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What Fun

Ringo went into a postpartum cat fit that included scaling my right arm. Fortunately the keyboard wasn’t damaged by the blood, but I had to wash the mouse and mouse pad.

Dot has been depressed and I was ready to haul her to the vet, but after purging hairballs all over the house, and getting her own personal plate for dinner, she is back to her old cheerful self, cuffing her brother and Ringo. She is not fond of the kittens, which is good, because she ignores them which Ringo prefers.

Sox, on the other hand, would really, really love to play with the kittens. This means he is getting cuffed by his sister and Ringo on a fairly regular basis.

The kittens have their eyes fully open and are sort of mobile – about .18 on a Breathalyzer, not a chance of walking a straight line. They try to avoid their mom except when they’re hungry because staggering to within her reach means “THE TONGUE.”

I had to take my Mother out to a meeting tonight because she didn’t want to drive at night…through the smoke…of the wildfires that have burning all day on the edge of the Hurlburt Field property. The woman she was going to ride with canceled to prepare to evacuate her home. Nothing like the fires in Georgia or over in Central Florida, but annoying enough. Sirens all day and the low flying aircraft are only mildly annoying and the smoke hasn’t been that bad.

Back to the grind.

May 8, 2007   16 Comments

Jerks

Scout at First Draft has been reporting on the problem of missing National Guard equipment for some time. The Department of Defense knows about it; the governors know about it; the GAO knows about it. Apparently the only people who don’t know about it all work in the White House.

CNN’s Political Ticker has the latest effort to shift blame: White House v. Kansas governor on storm response

Maj. Gen. Tod Bunting, the state’s adjutant general, said the Kansas National Guard was equipped at only about 40 percent of its required levels, down from the 60 percent that it had at the start of the war.

[snip]

Snow said “I’m not aware of any prior complaints,” and said it would be “standard procedure” when a tornado hits for a state to consult its disaster plan and start making assessments about where the federal government needed to step in.

“We are certainly going to try to clean up any misunderstandings about how this works,” Snow said.

Kansas Sen. Sam Brownback also disputed Sebelius after visiting the destroyed town on Monday. Brownback, a Republican candidate for president, said local officials and the Kansas National Guard commander all told him they have the resources needed to respond.

“That’s what really got me, is her saying that,” Brownback said of Sebelius.

[Read more →]

May 8, 2007   9 Comments

Take Your Veto Pen And Shove It

Tsk, tsk. CNN reports: Poll: Americans disapprove of Bush’s Iraq veto – “The poll found that 54 percent of Americans opposed Bush’s May 1 veto, while 44 percent backed the president’s decision to kill the $124 billion bill.”

Wow, 54% of American-hating Americans don’t like the actions of the Decider / Commander Guy / Shrubbery. What is a resident of the White House with a 28% approval rating to do?

Hint: the last guy resigned.

May 8, 2007   Comments Off on Take Your Veto Pen And Shove It

This Isn’t Good

Second night of rioting in France:

Most of the troublemakers this week have been white, whereas the 2005 riots involved many black and Arab youth angry over discrimination and alienation from mainstream society. This week’s protesters resembled some of the young people who helped bring down a minor labor reform last year through mass demonstrations.

I would note that “minor labor reform” is a relative term based on whether or not your job was affected, and the choice of the term “troublemaker” is interesting.
This isn’t immigrant backlash; this is French university students who are nervous about a Sarkozy government and what it will mean for them as they go job shopping. The immigrants are already in trouble on the job front, but the white French students normally make out, and now they are concerned.

Sounds like “interesting times” ahead.

May 8, 2007   Comments Off on This Isn’t Good

Cultural Differences

Everyone, foreign and domestic, is reporting on: Feds Arrest Six In Plot Against Army Base:

The defendants, all men in their 20s from the former Yugoslavia and the Middle East, include a pizza deliveryman suspected of using his job to scout out the military base.

“Today we dodged a bullet. In fact, when you look at the type of weapons that this group was trying to purchase, we may have dodged a lot of bullets,” said FBI agent J.P. Weiss.

“We had a group that was forming a platoon to take on an army. They identified their target, they did their reconnaissance. They had maps. And they were in the process of buying weapons. Luckily, we were able to stop that.”

[snip]

One defendant, Eljvir Duka, was recorded as saying: “In the end, when it comes to defending your religion, when someone is trying attacks your religion, your way of life, then you go jihad.”

The six were arrested Monday night trying to buy AK-47 assault weapons, M-16s and other weapons from an FBI informant, authorities said.

They appeared in federal court Tuesday in Camden and were ordered held without bail for a hearing Friday. Five were charged with conspiracy to kill U.S. military personnel; the sixth was charged with aiding and abetting illegal immigrants in obtaining weapons.

One defendant, Mohamad Ibrahim Shnewer, spoke of using rocket-propelled grenades and other weapons to kill at least 100 soldiers, according to court documents.

[Read more →]

May 8, 2007   4 Comments

Fraud, Plain and Simple

The Associated Press reports, Farmed fish given meal tainted with melamine, thus expanding the effect of the problem to another area of the human food supply, but down at the bottom of the article is the real news:

U.S. investigators also have learned that the purported Chinese wheat gluten and a second ingredient, rice protein concentrate, were actually simple wheat flour. The flour was spiked with melamine and related, nitrogen-rich compounds to make it appear more protein rich than it was. In tests, nitrogen levels are measured to gauge the overall protein content of food ingredients.

“What we discovered is these are not wheat gluten and rice protein concentrate but in fact are wheat flour contaminated by melamine,” Acheson said.

The FDA is considering enforcement options, he added. The ingredients came from two Chinese firms: Xuzhou Anying Biologic Technology Development Co. and Futian Biology Technology Co. Ltd.

The Chinese had one product, wheat flour and ground counter-tops. Whatever you ordered you got that with a label reflecting what you ordered. This is fraud – straight-forward, old-fashioned fraud. This wasn’t a mistake or misunderstanding or a cultural difference – it was fraud.

May 8, 2007   6 Comments