Saturday, August 30, 2008

Parishes with Mandatory Evacuations

Sorry for the cut and paste... but this does not really need any input on my part

Good luck to all and stay safe...

The Governor announced that the following parishes have declared mandatory evacuations, and state continues to work closely with all coastal parishes as they execute their evacuation plans:

* Allen - Recommended
* Assumption - Mandatory
* Beauregard - Recommended
* Calcasieu - 12PM Noon Sunday, Mandatory
* Cameron - Sunday, Mandatory for residents south of Highway 14, Recommended for the rest of the parish.
* Iberia - 7AM Sunday, Mandatory
* Jefferson - 8AM Sunday, Mandatory for residents on the West Bank. 12 Noon Sunday, Mansatory for residents on the East Bank.
* Lafayette - Voluntary
* Lafourche - 9AM Saturday for residents south of the flood gate, 3PM for all others, Mandatory
* Orleans - 8AM Sunday, Mandatory
* Plaquemines - 12PM Noon saturday, Mandatory
* St. Bernard - 4PM Saturday, Mandatory
* St. Charles - 12PM Saturday, Mandatory
* St. John - 8PM Saturday, Mandatory
* St. Martin - Mandatory
* St. Mary - 4PM Saturday, Mandatory
* St. Tammany - 7AM Sunday, Mandatory for residents south of I-12 and residents living near a major tributary.
* Tangipahoa - Mandatory for all residents living in mobile homes and travel trailers, as well as anyone south of Highway 22.
* Terrebonne - 4PM Saturday, Mandatory
* Vermillion - Saturday, Mandatory
* Washington - 5PM Sunday, Mandatory for residents of FEMA trailers and mobile homes.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Joe Biden's first speech as part of the ticket

August 24, 2008
Elect Obama to Reclaim America
Joe Biden

Springfield, Illinois

Well, it's great to be here! On the steps of the old State House in the land of Lincoln. President Lincoln once instructed us to be sure to put your feet in the right place. Then stand firm. Today, Springfield, I know my feet are in the right place. And I am proud to stand firm for the next president of the United States of America, Barack Obama. Folks, Barack and I come from very different places, but we share a common story. An American story. He was the son of a single mom, a single mom who had to struggle to support her son and her kids. But she raised him. She raised him to believe in America. to believe that in this country there is no obstacle that could keep you from your dreams. If you are willing to work hard and fight for it. I was different. I was an Irish-Catholic kid from Scranton with a father who like many of yours in tough economic times fell on hard times, but my mom and dad raised me to believe, it's a saying Barack you heard me say before, my dad repeated it and repeated it. Said champ, it's not how many times you get knocked down, it's how quickly you get up. It's how quickly you get up. Ladies and gentlemen, that's your story. That's America's story. It's about if you get up, you can make it.

That's the America Barack Obama and I believe in. That's the American dream. And ladies and gentlemen, is there no ordinary times, and this is no ordinary election. Because the truth of the matter is, and you know it, that American dream under eight years of Bush and McCain, that American dream is slipping away. I don't have to tell you that. You feel it in your lives. You see it in your shrinking wages, and the cost of everything from groceries to health care to college to filling up your car at the gas station. It keeps going up and up and up, and the future keeps receding further and further and further away as you reach for your dreams. You know, ladies and gentlemen, it is not a mere political saying. I say with every fiber of my being I believe we cannot as a nation stand for four more years of this. We cannot afford to keep giving tax cuts after tax cuts to big corporations and the wealthiest Americans while the middle class America, middle class families are falling behind and their wages are actually shrinking. We can't afford four more years of a government that does nothing while they watch the housing market collapse. As you know, it's not just the millions of people facing foreclosure. It's the tens of millions of your neighbors who are seeing the values of their homes drop off a cliff along with their dreams.

Ladies and gentlemen, your kitchen table is like mine. You sit there at night before you put the kids -- after you put the kids to bed and you talk, you talk about what you need. You talk about how much you are worried about being able to pay the bills. Well, ladies and gentlemen, that's not a worry John McCain has to worry about. It's a pretty hard experience. He'll have to figure out which of the seven kitchen tables to sit at. Folks, again, it's not political sloganary when I say we literally can't afford four more years of this non-energy policy written by and for the oil companies, making us more and more dependent from hostile nations on our ability to run this country and literally, not figuratively, literally putting America's security at risk, we can't afford four more years of a foreign policy that has shredded our alliances and sacrificed our moral standing around the world.

Ladies and gentlemen, that's the bad news. But there is good news, America. We don't have to have four more years of George W. Bush. And John McCain. The next President of the United States is going to be delivered to the most significant moment in American history since Franklin Roosevelt. He will have such an incredible opportunity, incredible opportunity, not only to change the direction of America, but literally, literally to change the direction of the world. Barack Obama and I believe, we believe with every fiber in our being that our families, our communities as Americans, there's not a single solitary challenge we cannot face if we level with the American people. And I don't say that to say it; history, history has shown it. When have Americans ever, ever, ever, let their country down when they've had a leader to lead them?

Ladies and gentlemen, we believe that our tomorrows will be better than our yesterdays, and we believe we'll pass on to our children an even better life than the one we lived. That literally has been the American way, and it can be that way again. But there's a big, missing piece. The missing piece is leadership.

In all my time in the United States Senate, and I want you to know there's only four senators senior to me, but Barack, there's still 44 older than me. I want you to know that part. But all kidding aside, of all my years in the Senate, I have never in my life seen Washington so broken. I have never seen so many dreams denied and so many decisions deferred by politicians who are trying like the devil to escape their responsibility and accountability. But, ladies and gentlemen, the reckoning is now. And the reality, the reality is that we must answer the call or we will risk the harshest version and verdict of history. These times call for a total change in Washington's worldview. These times require more than a good soldier. They require a wise leader. A leader -- a leader who can deliver. A leader who can deliver the change we need.

I'll say straight up to you - John McCain and the press knows this, is genuinely a friend of mine. I've known John for 35 years. He served our country with extraordinary courage and I know he wants to do right by America. But the harsh truth is, ladies and gentlemen, you can't change America when you boast. And these are John's words, quote, the most important issues of our day, I've been totally in agreement and support of President Bush. Ladies and gentlemen, that's what he said. You can't change America when you supported George Bush's policies 95% of the time. You can't change America when you believe, and these are his own words, that in the Bush administration we've made great progress economically. You can't change America and make things better for our senior citizens when you signed on to Bush's scheme of privatizing social security. You can't change America and give our workers a fighting chance when after 3 million manufacturing jobs disappear, you continue to support tax breaks for companies who ship our jobs overseas. You can't change America and end this war in Iraq when you declare and, again, these are John's words, no one has supported President Bush in Iraq more than I have, end of quote. Ladies and gentlemen, you can't change America, you can't change America when you know your first four years as president will look exactly like the last eight years of George Bush's presidency.

My friends -- yes, we can. My friends, I don't have to tell you, this election year the choice is clear. One man stands ready to deliver change we desperately need. A man I'm proud to call my friend. A man who will be the next president of the United States, Barack Amer -

You know, you learn a lot of things being up close with a guy. Let me tell you about Obama. You learn a lot about a man when you campaign with him. When you debate him 12 or 13 times. When you hear him speak. When you see how he thinks. And you watch how he reacts under pressure. You learn a lot about his strength of his mind, and I think even more importantly, the quality of his heart. Ladies and gentlemen, no one knows better than I do that presidential campaigns are crucibles in which you're tested and challenged every single day. And over the past 18 months, I've watched Barack meet those challenges with judgment, intelligence, and steel in his spine. I've watched as he's inspired millions of Americans, millions of Americans to this new cause.

And during those 18 months, I must tell you, frankly, I've been disappointed in my friend, John McCain, who gave in to the right wing of his party and yielded to the very swiftboat politics that he so -- once so deplored. And folks, campaigns for presidents are a test of character and leadership. And in this campaign, one candidate, one candidate has passed that test.

Barack has the vision, and what you can't forget, you know his vision, but let me tell you something. He also has the courage, the courage to make this a better place, and let me tell you something else, this man is a clear eyed pragmatist who will get the job done. I watch with amazement as he came to the Senate. I watch with amazement. He made his mark literally from day one reaching across the aisle to pass legislation to secure the world's deadliest weapons, standing up to some of the most entrenched interests in Washington, risking the wrath of the old order to pass the most sweeping ethics reform in a generation. But I was proudest, I was proudest, when I watched him spontaneously focus the attention of the nation on the shameful neglect of America's wounded warriors at Walter Reed Army Hospital. Ladies and gentlemen, I know I'm told I talk too colloquially, but there's something about this guy. There's something about this guy. There's something about Barack Obama that allows him to bring people together like no one I have worked with and seen. There's something about Barack Obama that makes people understand if they make compromises they can make things better.

It's been amazing to watch him. But then again, that's been the story of his whole life. I end where I began. This is a man raised by a single mother who sometimes was on food stamps as she worked to put herself through school, by grandparents from the prairies of Kansas who loved him, a grandfather, a grandfather who marched in Paton's Army and then came home and went to college on the G.I. Bill, and a grandmother, a grandmother with just a high school education, started off working in a small bank in the secretarial pool and rose to be vice president of that bank. Ladies and gentlemen, ladies and gentlemen, these remarkable people gave Barack Obama the determination and drive, and, yes, the values to turn down that big job on Wall Street, to come to Chicago's south side, where he helped workers help themselves after the steel mills had been shut down and the jobs disappeared.

Ladies and gentlemen, my wife Jill, who you'll meet soon, is drop dead gorgeous. My wife Jill, who you'll meet soon, she also has her doctorate degree, which is a problem. But all kidding aside, my Jill, my Jill, my wife Jill and I are honored to join Barack and Michelle on this journey, because that's what it is. it's a journey. We share the same values, the values that we had passed on to us by our parents and the values Jill and I are passing on to our sons Beau and Hunter and Ashley.

Ladies and gentlemen, I'm here for their future. I'm here for the future of your kids. I'm here for everyone I - I'm here for everyone I grew up in Scranton, Pennsylvania, who's been forgotten and everybody in Claymont, Delaware, in Wilmington where I lived. I'm here for the cops and the fire fighters, the teachers and the line workers, the folks who live - the folks whose lives are the measure of whether the American dream endures.

Ladies and gentlemen, this is no ordinary time. This is no ordinary election. And this may be our last chance to reclaim the America we love, to restore America's soul. Ladies and gentlemen, America gave Jill and me our chance. It gave Barack and Michelle their chance to stand on this stage today. It's literally incredible. These values, this country gave us that chance. And now it's time for all of us, as Lincoln said, to put our feet in the right place and to stand firm. Ladies and gentlemen, it's time to elect Barack Obama president. It's our time. It's America's time. God bless America, and may he protect our troops.
Joe Biden, a U.S. Senator from Delaware, is the presumptive Democratic vice presidential nominee.
Page Printed from: at August 23, 2008 - 02:24:32 PM PDT

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Science News

Cell change 'keeps organs young'

Researchers may have found a way to halt the biological clock which slows down our bodies over the decades.

A US team thinks it may have found the genetic levers to help boost a system vital to cleaning up faulty proteins within our cells.

The journal Nature Medicine reported that the livers of genetically-altered older mice worked as well as those in younger animals.

They suggested it might one day help people with progressive brain diseases.

These results show it's possible to correct this protein 'logjam' that occurs in our cells as we get older, thereby perhaps helping us to enjoy healthier lives well into old age
Dr Ana Maria Cuervo
Yeshiva University

The researchers, from Yeshiva University in New York, are focusing on a process which is central to the proper working of cells.

The fundamental chemicals of cells - proteins - often have very short working lives, and need to be cleared away and recycled as soon as possible.

The body has a system for doing just that, but it becomes progressively less efficient as we get older.

This leads to progressive falls in the function of major organs - the heart, liver and brain, some of which contribute to the diseases of old age.

Dr Ana Maria Cuervo, from Yeshiva, created a mouse with two genetic alterations.

The first, when activated, boosted the number of specific cell receptors linked to this protein recycling function, while the second allowed the first to be turned on whenever Dr Cuervo wished simply by modifying the animal's diet.

Switched on

She waited until the mice were six months old - the point at which age-related decline in the protein-recycling system begins - then turned on the receptor gene.

When examined at two years old, the liver cells of these mice were far more effective at recycling protein compared with normal mice.

When the overall liver function of the very old genetically-modified mice was tested, they performed at a comparable level to much younger mice.

Dr Cuervo said: "These results show it's possible to correct this protein 'logjam' that occurs in our cells as we get older, thereby perhaps helping us to enjoy healthier lives well into old age."

She now plans to test animal models of Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases, believing that the abnormal protein deposits in Alzheimer's in particular might be dealt with more effectively this way.

Thomas von Zglinicki, Professor of Cellular Gerontology at Newcastle University, said that the results were "very exciting".

"It's not often you see studies where they have managed to improve function in this way.

"What they seem to have managed is to maintain the mice at this young stage, and both restore and maintain normal activity."

He said that it should, in theory, be possible to achieve the same effect across the whole body.

A spokesman for the Alzheimer's Society said: "As we age we have an increase in protein misfolding and general faults in protein processing, so the ability to maintain an effective system to clear these would be beneficial.

"However, a direct line to the clearance of defective proteins in the brain is not so clear from this research."

Story from BBC NEWS:

Published: 2008/08/10 17:05:40 GMT



Monday, August 11, 2008

Road Home to Host Community Outreach Sessions across South Louisiana

BATON ROUGE, La. (August 07, 2008) - The Road Home program will hold community outreach sessions across South Louisiana in the month of August to assist applicants affected by upcoming deadlines in the program.

During the community outreach sessions applicants can turn in documents, complete benefit selection forms and ask questions directly of program staff, without scheduling an appointment, on a first-come, first-served basis. State staff will be on hand to make decisions about extensions and unique cases.

"We must make sure homeowners are moving forward and actively working with the program so that all eligible applicants can to go to closing and get the money they need to rebuild," said Paul Rainwater, executive director of the Louisiana Recovery Authority. "Our goal is not to force anyone out of the Road Home program. We know many people have complicated cases involving title and power of attorney issues. We will be notifying these applicants of their next steps by letter in the coming weeks."

"We are happy to work with homeowners who still have documents to turn into the program," Rainwater said. "These outreach events will allow homeowners an easy way to sit down and meet with program advisors and state officials face-to-face."

Dates for outreach events are:

August 5
11 a.m. - 7 p.m.
Houma Terrebonne Civic Center
346 Civic Center Boulevard 70360
Houma, LA

August 7
11 a.m. - 7 p.m.
Lake Charles Civic Center
900 Lakeshore Drive
Lake Charles, LA 70601

August 9
10 a.m. - 3 p.m.
UNO Lindy Boggs Conference Center
2045 Lakeshore Drive
New Orleans, LA 70122

August 12
11 a.m. - 7 p.m.
Alario Center
at the Bayou Segnette Sports Complex
2000 Segnette Boulevard
Westwego, LA 70094

August 14
11 a.m. - 7 p.m.
Crystal Palace
10020 Chef Menteur Highway
New Orleans, LA 70127 August 19
11 a.m. - 7 p.m.
North Shore Harbor Center
100 Harbor Center Boulevard
Slidell, LA 70461

August 21
11 a.m. - 7 p.m.
Holiday Inn-New Iberia
2915 Highway 14
New Iberia 70560

August 24
Noon - 5 p.m.
Lake Charles Civic Center
900 Lakeshore Drive
Lake Charles, LA 70601

August 26
11 a.m. - 7 p.m.
Location to be announced
in Orleans Parish August 28
11 a.m. - 7 p.m.
St. Patrick's Church
28698 Highway 23
Port Sulphur, LA 70083

Dear reader,
I italicized the dates prior to August 11th because I did not receive this email in a timely manner. There were even dates from August 5th on the release. This is remarkably unfortunate, because the release is dated August 7th.


Sunday, August 10, 2008

Who is showing the capability to lead?

Unfortunately, Russia and Georgia are currently at war. This is a real life tragedy that brings a theme of the Presidential campaign to the forefront. How have the candidates and the sitting President responded to this situation? George Bush, the only one who can really do something is sitting and watching the U.S. beat the snot out of China in men's basketball. Sen. McCain put out a press release saying that Russia should pull out of south Osettia. Sen. Obama has spoken to Secretary of State Rice and,Mikheil Saakashvili, the President of Georgia, along with putting out a press release. Now, if we compare the three men, which one appears to be unready to lead?


Thursday, August 07, 2008

Cowboy Diplomacy... Not Again

Senator McCain has gone on the record saying the Iraq-Pakistan border creates a hard situation. Above, there is a map of the Middle East. It is filled with numerous countries Senator McCain please note the location of Iran, Iraq, and Pakistan. In case you did not know this Senator McCain, Pakistan and Iraq are not neighbors.

For those of you that think I'm just making this up, here is the video where he shows his foreign policy prowess on Good Morning America.

I appreciate that Barack Obama might not be the most experienced, but he doesn't appear to brag about things he does not know. Senator McCain goes on and on about how knowledgeable and experienced he is, and then goes on national television with a mistake like this. There might be some readers who think it is only one letter. Well, Iraq and Iran fought a war for eight years, and have significant differences. It might be a slip of the tongue, but it along with a few other statements shows a lack of preparation or cognitive ability.

While Senator McCain was in the Middle East this year, he made some significant mistakes on the stump. On more than one occasion, Senator Lieberman whispered in his ear to correct one gaffe or another.Can the nation handle another four years of arrogance and 'cowboy diplomacy'?


Wednesday, August 06, 2008

We Can't Stand for Another Joke

As an educator, sometimes it is necessary to teach that some jokes are inappropriate in a given place or time. I learned this when I was thirteen years old when my teacher, Ms. Charles, overheard an "improper" exchange between my classmate, Sean, and me. Our punishment was to write the unabridged definition of "propriety" in response. For those of you who want to know about old school discipline grab the unabridged Merriam Webster’s Dictionary and look up the word "propriety."

As a young teenager, I remember clearly, that the comment I had whispered was wrong. Certainly, I didn’t want to write the definition of propriety, but I understood that I had purposely done something wrong. Again, please forgive me I was thirteen at the time. I always assumed that adults knew better, but I was wrong.

Now, everyone has the right to freedom of speech, but there is a time and a place. I appreciate the fact that the spotlight during a presidential campaign is unbelievable, but if you are on stage think before you speak. This cuts across party lines. What exactly am I referring to? Senator John McCain is absolutely unfit to be President of the United States of America.

In 1986, during his initial run for the U.S. Senate, John McCain made an extremely vulgar joke about a gorilla and a woman. This is a joke that I would not have tolerated in my classroom of Severely Emotionally Disturbed (S.E.D.) pre-teens. And yet, John McCain, who had already served a few years in the U.S. Congress, got away with it with no repercussions. This joke reflected a remarkable lack of respect for women. Well, maybe he was really young, and therefore he shouldn’t be held responsible for the joke. Then again, he was 50 years old at the time.

But this was not the last time McCain made a disgusting comment. In late June of this year, he actually made a joke about beating his wife! Today's media coverage ensures that the public knows everything from when a presidential candidate coughs to when he thinks he's being funny.

McCain also goes on and on about how much more experience he has than his opponent, Barack Obama. He talks about how much more mature he is than his opponent. Age does not equal maturity. He regularly brings up the foreign policy card to convince voters that he is best qualified for the job of U.S. President, yet, one of his most embarrassing moments was when he confused the two main Iraqi Islamic factions: Shia and Sunni. He didn't know the differences between them! And he still hasn't figured out that his jokes are not funny, such as those he made about killing Iranian civilians with cigarettes.

I realize that the pressure of a presidential race is extreme for anyone. But, when foreign policy (read diplomacy), readiness from day one, and experience are the main thrust of a candidate's campaign, then he needs to show not only understanding of policies and problems, but also the propriety to know what should be said, where it can be said, and to whom he can say it. If the next United States President does not know how to handle foreign affairs a bit more delicately, then our national and foreign policies will continue to resemble a really bad joke. At the age of 72, the adage, "You can't teach an old dogs new tricks" certainly applies in this race and case. McCain is not the man for the job.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Paris Hilton has an energy plan too.

Just another reason to think before you vote

John McCain opposes the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA). This plan would make it easier for American workers to decide if they wanted to unionize at their workplace, and McCain doesn't support giving them that right.


Monday, August 04, 2008

John McCain does not support American troops

I copied the following from:

Veterans for Common Sense
Post Office Box 15514
Washington, DC 20003

McCain's Voting Record: He Does Not Support Our Troops and Veterans

The Daily Kos
Mar 14, 2008

Tuesday, February 26, 2008 - Since everyone is at least a bit familiar with John McCain’s record when it comes to strolling through a market in Baghdad with hundreds of his closest guards, or how he wants to stay in Iraq for 100 years (except when he flip flops on that).

But not that many really, truly know just how horrific his voting record is when it comes to the troops. And it is pretty consistent – whether it is for armor and equipment, for veteran’s health care, for adequate troop rest or anything that actually, you know, supports our troops.

This is chock full of links to the roll call votes, and the roll call votes have links to the actual underlying bills and amendments. I present this so that there is support and things that can be rattled off when saying that McCain is not a friend of the military. Feel free to use it as you want, but this can be tied into the "Double Talk Express". But here is a very quick statement - John McCain skipped close to a dozen votes on Iraq, and on at least another 10 occasions, he voted against arming and equipping the troops, providing adequate rest for the troops between deployments and for health care or other benefits for veterans.

In mid 2007, Senator Reid noted that McCain missed 10 of the past 14 votes on Iraq. However, here is a summary of a dozen votes (two that he missed and ten that he voted against) with respect to Iraq, funding for veterans or for troops, including equipment and armor. I have also included other snippets related to the time period when the vote occurred.

September 2007: McCain voted against the Webb amendment calling for adequate troop rest between deployments. At the time, nearly 65% of people polled in a CNN poll indicted that "things are going either moderately badly or very badly in Iraq.

July 2007: McCain voted against a plan to drawdown troop levels in Iraq. At the time, an ABC poll found that 63% thought the invasion was not worth it, and a CBS News poll found that 72% of respondents wanted troops out within 2 years.

March 2007: McCain was too busy to vote on a bill that would require the start of a drawdown in troop levels within 120 days with a goal of withdrawing nearly all combat troops within one year. Around this time, an NBC News poll found that 55% of respondents indicated that the US goal of achieving victory in Iraq is not possible. This number has not moved significantly since then.

February 2007: For such a strong supporter of the escalation, McCain didn’t even bother to show up and vote against a resolution condemning it. However, at the time a CNN poll found that only 16% of respondents wanted to send more troops to Iraq (that number has since declined to around 10%), while 60% said that some or all should be withdrawn. This number has since gone up to around 70%.

June 2006: McCain voted against a resolution that Bush start withdrawing troops but with no timeline to do so.

May 2006: McCain voted against an amendment that would provide $20 million to the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) for health care facilities.

April 2006: McCain was one of only 13 Senators to vote against $430,000,000 for the Department of Veteran Affairs for Medical Services for outpatient care and treatment for veterans.

March 2006: McCain voted against increasing Veterans medical services funding by $1.5 billion in FY 2007 to be paid for by closing corporate tax loopholes.

March 2004: McCain once again voted for abusive tax loopholes over veterans when he voted against creating a reserve fund to allow for an increase in Veterans' medical care by $1.8 billion by eliminating abusive tax loopholes. Jeez, McCain really loves those tax loopholes for corporations, since he voted for them over our veterans' needs.

October 2003: McCain voted to table an amendment by Senator Dodd that called for an additional $322,000,000 for safety equipment for United States forces in Iraq and to reduce the amount provided for reconstruction in Iraq by $322,000,000.

April 2003: McCain urged other Senate members to table a vote (which never passed) to provide more than $1 billion for National Guard and Reserve equipment in Iraq related to a shortage of helmets, tents, bullet-proof inserts, and tactical vests.

August 2001: McCain voted against increasing the amount available for medical care for veterans by $650,000,000. To his credit, he also voted against the 2001 Bush tax cuts, which he now supports making permanent, despite the dire financial condition this country is in, and despite the fact that he indicated in 2001 that these tax cuts unfairly benefited the very wealthy at the expense of the middle class.

So there it is. John McCain is yet another republican former military veteran who likes to talk a big game when it comes to having the support of the military. Yet, time and time again, he has gone out of his way to vote against the needs of those who are serving in our military. If he can’t even see his way to actually doing what the troops want, or what the veterans need, and he doesn’t have the support of veterans, then how can he be a credible commander in chief?