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2008 May 06 — Why Now?
On-line Opinion Magazine…OK, it's a blog
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Dynamic Duos


Lower Manhattanite at Group News Blog has some fun in Television For Dummies riffing off of a mistake made at Fox News.

The graphic above is a stamp issued by the “Republik of Abkhazia” celebrating the fall of the Soviet Union. Unfortunately Georgia and Russia are not in agreement over the status of Abkhazia, to the point of deploying troops.

Update: If you are interested, Elayne actually has some of these stamps.

May 6, 2008   2 Comments

What Climate Change?

The Palm Beach Post reports that all of the smoke along the “Treasure Coast” is due to Lake Okeechobee burning. The level of the lake is down and two fires of suspicious origin have merged into a single large fire involving approximately 3500 acres of lake bottom. The fire is being limited by the dykes that would keep water in, if there were any water.

What the area really needs is something like a tropical storm to refill the lake and reduce stress on the watershed, but hoping for a tropical storm is not a universally acceptable solution.

May 6, 2008   7 Comments

Cyclone Nargis Worse Than Thought

Jeff Masters has a Cyclone Nargis update that indicates the death toll could well be above 20,000 as an estimated 10,000 died in one city.

The Irrawaddy River acted much like the MR-GO did in Katrina and increased the damage of the storm surge by acting like a nozzle. The majority of the deaths will likely be from drowning.

Down the road famine is very possible in the entire region as the winter rice crop was being harvested when the storm hit, and Burma is a major regional rice exporter.

If you look around at pictures of the devastation you will notice people clearing debris using hatchets. Trying to cut up a hardwood tree with a hatchet, is a very slow and difficult process at best. Having had to cut up a fair number of softwood pines with a chainsaw, I have a feel for how long it will be for major recovery operations to take hold. Until you clear away the fallen trees on the roadways, you are limited to supplying people by helicopter, and there aren’t that many helicopters available.

May 6, 2008   2 Comments

“Dear Fellow Democrat”

I’m sending you this time-sensitive survey because our Party cannot defeat John McCain and claim victories up and down the ballot unless all Democrats who care about America’s future make their voices heard.

That’s the second paragraph from my latest missive from Howard Dean. I doubt Howard wrote it, even though it’s his faux signature on the bottom. It’s probably a clever plot by Mike Gravel to steal the nomination, or something.

Howard, the thing is, you have already made it extremely plain that you don’t want to hear from any of the four million or so Democrats from the state of Florida. You told us that we don’t count and won’t be counted. You dislike Democrats in Florida so much, that, instead of reducing our representation at the convention by half, as stated in the rules of the Party, you eliminated all representation. You told us to shut up, and we will. We will also shut our wallets.

By the way, Howard, I’m no longer a Democrat. Thanks to you and your DNC, I took the hint and left. Update your list.

May 6, 2008   15 Comments

Stand Down

At 9:59 AM today my DSL disappeared. This is annoying.

I call the number, and, of course, while working through the menus and entering my complete telephone number multiple times [Hint to service center: get caller ID, your network supports it and it would tell you my number. You give it to NSA; why not use it yourself?] a chirpy voice keeps telling me about the wonderful and easy trouble shooting tools available on-line at their web site. [Hint to service center: if I could bloody get on-line, I wouldn’t be calling the DSL service line.]

Well, it turns out they have a major problem that they weren’t aware of because no one is assigned to look at the network on a regular basis, and no one heard the plaintive call of the dying module in a main control box within a thousand or so feet of my house.

That may or may not fix my problem, but until that is dealt with they won’t be able to find out if anything else is wrong. The tech was good and is sending a new modem because I have one of their original batch of DSL modems, so it is possible that the modem is also failing. As he put it, even if the modem is still good, almost no one is still around who knows how to deal with them and the trouble shooting database is not going to help much.

The tech said that the control box should be fixed in a couple of hours, but the official guarantee is within 48 hours – oh, joy.

The techs are good, but the system sucks.

May 6, 2008   11 Comments

Dreams and Illusions

Amie Parnes and Ben Smith ask in The PoliticoIs Florida In Play For Dems?

Their question is based on the shift in the Hispanic population from majority Republican to majority Democratic registration.

A news flash – Gore won Florida in 2000. Without the confusion on the Palm Beach ballot it would have been by the thousands who accidentally voted for Pat Buchanan. With Ralph Nader no longer relevant it could have been even larger in this cycle without the shift among Hispanics.

Now, the question is if a Democratic candidate will even be on the ballot, and if they are, will they come in second or third.

The DNC has made a lot of enemies in Florida, and I don’t see them turning that around. The real effects of the Republican’s Amendment One will be obvious by November, and there is no reason to forgive the DNC for making it possible.

May 6, 2008   1 Comment