Monday, November 21, 2005

Personal Notes on Thanksgiving Monday

This has not been a good day for posting. Many absolutely necessary, cannot postpone, gotta get it done tasks during the morning and early afternoon, plus The Project.

The Project was renting a Rug Doctor and cleaning every carpet in the Oklahomily Manor. Many a square yard of thick carpet was shorn of its accumulated grime from the hot steam in the bowels of that Rug Doctor, we can assure you.

What's it been since the last good cleaning, four months? The deed is done, so we'll be able to allocate more time to OTB on Tuesday. There's lots to cover ... is it just our impression or is the news cycle going bananas any more?

Bird flu. More precisely H5N1. Did the Chinese have 3 or 300 down with it? Is the Canadian outbreak H5N1 or a milder domestic bug, and if it is, why is the U.S. closing off imports? Why is the CDC saying, "Nothing's happening here!" and at the same time ramping up airport inspections and preparing for airport quarantine operations at 18 sites? Do they know something we don't, or is this part of some red herring operation to make us look while something else important is taking place?

Yeah, that sounds pretty conspiratorial to us too. Too much so. We don't give government that much credit for organizational ability.

There's a statue of Mary crying tears of blood in Sacramento, California. If it's a fake it is by someone who knows the characteristics of flowing and drying blood. Check out the link HERE. If it's the real McCoy (wasn't Walter Brennan a Catholic?) then the obvious question is: What does it mean? Short answer: Time to pray. Long answer: Still time to pray, ponder the possiblities.

New Orleans, which had a half million people in its greater metro area on the 4th of July, has only about 60,000 in 24/7 residence today, the rest its population still abroad in the greater US of A, many unsure of their future but a growing number certain they will not return. Has anything like this happened since Hiroshima and Nagasaki? The news cycle is going so fast we forget what happened two, three months ago.

The Washington Times reports that the Russians have tested a new warhead that can change course in order to fake out newly evolving American technology designed to shoot warheads down. Naturally that will mean new, faster computers will have to direct the anti-missile missiles so that they, too, can change course. Hey guys! Aren't we supposed to be friends now? How about just not shooting any warheads, thank you very much!

Nothing changes.

Closer to home General Motors is closing its assembly plant in Oklahoma City early next year. Some 2,400 people will lose some damn good jobs. While Oklahoma has a fairly energetic economy these days, much of the growth is in the service sector and in small business development. People who have worked assembly line, and union, are not naturally drawn to either group. Time to think outside the box, people, and we wish you the best of success in doing so. There are lots of reasons GM is making the move, and lack of sales of SUVs is an obvious, no brainer, but it goes beyond that. It's a shame that the rank-and-file have to pay for bad decisions at the top.

Horror of horrors: An expose on Date Site Scams! Would you believe that unscrupulous people are using the internet to make money off of people by promising them true love, and then using "fake" dates for some customers to keep the money flowing? Say it isn't so, Joe!

Seriously we've been wondering how long it would take for enough people to have their hopes and dreams dashed to reach critical mass. The litigation and criminal investigations should provide plenty of water-cooler fodder and late-night talk show jokes.

Speaking of New Orleans, as we were a few moments ago, a natural disaster expert on the faculty of St. Louis University -- or as we affectionately call it, Slew -- says that the Crescent City is going down hard, so to speak, as the land continues to settle and the shoreline continues to move inland.
Prof. Tim Kusky advocates a gradual pull-out from the city, whose slow, steady slide into the sea was sped up enormously by Hurricane Katrina. Kusky speaks to Scott Pelley for a 60 MINUTES report to be broadcast Sunday, Nov. 20 (7:00-8:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network.

“New Orleans is going to be 15 to 18 feet below sea level, sitting off the coast of North America surrounded by a 50 to 100-foot-tall levee system to protect the city ...”
There are countering opinions:
With only half the former population expected to come back to the city, is it too much of a commitment for taxpayers? Is it practical? One resident thinks it’s a matter of pride. “The country has to decide whether it really is what we tell the world what we are,” says New Orleans city employee Greg Meffert ...
If the SLU prof is correct, what we are telling the world is that we are Stuck on Stupid.

Of course, much of the world thinks that already.

We may not have much, but we have our pride.

In America, we call this piling on! The powerful railroad unions in France are challenging a government weakened by three weeks of riots by calling an "open-ended" strike that will shut down two out of every three trains starting Tuesday. Since the world is round, that means already. Should be interesting to see whether the French public, usually inclined to support labor, is in a mood to walk or bicycle in to work this week, especially if you were one of those unfortunate 9,000 plus who had your wheels torched.

Perhaps we'll get a first hand report from our correspondent in Toulouse. (This is what is known as an offhand BLEG.)


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