DesScorp writes "The Charleston Gazette is reporting that the state of West Virginia has purchased hundred of enterprise class routers from Cisco at over $22,000 dollars apiece via federal stimulus money. The stimulus cash was intended to spread broadband coverage. The problem is that the routers are overkill, and are being placed in small schools and libraries with just a handful of users. The West Virginia Office of Technology warned that the purchase was "grossly oversized" for the intended uses, but the purchase went through anyway. Curiously, the project is being headed up not by the state's usual authorities on such matters, but by Jimmy Gianato, West Virginia's Homeland Security Chief. In addition to the $24 million contract signed with Verizon Network Integration to provide the routers and maintenance, Gianato asked for additional equipment and services that tacked an additional $2.26 million to the bill. Perhaps the worst part is that hundreds of the routers are sitting in their boxes, unused, two years after the purchase." Link to Original Source top
DesScorp writes "James Lovelock, the scientist that came up with the "Gaia Theory" and a prominent herald of climate change, once predicted utter disaster for the planet from climate change, writing "“before this century is over billions of us will die and the few breeding pairs of people that survive will be in the Arctic where the climate remains tolerable.” Now Lovelock is walking back his rhetoric, admitting that he and other prominent global warming advocates were being alarmists. In a new interview with MSNBC he says:
"“The problem is we don’t know what the climate is doing. We thought we knew 20 years ago. That led to some alarmist books – mine included – because it looked clear-cut, but it hasn’t happened,” Lovelock said. “The climate is doing its usual tricks. There’s nothing much really happening yet. We were supposed to be halfway toward a frying world now,” he said. “The world has not warmed up very much since the millennium. Twelve years is a reasonable time it (the temperature) has stayed almost constant, whereas it should have been rising – carbon dioxide is rising, no question about that,” he added."
DesScorp writes "The Baltimore Sun reports on a raid at a flea market for counterfeit merchandise and pirated music/movies. The catch? The raid was carried out by the Department of Homeland Security.Further, they've been planning this for some time. " Nicole Navas, a public affairs specialist with the Department of Homeland Security, said sports apparel, musical recordings and cosmetics were among the items under scrutiny in the 2 1/2-year-long investigation."
What in the world makes this a homeland security issue? Like the TSA, these actions from Homeland Security point to a future of unlimited expansion to authority beyond the original scope of these federal agencies." Link to Original Source top
DesScorp writes "If you were on Slashdot in the late 90's and early 2K's, then you've probably been "Goatse'd". Someone posts a link about a supposedly innocuous subject, you click, and suddenly you're looking at something you didn't think was humanly possible. Goatse'ing was a form of RickRolling, only with a "What has been seen cannot be unseen" aspect. For years, people have speculated: "Who IS that guy?". Was he some otherwise normal guy... a doctor, lawyer, mechanic, that just had some very kinky personal tastes? It was noted that in his pic, he wore a wedding band. Was this the guy sitting next to you in church?
Adrian Chen at Gawker claims to have found the man responsible, and describes the process of how the Internet's first truly infamous meme began, and how it spread." Link to Original Source top
Public Radio International retracts Apple story, admits fraud
DesScorp writes "PRI, the produces of NPR's popular "This American Life" have completely retracted their story about conditions in Foxconn's factory that makes Apple products, releasing this statement:
This American Life has retracted this story because we learned that many of Mike Daisey's experiences in China were fabricated. We have removed the audio from our site, and have left this transcript up only for reference. We produced an entire new episode about the retraction, featuring Marketplace reporter Rob Schmitz, who interviewed Mike’s translator Cathy and discovered discrepancies between her account and Mike’s, and New York Times reporter Charles Duhigg, who has reported extensively on Apple. Ira also re-interviewed Mike Daisey to learn why he misled us.
The episode in question had been the most popular in the history of the program. Mike Daisey defended himself by saying he uses "fact, memoir, and dramatic license to tell its story."" Link to Original Source
DesScorp writes "Following the earlier story about the UK Guardian obtaining secret memos from The Heartland Institute concerning the suppression of science education, the institute has replied that the "smoking gun" memo the Guardian has is a fake:
One document, titled “Confidential Memo: 2012 Heartland Climate Strategy,” is a total fake apparently intended to defame and discredit The Heartland Institute. It was not written by anyone associated with The Heartland Institute. It does not express Heartland’s goals, plans, or tactics. It contains several obvious and gross misstatements of fact.
We respectfully ask all activists, bloggers, and other journalists to immediately remove all of these documents and any quotations taken from them, especially the fake “climate strategy” memo and any quotations from the same, from their blogs, Web sites, and publications, and to publish retractions.
The individuals who have commented so far on these documents did not wait for Heartland to confirm or deny the authenticity of the documents. We believe their actions constitute civil and possibly criminal offenses for which we plan to pursue charges and collect payment for damages, including damages to our reputation. We ask them in particular to immediately remove these documents and all statements about them from the blogs, Web sites, and publications, and to publish retractions.
Heartland also says that some genuine documents were stolen:
The stolen documents were obtained by an unknown person who fraudulently assumed the identity of a Heartland board member and persuaded a staff member here to “re-send” board materials to a new email address. Identity theft and computer fraud are criminal offenses subject to imprisonment. We intend to find this person and see him or her put in prison for these crimes.
DesScorp writes "Faced with budget cuts, and forced to choose between deep space observation or a mission to Mars, CBS reports that NASA will kill most of its Mars exploration programs. Sources in NASA say that of the $300 million being cut from the space agency's budget, two-thirds were for a joint US-EU program for Martian exploration. NASA spokesman David Weaver said that, just like the rest of the federal government, the space agency has to make “tough choices and live within our means.”" Link to Original Source top
The Himalayas and nearby peaks have lost no ice in past 10 years, study shows
DesScorp writes "A story from UK's Guardian reports on a study of ice levels from the Himalayas area, and finds that no significant melting has occurred, despite earlier predictions of losses of up to 50 billion tons of ice. "The very unexpected result was the negligible mass loss from high mountain Asia, which is not significantly different from zero", said Professor Jonathan Bamber, who also warns that 8 years simply isn't enough time to draw conclusions. "It is awfully dangerous to take an eight-year record and predict even the next eight years, let alone the next century," he said." Link to Original Source top
DesScorp writes "Science News reports on a story where scientists blame the little ice age on the discovery of the "new world", and the native depopulation and deforestation that resulted. "Trees that filled in this territory pulled billions of tons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, diminishing the heat-trapping capacity of the atmosphere and cooling climate, says Richard Nevle, a geochemist at Stanford University." The story notes that the pandemics in the Americas were possibly an example of human climate manipulation predating the Industrial Revolution, though isotope measurements used during research have much uncertainty, so "that evidence isn't conclusive"." Link to Original Source top
DesScorp writes "Beginning in August, the Turkish government will mandate that all ISP's implement a new web filtering regime, under the auspices of protecting Turkish children. The Turkish government calls the program "Safe Use of the Internet". Many in the country fear that the program is the opening salvo in an outright attempt to censor the web in Turkey. "We are concerned that the government [will] enforce and develop a censorship infrastructure," said Law Professor Yamman Akdeniz at Bilgi University in Istanbul. The article notes that Turkey already bans more websites than any country in Europe." Link to Original Source top
DesScorp writes "The last factory in the world manufacturing typewriters has ceased operations. Godrej and Boyce shut down their Mumbai plant. They're down to around 200 machines in stock... most are Arabic models... and plan mainly to service India's government and military sector in the near future, both of which still heavily rely on typewriters." Link to Original Source top
DesScorp writes ""The human race is slowing down", begins an article in the Wall Street Journal that laments the state of man's quest of aerial speed: we're going backwards. With the end of the Space Shuttle program, man is losing it's fastest carrier of human beings (only single use moonshot rockets were faster). "The shuttles' retirement follows the grounding over recent years of other ultrafast people carriers, including the supersonic Concorde and the speedier SR-71 Blackbird spy plane. With nothing ready to replace them, our species is decelerating—perhaps for the first time in history", the article notes. Astronauts are interviewed, and their sadness and dissapointment is apparent. In the 60's and 70's, it was assumed that Mach 2+ airline travel would one day be cheap and commonplace. And now it seems that we, and our children, will fly no faster than our grandparents did in 707's. The last major attempt at faster commerical air travel... Boeing's Sonic Cruiser... was abandoned and replaced with the Dreamliner, an airliner designed from the ground up for fuel efficiency." Link to Original Source top
DesScorp writes "AccuWeather meteorologist Joe Bastardi has a challenge for climate scientists. He wants one or more of their rank to accept a bet about temperature trends in the coming decade. Bastardi is making specific predictions. "The scientific approach is you see the other argument, you put forward predictions about where things are going to go, and you test them,” he says. “That is what I have done. I have said the earth will cool.1 to.2 Celsius in the next ten years, according to objective satellite data.” Bastardi’s challenge to his critics — who are legion — is to make their own predictions. And then wait. Climate science, he adds, “is just a big weather forecast.” Bastardi's challenge is reminiscent of the famous Simon-Ehrlich Wager, where the two men made specific predictions about resource scarcity in the 80's." Link to Original Source top
DesScorp writes "The AP reports that Wikileaks founder Julian Assange is being investigated by Australian police for possible violations of the law. Australian Attorney General Robert McClelland states that there are "potentially a number of criminal laws" that Assange may have violated. Defense Minister Stephen Smith said that a cross-government committee was trying to determine how much damage to national security could have been done. "This is an act which again one has no option but to absolutely condemn it. It potentially puts national security interests and it puts the safety and welfare of individuals at stake", Smith stated. The article noted that the United States government had warned the Australian government of the coming leaks" Link to Original Source top
DesScorp writes "Wired reports that among the latest batch of war documents that WikiLeaks released included documentation showing that various quantities of banned WMD's were found in Iraq well into 2008, though in much smaller quantities than the Bush Administration feared. Almost all were chemical or biological agents (or technologies used to make them), and years into the Iraq War, the concern shifted to Al Qaeda and their insurgent allies acquiring and using the leftover agents against US allied forces. Among the weapons that were found were 155 mm shells with mustard gas. Other documents deal with the capture of "foreign agents" helping the insurgents in an attempt to use leftover chemical weapons." Link to Original Source top
DesScorp writes "Recalling the famous Rosenberg nuclear spy case of the 50's, the US Justice Department has arrested a couple working at at "leading nuclear research facility" for giving nuclear secrets to Venezuela. Pedro and Marjorie Mascheroni "have been indicted on charges of communicating classified nuclear weapons data to a person they believed to be a Venezuelan government official and conspiring to participate in the development of an atomic weapon for Venezuela," the department said in a statement. If convincted, the couple would receive life in prison." Link to Original Source top
DesScorp writes "The U.K.'s Astronomer Royal argues that "sending people into space is a waste of money". In article from the U.K.'s Guardian newspaper, Britain's top astronomer argues that only sending robots into space makes any sense and that manned spaceflight should essentially be abandoned. The Cambridge professor of cosmology and astrophysics makes his case in stark terms: "The moon landings were an important impetus to technology but you have to ask the question, what is the case for sending people back into space?" said Rees. "I think that the practical case gets weaker and weaker with every advance in robotics and miniaturisation. It's hard to see any particular reason or purpose in going back to the moon or indeed sending people into space at all."" Link to Original Source top
DesScorp writes "SCOTUS nominee Elena Kagan hasn't left much of a paper trail during her legal career, which may make gauging her ideas and opionions somewhat difficult. But there are some positions she has made clear statements on, among them, pornography and "hate speech". In a 1993 University of Chicago seminar on the subject, Kagan argued that the government wasn't doing enough about the spread of porn or hate speech. She argued that new approaches were needed to fight their spread, as well as taking a fresh look at old approaches, such as obscenity laws. Kagan included herself among"“those of us who favor some form of pornography and hate speech regulation” and told participants that “a great deal can be done very usefully” to crack down on such evils. Kagan steadfastly argued that pornography was a threat to women as it contributed to sexual violence, and on that basis could be prosecuted to some degree. "“Statutes may be crafted in ways that prohibit the worst of hate speech and pornography, language that goes to sexual violence. Such statutes may still be constitutional,” Kagan assured the meeting. She pressed for “new and harsher penalties against the kinds of violence against women that takes place in producing pornography, the use of pandering statutes and pimp statutes against pornographersperhaps the initiation—the enactment of new statutes prohibiting the hiring of women for commercial purposes to engage in sexual activities.”" Link to Original Source top
DesScorp writes "New research suggests the increased melting of the Pine Island Glacier in Antarctica may not be due to climate change, but to natural erosion of underwater rock that previously had protected the ice sheet from warmer seawater. A battery-powered robotic submarine (which consumed 5,000 D-cells) conducted surveillance of the area, and provided data for the previously undiscovered ridge. The article notes that the melting of the glacier is in contrast to an overall increase in Antarctic ice levels. The summary notes that "the glacier would have shown the same acceleration and thinning it has shown since the 1990s with or without climate change, perhaps accounting for its very rapid melting and the local contrast with the general picture of increased Antarctic sea ice."" Link to Original Source top
DesScorp writes "Do you wonder just how bad the current oil spill in the gulf is compared to past spills? Over the years, massive amounts of oil have been spilled into the oceans, probably far more than people realize. Topping the list is the Iraqi sabotage of Kuwaiti oil resources during the first Gulf War: "Iraqi forces opened the valves of several oil tankers in order to slow the invasion of American troops. The oil slick was four inches thick and covered 4000 square miles of ocean". No spill in the waters of the US even comes close to making the top ten list, not even the current leak in the Gulf of Mexico (at least not yet). The Exxon Valdez spill doesn't even crack the top 30, coming in at #34." Link to Original Source
Robert Frank takes the NYT's standards even lower. Now it seems that if you think lower taxes are better than higher taxes, well, you're some kind of vandal.
"Anti-tax zealots denounce all taxation as theft, as depriving citizens of their right to spend their hard-earned incomes as they see fit. Yet nowhere does the Constitution grant us the right not to be taxed. Nor does it grant us the right to harm others with impunity. No one is permitted to steal our cars or vandalize our homes. Why should opponents of taxation be allowed to harm us in less direct ways?"
"Be allowed"? Nice, Ill Duce. We'll take that under advisement. BTW, here's what the law actually says about issue:
"Any one may so arrange his affairs that his taxes shall be as low as possible; he is not bound to choose that pattern which will best pay the Treasury; there is not even a patriotic duty to increase one's taxes." - Judge Learned Hand, Helvering v. Gregory, 69 F.2d 809, 810-11 (2d Cir. 1934)
In the New Republic, copyright activist and professor Lawrence Lessig pens an essay called Against Transparency: The Perils Of Openness In Government (Warning: the essay is 11 pages of some pretty dry writing). Lessig makes the argument that while transparency in government seems like a good thing, it's not always so, and he seemingly worries that there are some things that citizens just wouldn't understand in government if given complete access to data, and that the whole process will simply make voters more cynical. That strikes me as a little lame, and more like "I don't trust voters to make decisions based on what they see".
How could anyone be against transparency? Its virtues and its utilities seem so crushingly obvious. But I have increasingly come to worry that there is an error at the core of this unquestioned goodness. We are not thinking critically enough about where and when transparency works, and where and when it may lead to confusion, or to worse. And I fear that the inevitable success of this movement--if pursued alone, without any sensitivity to the full complexity of the idea of perfect openness--will inspire not reform, but disgust. The "naked transparency movement," as I will call it here, is not going to inspire change. It will simply push any faith in our political system over the cliff.
New York Times Op-Ed writer Thomas Friedman is showing his true colors. He's advocating "enlightened" one-party rule, as he tires of Republicans refusing to co-operate with Democratic initiatives. Friedman says that we currently have a "one party democracy" because of near-total GOP opposition to Democratic bills, and that perhaps an enlightened one-party autocracy with America's best interests at heart could be the answer. Friedman further thinks China is a good model of government to emulate. "One-party autocracy certainly has its drawbacks. But when it is led by a reasonably enlightened group of people, as China is today, it can also have great advantages. That one party can just impose the politically difficult but critically important policies needed to move a society forward in the 21st century." Friedman flatly states that "our one-party democracy is worse". Perhaps we too can look forward to things like a one-child policy and extensive Internet censorship. Friedman is the type of Liberal Jonah Goldberg was talking about when he wrote Liberal Fascism.
Further, Goldberg says that liberals like Friedman are nothing new, that we've seen this kind of liberal pining for benevolent dictatorship many times before:
"I cannot begin to tell you how this is exactly the argument that was made by American fans of Mussolini in the 1920s. It is exactly the argument that was made in defense of Stalin and Lenin before him (it's the argument that idiotic, dictator-envying leftists make in defense of Castro and Chavez today). It was the argument made by George Bernard Shaw who yearned for a strong progressive autocracy under a Mussolini, a Hitler or a Stalin (he wasn't picky in this regard). This is the argument for an "economic dictatorship" pushed by Stuart Chase and the New Dealers. It's the dream of Herbert Croly and a great many of the Progressives."
In the recent story McCain releases technology platform, one poster stood out in his responses against the usual left-libertarian grain here. He's ScentCone, and he consistently posts forcefully argued, well reasoned ripostes. Despite the left-libertarian slant here, he's usually modded pretty well because, frankly, he makes very good arguments. He's apparently a productive poster as well. I'm a little wary of adding friends here, but after his "performance", so to speak, in that story, I had to add him. Simply an outstanding guy, and a great read.
Safari (on OS X Tiger, all the latest updates) seems to be dying way too much when I'm on Slashdot. It's gotten bad enough that when I report it to Apple, I put "Slashdot hates you" in the what-were-you-doing part of the crash dialogue box. I wonder if Slashdot has some funky scripts that Safari chokes on?
...and I just don't know who I'm going to vote for in the GOP primaries now. I'm down to a few very bad choices. This will very much be a lesser of the evils election for me.
I have to choose between John McCain, a man who seemingly has more fondness for Democrats than for his own party on the big issues of the day (save for the war), and Mitt Romney, a man who ran and governed as a liberal in Massachusetts, and now claims to be the heir to Reagan....which means either he's had the mother of all mind changes, or that he just tells the crowd whatever it wants to hear to win the next office. Nice choice,eh?
And don't even mention Huckabee, a man more like Jimmy Carter than a Republican nominee for President.
Just out of morbid curiousity, I've returned to Slashdot after almost a year and a half. To my utter surprise (not), Slashdot is still the land of the Idiot and the home of the Troll. And the "America Sucks" people are more prominent than ever.
Oh well...I'm in a mood to give the virtual finger, so bring 'em on.
I have to say one thing...I'm surprised I don't see more Ron Paul supporters here. I figured Slashdot would be a breeding ground for them. Most here are just generally apathetic assholes that complain a lot.
In the Nasa-cuts-budgets story, there were lots of chimpymcbushhitler comments, but all were modded down either troll or flamebait or offtopic. Which is a refreshing change from the norm. I think our complaining (by our, meaning the many right of center folks here) has gotten some attention, and perhaps an attempt is being made at some balance across the board. Or maybe the moon is just at low ebb...I don't know.
Guys...it's painfully obvious that Slashdot has went from a geek site to full blown moonbat site. I was posted today that because of my subservience to Bush, when the troops came and put America behind barbed wires, I'd be safe.
Ladies and gentlemen, that's as close to clinical paranoia as you can find...and it's now the norm here.
Like Moses leaving Egypt, we need to find the Promised Land, and stat, because this site is now moonbat central. When conspiracy theories are the accepted norm, it's time to get out of Dodge, guys. Rather than just sit here and bask in the insanity (no other word describes a mindset that thinks America is truly a north korea style barbed wire dictatorship), we need to blow town and let the madmen have SlashKos to themselves.
As long as the editors keep encouraging flamebait troll political hit pieces, disguised at stories, then I'm going to keep responding to this tinfoil hat insanity, and thus burn through my Karma, as judging from the responses, insanity is now the norm at Slashdot, where 9/11 was a CIA-Mossad conspiracy, and Emporer Pat Robertson orders his NSA to identify all porn torrents in order to send sinners to Gitmo.
Tonight, as I was relaxing after work, I turned on the TV. Showtime was on, and a new Zombie flick was coming on, from Showtime's Masters Of Horror series. I thought, cool.
One hour later, I'm disgusted.
Not from the Zombies in the horror flick. Nope, the special effects were cheap and badly done. Nope, I'm disgusted because Joe Dante, the director (of Gremlins fame) used a Zombie movie as a front for the dumbest, most offensive, and blatently awful anti-war statement ever put to film.
And what's worse, Dante is about as subtle as a rock over the head. He makes it obvious that the villains are Bush, Ann Coulter, Karl Rove, and anyone that votes for Republicans. He openly states as facts that the last two elections were stolen, and that Bush "has a gift for making stupid people feel as smart as him". Only the names are changed. But Dante makes it obvious EXACTLY who he's talking about. The cover of the Blonde pundit's book is a carbon copy of the cover Time magazine did of Ann Coulter. The only thing missing here, and I mean the ONLY twisted leftist caricature is the "ann coulter is a man" thing. Everything else, from a Cindy Sheehan Clone, to stupid middle America voters, to a Jerry Falwell stand-in is there.
If you don't know the premise of the movie, dead soldiers from Iraq come back to life....what do they want?
To vote Bush out of office. Then they can rest in peace.
No, I'm not kidding you. Really. I told you sublety wasn't Dante's strong suit.
There's an incredibly offensive scene where flag draped coffins arive at Dover, and dead zombie soldiers start bursting from their coffins, covered in the American Flag. They march in the streets, speaking at Democratic political rallies, one going on tv to tell the Kerry-stand-in that "they've come back to vote for anyone that will end this evil war".
It's like someone hired Michael Moore to direct a Zombie movie. It was that bad....no, maybe even worse.
I really, really hope this gets to the troops in Iraq, that they get to see it. People like Dante seem convinced that they're on his side. I want him to find out for sure.
What is it with this harpy, anyway? She makes a career of being a feminist blade, and is first shocked when she can't land a man, and now is apparently very bitter about it.
Well, what the hell did you expect, Dowd?
Feminism has prided itself on it's attitude towards men for 40 years now, an attitude that says "I can take you or leave you, and you'd better be grateful if I deem you worthy of my time, male".
And she (and her broom-riding sisterhood) seem shocked that men, as a whole, went "fuck you...I'm going for a beer with the boys, and then I'm going to hook up with a gal that actually appreciates men, instead of an ice-beast like you". Drudge is running a contest to caption the latest PR photo Dowd has released for her book Are Men Necessary. Among the most hilarious entries, this is my favorite:
"If You Want To Keep The Beer Cold, Put It Next To My Heart."
Dowd is panicky. She's in her 50's, and headed for that dreaded 60, with no man in sight. No one will marry her. And I laugh like hell. Couldn't have happpened to a nicer frost-maiden.
The increasing chorus to NOT rebuild New Orleans is growing, and a prominent geophysicist lays out why not here. The article basically reiterates what I've been saying all along...New Orleans' geography and physical makeup render it unsuitable as a base for a city in the long run.
But should we rebuild New Orleans, 10 feet below sea level, just so it can be wiped out again? Some say we can raise and strengthen the levees to fully protect the city. Here is some unpleasant truth: The higher the defenses, the deeper the floods that will inevitably follow.
It's about damn time. Lots of people want to save NO for sentimental reasons, but folks, that city is GONE. Even if they rebuilt in its present location, so much of the city has to be bulldozed, it'll almost be brand new, except for the French Quarter.
It is time to face up to some geological realities and start a carefully planned deconstruction of New Orleans, assessing what can or needs to be preserved, or vertically raised and, if affordable, by how much. Some of New Orleans could be transformed into a "floating city" using platforms not unlike the oil platforms offshore, or, over the short term, into a city of boathouses, to allow floods to fill in the 'bowl' with fresh sediment.
Get 'em out, bust open the levees, and start over....elsewhere.
Anne Rice is placing the blame for the New Orleans disaster....on all other Americans:
But to my country I want to say this: During this crisis you failed us. You looked down on us; you dismissed our victims; you dismissed us. You want our Jazz Fest, you want our Mardi Gras, you want our cooking and our music. Then when you saw us in real trouble, when you saw a tiny minority preying on the weak among us, you called us "Sin City," and turned your backs.
Hey Anne...did it ever occur to you that maybe, just maybe, the primary responsibility for things going to shit down their was....yours? I mean, you of New Orleans and Louisiana? And yes Anne, just what does America OWE to New Orleans that it doesn't owe to other cities? Eh? One of the things that has most pissed me off is the snotty sense of entitlement that the mayor, newspaper, and various people have expressed about saving NO..."But you HAVE to rebuild...we're NO...you OWE it to us".
And don't get me started on NO newspapers whining about "they say we're guilty of the crime of choosing to live here".
Well put. You are.
You chose to live there. You chose to live in a bowl below sea level surrounded by a massive lake, our largest river, and the gulf of mexico.
Oh yeah, and your city is sinking. And there's no way to stop that. Nothing the Army Corps of Engineers could do would make a difference. NO is only going to drop further below SL over time.
So Anne....should the rest of the country be responsible if you choose to live in such a situation? How much sympathy would you get if you, oh, say built your new hacienda on the side of a very active volcano?
Not much, I'd say.
Rebuild NO 100 miles up the Peninsula. Call it Newer Orleans, I don't care. But don't dare tell me that I've failed you, or anyone else for that matter. Your peeps were told to get out, and even the poorest had cars. Even they had family out of the area. Even they had access to red cross and church shelters. If you want to commend them for staying behind because they loved the uniqueness of NO, then fine, but don't blame anyone else when those people suffer because of their decision.
Update: Holy Shit, does Jim Geraghty (of National Review fame) rip Anne a new one over this, especially about NO's corrupt culture. Great read over at National Review Online: We Failed You? Try Again.
We're seeing a lot of talk about rebuilding New Orleans in a few months, about spending $26 billion, and probably more, to restore it.
Are people out of their damn minds?
New Orleans was a disaster waiting to happen. It's a city 12 feet below sea level, surrounded by 3 massive bodies of water. During normal times, it takes massive engineering to keep New Orleans dry. And scientists, professors, and engineers have been warning us for years, nay, decades that a direct hit from a large hurricane would likely destroy the city in Biblical proportions.
Take a look at New Orleans now; they were right.
80 percent of the city is under water, and that water level is rising, folks. The Army Corps of Engineers can't stop the flooding, Lake Ponchetrain continues to pour in, the Mississippi River is rising, and it's probable that more rain is on the way. And hurricane season isn't even over.
There should be no rebuilding of New Orleans. Spend as much money and manpower as neccessary to get the survivors out, but then place navigation hazard bouys around the city, and let nature take it's course. In a few years, what's left of New Orleans will literally be washed into the Gulf of Mexico, with no trace of the city left, no proof it ever existed visible on the surface of the water. That's not an exageration. That's literally what would happen at this point. The very shallow water table in New Orleans (as shallow as 6 feet deep in some parts) is being swollen with water too; the surface topsoil and everything on it will slide right off into the Gulf given time. The irony here is that, in the effort to preserve New Orleans, the levees and damns have prevented the accumulation of silts that made New Orleans in the first place; NO is nothing but a pile of river mud built up on the Mississippi Delta over the centuries. That accumulation of dirt would have eventually put NO above sea level, as well as absorbed some of the moisture from extra water. But you can't build a city in a standing swamp, so they kept the river out. And it's sealed the city's fate.
Rebuilding NO at the current lat/long would be a criminal misuse of resources, and stupidity at that. It's tantamount to building houses on the side of an active volcano. Sooner or later, you're going to die. NO dodged the odds for too long, and now her number is up. Wanna rebuild? Do it somewhere else and call it New Orleans. But not where the city presently is. Let it die, and nature will erase all visible traces of it. It'll exist only in memory, a place where Mardi Gras and Anne Rice once called home.
When I visited Hong Kong and Korea years ago, it was very apparent to me that they don't always get the real meaning of English expressions. Nothing makes that more apparent than these shots of Stars Wars Episode III, with subtitles that have been re-translated back to English from their Chinese text. Who knew R2D2 had such a potty mouth?
I tried to go to Alltel to have an old Alltel phone reactivated. I was informed that as of this year, Alltel will not reactivate non-gps enabled handsets because of "Congressionaly mandated E911 rules". I found out that was a big fat lie. Other companies will let you activate non-gps phones as a backup. Nothing in the law prevents it. It's just Alltel wanting to make you buy a new phone. While Big Brother is playing a part here, it's Alltel taking advantage of a well intended law to screw their customers.
I've become disenchanted with American cell companies in general. While I'm keen to bitch about how Europeans do things, they get their cell phones right...one protocol (GSM), and a simple process for using any GSM phone at any provider...simply take out the old provider card, and pop in a new one. Done. Go back to using your old phone. I hate the way American cell companies do so many things to lock you into them.Differing protocols, hard coding handsets for company only use....now my beloved Qualcomm phone is a paperweight because no other company can use it.
So why is it ok for Democrats to pick doctranaire liberals, like Ruth Ginsberg (who never made any secret of her views on expanding Federal power and authority over a wide range of issues), but it's unnacceptable for Republicans to nominate a doctrinaire conservative?
Is this the same old same old, or has Bush/Rove once again foiled the Dems by pulling out a secret weapon that the Senate can't oppose. Do they know something about Roberts that Dems don't? The stakes are so high, because you can't fire these guys, and they'll be on the bench for decades. Coulter hates him, Andrew Sullivan likes him. That should give conservatives pause...
P.S. - Memorable Coulter quote....
The only way a supreme court nominee could win the approval of NARAL and Planned Parenthood would be to actually perform an abortion during his confirmation hearing, live, on camera, and preferably a partial birth one.