Thursday, September 29, 2005

Blatantly Stolen From the Gateway Pundit

Is there no shame in the world?  Isn’t this stealing or something? 


Folklore: Hurricane Katrina was the worst natural disaster in the country's history

Fact: Hurricane Katrina is the seventh worst natural disaster in US history.

Folklore: Ray Nagin said on September 5th on the Oprah Show, "They're murdering people in there (the Superdome)." (VIDEO HERE)

Fact: Both sources (Louisiana National Guard and State health department officials) said no one had been murdered inside the stadium.

One victim was found in the Superdome but was believed to have been brought there, and one was found at the Convention Center, he added.

Folklore: Ray Nagin said on September 5th on the Oprah Show, "They're raping people in there (the Superdome)." (see above Oprah-Nagin video clip)

Fact: The vast majority of reported atrocities committed by evacuees — mass murders, rapes and beatings — have turned out to be false, or at least unsupported by any evidence.

Folklore: "There are Babies dying!" cried Nagin... "The children!" screamed Oprah. (see above Oprah-Nagin video clip)

Fact: There are no known babies that died in the Superdome.

Folklore: Babies stuffed in freezers.

Fact: Nope.

Folklore: Katrina cannibalism. "Black hurricane victims in New Orleans have begun eating corpses to survive."

Fact: Nope.

Folklore: 30-40 Bodies stuffed inside a freezer at Convention Center. (Hat Tip Donny Baseball)

Fact: Nope. (Hat Tip Acassa)

Folklore: I've got a report there are bodies stacked in the basement of the Superdome. (FEMA doctor)

Fact: National Guard officials put the body count at the Superdome at six, saying the other four bodies came from the area around the stadium.

Six... Of those, four died of natural causes, one overdosed and another jumped to his death in an apparent suicide.

Of the 841 (885 9-27) recorded hurricane-related deaths in Louisiana, four are identified as gunshot victims, Johannessen said.

Folklore: Mayor Nagin on the Today Show, "It wouldn't be unreasonable to have 10,000..." (VIDEO HERE)

Facts: There have been 885 deaths in Louisiana attributed to Hurricane Katrina:

701 are at the makeshift morgue in St. Gabriel

Parish Coroners:

Ascension -- 5
Assumption -- 2
East Baton Rouge – 72
Iberia – 6
Jefferson – 30
Lafourche -- 2
Livingston -- 5
Plaquemines -- 3
St. Charles – 8
St. Tammany – 7
Tangipahoa -- 26
Terrebonne -- 15
West Baton Rouge – 3

Most of the dead from Katrina have been sent to the makeshift morgue in St. Gabriel, Louisiana a town of 5,500, 15 miles south of Baton Rouge.

Folklore: They all drowned!

Fact: Any death that is determined to have been caused as a result of Hurricane Katrina will be counted as a hurricane-related death. For example, this applies to people who drowned as well as people who required life-support but had it cut off and died as a result when power was lost during the storm.

Folklore: Many foreigners perished (96 British citizens are unaccounted for!)

Fact: Only one foreigner was killed in the hurricane, a British woman.

Folklore: The levee was blown up to destroy the black part of town.


Folklore: The federal government was slow to respond.

Fact: "The federal government pretty much met its standard time lines, but the volume of support provided during the 72-96 hour was unprecedented. The federal response here was faster than Hugo, faster than Andrew, faster than Iniki, faster than Francine and Jeanne."

For instance, it took five days for National Guard troops to arrive in strength on the scene in Homestead, Fla. after Hurricane Andrew hit in 2002. But after Katrina, there was a significant National Guard presence in the afflicted region in three.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

On Thirty-Two

And counting.

Sure, some of you are thinking, geez, what’s he complaining about?  Others are thinking, frack, he’s old.  Of course, there are likely others just saying, get on with it pal, you’re wasting my time.

I agree.

Life since thirty-one hasn’t been what I nearly wanted it to be.  Its definitely in the bottom three, perhaps the worst year of my life overall. 

The event of the year has to be when my dad died.  Its easily the lowest point of the year, and also one of the lowest points of my life.  I relied on my father for so many things, but most of all just to talk things out about dealing with being a preacher and being a good Christian example when things aren’t going so well in life.  Dad was always good to talk to, especially during his last years when he was battling cancer.  I think he learned a lot about perseverance, because I certainly learned a lot during those last few years from him.

I was to the hospital twice for as-yet-unknown stomach ailments.  Hospitalized in January for the condition, but no real diagnosis yet.  This greatly concerns me.  No, I don’t think its cancer or anything life threatening at all, but who really wants to go through life with things going on in your own body that you have no clue as to what’s doing on?

Our car’s engine blew up a few months back.  No, its not in the same category as the other two points already made, but its certainly a negative influence. 

Good things have happened though.  I think.  Why is it so hard to remember the good things sometime?  Most times.  Ok, all the time. 

Most folks might argue with this one, but I think I’ve matured this year.  That’s a good thing, though I do still question why all of these nasty aches and pains that keep cropping up have to be connected with it.  I do still like to complain around those who are a bit more seasoned than me.  I think it really makes their day sometimes to say things like, “You haven’t seen anything yet” or “Just wait another 10 years and see what  you’ll be saying then.”  I think it gives them a sense of superiority, and rightly so.  I’m still a whippersnapper in the eyes of many, and always will be.  Absolutely nothing is wrong with that either.

I’ve gone more gray this year.  Positive or negative…you decide!  I have had fewer people think I’m forty though, which is a great improvement.  I don’t quite know how to take it though.  I think my age is finally catching up to my hair and now folks are keeping quiet about it.

The sad thing is that this started out so seriously, but has descended into this.  Of course, that’s the lesson that I continue to learn from year to year, which has once again been confirmed this year also.


Nearly everything can be funny, and life is much less meaningful if it is totally droll and tedious.  We can’t let negativity rule us.  Whether in the spiritual realm, political players, the work environment, or at home, there is no reason to have our panties in a continued bunch over things that we have little control over.  People work themselves into a tizzy over the most meaningless things.  Life is fun.  Its meant to be enjoyed.

Today is my birthday.  Its going to be a lovely Wednesday afternoon here in Northeast Ohio.  I only ask one favor of you all. 


Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Things are getting back to normal

Ahh New Orleans…

Erotic dancers and strippers are entertaining crowds of police, firefighters and military personnel instead of the usual audiences of drunken conventioneers and tourists in Bourbon Street's Deja Vu club, which reopened this week.

Strippers help tease back New Orleans nightlife

Monday, September 26, 2005

From the mind of Frank J.

"As I explained to you before," Scott answered, "Just because someone isn't in the news cycle anymore, doesn't mean he or she ceases to exist."

Its an IMAO thing, check it out.  George signs Jenna and Barbara up for the Marines.

Chewbacca protests!

Check out the first picture in this post:

Do's And Dont's at The Mudville Gazette

We can do better, we promise!

And so goes the newest incarnation of the Republican’s 1994 “Contract With America”.  This time around, the opposing side has crafted a “Contract With Ohio” that reads as such.

  • We pledge to be good stewards of your tax money and help rebuild Ohio as a place where people want to live and work.
  • We pledge to end pay for play politics and regain the trust of the people in their government
  • We pledge to end the culture of corruption that has plagued the state and return government to the people.
  • We pledge to work hard for all Ohioans, not for the special interests.
  • We pledge to listen to all of our constituents, making their priorities our priorities.

Nice little set of pledges, isn’t it?  Now let us compare it with only a part of the 1994 Contract.

  •  FIRST, require all laws that apply to the rest of the country also apply equally to the Congress;
  • SECOND, select a major, independent auditing firm to conduct a comprehensive audit of Congress for waste, fraud or abuse;
  • THIRD, cut the number of House committees, and cut committee staff by one-third;
  • FOURTH, limit the terms of all committee chairs;
  • FIFTH, ban the casting of proxy votes in committee;
  • SIXTH, require committee meetings to be open to the public;
  • SEVENTH, require a three-fifths majority vote to pass a tax increase;
  • EIGHTH, guarantee an honest accounting of our Federal Budget by implementing zero base-line budgeting.

To go further, the Republicans proposed actual bills that would be introduced into Congress to back up these pledges.  Of course, now that we’re removed by 11 years, some of these things have gone by the wayside for bigger fish, but the enticement of the entire Contract With America was that it wasn’t just a bunch of empty promises, but it was a written pledge that not only did they promise to do something, these are the exact things that they would do.  The American citizen was then able to look at their Congressman and say, “Why did you do this? You said right here that you would.”

The “Contract With Ohio” makes no such pledge.  It is nothing more than “Seriously, we can do better.  No really, we can!  Just give us a chance, please?  With sugar on top?”

Saturday, September 24, 2005

A serious pain in my side

Or my stomach more specifically.

I had the distinct pleasure, disregarding circumstances, of sampling the effectiveness of the Windham Emergency Squad service last evening (Thursday night).  Having suffered the aftereffects of a nasty little stomach virus, I finally was able to eat at Fifty Plus on Thursday morning.

(For the uninitiated, Fifty Plus is a Bible study at church for folks who are aged fifty years and up.  If you’re not busy on a Thursday morning at 10:00 and have a couple of hours to burn, come on over!  We shoot the breeze for a bit, sing for a bit, study for a bit, and then have a nice lunch made by members of the group.  Its mighty fine eatin’ I must say.  We’re even going out to eat this week.  Maplewood rocks!)

So the afternoon passed with some odd pains in my stomach, which looked as if I suddenly became a pack a day’er, and not the “Walk a Mile for my Camel” pack either.  At about 8:30, things began taking a turn for the worse, and by 9:30, the pain became debilitating.  Of course, being the man of the house, and having no family close, the Lady of the house and I debated as to what to do, should she drive me to the hospital?  What about the kids?  This would be so much easier if we had family closer, but alas, with a preaching job, that’s not generally available.  Finally, I told her to call the Squad, because I don’t really think I’d have made it to the hospital in the car.  It was less than five minutes from call time to them showing up (I think, I really wasn’t paying a lot of attention at the time).

By this time, I was doubled over in pain on the living room floor, two of our friends were at the house getting the kids to take to their house for the night, two squad guys (sorry guys, I can’t remember your names) were checking me out, and my wife was frantickly running around trying to get everything gathered up for everyone.

I have to admit, I was in some serious pain by this time.  My stomach continued to feel like it was about to explode out of my belly like that creepy scene in Alien, but I was also having some extreme back pain.  It felt as if someone had a steel bar and ran it right between two of my vertebra in the middle of my back.  Lovely feeling. 

So I’m strapped into the bed and in the truck, and at my behest, my wife is going to follow us to the hospital with one of the formerly mentioned friends.  It was at this time (I later learned) that the driver of the Squad commented to my wife that most men insist on their wives doing such or something of the sort.  Normally I’d cry foul, but really, he’s right.  And he’s a good driver too, so I’d best keep my mouth shut.  Because I’ve got an IV in my hand, groovy heart monitor thingy on a finger on the other hand, a blood pressure cuff on my left arm, and the saline is flowing freely!  Ahh life!  Now if it just wasn’t for all of this nasty pain, we’d be having a party.  Of course, I’m also making the guy in back with me nervous, because he’s concerned that I’m having a heart attack or something.

But I’m not.


No pain in the arms, no pain the the shoulders, no pain in the chest, I’m being a pain in the neck, but other than that, and the stomach, oh, and the back, everything’s ok.  And we’re making seriously good time to Ravenna, which is also incredibly cool.  Speeding rocks!  I even got wheeled into the hospital on the bed!  Having called in to the hospital about five minutes before, we expected them to have a place ready to go.  But no!  Surprise for the guy with the terrible horrible pain in his stomach!  You don’t go here.  No?  Where should we go?  I’m not sure, check up front.  So he checked.  No idea. 


I do love being the center of attention sometimes.  This is not one of those times.  Especially when a nurse is making light conversation with the guys trying to unload me into their care.  “You going to get a new battery?”  I’m not a violent guy, but I would have slapped her if I could have at the time.  Ha ha, very funny.  Jokey McJokerson.  Go have some cake while the funny little man writhes in pain.  Seeing pain every day does desensitize you, doesn’t it? 

FINALLY, I was put in a bed, wished well by my two temporary companions, whom I will always appreciate.  A nurse comes in, asks me the same questions that my temporary companions did, tried to get blood from the IV that was installed a few minutes before, to seeming no avail, but finally was able.  My wife arrived shortly thereafter.

Then my moment of lucid sanity.  My pinnacle of triumph.  The doctor walks in. 

Doctors for the most part are very intelligent persons.  They’ve dedicated years of their lives to the study of the human body, how everything works, how this corpuscle moves through that, and this synapse is fired by that stimulant.  Smart folks they are, and purport to be.  My doctor, though, could have worked a little more on his entry line.  To the guy in bed who’s obviously writhing in pain and making no small commotion in the process he says:

“So how are we doing tonight?”

How am I doing?  How am I doing?  You know how I mentioned that the RealPlayer cancellation line made me want to curse?  This was worse.  Being a man of sophistication, I looked at the wise doctor and replied:

“I don’t think that’s the least bit funny.”

He mumbled something about how it wasn’t supposed to be.  Then he went on to ask the same questions that the nurse asked me before, which were the same questions that my two temporary companions had asked me prior to that.  I know that they wrote the answers down somewhere.  Why didn’t he just check those before coming in?  Maybe it was some sort of test for me.  I expect that I passed because he pressed here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here.  Then he pressed here and here and here and here, which hurt very badly, which he realized, but continued pressing.  This man is not a nice man.  Not at all.  He said he’d get me some phenergan and check a few things (I admit, I’m not paying much attention because of the repeated pressings.)  So he walks out with his little assistant.  Poor girl.  She needs a better teacher.

Two minutes after he leaves the room, I can feel the pain leave my back.  It feels like my back was in a vice, and someone quickly released the pressure on the vice.  It was gone within three seconds.  I have no clue why or how.  My stomach still felt bad, but nothing as it was thirty seconds before.  Nothing was wrong. 

And then they brought the pain medication.

Yes, the pain disappeared before they put the meds in my IV.  Not that I told them that or anything, I wasn’t about to go through all of that again that night.  No thank you.  I happily took a nice little nap.  I had gotten to the hospital at 11 pm and was released at 2 am.  Not a bad night.  There was no official diagnosis, but we were led to believe that it had something to do with the stomach virus I had a few days before, combined with some dehydration.  My wife is convinced its gall bladder trouble, considering some abdominal pain I was hospitalized for back in January.  Me?  I’m just happy to be home again.

To my two temporary travelling companions, thank you very much.  I wasn’t necessarily the most willing or best behaved patients to be transported by you, but I am one of the most appreciative.  If everyone else gets nearly the same care that I did, they will do well.  Thank you.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

How to Cancel Real Player Superpass

Cancelling the Realplayer Superpass is one of the toughest things to do.  You call their “cancellation number” and listen to nice elevator music for over an hour.  It would even drive me to cursing.

Do yourself a favor, call the Customer Support number and press #3 to get a live person within a couple of minutes.  They can cancel you with no problem.

The number is 1-866-585-4541.

Call between Monday - Friday, 9:00 am to 9:00 pm - Eastern Time or Saturday - Sunday, 10:30 am to 8:00 pm - Eastern Time.

You will also want to check the comments below because there's a great tip in the second one.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005


No surgery tomorrow, stinking stomach virii (or viruses for all you Garrettsvillians).

Its horrible to feel horrible.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Crime Prevention

Not having researched the point much at all, I’m pleasantly surprised to see a wealth of information concerning Community Policing on the Internet.  Go figure!  Evidently the government has funding and lovely grants in place to facilitate cooperation between police and community volunteers to help the police to be more proactive in their actions rather than simply being reactive to things that have already occurred. 

I seem to recall a while back that some of this has already been implemented in Windham, but I’m not entirely certain where I heard it.  One of the things I hope to do in the next week or two is get together with the Chief (that just sounds cool) to find out some of his thoughts on the PD/Community relationship and how it can be used to clean up things around here.  After some of the comments on the Forum a few months back, tensions can run a bit high I’d guess.

Friday, September 16, 2005

The obligation of a judge

Soon to be Justice Roberts gave an incredibly valuable quote today in his Senate hearing that may have been missed by some.  It is one of the clearest statements about the responsibility of a judge concerning the Constitution and Law that I’ve ever heard.

I had someone ask me in this process, I don't remember who it was, but somebody asked me, you know, "Are you going to be on the side of the little guy," and you obviously want to give an immediate answer, but as you reflect on it, if the Constitution says that the little guy should win, the little guy is going to win in court before me. But if the Constitution says that the big guy should win, well, then the big guy is going to win because my obligation is to the Constitution. That's the oath. The oath that a judge takes is not that I'll look out for particular interests; I'll be on the side of particular interests. The oath is to uphold the Constitution and laws of the United States, and that's what I would do.

Would that all judges attained to that standard. 

Thursday, September 15, 2005


A wise man told me that originality simply means that you forgot where you heard something.

This is kind of original. 

Three women go down to Mexico one night to celebrate college graduation, get drunk, and wake up in jail, only to find that they are to be executed in the morning, though none of them can remember what they did the night before.

The first one, a redhead, is strapped in the electric chair, and is asked if she has any last words. She says, I just graduated from Brigham Young University and believe in the almighty power of God to intervene on the behalf of the innocent."  They throw the switch and nothinghappens. They all immediately prostrate themselves; beg for her forgiveness, and release her.

The second one, a brunette, is strapped in and gives her last words, "I just graduated from the Ohio State Moritz College of Law and I believe in the power of justice to intervene on the part of the innocent."  They throw the switch and, again, nothing happens. Again, they all immediately prostrate themselves; beg for her forgiveness, and release her.

The last one, a blonde, is strapped in and says, "Well, I'm from the University of Michigan and just graduated with a degree in Electrical Engineering, and I'll tell ya right now, y'all ain't gonna electrocute nobody if you don't plug this thing in."


That stinking guy hasn't written anything for three days

So nyah.

But the Indians have been on a tear and have been taking up so much of my time!

And the house needs cleaned!

But you need content!  Content!

On the other hand, I’m not making any money here.

The unwashed masses need your studied guidance!

Well, you may have a point there.

Then come back!

Honestly, not much has been going on around here lately.  I’m not all that jazzed about last names in football, and talking much about the election more than a month away seems to be overkill.

There must be something…

I do have this surgery coming up.

Well, that sounds kind of interesting.

Not really, the doc is hacking up part of my nose so the wife doesn’t complain about being woken up by this random chainsaw buzzing.


Oh yeah, its heredetery.  You could literally hear my dad’s snoring *outside* of the house.  It was quite impressive.  At my best only people downstairs can hear me.

Well, that’s not good.

Yeah, the doctor says about the same thing.  Of course, he makes me pay about $75.00 a pop to say it, but still.

I’ll say it for a mere $25.00.

How bad is it that my inner voice is now requesting compensation?

I’ll do psychiatry for an extra fifteen bucks.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Because Ohio Democrats Can't Win State Elections

Better known as Reform Ohio Now.

It seems that Ohio may once again take center stage on this coming election day because of four Amendments that are going to be voted upon.  Be watching the coverage of these Amendments, because they are a massive change in Ohio election law, and may not be the best thing for the state. 

Of course, the short version is “Its a power grab”. 

The longer version looks inot the fact that the vast majority of supporters of Reform Ohio Now are of the Democratic persuasion.  Nothing wrong with that per se, but these aren’t your run-of-the-mill, drinking coffee at the restaurant Democrats.  These are the folks who a bit more extreme in their desire to be running things. 

They’re out of power in Ohio.  They’ve been out of power for a few years now.  They don’t like it.  They really don’t have much hope of taking back the State Senate or House, or perhaps even the governorship anytime soon, and that’s even considering the recent boneheaded moves of the current governor.  In lieu of changing the minds of Ohioans, they’ve decided that the best course of action is to make the election districts more favorable to them, under the guise of making it more fair. 

No one has raised a serious complaint of this system in the many years that it has been law.  Its always been known casually as a benefit of being elected to office.  Its part of the incumbent advantage.  The Democrats took wild advantage of it while they were in power in the 80’s.  Now that the tide has shifted, all of the sudden its a broken system that only they can save, and they would if it wasn’t for those pesky Republican kids.

In the coming weeks, we’ll break down each Amendment and discuss their strengths and weaknesses. 

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Four Years

It has been four years, yet a seeming lifetime, since the tragic day of the first attack on the US since Pearl Harbor.  We think back and feel the pain and confusion of that day, yet perhaps we’ve lost a little bit of that determination that resulted from it.  Our lives continue on, day by day without much change in the routine.  Even yet, the majority of americans, though affected by Hurricane Katrina, go about their daily lives without fear of being killed by some random attack.  This is a testimony to the men and women who have dedicated their lives to protecting us.  We cannot express our thanks to them nearly enough.

May we never forget.  Ever vigilant.  Ever free.

Michelle Malkin's roundup

The Shape of Days roundup - not so kind, yet disturbingly accurate.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Debunking some "Christian" viewpoints

Well, there are some Christian-type folks making their way into the fringe media circles making some pretty outrageous claims concerning Hurricane Katrina.  Without going into a great deal of textual study (which would be incredibly interesting though, believe me), let me just go ahead and say this.

If God was pronouncing a judgment on New Orleans for things such as Mardi Gras, Girls Gone Wild, and the like, why did he not flood the French Quarter beyond recognition?  It was one of the areas that has comparatively light damage.

Though the Old Testament certainly shows that God has every ability to involve himself personally in the activities of mankind, such as eradicating people who are so far gone in sin that there is no way of coming back, the New Testament does not offer the same picture.  Basically, God’s methodology has changed with the onset of the New Covenant.  Jesus himself stated that he came not to condemn the world, but to save it.  In essense, the intention of God is to deal with mankind on the individual level rather than in the national sense. 

But the charge comes, “Why didn’t God stop this great devastation taking place?”  Honestly, I can understand why someone would ask this question.  Most people believe that God is a loving God who cares for man and that seems to stand in contrast to a God who allows these terrible things to take place.  But in that statement is the point.  God allows these things to take place.  He doesn’t cause them.  He isn’t sitting out over the Atlantic Ocean stirring the pot so that two weeks later three states are forced to deal with utter devastation.  Nature plays out in the same form as it has for thousands of years.  Sometimes we’re “lucky” and the westward winds kill the storm.  Sometimes it goes in the other direction.  Yes, it does sound a bit pragmatic, but I think in this case, its called for.

Certainly I believe that we could all use a good dose of wake-up medicine.  The freedoms granted by our country lend themselves to people making choices that go against the commands of Christ (umm, that’s the long definition of “sin”).  But today, sin is not rammed down the throats of anyone to the degree that we have no choice in the matter.  That seems to be the case in those nations that were destroyed in the Old Testament.  It is pervasive in our culture though, and something that we should recognize.

Any questions class?

Friday, September 09, 2005

Its funny

And you know it.

Bush Causes Hurricane!

You may be wondering

I’m simply fascinated by the various and sundry reactions from both my side of the aisle (the good guys) and the other side of the aisle (the idiotarians) concerning this completely natural disaster.  We have a tendency to be so shortsighted when it comes to these sorts of things.  As referenced in a post earlier, it seems that our natural tendency is to blame someone. 

When the tsunami hit in the Indian Ocean in late 2004, there was an outcry concerning the “slow” relief effort of the United States, which lasted until the scope of the disaster was fully known, at which time, the government adjusted their financial support.  After Hurricane Andrew in the early 90’s, there was an uproar about the slow response of the government to aid those who had their lives uprooted in Florida.  People complained during the followup to Hurricane Jeanne just last year:

"This is just too much, this is just unbelievable," said Gladys Caldwell, who knew just how long she had waited for water and ice at a Fort Pierce distribution station.

"Two hours and 18 minutes."

We shouldn’t be surprised by the massive negative reaction of people in consideration of the scale of this disaster.  Our country hasn’t seen anything like this natural disaster in our lifetimes (at least my 31 years of memories).  This goes so far beyond what we have considered.  Some cry out that there were warnings about levees and preparedness should have been better.  I remember watching a television show on the History Channel (wait, was it TLC?) about how that scientists were just waiting for a huge hurricane to his New Orleans square.  The thing is, we thought we were prepared.  We thought we had it under control.  All of us think that about nearly everything in our own lives.  “I’ve got it covered, no problem,” we say to ourselves.  We look at others and say, “I’d have never done that, this is what I would have done,” thinking all the while that our way is best, simply because its our way.  We all view the world through our own special-made rose colored glasses.

So what should we do?  Should we disband FEMA?  Make it its own governmental bureaucracy outside of the Department of Homeland Security?  How about making some really cool origami pieces while we wait?  Remember, no less than the Washington Post proclaimed FEMA as “well-schooled in post-disaster maneuvering” following Hurricane Frances



You may not like James Lileks.  You may not know James Lileks.  I like what he says.  I like how he says it.  Nyah.


Playing the Blame Game

Mere Comments has a wonderful post about the desire of humans to be masters of all that they see.  Wilfred McClay makes some interesting observations about the reactions to Hurricane Katrina and the President’s, and others’, responsibility in the rescue and relief effort.

Check it out.

Again, I make no particular judgments about this particular event. We will know more about what really happened in a few weeks or so. But many people will not care about the specifics; the important thing will be that SOMEONE IS TO BLAME. This points to an increasingly familiar pattern of expectation, which only grows as our scientific knowledge and technological wizardry grow. It parallels our society's growing rage at a medical system, including the pharmaceutical industry, that has been remarkably skillful, and more skillful in each passing year, in successfully addressing a range of diseases and conditions that were formerly thought to be untreatable. But modern medicine cannot banish the existence of risk. Which is why the system is all too often a casualty of the very expectations it raises. There is a sense in which, the more things become mastered, the more intolerable are those remaining areas in which our mastery is not yet complete…

But I do think we would do well to recognize that much of the intense and free-floating anger and unhappiness that pervade so much of our prosperous world may derive precisely from the expectations that our successes in mastering our physical environment have generated. The effects of the hurricane would be much easier to live with, were we not so intent upon convincing ourselves that some human culprits caused it. We might want to pause and reflect upon how little mastery we really have---least of all, of ourselves.


Thursday, September 08, 2005

The Wild Card

The Cleveland Indians are presently in the lead for the Wild Card berth in the American League.  Didja know that?

John Donovan has an excellent article on Yahoo/ about what Mark Shapiro has done for the Tribe.  I remember when he tore down the team and the mass exodus in the fanbase for the Indians.  It wasn’t all that long ago, 2001 to be exact.  They’re back now, and at the exact time as was promised.  I wonder if Mark plays the lottery?  Maybe I should give him a call and head to Vegas.

Right on schedule, by John Donovan

So you wanna be a cook?

Phil_G is here to help you out.

Check out his flickr page.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Its all Bush's fault!

Blanco's 24 Hour Delay

Mississippi versus Louisanna

The National Guard Response

Apocalypse Now in New Orleans


The Cavalry

The CoverageTimeline


Notes notes notes for the August Village Council meetings

Yes folks, that’s plural.  Meetings.  And Notes is plural too!  This English lesson is brought to you by the letter 12.


Not in any way to be construed as official type documentation, because my secretary, Miss Lexmark X1150 has a bad tendency to make mistakes.  Bad Lexmark!  Bad!

August 9, 2005 - 7:00 P.M. At 7: 10 P.M., Mayor Starkey called the Meeting to order and led the Pledge of Allegiance.

Roll Call: C. James Moore - present Marian Garrett - present Robert Donham - present Scott Garrett - present Jodi Minotti - present Absent: Francis Ballard

Minutes of the July 12, 2005 Regular Council Meeting and July 25, 2005 Continued Council Meeting were presented and reviewed by Council. Jim Moore made a motion to accept the minutes as corrected. Second, S. Garrett. Ayes: J. Moore, M. Garrett, S. Garrett, R. Donham, J. Minotti. Nays: none. Motion carried.

Shelley Craine presented the Financial Report for the month of March 2005. These were not found to be presented prior to this meeting. Adjustments have been made into the UAN system to bring the loan payment amounts up to date (Water Debt, Sewer Debt and General Fund Debt payments). A partial report for June 2005 is presented. The June 2005 Bank Reconciliation cannot be run because the system is not in balance. The Dangling Debt balance of $44,000 has not been found completely and has not been posted.

Marian Garrett made a motion to accept the March 2005 Reconciliation with a total of $329,409.92 in all funds. Second, R. Donham. Ayes: J. Moore, M. Garrett, S. Garrett, R. Donham, J. Minotti. Nays: none. Motion carried.

Marian Garrett made a motion to accept the March 2005 Payment Summary totaling $. Second, S. Garrett. Ayes: J. Moore, M. Garrett, S. Garrett, R. Donham, J. Minotti. Nays: none. Motion carried.

Marian Garrett made a motion to accept the June 2005 Payment Summary totaling $153,060.04. Second, S. Garrett. Ayes: J. Moore, M. Garrett, S. Garrett, R. Donham, J. Minotti. Nays: none. Motion carried.

Shelley noted remarked that the Village Council Minutes for 2003 and 2004 have been recompiled from "borrowed" records (from the Mayor and the Police Chief) and are now on file in the Village Office. These records were not found to be in the Village Office, nor on the Village Computer when she took over in December, 2004. These public documents were collected from other sources noted above.

Council President's Report - nothing to report.

The Police and Fire Department reports for July, 2005 were presented by Jim Moore.

Mayor Jess Starkey reported that a letter had been received from the Township Trustees requesting permission to run a storm drain in the Village Park at no cost to the Village. J Moore moved to accept. Second, M. Garrett. Ayes: J. Moore, M. Garrett, S. Garrett, R. Donham, J. Minotti. Nays: none. Motion carried.

The Personnel Committee report was given by Jim Moore. Two (2) meetings have been held with the Township Trustees and the Township Clerk concerning an operating agreement and an Exploratory Committee to report back to the Village and Township about a Joint Fire District. Exchanges of proposals have been made. There will be a brief Executive Session at the end of the meeting to discuss negotiations and any Fire District Legal Issues.

A request was received to increase the Utility Clerks' hours from 38 to 40 per week, thus making this a full-time position with all benefits. This will have to be presented formally in an Ordinance at the next Regular Council Meeting. The current clerk does not intend to take Health Insurance benefits.

The Finance Committee report was presented by Marian Garrett. She presented Ordinance No. O-2005-18 declaring it necessary in order to continue to provide services in the Village to increase the Village Income Tax by .5% effective January 1, 2006 for a period of five (5) years ending December 31,2010. J. Moore made a motion to suspend the rules to enable the Ordinance to be voted upon at the meeting. Second, M. Garrett. Ayes: J. Moore, M. Garrett, S. Garrett, R. Donham, J. Minotti. Nays: none. Motion carried.

Marian, then made a motion to adopt the Ordinance as presented. Second, J. Moore. Ayes: J. Moore, M. Garrett, S. Garrett, R. Donham, J. Minotti. Nays: none. Motion carried.

She presented Ordinance No. O-2005-19 declaring it necessary to place a .5% General Income Tax increase on the November 8, 2005 Election ballot, said increase to be effective January 1, 2006 for a period of five (5) years ending December 31, 2010 and notifying the Portage County Board of Elections to cause notice of the Election. . J. Moore made a motion to suspend the rules to enable the Ordinance to be voted upon at the meeting. Second, S. Garrett. Ayes: J. Moore, M. Garrett, S. Garrett, R. Donham, J. Minotti. Nays: none. Motion carried.

Marian, then made a motion to adopt the Ordinance as presented. Second, R. Donham. Ayes: J. Moore, M. Garrett, S. Garrett, R. Donham, J. Minotti. Nays: none. Motion carried.

The Second Reading of Ordinance No. O-2005-12 to require owners of Rental properties (both Commercial and Residential) to provide information as to tenants and occupants. First reading was at the July 12, 2005 Council meeting. This will become effective October 1, 2005.

A large group of Then and Now Certificates in the amount of $61,696.39 were presented. M.Garrett moved to approve. Second, S. Garrett. Ayes: J. Moore, M. Garrett, S. Garrett, R. Donham, J. Minotti. Nays: none. Motion carried.

Marian suggested mat we set a tentative date for a Pre-Audit Engagement Meeting with the State Auditor's Office in advance of the 2004 Audit for Thursday, August 25, 2005 at 7 PM. Shelley will check with Ed Ranee from the State Auditor's Office to see if his schedule permits this request. The Finance Committee members will be working on the 2004 Financial Records to get them properly prepared for Audit.

Marian will check with the Portage Co Auditor's Office on the format of the July 2005 Planning Budget. Jim stated that the Council needs some type of Composite Page so the Council can make sense of the Budget.

Marian reviewed the transfers between Funds Request for the following: $41,4000.00 from Fund 5101 Water Operating to Fund 5721 Water Debt; $20,000.00 from Fund 5761 Water Reserve to Fund 5721 Water Debt; and $10,000.00 from Fund 5201 Sewer Operating to Fund 5741 Sewer Debt to cover all payments. M. Garrett moved to approve these transfers. Second, J. Moore. Ayes: J. Moore, M. Garrett, S. Garrett, R. Donham, J. Minotti. Nays: none. Motion carried.

Marian presented a request for the approval of Village Council for Village Administrator Kevin Knight to advertise for bid for a new 1-ton Diesel 4x4 Dump Truck with an 8 ft. bed, Meyers Snow Plow and a Tailgate Salt Spreader. The Truck is to be financed with a $1.00 buy-out at lease end. Kevin has completed the Bid Specs and has submitted them to Village Solicitor Mark Manlove for review. The payment will be taken from the Permissive Motor Vehicle License Tax Fund and the Street Maintenance Fund. Mark suggested that that a Bid Bond be included (which
Kevin noted that it is) and that the Length of the lease should be stated. M. Garrett moved to approve. Second, S. Garrett. Ayes: J. Moore, M. Garrett, S. Garrett, R. Donham, J. Minotti. Nays: none. Motion carried. :

Shelley updated the Council on the Bureau of Workers Compensation amount due. Using the actual forms from the BWC, a 20% discount reduction was realized lowering the payment to around $109,000.00. We have to pay 25 % of that amount upfront and send a letter requesting a payment plan.

The Safety Committee report was presented by Jim Moore. Minutes of the August 2, meeting were given to Council members. A demonstration and video was given by the Police Dept. on the new Tasers that were purchased.

Jim mentioned that the Windham Police Dept. would be joinging the New Drug Task force for Portage County. The Dept. will join at a cost of $5,000 and the use of one (1) Windham Police Officer to participate. He will need Council approval when the Task Force is formed in order to join. The Jurisdiction of this Task Force will be County-wide.

Jim reviewed a request from Chief DeSalvo to add four (4) new Reserve Recruits to the Police force who will become Part-time Officers later when their Volunteers time is completed. J. Moore moved to accept. Second, S. Garrettt. Ayes: J. Moore, M. Garrett, S. Garrett, R. Donham, J. Minotti. Nays: none. Motion carried.

Jim reviewed a request from Chief DeSalvo that a document that was presented in February 28, 2005 concerning a number of Police Dept. issues be read into Council Minutes. A copy is attached to the official Minutes in the Village Office. M. Garrett moved to approve. Second, J. Moore. Ayes: J. Moore, M. Garrett, S. Garrett, R. Donham, J. Minotti. Nays: none. Motion carried.

The Utilities Committee reported was given by Scott Garrett. He gave a brief update on USDA and CDBG grants/loan for the East Center Street new Sewer Line, mentioning that final approval of the Loan is pending.

An update was given on the discussion to require the Landlords to pay their tenant's utility bills as of January 1, 2006.

Kevin Knight noted that the Water Tower Improvements are still being worked on, but are behind schedule.

Streets and Sidewalks Committee - no report given.

The Village Building and Properties Committee report was given by Jodi Minotti. She presented the minutes of the August 3, 2005 meeting. It was discussed that the garbage and garbage cans in the Project and the Single Family homes. The committee would like to see these areas cleaned up.

Planning and Zoning Committee - no report given.

Jodi Minotti presented the Parks and Recreation Committee report. She extended her appreciation to Kevin for the improved Park Conditions. It was noted that the Villager gave good coverage to the OGSO tournament.

The Economic Development and Long Range Planning Committee report was given by Marian Garrett. She mentioned that she has been in contact with Joyce Gray from RCAP and that a Good Start meeting will be held this fall.

The Records Commission report was given by Marian Garrett. She sought permission to seek approval from Council to submit a list to the Ohio Historical Society for the destruction of Utility and Income Tax records. M. Garrett moved to approve. Second, S. Garrett. Ayes: J. Moore, M. Garrett, S. Garrett, R. Donham, J. Minotti. Nays: none. Motion carried.

Village Solicitor - no report given.

Other business - Kevin reported that the Street Maintenance Dept will be moving into a building near the Water Dept.

The Council recognized the following Guests: Tom Douglas from Horn Road mentioned that something needs to be done about the Noise and Speeding problems on Horn Road.

J. Moore made a motion to go into Executive Session at 8:28 PM. Second, R. Donham. Ayes: J. Moore, M. Garrett, S. Garrett, R. Donham, J. Minotti. Nays: none. Motion carried.

J. Moore made a motion to return to Regular Session at 8:45 PM. Second, M. Garrett. Ayes: J. Moore, M. Garrett, S. Garrett, R. Donham, J. Minotti. Nays: none. Motion carried.

M. Garrett made a motion to adjourn the meeting. Second, J. Moore. Ayes: J. Moore, M. Garrett, S. Garrett, R. Donham, J. Minotti. Nays: none. Motion carried. The meeting was adjourned at 8:47 PM.

August 22, 2005 - 7:00 P.M. At 7:02 P.M., Mayor Starkey called the Meeting to order and led the Pledge of Allegiance.

Roll Cal1: C. James Moore - present Marian Garrett - present Robert Donham - present Scott Garrett - present Jodi Minotti - present Francis Ballard - present

M. Garrett entered a motion to waive the Council fee for the Special Meeting. Second, J. Moore. Ayes: J. Moore, M. Garrett, R. Donham, S. Garrett, J. Minotti, F. Ballard. Nays: None. Motion carried.

A Resolution authorizing the Village Fiscal Officer of the Village of Windham to advertise for bids on the new Sewer line Construction based upon the specifications prepared by Arcadis/FPS for the East Center Street Waste Water Improvement Project and Declaring and Emergency was presented by Jim Moore. The first advertisement will be 8/28/2005, second advertisement will be 9/4/2005, the Pre-Bid meeting will be 9/9/2005, and the Bid Opening on 9/23/2005. Jim noted that this has been a long process beginning in 1998. J. Moore entered a motion to accept. Second, S. Garrett. Ayes: J. Moore, M. Garrett, R. Donham, S. Garrett, J. Minotti, F. Ballard. Nays: None. Motion carried.

Jim presented a document that indicated the Mayor's authorization to proceed with this meeting. A copy of this document will be given to each Council Member.

Other Business - Francis Ballard announced that due to continuing health problem she is notifying Council that she will not be running for another term, but will finish out the current term.

F. Ballard made a motion to adjourn meeting at 7: 25 PM. Second, S. Garrett. Ayes: J. Moore, M. Garrett, R. Donham, S. Garrett, J. Minotti, F. Ballard. Nays: None. Motion carried.


Have at thee!

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Looking to help?

The Church of Christ out here on Wolf Road is going to be sending funds to a local church in one of the hurricane affected areas in about two weeks.  We decided rather than to just send it to the Red Cross, we would find a small congregation that needs help that we can directly send the funds to.  Once communication gets better, in a few days likely, we will be in contact with various churches in the Mississippi/Louisanna areas and find where the need is greatest.  If anyone would like to help out, let me know or drop a check in the mail. 

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Do you realize

Its just been over 100 Hours since Katrina hit?

That’s The Anchoress by the way.

Quote of the day goes to Varifrank

To hear some on the left, it’s as if George himself created the Hurricane. And the people on the right are also working overtime blaming the Mayor and Governor of Louisiana. And for gods sake if I hear one more “Christian” blame the gays and Mardi Gras, I’m going to come apart at the seams.


Thursday, September 01, 2005

The Search for Good

Michele Catalano from A Small Victory is on the search for any good news from New Orleans.

Part one 

Part two