Friday, December 30, 2005

Chronicle has news flash! Only demographic that died disproportionately in Katrina were old!

In today's Chronicle, there is a Knight-Ridder wire article that states that the only demographic that died more often than any other (and by a very wide margin I might add) were over 60 years old. Around 74% of those so far identified were over 60 years old. And before you think that they were poor and had no transportation, most of those who died that were not confined to a hospital or nursing home died with thier cars still sitting in thier driveways. That means they just did not believe that there was any danger and did not bother to try to get to higher ground, at least not until it was too late. This is yet more proof that Darwin was right, the stupid will be removed from the gene pool by thier own hand. Unfortunately, the cleaning of the pool filter came too late to stop the spread of the contamination.

To my loyal readers this should sound familiar. If so, this is why. You see, this is not "news", this is "olds" as the bH crew likes to call it. I reported this nearly a month ago, why did it take so long for the MSM to catch on?

Boy have I got a DEAL for YOU!

OK, Now that I have your attention, I'm looking for someone in the nursery Biz. I have access to a hybrid species that I believe would have a large market. If any one is interested in learning more, please e-mail me.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Viva la Revolucion!

Waaay back December 2001, I posted something on what was a forerunner of what would be called now a "group blog" that I think is still timely even though the "blog" is now pretty much defunct, I appreciate Fang keeping it up for Posterity. In fact I had a short email exchange with the the venerable VDH in which I asked him if his book espousing the same theory was his own independent idea or if he had read my post a couple years earlier. He got quite pissed off, but then again, I might have been a little blunt in my query as well so his response might be understood. I can be a real a$$h0le sometimes I'm afraid, even when I am not trying to be. (He insists that it is his own independent idea BTW. Hey, maybe this is a case of great minds thinking alike after all...) The post stimulated quite a bit of commentary. Mind you, the "blog" (there were no such things back then) was populated by a number of liberally bent people.... and few that were just bent, and you people know who you are! =b

Today in the Chonicle posted an article about the proposed US-Mexico Border fence that has been proposed and has overwhelmingly passed in the House beside another article talking about how many upper class Mexicans come to McAllen to shop in American stores. The article graphic was supportive of this article. The implication was clearly to undermine the fence proposal (they would of course call that "balance") without addressing the primary problems of illegal immigration. They even tried to undermine the proposal within the article itself, but were not terribly persuasive in my opinion. Lets make sure our senators know that when they take this up in February, they had better pass it. And let Mexico know that the United States will no longer be thier safety valve, they are going to have to address thier own problems instead of dumping them on our doorstep.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Solution to the Which came first question...

While researcing the previous post I ran across this article...

Why do I get the feeling that cholesterol would be the LEAST of my problems if I ate this?

Hair raising story

Lou Minatti has strolled across an EXTREMELY Nauseating story just about as bad as my previous story here.

Excuse me while I go worship at the alter of the ivory goddess...

Sunday, December 18, 2005

An Hour and a Half Late and a Buck Short...

But that's OK, the food was free!

Last night, The lovely and talented Anne Linehan from BlogHouston invited a very select crowd of us bloggers to a semi-private semi-opening of Wolfgang Puck's Gourmet Express In First Colony Mall, across the street from Chipolte. Her very friendly husband runs the place, and he met us at the door. They were holding a "Mock". For the uninitiated (like me), a Mock is a dry run with real food and real customers but apparently fake bills. The intent is to give the staff real people with real orders to serve in order for them to work out the kinks and give management a chance to see where there might still be rough spots that need to be ground off.

My wife and I and our youngest knee-biter (the four year old) got there at 6:30, an hour and a half after the festivities started. This was unfortunate as Anne, Matt Baramanti (Lone Star Times & Mattsapundit), Sedosi Alhambra (Isolated Desolation), and apparently Chris Elam (Safety for Dummies) whom I apparently missed, were there at 5 and were just leaving as we got there. I managed to get a "Hi, I'm Rorschach, nice to meet you..." in before everyone had to bug out. Well CRAP! So much for witty conversation over the meal.... Anne emailed me after she got home apologizing for not being a better hostess (her kids were starting to get antsy and wound up so she had to bail before something bad happened. Hey, all of us parents have been there, ya know?) but I told her if anyone needs to apologize it is me for showing up so late.

A menu of offerings can be found here. I had the four cheese pizza and was pleasantly surprised, goat products are generally verboten in this household after a very bad experience with goat's milk, but there was very little of the pungent taste I expected. It was served with sliced tomatoes and shredded Basil. It certainly made Pappa John's offerings (my favorite take-out) look like cardboard by comparison. My wife had the meatloaf and mashed potatoes, and I must say, that was the BEST damned meatloaf I've ever eaten. And I have to tell you, meatloaf is not normally one of my favorite foods, but this stuff you'd loose a finger if you tried to take it away from me.

The Rugrat was a bit more "discerning" (picky) about her acceptance criteria, seems she actually LIKES the cardboard pizza genre and the kid's cheese pizza was a bit more refined than she was used to. I tried it and it was excellent to my taste but she was having none of that. So we got her an order of the kid's chicken fingers which she ate with abandon. Ok, so we know what NOT to order next least for her.

The restaurant concept itself is an interesting hybrid. Kind of a cross between a full blown elegant gourmet restaurant and a McDonald's. Patrons walk in, order at a register with a big menu on the wall behind them and are given a receipt and a laminated order number card and they seat themselves. A waitress comes out and reads the order back to make sure the order is correct, and then after a little bit, brings the food out. The food IMHO is certainly equal to the best gourmet meal to be had, but the decor is closer to a fast food place than an elegant gourmet place. The floor is finished concrete, the ceiling is open to the underside of the roof and painted dark grey to de-accent it. The lighting was closer to the gourmet place, warm and low and each table had it's own light above it. The booth we were seated at was larger than your standard booth and didn't make you feel like you were trying to wear it. This combination of hard surfaces above and below however makes for a very loud place with even a few patrons. I know restaurant consultants think a loud place does more business, and maybe it does, but for me, I would have appreciated it being a couple decibels quieter. If I had to find one thing that was not quite up to snuff, that would have been it. Retrofitting the place with a bit more insulation in the ceiling and maybe some carpet to dampen out the sound would be my recommendation IMHO, but even without that it is certainly an excellent place to take a date (I THINK I remember what that was like =D) or your spouse for a evening out.

One other thing that is more a limitation of the space available than anything is the issue of drafts. There is no "airlock" on the entrance, where you have to pass through two sets of doors to get in, as a result every time the door opens, a blast of cold air rolls in. For patrons seated further back from the doors, that is obviously not that big a deal, but for someone seated near the door as we were, on a cold night like tonight, it was a bit uncomfortable. But to alleviate that you'd have to take up floor space and that would cut into seating area. The place was packed to the gills when we arrived, so loosing seating area is one of those tradeoffs that architects have to make. I probably would have chose differently, but I can certainly understand why that was not the choice this architect made.

On the whole it was quite an enjoyable treat to give the place a chance to use me as a guinea pig. When they open The Woodlands restaurant in the Spring, perhaps I'll have a chance to compare and contrast.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Now HERE is a gun Dirty Harry would love....

Go Ahead, Make My Day.... Buy me one....

Iran takes delivery of it's first Nuke

Thank You IDF!

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Note to the Iranian President...

That "Sacred Light" you claim surrounds you when you speak is actually Cherenkov Radiation from the nukes fallng off the rails from this bad boy.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

You've been warned!

OK kids, anybody that has downloaded Firefox but hasn't bothered to keep up with the updates and you are still running version 1.0.4 or earlier, it is your turn in the barrell. Anybody not keeping up with updates to thier software is asking for trouble. Updates are released for a reason. If software developers could get away with never releasing updates they'd do it because coding and testing and distributing patches costs money and it gives the software publisher a black eye. Software companies don't HAVE to release patches, most EULA's say use at your own risk, the fact they do is gravy.

If you haven't upgraded yet, go hit the button on the sidebar...

By the way, before you Microsoft kool-aid drinkers get started lets just take a look at Microsft's Known But UNPATCHED list...

Saturday, December 10, 2005

The high cost of cheap medications.

In responding to this post, I was reminded of one of my pet peeves. Socialized medicine. Especially the government mandated price caps on drugs that Canada and most other countries with socialized medicine impose. Everyone loves to bash drug companies, almost as much as they love to bash oil companies. After all, they charge so much for their product people seem to feel that they are being unjustly gouged, but the reality is not nearly so simple.

It's all about risk

The economics of drug companies and oil companies are actually very similar. Oil companies have to simultaneously keep their short term institutional investors happy by making money today, while also looking for and investing in oilfields that may or may not have any commercial oil, and even if they do they won't be ready to come on the market for years, and by then the price of oil may have dropped or the cost of development risen enough that what seemed economically viable when the investments were initially made, are now red ink bleeding from the balance sheet. To guard against that possibility, oil companies do try to make as much money as humanly possible without raising the price so much that other suppliers undercut them when the marketplace allows it to counterbalance the possible massive loss if things don't work out.

Drug companies have to spend massive amounts on research sifting through hundreds of thousands of compounds so that they may or may not come up with the next blockbuster drug, then they have to test that drug, for years, then they have to market it, then they have to litigate to keep the lawyers at bay when the inevitable lawsuit ensues over a known and published or even unknown and unpublished side effect. None of those steps are cheap or without risk. All the while they have to keep their short term investors happy too.

We pay for Canada's socialized medicine.

If drug companies cannot spread the cost among all customers, they have to spread the cost amongst those customers they can in order to stay in business. Well if we are the only country without price caps, guess who gets the lion's share of the bill? You and Me and good old Uncle Sugar... Meanwhile Canada and Europe and other places enjoy the fruits of American investment without having to make any investments themselves. Next time you spend $75 bucks for a 30 day bottle of some miracle drug, just think how much cheaper it would be if the rest of the world would only pay it's fair share.....

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Colder than a Witch's mammary glands.

I'm cold, VERY cold. I have a headache, and I'm shivering which is not helping the headache at ALL. Why you may ask? Well, ya see, it's like this... my employer built this nice spiffy building but didn't install a heater in the air handling system. and to prevent fires, my employer does not allow space heaters in the building either. I'm about ready to bust my side chair and desk into kindling and build myself a bonfire in the hallway.....

Monday, December 05, 2005

The Question (more fully) Unanswered

Friday night, Teketria (Teke-bug) S. Buggs, 12, was asleep on her couch in her Fort Bend County home near Orchard. Saturday morning she was gone. Nobody knows where. Nobody knows if she left on her own or if she was kidnapped or when she disappeared. These are not the questions however to which I am referring. The question I have is this. Why did it take over 24 hours before the Fort Bend sheriff's Department issued an Amber Alert? Universally the first hours after a child goes missing are the most critical. More often than not, after 24 hours the child is very likely dead. The chances of bringing a child home safe after 24 hours falls rapidly. There would appear to be only two possible reasons for the delay. Either the FBSD is incompetent, or they are Biased. Both of my readers know, I would normally be the last person to claim racial bias. I am usually ridiculing the usual suspects for making things that are in no way racially motivated a media circus. But if this is not racial bias, then what is it? Simple incompetence? Criminal stupidity? Something else? I Challenge the FBSD to come forward and explain why it took more than 24 hours for an amber alert to be issued. Which brush should we tar the FBSD with? Stupidity or bigotry?

UPDATE: 12/6/05 12:33pm

I have emailed Fort Bend Sherriff Milton Wright requesting a statement regarding the delay in issuing an Amber Alert. I will post any reply he may have.

Sherriff Wright responds:



To which I responded with the following:

Sherriff Wright, I appreciate your response, however it still leaves me with a question. At what age is it that a runaway child does not trigger an automatic Amber Alert? 16? 14? 12? My point being that even if she were a runaway, wouldn't her age still have warranted an immediate amber alert? 12 is prime age for most pedophiles, young enough that she probably has not fully entered puberty but young enough not to be as cautious with strangers as she should be. Even if she were a runaway, wouldn't she be at high risk of being exploited? Or for that matter wouldn't there have been a good chance that she left willingly with someone that would do her harm? Your response seems to indicate to me that the case was not given a high priority until the mother was interviewed again. Was the officer aware of the age of the child?

I will post more when I learn more.

UPDATE: 12/6/05 4:08PM

Now KHOU has picked up this story here. Hey guys, (NO)THANKS FOR THE (lack of) CREDIT! grrr.

UPDATE: 12/6/05 4:21 PM

Sherriff Wright responds to my second inquiry:




OK, so Sherriff Wright won't talk. Fair enough, he's had his chance at spin control and flopped. Here is what I figure happened. The first call probably was marked low priority because the dispatcher either did not pass on the age, or the investigating officer either didn't hear it or didn't care. Maybe the child's race played a part, maybe it didn't. Maybe the cop couldn't be bothered to put down the donut or the radar gun and do actual police work. I'd be willing to bet no amber alert was even contemplated until the step father started playing the race card (he started to allude to that in his taped interview on the news sunday night before they cut to the mother).

FBSD has severely dropped the ball here in my mind. They had better start getting off thier arse and find this girl and they had better find her alive. If she is dead or injured, you can bet the professional race baiters are going to crawl out of the woodwork and squash Sherriff Wright like a bug if they aren't doing it already.

Update: 12/6/05 4:47 pm

Fort Bend Now reports that side scan sonar images from the Brazos river about a mile from Teketria's home indicate a body. Divers are preparing to dive on that sonar target.

Update 12/8/05 11:26 AM:

I sent the following e-mail to Sherrif Wright yesterday, so far no response.

Sherriff Wright, my questions to not pertain to the ongoing criminal investigation, they pertain to your department's apparent slow and ineffectual response to the initial call.
My questions essentially boil down to these:
1.) How long did it take for the initial investigating officer to be dispatched?

2.)What is Fort Bend Sherriff's Department policy regarding runaway calls for minors?

3.)Are they given high priority?

4.)Is the age of the child a factor in the response?

5.)How does the response in this case differ from policy?

6.)Will anyone be disciplined for the lack of timely response?

You will note, only two of the questions pertain to this specific case, and then only peripherally and they do not appear to jepordize an ongoing investigation. Your reluctance to address these questions directly and openly makes your department look even worse than it already does, which I might add is pretty bad from my persective. If your department acted correctly, give me something that makes sense to explain it, if it did not, admit it and start trying to fix the problem, don't hide behind a straw man excuse of an ongoing investigation. I'm giving you a chance to give the departmen't side of the story, in the absence of a plausible explanation, I have to assume the worst. I plan on another blog post update at noon, I would like to include your defense of the department in it.

Update 12/10/05 9:20pm
Still no word from Sherriff Wright on my last inquiry.

Now they've called off the search and turned up another diappearance that the stepfather was at least peripherally linked to. But again aside from suspicions (and admittedly well grounded suspicions) they don't have enough evidence to actually charge him with a crime. Just as was the case for the first disappearance. Pattern? Possibly, maybe even probably, but closing the barn door after the horse is already gone does not get you your horse back. And issuing an amber alert 30 hours after the reported diappearance doesn't get you a kid back alive either.

Update 12-15-05 4:35pm:

This update is not one I had hoped to make but suspected would ultimately happen, a body has been found in the Brazos river. The body appears to the that of a young black female. It was found about a quarter mile or so south of F.M. 1489. The body has not been positively identified yet, but the odds that it is not Teke Buggs are pretty low.

Now the questions are:
1. Was it the stepfather or someone else?

To answer that they need to answer these questions:

2. Can an accurate time (or should I say DATE) of death be established?
3. Was she already dead when the amber alert was issued?
4. Was she already dead when the initial call to the FBSD was made?

Sunday, December 04, 2005

You KNOW you want it.....

You can Have it too....

Go ahead, click on the button, get Firefox, you'll be glad you did...

Saturday, December 03, 2005

The Myopic Chron Eye for the Death Row Killer Guy

Kevin and Anne over at bH often point out the Chronicle spouting the Hearst Corp party line about the death penalty. They call it Chron Eye for the Death Row Killer Guy because it always takes the form of extolling the virtues (or making some up if the piece of human feces has no virtues of his own) of the miscreant. This is no different than what was done about Reuben Cantu except there is one difference. They pounced on the fact that one of the key witnesses has recanted his story after the execution took place (see this story, and this one, and this one, for some background).

Mind you, nothing that had been entered into evidence at the time of his trials and appeals convinced anyone he was innocent. And even now, the only real "evidence" that he was innocent is an uncorroberated statement by someone who perviously insisted he did it. Now, was he lying then or is he lying now? During his trials and appeals, there would appear to be no indication that he was anything but an honest witness. The Jury obviously believed him. and the appeals court didn't throw out his testimony on appeal. So, a trial judge, a grand jury, a trial Jury, and umpteen jillion state and federal appeals judges all looked at the case and let it go foreward, I really don't know what else anyone could have done to ensure his guilt or innocence.

Some would try to make this out as proof that the death penalty is too final a sentence and it should be abolished. Certainly this is the position of both the Chronicle and it's parent company. But I ask you, had the sentence been life in prison (which in Texas means 40 years at the time of his sentencing.) he would still have served a very large percentage of his sentence already if he were released today which is impossible because he would have to obtain and work his way through another appeal, thereby extending his time behind bars that much more. Would he have had much of a life then? He would have lost a third of his lifetime behind bars. He would have had a record, would have not been employable, and would probably have found his way back to the prison system in short order.

Am I sorry a possibly innocent man died? Certainly I am. But innocent people are killed every day by people whose motives are far less pure than those of the justice system. Who will speak for thier lives? Who will avenge thier deaths if we do not? Who will ensure that those who have no regard for human life never have the opportunity to take another? We the people will in the form of our justice system.

Which brings us back to Juan Moreno, the witness that waited until Cantu was dead and buried to change his story now has his turn in the barrel. The DA is now seeking charges against Moreno, now those would not be perjury charges, they would be MURDER charges. That my friends is what I call Kharmic payback.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Pointlessly playing with sharp objects

In The Chronicle today there is an AP article about how the TSA is contemplating relaxing the rules on things that can be carried onto aircraft. Knives and box cutters are still to be banned, but scissors and screwdrivers and such will be allowed. Personally, I think the TSA is missing an opportunity here. As we learned on Flight 93, people are not willing to be sheep anymore. And testing has shown quite conclusively that gunfire on an aircraft will NOT cause people to get sucked out of the plane or cause explosive decompression or all the stuff hollywood likes to make people think. The TSA should allow and ENCOURAGE CCW permit holders to carry thier firearms onto the plane. CCW permit holders have been trained, they have had background checks, and are generally law abiding people. THEY are not the sort of people you need to worry about hijacking a plane. But I tell you what, if I ever find myself in a situation like the passengers aboard Flight 93, I'd sure like a few of them on the plane with me. Perhaps then the TSA can stop worrying whether granny with her knitting needles is a threat and maybe concentrate on screening the cargo instead. Or pay attention to the arabic gentleman that is acting nervous and looks like he's high on crank or something instead of groping and cavity searching my wife. Yes, I'm advocating racial profiling. Why? Well, how many of the 9/11 hijackers were women travelling with thier kids or grannies carrying knitting needles? Political correctness be damned, this is war, and we know what the enemy combatants look like, use your friggin brain for something other than keeping your ears from rubbing together!

Death is an equal opportunity offender

Back during Katrina, every race-baiting nutcase from Jesse Jackson to Al Sharpton to Louis Farrakahn jumped up out of thier hidey-holes and announced to the world that Bush bombed the levees in order to kill the black man. Those rumours continue to circulate even though it is becoming quite apparent that the 17th St levee was not only not built to print, but even if it had been, it would have failed when 11-12 ft of water was pushing on it, which is exactly what happened. The soil in the entire mississipi delta region is weak and poorly consolidated. The sheet piling only went 10 ft down, when the print called for 17-1/2 ft. But even had it been been driven 25 ft down, it still would have failed. These were built 10 years before Bush took office.

Today, I was listening to KSEV and heard a report that something on the order of just under 500 bodies have been positively identified and released to the families so far. Of those, 15 were hispanic, and the remiander was 50% white and 50% black (give or take a tenth of a percent or so.). Statistically the only demographic that suffered worse than any other was those over the age of 75.

So will we be hearing a version of the story that Bush bombed the levees to kill off medicare recipients now?