Sunday, November 30, 2008

For Breakfast I'll have Coffee, Orange Juice and a side order of WAR

This is from Wikipedia...

The Anglo-Zanzibar War was fought between the United Kingdom and Zanzibar on 27 August 1896. The conflict lasted around 40 minutes and is the shortest war in recorded history. The immediate cause of the war was the death of the pro-British Sultan Hamad bin Thuwaini on 25 August 1896 and the subsequent succession of Sultan Khalid bin Barghash. In accordance with a treaty signed in 1886, a condition for accession to the sultancy was that the candidate obtain the permission of the British Consul, and Khalid had not fulfilled this requirement. The British considered this a casus belli and sent an ultimatum to Khalid demanding that he order his forces to stand down and leave the palace. In response, Khalid called up his palace guard and barricaded himself inside the palace. The ultimatum expired at 9:00 am East Africa Time (EAT) on 27 August, by which time the British had gathered three cruisers, two gunships, 150 marines and sailors and 900 Zanzibaris in the harbour area. The Royal Navy contingent were under the command of Rear-Admiral Harry Rawson whilst the Zanzibaris were commanded by Brigadier-General Lloyd Mathews of the Zanzibar army. A bombardment was opened at 9:02 am which set the palace on fire and disabled the defending artillery. The flag at the palace was shot down and fire ceased at 9:40 am. The Sultan's forces sustained roughly 500 casualties, while only one British sailor was injured. The British quickly placed Sultan Hamud in power at the head of a puppet government; he abolished slavery within a few months. The war marked the end of Zanzibar as a sovereign state and the start of a period of heavy British influence.


Thursday, November 20, 2008

State of Louisiana Issues Last Call for Homeowners Interested in Road Home Elevations


November 20, 2008


Christina Stephens
Louisiana Recovery Authority

State of Louisiana Issues Last Call for Homeowners Interested in Road Home Elevations

Pace of payouts has increased, will exceed half a billion by year's end

BATON ROUGE, La. - Road Home applicants who are interested in receiving elevation funding from the Road Home program must return their Elevation Incentive Forms to the program by December 5, 2008.

In April, the program began mailing letters to Road Home applicants who were potentially eligible to receive elevation funding for their homes. The letters described elevation programs that were being offered by the Road Home and by the state under the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program. Included with the letter were interest forms for both programs, which applicants were required to return to the program if they wished to be considered for elevation funding. Continued inquiries, educational opportunities presented by August outreach events and a steady flow of letters returned to the program after the original cutoff led the state to continue accepting interest forms, thus bringing more than 6,300 additional applicants into the elevation program.

A deadline of December 5, 2008, has been set for all Road Home Elevation Incentive Forms to be returned to the program. It is important to note that although a deadline has been established for Road Home forms to be returned, the state will continue to accept interest forms for the HMGP Elevation program past this deadline.

"We wanted to bring as many people as possible into the elevation program, which is why we have been accepting these forms, in hopes of identifying as many applicants as possible," said Paul Rainwater, executive director of the Louisiana Recovery Authority. "That said, it is time for the interest period for Road Home elevations to come to an end, so we are issuing one last call for homeowners to return these forms within the next two weeks."

"The pace of this program has sped up significantly because of the decision to pay homeowners a flat elevation amount, rather than using a complicated formula to determine awards. We've paid out hundreds of millions of dollars in the past few weeks and we are very likely to pass the half-billion mark before the end of the year," Rainwater said.

So far, the Road Home has paid $418 million to 14,651 homeowners through its elevation program. The vast majority of this progress has been since the state restarted the program earlier in the year and streamlined the process by offering flat grant awards to homeowners. Another 3,983 elevation payouts, totaling almost $116 million, are in the pipeline to close at the closing companies.

The state Hazard Mitigation Program has started a pilot program for several hundred homeowners, including one-on-one meetings with these homeowners and visits to their homes. It anticipates cutting its first checks before the end of the year.

By signing these forms, homeowners are ONLY indicating interest in learning more about these elevation funds. Returning the forms does not guarantee the receipt of an award, nor does it obligate a homeowner to accept an award.

Homeowners who returned these forms should have received a postcard confirming receipt. Homeowners who have not received an elevation information letter, but believe they are eligible for elevation funds may contact the Road Home by calling 1-888-762-3252. Also, homeowners who have need to request another copy of their letter may do so by calling this number.


Monday, November 10, 2008

Those Four Little Words

Most people have a few common experiences. One of these experiences is to think that they will do things differently than their parents did, in terms of raising children. In this way Elizabeth and I are no different. During childhood, most people conclude that they could parent better than they themselves were parented. Sorry, Mom, but I had always imagined that there were certain things you did, that I could do better.

When Cassie was a newborn, I was going to be the best parent. Does this sound familiar, anyone? I would run to the nearest Walgreen's for anything (diaper's, wipes, Boudreaux's, Mylicon, etc.). Whenever she had the slightest problem we were going to be on top of it. I continued thinking that I could parent better than I myself was parented.

Sorry Mom, but that is what I thought. As I look back it was obvious for all to see that I knew nothing of this parenting gig. We got help from both parents and got advice from everyone under the sun. As Cassie began to understand and communicate we told her what to do, and generally she complied, if necessary with assistance.

For instance, when bath time rolls around we have various strategies to either get Cassie into or out of said bath. Yes, I did say...or out of.... sometimes coercion is used, or bribery, or even some sort of reasoning/bargaining. These tools/tactics/strategies can be used for any number of different activities. These are all things that my parents at some point did with me.

Both Elizabeth and I have always tried to avoid, and still try to avoid, using brute force. This is still a good policy. Recently, however many of these tactics have stopped working. So I have now learned something in my parenting style, as anyone in my group should know. As was done with me, so shall I do to mine. If all else fails in parenting Cassie, I can break out those four little words... Because I Said So.


Sunday, November 09, 2008

Dear Blue States (2004)

Dear Blue States:

Well, imagine our relief that you’ve decided to secede and form some sort of bathing-optional commune headquartered in California. The money we'll save in aspirin, now that we won’t have headaches from listening to your interminable whining, will be worth it to us alone.

We'll finally be rid of you lazy, moping, latte-sucking Streisand fans now that you're actually going to follow through--for once--on your promise to finally get off your butts and leave, as so many of you claimed you would every election cycle and then chickened out of actually doing. (Yeah, we’re looking at you, Alec Baldwin.)

But not so fast. You don’t get to take all the Blue States with you--just the Blue parts.

We hate to break it to you, but your Blue States aren’t actually "blue." Mostly, they’re states full of Red counties with pockets of Blue urban blight in them, who vote Democratic in such numbers that if the same results came out of a Third World country—which, come to think of it, many of the "Blue" counties pretty much are—we’d think it was fraud and send some election observers from the UN.

Even California is pretty much a Red State: Bush won 35 out of 58 counties, while Kerry won LA and San Francisco. You want 'em? we certainly won’t fight you for them but you're going to have to found New California without 35 of your most beautiful counties and your second-largest city. Sorry about that.

Nationally, Bush won over 2.5 million square miles of U.S. counties (and an extra three and a half million votes, but we won't rub that in.) Kerry won less than 600,000 square miles--meaning that in most states he was popular downtown and pretty much nowhere else. In other words, your guy won the places that people like him would get shot if he walked through them at night. Our guy won every place else.

So, the bottom line is that you don't get the Blue States. Those states have lots of towns and counties that would rather blow their dams and flood themselves out of existence rather than go with you. No, instead, you get the Blue Cities.

But wait…we really feel we owe you full disclosure on this exchange. This might come as an unpleasant surprise, but you don’t actually get the lower divorce and single-motherhood rates and all that other good stuff you think you're going to snag. Those are the conditions that are actually found out in the Red counties—not in the Blue cities, and you can't have them.

Instead you get the urban single moms, not the soccer moms; the drug addicts, not the doctors; the waiters, not the chefs. You get the fine service you've come to expect from the brutal and corrupt inner-city police departments. You get the abysmal literacy rates and schools that are more dangerous than most prisons. All in all, you get to take with you a public sector in most cities so unmanageable they make Mogadishu seem like a tidily run little municipality by comparison.

You get the labor union shakedown artists, "teachers" who can’t pass tests in their own subject, and city government leaders for whom graft, racial spoils systems, and outright theft are a way of life. They’re all very enthusiastic Blue voters, as you know, and we’re sure they’ll stampede their way to New California to start draining your wallets, wrecking your schools, and in general making a mess of your lives.

(And don't come complaining back to us when socialist central planning does for New California what it did for garden spots like East Berlin and Pyongyang. We're putting a strict visa system into place once you all go.)

We, on the other hand, get those Red city suburbs and rural districts. You know, the ones with the good schools, the high property values, the quiet streets and the sheriffs and cops who don’t need to walk around armored up like they’re about to storm the Sunni Triangle.

Oh and don’t concern yourself with our agricultural capacity after all, they don't call it "the breadbasket" for nothin'. We’ll keep right on producing the vast majority of wheat, corn, oats, rye, potatoes, soybeans, beef, chicken and pork.

We’ve always preferred a nice, unpretentious, frosty mug of brew anyway and hey, maybe you can make a salad with those pineapples, stem cells, and lettuce.

And don't even think about keeping the National Parks, the wide open spaces, all those water resources, and all the rest of America's natural splendor, since those are all pretty much located in Red counties.

Hell, we even get most of Oregon and Washington ...ain’t it ironic? You get the urban liberals in Portland and Seattle and their friends in important social organizations (like, say, drug-running street gangs) and we get the rest of the Northwest.

Ok by us; we’d be fools not to take you up on it.

Here’s how it will work; all of you Blue whiners, please feel free to look at a map of the electoral results county by county in each state, and take the people with you who’ve made it clear they’d like to go.

That means you get places like downtown Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, and we get to keep the rest of beautiful Pennsylvania, thanks.

You get to administer bloated public services to the violent, drug-addled, gunslinging populations of delightful inner-city sinkholes of poverty and corruption such as Miami, St. Louis,Atlanta and the ever-popular District of Columbia--which has been governed by liberals (and the occasional crackhead) for so long and so incompetently that any semblance of order has broken down (beyond the carefully guarded borders of your Georgetown bistros, natch) to the point where even the mayor once asked the President to have the city patrolled by National Guardsmen.

Lucky you, it's all yours--enjoy it in good health, and don’t forget to wear your Kevlar...Blue "voters" up there in Northeast DC tend to be jumpy on the ol' trigger finger.

In fact, all around our great nation, you get to keep all the Blue voters who’ve made urban war zones like downtown Detroit--a Blue bastion, of course--the proud showplaces they are today.

We get the rest of Blue states like Michigan and Wisconsin and Illinois and...well, frankly, just about every state in the Union with the exception of Hawaii and New England--and even there, we’ll just hang on to a couple of chunks of New Hampshire and Connecticut.

You’re especially more than welcome to Rhode Island, which will immediately set up some sort of money-laundering scheme and bilk the rest of you once it has been incorporated into whatever sort of muddle-headed utopia you’re trying to create.

The former mayor of Providence should be out of Federal prison in time to join your Politburo and help you get things set up--for a small consulting fee, of course

If you would please, take another look at the list of best beaches and notice what color states they are in. We'll miss the Hawaiian beaches, but since long stretches of coastline from New Jersey down to Florida and yes, even in Southern California (including San Diego, thanks) are actually in Red counties, we'll be fine.

Sure, we get the rednecks and holy rollers. But since you're apparently willing to trade them for the gangs and psychopaths terrorizing your Blue cities, what can we say? You want the Crips and the Bloods in low riders raking your streets with automatic gunfire, and you're offering us Bubba heading off to church in his pickup?

Hey, a deal's a deal. Done.

True, you also get Manhattan, but darn the luck, you have to take the rest of the city, including the Bronx, Queens, and Brooklyn too, as well as Long Island, which is enough to almost make us feel sorry for you all out there in New California. (Almost.)

For our part, we’ll take most of the rest of gorgeous New York State, although you get the scam artists who infest the legislature in Albany.

And since for some unfathomable reason you actually want Elliot Spitzer, we’ll buy his plane ticket as a gesture of goodwill.

So that’s the deal. You get the cities, with all the crime, crack mommies, and corruption you can stand.

And sure, you get many of the elite colleges too, with the professors who think that terrorists in Fallujah are freedom fighters and that the people who worked in the Twin Towers on 9/11 were no better than Nazis—forgive us for not lamenting over this loss.

We get the suburbs, the countryside, and all the other beautiful places that remain unspoiled by liberal hypocrisy and addle-brained social experimentation.

And we'd like a favor, too: please keep your sky-high tax and crime rates, since we're happy to have the corporations and jobs that continue to flee your Blue cities into our Red counties. It's much appreciated, since our unemployment rates, to say nothing of our crime, single-parenting, and illiteracy rates, are far lower than yours.

Oh, and one last thing. We get the U.S. military, too. Did we mention that part? (You may have forgotten that they're volunteers, and most are happy Red state voters.)

Not to worry, though, since we’re sure that Islamic fundamentalist terrorists will be more than happy to reach an accommodation with a society that embraces radical feminism, gay marriage, gun control, hostility to organized religion of any kind, and Salman Rushdie. Good luck with that.

But one day when some misogynist Saudi freak--who no doubt will sneak into your country by strolling over the northern border after a few years sucking on the Canadian welfare system you all admire so much--blows up a couple kilos of plutonium on Sunset Boulevard, go send Sean Penn to ask the French for help. We’ll be busy that day.


The Red States

PS: You can keep the marijuana. You're going to need it, since selling it is one of the last stable industries left in Blue counties.


Thursday, November 06, 2008

Open Letter to the Republicans

This came in from the Email

Dear Red States:

We've decided we're leaving. We intend to form our own country, and we're taking the other Blue States with us. In case you aren't aware, that includes California , Hawaii , Oregon , Florida, Washington , Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan , Illinois and all the Northeast. We believe this split will be beneficial to the nation, and especially to the people of the new country of New California.

To sum up briefly: You get Texas, Oklahoma and all the slave states. We get stem cell research and the best beaches. We get the Statue of Liberty. You get Dollywood. We get Intel and Microsoft. You get WorldCom. We get Harvard. You get Ole' Miss. We get 85 percent of America's venture capital and entrepreneurs. You get Alabama. We get two-thirds of the tax revenue, you get to make the red states pay their fair share.

If marriage is so sacred then ban divorce. Since our aggregate divorce rate is 22 percent lower than the Christian Coalition's, we get a bunch of happy families. Please be aware that Nuevo California will be pro-choice and anti-war, and we're going to want all our citizens back from Iraq at once. If you need people to fight, ask your evangelicals.

With the Blue States in hand, we will have firm control of 80 percent of the country's fresh water, more than 90 percent of the pineapple and lettuce, 92 percent of the nation's fresh fruit, 95 percent of America's quality wines (you can serve French wines at state dinners) 90 percent of all cheese, 90 percent of the high tech industry, most of the U.S. low-sulfur coal, all living redwoods, sequoias and condors, all the Ivy and Seven Sister schools plus Stanford, Cal Tech and MIT.

With the Red States, on the other hand, you will have to cope with 88 percent of all obese Americans (and their projected health care costs), 92 percent of all U.S. mosquitoes, nearly 100 percent of the tornadoes, 90 percent of the hurricanes, 99 percent of all Southern Baptists, virtually 100 percent of all televangelists, Rush Limbaugh, Bob Jones University, Clemson and the University of Georgia. We get Hollywood and Yosemite, thank you.

Additionally, 38 percent of those in the Red states believe Jonah was actually swallowed by a whale, 62 percent believe life is sacred unless we're discussing the death penalty or gun laws, 44 percent say that evolution is only a theory, 53 percent that Saddam was involved in 9/11 and 61 percent of you crazies believe you are people with higher morals then we lefties.

Finally, we're taking the good pot, too. You can have that dirt weed they grow in Mexico

Peace out,

Blue States

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Election Day is here and I Can't Sleep

Hopefully, y'all are sleeping, well I can't and apparently neither can the people of Hart's Location New Hampshire. I don't know what the future holds but Senator Obama won both this town and the village of Dixville Notch.... Is this the beginning of a pattern, or are these just not the patriots Governor Palin keeps talking about?


Monday, November 03, 2008

Here is my guess at the map tomorrow night

<p><strong>><a href=''>2008 Election Contest: Pick Your President</a></strong> - Predict the winner of the 2008 presidential election.</p>

I tend to think that Pennsylvania will actually go to McCain, because of the big mouth of Rep. Murtha, and the western half of the state... I hope I'm wrong, maybe my family in Philly will help Obama pull this one out.

The unfortunate thing I see for the Republicans is that just about every swing state has to go for McCain for him to win.


Sunday, November 02, 2008

Why didn't McCain go after Rev. Wright and Rezko

I find it odd that the media has made a story of Senator McCain not successfully going after some of Senator Obama's past affiliations. There has been a recent spate of news about disgruntled Republicans. The jist of the story is that these relationships between Senator Obama and any of these people might turn the tide in favor of Senator McCain. These are "evil people", with insidious agendas as the story goes, and as soon as the general public learns of these relationships they will begin to question Senator Obama's judgement. He will then become less popular, and Senator McCain will become a more popular choice.

Well, why wouldn't Senator McCain exploit these relationships for political gain? Is it because he is honorable and forthright and doesn't think politics should be done that way? At one point he claimed to want a clean campaign, but his recent advertising has been so negative for so long that I doubt that answer is correct. Is it because these relationships have been exposed for almost 15 month now, and the primary season proved that these lines of attack were not very useful? Maybe, but the election cycle is so late it seems odd that he wouldn't try every line of attack. No, it appears to be a different more significant reason. Senator McCain, who started his campaign as the one who had the better judgement and the was going to be a steward the public could trust no longer wants that issue at the forefront. Why is this a problem issue for McCain?

Reverend Jeremiah Wright vs. Thomas Muthee

Rev. Wright's comments were disgusting to me. To ask G-D to damn this country is reprehensible. He was dismissive of what is the best country in the world. This is a political liability for Senator Obama. Reverend Wright is a problem. He says things that offend most Americans. It's almost sad though that people find his comments surprising.

A friend was on a jury recently. She was telling us about her experience shortly after the case ended. During the deliberations, this woman was surprised that a number of African American jurors were very distrustful of the police. Considering that community's experience with police the reaction while unfortunate makes sense to me. These experiences are the foundation for preachers like Reverend Wright being uncomplimentary to the powers that currently run this country. I would be surprised if Reverend Wright was a rarity in making those types of speeches from the pulpit. The negative sentiments are things I would rather not spoken from a position of influence ; but they are understandable considering the scope of Reverend Wright's experience.

While this is a problem character McCain isn't exploiting it. Why? Why not talk about an affiliation that would be problematic. Make Senator Obama's favorability ratings go down and then the race might tighten up some.

Now let me represent to you, Thomas Muthee and John Hagee (also known as reason #1 and reason #2). Governor Palin has a relationship with Thomas Muthee. Thomas Muthee was a visiting preacher at her pentecostal church. Normally, a visiting clergy would not draw this much attention. But, this clergyman has given at least 10 sermons at her church, so he's been there a few times. The reason this specific preacher has drawn some attention is twofold. First, Governor Palin claims that his prayers helped him when the Governorship. Second, while most people work their way up through seminary or going from smaller to larger congregations, he took a rather unusual route to gain fame. HE PRAYED A WITCH AWAY FROM TOWN.

Now, when someone says they are going to pray for me I say thank you. I figure I'm going to take all the help I can get. I also appreciate anyone's well wishes or positive energy. But, I've never thought or said that some specific person's prayers helped he graduate college or get a job. Governor Palin's problem is the thing that is one of her greatest assets, her believability. I believe her when she says that she thinks his prayers helper her get the governorship. Dear reader, who seems more risky a preacher who is angry about the inequities of the American experience; or a preacher who made his name battling Witches and Demons(Times Online 16 September 2008).

Tony Rezko v. Charles Keating

Even if the relationship with Reverend Wright is not a good line of attack, then there are others. For instance Senator Obama had a questionable association with Tony Rezko, a developer in Chicago. Certainly Senator McCain can use this friendship to tie his opponent to problems with lax banking policies and the current bad feelings toward Wall Street. I had heard of Tony Rezko but didn't really read an accounting of it until very recently.

In brief, in 1990 Rezko offered a job to a young lawyer, Obama. That job offer was declined by Mr. Obama. In 1993 Barack Obama took a job with a law firm representing developers of low income housing. Rezko's firm started working with that firm in 1995. Obama billed 32 hours to the project with Rezko. Rezko was an early supporter of Obama's campaign for state Senate in 1995. While running for U.S. Senate in 2003, Obama held a fundraiser at the Rezko home.

Here comes the tricky part... In December 2005, while Rezko was under federal investigation Obama bought a mansion next to land that Rezko's wife bought. Barackj Obama bought the mansion for 300,000 less than the asking price. Mrs. Rezko paid full price for the lot. Obama then bought part of the vacant lot from Mrs. Rezko for $104,500. Once Rezko was convicted of federal charges Obama gave donations from the Rezkos to charity(Chicago Sun-Times 24 January 2008).

The above link is the article where that information is pulled from. That is a pretty bad relationship. It smacks of influence peddling and gives off the appearance of impropriety. Senator McCain could definitely use this story as a way to go after Senator Obama. Maybe Senator McCain doesn't really want to get into "that one's" personal history, because he is afraid of something in his own closet.

The Keating 5 is a 20 year old story. Here is an excerpt from Wikipedia that will give some background:

The Keating Five were five United States Senators accused of corruption in 1989, igniting a major political scandal as part of the larger Savings and Loan crisis of the late 1980s and early 1990s. The five senators, Alan Cranston (D-CA), Dennis DeConcini (D-AZ), John Glenn (D-OH), John McCain (R-AZ), and Donald W. Riegle (D-MI), were accused of improperly intervening in 1987 on behalf of Charles H. Keating, Jr., chairman of the Lincoln Savings and Loan Association, which was the target of a regulatory investigation by the Federal Home Loan Bank Board (FHLBB). The FHLBB subsequently backed off taking action against Lincoln.

Lincoln Savings and Loan collapsed in 1989, at a cost of over $3 billion to the federal government. Some 23,000 Lincoln bondholders were defrauded and many elderly investors lost their life savings. The substantial political contributions that Keating had made to each of the senators, totalling $1.3 million, attracted considerable public and media attention. After a lengthy investigation, the Senate Ethics Committee determined in 1991 that Alan Cranston, Dennis DeConcini, and Donald Riegle had substantially and improperly interfered with the FHLBB in its investigation of Lincoln Savings, with Cranston receiving a formal reprimand. Senators John Glenn and John McCain were cleared of having acted improperly but were criticized for having exercised "poor judgment".

All five of the senators involved served out their terms. Only Glenn and McCain ran for re-election, and they both succeeded. McCain would go on to become the Republican nominee for president in 2008.

Now here is my question if McCain's business dealing with a banker cost the American public $3 Billion dollars do you think he wants those relationships reexamined? I guess that explains some things. I would imagine that McCain's historical relationships give him pause before he goes after Obama.

Bill Ayers vs. The U.S. Council for World Freedom

There is still a connection that Senator McCain could exploit. Bill Ayers was a radical in the 1960s. He was tied to the Weatherman Underground. This group used violence if necessary to get the country out of Vietnam. He was doing this in the 1960s. Ayers met Obama in the early 1990s, twenty five years later. This could be a remarkably damning association for Senator Obama. Here is a man that wanted to blow things up, that met Barack Obama during the early years of his career. Wow, why isn't the McCain campaign taking advantage of this? This could cause alot of people to question his motives. I wonder what might be stopping this line of attack.
Let me google for a minute. Who else has heard of the U.S. Council for World Freedom? The USCWF was more prominent in the 1980s. It was an organization that got entangled in the Iran-Contra affair.
Now that I'm thinking about it don't get me started on his associate Governor Palin.