Serenity Day!

10:28 AM Sep 30, 2005by Rob Ritchie

Today's the day!

I have an appointment to see it at 1:30 today; and another to see it at 7:30. Try to fit it into your schedule sometime this weekend.

Tomorrow and for a week following, I'm going to be on vacation, traveling to St. Augustine, Savannah, Asheville and Charlotte; so I suspect I won't be blogging in any way.

When I come back, I'll try to post pictures.


OK, even I think this is funny.

5:16 PM Sep 29, 2005by Rob Ritchie

George Bush was at his Monday morning cabinet meeting.

Secretary Rumsfeld announced that 3 Brazilian soldiers had been killed.

The President gasped, visibly shaken by the news and buried his head in his hands. The cabinet members waited, deeply concerned by the President's show of grief.

Finally, W. raised his head, and softly asked, "How many is a brazillion?"

First Temple Seal Discovered in Arab Debris

4:54 PM Sep 29, 2005by Rob Ritchie

Here's an interesting story from Isreal National News:

( Archaeologists have revealed they have found a Jewish seal from the period of the First Temple, according to Professor Gabi Barkay. The seal was discovered in debris which was taken from the Temple Mount six years ago and is the first time a Jewish artifact from the First Temple has been found, he added.

The seal, less than one centimeter long and made from burnt mud, bears ancient Hebrew writing and probably was used for official documents and letters, Prof. Barkay said. It is more than 2500 years old and provides a direct link with the era of King David.

Arab Moslems have authority over the Temple Mount site and have been systematically removing debris from the Temple Mount site for years despite protests from archaeologists who fear they will lose any opportunity to find remnants of the First Temple. Arabs also have waged a publicity campaign claiming that the Jewish Temples never existed on the mount.

I'm going to be skeptical about this report until I read about it in Archaeology Magazine. If it's true, it's a huge thing; but I can't help but be aware of the political ramifications of such a claim.

While most archaeologists accept that there was a Jewish state in Jerusalem in the Second Millenium BC, Arabs reject this idea (like much of Jewish history, for example, the Holocaust) for nationalist / religous reasons.

On the other hand, Jewish Nationalists have for years been searching for just such an artifact to shore up the lack of direct archaeological evidence linking the Temple Mount with pre-Exile Jerusalem. So, it's a touchy issue on both sides.

And with the appearance of fraudulent Biblical artifacts, for example the so-called James Ossuary, I'm going to reserve judgement until it's passed further review.

John Robers has been confirmed!

2:55 PM Sep 29, 2005by Rob Ritchie

Michelle Malkin has details.

22 Democrats voted against him; I'm glad to see that Florida Senator Bill Nelson was not among them.

Tomorrow is Serenity Day!

11:45 AM Sep 29, 2005by Rob Ritchie

You could start the celebration early by purchasing the movie soundtrack:

Whatever you do, please go see Serenity this weekend.

Update:  Glenn Reynolds has a "Carnival of Serenity Reviews" post here.

12:08 PM Sep 28, 2005

by Rob Ritchie

An interesting example of photographic bias in the media can be found at Zombie's "Anatomy of a Photograph" page:

[T]his simple analysis reveals the very subtle but insidious type of bias that occurs in the media all the time. The Chronicle did not print an inaccuracy, nor did it doctor a photograph to misrepresent the facts. Instead, the Chronicle committed the sin of omission: it told you the truth, but it didn't tell you the whole truth.

Because the whole truth -- that the girl was part of a group of naive teenagers recruited by Communist activists to wear terrorist-style bandannas and carry Palestinian flags and obscene placards -- is disturbing, and doesn't conform to the narrative that the Chronicle is trying to promote. By presenting the photo out of context, and only showing the one image that suits its purpose, the Chronicle is intentionally manipulating the reader's impression of the rally, and the rally's intent.

Well worth a look.

As it is written, so shall it be done!

11:10 AM Sep 28, 2005by Rob Ritchie

Glenn Reynolds says:

AS I MENTIONED LAST NIGHT, I liked the Serenity preview. In fact, I liked it enough that I ordered the Firefly DVD set. I figured that for 29 bucks it had to be worth it.

Go forth and do likewise.

Coded Message for the VRWC (Lizardoid Branch)

5:13 PM Sep 27, 2005by Rob Ritchie

Apple Pie Mambo 47 Delta in the Backseat of Ginger Tea Subwoofer

If you know what I mean....

Update:  Snowmobile. I repeat: Snowmobile

Arrrr, Matey!

6:54 PM Sep 26, 2005by Rob Ritchie

600 barrels of loot found on Crusoe island

A long quest for booty from the Spanish colonial era appears to be culminating in Chile with the announcement by a group of adventurers that they have found an estimated 600 barrels of gold coins and Incan jewels on the remote Pacific island.

Reportedly, the treasure was discovered by a Chilean crime-fighting robot:

This most recent announcement, however, deserves greater credence because of the equipment used by the treasure hunters: a mini robot that can scan 50 metres deep into the earth. The robot, dubbed "Arturito", was invented by Chileans and over the past year has grabbed headlines by breaking some of the country's biggest criminal mysteries.

Apparently, the robot lends this story "greater credence...."

1:09 PM Sep 25, 2005

by Rob Ritchie

Here's a terrific post by Captain Ed about Isael's military response to 40 rockets being fired into the country from Gaza.

12:14 PM Sep 25, 2005

by Rob Ritchie

For a roundup of more pictures from the rally, see this post.

11:52 AM Sep 25, 2005

by Rob Ritchie

Go read this intelligent fisking of an account of a "report" of the "anti-war" "rally" this weekend.

11:42 PM Sep 23, 2005

by Rob Ritchie

Continuing our headlong march towards our date with Skynet:

Battle robots could join dogs on S.Korea border

SEOUL (Reuters) - Armed, six-legged robots may one day work alongside man's best friend on the southern side of the Korean DMZ.

South Korea will spend 33.4 billion won (18.2 million pounds) over the next five years to develop the robots for the heavily fortified demilitarised zone that divides the peninsula, the Communications Ministry said in a statement on Friday.

South Korea envisages the robots performing roles on the battlefield now done by dogs, such as sniffing for explosives Advertisement and catching intruders, the ministry said.

The robots will stand knee-high to the average adult, mounted on wheels for road missions or on as many as eight legs to get them over uneven terrain, it said. Equipped with firearms, they will be able to carry out combat missions via remote control.

No one can convince me we aren't gluttons for our doom....

11:47 AM Sep 23, 2005

by Rob Ritchie

Powerline gets called up to the Big Time!

The movie Serenity is opening nationwide on September 30. The people who are promoting the film thought it would be a good idea to offer private screenings to selected bloggers, just as they do with movie critics for newspapers and magazines. The idea is that we'll watch the movie and review it on this site the following day. So we're going to have a private screening of the film next Wednesday night, September 28....

Good for them, they'll love it.

And so will you, especially if you go to see Serenity the first weekend, so that they'll have a $100M weekend, and then they'll make a dozen sequels, each better than the one before.

This daydream brought to you by years of being disappointed by George Lucas.

11:36 AM Sep 23, 2005

by Rob Ritchie

Hollywood really does have a tin ear, I think.

Debbie Schlussel has a column on the new Jodie Foster "vehicle" Flight Plan, which involves an airplane hijacking.

You'll have to read the rest, because I'm not going to spoil it....

In second thought, I guess I am:

The terrorists are a flight attendants and an Air Marshal, not the suspicious Arab guys!

If there is one single person who, upon reading this, decides not to see this movie, then that's another fistful of dollars that doesn't go into the pockets of the morons who wouldn't recognize a terrorist if he sat down next to them and started keening "Allahu Akbar."

Pious gratitude to: My Lizard Master

Category Five!

10:29 AM Sep 22, 2005by Rob Ritchie

God bless them all.

Don't get stuck on stupid

11:18 AM Sep 21, 2005by Rob Ritchie

Radioblogger has a terrific audio download, and transcript, of Lt. Gen. Russel Honore talking to reporters. You should go read it.

I agree that "Don't get stuck on stupid" should be the new catch-phrase.

Steve's Beatles Page

6:46 PM Sep 20, 2005by Rob Ritchie

While searching for an appropriately cute title for the previous post (something along the lines of "Lovely Rita"), I found a very interesting page devoted to Beatles Songs.

What I like is the section on each individual song page called What Goes On? Anomalies which indicates, well, anomalies within the recording. For example, the listing for "Lovely Rita" has:

0:21,0:23 John sings as an aside "Aah, Paul" under the main lyric
0:33 In the right ear, after "your heart awaaay" "Standing..."
1:10 Odd sound, just before call of "Rita!" (Right channel)
1:16-1:17 Probably Paul, screaming "Woo-hoo-hoo"
1:22-1:25 Hiss in background, right channel from piano track which has finished, but not faded down
2:11 Edit in tape/click to join on the ending (Left)
2:38 Ringo shouts "You'd better believe it" or "They'll never believe it" in the very final moments of the song. * NEW * Also suggested that this voice is John.

I think this sort of stuff is neat, and immediatly fired up the song in iTunes to see if I could detect any of these things. I couldn't, but my ears aren't that good so I'm not surprised.

Anyway, give it a look.

Rain, Rain, Go Away!

6:28 PM Sep 20, 2005by Rob Ritchie

Ceaseless harm?

6:12 PM Sep 20, 2005by Rob Ritchie

Robotic Operational Being Responsible for Immediate Troubleshooting, Ceaseless Harm and Intensive Exploration

Pious gratitude to: The Cyborg Formerly Known As Les Bates

3:58 PM Sep 20, 2005

by Rob Ritchie

Republican Women vs Democrat Women

(As has been pointed out, this is an amusing but basically pointless presentation. Funny, though.)

3:50 PM Sep 20, 2005

by Rob Ritchie

I like a gin martini as much as the next of-age adult; but stories like these should give anyone pause:

1. A young man named Kevin Price, in 1995, drives to the New Jersey shore to celebrate the Fourth of July. He arrives at midnight, later than most of his friends, and starts drinking beer to catch up. Around 2:30 a.m., he remembers going to the bathroom because he felt a little sick. Three days later he woke up in the hospital and didn't know where he was. He didn't remember a thing, not even that he had south in the northbound lane of the interstate and hit a van carrying six church volunteers, killing five of them.

2. Another young man, Paul Cox, age 21, left a bar in a New York City suburb and drove off — too fast — with two friends. The last thing he remembers is rounding a curve with one of his friends saying, "You're not going to make it." The next thing he knew he was waking up in his bed with no clothes on. His mother has come in to tell him the police had called her to say they had found her car abandoned. She asked him what happened. He had no idea. His friends told him later that after he hit a guardrail, he got out of the car and walked off. The next day, the community was buzzing about a man and his wife, both doctors, who were stabbed 24 times in their beds.

The Coxes had once lived in the home, and the murdered couple was sleeping in Paul's former room. The murders had occurred on the night of Paul's blackout. He was haunted by guilt. Two years later, his girlfriend persuaded him to go to Alcoholics Anonymous, where he spoke of his fears about that night. Two years later, an AA member went to the police with his story. Detectives matched his fingerprints to those found at the murder scene. He was later tried and convicted and sentenced to more than a century in prison.

3. Dr. Timothy Fischer, medical director of the Tri-County Commission on Alcohol & Drug Abuse, tells of an Alaskan woodsman he met in an examining room at his clinic. "He told the nurse he wanted to talk to me because it was personal," he said. "When I went in, he said he had gone to Seattle 'on a drunk,' and while there, his buddies had drank a lot and cut his testicles off. He was there because his breasts had started growing and he was losing his facial hair. He wanted hormone shots."

I've never drunk that much, thank God!

4:15 PM Sep 19, 2005

by Rob Ritchie

The Tensor discusses The Paradox of Japan

Japan is unique. It is a country of ancient wooden temples and ten-kilometer-high stratospires. It preserves its ancient martial traditions while fielding the world's most advanced (and most varied) army of giant robots. Its people revere nature and the Earth's beauty even as they forsake the homeworld in unprecedented numbers to man (and woman!) orbiting defense platforms and the Cislunar Defense Fleet.

Read the rest!


11:33 AM Sep 18, 2005by Rob Ritchie

You know, you have to be careful when you visit Sheila's site, because if you do, you might see something like this!

I feel shame passing this along, but not too much.

2:27 PM Sep 17, 2005

by Rob Ritchie

Islam is apparently a Religion of Ice Cream

Update: Click here for a picture, and judge for yourself.

PVP Explores Sexual Harrasment

10:53 AM Sep 16, 2005by Rob Ritchie

Click for larger image

Yes, I know it seems very 1990's, but it's still pretty funny. PVP is available online with a new comic every day (except on Saturdays when sometimes there isn't).

Just a reminder

10:47 AM Sep 16, 2005by Rob Ritchie

That's two weeks away!

2:34 PM Sep 15, 2005

by Rob Ritchie

"New Orleans cannibals wade through poisonous toxic waste to feast upon the 10,000 corpses left in the wake of Hurricane Katrina -- Bush to Blame!"

Captain Ed discusses media hysteria and exaggeration about Katrina, now that it appears that flood waters aren't as toxic as early commenters had guessed.


And more: Victor Davis Hanson says Katrina reporters were as incompetent as they are disingenuous:

For all the media's efforts to turn the natural disaster of New Orleans into a racist nightmare, a death knell for one or the other political parties or an indictment of American culture at large, it was none of that at all. What we did endure instead were slick but poorly educated journalists, worried not about truth but about pre-empting their rivals with an ever-more-hysterical story, all in a fuzzy context of political correctness about race, the environment and the war.

12:36 PM Sep 15, 2005

by Rob Ritchie

Inventor denies using dead cats for fuel

...thank God he cleared that up!

11:15 AM Sep 15, 2005

by Rob Ritchie

In His Newhouse column the Great One writes about the sorry state of civic memorials, with a special attention to the so-called "Crescent of Embrace:"

In this crescent -- a red one, in the mockups -- many see the symbol of Islam, which was not exactly represented by its best ambassadors on Sept. 11, 2001. Even the design committee noted the Islamic implications of the word "crescent," but went with it anyway -- perhaps to show that they were Citizens of the World, ecumenical in their sorrow, and surely not Islamophobic. (Islam is peachy! Unless it's in the Iraqi constitution.)

Grant them that. But you suspect they would never approve the Cross of Understanding, even if the designers intended the shape to represent the airplane that crashed. That would make the wrong people happy and the wrong people mad.

As always with His words, read the rest.

Non-political Celebrity Sites

10:43 AM Sep 15, 2005by Rob Ritchie

There are a couple of sites that I visit semi-regularly that deal with celebrity news. I go there because they have high-resolution pictures of the beautiful people, who they mock viciously with humor so caustic it could unstop drains.

These sites are fairly dirty, but are also very funny.

The first site is called the Superficial. The author frequently fantasizes about celebrities in a fairly shameless way, but you'd have to be pretty strange to find it arousing. For example, in this story about Eva Longoria's boyfriend and the mayor of Paris (trust me) he writes:

I don't know if the mayor of Paris actually has the ability to make the tabloids shut up, but if he does, that would make him some sort of super-virile God. And that? Is very confusing for me. Here I have an article about Eva Longoria who's both hot and - if ABC is to be believed - desperate, and that's everything I've ever wanted in a woman. Yet I'm fantasizing about a Parisian mayor who I assume is an overweight bald man with a baret and a pornstache. But... you know what, damnit? The heart wants what it wants. He's ridiculously powerful and we're in love and I regret nothing.

The second site is called IDontLikeYouInThatWay, which seems to be a group blog of sorts, which like 'Superficial' brings up celebrity news primarily to make fun of the rich and famous. An example of that comes from a story about pop superstar and hillbilly bride Britney Spears, and her desire to follow Kabbalah birth rituals by having her husband read aloud from the Zohar in the birthing room:

Is it really the greatest idea in the world to have Kevin Federline standing over a newborn reading spells in a language he doesn't understand. I don't know what "Umm, like ... Melchizedek ... and all" does to ancient prayers, but odds are, from that point on, Britney will just have an endless line of colorful scarves coming out of her vagina. Delivery rooms aren't exactly serene meadows of happiness, the only sound being the unicorns as they frolic. It's nothing but chaos and yelling and screaming, and this retard is expected to read Hebrew. The dude is naming his son London Preston; two syllable words that rhyme, you really think he's ready for the 42 letter name of God. By their own admission, neither one of them understands this crap, one wrong word could turn the kid into a rabbit or flock of doves for all they know.

Anyway, they're fun R-rated sites with a wicked wit and a snark-factor that goes up to '11'.

5:50 PM Sep 14, 2005

by Rob Ritchie

Iowahawk has a special message for the progressive, reality-based blogger community.

Two weeks ago, millions of Americans watched in horror as the city of New Orleans was savaged by the relentless, pollution-fueled fury of Hurricane Katrina. Later, we witnessed the human rights atrocity as George Bush's incompetent racist henchmen dynamited the levees, unleashing a tidal wave of contaminated Halliburton turdwater which forced thousands of our fellow citizens to flee into the dank slave ship-like bowels of the Superdome.

Now, as the floodwaters recede, the survivors of Bush/Katrina face an even greater danger: the danger of complacency. Even as you read this, Chimpy's pals in FEMA and the Red Cross are buying off evacuees with food and cheap blankets and debit cards, slowly robbing the survivors of God's most precious gift -- the gift of focused political rage.

Won't you help?

5:03 PM Sep 12, 2005

by Rob Ritchie

Looters run rampant through the city.

New Orleans?

No. Gaza.

Let the justifications begin.

Pious gratitude to: lgf

More here:  Palestinians torch four Gaza synagogues

And more:  An orgy of looting and arson

And then, there's this: 

American Jewish donors had bought more than 3,000 greenhouses from Israeli settlers in Gaza for $14 million last month and transferred them to the Palestinian Authority. Former World Bank President James Wolfensohn, who brokered the deal, put up $500,000 of his own cash.

Pali's trashed them

11:45 AM Sep 12, 2005

by Rob Ritchie

Michelle Malkin notices a theme in Katrina coverage: an anti-Bush slant!

Quelle surprise...

A CNN piece is indicative if a meme that is shared by other news organizations listed in Michelle's post:

Companies with ties to the Bush White House and the former head of FEMA are clinching some of the administration's first disaster relief and reconstruction contracts in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. At least two major corporate clients of lobbyist Joe Allbaugh, President Bush's former campaign manager and a former head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, have already been tapped to start recovery work along the battered Gulf Coast.

One is Shaw Group Inc. and the other is Halliburton Co. subsidiary Kellogg Brown and Root. Vice President Dick Cheney is a former head of Halliburton. [Ed: Dum-dum-duuuum!]

We all know how e-e-e-e-e-v-il Halliburton is. But all this undue attention may uncover associations unwelcome to a Bush-hating and Democrat-excusing media machine. As Michelle notes:

The Shaw Group, a multi-billion-dollar conglomerate, is headed by Jim Bernhard, the current chairman of the Louisiana Democratic Party. Bernhard worked tirelessly for Democrat Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco's runoff campaign and served as co-chair of her transition team. Another Shaw executive was Blanco's campaign manager. Bernhard is back-scratching chums with Blanco, whom he has lent/offered the Shaw Group's corporate jets to on numerous occasions.

So, why was none of this mentioned in CNN's Bush-profiteers-are-evil narrative?

Ok, so on one hand, we have a media that seems to take amazing glee in drawing attention between ties between Halliburton and the Bush Administration; and on the other hand, that goes to some lengths to hide ties between the Shaw Group and the Blanco Administration and the Democratic Party. Got it.

If I were of a conspiritorial mind, I'd suggest that the manifest flaws in Governer Blanco's hurricane preparations and performance in the aftermath were intentional; that her incompetance was designed to maximize the destruction and suffering, so as to maximize the profits for her friend Jim Bernhard and the Shaw Group. That, in essence, Governer Blanco doesn't care about Black people.

Of course, I am not of a conspiratorial mind, and I refuse to accept such a proposition, since I don't think she's evil.

11:42 AM Sep 12, 2005

by Rob Ritchie

Jeff Goldstein provides a detailed and illuminating shellacking of this Newsweek article entitled "How Bush Blew It".

Jeff doesn't think he did, but more importantly, he shows how Newsweek doesn't tell the whole story.

11:24 AM Sep 12, 2005

by Rob Ritchie

When I read a story like this one...

[W]hile the last regularly scheduled train out of town had left a few hours earlier, Amtrak had decided to run a "dead-head" train that evening to move equipment out of the city. It was headed for high ground in Macomb, Miss., and it had room for several hundred passengers. "We offered the city the opportunity to take evacuees out of harm's way," said Amtrak spokesman Cliff Black. "The city declined."

So the ghost train left New Orleans at 8:30 p.m., with no passengers on board. makes me wonder if the New Orleans city government bypassed every opportunity to save their citizens.

Pious gratitude to: Instapundit

Vegetables are Political

10:37 AM Sep 12, 2005by Rob Ritchie

Yesterday evening I was sitting with a group of friends over Chinese food, and we briefly discussed the relative virtues of the broccoli that formed a major portion of a particular dish. Someone who didn't like broccoli expressed his distain for the vegetable, while devotees of the stuff defended it to the hilt. Another person commented that broccoli seemed omnipresent, that there seemed to be a marked increase in its consumption in America; I suggested that perhaps Big Broccoli had influenced farm policy in America; that huge agro-conglomerates were exerting undue influence upon the Department of Agriculture and nutritional science, supported by the Intelligence Community; perhaps broccoli acted as some sort of neural-inhibiter, and it’s consumption resulted in a more compliant and easily-led populace.

Someone else suggested that this must have started during the first Bush Administration; his personal dislike for broccoli was well marked, and his experience as head of the CIA would certainly have made him privy to any mind-control properties of the green vegetable.

At this point, someone remembered, laughing, that President Bush had once said “I’m a grown man, and I don’t have to eat my broccoli if I don’t want to.” At our end of the table, we laughed appreciatively.

Down the table, our resident left-liberal spoke up for the first time, noting sourly “That was a very immature thing to say.” And the banter ground to a halt.

Yes, friends, the Left really is humorless. It’s been more than a decade since he’d been in office, and this guy simply can’t let a facetious off-hand and politically meaningless remark by a Republican go without making a disparaging remark.

10:18 AM Sep 12, 2005

by Rob Ritchie

I have to agree with Leslie: Some folks in the Royal Navy have waaaaaay too much time on their hands.

This is a large Windows Media movie file, well worth the download.

4:00 AM Sep 11, 2005

by Rob Ritchie

11:33 PM Sep 10, 2005

by Rob Ritchie

Via lfg, here is a great photo slide show that you have to see: Five Days with Katrina.

Alvaro, who took these pictures and wrote up his experiences, deserves a Pulitzer prize. You will learn more from these pictures about what it was like to actually be in New Orleans than you will from all the around-the-clock news coverage out there.

This is a triumph for the citizen-reporter.

Rise and Fall...

10:40 PM Sep 10, 2005by Rob Ritchie

In the September/October 2005 issue of Archaeology Magazine there is an article about the ancient Libyan city of Cyrene. This city was founded in 630 B.C. by Greek colonists from the island of Thera, and it’s fortunate location on an incredibly fertile and well-watered plateau allowed it to take in three harvests every growing season. With a surplus of food, the citizens of Cyrene became well known for art, culture and horse-breeding throughout the Mediterranean. In 330 B.C., when mainland Greece suffered from a famine, Cyrene had the surplus to send 28,000 tons of grain as relief. Cyrene was also the only known place where the plant silphium could be found; this plant was a very effective and apparently safe prophylactic, and was known to prevent pregnancies and induce abortions. As you can imagine, there was a very great demand for it, and brought much wealth to the city.

Many famous Greek intellectuals and philosophers were born in Cyrene: Theodorus, Eratosthenes, Aristippus and many more were associated with this great city. Cyrene became part of the empire forge by Alexander, and later was part of Egypt under Ptolemy. After Egypt became part of the Roman Empire under Augustus, Cyrene became a jewel in the crown that was Roman North Africa, but suffered from rebellions and earthquakes; more importantly, under Roman rule the silphium plant became extinct and by A.D. 262 had become an unimportant provincial town.

Yet, the fertility of the location ensured that the city would go on, and in the fifth century, a “large basilica decorated with mosaics of rural and animal scenes” was built. Unfortunately, in the year 643, the Arab general Amr ibn el-Aasi, driven by the implacable demands of Islamic Jihad, destroyed Cyrene and made it into the ruin it remains to this day.

Pick up this issue of Archaeology and read the rest about this amazing city. The recent thawing of relations between the US and Lybia has allowed archaeologist to return to their work that has been put aside since 1981.

5:11 PM Sep 9, 2005

by Rob Ritchie

Charles Krauthammer has a wonderful post over at Townhall entitled Assigning blame, which begins:

In less enlightened times, there was no catastrophe independent of human agency. When the plague or some other natural disaster struck, witches were burned, Jews were massacred and all felt better (except the witches and Jews).

A few centuries later, our progressive thinkers have progressed not an inch. No fall of a sparrow on this planet is not attributed to sin and human perfidy. The three current favorites are: (1) global warming, (2) the war in Iraq and (3) tax cuts. Katrina hits and the unholy trinity is immediately invoked to damn sinner-in-chief George W. Bush.

He then goes on name who should share the blame. George Bush does not go unmentioned.

Read the whole thing.

2:08 PM Sep 9, 2005

by Rob Ritchie

A rhetorical gem...

As the full horror of Hurricane Katrina sinks in, thousands of desperate columnists are asking if this is the end of George Bush's presidency. The answer is almost certainly yes, provided that every copy of the US Constitution was destroyed in the storm. Otherwise President Bush will remain in office until noon on January 20th, 2009, as required by the 20th Amendment, after which he is barred from seeking a third term anyway under the 22nd Amendment.

Read the rest, it's great!

Pious gratitude to: Instapundit

7:22 PM Sep 8, 2005

by Rob Ritchie

Doyle has this funny:


7:15 PM Sep 8, 2005by Rob Ritchie

I have to tell you, this is causing me a serious amount of angst.

1:35 PM Sep 8, 2005

by Rob Ritchie

Iowahawk has a roundup of news stories from New Orleans that's unlike any other you've seen.

7:13 PM Sep 7, 2005

by Rob Ritchie

This is interesting:

New observations by the international Cassini spacecraft reveal that Saturn's trademark shimmering rings, which have dazzled astronomers since Galileo's time, have dramatically changed over just the past 25 years.

Among the most surprising findings is that parts of Saturn's innermost ring - the D ring - have grown dimmer since the Voyager spacecraft flew by the planet in 1981, and a piece of the D ring has moved 125 miles inward toward Saturn.

25% of scientists surveyed said it was probably caused by global warming. The rest blamed the Bush Adminstration.

Vengeful Dead

6:35 PM Sep 7, 2005by Rob Ritchie

A drunk woman decided to pee on a grave; but the current resident didn't like it:

[S]he urgently needed to relieve herself and crouched down between two gravestones. As she lost her balance, she grabbed one of the stones which gave way and landed on top of her.

The public prosecutor's office said she died of suffocation as she was unable to lift the heavy stone.

The dead keep score, you know....

5:33 PM Sep 7, 2005

by Rob Ritchie

Instapundit has a list of SOME KATRINA LESSONS that's worth reading.

"Yo, yo, yo, what is the dizzle with this hurricashizzle?"

6:18 PM Sep 6, 2005by Rob Ritchie

The "Disaster Porn" Stars of Cable News

Pious gratitude to: Robert d'Llama

RIP, Little Buddy

5:43 PM Sep 6, 2005by Rob Ritchie

10:55 AM Sep 6, 2005

by Rob Ritchie

Rick Moran over at Rightwing Nuthouse provides a handy time-line of the Katrina disaster, and the government response thereto. He writes:

IT IS NOT MY INTENTION TO PLAY THE “BLAME GAME” BY PUBLISHING THIS TIMELINE....My sole purpose is to place this timeline on the record to dispel the rumors, the spin, and the outright falsehoods being flung about by both right and left bloggers and pundits.

8:28 PM Sep 5, 2005

by Rob Ritchie

It's been a long, long time since I linked to one of Bill Whittle's essays; not because I don't like them, but because I just figure that everyone else reads them without my prompting.

But this one has been linked to and commented on a lot, so I think I'll do the same, as it's a marvelous example of the essayist's art.

Go read Tribes.

8:13 PM Sep 5, 2005

by Rob Ritchie

Katrina and Subsidiarity

12:32 PM Sep 5, 2005

by Rob Ritchie

Ben Stein in the American Spectator:

Is there any problem in the world that is not Mr. Bush's fault, or have we reverted to a belief in a sort of witchcraft where we credit a mortal man with the ability to create terrifying storms and every other kind of ill wind?

Where did the idea come from that salvation comes from hatred and criticism and mockery instead of love and co-operation?

12:13 PM Sep 5, 2005

by Rob Ritchie

So, there was this white girl who fell in love with a black guy in old Missouri. When her father found out that she loved a black guy, he forced her to drink poison and buried her in the back yard. When the authorities started looking into her disappearance, the family was afraid that everyone would find out the girl was a "N****r-lover" and so they formed a lynch mob and burned out the town where the black guy lived, forcing the black community to flee.

Isn't that an awful story?

Everything I just wrote is true, except it wasn't in Missouri, it was the West Bank; the girl wasn't white, she was Muslim; the guy wasn't black, he was Christian; and this wasn't 100 years ago, it was yesterday.

Let the justifications begin....

Pious gratitude to: lfg

1:09 PM Sep 4, 2005

by Rob Ritchie

Kathy has a lovely post about the panicky feeling she gets when she first discovers that a ring won't come easily off her finger, and moves from there to the rebuilding of New Orleans: Where There Is a Will There Is a Way

Give it a good look.

12:22 PM Sep 4, 2005

by Rob Ritchie

I have written about the movement to have Intelligent Design taught in schools alongside the Theory of Evolution before (here and here).

Now, another theory of Intelligent Design has been put forward, which I think is equally as valid as any previously offered theory.

12:00 PM Sep 4, 2005

by Rob Ritchie

A lot of places (uh, like this one) have concentrated on the awful stories of looting, murder, rape and mayhem coming out of New Orleans, and the rather poor performance of the government agencies responsible for maintaining order and seeing to their evacuation and rescue.

Well, Michelle Malkin (who holds feet to the fire as well as any of 'em) has a nice post on New Orleans from a different angle.


She has about a dozen "inspiration[al] and uplift[ing]" stories about people reunited and helping one another out. Give it a read.

George Bush Obeys Law

11:08 AM Sep 4, 2005by Rob Ritchie

Via lgf, I find a link to this Washington Post article:

Behind the scenes, a power struggle emerged, as federal officials tried to wrest authority from Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Babineaux Blanco (D). Shortly before midnight Friday, the Bush administration sent her a proposed legal memorandum asking her to request a federal takeover of the evacuation of New Orleans, a source within the state's emergency operations center said Saturday.

The administration sought unified control over all local police and state National Guard units reporting to the governor. Louisiana officials rejected the request after talks throughout the night, concerned that such a move would be comparable to a federal declaration of martial law. Some officials in the state suspected a political motive behind the request. "Quite frankly, if they'd been able to pull off taking it away from the locals, they then could have blamed everything on the locals," said the source, who does not have the authority to speak publicly.

A senior administration official said that Bush has clear legal authority to federalize National Guard units to quell civil disturbances under the Insurrection Act and will continue to try to unify the chains of command that are split among the president, the Louisiana governor and the New Orleans mayor.

Louisiana did not reach out to a multi-state mutual aid compact for assistance until Wednesday, three state and federal officials said. As of Saturday, Blanco still had not declared a state of emergency, the senior Bush official said.

"The federal government stands ready to work with state and local officials to secure New Orleans and the state of Louisiana," White House spokesman Dan Bartlett said. "The president will not let any form of bureaucracy get in the way of protecting the citizens of Louisiana."

Blanco made two moves Saturday that protected her independence from the federal government: She created a philanthropic fund for the state's victims and hired James Lee Witt, Federal Emergency Management Agency director in the Clinton administration, to advise her on the relief effort.

So, before Katrina struck, the Bush Administration attempted to take control of the evacuation of New Orleans, but the Governer of Louisianna refused; and the President followed the law and didn't ursurp the power of the State. Imagine if he'd run rough-shod over them, and there hadn't been a disaster. Then, he would have performed an impeachable act.

Remember those unused buses?

10:50 AM Sep 4, 2005by Rob Ritchie

JunkYardBlog has more. Give 'em a look.

Pious gratitude to: Glenn Reynolds

4:37 PM Sep 2, 2005

by Rob Ritchie

If you're interested about how the Left and the Right sides of the blogosphere have responded to Hurricane Katrina, Politburo has a roundup.

No doubt everyone has put politics aside and are pulling together to help the victims along the Gulf Coast. Right?


Pious gratitude to: lgf

Update: Read this charming missive

2:35 PM Sep 2, 2005

by Rob Ritchie

The Anchoress has a wonderful post that you should go read right now: 100 hrs after stormfall…

2:20 PM Sep 2, 2005

by Rob Ritchie

One of my all time favorite books is Dhalgren by Samuel R. Delany. For me, it was a very influential book while I was growing up. It's one of those books that when you read it as an adult, you realize that it includes ideas and themes that you have incorporated into your worldview without realizing the source.

It tells the tale of a city that's been plunged into a nightmare of civil disorder by some sort of disaster, and the people who try to cope.

The stories coming out of New Orleans sound like they could have come from this book.

7:09 PM Sep 1, 2005

by Rob Ritchie

Finally! A scientific explanation why the men in my family aren't strong swimmers.

Hurricane Devastates Biloxi...

4:31 PM Sep 1, 2005by Rob Ritchie

...women and minorities hardest hit.

From al-Reuters:

Anger rises among Mississippi's poor after Katrina

Many of the town's well-off heeded authorities' warnings to flee north, joining thousands of others who traveled from the Gulf Coast into northern Mississippi and Alabama, Georgia and other nearby states....

But others could not afford to join them, either because they didn't own a car or couldn't raise funds for even the cheapest motel.

"No way we could do that," said Willie Rhetta, a bus driver, who remained in his home to await Katrina.

Resentment at being left behind in the path of one of the fiercest hurricanes on record may have contributed to some of the looting that occurred in Biloxi and other coastal communities.

A number of private residences, including some in upscale neighborhoods, were targeted, residents said.

"Resentment" doesn't lead to lawlessness.

2:42 PM Sep 1, 2005

by Rob Ritchie

Captain Ed gives us a pep talk:

How we take care of New Orleans will say something about our national character and whether it remains as tough and optimistic as our history, for all its flaws, amply demonstrates. Will we walk away from a tough fight? Will America shrug its shoulders and tell the city that we don't want to take on difficult tasks? Make no mistake; our response to New Orleans will say just as much about our staying power as a cut-and-run from Iraq would, and to much the same audience. Believe me, some of those who plan our destruction have cheered the scenes shown on television around the world of Katrina's devastation in New Orleans, and they're watching to see what we do.

And so New Orleans must be rebuilt, in some manner, right where it is now. No leader will get up and say, We give up. Katrina beat us. Let's move on. That message will not resonate with the vast majority of Americans on either side of the political divide, which will bring a political consensus to ensure that we produce some kind of recovery for New Orleans. We can and will debate the how and the what, but not the whether. We're Americans, and we don't run from a fight.

Read it all.

The latest from New Orleans

12:14 PM Sep 1, 2005by Rob Ritchie

The savages have emerged from their caves:

Superdome Evacuation Halted After Shots Fired

The evacuation of the New Orleans Superdome was suspended Thursday after gunshots were fired at a military helicopter as thousands of National Guard troops poured into the Big Easy to boost security in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina (search).

The first of nearly 25,000 refugees being sheltered at the New Orleans Superdome began to arrive in Houston, Texas, Thursday. But that process ground to a halt after shots were fired at the helicopter over the Superdome before daybreak, according to an ambulance official overseeing the operation.

"We have suspended operations until they gain control of the Superdome," said Richard Zeuschlag, head of Acadian Ambulance, which was handling the evacuation of sick and injured people from the Superdome.

Also, there's this: Mayhem hampering hospital evacuations

A private ambulance service says it is being hindered in its efforts to evacuate patients from New Orleans hospitals by the lawlessness in the city and appealed to President Bush to activate the military.

"If we don't have the federal presence in New Orleans tonight at dark, it will no longer be safe to be there, hospital or no hospital," Acadian Ambulance Services chief executive officer Richard Zuschlag told CNN.

Acadian, based in Lafayette, Louisiana, is trying to evacuate some 2,000 patients from hospitals before nightfall Wednesday, including dozens of critically ill babies at medical facilities with no electricity or water.

The firm's priority is getting out 25 critically ill infants from Children's Hospital and 100 babies from Touro Infirmary, said spokeswoman Julie Mahfouz.

Zuschlag said part of the reason Touro requested the evacuation of its 175 patients -- including 100 babies -- "is the unrest in New Orleans."

He said his workers have been victims of the looting and mayhem across the city.

"My people are in harm's way," he said. "They are scared. Our command station about an hour ago had the generator stolen off the back of it. We've had an ambulance turned over.

"Things are not good in New Orleans. It's very serious now."

How to respond? The New York Times reports:

John Carolan was sitting on his porch in the thick, humid darkness just before midnight Tuesday when three or four young men, one with a knife and another with a machete, stopped in front of his fence and pointed to the generator humming in the front yard, he said.

One said, "We want that generator," he recalled.

"I fired a couple of rounds over their heads with a .357 Magnum," Mr. Carolan recounted Wednesday. "They scattered."

He smiled and added, "You've heard of law west of the Pecos. This is law west of Canal Street."

Hurricane Katrina Relief Day

10:26 AM Sep 1, 2005by Rob Ritchie

As you may know, today has been designated "Help 'Em Out!" day on the blogsphere, so I'm going to use this post to provide links to charitable organizations with programs dedicated to aid the victims of Hurricane Katrina.

I donated through Feed the Children because the Great One told me to. Of course, you can do whatever you wish, but I urge you to help out as you can.

FEMA has a list of Katrina Related Charities, so go there and see if you see one you like. The important thing right now is to get the food, water and clothing to the people who need it.

I can't imagine what a horror it must be to spend days in a dark, sweltering attic, waiting for the water in my home to drain away....

The Captain chose to help Catholic Charities, and I can certainly understand why; they're a great organization.

And, not to be outdone by anyone, Der Perfesser has a post with about fifty links to charities and other blog posts with further links. I missed my chance to be linked there, because I'm too slow. Take what lesson you wish from that....

We aren't getting any help from France on this one, folks. Update:  Sorry, we are. We're sort of on our own. Update:  Luckily, we ain't. I'm pleased to learn that many countries are helping us out. Some of the great cities of America are dying; let's try to save them.