Friday, September 23, 2005

Global Warming and the Decline of Pirates

The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster has determined that global warming is caused by the declining number of pirates in the world:

Makes sense to me. (I would drink out of a mug with that graphic on it)

Update: I think the current number of pirates must be low. There are so many kinds of pirates these days. Not too many flying the skull and crossbones from the topmast perhaps, but there is still piracy at sea, and think of all the corporate pirates.

So if there are more pirates than the chart allows, does that mean global warming is not as bad?

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

The Levees Broke, Were Not Overtopped

The New Orleans levees were not overtopped. They broke.
"We are absolutely convinced that those floodwalls were never overtopped," said van Heerden, who also runs LSU's Center for the Study of Public Health Impacts of Hurricanes.
On a tour Tuesday, researchers showed numerous indications that Katrina's surge was not as tall as the lakefront's protections. They showed a "debris line" that indicates the top height of Katrina's waves was at least four feet below the crest of Lake Pontchartrain's levees. They also pointed out how the breached floodwalls near the lake showed no signs of overtopping -- no splattering of mud, no drip lines and no erosion at their bases. They contended that the pattern of destruction behind the breaches was consistent with a localized "pressure burst," rather than widespread overtopping.

But let's not play the blame game, now. Wouldn't want anyone to actually have to pay for their ineptitude.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

New Orleans - "Inevitable City"

Ernest Partridge has a well reasoned piece at Democratic Underground on the placement of New Orleans - below sea level and all:
For the fact of the matter is that New Orleans is an "inevitable city" – a geographic/economic necessity. The Mississippi River drains two-thirds of the 48 contiguous states, and within its watershed most of the nation's agricultural products are produced. And, now that we have outsourced most of our manufacturing base, agricultural products are our primary export, offsetting the United States' huge (and unsustainable) trade deficit. Down the Mississippi and its tributaries, barges full of the bounty of American farms are towed toward the Gulf of Mexico, and to the necessary gulf port at the Mississippi delta.

At the same time, essential imports arrive at this port – by tonnage, the largest port in the U.S. and the fifth largest in the world. In addition, from the state of Louisiana, the United States gets 15% of its domestic petroleum and 27% of its natural gas.

So all of the gasbags questioning why it is there, why anyone would want to live there, or why it should be rebuilt should just go and ... read some history. New Orleans is not just a city full of black jazz-playing bead throwers. It is a city essential to our economy.

Monday, September 19, 2005

The Katrina Administration

John Kerry sent this as part of an email announcing a speech at Brown University:

Katrina is a symbol of all this administration does and doesn't do. Michael Brown -- or Brownie as the President so famously thanked him for doing a heck of a job -- Brownie is to Katrina what Paul Bremer is to peace in Iraq; what George Tenet is to slam dunk intelligence; what Paul Wolfowitz is to parades paved with flowers in Baghdad; what Dick Cheney is to visionary energy policy; what Donald Rumsfeld is to basic war planning; what Tom Delay is to ethics; and what George Bush is to "Mission Accomplished" and "Wanted Dead or Alive." The bottom line is simple: the "we'll do whatever it takes" administration doesn't have what it takes to get the job done.

This is the Katrina administration.

It's so true. The Bush Crime Family and the Republicans are laying waste the government of America. Go read the speech.


Been getting some spam comments so I turned on word verification.

Working Conditions

I hate stink, and I hate hubbub.

So it makes working in my office environment kinda troublesome for me. First thing in the door, and it stinks of something kept in the garage below the office, so I turn on the fan below the desk to move around the air. Then my cubicle neighbor comes in, and his "cologne" and his cigarette stink forces me to turn on the fan on top of the desk. Then throughout the day there are any number of loud conversations, or discussions across the room by people too lazy and inconsiderate to get up and walk a dozen steps. Then the guy who yells at his kids up to half a dozen times a day on his cell phone tells his kid to finish his homework and mow the lawn.

Makes a body want to quit and move to a mountaintop.

Arguable anecdotes

Some people argue against evident failure of systemic proportions by citing selective anecdotal success stories. I've noticed this mostly on the right side of the political spectrum. The most prominent example would be Bush arguing the success of any of his policies by picking an individual and parading her at his State of the Union address. The example does not and cannot prove the broad point, it just glosses it a bit.

Sort of like saying, "Oh, no, the ship isn't sinking! Here's a dry spot!"

Sunday, September 18, 2005


I have a friend who often repeats that the mark of civilization is the yellow line in the middle of the road. His point is that it is only by mutual agreement that a narrow stripe of paint controls behavior.

Being a Republican, he would probably not appreciate the point that taxes are the price we pay for that civilization.