Monday, July 31, 2006

On Blast

I hope the fellas over at Island Drama (link may not be safe for work) are paying attention to this story.

What do y'all think?

What if a Congresswoman was sleeping with a staffer (no pun intended) and he blogged about it to the whole internet, with larger gossip and political watchdog blogs and websites picking it up and increasing distribution. What would y'all ladies think? Would she have a case for invasion of privacy? When two consenting adults engage in an affair, who holds the copyright? Where do locker room high fives cross the line before whispered rumour becomes news, where does it become litigation?

What do y'all think?

Read all about it.

Insta-Inspiration

I know he may irritate some folks on my side of the aisle, but I must say that I am sad to see The Instapundit himself, Glenn Reynolds, leaving MSNBC Online.

When I got the jobby job I will soon be leaving, it was at a desk in front of a computer. Being the news-junkie that I am, I often found myself shunning CNN and Faux News in favor of the news outlet SAWB says no one but me reads, MSNBC.

Soon my attention was riveted by the "Blogs, Etc." page that they had, which wasn't the same format then as it is now. But to my knowledge, no other news outlet had included such a nod to new, do-it-yourself media. (At least they hadn't back in 2004.) Through these pages, I was drawn to liberal media critic Eric Alterman, pop culture internet filter Will Femia, and - yes - do-it-yourself-media man Glenn Reynolds.

Shortly thereafter, I was sending out emails to my friends with links to stories Glenn & Co had pointed out. Some of my friends thought these emails were obnoxious (as they undoubtedly were), I was undeterred. Soon thereafter, following in the footsteps of so many individuals like Glenn Reynolds, my own blog Hurricane Radio, was born, and I joined the new media with baby, baby steps.

I don't know how many links to Glenn's MSNBC page are included in the last year or so of blogging here, but there are quite a few. I will miss his blog on MSNBC, and I guess, now that he has concluded his time there, that I will finally have to suck it up and start visiting Instapundit regularly.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Chatham Artillery


Democratic Reunion a Wild Success in Savannah

So, it was just another Island City Saturday for me, when I was checking my emails to discover a message in my inbox concerning this weekend's national Democratic Reunion. I clicked around, put in my zip code and found out that the Chatham County Democratic Committee was hosting their Democratic Unification Rally.

Never one to turn down an open invitation to the First City of the Coastal Empire, I grabbed a digital camera, jumped in the car and headed north on Interstate 95.

Upon arriving at the intersection of Abercorn and Victory, I saw the meeting place, The CaledonIan, a true Savannah-style pub. The parking areas and the curbs were filled with vehicles emblazoned proudly with Democratic stickers. I had arrived.



When I walked inside, I was almost taken aback by the sight of dozens of Democrats -young and old, black and white, in a truly integrated show of support for the Party. I signed the guestbook with my Island City address, and waded into the crowd. Reverend Jim Nelson of Savannah, candidate for United States Congress (GA-1) was on stage alongside Master of Ceremonies, CCDC Chairman Joe Murray Rivers, delivering a fiery speech in support of the Georgia Democratic ticket. Rev. Nelson was rewarded with a roar of approval from the crowd.



Up next was Darryl Hicks, candidate for Georgia Secretary of State. Mr. Hicks spoke of his extensive managerial experience, and the theme of his speech was that Georgia needs a Secretary of State who puts competence before ideology and politics. He got noted response from the crowd when he spoke of voting reform, and making sure every vote counts.



Following that came speeches from other candidates and officeholders, including Mell Traylor (candidate for GA State Senate-1), Rep. Tom Bourdeaux (GA-162) and Chatham County School Board 3rd District candidate, Ms. Sabrina Greene-Kent.

After the speeches, I roamed the room for interview opportunities, meeting fellow District 1 Democrats, and enjoying the fellowship. These people are the reason I became a Democrat in the first place; just regular folks who want America to be a better place than we found it. Regular folks who care enough to get involved and help decide the direction of their communities, their state and their nation.

Saturday, I got to talk to fellow Democrats about issues important to Glynn County (education, home ownership) and the nation (Iraq, the Middle East). I got to talk to fellow Democrats about new media (email, internet, blogs). I got to talk to fellow Democrats about college football (which is never, ever wasted time). And, in the end, I get to broadcast this out onto the internet for everyone to see.

All in all, this trip was well worth the drive up through uncooperative weather and traffic on Abercorn. I walked out of this Democratic Unification Rally quite pleased with the future of the Democratic Party, and prouder than ever to call myself a Democrat (Party Wing).

Meet the Democrats:

Vergie, Camilla & Sabrina
Elaine & David
Mike
Chariman Rivers
Carolyn
Gallery

Mirror Post at Coastal Empire DFA

Saturday, July 29, 2006

The Conflict Comes Home

Shootings in Seattle are reportedly based on the conflict in the Middle East.

This business needs to end, now.

The War on Justice

There is a very strange but very real battle going on over the American judicial system. This is far less about who becomes a judge and far more about what judges can do. Ladies and Gentlemen, if we want to keep the third branch of government we are going to have to get into the fight.
Crusades against independent courts are sprouting like mushrooms. It's time for judges and everyone else who cares about judicial independence to stop hoping that dignified silence will win the day. Enemies of impartial justice are energized and organized. But judges have the tools they need to fight back and win—if they're willing to roll up their robes and explain in plain language why interest groups must not take America's system of fair and impartial courts hostage.
I am a fan of the American legal system. I have my critiques, but they can be worked out within this system. If judges have to turn alleged murderers loose because the police or prosectuion can't get their act together, I blame the prosecution and the police for not doing their damn jobs. If judges declare legislation unconstitutional, I blame the legislators for not doing their damn jobs. If judges declare executive decision unconsitutional, I blame the executive for not doing their damn jobs.

The judicial system is supposed to be a wall, not a popularity contest. They have to make unpopular decisions to make sure the police, the legislatures and the executives stay within the bounds of the law. This is why the Judicial branch was created - to strike down actions of the other parts of government when those actions overreach. We're going to have to deal with decisions that they make which are not popular and don't appear to make sense, but the advantage of having them around is far greater than the disadvantage we will be at when we tie their hands.

The Maryland Senate Race

New Report: Crabcakes Bad for Politics

Is this like the lowest common denominator with Senate races or what? SAWB already discussed two of the winners going for the Democratic nomination and their rather strange ways to implode. Now it is Republican candidate Michael Steele who's in the news, and not in a good way.

What did he do?

He said the the "R" in Republican is like a "scarlet letter" these days.
He went on to say the GOP-controlled Congress should "just shut up and get something done," that the Iraq war "didn't work" and "we didn't prepare for the peace," that the response to Hurricane Katrina was "a monumental failure of government." He said having his party leader President Bush campaign for him would be a disadvantage.
But this stuff isn't what anyone is angry about. If there were things people in Maryland might be receptive to coming from a Republican, "Just shut up and get something done" probably fits high on the list.

But he's in trouble not because of the statements, but that he didn't own up to them once people found out he made them. His 'coverup' sounds overly-political and slimy, just like all the other politicians Steele is running against.

Mental note: when running as an outsider, don't fret about criticizing the establishment.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Ho Boots!!

A post and comment thread over on Knoxviews has encouraged DADvocate to discuss fashion and the way women present themselves. We talked about the 'don't date losers' scenario way back in March, which could be of tangential interest to this topic.

I know some really crazy women (seriously, crazy, y'all) who dress just as conservative and prudish as a sweet Georgia peach. Then I know some knock-your-sox-off lookers who wear patent leather and upper-thigh skirts and almost fall-outta-yo'-top halters who are the sweetest women you will ever meet - Keepers you could bring home to Mama's house. Plus, I've seen far too many 'theme nights' gone wrong back in Athens, and even Bubba Garcias has a "Clubba Garcias" where all the kids on Island City dress ghetto fabulous. And I have that secret love for watching the beautiful girls of the SEC walk to Sanford Stadium wearing their Ho Boots.

For me, style is visually stimulating, but I maintain that I can figure out within 15 minutes if there is some substance there or not - and that's what's important. I don't care if you're wearing a sun dress or Gothic bondage, if you're only talent is leanin' up against the bar and lookin' cute, I'm gonna pass you by. So are most of the real men with real jobs and real respect for women.

Long Range

No pun intended.

This article reminds us that criticism of Israel does not equal support for Hezbollah.
“We see in Israel a society so traumatized by a generation of war that its leaders are no longer capable of making strategic judgments about their country’s survival.”
-Henry Kissinger
I do wonder when we are going to be able to answer the big questions about the Middle East. Peace will come only when we face the realities of the situation and ask the tough questions.
Whether Israel is "justified" in its actions is a debating point for TV talk shows. In the real world, the question is whether Israel is likely to achieve such a smashing victory that the short-term gains will be worth the long-term costs. And, to repeat, nothing suggests that is remotely plausible. If that is so, then America’s blessing for the campaign in Lebanon is merely increasing the final costs, not only for Israel but for the United States and more generally Western policy in the region.
For me, this is about Realpolitik and an American centered foreign policy.

Minimum Wage Redux

This is an interesting thing of note, Republicans may bring the minimum wage increase to the House floor. I guess they really want that Congressional pay raise not to hurt them in the fall. Though they plan to attach the estate tax repeal to the bill...
The move comes after almost 50 rank-and-file Republican lawmakers pressed House leaders -- who strongly oppose the wage hike and have thus far prevented a vote -- to schedule the measure for debate. Democrats have been hammering away on the wage hike issue and have public opinion behind them.

"We weren't going to be denied," said Rep. Steve LaTourette, R-Ohio, a leader in the effort. "How can you defend $5.15 an hour in today's economy?"
Meanwhile, Democrats nationwide are hammering for minimum wage increases at the state level. That's one thing I really like to see: Democrats acting like an actual opposition party. Go out there and start changing hearts and minds. When it doesn't work one way, go out and get it another.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Must Watch

I can't say enough goodness about this particular video clip. It is just over 7 minutes, work safe. Worth. Every. Second.

Click here and you won't be disappointed.

(Hat tip, strangely, to hyper-left-wing Empires Fall.)

Would You Like Fries With That?

In a strange manuver for the defense, Saddam asks to be shot instead of hung.

That can be arranged, bubba. I'm sure of it.

How did a tin-pot like this become such a problem for us? Oh yeah....

Nanny State Continued

All blue, baby. Daddy's home.

But even when I win with a beautiful hand like this, I could go to jail because worrywort people help write our laws.

From Slate:

"Various other forms of gambling are entirely illegal, though prevalent and unlikely to get me in trouble. It is technically against the law to participate in an office pool on the NCAA tournament. Betting on a friendly round of golf, chess, or billiards is also a crime. I break the law when I play poker with my buddies, though if I am ever arrested, I plan to point out that Justice Scalia does it, too."
The war on fun continues...

Hard Work Pays Off Like It Should....

....and other myths propogated by the system.

We've talked about minimum wage on this blog a few times, and some individuals have made the suggestion that if someone's making minimum wage, there is a reason, and they need to better themselves in order to make more cabbage. The other side of this coin was that CEO's and managers etc were making the big dollars because they did work that deserved to get paid.

So why does this jackass get off the hook so easy, and keep his paycheck?

The Massachusetts Turnpike Authority chairman, under fire since 12 tons of falling concrete killed a woman in a Big Dig highway tunnel, resigned Thursday after weeks of pressure from the governor.

In an agreement with the state, Matthew Amorello has until Aug. 15 to clean out his office, but he will continue to be paid his $223,000 annual salary through February.

He also avoids a hearing scheduled Thursday during which he would have been deposed — under oath — at a time when federal and state officials are conducting criminal investigations into the deadly collapse.
No wonder we can't build roads or levees on time or within budget anymore - even if you screw it up and people die, you still get professional courtesy and you get to keep your paycheck.

I can tell you right now, I have no problem paying people what they are worth, but if you ever wonder why so many folks want a raise in the minimum wage, remember that people like this are still making their money, despite not doing their jobs.

I Come From Alabama...

I was gonna name this post, "All I want for Christmas, 2010," but it didn't have the same ring to it. I also toyed with calling it "If you can have a former Mr. Universe run and win as governor of California, We can get the Dream Team into the governor's mansion in Alabama."

I only hope Sir Charles is serious this time around.

(Though I hope he wasn't a Sociology Major when he was at Auburn....)

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Brunswick News Tripleheader



Game One: Proving that world-class art and saving taxpayers money is a bi-partisan affair, fellow Island City blogger Virgil (aka Coastal Companion) points out that a letter I wrote to the Brunswick News actually got published.

His interest in my letter?

Well, the K Street Tree Sculpture Project, a plan to turn a historic oak tree trunk into a world class piece of art, is his baby - one he worked on for quite some time. Though his proposal was to get this work done through private donations in order to keep the expenses low, the whole project is now in danger because our good ol' local paper misrepresented where the funds would come from, and taxpayers around here (naturally) became irate that they may have to foot the bill for it, even though that wasn't really the case.

Luckily, local City officials, artists and Coastal Companion readers have responded in support of the K Street Tree Sculpture, including yours truly. I urge my fellow Island City and Coastal Empire readers, or hell, anyone who appreciates art and aesthetic, to read some of these links and write a letter to the News in support of this project.

Though we disagree on many, many things, Thank You, Virgil. This project is truly world class.

Brunswick News Tripleheader

Game Two: Frequent HR commentator and fellow Island City blogger liberalandproud points out that one of our local organizations, GlynnPeace is planning a protest in front of our Congressman's Brunswick offices tomorrow, and the Glynn County GOP doesn't want it to happen. Now, y'all know my thoughts on the War, and y'all probably know my thoughts on the effectiveness of protests, but I just find it fascinating that the Glynn County GOP was able to pre-emptively turn a Peace Rally into Pro-War Press before the fact. Ouch.

Brunswick News Tripleheader

Game Three: Nanny State runs amok. Perhaps the weakest of the three games today, this is an article about the bureaucracy and the courts ordering a teenager to submit to chemotherapy against their own wishes. This should drive up the blood pressure of anyone who believes in civil-liberties. Regardless of your ideology, when bureaucracy goes crazy, we all loose.

Nacho Supremes

What should the role of the Supreme Court be? Slate reviews a new book about it: Jeffery Rosen's The Most Democratic Branch.
it gives both a body and a voice to all this progressive uneasiness. First, Rosen channels some of the most agonized liberal legal scholarship (Roe v. Wade was both badly decided and terrible for progressives; Brown v. Board of Education wasn't really all that central to the project of desegregation). Then he ties it all up with this neat prescriptive bow: Supreme Court justices, in order to do justice, should do almost nothing at all.
Some folks may say this kind of thing is just picking nits, but I find such dialouge extremely important:
Like many moderate progressives, Rosen agrees with the outcomes of Brown, and Roe, and many other Warren and Burger Court opinions. But he also recognizes that many of those decisions were badly reasoned and extravagantly—even arrogantly—overwrought in constitutional scope. Rosen wants to root the best results of the Warren era in some fixed principle, even if that principle would be unrecognizable to Warren himself.
I might have to pick up a copy of this little ditty, even if the writing is dry. But, then again, I'm one of those 'true geeks' who really worries about the reasons behind everything, especially with the laws of our land.

I'll say right now that my idea of the Supreme Court was always that of a legislation and executive filter; either declaring laws unconstitutional (and therefore sending them back to the Legislature) or declaring enforcement proceedures and policies unconstitutional (and therefore sending those back to the Executive).

Since you like caption contests...

This might be more appropriate on the sports page but since Pat is talking about how much he loves caption contests, I thought I'd post this one here. Have a look but be warned of possible PG-13 language.

Blackout

This Public Service Announcement is brought to within site of the hurricane rich Atlantic Ocean.

It is the time of year for rolling blackouts, hurricanes & isolated severe weather. Though blackouts on Island City are usually affairs that come only during stormy weather, the hurricanes kept us on our toes. Out west, apparently, power can go out for no reason at all - and there is that ever-present spectre of earthquakes. Up North, and in other parts of the year, blizzards and Nor'Easters can do some damage.

Everywhere, every year, Americans face an involuntary, and oftentimes unexpected, denial of services that we usually depend on. Sometimes nature or accidents happen, and the government isn't going to be able to pull our butts out of the fire or may be unable to restore services as quickly and efficiently as we might like.

Glenn Reynolds writes about this today.

The fact is that things go wrong, and you need to be ready to look after yourself when they do. Popular Mechanics has published a useful Blackout Survival Guide, with advice on how to prepare, and what to do when the power's out for a long period.
...
Naturally, you'll also want flashlights, batteries, a portable radio, blankets and --this is important, but easy to forget -- a stash of cash, in fairly small bills, in case ATMs and credit-card processing are out.
...
Finally, be sure to have at least a week's worth of food and water stored, along with any medications you or your family members might need. And consider taking a first aid course, or something like Community Emergency Response Team training. Bad things happen, and it's better to be ready than to be wishing you'd done something when you had the chance.
True 'nuff.

"Axis of Eagles"

I love caption contests. Especially for excessively bad political campaign spots. This one brought tears to my eyes.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

On War

Lieutenant Colonel Robert Bateman is a contributor ot Eric Alterman's MSNBC Online blog, Altercation.

Today he had this to say:
We have a problem in the United States. Well, we have a lot of problems of course, but one in particular I can help alleviate. We have a problem of knowledge. More specifically, we have a problem with a lack of knowledge about one particular topic: War.
...
So I enjoin you to read. Not just Altercation (though, of course, continue to do that), and not just the news about war, but I think that I must ask you to read about war, become educated in war, so that, in the end, you can discuss war with reason, facts, understanding of theories, and hard-nosed comprehension.
I think these words ring very true for folks on the right and the left.

A Letter from New Orleans

Dear Bloggers:

This message is being sent to NOLA bloggers, Louisiana bloggers, Katrina bloggers and those blogging from the Diaspora. The one-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina and the flooding of New Orleans will soon be here. On August 25-27, 2006, there will be a convention for all people who care about New Orleans, here in New Orleans. The Rising Tide Conference is being planned and hosted by bloggers and we are requesting your participation.

The Rising Tide Conference will be a gathering for all who wish to learn more and do more to assist New Orleans' recovery from the aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. We will come together to dispel myths, promote facts, share personal testimonies, highlight progress and regress, discuss recovery ideas, and promote sound policies at all levels. We aim to be a "real life" demonstration of internet activism as the nation prepares to mark the one year anniversary of a massive natural disaster followed by governmental failures on a similar scale.

This e-mail is being sent to you to as part of an attempt to create a comprehensive e-mailing list of interested bloggers who would like to participate or attend. In the coming weeks, announcements will be made about venues and events via this list. Please forward this e-mail to anyone who may be interested in the Rising Tide Conference.

A Rising Tide Wiki has been assembled where you can find information, make suggestions, offer help and provide information.

Please go to the Blogger List part of the Wiki and check the entry for your blog and make sure the information is correct. If you see that a blog is missing, please add it to the list.More information will be coming soon. Check the Wiki for updates.

Thanks from

Kim Marshall

Mark Moseley

Ashley Morris

Maitri Venkat-Ramani

Lisa Palumbo

Peter Athas

Jeffrey B.

Morwen Madrigal

Alan Gutierrez

Ray Shea

George Williams IV

and Blake Haney



Fuzzy Math

8 Dead Israelis = 500 Dead Americans (but only 11 Dead in Miami & 0.286 Dead in Madison, Wisconsin). However, Rwandan genocide = 165,000 Dead in Madison, Wisconsin.

Confused yet? Jordan Ellenburg over at Slate discusses the fuzzy math of proportional analogies. It is well worth the read.

I tried the math for Island City, and apparently we're the equivalent of a spilled drink. A spilled well drink.

Litigation Legislation

I love it when really real conservatives take Rightwingers Against Really Real Reality (RARRR!!!) to task. That's why I'm such a big fan of Senator Arlen Specter (R-PA), especially when this man proposes legislation that will allow Congress to sue Ol' Dubya for Unconstitutional Shenanigans.

“We will submit legislation to the United States Senate which will...authorize the Congress to undertake judicial review of those signing statements with the view to having the president’s acts declared unconstitutional,”
This is why I'm against impeachment, and for Congress doing its darn job! Sen. Specter get's the "I Been At Work" Award, while many others in Washington are just out to lunch.

Is it something in the water?

I mean, what in the hell is going on in the Maryland US Senate races? First we have yesterday's entrant, and now today, Josh Rales, Democratic candidate for US Senate in Maryland, rented, for lack of a better term, recovering drug addicts to sit at his rally and wear shirts and hold placards?

I'm guessing the third candidate eats babies...

Monday, July 24, 2006

...until someone loses an eye

Find the current horror in the Middle East a bit head-swimming?

Are they bitter enemies or bosom buddies? Or is it like a high school romance: full of drama and just too complicated to understand?
In just a few clicks, You too can discover how everyone really feels and why.

Try Slate's handy dandy Middle East Buddy List! You'll never again have to say: "...um, yeah, it's just a mess over there."

Kicking Tusk



Speaking of competence, those Democrats over at the DLC have got some skills, and recieve mad props from this Southern Liberal for the unveiling of their latest project.

I may not agree with everything inside, but I sure am glad someone in the Democratic Party is getting some serious planning done with The American Dream Initiative. This is something we've needed and needed to say for a long, long time. Here's a taste:
The American Dream Initiative is an opportunity agenda for the middle class and all who aspire to join its ranks. Our vision is straightforward and clear: to leave our children a richer, safer, smarter, and stronger nation than the one we inherited. We believe that every citizen should have the opportunity to secure the pillars of the American Dream: a college degree, a home, a secure retirement, and the chance to get ahead in a growing economy.

Behaving Badly

How's this for 'fair and balanced?'

When national Democratic consultants wring their hands about winning elections in the South, they often wonder why they don't get any headway. They constantly wonder why Southern Liberals and Party Wing Democrats like me keep ripping on them.

Well, Po'Boy gives us the answer: Northen and Western Democrats keep ripping our legs out from under us Southern folk, in the national media, and we ain't happy about it. The D-Masses can stuff it right up until they figure out how to build a road correctly and within budget.

Oh yeah, and Schroder reminds us not to forget about the DINO Wing, who make it through election day and then dissapear like the dinosaurs. Remember, you can't spell "Doin' Nothin" without DINO!

Competence trumps ideology every day of the week, which is why people like Brunswick Mayor Bryan Thompson win elections by huge margins, and rightly so.

Ideology only comes into play when you have two knuckleheads running for office, and they can't talk about anything else. Give us competence, and we'll give you votes.

Recruiting

The Metroblog is

calling single, smart, adventurous, hard working (well, just working) souls worldwide: consider moving here. I'm serious. We need you. You'll be rewarded with drink, culture, food, drink, and stories that will last you a lifetime. Come find out why miserable people like us metrobloggers are so drawn to the city that we can't fathom moving away, despite the advice of everyone else in the country.


PreSeason 2008

According to Andre over at Georgia Politics Unfiltered the national Democratic Party may be changing the rules so that the first Democratic Presidential primaries are not held in Iowa and New Hampshire. I tend to agree with Andre that this is a good idea, for many of the reasons that he outlined specifically.

I can tell you that if you had two Southern states run their primaries first, the candidates and the issues of the last several elections would have been very different. Also, that would have really energized the Southern Liberal wings of the Party, who are at present quite underrepresented. Personally, I hope the Democrats move the format to a more "Super Tuesday" like format, with several states from several regions voting on the same day.

Because paT would post this if the guy was a Republican...

In the spirit of partisian mudslinging, which is what this country was founded on, or so I'm lead to believe, I present the story of the Maryland Democratic candidate for US Senate, who tooked it upon hisself to beat his Latvian MAIL ORDER BRIDE.

There's too much funny here for just one man, so, have at it you vultures...

I Hope This Ain't True

I always view findings by agenda having interest groups to be suspect, but FEMA's nonchalant "nothing-to-see-here" response and doctors reports have me worried. After all we've heard about them, FEMA trailers' air may be poisonous to breathe. I wonder what Mominem, who lives in a FEMA trailer in New Orleans, thinks about this report.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Hammer Down Open Thread

We'll folks, I'll leave ya'll in charge of what gets written about on the blog today, as I will be driving The Brantley County Bandit back to his grandmama's house in Middle Georgia. From there he will travel with his Mama back to Coastal Mississippi, where he will live indefinitely.

That means drivin' through the Swamp (aforementioned Hwy 82) where I can't even check my phone let alone my email.

So, Open Thread!

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Idyllic Conception

All about stem cells.

This one’s been going on for a long time, but it has been brought to a head by President Bush’s first veto. But even handling this weighty issue that potentially affects the lives of millions of Americans who are and who will become afflicted with diseases this type of research may have the ability to alleviate, he wasn't above playing politics from the bully pulpit.
Bush tried to put a face on his position, too. Eighteen families who had adopted unused frozen embryos were in the East Room as Bush made his case in a 15-minute speech that came 40 minutes after the veto. On stage behind the president and in the audience were two dozen children, squirming in their Sunday best, born from those leftover embryos.
"These boys and girls are not spare parts," Bush said. "They remind us of what is lost when embryos are destroyed in the name of research."
But it isn't like we didn't know this was coming, as all the Presidents men have said as much in the past month.

Rove told us all that Bush would veto the bill, and the master of politicizing the most sensitive of issues for political gain told us exactly how the veto would go down:
"We were all an embryo at one point, and we ought to as a society be very careful about being callous about the wanton destruction of embryos, of life."
Tony Snow echoed this sentiment and spin:
"The president is not going to get on the slippery slope of taking something living and making it dead for the purposes of scientific research."
Even White House staffers got into the game, saying,
The bill would compel all American taxpayers to pay for research that relies on the intentional destruction of human embryos for the derivation of stem cells, overturning the president's policy that funds research without promoting such ongoing destruction," it said. Bush says the practice forces a choice between science and ethics.

Soon to be former Congressman Jack Kingston (R-GA), ardent Bush supporter and rated the most partisan member of Congress, spoke at length on his blog about "clarifying" why he supported the President’s decision.
This debate is about FEDERAL FUNDING for embryonic research.
After all, there is no ban on this research–the question is on which type of research we focus our limited federal research dollars on.
The government should NOT be in the business of destroying embryos for lab experiments. Especially when we know that adult stem cell research works.
So I guess he'd prefer to dance with the devil he knows. To him, this is part of ‘America’s Values Agenda.’ I was always under the impression that American values were about government funding for research to cure disease. We give the pharmacuetical corporations untold millions for just that purpose.

But this debate gives us a more defined look at where this useless culture war has taken us. If it is against 'right to life' politics to create human embryos that will later be destroyed in the in vitro fertilization process, much less once those embryos are abandoned by their donors and the fertilization clinics, then why do we allow such clinics to operate legally at all? From Slate:
In short, if embryos are human beings with full human rights, fertility clinics are death camps—with a side order of cold-blooded eugenics. No one who truly believes in the humanity of embryos could possibly think otherwise.
Why don't 'right to life' politicians equally target such clinics? Because of politics, that's why.

I don't like it. I respect the real right to life community for their beliefs - many of them run on a similar moral path to mine, but diverge on matters of legality and policy. Those issues can be hashed out only through honest public discourse. But the kind of political grandstanding we're seeing here is not really a debate to the people who are having it. It is a game.

Own the Streets

A little competence and effective resource management goes a long way. Shocker, that. Oyster reports at Your Right Hand Theif that crime is down dramatically in New Orleans this month.
This is not a city spiralling out of control. It's not a city that needs curfews, the National Guard, or a perpetual "state of emergency". It's a city that needs 300 additional well-trained, professional police officers, plus sterner courts, and candid leaders. That's all.
He also wonders if the MSM is going to cover the drop in crime as hysterically as they reported the rise in crime. I haven't seen any reports yet, and I can guarantee you I'm not holding my breath.

Desperation Play

Andre has few kind words for the Congresswoman from the 4th District, and I'm glad to read them. McKinney is pullin' out the old 'blame game' playbook, and to me, that looks a lot like desperation. I think a lot of people in this country are ready for some real leadership, and real results. Cynthia delivers on neither, and I think voters in her district are ready to make their disapproval known.

Good News?

I wonder if this Essembly political discourse/social networking website is only a flash in the pan, or if it is good news heralding the return to American Consensus discourse and the beginning of the end for anger-point politics.

Finish Lines

So, I'm of the opinion that we've been at the War in Iraq since 1991, and what may turn out to be three or four Presidential administrations. That's a long time. The reason (IMHO) is that we never really had much of a finish line drawn on the field. Think about it this way, when dealing with Iraq, we've only ever had one real, well defined strategic goal: throw their Army out of Kuwait. Once defined, it took us 100 hours to accomplish.

But I digress, this isn't about Iraq at all.

In other news that refuses to go away, but that you may not have heard about, Eithiopia has invaded Somalia. Thier mission: to keep the Islamist militias from getting to and taking out the provisional Somali government, which apparently has been exiled to some border village that is the Somali equivalent of Waycross, Georgia. That ain't good. Reports exist of more Eithiopian troops massing on the border.

I guess the Eithiopians have become tired of the world community allowing a state of anarchy and thuggism to exist along so much of their border. Sound like anywhere else we've been talking about recently? Do you really blame them?

So, put Somalia back up on the list of things we're still dealing with today because we couldn't figure it out the first time.

This is like the international relations version of Bill Murray's "Groundhog Day."

Own the Dome

Big recovery news out of New Orleans: the Superdome roof has been repaired. From the Metroblog. However, it appears from the picture that a boat is still parked about three blocks away...

In This Corner

George Will has stir'n up a hornet's nest with this article on United States foreign policy. It is worth the read. Some of his more notable quotes:
The administration, justly criticized for its Iraq premises and their execution, is suddenly receiving some criticism so untethered from reality as to defy caricature. The national, ethnic and religious dynamics of the Middle East are opaque to most people, but to the Weekly Standard -- voice of a spectacularly misnamed radicalism, "neoconservatism" -- everything is crystal clear: Iran is the key to everything.

(WS link included by me -HR)
I knew it, not even real conservatives like the neo-cons!

"Why wait?" Perhaps because the U.S. military has enough on its plate in the deteriorating wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, which both border Iran. And perhaps because containment, although of uncertain success, did work against Stalin and his successors, and might be preferable to a war against a nation much larger and more formidable than Iraq. And if Bashar Assad's regime does not fall after the Weekly Standard's hoped-for third war, with Iran, does the magazine hope for a fourth?

(Again, WS link included by me -HR)
I may not have said this before, (I probably have) but I think neo-cons are a serious foreign policy problem.

The United States is the most powerful nation in the world. What we do here affects almost everything everywhere. If we are to spread true Democracy and true Liberty, they must be spread by cultural, economic and diplomatic means, we cannot rely solely on force. I think the tunnel-vision of the neo-cons, who have hijacked American foreign policy at this point, prevent us from doing that.

Return Trip

Keep in your thoughts today our brave US Marines who are currently evacuating our American citizens from Lebanon. Pulling several thousand civilians out of a city in the middle of a shooting war cannot be an easy thing to do.

But they make it look easy.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Blogging the Campaign



So, there was a little bit of a posting slowdown today. Sorry about that, 4 of my co-workers were out of the office, leaving no real time for breaks. I was able to get away for a little while to get out to the Old Glynn County Courthouse and cover The Reverend Jim Nelson as he hits the road (again) on his campaign for US Congress. He rolled through Glynn at about 2:30pm in the afternoon, so I borrowed the Mom's digital camera and engaged in some 'new media' style reporting. This piece was the result of my adventure, and you can view more pics of the event here.

Tomorrow, I hope to return to our usual broadcast amplitude.

Good Stuff (WARNING PG13 link)

Slate has an interesting piece on Cussgate where they actually break down what Bush is saying and the appropriateness of it given the context of a private conversation. It even takes the time to dredge up the two biggest potty mouths ever to grace the Oval Office as far as we know: Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon. I thought it was an interesting read (with some not-appropriate-for-youngsters language). It's not one of the two Slate articles Pat already linked to earlier.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Big Guys Dancing

Right now, as of 12am, this is what the poll results look like:

Sonny Boy vs. the Big Guy for Governor of Georgia. Cathy Cox concedes defeat according to AJC.

And GOP rejects jackassery at local and state levels: Ralph is out, and I'll bring some exciting results from Island City just as soon as our sleepy burg updates the link.

The best news? Not even finalized yet, McKinney may face runoff....I hope that holds up 'till morning.

2

Image credit NOAA


Mother Nature: at it again.

Guided Tour

of Iraqi ettiquette. By the United States Marine Corps. I'm not kidding, we should make things like these for every foreign nation and force American tourists to carry them at all times.

The mind scrambles at all the possibilities for "France" by the 101st Airborne...

Black Leadership

I ask myself the question often, who are America's real black leaders today?

Luckily, I know someone who wears the mantle of black leadership at the local level, my friend Annie Polite. She really is a good person to know 'round these parts, and is very involved in the community. When she is in the room, her very presence flies in the face of the media's irresponsible portrayal of Black America.

On the national level, I wonder if Bruce Gordon will be the man who brings the NAACP back to national relevance.

Vote Today

So I went to the polls bright eyed and bushy tailed at 8 AM. OK, in truth, everyone else was bright eyed and bushy tailed and I came draggin' in lookin' like roadkill. Such is the price of representing the Party Wing of the Democratic Party.

Took me all of 5 minutes to vote. As I was there, 4 people had already voted, and six folks were behind me involved in various stages of the process. But, once I got to work, 33% of eligible voters had already voted by 9 am. My Pops just got finished with his ballot and called to tell me that voting was light around 10:30am.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Rescue Public Education

I just delivered my first real position paper tonight to the Glynn County Democratic Party, and you want to talk about a reaction...

Mostly good, some bad but overall we're further along than where we started. Folks are excited. They agreed with the overall premise (Public Education needs to be Rescued, Democrats need to re-examine some approaches to make education more effective and efficient), but hollered about the details (many of my ideas aren't exactly in line with Democratic thought). Then they realized that by debating about the details, we were actually discussing issues and solutions, which really got some folks motivated.

So all in all, it wasn't a bad piece of work.

If you are so inclined, I invite your comments over at any of the sites where I actually posted the monster, or just email me with critiques or ideas.

Coastal Empire DFA

Glynn County Democratic Party (beware, my HTML failed me here)

Florence County Democratic Party

Blogging Leviticus: Again

Absolutely a must read, since it covers the most fiery issues in our American culture war. It also culminates with this tour de force:
The Chapter 19 laws are beautiful for their mix of pragmatism and justice. Let me quote the middle of the chapter at length, it's so good:

You shall not pick your vineyard bare, or gather the fallen fruit of your vineyard; you shall leave them for the poor and the stranger: I the Lord am your God.

You shall not steal; you shall not deal deceitfully or falsely with one another. You shall not swear falsely by My name, profaning the name of your God: I am the Lord.

You shall not defraud your fellow. You shall not commit robbery. The wages of a laborer shall not remain with you until morning.

You shall not insult the deaf, or place a stumbling block before the blind. You shall fear your God. I am the Lord.

You shall not render an unfair decision; do not favor the poor or show deference to the rich; judge your kinsman fairly. Do not deal basely with your countrymen. Do not profit by the blood of your fellow: I am the Lord.

You shall not hate your kinsfolk in your heart. Reprove your kinsman but incur no guilt because of him. You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against your countrymen. Love your fellow as yourself: I am the Lord.

You shall observe My laws.


Wow! Top that, Congress! In just a few sentences, the Torah speaks up for justice, charity, workers, and the disabled; it condemns financial crimes, gossip, and war profiteering; and it offers perhaps the most concise directive on human behavior ("Love your fellow as yourself"—Ever wonder where Jesus got "Love thy neighbor"? Not anymore.)
Dern. I guess I'm gonna have to go back over the Bible and find this part. This series has really become one of my weekly online news highlights.

Top 40 WMD

I was going to make a funny post about this item in the news, but Right On Peachtree absolutely beat me to the punch:
Who needs missiles and guns? Unleash a heaping helping of Manilow and watch the enemy crumble. Have the Middle East power brokers considered this as part of their defense strategies?
I can see ol' Dubya now, packing Condi's bags for her upcoming trip to the Middle East, slipping in some Barry and throwing in some Kenney Chesney -just to see what happens.

how things get done

Probably all of you have heard about this, but in case you have not, Pres. Bush and P.M. Blair were filmed today talking about the current situation in the mideast. What seems to be obsessing our tremendously boring media pundits is the fact that at one point in this conversation between two grown men, one of them used a naughty word. The conversation itself, however, is one of the most interesting things i've ever seen on television. Problems get handled well or ill on the big stage much as they do on the small one: a few folks talking over food, with all the interruptions and occasionally full mouths that image brings to mind.


I hope this link works. If not it's on the front page of cnn.com for the moment.
Video: The sh_t heard 'round the world

Wreckt Hecht

So I already pointed you to Andre's public dismemberment of Democratic Lt. Governor candidate Greg Hecht's negative campaigning at Georgia Politics Unfiltered.

Today I got an email from the Georgia Young Democrats Chair about some phone calls that canvassed the state recently. Claiming to be 'Orlando Jones', the anonymous caller talked about how good Democrat Lt. Governor candidate Jim Martin was for supporting Gay Marriage. This went on during the Lt. Governor debates.

This was followed up by clicking over to Athens Politics who give us a circumstantial but logical evidence chain about who is the culprit. The most likely Dirty Tricks Dirty Campaign Democrat? Greg Hecht.

So tommorow, my vote for Lt. Governor will now go to the person most likely to beat Hecht.

I will also be more interested to see exactly which campaign tactic wins out in this case: negative campaigning or internet campaigning against the purveyors of negativity. I'm casting my vote right now with the email lists and political blogs who are working to expose and eliminate jackassery.

Preseason: 2008

Yeah, this is looking ahead, but everyone already knows who they're voting for in the Primary tomorrow. Today we'll start our prognostications for the big game, the 4 year American Championship, that Super Bowl of World Politics - the American Presidency!

We'll go over the Democratic Conference first.

We, of course, have everybody's pre-season favorite: Hillary Clinton. But is she too aloof to win a national election?

Out of the Southern States come two possible challengers: the dark horse would be former Vice Presidential Candidate, John Edwards as well as the man who is already casting himself as the anti-Hillary, Former Virginia Governor Mark Warner.

Aside from these three, and possibly New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson, I just don't see any other Democrats with the clout to make it to the nomination.

What's your take on this?

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Rising Tide

Taking blogging one step further.

The New Orleans bloggers have forged such vibrant community both online and on the ground that they are now organizing the Rising Tide Convention that will take place the weekend before the one year mark of Katrina's landfall.

Dangerblond is the point of contact, and had this to say about the Convention:
Non-bloggers are also invited to this conference. It’s being hosted by the New Orleans new media for everyone who is interested in New Orleans or interested in new media. It is an opportunity to meet and talk with people who are telling the story of New Orleans from the ground up rather than from the top down. I also think it could serve as a reality check, allowing people to see the problems that still exist, the culture that is still very much alive, and how New Orleanians are dealing with what is going on here.
This is something I consider excellent news. Not only is it a very public demonstration that there are still citizen activists dedicated to the comprehensive recovery from America's greatest natural disaster, but it is also a demonstration of the power of new media to be involved and shape larger public opinion.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

The World on Fire

For the last four days I've gone to bed with the knowledge that when I wake up, the whole world may be at war again. I wonder if this is not how it felt to be living in Eurpoe in 1914 or 1938 or America in the early months of 1861. I know I haven't felt this feeling since 1989.

Maybe if it were somewhere else in the world, these issues would be less emotional, and rationality may win out over narrative and ideology. But this is the Holy Land. Jerusalem. The Wall. The Lionheart. The Mosque. The Diaspora. The Sepulchre. Solomon. The Tomb of the Patriarchs. Beirut. The Crusades. Saladin. The Holocaust. Damascus. The Intifada. The Seven Day's War. Munich. Jihad.

Even though the current troubles are all the product of the modern era, you can feel a million ghosts watching us from the wreckage of history, and we are again awash in the ocean of blood that stains those sacred hardscrabble hills. This is the old grudge.

Here is your round-up.

Publius Pundit revisits the Cedar Revolution and the hope that existed watching the Lebanese drive Syria away last year. This hope is that what is going on right now will be more beneficial to Israel and Lebanon in the long run. That would, undoubtedly be the best case scenario, but could also be the longest shot bet.
Political Editor Sarkis Naoum, writing in the influential Lebanese daily An-Nahar, wrote, "The ’state of Lebanon’ held responsible by Israel for yesterday’s Hezbollah operation does not exist and may never exist in the foreseeable future… How can such a state exist when the war-and-peace decision is not in its hands and its influence on the Lebanese who have it, that’s if indeed they have it, is little or in fact nonexistent?" They want peace. Hezbollah, on the other hand, wants nothing to do with the concept, making the decision for war itself, and dragging everyone else down along with it.
...
The Israeli military has said that it may conduct operations for months, the main purpose being to completely eliminate Hezbollah’s operations apparatus, sending the group scrambling for cohesiveness.
...
At this point, when the group no longer has direction and leadership, the Lebanese Army can move in and re-take the south from its hands. It is important that the Lebanese Army do this. An Israeli occupation would lend legitimacy to Hezbollah as a resistance to the foreign occupying power, so Israel must be careful not to alienate Lebanese opinion so far away from it that the public must of necessity support Hezbollah in order to make Israel leave.
...
Destroying Hezbollah is in its short-term strategic interest, so working with the Lebanese Army to help establish the country’s sovereignty is a must. In the long-term, however, neither Israel nor Lebanon will be safe from the destructive influence of Syria and Iran until those countries have in place democratic regimes that are accountable to their people. It’s as simple as that. Hopefully this strategic blow will be the first step toward that end, an end that is desired by the Lebanese people themselves, a completion of the Cedar Revolution.


DADvocate defends Israeli actions, echoing a sentiment that is very common among Americans watching events unfold.

A La Gauche wonders if Israel is targeting civilians intentionally, and then goes on to engage in the blame game. This echos sentiment common among Americans in the left-left, in my experience.

Milipundit at Jack's Blog takes this very appropriate time to equate the United Nations with terrorists, thereby reinforcing American right wing narrative that the UN is a creeping enemy that we would rather not have on our side at times like this.

I wonder if Milipundit would make the same connection with The Vatican, whose position seems ideologically similar to that of the United Nations in this case.

Ratcheting Down the Jackassery

One primary campaign at a time.

When anyone asks you why blogs and the internet are changing the ways politics are handled in this state, you can point to posts like this one at Georgia Poltics Unfiltered.

Bravo, Andre.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Friday Open Thread

I've done a lot of writing over the past few days. You're probably getting tired of my keyboard. Sooooo, here's where I open the floor to the readership. What is on your mind this morning?

One Down

I call this a good start.

The Brunswick News reports that Linda Shrenko (R-Crook) is going to jail for embezzelment, money laundering, defrauding the public for hundreds of thousands of Federal education funds that were supposed to be spent on deaf children and honors students.

She used the money to get a face lift (boy, that was worth it).

And she did us one better by agreeing to testify against her campaign manager and former paramour. But she still spends eight years in the slammer and owes over $400K to the taxpayers.

If GP still reads Hurricane Radio, I hope he sees this and reactivates The Daily in honor of our former State School Superintendent.

Populist Environmentalism

Environmentalism is one area where walking the walk overshadows talking the talk by at least an order of magnitude. From DADvocate.

Definition of Insanity:

Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.

Because this worked out so well the last time, right? And the time before that?

I wonder how far IDF forces will go before they have to start pulling back, leaving endless tracts of shattered infrastructrue, anarchy and the seething hate of a conquered population in their wake? Those sound like all the ingredients for sound national security to me.

Like I said, that worked out so well last time, didn't it?

I think it is time for France (& maybe even Turkey) to step up, bring some of those legionaires into Lebanon, secure that nation's government and set up a DMV between Lebanon & Israel. That way, Israel would have someone to work with to keep their northern border secure and Lebanon would be free from the threat of invasion from both Israel and Syria.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

For SAWB

I saw this and thought of you.

Sardine

The information superhighway as seen from a FEMA trailer. Ladies and Gentlemen, Tin Can Trailer Trash.

Hat tip to the Dangerblond.

Cold Cash:

admissible in court.

That's right corrupt Congresspeople, you may no longer hide evidence in your office. Just because you got elected does not make you above the law.

(That freight train like sound you hear are the pitter pater of elected feet, rushing the evidence to new locations...I wish the FBI had set up a sting for any Congressfolk walking out of the building with rolls of carpeting. Betch we'da found Jimmy Hoffa's body in there somewheres.)


UPDATE: 12.15AM 07/13/06

Schroder points out one elected official who is trying to fight against bad behavior, and how the New Orleans bloggers are having an effect on the debate. From People Get Ready:
Speaking of battling dragons, G Bitch will not be bringing a long pointed stick to the revolution. She wants to remind everyone that the revolution is not just about replacing corrupt black politicians like Dollar Bill and Renee Gill Pratt with corrupt white politicians -- it's about a fundamental change in the way our public servants think. It's about service to the community first. The rest will have their day against the wall.
I'd settle for jail time, but I understand the frustration...

Blogging Leviticus

I may be going to Hell on scholarship for laughing, but passages like this bring peals of out-loud laughter.
Aaron's sons Nadab and Abihu, who are also priests, take their "fire pans" and offer incense to the Lord. But rather than the prescribed incense, they give God "alien fire." So, BOOM! God incinerates them on the spot. Moses, more like a Mafia boss than a prophet, tells Aaron his sons got what they deserve, then orders some cousins to drag the corpses away and drop them outside of camp.
If this guy had been my Sunday school teacher, I'd have paid much closer attention.

Good Medicine

vs. Myths Propogated by the System

I just go all giddy when I see Democrats talking coherently about important issues and using intelligent and thoughtful arguments to back up what they are saying. It is undeniably refreshing, especially when those intelligent and thoughtful arguments fly in the face of one of the best selling right wing myths of our time: bad medicine.

From Slate:
The Republican answer to runaway health-care spending is to cap jury awards in medical malpractice suits. For the fifth time in four years, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist tried and failed to cap awards at $250,000 during his self-proclaimed "Health Care Week" in May. But this time, the Democrats put a better idea on the table.

Sens. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama also want to save on health care. But rather than capping jury awards, they hope to cut the number of medical malpractice cases by reducing medical errors, as they explain in an article in the New England Journal of Medicine. In other words, to the Republicans, suits and payouts are the ill. To the Democrats, the problem is a slew of medical injuries of which the suits are a symptom. The latest evidence shows the Democrats' diagnosis to be right.

emphasis gleefully added by the Management - HR
Oh my gosh, finally some coherency. This is common sense selling against fantasy, and I am so glad to see it on the national stage, I could do a victory lap around my office.

Democrats: Making Patient Safety the Centerpiece.

Republicans: more worried about the Doctor's paycheck than the patient's safety.

What makes this really work? The bold, fat, provable reality on the ground:
including legal fees, insurance costs, and payouts, the cost of the suits comes to less than one-half of 1 percent of health-care spending. If anything, there are fewer lawsuits than would be expected, and far more injuries than we usually imagine.
When's the last time you saw a doctor driving anything less than a Mercedes? There ain't no shortage of medical school students taking out hundreds of thousands of dollars in loans. Why would anyone do that if the only result is increased liability and personal risk? The answer is quite simple: doctors make serious cash.

With great reward comes great responsibility. The biggest? Do your job correctly! Read further:
Anesthesiologists used to get hit with the most malpractice lawsuits and some of the highest insurance premiums. Then in the late 1980s, the American Society of Anesthesiologists launched a project to analyze every claim ever brought against its members and develop new ways to reduce medical error. By 2002, the specialty had one of the highest safety ratings in the profession, and its average insurance premium plummeted to its 1985 level, bucking nationwide trends.
So, there's a link to better service, safer medical practices and lower costs across the board? Sweet. I love it when good policy and good politics go hand in hand.

And I am overjoyed that it is the Democrats on the right side of this one.

Hurricane Preparedness Report

Coastal Georgia Edition

I guess we're decidedly average. At least that's what the Insurance Information Institute says:
Homeowners in Southeast Georgia are more prepared for hurricanes than those in some coastal areas and less prepared than others.
Wow. That statement sounds like something an athlete says to keep from jinxin' himself before a game. But I can understand not wanting to jinx ourselves in the Coastal Empire: it has been over 100 years since our last direct hit.

(That loud knocking sound you just heard was every South Georgia reader tap-tap-tapping on the nearest wooden object...)

The problem down here isn't about preparedness, it is about transportation. If we are in serious danger, we have to leave by auto. Trains are all freight, airports are all private (or might as well be), and boats would be suicide. Island City has one four lane causeway connecting it to the mainland. This roadway is prone to flooding when incliment weather threatens. Jekyll has one two lane causeway. This roadway may cease to exist in incliment weather situations. Sapelo & Cumberland, though low in population, require a ferry ride back to shore. Hillary links to a NYT article describing what can happen to boats in incliment weather situations.

Once back on the mainland, we have little more than three ways out: Us HWY 17/I-95 North towards Savannah, US Hwy 341 towards Jesup & US Hwy 82/GA Hwy 520 towards Waycross. You can forget travelling South away from any hurricane that makes it close enough to provoke an evacuation.

Now, the problem with travelling North is that 1) everyone else will be doing it, 2) everyone in Savannah will also be leaving and 3) if the hurricane turns at the last minute, history proves it will turn North. Since both 95 and 17 travel in a NNE direction, you almost have to move towards the hurricane (which is usually approaching from the East) to get away from it. I-95 has also been under constant construction for the last two decades, so there is no telling what shape the road will be in and Hwy 17 is about 2 feet above sea level at some places, and - you guessed it - is prone to flood in incliment weather.

Option 2: West X Southwest. This is Hwy 82/Ga Hwy 520. This will take you through the hamlets of Nahunta and Hoboken on your way to Waycross. Within one hour, you have the options of heading north on Hwy 1, or continuing west on either 82 or 84. The problems: 1) to get to Waycross, you have to travel through land affectionately known to us South Georgians as 'the swamp.' This area is prone to flood in incliment weather, except you add a new wrinkle: alligators. 2) everyone in Florida will also be leaving, so you face what appears to be some sort of blue jean shorts invasion between you and your escape. 3) Once you are on Hwy 82, there is really no getting off Hwy 82 until you actually make it to Hoboken. I mean, there are backroads and 'GA Hwys' you can take, but be sure to have your South Georgia guide present.

Option 3: Northwest to Jesup. This is the best way out of the Coastal Empire in the event of an evacuation. Driving completely away from the oncoming storm towards higher elevation and some Highway options once you get there. The drawback: everyone else in Island City knows this, too, so be ready to drive 42 miles in 8 hours.

That means the best thing to do is leave early to avoid the traffic. And when you leave, don't stop until you get to Valdosta, Macon or Athens. Waycross can be a fun place to visit, but not with 500K other hurricane evacuees.

If, however, you can't get off the Island in time, I'll see you at Gnat's. I promise I'll have a much better chance of surviving on the lee side of an island with cold beer in the mason jar in my hand than sitting in traffic on any Georgia highway.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Comparison

Y'all know I don't like to compare European solutions to American problems, but it is truly an embarassment that we, the greatest nation ever envisioned by humankind, can get out-engineered by the Netherlands.

We are the nation who, thoughout our history and with less technology than today, built the Erie Canal, the Transcontinental Railroad, the Brooklyn Bridge, the Golden Gate, the New York Subway system, the Hoover Dam, the Panama Canal, the Tennesse Valley Authority, the Eisenhower Interstate system, and the Apollo Program that put men on the Moon. And today, we can't build a tunnel underneath Boston or come up with an efficient flood control system.

The Fun Police

Strike again.

This time it is a measure led by the Republicans.

The legislation would clarify and update current law to spell out that most gambling is illegal online.
With respect to 'balance' I'll call nanny statism on the Democratic House members who voted for this nonsense, too.

Of course, huge lobbying groups for state-run lotteries and horse racing were able to buy just enough of the 'moral majority' to ensure their continued moneymaking ventures, showing us that even the 'right thing to do' can be negotiated with enough cash or clout.

Shame on every one of these individuals who decried Google's censorship mechanisms in China's market, who at the same time support MFN trading status with Red China and telling Americans what they can and cannot do with their money on the once-free market of the Internet.

Cute

What do you get when you combine the Zidane World Cup controversy, smack talk about American football, an aside about polarizing wedge issues, and New Orleans? You get Dangerblond, that's what!

From the White House

North Korea's crap is President Clinton's fault. What? First of all, I didn't know Bill Clinton had been President for the last 6 years. I thought someone else had been the 'decider' during that time. Second, this North Korea isn't exactly a'new' problem for this Administration is it?. Nope, not new, but needs to be addressed during an election year. And, Third, if I recall - Clinton's North Korea policy can be judged neither a failure nor a success because it wasn't continued. But Clinton did have the North Koreans at a table and he did have them talking, and Japan was not considering pre-emptive strikes. We all remember reading about the last Japanese pre-emptive strikes, right?

Next up, the Administration reports that America isn't as deep in the hole as previously suspected. We're only running a $296 Billion deficit. I mean, I'm not a absolute deficit hawk or anything, but I think you loose your mantle of 'fiscal conservative' when you turn a surplus into a deficit. The decider called this good news: "Economic growth fueled by tax relief has sent our tax revenues soaring."

'Cause we're supposed to be that much deeper in the hole. That's like wrecking a $50K Cadillac and saying to your parents: "The mechanic suspected I'd done $7000 worth of damage, but it turned out to be only $5000. I'm not such a bad driver after all. You should be happy!"

I'm inclined to agree with the Distinguished Gentleman, Rep. John Spratt Jr., Democrat of South Carolina:
"The 2006 deficit may be a bit lower, but it represents a $600 billion swing from the surplus projected in 2001. And a deficit of $296 billion is still a large deficit. In nominal terms, its one of the four largest in history,"
True 'nuff.

Luckily, we've seen this before during Reagan and Bush I. Remember folks, the best way out of uncontrollable Republican deficit is to elect Southern Democrats to office and get us back to surplus land!

Monday, July 10, 2006

Straw Poll

Publius got a few Athens bloggers together for a straw poll on the Georgia Democratic primary.

My most important primary votes will go to Mark Taylor (governor) and Rev. Jim Nelson (US Congress).

The Mess that is History

I wonder how far the reparations debate will go before it tears this country apart. As concerned I am about Justice, I cannot see a logical conclusion to the reparations debate that ends up being anything other than a disaster.

The greatest reparation would be to recommit ourselves to the American dream for all people, restore Civil Rights and rescue public education; to heal our own hearts and change our own minds. I do not beleive the effects of slavery or Jim Crow have been erased from our society, I do not believe that there is anything like a level playing field in education or the freedom of opportunity for all those who want to work hard. But I do not think that the medicine for what ails us as a nation can be found in assigning blame to the living for the crimes of the dead.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Movie Review

So, me and Bandit and two friends from the ATL kinda got to see Pirates of the Carribbean: Dead Man's Chest as last Thursday turned into Friday.

I don't care what the reviews say, as a Southern Boy raised on Island City where the infamous Blackbeard was rumoured to have buried his treasure, I am a sucker for swashbuckling movies - I may go see this one again in the theatre. Hell, I may see it twice more in the theatre.

This one is far darker than the original, and may give small children nightmares, but I am an absolute fan of this sequel. First of all, I was thrilled to see it as a darker film. Piracy is dark. Sea monsters are dark. Shipwrecks don't usually have happy endings, and they ain't supposed to unless they're on the Weather Channel. The constant turns of bad luck in the story reminded me of Harry Potter & the Order of the Phoenix and the end of Dead Man's Chest left me with the same feeling I had at the end of The Empire Strikes Back.

As a matter of fact, thinking about it while writing this makes me want to go out and watch it right now. Quite a good flick.

Tell Us What You Really Think

PG-13 language over at the Metroblog concerning what happens when an entire government breaks down. A reminder that we need a side order of competence with all the ideology in politics these days. On all sides.

Debate Roundup

Late last week, Hurricane Radio co-administrator authored a much discussed post about a variety of topics. One of these things was that Cynthia McKinney (at least that's who I think he was talking about) would be on television, debating her Democratic Primary rivals.

Well, Andre at Georgia Politics Unfiltered reports that Representative McKinney didn't even show up to play.

I guess that means nothing new for the blooper's reel this weekend.

But Andre goes one better, he got himself some Press Credentials to the APC debates this last weekend (!!!), and presents us with the first of what I hope are many observations about this weekend's debates.

But y'all know that now I'm wondering how to apply for press credentials....

Friday, July 07, 2006

Trust Me?

If you want to have a better day than you are currently having, you will click here and follow the links provided.

Thank You Note

I'm a-gonna break one of my own rules here, and I will gladly accept the punishment from anyone who disagrees with my assesment and desires to take me up on it. Today I was reminded of one of the good things the French have done for America, indeed the world, and I am humbled by the gratitude I feel for them because of it.

France, from the bottom of my Southern boy Island City heart, thank you, thank you, thank you.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Prediction

I know my World Cup bracket went down like British ships vs Icebergs, but that won't stop my handicapping of political contests.

Lieberman will win the Democratic nomination for Senate from Connecticut. I hope he does. He has been a tempering voice of centrism and reasonability. I don't agree with him on everything, but I don't need that to respect a statesman.

And there is a another very good reason why: if Lieberman loses the Connecticut Democratic Primary to Lamont, he will win as an Independent, and resoundingly so. It won't matter that he would continue to caucus with the Democrats, serious damage would be done to the Party as a whole, in a way that all the buffonery since 1994 has not, and that damage will have been done on a national stage.

I mean, we've had enough opportunists (the old tax & spend Democrats) play red rover and switch teams (and become corrupt & spend Republicans), but we have yet to have a significant and respected Democrat leave the Party and run as an Independent.

Can I Help You Pack?

So, it comes out from starving-leftist-media-darling Cindy Sheehan, that she would rather live in Venezuela under Hugo Chavez than in the USoA.

Five words.

Let. Me. Help. You. Pack.

I've got a feeling that there are going to be more than a few offers of one-way, first-class tickets to Caracas to the Queen Moonbat in the next 48 hours. Of course, much like Alec Baldwin, she won't really leave. I mean, the media coverage down there isn't near what it is up here.

In other news, set your TiVo's, kids! Everybody's favorite Congressional Jihadist-turned-Cop-Assaulter is going to be on TELEVISED DEBATES!

Something tells me this will end up being the sort of comedy gold of legends, in the pantheon of 'More Cowbell', 'Awkward white guys in 7-foot long suits at the NBA Draft', and 'An Inconvenient Truth'.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

The Church Lady

Y'all know I don't read the New York Times, but Liberal & Proud does, and she gets the hat tip for bringing this to my attention. The picture is all you will need to see.

Lady Liberty holding a giant gold cross & the Ten Commandments.

If there was ever a question about why liberals fight for the seperation of Church & State, this one just got bumped to the top of the answer list. Now, these folks are well within their rights to interpret a famous American symbol in such ways. That's the freedom that the First Amendment was written for.

But this serves notice to me - a brutal reminder more like - as an American and a Catholic, that there are folks out there who wish to pervert religion and faith and dream to make this vision reality. I am reminded that there are, indeed, Christian nationalists who wish to exploit the faith of others for power and money. This is Pat Robertson, Ralph Reed, Jerry Falwell, James Dobson and John Hagee America: monolithic crosses to replace the eternal flame of liberty; the Ten Commandments to replace the Bill of Rights.

So, next time you see a liberal of faith (like me) who Ann Coulter has the gall to call 'Godless,' don't buy the hype. I believe in one God, the father, the almighty, maker of Heaven & Earth, of all that is seen and unseen. And I am allowed to believe that because I live in the land of the free and the home of the brave, the sweet land of liberty of thee I sing.

We do what we do because the Statue of Liberty will always look like this...



...and we will fight to keep her that way.

( Statue of Liberty image (c) www.freefoto.com)

Fizzle

If one is trying to look like an evil genius leader of a powerful military nation, perhaps it is a better idea to keep missile tests secret. That way, when one's missiles fail 42 seconds after takeoff, one does not look like a bigger ass than one actually is.

Here's the range of Little Kim's arsenal, provided they actually work.

How To Celebrate Independence Day

Whist I recover from another Island City 4th of July, having had my last two days dominated by those most American of consumptions: barbeque, bourbon & coca-cola, and my ears assailed by those most American of sound effects: explosions and rock n roll, I thought I'd do a roundup of how other people celebrated.

Dangerblond appears to have a good idea how to do Independence Day right. I don't know why, but I love hearing stories about other people having a good time.

Glenn Reynolds reports on how the fun police do Independence Day wrong.

Folks who run New Jersey have lost their minds, but at least they had the courtesy to let the party last until 8 am the day after Independence Day.

And I know most of y'all don't really live close enough for this to matter, but I wish they had been able to launch Discovery at about 8:30pm EDT. It would have been a spectacular finale for all the fireworks displays up and down the Coast, as you can see a night launch almost all the way to Savannah.

But then y'all might call me and my fellow beach bums spoiled.

Image: NASA