Whatchoo Talkin' 'Bout?

Headlines and Commentary for 08.30.05

Hundreds feared dead in Hurricane Katrina – Helicopters plucked frantic survivors from rooftops of inundated homes on Tuesday and officials said hundreds of people may have died in Hurricane Katrina’s attack on the U.S. Gulf Coast, which sent a wall of water into Mississippi and flooded New Orleans. The economic cost of the hurricane’s rampage could be the highest in U.S. history, according to damage estimates.

THE news story right now. Might be the story of the year. They’re only just now coming to grips with what has happened, and what needs to be done. Help, if you can, in any way you can.

Bush Cancels Vacation to Focus on Relief – President Bush decided to cancel the rest of his vacation to concentrate on federal relief efforts for victims of Hurricane Katrina as his top disaster relief official lamented “catastrophic” damage in three Southern states.

I’ve seen lots of comments from the Left criticizing Bush for not showing up in New Orleans yesterday with his hip-waders on. They live their lives believing that everything is Bush’s fault, even Hurricanes. I see something different. I remember 9/11 and Bush’s visit to ground zero. Watch him in the coming days…

More Changes Said Likely to Iraq Charter – The U.S. ambassador suggested Tuesday there may be further changes to the draft constitution in order to win Sunni Arab approval, saying he believed a “final, final draft” had not yet been presented.

The more they work at this, the better it will be. This process cannot and should not be rushed. (For updated ‘Good News from Iraq’, see Arthur Chrenkoff.)

California Watches Hawaii’s Effort to Cap Gasoline Prices – With chronically high pump prices straining its laid-back ethos, Hawaii embarks this week on a radical experiment to cap gasoline prices, a move being keenly watched nationwide by legislators and consumer groups eager to rein in record fuel costs. Interest will be especially high in California, a unique market that some experts liken to Hawaii’s because of the high prices charged by gas stations and big profits reaped by a few in-state refiners.

I don’t know about Hawaii or California, but in my neck-of-the-woods (NW Washington State), gas prices took a huge jump over the past few days. Yesterday, for the first time ever, I saw unleaded gasoline for $2.99 a gallon. Premium gas is $3.05 and $3.15. Filling up the tank is a painful procedure these days. If prices go any higher, lifestyle changes are in order.

Britain Seeks to Ban Violent Internet Porn – Ever since Jane Longhurst was killed two years ago by a man obsessed with violent Internet pornography, her family has campaigned for the British government to outlaw the viewing of extreme sexual material on the Web. On Tuesday the government agreed, announcing plans — the first, it said, by any Western country — to ban the downloading and possession of violent sexual images. Police and anti-porn campaigners welcomed the proposal but free-speech groups called it censorship, saying there was no proven link between violent imagery and violent behavior.

I applaud their efforts, but this will be a tough battle to win, to enforce, to prosecute, etc., even in Britain. If a ban like this was announced in the U.S., the Left would be screeching for the impeachment of George W. Bush, and our politically correct system would buckle, and the resulting legislation would be a watered down bill with pounds of pork personally attached by Sen. Robert Byrd.

A Relaxed Jackson Visits Dubai – In contrast to the frail Michael Jackson cleared of child abuse charges in June, the king of pop appeared relaxed and friendly Tuesday during an ongoing visit to this Gulf sheikdom. He ate Buffalo wings. He took a speedboat to a luxury villa on a manmade island. He buzzed around the Emirate with a race car driver and a prince.

Nope, I’m not even gonna go there.

Skinny London House on Sale for $933,000 – This thin house requires a bankroll that’s fairly fat. A home in London that measures just over 5 feet at its skinniest and 9 feet, 11 inches at its widest is up for sale for $933,868, estate agents said Tuesday.

Click the link and look at the picture of the place. This is complete insanity. I don’t know how anyone is able to afford life in London.

And finally…

How would you like to meet these guys? – Three men trying to steal fuel from a New Zealand farm Monday ended up setting fire to their own car. Police said the trio had siphoned diesel into a petrol-driven vehicle. When their car would not start, they examined the fuel pipe using a cigarette lighter. One click, a boom and the car burst into flames.

I love Murphy’s Law. 

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