Whatchoo Talkin' 'Bout?

Headlines and Commentary for 08.26.05

Five Dead As Katrina Crosses South Florida – Flooded streets resembled canals, sailboats sat on the sand and a highway overpass lay in ruin Friday in the hours after Hurricane Katrina plodded across South Florida. The storm wind then zoomed to 100 mph as Katrina moved over the Gulf of Mexico.

Jeez. Even though early news reports went out about the dangers associated with Katrina, the hurricane caught a lot of people by surprise. After faking everyone out by a decreasing wind, the hurricane cranked back up to triple digit wind-speeds. Five dead, and a family of five remain missing.

Is Anything Wrong With Pat Robertson Making a Killing? – While controversy boils over Pat Robertson’s call for the assassination of Venezuela’s president this week, another controversy is bubbling about one of his ventures. Seems his “age-defying” diet shake isn’t just a philanthropic endeavor anymore. The televangelist is looking to turn a profit from it.

The crucifixion of Pat Robertson continues. He made his bed.

Paris Apartment Building Fire Kills 17 – Fire raced through a crowded, rundown apartment building housing African immigrants early Friday, trapping residents in their sleep and killing 17 people — 14 of them children, officials said. The blaze began after midnight under the ground-floor stairwell of the seven-story building on the corner of a major boulevard in southeast Paris and raged for three hours, injuring 23 people.

If you’ve ever been to Europe, you know that nearly every city there has buildings like these that should be condemned. Unfortunately, they end up occupied by people who need to live in the city but can’t otherwise afford decent, safe housing. They are quite simply, deathtraps; time bombs that continue to tick.

Greenspan Warns Budget Deficits Pose Risk – Creeping trade protectionism and bloated budget deficits pose a risk to the United States’ long-term economic vitality, Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan warned Friday.

The puppet master. How many times has this guy given this speech? And wow, has he had this job for like 100 years or what? Greenspan has power, that’s for sure. The killer job. I wonder if he wakes up the morning before he has to deliver his big money talk and thinks to himself, “just how can I tweak these bastards today?” Genius.

FCC Delays Cutoff of Internet Phone Users – A deadline has been extended that could have left tens of thousands of people without their Internet phone service next week. The Federal Communications Commission said Friday it would delay a Monday deadline for providers of Internet-based phone calls to obtain acknowledgments that their customers understand the problems they may encounter when dialing 911 in an emergency. Providers of the phone service, known as Voice over Internet Protocol or “VoIP,” had been told by the FCC that they should disconnect service by Tuesday to people who had not responded.

Huh? Let me get this straight. VoIP users who might have trouble using their phones to dial 911, need to respond to say they understand this risk, and if they don’t, their phones will be shut off…SO THEY CAN’T CALL 911 AT ALL! That’s priceless.

Judge Orders Gooden Held Without Bail – Dwight Gooden will be jailed without bail until an October hearing, a judge ruled Friday, three days after the former star pitcher fled police during a DUI traffic stop. Gooden, dressed in an orange jail outfit and shackled at the wrists and ankles, looked gaunt in court as he was flanked by his mother and lawyer.

What is it with these guys? “Hey, I’m a famous baseball player, I don’t have to stop for no stinking fuzz.” There’s been, what, 20 or more pro-sports performers just like Gooden who end up in front of a judge? Idiots, all of them.

Power Briefly Cut to 500,000 in California – The failure of a key transmission line was blamed for power outages that left nearly half a million people without air conditioning for about 30 minutes on a day when temperatures in Southern California hovered around 100 degrees. Southern California Edison began shutting off power in areas Thursday after the California Independent System Operator, which operates the electric grid in California, declared a transmission emergency.

Didn’t this stuff happen when Gray Davis was Governor? Arnie, you better nip this in the bud now or you’ll have plenty of time to make movies again. Wait a minute, I’m not sure that’s such a bad thing.

Uzbek Senate Backs U.S. Eviction From Base – The Uzbek Senate on Friday endorsed the government’s decision to evict U.S. troops from an airbase that has been an important hub for American military operations in Afghanistan. Uzbekistan’s ties with Washington have deteriorated since the Bush administration joined other nations in urging an international investigation into the suppression of a May uprising in the eastern Uzbek city of Andijan.

Fine, let’s pack it up. In a year or two, Karimov will be in some kind of trouble and need to call on Mother America and then we can remind him of his little eviction tantrum. Yeah I know, we won’t do that, because America is the great teet from which all in the world suckle. Sigh.

And finally…

Wanted: completely perfect legs – The mayor of one Budapest district wants female City Hall staff to wear miniskirts only if they have “completely perfect legs” and the skirts are no shorter than 2-3 centimeters (about 1 inch) above the knee.