Friday, September 30, 2005

Haru and Roy's

I went to this restaurant Haru yesterday night. I had passed it a number of times and had seen a few reviews of it in the local media. I'm a big Japanese fan and anyplace that purports itself to be anything close to Morimoto deserves a visit from me.

Well, this place was no big deal at all and I have encountered yet another bad place. What a bummer. First off, and this is big, I was expecting to see a nice mix of sushi and Japanese fusion dishes on the menu. What we got was a two page sushi menu (prices were fair), a very nice selection of appetizers and about 10 entrees. The entrĂ©e selection was the big disappointment. There was nothing of interest at all… Lets see, Teriyaki Chicken.. ohh that’s original! Chilean Sea Bass.. huh? There really was nothing that you couldn’t get at any old Japanese place anywhere else.

So I went with 3 appetizers. The Endamame was overcooked, the seaweed salad was inedible and the vegetable Tempura was just gross. All in all, not a very satisfying meal at all.

Anyway, I have some good food news to report however. We liked Roy’s. We went there for restaurant week and it wasn’t too bad. The food was tasty and original. The lobster pot stickers were awesome.. We will be going back soon.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Wired Magazine sucks ass

Wired Magazine just plain sucks now and that’s really sad. I’ve been a subscriber for a very long time (since its 2nd or 3rd year) and I have to say that it used to be my favorite way to gain new knowledge. It used to have amazing articles, and really cool insight into new trends and gear. It used to have really cool graphics and was just plain cool from cover to cover. I still have all of my old issues because it was so ahead of its time I couldn’t wait until the future came so I could look back and see how prophetic it was. I would read an issue and end up with 5 new ideas in my head, 5 new companies to check out and a magazine full of dog eared pages.

That was until about 2 years ago. I’m not sure when it exactly happened. I suppose I could research the editors and staff and probably pin point it but at some point the magazine began to get really dumbed down. It was hard to see in the articles and it still kind of is. That’s because the writers of the articles are all contracted out. But it was and is really easy to see in the ancillary pieces in the magazine. They are literally pointless. They tell me nothing at all. I am insulted every time I read one. I feel ripped off, like my time was wasted.

The magazine now is simply worthless and I will not renew my subscription. In fact, I refuse to read any new issues that come until it runs out. They will go strait into the trash like my junk mail. The magazine that was the hippest thing there was for people like me has now become a “technology for dummies” guide for parents to read so they can see what their kids are up to (even though it is hopelessly out of date in some ways). It has become just crap.

I’m really upset about this simply because now I have to find my info elsewhere. I have to take the time to find a new source and that’s simply not cool at all. There is enough to deal with in life to have to find something as good as Wired once was for me. Fuckers had to sell out to the mass market like everyone else..

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Hurricane Vincent

I was just reminded that there are other hurricanes than Katrina.. Every year in what has to be a colossal waste of taxpayer money, there is a committee that decides the hurricane names for the year. They choose every name from A to Z. Anyway, as some of you (and now all of you) know, my name is Vincent and interestingly enough, if there is a 22nd hurricane it will be named after me. Most people would feel bad that a hurricane would be named after them, but I’m not. I’ve been waiting since I was a kid.

When I was a kid, they named hurricanes after girls so I was always disappointed. Then finally they started naming them after boys and I started wishing that one was named after me..who actually knows why...

So, if there actually is a hurricane Vincent, I will post again telling you my evil wish for it.. it involves a story about a trip I took one time to Charleston SC. (see here, here, here and finally here for clarification).

Bush needs a Bathroom break

couldn't resist sending you here.

I've never been to Texas

I've never been to Texas and every time I thought about it someone told me not to go, but I'm going there tomarrow morning. I'm going to Austin for 4 days to see the Austin City Limits Festival. My friends are going and I don't know why I agreed since of the 100 or so shows I can only see about 3 I'd be interested in (Martin Sexton, Decemberists and Wilco).. Also it's supposed to rain heavily on Satruday.. Should be fun.. I'll hopefully have something to report to you when I get back. Until then, have a great weekend!

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

TV Update

Well, it's fall and I try to see all the new shows on tv. The first of the new season that I've seen so far is a sitcom : "How I met your mother". I'm not sure how they will sustain the concept of a dad telling a story to his kids about how he met their mom, but the show is actually pretty good. Simple, smooth and well written. Doogie Howser is in it and his suit obsessed character is pretty funny although it's obvious they are trying to start a catch phrase out of "suit up!". Also the Flute in the Pussy girl is on it and she is cute as ever. So at this point I'll be watching a second helping..

Tuesday, September 20, 2005


Ack.. work is getting crazy.. no time to write :(

Anyway, it's restaurant week here in Philly. $30 for 3 courses... A great way to go out on a cheap date or a great way to check out places you've never been to.

We went to Tangerine yesterday. The food was pretty good, but wasn't anything special. We decided that for a very high priced place, the food wasn't up to the cost. So, even though it was pretty cool looking and hip inside, we probably won't be back to eat a non $30 meal there any time soon. There are just too many other great places in Philly to go to..

Monday, September 19, 2005

The Weekend

Well, since I was sick most of the week last week I poorly prepaired for my weekend mini vacation but it still worked out well. I've always loved roller coasters and always wanted to do a "tour" of the coasters in the area but never got around to it. My friends and I deceided to make a dent in that tour and go to one of the best coaster parks in the country: Ceder Point. (also see here). We planned an overnight trip that ended up working quite well.

Our first plan was to drive there. We're in Philadelphia, so the drive would have been major. Soon that idea morphed into a drive from Pittsburgh since Southwest has some sick fares to Pittsburgh from Philly (I believe we paid $69 each roundtrip).We left Sat morning, flew to Pitt, rented a car and drove the 2.5 hours to the park. We got there at about 5pm which gave us 3 hours to hit some stuff.

We stayed at a hotel at the park (Breakers Express, like $79 a night) and were admitted an hour early into the park the next morning (9am). We used that time to run to the Millennium Force which the day before had a 2 hour wait (1.25 hours to the ride and .75 for the front seat) which we gladly braved.

All in all, we were able to ride everything we came to ride and hit MF 3 times (2x front seat, 1x back seat). The coasters we rode were : Millenium Force (voted best steel coaster on the planet 3 out of the past 5 years), Mantis, Raptor, Mean Streak, Magnum XL-200, Gemini, and Power Tower (not a coaster). We would have done Top Thrill Dragster which was insane (and a full version of something I rode a few years back in Virginia) but it was out of comission.

Anyway, we left the park at 12pm, got some breakfast and drove back to Pittsburgh and were home by 6pm yesterday. Was perfect.

A couple of notes. First off, Southwest was great as usual. The key is to get your bording pass as early as you can and then camp in the correct line, if not, you could get a terrible seat and have to check your bags. The flights were each ahead of schedule, the attendants were great and unlike lame US Air, we got peanuts with our drinks.. Glad to see at least one airline is doing it right.

Secondly, Ceder Point is a really nice park if you ever want to plan a trip. We didn't have time, but there was so much more to do there and overall the park is big and the themes are pretty well done. Highly recommended.. It's also not that expensive.

Thirdly, and most importantly, we learned what we already believed to be true and that is this : when going to a theme park, Go Off Season! Wow, what a difference that made. Not only was it cooler, but it was easier to park, lines were shorter, and of course there were much less people, it was dreamy! Also, it goes without saying that you should go at the opening time for the park as well (everyone should know that one)..

Ok, well, I've got to get to work now.. cya!

Friday, September 16, 2005

Iran Set to Give Nuclear Info to Others

Saw this story in Yahoo news today. As I've told you before, I'm not a hard core liberal and anti-war person. I am an anti-stupidity person. When we were leading up to Iraq I told anyone who would listen that it was amazing to me that we were concerning ourselves with a country that only had a slight chance of having nukes while there was one country (Korea) with an insane leader who was not only telling us he had nukes, but was firing them into the ocean to prove it, and on the other hand we had another country (Iran) that we all agreed probably did have nukes. I was amazed that we weren't concentrating on one of those two. But, like most Americans I figured I didn't know what I was talking about and left my government to do the right thing.

Now I'm sure I was right and so was Europe and Russia. Iraq was no threat.

But governments make mistakes. Look at Europe and Britain now.. We let them handle Iran their way and look where that is getting us? Now, everything we as a nation (democrat and republican) feared is happening in Iran. They have WMD's and they are going to share them with terrorists!!!!

I don't care that we (and Europe) fucked this up. No use crying over spilled milk and all that crap. What I care about is that we should do something right quick to straighten this shit out! I say if we are ok with our troops being killed overseas (and I have to say that I am since they are indeed voluntary soldiers), we should at least have them doing something useful. Move them over to Iran and kick some ass where they should have been in the first place.

note: I am fully against our soldiers dieing in Iraq. I want to make that clear. The reason is that they don't belong there and are being killed because of a supreme political fuckup or insane personal vendetta. But I'm against them being killed for reasons other than the fact that they are soldiers. Sadly, that is their job. They signed up for it and I'm sorry, that's the risk they took when they signed up. If they did it for free college, that's our fault for not providing other ways for underprivileged children the chance to go to college, not the military’s.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

good fishing down here!

had to post this for all of you...

iPod nano

Yea, so apple shrunk the iPod. First off, why can't another company come up with something similar? It's annoying that apple seems to be the only one innovating. Secondly, will everyone now replace their old iPods with this thing?

As I've said, I hate apple and their products and the iPod is nothing special other than it looks cool. I really don't know what to say here. I just know that this thing is going to sell 40 million units and I am not happy about it. It's just an mp3 player with a harddrive.. I've got one that is cheaper and does the same thing and isn't made by apple.. does anyone out there know that alternatives not only exist but pre-dated the iPod by a significant number of years?


Really.. this is going to be me in November

In November Civ 4 is coming out and I may need this (click the video, I'm going to be the guy who doesn't get up for 2 days.. not kidding, I really am.. I know it).

two other shows

TV is the best no? I’m not feeling guilty about all of these TV posts since it is the season for it isn’t it?

Ok, there are 2 other shows that K and I have seen since their pilot episodes that I want to mention. However, please note that I/we can’t recommend them since we don’t know if we like them yet, but they must have some value since we’ve seem about 6 of each and don’t plan on stopping.

First is a show on Showtime called “Weeds”. You can find synapsis info on the web if you’d like. This show has terrible acting in almost every supporting role except for Kevin Neelan who is really perfect and the two sons (who are pretty good). I’m not the only one who thinks this since the producers killed off a major supporting character after the pilot. The concept is pretty weak and boring as well and I’m not sure what direction it’s heading but the reason we keep coming back is that we want to know what happens with the main characters. They just added a new main character who I find really poorly acted and annoying so that may be the final straw. I don’t know who is casting this show but they really should be ashamed at their work. So, in short, you may like it, but I really can’t recommend it even though I’m still watching it.

Second is a show that I really hated at first purely because I hated the main character. Fine acting, I just hated who he was. I still don’t like him much, but the show is totally compelling even though it gets really gross every time I see a new episode (which also doesn’t appeal to me at all). The show I’m talking about is called “Starved” and it’s really well done and the acting is great, etc. it’s just that watching it takes a strong stomach and mind. So, I guess I sort of recommend it.

West Wing

While on the TV tip I have to say that recently my Tivo started recording old “West Wing” episodes for me. I had seen the show way back when, when it came out and I had liked it, but found it just a bit much to watch at the time, so I just never made the commitment. It was actually one of the few pop fads that I could understand and didn’t make fun of when it was happening.

I was bored the other day and popped it on and even though I hadn’t seen barely more than 1 episode in the past 5 years and even though I wasn’t “in the series” as I believed I had to be to understand and appreciate it, I found myself highly entertained by the show and the hour passed by quite quickly. Next time I was bored it was my first choice. Yesterday, after finding out that there were no more episodes recorded (there had originally been about 8) I found myself really upset. Somehow I had developed an addiction.

I have to say that the old shows (Season 1) were pretty close to perfect. Tivo slipped one in from season 4 and I could immediately feel that the show was different somehow. That it was trying too hard to be good. The characters were a bit overdone and tired. So, it will be interesting to see how this new season will turn out (I’ve added it to my list of things to watch).

I’ve also added season 1 to my netflix list and I plan to watch the entire back catalog in sequence until I can’t take it anymore. Can I just say that the idea of putting out old shows on DVD is brilliant? Can I also say that (and this is totally true and if I had the time I would find the old post somewhere) I had this idea about 5 years ago? (although this was pre-DVD and I was begging for shows on tape).

Girls next Door

Ok.. so I decided to check out the show “Girls next Door” on e. That sounds like a drug thing doesn’t it? I meant that I decided to watch the show which is on the e network. I set it up in the Tivo when I got back and last night had some free time so K and I sat down to check out one of the 2 episodes that got recorded. I wasn’t sure how we would like the show since I’m not a fan of poorly done reality (read : not game show) programs. I wasn’t sure what the show was about since I only caught a glimpse of the promo on tv but I had deduced that it followed around some playmates while they lived in the Playboy mansion. I did add it to the list of things to check out since I thought it would be cool to see how things really were there. And how bad could it be to watch some hot chicks run around.

It turns out that the show is about one of two things. Either it follows around Hefs girlfriend and two other regular playmates or it follows around Hefs 3 girlfriends. It was hard to tell which situation was more close to reality. In either case since I don’t think Hef really looks at either situation as different, I’ll just give up trying to guess.

Let me just say that if you had told me that tomorrow my life would be different and I would have 3 playmates as my live in girlfriends I probably would be pretty excited, as would most of my other male readers. I mean, how can you beat that situation?

Well, having watched the show (and this is no exaggeration)  I can tell you with all honestly that if it were to be the 3 women in Hefs life I would most likely shoot myself in the head. Barring that I would commit a crime so I could go to prison. I can’t even begin to describe how painful it was to learn that human beings could be so pathetic. And I have to lump Hef in there as well since he chooses to live this lifestyle with them.

We had 2 episodes saved up and the second one was deleted ½ way through the first one. I would recommend you watch the show so you can marvel at how sad life actually can get. But I dare you to watch more than one episode. This show was on the same level as the Bobby Brown Show (which I watched for about 10 minutes at a friends house, and I also recommend to you as a painful example of how other people actually are).

It’s amazing to me that we have people like this living in the world. At this point I can’t be sure that these people are a product of everything that is wrong with the vain, consumeristic, greedy, clueless facet of American society or that they were simply born the way they are, but in either case I can say that they are humans and I’m quite embarrassed.


While I was on vacation I had no computer, internet access, or phone. I brought my mp3 player, a book and a few changes of underwear. I like no stress vacations. Anyway, they had a tv there so I did get to watch some stuff and see some commercials (something I barely do at home with my 2 Tivos). By the end of the trip I had a list of reminders of things to write here about and to check out on tv.

So far, I’ve seen one of the 3 shows I listed and have written you all nothing at all. To make up for things I’ll try and give you a couple of posts. I’m back for 2 days until I go away for another weekend…

Wednesday, September 14, 2005


hey everyone.. I'm alive.. vacation was great.. have some things to talk about, but I just can't. After the vacation, I proceeded to become extremely sick and haven't even turned on the pc until today. As you can understand there is a huge amount of life to catch up on before I get back into writing here.. hopefully tomarrow I'll get back.. hope all is well with you!

Wednesday, September 07, 2005


I'm off for a few days of vacation today. I should be back posting Monday. Until then, stay safe, keep up the fight and question everything..

I leave you with a photo I found that pretty much describes the past week:

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Emergency SatPhone Kisosk

I think that T-Mobile or Verizon or some Satellite Phone provider should build a kiosk that can be dropped from a chopper or delivered by a truck that has 4 phones on it, one on each side of a post. This way, in the next emergency situation, they could deploy the phone and give people unlimited free calls on it.

All through this disaster you would hear people on TV giving instructions to survivors to "call this number and leave a message to let loved ones know you're ok", etc. You would hear these messages being sent to a community with no electricity, cell phone towers or local phone service.

How amazing a PR coup would that be if someone had dropped in 5 or 10 of these kiosks into NO? And don't tell me that FEMA won't allow it or that the frequencies would be disruptive to emergency communications. Both excuses are bullshit. CNN, FOX, NBC and everyone else got into New Orleans and used their sat phones just fine.

Don't even get me started on the fact that emergency personnel had communications problems (and still do). This was the #1 problem during 9/11 and that was 4 years ago. There is no way that an adequately funded program couldn't have come up with an emergency communication system in that kind of time.

The new Media

I wonder how long this is going to last? Last week we saw Anderson Cooper giving it to US Senators, yesterday there was an amazing commentary by Keith Olbermann. I've heard of others finally standing up as well but haven't seen them.

It's amazing to see the media finally growing a spine. I'm not going to wonder why this is, I'm just going to bask in the greatness of the event and pray (in my own non-religiously-denominated way) that it continues. We need the media to be the fact checker in this country. We depend on them to do the hard research and ask the hard questions.

Up until this hurricane, my favorite source of news was the BBC. I love BBC America and believe that the news they show is the most unbiased and well rounded broadcast there is. They still are #1 in my book, but maybe the US media is finally catching up to them. Anyway, I bring this up because it seems that they too have noticed what I'm seeing.

Monday, September 05, 2005

the BB-62

Took a bike ride down to Penns Landing yestrday then hopped on the ferry to Camden to see the Battleship New Jersey.

First off, I had a hard time finding a good place to lock up the bike. There aren't any visible bike racks down there. I did find two of those metal ring reals in the ground that people use. They were in the parking lot directly across from the ticket taking lady. This turned out to make me feel nice since the bike was at least in sight of someone in authority.

The ferry ride is always nice, the problem is that it goes into Camden. I know they are working really hard to improve their waterfront in in some ways they have totally kicked our ass, but when I got there, I still had to walk 10 minutes to the ship from the ferry drop off. No signs or anything. I did later find out that there is a shuttle to and from the ferry area from the battleship, but that was after I got back and saw the stop for it (no times or info posted though).

There were 3 ways to tour the ship, self-directed $13.50, guided tour (1.5 hours $15), and the "Firepower Tour" (2 hours, $17). I took the firepower tour since it went into the 15" guns and the CIC.

The ship is awesome. The tour was as promised 2 hours and it covered a lot of the ship. It was pretty cool. If I go back, I'll probably do self-guided since there are signs and displays all over the place and I like to move at my own pace.

Being on the NJ was really cool. It was pretty up to date and didn't feel like some old mothballed pice of metal. It wasn't as cool as spending the night on the Teddy Rosevelt at sea (one of my favorite adventures), but it was up there.

More important than just a link

I linked to this story way at the bottom of the previous post. I think the story I linked to in the NYT deserves some more prominance..

One Republican with knowledge of the effort said that Mr. Rove had told administration officials not to respond to Democratic attacks on Mr. Bush's handling of the hurricane in the belief that the president was in a weak moment and that the administration should not appear to be seen now as being blatantly political. As with others in the party, this Republican would discuss the deliberations only on condition of anonymity because of keen White House sensitivity about how the administration and its strategy would be perceived.


These officials said that Mr. Bush and his political aides rapidly changed course in what they acknowledged was a belated realization of the situation's political ramifications. As is common when this White House confronts a serious problem, management was quickly taken over by Mr. Rove and a group of associates including Mr. Bartlett. Neither man responded to requests for comment.

By the way, Rove is there with the president today, I saw him get off the plane.. I'm not sure how often he hangs out on the scene, but here's there today.

They are playing us.. you know that don't you?

I've been watching the news a bunch and trying to follow the developing story that has been Katrina. This, as most of you know, is a very long and tedious process with tiny nuggets of data popping up and then nothing connecting to them till much later. Little by little, all the unrelated nuggets build a mountain of stuff that becomes the story.

Yesterday there was a tiny little nugget that I filed away as really interesting. CNN, Solidad O'Brian interviewing the NO mayor. He was relaying what transpired on Air Force One when he, the gov and GWB were aboard chatting. He said something like "and I looked at them [the gov and gwb] and said 'you two need to get in synch'". He then described how the pres took the gov into a back room and tried to have her sign something. Lastly he said something like "and the governor said she needed 24 hours to decide".

To me, this seemed really strange on all kinds of levels. First off, what was he referring to about them getting in synch? What was there to wonder about? In a national emergency I think we’re set up so the locals have most of the authority in their areas. Secondly, what was this document that the governor had to sign? What was there to think about for 24 hours? At the point of the meeting, the only thing anybody wanted (and I say anybody and mean anyone not in the government, except maybe the mayor) was for food and water to be dropped to the people at the convention center and the dome and secondly for a fleet of busses and choppers to evacuate people from the city.

So, I filed it away and was pretty sure I’d hear nothing about it since it occurred on AF1 and tiny details like meetings with the president are usually hushed up pretty quickly and the media seems to let them go.

Finally this morning some more nuggets collected. It’s about 11am EST and CNN just told me about how the president snubbed the governor on his visit today, not telling her he was coming, etc. Interesting.

Also CNN is starting to talk about how the BWH attempted to pressure the governor to sign some kind of document that would allow them control over the National Guard. Evidently, from what I heard, there was some hard ball being played and some strong arming being done to get her to sign.

I put this all together and come up with the answers for my questions about the meeting with the 3. I don’t know exactly how I feel about who should be in control the National Guard, etc. But I am very sure that in this situation, there should have been no power struggles and infighting between the governor and the president at the peak moment of need for the people of New Orleans. Not to be to dramatic, but every second counted in the effort to rescue these people and it seems to me that a significant number of those seconds were used up by wheeling and dealing and games by the Bush White House.

And now it seems that the BWH and Rove are in full deflection mode now. They’ve had time to come up with a political game plan (seemed to take effect the morning that the president said "We aren’t doing enough") and they are executing it to their fullest ability. Notice how the president is now visiting the area and looking more concerned and not smiling as much. Notice how aid is showing up and things are getting accomplished now that he’s pledged his full support. Notice how blame is being subtley deflected towards the local authorities. The Bush White House is playing us and for once it kind of seems that we’re all not falling for it, which is a really positive thing.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Sen Landrieu

Anderson Cooper took it to her the other day and I really loved seeing it. She appeared to be a typical government servant, playing the game and not doing shit. Well, today it seems she's tired of playing along and has begun to complain. Well, actually it was yesterday that her press release came out.

Anyway, she has one paragraph that is such a defining statement of the BWH that I'm sure none of you are shocked (which is in itself shocking):

But perhaps the greatest disappointment stands at the breached 17th Street levee. Touring this critical site yesterday with the President, I saw what I believed to be a real and significant effort to get a handle on a major cause of this catastrophe. Flying over this critical spot again this morning, less than 24 hours later, it became apparent that yesterday we witnessed a hastily prepared stage set for a Presidential photo opportunity; and the desperately needed resources we saw were this morning reduced to a single, lonely piece of equipment. The good and decent people of southeast Louisiana and the Gulf Coast -- black and white, rich and poor, young and old -- deserve far better from their national government.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

I love legos

Haven't built a set in a while, but I still love Legos. Anyway, they just came out with a new concept. Download their free software to design a lego building/car/sculpture/whatever and then they will custom build a set for you that you or your friends can buy. How cool of a gift would that be? say a model of your house or your face or whatever..

Or maybe you are giving out gifts to commemorate something like th cristiing of a boat.. I don't know.. still a great concept in the vein of the Long Tail.

Can't do Govenment

Just found this great piece in the New York Times:

Did the Bush administration destroy FEMA's effectiveness? The administration has, by all accounts, treated the emergency management agency like an unwanted stepchild, leading to a mass exodus of experienced professionals.

Last year James Lee Witt, who won bipartisan praise for his leadership of the agency during the Clinton years, said at a Congressional hearing: "I am extremely concerned that the ability of our nation to prepare for and respond to disasters has been sharply eroded. I hear from emergency managers, local and state leaders, and first responders nearly every day that the FEMA they knew and worked well with has now disappeared."

I don't think this is a simple tale of incompetence. The reason the military wasn't rushed in to help along the Gulf Coast is, I believe, the same reason nothing was done to stop looting after the fall of Baghdad. Flood control was neglected for the same reason our troops in Iraq didn't get adequate armor.

At a fundamental level, I'd argue, our current leaders just aren't serious about some of the essential functions of government. They like waging war, but they don't like providing security, rescuing those in need or spending on preventive measures. And they never, ever ask for shared sacrifice.

What is a "Red Stater"?

I use the term "red staters" a bunch and I want to be clear on what I mean by it. I started using the term after the last election and I was using it to refer to the majority of people that elected GWB to his second term.

I want to be clear that I'm not a real partisan person. Politically I have views that are liberal, conservative and often times way in the middle. I am all for the right to bear arms, I'm all for the right of gay marriage, I'm for abortion rights, I'm way against unions, I want a more focused government (and really could care less if that meant large or small), I am against organized religion (and how it has invaded politics), I am for the death penalty, I hate the tax cut but I love the tax gifts I get for dividends and other investments.

I short, I'm all over the place. I really am only a registered Democrat because I live in Philadelphia where my vote means something. If I had my way, I would find another party, but I'm smart enough to know that the green party and the like have (and will have) no political clout for a very long time (if ever).

So, I don't hate republicans at all. In fact, I have quite a few Republican friends and some relatives. And I don't call all republicans Red Staters.

The people I call Red Staters are the sheep. These are the people who are easily led and very close minded. These are the religious zealots and the people who shoot to kill abortionists. These are the people for the war that still believe that Saddam had something to do with 9/11. These are the people who think drilling for oil in Alaska is a good thing. These are the racist people and the neo-Nazi skinhead morons.

I haven’t come up with a better way to describe these people so I’ve summed them all up with the term “Red Stater”. Until I find something better, this is it, so now you know..

The Downing Street Memo and the selling of the Iraq War

Well, in light of the goofy, illiterate comments from the right wingers that are reading here, I thought it would be a good time to re-introduce them to the Downing Street Memo.

Here is a wonderfly written piece by Mark Danner about how the Bush administration and the British government orchestrated the starting of the Iraq war. It's a short read and quite clear and concise. I urge you all (especially you ignorant righties and red staters) to read this.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Should George Bush be Impeached?

Ok.. until later today when new news starts being distributed, here are the last two posts that I've read that I find quite important.

First off an editorial in the New York Times:

While our attention must now be on the Gulf Coast's most immediate needs, the nation will soon ask why New Orleans's levees remained so inadequate. Publications from the local newspaper to National Geographic have fulminated about the bad state of flood protection in this beloved city, which is below sea level. Why were developers permitted to destroy wetlands and barrier islands that could have held back the hurricane's surge? Why was Congress, before it wandered off to vacation, engaged in slashing the budget for correcting some of the gaping holes in the area's flood protection?

It would be some comfort to think that, as Mr. Bush cheerily announced, America "will be a stronger place" for enduring this crisis. Complacency will no longer suffice, especially if experts are right in warning that global warming may increase the intensity of future hurricanes. But since this administration won't acknowledge that global warming exists, the chances of leadership seem minimal.

Secondly an amazing piece by Van Jones in The Huffington Post:

The truth is that the poor people of Louisiana were deliberately left behind -- and not just over the weekend. Our political leaders as a class -- and George W. Bush, in particular -- left them behind a long time ago.

In the aftermath of this wholly avoidable catastrophe, let us do all we can to rescue those who have been abandoned. And then let us rescue the U.S. government from those who engineered that abandonment.

And let us recognize our sacred duty in completing BOTH acts.

I almost forgot about this one

Wow. This was awesome last night. First off, I've been a big Anderson Cooper fan since he was the host of The Mole. His 360 is a bit sensationalistic, but he is just so much fun to watch and he always seems to care about what he is doing.

Anyway, yesterday I was watching his show and he started an interview with one of the US Senators from LA. Mary Landrieu I think her name is. So he asks her a question about if the govt. should be responsible in any way for the death and general crappy response to the hurricane. She comes back with a typical political soundbite crap answer.. something like : "Well Anderson, the time to analyze what happened is not now. Now we must gather together as a nation to help these people" blah blah blah on to something like : "I'd like to thank congress for rushing back into session to provide $10 billion dollars in aid, I'd like to thank.." blah blah blah.

Finally Anderson breaks in and just lays into the lady. It was amazing. He says something like "we don't need to hear you pat yourself on the back while people are dying in front of us".. It was just so amazing I cheered at the screen. I'm going to look for the clip now so you call can see it. It's an example of the media that is very rare these days, a reporter challenging a politician.

Ahh.. found the video here. Download it and view it.. it's awesome.

Apparently I'm not the only one who loved this.. see here and here and here.

The poor were stuck there

Yesterday I reversed my position on why people were in NO as the hurricane hit. Today I bolster my reversal by this piece in Attytood:

In the months leading up to Hurricane Katrina, it became increasingly clear to local officials that in the event of a killer storm, the No. 1 problem in a city with a 30 percent poverty rate was some 134,000 residents who did not have a car. They knew these people had no way to get out of town -- and that a Category 3 hurricane or stronger would likely bring a flood of Biblical proportions.

And so the plan do nothing.

Well, almost nothing. This summer, as local officials were streamlining the counter-flow interstate traffic plan so that better-off New Orleans residents could leave more quickly, they also prepared a DVD for local churches and civil groups urging the poor to find a ride out of town.

They didn't say who from. They only said who it wouldn't be: The government. Even more amazing, the mayor of New Orleans took the city's buses -- the most viable means for getting poor residents out of town -- and used them to bring people to the Superdome, even as he was acknowledging that conditions there were bound to deteriorate.

Also here is a personal piece from Philly Future:

My family survived the circumstances of our childhood poverty. But for those poor in Katrina's wake - who the Right is vilifying with such a broad brush - their nightmare goes on.

ever the pragmatist

That convention center is a horrid place. From what I've read and seen, it's worse than a prison. It seems to me that it is hell on earth. I have two off topic things to say about it, both related.

First off, somone there is going to become a voice of a generation of poor southern blacks. Someone in that building is going to write a book or a poem or a song or paint a picture that brings that horror to the world. Somewhere in there is a Booker T. Washington or a Maya Angelou or even better a Denmark Vesey. Out of those thousands, one or more are going to tell this story to us.

Secondly, and I would be shocked if this isn't happening, if I were a reporter I would be camped out in that convention center. I would use video and undercover reporting to show how it is there. There is a pulitzer there somewhere.

Shooting innocents

I'm all for law and order but come on Governer :

Gov. Kathleen Blanco called the looters "hoodlums" and issued a warning to lawbreakers: Hundreds of National Guard troops hardened on the battlefield in Iraq have landed in New Orleans.

"They have M-16s and they're locked and loaded," she said. "These troops know how to shoot and kill, and they are more than willing to do so, and I expect they will."

(from the Guardian Unlimited)

I'm sorry.. I just woke up and was looking through the news and saw that qutoe. It's probably from her speach yesterday. This woman should be impeached and removed for gross incompetancy. First she does a poor job planning for the hurricane and then she starts threateneing people who have had no food, water or electricity for 4 days with deadly violence.

First off, the people in the convention center and the dome are cut off from reality at the present. They have no tv so they can't hear what's going on. There has been nobody of authority there since the beginning so they have no way to communicate their anger, rage or despair. They have decended into primal animals and I mean that not in a perjoritive sense. You and I would be acting the same way. Well, I wouldn't be, I'd be out there looting and robbing and trying to feed the people around me. Or I would be organizing the people in some way. But you take a group that was mostly poor and desperate to begin with and then make things worse for them, how much farther do you expect they can go?

I have no facts to back me up, but I would argue that a small part of the looting and crime is actually being done by bad people and carreer criminals. I would futher argue that most of the rage and the lashing out and the looting and the crime is being comitted by people who have been pushed over the edge. Moral behavior works fine when your basic needs are being met, but when you haven't eaten and you are sleeping in shit and you have no reassuranace that things are getting better, it all goes out the window. Face it, we humans are animals at heart.

Going in with an attitude that "crimials will be dealt with accordingly" is simply criminal in itself! I mean don't they see that moving in there with guns and troops is going to make things worse? Don't they see that escilating the violence factor is a bad thing? Where are the doctors and psychologists and advisors here?

Maybe as I read more and wake up some I'll see that things aren't as bad as they seem. But I seriously doubt it.

Thursday, September 01, 2005


In an earlier post this morning I complained that people should have left New Orleans before the hurricane. Since then I've thought about it a bunch. Most of the people I saw when I was in NO were quite poor.. like more poor than I've ever seen. I've heard that that the median income amoung blacks in the area is less than $12000 and I can totally believe that.

Furthermore the storm hit at the end of the month, a time when most poor people are even poorer since their checks come at the first of the month.

I now believe that most of the victims and refugess there were stuck there, that they couldn't leave even if they wanted to. They couldn't afford gas for their cars (if they had them), didn't have relatives outside of the area to go live with. They had no choice but to sit there and hope they could weather the storm.

From what I see on the news and the like, almost all of the people there are black and I would imagine that they all are in the situation I'm describing.

We had a duty to provide a way for these people to be safe. We knew the storm was coming and I would imagine the local government knew that most of their residents were too poor to leave on their own. Govenment, local and federal are at fault for the deaths there.

Ok.. I think this is the last post on this today

I urge you to read this piece on the Daily Kos titled "The President Is A Failure"

excerpt :

A real president would have come straight to New Orleans after the storm had passed to survey the damage and offer condolence. A real President, seeing the forecast, talking with advisers and experts, wouldn't have left in the first place, but instead, would have stayed in Washington to coordinate efforts and create a plan BEFORE the hurricane even hit. Instead, the President boasts of his ability to carry out all the functions of the President from his ranch in Crawford.

You know what? I'm so fucking tired of the Vacation President and his Crawford ranch and whether he can or cannot commit the functions of the President from his ranch. Your job is in Washington. Your office is in Washington. See, when your job is done, you can go back Crawford. Until then, your office is Washington D.C., where the people employ you.

You're job is in D.C. Your office is in D.C. You belong in D.C. during a time of crisis. But you're home, home on the range.

Way to go, George Bush. Way to let the country down. Yet again.

Are you kidding me?

I've not complained much about ed Rendell, although there is a lot to complain about. But I will complain about this one. I heard on KYW last night that he had donated $1000 to the red cross to help the hurricane victims. I had to look that up today to make sure I'd heard it right. And yes, I was correct:

Pennsylvania is already contributing heavily to relief efforts, Rendell said. Discussions are under way to hold a statewide telethon to raise donations, and the governor handed over a personal check for $1,000 to Tom Foley, president of the American Red Cross Southeastern Pennsylvania Chapter.

(from the Sentinel Online)

Yup.. One thousand big ones.. Wow.. that's a real symbolic donation. Lets see, he makes about 50 times more than I do (just a guess) so that means I should donate $20.. sounds about right huh?

I mean come on Ed. I could see if you personally, quietly gave $1000, but to mention it at a press conference? Am I the only one who in his shoes would be embarreseed to admit I'd only given $1000?

For the record.. I gave $100 to the Red Cross and you should too. Let's hope it actually gets to the people in need and doesn't end up in some bureaucrats pocket.

More reports about budget cuts causing the deaths in NO

First from Wonkette:

That the Bush administration diverted funds from the rebuilding of the New Orleans levees to Iraq is by now well-known. What you might not have heard is that the people cleaning up the mess are really pissed about it. A tipster informs us that down in New Orleans, they have a name for the flood waters that have invaded the city: Lake George

Next some nice evasion by Mr. McClellan:

As I have indicated, this is not a time for politics. This is a time for the nation to come together for those in the Gulf Coast region and that’s where our focus is. This is not a time for finger-pointing or politics.

And then, the New York Times:

The 17th Street levee that gave way and led to the flooding of New Orleans was part of an intricate, aging system of barriers and pumps that was so chronically underfinanced that senior regional officials of the Army Corps of Engineers complained about it publicly for years.

Followup on being unprepared

Evidently I'm not the only one who is shocked and awed with what he is seeing in Louisiana.

Says Mithras in Fables :'s a shocking demonstration of how Bush's failure to be honest about the sacrifices necessary to fight the war in Iraq puts us all at risk. The Louisiana National Guard is elsewhere, so people in New Orleans die waiting to be evacuated as a direct consequence of Bush's fecklessness. Every dollar diverted from domestic emergency preparedness to Iraq is a bullet aimed at a American at home. Bush is supporting the troops by killing their families at home.

[This] shows that we are totally unprepared for a large-scale terrorist attack. In the event that a nightmare scenario comes true - say, a small nuke in New York - you are on your own, kids. The Bush plan: let 'em die, then stand on their graves and give a speech about how resolute you are.

I'm in shock

Uh.. what the fuck is going on down in New Orleans? I was just watching the latest video report attached to the CNN hurricane story and I'm blown away.

excerpt :

"There are multiple people dying at the convention center," he said. "There was an old woman, dead in a wheelchair with a blanket draped over her, pushed up against a wall. Horrible, horrible conditions.

"We saw a man who went into a seizure, literally dying right in front of us."

People were "being forced to live like animals," Lawrence said, surrounded by piles of trash and feces.

He said thousands of people were just laying in the ground outside the building -- many old, or sick, or caring for infants and small children.

First off, let me just state for the record that the people down there knew that the hurricane was coming, they had advance warning and they should have left. The ones there I can only guess decided to stick it out and really (in my darwin like point of view) shouldn't get the label "victim" attached to them. If anything they are victims of their own stupidity.

Now, with that said I say this : What the fuck? This is America, these people have been stuck there with no food or water for days. Days! How hard is it to airlift in some food? Hell, I could have driven there by now with a truckload of stuff and I'm in Phialdelphia!

What is wrong with our government that we can't get help to these people in a timely manner? And I'm not just coming down on Bush. What is the governer of Lousiana doing? What are the governers of the neighboring states doing?

I hate to say it, but if it were rich white people in those videos, I bet things would be a bunch different. Like I said in my last post about the looting, I can only bet the government and the cops and the army and whoever is there are tasked to protect the wal-mart and the supermarkets from looters.

It's bad down there. Time for the cops to drop the guns and let the people feed themselves. Sooner or later, there's going to be gunfights and riots and I'll bet they'll blame it on the people and not the cops out there..

Larisa Alexandrovna on the Hurricane

I know this is just lame, posting others work, but this post needs to be read.. Also from The Huffington Post...


What happens when Chertoff (whose name actually means "of the Devil" in Russian) decides to forgo civil liberties in general and abuses his office, err, industrial department of Homeland Security? What happens when these Homelanders declare Martial Law in order to keep people from looting, but will not supply them with water, food, and other life sustaining supplies?

Apparently not a damn thing.

After all, no blonde "good Christian" wealthy Republican children are drowning. Fox News shills sit laughing at this tragedy but cry and piss on themselves because a blonde girl on an island went missing (no offense to the family of the missing girl).

Do you realize that one person - one single person who is white, blonde haired, and blue eyed - is more important to the networks than the thousands of black children spiraling to their deaths in a swirl of sewage in a once historic city?

Looting is what the networks are covering and as though that is what "black people" do. The residents left behind by the poor management of emergency action and lack of funding happened to be poor and the poor in this country happen to be minorities. Take away food, water, and other supplies and what should someone do? Swim over to an ATM and get some soggy money out? Or maybe dive in, holding their breath, and swim through their living room looking for their wallet? Not to worry, the Pentagon is on its way, Martial law is declared, journalists are forced out, and those saved are happily dining on cat food.

Arianna Huffington on Bush and the Hurricane

For those of you who don't read The Huffington Post, I submit to you this post which needs to be known by as many people as possible.

exceprt, commenting on Bush's big speach yesterday :

He also unleashed a torrent of facts and figures: "The Department of Transportation has provided more than 400 trucks to move 1,000 truckloads containing 5.4 million Meals Ready to Eat -- or MREs, 13.4 million liters of water, 10,400 tarps, 3.4 million pounds of ice, 144 generators, 20 containers of pre-positioned disaster supplies, 135,000 blankets and 11,000 cots." It was as if by piling so many disparate numbers so high he might be able to block out the two most significant numbers of all: the number of National Guardsmen unable to help out in Louisiana and Mississippi because they are deployed in Iraq, and the tens of millions of hurricane and flood-control dollars that never made it to Lake Pontchartrain because they had been diverted to Iraq.

Hurricane Looters

I don't watch the news. Sorry, I just find it too sensationalized and biased and subjectively reported. Anyway, I was over my mothers for dinner last night and it was on and I saw the first video images from the hurricane. Here is the first shot that I saw:

The shot started off centered on a shotgun
It pulled out to reveal a cop holding and pointing the shotgun at someone (or something)
It pulled out more to reveal that the pig (cop) was pointing the gun at a black kid with a bag of food in his hands.
The cop was yelling in typical self-rightious power hungry pig fashion.
The kid dropped the bag

After I saw this shot I got up and moved to another room.

Ok.. I know looting is bad but I also know that when your entire city and or town is underwater and you have had your house destroyed and you and your family are starving, you need to eat. I also know that insurance will cover any and all losses to any and all stores in the entire area weather they were looted or not (I'm sure all will claim they were).

Now, here is what I think:

1) let the people fucking get some food!
2) have the cops do something more useful like rescuing people or re-building the levy
3) if you insist on having cops patrol for looters, for god sakes, no need to threaten the looters with deadly force and a shotgun

stupid pigs.

Anyway, there was a nice piece in Philebrity today about racial bias in reporting about the hurricane. If you don't feel like clicking there, just click on and read the copy from the following 2 photos found on Yahoo news:



all I can say is Hmnmnmnm......