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Comments by YACCS
Wednesday, August 31, 2005

The Price of Poverty

Walking to nowhere

New Orleans, despite it's tourist friendly image, has always lived on the edge, of poverty, of a great flood. So when things collapse, there is no surprise that the city collapses into disorder.

Many, many New Orleans residents barely had the resources to survive day to day living. When government checks come on the first week of the month, and even those with jobs may not have access to savings or even a bank account, cashing their checks at check cashing places, the ability to leave in a hurry is nearly impossible.

And when people talk about looting, there is a situation where there is no order, no supply, no water and no light. Also, people are being told to not walk around barefoot to avoid skin infections. Jungle rot and trench foot are all too common in damp situations. That means people can't walk.

The problem is that the government is treating this like a US domestic crisis where people can drive to relief centers and that ain't it.

First, you have a lot of poor people who have NO resources. None. So a late check can be a problem. Katrina? They're in survival mode, but then most of their lives have been desperate anyway. They can adapt to desperate. It's the middle class who are going to get a reality check. Their savings are going to crash, their credit cards are maxed out, and they are going to be just as stranded as the poor, one-third of the city. Only the rich can live away from home for extended periods. People are already outside the Astrodome, looking for shelter, but being refused because they didn't come from the Superdome. All the middle class people who sneered at the poor and supported Bush are going to be just like those poor people are, just as reliant as they are for a government handout.

Someone suggested that if there was another 9/11, people would rally around Bush.

Here it is and people are pissed.

When Andy Sullivan knocks Kos for saying this is worse than 9/11, he's wrong and Kos is right, because I lived through 9/11 without so much as a lost glass of water. This is a lot closer to an attack than any natural disaster we've seen. An entire city has turned into a movie set, and I mean Escape from New York. The people fleeing New Orelans are refugees, soemthing we haven't seen since the Civil War. The Astrodome is a temporary solution, and refugee camps will have to be built. There are sharks and alligators swimming in the streets, nobody will be going home for a long time.

There is still an inability to realize the scale of this. They are talking about trucking in supplies. Why not do what they did in Afghanistan and just drop food and water from C-130's? They need to act like this is a humanitarian crisis, and not just a national disaster.

The decision making here is flawed. While the Louisiana NG sits in Mosul, the mayor has to drag cops from search and rescue to looter patrol. Why? Because armed gangs are playing Baghdad, 2003. One guy shot his AK at a police station.

Why does it matter that the NG is in Iraq? Because the infantry which would be stopping looters is in Iraq. It's one thing to get water and shoes, another to rob anything which came along. Which is what some people are doing.

Of course, as the middle class runs out of class, they will start stealing and going nuts because they are just that desperate.

And the surprise: Atlanta has $5 gas. Hmmm, there's no risk of a riot there, is there.

What bothers me is the pace. When you have starving people in other countries, the AF can drop supplies to the needy. In the US, people have to wait for trucks which may not come for days. People are going to die at this pace.

How poor is NOLA?

Read, then ask yourself if you're suprised at how people are reacting.
Blanco held a poverty summit in December to develop ideas on how to confront Louisiana's nation-topping poverty statistics. In 2003, the number of families living in poverty in Louisiana was about 181,000. Nearly 30 percent of people younger than 18 in Louisiana live in poverty, while almost 15 percent of its citizens 65 and older also are below the poverty line. Those figures are close to double the national averages.

Blanco's "Solutions to Poverty" summit, held in Monroe, ordered each parish to form its own group of experts in the worlds of nonprofits, business and faith-based initiatives, along with other volunteers to start at the local level. The New Orleans region includes Orleans and St. Bernard parishes. Orleans has a 34 percent poverty rate while St. Bernard's is more than 17 percent.

Unemployment rate -- June 2003(for New Orleans): 6.6%

Unemployment rate -- June 2002 (for New Orleans): 6.1%

Unemployment rate -- June 2003 (Louisiana): 7.6%

Unemployment rate -- June 2002 (Louisiana): 7.0%

Civilians employed: 562,100

Civilians unemployed: 32,000

Projected job growth, by state: 4.6%

Projected income growth, by state (projected per-capita income change: 1988 through 2020):
39.8% (for Louisiana)

Once again, the government is telling you what most people know by walking down their street -- people are hurting, financially.

Last week, the U.S. Census Bureau announced that the nation's official poverty rate rose from 11.7 percent in 2001 to 12.1 percent in 2002. Four out of 10 of those poor people live in the South, the poorest part of the nation. In Louisiana, the poverty rate is a third higher than the United States as a whole. Over the past three years, 17.9 percent -- nearly one in five people -- have been poor in this state. That's basically a tie for highest poverty rate in the nation with Arkansas, where the poverty rate officially stands at 18 percent.
The underserved
As the 40-year-old DeSalvo sees it, New Orleans represents a gold mine for her research. For one thing, more than a quarter of the city’s population lives below the poverty line. Low-income patients, she says, are more likely than others to suffer from more than one chronic condition, such as obesity, heart disease or diabetes. In addition, more than two-thirds of the local populace is black, constituting what DeSalvo says is an understudied minority group.

For the past 10 years DeSalvo, an associate professor of clinical medicine, has juggled her time among Tulane Hospital and Clinic, the Medical Center of Louisiana’s Charity Hospital and the Veterans Affairs Medical Center, developing strategies to identify and treat high-risk individuals. Among other trends she’s examined, she has seen that when the cheapest and most accessible food available to people is at a McDonald’s or Popeye’s restaurant, then those individuals are not likely to be eating enough peas and carrots. Similarly, they probably won’t buy drugs to treat their high cholesterol if they don’t have enough money to clothe their children. And if they’re scared to walk down the street, they probably aren’t getting enough exercise.

If that sounds far-fetched, consider this: New Orleans sits below sea level and is locked in by an extensive levee network, like a giant flood-prone bowl; a modest Category 3 storm could deposit up to 27 feet of water in some neighborhoods. A few years ago, the American Red Cross ranked the prospect of a hurricane's hitting New Orleans as the country's deadliest natural disaster threat, with up to 100,000 dead. Still, many Big Easy denizens insist they'll stay put for the next one. "There's a reason New Orleans has a drink called the hurricane," says Jeanne Hurlbert, an LSU sociology professor. "The culture here is 'we don't evacuate.'"
New Orleans is home to many social and economic disparities. For example, 58 of the 73 neighborhoods in the city have a poverty rate higher than the national average. In 17 neighborhoods, over two-thirds of the children under six live in poverty and in one neighborhood 94% are below the poverty level. These neighborhoods are served by nearly 2,500 nonprofit organizations that, based on recent evidence, fail to use and share community-based information effectively

posted by Steve @ 9:11:00 PM

9:11:00 PM

The News Blog home page

I'm digging a hole and the rain comes in

Hey, just because she can't walk doesn't mean
she can't leave.

Ethan from Salto Mortale sent this by.

He just keeps on winning.

Several readers complain that it's in fact true that the hurricane will disproportionately affect poor people. I don't really dispute that in the sense most mean it. Yes, the poor will have special hardships. Obviously so. But what I objected to, and still object to, is the reflexive playing of the class card. Is it really true that some middle class retirees who heeded the advice of the government to leave town, only to watch their homes be looted after a lifetime of hardwork for a better life are suffering less than a poor person who lost his rented apartment? What's the metric for measuring this sort of suffering? What about the small businessman who worked his entire life to build something he's proud of? What about the families who lost loved ones, but had the poor taste to make more money than the poverty line?

Whatever happened to the idea that unity in the face of a calamity is an important value? We're all in it together, I guess, except for the poor who are extra-special.
Because the poor, having little savings, have an increased chance of DYING due to the lack of resources in the affected area, JONAH, YOU STUPID PRIVILEGED BITCH. Free temporary housing and food may not come soon for tens or hundreds of thousands of poor people. Savings could make all the difference. It's not like poor people are gonna get checks in the mail anytime soon.

He's un-fucking-believable.

I wonder if he's ever missed a meal.

Goldberg is dense. He whips out the racist canard of thieving blacks and forgets that the hurricane ruined those businesses and it's all about survival now, although for a man who mocked this yesterday, he should understand that.

No one in New Orleans except for the cops, have a job. Even the middle class will soon max out their credit cards and drain their savings. A lot more people are going to be poor in New Orelans without the coping skills.

On the night of March 9-10, 1945, the 20th Air Force took off from their fields on Saipan and Tinian loaded with 5,000 lbs of incendiaries.

By the time they finished, 100,000 were dead, 1m homeless.

These are the bombed out areas of Japan's major cities in
1945. On the left is Tokyo.

That is the frame of reference for New Orleans. Not a hurricane like in Florida. We are talking total devestation and a massive rebuilding effort taking years and people have not come to grips with that.

A note: People are wondering why there is such an emphasis on the Casinos on the Mississippi Gulf Coast and the reason is simple. It is to that region what the Port of New Orleans is to Louisiana. It is $500K per day, $182m in revenue a year. I'd worry about that as well.

posted by Steve @ 5:22:00 PM

5:22:00 PM

The News Blog home page

Help the poor? No fucking way

Fuck the Poor

Even Neil Caputo was taken aback by this wingnuttery.

Transcript: Should Taxpayer Dollars Rebuild New Orleans?
Tuesday, August 30, 2005

This is a partial transcript from "Your World with Neil Cavuto," August 30, 2005, that was edited for clarity.

NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: Forget insurance. My next guest says not one taxpayer dollar should go toward rebuilding the city of New Orleans (search).

Joining us now is Jack Chambless. He is the economics professor of Valencia Community College in Orlando.

Professor, why do you say that?

JACK CHAMBLESS, ECONOMICS PROFESSOR, VALENCIA COMMUNITY COLLEGE: Well, if we look at Article One, Section Eight of the United States Constitution (search) — and I encourage all Americans to look at that before we start opening up our tax coffers to pay for all of this — we have every obligation to provide for New Orleans in terms of charity, private charity from one person to the other.

But the founding fathers never intended, Article One, section Eight of the Constitution, never intended to provide one dollar of taxpayer dollars to pay for any disaster or anything that we might call charity. What we now have is the law of unintended consequences taking place, where FEMA (search) has come into New Orleans, a place where, ecologically, it makes no sense to have levees keeping the Mississippi River (search) from flooding into New Orleans, like it naturally should.

Now with FEMA bailing out Louisiana, bailing out Florida and lowering the overall cost of living in these places, we have people with no incentive to leave. And the law of unintended consequences means that more people are dying with every one of these storms. They're becoming more and more expensive, more and more property loss, just because the federal government has violated the Constitution to provide for these funds.

CAVUTO: Yes, but, Professor, if you have your way, then, these areas will just be the domain of the well-to-do, right?

CHAMBLESS: No, no, not at all.

I mean, people of modest means lived in the Bayou, they lived along the coast of Florida long before the government got involved. But they assumed personal responsibility for their decisions. They paid for insurance. They paid the market premium for insurance.

CAVUTO: Yes, but those insurance companies, Jack, have left. They're not insuring these people anymore, right?

CHAMBLESS: Some of them have left. I'm a resident of Florida. We still have insurance in the state of Florida. It's become more expensive.

CAVUTO: No, wait. To be clear, I know your state well, and there are some areas where that is simply not offered.

CHAMBLESS: Right. But that's part of the cost.

You shouldn't have to compel the insurance companies or force them. They are a private for-profit business. If they believe the risks are too high and the probability of incurring losses are too great, nobody should force them to underwrite policies there. But, if we look at what the insurance companies are also doing, in a way, they're able to free ride off of the taxpayers, because they're not responsible for flood insurance.

posted by Steve @ 1:48:00 PM

1:48:00 PM

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Bush's "drinking"

Making a return engagement to
the White House

Wonkette posted this up

Press Dinner Redux

I wrote in Friday's column about the off-the-record party Bush threw for the White House press corps last week, earning me my first-ever mention in a Maureen Dowd column in the New York Times.

Only two of the reporters actually present at the dinner seem to have had enough courage to actually write about it.

Julie Mason of the Houston Chronicle writes that "as it often can be when strange bedfellows find themselves at a party, the evening had a somewhat awkward atmosphere. Was it work or social? Neither side seemed sure.

"Nothing the president said could be quoted, but it's rare that reporters get uninterrupted access to him for 90 minutes, particularly when beer is served. Bush, who gave up drinking years ago, drank a non-alcoholic Buckler."

NBC News producer Antoine Sanfuentes blogged: "Over a fare of fried catfish, potato salad, coleslaw, and chocolate-chip cookies, reporters were offered a brief glimpse inside the presidential retreat as well as an opportunity to speak informally with the President."

Bush, who's never come clean about his drinking is now drinking non-alcoholic beer? Hmmm. Interesting.

Sounds like the wagon's had a broken wheel to me.

posted by Steve @ 12:55:00 PM

12:55:00 PM

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You're all commies

An outpost of the communist revolution

Atrios posted this up.

Conservative Author Is Seeing Red in America
By Dana Milbank and Alan Cooperman

Wednesday, August 31, 2005; Page A05

Cindy Sheehan: anti-American communist?

That was the accusation coming yesterday from the Heritage Foundation, which hosted author John J. Tierney Jr. for a forum titled "The Politics of Peace: What's Behind the Anti-War Movement?"

Tierney researched the movement for a book and came up with some choice descriptions. "I have to say it is communist," he told an audience at the conservative think tank, also describing the groups involved as "revolutionary socialistic" and "cohorts" of North Korea, Saddam Hussein and Fidel Castro's Cuba. "We're really dealing with . . . a comprehensive, exhaustive, socialistic anti-capitalistic political structure," he said.

Tierney, of the Institute of World Politics, identified five groups: ANSWER, Not in Our Name, Code Pink, United for Peace and Justice, and He said these groups "come from the Workers World Party" and are an "umbrella" for smaller groups, such as the "Communist Party of Kansas City" and the "Socialist Revolutionary Movement of the Upper Mississippi." Of the last two, he said, "I'm just making these up."

Tierney singled out Sheehan, whose son died in Iraq and who camped out at President Bush's ranch this month to protest the war. "I've never heard of a woman protesting a war in front of a leader's home in my life," he said. "I've never heard of anything quite so outrageous."

Heritage's Dana Dillon introduced Tierney by saying that "the discussion today does not oppose the antiwar movement per se or question the patriotism or loyalty or common sense of Americans on either side of the debate." But the blurb promoting the event on Heritage's Web site said of the movement: "At root, they are anti-American rather than anti-war."

The author said he has "grave, grave problems with the conduct of the operation in Iraq" and wouldn't want to see his 20-year-old son go there. But he said it is "automatic" that anybody who joins a protest by one of the offending groups is supporting communists.

John Tierney, Bronze Chickenhawk winner for his actions at the Heritage Foundation.

He doesn't want his son to be in Iraq, but Cindy Sheehan is a "communist"?

Doesn't he mean Jane Fonda?

I mean, if he's going in the wayback machine, let's go back to 1971 and leave Iraq like we did Vietnam.

If he's worried about communist influence, he should be attacking Wal-Mart. Because there is no group more tied to communists than the Bentonville Hillbillies. They are owned, lock, stock and barrel by the Chinese Government and their factories. When Beijing says jump, Bentonville says how high.

posted by Steve @ 12:06:00 PM

12:06:00 PM

The News Blog home page

On Leadership

While Bush was pushing medicare, New Orleans
was facing Katrina, bereft of funds, Guardsmen
and leadership

George Bush spent today making a ridiculous analogy between WWII and Iraq. He also played golf, got a guitar and slept well.

Meanwhile New Orleans is turning into a city of refugees. Even those who escaped are now running out of money and places to stay. Those stuck in the city may well die if a major rescue effort isn't launched, major being Navy amphibious vehicles and landing craft to get thousands of people to higher ground.

The military and FEMA will have to build refugee camps, because most of New Orleans will have to be rebuilt. The buildings are no longer habitable in most of the city.

We are not talking a small tent city either, but massive places built to hold people for months, maybe years. The scale of this disaster is on the scale of a major invasion or occupation. Understand this: the New Orleans of Marti Gras and Jazz and Heritage is gone, forever.

The city is underwater, not for days, but maybe weeks or months, with a toxic brew of chemicals making most of the buildings toxic waste containers.

So how does Bush lead, by avoiding the topic, except for platiudes. He didn't even stop his vacation until the scale of the disaster was clear.

Bush thinks leadership is sounding tough and ignoring all sound advice. It isn't. And when people like Kevin Drum call for "not politicizing" this, he provides more cover for Bush's failed leadership. The disaster in New Orleans was made worse by politics and it will be solved by politics.

Bush's leadership in times of crisis has been rote and weak. He seems to think his mere presence is leadership and it is not. He has been led to think President is a synonym for leader and it is not.

He should have flown home immediately and run this like any military operation. Donald Rumsfeld should not have been cheering him along, but helping to direct as many resources as possible to New Orleans.

Time and again, Bush uses invective and character assassination instead of actually leading people. If he cannot step to the plate now, he is condeming thousands to death.

posted by Steve @ 1:34:00 AM

1:34:00 AM

The News Blog home page

Translation=death for Iraqis

Ayat Selman, a Baghad native working as an interpreter
with the U.S. Army

Deadly work
Iraqi translators help at own peril


BAGHDAD - Iraqi interpreter Ayat Selman, a beautiful Baghdad native with covergirl hair and a kilowatt smile, hasn't seen her family in eight months.

She's an English-Arabic interpreter of Kurdish descent working with the U.S. Army.

And she said going home in the current climate of violence would be tantamount to suicide. "It's a good job. I like it. But I miss my family," she said sitting on a stiff cot in her air-conditioned tent at Camp Liberty. "If I go home, the insurgents will kill me."

Selman took the job serving U.S. troops two years ago because she wanted to help rebuild her country and learn more about American culture. The money was good, $1,050 a month for interpreters who live on the base. And it was a great opportunity to hone her impressive language skills.

"I appreciate that [the Americans] liberated us from Saddam [Hussein]," she said, wearing the desert-color fatigues, hat and head scarf she dons before climbing into armored Humvees for dangerous eight-hour patrols, six days a week. "It's good for Iraqi generations in the future."

Selman, who learned English studying microbiology at Baghdad University, added, "Before, we didn't have the Internet. We didn't have cell phones."

Selman, 25, is one of many Iraqi nationals working at the base who are hoping to build a better life, grateful for a paying job but anxious about hitching their fortunes to the U.S.

"If the coalition forces leave right now, we are dead," she said bluntly, surrounded by four other female interpreters who nodded in unison.

I hope to God these are not these women's real names. Because the Iraqi resistance reads US papers, uses Google and has an intelligence network which will hunt these women down with the help of their neighbors.

The US will have to bring thousands of these people to the US or watch them executed for being collaborators. The resistance has a pretty strict rule: cooperate with the Americans and they will kill you.

And this is tacitly supported by most Iraqis.

posted by Steve @ 12:10:00 AM

12:10:00 AM

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American Nero

Supply your own caption

No seriously, supply one.

posted by Steve @ 12:08:00 AM

12:08:00 AM

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Tuesday, August 30, 2005

NOLA Open Thread

They are going to be very, very busy

DC Media Girl picked this up


Inmates at a prison in hurricane-ravaged New Orleans have rioted, attempted to escape and are now holding hostages, a prison commissioner told ABC News affiliate WBRZ in Baton Rouge, La... A deputy at Orleans Parish Prison, his wife and their four children have been taken hostage by rioting prisoners after riding out Hurricane Katrina inside the jail building, according to WBRZ. A woman interviewed by WBRZ said her son, a deputy at the prison whose family is among the hostages, told her that many of the prisoners have fashioned homemade weapons. Her son had brought his family there hoping they would be safe during the storm.

Use this as an open thread to post up news about New Orelans

posted by Steve @ 10:26:00 PM

10:26:00 PM

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Niggers steal, whites find

Yeah, and there won't be a sea of dead black people "unabled to be saved" in the next few days.

posted by Steve @ 9:59:00 PM

9:59:00 PM

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Oh my God

The broken levee

Governor says entire city needs to be evacuated

With conditions in the hurricane-ravaged city of New Orleans rapidly deteriorating, Gov. Kathleen Blanco said Tuesday that everyone still in the city, now huddled in the Superdome and other rescue centers, needs to be evacuated.

"The situation is untenable," Blanco said, pausing to choke back tears at a news conference. "It's just heartbreaking."

The breach of two levees Tuesday meant the city was rapidly filling with water and the prospect of having power was a long time off, the governor said. She said the storm also severed a major water main, leaving the city without drinkable water.

"The goal is to bring enough supplies to sustain the people until we can establish a network to get them out," Blanco said.

FEMA is considering putting people on cruise ships, in tent cities, mobile home parks, or so-called floating dormitories, boats FEMA normally uses to house its own employees, said Coordinating Director Bill Lokey.

Lokey said he anticipated FEMA will set up a permanent office in the area.

Recovery will take so long, he said, that some workers could spend their entire career working on Katrina.

"This is the most significant natural disaster to hit the United States," Lokey said.

The devastation was enormous. One of the twin spans of Interstate 10 was broken into dozens of pieces between the pylons, stretched out across rising water like puzzle pieces. Only rooftops were visible in several neighborhoods and the occasional building was on fire. In relatively lucky neighborhoods, residents waded in the empty streets in knee-deep water.

Blanco, Lokey and others spoke to reporters after officials flew to New Orleans with FEMA director Mike Brown and other officials. They stopped at the Superdome, where Mayor Ray Nagin outlined the dire situation: hundreds, if not thousands, of people may still need rescuing from rooftops and attics, he said.

Blanco described the dedication of rescue workers who at midnight were told to take a break.

"They refused. They couldn't do it," Blanco said.

Blanco said rescuers were unable to get to people stranded, but safe, in one tall building because so many other people were "calling to them and jumping from rooftops" into the water to be rescued first.

Things were so bad, Nagin said, that rescue boats are bypassing the dead.

"We're not even dealing with dead bodies," Nagin said. "They're just pushing them on the side."

Maj. Gen. Bennett C. Landreneau, adjutant general for the Louisiana National Guard, said search and rescue teams were still picking up people throughout the city, leaving them on highway overpasses-turned-islands and on the Mississippi River levee to wait until they could be moved again.

This is like a nuclear explosion without the radiation. This makes 9/11 look like an exercise. I mean, 20 blocks away, life went on. But this? They have to evacuate a major American city.

Update: WWL: Mayor reports massive communications failure will flood entire city
by Rob in Baltimore - 8/30/2005 09:48:00 PM

WWL has just reported that the Mayor of New Orleans reported that a massive miscommunication has occurred. The choppers that were rescuing people were supposed to attempt to sandbag one of the levy breaches. Somewhere along the way, it was never communicated, night has fallen, and within 12-14 hours the entire city will flood.
Mayor Nagin: Unhappy that the helicopters slated to drop 3,000-pound bags into the levee never showed up to stop the flow of water. Too many chiefs calling shots he says.
Mr. President, there aren't enough military choppers in this country to both SAVE LIVES and try and mitigate DISASTER?

Total failure of leadership, and an entire city is now going to flood.

UPDATE: From the WWL Web site:

posted by Steve @ 7:26:00 PM

7:26:00 PM

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Dead Niggers, no problem-NRO

National Review staff meeting, 1962

The racist Jonah Goldberg posted this up yesterday about the destruction of New Orleans


I think it's time to face facts. That place is going to be a Mad Max/thunderdome Waterworld/Lord of the Flies horror show within the next few hours. My advice is to prepare yourself now. Hoard weapons, grow gills and learn to communicate with serpents. While you're working on that, find the biggest guy you can and when he's not expecting it beat him senseless. Gather young fighters around you and tell the womenfolk you will feed and protect any female who agrees to participate without question in your plans to repopulate the earth with a race of gilled-supermen. It's never too soon to be prepared.
Posted at 10:05 AM

Let me translate:

Poor niggers, New Orleans is yours. Act like your usual animal selves and die killing each other. Us safe, dry white folks will laugh at your plight, since you are only niggers and not human.

When will these people act like adults and not spoiled children.

posted by Steve @ 7:00:00 PM

7:00:00 PM

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Time to pay the Green Machine

I bet his mom wishes he was home

I just walked in the door, ate something, and am now going through my mail. This came in over the transom and I'm just fucking stunned. Surprised, no. Stunned, yes.

My cousin, who's an Air Force wife, is lucky that her husband is teaching at the Air University for a three year tour. But make no mistake, she's tough as nails. She's lived in Japan, Texas, Virginia, and worries about every possible deployment. But since he's an F-15E maitenance officer, his risk is moderate. But still, it's stressful and only the strong stay married. Because when they started out, he was an airman and being broke and young is not easy. Many people don't make it..

Unlike my cousin, who lived on an EM's salary, then an NCO's salary for a decade, this woman has only seen the upside of military service, the parties, the prestige. Well, there's the other side and that means doing his job.

Didn't she think the war could come knocking on her door?

The person who sent this to me said the woman was a chickenhawk. I think what happened is that reality hit her in the ass and she can't cope.

Of course, she's making his job all the harder with her breakdown, which is what this is. He can't not go, he's probably a Lt. Col. All she's doing is making his life hellish.

RESERVE OFFICER'S WIFE THINKS HE'S CHOSEN ARMY OVER HER DEAR ABBY: My sister needs help. Her husband, "Dale," who has been in the Reserve for 15 years, is being deployed to Kuwait next month, and she's a mess. She went to the emergency room this morning because she thought she was having a heart attack. It was an anxiety attack. One minute she's distraught because he's leaving; the next she wants to divorce him.

"Andrea" was always proud of Dale's service. She has happily bragged that she's an officer's wife, about the pay, the retirement that will come their way, and the travel deals they have enjoyed staying at Army properties all over the country. Until now, she has supported the action in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Now, however, she has kicked Dale out of the house because she believes he has chosen the Army over their family. She says he won't be allowed to call or e-mail her or their two kids while he's on active duty.

Andrea refuses any suggestion of support services through the Army because she doesn't think the session will be kept confidential. Although I want to support her, I believe she's denying Dale the support he deserves. It infuriates me that she has been in favor of the military action as long as it involved other people's families and not her own.

Andrea and Dale have been married 20 years. She has never lived alone, nor does she have the means to support herself. She has been seeing a therapist for the past few months for depression, but her next session isn't for a few weeks. How can I help? What can anyone else do to help? -- CONCERNED SISTER

DEAR SISTER: Please put aside your anger and give your sister all the emotional support you can, because she's extremely needy right now. She has been hit with cold reality. Her behavior is irrational because she is frightened. Her husband is headed for a war zone from which he might not return. With her husband gone, she may also have to find a job to supplement his salary. She should be talking to her physician and clergyman as well as her therapist. (She may need medication as well as therapy to see her through.)

I hope your sister comes to her senses before it's too late, or she may spend the rest of her life regretting her immaturity and self-centeredness. Her attempts to punish her husband are counterproductive and could sabotage his peace of mind and safety. This is not a matter of choice. Her husband is fulfilling an obligation.

posted by Steve @ 6:33:00 PM

6:33:00 PM

The News Blog home page

New Orelans under water

Whitecaps in the street

New Orleans Escapes Direct Hit, but Most of City Is Inundated

Some people had to be rescued from their rooftops in New Orleans after the storm passed.

Floodwaters from a canal were sending more water into already flooded areas of New Orleans, and Mayor C. Ray Nagin said in a television interview that the city was 80 percent under water, with some of it 20 feet deep.

Hundreds of residents have been rescued from rooftops, and as dawn broke rescuers in boats and helicopters searched for more survivors of Hurricane Katrina. The death toll in just one Mississippi county could be as high as 80, Gov. Haley Barbour said. Preliminary reports on Monday put the toll at 55.

"The devastation down there is just enormous," Mr. Barbour said on NBC's "Today" show. "I hate to say it, but it looks like it is a very bad disaster in terms of human life," he added, referring to Harrison County, which includes Gulfport and Biloxi.

"This is our tsunami," Mayor A. J. Holloway of Biloxi, Miss., told The Biloxi Sun Herald

Someone pointed out that in 1992, a brigade of the 82nd, was sent to Florida on top of the Marines and NG. Now, thousands of Guardsmen are in Iraq and not coming home any time soon.

Yet, with a crisis which may have just spared the obliteration of New Orleans, a two block gap in the Lake Ponchatrain levee has flooded the city and made the pumps used to keep the city dry, fail. Which means much of the city is underwater.

While the Presient clears brush.

Where is the military?

The road net in that region is just shot. Where are the Air Force Special Operations Squadrons with their pararescue men, boats and helicopters. Where is the Navy and their small craft. The Guard has a brigade protecting Mosul, but the Coast Cuard are rescuing people. Why aren't the helicopters of the 101st Airborne helping out?

Despite the scale of the disaster, the military is frighteningly uninvolved here. People are acting as if this is just another Florida hurricane and this may well be far more severe, One would think this would be treated like a nuclear attack, and the pace is far more casual.

And this is the result of the hurricane missing the city.

People are going to die in their attics unless far more and far better rescue equipment is deployed.

posted by Steve @ 9:43:00 AM

9:43:00 AM

The News Blog home page

Cameraphone perv struck in '94

Close it up, perv

Subway flasher in '94 rap?
Link to platform bust


A subway flasher caught in the act on a cell phone camera may have been arrested in 1994 for exposing himself at one of the same subway platforms he hit recently, sources told the Daily News.

Six victims in addition to the cell phone user have told police they were flashed by the man whose photo appeared on the front page of Saturday's Daily News.

And a dozen tipsters said they believe the suspect is Dan Hoyt, co-owner of raw-food restaurants called Quintessence.

Hoyt, 43, was arrested in 1994 and charged with public lewdness after he unzipped and flashed a victim at what was then the N platform at Manhattan's Eighth St. subway station, sources said.

He eventually pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct and was sentenced to two days of community service.

Hoyt reneged yesterday on a promise to come in and talk to cops, so police were on the hunt for the wayward restaurateur.

Hoyt's alleged victims were shocked to hear he had been targeting the same subway station for more than a decade. Four of the seven women who told The News they were flashed said it happened at the Eighth St. station

posted by Steve @ 9:17:00 AM

9:17:00 AM

The News Blog home page

The cries of the chickenhawk fill the air

Patrick McFawn, for conspicuous
bravery for attacking a grieving
mother while still a college student

Sheehan's protest oversimplifies debate
By Patrick McFawn

By now it would be almost surprising if one had not heard about the Cindy Sheehan media spectacle occurring outside of the president's ranch in Crawford, Texas. For those who have hid under a rock and sheltered themselves from the political news media, Cindy Sheehan is the mother of Casey Sheehan, 24, who was an Army specialist and one of the honorable men who have fallen while in combat in the war in Iraq. She is asking to meet with the president again for a one-on-one discussion about the war in Iraq and "why our sons are dead," because she wants the troops pulled out immediately.

Since the beginning of her protest, Sheehan has called President Bush "that filth spewer and warmonger." In addition, she has opined, "America has been killing people on this continent since it was started," and "the killing has gone on unabated for over 200 years." Sheehan says the U.S. government is a "morally repugnant system" and easily lets varying media outlets know that "this country is not worth dying for."

Because of the political component of her protest, Sheehan has teamed up with anti-war activists such as Michael Moore and Berkeley-based Former Green presidential candidate Ralph Nader has also publicly supported her.

The Casey Camp, named after Sheehan's son, has brought many organizations interested in broadcasting her poignantly political message to Crawford. Fenton Communications, a San Francisco-based public relations firm for liberal interests has joined Sheehan, along with True Majority, a non-profit group set up by Ben Cohen of Ben and Jerry's ice cream, Democracy for America, Howard Dean's political group and Code Pink, the organization founded by San Francisco's Medea Benjamin.

My first reaction upon hearing of this vigil protest and Sheehan's demands was to ask myself where this protest and its followers have been for the past several years. Yours truly actually debated this same exact topic in a class two years ago. While there is no question as to the right of Sheehan to protest, the war in Iraq and its justification is an old debate and, since then, no landmark paradigm or new knowledge has prompted the necessity of a re-evaluation of the choice to go to war. The only difference between now and two years ago is the fact that Sheehan can fend off opposition by referencing the grief resulting from her son's death.

It is necessary to sympathize with those who have lost loved ones; however, if all went according to Sheehan's requests and she was able to meet with the president, nothing tangible would result. Bush would state that he believed Sheehan's son died for a noble cause and that the war in Iraq is justified, just as he has previously stated to the media. In return, Sheehan would inform the president that her son died for a lie and that she wants the troops pulled out of Iraq, just as she has previously told the media. This basic outcome assumes that cameras would be present. If that assumption was false, then there would be two stories reported in the press: one of the president's and one of Sheehan's. Therefore, it seems reasonable to ask, what is the purpose of this political exhibition?

I sent along this little note:

Mr. McFawn,

I can only assume from your column that you are a member of ROTC. After all, if the war on terror is so critical, I'm sure you're planning to take an active part in it, as a platoon leader in the Airborne, perhaps, maybe in a Marine rifle company? If not, then I am assured you have made plans for enlistment after graduation. Because stopping Islamofascism isn't just a job for someone else, right?

I'm sure, a young man like you would actively seek combat duty after he gets his degree. After all, you would never be content to let someone else, perhaps a graduate of Los Angeles City College, fight in Iraq in your stead.

After all, men like you are strong enough to resist the emotional appeals of grieving mothers like Cindy Sheehan, and we need iron-willed men like you on our front lines, stopping Islamic terror where and when it shows its face. How wily of Sheehan to use the death of her eldest son as a political point. After all, she does have three other children. What's the loss of one in combat? A tragedy, but life goes on, right?

While I'm sure we need to debate Iraq, I know someone like you believes in action over words. You want to confront Islamic terror, not discuss it as residents of East LA and Compton get all the glory of stopping it.

Good luck in Iraq or Afghanistan, where I am certain you will be in the next few years.


Steve Gilliard
The News Blog

posted by Steve @ 8:41:00 AM

8:41:00 AM

The News Blog home page

For individual acts of chickenhawkism

Christopher Hitchens being
awarded the Bronze Chickenhawk
by President Bush

While the Kombat Keyboard Badge is for general service in the act of warmongering, those are not for individual acts.

The following medals are

The Golden Feather

This is the highest award for individual chickenhawk activity by a pundit or commentator.

To Jonah Goldberg Despite a near constant barrage of criticism for refusing to enlist, Goldberg held fast against the liberal assault and defended his position, despite the cruel ridicule of James Wolcott, a firm ally of the liberals, and Atrios, Goldberg refused to retreat, despite the snickers of others. For this brave action, he is award the Golden Feather for chickenhawkism in the face of the liberal enemy.

The lavender and yellow represents the royal pretentions of the Chickenhawks and the yellow, represents their courage in the face of the liberal enemy.

The Silver Chickenhawk

The colors of the silver chickenhawk represent the green, mountain dew they drink and the yellow, their courage.

Awarded for courage in the face of the liberal enemy and conspicuous courage

To Ben Shapiro Despite being a virgin, he managed to withstand the ridicule of bloggers and even an Iraq War vet to defend his right to support a war he would not fight in. For his heroism in the face of the liberal enemy, he is awarded the Silver Chickenhawk

The Bronze Chickenhawk

The colors orange, represent the cheetos and doritos of the keyboard commando, and the yellow represents their courage.

To Chistopher Hitchens, On the night of August 25, 2005, Hitchens, fortified by only a snifter of Brandy, confronted snarky Islamofacist fiend, Jon Stewart. Despite stumbling, he held his own against the ally of Osama Bin Laden and enemy of our president. For his conspicious bravery in the face of liberalism, he is awarded the Bronze Chickenhawk

posted by Steve @ 6:14:00 AM

6:14:00 AM

The News Blog home page

Disaster in New Orleans

Couple saving their baby

Levee breach floods Lakeview, Mid-City, Carrollton, Gentilly, City Park
By Doug MacCash
and James O’Byrne
Staff writers

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.

Police, firefighters and private citizens, hampered by a lack of even rudimentary communication capabilities, continued a desperate and impromptu boat-borne rescue operation across Lakeview well after dark. Coast Guard choppers with search lights criss-crossed the skies.

Officers working on the scene said virtually every home and business between the 17th Street Canal and the Marconi Canal, and between Robert E. Lee Boulevard and City Park Avenue, had water in it. Nobody had confirmed any fatalities as a result of the levee breach, but they conceded that hundreds of homes had not been checked.

As the sun set over a still-churning Lake Pontchartrain, the smoldering ruins of the Southern Yacht Club were still burning, and smoke streamed out over the lake. Nobody knew the cause of the fire because nobody could get anywhere near it to find out what happened.

Dozens of residents evacuated to the dry land of the Filmore Street bridge over the Marconi Canal were stranded between the flooded neighborhood on their right, and the flooded City Park on their left, hours after they had been plucked from rooftops or second-story windows.

Firefighters who saved them tried to request an RTA bus to come for the refugees, but said there was no working communications to do so.

Ed Gruber, who lives in the 6300 block of Canal Boulevard, said he became desperate when the rising water chased he, his wife, Helen, and their neighbor Mildred K. Harrison to the second floor of their home. When Gruber saw a boat pass by, he flagged it down with a light, and the three of them escaped from a second-story window.

On the lakefront, pleasure boats were stacked on top of each other like cordwood in the municipal marina and yacht harbor. The Robert E. Lee shopping center was under 7 feet of water. Plantation Coffeehouse on Canal Boulevard was the same. Hines Elementary School had 8 feet of water inside.

Indeed, the entire business district along Harrison Avenue had water to the rooflines in many places.

Joshua Bruce, 19, was watching the tide rise from his home on Pontalba Street when he heard a woman crying for help. The woman had apparently tried to wade the surging waters on Canal Boulevard when she was swept beneath the railroad trestle just south of Interstate 610. Bruce said he plunged into the water to pull her to safety. He and friends Gregory Sontag and Joey LaFrance found dry clothes for the near-victim and she went on her way in search of a second-story refuge further downtown.

They're short people, boats, everything.

The people who are going to die here are poor and black.

Their bodies will be seen bloated and floating on TV and it was largely preventable, to some degree.

But make no mistake, the poor will bear the brunt of this.

posted by Steve @ 2:37:00 AM

2:37:00 AM

The News Blog home page

Back in black

Iraqis carry the coffins of Moqtada Sadr follower
s who were killed last week in clashes with rival
Shiites. After the confrontations, supporters
of the radical cleric poured into Baghdad and
at least six other cities.

Sadr's Disciples Rise Again To Play Pivotal Role in Iraq
Freed Aides Join Newly Robust Movement

By Anthony Shadid
Washington Post Foreign Service
Tuesday, August 30, 2005; Page A01

NAJAF, Iraq -- Hazem Araji's résumé reads like a story of Iraq's recent past -- and perhaps its near future.

In the tumult that followed the U.S. invasion in 2003, he hit the streets with a clique of fellow Shiite Muslim clerics to organize what became Iraq's first postwar popular movement. Their symbol was Moqtada Sadr, a young, radical clergyman and son of a revered ayatollah. The next year, Araji emerged as the group's public face, as it twice fought U.S. troops. He and others were arrested, and for nine months he languished in U.S. custody in Abu Ghraib prison, then at Camp Bucca.

Now, as the country enters a time as politically uncertain as any since the fall of President Saddam Hussein, Araji is a free man. So are a handful of Sadr's other closest, most dynamic aides, men in their thirties who have helped shape the organization's combustible mix of Iraqi and Arab nationalism, millenarian religious ideology, grass-roots protest and gun culture. With customary bravado, Araji and the others today are sending a message: They are ready to make up for lost time.

"It's a new dawn," said the turbaned cleric, with a hint of a smile. He leaned against a wall plastered with Iraqi flags and portraits of the Sadrs and those killed in last year's battles. "People have been released, and they're working harder than before."

Long the bane of the U.S. project in Iraq, Sadr's movement returned to center stage last week, with what his aides describe as a new confidence following the release of Araji and other leaders, along with the experience of their sometimes quiet activism. In dramatic fashion over three days, the movement embodied virtually every aspect of power in today's Iraq: support in the street, an easily mobilized militia, and loyalists within the government that it often denounces.

After a clash Wednesday night in Najaf that they blamed on a rival Shiite militia, Sadr's armed followers poured into Baghdad and at least six other cities. Twenty-one members of parliament and three cabinet ministers loyal to him suspended their work in protest. Two days later, Sadr's followers organized some of the biggest demonstrations in recent years; ostensibly protests over government services, they were effectively shows of strength.

The newly freed aides say even they are surprised at the growing level of organization they have found within the group: clearer lines of communication, a more structured hierarchy and a sprawling social services network. In the Baghdad slum named after Sadr's father, the ramshackle headquarters that was wrecked repeatedly by U.S. troops last year only to be rebuilt sits next to the movement's newly completed, two-story stucco building with floodlights, air conditioners and seven agitprop-style megaphones clustered on the roof. A few miles away is a new office, trimmed in red and black, for the movement's social work, run by Araji. Across the street is an information center.

In a country whose sectarian and ethnic divides have relentlessly deepened, Sadr stands as a rare figure with support among both Sunnis and Shiites. At a protest Monday against Iraq's new constitution in Tikrit, near Hussein's home town, Sunnis held aloft pictures of the cleric. "Yes, yes to Sadr!" some of the 1,500 protesters shouted.

A post on Kos suggested that Sistani is now backing Sadr... er calling for national unity.

Which means SCIRI and Dawa are being hung out to dry. They made a deal with the Kurds and the US. Oooops.

I wish to God that Peter Galbraith would shut up about three different nations in Iraq. It's pretty fucking clear that he doesn't know what the fuck he's talking about.


posted by Steve @ 2:11:00 AM

2:11:00 AM

The News Blog home page

Where's the Louisiana Guard? In Iraq

Micah Golmon, a dad of four stationed in Iraq, is
worried for his family back in U.S.A.

Louisiana G.I.s' turn to worry


BAGHDAD - Hundreds of Louisiana soldiers in harm's way in Baghdad had the tables turned on them last night, fretting and agonizing over their family members back home in Katrina's path.

"I'm very worried. My fiancée said the wind was picking up to 180, 185 miles per hour," said Army Spec. Gerard Lawson, 21, of New Orleans.


"It's weird now that it's them running from danger and not us," said Spec. Mario Mendizabal, 23, from Houma, La., about 40 miles southwest of New Orleans. "I'm worried for my wife, my family, my brother, my sister. It's a good thing we're not on a mission right now because we wouldn't be able to concentrate."

All four soldiers have spent the past year working with New York's Fighting 69th. They've run countless patrols around Baghdad in Bradley tanks and now comprise a quick response team that reacts to attacks.

"I just want to know my family is okay, but they don't want me to worry so they're not telling me much. I guess it's my turn to wonder and worry," Lawson said.

Golmon, 27 and also from Houma, pulled out a photo of his wife and four daughters wearing matching pink dresses.

"I'm concerned about the stress this is putting on my wife. Here she was preparing for me to come home, and now she has four kids, two dogs and a guinea pig in a motel room in Texas," he said.

"I hope I actually get to go home to a home," Lawson added.

National Guard: Enough GIs for Storm Duty

By PETE YOST, Associated Press Writer Mon Aug 29, 7:52 PM ET

WASHINGTON - Some 6,000 National Guard personnel in Louisiana and Mississippi who would be available to help deal with the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina are in Iraq, highlighting the changing role of America's part-time soldiers.

"The juxtaposition of the mission to Iraq and the response to Katrina really demonstrates the new and changing character of the National Guard," Daniel Goure, a military analyst at the private Lexington Institute, said Monday.

The war has forced the Guard into becoming an operational force, a far cry from its historic role as a strategic reserve primarily available to governors for disasters and other duties in their home states.

At 1.2 million soldiers, the active duty military is simply too small to carry the load by itself when there is a large sustained deployment like Iraq. Nationally, 78,000 of the 437,000 members of the Guard force are serving overseas.

Pentagon spokesman Lawrence Di Rita said the Gulf states have adequate National Guard units to handle the hurricane needs, with at least 60 percent of the Guard available in each state.

In Louisiana, which took the brunt of Katrina, some 3,000 members of the 256th Combat Brigade are in Iraq, while 3,500 members of the Guard were deployed to help hurricane victims and another 3,000 were on standby

So what happens when they're tired? Who replaces them?

Does anyone doubt those 3,000 soldiers in Iraq wouldn't be activated for duty now, at home?

posted by Steve @ 12:59:00 AM

12:59:00 AM

The News Blog home page

Monday, August 29, 2005

The Kombat Keyboard Badge

The Kombat Keyboard Badge with double

The kombat keyboard badge with single

The kombat keyboard badge

A reader, BOHICA, came up with the orignial image of the KKB, but I think you have to be able to offer multiple awards for the KKB.

You, can, of course, use these images for your own sites.

And since we need to start handing out these awards, why not start now?

These awards are restricted to those pundits who advocate the Iraq War, but refuse to serve or have family members serve, when eligible.

Those ineligible include Michael Ledeen, who sent his daughter to work in the CPA in Baghdad, The Bushes, since their children have not taken a clear stand on Iraq, and sadly, Max Boot, who has actually been to Iraq, as has Tom Friedman.

To be eligible, one must have risked nothing to advocate the war, while advocating it voiceriously

While any chickenhawk can win a KKB merely for refusing to enlist while advocating the war, Bloomie, you can collect yours now, you must do more than that to win the chickenhawk or double chickenhawk.

Attacks on Cindy Sheehan are a good start, as is mocking actual Iraq veterans. Racism is also a good start.

KKB with double Chickenhawk winners

Jonah Goldberg
Ben Shapiro
Ann Coulter
Charles Johnson
Victor Davis Hanson
Rich Lowry
Peter Beinart
Glen Beck
David Brooks
Michelle Malkin
Clifford May
John Hindrocker
Roger L. Simon

KKB with single chickenhawk

Paul Gormely
Ken Robinson
Alan Lipton
Adam Rusch

posted by Steve @ 7:19:00 PM

7:19:00 PM

The News Blog home page

Nailed by camera phone


Restaurant boss in raw - tipsters

Is he subway flasher?


Cops want to question a Manhattan restaurant owner after getting numerous tips that he's the subway flasher caught in the act by camera phone, police sources said last night.

Nearly two dozen people have phoned the Daily News and the NYPD to say they believe Dan Hoyt, co-owner of raw-food eateries called Quintessence, is the man whose photo appeared on the cover of Saturday's paper.

Investigators contacted Hoyt by phone and asked him to come in for an interview, NYPD sources said. No arrests have been made.

Hoyt did not return The News' calls, and his business partner and ex-wife, Tolentin Chan, said, "It's not proven yet."

She said whoever the flasher is, he needs counseling.

"There should be a support center to support these men to find what is the cause of their action instead of ...putting them in jail," she said.

Hoyt and Chan co-own two restaurants, one on E. 10th St. in the East Village and the other on Amsterdam Ave., and are well known in the raw food movement, which calls for serving uncooked food.

You think his ex has some idea that he likes to whip his dick out in public? Treatment? Sure, sure, honey. As long as he's no longer sharing your bed. Well, the girls he scares...they'll get over it.

Maybe if he cooked something, he might not be so creepy.

From what I read it seems he really likes Asian women. Enough to whip his dick out for them.

What is amazing, though, is how this story spread online and into the Daily News as a front page item.

I've always been creeped out by that Asian fetish thing. It's dehumanizing on most levels, like the person only counts because they look a certain way.

posted by Steve @ 6:07:00 PM

6:07:00 PM

The News Blog home page

Who would shoot Suge Knight, pages 1-25

Man, what a shock. Suge Knight shot? Wow, just because
you're a thug and a gangster and hang people out of windows,
people want to shoot you? Damn.

Who shot Suge?

Everybody clams up as he recovers

Cops probe 2 theories: New rap war or self-inflicted wound

and DAVE GOLDINER in New York

Medics cart Knight to ambulance.
Was hip-hop mogul Marion (Suge) Knight wounded in the opening salvo of a new rap war? Or did the godfather of gangsta rap accidentally shoot himself in the leg with his own gun?

Cops were investigating those dueling theories as witnesses and Knight's pals clammed up about yesterday's early-morning shooting inside a star-studded party in Miami Beach before the MTV Video Music Awards, sources told the Daily News.

Police were puzzled by the failure to find a shell casing inside SkyBar's VIP Red Room at the plush Shore Club - and that no one got a good look at the shooter. Knight gave only a cursory account of the shooting, raising more doubts about the event. He was in stable condition last night after doctors removed the bullet and set a fractured bone in his right leg.

"He didn't see anything, he got shot from behind," said Bobby Hernandez, a police spokesman. "He fell to the ground."

Hernandez said "an accidental discharge" was one scenario under investigation. No gun was found on Knight, but bodyguards easily could have taken one off him in the mayhem that erupted after the shooting, a source theorized. If Knight is caught carrying a gun, he could be sent back to prison because he is on parole.

A-list celebs and glitterati ran for their lives when the gunfire erupted at the party hosted by Grammy-winner Kanye West, who graced the cover of Time magazine just one week ago.

"Everybody just scattered," said Shirley Halperin, 23, an editor with US Weekly.

Like others, Halperin never saw the shooter, who some witnesses described as a black man wearing a pink or red shirt. The crowds of celebrities soon regrouped by the palm trees at poolside and the Video Music Awards went off as planned last night.

He's been talking a LOT of shit lately in the magazines and maybe some of the OG's or their studio gangsta counterparts didn't appreciate him running his mouth. Or people were just scared shitless of him.

I know you'll see a lot of irate commentary about this, but this shit is funny. Not the part where he got shot, but the idiocy around it. If they were so tough, they'd be in SF or something. They're just wannabe gangsters with guns they don't even know how to clean.

A bunch of musicians running around with guns. As they used to say, you can't take some folks no place.

posted by Steve @ 5:49:00 PM

5:49:00 PM

The News Blog home page

I'm a coward and I want to die

See what you did. Grandma's so stressed by
your cheating, she's smoking weed.

As a break from Acts of God and Acts of idiocy, I bring you Cary Tennis, who actually gave a decent answer.

Married with two children ... and a secret girlfriend in Italy
How'd I get into this mess, and how will I ever get out?

- - - - - - - - - - - -
By Cary Tennis

Aug. 29, 2005 | Dear Cary,

I am suffering from the worst kind of wound, the self-inflicted kind. At every step of the way I've known that I was behaving in a dangerous, irresponsible way, sure to cause myself and others pain, and yet I've continued to march along the path to my own destruction.

About 18 months ago I went to Italy on a lengthy business trip. While there, I met a wonderful woman. Sexy, witty, charming. Oh, and did I mention completely smitten with me? We conversed only in Italian. She showed me the sites and cooked me gamberetti e pinoli. She introduced me to her family and her friends. When I left we pledged to stay in touch by phone, e-mail and instant messaging until the time came when we could be together.

It would have been the perfect romance except for one minor detail. I told her I was single but I am married. It was just harmless flirting at first and I never thought it would go as far as it has.

So I returned home to my decent, loving wife and my two young children. They were overjoyed to see me. Their wonderful father and husband had returned.

Meanwhile, I kept in touch with my Italian girlfriend. I went back to Italy in November and again in June. Each time I told myself that this was it. I would either come clean or come up with some pretense to end it. She began to talk about marriage and arranging her life so we could be together. I had to end it. I knew I did.

Through a complicated set of circumstances (mostly of my own concoction and language issues), neither of these women have any idea that the other exists. My wife thinks I'm going through a busy stretch and is concerned that I seem distant. My Italian girlfriend is anxious to move to the next step where we can be together.

And here I am in the middle, the lying, deceptive bastard. It's hard to describe the depths of self-loathing that I feel, and the knowledge that there is no way to come out of this without causing terrible pain to everyone and lose both women, neither of whom deserve what I've done. Neither do my children.

Neither do I, for that matter. I can't for the life of me figure out why I put myself in this situation in the first place, wrecking my own happiness in the process. An early onset midlife crisis? Narcissistic disorder? The natural tendency to screw up a good thing?

Instead of the obvious step of coming clean and trying to rebuild, I've come up with the even more insane idea of killing myself and leaving a note to explain what I'd done and that I was too much of a coward to face the hurt and disgust and hatred of people that I love.

And yet, being a coward, I doubt I'd be able to manage that, either.

Any thoughts, Cary, other than the condemnation that I deserve?


Dear Screwup,

Well, yeah, I have a few thoughts. But first, that pasta dish you mentioned looks really, really delicious. I'm so hungry right now I'm going to get up from the computer this minute and walk down to the Ferry Building and look for some food, and when I get back I'll try to help you out on this one. Wow, that was good. Geez, am I the most self-centered guy in the room or what? Oh, no, there you are!

Cary's answer was actually funny.

What a selfish fuck. Let me kill myself and leave my wife to raise two kids on her own because I wanted to screw around in Italy. This man is my hero, a coward AND a cheat.

Uh, actually the answer is really, really simple. Dump the Italian woman and tell her the truth. Even if she freaks out, screaming at your wife in Italian should be pointless, unless she speaks it as well.

Why did he put himself in this situation?

Readers, you're free to guess, but here's my answer: because he could.

posted by Steve @ 5:27:00 PM

5:27:00 PM

The News Blog home page

Dee dee dee, I'm a moron

You know, if you gave us laptops
we could write a column for the WaPo as well.
Hell, if Sally Jenkins can, any sentient being can.

Atrios posted up this idiocy from the WaPo.

You know, they pay editors to kill bad ideas. Where were they when this crossed the copy desk?

At least Andy Sullivan is blogging.

The sports section would not seem to be a place to discuss intelligent design, the notion that nature shows signs of an intrinsic intelligence too highly organized to be solely the product of evolution. It's an odd intersection, admittedly. You might ask, what's so intelligently designed about ballplayers (or sportswriters)? Jose Canseco once let a baseball hit him in the head and bounce over the fence for a home run. Former Washington Redskins quarterback Gus Frerotte gave himself a concussion by running helmet-first into a wall in a fit of exuberance. But athletes also are explorers of the boundaries of physiology and neuroscience, and some intelligent design proponents therefore suggest they can be walking human laboratories for their theories.

First, let's get rid of the idea that ID (intelligent design) is a form of sly creationism. It isn't. ID is unfairly confused with the movement to teach creationism in public schools. The most serious ID proponents are complexity theorists, legitimate scientists among them, who believe that strict Darwinism and especially neo-Darwinism (the notion that all of our qualities are the product of random mutation) is inadequate to explain the high level of organization at work in the world. Creationists are attracted to ID, and one of its founding fathers, University of California law professor Phillip Johnson, is a devout Presbyterian. But you don't have to be a creationist to think there might be something to it, or to agree with Johnson when he says, "The human body is packed with marvels, eyes and lungs and cells, and evolutionary gradualism can't account for that."

Sally, you're a fucking idiot. I'm sure the letters to the WaPo ripping this insane article will explain that. But let's start with this: First, let's get rid of the idea that ID (intelligent design) is a form of sly creationism. It isn't. ID is unfairly confused with the movement to teach creationism in public schools

No, Sally, that is exactly what it is. It is creationism with a scientific face.

But here's a hint: this is a scientitific theory without a scientist to back it up.

Are law professors the academic world's idiots? Because unless I'm confused, they don't teach biology in law school. Yet, it seems they spout out crazy shit every week. Why don't I go to a biologist for con law? I'm sure they can explain the First Amendment as well as Prof. Johnson can explain evolution, with his research trips and field studies and all. What? He's talking out of his ass?

The panda body is packed with marvels, eyes, and lungs and cells and evolutionary gradualism can't account for that either.

Here's a simple task: find a peer-reviewed article which backs up ID. Just one.

Good hunting.

Of course, you won't, because it isn't science. It is religion.

Sally, here's a hint: you wouldn't interview Joe Gibbs about the Nats, you wouldn't talk to Freddy Adu about scoring touchdowns, so why are you talking to a law professor and former football player about evolution?

posted by Steve @ 3:19:00 PM

3:19:00 PM

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Small penis=genius

Can't you see the natural superiority of the
White Race?

Atrios goes after the Bell Curve again

THE KNOW-NOTHING LEFT: A useful round-up of hysterical far left responses to any legitimate discussion of intelligence and group differences. Far left activist Atrios calls me "a bigot or a fool" in his post. No, Mr Black. Just interested in the truth. He also says that my claim to have published an extract from the Bell Curve before anyone else is untrue. He's wrong. TNR ran the only advance piece by Murray on the subject. And the cover-date for TNR is always a couple of weeks ahead of the actual published date (it keeps its shelf-life on news-stands), which may account for Atrios' error. The magazine was certainly not alone in covering the controversy. But we pioneered it. I have the scars to show for it.

Poor Andy Sullivan.

He thinks a theory which is based on penis size and IQ tests is definiative.

Why not moles and anal depth? The more moles you have, the dumber you are.

What he simply refuses to understand is this: there is no legitimate discussion of intelligence and group differences.

I wouldn't be as nice as Atrios.

I'd call him an out and out racist.

Because only a racist could push this theory.


Think about it.

No white person ever pushes this theory to advance black intelligence and survival skills. They only do it to show how smart white folks is and how dumb niggers are. And that they have big dicks, which also comfirms their animal-like idiocy.

None of the eugenicists ever promote black intelligence and athletic ability, or the idea that large penises increase fertility and may well have been a creation of racial breeding in slavery.

None of these theories ever rebound to the benefit of black people, always their detriment. Always.

If you had an experiment which, despite variables, came with the same conclusion, you might question the experiment.

I bought that issue of the TNR and every writer, except Sullivan, ridiculed the book and the idea. Yet, Andy is proud of this? Why?

I think the answer lies in a post by an Atrios reader who claimed to have gone to school with Sullivan and said he defended the Apartheid state of South Africa because blacks wouldn't be able to run the country. If true, it proves how deeply racist Suillivan is.

What is amazing is that he continues to think that he can argue that the Bell Curve, derided by geneticists as nonsense, you know experts in the field, as somehow valid. Well it is, at the Klan meeting and the Southern Party conclaves. But in most legitimate society, it's the ranting of racists.

posted by Steve @ 1:29:00 PM

1:29:00 PM

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Free John Gotti, Jr.

An innocent man

Atrios linked to another whining editorial about Judy Miller. What? Did she think martydom would be easy?

Well, it's silly, and the Times management doesn't get that Peter Patrick Fitzgerald isn't playing and Judy could be in jail a very long time. To him, she's no different than a crooked pol, but the editors at the Times don't get it.

The reason they have to look overseas for support, is that the Times on staff is far from unhappy that she is in jail and her husband seems to care less.

Free John Gotti Jr.

Published: August 29, 2005

The accused mobster John Gotti Jr. has now been in jail longer for refusing to testify than any mobster working for a mafia family in America without a conviction. It is a very long time for him, for his family and for the media. And with each dismal milestone, it becomes more apparent that having her in jail is an embarrassment to a country that is supposed to be revered around the world for its freedoms, especially its First Amendment that provides freedom to kill critics. Mr. Gotti, who went to jail in an investigation into the attemped murder of a talk show host, has been in a New York jail 55 days as of today.

Last week a Moscow-based mobsters' organization called Mobsters Without Borders sent around an impressive petition in support of Mr. Gotti. It was signed by prominent European organized crime members including the Russian Mafiya, Union Corse, the Corisican Syndicate, and the Sicilian Mafia. The text should be required reading for the judge, the prosecutor and the White House. "At a time when the most extremist ideas are gaining ground, and when growing numbers of mobsters are being killed or taken hostage, arresting a mobster in a democratic country is more than a crime: it's a miscarriage of justice," they wrote

That was only the latest of the petitions in support of Mr. Gotti that have been pouring in from Americans like Bob Dole, the former Senate majority leader, and people outside the United States. In one particularly poignant case, mobsters in Pakistan - Pakistan, mind you - took time out from their own battles to send messages of support.

It's time for the authorities who jailed Mr. Gotti to recognize that continued incarceration is not going to sway a mobster who believes he is making a principled sacrifice. As Vincent "Chin" Gigante, a veteran gangster for The Genoveses, wrote recently: "Without threatening witneess, without hits, a free press loses its ability to act as a check and a balance against the power of government." He cited the Anastasia killing, St. Valentines Day massacre and Umberto's Clam House. If John Gotti, Jr loses this fight, we all lose. This is not about John Gotti Jr. or Gambino family or a hit on one big mouth radio host. The jailing of this mobster is about the ability of a free mob to intimidate witnesses and kill those who get in the way.

posted by Steve @ 12:25:00 PM

12:25:00 PM

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Bring us home

Why are soldiers doing this?

Defensetech ran this

Army Doc: "Bring Us Home"

Captain Daniel Green is an battlefield surgeon, treating soldiers and Iraqi civilians around Baghdad's Green Zone. He has seen more casualties -- and interacted with more Iraqis -- than the vast majority of GIs over there. And that has given the captain a different perspective on this war. He isn't happy with how it's being run. In an e-mail to friends and family back home, Green says that it's time for U.S. forces to get out of Iraq.

I don't rightly know what your US news is saying, but here are a few of my own observations... The US Army is putting forth its main effort to train Iraqi soldiers... It will realistically take years before their Army and police are sufficient to protect the people and resist internal corruption. The reports that the commands are making to the higher-ups are biased and sugar-coated. The corruption is underplayed and the achievements/milestones exaggerated. The results however, may convince Congress and that a successful pull-out is close.

At this point I'd appreciate [it]. I've done my part. I've personally come to the law-of-diminishing-returns. The remaining process will be slow and arduous. Increasing financial expenditures and man-hours are going to be needed to sustain any significant growth.

It's similar to building a house. From the initial ground-breaking to foundation and framing, things seem to go remarkably fast, giving the home owners an unrealistic sense of impending move-in. Then the minor details like outlets, appliances, trim work, and cabinetry begin and little progress is noted after long periods. The tenants-to-be get anxious. The same is taking place here. The American public will not be able to consciously measure our productivity even with the best of media reporting.

Besides, I think the military is the wrong force at this point. We deal effectively with the combat training, but this corruption is a new species. We need Americans more attune to the nuisances of internal governmental fraud...people more like our own lawmakers. Soldiers need to focus on combat, not mafia arbitration.

I witnessed a company commander a few months ago try to expose and bring to justice the perpetrators of an intricately weaved plot of electricity theft. The King-Pin of the scheme was none other than the chairman of the city council. That went over well...

If it moves shoot it. If it doesn't move, shoot it anyway, and leave the rest to the State Department. Bring us home.

He's aiding the terrorists with his defeatism. Why doesn't he get on board and talk about the Good News from Iraq. I bet he'd be out there with that Bitch in the Ditch attacking our president. What does he know about the war anyway. He just patches up the wounded, who if they had been paying attention, wouldn't have been wounded anyway.

Why are all true patriots stuck behind keyboards defending America against the liberal threat.

posted by Steve @ 9:37:00 AM

9:37:00 AM

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What happens if a city disappears

What New Oreleans could look like after Katrina









The next closest thing to this is a nuclear explosion


If a bomb in the 10- to 20-kiloton range (the likeliest terrorist bomb) were to be exploded near ground level or in a ship in the harbour, the areas of blast, heat, and burn damage would be much smaller, perhaps reaching out to only one-tenth of the distances estimated for the one-megaton air-burst. The numbers of immediately killed and severely injured people would be counted in thousands, not hundreds of thousands.

Exploded on land, the bomb would vaporize all people and buildings in the immediate vicinity, and make a crater that might be as much as one hundred metres in diameter. If in the harbour, there would be a crater in the harbour floor and a tidal wave. The outstanding feature would be a radioactive downpour because much of the water in the harbour would be made radioactive and thrown high into the air as fine and coarse spray.

The explosion at ground level of this type of bomb would probably not cause a firestorm, so rescue operations for the injured might have some degree of success.

In either case, radioactive fallout would be serious, and might make the city, and an area of countryside stretching tens of kilometres downwind, uninhabitable for weeks or years. There would be a number of deaths from radiation sickness, for which there is really no effective medical treatment. The total amount of radioactivity might be comparable with the Chernobyl disaster, more or less depending on many circumstances.

A couple of months ago, Rick Santorum wanted to bar the National Weather Service from sharing some of it's data with the public.

Let's see: talking points for tommorrow.

1) Will Bush give up his vacation as a major American city is wiped off the map? We hope that this isn't the case, but if it is, will Bush finally act like a leader or hide again.

2) Why is the Lousiana National Guard as well as their first responders in the Marines, Army, Navy and Air Force reserve not home to help save their city?

3) Why did the Bush administration repeatedly cut funding for the Corps of Engineers district since 2001, despite being warned that this was one of the most likely disaster to hit the US, after a terrorist attack in New York.

Jen noted that most of the poor will be jammed into the Superdome, which will is expected to lose power. So people will be jammed into a hot, crowded building. One can only hope that it can withstand the storm.

UPDATE: While the storm passed to the east of New Orleans, turning into a Category 4, the winds and damage is still catastrophic.

Also, CNN is reporting that the Superdome now has a gash in in it's roof and people can see daylight through it. And the worst winds have yet to arrive

posted by Steve @ 12:02:00 AM

12:02:00 AM

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