Now, I don't have a whole lot of sympathy for the woman. I think she's taken the grieving process here to lengths that most people don't, and she's being fueled by all of this attention."
"But the longer the Sheehan thing goes on and the longer she's treated as some sort of super-celebrity by the press and the more outrageous things she says, trust me on this, the more people are going to get fed up with it. She's going to become the next Natalee Holloway before it's all said and done."
Cindy Sheehan is a Gold Star mother. Her son died in a war that Limbaugh supported. A war for "freedom" apparently. Fatass has the right to say whatever he wants. So do I. And he's a chickenshit coward (did not go to Vietnam because of a boil on his large ass).
And then there's another right wing blowhard (who I had not heard about until now), Mark Williams. He's on the "You Don't Speak for Me, Cindy" tour. Whatever. He's on a whole tour dedicated to refuting a greiving mother who lost a son in the war HE supports (and I'm assuming he's not lost any loved ones in the war, not that that would give him the right to badmouth someone who did). This isn't a "pro-America" rally, it's an "anti-american" rally. It's anti-Cindy Sheehan. Same thing happened with Dixie Chicks, etc. These wingnuts just cannot accept ANY criticism or debate. They have to make it personal. Sickening.
Anyway, here's what this pukefaced hatemonger had to say on "Hardball" with Chris Matthews (the softballer, Norah O'Donnel, was substituting, not that Matthews is any better, really, but I digress):
Williams: "I just got back from Iraq, talking with the troops, talking with the Iraqis and I see the damage that's done by pathetic creatures like the woman I'm talking to and Cindy Sheehan. When they get up there and they present this country as divided and still arguing issues that were decided, debated and voted on three years ago, that both demoralizes our troops and invigorates the insurgency. "And it's no mistake that the lion's share of violence is in and around Baghdad. That's where there are more Western news cameras per capita than probably any other city on the planet earth. When they see this kind of division they use it as a fundraiser and a recruiting tool."
O'Donnell: "Mark, if you don't mind, you're making the case that Cindy Sheehan is hurting the morale of our troops?"
Williams: "She is aiding and abetting the enemies of this country and the people who killed her son. And right now Casey Sheehan is spinning in his grave!"
This guy and those like him (Michelle Malkin, etc.) and those on the right who do not unequivocally condemn this kind of personal attack are just slime. They should go straight to hell.
Let's remember, this anti-war, anti-Bush sentiment is now the MAJORITY sentiment. So if Sheehan is harming the troops, so am I, so are you, so is anyone who disagrees with King, um, I mean, President Bush. According to this loser, the majority of the American people are aiding and abetting the enemies of this country. Really. Work on that one in your individual lesson plans.
Why can't these folks just say they disagree with Sheehan and move on? Why does she have to be personally attacked? She's not personally attacking the president, after all. She's protesting his war policy that resulted in the death of her son. If anyone has a right to attack someone personally, it's Cindy Sheehan.
I could quote more from the Michelle Malkins and her ilk, but it's tiring.
We were right about Bush. We were right about this unnecessary pointless murderous war. We were right.
Thursday, August 18, 2005
This is the best news I've heard in a long time re: Ole Miss Football. Possibly the best news since Cutcliffe was terminated. From the Clarion Ledger:
Lane closing the gap
A slow start to preseason practice and struggles coping with the heat had placed sophomore quarterback Robert Lane a few steps behind senior Micheal Spurlock in the race for the starting job.
But Lane is quietly closing the gap.Lane has put together his best stretch of practice over the past few days, consistently completing passes and driving the offense to scores in scrimmage situations. Lane completed 6 of 8 passes during Wednesday morning's practice and had another solid effort in the afternoon scrimmage by completing all three of his attempts and rushing for a 13-yard touchdown.
"I'm going out as a quarterback trying to get better each and every day," said Lane, who is trying to beat out Spurlock and also hold off junior Ethan Flatt. "We're also trying to get better as a team. We want to win games and we want the best guy out there."Lane had succumbed to dehydration and cramping during the first week of practice and once had to be treated at a hospital.Orgeron said he's noticed Lane's progress. But Spurlock and Flatt aren't exactly letting up, either. Spurlock was 10-of-11 for 102 yards with two touchdowns Wednesday afternoon and Flatt went 6-of-10 for 114 yards, including a 54-yard TD pass.
"It's really on now," Orgeron said. "The competition is heating up as we get closer and closer to having to make a decision. It's a really tight race."
Thursday, August 11, 2005
"Cindy Sheehan evidently thinks little of her deceased son." — Jimmy Hall, Guest Columnist, Atlanta Journal Constitution
Here is what this @#@hole thinks: "My suggestion to her, however, is that she think about the lives of those still in Iraq. Undermining public support for our efforts in Iraq helps the enemy, her son's murderers. They love people like her, but hate those like her heroic son.
We all can feel bad for the loss Sheehan has experienced. But it is unthinkable that anyone with a child or relative in Iraq should make statements such as she has. Sheehan has said, "I want to ask the president, 'Why did you kill my son? What did my son die for?'"
So her son died for the freedom for her to say anything she likes, just not that, not a political statement to the President? riiiiight
What an asshole. The AJC should be ashamed. I bet the Clarion Ledger wouldn't put smear tactics like this in their letters to the editor, much less give this kind of weakling a guest column. Pitiful.
"The current war in Iraq is the first since the war with Mexico in 1846 that the United States has waged without a draft or tax increases."
"[Former Secretary of Navy and Vietnam Veteran Jim] Webb once [commented]: "You don't use 'force,' you send people. You send young people who have dreams, who want a future." The people who make the fateful decision for the nation to go to war are, themselves, subject to no personal consequences. Their children and the children of their friends are not at risk. Without apparent embarrassment, they champion a policy of military escalation with no personal participation. As of this writing, 1,827 Americans have been killed in Iraq -- 1,686 of those deaths have occurred since President George W. Bush landed on the deck of the USS Abraham Lincoln under a banner proclaiming, "Mission Accomplished.""
""Only when the privileged classes perform military service, only when elite youth are on the firing line, does the country define the cause as worth young peoples' blood and do war losses become acceptable," observes Moskos, adding that "the answer to what constitutes vital national interests is found not so much on the cause, itself, but in who is willing to die for that cause.""
Ask yourself what sacrifices you've made in the "War" on terror (or the Global Struggle against Islamic Extremists or whatever the PR gurus in the highest levels of our government are calling it) then ask yourself whether you'd be as gung-ho about this war if it was your son, your spouse, your father, your best friend, who was one of the 1,827. It's worth it to those who made the decision, because they've borne no sacrifice for it.
And I guess "freedom" is what we're fighting for, or at least what we've been told we're fighting for. But what kind of "freedom" is this? The kind of freedom championed and celebrated by a "Freedom Walk" sponsored by your Department of Defense that commemorates the barbaric attacks of 9/11?
In this "Freedom Walk" you actually have to REGISTER to walk for freedom in our country's capital, on public streets in between public momuments. You MUST register, with the government, before enjoying your "freedom" to walk along public streets. That doesn't sound like freedom to me......
Amendment I - Freedom of Religion, Press, Expression.
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
Tuesday, August 02, 2005
"Simply stated, there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction." Dick Cheney Speech to VFW National Convention, Aug. 26, 2002.[i]
"Right now, Iraq is expanding and improving facilities that were used for the production of biological weapons." George W. Bush Speech to U.N. General Assembly, Sept. 12, 2002.[ii]
"We know they have weapons of mass destruction … There isn't any debate about it." [It is] beyond anyone's imagination" that U.N. inspectors would fail to find such weapons if they were given the opportunity. Donald Rumsfeld, September 2002.[iii]
"If he declares he has none, then we will know that Saddam Hussein is once again misleading the world." Ari Fleischer Press Briefing, Dec. 2, 2002.[iv]
"We know for a fact that there are weapons there." Ari Fleischer Press Briefing, Jan. 9, 2003.[v]
"We know that Saddam Hussein is determined to keep his weapons of mass destruction, is determined to make more." Colin Powell Remarks to U.N. Security Council, Feb. 5, 2003.[vi]
"We have sources that tell us that Saddam Hussein recently authorized Iraqi field commanders to use chemical weapons -- the very weapons the dictator tells us he does not have." George W. Bush Radio Address, Feb. 8, 2003.[vii]
"So has the strategic decision been made to disarm Iraq of its weapons of mass destruction by the leadership in Baghdad?... I think our judgment has to be clearly not." Colin Powell Remarks to U.N. Security Council, March 7, 2003.[viii]
“Does Saddam now have weapons of mass destruction? Sure he does. We know he has chemical weapons. We know he has biological weapons. . . Defense Policy Board Chair, Richard Perle, speaking to a Senate Foreign Relations subcommittee hearing, March, 2003. [ix]
"Intelligence gathered by this and other governments leaves no doubt that the Iraq regime continues to possess and conceal some of the most lethal weapons ever devised." George W. Bush Address to the Nation, March 17, 2003. [x]
"Well, there is no question that we have evidence and information that Iraq has weapons of mass destruction, biological and chemical particularly... all this will be made clear in the course of the operation, for whatever duration it takes." Ari Fleisher Press Briefing, March 21, 2003[xi]
"There is no doubt that the regime of Saddam Hussein possesses weapons of mass destruction." Gen. Tommy Franks Press Conference, March 22, 2003. [xii]
"We know where they are. They're in the area around Tikrit and Baghdad and east, west, south and north somewhat." Donald Rumsfeld ABC Interview, March 30, 2003. [xiii]
"I'm absolutely sure that there are weapons of mass destruction there " Colin Powell Remarks to Reporters, May 4, 2003. [xiv]
Friday, July 29, 2005
"By being called the O-Zone Experience, the desired atmosphere is expected to offer the 2005 Rebel football team a competitive home field advantage, one that is full of electricity and enthusiasm. "
What? There's not enough of a home field advantage, you know, playing on our, well, HOME FIELD? Are these the same nitwits who came up with "Red Alert" and similar nonsense?
"Having a unified athletic T-shirt is a concept that many other universities have utilized," said ASB president Rebecca Bertrand. "I plan to wear my 'Are you Ready?' shirt to pep rallies and athletic events to show my support, and I think this type of collaboration between athletics and the fans will help build momentum for the O-Zone Experience."
I don't wanna be a downer but this is just silly. No atmosphere has ever been created, anywhere, as a result of some stupid marketing program or silly slogan. You do it by winning important games. If smart marketing and clever programs were all it took to create "atmosphere" then Duke and Vandy would be incredibly intimidating places to play.
Besides, how many fans wear t-shirts to Ole Miss games? Not many. Something tells me that the majority of those who already wear t-shirts to games will think this is a GREAT idea, REALLY COOL MAN but those who don't will pass.
It's just silly. Besides, is O-ZONE threatening or intimidating? Of course not. It's just silly. O-Zone. Stupid.
I'll keep my ears open for the "Red Alert" so I can catch that "Rebel Express" to the "O-zone". And hell yes, I am ready........
Friday, July 15, 2005
Here's a splendid version from Red Rocks on August 11, 1987.
"Someday, everything is gonna be diff'rentWhen I paint my masterpiece."
Friday, July 08, 2005
Well, we endured Hurricane Dennis. Some people have taken to calling it Dennis "The Menace". Quite clever. We enjoyed a nice dinner and when we got back to our room, we found out that some of the cable channels had been restored!
There were a lot of evacuees from other resorts staying at our resort last night and some of them were quite obnoxious, complaining about the rooms, or the food, or whatever. Seriously, if you find something to complain about here, you're not gonna be happy anywhere. There's just no pleasin some people I guess. At breakfast, some princess from another resort complained that the resort did not have an indoor pool. In Jamaica, you know right next to the OCEAN? Princess was also disappointed that her room did not come with her own personal butler and that she had to walk to get to places. Her new husband (they were on their honeymoon) is in for a long life....
That picture above is of me enjoying a pre-hurricane cigar on our porch. Maybe I'll make it the main photo for the blog?
We went shopping this morning. We got some coffee, some McVittie's Tea Biscuits, some cigars, and some other trinkets. Then we picked out wedding photos, and ate another fantastic lunch. The food here is really, fantastic at every meal. We will eat at Feather's tonight for our last night. Feather's is the highfalutin fancy place where they serve stuff with a demiglaze and reduction sauces (I want more mon, not less, don't reduce the sauce!). I'm enjoying a fine Monte Cristo #4 as I blog. We'll get one more good breakfast before heading to MBJ airport for the flight home. We're a little burned, fat, happy, almost broke and pretty close to being ready to go home.
We sure will miss this though:
Thursday, July 07, 2005
7 pm here in Jamaica, and it's dark. There's a stiff breeze and a few scattered sprinkles. The restaurant is way crowded because they've shut down the other 2 restaurants for the night. Everyone is in good spirits and every staff person we see asks whether we're having a good time, feeling safe, etc. Just a top notch facility. They came by earlier to put the masking tape on our windows and we stayed out on the porch for a while and enjoyed a cigar before heading in to pack up a few things, get them elevated since we're in a beach front toom (see post below).
At the top of the post is the view from our seat at the restaurant as I type this. They say we'll get a lot of wind and rain tonight, but that it should be mostly cleared out by noon tomorrow. Not much else to report. See ya next time on Hurricane Bloggin Mon......
All excursions and activities were cancelled today though, aside from probable traffic issues, we could have gone shopping. We got our DVD from Rob (the guy who did the wedcast) and were able to sift through the wedding photos (just the 35mm, the digital ones will have to wait until tomorrow at the earliest).
Wendi's getting her a Caesar's salad and I'm prepping for lunch with coffee and cigarettes. This Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee is exquisite. All the food has been spectacular and the service is impeccable (by our standards anyway).
People were floating in the sea, playing beach volleyball, eating, drinking and walking on the beach all morning. We enjoyed some Bizarre Banana drinks (bananas, coconut milk, nutmeg, etc, quite tasty and refreshing).
We'll try to post some pics soon. If we do, they will be located here.
Yesterday was the outside tour to Mayfield Falls,
Jamaica's #1 eco-tourist attraction! High in the mountains, the falls were beautiful and the trip (aside from the stop-n-go, bumpy bus ride) was wonderful. We got a lot of pictures and one of the guides made a DVD which we can purhase later. Who knows, maybe if you're lucky, we'll invite you over to watch ALL our vacation videos (pausing frequently to point out small details that the casual viewer might overlook). Don't worry, we'll have chips and dips there for ya. We would add more pictures to the epson photo album (including some additional wedding pictures) but the connection here is too slow to upload the photos to the site. You can view the wedcast and the reception here. Click here and here to get the videos to play without going to the outside site (available only for a limited time). Here is a candid photo of our nuptials:
Everyone here at the resort seems, for the most part, unconcerned about the coming storm. Some activities (parasailing, skiing, etc.) will be cancelled today for sure. We are going to try to go shopping at 10:30 (the storm is now expected to hit the island around 2 p.m.) today rather than tomorrow as we initially planned. We're at breakfast now and people seem to be going about their business as usual. We will go pick out our wedding pictures in a few, as well as try to schedule the shopping expedition (this is a rare occasion where shopping will not be as boring, because there's an element of danger involved. It's not just shopping, we could DIE, we could get in the middle of the hurricane. That's what I'm talkin about, DANGER shopping.....)
We have an emergency bag packed in case we're evacuated to the shelter across the street. This is reasonably possible since our room is directly on the beach. The staff here has moved all the beach chairs and tied them up and has even knocked out the coconuts from the trees (and promptly split them open and ate them).
We will just ride it out and do the best we can. No problem mon!
Monday, July 04, 2005
is a picture of us leaving (well, not actually leaving, but being dropped off at the airport (well, outside the airport to be completely accurate. Did I mention it was INSANELY early?)).
The weddingmoon (see explanation above) started somewhat dubiously as NorthWorst Airlines left our luggage at home where, suffice it to say, it was not needed. The crack staff at Montego Bay Airport knew where our luggage was upon our arrival so, bruised but not beaten (more cliches to follow, I'm sure), we ventured to Negril through the charming, quaint (ie, SMALL) roads of coastal Jamaica. We stopped at a stop-n-rob outside of some place with "Town" in the title (but not, regrettably, "trenchtown" of No Woman No Cry fame) for some overpriced sugar water and, for me, cigarettes (since I packed my smokes in the bag which was still in Jackson). Here's a picture of Wendi at said stop-n-rob:
For you nerds out there who are wondering "Why didn't yall take a picture TOGETHER? Well, we were tired and I didn't trust that driver dude with our camera -- he almost got us killed! And there weren't even seat belts on that bus, and I'm pretty sure it wasn't up to "code" -- whatever that means down here. Did I mention the roads were TINY?
Upon our arrival at the resort, we were greeted with a cold towel (woo HOO!) and lots of smiling faces. After rejecting the offer of free champagne, twice I think (we must have been the first two people to refuse FREE champagne! Hey, mon it's free, you sure you no want. Yes, mon, we're pretty sure. I don't remember champagne being all that good to start with (too many bubbles, man)). After waiting around a bit (but not, alas, for our luggage because it was not gonna get there that day), we were escorted to our......
BEACH FRONT ROOM!!!!!! BEACH FRONT ROOM!!!!!
They called it a complimentary upgrade, I call it awesometotallyawesomewickedgoodlike! Wanna see the view? C'mon, ya know ya do (BOTH OF YOU!), so go ahead and take a look.
Well, you get the idea.
Right now, imagine me in front of you pointing my finger and saying "You, you, in your face,
YOU, we got us a mailto:$#@$%#$ beach front BABAY" (Wendi, on the other hand, would obviously not be doing any such thing).
Needless to say, we were pretty stoked.
This place is fantastic. The food is amazing, and there's just loads of stuff to do (if you're into "doing stuff"... Mostly we've just vegged out (well, we've done some swimming and played ping-pong, got massages, walked on the beach and right now we're listening to possibly the WORST cover band I've ever heard (they've played just about every song in the American pop music catalog with the word "Twist" in the title) but it's still fun, and we've smoked a couple of cigars).
We had dinner on the beach last night and it was quite nice. Here's a picture of us at that dinner.
Our luggage arrived on Sunday morning (don't worry, the smokes were in there).
The Big day is tomorrow. We met with the wedding coordinator, Tameika, today (how many of you gals can say your wedding was planned by a gal named Tameika?) and everything but the weather is set. The forecast calls for rain, as it did today, but today it was just intermittent showers. The nuptials are scheduled for 2 p.m. but it might be delayed on account of rain (that is SO cool, the wedding, just like a baseball game, might have a rain delay. Not to worry, we'll get in the full nine innings somehow). Check it out HERE. The wedcast should be up for about a week after it's done and watch this space for updates (if we feel like it).
That'll have to do it for now. We just finished dinner and we're on the 2nd story overlooking the dance floor listening to the aforementioned cruddy cover band.
We gotta go....They're playing "Mustang Sally" and we just GOTTA DANCE........
Friday, July 01, 2005
Bush is at 50 percent or above in only 11 states --
Utah (63), Nebraska (60), Wyoming (58), Idaho (56), Montana (56), Alabama (54), Alaska (53), North Dakota (52), Kansas (51), Kentucky (50), Mississippi (50), and Texas (50).
Bush is at 40 percent or lower in 14 states --
Ohio (40), Wisconsin (40), Maine (39), Massachusetts (39), Delaware (38), Nevada (38), New Jersey (38), Michigan (38), California (37), Connecticut (37), Illinois (37), New York (33), Rhode Island (33), and Vermont (32).
The weighted average (based on each state's percentage of the US population) is 43 approve, 53 disapprove.
Friday, June 24, 2005
Zogby. 6/20-22. MoE 3.2% (5/23-25 results)
Bush job ratings
Approve 44 (46)
Disapprove 56 (53)
American Research Group. 6/19-22. MoE 3% (May results)
Bush job ratings
Approve 42 (43)
Disapprove 53 (51)
Bush handling the economy
Approve 37 (37)
Disapprove 59 (57)
Harris Poll. 6/7-12. MoE 3% (4/5-10 results)
Do you favor keeping a large number of U.S. troops in Iraq until there is a stable government there OR bringing most of our troops home in the next year?
Wait for stable govt 33 (40)
Bring home in next year 63 (60)
Do you think the invasion of Iraq strengthened or weakened the war on terrorism?
Strengthened 43 (49)
Weakened 44 (47)
Gallup. 6/16-19. MoE 3% (3/18-20 results)
Do you favor or oppose the U.S. war with Iraq?
Favor 39 (47)
Oppose 59 (47)
AND IN A COMPLETELY UNRELATED STORY:
Conservatives saw the savagery of 9/11 in the attacks and prepared for war; liberals saw the savagery of the 9/11 attacks and wanted to prepare indictments and offer therapy and understanding for our attackers. [...]
Let me just put this in fairly simple terms: Al Jazeera now broadcasts the words of Senator Durbin to the Mideast, certainly putting our troops in greater danger. No more needs to be said about the motives of liberals.
WARNING: Readers are advised to beware that any statement issued by Karl Rove, George Bush, Bill Frist, Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, Dick Cheney, Condoleeze Rice, and similarly situated chickenhawks quoted herein could very well be a lie, misrepresentation or "misstatement" Unless Round is Funny and all affiliated persons and entities makes no representations about the accuracy, veracity or truthfulness of statements from the above named individuals quoted herein.
Tuesday, June 21, 2005
After returning to the campground, and parking the car near the RV (we were leaving early on Sunday, and having the car nearby helped that process), we ventured back to Centeroo for the final day. Wendi and I caught Amos Lee first. Amos had some good songs (he's opened for Dylan and some other big acts), but he didn't really fire me up, so I left early to catch the set by Dr. Dog. Dr. Dog played at the Other Tent, the smallest tent, and the crowd was sparse. I did get to meet Jim James of My Morning Jacket at the show, he was milling about in the regular crowd. I told him how much I enjoyed the Birmingham show on June 3rd, and he complimented me on my "Achiever" Lebowskifest t-shirt (My Morning Jacket played Lebowskifest '04). Dr. Dog's set was fun. Pictures here here and here. Another one here.
Following a few moments of panic (the details of which I won't go into here), we chilled out in the sprinkles and then headed over to the Which Stage for the finale of My Morning Jacket and Modest Mouse.
My Morning Jacket put on a great show. Pictures here.
Off The Record, The Way That He Sings, 0 Is The One, One Big Holiday, Golden, Just One Thing, Tonight I'll Be Staying Here With You+, Lay Low, Heartbreakin' Man, Don Dante, Run Thru, Bermuda Highway, I Will Sing You Songs, I Could Never Take The Place Of Your Man^,Mahgeeta
Highlights for me were the new tune "Off the Record," "I Will Sing You Songs" and the Prince cover.
Modest Mouse was excellent, as well, but we didn't get any pictures (was just tired of taking pictures).
We then walked around Centeroo some more, caught a few songs of Earl Scruggs and Friends (including "The Ballad of Jed Clampett") and then back to the campground and then hit the road.
A fantastic Roo, the best ever!
A fairly complete list of all available recordings of Roo shows can be found here.