Thursday, September 29, 2005

Saxby Stands Up For U.S. Beef

Senator Saxby Chambliss, chairman of the Senate Ag Committee, is considering seeking trade sanctions against Japan if that nation's ban on U.S. beef isn't lifted. Japan says it's concerned about the potential for BSE, also known as Mad Cow Disease, to infect U.S. cattle. Let's look at some facts, shall we?

There have been two cows in the U.S. found to be infected with BSE. One of those was born, and spent most of its life, in Canada. The other was an older cow, born before a feed ban was instituted in the U.S. to prevent the spread of BSE.

Japan, on the other hand, has a national herd size that is only 3.6 percent the size of the U.S. herd. Yet they have seen 20 confirmed cases of BSE.

Do the math. Japan has seen 10 times the BSE cases we have. Yet we raise more than 27 times the number of cattle. Sounds like their biggest fear should be their own cattle.

Reach Them While They're Young

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The Left hates it, but one of the most popular children's books right now is titled "Help! Mom! There are Liberals Under My Bed!". It's written by Katharine DeBrecht, pen name for a mother of three from South Carolina. Here's the book description from Amazon:

This full-color illustrated book is a fun way for parents to teach young children the valuable lessons of conservatism. Written in simple text, readers can follow along with Tommy and Lou as they open a lemonade stand to earn money for a swing set. But when liberals start demanding that Tommy and Lou pay half their money in taxes, take down their picture of Jesus, and serve broccoli with every glass of lemonade, the young brothers experience the downside to living in Liberaland.
Oh, do you recognize the characters under the bed?

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Crafting An Associated Press Story

We get an interesting look at how a story is written (and rewritten) for the Associated Press, courtesy of, and Mary Katharine who compiled the info.

A little background: Cindy Sheehan was arrested yesterday while protesting outside the White House.

An AP story was filed at 1:57 pm by correspondent Jennifer Kerr. The lead was:

Cindy Sheehan, the California woman who has used her son's death in Iraq to spur the anti-war movement, was arrested Monday while protesting outside the White House.
At 3:00 pm, an update to the story was posted, with a slightly altered lead:
Cindy Sheehan, the California woman driven by her son's death in Iraq to re-ignite the anti-war movement, was arrested Monday while protesting outside the White House.
Thirty-eight minutes later, another update appears, with another tweaked lead:
Cindy Sheehan, the California woman who became a leader of the anti-war movement following her son's death in Iraq, was arrested Monday along with dozens of others protesting outside the White House.
The thinking inside AP headquarters, blogger Mary Katharine says, must have been something like this:
"You know, because the whole process was, like, so organic. Cindy didn't really "use" or "drive" anything so much as she "became" the conscience of a country veering horribly off course. It was her simple request to meet with the President, her private grief, and her authenticity that won us over. Not that we're on her side, mind you."
Seems like a lot of thought went into making Ms. Sheehan sound more and more favorable as the story was being reposted. Why do you suppose the AP would try to portray Sheehan in a more positive light? Can you say... agenda?

Global Warming Hysteria

Jerome Corsi at WorldNetDaily tackles the ongoing frenzy on the Left to blame Hurricane Katrina, as well as everything else weather-related that happens, on global warming. Now that Babs Streisand and Robert Kennedy Jr. have proclaimed global warming the second worse evil on the planet (after President Bush), we should all be motivated.

I still wonder, though. If global warming is causing stronger, deadlier hurricanes, why aren't we seeing stronger and deadlier hurricanes in the Pacific Ocean? Or the Indian Ocean? Or in the southern hemisphere? I don't get it.

The Liberal Left Shows More Class

Bill Maher, host of the HBO show "Real Time", compared first lady Laura Bush to "Hitler's dog" during his Friday night cablecast.

That's the same show on which aging comedian George Carlin referred to Barbara Bush as a "silver d----e bag".

These comments, on top of those I mentioned last week from Bette Midler and Kanye West's outrageous statements the week before, show the true nature of the bitter, hateful Left. Anything they disagree with will be ridiculed, blasted and insulted. People of compassion my a--.

Monday, September 26, 2005

"Good News" Blogger Calling It Quits

Arthur Chrenkoff, the Australian blogger who chronicled the positive news stories out of Iraq and Afghanistan in his regular "Good News From..." columns, has filed his last reports. He's taken a new job, which will prevent him from blogging, so he recently said goodbye to the blogosphere. His contributions will be missed.

Friday, September 23, 2005

At Least One Crackpot Doesn't Blame Bush For Katrina

Scott Stevens, a weatherman in Idaho, has been in newspapers across the country where he was quoted in an Associated Press story as saying the Yakuza Mafia used a Russian-made electromagnetic generator to cause Hurricane Katrina in a bid to avenge the atomic bomb attack on Hiroshima. He has left his TV job to pursue his conspiracy theories full time.

To read more, here is Stevens' website:

Thursday, September 22, 2005

It's Not Just Kanye

I see that when liberals get together, even to raise money to help flood victims in New Orleans, they can't leave their hate for Republicans (and President Bush in particular) at the door. This from Rolling Stone online...

New Orleans descended on New York for two concurrent concerts, dubbed From the Big Apple to the Big Easy, Tuesday night to raise money for the victims of Hurricane Katrina...

... A few artists angrily denounced government officials for their slow response to Katrina's devastation. "I Wish New Orleans was dry and Washington was underwater," said Tom Waits.

Bette Midler had even stronger words: "I got a letter from the Republican Party the other day. I wrote back, 'Go f--k yourself.'" She then added, "George Bush is a fan of mine -- he came to see me in the Seventies. His coke dealer brought him."
Isn't that classy? Even when the situation isn't about them, they can't help but take the stage and put their face (and hatred for the Right) front and center. We learn more and more about the failures of the local and state leaders, but these lib celebs still hammer home the "Hate George Bush" message. Must make the Left so proud.

Actually, it probably does. And that's all the worse.

Eight Days?

Time flies, don't it? We're still getting everything ready for the big move, which will hopefully be two weeks from tomorrow. Any of you with strong backs, come on down! We have a little something you can carry.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

DeLay Gets It Wrong

The Washington Times is reporting that House Majority Leader Tom DeLay "said yesterday that Republicans have done so well in cutting spending that he declared an 'ongoing victory,' and said there is simply no fat left to cut in the federal budget." I hate to get down on a Republican leader, but sometimes you must.

DeLay is way off base. Sure the Republicans have been generally more responsible financially than Democrats were when they controlled the Congress. And granted the attacks on September 11th, higher costs for oil, the War on Terror, etc. have in their own ways led to more spending that anticipated when Bush took office in January 2001. But spending is still out of control, as evidenced by the recently passed $286.4 billion Transportation Bill.

I'm a big believer in transportation and infrastructure funding and construction. I suppose I'm one of those people who believe you really can build your way out of congestion. When the roads bill was passed, like transportation funding bills in the past, I look to see what progress will be made with that funding. This bill provides for many much-needed projects. But, it's also full of pork...

$800,000 for a parking facility in Peoria, IL
$750,000 for construction of horse riding trails at Jefferson National Forest
$440,000 for a bike/pedestrian path in Powers, OR
$2.8 million for the West Ridge Nature Preserve in Chicago
$850,000 for construction of bicycle and trolley path in Hattiesburg, MS
$250,000 for pedestrian and streetscape improvements in Ellaville, GA
$1.3 million to construct a recreational visitor center on the Mesabi Trail in Virginia, MN
$2.5 million for landscaping enhancements along the Ronald Reagan Freeway Route 118 in CA
$2 million for a parking facility in Bozeman, MT
The list goes on and on and on. 200 pages of these earmarked expenditures. Most are probably justified. Many are not.

There's still a tremendous amount of cutting that needs to be done. DeLay is living in a dream world if he believes otherwise.


I'm more comfortable with the whole house-buying experience than with shopping for a new car, but it's still a nerve-wracking endeavor. As if that weren't stressful enough, it's our busy time at work. Evenings and weekends are spent preparing for the big move, so precious little time is available for other things (like blogging).

Funny thing... since the wedding, I've found less and less time to post. What's up with that?

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Blame Amid the Tragedy

Bob Williams writes on the Wall Street Journal's Opinion Page that Gov. Blanco and Mayor Nagin failed their constituents. It's a fantastic piece, and includes this gem:

"A year ago, as Hurricane Ivan approached, New Orleans ordered an evacuation but did not use city or school buses to help people evacuate. As a result many of the poorest citizens were unable to evacuate. Fortunately, the hurricane changed course and did not hit New Orleans, but both Gov. Blanco and Mayor Nagin acknowledged the need for a better evacuation plan. Again, they did not take corrective actions. In 1998, during a threat by Hurricane George, 14,000 people were sent to the Superdome and theft and vandalism were rampant due to inadequate security. Again, these problems were not corrected."
What do they say about learning from the mistakes of the past?

Hollywood To The Rescue

Megan Basham calls out the "foreign actors telling us what's wrong with our government" following Hurricane Katrina. An excellent read.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

A Response To A Comment

One of the readers of this blog left a comment on a previous post that I'd like to address. Following my post, a reader by the name of Craig (here's his blog) left this comment...

I agree that blame seems to be everywhere, but noone seems to even want to acknowledge that there is any to be given out. My theory, which I detail on my site, is that the entitlement programs we have grown up with are to blame. We have become so dependents upon the government, that we don't do the things we should as preperation.
I responded with this...
It's a valid argument. I believe that as people have become more accustomed to government hand-outs (a.k.a. entitlements), they have come to expect the government to take care of them. There appears to be less self-reliance in those parts of society accustomed to living off the public dole.
Another reader, who calls herself Ann but won't give an email address or homepage, responded to my comments. I'll address them as I go...
So are you saying that the poor black citizens...
Why "poor black citizens"? Do you believe no poor white citizens were affected?
...with no resources (cars, money, connections, helicopters, etc) who actually did survive the most devastating hurricane ever to hit this country's shores, were supposed to rescue themselves from the flood caused by the busted levees? You know, the ones that the Corps of Engineers wanted to fix before their budgets were slashed (over and over again).
Actually, a little initiative might have saved some of those who died, and might have gotten lots of them out before the flooding trapped them. No money? Call a church and ask for help. Call a cab company and ask for a free lift. Ask a neighbor or friend or relative. Call a local charity. Maybe several people could have pooled their money and hired a cab. Many people believe, and I think the argument has some merit, that the more reliance people have on the government, the more complacent and needy they will become. When you have done less for your own benefit, because others are doing for you, you might tend to have troubles when fate puts you in a position of fending for yourself.

As for the Corps of Engineers comment, I have no idea what the budget needs and distributions have been for those levees over their 30 or 40 year lifespans. I do know that there are many people responsible for the work that should have been done to shore up the levees. Presidents (at least 8 over the last 40 years), governors, senators, representatives, mayors, local leaders, Louisiana Emergency Management officials, and who knows how many others. President Bush didn't write budget legislation funding or cutting funds for the levees. He didn't use the line-item veto to delete it from funding bills. If anyone deserves to be blamed for funding issues on those levees, it's Louisiana's elected leaders in DC (both Democrats and Republicans) who have had four decades to put the issue on the front burner and get it addressed.
This is how you justify the abandonment of the sick and hospitalized young? And what about the thousands of old folks in senior homes who were left to drown in sewage up to their eyeballs? How were they supposed to rescue themselves?
Actually, I blame the mayor directly for anyone hospitalized, in nursing care or in senior homes who were not evacuated. Thousands of city school buses and public transportation vehicles could have been brought out en masse and used to evacuate these people. Instead, they sat unused, like empty lifeboats on a sinking ship.
Don't you wonder why they were not evacuated while all those busses sat idle? When the state was declared to be in a state of emergency, and all the request actually were made (perhaps not to the letter of the law, but that never stopped rescue efforts in the past!).
I do wonder why the buses were never used. I have no idea why the Governor of Louisiana first turned down President Bush's request for federal assistance. I have no idea why Mayor Ray Nagin left thousands of school bus seats empty and unused, then chose to blame the President for what appear more and more to be failings at the local and state levels.

And unless I'm mistaken, the governor has the authority to call up the Louisiana National Guard in an emergency crisis. Why didn't she do this immediately? Why didn't she order thousands of troops into the city immediately? Why didn't she order vehicles and aircraft into the area to save lives immediately?
New Orleans, they were told, was too hard to get to. And yet there it sits at one of the most accessible points by water, land, or air, of any city in the nation. That, in fact, is why it even exists in the first place: incredible access.
That "incredible access" to water is what caused the entire crisis. The hurricane did virtually no damage to the city itself prior to the levees failing. Unlike thousands of square miles of devestation east of New Orleans, the city itself came through remarkably well until the waters overpowered the levees.
The blame falls squarely with the Federal Government, on FEMA and W especially. Heinous bigotry and incompetence.
It's clear you dislike the man, but how does President Bush "especially" fall to blame? Show me the "bigotry". You libs like to throw inflamatory comments around, but the never want to substantiate them with facts.

Let's see, most of the faces we saw in distress (in New Orleans) were black. Obviously that means (to a liberal) that they are suffering because they're black, and the white people must have been rescued first. How am I doing so far? But wait, the vast majority of people I saw conducting rescues, whether from boats or helicopters, were white. Does that mean that only white people cared enough to go rescue the needy? Of course not. That's absurd. Just as absurd as the complaints fro mthe left that the victims were left to their own devices because of their race. Two-thirds of the city of New Orleans is black. That means that the majority of the people left behind would probably be black. That's no racism, it's mathematics.
And the fact that they suspended rescue efforts for Laura's photo op (8 hours), and for W's photo op (locked down airspace, faked the levy repair efforts, etc.) is unforgivable. How many could have been rescued during that time? How many lives were lost. This culture of life language that sounded so good to me once, is complete bulls**t.
Your insensitivity is almost as staggering as the incompetence of this administration and its racist policies. Wake the f**k up.
As with all good Libs, the lack of hard facts and material to defend one's point leads to the inevitable personal attacks. With Ann, at least, it also leads to vulgarity. I have no idea where she's coming from with these last comments. Sounds like the ranting from the discussion groups at

I don't know how many of you read the comments posted on this blog, so I wanted to address this directly in a post.

Attacking Bush Over Disaster Not Working

Here's a fantastic column by Wesley Pruden, in the Washington Times, describing how the Angry Left's attempts to politicize the tragedy along the Gulf Coast are not working. He also caught the whole school bus thing...

Not much traction with the abuse
By Wesley Pruden

George W. finally gets it -- in more ways than one. The tardy president was back on the Gulf Coast yesterday, bucking up the spirits of the damned and stiffening the resolve of the slackers.

He's getting it as well from his critics, many of whom can't believe their great good luck, that a hurricane, of all things, finally gives them the opening they've been waiting for to heap calumny and scorn on him for something that might get a little traction. Cindy Sheehan is yesterday's news; she couldn't attract a camera crew this morning if she stripped down to her step-ins for a march on Prairie Chapel Ranch.

The vultures of the venomous left are attacking on two fronts, first that the president didn't do what the incompetent mayor of New Orleans and the pouty governor of Louisiana should have done, and didn't, in the early hours after Katrina loosed the deluge on the city that care and good judgment forgot. Ray Nagin, the mayor, ordered a "mandatory" evacuation a day late, but kept the city's 2,000 school buses parked and locked in neat rows when there was still time to take the refugees to higher ground. The bright-yellow buses sit ruined now in four feet of dirty water. Then the governor, Kathleen Blanco, resisted early pleas to declare martial law, and her dithering opened the way for looters, rapists and killers to make New Orleans an unholy hell. Gov. Haley Barbour did not hesitate in neighboring Mississippi, and looters, rapists and killers have not turned the streets of Gulfport and Biloxi into killing fields.

The drumbeat of partisan ingratitude continues even after the president flooded the city with National Guardsmen from a dozen states, paratroopers from Fort Bragg and Marines from the Atlantic and the Pacific. The flutter and chatter of the helicopters above the ghostly abandoned city, some of them from as far away as Singapore and averaging 240 missions a day, is eerily reminiscent of the last days of Saigon. Nevertheless, Sen. Mary Landrieu, who seems to think she's cute when she's mad, even threatened on national television to punch out the president -- a felony, by the way, even as a threat. Mayor Nagin, who you might think would be looking for a place to hide, and Gov. Blanco, nursing a bigtime snit, can't find the right word of thanks to a nation pouring out its heart and emptying its pockets. Maybe the senator should consider punching out the governor, only a misdemeanor.

The race hustlers waited for three days to inflame a tense situation, but then set to work with their usual dedication. The Revs. Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson, our self-appointed twin ambassadors of ill will, made the scene as soon as they could, taking up the coded cry that Katrina was the work of white folks, that a shortage of white looters and snipers made looting and sniping look like black crime, that calling the refugees "refugees" was an act of linguistic racism. A "civil rights activist" on Arianna Huffington's celebrity blog even floated the rumor that the starving folks abandoned in New Orleans had been forced to eat their dead -- after only four days. New Orleans has a reputation for its unusual cuisine, but this tale was so tall that nobody paid it much attention. Neither did anyone tell the tale-bearer to put a dirty sock in it.

Condi Rice went to the scene to say what everyone can see for himself, that no one but the race hustlers imagine Americans of any hue attaching strings to the humanitarian aid pouring into the broken and bruised cities of the Gulf. Most of the suffering faces in the flickering television images are black, true enough, and most of the helping hands are white.

Black and white churches of all denominations across a wide swath of the South stretching from Texas across Arkansas and Louisiana into Mississippi, Tennessee, Kentucky, Alabama and Georgia turned their Sunday schools into kitchens and dormitories. In Memphis, Junior Leaguers turned out for baby-sitting duty at the city's largest, most fashionable and nearly all white Baptist church, cradling tiny black infants in compassionate arms so their mothers could finally sleep. The owner of a honky-tonk showed up to ask whether the church would "accept money from a bar." A pastor took $1,400, some of it in quarters, dimes and nickels, with grateful thanks and a promise to see that it is spent wisely on the deserving -- most of whom are black.

The first polls, no surprise, show the libels are not working. A Washington Post-ABC survey found that the president is not seen as the villain the nutcake left is trying to make him out to be. Americans, skeptical as ever, are believing their own eyes.

Wesley Pruden is editor in chief of The Times.

Friday, September 02, 2005

The Blame Game

Who's responsible for the massive devestation that's been wrought on New Orleans and the Gulf Coast?

Other than FEMA, the White House and various charitable organizations, everyone seems to want to lay blame on one person or another. The mayor was ranting on WWL radio last night about the President's promises of aid, aid which he says he isn't seeing. Louisiana's governor was on TV this morning complaining that enough buses weren't sent to New Orleans to evacuate local residents. Miles O'Brien is on CNN trying to get Mississippi governor Haley Barbour to blame the President, then this morning trying to get Louisiana's governor to confess to her own screw-ups. Residents and reporters and questioning why relief organizations aren't already caring for everyone in the city. Most Americans seem disgusted with the level of looting and violence taking place in the city. Everyone's complaining about something, blaming someone.

What do we really know?

First, we know that Katrina hit Florida as a Category One hurricane, a weak storm, but causing plenty of destruction and massive loss of power. Resources were directed to Florida for rescue, recovery, etc. FEMA, Red Cross, Salvation Army and many other groups were setting up shop there just after Katrina moved into the Gulf.

Next, we know that Katrina strengthened quickly, taking aim at the Florida panhandle. It wasn't until Saturday morning, only 48 hours before landfall, that anyone knew that New Orleans was in jeopardy. And no one expected that it would grow into a Category Five storm.

We know that when Katrina came ashore, it created a swath of destruction from west of New Orleans east to near the Alabama state line. That's over 100 miles, plus the damage goes inland a bit. At one point, over 80% of Mississippi was without power. Thousands of homes destroyed, tens of thousands damaged. Suddenly resuce, recovery and rebuilding is taking place not just across south Florida, but along thousands of square miles of Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana.

We know that a mandatory evacuation order was made by the New Orleans mayor Sunday morning, less than 24 hours before landfall. The terribly short notice, coupled with apathy or unconcern or stupidity (it had to be something), led to maybe 100,000 people trying to ride the storm out in New Orleans.

We know that levees made to withstand mush weaker hurricanes partially gave way, flooding the city with up to 20 feet of water. Houses are buried beneath the water, houses that will presumably have to be demolished when waters receed. Thousands of them. We also know that people knew for years and years the danger these levees held, yet they've never been strengthened.

We also know that looters and roving gangs of street thugs have tried to take control of what's left of the city. They've killed people, raped people, shot at relief helicopters and convoys and burned buildings. In a time of tragedy and suffering, we are seeing the worst of human behavior.

We know there's no effective way to communicate with all those trapped in the city, with phone service down, cell phone service spotty at best and no power to operate radios

So... I have a few questions.

Why wasn't the mandatory evacuation ordered on Saturday, when it became apparent that Katrina was heading their way?

I've seen video and pictures of dozens of school buses in a parking lot in New Orleans up to their roofs in water. Why weren't those buses used to evactuate the poor, disabled and elderly? Assuming each bus could hold 40 people, and I saw what looked to be at least 100 buses, that's another 4,000 who could have been rescued. And in a city that size, there must have been hundreds of buses.

Where has the police chief been throughout this crisis? With stories of 20 to 40 percent of city police AWOL, and video on MSNBC of three policewomen looting in a Wal-Mart, where's the public face of the police department?

Why aren't more community leaders stepping up to condemn the looting and violence?

It's too early to talk about rebuilding, but when the time comes, should the city be restored to it's condition prior to the hurricane? Should areas of the city be built-up, raising neighborhoods above sea-level?

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Stupid People Fall For Stupid Rumors

Those of you in Georgia are already aware of this, and those out of state may have heard about it. We had a little Peach State gas crisis yesterday.

Rumors spread that gas stations across the state were running out of fuel. Otherwise sane people panicked, not bothering to check out the story. Cell phone calls, e-mails and text messages fueled (sorry!) the situation. Gas stations were closing at 2pm, one rumor stated. Another claimed there would be no gas deliveries for two weeks. We heard all those rumors here in the office. I got the e-mails, also.Lines formed around gas stations and backed up into streets and shopping centers. In one parking lot, a driver with a handgun tried to cut into line. In some places, gas prices shot up as high as $5.87 for regular unleaded.

But... there was no truth to any of the rumors. Gas supplies were below normal, but there was no imminent danger of tanks running dry. A mid-afternoon check of the AJC, the Associated Press and Atlanta news station web sites showed all the rumors were untrue.

"Atlanta's not out of gas," said Jim Tudor, president of the Georgia Association of Convenience Stores. Some stations might be out, "but it wasn't because there wasn't gas available. It was because there was a run on these stores."

The head of the convenience store trade association doesn't blame it on Hurricane Katrina or low stocks or delivery problems. He blames it on people falling for stupid gossip.

The situation eventually calmed down. I saw long lines all over town yesterday afternoon while I was out, but last night when we ran some errands things had calmed down. Prices on my side of town never got above $2.99, but there were reports of $4.00+ prices all over Middle Georgia.

All of this fueled (again, sorry!) by stupid rumors, believed and spread by gullible people. And yesterday, gullible equaled stupid.