Sunday, August 31, 2008

Obama on WDSU

The weathernerd linked to a site that is showing streams of all
the tv stations in new orleans. Pretty cool stuff, and I was lucky enough
to tune into channel 6 when Barrack Obama called into the show. He mumbled
through some platitudes about how Fema and the state appear to be working well
together, then he got some direct questions from Margeret Orr asking if he would

- category 5 levee protection
- wetlands restoration

he said he would support both and he has supported both and thinks we
should have been further along in wetlands restoration. So maybe an obama
win would be better for Louisiana. Wetlands restoration would help the flood
protection for the west bank, and restoring the MRGO would help chalmette,
but the only thing to do for the east bank is higher stronger levees.

I watched Katrina from outside the country and before the storm the government
made all the noises of cooperation, supposedly with boats and airboats prepositioned,
but in the end the coast guard and local and state boats did most of the rescuing.
The main difference I'm seeing this time is that the evacuation is mostly finished a day
and a half before the storm, and they are searching for people who haven't evacuated
and need help. During Katrina the evacuation was just getting started at this point,
so much better performance this time. I think it is due to proactivity from the state,
and a local government which is what is supposed to happen.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Kind of worried

If I put the candidates in terms of who they look like from the entertainment
industry, I'm kind of worried. We've got an old guy with a younger hottie.
They've got will smith and an old guy, but with laser guns. It might be kind of
hard to win this battle, because tj hooker doesn't have laser guns. Maybe Mccain
does though. hmmm.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Gustav pointed north, Bobby Jindal responds

I noticed this morning that most of the models now have Gustav
pointing towards southeast louisiana, and the scatter is a lot less, as
if the answer is converging. The times picayune has a response from
Bobby Jindal, with his plan for evacuation being activated. He's not waiting
for mayor nagin to maybe evacuate people sometime next monday, or
for Fema to swoop in on magic carpets and rescue everyone after the storm.

If the storm continues to threaten the state, Jindal would declare a state emergency and request a federally declared emergency on Thursday. Those declarations trigger regulatory and financing programs to help the government deal with a disaster.

The governor emphasized that all the plans are tentative based on the direction of the storm and that the steps for evacuation may not be necessary.

If the storm continues to head toward Louisiana, the governor on Thursday would exercise state contracts for up to 700 buses to assist with evacuations.

Governor Jindal is taking steps now when there is time available to do something
instead of using the previous system of waiting and hoping.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Joe Biden?

Obama just picked Joe Biden for his VP and I really can't see
why he'd pick him. Biden has already been given the taste test
and rejected by voters a few times. The google test looks just as
bad, if you type "joe biden" into the google toolbar then type almost
any other letter, the type-ahead will pop up something pretty negative,
from "joe biden plagiarize" to "joe biden bullshit".

We're in bergen norway now, while all the hopeful democrats are still
in their beds with dreams of Al Gore still in their heads, I've already seen
the announcement that bodes ill for demos, and almost guarantees mccain
will win. Thanks Obama.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Ogre City

It's a rainy Sunday night here in Ravenna with accompanying thunderstorm
that really rattles the tiles on the roof. We managed to accomplish nothing this
weekend, I was so tired from work that I just sat around lazily most of the time
and we watched some episodes of "Entourage" on iTunes.

We did manage to walk around some on Saturday and we went into a church that I hadn't been
into before, St John the Evangelist. It's from the early 5th century and I'm sure it
was very nice before we blew it to heck during WWII. It's been rebuilt and some of the
mosaic re-pieced together, but the redone mosaics don't look too terrific to me at least not
when compared to San Vitale.

In Ravenna history is literally layered on top of history, with Roman ruins, then byzantine,
then very little happening during the medieval period, then plenty of "new" stuff from
the 13th century onwards. A lot of the old quarter seems to be from the past 400 years
or so. The roman ruins are sunk in the muck or buried by river silt, the only byzantine ruins
left are the churches, so the centro storico is really around the same age as Cartagena, with
a few ancient buildings thrown in.

There's also lots of WWII history here, next weekend we have to evacuate for a day because
an unexploded bomb was found about 3 blocks from here during some construction. So maybe
we'll get outside of town and see some different history. I need to remember to keep my history
questions on the ancient history, when I see recent bomb damage that was usually caused by
the US. and by Nazi's hiding in churches.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

The problem with making Caesar an outlaw

The crazy people on the left want to hold "Nuremberg style" trials
for Bush administration officials. This is nuts, but it is also stupid.

I'm in Italy now and the first book I read here is a history of the roman
empire, from Republic to the fall the empire. In the section on Julius Caesar,
it's easy to see that what might have driven him to revolt and becoming
emperor was he had basically no choice. If he gave up official power as proconsul,
he was to be tried as a common criminal. Rather than risk that, he chose the other
option of seizing total power

So, if you're a lefty nut and you think Bushhitler is truly evil, then you should
keep your stupid mouth shut until Obama is in office, otherwise you are nuts, stupid and

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Swiftboating for windpower

T. Bones Pickens has an interview in the Ny times about his plan
to secure energy independance for the country using windpower. I don't
know if his plan could work or not, but it's good to start heading in a direction
instead of just arm flailing towards increasing imported oil and peak oil.

The best passage of the interview comes during a political question, Pickens
helped finance the Swiftboat Veterans, and the reporter doesn't even know what
the swiftboat veterans said, and that they just said the truth!
[times questions in bold]

You helped re-elect Bush in ’04 when you gave $3 million to the Swift Boat campaign to discredit John Kerry’s Vietnam service. Do you regret your involvement? Why would I?

Because it’s such an ugly chapter in American political history. Oh, I see. Well, it was true. Everything that went into those ads was the truth.

Really? I thought it was all invented. I never did anything dishonest.

A good contrast on leadership is to compare John McCain versus John Kerry.
Kerry got 3 purple heats for Frank Burns type wounds, then left his men that he
was leading and went home to stab those men in the back. John McCain stayed in
hell for more torture even though the North Vietnamese would have released him for
the propaganda benefit. Lucky for Obama he hasn't faced any decisions like those, but
judging by how quickly he throws people under the bus that make him look bad I can't
image the Hanoi Hilton's door would have hit him on the ass on his way out.

[of course if I had been in Vietnam, I'd probably have used whatever rules possible to get
out, but then I'd never run for president either]