I read a story at The Observer linked from Daily Rotten today about dolphins, trained by the US Navy, with poisonous darts attached to their bodies that they can fire "to shoot terrorists and pinpoint spies underwater" that have escaped into the wild as a result of Hurricane Katrina. Sounds great ... but I call Bullshit! So do the folks over at Wizbang! Next they'll tell us it's really sharks with frickin laser beams attached to their heads. Dr. Evil had this to say.
Hurricane Rita has weakened to a category 3 hurricane. There are now reports of at least three levee breaches in New Orleans, and an official report that there is flooding in the 9th ward of New Orleans. LA Governor Blanco's advice to those who have opted to stay in New Orleans is:
"Perhaps they should write their Social Security numbers on their arms with indelible ink."Not much has changed in the latest NOAA Rita warning page. The National Weather Service Office in Houston has a contantly updated page available at http://www.srh.noaa.gov/hgx/ and a statement posted at http://www.srh.noaa.gov/productview.php?pil=HGXHLSHGX. All of the local statements from the National Hurricane Center can be found at http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/text/index_hls3.shtml You can also get a listing of all the New Orleans evacuations on the NOLA blog at http://www.nola.com/weblogs/localbreakingnews/
According to analysts, Rita is beginning to feel the effects of land and appears to be weakening temporarily, while attempting to rebuild. While South Texas is largely breathing a sigh of relief, those people still in New Orleans are not faring so well with reports of more flooding with water flowing over "repaired" levees. I am keeping my fingers crossed that Rita weakens further before hitting land. We can already see the cloud ring bands here in Austin. I'll try and take some pics later and get em posted up in the gallery.
Reports are coming in that traffic out of Houston is moving at a rate of about 7 miles per hour. I have heard numerous first-hand accounts that the freeways are completely clogged in all directions. I have family coming to Austin from Houston, and about a dozen co-workers have family coming as well. There are numerous reports that cars are running out of gas or breaking down which impedes the process even further. If you want to know if you are in an evacuation zone, you can check this evacuation zone map from The City of Houston's Hurricane info page. It also looks like The Storm Track is taking a severe beating. You can now reach Storm Track via the Coral Cache at http://thestormtrack.com.nyud.net:8090/ If you're in Texas and need more info, try looking at the Texas DPS Hurricane Rita info page. If that site gets swamped, you can try accessing through the Coral Cache at http://www.txdps.state.tx.us.nyud.net:8090/dem/rita_index.htm
Storm track has a new post up with the latest model of Hurricane Rita. According to that model, Austin will put the 50-100 miles off the center Saturday afternoon. Lets all hope and pray this hurricane fizzles before it hits land. Rita has already been recorded as a category 5 and the 3rd strongest hurricane in the Atlantic. More local info in the extended section.
The Race Track on 1825 that was recently purchased by Texaco has lost it's credit card/debit card system. They claim it's a "glitch" but I would dare to guess that the system has been disabled remotely knowing that people will pay cash for their gas. This helps the station maximize profits as it doesn't have to pay their bank the discount rate for processing cards. Dirty ... but brilliant ... All the local gas stations had lines of people waiting to fill up on my way home from work Local news stations are reporting that stores are running out of disaster supplies. And I was going to buy a couple cases of MRE's last weekend ... wish I had now ... Laurence over at This Blog is Full Of Crap has put up a before/after photo gallery for Rita in Houston. I'm praying the photos aren't that dramatic.
Over at StormTrack they have a very good post with Texas evacuation information gathered from various sources. There is also a good post on Hurricane Rita there with frequently updated information. There are already rumors floating around the internet that Rita has already become a Category 5 hurricane, but no official word yet. If you have family in South Texas, now's the time to start getting them out!
Don't get stuck on stupid! That's the new catchphrase coined by Lt. General Russel Honore today during a press conference with New Orleans mayor Nagin. During the press conference, where the mayor was attempting to get details of preparations for Rita, after being berated by reporters about Katrina, Lt. General Honore stepped forward and set the reporters straight. The Political Teen has the video and Radio Blogger has the transcript and an mp3.
For more info on this true American bad-ass, visit:
PS. I added the bit in the Wikipedia page about the "Don't get stuck on stupid" quote. Score!
I've been listening to MC Frontalot quite a bit lately. He's a nerdcore rapper. He raps about nerdcore rap, Star Wars conventions (adult themed), Germans, women, crime, and of course himself. Check it out. For the vast majority, it's very family safe.
Bragadaccio is Monica's favorite. I'm not a fan of his politics, but it doesn't keep me from being a fan of his music. You can purchase his new CD Nerdcore Rising by visiting his store on http://www.frontalot.com/ My copy is on it's way.
Check out this video from The Political Teen of Minister Hashim Nzinga on Hannity & Colmes today. I thought it would be appropriate to give you all a bit of background on this whacko. It appears he has a very common theme. Reparations for blacks. Don't believe me? Read the 9 local objectives of the New Black Panther Party. And if that's not enough, read their 10 point program. And for another laugh read the membership application where one all important field is missing ... race. And Fox News just gave these asshats a national voice ... thanks
Check out this video at the Political Teen. Mayor Nagin took it like a man, and accepted his part in reponsibility for failures in the response to Katrina. I now have a refreshed sense of respect for the man that he can stand up and admit when things went wrong. It's definitely a step in the right direction. When will Blanco admit her part?
Paul over at WizBang! has been on a roll lately. First, there is this post where Paul attempts to illuminate that personal responsibility should take a priority over reliance on the government. Then there is this news flash where Paul points out the obvious fact that white people were affected by Katrina. Duh!
This prompted me to reply with the following comment:
I love it ... it's sooo classic. Someone shows up and posts lots of tiny little snipey posts. Personal responsibility? Great. Bush is evil. The liberal idealogy of socialism failed? Look at Europe, healthcare is free. Dems love minorities during the runup to an election, but leave them to die when it rains. Oh yeah? Look at the civil rights acts ... so on and so forth.
Not everyone can fend for themselves, and those people must be attended to. Nobody is arguing that. The whole point of this post is this. Don't like your situation? Do something to change it. Don't sit around waiting for the government to make your life better. Do something about it.
In 1998, I was a die-hard liberal working at a topless bar hustling pimps, deadbeats, and strippers for cash. I wasn't happy with my situation, and I did something about it. I quit my job at the topless bar, and went to work for $400 a week at a tiny ISP. Now? I make well above the national average in salary, and still don't have a college degree. How? I did something about my own situation. I realized that the Democrats were never going to do anything substantiative to help topless bar DJ's, and did something about it myself. Now I'm an upper middle-class evil white republican who provides for his own family, and doesn't rely on any government assistance.
When I heard refugees were coming to Austin, I went and donated $1000 of diabetic supplies. Why? Because I was compelled to help. I was compelled by my own compassion for those in need, and empowered by my own fortitude and good fortune.
I believe that the victims of this horrible disaster should look at this as an opportunity. As horrible and cold as it may sound, this is an opportunity. An opportunity to start over, and build a new life. We are all here to help, and want everyone to not only recover to where they were before, but to come out better. Stronger. Happier. More self-sufficient. Take this opportunity for help and make a better life. You survived! Consider it a triumph, not a defeat!
I've updated my site layout, and switched content management systems. I've dumped PostNuke and switched to MovableType. I had to pay a bit of cash for it, but I really like it. It's a much stronger publishing platform that allows me to run multiple sites or "blogs" as they are called. You can still get to my photo gallery by clicking the link on the right. Please let me know what you think of the new layout. I know it's kinda thin right now, but I'll be adding more.