Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Would You Believe?..

Don Adams whose Maxwell Smart character had a "shoe phone" two decades before Sports Illustrated promoted their subscription sales with one has died. He was 82 years old.
Adams was one of those lovable TV personalities who found himself typecast by the character he portrayed in the successful series "Get Smart" in the early 60's. He played agent "86" a bumbling superspy whose antics and misfortunes usually came together by the end of an episode to win out over his nation's enemy, "KAOS".
"Get Smart" twice won the Emmy for best comedy series with three Emmys for Adams as comedy actor.
Subsequent to doing"Get Smart" Adams briefly was host of the TV reality quiz show "Don Adams Screen Test". He also became the cartoon voice of "Inspector Gadget and the toon character "Tennessee Tuxedo".
He is credited from the "Get Smart Series" with adding two phrases to the American lexicon; "Would you believe.?. and "Sorry about that Chief".
Adams died of a lung infection late Sunday at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Don't Go Near the Water!..

It amuses me when we have to go to “merry old England” to learn what passes for news about ourselves.
This morning care of the United Kingdom’s “Guardian Unlimited” we learned that “36 killer dolphins are loose” in the Gulf of Mexico.
According to reporter Mark Townsend Houston, 36 dart wielding dolphins trained in anti terrorist tactics by the US Navy escaped from their training compound in a sound near Lake Ponchartrain, Louisiana at the height of Hurricane Katrina. They have not been recovered.
Houston wrote:
“Leo Sheridan, 72, a respected accident investigator who has worked for government and industry, said he had received intelligence from sources close to the US government's marine fisheries service confirming dolphins had escaped.
'My concern is that they have learnt to shoot at divers in wetsuits who have simulated terrorists in exercises. If divers or windsurfers are mistaken for a spy or suicide bomber and if equipped with special harnesses carrying toxic darts, they could fire,' he said. 'The darts are designed to put the target to sleep so they can be interrogated later, but what happens if the victim is not found for hours?’”
One is supposed to think that the US Navy would be so stupid as to leave “armed trained dolphins” at the mercy of a Hurricane…
I can believe that their handlers turned them loose to fend for themselves in the storm….but not with their weaponry.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Havana Taxi..

Above is a picture of a “gypsy cab” in Havana. Basically this is a motor scooter for the driver with a wide rear axle to support a 2 person passenger shell.
I hope there aren’t many instances when the normal Cuban motor vehicle (below) crashes into one of these taxis..

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Popcorn Anyone?

This past week ideologues on the left and right tried to get Chief Justice Nominee John Roberts to utter words which would coalesce their support or opposition to his nomination. Thus far he seems to have evaded a verbal slip.
Reportedly after intensely questioning Roberts for several days Judiciary Committee Co-Chairman Joseph Biden extended his hand to the nominee after a session saying "You're the best candidate I've ever seen appear before this committee."
I'm sure that grated on the ears of supporters of Justice Ginsburg.
Personal information has always been something the media has wanted to know about nominees.
When Judge Bork was under consideration a reporter contacted the video store in the New England town he spent his summer vacations hoping to find out what videos the Conservative candidate rented.
We learned more than we wanted to know when Anita Hill revealed Justice Thomas's fascination with porn star "Long Dong Silver" during his Senate confirmation hearings.
Yesterday in jest someone queried John Roberts about his favorite movies.
He immediately declared they were "Dr. Zhivago" and "North by Northwest"!
Addendum September 29,2005 4:00 P.M.:
Senator Biden ultimately voted against Roberts for Chief Justice both in Committee on September 22 and in the full Senate on September 29.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

The "Unaccounted"

We’ve heard that the New Orleans Police Department has 500 members missing, not resigned, missing. OK, maybe some of them walked off the job in the chaos that followed and are too embarrassed to report back. Maybe a few of them lost their lives in the civil unrest and haven’t been discovered yet. Maybe some are buried under the water and muck from the flood.
Here’s a really scary statistic. Today we learned that the Postal Service has 2,000 of its employees “unaccounted for”. THE POSTAL SERVICE HAS 2,000 OF ITS EMPLOYEES UNACCOUNTED FOR….(approximately 1/3 of its workers in the areas ravaged by the storm 10 days after Katrina passed).
Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.”
The majority of Americans see the Post Office as a “plum job”.”
You need to score high on a civil service exam to get it for that reason. You have to be fairly bright to work for the US Postal Service.
Approximately 1 out of every 400 Americans works for the Postal Service...or 0.25 % of the population.
Could you get to a phone and let your employer know you’re OK..1-877-477-3273..?..
OR…Is the Katrina disaster far worse than anyone can imagine with regard to losses..

Addendum: September 9, 2005 1:00 P.M.

Two Iowa Postmasters are claiming the number of unaccounted for postal workers is 3,200. They urged workers to contact the Postal Service at 1-877-477-3273.
Meanwhile, Mississippi Regional Postal District Manager James Daily says all of his state's workers are accounted for. "Fortunately we've had no deaths and no serious inuries." he said.

Friday, September 02, 2005

What About St. Bernard's Parish?

St. Bernard's Parish is an untold story because noone is telling it. It’s just to the southeast of New Orleans but it isn’t part of the City.
St. Bernard's Parish was closer to the storm’s strength than New Orleans. This is an economically depressed area with a population of 67,000. There were no estimates of how many people left before Katrina arrived. Let’s say 70 % (the historical percentage of a local population which leave behind their residences in the pathway of a severe hurricane) left before the storm. That leaves 20,000 remaining behind.
On Monday morning during the storm there was a report that there was widespread flooding in St. Bernard’s Parish due to the storm surge. Also there was a report that the local emergency services center at an armory was destroyed at the height of the storm.
On Tuesday overhead flights indicated that because of the storm surge a majority of the homes were not only flooded but completely moved from their foundations and destroyed. Two high schools, Chalmette and St.Bernard's which were being used by shelters for about 300 persons each were heavily damaged.
Senator Mary Landrieu getting off a helicopter Tuesday after overflying the region speaking of St. Bernard’s stated: “The whole Parish is gone…It’s completely gone.”
There were no more reports from this parish until Wednesday when a group of 15 people from there arrived by boat in New Orleans. On the boat was a Sheriff’s Deputy who would only say that the whole Parish was a catastrophic loss. The fifteen people on the boat survived because they were able to get onto the displaced roof of Chalmette High School….Everything else was under water.
Also on Wednesday, the Corps of Engineers confirmed reports of water an astounding 20 feet deep in St. Bernard's Parish.
Today there was finally a report that there were 3,000 survivors from St. Bernard's. 1,500 people who were rescued by boats and helicopters (these people are included in the crowd beneath an interstate overpass near New Orleans) and 1,500 who are still in St. Bernard's at local shelters. A high level parish clerk stated that there had as of yet been no contact with any Federal officials. The Clerk refused to talk about the number of deaths in the Parish.
No one is talking about the other _ _ , _ _ _ people who may not have evacuated before the storm.?..

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