Tuesday, September 20

Fom the Washington Post:

Early last month, the bureau's Washington Field Office began recruiting for a new anti-obscenity squad. Attached to the job posting was a July 29 Electronic Communication from FBI headquarters to all 56 field offices, describing the initiative as "one of the top priorities" of Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales and, by extension, of "the Director."
"I guess this means we've won the war on terror," said one exasperated FBI agent, speaking on the condition of anonymity because poking fun at headquarters is not regarded as career-enhancing. "We must not need any more resources for espionage."

Monday, September 19

Energy cops, and really, all kinds of cops, it seems, abound in England. Nobody's Business has a list of crazy laws across the pond that make me scratch my head in wonder... though maybe I only wonder how long it will take before we have such tyranny of pettiness in the US...
Go ahead and share your "favorite" petty laws in the comments section, so we know you're out there.

Thursday, September 15

I have been into the Frekonomics blog lately, and I dig their self-experimenting guest blogger of late, Seth Roberts.

Sunday, September 11

And so on this fourth anniversary of 9/11, the war against terrorism has provided 1895 soldiers' deaths, between 24,680 and 27,930 civilian deaths, Osama Bin Laden still has not been captured, terrorism attacks have increased, and Bush's approval rating is 38%. Way to go in the fight against terrorism!

And our hearts go to all the victims and victims' survivors on all counts.

Saturday, September 10

Patrick Doherty on rebuilding New Orleans: Instead of reinforcing our failing 50-year experiment with the low-density suburb, the reconstruction of metropolitan New Orleans should be seen as an opportunity to correct the problems that not only caused the human poverty and physical vulnerability of this city, but to lead the way forward for all American metropolitan areas. ... This will entail integrating three concepts into a metropolitan redevelopment plan negotiated with the residents of New Orleans. The first is smart growth. The second is transit-oriented development. The third is distributed power generation.

Friday, September 9

"It is customary for followers of a cult not to know the real life story of their hero, the historical truth ... It is not surprising that Guevara’s contemporary followers, his new post-communist admirers, also delude themselves by clinging to a myth—except the young Argentines who have come up with an expression that rhymes perfectly in Spanish: 'Tengo una remera del Che y no sé por qué,' or 'I have a Che T-shirt and I don’t know why.'

Tuesday, September 6

From Meet the Press, Jefferson Parish President Andre Broussard blaming FEMA, the federal agency in charge of disaster relief:

[State and local officials like me were told] every single day, "The cavalry's coming," on a federal level, "The cavalry's coming, the cavalry's coming, the cavalry's coming." I have just begun to hear the hoofs of the cavalry. The cavalry's still not here yet, but I've begun to hear the hoofs, and we're almost a week out.

Let me give you just three quick examples. We had Wal-Mart deliver three trucks of water, trailer trucks of water. FEMA turned them back. They said we didn't need them. This was a week ago. FEMA--we had 1,000 gallons of diesel fuel on a Coast Guard vessel docked in my parish. The Coast Guard said, "Come get the fuel right away." When we got there with our trucks, they got a word. "FEMA says don't give you the fuel." Yesterday--yesterday--FEMA comes in and cuts all of our emergency communication lines. They cut them without notice. Our sheriff, Harry Lee, goes back in, he reconnects the line. He posts armed guards on our line and says, "No one is getting near these lines." Sheriff Harry Lee said that if America--American government would have responded like Wal-Mart has responded, we wouldn't be in this crisis.

(thanks to Hit&Run)

Saturday, September 3

Leon Wynter's commentary yesterday on All Things Considered was one of the most insightful takes I've yet heard on the Katrina disaster (and by disaster I mean the socio-economic-racial disaster, not just the physical one).