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2009 May 10 — Why Now?
On-line Opinion Magazine…OK, it's a blog
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Postal Rate Increase

The US Postal Service, a public-private agency with the worst of both worlds, wants you to remember that starting tomorrow it will cost you 44¢ for First Class and 28¢ for a postcard. Unlike a real private company, they can’t exceed the rise in inflation or pay their top management millions per year.

May 10, 2009   12 Comments

There Are Pieces Missing

CNN says that Authorities: Body of UGA professor identified

(CNN) — The body of a University of Georgia professor accused of killing three people was found Saturday buried in woods near Athens, Georgia, authorities said.

George Zinkhan, 57, is suspected of fatally shooting his wife and two other people last month outside a community theater in Athens, which is home to the University of Georgia.

Cadaver dogs discovered the body with two guns in a wooded area of northwest Clarke County, about a mile from where Zinkhan’s red Jeep Liberty was found last week, Athens-Clarke Police Chief Joseph Lumpkin said.

Athens-Clarke County police confirmed the identity of the body, citing results from the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.

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May 10, 2009   4 Comments

Santa Barbara Jesusita Fire – 5

FireLocal TV station, KEYT, is updating this link continuously. The latest update is from 9PM PDT:

•8,733 acres burned
•55% contained
•Damage assessment in progress – initial estimate of 31 homes destroyed, 47 homes damaged, and 2 outbuildings destroyed.
•140 homes remain under mandatory evacuation order, affecting 350 people.
•More than 3,850 properties under evcaution warning, affecting about 9,625 people.
•Residences threatened- 3,500; commercial properties threatened- 100
•4,543 personnel on scene: 509 engines, 109 crews
•11 air tankers and 13 helicopters
•18 firefighter injuries to date
•Cause under investigation: Tip line – 805-686-5074
•Air quality warning downgraded to Air quality watch
•Estimated costs to date $7.4llion
•Expected containment 5/13/09

The LA Times fire map link, the Enplan Wildfire Viewer, and my ash cleanup post.

CNN is now reporting that California fire possibly started by power tool

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May 10, 2009   2 Comments

In Local News

After a week of overtime the Florida Legislature finds a way to balance budget, says the Miami Herald, which is technically true, but leaves out the part about how this is dependent on revenue forecasts being accurate and the economy not dropping further, so we are going to see a special session to deal with the shortfall. They raised all of the “fees” they could think of, because paying the state for your license plate isn’t really a tax on your car and as long as it isn’t called a tax, you can raise it. They did raise the tax on cigarettes to pay for additional medical costs of smokers, [except that the cigarette manufacturers already did that as the result of a law suit, and smokers actually cost less than non-smokers due to a shortened life span, but don’t let facts interfere].

They also cut the salaries of some state employees, who haven’t seen a raise in over three years, which might put some of the Federal stimulus money they are counting on in jeopardy.

At least we don’t have to worry about any stupid laws being enacted while they are shut down. The only thing they are required to do is pass a budget. The Republicans have a 65% majority in both houses, and the governor is a Republican, but they needed extra time to pass a budget. When they say “government doesn’t work”, they really mean, “we don’t know how to govern”.

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May 10, 2009   1 Comment

CEO Government

Darth Cheney continues to appear [in a cloud of sulfurous smoke, no doubt] on the talking heads shows peddling his enhanced interrogation techniques [ Verschärfte Vernehmung in the original German]. As the News Writer notes, too many Americans are buying into the argument about the “ticking bomb”.

Since they keep trying to compare themselves to Churchill and their war of choice to World War II, lets take a look at how Churchill and the British government dealt with intelligence gathering in WWII.

Oops, the GOP is not going to like this. They packed a lot of over educated liberal intellectuals into a place called Bletchley Park to work on the problem. To make matters worse, they let a Post Office employee create one of the world’s first computers, and one of the leaders of the effort was gay. Further they kept their mouths shut about what was going on and never revealed what they knew about sources and methods, even when it might have been politically convenient, or to punish their critics. The details didn’t come out for 50 years.

In case the GOP has forgotten, the “good guys” won that war, even though one of the “good guys” was a murderous bastard who was responsible for the deaths of millions of his own people. Hey, Churchill had Stalin, and Reagan had Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden, but “the ends justify the means”, or “the enemy of my enemy is my friend”.

Why do these people continue to push for torture? What part of “suicide bomber” eludes their understanding? Do they not know what “martyr” means?

May 10, 2009   Comments Off on CEO Government

Happy Mothers’ Day

funny pictures of cats with captions

May 10, 2009   4 Comments