daily archive: 09/10/2005
'Chicago Did It – Why Couldn't New Orleans?'
Dr. Joseph Mercola
has an interesting take on what happened in New Orleans:
I live in Chicago and it was also below sea level before 1850. However the city spent 20 years to repair that and rebuild itself 14 feet higher. Chicago is FAR larger than New Orleans. If they were able to fix their city over 150 years ago why couldn't New Orleans?
Instead New Orleans chose to do nothing, absolutely nothing to correct its plight and now that the predicted disaster has occurred significant portions of its entitlement mentality population believe the federal government "owes it to them" to repair their city. Now, you and I will have to pay TENS OF BILLIONS of our tax dollars to correct their careless irresponsible behavior.
Morally Unacceptable Behavior
Hundreds of its citizens chose to pillage and rape its own residents and aim deadly fire on those that were sent to help them by bringing supplies and repair assistance.
Then, to add insult to injury, the city decides to send its municipal workers and their families to Las Vegas. Is it because their isn't enough work to do or because they just could not figure out what to do with all their surplus city funds?
The city is BILLIONS of dollars in debt due to this disaster and wants to spend money it doesn't have to send these families to Las Vegas.
It is most unfortunate that so many helpless people had to suffer and die because those in responsible positions chose to do nothing. The media has not said one word about bringing the appropriate city officials to trial for this disaster.
Rather the mayor of New Orleans goes on the media and issues multiple profanities rather than accepting responsibility for not taking preventive action that could have avoided this disaster.
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Off to detox
Throbert is taking a 4-5 day sabbatical for detox treatment -- not the New Age kind of detox with crystals and wheatgrass-juice enemas, but the "if only I'd listened to Nancy Reagan" kind. Back online by Wednesday or Thursday, I'm assuming.
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On the Island
A cream-colored Rolls Royce pulls into the driveway of the cream-colored island mansion, and parks. Out steps a man in a finely tailored cream-colored suit. He looks up toward the balcony for a few moments, then out to the sea, his mind wandering…
“Hello Sir, a pleasant trip you had then, I hope?�? said the servant, removing the luggage from the trunk.
“Pleasant…? Well, business is business my friend, pleasant or not. Thank you, Geoffrey. Please leave them in my suite, I’ll unpack them myself.�?
“As you like, Sir. Shall I call for refreshments?�? Geoffrey asked, passing the keys to the house boy, who started the engine and moved the car into the garage.
The “man in cream�? had turned his gaze from the sea, and now stared intently toward the lush jungle, surrounding the estate.
“No, not just yet, thank you, Geoffrey.�? He said. She’s in there again, yes?�?
“Yes, Sir, almost 3 hours now…�?
“Thank you Geoffrey�? the man said, as he began towards the brush. He entered a narrow path, stepping over roots, bending under branches, his “cream colored�? suit becoming soiled as he went. It was dark at first. Streams of light between the tree branches shone through well enough to follow the path, once his eyes had adjusted.
Shortly he came to the spot. As usual. Target practice.
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The Return of the Man in Black: Part III
Earth, the present day.
A small bar somewhere in Hong Kong. The evening’s patrons are being treated to some good, old fashioned jazz. The band leader addresses the crowd.
"Thank you, thank you! You're a wonderful audience. Now, I don't usually do this...but we have a friend here tonight. Maybe with the proper encouragement we can get him up here for a song. Mr. Sons, would you come up here and grace us with your crooning?"
All eyes turn to the bar where a tall man in a black suit is enjoying a drink.
He's startled at the applause from the crowd. He feigns embarrassment.
"Now, Tommy, you know I can't sing." he says waving it off.
"Oh nonsense, sir!" replies the band leader. "Come on up here!"
The crowd cheers and begins pounding the tables rhythmically.
"Man in black, man in black!" they cheer.
The man shoots an accusatory look at the bartender. "This is your doing isn't it, Jimmy?"
Jimmy the bartender is all innocence. "Who me?" he grins.
"Sigh. All right, all right." He places his sword on the bar.
"You stay right there," he says to it. "And don't get into any trouble."
You could swear the sword began whistling a tuneless tune.
"Hmph. Smartass." he mutters.
He walks up the stage, grasping the old fashioned mike.
A brief consultation with the band, they all nod and smile. They know this song well.
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Why New Orleans absolutely MUST and WILL be rebuilt
A lot of people are wondering
why we're about to waste a few hundred billion dollars rebuilding New Orleans. The answer is that we absolutely must. New Orleans is America's chokepoint; there are few equally strategically important cities in the United States. Yes, it's a shitty place to have to build a city, but we have no choice. Whether it's futile or not, we're going to rebuild it. George Friedman from STRATFOR explains why:
September 01, 2005 22 30 GMT -- The American political system was founded in Philadelphia, but the American nation was built on the vast farmlands that stretch from the Alleghenies to the Rockies. That farmland produced the wealth that funded American industrialization: It permitted the formation of a class of small landholders who, amazingly, could produce more than they could consume. They could sell their excess crops in the east and in Europe and save that money, which eventually became the founding capital of American industry.
But it was not the extraordinary land nor the farmers and ranchers who alone set the process in motion. Rather, it was geography -- the extraordinary system of rivers that flowed through the Midwest and allowed them to ship their surplus to the rest of the world. All of the rivers flowed into one -- the Mississippi -- and the Mississippi flowed to the ports in and around one city: New Orleans. It was in New Orleans that the barges from upstream were unloaded and their cargos stored, sold and reloaded on ocean-going vessels. Until last Sunday, New Orleans was, in many ways, the pivot of the American economy.
For that reason, the Battle of New Orleans in January 1815 was a key moment in American history. Even though the battle occurred after the War of 1812 was over, had the British taken New Orleans, we suspect they wouldn't have given it back. Without New Orleans, the entire Louisiana Purchase would have been valueless to the United States. Or, to state it more precisely, the British would control the region because, at the end of the day, the value of the Purchase was the land and the rivers - which all converged on the Mississippi and the ultimate port of New Orleans. The hero of the battle was Andrew Jackson, and when he became president, his obsession with Texas had much to do with keeping the Mexicans away from New Orleans.
During the Cold War, a macabre topic of discussion among bored graduate students who studied such things was this: If the Soviets could destroy one city with a large nuclear device, which would it be? The usual answers were Washington or New York. For me, the answer was simple: New Orleans. If the Mississippi River was shut to traffic, then the foundations of the economy would be shattered. The industrial minerals needed in the factories wouldn't come in, and the agricultural wealth wouldn't flow out. Alternative routes really weren't available. The Germans knew it too: A U-boat campaign occurred near the mouth of the Mississippi during World War II. Both the Germans and Stratfor have stood with Andy Jackson: New Orleans was the prize.
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The College Years
When a person goes off to college it signifies the beginning of adulthood. I couldn't wait to go to college, it meant living on my own and having a wonderful time away from parental constraints. It also meant that I had to take responsibility for my own life.
I received a shock at the end of a semester when I got an F in History. The teacher accused me of helping a classmate cheat on the final - the classmate was Greek and the professor assumed (falsely) that I was the one who helped him and so he gave me a failing grade. This was very serious for me, as I tried to explain to him, because that F brought my GPA down which in turn affected my scholarships.
Would a phone call from my parents to the department chair have solved the problem? Probably, yes. American universities want to keep parents happy, unlike Greek universities who have a stiff competition for a limited number of admissions every year and therefore couldn't care less if a parent or student is unhappy with their grades, or the cafeteria food, or the lack of soap in the bathrooms. In Greece, it's an honour to be in the university, not a right.
Anyway, I never thought to call my parents. I seethed at the injustice, wrote an angry letter to the Dean and gave the professor the finger every time I saw him on campus. I think he's very glad I graduated.Colleges Try to Deal With Hovering Parents
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'CIA Told The Dutch Government To Let AQ Khan Go'
In the early 70's, AQ Khan was working in a Dutch uranium company called Urenco
in Almelo city. It was the place where he learnt all the knowledge he needed for delivering Pakistan an A-Bomb in later years. In 1975, it was clear that he is nothing more than an atomic spy. He was convicted to 4 years imprisonment in 1983 but the ruling was never applied.
It turns out that his criminal file is totally missing from Amsterdam central court and according to former Prime Minister Rudd Lubbers, CIA wanted him to let AQ Khan go.
The Dutch criminal file on Pakistani nuclear spy Abdul Qader Khan is missing, according to Judge Anita Leeser-Gassan, vice president of the Amsterdam central court. Judge Leeser-Gassan does not find it credible that Mr Khan's file got lost, and instead suspects a political motive.
She referred to a recent comment by former Prime Minister Rudd Lubbers, who said the Netherlands let Mr Khan go under pressure from the United States.
Mr Khan, considered to be the father of the Pakistani nuclear weapons programme, worked at the nuclear plant Urenco in the Netherlands in the 1970s.
In 1983, a court in Amsterdam found him guilty of passing on classified information on nuclear weapons. But he was cleared by an appeals court due to a procedural error.
Judge Leeser-Gassan says that at the time she found it unusual that the Dutch Public Prosecutor did not pursue its case against Mr Khan further. But after hearing Mr Lubbers remarks, she says the pieces fell into place.
There is no way to check the authenticity of Mr. Lubbers' part of the story and looking at the facts that he is a sex addict
, just take his claims with a grain of salt.Nuclear spy's file missing
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Cocaine Is The Number One Drug Among Papijoe's Subjects
This just came in the news:
According to a recent research by the University of Amsterdam, the use of cocaine has strongly increased among Dutch teenagers in the last 6 years. Cocaine is at this moment the most popular drug in Holland and it seems to be even more popular than XTC, which was the most popular drug for the last 15 years.
Cocaine conquered Amsterdam in the late 90's, while XTC was entirely dominant in the house music parties. Teenagers didn't want to get spoiled by XTC all the time so they adopted the use of cocaine. In the meantime the symptoms spread all over the country.
Now that the 'house revolution' is almost gone, the 'urban culture' is taking over. The most important phenomenon is that the use of alcohol is increasing rapidly among teenagers, especially teenage girls. They are now drinking as much alcohol as their male adversaries.
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Tancredo Tells It Like It Is
The more I hear from Tom Tancredo,
the more I like him. Now he's calling for Louisiana's corrupt politicians to be cut out of responsibility for administering Congress's hurricane relief funds. (A thimbleful of cognac to floranista, bloggie's sweetheart)
Dear Mr. Speaker,
Given the abysmal failure of state and local officials in Louisiana to plan adequately for or respond to the effects of Hurricane Katrina on the city of New Orleans, and given the long history of public corruption in Louisiana, I hope the House will refrain from directly appropriating any funds from the public treasury to either the state of Louisiana or the city of New Orleans. Instead, reconstruction and relief funds dedicated to the people of New Orleans should be administered by a private organization or a select committee similar to the historic Truman Commission.
Public corruption is a well known problem in Louisiana. The head of the FBI in New Orleans just this past year described the state’s public corruption as “epidemic, endemic, and entrenched. No branch of government is exempt.�? Over the last thirty years, a long list of Louisiana politicians have been convicted of crimes; the list includes a governor, an attorney general, an elections commissioner, an agriculture commissioner, three successive insurance commissioners, a congressman, a federal judge, a State Senate president, six other state legislators, and a host of appointed officials, local sheriffs, city councilmen, and parish police jurors. Given the documented public corruption in the state, I am not confident that Louisiana officials can be trusted to administer federal relief aid.
Clearly the federal response from FEMA in the aftermath of the hurricane was hampered by bureaucratic ineptitude. Making matters worse, the Mayor of New Orleans and the Governor of Louisiana have demonstrated mind-boggling incompetence in their lack of planning for and response to this disaster. According to one recent media report, “A year ago, as Hurricane Ivan approached, New Orleans ordered an evacuation but did not use city or school buses to help people evacuate. As a result many of the poorest citizens were unable to evacuate. Fortunately, the hurricane changed course and did not hit New Orleans, but both Gov. Blanco and Mayor Nagin acknowledged the need for a better evacuation plan...[but] did not take corrective actions. In 1998, during a threat by Hurricane George, 14,000 people were sent to the Superdome and theft and vandalism were rampant due to inadequate security. Again, these problems were not corrected."
The city of New York, by comparison, had no advance warning of 9/11. Yet Mayor Giuliani and Governor Pataki displayed tremendous leadership in managing a chaotic situation in the city. Their leadership inspired confidence in their ability to manage the emergency and coordinate federal aid. In contrast, despite knowing days in advance about the coming hurricane, Governor Blanco and Mayor Nagin seem to have done little beyond encouraging residents to leave the city or gather at the Superdome. City school and transit buses could have carried 12,000 persons per run out of the city, yet they sat idle in parking lots under water – while both the Mayor and Governor criticized the federal response.
In the coming days, tens of billions of dollars will likely flood Louisiana to address the costs of rescue, clean up, and rebuilding. The question is not whether Congress should provide for those in need, but whether state and local officials who have been derelict in their duty should be trusted with that money. Their record during Hurricane Katrina and the long history of public corruption in Louisiana convinces me that that they should not. Sincerely,
Tom Tancredo, M.C.
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